"I hardly recognize this country anymore. The government's got us seeing Communists in our soup!"The communist menace. Formerly a common villain source for Big Bad or henchmen villains in the Spy Drama, it's now a Discredited Trope since the end of the Cold War, although an even more Eastern revival of sorts is possible (see below). Instead, rogue former Soviet scientists tend to be in vogue in the role of the Mad Scientist who works for the Big Bad, as well as The Mafiya. The Red Scare allows any of the presumably First World heroes to suddenly have counterparts in the (Communist) Second World or (non-aligned) Third World. The Red Scare can produce all manner of reasonably honorable characters that are nevertheless rivals of the heroes or antagonists simply because of geopolitics. Likewise, the Red Scare can include elements that are meant to invoke the fear of the Cold War as well. A General Ripper character is often seen in this situation, usually on the American side but occasionally amongst the Soviets too. Expect the technically inaccurate descriptor "Russians" to be used a lot. While much of the Soviet leadership was indeed Russian, some weren't, most particularly Josef Stalin, who was Georgian (and, no, we don't mean like Jimmy Carter). The Red Scare overlaps with Dirty Communists. Red Scare focuses on the overarching effect of the Cold War while Dirty Communists are merely horrible people that serve the Soviet State but both are essentially tropes governed by propaganda against an ideology without properly dealing with what that ideology is and actual policies in the governments there. The Red Scare is different from works genuinely critical of the Soviet governments and specific aspects of the ideology. It only qualifies if it meant to invoke Cold War tensions and feelings against a "foreign" power, whether it's Russian, Vietnamese, Cuban or African communists. Communist China should also qualifies but since it became an American trading partner, this trope is far less in play, especially since China introduced market reforms and liberalism, and these days is usurping the place formerly held by Japan, as a rising Asian superpower, (see also Yellow Peril, and China Takes Over the World). See also Dirty Communists. Brown Scare is an equivalent, though less frequently-used, and fare more rarely represented, term for irrational fear of fascism or right-wing extremists. Subtropes:
— Charles Stanforth, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
- The Baroness: More the cold ladies from the country with a reputation for coldness than the dominatrix type. The Chinese version will no doubt exhibit Dragon Lady traits.
- Deep Cover Agent: The "sleeper" agents that brainwash ordinary Americans to serve the Communist ideology.
- Make the Bear Angry Again - Possible post-communism example where Russians with Rusting Rockets get their Berserk Button pressed and start going ape-shit crazy.
- Reds with Rockets and Chinese with Chopper Support.
- The Rival: Internationally and ideologically.
- Renegade Russian: A man governed by ideology, now become a man without a cause.
- Superior Firepower: Soviet Superscience and other means.
open/close all folders
- The Blacksad album Red Soul takes place in the midst of a full on Red Scare. Complete with propaganda and paranoia. There's even a Joseph McCarthy Expy in one Senator Gallo.
- Marvel has had a huge roster of communist villains, including the Super-Apes, led by the Red Ghost. In this case they ditched the xenophobic slant by making their commie leader a simpleton, and turning the apes into simian supremacists. In general, Marvel's communist villains were divided sharply along the Dirty Communists lines and The Rival.
- The Tick had a villain called the Red Scare that made a heavily modified appearance in the Live Action series.
- Superman: Red Son
- Evil Commies from The DCU are a little fewer between as DC preferred more fantastic stories than Marvel in the Silver Age, but some exist, such as the Red Panzer.
- According to a retcon, the real reason the Justice Society of America disbanded in 1951 was because Senator Joseph McCarthy cast suspicion on their patriotism by accusing them of being Communist sympathizers and the U. S. government passed a Super Registration Act. Rather than take off their masks and register with the state, the mystery-men simply retired.
- Red Star from the '60s Teen Titans comic was a deliberate subversion of this trope, played as a Worthy Opponent and meant to show that the average Russian is just as decent as the average American. They seem to have given up on that, though, as his most recent appearance circa 2006 portrays him as a tool of the repressive post-Soviet government.
- The Rocket Red Brigade served a similar purpose as Red Star except they were in Justice League International.
- Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, which was blatant propaganda that had people gust burning straw to make it look like the actually empty factories were producing goods..
- The Volgans of Invasion! and ABC Warriors - originally, they were intended to be the actual USSR, but the writers were ordered to change the names to avoid antagonising the Soviet embassy.
- The Russian Mega-Cities, East-Meg 1 and 2, in Judge Dredd were frequently treated like this in the 70s and 80s. In one story, East Meg 1 invades and actually manages to conquer Mega-City 1, forcing the Judges into guerrilla warfare.
- In one story by Wilhelm Busch, an "Inter-Nazi" appears (no relation to Those Wacky Nazis). Probably supposed to be an internationalist / social democrat. To further explain, "Nazi" is an old Bavarian and Austrian diminutive of the name Ignaz (Ignatius). Not surprisingly it has fallen into disuse since 1945...
- The New Adventures of Superboy #26-27 (1982) featured a flashback to 1962, where Superboy faced Russian spies attempting to sabotage a Project Mercury space launch, which the Boy of Steel saves (in secret, at the request of President Kennedy). Superboy tells the saboteurs: "What your bosses print in Pravda about me is lies! I am not a hoax—and you will spend a lot of time in an American prison remembering that!"
- The Fade Out deals heavily with The Hollywood Blacklist and how it ruined many people's lives.
Films — Live-Action
- James Bond and his films made use of the Red Scare even when they avoided Ian Fleming's Dirty Communists trope use. From Russia with Love, For Your Eyes Only, and The Spy Who Loved Me all deal with the West's rivalry with the Soviet Union without actually parodying the villains. Agent XXX from The Spy Who Loved Me was even a love interest.
- The Renegade Russian trope was used prominently in the movies, in order to avoid insulting the Soviet Union.
- The Hunt for Red October presents the threat of a rogue Soviet ballistic missile sub commander starting a nuclear war as the pretext for a hunt for a Defector from Commie Land.
- Rambo III is the only one of the series to explicitly deal with the Soviet Union.
- Red Dawn has both Dirty Communists elements and Red Scare elements. The remake goes with the Yellow Peril version.
- Red Scorpion has the distinction of being a Cold War movie made by a future government official.
- A recurring joke (and pun) in Clue. "Communism is just a red herring."
- Good Night, and Good Luck. took a look at the Real Life Red Scare. Notable for having people complain that the Real Life footage of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy was "over the top acting" and accuse the producers of faking it to make him look like a Strawman Political. Another case of Reality Is Unrealistic.
- Examined and subverted in the '60's comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, in which the titular Russians have accidentally run aground on a small New England island, and are just trying to get a motorboat to pull their submarine free. However, thanks to the Red Scare, the entire island promptly whips itself into a frenzy over the Russian "invaders" and bloodshed is only very narrowly averted.
- The thriller No Way Out uses a Witch Hunt for a supposed Soviet mole in the Pentagon as the cover-up for a murder committed by the Secretary of Defense. The twist is that the protagonist leading the investigation is also the person they are trying to frame, and is actually a Soviet mole.
- This plays a big part in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which is set during the time of the true Red Scare and features Dirty Communists as villains. When Indy's long-time friend becomes a traitor, the FBI suspects Indy himself, and he's nearly fired from his teaching job because of it. (The Dean manages to reduce this to a "temporary leave of absence, and resigns out of protest because of it.) A character that shows up briefly is Indy's former CO from World War II, who clearly thinks that the obsession over the Red Scare is absurd.
- In the Australian film Newsfront, Prime Minister Menzies calls for a referendum on a law outlawing the Communist Party, and enabling the imprisonment of any person that two Cabinet Ministers declare a communist. The leader of the Australian Labor Party opposes the law, saying it will lead to a police state. The newsreader threatens to resign rather than quote the latter comment because he's worried about being denounced as a communist himself.
- The notorious John Wayne vehicle Big Jim McLain goes so far as to endorse the Red Scare, showing Wayne's HUAC investigator unraveling a Communist conspiracy in Hawaii.
- More recently Trumbo, a biopic of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo focusing on The Hollywood Black List.
