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News & Politics News & Politics

How Obama's ideals are not Socialist

Posted by on Jun. 14, 2012 at 8:34 PM
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2 moms liked this

As per Asfriend's request. 

Honestly, since I do not personally know the man, I don't know with 100% certainty if he is or isn't a socialist. He very well could be. But then that would make him an even bigger hypocrite than he already is. For a politician. 

So here we go. 

Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society. Modern socialism originated in the late nineteenth-century working class. Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution, it being the transitional stage between capitalism and communism.

It should be noted that Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that the wealthy need to pay more in taxes (higher rate) than the middle class, an opinion that John McCain shared as well during the 2008 campaign. It could be argued that this is a form of "class warfare" (I hate using this phrase because it cheapens what war really truly is.) pitting the middle class against the upper class. President Obama's tax plan and Senator McCain's tax plan involved tax credits that would give money to those who pay no federal income taxes (these individuals still pay FICA taxes, sales taxes, state income taxes (where applicable) and excise taxes). 

Class warfare is a very vague term and has been over used. Along with the "war on women/poverty/drugs/Christmas". Complaining about the increasing plight and contraction of the middle class is not a feature of Marxist criticism. Marx viewed the middle-classes (bourgeois) as in coalition with older aristocratic and privileged classes against the producers (workers). Marx was all about the people at the bottom of the totem pole. Obama (along with most politicians) tend to cow tow to the middle class for votes since the middle class does tend to vote more than the poor and working class. 

Also Marxism requires allegiance to some form of dialectical (this is an academic word meaning that there are connections between different things on different levels, such as interconnecting oppression) materialist understanding of history. In this view, all society is in a struggle for control of the social surplus and its use. This conflict cannot be ended until a revolution brings those who produce the material needs of society into control of that society. This is why reforms that merely reinforce capitalist divisions of society into laborers, owners, and managers cannot be viewed as Marxist. Marxist was all about the working class rising up with weapons and using it against the upper classes. To force them through violence to share the resources that came through their labor. I personally am a pacifist and I do not think this is necessary. One time I was part of a socialist group at my school and one of the members said that a violent revolution was the only way any of their ideas could be achieved. I left that group and never went back. I will never take part in committing physical violence against another person. That's not who I am. 

To my knowledge, and correct me if I am wrong, President Obama has ever claimed that workers must be allowed take control of factories and begin directing production towards the real needs of society as a whole. Or that property and capital is the root cause for division and inequality in America. If he did, that would make him a Marxist.

Also, at the beginning of this post I gave a standard definition of Socialism. However, that's not the case for all socialists. I personally do not completely ascribe to Marx. Many Socialists do. He had some really good ideas but I could never bring myself to consider armed conflict as a viable option to change our society for the better. If anything, it would make it so much worse. The socialist group I belonged to at my school before I became part of the Democratic Socialists of Chicago had sever issues with another socialist group called The Socialist Vanguard. To the point where actual fights broke out when the two groups would attend protests. I never really understood why there was such animosity. Also, a great deal of socialist beliefs stem from solidarity. To support each other. To be there for each other enmass. That we are all in this together and we're all willing to do what it takes to make this world a better place for the poorest of the poor and the marginalized and exploited workers. Getting into fights with other socialist groups for whatever reason seemed counter intuitive. *sigh*

So, that's my own opinion on why Obama is not a socialist. I'll never know for sure though, since I'll probably never get to know him well enough to find out for sure how he personally feels. 


by on Jun. 14, 2012 at 8:34 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Carpy
by Platinum Member on Jun. 14, 2012 at 8:59 PM
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To my knowledge, and correct me if I am wrong, President Obama has ever claimed that workers must be allowed take control of factories and begin directing production towards the real needs of society as a whole. Or that property and capital is the root cause for division and inequality in America. If he did, that would make him a Marxist.


Must I remind you of GM and they payback to the unions?

And yes, property and capital are in his mind root causes, you can see that in much of his thinking and the class warfare he promotes.

Carpy
by Platinum Member on Jun. 14, 2012 at 9:00 PM

And my question to you would be, what means of enforcement to a Marxist/socialist type system do you think would need to be employed?  We already know what means other countries have used in the past.

imagirlgeek
by Bronze Member on Jun. 14, 2012 at 9:12 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to write this up.  I am not a socialist, but I have been so curious about it.  It's very difficult to find consistant information online, so to get some information from someone who is a Socialist is interesting.  As far as Obama, I don't know where he stands.  He appears to me to play both sides of the fence.  In a speech, he'll bash corporations, and then we find out he's extending tax dollars to prop them up.  He trashed the wars we were in, then we find out he's got a kill list.  It's just so strange that the words and actions don't match.  I don't get it.

