Liberalism - Straight to the source

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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:02 pm

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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source
There is no subejctivism at work here though, mary. The rulers of the market forces don't chose shit -- they are actually amongst the most tempest-tossed and wayward actors in this entire drama. Further, versed in history? These are the people who believe (insist, threaten, pray) that history is bunk. Live for today is their only mantra, in fact the only one possible..

Sucks to be a captialist..

PS mercantilism and free trade ain't the same thing, the first paragraphs above are really good:
This political economy or science of enrichment born of the merchants' mutual envy and greed, bears on its brow the mark of the most detestable selfishness. People still lived in the naive belief that gold and silver were wealth, and therefore considered nothing more urgent than the prohibition everywhere of the export of the "precious" metals. The nations faced each other like misers, each clasping to himself with both arms his precious moneybag, eyeing his neighbours with envy and distrust. Every conceivable means was employed to lure from the nations with whom one had commerce as much ready cash as possible, and to retain snugly within the customsboundary all which had happily been gathered in.

If this principle had been rigorously carried through trade would have been killed. People therefore began to go beyond this first stage. They came to appreciate that capital locked up in a chest was dead capital, while capital in circulation increased continuously. They then became more sociable, sent off their ducats as callbirds to bring others back with them, and realised that there is no harm in paying A too much for his commodity so long as it can be disposed of to B at a higher price.

On this basis the mercantile system was built. The avaricious character of trade was to some extent already beginning to be hidden. The nations drew slightly nearer to one another, concluded trade and friendship agreements, did business with one another and, for the sake of larger profits, treated one another with all possible love and kindness. But in fact there was still the old avarice and selfishness and from time to time this erupted in wars, which in that day were all based on trade jealousy. In these wars it also became evident that trade, like robbery, is based on the law of the strong hand. No scruples whatever were felt about exacting by cunning or violence such treaties as were held to be the most advantageous.

The cardinal point in the whole mercantile system is the theory of the balance of trade. For as it still subscribed to the dictum that gold and silver constitute wealth, only such transactions as would finally bring ready cash into the country were considered profitable. To ascertain this, exports were compared with imports. When more had been exported than imported, it was believed that the difference had come into the country in ready cash, and that the country was richer by that difference. The art of the economists, therefore, consisted in ensuring that at the end of each year exports should show a favourable balance over imports; and for the sake of this ridiculous illusion thousands of men have been slaughtered! Trade, too, has had its crusades and inquisitions.

The eighteenth century, the century of revolution, also revolutionised economics. But just as all the revolutions of this century were onesided and bogged down in antitheses -- just as abstract materialism was set in opposition to abstract spiritualism, the republic to monarchy, the social contract to divine right -- likewise the economic revolution did not get beyond antithesis. The premises remained everywhere in force: materialism did not attack the Christian contempt for and humiliation of Man, and merely posited Nature instead of the Christian God as the Absolute confronting Man. In politics no one dreamt of examining the premises of the state as such. It did not occur to economics to question the validity of private property. Therefore, the new economics was only half an advance. It was obliged to betray and to disavow its own premises, to have recourse to sophistry and hypocrisy so as to cover up the contradictions in which it became entangled, so as to reach the conclusions to which it was driven not by its premises but by the humane spirit of the century. Thus economics took on a philanthropic character. It withdrew its favour from the producers and bestowed it on the consumers. It affected a solemn abhorrence of the bloody terror of the mercantile system, and proclaimed trade to be a bond of friendship and union among nations as among individuals. All was pure splendour and magnificence -- yet the premises reasserted themselves soon enough, and in contrast to this sham philanthropy produced the Malthusian population theory -- the crudest, most barbarous theory that ever existed, a system of despair which struck down all those beautiful phrases about philanthropy and world citizenship. The premises begot and reared the factory system and modern slavery, which yields nothing in inhumanity and cruelty to ancient slavery. Modern economics -- the system of free trade based on Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations -- reveals itself to be that same hypocrisy, inconsistency and immorality which now confront free humanity in every sphere.

But was Smith's system, then, not an advance? Of course it was, and a necessary advance at that. It was necessary to overthrow the mercantile system with its monopolies and hindrances to trade, so that the true consequences of private property could come to light. It was necessary for all these petty, local and national considerations to recede into the background, so that the struggle of our time could become a universal human struggle. It was necessary for the theory of private property to leave the purely empirical path of merely objective inquiry and to acquire a more scientific character which would also make it responsible for the consequences, and thus transfer the matter to a universally human sphere. It was necessary to carry the immorality contained in the old economics to its highest pitch, by attempting to deny it and by the hypocrisy introduced (a necessary result of that attempt). All this lay in the nature of the case. We gladly concede that it is only the justification and accomplishment of free trade that has enabled us to go beyond the economics of private property; but we must at the same time have the right to expose the utter theoretical and practical nullity of this free trade.
I tried to bold enough highlights to get my point across. If you read just the bolded parts, doesn't that sound EXACTLY like all of the US deficit talk? Engles is telling you thats a big load of bull..
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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:04 pm

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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Check it out. Obama channels J.S. Mill to the bankers:
"My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks."

http://www.democraticunderground.com...ss=389x5384414
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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:10 pm

04-04-2009#12
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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source
Quote Originally Posted by Kid Of The Black Hole
There is no subejctivism at work here though, mary. The rulers of the market forces don't chose shit -- they are actually amongst the most tempest-tossed and wayward actors in this entire drama. Further, versed in history? These are the people who believe (insist, threaten, pray) that history is bunk. Live for today is their only mantra, in fact the only one possible..
I really disagree, I think many are very savvy of history, but its kinda moot and not worth arguing?
Sucks to be a captialist..
Sucks to be a victim of one too...
PS mercantilism and free trade ain't the same thing, the first paragraphs above are really good:

This political economy or science of enrichment born of the merchants' mutual envy and greed, bears on its brow the mark of the most detestable selfishness. People still lived in the naive belief that gold and silver were wealth, and therefore considered nothing more urgent than the prohibition everywhere of the export of the "precious" metals. The nations faced each other like misers, each clasping to himself with both arms his precious moneybag, eyeing his neighbours with envy and distrust. Every conceivable means was employed to lure from the nations with whom one had commerce as much ready cash as possible, and to retain snugly within the customsboundary all which had happily been gathered in.

If this principle had been rigorously carried through trade would have been killed. People therefore began to go beyond this first stage. They came to appreciate that capital locked up in a chest was dead capital, while capital in circulation increased continuously. They then became more sociable, sent off their ducats as callbirds to bring others back with them, and realised that there is no harm in paying A too much for his commodity so long as it can be disposed of to B at a higher price.

On this basis the mercantile system was built. The avaricious character of trade was to some extent already beginning to be hidden. The nations drew slightly nearer to one another, concluded trade and friendship agreements, did business with one another and, for the sake of larger profits, treated one another with all possible love and kindness. But in fact there was still the old avarice and selfishness and from time to time this erupted in wars, which in that day were all based on trade jealousy. In these wars it also became evident that trade, like robbery, is based on the law of the strong hand. No scruples whatever were felt about exacting by cunning or violence such treaties as were held to be the most advantageous.

The cardinal point in the whole mercantile system is the theory of the balance of trade. For as it still subscribed to the dictum that gold and silver constitute wealth, only such transactions as would finally bring ready cash into the country were considered profitable. To ascertain this, exports were compared with imports. When more had been exported than imported, it was believed that the difference had come into the country in ready cash, and that the country was richer by that difference. The art of the economists, therefore, consisted in ensuring that at the end of each year exports should show a favourable balance over imports; and for the sake of this ridiculous illusion thousands of men have been slaughtered! Trade, too, has had its crusades and inquisitions.

The eighteenth century, the century of revolution, also revolutionised economics. But just as all the revolutions of this century were onesided and bogged down in antitheses -- just as abstract materialism was set in opposition to abstract spiritualism, the republic to monarchy, the social contract to divine right -- likewise the economic revolution did not get beyond antithesis. The premises remained everywhere in force: materialism did not attack the Christian contempt for and humiliation of Man, and merely posited Nature instead of the Christian God as the Absolute confronting Man. In politics no one dreamt of examining the premises of the state as such. It did not occur to economics to question the validity of private property. Therefore, the new economics was only half an advance. It was obliged to betray and to disavow its own premises, to have recourse to sophistry and hypocrisy so as to cover up the contradictions in which it became entangled, so as to reach the conclusions to which it was driven not by its premises but by the humane spirit of the century. Thus economics took on a philanthropic character. It withdrew its favour from the producers and bestowed it on the consumers. It affected a solemn abhorrence of the bloody terror of the mercantile system, and proclaimed trade to be a bond of friendship and union among nations as among individuals. All was pure splendour and magnificence -- yet the premises reasserted themselves soon enough, and in contrast to this sham philanthropy produced the Malthusian population theory -- the crudest, most barbarous theory that ever existed, a system of despair which struck down all those beautiful phrases about philanthropy and world citizenship. The premises begot and reared the factory system and modern slavery, which yields nothing in inhumanity and cruelty to ancient slavery. Modern economics -- the system of free trade based on Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations -- reveals itself to be that same hypocrisy, inconsistency and immorality which now confront free humanity in every sphere.