- Bridge Of Spies makes the American hatred for Communists in this time period abundantly clear; attorney James Donovan gets harsh glares and his family is threatened simply for doing his job of defending the Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. There is also a scene featuring American schoolchildren watching a nuclear war safety video.
- Mocked in the John Wyndham Cosy Catastrophe novel The Kraken Wakes with the minor character of Tuny; she continues to insist the Russians are behind the book's ever-escalating attacks on humanity from the depths of the sea, when it's soon made clear they couldn't possibly be doing it.
- In Shanghai Girls, which partially takes place in The Fifties,the Louie family is investigated for being Communist sympathizers. This happens because they are Chinese immigrants (only Pearl's daughter Joy was born in America) and because Joy is a member of a Communist organization at her college.
- The Astounding, the Amazing and the Unknown by Paul Malmont has several sci-fi writers during WW2 investigating Weird Science left behind by a deceased Nikola Tesla. At the same time the writers are under investigation for being members of a Communist spy ring because one of them wrote a pulp magazine story predicting the use of the atomic bomb (he got the idea from scientific journals). Two agents try to question L. Ron Hubbard on his connection with "known communists" Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov.
- In early MacGyver episodes, this was played straight. After glasnost and perestroika began in real life, however, the show's Soviet villains became hardliners who hated Gorbachev and wanted to keep the Cold War going.
- Danger Man.
- I Spy
- Star Trek: The Original Series's Chekov was an aversion of this when most of the Russians in television were of the Dirty Communists variety.
- Of course, this didn't prevent Star Trek: The Original Series from milking the Cold War for all it's worth with Klingons and The Omega Glory.
- Occasionally a point of discussion in M*A*S*H — although given the show's setting, this was to be expected. One episode in particular had Communism as a focal point of the plot; Margaret Houlihan was being investigated for having been friends, in college, with people who later turned out to be Communist sympathizers.
- A Very Special Episode of Father Knows Best called "24 Hours in Tyrant Land", commissioned by the US government, had the cast pretend to live in a horribly repressive (read: Communist) regime, after not valuing democracy enough.
- Mission: Impossible under various euphemisms.
- The "Red Glare" episode from Cold Case.
- Amerika, a 1987 mini-series that takes place ten years after the Day of the Jackboot when the Soviets took over the USA.
- The Americans is set early in the Ronald Reagan administration, so this trope is in full effect. Also shown from the U.S.S.R.'s point of view, since the main characters are both KGB Deep Cover Agents.
- Satirized by Bob Dylan in "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues", in which the POV character buys a little too much into the Red Scare:
- Many, many Foreign Wrestling Heels in Professional Wrestling. Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff, Krusher Kruschev, Boris Zhukov, and Nikolai Volkoff, to name a few. And just to play off the trope even more, every single one of them had a Fake Nationality. Even Volkoff, who was Yugoslavian rather than Russian.
- Paranoia parodies Cold War paranoia: the whole of Alpha Complex is ruled by The Computer and the biggest perceived threats are Communists, followed by Mutants and the general catch-all Traitor. In fact, the only thing worse than being a Communist is being a Commie mutant traitor.
- Furthermore, in a universe where color is used to define rank and membership in a caste system, Red (the color/rank of typical Player Characters) is the second most common, just barely above Black (the bottom of the barrel, representing chemically mind-controlled drone labor that the PCs somehow rose above, usually through
hard workaccusing a fellow citizen of treason).
- It should also be noted there are in fact Communists around, but they only exist because they decided that anything The Computer hates so fervently must have something going for it.
- Although their brand of "communism" follows the writing of John Lennon and the teachings of Groucho Marx.
- And of course, the central irony of Paranoia: Alpha Complex is for all intents and purposes a Stalinist state, although the exact flavor of totalitarianism has varied from edition to edition.
- Furthermore, in a universe where color is used to define rank and membership in a caste system, Red (the color/rank of typical Player Characters) is the second most common, just barely above Black (the bottom of the barrel, representing chemically mind-controlled drone labor that the PCs somehow rose above, usually through
- Sahuagin ("sea devils") in Dungeons & Dragons are an evil underwater openly cannibalistic (in a sort-of-sensible way: their motto is "meat is meat") race. They are also very collectivist and address each other as "comrade."
