- An unreasoning anti-communism has become a major social problem for those
who want to construct a more democratic America. McCarthyism and other forms
of exaggerated and conservative anti-communism seriously weaken democratic
institutions and spawn movements contrary to the interests of basic freedoms
and peace. In such an atmosphere even the most intelligent of Americans fear
to join political organizations, sign petitions, speak out on serious issues.
Militaristic policies are easily "sold" to a public fearful of a democratic
enemy. Political debate is restricted, thought is standardized, action is
inhibited by the demands of "unity" and "oneness" in the face of the declared
danger. Even many liberals and socialists share static and repititious participation
in the anti-communist crusade and often discourage tentative, inquiring discussion
about "the Russian question" within their ranks -- often by employing "stalinist",
"stalinoid", trotskyite" and other epithets in an oversimplifying way to discredit
- Thus much of the American anti-communism takes on the characteristics of
paranoia. Not only does it lead to the perversion of democracy and to the
political stagnation of a warfare society, but it also has the unintended
consequence of preventing an honest and effective approach to the issues.
Such an approach would require public analysis and debate of world politics.
But almost nowhere in politics is such a rational analysis possible to make.
- It would seem reasonable to expect that in America the basic issues of
the Cold War should be rationally and fully debated, between persons of every
opinion -- on television, on platforms and through other media. It would seem,
too, that there should be a way for the person or an organization to oppose
communism without contributing to the common fear of associations and public
actions. But these things do not happen; instead, there is finger-pointing
and comical debate about the most serious of issues. This trend of events
on the domestic scene, towards greater irrationality on major questions, moves
us to greater concern than does the "internal threat" of domestic communism.
Democracy, we are convinced, requires every effort to set in peaceful opposition
the basic viewpoints of the day; only by conscious, determined, though difficult,
efforts in this direction will the issue of communism be met appropriately.