But was Smith's system, then, not an advance? Of course it was, and a necessary advance at that. It was necessary to overthrow the mercantile system with its monopolies and hindrances to trade, so that the true consequences of private property could come to light. It was necessary for all these petty, local and national considerations to recede into the background, so that the struggle of our time could become a universal human struggle. It was necessary for the theory of private property to leave the purely empirical path of merely objective inquiry and to acquire a more scientific character which would also make it responsible for the consequences, and thus transfer the matter to a universally human sphere. It was necessary to carry the immorality contained in the old economics to its highest pitch, by attempting to deny it and by the hypocrisy introduced (a necessary result of that attempt). All this lay in the nature of the case. We gladly concede that it is only the justification and accomplishment of free trade that has enabled us to go beyond the economics of private property; but we must at the same time have the right to expose the utter theoretical and practical nullity of this free trade.
I tried to bold enough highlights to get my point across. If you read just the bolded parts, doesn't that sound EXACTLY like all of the US deficit talk? Engles is telling you thats a big load of bull..
Agreed, I added the bold italics to the next section, as that is the best exemplar of what I was saying, which really was just an aside, and observation from a neophyte, I forgot to say that you made a good point...
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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:11 pm

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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source
Quote Originally Posted by anaxarchos
Check it out. Obama channels J.S. Mill to the bankers:
"My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks."

http://www.democraticunderground.com...ss=389x5384414
My tines are sharpened...
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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:16 pm

04-11-2010#17
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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

The idea that Liberals are "smart" and conservatives are stupid also came from this elitist asshat. The people? Well, they are the sheeple, showing their true colors when they become "the mob".

Here is a partisan of democracy if there ever was one...

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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:22 pm

04-29-2010#19
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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Let's include that piece that Pinko put up over at PI. Sorry I haven't been able to comment about much these days, that piece was right up my alley but I'm busy workin' and the few things I might add at this point are mostly warmed over bits from past salvos against these liberal assholes. No patience on this end for reliving those discussions.

Rethinking Post-World War II Anticommunism


Journal of The Historical Society

Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 1-41

Published Online: 2 Mar 2010

Rethinking Post-World War II Anticommunism
Jennifer Delton 1

Copyright © 2010 The Historical Society and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

POSTWAR LIBERALISM WHAT LIBERALS STOOD TO GAIN THE TRUMAN ADMINISTRATION UNION PURGES AND THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST CONCLUSION



Article Text

"As a liberal, I must ask how Hiss's guilt changes anything of fundamental importance about modern American history … "1

However fiercely historians disagree about the merits of American communism, they almost universally agree that the post-World War II red scare signified a rightward turn in American politics. The consensus is that an exaggerated, irrational fear of communism, bolstered by a few spectacular spy cases, created an atmosphere of persecution and hysteria that was exploited and fanned by conservative opportunists such as Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy. This hysteria suppressed rival ideologies and curtailed the New Deal, leading to a resurgence of conservative ideas and corporate influence in government. We may add detail and nuance to this story, but this, basically, is what we tell our students and ourselves about post-World War II anticommunism, also known as McCarthyism.2 It is fundamentally the same story that liberals have told since Whittaker Chambers accused Alger Hiss of being a Communist spy in 1948.

And yet the most famous and effective anticommunist measures were carried out not by conservatives, but by liberals seeking to uphold the New Deal. It was the liberal Truman administration that chased Communists out of government agencies and prosecuted Communist Party leaders under the Smith Act. It was liberal Hollywood executives who adopted the blacklist, effectively forcing Communists out of the movie business. The labor leaders who purged Communists from their unions were, similarly, liberals. Most anticommunism—the anticommunism that mattered—was not hysterical and conservative, but, rather, a methodical and, in the end, successful attempt on the part of New Deal liberals to remove Communists from specific areas of American life, namely, the government, unions, universities and schools, and civil rights organizations. It is true that the FBI and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) helped carry out these measures, but it is a mistake to assume that J. Edgar Hoover or HUAC could have had much power without the cooperation of liberals who wanted Communists identified and driven out of their organizations.

New evidence confirming the widespread existence of Soviet agents in the U.S. government makes the Truman administration's attempts to purge Communists from government agencies seem rational and appropriate—even too modest, given what we now know.3 But even in those cases where espionage was not a threat—such as in unions, political organizations, and Hollywood—there were still good reasons for liberals to expel Communists. Communists were divisive and disruptive. They had the ability to cripple liberal organizations, especially at the local and state levels. Removing Communists from labor and political organizations was necessary for liberal Democrats like Hubert Humphrey, Chester Bowles, and Paul Douglas to be elected to Congress, where they supported Truman's Keynesian economic policies, raised the minimum wage, fought for health insurance, defended unions, taxed the rich, and laid the political groundwork for civil rights and desegregation.4

Contrary to liberals' fears at the time and historical scholarship since, a strong claim can be made that New Deal liberalism was not subverted during the early Cold War era, but rather solidified and strengthened. This claim will be greeted with skepticism because so much historical scholarship characterizes the early Cold War era as a step backward for liberals, a time when the New Deal was abandoned, Republicans gained control of Congress, corporate interests triumphed, and American society became militarized.5 But from the perspective of the twenty-first century, when conservatives have all but destroyed the New Deal state, the Cold War era seems like it might have been the most liberal era in American history, if by liberal we mean progressive tax policies (91 percent for the highest income tax bracket!), economic equality, strong unions, civil rights legislation, and acceptance of unparalleled federal power.6 Whatever radical possibilities were snuffed out in the late 1940s are less important than the triumph of liberal assumptions and political power—commonly known as the liberal consensus—that occurred with the Cold War. And that consensus was born out of liberals' anticommunist efforts.

To say that liberals were the driving force behind post-World War II anticommunism is not to deny or downplay the violation of civil liberties, the ruined lives, or the betrayal of democratic principles that resulted from these purges. This was an ugly, painful episode in American history, which is why so many liberals continue to blame conservatives for it. My aim is not so much to justify what liberals did (although I do think many of their actions can be justified), but more to challenge the entrenched—and misleading—characterization of post-World War II anticommunism as hysterical and conservative. That worn convention forces us to fit liberal New Dealers into conservative boxes and to ignore the real threat communism represented, which was not to an abstraction called "democracy," but rather to the ascendant liberal political agenda. Anticommunism did not subvert New Dealism, but rather preserved and expanded it. No new research is required to demonstrate this; all we need is a new perspective on the facts and information already at hand.


Postwar Liberalism
Abstract POSTWAR LIBERALISM WHAT LIBERALS STOOD TO GAIN THE TRUMAN ADMINISTRATION UNION PURGES AND THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST CONCLUSION

Let us begin by defining the term "liberal." By the end of the Second World War, those who called themselves liberals stood for an expansive, activist federal state that could regulate the excesses of a free market capitalist economy and balance the interests of the various organized groups in American society. During the 1930s and early 1940s they had been New Dealers, but the parameters and possibilities of the New Deal were unsettled then and so too was the term liberal.7

World War II clarified what a liberal state might look like. Radical interventions such as planned economies, cradle-to-grave welfare, or shared corporate governance were discarded as American liberals embraced regulatory and fiscal policies that worked within the framework of free market capitalism.8 The post-World War II version of liberalism sought to empower the federal government with the ability to meet the disparate needs of the various groups in American society. Laissez-faire capitalism was a myth, liberals said. The federal government had always intervened in economic matters, but usually to the benefit of industrial leaders. Tariffs, land grants to railroads, police protection for industry, and loose immigration laws were all examples of the federal government's intervention in the economy. What liberals sought was the expansion of these favors to other sectors of society, a democratization of go

vernment largesse brought about by the political organization of once marginal or inchoate groups like workers, blacks, and middle-class consumers under the aegis of the Democratic Party. The domestic policies liberals favored in the postwar era—a progressive income tax, full employment, fair employment and civil rights, economic growth through government spending, and national health insurance, for example—were designed to bring about a greater equality between different social groups, to relieve longstanding class and racial tensions, and to help individuals in all groups attain a level of economic independence that would contribute to economic growth.

