In examining Document 4 and Document 6, how did the onset of the Cold War redefine what it meant to be an American? What role do these documents suggest loyal citizens play in waging war against Communism? In examining the political cartoon (Document 5), how does the artist critique the “anti-subversive” efforts that took place during the Second Red Scare? In what ways does the McCarthy era continue to influence American society?
Document 4: LOOK Magazine “How to spot a Communist” (1947)
Intended to warn Americans about the perceived threat of communist activities in the United States, Leo Cherne’s “How to spot a Communist” was published in Look Magazine’s Spring 1947 edition.
The real Communist is not a liberal or a progressive. He believes in Russia first and a Soviet America. He accepts the doctrines of dictatorship as practiced in Russia. And he is prepared to use a dictator’s tactics of lies and violence to realize his ambitions.
Because the whole Communist apparatus is geared to secrecy, it is not always easy to determine just who is a Communist. But whether he is a Party card-holder or a fellow traveler, the American Communist is not like other Americans. To the Communist, everything – his country, his job, his family – take second place to his party duty. Even his sex life is synchronised with the obligations of the [communist] cause…
There is no simple definition of an American Communist. However, certain general classifications can be set up.
And if either a person or an organization falls within most of these classifications, that person or organization can be said to be following the Communists’ lead. These classifications include:
1. The belief that the war waged by Great Britain and her allies during the period from August 1939 to June 1941 (the period of the war before Russia was invaded) was an “imperialistic” war and a game of power politics.
2. The support of a foreign policy which agrees always with that followed by Soviet Russia, and which changes as the USSR policy changes.
3. The argument that any foreign or domestic policy which does not fit the Communist plan is advanced for ulterior motives and is not in the best interests of either the people or world peace.
4. The practice of criticising only American, British and Chinese policies, and never criticising Soviet policies.
5. Continually receiving favorable publicity in such Communist publications as the Daily Worker and the New Masses.
6. Continually appearing as sponsor or co-worker of such known Communist-front groups as the Committee to Win the Peace, the Civil Rights Congress, the National Negro Congress and other groups which can be described as Communist inspired because they within the classifications set forth here.
7. Continually charging critics with being “fascists,” no matter whether the criticism comes from liberals, conservatives, reactionaries or those who really are fascists.
8. Arguing for a class society by pitting one group against another; and putting special privileges ahead of community needs as, for example, claiming that labor has privileges but has no responsibilities in dealing with management.
9. Declaring that capitalism and democracy are “decadent” because some injustices exist under those systems.
Of course, actual membership [of a communist party] is 100 per cent proof, but this kind of proof is difficult to obtain. These are the five basic layers that the Communists rely on for their strength:
1. The Party member, who openly or secretly holds a membership card.
2. The fellow-traveler, who is not a Party member but who is carefully trained to follow the Communist policy.
3. The sympathiser, who may disagree with some polices, but who is in general agreement with Communist objectives.
4. The opportunist, who is unconcerned with Party goals or tactics but who believes… that the party can be used to his own advantage.
5. The muddled liberal, who despite deep disagreement with the Communist Party’s ultimate goals, co-operates with Party members in front organizations.
How not to be a sucker for a ‘left hook’
Most Americans want to help a good cause, but don’t want to help Communists hiding behind a good-cause label. Here are tips:
1. Check credentials: Before you join or help a group, find out if it opposed Britain’s “imperialistic” war and favored isolationism before Russia was invaded in 1941; if it supported the “people’s” war after Russia was invaded; if it now favors the veto as used by Russia in the UN.
2. Signing petitions… are you getting your name on a Communist list? 3. Contributing money… check carefully, you may be paying a Communist.
4. On the escalator… is your support of one group involving you in causes you didn’t know about? Check all affiliations.
5. Resolutions… does the group you support suddenly endorse other groups you know nothing about?
6. Politics… is your non-partisan group endorsing candidates? Who are they?
7. Speakers… who are the outsiders invited to address your meetings?
8. Fly-by-night issues… does your group support policies also supported by the Communist Party, and then forget those policies as soon as the Party line changes?
9. Double standard… is it sensitive about American policy in China and British policy in Palestine, but quiet about Russian policy in Iran, Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria?
10. Literature… does literature handed out at meetings endorse Party causes? 11. Social life… are you urged to buy tickets to other groups’ events? You may be contributing to other causes.
12. Demonstrations and conferences… does the local group which was set up to study the cost of living, for example, send delegates to conferences which pass resolutions on atomic energy control?
13. Membership… watch who joins and who resigns. Harold Ickes recently resigned from the Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts and Sciences; Marion Hargrove quit the Duncan-Paris Post of the American Legion and the National Committee to Win the Peace.
Document 5: “You read books, eh?” by Herbert Block (1949)
One of the most renowned political cartoonists in modern American History, Herb Block published this editorial cartoon in the Washington Post on April 24, 1949. This cartoon was produced as a response to the growing anti-Communist hysteria of the late 1940s and 1950s that became known as the Second Red Scare.
