Between the Lines

Opposite Directions

History not only repeats itself but inverts itself.  When these things happen simultaneously, the result is precisely what is happening today, as conservatives return to their “isolationist” roots and progressives return to their warmongering ways.  That’s the repetition.  The inversion comes into play with the current anti-Russian hysteria, which we haven’t seen since the icy storms of the Cold War.

Back then, of course, it was conservatives who were playing the Grand Inquisitor role: A congressional entity calling itself the House Un-American Activities Committee hauled in dozens of alleged “subversives” to testify, with several pleading the Fifth Amendment and others bravely questioning whether the committee was itself un-American.  Frank Chodorov, who was no left-winger, warned that this “heresy hunt” would backfire, and that the Cold War being waged by conservatives would subvert their domestic antistatist agenda: “If we go along with this poking into the business of Europe,” he wrote,

what will happen to the liberty we have left in America?  Already there is a “red” witch hunt afoot, and experience tells us that when the exigencies of the situation require it the definition of “red” will include every person who raises his voice against the going order.

And so it came to pass that...

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