Liberals who helped define the new postwar liberalism saw themselves as upholding the New Deal, not abandoning it. They included labor leaders such as Phillip Murray, Walter Reuther, and A. Philip Randolph; politicians such as Henry Wallace, Hubert Humphrey, and Chester Bowles; business leaders such as Chamber of Commerce president Eric Johnston and General Electric's Owen D. Young; and intellectuals and economists such as Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., James Wechsler, Reinhold Niebuhr, Daniel Bell, John Kenneth Galbraith, Walter Heller, and Sidney Hook. By the end of the Second World War, most—though not all—of this group had come to see communism as a form of totalitarianism that could not be reconciled with liberalism.9 As anticommunists, they honed the principles and agenda of what would become the liberal consensus, the broad bipartisan acceptance of New Deal and Cold War policies that dominated American politics from the late 1940s until the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Although their vision of an active federal state seemed to reject classical Lockean liberalism, postwar liberals insisted it did not. State activism was intended to enhance individual opportunity by leveling the economic playing field. Political freedom alone did not guarantee the economic independence so essential to real Lockean freedom, as the Depression had shown. To those who worried that increasing the power of the federal government might simply create a leviathan, a dictatorship, liberals replied that the state's power was limited by a democratic process that gave ultimate control of the government to organized groups of citizens and voters.10

Still, the underlying philosophy of postwar liberalism was a critique of the classical liberal ideas of John Locke, Adam Smith, and nineteenth-century American industrialists, which envisioned a limited role for the state in the private affairs of commerce and business. Whereas classical liberals saw individuals as the primary components of society, postwar liberals, influenced by social scientists in anthropology and sociology, believed groups were society's basic units. Even if the ends of liberal democratic government remained individual freedom and the protection of individual rights, the means by which this would occur had to take into account the group-based reality of society. In a society as large and diverse as the United States, individuals expressed their political needs and aspirations by organizing into groups. Lone individuals were powerless in the political system, but as part of a group—a union, a trade association, a civil rights organization, a political party—they could attain real power.11 With the help of their allies in education and the social sciences, liberals disseminated their ideas about the interdependence of social groups. If Americans could be made aware of how their own interests were connected to groups remote from themselves they would be more likely to give up their ideas about "rugged individualism" and accept that the purpose of democratic government was to ensure the needs and interests of all groups. Americans could be educated to understand, for instance, how a fair employment law that seemed designed for African Americans could also help their own group by making consumers and taxpayers out of a previously disfranchised group.

New Deal liberals had developed these ideas in the 1930s to sell and explain the New Deal to Americans, but postwar liberalism represented a more solid and permanent ethos. The New Deal had been a diverse, experimental, and pragmatic set of responses to the crisis of economic depression. Postwar liberalism was not a response to a particular crisis, but rather the logical, seemingly inevitable governing principle of all advanced democracies—the answer to the old "labor question." Writing in 1955, historian Richard Hofstadter noted that while deficit spending had once seemed bizarre and radical, now it was accepted because "we have learned things about the possibilities of our economy that were not dreamed of in 1933." Hofstadter continued: "While men still grow angry over federal fiscal and tax policies, hardly anyone doubts that in the calculable future it will be the fiscal role of the government that more than anything else determines the course of the economy."12 Hofstadter's blithe dismissal of those who might have opposed the government's determination of the economy—commonly known as conservatives—is indicative of liberals' belief that this question had been settled by 1955.

Since the era of the Vietnam War, historians have generally been critical of postwar liberals, who, among other things, led the United States into that conflict. Influenced by the New Left, historians of this generation—often called "revisionists"—portrayed postwar liberals as fundamentally conservative, beholden to corporate capital.13 According to revisionists, postwar liberals allowed anticommunism to destroy the left and any viable alternative for real progressivism. The resulting political order was one in which, as Robert Griffith put it, "the left was in virtual eclipse and the distinction between liberals and conservatives became one of method and technique, not fundamental principle."14 Gradualist in regard to civil rights and fixated on legislative solutions, liberals stymied the grassroots activism that could have led to real racial and economic progress. This interpretation affirms the idea that the New Deal was abandoned during the 1940s; it has been extremely influential among historians, many of whom continue to focus on radical alternatives and grassroots movements that were derailed by elites in Washington.15

Still, there have been those who, while recognizing the shortcomings of postwar liberalism, have also appreciated how truly monumental liberals' achievements were, especially given the persistent conservatism of the United States. Paul Starr's Freedom's Power, Kevin Mattson's When America Was Great, and Paul Krugman's Conscience of a Liberal all look back to the era of the liberal consensus as a time when a strong federal government promoted racial progress, economic equality, and a labor movement. It is this liberalism with which I am concerned.

(continued on following post)
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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:23 pm

What Liberals Stood to Gain
Abstract POSTWAR LIBERALISM WHAT LIBERALS STOOD TO GAIN THE TRUMAN ADMINISTRATION UNION PURGES AND THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST CONCLUSION

It has often been assumed that conservatives had the greatest motivation for attacking Communists. Under the legitimating cloak of national security, conservatives deployed traditional red-scare tactics to paint anyone who fought for social justice or a stronger welfare state as a "commie." In this way, they were able to stop the expansion of the New Deal state and to mute liberal aspirations, while at the same time furthering their own political careers. Liberal anticommunism in this scenario was mainly reactive—a self-protective, even cowardly, response to the conservative version.16

This line of reasoning is not wholly wrong, but it has two shortcomings. First, it posits that the objective of anticommunism was to thwart liberals and progressives, not to get rid of Communists. In this explanation, anticommunism is merely a pretext for the real goal of subverting progressi

ve activity in general. But progressive activity survived (albeit in altered forms); Communist activity did not. Second, most of the major anticommunist cases involved real Communists, not wrongly accused noncommunists. Except for the Loyalty-Security Program, which ensnared fellow travelers as well as Communists, most of the repression was, by and large, limited to Communists and ex-Communists.17 The problem with post-World War II anticommunism for many, including Ellen Schrecker, was not that it swept up "innocent" noncommunists, but that it criminalized membership in and support for the Communist Party. It did—and that is my point: Cold War era anticommunism was more specific in its targets, unlike the amorphous sort that followed World War I, when thousands of immigrants were deported because of vaguely defined radical activity and an underlying xenophobia.18

Instead of assuming that conservatives fomented the Cold War red scare, let us reconsider who had the most to gain from the removal of Communists from American society. Conservatives gained nothing from the disappearance of Communists because getting rid of Communists did not end the progressive, liberal activism that threatened their conception of laissez-faire individualism, limited government, and free market capitalism. Conservatives hated communism, of course, but they also hated socialism, New Dealism, and other forms of progressive activity. Communism, socialism, liberalism—it was all the same to them. Thus, their efforts were unfocused and ineffective. Not so for the liberals. Liberals could only benefit from the disappearance of Communists, who disrupted their organizations, challenged their ideas, alienated potential allies, and invited conservative repression.

Liberal anticommunists were motivated primarily by a principled rejection of Communist ideas and doctrine, which, it had finally become clear, contradicted their belief in individual freedom and democratic self-rule. Much has been written about this "awakening"; there is no need to recount it here.19 Rather, I will focus on two more practical factors that animated—and hence explain—liberal anticommunism: liberals' past experiences with Communists and liberal political aspirations in postwar America. When combined, these pragmatic factors indicate that liberals had a stronger motivation for excising Communists from American life than did conservatives.


Liberals and Communists in the Interwar Years

Conservatives like J. Edgar Hoover had a conception of communism that came from their study of it; their anticommunism was one of principle. Many liberals came to oppose communism on principled grounds as well, but their impressions of communism also came from working with Communists in myriad movements for social change over the course of almost three decades. Revisionist historians have painted a heroic picture of American communism at the grassroots level. Robin D.G. Kelley has argued that black Communists in Alabama represented an indigenous American radicalism rooted in specific historical and regional experiences. Others have shown that Communist-led unions represented grassroots democracy, won the support of their rank-and-file members, and secured substantial gains for workers and other marginalized groups.20 Such claims may well be true; I will not dispute them here. But it is also true that Communists constantly alienated the people with whom they worked. Communists were quick to make enemies. This was due in large part to their participation in an international movement that was directed from Moscow.21

The Communist Party USA's (CPUSA) connections to an international Communist movement gave the party panache, discipline, and gravitas. The old dream of an international working-class movement, dashed during World War I, was revived under Communist Party auspices and was a major reason so many American radicals joined or defended the party. It was also, however, the source of much animosity toward party members, mainly because of the infamous "party line." The party line not only required Communists to embrace unpopular policies, such as the dual-union policy of the Third Period that called for Communists to organize competing unions separate from those being organized by other labor leaders, but it also suggested that American Communists were in thrall to a foreign power that put the interests of international communism and the Soviet Union before the particular needs of social justice in America. No change to the party line did more to discredit the Communist Party than the one following the 1939 Hitler-Stalin pact, which ended the party's Popular Front policy against fascism and directed party members to oppose Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Not only did this end what had been a popular, membership-building policy, it also represented such an abrupt about-face in policy—from antifascism to accommodation with the leading fascist power—that Communist motives would forever afterward be suspect. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the policy changed back again to one of cooperation with liberals and leftists. This sequence of events, more than anything else, convinced liberals and other leftists that Communists could not be trusted. They could be used, certainly, and tolerated, perhaps, but they could not be counted on for the long-term real work of social change.

