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Archive for the ‘Eric Hoffer’ Category

The Straw Man And The Magician

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Sorry for the delay, but I’ve had the flu and then bronchitis.

I wanted to post this a while ago, and usually such stories are timely, but here goes. Lately we have ben bombarded with populist drivel in an effort to create straw men that keep us from dealing with the real issues and real culprits. Much has been made about the management at AIG getting bonuses, but what has been lost in the miasma is that Senator Dodd was the one that put in the bonus structure in TARP which allowed the AIG management to take bonuses. Wether or not you believe that they deserve it is irrelevant because they did something that was legal, and our congress and senate passed, and the president signed. While I think it is ill-advised for them to take the bonuses, they are legally entitled to them. Too add to the drama, some politicians want to haul the AIG head before congress, but wait, he was appointed by congress to run AIG…
Right now, Paul Shanklin was prescient with his rendition of “Barack the Magic Negro”. I am not endorsing the song per se, but Barack is a magician. He has managed to distract with one hand while deceiving with the other. The demonization of wealth, success, and capitalism go beyond just a plain vanilla socialist agenda. It’s about creating a constituency of voters that will keep Barack in power, by any means necessary. If you look at his election, he did not go the normal route that politicians take: Country Club republicans or Limousine Liberals. He took smaller donations from a much larger base. While the wealthy have contributed to political endeavors, their numbers are small and when it comes to actual votes, their voice is also small. When You look at the past, look at Napoleon, Lenin, and Hitler (lets throw in Castro as well), in this context. They used economic populism as a straw man to galvanize people to a common goal, that in the end was detrimental to their freedom, well being and safety. With the exception of Hitler, their policies in praxis actually set their countries back technologically, and financially on the outset and in some cases down the road as well.
Make no mistake, it is not a mistake in anything Obama does policywise and strategically. Tactically, he makes mistakes, but the press covers up for him. With the latest GM debacle, having Wagoner step down was an effort to one, show who was in charge, and two, to create a straw man to blame for the auto industries problems. The auto industries problems are come in a few flavors. One, they have taken on too much debt with the unions, particularly as with the benefits and pensions with retirees, and non-competitive wages. Toyota and Honda clean the big three’s clock over this issues alone. They kept feeding the dragon instead of killing it. Two, there is too much government regulation which has had a negative impact on the vehicles they build. having to put more money into research to meet ever tightening emissions standards is a waste of time. You could argue the japanese car makers did it, and that is true, but they do not have to eat that all by themselves. Lastly, for a long time, they made cars no one wanted to buy and by the time they did, the perception was that they still couldn’t make a car like that. Too Little too late.
Back to Barry. God is my judge, you will see Detroit, at least in the form of GM and Chrysler, be dictated to on what to build by the government (Right now, Go bless Ford). In that context, I think Obama wants the bailout to fail for GM et al and anything else (Can you say Chapter 11?). If the bailouts succeed initially, the government may not have the control that Obama envisions. Obama needs to create a dependent society for his agenda to succeed. That is the key. The society must look to government for solutions to all its problems. To this extent, Obama will even denigrate and subjugate the United States to the will of other countries. His success depends on destroying the idea of American Exceptionalism, of destroying our very truths, and our values in order to substitute his own. Marx called for the destruction of the whole social order and a call to destroy traditions. This is in contrast to the president we had at the turn of the last two centuries: Thomas Jefferson did not bow before royalty, but insisted on a hand shake, as did Theodore Roosevelt, whose presidency established the United States as a first class world power. This president sees us less that we are in the context of the world at large.
Obama is the first president since FDR to want power at any price. Whereas I am not convinced that FDR was a socialist, at least initially, he came to crave and keep the power even if it meant keeping the country down in the face of rational alternatives. Obama is much more ideologically centered than FDR. Obama wants the power all right, but he also has a dream that most of us would not want, but like FDR will create, foment and promulgate conditions for the attainment of both. Obama is both gangster and crusader, whereas FDR was pure gangster.
What comes next, you ask? Expect more diversionary tactics from the Obamessiah Time is of the essence and I bet he will not wait for the midterm elections to enact things such as nationalized healthcare, forced volunteer service, carbon credit climate plan, nationalized banks, wage control, nationalized auto manufacturers, and the The Free Choice Act, to name only a few. More straw men will be created, and if necessary, his henchmen will be thrown under the bus (Imagine Geitner’s prospects in a year) for the purpose of pushing his socialist agenda on the citizens of the United States, putting us in such debt that we will never be able to get out of it and in the process curtailing our freedoms. It will be indentured servitude for the ages, and unwanted obligations that will destroy innovation, ambition and expectations of generations of Americans to come. While the prospect of becoming a quasi-socialist country like Denmark, Sweden or the UK (at best) may be appealing to some of you, I think that you really have lost the perspective of what it means to be a US citizen and what the US stands for. This loss is due to the fact that what is not earned is not appreciated. Read Eric Hoffer if you want a translation, specifically True Believer.
What can we do? Remain vigilant, vote for candidates that are not simpatico with Obama, and Think Freedom. Don’t be fooled by the straw men that politicians will use to sway you and beware of mass movements in general. Your most powerful asset is your vote and it is your only voice. Also beware of movements that offer symbolism rather than real change. Symbolism is but a vent of your frustrations, whereas real change (and not Obamas type of change) requires personal responsibility, and action. Without action we are just playing with ourselves in the corner. No offense to Glenn Beck and his “We Surround Them” non-sense, but that is just an outlet that has no bite and only serves to peacefully quell the masses. The same with these bullshit tea parties. The signers of the Declaration of Independence did so at their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. They had no intentions of symbolism, especially as it exists today. They were men of action. They were successful. Can you say the same, or is your Playstation and HD TV more important?
Thank you for reading this blog.

Written by James Lagnese

March 26, 2009 at 5:22 pm