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When Karl Marx Worked For Horace Greeley (JFK mentoned this in 1961)
American Heritage Magazine ^ | April 1957 | William Harlan Hale

Posted on 09/20/2011 1:59:38 AM PDT by No One Special

On Saturday morning, October 25, 1851, Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune , entrenched after a decade of existence as America’s leading Whig daily, appeared with twelve pages rather than its usual eight. The occasion was too noteworthy to be passed over without comment by the paper itself. So a special editorial was written—probably by Greeley’s young managing editor, the brisk, golden-whiskered Charles A. Dana—to point it out.

Besides a “press of advertisements.” the editorial ran, this morning’s enlarged paper contained “articles from some foreign contributors that are especially worthy of attention.” Among these were “a letter from Madame Belgioioso, upon the daily and domestic life of the Turks, and another upon Germany by one of the clearest and most vigorous writers that country has produced—no matter what may be the judgment of the critical upon his public opinions in the sphere of political and social philosophy.”

Turning the pages to see who this most clear and vigorous German might be, readers glanced past such items as a “Grand Temperance Rally in the igth Ward“; a Philadelphia story headlined “Cruelty of a Landlord—Brutality of a Husband”: a Boston campaign telegram announcing a Whig demonstration “in favor of Daniel Webster for President.” Then they reached a long article entitled “Revolution and Counter-Revolution,” over the by-line, Karl Marx.

“The first act of the revolutionary drama on the Continent of Europe has closed,” it began upon a somber organ tone; ”“The ‘powers that were’ before the hurricane of 1848, are again the ‘powers that be.’ ” But, contributor Marx went on, swelling to his theme, the second act of the movement was soon to come, and the interval before the storm was a good time to study the “general social state … of the convulsed nations” that led inevitably to such upheavals.

He went on to speak of “bourgeoisie” and “proletariat”—strange new words to a readership absorbed at the moment with the Whig state convention, the late gale off Nova Scotia and with editor Greeley’s strictures against Tammany and Locofocoism. “The man goes deep—very deep for me,” remarked one of Greeley’s closest friends, editor Beman Brockway of upstate Watertown, New York. “Who is he?”

Karl Marx, a native of the Rhineland, had been for a short time the editor ol a leftist agitational newspaper in Cologne until the Prussian police closed it down and drove him out. At thirty, exiled in Paris, he had composed as his own extremist contribution to the uprisings of 1848 an obscure tract called the Communist Manifesto . At least at this moment it was still obscure, having been overtaken by events and forgotten in the general tide of reaction that followed the surge of 1848 abroad. Thrown out of France in turn as a subversive character, he had settled in London, tried unsuccessfully to launch another left-wing journal there, spent the last of his small savings, and now was on his uppers with his wife and small children in a two-room hovel in Soho, desperately in need of work.

The following week Karl Marx was in the Tribune again, continuing his study of the making of revolutions. And again the week after that. “It may perhaps give you pleasure to know,” managing editor Dana wrote him as his series of pieces on the late events in Germany went on, “that they are read with satisfaction by a considerable number of persons and are widely reproduced.” Whatever his views might be, evidently the man could write. Next he branched out and wrote for Greeley and Dana on current political developments in England, France, Spain, the Middle East, the Orient—the whole world, in fact, as seen from his Soho garret. News reports, foreign press summaries, polemics, and prophecies poured from his desk in a continuous, intermixed flow, sometimes weekly, often twice-weekly, to catch the next fast packet to New York and so to earn from Greeley five dollars per installment.

This singular collaboration continued for over ten years. During this period Europe’s extremest radical, proscribed by the Prussian police and watched over by its agents abroad as a potential assassin of kings, sent in well over 500 separate contributions to the great New York family newspaper dedicated to the support of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, temperance, dietary reform, Going West, and, ultimately, Abraham Lincoln. Even at his low rate of pay—so low that his revolutionary friend and patron, Friedrich Engels, agreed with him that it was “the lousiest petty-bourgeois cheating”—what Marx earned from the Tribune during that decade constituted his chief means of support, apart from handouts from Engels. The organ of respectable American Whigs and of their successors, the new Republican party, sustained Karl Marx over the years when he was mapping out his crowning tract of overthrow, Das Kapital .

In fact, much of the material he gathered for Greeley, particularly on the impoverishment of the English working classes during the depression of the late ’s, went bodily into Das Kapital . So did portions of a particularly virulent satire he wrote for the Tribune on the Duchess of Sutherland, a lady who had taken the visit of Harriet Beecher Stowe to London as the occasion to stage a women’s meeting that dispatched a lofty message of sympathy to their “American sisters” in their cause of abolishing Negro slavery. Marx scornfully asked what business the Duchess of Sutherland had stepping forth as a champion of freedom in America, when at home she herself was living oil vast Scottisli estates from which not so long ago her own family had driven oil 3,000 tenant families and burned their villages in order to turn the land back to pasture lands and ducal hunting preserves.

