Arthur Miller joins run for Idiotarian on the Year
Posted by aogWednesday, 27 August 2003 at 21:45 TrackBack Ping URL
Via Pejman and Give War a Chance we have some commentary by playwright Arthur Miller. In it he compares his play The Crucible to Senator McCarthy.
Miller himself commented […]

“They would say to me, ‘this is all fraudulent - there never were any witches, but there are Communists’,” he said.

“I could only say that in 1692, if you had stood on the main street of Salem, Massachusetts, and said ‘there are no witches’, I wouldn’t want to be your insurance man.”

I know that cultural / literary figures today are expected to be almost completely disconnected from reality, but this is delusional even for the glitterati. If someone had said “there are no witches” back in 1692 (and I suspect that some did) it would have been true but politically incorrect. The analogy for McCarthy would have been for someone to announce in 1950 that there were no Communists and had it have been true and politically incorrect. Miller seems to think that the only thing stopping people from admitting that Communists didn’t exist was fear of the political consquences, not the billions of people oppressed by Communists. Just who Miller thinks was running the USSR, Eastern Europe and China at the time isn’t clear. I’ve heard plenty of apologists for Communism but never before one who denied the very existence of it. And even if Miller was talking about Communist espionage in the US, he’d still be delusional because we know now that it did in fact occur. It’s not mentioned in the article in anycase, only “sympathies” for the USSR. The record speaks for itself - paraphrasing Give War A Chance,
Deaths from witchcraft since 1692: 0
Deaths from Communism since 1900: 100,000,000 and counting

P.S. It should be noted that the play premiered before the McCarthy trials started. From this the BBC claims that “the subtext [of the play] was a comment on the McCarthy anti-Communism trials of the 1950s”. But causality has never been a strong point with the BBC.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Emily Wednesday, 27 August 2003 at 22:41

Excellent post, but I think you sub-quoted me in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 28 August 2003 at 20:32

There was an editing error. I’ve cleaned it up and added that I’m paraphrasing you.

oj Friday, 29 August 2003 at 20:53

Bravo! Excellent post.

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Tracked from Low Earth Orbit: Idiotarian of the Year race heats up on 06 September 2003 at 15:40

[source, source] Reacing to an early lead by Arthur Miller, last year’s winner Jimmy Carter is working hard for a...

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