Patrick Moore on the environmental movement

February 20th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

A commenter alerted me to this book extract by Patrick Moore. First some background on Dr Moore. He was listed on the website as one of its founding members. He was a director of International for six years and President of Canada for nine years. He was on board the Rainbow Warrior when the French Government blew it up.

He says:

You could call me a Greenpeace dropout, but that is not an entirely accurate description of how or why I left the organization 15 years after I helped create it. I’d like to think Greenpeace left me, rather than the other way around, but that too is not entirely correct.

The truth is Greenpeace and I underwent divergent evolutions. I became a sensible environmentalist; Greenpeace became increasingly senseless as it adopted an agenda that is antiscience, antibusiness, and downright antihuman.

So how did this happen?

In 1982, the United Nations held a conference in Nairobi to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first UN Environment Conference in Stockholm, which I had also attended. I was one of 85 environmental leaders from around the world who were invited to craft a statement of our collective goals for environmental protection. It quickly became apparent there were two nearly opposite perspectives in the room—the antidevelopment perspective of environmentalists from wealthy industrialized countries and the prodevelopment perspective of environmentalists from the poor developing countries.

Sounds like NZ doesn’t it? Some (not all) are just anti all development.

In the early days we debated complex issues openly and often. It was a wonderful group to engage with in wide-ranging environmental policy discussions. The intellectual energy in the organization was infectious. We frequently disagreed about specific issues, yet our ultimate vision was largely shared. Importantly, we strove to be scientifically accurate. For years this had been the topic of many of our internal debates. I was the only Greenpeace activist with a PhD in ecology, and because I wouldn’t allow exaggeration beyond reason I quickly earned the nickname “Dr. Truth.” It wasn’t always meant as a compliment. Despite my efforts, the movement abandoned science and logic somewhere in the mid-1980s, just as society was adopting the more reasonable items on our environmental agenda.

So how did the movement change?

The collapse of world communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall during the 1980s added to the trend toward extremism. The Cold War was over and the peace movement was largely disbanded. The peace movement had been mainly Western-based and anti-American in its leanings. Many of its members moved into the environmental movement, bringing with them their neo-Marxist, far-left agendas. To a considerable extent the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anticapitalism and antiglobalization than with science or ecology. I remember visiting our Toronto office in 1985 and being surprised at how many of the new recruits were sporting army fatigues and red berets in support of the Sandinistas.

And hence why so many in the Greens are communists or former communists. At one stage almost half the caucus were former Maoists or Trotskyists. This is not a coincidence.

Tags: ,

48 Responses to “Patrick Moore on the environmental movement”

  1. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Gonna change your name to McCarthy, Farrar?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. AndHow (5 comments) says:

    Why is it when someone speaks out against the Greens, they are a McCarthy-ist? Just like whenever someone speaks out against the Jewish oppression of the Palestinians, they are labelled anti-Semitic?!?!? Really.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    To a considerable extent the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anticapitalism and antiglobalization than with science or ecology.

    It’s hardly happening like that here. Take honest Metiria for example: National ‘cronyism at its worst’ – telling it straight to the party faithful.

    And in other news:

    Green Party prepares to sign deal

    The Green Party is prepared to sign a deal with National and get a foothold in Government. But co-leader Metiria Turei says there are issues the party will not agree on.

    “We make no apologies for highlighting the failures of this Government, as well as trying to get them to do better,” says Ms Turei.

    ‘Memorandum of understanding’ – politics can be such an open and honest environment.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. southtop (264 comments) says:

    Moore has been called an Eco-judas, they truly hate him.
    I have been hoping he will come to NZ to speak.
    His organization is http://www.greenspirit.com

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Spam (598 comments) says:

    Maggie,

    Do some research yourself. Its not that many of them are actually hiding this information.

    Eg. Sue Bradford:
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Sue-Bradfords-legacy/tabid/209/articleID/122699/Default.aspx
    She was strongly influenced by the beliefs of Karl Marx and at 15 was a member of the Progressive Youth Movement, the youth wing of the Communist Party.

    Keith Locke:
    http://www.greens.org.nz/people/keithlocke
    There, he joined a Trotskyist group, the League for Socialist Action – a group he describes, on reflection, as a ‘political sect’, even though it was engaged in many progressive campaigns, such as against the Vietnam war.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. slightlyrighty (2,506 comments) says:

    This, I thought, was particularly telling.

    “I knew immediately that putting sustainable development into practice would be much more difficult than the protest campaigns we’d mounted over the past decade. It would require consensus and cooperation rather than confrontation and demonization. Greenpeace had no trouble with confrontation—hell, we’d made it an art form—but we had difficulty cooperating and making compromises. We were great at telling people what they should stop doing, but almost useless at helping people figure out what they should be doing instead.”

