The disturbing implications of Barrack Obama's anti-business rant
By Kevin K. Gabriel
The President let his guard down recently. Apparently off the teleprompter during a campaign appearance in Roanoke, Virginia, he said the following:
The President's words about the rationale for the creation of the internet are beyond ridiculous. It was simply a mechanism that the Defense Department developed to allow its constituent parts to talk to each other. If it had been up to the government, it would still be doing just that, and nothing else. One can only be amused, too, by the President's words about smart people. If there is anyone who thinks he got where he is because he is smart, it is the President, who surely stands as one of history's transcendent narcissists. And, in a gaff that is nothing short of mind-boggling, the President attributes the creation of the internet incorrectly to the Defense Department instead of Al Gore!
Mitt Romney and a myriad of small businessmen have excoriated the President for these words, which they have correctly characterized as ignorant, offensive, and condescending. But they are also disturbing -- disturbing not only because of the economic vision they entail but also because of the philosophical view that underlies them.
In the President's world, there is no individual economic achievement. We are all cogs in the great financial machine that is the state. We are all ants in a giant ant farm. Through happenstance, some of us have acquired more than others, just as some ant has ended up with job at the top of the farm and while another is confined to work in its bowels. Like the ant in such a farm, one's economic standing exists only within the larger collective. Thus, no single person can lay claim to anything of his own. The farm – aka, the state – owns everything.
The President's problem with the situation in this country is that its economic system, capitalism, produces inequality. Some people have more wealth than others. Like all leftists, the President believes there is no greater social illness than the inequality that results from capitalism. It is simply not fair -- not fair because the people who have more do not deserve their wealth. Those who have wealth have simply been lucky. They've ended up with the more lucrative positions in the human ant farm.
This inequality, not to mention the capitalistic system that generates it, is evil and the President is determined to redress it. That's why he talks incessantly about "paying one's fair share." That's why his economic policies – from the stimulus to Obamacare to his incessant calls for tax increases – amount to one giant income redistribution scheme. These policies aim to compensate for the unfairness of an economic system that misallocates wealth by redistributing it equally to each cog in a collective whole.
There is also a profoundly disturbing existential element to this view. The President is denying the existence of the individual. He is denying the significance of the particular person. There is only the collective. And what is best for the collective is all that matters.
This is Stalinism. It is the point of view that led to the extermination of the Ukrainian peasant. It is the point of view that has justified history's greatest atrocities. When particular people cease to matter, then firing squads, gas chambers, and mass starvations can be justified in the name of the greater good.
The President's words hearken back to another moment when he let slip his collectivist agenda. In an interview prior to becoming president, he pontificated about his view of "collective salvation." This incoherent and certainly unchristian vision says one can only achieve salvation as part of a collective. Evidently, if God gives the collective his seal of approval, its constituents are entitled to salvation. This is neo-Marxism masquerading as ersatz Christianity. This view holds that, just as we do not achieve economic success on our own, we do not achieve salvation on our own. It is up to the government to create the terms on which we can achieve salvation. In other words, we must thank the government for salvation. Or more simply put: the state is God.
No doubt, given the economic inequality in the United States (to say nothing of the social inequality the country has foisted on blacks, women, gays, and others) there can be no collective salvation for its populace. It is simply a question of whether we've earned a place in Purgatory or gone straight to Hell. Happily, with Mr. Obama in charge, such salvation is within our grasp. He is the Messiah who will lead us to a truly just world through, in his words, a "fundamental transformation" of our country.
One wonders to what lengths this self-appointed Messiah will go to achieve his goals. One can be sure that he will not be worried about the plight of any particular individuals in making the world a heaven-on-earth. When only the collective matters, individual people are expendable. And that is the really frightening thing about the President's words. In his world, the individual has been murdered and replaced by an impersonal collective in whose name anything can be justified.
Kevin Gabriel is a freelance writer and consultant living in Massachusetts.