Christopher Hitchens: An immigrant from Great Britain into America, Hitchens, who passed away from lung cancer in 2011 at 62, was an author and journalist who kept his own counsel, shifting his opinion with generosity of intelligence against the untidy alliances of other less than dynamic circuits of social resolve, stating with his usual sangfroid. "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, anyplace, anytime. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass."
Early in life he was an outspoken socialist "largely [as] the outcome of a study of history, taking sides ... in the battles over industrialism and war and empire." Later, he announced he could no longer say "I am a socialist". Socialists, he claimed, had ceased to offer a positive alternative to the capitalist system. Capitalism had become the more revolutionary economic system, and he welcomed globalisation as "innovative and internationalist", but added, "I don't think that the contradictions, as we used to say, of the system, are by any means all resolved." He stated that he had a renewed interest in the freedom of the individual from the state, but that he still considered libertarianism "ahistorical" both on the world stage and in the work of creating a stable and functional society, adding that libertarians are "more worried about the over-mighty state than the unaccountable corporation" whereas "the present state of affairs ... combines the worst of bureaucracy with the worst of the insurance companies.