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Friday, October 26, 2012

Obama's Ayn Rand Distortion

Imagine a lifetime of being a slave to negative peer pressure and feeling endless rejection in the pursuit of elusive acceptance from others who don't care about you.  That is the utopian fantasy President Obama alludes to in a recent interview, while distorting the capitalism-defending Atlas Shrugged author Ayn Rand.

In the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Obama is quoted as saying:

"Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we'd pick up.  Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we're considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that's a pretty narrow vision."
Obama's directive for people to be outerdirected, to subordinate one's needs to those of others, makes a fatally flawed assumption that the "others" are likewise putting your needs ahead of theirs. This is a utopian fantasy that assumes -- no, it requires -- that everyone act in harmony. This ignores the essential flaws of human nature, flaws which are recognized most poignantly in our culture by our major religions and, in the United States, by a Constitution and developed rule of law which respects the rights of the minority and safeguards them against "the tyranny of the majority."  This perspective is incorporated into the mistaken belief (or a horribly Machiavellian deception to exploit "useful idiots") that "the government" and "the people" are one and the same, that the government is benevolent and can be trusted.

Moving the discussion from the political to the sharply personal, these words should resonate very negatively with anyone who remembers not being in the "cool" group or got rejected by a fraternity or sorority, if you've been an "outsider" or "newcomer."  You should feel chills running down your spine when reading Obama's comments. (Hint to the top achievers, the leaders in our society: many of you were outsiders precisely because of your achievement, and the raw envy it sparked in others.  This is you!)

Obama's comments are dangerous to us on a personal level, because he is all about pressuring you to spend a lifetime seeking the approval of others -- and getting a tremendous amount of rejection in the process.  So when Obama wants you to subordinate your desires, your ambitions, your wants -- and these are things you are entitled to pursue and shouldn't be made to feel guilty for aspiring to have -- what Obama is really saying, is this: You don't deserve that.  

You didn't build that.

You couldn't have done those things without us.

That isn't yours. (No, it's ours.)

Pay your fair share.

You need us.

You're NOTHING without us.

Accept these messages as gospel, and your reward will be lifelong misery.  But for the Machiavellian Obama and his acolytes who know the psychological manipulative techniques of Saul Alinsky, this is the recipe for making you so miserable (read: dirt poor AND unhappy) that you will do anything for relief from pain.  You'll be like a strung-out drug addict, always needing a psychological "fix."  You'll become -- and remain -- desperate, docile, obedient, and easy to control.

That, my friends, is the essence of power.  And this leads easy to tyranny and repression.

Understand this: Obama's mandate for people to subjugate their needs and wants to those of others does more than compel one's dependence upon the group; it makes one vulnerable to the "tyranny of the majority," to the malice and depravity of the group should it turn on you. Whereas the American model of Constitutional democracy protects individuals against the excesses and tyranny of both the mob and the state, the Obama philosophy makes people dependent on those who can easily abuse their power and strength in numbers to persecute disfavored minorities. 

It is appalling that this worldview is voiced by an African-American born into the 20th Century which not only saw America go through its civil rights movement, but also fight wave after wave of foreign repression and genuinely evil leaders: Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Khomeini, Qadhafi, Castro.  Nazism, Fascism, Communism, all were examples of government utopian philosophies gone horribly wrong when evil men gained power. 

Don't think that Obama ignores these lessons.  Obama is too intelligent to fail to realize the implications of his position. It's not that he doesn't understand.  He does -- and therein lies the problem. Obama is trying to instill groupthink, of reliance and dependence upon, and obedience to the group, above all other values. Yet as we approach Election Day, we must recognize that Obama's philosophy shows a depraved indifference to the plight of the truly disadvantaged and victimized, to the minorities among us, who would be the first to be preyed upon by a tyrannical, evil collective. 

Ever wonder why some minority groups (whether they be racial, ethnic or sexual orientation minorities, however you want to slice society) seem wedded to the hip of the Obama "progressive" worldview, even when economic and social conditions are deteriorating?  It's not ideological affinity.  It's psychological desperation, a collective groupthink where these groups are driven to beg.

Far from being truly compassionate, Obama's mindset indicates he would place the poor, the disadvantaged and exploited minorities, at the greatest risk of degradation, deprivation and enslavement.

When the wolves turn on the sheep and decide what they're having for dinner, Obama's philosophy is silent.  That's because the truth of the perspective must remain hidden, for it is too unpalatable to speak, and because its revelation would make continued obedience unlikely or impossible.  When individuals are expected to self-sacrifice for the group, the group's needs justify any harm on the individual.  So in Obama's worldview, if the wolves want to eat the sheep, Obama will turn on the oven and tell the sheep it's time has ended.

Does the reality behind the admonitions to "pay your fair share," and the fear behind ObamaCare's "death panels," now come into sharper focus?  When the individual must submit to the group, you stop owning even your own life.  That is the ultimate danger of Obama's philosophy.  He has no choice but to attack the philosophy of the libertarian Rand, because Rand exposes Obama's ugliest truth: that individuals will be sacrificed ruthlessly to serve the society and the state.

Eric Dixon is a corporate and investigative attorney in New York and New Jersey. Mr. Dixon regularly represents business and opinion leaders, public officials and political candidates in sensitive legal and investigative matters.  Mr. Dixon is also on the board of directors of the Financial Policy Council, an independent economic think tank.

1 comment:

  1. Very well written piece, Eric. One essential that I think needs to be emphasized is that Atlas Shrugged is *not* primarily a book about capitalism (which most people on the left AND right believe), but it's a book about morality, about Rand's new morality: rational egoism. It's not just a book *against* things: collectivism, statism, mysticism, etc. It's a book that is *for* things: man's mind, reason, individualism, human success and happiness.

    That's why Atlas changes lives.