Communism

Four Great Myths of the McCarthy Era

Sixty years after the Army-McCarthy hearings, we should reexamine some of our accumulated lore about the period.

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Joseph McCarthy (artist's rendition).
Walt Kelly

Sixty years ago today, the ABC and DuMont television networks began their live broadcasts of the Army-McCarthy hearings, a two-month Senate soap opera that marked the final stage of the Wisconsin Republican Joseph McCarthy's period of power. The hearings are most famous today for what happened when the senator tried to make hay of the fact that Army attorney Joseph Welch's law firm employed a man who had once been a member of an organization with links to the Communist Party. The guilt-by-loose-chain-of-association charge was a showcase for McCarthy's sleazy style, allowing Welch to let loose a line that is constantly quoted to this day: "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

The hearings would go on for another week, and McCarthy would remain in office until his death three years later. But it was that exchange—which wrapped up with McCarthy blustering, Welch cutting him off, and the gallery bursting into applause—that effectively ended the senator's career.

Today McCarthy has come to symbolize the entire postwar Red Scare, allowing the hearings to serve as a tidy end to a tidy story about a demagogue who attained outsized influence and then was cut down to size. But the crusade against Communist subversion that marked the late 1940s and the '50s began before McCarthy seized the issue; and if his downfall was a sign that those fears were fading, it did not bring them to an end. The biggest myth of the McCarthy era is that it was a McCarthy era, rather than an episode in which McCarthy was merely one of the most noisy and irresponsible figures.

World communism (artist's rendition).
mattsko.wordpress.com

There are other myths of the period too. The great radical myth of the Red Scare is that it was nothing but a scare—that the Americans accused of being Russian agents were virtually all innocent. (It's hard to maintain that position now that the Venona files have been released and some of the left's biggest causes célèbres have come crumbling down—at this point even Julius Rosenberg's children have acknowledged that he was a spy—but some folks still hold onto the dream.) The great conservative myth of the period, meanwhile, is that the espionage justified the witch-hunts. People like Ann Coulter and M. Stanton Evans have taken to declaring that McCarthy was right without acknowledging that the bulk of his accusations were false, and that this was true of many other red-hunters too. And then there's the great liberal myth of the period: the idea that the libs of the day managed to plot a course between the Soviet apologists and the paranoid hysterics, striking a delicate balance between protecting the country's liberties and protecting its security. In fact, the Red Scare, like the Cold War itself, had liberal fingerprints all over it.

Some of those fingerprints were left before the Red Scare actually began, as Democrats eager to ferret out fascist subversives in the '30s and early '40s lent their support to tools that would later be turned against the left. The Smith Act, which made it illegal to advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government, was a potent weapon during the Red Scare. But it was passed with liberal backing in 1940 and then used against alleged fascists, most infamously in the great sedition trial of 1944. Similarly, when Congress rechartered the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1938, many liberals voted with the ayes because they wanted to investigate the right.

TAKE THE RED PI—whoops, wrong movie.
Paramount

When the Cold War got underway and the threat of communism replaced the threat of fascism, liberals often found themselves in the red-hunters' crosshairs. But liberals also went on the hunt themselves. "It was the Truman administration," Richard Freeland notes in The Truman Doctrine & the Origins of McCarthyism, "that developed the association of dissent with disloyalty and communism, which became a central element of McCarthyism. It was the Truman administration that adopted the peacetime loyalty program, which provided a model for state and local governments and a wide variety of private institutions. It was the Truman administration, in the criteria for loyalty used in its loyalty program, that legitimized the concept of guilt by association." To his credit, Truman vetoed the McCarran Act of 1950, which went well beyond chasing spies to limit Communists' civil liberties. (Congress overrode the veto and the bill became law anyway, though the courts eventually struck down many of its provisions.) But the Democrats who broke with Truman and voted for the measure included both Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy. Speaking of Kennedy: His brother Bobby, later a liberal heartthrob, was a counsel for the McCarthy committee, and McCarthy was godfather to Bobby's first child.

It may be tempting to put all the madness of the early Cold War on the shoulders of one Wisconsin senator, and then to cheer as Joseph Welch ritually exorcises him on the floor of the Senate and the TV screens of America. The truth, alas, is much messier and uglier than that. When it comes to the Red Scare, there's plenty of shame to go around.