But directives from Moscow only partly explain why Communists alienated large numbers of the progressives with whom they worked. After all, there is plenty of research indicating that Communist leaders, even though they followed the party line, were not merely puppets of the Soviet Union.22 Revisionists' work is premised on the idea that Moscow was less a factor in shaping American communism than had previously been supposed. I agree. American Communists did not need Moscow to alienate progressives and other activists. Their own ideological radicalism and fierce commitment to an international Communist ideal did that. Communists' overblown rhetoric and sloganeering could be obnoxious and was often out of step with the thinking and experiences of progressives and other noncommunist activists. Calling Franklin Roosevelt a "fascist" after 1939 or describing Hubert Humphrey, then mayor of Minneapolis, as a "man of Hitlerian psychology" in 1946 confirmed to many noncommunist progressives and liberals just how out of touch Communists and their allies were with what was happening in the world.23 Communists' disdain for middle-class progressivism and legislative reform was attractive to radicals and contrarians, but frustrating if one happened to be a middle-class progressive or labor leader who just wanted to improve conditions for the working class and other disfranchised groups.

Still, the sloganeering and the contempt many Communists felt toward their erstwhile allies were not enough to turn progressives and liberals against them, given the progressive community's natural opposition to red-baiting and political repression. Rather, what led so many liberal activists to ban Communists from their organizations, what turned them into anticommunists, was Communists' propensity to infiltrate and take over their organizations. Here is Wilson Record's description of how the Communists took over the National Negro Congress (NNC) at its third annual meeting in 1940.

Party strategists prepared the resolutions beforehand, forced them through committees, and supported them on the floor with speeches that bordered on hysteria. Opposition speakers were hooted down. [NNC president A. Philip] Randolph's efforts to provide non-Communists an opportunity to express their views were sabotaged by boos, catcalls, and other disturbances.24

After gaining control, they passed a series of resolutions upholding the party line positions on the European war and African American rights. Randolph resigned from the NNC as a result and the Communists prompt

ly condemned him as part of the "frightened Negro petty bourgeoisie." In response to this episode, Randolph explicitly excluded Communists from other organizations he founded, such as the March on Washington Movement, which fought for fair employment for blacks.

Liberal Minnesotans in the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) would never have dreamed of becoming anticommunists—until Communists actually took over their party and attacked Hubert Humphrey because of his ability to win over Republican voters and corporate leaders (in other words, because of his political popularity). Eugenie Anderson, then a housewife and later an ambassador to Denmark, recalled the takeover at the 1946 DFL convention: "The methods they used, the way they marched up and down the aisle, and kept their eye on everybody, and the way they vilified Humphrey's character, said the most outrageous things against him, against you [Arthur Naftalin], against me, against all of us. … It woke me up. It woke Humphrey up."25 After that, Anderson, Humphrey, Naftalin, and their allies began their campaign to purge the Communists from the DFL, a process that included helping to found the liberal anticommunist organization, Americans for Democratic Action (ADA).

Communists' habit of taking over leftist and liberal organizations did not necessarily arise from Moscow's directives but from a fundamental contradiction in their relationship to mass movements, a contradiction which was the basis of many sectarian arguments and rifts among Communists. Communists were supposed to represent the working-class masses, yet the working-class masses almost always formed alliances with discontented bourgeois and petit-bourgeois groups like farmers, skilled workers, reformers, and even, occasionally, small business owners. The political and organizational energy for challenging the capitalist structure resided in grassroots political movements and organizations such as farmer-labor parties, labor unions, or black civil rights groups. Communists usually entered into informal alliances or federations with the working-class elements of these mass movements or organizations, but there were occasions when political circumstances or party policy led Communists to try to gain control of certain movements, parties, or organizations. Sometimes these attempts were successful, as with the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party in 1938, the NNC in 1940, and the Minnesota DFL in 1946; often they merely resulted in a split organization, as with the Federated Farmer-Labor Party in 1924.26 Either way, Communists made lifelong enemies of the people they tried to help.

Even before Cold War tensions were felt in the political arena, then, progressive organizations had started to exclude Communists. Ellen Schrecker has conceded that Communists' behavior had made them enemies within the ranks of progressive organizations and labor, so that when Cold War tensions mounted and Communist spies were found in the government, few of their former allies stepped forward to defend them from persecution.27 Schrecker sees this as a real tragedy, which, depending on your perspective, it might have been. But it also suggests that liberals' antipathy to Communists was based not on fear or antiradicalism, but rather on a history of disruptive, unpleasant experiences with them.


The Liberal Political Agenda

Liberals succeeded in getting their ideas into government through their influence in the Democratic Party. The New Deal and Franklin Roosevelt had helped them gain a foothold there; the trick after the war was to hold and expand their control of the party. At first it seemed as though the Democratic Party without Roosevelt would simply disintegrate into its quarreling components: big city machines, unions, southern whites, northern blacks, and liberal New Dealers. But liberals took the lead in reuniting these components under a program of government-secured economic growth. Keynesian spending and military contracts won over big city mayors and white Southerners, as well as workers, blacks, and consumers.28 To be sure, liberals' focus on fair employment and desegregation alienated southern Democrats, but the Republican Party also promoted fair employment and, thus, as Harry Truman famously noted to Clark Clifford, southern Democrats had nowhere else to go.29 Similarly, Truman's Cold War foreign policy alienated the more progressive or left elements of the liberal community. But they, too, as the failed Wallace campaign would soon show, had nowhere else to go.

One of the most important elements of the liberal strategy to control political discourse and the Democratic Party was anticommunism, in both its domestic and foreign policy versions. Even though many liberals, like social democrats and other progressives, had come to oppose communism on principle, they were often reluctant to trumpet this anticommunism for fear of dividing their unions and political organizations. Unity was more important than criticizing Communists and no one wanted to be a red-baiter. Hubert Humphrey, for instance, repeatedly rejected advice to attack the Communists and their allies in the DFL during 1945–1946 in order to avoid factional warfare. Philip Murray, president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), initially ignored warnings about the Communists in the CIO for the same reason.30 Responsible liberal leadership required neutral mediation between competing factions, not participation in the squabbling. But beginning in 1946, with Truman's hard-line policy toward the Soviet Union (which signified an end to whatever hopes had existed for a continuation of U.S.-Soviet cooperation), that sort of neutral aloofness became untenable. The foreign policy issue divided labor unions and political organizations, in large part because of the Communist presence in these organizations. There was no longer anything to be gained by "appeasing" (as longtime anticommunists saw it) Communists in the name of unity. There was no unity. In the ensuing struggles, Communists explicitly challenged liberals for control of local political parties (such as the DFL in Minnesota) and other progressive organizations (such as American Federation of Labor [AFL] and CIO locals across the nation). Liberals, in turn, were forced to articulate the danger of communism and the great promise of the liberal agenda.

Luckily for the liberals, the Communists and their allies supported Henry Wallace's third-party presidential campaign in 1948. Wallace's campaign opposed the militarism of the Cold War and also claimed to offer a more truly liberal program than Truman's, one that genuinely embraced civil rights for blacks. But it also had the potential to split the liberal/Democratic vote and deliver a victory to the Republicans. In Minnesota, the DFL's left-wing leadership not only attempted to align the DFL Party with Wallace's Progressive Party, thereby forcing Truman to run as an independent in Minnesota, it also sought to prevent the popular Humphrey from challenging incumbent Senator Joseph Ball, a Republican and coauthor of the antilabor Taft-Hartley Act. As the ADA explained, what was at stake in this election was the national political power of organized labor: if a Republican president were elected and Republicans retained control of Congress (secured in 1946), labor was sunk. Why would the Communists and their allies risk that outcome by supporting Wallace and refusing to support the one DFL-er who could beat Joe Ball? The absurdity of the Communist position, combined with the genuine fear that a split vote would kill what was left of the New Deal, energized the ADA in Minnesota, whose members set out to convince erstwhile Wallace supporters that Truman, the Democratic Party, and Humphrey could better represent their hopes and aspirations than Wallace and the left wing. They engaged in a ruthless, well-organized, county-by-county campaign to oust the Communists and their allies from the DFL, but they also

presented a positive program for labor, African Americans, and farmers, keeping the focus on Joe Ball and the Republicans.31 To those angry liberals who accused the ADA of red-baiting, Humphrey personally explained that this was a different kind of anticommunism, one that worked in favor of liberalism, not against it.32 In his victory over Joe Ball, Humphrey became one of eight new Democrats in the Senate, helping Democrats regain control of Congress in 1948.

