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People of the Lie Battling Inequality with the President

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Barack Obama: One-dimensional Man

by Christopher Chantrill
December 03, 2013 at 12:00 am


A COUPLE OF things have come over the transom lately to remind us how cramped and limited is the man President Obama.

The first is his asinine remark that he’s not that ideological. Good grief, man. If you don’t understand that a politician calling for “fundamental transformation” is ideological through and through, you must be more dependent on your TelePrompTer than we thought.

The other “tell” is the president’s remark to Barbara Walters that he might stay on in Washington until after Sascha is finished at Sidwell Friends, her exclusive private school.

“We gotta make sure that she’s doing well... until she goes off to college,” Obama told Walters, according to an advance transcript of the interview, which aired Friday night. “Sasha will have a big say in where we are.”

According to the president’s aide, Josh Earnest, it’s not just Sascha’s school, but “being able to keep her social group as much as possible” that concerned the Obamas.

Is the president really that narrow gauged that he can’t see that, important as Sasha’s social development is to the Obamas, there is the little question of political mischief when two “presidents” are in town at once. Most departing presidents have the sense to get out of town and never come back.

Speaking about One-dimensional Man, guess what? Next year is going to be the 50th anniversary of semi-Marxist Herbert Marcuse’s bible for the New Left of the 1960s. Here’s a quick rundown from the Wikipedia entry. There’s a lot there for the liberal ruling class to ponder.

The concept of “one-dimensional man” asserts that there are other dimensions of human existence in addition to the present one and that these have been eliminated. It maintains that the spheres of existence formerly considered as private (e.g. sexuality) have now become part of the entire system of social domination of man by man.

Golly, what could Marcuse have been thinking about? Liberals that cannot imagine a world without their darling welfare state? Obamacare’s contraception mandate, perhaps? “Why is President Obama trying to politicize the holidays?” asks Byron York. Because he’s all in for the “system of social domination of man by man,” as any liberal one-dimensional man would want to be.

Technological rationality, which impoverishes all aspects of contemporary life, has developed the material bases of human freedom, but continues to serve the interests of suppression.

Gosh, Mr. President, I guess the failure of healthcare.gov is worse than we thought. If only your website worked then we could really get on with serving the interests of suppression of all non-liberal forms of life.

The book [One-dimensional Man] is generally pessimistic about the possibilities for overcoming the increasing domination and unfreedom of technological society; it concentrates on the power of the present establishment to contain and repulse all alternatives to the status quo.

Marcuse couldn’t be thinking of the cultural and political choke-hold that the present bi-coastal ruling class has on the country class in our nation, could he? The ruling class that has rammed Obamacare down our throats, and printed a couple trillion dollars in the last few years, and sicced the IRS on its political opponents? The ruling class that Victor Davis Hanson was writing about just this last week in “Coastal Royalty?”

The president, in his one-dimensionality, has mused occasionally about the possibilities of ruling without benefit of Congress. It would make things so much simpler and so kingly. How wonderful it would be just to command Republicans to get lost.

How wonderful it would be for everyone-except-Obama just to command Obamacare to get lost. But we can’t, because things don’t work that way, not in the real multi-dimensional world.

Here’s Charles Krauthammer increasing the dimension count. Democrats, he states, must must be the ones delivering the death of Obamacare.

Had it been delivered by Republicans before it was enacted with a defunding or any other measure, liberals would have said for 100 years we tried to get national health care, and the Republicans have thrown orphans in the snow again.

Democrats must be the ones to repeal Obamacare. And that’s what one-dimensional men like President Obama don’t understand. In the society beyond the boundaries of the state you don’t get to be the centurion that says to one go and he goeth or to a servant do and he doeth. You need to persuade other people about your good ideas instead of ordering them.

As we look back at the presidents of the 20th century we can say of all of them, except perhaps President Carter, that they were men of parts. We cannot say of them that there was no there there, no dimension beyond the purely political.

Would we could confidently say that of President Obama.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990

Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures

German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh

Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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