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History: Development of Anti-Communism

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Purr
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Australia’s fear for communism was in 2 forms: fear of communism spreading to Australia and fear of its emergence from within Australian society. During the 1950s and 1960s events such as the Korean and Malayan Emergency, the Petrov Affair and the Vietnam War all contributed and spurred on this nation-wide fear. Two theories also developed in this time: the domino theory and the concept of forward defence.
After WW2 people doubted that the subsequent peace and security would not last, it was a period of fear and tension. WW2 had justified Australia’s long-standing fear for its vast Asian neighbours, especially Japan. So when the revolutionary communism dominated China in October 1949, propagandas changed their target, portraying communism as a disease; Australia’s original fear of invasion by its Asian neighbours changed to fear of communism. The phrase ‘reds under the beds’ originated in this period, meaning that there were people that saw communists everywhere. Australia under the Menzies government ardently sought to expose communism within Australia. Menzies tried to pass the Communist Party Dissolution Bill in 1950 and was determined even after its rejection to ban the Party. He pushed for a referendum in September 1951 but that was also unsuccessful. There were many alleged communist plots, but in April 1954 came the most notable one of all: the Petrov Affair.
The Petrov Affair was basically the exposure of the third secretary of the Soviet Embassy in Canberra, Vladimir Petrov, as a communist spy. The stories Menzies had supported of spy rings working in Australia had began to be dismissed as just that – stories. So when the Petrov spy appeared with alleged documents containing evidence of spy rings operating in Australia, it refreshed the fear of communism in the nation. The whole affair achieved a lot of publicity, particularly when Evdokia,…...

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