- The Crucible famously was written as an analogy for 1950s Cold War paranoia (basing its analogy around similarities between those events and the Salem Witch Trials in the late 17th century). For writing it, its author, Arthur Miller (later Mr. Marilyn Monroe), was blacklisted for a period.
- An early John Osborne play called Personal Enemy focuses on an American serviceman captured in the Korean War who refuses to be repatriated after the war ends. Throughout the play his friends and family members are accused of Communism, hounded by HUAC agents and even declared to be homosexuals.
- In That Championship Season, Scranton mayor George Sitkowski is fighting a tough battle for re-election against the younger, more dynamic Norman Sharmen. He and his former basketball coach, whom he still relies upon for life advice twenty years later and who regards Joseph McCarthy as a personal hero, have discovered that Sharmen has an uncle who was accused of being a Communist twenty years earlier, and plan to use this information to discredit him. George's former basketball teammates - among whom are one of his top donors, Phil Romano, and his campaign manager, James Daley - are sceptical, since it is now 1972 and no-one cares about Communists in the family anymore. Phil still tries to use this information to blackmail Sharmen when he refuses a side-switching donation/bribe, but Sharmen simply laughs and says it was his cousin, not his uncle, and hangs up on Phil.
- Destroy All Humans! parodies Cold War paranoia by making the citizenry brainwashed into believing all alien activity by the player character is the work of communists.
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series is this trope made into a game series.
- Part of the backstory for the Fallout universe is that the Red Scare never ended, but instead of Russia, it was Chinanote .
- Which gave us the awesome Liberty Prime, the one-robot anti-communist brainwashing army.
- When you visit Tranquility Lane, the fail-safe that ends the simulation and kills the people trapped in it manifests as Chinese commandos.
- A communist-hating book chute, of all things, gives us a pretty apt summary of pre-war America:
Book Chute: If you haven't found any communists in your backyard, you aren't looking hard enough!
- Call of Duty: Black Ops takes place in The '60s, so this trope was a given, with missions including sabotaging the Soviet missile program and stopping a plot to attack the United States with nerve gasnote . Comes complete with a plot about a Manchurian Agent, revealed to be the player character.
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has a rare case of both sides of the Cold War being afflicted with this trope (in other words, the trope being both played straight and inverted). On the American side, the American government was actually afraid that the less stalwart elements of the military/CIA would defect after The Boss managed to "defect" to the Soviet Union, even placing several key members under house arrest. On the Soviet Russian side, more specifically the Volgin faction, he attempts to justify his actions by claiming that it's either kill or be killed and that they should weed out potential threats in a manner very similar to the Red Scare in America.
- In The Bureau: XCOM Declassified XCOM started life as a counter to communist invasion or infiltration rather than aliens. All bets are off when the Sectoids attack and XCOM is the Closest Thing We Got.
- Team Fortress 2: The very patriotic Soldier believes that the enemy Heavy is a Communist. But only the enemy Heavy, not the equally-Russian Heavy from his own team.
- Heavy himself may or may not be an example. He sometimes makes 'redistributing the wealth' jokes, and has a large hammer and sickle painted on the side of one of his miniguns, but his backstory implies that he considers the KGB to be evil, as they murdered his father, and sentenced him and his family to work in a gulag.
- In one of the supplementary comics, A Cold Day In Hell, Soldier arrives in Soviet Siberia to convince Heavy to re-join the team. Soldier initially plays this trope straight, acting suspicious of the warm coats and soup offered to him by Heavy's family and allies, but apparently makes an exception for Sensual Slavs, very quickly ending up romantically entwined one of Heavy's younger sisters.
- In Housepets!, Duchess asks Boris to approach King and ask if he has purebred papers so she could use him for a dog show. Apparently he only asked King, originally a human born at the tail end of the Cold War, just for "papers". King was a bit unnerved.
King: Oh, purebred papers. For a second I thought you were asking for something else.
- Imagine if Joseph McCarthy's Un-American Activities committee had never stopped. That's one of the major turning points of A World of Laughter, a World of Tears, where the Red Scare doesn't end. At all.
