Sunday, August 24, 2014

True America: The Blacklist and Hollywood Ten

A favorite technique of radical capitalists is the economic boycott. They use it against nations like Russia, and individuals like Hollywood actors and politically active lawyers. As this video from the University of Nebraska documents, the source of the Hollywood black list was the studios' virulent anti-union policy. For decades the studios used cheap non-union labor to produce their films and efforts to unionize the work force were met with accusations of communist activity. Former president Ronald Reagan was a prominent frontman for the Screen Actors Guild and testified against union activity that he maintained was instigated by undercover communist agitators. Extreme conservative and possible Nazi sympathizer Walt Disney added his opinion that communist activity was a serious problem in his industry. One hundred and fifty one people were named in the infamous "Red Channels" pamphlet published by businessman Alfred Kohlberg, an original national council member of the extremist John Birch Society. All of these named individuals were labeled "Red Facists" by implication to avoid libel and eventually denied work in the entertainment industry because of their listing.

People who informed on their fellows--"named names"--were rewarded with work, examples are director Edward Dymytryk, a member of the original "Hollywood Ten" who capitulated during his prison term for contempt, and actor Lee J. Cobb. People who did not cooperate in the red witch hunt were punished; Charlie Chaplin was literally exiled overseas by FBI Director Herbert Hoover. Bartley Crum, a lawyer who represented some of the Hollywood Ten before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), was harassed unmercifully by the FBI, which accused him of being a "red symp" or communist sympathizer. As a result of official oppression Crum lost his clients, and unable to cope with the pressure, committed suicide in 1959. Intimidating and dividing the left is now considered to be a central goal of the HUAC hearings. Perhaps not surprisingly HUAC did its dirty work while Congress was under Democratic Party control and Democrat Harry Truman occupied the White House. The other half of the American power duopoly is vulnerable to attacks from the radical right for being "soft" on unionism, progressive socio-economics, and non-imperial foreign policy. US Person agrees with the Ten, "It depends on you:"