Leo, J. Edgar, and Ruth

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8 Responses

  1. Brett Bellmore says:

    ” “Communism is not a political party — it is a disease.” Strong words, but strongly felt by many back then (and a few even now).”

    More than a few, and quite properly so. Revelations since the Cold war ended have only underscored this.

  2. Joe says:

    Don’t see the disease thing. What does that even mean exactly? What medicine was necessary there?

  3. Brett Bellmore says:

    It’s a metaphor.

    The CPUSA was never a real political party, it was more of an intelligence operation by the KGB. It imploded the moment they stopped funding it.

  4. Joe says:

    A word might be a “noun,” but that doesn’t really tell me THAT much about why it is given a certain label.

    The fact it was a “intelligence operation” doesn’t tell me why it is a “disease.” Also, “communism” was around long before the “KGB” or the Soviet Union existed. It is not the same thing as the “CPUSA.”

    I’d note that “communism” also was and in some ways still is — back to the 19th Century — a broad term applied to any number of things. The federal income tax, e.g., was deemed “communistic.”

  5. Brett Bellmore says:

    It’s the same thing as the CPUSA if you’re denying, in the US, that “Communism” is a political party. And Hoover didn’t live in the 19th century. He lived in the 20th century US where we were locked in an existential struggle with a block of ‘communist’ nations which were without exception hideous police states, worse than anything J. Edgar would have created, and I’m no fan of the guy.

    Sure, hie back to when “communism” didn’t have a track record. Just don’t expect those of us who lived through the Cold war to play along, or find “communists” to be amusingly eccentric. I think “more of a disease than a political party” is actually a pretty good metaphor for communism.

  6. Joe says:

    Hoover developed his beliefs in the WWI era, when anti-government violence arose from radical groups [right and left leaning] that had a violent element from the late 19th Century. Such “isms” were shared by millions of Americans, often in many peaceful ways. The Scottsboro Boys, e.g., was defended by communists.

    The inability to differentiate between “communism” as an ideology and control of the party — so that someone who went to some 1930s rally could rely on not losing her job as a college secretary fifteen years later — from the CPUSA led to excesses.

    You still haven’t actually explained to me WHY it is a “disease” [metaphor wise, the disease very well could be said to be the societal problems that led millions to think it a possible solution; it in that sense, more a symptom] and continuing to respond in ways that don’t actually answer my comments doesn’t help. I didn’t say anything about “amusingly eccentric,” for instance.

  7. Brett Bellmore says:

    Actually, I have explained it. The whole “existential struggle” bit, the “every communist nation being a hideous police state” bit. When a political philosophy results in horror every time it’s implemented, you can’t brush that off so easily.

  8. Joe says:

    How is an “existential struggle” a “disease” as such? A disease is a sickness. An existential struggle can be positive or negative.

    Also, again, “communism” is a belief structure. “Communist nations” or the CPUSA or whatever re individual organizations or units. They are not the same thing. I’m not “brushing” anything off so easy. As with “amusing eccentric,” I don’t know who you are responding to there, but it isn’t me.

    A pure form of communism as a governing philosophy was never actually implemented and it’s not a very good idea to do so. Various ideas seen as communism, as noted, is different and have been put in place.