Obama as ‘socialist’? Yeah, right.

Obama as ‘socialist’? Yeah, right.

As if Barack Obama’s choice of Tim Geithner and other capitalists for crucial jobs doesn’t clinch it, Billy Wharton’s recent rap, “Obama’s No Socialist. I Should Know,” does:

To repeat what Wharton, editor of The Socialist, says, Obama’s no socialist. Got it?

Ayn Rand aside, Obama is no socialist. Gathering around her such acolytes Alan Greenspan (who literally sat at her feet as a young intellectual), Rand preached directly against altruism and railed that anybody who showed the slightest altruistic tendencies was a socialist.

Read Wharton’s piece here, from last Sunday’s Washington Post.

Click on the above video for Mike Wallace’s 1959 interview with Rand. Then take a look at these pieces:

• Wharton taking questions from readers the next morning in the Post.

• “Atlas Shrugged, now as then,” in yesterday’s Daily Mail (U.K.).

• A riff that touches on the difference between socialism and Europe’s popular brand of social democracy, in “Loosening Labour’s golden straitjacket,” in this morning’s New Statesman (U.K.)

• Wharton’s magazine, The Socialist — which you have to pay for.

If you’re wondering why the Socialist Party in the U.S. is so tiny and politically impotent, go back to It Didn’t Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States, by Seymour Martin Lipset and Gary Marks.

The late Lipset was a stalwart of the anti-Stalinist left in his early days and a card-carrying Socialist. As he built a well-known career as a political sociologist, he quit the Socialists and moved to the center, frequently criticizing socialism. If you can’t find this book, read Robert Dreyfuss’s 2001 review in the American Prospect.

Then tell me that Barack Obama is a socialist. Compared with conservative Democrats like the Clintons, he’s a Communist. Only in the conservative U.S. would anyone with the slightest sympathy for the working class be dubbed a “socialist.” It didn’t happen here? It never will happen: You can’t even use the word “class” (as in “working class”) without being branded a socialist.

Wharton’s piece, incidentally, is funny and charming — especially considering that he’s a dirty, rotten Socialist bent on sabotaging Wall Street, which incidentally just sabotaged itself without his help.

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