Saturday, January 8, 2011

START and the Spirit of Frank Marshall Davis

Why do I have the feeling that isn't a tobacco cigarette?  
I'm reasonably certain that I'll get a disclaimer from the usual source in Hawaii--my guess is that it's probably an avowed liberal Democrat...someone like the Governor even--claiming that Frank Marshall Davis was neither a Communist or an influence on young Barry Soetoro.  Unfortunately the facts just don't support the denial.

Follow the link for more on what was probably Obama's most significant mentor.


Kaleokualoha said...

There is little doubt that Davis was a CPUSA member or that he was "an influence" on Obama. The main point of contention is the nature of that influence. "Dreams" indicates ethnic, not political influence. A disinformation campaign, led by AIM's Cliff Kincaid, misrepresents Davis's influence without sunstantiation.

Through innuendo, half-truths and outright fabrication, Obama’s opponents deliberately misrepresented a casual family friendship as political indoctrination sessions, or worse. In their rush to malign Obama, their scam transformed the legacy of a relatively obscure leftist poet into a “Stalinist agent” who corrupted Obama’s values. Slander and libel were their tools of their trade, because truth was irrelevant. Their perverted ethics find nothing wrong with such lies. Destroying Davis’s reputation was collateral damage. Cliff Kincaid may rationalize his deceit as a Leo Straussian "noble lie," but in reality it is a dishonorable attack.

The AIM disinformation campaign consisted of a series of small lies fabricated to support the big lie that "His values, passed on to Obama, were those of a communist agent who pledged allegiance to Stalin" (see Further, according to AIM, "It is Frank who created the mindset in Obama to want to attend socialist conferences" (

"Truth is generally the best vindication against slander."
- Abraham Lincoln

Papa Bill said...

So Obama's desire to redistribute wealth, expand the control of the central government over business, nationalize health care and insert the government into the private lives of the citizenry has nothing to do with Davis' communist proclivities or his association and mentorship of Obama as a youth. You say it was all about ethnicity, yet they have both have followed the same political path. Are you saying that establishing a socialist/statist regime is a result of ethnicity? I find that most preposterous!

Kaleokualoha said...

"Are you saying that establishing a socialist/statist regime is a result of ethnicity? I find that most preposterous!:

Sorry for being unclear. I am saying that primary source evidence indicates that Davis's influence was limited to those areas outlined in "Dreams." Speculation to the contrary is unsubstantiated. To misrepresent speculation as fact is dishonest.

Just as Chicken Little started a "sky is falling" hysteria based on a falling acorn, so too are various critics pushing a "Socialist Obama" hysteria based on government bailouts of American industry. Not only do they conveniently forget that the 2008 bailout was initiated by the Bush administration, but they also seem to have forgotten some basics from Econ 101. They could easily avoid such non sequitur nonsense by following the evidence instead of jumping to conclusions.

According to, socialism is "a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. In Marxist theory, it is the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles."

Please note that it is the stage FOLLOWING capitalism. Marxist socialism and capitalism are mutually exclusive. Capitalism has many forms in a mixed economy, with public (collective) ownership of various enterprises based upon economic conditions. Limited public ownership does not comprise Marxist socialism, which requires complete public ownership.

Every advocate of greater government economic control might be called a "socialist," but none are true socialists unless they advocate the complete elimination of private enterprise, which means the replacement of capitalism with collectivism. True (laissez-faire) capitalism means zero government control of private enterprise, which is economic anarchy. Neither of these extremes works in the long run. Every successful economy is a mixed economy, existing somewhere on a spectrum between both extremes. Every successful economy is part capitalist and part socialist. They all contain a mix of private and public ownership, and they all have some government control of private enterprise. The only relevant question is "WHERE on this spectrum can we achieve the greatest success?"

Both laissez faire capitalism and true communism are artificial constructs, as impossible to sustain as cold fusion. Every successful society requires private enterprise regulated by public policy, regardless of Ayn Rand's fantasies. Extremists on either fringe are equally delusional. In some ways regulation is a necessary evil like body fat: too much or too little are both lethal. The normal tendency is to add layers with age. The challenge is to find the level that will produce the optimum outcome, all things considered.