Karl Marx: 1st To Suggest Political Genocide On Massive Order

(originally posted June 2013)

You always hear that the right is fascist, WRONG! Here is a short clip from a documentary that is able to respond quite well to this charge. One should watch the whole DOCUMENTARY, its cheap enough. But this snippet can be used as a great — embeddable — answer to the left leaning challenge that Nazism and Marxism is any different.

All quotes from THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF MARX AND ENGELS (also at MARX & FRIENDS IN THEIR OWN WORDS):


  • “…the very cannibalism of the counterrevolution will convince the nations that there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terrorism.” — Karl Marx, “The Victory of the Counter-Revolution in Vienna,” Neue Rheinische Zeitung, 7 November 1848.  (See entry of 29 Jan. 2007)
  • “By the same right under which France took Flanders, Lorraine and Alsace, and will sooner or later take Belgium — by that same right Germany takes over Schleswig; it is the right of civilization as against barbarism, of progress as against stability. Even if the agreements were in Denmark’s favor — which is very doubtful-this right carries more weight than all the agreements, for it is the right of historical evolution.” — Friedrich Engels, Neue Rheinische Zeitung 10. Sep. 1848 (See entry of 8 Jan. 2005)
  • “And as for the Jews, who since the emancipation of their sect have everywhere put themselves, at least in the person of their eminent representatives, at the head of the counter-revolution — what awaits them?” — – Karl Marx, Neue Rheinische Zeitung 17. Nov. 1848)
  • “Every provisional political set-up following a revolution requires a dictatorship, and an energetic dictatorship at that.” — Karl Marx, Neue Rheinische Zeitung 14. Sep. 1848
    (See entry of 9 Jan. 2005)
  • “Among all the nations and sub-nations of Austria, only three standard-bearers of progress took an active part in history, and are still capable of life — the Germans, the Poles and the Magyars. Hence they are now revolutionary. All the other large and small nationalities and peoples are destined to perish before long in the revolutionary holocaust. [“world storm” ? J.D.] For that reason they are now counter-revolutionary. …these residual fragments of peoples always become fanatical standard-bearers of counter-revolution and remain so until their complete extirpation or loss of their national character [A general war will] wipe out all these racial trash [Völkerabfälle – original was given at Marxist websites as “petty hidebound nations” J.D.] down to their very names. The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward.” — Friedrich Engels, “The Magyar Struggle,” Neue Rheinische Zeitung, January 13, 1849

  • “We discovered that in connection with these figures the German national simpletons and money-grubbers of the Frankfurt parliamentary swamp always counted as Germans the Polish Jews as well, although this dirtiest of all races, neither by its jargon nor by its descent, but at most only through its lust for profit, could have any relation of kinship with Frankfurt.” — Friedrich Engels, Neue Rheinische Zeitung, 29. Apr. 1849 (See entry of 17 Jan. 2005)
  • “Germans and Magyars [of the Austro-Hungarian Empire] untied all these small, stunted and impotent little nations into a single big state and thereby enabled them to take part in a historical development from which, left to themselves, they would have remained completely aloof! Of course, matters of this kind cannot be accomplished without many a tender national blossom being forcibly broken. But in history nothing is achieved without violence and implacable ruthlessness… In short, it turns out these ‘crimes’ of the Germans and Magyars against the said Slavs are among the best and most praiseworthy deeds which our and the Magyar people can boast in their history.” — Friedrich Engels, Neue Rheinische Zeitung, 15 February 1849 (See the entry of 6 April 2005)
  • “To the sentimental phrases about brotherhood which we are being offered here on behalf of the most counter-revolutionary nations of Europe, we reply that hatred of Russians was and still is the primary revolutionary passion among Germans; that since the revolution hatred of Czechs and Croats has been added, and that only by the most determined use of terror against these Slav peoples can we, jointly with the Poles and Magyars, safeguard the revolution. … Then there will be a struggle, an ‘unrelenting life-and-death struggle’ against those Slavs who betray the revolution; an annihilating fight and most determined terrorism  not in the interests of Germany, but in the interests of the revolution!” — Friedrich Engels, “Democratic Pan-Slavism” Neue Rheinische Zeitung 15. Feb. 1849  (See entry of 16 Jan. 2005 and 3 April 2005)
  • only by the most determined use of terror against these Slav peoples can we, jointly with the Poles and Magyars, safeguard the revolution there will be a struggle, an ‘inexorable life-and-death struggle’, against those Slavs who betray the revolution; an annihilating fight and ruthless terror not in the interests of Germany, but in the interests of the revolution!”  — Friedrich Engels, “Democratic Pan-Slavism, Continued,” Neue Rheinische Zeitung, 16 February 1849 (See entry of 29 Jan. 2007)
  • “We have no compassion and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror.” — Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels “Suppression of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung”, Neue Rheinische Zeitung, May 19, 1849 (See entry of 29 Jan. 2007)
  • “The workers must try as much as ever possible to counteract all bourgeois attempts at appeasement, and compel the democrats to carry out their present terrorist phrases. They must act in such a manner that the revolutionary excitement does not collapse immediately after the victory. On the contrary, they must maintain it as long as possible. Far from opposing so-called excesses, such as sacrificing to popular revenge of hated individuals or public buildings to which hateful memories are attached, such deeds must not only be tolerated, but their direction must be taken in hand, for examples’ sake. …from the first moment of victory we must no longer direct our distrust against the beaten reactionary enemy, but against our former allies [the democratic forces], against the party who are now about to exploit the common victory for their own ends only. … The arming of the whole proletariat with rifles, guns, and ammunition should be carried out at once [and] the workers must organize themselves into an independent guard, with their own chiefs and general staff, to put themselves under the order, not of the [new] Government, but of the revolutionary authorities set up by the workers. … Destruction of the influence of bourgeois democracy over the workers [is a main point] which the proletariat, and therefore also the League, has to keep in eye during and after the coming upheaval. …to be able effectively to oppose the petty bourgeois democracy. In order that [the democratic party] whose betrayal of the workers will begin with the first hour of victory, should be frustrated in its nefarious work, it is necessary to organize and arm the proletariat.” — Karl Marx “Address to the Communist League” March 1850, cited in E. Burns (ed): A Handbook of Marxism 1935, p.66-68.
  • “Removed and expelled members, like suspect individuals in general, are to be watched in the interest of the League, and prevented from doing harm. Intrigues of such individuals are at once to be reported to the community concerned.” — Rules written by Karl Marx and others for the Communist League (Art. 42) 1850 (See entry of 18 Jan. 2005)

  • “Society is undergoing a silent revolution, which must be submitted to, and which takes no more notice of the human existences it breaks down than an earthquake regards the houses it subverts. The classes and the races, too weak to master the new conditions of life, must give way.” — Karl Marx, “Forced Emigration”, New York Tribune 1853 (See entry of 29 Jan. 2005)
  • “Even with Europe in decay, still a war should have roused the healthy elements; a war should have awakened a lot of hidden powers, and surely so much energy would have been present among 250 million people that at least a respectable battle would have occurred, in which both parties could have reaped some honor, as much honor as courage and bravery can gain on the battlefield.” — Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, “The Boring War”, 1854 (See entry of 13 March 2005)
  • “Those dogs of democrats and liberal riff-raff will see that we’re the only chaps who haven’t been stultified by the ghastly period of peace.” — Karl Marx to Friedrich Engels (Letter, 25 February 1859) (See entry of 11 Feb. 2005)

“Thus we find every tyrant backed by a Jew, as is every pope by a Jesuit. In truth, the cravings of oppressors would be hopeless, and the practicability of war out of the question, if there were not an army of Jesuits to smother thought and a handful of Jews to ransack pockets.

the real work is done by the Jews, and can only be done by them, as they monopolize the machinery of the loan-mongering mysteries by concentrating their energies upon the barter trade in securities Here and there and everywhere that a little capital courts investment, there is ever one of these little Jews ready to make a little suggestion or place a little bit of a loan. The smartest highwayman in the Abruzzi is not better posted up about the locale of the hard cash in a traveler’s valise or pocket than those Jews about any loose capital in the hands of a trader The language spoken smells strongly of Babel, and the perfume which otherwise pervades the place is by no means of a choice kind.

