The View From 1776
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Obama, Mussolini, and Hitler
President Obama’s recent assertion that business people don’t build their businesses reveals his deeply ingrained ideological paradigm: the socialist political state, not God, is the ultimate source of people’s wellbeing.
People of the President’s generation have all their lives been schooled in the materialistic religion of socialism, in which, as Karl Marx wrote, human nature is the product of the conditions in which people work. In the liberal-progressive view, government through its regulatory powers must become the dominant factor in imposing new conditions to change human nature. Those regulatory powers aim to redistribute income, making every citizen a dependent of the welfare state and wiping out the capitalistic individualism, frugality, and self-reliance that prevailed until Franklin Roosevelt’s 1930s New Deal welfare state.
Mr. Obama is a quintessential representative of that paradigm, very much in sync with the views of his close friends and advisors Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. See my earlier post Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism In Schools.
The president’s ideological cast goes back to the beginning of socialism in the French Revolution of 1789. Its modern version came into being in the 1920s with the accession of Mussolini in the Italian Fascist state. Its influence spread when Franklin Roosevelt and Adolph Hitler came to power in the 1930s.
The latest expression of Obama’s core beliefs was his recent statement while campaigning for re-election:
“There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back,” he began, defending his policy of higher tax rates on high earners. “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.”
In short, as Mr. Obama sees it, the collectivized political state is responsible for everything that you and “Julia” have.
This amounts to a rejection of traditional American individualism and private initiative. It comports, instead, with Benito Mussolini’s statement in The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism (1933) in which the individual has meaning only in so far as he is, like a brick in a wall, part of the political state and controlled by the state’s goals:
“Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State. …The Fascist State has drawn into itself even the economic activities of the nation, and, through the corporative social and educational institutions created by it, its influence reaches every aspect of the national life and includes, framed in their respective organizations, all the political, economic and spiritual forces of the nation.”
The same vision was expressed by Hitler in his speech in Munich on April 12, 1922:
…we christened [our Nazi party] ‘‘National Socialist.” We said to ourselves that to be ‘national’ means above everything to act with a boundless and all-embracing love for the people and, if necessary, even to die for it. And similarly to be ‘social’ means so to build up the state and the community of the people that every individual acts in the interest of the community of the people and must be to such an extent convinced of the goodness, of the honorable straightforwardness of this community of the people as to be ready to die for it.
In the doctrine of liberal-progressivism, as the socialist state gradually extends its control over all aspects of our daily lives, people will find their happiness in working selflessly for the common good. The joy of labor will eliminate individualistic urges to innovate and to excel. People will be entirely content with intellectuals regulating their daily lives, because they will acknowledge that intellectuals know what is best for society. As former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of ObamaCare, you will learn to like it.
People will no longer think of themselves as individuals, but as cooperative workers in the new collectivized society. Life will return to the freely available abundance of the original State of Nature, because wealth hoarded by greedy property-owners will become available to all. Moreover, large, state-managed business enterprises run by intellectuals and professional managers will be more efficient than privately-owned businesses, so that the supply of goods and services will be increased without the need for additional labor.