Tag Archives: marx

The Obama-Chavez Connection

minute-man-2-lithoThere can be no doubt that America is going through a period of transition unequaled in our history since the Revolution of 1775 -1781.  The American people voted for change and the Obama administration is delivering it — in spades.

The question is; what will the nation be like after the change?  There are two possible outcomes depending on the permanence of the transformation taking place.  There are already signs of another change on the horizon that has the potential of counteracting those being made.  No one can predict the future with any degree of accuracy.  However, we can look at the trends and see where they are likely to go.

The character of America in the twenty-first century will be determined by the outcome of events taking place during the present generation from 2000 to 2020.  One way of describing what the country is likely to look like in 2020 is by comparing it with other governments.  It is evident that President Obama and his supporters intend to take the country in the direction of socialism, or as Mark Levin more aptly describes it in his best selling book, “Liberty and Tyranny”, “statism”.

In looking for a model for a twenty-first century, socialist America it is only natural that socialist countries like the Soviet Union, Cuba, China and perhaps even the National Socialist government of Adolph come to mind.  However, it is so politically incorrect to compare any American, no matter his political philosophy, to Hitler that to do so immediately causes readers to discount the argument.  Therefore, let us put aside Nazi Germany as a possible model.

The socialist takeover of Russia, Cuba and China all came about as the result of an armed revolution, eliminating them as a model for a Socialist America.  That leaves us with the Democratic Socialist nations of Western Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, France and Germany.  However, these governments are too benign to fit the pattern being developed by Obama.

Instead of looking east to Europe, we need to look south.  To see how America will look in 2020 we need only to look at the nation of Venezuela and the Presidency of Hugo Chavez.  The tactics, strategy, personality, goals and the rise to power of Obama resembles Chavez more than any other socialist leader in modern times.

Chavez promotes a “participatory democracy” as does Obama.  Both were elected to office on a tidal wave of populist rhetoric directed primarily to the poor and working class.  The brand of socialism practiced by Chavez and Obama differ somewhat from the traditional socialism of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin.  Chavez fashions his brand after Heinz Dieterich, a German Born University Professor in Mexico, and a close advisor to Chavez.  Dieterich is credited with originating the theory of “21st Century Socialism”.  His theories were published in book form and provide the theoretical basis for the Chavez regime.  Many Marxist Socialists reject both Chavez and Obama’s brand of socialism as not being socialist enough. See Here and Here

Obama’s socialism is fashioned after that of Saul Alinsky,  an American socialist and founder of the Community Organizing movement.  Alinsky is the author of “Rules for Radicals” from which Obama seems to get most of his tactical strategy.  Although Dieterich theory, Marxist theory and the Alinsky theory differ in details, the overall philosophy and the results of that philosophy are enough alike that we can use Venezuela as the model for future socialism in America under Obama.

Socialism does not have to be the future of America, but to avoid it we need to reset our political philosophy to a time in history when it worked.  For most conservatives, that would be during the Administration of Ronald Reagan.  I would go back even further, however, because by the time Reagan came on the scene we were so far along the road to socialism that his presidency was little more than a speed bump in its progress.

The period I would use is the period between 1801 and 1825.  I pick this time because the political challenge then was very similar to the one today. The question then, as now, concerned the size and power of the federal government.  The Patriots who fought and sacrificed in the struggle against the British, quickly formed into factions after the Revolution.  By 1787, there was a sharp division between the federalists who wanted a strong central government, and the anti-federalists who wanted strong state governments with a limited federal government restricted to those powers necessary for defense and other national interests.  The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were the result of a compromise between the two.

During the administration of George Washington, these two factions organized into the first political parties.  Vice-President John Adams and Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton organized the Federalist Party which led to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison establishing the Democratic-Republican Party, referred to generally as “republicans”, in opposition.  The Federalist Party elected John Adams as President to succeed Washington in 1796.

Since the Twelfth Amendment was not ratified until 1798 Jefferson, who ran against Adams and came in second, became Vice-President.  As Vice-President and President of the Senate, Jefferson was able to keep Adams and the Federalists in check during Adams’ four year term.  Years later Jefferson described his Vice-Presidency and the struggle with the Federalist in a petition to the Virginia Legislature on another matter.

“If it were thought worth while to specify any particular services rendered,… There is one,… the most important in its consequences, of any transaction in any portion of my life; to wit, the head I personally made against the federal principles and proceedings, during the administration of Mr. Adams.”

“Their usurpations and violations of the constitution at that period, and their majority in both Houses of Congress, were so great, so decided, and so daring, that after combating their aggressions, inch by inch, without being able in the least to check their career, the republican leaders thought it would be best for them to give up their useless efforts there, go home, get into their respective legislatures, embody whatever of resistance they could be formed into, and if ineffectual, to perish there as in the last ditch.”

“All, therefore, retired, leaving Mr. Gallatin alone in the House of Representatives, and myself in the Senate, where I then presided as Vice-President. Remaining at our posts, and bidding defiance to the brow-beatings and insults by which they endeavored to drive us off also, we kept the mass of republicans in phalanx together, until the legislatures could be brought up to the charge; and nothing on earth is more certain, than that if myself particularly, placed by my office of Vice-President at the head of the republicans, had given way and withdrawn from my post, the republicans throughout the Union would have given up in despair, and the cause would have been lost for ever.”

“By holding on, we obtained time for the legislatures to come up with their weight; and those of Virginia and Kentucky particularly, but more especially the former, by their celebrated resolutions, saved the constitution, at its last gasp. No person who was not a witness of the scenes of that gloomy period, can form any idea of the afflicting persecutions and personal indignities we had to brook. They saved our country however.”   ~ Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson ran against Adams in 1800 and defeated him.  Jefferson was succeeded after two terms by James Madison who served also for eight years to be followed by another Democratic-Republican, James Monroe who served until 1825.  By the middle of Monroe’s term in office, the Federalist Party had ceased to exist.

