[Marxism] The Nation's review of books on "McCarthyism"

Charlie Parks jcparks5550 at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 30 11:21:15 MST 2004

Did anybody catch this review of books on "McCarthyism" in the current issue 
of The Nation? It's really a thoughtful piece, debunking the liberal 
anti-Marxist presuppositions of many of the various authors under review 
(who seem to think that the anti-Left hysteria rampant in the '40s and '50s 
often went a bit too far but was guided by benign and righteous intentions) 
and an instance of the occasional Left perspective that manages to slip past 
the cruise-missile liberals who dominate the magazine. --CP

review | Posted November 24, 2004
Patriot Acts
by Mike Marqusee

In September 1950, four months into the Korean War, Congress passed the 
draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), known as the McCarran Act, after its 
sponsor, the Nevada Democratic Senator Pat McCarran, a son of immigrants who 
hated immigrants. The act required all members of the Communist Party and 
all Communist "front" organizations to register with the government, 
deprived "subversives" of their right to passports and to government 
employment and subjected aliens deemed "subversive" to exclusion or 
deportation. Most notoriously, it granted the President emergency powers to 
intern "potential subversives" in concentration camps.

This "preventive detention" provision, which remained on the statute books 
for twenty years, had not featured in McCarran's original bill. Its authors 
were, in fact, McCarran's liberal opponents--including Hubert Humphrey--who 
had hoped to sabotage the bill by offering an alternative that was even 
tougher on Communism. Alas, the alternative ended up as an addition. After 
Truman vetoed the bill, Humphrey found himself arguing in the Senate in 
support of the veto on the grounds that the bill was wrong to guarantee the 
right of habeas corpus to the "despicable traitors" who would be interned in 
the camps.


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