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Roger L. Simon

Obama’s New Nomenklatura

May 1st, 2012 - 12:18 am

Socialism is a rich man’s game.

Oh, sure, random overheated (sometimes impoverished) Occupiers agitate for their version of economic equality, possibly gumming up the works at the Lincoln Tunnel, but the real financial justice action comes from the wealthy – or so it would seem.

And I’m not just talking about Hollywood, where George Clooney is full steam ahead on a putative record-breaking ten million dollar fundraiser for Barack Obama, or the laughably meretricious theatrics of the “Buffett Tax” that no one would pay anyway, but across the nation.

According to a book about to be released, The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign by Brendan J. Doherty, Obama has held more fundraisers than all presidents since Nixon combined.

What does this have to do with socialism?  A lot, really, because what Obama promises – especially in his second term — is a socialism of permanent elites, a kind of new, very American, version of the old Soviet-style nomenklatura. And those who are in it will get to stay in it (via government support) as social mobility, aka the American Dream, diminishes or disappears.

This was what socialism ultimately was all about, indeed is all about, the preservation of nomenklaturas, whether of Hollywood, the media, union, and bureaucratic leadership or what remains of selected industry. Keep hoi polloi out.

All those fundraisers and bundlers, from Clooney to the considerably more anonymous, know this on one level or another. It’s certainly not subtle and those too clueless to understand were reminded by the recent quasi-blacklisting of potential Romney supporters. A warning shot was fired. No elite status for them.

Being part of this new nomenklatura is particularly crucial in hard times and even more so in hard times that look to be long-lasting and possibly permanent.

Seemingly disastrous undertakings, like the overweening government support of the feckless solar company Solyndra, therefore can actually have what would appear to be a reverse effect, reassuring elites that they will be protected, even cosseted, in their most irrational enterprises. Just stay on the team and all will be well.

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