Wednesday, November 19, 2008

True or False?: Obama is a Marxist. Defend Your Answer.

We had a great Utah blogger get-together at Squatter's Pub last Friday night. Proposition 8 was the most popular topic of discussion, but one of the other more controversial issues we discussed was whether President-Elect Barack Obama is a Marxist. Some of us expressed the opinion that he is. Others of us were very vocal that he's not. Which of us is right? Does it really matter?

In my opinion, Barack Obama is quite a Marxist. On scale of 1 to 10, he's definitely not a 10, but he's way above a 5. Marx espoused a form of socialism, so for all intents and purposes, Marxism and Socialism are the same thing. The fact that a lot of Republicans are Marxist to varying degrees clouds the question at hand quite a bit. Nonetheless, a Marxist is a Marxist is a Marxist.

Karl Marx believed that the free market does not work, and that it eventually leads to monopolies. Marxism focuses on the class warfare that supposedly arises in free markets. The only way to remove class warfare, according to Marx, is to have a society where the economy is fully planned and controlled. Dictionary.com defines Marxism as
The political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in which the concept of class struggle plays a central role in understanding society's allegedly inevitable development from bourgeois oppression under capitalism to a socialist and ultimately classless society.
A Marxist is at least a wannabe socialist. If you are a socialist, you believe that government should control the means of producing and distributing goods. Here's your socialist quiz:

Do you believe in government stimulus packages to help Americans? Then you are a socialist.

Do you believe that capitalism, unfettered by government, becomes monopolistic? If you do, you are socialist, and I defy you to give me one example where an American company has ever become monopolistic without the help of government.

Do you support a bailout for the auto industry? If so, you are in favor of "socializing" the losses of the auto industry among the masses of Americans, and yes, that would make you a Marxist.

Do you support a graduated income tax? Zing! You're something of a Marxist.

Do you believe that some companies should get favors from government while the bulk of them should not? If you don't, then why do you believe everything else in this list?--because such favors are a hallmark of Marxist governments.

Did you support the $700 billion bailout of the finance industry? If so, you're a socialist.

Do you favor government subsidies for farmers, sugar growers, education, and homeownership? Guess what? That makes you a socialist!

On of the first things President Obama plans to do is provide a stimulus package to Americans. He supports government control and subsidization of such things as the finance industry, the auto industry, farms, education, and homeownership. On top of that, I'm hearing rumors that he's in favor of having the government take over the management of my 401-k. If the government would stop granting favors to its cronies in the world of faux capital, my 401-k would be just fine.

So it might sound vicious to some when people such as me assign the epithet of "Marxist" to Barack Obama. But the fact of the matter is, President Obama is a Marxist. He's definitely not a Stalinist-Marxist, but he's a Marxist just the same.

If we can get that understanding squared away in our minds, then we can decide whether we want to be Marxists, too.

Not me. I believe in liberty. Marxism has never worked. Why should we expect that it will this time? Because we now have a President with the charisma of an Adolf Hitler or a Benito Mussolini? Guess what...socialism didn't work for them either.




33 comments:

  1. Why even try to defend anything Frank? You know it all don't you?

    Fascist!

    Yep I took the test for you and with one answer I discovered you are a Fascist.

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  2. I think Demimonde doesn't really know what fascism is. That is pretty typical of most modern Marxists.

    Great post Frank.

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  3. Really Jeremy? Fall into Franks crap and label everyone based on one question. Unfortunate for Frank and Jeremy they don't understand what a fascist is, or the fact that Utah is a Fascist State.

    You guys are full of it, and even worse, I can't believe that I live in a state that has idiots that think like you in the majority.

    I guess if I don't like it I can move, right Fascist F&J?

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  4. OD,

    At first I thought you were joking. But, since apparently you're not, I am just itching to hear your definition of Fascist.

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  5. Dictionary Definition- Fascism a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

    I really don't think Frank fits the bill or the state of Utah either.

    I am curious what the one question was that you answered for Frank which made the label apply.

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  6. Marxism is small potatoes. Newsweek wants to know if President-elect Obama is the Antichrist.

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  7. RAP08,

    Thanks for the defense. I, too, am wondering which "one answer" convinced OD that I am a fascist. Of course liberal news media members (CNN's Al Hunt comes to mind) like to throw the term fascist around without knowing or caring much what it means.