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97 responses to “Four Great Myths of the McCarthy Era

  1. That the second pic isn’t alt-texted as “Cobra Commander: The Red Period” is proof positive that Jesse is a domestic terrorist worse than Hitler.

  2. It’s teh KOCHTOPUS seeking to rule the world! See the bloody red hue of the Rethuglicans! Proof that Reason is a partisan rag!

    / derp

  3. Similarly, when Congress rechartered the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1938, many liberals voted with the ayes because they wanted to investigate the right.

    The 75th Congress (1937-39) had 333 Democrats, 89 Republicans, and 13 others. The “libersals” had to vote for the rechartering in large numbers simply because there weren’t other people to vote for it.

    1. See Brian Doherty’s “Radicals for Capitalism” and the Frank Buchanan Committee for when Congress went after anybody not of the left.

      The Daily Kos portrays Frank Buchanan as doing the Lord’s work in their typical, twisted Stalinist style.

  4. Saw a father at my son’s preschool today, wearing a flat-top red star hat, green jacket, and oh-so-adorable Chairman Meow t-shirt.

    Can someone explain this to me? Is it cool? Is he serious? Is that appropriate garb for toddler delivery at the Temple?

    1. I think it is cool. And by cool, I mean “cool.” It’s how intellectuals act rebellious.

      1. and by “cool I mean screamikng fucking douche bag

    2. I always wonder why hipsters think it’s cool to wear Mao hats and Che shirts but balk at Hitler shirts and SS trenchcoats.

      1. It shows that they identify with poor people.

  5. the bulk of his accusations were false

    Massive miss-usage of the phrase ” the bulk of”. “Some of” would be accurate.

    1. Massive miss-usage of the phrase “massive miss-usage”.

      [citation required]

      IOW, please clarify your criticism which implies [citation needed].

      1. For one thing, I went to the link and read the story. For another, it is pretty darn hard to find anybody brought before the committee that was not behaving as accused.

        Have a beautiful Earth Day, comrade.

      2. Harvey Klehr, who certainly isn’t one to minimize Soviet espionage, agrees with me on this:

        “But if McCarthy was right about some of the large issues, he was wildly wrong on virtually all of the details. There is no indication that he had even a hint of the Venona decryptions, so he did not base his accusations on the information in them. Indeed, virtually none of the people that McCarthy claimed or alleged were Soviet agents turn up in Venona. He did identify a few small fry who we now know were spies but only a few. And there is little evidence that those he fingered were among the unidentified spies of Venona. Many of his claims were wildly inaccurate; his charges filled with errors of fact, misjudgments of organizations and innuendoes disguised as evidence. He failed to recognize or understand the differences among genuine liberals, fellow-traveling liberals, Communist dupes, Communists and spies ? distinctions that were important to make. The new information from Russian and American archives does not vindicate McCarthy.”

        1. Every time I see a list of the “innocent” accused by that committee, a quick lookup of the names proves otherwise. It does not matter what era the list is published.

          Have a list from this guy on who was falsely accused and is it longer than the list of correct on target?

          1. I have learned through a lot of experience that government lies. They lie about things simply to cover up other lies that were so innocuous that they need not have lied.

            To imagine that Joe McCarthy and other “investigators” os ANY ilk did not lie their ass off is beyond sensible.

            Anyone who says that particular committee was intelligent and truthful when every other example has been the opposite — well, the burden is on them to prove the miracle.

            1. From the onset I never said he or his committee was right every time. That is what “some of” means.

              1. You’ve gone from sneering at “the bulk was wrong” to claiming only “some”.

                Which is it, Comrade Waffle?

                1. fellow traveler pancake

                2. There’s no ‘gone from’, this is the original comment–

                  Massive miss-usage of the phrase ” the bulk of”. “Some of” would be accurate.

        2. While Klehr and his frequent collaborator John Earl Haynes are specialists on Soviet espionage in general, neither has made any specialized study of McCarthy in particular — unlike M. Stanton Evans, who wrote a 600-page book on the subject with 40 pages of endnotes cited in many cases to recently declassified primary sources. The Klehr paper you cite was delivered in 2005, before _Blacklisted by History_ was published. After its publication, Haynes wrote, “So comprehensive is Evans’s research that it will be a foolish historian who does not consult Blacklisted by History when a question arises over some person or event that comes into the McCarthy story.” Citing Klehr to refute Evans seems close to argument from authority.

