The collective swoon over B. Barak Hussein Muhammed Obama is getting corrosive. If Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) (see parts I and II) was a public health hazard, we ain't seen nothing yet. The Morbid Obama Intoxication (MOI) beats BDS on all fronts.
For a proper understanding we must turn beyond the field of psychology - to philosophy - which explains matters in broad abstracts. As is happens, a number of parameters alarmingly coincide - and here it gets sticky - with the German interbellum.
We all know how that ended. Nota bene, I'm not collating Obama with Adolf Hitler, or lumping him with Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels; although he is playing the campaign like a full-fledged demagogue, the problem rather lies with his fans and admirers.
The American Left is traditionally steeped in pragmatism. That may sound innocent and practical, but it comes with a few less known consequences which seldom come to the fore all at once.
The champion of pragmatism is the American pioneering psychologist William James (1842-1910), who gave the concept its name. The brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James wrote: 'The true,' to put it very briefly, is only the expedient in the way of our thinking, just as 'the right' is only the expedient in the way of our behaving." Dewey applied pragmatism to education.
Pragmatism is a Romanticist version of relativism. Extrovert action and passion are valued over introvert reflexion and reason. Pragmatism is essentially amoral. It has contributed to the nastiness of Postmodernism by positing a sort of secular, Western form of taqqiyah, which is governed by the same principle: our goal is so ethical that even the unethical is justified in reaching it - the aim justifies the means, truth is flexible and depends on the need of the moment, a utility expedient towards realization of the goal.
As a consequence pragmatism is rather dishonestly presented as the opposite of what it aims to achieve. It seemingly is the practical over theory, portends to position the individual in a central role, ostensibly respects reason and facts, while its very principle constitutes an assault on logic (everything is in flux), gives a central role to feelings and passions (subjectivism), denies reality (nothing is absolute), and reduces the individual to an atom of the collective. That collective - in pragmatism is usually 'our generation,' 'liberals,' or 'society'; it is not an aggregate, but an 'organic entity.'
It holds a number of Orwellian concepts, as Hegel's 'Ethical Whole' to which individual free will must be sacrificed for the good of the Collective Will, and Rousseau's notion which has come down to us in Marxism, of 'true freedom through the state'. A picture of mystical group-think is emerging from the Obama campaign which looks ominously familiar, but is by itself not enough to warrant great concern.
Is gets more hazardous when pragmatism is coupled to dogma and subjective passions spiral out of control. This is the winning ticket that made National Socialism such a lethal ideology: they strengthen one another. One can see how that works: our aim justifies the means because we say so. Dogmatism couples blind belief to an already brutal concept. It beckons: stop thinking, follow me and I'll give you what you want so passionately!
If we turn our attention to the Obama campaign we hear one mantra: Change, Action, Belief. The latter represents the dogmatic side: blind faith, not in the Obama ideas (he doesn't have any) but in his method, while Change through Action suggests Will to Power: the dogmatic approach to a subjective aim that justifies the pragmatist means.
There is the negative myth as summed up in part II by Front Page Magazine author Ben Johnson's "The Left's Fairy Tale," a shortlist of the main delusions that the Dems and the Leftist world at large have convinced themselves of. The demonization of George Bush is not a Sorelian myth, but it lends sufficient fire and motivation to reach the goal: getting Obama into 'our' White House.
Sit tight for Leonard Peikoff quoting Herman Goerring in "The Ominous Parallels" (Meridian, 1982, p. 55):
"Just as the Roman Catholic Church considers the Pope as infallible (...) so do we National Socialists believe with the same inner conviction that for us the Leader is (...) simply infallible. [Hitler's authority derives from] something mystical, inexpressible, almost incomprehensible which this unique man possesses, and he who cannot feel it instinctively will not be able to grasp it at all."
If you think that's tacky, compare that to this load of Postmodern 'spirituality,' according to which Obama is both the infallible Pope and the celestial Leader rolled into One:
"Barack Obama isn't really one of us. Not in the normal way, anyway. (...) The appeal, the pull, the ethereal and magical thing that seems to enthrall millions of people from all over the world, that keeps opening up and firing into new channels of the culture normally completely unaffected by politics? No, it's not merely his youthful vigor, or handsomeness, or even inspiring rhetoric. It is not fresh ideas or cool charisma or the fact that a black president will be historic and revolutionary in about a thousand different ways. It is something more. Even Bill Clinton, with all his effortless, winking charm, didn't have what Obama has, which is a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high-vibration integrity. Dismiss it all you like, but I've heard from far too many enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who've been intuitively blown away by Obama's presence - not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence - to say it's just a clever marketing ploy, a slick gambit carefully orchestrated by hotshot campaign organizers who, once Obama gets into office, will suddenly turn from perky optimists to vile soul-sucking lobbyist whores, with Obama as their suddenly evil, cackling overlord. Here's where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul. The unusual thing is, true Lightworkers almost never appear on such a brutal, spiritually demeaning stage as national politics. This is why Obama is so rare."
Mark Steyn noticed it too:
"Obama the humble savior:" "I face this challenge with profound humility (...) limitless faith (...) I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal … . This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation."
It's a good thing he's facing it with "profound humility," isn't it? ... Yeah, and divorced from reason ...