Obama’s Cutting-edge Capitalism, Not Socialism

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[Election 2008: View From Europe]

It’s more often than not believed that a drowning human is usually bent on attempting to clutch at all means available – including whoppers – in order to escape his or her desperate situation.

Likewise, it seems that Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin are at the end of their tether; that’s why they’re peddling the far-fetched tale according to which Sen. Barack Obama might be a Socialist. What’s Socialism actually?

In a nutshell, Socialism is a political, economic and social regime that propounds and advances the collectivization of the means of production in a country; in a Socialist system, private farms, businesses and industries are joined together so that they’re controlled and owned by government. It’s blatantly obvious that nobody is crying for Socialism in the U.S. and nobody will clamor for it in the future.

Besides, it’s a gross exaggeration on the part of some Conservatives in the U.S. to regard countries such as France and Germany as Socialist nations. These countries practice a brand of capitalism that is commonly referred to as “Social Market Economy”. This means for instance that underdogs and the underprivileged enjoy income support in case they’re unable to keep their heads above water; similarly, those who’re laid off or pink-slipped aren’t left in the lurch; they are put on the dole: that’s national solidarity.

But this “Social Market Economy” also contains shortcomings in as much as the system is oftentimes abused. Thus, one would find people who deliberately refuse to work just because they take fancy to drawing income support. Others purport to be jobless, embark on moonlighting and keep receiving income support. That’s one of the reasons why leaders of Western Europe are willing to reform this brand of capitalism.

Point of note: I was among the early and first intellectuals in Europe who called for, in an article published in German, the upgrading, the incrementing, the refining and the updating of capitalism.

In the U.S., Sen. Obama had already been lambasting the weaknesses and loopholes of capitalism, mainly unethical practices and “predatory lending” within the corporate community. Even Gov. Palin recently lashed out against “predatory lending”. Therefore, it’s nonplussing to realize that she’s casting Sen. Obama as a Socialist.   

Can someone who is canvassing for “Universal Health Care” be a Socialist? Jesus-Christ calls upon all Christians to emulate the “good Samaritan” in the Bible; has Gov. Palin forgotten to act upon this instruction from and by the Lord Jesus?
Elsewhere, news analysts have twigged that the McCain/Palin slate absolutely wants to distance itself from current

President Bush; but is Bush a Socialist? Is Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson a Socialist? Is Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke a Socialist? Are they not presently rooting for government’s intervention in order to soothe and alleviate the pains, worries and difficulties caused by the prevailing financial crisis? Didn’t they push through a $700 billion bail out package? Didn’t Bernanke just declare his support for another stimulus package for the economy?

The public opinion knows that Sen. Obama is willing to sanitize capitalism so that enforced, sly, closet, professed, and blatant cheaters and slackers might be laid out, and that hard-working straight arrows, the middle class and the rich with clean hands may become or remain prosperous.

 In the vista of political philosophy, to stick up for and serve the interests of the average punter, not only those of the rich, that’s the be-all and end-all of democracy, according to Pericles, the influential Greek statesman who presided over the Athenian Golden Age.

In addition, the Greek philosopher Aristotle argues that the best political regime is the one which strengthens the middle class so that the underprivileged also might get the opportunity to blossom up by working hard and so that they might join the middle class.

The Union – read: the United States – badly needs that “Cutting edge Capitalism” today if the States mean business in remaining the most powerful nation of our global village.

Our global world at bottom only needs one leading nation, one cook, the nation of immigrants or the U.S.A, because “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Black Star News columnist Mathias Victorien Ntep is a PhD candidate at the University of Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

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