David R. Henderson  

Gary North on Domestic Communism

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In retrospect, it is difficult to believe that Congress bothered to come to Hollywood to investigate Communist infiltration, other than for publicity. The movies that Hollywood cranked out from 1934 to 1959 were patriotic. They were socially conservative to a fault: twin beds for married couples. They were politically non-controversial. I think of Yankee Doodle Dandy. This was the era of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, and Grandpa Ike. The fact that Hollywood made The Grapes of Wrath in 1940 is hardly surprising. It had been a best-selling novel. Hollywood makes movies about best-selling novels.
This is an excerpt from Gary North, "Lost Causes on the Right," August 30, 2017. I don't normally link directly to his work. But the piece is insightful while being occasionally hilarious.

Another excerpt:

Alger Hiss at Yalta was important. That was a matter of espionage. The Left has never admitted that he was a spy, and the Left has always tried to cover up his importance at Yalta. Whittaker Chambers was right in blowing the whistle. But if we're talking about homegrown domestic Communism, the true believers who were committed to it wasted their lives, and the dedicated anti-Communists who tried to expose them wasted a lot of time and scotch tape.

Actually, I believe that some of the Left has admitted that Hiss was a spy.

The whole thing is worth reading.


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COMMENTS (6 to date)
Lorenzo from Oz writes:

He has a great pithy takedown of Marx and how cultural Marxism is not Marxism.

Thaomas writes:

One of the high school pranks I'm most proud of was to sign my civics teacher up for mailings from the SWP. She complained to our Congressman, a HUAC supporter. It was GREAT!

Alan Goldhammer writes:

I think I'm probably the same age as Mr. North and I lived through the same period, also in California (I voted for Pat Brown and not Ronald Reagan for governor). I found this essay quite disjointed and hilarious only for that reason. I looked back at his biography and found that he is a Ron Paul acolyte which says volumes to me. North's take on the shift in American movies is off by more than a decade. The rise of LA Noir in the late 1940s presaged the shift away from the traditional themes and not Elmer Gantry and Inherit the Wind which came 20 years later.

Andrew_FL writes:

North alleges that there was no "Communist propaganda in college-level textbooks in the early 1960's" a pretty incredible claim that I guess hinges on what his standard for "Communist propaganda" is. But it is difficult for me to believe that the textbooks had changed so radically from the 50s to the 60s, and Buckley pretty well documented the communist propaganda being taught, at least at Yale, in the late forties and early fifties.

Roger McKinney writes:

I think the academic communist propaganda was subtle. Samuelson's best selling econ text regularly predicted that the USSR would overtake the US as the wealthiest and most powerful nation.

Communist hysteria was very damaging because it focused attention on fighting communism and gave conservatives all the room they needed to compromise with democratic socialism. So while we intensely fought communism, we quietly became more socialists until their is nothing left for socialist Bernie Sanders to ask for than paid parental leave.

Andrew_FL writes:

@Roger McKinney-Samuelson's periodic pathetic excuses why he was wrong in each new addition but should be believed this time are one of the more hilarious bits from recent academic history.

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