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As the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States intensified in the late 1940s and early 1950s, hysteria over the perceived threat posed by Communists in the U.S. became known as the Red Scare.
THIS perceived hysteria still lives on long after the war has ended. The 20th century, more radicalized approach, against communism, that was distributed by capitalist governments and corporations, is not prevalent like it was 30 years ago—the memories of this era still ring loudly inside many Baby Boomers and Generation X’s. In 2017, there continues to be an anti-commie rhetoric that is still heard all of the time but without a general knowledge of specifically what capitalists were against during that time. Exposing the corporate-media capitalist propaganda machine that was used in full force during the Red Scare in order to manipulate the minds of “free” individuals is an important moment in history because it shows how cunning and deceptive the elites really are towards us regular people.
The Cold War itself lasted all the way from 1947 until 1991. Since it was so convoluted and confusing it’s very important to study the Cold War in basic and understandable ways. Unlike any other war in history—this one wasn’t a real war per se. Rather, it was a global feeling of mutual tension on both sides and after what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki—the usage of the atomic bomb—the viciousness of war had changed forever. Conflicts did happen during the Cold War all over the world but they were all considered to be minor proxy wars and not a full blown world war—which many of us could argue was actually the case.
The Red Scare masked the entire length of the war—starting a little bit before and ended a little bit afterwards. Now 25 years after the fact, the ignorant ideological veil has fallen completely. The propaganda has been exposed but not nothing’s revoked. Even though all of it was all made up for the cause of Global American capitalism, the communism has been been tainted. Looking back at it now as an observer and not a player—it was an ideological war where the capitalist countries squeezed-out the only remaining specter—which literally was nineteenth century communism.
It’s very sad that none of those so called communist countries from the 20th century ever even became truly socialist states—they all floated somewhere between state capitalist or fascist regimes. A few countries, like Russia, had actual revolutions of the working people to usher in more socialist governments but the transition from capitalism to socialism was never made. When the media and capitalist governments told their citizens that communism was the enemy, the agents of a foreign power—they were literally printing and saying anything to scare the population and terrify them enough that they wouldn’t even look into economic alternatives even if they could see the capitalist propaganda was a complete sham.
The really sad truth is that the world has not ever seen true communism before. If you’ve ever heard that communism is a terrible and oppressive system—you were actually a hearing about a different kind of system other than socialism—probably state capitalism (not socialism.) Those stories are ancestors of the Red Scare—fables passed down from the establishment to the Baby Boomers, to the Generation X’s and this effectively scared the Y’s and Z’s into following the same mantra. But I believe that my generation, with the assistance of the internet and a globalized economy, will finally take the appropriate leaps towards a truly socialist state that concentrates on the demands of the people, the workers and not the demands of the elites and the businesses they run.
To achieve real socialism and then real communism (which comes after socialism)—the people have to be in control of everything. The PEOPLE must be the STATE itself. Right now, the corporations are the state. The rich has used their money to taint and influence our governments to point of suicide. In other words—the people has to be the government (meaning there is no government); has to be the economy (there is no corporate market); has to be the society (workers are what make up society.)
State capitalism—which is what the USSR had—is strictly the STATE controlling the MARKET. Instead of private companies like in private capitalism, there was government agencies dictating the economy. It had nothing to do with the people being in control; it had everything to do with the PARTY being in CONTROL to keep the control OVER the people. It was another sad attempt at exploiting the workers under the guise of democratic freedoms. In a nut-shell, that’s why the USSR failed because it never truly became what it sought out to be after the revolution. They had stopped their revolution once the party falsely proclaimed they had completed the transition, put their trust in a central party and essentially gave up on creating socialism.
The words communism and socialism can both be used interchangeably—they mean basically the same thing, unless you want to get really technical. Communism is to community as socialism is to society. There are of course many deeper meanings to both terms. Most notably is that socialism is a way of organizing production (the economics.) Communism is more generally used to explain the society in which socialism eventually creates (through economics.) Some people will also say that socialists are reformers—like Bernie Sanders or any other democratic socialist in government and that communists are revolutionaries who want to usher in fundamental change of the entire system through force.
There are always different perspectives to war and ideology and so, there are infinite sides to this story. The perspective I’m concentrating on is from the regular working person. That’s the class that I’m a part of and it’s the people which I’m most deeply concerned for. I write as someone who would have lived their life on the brink of poverty—just trying to make ends meet. They probably had a car, some land and/or a nice house. But most importantly, this person would have had a job and their whole life would of depended on that job. That’s what makes anyone a worker and a worker’s livelihood depends on other people—the other players in the game.
During the Red Scare the U.S. and Soviet governments and all of their allies had a ruthless grip on the thought of their own domestic working-class populations. If at any time in history the world was Big Brother, this was the time. The 20th century, new style Orwellian-like corporate media and the government both used fear mongering—using new channels of media like television—as a way to coerce and convince citizens that the war effort was winning. No criticism or debate around the respective economic systems was aloud. It was an arms race of ideologies. The business and political community started teaching a new kind of gullible people whatever they wanted. They weren’t teaching the people economics—they were using propaganda to tell people how it is now and how it was going to stay.
We proudly celebrate the tiny benefits of capitalism but at the same time we ignore the huge repercussions of the system. The residual effect on western society after being bombarded by aristocrats is still evident in our collective lack of pride in ourselves—in our own potential capital, and in our love of and desire for other people’s materials. The propaganda machine during the Scare was a false dream. It was shedding a light on only the bad parts of a very broad system—which as a whole was working fine—it was just never given a real chance, considering all the other external factors which deprived the different country of any chance of life. They shed light only on the good parts of capitalism and they ignored the bad parts. They tricked all of us. For the time being it seems that in a business dominated capitalist world, socialism can never exist. At least not yet.