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A Legitimate Question

Mr. T

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A Legitimate Question: Part II

By Victor Morawski


ALG Editor’s Note: Readers can find part one of this series here.


When dealing with the increasingly salient question of whether Barack Obama is, indeed, a Marxist, it is important to note that in recognizing him as one, we are not thereby claiming that he has accepted, or does now accept, the whole of Marx’s program. Nor is it necessary.


I have seen one blogger attempt to defend him against this charge by observing that, as far as he knew, Obama was not out there advocating the violent peoples’ uprising and overthrow of the government prescribed by Marx as the cure for Capitalism’s ills, so the charge must be false. As it is with many philosophical theories, there are varieties of Marxism. One does not have to accept every principle Marx espoused to qualify as a Marxist. Neither does rejecting any one of them necessarily get one “off the hook” from this charge.


As near as we can tell, Barack Obama’s own place in the Marxist landscape seems to that of a New Left, Neo-Marxist. This view expands traditional Marxism slightly by adding to it “Max Weber’s broader understanding of social inequality…to Marxist philosophy…” The assumption is that unequal distribution of wealth produces such social inequality, because “the lack of wealth in certain areas prohibits … people from obtaining the same housing, health care, etc. as the wealthy in societies where access to these goods depends on wealth.” Obviously, wealth redistribution becomes a paramount concern for this variety of Marxism.


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dan loves working hard and giving his stuff away, once when he was a kid he earned money from a paper route and wiyth that money he bought himself a new denim suit with pearl snap buttons. When he got home his cousin was wearing it and saying it was his. Much to dan's dismay his Big Brother came out and told him that he no longer owned it, and that his cousin got to keep it. Dan wept because his next check was going towards 8-tracks, until he realized he could work harder and buy a new one.

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dan loves working hard and giving his stuff away


The taxes you pay help try and keep your good buddy Inspecta afloat in this shitty time for him and all you do is complain about how giving away what's yours sucks balls. 'spec should brush you back off the plate at your next softball outing for such dickheadedness on your part.

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American big business is comfortable with Fascism


What did you do when capitalism died, Daddy?


A "partnership" between big business and the State was the central idea of Mussolini's Fascism -- and we saw where that led. It removes a large obstacle to complete State power


Everywhere we look we see the great and once-great beneficiaries of free markets running to the state for protection from the cruel bullying of competition. On health care, insurance companies and others repeat the mantra that they want to be "at the table rather than on the menu," all the better to be positioned as a tax collector of the welfare state. General Motors and Chrysler have gone from being pimped-out prostitutes of the state to outright chattel more akin to the leather-bound gimp in "Pulp Fiction," eager to do the bidding of the president and the UAW.


Once-proud companies like GE have become seduced by global warming schemes, because they recognize that there's more money to be made selling white elephants to Uncle Sam than there is selling competitive products consumers want. Indeed, cap-and-trade taxes promise to deliver precisely the protectionist industrial policies the left has dreamed of for decades, only under a "progressive" label.


This week, Philip Morris, the biggest of the Big Tobacco companies, supported and won passage of an "anti-tobacco" bill that will make it easier for Philip Morris (a subsidiary of Altria) to sell cigarettes by making it harder for smaller, more innovative firms to compete. One way it will do that is by curtailing the First Amendment rights of tobacco companies, making it harder to advertise their products (including healthier alternatives to normal cigarettes). Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro and other established brands, already controls 50 percent of the market. That's why it lobbied government to keep it that way.


Also this week, the White House announced its plan to deal with "systemic risk" in the financial markets. The basic idea is that big firms -- giant banks, insurance companies, etc. -- cannot be allowed to fail if their failure threatens something called "stability." The Obama administration is confident that with its new organizational flow charts and enhanced job description for the Federal Reserve, bureaucrats will suddenly see clearly what they couldn't see before. These regulators will know exactly when bubbles get too big, when booms last too long, and when tens of thousands of managers, investors, actuaries and bankers make bad or sub-optimal decisions.


The problem, other than the shortage of Jedis and shamans to fill these posts, is that big companies will understand the surest way to attain immortality is to become too big to fail. Once they've achieved that privileged status, these companies will become de facto wards of the state, insured for life at taxpayer expense like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and in exchange they will do whatever Uncle Sam asks.


It's too soon to tell which companies will leap at the opportunity to sell their souls for immortality, but you can bet that many of those already suckling the TARP teat will be among the first to celebrate the sagacity of the new system.


While doctrinaire socialists might feel betrayed by liberalism's cozy embrace of big business, their betrayal pales in comparison to the bitterness of free-marketers who defend big business's freedom to operate, only to see these businesses use that freedom to hide behind the skirts of the nanny state. Real freedom means the freedom to fail as well as succeed. Big business wants to be protected from the former and deny competitors the latter. And their betrayal, more than anything, disheartens those who would defend both freedoms.




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