- The Chaos Timeline has its own version, with the Socialists governing western Europe and the Red Pirates terrorizing the seas.
- Inverted in Reds, where a white scare holds sway during the years after the Red Revolution. Complete with many newly-elected Republican and Democratic (the few who didnt go into exile with the Military Junta or joined Harry Trumans Democratic Labor and Farmers League) members of the Peoples Deputies being prevented from taking their seats after refusing to swear the new oath of office.
- Jonny Quest TOS (1964-1965). Three episodes ("Arctic Splashdown", "Pirates From Below" and "The House of Seven Gargoyles") involved Russian or Eastern European Communist villains and three had Chinese Communist villains ("The Quetong Missile Mystery", "Terror Island" and "Monster in the Monastery").
- Downplayed in Eastern Europe and East Germany. Soviets liberated them from Nazis, while committing a few atrocities, then they installed sattelite regimes, ruthlessly suppressing opposition. They also supported post-WWII reconstruction and modernisation of economics. After The Great Politics Mess-Up, former Warsaw Pact countries fell in deep decay. The phrase "actually existing communism" was deployed by many Eastern European intellectuals since they percieved there was a divide between them and Western and Anglophone intellectuals whose experiences with Communism was on the margins of society rather than its centre.
Paul Robeson: Whatever has happened to Stalin, gentlemen, is a question for the Soviet Union...You are responsible, and your forebears, for 60 million to 100 million black people dying in the slave ships and on the plantations, and donít ask me about anybody, please.
- One side effect of the Red Scare was that it created a Crying Wolf effect when the West tried to point out actual communist atrocities. Most notably, the Cambodian genocide was originally dismissed by many as simply more anti-communist propaganda, despite the fact that it was Communist Vietnam that halted the events and liberated the survivors while Communist China, America's trading partner, backed Pol Pot, which aside from exposing America's blindness also discredited the Domino Theory that governed "containment" and revealed that communist movements were in fact diverse rather than a single monolith.
- This experience of Red Scare persecution also explained why many American communists, and also Western European ones, remained silent on Stalin and The Gulag. The persecution experienced by them in Germany, Spain, America, France before the War, and the Soviet Union's support for causes such as African-American upliftment.note and anti-colonialist movements in Africa (notably Nelson Mandela and several others) made many of them reluctant to take the Soviet Union to task. Paul Robeson pointed out to the HUAC:
- A feedback comment on an article on Fan Fic suggested, in all seriousness and in the year 2005, that supporting the right of fans to write Fan Fic made you a Communist. Not to mention this comedy gold of M.A.F.I.A.A. propaganda◊, which is a hoax but based on actual rhetoric.
- The most widely known Red Scare in America, was of course, between 1945 and 1970 (after which the doctrine of detente, or peaceful coexistence, became standard for a time), and particularly during the early 1950s, when even being suspected of having Communist sympathies could get you fired for "Un-American Activities". Despite its popularity, it did have numerous vehement opponents, among whom was President Harry Truman. The big Red Scare died out along with its poster-child Joe McCarthy's fall from grace. Indeed, Truman once said that, "I think the greatest asset that the Kremlin has is Senator McCarthy." Dwight D. Eisenhower similarly commented that the Kremlin ought to put McCarthy on their payroll. This view was reflected in The Manchurian Candidate, where an expy of McCarthy really is a Soviet agent working to discredit anti-communism and help the Communists seize control from the inside.
- As a result of McCarthyism, The Fifties enjoyed a climate of paranoia where people were blacklisted, and forbidden from getting work in a government organization or in a field related to information (education, culture, broadcasting etc.) but the stigma of blacklist meant that even fields outside this were reluctant to employ a known and alleged Communist. The paranoia extended to government projects and creepy things that NGOs created, this poster◊ from the Keep America Committee calls the following communist: The Polio Vaccine (or, as they call it, polio serum), mental hygiene (psychology), and water fluoridation. One particular legacy is the motto "In God We Trust" replacing "E Pluribus Unum" in 1956, it was sponsored as a Take That to Communist State Atheism.
