The Crucible, Communism and Senator
Joseph McCarthy (McCarthyism)
WHAT IS COMMUNISM?
• Communism is a political theory invented by a couple of
German guys, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848.
• Some other political theories are: democracy, totalitarianism, a
• Political theories can become systems of government. For
example, New Zealand has a democratic system of
MORE ON COMMUNISM
• Communism was invented originally to make people
more equal. For example, it was based on the wish for
equality and dislike of social classes (hierarchies) and
the difference in wages between factory workers and
owners, this political theory said that the factories and
farms should be owned by the people.
• Basically, Marx and Engels thought it was unfair that
there were sooooo many poor people and so few rich.
YOU GOT IT… COMMUNISM
• This is kind of what Marx wanted to happen with communism:
A communist party or government takes control of a country. (This happened in
Russia in 1917. Then Russia became the USSR).
The communist government banishes private property (people privately owning
The theory is then that the people, the public, will own everything
Because the public owns everything, there will be no need for government, so the
state (government and what not) will be destroyed
The end result is a society with no social classes or hierarchies. (Note: this has never
actually happened. It usually turns into a dictatorship. )
SO WHAT’S THE LINK WITH MCCARTHYISM?
• When Russia became communist, they helped the British and Americans
win World War Two. People saw the USSR as becoming a powerful
• The USSR wanted to take over other countries and turn them communist.
China became an (independent) communist country in 1949 which really
upset the Americans.
• The Americans were scared communism was going to take over.
• The whole American dream is founded upon wealth and being rich so the
ideas behind communism made many of them very uncomfortable.
• This rivalry became known as “the cold war” (note: this is a very basic
MCCARTHYISM IN U.S.A.
• During the 1950s, in the United
States, a modern kind of „witchhunt‟ created a climate of terror
suggestive of the Salem witch
• The accusations were aimed at socalled-Communists, left wing
sympathisers, trade unionists and
MCCARTHYISM IN U.S.A. #2
• Right-wing authorities
believed in absolute right or
• Individuals were on one side
or the other.
• Opposition or non-cooperation with the authority or
its policies became grounds
for loss of job, being
persecuted by the C.I.A. and
DOES THIS SORT OF THING STILL AFFECT US?
• Yip: The War On Terror
• Since September 11th, 2001,
America and Britain have once
again become extremely right wing
• Civil Liberties are once again under
THE NEW WITCHES
• “Suspected terrorists” and
“terrorist sympathisers” can be
detained or kept in prisons
forever, without proof.
• This is in non-cooperation with
International Laws on Human
• Often these victims are
Muslim and persecuted.