Loyalty and Patriotism Following Both World Wars

Loyalty and Patriotism Following Both World Wars


BOTH WARS, HERE I’M TALKING
ABOUT WORLD WAR 2 FIRST, ENGENDERED AN IDEOLOGICAL
INTENSITY EXPRESSING ITSELF IN DEMANDS FOR
PATRIOTISM, LOYALTY. A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE MOBILIZED,
EITHER FORMALLY OR INFORMALLY, TO ENFORCE CONFORMITY. CELEBRATE AMERICA. FEELINGS GET RILED UP. AND PEOPLE GET MOBILIZED. AND THOSE FEELINGS,
ONCE UNLEASHED, CAN BE DIFFICULT TO TURN OFF. AND THERE’S A SENSE BOTH WITH
WORLD WAR 1 AND WORLD WAR 2 THAT SOME OF THE IDEOLOGICAL
EXCESSES OF WARTIME SPILL OVER INTO THE POSTWAR. SO THAT IN BOTH INSTANCES
AMERICANS HAVE DIFFICULTY DEALING WITH DISSENT. DIFFERENCE. AND SO IN THAT RESPECT
THERE IS SOME SIMILARITY. THERE’S ALSO SIMILARITY IN THAT
THE DISSENTERS WHO ARE MOST FEARED IN BOTH RED SCARES
WERE THOUGHT TO BE RADICALS. AFTER WORLD WAR 1, SOCIALISTS,
COMMUNISTS, ANARCHISTS. AFTER WORLD WAR 2,
SOCIALISTS AND ANARCHISTS ARE PRETTY MUCH DISAPPEARED. AND IF YOU WERE A SIGNIFICANT
RADICAL AFTER WORLD WAR 2, YOU WERE GOING TO BE A COMMUNIST. AND THERE WAS A TREMENDOUS
FEAR OF BOLSHEVISM. WHICH WAS THE INITIAL
FORMULATION OF WHAT COMMUNISM WAS.
TREMENDOUS FEAR OF BOLSHEVISM IN THIS COUNTRY. A THINKING THAT IT REPRESENTED
SOMETHING ANTITHETICAL TO WHAT AMERICA WAS ABOUT. AND IN THE CONTEXT OF THE OTHER
SUPERPOWER OF THE WORLD BEING A COMMUNIST STATE AFTER WORLD WAR
2, THE FEAR OF COMMUNISM BECOMES ACUTE. NOT JUST INTERNATIONALLY,
BUT DOMESTICALLY AS WELL. SO, ONE CAN SAY THAT THE
COMMUNIST RED SCARE AFTER WORLD WAR 2 BUILDS ON THE
RED SCARE AFTER WORLD WAR 1. ALTHOUGH, BECAUSE WE HAVE A
POWERFUL FOE IN A STRONG SOVIET STATE, THERE WAS A SOVIET STATE
IN 1921 BUT IT WAS NOT STRONG. IT DIDN’T AROUSE THE SAME FEAR. IT HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND
THE GREAT FEAR OF SUBVERSION ON THE PART OF COMMUNISTS. THAT MANY AMERICANS FELT. AND THE DETERMINATION
TO ROOT IT OUT. ONE WAY IN WHICH THE TWO RED
SCARES SEEM TO ME TO BE DIFFERENT, IS WHO BECAME THE
PRINCIPAL TARGETS OF THE RED SCARE. AFTER WORLD WAR 1, IT IS
CLEARLY THE NEW IMMIGRANTS AND ESPECIALLY ITALIANS AND JEWS. THE JEWS WERE THOUGHT TO
BE CARRIERS OF BOLSHEVISM. AND THE ITALIANS ARE THOUGHT
TO BE CARRIERS OF ANARCHISM. AND THERE’S THERE’S THOUGHT
TO BE AN ORGANIC RELATIONS BETWEEN THIS PHILOSOPHY
AND WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE. THEY HAVE SOME KIND OF
BIOLOGICAL PREDILECTION TO A CERTAIN KIND OF
RADICAL BEHAVIOR. AND SO IT’S AMONG THE
POOREST AND MOST DOWNTRODDEN GROUPS THAT THE FEAR
IS DIRECTED AGAINST. THE FEAR AGAINST ITALIANS
AND JEWS HAS NOT DISAPPEARED IN THE 1950S. ONE THINKS OF THE ROSENBERGS,
WHO WERE THE ONLY ATOMIC SPIES SENT TO THEIR DEATH
BY THE US GOVERNMENT. AND THEY WERE CLEARLY JEWISH. ITALIANS HAVE SOME TROUBLES
IN THE 1950S, NOT RELATING TO ANARCHISM BUT TO THE
REPEATED LINKAGES OF THEM TO ORGANIZED CRIME. BUT THE PRINCIPLE TARGETS OF
THE RED SCARE, OTHER THAN THE ROSENBERGS, ARE NOT THE NEW
IMMIGRANTS OR THOSE WHO ARE DOWN AND OUT IN
AMERICAN SOCIETY. BUT THEY ARE WELL-BORN PROTESTANTS. THEY ARE PEOPLE LIKE
ALGER HISS, FOR EXAMPLE. WHO ARE THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN
WELL-BORN, GOOD AMERICANS. BUT BETRAYING THE TRUST
THAT AMERICA PUT IN THEM. AND SO, THE PRINCIPAL TARGETS
OF THE SECOND RED SCARE TEND TO BE THESE ELITE, PROTESTANT,
OFTEN PROMINENT, FIGURES IN AMERICAN SOCIETY. SOME OF THEM WERE COMMUNISTS. SOME OF THEM WERE NOT.
OR SOME OF THEM WERE CLOSE TO THE COMMUNIST PARTY. BUT IT’S AN INTERESTING
PSYCHOLOGY ABOUT WHY THESE WELL-BORN PEOPLE BECOME
THE TARGETS OF SUCH WRATH. AND JOE MCCARTHY IS
VERY CLEAR ABOUT THIS. THERE’S NO-ONE HE DESPISES MORE
THAN THE MEN IN STRIPED PANTS BORN WITH SILVER SPOONS
IN THEIR MOUTHS. AND HE HAS IN MIND ALGER
HISS AND DEAN ACHESON. PROMINENT FIGURE IN GOVERNMENT. AND ULTIMATELY A SUSPICION
IS MEANT TO BE CAST ON ROOSEVELT HIMSELF. AND THERE’S THE SUGGESTION
THAT AN EFFETE GROUP OF ELITE PROTESTANTS HAS
BETRAYED THE COUNTRY. AND FATALLY WEAKENED IT. IN THAT WAY, THE SECOND RED
SCARE IS QUITE DIFFERENT FROM THE FIRST.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *