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A Socialists Rant against Capitalism That Likely Cost Him His Life - Essay Example

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A Socialist’s Rant against Capitalism That Likely Cost His Him Life
Cry victim and demonize the opposition. This strategy of George Engel’s might have been effective if he focused on the opposition at hand, rather than the system under which it ran. …
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A Socialists Rant against Capitalism That Likely Cost Him His Life
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Download file to see previous pages Instead of consistently pleading his innocence in the Haymarket bombing in Chicago, Engel converted his argument into a battle between socialism and capitalism. In order to tear down the United States’ form of government and economy – democracy and capitalism – Engel blamed the hardship and oppression of every workingman on the capitalist machine. Engel used his plea to the State’s Attorney to promote his own ideals, rather than focusing on his alibi to disprove the perpetrators’ false accusations against him. Engel took the stage as the champion of the poor, pleading that prosperous capitalists were the root of their demise who must be crushed by the united “workingman.” Engel, like socialists Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin, made everything black and white in his appeal for support, portraying the “freedom fighting” proletariat as good and altruistic, while characterizing the opposition – in this case, the “tyranny of capitalism” − as wicked, oppressive, conspiring, and slave-inducing. Engel used his address as a vehicle to attack capitalism and promote socialism – more than his own innocence – an ineffective transitory argument that more than likely cost him his life.
Not until more than halfway into his address does Engel press his plea to denounce the murder charge against him for conspiracy in the bombing, of which he claimed to have no part. He and his fellow anarchists faced the gallows or years of servitude for their involvement in the massacre (Engel). But, for ideological reasons, Engel made what should have been his primary argument his secondary contention ? that the charges against him were baseless and ill-conceived. This assertion of innocence goes down in history as having merit, but instead of directly attacking those specifically responsible for framing him, Engel contended that “capitalist rule” was at fault behind all that had gone awry. If Engel would have contained his attack to the particular capitalists involved in the plot, he could have likely met a different fate. In a republic that quickly rose to world prominence by 1886 as a result of its democratic and capitalistic form of government, Engel’s case against it was not only unpopular at the time; it was extremely hard to prove. To denounce the perpetrators of the scheme against him and his fellow socialists, Engel made sweeping generalizations against capitalism, calling it a tyrannical, repressive, and wicked system used to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Effectively side-stepping the fact that numerous immigrants came from Europe with nothing to become successful entrepreneurs in America, Engel depicted capitalism and democracy as little more than a vehicle and guise for slave labor. Unable to provide success stories of socialism in other nations, Engels unconvincingly promoted the questionable economic and political system as the only utopian ideal worth fighting for. Today, in retrospect, one only needs to revisit the numerous socialist regimes that turned into communist dictatorships ? such as the one started by the Russian Revolution of 1917 ? to understand the true dangers of socialism. With more than 20 million murdered under Stalin’s socialist ideals, Engel’s call to violently depose the capitalists is taken with an even greater grain of salt today – especially with George Orwell’s widely read and colorful depiction in Animal Farm that divulges the corruption of socialism/communism and its ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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