Communism In The U.S. Essay

This essay has a total of 1042 words and 5 pages.

Communism In The U.S.

Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, was the originator of the
political and economic theory of Scientific Socialism (modern Communism). Communism, by
definition, is the complete control of major resources and the means of production by
government, initially in the form of autocracy. In theory, under this system all would be
equal; all would share in both work, according to their ability, and profit, according to
need. According to Marx, the proletariat, or working class, would revolt against the
bourgeoisie, or wealthy capitalist class, because of the stark contrast prevalent between
the wealthy and poor. The new economy, run by and for the people, would produce not for
profit, but for the needs of the people. Thus, abundance would rule. Marx further
predicted this revolution would occur in Western Europe, the most industrialized and
capitalist portion of the world.

During the late 1920's up until World War II, the United States went through a period of
severe economic depression, also called the "Great Depression". Multitudes of Americans
everywhere were inadequately clothed, nourished, and sheltered. As hunger and unemployment
reached never before seen levels, despair reigned. During these times Labor Union
enrollment dramatically increased and Americans were searching for a panacea to their
social and economic problems. It was at this time that groups of citizens, jobless and
hungry, looked upon Communism favorably. These individuals longed for what seemed to be a
utopian society, which they viewed in the USSR, where everyone was employed and cared for.
Communist political parties sprung up everywhere, literature and newspapers in support of
Communism proliferated. More and more, seeing the success and the promises, the enrollment
in Communist parties increased. Members of the American Communist party idealized the
leaders of the USSR, Lenin and Stalin.

American politician Joseph McCarthy led a campaign against Communist subversion in the
early 1950's. McCarthy charged several high-ranking officials with subversive activities.
Then, as chairman of the Senate subcommittee on investigations, McCarthy continued inquiry
into subversive activities in the U.S. He created much controversy with his allegations,
which were more like a modern day political "witch hunt". Americans, deeply worried about
the spread of communism, panicked with the highly publicized hearings. People were fired
from jobs and had themselves and family members physically threatened if they were
unfortunate enough to be accused of supporting Communism. There was a nationwide "Red
Scare".

After the death of USSR leader Joseph Stalin, reports were made about his method for
controlling his country. The Khrushchev Reports, as they were called, revealed the brutal
tactics that Stalin used in marshaling resources to accomplish his objectives. If discord
was detected, Stalin and his regime were quick in suppression, at any cost. This had a
disastrous affect upon the American Communist movement. For, it was Stalin that the
members of this party most highly regarded. These revelations were so disheartening that,
within two years, the membership of the American Communist party declined by more than
80%. The will of the believers had been crippled.
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