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Sunday, November 2, 2008

The New Age Ahead
Maimon Schwarzschild

How smoothly will America be transformed into a leftist republic?

There isn't much doubt, is there? that the line will change overnight on Tuesday.  For now, the prospective Obama Administration will be just another Democratic administration, perhaps a little more "liberal" than most.  Socialism?  Pshaw.  But Wednesday morning, it will be a "clear mandate for the progressive vision".

Fervent leftism, after all, has become a kind of political religion over the past eight or ten years for a surprising number of people who used to be liberals, or mildly left-of-centre types.  (Leave aside Barack Obama himself and the menagerie of far-leftists in his lifelong entourage.)   Will these people, a vast number of enthusiasts and believers, and tens of thousands of old and new government job-holders, abandon or moderate their fervent views once they are rewarded with sweeping national power?  Hardly likely.

Will the hair-trigger anger, even hatred, that has been on display among many of these people over the past decade dissipate now?  I do think a lot of this leftish anger and hatred started out as something less than serious or even sincere: something at least partly lathered up, semi-consciously, as a way to muster energy for the political contest, not uncommonly with some air of amused irony about it.  But the sneers and the hatred took on a life of their own.  It has been increasingly serious, self-righteous, and certainly un-amused as the years have gone on.  When it is rewarded with national power, will it dissipate?  Hardly likely.  Attitudes that win you power - or that you reasonably feel have won you power - are more likely to grow once you are in power.

Barack Obama's candidacy has very largely been a creation of the MoveOn, DemocraticUnderground, Kos, and media left, and the fervent and sectarian "base" generally.  Look for an administration that reflects that outlook - not perfectly of course, never using actual words like socialism, pacifism, disarmament or class warfare - but trying to govern, at least some of the time, as much as possible, in their spirit.

But America is really a centre-right country.  Can it be transformed into a leftist country?  Into something like a Euro-socialist country?  Even if Obama and certainly many of his supporters are more radical than any Western European socialist or social democratic government?

Maybe.  After all, a lot of elite American institutions have turned themselves over to the left or the far left in recent decades, with barely a peep of protest.  Many (in fact most) universities and colleges.  The foundations.  The "mainline" churches and the non-Orthodox Jewish denominations.  After all, the Democratic Party.  Many if not most public school systems - where the only history taught is Howard Zinn or his like: the sort of US history that would have been taught in Soviet schools.  And, obviously, the media.  (Yes, there is Fox. How long will it last?  And talk radio. Just until the "fairness doctrine" comes in.)

Perhaps the country will now go along too.  If so, a smooth transition.  Still, not a happy future, I think.  The laws of economics aren't likely to be repealed, even for the Messiah.  And the laws of economics, at least so far, haven't exactly favoured socialist or statist command economies, certainly not over the medium to long run.

But I think there will be more resistance in America generally than there was on the road to the one-party campus.

If so, look for more anger, not less.  And more lies and chicanery.  If the new order requires more ACORN "voters", more double standards for the campaign finance laws, more campaigns of crazed or semi-crazed vituperation against opponents or even against the ordinary Joe (or Samuel Joe) who asks an awkward question, look for all these things.  The media won't cover it, they will cover for it.  Everything may not be permitted, but an awful lot might be.

It will be interesting.

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Maimon Schwarzschild
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Comments

Whoa...Yesterday, thousands of people met in Qualcom Stadium (home of the Chargers) to pray for our nation and support of Prop 8 for marriage being defined between a man and woman. They met from 10 am to 10 pm.
Many have fasted for 40 days. I believe this is happening in many states. I believe all denominations of christians will vote in greater numbers than they did in 2000/2004. Many black churches are going for Obama... but not all. Those who are not say, "yes we want to see a black man in the White House...but not this black man, Obama. Good for them! If only voters would see BHO as the manchurian candidate that he is. Those orchestating his campaign can't wait to take over our government. God forbid that that should happen. Violence is being threatened if BHO loses. All the more reason to vote for McCain...we don't want racist bullies to take over our government. Fasten your seatbelts...McCain/Palin will walk through the doors of the White House in Jan. 2009!

Posted by: hello dolly | Nov 2, 2008 7:15:52 AM

To ensure the adoration of a theory, faith is not enough, a police force is needed as well. The difference between a welfare state and a police state is a matter of time--Camus, Rand

Posted by: james wilson | Nov 2, 2008 7:33:28 AM

*sighs* How depressing. I'm surrounded by people like that, and you mean to tell me that win or lose, they're still going to be crazy? Here I was hoping a win, at least, would make them normal again. There's only so much ranting a girl can take...

Posted by: Elena | Nov 2, 2008 8:39:31 AM

The courts, packed with Republican appointees, will be powerless to stop change. Corporate CEOs, mostly Republican, won't spend a penny to finance campaigns.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 3, 2008 1:57:40 PM

Now this is the best send-up of a right winger who has lost his mind I've ever seen. Congratulations! What is most impressive is that, for all the vehemence and despair you mingle in your post, nothing you say is true nor, indeed, are any of your claims even within the realm of reason. I'm impressed at how that doesn't slow you down one bit.

