August 30, 2009
Obama as LeninoidBy James Lewis
The parallels between Barack Hussein Obama and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin are intriguing. To be sure, there are differences: Barack Obama is not the absolute ruler of a tyrannical state. Lenin was. We are not about to see a violent Bolshevik coup like Lenin's. (At least, I'm fairly sure.) America in 2009 is not Russia in 1917. So we won't equate them.
And yet, without losing sight of those facts, the similarities are too strong for mere coincidence. So I'm going to make up the word "Leninoid," as a reminder that Obama isn't Lenin -- but he must have hired the same Hollywood scriptwriters. I don't know why. I'm just pointing to what I see.
It was Lenin, not Stalin, who first introduced the Cult of Personality to raise his profile to superhuman status after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Even today, some Leftists talk about Lenin as a Jesus figure, who only murdered four million people out of necessity. Wikipedia writes that "The late Australian historian and leftist intellectual Manning Clark described Lenin as "Christ-like, at least in his compassion."
Obama's entire election campaign was based on a Cult of Personality, deliberately whipped up by PR honcho Axelrod and shamefully effective with many Americans. The Obama-as-Jesus theme has been sounded by Obama himself, followed by his millions of acolytes.
Hollywood Lefty Susan Sarandon has said: "He is a community organizer like Jesus was ... And now, we're a community and he can organize us."
Revolution Comes from Above
"I am the change" is a standard Obama line.
That is exactly the Leninoid notion of "Revolution comes from above." Again, this has been attributed to Stalin, in order to protect Lenin's reputation on the Left. In fact, it was Stalin who controlled and edited all of Lenin's published works after his death in 1924. The trick in all revolutionary movements is to trigger revolution from above, and to attribute it to "the oppressed masses." But the masses of people are never even consulted. That is why the Communist Party must always be the "Vanguard of the Proletariat." Lenin routinely had peasants and workers executed by the Cheka (the terror police he created) if they were against him.
Scapegoating the rich and all "enemies" of the regime
This is basic to all of Marxism, of course. But the demagogic version, the one that literally proclaims, "Kill the rich!" came from Lenin -- because Lenin was the first dictator of a state coming out of the Marxist revolutionary movements. He was the model of actual revolutionary governance. Everybody else followed the successful elements of Lenin's model. That includes European social democracies, which routinely engage in the same political tactics, mostly exercised through the media.
(Social democrats tend to use peaceful methods, like constant propaganda, indoctrination through the media, and vote buying as opposed to mass terror. They cannot be confused with murderous Leninist regimes, but they still constantly require new victim groups to appeal to -- which is why they import Pakistani Muslims from Peshawar into London. They are cheap votes, and anybody who disagrees is viciously scapegoated through the media.)
The Lenin way of doing it was through mob agitation to murder. This appears in his famous "Hanging Order," recovered from Lenin's archives by historian Robert Service. Lenin's hanging order (Lenin's Secret Files (1997).
That is the principle of terror: Terrifying masses of people by hanging or blowing up selected enemies.
Again, social democrats prefer to avoid violence, and in Europe they often manage to do so by bribing voters, importing cheap new votes from poor countries, and the like. But the manipulative methods are similar: Leninoids always find victim groups, or create them, or import them, and then claim to speak on their behalf. That is happening today in the United States with illegal immigrants. These are not just accidents but deliberate policy.
It is also an historical fact that the European and American Left, while avoiding violence domestically, has always supported and celebreated violent revolution in Cambodia with Pol Pot, in China with Mao, in Russia with Stalin and Lenin, and so on ad infinitum. They don't object to violence, and in fact rationalize it whenever it happens. They just don't want it at home.
Exploiting ethnic hatreds
Karl Marx hated Jews, Christians, and blacks. But officially the Left is anti-racist. The first person to introduce a major ethnic dimension into Marxist movements was Lenin. He conducted an anti-Cossack campaign, systematically trying to destroy the ethnic Cossacks of the Don River region. Lenin is always described as being against anti-Semitism -- it was only capitalist Jews who were the enemy; it was Stalin who killed and exiled many thousands of Jews, and inspired more anti-Semitism though the "Doctor's Plot."