Thus do these loans, which are a curse to the people, a ruin to the holders, and a danger to the governments, become a blessing to the houses of the children of Judah. This Jew organization of loan-mongers is as dangerous to the people as the aristocratic organization of landowners The fortunes amassed by these loan-mongers are immense, but the wrongs and sufferings thus entailed on the people and the encouragement thus afforded to their oppressors still remain to be told.

The fact that 1855 years ago Christ drove the Jewish moneychangers out of the temple, and that the moneychangers of our age enlisted on the side of tyranny happen again chiefly to be Jews, is perhaps no more than a historical coincidence. The loan-mongering Jews of Europe do only on a larger and more obnoxious scale what many others do on one smaller and less significant. But it is only because the Jews are so strong that it is timely and expedient to expose and stigmatize their organization.”

— Karl Marx, “The Russian Loan”, New York Daily Tribune, 4 January 1856 (See entry of 20 May 2009)

A Madison Quote Debunked

Wikiquotes records a person asking if the above quote is authentic. As with other quotes I have dealt with in the past, this one too seems a little too self-serving to be Madison. Here is the question and answer to the above:

I have come across this quote, attributed to Madison, in several blogs, and would like to know if it is authentic.

….I don’t know that De Leon meant that as an exact quote. It appears that he was speaking extemporaneously, not from a prepared statement. The whole convention was “stenographically reported by B. F. Keinard.”

Earlier, in 1889, De Leon had written an essay, The Voice of Madison, discussing what Madison had written about suffrage and property. De Leon’s essay is a little vague, but I believe that he is talking about remarks that Madison made at the Federal Constitutional Convention and later elaborated upon in a series of notes. Madison is talking about whether the right to vote should be limited to landholders, a restriction he opposed.

There is some similarity in theme between the purported quote and Madison’s discussion of suffrage. Madison does say that, as the population increased, the proportion of the population with property, especially farm land, will decrease. And he discusses the inherent conflict between the rights of those with property and those without. But I don’t see anything about our republic being an impossibility.

De Leon’s essay “The Voice of Madison” was reprinted, along with an essay about Karl Marx, in a small book in 1920, prefaced by the quote in question. De Leon had died in 1914, so he didn’t have the chance to proofread this book, so is not responsible for it appearing there. As I said earlier, I’m not sure that he meant it to be taken as an exact quote.

I hope that helps.

[….]

The purported quote looks more like it is De Leon giving his own quick summary of what Madison had to say in the essay which can be found here.

The question then becomes, who Daniel De Leon, and why would he twist Madison so? The answer is that he was a Marxist (propagandist):

Daniel DeLeon (1852–1914) was an American socialist newspaper editor, politician, Marxist theoretician, and trade union organizer. He is regarded as the forefather of the idea of revolutionary industrial unionism and was the leading figure in the Socialist Labor Party of America from 1890 until the time of his death.

Here is an excellent background to this communist/anarcho-leftist movement in Chicago in the late 1800s that included De Leon:

  • Theodore Draper, The Roots of American Communism (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003), 13-17.

