T Nation

Marx the American Journalist

Zeb have been talkin about that the american press is heavily biased to the left and it seems
that this goes way back to the 1800`s, when no other than Karl Marx was the Europeen correspondent for the Republican paper the New York Tribune. I found many old articles written by Marx and Engels for the Abolishonist paper the New York Tribune.

They are about everything from the British elections in the 1850-1860s period, the civil war in America, the current affairs of the europeen continent at the time. Now I know most here think Marx was an filthy man( me not included ), but I think that many will find this interresting regardless( especially Sexmaxhine who has an appetit for anything that smells of history ). I will therefor post some of the articles here and since the election was just over I will start with Marxs summary and thoughts of a british election from 1850`s. Enjoy.

" Karl Marx in the New York Tribune 1852
The Elections in England. â?? Tories and Whigs

Source: Marx Engels On Britain, Progress Publishers 1953;
Written: by Marx, London, August 6, 1852;
First Published: in the New York Daily Tribune of August 21, 1852;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

The results of the General Election for the British Parliament are now known. This result I shall analyze more fully in my next letter.

What were the parties which during this electioneering agitation opposed or supported each other?

Tories, Whigs, Liberal Conservatives (Peelites), Free Traders, par excellence (the men of the Manchester School,[1] Parliamentary and Financial Reformers), and lastly, the Chartists.

Whigs, Free Traders and Peelites coalesced to oppose the Tories. It was between this coalition on one side, and the Tories on the other, that the real electoral battle was fought. Opposed to Whigs, Peelites, Free Traders and Tories, and thus opposed to entire official England, were the Chartists.

The political parties of Great Britain are sufficiently known in the United States. It will be sufficient to bring to mind, in a few strokes of the pen, the distinctive characteristics of each of them.

Up to 1846 the Tories passed as the guardians of the traditions of Old England. They were suspected of admiring in the British Constitution the eighth wonder of the world; to be laudatores temporis acti,[2] enthusiasts for the throne, the High Church, the privileges and liberties of the British subject. The fatal year, 1846, with its repeal of the Corn Laws, and the shout of distress which this repeal forced from the Tories, proved that they were enthusiasts for nothing but the rent of land, and at the same time disclosed the secret of their attachment to the political and religious institutions of Old England.

These institutions are the very best institutions, with the help of which the large landed property â?? the landed interest â?? has hitherto ruled England, and even now seeks to maintain its rule. The year 1846 brought to light in its nakedness the substantial class interest which forms the real base of the Tory party. The year 1846 tore down the traditionally venerable lionâ??s hide, under which Tory class interest had hitherto hidden itself. The year 1846 transformed the Tories into Protectionists. Tory was the sacred name, Protectionist is the profane one; Tory was the political battle-cry, Protectionist is the economical shout of distress; Tory seemed an idea, a principle; Protectionist is an interest.

Protectionists of what? Of their own revenues, of the rent of their own land. Then the Tories, â?? in the end, are Bourgeois as much as the remainder, for where is the Bourgeois who is not a protectionist of his own purse? They are distinguished from the other Bourgeois, in the same way as the rent of land is distinguished from commercial and industrial profit. Rent of land is conservative, profit is progressive; rent of land is national, profit is cosmopolitical; rent of land believes in the State Church, profit is a dissenter by birth. The repeal of the Corn Laws of 1846 merely recognized an already accomplished fact, a change long since enacted in the elements of British civil society, viz., the subordination of the landed interest under the moneyed interest, of property under commerce, of agriculture under manufacturing industry, of the country under the city…

Could this fact be doubted since the country population stands, in England, to the townsâ?? population in the proportion of one to three? The substantial foundation of the power of the Tories was the rent of land. The rent of land is regulated by the price of food. The price of food, then, was artificially maintained at a high rate by the Corn Laws. The repeal of the Corn Laws brought down the price of food, which in its turn brought down the rent of land, and with sinking rent broke down the real strength upon which the political power of the Tories reposed.

