Hate and hysteria Author Murray Levin (1977) wrote, AMcCarthyism, in a
capitalist society, produces extremism, intolerance, instability, and large scale
repression (p.216). He also says that AThe promoters of mass politics raise
the question of justice and attempt to play upon generalized resentments
steaming from deeper layers of personality. The politics of mass society does
not focus on group demands.@ The purpose of these politics is the defense
of the ultimate truth. This "Red scare" started in the twenties and in one form
or another lasted till well after World War 2 was over. McCarthyism was not the
work of psychotics and paranoids. This political hysteria was a mixture of
American conservatism, pluralism, anti-radicalism, racism, and nativism. . In
addition, this passionate form of nationalism was perceived by most Americans
as a perfectly sensible and American way to defend the American way of life
against danger. Louis Hartz (1956) said Athe Red scare was a product of the
American people manipulating themselves as well as the American people
responding to manipulation.@ According to the popular opinion, Robert
Murray warned that communist were to come and overthrow our form of
government and business enterprises. He said that communism would do five
things. " First, destroy property rights. Second, take away all personal initiative
in industrial activities. Third, abolish civil government and the political state.
Fourth, destroy the church and religious institutions. Finally, abandon family
relations. Many who actively promoted the hysteria genuinely believed in
conspiracy, consider themselves as patriots, and utilized the hysteria for
private political and economic gain that they usually hid. "Joe McCarthy was
one of the top investigators of communism along with Edgar Hoover, who was
at that time a director of the FBI."(the hunt began) McCarthy got all his
suspects from Hoover; many times they made false accusations to help their
cause. They were the at the root of hysteria during the 40\'s and 50\'s.
McCarthyism has been defined as political murder; many innocent people
were hung, stabbed, and imprisoned for false accusations where evidence
was insufficient. By accusing people of being "Red" McCarthy and Hoover
ignored several amendments that given freedoms of United States citizens.
First, he broke the first amendment that says people have the right to religion,
speech, assembly and politics. For example, in Waterbury, Connecticut a
salesman was sentenced to six months in jail for having remarked to a
customer that Lenin was "brainiest" or "one of the brainiest" political leaders in
the world. In 1919 a citizen of Indiana, in a fit of rage, shot and killed an alien
who yelled "to hell with the United States"; the jury deliberated for two minutes
before acquitting the killer.(Newman) McCarthy also ignored the fifth
amendment that speaks against self incrimination and talks of how due
process. In addition McCarthy saw past the eighth and ninth amendment.
Amendment eight says that people could not be given excessive bail or fines
and were not to be submitted to cruel and unusual punishments. Amendment
nine talks of the rights retained by the people. This amendment specifically
says "The enumeration in the constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. In fact, many
people produced anti-Soviet propaganda, one was called "A Guide to
anti-Communist action" and another example was called "Is This Tomorrow".
Twenty eight states passed laws banning the display of red flags. In addition,
Hollywood responded to this hysteria by creating many films portraying
Russians as bad guys. The U.S. Steel Corporation, and it\'s president, Judge
Gary, attempted to break a strike by creating the impression that it had little to
do with the demands for wages and hours but was instead a communist
conspiracy and part of a larger plan to hurt American industry and help the
Bolshevik revolution. U.S. Steel was also one of the many corporations that
used large numbers of private detectives as labor spies. This succeeded and
played a major role in escalating national anti-radical hysteria. This labor spy
would infiltrate unions, urge laborers not to join unions, and promote
anti-strike activities. These Astrike busters@ are detecting unions one day,
and Bolshevism the next. At one time U.S. steel used the ARed Book@ and
"other" proofs to brand a strike red and say that