Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Barack Obama -- the Perfect American Stalinist

"If they bring a knife, we'll bring a gun"
                                   Barack Obama

The ignominious American decampment from Vietnam and the subsequent collapse of the South Vietnamese government and capitulation to the Communists coincided with the death of anti-Communism in the U.S. The parallelism is striking—military withdrawal abroad; cultural surrender at home. The many Marx-quoting, Castro- and Mao-admirers who occupied chairs in America’s best universities (e.g. the “Alger Hiss Chair of Social Studies,” Bard College) made careers out of pooh-poohing the supposed evils of Communism and smearing anti-Communists. Whitaker Chambers was a psycho, the Rosenbergs were framed, McCarthy’s Communists-in-the-State-Department was a paranoid fiction, and Ho Chi Minh was the George Washington of Vietnam. Anti-communism was now the accoutrement of rubes and crackpots bearing all the marks of unsophistication, narrow-mindedness and chauvinism, and could be responded to with simply a shrug, a sneer or mockery. Anti-Communism was a failure to comprehend the profound dimensions of America’s own moral shortcomings. Communism, of course, had fallen short of its egalitarian, humanistic aspirations, but America needed to be called to account for the growing recognition of the multitude of its past transgressions – especially slavery and segregation.

Because the Communists excelled at pretending to be virtuous and at hiding their iniquities, it came as a big shock to the sophisticates in the West with all of their admiration for central planning when the Soviet Union suddenly collapsed in the early 1990s partly under its own dead weight of stagnation, corruption and incompetence and partly pushed by Ronald Reagan and Star Wars. Seventy plus years of Marxist-Leninist rule had turned Russia into a third world slum and thus revealed the essence of Stalinism – utopian promises; dystopian reality – a “Socialist Workers Paradise” whose vodka-besotted workers could not even produce a decent pair of shoes or blue jeans that anyone wanted to wear.

A Stalinist world is a universe of posturing and pretending where everything is the opposite of what it is officially declared to be. “Plenty” in reality was penury. The promise of liberation from exploitation unfolded in the Gulag and the creation of a massive system of lethal forced labor. The reality of equality became a caste system with the Party apparatchiks and bosses exempting themselves from the burdens and reserving the best of everything for themselves. Stalin’s much vaunted anti-Fascism was no less than a mirror of Hitler’s genocidal mass murder, ethnic cleansing, concentration camps and brutal secret police. From Moscow to Beijing to Havana to Pyongyang it was the same, depressing storyline, a self-glorifying Stalinist proclaiming the perfection of his reign, while the people he ruled over were poor, hungry, scared and longing to escape.          

With the collapse of the Soviet Union America enjoyed in the aftermath an illusory sense of triumph over Communism. The U.S. Cold War “victory” over the Soviets was completely overblown. The economic and technological superiority of the U.S. was vindicated, but culturally the story was much different. American institutions had “flipped”, so to speak. A conceptual framework and vocabulary absorbed from Marx and Rousseau by America’s intelligentsia had been imperceptibly positioned as a filter that altered the basic perception of American history and American society. Institutions came to be viewed not as civilizing, ameliorating forces that helped to keep destructive human impulses in check and to provide large spheres of personal freedom, but rather as instruments of repression, domination and exploitation. 

Such instruments thus had to be dismantled, a process that required “consciousness raising,” on behalf of the exploited and dominated, helping them recognize their plight through an “unmasking” of the beneficiaries of the repressive order. Universities, schools, mainstream churches, the entertainment industry, all embraced a poly-thematic program that focused on the grievances of various “victim-populations”, on the promotion of subjective self-realization through escape from the confines of traditional norms, and the need to permanently atone for the un-erasable guilt of slavery and segregation. Social fragmentation and atomization followed with the explosion of divorce and single parenthood, the normalization of soft-core pornography, rampant drug trafficking and abuse, and a thorough coarsening and vulgarizing of the popular culture.

Eight years into the 21st century, only 17 years after the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union, the country that fifty years earlier loathed the very notion of a Communistic-ruled society with its militant atheism, collectivism and unconstrained, ubiquitous secret police, elected as President a man whose personal history, instincts and aspirations are Marxist. As early as twenty years ago it would have been inconceivable that an individual with such extensively documented antagonism and hostility toward the history and institutions of the U.S. would be seriously considered for any national, high office, much less the Presidency.

