Obama’s “New Socialism”

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How much of a socialist is President Obama? According to Jim Gilmore—the former Republican governor of Virginia whom Democrat Mark Warner trounced in last year’s Senate race—Obama is so much of a socialist that he’s created his own form of socialism.

We have learned a lot in the first one hundred days of the Obama administration. The most important lesson is that this administration’s operating ideology isn’t old-style liberalism or even old-style socialism. President Obama and his team are delivering a “New Socialism.”

Their “New Socialism” doesn’t need to capture property. It is content to control the economy through taxation and regulation and the attitudes of our citizens by the establishment of a culture through the power institutions of our society: the media, the education establishment, and powerful business interests. Moreover, the “New Socialism” seeks to create a conventional wisdom that discredits all alternative thought.

So now socialism doesn’t even have to look or act like socialism to be socialism. New Socialists just have to try to control someone’s “attitude” about something through the media, education, and/or powerful business interests.

That’s a pretty big umbrella. (After all, trying to change an attitude about something through powerful business interests is “New Socialism.” Does that make our last administration New Socialist?) So it got me thinking: What other politicos fit under Gilmore’s New Socialism tent? How about Jim Gilmore? Let’s see: Gilmore now heads up USA Secure, a security think tank comprised of “key national technology and infrastructure companies.” What do they do?

Our goal is to gather a broad group of industries, first-responder non-profits, think tanks, and universities to speak with a steady and strong voice to all the different departments of government, particularly the Department of Homeland Security.

So it looks like Gilmore is using industry and universities to peddle influence to the government. That might end up changing or controlling some attitudes. Sounds pretty New Socialist to me.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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