Additional Information on John R. “Rick” MacArthur

* The December 13, 1998 edition of Harper’s magazine featured an article by MacArthur titled “Neo-McCarthyism and the New Cold War Hangover,” a polemic against the “reactionaries” who maintained that the Soviet Marxist dictator Joseph Stalin was just as evil as the German Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. “It is false,” argued MacArthur, “to make Stalin’s indirect killings born of political ideology equal to Hitler’s direct murder born of hatred for an entire race.” Specifically, MacArthur feared that if people believed that the Communist “Stalin was as bad as Hitler,” then the anti-Communist Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “depredations against civil liberties and common decency [would] become more palatable.” “I suspect,” added MacArthur, “[that] today’s neo-anti-communist movement is in part fueled by a profound desire to wipe out the tattered remnants of both the old and the new left. Not satisfied with Ronald’s Reagan’s reversal of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal legacy (or Mikhail Gorbachev’s reversal of Lenin’s), the emboldened reactionaries in U.S. politics, media and academia are out to settle scores with their counterparts who opposed the madness of the Vietnam War, the crime syndicate run by Richard Nixon, and the racist laws of the former slave-holding states.”

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