Marxism in the Civil War
By: Jonathan Harris
Before reading the book "Red Republican's and Lincoln's Marxists" I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. Despite my predisposition to be wary of any fiber of genuine Christian morality flowing within the veins of Lincoln not to mention the founders of the GOP, I did not think it likely that any of them would be sympathetic towards the precepts of communism. After all, communism is a monster of the 20th century isn't it? Wilson, FDR, Johnson, and Carter may have been affected, but Lincoln? Having given up the fantasy that "Honest Abe" "freed the slaves" and "saved the union" by maintaining the constitution and being authentic with the true intentions of Thomas Jefferson, I decided to see whether or not this association between Lincoln and the teachings of Marx was legitimate. What I found was shocking - perhaps more so to the average products of public education than I, but admittedly I was astonished. Herein I will endeavor to acquaint my readers with a couple of the more damning facts which give us reason to question the allegiance of the Republican party to free markets and limited government. While I cannot offer nearly half of the information I'd like to, I encourage you if interested to pick up a copy of the book by clicking on the icon above. These are facts historians have conveniently left out and its time Americans became introduced to them. They will explain the "state capital" tendencies of the GOP, expose the Lincoln cult, and trace the origin of the progressive disease in the US. I ask you to continue to read and in so doing unlock history's best kept secrets.
When we survey the history of the "Civil War" through the eyes of the world's most notorious communist, we are acquainted with a man who hated (as can be seen in his post-war letter to President Johnson) the South out of pathetic ignorance. Karl Marx supposed that the South had in secret prepared to undermine the United States for years, that Jefferson Davis was a "dictator," that the Confederate Constitution (which outlawed the slave trade) promoted slavery, that the Supreme Court was a tool of slaveholders, and that the South geographically encompassed three-quarters of the Union.
In the autumn of 1861 Marx, the Father of Communism, wrote the following regarding the "American Civil War."
The war of the Southern Confederacy is, therefore, not a war of defense, but a war of conquest, a war of conquest for the extension and perpetuation of slavery.
It is interesting to observe that virtually all Liberals and a majority of modern day conservatives would heartily agree with such a statement. This should raise a "red flag" in the minds of those who love liberty.Why is it that the majority of Americans, even those who advocate the free-market, agree with the way in which Karl Marx of all people framed the cause of the war? Though Marx and his partner in communism Fredrick Engels lived in Great Britain, they served "as propaganda agents for the Northern cause in Europe." The authors point out that "while most Americans think of abolition of slavery as an end in itself, communists had a completely different view of abolition." Marx stated in The Civil War in the United States, "Labor cannot emancipate itself in the white skin where in the black it is branded." After the war was over Marx said in a speech:
And the successful close of the war against slavery has indeed inaugurated a new era in the annals of the working class. . . Still the Civil War offered a compensation in the liberation of the slaves and the impulse which it thereby gave to your own class movement.
As one can see, the freeing of the slaves was not an end in itself to the Father of Communism, but rather a means to an end- that end being the revolution of the working class against the proletariat. I should note that the authors do dismantle Marx's notion that the South was aggressively fighting to "perpetuate" slavery. On the contrary, the War Between the States was a war of centralism vs. federation, of humanism vs. Christianity, of socialism vs. capitalism, and of imperialism vs. popular sovereignty. We do not have time to address Marx's popular lie in this review, but would encourage those curious regarding this issue to pick up a copy of Myths of American Slavery.
After Lincoln's second inaugural victory, Marx delivered a congratulatory letter to the 16th president on behalf of the International Workingmen's Association which stated in no uncertain terms where the allegiance of the communist community lay. The last paragraph of the letter is as follows:
The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world.
Though no conservative should have a problem with the rescuing of "an enchained race" (Although it may be pointed out that Lincoln never accomplished this task, and the radical republicans enchained all men to civil slavery while in the process making the lot of the slave even worse) all of our eyebrows should raise when we hear the words "reconstruction of a social world." Was Lincoln fulfilling the next step in creating a world in Marx's image? How can this be?
