Statism: Obama’s theory of government

Posted by: Phineas on February 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Peter Wehner had a good post in Commentary last week that, while talking about Obama’s latest risible budget proposal, neatly encapsulates the statist, progressive view of the relationship between the citizen and the State, Obama’s theory of government:

These numbers are important, but they need to be understood above all as a manifestation of a particular philosophy, which some have called reactionary liberalism. Barack Obama has an almost undiluted attachment for and belief in the wondrous powers of the federal government. He believes the role of the state is to redistribute wealth and level out differences. He would trade off greater prosperity in all classes and income brackets in order to narrow the gap in income inequality, which he considers to be a moral offense. Obama wants to punish wealth creators, empower unelected bureaucrats, undermine private enterprise and centralize power.

Beyond even that, Obama wants government to weaken, and eventually replace, civil society, create greater dependency, and expand the state’s reach into every nook and cranny of life, including into the internal life of the church. And at a time when Medicare in particular is driving us toward a Greece-like crisis, the president opposes any modernization of our entitlement state and savages those who are offering up reforms.

More than any president in our lifetime, Barack Obama identifies the state with society and wants society absorbed by the state.

(Emphasis added)

Wehner calls it “reactionary liberalism,” (1) but I think Goldberg (channeling H. G. Wells) names it best: “Liberal Fascism.” The State becomes the arbiter of a vague “Will of the People” (or “Spirit of the Nation,” or whatever), speaking for the collective and knowing better than the individual what the individual needs, for the good of the whole. Forget the goosestepping images of Nazis or Mussolini’s Blackshirts, and put side the insane racial nonsense the National Socialists added to Fascism; reactionary liberalism/liberal fascism can come with a warm smile and a motherly embrace, promising all sorts of wonderful things, if only you’ll be good and let Nanny State make the choices for you.

It is the infantilization of the individual citizen.

And it would be so easy to say “yes,” which is why, in 2012, we have to say “no.”

RELATED: In a later post, Wehner cites another example, that of Nancy Pelosi’s opinion on the HHS mandate and the proper response of religious organizations: “Shut up and obey.

(1) Although, really, the most reactionary people I’ve ever met have been supposedly broadminded liberals. Mildly challenge even one of their dearly held dogmas (such as the success of the New Deal or the desirability of abortion on demand), and many go into full frothing-and-shrieking mode. It’s almost Pavlovian.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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4 Responses to “Statism: Obama’s theory of government”


  1. Tex says:

    Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has been hijacked by majority of people who also believe as Obama does. It’s not John Kennedy’s or LBJ’s Democratic Party anymore.

    And apparently, the more educated you are, the more likely you are to buy into this “Liberal Fascism” ideology. The fact that highly educated people, who should have learned about the failures of Socialism in history and economics classes, because of the infinite quantity of historical evidence, are buying into the Socialist “Liberal Fascism” ideology absolutely mystifies me.

  2. Brontefan says:

    Liberal Facism…it is!

  3. Drew the Infidel says:

    Good point, Tex. This all reminds me of what my mom used to say about how there was a marked difference between an educated person and an intelligent one.

  4. Kate says:

    I agree Tex…I see it with my better educated siblings who feel that the only “trustworthy” way to help people is through a government program because…wait for it…it treats everyone equally under law? No, I say, it picks favorites and gives them power! It marginalizes public opinion and it keeps people undereducated and uninvolved in the government they are looking to for “help”. Why can’t they see that? Because, they refuse to deal with reality.

    The goal is, of course, to have everyone depending on the Nanny State to take care of their every need. People like that idea because it requires no thought on their part, no risk on their part and no work on their part. I wonder how they will feel when they find themselves standing in bread lines like they did in the great Socialist experiment called the Soviet Union or North Korea?