Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Victor Davis Hanson seems a bit bemused by Obama's extensive use of the "I" and "me" in his speeches, and refers to it as "first-person socialism":
I think our president needs to invest more in the use of the third-person "government," since his speeches more and more center on the narcissistic "I" and "me." Even the car-takeover speech was "I-ed" to death. E.g.

My Auto Task Force

And so today, I am announcing that my administration will...

In this context, my administration will offer General Motors adequate working capital over the next 60 days. During this time, my team will be working closely with GM to produce a better business plan.

I am committed to doing all I can to see if a deal can be struck...

Now, I know that when people even hear the word "bankruptcy" it can be a bit unsettling, so let me explain what I mean. What I am talking about is..

What I am not talking about is a process where a company is broken up, sold off, and no longer exists. And what I am not talking about is having a company stuck in court for years...

It is my hope that the steps I am announcing...

let me say it as plainly as I can ...

I'm directing my team to take several steps.

I want to work with Congress to identify parts of the Recovery Act..

I am designating a new Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers...

What we have in Barack Obama is the perfect blending of postmodern Marxism with therapeutic psychobabble into a royal narcissistic mishmosh. Obama is not just Carter redux, he is the anti-Reagan; the chance the left has been waiting for for 20 years to undo everything that Reagan achieved. Obama is all the worse elements of government and its excesses personified--and he is here to help you; because government is the solution, not the problem! (Who knew?)

Siggy recently posted a cartoon that cuts to the heart of the issue and works on a number of levels:

From a recent post, where I write about the marriage of the left's neo-Marxist fascism with:
...the perfect postmodern politician/demagogue , who possessed all the necessary qualities to implement the economic and foreign policy strategies that are logically consistent with and derived from therapeutic psychobabble, was a dream come true for the floundering left.

In Obama they finally have the opportunity to translate the psychobabble into real political action. Let's look first at how the therapeutical inclined culture, one saturated with psychobabble and good feelings, approaches foreign policy.

Victor Davis Hanson stated in an essay titled "Why Study War" (in City Journal):

Indeed, by ignoring history, the modern age is free to interpret war as a failure of communication, of diplomacy, of talking—as if aggressors don’t know exactly what they’re doing. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, frustrated by the Bush administration’s intransigence in the War on Terror, flew to Syria, hoping to persuade President Assad to stop funding terror in the Middle East. She assumed that Assad’s belligerence resulted from our aloofness and arrogance rather than from his dictatorship’s interest in destroying democracy in Lebanon and Iraq, before such contagious freedom might in fact destroy him. For a therapeutically inclined generation raised on Oprah and Dr. Phil—and not on the letters of William Tecumseh Sherman and William Shirer’s Berlin Diary—problems between states, like those in our personal lives, should be argued about by equally civilized and peaceful rivals, and so solved without resorting to violence.

Yet it’s hard to find many wars that result from miscommunication. Far more often they break out because of malevolent intent and the absence of deterrence. Margaret Atwood also wrote in her poem: “Wars happen because the ones who start them / think they can win.” Hitler did; so did Mussolini and Tojo—and their assumptions were logical, given the relative disarmament of the Western democracies at the time. Bin Laden attacked on September 11 not because there was a dearth of American diplomats willing to dialogue with him in the Hindu Kush. Instead, he recognized that a series of Islamic terrorist assaults against U.S. interests over two decades had met with no meaningful reprisals, and concluded that decadent Westerners would never fight, whatever the provocation—or that, if we did, we would withdraw as we had from Mogadishu.

And yet the political left and it's operational arm, the Democratic Party (including Speaker Pelosi, Secretary of State Clinton, and President Obama) have fundamentally accepted and overly rely on this idea that miscommunication is the root cause of all disagreements.

It is this idea that is behind much of the diplomatic insanity (i.e., lunatic appeasement) that runs through the Democratic Party's foreign policy initiatives. It is an almost shocking degree of naivete about people. In fact, it is also shockingly self-centered (i.e., narcissistic) because it assumes that your behavior is the primary determinant of other people's (e.g., "...Assad’s belligerence resulted from our aloofness and arrogance rather than from his dictatorship’s interest in destroying democracy in Lebanon and Iraq, before such contagious freedom might in fact destroy him) ; and that other people do not have thoughts, feelings, or motivations separate from or distinct from one's self.

