nostalgia for McCarthyism?

jnstewart at SPAMmindspring.com jnstewart at SPAMmindspring.com
Sun Nov 28 19:34:21 MST 1999




----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Sunday, November 28, 1999 10:56 AM
Subject: nostalgia for McCarthyism?


> Where Arthur Herman argues that the word "McCarthyism" shouldn't be used
> because it no longer has any real meaning, Schrecker and others want to
> keep it alive as a cudgel for the left to employ against the right. To
> Schrecker and her political allies, McCarthyism, not Communism, was the
> great political evil of America's postwar period. Where the right argues
> that there is an innate strain of dishonesty and disloyalty on the left,
> the left contends that the smear tactics of Joe McCarthy will always be a
> hallmark of the right. To them, Kenneth Starr is simply a modern-day
> McCarthy.

    I don't understand the recent rash of "McCarthy wan't so bad" talk any
more than I understand the rash of "I opposed the war, but now I regret it"
ralk of the eighties.  I agree with Ian Scholes, who said, "I squeezed out
of the draft and I'm damn proud of it."  McCarthy and the HUAC
anti-communist crusade was a travesty and an insult to the traditions of the
nation.
    I was just reading Earl Browder's account of the decline of the
communist party in the United states which he traces, not to the Stalin
Hitler pact, but to the split with the C.I.O. in 1945, "On the pattern of
1923 the Communists followed the suggestion of the Russians, turned their
backs on their own best judgment, split with thier closest allies with
bitterness and recriminations, and headed into political oblivion with
enthusiasm."
    McCarthy and his ilk finished up the job, but the party was already
down, although not out.










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