Why did communism threaten many people?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are two main reasons why many people in the United States felt threatened by communism.  First, there was the fact that communism went against many core American values.  Second, there was the fact that communism seemed to be an ideology that could subvert people and convert them to its point of view.

Communism is antithetical to many American values.  It goes against our idea that people can and should advance themselves through hard work.  It goes against the idea of personal responsibility.  Communism tends not to be democratic even though communists claim to represent the people.  Communism is officially atheist when Americans are very religious (and were even more religious in the time when communism was seen as a threat.  In all of these ways, communism went against American values and therefore seemed to be a threat.

Communism also seemed to be a threat because it seemed to be able to insinuate itself into people’s minds.  It seemed to be possible for rational people to be seduced by communist ideas and thereby become communist.  Because of this, communism seemed like a great threat because it could persuade Americans of its truth, thereby undermining the country.