The Unseen Hand - Ralph Epperson


It has been fairly well established by traditional historians that Karl Marx was the founding father of Communism. This is, in addition, the official position offered by the Communists themselves. Their position is that this previously unknown young man suddenly rose out of obscurity to write the Communist Manifesto and thereby launched the Communist movement.

However, the truth is that this explanation is only partially correct. And the truth is far more interesting than the partially correct story.

To understand why this is so, it becomes important to first examine Karl Marx, the individual.

Marx, born in 1818, went to Paris, France, in 1843 to study economics, and while at a university met Frederick Engels, the son of a wealthy Lancashire, England, cotton spinner. Marx soon learned the joys of possessing unearned wealth, for Engels constantly assisted Marx, and later Marx and his family, with an income from his father's cotton mills in England. Marx didn't care for the traditional forms of labor to earn the necessities of life, relying instead on the largess of his friend Engels to keep himself alive for nearly all of his adult life.

Marx frequently made appeals to Engels for more money because he said his daughters "must have a bourgeois education so they can make contacts in life."

Traditional historians have not dwelt much upon this relationship between Marx and Engels. Those that do find it strange that Marx, the "champion of the oppressed and the downtrodden workers" would spend nearly all of his adult life living off the profits acquired from a "capitalistic" cotton mill in England. Engels' father, if consistent with the charges against the "propertied class" of the day, was "exploiting the working class, those who produce all of the capital of the world." Yet Marx continued living off the income provided by Engels' share of the cotton mill.

If Marx had been true and consistent to his principles, he would have rejected this money and lived by the earnings of his own labors. Yet the only official job Marx ever had was as a correspondent for a newspaper for a short time.

In his early youth Marx was a believer in God. But while at the university Marx changed his views. He once wrote that he wished to avenge himself "against the One who rules above."

It was no coincidence that his change in his basic belief came after he joined the highly secret Satanist Church. As evidence of his membership in this sect, Marx grew a heavy beard and let his hair grow long. These outward manifestations were ". . . characteristic of the disciples of Joana Southcott, a Satanic priestess who considered herself in contact with the demon Shiloh."

By 1841 his conversion was nearly complete as a friend of his had observed: "Marx calls the Christian religion one of the most immoral of religions."

Not only did Marx attack the Christian religion, but the Jewish religion as well. In 1856 Marx wrote in the New York Tribune:

"Thus do these loans. . . become a blessing to the House of Judah. This Jew organization of loan-mongers is as dangerous to the people as the aristocratic organization of landowners."

[Illustration] from The Unseen Hand by Ralph Epperson


But generally Marx took out his anger against religion itself:

"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of man is a demand for their real happiness."

The reasons for Marx's bitterness against religion are numerous: Marx saw religion:

  1. as the mechanism of the wealthy to keep the poor, downtrodden worker in his state of poverty;
  2. as the teaching that one man's property did not belong to another;
  3. as the teaching that man should not covet another man's property; and
  4. as the teaching that each man should be self-sufficient and earn his own sustenance.

Marx saw this unequal distribution of wealth as the cause of man's unhappiness. If only property could be equally divided, man would be happy. And the vehicle that kept man from acquiring his fair share of the property was organized religion that taught that one man could not take the property of another by force: "Thou shah not steal." Religious teaching also included the commandment that it was wrong to desire more property than you were able to acquire by your own efforts: "Thou shah not covet thy neighbor's goods."

Marx reasoned, therefore, it was the religious system that kept man in poverty, as if the ownership of property was the only requirement for human happiness. It then followed, according to Marxist logic, that the capitalist system had to be destroyed because it encouraged every individual to produce his own necessities through his individual labor.

Therefore, the happiness of man was contingent upon abolishing not only the religious system but the "Capitalistic" system as well.

One of Marx's friends, Mikhail Bakunin, once wrote this about Marx: "Since Marx rejected the idea of God, he could not explain the 'human condition' as the result of sin. He blamed all evil, both moral and psychological, on the economic system which he said had to be overthrown by revolution so that the society of man could be restructured."

But even the abolishment of religion and the Capitalistic System was not enough for the Marxists. Marx himself wished to abolish "all social conditions," not just the church and the free enterprise system. Marx wrote:

"The Communists . . . openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions."

Marx wrote frequently on these subjects. He wrote the following about the subject of the family: "The bourgeois clap trap about family and education, about the co-relation of parent and child, becomes all the more disgusting. . . "

And on nationality: "The working men have no country. We cannot take away from them what they have not got."

Marx realized that the main vehicle to be utilized in the destruction of these values was the government, and he was correct. Take, for instance, the following newspaper article that appeared in 1980:


"Pollster George Gallup said Friday nearly half of those who responded to his organization's 1980 survey on the American family believe that the federal government has an unfavorable influence on family life.

Ideas on how the family unit can be further damaged are now being offered by a variety of people. One, an assistant professor at a college, offered this thought on the subject:

". . . the fact that children are raised in families means there is no equality. In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them."

