“Every age has a keyhole to which its eye is pasted.”
McCarthy and Suppression
To learn what happened in the McCarthy Era is to see what is happening to us today. For the moment, we’ll ignore that Orwell wrote a darn blueprint or a “how to” suppress your people; that topic gets way too big.
The McCarthy Era lasted 22 years. It is not old news or a thing of the past, we are still trying to get our bearings again. It is hard to think straight.
First up, when we think of the McCarthy Era, we think about the witch hunt and the Red Scare and congressional hearings that led to zero convictions of someone being a communist.
But there was so much more! This era had nation-wide pressure to conform on every citizen. People had to look squeaky clean and normal and conservative for fear of being accused. Go to church, mow your lawn, smile a lot.
Let me give you an example. The writers for the Batman comic were called before congress. They wanted to know about this ward, Dick Grayson. Was Batman a homosexual predator, they asked. I know, I’m shocked too; I never thought of it that way. But the Republican perverts in congress were looking and seeing immorality everywhere.
When you look for it, you will find it. When you really want to look for it, you will see it even when it is not there. That was the Red Scare. There was a zeal in the hunt and America approved. We don’t want to become communists, we are America. Go find them. We approve of your patriotism.
Whether you see the fear of communism as a threat or not, what really matters is that the people willingly allowed themselves to be suppressed and to conform.
Today we are under a very similar thing in the MeToo movement. Wait! Don’t back up in fear like your parents did in the 1950s. We need to look at this in the abstract for clarity.
We all agree that the MeToo movement is a good thing. It is progressive, we support the right for women to work in a non-hostile environment.
Okay. We all like it. Even if you don’t like it a little bit, you’ll behave I’m sure.
The MeToo Movement has very similar elements to the McCarthy Era:
To be accused is to be guilty.
There are people who are watching you like a hawk, ready to pounce — justified and righteous. Some may have a zeal to see things that are not really there.
Keep your language conservative and careful. How you are perceived is everything. You must agree to the hunt or you are a no-good-shit.
Instead of the power of the Federal congress, we have the limitless power of the social media.
This is not a knock on the MeToo Movement. This is about conformity and suppression and peer pressure. It wasn’t until the mid-70s when the people woke up and said, “That was some messed up stuff, I need to think for myself again.”
It is like taking a ball of play-doh and squeezing it into a ball. It will take getting more and more compressed; until it starts squeezing out between your fingers. The squeezed out doh, if you will, was the sexual revolution, the women’s movement, the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement and all of our people yearning to breathe free.
Personally, I can’t see past it. I can’t imagine life after this massive need to conform. How will the people react to a new freedom? All I know is that no matter how the pendulum swings back and forth, we are always moving forward.
2 thoughts on “McCarthy and Suppression”
“Are you now or have you ever…?” Chilling words.
See: The Crucible – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crucible
The Children’s Hour – https://amzn.to/31Ifw8C
The Reign of Terror – http://bit.ly/31EMhnb
All are cautionary tales. It is the challenge of honoring the words of the victim, and protecting the rights of the accused. All amid the winds of political opportunism and institutional oppression.
Well done Kubla.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I believe the line, “have you no decency?” is what brought McCarthy down.
Its all, like, existential, man.