Friday, April 4, 2014

Which Hunt?

By Robert H.

Just a friendly reminder that there were not many actual witches in Salem.  Just so, in the most famous post war witch hunt a lot of the people caught up by McCarthyism were never or had long since stopped being movement communists, and very few were spies (which is impressively bad work, since the state department actually was riddled with soviet spies).

So people, stop referring to the targeting of someone for beliefs they actually hold and things they actually do as a witch hunt!  A witch hunt is when we go after people so zealously and with so few safeguards for the innocent that we burn people at the stake who aren't even witches.  It's a useful concept, word, and premise for a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode (see The Drumhead).  Don't dilute it.

Not that it's justified to burn actual witches at the stake.  But the term for that is a human rights violation.

No comments:

Post a Comment