Tuesday May 5, 2015
The term, “Fifth Column,” came into popular use in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s and thereafter as socialism and fascism were sweeping into conflict to take over the nations of the West. It means a group of guerrillas, activists, intellectuals, etc. who work to undermine a nation (or some larger organization) from within. Its activities can be out in the open, or they can be secret.
Today in America, the neoconservative political movement represents a “Fifth Column” for the forces of collectivism. Its intellectuals and activists promote themselves as conservatives who oppose the liberals, but their political philosophy has nothing to do with what is known as American conservatism, which has always stood for a limited Constitutional government and free enterprise. These values are anathema to today’s “neoconservatives” in the nation’s political, literary, and scholarly circles.
The late, Irving Kristol, editor of The Public Interest, and Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, were the founders of the neoconservative movement in the late 1960s. In their youth during the 1930s and 1940s, they were followers of the communist Leon Trotsky. Having bought into the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, they saw socialism as an ideal that needed to be spread to the West. While they and their followers subsequently modified the Marxist roots of their ideology in favor of a more gradualist methodology, they always remained adamant supporters of collectivism for America.