The Atmosphere of Fear

The fear of communism was the driving force behind all of the social crisis during the Cold War. Citizens were constantly in fear of each others, the governmental inspection, and the invisible enemies. Whether spies actually existed or not, the common Americans were suspecting others for holding unpopular, though often harmless, ideologies or fearing their neighbors for falsely reporting them as communists. The fear of communism had caused the jailing of many screen writers, school teachers, and many other innocent citizens; the fear also powered many unnecessary spy trails and unfair jail sentences.

Perhaps if the atmosphere of fear did not exist during the cold war. The cold war could have been limited to the foreign policies instead of extending to the paranoia in the nation. If the irrational fear was not prevalent, the civil rights movements, such as NAACP, would not be as restrained; W.E.B. Du Bois, a civil rights warrior, and Paul Robeson, a prominent black actor, wouldn’t been unreasonably charged in court. Moreover, if the fear had not been so influential, the labor unions would not have been restrained by Truman’s doctrines. In many ways, the unnecessary strong fear of communism has restricted America to advance as a nation with more equality and freedom.

The influence of the atmosphere of fear is still noticeable today. For instance, although the word communism is not heavily criticized today, it nevertheless has a negative connotation. Americans are not very comfortable with communism even today. We can see that by observing the students in elementary school to high school. There are often several immature children who would unreasonably call Chinese or Russian immigrants communists as a form of mockery. The immature actions of such students can be credited to the biased American history textbooks, which often emphasize the chaotic and unpleasant communistic revolutions and de-emphasize the unjust actions of the United States.