What, then, are they trying to do now? To maintain a political power, the social foundation of which has ceased to exist. And how can this be attained? By nothing short of a Counter-Revolution, that is to say, by a reaction of the State against Society. They strive to retain forcibly institutions and a political power which are condemned from the very moment at which the rural population found itself outnumbered three times by the population of the towns. And such an attempt must necessarily end with their destruction; it must accelerate and make more acute the social development of England., it must bring on a crisis.

The Tories recruit their army from the farmers, who have either not yet lost the habit of following their landlords as their natural superiors, or â?? who are economically dependent upon them, or who do not yet see that the interest of the farmer and the interest of the landlord are no more identical than the respective interests of the borrower and of the usurer. They are followed and supported by the Colonial Interest, the Shipping Interest, the State Church Party, in short, by all those elements which consider it necessary to safeguard their interests against the necessary results of modern manufacturing industry, and against the social revolution prepared by it.

Opposed to the Tories, as their hereditary enemies, stand the Whigs, a party with whom the American Whigs[3] have nothing in common but the name.

The British Whig, in the natural history of politics, forms a species which, like all those of the amphibious class, exists very easily, but is difficult to describe. Shall we call them, with their opponents, Tories out of office? or, as continental writers love it, take them for the representatives of certain popular principles?

In the latter case we should get embarrassed in the same difficulty as the historian of the Whigs, Mr. Cooke, who, with great naïvété confesses in his â??History of Partiesâ?? that it is indeed a certain number of â??liberal, moral and enlightened principlesâ?? which constitutes the Whig party, but that it was greatly to be regretted that during the more than a century and a half that the Whigs have existed, they have been, when in office, always prevented from carrying out these principles. So that in reality, according to the confession of their own historian, the Whigs represent something quite different from their professed-liberal and enlightened principles.â??

Thus they are in the same position as the drunkard brought up before the Lord Mayor who declared that he represented the Temperance principle but from some accident or other always got drunk on Sundays.

But never mind their principles; we can better make out what they are in historical fact; what they carry out, not what they once believed, and what they now want other people to believe with respect to their character.

The Whigs as well as the Tories, form a fraction of the large landed property of Great Britain. Nay, the oldest, richest and most arrogant portion of English landed property is the very nucleus of the Whig party.

What, then, distinguishes them from the Tories? The Whigs are the aristocratic representatives of the bourgeoisie, of the industrial and commercial middle class. Under the condition that the Bourgeoisie should abandon to them, to an oligarchy of aristocratic families, the monopoly of government and the exclusive possession of office, they make to the middle class, and assist it in conquering, all those concessions, which in â?? the course of social and political development â?? have shown themselves to have become unavoidable and undelayable. Neither more nor less.

And as often as such an unavoidable measure has been passed, they declare loudly that herewith the end of historical progress has been obtained; that the whole social movement has carried its ultimate purpose, and then they â??cling to finality.â?? They can support more easily than â??the Tories, a decrease of their rental revenues, because they consider themselves as the heaven-born farmers of the revenues of the British Empire. They can renounce the monopoly of the Corn Laws, as long as â?? they maintain the monopoly of government as their family property. Ever since the â??glorious revolutionâ?? of 1688 the Whigs, with short intervals, caused principally by the first French Revolution and the consequent reaction, have found themselves in the. enjoyment of the public offices.

Whoever recalls to his mind this period of English history, will find no other distinctive mark of Whigdom but the maintenance of their family oligarchy. The interests and principles which they represent besides, from time to time, do not belong to the Whigs; they are forced upon them. by the development of the industrial and commercial class, the Bourgeoisie. After 1688 we find them united with the Bankocracy, just then rising into importance, as we find them in 1846, united with the Millocracy.

The Whigs as little carried the Reform Bill of 1831, as they carried the Free Trade Bill of 1846. Both Reform movements, the political as well as the commercial, were movements of the Bourgeoisie. As soon as either of these movements had ripened into irresistibility; as soon as, at the same time, it had become the safest means of turning the Tories out of office, the Whigs stepped forward, took up the direction of the Government, and secured to themselves the governmental part of the victory.