Also transferred across the Atlantic was the bitter feud between Karl Marx and Michael Bakunin, the son of a Russian nobleman and the father of modern revolutionary anarchism. Bakunin’s ideas and methods became the stock in trade of the nineteenth century’s revolutionary underground—the conspiratorial form of organization, the cult of violence, the loathing of all authority, the quixotic vision of liberty and equality through destruction and chaos. A Revolutionary Socialist party was organized in Chicago in 1881 by an extremist faction which split away from the Socialist Labor party. The arrival in New York the following year of a German Bakuninist, Johann Most, gave the anarchists a mordant spokesman. Most spread the gospel of the “propaganda of the deed,” “expropriation” of the rich, and the beauty of a well-placed stick of dynamite. The “Revolutionary Socialists” and the anarchists united at a convention in Pittsburgh in 1883 and drew up a platform proclaiming that “there is only one remedy left—force.” By 1885, this organization claimed about 7000 members, over twice as many as the politically minded Socialist Labor party.

In a well-ordered society, this sort of agitation might have been dismissed as the ravings of madmen. But the United States of this time was not a particularly well-ordered society. Thousands of immi­grants poured into the country from Europe each year—almost 9,000,000 from 1881 to 1900. The relations between labor and capi­tal were largely undefined and uncontrollable except by sheer force on both sides. Employers fought labor organizations by every possible means. Strikes were ruthlessly crushed by armed guards, police, sheriffs, militia, and federal troops. Court injunctions tied the hands of unions on the mere threat of a strike. Working conditions often ranged from the primitive to the abominable. Bad times followed good times with monotonous regularity.

In this inflammable social climate, socialism, trade unionism, and anarchism were not the only panaceas. When the A.F. of L. was formed, the Knights of Labor boasted three times the membership of the trade unions. The Knights, founded in 1869, came out of a period when labor organizations were compelled to work in secrecy

to overcome the lockouts, blacklists, and forcible resistance of em­ployers. Originally conceived to promote education, mutual aid, and cooperation, it came to spend most of its energy on strikes and boycotts. In one respect, its struggles differed from those of the trade unions: the Knights organized the unskilled and semi-skilled, the trade unions the skilled workers. The decline of the Knights in the period 1886-1900 signified the ascendancy of the skilled craft labor of the trade unions, but the tradition of industrial unionism, which finally prevailed, goes back to the Knights of Labor.

The status quo was challenged from other directions. Henry George attacked land speculation as the source of all social evil and sought to stamp it out by taxing all profits from land equal to the full rental value—the “single tax.” In the great American utopian tradition, Edward Bellamy’s tremendously popular novel, Looking Backward, appeared in 1887. Bellamy’s hero awoke in the year 2000 A.D. to find a world of perfect virtue and virtuous perfection because the state had peacefully expropriated all private industrial enterprise and taken charge of the entire economy on a basis of equality and cooperation. Bellamy’s genteel and ethical vision of socialism ap­pealed to many more native Americans than did Marx’s analysis of the class struggle, but some of those who started with Bellamy ended with Marx. The Christian Socialist movement arose in the late 1880s. Some Protestant thinkers and ministers fought sin in the guise of capitalism and sought salvation in the form of socialism. The essential ideals of socialism were scattered far and wide, and in­corporated into many different systems of thought.

The official Socialist movement, however, was little more than a small, moribund, foreign-language sect until the Socialist Labor party was taken over by that imperious, eccentric, and magnetic personality, Daniel De Leon, in 1890. A lecturer on international law at Columbia University, De Leon had supported Henry George’s candidacy for mayor of New York in 1886 and had passed through both the Knights of Labor and the Bellamy movement. De Leon could not make the S.L.P. into a mass movement but he could give it an unprecedented theoretical vitality. The convert to Marxist doc­trine quickly became its outstanding American interpreter and even went on to do his own thinking in order to fill the gigantic vacuum left by Marx on the nature of the future socialist state. De Leon was a doctrinaire, but a creative one, a combination rarely encountered in Marxian dogmatists. When the future Communist leaders were growing up, De Leon was already a force to be reckoned with, and he initiated some of them into the mysteries of Marxism before that other creative doctrinaire, Lenin, came along to replace him in their affections.

