Last modified on August 9, 2023, at 05:57


"Comsymp" (Communist sympathizer[1]) is a neologism from around the 1940s[2] referring to an individual who either openly extols Communism, individual Communists, or attempts to dismiss and discredit anti-Communism. During the Cold War, the term became popularized by movement conservatives such as the John Birch Society as a polemic against leftists, although the concept long predates the word itself. Ever since the outbreak of Communism in the world, sympathizers of various stripes have conspired to undermine opposition through both direct, repressive means as well as propaganda campaigns.

The Nazis during the 1920s were a notable Comsymping movement, and Adolf Hitler himself remarked, "I have learned a great deal from Marxism, as I do not hesitate to admit."[3]


The report of the Moynihan Commission made reference to "comsymps."

Usage of the word "Comsymp" likely gained traction in the earliest phases of the Cold War. According to the bipartisan Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy, chaired by Moderate Democratic U.S. senator Daniel P. Moynihan of New York:[2]

By the late 1940s there was a great agitation in the land about Communists and "comsymps." As early as January 1947 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned of infiltration in a publication Communists Within the Government: The Facts and the Program (not all the facts within which were wrong). Next came Congressional investigations, notably those associated with Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. Careers were damaged, of this there is no doubt. But compared to the earlier outrages, the society, notably the Government, responded with comparative restraint. Again, there were casualties, but compared to the provocation. . .?

—Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, Appendix A, pt. 7

According to the American Dialect Society, Robert W. Welch, Jr., the founder of the JBS, defined "Comsymp" as "Communist or a sympathizer with Communist purposes."[4] Welch requested members of the Society to assist in the compilation of "the most complete and accurate files in America on the leading Comsymps (Communist sympathizers), Socialists and liberals."

"Anti-Communist" John E. Rankin lauds Stalin

From the 1930s–50s, Democratic white supremacist and progressive U.S. representative John E. Rankin of Mississippi's 1st congressional district outspokenly claimed to oppose Communist infiltration, staunchly supporting the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) which he served on. However, during World War II, Rankin openly praised Soviet leader and mass murderer Joseph Stalin:[5]

Stalin was educated for the priesthood. The Bible says, teach a child the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart therefrom. It was but natural therefore that when Stalin got in power he should open the churches ... Stalin broke up the Comintern ... He restored rank and discipline in his army and introduced the incentive payment plan among the men who work in his factories.

—Rep. John E. Rankin (D–MS), 1940s

John Birch Society feuds

John Birch Society.png

According to the JBS, Chinese Communists amassed in Mexico preparing to invade the United States. The organization sent thousands of letters to Moderate Republican U.S. senator Thomas Kuchel of California, and subsequently branded Kuchel a "Comsymp" when he replied in a form asserting no evidence of such Communist activities.[6] Sen. Kuchel in turn publicly denounced the John Birch Society on the floor of the U.S. Senate, angrily quoting the Society's criticism of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

William F. Buckley, Jr., a prominent leader of the "New Right," opposed the John Birch Society, which he perceived as damaging the reputation of the anti-Communist cause. Buckley sarcastically commented of The Politician, an outlet for the JBS:[7]

Woe unto the man who disagrees with Mr. Welch. He is 1) an idiot, or 2) a Comsymp, or 3) an outright Communist.

—William F. Buckley, Jr.

Modern examples

The "alt-right" as a Comsymping movement

Although the alt-right professes to oppose Communism and Marxism, they are closely connected ideologically with neo-Marxists and compete to recruit the same individuals, much as the Nazis and Communists sought to gain the support of the working-class in Weimar Germany. Richard Spencer, a self-admitted socialist and progressive,[8] has open courted neo-Marxists.