In 1831 they extended the political portion of reform as far as was necessary in order not to leave the middle class entirely dissatisfied; after 1846 they confined their Free Trade measures so far as was necessary, in order to save to the landed aristocracy the greatest possible amount of privileges. Each time they had taken the movement in hand in order to prevent its forward march, and to recover their own posts at the same time.

It is clear that from the moment when the landed aristocracy is no longer able to maintain its position as an independent power, to fight, as an independent party, for the government position, in short, that from the moment when the Tories are definitively overthrown, British history has no longer any room for the Whigs. The aristocracy once destroyed, what is the use of an aristocratic representation of the Bourgeoisie against this aristocracy?

It is well known that in the middle ages the German Emperors put the just then arising towns under Imperial Governors, â??advocati,â?? to protect these towns against the surrounding nobility. As soon as growing population and wealth gave them sufficient strength and independence to resist, and even to attack the nobility, the towns also drove out the noble Governors, the advocati.

The Whigs have been these advocati of the British Middle Class, and their governmental monopoly must break down as soon as the landed monopoly of the Tories is broken down. In the same measure as the Middle Class has developed its independent strength, they have shrunk down from a party to a coterie.

It is evident what a distastefully heterogeneous mixture the character of the British Whigs must turn out to be: Feudalists, who are at the same time Malthusians, money-mongers with feudal prejudices, aristocrats without point of honor, Bourgeois without industrial activity, finality â?? men with progressive phrases, progressists with fanatical Conservatism, traffickers in homeopathical fractions of reforms, fosterers of family â?? nepotism, Grand Masters of corruption, hypocrites of religion, Tartuffes of politics.

The mass of the English people have a sound aesthetical common sense. They have. an instinctive hatred against everything motley and ambiguous, against bats and Russellites. And then, with the Tories, the mass of the English people, the urban and rural proletariat, has in common the hatred against the â??money-monger.â?? With the Bourgeoisie it has in common the hatred against aristocrats. In the Whigs it hates the one and the other, aristocrats and Bourgeois, the landlord who oppresses, and the money lord who exploits it. In the Whig it hates the oligarchy which has ruled over England for more than a century, and by which the People is excluded from the direction of its own affairs.

The Peelites (Liberals and Conservatives) are no party, they are merely the souvenir of a partyman, of the late Sir Robert Peel. But Englishmen are too prosaical, for a souvenir to form, with them, the foundation for anything but elegies. And now, that the people have erected brass and marble monuments to the late Sir R. Peel in all parts of the country, they believe they are able so much the more to do without those perambulant Peel monuments, the Grahams, the Gladstones, the Cardwells, etc.

The so-called Peelites are nothing but this staff of bureaucrats which Robert Peel had schooled for himself. And because they form a pretty complete staff, they forget for a moment that there is no army behind them. The Peelites, then, are old supporters of Sir R. Peel, who have not yet come to a conclusion as to what party to attach themselves to. It is evident that a similar scruple is not a sufficient means for them to constitute an independent power.

Remain the Free Traders and the Chartists, the brief delineation of whose character will form the subject of my next.
Notes

  1. Manchester School: A school of English bourgeois economists, Free Traders, who stood for freedom of trade and non-interference by the government with private enterprise. The manufacturers of Manchester played a particularly active part in this school. in the hypocritical appeals they addressed to the popular masses against the privileges of the aristocracy the Free Traders were safeguarding merely the interests of the industrial and trading bourgeoisie.

â??What they demand,â?? Marx wrote, â??is the complete and undisguised ascendancy of the bourgeoisie, the open, official subjection of society at large under the laws of modern, bourgeois production, and tinder the rule of those men who are the directors of that production. By Free Trade they mean the unfettered movement of capital, â??reed from all political, national and religious shackles.â?? The Manchestrians were very moderate in their opposition to the aristocracy and entered into a compromise with them to combat jointly all independent political activity on the part of the working-class.

