Communism Vs Mccarthyism

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During the twentieth century, liberals were anxious to distance themselves from anything that might possibly be perceived as being associated with communism, which resulted in many cold war liberals abandoning their original concerns. Not only did the nation’s cultural and intellectual life suffer as a result of the weakened noncommunist left, but the institutions of American democracy suffered as well. Rather than arguing against issues, such as McCarthyism, that were occurring and would have originally concerned left-wing ideologists, those issues now became irrelevant. Therefore, in my opinion, the weakening of the noncommunist left can be partly blamed on liberals and progressives who reacted poorly to accusations that they were communist…show more content…
However, the liberal and progressive organizations that usually would have protected the civil liberties of the victims of McCarthyism backed down from the task. Although numerous Americans were disturbed and troubled by McCarthy’s allegations, there was an absence of effective outlets for them to express their opposition. Therefore, liberals and progressives merely did not mount a campaign against McCarthyism nor did they defend the victims’ civil liberties, or when few tried, it was not effective. Schrecker argues, “The destruction of the front groups and the left-led unions may well have had a more deleterious impact on American politics than the decline of the (Communist) party itself.” (Schrecker 105). This is because, as seen in the example of McCarthyism, with the demise of the left-led unions and organizations, the nation lost the network that created a public space where legitimate alternatives to the status quo could be presented. In addition, moderate reform groups were now exposed to right-wing attacks, which rendered them less effective. Schrecker also said, “Moderates feared being identified with anything that seemed too radical, and people to the left of them were either unheard or under attack.” (Schrecker 105). Aforementioned in the previous paragraph, the majority of Americans feared being labeled…show more content…
The National Lawyers Guild is an organization that was established in 1936 by a coalition of left-wing and liberal attorneys who wanted to combat the conservatism of the mainstream American bar association. Although communists were active in this organization, so were many devoted non-communist civil libertarians and progressives. However, the NLG had criticized the FBI for many years, which made it a large target when the bureau conducted a massive campaign of illegal surveillance in an attempt to find and eliminate communists from unions and left-wing

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