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Spider WebThe Birth of American Anticommunism$
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Nick Fischer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040023

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040023.001.0001

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The Mythology of Anticommunism

The Mythology of Anticommunism

(p.220) Chapter 11 The Mythology of Anticommunism
Spider Web

Nick Fischer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the myth of conspiracy theory perpetuated by anticommunists as part of an elaborate propaganda. It shows how conspiracy theory was employed as a political technique of choice for opportunistic and calculating anticommunists, who inflamed and manipulated emotions to advance their cause. It considers how anticommunism found its ultimate reason for being in the notion that the United States was being subjected to unceasing subversion by an army of largely imported Bolsheviks, socialists, syndicalists, and anarchists. Anticommunist propaganda and conspiracy theory insisted that this army was being aided by an even larger number of treacherous and gullible homegrown enemies, from radicalized trade unionists and embittered African Americans to what they call unfeminine feminists, softheaded peaceniks, and eccentric freethinkers. The chapter discusses the anticommunists' conspiracy mythology by focusing on their paranoid politics, their justifications for their disavowal of communism, and their idealization of life in America.

Keywords:   conspiracy theory, anticommunist propaganda, anticommunists, anticommunism, Bolsheviks, socialists, syndicalists, anarchists, paranoid politics, communism

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