Thursday, May 25, 2006

Column on Hilary's Socialism

Hilary Clinton?s Open Socialism

Tibor R. Machan

Although, as it has been observed here and there, ?few media have
trumpeted that Sen. [Hilary Rodham] Clinton exposed her socialist agenda
during a speech Monday [March 6th, 2006] in San Francisco (which the
Associated Press dubbed the "leftiest big city on the Left Coast"),? it is
worth reflecting on this reactionary viewpoint that an American Senator
can so glibly embrace in our time.

Senator Clinton showed her hand way back when, under the tutelage of her
Marxist teacher, TIKKUN editor Rabbi Michael Lerner, she wrote her famous
book, It Takes A Village (1996). In that book she made no bones about the
fact that, according to her, decisions about people?s lives, especially
those of their children, must be made collectively. And that is the
central thesis of socialism?we are all one tribe, not individual human
beings with a few similar but innumerable other distinct, unique lives,
goals, needs, and wants. No, what we are is a huge tribe, a collective,
exactly as Karl Marx envisioned we would someday be, once we have reached
the emancipated stage of humanity, communism.

The reason socialism is called that is that it is supposed to be a
scientific view of human society. And society is the focus because the
entity that has the highest historical reality is not you, I, and all the
rest of us individually but the mass of us together, lumped into one large
glob. It is the well-being of this huge glob that is to be engineered by
politicians and bureaucrats and if some of the parts of the glob, such as
you, I, or some others need to be sacrificed to the welfare of the whole,
then that?s what must be done. And who is to do it? Well, people like Karl
Marx and his followers, the scientists of society. As Marx said,
?Theoretical communists [are] the only ones who have time to devote to the
study of history....? and so they alone understand what?s what, not ever
you or I or the rest of us amateurs.

Senator Clinton shares this Marxists view. As she is reported to have put
it, quite explicitly, "Many of you are well enough off that ... the [Bush]
tax cuts may have helped you. We're saying that for America to get back on
track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you." She
announced this at a fund-raiser for Senator Barbara Boxer. She reportedly
added, "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common
good." And why not, if she, as taught by Professor Lerner and his teacher,
Karl Marx, are indeed the theoreticians who have time to study history and
know about humanity, unlike you and me who probably know only a thing or
two about ourselves, our family, friends and neighbors. Accordingly, of
course, none has the right, via tax cuts for examples, to stop Senator
Clinton and her political and bureaucratic cohorts when they embark upon
their historical mission of ?taking away from [us] on behalf of the common

Oddly, Karl Marx actually disputed some of Senator Clinton?s own
interpretation of the socialist idea when he added to his above
observation, that ?[socialists] are distinguished precisely because they
alone have discovered that throughout history the ?general interest? is
created by individuals who are defined as ?private persons.? They know
that this contradiction is only a seeming one because one side of it, the
so-called ?general,? is constantly being produced by the other side,
private interest....? This is a view he seems to have shared with Adam
Smith, namely, that the private interest, when pursued, actually produces
the general interest or common good. What he didn?t say but should have,
as Adam Smith did, is that because the common good is ultimately created
by the actions of private persons, the meddlesome interference of the
likes of Senator Clinton, who want to step in a remove our material means
of taking our private actions, isn?t required at all. As Smith realized,
the wisdom needed to produce the common good is held by all of us
individually, not, as Senator Clinton and her teachers believed, by some
theoretical communists.

Marx or no Marx, Senator Clinton is hell bent on taking America back to
the pre-revolutionary era when individuals persons were not deemed
sovereign but subject to the will of the crown who supposedly had the
divine authority to order us all about in our lives for the common good.
Maybe Senator Clinton ought to get a better understanding of the nature of
the American revolution, which created the country that she serves as a
Senator and is probably going to attempt to lead as president. That is
clearly the opposite of what she thinks it is. What the Founders
understood is that we are individuals, first and foremost, and need to
form our groups, societies, by our will and action as such, not under the
dominant, dictatorial rule of men and women who imagine themselves as so
wise as to run roughshod over us and thereby serve what they take to be
the common good.

She might also call to mind and ponder Abraham Lincoln?s insight that ?No
man is good enough to govern another man, without that other's consent.?

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