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Sun Feb 15, 2015, 05:03 PM

"What path would world history have taken if Marx had become a Texan?"

This article is a couple of years old, but a great read for Presidents Day.

Lincoln and Marx

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2012/08/lincoln-and-marx/



Abraham Lincoln, as president, chose to reply to an “Address” from the London-based International Workingmen’s Association. The “Address,” drafted by Karl Marx, congratulated Lincoln on his reelection for a second term. In some resonant and complex paragraphs, the “Address” heralded the world-historical significance of what had become a war against slavery. The “Address” declared that victory for the North would be a turning point for nineteenth-century politics, an affirmation of free labor, and a defeat for the most reactionary capitalists who depended on slavery and racial oppression.

Lincoln saw only a tiny selection of the avalanche of mail he was sent, employing several secretaries to deal with it. But the US Ambassador in London, Charles Francis Adams, decided to forward the “Address” to Washington. Encouraging every sign of support for the Union was central to Adams’s mission. The Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863 had made this task much easier, but there were still many sections of the British elite who sympathized with the Confederacy and some who favored awarding it diplomatic recognition if only public opinion could be brought to accept this.

The “Address” carried, beside that of Marx, the signatures of several prominent British trade unionists as well as French socialists and German social democrats. The Ambassador wrote to the IWA, explaining that the president had asked him to convey his response to their “Address.” He thanked them for their support and expressed his conviction that the defeat of the rebellion would indeed be a victory for the cause of humanity everywhere. He declared that his country would abstain from “unlawful intervention” but observed that “The United States regarded their cause in the present conflict with slavery-maintaining insurgents as the cause of human nature, and they derived new encouragement to persevere from the testimony of the working men of Europe.”

Lincoln would have wished to thank British workers, especially those who supported the North despite the distress caused by the Northern blockade and the resulting “cotton famine.” The appearance of the names of several German revolutionaries would not have surprised him; the defeat of the 1848 revolutions in Europe had swelled the flood of German migrants arriving in North America. At an earlier date — in 1843 — Marx himself had thought of immigrating to Texas, going so far as to apply to the mayor of Trier, his birthplace, for an immigration permit.

<snip>

4 replies, 1539 views

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Reply "What path would world history have taken if Marx had become a Texan?" (Original post)
Starry Messenger Feb 2015 OP
Jackpine Radical Feb 2015 #1
ctsnowman Feb 2015 #2
yallerdawg Feb 2015 #3
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2015 #4

Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Sun Feb 15, 2015, 06:59 PM

1. Just a belated K&R.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Feb 16, 2015, 08:10 AM

2. Great read

Thanks.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Feb 16, 2015, 10:08 AM

3. Another perspective on Marx.

He was a contemporary of our great American historical figure Abraham Lincoln.

In this light, Lincoln said what?

In his first message to Congress in December 1861, Lincoln criticized the “effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor in the structure of government.” Instead, he insisted, “labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor . . . Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 24, 2015, 03:55 PM

4. This is a great quote and not one that only Lincoln had expressed.

There were others, too. Proudhon was fond of saying something similar.

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