Why the Fifth Column?


I have called this blog the “Fifth Column” for what I hope is a good reason. I want to challenge political correctnesses and move the search for good actions and policies towards more substantial grounds.

I do believe in truth over appearances and harsh realities over pleasing cant. I would like Americans to be motivated by what is close to the firm, the real and the enduring, what Mencius called “being radical”.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder and we all have our personal stories to tell, but above and beyond us is something more important than our idiosyncrasies, fancies, angers, fears and prejudices.

During the Spanish Civil War, when Franco’s forces were attacking the Republican capital of Madrid in four columns, inside the city was a “fifth” column of secret supporters. The phrase “Fifth Column” then developed a meaning as subversive, referring to insiders who are really outsiders, a force or presence that challenges the status quo and what is trendy or politically correct at any given moment.

Thus in my own way I would like to challenge set observations, cultural limitations of all sorts – on the right and on the left and create a common space where there is no need for cultural and intellectual “fifth columns” of a hurtful sort.

I hope you will find something of interest in my comments and please let me know your thoughts so that I can follow up on your thinking as well.