Obama-Style Socialism

David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine,Ramparts. He is the author, with Peter Collier, of three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987). Looking back in anger at their days in the New Left, he and Collier wrote Destructive Generation (1989), a chronicle of their second thoughts about the 60s that has been compared to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and other classic works documenting a break from totalitarianism. Horowitz examined this subject more closely in Radical Son (1996), a memoir tracing his odyssey from “red-diaper baby” to conservative activist that George Gilder described as “the first great autobiography of his generation.”

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Jonah Goldberg has written an important article in Commentary on what he calls the “neo-socialism” of the Obama administration. I like this label. It is both accurate and more palatable than the term “neo-communism” which I have applied to the hard left. But given the twenty-year political partnership between a neo-Communist like Billy Ayers and Obama, and Obama’s coterie of Communist Party mentors and allies, it is at bottom a distinction without a difference.

Neo-socialists are fellow travelers of neo-Communists and  vice-versa. The real division in the modern world is between totalitarians and libertarians, and pivot of this division is the inherent conflict between liberty and equality. Since people are born unequal (in talent, capability, brain power and physical beauty and prowess) and since they develop unequally through circumstance, the only way to make them equal is to take away everyone’s liberty. And of course this will not make them equal because those who get to decide who is made equal and at what pace constitute a new and oppressing ruling class.

This truth is the focus of Federalist Paper #10 and is enshrined in the Constitution which is why every leftist is at war with it and is dedicated to rewriting it. So-called progressives are the 21st Century’s true reactionaries who have failed to learn the lessons of the most horrific social experiment ever inflicted on the human race which murdered 100 million people and destroyed the lives of billions. The term “neo-socialism” attaches them to that awful legacy and serves as a warning to present and future generations of the price that will be paid to achieve “social justice” and also of the fact that the pursuit “social justice” is an evil fantasy which can never be realized.

I have two quibbles with Jonah’s excellent piece. First, it was Rousseau (in The Social Contract)  not Babeuf who identified private property as the root of all evil. Second, “social justice” is not a milder socialist impulse — it is in fact a code for communism in the hardest sense. Hayek wrote a brilliant book called The Mirage of Social Justice which argued that 1) there is no such entity as “society” which distributes wealth. Hence the call for social justice is simply a mask — a fake rationale — for distributing wealth politically and thus arrogating to one political faction totalitarian control of everyone else.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/GaryRumain Gary Rumain

    So was he a community organizer or communist agitator?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Stephen_Brady Stephen_Brady

    Gary, there really isn't a difference.

    My favorite quote from Federalist #10 is, "… liberty is to faction what air is to fire”. Madison argued that you could have a completely homogeneous society but taking away liberty, but that was not desirable. This is why he was in favor of the Republic, and not a direct democracy.

    And this is why the DEMs want the Constitution to be a "living document". They must destroy liberty, and establish an absolute democracy … in other words, a government which purports to rule by the will of the people but is actually dominated by radicals who know best what the people need. They've been out to destroy the Constitution since I was a little boy, back in the 1950's.

    There really isn't a difference between community organizer and communist agitator.

  • Jim C.

    "No such entity as society" Well, that's a walloping big assertion to stomach if you're going to buy the rest of the claptrap.

    I am aware that "social justice" has become the silly new buzzword for conservatives to fear, in the long, long, long list of Things Conservatives Fear. So what's the flipside of social justice? "Liberty?" Not hardly; more like pure, unadulterated power–the strong over the weak.

    • So Cal Mike

      Anyone willing to use the phrase "social justice" with a straight face is either an idiot or a liar.
      Ask 1000 people what the term means and get ready to write 1000 different answers.
      That's why con men and dictators love it so much as do useful idiots.
      Jim C. if I were you, I'd go back to where you were brainwashed and stupified and demand a refund FAST.

      • Jim C.

        Then that's a lot of Catholics you just disparaged, since "social justice" is an explicit plank in Catholic teaching.

        • Jackie Klunk

          Social justice in the Catholic faith is vastly different than the social justice espoused by the progressive. In terms of faith, it refers to VOLUNTARY efforts to help those who are having difficulties (not just financial). For progressives, it means TAKING from those that the progressives feel have too much, and transferring whatever they decide is "just" to whomever they think is deserving–that's Marxism. So don't cloud the argument by accusing poser of disparaging us Catholics. Most of us are smart enough to know the distinction.

  • http://www.intellectualconservative.com Steven Laib

    A living document, which means that it means what they want it to mean, when they want it to mean it. Or, more concisely, it has no meaning at all; it is rule by men, not laws.

