Summary: Whittaker Chambers’ s famous conversion from Communism to Christianity and his witness to truth in the early Cold War period were made possible because he wrestled with the question that modern rationalism was unable to pose to itself: What can be hoped for with this life? In the opportunity for transcendence, a need felt by every man, exists the possibility for man to finally understand himself. Chambers knew that the answer could not be found in our banal humanism. The West still accepts, more or less, the Enlightenment’s fundamental conceit that man makes his own reality. Communism now stands discredited. However, our philosophical confusion from which the ideology emerged remains too much with us.
Richard M. Reinsch is a program officer at Liberty Fund, Inc. He is the author of the recently released book Whittaker Chambers: The Spirit of a Counterrevolutionary. He writes frequently for such publications as Society, Modern Age, the University Bookman, Touchstone, National Review Online, City Journal Online, and the Daily Caller. He lives near Indianapolis.