Wednesday, July 20, 2005


by Al Benson Jr.

Due to the encroaching religious apostasy in the United States, the years of the 1830s and 40s were notable, in that many experiments in socialist and communal living were instituted. Many who have read some history have heard of Robert Owen's failed socialist experiment in New Harmony, Indiana--the one Abe Lincoln thought so highly of. Or they may have heard about the religious socialism of groups like the Shakers, and how that eventually died out. Of all the socialist experiments in communal living tried in the U.S. virtually none have made a success of it. As all socialism eventually does, these efforts failed unless someone from the outside financed them and kept them afloat--much like this country today finances other socialist nations with "foreign aid" to keep them afloat. Barring such financial transfusions from the outside, such socialist entities usually fall on their collectivist faces in rather short order.

Brook Farm was no exception. According to the "Encyclopedia Britannica--eleventh edition (1910, Brook Farm was "the name applied to a tract of land in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, on which, in 1841-47 a communistic experiment was unsuccessfully tried. The experiment was one of the practical manifestations of the spirit of transcendentalism in New England..." I'd be willing to bet current editions of encyclopedias wouldn't be honest enough to label Brook Farm as a "communistic experiment"! To some degree, the Transcendentalists were somewhat the 19th century forerunners of what today passes for the "New Age" movement.

While Brook Farm was experimenting with its socialist fantisies, one of the projects there was the publication of a weekly journal called "The Harbinger." This left-of-center journal was quite the publication. Among those luminaries that wrote for it were George Ripley and Charles A. Dana, although it took occasional contributions from James Russel Lowell, John Greenleaf Whittier, Unitarian clergyman Thomas Wentworth Higginson (of Secret Six fame) and utopian socialist Horace Greeley. Socialism, it seems, had captured the minds of the elite among the elite. Such behaviour is usually the result of religious apostasy.

At this point it is interesting to note that both Horace Greeley and Charles Dana had connections with this left-leaning journalistic undertaking. Again, our "history" books, if such they can be called, have failed to mention to socialism of Greeley, or the pivotal role of Dana in events having to do with the War of Northern Aggression.

After Brook Farm folded, Dana joined the staff of the "New York Tribune" Greeley's paper. In 1848 Dana traveled to Europe to cover a news event there. Three guesses as to what that event was! In that year he wrote letters to the "Tribune" and other papers covering the socialist revolts in Europe in which Karl Marx played a prominent part. One might wonder, had he a suspicious mind, who Mr. Dana made contact with while he was sojourning in Europe and covering the revolution there. Perhaps the title of the old movie "Don't Start the Revolution Without Me" could have applied to Mr. Dana. At any rate, Dana returned to the United States in 1849 and was made managing editor of the "Tribune" just under Greeley.

It was Dana that, in 1851, two short years later, formally engaged the services of one Karl Marx as a regular contributor to the pages of the "Tribune." Coincidence? Of course, it had to be, seeing that we all know there are no such thing as leftwing conspiracies, only rightwing ones, that is, if you believe the likes of St. Hilary, who is quite busy positioning herself for a run at the presidency in 2008.

In his capacity as managing editor, Dana used the newspaper to promote the radical abolitionist cause. So what else is new?

However, in 1862, Dana and Greeley came to a parting of the ways. Like most socialists, they couldn't really get along with each other over the long haul. Dana, being younger, wanted rapid changes, while Greeley, being older, was content to take a more Fabian approach in order to secure revolution.

No sooner were Dana's connections with the "Tribune" severed that Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, always quick to spot the potential of a revolutionary, snapped him up and made him a "Special Investigating Agent" for the War Department. It would appear that Dana was quite useful to Stanton. Even Father Abraham called him "the eyes of the administration." Dana spent much time at the front and he reported to Stanton on the methods and capabilities of different generals. Dana urged that Grant be placed in supreme command of all Union armies in the field. Dana was also Assistant Secretary of War in 1864-65. He was involved in other journalistic activities later in life and was a writer of some renown. However, his strong socialist leanings before the War of Northern Aggression are mostly what concern us. His hiring of Karl Marx to write for Greeley's newspaper in 1851 does make you wonder just what contacts he had while in Europe in 1848. Was the home-grown socialist revolutionary masquerading as a reporter while in Europe to give the "party faithful" the latest input on the situation in Europe so they would know how to react in the United States???

Dana's strong desire to see Grant placed in supreme command reminds me that Friedrich Engels, Marx's cohort, also felt much more secure about the North being able to prevail in the struggle once Grant was placed in command. With my suspicious mind, it makes me wonder what these men knew about Ulysses S. Grant that the "history" books have not seen fit to reveal to us common folks. Dana also had a very high opinion of the military ability of the Grand Arsonist of Georgia, William Tecumseh Sherman. And we are all well aware of what wonders Sherman's "scorched earth" policy accomplished in Georgia. Little known is the fact that some of the 1848 revolutionaries from Europe that had fled to America and become generals in Mr. Lincoln's armies were on Sherman's staff. Another little tidbit the "history" books conveniently forgot to mention!

