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The New Ism of Barack Obama
By Lynn Woolley
February 14, 2009
It’s called the first major victory of the Obama administration: a $787 billion economic “stimulus” package that combines tax cuts with massive social spending. This is a new approach, unprecedented in American history, replacing our free market system. That system is known as “capitalism” by the way. Since we are tossing it aside, what exactly are we getting in its place?
President Obama is often called a “socialist” by right-wing commentators. Is he? Socialism advocates public or state ownership of production and distribution channels, combined with equal opportunity for all. The key word to socialists is “fairness.” To achieve a “fair” and “equal” society, they would redistribute wealth and power, and they would do it through Central Planning as the old Soviet Union did.
At his core, Mr. Obama is a socialist. He told Joe the Plumber, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” He constantly talks about “economic justice” and fairness.
So what about “Marxism,” the philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels? There’s no question that Marxists are also socialists in that they believe capitalism is deeply flawed. The key word for Marxists is “change.” They believe in class struggle and making sure that the “oppressed” are fully aware of the pitiful conditions under which they are forced to live, breeding contempt for capitalism and leading to revolution.
Mr. Obama fully embraces the class struggle elements of Marxism, spending much of his early life as a “community organizer” in Chicago. In that role, he would isolate an injustice that could be exploited, gin up resentment, and demand a government solution. Obama’s mantra of “change” comes from this movement.
Marxism invariably leads to communism, which promotes a society with no classes at all. Under a communist umbrella, the problems of capitalism would be solved through doing away with private ownership. The key word for communists is “centralization.” Lenin envisioned a society in which government plans all economic activity. The top leaders of the Communist Party make the decisions and cannot be questioned. Communists allow no other parties, no political rivals and once a decision is made, all party members must accept it.
Are there parallels with Obama? His stimulus package is Central Planning on steroids, a vast expansion of government. His slogan, “the fierce urgency of now,” was driven home by his predictions of catastrophe if Congress didn’t pass the stimulus immediately, regardless of what it contained.
Then there is fascism, generally considered to be a far right movement as opposed to the leftist philosophies we’ve discussed. Fascism, such as the world saw under Mussolini and Hitler, is similar to communism. The key word is “nationalism.” It is collectivist in nature, but it allows private ownership of industry, without unions, but under government control. Fascists believe in extreme patriotism, racism, and military action. Fascists often come to power after an economic collapse when a leader with great powers of persuasion ascends to the head of government and promises a return to national glory. All criticism of the government is suppressed.
Obama is not a classic fascist. He supports unions, he’s not militaristic, and he has eschewed racism. But his rise to power in an economic meltdown is worrisome. He is a collectivist and he is presiding over the partial government takeover of private industry. He does not take criticism well and may seek to impose the Fairness Doctrine to silence conservative talk radio.
The bottom line is that none of these “isms” define Obama – yet all of them do to a point. Note, too, that these philosophies generally result in a total loss of freedom for the people, and produce dictatorships. Only capitalism is a free and open system that promotes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The other isms lead only to misery.
Lynn Woolley is a talk show host heard mornings 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. on KVCE AM 1160 in Dallas-Fort Worth and 8 p.m. -11 p.m. on KSEV AM 700 in Houston as well as other stations around Texas. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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