IJLLL 2021 Vol.7(4): 149-156 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2021.7.4.303

Haunted Across the Political Spectrum: The Specter of Communism in Two Midcentury American Organizations

Ross A. Jackson
Abstract—Organizations operating in midcentury America experienced a period of relative economic prosperity and global power. While political tensions existed between the United States and the Soviet Union since the culmination of the World War II, when the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test in 1949 and then successfully launched Sputnik 1 in 1957, these political tensions became more pressing concerns to American organizations. In fact, the perceived existential threat posed by communism became an observable rhetorical justification for organization and action within the United States. Through the use of corpus linguistics techniques, a comparative analysis was conducted on the foundational documents of the rightwing, John Birch Society and the leftwing, Students for a Democratic Society. Relative word frequencies, collocations, concordancing and statistical analyses were conducted around the use and context of the keyword communism. The results suggest that while these radical and reactionary groups perceived a common threat, multifinality exists in terms of organizational response. This insight is useful to those engaged in strategy development and rhetoric for political and business organizations.

Index Terms—Analytics, business, philosophy, semantics.

R. A. Jackson is with Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH 45501 USA (e-mail: jacksonr@wittenberg.edu).

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Cite:Ross A. Jackson, "Haunted Across the Political Spectrum: The Specter of Communism in Two Midcentury American Organizations," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 149-156, 2021.

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