This is a way to name a persecutory attitude towards a political fraction or a group of people. This attitude is usually based on simple suspects, not real facts. The first origin of this term arrives from Mediaeval, where it was used for every opportunity to define women suspected of witchcraft practice. Later it’s interpretation became diffused in politics, especially during the Fifties, following the campaign of the USA Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957). It was addressed against everybody, who was suspected to be communist or even a simple supporter of this party. In turn, this term was associated to refer to persecutory attitudes without foundation.
Published in Off-the-Wall