The answer lies in an idea of strong central government promoted by Alexander Hamilton, passed on to Henry Clay, and finally making its way into the White House through the election of Abraham Lincoln. The "American System" as it was called is defined by the authors as "nothing less than an attempt to increase the power of the Federal government beyond that which the Constitution authorizes." Clay, a politician Lincoln modeled himself after, was an advocate of centralized banking, internal improvements, and protective tariffs all of which conflicted with the Constitution and promoted a centralized state. Sometimes these policies are referred to as "State Capitalism," a system in which the government favors certain businesses and regions over others in exchange for favors and vice-versa. It goes without saying that it takes a strong central government to impose a system of redistribution. The communist transformation (note: communist and socialist meant the same thing in 1860) of America gained legitimacy under the leadership of the early Republican party due to these policies. If we compare the Communist Manifesto to Lincoln's actions we can see this quite clearly. The Manifesto calls for a "heavy progressive or graduated income tax." In comparison, Lincoln signed the Legal Tender Act in 1862, and the national currency acts in 1863 and 1864. Instantly a system of nationally charted banks were created and a federally run national banking monopoly was born. One of the leading supporters for nationalizing baking, (R) John Sherman of Ohio proclaimed, "Nationalize as much as possible [and thereby] make men love their country before their states." In 1862 Lincoln signed America's first income tax into law creating the first IRS service. Another idea supported by both Lincoln and Marx was Federal involvement in education. In 1862, Lincoln signed the Morrill act, named for Senator Justin Morrill who defended it this way: "The role of the national government is to mold the character of the American people." Instantly money that was made through Federal land grant sales went to funding colleges. It goes without saying that Washington controlled the curriculum. In Carl Sandburg's six-volume account of the life of Lincoln he highlights something conservatives should find disturbing. When referring to Robert Owen's (an early American socialist) utopia it is said that "the scheme lighted up Lincoln's heart." It is for these reasons that columnist Vin Suprynowicz has called Lincoln and his most ardent supporters "American Bolsheviks."
The communist connections and participants in Lincoln's War emphasized by Red Republicans are to numerous to mention within the limited space here, so for times sake I will mention some of the more influential men and important connections. After the failed socialist revolutions of 1848 which encompassed most of the European continent, many German, English, Hungarian, Bavarian, etc. atheistic socialists flocked to the United States having been banned from their homelands for treason. Ironically just about all of them wound up in the North (for a number of factors including an already strong progressive movement brought on by Transcendentalists and Unitarians) as ardent supporters of the Republican party. During the first GOP convention one of the main objectives of the Forty-Eighters was to assure that "Puritans and native born Americans" would not control the party. The Germans, being the largest of the immigrant groups, contributed the greatest to Lincoln's election. Frederick Engels (Marx's brother in arms) pointed out, "had it not been for the experienced soldiers who had entered America after the European revolution -- especially from Germany -- the organization of the Union army would have taken still longer than it did." The first GOP convention included 19 German -American delegates, most of whom were forty-eighters some of whom were personal friends of Marx and Engels. In fact, the GOP platform included protection of voting rights for foreign-born citizens and promotion of the Homestead Act under the nickname of the "Dutch" (i.e. German) planks. Lincoln valued the German vote so much that he even secretly purchased a German newspaper, the Illinois Staats Anzieger before his election. In fact, just about every, if not all, of the German communist participants highlighted in Red Republicans were at some point journalists for German newspapers in the U.S.. It was the "default" vocation for exiled socialists.
A couple of the more influential German Forty-Eighters (i.e. communist revolutionaries) in the GOP were Carl Schurz who was a GOP delegate, Lincoln supporter, minister to Spain in Lincoln's administration, General in the Union Army, Secretary of the Interior under Hays, senator from Missouri, journalist, and president of the National Civil Service Reform League (a position he used to disenfranchise Native Americans just as he had the South). Franz Sigel served as a general in the Union Army and became the superintendent of the St. Louis Public School system. It is worthy of mentioning that the uniforms of the Third Regiment of Missouri under his command had been customized to resemble the socialist revolutionary uniforms worn in Germany in 1849. Friedrich Karl Franz Hecter who led the German revolution was a key player in obtaining the German vote for Lincoln, he also led a German regiment in the war. August Willich, a personal friend of Marx (Marx described him as a "communist at heart") recruited more than 1,500 German soldiers and became a Union General. Louis Blenker was General of the 8th New York Infantry and gained a reputation in Northern Virginia as a looter from the way in which he commanded his men to steal from the civilian population. Edward Solomon and two of his three brothers became Generals (the 4th was a Sergent) in the Union Army, he himself became governor of Wisconsin. Another Edward Solomon (unrelated, who was a bit young to be a forty-eighter, yet was still a socialist) became a General under General Grant and was awarded the appointment of governor of the Washington territory from President Grant. Friedrich Kapp, a newspaper man after the German revolution, was an elector for the GOP and became the commissary of immigration in 1867. Fritz and Mathilde Anneka were influential German revolutionaries who were also friends with Karl Marx and supported the Union war effort through speeches and journalism. Mathilde went on to be one of the original radical feminists in the United States. Karl Heizman was also a journalist and became an advocate of terrorism against the South by attacking civilians and women and children (an idea unfortunately implemented). Joseph Weydemeyer was a close associate of Marx's the Annekes and Willich starting the first Marxist organization in the U.S., the Proletarian League of New York, and starting two socialist newspapers which favored Lincoln. Peter Joseph Osterhaus became a postwar military governor in Vicksburg after serving under General Sherman. Max Weber migrated to New York from Germany to become a General in the Union Army, an IRD agent (modern day IRS), and finally a U.S. consul to Naples.
