“Class warfare” started with Marx

Published 4:35 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2012

To the Editor:

In Wednesday’s Bulletin, a gentleman, in an apparent eagerness to make a point, made the historically dubious charge that introducing “class warfare” rhetioric “…began with FDR in the late 30s…, “  when in fact Karl Marx – who went on to become a columnist for the New York Times – is usually credited with introducing the term in “The Communist Manifesto” of 1848.

Furthermore, most readers of the Bulletin in the past quarter-of-a-century-plus can remember the person – and his party affiliation– who was wont to use the term in occasional Letters to the Editor.

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Most of us may remember the Haymarket Riots, the Homestead Strike and the Molly Maguires of the late 19th century; the French Revolution of the late 18th century; Wat Tyler of the late 14th century; that well-known Class Warrior who talked about a camel entering the eye of a needle in the same breath as the likelihood of a rich man entering Heaven; and, of course Plato discoursing on the (Golden)philosopher kings making laws, the (Silver) soldiers forcing the majority (Bronze and Iron) men to obey the laws nearly 2,500 years ago.

In reality, wherever and whenever there are short-sighted oppressors denying the oppressed  a decent life, there will be class warfare, overt or covert, violent or non-violent.

– Bill Holcomb, Tryon