The New Red Scare

The current debate over the alt-right has begun to display some of the same hallmarks of red scares past.


These days America sometimes looks as if it were slipping into the grip of another Red Scare. Only this time the object of fear and loathing is the far-right menace, not the far-left one.

The first Red Scare happened after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. The second followed WWII, and helped commence the Cold War.

Both scares involved a hysterical overreaction to a genuine threat. Totalitarian communism was antithetical to America's most cherished values, and anti-communism was the morally correct position to take.

Some took it too far. The overreaction led to loyalty oaths and star-chamber hearings before the House Un-American Activities Committee and Hollywood blacklists and a general atmosphere of what, today, we might call political correctness: an intolerance of dissenting ideas that challenged, or were insufficiently devoted to, the prevailing anti-communist orthodoxy. The more common name for the overreaction is McCarthyism.

All of this produced almost inevitable blowback, which came to be known as anti-anti-communism. Anti-anti-communists did not support communism, but they also opposed McCarthyism. To muddle the issue even further, many on the left were at least sympathetic to communism, and at least a few were objectively pro-Soviet, so it was easy to lump anti-anti-communists in with those who were pro-communist, and it could be difficult to navigate all of the finely grained distinctions.

Those debates have passed into history's sepia pages. Now the current debate over the alt-right has begun to display some of the same hallmarks.

To begin with, there is the undeniable existence of a clear and present danger. The racist right's identitarianism is antithetical to America's most cherished values, and opposing the alt-right is the morally correct position to take. The threat must be countered at every turn.

At the same time, the wholesome and necessary opposition to bigotry has started to metastasize into something less healthy.

You can see that in the way Berkeley reacted to a speech by Ben Shapiro. From the militarized police preparation to the emotional counseling for students, you'd have thought Shapiro, a Jewish conservative who opposes Donald Trump, was the reincarnation of Adolf Eichmann.

You can see it at the Oregon Bach Festival, which recently fired British conductor Matthew Halls for affecting a Southern accent while joking with a friend. The friend, Reginald Mobley, is from the South, and black. A woman reported Halls for making racist comments. Mobley insists "there was nothing racist or malicious" about his friend's joke. Too bad, festival officials said; Halls is out. Mobley told a British newspaper Halls "has been victimized and I'm very upset about it."

You can see it at the University of Iowa, which requires job applicants to promise they will "demonstrate their contribution to diversity and inclusion" if they are hired. (Virginia Tech tried to impose a similar litmus test for faculty members a few years ago.) To consider why that might be problematic, imagine the university were to demand that applicants "demonstrate their fidelity to capitalism and free enterprise."

You can see it in the proliferation of college "bias response teams," which swing into action when somebody reports somebody else—informs on them—for saying or doing something that might be viewed as offensive or hurtful. On today's campus, that can be practically anything. One actual case: "Anonymous student reported that African-American Alliance's student protest was making white students feel uncomfortable." Another resulted in the defunding of a student satirical newspaper after it poked fun at safe spaces.

You can see it in the debate over the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has come under fire for conflating mainstream conservatives, and even non-conservatives such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School who opposes Islamic extremism, with neo-Nazis and Klansmen. As National Review put it last year, "A category … that includes both Aryan Brotherhood felons in San Quentin and Somali-Dutch atheist women with celebrated literary careers is not an especially useful category."

Like anti-communism in the 1950s, this atmosphere also has inspired blowback. The term for the current phenomenon is Trumpism. And, as with anti-anti-communism, the term covers a lot. It includes decent people who are tired of seeing other decent people fired for making innocent jokes. It also includes virulent bigots like the ones who turned out to commit mayhem in Charlottesville.

All analogies are inexact, and it's easy to push this one too far. The current situation differs from earlier Red Scares in a number of important respects—starting with the fact that for all the sympathy communism garnered in some circles in earlier decades, avowed communists never enjoyed electoral success (although a few socialists did). Bigots, however, have done extremely well in American politics until quite recently—and, arguably, still do.

Another difference: While the Red Scares permeated every sector of American society, most of the intolerant excesses of today's tolerance warriors are confined to colleges and universities.

All the same, history has a funny way of echoing itself. During the Cold War the far-left movement in the U.S. received clandestine support from the Kremlin—and vehemently denied it. Hmmmm. Who does that remind you of today?

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  1. He would have coerced me into testifying by staring at me with those intoxicating, seductive eyes.

    1. Would that be coercion, though?

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  2. Those debates have passed into history’s sepia pages.

    “You’ll find that you’re in the rotogravure.”

  3. A woman reported Halls for making racist comments

    1. “Informing on your neighbors” or “see something, say something?”: you be the judge.

  4. Since the “alt-right” are actually socialists and the Red scare was about outing socialists, there is a stark similarity here.

    1. Hinkle says the original red scare was an over reaction? I would say that where Maerica is right now proves him wrong. This country didn’t need Joe McCarthy, we needed a thousand Joe McMcarthys. Even more now. It’s probably going to take a civil war to expunge the Marxists at this point.

      1. Communists were here as agents of Communist nations and as useful idiots but Americans to undermine the constitution and freedom. The agents were spies, so clearly illegal. The useful idiots had rights to say what they wanted and do what they wanted but still were being treasonous to America’s laws and constitution.

        Lefties try and keep communist activities to undermine our freedoms as quite as possible but these people sought to destroy everything we hold dear about Liberty, freedom, and the Constitution. They were enemies of America.

        McCarthy should not have violated anyone’s constitutional rights and most times never did. McCarthy also exposed huge cells of Communist agents and sympathizers who left unexposed would have certainly undermined more and more of American freedoms. Turns out many of boomer socialists sympathizers made it into government and undermined more freedoms just as McCarthy predicted.

        1. He actually tried to NOT do so. Asked to have the investigations in closed session in case somebody was innocent. The Dems said no.

          And, the Venona cables have actually justified a lot of his actions. He was, by and large, correct on the problem.

          1. Just remind people of Alger Hiss and how without discussing communist infiltration in the USA, he might have never been found and how much he hurt America and the freedom we try and enjoy.

      2. No, we didn’t need Joe McCarthy. The far Left desperately needed him, and have (in a perverse sense) been worshiping at his alter ever since. McCarthy was a jumped up bully. The cause was nothing, the power everything. If he thought it would get him adulation and authority, McCarthy would have endorsed ritual cannibalism and the prosecution of Christians. And actual damage he did to International Communism was doubtless coincidental.

        What he DID do was provide the Left with a convenient excuse to never, EVER admit that Communism was for the stupid and the morally corrupt. Any time the subject is brought up they can start gibbering about ‘McCarthyism.’.

        Alger Hiss was very probably guilty.

        The Rosenburgs certainly were.

        And the “Hollywood Blacklist” turns out, on examination, to consist largely of Stalinist bullies whopper busily blacklisting anyone who didn’t come up to their standards of Socially Moral Rectitude. They were active Communist agitators. They probably did the country no harm (they really weren’t all that smart), but not for lack of trying. They also made a large number of their fellow Hollywood types thoroughly miserable with their hectoring, and this are the people who ‘named names’.

        Oh, horrors, a bunch of unrepentant Stalinist buttmunches, who gleefully (if unofficially) ‘blacklisted’ people who displeased them, got blacklisted in turn. Boo Hoo.

        1. “Alger Hiss was very probably guilty.”

          Hiss WAS guilty, and Nixon (damn his ass) was the one to force the issue and make it clear.
          He threw down the glove.

        2. That’s one of the ignored stories. At the start of HUAC, the most fervent denounces were Communists, usually going after “Trotskyites” and the like.

      3. A thousand fakers like McCarthy? At least Nixon was somewhat authentic.

        1. Don’t believe the progressive pablum all your life. McCarthy was the real deal.

  5. To begin with, there is the undeniable existence of a clear and present danger. The racist right’s identitarianism is antithetical to America’s most cherished values, and opposing the alt-right is the morally correct position to take. The threat must be countered at every turn.

    Uh what precisely is this threat again? Danger to what exactly?

    1. Yeah, this is a very sloppy article and it makes no sense without a heavy, heavy dose of (incorrect) assumptions about the meanings of words.

    2. Exactly my thoughts.

      The only ‘clear and present danger’ I see are from the idiots on the left be it BLM or Antifa or academics who subscribe to critical theory.

      They hold – or at least influence – more power than the ‘alt-right’.

      1. Exactly. The alt-right has no support from the media, academia, Hollywood or the government. They can be beaten bloody in front of police who will do nothing to stop it.

        By comparison, Antifa is protected by the media, endorsed by the universities and loved by Hollywood. They burn a university with no consequences. They beat innocent people with sticks again with no consequences. They behave like Nazi and communist street gangs from 1930’s Germany and no one in the public eye dares acknowledge that these thugs are…thugs!

    3. The commies were a danger primarily because of nuclear-armed superpowers, and secondarily because of the agents and useful idiots of these superpowers having access to the corridors of power.

      The only thing I heard about white nationalists having nukes is from Tom Lehrer’s song “Who’s got the bomb”

      South Africa has two – that’s right
      One for the black, and one for the white.

      But since then I haven’t heard of white nationalists with nukes – I could be wrong.

      We know that white supremacism was once powerful – even normative – in this country, and we can’t expect every trace of it to have disappeared, but the vast progress we’ve made – almost miraculous progress if you ask me – stands in glorious contrast to the power of white supremacists in the past.

      1. You speak of communism like it isn’t a current danger to the country, when in fact it is the greatest threat of all. It is the enemy within, and now it largely controls the democrat party. There really is no bargaining with them. Their incrementalist strategy has made that just a slower way to lose to them instead of all at once.

        I see no way around having to destroy them. They have no intention of stopping, ever. So,the only way to deal with them is through their removal. Unfortunately most people here disagree, yet have absolutely no answer as to an alternative. Bitching about them doesn’t make them go away.

        1. How would you do it? Go around garrotting them at night?

          1. Depends on how easily they give up. My preference ce is they renounce all their Marxist beliefs and rat out their pinko pals. But if it’s a choice of them or us somewhere down the line……..

            Let’s just say that no amount of Marxist lives are worth more than our constitution.

    4. Exactly what I thought – the whole article is premised on this assertion. Unless he’s playing the devils advocate. It’s hard to get a bead on where this author is coming from.

  6. I can’t begin to explain how much the false dichotomy of the left-right political spectrum annoys me. Two incredibly similar political ideologies take up both extremes, and classical liberalism or libertarianism has no place. You’d think Reason of all places could instruct their writers to stop propagating such bullshit ideas.

    1. This post is an oasis in a sea of garbage comments.

  7. Stalinism wanted to enslave the world with a morally bankrupt ideology and the alt-right mainly wants immigration policy to be enforced. It’s practically the same thing.

    1. And to Make America Great Again by ending our globalist trading policies by bringing manufacturing back to America, ending political correctness, and most importantly, fighting the left! Hell yeah!

      1. I’ve seen little evidence that the MAGA crowd wants much more than actual free trade (not that it doesn’t exist out there somewhere). Libertarianism doesn’t do itself much service by claiming that our “Free Trade” Agreements are actually free trade, anymore than we do ourselves a service when we claim that other forms of crony capitalism are capitalism or market action.

        1. Even if everyone in the so-called “alt-right” crowd shared the worst aspects, there is absolutely no comparison to the cold-war. Where is the “evil empire” that the alt-right is empowering? News flash:
          Mussolini, Hitler and Franco are all dead.

