01:790:349 Lecture 4: January 26 (4)

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January 26, 2017
The united states as a superpower with its own ideas of universal “freedom” and
tendency to not play by the normal rules of international relations.
The United States of America has its own unifying ideology with the intention
of global reach.
Ultimately, America could not just defeat Germany but had to defeat the whole
regime to truly be safe (in WWII).
Some writer saw Nazi Germany as a gangster regime.
Joe McCarthy does more to discredit the red scare than he does help it.
The “Problem” of U.S. Communism:
Why was domestic communism a problem or issue to deal with for U.S.
officials?
o There was a problem of what a democratic society should do if there
is a rise in communism
o Fear of a lack of loyalty to the USA (having people be loyal to
Communist Russia instead of Democratic United States)
o Dual loyalty could be okay but when push comes to shove, who do
you align yourself with?
o Intellectual problems have to be dealt with.
o There was no point in this period where communists poised a threat to
the US government.
Problems with US Communism:
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o How do you treat communists in a democratic society where freedom
of speech is a given?
o There was definitely a dual loyalty problem going on here.
American communism by 1945 was small and not that powerful.
Sectarian Left:
United States has always had its share of radicals, though the fortunes of
such movements have ebbed and flowed over time.
Communists, socialists, anarchists, populists.
Socialist Party candidate Eugene Debs won more than one million votes in
the 1912 presidential election.
Many of these movements emerged from the disruptions and inequalities of
large-scale industrial capitalism.
o There were a series of movements that wanted to give workers
freedoms.
Many of them fought for racial equality, sex equality, or sexual freedom in
addition to strictly economic issues.
o Many of them fight for not only economic reasons but others as well.
The Left and the Great Depression:
Even as peak moments like the Debs campaign, the US radical left was
small.
But at certain moments in time, radicals found some common ground with
progressives, liberals, and mainstream political parties.
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