Friday, July 4, 2008

Is Barack Obama a Marxist?

Marx·ism (märk-ˌsi-zəm) noun: the political, economic, and social principles and policies advocated by Marx; especially : a theory and practice of socialism including the labor theory of value, dialectical materialism, the class struggle, and dictatorship of the proletariat until the establishment of a classless society.
- Merriam Webster

It has become fashionable for some conservatives and libertarians who don't like Barack Obama to call him a "communist" or a "Marxist." Alan Keyes got the ball rolling during his pathetic 2004 run for the U.S. Senate when he called Obama a "hard core academic Marxist." Last month, disgraced former congressman Tom DeLay declared that "unless he proves me wrong, he is a Marxist." There's even a web site, (I'm not going to link), that sells Soviet-style fur hats with Obama's name and a hammer and sickle.

So what has Obama done to deserve the Marxist label? Keyes, DeLay and CommieObama don't go into any detail. Nor do the occasional comments on this blog that make the same accusation. The Canada Free Press newspaper actually does try to make the case for Obama being a communist in a lengthy article - titled "Is Barack Obama a Marxist Mole?" - that's a popular link for conservative and libertarian bloggers. So what did the Free Press come up with in the way of evidence? Obama is friends with some socialists, including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. He has admitted attending "socialist conferences" in his youth. One of his good friends was a member of the Communist Party in the 1940s. A few communists have said nice things about Obama.

That's it? That's all you've got? Over 4,000 words and no evidence, just some innuendo and tenuous connections? This is pathetic.

Obama has proposed cutting taxes for the middle class. He's the favorite candidate of Wall Street, destroying John McCain in donations from this group. Capitalists from Warren Buffett to Paul Volcker are supporting him. This isn't exactly a candidacy that I can see Karl Marx getting behind.

Does Obama want more government involvement in health care and more regulation to protect the environment? He does (as do George W. Bush and John McCain, respectively). Obama is a center-left politician thoroughly within the American mainstream, who also has some libertarian tendencies. If this makes someone a communist, than the word has no meaning any more. Anyone who calls Obama a communist is either misinformed, dishonest or delusional. Or maybe they just have no respect for the English language.

"A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts."
- George Orwell, Politics and the English Language


Katrinka Yobotz said...

Well, is he? Let's see.
Empty statements containing the words hope, change, and progress are exactly what Marxist use to bamboozle people into unwittingly supporting left wing dictators.
Marxism - the political, economic, and social principles and policies advocated by Marx; especially a theory and practice of socialism.
Socialism - any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods; a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done; a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.
Communism - a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably.
Obama wants a classless society. Obama's attempt to control healthcare is socialistic. Excessive regulation on industry is tending towards socialism. Obama supports the right of the government to cease private property, such as is the case with emminent domain. Obama's goal is a classless society where wealth is distributed equally, and everyone will supposedly live at some median level. How is that a message of hope for the people living above that level now?

Mark said...

"Obama's goal is a classless society where wealth is distributed equally, and everyone will supposedly live at some median level."

If you have any evidence of this, I would like to see it.

Marc Joffe said...

While I agree that Obama is better than McCain, and don't think he's a Marxist, we should recognize that his economic policies are both disappointing from a free market perspective and bad for the long term growth of the US economy.

Among Obama's core policy perscriptions are the restoration of the 39.6% tax bracket (reduced to 35% under Bush) and the imposition of social security taxes on wages above $250,000.

If implemented, these two policies will result in marginal income tax rates upwards of 60% for near affluent taxpayers in high cost, high tax states such as California, New York and New Jersey.

These workers could respond by retiring early, working less or deferring income to avoid such confiscatory tax rates. This will reduce growth and government revenues.

Anonymous said...

Good grief just listen to his speeches!

They are taken from the communist manifesto, one world government agenda of the UN.

Get a clue and stop writing this Obamatard trash won't you? And if you do, please leave Ron Paul's name out of it.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should be aware of the irony that the most vehement neocons such as Keyes and DeLay call Obama a "Marxist" or "Communist" when the neoconservatives are the REAL commies!

While Obama is definitely not a Marxist or communist, is he a socialist? Perhaps, that depends on how you define socialism. Barack Obama is a Keynesian, and guess what, so is John McCain. Both of the major parties are Keynesian. Thus if you stretch the definition of "socialism" to include all Keynesian economics (which would include mainline social democracy, welfare systems, progressive taxes, fascist economics, corporatism, deficit spending, etc.), then Obama is a "socialist," but so are most Republicans. The Democrats and GOP are both Keynesian parties, the difference being a matter of degree, not species, with Democrats being slightly more Keynesian and Republicans slightly less.

As a matter of fact, the neo-liberal Democrats moved well to the right of FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society economic platforms, while the neo-conservative Republicans moved somewhat to the left of Reagan's supply-side economics. Bill Clinton was more fiscally conservative than either George Bush!

The main difference between Obama and McCain is not so much their overall stance towards big government, but their choice of big government. Barack Obama would raise taxes, but McCain would increase deficit spending. (At least Barack may reduce the debt.) Obama emphasizes the "welfare state" while McCain emphasizes the "warfare state." This might make Obama seem more to the left, but remember that the military budget is disproportionately oversized.

Might Obama be a socialist in any other sense? If so, he is at worst a social democrat of the Fabian variety. John McCain, on the other hand, is a doctrinaire neoconservative. As such he is a Trotskyite whether he realizes it or not. The neoconservatives have Trotskyism in their pedigree.

Please see the following link:

(Incidentally, from the Washington Post, a paper said to have a neoconservative tilt.)

Neo-conservatism is basically a fusion of the ideology of the fascist Leo Strauss and the bolshevik Leon Trotsky. Former left-liberals adhering to this reactionary repackaging of Trotsky led the revival of the neo-mercantilist faction of the Republican Party associated with the Progressive Era.

The leftward shift in the GOP is not a mere reorientation. The neo-cons are partly of Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyist background, so this should come as no surprise.

Your choices are Barack Obama, a Fabian (at worst), or John McCain, a Marxist. When Communism comes to this country it will arrive as anti-communism.