The Terror Is Not Dead

Incident at Boston


Fifth Estate # 5, March 6-20, 1966

“Tell me you support the government’s policy if you like, but don’t try to tell me you didn’t know what was going on.”

—Tom Paxton

The first issue of the Fifth Estate [FE #1, November 19-December 2, 1965] featured a review of DANTON’S DEATH, a powerful drama about the French Revolution. During that performance, our reviewer noted that in many of the programs, several pages were omitted. He later realized that these pages consisted of notes written by the director Herbert Blau. Titled “THE TERROR IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE TERROR!”, Blau’s insert compared Mao Tse-Tung with Lyndon Baines Johnson in that both are equal distributors of terror.

A similar incident occurred recently in a Boston area theatre, when patrons were greeted with a Committee for Nonviolent Action leaflet stating:


“You have just attended a performance of Bertolt Brecht’s play about the rise of the Nazis. We ask you to please read now and consider the following statements. Thanks.

“One wonders what limits there are to the atrocities Americans will go along with so long as they are explained, however falsely, as necessary for the maintenance of democracy.

“Arthur Miller, whose play, Incident at Vichy, deals with Nazi persecution of the Jews, has written: “Who among us knew enough to be shocked, let alone to protest, at the photographs of the Vietnamese torturing Viet Cong prisoners, which our press has published? The Vietnamese are wearing U.S. equipment, are paid by us and could not torture without us. There is no way around this the prisoner crying out in agony is our prisoner.”


See Fifth Estate’s Vietnam Resource Page.