- The biggest impact on the entertainment industry was of course The Hollywood Blacklist, which initially subpoenaed the Hollywood Ten (all of whom were card-carrying communists) and successfully intimidated the Motion Picture Industry to enforce the blacklist to "clean up the image"note .
- The hearings performed by HUAC were technically useless since they already had all the names, and did not fish out "new" Communist revelations. They also spread their wings and targeted non-communists and general liberals since the number of communists at Hollywood was quite small (a large number of them, but not all, left after the revelations of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact). There was no evidence that the actual communists (most of the Hollywood Ten) actually engaged in subversive activities, since it isn't clear what valuable state secrets a hack screenwriter working under strict Catholic censorship could concievably provide to Stalinnote .
- Anti-Intellectualism was also behind the investigations in the Federal Theatre of The Thirties, the proto-Commitee under Martin Dies which accused director Hallie Flanagan of producing communist propaganda for producing plays by Christopher Marlowe and Euripides, authors HUAC felt promoted class warfare. In the early '40s, before America's entry into World War II, several isolationist Senators launched a probe of Hollywood producing antifascist films that they considered unduly left-wing. They were humiliated when a studio defense counsel questioned the Senators whether they'd actually seen the films in question (Confessions of a Nazi Spy, Man Hunt, etc.) and the Senators sheepishly admitted they hadn't. The investigation ended shortly afterwards.
- Of course, there were communist spies, but the biggest catch, that of Alger Hiss, was exposed before McCarthy's Witch Hunt revved-up, and it's highly debated among historians exactly how effective these American Communist spies were as informants. The Cambridge Five in England were far bigger coups for the Kremlin than anyone in the States. It was the German scientist Klaus Fuchs who gave the crucial information that sped up the Soviet atomic program (yet he was imprisoned where the Rosenbergs, who were not as decisive, were executed). The role played by espionage in determining the Soviet program is also debated, since the Soviets discovered the Manhattan Project by simple deduction on the part of its physicistsnote . Likewise, historians also note that Stalin was too busy during the war in actually devoting attention to the atomic program and that it was after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings that he started devoting greater resources to the atomic program. The program also based itself on Nazi Germany's own nuclear program and the Soviet Union scooping up their stash of German scientists and technicians after the war (much like the Americans got Werner Von Braun).
- The ugly consequences of the Red Scare was the fact that the likes of McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover used the word Communist to justify repressive survellaince to counter actual social reform progams. The Civil Rights Movement and the advocacy for African-Americans for integration and equality, despite wide bi-partisan support, was tagged "communist" and the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. was investigated by Hoover as a communist spy, and Hoover spent most of his time in The Fifties spying on local movements rather than tackling organized crime such as The Mafia, which greatly benefitted from the distraction of federal government. On a global scale, American fears about communist expansion led them to sponsor and back several repressive regimes and governments, and sponsor a coup d'etat in Chile and Iran. This later involved Operation Condor, which used anti-Communism as an excuse to come to power and enforce oppressive policies, the effects of which obviously extended beyond supposed sympathizers and party members. The operation itself was a brutal crackdown on Communism in those countries, and once again its effects extended way beyond that.
- Concurrent with the anti-communist witch hunt was one against homosexuals employed with the government, the so-called "Lavendar Scare". The first reason for purging them was, as you'd guess, simple homophobia (they were declared "not proper persons" to employ). Secondly, because being openly homosexual could get you fired, they were vulnerable to blackmail by foreign agents who could coerce them to pass along information or be exposed. This rested on a catch-22, of course-they were only vulnerable in this way because they could not be open about their orientation. Perhaps ironically, McCarthy's chief counsel Roy Cohn was himself strongly rumored to be a closet homosexual, and this was a rumor present even in those days. The Army-McCarthy hearings, which arose when Cohn was unable to get a male friend (whom he was rumored to have a relationship with) exempted from military service causing McCarthy to accuse them of using this to interfere with his investigation of them, saw Army counsel Joseph N. Welch allude to this, infuriating Cohn. Since the hearings were broadcast on live TV, the public was exposed to McCarthy's tactics directly, contributing to his fall from grace, along with Cohn. Roy Cohn eventually died of AIDS-related illness in 1986, while still denying that he was a homosexual. Also ironically, the actual Soviet Union persecuted homosexuals as well, but the Soviets did it with the idea that homosexuality was "bourgeois decadence".