          In his 2005 paper, Klehr had written that McCarthy identified “a few” whom “we now know were spies.” After Evans published _Blacklisted by History_ in 2007 Klehr wrote a new introduction to his 2005 paper in which he added that it turns out that McCarthy had actually identified “a few additional Soviet spies.”

          1. Note that Klehr is not counting federal officials who were secret Communists or fellow travelers, but only known “Soviet spies.” Before publication of Evans’ book, McCarthy had identified “a few” of these, supplemented by “a few additional” ones after publication. How many is “a few” plus “a few additional”? Klehr’s math is somewhat vague.

            Evans is rather more quantitative. He actually names names, providing a list of 50 suspects “named by McCarthy, his aides or before his committee,” whom we now know to have been “identified in sworn testimony, FBI archives or other official security records as Communists or Soviet agents, or took the Fifth Amendment when asked about such matters.”

            http://www.humanevents.com/2014/01/29…..e-numbers/

            Note that this list is growing as additional historical documents become available.

            More to the point, Evans supplies the list of 124 suspects McCarthy submitted to the Senate for investigation. About which of these people did McCarthy make false charges? If the “bulk” of his charges were false, surely you can identify at least one?

  6. Good article. Thanks, Jesse. And it continued on…I remember reading Stormer’s “None Dare Call it Treason” in ’64. I think it was a bestseller, and lauded McCarthy, if I remember right.

  7. A lot of people here in Florida, especially in the universities, still remember the Johns Committee. It started as an anti-communist inquiry and ended up as a Homo Hunt through the state universities. Like McCarthy, Charley Johns felt no remorse. Ever.

    1. what’s the limit on homos? 2 or 3 per hunt?

    2. and when’s the season? Bow or black powder?…come on man be specific

      1. Bait piles of lavender fabrics is strictly forbidden.

  8. If preserving McCarthy in memory wasn’t so vital to distracting people from the actual existance of very real Communist espionage, the throne of villany might be occupied by Mitchell Palmer, who was a MUCH bigger sonofabitch. Of course he was also Attourney General under the sainted Woodrow Wilson (another real sonofabitch), so maybe not.

    1. How can espionage have an economic worldview? The relevant abuse for liberals and libertarians, if the latter weren’t such whores for capitalism, would be violation of freedom of thought.

      1. When the State runs the economy, everything the State does has an economic worldview.

      2. Because there was an international Communist party of which the USSR was one (admittedly dominant) member, and because Communism as an ideology holds all adherents as mutual allies, unlike capitalism. Also, unlike capitalism, Marxism is an economic worldview which views the whole of human history as a facet of economics, making every issue an economic issue, be it fashion or labor laws.

        So, yes, American Communists who were spying for the Soviets were doing so because of a common economic worldview (and the socio-cultural demands which go with it) and not because of any special loyalty to Russia or the other Soviet states.

        1. Well what’s a bunch of self-justifying horse shit. Capitalism defeated communism but it hasn’t prevailed without lots and lots of blood on its hands. As economic systems go I’d say they’re in a good race for destructiveness. But as someone who thinks all outcomes in capitalism are by necessity good, you can’t see that, right?

          1. Are you concerned about blood shed, Tony? Because if that is your big issue, no two free trading capitalist countries have ever gone to war against each other. Whereas socialism/communism has a history of going after its neighbors.

            Welcome aboard.

            1. Not entirely true but close enough, but they have often gone to war against non-free-trading capitalist countries. And capitalism itself has harmed billions. But I don’t expect that to even compute, as it is a logical contradiction to you.

          2. Tony:

            As economic systems go I’d say they’re in a good race for destructiveness.

            Hilarious.

            1. brian, i’m wondering what you think about predictions that millions of busboys and waiters who hate getting paid time and a half and blame the government for their shitty private sector job are likely to die because of global warming? would now be a good time to bring up the body counts in this country’s various wars fought for things like keeping the Dole pineapple company in the Black?

              1. Go ahead. Sounds even more hilarious.

                OMG! We’re all going to die! And, for pineapples!

                Scaremonger much?

                As if a communist country never went to war, hurt anyone or anything, including the environment.

                1. i’m just telling you what scientists are writing in peer-reviewed journals. i know, i know– far down the line in terms of credibility compared to what comes out of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute.

                  why do corporate apologists like to point out that there was pollution and war in the Soviet Union when we are critiquing the free market and its contributing role in creating vast amounts of co2 that threatens to disrupt the planet’s biosphere?

