04/3/11

What do you think?

The Red Menace was one of many anticommunist movies and media that America produced during the Cold War. These movies acted as a propaganda that criticized communism and brought a negative view of it. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, a policy called “militant liberty” was used in movie productions that inserted a theme of freedom. Militant liberty shaped many viewers’ opinions of communism and instilled a Pro-American view of the nation. This was used frequently in films during 1940s to 1950 proposing anti-Nazi and anti- communist opinions to viewers.
I am sure America would be very different today if this policy had not existed. By producing many anti-communism films, the opinion of Americans towards communism had undoubtedly become negative. If this had not happened, Americans probably would have had polarized views of communism. This would definitely hurt the nation’s unity and give communism a fight chance at changing our country today.

04/1/11

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.

03/1/11

Red Scare!

The Red Scare as described by Foner was a changing point in America in 1919-1920. During this time there was a period of political intolerance inspired by the postwar strike wave and social tensions and fears brought up by the Russian Revolution.  General A.Palmer dispatched federal agents to raid the offices of radical and labor organizations throughout the country. During these raids, over 5,000 people were arrested and the government deported hundreds of immigrant radicals. Hoover also developed files on thousands of Americans suspected of holding radical political ideas. In early 1920 the Red Scare collapsed and imprisoned immigrants were released.

The reading and the political cartoon shown above bear striking resemblance. Foner did not leave out any details that are not portrayed in the image. The cartoon illustrates Uncle Sam spanking labor unions and strikes. This appears as though these organizations were disobedient children and had to be reprimanded which was what Foner describes in the chapter reading.