25 February 2010

Some Observations & Thoughts On Dictators

During his presidential campaign Barack Obama’s image was of nothing less than our nation’s savior. Substituting for the lack of any legitimate reasons to accept this image as based on reality were two significant factors: his personality cult and his impressive oratory skills.

As President of the United States the image of a messianic Obama has been discredited. He knows that Americans do not want his agenda but he is determined to impose it on them anyhow. President Obama gets in front of cameras and pretends that we want his agenda and that it will benefit us once it is implemented - never mind what he has been doing is the type of things that other collectivist-socialist dictators have done.

Is that to say there is the potential for Obama to became a dictator of sorts?

Before answering that, let’s briefly consider his life before he became president.

Barack Obama was heavily into alcohol and drugs in his teenage years because of a personal identity crisis. He was brought believing in Marxism. At Columbia University in New York he majored in political science and international relations. Obama stayed there working in the private sector for a few years and then moved to Chicago to become a church's "community organizer" on behalf of the poor. For three years Obama was the group's director. Obama went to Harvard Law School and edited its Law Review. After graduating, his book, Dreams From My Father, was published and he got involved in voter registration campaigns. He was a constitutional law professor at University of Chicago for twelve years and joined a law firm specializing in civil rights and neighborhood economic development. He then served on the boards of a few 'community' groups and worked with ACORN. In 1996 he was elected to the Illinois Senate and in 2004, to the U.S. Senate. He is another politician with a socialist/communist philosophy who has created a personality cult and has impressive oratory skills before a crowd. As president, Obama wants to “fundamentally transform America.”

Barack Obama the man is not especially impressive. That is exactly why his presidency is worrisome.

Consider some men with similarly unimpressive lives - before they became dictators.

Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) was a zealous follower of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy. He received a law degree and was a mediocre small town lawyer, choosing to represent the poor. In 1788 Robespierre was elected to the French legislature. He and other deputies formed a "Society of the Friends of the Constitution," or, the Jacobins. Like many dictators who would follow him, he had impressive oratory skills when he was before a crowd. Robespierre maneuvered himself in to power and was the first modern totalitarian-collectivist dictator. He mobilized the country for war against “enemies of the revolution” be they domestic or foreign and implemented terrorism as a means to furthering political ends. Robespierre was guillotined by political opponents who were next on his list to be executed.

Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) studied Karl Marx’s writings in the university and his revolutionary activities got him expelled, and he went on to attend another university more successfully. He, somewhat like Robespierre, practiced law and took mostly cases about real property out of his interest with the peasants’ conditions. He became more involved in communist revolutionary activities and was arrested for plotting against the tsar and imprisoned, then exiled to Siberia. He lectured at Geneva University and helped found a communist newspaper. Lenin produced numerous writings that developed his version of Marxism as applied to the Russian peasantry. He seized power in 1917 with the intent of making Russia the leader of international communism which would go on to economically surpass and defeat the capitalist West.

Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) held odd jobs like teacher, soldier, journalist, editor, professional revolutionary. After breaking from the socialists he formed the fascist party. Mussolini had exceptional oratory skills before a crowd. Serving as Mussolini‘s political model was Lenin. As dictator his plan for Italy was a revival of the greatness of the Roman Empire in national socialist form. He was assassinated in 1945 as the Allied armies were overrunning Italy.

Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) failed to become an artist and architect and spent time in a poorhouse. When the First World War broke out he enlisted in the Army, and while recovering from a mustard gas attack he suffered a disorder. Hitler convinced himself that his purpose was to save Germany. He joined the German Worker's Party. Hitler developed exceptional oratory skills before a crowd. Hitler went on to model the Nazi Party after Mussolini's fascist party. His party's disastrous "Beer Hall Putsch" to overthrow the Bavarian government landed him in jail where he wrote Mein Kampf. After being released from prison he won legality for his party which he reorganized and maneuvered his way in to government and total power. Tens of millions were slaughtered by his government. He intended to lead Germany to a thousand-year reign of glory but committed suicide when the Russian Army was overrunning Berlin.

Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) attended seminary in the 1890's and joined a Marxist underground which resulted in his expulsion. He then found work as tutor and clerk. Stalin joined the Social Democrat Party and organized labor demonstrations and strikes for which he was arrested and exiled to Siberia. He escaped a number of times from Siberia. He joined the Bolsheviks and became their bank robber. Escaped after each arrest. One robbery of a coach netted a few million and resulted in some 90 people killed and wounded. Of Stalin, Lenin said he found the just person he needs. Stalin was made editor of their newspaper. After Lenin's coup Stalin moves into party positions of more and more importance and power. Lenin has a stroke in 1922 and the party is in Stalin’s hands when he dies three later. Personality cult. Tens of millions were slaughtered by Stalin’s government.

