web analytics
September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Obama’s Vision: Government Itself as the American Ideal

Obama wants Americans to believe that government is only the sum total of their efforts together. But that is nonsense.
obama-food-stamp

But Obama’s argument can be reversed: We know this country cannot accomplish great things if we excessively limit the ability of individual ambition which has been the motive force of American success. The trick, of course, is that the potential for “individual ambition” must be opened to the maximum number of people. Yet taxes, regulations, and other restrictions block that from taking place.

Moreover, as is typical of Obama, his audience is offered an all or nothing approach. We can either have unbridled government or unbridled individualism. The whole point of American history is the debate over where to find the point of balance, the need for a stronger government than existed in pre-industrial America but not to have a government that was too powerful. Similarly, he continues:

Still, you’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

“Nothing more,” “all,” “tyranny,” such phrases obscure real issues of how much debt, how much regulation, how much government intervention is beneficial for the “unique experiment.” Obama dismisses this argument as a “sham,” as purely phony. So one cannot have such a debate. And that kind of stance—often echoed in the universities and mass media—kills democracy.

Leaving aside the accusation that American citizens are deliberately sabotaging the common good—those who disagree with Obama are thus defined in effect as enemies of the people—the key word is “separate.” Obama wants Americans to believe that government is only the sum total of their efforts together. But that is nonsense. Government is a separate institution with huge power and its own interests and logic.

I want to use an analogy here and to make it clear I don’t think Obama is a Communist or Marxist-Leninist. But it was the concept of Marx and Lenin that the state was merely the tool of the proletariat. Once the revolution took place, the state could be given total power because there was nothing to fear. How could the people repress or hurt the people?

Yet the state was not merely the unfailing conveyer belt of the public will. All the things predicted by America’s founders came true in the USSR: the state should be distrusted. The destruction of liberty led to inevitable abuses. The state did become a separate entity, its master not the people but the Communist Party. A privileged elite arose whose behavior was ultimately worse than if Russia had a democratic capitalist revolution. And of course the whole enterprise stagnated and collapsed.

Again, I am not saying this is the same situation as the one Obama favors. But there are important parallels. Contrary to Obama’s trickery on this point, in the “brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule,” the word “self” here doesn’t mean only rule by the state but self-rule by the individual to the maximum possible extent. That is what made America unique.

We have never been a people who place all our faith in government to solve our problems, nor do we want it to. But we don’t think the government is the source of all our problems, either. Because we understand that this democracy is ours. As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government.

This is a straw man argument. The use of the words “never” and “all” is the tip-off here. But what percentage of our problems would Obama attribute to government? Could it be that government has made the economy function worse in the last four and a half years? Might it be possible that there are problems like this in other areas? So might it be conceivable that less government, lower taxes, and less regulation would reduce some problems? Obama is fundamentally dishonest because—unlike other politicians–he cannot and will not cede that there be any merit to his critics’ arguments.

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Obama’s Vision: Government Itself as the American Ideal”

  1. Anonymous says:

    "secure our God-given rights for all our citizens, regardless of… who they love". Does he include people who "love" their siblings in this? What about people who "love" their (adult) children? If not, why not?

  2. Roy Neal Grissom says:

    The "state" as an organic entity made up of all its people the way organs make up a living body is the original definition of "totalitarianism" as coined by Benito Mussolini. And wasn't the left originally anarchist? Even in Marx the state is supposed to "whither away." I guess the newest Marxist genius (Obama, whom I would not doubt in the least may be an actual Communist) has by imperial edict reversed the "wisdom" of Communism's founding father.

  3. Roy Neal Grissom says:

    The "state" as an organic entity made up of all its people the way organs make up a living body is the original definition of "totalitarianism" as coined by Benito Mussolini. And wasn't the left originally anarchist? Even in Marx the state is supposed to "whither away." I guess the newest Marxist genius (Obama, whom I would not doubt in the least may be an actual Communist) has by imperial edict reversed the "wisdom" of Communism's founding father.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A mother greets her lone soldier at Ben-Gurion airport.
El Al Reunites Parents of Lone Soldiers from ‘Protective Edge’ for Rosh Hashanah
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Kohn-091914

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Miller-091914

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

Sisi:”The religious nature of the Middle East creates challenges for the governing authorities.”

More Articles from Barry Rubin
Youssef Ziedan

The interviewer responds, “There was also Balfour.”

peace_clowns

If the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

Let me make it plain. There will be mass murder, even genocide in Syria.

A large number of pro-Obama and radical or even anti-Israel cadre are Jews.

Does anyone think the Palestinian Authority will resist daily attacks from Hamas and Fatah radicals?

Secret Service security arrangements were overruled.

The Obama Administration plan is very simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly–which of course it will not.

The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/obamas-vision-government-itself-as-the-american-ideal/2013/05/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: