“For in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark. And they knew not until the flood came and took them all away – JESUS CHRIST (Matthew 24:38-39).
The Cold war of the 1950s-80s had a significant and therefore notable effect that we must not overlook: it forced us to look at Russia for what she truly was and not as she was pictured during the 1940s (our “noble ally”). As a serious by-product, this forced us to turn our attention to our own American Communist movement. During the 1950s the American Communist Party became our chief internal enemy of our economic system and form of our government.
To round up and liquidate every communist in America I would hold to have been the mistake of the first magnitude. I do not mean to underestimate the danger that was present at the time. In those days the American communists were serving the purposes of the great enemy of the whole western world – Russia. The American communists were a traitorous bunch in our midst and they possessed frightening potentialities for harm both in our foreign relations as well as in our homeland. But the American communists were not as dangerous to us as those now underway who seek to change our internal institutions as another wholly indigenous movement.
The leaders of the current movement now actually seek to outdo us in beating Russia with whom they were marching together but a few decades ago. They are more dangerous because they are more numerous and more respectable and they are not tainted with the odium of treachery. They are more dangerous because, as a matter of fact, they are now occupying positions of great power, having in their hands immense sections of our political machinery and actually hailed as our brothers in the battle against our foreign enemies.
Every day that passes enlarges the opportunities of our internal enemies to confuse us, to arouse us and to entice us to travel the dark road that has led Europe to its doom. Acting under false colors and under a name designed to conceal their real purpose and using word chosen to deceive, they are now well advanced in a sneak attack upon our whole way of life.
Our American people, despite international wars, have been so far removed from the European sense that they have not observed very closely the play of forces which in the last 70 years has been eating away the foundations of European civilization. It is very difficult for us to credit the influence which certain human appetites and frustrations and hatreds can exercise upon the collective mind of a whole nation.
Our history had been, up to 70 years ago, one of almost continuous advance. We have encountered difficulties but we have managed somehow to struggle or blunder our way out of them. We have had no talent as a people for pessimism. In prosperity we convinced ourselves it would last forever. When recessions came we were always sure recovery was just ahead. When wars came we were quite sure they would end swiftly and when these wars ended, we fondly imagined peace would last forever. And in these days in which we live the mess we once called the “cold war” we persist in our confidence that somehow we will be saved from drifting into that kind of social disorder which has engulfed most of Europe.
Yet while we cherish these fatuous dreams the same forces that ruined Germany, Italy, France, and Britain are mobilizing to repeat their work of destruction upon the United States of America. The germs of that fatal sickness – the sickness of the twentieth century – are already fastened in the vitals of our economic and political organisms, and we have failed to recognize them despite words of warning from physicians such as Dr. Friedrich von Hayek.
To be continued …