Monday, October 27, 2008

Barack Obama the Socialist

Barack Obama is a socialist. Well, no kidding!

We were pretty sure this was the case after he made his remarks about how bitter people in small towns cling to religion. As Bill Kristol points out, this is very similar to Karl Marx’ line about religion being the opiate of the masses, if not as eloquent as the original German “Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes.” Senator Joe Lieberman reinforced this, observing, “I’d hesitate to say he’s a Marxist, but he’s got some positions that are far to the left of me and I think mainstream America.”

We, in fact, do know that in 1965, when Obama was 4 years old, his dad, writing as “Barak H. Obama” (the Communist-preferred spelling) wrote an essay on “African Socialism and its Applicability to Planning in Kenya” that wasn’t particularly critical of socialism.


Now, it’s true that Obama has been quiet about his plans to nationalize all industry, removing it from the hands of the capitalists and moving it under the control of the proletariat. Also, if elected president, he’ll probably not be too eager to see the state wither away, at least for the next eight years. On the other hand, he does have a cult of personality, just like many famous Communists like Mao, Lenin, and Stalin. And some staffers in one of his Texas offices had Che Guevara flags hanging on their walls. It pretty much balances out.

In all seriousness, I think Lieberman’s on the right track, if rather disingenuous in his soft dismissal of the “Marxism” label. Obama’s a liberal Democrat who wants more government regulation of the economy, more redistribution of wealth, more deference to international institutions, more nationalization of medicine, and so forth and so on. Some of his policies — although probably none of his goals — are indeed “far to the left … of mainstream America.” He’s as close to a socialist as it gets in serious contenders for the presidency; but that’s not very close.

He’s part of a long movement that has adopted some of the tools of socialism in an effort to make society better, with decidedly mixed results. The state hasn’t taken over the means of production, but it has created layers of bureaucracy to oversee them. The tax code has more than a smattering of “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” And we’ve instituted speech codes and a thought police in our schools and institutions, ostracizing those who dare to speak other than the orthodox Truth.

Again, this is mostly, if not all, well-intentioned. These were all reactions against real injustices, if often over-reactions, that had negative unintended consequences. But Obama’s not talking about cleaning up these messes but rather moving further in that direction.

Ideally, we’d be discussing the policy preferences of the candidates and their likely consequences rather than bandying about silly labels. But that’s not how the game is played.

Obama’s upbringing was in a Marxist household. One of his mentors was Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). Black Liberation Theology at the core of TUCC/Wright is politically Marxist.

Obama’s analysis of flyover country makes more sense if you think the Big O looks at the world through the eyes of a Marxist. Given his upbringing and his mentors and then his work as a “community organizer” (organize for what? - what part of the political domain uses that term?) he could very well be a Marxist at heart.


Artwork: IBW

1 comment:

pingufreddy, Jax, Fla said...

I just finished Buckley's wonderful book, Boomsday, and always look forward to a new offering from the son of the Great One. As a libertarian/Federalist (in the old sense) I share his dismay with the Bush foreign policy and also his belief that John McCain, hero that he is, simply is not temperamentally suited to the Big Job. The proposed cancellation of the debates was just goofy and made him look creaky and foolish. More though, it seems that Obama put together a very good, tight campaign team that has made almost no mistakes; a good sign for a future president. McCain on the other hand has jumped from issue to issue frankly has an inept operation, from both a tactical and strategic viewpoint. That just does not speak well of his ability to man the House with the best and the brightest.

Obama is, as Mr. Buckley has said, a man for whom the times call; one simply cannot, no matter the spin, say the same for McCain: even McCain's most fervent loyalists could honestly claim that he is a man whom History has delivered. I do believe that aspect of Obama is accidental: he arrived just as the financial disaster hit but, hey, you make your own luck and Obama had already given himself the godlike "man of destiny" aura pace Greek columns at the demo. convention. Factis Obama is cool enough to be President; McCain hs not risen to occasion and the Party of Lincoln is so unbelievably dead and out of ideas one could not possibly vote for its nominee. Where are the new ideas, the energy? My sense is that there is no-one at home. It just seems so depressingly empty. I declined to buy National Review 2 weeks ago after seeking it out. Why? The cover was Sarah Palin with the title "The One". Come on!!! So, I too will pull the lever for the first time for a Democrat and hope that our Tories can find themselves in the wilderness where they will surely be.

I don't think it will be a pretty 8 years but who knows? Time to start studyying the "Swedish Model".