How to shock your woke kin out of Marxism
In reading historian Paul Kengor's stunning new book on the demonic roots of the socialist movement — The Devil and Karl Marx — I came across one small section of the book that has the potential to deprogram the young Marxists in your life.
No, it is not Karl Marx's early and openly expressed willingness to walk on the wild side. "My soul is chosen for hell," Marx wrote as an aspiring young poet, one of his many publicly declared yearnings to embrace the satanic over-soul. (Quick digression: Had Marx been a better poet and Hitler a better painter, just think how different the world would be today.) Nor is it Marx's cruel exploitation of the women in his life.
No, what will trouble the clueless Marxists you might know — and if they are not clueless, they are evil — is Marx's extravagant racism and anti-Semitism. The anti-Semitism I knew about. The racism I did not.
Living as he did in 19th-century Europe — Germany, France, England — Marx had little opportunity to be a racist. There were very few people of African descent in his orbit. One who may not have been black at all was his Cuban son-in-law, Paul Lafargue. Marx simply assumed he had to be at least part black. Marx's partner in crime, Friedrich Engels, speculated that Lafargue possessed "one-eighth or one-twelfth nigger blood."
That was more than enough for Marx. "Lafargue has the blemish customarily found in the negro tribe — no sense of shame," he wrote to Engels, "by which I mean shame about making a fool of oneself." He routinely disparaged Lafargue as "Negrillo" and the "Gorilla."
There were, however, many Jews in Marx's orbit, including his own forbears. Marx himself grew up Christian but quickly renounced that lightly held faith for the glories of atheism. "What is the worldly cult of the Jew?" Marx wrote in his brutal essay, "On the Jewish Question" — "Haggling. What is his worldly God? Money. Very well! Emancipation from haggling and money and thus from practical and real Judaism, would be the self-emancipation of our age."
Writes Kengor, "Upon reading his words, one wonders how a single Jew could ever speak well of Karl Marx after this, let alone call himself a Marxist."
An early adapter of Darwinism, the vituperative Marx did his best to discern the racial heritage of the "Jewish nigger," rival socialist Ferdinand Lassalle. "It is now perfectly clear to me that, as the shape of his head and the growth of his hair indicates, he is descended from the Negroes who joined in Moses' flight from Egypt." And our self-avowed Marxists have the nerve to take down the statues of Jefferson and Jackson? Please!
I do Kengor an injustice by focusing on the above. The Devil and Karl Marx is a dazzling, unparalleled disquisition on the demonic forces that birthed Marxism and continue to shape it. Better yet, Kengor never forces the issue. The thesis has always been there right beneath the surface. He unearthed it and put it all in context.
Although I have never met Kengor, I have long been an admirer. He is one of the few academic historians willing to defy the crushing orthodoxy of his profession. I write about him at some length in my own new book, Unmasking Obama: The Fight to Tell the True Story of a Failed Presidency. His role in the unmasking was to write the first serious history of a man the media have tried desperately to ignore, Obama mentor Frank Marshall Davis. In the book, aptly titled The Communist, Kengor does not shy from taking on establishment figures like New Yorker editor David Remnick for their conscious role in denying the reality of Davis's politics and the depth of his relationship with the impressionable young Obama.
Despite the serious subject matter, Kengor is fun to read. How can you not admire an author who writes sentences as pithy as "Marx was, in short, a slob," or phrases as playful as "Marx's pom-pom boys and girls"? Coming in, I thought I understood Marxism as well as anyone. Coming out, I am almost embarrassed to admit how much I did not know. The Devil and Karl Marx is a genuine eye-opener.
Jack Cashill's new book, Unmasking Obama: The Fight to Tell the True Story of a Failed Presidency, will be published on August 18.