Red-baiting  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Red-baiting, also reductio ad Stalinum, is an informal logical fallacy that intends to discredit the validity of an opponent's logical argument by accusing, denouncing, attacking, or persecuting an individual or group as communist, socialist, marxist or anarchist, or sympathetic toward communism, socialism, marxism or anarchism. In the United States, the term "red-baiting" dates from at least 1927. In 1928, black-listing by the Daughters of the American Revolution was characterized as a "red-baiting relic". It is a term commonly used in the United States, and in United States history, red-baiting is most often associated with McCarthyism, which originated in the two historic Red Scare periods of the 1920s (First Red Scare) and 1950s (Second Red Scare). In the 21st century, red-baiting does not have quite the same effect it previously did due to the fall of Soviet-style Communism, but some pundits have argued that notable events in current American politics indicate a resurgence of red-baiting consistent with the 1950s.

The term red in "red-baiting" refers to the red flag as a symbol of socialism, communism, marxism, anarchism and left-wing politics. The term baiting refers to persecution, torment or harassment, as in dog-baiting.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Red-baiting" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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