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Obama is an Intellectual Midget

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But isn't Marxism ultimately mysticism itself? So I kind of don't get the whole argument for socialism vs theocracy. I do see theocracy as a more long term threat, especially if it moves to the left wing. But in the end, aren't they both faith and force? How do you arrive at supporting one over the other supposedly greater evil, or does it have to do with the time scale involved? If so, why shouldn't we be more concerned with the short term threat first?

I understand it is very difficult to reduce a country beyond a certain level of material wealth, after that level of capital accumulation has been achieved, unless a spiritual element is involved. But doesn't that also apply to Marxism?

Edited by 2046

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I have many disagreements with the Republicans, that is not the issue. What I can not understand is how, in good conscience, one can overtly support Marxism/Leninism to the detriment of our republic.

Obama obviously isn't a Leninist. He's a socialist (he implicitly accepts Marx's philosophy), same as the establishment Republicans. Only someone who rejects critical thought in favor of emotionalism can breeze by that detail.

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Obama obviously isn't a Leninist. He's a socialist (he implicitly accepts Marx's philosophy), same as the establishment Republicans. Only someone who rejects critical thought in favor of emotionalism can breeze by that detail.

Well, we can always rely on your superior intelligence to keep us straight, now, can't we? I believe that I have repeatedly referred to Obama as a Marxist here, beginning with the '08 election.

Edited by Maximus

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But isn't Marxism ultimately mysticism itself? So I kind of don't get the whole argument for socialism vs theocracy. I do see theocracy as a more long term threat, especially if it moves to the left wing. But in the end, aren't they both faith and force? How do you arrive at supporting one over the other supposedly greater evil, or does it have to do with the time scale involved? If so, why shouldn't we be more concerned with the short term threat first?

I understand it is very difficult to reduce a country beyond a certain level of material wealth, after that level of capital accumulation has been achieved, unless a spiritual element is involved. But doesn't that also apply to Marxism?

Marxism substitutes the state for God. I see the religionists as the lesser evil because they, at least, believe in private property and individual wealth. As long as they do not institute a theocracy, and under our constitution they can't, they are not really a threat. I would much rather see, for instance, charity extended through private means, which has traditionally been the province of churches, than through monies confiscated by government through the threat of force.

Edited by Maximus

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Marxism substitutes the state for God. I see the religionists as the lesser evil because they, at least, believe in private property and individual wealth. As long as they do not institute a theocracy, and under our constitution they can't, they are not really a threat. I would much rather see, for instance, charity extended through private means, which has traditionally been the province of churches, than through monies confiscated by government through the threat of force.

So what you're claiming is that the Democrats are all Marxists who reject the notion of private enterprise altogether, and want to institute Lenin's political system, while the Republicans are in favor of a free, capitalist market, and their only fault is that they're harmlessly religious? That is nonsense. There is no ideological difference between the Democrats and the Republican leadership. You're just demonizing the Democrats with cheap buzzwords and exaggerations, and talking up the Republicans as something they are clearly not, out of partisan fervor.

Where have you been for the past decade, most of it under Republican control, where the federal government's authority over every aspect of people's lives, including the economy, has been continuously extended? How can you think that continuing to support the same people who during the Bush years almost doubled the federal budget is all of a sudden going to result in "charity extended through private means"?

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So what you're claiming is that the Democrats are all Marxists who reject the notion of private enterprise altogether, and want to institute Lenin's political system, while the Republicans are in favor of a free, capitalist market, and their only fault is that they're harmlessly religious?

I said nothing of the sort. That's you putting words in my mouth. Why don't you try re-reading my posts, using your superior intellect to actually comprehend the words I actually wrote.

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Obama was an avowed Marxist-Leninist in his youth. To this day he is still a knowledgeable socialist, educated in the theory and deliberately implementing what socialism he can. He also deliberately conceals his socialism in order to be electable.

See Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism

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Does anyone else think black racial advancement is a major driving force in Obama's life?

Certainly seems that way. He's also interested in fundamentally changing this country both internally and externally. His ideas re: change are not consistent with protecting individual rights.

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Does anyone else think black racial advancement is a major driving force in Obama's life?

I don't think so. At least not in the usual sense of the contemporary civil rights movement (the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc.). Actually I think Dinesh D'Souza has Obama's number here:

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0927/politics-socialism-capitalism-private-enterprises-obama-business-problem.html

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I don't think so. At least not in the usual sense of the contemporary civil rights movement (the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc.). Actually I think Dinesh D'Souza has Obama's number here:

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0927/politics-socialism-capitalism-private-enterprises-obama-business-problem.html

D'Souza was interviewed on PJTV this week, taking questions about and breaking down Obama's political philosophy. He really does hit the nail on the head with Obama.

http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=74&load=4379

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I have many disagreements with the Republicans, that is not the issue. What I can not understand is how, in good conscience, one can overtly support Marxism/Leninism to the detriment of our republic. I see people giving lip service to the ideal of capitalism, yet voting for an individual bent on destroying what semblance of liberty we still have remaining. Face facts, there is never going to be an ideal Objectivist society in place of what we have now. It would take decades to give Objectivism an equal place in the university philosophy departments, if ever, and the general populace, while already embracing many tenants, are not going to be convinced to become Atheists. I also fail to understand why you and others seem to have such an inordinate fear of religion in general, and Christianity in particular. This nation was founded on principles that originated with Enlightenment thinkers, the majority of whom were people of religious faith. There are fanatics and nut cases in any organization or movement, including this one. But, believe me, the normal religious individual in this country presents no danger whatever to you or to any other Objectivist here. I think it foolish to refuse to support or partner with them and support a philosophy that is anti-man and anti-life like the socialist/communist/progressive agenda that is being promulgated now.

