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President-Elect Obama: an English View

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  • Dr Sean Gabb
    Free Life Commentary, A Personal View from The Director of the Libertarian Alliance Issue Number 176 8th November 2008 Barack Obama and America s 1997: Welcome
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 8, 2008
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      Free Life Commentary,
      A Personal View from
      The Director of the Libertarian Alliance
      Issue Number 176
      8th November 2008

      Barack Obama and America's 1997:
      Welcome to the Club!
      by Sean Gabb

      I have been asked by several of my American readers to comment on their
      presidential election. I did think to ignore these requests. Having spent
      very little time there, I cannot be regarded as an expert on America. Nor
      am I particularly fond of the place. I think its war of independence was
      brought on less by the Stamp Act than by Lord Mansfield's judgement on
      the illegality of slavery at common law. I also think its war between the
      states was won by the wrong side. It would have been better for humanity
      had the Union been broken up and its member states made into British
      satellites. Sadly, the United States survived, and was able to grow into
      the mercantilist oligarchy that took the most significant - because
      ultimately the most successful - place in the triumvirate of Soviet
      communism and European national socialism that ended the hegemony of
      English liberalism.

      Having considered the request, though, I do have something to say. The
      range of opinion about Mr Obama's election seems to be marked at its
      limits by the BBC and by organisations like Vdare and American
      Renaissance. The former believes he is a fusion of Nelson Mandela and
      Martin Luther King, and has turned its news broadcasts into a hymn of
      secular joy. The latter believes that he is indeed Messrs Mandela and
      Luther King - the real ones, that is, not the constructs of the
      politically correct classes - and that he will surround himself with
      Black Panther bodyguards and declare Ebonics the official language of

      I think both opinions are wrong. The first is not worth commenting on.
      The second is wrong because so many American conservatives are still in
      shock at the thought of having a black man to rule over them. Mr Obama
      got his campaign funds in the usual way - from business interests that
      will now want their reward. He will need to operate within a system that
      remains dominated by whites. Within a year or so, the non-whites who are
      still celebrating his victory will have noticed that nothing much has
      changed as it affects their lives, and will be denouncing him as a white
      man with a black face.

      This is not to say, however, that nothing important has happened.
      Something has happened, and it is both important and dreadful for the
      American people. America has just had its equivalent of our 1997
      revolution. Looking at the eighty four years until then, power in England
      had become both more oppressive and less accountable. But the main
      features of our Constitution remained in place, and conservatives had
      been able to retain sufficient institutional power to slow down the drift
      into tyranny. The election of New Labour allowed the wholesale
      remodelling of the Constitution, so that little now remains around which
      conservatives can unite. I now live in a country where power is less
      restrained than at any time since the sixteenth century - where formal
      sovereignty has been passed to various foreign agencies, where the media
      is controlled, where civil liberties have been casually squashed, where
      the armed forces have been made into instruments of an imperial
      aggression that brings neither glory to their nation nor better
      government to their victims.

      So it is now in America. The American Constitution and Bill of Rights
      have always been a fraud. From slavery to civil asset forfeiture, they
      have never restrained any abuse of power on which the American ruling
      class has been determined. But the country is very large, and there has
      usually been strong local suspicion of Washington. Given a ruling class
      interested mainly in dividing up the profits of commercial privilege, and
      prepared to indulge any right that did not get seriously in the way of
      this, the American people were left with the appearance, and often the
      reality, of much freedom.

      The new presidency is no more about having a black man in charge than New
      Labour was about having all those Scotch voices in government. It is
      about a change in the ruling class. This is the election in which those
      whose minds were captured in the 1960s and 1970s by the neo-Marxists have
      taken over from their parents. The Clinton presidency was largely a
      failure because the new ruling class was still too young, and because the
      old ruling class had not grown too old to cling to power - and because
      the Clintons were too easy to hate and despise. All is different now. The
      new ruling class has no political opposition but a group of
      neo-conservatives who disgraced themselves during the Bush presidency,
      and who are probably less interested in opposition than in a few
      compromises on foreign policy. And it has a figurehead that cannot be
      mocked or even criticised without risk of the most horrid accusations.

      Mr Obama cannot be more stupid in his actions or more embarrassing in his
      utterances than Mr Bush has been. But his essential function as President
      will be to shield the new ruling class of America while it carries
      through a total transformation of American life. I do not know exactly
      how America will change. But I can predict that, come 2016, most
      Americans will no longer recognise their country. It will be less free.
      It will be less prosperous. It will be less American. What has happened
      in England, and what is happening in Australia, will now happen in America.

      All this is to be regretted. I think increasingly, however, that if those
      who are transforming the English world are to be blamed, those who are
      being transformed are no less to be despised. In 1917, power was seized
      in Russia by men who were prepared to murder anyone who so much as raised
      an eyebrow at them. Whether they murdered thirty million or sixty million
      people is important in the obvious sense. Where ensuring absolute
      docility of the ruled is concerned, it is the first million who matter.
      No one can blame the Russian people for grovelling before Stalin. But
      none of the almost equally radical governments that have taken over in
      the English world has killed any of its own citizens, or is proposing to
      kill any. We have been enslaved by a small minority of intellectuals
      whose most potent weapon is words. Any people who can be so enslaved
      deserves to be enslaved.

      But I am about to digress. I will only say for now that the American
      people deserve Barack Obama. To some extent, he is their punishment for
      tolerating, if not welcoming, eight years of George W. Bush. More
      generally, they are about to lose nothing more than they have long since
      abdicated their right to possess.

      So, welcome, America - welcome to the New Labour Club.

      NB—Sean Gabb's book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives
      Lost England, and How to Get It Back, can be downloaded for free from
      http://tinyurl.com/34e2o3 Any American who wants to understand the nature
      of the Obama Revolution should buy a ocpy.

      Sean Gabb (away from home computer)
      Director, The Libertarian Alliance
      Tel: 07956 472 199
      Skype Username: seangabb


      Linkedin Details: http://www.linkedin.com/in/seangabb
      Wikipedia Entry: http://tinyurl.com/23jvoz
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