Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Malice and Incompetence

From Jerry Pournelle:

I don't think there's much doubt about the objectives of President Obama and the intellectuals who generate his philosophical principles. They were all pretty clear during the campaign. Obama sat in Wright's church for nearly twenty years, he worked for Acorn and is proud of it, and he made it pretty clear that he considered spreading the wealth around a good idea. His foreign policy is derived from liberal left principles, his policies come straight out of academic socialist theory, and he has never made any secret of his distaste for federalism and states rights. Some of this was obscured by campaign rhetoric, but none of it was hidden.

It's probably true that most of those who voted for him didn't see it that way. After all, Obama was part of the Chicago machine, and that's politics. It's all politics, politicians don't really mean what they say anyway, and he was the candidate of Hope and Change. Besides, did you expect us to vote for the Creeps who spent like drunken sailors, expanded government in all fields except regulation, gave us TSA which may or may not have made us safer (surely there were better ways?) but certainly made us understand that we are subjects, not citizens, brought us Abramoff, and presided over the Great Recession. Obama may at bottom have been a hard socialist masking his views in clouds of rhetoric, but that wasn't really obvious, and what a great way to rid the country of the residual guilt of slavery! Obama was clean and articulate and didn't have an accent unless he wanted to, he could make a great speech, and --

In the cold light of the months after the inauguration it became apparent that Obama meant every word and implication of his remark about spreading the wealth around, and he intended to use his office, and the super majority the election of Al Franken gave him, to implement as much of the Acorn program as possible. He gave press conferences, then discontinued them for political reasons. He made speech after speech, continuing the campaign, and the speeches were more and more dictated by the academic leftists of which he has always been a part. It wasn't so much that a mask of centrism slipped, as that it became clear that it was never all that firmly affixed in the first place. Obama is a liberal socialist and always has been.

So the question becomes, is liberal socialist democracy evil or incompetent, or just plain wrong?

Are political opponents evil or wrongheaded? Are Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, both Liberal Democrats, part of a malicious conspiracy? Their objectives are pretty clear and plain. If Liberal Democracy is a conspiracy, it hasn't done much of a job of hiding its objectives. They've been clear since the days of Beatrice and Sydney Webb. So have their tactics: there is no enemy to the left. Solidarity forever. The union makes us strong. George Bernard Shaw was aware of Stalin's starvation tactics and the Ukraine famine, but chose not to say anything about it because Solidarity was a guiding principle. So were many others, for the same reasons. Being a communist fellow traveler was quite fashionable among intellectuals. It took the Hitler Stalin Pact to break the subservience of American intellectuals to the Popular Front, and even then many stayed with the communists. Recall Fred Pohl: An intellectual friend, well known in science fiction circles of 1940, brought the news of the Fall of Paris to the Germans to Fred and other editors.

"He bought us wine, held up his glass, and proposed a toast: "To the liberation of the bourgeois capital by the people's forces of socialism." I drank his lousy wine. But it lay sour in my stomach while I brooded in my office all that day."

Was that incompetence or malice? Was it incompetence or malice to drink the lousy wine and brood?

I do believe that socialism is entirely antithetical to the Constitution of 1789 as Amended. For a very long time the Supreme Court of the United States believed that as well. Now the Court is divided on the subject. A majority of the Congress is held by a party that doesn't purport to believe in socialism, but which elects a leadership that enacts laws based on the socialist philosophy. Government ought to take care of people. Government should spread the wealth around. You are entitled to benefits not because of your virtues, and the wealthy are obligated to pay for your entitlements. It's their duty and your right.

Is it malice to believe that? I would say a great many of the academics in these United States believe it, and many more do not dare dispute it because those who do believe it make it dangerous for anyone in academia to dispute the consensus. Are they all malicious? They certainly believe that those who oppose them are malicious.

And of course it's not all that clear cut to begin with. Most of those who voted for Obama didn't believe that he believed all the tenets of academic Liberal Socialist Democracy. Are all those who voted for him malicious? Is it malice to be seduced into hoping that Hope and Change were real, especially given the past history of the Creeps who were in charge?

Liberal Socialism is wrongheaded. I think its end results are terrible. It's also seductive. Most Liberals I know believe they have good intentions, and that so long as they have good intentions they cannot be called malicious or evil.

I believe that the upcoming election is the most important election in decades, and that its effects will be felt for decades to come. What's at stake are the very principles of this nation. Surely that's clear enough? Clearly I believe that those who voted in this government were mistaken. I want those people back on our side. (emphasis mine-SP).

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