Betty Garrett saying in this interview that workers in Hollywood we’re interested in the Communist Party (Communist Party USA) and not just interested but politically active, because the Communist Party back then were talking about issues like affordable housing, health care, civil and equal rights, what would be called progressive causes and that they were a progressive organization. Hearing the words communist and progressive, to describe Communists, is ironic at best.
I don’t doubt that Communists believe in adorable housing and that government has a big role in seeing that is available for everyone. Or that they believe in affordable health care and health insurance. Or that they believe in equal rights for everyone in the country. Keep in mind, the civil rights movement was just a baby back in the mid and late 1940s when the so-called Communists in Hollywood investigations were going on in Congress with the so-called House Un-American Activities Committee. Perhaps not even a baby and not even born yet. Equal rights for all Americans and seeing that Non-European Americans had the same civil rights and constitution rights as English-Protestants in America, was not a mainstream issue. After all, Communists are Socialists when it comes to economic policy and today even there’s still a lot of Marxism in the communist movement in America.
But, if Communists were to ever come to power in America (and it started snowing in Hell on the same day) most if not all of our civil liberties and constitutional rights would disappear. Most rights in America are individual rights. Free speech, the right to not be discriminated against under law based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion. The right to privacy, our property rights, equal justice under law. The right to a fair and speedy trial, etc.
Communists don’t believe in individual rights and individualism in general. They believe everyone in society should be subjects of the state and that it’s the job of the central state to see that everyone is taken care of and that the central government has to have not just broad but unlimited powers to see that everyone is taken care of in society, but to keep the regime protected and in power indefinitely. The Communists do have socialist leanings and policies when it comes to welfare rights and the general welfare, but it is a very regressive philosophy by in large especially when it comes to civil liberties and individualism.
As far as the Hollywood Ten and the Communists in Hollywood investigations. Americans (even in Hollywood) have the same free speech rights as Americans who believe in individual freedom and limited government. Or Americans who believe Christian Theocracy and ethno and racial nationalism. Or Democratic Socialists, or actual Progressives, or people who don’t believe in any form of government at all.
Americans have a guaranteed right to free speech in America because we are a constitutional liberal democracy with guaranteed individual rights under our Constitution. And therefor have the right to believe what they believe and speak out on what they believe and work for people who share their political beliefs. And shouldn’t be punished simply because of their politics. Which is what happened in Hollywood to the Hollywood ten and with by their own Federal Government by being persecuted by Congress because of their political beliefs.