                  1. Sorry, but if you want to debate fantasy arguments I’m not making, i.e., that global warming isn’t real, you picked the wrong libertarian.

                    The only reason that you can blame free markets for creating vast amounts of CO2 that threatens the world’s climate is because capitalist systems have produced far more economic output, when compared to communist/socialist systems. It’s not because communist/socialist systems are carbon neutral.

                    In other words, you can blame the world’s CO2 problems on capitalism because practically all economic activity and power generation involves capitalism. Communists/socialists have too little economic activity to lump in. Since capitalism survived and thrived, while communism sits burned on the ash heap of history, you can blame almost the entire environmental impact of human power consumption on capitalism.

                    Again, you keep making arguments for capitalism, without even knowing it.

                    Global warming is worth caring about, but blaming it on capitalism is especially stupid when comparing it to other economic models. I’m sorry, but you’re alternative, failed economic theories weren’t pollution free or CO2 neutral. They just failed so spectacularly that no one can blame them for any problems associated with energy production.

                    Therefore, global adoption of communism/socialism is not an antidote to pollution or CO2. There’s plenty of historical data to back that up.

      3. Who are YOU calling a whore, rent-boy?

        -jcr

  9. Guy sounds like an apologist. I guess the true colors of “libertarians” come out sooner or later.

    The same “logic and reason” would posit that LBJ and Nixon were correct in sending millions of Americans into Vietnam, resulting in vast deficits and horrible harm to the spirit of our nation (to say nothing of the dead and wounded – here and there)….

    All sides of the fence were involved…LBJ was mainly responsible for building up Vietnam. I’s hard to equate left/right of the WWII Era with today when it comes to foreign policy, etc. – without stating that FDR (Mr. New Deal) was responsible for our victory in WWII.

    The Southern Democats were the KKK. One must remember that the current “conservatives” and “libertarians” of the South largely became (republican) to keep their Jim Crow and white power ways.

    Just finished a good book on IKE,- says the Russians never had anything approaching our strengths. It was a joke. They had 16 bombers and flew them in circles over a parade to fake as if they had 100’s. Meanwhile, our Military-Industrial complex (which IKE hated) built up hundreds and then thousands of bombers to counter those 16.

    Follow the money…they say.

    I` agree with the author that history is complex. Trying to ferret out talking points from it is even more useless…I’d suggest that most just keep reading as much as possible and keep an open mind.

    1. …”One must remember that the current “conservatives” and “libertarians” of the South largely became (republican) to keep their Jim Crow and white power ways.”…

      Is it possible for brain-dead lefties to post without lying?

      1. live without lying?

    2. I had no idea the KKK wanted to deregulate television and allow companies to put pot vending machines on every street corner. Do tell!

    3. Massachusetts. Figures.

      Two words, pal: “Boston strong”.

      GFY.

      1. please to remember that Boston was a big part of the kennedy regime…how many times did they send Teddy k. back to DC…though some claim it was actually part of the plan to keep him away from MA

    4. craiginmass said:
      The same “logic and reason” would posit that LBJ and Nixon were correct in sending millions of Americans into Vietnam, resulting in vast deficits and horrible harm to the spirit of our nation (to say nothing of the dead and wounded – here and there)….
      The Southern Democats were the KKK. One must remember that the current “conservatives” and “libertarians” of the South largely became (republican) to keep their Jim Crow and white power ways.

      Not even wrong.

    5. craiginmass:

      I` agree with the author that history is complex. Trying to ferret out talking points from it is even more useless…I’d suggest that most just keep reading as much as possible and keep an open mind.

      Really? You mean, talking points like this?

      One must remember that the current “conservatives” and “libertarians” of the South largely became (republican) to keep their Jim Crow and white power ways.

      When you can show me your historical citation for current “libertarians” of the South becoming republicans to keep their Jim Crow and white power ways, let us know. For example, how does a “libertarian” become a republican in response to the end of jim crow, when segregation ended around 1965, while the libertarian party was founded around 1971, in Colorado Springs, CO? Was Colorado Springs a hot bed of racists and white power ways?

      Maybe you should follow your own advise. Read some actual facts and keep an open mind, instead of reflexively believing and regurgitating socialist democrat talking points? Talking points which have no correspondence to reality?

