I’ve found out that not all statues are being pulled down. Courtesy of the ‘artist’ Phil Collins, the centre of Manchester is now adorned with a 10-foot likeness of Friedrich Engels.
The statue was no longer wanted at its original site in the Ukraine. People there still remember the Holodomor, when millions were deliberately starved to death for having reservations about the creed concocted by Marx and Engels.
According to The Guardian, so do some British Ukrainians living in Manchester. The paper magnanimously acknowledges they just may have a valid grievance against the bearded statue. But no one else may. After all, Engels did live in Manchester for a long time.
By the same token, Jack the Ripper lived in London, the Strangler in Boston and Hitler in Vienna. Hence they too presumably satisfy the residency requirement for sculptural commemoration.
Yet this can’t be the only requirement. The denizens of a place also have to be proud of their erstwhile neighbour to erect a statue in his honour.
So, with the exception of a few Ukrainian spoilsports who refuse to forget the Holodomor, are the Mancunians sufficiently proud of Engels? Should the Viennese be equally proud of Hitler?
The Guardian hack rejects that parallel out of hand: “These comparisons by… rightwingers are crude. Engels was a philosopher, not a mass murderer. A better analogy would be asking whether we would tolerate the presence of Nazi propaganda in Manchester.”
This is a variation on three old themes. One is that communist propaganda is somehow more acceptable than the Nazi kind. Another is that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with Engels’s philosophy, as possibly distinct from its implementation in the Ukraine.
Yet another, a broader one, is that cannibalistic creeds have nothing to do with the ensuing cannibalistic practices. Hence Marx and Engels aren’t responsible for millions murdered in the name of Marxism-Leninism, nor is Islam responsible for terrorism.
This reduces people to the level of dogs, acting out of instinct, not reason. Divorcing philosophies from their implementation betokens a contempt for human nature.
The wheels of any juggernaut rolling over millions of lives are always powered by the engine of ‘philosophy’, with brainwashing acting as the transmission. What people do depends on what they believe, and what they believe largely depends on what they’re taught.
So what did the ‘philosopher’ Engels teach? When you look closely, you’ll know that his teaching was too monstrous even for the Soviets to implement fully.
The Communist Manifesto, which Engels co-authored with Marx, demands wholesale abolition of private property (except his own factories of course), which ideal wasn’t quite attained even in Russia.
“Abolition of all rights to inheritance” is another dictate from the Manifesto. The pamphlet also insists that family should be done away with, with women becoming communal property. Children are to be taken away from their parents, pooled together and raised as wards of the state.
Modern slavery also derives from the Manifesto, which prescribes total militarisation of labour achieved by organising it into “labour armies”, presumably led by Marx as Generalissimo and Engels as his deputy.
Dissenters were to be locked away in what Engels euphemistically called “special guarded places”. Such places have since acquired a different name, but Engels can be credited with coming up with the concept of concentration camps as an expedient for promoting social uniformity.
Now I suspect that Guardian writers can see the fine points of this ‘philosophy’, provided its practical manifestations aren’t too bloody, at least not at their own doorstep. They worship at the altar of the same religion, if a slightly less fundamentalist confession.
However, even they would experience a conflict of pieties if they actually read Engels’s writing. For the ‘philosopher’ deemed worthy of a statue in Manchester was a great proponent of murder by category, based on race, class and political convictions.
Chaps like Engels defy commentary – they must be allowed to speak for themselves. In that spirit, here are some random examples of Engels’s ‘philosophy’:
“All the other large and small nationalities and peoples are destined to perish before long in the revolutionary war-storm … [which will] wipe out all this racial trash. The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples.”
“A ceaseless fight to the death with Slavdom, which betrays the Revolution, a battle of annihilation and ruthless terrorism – not in the interests of Germany, but of the Revolution.”
“… the reconquest of the German-speaking left bank of the Rhine is a matter of national honour, and… the Germanisation of a disloyal Holland and of Belgium is a political necessity for us. Shall we let the German nationality be completely suppressed in these countries…?”
“This is our calling, that we shall become the Templars of this Grail, gird the sword round our loins for its sake and stake our lives joyfully in the last, holy war which will be followed by the thousand-year reign of freedom.” [My emphasis.]
“Justice and other moral considerations may be damaged here and there; but what does that matter to such facts of world-historic significance?”
“In history, nothing is achieved without power and implacable ruthlessness.”
“The plentiful meat and milk diet among the Aryans and the Semites, and particularly the beneficial effects of these foods on the development of children, may, perhaps, explain the superior development of these two races.”
[On Paul Lafargue, Marx’s son-in-law, a Paris councilman representing a district that contained the Zoo]: “Being in his quality as a nigger a degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us, he is undoubtedly the most appropriate representative of that district.”
“I begin to understand French anti-Semitism when I see how many Jews of Polish origin and with German names intrude themselves everywhere, arrogate everything to themselves and push themselves forward to the point of creating public opinion…”
“With the Irish… their sensuous, excitable nature prevents reflection and quiet, persevering activity from reaching development – such a nation is utterly unfit for manufacture as now conducted.”
“The Lasalle manoeuvres have amused me greatly, the frizzy Jew-head now very charmingly has to distinguish himself in the red nightshirt and Marquis garb – from which at every movement the Polish kike looks out. Seeing it must give the impression of louse-like repulsiveness.”
Suddenly the ‘philosopher’ emerges as a German nationalist, complete with racism, anti-Semitism and general hatred that he insists must be expressed through mass violence. Moreover, this isn’t just the ranting of an evil loner unheard by anyone: we know that Engels inspired the two most satanic regimes in history.
How do those good Mancunians and bad Guardian writers square this conflict of pieties? Simple.
In such a conflict, the dominant piety always wins. Those chaps are driven by the same hatred for Christendom, what’s left of it, as was their bearded guru. Detecting this, they find redeeming qualities in his ‘philosophy’, as they do for the same reason in Islam, whose exponents after all mistreat women and kill homosexuals.
Hence we know what those people are: in all such cases, observing which piety emerges victorious gives a clue to what’s negotiable and what’s chiselled in stone. As it were.