Mao Zedong (1893-1976) had a few years of formal education and discovered communism while working at Peking University in 1918. Three years later he was one of the founding members of the Chinese Communist Party. Mao worked his way through the party's ranks and got involved in labor struggles but became convinced that the peasants were the revolutionary vanguard and violent revolution was necessary. He allied himself with other insurgent groups and formed their Red Army. He purged his territory of opposition through revolutionary terror, a prelude of what he was to eventually bring to China as a whole after achieving power in 1949. Mao also developed a personality cult. Tens of millions were slaughtered by Mao’s government.

Fidel Castro (b.1927) was an excellent student and active in sports. In the late 1940's he became involved in revolutionary activities in Dominica and Columbia as a university student in Havana and may have been involved in murders and assassinations. Castro had exceptional oratory skills before a crowd. He briefly practiced law and then ran for parliament, but the election was cancelled after a coup. With his brother Raul, he formed an underground movement to overthrow the government. Castro was captured in an attack on an army barracks and sent to jail. He was given amnesty and went to Mexico where he met Che Guevara and made contacts with the Soviet KGB. In Mexico he formed his guerrilla group that would later seize control of Cuba.

Pol Pot (1928-1998) studied in France on a government scholarship. Spent most of his time in French communist revolutionary circles and was deported after failing his studies. Joined the revolutionary movement in Cambodia. Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia in 1975 and in implementing agrarian communism killed millions.

Daniel Ortega (b. 1945) was a mediocre student and while attending university in Managua in early 1960's became active with Sandinista communists and went underground. He was arrested after robbing a bank and released from jail in a prisoner exchange. He went to Cuba for guerrilla warfare training and returned to fight in Nicaragua, taking power in 1979 and implementing communist dictatorship.

Hugo Chavez (b. 1954) had a career as a military officer, led a failed coup in 1992. As a student Chavez formed his philosophical beliefs based on various Latin American nationalists and communists, as well as those of the European Marxian-strand of communism, also Noam Chomsky and Jesus, whom he calls “the first socialist.” He is attempting to implement in Venezuela a “socialism for the 21st century.”

The striking similarity they have before they became dictators is there was nothing striking about them. Nothing “larger than life” that would be consistent with having a significant role, either for good or bad. Before they were dictators they were "nobodies."

All ten of those infamous dictators - and Barack Obama - were failures or mediocrities who became zealots at an early age - secular equivalents of religious fanatics. None have done anything productive or creative and were arrogant second-handers. They had no qualifications or experience for governing or leading (other than some with military experience to whatever extent). They made very little of their own lives when left to themselves. They were political intriguers and political maneuverors, captivating speakers, writers perhaps, or even outright thugs - but they knew all that is wrong with society: "injustice," "inequality," "victimization," "oppression," or whatever, and how to finally fix it. From that they developed self-images of being a glorious messiah/savior. Of course, a savior needs an omnipresent villain to justify how he governs, be it “counter-revolutionaries,” “capitalist exploiters,” “the Jews,” “imperialists,”  - or “the last eight years.” Each of them maneuvered or forced their way in to political power in which their personality cult and oratory skills played important roles. All these self-righteous dictators with their grandiose plans for national greatness and glory utterly ruined their countries - or are currently in the process of doing so.

It is disturbing that the general characteristics of these dictators are seen in President Barack Obama.

After winning the election Obama often appeared with his seal of the “Office of the President-Elect” - for which there is no such office - displaying his eagerness for power.

Then there is this revealing anecdote from TV host Ed Shultz:
“First of all you walk into the White House, in the West Wing, and there are picture [sic] all over, I mean everywhere! Of President Obama! I mean, of his life in the first year as president of the United States. Now I don’t know if that’s the way it is with every president, but it was almost a shrine. I mean, well, here’s a picture of Obama the president with his kids over here. There he is getting on Air Force One. Here he is with some military people. Here he is on the line working the line at one of his campaign stops. I mean, just, it was just one picture after another! (laughs)”
That is significant because a common characteristic of a dictatorship is iconography of the dictator is ubiquitous, like in Saddam’s Iraq, Mao’s China, Stalin’s Russia, etc.

Furthermore, President Obama, a Marxist, has numerous Marxist and Maoist advisors and staffers. Obama’s policies and agenda conflict with what Americans want and conflict with freedom and the Constitution.

The men who have been dictators of the modern collectivist-statist-socialist variety from Maximilien Robespierre - the first modern dictator because what he did is a model for later dictators - to Hugo Chavez, there is a definite “type” of man. Barack Obama is also of this type, but to what degree he follows them remains to be seen.

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