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      Claudia Jones, the Longue Durée of McCarthyism, and the Threat of US Fascism

      research-article
      Journal of Intersectionality
      Pluto Journals
      US Fascism, anti-fascism, Black radicalism, Cold War, CPUSA, Claudia Jones
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            Abstract

            This article examines the ways that the Black Communist luminary Claudia Jones theorized the fascist threat in the United States in the early Cold War era. Drawing on her political thought and that of her comrades, the article begins by defining the peculiar brand of US fascism that loomed large in the minds of Black radicals who critiqued and militated against global capitalist exploitation. Then, “the longue durée of McCarthyism” is employed as an analytical framework to explicate the post-World War II “fascist-like” political formation that both preceded and exceeded Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy's reign of repression. The next section highlights Jones's analysis of the 1940 Alien Registration Act, commonly known as the Smith Act, which was the first peacetime sedition act in US history. The focus of the final section is Jones's critique of, and subjection to, the Internal Security Act of 1950, also known as the McCarran Act, which President Harry S. Truman unsuccessfully vetoed. As Jones's biographers Buzz Johnson and Carole Boyce Davies note, taken together, the Smith Act and the McCarran Act created the conditions for the persecution of thousands of progressives, launched an all-out attack on their civil rights, and laid the foundation for immigration checks, deportation, and harassment particularly aimed at Black people. Ultimately, the lives of many Black anticapitalists, including Jones, Paul Robeson, C.L.R. James, and Ferdinand Smith were fundamentally disrupted by this “strong anti-Black and anti-communist hysteria” that portended the rise of fascism in the United States.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.2307/j50020142
            jinte
            Journal of Intersectionality
            Pluto Journals
            2515-2114
            2515-2122
            1 July 2019
            : 3
            : 1 ( doiID: 10.13169/jinte.3.issue-1 )
            : 46-66
            Affiliations
            Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Political Science, Carleton College
            Article
            jinte.3.1.0046
            10.13169/jinte.3.1.0046
            60e7e6f9-f2ea-4e0e-b7f4-03d5e8697af3
            © 2019 Pluto Journals

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Custom metadata
            eng

            Theory of historical sciences,Political & Social philosophy,Intercultural philosophy,General social science,Development studies,Cultural studies
            Black radicalism,US Fascism,CPUSA,Cold War,anti-fascism,Claudia Jones

            References

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