Cold War and the Fear of Subversion

Marc Mulholland

in Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199653577
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744594 | DOI:
Cold War and the Fear of Subversion

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Post-war Western Europe converged towards an American model of high-wage consumerist capitalism, considerably attenuating class conflict. In Western Europe, Christian democracy and Social Democracy cooperated in constructing a democratic constitutional order. In the Soviet buffer-zone states of eastern Europe, bourgeois civil society was eliminated slice by slice: by a sequence known as ‘salami tactics’. This was partly in reaction to the perceived Western aggression of the ‘Marshall Plan’. Western Cold Warriors – drawing the lesson that Popular Frontism was only a means to the end of totalitarian communisiation – characterised Communist ‘subversion’ as an endemic corruption of leftist movements. This was considered to be a particular problem in the under-developed ‘Third World’. Fearing both subversion and outright war, a gigantic ‘Military-Industrial Complex’ grew up in the United States, placing pressure upon that country's traditions of democratic and free-market civil society.

Keywords: consumerism; Marshall Plan; buffer states; communisation; salami tactics; subversion; Cold War; third world; Military-Industrial Complex; Christian Democracy

Chapter.  10637 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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