The federalist’s philosophy did not reemerge until the progressive/socialist movement in the early twentieth century in the Administration of Theodore Roosevelt.  Philosophically the Federalist Party was the forerunner of the Democratic Party of Today and the Democratic-Republican Party is the forerunner of today’s Republican Party.

If we are to survive as a Constitutional Republic we have to find leaders who like Jefferson, Madison and Monroe are dedicated to defending and adhering to the Constitution and we have to start with the 2010 Congressional elections.  Furthermore, we have to complete the job by 2012.  If Obama wins a second term, socialism will probably be too firmly entrenched for reform to be feasible.

Our first task is to retake the Republican Party and then retake the government and return it to its founding principles.  To do that it is important we (1) actively oppose all socialist policies promoted by either party, (2) identify sound conservative leaders and, (3) support them in the Republican primaries and general elections of 2010 and 2012.

The Obama Plan For National Service

Forty-seven years ago, I listened to John F. Kennedy give his inaugural address. In it, he uttered those famous words that have inspired thousands of young Americans to devote at least a portion of their lives to “public service”.

“And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

In spite of the fact that these words were delivered to the accolades of the American people; Democrats and Republicans alike, and have been immortalized in the press and the annals of history, I have to confess, I have always been somewhat troubled by them. For some reason that I could never quite grasp, hearing them always left me with an uneasy feeling.

Today I read the text of a similar speech by Barack Obama, delivered yesterday to an audience in Colorado and some of my misgivings began to take form. Like Kennedy, Obama invoked the sanction of the founding fathers.

“…That’s the bet our Founding Fathers were making all of those years ago—that our individual destinies could be tied together in a common destiny of democracy, that government depends not just on the consent of the governed, but on the service of citizens. That’s what history calls us to do….Loving your country must mean accepting your responsibility to do your part to change it.” Obama said.

The broad goals held out by both Kennedy and Obama are the same: eliminate poverty and bring about world peace. Following up on Kennedy’s vision, his successor, Lyndon Johnson launched the “War on Poverty”. Since then we have spent an average of $250 billion a year in the effort to eliminate poverty. What have we gotten for our money?

While waiting for a traffic light today at Irving Park Road and Cicero Avenue in Chicago, I noticed a poster on the wall of a bus stop shelter. On the poster was emblazoned the message, “37 million Americans today live in poverty .”

More than anything else that poster bears testimony to the inability of government to eliminate poverty, just as the flag draped coffins returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan bears testimony to its inability to bring about world peace so long as there are those who are willing to wage war in order to fulfill a lust for power over the lives and thoughts of their fellow man.

I know it’s politically incorrect to compare political actions today with those of the past, particularly if that comparison involves Nazism or Communism. Nevertheless, when I read the details of Obama’s plan for national service, I can’t help but think of Hitler’s youth corps or Mao Zedong’s Red Guard. Starting in middle school Obama would make funding for education contingent on a requirement for each student to spend fifty hours each year in “community service”. At the College level the number of hours would expand to one hundred, but participants would get $4,000 ($40 per hr.) to help with their tuition.

This would amount to less than one hour per week for middle-schoolers and only two hours per week for college students, but that is not the point. The point is, it makes getting an education contingent on (involuntary), voluntary service to the state. In addition to those seeking an education, Obama would expand his idea of “national service” to everyone.

“I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am President of the United States“, he says. “This will not be a call issued in one speech or one program—this will be a central cause of my presidency. We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities for Americans to serve. And we will direct that service to our most pressing national challenges.”

When Obama speaks of service he is not talking about volunteerism in it’s classical sense, like the Red Cross, or the Boy Scouts, or the local church‘s Ladies Auxiliary. He’s talking about paid government employees, and their services do not necessarily come cheap. For example, it costs the American taxpayer about $50,000 to keep one Peace Corps “volunteer” in the field for a year.

To help realize his dream Obama plans to double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 and expand AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000. He is not just talking about the young either. “People of all ages, stations and skills will be asked to serve,” he says.

Contrary to the ideals of the Founding Fathers for America, Obama’s vision is the direct opposite. That’s really what bothered me about the Kennedy speech and that’s what bothers me about Obama’s speech.

The idea of “national service” as Obama describes it is not the “sacrifice” envisioned by Jefferson, and Madison. Rather, it is that envisioned by Marx and Engels. It smacks of statism, pure and simple, where the state is the end and people are merely the means by which the state maintains power. In the American model, individual liberty for the people is the end and the state is only the means by which that liberty is secured.

“To secure these rights, (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing it in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”
—Declaration of Independence–July 4, 1776

Almost exactly one hundred and sixty years before Kennedy admonished us to “ask not what your country can do for you”, Thomas Jefferson answered that question in his Inaugural address. To paraphrase Jefferson’s thoughts in modern language:

“The ideal government is one that does not spend taxpayer money foolishly, prevents its citizens from harming one another and does not rob them of their labor through taxation; That is the sum total of good government“. —Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address – 1801 (Paraphrased)

Every year the American taxpayer spends the first five months of his labor working for the state. After that, whatever is left over he can spend for the welfare of his family. To that Obama would add another week plus for our younger citizens and almost three weeks additional for college students. He has not said exactly how much more “service” he expects from other adults and senior citizens.

If Jefferson, Jay, Madison, Henry or any of the other Patriots of 1776 were alive today they would be screaming at Washington, (D.C. not George) Enough, already! Enough!