Thursday, August 17, 2017

Breitbart on “Racist Socialists”

Breitbart has an eyebrow-raising article here on early American socialists and their attitudes to race.

There are two points here.

First of all, it is true enough that many early socialists, Liberals and even some Marxists did believe in the biological reality of race and racial differences.

We know that Karl Marx at the end of his life seems to have believed in the reality of races, and even in a kind of racial phrenology and the racial pseudo-science of Pierre Trémaux (1818–1895) on racial degeneration.

Worse still, Marx’s attachment to racial phrenology is confirmed in one of his letters to Engels, in which Marx complains about the German radical Ferdinand Lassalle (1825–1864) who visited Marx in London in 1862:
Dear Engels,

From the enclosed scrawls you will partly see how bothered I am. ....

The Jewish nigger Lassalle who, I’m glad to say, is leaving at the end of this week, has happily lost another 5,000 talers in an ill-judged speculation. The chap would sooner throw money down the drain than lend it to a ‘friend’, even though his interest and capital were guaranteed. In this he bases himself on the view that he ought to live the life of a Jewish baron, or Jew created a baron (no doubt by the countess). Just imagine! This fellow, knowing about the American affair, etc., and hence about the state of crisis I’m in, had the insolence to ask me whether I would be willing to hand over one of my daughters to la Hatzfeldt as a ‘companion’, and whether he himself should secure Gerstenberg’s (!) patronage for me! The fellow has wasted my time and, what is more, the dolt opined that, since I was not engaged upon any ‘business’ just now, but merely upon a ‘theoretical work’, I might just as well kill time with him! In order to keep up certain dehors vis-à-vis the fellow, my wife had to put in pawn everything that wasn’t actually nailed or bolted down! ….

It is now quite plain to me — as the shape of his head and the way his hair grows also testify — that he is descended from the negroes who accompanied Moses’ flight from Egypt (unless his mother or paternal grandmother interbred with a nigger). Now, this blend of Jewishness and Germanness, on the one hand, and basic negroid stock, on the other, must inevitably give rise to a peculiar product. The fellow’s importunity is also nigger-like. ....

Salut.
Your
K. M.
Letter, Marx to Engels, London, 30 July, 1862.
http://marx.libcom.org/works/1866/letters/66_08_07.htm
While Friedrich Engels’ views on evolution were confused (he, for example, at times held the Lamarckian view that environmentally-acquired traits could be inherited), Engels shared Marx’s belief in races, and Engels’ own writings show that he thought that there were racial differences caused by evolution, including differences in general intelligence:
“… modern natural science has extended the principle of the origin of all thought content from experience in a way that breaks down its old metaphysical limitation and formulation. By recognising the inheritance of acquired characters, it extends the subject of experience from the individual to the genus; the single individual that must have experienced is no longer necessary, its individual experience can be replaced to a certain extent by the results of the experiences of a number of its ancestors. If, for instance, among us the mathematical axioms seem self-evident to every eight-year-old child, and in no need of proof from experience, this is solely the result of ‘accumulated inheritance.’ It would be difficult to teach them by a proof to a bushman or Australian negro.”
Friedrich Engels, Appendix: Notes to Anti-Dühring
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1883/don/appendix1.htm

“The superior development of Aryans and Semites is, perhaps, attributable to the copious meat and milk diet of both races, more especially to the favorable influence of such food on the growth of children. As a matter of fact, the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico who live on an almost purely vegetarian diet, have a smaller brain than the Indians in the lower stage of barbarism who eat more meat and fish.” (Engels 1909: 32).
I cannot verify the statements made in Breitbart about the American Marxist Victor Berger, who supposedly said that “There can be no doubt that the negroes and mulattoes constitute a lower race—that the Caucasian and indeed the Mongolian have the start of them in civilization by many thousand years,” though this statement is quoted in scholarly secondary literature as having been said by him.

But what can be said is that, even if they held them, in their opposition to, say, immigration these American socialists/Marxists like Victor Berger did not invoke such racial views, as can be conclusively seen in the public statements and resolutions of the Socialist Party of America here, here, here, of which Victor Berger was a prominent member. In reality, these socialists argued against mass immigration on pragmatic economic and social grounds, but did allow immigration of people suffering persecution, and did not call for immigration exclusion of people on the basis simply of their race.

But to return to the general point: as the author of the Breitbart article points out, must all the statues and monuments to socialists, Marxists and Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels be pulled down too, because of their racial views? If not, why not?

A secondary point is: are all these other accusations about early socialists in Breitbart accurate?

The article seems to imply that the newspaper Appeal to Reason (which existed from 1895 to 1922 and which became a leading socialist publication after 1901) supported some kind of state-enforced racial discrimination and forced segregation of blacks.

Is this true? Breitbart seems to be referring to a book called Leaves of Life: A Story of Twenty Years of Socialist Agitation (Girard, Kansas, 1912) by Julius Augustus Wayland, a radical American socialist who had founded Appeal to Reason in 1895, and who published the writings of other leading socialists like Jack London, Mary Harris Jones (“Mother” Jones), Upton Sinclair and Eugene Debs.