You write of fervent leftism as a "political religion," and of Democrats being engines of hatred. If what you mean by these slurs is that Democrats aren't thrilled with the Bush-Cheney Administration and have in fact been critical of its policies, then you have stated a truism. But I don't know how you get from there to "political religion" and hatred. Whereas Democrats have criticized the most right-wing administration since the New Deal -- that's what the opposition is supposed to do in a democracy, isn't it? -- it was the far right (remember?) that made blood sport out of the moderate democrats known as the Clintons. Now *that* was hatred. And just what do you mean when you claim that institutions have been turned over to the left and that our youth have been remitted to the soviet-style history teaching now prevailing in schools and universities? Do you mean that, evidence notwithstanding, we need to tell triumphalist tales -- our country right or wrong, damnit? Why, indeed: Ter hell with the scholarship that four decades of historians have produced; they're just pathetic commies deep down, you know. How dare they not write accounts that meet with your preconceptions. (By the way, for what it's worth, no one serious reads Howard Zinn.)

Am I too harsh? Ah, maybe so. I hope I haven't hurt your feelings. Yes, yes, I think I understand what you're saying now, Maimon. To be sure, your ideological soul mates have controlled government for eight years now; and yes, your party has moved far right and been largely ascendant since 1981; it's true too that things have, well, fallen apart both domestically and internationally, in spades. But that doesn't hold a candle, does it, to the world-destroying fact that the other party may take power shortly? The "Permanent Republican Majority" isn't just a bad idea Karl Rove had -- no, it's an entitlement! And since that majority you've become accustomed to is vanishing, the sky is really falling; my goodness -- how could I have missed it? -- the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD (thanks, I know, to ACORN's machinations) is now stacked against you: foundations, education, the media. (Even today's miseducated youth won't pay attention to Fox Television and Rush Limbaugh!). Shall we kill ourselves then?

NO!

In yours, as in all good evangelical presentations, there is hope. This our hour of despair will not last forever. Out of the darkness will come light. The Eternal One, blessed be He, in the form of the immutable laws of (corporate capitalist?) economics, can't be denied. He will prevail in the "medium to long run," even if we have to suffer at the gates of Hell (where, heaven forfend, medical care is available to most people) for the time being. In short, there is no need for melancholy. The Democrats, with their "political religion," just can't prevail in the long run.

[Note to Central Casting: next time you select someone to play the devil, please come up with a guy more like Vincent Price than Senator Obama; this is a tragedy, tragedy, tragedy, not a comedy, remember?]

Posted by: Really Now | Nov 3, 2008 2:45:57 PM

ROFL

Posted by: Really Now's twin brother | Nov 3, 2008 4:38:13 PM

Really Now:

Your bitterness is only surpassed by your smugness.

Posted by: USA61 | Nov 3, 2008 5:38:59 PM

poor Maimon. He got a link from Brian Leiter's blog and now every left winger in the blogosphere is coming by to gape at him. We love you Maimon and I will ask the VRWC to double your allotment of Krugerrands.

Posted by: Tom Smith | Nov 3, 2008 5:50:53 PM

Ah. I was wondering.

Now all's well.

Coal. I'll buy coal with my Krugerrands.

Posted by: Maimon | Nov 4, 2008 1:53:06 AM

Really Now,
Your argument is flawed in several places, but I will point out the most glaring in my mind. You state that for the last eight years, the Republican party has been ruling, and that is true, but what you fail to understand is that the Republican Party as represented by President Bush is not the party of Reagan. After Reagan, the party slowly swung from conservatives who believed in small government, low taxes, and adherance to Washington's admonition to avoid getting involved in other nation's affairs, and moved towards neo-conservatives who believed that you could use government to achieve conservative goals here and abroad.

This abandonment of the policy of small government and Washington's advice has moved the Republican Party a long way to the left politically which is why you saw huge gains for the Democrats in 2006, why you will see big gains again today. Conservatives are feeling abandoned by their party, and it took the nomination of Sarah Palin to even partially energize the large conservative base of the Republican Party.

So, you see that there is no basis to your claim that there has been a huge swing to the right since Reagan.

Posted by: Ken Wilson | Nov 4, 2008 6:38:12 AM

Ooops. Silly me. Thanks for the correction, Ken. I had no idea --none!-- that the Bush Administration is really, deep down, in the final analysis, all things considered, "a long way to the left." Nor did I realize that the McCain-Palin Maverick Movement is all about opposing and correctng the Bush Administration's unorthodox lurch to the left. I guess that means that when I voted for Obama this morning, I was really voting for four more years of Bush leftism. Darn, I wish I had read your comment before I voted!

Posted by: Really Now | Nov 4, 2008 11:59:31 AM

I didn't say that McCain-Palin was further to the right of President Bush, I was merely stating that all of them are not CONSERVATIVE, rather they are further to the left. I would put them in the democrat of 1960 style. When you voted for Obama you voted for 4 years of Marxism in America, not 4 more years of Bush leftism. Luckily for you my vote for McCain-Pailn this morning canceled your misguided vote out.

Posted by: Ken Wilson | Nov 4, 2008 2:20:11 PM

I must say, this IS quite entertaining! Quoting Camus and Rand. References to Obama as both Messiah and Devil. Distinguishing Palin from Bush (to the left or to the right?) and then distinguishing Bush from Reagan. And Krugerrands! What fun! Hope you don't mind us gawker lefties dropping by now and again for ongoing amusement. In return, we promise not to post gloats too often.

Best,
GL

Posted by: GL | Nov 10, 2008 11:37:05 PM