The "alt-right" movement, rather than opposing the core tenets of neo-Marxism, remodels racial identity politics with white "racial consciousness" replacing woke multiculturalism, in addition to sharing virulent anti-Zionist bigotry. Just as neo-Marxists prefer capitalizing "Black" while leaving "white" in lowercase, the alt-right and white supremacists in general capitalize "White" while leaving "black" in lowercase.[9] Both movements, as noted by The Federalist, are an outgrowth of academia,[10] and primarily appeal to college students.

Nick Fuentes praises Stalin

Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist and Comsymp who leads the "Groypers" claiming to be right-wing, has extolled Joseph Stalin, the Communist mass murder of tens of millions of people, as "inspirational" and "iconic."

MAGA Communism, right-wing/Communist syncretism against the Ukrainian fascist dictatorship

Jackson Hinkle tweet.

Amidst the Russia-Ukraine War, numerous figures on the political right have glowingly referenced articles by anarchist, socialist, Communist, and various other far-left outlets which glorify Vladimir Putin, who mourns the demise of the Soviet Union as a "genuine tragedy" because off the failure of its successor regimes to honor pension and social security payments guaranteed by the Soviet Union to workers.[11][12] According to the globalist-leaning Heritage Foundation:[13]

An educated Marxist-Leninist such as Putin accepted that there had been more than 100 million victims of communism, an acceptable price to pay to remodel the world. He accepted the purges that Lenin and Stalin used to cement their rule, the forced famines that eliminated enemies of the state, the forced labor camps in Siberia, the tight control of all media. Putin studied the techniques of agitation and propaganda, applying them in his KGB assignment in Dresden in East Germany during the Cold War.

He resigned from the KGB in 1991 to begin a political career in St. Petersburg, his hometown. He had an aptitude for Machiavellian politics and moved to Moscow to join the Yeltsin administration. He rose quickly. In August 1999, Putin was appointed one of three deputy prime ministers and then the same day was named acting prime minister. He has never relinquished power to this day.

Given his KGB training, it was inevitable that Putin would manipulate elections, rewrite the Russian constitution, imprison and even poison his opponents, close down Memorial and every other NGO that called attention to the crimes of Marxism-Leninism, order the brutal subjugation of Chechnya, seize Crimea, and invade Ukraine.

—Lee W. Edwards, Ph.D., June 7, 2022

The MAGA Communist movement, led by YouTube and Twitter personality Jackson Hinkle, is a prominent current example of modern-day Comsymps.[Citation Needed]

See also


  1. American Dialect Society (1991). Fifty Years Among the New Words: A Dictionary of Neologisms 1941-1991, p. 34. Google Books. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 March 3, 1997. Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy – Appendix A – 7. The Cold War. Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  3. Watson, George (November 22, 1998). Hitler and the socialist dream. The Independent. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  4. "Fifty Years Among the New Words," p. 156.
  5. Boller, Paul F., Jr. (1995). Not So! Popular Myths about America from Columbus to Clinton, pp. 138–39. Google Books. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  6. Bogus, Carl T. (November 2011). Buckley: William F. Buckley Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism. Google Books. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  7. Mulloy, D. J. (2014). The World of the John Birch Society: Conspiracy, Conservatism, and the Cold War, p. 79. Google Books. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  8. Johnson, Benny (August 2, 2018). D’Souza Gets White Supremacist Richard Spencer To Admit Being A Socialist Progressive. The Daily Caller. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  9. Wong, Brittany (September 3, 2020). Here's Why It's A Big Deal To Capitalize The Word 'Black'. Huffington Post. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  10. Carle, Robert (December 22, 2016). How The American Academy Helped Create The Alt-Right. The Federalist. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  11. Associated Pres (April 25, 2005). Putin: Soviet collapse a 'genuine tragedy'. NBC News. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  12. Osborn, Andrew; Ostroukh, Andrey (December 12, 2021). Putin rues Soviet collapse as demise of 'historical Russia'. Reuters. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  13. Edwards, Lee (June 7, 2022). Putin the Marxist-Leninist. Heritage Foundation. Retrieved May 16, 2023.