Obama’s autobiography is a study in self-absorption, self-pity and racial resentment with no detectable appreciation or affinity for anything distinctively or uniquely American. His life’s influences, both personal and intellectual, cited and acknowledged by Obama himself, or undeniably obvious, are all Marxist – Frank Marshall Davis (Dreams from My Father), “Marxist professors,” “Frantz Fanon” (Dreams from my Father), Jeramiah Wright (Obama’s twenty year pastor and mentor), Bill Ayers (Obama’s colleague on the Chicago Annenberg Exchange and suspected ghost-writer of Dreams of My Father). Obama’s influences and associations were all brought up by his critics and opponents during the 2008 campaign but the revelations made no impact. Why? Well, because Communism as a benign, well-intentioned system of social order had become a reflexive, mainstream attitude. While generations of school children had learned all about the Jewish Holocaust, Ann Frank and Hitler’s racism, very few ever heard about the three to five million Ukrainians starved by Stalin, his order for the murder of 22,000 Polish officers at Katyn, Mao’s Great Leap Forward that killed tens of millions of Chinese or Pol Pot’s murder of as many as a fifth of the Cambodian people. Americans were inundated with movies, books, articles and documentaries on the evils of the Nazis but the far more vast crimes of Communism drew little attention. The slant on Communism from the likes of the New York Times has been its idealism and humanism and the heroics of its “anti-Fascism.”  When Fidel Castro finally expires, his New York Times obituary will go on for pages about universal health care in Cuba, ignoring the fact that for decades that while many people have died trying to get out of Cuba, no one has died trying to get in.

When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire” in a speech in 1983 the outrage from the intellectual class was clamorous and predictable. Eight years later Reagan was vindicated as the Poles, Baltic peoples, East Germans and other countries long subjugated by the Soviets ecstatically threw off the yoke. Reagan’s critics were aghast at the “amiable dunce’s” (courtesy of Clark Clifford) anti-Communism, but people who actually had to live under Communist rule acted out the truth of Reagan’s charge.  Even the suggestion that any of the many aspects about Obama’s past radical associations and perspectives elicited scorn and incredulity from the mainstream media and the opinion makers.     

Obama’s assent to power was neither a fluke nor an accident. His election was inevitable, a consequence of the cultural triumph of the soft Marxism that had been seeping into the corners of America for decades. By 2008 America’s dominant culture-shaping institutions – the schools and universities, the popular culture and entertainment complex, the main stream media and the news syndicates – were solidly Left wing propaganda outlets that: (a) peddled an amoral hedonism steeped in a patois of multiculturalism and moral relativism, and, (b) relentlessly promulgated the rationale for a system of moral blackmail that made white America permanent hostage to the guilt of slavery and de jure segregation. Racism was transformed into something far more complex and multi-faceted than it was originally understood to be, a bigoted belief in the in the innate inferiority of members of a different race.  Racism now permeated every crevice of American society. Protean and ubiquitous it could be direct, indirect, overt, covert, systemic, institutional and only practiced by white people.  Moreover, racism was the only offense such that the mere accusation alone was sufficient to convict. Denial is just more evidence of racism’s invincibility. In 1973 “micro-inequities” were discovered by a Ph.D. from MIT, defined as “as “apparently small events which are often ephemeral and hard-to-prove, events which are covert, often unintentional, frequently unrecognized by the perpetrator, which occur wherever people are perceived to be different.”

One can look back to the 1960s and observe the unfolding of an ironically perverse inverse social dynamic: as the practices of racial discrimination dropped away and attitudes of racial bigotry and white supremacy atrophied and diminished, racism eventually elbowed out every other social malady, becoming ubiquitous, defining America’s character and dominating its history.  The “white man’s burden” had become “white privilege.”         

The ubiquity of American racism gave birth to a new industry comprised of well compensated individuals who are experts in helping make our institutions and work places, as they say, “more diverse,” the main obstacle of which is racial prejudice and bigotry. Some are appointed to multicultural or diversity vice presidencies at universities or companies where they mandate and supervise “sensitivity” training programs and search for “microaggresions”. Others, like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are more ambitious free lancers, consummate publicity seekers who show up anywhere there is a likelihood of spinning a “hate crime” or exploiting racial tensions and make incendiary speeches. Their reputations and livelihoods have flourished by intimidating white people with their racial accusations and extorting apologies and concessions. The America they like to portray is permanently frozen in the early 1960s and every county sheriff is Bull Connor. Every career incentive and motivation for their ilk is for America to be viewed as it was in 1963 because in America 2014 there is no need or demand for people with their “talents”.         