  • http://www.intellectualconservative.com Steven Laib

    Wouldn't "social justice" more properly be making sure that everyone is able to keep what they honestly earn, and is free from that actions of foreign and domestic enemies? I always thought so.

    • rib/eve

      First of all my dear liberal, switch the brain on, before you write anything in public.

      Democrats just utter some fluffy words to make you feel that everyone will prosper and like a fool you believe it! Did you ever give one minute of consideration to the depth of oppression the government will have to deal out to make everybody "equal"?

      Yes, I would like to be the arbitrator of who decides what is fair for you, and you and you. And like a just arbitrator I'm going to start with Steven because you opened your yap first and loudest! Now lets see what you've got! What nifty things do you have that we need to distribute?

  • voted against carter

    It's ALL PART OF THE PLAN.
    Can we say "Cloward-Piven Strategy," http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.a
    Other wise known as the Alinsky solution. http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/communism/alinsky….
    End game reveled: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Iz3VjoHXLA&fe

    And If you disagree with me, you must be a homophobic, BABY EATING CANNIBAL, NUT JOB RACIST!" So there.

    • trickyblain

      No, your none of those things. But you do cite to a website that's written by hacks, so I won't be calling you "smart," either.

  • PAthena

    See Plato's REPUBLIC, with the scale of characters and constitutions. The tyrant is at the bottom. He comes to power with promises of "soak the rich," and is described in detail in Bk. IX. (He arises from the democracy unguided by the love of wisdom.) President Obama and his friends, like Bill Ayers and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, fit this description.
    David Hume, INQUIRY CONCERNING THE PRINCIPLES OF MORALS, ch. "On Justice," describes in a few paragraphs what would happen to a state governed by the principle of equality of property – and describes Communism succinctly.

  • Thunder

    that's liberalism!!!! Kill babies, don't jail cop killers or border patrol agent killers, etc……
    Liberalism is a mental disorder.
    Red rugs like Wash post are washed :) America is getting awaken. Good.

  • Halliburton

    Guess you're afraid of democracy, dude.

    • So Cal Mike

      Hal,
      Let's vote on if it's ok to eat your family or you.
      Or perhaps we can just vote to make you slaves because we "need to stop global warming."
      Or even better, let's vote to decide if it's permissible to eat cheese on Sunday or wear white socks on Saturday.
      Let's vote.
      How much faith and confidence do you really have in the outcome of voting?
      Up to some point THAT TRULY INVOLVES COLLECTIVE INTEREST WE SHOULD VOTE but so much private SPECIAL INTEREST gets put before the citizens in the name of the public interest, this process needs to be limited to truly public interests.
      On top of that, our politicians and news writers have mastered the language of promoting the "public interest" as their own that fewer than 8 or 9 out of 10 can actually discern which is which.
      today an ambitious liar can simply claim to care about health, the environment, children, endgangered species or people and 9 out of 10 are lost like a free safety on a good juke.
      See Ya!

      • Jim C.

        You know, a lot of those people you disparage gave us the safe food, clean air, safe water, safe medicine, national parks, child labor laws, workplace safety regs, 8 hour work days…shall I go on?

        There IS such a thing as the "public interest" but it seems conservatives will go to any length to deny it. Why?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Stephen_Brady Stephen_Brady

    Was that addressed to me?

    We live in a democratic Republic. We do not live in a democracy. If you are of the opinion that everyone in the country should have a direct vote on every issue that comes before the nation, then you're right? I'm afraid of the direct democracy, which is code for mob rule. Direct democracies … and there haven't been many of them, for obvious reasons … carry within themselves the seeds of their own failure.

    We are a democracy in that we allow people to vote on those who will represent them in the government. That is Constitutional, and makes sense to me. I'm not afraid of or opposed to that kind of democracy.

    BTW, I'm 61. Are you sure you want to call me "dude"?

    • Jim C.

      My problem, Stephen, is this:

      Indeed we vote for our representatives in government.

      Then we are told "government is not the solution; government is the problem." But I just voted for the guy! I can discern whether he's acting in my interests, or my notion of the public interest–and if not, I vote against him next time. So isn't goverment "the problem" simply because my interests conflict with your interests, democratically, and not for some unalterable ideal of "government=bad?"

  • Stuart (Austin, TX)

    Jim C. — It's not a "silly NEW buzzword," dipshit. Conservatives who prize liberty have been aware of the "social justice" canard for generations. You statists lack the imagination to develop a strategy that works in the real world. So instead you just keep serving up the same old "tried and genocide" programmes.

    • Jim C.

      Right. And your imaginative plan is "Nothing to see here; I got mine!"

