Revolution!” It seems to be the battle cry for hardcore Socialists and Communists all over the world. Where Socialists will often fight diplomatically for their agendas to be applied, Communists express the same ideas but at a whole other, much more aggressive and dangerous level. On this day Karl Marx, author of the Communist Manifesto, was born. His radical ideas and writings would truly come to shake the foundations of society. For some it meant political and social emancipation for the oppressed working class, but for countless others who lived under Communism all over the world, reality was much harsher, and much crueler. Today’s post will be a little different than most. This will be an informative opinion piece, because this subject happens to be very personal to me and my own family. I’m not going to tell you that Marx was a self-hating Jew or anti-Semite, instead we’ll let his own words, and the truly evil repercussions his ideology has inflicted on the world since the early 20th Century speak for themselves. 

Karl Heinrich Marx was born in Trier, Germany on March 5th, 1818. He was the son of Hirschel and Henrietta Marx, who were German Jews who converted to Protestant Christianity in an effort to escape antisemitism. His father even changed his own name from Hirschel to Heinrich and named his son Karl Heinrich. Karl received his early education in Tier but soon after attended Bonn University where he studied law. There Karl also ran up so much financial debt that he was forced into a duel where he was wounded. His father Heinrich sent him to finish his studies in Berlin. While in Berlin Karl came under the mentorship of a radical atheist professor Bruno Bauer, who himself was often in trouble with the local authorities and introduced Karl to the writings of G. W. F. Hegel, a renowned philosopher and professor at Berlin University who died in 1831. It was Hegel’s ideas that society would one day achieve true unity by the equalization of all polar opposites, master and slave, king and pauper that became the fuel to Marx’s own political ideologies, but they would be plagued by the same spirit of radicalism and social upheaval that haunted his own mentors and future “comrades.” 

After his father died in 1838, Karl tried to earn a living as a teacher, having completed a doctoral thesis at the University of Jenna, Karl sought the assistance of his long time mentor Bauer. But Bauer was dismissed for his radical atheist views and was unable to provide Karl the help he needed. Marx tried his luck with journalism, but his first articles were widely viewed as too controversial, so he was forced to relocate to Cologne where he befriended Moses Hess, an outspoken radical Socialist who invited Karl to local Socialist meetings where members discussed the sufferings of Germany’s working class citizens. There he published his writings in the Rhenish Gazette, in which he harshly criticized the local governments of Germany and Prussia. Worried he might be arrested, he married Jenny von Westphalen and moved to Paris. 

In Paris he reunited with his old mentor Bruno Bauer and the next big influence in Karl’s life, Freidrich Engels, a radical socialist author vehemently opposed to capitalism, both of whom made Karl editor of the Franco-German Annals. That was when Marx first began to describe himself as a Communist, coining the term itself. He claimed that the proletariat, (working class) would lead the world to equality and unity. Engels and Marx quickly became close friends, finding themselves in virtual complete ideological agreement. It was in Paris in 1844, where Marx began to write what would later be known as “Material Conception of History,” one of its first premises being a work titled “Zur Judenfrage,” translated as “The Jewish Question,” in which he harshly criticized Jewish culture and religion, claiming that money is the god of the Jews and that Christian society are simply the “new Jews” of the world. He claimed that all religion eventually would have to be gradually eliminated for the world to arrive at a utopian Communist unity.

An excerpt from Zur Judenfrage reads as follows: Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew – not the Sabbath Jew, as Bauer does, but the everyday Jew. Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew. What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist… The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general…The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.

Marx and his colleagues were similarly expelled from France, and then later from Belgium. They went to London, England where he spent the rest of his life. It was in London where Marx famously wrote, inspired by his close friend Engels, The Communist Manifesto. Its core message can be summed up as follows: “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” and that the inevitable victory of the proletariat, or working class, would put an end to class society forever. The Manifesto speaks of a future utopian society, completely devoid of the realities of human nature. It is anti-Semitic from its inception based on Marx’s blatant ignorance and hatred for his own Jewish culture, and although the later Nazi party opposed Communism, they pretty much adopted Marx’s ideology on the “The Jewish Question” and simply acted upon it on a much darker and sinister level. 

The legacy of Communism is one of misery and death. There is absolutely nothing glorious about it. Look to the applications of Communism by Lenin, and Stalin in the old Soviet Union, how many untold millions died at their hands. Look at Mao Zedong in China and his atrocities. Look at North Korea to this very day for crying out loud!  Look at Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, and many other examples  and you will notice the millions and millions of human lives that have been tortured and murdered in the name of this evil ideology. I speak to all of you from experience, as my own family became victims of the same oppressive system in Cuba in 1959. When Fidel Castro first began, he claimed he was not a Communist, but a Socialist Democrat, sound familiar? He claimed the people had no need for guns or weapons, confiscating them for himself and his army. When he took over, he rounded up any politician or civilian who disagreed and had them publicly shot or hanged. As soldiers one day marched into my grandfather’s cafe in Marianao, Cuba and informed him that his family’s business had now been “commandeered by the Revolution,” and that it was no longer his. The farm lands and properties that had belonged to my uncles for generations were suddenly claimed for Fidel Castro, their true owners were evicted, and the people left to starve to death. Just like that, everything my family worked so hard for their entire lives, was suddenly snatched away in the name of Marx’s “glorious revolution,” in a single day.

But don’t just take my word for it, ask the good people of Hong Kong, whose rights are being snuffed out as we speak by another regime who claims allegiance to the same Marxist vision, the same vision that is currently rounding up Muslim Uighurs and sending them to camps in Xinjiang Province and who knows where else, rounding up journalists and anyone else who dares protest or express views that undermine the Chinese Communist Party. Altogether, Communist regimes all over the world have claimed well over 100 million lives and still sadly counting. We are now witnesses to the same movement on the rise right here in the United States, who somehow ignore all of the historic facts and continue to believe this broken system will one day work. The words my grandmother told me so many years ago come to mind, as we watched Hugo Chavez rise to power in Venezuela, she warned me, “One day Communism will conquer the whole world, but only for a short time.” Because she knew that human zeal too often blinds people from logical thinking, and that only when humanity suffers the reality, would people rise up to rid themselves of all tyranny once and for all. Perhaps then we’ll see Mashiach come, or maybe there’s a little bit of Mashiach inside each of us, with the power to change history and save the world. I urge all who read my words to heed my warning, do your own research, consider the facts and don’t be afraid to disagree, even if the majority blindly follow the rhetoric of extremists. As Jews we should know, that radicalism either on the far left or far right is never the answer, balance and education is the key to a prosperous future and that is why I write this, different, post on this particular day in our history. Educate yourselves and stay informed, free your minds and together we can prevent history from repeating itself.  – by Ozman Darwiche

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