Rick Moran of Right Wing Nut House argues that Obama is not a a socialist. (Right Wing Nut House is meant to be an ironic name, as Moran is actually a pragmatist Republican, the type that has plagued the party at least since WWII. In the 1960's, Moran would have been a Rockefeller Republican calling Goldwater an "extremist.")
Calling Obama a “socialist” simply isn’t logical. He doesn’t share the belief that industries should be nationalized by the government or even taken over by the workers as many American Marxists espouse. He may not be as wedded to the free market as a conservative but he doesn’t want to get rid of it. He wants to regulate it. He wants “capitalism with a human face.” He wants to mitigate some of the effects of the market when people lose. This is boilerplate Democratic party liberalism not radical socialism.
I detest conservatives throwing around the words “socialism” and “Marxism” when it comes to Obama as much as I get angry when idiot liberals toss around the word “fascist” when describing conservatives. I’m sorry but this is ignorant. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge of what socialism and communism represent as well as an ignorance of simple definitions. Obama will not set up a government agency to plan the economy. He will not as president, require businesses to meet targets for production. He will not outlaw profit. He will not put workers in charge of companies (unless it is negotiated between unions and management. It is not unheard of in this country and the practice may become more common in these perilous economic times.).
An Obama presidency will have more regulation, more “oversight,” more interference from government agencies, more paperwork for business, less business creation, fewer jobs, fewer opportunities. It will be friendlier to unions, more protectionist, and will require higher taxes from corporations (who then will simply pass the tax bill on to us, their customers). But government won’t run the economy. And calling Obama a “socialist” simply ignores all of the above and substitutes irrationalism (or ignorance) for the reality of what an Obama presidency actually represents; a lurch to the left that will be detrimental to the economy, bad for business, but basically allow market forces to continue to dominate our economy.
Moran makes one mistake. He equates socialism with socialism on the communist plan. He forgets the fascist plan, which is what America is on. In the fascist plan of socialism, the means of production is left in the nominal ownership of private individuals. All government does is regulate it, along with all the other things Moran says Obama will do above.
The fascist plan is attractive to American politicians because it is deceptive. They can get away with dictating the economy without actually seizing ownership. Moreover, they avoid responsibility and blame when things go wrong -- as they are doing in the current crisis, which was caused by government intervention, but is blamed on deregulation. When things go bad, socialists on the fascist plan depend on pragmatists like Moran to assure the "extremists" that everything is fine and all we're in for is a little more regulation. We can live with a little more regulation, right?
Ultimately, the mixed economy is unstable. Government intervention creates crises which lead to greater government intervention, which creates new crises which lead to further government intervention until the economy is controlled by the government in a de facto, if not de jure dictatorship.
As the welfare state grows, we become more and more accustomed to the loss of liberty. A man 100 years ago would certainly think the level of government intervention in the economy today is dictatorship. Benjamin Franklin said, "It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part." Things have changed since the Enlightenment. We would now perceive a government that only taxed 10% of wages as almost laissez-faire.
The maxim of the American writer and philosopher Ayn Rand came close to fulfilment before the denouement of Old Labour on May 3 1979: that the difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time.