Why Marxism is cool again — with people who don’t know of its horrors


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KARL MARX STATUE BUILT DECADES AFTER BEING TORN DOWN: WHY?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, let me take you to an article which ran about a week ago in The Washington Post. Nearly two centuries ago, the 17-year-old son of a vineyard owner left his tranquil riverside city on the edge of the Prussian empire to make his way in the world and, perhaps, to shake it up a bit. Harry, this individual we’re talking about, we recently celebrated his 200th birthday on May the 5th.  

DR. REEDER: Karl Marx is who we’re talking about. In his hometown, they erected an 18-foot statue with a lot of fanfare. What’s interesting is it wasn’t the state of Germany that paid for it, but it was China. China paid for it, who now says that they are the standard bearer for Karl Marx and his theory — his Communist Manifesto — that he wrote in context with a name by the name of Engels.

And so, whenever you talk about Marx, you have to talk about Marx and Engels, or you have to talk about Marx and Lenin, or Marx and Stalin or Marx and Mao Zedong. These are the people who took the Communist Manifesto out of an economic analysis and made it a world and life view that included a messianic state. In other words, it was the state that would enforce the Manifesto and it was the state that would take hold of property, it was the state who would take hold of the economy and the state — and you’ll note that all of them became atheistic like Karl Marx, himself, who was an atheist.

When you saw that statue going up, if you saw the videos, you’ll see a lot of young people. Let me tell you what you won’t see. You won’t see any older people because those were the people who, in the 1980s, tore those statues down. They took down Lenin, they took down Stalin, they took down Marx — they took down all those, particularly, in East Germany. They were glad to get them down.

They were looking at these people that were celebrating the erection of that statue and they remember the days that they tore them down when the wall came down finally and, when that wall came down and all the repression.

When they see Karl Marx, let me tell you what they think: They think gulags, they think prisons, they think famine, they think deprivation. They think all that came with Communism, which was nothing but destruction. They also know that any notion of any freedom of religion is utterly gone because religion is seen as a threat because Communism is a religion.

And, by the way, atheism is a religion. From a Christian world and life view, even it’s with the negative, a-theism, “no god,” that is a religion. That’s a statement of belief that there was nothing and nothing created something and now something has produced all of this. It’s called materialism.

MARXISM = GOVERNMENT CONTROL

And Marx was drastically affected by a number of people, not the least of which was a philosopher by the name of Hagel and Hagel invented a world and life view that was atheistic materialism. And it is specifically what is called dialectical materialism and that is the explanation of everything is circular. Marx had a circular view of history because he had embraced a circular view of life from a philosopher by the name of Hagel.

And Hagel says this: You have thesis, you have antithesis. Thesis and antithesis are in conflict and the result is a synthesis. The synthesis becomes the new thesis, and that thesis automatically has a mutation of an antithesis and that just keeps repeating itself in a circular fashion.

That was Hagel’s dialectical materialism. Well, a guy by the name of Darwin takes that and applies it to “science,” a philosophical world and life view. You’ve got species, you have mutation and now this mutation and this species create a new species. That became known as evolution.

Now Marx takes it and Marx says you’ve got those in control of everything, property and resources — the bourgeois, those in control — and the people outside of control are the proletariat, the great masses. Well, the proletariat will rebel against the bourgeois and then that will create a new ruling class, a new bourgeois, which will create a new proletariat. And so, his circular view as revolution and that’s how he would advance his Marxist Communist theory.

You have Marx with the economic theory and Engels who applies the political and even more than Engels, Lenin. There are ten points to the Communist Manifesto. Number one issue — and Engels and Marx both say this — communism can only succeed with the abolition of private property and it is acknowledged that you will never be able to abolish private property without coercion and that means the power of the state. The state owns everything and distributes it to whoever it will.

RESURGENCE OF POPULARITY ISN’T FROM ACTUAL CONSTITUENTS

And so now Marx is cool. How did Marx get cool? Well, Marx was loved back in the ‘60s. Marx and then all of his adherents like Castro, and Che Guevera and others — they were all loved, they were all cool, we all had the t-shirts in college and everything. And then we began to see what that actually produces — gulags, prisons, famines — and then came tear down the statues, tear down the wall, and the ghost of Marx is now gone. It’s gone.

