All Republicans Don’t Have To Be Conservative: Party Names Change, Lincoln, and Marx
Whenever an American hears the word Republican, psychologically, we associate it with the party under that name, a name and party recognized as corrupt and for corporations, and a party still surviving on dog whistle (and blatant) racism. We try to differentiate in academia by using lower cap r for republican tradition and cap r for the parties and their members known as Republicans. It is disturbing that people do not often have a clue what is meant by Republican Philosophy. Americans use the term Republicanism to describe the thinking of the Republican Party, although it is Conservatism (a movement that did not always control that party). It has been shown, that modern American Conservatives share the same concerns and patterns that the Old European Right and Burke (considered a founding father of Conservatism) did. This sentiment was anti-republican, anti-feminist, anti-liberal and anti-enlightenment.
When young Conservatives inching further and further toward the fringes ask “what is true Conservatism,” it does not lead them to Republicanism, or Democratic theory. It leads them to the Neo-Confederates, to Fascism, to Anti-Enlighteners, the counter-revolutionaries — the very anti-thesis of our tradition. The way we use and view that term does affect how we understand our identity and roots as Americans moving forward. You notice no one talks about our “republican roots.” Democrats use democracy almost always and republic when highlighting corruption; whereas the GOP always alludes to us being a Republic when it comes to the constitution. We, as Americans speak these mottos and platitudes, but it is basically lacking in substance, because we do not understand it on a deeper level. The term republican has become negatively associated with racism, colonialism, corporate greed, etc, because of the Republican Party. The party keeps the names Republican and Democracy, because it helps them in their arguments in claiming authority over the vision and direction of the country. All Americans should technically believe in our system of representative democracy and understand the depth of our republican roots.
This history and struggle stretches back before 1776 from Britain and France to ancient Rome, Greece, among the Iroquois, in ancient China among the Confucians on democracy, combating tyrannical rulers and corruption. These are the focuses of the Republican tradition, or school of thought. All which appear extremely faint in practice from the party that calls itself Republican. Its members, like Mike Pence said, consider themselves Conservatives and Christian before Republican. The Christian and Republican roots are equally vital parts of this history.
Historian Andrew Roberts once suggested years ago in American Parties Need To Change Name, that the Americans can alleviate much of this confusion in their politics by changing the name of their political parties. I would fully support that idea if both considered it. But as we will find, the claim to historical precedent for Conservatives is central to the propaganda and strategy of the Republican Party (GOP), often claiming to represent the Founders, while the Liberals and Progressives are considered the “Neo-Marxists,” Communists, “Socialists,” etc. We subverted the meanings of republican and democrat, since both should be combined in the understanding of our civil and radical identity. Do not underestimate the relation between political thinking and language.
Balance should be restored.
The Republicanism we refer to is the classical philosophy, as a way of life, and of governing, but mainly the forms it has historically taken in the American context, meaning even South America’s struggle for independence, regarding Bolívar. The first order of service is to get us to understand the history of all this. Most of today’s governments of the world describe themselves as republics, or democracies, and the terms are so broad, that we have republican imperialist theories of governing, social democracies, and republics with dictators.
Marx could also be considered within the “republican political tradition” himself, along with Friedrich Engels, Rosa Luxemburg, and James Connolly, who argued, that a post-capitalist, non-state politic would bring about a social republic, i.e., social [not civic] republicanism (which corresponds to Marx’s conception).
This is not an argument for socialism, Marxism, social republicanism, or a “republican socialism” (Irish political history). However, we do think that the Conservative Party is a fitter title, rather than the Republican Party. Given our use of the term neo-republicanism, ours is an attempt to reclaim the Republican Institutions.
Abraham Lincoln — regarded as the “father of the Republican Party” — himself, who spoke publicly about the European socialists and German Communists was critical of the greed in capitalists, and its coercive machinery.
The German social democrats and British trade unionists were influential in this time, and Karl Marx (who once seriously considered immigrating to Texas) was a prolific contributor to the New York Daily Tribune, the most influential Republican newspaper of the 1850s.
“The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world.” (Karl Marx and the First International Workingmen’s Association to Lincoln, 1864)
“Not all German émigrés were radicals, but many were. With their beer halls, patriotic songs, and kindergartens, they helped to broaden the distinctly Puritan culture of Republicanism. They had been educated to despise slaveholding, and eventually nearly two hundred thousand German Americans volunteered for the Union army. There was an affinity between the German democratic nationalism of 1848 and the free labor doctrine of the newly-established US Republican Party, so it is not surprising that a number of Marx’s friends and comrades not only became staunch supporters of the Northern cause but received senior commissions. Joseph Weydemeyer and August Willich, both former members of the Communist League, were promoted first to the ranks of Colonel and then to General.” (Robin Blackburn, Lincoln and Marx)
If the majority of blacks switched back majority Republican Party, it would fundamentally change the vision and philosophy of the party (something the Alt-Right has “cuck-shamed” the millennial and gen-z conservatives and libertarian-nationalists into fearing), and therefore, what disingenuous conservatives are asking for is actually something they don’t want, and aren’t really prepared for.
Years of right-wing and Conservative radio and internet propaganda in this country conditioned many fellow Americans, and prepared them for the far-right. If not the far-right, they are ever demanding more Conservatism. As said, this has led many to ask the question then, “What is Conservatism,” which have led many outside of the American tradition into the political fringe.
Post-Romney Defeat, Conservatives — “We’ve lost the Country”
We will leave it to others to determine what should be the fate of Conservatives who dare call themselves REPUBLICANS. We should all be republican. No use calling themselves such, as the veil is being lifted.
Black people don’t have to be democrats.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) April 25, 2018
Well . . .
ALL REPUBLICANS DON’T HAVE TO BE CONSERVATIVES, AND CERTAINLY NOT TRUMP-CONSERVATIVES.
Updated Nov, 7 2020