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Obama’s Real Thoughts About Capitalism

From Mr. Obama’s first autobiography, Dreams From My Father, pp 50-1:

When [Obama’s drug using and dealing illegal Pakistani pal] Sadik lost his own lease, we moved in together. And after a few months of closer scrutiny, he began to realize that the city had indeed had an effect on me, although not the one he’d expected. I stopped getting high. I ran three miles a day and fasted on Sundays. For the first time in years, I applied myself to my studies and started keeping a journal of daily reflections and very bad poetry. Whenever Sadik tried to talk me into hitting a bar, I’d beg off with some tepid excuse, too much work or not enough cash. One day, before leaving the apartment in search of better company, he turned to me and offered his most scathing indictment.

“You’re becoming a bore.”

I knew he was right, although I wasn’t sure myself what exactly had happened. In a way, I was confirming Sadik’s estimation of the city’s allure, I suppose; its consequent power to corrupt. With the Wall Street boom, Manhattan was humming, new developments cropping up everywhere; men and women barely out of their twenties already enjoying ridiculous wealth, the fashion merchants fast on their heels. The beauty, the filth, the noise, and the excess, all of it dazzled my senses; there seemed no constraints on originality of lifestyles or the manufacture of desire-a more expensive restaurant, a finer suit of clothes, a more exclusive nightspot, a more beautiful woman, a more potent high. Uncertain of my ability to steer a course of moderation, fearful of falling into old habits, I took on the temperament if not the convictions of a street corner preacher, prepared to see temptation everywhere, ready to overrun a fragile will.

My reaction was more than just an attempt to curb an excessive appetite, though, or a response to sensory overload. Beneath the hum, the motion, I was seeing the steady fracturing of the world taking place. I had seen worse poverty in Indonesia and glimpsed the violent mood of inner-city kids in L.A.; I had grown accustomed, everywhere, to suspicion between the races. But whether because of New York’s density or because of its scale, it was only now that I began to grasp the almost mathematical precision with which America’s race and class problems joined; the depth, the ferocity, of resulting tribal wars; the bile that flowed freely not just out on the streets but in the stalls of Columbia’s bathrooms as well, where, no matter how many times the administration tried to paint them over, the walls remained scratched with blunt correspondence between niggers and kikes.

It was as if all middle ground had collapsed, utterly. And nowhere, it seemed, was that collapse more apparent than in the black community I had so lovingly imagined and within which I had hoped to find refuge. I might meet a black friend at his Midtown law firm, and before heading to lunch at the MoMA, I would look out across the city toward the East River from his high-rise office, imagining a satisfactory life for myself — a vocation, a family, a home. Until I noticed that the only other blacks in the office were messengers or clerks, the only other blacks in the museum the blue-jacketed security guards who counted the hours before they could catch their train home to Brooklyn or Queens.

I might wander through Harlem-to play on courts I’d once read about or to hear Jesse Jackson make a speech on 125th; or, on a rare Sunday morning, to sit in the back pews of Abyssinian Baptist Church, lifted by the gospel choir’s sweet, sorrowful song-and catch a fleeting glimpse of that thing which I sought. But I had no guide that might show me how to join this troubled world, and when I looked for an apartment there, I found Sugar Hill’s elegant brownstones occupied and out of reach, the few decent rental buildings with ten-year-long waiting lists, so that all that remained were the rows and rows of uninhabitable tenements, in front of which young men counted out their rolls of large bills, and winos slouched and stumbled and wept softly to themselves.

I took all this as a personal affront, a mockery of my tender ambitions — although, when I brought up the subject with people who had lived in New York for a while, I was told there was nothing original about my observations. The city was out of control, they said, the polarization a natural phenomenon, like monsoons or continental drift. Political discussions, the kind that at Occidental had once seemed so intense and purposeful, came to take on the flavor of the socialist conferences I sometimes attended at Cooper Union or the African cultural fairs that took place in Harlem and Brooklyn during the summers-a few of the many diversions New York had to offer, like going to a foreign film or ice-skating at Rockefeller Center. With a bit of money, I was free to live like most middle-class blacks in Manhattan, free to choose a motif around which to organize my life, free to patch together a collage of styles, friends, watering holes, political affiliations. I sensed, though, that at some stage-maybe when you had children and decided that you could stay in the city only at the cost of a private school, or when you began takings cabs at night to avoid the subways, or when you decided that you needed a doorman in your apartment building-your choice was irrevocable, the divide was now impassable, and you would find yourself on the side of the line that you’d never intended to be on.

