Ron Unz – The Review March 11, 2019
As most are surely aware, the last year or two has seen a growing crackdown on free speech and free thought across the Internet, with our constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights being circumvented through the agency of monopolistic private sector corporations such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Although as yet our government has not gained the power to ban discordant views nor punish their advocates, anonymous tech company censors regularly take these steps, seemingly based upon entirely opaque and arbitrary standards which lack any power of appeal. No one really knows why some individuals are banned or “de-platformed” and others are not, and surely this looming uncertainty has imposed self-censorship upon hundreds of individuals for every publicized victim who receives an exemplary punishment.
Some critics have attacked this policy as a new form of “McCarthyism,” but this characterization seems based upon historical ignorance. Although the notorious junior senator from Wisconsin was an alcoholic prone to making reckless, unsubstantiated charges and therefore served as an extremely poor vessel for the movement he eventually came to symbolize, his accusations of massive Communist political subversion were absolutely correct and indeed somewhat understated. Over the last quarter-century, the public release of the Venona Decrypts has demonstrated that throughout most of the Franklin Roosevelt Administration and even afterward, the top levels of our national government were honeycombed with numerous spies and traitors deeply loyal to the Soviet Union rather than the United States. Today’s ritualistic denunciations of McCarthyism are made by ignorant journalists who derive their understanding of the past from misleading Hollywood dramas rather than the meticulously researched volumes produced by leading academic scholars such as John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr.
In fact, just a few years before Sen. McCarthy burst upon the national scene, control of our federal government was nearly seized by agents of Stalin. From 1941 to 1944 FDR’s Vice President was Henry Wallace, who would have succeeded to the presidency if Roosevelt had renominated him in that latter year or had died prior to early 1945. And although Wallace himself was not disloyal, his top advisors were mostly Communist agents. Indeed, he later stated that a Wallace Administration would have included Laurence Duggan as Secretary of State and Harry Dexter White as Secretary of the Treasury, thereby installing Stalinist henchmen at the top of the Cabinet, presumably supported by numerous lower-level officials of a similar political ilk. One might jokingly speculate whether the Rosenbergs—later executed for treason—would have been placed in charge of our nuclear weapons development program.
That America’s national government of the early 1940s actually came came within a hair’s breadth—or rather a heart-beat—of falling under Communist control is a very uncomfortable truth. And our history books and popular media have maintained such total silence about this remarkable episode that even among today’s well-educated Americans I suspect that fewer than five in one hundred are aware of this grim reality. Surely this should cause all sensible people to become quite cautious about blithely accepting the standard narrative of other important historical events promoted by those same sources of obfuscation.
Even leaving aside this total whitewash of Communist infiltration during the 1930s and 1940s, the measures imposed upon the supposed martyrs of that era utterly differ in degree from those visited upon today’s ideological dissenters. In the best-known cases, a few of Hollywood’s most highly-paid screenwriters saw their income dry up due to their Communist affiliations and were forced to cut back on their lavish lifestyles, a personal suffering treated with utmost sympathy in recent mainstream films produced by their spiritual descendants. Meanwhile, today’s targets of social wrath are almost always just working-stiffs, powerless nobodies fearfully voicing their controversial online opinions under a pseudonym before having their identities “doxxed” and then sometimes getting fired from their merely hum-drum jobs.