Obama's Leninism

Vladimir Lenin coined the term “Democratic Centralism” in order to describe what he considered to be Bolshevik “bipartisanship.”  In his famous book What Is To Be Done? Lenin worried that left to themselves, the proletariat would never achieve the kind of “revolutionary consciousness” required to overthrow the capitalist system.  Therefore a “vanguard” of socialist intellectuals like Lenin and Trotsky were needed in order to instill the proper “consciousness” into the mentally challenged masses.

“Democratic Centralism” was Lenin’s way of insuring that individuals within the Bolshevik party could “openly” and “democratically” discuss proposals that came down from the intellectual vanguard.  The “centralism” however insured that once a decision was made by “consensus” there could be no deviating from the party line during the implementation of the particular proposal.

In time, “Democratic Centralism” came to mean what everything eventually meant in Lenin’s universe: my way or the highway.  “Bipartisanship” for example meant discussing different viewpoints within the party as long as they didn’t reflect “bourgeois consciousness.”  In short, Lenin, like President Obama it seems, claimed “I won” and would only entertain a certain “politically correct” form of bipartisanship.

Obama’s recent frustrations and impatience over the “Stimulus Bill” have less to do with his claims of “catastrophe” and “crisis” and much more, it seems to me, to do with his breathtaking inexperience in a true marketplace of ideas.  And just where was Obama supposed to learn how to debate?  In liberal academia?  From his “adversarial” minions in the press? Community organizing?

The Founding Fathers divided the American government against itself so that, according to James Madison, “ambition is made to check ambition.”  The purpose was to preserve our freedom and make it impossible for leaders to frighten and manipulate the citizens into accepting rash and precipitous proposals.  The cost may be a certain clumsiness in reacting to pressing social issues, but the benefit is twofold: a healthy debate from each branch of government, and the knowledge that the Constitution remains the final arbiter, not fallible men who claim “I won.”


Vladimir Lenin coined the term “Democratic Centralism” in order to describe what he considered to be Bolshevik “bipartisanship.”  In his famous book What Is To Be Done? Lenin worried that left to themselves, the proletariat would never achieve the kind of “revolutionary consciousness” required to overthrow the capitalist system.  Therefore a “vanguard” of socialist intellectuals like Lenin and Trotsky were needed in order to instill the proper “consciousness” into the mentally challenged masses.

“Democratic Centralism” was Lenin’s way of insuring that individuals within the Bolshevik party could “openly” and “democratically” discuss proposals that came down from the intellectual vanguard.  The “centralism” however insured that once a decision was made by “consensus” there could be no deviating from the party line during the implementation of the particular proposal.

In time, “Democratic Centralism” came to mean what everything eventually meant in Lenin’s universe: my way or the highway.  “Bipartisanship” for example meant discussing different viewpoints within the party as long as they didn’t reflect “bourgeois consciousness.”  In short, Lenin, like President Obama it seems, claimed “I won” and would only entertain a certain “politically correct” form of bipartisanship.

Obama’s recent frustrations and impatience over the “Stimulus Bill” have less to do with his claims of “catastrophe” and “crisis” and much more, it seems to me, to do with his breathtaking inexperience in a true marketplace of ideas.  And just where was Obama supposed to learn how to debate?  In liberal academia?  From his “adversarial” minions in the press? Community organizing?

The Founding Fathers divided the American government against itself so that, according to James Madison, “ambition is made to check ambition.”  The purpose was to preserve our freedom and make it impossible for leaders to frighten and manipulate the citizens into accepting rash and precipitous proposals.  The cost may be a certain clumsiness in reacting to pressing social issues, but the benefit is twofold: a healthy debate from each branch of government, and the knowledge that the Constitution remains the final arbiter, not fallible men who claim “I won.”