Latest: Is He or Isn't He (A Marxist)?
March 24, 2013 6:52 PM
Is Obama a Marxist? For many, the answer is clear. I believe that Obama is a Marxist, but there are many doubters and deniers of Obama's Marxist ideological roots, and for that reason I will address the question as if it were still open. As I see it, individuals fall into four categories on the issue of Obama the Marxist:
The "Who cares?" People. As a kid during the Cold War, I experienced great public concern about who was, or wasn't a Marxist ("Communist.") In my opinion a large proportion, perhaps a majority, of today's kids don't care at all. Older men and women, as well, have become apathetic about political issues; they and the "who cares" youth comprise the group that Rush Limbaugh calls "low-information voters," who, he believes, swept Obama to electoral victory in 2012 while alienated conservatives stayed home.
The Deniers. There are others who might care that Obama would be a Marxist because they consider Marxism a threat to prosperity, business, and the future of America. However, the deniers balance Obama's ideology against his popularity and his rhetorical support for institutions they support such as Medicare and the Federal Reserve Bank. On balance, then these deniers ignore the evidence that Obama is a Marxist.
Other deniers simply believe that such a once-in-a-century cult figure as Obama could not possibly espouse the same pernicious doctrine that enslaved the Soviet Union, Cuba, and North Korea. Were it true, they reason, it would be too horrible to contemplate, and so there contemplation stops there.
The Believers. In my opinion, on Twitter alone, there is overwhelming evidence in the form of Internet links to support the belief that Obama is a kind of Marxist. It seems to me that most of my @libertyrant followers on Twitter are also believers.
There is, however, a category of believers who merit attention: other Marxists, who evaluate Obama by higher standards, and find him inadequate as a Marxist. They seek to push Obama to ever more strict interpretations and implementations of Marxist theory. Sometimes, Marxist believers of this kind are appointed to Obama's cabinet: a case in point: former Special Adviser for Green Jobs Van Jones.
The Confused. In essence, I am writing this blogpost because I understand that there could be genuine cause for confusion about just how much of a Marxist Obama really is. In my view, since the day in 1848 that Marx published his Communist Manifesto the meaning of Marxism has gone through many changes. Marx himself reportedly said, "I am not a Marxist." I think it is highly likely that Marx, were he alive today, would not want his name associated with Obama and Obama politics.
However, there are several reasons that Marxism has changed so much since 1848, due to the nature of Marxism itself. One was the political need to stay clear of hostile governments and secret police, requiring Marxists to change names and adopt "Aesopian language." Recent examples are the name change of the Acorn organization to Affordable Housing Centers of America, and the current trend for Marxists to call themselves "Progressives."
A second reason is that Marxist ideology itself changes over time and circumstances, and the Marxist dogma of "dialectical materialism" allows these changes to come down from on high. (Orwell, in his novel 1984, called this dogma newspeak.) A historical example was the "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" (also called the "Hitler-Stalin Pact," when Hitler became, temporarily, a good guy in Marxist theory.
There is a third reason, however, which I hope to discuss in future blogposts. I call it the "dumbing down of Marxism." Marxist theory, as written by Marx himself, the Soviets, and postmodern philosophers, is simply too complex and convoluted for the average person to comprehend. Marxism, then, had to be dumbed down.
My personal conclusion, then, is that, yes, Obama is a Marxist, but that Obama's brand of Marxism is the dumbest of all dumbed down Marxism. My hope is that I can prove that to my readers in future blogposts.