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
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
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
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.
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