February 9, 2009
The Rapacity of OdacityBy James Lewis
Just before the election, Barack Obama made fifteen references to "pie" in 100 seconds of a speech -- all about dividing up that yummy pie of the American economy. His audience laughed and chanted, "Pie! Pie!" to show how hungry they were. In one fell swoop Obama gave away the rapacity of socialism. In his first weeks of his presidency the world has seen how hungry he really is.
Mr. Obama doesn't look like he has an eating problem, but he is hungry, voraciously hungry. Or as Michelle O explained,
Socialism is rapaciously greedy -- that's what endless envy warfare comes down to. The Left likes to preen itself with the word ‘progressive,' when it is actually the most regressive political strategy in history. The key political move is to seek out the most rapacious people -- not hungry for food but power -- and use them to mobilize an attack on the productive sector, the milk cows of society. It is the most primitive political strategy ever. It goes back to the Romans and long before. Karl Marx merely reinvented a very old and decrepit wheel.
That is why everything is grist for the mill of Obama Marxism. Old-time Marxism just pitted the poor against the rich -- a compelling sympathy play in the 19th century, with grinding poverty, industrial workers living in little better than slavery, and peasant farmers in Europe who were all but slaves, as in Czarist Russia. Then decades of capitalist vitality provided the goods and services for an unprecedented spread of wealth, so that today Joe the Plumber is an instinctive conservative. Industrial workers became prosperous.
So the Left needed a new underclass. That is why the Boomer Left had to find new victim groups -- women who could be made to envy men, blacks to envy whites, homosexuals to envy heterosexuals, the young against their parents, each ethnic group against the other. The New Marxism plays off any victim group against any perceived winner. In this presidential election, the Democrats pitched it perfectly, setting every manipulable group against its favorite scapegoats, symbolized by President Bush and Veep Dick Cheney.
That is why today, in his first month in office, President Obama needs to go after executives who earn more than 500 thousand dollars per year. Marxism has become the politics of universal envy and rapacity, as long as there is a victim group hungry enough to be led into battle against the ever-shifting enemy. That is why racial politics has not been left behind by the Democrats; on the contrary. The United States is more racially sliced and diced than it has been since the Dixiecrats lost their power.
Socialism is rapacious because it has an endless appetite for power. If you doubt it, look at Britain today, where average people -- the productive ones -- are taxed, constantly bullied by the government-owned BBC, and bribed into voting socialist. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has gone to the logical extreme of demanding that British citizens donate their body parts to the National Health Service when they die -- mandatory organ donation, or socialist cannibalism. He calls it ‘presumed consent," which means that if you're dead, the government gets to decide who will re-use your mortal remains.
That is also why the socialist parties in Britain have suicidally imported hundreds of thousands of Pakistani Muslims, and are constantly telling them how welcome they are to import 7th Century Shariah law into the former home of parliaments. Those votes are easy to buy, and jihadi terrorism be damned. Antisemitism is now rife in Britain, whipped up by the radical Left, the BBC, and the Guardian, in alliance with Islamic fascists. It is a shameful loss of decency, no different than any other race baiting politics in human history.
Odacity is voracious because there's never enough free pie. It's the pie supply that grinds to a halt if the bakery is coerced into working without compensation -- a condition that used to be called "slavery." Without suitable incentives, producers can only be forced to work by the threat of punishment. And with full media control, our socialists make sure the baker gets the blame for any sudden pie shortage. We've watched it happen with Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Coal, and on and on -- but never with Big Media or Big Government. It's easy to tell who the demagogues are -- their names are never on the hit list. As the bitter old Soviet joke went, "Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man. Socialism is the opposite." Only the apparatchiks, the new ruling class, wins.
Our universities have gone that way already. That is why Harvard University dumped President Larry Summers for telling a well-known truth about precocious mathematical talent among boys. Nobody knows exactly why, but the typical genius mathematician is a pimply teenage boy with girl problems. That's been true for centuries, and most of the time it has been a source of pity or ridicule for those socially isolated boys. Today talented mathematical geniuses of the Wrong Sex are the objects of feminist envy. Almost every Harvard faculty member knows all that, but they kept their heads down when the campus Left went after Larry's scalp for telling the truth. That's Politically Correct socialism, and the firing of Larry Summers was designed to chill free speech on all the campuses. It was a power-play, and everybody understood who won. Harvard now has a new set of Feminist Commissars, to make sure that forbidden thoughts are never again spoken in public.
Our media are going bankrupt because their audiences are going away. Why are they committing suicide? Because they have become one with our Leftist political elites. Media mavens may lose their jobs, but they will become PR people in the Obama administration. The universities are happy to hire them, just as California State University hired Leon Panetta to run its "Institute for Public Policy" on its new campus in the spectacular coastal community of Monterey, California. Today he is our new CIA director, with no visible qualifications in the craft of intelligence.
Europe is the model for the Left. But one reason that Europe's elites hate America is that they can no longer keep up their own military defenses. All their taxes go to political payoffs to victim groups and their ruling classes. They have become dependent and hostile, like a drug-addicted teenager. Look at their pitiful answer to Putin's tank invasion of the little country of Georgia. European socialism has been subsidized by our defense dollars for the last six decades. It's because they have eaten their seed corn, sacrificed it to the endless voracity of vote buying politics. They can no longer afford a working military; and they do not have the guts to use what they have even to save the lives of people facing genocide in Africa and Europe itself.
Socialism is rapacious even to the extent of sinking its own ship. Because there's never enough free pie. The Sick Man of Europe is the result of years of deliberate policy. Its pathetic weaknesses reflects purposeful choices by socialist elites in each country, forcing the military and police to hemorrhage until they became helpless and demoralized.
So -- should the United States be more like Sweden? Sweden played coy even in World War Two -- the moral difference between Hitler and Churchill being just too hard for them to figure out. Sweden has profited very nicely from Pax Americana in the last sixty years, but not enough to actually make any contribution to keeping the peace. Sweden is a freeloader -- like all of Europe. Without America's free market and its willingness to be the decent world cop, pacifist Europe would be enslaved by Russia, by Germany, or by any passing mob of throwbacks to the early Middle Ages.
Which leaves the United States with a voracious Barack Obama and millions of power-hungry followers at the helm for the next four to eight years.
Interesting times, no?