    Richard,

    I'm wondering if somehow Newsweek's domain name was not automatically renewed and TheOnion.com snatched it up. That one was funny, especially the technological acumen of the guy at RaptureReady:

    Strandberg is so certain that the Rapture is coming, he's bought a number of Internet addresses in addition to RaptureReady: AntiAntichrist, Tribulationus and RaptureMe. In the event that RaptureReady crashes during the apocalypse, anyone who needs an update will, with a simple Google search, be able to get one.

    ;-)

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  8. I wish Obama was closer to being a socialist -- he's way too corporate and centrist for my comfort.

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  9. Actually, I am joking Frank, just pulling your leg.

    But, I don't think you can label someone a Marxist by answering one question.

    Those extremes pull us apart, and don't lend to the respect we all deserve.

    My antics also helped bring in some comments, don't you think?

    Loves and hugs!

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  10. SLC Mama,

    It will be interesting to see if he cuddles up to the corporate world. If that becomes the case, then he would be classified as at least somewhat of a Fascist.

    OD,

    Aha! My initial hunch was correct.

    ;-)

    Thanks for engendering a lively discussion!

    My intent for introducing the "scale of 1 to 10" was to imply that not everyone can be considered either 100% socialist or 100% not socialist. That's why I asked a variety of questions--not to pigeonhole people, but to get them thinking how far they are on the 1-to-10 scale.

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  11. When I brought it up at the dinner, all I meant is that Obama is a pure ideologue...hence, a Marxist in his worldview. He sees the world in "oppressed vs. oppressor" terms...like all the people over at One Utah.

    And this Marxist discussion came up, if I recall, because of the Prop 8 discussion about how evil the Church is because of their opposition...and I said, because of their "oppression," as the antis see it...we're accused of oppressing women, children, blacks, gays, intellectuals, etc.

    For my understanding, a Marxist worldview is summed up by the "oppressed vs. oppressor" model.

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  12. Frank, you seem to want to be able to define who is a Marxist. I studied Marx in College, and have read Das Kapital several times and I can say unequivocably, that Marx would not consider Obama to be a Marxist. Now whether you consider Obama to be a Marxist, that is your prerogative.

    If Obama is a Marxist, so am I. Hey, I believe in reasonable regulations by the government upon the quality of our air, to regulate financial institutions and insure the deposits of those who save in those institutions.

    Yeah, I think it is in the interests of government to promote the building of an interstate highway system that promotes commerce (capitalism) and to create the basic infrastructure that allows business to succeed.

    Marxism is basically about the government owning business, not regulating it. That is a distinction that those who have been blinded by the irrational ramblings of Ezra Taft Benson have never seemed to get.

    Utah will continue to be a bastion of irrational and increasingly irrelevant view of the role of government because of the radical John Birch Society inspired views of a prophet who never should have mad regional rep.

    Just saying.

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  13. "It will be interesting to see if he cuddles up to the corporate world."

    IF he cuddles up to the corporate world?!!

    Um, check out where the largest blocks of Obama campaign funds came from. Team Obama likes to focus on the number of people that gave relatively small amounts to the campaign. But the real money came from corporate fat cats. This has been the case with every single Democratic and GOP presidential nominee for at least a century.

    It is not a question of if Obama cuddles up to the corporate world. He's already done it and he's doing it. Who has encouraged Bush to give massive handouts to the car companies? Who now has a plan (despite campaign rhetoric) that aims to force every American to buy health insurance, ensuring that insurance companies have an endless government-mandated revenue stream?

    The question of IF has been answered. The question of HOW is being answered right now.

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  14. Obi Wan,

    Speaking of "irrational ramblings..." I'm not sure you have read Ezra Taft Benson's short booklet on "The Proper Role of Government"; otherwise I doubt you'd accuse him of things he didn't say or doesn't espouse.

    The very reason for government is regulation. Government was born when the townsfolk got together and elected a sheriff to regulate the attempts of thieves to avail themselves of the people's property.

    The current Administration is well on the way to "owning" much of the financial sector and the automotive sector. The Obama Administration shows no signs of altering that course. The US government's ownership of the health care system in the United States is nothing to be proud of.

