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Hysteria, paranoia and a hefty dose of irony


Norman Maclean's prospective production of The Crucible is timely but possibly not for the reasons he has in mind. The play is an allegory for McCarthyism, when “reds under the beds” paranoia and hysteria gripped the American public in the early years of the Cold War.

There is hysteria and paranoia in the major cities of the US today, and indeed all over Europe, generated by the Black Lives Matter movement. One of its original organisers, Patrisse Cullors, has said, “Myself and Alicia (Garza) in particular are trained organisers. We are Marxists. We are super versed on, sort of, ideological theories.”

As trained, ideological Marxists they know how to exploit an issue to rage against the existing political and social order. Marx and Engels wrote at the end of the Communist Manifesto, “Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing political and social order of things.”

The Marxists are cynically exploiting a genuine injustice like the George Floyd killing for a larger ideological purpose. Proposals such as the defunding of the police are perfectly designed to sow further chaos in the city streets, as is being experienced by the occupants of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest in Seattle, where the police are absent and where one person has died and three people have been injured in shootings since June 8.

What has this to do with McCarthyism? The hysteria and chaos today is being caused by the current communists whose forebears are in the movement McCarthy sought to root out from American society.

A powerful enabler and supporter of Black Lives Matter today is Hollywood and most of its stars who, in the 1950s, McCarthy interrogated in his quest to reveal those with Marxist leanings.

During the McCarthy era, liberal Americans were brought to their knees under the gaze of the Grand Inquisitor and his acolytes. Today, white Americans are “taking the knee” in support of a communist organisation whose ultimate aim is the overthrow of capitalism.

Theatregoers attending The Crucible should bear this irony in mind when they watch the production later this year.

Patrick Cooper