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You don't have to be judgmental and be like "Oh, he's using his freedom the wrong way!  I want him to use his freedom the way I use my freedom!"  You can't do that. You have to be tolerant.  People say "Oh no, you can't be tolerant. What if they do something you don't like?" Tolerance does not mean endorsement.  -- Ron Paul
Ednarooni160
by Eds on Jun. 14, 2012 at 10:26 PM
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How Obama's ideals are not Socialist

Honestly, since I do not personally know the man, I don't know with 100% certainty if he is or isn't a socialist

mehamil1
by on Jun. 14, 2012 at 11:01 PM
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From my understanding, the GM workers do not own GM. It's not a co-op. 

I dislike the concept of class warfare and I stated my reasons why. My grandfather served in WW2 and broke his back when his jeep rolled over a landmine. He limped for the rest of his life. That is warfare. That is where that word should remain. Using it anywhere else cheapens it and turns it into a cliche. Desensitizing us to actual war. 

The GM bailout benefited the owners and shareholders of GM than the workers. They weren't bailed out because so many people could have lost their jobs. They did it because the cronies in Washington needed an additional prop up. That was not done to help the workers. They may have claimed it was for that reason but it never is with the way business is done here. It's always to benefit the people at the top. They could give a rats ass about the peasants. 

I will always support unions. Some (not all) business owners turn workers into little more than slaves. Unions stop it and then keep it from happening. I am hoping that the workers in all parts of Asia and south Asia unionize and fight the businesses who turn them into commodities. I doubt we will ever agree on this. 

As for his thinking, I'm not a mind reader. I have no idea what he thinks. If he expresses his "opinion" on tv or at a podium, I assume he was told to say it for whatever reason. I do not trust a word that comes out of any politicians mouth. 

Still doesn't make Obama a socialist in my opinion. 

Quoting Carpy:

To my knowledge, and correct me if I am wrong, President Obama has ever claimed that workers must be allowed take control of factories and begin directing production towards the real needs of society as a whole. Or that property and capital is the root cause for division and inequality in America. If he did, that would make him a Marxist.

Must I remind you of GM and they payback to the unions?

And yes, property and capital are in his mind root causes, you can see that in much of his thinking and the class warfare he promotes.


mommygiggles317
by Silver Member on Jun. 14, 2012 at 11:03 PM
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Thank you for posting this!!! bow down

love you signExercising Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding...

mehamil1
by on Jun. 14, 2012 at 11:04 PM

With the way most of America is set up and the attitude of most of the citizens, I don't know if socialism would ever really take root here. So I cannot even begin to answer this question since I can't imagine it actually fully coming about. 

Most of Europe adopted socialist policies in the aftermath of WW2 because the place was completely torn apart and so many people were injured. It was like a collective force to all work together to rebuild. England's healthcare came out of that since so many people were injured or sick from the war. I hope something like that wouldn't have to happen here to get it come about. 

Quoting Carpy:

And my question to you would be, what means of enforcement to a Marxist/socialist type system do you think would need to be employed?  We already know what means other countries have used in the past.


mehamil1
by on Jun. 14, 2012 at 11:08 PM
1 mom liked this

If he really were a socialist then he would not be doing any of this. 

I'm a socialist and I'm saying Obama is not a socialist. I've been one since I was 14 years old and I've only grown and expandied within the various branches of socialism. He is by no means a socialist. 

Obama, like all politicians, is a puppet. Those who seek power make the worst kinds of leaders. 

Asfriend wanted me to post about this, so here it is. I can't wait to see if she replies with snark or with seriousness. I did work hard on this so I hope I get some kind of credit for it. It took me days to work out all my ideas. That and I had a midterm yesterday. 

Quoting imagirlgeek:

Thank you for taking the time to write this up.  I am not a socialist, but I have been so curious about it.  It's very difficult to find consistant information online, so to get some information from someone who is a Socialist is interesting.  As far as Obama, I don't know where he stands.  He appears to me to play both sides of the fence.  In a speech, he'll bash corporations, and then we find out he's extending tax dollars to prop them up.  He trashed the wars we were in, then we find out he's got a kill list.  It's just so strange that the words and actions don't match.  I don't get it.


mehamil1
by on Jun. 14, 2012 at 11:23 PM
3 moms liked this

And that's the crux of it. I truly do not know if he is or isn't. I don't know the man. But as a Socialist I don't think I'm looking at another Socialist when I look at Obama. I just see another puppet doing the bidding of the richest people in the world. 

Quoting Ednarooni160:

How Obama's ideals are not Socialist

Honestly, since I do not personally know the man, I don't know with 100% certainty if he is or isn't a socialist


godotherightthi
by on Jun. 14, 2012 at 11:59 PM

 Yes, socialist people ;)

Quoting mehamil1:

And that's the crux of it. I truly do not know if he is or isn't. I don't know the man. But as a Socialist I don't think I'm looking at another Socialist when I look at Obama. I just see another puppet doing the bidding of the richest people in the world. 

Quoting Ednarooni160:

How Obama's ideals are not Socialist

Honestly, since I do not personally know the man, I don't know with 100% certainty if he is or isn't a socialist

 

 

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