    What was that list of things the greens would ban again?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Elaycee (4,351 comments) says:

    This could almost be a cut and paste for the NZ Gweens: “To a considerable extent the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anticapitalism and antiglobalization than with science or ecology.”

    Once upon a time, the NZ Gweens maintained traction (and some sympathetic support) because of their stance on environmental issues . But nowadays, the NZ Gweens are co-led by a proud Australian communist and a self proclaimed anarchist and former member of the McGillicuddy Serious party.

    Make no bones about it – the Gween NZ agenda is seriously anti-business and totally pro socialism. But as long as the lapdog media continues to spin the Gween brand of distortions and lies, then the ragged edges of the Gweens will remain below the surface – just like an iceberg.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. peterwn (3,238 comments) says:

    Damn. I should have told a Greenpeace chugger who banged on my door that I was not interested in joining the Communist Party.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. tom hunter (4,671 comments) says:

    Surely this can’t be correct? One moderate centre-left-winger was just telling Kiwiblog yesterday:

    There’s another thing – Greens=socialism. Socialism is a much misused term – not just on Kiwiblog. I don’t actually think there is a socialist in our parliament at the moment.

    If DPF keeps this up he’ll soon be deciding whether someone is a “left winger” and then assuming that any argument from that person can be discredited by reference to the opinions or actions of any other “left winger”. A remarkable approach.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. UrbanNeocolonialist (267 comments) says:

    In the 70’s my dad was active in the anti-apartheid movement Hart, but over time it was overwhelmed by the same Socialist Unity Party types (John Minto et al) that later moved on to the environmental movement. These guys concentrated on getting themselves and their fellow believers into all the positions of power they could, paying only lip service to the actual issues. My father left in disgust.

    So as Frank Herbert said “All revolutionaries are closet aristocrats” – forget the issues, or protestations of concern for their fellow man, ultimately they just want a new power structure with them at the top.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Scott Chris (6,018 comments) says:

    Far more worrying for me as a rational green is the anti-science element in the green movement; the anti-GMs, the anti-1080s the anti-glutens, the alt. medicators, the anti-nukes.

    Provided the socialist element of the environmental movement has the environment truly at heart, I don’t have a problem with them. I have more problem with conservative conservationism and crank science. Conservatism in all its manifestations is the real monster under the bed.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. BlairM (2,316 comments) says:

    Nothing wrong with McCarthy or being a McCarthyite. Communists are scumbags who are anti-freedom and pro-control of the Lives of Others. They should be purged from our political process. (and the Venona papers proved McCarthy was right all along)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. BlairM (2,316 comments) says:

    tom- I consider DPF to be moderate centre-left, and National to be a moderate centre-left party. If there are no socialists in parliament right now (!) there are certainly no right wingers, though we do have a solitary muldoonist who represents a centrist party.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. tom hunter (4,671 comments) says:

    Blair – New Zealand is, at best, a moderate centre-left country, so it’s hardly a surprise. Too bad that, world over, that socio-economic model itself is either failing or being pulled back.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Gonna change your name to McCarthy, Farrar?

    Coudn’t be more removed from reality.
    DPF is a progressive and loyal member of the National Party, a left-leaning organisation, useful promoter of socialist ideas in NZ.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. @BoJangles (6 comments) says:

    “Sell natural gas to the Chinese? Use it ourselves? Not in America…” Sound familiar??
    Pasted from a financial post

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Good to see the green myth exposed: Guess I won’t be posting the following on The Standard:

    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/02/ground-shifts.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Scott Chris (6,018 comments) says:

    Blair M says:- “Nothing wrong with McCarthy or being a McCarthyite”

    Bollocks. He was a paranoid demagogue and a scaremonger that did such damage to the fabric of society that conservatives like you are still repeating his malignant rhetoric.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Michael (903 comments) says:

    Have seen a few protesters complaining about the proposed building on North Kumoto Wharf in Wellington. Can’t see what the issue is – it’s an ugly carpark overlooked by the ugly NZ Post building – which blocks any harbour views apart from the people in the NZ Post building – and is windswept and unsheltered from rain. The proposed building includes a new public space that can be used in all seasons, has an attractive look and design to limit wind draft.

    Perhaps the best arguement for development is the Meridian/Shed 11/Loaded Hog development – before development it was a windswept, overpriced carpark, now it’s now an attractive plaza teeming with people.

