Third American Red Scare: Conservatives Don’t Hate Socialism, They Hate Equality
August 21, 2019 at 7:26 AM - Views: 43 #119994
The U.S. has had three Red Scares, or right-wing campaigns to inflame public fear of socialism. The first came in 1917 as Bolsheviks remade Russia into the Soviet Union, American workers struck en masse and anarchists mailed bombs to politicians. The government deported hundreds of suspected radicals. The second Red Scare began after World War II as the U.S. and U.S.S.R. fought for supremacy. Sen. Joseph McCarthy hunted for “reds” in government and media. In the years following the 2008 Wall Street crash, another leftist resurgence sprang up, and with it, a counter-reaction. We are now in the third American Red Scare.
Republicans who red-bait Democrats also accuse “socialism” of property theft, amnesty for “criminals” and tyranny. The themes are consistent in conservativism, but it’s the 1962 film, The Truth About Communism, narrated by Ronald Reagan, that is the modern GOP blueprint. In dirge-like tones, Reagan spoke of a peasant’s lifetime savings taken by Bolsheviks. Later Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul updated this theme, saying Sen. Bernie Sanders’s proposals, such as free education, constituted “theft.” Conservative media star Ben Shapiro repeatedly calls socialism theft, and even declared, “Socialism is rape. Capitalism is consensual sex.”
So, if socialism is theft, who are socialists stealing for? Conservatives see them as taking from “good, honest, hardworking Americans” to give to the “undeserving” poor. In his 1976 campaign, Reagan regaled crowds with myths of Black women milking the welfare system or public housing with fancy pools. Later Republicans like Mitt Romney talked of the “47 percent … who are dependent on government.” Sen. Paul Ryan described inner cities as filled with “generations of men not even thinking about working.”
Fear of the “underserving poor” is manipulated into a fear of tyranny. Many conservatives believe socialists will use poor people as shock troops to create the Soviet States of America. In The Truth About Communism, Reagan claimed Russian prisoners were handed guns to enforce Bolshevik power. His successor, Vice President George Bush, used that trope of “criminals” unleashed by liberals in the infamously racist Willie Horton ad, which showed a Black man who raped a white woman while on furlough from prison. Now, Trump reuses that imagery in his ad warning of “illegal Mexican gangs,” designed to stoke racist fears. It builds on his baseless accusation that Democrats drove undocumented migrants to the polls and cost him the popular vote. It repeats the same nightmare scene of Reagan’s film in which Bolsheviks or in our case, just liberals, use the lower classes to seize state power and eventually take property…A deep contempt for working-class and poor people, especially immigrants and people of color, is engraved in today’s Republican Party. They don’t think the downtrodden deserve equality because in the GOP mind, they are not equal…
August 21, 2019 at 12:28 PM #120227ThouArtThatParticipant
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Thanks for sharing. A fascinating hypothesis about the conservative mind and very applicable for politico minions and many of their masters. One wonders how many of the 0.01% are driven more by pure greed versus the ideology of worthiness? In other words, the ideology of worthiness becomes yet another manipulative trope with which the 0.01% can use to manipulate both 99% and their politico minions.
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
- John F. Kennedy
"In a Time of Universal Deceit - Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act."
- George Orwell
"They must find it difficult ... Those who have taken authority as the truth,
Rather than truth as the authority."
- Gerald Massey
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
- Jiddu Krishnamurti
August 21, 2019 at 4:15 PM #120408
i’d think they’re two sides of the same coin. at least some of them. look at trump.
he’s certainly greedy, but you can also maybe see the little boy who was never sure he’d measure up in his father’s eyes = unworthy
projection onto others to demonstrate his own ‘worthiness’
August 21, 2019 at 2:05 PM #120308Passionate ProgressiveParticipant
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Oh if only it was the Republican Party that harbored the ‘conservative’ philosophy.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.....Martin Luther King '63
August 21, 2019 at 2:07 PM #120309rampartParticipant
- Total Posts: 534
that Reagan documentary is available online, but I can’t seem to find much about it. it is obvious propaganda, and I’d like to know who put up the money for such nonsense.
August 21, 2019 at 5:09 PM #120474Ohio BarbarianModerator
- Total Posts: 13,777
In The Truth About Communism, Reagan claimed Russian prisoners were handed guns to enforce Bolshevik power.
Uh, no. It was the guns of the Russian Army and Navy, specifically the cruiser Aurora, which gave the Bolsheviks power, so Reagan flat-out lied. Surprise, surprise.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower
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