The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, again generated controversy by his statements. This time on a radio program he quoted the father of communism and criticism was not long in coming.
During an interview he gave on WNYC radio, where he makes a weekly appearance, he was asked about a recent report that spoke of his antipathy to the interests of the wealthy private sector, and whether that antipathy might not be jeopardizing the city’s economic recovery.
In response, de Blasio said his political focus has never been on the business community and elites. According to the New York Post, he went on to ask permission to quote Karl Marx, “There’s a famous quote that ‘the state is the executive committee of the bourgeois’ and I use it openly to say, ‘No,’” (…) I actually read that as a young person and I said, ‘That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.’”
The quote comes from the first chapter of the Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx, where he tries to explain how the bourgeois class supposedly uses the tools of the state to perpetuate its power and exploit the working class. In the same manifesto, Marx and his co-author Engels detail how the proletarian movement must organize to forcibly take over the state that supposedly allows its exploitation.
De Blasio added, “The business community matters, we need to work with the business community, we will work with the business community—but the city government represents the people, represents working people, and mayors should not be too cozy with the business community, governors should not be too cozy with the business community.”
As expected, the mayor’s message was not well received in business circles and associations.
The president of the Association for the City of New York, Kathy Wylde, said that de Blasio “suggests that the business community somehow does not represent working people, which is an ideological position and not an accurate representation of our city’s highly diverse private sector.” As quoted by the New York Post Wylde’s association represents a group of companies that employ a total of 1.5 million employees in New York.
Andrew Rigie of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, which represents thousands of restaurants and bars, told the New York Post, “The business community is made up of small business owners who are working people who city government should represent.”
“I’m not sure making distinctions between groups of people who are all important unites us to help heal and save our city,” he added.
Two weeks ago de Blasio was criticized by various sectors for having personally helped paint the streets of New York City, promoting the controversial Black Lives Matter movement. The movement is receiving many accusations because of its Marxist bases, in fact its own co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, defined herself as a “trained Marxist.”
This is not the first time de Blasio has quoted a communist phrase. In 2019, the mayor was forced to issue a public apology, after quoting the communist revolutionary Che Guevara in a strike by airport workers in Miami.
In his Twitter account he claimed not to know that the famous phrase, “until victory always,” was linked to Che Guevara.