Marx supported black slavery in America

Another quote from Marx that you never hear about shows how much Leftist culture has changed in the last 150 years—or does it?  With AA they still think in racial terms

Letter from Marx to Pavel Vasilyevich Annenkov, 1846:  “As for slavery, there is no need for me to speak of its bad aspects. The only thing requiring explanation is the good side of slavery. I do not mean indirect slavery, the slavery of proletariat; I mean direct slavery, the slavery of the Blacks in Surinam, in Brazil, in the southern regions of North America.

Direct slavery is as much the pivot upon which our present-day industrialism turns as are machinery, credit, etc. Without slavery there would be no cotton, without cotton there would be no modern industry. It is slavery which has given value to the colonies, it is the colonies which have created world trade, and world trade is the necessary condition for large-scale machine industry. Consequently, prior to the slave trade, the colonies sent very few products to the Old World, and did not noticeably change the face of the world. Slavery is therefore an economic category of paramount importance. Without slavery, North America, the most progressive nation, would be transformed into a patriarchal country. Only wipe North America off the map and you will get anarchy, the complete decay of trade and modern civilisation. But to do away with slavery would be to wipe America off the map. Being an economic category, slavery has existed in all nations since the beginning of the world. All that modern nations have achieved is to disguise slavery at home and import it openly into the New World”

Context here

Posted by jonjayray on Thursday, April 21, 2005 at 03:43 AM in Marxism & Culture War
Comments (12) | Tell a friend



Posted by Geoff Beck on April 21, 2005, 08:55 AM | #

I’m not surprised Marx was really against “private” ownership of slaves. Apparently, he does not oppose “public” ownership of slaves, for example the residents of the USSR - which were gov’t property.

In the enlightened and free gov’ts of the West, taking over 50% of our income, with onerous property taxes, and police state laws, are not we, too, “public” slaves.


Posted by John S Bolton on April 21, 2005, 10:49 AM | #

From this one could infer also that leftism retains its image of liberationism by means of force, squashing with censorship, or drowning out with public money, those who care enough about the truth to mention the leftist love of slavery, sacrifice, malice and irrationality.


Posted by Andrew L on April 22, 2005, 12:14 AM | #

It is Funny how history turns and now the reverse is true, White Anglo’s are now slave for Black , via Taxation, Geoff makes a good point, so now we become slaves for the Grand masters to give to the fat lazy ass 3rd worlders,Most of which would not work in an Iron Lung, and immigrants,Not all, But most. So now the civilized are the opressed, I am sure if we had a choice what my money did, but we do not have that choice, Hale the Masters,Fehrer’S or Bowanna, take time out to punch a politition,and make it very hard, we are Peed Off. If they want to fund their Ideological Bull, then fund it from there own pockets, leave the rest of us alone, OR ELSE.


Posted by Geoff Beck on April 22, 2005, 09:38 AM | #


I’m convinced the only reasonable way of resolving the unresolvable problems in America is secession.

I’m watching Vlaams Belang closely. If they can get sucession moving in Flanders, it might spread.

In fact continental Europe had a history of free and independent towns and cities. I think the Anglo Countries will be a bit tougher though.


Posted by Andrew L on April 22, 2005, 05:22 PM | #

You conclusions of the Economic and political state are finite,sucession would be Ideal, but in Western Politics, may well be harder, in that the continued quest to isolate the state control, will probably end in civil war,but that of the State against it very own people,To what extent this is possible and out come is worth a thought,Isolate the State and dissarm it , remove the vehicles,and destroy the inculcation of Ideological anti Thieses, Peoples charity will depend on that, The people, not the Mentaly sick that have taken control.


Posted by Carlos on July 15, 2005, 04:10 PM | #

Your reading comprehension is not very good, I should say. From Marx’s paragraph above I understand that he did NOT support slavery, but he acknowledges that it has created value in the same way that the proletariat has. These two sentences speak for themselves:

“As for slavery, there is no need for me to speak of its bad aspects.”
“All that modern nations have achieved is to disguise slavery at home and import it openly into the New World”


Posted by R. B. on August 02, 2010, 04:19 PM | #

If you make an effort to read all the letter, you wil see Marx is paraphrasing Proudhon’s thinking.