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., echoed the ADA's arguments about the political necessity of defeating Wallace and marginalizing Communists in The Vital Center (1949), a manifesto that gave philosophical justification and political purpose to liberals' on-the-ground struggles against Communists in unions and local political contests. Schlesinger identified the real threat Communists in the United States posed, which was not to the status quo or to conservatives, but to the left.33 Communists were dangerous to American democracy not because they could mount a revolution (Schlesinger laughed at the idea), but because they divided and neutralized the left, and thus threatened the New Deal. The New Deal offered the only viable way to expand democracy. Schlesinger's version of New Deal liberalism, represented by the ADA, was one that had, finally, shed its debilitating and naïve utopianism. It represented nothing less than a "revival of American radicalism," pragmatic, political, and savvy.34

As the Wallace campaign indicated, Truman's Cold War foreign policy divided the liberal community. Wallace had tapped into a genuine feeling of disappointment among many liberals that Truman had abandoned Roosevelt's policy of cooperation with the Soviet Union and, worse, was militarizing the country, maintaining the draft, exaggerating the Communist threat, and branding as Communist anyone who spoke for peace.35 There were, however, also many liberals who were sorely disenchanted by the Soviet Union's actions in Eastern Europe during 1947–1948 and who not only supported a strong anticommunist foreign policy, but also helped to formulate and enact it. Such architects of the Cold War as Dean Acheson, George Kennan, Averill Harriman, and George Marshall were all liberals in their outlook, and willing to use the power of the state to stop Soviet expansion. By 1950, they would disagree with each other about the nature of Communist expansion and over containment strategies, but initially they agreed that a hard-line, realist foreign policy with regard to the Soviet Union was necessary if some semblance of free market internationalism were to survive.36

In fighting Wallace's bid for the presidency, liberals who supported Truman's foreign policy emphasized how Soviet totalitarianism subverted liberal ideals and aims. That is, they justified the Cold War largely on ideological grounds. As it turned out, however, the Cold War—its infrastructure, military contracts, and commitment to internationalism—would prove crucial to the fulfillment of the liberal domestic agenda in the 1950s and 1960s. As historian H.W. Brands has argued, the Cold War justified the increased power of the federal government, allowing the state to enact sweeping economic and social regulations in the name of national security.37 The Cold War justified a wide assortment of federal policies and programs during the 1950s, including income tax rates over 90 percent, interstate highways, farm subsidies, space programs, education, foreign aid, and even desegregation. Defense spending, which would constitute 70 percent of President Eisenhower's budgets in the 1950s, not only created union jobs, but also allowed the government to regulate contractors. Defense monies had strings attached and helped create an explicitly interdependent relationship between the government and industry—one that Eisenhower worried about, but that comported well with postwar liberal ideas about government-industry cooperation. Among the liberal regulations implemented, for instance, was one requiring contractors to practice fair employment (secured in part through the efforts of Randolph's March on Washington Movement).38

Cold War competition with the Soviet Union also spurred the United States to take steps to fulfill its promise of democracy and freedom for all people. As fair employment advocate John A. Davis told the readers of Fortune in 1952: "In a world that is about 65 percent nonwhite the Communist charge of racial exploitation in America reverberates with a crashing emphasis."39 While domestic anticommunism may have hindered grassroots civil rights activism in the South, the Cold War drew attention to America's racial hypocrisy and thus was tremendously helpful to civil rights activists who sought to persuade white people in power that racial inequality damaged American credibility in the international arena.40

It is unlikely that liberals understood the extent to which the Cold War would help them enact their program, but it is clear that they knew that Communists' continued presence in American life threatened their political viability. Communists in the government potentially threatened U.S. security and thus also the Truman administration's political viability if it did not take steps to purge them. Communist control of those organizations vital to liberal political success—unions, civil rights groups, political parties—impeded liberals' ability to win elections. If a union was divided over the Marshall Plan, or if its leaders were badmouthing the liberal candidate in a state election, or if its members were alienated by factional fighting, then its potential for unified political action on behalf of liberal candidates was diminished. If the leadership of a union or civil rights group opposed the Marshall Plan it could polarize the group, sowing division and inviting attacks from anticommunists.41 The disadvantages Communists brought to an organization—their secretiveness, their allegiance to Stalin, their unreliability, their capacity to divide, their criticism of the Truman administration, their susceptibility to attacks—combined with their diminished ability to organize made them not just unappealing but also detrimental to effective liberal organizations. They had often been more trouble than they were worth; now, in the context of the Cold War, they were poisonous. Liberals had to expunge Communists in order to save and expand their program. They were methodical in doing so and without their leadership and cooperation, HUAC and Hoover's FBI would not have had the power they did.

It is true that many liberals at the time decried anticommunism and viewed the Truman administration's measures as repressive red-baiting. They were alarmed by the ritualized renunciations that those with past connections to Communists were forced to perform before HUAC. They were horrified at the purges and the destruction of once effective unions. To show how liberalism benefited from anticommunism is not the same as showing that liberals intentionally instigated it. And yet, if we look more closely at the most significant cases of Cold War era anticommunism, those that most successfully removed Communists from political life, we will see that liberals were indeed in charge and in control.


The Truman Administration
Abstract POSTWAR LIBERALISM WHAT LIBERALS STOOD TO GAIN THE TRUMAN ADMINISTRATION UNION PURGES AND THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST CONCLUSION

In March 1947, President Truman issued Executive Order 9835, which instituted the Loyalty-Security Program. He was seeking to address the growing public and congressional concern over Communist spies in the U.S. government that had been generated by the claims of Elizabeth Bentley, Whittaker Chambers, and other Communist apostates. The program disqualified from employment in the federal government any person who belonged to the Communist Party or an organization deemed subversive by the attorney general, or any person who had a "sympat

hetic association" with such organizations. The Civil Service Commission was entrusted to carry out investigations of suspicious government employees but the FBI was heavily involved since it already had in place an investigative apparatus for identifying Communists. Ellen Schrecker estimates that between 1947 and 1956, 2,700 federal employees were dismissed as a result of this program. Historians—and many liberals—have focused on the injustices that occurred because of the loose definition of "sympathetic association," the FBI's involvement, and the widespread imitation of the program by other government agencies and employers.42 Indeed, the Loyalty-Security Program is usually "exhibit A" in the revisionist view of the Truman administration's unwarranted repression of communism, which is still widely held and taught despite evidence from the Venona transcripts and the Soviet archives that suggests we need to revise it.

In 1995, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr published The Secret World of American Communism, based on documents from the Comintern archives in Moscow. The book documented the existence of an underground arm of the CPUSA that had cooperated with Soviet intelligence agencies. That same year, the U.S. government announced the existence of Venona, a top-secret U.S. project that had captured and deciphered messages from Soviet agents in the United States to the Soviet Union beginning in 1943. Venona corroborated Haynes and Klehr's research in the Soviet archives. In 1999, they published Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, which confirmed not only that Julius Rosenberg had headed a Soviet spy ring, but also that many high-level officials in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, including Harry Dexter White, Alger Hiss, Lauchlin Currie, and Laurence Duggan, had in fact passed sensitive information to the Soviet Union just as they had been accused of doing by Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers. The Venona transcripts corroborated testimony provided to HUAC and the FBI by people widely denigrated as opportunistic informers.