Dana's background from Brook Farm on, leaves no doubt that he was a radical revolutionary, just the sort to support the Union cause in the War. I have noted in other articles that many of these European radicals and revolutionaries seemed to end up in high positions, either in the Union army, in the admistration of Lincoln, or in some kind of comfortable office after the War. It seems that, in many cases, socialist revolution pays its adherents well. All this should begin to make us aware of how early our country was subverted and taken over by the enemies of Christ and the reformed Christian faith. In the final analysis, that's what it is all about. Apostasy from the Christian faith has its secular rewards, and in our day we are reaping those "rewards." A noted Communist once said that much of the "patriotism" of the 20th century would really be communism. Due to the insidious nature of apostasy, he was correct.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


by Al Benson Jr.

The War of Northern Aggression and the transformation of the United States from a confederation of sovereign states into a socialist democracy brought to the fore many "interesting" characters.

One of the most "interesting" specimens ever to slither out from under the collectivist Yankee rock was Lafayette C. Baker. Steward Sifakis in "Who Was Who in the Civil War" described Baker as "A thoroughly unsavory character..." And Sifakis continued in that vein, noting, of Baker that he "remained that way for the duration and after." Not exactly a glowing tribute to Mr. Baker's integrity! But, then, Baker seems to have been another of those typical Yankees for whom anything goes if it gets him what he wants. For Baker, mental Marxist that he was, the end truly justified the means. He seems to have had some connections with both Secretary of War Seward and Secretary of War Stanton, which might just lead one to wonder about their integrity also. Baker ended up becoming a special agent of the Provost's branch of the War Department, charged with rooting out corruption anywhere he found it in the Union war effort. Sifakis noted that, of the corruption he was charged with rooting out "he was not of strong enough character to refrain from engaging in it himself."

In order for him to have enough authority to root out all that corruption (while engaging in it himself) he was given a military rank, first as a colonel, and later as a brigadier general, though he rarely commanded any troops. During the war years he was chief of the military Secret Service.

Nathaniel Weyl in "The Battle Against Disloyalty" had described the U. S. War Department thusly: "In the Civil War and Reconstruction eras, the United States War Department bore some traces of resemblance to the Soviet Secret Police. Its leaders were zealots who believed that if the ends didn't justify the means, nothing else could. Wherever possible, the operated in secrecy, through military rather than civilian courts. Guilt by association became a fundamental axiom; perjury was richly rewarded;..." Thus was the situation under the command of Edwin McMasters Stanton, who many have believed over the years, had a hand in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Baker had a rather checkered past. As head of the military Secret Service, he had, in the past, been a vigilante in California in the 1850s. Weyl has noted that in early days he was an itinerent mechanic. Sifakis has added to that: " Born in New York, he appears to have lived in Michigan, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco during his prewar years. Some of his occupations included claim jumping and vigilantism." Interesting that, as a vigilante, he would have gone after some of the people that made their living as he had made his, claim jumping. But then that may be a pretty good way to get rid of the competition.

During his tenure in Washington during and after the war, he used the same methods he had used successfully in California. Weyl noted of him that: "In Washingon he used the same methods that had proved so successful in his vigilante days, disregarding due process of law, habeas corpus, or any of the other constitutional frills that normally prevent the imprisonment of Americans at the whim of the military. For the next three years, Baker led a life of frenzied activity, pouncing on spies, bounty jumpers, conspirators, counterfeiters, and speculators, making arrests personally where possible and in the process accumulating a small fortune." Weyl's comments support those of Sifakis, who noted that Mr. Baker just couldn't seem to keep his hands out of the cookie jar while he sliced off the hands of others doing the same thing. Weyl has described him, again, agreeing with Sifakis, as: "An enormously vain and unscrupulous person, Baker was also a congenital liar, intriguer, and twister." Just the right sort of person for Mr. Stanton's War Department, as Stanton, himself, had somewhat of a reputation along those lines.

Weyl also noted that: "Baker was part of the powerful personal machine that War Secretary Edwin M. Stanton had created. As soon as Booth's bullet struck down Lincoln, Stanton became the controlling power of government." And that's what the assassination was really all about--who was to wield the power in Washington--Lincoln, the king of political patronage, or Stanton and the radical abolitionist Republicans. Baker was the perfect foil for Stanton--and if both Baker and Stanton were not openly Marxists, then they were philosophical "kissin' cousins."

In his penchant for self-promotion, Baker, at one point, wrote a book "History of the United States Secret Service." Sifakis has noted that the work is interesting for the portrait it paints of Baker's personality, but otherwise, is just isn't all that reliable. Baker passed from this life in 1868. There are those that say he was murdered to keep him quiet.

There are also those that say that Baker's men did not kill the real John Wilkes Booth after Lincoln's assassination, but that the man they really killed was a Booth look-alike, Captain James William Boyd, a former Confederate agent who worked for the War Department and, although he was older, bore quite a resemblance to Booth. But, then, I guess that is another story.