Well, you got to remember, as all those people in the ‘60s went to the schools to teach — and, Tom, we’re going to do a follow-up program to show that they’re teaching in our schools this world and life view. What’s happening? Now our students see it as cool.

That’s why, when you go to Germany and you see that 18-foot statue, Germans aren’t erecting it and older people who have actually experienced Marxism applied through the power of a Leninist/Stalinist/Mao Zedong state, you don’t see them celebrating it but you see it’s cool now.

Now it’s a matter of an imprint on a t-shirt again. It’s cool out of the colleges because the very people that promoted its destruction in the ‘60s as college students are now teaching in the colleges and that world and life view is being promoted.

Isn’t it wonderful? We can tax everybody, the government gets it and then the government will redistribute wealth to everyone. Anybody that believes that is believing a lie. If you think there’s a have and a have not, wait until you put the private property in the hands of the government and I’ll show you where there’s haves and have nots. And that’s exactly what was seen in Russia, which is why the Soviet Union collapsed, East Germany collapsed, all of them collapsed because the oppression and the tyranny finally was undone.

If you’re taking somebody else’s property to give it to me, it’s just a matter of time until you take my property to give it to somebody else. And, after a while, the government’s going to run out of resources when nobody has anything to produce anything.

WHY DOES SOCIALISM LOSE ITS APPEAL?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Yeah, I think it was Margaret Thatcher that said that the problem with socialism is, eventually, you run out of other people’s money.

DR. REEDER: Exactly and that’s why we need somebody to teach contemporary history. Let me tell you what communism does. Let me tell you what socialism, its stepchild, does. Go visit Venezuela and walk the streets of Cuba.

Now, do I agree that capitalism can lead to the greed of the consumption of wealth? Yes, but the answer to that is not the government, but the answer to that is the free practice of religion that calls people to a higher standard of life which is it’s more blessed to give than to receive. And so, when you create wealth, you now have something to give to other people.

Marx taps into something that we all love and that is for everyone to do well, but the answer is a state that protects the unalienable rights of the people to life, liberty and property and the pursuit of happiness.

MONDAY: THE REALITY OF MARXISM ON CAMPUS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, let’s follow-up on this on Monday as we review the statistics out of the National Association of Scholars. Unfortunately, it is somewhat of a suspicions-confirmed type of study.

DR. REEDER: Tom, Marx is cool because the cultural elite have never let him go. The children of the ‘60s went into the entertainment industry, the media industry and, of course, into the academic world. And now the cultural elite are making Marx and Marxism as intellectually cool once again. Those are the people who are teaching in the colleges and in the universities and we’ll look at that in our next program.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

21 mins ago

Wetlands, crops can mitigate storm damage to coastal cities, study led by UAH finds

Coastal cities can be spared some wind destruction from intensifying hurricanes or tropical storm systems if they have functional wetland ecosystems and agricultural croplands in the area, according to new computer modeling research led by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

“Our study was about how changing land cover in coastal areas affects rain from tropical storms,” says Emily Foshee, co-author of the research and a research associate at UAH’s Earth System Science Center who analyzed the models. Dr. Eric Rappin from Western Kentucky University ran the numerical model experiments.

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The paper was published in Scientific Reports in November. UAH teamed with Western Kentucky University, the University of Nebraska, the University of Georgia, the University of Colorado Boulder, Purdue University, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to conduct the study.

Scientists used the model with a simulation of a flooding storm over Baton Rouge as a control and then modified the type of land the storm passed over to assess the effect. They modeled three land types: healthy coastal marshland, marshland that had become saturated or turned to open water and coastal land that had been converted mostly to agricultural use.

The ground moisture and vegetative buffering of healthy marsh impede storm intensification but increase rainfall in the model.

“If you want to keep the marsh ecology intact because you don’t want to lose all the other benefits of marshland such as preventing soil erosion and the wildlife and aquatic life benefits, and if you are concerned about how to have less damage from storm winds, then you must keep the wetlands,” says Dr. Udaysankar Nair, UAH associate professor of atmospheric science and the paper’s lead author, whose research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

“When you have a landfalling hurricane, if you have wetlands there, then there is a greater chance that the storm or hurricane will weaken,” Dr. Nair says.