  1. People who laud the past.

  2. American Whigs: A political party known as the Whigs was founded in the United States in 1832. It represented a bloc of bourgeois elements in the north-eastern states with southern planters who were interested in promoting American industry by means of developing the plantation system. In 1852 the party split on the issue of extending slavery to new western states. The left wing formed the nucleus of the bourgeois Republican Party, which sought to confine slavery to the southern states, while the right wing constituted the Democratic Party, which favoured territorially unrestricted slavery.

Marx-Engels Archive | Marx-Engels on England | New York Tribune"

The American press is biased because the owners of media corporations have an political affiliation and they choose to show that through television programming.

[quote]nickj_777 wrote:
The American press is biased because the owners of media corporations have an political affiliation and they choose to show that through television programming.[/quote]

It was a joke to introduce the subject of the thread wich are this old articles.
When it comes to if the american media is biased to the left I have no idea because
I havent studied the subject.

This one I think Sexmachine who have irish ancestry will find this interresting even though he probably despice Marx and its not about the hardship of the irish, but about the hardship of the their cousin the scotts. Its about the explotation and oppression of the scottish people by the Aristocacry and how that made
some of them( the aristocrats ) hypocrits in the matter of slavery. ( btw Marx was very much a pro-abolishonist and wrote and congratuleted Lincon on the emancipation of the Shoutern slaves )

Articles by Karl Marx in The People?s Paper
The Duchess of Sutherland and Slavery

Published in: The People?s Paper, No. 45, March 12 1853;

London, Friday, January 21, 1853 ? During the present momentary slackness in political affairs, the address of the Stafford House Assembly of Ladies to their sisters in America upon the subject of Negro-Slavery, and the ?affectionate and Christian address of many thousands of the women of the United States of America to their sisters, the women of England?, upon white slavery, have proved a god-send to the press.

Not one of the British papers was ever struck by the circumstance that the Stafford House Assembly took place at the palace under the Presidency of the Duchess of Sutherland, and yet the names of Stafford and Sutherland should have been sufficient to class the philanthropy of the British Aristocracy ? a philanthropy which chooses its objects as far distant from home as possible, and rather on that than on this side of the ocean.

The history of the wealth of the Sutherland family is the history of the ruin and of the expropriation of the Scotch-Gaelic population from its native soil. As far back as the 10th century, the Danes had landed in Scotland, conquered the plains of Caithness, and driven back the aborigines into the mountains. Mhoir-Fhear-Chattaibh, as he was called in Gaelic, or the ?Great Man of Sutherland?, had always found his companions-in-arms ready to defend him at risk of their lives against all his enemies, Danes or Scots, foreigners or natives.

After the revolution which drove the Stuarts from Britain, private feuds among the petty chieftains of Scotland became less and less frequent, and the British Kings, in order to keep up at least a semblance of dominion in these remote districts, encouraged the levying of family regiments among the chieftains, a system by which these lairds were enabled to combine modern military establishments with the ancient clan system in such a manner as to support one by the other.

Now, in order to distinctly appreciate the usurpation subsequently carried out, we must first properly understand what the clan meant. The clan belonged to a form of social existence which, in the scale of historical development, stands a full degree below the feudal state; viz., the patriarchal state of society. ?Klaen?, in Gaelic, means children. Every one of the usages and traditions of the Scottish Gaels reposes upon the supposition that the members of the clan belong to one and the same family.

The ?great man?, the chieftain of the clan, is on the one hand quite as arbitrary, on the other quite as confined in his power, by consanguinity, &c., as every father of a family. To the clan, to the family, belonged the district where it had established itself, exactly as in Russia, the land occupied by a community of peasants belongs, not to the individual peasants, but to the community. Thus the district was the common property of the family. There could be no more question, under this system, of private property, in the modern sense of the word, than there could be of comparing the social existence of the members of the clan to that of individuals living in the midst of our modern society.

The division and subdivision of the land corresponded to the military functions of the single members of the clan. According to their military abilities, the chieftain entrusted to them the several allotments, cancelled or enlarged according to his pleasure the tenures of the individual officers, and these officers again distributed to their vassals and under-vassals every separate plot of land. But the district at large always remained the property of the clan, and, however the claims of individuals might vary, the tenure remained the same; nor were the contributions for the common defence, or the tribute for the Laird, who at once was leader in battle and chief magistrate in peace, ever increased.