        2. I’ve seen little evidence that the MAGA crowd wants much more than actual free trade

          Wasn’t a large part of Trump’s campaign – supposedly via Bannon – protectionism and the “border adjustment tax?” That is what I was referring to, and that isn’t free trade, and it certainly less free than what we currentl have.

          Libertarianism doesn’t do itself much service by claiming that our “Free Trade” Agreements are actually free trade,

          As much as I hate speaking on behalf of libertarianism, libertarians want the free-est trade possible, and there is a certainly a large debate within the halls of libertarianism about the libertarian-minded organizations that do advocate for current free trade agreements.

          1. Wasn’t a large part of Trump’s campaign – supposedly via Bannon – protectionism and the “border adjustment tax?” That is what I was referring to, and that isn’t free trade, and it certainly less free than what we currentl have.

            Which if I’m at all knowledgeable on my Bannonism (questionable), is really more about adjustments in the areas where America is getting hosed through non-free trade policies within our “Free Trade Agreements”. Think currency manipulation and the use of state subsidies to gain competitive advantage over American businesses and workers. In the case of the border adjustment tax, the fact that other nations VATs give them a competitive advantage over American businesses.

            I mean, you can certainly argue that trade wars are not a good thing, and I’d have to agree, but only to an extent. You can also argue that some of these policies are not necessarily free trade, unless you see them as a vehicle or bargaining chip to gain actual free trade with many of these countries. That is how I believe the MAGA crowd, and especially DT looks at it. Bannon, who knows. By the way, Trump doesn’t like the border adjustment tax. Trump told the Journal: “Anytime I hear border adjustment, I don’t love it.”

            1. That is how I believe the MAGA crowd, and especially DT looks at it.

              The president loved the border tax during the campaign, and was convinced to scrap it a few months ago – I find it hard to believe he has any logical sense of matter.

              1. Sure, I think his understanding of the issues are generally sub-par. My point is simply that if you look at the entire body of the trade issues from DT and the MAGA crowd in general, the picture that becomes clear is more one of “fair” trade than it is of protectionism in the classic sense of the word.

                I mean, to me it looks like they’re trying to fight the protectionism of other countries with whatever tools available. Maybe you disagree, maybe you think it is dangerous and can lead to a slippery slope, which I can understand. I just hope that you don’t buy into the words of the usual suspects who seem to always have a visceral reaction to anything the man does.

                1. I just hope that you don’t buy into the words of the usual suspects who seem to always have a visceral reaction to anything the man does.

                  I do not, nor do I ascribe motivations – others than the ones I stated – to anyone who considers themselves to be alt right or anything similar to alt right. I think the alt right largely cares about immigration and trade, but the details of those issues – especially trade, which is complicated for a number of reasons – are secondary.

                2. “Fair trade” is protectionism. Or more accurately, it’s extortion.

                  Americans aren’t getting screwed by free trade; if we were, we wouldn’t make the damned trade. Your insurance stance on punishing me for buying or selling to/from people in other countries is thoroughly illiberal. Mind your own damned business.

                3. I’ve found that most of the commentariat here, at least the open borders crowd, don’t want to rock the boat in any way, don’t care about how one sided our trade agreements are, and also don’t give a shit about the job market for the average American worker. Always joking about ‘they took out jerbs!’. Like it’s somehow cute when these people lose maybe everything.

                  They strike me as the same sort of person as someone who sees another person drowning, shrugs, says to themself “not my problem”, and walks away.

                  1. Are you familiar with libertarianism? If you care so much about your cherished sweaty oily worker, write him a check. Voluntarily. But don’t try to use the crooked power of the law to force us to subsidize his less than efficient efforts to create some product. Or to impede the rest of us from buying the product from whomever we wish.

                    1. So Fk, you mean fuck those people so long as you can buy cheap shit from China even though they subsidize their industry to put ours out of business? Or keep one sided deals like NAFTA fr similar reasons? Or having porous borders to artifially depress wages to save a buck?

                      You know, there’s a distinction between libertarian principals, and just being a selfish greedy prick using libertarianism as an excuse to fuck over his fellow Americans.

                    2. Elias, you are the one who would fuck consumers by making them pay artificially higher prices. In a perverse way, you would also fuck producers, in the long run, by keeping them chained to an artificially propped up industry which won’t be competitive the moment your protectionist measures are ended. You would have workers investing their time and energy into making nicer shovels instead of allowing them to wean off the shovels and learn how to drive excavators.

                    3. El?as, do you define “fucking them” to mean “not forcing people to buy from them”?

                4. Calling your protectionism “fair trade” is a lot like calling creationism “intelligent design”. It’s the same thing, just dressed up a little to give it an aura of respectability it doesn’t deserve.

                  If other countries want to sell us stuff cheaper than we could make it ourselves, why on earth should we try to stop them? Their protectionist policies hurt them, not us. Fighting the bad policies of other governments is properly the responsibility of their own citizens. Why should we do it for them?

      2. As opposed to what? Open borders and the destruction of the middle class? Hell yeah!

  8. “…a general atmosphere of what, today, we might call political correctness: an intolerance of dissenting ideas that challenged, or were insufficiently devoted to, the prevailing anti-communist orthodoxy. The more common name for the overreaction is McCarthyism….”

    Can we call it Berkeleyism now?
    “At UC Berkeley, 177 professors and graduate students have signed an open letter urging thousands of colleagues and classmates to boycott campus for four days this month to ensure their “physical and mental safety.”…..202096.php

    If they are on campus, they might accidentally hear ideas which are not identical to their own, thereby endangering their mental safety.
    (re-post from AM links)

    1. McCarthy didn’t go nearly far enough. He could have done more too. If he hadn’t been such a drunk and kept Roy Cohn on a leash. It was Cohn that caused McCarthy’s downfall by getting into a personal snit with the Sec. of the Army.

      Maybe if McCarthy had gone further we wouldn’t be where we are today.