Haynes and Klehr's work has been controversial. Many find their tone belligerent and "McCarthyite." Many question their reliance (in their latest book) on former KGB officer Alexander Vassiliev's notes, which cannot be verified against the original sources. Many question their ability to correctly identify codenames. Many have found discrepancies in their claims.43 The Nation's Victor Navasky has portrayed those historians who, like Haynes and Klehr, have been trying to verify the guilt of accused spies as reborn "red-hunters," every bit as hysterical as the ones from the 1940s and 1950s.44 These challenges are useful reminders of how tricky historical documentation can be, and how difficult it is to find airtight, conclusive evidence for controversial historical claims. At the same time, however, the evidence that Haynes and Klehr have found indicates, at the very least, the existence of Soviet agents in the U.S. government and research facilities, as well as confirmation that the Communist Party USA was involved in recruiting spies. Claims of Soviet espionage and the Communist Party's role in it are confirmed in less controversial works, such as David Holloway's Stalin and the Bomb (1994) and Kathryn S. Olmsted's Red Spy Queen (2002).45

Despite the ongoing disagreement about specific cases, then, materials from the Soviet archives and Venona indicate not only that Soviet espionage was far more prevalent in the United States than historians had commonly assumed, but also that hundreds of American Communists had made this espionage possible. While those spies who were clearly identified by the decryptions had been removed from their government positions by 1950, there remained several hundred unidentified individuals who were agents at large in the government. In light of this evidence, the Truman administration's response to the genuine national security threat posed by American Communists seems mild, even meek, hardly aggressive, and certainly not irrational.

Much of this information had actually been kept from Truman. In an effort to protect sources and maintain secrecy, the National Security Agency never disclosed that it had broken the code and gained access to Soviet cables coming into and out of the United States. According to Haynes and Klehr, senior Army officers in consultation with the FBI and the newly created CIA decided to keep the existence of Venona top secret, excluding even the president.46 Truman and other government officials were made aware of the content of the deciphered messages, but not of its source. The downside of this decision was that it created the appearance that the FBI was perhaps exaggerating the extent of Soviet espionage in the United States, since most of the known evidence came from ex-Communist informers and J. Edgar Hoover, neither of whom Truman trusted. Top officials in the Truman administration were skeptical—indeed, disbelieving—of Whittaker Chambers' testimony against Alger Hiss. Had Truman and Dean Acheson known that Chambers' testimony was corroborated by intercepted Soviet cables, they might not have defended Hiss and thus would not have appeared to conservatives to be "soft" on communism.47

Still, even if some sort of security measures were necessary, it can be argued that the Loyalty-Security Program was an ineffective way to address the problem. After all, those Communists most likely to be involved in espionage—the ostensible targets of the program—were neither open party members nor likely to be involved in front organizations. The only people hurt were those Communists, Communist sympathizers, and activists not likely to be involved in espionage.

It is true that the Loyalty-Security Program was fraught with inefficiencies and injustice, which have been cataloged in great depth by others.48 But that does not make it irrational or conservative. From the standpoint of liberal political viability and U.S. security, this program not only made sense but was also, on balance, a good thing. The Loyalty-Security Program succeeded in making the Communist Party and its front organizations unattractive choices for progressive political activism and expression. Whereas once progressives and activists had been attracted to the Communist Party's organizing skills and its ability to act, not just talk, the Loyalty-Security Program crippled the party, making it ineffective as a political vehicle and creating disincentives for people to join it or even sympathize with it. The Loyalty-Security Program effectively isolated the party and its front organizations and thus decreased the number of people who would be potential recruits for Soviet espionage. We might wish for a more precise strategy, one which would not have caused so much collateral damage, but given Communists' propensity for secrecy it is difficult to see what—short of doing nothing—that could have been.

The Smith Act trials of 1949, which prosecuted Communist Party leaders for advocating the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, were similarly designed to isolate and destroy the Communist Party. The government had difficulty proving that Communist Party leaders had done anything illegal, even under the vaguely defined Smith Act (which prohibited teaching, abetting, or advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government). The Communist Party did advocate the overthrow of bourgeois capitalist democracy and the establishment of communism, and certainly the most dedicated members of the party—that is, its leaders—understood this. The timing of the overthrow, however, and the exact mechanisms of its achievement were ever changing, depending on Moscow's political aims at any given time. Given the conciliatory party line during the Popular Front era and the war, and given the postwar subterfuges designed to protect the party from persecution, it was difficult for the government to prove that the

particular leaders who stood trial were guilty of plotting to overthrow the U.S. government. Still, the Communist Party was directed and funded by a hostile foreign power and as such it represented a fifth column. The government was within its rights—some would argue it had an obligation—to seek the destruction of such a party, even if it could not prove that the eleven leaders on trial had advocated the violent overthrow of the government. Rather than helping readers understand the government's quandary, historians have instead been quick to mock the government's case.49 The trial of the eleven Communist Party leaders may well have been a miscarriage of justice; the government did not actually prove the defendants' violation of the Smith Act. Moreover, the case set a precedent that spawned similarly flawed cases across the nation. At the same time, however, it was not unreasonable or hysterical for the federal government to have sought ways to marginalize and damage the Communist Party, a party controlled by a foreign enemy, a party that was known to recruit spies.

It is important to remember that government officials in the late 1940s had only just uncovered the existence of the spy rings, had only just learned that the party was a recruitment pool for spies, and had only just begun to understand the extent to which Communists had infiltrated not just the government, but also U.S. research facilities. Government officials knew there were spies in the country but they did not know how to identify them. Historians who argue that the Communist Party by the late 1940s was so weak, so beleaguered, that the government's persecution of it was unnecessary and out of proportion to the actual threat it posed tend to overlook this. Under these circumstances, it is remarkable that the Truman administration was as cognizant of the law as it was. Looking back, one is struck by how often legal strictures limited state efforts to prosecute known spies. Alger Hiss was convicted only of perjury, for instance, since the statute of limitations on espionage had run out. The government was often stymied by its lack of non-Venona corroborating evidence, and the best it could do was ease people out of sensitive positions.50

Most historians now acknowledge the existence of Soviet agents in the government, and even the role of the Communist Party in recruiting such agents, but they have not accordingly revised their understanding of the Truman administration's response to the situation. They still overemphasize the betrayal of democratic principles rather than helping students understand the need for and rationality of the government's repression of the Communist Party. In the revised edition of The Age of McCarthyism, for instance, Ellen Schrecker manages to acknowledge that "documents released from the Russian and American archives reveal that as many as two to three hundred men and women in or near the Communist Party did transmit information to Moscow" without actually changing her narrative. She continues to refer to "the alleged threat of internal communism" as an impetus for the Loyalty-Security Program, as if the existence of 200 to 300 Soviet agents in the government were not a serious threat.51 Acknowledging the evidence against Hiss, she still insists that the significant point to be taken from the case is that it—the trial, the guilty verdict, Nixon, the trip to the pumpkin patch—"gave credibility to the issue of Communists-in-government."52 What gave credibility to the idea that there were Communist spies in the government was the fact that there were Communist spies in the government. Liberals might not have believed Bentley's and Chambers' claims but there were people who did, and it turns out they were correct to have done so. Had the story turned out differently, had we learned from Soviet archives that Republicans had concocted the whole issue, then we could continue to tell the same story. But the Republicans were right on this one. Susan Jacoby asks why the confirmed existence of spies should change anything. The attack on Hiss was still an attack on the New Deal, she says.53 But if the Republicans did not make it up, if Hiss and the others really were spies, then the accusations against them were correct and the blame for the entire fiasco lies with the spies and their defenders. The Republicans merely exploited liberal missteps; that was no crime. Any party would have done the same.

Most historians readily acknowledge that political circumstances—namely, his own and fellow Democrats' reelection—do much to explain why Truman took the actions he did. This often comes off as an accusation, however, as if Truman improperly gave in to mob fear, as if he should have resisted the anticommunist tide, as if he betrayed New Deal principles.54 In retrospect, it seems clear that Truman's actions were indeed political—aimed at correcting the damage Communists had done, turning back the conservative tide, and preserving liberals' political viability in the postwar world. Truman had to show that liberals could stand tough against the Soviets. He had to show that liberals took the existence of Soviet spies in the U.S. government seriously. The measures he took to marginalize the Communist Party, then, were rational (as opposed to hysterical) on two counts. They aimed to protect the country, thereby fulfilling his presidential obligations. And they ensured his reelection, which preserved and deepened the core principles of the New Deal in the Cold War era.