To show their individual contempt for the traditional view of family life, both Frederick Engels and Marx had affairs: Engels with the wife of a friend, and Marx with his maid. (When Marx married Jenny von Westphalen, the daughter of a rich and respected Prussian official, her mother gave the couple a maid as a wedding present. Marx showed his appreciation by getting his gift pregnant.) Marx further showed his contempt for his family by allowing two of his six children to starve to death, because Marx's contempt for industrious labor frequently failed to provide for his family's sustenance. In addition, two of his other children later committed suicide, perhaps because of their wretched existence as children.

Marx's views on marriage and the family were consistent with the way he lived his life, but in other areas his hypocrisy was very evident.

For instance, in June, 1864, "in a letter to his uncle, Lion Phillips, Marx announced that he had made 400 pounds on the stock exchange."

Here Marx, the great champion of the working man against the "exploiting capitalists" (those who make their money on the stock exchange,) admits that he himself had made a profit on the stock exchange (in effect admitting that he considered himself a member of this class.) Notice that this was eighteen years after he urged the proletariat (the working class) to overthrow the bourgeois (the wealthy class), those who make profits on the stock exchange.

On one occasion, he wrote to Engels asking for the final settlement of the Wolff legacy. He said:

"If I had had the money during the last ten days, I would have been able to make a good deal on the stock exchange. The time has now come when with wit and very little money, one can really make a killing in London."

The Wolff legacy referred to in Marx's letter was the remains of an inheritance left to Marx by Wilhelm Wolff, an obscure German admirer. The total legacy inherited by Marx was 824 pounds, when the annual income of the "exploited working class" was approximately 4.5 pounds. In rough equivalents today, that would mean that Marx inherited approximately $365,000 assuming that the average wage of an American workman in 1980 was $20,000.

It was not as if Marx could not have earned an adequate living by his own efforts. Mr. Marx was indeed Dr. Marx, as he had earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Jena. With this degree, he could have been employed by a European university and made a comfortable living. (Marx never actually attended the university. He purchased his doctorate through the mail.)

In about 1846, both Marx and Engels joined a group calling itself 'The Communist League' which

"sprang from what was known as the League of the Just. The latter, in turn, was an offshoot of the Parisian Outlaws League, founded by German refugees in that city. After a turbulent ten-year period, the League of the Just found its 'center of gravity' as Engels put it, in London where, he added, a new feature came to the fore: 'from being German' the League became international."

After the Illuminati was discovered in Bavaria, Germany, its members scattered throughout Europe. The League was an "off-shoot of the Parisian Outlaws League, founded by German refugees." One can only wonder if those refugees were the scattering Illuminati.

In any event, at the Second Congress of the Communist League (the official title of the Manifesto, in German, is Manifest der Kommunistichen Partei. (History has translated "Partei" variously as "Party" or "League.") Marx and Engels were selected to write a party platform. Apparently both encountered delays in achieving this result, and the two writers "caused the Central Committee of the League to serve notice sharply that if the manifesto was not ready by February 1, 1848, measures would be taken against Marx and Engels. Results followed."

So Marx and Engels were given the task of writing a party platform for an already existing international group. The Manifesto was not the work of an inspired nobody by the name of Karl Marx (or Frederick Engels, for that matter,) who suddenly sprang up from obscurity. Both were hired by an already existing group that now felt its power was strong enough for them to come out from the "smoke-filled" rooms and make their organization, and its platform, known to the people of Europe.

But why was it so important for the manifesto to be completed by the first of February? Because the "spontaneous revolutions" that had already been planned all over Europe could "spontaneously" erupt on schedule. In fact, these "spontaneously planned" revolutions started on March 1, 1848 in Baden followed by others in Vienna on March 12; Parma, March 13; Venice, March 22; London, April 10; Spain, May 7; and Naples, May 15. Sixty-four revolutions "spontaneously erupted" all over Russia during the year as well.

So the Manifesto of the Communist Party was issued in London, England, on February 1, 1848, as an explanation of the cause of the revolutions already planned. Fortunately for the people of Europe, nearly all of these revolutions failed.

Because of these failures, the name of the manifesto was changed to the Communist Manifesto and the name of Karl Marx was added as its author. This event occurred in 1868, twenty years after its original publication.

What, then, did the Communist Party want Marx and Engels to write?

Marx saw the proletariat (the working class) wresting " . . . by degrees. all capital from the bourgeoisie (the propertied class). . .by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property."

This meant that Marx and his contemporaries had to develop a program that would slowly destroy the rights to private property in the society until one day the working class would own all of the property. This would not require the use of force, just the action of an increasingly powerful government which would steadily expand its role in the affairs of the society.

Marx and Engels wrote the following for the Communist Party:— These measures will of course be different in different countries. Nevertheless, in the most advanced countries the following will be pretty generally applicable:

"1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes."

Marx had written elsewhere in the manifesto: "You are horrified at our intending to do away with your private property. Precisely so, that is just what we intend."

So the first plank of the Manifesto was in keeping with the rest of the philosophy of Marx, although this plank only dealt with property in the form of land.

"2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax."

Here Marx adds the income tax as a method of taking property from the "propertied class" to give it to the "working class." This plank is in accord with Marx's statement about the obligation the wealthy have to the poor: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

Government was to become the great income distributor. It was to take from the producers (the "haves,") and give it to the non-producers, (the "have-nots.")