Much more important is Lenin's "anti-imperialism," where "imperialism" is defined on the Left as the (white) capitalist countries that trade and therefore "exploit" any country that is non-white. That is the Third World Socialism Obama inherited from his Kenyan socialist father. That's what Obama's "Dreams from my Father" is about. (More about that below). Propagating ethnic strife and racism is now endemic on the Left, justified by Lenin's version of Marx. The fact that it's anti-white racism still makes it racism.
Controlling the media
It was Lenin who centralized the Russian newspapers and radio into a single propaganda apparatus, led by Pravda and Izstvestiya. Modern mass media propaganda was invented by the Left, notably in Lenin's early Soviet Union. The Nazis used it, but they came later.
Demonizing the opposition
Obama constantly demonizes. He has demonized auto companies, and fired the president of GM. He has demonized the insurance companies, and doctors who supposedly do tonsillectomies even when that isn't needed, just to make money. Or they amputate limbs for diabetics rather than treat them with drugs. Those are lies, and they are lies designed to make the scapegoats look evil. They are malevolent lies.
Lenin was a first-rate demagogue. That is how he was able to make the transition between community organizer and Glorious Leader of a vast country with tens of millions of people. Lenin raised the art of demagogy to a national and international level, using the international media and the educational systems as instruments of wall-to-wall propaganda.
Anti-Obama protesters have now been described as an "unruly mob" by the media, which are in total hock to Obama. Radical guru Saul Alinsky simply called the American middle class "the enemy." (That would be you and me.).
It's weird for an American president to consider most of the American population "the enemy." This is not like Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neil getting together for drinks after a hard day of political infighting in Washington. This Rahm Emanuel's politics as Kill! Kill! Kill! Alinsky gave radicals the recipe for mob scapegoating, and admitted that yes, it was destructive and cruel, but tough noogies. Alinsky admired tough treatment of enemies, which is why he stayed friends with Frank Nitti, Chicago mobster and therefore a professional killer, drug runner, and career criminal.
Obama has openly said words approaching the famous line from The Untouchables: "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." Alinsky and Capone would have toasted that one. So would Lenin. It strikes me as weird for an American president to think of domestic politics as all-out war -- especially given the reality of real enemies in the world who openly wish us ill.
Claiming absolute power -- even if you don't have it
Michelle Malkin's article in the New York Post quotes Obama's "Pay Czar" as follows:
That is a huge and deliberate violation of Constitutional thought. But claiming infinite powers is common for Obama. That's why he has more than thirty "Czars" -- Emperors -- in the White House, to override Cabinet Department heads, who have to be approved by the Senate. It all descends from the first real power wielder in the history of Marxism, V.I. Lenin.
Never admit you're wrong
According to Wikipedia's article on Lenin,
Obama always blames Republicans, Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush. He has never yet blamed himself.
Obama's Socialism is Leninoid
The Leninoid parallels start with Obama's basic beliefs about the world and about America's role in it. All this is important, because Obama has deliberately fuzzed up his past and his real opinions. His Alinsky connection is well known. But most conservatives don't study the Left, including its most basic beliefs. We don't want to be accused of Red baiting. We don't want to do Red baiting, being decent people. But if the shoe fits, it's not Red baiting. It's just trying to figure who we have in the White House.
Obama is ideologically Leninoid because a lot of the hard Left is that way. As Ralph Peters pointed out in the New York Post, he is basically a radical Leftist circa 1979, when Third World Radicalism was the big thing.
Obama is no original thinker. Once you figure out his core beliefs, that's all you need. The rest is just tactics and ego-tripping, plus a million-dollar smile. Charismatic Leninoidism with a million dollar smile is still what it is.