      1. brian, how long of a list do you want of Southern politicians who covered their racism and appeals to racism with arguments about limiting the power of the federal government? and you would have stood there right with them with libertarian position paper arguments about how private discrimination everywhere should be legal.

        its not that you are racist, brian, but if we had listened to guys like you there would still be apartheid and lynchings in alabama today along with libertarians who would make arguments that there is nothing the government should do about it.

        1. american socialist:

          its not that you are racist, brian, but if we had listened to guys like you there would still be apartheid and lynchings in alabama today along with libertarians who would make arguments that there is nothing the government should do about it.

          Wrong.

          I’m sorry, but the libertarian position on government power is not “federalism.” Libertarians don’t object to big government, as long as it’s not at the state and local level, in which case, things like Jim Crow laws are A-OK.

          If libertarians had their way, Alabama would never have had slavery, slave codes (i.e., laws), or Jim Crow laws at all.

          Sorry, but your entire argument is a smear campaign, divorced from any relation to actual libertarian ideas or concepts. You can thank major political parties for Jim Crow laws, not libertarians. There is absolutely nothing in Jim Crow laws consistent with libertarianism, and trying to pretend so is desperate.

          1. “Libertarians don’t object to big government?”

            they don’t?.

            so, the question again brian was what should the federal government have done in 1960 to address state sanctioned racism in the South? Wag its finger mightily at Governor Wallace? Want to take a shot at the dilemna again? while were at it, what should the law be again if, say, Howard Johnson’s doesn’t want to serve black people at its restaurants?

            1. Aaaand Brian’s argument goes way over AS’s head. Shocker.

              And holy shit, at least quote his entire sentence;

              “Libertarians don’t object to big government, as long as it’s not at the state and local level, in which case, things like Jim Crow laws are A-OK.”

              He’s saying that Jim Crow laws aren’t OK because Libertarian’s aren’t federalists, i.e. government tyrrany isn’t OK because it’s local. You use a half-quote to get the statement you wanted, ignored the rest of his post and then argued a strawman. No doubt that’s where you conjure up the reasoning for most of your belifs. You should work for Daily-Kos or something.

              “to address state sanctioned racism ”

              And it wasn’t “state sanctioned”, it was state enforced. That whole government thing (as promoted by Democrats) that you seem to worship.

              1. i just didn’t know what he was talking about (and still don’t) so i responded to the surprising soundbite. if i got it wrong…

                my question is a strawman? how so? i’d simply like to hear what libertarians would have done– besides ring their lily white hands– in response to state-sanctioned racial policies in the South in the 60s.

                i’ll make the distiction between sanctioned and enforced when you guys stop conflating liberals and Leftists with Southern Democrats.

                1. It’s funny how your entire argument against libertarianism and Jim Crow laws, features a situation in which a government is told what it can’t do. What laws it can’t be allowed to have.

                  In other words, your complaint against libertarianism is actually in favor of a libertarian position.

                  You’re making our argument for us, and you don’t even know it.

                  1. i’m not making any arguments. simply asing what linertarians would have done with the federal government in response to Southern racial laws in the 60s. simple question. you either believe kenndy should have taken on a federal role or not.

                    1. As a libertarian, I wholeheartedly endorse any person or entity standing up to a totalitarian government. Self-defense on another person’s behalf is great.

                      Can a communist/socialist say the same thing? Usually, the answer is, “Well, that depends. Is someone getting uppity with some assumed private property right?”

                    2. you are being cagey and i don’t know why. i take it you would have put federal troops on the ground in alabama to do things like integrate schools. yes or no?

                      can i say that i, as a socialist libertarian, support the right of a person to stand up against a totalitarian government? unreservedly. i just don’t think– like you do– that tax collection is theft or, properly done, in any way totalitarian.

                    3. american socialist:

                      you are being cagey and i don’t know why. i take it you would have put federal troops on the ground in alabama to do things like integrate schools. yes or no?

                      If I sound cagey, it’s because the entire setup is pointless and stupid.

                      Asking a libertarian what he would do as president of the United States in the 1960’s towards state governments is like asking what a Amish pacifist would do if he were named head of the Gambino crime family.

                      How that tells you something about libertarianism is beyond me.

                      Is the idea that you put someone opposed to big government in a position where all he has is a big government, and then, when he does something with it, you can point and say “Aha!”?

