The Ongoing Leftist Love Affair With Lincoln and the Union
December 11, 2011
by Al Benson Jr.
It has been no secret for quite some time that the political and religious Left in this country and in Europe greatly admired Abraham Lincoln and what he sought to do in waging the War of Northern Aggression. When you read some of their publications you realize they have no hesitation whatever in admitting this.
A few years ago a friend on the East Coast sent me part of a book printed back in the 1960s. The name of the book was “Americans Interpret Their Civil War.” It was written by a Thomas J. Pressly. Interestingly, in this book about how Americans interpreted the War of Northern Aggression there was a section on how the Marxists interpreted the War. One might be curious as to why, in a book about American interpretation of the War, the Marxists would be entitled to a whole section. Did the author think the Marxists represented that big a chunk of the population, or was it just wishful thinking on his part? We know the Marxists played a decisive part in the War. Donnie Kennedy and I, in our recently published book “Lincoln’s Marxists” dealt with this in some detail. We did so because this was one of those “ten best kept historical secrets” that most professional historians blithely ignore in hopes that the public will never get wind of it. We felt the public had a right to know. After all, it is our history.
Pressly did make some interesting observations. He noted that: “In some ways Marx and Engels explained the causes of the Civil War in a fashion quite similar to that of the most ardent abolitionists of the North.” This is not really surprising if you have looked at the religious persuasion of many of the abolitionists. Pressly observed that while “Marx and Engels desired a victory for the Union armed forces in the Civil War, they could not accurately be called ‘supporters of the Union’ without serious qualification.” Whether with “qualifications” or not, Marx and Engels did support Lincoln and the Union. That is a matter of record.
The socialist newspaper “The Militant” carried an article on January 26, 1998 dealing with the War. The headline for the article read “Civil War Opened New Era for U.S. Class Struggle.” This article called the War of Northern Aggression the “second American revolution.” Interestingly enough, that was the same term used by socialist-leaning “historian” James McPherson in the title of his book “Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution”–the same book in which McPherson informed us that Mr. Lincoln championed the leaders of the 1848 socialist/Communist revolts in Europe. In the “Militant” article it was duly noted that “Karl Marx and Friedrick Engels wrote extensively on the Civil War, and their co-thinkers in the United States fought with the Union Army against the slaveocracy.”
In an article printed from the “People’s Weekly World” for May 2, 1998, author Will Parry told us that “In his very trenchant commentaries on the U.S. Civil War, Marx pressed Lincoln to free and arm the slaves, and hailed the Emancipation Proclamation as ‘the most important document in American history since the establishment of the Union’.” So Marx and his cohorts liked the Emancipation Proclamation. Bet your “history” books in school never told you how important the Marxists thought the Proclamation was. Of course the Proclamation never really freed any slaves, but, hey, it was surely revolutionary in its intent, and the Marxists recognized that.
In yet another socialist article, writer Eric Lee bragged that “…Marx did more than just offer ‘critical support’ to the U.S. government. He advocated an expansion of the war, and particularly of the war’s goals. Marx was not interested in the limited goal of restoring the Union as declared by Lincoln, He wanted the war transformed into a revolutionary war, including a freeing of the slaves…” Can anyone out there with a brain honestly feel that Marx didn’t get what he wanted? Of course Lincoln only proclaimed publicly that he wanted to restore the Union. To get re-elected he dared not do anymore than that. But, looking at the results of the War you have to realize that Marx got what he wanted. Anyone who can look at what happened during “reconstruction” and not see the revolutionary intent just isn’t trying.
Then there is “Modern History: Textbook for the Ninth Forum.” This is a Russian textbook, printed in 1965, authored by A. V. Efimov. This also carried some interesting views on the War of Northern Aggression. For instance: “Immigrant workers organized national regiments. Workers’ regiments elected their own commanders; among these quite a few socialists were elected, such as Weydemeyer the German communist and friend of Marx’s. Best in the army were the workers’ regiments, which won many battles…With military operations developing as they did, the Northerners were forced to adopt the strategy which had been advocated from the very beginning in the articles of Marx and Engels. In 1864 a Northern army under General Sherman slashed through enemy lines, occupying the state of Georgia, where it started a Negro rebellion…” Stop and look at what this man has just told you. How many Americans realize this? It’s doubtful that it will ever show up in your history books or in the history books of your great grandchildren! Many Northern regiments were made up of socialists and Communists. Also, nothing less than the scorched earth policy perpetrated on Georgia by Sherman, the Grand Arsonist, was the brainchild of the Marxists! Think about that for a bit–and then get ticked off!
Lincoln had lots of socialists and Communists in his armies, and he was well aware of who and what they were. He had supported their socialist agenda for Europe in 1848 and now they reciprocated by supporting his socialist agenda for this country in 1861-65. They saw Lincoln’s efforts as the logical extension of what they tried to do in Europe in 1848 and failed at. Guess what folks–they didn’t fail in 1861-65. Read Marx’s ten points for overthrowing a country in the “Communist Manifesto” and see how many of those have been implemented in the United States since 1865. You need to read “Lincoln’s Marxists” to get a broad overview of all that has happened before, during, and since the War of Northern Aggression. You won’t like all the conclusions. We didn’t when we wrote it either. And if you chance to ask a “professional historian” he will probably tell you not to pay attention to the book, as no one but “neo-confederates” and “tea party members” will ever read it.
My question is: If they have either lied to us or ignored the very crucial truths about the War of Northern Aggression, what else have the lied to us about, or just plain left out?