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December 21, 2005

Blasts From the Past!--The 1950s, to Be Exact

National Review has web archives! http://store.nationalreview.com/archives/

You, too, can now learn what ex-Trot James Burnham has to teach us about the true nature of anti-McCarthyism:

The McCarthy issue was used by the American Communists as their channel back into the stream of Popular Frontism. The Communists, in fact, invented the term "McCarthyism," and devised most of the ideology that went with it.... The liberals, on a roaring civil rights jag... lowered their guard and the Communists closed.... "[A]nti-McCarthyism" as a movement... was a united front, the broadest and most successful the Communists have ever catalyzed in this country....

What Wilmoore Kendell has to teach us about the true nature of liberalism--you know, that doctrine of Harry Truman:

As this columnist never misses a chance to say, it isn't that the Liberals aren't anti-Communist; they are merely anti-Communist in a peculiar sort of way... [that] automatically exclude[s] effective anti-Communist action. And they cannot go along when the community sets out to do something about its Communists.

The magazine on Eisenhower's 1957 sending the 82nd Airborne Division to Little Rock to protect civil rights:

By what right, according to what law, do these heavily armed combat teams of the first nuclear age "pentomic" division remain and act in Arkansas? Where is the statute... that entitles these soldiers... to quarter themselves on the municipal property of the Little Rock school system? to obstruct traffic...?... to forbid citizens to assemble together?... to club and stab citizens slow to respond to shouted orders? What law authorized the rude braggadocio of General Walker?... The truth is... [t]here is no law, the bayonets have displaced the law in Little Rock.... General Walker is in Little Rock as the commander of an army of occupation... enforcing unconditional surrender. No sensible person will excluce the possibility of a domestic crisis so extreme.... [W]ould it not be prudent to reflect that when guns are released from control by law, we can never be sure what direction they will point in?

The magazine's doubts about the Fifteenth Amendment:

Although the states qualify voters, Art. I, Sec. 4 of the Constitution grants to Congress the power to make or alter... regulations concerning elections for senators and representatives. The Fifteenth Amendment prohibits the denial or abridgement of the right to vote "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."... [H]onest men may differ as to the wisdom and expediency of these grants [of power to the federal government.]...

And Frank S. Meyer on the virtues of McCarthyism:

The peculiar horror of this presidentiad of Eisenhower... [is that] everything merges into one dull blur.... It cannot grasp as real the looming threat of dehumanization that proceeds from the iron tyranny of Soviet Communism or from the soft blandishments of the Welfare States and World Government.... [T]he Era of Moderation could be fairly launched only after the censure and destruction of McCarthy. So long as there was a voice so powerful... insisting that the contemporary world presented an absolute choice between good and evil... the anesthesia could be only imperfectly administered.... What Joe McCarthy was... can[not]... be judged by weighing in the balance the niceness of his discriminations or that tactical acuity of his actions.... His was not a common role. It comes to few men to play it--sometimes to a poet, sometimes to a politician sometimes to someone of no particular position.... Joe McCarthy, who bore witness against the denial of truth that is called moderation, and died for it: "He was a prophet."...

Posted by DeLong at December 21, 2005 05:22 PM