      1. Hinkle also isn’t very educated on McCarthy, or the fact that he was actually pretty damned accurate in retrospect. Again, such a sloppy, sloppy article. So many assumptions based solely on leftist propaganda and wordplay.

        1. See, he even made me do it. By leftist I mean authoritarian.

        2. “Hinkle also isn’t very educated on McCarthy, or the fact that he was actually pretty damned accurate in retrospect.”

          Not according to anything I’ve read.
          The issue was true enough, and deserved attention, but McCarthy never had one piece of good evidence. His “205 names” was pulled out of his ass, and that’s only the start.
          It’s a shame; with some push by someone with actual knowledge and principles, that program could have borne fruit, putting many fellow-travelers on their asses. And regarding those in Hollywood, any owner is correctly advised to ditch someone hoping the government ‘relieves’ him of his property; you’re fired!
          Instead, we got a drunken populist who managed to discredit his own program.

    2. And last I checked it was BLM activists throwing a tarp over Jefferson’s statue at the very university he founded.

  9. It also includes virulent bigots like the ones who turned out to commit mayhem in Charlottesville.

    He’s talking about Antifa, here, correct? Because (last I heard) the other bigots who were marching in Charlottesville were acting within the law* — had a permit, had a peaceful march the night before, were setting up for a peaceful march that night — and then got attacked.

    * Obligatory disclaimer: Acting within the law doesn’t make the NAZIs the good guys. There were no good guys involved in that mess.

    1. If you’re under the impression that all the violence was started by Antifa, you’re mistaken. Even if you exclude the car attack, there’s video of a group of them beating up a black guy on the ground, another large group charging into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters, a guy shooting into a crowd, Cantwell’s pepper spraying that got him arrested, etc.

      1. Doesn’t that qualify as “mostly peaceful” in the media?

  10. … so it was easy to lump anti-anti-communists in with those who were pro-communist, and it could be difficult to navigate all of the finely grained distinctions.

    You’re either an anti-communist or you’re a commie. That’s the distinction and it’s clear as day.

    Also, as an aside, if you need emotional counseling because of a talk you didn’t attend, you’re a snowflake. That’s textbook. Precious and easy to melt. All you other people are using it wrong. Find another word to use in retaliation to those complainers on the right. “Racist” seems to be a good all-purpose.

  11. All of this produced almost inevitable blowback, which came to be known as anti-anti-communism


    I seem to recall Schlesinger calling it the “Vital Center

    aka “Liberalism”,

    …which has embedded within it the often-misunderstood, little-appealed-to concept of “Pluralism”, which holds that there will always be a variety of viewpoints among the public more complex than the bullshit political-labels currently in vogue, and if we are to have a healthy society, none of them should be considered “beyond the pale” and “antithetical” (to use your language) to some vaguely-appealed to “American Values”….. the self-nominated custodians of which most often tend to be the ones pointing fingers at others and demanding they be ostracized.

    There have always been communists (and racists) in america, and there always will be. They are not a threat to anything except polite conversation.

    What is a threat are people insisting that “we” must “reject” some group because they think “our collective values” (never named) are in danger.

    Forgive me if i say, “Fuck off slaver”: my values aren’t quite so fragile as to be threatened by a minority of yokel neonazis or the Antifa college-commie-ninja-brigade. Both (and more) are part of having a free society.

    1. for clarity:

      the only part of ABH’s bit i’m responding to is his shitty-attempt-at-labelling

      what he’s actually saying in his whole piece is actually (if poorly articulated) not far from my own POV.

      I do believe it would be helpful if the term “pluralism” were used more often, and we didn’t constantly struggle to label everything we disagree with – which is exactly how the batshit people begin labeling everyday behavior as “white supremacy” or “racism”. Labels are just a way of avoiding interaction. Once you’ve labeled something “one of them“, you no longer need to think about it or develop any sort of individual response to anyone.

      1. Unfortunately labels aren’t just mental laziness though, they’re weapons. The batshit ones are trying to harm those they label. And the worst part is they’re only damaging to the degree they’re untrue. Even the stupid protestors will admit they know their targets usually aren’t “actual nazis”, then they rationalize lying about them anyway.

    2. This is the only worthwhile comment in this whole thread. Thanks.

    3. Huh. I associated “the vital center” w Stassen.

  12. Some took it too far. The overreaction led to loyalty oaths and star-chamber hearings before the House Un-American Activities Committee and Hollywood blacklists and a general atmosphere of what, today, we might call political correctness: an intolerance of dissenting ideas that challenged, or were insufficiently devoted to, the prevailing anti-communist orthodoxy. The more common name for the overreaction is McCarthyism.

  13. Fuck these comments.

    Hinkle is wrong on virtually everything. The “alt right” is not a “clear and present” danger and, in fact, are simply using the IDENTICAL identity politics bullshit the Left has done for decades and that we’re now obligated to play along with. It’s not the morally correct thing to do as most of the critics had no problem with this bullshit as the Left has been doing it for decades — it is little more than rank hypocrisy.

    The idiots in Charlottesville had no desire to fight anybody. The morons just realized that antifa is known to REALLY like violence. And, lo and behold, antifa brought the violence.

    I know, mentioning this makes me a bigot. So be it. Free minds and all…

    1. You nailed it.

  14. RE: The New Red Scare

    Ironic isn’t it?
    Now the new red scare is launched by pro-socialist nut cases against those who dare to question big government and its policies.

  15. Actually thinking about this, I can think of at least two very real examples of “clear and present dangers”:

    1. Islam. I don’t mean as an empire, that’s a joke, but as a source of violence. If you insult them from a platform where they will notice, they will kill you.

    2. The left wing thought police. If you tread too carelessly on their hallowed ground, they will destroy you. Not a danger to life, but the danger of penury is a very scary one all the same. The religious right has nothing on these people. Cracking a PG-13 rated joke in what you thought was private company can end your career.

