[Marxism] Assessing John Brown

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Fri Apr 19 10:34:32 MDT 2013

The primarily black "Underground Railroad" had the right approach.
Colonel  Hugh Forbes' counterproposal to John Brown's was to extend this by
organizing and supporting scores of series of raiding parties along the
border of the slave states and making slavery too unsustainable where it
was weakest and most likely to create frictions about whites about how much
they wanted to invest in trying to sustain.  Forbes and others were
particularly adamant about what would be the likely result of an attack on
a Federal arsenal within reach of troops at the national capital.

John Brown, however, wanted the elimination of slavery a national
decision.  Blacks at the Chatham convention before the Harpers Ferry raid
were perplexed by Brown's insistence that the US flag be on the platform
for the proceedings.  He had no faith in politics, including in the new
Republican Party, but he wanted to force the nation as a whole to confront
the realities of slavery and the system sustaining it.


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