Birth of a Manchurian Candidate

Peter over at Western Rifle Shooters turned me onto this.  Codevilla wrote this scintillating short essay on why Obama is who is and why Communism is far from a dead letter.  I always enjoy Codevilla, he is a thoughtful and clear-headed writer.  I caution anyone to carefully pick and choose what you read at the Claremont Institute which is the world headquarters for Lincoln hagiography and idolotry & ground zero for Straussian Trotskyists.  It is ironic that they would publish an essay critical of someone so close to their own ideological pedigree as Obama.  -BB

In sum, Barack Obama grew intertwined with the narrow, self-referential left side of the American Left. They helped one another believe they had come up the hard way, as underprivileged but brilliant, square-jawed tribunes of the common man. Their common problem, however, is that their agendas are antagonistic to people unlike themselves, and that they cannot keep from showing their contempt for the common folk in whose name they would ride to power.

Since the days of Karl Marx’s First International a century and a half ago, this very human opposition between socialist theory (egalitarianism) and socialist reality (oligarchic oppression) has bedeviled the Left. Marx laid the problem bare in his “Critique of the Gotha Program” (1875). Lenin dealt with it honestly and brutally in What Is to Be Done? (1902)—the foundational document of Communism. By acknowledging that the Communist Party is not the common people’s representative, but rather its “vanguard,” Leninists were comfortable with a party responsible only to itself and to history, a party that openly demanded deference from the humans whose habits it forcibly reshaped. Communism’s undeniable horrors forced the New Left to disassociate itself from What Is to Be Done? and once again to pretend that its socialism was neither oligarchic nor coercive, that somehow it was on the side of ordinary folks. This is a much tougher sell in the 21st century than it was in the 19th. Contemporary socialists try to explain away the common man’s suspicion of them as harbingers of oligarchy, corruption, and coercion by resorting to jargon (e.g., “false consciousness” and “socio-economic anxiety”). But that is ever less convincing. This is why the movement argues so strenuously with itself about whether and how much it should dissimulate its agenda.


4 thoughts on “Birth of a Manchurian Candidate”

  1. I read that a couple days ago. I find it hard to get too worked up over this. Obama is a politician, so of course he is collectivist trash and an enemy to LIBERTY! Everything else is a distraction.

  2. It’s been fun watching the debt negotiations with a new awareness of the teachings in this blog. The enlightenment is both liberating and concerning. It’s liberating to not waste my time being angry. It’s concerning that we have far to go as a species to attain liberty and that we will need to hit rock bottom to break away from the indoctrination-if we break away at all.

    1. TL,

      Once you divorce your mind and body from faction & party, your lens is much more clear. These are contests for the power to rule and extort the cattle in the feedlot. In the end, the Dems and GOP are the same left wing of the statist bird of prey whose very existence is hinged on your consent and obedience. Once that is gone, they no longer have power over you.

      “You can have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in you power.”
      Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      Governments fail to pay attention to the wisdom in that quote and from that we will draw our freedom.

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