    Interesting thing is these dangers are vastly greater for a journalist like Hinkle. And indeed I’d argue the proof is in the pudding here on Reason. Look at all the social signalling and “to be sure”-ing when ever making these nuanced criticisms of progressives.

  16. To begin with, there is the undeniable existence of a clear and present danger. The racist right’s identitarianism is antithetical to America’s most cherished values, and opposing the alt-right is the morally correct position to take. The threat must be countered at every turn.

    In the US, the Marxist Left and the racist Left has about a jillion times more power than the Alt-Right and the racist Right. They had ruled for 8 years under Obama, and were set for permanent rule with a Hillary victory.

    They are the threat that needs to be countered at every turn.

    The Alt-Right only exists at all in the US in reaction to the power of the Marxist and racist Left.

    While the Red Scares permeated every sector of American society, most of the intolerant excesses of today’s tolerance warriors are confined to colleges and universities.

    And the judiciary, and regulatory bodies, and education, and media, and corporate HR departments. Just a few tiny, out of the way, powerless institutions.

    1. The right has absolutely been outflanked by American leftists, who have near complete control of our media and educational institutions. They use this influence to indoctrinate and inculcate Americans with notions of exaggerated threats from vague right-wing villains. Terms like alt-right and white supremacist are nothing more than leftist weapon words used to disparage ideological opponents, and recruit the gullible and sanctimonious.

      1. As long as Richard Spencer and others continue to have such massive followings, I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that these are illusions concocted by their political opponents. I think the only thing the American left is guilty of in this case is mislabeling too many right wingers as alt-right. This is a semantic thing more than anything else. And it’s completely analogous to right wingers labeling the American left as “socialists”.

        Maybe we rely too much on categorization. And the notion of which “team” you’re on.

  17. I would argue that alt-right is a made up term that is functionally meaningless, therefore cannot be a clear and present danger to anything…except maybe unicorns.

    1. It’s just a thing to accuse the deplorables, like ‘witch’ back in the 1600’s. Just another reason the left has to be wiped out.

  18. The real Reds are the ones wearing black, and they’re not on The Right.

  19. “Bigots, however, have done extremely well in American politics until quite recently?and, arguably, still do.”

    This was an inexact but not bad analogy and a decent article. And then this: “Bigots, however, have done extremely well in American politics until quite recently?and, arguably, still do.”

    What bigots have been winning elections recently? Make that argument if there is one to be made rather than throw it away at the end of a sentence for dramatic effect like some SJW coward. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and you offered none on the most outrageous claim in the whole piece. Sad!

  20. The article overlooks a key difference between the Red Scare and the current Right-Wing Scare. The difference is, the Red Scare was conducted largely by government, against a small, despised fringe minority. Today, the right-wingers pretty much own the government.

    1. I’m praying that you’re not serious. Because if you are serious, I’m going to have to laugh so hard at you that it will kill me. Both because it’s so absurd I won’t be able to help myself, and because if there is someone that stupid in the world I want to die.

    2. You must be a troll, this can’t be anything more than satire?

  21. This is an insightful article, but does not touch on the similarities between the underlying social psychologies that drove McCarthy-era behavior and the behaviors we see today. Just as was the case with anti-communists, today’s attitudes are largely social constructions, that imbue Americans with a sense of moral vigilance toward a nebulous evil. There is a sanctimonious satisfaction for every microgrievance we can identify, and every thought criminal we expose. The red scare was so insidious, mere innuendo could ruin the lives of the accused. Today, if you say, or do, or exhibit something that implies membership in the secret society of hate, there will be a self-righteous watchdog there to expose your wicked ways.

    1. The concept of “gamification,” as turned to social politics in the modern surveillance state, comes to mind.

  22. In truth the Alt-Right is the inevitable reaction to the insane left. It HAD to happen. INCLUDING the racial aspect. I’m mostly white, a little Mexican on my moms side, and a little Indian (native American) on my dads… I tan, but most would look at me and see a white guy. Italian maybe even though my European blood is all pale and northern, but surely white of some variety. As a native Californian I’ve always thought of myself as being white/Mexican, identifying mostly as white but acknowledging the Mexican side too.

    The anti white shit getting pushed by the left has become too insane for many to bear, including me, who is not exactly up to Waffen SS purity standards. Trump and others threw out the “And what they’ll go after Thomas Jefferson and George Washington next???” line basically in jest… Then it happened almost immediately after Charlottesville. Need they do anything else to prove how extreme they are in 2017?

    The left has got too nuts. Period. Other than all their other crazy economic/social stuff, their intentional anti white bent is painfully obvious. Even white Democrats are being shouted down/harassed by non white Democrats at public events… And these are fellow “true believers” and everything!

    1. They specifically engineered immigration policy (and ignored other parts!) to make America a non white majority country for ideological/tactical reasons (it was inevitable the way laws were structured, and it’s too hard to believe it was anything other than intentional IMO), and now that non whites are in fact already the majority of births we’re basically there in a decade or two… Kids growing up white in America today ARE the new minority group in school, and will see themselves as such… Yet will still be told they’re the privileged and powerful group that needs to be punished for the sins of centuries past.

      So with whites being threatened/attacked openly on all sides by the extreme left, while we’re becoming a minority, are we just supposed to sit there and be treated like shit while we’re still a slight majority of adults in the US? It should be obvious that whites wouldn’t take getting kicked in the nuts forever without fighting back. I mean we ARE a soon to be minority group now, so we need to have our grievance politics lobby right???

      The above is somewhat joking, but also basically factual. I never REALLY cared one way or another, but in theory wanted the whole kumbaya multiculturalism thing to work as it’s a warm and fuzzy idea, and especially since with our immigration policy it was inevitable that that was how the demographics were going to break down in the future. In other words I’ve never been racist or had a problem with anybody because of their color.

