View Full Version : Is Obama a socialist or a fascist?

06-12-2012, 07:58 AM
Fascinating question.

Is Obama a socialist or a fascist?
Thomas Sowell explains why president seeks scapegoats for all his failed policies
by Thomas Sowell Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and he wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.

Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous – something Barack Obama avoids like the plague.

Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the “greed” of the insurance companies.

The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.

One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.

Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely – and correctly – regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg’s great book, “Liberal Fascism,” cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left’s embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.

Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced itself from fascism and its Nazi offshoot – and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling opponents with these pariahs.

What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people – like themselves – need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We the People …”

That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution’s limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges’ new interpretations, based on notions of “a living Constitution” that will take decisions out of the hands of “We the People,” and transfer those decisions to our betters.

The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left and regardless of its disastrous consequences.

Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists. So long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, Calif. He is the author of 28 books, including "Dismantling America" and "Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy."

06-12-2012, 10:46 AM
I think he's a little bit of all rolled up into one. Socialist, fascist, communist = obama.
This might not help answer the question but here it is.

In the ongoing discussion of Barack Obama's involvement with Chicago's extremist "New Party," online literature from the Party likely reveals that the young state senator not only was a member but had to commit financially to membership.

Kurtz announced the discovery of new documents that supported his original claim. In particular, he found minutes of a 1996 New Party meeting which read:

Barack Obama, candidate for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District, gave a statement to the membership and answered questions. He signed the New Party “Candidate Contract” and requested an endorsement from the New Party. He also joined the New Party.

Based on the various statements on the Party's website and the "Candidate Contract" Obama signed, it's clear that joining the New Party is synonymous with making a monetary contribution (of at least $36). The meeting minutes say Obama "joined the New Party," so we can say with near certainty that, like all the other members, he paid to join.


06-12-2012, 12:16 PM

06-12-2012, 01:35 PM
I think both terms have lost their meaning, especially in the US, due to frequent misuse.

06-12-2012, 05:24 PM
You know where I stand on this. All US presidents are fascistic to a dramatic degree, especially if we use Mussolini's definition of fascism - he called it "lo stato corporativo", the corporate state - and we can certainly toss in their imperial militarism, along with some more recent developments like Bush's Unitary presidency and Obama's insistence that he can assassinate anyone, anywhere at any time... yeah, the picture is pretty clear.

Mr. Sewell is clearly not paying attention if he thinks the point of the current political system is to shield politicians from their own ineptitude by shifting responsibility to the private sector elite. In fact, he must know that's the complete opposite of reality; a bald-faced lie that informs us of the author's real duties here. As Russell Mokhiber just pointed out elsewhere (http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/12/predator-nation/):
When Charles Ferguson accepted the Academy Award in 2010 for his documentary film Inside Job, he told 30 million people viewing the award ceremony that “three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single senior financial executive has been prosecuted and that’s wrong.”

Two years later, still no prosecution.

The politicians of both parties understand that they may have to "take a bullet" for the boys up top, and step down to a menial $5M/year position in some think tank or private university. Sewell knows all of this, but it's important to pretend the drama is real, to keep up partisan appearances. He's a thinktanker himself, and he knows on which side his bread is buttered.

By the way, it's not just the US. The Eurogroup (and they actually call themselves that... like they want to be some kind of superhero team or something) just announced how pleased they were with Spain's "restructuring of its financial sector." What restructuring? WTF? You would think at least one of these bozos would have to get fired or jailed in order for anyone to call it a restructuring. But no. The ruling party got tossed out, once again for the purposes of keeping up appearances, but all of the essential policies remain intact, and that's what really matters.

06-12-2012, 06:20 PM
You know where I stand on this. All US presidents are fascistic to a dramatic degree, especially if we use Mussolini's definition of fascism - he called it "lo stato corporativo", the corporate state - and we can certainly toss in their imperial militarism, along with some more recent developments like Bush's Unitary presidency and Obama's insistence that he can assassinate anyone, anywhere at any time... yeah, the picture is pretty clear.

Your cynicism is breathtaking, as always, Ric.

Can we agree that Ben was a handsome and powerful man, and a snappy dresser?