Obama considers himself a Third World Socialist, like his Kenyan biological father -- which is why he called his first book Dreams From My Father. But Third World Socialism was originally Lenin's idea. It was Lenin who convinced the Left to see the world in terms of a global war between capitalist countries and their colonies. It was Lenin who defined the word "imperialism" for the Left: Imperialism is the exploitation of poor countries by capitalist countries. Only capitalists can be imperialists. Every monstrosity committed by Third World regimes is therefore excusable. Every good deed by a capitalist country deserves a sinister interpretation. Just ask your friends on the Left why the US gives so much foreign aid to poor countries, and does US Navy rescue missions when they have disasters.
The Left is a Manichean creed, always pitting the Children of Light against the Children of Darkness. Psychologically that kind of Light-Against-Dark worldview is considered to be a low-level defense mechanism. It comes from people with fragile egos, and it's a defining feature of something called Borderline Personality Disorder. The basic rule for people with BPD is that they are constantly idealizing some of their relationships and demonizing all the others. Every now and then they flip, and change their current angels into demons. It's impossible to maintain stable relationships with them because eventually everyone is perceived as their enemy. BPD tends to go along with narcissism. When you mix the two, you get enormous grandiosity (as in you-know-who) combined with the very simplest division of all human beings into Good or Evil. Mixed NPD-BPD is the story.
Revolutionaries are very often like that. Karl Marx was always raging at his personal enemies, and of course Marx's Good-vs-Evil division between the bourgeoisie and the workers turned everything into White Hats vs. Black Hats. The whole world divided up very neatly into the people you can hate (because they are objective Evil, of course) and the ones you idealize in the most absurd ways (because they are objectively Good). I have Leftist friends who do exactly the same thing.
Lenin was the same. In his writings he constantly fell into foaming-at-the-mouth abuse of her personal enemies, even in his "theoretical" writing about "world-historical" events:
So were Hitler and Mussolini. They all mixed the egomania and grandiosity of narcissism with the global demonizing characteristic of Borderline Personality Disorder. It's the narcissism that keeps them from falling apart, and it's the love-hate relationships that keep them oriented to other people.
It gets worse. Leninism is malignant, but not just because it divides all of humanity into Good Versus Evil, like some bad spaghetti Western. It gets actively harmful because it is a political program aimed at absolute power -- not just an academic philosophy. Leninism is held by many of the bloody-minded folks on the Left, and that explains a lot about our world. Obama's lifelong quest for power, aided by his buds on the Left, is completely purposeful. Unlike George W. Bush, Obama is not a man who was around politics all his life, decided to go into the oil business, had his ups and downs, and then owned a baseball team; then Governor of Texas and the US president. Obama has been single-mindedly aiming for political power all his adult life, along with his inner circle, because that's what Leninoids do. In Marxist speak, it's a "praxis" (meaning an actual political power game) not just a theory.
Lenin came to power in 1917, sixty years after after Marx and Engels wrote their Communist Manifesto (1848). The industrialized world had changed a lot -- for one thing, the workers in Europe were living better, eating better, and gaining more political power. So Lenin had to change the Marx story. For one thing, the Bolshevik Revolution happened in the wrong place: in Russia in 1917, with a little crucial help from the Kaiser's General Staff. So Lenin got into power with the crucial aid of the Kaiser's capitalists -- not something you want to advertise on the radical Left.
All that was contrary to Marx's "scientific" prediction that the most advanced countries would flip Communist first. Never happened, of course. But Marx couldn't be wrong. Ever. So by 1916 Lenin pulled a quick switch for the One True Faith, in a pamphlet titled "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism." He explained that by then, capitalism had come so close to its inevitable doom that it had to export the proletariat to the colonies. Marx was right all along, of course, except that global capitalism was now parked in London and Berlin and it was exploiting Russia, China, and Africa, who were now the Good Victims.
Sounds fishy, but then we're talking about people with an aching need to believe, believe, believe in a secular Kingdom of God. And Lenin was the Prophet. Today's Left follows Lenin's New Authorized Version of Marx. (As heavily edited and censored by J. Stalin).
That is why the Left has never admitted -- far less apologized for -- the fact that the Soviet Empire engaged in the most brutal imperialism, no matter how many thousands of tanks it sent into Eastern Europe to shoot up civilians in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and East Germany, Afghanistan, Chechnya and Georgia. Moscow could steal all the stuff it wanted from its colonies; it was never really imperialism. Its colonies were never colonies. Communists couldn't exploit anybody, by definition. Stalin, Lenin, and Mao could murder 100 million people in plain view of the Western Left, which just rationalized it to themselves, and lied about it to their home audiences. The Left was soaked in Lenin's labels about the world, and they still are today.
That seems to be why Obama:
1. Keeps apologizing for America whenever he goes abroad.
We tend to think this is a new thing. It's not new at all. It comes straight from Lenin's 1916 pamphlet. America is sinful because it is Imperialist by definition, and everybody else is a Victim, again by definition. Capitalism exploits the Wretched of the Earth, by definition. Even if capitalism bring them Coke and computers and medicines and TV. It doesn't matter. This is one of those fixed beliefs on which evidence has no bearing. It's like J. Wright's definition of middle-class white folks: Slave-holders, every single one. By definition.
Here's an example. It costs the Saudis about a nickel to produce a barrel of oil. That's sold on the world market at fifty bucks, let's say, depending upon supply and demand. That markup from a five cents to fifty dollars may not sound like imperialistic exploitation to you. But according to Lenin -- and all the Leninoids today -- the Saudis are still the Wretched of the Earth. They are the Exploited Workers, only now in colonies -- well, former colonies -- no matter who wealthy and corrupt and jihadist they are in reality. That's why we owe them -- not just apologies but reparations. That's why Obama, in his brief term as a US Senator, sponsored the Global Tax for poor countries.
For Obama it's just a single apology tour; it happens every single time he crosses the border, starting from his Citizens of the World! speech at the Berlin Big Phallic Monument. He just did it again in the meeting with Canada and Mexico. Just watch him keep on doing it. I don't think it's even planned any more. Obama is just so up to his neck in Leftist loathing of America that he has to apologize to every foreigner he meets on the street, like some uncontrollable verbal tic.
2. Because he is a true-believing Leninoid, Obama totally misunderstands the creativity and productivity of free markets, here and abroad.
This is amazing, because it comes down to failing to see things that are right in front of his eyes. It's as if Obama hasn't watched the computer revolution, the internet explosion, the cheapness of medical drugs unimaginable a decade ago, the ongoing biotech revolution, and on and on. He just doesn't grok what's plain and obvious to the rest of the world. He doesn't understand that the astonishing economic rise of India and China happened as soon as they gave up their collectivist delusions, at the end of the Cold War. He doesn't understand how much Indians and Chinese and Arabs and Persians have internalized the productive technologies of the West, and made them their own. He doesn't make those obvious connections. The next time you go to an Indian or Pakistani dentist you can see it right in front of your eyes. Obama denies the obvious implications.
Obama doesn't understand that economic systems are first of all incentive systems: They either reward you to do productive things, or they deprive you of rewards for hard work. Without rewards you stop working. India and China are now rewarding hundreds of millions of their people for doing work, for studying science and technology, and most of all for running successful enterprises. The bitter Soviet joke was "We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us." The factory workers in the USSR knew all about it. Obama doesn't get it. For Obama the Cold War never made any sense, and he doesn't get why Communist economies crumbled, and the capitalist ones kept on getting more and more productive.
This is not to say that Obama is unintelligent. Not at all. You can see Obama's kind of intelligence on every university campus in the world. They teach that kind of blindness there, in just the way the medieval university used to teach Aristotle and Galen, as if nothing new had happened since the ancient Greeks. This is the way Islam is taught today at Al Azhar University in Cairo. The natural home of the Left and all its bloody-minded professors is on university campuses. There they share the same delusional system, because they never get reality feedback the way everyday working Americans get it.
Locked-in belief systems like Obama's are distorting. If you're a Leninoid you naturally block out whatever doesn't fit.
Which is nearly everything.
That's also why Obama:
3. Bowed down deep to the King of Arabia, in front of the world media, a classic submission bow before a paunchy pre-medieval monarch, just like the ones you can see on the walls of Egyptian pyramids from 5,000 years ago. That is what slaves and vassals have always done. It's a universal symbol of submission.
King Abdullah governs a land that whips women for wanting to drive, allows men to beat their wives, tacitly encourages dis-honor murders of teenage girls for flirting with boys, chops off body parts as a routine punishment, exports Islamist radicalism -- more deadly than the Swine Flu -- stamps out any other religion on its territory, and, most outrageous of all, still keeps slaves from Africa and South-East Asia in involuntary servitude.
And yet, Obama must show reverence in front of the whole world to King Abdullah, because Arabia was once a colony of the West. That is consistent with his Leninoid beliefs. Imperialism -- capitalism, free markets, electoral democracy -- is capital b Bad. Anti-Imperialists are Good, no matter how horrifically they behave. Notice that Obama hasn't said a word in recent weeks about daily terrorist mass murders of innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and, of course, Iran. This White House doesn't see those things as crimes. It's not just their PR front. This is what they believe.
That is why the War on Terror doesn't make any sense to Obama; terror is the weapon of Anti-Imperialist warfare. Who cares if innocent women and children are targeted to be killed, or brainwashed from childhood to murder people? You can't make an omelet without breaking a couple of eggs. You can't blame Anti-Imperialists for using their only really useful weapon for world revolution. Kenya's Mau Mau drove out the Brits by slaughtering isolated farm families in particularly gory ways. That's just how the Good Guys have to act sometimes. The media all understand that. That's why they always blame the civilized side in any conflict. The new president of South Africa was just elected with the campaign song, "Bring me my machine gun!" Nobody in the West said a word. Certainly Obama didn't. He just sent Hillary to Africa.
So now American and British soldiers are dying in Afghanistan for the sake of a Temporary Overseas Contingency. This is not a War on Terror any more. Britain's Foreign Minister David Miliband just explained how terror can be justifiable -- meaning the willful killing of civilians, as in the London Underground bombing of 2007. Miliband is another one, of course.
So the West is now abandoning centuries of its highest moral values in the fight against barbarism. We are blaming the Bush Administration for three cases of CIA waterboarding of major terror killers captured in battle, in the face of clear and immediate threats to our nation -- and we are excusing endless throat cutting and bombing by the same Islamo-fascists against innocent civilians. Because, you see, terrorism is in the eyes of the beholder. It's ok for them to do it because we are the Imperialists.
This is all Lenin's dose of poison, still flowing freely in the--- veins of the Left. Nothing is as toxic as a really bad idea.
2. The day before Obama's Big Bow to King Abdullah, the President of the United States and First Lady went out of their way to publicly diss Queen Elizabeth II and fellow-socialist PM Gordon Brown. Because Britain was the colonial power that governed Kenya until fifty years ago. It's a sort of family vendetta. The fact that all that ended five decades ago means nothing. This is their faith; it doesn't change.
3. This is why Obama couldn't figure out that Honduras dictator-to-be Manuel Zelaya got thrown out by constitutional means; in fact, both Obama and Hillary just thought it was a Colonels' Coup against a democratically elected president, just like the old days. Anybody who read the papers knew it was Zelaya who was trying to conduct a violent coup against Honduras' elected leadership, but they just couldn't figure it out. What's wrong with a Leninist revolution anyway? Hugo made it work just fine in Caracas. Fidel is the model. Now the Left is really worried that Venezuelans and Nicaraguans might figure out that they can throw out their dictators by legal means. They're fervently hoping that all this constitutionalism doesn't spread.
It took the administration weeks and weeks to figure out the obvious, and by that time they had taken the wrong side -- anti-democratic, anti-legal, anti-constitutional. That's because they never quite got all this fuss about the Constitution. They still don't, obviously.
So Obama views the world through the eyes of Lenin -- not 100 percent, because Obama is not the boss of Russia in 1917. They are not identical, any more than you and I are identical to the people who inspired us. But the resemblances are undeniable.