The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals (MPAPAI, also MPA) was an American organization of high-profile, politically conservative members of the Hollywood film industry. It was formed in 1944 for the stated purpose of defending the film industry, and the country as a whole, against what its founders claimed was communist and fascist infiltration.
The initial, immediate purpose in forming the organization was to assemble a group of well-known show business figures willing to attest, under oath, before Congress to the supposed presence of Communists in their industry. And indeed, when the House Un-American Activities Committee investigated the motion picture industry, the vast majority of “friendly witnesses” were supplied by the Alliance.
Prominent members of the Alliance included Robert Arthur, Martin Berkeley, Ward Bond, Walter Brennan, Clarence Brown, Charles Coburn, Gary Cooper, Laraine Day, Cecil B. DeMille, Walt Disney, Irene Dunne, Victor Fleming, Clark Gable, Cedric Gibbons, Hedda Hopper, Leo McCarey, James Kevin McGuinness, Adolphe Menjou, George Murphy, Fred Niblo, Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan, Ginger Rogers, Morrie Ryskind, Norman Taurog, Robert Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck, King Vidor, John Wayne, Frank Wead and Sam Wood.
The Alliance officially disbanded in 1975.
Shortly after its formation in 1944, the Alliance issued a “Statement of Principles:”
We believe in, and like, the American way of life: the liberty and freedom which generations before us have fought to create and preserve; the freedom to speak, to think, to live, to worship, to work, and to govern ourselves as individuals, as free men; the right to succeed or fail as free men, according to the measure of our ability and our strength.
Believing in these things, we find ourselves in sharp revolt against a rising tide of communism, fascism, and kindred beliefs, that seek by subversive means to undermine and change this way of life; groups that have forfeited their right to exist in this country of ours, because they seek to achieve their change by means other than the vested procedure of the ballot and to deny the right of the majority opinion of the people to rule.
In our special field of motion pictures, we resent the growing impression that this industry is made of, and dominated by, Communists, radicals, and crackpots. We believe that we represent the vast majority of the people who serve this great medium of expression. But unfortunately it has been an unorganized majority. This has been almost inevitable. The very love of freedom, of the rights of the individual, make this great majority reluctant to organize. But now we must, or we shall meanly lose “the last, best hope on earth.”
As Americans, we have no new plan to offer. We want no new plan, we want only to defend against its enemies that which is our priceless heritage; that freedom which has given man, in this country, the fullest life and the richest expression the world has ever known; that system which, in the present emergency, has fathered an effort that, more than any other single factor, will make possible the winning of this war.
As members of the motion-picture industry, we must face and accept an especial responsibility. Motion pictures are inescapably one of the world’s greatest forces for influencing public thought and opinion, both at home and abroad. In this fact lies a solemn obligation. We refuse to permit the effort of Communist, Fascist, and other totalitarian-minded groups to pervert this powerful medium into an instrument for the dissemination of un-American ideas and beliefs. We pledge ourselves to fight, with every means at our organized command, any effort of any group or individual, to divert the loyalty of the screen from the free America that give it birth. And to dedicate our work, in the fullest possible measure, to the presentation of the American scene, its standards and its freedoms, its beliefs and its ideals, as we know them and believe in them.
In 1947, Ayn Rand wrote a pamphlet for the Alliance, entitled Screen Guide for Americans, based on her personal impressions of the American film industry. It read, in excerpt:
The purpose of the Communists in Hollywood is not the production of political movies openly advocating Communism. Their purpose is to corrupt our moral premises by corrupting non-political movies — by introducing small, casual bits of propaganda into innocent stories — thus making people absorb the basic principles of Collectivism by indirection and implication.
The principle of free speech requires that we do not use police force to forbid the Communists the expression of their ideas — which means that we do not pass laws forbidding them to speak. But the principle of free speech does not require that we furnish the Communists with the means to preach their ideas, and does not imply that we owe them jobs and support to advocate our own destruction at our own expense.
Rand cited examples of popular and critically acclaimed films that in her view contained hidden Communist or Collectivist messages that had not been recognized as such, even by conservatives. Examples included The Best Years of Our Lives (because it portrayed businessmen negatively, and suggested that bankers should give veterans collateral-free loans), and A Song to Remember (because it implied that Chopin sacrificed himself for a patriotic cause rather than devoting himself to his music).
In the end communism did win. After the McCarthy hearings of which the MPAPAI fueled, the communists won the battle of public relations. Communist infiltration of American education had produced a generation of young progressives not sympathetic to the values of the MPAPAI so McCarty was cast away into irrelevancy; the MPAPAI was disbanded after the deaths of Disney and others from his generation. John Wayne who was such an important part of the MPAPAI died just a few years later, and Ayn Rand a few years after that. Ronald Reagan who was a part of the MPAPAI went on to become President of The United States and brought at least the illusion of the MPAPAI to America once again, but after 1988, the last remnants of this important group lost its political influence as progressive global unifiers like George Bush and Bill Clinton rose to power.
Now few people know what the values of the MPAPAI are. Public schools have sold socialism to three generations of American students and communism has spread into virtually every branch of government through legal case-law. Most law students who filled political offices from the time of the MPAPAI never studied the American Constitution; they instead studied case law from the Supreme Court which was a design by the communist infiltration of law schools as far back as the 1940s to slowly erode away Americans from their “Ideals.” Those lawyers have taken America toward communism in virtually every scenario for which they have endeavored through their extensive progressive educations. The only trace of the MPAPAI today is old John Wayne movies, Disney World, and the hot selling novel Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.
The continued popularity of both John Wayne and Disney World provides a view into the true heart of America. Even with all the progressive educations which have corrupted their minds, most people still yearn for the ideals of the MPAPAI. Communism has not won the hearts and minds of America—just the policy. And that is as far as they will ever get. Disney World is not about Goofy, Mickey Mouse or Cinderella castle—it is about American value and tradition which is not at all disguised there. Disney World is a popular vacation destination because of how it makes people feel—because it is about American ideals and visitors want to be close to those ideals. Every time I think of Disney World it reminds me that communism did not get its way—that they did not win completely. It also reminds me that the good work done by the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals is still alive. And I intend to help keep it that way.
Rich Hoffman www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com