    Your examples of and implication that government can regulate and protect air quality and financial deposits better than the free market are definitely Marxist, and ample evidence to support my claim of the fact that government does a worse job exists from socialist and former Communist countries.

    Marxism has failed and failed and failed again, but it is regularly retried with the sophomoric claim that it will work this time because "it's never been tried with me at the helm before."

    On fundamentals it sounds like you and Ezra Taft Benson probably agree on more things about government regulation than you think. Your application of these fundamentals definitely differs, though.

    I disagree on your assessment of Utahns. Marxism eventually falls of its own weight; therefore, the supposedly irrational views of Utahns such as me will only become no more valid than they already are (how do you improve on percentages approaching 100?), but will be increasingly recognized as such as the Bush/Obama establishment attempts to own and over-regulate more and more of America.

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  15. To Frank Stahely
    Obi wan liberali is absolutely right. Reach Upward is also right. The rest of you still do not get the difference between socialism and monopolism. Neither did Benson.

    Frank, you accuse Obi wan liberali in not reading Benson's "The Proper Role of Government" while making judgments about Benson's views. Have you, yourself read Marx's Des Kapital? Why do you think you are qualified to make ultimate judgments about socialism and communism? I am sure you have not read any Marxist source. Otherwise you would know the difference between socialism and monopolism. In theory in socialism or communism there is no private property. There all the means of production and natural resources belong to the people equally. The government, i.e. the people's representatives govern on behalf of the people. This in theory. The practice is a completely different question.

    In contrast, in monopolistic capitalism everything is private property. The government belongs to the people and is designed to govern on behalf of the people not the monopolies, not capitalists. In other words to implement redistribution of wealth downward, in other words, to return back to the poor of the society that which was robbed from them by capitalists. This is also in theory.

    So when the government in monopolistic capitalism backs the monopolies not the people, this can nowise be labeled as socialism. It is pure monopolism. So, if you are so angry on your government for backing monopolies that you cannot hold yourself back to apply the strongest epithets possible, and if you do not have any stronger ones than socialist or communist, it is your right to use them, actually any epithet you want.

    But for the sake of truthfulness you better classify your government monopolistic, again, since it backs monopolies, capitalists, like banks, car manufacturers, etc. Why do you refrain from applying the correct terms? By the way, Marx foresaw that eventually capitalism will grow into monopolism, the characteristic feature of which is usurpation of power, in other words, government, by monopolies. Which we are actually witnessing. So whatever we are witnessing is pure monopolistic capitalism in its final state.

    You better be accurate in your labels.

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  16. Anonymous,

    I think the distinction that I make regarding monopolies is that Marx claimed that capitalism leads to monopolies, where I point out that it is very unlikely that monopolies can occur without the help of government.

    I have a copy of "Capital", and have read quite a bit of it, but I can't claim to have made a systematic study of it like Obi Wan has. However, that same Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto, which talk about such "Marxist" terms as abolition of private property, graduated income tax, centralization of credit, communication, and transportation in the hands of the state.

    In these regards, then, don't you think that Obama is at least partly Marxist?

    Do you think that Marx was Marxist?

    ;-)

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  17. Frank
    When you say "Marx claims," do you mean it is not true that capitalism gradually grows into Monopolism? It is actually a law. Capitalism grows into Monopolism either with or without the help of the government. But who is the government to you? Is it the representatives of the capitalists, or the people? Governments in democratic countries are the representatives of the people. That is why they are obliged to serve the people not the capitalists. It is also true that gradually monopolies buy the representatives of the people eventually usurping the government and dictating their own agenda. Which is the final stage of monopolism. If Obama is favoring the monopolies and is determined to spend the people's money to support monopolies like bankers, auto industry, etc. then he is a pure monopolist. But if he is intending to do something for the people, then he is a little Marxist. Actually, the government in capitalist countries has to be socialist=pro people. If we had a government legally backing monopolies then we would be out of balance. So, any capitalist state needs to have a socialist government to bring balance into the system. Europe has gone through several revolutions and has achieved that equilibrium.

