Friday, January 04, 2008

About Last Night

Barack Obama's high flying rhetoric about hope is as meaningless as flatulence. The electric response from his crowd last night came from Democrats filling his rhetoric with one meaning: soon we will have a Democrat President. That's what hope means to them.

Obama is a socialist. There is no hope in socialism. There is no hope in turning America into a vast slave pen in which the state dictates every aspect of the individual's life. If you substitute the word death every time Obama says hope, then his flatulence has meaning.

I might end up voting for the Democrat, whoever it is. If the Republican is Huckabee, Romney or McCain, I'll vote Democrat for the first time in my life. "Choose your poison," as they say. Which one will kill me slower? This is what American politics has come to.

If I understood Laura Ingraham (looking damn fine) on TV last night, she said Republicans are missing the boat because Huckabee feels voters' pain and that's what the other Republicans need to do. People are worried about their financial security and Republicans need to speak to this fear.

I guess Miss Ingraham wants to turn the Republicans into a nursemaid party that coos and shows empathy for voters' boo-boos. A party of right-wing Clintons getting all teary-eyed and sobbing, "I feel your pain!"

If this is what it takes to get elected today, then America -- a nation of immigrants and pioneers, rugged individualists who endured ghastly hardships just to make a little life they could call their own -- this America is dead. Now we are a nation of piglets sucking at the federal teat.

A nation of people that need to be coddled like infants cannot remain free.


Rick "Doc" MacDonald said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I've decided that its either Rudy or [gagging myself) Hillary. Suckabee is a liberal and a theocrat. He's also a bigot and a the typical religious hypocrite - "do as I say, not as I do". McCain, a true hero, is also a true socialist and has the sort of temperment that could really cause some global problems. Romney has no core, but I could live with him (I think) if I had to. I'm not hot for Giuliani, but he's the best there is.

Other than that, I've decided to vote against ALL incumbents and barring Giuliani (and a distant second for Romney) I'm going with Hillary.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a tendency for Objectivists to overuse "socialist" as a pejorative. No doubt Obama agrees with socialists on many concrete policy proposals. Then again, perhaps Bush agrees with fascists on a number of concrete policy proposals. Does that make him a fascist?

Socialism is the advocacy of state ownership of industry. I don't think Obama (or any of the other Democratic candidates) stands for this. True, the ideology that breathes life into their rhetoric and many of their proposals is the socialism of yore, but none of them lives up to this "ideal." One need only read socialist criticism of mainstream Democrats to realize this.

The important question is how *close* any of these candidates would take us to socialism. What I'd like to see from you is a list of the concrete proposals Obama advocates that worry you so much. I have some reason to think that his proposals may be somewhat less radical than Clinton's. I'd like to see you compare the two, and if possible show I'm wrong.


Rick "Doc" MacDonald said...

Here's where I think you are mistaken and underestimate the left:

They are for minimum wage control; therefore, they are for dictating to the owners of a business what they MUST do with their own property.

They rail about "corporate greed" which is code for "your hard work, your ideas and your management of your property (intellectual or otherwise) is generating too much in profits - you MUST give at least some of it to people who do NOT deserve it. Either that, or you MUST pay salaries ABOVE what the market demands - which begins a whole new cycle of bad things.

McCain/Feingold is the most blatant example in history of a government attempt to surpress free speech. It is utterly repugnant and in 1776 would have gotten them both hung. I would call that beyond socialism, bordering on totalitarianism.

Bush is also a "socialist" otherwise known as a "collectivist". He is anti-individual rights, anti-property rights and by definition, anti-liberty as envisioned by our founding fathers. He is for the redistribution of peoples resources from those who earn it to those who didn't and have no right to lay claim to it.

If I came up to you and used an instrument of force to get you to give me your money, would that be appropriate? If not, then why would you consider it appropriate for the government, through force of law/punishment, to force hard working people to dole out resources to feed the lazy and the undeserving?

