Since Obama opened his mouth during his 2008 candidacy, RR has maintained that the man is a Marxist. There is little surprise in that conclusion when we consider his grandparents, parents, school years, Chicago brethren, his own words, and deeds as President. But last Friday in Roanoke, VA he dispelled all residual doubt in a speech that laid it all out.
There Obama channeled one of his own fellow travelers and former administration officials, Elizabeth Warren, who is now running for the Senate in Massachusetts. Communism’s Marxist basis admits no individual merit from individual enterprise. All success in pre-collective social orders is suspect, and attributed to the successful having become so on the backs of the oppressed people. The Marxists' constant theme is that government, as the organizer of the collective, makes every success possible, as opposed to the vision, tolerance for risk, hard work, and entrepreneurial spirit of those who start and build businesses.
To the communist, businesses are rogue enterprises in society that must be absorbed into the collective as quickly as possible, and those that started and operated such businesses must be exposed for the pariahs they are and punished. We can see it all coming together in what Obama is now getting ready to loosen on the nation during his second term. From Obama’s speech last Friday –
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. … If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. (emphasis added, full text here, and a related comment below)
This is Lenin in the months before the Bolshevik revolution in 1918. Both leaders maintain it is classes of people, marshaled by a correct government, that are the engines of wealth creation. The enterprising individuals are the thieves and blood-suckers who claim the lion’s share of what they didn’t create and what never belonged to them.
WSJ’s Daniel Henninger recently wrote about Obama's newly revealing economics –
There is no theory anywhere in non-Marxist economics that says growth's primary engine is a social class. A middle class is the result of growth, not its cause. Barack Obama not only believes in class-based growth but has built his whole growth strategy around it. … One word appears nowhere in the 53-minute Obama speech on economic growth: "capital." Human, financial, whatever. Capital dare not speak its name. … Most revealing is that the phrases "my plan" and "I have a plan" appear 13 times. A central role for planning often appears in emerging, underdeveloped economies, not in an advanced economy like ours in which the discovery and diffusion of productive new ideas is spontaneous, rapid and unpredictable.
In The Road to Serfdom nobelist F.A. Hayek wrote of where such central planning has taken us in the past, and where it will take us in the future. (You can order an abridged version of this classic from the Heritage Foundation.)
But you may say that Obama is just one machine politician with no understanding of or experience in the private sector. However, what gives this Marxist his power is the 'dumbth' that pervades the land. Half of the electorate have no resources with which to critique his ideology, and see such statements as benign and possessing of a certain logic - the bitter fruits of a progressive public education.
[Re The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. Bullcrap!
The Internet was developed primarily through the work of multiple universities, private contractors, and government agencies here and overseas. What we call the Internet first came together as the ARPANET that was developed with DARPA funding to set up a rapid communication network among scientists and engineers working in academe, government, and private industry. The first ARPANET link was established between UCLA and Stanford Research Institute on 29 October 1969. Government had neither clue nor intent to commercialize any of this technology.
The Internet was effectively commercialized with advent of the Worldwide Web (WWW) in the mid-1990s, again through the mostly happenstance multi-national development efforts of academe, government agencies, and private enterprises. The WWW that we daily use resides on the Internet as a service based on such software innovations as hypertext protocols and the ubiquotous browser first developed at the University of Illinois. The successful commercialization of the Internet has been brought about by private enterprise, and has happened because of governments' absence, a 'shortcoming' which the Left has been trying to rectify ever since with various degrees of 'success'.]
[Addendum] H/T to RR reader.
[23jul12 update] Gordon Crovitz writing in 23jul12 WSJ has a more detailed report on the development of the Internet - 'Who Really Invented the Internet?'.