    P.S. Google “Mine your own business” if you want to understand how the international environmental movement don’t care about people. Even the trailer explains enough to make you want to strangle the first chugger you see.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    [McCarthy] was a paranoid demagogue and a scaremonger …

    +1, and I hate communism.

    Far more worrying for me as a rational green is the anti-science element in the green movement; the anti-GMs, the anti-1080s the anti-glutens, the alt. medicators, the anti-nukes.

    One of my favourite lines from Tim Minchin.

    “You know what they call alternative medicine that has been proven to work?

    Medicine.”

    Provided the socialist element of the environmental movement has the environment truly at heart, I don’t have a problem with them.

    I dont buy that. Unless you think their solutions (that just coincidentally happen to be anti-capitalist and anti-growth) will actually work, then you ought to have a problem. If the only solutions they are willing to consider have to pass some socialist filter, then you ought to have a problem. If they reject people who are pro-market, anti-government, AND pro-environment (a combination far too many “environmentalists” reject as impossible), then you ought to have a problem.

    The socialist element can honestly want to help the environment and still be an impediment to the cause. Their intentions count for nothing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    It is difficult to estimate the number of victims of McCarthyism. The number imprisoned is in the hundreds, and some ten or twelve thousand lost their jobs.[43] In many cases simply being subpoenaed by HUAC or one of the other committees was sufficient cause to be fired.[44] Many of those who were imprisoned, lost their jobs or were questioned by committees did in fact have a past or present connection of some kind with the Communist Party. But for the vast majority, both the potential for them to do harm to the nation and the nature of their communist affiliation were tenuous.[45] Suspected homosexuality was also a common cause for being targeted by McCarthyism. The hunt for “sexual perverts”, who were presumed to be subversive by nature, resulted in thousands being harassed and denied employment.[46]

    In the film industry, over 300 actors, authors and directors were denied work in the U.S. through the unofficial Hollywood blacklist. Blacklists were at work throughout the entertainment industry, in universities and schools at all levels, in the legal profession, and in many other fields. A port security program initiated by the Coast Guard shortly after the start of the Korean War required a review of every maritime worker who loaded or worked aboard any American ship, regardless of cargo or destination. As with other loyalty-security reviews of McCarthyism, the identities of any accusers and even the nature of any accusations were typically kept secret from the accused. Nearly 3,000 seamen and longshoremen lost their jobs due to this program alone

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    The current caucus are pretty extreme left-wing too. Maybe they haven’t joined the Communist Party (Russel did), but it’s pretty obvious that many of them are raving socialists. We know Metiria is supposed to be an Anarchist. Keith Locke is a Trotskyist, if I recall correctly. Then there are the new MPs maiden speeches:

    “Individualism locks in inequality and oppression and as a result we all lose out.”

    “We are all beneficiaries and should be proud to be so.”

    “the proud tradition of the New Zealand welfare state.”

    From three of the different speeches. It is a shame that the Green party is not an eco-centrist party, like it in fact is in many other countries. The NZ Greens deserve their nickname the watermelon party – they call themselves Green, and market themselves as being caring etc, etc, and they picked up a lot of votes thanks to their clever marketing (capitalists!), but they are mostly communists underneath. It’s frightening. I don’t think people knew what they were voting for when they ticked next to Green party. Did they realise they were electing the hard left of New Zealand politics?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    It is difficult to estimate the number of victims of McCarthyism.

    Meanwhile in Communist Russia…

    Yes, McCarthyism was bad, but lets not lose perspective here. A few thousand people lost their jobs?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Have seen a few protesters complaining about the proposed building on North Kumoto Wharf in Wellington.

    Yes, all of them from the posh suburb of Wadestown, which is populated by Chardonnay socialists and NIMBYs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. moaningmoa (68 comments) says:

    The greatest tragedy of the green movement is that by associating it self with the far left political doctrines, is that it effectively neutered itself from achieving any movement on the true environmental issues.

    Rid themselves of the communist/nutcase wing, and they could work with either side to rationally debate environmental issues, without being viewed as a bunch of watermelon nutjobs.

    Also having worked in the Meridian building, and on the waterfront, the opportunity to create a fantastic useable environment is being wasted, in favour of what “more car parking”?

    I think that meets the definition of an “own goal”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Pete George (23,426 comments) says:

    I don’t think people knew what they were voting for when they ticked next to Green party.

    Ditto NZ First.

