// Given at WI?02013 on Mar 2, 2013
There are few words in American social and political culture that carry as heavy a stigma as communism and socialism. This is true now, and was especially true during an ideological era known as the Second Red Scare, or McCarthyism, bearing the namesake of Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. What if the panic, finger-pointing, propaganda, and witch-hunting associated with this movement were absent from history? Would things be different? If they were, would they be better? Worse? Neutral? Jefferson Spears will attempt to cast aside the dogma and take a look at the ramifications, particularly in the American political and intellectual spheres, of the question: What if McCarthyism and the Red Scare hadn't happened?