Here is the relevant passage:
“THE NEGRO AND SOCIALISM.
Socialism will solve the race question, and that, too, without a single reference to race and without denying to any person a single right accorded any other person. It will be done in just the way the government or society now employs colored soldiers or provides schools for them separate from the whites. Take, for instance, some great factory. The workers will make the regulations, governing the industry. It would require a majority of the workers to consent to the employment of colored, Chinese, or any other race in that particular factory, a consent not likely to be given. As every citizen would have the right of employment, a rejection of any race would necessitate the erection of a plant of that or some other character in which such colored citizens would be separated from the whites and the whites from the colored people, one not more than the other. The colored race would have the same right to reject or accept the association of whites. It would be to the interest of all to have the colored race furnished with the same good machinery to work with and the same good homes and schools and everything, as the result of their labor would be a matter of interest to all. Thus they would live as well as the whites and have every surrounding to develop and unfold them that could be placed about them. There would be communities or sections of blacks, of Chinese, or of any other races and nationalities, if there were such citizens. You might fear that such guarantee of employment and capital by the public would result in flooding this country with the hordes from other lands. Yes, if a majority of the people here should vote to admit them. But that is not likely. You see the public would own all the land, machinery and means of exchange, and no one could find a place to work, except the majority should make regulations admitting them. They come in now by the millions, with or without your consent, because the private owners of industries can hire them cheaper than you want to work for. You would need the anti-Chinese laws and other farces then. No, Chinamen might come, but Chinamen would not be able to work and live here without your consent. Thus you see that private ownership of industries mixes up the races, reducing blacks, whites and yellows to a common level, while socialism would separate the races and lift them all to the highest level of which each were capable. It would do this without denying one any right possessed by another, without denying employment to any class, and without permitting any to take profit off another. All the hell you see in the fields of industry today, all the riots, strikes and threatened revolution are the results of private ownership, where should be public ownership. All is the result of one set trying to squeeze profit out of the other in some industry. When you get wise you will abolish this hell and institute a heaven.” (Wayland 1912: 128–130).
A careful reading of this passage shows it doesn’t support the idea that Julius Augustus Wayland advocated some kind of state-enforced racial discrimination to oppress blacks, nor universal state-forced segregation of blacks.

Rather, the socialist world imagined by Wayland supported some kind of democratic and voluntary association and integration or voluntary separation, in accordance with the mutual wishes of workers and communities.

That might sound harsh by modern standards, but it’s hardly the picture strongly implied by Breitbart. Of course, the passage does show that, in Wayland’s view, ordinary American white workers probably would not have wanted to be integrated with other races, but that is a commentary on the general social attitudes and general racial feelings in early 20th century America, not on the socialist system Wayland advocated per se.

Nor did Wayland wish to oppress blacks or deny them employment or equal rights. This is perfectly clear in his explicit statements:
“Socialism will solve the race question, and that, too, without a single reference to race and without denying to any person a single right accorded any other person. …. As every citizen would have the right of employment, a rejection of any race would necessitate the erection of a plant of that or some other character in which such colored citizens would be separated from the whites and the whites from the colored people, one not more than the other. The colored race would have the same right to reject or accept the association of whites. …. socialism …. would do this without denying one any right possessed by another, without denying employment to any class, and without permitting any to take profit off another.” (Wayland 1912: 128–130).
As an aside, it is clear that Julius Augustus Wayland was not in favour of open borders, as in the case of other early American socialists as described here, here, here, but had a peculiar view of how to control borders:
“You might fear that such guarantee of employment and capital by the public would result in flooding this country with the hordes from other lands. Yes, if a majority of the people here should vote to admit them. But that is not likely. You see the public would own all the land, machinery and means of exchange, and no one could find a place to work, except the majority should make regulations admitting them. They come in now by the millions, with or without your consent, because the private owners of industries can hire them cheaper than you want to work for. You would need the anti-Chinese laws and other farces then. No, Chinamen might come, but Chinamen would not be able to work and live here without your consent. Thus you see that private ownership of industries mixes up the races, reducing blacks, whites and yellows to a common level, while socialism would separate the races and lift them all to the highest level of which each were capable.” (Wayland 1912: 128–130).
But, as we have seen from the context of the whole passage, Wayland thought that separation would be democratic and voluntary, and – whatever you think about the morality of any of this – Wayland’s views were not as extreme and sinister as the way they were portrayed by Breitbart.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Engels, Friedrich. 1909. The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (trans. Ernest Untermann). C. H. Kerr & Company, Chicago.
https://archive.org/details/originoffamilypr00enge

Wayland, Julius Augustus. 1912. Leaves of Life: A Story of Twenty Years of Socialist Agitation. Appeal to Reason, Girard, Kansas.
https://archive.org/details/leaveslife00unkngoog

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Orwellian Social Media

In essence, if there was any doubt at all that the Cultural Left has massive ideological control of popular social media like YouTube and tech companies like Google, then there can be no doubt now.

Sargon of Akkad exposures the massive private censorship on YouTube:



And Sargon himself has been suspended from Twitter:



I had my differences with Sargon on economics and his feeble “Classical Liberal” world-view, but he did heroic work exposing SJW lies and insanity, and these social media purges and Orwellian censorship are ominous signs.

See Sargon of Akkad’s other social media:
Sargon of Akkad on YouTube (main channel)
The Thinkery (second channel)
Sargon of Akkad on Facebook
See also Dave Rubin and Dave Rubin:
Gad Saad
The Rubin Report