A commenter asks if there is something about Trotskyism that turned them into neocons:
Do you think there is something fundamentally sinister about Trotskyism that makes such transformation inevitable?
Not really, but they are super-revolutionaries. They believe in worldwide revolution. Spontaneous worldwide revolution. They don’t believe in socialism in one country, remember? They want the whole world in revolt.
The Trots used to just be a bunch of Jews. They liked Trotsky because he was a Jew and supposedly Stalin sacked Trotsky due to anti-Semitism. Trotsky was running around telling everyone that Stalin was an anti-Semite. Also, Stalin was a conservative and a nationalist and he undid a lot of the radical changes that the Trot types had done before 1927. So anyway, if you were a Commie and a Jew in the West, you were supposed to be a Trot.
Then with Khrushchev’s secret speech, the full weight of Stalin’s atrocities, 3.2 people just murdered in peacetime, came out. Actually they were throwing around numbers like 20-110 million. Lot of Commies in the West, including most of the Trots, abandoned Communism and turned into Cold War liberals in the 1950’s associated with a CIA publication called Encounter. They were regularly trotted out to show how liberals hated Communism as much as conservatives. My Dad came out of this mold. Fierce liberal who hated Communism.
With the 6-day war in 1967, the group radicalized. They supported Israel, and they got behind the Vietnam War in a big way as a Cold War thing. Also they became these cultural conservative Jews who were sort of waging war on their fellow Jews. They saw the Counterculture as a bunch of traitorous Jews, and they were pissed. So they were pro-Vietnam War, pro-Israel, pro-Cold War and anti-counterculture.
In the 1970’s this movement grew around a few very obscure journals which have since gone under the names of which elude me. The group coalesced around Henry “Scoop” Jackson’s office in the Senate. He was known as the Senator From Boeing. Jackson represented Washington State. He was this “liberal” who was all tied in with the military industrial complex, a hawk on Vietnam in the 1970’s and a Cold Warrior. My father loved him.
He was a Gentile, but the neocons saw him as Israel’s best friend. All of these guys, Perle, Wolfowitz and the rest of them, come out of this environment. They still wanted to be Democrats though because they were still liberal Jews at heart.
When Reagan came in, they saw their opening and joined on board for the pro-Israel Cold War ride. They formed a BS committee called The Committee on the Present Danger. The whole reason for its existence was to say that the CIA was lying in its estimates on Soviet strength and that the Soviets were stronger than we were and about to conquer us.
This was all lies and apparently they knew this, but they pushed it anyway. They got the CIA to revise its estimates of Soviet strength to dramatically overestimate it. This was the Reagan defense spending ramp up thing. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Frank Gaffney, Perle and other scoundrels were all involved in this.
Most of them were turning into Republicans already when Bush Jr came in, and they made a rush to sign up. Most of his administration came out of the CPD and JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. The purpose of JINSA is, through corruption and propaganda, to sort of merge the Israeli military and its MIC with the US military and its MIC. It has sort of worked.
The rest is history.
Trace the trajectory of Norman Podhoretz of Commentary Magazine and Irving Kristol of Public Affairs Magazine (William Kristol’s father). Those were some of the original proto-neocons who are now full-on neocons.