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A Maoist in the White House

October 16th, 2009 - 11:35 am

Jeremiah Wright. William Ayers. Van Jones. Where does the rogues’ gallery of Barack Obama’s radical friends end? These people are not liberals. They are not “progressives.” They are radicals who hate America and in many cases have advocated or even perpetrated violence in an effort to destroy it.

Thanks to Glenn Beck, the American public has now been introduced to yet another radical member of Obama’s inner circle: Anita Dunn, Interim White House Communications Director, former top advisor to Obama’s political campaign, and wife of Obama’s personal lawyer, Robert Bauer.

In a speech before high school students last June, Dunn spoke passionately about her two favorite political philosophers, “the two people I turn to most” for answers to important questions like “how to do things that have never been done before.” Who are these paragons? One was Mother Teresa. Dunn didn’t have much to say about her. Most of her enthusiasm was lavished upon her other favorite fount of political wisdom: Mao Tse-Tung.

Mao Tse-Tung. That would be the deviant monster who, quite apart from his disgusting personal life, engineered the mass murder of anywhere from 50 to over 100 million people. Estimates vary so widely because murder on that wholesale scale is difficult to tabulate, especially in a country as backwards as China was under Mao’s long reign. But there is little doubt that Mao has the grisly distinction of being the greatest mass murderer in history.

Yet this is the man that one of Obama’s closest advisors commends to an audience with warmth and enthusiasm. In 1947, she tells her audience, Chiang Kai-Shek seemed to hold all the cards: he had the army, the airforce, and yet Mao went on to victory, telling people, as Anita Dunn told her listeners, “You fight your war and I’ll fight mine.” Don’t believe me? Listen:

N.B.: Anita Dunn is not just an Obama hanger-on. She is part of his inner circle, one of his top aides, along with David Axelrod, Rahm Emmanuel, and Robert Gibbs. What does it mean that someone in that position proffers one of the greatest monsters the world has ever seen for emulation?

Anita Dunn calls Mao a “political philosopher.” In fact, as a real philosopher, the late, great Leszek Kolakowski, understood, Mao’s real achievement was as “one of the greatest, if not the very greatest, manipulator of large masses of human beings in the twentieth century.” His violent peasant revolution mouthed Marxist slogans, but at its core was less Marxist than a particularly rebarbative form of anarchic and anti-intellectual tyranny. “The obfuscation of Western admirers of Chinese Communism,” Kolakowski observes toward the end of his magnum opus, Main Currents of Marxism, “is scarcely believable.” I wish he were still here for Anita Dunn.

In the 1960s and 1970s, many American universities, along with some other Western redoubts of privilege and irresponsibility, harbored a few deluded characters who declared themselves Maoists and were fond of toting around his pathetic compendium of absurdity, “The Little Red Book.” These creatures were the sorriest detritus of our own cultural revolution. Some destroyed themselves. Others grew up, in whole or part, and were absorbed by a rich and forgiving society into the tissues of American life. Only now is it clear that some of the most radical and benighted have subsisted long enough in the outer corridors of power to find themselves suddenly translated into its inner sanctum, the White House and other top agencies of the United States government. It is an eventuality that would be risible were it not repulsive and, indeed, frightening.

So, we have a self-professed admirer of Mao Tse-Tung in a top job at the White House. Where does it end? Where?

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