psychpol

September 6, 2012

CLASS WARRIORS, AN OLD STORY

Filed under: Psychology and Politics — psychpol @ 2:00 pm

The theme of class warfare is clearly present in this presidential election. In fact, it has been present throughout the current term of the Obama administration.

What does this mean, and what are the historical roots of this political philosophy and governing strategy?

Class warfare has been present in organized society for many decades. Examples include the French Revolution, the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 and the Cuban revolt in 1959. In these cases, “the people” overthrow a power that they view as unfair, privileged and malevolent to the average person. These few cases involved violent overthrows of governments, usually accompanied by executions of the enemies. In fact, such executions are often the first order of business.

Karl Marx, a political and economic philosopher, outlined the inevitability of such revolutions as a fact of history. He called this phenomenon “revolution of the proletariat”, an inevitable consequence of “dialectical materialism”. In this model, economic forces inevitably clash to produce the overthrow of those in power, the seizure of the means of production by “the people” and an idealized, classless society.

These ideas were brought forward in the socialist model by renowned historical figures such as Stalin, Mao and Kim Jong Il, with Castro also creating  the institutionalization of the socialist ideal. Many such governments become obsessed with control, and may attack millions of their own citizens because they are “counterrevolutionaries”.

Furthermore, the fruits of the revolution are typically appropriated by members of the ruling party. The workers work (as before) and the party leaders enjoy the waterfront dachas and other spoils of power. The people are convinced that they are now “free” because of the “glorious revolution” and their “dear leader.” The latter may be seen as having almost superhuman powers and destiny on behalf of  “his” people.

The ideas of Marx were brought forward by contemporary radicals such as Saul Alinsky, Frank Marshall Davis and  progressive movements in Europe and the US. In fact, the intellectual roots of Barack Obama are very much grounded in such ideas. This is evident in his history as explored in the movie, “2016: Obama’s America.” If one half of the film is true, then an amazing thing has happened in American politics, and the electorate may not understand the implications for their lives.

We have seen a strategy of dividing Americans by class and race. This is presented as the pursuit of “social justice,” a fundamental tenet of all radical movements. In the Democrat view, the rich are seen as evil, while the people are seen as exploited by the rich, vulnerable and not responsible for their choices.

Wall Street bankers are particularly vilified, as are “millionaires and billionaires” making over $250,000 per year ( the Obama math). The theme of “fair share” is repeated, as if there are those who do not pay enough taxes. In fact, according to IRS data, the top 2% of earners pay 50% of all federal income taxes, the top 10% pay 72% and the bottom 49.5% pay zero. Even a young, elementary school child could see the inequity in these numbers.

But, “fair share” is deliberately never defined. It’s purpose is to stir rage in those on the lower end of the income scale. It’s goal is to find a scapegoat for personal dissatisfaction with one’s life. It produces a feeling of righteous indignation among some groups. Those who are economically successful must have gained this “on the backs of the people, and should be punished.”

In particular, some members of minority groups believe they have been cheated out of a “fair shot,” and so will respond favorably to this form of demagoguery. It is a predictable outcome for the class warrior, and so it becomes a preferred tactic.

This is Obama’s governing and election strategy, and it is shared by such candidates as Elizabeth Warren, running for the US Senate  in Massachusetts. In fact, this was the central theme of her speech at the DNC last night. Wall Street bankers “strutting” about, not playing by the rules, while the victims of a middle class (or worse) life, struggle, “sit around the kitchen table” and try to make ends meet in the face of a “deck stacked against them”.  “Fairness” is the ideal, but this too is never defined.

In fact, following a significant recession under the inept Bush, Obama’s policies have failed, producing 23 million Americans who are either out of work, part-time workers or have dropped out of the job search. The strategy is to blame the rich (and successful), the bankers, Wall Street and other enemies of the people for this travesty.

The truth is that life can be difficult for many. All have their challenges. Some believe they have been wronged, and are quite angry. Obama and his associates exploit this for their own purposes,  seeing America as invalid and inequitable. Our founding revolution in search of freedom is somehow corrupt.

Division within society is the goal, with this energizing social dynamics that have produced violence in other situations. Beside being a strategy, this is Obama’s world view and wish. You know, “transforming America.”  It is truly unprecedented to witness this belief system in an American president.

As documented in Steve Jobs’ biography, after meeting with Obama, he was reportedly enraged at our President’s disdain for business and the entrepreneurial culture. CEO’s who have met with Obama have commented that he waves a finger at them and lectures on the proper role of business in a “just” society. He of no business experience whatsoever.

Not only does Obama and his crew not understand business, they hate it. It is the mechanism for exploiting “the people”, especially minorities and the disadvantaged,  whose lives may be unfulfilled “through no fault of their own.”

But it is important to continue to package him as a moderate who “cares.” And it is equally important to stoke class and racial hatred as a strategy. The  class warrior is relentless in dividing a country, all in the name of “the people,” but ultimately for his own and his inner circle’s accumulation of power and wealth.

This is what we are facing today in our country. Some of us are so filled with rage that, like those before us, we will follow a charismatic leader, seek and attack scapegoats and therefore affirm our own “special” role on the right side of history. Witness the flight from personal responsibility and immersion in an ideology in Nazi Germany.

These are dangerous social forces for us all, for the class warrior seeks to destroy in the name “of justice and compassion and caring.”  Who doesn’t want that?

This time-honored and ultimately freedom-destroying  strategy must be defeated. We, the people, have the opportunity to do so in two months. If we choose to be passive, believing that “all politicians are the same,” we will suffer the consequences of  lost freedom and external control of our lives. In the worst case, we will see an acting out of violence by those long frustrated, convinced of their special victim status and stoked by “charming” demagogues such as Obama.

Don’t be fooled by likeability. It is often an effective smoke screen for rage and contempt. In Obama’s case, it is our way of life that is at stake. Yes, it can be improved, and should be, but never at the expense of our freedom and liberty.  

History tells us that class warfare ultimately destroys the societies it purports to liberate, while creating an even more unjust and conforming life for its citizens. Not to mention those who  lose their lives to their “liberators”.

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1 Comment »

  1. Another exceptional piece! I have pondered this subject so often but have not yet been able to verbalize it as well as you do here. The unconstrained thinkers like Obama and Warren see absolutely no hypocrisy or irony in their approach. I would even wonder whether or not they care that they are essentially embracing a “the end justifies the means” approach. Nothing matters but their nebulous goal of “social justice and fairness for everyone.” The Constitution doesn’t matter, logic and common sense don’t matter. History has proven that Karl Marx’s approach doesn’t work, but rather further enslaves the “proletariat.” I think China and Russia and every other communistic and post-communistic society would agree.

    Again, thank you for such a thought-provoking article!

    – S

    Comment by Steph Nelson — September 15, 2012 @ 8:53 pm


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