The View From 1776
Monday, September 20, 2010
What Makes Obama Tick
Dinesh D’Sousa suggests that it’s the anti-colonialism that President Obama absorbed from his late father, an orientation that accounts for the president’s antipathy toward our nation’s history and founding ethos.
Proclaiming himself a citizen of the world, President Obama seems more comfortable with the barbarism and authoritarianism of the Muslim and socialist worlds than with the ethos of arms-bearing and Bible-reading citizens who fought in 1776 for independence from arbitrary government power. Witness his coziness with enemies of the United States in socialist Venezuela and Cuba, as well as his unwillingness to stand up against Islamic Iran and Syria. Domestically, add to it his institution of the most radical and pervasive web of social and economic controls since the socialism of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s.
In a Forbes Magazine cover article, Mr. D’Sousa describes the close links between the anti-colonialism that animated President Obama’s father and the president’s repeated apologies to other nations for what he appears to regard as imperial, and therefore criminal, past foreign policies of the United States.
Anti-colonialism historically is entwined with both socialism and Islam, one the epitome of economic tyranny, the other a societal ethos in which all aspects of government and economy are subordinated to the religion of jihad and sharia.
Socialism, of course, is a secular religion, and Islam a theistic one. Authoritarian political control is the common aspect, as it is with the actions and aims of the Obama administration.
Most of the African nations gaining independence after World War II are or have been devotees of so-called African socialism and believers in planned economies. President Obama’s father was a Kenyan advocate of African socialism.
Inherent in the doctrines of socialism and Islam is the necessity to eradicate traditional religious and political structures of Christian Western Europe and the United States. The Koran commands Muslims to conquer and subject all peoples to Islam. Both socialism and Islam require exercise of arbitrary political power at the expense of individual liberty.
African nations fancied, and President Obama apparently still does, that eradicating existing social and political structures leads to social and economic perfection: economic egalitarianism. Obama blames the George W. Bush administration for failure of his socialistic economic and political policies; African socialist nations blamed their difficulties on the legacy of European colonialism.
This piece of historicist rationalization originated in the modern world with Voltaire and his fellow French philosophes of the 1789 revolution, who blamed French society’s problems on the Roman Catholic Church. Confiscation of the church’s property and suppression of Catholicism, instead of ushering in social harmony, opened the gates in 1793 for the bloody Reign of Terror under Robespierre’s Committee of Public Safety.
Underlying Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign rhetoric and his program in office is the secular religious doctrine enunciated by Jean Jacques Rousseau in mid-18th century France. In addition to his thesis that humans are inherently good unless corrupted by a society that protects private property rights, Rousseau’s conception of the general will seems to be fundamental to Obama and his Democrat/Socialist Party congressional leaders.
People in Rousseau’s idyllic state of nature were all free, lived in harmony, and enjoyed readily abundant sustenance. That ended with the advent of private property and the organization of political societies by the strong to protect their property against the weak.
For Rousseau, an ideal society would be one in which the law and political institutions instead created and protected economic equality. Instituting such a society demands subordination of all citizens to the general will. Capitalistic individualism stands in the way of this version of social perfection.
In Rousseau’s words, “...whosoever refuses to obey the general will shall be constrained to do so by the whole body, which means nothing other than that he shall be forced to be free…for this is the condition which, by giving each citizen to the nation, secures him against all personal dependence.” The welfare state trumps individual political and economic liberties.
Such is the secular religiosity supporting the confidence of Obama and his Democrat/Socialist Party colleagues that massively intrusive programs such as Obamacare are to be crammed down the throats of the objecting majority of voters, for their own good. It is the rationalization for a regime aiming to collectivize control of the nation in the hands of a socialist elite, an elite that controls the financial sector, healthcare, major manufacturers, and energy production.