Was Marilyn Monroe a communist-sympathizer? Did she have any close ties with Communist Party members? What were her views on the Soviet Union, on Fidel Castro's Cuba and the People's Republic of China? There isn't a straightforward answer to these questions. Back in 2012, files that document the FBI's close scrutiny on Monroe were released.
The bureau never found any proof that she was a member of the Communist Party. Nonetheless, the FBI was particularly concerned about Monroe's contacts with people who had a verified left-wing or politically progressive background. After all, being a left-leaning liberal during McCarthyism was almost identical of being a communist, or at least a Soviet-sympathizer. According to FBI's records, Marilyn had established contacts with American ex-patriot Frederich Vanderbilt Field, who was residing in Mexico. Field had been disinherited by his upper bourgeois family due to his leftist views.
In his autobiography titled “From Right to Left”, Field wrote about Monroe's strong feelings for justice: “She told us about her strong feelings for civil rights,” he wrote, “for black equality, as well as her admiration for what was being done in China, her anger at red-baiting and McCarthyism and her hatred of J. Edgar Hoover (FBI director)”. According to the FBI files, Marylin's last trip to Mexico was several months before her mysterious death, on February 19, 1962.
|Marilyn Monroe with Arthur Miller.|
FBI's obsession with Marilyn Monroe was based on the fact that she was one of the most popular Hollywood stars, with a base of millions of loyal fans in the US and abroad, who could potentially have been affected by her socio-political views.
The truth is that Monroe was not a communist and hadn't any affiliation with the then Communist Party. However, behind the “dumb blond” image of Marilyn created by the Hollywood establishment, there was a sensitive and intelligent woman who had a strong interest about equality and justice. After all, being a working class child, she herself became subject of immense exploitation under capitalism which treated her as a sex subject and a “money machine”.
“An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine. A money machine”, she said once (Quoted in Ms. Magazine, August 1972).