Saturday, May 14, 2016

The President Suggests We Are In A Post-Ideological Age


For John, BLUFAnd he is wrong on this score.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



"The Rise Of American Socialism"

This is from The Hoover Institute, way out at Stanford.  The author is Mr Paul Gregory.  He examines a talk by President Obama, in which the President says it isn't the ideology that counts, but doing the right thing.  At some level I agree with the President, but sometimes doing the right thing now goes wrong in the end.  It is like that catch phrase amongst bridge players, "A cheap trick now will cost you later".

Here are the lede and two following paragraphs:

Obama’s recent impromptu remarks to a Latin American audience provide a fleeting glimpse into how the American Left is preparing mainstream America for socialism.

In his unscripted talk in a town hall meeting in Argentina, Obama downplayed the “sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist.”  Notably, Obama characterized such divisions as “of the past,” as if they do not exist anymore.  Per Obama, we supposedly live in a post-modern ideology-free world.  Although capitalist-socialist-communist divisions “are interesting intellectual arguments,” he advised the young people of Argentina: “You don't have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory—you should just decide what works.”  As an illustration, Obama praised Cuba’s universal health care system as a “huge achievement” while regretting that Cuba is “a very poor country.” Obama’s implication:  If Cuba just picked and chose wisely, it could have both its medical care system and a prosperous growing economy—no changes in the political system necessary.

So what to do in such a post-ideology world?  According to Obama, we must create “new forms that are adapted to the new conditions that we live in today.”  Although economies “rooted in market-based systems” are the most successful, “a market does not work by itself. It has to have a social and moral and ethical and community basis, and there must be inclusion.”  No system is perfect; so we must craft an economic system that uses market forces to produce results that are inclusive and socially, morally, and ethically correct.  In Obama’s value-free world, practical judgments of what “works” should replace ideological considerations.

But then Professor Gregory suggests that ideology does matter and presents these two three legged stools as a graphic example of why.

If you don't have freedom to maneuver, politically and economically, you don't have freedom.  That means you are counting on the person at the top to make all the right decisions.  It is often the case that they can't.

Free enterprise has worked to provide a better standard of living for all who enjoy it.  Socialism has tended to be a continuation of feudalism under another name.  And we remember how that worked out.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Turns out I have used that phrase before, back on 30 September 2016, about Ms Clinton's health care plans.

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