Upon the whole, every plot of land was cultivated by the same family, from generation to generation, under fixed imposts. These imposts were insignificant, more a tribute by which the supremacy of the ?great man? and of his officers was acknowledged, than a rent of land in a modern sense, or a source of revenue. The officers directly subordinate to the ?great man? were called ?Taksmen?, and the district entrusted to their care, ?Tak?. Under then were placed inferior officers, at the head of every hamlet, and under these stood the peasantry.

Thus you see, the clan is nothing but a family organized in a military manner, quite as little defined by laws, just as closely hemmed in by traditions, as any family. But the land is the property of the family, in the midst of which differences of rank, in spite of consanguinity, do prevail as well as in all the ancient Asiatic family communities.

The first usurpation took place, after the expulsion of the Stuarts, by the establishment of the family Regiments. From that moment, pay became the principal source of revenue of the Great Man, the Mhoir-Fhear-Chattaibh. Entangled in the dissipation of the Court of London, he tried to squeeze as much money as possible out of his officers, and they applied the same system of their inferiors.

The ancient tribute was transformed into fixed money contracts. In one respect these contracts constituted a progress, by fixing the traditional imposts; in another respect they were a usurpation, inasmuch as the ?great man? now took the position of landlord toward the ?taksmen? who again took toward the peasantry that of farmers. And as the ?great men? now required money no less than the ?taksmen?, a production not only for direct consumption but for export and exchange also became necessary; the system of national production had to be changed, the hands superseded by this change had to be got rid of. Population, therefore, decreased.

But that it as yet was kept up in a certain manner, and that man, in the 18th century, was not yet openly sacrificed to net-revenue, we see from a passage in Steuart, a Scotch political economist, whose work was published 10 years before Adam Smith?s, where it says (Vol.1, Chap.16):

?The rent of these lands is very trifling compared to their extent, but compared to the number of mouths which a farm maintains, it will perhaps be found that a plot of land in the highlands of Scotland feeds ten times more people than a farm of the same extent in the richest provinces.?

That even in the beginnings of the 19th century the rental imposts were very small, is shown by the work of Mr Loch (1820), the steward of the Countess of Sutherland, who directed the improvements on her estates. He gives for instance the rental of the Kintradawell estate for 1811, from which it appears that up to then, every family was obliged to pay a yearly impost of a few shillings in money, a few fowls, and some days? work, at the highest.

It was only after 1811 that the ultimate and real usurpation was enacted, the forcible transformation of clan-property into the private property, in the modern sense, of the Chief. The person who stood at the head of this economical revolution was a female Mehemet Ali, who had well digested her Malthus ? the Countess of Sutherland, alias Marchioness of Stafford.

Let us first state that the ancestors of the Marchioness of Stafford were the ?great men? of the most northern part of Scotland, of very near three-quarters of Sutherlandshire. This country is more extensive than many French Departments or small German Principalities. when the Countess of Sutherland inherited these estates, which she afterward brought to her husband, the Marquis of Stafford, afterward Duke of Sutherland, the population of them was already reduced to 15,000.

My lady Countess resolved upon a radical economical reform, and determined upon transforming the whole tract of country into sheep-walks. From 1814 to 1820, these 15,000 inhabitants, about 3,000 families, were systematically expelled and exterminated. All their villages were demolished and burned down, and all their fields converted into pasturage. British soldiers were commanded for this execution, and came to blows with the natives. An old woman refusing to quit her hut was burned in the flames of it.

Thus my lady Countess appropriated to herself 794,000 acres of land, which from time immemorial had belonged to the clan. In the exuberance of her generosity she allotted to the expelled natives about 6,000 acres ? two acres per family. These 6,000 acres had been lying waste until then, and brought no revenue to the proprietors. The Countess was generous enough to sell the acre at 2s 6d on an average, to the clan-men who for centuries past had shed their blood for her family.