Scientists modeled the effects on the Baton Rouge, La., region by using NASA land surface model data and data from an actual large flooding storm. Study findings, which support preservation and restoration of healthy marshes, may be especially important in Louisiana, which loses the equivalent of a football field of land to water every hour.

Agriculture continues to convert wetland in Louisiana to crop uses, and those practices tend to dry soils. Cut off from a source of water vapor, storms in the model that passed over cropland were less intense and windy. But there’s a tradeoff. Single crop agricultural lands don’t possess the erosion control and biodiversity benefits of marshland, Dr. Nair says.

The combined effect of healthy wetlands transitioning to cropland reduced storm intensity in the model no matter what soil moisture conditions were present.

The research says that if current trends continue, a substantial portion of Louisiana wetlands will transition to open water in coming decades, likely making the studied region even more vulnerable to heavy rain events from future tropical systems.

Marsh that has become super-saturated or has turned to open water, known as a brown ocean, produces the most damaging winds in the model, while at the same time spreading out rainfall. That’s because saturated wetlands or open water continue to feed energy into a hurricane’s system.

Air spirals in toward the eye of a hurricane, and as it does it has a tendency to cool, Dr. Nair says. While the storm is over warm open ocean, over open water resulting from conversion of wetlands, or over the brown ocean of a saturated marsh, the energy from the wet and warm surface offsets the cooling effect with warm humid air and the storm can continue to grow stronger.

“What happens when a hurricane comes ashore is that the land cuts off that source of energy,” Dr. Nair says. “Different forms of land cover affect the storm. What we found out is that it’s not just the water vapor that affects storms.”

The natural vegetation in healthy marsh has more buffering friction than if it has been converted to open water or agriculture, he says.

“If all these marsh regions are instead filled with water, essentially that is like the open ocean coming right to land,” Dr. Nair says. “Then you see more wind and more spread out rain, and more damage out of the storm. The storm will continue to intensify as it comes in.”

The work points to other areas for further study.

“If we do more of these kinds of studies,” Dr. Nair says, “then we can potentially be able to say something about how the patterns of land use change and land management affect landfall in hurricanes.”

(Courtesy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville)

1 hour ago

Watch: Bicentennial video tells the stories of Alabama’s great people

The finale of the ALABAMA 200 bicentennial celebration is on Saturday, with the public celebrating with elected officials, celebrities and dignitaries in the state’s capital.

However, even if you cannot make the festivities in person, you can still take time remotely to honor Alabama becoming a state 200 years ago to the day.

A video put together by WBRC and posted by Governor Kay Ivey is a great way to relive the state’s vibrant history.

Entitled, “Alabama Bicentennial: The Stories of Our People,” the approximately 50-minute special looks back on the state’s past 200 years, hearing from some of its most memorable voices in the process.

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In an introduction to that video, Ivey says, “As we celebrate our state’s bicentennial, I want to recognize my fellow Alabamians. As governor, I’m proud to be from a state that has remained steadfast through good times and bad.”

“Our resiliency and southern spirit have allowed us to grow and become the great state we are today,” she continues. “To put it simply, Alabama is defined by its people, and we have some of the best. I look forward to the future generations of Alabamians who will help take us to even greater heights. Happy birthday, Alabama!”

Watch:

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 hours ago

Alabama’s ‘white gold’ draws worldwide interest

Ruth Beaumont Cook’s latest book started 10 years ago as a brochure request from Sylacauga‘s B.B. Comer Memorial Library in advance of the city’s first marble festival.

“They asked me to put together a brochure about the history of the marble,” Cook said. “It was overwhelmingly successful, so the next year they asked to me write a book.”

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New book celebrates Sylacauga’s marble legacy from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Nearly nine years and dozens of interviews later, Cook celebrates the natural resource that nurtures both the economy and the cultural heritage of Alabama’s “Marble City” in her new book, “Magic in Stone: The Sylacauga Marble Story.”

“Whenever you start working on a book, you have all of this information but you look for a story thread through it,” Cook said. “I had no clue when I started what that was going to be.”