Document 6: “Enemies from Within” speech (1950)
Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s rose to political prominence on the waves of anti-Communist hysteria sweeping America during the early years of the Cold War. McCarthy utilized this speech honoring Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in Wheeling, West Virginia on February 9, 1950 to launch a full scale attack upon President Truman’s administration for harboring Communists within the State Department.
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight as we celebrate the one hundred forty-first birthday of one of the greatest men in American history, I would like to be able to talk about what a glorious day today is in the history of the world. As we celebrate the birth of this man who with his whole heart and soul hated war, I would like to be able to speak of peace in our time—of war being outlawed—and of world-wide disarmament. These would be truly appropriate things to be able to mention as we celebrate the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.
Five years after a world war has been won, men’s hearts should anticipate a long peace—and men’s minds should be free from the heavy weight that comes with war. But this is not such a period—for this is not a period of peace. This is a time of “the cold war.” This is a time when all the world is split into two vast, increasingly hostile armed camps—a time of a great armament race.
Today we can almost physically hear the mutterings and rumblings of an invigorated god of war. You can see it, feel it, and hear it all the way from the Indochina hills, from the shores of Formosa, right over into the very heart of Europe itself.
The one encouraging thing is that the “mad moment” has not yet arrived for the firing of the gun or the exploding of the bomb which will set civilization about the final task of destroying itself. There is still a hope for peace if we finally decide that no longer can we safely blind our eyes and close our ears to those facts which are shaping up more and more clearly . . . and that is that we are now engaged in a show-down fight . . . not the usual war between nations for land areas or other material gains, but a war between two diametrically opposed ideologies.
The great difference between our western Christian world and the atheistic Communist world is not political, gentlemen, it is moral. For instance, the Marxian idea of confiscating the land and factories and running the entire economy as a single enterprise is momentous. Likewise, Lenin’s invention of the one-party police state as a way to make Marx’s idea work is hardly less momentous.
Stalin’s resolute putting across of these two ideas, of course, did much to divide the world. With only these differences, however, the east and the west could most certainly still live in peace.
The real, basic difference, however, lies in the religion of immoralism . . . invented by Marx, preached feverishly by Lenin, and carried to unimaginable extremes by Stalin. This religion of immoralism, if the Red half of the world triumphs—and well it may, gentlemen—this religion of immoralism will more deeply wound and damage mankind than any conceivable economic or political system.
Karl Marx dismissed God as a hoax, and Lenin and Stalin have added in clear-cut, unmistakable language their resolve that no nation, no people who believe in a god, can exist side by side with their communistic state.
Karl Marx, for example, expelled people from his Communist Party for mentioning such things as love, justice, humanity or morality. He called this “soulful ravings” and “sloppy sentimentality.” . . .
Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity. The modern champions of communism have selected this as the time, and ladies and gentlemen, the chips are down—they are truly down.
Lest there be any doubt that the time has been chosen, let us go directly to the leader of communism today—Joseph Stalin. Here is what he said—not back in 1928, not before the war, not during the war—but 2 years after the last war was ended: “To think that the Communist revolution can be carried out peacefully, within the framework of a Christian democracy, means one has either gone out of one’s mind and lost all normal understanding, or has grossly and openly repudiated the Communist revolution.” . . .
Ladies and gentlemen, can there be anyone tonight who is so blind as to say that the war is not on? Can there by anyone who fails to realize that the Communist world has said the time is now? . . . that this is the time for the show- down between the democratic Christian world and the communistic atheistic world?
Unless we face this fact, we shall pay the price that must be paid by those who wait too long.
Six years ago, . . . there was within the Soviet orbit, 180,000,000 people. Lined up on the antitotalitarian side there were in the world at that time, roughly 1,625,000,000 people. Today, only six years later, there are 800,000,000 people under the absolute domination of Soviet Russia—an increase of over 400 percent. On our side, the figure has shrunk to around 500,000,000. In other words, in less than six years, the odds have changed from 9 to 1 in our favor to 8 to 5 against us.
This indicates the swiftness of the tempo of Communist victories and American defeats in the cold war. As one of our outstanding historical figures once said, “When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be from enemies from without, but rather because of enemies from within.” . . .
The reason why we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because our only powerful potential enemy has sent men to invade our shores . . . but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who have been treated so well by this Nation. It has not been the less fortunate, or members of minority groups who have been traitorous to this Nation, but rather those who have had all the benefits that the wealthiest Nation on earth has had to offer . . . the finest homes, the finest college education and the finest jobs in government we can give.
This is glaringly true in the State Department. There the bright young men who are born with silver spoons in their mouths are the ones who have been most traitorous. . . .
I have here in my hand a list of 205 . . . a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department. . . .
As you know, very recently the Secretary of State proclaimed his loyalty to a man guilty of what has always been considered as the most abominable of all crimes—being a traitor to the people who gave him a position of great trust—high treason. . . .
He has lighted the spark which is resulting in a moral uprising and will end only when the whole sorry mess of twisted, warped thinkers are swept from the national scene so that we may have a new birth of honesty and decency in government.
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