Now, consider Bruce Thornton's thoughts about two important factors that keep the West vulnerable to terrorism: multiculturalism and what he refers to as "the therapeutic sensibility":
The therapeutic sensibility that now dominates our public thinking reinforces this tendency to excuse Islamic terror. Unlike the old tragic vision of the classical West, which saw human suffering as the consequence of an imperfect human nature and our own bad choices, the therapeutic sensibility sees suffering as a temporary glitch caused by unjust social and economic structures. Evil is just a superstition, for people’s environments, not their own choices, cause destructive actions. The terrorists whom the unenlightened call “evil,” then, are themselves victims; we should assist them in reforming their unjust environments. Meanwhile, we ignore the numerous Islamists, from Sayyid Qutb to Osama bin Laden, who tell us very plainly why they want to destroy us: because we are infidels who must convert to Islam, live in submission to it, or die.

Such hypersensitivity compromises our fight against Islamic radicalism in a thousand ways, ranging from self-censorship — for example, the Washington Post’s recent refusal to run an innocuous installment of Berke Breathed’s comic strip Opus for fear of offending Muslims — to politically correct warfare that refuses to accept the brutality, destruction, and death that have always been the cargo of war. We have seen such self-defeating behavior repeatedly in Iraq, where the Army’s rules of engagement have made U.S. forces hesitant to fire on mosques even though terrorists frequently use minarets as firing platforms.
Is this what Karl took away from his meeting with Sigmund? Freud was obsessed with science and its rigorous examination of reality. But Karl failed to appreciate that (at least his heirs did). Healing and compassion, kumbaya and love; make love not war, all evolved into a culturally-sanctioned embrace of a dysfunctional perception of reality; and directly led to a need to support the enemies of America and freedom and all the appeasement and counterproductive foreign policy actions advocated (primarily) by Democrats.

The Democrat's foreign policy assumptions fit in perfectly with the most revered elements of the therapeutic psychobabble so prevalent today. What we have is not a failure to communicate; no, what we have is a failure to use cognition and reason; a failure to have ego boundaries; and a strongly held belief that if you just wish for something very very hard, you can make it so because you are so special (i.e., magical thinking and the belief that feelings always trump reason).

Let us now see how the postmodern economic policy of our neo-Marxists is infused with the same sort of psychobabble.

A lone voice crying out in the wilderness of government regulation, more government regulation and the creeping "social justice" utopian (i.e., socialist) fantasies of the so-called 'leaders' in Congress:
The US government is executing a coup d’etat of capitalism and I fear that we will pay the price for many years to come. Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke and a host of others tell us the credit market is not working and the only way to get it working again is for the government to intervene. They claim this intervention is urgently needed and if we don’t act, the consequences are dire. Dire, as in New Depression dire. Have these supposed experts on capitalism forgotten how it really works?
The “crisis” we face today is not a creation of the market. Government intervention over many years (but especially the last year) is what brought us to the point where we’ve placed our hopes for economic recovery on the good intentions of a Congress facing re-election in a few weeks.
We are not on the verge of a new depression. The housing bubble collapse in California, Florida and a few other states is not enough to bring down the entire banking system. Investors who made mistakes in these markets should be held responsible and those who navigated the Fed-distorted market should be rewarded for their wisdom and prudence. Enacting the Paulson plan will not allow that to happen and our economy will suffer for it in the long run. The Japanese tried to prop up failed banks in the aftermath of the bursting of their twin bubbles and the result was 15 years of stagnation. Why are we emulating a strategy that is a demonstrable failure? A better alternative would be to allow capitalism to work as it should and stop the interventions of the Fed in the money market. Trust capitalism. It works.

Capitalism always gets blamed for these crises, and indeed, markets have their ups and downs; as well as their cycles and psychology. But, it is always the government interference that makes the normal ups and downs catastrophic; or creates the hysteria that leads to panic and idiocy. It is the under-the-table deals and winks exchanged between dishonest, immoral businessmen and dishonest, immoral legisislators drunk on the power they wield over others that lead to the unwholesome greed and self-destructive deals; and it is underscored by a willingness--no, a desperate need-- to ignore reality and the long-term consequences/destructiveness of their own behavior.

And behind the scapegoating of capitalism for their own immoral behavior lies the unquestioned premise--held by leaders of both the left and the right--that capitalism is just so evil that it needs to be firmly 'controlled' and 'regulated'--as if it were a horrible monster just waiting to escape from its bonds and kill us all.

