Thursday, July 03, 2008

A New Era of Servitude

Barack Obama has given a second speech this week leading up to the Fourth of July. In this one he expands on his idea of national service that he mentioned in his previous speech. The speech is called, "A New Era of Service." Service to the state would be a priority in an Obama administration.

Fourth of July speeches are a time to celebrate what makes America great, to speak about America's ideals. It is notable that Obama can see nothing worth talking about but statist-collectivist-altruist ideals. For a holiday that celebrates America's independence, Obama focuses on the opposite, on our supposed dependence on on another. For a holiday that traditionally celebrates freedom, Obama advocates expanded service to the state.

I submit that there has never been a candidate for President of a major party who so grossly misunderstood the meaning of America as Barack Obama. Liberals can scream that I'm "questioning his patriotism" all they want, but I firmly believe Obama is the least American, most European presidential candidate ever. This little man has no idea what made America great. His vision of America's ideals is exactly what is destroying American liberty and individual rights.

If a speech called "A New Era of Service" had been given on Independence Day 100 years ago, the audience would have been baffled. Why, they would have wondered, is this man on the anniversary of American independence speaking about servitude to the state? The bafflement would have quickly given way to anger and outrage. The audience would have considered such a speech as nothing less than an evil, nihilist attack on the essence of America.

America has declined so far in 100 years that we are about to elect as President a man who personifies everything the Founding Fathers fought against. The Founders fought for individualism; Obama fights for collectivism. The Founders fought for liberty; Obama fights for statism. The Founders fought for the pursuit of happiness; Obama fights for individual sacrifice. The Founders fought for our national self-interest against foreign tyrants; Obama wants to appease our enemies so the rest of the world will think better of us. The Founders fought for lower taxes; Obama fights for higher taxes.

Even more: in the founding era saying what you mean and meaning what you say were held as virtues. The Plain Dealer of Cleveland was named in that spirit. Obama, on the other hand, has bragged that his words are a "rorschach test" -- they mean different things to different people.

Obama thinks that a life lived in the selfish pursuit of profit is a life without meaning. Only by sacrificing to the collective does one achieve noble values. Only by selflessly serving others is one moral.

Read his speech if you can stomach it. Obama proposes an array of new programs and expansion of old programs, none of which will do a damned thing but waste money. It will all be make work and symbolism. College kids will think of the 100 hours they must spend in "community service" as jerk-off time they must endure to get a degree. Obama's idealism will only lead to greater cynicism as young Americans learn that what our culture holds as a moral value is a useless waste of time, whereas the important, selfish values of pursuing a career and making money are sneered at. When drudgery is praised and meaningful work is belittled, people give up on morality and fall into cynicism and despair. From there it's a small step to booze, drugs, and a life of mindless, range-of-the-moment hedonism.

Obama's program for a new era of service must fail because the underlying morality, altruism, is entirely at odds with the requirements of man's life. Man must selfishly pursue his values to live and be happy, but altruism demands the sacrifice of higher values to lesser values. If followed consistently, which few can do, altruism leads to death. Altruists depend on people being inconsistent; it is a morality that depends on people being immoral by its own standards in order to remain alive.

And if you want to be really depressed, consider this: John McCain is just as bad. He extols sacrificing for something greater than ourselves. He has contempt for the profit motive. He is as ignorant of economics as Obama. Just about the only good thing that can be said about McCain is that he doesn't come off as an effete European like Obama. His heroism in the military is unquestionable.

Whichever fool lies and smears his way to the Oval Office, America will enter a new era of servitude.

UPDATE: Greg Ransom on Obama's program for a new American slavery:

THIS ISN'T THE ROAD TO SERFDOM, THIS IS SERFDOM. National service mandated by the state is what Europe had for centuries. It was called serfdom. For example, in France, citizens were required to perform public service building and repairing roads and other public projects for hundreds and thousands of hours a year. Serfdom wasn't eliminated in France until the French revolution, one of the "liberty" parts of that revolution. It was largely the American revolution which inspired this escape from serfdom. Indeed, the American revolution was all about escaping from the European model of servitude, with the American's insisting that even very moderate taxation without representation was a form of oppressive servitude. Incredibly, Barack Obama somehow believes that advocacy of a return to European style serfdom is a good way to celebrate the American Declaration of Independence from the oppression of English tyranny.

UPDATE II: I mistakenly wrote that Obama calls his words a "rorschach test." It would be correct to write that he thinks of himself as a "blank screen." Robert Tracinski used the whole Obama quote in HBL:

I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.


madmax said...


Your blog posts are a delight to read. I value them highly. But let me ask: is it possible that this is another replay of McGovern/Nixon? Could Obama be so bad that, while evil, McCain is significantly less evil? I'm starting to think this may be the case.

Myrhaf said...

It's possible. But Nixon was an arch-pragmatist, whereas McCain is a "national greatness" conservative. Another thing to consider is that McGovern couldn't have been a worse president than Nixon. He would not have gotten away with the appalling statist measures of Nixon such as wage and price controls, the EPA and making the final delink from gold that led to the inflation and stagflation of the 1970's.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Thanks for this.

I have had the pleasure of mentoring some hard-working college students in past few years.
These kids are not getting a free ride from anyone, one has merit scholarships that require maintaining a high GPA, and the other two work nearly full time on top of their classes in order to come to graduation with no debt.

These students would not easily be able to do this and also make-work national service.

As I was reading your post, I was thinking that the national service will further reward those college students who already mooch off the rest of us by accepting tax supported "need" based college money. The national service would harm the hard-working student making his or her own way.

IMNSHO, this proposal is deliberately designed to make the next generation more dependent, and therefore more obedient to the state.