    2. BUT IMO it is clear that it is a failed experiment. Here and in Europe. The Alt-Right realizes this, while many others such as the mainstream left, mainstream right, and many libertarians do not. Incidentally you ever notice white majority countries are the only ones that HAVE to be multicultural or else they’re evil and horrible? Japan doesn’t allow refugees, but they’re not racist. How does that work? But I digress. Multiculturalism has never functioned well in any country in history. There’s always a ton of infighting, usually ultimately leading to a civil war and splitting up along religious/ethnic lines. Even when there isn’t open warfare the tension and infighting screws up the functioning of the country and the harmoniousness big time. Why did anybody think it was going to be different this time around? The same reason Communism just needs ONE more try to get it right???

      IMO Whites have been the ones who took to the whole “Multiculturalism” concept the best. I think mainly because we were in charge, were a solid majority, and generally seemed invincible in our own eyes, so what harm could having some exotic people and their ethnic food restaurants do? Most other ethnicities have continued to be openly racist/racialist/self serving for THEIR people before others… MultiCulti doesn’t work when everybody is only in it for THEIR peoples interests and screw everybody else! It was a nice idea in theory, but it’s not working in practice.

    3. Unless the non whites stop being racialist in their views, whites will HAVE to be racialist in our views and actions or else be stomped into the dirt by virtue of the oppositions group solidarity. I don’t like it, but there it is.

      I don’t see non whites doing that anytime soon though, so I imagine tensions will just keep rising until either blood is flowing in the streets, secession, government openly acknowledging racial components of policy and doing what’s needed to make things work better, or something along those lines. I just hope it’s something more along peaceful lines. I’m no Nazi or white nationalist or whatever, but the writing is on the wall for those who want to pull their heads out of their asses and read it… Many non whites don’t like whites, they actively hate them. Many of them don’t want equality under the law, they want to dominate and oppress us. They want revenge. So when we’re a minority, and they hold political power, and want revenge what are they going to do? They’re gonna have them some. Read up on South Africa if you want a preview. Apartheid wasn’t nice, but neither is what is happening to the white minority there now, that’s why more than half have left the country in fear of their very lives.

      1. “I don’t like it, but there it is.”

        Why don’t you stick with that part. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. You ACKNOWLEDGE that it’s not the right thing, but you justify it by treating your VERY debatable theory as a foregone conclusion. Open your mind to other possibilities, and you’ll be able to reject the attitude that you even admit yourself is wrong.

        1. Well, I don’t know that I would say it isn’t the “right thing to do” necessarily. The “right” thing to do isn’t always the nice thing, or the polite thing, or the morally superior thing, etc. Sometimes the “right” thing to do is a dirty business, but has to be done. Like nuking Japan in WWII. Not nice, but was the right thing to do. I think you’re missing the fact that reality is what it is, reality is not what you wish it were. I’m down with the NAP, but IMO we HAVE been aggressed against, so it’s not wrong to swing back. I don’t believe in adhering to rigid philosophy to the point of self immolation. If that’s you’re thing then fine, but if somebody pulls a gun on me during a fist fight I’m going for my gun with the intention of blowing their brains out before they get a chance to pull the trigger on me. You can’t always be nice, and I think half the problem with the western world lately is we’ve been trying to be nice too often instead of reasonable. Reasonable/fair isn’t always nice. It’s not unreasonable to tell people that burn your flag, wave around the flag of a foreign country, refuse to learn your language, don’t respect your laws and traditions, and are illegally in your country to GTFO. Yet such a position is held up as being “not nice” nowadays.

          1. “Like nuking Japan in WWII. Not nice, but was the right thing to do.”

            And then again, sometimes the nice thing to do and the right thing to do are exactly the same.

            1. Sure… But honestly I don’t see how accepting the very obvious premise that nation states need a majority ethno-cultural group to function well is even mean, let alone “not right” in any moral sense.

              How is it immoral that Japan is populated by 99% Japanese people, and that that is a good thing for its functionality? Almost every state in history has been an ethnostate purposefully created by drawing lines on maps. It works. It’s a natural human behavior.

              Unless you’re a true global borderless society pusher I don’t see the problem. Is it immoral to not allow anybody in the world to move to any other location in the world without restrictions? I think not.

        2. As I said elsewhere I have come to the conclusion that human beings cannot help but be racialist in their views, at least to a point. If you accept that premise then the entire idea of a functional multicultural state becomes impossible. I think this is an accurate conclusion. History proved this to be the case over and over and over again, but modern liberal thinking thought we should give it one more go on a scale 1000x more massive than ever before attempted just because of the feelz… The farther we have got down that road the more divided and heated things have become. We’re literally shedding blood in the streets RIGHT NOW, and it’s only showing signs of getting worse. It hasn’t been good for minorities, and it certainly hasn’t been good for whites either. So what’s the point???

          The conclusion I have come to is that believing in multiculturalism actually working is akin to believing that communism could work, or that with the right set of laws/education we could eliminate drug use or premarital sex… In other words it would work great if human beings weren’t human beings. But we ARE human beings, so therefore you need to create a system that acknowledges human failings. In this case accept that countries need to have a majority in charge, and if minorities want to live there they need to respect the opinions and rules of the majority. If they don’t like it don’t live there. Easy, simple, and fair for all parties involved IMO.

        3. This is the worldview that was commonly accepted until a couple decades ago. I don’t think it even has anything to do with any group necessarily being superior/inferior, it’s simply accepting that certain cultures cannot mix well in practice due to cultural differences. Is that such a horrible premise to accept?

          Who thinks that a hardcore Southern Baptist should be roommates with an open Satan worshiping polygamist??? Since I’m live and let live I don’t give a shit what either of those people do individually, but I can clearly see that two people with such opposing views living in close quarters is a baaad idea in practice. It’s the same thing for different cultures, and it is exacerbated when you can easily look at someone and distinguish that they’re a “them” and not an “us” just by their look.

