Forbes: Obama not a Socialist, More like an Oligarch

Just another example of the fact that business news publications tend to be the most honest (they speak honestly to their constituency). Forbes editor Michael Maiello’s newest column proclaims:

Obama Loves The Rich

Here’s an excerpt:

Obama’s no socialist. An observer from Mars would think the man’s a downright oligarch. While the “angry white men” movement assembles into tea parties, the real anger should be felt by those on the left who have so far watched the president continue to follow an economic rescue plan that was outlined by George Bush and Hank Paulson. The only thing that Obama has socialized are the losses incurred by Wall Street’s major banks….


Yeah we’d say that’s pretty right on. Obama’s brand of socialism involves foisting the burden of Wall Street excesses upon the people to share, while privatizing profits made by Wall Street Execs (who still continue to receive bonuses…)

Again, it is important to point out that Obama is incapable of bringing any kind of real change because its the system that needs changing not its leadership. Power should (and could) be in the hands of the people, that would be real change. However that kind of change requires much deeper and qualitatively different struggle.

4 responses to “Forbes: Obama not a Socialist, More like an Oligarch

  1. “Power should (and could) be in the hands of the people, that would be real change. However that kind of change requires much deeper, deeper, and qualitatively different struggle.”

    I agree in general, however if we don’t explain what the nature of that “deeper” struggle and change is, how can we get there?

    I question the use of the phrase “the people” here not because I disagree, but because I think it’s time to unpack this often used term. What people are we talking about? I think that most understand it to be the poor and oppressed people, but even this is vague.

    I think that what people generally mean by the term “the people” is the working class people. Is this just semantics? I don’t think so.

    Paulo Freire said something along the lines of, “the first step in the liberation of the oppressed is naming their oppressor.” Maybe this is an example of the power of language. If we don’t name our oppressors for what they are – capitalists (amongst other things of course) then perhaps we are one step further from liberation.

    We need to specifically name the “deeper struggle” which we agree we need as a class struggle, and begin to unpack all the challenges wrapped up within that. I think that doing this brings us closer in our thinking and practice towards realizing the type of qualitatively deeper struggle we need.

  2. this all made me think about the article re: prachanda and the string that follows it.

    the idea of ‘the people’ might be a term that radical analysis can use. we can reject the bourgeois concept in which, as is no surprise, the bourgeoisie hold the position of subject (i.e., subject-verb or subject-object): “we the people,” “yes WE can.” who does that “we” always turn out to be? or rather what–the subject of action in the bourgeois system, ultimately, is capital, the ever-greater accumulation of which is the overriding drive of this system.

    a marxist approach would suggest that certain subjectivities or classes represent the limits to this system and have the potential, by expressing themselves through organization and consciousness, to bring about revolutionary transformation. in other words, who is the subject of history? how you answer depends on who you are and how you understand your identity and the situation of which it’s a part–class and class-consciousness for a marxist.

    the expression of this revolutionary subject:
    “Lenin wrote: “What is this dual power? Alongside the Provisional Government, the government of bourgeoisie, another government has arisen, so far weak and incipient, but undoubtedly a government that actually exists and is growing—the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.What is the class composition of this other government? It consists of the proletariat and the peasants (in soldiers’ uniforms). What is the political nature of this government? It is a revolutionary dictatorship, i.e., a power directly based on revolutionary seizure, on the direct initiative of the people from below, and not on a law enacted by a centralized state power. It is an entirely different kind of power from the one that generally exists in the parliamentary bourgeois-democratic republics of the usual type still prevailing in the advanced countries of Europe and America. This circumstance often over looked, often not given enough thought, yet it is the crux of the matter.” that, for me, represents the kind of “qualitatively deeper struggle we need,” to work towards the goal of a class-conscious, revolutionary subjectivity that can challenge capital and the state. the union and non-profit industries take as a presupposition the continued existence of the state and capitalism.

    the material basis of its real construction, organization and manifestion:
    the basis of these interlocking systems is the material activities produced by class relations and the class relations produced by material activities–they are the same. to challenge these interlocking systems, a revolutionary force muse be able to breach these relations and activities by taking control of them, and ultimately, make way for their transformation.

    therefore, for a revolutionary subject to express itself there must be organization. beginning in small units which slowly build social-economic-political networks that are a real alternative to the bourgeois system of power.

  3. “therefore, for a revolutionary subject to express itself there must be organization. beginning in small units which slowly build social-economic-political networks that are a real alternative to the bourgeois system of power.”

    yes. and i would add that such an organization cannot be built just by recruiting people to ideas, but through putting ideas into action. a fighting organization has to be built by fighting, through struggle. so small units (which is the scale of most of the left today in the US) should find small scale struggles to slowly build social-economic-political networks.

  4. Pingback: The Meaning of Obama | The Luxemburgist

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