Marxist "Reconstruction" Part Two
by Al Benson Jr.
Back in 1929 Claude Bowers wrote an excellent book called The Tragic Era. It dealt with, state by state, exactly what the reconstructionist carpetbaggers did to the South during the "reconstruction" years. Folks, let me tell you, it is not an enjoyable read. There are times when you want to take the book and throw it at the wall. Interestingly enough, Claude Bowers was a Northerner who just tried to tell the truth about "reconstruction." For years his book was out of print. Someone recently told me it had been reprinted back in 1991 or thereabouts. Check Amazon.com on the Internet and see if you can find it.
Naturally, a book telling the truth about "reconstruction" could not be permitted to stand unchallenged. That paragon of Marxist virtue, W. E. B. DuBois, published Black Reconstruction in America. It has been described in leftist circles as a "monumental study" which portrayed "reconstruction" as "an idealistic effort to construct a democratic, interracial political order from the ashes of slavery, as well as a phase in a prolonged struggle between capital and labor for control of the South’s economic resources." (Foner) There’s a Marxist mouthful if ever there was one!
Then, in 1988, leftist "historian" Eric Foner came along with his new book Reconstruction–America’s Unfinished Revolution. Naturally Foner hewed the same basic line that DuBois had, and he didn’t think too much of Bowers’ book either. Yet, even Foner was forced to admit, in the title of his book, that "reconstruction" was "an unfinished revolution." Of course you need to understand where Foner was coming from.
In an article that appeared in the second quarter 1994 issue of the Southern Partisan magazine, Murray Rothbard, noted Libertarian author, made notable mention of Eric Foner as a key player in promoting the Marxist version of "reconstruction." Of Foner he said: "He is none other than the notorious Eric Foner, Marxist-Leninist historian at Columbia University and the country’s most famous Marxist-Leninist historian of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Foner, as might be gathered, is fanatically anti-South and a vicious smearer of the Southern Cause." Not exactly a glowing testimonial to Foner’s strict neutrality in historical matters!
Rothbard continued: "Eric Foner is a member of the notorious Foner family of New York; one Foner was the head of the Communist-dominated Fur Workers Union; and two more were Marxist-Leninist historians, one, Philip S. Foner, the author of volumes of party-line history of American Labor." With a family background such as this, what else could you expect from Eric Foner but a thoroughly Marxist version of "reconstruction"?
Foner went on to say in his book on "reconstruction" that: "(t)he establishment of the public school systems, the granding of equal citizenship to blacks, the effort to revitalize the devastated Southern economy–these were commendable achievements, which refuted the traditional description of the period as a ‘tragic era’ of rampant misgovernment." I’m sorry, Mr. Foner, but your assessment of "reconstruction" is slightly less than accurate. In reading such material you have to have some understanding of the Marxist mentality to fully grasp what Foner is saying.
First, in regard to the establishment of public, or government schools, you must remember that Karl Marx in the Communist Manifesto urged "Free education for all children in public schools…" Marx and the socialists in this country wanted public, or government schools. So the public school system, which had been almost non-existent in the South before the War was now established in the Southern states, staffed with Yankee teachers and Yankee/Marxist textbooks, and the whole idea was to teach the Southern kids, not the three R’s, but rather "respect for national authority" according to author John Chodes, who has written on this subject. The Southern kids had to be brainwashed and taught to be ashamed of what their fathers had done in the War, in seceding, so they would never again even think of seceding from "one nation indivisible."
As for "equal citizenship for blacks" you must also understand that what this amounted to in the real world was the transfer of the slaves from private ownership to federal oversight, via the Freedmen’s Bureau. No longer would blacks in the South depend on the plantation owner for their daily bread–now they would get it from the Freedmen’s Bureau or the Union Leagues–just as long as they did what those organizations wanted them to–vote to make sure the Republican Party stayed in office in perpetuity. And, thanks to the emerging "Civil Rights" movement, that situation has pretty much remained unchanged, except that now the Democrats have federal oversight instead of the Republicans. But, then, since the same people control both parties, what’s the real difference anyway?
Booker T. Washington, in his autobiography Up From Slavery, noted the evil effects that "reconstruction" had for blacks in the South. Washington wrote: "Though I was but little more than a youth during the period of reconstruction, I had the feeling that mistakes were being made and that things could not remain in the condition that they were in then very long. I felt that the reconstruction policy, so far as it related to my race, was in large measure on a false foundation, was artificial and forced. In many cases it seemed to me that the ignorance of my race was being used as a tool with which to help white men into office, and that there was an element in the North which wanted to punish the Southern white man by forcing the Negroes into positions over the heads of the Southern whites.I felt that the Negro would be the one to suffer for this in the end…I saw colored men who were members of the state legislatures, and county officers, who, in some cases, could not read or write, and whose morals were as weak as their education."
Washington was astute enough that the so-called "reconstructors" had no use for a man of his discernment and wisdom, and so his comments were ignored–accurate, but ignored. They didn’t fit the game plan. Washington was a man of proven moral character–therefore the carpetbaggers and the Marxist practitioners of class struggle could not use him, could not buy him, and so had no use for him. Marxist mentalities dislike people with strong moral convictions that dare to disagree with their agenda because those moral convictions often get in their way as they seek to implement the party line.
Remember one thing. The War of Northern Aggression was this country’s Marxist revolution and we have all lived in "Post America" ever since.
Copyright © 2006-2009 Al Benson, Jr.
On The Web: www.albensonjr.com/marxistreconstruction2.shtml