I think you need to get a better grip on what is going on around you. Socialism, from where I stand, in ANY form is a prejorative. Obama, Clinton, Edwards, McCain, Suckabee, Bush and to a lesser degree Romney are socialists. They are anti-free market, anti-property rights, and they are for the collective.

Myrhaf said...

Is Sweden socialist? If only communist countries in which the state owns the means of production can be called socialist, then there is not much socialism proper in the world.

If NS is arguing that it is absurd to call Obama a socialist when even conservatives such as Bush expand the welfare state, that's a good point. It's not fair to single out the Democrats when the Republicans do the same thing.

Obama speaks of collectivism as an ideal more explicitly than the other candidates. In his speech last night: "They said this country was too divided; too disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose." In other words, his victory good because it collectivist.

NS, I will look at Obama's positions in depth in a post. No, I don't think I'll find an explicit statement such as, "Let's nationalize steel!" As Ayn Rand explained when writing about the Kennedy administration, America's socialism is on the fascist model, in which the means of production is nominally left in private ownership but dictated by the state.

Dismuke said...

"I think there is a tendency for Objectivists to overuse "socialist" as a pejorative. No doubt Obama agrees with socialists on many concrete policy proposals. Then again, perhaps Bush agrees with fascists on a number of concrete policy proposals. Does that make him a fascist?

Actually, I would say that the most accurate pejorative for both Obama and Bush is "fascist." Any time you hear a liberal or a conservative talk about a "public private partnership" that is fascism. On that basis, I would say that most Replicans are fascist - and so are most Democrats.

Fascism is nothing more than a variant of socialism where, instead of de juro government ownership of the means of production, there exists a de-facto government control over the means of production. "Nazi" stood for "National Socialism" But, for the most part, Hitler's gang pretty much refrained from nationalizing industry. They had no need to nationalize them and deal with all the headaches of running companies. They just put their puppets and allies on the boards of major corporations and intimidated and regulated those companies which were unwilling to go along voluntarily. That, and not outright nationalization, was how they subordinated private enterprises to the "public good"

I can't remember where the quote comes from, but I recall Ayn Rand as once saying that if dictatorship ever comes to America, it will be of the fascist variety with socialist slogans. That is certainly a good description of the Democratic field of candidates and of Republicans such as Huckabee. And the problem with other Republicans is that they advocate fascism with capitalist slogans - which, is even scarier in my book.

So while I agree that "socialist" as a pejorative is not especially precise, it is still better than the more accurate "fascist" the actual meaning of which has been so obscured over the decades that the term has become little more than an empty pejorative for anyone in political power that someone dislikes.

Dismuke said...

"I have some reason to think that his proposals may be somewhat less radical than Clinton's."

But Clinton's proposals are meaningless She merely proposes says whatever she finds politically expedient. If she thought quoting Ayn Rand would move her one step towards her goal of satisfying her all-consuming power-lust, she would be quoting Ayn Rand. Such is the history of the Clintons - and it has gotten to the point that even people on the Left are able to see that.

There is ZERO basis to take Clinton at her word on ANYTHING. I don't think we are at the point yet where that is the case with Obama. To the degree that there is any value in analyzing their concrete proposals, I think Obama is still entitled to a certain benefit of the doubt that he might be sincere in what he says he plans to do if elected and that what he says reflects in a general way what he actually thinks and believes. Of course, such benefit of the doubt must be extended to any politician on a very qualified basis with one's eyes wide open.

Personally, I hope Obama wins the Democratic nomination. Some suggest Hillary might be easier to beat. But if Huckabee or McCain win the Republican nomination - well, for the first time in my life I will actively support a Democrat. I don't want that Democrat to be Hillary Clinton as I consider her to be pure naked evil - a would-be Stalin if she were ever allowed to get away with it. Edwards is disgusting - and I don't think he is electable.

