(A ‘Duh Progressive’ True Op-Ed)
On July 12th President Obama told CBS News that a president’s job is to “tell the story” behind their policies, and that he regrets not telling the “story” of his policies well enough to the public. Besides sounding like a president who is explaining away a pending re-election defeat (God willing), Obama’s comment was his typical velvet-gloved, back-handed “love tap” across the face of America. Gee, Mr. President, I didn’t know we were supposed to crouch before you after recess for story time, as if we were still in the third grade.
Aside from that, the “story” Barack Obama claims he has not told accurately is vastly different than the one he would like to tell. As for that story, there are innumerable ways to tell it, none of which are short or easy, given how closely one examines it. But speaking on the President’s behalf, and trying to extract myself from my own national and social-economic sphere, here is my stab at Obama’s true, ultimate story in a nutshell:
Obama’s story actually begins in 1885, when the Germans established a “protectorate” colony over the Sultan of Zanzibar’s possessions along the Kenyan coast. Soon the British followed, establishing their presence in the country three years later. From then until the conclusion of World War I, the British and Germans bickered over how much they would possess of Kenya and which resources they would gather and exploit. Following the Germans’ defeat in WWI, the British gained full dominance over Kenya, which as one can imagine, did not please native Kenyans much.
Not only did the British rule Kenya, but nearly the entire continent of Africa was under European domination by the time of “The War to End All Wars.” Needless to say, most Africans, as anyone would, found their colonization a bit…uhh… “irritating’’ at times. Further stoking their agitation was the rise of a social-econimic perception/philosophy called “Marxism,” which if you were a subject of a colonizing foreign power, provided some clear explanations as to why you were a “subject,” however gave not so much a solution for how to deal with your predicament than as to why it was occurring (ruthless, capitalist greed).
And so, in 1934, there was born a Barack Obama Sr. into a society – entire continent, really – ripe to shed off the shackles of foreign domination, and which had a clear explanation of why they were dominated by mighty Europe to begin with. After all, how many Third World nations that were once subvervient European satelites have not at least dabbled, if not completely embraced, the antithesis of the economic system (Socialism) of those who ruled over them? Answer: A HELL OF A LOT … And such embracement was an understandably emotional and popular knee-jerk reaction to those and that which had been occupying and exploiting them for generations.
So no, as uncomfortable as this may be for some of our more conservative readers to hear, Barack Obama’s father was not without a grain of evidence to equate capitalism with colonialism, oppression, exploitation, torture, and sometimes genocide. This conclusion may seem as foreign to many of us as planet Mars, but to a Kenyan man with kids to feed who cannot get a job because the ruling British brought in Indians from one of their many other colonies to work the fields, shops, or railways he could be working, such conclusions may be a tad easier to reach. And so was born a Barack Obama Jr. in 1961 to a man of this mindset, a guilt-stricken white mother of similar mentality, and with more than a “grain” of evidence to back them up.
PAUSE FOR A MOMENT. This is NOT a condemnation of capitalism. Capitalism is, after all, the economic manifestation of human nature. People can be compassionate and helpful to one another, we can also be ruthless and cruel. Capitalism embodies all of those traits, and simply pointing out its natural flaws does not mean one is against the entire system —we may as well discard humanity itself then. But that more cerebral assessment falls upon deaf ears to people who live in squalor and take orders from foreigners whose homelands are thousands of miles away. END OF PAUSE.
Now enter: The United States of America.
From the Marxist perspective, from the moment the first white foot stepped on to the beaches of North America, the European to whom that foot belonged gazed in awe upon the continent he would inevitably dominate and devour. America would become no more than a somewhat different, yet grandiose replica of Europe’s Africa, only this time it would eventually reign under the banner of “United” States.
Hopelessly addicted to their habits of exploitation, dominance and repression, Europeans, themselves divided into their own feuding ethnicities, religions, and colonies-to-be-states, still somehow went about doing in the New World what they did best: living off the resources of others. Systematically enacting a largely uncoordinated policy of bait-and-switch and playing-off Native American tribes against each other, Europeans eventually succeeded in driving the natives from their land, and in some cases, let’s admit, out-right exterminated them.
So speaking as Obama, with the Eastern half of America under European domination, along with their institution of indentured servitude mutated to race-based slavery, their child laborers, witch trials, second-class treatment of women, and Christian fundamentalism — the pious hallmark of white oppressors, particularly in the New World — there arose a mighty new nation, a “New Europe” if you will, made up of thirteen colonies, the goal of which was to first serve the economic demands of their masters in continental Europe, but also themselves (but it was becoming evident that the vast natural resources of America were such that the fractured future nation could sustain itself and be better off without England’s involvement … and taxation). In fact, the onerous taxes of the British were such that they eventually pushed us capitalists here to do what money-grubbing capitalists do: escape; abscond; break “free.”
So we exploiters of the earth, we mighty mishmash of palefaces huddled together in the thirteen colonies struck out on our own to conduct our exploitive capitalist (economically manifested human nature) ways without British control. And this break, speaking as Obama, was expressed in a peculiar and self-contradicting writ called the “Declaration of Independence,” which was a rather strange title since so many in the U.S. then were anything but.
Nevertheless, we were now free to behave as our former European masters did, only this time it was continentally contained, largely until the late 19th Century, and justified by a little ol’ document called the “Constitution.”
Obama, the Constitution, and Social Darwinism:
The President has let it slip on several occasions his overriding take on America and humanity at large; his best quip recently being his condemnation of Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed budget in June, decrying it as “thinly veiled Social Darwinism.” And that is EXACTLY how Obama views not only the history of America, but its Constitution as well.