          In the real world, many foreigners DO NOT respect our traditions or moral/legal concepts… So how can they be expected to continue our traditions? The reality is that they do not, which is a large part of why the US has been abandoning ours. This country would be 10 times more conservative/libertarian if it were still a solidly white majority country. I think election results, polling, etc by demographics all prove this point when you look at how different groups vote. It’s not PC to say that in polite company, yet it is statistically a fact. These views persist over at least multiple generations too… So how many generations

        4. of hell do we have to endure for some theoretical future world where everybody lives in harmony and has correct political views?

          Secession is the answer to splitting up the US into different groups and letting people migrate to the country they want to live in. Basically any other way will involve massive bloodshed IMO. You can say I’m being a pessimist, but I think I’m just being a realist and seeing human nature for what it really is. Individuals can deal with individuals of other races/cultures, but group/herd dynamics are REAL, and are a whole different ballgame.

    4. My base philosophy is libertarianism… I start there on every issue. But when it’s real world outcomes diverge from theory, or when there are clear and obvious problems on account of human nature, I am willing to set aside strict principles to maintain a functional reality. Humans are tribal, and genetically programmed to prefer people that look like themselves. We can overcome it to a degree, but only to a degree. Different races/religions are getting along only marginally better than in the past, and clearly not well enough to have a well functioning nation state without a clear majority running the show. I think having a clear majority, ANY ethnicity, in charge is the key thing. Maybe a solid 70-80%+ group that calls the shots, while being considerate of the minorities, but not beholden to them. Basically America a few decades ago. Other than secession I don’t know how to fix this country without a shit ton of bloodshed, but hopefully things work out as peacefully as possible.

      1. Isn’t this the Democrats wet dream? They get to rule and pander to the racial/gender/sexuality/religion percentages of the population.

        1. And that’s exactly how/why left wing politicians created the circumstances that made it inevitable. I’ve been researching a lot, and ALL OVER the western world during the 60s and early 70s immigration reform somehow was getting pushed at once. EVERYWHERE. The US, UK, Australia, continental Europe, etc ALL reformed their immigration laws to make them looser for low education immigrants, that didn’t speak the language, had no historical ties to said nations, and importantly were also non white.

          I don’t think whites are the be all end all of humans, but I do now think that a majority is required. They designed immigration policy to dilute the majority and fracture the electorate. I believe what you say above is exactly why. Many politicians of the time called exactly what is happening nowadays too. It was an obvious outcome to anyone who knows their history and how well multiethnic/multicultural societies tend to work out in the long run.

        2. Even if there are marginal benefits to a little diversity, which I think there could be, I think the trick is having the super majority group. How much time/effort/hassle is Japan having dealing with racial issues versus the US and Europe? The answer is they devote ZERO effort to such issues, because they don’t have ethnic minorities in any amount to consider. Has this stopped them from being one of the most successful countries on earth? No. Which way of running things creates a more harmonious society? I think the obvious answer is Japan. So where are the supposed benefits for the US/Europe? I can’t see much beyond ethnic food, but I sure can see a lot of downsides. I don’t blame people for trying the experiment, but I think it is safe to say it is a failure at this point.

    5. If you keep pushing identity politics for every racial or ethnic group that comes along, you can’t be surprised when whites adopt it. This is why I hate most about this. We are regressing to more tribalism. What matters is treating each person as a unique individual rather than insisting on placing everyone in a box and pretending it’s the box that really matters.

      1. Very true. I think the problem with this thinking though is the idea that people are even capable of ignoring their race… After much reading of late (as these issues have come to the forefront), and some along similar lines in the past, I’ve come to the conclusion that they can’t. It’s genetically programmed into us. Many tests have shown unconscious bias, and it can’t be wished away. We can only ignore it to a certain degree, and even then only in certain situations. The idea that we can live in a post racial world where people are all colorblind seems to be based upon an incorrect premise. It’s not the way I wish the world was, but I think it is reality being seen for what it is.

        The only time any group seems to be capable of ignoring their ethnic identity is when they’re the overwhelming majority. In other words they feel secure in “their place” in society. The second that isn’t true they go into tribal mode, largely because they feel they have to. And in a way they’re right. Minority groups kind of do have to stick together to achieve their goals and protect themselves.

        I think the only way multiculturalism can work is in countries with a strong majority running the show, and tolerating a small number of foreigners. Said foreigners need to accept they need to adapt to the majority groups views on some issues, such as language, or GTFO. Anything other than this situation seems to cause tons of strife, infighting, and hatred between the groups.

      2. I will be surprised if we don’t have mass bloodshed because of the left intentionally engineering the demographic replacement of Europeans in their various home countries. Either the non whites will effectively take over and oppress and violate the shit out of the whites in their native lands, or whites are going to say “Enough is enough.” and kill/eject a shit ton of unassimilated foreigners from their lands. I don’t see kumbaya being a plausible outcome after all the reading I have done. Sad, but true.

        1. Wasn’t that essentially Charles Manson’s stance as well?

          1. Actually I believe “the race war” to come was a big part of his views, although I’ve never looked into him deeply. That guy may be a nutter, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

            The only thing that can possibly prevent serious racial animosity is if the minority groups stop being racialist. They can’t gang up on the majority, especially while it is losing this position (and knows it), and expect the majority to put up with it forever.

            History shows race and religion are the main reasons most wars happen, maybe even more than just plain old resource stealing. To think everybody could just get tossed into political systems together when they have totally disparate opinions on almost everything was supremely wishful thinking.

  23. I must have missed the part where the “alt-right” subverted themselves into the highest echelons of government machinery, and from it completely changed the outlook of the nation.

  24. “You can see it at the University of Iowa, which requires job applicants to promise they will ‘demonstrate their contribution to diversity and inclusion’ if they are hired.”

