nostalgia for McCarthyism?

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Sun Nov 28 22:21:41 MST 1999

"jnstewart" at wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Carrol Cox" <cbcox at>
> To: <marxism at>
> Sent: Sunday, November 28, 1999 5:41 PM
> Subject: Re: nostalgia for McCarthyism?
> >
> >
> > "jnstewart" at wrote:
> >
> > >  McCarthy and the HUAC
> > > anti-communist crusade was a travesty and an insult to the traditions of
> the
> > > nation.
> >
> > >"travesty and an insult to the traditions of the nation."
> >
> > What! The Alien and Sedition Laws? The genocide of Indian people.
> > The Haymarket Riot. The Pullman Strike. Sacco and Vanzetti. The
> > Palmer Raids. The Red Hunt carried on and magnificently exemplified
> > "the traditions of the nation."
> The claim of being the true patriot was commonly made int the sixties and
> which had a ceertain influence at the time.

Yes. And I was one of the people who made it then -- and I might make
it again in a forum which I controlled. (I mean this fairly literally: if I am
sitting at the speakers' table and control access to the mike). But it's a
dangerous claim for reasons I gave.

Even an appeal to native American leftist tradition is dangerous. Both
Debs's socialist party and the populist movement were racist. And the
CIO more or less deliberately went beyond mere opportunism in
refusing to challlenge white supremacy in the south -- that is, they could
have gained by challenging it. And U.S. leftism has always had an intensely
male-centered flavor.


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