                      How about this? Perhaps, for all the kids that were being denied entrance into some racist backwater public school in the south, I offered to pay Ivy League schools $1 million per student to take them on as students, on account of their state and local governments being ass hats? That way, I don’t deploy the military, a lot less people die, and the kids get a better education than they would have at the other school?

                      I assume I have to use the government, right? Because, if I can deploy troops, I’m the president. Is that the limit of the fantasy? Or can we open it up?

                      If I can think of other options than military deployment, am I racist?

  10. Leftist so didn’t condemn McCarthy and his bullies in the 40s and 50s and were complicit in his crimes. I’m going to have to consult my Libertarian Revisionist History book. I keep hearing these cool new things from libertarians.

    “Nothing but a scare”

    You mean the threat of civil rights legislation and an 8 hour workday? I can see why that would threaten corporatist apologists.

    “Even his children acknowledge Julius Rosenberg was a spy”

    Yes, they do. They also say he was railroaded and persecuted for his political beliefs. It might have been nice to put that in your article. When did libertarians start championing witch hunts and the death penalty.

    1. When did you stop beating your wife, socialist?

    2. Which Communist countries have an 8-hour work day again?

      Not this one.

      Oops, not this one, either.

    3. american socialist:

      You mean the threat of civil rights legislation and an 8 hour workday? I can see why that would threaten corporatist apologists.

      Because nothin’ says lovin’ to poor people like restricting the hours they can work.

      For a poor person, who has a lot more time than money, and perhaps even skill, artificial restrictions on the expenditure of that time for money is how socialists say “I love you.”

      I remember the poorest I ever was, waiting tables, and my boss promptly sending me home when I hit the 40 hour mark, because overtime was a big no no. Thanks, socialist democrats, for helping me stay poorer longer, and making that poorness poorer than it needed to be.

      Little did I know that somewhere, out there, socialist democrats were slapping themselves on the back for a job well done.

      Wish socialists would stop bein’ so good to me.

      1. Socialists are just one more bunch of self-nominated Right People, who believe that it is their right and duty to tell other people how to live. Nothing special; just one more bunch of would-be rulers.

        Guillotine bait.

      2. That deserves a hefty golf clap. “Restricting the hours they can work.” It’s almost perfect it its libertarian doublespeak bullshit.

        (If you work more hours you get overtime pay, thanks to the labor movement. You get that, right?)

        1. Tony:

          (If you work more hours you get overtime pay, thanks to the labor movement. You get that, right?)

          If you have to be paid more based on rules that my employer and I didn’t agree to, and my employer choses to let me go home, then I don’t get overtime pay. I don’t get any pay. I just get time I can’t work for my employer, whether my employer and I want me to work for my normal pay, or not.

          Thanks to the labor movement. You get that, right?

          1. You wouldn’t be better off prior to the labor movement by any measure except the horseshit narrow definition you idiots prefer: you’re better off when your employers are richer and have fewer rules. Somehow!

            1. I would have been able to work more and make more money without the labor movement.

              I guess when reality contradicts you, insert straw man. How ridiculous.

        2. “(If you work more hours you get overtime pay”

          IF being the key word here. I’ve never in my life worked a low wage job that let you have more than 40 hrs a week. You could also say;

          “You can make $15 an hour if you could find work”

          1. Me too. I’ve never worked a low paying job where I was allowed to work overtime. Ever.

            Yet, socialists pretend that this just never happens. According to their logic, workers get paid more in overtime, and it stimulates the economy!

            Funny how stimulating the economy always looked like having the time I could spend in productive, economic activity artificially limited by the state. Each and every damn time.

            I’m sure it was only my particular employers who figured out that spreading the work around differently could avoid overtime pay. This is how they view the world: no one ever adapts to their policies.

            The only time they admit failure is when they’re about to introduce the next policy that’s going to fix the bugs in their last policy. Ad infinitum.

      3. so, brian, your instinct is to blame the government for your shitty pay instead of your employer?

        maybe you should have joined a labor union or advocated for an increase in the minimum wage above the rate you were getting paid?

        1. or, better yet, went to school on a government loan and gave the finger to your cheapskate employer. that’s what i did in essence.

          1. american socialist:

            or, better yet, went to school on a government loan and gave the finger to your cheapskate employer. that’s what i did in essence.