    This is not uncommon. If you view the phrases “diversity” and “inclusion” as bad words, I can see why this would be troublesome. Universities, and many businesses, find it important to promote a diverse workforce/student body. And in the university setting, which is vitally reliant on immigration and perspectives from other cultures, this has been a priority.

    Faculty in all disciplines are also judged on their outreach activities. A great number of these activities, especially in the areas of health care, education, and law, have everything to do with underprivileged communities and serving non-traditional groups. There’s no clear reason why this is a bad thing.

    I think if you misinterpret it to mean quotas, or the curtailment of free speech, then there’s a very valid criticism. But I believe it’s a stretch to suggest that this addition to the contract represents those things.

    1. I think at this point it can be pretty clearly accepted that that type of phrasing is essentially left wing dog whistling though. There is nothing wrong with that in a literal sense, but in the real world intended meaning it’s clearly political. Private companies can do what they want, but publicly funded organizations should theoretically not be having political litmus tests for employment… But I guess something like 70-80+ percent (can’t remember exact figures, too lazy to google) of university professors are left wing according to polls nowadays sooooo they’re totally cool with trying to filter out the last few potential thought criminals from their ranks.

      1. I’m not convinced it’s “clearly political.” And even if it is, then a broken clock is right twice a day, as you said in an earlier post. There’s a great deal of value in promoting “diversity” and “inclusion” in academia. You’re right that it COULD be just a front for some other not so nice policies, but I don’t see any evidence of that. I sure haven’t heard of an Iowa professor being fired for having a political opinion incompatible with what’s in the contract. In fact, contrary to what Reason readership likes to think, academia has almost unanimously protected the rights of their faculty to voice whatever political opinion they want outside the classroom, even though Reason subscribers (and other conservatives) frequently call for them to be fired for doing so.

        1. In fact, contrary to what Reason readership likes to think, academia has almost unanimously protected the rights of their faculty to voice whatever political opinion they want outside the classroom, even though Reason subscribers (and other conservatives) frequently call for them to be fired for doing so.

          Ah, I see. You’re just a troll then. Your tell is that you’re telling lies so blatant no one could possibly believe them. If you want to properly impersonate a leftist, you need to tell lies that are plausible enough for an idiot to believe them.

          1. Very hostile response. You can call it a lie, but the numbers are on my side. Last year, a professor came out and said something politically controversial on twitter, Reason posted a story and 569 comments were posted, an overwhelming number of which suggested that he be fired for it. When it was further revealed that his university defended his right to express his political views, they were dragged through the mud too.

            1. I don’t like the idea of professors shoving communism down the throats of students, but idiots have a right to free speech too. And the schools should be defending that.

              The problem is the overwhelming control of leftists in academia, and the fact that they ARE repeatedly caught explicitly pushing hard left agendas and suppressing other points of view. If things were 50/50 (or even close like they were in decades past), or they even officially chose moderate stances on all controversial issues it would be different. That would tick off the left and the right, but be more defensible IMO. But they mostly don’t. They show their biases clear as day constantly.

              I can’t imagine biased hiring didn’t create much of the shift in political opinions over the last couple decades either.

              1. It’s a good question to ask why people in academia tend to be left-leaning relative to the rest of the population. But it’s an equally good question to ask why university faculty are more likely to be libertarian-leaning than the rest of the population (by a factor of about 4), and why students are also more likely to be libertarian-leaning. It seems that conservatives are the ones left out — we could ask whether it’s due to discrimination, and in fact this has been suggested in regard to law schools — but why are libertarians (apparently) not excluded too?

                1. I think you’re confusing various things.

                  First, conservatives have only shrunk well below their general populace percentages in the last couple decades. So if you were trying to imply there is something wrong with their thought process (They’re stoopit!) and that’s why they don’t teach at uni then that’s not really valid… Before that left leaners were still a higher percentage, but it was way closer to the general population. I don’t see how there wasn’t selection bias in SOMEHOW magically shifting the tilt in schools only while the rest of the population largely didn’t change, excepting social issues. If you buy into the conspiracy minded stuff, Marxists are supposed to take over the school system to educate the young in the “proper” ideology for the future revolution… So who knows how many people actually became teachers on those grounds…

                  As far as libertarians, you’re taking about pretty small numbers overall, so it’s kind of WTF ever. BUT if anything I would say that the same bias probably was more friendly towards libertarian minded than trad-con sorts. If you’re a stereotypical hardcore progressive dean of a school, the pro gay rights, pro dope smoking, agnostic guy you disagree with on economics is still more acceptable than the guy who doesn’t believe in gay marriage, drugs are bad, and Jesus is THE MAN.

                  1. As someone who has come to appreciate traditional conservative values MORE as I have got older and read more, I do not think they are idiots. I have come to believe on a lot of issues they simply see and realize that a properly functioning human society MUST HAVE some amount of forced (preferably non state force like social pressure) social order. I believe one can have MANY libertarian aspects in their society, but some liberal social issues in fact make society fall apart. The demonizing of traditional marriage, and that being a mother IS a good and virtuous thing that isn’t selling yourself short if you’re a woman, for instance. Look up life achievement stats for children raised by single parents, especially single mothers. Things like crime rates, educational attainment etc. That single issue alone is tearing society apart according to the math. Are conservatives wrong then to say that strongly encouraging traditional marriage as a pre-req for being a decent member of society that isn’t socially shunned is wrong? I used to think that was messed up and overblown, until I looked at the research. Welfare is almost entirely consumed by single mothers. We wouldn’t have a welfare state if it wasn’t for the destruction of marriage because there would be almost nobody to give it to. I could go on for eons.

                  2. Point is, the trad cons actually make some valid points if you dive into the issues. Anything goes is a very warm and fuzzy idea… But in the real world their are consequences, and in a society where your neighbors behaviors DO effect your life in many ways it is not wrong to chastise bad behavior. I would say government force should be left out of most of that kind of stuff, but I’m all for socially shaming genuinely bad behaviors that hurt people and society at large.

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