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About AJ DiCintio
A.J. DiCintio is a Featured Writer for The New Media Journal. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.

AJ DiCintio

Lenin Lite, Perhaps?
March 2, 2009

When Mad Money’s Jim Cramer held up a photo of Lenin to give special force to his plea against nationalization of banks, he chose a visual aid that serves at least two important purposes.


...It helps us maintain a focus on the fact that any amount of government "investment” in a bank will inevitably result in control over the bank’s operations by the same politicians who praise the comforting solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund one day and jet off at taxpayer’s expense to an appropriately lavish, "important” dinner in Rome, Paris, or Beijing the next.


...It causes us to consider whether "Lenin Lite” might be an appropriate name for Obama’s liberal vision for a new American society.


Now, although "lite” separates the descriptive phrase of the second purpose from the kind of language used by radic-libs who equate G. W. Bush with Ahmadinejad or Israel with Nazi Germany, there is a legitimate question regarding the term’s accuracy and appropriateness, one we can answer if we first consider what the president’s new America will look like.


Following are the most probable of the possibilities:


It will look like Sweden, where government collects 50% of GDP in taxes, or like Mexico, where, amid poverty, corruption, and a breakdown of social order, vicious gangsters represent the real government.


Here a pause is in order to remind ourselves not to elevate the probability of the stifling collectivism that characterizes the depressively monolithic Nordic model above that assigned to the near anarchy of the Mexican situation; for the truth is that the socio-economic shock certain to occur as a result of Obama’s extreme left turn ought to cause any sensible person to assign equal odds to both, with any edge given to the horrible state of our southern neighbor.


To continue our evaluation of the correctness of "Lenin Lite,” we must next answer this fundamental question:


What is it, amid the colossal problems and uncertainty of the present that makes liberals so certain this time they can get "it” right — the "it” being the thoroughly discredited notion that centralized government based upon the Marxist lie of "scientific socialism” beats the Jeffersonian model hands down?


In a recent NY Times column, David Brooks provided excellent help in answering the question when he contrasted the liberal reaction to the nation’s current problems with his own:


Liberals are more optimistic about the capacity of individual reason and the government’s ability to execute transformational change. They have more faith in the power of social science, macroeconomic models and 10-point programs...


The people in the administration are surrounded by a galaxy of unknowns, and yet they see this economic crisis as an opportunity to expand their reach, to take bigger risks and, as Obama said on Saturday, to tackle every major problem at once.


Brooks is exactly correct to focus on the unbounded optimism and risk-taking exhibited by liberals; for having succumbed to what, since antiquity, has been called the sin of pride, "intellectually superior” liberals are absolutely devoted to the vision of human nature and human society which they have merely imagined.


And who should be the leaders of the big, centralized government that rules such a society?


After reflecting for a nanosecond upon that quintessentially rhetorical question, we need to consider the implications of one last observation about American liberalism before we can come to a judgment about this particular use of Lenin’s name: 


If Obama and every other member of the Liberal Church were laboring only to recast America in the mold designed by Sweden’s Social Democrats and Moderates or Spain’s Socialists, "Lenin Lite” would make good sense.


However, the Swedish government consumes 50% of GDP and Spain recognizes gay marriage nationwide because of laws passed by legislators duly elected by the people.


In contrast, American liberalism has created a form of government in which as few as five "activist” justices (liberal ones, of course) make laws that constitutional requirements coupled with partisan politics render almost impossible to overturn by what Washington termed "an explicit and authentic act of the whole people.”


Having connected the dictatorial nature of the liberal judiciary with the big power, big money liberal legislative agenda, we are now prepared to come to a conclusion, indeed, to one we find inescapable:


While "Lenin Lite” may be suitable to describe the Swedish system and others like it, the phrase is far too weak to serve as an accurate description of the new order liberals have in mind for America.


As for suggesting a weighty alternative that precisely and creatively fulfills its purpose, this piece leaves the decision to readers — who may want to email the author so that they may share their creative efforts with fellow citizens who reject Leninism in all its forms, "lite” or otherwise.

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