Karl Marx and Barack Obama: The cost, history, and folly of communism in America

The following was written by Karl Marx in the August 1st edition of the New York Tribune from 1854. “The present splendid brotherhood of fiction-writers in England, whose graphic and eloquent pages have issued to the world more political and social truths than have been uttered by all the professional politicians, publicists and moralists put together, have described every section of the middle class from the “highly genteel” annuitant and fund holder who looks upon all sorts of business as vulgar, to the little shopkeeper and lawyer’s clerk. And how have Dickens and Thackeray, Miss Brontë and Mrs. Gaskell painted them? As full of presumption, affectation, petty tyranny and ignorance; and the civilized world have confirmed their verdict with the damning epigram that it has fixed to this class that “they are servile to those above, and tyrannical to those beneath them.’”

It is astonishing that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote articles for the New York Tribune from 1851 to 1861, yet it is never discussed openly. The Tribune was run by Horace Greeley, the idealist that ran against President Ulysses S. Grant’s second term, but died of insanity before the votes were counted. Over that ten year period, communist ideology was coming to America in one of the nation’s most influential newspapers at the time running all the way until 1967 after a merger with the Herald in 1924.

There can be no question that the Tribune played a powerful role in firming the stance against the South leading up to the Civil War. The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848 and these articles to the Tribune were written with full knowing what Marx and Engels represented. And it cannot be ignored that during the reconstruction acts, which Greeley took a great part of lobbying for the 14th Amendment which imposes so much federal power to this day over states rights, virtually nullifying the 10th amendment of the original Bill of Rights, the seeds of communism were planted here in the United States by this publisher and Karl Marx as the author.

During westward expansion, and mounting debts because of the war, and a rapidly changing economy that did leave some Americans behind due to the nature of competition and the influence of technology upon that change, the thoughts of Marx took hold from some of those home sick German immigrants paying attention to the so-called philosopher from Germany, who wrote about equalizing the playing field for all workers everywhere.

The shallow battle cry of equality is what the Bolsheviks under Lenin wanted. And what he gave them was a leader that clung to power, and opened the door for Stalin who sent the Soviet Union into the Stone Age of humanitarian thought.

We see in our modern age similar influences lost in the daily ruckus of living. But the ideology hasn’t changed much luckily, so the footprints are easy to see for anyone with eyes that care to look.

Currently President Obama is making those same socialist footprints. The President thinks that this time, the socialist idea will work if he is in charge and we call it a different name. His view is treacherously naive, but such Marxist rhetoric always has been. It falls under the illusion that if a leader is wise and all knowing, and therefore charitable, then the concept of equality for all will work.

A free society is hard. And competition is difficult. But the predictions Marx had about the evolution of capitalism seem like the same as the Nostradamus quatrains proclaiming the end of the world. Capitalism is still here, and with it, more people everywhere have a chance at a quality life than anywhere in the history of the world. The only disparity is from those that read Marx, and keep waiting for someone to equalize things for them. They are the ones pointing to the disparity that they created for themselves.

The philosopher that founded our country, John Locke, where is he in this debate? Why doesn’t his name come off the tongues of anybody? It is apparent that his method of ending a monarchy’s grip, which lead to the United States, and Marx’s idea of ending the same, lead to the Soviet Union, one prospered, and one didn’t.

Marx’s thoughts have failed everywhere they have been employed. The proof is all around us; in spite of the childish shrill from our current president. And what we do with that proof is up to us. However, one thing is sure, and that is history repeats itself. What happened in the mid-1800s from a broke German writer with seven children and another from his housekeeper, living in London who managed to write for a powerful New York newspaper, is bound to happen again and with greater influence in our current media driven society. But this time that ideologue lives in the White House.

Rich Hoffman