  • Halliburton

    If you voted against Carter, you voted against the only administration of his time that refused to condone torture. That makes you a direct proponent of torture

  • Liberty-Clinger

    "Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights (along with the majority), which equal laws must protect…" Thomas Jefferson – First Inaugural Address
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/jefinau1….

  • Liberty-Clinger

    A Democracy will inevitably devolve into a tyranny of the majority – a majority intent on subjugating any convenient minority – a majority coveting the property of the minority. The Founding Fathers rejected Democracy in favor of a Representative Constitutional Republic. This video explains the difference between Democracy and Republic, and the difference between "Right" and "Left."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODJfwa9XKZQ

  • Judahlevi

    Conservatives do not "fear" any term or phrase. They are passionate about defending their freedoms. Social justice, which can be interpreted as "equal outcomes," is a false premise designed purely as a power play. We all know that there can be no such thing as "equal outcomes" without the state using police power to strip you of earnings you created to give to those who did not have the creativity, work ethic, or ambition to create their own.

    Capitalism does not reward the "strong" it rewards the creative. To use the terms "strong" and "weak" is a pathetic attempt at pity, a tactic used by those who cannot reason an argument so they attempt to distort any subject by some messy emotionalism. If that is the extent of your mind, please spare us any further discussions.

    • Jim C.

      Not at all. I understand that not everyone is equal and that our country still holds the largest possibility of social mobility. Capitalism works best as an economic system because it is most analogous to nature. But, just like nature, the strong prey on the weak. That is why capitalism needs to be regulated, and why government needs to keep business–specifically, large corporations, in check. But they haven't been, because those corporations have bought the best access. Conservatives, willingly or unwillingly, have become the "useful idiots" for corporate interests.

    • Jim C.

      Not at all. I understand that not everyone is equal and that our country still holds the largest possibility of social mobility. Capitalism works best as an economic system because it is most analogous to nature. But, just like nature, the strong prey on the weak. That is why capitalism needs to be regulated, and why government needs to keep business–specifically, large corporations, in check. But they haven't been, because those corporations have bought the best access. Conservatives, willingly or unwillingly, have become the "useful idiots" for corporate interests.

  • Liberty-Clinger

    Natural equal rights (life, liberty, creative pursuit of happiness including labored-for private property) secured by equal law naturally leads to unequal outcomes – some people are smarter and some work harder. This is American Revolutionary Equality; and guess what – you are free because equal rights and equal law makes everyone free.

    Unnatural inequality of rights and unequal law is required to deliver unnatural equal property outcome. This is French/Marxist Revolutionary Equality; and guess what – you are not free because unequal rights and law binds down the creative laborer. It also turns out that the whole Marxist scheme requires collectivization of labored-for property. Those in charge of the pot are – as the Pigs of Animal Farm – "More Equal Than Others" – Superior in rights – Superior before law – Superior in property.

    Wake up and make your choice: American Equality or Marxist Equality.

  • rib/eve

    I'm sure we won't agree on what is torture

  • Liberty-Clinger

    The word equal in the American Declaration of Independence refers to natural equal rights and equal application of just law securing those rights; not unnatural forced equal social and economic outcome. Forced equality of outcome represents social-engineering empowered by the injustice of unequal rights and inequality before law; leading to excessive collectivization of some people’s labored-for property – into the communal hands of self-serving Marxist-type government – which “re-distributes” that property to the labor-challenged in return for votes. All individuals are endowed with equal unalienable rights to life, liberty and labored-for property, and to equality before equal rights securing law – all men and women made equal in value and rights by the Creator and Great Equalizer – and all, except for the disabled, should therefore be taxed equally. If man is not made in the image of God then some will become, as in Animal Farm, “more equal than others” – a new elite ruling class of not-to-be-equalized equalizers – legal superiority based on unequal rights and unequal law. Equal rights and equal law is the essence of justice; unequal rights and unequal law is the essence of tyranny.

  • http://www.mitchell-langbert.blogspot.com Mitchell Langbert

    It was Plato who first argued for the abolition of private property (and private marriages and children). See Karl Popper, Open Society and Its Enemies I: Plato. Aristotle was not the first to argue for plurality and flexibility in states, but his argument against Plato's emphasis on unity in society (totalitarianism, in other words) is among the first arguments against the totalitarian creeds.

  • http://maxentropy.squarespace.com Bruce

    "There IS such a thing as the "public interest" but it seems conservatives will go to any length to deny it. Why?"

    There is no definition of 'public interest' or 'social justice'. These are infinitely elastic phrases which can mean anything. That's why.