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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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Legacies of the Spider Web

(p.256) Conclusion
Spider Web

Nick Fischer

University of Illinois Press

This conclusion discusses the legacies of the Anticommunist Spider Web and the myriad ways in which they persist in the extraordinary life span and significance of anticommunism in US politics, economy, and culture. Among the most important consequences of anticommunism was the creation of the surveillance state and the promotion of a military–industrial complex. The Spider Web also wielded significant influence in the areas of partisan politics, big business, immigration policy, political economy, and liberal anticommunism. This conclusion shows that the Spider Web's descendants used the same arguments, rhetorical tropes, and state and corporate instruments to pursue the political, economic, and social agenda of their forebears. It argues that the cooperation of liberals and labor unions in the suppression of anything that smacked of “communism” restricted public debate about how the Left might or should influence the future of America while creating an ideological void that the heirs of the Spider Web rushed to fill.

Keywords:   anticommunism, Anticommunist Spider Web, surveillance state, military–industrial complex, partisan politics, big business, immigration policy, political economy, liberal anticommunism, communism

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