As the end of the Obama Era draws nearer, I’m reminded of one of my dad’s favourite quasi-quotes that he attributes to former Yugoslav Communist dictator Marshal Tito: “After me, the deluge!” The Marshal passed away three years before my birth, and Yugoslavian media and academia were about as reliable as their present-day Western counterparts, so, while I’ve never been able to find the actual quote my whistleblowing father has implanted in my impressionable mind, I’ll take his word for it. After all, it’s rather irrelevant wether the Marshal actually said the words or not, the deluge happened nonetheless. And what a bloody mess it continues to be.
Merely a decade after Tito’s death, both the Party and the Federation he presided over disintegrated. A half-a-dozen armed conflicts would ravage the region for the decade that followed. The armed conflicts have been dubbed the Yugoslavian “Civil Wars” by most Western pundits, but in earnest, they were wars of session. The Federative Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, much like its Socialist brethren around the world at the time of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, fell victim to its collectivist economic policies which sought to destroy any semblance of a market. After 45 years of Dictatorship of the Proletariat, the jig was finally up. Despite what may well have been good intentions on the part of the murderous Yugoslav Communists, their ideology cut against the natural laws of economics, which are as real and as inflexible as the laws of physics.
Thus, while everyone was nominally covered by universal healthcare, the actual way to access it was through connections and bribery. And even then, the best of what Yugoslavia had to offer was ages behind what was available to freer market Westerners. The same went for education, day-care, public transport, entertainment and all the rest. As late as the mid-1990s, my native Republic of Macedonia (one of the six former federal republics of Yugoslavia) boasted one state-owned television station, which broadcast in one and a half channels, a state-owned national radio station, along with one state-owned radio station per town, and a handful of printed media, all produced by the same state-owned publishing house. At least we didn’t have to worry about Fake News sites, I am right?! By the time 1990 rolled around and political pluralism was legalized, the Yugoslav populace, despite four-and-a-half decades of heavy indoctrination to the contrary, largely sided with the pro-market political entities.
Back to outgoing US President Barak Obama, who, like the aforementioned Tito, is also a socialist. He, like Tito and his ilk, also doesn’t believe in the creative and wealth producing nature of the free market. Lastly, Obama in true socialist fashion has deep contempt for the past and the lessons it offers to those who wish to learn them. As long ago as the 1920s Ludwig von Mises wrote about the impossibility of economic calculation in a planned economy, and the deleterious consequences of sprawling bureaucracy, apparently to no use. So, while he may be of a much purer heart than the blood-thirsty Tito, Obama’s “You Didn’t Built That” moment betrayed an equally misinformed understanding of economics in particular, and human action in general: human creativity, productivity and loyalty are, first and foremost, subject to one’s own profit. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” has a nice ring to it, but when the chips are down, it don’t bring home the bacon. Why? Because “Can’t Someone Else Do It?!”
Obama, much like his ideological cousins from the past, finds himself departing his office while the populace which he so lovingly governed rejects his core ideology. We’ve heard it over and over in the weeks since the US Presidential election: middle America rejected the political correctness of the Coastal Elites. To me, this is just a veiled way of saying: Americans saw what having a pinko commie in the White House looks like, and they don’t want any more of that shit. Not that President-elect Trump ran on a specifically non-collectivist platform; not that the contemporary American voter could tell an interventionist from a non-interventionist. The parallel with my former homeland is still there: while the average pleb may not posses the academic understanding of what makes markets work and the economy prosper, they do have gut instincts, which ring the warning bells. While Joe-six-pack may not understand the underlying reasons why the system is falling apart, he has enough wherewithal to understand that the system is falling apart. Thus, with labour force participation at an all time low, the surveillance state at an all time high, and the welfare/warfare machine in high gear, Obama departs the scene as his nation turns its collective back on him.
Staying true to his “You Didn’t Build That!” philosophy, the outgoing President has recently come out swinging with claims that Donald Trump didn’t win the election, the Russians did it for him. Likewise, his Democratic Party didn’t lose the election, either, the Russians lost it for them; and of course, the American people didn’t vote against his socialist legacy, you guessed it: the Ruskies gone done that, too, all of which on the surface comes across as sour grapes.
But is this pouting and fretting truly just a case of sore losing, or is there something more fundamental to it? Remember that the above mentioned Marshal Tito died in office, his reign never having come to question, thanks primarily to the State Security apparatus which controlled education, news media, book publishing and every bit of interpersonal communication, among other things. That is to say, he didn’t get to experience the hurtful rejection of his policies at the end of his term like Barak Obama gets to. Yet, his desire for an End of Times, despite the ostensible love he was feeling from his people did not diminish his desire for the deluge after his departure.
In my opinion, this can be traced to the Socialists’ aforementioned contempt for the past, and therefore, the future. The Socialist Man exists only in the present, for to use history as a gauge of one’s success is to constantly remind oneself of the utter failure one’s ideas have brought about. The present being the future’s past, means that one day, maybe in the not too distant future, when the glitter from all the pageantry settles, society will be able to judge the Socialists’ boondoggles and rate them for what they really are.
In that vein we can view President Obama’s reckless attempts at provoking Russia’s Vladimir Putin to hostility in the last days of his term as a hastening of the End of Times.