The Right needs more intelligent ideas to criticize Marx…


Posted by MALLIKARJUNA SHARMA on October 24, 2010, 03:11 PM | #

Marx was an abolitionist to the core and not a supporter of slavery. It has become fashionable to give quotations torn out of context and suppressing others which directly contradict the said quotation or content of the quotation. For example Marx hailed the rebellion of slaves and civil war to end slavery in America as an epochal event and declared “a white worker cannot emancipate himself when the black worker is branded” See this: “Marx was a leading European abolitionist. During the U.S. Civil War Marx urged and organized English textile workers to support the blockade against the Confederacy, even though it was against their immediate economic interests and led to massive layoffs due to the cutoff of imported cotton. Marx took this position because, as he wrote to Engels on the eve of the Civil War, the uprisings of slaves in the U.S. and of serfs in Russia were the “two most important events” taking place in the world. Writing about slavery just after the Civil War in Volume I of Capital (1867, 1961:301), Marx explained why he regarded the struggle against slavery as crucial to the future of the working class: “In the United States of North America every independent movement of the workers was paralyzed so long as slavery disfigured a part of the republic. Labour cannot emancipate itself in the white skin where in the black it is branded.”


Posted by Arthur L on May 14, 2011, 02:39 PM | #

Very bad analysis to attribute industrialization to slavery. Slave owners and their illicit New World wards had nothing to do with industrialization. This is a stab at correlating economies in time where there was no real shared relationship but time. Ridiculous. Cotton production using slaves is pretty much the opposite of industrialization.

It is interesting to hear modern pseudo-Marxists explain that Marx’s ethical opposition to slavery was due to a love of humanity. This quote helps illustrate that Marx’s ethical opposition to slavery in the United States was based on his belief that economic progress towards capitalism was good, and that slavery was an outmoded and inefficient method of production. Here he clearly recognizes the “paramount” importance of the economic epoch of North American slavery.

While the enigmatic ethical end of communist thought may or may not have been a humanism similar to that touted by the modern radical-liberals, Marx’s ethical perspective in relation to the transition from slavery to capitalism is made apparent and distinct by this quote.

Marx had nothing but contempt for Negroes, in his letters to Engels he’s constantly using the word “nigger”(and no its not because it was a common term back then; the German language at that time actually didnt even contain the word).

He also hated Asians, Indians, and Slavs(he and Engels constantly called for German expansion into the East and exterminate Slavic peoples).

Yes I read these quotes some time ago, it makes me laugh everytime i hear a fake lefty claim they are marxists, When Marx would clearly have detested them!

It is also funny that most lefties think they are rebels, they only thing they rebel against is soap, everything else about them is mass media comformist!

The poor sods don’t even realise they are brainwashed useful idiots being manipulated by the super rich bankers, royals and corporate elites, through the controlled media - the NWO.

Here is a lesson on how the sheep are manipulated into conformists by the left wing consensus media and education system and why people are afraid to share their true beliefs in order to fit in -


Posted by anon on June 07, 2011, 02:26 PM | #

You obviously have a severe misunderstanding of Marx. Firstly, I don’t see how anyone would read this and conclude that “Marx supported slavery”; he’s simply explaining how slavery was utilized for the tremendous development of trade from the west to the east. There is no “for or against” here.

Secondly, if you actually read some more rather than look for little excerpts to take wildly out of context, you will learn that Marx was “for” abolishing slavery even before Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Go read some philosophy and/or study rhetoric before you make such uneducated claims to pass off as facts.


Posted by anon on October 09, 2011, 12:11 PM | #

For fucks sake, read the fucking context.  This is Marx summing up another persons views, they are not Marx’s views. If I were to say ‘the KKK think black people should be lynched’ would you quote me as saying ‘black people should be lynched’?


Posted by Eustacius on January 23, 2013, 01:16 AM | #

Anyone who wants to say what they think Marx wrote should read what Marx wrote.  Marxist Internet Archive has all of it and it’s free to read.  Marx was not an idealist.  He was one of the first true social scientist along with Engels.  Read Capital, at least volume one.  All capitalist society is based on commodity production including commodified labor.  Chattel slavery is a pre-commodity form of labor.  The labor power of the slave is not bought and sold on the market, only the laborers themselves are sold.  Marx’s key insight was to show how labor power was transformed into commodity labor as the social opposite of capital.  Marx advocated the end of commodity labor by workers taking control of the social means of production.  By workers taking control of the means of social production, commodity labor would end.  He certainly did not advocate or believe that substituting chattel labor for commodified labor was the path to freedom.  You might say he and Engels were the first libertarians of labor.

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