Cook said the clues starting coming together as she started talking to people who grew up mining marble.

“There are so many people who grew up in Gantts Quarry,” Cook said. “Most people have good memories of growing up there and work they are proud of. Telling those stories was the most interesting part of it.”

Commercial marble quarries began in Sylacauga in the late 1800s. Cook said the marble was initially used by sculptors such as Giuseppe Moretti, the Italian who created the Vulcan statue on Red Mountain in Birmingham.

“His Vulcan won gold prize at the 1904 World’s Fair, but what most people don’t know is he also took another piece with him, ‘The Head of Christ,’ which he had carved from Sylacauga marble,” Cook said. “It won a silver medal.”

The notoriety caught the attention of construction managers around the world who were seeking dimension marble for their projects. By the 1930s, Sylacauga’s creamy white marble had been used in hundreds of buildings, including the U.S. Supreme Court building and the ceiling of the Lincoln Memorial.

“It was chosen for the Lincoln Memorial because it can be cut very thin and still be strong,” Cook said. “They cut it thin enough to be translucent and then rubbed it with beeswax and put it in the ceiling.”

Despite the marble’s beauty and strength, Cook said the demand for dimension marble in construction dropped dramatically by the 1950s.

“It became obvious that granite was much easier to withstand pollution than marble,” Cook said. “Marble is still great if it’s thick enough, but if you make a facade of it on a building, it’s probably not going to last because it deteriorates from the pollution.”

Instead of closing the mines and laying off employees, Cook said the Sylacauga marble companies survived and thrived thanks to a growing need for calcium extracted from marble deposits and used in hundreds of products, such as cosmetics, paints and glue.

“They turned to industry and began to grind up the marble into fine powder – called GCC, ground calcium carbonate – which industry had a strong demand for,” Cook said.

Cook said Sylacauga continues to be a rich marble resource more than 70 years later.

“I’ve been told there’s enough marble there for sculpture and industry for at least another 200 years,” Cook said. “The vein of marble is 35 miles long, a mile and a half wide and goes down quite a ways — 300 or 400 feet I believe. It’s a very valuable resource.”

Sylacauga Marble Festival

Since 2009, the city has celebrated its heritage through the Sylacauga Marble Festival, a 10-day event drawing sculptors from around the world to work alongside an Italian master sculptor. Visitors can watch, tour local quarries and purchase sculptures. Cook said the festival brings Sylacauga’s rich heritage full circle.

“It came from art, up through all of these others, and now you have this wonderful balance,” Cook said. “You still have major industry but you also have major art appreciation. It’s a great story.”

The 12th annual Marble Festival will be March 31 to April 11, 2020.

The 2019 Marble Festival, which was one of several events highlighted by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission as part of the state’s 200th birthday celebration, was sponsored by the Alabama Power FoundationAlabama State Council on the ArtsAlabama Tourism DepartmentAmerican Legion Post 45 SylacaugaArchitectural Stone ImportsB.B. Comer Memorial LibraryBlue Bell CreameriesBlue Horizon TravelCity of Sylacauga, Conn Equipment, Coosa Valley Medical CenterCurtis and Son Funeral HomeImerysIsabel Anderson Comer Museum and Arts CenterJ. Craig Smith Community CenterMiller Lumber CompanyMorris Custom Marble & GraniteNemakOmya, Inc.Pizza & Pint, Representative Ron Johnson, SouthFirst BankSylacauga Arts CouncilSylacauga Chamber of CommerceSylacauga Housing Authority, Sylacauga Marble Quarry, Towne Inn, 21st Century Signs and Utilities Board of Sylacauga.

To learn more about “Magic in Stone: The Sylacauga Marble Story,” visit newsouthbooks.com/magicinstone.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

5 hours ago

Birmingham Business Alliance reveals new mission, economic development approach

The Birmingham Business Alliance revealed a new mission and a new approach to economic development as it heads into 2020.

The BBA’s 2019 Chairwoman’s Annual Meeting was at the Lyric Theatre in Birmingham Dec. 11. Chairwoman Nancy Goedecke passed the gavel to Jim Gorrie, president and CEO of Brasfield & Gorrie.

