Monday, February 20, 2012

The Thinker Part #3

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Rodin - The Thinker

I was asked recently by a Rational Nation USA regular about President Obama and if he could possibly be compared to Mao, China's tyrannical and brutal communist leader. After a period given to clarifying my thoughts on the subject I decided to respond. My response I hope reflects intellectual clarity and is absence right leaning hyperbole.

First I will present the question as advanced followed by my response.

The question:

Les, sometimes I wonder if what Obama wants by fairness would ultimately
become very much like it is in Communist countries. China under Mao may be a good example. I never hear anyone comparing it so I wonder if I am far out in left field. Am I?

My response:

Obama is a product of the "democratic socialist" movement. I often use the term statist which essentially means a belief that the state through it's elected representatives and senators has the power to determine the nation's course.

As society has grown, along with it has grown the demands placed on the state by the people. Keep in mind the response to the Great Depression by FDR and the "New Dealers". Add to that Kennedy's "New Frontier" and Johnson's "Great Society" and the stage set long ago has been trending in the natural course one would and should expect.

Republicans, specifically the "neo-cons" (new conservatives) are just as statist and interested in setting the agenda and controlling people through the power of the state as are the "democratic socialists." The difference lies only in that which they wish to control. I am known for saying the difference in the republican and democrat statist is merely the color and shape of their respective mascots.

It is my belief that as bad as Obama may be this nation would be by far worse with either Santorum or Gingrich. Romney would actually, in my opinion be on a par with Obama, in other words were he elected president it would be a wash. Keep in mind here I am referring specifically to statism and that the state should control the reins the power rather than the people.

Back to Obama - "Democratic socialism", which Obama certainly personifies believe in the democratic process of voting and in the rule of law. Obama is no Mao, however his democratic socialist beliefs guide him the direction of collectivism as being a ultimately superior economic system than capitalism. Utopia is still sought after and likely always will be. Irrespective of the reality that it is likely unattainable.

In a nutshell democratic socialism (as it exists in Europe) may very well lead to
what we currently see in countries such as Portugal and Greece. The entities the
people of these nation hold responsible are the governments, yet they still expect more of the same that helped cause the problem in the first place. The US is only
a few years behind them.

Obama is the culmination of many many years of both democratic and republican trough feeding if you will. As we continue towards the economic abyss, and the continuing erosion of our liberties there is much blame to be passed around. Obama is the rightful recipient of some of this blame. To say he is the only one as many people do (I know you don't) is like sticking your head where the sun don't shine and then proclaiming you see light.

I could say much more but this is it for now.

On the heels of this exchange I became involved in a discussion with another Rational Nation USA regular that provided me the opportunity to further expand on the original question and my thoughts.

My response to my reader:

What I don't understand is why the truth pisses people off. The facts are this country has been moving in the fascist/socialist direction for some time. Both liberals and conservatives are responsible and the people have been accepting of socialist programs since FDR. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription drug coverage, etc. Now many expect all this and more. One need only watch OWS and the many who want a free college education... and they really think that is a right.

The democratic party would be more accurately called the Social Democratic party today and given the Republican's current mentality it ought the called the democratic Fascist Republican party, Both more accurately reflect the economic principles they advocate. Socialism and Fascism are both socialist economic models. They simply have different methods of arriving at the same end. Which is greater government regulation of the means of production and control of our personal lives.

I am not pointing fingers and puking up some hyperbole or using tried and try platitudes about how liberals are evil socialists. In fact if I were to use the term evil it would be against Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, et all of the republican party. In fact I have spent more of my time lately (and rightfully so) questioning the validity and integrity of neo-con republican politicians than I have Obama and the democrats. This is not because I think Obama and the democrats are right on all things, or even necessarily that he (they) are doing a good job, although in realty Obama has probably done no worse than GWB, and it is true as well that the republican party has shown little willingness to work with the democrats. There is of course a reason for this, you and I both know what that is.

Yes you do use inflammatory rhetoric as well as anyone I've read and I have been guilty of the same. We both know it is nothing more than red meat for the faithful. Maybe be we are, or have been part of the problem. I'm willing to consider this if you are.

At any rate just call me a classical liberal with strong libertarian leanings, my brother and son (both more more educated than I) tell me I've always been just that. Leave it to youth. Fact is I'm ashamed of what the neo-cons, the socons, and the entire crop of self proclaimed conservatives have done to the real conservative movement. The one that apparently died after Goldwater.

The point of the above is simply this, there is a great deal of anger and worry within the American people and their psyche. The intentionally divisive rhetoric coming out of both major political parties is both unsettling and counter productive. Until such time as We the People demand both the republican and democratic party to cooperate in finding solutions to the pressing economic issues of our time not much will change. As it stands right now, until we do something to force real meaningful change we're simply going to continue to get screwed by those we elect to represent us.

What say you?


  1. "Les, sometimes I wonder if what Obama wants by fairness would ultimately
    become very much like it is in Communist countries. China under Mao may be a good example. I never hear anyone comparing it so I wonder if I am far out in left field. Am I?"

    Your reader should wonder if he/she is far out in RIGHT field.

