Patrick Semansky / APNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Winter Meeting on Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington. (Patrick Semansky / AP)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio can apparently quote the “The Communist Manifesto” from memory, as he proved Friday during his weekly appearance on a local radio station.
The Democratic mayor of the country’s most populous city was discussing the state of NYC when he recalled a quote from the political document.
WNYC host Brian Lehrer asked de Blasio during his “Ask the Mayor” segment about criticism that he holds negative feelings toward the city’s business community.
Lehrer specifically referred to a Politico New York article which is critical of the mayor’s relationship with New York’s business community, and asked if his reported hostility toward business is holding back economic recovery in the city following the coronavirus outbreak.
“There’s an underlying truth in the fact that my focus has not been on the business community and the elites,” de Blasio replied.
“Bluntly, my predecessor certainly focused that way … I think this is a profound problem,”the mayor added. “I am tempted to borrow a quote from Karl Marx here.”
“There’s a famous quote that ‘the state is the executive committee of the bourgeoisie,’ and I use it openly to say, ‘No,’” de Blasio told WNYC.
“I actually read that when I was a young person, I said, ‘Well, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be,’” he added.
“The business community matters,” de Blasio said, “but the city government represents the people.”
Do you think de Blasio would turn the U.S. into a communist country if given the chance?
He added that mayors and governors should not be “too cozy with the business community.”
The quote de Blasio used can be found, almost word for word, in Chapter I of “The Communist Manifesto,” titled “Bourgeois and Proletarians.”
“The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie,” Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote in 1848.
The mayor’s apparent intricate knowledge of Marxism is no surprise, considering his background.
In a piece chronicling de Blasio’s past as a leftist activist who visited Nicaragua in 1988 during the rule of the Sandinista government, The New York Times reported de Blasio “spoke in long, meandering paragraphs, musing on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Karl Marx and Bob Marley. He took painstaking notes on encounters with farmers, doctors and revolutionary fighters.
“Bill de Blasio, then 26, went to Nicaragua to help distribute food and medicine in the middle of a war between left and right. But he returned with something else entirely: a vision of the possibilities of an unfettered leftist government,” The Times reported in 2013.
Quoting Marxist historical figures is turning into something of a habit for de Blasio.
Last year, while running for president, de Blasio quoted Argentine Marxist revolutionary and later mass killer Che Guevara.
De Blasio was speaking at an event in Miami in June 2019 when he cited one of the most hated figures in the city’s Cuban community, saying, “Hasta la victoria, siempre.”
“Hasta la victoria, siempre” translates to “Ever on to victory,” which was a mantra for Guevara, according to the Miami Herald.
Both Democrats and Republicans promptly asked de Blasio to apologize for using the phrase, and he obliged them.
“I did not know the phrase I used in Miami today was associated with Che Guevara & I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way. I certainly apologize for not understanding that history,” he tweeted. “I only meant it as a literal message to the striking airport workers that I believed they would be victorious in their strike.”
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