Cognition, Culture, and the Cold War Schema
It is our very commitment to human freedom and dignity that should cause us to view American anti-communism with alarm. Most disturbing to me are the many things the anti-communist does in the name of "freedom." At home we have suffered patriotic hooliganism, collective self-delusion, the propagation of political orthodoxy, the imprisonment of dissenters and the emergence of a gargantuan military establishment that devours the national treasure in the face of worsening domestic ills. Abroad, anti-communism has brought us armaments races, nuclear terror, the strengthening of oppressive autocracies, counter-revolutionary reactionism, the death and maiming of American boys, and the slaughter of far off unoffending peoples.
-- Michael Parenti ( 1969, pp. 8-9)
Communism -- they didn't give it a race, they didn't give it a sex, they didn't give it an age. And they never let me believe it was just a philosophy in a man's mind. That was my enemy out there.
-- Lieutenant William Calley ( Everett et al., 1971, p. 7)
A once-popular T-shirt depicted a dying soldier, arms outstretched, still clutching his weapon, in a slow fall into oblivion. The caption simply said, "Why?" Why do we humans insist on shooting, bombing, and starving each other? On the T-shirt, the question was rhetorical -- the wearer was not soliciting a lecture from a social scientist or historian on the causes of war. Yet, for scholars, these sorts of questions are puzzles to be pondered. Endless waves of scholarly papers are produced in quests for partial answers.