by Al Benson Jr.
Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America
Over the years, in many articles, I have documented the support Karl Marx and his friend Engels had for and gave to the glorious Union during the War of Northern Aggression. By now if should be no secret (except to students reading government school “history” books) that these two radical leftist revolutionaries strongly favored the Union cause. Even court historian James McPherson has to admit as much, although he does such with pride.
It was mentioned in the book Karl Marx by Franz Mehring that the English branch of the Communist International, when Lincoln was re-elected in 1864, sent him a message of greetings and congratulations.
Marx was the one that drew the message up, addressing it to the “son of the working class” that had been given the job of leading his country “in a noble struggle to emancipate an enchained race.” That had to be a huge pile of 19th century cow chips because both Lincoln and Marx knew better. Neither of them gave a tinker’s damn for the “enchained race” except as an excuse to beat down the South.
According to Mehring, Marx put maximum effort into the message to Lincoln. Marx wanted the congratulatory message to be “different from the usual vulgar democratic phraseology which was the usual stock-in-trade of such documents. Lincoln did not fail to observe the difference.” Much to the surprise of a London newspaper… “he (Lincoln) answered the address in a warm and friendly tone.” It was what I have previously stated–a mutual admiration society consisting of Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, needless to say, was not the country bumpkin, hayseed lawyer that our “history” books carefully portray for us.
But, Marx and Engels were far from being alone. Other European radicals and socialists also strongly supported the Union cause. The well-known Russian revolutionary Michael Bakunin, with whom Marx had some notable differences, was also a partisan of the Union cause. According to the book Russian Radicals Look to America by David Hecht, Bakunin was a keen observer of social conditions in the United States.
According to Hecht: “As has already been recorded, Bakunin was a firm opponent of American slavery and unwaveringly supported the North during the Civil War. This attitude was shared by Herzen (also by Belinski, Chernyshevski, and Lavros), was to be expected…in view of his specifically Russian experience of opposition to serfdom.” So, not only Bakunin, but all these revolutionaries of various stripes supported the Northern position. Many of these European socialists hated each others guts but one thing they could all agree together on was their hated of the American South. The same situation exists in this country today. The various leftist groups in this country may disagree on much with one another but they are ready, willing and able to work together to totally dismantle our heritage, history and culture, most notably in the South.
While in America, Bakunin wrote to Herzen and Ogarev that “in the struggle between the Northern and Southern United States…of course…the North…has all my sympathies.” So Bakunin visited America. You have to wonder where these leftist agitators got the money to travel all around the world. Passage to America wasn’t cheap. Where did Bakunin get the bread to pay to come here?
Like Marx, Bakunin berated the North for its slow start in the War. After the war was over, Bakunin was strongly in favor of the radical “reconstruction” policies of Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner and Edwin Stanton and their crowd. He must have talked to all the “right” people while he was here. Bakunin wanted the North to impose revolutionary measures on the South (he got his wish).
Bakunin said that for “popular self-government” (really communism) to become a true reality, that “another revolution…far more profound…” would be a necessity. Stop and analyze what Bakunin said for a moment. He recognized the War of Northern Aggression as a revolution. By his use of the term “another revolution” he referred to a revolution BEYOND the War, which could only be the emergence of the beginnings of the “civil rights” movement that started with the adoption of the second 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Think about that for awhile.
Alexander Herzen, another of the Russian revolutionary socialists was an ardent foe of the Confederacy during the war. To him, Jefferson Davis was “the greatest political criminal of our time.” That seems to have been the prevalent opinion of the contemporary Russian radicals of that day.
So, from Marx and Engels to Bakunin and Herzen, the prevailing communist/socialist sentiment in Europe was overwhelmingly in favor of a Northern victory, contrary to the desires of ordinary working folks in Europe. The communists saw something in the Union cause they loved (apostasy and anti-Christianity) and they saw something in the Southern cause they hated, (orthodox, Reformed Christianity)! While this may seem over-simplified to some, it is the root from which the theology of socialism grows.
Considering the wide influence held in the North by abolitionists, Unitarians, and European communists and other radicals, I think we strongly need to reassess what our “Civil War” was really all about. The communist influence on, and tint to the Northern position, has only grown stronger as research has continued. “Those people” sought a revolution against a basically Christian South, and to put it in the right light, they dredged up slavery as their noble pretext for revolution. Had the slavery issue not been there, some other reason would have been used to justify their revolutionary intent.
Hopefully, with some of our most recent articles on this blog, you will have grasped the fact that our “Civil War” was little more than a pretext for socialist revolution in America. It was our French Revolution, and as France has not, to this day, recovered from her revolution so we have never fully recovered from ours, the real one, the “Civil War.” We live with the results of it still today. No one born after 1865 has ever lived under the system bequeathed to us by the Founders. Since the end of the War of Northern Aggression we have all been living in post-America.