The whole of the unrightfully appropriated clan-land she divided into 29 large sheep farms, each of them inhabited by one single family, mostly English farm-laborers; and in 1821 the 15,000 Gaels had already been superseded by 131,000 sheep.

A portion of the aborigines had been thrown upon the sea-shore, and attempted to live by fishing. They became amphibious, and, as an English author says, lived half on land and half on water, and after all did not live upon both.

Sismondi, in his Etudes Sociales, observes with regard to this expropriation of the Gaels from Sutherlandshire ? an example, which, by-the-by, was imitated by other ?great men? of Scotland:

?The large extent of seignorial domains is not a circumstance peculiar to Britain. In the whole Empire of Charlemagne, in the whole Occident, entire provinces were usurped by the warlike chiefs, who had them cultivated for their own account by the vanquished, and sometimes by their own companions-in-arms. During the 9th and 10th centuries the Counties of Maine, Anjou, Poitou were for the Counts of these provinces rather three large estates than principalities.

Switzerland, which in so many respects resembles Scotland, was at that time divided among a small number of Seigneurs. If the Counts of Kyburg, of Lenzburg, of Habsburg, of Gruyeres had been protected by British laws, they would have been in the same position as the Earls of Sutherland; some of them would perhaps have had the same taste for improvement as the Marchioness of Stafford, and more than one republic might have disappeared from the Alps in order to make room for flocks of sheep. Not the most despotic monarch in Germany would be allowed to attempt anything of the sort.?

Mr Loch, in his defense of the Countess of Sutherland (1820), replies to the above as follows:

?Why should there be made an exception to the rule adopted in every other case, just for this particular case? Why should the absolute authority of the landlord over his land be sacrificed to the public interest and to motives which concern the public only??

And why, then, should the slave-holders in the Southern States of North America sacrifice their private interest to the philanthropic grimaces of her Grace, the Duchess of Sutherland?

The British aristocracy, who have everywhere superseded man by bullocks and sheep, will, in a future not very distant, be superseded, in turn, by these useful animals.

The process of clearing estates, which, in Scotland, we have just now described, was carried out in England in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Thomas Morus already complains of it in the beginning of the 16th century. It was performed in Scotland in the beginning of the 19th, and in Ireland it is now in full progress. The noble Viscount Palmerston, too, some years ago cleared of men his property in Ireland, exactly in the manner described above.

If of any property it ever was true that it was robbery, it is literally true of the property of the British aristocracy. Robbery of Church property, robbery of commons, fraudulent transformation, accompanied by murder, of feudal and patriarchal property into private property ? these are the titles of British aristocrats to their possessions.

And what services in this latter process were performed by a servile class of lawyers, you may see from an English lawyer of the last century, Dalrymple, who, in his History of Feudal Property, very naively proves that every law or deed concerning property was interpreted by the lawyers, in England, when the middle class rose in wealth in favor of the middle class ? in Scotland, where the nobility enriched themselves, in favor of the nobility ? in either case it was interpreted in a sense hostile to the people.

The above Turkish reform by the Countess of Sutherland was justifiable, at least, from a Malthusian point of view. Other Scottish noblemen went further. Having superseded human beings by sheep, they superseded sheep by game, and the pasture grounds by forests. At the head of these was the Duke of Atholl.

?After the conquest, the Norman Kings afforested large portions of the soil of England, in much the same way as the landlords here are now doing with the Highlands.

(R. Somers, Letters on the Highlands, 1848)

As for a large number of the human beings expelled to make room for the game of the Duke of Atholl, and the sheep of the Countess of Sutherland, where did they fly to, where did they find a home?

In the United States of America.

The enemy of British Wage-Slavery has a right to condemn Negro-Slavery; a Duchess of Sutherland, a Duke of Atholl, a Manchester Cotton-lord ? never!

Marx/Engels Archive

It is not about being biased to the left because Fox is biased to the right. The problem is that there are media moguls like Conrad Black, Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch out there.

[quote]nickj_777 wrote:
It is not about being biased to the left because Fox is biased to the right. The problem is that there are media moguls like Conrad Black, Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch out there. [/quote]

Okay.