Unwilling to make that choice, I spent a year walking from one end of Manhattan to the other. Like a tourist, I watched the range of human possibility on display, trying to trace out my future in the lives of the people I saw, looking for some opening through which I could reenter.

Mr. Obama hates capitalism. He thinks it is wicked.

Capitalism, Wall Street, creates a world irrevocably divided into heartless rich people and hopeless winos.

Mr. Obama learned this from his anti-capitalist mother, his “father,” his mentors such as Frank Davis and Reverend Wright.

And of course he was not told anything by his professors at Occidental, Columbia, Harvard or the “socialist conferences” he attended that would have ever challenged his deeply entrenched anti-capitalist beliefs.

Quite the contrary.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, September 29th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Obama’s Real Thoughts About Capitalism”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    “heartless rich people and hopeless winos”

    Funny you should use those terms. Seems to me socialism creates those extremes, the heartless rich (party members) and the hopeless winos (proletariat). But I can see how Obama and his disciples can choose socialism; they are the only ones who will benefit.

  2. oki2 says:

    “Uncertain of my ability to steer a course of moderation, fearful of falling into old habits, I took on the temperament if not the convictions of a street corner preacher, prepared to see temptation everywhere, ready to overrun a fragile will.”

    Yeah, that’s just the kind of person that should run a country. Someone so afraid that he will fall into his own bad habits due to his own fragile will.

  3. Grassy Knoll says:

    How is McCain losing to this guy? No need to answer, by the way.

  4. therightguy says:

    It comes down to locus of control. Some people believe in an external locus where the control of their lives is external, others favor an internal locus, where control is from the individual. On one side you have victims, the other responsibility. This is the mantra of socialism and the Neo-Com liberalism in this country: that everyone is a victim of something because they are not in control of their lives and the only fix is external. This fix only comes from the government, the collective. Remember, it takes a village, another mantra from the collectivists. Obama was born of sixties radicals and influenced throughout his life at various times by them. He is a product of that collectivist philosophy. So, what do you expect? What is apparent to some, and not reported by the mainstream media is Obama’s efforts to obfuscate his true philosophy, persona, and agenda. This makes him a very dangerous man in the context of where he came from. Hopefully we’ll see some scrutiny yet, but it’s probably too late.

  5. dulcimergrl says:

    I’ve been wondering that myself for a long time, GK.

  6. Phil Byler says:

    Sorry, Grassy Knoll, but the answer is different than what you may want to think. McCain is losing (right now) to Obama because (i) Republicans are out of favor with the voters and (ii) the financial “crisis” has put economic concerns favoring Democrats way ahead of foreign policy issues where McCain is clearly superior and perceived as superior.

    McCain has been running ahead of the generic Republican label. The polls for over a year showed McCain to be the only GOP candidate who could win this year. Until the financial “crisis,” McCain was starting to build a lead.

    So, the message has to be said over and over that Obama is a socialist who would ruin the economy, in addition to being an appeaser who would make Jimmy Carter seem like an Alpha male.

  7. dalej78 says:

    Last time I checked Mr. Obama, in this country you work if you want to make money, you get off your fat lazy ass, you get a freakin job and you work and if you want to be wealthy, you work hard and you work more. Just watch that movie with Will Smith, that’s what that Brother did, anyone can do that in America. Why do you think we have the most immigrants in the world? Because they know that’s the American Dream and you want to take it all away from us and your brainwashed zombies are on board too!!! I DON’T WANT SOCIALISM IN THIS COUNTRY!!! They introduced Socialism in my homeland and now they don’t have electricity!!!!! You whacko stupid Moron Mr. Obama, go to Venezuela or Cuba where they’d actually like you, but I’ve had ENOUGH!!

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