February 20, 2010

Marxism ala Obama

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:32 am by Dan Barnett

This is the paper I wrote for my sociology class. I took a couple sentences out as they only pertained the idea that this was a school assignment.
“According to several news reports over the past several months President Obama has “attacked” banks, and other large corporations such as insurance companies. These attacks have been part of the administration’s attempt to bring reform to our nation’s health care system and financial system. This is what the administration claims at least. There are many who disagree with the claim that the goal is to reform the way most Americans would see it. Obama has been called many things by critics among which are such titles as “Marxist” and “Socialist”. I draw these two out from the many others (Communist, hypocrite, tyrant, etc) because these two seem to hold the most validity. I don’t see these two descriptions as separate, rather one being the exercise of the other.
It is very clear that his platform of “Progressivism” is actually a form of “Socialism”. Loosely defined this is an idea of intervention to bring about what Marx desired to see, no more classes based on wealth. Marx’s conflict theory based on class rule actually describes what the American society has become. Generally the candidate with the most financial backing wins the election, and thus the wealthiest class has their representative legislating on their behalf. Marx desired to see the society more balanced among the classes, or rather to see classes basically eliminated. What the current administration has done to bring about this change is actually to enact the conflict theory full-force. It has been called by people such as Mark Levine, author and political talk host, “Class Warfare”. In other words, the administration has attacked the upper class via the banks and large corporations and is pitting the middle and lower classes against the upper class in what seems to me as an effort to bring the upper class down to the level of the middle class. In this class-warfare system the one trying to eliminate the classes is not using any forces outside of the American Society. He is using the conflict between the classes to bring about the change, or evolution, he desires to see take place. What is interesting about all of this is that it is also taking place on a global scale. The much refuted idea of human-caused global warming has been used in an attempt to “attack” wealthier and more developed (more evolved if you will) nations and force them to supply money to lower countries based on Carbon emissions.
What I really find interesting is that through all of this conflict it is very clear that the result will not be a more evolved society but a society displaying the involution that Chirot talked about. Evolution is basically adapting to bring about a greater ability to survive. The United States as a capitalist society has become one of the wealthiest nations in the world. It has done so by rewarding based on merit and withholding reward when no merit is present. Basically, you get what you have worked to earn. Changing it to the society that Marx envisioned brings more danger than is shown on the surface. When taking away reward from those that have earned it in order to give to those who haven’t, keeping in mind that there are those in each class that are where they are regardless of their own efforts, takes away the desire to thrive and thus the need to survive. If John knows he’s going to get an even cut of the earnings regardless of how hard he works for it, he sees no need to overexert himself, meanwhile Steve feels the same way. The gross product between the two of them goes down due to a lack of effort by each of them. This lack of effort comes from the idea of rational choice. John and Steve are going to choose, regardless of what type of society they are in, to take the course of action that will bring each of them the greatest reward. Under a Marxist society that means allowing the other to do the work since they are each getting the same reward regardless. Under a Capitalist society it means each working as hard as he can knowing his reward is based on what he puts into it. Marx may have had a good idea, but the time it would take to evolve our minds into what they need to be, to determine that regardless of the reward we must put in our best effort or society will fail, would be so great that society would run an enormous risk of failure nevertheless would display involution to the fullest.”

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