    You are praising the free enterprise, free market, proliferation of businesses, without government control. Let's see. Who is going to prevent the monopolies to poison the environment for their own profits? Who is going to prevent a land owner to cut all the forest on his land and sell it to a neighboring country? Who is going to prevent a monopoly to buy and destroy a public transportation system in order to sell its mediocre cars? Would you argue that public transportation is less efficient? Are you saying that greedy capitalists care about the people? Are the national parks that you so enjoy hiking preserved for you by those greedy capitalists or by our government? Would you have a relatively clean air to breathe if it was left to capitalists to decide? Are you saying a bunch of greedy capitalists are wiser than the people? Do you want to see capitalists hiring and firing, actually doing whatever they want without the people's control? Would you like to loose your job at a whim of your boss and being unable to meet the ends? Would you like to see an uncontrolled hikes in prices, just because the monopolies decided so?

    According to Benson the government is created by the people to control, to regulate the relationships in the community. Did he have in mind only protection of property? It is a shallow understanding to see the government protecting only the property of people from theft or burglary, etc. The government interference is also applicable to the poisoned air and environment, protection of people's rights, etc. Who do you think is going to protect your rights, the monopolies? Do you now enjoy your civil rights because monopolies are protecting them. or because of your government?

    The government both in capitalist and communist states theoretically needs to be pro people=socialist. It is more true for a capitalist state. So it is right that Obama is trying to implement some laws to protect the people's interests. If it is truly what it says it is. But it is not right for the government to protect monopolies. Again, any government in any capitalist state is elected by the people and must work for the people. In other words to protect the people's interests against capitalists, those who are looking to exploit both people and the natural resources for their own profits. Again, capitalists do not care about the environment. By poisoning it they are steeling something that belongs to you and me, to all of us equally. The land, the forests, the lakes, etc. belong to everyone equally. No one has a right to exploit it, spoil it to gain a personal profit.

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  18. Capitalism has only ever grown monopolistic with the help of government or with government looking the other way while the capitalists were stealing the property of the poor.

    Of course we need government to regulate more than just property. I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that I or Ezra Taft Benson think otherwise.

    But it is where government overregulates that such things as environmental degradation occurs. Whether Marx intended it or not, the greatest environmental devastation has occurred beneath the hand of governments claiming to act in his name.

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  19. Frank
    The survival of the fittest is in the core of capitalism. Therefore stronger businesses devour weaker ones thus growing in size and influence. In other words becoming monopolies. Concurrently, those monopolies try to influence the government of the people eventually usurping it and making it easier for them to grow in power to dictate their agenda. And here you are right that monopolies grow with the help of the government. But note, the government which they either entirely or predominantly already own. The government entirely owned and run by people will not support monopolies. But this is very rare, almost a dream. Again, a government entirely from the people, by the people and for the people would not allow monopolies to steel the natural resources of the people, the property of the people, moreover the poor. IF the government is truly and entirely run by the people, in other words, socialist, then the capitalists will be kept in check.

    It is good that you agree that the government needs to regulate more than just theft and burglary. I assume that you agree with my examples of government involvement stated above. I had forgot to add social justice, i.e., redistribution of the robbed back to the poor. I have read Benson's book "The Proper Role of Government." In his book he is praising the free market, he is protecting private property, he is actually against any redistribution down to the poor. He ruthlessly states that poor must die for the economy to prosper. He is against any pro people role of the government. Obviously, he does not understand that the government is to be from the people, by the people and for the people. Obviously his views have swayed far away from the foundations of our country. Unless capitalists ARE the people for him. No intelligent person will agree with this equation. Benson's judgments are one sided and ruthless. Obviously he did not see the bigger picture. If you still believe in all what the church leaders say without questioning and without judging for yourself one day you may find the house of your thoughts consisting of several conflicting concepts. I hope this is the day.

    When you say, "But it is where government overregulates that such things as environmental degradation occurs," you certainly must have in mind the governments usurped by monopolies. At least unwise communist governments. Any government entirely run by the people will not INTENTIONALLY devastate its own environment, thus weakening the country. While any government run by capitalists is not concerned beyond immediate personal profits. So, it is only because of governments run by monopolies that environmental degradation occurs. If you have in mind environmental disasters in communist countries, they have occurred because of unwise rather than self centered actions. Marx never aimed to create environmental disasters. And, when you say "the greatest environmental devastation has occurred beneath the hand of governments claiming to act in his name" are you saying it was the only aim of those governments? There are as much if not more environmental disasters because of governments run by monopolies. For example, the depletion of the soil, depletion of forests, depletion of the fish in the oceans (these are examples of easy money, since none of those capitalists had created the soil, the forests, the fish in the oceans). Do you also mean that industrialization did not have as much devastating effect in capitalism? The fact that our air is much cleaner now is only because we have exported poisonous industries to China or to another developing country.