Obama was the right candidate at the right time.  First, he was black and as such a candidate of redemption offering white voters the opportunity to prove, finally, that they were free of racism, a deep moral shame that for decades they had been constantly reminded that they had made and perpetuated.  Second, and equally important, he was a black man of the Left, which made him an immediate object of adoration by the elites who inhabited those spheres of influence in the media, political commentary and opinion shaping, and the entertainment industry.  He was proclaimed by these supposedly mature observers as “a sort of God,” a “Lightworker”, a “genius,” etc. Obama’s political assent unfolded rapidly into a cult of personality, which was particularly remarkable given his utter lack of executive experience and political accomplishments, his record of trimming and going-for-the-groin Chicago-style politics. Certainly, there were plenty of highly successful, articulate and brilliant black Americans of conservative pedigree, but they did not fit the right profile and convey the message of American guilt.  These Americans were marginalized and ridiculed not because of their skin color but because they did not reside on the ideological plantation run by the Leftist overseers.                 

Obama’s 2008 campaign was a masterpiece of 21st-century Stalinism in its pretending and posturing, a gigantic head fake toward the middle of the road largely a-political block of voters, a wholesome non-threatening change agent spouting clichés no one could disagree with – his administration would be the most transparent, competent, smart, accountable, compassionate, etc., etc. – and a projection of cerebral self-control and GQ cool.  He was also lucky to have an aging harridan and an over-the-hill incompetent as his major opposition in the primary and fall election.   

Now some years after the launching of "Hope and Change" it is obvious to all but the blindly partisan that Obama has turned out to be the polar opposite of what he promised he would be. The post-racial, post-partisan miracle man of 2008 was a mirage. Racial tensions and political polarization are the worst since the Vietnam War. Shortly before the 2010 congressional elections, Obama, dropping his ‘g’s’ told a Univision audience, “We're gonna punish our enemies, and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,” spoken like a true street organizer with a brass knuckles view of politics. His 2012 campaign, a work of pure character assassination, was the real, “If they bring a knife, we’ll bring a gun” Obama.

Obama’s Presidency is the consummation of 21st century American Stalinism. First for him politics is war, the object being not to electorally defeat the opposition but to discredit it, to destroy it. This approach is rooted in the foundational premise of Marxism, “All history is the history of class struggle.” For Obama, the opposition is a corrupted class of exploiters, characterized primarily by their greed and racism.  Such morally benighted types are not the kind of people with whom you can share power. And so the second Stalinist feature of the Obama Presidency, abuse.  Stalinists, self-perceived, are the “good guy”, the virtuous ones, the smart ones.  Those who oppose and disagree are corrupt and/or stupid, and as such deserve to be reviled.  Republican’s from the beginning of Obama’s first term were, as he called them, “the enemy.”  He routinely attributed the basest motives for their politics and policies. They wanted “dirtier air and polluted water.”  In a speech early in 2013 Obama said:

“They [The Republicans] have a particular vision about what government should and should not do, so they are suspicious about government’s commitments, for example, to make sure that seniors have decent health care as they get older. They have suspicions about Social Security. They have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat or whether we should be spending money on medical research. So they’ve got a particular view of what government should do and should be.”

This is just one of many examples of the politics of character assassination. As Peter Wehner wrote in Commentary. “During the 2012 election, Obama’s vice president said Republicans want to put African-Americans “back in chains’ while Obama’s top aides and allies implied Governor Romney was a felon and flat-out stated that he was responsible for the cancer-death of a steelworker’s wife.”

The third Stalinist feature of Obama’s Presidency is the flagrant dishonesty. Remember, Stalinism is a pretend-world where what is proclaimed and promised is the opposite of reality. In the fall of 2013 this was dramatically illustrated during the roll out of ObamaCare as thousands of Americans were being dropped from their health insurance policies and the promise of Obama was seen for what it was, a deliberate lie, calculated to ensure his 2012 re-election.  President’s weekly address, June 6, 2009: “If you like the plan you have, you can keep it.  If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too.  The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold.”  There were at least 37 documented instances where the President or his top aides made similar promises, yet when the reality of the rollout in late 2013 exposed the gross deception, Obama then lied about the lie he had told.  On November 4, 2013 he said, “We said was, you can keep (your plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.    

Anyone who paid close attention to Obama’s past in 2008 could have seen all of this coming. Unfortunately, his own party had long embraced his ideological agenda, and the mainstream media smitten with his 2004 Democratic Convention speech and delirious with prospect of a "progressive" black man in the White House seem to have decided that his personal history and his political track record really did not matter.  Obama’s 2008 election was a con job – shame on him.  His 2012 reelection was a hatchet job – shame on us. He will be gone soon; his damage will remain with us for a very long time.

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