YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

January 25, 2012

The State of the Union Stinks

Goebbels’ favorite object

Other writers have impressively discussed the flaws in the State of the Union speech last night. But neither Bryan Preston nor Barry Rubin has focused on the emotional appeals of Obama’s plea for national unity, nor on the underlying whiff of fascism (or authoritarianism) that was apparent to my nose as a student of fascist movements and their characteristic propaganda tropes—that are collectivist in the extreme.

All fascist movements have been heavily military in spirit. Although Obama proudly presents himself as an anti-imperialist and lover of peace, surely without expansionist ambitions, he started and ended his speech not only with tributes to the military branch of government, but the clear directive that all governing institutions, and indeed, individual citizens, should copy the military model. What is that model but a tightly bonded hierarchical entity led top down by generals, themselves subject to the control of the executive branch, especially the President/Leader? Indeed the bulk of his speech was filled with orders on how the government should control all those aspects of the economy that worry us. Government spending would have to go up, along with bureaucratic controls to enforce Obama’s directives. This statism is also common to fascist movements.

The reader may resist my analogy, for it could be objected that Nazism, especially, was a racial state, and that antisemitism in its most virulent form was practiced by the Third Reich. Here is how I answer that objection. Obama, in tandem with parts of the Occupy Wall Street movement, has been blaming Wall Street and millionaires and billionaires for both causing the economic downturn through massive malfeasance, and from not paying “their fair share” through tax laws that blatantly favor them, laws that were instituted because of their thuggish influence on Bush 43. Obama actually blamed “the money power” during a recent  speech, and it was implied in his SOTU address. Everyone knows that code. Finance capital is the culprit, and finance capital is imagined as Jewish. Jews are, in the antisemitic mindset, notoriously avaricious and insular, eschewing Christian charity for generosity solely to other Jews, especially Israel, their home away from home. This language of the crypto-Jewish “one percent” will be deployed throughout the campaign. Obama wants to make them pay up, to pacify Warren Buffett’s suffering secretary, Debbie Bosanek, and her companion taxpayers in the 35.8% bracket. [She must get a high salary!]. This is populism at its crudest, and Hitler and his party were populists from the start.

So what is the true state of the union?  As we can see in the Republican presidential campaign, the nation is polarized, with the same sectional differences that existed before the Civil War in place. And more than Red State hostility to “Massachusetts moderates” is the ongoing culture war, in which Democratic or radical women and men may be placing reproductive rights and gay marriage ahead of fiscal solvency and national security. We are a sorely divided nation, ideologically and culturally. Adjurations to look out for one another and to put partisanship aside for the sake of the 99% [people’s community] smell to high heaven in the sensitive, wary nose of this historian.

For more of the warrior stance in Democratic Party strategies see http://clarespark.com/2011/12/10/before-saul-alinsky-rules-for-democratic-politicians/. For more speculation on Obama’s psyche see http://clarespark.com/2010/04/05/is-potus-crazy/. For more on military psychiatry, see http://clarespark.com/2010/04/22/links-to-blogs-on-military-psychiatry/. I may have made too much of the militarism theme in Obama’s speech, but I stand by my analysis. If he didn’t grasp the implications of the military model,  he should have. For more documentation of progressive movement appropriations of Nazi mind-management techniques, see http://clarespark.com/2010/04/18/links-to-nazi-sykewar-american-style/. On the anti-Wall Street theme, see http://clarespark.com/2010/09/11/is-wall-street-slaughtering-the-middle-class/. On the ideology of a popular tv show see http://clarespark.com/2009/10/15/the-christianization-of-ziva-david-ncis/.

[Note: I took down the paragraph that linked Obama's energy policy with autarky. I doubt that the desire for energy independence was anything more than a desire to co-opt Republican themes.]

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12 Comments »

  1. [...] moderate men.” You have donned the steel helmet, the perfect object admired by Goebbels. (See http://clarespark.com/2012/01/25/the-state-of-the-union-stinks/, and http://clarespark.com/2010/04/22/links-to-blogs-on-military-psychiatry/. Peirce and [...]

    Pingback by Dumbing down: when did it begin? « YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — March 17, 2012 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

  2. [...] model in his State of the Union speech. I wrote about the implications of such policy here: http://clarespark.com/2012/01/25/the-state-of-the-union-stinks/.%5D Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Comments [...]

