Saturday, August 22, 2009

Is Obama a Socialist/Marxist by Definition?

I have freely called President Obama a socialist/Marxist on the pages of Rational Nation USA. For this I have been severely criticized for my beliefs and outspokenness. As one would expect the concerns came from the moderate left to the more progressive left.
As is always my inclination when criticized by intelligent individuals I took a step back to examine my premises. As words (concepts) have meaning and are concrete I decided to start with the definition of concepts that define a persons politics. These concepts (words), which span the spectrum of political philosophy as related to this discussion are; fascism, conservative, moderate, progressive, socialism, and Marxism.
Definitions of each concept, taken from Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, and of necessity edited so as to refer only to the concept in the political meaning are as follows:
Fascism/Fascist - 1: a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition 2: a tendency towards or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.
Conservatism - disposition in politics to preserve what is established, 1b: a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change.
Moderate - 1a: avoiding extremes of behavior or expression, observing reasonable limits, b: calm, temperate, avoiding extreme political or social behavior, one who holds moderate or belongs to a group favoring a moderate course or program.
Progressive - 1a: of, relating to, or characterized by progress b: making use of or interested in new ideas, or findings, of or related to political Progressives. 1a: one that is progressive b: one believing in moderate political change and esp. social improvement by government action, the principals or beliefs advocated by the Progressives.
Socialism/Socialist - 1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or government ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods 2: a system or society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state 3: a a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done, one who advocates or practices socialism.
Marxism/Marxist - the political, economic and social principals and policies and policies advocated by Marx: esp: a theory and practice of socialism including the labor theory of value. dialectical materialism, the class struggle, and dictatorship of the proletariat until the establishment of a classless society.
Studying the definitions above it is clear, at least to this individual, that President Obama is not a conservative or moderate. He does by definition display some progressive thought although it is quite advanced toward the socialist model. One only has to examine his policies of government bailouts, partial nationalization of the auto industry, cash for clunkers, propping up of the financial industry (started by his predecessor), his plan for national health care with the government option or co-ops, placing limits on executive pay and bonuses, et all to realize his plan for America is a radical departure from our past proven path to success and common sense.
President Obama, while exhibiting some fascist leanings, most noticeably the desire for a centralized autocratic government he is not by definition a fascist or leaning towards fascism. To characterize him as such, as I have heard some do, is totally inaccurate and without substance.
Having determined by definition President Obama is not a fascist, conservative, moderate, or progressive it leaves two remaining philosophies. Socialism and Marxism. By the President's own actions, as noted above, he has left no doubt but what he is a socialist. Marxism is the continuation of the socialist philosophy to it's extreme conclusion. I suggest a reading of Animal Farm for a graphic understanding of the results of Marxism (Communism) and it's eventual totalitarian outcome. Or better yet, a study of modern day communism and it's eventual collapse is instructive as well.
In conclusion I stand by my characterization of President Barack Hussein Obama as a socialist/ Marxist. While he may not as this is being written be a full fledged Marxist, as he "progresses" along the continuum of social engineering he will arrive at that logical end. Just one man's opinion.
Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA


  1. I think part of the disagreement with calling him a marxist is that people think USSR. Marxism and how the USSR ran its government had fundmental differences. But that is what people think when they hear the term. I agree that he is a socialist. He is trying to turn this country into the French model.
    I went to school in France, then I came back to America. I would like to stay in the America that I came back to more years ago than I care to admit.
    Great post.

  2. Thank you Just a conservative girl. Your observation was right on and I hope my follow up past today clarifies my prior statements.

    Love your site, keep up the good work!

    Les Carpenter III
    Rational Nation USA

  3. I think that your evaluation is completely unfounded. You took a dictionary definition to find out what Marxism is? It's okay to define conceptual terms like "moderate" by a dictionary, but to understand Marxism, you have to read Marx. And not Lenin/Stalin interpretation of his works. Just a conservative girl was correct when she said that people think of Marxism and USSR as the same thing. But in no way is Obama a Marxist. Even your own definition which alludes to this in the phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat until the establishment of a classless society". Obama doesn't want this. He wants more government intervention, but that does not make him Marxist. He is still a capitalist and this in itself makes him non-Marxist.

    Another issue I have with your analysis is that you think that his government intervention (his plan for America) is "a radical departure from our past proven path to success and common sense". FDR anyone? Where would we be had we stuck with Hoover's plan of not intervening? FDR stepped in to try to help the economy- that's what our government is trying to do now again as it proved to work then. So that statement is a falsehood as well.

    Also, you state that you suggest a reading of Animal Farm for a graphic understanding of the results of Marxism (Communism) and it's eventual totalitarian outcome. Again, to understand Marx, read Marx. If anything Marx is a reductionist. He believes everything- even cultural issues such as the family- have to do with the economy. He does not evaluate the "totalitarian outcome" of his form of communism because it does not exist. The proletariat is supposed to rule the society- not one person or a group of people. Totalitarianism is not possible in a society which is ruled by all the people! Obviously the book you recommend does not take this into account. Also you mentioned studying "modern day communism and it's eventual collapse" as being instructive as well. Modern day communism isn't Marxian communism. So to investigate this would not help one in concluding if Obama is a Marxist or not.

    My last concern is your second to last statement: he "progresses" along the continuum of social engineering he will arrive at that logical end". The slope of socialism is not as slippery as you think it is. There are plenty of socialistic countries that are by no means communist. He will not turn- and is not capable of turning- this capitalistic society into a socialist one- especially a Marxist one.

    In conclusion- read Marx. You'll find that Obama has socialistic tendencies but is completely not Marx- mostly for the reason that Obama is still a capitalist. Thank you for considering this opinion.

  4. Anon - Read Is Obama a Socialist/Marxist By Definition Part #2, it addresses some of your points.

    I stand by my second post statements. Thanks for stopping by Rational Nation USA.


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