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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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Antidemocracy and Authoritarianism

Antidemocracy and Authoritarianism

(p.244) Chapter 12 Antidemocracy and Authoritarianism
Spider Web

Nick Fischer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines antidemocracy and paranoid authoritarianism as part of the Anticommunist Spider Web. It shows how anticommunist conspiracy theory, anticommunist propaganda, and the actions of many anticommunists encouraged the destruction of democracy and its replacement by a system of government by kinship group or tribe. It argues that the propaganda issued by the Spider Web, stressing the inherent disloyalty and degeneracy of huge sections of the community, inevitably pointed toward the restriction of American citizenship to those who truly deserved it. Anticommunism sought to restrict the franchise to people of the same ethnic background and religious and political beliefs. So even though anticommunist rhetoric emphasized the virtues of republican government and the universal basis of citizenship, it ultimately sought to legitimize an antidemocratic and even authoritarian society.

Keywords:   antidemocracy, paranoid authoritarianism, Anticommunist Spider Web, conspiracy theory, anticommunist propaganda, anticommunists, democracy, citizenship, anticommunism

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