AMERICA: A DOOMED HISTORY


History is like a broken record, it keeps repeating itself over and over again. Such a repetition creates a parallelism between like occurrences or events. These repetitions occur simply because there is both a fear and a demand for superior power. The nuclear arms race and the Red Scare of the 1950s is a similar occurrence of present day events. The arms race and struggle for world superiority continues, as does the government’s use of fear propaganda to stimulate the public’s involvement and support for government actions.1 Through the use of such things as fear, and colorful righteous sounding campaigns, both the Federal Governments of 1950s and present day can justify its actions.


What was the Red Scare of the 1950’s? In summary, the Red Scare is a U.S. Government sponsored anti-communist campaign based on propaganda generating fear in the politically uneducated public.2 Immediately after World War II, the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. both rushed to secure top German scientists responsible for Germany’s almost creation of a nuclear weapon. Both countries knew and understood the importance of nuclear domination. This struggle for superior power led to the



development of Russian spies among Americans connected with nuclear arms development. These spies were present in government and any where top secret information was readily available. This cell of unknown traitors led to what is commonly known as McCarthyism. Named for Senator Joe McCarthy, McCarthyism was a witch hunt intended to indicate communists in both government and the general public.3 Tactics such as blacklists, ruined lives and created public distain for many innocent people. With an overhanging fear of being dubbed a communist sympathizer, the longer term effects of social interaction equaled a highly censored level of communication.


With the United States’ new enemy, the U.S.S.R., now possessing nuclear arms capability, the federal government could not afford to allow communist Russia to extend itself throughout a weak Post World War II Europe. The U.S. was now an established world power with a sense of responsibility. No longer did the U.S. enjoy the luxury of a "hands off," isolationist approach to international politics. Instead, the U.S. felt a responsibility to police the world and protect it from communism. Thus, the Red Scare more importantly set precedence for the United States to assume the role of world protector. The assumption of such a role distinguishably parallels the U.S.’s role today.


September 11th, “the day the world stood still,” triggered a stream of events the directly relate to those of the Red Scare. Like the U.S.’s anti-communism campaign, the current anti-terrorism campaign utilizes sugar-coated fear propaganda to justify government actions.4 This time, however, with the fear of another attack on U.S. soil, the propaganda appeals directly to the public’s emotion as opposed to their lack of uneducated knowledge. The federal government justifies its campaign as its duty as a world power to rid of such a threat as terrorism. But is the government really ridding the world of terrorism? Did the government really stop the spread of communism? The two questions really address the same issue: the amount of influence the U.S. actually possesses. Another side note to consider is the parallel of the 1948 election to the 2000 election in light of the two events. Truman, like Bush, was elected, but neither had the popular vote. Is this a coincidence? Possibly; however, only time will tell.


The Red Scare and the war on terrorism are arguable attempts by the government to recruit the public for its proposed response to a difficult situation. The Federal government under Truman saw an impeding danger in the growing influence of communism in Europe. The Federal government under Bush saw an imminent danger to America by the middle based on direct attacks of American citizens on American soil. The only course of action in both cases would be to intervene. Thus, the two campaigns parallel each other, there’s no way around it. History is doomed to repetition and the government has the jusitification it needed to pursue what ever action as fitting.