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The English language Wikipedia article on McCarthyism includes an image of an "anti-communist" pamphlet, apparently from the 1950s:

Pamphlet encouraging people to boycott films made by so-called "RED Producers, Writers, Stars, and STUDIOS"

I was intrigued by point 4:

RIGHT NOW films are being made to craftily glorify MARXISM, UNESCO and ONE-WORLDISM.

Why did they care so much about UNESCO? The English language Wikipedia article lists some controversies that might explain why some conservatives are wary of UNESCO, such as the "New World Information and Communication Order" or issues related to Israel/Palestine. However, all those controversies appear to refer to events in the 1970 or more recently, such as when the USA left in 1984 and again 2017. And even then critics would probably hardly consider UNESCO state enemy #1 or focus on it as strongly as this pamphlet appears to do.

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  • @SteveJessop Who says that? Sounds like they need better history education. And I thought that today it was actually rather millenials seeking to read banned books where the banning is coming from older generations.
    – gerrit
    Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 7:25

1 Answer 1

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You're talking about fringe political pamphlet here, so be careful generalizing from it. To paraphrase Tolstoy, all mainstream thinking may look alike, but fringe beliefs are all fringe in their own way.

Digging into that article, that's apparently a picture of a pamphlet put out by Myron Coureval Fagan. What I see looking over his WP is a lot of anti-semitic international Jewish conspiracy theory stuff, and associations with the Nazi-esque America First Committee and Nazi defeatist Joseph Kennedy.

This is not a person deriving their beliefs and opinions based on what best fits a sober analysis of fact. Looking for reason out of someone living in that kind of racist fantasy world is utterly the wrong approach. Instead you have to operate how they do: start with their racist beliefs, and then look around for things that might make targets or fuel.

I think this case the big clue is the word "internationalists" (helpfully capitalized) at the end of the pamphlet. This is a person who choses to believe that Internationalisim is actually a plot by Jews to control the world. He even wrote a play about it in 1955, with the UN as the bad guy.

The UN at the time was the largest and most well-known and effective international organization, and UNESCO was specifically the UN organization dedicated to fostering international cooperation. That's all that was really necessary to draw his ire.

It wasn't about anything they did, it was about what they represent.

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    Feel moved to reiterate in the comments that this was one dude, and people were quite capable of being "anti-communist" in the 1950's without being Nazis.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Nov 22, 2022 at 23:56
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    From the ELEVENTH REPORT OF THE (California) SENATE FACT-FINDING SUBCOMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES - "In 1945 Fagan wrote a play called “Red Rainbow” which was con- cerned with the threat of domestic Communism to the security of the United States. There was solid opposition to its production from the pro-Communist elements in the New York entertainment world, and Fagan was unable to secure the requisite financial backing to produce it. He then took the play to Hollywood, and found the opposition even more solid."
    – Kphysics
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 15:34
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    As today @T.E.D. :) Sadly as today that fact was often lost on history even then.
    – jwenting
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 7:34
  • This is, I believe, only left half of the whole story. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNESCO#Controversies. Among many other details: Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 14:41
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    @wizzwizz4 I believe Wikipedia page info shows that distrust of UNESCO did not only emerge from fringe beliefs of few crooks like McCarthy or, for that matter, Fagan, and was by no means confined to US only Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 6:04

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