Social Darwinism is commonly explained as the “survival of the fittest;” those who have the means and ability to rise and/or remain at the top of the social-economic strata have every reason and right to. It is the farthest extent of the libertarian ideology with which the Founding Fathers were inculcated when drafting the Constitution, according to Obama. So America was founded on conditions that were “free” for individuals to economically conduct themselves as they pleased – i.e. liberty. But that “liberty” spells enslavement and doom to those within the Social Darwinist society who fall or are born at the bottom of it. And that ability to rise within the Social Darwinist society is hampered even more when one is considered inferior due to ethnicity, religion, or gender by the ruling class which has established it. This is what President Obama sees when he envisions America’s birth, and how it still relatively exists.
To Obama, the Constitution is a Social Darwinist document –perhaps it’s greatest! And capitalism is the inevitable economic system that evolves in a Darwinistic, might-makes-right society. The Constitution gives free reign for those with the pre-existing capability to financially and politically thrive under an 18th Century dogma the founders (conquerors!) of the United States followed; establishing a largely lawless land that allowed its ruling class – the wealthy, the white, and the male – to maintain their supremacy generation after generation.
If it had not been a white foot which fist stepped upon North America in the 15th Century, but a black foot, an Angolan princess, for example, followed by other settlers from West Africa who behaved as white people did after discovering this land’s endless beauty and bounty, then the tide of our Social Darwinist society would have granted supremacy to Angolan princesses and other West African peoples…(heh, we could have been hailing the election of the first white president in 2008 as a step towards racial reconciliation and harmony). Ergo, whatever ruling group establishes a society based upon the (informal) doctrine of “survival of the fittest,” then that group (”class,” if you will) which has established it will remain supreme, be they white, black, Chinese, Christian, Muslim, or purple aliens from outer space.
As it happens, however, the bulk of the world from the 15th Century until recently, culminating with the rise of its greatest triumph in the 20th Century, the United States, has been dominated by white people (Westerners). You could chalk it up to a matter of “wrong race, wrong place, wrong time.” And with that ruthless, Social Darwinistc dominance came with it the inherent economic twin of of human nature —capitalism. Thus, all things capitalistic become synonymous with Western culture, and all things associated with it to people like Obama Sr., Jr., and countless others.
Regardless that slavery, racism, sexism, exploitation and genocide have existed in all corners of the world since the beginning of time, the fact that Europeans ended up being particularly adroit at them during the last 500 years (i.e. during the age of mass media) earned them inextricable identity with them. So Social Darwinism becomes synonymous with those who are its greatest known practitioners, victors … and victims.
Obama proclaimed during his 2008 campaign that he seeks to “fundamentally change” America. In truth, Obama and his ilk are out to do much more. They seek to eliminate callous Social Darwinism and its economic Siamese twin, capitalism, throughout the entire world, replacing them with a global paradise where there is no chance for exploitation, violence, discrimination, or even judgement based upon racial, cultural, religious, sexual, or any other human differences; where there can be no inequality of any sort, and where no one can rise above another in any regard, be it fair or not … a world where everyone gets a trophy. The same trophy.
The President wants to tell us “stories?” Well this is it. This is the story of Barack Obama’s macro world view; a sad, massive case of reflexive overreaction to hundreds of years of perceived white male dominance, economic exploitation (capitalism), enslavement, genocide, and the lifeblood of all those things, a cruel dog-eat-dog mentality (Social Darwinism) perpetuated by Earth’s primary rulers of the latter half-millennium. I would proclaim Obama a Marxist if it was not for the fact that based upon this view of human existence and the American experience, Barack Obama, well, out-Marxes Marx!
I understand how Africans like Obama’s father would be anti-British (hey, I’m no fan of them myself, and I’m white and part-British). I sympathize with his anger and the anger of everyone who suffered under colonialism, or worked hard and obeyed the rules in free societies only to get nowhere and die destitute. And yes, I can understand how a Marxist view of the world and how capitalism operates would be attractive to not just poor brown people who were once someone’s subject, but to poor people everywhere.
However the “dream solution” to all of these injustices always ends up being worse than the injustices themselves. Obama and his comrades’ dream solution quickly morphs into a nightmare when we realize that the ultimate destination of the path they’re taking us down (the primrose “We Must Right All Past and Remaining Injustices” path) leads to nothing but a synthetic, contrived, suffocating pseudo world; a forced, equally repressive blend of Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron and Orwell’s Animal Farm; a tyranny of the bland, where everyone gets a trophy, no matter what. It’s a “dream” nearly enough to make Rousseau himself bust out the Gadsden flag.
However, like all ideologues, Obama, et al, believe that all the Socialist experiments which have failed in the past did so due to preventable reasons (internal corruption, sabotage, outside influences, etc.), and certainly not because their view of how people should behave and society should work is fundamentally flawed beyond function. Just give it another shot, they say of the Utopia they wish to create, it’ll work … this time. In fact, I know Leftists who don’t even care if “it” works, just as long as they are steering the society opposite from who and what they view has ruled it, and to hell with where that opposite direction may lead.
In any case, this is the story Barack Obama would really like to tell. It is one with an honest history of pain and suffering, and of trying to make America into the complete opposite of the cut-throat continent ruled by greedy European hyper-masculinity he sees it as. In many ways I feel sorry for Obama. I can understand how someone looking at the history of the world and the U.S. would be angry at the humanitarian injustices that occurred. But I also cannot help seeing the vast amount of good America has done for its people and the planet, and how its noble accomplishments immensely and forever outshadows any of its sins.
I can understand Barack Obama. But that is still no excuse for him being Barack Obama.