Union Purges and the Hollywood Blacklist
Abstract POSTWAR LIBERALISM WHAT LIBERALS STOOD TO GAIN THE TRUMAN ADMINISTRATION UNION PURGES AND THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST CONCLUSION

The Truman administration's elimination of Communists from the government and its marginalization of the Communist Party were appropriate responses on the part of the state to a national security threat. Citizens have a right to expect that their government will take steps to protect itself from foreign infiltration. What happened in the unions and in Hollywood was different. In neither case was there a real national security threat. HUAC argued that Communist-dominated unions might stage a strike in one of the defense plants, thereby crippling U.S. defense efforts. There is, however, no evidence that the Communist Party condoned this in the postwar period or that Communist union leaders could have compelled their unions to strike in such a way. Similarly, there were concerns that Communist writers were putting subversive messages in films. In actuality, their scripts were only mildly progressive.55

In keeping with the absence of a national security threat, the state was less involved in these purges, which were led by private citizens—union leaders and Hollywood executives, who used HUAC and the FBI to accomplish the task and to provide cover for themselves. In a famous 1950 essay, philosopher Sidney Hook attempted to reconcile liberalism's belief in political freedom with anticommunist repression by distinguishing political heresy (which liberalism must tolerate) from conspiracy (which liberalism must resist). Because all Communists, whether they were really conspirators or merely heretics, defended the Communist Party, they aided and abetted conspiracy and thus were justly repressed. As a liberal, however, Hook was rightfully wary of state repression. In a liberal democracy, he argued, anticommunist repression is best left to private citizens. Let labor clean its own house, he wrote. Let teachers enforce their own standards: "This is a matter of ethical hygiene, not of politics or persecution."56 It is an argument that seems to endorse a decidedly antiliberal vigilante mentality. That aside, it helped justify liberals' attempts to purge Communists from their organizations and reminds us that the purges were in the end a primarily liberal phenomenon. Conservatives, after all, had no Communists in their organizations.


Labor U

nions

The purging of the labor unions was relatively straightforward, if painful. Nowhere did Communists have more influence than in the labor movement, particularly in the CIO. Over the course of the war, Communists had solidified their dominance in the United Electrical Workers (UE), the United Farm Equipment Workers, the National Maritime Union, the CIO-PAC, and various governing committees of the CIO.57 None of this had been done without making enemies, and in many respects the purges can be seen as another chapter in the labor movement's long history of factional divisions and power struggles. Indeed, it can be argued that United Auto Workers (UAW) president Walter Reuther used anticommunism to consolidate his faction's own power in the CIO.58 Nonetheless, most historians agree that it is impossible to separate union politics between 1947 and 1952 from the struggle to shape postwar liberalism. Labor's agenda was the liberal agenda. While Reuther always hoped that postwar liberals would be more leftist, more democratic, more progressive than they ended up being, he understood that labor needed liberals to represent its interests in Washington. Liberals, for their part, knew their political strength depended on unions.

Revisionists and labor historians like to dwell on the aroused radicalism of American workers right after the war as represented by the postwar strike wave and the noncommunist elements of the left-led unions. They posit that there was a distinct class-based vision of liberalism, a path not taken, a radical alternative embodied in the left-led unions and suppressed by anticommunism and postwar liberals' lukewarm, corporate-friendly "consensus."59 While there is evidence of radicalism, there is little to suggest that it could have become the dominant tendency. Rather than speculate about untaken paths, we need instead to pay attention to the path that was in fact taken. By 1948, Cold War priorities and rampant anticommunism (both within and outside the labor movement) made once effective Communist union leaders ineffective and Communist-led unions vulnerable to attack. The best way for the labor movement to respond to this situation was to remove the source of the problem: the Communists. From a liberal perspective, the Communists and their defenders had become a source of division and chaos that crippled the consolidation of labor as a reliable and powerful part of the Democratic Party.

The anticommunist faction started consolidating its power in 1946, when the executive board of the CIO passed a resolution prohibiting the Communist Party or any other political party from interfering with the CIO. CIO president Philip Murray supported the resolution, as did the Communists on the executive board, who were under party orders to cooperate with the organization. By the end of 1947, anticommunists had won control of the National Miners' Union and Mine Mill, and, in a hard-fought victory, Reuther had defeated the UAW's left-wing faction.60 Despite Reuther's victory, which was a victory for the anticommunist faction, there were unions that retained their Communist leadership, the largest of which was the UE, the third largest union in the CIO. The CIO expelled these left-led unions in 1949 and spent the following years raiding them and harassing their leaders.

The destruction of the UE, a once thriving and effective union, is a sad story. For our purposes, what is most important about it is that it shows how the anticommunist faction used the FBI and HUAC to interrogate, harass, and expose UE officials who were Communists. As historian Bert Cochran writes, "Government officials … intervened on behalf of the CIO against the UE in what was probably the most sustained barrage against a labor organization since the Wilson administration's attack on the IWW."61 The key words here are "on behalf of the CIO." These were not attacks on unionism per se but rather on Communists in unions, and the government here reached out to help Reuther, a former socialist, whom an auto industry representative had recently called the "most dangerous man in Detroit." The FBI and HUAC were able to harass such radical UE leaders as James Matles, Julius Emspak, and others to the extent they did because both Reuther and Truman administration officials, who might have thwarted it, allowed and welcomed it.

Labor historian and Reuther biographer Nelson Lichtenstein presents a different view of Reuther's relationship to HUAC. Lichtenstein describes HUAC's 1952 hearings on Communist infiltration of the labor unions as a "moment of near panic for Reuther," who denounced HUAC but at the same time launched an anticommunist attack on one of HUAC's targets, UAW local 600, a left-led union with strong African American leadership.62 Lichtenstein's point is that Reuther's attack on Local 600 backfired and was one of several factors that forced Reuther to realize that anticommunism was no longer a sound strategy. In 1954, Reuther (and the UAW) criticized HUAC's visit to Flint. By 1955, Reuther was reaching out to what remained of the left and had called off the campaign against the Communist-led unions. Bound by the UAW clause banning Communists from holding office, Reuther nonetheless promised to defend UAW members from having to "name names" before HUAC.63 Reuther's reversal on HUAC, which safely occurred after Communist influence in the CIO was destroyed, merely shows that he could have intervened in similar ways earlier and did not. My aim is not to criticize Reuther, but rather to point out his role in excising Communists from the labor movement.

The purges affected all union members, not just Communists and their defenders. Noncommunist union members were compelled to testify and inform on other union members, forced, in other words, to "cooperate" with the attempts to expel Communists. Many did so willingly, but others were reluctant. As unionists, the reluctant ones did not want to "rat" on their brothers and certainly did not want to help the FBI. They resented the misuse of state power and the violation of civil liberties: one's past political affiliations were none of the state's business. In the polarized atmosphere created by the purges, however, informing was very much about choosing sides. You were either defending Communists, in which case you could be fired, expelled, or held in contempt, or you were turning them in and repudiating your past, which ritualistically proved your anticommunism. There was no middle ground. This was an unpleasant episode in labor history. But it is important to remember that it was created in large part by the Communists, who claimed to be victims even as they fanned the conflict for their own benefit.


Hollywood

The purges in Hollywood had much in common with the purges in the labor movement. First, Hollywood Communists were part of the labor movement, involved during the 1930s with the Screen Actors Guild and later with the Conference of Studio Unions. What happened in Hollywood mirrored the factional struggles in the rest of the labor movement.64 Second, the purgers were private citizens, in this case liberal Hollywood executives, who cooperated and worked with HUAC. Third, like union members, many of those called upon to testify had to repudiate their pasts, inform on their friends, and name names in order to remain viable members of the community. But unlike the union purges, which were confined to the labor movement, the Hollywood purges involved producers and executives, that is, management. Also, while most historians generally regard the union purges as regrettable, they at least take them seriously as shaping the political battles of the early Cold War years. The Hollywood purges, on the other hand, are often held up as the most absurd instances of irrational hysteria.65 The weird, ritualized recantation of one's past, the industry that sprang up to
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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:29 pm

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This is something that i posted a while back regarding Mill, that might fit in here:

http://www.thebellforum.com/showthre...l+economy+mill


The following quotations are from Mill's posthumously published work on Socialism, published in the Fortnightly Review for February, March, and April 1879. It could be a quotation from almost any liberal in 2013.
Another point on which there is much misapprehension on the part of Socialists, as well as of Trades Unionists and other partisans of Labour against Capital, relates to the proportions in which the produce of the country is really shared, and the amount of what is actually diverted from those who produce it, to enrich other persons.... With respect to capital employed in business, there is in the popular notions a great deal of illusion. When, for instance, a capitalist invests £20,000 in his business and draws from it an income of suppose £2000 a year, the common impression is as if he was the beneficial owner both of the £20,000 and the £2000, while the labourers own nothing but their wages. The truth, however, is that he only obtains the two thousand pounds on condition of applying no part of the £20,000 to his own use. He has the legal control over it, and might squander it if he chose, but if he did he would not have the £2000 a year also. As long as he derives an income from his capital he has not the option of withholding it from the use of others. As much of his invested capital as consists of buildings, machinery and other instruments of production, is applied to production and is not applicable to the support or enjoyment of any one. What is so applicable (including what is laid out in keeping up or renewing the buildings and instruments) is paid away to labourers, forming their remuneration and their share in the division of the produce. For all personal purposes they have the capital and he has but the profits, which it only yields to him on condition that the capital itself is employed in satisfying, not his own wants, but those of labourers. The proportion which the profits of capital usually bear to the capital itself (or rather to the circulating portion of it) is the ratio which the capitalist's share of the produce bears to the aggregate share of the labourers.
Mill is actually saying (and seems to believe it) that a capitalist makes use of his capital for the benefit and "use of (by) others"! In his Political Economy, book 1, chapter 10, Mill's says, "We have seen that the essential requisites of production are three—labour, capital, and natural agents; the term capital including all external and physical requisites which are products of labour, the term natural agents all those which are not."
(My bolding). So, if all capital is the product of labor, then how does the above mentioned capitalist acquire his funds for investment?


