Wednesday, July 20, 2005

THE REVOLUTIONARY AS REPORTER

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.

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Al Benson

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