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  20. You surely don't believe that Benson is advocating death of the poor in order to have a good economy. You surely don't believe that Benson preaches against government by, for, and of the people.

    Marx may have envisioned that government would be run as a pure democracy, but it has somehow never reached that point. Marx and Benson likely want to arrive at the same result--fairness for all. But Marx advocates total force, whereas the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints advocates freedom of choice.

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  21. Frank
    It is not my belief, it is my impression. Read "But What About The Needy?" (on page 18). Also the solution he offers "The Better Way" (also on page 18). Benson does not mention the principle from, by and for the people. Why? Because it assumes for the people not for the capitalists.

    Benson is explicit about his conviction to abolish any welfare program. In other words he is against redistributing the robbed back to the poor. He considers it a legal plunder. To him capitalists should keep all their wealth. Which he, Benson does not see as a result of another legal plunder performed earlier.

    Marx, indeed, envisioned that government would be run as a pure democracy, i.e., run by the people, by the same workers, who owned all the means of production. This in theory. Although it was practiced for some time after the revolution of 1917. it is also true that according to Marx, in the transition period (Socialism) dictatorship of the workers would be necessary. But in Communism no force is necessary, since all the community members are intelligent enough (find similarity with Priesthood) to work according to their abilities, and to take according to their needs. Neither more nor less. This, again, in theory.

    The Doctrinal principle of Zion is identical to Communism. All the community members are intelligent enough (have Priesthood) to work according to their abilities and to take according to their needs. Neither more, nor less.

    There is no force in both communism and Zion. All is done voluntarily, owing to high intelligence (Priesthood).

    Again dictatorship of the workers (the proletarians) is needed only in the transitional period to communism, not during communism itself(Read again The Kapital).

    I am not saying I favor Marxism. Marx made a fatal mistake by assuming that all workers, all proletarians, were honest and moral people, that in general, goodness was inherent to humans, that it was because of nurture that humans became dehumanized. He missed to see the natural man inside each individual. This is why any noble idea like his or Thomas More's is doomed. I more favor capitalism, since it is more compatible with the human nature, where the natural man is predominant. But in order to lighten its devastating impact on the people and environment a pro people (socialist) government is needed. Although, as Marx had shown it will eventually be usurped by monopolies. (By the way, Benson did not see the necessity of this balance. He too, made the same mistake of Marx by assuming that all, including capitalists were noble and honest people, that goodness is inherent to all including capitalists).

    So, after all, the only choice left is ZION. But Zion too is almost impossible. Unless by some miracle (divine interference) all these wicked system of things crumbles giving us an opportunity to act in accordance with the Doctrine.

    And before that, I would suggest to wait and pray while educating ourselves in the true Doctrine. I would also suggest to leave aside any Church indoctrination (moreover Benson's) while studying the Doctrine. Pay attention that in his booklet on "The Proper Role of Government" Benson has brought a lot of quotes to support his any claim, but about Marxism. There is absolutely no quote from any Marxist source in his booklet. So, Benson's views are one sided and biased.

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  22. Also, when you say "whereas the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints advocates freedom of choice." you of course mean the Doctrine rather than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. If Benson and the Church really were for fairness, we would not have rich (who have more than they need) and poor (who have less than they need) in the Church. In fact you are not saying that those who do not voluntarily keep the Law of Consecration, would be tolerated to be part of the Zion. Or, are you? If Zion tolerated who do not keep the Law of Consecration it would not be Zion. So, if those who do not voluntarily keep the Law of consecration cannot be part of Zion. Then, automatically it is assumed that they are asked out of it. Which actually assumes force. After all Marxism and Zion are identical.

