The 2005 film Good Night, and Good Luck took place during the beginning of the Cold War, specifically around the time when Senator Joseph McCarthy was rising to power. During his reign as the chairman for the Committee on Government Operations of the Senate, he accused several public figures of being Communists. His speeches were frequently reported on in the media, and the determined factor for censorship during the Red Scare was based on ideology, rather than actual content. Many people unjustly accused of being Communists were persecuted and discriminated, and the Republican Party began advocating the rise of ideological conformity. A great deal of the American public became extremely paranoid, and the general atmosphere of the era was nihilistic due to fear of Communist infiltration.
This was supported by the work of Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose extensive and often criticized work in searching out Communists in the US Administration and more general society created a hysterical fear of Communism throughout America. Beginning in 1950, but continuing until 1954, McCarthy, in his role as a United States Senator, carried out a huge number of high-profile investigations into the lives of American citizens, both public and private, and
The Red Scare was a period in which many Americans feared that communism would thrive, and the capitalist system in the United States would be threatened. (1947-1957) 2. This was a fragile time for Americans, having just ended one war, and then thrusting into a new one. The fear of Communism has always somewhat paralyzed Americans, except this second Red Scare was particularly fueled by Senator Joseph McCarthy. B. McCarthy’s reasons for his accusations were that he had proof that citizens of the U.S. were in fact members of the Communist party.
He charged that there were 205 communist spies in the state department who were selling out the United States. McCarthy warned that there were communist traitors in American government and society that were threatening to destroy the United States. He declared: "When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be because of enemies from without, but rather because of enemies from within." McCarthy called for a "moral uprising" of Americans to drive these dangerous communists out of government and society. He also declared that the United States had lost ground in the world not as a result of foreign aggression, but “because of the traitorous actions of those who have been treated so well by this nation.” The corporate-controlled news media also shared the blame for McCarthy's ability to disseminate "great lies."
McCarthyism and the Red Scare After World War 2, the United States feared that communism will spread throughout the world, even hit the United States. Joseph McCarthy came up with an idea called McCarthyism. McCarthyism is a practice of making false accusations against Americans with ties to communism. During this era many American’s were being accused of being communist. Arthur Miller brought this idea to his own book called The Crucible.
Adolf Hitler’s war on the Eastern as well as the Western fronts of Germany forced the Western Allies and Soviet Union to form an alliance to defeat Hitler and hence, banish the threat that he posed. Many call this alliance an unnatural alliance because the US and the USSR had underlying grievances against each other. With the end of the Second World War and the defeat of Nazi Germany, diplomatic relationship between these two countries only worsened because of their prewar grievances and differing ideologies leading to their split and the development of the Cold War. It is a popular belief amongst many historians that the Cold War started with the Bolshevik Movement and the formation of a Communist state in Russia and that it only intensified after the Second World War. Animosity did exist between the US and the USSR even before the war.
The disruption of government due to McCarthyism was tumultuous. It caused rivalries within the Senate, there were more appeasement issues from democrats who though they knew McCarthy was being unjust acquiesced to his antics and the FBI committed a number of illegal acts in their investigations of suspected communists. As well as the FBI there were more illegal undercover groups formed to harass communist organizations. The most formalized one was “Cointelpro”. “Cointelpro” actions included planting forged documents to create the suspicion that a key person was an FBI informer, spreading rumours through anonymous letters and leaking information to the press.
One key piece of evidence in favour of this is the Pravda article â€œdizzy with successâ€ which suggests that the purges spiralled out of Stalinâ€™s control. The Purges thrust the whole of Russia into a state of fear of what would happen to them. It affected all sectors of society and even a seemingly insignificant act could result in arrest. For example one woman was arrested for saying that Tukhachevsky, a high ranking military officer, was handsome after he was arrested. One key reason other than Stalinâ€™s personal paranoia for the Purges was to cleanse the party of careerists, yet dissidents and doubters were also at risk.
In that era, Arthur Miller was one of the many victims who were taken in by Senator McCarthy but was one of many victims that were known as a communist sympathiser. Not only did he not accuse anyone, Arthur Miller expressed his views of the whole situation in a play he wrote, ‘The Crucible’ and put his career in jeopardy as he was blacklisted and threatened with conviction. Arthur Miller chose to uphold his integrity rather giving in into any threats. From his instance with conflict, while still being bad, it brought the best out of Miller in him as a person. In writing about the conflict between demands for social conformity and individual freedom that Miller faced, he created The Crucible to parallel his own time.
Many people are diverse when it comes to the cold war and each believed the other was the cause and the start. USA believed that Russia was a threat and thus tried to make out that she was the true villain, yet Russia believed that it was the USA’s doing in which provoked a war full of rivalry and suspicion. However, which side really did start it? Many factors during the stages of the cold war were often taken out of proportion however each side convinced its own people that it was the other sides own being. For example, when the USA dropped the atomic bomb on Japan the Russians were particularly frightened of what this meant for them.