Home National Politics Ron Paul: Obama’s “Corporatist” Not “Socialist”

Ron Paul: Obama’s “Corporatist” Not “Socialist”


I love the reaction of the Republican audience – dead silence, utter confusion – to Ron Paul’s assertion that Barack Obama is not, repeat NOT,  a “socialist.” After being told for months by their “leaders,” including famed political science theorist Sarah Palin (heh), that Obama is a “socialist,” (Dictionary.com defition: “in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.”), now Ron Paul is telling them that Obama’s actually a “corporatist” (Free Dictionary definition: “Theory and practice of organizing the whole of society into corporate entities subordinate to the state.”). Got that?

Yes, it’s confusing.  I mean, how can Obama simultaneously be attempting to push the United States from “the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism” while working hard to entrench corporate power and influence in our country? In the case of health care reform, of course the private health insurance companies are not eliminated, but in fact they get more customers in exchange for more regulation (on denials of coverage for pre-existing conditions, etc.).  How that is either “socialism” or “corporatism” is hard to see, but Republicans are busy making both arguments. This, despite the fact that the non-partisan Kaiser Health News finds the 2009 Senate bill to be eerily similar to a major 1993 GOP health care proposal, the “Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act of 1993.” It seems self contradictory, unless of course you realize that the rationale doesn’t matter so much as the conclusion: that, no matter what he does, Barack Obama simply must be wrong, by definition.  If you buy that, all else follows. If not, you get a really, really bad headache trying to make sense of it all.

P.S. The correct answer? If he has secret “socialist” or “corporatist” plans, Barack Obama has hidden them well. In reality, Obama to date has been about as centrist/moderate a president as you can get, on pretty much every issue (foreign policy, domestic policy, etc.).  Of course, that’s not nearly as fun as throwing hysterical accusations around, so carry on…

  • WestEndVoter

    I have been generally happy with President Obama’s performance.  Any disappointment lies with the continued corruption of politics with corporate money (e.g., HCR), and the Wall Street bailout. These were the most discussed topics in the first Coffee Party meeting I attended (of which 95%-100% of the attendees were likely at one time left leaning Democrats), and these topics represent the apparent focus of the Coffee Party going forward.  

    HCR and the bailout both trended towards corporatism, which according to Lowell’s definition, is the “practice of organizing the whole of society into corporate entities subordinate to the state.”  

    Corporatist is a label that President Obama should swiftly attempt to discredit.  While “socialism” is practiced by much of modern Europe, “corporatism” had much favor in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s, if you know what I mean.  


  • It’s hard to keep up with all the labels conservatives throw at me. Am I a socialist, communist, fascist, pinko, elitist, corporatist, traitor, Eco-terrorist, hippie flower child?

    Think I’ll stick with the label I’ve used my whole life, which has worked very well: liberal.  

  • Teddy Goodson

    over-all by Ron Paul, when I think about it.

    There are corporotists in both political parties (just more in the Republican). The military-industrial complex owns the big chunk of our budget, pretty much runs the Pentagon (when Gates lets them), and, thanks to mission creep, the military more and more sets foreign policy, economic policy, industrial policy (what there is of it), and, oh yes, military policy. We’ve just seen a horrendous example of the power of the health care industrial complex. And, to tell the truth, my main problems with Obama have been his lack of a spine in dealing with corporations and Wall Street….

    Yes, Mr. Paul says it very well. It’s the ret of his philosophy I have problems with. Democrats ought to pick up on many of his analyses, make them their own, and steal his thunder.

  • Glen Tomkins

    It’s like that scene in 1984.  Some party leader is in the middle of a speech ritualistically, but furiously, denouncing the current perpetual enemy, Eurasia, and praising the noble ally, Eastasia, when someone hands him a note.  He reads it for a second, and without missing a further beat, praises that great and noble ally, Eurasia, while denouncing those war criminals over in Eastasia.  The audience is a bit confused, not knowing quite how to react, until the party leader gives them the cue, “Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia!”.

    It must be difficult being a Republican, so you have to sympathize with Paul’s audience as it sat there silent, unsure how they should react.  I certainly don’t have the mental and ethical agility it must take to believe seven impossible things before breakfast, then denounce all of these beliefs by lunch after the party issues a fatwa against them.  So, is the enemy, the Emmanual Godberg/Obama, socialist, or corporatist?  Communist or fascist?  You can be sure that once they decide which, Obama will have always been a socialist, or always, plotting way back in the madrassah around the same time he was forging that birth certificate, a corporatist.  Well, always that until the next fatwa, when he will suddenly always have been the other.

    Just thinking about that stuff at one remove makes my head hurt.  We need to be more understanding when they come out with things like this Confederate History Month proclamation, that seems to make no sense at all, even from a purely selfish perspective.  They no longer have the same full set of logic circuits as the rest of us, having burned out half of them on leaps like the corporatist/socialist at the same time thing.  

  • Hugo Estrada

    although one that most people in the U.S. today would be able to understand than the older definition.