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Here is Uncle Karl in an 1850 address to the Central Committee of the Communist League (via Josh Muravchik’s work):

the workers must counteract … the bourgeois endeavors to allay the storm, and must compel the democrats to carry out their present terrorist phrases. Their actions must be so aimed as to prevent the direct revolutionary excitement from being suppressed again immediately after the victory. On the contrary, they must keep it alive as long as possible. Far from opposing so-called excesses, instances of popular revenge against hated individuals or public buildings that are associated only with hateful recollections, such instances must not only be tolerated but the leadership of them taken in hand.

In other words … violence.

And in thinking about the prospects of war, here is Muravchek:

In applauding the progressive consequences of war, Engels and Marx did not shirk from facing its destructive effects. They welcomed those, too — if the objects of destruction were regressive or outmoded (Wintercow: in their eyes of course). In this way, entire nations might be consigned to the ash heap of history. Slavs, in particular, needed to be done away with so that more progressive races might reach their fulfillment. Engels declared in Neue Rheinische Zeitung: “The universal war which [is coming] will crush the Slav alliance and will wipe out completely those obstinate peoples so that their very names will be forgotten … [It] will wipe out not only reactionary classes and dynasties but it will also destroy these utterly reactionary races … and that will be a real step forward.” Marx said much the same, looking forward to the “annihilation” of “reactionary races” such as the “Croats, Pandurs, Czechs and similar scum.”

Classy dudes. Damn those obstinate reactionaries.

2 Responses to “Engels, Marx and the Peaceful Historical Transition to Socialism”

  1. Trey says:

    All I can say is “wow”. Wish I had known this when we read the C Manifesto 1 year ago in a book club. Is there any redeeming quality to either Marx or his ideas? Will check out the book by Muravchek.

    • wintercow20 says:

      Marx as a person seems to be a lot more unsavory than you might guess from the way he is talked about. We can debate whether his ideas were evil or sincere or something in between, but we do know that he treated some of his family like total garbage. YMMV on the implications of that. But I have little tolerance for the intellectual depravity of a person and an idea that cannot be followed to its logical conclusion. I forget who I am pilfering here, but the problem with Marxism is not that people are not good enough for it, but rather Marxism is not good enough for people.

      I used to think this was obvious. Not so much anymore.

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