[Note: Names beginning with the letters ‘Mac’ rather than ‘Mc’ are located in the MAA.htm file.]
McCARTHY, Joseph (1909-1957)
U.S. Senator from Wisconsin who used extreme demagoguery to win prominence and strike fear into the rest of the ruling class with his absurd claims that the U.S. government was full of Communists and under their control. He led the “red scare” during its height from around 1950 to 1957. There were few real communists in the entire U.S. during this period, and even the so-called Communist Party USA was actually just a fairly small reformist organization. So the “red” repression was actually aimed mostly at reformists, New Deal Democrats, liberals, and sometimes even Republican politicians. Nevertheless, this de facto fascist atmosphere against any progressive change also made it even more difficult to build any revolutionary movement during this period.
The rest of the ruling class finally reined in McCarthy and censured him after he tried to take on the core ruling class institutions of the CIA, the Army and even the Eisenhower presidency. McCarthy died of alcoholism in 1957.
“McCarthy was a monster of the Republican leadership’s own creation.
By the time he claimed the national spotlight in 1950, the GOP had long been using the
dark incantations of ‘treason’ and ‘un-Americanism’ for political advantage against the
Democrats. It was only a matter of time before a specter like McCarthy began to rise up
in this toxic atmosphere. Nixon had exploited these themes to great effect in his
congressional and Senate races, as did Tom Dewey—though with less success—in his 1948
presidential campaign. Despite Truman’s victory, he was constantly on the defensive
against Republican charges that Communists were honeycombed throughout the federal
bureacracy.” —David Talbot, Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise
of America’s Secret Government (2015), p. 207.
[One could say something similar about Donald Trump; he too is a monster that is the creation of the Republican party itself and their recent demagoguery about climate change, blaming capitalism’s economic problems on immigrants and government regulations, kowtowing to other Tea Party foolishness, etc., etc. There is something inherent in bourgeois rule which leads to eventually self-defeating demagoguery, especially in times of serious economic or political confusion and crisis. The Republicans did not seek a “loose cannon” for president, but with Trump that is what their own stupidity got them. —Ed.]
Attacks on, and the sort of repression directed against both genuine revolutionaries, and much more centrally, against any reformist individuals or organizations, which characterized the demagogic activities of Joseph McCarthy (see entry above), including wild accusations that anyone who opposes them is a “Communist”.
See also: RED BAITING
McGOVERN, George (1922-2012)
Liberal American historian and U.S. Senator from South Dakota who was the Democratic Party presidential nominee in 1972, and who then lost to Richard Nixon. He won that nomination because of his outspoken opposition to the U.S. war in Vietnam which deeply divided ruling class politics in the United States.
“McGovern, who had supported Henry Wallace’s campaign for president in 1948, was probably the most left-wing major party presidential condidate in US history.” —Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols, People Get Ready (2016), p. 185. [Though this is likely true, it still only shows how phony the label “left-wing” actually is in bourgeois politics, since McGovern was certainly not in any way an opponent of the capitalist system. —Ed.]
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