"3. Abolition of all right of inheritance."

Not only was the producer of capital goods going to find out that, as his efforts increased his rewards would decrease, but, whatever was left after the government took what it felt was needed for the poor, could not be left to his heirs. Property was to become only the temporary possession of the producer.

"4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels."

Those who wished to leave the Communist state would have to forfeit their property to those who remained, and those who opposed the government would have their property confiscated.

"5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly."

The Communists told Marx to make certain that only the Communists would have the sole power to create inflation. This power would grant them the ability to destroy the private property rights of those citizens who kept their property in the form of cash.

"6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state."

The state would restrict the citizen's right to speak out against the state by controlling his access to a mass audience, as well as control the society's right to freely disburse the goods they produced.

"7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan."

The government would own all of the capital goods and the state would determine what was to be grown on the land.

"8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture."

All capital goods, including the labor force itself, were to belong to the state. An industrial army would be formed, capable of being moved by its commander to whatever area the state felt needed workers, especially in the agricultural area.

"9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of population over the country."

The ultimate capital good, man himself, would lose his ultimate freedom: the right to live where he chose. Possibly Marx envisioned the growth of the labor union as a vehicle to combine "agricultural and manufacturing industries."

"10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production etc, etc."

The State would assume the responsibility for the education of all of the children in the society. It is presumed that Marx would not have tolerated a private school where parents could teach their own children what they felt was appropriate. If the state were the only educator, it could teach the children whatever it wanted.

The ultimate goal of the state would be to set the values of the society through the public school system. It is also presumed that Marx envisioned the ultimate abolition of the family itself, as the state assumed not only the role of the teacher in the life of the child but the role of the parent as well.

The ten planks of the Communist Manifesto were written in 1848. It is interesting to see just how far these programs have advanced in the American society since that date.

"1. Abolition of private property in land:—The United States government now owns 33.5 percent of the land of the U.S., completely in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Article I grants powers to the Legislative Branch of the Federal Government. Section 8 of Article I grants the power: "To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular States and the acceptance of Congress, became the seat of government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other useful buildings."

That means that any land owned by the government in excess of Washington D.G and the necessary military bases is owned in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

And the government owns over one-third of the land in the United States.

In addition, that land which the government does not own is controlled through such controls as land use regulations, governmental bureaucratic edicts, zoning laws, etc. Rent controls are not normally imposed by the federal government, but by local governments, but the effects upon private property are the same. The government controls the land and property of its citizens by controlling the prices the property owners may charge for the rental of their property. (Fascism was defined as control, but not ownership of the factors of production.)

"2. Progressive or graduated income tax:—The United States government passed the Graduated Income Tax in 1913, after several previous attempts had failed.

"3. The Inheritance Tax:—The United States government imposed the Inheritance Tax upon the American people in 1916.

"4. The confiscation of the property of emigrants and rebels:—In 1980, Congress took a giant step towards confiscation of property of emigrants when it passed H.R. 5691, which makes it a crime to transport or even to attempt to transport "monetary instruments" totaling five thousand dollars or more into or out of the country without filing the required reports with the government.

"5. Centralization of credit; a national bank:—The United States set up its national bank, the Federal Reserve, in 1913.

"6. Centralization of communication and transport:—The United States created the Federal Trade Commission in 1916, and the Federal Communications Commission in 1934.

"7. Factors of production owned by the state:—Amtrak, the federal government's railway system, is a recent example of the intrusion of the government into those areas traditionally operated by the free-enterprise system. However, other governmental intrusions into the affairs of the American businessman take the form of governmental controls of the factors of production (Fascism) rather than direct ownership. (The 1980 loan to the Chrysler Corporation was a good example.) In addition, government bureaus of every form and shape issue edicts for the privately owned business to follow.

"8. Equal liability to labor:—The American government has not moved into this area as yet, but has moved into the position of being the employer of last resort through such programs as the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the draft, and a proposal known as the Universal Military Service, where all of military age are obligated to serve their country in some capacity.

"9. Forced distribution of the population:—Very little has been done in this area of Marxist thought except in rather isolated instances, such as the call for "Urban Renewal." Under this proposal, the government forces people out of low rent areas in the name of renewing urban decay. Few of these people return to the renewal area after completion of the housing projects.

"10. Free education in public schools:—The United States government took a giant step, albeit without constitutional authority, towards controlling America's system of education, by funding colleges and universities after Russia orbited the artificial satellite called Sputnik in 1957.

Another step towards this goal occurred in 1980 when the Department of Education was established as a separate governmental department.

Students of Marx have noticed that he wanted the Communists to use both the Graduated Income Tax and the Central Bank as a means of making "inroads into the property of the bourgeoisie." An understanding of how these two instruments of destruction work together will follow in subsequent chapters of this book.

To show how close some of the Marxists are in everyday life to abolishing the right to private property, the communists in the Democratic Party in Oregon passed a rather revealing platform plank at their annual statewide convention in 1972. It read: "Land is a common resource and should be held in public ownership."

The Communists are getting closer.