- The Red Scare is Older Than They Think; a period in 1919-1920 was called the First Red Scare. The Palmer Raids were carried out under the Wilson Administration during this time to crack down on Communists, anarchists, leftists, and various other radicals and anti-war activists. They make the McCarthy hearings look like an Oxford Union debate. Thousands of resident aliens were deported for their political beliefs, with many others imprisoned. Some states went so far as to outlaw even advocating certain political beliefs under "criminal syndicalism" laws. Like the second Red Scare from a genuine threat (the 1919 anarchist bombings) but then got completely out of control.
- Of course the Red Scare is Older Than They Think, and it has been going on since the 1850s, ever since labour rights became a large issue. A good example would be the Chartist movement in England, as well as the various debtor's prison which was abused by the government to deport radical agitators among the working classes to Australia (and wrongly colouring the perception of "criminals" who settled there).
- In the continent this was a backlash against The Enlightenment, The French Revolution and Revolutions Of 1848, which had campaigns of White Terror against agitators, jacobins and working-class rebels, who were either killed by armed thugs, deported to distant colonies, shot by occupying armies and in the case of the Paris Commune of 1871 (which killed nearly as many people as the Reign of Terror, submitted to a bloody purge). Karl Marx was himself a victim of this persecution since he was exiled from Germany and France to England for these reasons, and it was a key reason why Marx was reluctant to rule out violence.
- Indeed Fascism owed its appeal largely to its strict anti-Communist policies. Italy had its Red Scare after World War I, ending in 1922 with Benito Mussolini taking over the country. Due to the Italian people still remembering what happened the first time, post-World War II attempts at igniting a new one failed miserably, to the point that during the Cold War Italy had the strongest Communist Party of the NATO, a party that was actually in power for a while, and which because it parted ways with the Soviet Union over the invasion of Prague, allowed it to retain much of its prestige.
- Adolf Hitler did it too! aturally, Hitler's opposition to both systems rested on the assertion that they were controlled by Jews. They arose directly from the right-wing militias marshaled to fight the German communists who set up a Bavarian socialist republic.
- A similar "White Terror" happened in Taiwan, except that one ended up with a lot more people in prison (it didn't help that Red China got very, very close to retaking Taiwan after the Nationalists fled there and the threat of invasion was quite real for some time).
- Finland had its most notable Red Scare after the Civil war in 1918, which the socialist Reds lost. The communist party was banned and the Investigative Central Police started hunting Soviet spies. Ironically, the anti-communist Lapua movement became a much bigger threat to peace and order during the 1930s and the government re-focused on suppressing right-wing extremism.
- The Weimar Republic had this to a certain degree: If you compare the sentences for political motivated murder during that time, you'll find out that a member of the left wing who killed a member of the right wing was likely to be punished harder than a member of the right wing killing a member of the left wing. Society had a certain fear of Communism, and like the prejudices against jews during that time, Hitler used this whenever he could.
- Francis E. Dec, a schizophrenic with a cult following (like Plan 9 from Outer Space cult following, not Church of Happyology cult following), was so worried about the Red Scare that he tore down his brother's house's red wallpaper, and then spent months scraping the red paint that was underneath off. Granted, when the Communists are in league with the Mafia, Catholics, atheists, Nazis, Jews, blacks, the medical community, and the CIA, all under leadership of the Mad Deadly Frankenstein Computer God and for the sake of killing (or "sneak executing") Dec, you take that shit seriously.
- The Red Scare was used to legitimate the Suharto military regime in Indonesia. If you don't align with the state interest, then you're most likely a Communist sleeper cell. He was a strongman who ruled Indonesia for 32 effin' years after he toppled the previous government in a CIA-backed coup, during the escalation of The Vietnam War. These days, "beware of latent Communist danger" is never used except when you're mocking the old regime. Although the Communist taboo is not quite dead-government officials still go apeshit on any sight of a hammer and sickle, and calling someone a Communist is one of the worst insults.
- Noam Chomsky argues that this is a method of social control by accusing people who question the system of being communists.