Gone is Blueprint Birmingham, which guided the BBA through its first 10 years. In its place is a strategy that keys in life sciences, advanced manufacturing and technology. Those are some of the main industries the Alabama Department of Commerce is expected to emphasize in its revision of Accelerate Alabama, the state’s economic development plan.

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“Those are the three areas that we’re going to focus on,” said Fred McCallum, interim CEO of the BBA. “I will tell you that when you look at our state plan, there are a lot of similarities.”

Birmingham Business Alliance announces new direction from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

A main component to Blueprint Birmingham was a set of metrics that measured Birmingham’s success against a cluster of peer cities. Doing so often looked too broadly, McCallum said.

“Blueprint was a good plan at the time,” he said. “It was very wide and in some ways it was successful and in other ways it wasn’t so successful. I think what we’ve come to now is a point in time where we’ve got to focus in on jobs and economic growth.”

There will be a new set of metrics created and benchmarked in a new BBA strategic plan, McCallum said.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin did highlight one comparison between Birmingham and other cities.

“Since the great recession around 2008, 60% of all jobs have only gone to 25 cities in America,” Woodfin said. “You need to know that Birmingham is not on that list.”

Woodfin feels Birmingham should measure itself against its own potential instead of comparing itself to others.

“We don’t have to be like Nashville or Chattanooga or Atlanta or Austin,” he said. “We need to be the best version of ourselves. But that is going to require us to shake off the way we’ve always done things.”

Woodfin said the companies and organizations that make up the BBA should be prepared to take greater risks and push boundaries.

“Being risk-averse at this time as we move into 2020 … will not work for us – as an organization or for our city,” he said. “So the question becomes when you walk out of this room, are we prepared to invest in our competitiveness? Do we want to compete? Do we want to set ourselves apart, not be like any other city in America?”

A primary goal for the BBA is to find a new CEO. McCallum has led the organization on an interim basis after former CEO Brian Hilson stepped down at the end of March. Hilson now works on rural economic development initiatives in the state.

Other changes will include aligning the BBA’s internal strategy to execute the new strategic plan, updating its governance structure to be more effective and efficient and aligning the funding model to support the BBA’s new strategic plan.

“I think the organization will be more focused on specific strategies and focused on doing what we do well,” McCallum said.

McCallum believes Birmingham leaders and economic developers can tell the region’s story more forcefully and proactively.

“We’re on a good trajectory. I feel good about where we are as a community,” McCallum said. “Our leadership is strong. Our public leadership is strong. Our private leadership is strong. I feel good about where the BBA is focused.”

This year’s annual meeting was more a call to action than the rah-rah sessions of the past.

“Usually I would get up here and give you all some stats about what we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished,” Woodfin said. “I think it is fair to say that 2019 has been a good year for many of your organizations individually and collectively for our Birmingham Business Alliance.”

It was a good 2019 in the Birmingham metro area. Halfway through the year, the region reached and surpassed its pre-recession height of employment. There were 32 projects with 1,180 jobs and $492.2 million in capital investment announced in the region in 2019.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

The biggest birthday party in Alabama history is TODAY!

The biggest birthday party in Alabama’s history is taking place today, December 14, and you are invited! Join us in Montgomery for the grand finale celebration of our state’s 200th birthday.

Watch the parade, listen to concerts and performances, visit open houses and much more.

This is sure to be a day you don’t want to miss. The event is free to the public and lasts all day starting with an elaborate parade at 10:00 a.m. The parade will travel from Court Square Fountain in downtown Montgomery up Dexter Avenue to the State Capitol. There will be marching bands, city floats and unique displays of Alabama history on wheels, such as the USS Alabama and U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

The parade is a great opportunity for families to enjoy the celebration together – and it’s only the beginning of a packed day. Following the parade, Governor Kay Ivey will dedicate Bicentennial Park. The afternoon will offer performances, exhibitions and open houses throughout downtown Montgomery. The day will conclude with a concert featuring popular musicians from Alabama and the history of Alabama presented in a never-before-seen way.

Visit Alabama 200 Finale for a complete rundown of the day’s events.

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