Then later in his work on Socialism, Mill writes this:
Among those who call themselves Socialists, two kinds of persons may be distinguished. There are, in the first place, those whose plans for a new order of society—in which private property and individual competition are to be superseded and other motives to action substituted—are on the scale of a village community or township, and would be applied to an entire country by the multiplication of such self-acting units; of this character are the systems of Owen and Fourier, and the more thoughtful and philosophic Socialists generally. The other class, who are more a product of the continent than of Great Britain and may be called the revolutionary Socialists, propose to themselves a much bolder stroke. Their scheme is the management of the whole productive resources of the country by one central authority, the general government.
...
(T)he distinctive feature of Socialism is not that all things are in common, but that production is only carried on upon the common account, and that the instruments of production are held as common property."
...
The question to be considered is, whether this joint management is likely to be as efficient and successful as the managements of private industry by private capital. And this question has to be considered in a double aspect: the efficiency of the directing mind, or minds, and that of the simple workpeople.
And right there is the quintessential Liberal ideology in a nutshell. Peaceful, reform-minded "socialism" is "thoughtful and philosophic", while "revolutionary Socialists, propose to themselves" a "scheme" for "management" "by one central authority"! Oh, the horror! But the worse horror comes next. Is this Socialist "joint management", "likely to be as efficient and successful as the managements of private industry by private capital"? And consider that in conjunction with a "directing mind, or minds" and the "simple workpeople"!
Doesn't this outlook seems very similar to the outlook expressed by the PI folks back in '09, when they wanted us all dead? I know that the libertarians and their "Austrian" antecedents have taken as much of the air from the room as they are capable of, but just looking more deeply into some of these early Liberal heroes shows that a great deal of the contempt and antagonism directed at the working class, sits squarely at the feet of liberals - then and now.
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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:32 pm

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Originally Posted by Dhalgren View Post
This is something that i posted a while back regarding Mill, that might fit in here:

http://www.thebellforum.com/showthre...l+economy+mill


The following quotations are from Mill's posthumously published work on Socialism, published in the Fortnightly Review for February, March, and April 1879. It could be a quotation from almost any liberal in 2013.



Mill is actually saying (and seems to believe it) that a capitalist makes use of his capital for the benefit and "use of (by) others"! In his Political Economy, book 1, chapter 10, Mill's says, "We have seen that the essential requisites of production are three—labour, capital, and natural agents; the term capital including all external and physical requisites which are products of labour, the term natural agents all those which are not."
(My bolding). So, if all capital is the product of labor, then how does the above mentioned capitalist acquire his funds for investment?


Then later in his work on Socialism, Mill writes this:



Doesn't this outlook seems very similar to the outlook expressed by the PI folks back in '09, when they wanted us all dead? I know that the libertarians and their "Austrian" antecedents have taken as much of the air from the room as they are capable of, but just looking more deeply into some of these early Liberal heroes shows that a great deal of the contempt and antagonism directed at the working class, sits squarely at the feet of liberals - then and now.
It's the same crap that was inflicted upon me in 8th grade 'Social Studies'. In a nutshell we tolerate the rich because they organize and consentrate capital which is essential and beneficial to all, a necessity of civilization. The working class is clearly incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. Sounds like Ayn Rand to me.
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Re: Liberalism - Straight to the source

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:33 pm

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The American Liberal vs. The Revolutionary: Exposing the Wolves in Sheep's Clothing
Submitted by Solomon Comissiong on Tue, 05/26/2015 - 15:33

Liberals, despite their protestations, remain wedded to U.S. imperial rule in the world. They wish only that it morph into a kinder, gentler imperialism. A Revolutionary knows that the only way change will ultimately come is by way of a sustained social revolution, one that engages a critical mass to work collectively in dismantling injustice and oppression.”

“Liberals will frequently use pronouns such as, ‘we’ or ‘our’ in reference to the United States' deadly militaristic actions.”
One of the many ways to easily tell the difference between an American "Liberal" and a Revolutionary-minded American is on the topic of war. Liberals will openly use money as a primary reason why they oppose the war. They say things like, "The financial costs associated with these wars are taking away much needed resources from our schools, public works and even health care!" This is very much true, however it is not the most important reason to oppose the United States' imperialist wars. The most important reason would be that these wars destroy innocent lives and decimate entire nations. These wars rip the lives of women, children, men and elderly off of the planet. The Liberal loves to speak about the financial costs of war, however what about the human costs of these wars of aggression? Ultimately the loss of life can never be paid back. And when it comes to the United States government, they routinely get the most “bang” for their buck, slaughtering innocent civilians wholesale. In the most duplicitous manner they call it “collateral damage,” however this is mass murder – plain and simple!

Revolutionary-minded Americans oppose the US government's wars because they are imperialist and because they destroy human lives, and destabilize entire nations. Ending these wars would save countless lives and would bring us one giant step closer to peace. Naturally, this would free up trillions of dollars that could also be used to save lives (healthcare) and to empower communities (i.e., universal education, livable wages, affordable housing). We must always be primarily motivated by humanity, not simply capital. Most Liberals fail in doing this because they, like their conservative counterparts, are also devoted capitalists. There is nothing revolutionary about capitalism. Capitalism is counter-revolutionary.

“We must always be primarily motivated by humanity, not simply capital.”

These Liberals will frequently use pronouns such as, "we" or "our" in reference to the United States' deadly militaristic actions. A Revolutionary knows that this government never asked their approval when making decisions to invade and bomb other countries. They know the US government does not represent their vested interests in peace, justice and humanity. The Revolutionary knows damn well that they oppose imperialism! The average Liberal is continually stuck in an emotional quagmire desperately wanting to believe that this is ‘their’ government and not a government of and for Plutocrats. They believe they can change society by reforming the US government. A Revolutionary knows that the only way change will ultimately come is by way of a sustained social revolution, one that engages a critical mass to work collectively in dismantling injustice and oppression. They then must build a new society (and government), upon a foundation that puts humanity first and people before profits. The Revolutionary also knows that they are citizens of the world, first, and not of the United States of Imperialism! The average American Liberal has been trained to see things radically different (and not in a good radical way). They are so polluted with Americanism; they are beholden to a set of fraudulent ideals they have been indoctrinated with since childhood. Humanity is much lower on their list of priorities than their manufactured nationalism.

“Liberals scorned Bush for his war crimes, however they champion Obama’s wars, aggression and mass murder.”

The American Liberal is often a willing cheerleader for imperialism, so long as a Democrat is orchestrating that war. We need to look no further than the most recent historical example with US president Barack Obama. Since becoming president of the United States Empire, Obama has launched numerous drone strikes (far more than George W. Bush), and vastly expanded the theater of war, bombing at least seven different nations. George W. Bush lied about Iraq as a justification to bomb, invade and destabilize that country. President Obama lied about Libya, stating Muammar Gaddafi was mass killing his people, as a justification to initiate a US and NATO led bombing campaign in the North African nation. Tens of thousands of people were killed as a result. Liberals scorned Bush for his war crimes, however they champion Obama’s wars, aggression and mass murder. Ostensibly the American Liberal adores imperialism so long as it is a Democrat overseeing it. It was doubly pathetic to witness countless African-Americans supporting, or remaining silent in regard to Obama’s imperialist actions. White liberals in Democratic Party clothing have politically domesticated African-Americans. African-Americans used to oppose the United States’ imperialist wars, however since the rise of Obama they now support them. Barack Obama was the white liberal’s most perfect Trojan horse.

The American Liberal is a fraud. And as Malcolm X admonished us, liberals are foxes in sheep clothing. It is especially important that people of color recognize this simple fact: Liberals/Democrats are not our friends anymore than Conservatives/Republicans are. It is long past due that more of us develop a more revolutionary-minded way of thinking. Our humanity depends on it.

“The white conservatives aren't friends of the Negro either, but they at least don't try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the ‘smiling’ fox.”—Malcolm X

http://www.blackagendareport.com/ame...evolutionaries
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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