The always-penetrative Thomas Frank on the Red Scare of 2009 might well have been titled Nobody’s Happy Until They’re Terrified.
And it’s this willingness to believe, with its escalating cries of “socialism” and “indoctrination” that intrigues me most. Can people really be moved to worry about communism with the Soviet Union gone? Can you really hope to gin up a red scare without almost no reds?
Sure you can. Because red scares are fun. It’s somehow ennobling to believe that our leaders have secretly betrayed us; that beneath the placid, suit-and-tie surface lurks a hideous alien philosophy; that time is running out for our country; that we alone have figured it out and now we are stepping bravely forward to give the congressman a piece of our minds
As always, the comments of Wall Street Journal readers under Tom’s pieces are a major hoot. Most amusing are the apologists for rapacious bankers waving around Hayek’s The Road To Serfdom as if it’s the only book they’ve ever read – drawing once again the link between one-bookism and foregoing one’s own identity and responsibilities.
The New Red Scare is so prevalent, not even pacifist libertarians are immune to its call – and I have not been able to escape being targeted. Justin Raimondo from Antiwar.com called me “comrade” last week! (More on that later.)