Barack Obama: An English View from Sean Gabb


Free Life Commentary,
A Personal View from
The Director of the
Libertarian Alliance
Issue Number 176
8th November 2008
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc176.htm

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 America.

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.

About these ads

3 responses to “Barack Obama: An English View from Sean Gabb

  1. Pingback: George Bush On Best Political Blogs » Barack Obama: An English View from Sean Gabb

  2. banninationbanner

    * in sfw mode
    * images are off
    * chat
    * queue
    * login | register
    * wiki

    Here’s a guy with a different slant. It’s worth a read.

    Tag Enter Tags!
    Tagged with : negative story is negative, tddr

    What are tags?
    noimspartacus 599 2008-11-09 03:27:54 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    Negative story is negative.
    Reply To This
    galileo 3288 2008-11-09 03:32:39 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    td;dr

    Reply To This
    maggotbrain 580 2008-11-09 03:38:39 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    Refreshing snark. How utterly refreshing. I will have to follow this site, or the author’s articles a bit for some laughs. He seems a bit off.
    Reply To This
    bunnythor 544 2008-11-09 04:02:29 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    galileo: td;dr

    “too depressing; didn’t read”?
    Reply To This
    maggotbrain 580 2008-11-09 04:24:33 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    bunnythor: “too depressing; didn’t read”?

    too drunk; don’t read

    or

    top dog; down rover
    Reply To This
    josef k 1975 2008-11-09 04:54:05 vote cool flag inappropriate score 1
    It’s worth a read.

    I didn’t think so. Neo Marxists? Decline into tyranny? He’s just a pretentious libertarian nutcase with a poor understanding of Constitutional law in his own country.

    Also:

    Having spent very little time there, I cannot be regarded as an expert on America. Nor am I particularly fond of the place.

    I’m not American, never been there, don’t intend to go, but the self importance of that statement even pisses me off.
    Reply To This
    faethe 860 2008-11-09 05:28:40 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    josef k:
    I’m not American, never been there, don’t intend to go, but the self importance of that statement even pisses me off.

    What sort of feruner is ya?
    Reply To This
    josef k 1975 2008-11-09 05:37:03 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    faethe: What sort of feruner is ya?

    Same as you… kind of… in a way. I’m Australian.
    Reply To This
    reed solomon 688 2008-11-09 06:24:24 vote cool flag inappropriate score 1
    he’s right on one thing at least. America deserves Obama whatever the outcome, after tolerating 8 years of George W Bush.
    Reply To This
    maggotbrain 580 2008-11-09 06:47:49 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    reed solomon: he’s right on one thing at least. America deserves Obama whatever the outcome, after tolerating 8 years of George W Bush.

    How wonderfully, and yet, ambivalently neutral of you. You are right, we do deserve this outcome. Let’s hope we make the best of it, no?
    Reply To This
    zaz the magnificent 1189 2008-11-09 06:48:16 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    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.

    One, maybe two of the personalities of presdential politcs were not members of the ruling class. Sarah Palin is somebody you could know in real life, an actual human being. Obama is not. McCain, Romney, and Clinton are not.
    Reply To This
    willywanka 274 2008-11-09 07:14:41 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    josef k: Same as you… kind of… in a way. I’m Australian.

    ah, so according to this guy, your country is on the “downward spiral” too.
    Reply To This
    skyscraper 206 2008-11-09 08:00:50 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    zaz the magnificent: 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.

    One, maybe two of the personalities of presdential politcs were not members of the ruling class. Sarah Palin is somebody you could know in real life, an actual human being. Obama is not. McCain, Romney, and Clinton are not.

    Uncle Tom. I believe he was agreeing with Nader.
    Reply To This
    skarcher 1838 2008-11-09 08:16:48 vote cool flag inappropriate score 1
    I am astounded.

    Halfway through this interminable rant, the author makes the quite incredible statement that the election of new labour in 1997 was the downfall of English constitutional politics, and that the Conservatives were somehow (and only in retrospectovision) fighting against the reform of the westminster political system?

    Does the author not remember that the reason New Labour were mandated to alter the system was simply because of the previous 15 years of mismanagement which all finally came to light when the iron Bitch finally left office? Or indeed that she quite gleefully left the mess as a ticking time bomb to her sucessors?

    I suspect he’s about 20 and doesn’t have a real grip on british politics.

    At least he’s honest enough to admit he knows fuck all about american politics though.
    Reply To This
    the loch ness street light 620 2008-11-09 09:00:47 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    One thing we can take away from this essay is the author’s observation that people don’t mind having their civil liberties taken away as long as it’s done gradually and in the name of some greater cause. We’ve seen plenty of examples of this: security cameras in England, laws against hate speech, Australia wanting to censor the entire IntarWeb, domestic wiretapping here in the US.

    So the author may be a wanker drowning in his own sense of self-importance, but he’s correct in that Obama isn’t going to stand up in defense of our civil liberties. It’s not that kind of change.

    \I voted for Obama
    \\I love black people
    \\\I even gave change to the smelly homeless guy standing near the highway onramp
    \\\\\I think he was black. Could have just been dirty.
    |Did I mention I’m not a racist?
    Reply To This
    the loch ness street light 620 2008-11-09 09:01:44 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    skarcher:
    I suspect he’s about 20 and doesn’t have a real grip on british politics.

    No one under the age of 25 should be allowed to voice their political opinion.

    Reply To This
    faethe 860 2008-11-09 10:01:54 vote cool flag inappropriate score 0
    josef k: Same as you… kind of… in a way. I’m Australian.

    I’m only half Australian, meaning I eat Marmite instead of Vegemite, but I am really good at sports :p

    You there now? How do you like Rudd? Boring is what I get from his government :)
    Reply To This
    Please sign in to post.

    Even if you create an account you can still post anonymously!

    This thread is assumed to be SFW, since it’s not flagged otherwise. Please be on your best behavior when posting comments – remember, things that are SFW at the Playboy Mansion aren’t necessarily SFW for the homeless ex-bankers on Wall Street. Do your fellow citizens a favor – be nice, go the extra mile, and don’t post anything that would result in gasps of alarm or HR proceedings in a work setting.
    Go Home Queue Refresh Thread View
    Page created in 0.00661 seconds. Request 34 for this process. Status is newly generated

  3. ThereseJDanielsson

    Not even a week after the president election the blond topblogger from Sweden, Linda Ekholm speaks out loud about Obama!
    And I really believe this is truly written by heart. Scary!

    http://www.finest.se/userBlog/?uid=30701&beid=1040511