    I think the Greens were perceived to be the feel-good ‘caring about people and planet’ party and Winston pandered to the ‘pissed off with parliament’ people. The fact that to get into power both would have had to work together and probably couldn’t was not cared about.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Paulus (2,594 comments) says:

    The Greenpeace party do not really care about people only conclusions, and they do not care who gets hurt to reach their ends.
    Our Greenpeace party are made up of comfortable middle class (seemingly mainly women) probably with a PHD in environmental studies.
    They have lofty theoretical ideals, with a glass of latte, or chardonnay. Many have never done a real day’s work, but have wallowed in their dignity of always being right.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Griff (7,262 comments) says:

    The green in the green party is only a posture to suck in those that have more interest in environmental concerns than political reality
    You only have to go to there web site and look at the home page this reflects their true priority
    Latest news http://www.greens.org.nz/

    Report shows Govt failing children
    Govt’s focus on selling assets ignores wider structural problems with economy
    Ministers’ Crafar blunder the result of NZ China Strategy
    Sky City profits sky high: no need to subsidise conference center

    Where is the environment at the center of their brand? Only in feel good baby kissing spin.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. hj (6,813 comments) says:

    A great majority of Americans — in fact, the highest level in six years of Saint Index surveys — oppose new development in their own community. 79 percent said their hometown is fine the way it is or already over-developed. Some 86 percent of suburban Americans do not want new development in their community. Asked, “What type of new development would you most like to see in your community?” the most common answer was “none.”
    http://saintindex.info/general-attitudes#nimbyattitudes

    This is an attack on those who oppose development (nationals defang the RMA campaign). Development is a goal we never reach as we have a group whose business is : development.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. hj (6,813 comments) says:

    The Greens (but not all of them) don’t do the population thing (it’s abhorrent) because:

    “Both in New Zealand and globally, the best of the leftwing tradition has always rejected small-minded nationalism, xenophobia and racism. In fact, leftists of an internationalist tradition have always favoured globalization and getting rid of national borders and barriers to migration. Progressive advocates of globalization of course do not defend a handful of rich imperialist countries, including New Zealand, dominating the world’s economy, but instead advocate an integrated and radically egalitarian world economy where production is based on social need and not on private profit. ”
    http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2012/02/guest-blog-post-john-moore-leftwing-xenophobia-in-new-zealand.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. RRM (9,770 comments) says:

    It’s “good” for rightwing talking heads, because it means you can just smear all environmentalists as socialists, and get away with it…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. F E Smith (3,324 comments) says:

    McCarthy was correct in his assertions re the number and aims of Soviet agents within the USA, as well as the aims of the Communist Party of the USA. His poor reputation is mostly the left wing press taking revenge on him after his death. He may not have been the most pleasant of characters, but he was right.

    But Maggie’s original statement on this thread has to be one of the dumbest that I have seen in a long time.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    I don’t think we can consider McCarthy completely rehabilitated. Right in some cases may be as far as it is safe to go.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. F E Smith (3,324 comments) says:

    mm,

    no, right in almost all of his allegations. The tentacles of the Soviet Union were vast in those days, and the left wing were only too happy to assist its efforts to finish off capitalism and freedom.

    Demise of the USSR notwithstanding, not much has changed, really.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    No, that’s a highly contestable (and contested) position. More to the point, though, McCarthy failed to substantiate his charges at the time, leading to his downfall.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. slijmbal (1,231 comments) says:

    @scott at 8:30 AM

    could not agree more. The lack of any science in our prominent green movements is one reason why I think they are hurting the need to manage our use of the environment. They are not really believed by the man in the street and rightly so. One can only cry wolf so often. This gives them less power in the long term in my belief and the moment the greens actually get in to a government is one I am waiting for as it will hopefully mean they get dumped by the electorate.

    That is what Patrick is complaining about – Greening is a political movement not an environmental one.

    Mind you, I know of many middle class educated types who buy the whole line in their lazy thinking and poor science. How anyone with any vague level of common sense believes in naturopaths for instance is beyond me. Most of my ‘green’ friends are into naturopaths, chiropractics, crystal bollocks and lots of other pseudo science.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Griff (7,262 comments) says:

    Remember mm history is not solid it is fluid becoming whatever you would like it to
    If we decide that McCarthy was right he was right.
    Communism died It proved to be a worse than capitalism.
    If we did not have McCarthy it could still be alive

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Griff
    I don’t really agree that McCarthy and McCarthyism had an impact on the end of communism – that’s a claim that would require some very convincing evidence.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. F E Smith (3,324 comments) says:

    mm,

    McCarthy has been substantiated posthumously. Just because he wasn’t substantiated during his lifetime does not mean he was wrong. His information was largely correct.

    The left does not want to admit that, however, because they love to use McCarthy as a term of derision, rather than admitting that the left wing, on a world wide scale, was actively assisting/supporting a foreign power to subvert capitalism and freedom, two things that the left intensely dislikes.