The Tribune was not only Marx’s meal ticket but his experimental outlet for agitation and ideas during the most creative period of his life. Had there been no Tribune sustaining him, there might possibly— who knows?—have been no Das Kapital . And had there been no Das Kapital , would there have been a Lenin and a Stalin as the master’s disciples? And without a Marxist Lenin and Stalin, in turn, would there have been …? We had best leave the question there. History sometimes moves in mysterious ways.

Continues at [single page] or [multiple pages]

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: greeley; horacegreeley; karlmarx; marx
FWIW I think this artice and what follows here is important and very interesting and I would ask anyone with ping lists of Freepers who might find this interesting to ping their lists.

If you are at all interested in Communism and its history, you may be astounded by this article. It proposes that but for Horace Greeley and The New York Tribune's support for Marx at a time when he was practically penniless, Communism may not have become the doctrine that inspired Lenin, Stalin, Mao, et al.

There is also some interesting history of Progressivism in America around the middle of the 19th Century.

The author, William Harlan Hale, is the author of a biography of Horace Greeley entitled "Horace Greeley Voice Of The People" which was published in 1950.

Articles published by The Tribune under Marx's name are online. The early articles on "Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany" were written by Engels and are here. Later articles which were probably mostly written by Marx are here.

Now let's put this together with something else: JFK's speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association on April 27, 1961. JFK gave the speech the title, "The President and the Press". This was 2 weeks after the Bay of Pigs invasion in which Kennedy withdrew air support after the invasion had commenced thus ensuring mission failure.

This is the beginning of the speech. It is an introduction to the main body. It has a different take on Marx and Greeley as you will see. The whole speech can be read here.

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:

I appreciate very much your generous invitation to be here tonight.

You bear heavy responsibilities these days and an article I read some time ago reminded me of how particularly heavily the burdens of present day events bear upon your profession.

You may remember that in 1851 the New York Herald Tribune under the sponsorship and publishing of Horace Greeley, employed as its London correspondent an obscure journalist by the name of Karl Marx.

We are told that foreign correspondent Marx, stone broke, and with a family ill and undernourished, constantly appealed to Greeley and managing editor Charles Dana for an increase in his munificent salary of $5 per installment, a salary which he and Engels ungratefully labeled as the "lousiest petty bourgeois cheating."

But when all his financial appeals were refused, Marx looked around for other means of livelihood and fame, eventually terminating his relationship with the Tribune and devoting his talents full time to the cause that would bequeath the world the seeds of Leninism, Stalinism, revolution and the cold war.

If only this capitalistic New York newspaper had treated him more kindly; if only Marx had remained a foreign correspondent, history might have been different. And I hope all publishers will bear this lesson in mind the next time they receive a poverty-stricken appeal for a small increase in the expense account from an obscure newspaper man.

I have selected as the title of my remarks tonight "The President and the Press." Some may suggest that this would be more naturally worded "The President Versus the Press." But those are not my sentiments tonight.

It is true, however, that when a well-known diplomat from another country demanded recently that our State Department repudiate certain newspaper attacks on his colleague it was unnecessary for us to reply that this Administration was not responsible for the press, for the press had already made it clear that it was not responsible for this Administration.

Nevertheless, my purpose here tonight is not to deliver the usual assault on the so-called one party press. On the contrary, in recent months I have rarely heard any complaints about political bias in the press except from a few Republicans. Nor is it my purpose tonight to discuss or defend the televising of Presidential press conferences. I think it is highly beneficial to have some 20,000,000 Americans regularly sit in on these conferences to observe, if I may say so, the incisive, the intelligent and the courteous qualities displayed by your Washington correspondents.

Nor, finally, are these remarks intended to examine the proper degree of privacy which the press should allow to any President and his family.

If in the last few months your White House reporters and photographers have been attending church services with regularity, that has surely done them no harm.

On the other hand, I realize that your staff and wire service photographers may be complaining that they do not enjoy the same green privileges at the local golf courses that they once did.

It is true that my predecessor did not object as I do to pictures of one's golfing skill in action. But neither on the other hand did he ever bean a Secret Service man.

My topic tonight is a more sober one of concern to publishers as well as editors.

I want to talk about our common responsibilities in the face of a common danger. The events of recent weeks may have helped to illuminate that challenge for some; but the dimensions of its threat have loomed large on the horizon for many years. Whatever our hopes may be for the future--for reducing this threat or living with it--there is no escaping either the gravity or the totality of its challenge to our survival and to our security--a challenge that confronts us in unaccustomed ways in every sphere of human activity.