    Comparison to Mao? Seriously. A man who was responsible for the deaths of millions and millions of his own people?

    Mao was also responsible for the "One Child" policy which mandated forced abortions on couples who violated that policy.

    Here's what your reader out in RIGHT field fails to understand: A state that forces a girl or a woman to abort a pregnancy against her will is no different from a state that would force a girl or a woman to carry a pregnancy against her will. In both instances, the state is imposing its will on the girl or woman.

    That's something the right believes is the proper role of the state.

    The reader who tried to make this comparison is not thinking clearly. There is no comparison between a genocidal murderer, Mao Tse Tung, and our president.

    That he or she even suggested it shows unhinged partisanship, not an attempt at thoughtful debate.

    1. Shaw - I know this reader, and what was asked was honestly asked. The person actually was a lifelong democrat before turning independent. The move to independent in this person's mind because necessary the democratic party had left him so to speak.

      This reader has many reservations about Obama, as do I as well as millions of others. And not because of the fact he is black, but rather because of his policies, both economic and social. This reader simply bought into, and or believes Obama is a socialist and therefore is causing further erosion of our capitalist system, which both you and I know has been a mixed economic system of capitalism (crony at present) and socialism for some time.

      I chose to answer the inquiry as I did because the concern, while one more of fear than actual substance does have some merit, but only as it relates to the competing economic systems of socialism and capitalism. Obama is American, he is the duly elected person occupying the highest office in our nation that of the President, and he is philosophicall a democratic socialist.

      Before we can have reasoned and rational discussions every American must shed their fears of whatever bogeyman they have been taught to believe will be the undoing of America. I thought my response to this reader was a appropriate one.

      I am sure I'll be criticized heavily and called many things. Especially as this post was cross posted to LCR. However, my fierce individualism, classical liberal principles, and Randian background allows me to both keep my sanity in a insane world and speak my mind at the same time. I'm sure the reader has gathered as much.

      There is an old saying... United we stand, divided we fall, or something along those lines. So yes, lets debate and discuss the issues and our differences. Lets hammer out the differences with the ultimate goal being to find consensus and and eradicate the divisiveness that serves no useful purpose in the end.

      Yes I have been divisive, yes I continue to disagree with much the modern left hold important, especially with respect to economic and social policy. But when I witness the likes of Santorum and Gingrich I realize this nation is in deeper trouble should they ever sit in the chair Obama now holds.

      Statism, whether it be from the left or the right is still statism. The kind of statism that Santorum and the neo-cons offer simply makes me shudder.I hope I got my point across to the reader who precipitated this post.

  2. Let me guess, TAO was through here?

    Excellent commentary, although I disagree with your conclusion:

    Until such time as We the People demand both the republican and democratic party to cooperate in finding solutions...

    God forbid! Their "cooperation" has destroyed the constitutional republic.

    What we need to demand is our rights back, and that they dismantle the unconstitutional bureaucratic monsters they have constructed over the past century.

    This is the strongest argument for Ron Paul.

  3. Wrong, TAO hasn't been through here in ages thankfully, unless he came through as anon in which case he was likely one whose comment I did post.

    In your scenario are we to consider armed revolt? I mean on a broad scale is it not true people have to coexist
    ? Is it not also true that "they" have rights as well. I realize Santorum believes that only his approved rights should exist. And that is part of the problem. Conservatives, and I mean real ones need to do better. Right now with the exception of Ron Paul there are few in the conservative movement and republican party offering any consistent rational ideas.

    One can argue philosophy and principles all day long, I know because I often do. But at the end of the day consensus must be achieved, no one should expect to have it there way all of the time. We could certainly use a Barry Goldwater right now couldn't we?

    1. Correction - ... whose comment I did not post.

    2. In your scenario are we to consider armed revolt?

      Hell NO!

      our politicians have "cooperated" us to the brink of destruction.

      Government does not work because of a lack of consensus. It does not work because it is not intended to work they way they are trying to use it. It was never intended to get this far into our business.

  4. Good and effective leadership is defined by the leaders ability to clearly articulate goals, define the benefits of achieving stated goals, recognizing the wisdom of compromise when appropriate, and giving people rational reasons to follow.

    Point to any republican candidate who has done that effectively across the board.

    So Silver, are you casting your support behind Ron Paul?

  5. I was the subject of the second part of RN's post Silverfiddle.

    Unfortunately anger and hate speech has replaced civil discussion and focus on making our country better for all of us. It has divided us and the beneficiaries are the wealthiest. Both parties are as addicted to the funds the wealthiest provide as our country is to oil.

    Hate politics wins elections. It excites the base. It turns off the independents who stay home on election day.

    Frankly though, it's going to stay this way. No matter how bad things get bigots and homophobes will be bigots and homophobes. Religious zealots will still be religious zealots. People that waste votes on Ralph Nader will still waste their votes on Ralph Nader.

    1. Joe - It is time to end what you refer to as hate politics, both sides need to look in the mirror. They both have had there heads so deep in where the sun don't shine it's pitiful. Yet they proclaim they see the light.

      You're right about one thing for sure Joe, until both get their heads where they belong and face issues with intellectual honesty and clarity nothing will change.


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