Obama at Columbia University, 1981


Gideon Welles was worried. The U.S. Navy Secretary wrote into his private diary on March 1, 1867, “To break down State independence and State rights… are great purposes with the Radical leaders. There is no doubt that the Government is to be subverted and constitutional limitations are to be swept away, provided the Radicals can succeed. Hate of the Rebels and of all whites, whether Rebels or not, if they lived in the Rebel States, with intense love for the negro, the ‘wards of the nation,’ for whom the rights and feelings of white men are freely sacrificed, characterizes Congress.” [1]

A faction of the then-fledgling Republican Party had sanctioned a coup d’état. President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated on April 14, 1865 with the approval of these “Radical Republicans.” Congressman Thaddeus Stevens headed what President Andrew Johnson derided as a “French Directory”: nine representatives and six senators formed a dictatorship by committee. On February 22, 1866, from the front steps of the White House, President Johnson had harangued the crowd: “There is an attempt to concentrate the power of the Government in the hands of a few, and thereby bring about a consolidation, which is equally dangerous and objectionable with separation. We find that powers are assumed and attempted to be exercised of a most extraordinary character. What are they? We find that Government can be revolutionized, can be changed without going into the battle-field. Sometimes revolutions the most disastrous to the people are effected without shedding blood.” (Background: Resistance of Andrew Johnson, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, July 24, 2015.)

Things were going from one extreme to another: from disunion to a centralized dictatorship by committee. Fretted Gideon Welles on March 2, 1867, “Thad Stevens and the discipline of the caucus are potent.” [1]

Somewhere in the Ken Burns documentary on the American Civil War it is mentioned, “Before the Civil War, people said, ‘The United States are.’ After the Civil War, people said, ‘The United States is.'” Notice also how Gideon Welles above spelled the word “State” with a capital “S”. Then notice how the newspapers spell it now.

The centralized “French Directory” in Washington hated all white men in the South. Later, a “Frankfurt School”, a petty-bourgeois pseudo-left, gained prominence. Pseudo-left politics – centered on race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, and sexual preference – served to distract from real economic issues. [2] Felix Weil (1898 – 1975), son of a millionaire, founded an Institute for Marxism. He hoped to one day hand over the Institute to a victorious German soviet state. A philosopher by name of Max Horkheimer (1895 – 1973) became director of the Institute for Marxism. Horkheimer wanted to overcome “the crisis of Marxism” by fusing social philosophy and empirical social science. [3] As director, Horkheimer changed Frankfurt from an orthodox Marxist school to a heterodox for critical social research school. The Institute focused on integrating the views of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Horkheimer fled Nazi Germany and arrived in New York City, where the president of Columbia University agreed to host the Institute. [4] Later, in 1981, Barack Obama came to Columbia University as a 20-year-old junior, transferring in from California’s Occidental College. [5]

“The Frankfurt School distilled and distributed, through the medium of universities throughout Europe and the United States, an extremely low-proof product,” writes David North, in the Foreword to his book, The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left: A Marxist Critique. Marxism was infused with a heavy dose of existentialist psychology. “The issues of alienation, repression and sexuality found a deeper response among middle-class students than those related to the economic exploitation of the working class and its struggle for power.” [6]

Abraham Lincoln was not a “Republican”, per se. “I think I am a Whig,” Lincoln wrote to his friend Joshua Speed in August, 1855, “but others say there are no Whigs and that I am an Abolitionist.” The Whig Party was in decline, so Honest Abe looked around and decided he must be a Republican. But the Republican Party was a fledgling party at that point, so what exactly did it mean to be a Republican? In April 1861, Lincoln told former congressman John Minor Botts, a member of the United States Constitutional Union Party, “Botts, I have always been an Old-line Henry Clay Whig, and if your Southern people will let me alone, I will administer this government as nearly upon the principles that he would have administered it as it is possible for one man to follow in the path of another.” [7]

But Lincoln was killed by a faction of his own Republican Party, and that party congealed into a “French Directory” for awhile. (See, Addenda to the Addenda, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, July 14, 2015.)

Abraham Lincoln was not a “Republican.” Abraham Lincoln was a Populist. David North writes of the “economic exploitation of the working class” and to this viewpoint, though not with Socialism, Lincoln might have agreed. Carl Sandburg, in his biography of Old Abe, records how, on September 30, 1859, at the Wisconsin State Fair, Lincoln stated, “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital; that, in fact, capital is the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed, – that labor can exist without capital, but that capital could never have existed without labor. Hence… labor is the superior – greatly the superior – of capital.” [8]

Was the working class to be the doormat on which the muddy boots of the upper class rested? “According to that theory,” Lincoln told the farmers at the Wisconsin State Fair, “a blind horse upon a tread-mill is a perfect illustration of what a laborer should be – all the better for being blind, that he could not tread out of place, or kick understandingly.” [8]

Soon after Lincoln had been elected president in 1860, an old friend, “strong-hearted, black-eyed” Hannah Armstrong, visited the Rail Splitter in Illinois. “They’ll kill ye, Abe,” she warned. [9]

——- Sources ——-
[1] Diary of Gideon Welles, by Gideon Welles. Volume III, January 1, 1867 – June 6, 1869. Published by Forgotten Books, 2012. Originally published 1911.
[2] “Shrewd Traders vs. Shrewd Traders”, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, August 22, 2015. https://ersjdamoo.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/shrewd-traders-vs-shrewd-traders/
[3] The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theories, and Political Significance, by Rolf Wiggershaus. The MIT Press (February 23, 1995).
[4] “Max Horkheimer”, Wikipedia, August 23, 2015.
[5] “Obama at Columbia University”, FactCheck.org. Posted on February 16, 2010; Updated on February 23, 2010; Corrected on March 16, 2010.
[6] “Foreword to The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left: A Marxist Critique (Part 1)”, by David North. World Socialist Web Site, July 21, 2015. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/07/21/dnbo-j21.html
[7] What Would Millard Do?, by Brian Francis Redman (alias Ersjdamoo). Available as an Amazon Kindle e-book. Also available from Lulu.com
[8] Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years & The War Years (one volume edition), by Carl Sandburg. Chapter 13. Harcourt (Harvest Books).
[9] Sandburg, op. cit. Chapter 15.


About ersjdamoo

Editor of Conspiracy Nation, later renamed Melchizedek Communique. Close associate of the late Sherman H. Skolnick. Jack of all trades, master of none. Sagittarius, with Sagittarius rising. I'm not a bum, I'm a philosopher.
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