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After the Second World War, numerous movements of dissent and protest amongst workers or soldiers which had been kept in check by the profits of war developed into significant movements, such as the Coal or Rail strikes in 1946. Similarly, the war-time consensus on the United States and "Russia" as allies broke down. What studies of the personal experience of repression in this era-specifically the late 1940s-exist? What cultural and social histories of the climate of immediate post-war repression exist?
What was it like to live outside of the newly forming post-war consensus in the late 1940s in the United States?
Image: Fitzpatrick, Daniel Robert, 1891-1969. 1947: ?St. Louis Post Dispatch
I was born in the 1950s, so I will answer this question based on my knowledge of the 1950s. The "post war consensus" lasted through the 1950s (heightened by "Sputnik"), and into the 1960s (when the U.S. finally surpassed the Soviet Union in the space race).
One instrument used to accomplish this end was "McCarthyism." That is, labelling "dissidents" as socialists or "Communists."
One example of this was the Senatorial campaign of Richard M. Nixon against Helen Gahagan Douglas. Although wealthy, Douglas was suspected as a "leftist" because she was in "show business." Nixon called Douglas the "Pink Lady," and Douglas in turn called Nixon, "Tricky Dick." (Both nicknames stuck.)
Nixon's campaign was funded by corporations such as Unocal, then led by Reese Taylor. His successful Senatorial campaign led to his nomination and election as Vice-President in 1952.
Ironically, the American public elected Nixon President in 1968 for his "ability." (He opened the door to China.) Then they turned on him by impeaching him for the Watergate scandal, which at heart, was an attempt to "suppress" Democratic "dissidents."