Nate Smith

The House Un-American Activities Committee

3 posts in this topic

I wonder if anyone has a little more information about HUAC and what/who it was looking for in its search for "communist infiltration of the motion picture industry." At first I was a little worried that HUAC was simply looking for communists. But I doubted Ayn Rand would participate in these hearings if that was the sole goal. Then I found this link which gives a little more background and context. Here's a relevant passage from this web page:

"She did believe, however, that it was acceptable for the committee to ask people whether they had joined the Communist Party, because the Party supported the use of violence and other criminal activities to achieve its political goals, and investigating possible criminal activities was an appropriate role of government. "I certainly don't think it's any kind of interference with anybody's rights or freedom of speech," she said."

Does anyone know what is referred to by the "use of violence and other criminal activities"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone know what is referred to by the "use of violence and other criminal activities"?

It wasn't just criminal activities and that isn't what Ayn Rand testified about. The investigation concerned activities of an organization with ties to a foreign government seeking the overthrow of the US, including through the use of propaganda in the arts and exclusion of anti-communists in Hollywood. You should read the Mayhew book for a more reliable and comprehensive account than what you found on the web. Dave Harriman's Journals of Ayn Rand also includes a chapter with first hand information on Ayn Rand's testimony and her thoughts about testifying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites