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Obama isn’t a socialist, he’s worse: A fascist

Published: Wed, June 13, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a ”socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.

Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous — something that Barack Obama avoids like the plague.

Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the “greed” of the insurance companies.

Political ploy

The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.

One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.

Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely — and correctly — regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg’s great book ”Liberal Fascism” cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left’s embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.

Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced themselves from fascism and its Nazi offshoot — and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling their opponents with these pariahs.

What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We the People...”

‘Living constitution’

That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution’s limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges’ new interpretations, based on notions of “a living Constitution” that will take decisions out of the hands of ”We the People,” and transfer those decisions to our betters.

The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences.

Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists. So long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Distributed by Creators Syndicate.


1Photoman(1101 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

OMG!!! In The Vindicator????

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2Education_Voter(1014 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Take it easy Photoman. It's Thomas Sowell, who gets paid by the Hoover Foundation to spread Republican propaganda.
Get it, the HOOVER foundation.

Republicans used this name-calling bull-huddy in 2008. Actually come to think of it, every election. No good candidate? Okay, call the Democrat a Nazi. It's good for covering the floor of a birdcage.

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3saddad(647 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

At least he acknowledges that the Nazis were righties not lefties. Which is something Americans seem incapable of understanding. And today as then the greater danger of fascist politics succeeding is in the success of the right not the left.

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4VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

He has really let us down. He promised so many changes during his election campaign, such as reducing our debt, working with Congress and lowering unemployment, but we are seeing just the opposite.

Most disturbing to me is, he appears to be arogant in his belief that his way is the best way and no other option is open for discussion. This attitude is a real threat to democracy as we know it.

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5Silence_Dogood(1555 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

"At least he acknowledges that the Nazis were righties not lefties"
All along I thought it was the National SOCIALIST Party. When were the history books re-written.

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6gwscience1(7 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Will the Vindicator explain why it even printed this inflammatory and inaccurate piece? The 20th century paradigm that worked as we became dominant in the world economy was a mix of government and private sector functions. Government plays an umpire role. That's where Obama is - in the middle of the political spectrum functioning during his lifetime. With people shrugging and mouthing "BS" when these guys screamed "socialist!" they need to trot out "fascist" - a word with much freight in modern American history - for the "think with our brain stems" crowd. Anti-war demonstrators called Nixon a fascist (I guess he did sign the Environmental Protection Act of 1970 and similar legislation and tried price controls). How about the Vindy try to keep the debate at the level of facts?

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7saddad(647 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Wow is right silence dogood!! Now I understand why so many are confused. It is because they dont have any real knowledge with which they can avoid simplistic and incorrect assessments.

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