Eulogy to Karl Marx
by E. Christian Brugger, Ph.D., Senior Fellow in Ethics
In his eulogy for Karl Marx deceased on March 14, 1883, his friend and fellow revolutionary Friederich Engels wishfully prophesized that Marx’s name “will endure through the ages, and so also will his work.” Hardly could he have imagined that his friend’s social vision would suffuse common political dynamics in the United States a little over a century later; that the eminent Speaker of the House would play his handmaid and the powerful President his dupe. The disaster that played out last weekend set the high water mark of Marx’s influence on our great country. If we don’t see this we won’t understand recent events. His name wasn’t mentioned and his rhetoric wasn’t explicit. But his vision was alive: a reckless mendacity in the pursuit of goals; an almost savage disregard for democracy; a savioristic reliance on politics to transform the social order; and a forceful use of naked power as the principle of social change.
We witnessed the demonization of a class of people, the bourgeois in Marx’s scheme, the U.S. middle class, who from last summer have shouted a crescendoing “NO!” to a government health care revolution. They were called Nazis, bigots, obstacles to progress; they were bullied by thugs, characterized as stupid, and censored by the liberal media. Their reasons for opposing the revolution didn’t matter. The mere fact of it placed them on the wrong side in the dialectic of history, so they needed to be opposed. ‘What our fathers and our fathers’ fathers couldn’t do, we’ve accomplished against all odds.’ The ‘odds,’ of course, were the majority of honest Americans who naively still believed that their voices meant something in the political process. They weren’t opposed to the end of securing decent health care for all. They questioned the means that Liberal Democrats were proposing for achieving that end: an enormous extension of federal authority into a most delicate area of social concern, a massive surreptitious expansion of abortion liberties, fears of conscience violations, unjust rationing, the depersonalization of health care, offensive values from Washington D.C. filtering into Main Street America: “we’re just not sure we trust you, Government, with our health care; whatever you touch turns to gold—for you; but it complicates and disorders our lives.” Over their heads the Democrats shouted: “the people deserve healthcare, and you’re trying to prevent it!” In the Manifesto Marx writes: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles, oppressor and oppressed, in constant opposition to one another.” Marx’s simplistic ‘class struggle’ paradigm was the operative model for the healthcare debate. The only reality is political; the only relevant question is who possesses and exercises power. The proletariat, the marginalized, are the voiceless uninsured, oppressed by intolerant, religious, self-satisfied Americans. Progressive change is necessary; neutrality in its regard is impossible. This polarization was nowhere more clear than at the President’s so-called “health care summit” on February 25: ‘side with the Democrats and so with the poor, or with the Republicans against the poor. Make your choice. Get on board, or we’re leaving without you.’
No amount of deception was too great. How many times in the past eight months did Speaker Pelosi, Senator Reid, Secretary Sebelius and President Obama look straight into the camera and proclaim: “The Hyde Amendment forbids federal funding for abortion. That status won’t change under our bill”? They knew the statement was false; how couldn’t they, after all, they were the bill’s authors? But they counted on the credulity of their audience stemming from ignorance as to the bill’s actual content. The sharpest screw was twisted last weekend with the fraudulent executive order meant to make people believe that Stupak’s pro-life demands had finally been conceded. Again, smoke and mirrors, but no substance. Kathleen Parker writes in today’s Washington Post: “The executive order … is utterly useless, and everybody knows it. First, the president can revoke it as quickly as he signs it. Second, an order cannot confer jurisdiction in the courts or establish any grounds for suing anybody in court… The order is therefore judicially unenforceable. Finally, an executive order cannot trump or change a federal statute.” Don’t ever doubt the utility of the Nietzchian will to power operationalized in the Marxist schema. It gets results. But it also sows resentment. Peace doesn’t follow. People only get mad. And people presently are very mad.
So what now? As in the wake of Roe, we must begin a rear guard offensive. After the President signed the bill into law on Tuesday, fourteen States attorneys general filed suit over the constitutionality of the legislation. Find out if your State is one of them and support the effort. Learn the provisions of the new law. You will be forced to purchase insurance. But at least one insurance carrier in each State exchange is required not to provide abortion coverage, which means the majority of carriers will. Do your homework; find that carrier and support it. Next, when your representatives come home for Spring break, tell them what’s on your mind. Finally, polish your pointing finger for the November elections.
If you’re not mad you’re not paying attention.