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Communist Support For The Union And For 'Reconstruction'

Al Benson, Jr.

For at least a decade I have been writing and talking about socialist and Communist support for Lincoln, the Union, and the radical 'reconstruction' revolution after the War of Northern Aggression had ceased.

This is something the 'historians' or should we label them 'hysterians' have only dared allude to in passing, except for the socialist historian James McPherson, who openly admits that Lincoln had the support of Marx and those of his ilk. Yet the Communists themselves have, for years, admitted their support for the Union. In a book published by a Communist publishing house, Reconstruction - The Battle for Democracy, written by a James Allen and published way back in 1937, Communist support for the Union side in the war is clearly mentioned. Allen has written of "German workers' groups" that aided in the Abolitionist Movement. He has said: "Many of their members enlisted in the Northern army and a number and a number led regiments which they themselves recruited. The Communist Club especially was active the the Abolition movement, some of its members even joining the Radical wing of the Republican Party." Several years back, Communist theoritician Herbert Apthecker wrote a book called, if I recall correctly, Abolitionism: A Revolutionary Movement. Mr. Apthecker had glowing praise for the Abolitionist Movement and its goals. Now maybe you know why. Allen noted, on page 25 of his book "Many socialist leaders and German emigres of the 1848 revolution, among them Joseph Weydemeyer, who was a close friend of Karl Marx, served as officers in the Union army."

So the Communists were involved with the Abolitionist Movement, they supported Lincoln and the Union cause, and they also supported the radical abolitionists who, after the war was over, instituted the horrible and shameful 'reconstruction' program, which was aimed at humiliating and prostrating the South completely. And 'reconstruction was aimed at destroying the theological base of the South as well as all the rest.

Allen felt that most American historians really tarnished the good images of such notables as Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner because they only dealt with the viteuperative hate these man harbored for the South. He felt that the historians had "shamefully besmirched the heroic role of Stevens and his radical associates." He observed: "One looks in vain to find in the writings of most American historians a recognition of the revolutionary character of the period following the Civil War." Sort of makes you wonder why, doesn't it? As much as I hate to agree with a Communist on anything, this guy had this aspect of 'reconstruction' accurately pegged. "Reconstruction" was truly "another revolution" in the words of Bakunin, the Russian anarchist. It changed America for the worst and we are, even in our day, reeling from the problems it created, to the extent that we now live in what many consider to be 'post-America' in the sense that the original system given to us by our founders no longer exists. It has been replaced with a system that was, and is, truly revolutionary in nature and intent. Allen has told us that Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner were "leading representatives of the Parliamentary Left." Can't argue with him there, either.

Claude Bowers, writing in The Tragic Era back in 1929 had accurately noted that the "reconstruction" years were "years of revolutionary turmoil." He recognized that fact, but because he refused to come from where the Communists were coming from, such well-known Communists as W. E. B. DuBois and others sought to defame his book, and even to this day they continue to rant about how horrible Bowers' book of 'reconstruction' is. They don't like Bowers because he dared to tell the truth about what happened to the South during 'reconstruction.'

Bowers wrote of the perpetrators of 'reconstruction' that "The story of this revolution is one of desperate enterprises, by daring and unscrupulous men, some of whom had genius of a high order. In these no American can take pride. The evil they did lives after them. They changed the course of history..."

A few years back, I wrote a little booklet called The Marxist Revision of Reconstruction--paving the way for Civil Rights. Somehow, it caught the notice of some leftwinger somewhere and was mentioned with derision in a publication called Z Magazine back in 1996, I think. In it I attempted to explain how the Marxists had tried to make 'reconstruction' appear as a glowing, positive event in our history and how they tore down those who opposed it.