When we turn our attention to the Non-German socialists the connection between the Republican government and socialism becomes even more clear. It is thought that Lincoln himself offered Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian leader of socialism against the Pope the position of commander of Union forces, a position Garibaldi declined upon Lincoln's refusal to reframe the war as being "anti-slavery." Two of the members of John Brown's gang were Forty-Eighters (from Bavaria and Vienna). Frederick Hassaurek from Vienna edited a German newspaper in Cincinnati, campaigned for John Fremont (the first Republican candidate for president), and became a diplomat to Ecuador under Lincoln. Julius Staul, a Hungarian revolutionary, became the US consul to Japan and Shanghai after serving under Fremont in the Union Army as a General. Fremont's chief of staff was Alexander Asboth, also from Hungary. He went on to become a U.S. diplomat to Argentina. In fact, Fremont (the famous explorer, GOP presidential candidate, and general) is so connected with socialism judging from the men he surrounded himself with, most of whom are not included in this review, that it leaves little doubt that he himself was a socialist.The commander of Fort Delaware (a notorious Union prison camp in which captured Confederates were tortured and killed) was Hungarian revolutionary Albin Francisco Schoepf. Thomas Francis Meagher was an influential Irishmen who helped substantially in the raising and commanding New York's Irish Brigade. He was also a journalist, lecturer, and not to mention a convicted criminal having been first deported to Australia (penal colony) by Great Britain. Lorez Brentano, another Forty-Eighter became a senator from Illinois and served as a U.S. ambassador to Dresden.
Many of the early republican socialist leaders weren't foreign at all. John C. Fremont was the first Republican presidential candidate, Senator John Sherman was General William T. Sherman's brother, General Sherman himself was on a list of "approved communists", Charles A. Dana who was according to Lincoln the "eyes of the administration" was Assistant Secretary of War and a very close friend of Marx and Engels. Horace Greeley, a committed communist, hired Dana as an editor for his paper The New York Tribune, and included Karl Marx as a columnist. If we broadened our margins to include Unitarian, Transcendentalist, and other Utopian humanists supporters of the Union we would have a very large list of influential socialists indeed.
Having recently finished Mein Kampf part I, I find it almost laughable to hear modern conservatives compared to Adolph Hitler. Hitler was nothing more than a "National Socialist" which is what the Nazi party stood for. His railings against communism were over a slight disagreement in their method of class warfare and international socialism. He chose race/cultural warfare instead of class, however still maintaining the basic principles of socialism (save perhaps destruction of the family). It is interesting to note that Hitler had much in common with Lincoln (No I'm not saying Lincoln was a Nazi). Hitler stated in Mein Kampf
The states that make up the American Union are mostly in the nature of territories. . . formed for technical administrative purposes. These states did not and could not possess sovereign rights of their own. Because it was the Union that created most of these so-called states.
Abraham Lincoln said:
The Union is older than the States and, in fact created them as States. The Union, and not themselves separately, procured their independence and their liberty. The Union threw off their old dependence for them and made them States, such as they are.
Aside from being completely wrong historically speaking the philosophy behind both statements is also wrong. Hitler believed in a Reich that would last 1,000 years. In other words a "perpetual" empire, insofar as human governments can be ongoing. Lincoln believed that the nation would "not perish from the earth." Since neither Lincoln nor Hitler were Christians in the orthodox sense it is doubtful that their token statements about God from a Christian perspective were legitimate. It is more likely that as master politicians they were able to fulfill the expectations of religious people while pursuing a centralized God-like state with their actions. Actions do speak louder than words.And Hitler's actions were akin to Lincoln's. The authors state:
. . .the Federal Republic of Germany was composed of twenty-five German states. . . free, independent, and sovereign. . .One of the first things done by Hitler. . . was to deny any claim of state sovereignty by these states and to consolidate all power into one big government.
Placing a government in a position of perpetuity is to ascribe to it an attribute of God, and deny Him the right to divide a people as He did at Babel and as He'll do when He returns. It places man's faith in a "stable" system instead of a stable God.
At the very least it should be mildly disturbing to hear that Hitler and Marx were named among the fans of Lincoln, and it should call into question just how "Republican" in the conservative sense Lincoln truly was. Far from being a sole indictment against Lincoln however, we should call into question the whole origin of the GOP. Are they truly conservative if they look back to Lincoln for inspiration? They were the original party to allow socialists to gained admittance into the U.S. government, which ushered in the progressive era of Roosevelt, Wilson, and FDR. It's clear that a "renewal" is not the answer for the GOP, but rather a complete start from scratch. Either that or the creation of a third-party that will adhere to the Constitution and stop trampling on the rights of states and people like both parties have been in the habit of doing over the past 150 years. Still, it is the principles of God that will save this nation, the God that Hitler, Marx, and Lincoln rejected, not political parties. It is a battle of humanism vs. Christianity and only revival in the orthodox Christian sense has any hope of restoring the government of the United States.