    That last point being one we can see easily in what Moore has to say.

    EDIT: I don’t think McCarthy can be credited with having anything to do with the fall of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc at all.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    FES
    Well, it’s fine if you want to believe that – I’m sure you could substantiate that with a link or two – as long as it’s not to Ann Coulter’s book.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    It’s “good” for rightwing talking heads, because it means you can just smear all environmentalists as socialists, and get away with it

    Not at all. There are many genuine environmentalists. But if they join the current Green Party, they should know that they are supporting a caucus of collectivists, some communists, some hardline socialists, and some anarchists. To some, it would seem these goals are more important than the environment. Some of the new “Green” MPs did not even mention the environment in their maiden speech.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. F E Smith (3,324 comments) says:

    mm,

    try amazon books with the search term ‘venona’

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/177-0002850-2917037?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=venona&x=0&y=0

    Plenty of reading there for you.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Griff (7,262 comments) says:

    This is a distraction from the fact that the New Zealand gween party is as red as revolutionary blood running in the streets.
    Hopefully MMP will allow more than one voice around green issues. One based on fact not “alt reality” socialist pipe dreams.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Thanks – I’m quite familiar with the Venona material and wrote on it 10 years ago. While it was good at substantiating quite a few cases – Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs and our own Ian Milner – it is a long way short of vindicating McCarthy. I don’t mean to completely rubbish McCarthy’s contributiuon – of course there was widespread subversion – but he was unable to substantiate his charges and little solid evidence has emerged subsequently for most of the cases he raised.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. F E Smith (3,324 comments) says:

    mm,

    I am referring to, of course, the 205 names that McCarthy referred to in his historic speech. Most of them have been corroborated. The House Un-American Activities Committee that McCarthy chaired for a time (it pre-dated his entry to the Senate) heard a lot more allegations not just arising from McCarthy.

    Those made by Whittaker Chambers also come to mind.

    The book by Senator Moynihan, Secrecy, is also worth reading.

    The common theme, both with the McCarthy allegations and those written about by Moore, is that those on the left is willing to subvert organisations and movements for its their own anti-capitalist ends.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. tom hunter (4,671 comments) says:

    [McCarthy] was a paranoid demagogue and a scaremonger

    Right in some cases may be as far as it is safe to go.

    Cough…. Hack…. Splutter…

    I completely agree with mikenmild and Scott Chris. I suggest that one of the best, synoptic views of McCarthy comes not in any biography of him but in Cato’s third volume of his LBJ biography, Master of the Senate. McCarthy was a drunken fool who, as is often the case with politicians, simply cottoned on to something he thought would take him to higher things. There were plenty of other people who hated the various communist infiltrations in the US, who found their efforts completely fucked over by McCarthy’s idiotic spray.

    It could well be argued that he made things easier for real communists. Indeed it could be argued that his legacy continues to do so this day, in the form of the first comment on the topic of this thread, plus this follow-up:

    Blacklists were at work throughout the entertainment industry,

    They still are and ironically, if any group has been practicing “McCarthyism” in the years since it has been the left-wing, especially in relation to Hollywood, where revealing oneself to have sympathies towards the right or the GOP, is to rapidly lose friends and contacts – witness the recent history of people like David Mamet and Roger Simon. The tolerant left – what a fucking joke.

    no, right in almost all of his allegations.

    There are a few people who McCarthy tagged that have indeed turned out to be, or are now strongly suspected to have been, Soviet spies. But they escaped, in no small part because McCarthy had neither the brains nor the skill to really go after them.

    I’m amazed that right-wingers are still willing to try to exhume this character, not least because trying to do so enables the left to pull the same stunt all over again; that is to change the subject, scream about victimisation and continue to pretend that hard-line, left-wingers don’t still have the same basic objective of extending government power endlessly, while hiding that behind some “good” cause, the latest being the Green movement, as Moore so precisely describes.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. F E Smith (3,324 comments) says:

    Tom,

    the behaviour of the left in blacklisting people who disagree with them pre-dates McCarthy, as much as it continues to this day. I agree that his character was unpleasant (as I alluded to above) but his allegations were, for the most part, correct.

    Your points, however, are mostly fair. McCarthy was not the person to really progress this, but Nixon, who would have been better, became VP under Eisenhower and so was unable to fulfill that role.

    But the exhumation of McCarthy began with Maggie in the first comment to this thread, so it wasn’t the right who exhumed him on this occasion.

    Your final point following the first comma of that last paragraph, however, is gold.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. Ross Nixon (614 comments) says:

    Yes, I would have rounded up all the commies and shipped them to Cuba!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.