            Again, so thanks to the labor movement, I should abandon my job and get a student loan and go to school, rather than work my job at the wages that I negotiated with my employer. In other words, again, it’s the fault of the poor for not embracing the socialism enough?

            Apparently, socialism means never having to take responsibility for your policies. How convenient. Sounds like it’s just deemed to be a blazing success, and any poor person who says otherwise just needs to get with the program. How compassionate.

            1. thanks for speaking on behalf of all poor people. maybe there’s a few out there who are glad to take home some time-and-a-half pay. i did not know that today’s corporations are going bankrupt over their labor costs since–good news– corporate profits have never been higher.

              1. American Socialist:

                i did not know that today’s corporations are going bankrupt over their labor costs since–good news– corporate profits have never been higher.

                At what point did I complain that corporations were going bankrupt over their labor costs?

                You’re like Tony. When a capitalist says something, you pretend they said something else. Something you’re much more comfortable refuting.

                It’s as if you have a set of canned responses to capitalist arguments, and if you ever hear one you don’t have a prepared response for, you have to pretend you heard a different one that goes with your canned response.

                If you want to argue with an opponent on an auto-pilot that you set, then that’s fine. Not everyone’s ready for real people.

        2. american socialist:

          maybe you should have joined a labor union or advocated for an increase in the minimum wage above the rate you were getting paid?

          So, at the point that the labor movement is forcing me to join a labor union, just to be able to work more, when I would have been happy working for the wages I negotiated with my employer, that becomes my fault?

          I was just too lazy to go about unionizing my work place? I guess we can throw all that “compassion for the poor” out the window. Apparently, it is all their fault.

          1. The funny thing is, I was a waiter, working for tips. The overtime laws don’t apply to tips. People weren’t required to tip me more because I was working overtime at their table.

            Almost my entire paycheck was based on making customers happy: how happy I could make them in bringing them their food. In the real world of waiting tables, the 15% of the bill price is a base minimum. I would get tips from tables that weren’t even mine, just because I was making people happy.

            However, because of the labor movement, my boss was required to pay me some fraction of minimum wage, and, at the point that overtime kicked in, I was suddenly less valuable to him than someone who hadn’t worked as much. How much I wanted to work, or how happy my real employers (i.e, my customers) were, and how much they wanted to pay me, didn’t even factor in.

            But sure, go ahead and blame the waiters of the world for not unionizing their work place, or walking off their jobs and going to school on student loans, just so that your labor movement policies can be devoid of victims. Because, the labor movement just can’t do wrong to anyone. Any problems have to be someone else’s fault.

            I’m sorry, but adults take responsibility. Sophomoric children play the blame game, and put all the responsibility on the people with the least amount of power. You can stop pretending to care about those people as soon as you fee like getting honest. Poor people are great, until their stories don’t go along with the narrative.

            1. Tips are a horrific scam, an etiquette nightmare and whose existence depends entirely on the restaurant lobby that has found an escape hatch from the minimum wage.

              Without the reforms of the 20th century labor movement there is no widespread wealth, period. It’s just not how capitalism works in its so-called natural state. It just doesn’t fucking work and you need to deal with the facts of the matter in lieu of your bartering econ fantasies from intro class.

              1. Either profess that a plutocratic form of wealth concentration is the result of the most moral system or shut up, because you don’t get to make up shit.

                1. Oh, bull shit, you stupid communist troll.

                  I think it’s rather illuminating to look at the wikipedia page on capitalism.

                  Particularly, compare the “advocacy” and “criticisms” section.

                  What’s the image that goes along with the advocacy portion? Two graphs: one showing the explosive GDP per capita growth in global economic output since the industrial revolution. The article mentions the dramatic increase in personal wealth which was well underway long before your relatively insignificant labor movement. It’s only with capitalism that you can afford less than a 60 hour work week and live. It’s only with capitalism that your children don’t have to work if you don’t want them to.

                  And, for giggles, they throw in a graph of China, which experienced pre-industrial revolution, stagnant economic growth until their market reforms, starting in the 80’s. Somehow, communism + modern technology still wasn’t enough to keep China from being a stupid basket case of a country. They can thank capitalism for leaving that behind.

                  And, what stunning infographic does the “criticisms” section show?

                  Why, a stupid Industrial Workers of the World poster. And a full discussion of Marxism and religious objections.

                  I’m sorry, but at this point in history, chalking up all personal income and wealth growth to the labor movement, instead of capitalism, is cargo cult stupid. “Look! We passed laws and wealth kept growing! Just keep doing it!”