Instead of holding individuals and companies accountable for their choices and mistakes; instead of encouraging personal responsibility and allowing failure (which results in learning and changed behavior), our economic policy is geared to reinforce irresponsibiity and encourage victimhood. Everyone is a 'victim' of the 'dog eat dog', greedy capitalist system.

But remember, human nature does not change depending on whether a capitalist or socialist/communist economy is in play. Greed, abuse of power, ruthless behavior and any other failing you may attribute to human beings will be in play whenever humans are involved.

As I noted in a recent post Hakuna Matata:
The truth is that we have entered into a frenzied neo-Keynesian, neo-Galbraithian revival in government policy. Just sit back and be happy with all the largesse being handed out and remember that, thinking about the “long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.”

It's an economic philosophy that is understood clearly by a person in the throes of an acute manic episode; caught up in his excesses, spending money recklessly on all those unrealistic and grandiose plans. Many manic patients see themselves as 'saviors of the world'; and, in a perverted way from their perspective, they are--because in their own mind, they have carefully built a sturdy wall to keep reality at bay from their fantasy. All in all, mania and its less histrionic sibling hypomania are just two of the more flamboyant manifestations of psychological denial.

The entire 'hopeychangey' thing with its endless bailouts that take federal spending where no man has gone before, is simply economic therapeutic psychobabble.

Societies which integrate within their structure creative ways for human aggression to advance civilization rather than destroy it, will succeed over societies that attempt to deny human nature and, in the name of 'compassion', 'social justice' or 'egalitarianism' reinforce the most negative aspects of human nature. A society that meshes with human nature and, in particular, finds ways for the many negative aspects of that nature (e.g., envy, greed, desire for power, desire for wealth, aggression etc. etc.)to be sublimated in socially useful and/or harmless behavior--rather than attempting to crush or deny that they exist--will be a very powerful and successful society.

Progressives operate under an economic model that is more genetic as opposed to cognitive. They are still functioning with the herd mentality and have yet to embrace modern civilizization or individualism, preferring instead to function on an instictual, rather than a rational level. This is why they find capitalism and market economics so repugnant.

The economic primitivism that is unceasingly promoted by the political left is a remnant of the cave-dwelling days of mankind; an idyllic era of history to which the left desperately yearns to return. The word "Progressive" is thus a simple rhetorical manipulation to diguise the essential backwardness of the left's economc thinking.

Thus, even the most perfect and glib manifestation of neo-Marxism and postmodernism; as well as the ultimate incarnation of progressive therapeutic sensibility cannot hope to escape from reality.

Human nature is what it is. This is not tragic, it is simple truth. The biological fantasies of the utopians; and the delusional fantasies of Marxist, communists and socialists and all their heirs, have lead to incalculable levels of human suffering all over the globe, as the proponents of these theories have tried to force humans to some "ideal" state. All these systems have failed the real-world tests in the last century; and all current versions of these ideologies will also eventually fail and fade away.

Sigmund could have taught Karl that simple truth--but Karl was never searching for truth as much as he was searching for power over--not understanding of--the minds of men.

Essentially, under the Obamessiah Administration our country has begun to march backwards in history to the time where the "Divine Right" of kings and tyrants is the only law of the land. Obama's fervent committment to ideology, and ideology alone, has made this happen in an amazingly short time. It makes you wonder what things will look like one year into this egomaniacal and catastrophic Presidency.

UPDATE: Wretchard has this to say to those who may be inclined to Obama derangement:
I think Barack Obama will turn out to be, in part, who the public will let him become. There’s an interplay between whatever personal tendencies he has and political reality.

He cautions against developing the same kind of irrational hatred and bizarre paranoia toward BHO that the left subjected GWB to, and rightfully so. Criticism of Obama must be rooted in reality, and the reality is that we do not know yet what this man is capable of doing. The majority of Americans bet that he could do something good for the country, but that may have been more wishful thinking spurred on by superficial charm.

For anyone who looked carefully or in any depth at what, precisely, Obama had accomplished in his short life; or who bothered to read Obama's own words (in his two autobiographical statements) about what was important to him; or, who paid close attention to those he associated with and listened to over several decades; his actions in the first two months of his Presidency are no mystery; nor are they much of a surprise. In fact, they were fairly predictable.

My primary concern about this untried and untested person who has for better or worse been elected Leader of the Free World is the following: What kind of man will Obama become when his ideology fails in the real world? For me, this is the point at which "hope" and "change" will become meaningful concepts....

Meanwhile, BDS continues relatively unabated, and at the highest levels:

[Cartoons by Dana Summers]

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