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  23. You really think the private sector can regulate itself? They had thousands of years to do that, yet since the passage of the Safe drinking water act the outbreaks of water borne illness, especially cholera have decreased dramatically. Industry has repeatedly fought such regulations (Clean Air Act, NIOSH). Check out Vinyl Chloride and the American Chemical Manufacturers. I tend to trust the regulatory agencies and the science they produce rather than supply side economics.

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  24. Ryan,

    I'm surprised you can't see the blatant contradiction in your statement. It wasn't until after "thousands of years" that government felt like it needed to get into the regulation of drinking water. Before this point, people knew how to take care of themselves. After that point, with government taking from people their responsibility to be healthy and safe, the rates of water contamination went up.

    Hmmmmm...

    The recent Pixar movie called "Wall-E" illustrates this 'devastation phenomenon' so well. Nearly everyone on earth had ceased being human--and had instead become humanoid--because they relied exclusively on the leader of the galactic federation to make all their decisions for them. The results were a populace devoid of brains and a devastated earth.

    So Ryan...you really want clean water? Start getting people to think for themselves rather than expecting government to do everything for them.

    Thank you for unwittingly helping me prove my point about Marxism. I appreciate that you are a concerned steward of earth, but I hope that now you can see how relying on government for such stewardship is a losing proposition.

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  25. I fail to see how I contradicted myself. I said since the Safe Drinking Water Act passed, incidences of water borne illness (contamination) has decreases.

    That being said, a large portion of power plant operation goes toward environmental controls because of the clean air act. Our air is pretty clean, and that's a price I'm willing to pay. When there is no regulation, or no authority to regulate, you get air like China, or 1970's Pennslyvania. I guess I'm some kind of Marxist, that's ok, I like not having asthma.

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  26. China has regulation galore. So did the Soviet Union. So did East Germany. The worst contamination and environmental degradation in history occurred under the regimes that had the most regulation.

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  27. "Does it really matter" indeed. The use of "Marxist" and "socialist" is pointless in any sort of intellectual discourse. Those phrases are so distorted that they are merely buzzwords to conjure up boogiemen by the advocates of free markets. So it does not matter.

    Case in point: You claim Obama is a Marxist--a wannabee socialist--and then define a socialist as one who believes "government should control the means of producing and distributing goods." In reality, by that definition, Obama is not a socialist. He has not sought the abolition of private property, nor has he insisted that government should control the means of producing and distributing goods. He believes that government should have a hand in moderating and alleviating the consequences of markets. He seeks a mixed market, in which markets are regulated and held accountable to prevent the sort of externalization and abuses which occur under unfettered markets. To say that makes him a socialist or Marxist is wildly inaccurate.

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  28. But he believes in bailouts, which in the case of the financial industry is controlling the production and distribution of financial instruments. In the case of the automakers, it is to an extent controlling the production and distribution of cars.

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  29. Yep, a mixed economy, not a socialist one.

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  30. That's where the scale of 1 to 10 comes in. If you get a nice shirt partly dirty, you still have to throw it in the wash.

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  31. Yep, its a spectrum, which this game of trying to peg Obama as a socialist doesn't capture. None of us are purists. Do you want police and emergency services privatized? If not--if you believe that the money from individuals should be taken from them at gunpoint for the public good, that government should control those industries--then abra cadabra! You're a socialist!

    Rather than trying to arbitrarily pin politically loaded epithets on people or concepts you don't like, why not focus on rationally critiquing those arguments. You do a good job of that; why resort to cheap stunts? Leave that to Hannity and Limbaugh.

    None of this is to say that I'm in favor of the bailout; there are many aspects of his economic policies about which I'm skeptical. I'm just sick and tired of the socialist "gotcha" game played on the Right. It makes me just as angry as the Chomsky's stereotypes about the Right and care for the poor does you.

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  32. See, this is where we disagree. Not very many people are going to call someone socialist if they support government control of the things it was specifically intended to do, such as law enforcement.

    I'm sorry that you think what I have proposed here is a stunt. Rather, I had hoped it to be a discussion of what is and is not Marxist, including the tendencies toward such.

    I have no idea what Hannity says about socialism and/or Marxism. He's a doofus, and I listen to him on rare but regular occasions to ensure that my opinion of him still holds true--and so far it does. So for you to color your opinion of what I'm saying here through that lens is inappropriate.

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  33. Frank,
    There is absolutely no contradiction in Ryan's statement. I think you are not seeing the cause and effect here.

    But let's get right to your arguments. The necessity to regulate the drinking water arose only NOW, shortly after the capitalist economic system gave birth to industrialization = uncontrolled contamination of both water and air. So, the irresponsible capitalist's poisoning of the water and air CAUSED the necessity to control it by the government = of the SAME people, whose air and water were contaminated. Again, the rates of water contamination went up not because the government took from the people their responsibility to be healthy and safe, but because the water was poisoned by their neighbor capitalists. People always knew, and currently still know how to take care of themselves. What fool will deink a dirty water if a clean one is available? Again, the point is that BEFORE the era of industrialization there was no need to fight for clean air, water, and soil. There were no problems of oil spills, of mercury poisoned fish, of hydroponicly grown vegetables, of hydrogenated fats, and poisoned food with all sorts of chemicals and unnecessary additives, etc. Despite the government's efforts to take from the people their health and safety and brains, a lot of people still have their brains and still remember how to take care of themselves. The tragedy is that the monopolies do not allow them to do it.

    The so well illustrated phenomenon of devastation in the Pixar movie "Wall-E," is what awaits us if we continue leaving all in the hands of those greedy and irresponsible monopolies, first of all the government, which we have so foolishly and slothfully surrendered to them. In other words if everything left to the government run by monopolies we'll obediently continue consuming, wasting as much and when they want, eventually becoming ourselves a waste.

    When you call people to think for themselves rather than expecting their government to do everything for them, for example to have a clean air, how exactly do you see people acting after thinking for themselves? In other words, what is the mechanism you are suggesting to get a clean air water, soil, and food? Do you see people leaving their own jobs, their own businesses and demonstrating, or taking apart someone's poisonous factory, someone's private property, or abstracting the construction of a poisonous factory, or something else? You have agreed with Benson that nobody has a right to destroy someone's private property. So, what means are you suggesting to utilize to prevent any contamination of air, water, soil, or food without destroying someone else's private property? Don't you se that the only way is via elected representatives, the people's government. Things are not working currently only because that same government is usurped by the monopolies. By the way, why do you not see as robbery the contamination by the capitalist of everybody's air and water. Why should not the people, through their elected representatives, try to stop it? If you are suggesting the people to stop wasting, to stop consuming more than they need, to stop doing whatever the monopolies want them to do, I have nothing against it. But it will take a lot of time and effort to educate many. And it may take a couple of generations. Even then it may not work because the majority of the people are criminal minded. That majority will vigorously oppose to any enlightenment, they will do everything to keep the wicked system running, in order to get their portion of profits. In other words, the majority does not see any wicked system at all, they see it as a very lucrative opportunity.

    I am not arguing that the people should not educate themselves, that the people should not take responsibility. On the contrary. But the only mechanism the people can utilize their responsibility is via their elected government. Otherwise there will be anarchy.

    In other words, if the people do not start differentiating between the people's government from the one hijacked by monopolies there will be no success. The tragedy is that the people, moreover the current generation, have not seen a government not run by the monopolies. This is why the institution of government has discredited itself in their eyes. And this is what the monopolies want the people to believe, namely that a government is a bad thing, that it is necessary to restrict its powers. But why? In order to prevent anyone to take it back from them. This is very logical. Why would you want to take something from somebody knowing beforehand that it is a bad thing? Even if you somehow managed to have it, the government, in your hands, you would immediately do everything to diminish its area of control, thus allowing the same monopolies to continue to poison to gain immediate profits. So, it is not that complicated, is it?

    Now, why is it so hard to understand all this? The stumbling block is the statement of the founding fathers to restrict the federal government's powers. Please, pay attention, though, that they were talking about the Federal government, not the state governments. Also, that their views were for an agrarian society, which America was back then. Back then there was no capitalism, no monopolism, consequently no contamination of water, air, soil, food, etc. Pay attention that Marxism appeared in response to growing capitalism only 50 years later. So, the founding fathers did not have any clue of future problems arousing from uncontrolled proliferation of greedy irresponsible monopolies. The only monopoly they knew were the bankers. And they did warn against them. They did call the people to control them. They did call to curb them. They did call not to allow them to do whatever they are doing now. Had the founding fathers have any clue of drug and food monopolies, they would warn against them too. They would make it the function of at least the state governments to control monopolies to prevent them to poison the lives of the people. And again, the founding fathers' views were based on the conditions of an agrarian society of their time with the banking system the only monopoly. Although Benson lived in the XX century, his views were based on more than 200 year old conditions of the time of the founding fathers.