              2. Tony:

                Tips are a horrific scam, an etiquette nightmare and whose existence depends entirely on the restaurant lobby that has found an escape hatch from the minimum wage.

                Really? Well, according to our American Socialist’s logic, that can be blamed on the waiters, for not unionizing and advocating for a minimum wage. I mean, it can’t be a fault with the labor movement, right?

                I’m sorry, but as a waiter, I made much more than the minimum wage. If I wanted to serve food for minimum wage, I would have tried working fast food. That’s why restaurants don’t have to pay the minimum wage, and the last thing the waiters in the US need, is social labor do-gooders like you putting them on the minimum wage and declaring tips passe. Whatever boost they got with the minimum wage would be immediately taken away by restaurant patrons avoiding tips because labor movement morons like yourself think they’re degrading. You could chalk that up as another labor movement “victory”: destroying the pay of waiters across the country. Slaps on the back all around for a good job wrecking other people’s jobs.

                Not that any of that would stop you from trying. You socialists can’t think past first-order effects. Minimum wage = more than less minimum wage, so it must be awesome! FUTW!

    4. “They also say he was railroaded and persecuted for his political beliefs.”

      Poor, misunderstood “guy who handed plans for the atom bomb over to Stalin.”

    5. If you like 8-hour workdays, then thank capital investment for raising the productivity of labor enough to make it feasible.

      Subsistence farmers streamed into the factories to improve their standard of living.

      -jcr

  11. Soviet infiltration was a real concern, although in some cases (the Hollywood reds were mostly only good for persecuting each-other) misplaced. McCarthy jumped on that bandwagon to increase his own power. The Left has done their level best to equate McCarthy to all anti-Communist work, to discredit it and cover for their never-ending fondness for brutal thugs with a nice line in Revolutionary patter. If McCarthy had not existed, the Left would have had to invent him.

    1. ^^^^THIS^^^^

  12. Most so-called anti-communists aren’t pro-capitalist, they’re just anti-communist. Their racism and xenophobia play well into the hands of protectionist union thugs.

    Funny how much radical “anti-communists” and “anti-fascists” have in common with their supposed enemies.

    Long live capitalism and multiculturalism!

    1. don’t forget douchebaggery

      1. So you’re a national socialist. Good to know.

  13. The article leaves out the fact that the McCarthy era was the Second Red Scare. The First Red Scare occurred under Woodrow Wilson.

    1. I’ve moved away from using the “Second Red Scare” label in light of the even earlier red scares of the 19th century.

      1. Now which “Red Scare” are we talking about? My folks grew up during the Depression. When I was old enough to read they handed me copies of ‘The Communist Manifesto’ and ‘Lenin On Imperialism’. Not because they were Communists but because they wanted me to know the enemy. They explained to me that this form of government had killed tens of millions of it’s own citizens and would not stop until it had taken over here. It was pointed out to me in the enemies’ own literature. And OUR GOVERNMENT WAS LYING TO US ABOUT IT. That to me was the REAL RED SCARE. At about this time the Chinese were killing people with eyeglasses and eating them.

    2. But Wilson is one of the primary saints of the Liberal Democrats. That his Attourney General was demonstrably a worse threat to civil libeties than McCarthy is a fact they dsperately, DESPERATELY want to avoid examining. Sort of like how the Liberals get to call Republicans ‘warmongers’ despite the fact that both World Wars, Korea, and the worst parts of Vietnam were started under Democrat administrations. Or how Conservatives are the ‘racists’, even though the KKK in both incarnations was largely Democrats.

      1. Not to mention that it’s the Dems who still demand racial discrimination as a sacrosanct public policy. They call it “affirmative action” now, though.

        -jcr

        1. The Democrat Party; dividing people by the color of their skins since 1828.

          (Imagine a poster featuring photos of the KKK and Al “photographic negative of a Grand Dragon” Sharpton)

          1. Electorally the Dems have been uniting people of color for quite some time, losing to a monolithically white opponent that’s been hemorrhaging members itself all the while shrinking.

            It must be because those minorities are so easily duped into universally voting for the enemy. Why don’t you give them a good stern lecture to set them straight.

  14. Wow, this is all really interesting. It’s funny how such a recent event has been taken out of proportion and becme a symbol so far beyond its original truth.

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