This deadly challenge imposes upon our society two requirements of direct concern both to the press and to the President--two requirements that may seem almost contradictory in tone, but which must be reconciled and fulfilled if we are to meet this national peril. I refer, first, to the need for a far greater public information; and, second, to the need for far greater official secrecy.

The speech itself essentially is a plea to the press to be careful reporting news that could involve national security. Was it also a plea to cover up essential elements of the Bay of Pigs fiasco like Kennedy's withdrawal of air support? 18 months later we were playing nuclear chicken in Cuba. Nikita Khrushchev had measured Camelot and decided a test of wills was in order.

1 posted on 09/20/2011 1:59:43 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: No One Special

It is somewhat ridiculous to blame Marxism on Horace Greeley. The American Heritage editor surely meant this as a joke.

It is true that John Kennedy, like Barack Obama, had a much too intimate relationship with the press.

3 posted on 09/20/2011 2:17:10 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: No One Special
Thrown out of France in turn as a subversive character...

I miss some of the old ways of dealing with these problems; namely, exiling subversives and undesirables. There are boatloads of people, leftists and muslims first and foremost, that America should be exiling as subversive, beginning with the foreign born. America the beautiful could be beautiful once again -- in a generation or so -- if we put our minds to it.

4 posted on 09/20/2011 2:34:43 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: iowamark
The article is very long. There's much more at the link. Sort of silly to ask what might have been except as an exercise in how history hinges on many things. The author of the article wrote a biography of Greeley in 1950. Here is info about him on Wikipedia.

He was a Democrat. LOL.

5 posted on 09/20/2011 2:36:59 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: LibWhacker
America the beautiful could be beautiful once again -- in a generation or so -- if we put our minds to it.

We're at a crossroad. It won't be easy We need some leaders and some educators.

6 posted on 09/20/2011 2:41:10 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: No One Special

1848 inspired more bad writing, poetry, drama, opera, and polemics than any previous event in world history. It was the 1968 of the Nineteenth Century.

7 posted on 09/20/2011 3:17:07 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Ceterum autem censeo, Obama delenda est.)
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To: No One Special

Greeley had been a Radical Republican right up until the Democrats endorsed his co-nomination by the Liberal Republican Party in 1872. Though a Radical, he had raised money for Jefferson Davis’ defense too. He was a man of contradictions. Had he been elected, he would have never become president because he died before March 4, 1873.

8 posted on 09/20/2011 3:55:01 AM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: No One Special

We need some leaders and some educators.

Leaders (propagandists) and educators (indoctrinators) are the problem we currently have.

We need Patriots and those who teach the basic tools for individuals to produce and take care of themselves. With these two basic functions, we will once again become the nation we once were.

9 posted on 09/20/2011 4:16:39 AM PDT by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
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To: Theodore R.
Greeley had been a Radical Republican...

That's interesting. Thanks. According to Wikipedia he ran as a Liberal Republican. I guess that's more out in the open than a Rino. :-)

10 posted on 09/20/2011 4:17:42 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: No One Special

Thanks for the history lesson!

11 posted on 09/20/2011 4:18:42 AM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: DH
Leaders (propagandists) and educators (indoctrinators) are the problem we currently have.

That's why I mentioned them. We need real leaders and real educators that can teach people what exactly is the heritage left to us by the founders.

We need Patriots and those who teach the basic tools for individuals to produce and take care of themselves. With these two basic functions, we will once again become the nation we once were.

Our heritage needs to be rediscovered. A lot will follow from that I hope.

12 posted on 09/20/2011 4:30:51 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: No One Special

It’s too much of a stretch to blame Lenin and Stalin on Greeley. By the the time of the American Civil War, Marx had already written The Communist Manifesto in 1848 and was working on Das Kapital (published in 1867). Marx needed a paycheck and Greeley gave him one. As it happened, Marx’s prose was so heavy and dense that I seriously doubt anyone in America even read it at the time. I have his articles in book form in my home library, and I can’t get past the first couple of pages before dozing off.

13 posted on 09/20/2011 4:54:39 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: No One Special

See: The Republican Party Red From The Start: By Alan Stang

14 posted on 09/20/2011 5:17:02 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: No One Special


Gunny G:
NOW (Right Now!) is the time for all good Americans to come to the aid of our country, while we still can!

Real Americans: Get your own blog, free and quickly, online and Blog (Vote?) Daily—the only way left for your voicetol be heard at all !!!!!

Guess why “they” are now putting so much energy into getting rid of bloggers and even the internet itself!!!!!

Semper Watching!
Gunny G

15 posted on 09/20/2011 6:24:36 AM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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