The one thing that scares me most about Obama is he is extremely charismatic. If I can sense such charisma from someone who is so far to the Left - well, that says something. That comeback of his in the recent debate of "I look forward to you advising me as well, Hillary" was brilliant. Very hard not to like the man on a superficial, sense-of-life level. And given that political debate today is almost ENTIRELY on a sense-of-life basis or, worse, on the basis of pure emotionalism, my fear is that the man might make statism seem more "idealistic" in the eyes of some than it would be under a huckster such as Edwards or someone as nasty as Clinton. My fear is he might be another John Kennedy. On the other hand, what sort of legacy would Kennedy have had he not been killed and had he been around to see his contradictions play out? How would Kennedy have reacted to the events that transpired during Johnson's term in office and what would his legacy be like today as a result?

My guess is if Obama were elected, despite his charisma, his administration would be a failure - he would be a likable Jimmy Carter. If Clinton were elected, I think her administration would ultimately be a failure as well as well - but I suspect that, before that happens, her administration would basically launch an all-out attack on what remants of the rule of law still exist in this country and I am not sure the country will be philosophically in a position to put the pieces back together in the aftermath. If Obama is able to eradicate the Clinton mafia - well, it will not do squat in terms of improving the philosophical landscape which is where any fundamental change will have to take place. But it will eliminate a gang of determined Stalinists who understand and seek to take full advantage of today's philosophical climate for the purpose of acquiring power for the sake of power. Killing off termites does not fix any structural damage - but it does slow down the rot so that there is more time to address the problem. And, if we have to have a Democratic president, maybe it being Obama and not Clinton will help buy us some more time.

Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

If the Huckster wins, I will vote for Obama. I prefer to see a Dem introduce more nanny-statism rather than a Republican. Then I'll join the underground resistance to socialism.

But I don't think it'll come to that. All five of my regular readers who are diehard evangelicals are against Huck. Sadly a lot of the religious right are statists but not all.

Joseph Kellard said...

If you haven't yet seen Hillary Clinton proclaim the inevitability of her candidacy for the Democratic Party in her interview with Katie Couric, you must watch it. It's classic Hillary, and, given that the interview came before her defeat in yesterday's election, it’s all the more enjoyable to watch.


Scroll up to about 55 seconds, when the interview begins.

strugatsky said...

On moral and philosophical grounds, every one of the current candidates is despicable. Obama sounds good because, charismatically, he promises everything to everyone. He's not being original - Lenin and Mandela already did that. (BTW, Mandela's speeches were a translation of Lenin). Clinton - well, we already know everything we need to know about the Clintons.

The current Republicans are perhaps even bigger spenders than the Democrats. Thirty years ago, Republicans at least paid lip service to curbing spending. Ever since Reagan, the race to outspend each other has been neck to neck. As pointed out in a previous post, the Republicans want to keep spending down only if they can curb a Democrat's pet project, and the Democrats answer in kind. As of the labeling - socialist or fascist - our overall taxation level is somewhere around 75% (if you add all the taxes and the extra costs of goods and services due to the taxes that the providers have to pay). Since taxes are a transfer of resources, it is fair to say that we are 75% socialist. Since, in addition to the transfer of resources, the government also directly and indirectly controls how the resources are to be used, that also qualifies us for fascism. Incidentally, in my opinion, the reason that the Communists and the Fascists hated each other is that they were essentially very similar and, like any two religious splinter groups, while sharing 99%, are killing each other over the remaining 1%. (The original SD rule book, written by Hitler in the late 1920's, is like reading Cheka guidelines.)

In terms of spending and governmental control of production, today's Republicans are indistinguishable from the Democrats. Just look at the Bushs' (both of them) records. The main difference today is theological fanaticism of the Republicans vs. absolutely no philosophical agenda at all for the Democrats. Personally, I would prefer to loiter aimlessly than to purposefully dive into the Dark Ages and be ruled by the Christian Taliban. Yes, this is a very sorry state indeed.