Rebirth of Reason


Obama and the Jihadists
by Tibor R. Machan

It puzzles many folks why Mr. Obama isn’t more vigilant about Jihadists, including domestic ones.  I find his outlook uncomplicated.


Mr. Obama is convinced, I believe, that the United States of America – its bourgeois society – is responsible for the problems that plague millions abroad, including in the Middle East.  Just as all the ills that American blacks are experiencing is ultimately the fault of the American bourgeoisie – the old nemesis of Marx and the other communists ideologues – so is every problem troubling those in the Middle East the responsibility of Americans who embrace the basic values of the country – individualism, capitalism, technology, globalism, etc., etc.


This is the basic premise of Mr. Obama’s worldview.  Anyone who takes even a cursory glance at his speeches, nearly all of them (though the eulogy he gave in South Carolina was an exception) -- can easily glean the point I am making.  Just as most Americans take it as a given that the country is basically good, on the right side of the important issues, the very opposite is the case with Mr. Obama and his supporters.


If you didn’t build your wealth, you must have stolen it!  Your property is all theft, as the French anarchist political economist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon proclaimed, mainly stolen from those who produced it.  As Obama put it recently, “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that,” which implies that your wealth, income, earnings, etc., are not really yours at all but ours! That is the central message of collectivism, including communism and socialism. It goes all the way down to the source: you thinking, you brain, all of that is part of the huge collective.


Whatever is even mildly correct about this one thing is for sure: those who advocate these ideas are always ready to step up and control the property, the values in question.  They will redistribute it all; in line with their vision of what is fair and good.


But when it comes to foreign affairs Mr. Obama seems naturally inclined to favor those who lay all troubles of the world at the feet of bourgeois, property making and owning, Americans. And because this attitude is so consonant with the doctrine of altruism, namely, that we must share everything we have, including our labor, with those who are in need, a doctrine widely advocated and defended by ethicists and moralists, arguing against it immediately places one on the side of the bad people of the world.


In foreign affairs, all of what Americans deem to be theirs is, in fact, there to be used by others who could use it.  That this is crazy thinking and impedes productivity and creativity makes no difference.  Those who refuse to share the vision will need to be made to follow the line.  Like the individual mandate in Obama care: coerce them to do the right thing!


Sadly this line of thinking is very much in line with what most of us are taught from the earliest time of our lives.  Share and share and if you refuse, you will be punished!


The reason Mr. Obama cannot get exercised about the vicious conduct of Jihadists is that they ultimately occupy the moral high ground in his worldview.  Sure, he is sworn to defend America and protect the rights of Americans but the commitment yields, in his mind, to the imperative of altruistic collectivism.  By his lights, the alleged moral imperative to serve others cannot even be left to the free choice of moral agents, no.  If they refuse to comply, there must be legal sanctions and mandates that rectify their failure.

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