And this is not a damned straw-man, but the very heart of the matter. We are in greater danger now of losing everything that this nation has stood for since it's inception. I, for one, can not and will not sit idly by and contemplate my philosophical navel while the republic is torn to shreds around me.

^ ^

That. Yes.

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Obama's power to juggle concepts is, I think, not worthy of dispute. He is obviously very capable of at least pretending to the machinery of cognition, judgment, and action -- and pretending effectively is actually harder, conceptually, than sticking to the truth (because, verifiable truth is stable, consistent, and a good basis for logic; but to keep a figment firmly and stably in the imagination without a reliable concretization takes a great deal of effort and emotional stress.

The problem is, at root, he is a parrot, because his fundamental assumptions (as reflected repeatedly in all of his speeches) are not his, are not tied back to verifiable principles at all, nevermind by himself; his conclusions, judgments, and actions are based on some particularly pernicious floating abstractions which he has learned by rote because by adopting them he was able to make more political hay.

So, he is more or less wrong in his principles; but he is deft at juggling them, which juggling is often seen as skill by the untrained mind (but, like juggling, it doesn't put food on the table in a political context).

Not an intellectual midget, but a moral midget.

- ico

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I don't think so. At least not in the usual sense of the contemporary civil rights movement (the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc.). Actually I think Dinesh D'Souza has Obama's number here:

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0927/politics-socialism-capitalism-private-enterprises-obama-business-problem.html

Great article. Thanks for posting that.

Edited by BRG253

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I would contend that the religious in America employ a superior thought process than the intellectual left.

The ten commandments, golden rule, faith-oriented epistemology has been very Aristotelean in the modern era.

Religious people retain a set of moral principles, whose nature and identity are given, but apply those principles flexibly depending on context. Using universal principles, the build on their knowledge base via induction. They identify patterns, principles, and follow them without a complete analytical grasp of the situation.

Liberals live or die by analytical facts. Strict positivistic, demonstrable, rigorous outcomes are required to establish an intellectual hierarchy of who's smartest/deserves tenure/deserves rank. But especially at the higher orders of knowledge, the analytic positivistic approach blinds people.

For instance: how stupid is Ben Bernanke now, post-QE2? But it's not his business that's at stake, it's the whole country. Public policy and the 'common good' require a rigorous set of theories in order to find justification.

Maybe money velocity is down because people are uncertain during the era of a government that could do anything because it rejects the general principles of property rights and the free market! But to Bernanke it's a money problem - because there's a graph for that!

So, Obama as an academic is a midget because his whole worldview is limited to rigorous concretes - even if he isn't a Marxist - and so the most obvious facts, in this chaotic world, that are obvious to Midwestern evangelical Christians are beyond his understanding.

This is why leftists are so smug, because they are implicitly aware of the validity of many ofthe arguments from the other side, but have no intellectual framework for dealing with them.

Republican epistemic closure is limited to ten generic commandments. The rest of the world is an open book.

Leftist epistemic closure is total - it is an encyclopedia. What isn't in the encyclopedia, isn't even real...

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...

Maybe money velocity is down because people are uncertain during the era of a government that could do anything because it rejects the general principles of property rights and the free market! But to Bernanke it's a money problem - because there's a graph for that!

When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So it is with monetarists, I believe. <_<

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I would contend that the religious in America employ a superior thought process than the intellectual left.

Wrong principles lead to wrong conclusions, no matter whose mind they are mixed into.

Both world views devolve to the same operational (and moral) flaws, as the denizens of totalitarian lands will attest.

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Did you guys catch this NY Times story about an anecdote from Barry Soetoro's Indonesian childhood friend:

Obama Visits a Nation That Knew Him as Barry

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/09/world/asia/09indo.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1

One time, recalled the elder son, Slamet Januadi, now 52, [the young] Mr. Obama asked a group of boys whether they wanted to grow up to be president, a soldier or a businessman. A president would own nothing while a soldier would possess weapons and a businessmen would have money, the young Obama explained.

Mr. Januadi and his younger brother, both of whom later joined the Indonesian military, said they wanted to become soldiers. Another boy, a future banker, said he would become a businessman.

“Then Barry said he would become president and order the soldier to guard him and the businessman to use his money to build him something,” Mr. Januadi said. “We told him, ‘You cheated. You didn’t give us those details.’ ”

“But we all became what we said we would,” he said.

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