    Pingback by The Christianization of Ziva David (NCIS)? « YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — March 16, 2012 @ 9:35 pm | Reply

  3. Clare, I am sad. I am sad for a variety of reasons, but few things make me sadder than the absurdity of some “scholarly” discussions. I’ve just received an email (you know which one) which declares any discussion of “anti-Zionism” as “un-scholarly,” but doesn’t have any problem with blatant propaganda, ridiculously unscholarly self-promotion on absurdly obvious level (see below), all sorts of platitudes about love of the world, birds and worms and, more importantly, antisemitism (“antisemitism is fine, we’re open, we like diverse opinions” ….. except for ONE). I received my main academic training not in this country, but in the world sensitive to demagoguery, propaganda and self-promotion and am pretty sure than self-promotion and propaganda disqualify an individual from being considered an academic, let alone a good one. Sadly, the “academics” of the list I have in mind, received a different training.
    Below is a fragment of a recent post which apparently is approved by the author of today’s comment as “scholarly”:
    ” I have spent more than 30 years in the classroom,
    and can honestly say I have never discouraged opposing perspectives, nor
    privileged one ideology over another. I have encouraged fact-checking
    and critical thinking, and only asked that discussions be courteous,
    whether my students (or colleagues) ultimately agreed on a particular
    issue or not.”
    My sensitive stomach responds brutally. I’ve been a member of this list for some 7-8 years. Throughout its history, any opposition to blatant antisemitism has been silenced by the demagogues with titles and positions.
    Just in case, English is my 7th language (in order of acquisition) and yes, I have a degree in Jewish history (emphasis on antisemitism). My doctorate was in a different area. Any criticism of my English and my intellectual abilities (the popular technique of silencing of non-anti-Zionists) is welcome.
    dr anna

    Comment by anna — February 5, 2012 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

  4. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, state supremacists have shared a common language. And common aims.

    “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” –Adolf Hitler (Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by Toland, “Adolf Hitler: Vol. 1,” p. 306. 1976)

    We’ve heard sentiments and ideas like this and worse from the mouths of the Occupiers, haven’t we? (Wait for the chorus of “but… they’re not one of us!)

    And few have noticed that many of Obama’s “advisors” and so-called czars exhibit a strong eliminationist pedigree. How chillingto hear that same ‘eliminationist ‘ term coming from the White House itself in reference to the American Right.

    Comment by Ward Dorrity — January 30, 2012 @ 6:07 pm | Reply

  5. My first reaction to the name “Occupy Wall Street” was: “Why occupy Wall Street?” I asked this question on Sept. 17 when a friend dragged me and her husband to the rally after our visiting of the Governor’s Island. Yes, I was there. By chance. The friend is no longer a friend.
    I asked the same question some two weeks later when again I was in the neighborhood. This time I was particularly irritated by a poster with a star of David and Rothschild’s name and the fact that several prominent “Jewish” left intellectuals a yard away were clearly enjoying “Occupy.”
    I confronted them, their idiotic smugness and their absolute ignorance.
    Maimon writes:
    “The writers of the speech are well aware that this type of populist discourse will do well with constituents who belong to the “I feel powerless and I need validation” group”
    Correct. Several months ago I tried to listen to the NPR’s “Smiley and West.” West and company were traveling around the country talking about poverty and … Wall Street and a clip was on the program. Their listeners were African Americans who were unhappy with West’s criticism of Obama. West insisted (a paraphrase from memory): “Look at this unfairness. So much wealth on Wall Street. You know … Wall Street.” People got excited: “Yeaaaaah, Wall Street.”
    I turned off the radio.

    Comment by anna — January 30, 2012 @ 1:37 am | Reply

  6. The writers of the speech are well aware that this type of populist discourse will do well with constituents who belong to the “I feel powerless and I need validation” group. My bewilderment is that the majority of American Jews still subscribe to that mentality! We may say that we were once slaves to Pharaoh but NOT victims needing our “fare share” which is contrary to freedom. Brilliant blog Clare!

    Comment by Maimon Chocron — January 26, 2012 @ 9:11 pm | Reply

  7. Look at Theodore Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism” speech–he uses a lot of the same themes.

    Comment by John Moser — January 26, 2012 @ 1:45 am | Reply

  8. See also http://youtu.be/UDDRiGIUYQo for details of the one’s cutting and pasting from previous speeches.

    Comment by Deadman — January 25, 2012 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

  9. Good stuff, needs spreading around…

    Comment by David Williams — January 25, 2012 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  10. Brilliant…and great analysis of OhBowMore’s THUGocracy and the globalization of islamofascist corruption and evil. Dr. Gary K

    Comment by gk68 — January 25, 2012 @ 10:20 pm | Reply


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