Industrial unionism and Bellamyite utopianism served Eugene Victor Debs as stepping stones to socialism. A former railway fire­man born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Debs organized the American Railway Union on industrial-union lines in 1893. After a turbulent strike against the Pullman car company the following year, a sweeping court injunction, the intervention of government troops, and a debacle for the union, six months in jail for defying the injunction gave Debs the enforced leisure to start studying socialist literature. After this strike setback, Debs devoted himself to a scheme for the cooperative colonization of a sparsely settled Western state. Disap­pointed again, he announced his conversion to socialism in 1897. In­stead of joining forces with De Leon in the Socialist Labor party, how­ever, Debs formed a rival organization, the Social Democratic party, in 1898.

At about the same time, a rebellion began to erupt in the Socialist Labor party. The rebels, led by Morris Hillquit of New York, op­posed De Leon’s domineering personal rule and his anti-A.F. of L. trade-union policy. After much negotiation and maneuvering, the forces behind Debs and Hillquit combined to form the Socialist party of America in 1901. It brought together Christian Socialists and orthodox Marxists, immigrant workers and native intellectuals, trade-union officials and millionaire social reformers. Only a few of the delegates at the first Socialist party convention “had more than the haziest intellectual acquaintance with theoretical Marxism,” writes David A. Shannon. “Certainly the anticapitalism of many of the delegates derived more from Edward Bellamy’s Looking Back­ward than from Das Kapital.”

Those who were looking for a militant, extremist movement, however, were no longer likely to find it in socialism. The most excit­ing new phenomenon in the labor movement in the first decade of the twentieth century—the most impressionable early years of the future Communists—was syndicalism. It arose in the Western states where the craft unionism of the A.F. of L. could not or would not penetrate. The original impulse came from the Western Federation of Miners, formed in 1893 with William D. (Big Bill) Haywood as secretary-treasurer. The mine federation, an industrial union, had stormed out of the A.F. of L., charging lack of support, and had retaliated by setting up independent Western Labor centers, first the Western Labor Union, then the American Labor Union. Finally, a conglomeration of anti-A.F. of L. elements, including those in the American Labor Union, the Socialist Labor party, and the Socialist party, met together to form the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) at Chicago in 1905. At the outset, it was big enough to hold Debs, De Leon, and Haywood—but not for long.

Though most of the organizers of the I.W.W., including Haywood, were avowed socialists, they did not agree on the road to socialism. The fundamental dispute hinged on the old problem of political versus economic action. Should political parties or trade unions or both make the revolution? The orthodox Marxists put their faith primarily in revolutionary parties; the syndicalists, in revolutionary trade unions. The original preamble of the I.W.W.’s constitution referred to a struggle “on the political as well as on the industrial field.” This phrase did not go far enough for those who believed in revolutionary political activity and went too far for those who believed solely in revolutionary trade unionism. Debs left the I.W.W. in 1906 because he felt that it underestimated the importance of po­litical activity. De Leon was ousted in 1908 in a coup executed by an I.W.W. group more sympathetic to anarchism than to socialism. In that same year, the preamble was changed to eliminate the reference to political activity altogether. The I.W.W. developed into an American variety of anarcho-syndicalism whose battle cries were “direct action,” “sabotage,” and the “general strike.”

The Left Wing of the American labor movement before World War I had its deepest roots in two movements—socialism and syndicalism. Therefore it did not have a single home. It was in the main divided in its loyalties among three organizations—the Social­ist Labor party, the Socialist party, and the I.W.W. But that elusive and yet indispensable term—the Left Wing—cannot be fully under­stood organizationally. There are usually a number of rival groups within the Left Wing, each claiming to be the only true Left. The Left Wing of one period differs from the Left Wing of other periods. This instability is characteristic of a term which does not stand for a party or a program but rather for a relative position, and often only for a vague state of mind.

Nevertheless, there has been something like a historic Left in the American labor movement. As one Left Wing has followed an­other, a number of basic issues have recurred again and again. Since the Left Wing was less an organization than a fluctuating body of attitudes and ideas, these issues, more than anything else, gave it an enduring character.