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    Anti-Communism is a political movement and ideology that opposes Communism. It is otherwise ideologically variable in every aspect.

    It has been prominent in resistance movements against communism under socialist states governed by (usually Marxist–Leninist) communist parties throughout history. Organized anti-communism developed after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia, and it reached global dimensions during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in an intense rivalry, creating significant political paranoia in the US and its allies against communists and communistic elements.

    Anti-communism has been an element of movements which hold many different political positions, including monarchism, conservatism, fascism, liberalism, nationalism and social democracy, as well as anarchist, libertarian, and even socialist viewpoints.



    A Red Scare-era poster.


    Joseph McCarthy was an American politician and attorney who served as a Republican Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. The term "McCarthyism" was coined in the 1950s in reference to McCarthy's widespread anti-communist paranoia, fearmongering, and allegations that numerous communists and Soviet spies, and sympathizers had infiltrated the United States federal government, universities, and elsewhere. Joseph McCarthy rose to national fame in February 1950, when he asserted in a speech that he had a list of "members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring" who were employed in the State Department.

    From the year 1950 onwards McCarthy frequently exploited Cold War tensions and the fear of communism and even began to investigate homosexuals working in the foreign policy bureaucracy, on the ground that they were prime candidates for blackmail by the Soviets (See: Lavender Scare). Said baseless accusations against homosexual government workers received wide publicity and gained him a powerful national following.

    McCarthy's methods also brought on the disapproval and opposition of many. With the highly publicized Army–McCarthy hearings of 1954, and following the suicide of Wyoming Senator Lester C. Hunt that same year, McCarthy's support and popularity faded. Ultimately, the smear tactics and threats that he used led him to be censured by the U.S. Senate.


    COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert and illegal projects actively conducted from 1956 to 1971 by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic American political organizations the FBI deemed subversive and a threat to national security. COINTELPRO was organized by the founder of FBI, J. Edgar Hoover who had by 1956 become increasingly frustrated by U.S. Supreme Court decisions that limited the Justice Department's ability to prosecute people for their political opinions, most notably communists. This lead to him initiating covert "dirty tricks" program under the name COINTELPRO with the original purpose of disrupting CPUSA and keeping close tabs on individuals with communist sympathies such as Charlie Chaplin. COINTELPRO soon expanded to target a plethora of other organizations and movements which included feminist organizations, The New Left and the anti–Vietnam War movement, and most notably the civil rights movement and Black Power movement. Among the black activists and civil rights leaders targeted by COINTELPRO were Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Angela Davis, Viola Liuzzo, Jessica Mitford, among many other.

    Every US President from the 1950s-1971, Dwight D. Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and Richard Nixon was complicit in FBI's illegal activities to a certain extent and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy personally authorized some of the programs.

    The program was secret until 1971 when the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI burgled an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania, using the boxing match known as the Fight of the Century between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in March 1971 as a cover to pull off the heist, took several dossiers, and exposed the program by passing this material to news agencies.