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Why did American government acted with phobia against the mentioning of the word Comm

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Old 05-02-2016, 11:59 AM
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Default Why did American government acted with phobia against the mentioning of the word Comm


Communism...

I am curious


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Old 05-02-2016, 01:27 PM
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The wealthy and powerful fear anything that threatens their wealth and power.
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Old 05-02-2016, 03:17 PM
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Oh...
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:09 PM
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I don't recall any phobia about the word communism. Commies were mildly popular during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Part of issue was at the end of WWII there were two superpowers left. Both finished the war on the same side (kinda) but some acrimony came with dividing the spoils. Plus, the communism practiced at the time was antithetical to what the US stood for then. (in spite of FDR being a closet commie socialist)

There were some other factors at play, but USSR wanted to expand communism, and the USA wanted it frozen in place as a worse case.

Some of this is gross simplification.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:43 AM
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There has to be a bogeyman to keep the population frightened and looking elsewhere for the causes of their suffering. Back then it was the International Communist Conspiracy, today it's Islamic terrorism.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:50 AM
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For once I agree with flyingtart.
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Old 05-03-2016, 03:57 AM
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That's the simple answer. But just because governments sometimes use threats to manipulate or distract "the population" doesn't mean there is no cause for concern.

In context of the times, I think people associated Soviet expansionism with communism and they saw it as a threat to democracy and personal freedom etc. etc.

Although it's easy to do in hindsight, you could hardly look at what happened in eastern Europe and Germany after WWII and blame people for overreacting. I seriously doubt the people who died trying to climb over the the Berlin wall were shot by bogeymen.

On the other hand, the U.S. was entering a period of unprecedented prosperity, so there probably weren't a whole lot of disgruntled workers. Not exactly the kind of environment where ideas about communism can get much traction. But maybe the concerns for some of our allies—or where we had interests abroad—were more legitimate. Of course, how we dealt with communism in Vietnam and South American and elsewhere was often ill-conceived and in some cases, downright criminal.

But I think you can look at where communism or the various brands of it have been implemented—and in practice, it hasn't worked out very well so far. Still plenty of elitism, corruption and a whole lot of oppression to keep everyone in line.

So I guess we'll have to sit back and wait for the "pure communism" we all keep hearing about to be tried. Then I'll let you know what I think about it. In the meantime, I'll take my chances in a capitalist state/system, even if it might represent the least of all evils.

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Old 05-03-2016, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Mohican View Post
I don't recall any phobia about the word communism.
Really? What about McCarthyism, the Hollywood blacklist etc? Looks to me like that was all about fear and paranoia—pretty much the definition of phobia.
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by flyingtart View Post
The wealthy and powerful fear anything that threatens their wealth and power.
Somewhere, there's an empty fortune cookie.
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
Somewhere, there's an empty fortune cookie.
Somewhere there's an empty skull.
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:26 AM
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As opposed to the person who thinks regurgitating cliche makes for some kind of halfway intelligent conversation?

Sure. Whatever you need to believe.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
Really? What about McCarthyism, the Hollywood blacklist etc? Looks to me like that was all about fear and paranoia—pretty much the definition of phobia.
1. Before my time
2. Some of "McCarthyism" was an unjustified witchhunt, some of it had grounds.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:34 AM
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Huh? Before your time? That's never stopped you before.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Binx B View Post
Huh? Before your time? That's never stopped you before.
You have a point, and I'm glad you called me out on this.

I'll admit - I was probably wrong or partially wrong in that statement. Was there paranoia? Certainly.

Is there a point that when viewed later on, say from the 80s on, that things were seen differently, and also reported on, and made "part of the record" by people that were not sympathetic to McCarthy? Certainly.

Were there actual commies in Hollywood at the time? Was the beatnik group, which then morphed into hippies" part of this? Yes.

Were certain politicians sleeping with commies/Russian Agents? The record would say so.

The thing to view, which I was remiss in viewing was - Could the USSR, through it's various means have brought the US down?

Did I make too light of this? Probably. Take the Cuban Missile Crisis. Did the US and USSR almost come to a point that they would be trading missiles? A lot of accounts say so. If you come to the point where you are going to be trading nuclear missile strikes, and launching B52s and so forth then there is reason for fear and paranoia, right?

Edited to add - I didn't follow my own policy. I entered this double wide mobile home fire prior to doing my 360° walk around.
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If you surrender a civilization to avoid social disapproval, you should know that all of history will curse you for your cowardliness - Alice Teller

If John of Patmos would browse the internet today for half an hour, I don't know if the Book of Revelations would be entirely different or entirely the same.

Last edited by Mohican; 05-03-2016 at 08:39 AM..
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:23 AM
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I think the problem was more about the red scare in it's various incarnations becoming a witch hunt, throwing due process out the window and making the whole thing a public spectacle for personal and political gain.

Could a handful of directors and screenwriters made an iota of difference by making Hollywood films that included subtle or subliminal communist messages—or even more overt ones, had they been allowed to do so? I seriously doubt it. Especially if you look at the unprecedented level prosperity in the U.S. at the time. Not a climate that was very conducive to communist revolution. And the targets of the blacklist weren't beatniks. Most of them were young "card carrying communists" back during the depression when maybe communism didn't seem like such a bad idea. They pretty much got screwed.

Of course, it would be naive to assume there were no Soviet agents in the state department or anywhere else they could do damage. Like from what I recall, there was subsequent evidence revealed to show the Rosenbergs were actually guilty.

It's possible, but I don't think conditions that led to the Cuban missile crisis would have been averted or affected by relatively small-scale spy vs. spy intelligence. That was a pretty big operation on the part of the Soviets and we found out about it by using reconnaissance aircraft. I think all that was destined to be played out on the big stage and it would have happened even if we'd managed to rout out every Soviet spy in the country.

Last edited by Binx B; 05-03-2016 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:05 AM
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It probably took a while for the Red Scare to get going. The USSR lost a lot people in WWII, and Hitler had managed to trash a major city or two or three.

At the end of World War II Patton wanted to take the war to Russia because he sensed weakness at that point. At one point in my life I thought Patton was right. Now, not so much.

By the Mid 50s, just post Korean War they (the USSR) had dusted itself off. The notion - with much justification - was that they were guns before butter and both the US and USSR started a peace time/cold war build up in earnest.

If you want to take the good with the bad, and look at the glass half full then the arms race drove the space race, and the space race begat a lot of technology at a pace not seen before.
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