Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The New McCarthyism?

The reaction to Pax Dickinson's firing has been to compare it to the Red Scare. It does resemble the Red Scare: We have people shouting from the rooftops that they're afraid to speak above a whisper. McCarthy did not, after all, shut down political debate.

It might even resemble the Red Scare in another sense. As I've mentioned before, one reason we didn't become totalitarian during Cold War I was that early on Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy emphasized the possibility of infiltration. That meant the people most concerned about Communism tended to avoid statist solutions. (You may recall that it was Eisenhower who warned about the military–industrial complex and Nixon who abolished the draft.) It's possible that part of the reaction to the NSA scandal or the potential overreach in Syria comes from people who are worried about the possibility of racist infiltration. (We must also recall that there were some Communist infiltrators.)

Repeat after me: “I have a list in my hand of 205 racists in the National Security Agency…”

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