The Triumph of Countersubversion
This chapter looks at how the government began 1919 by beating a retreat from political policing, far from charging toward a Red Scare. However, much of the private-sector machinery of countersubversion still remained in place. Voluntarist groups were less concerned with constitutional restrictions on political policing than Congress or the White House and, having benefited directly from the wartime campaign, sought to continue their activities. In so doing, they tended to drift away from the basic question of national security that had shaped wartime policy and toward matters of personal interest. Having already demonstrated their efficacy, national security justifications for countersubversive activism persisted, but they became increasingly tenuous, as individual groups sought to denounce their rivals as disloyal, treasonous, and a danger to the general good.
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