    I am not so sure about China or East Germany, but in Soviet Union the regulations were not imposed only because the government would not impose any restrictions on its own industry. I believe the same is true for China and East Germany. But again, the reason is not that the communist governments were INTENTIONALLY striving to destroy their own country. The cause was the ARMS RACE. Striving to reach after the already industrialized capitalist nations the communist government would not impose any restrictions on its emerging industry. (Which actually WAS done in the same industrialized nations during the early days of developing of the industry. So, the developing communist nations had to go through the same contamination of the environment the capitalist nations did in the beginning. Why? Again, in order to reach after them, because of arms race. The communist devastation seemed worse only because they were striving to accomplish in a very short time whatever the capitalist nations did in a century). The same is true for China now, I am afraid. China is not imposing restrictions on its economy to allow it to reach after the already industrialized nations.

    But let's try to distinguish some parallels. In both communist and monopolist economic systems the government in reality does not belong to the people (although in theory it should). In both communist and monopolist economic systems the government is not interested to impose restrictions on the industry (in communist state just because the government owns the industry, in monopolist state just because the government's sponsors, monopolies own the industry). Therefore in both communist and monopolist states the governments do sacrifice the people's environment, the people's health (in a communist state to keep up with the race, in monopolist state to gain immediate profits). Here answering your quest whether Obama is a Marxist, the answer is no. If he were Marxist he would nationalize the industry. He is a pure monopolist because he is for bailing them out with the people's money. If there are parallels it does not mean these systems are identical. If there are parallels it does not mean Obama is a Marxist. I brought in parallels to demonstrate that any government not run by the people will cause environmental disasters, in communism because of arms race, in monopolism because of immediate personal profits.

    But in order to make my point clearer let me put it all chronologically.
    First there were monarchies with centralized economies = feudalism. Then the people put down the monarchy creating a republic, a government from, by and for the people with its corresponding economic system, capitalism=free market. Then capitalism, because of its inherent survival of the fittest, almost immediately started growing into monopolism. This is why there are different degrees of monopolism rather than capitalism. Then monopolies gradually hijacked the people's government. Currently, after having the people's government completely under their control, monopolies dictate and direct our lives turning us into an "Axiom" nation from WALL-E, a Pixar movie (your example).

    I would agree with you that in the beginning we were asleep when the monopolies were gradually hijacking our government (in fact, our fathers and grandfathers were asleep, ignorant and powerless, to be precise, slothful, actually, all of the above). I was only arguing that after getting a grip on any government the monopolies do it more and more vigorously, with less and less fear of punishment.

    You were thinking that since it was inevitable for a government to be completely infected by monopolies and to grow monstrous limbs, we better restrict government functions, metaphorically speaking, to shrink down the skeleton. You were arguing that then there would not be enough room to be occupied by the monopolies. I was arguing that shrinking the skeleton down, would not leave enough room to be occupied by the people either, thus restricting people's power to keep in check the monopolies. I was arguing that after shrinking the government's restricting functions, the monopolies WOULD thrive, eventually taking over to dictate and direct our lives even without hijacking the skeleton. I was basically saying that for monopolies it was a win-win situation.

    I was saying that it was a loosing proposition to deprive the government its functions, but defense and property protection. I was saying that, either way, the people need to get up and to do something if they want a positive result. The greatest misfortune is that all of us are slothful, therefore are looking for a perfect system to take care of itself. THERE IS NO PERFECT SYSTEM. In order to keep a balance, there must be a reaction (of the people, through its pro-people=socialist government) to the action (of monopolies). Once again, if left alone the monopolies will never self-regulate. They will speculate to rob the people, will hijack the government to subsidize and bail out themselves, eventually again robbing the people, will poison the air, the water, the soil, the food, etc, for their own personal profits, while again robbing the people. They will never stop themselves. After finishing with this planet they will sprawl to others. There is no end to their self-preservation and proliferation.

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