Over at American Thinker, an excellent history lesson, and how it applies to Obama:
The only way to explain this disinterest in Obama’s past and its relationship to his present is that Americans no longer consider the label “socialist” to be a pejorative. To them, it’s just another content-neutral political ideology. In our non-judgmental age, it falls into the same category as Liberal vs. Conservative, or Left vs. Right. To most people, it just means Obama is a more liberal Liberal, or a leftier Lefty, and they already knew that.
In order to stir ordinary Americans to the sense of outrage those of us in the blogosphere feel, we need to remind them that socialism is not simply a more liberal version of ordinary American politics. It is, instead, its own animal, and a very feral, dangerous animal indeed.
It helps to begin by understanding what socialism is not. It isn’t Liberalism and it isn’t mere Leftism. Frankly, those terms (and their opposites) should be jettisoned entirely, because they have become too antiquated to describe 21st Century politics. The political designations of Left and Right date back to the French Revolution, when Revolutionaries sat on the Left side of the French Parliament, and the anti-Revolutionaries sat on the Right. Terms from the internal geography of the French parliament as the ancient regime crumbled are striking inapposite today.
Likewise, the terms Liberal and Conservative date back to Victorian England, when Liberals were pushing vast social reforms, such as the end of child labor, while Conservatives were all for maintaining a deeply hierarchical status quo. Considering that modern “liberals” are seeking a return to 20th Century socialism, those phrases too scarcely seem like apt descriptors.
If it were up to me to attach labels to modern political ideologies, I would choose the terms “Individualism” and “Statism.” “Individualism” would reflect the Founder’s ideology, which sought to repose as much power as possible in individual citizens, with as little power as possible in the State, especially the federal state. The Founder’s had emerged from a long traditional of monarchal and parliamentary statism, and they concluded that, whenever power is concentrated in the government, the individual suffers.
And what of Statism? Well, there’s already a name for that ideology, and it’s a name that should now be firmly attached to Sen. Obama: Socialism.
I swear, I’ve been thinking about writing this same thing, inspired by F. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, which I am now almost two-thirds of the way through.
One of the most frightening things about Serfdom, which was written in the opening years of WWII, is that Hayek identifies the socialist sources of so many ideas, memes, if you will, that are simply passed on as assumed fact, the intellectual water in which we swim.
My previous notes on this subject: