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  • 20


     
    Problems With Our Socialism: A Paper By Barack H. Obama Sr.
    Report; Posted on: 2008-11-11 18:12:40 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
     There's a big mystery at the heart of (President-elect) Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father:  A Story of Race and Inheritance. 

    What was Barack Obama doing seeking out Marxist professors in college?  Why did Obama choose a Communist Party USA member as his socio- political counselor in high school?  Why was he spending his time studying neocolonialism and the writings of Frantz Fanon, the pro-violence author of "the Communist Manifesto of neocolonialsm", in college?  Why did he take time out from his studies at Columbia to attend socialist conferences at Cooper Union?

    And there is more mystery in the book.  Why does Obama consider working in a consulting house for international business like being "a spy behind enemy lines?"  Why does he repeatedly find it so hard to explain his political views to others?  Why was he driven to become a left-aligned political organizer?  It's a question Obama again and again can't seem to answer to the satisfaction of the interlocutors in his own memoir.



    If there is a mystery at the heart of Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father, one thing is not left a mystery, the fact that Barack Obama organized his life on the ideals given to him by his Kenyan father.  Obama tells us, "All of my life, I carried a single image of my father, one that I .. tried to take as my own." (p. 220)   And what was that image?  It was "the father of my dreams, the man in my mother's stories, full of high-blown ideals .." (p. 278)  What is more, Obama tells us that, "It was into my father's image .. that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself."  And also that, "I did feel that there was something to prove .. to my father" in his efforts at political organizing. (p. 230)

    So we know that his father's ideals were a driving force in his life, but the one thing that Obama does not give us are the contents of those ideals.  The closest he comes is when he tells us that his father lost his position in the government when he came into conflict with Jomo Kenyatte, the President of Kenya sometime in the mid 1960s; when he tells us that his father was imprisoned for his political views by the government just prior to the end of colonial rule; and when he tells us that the attributes of W. E. B. DuBois, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela were the ones he associated with his father and also the ones that he sought to instill in himself.  (p. 220)  This last group is a hodge podge, perhaps concealing as much as it reveals, in that it contains a socialist black nationalist, a Muslim black nationalist, a civil rights leader, and (at the time indicated in the memoir) an imprisoned armed revolutionary.

    A bit of research at the library reveals the answers about Barack Obama's father and his father's convictions which Obama withholds from his readers.  A first hint comes from authors E. S. Atieno Odhiambo and David William Cohen in their book The Risks of Knowledge (Ohio U. Press, 2004).  On page 182 of their book they describe how Barack Obama's father, a Harvard trained economist, attacked the economic proposals of pro-Western 'third way" leader Tom Mboya from the socialist left, siding with communist-allied leader Oginga Odinga, in a paper Barack Obama's father wrote for the East Africa Journal.  As Odhiambo and Cohen write, "The debates [over economic policy] pitted .. Mboya against .. Oginga Odinga and radical economists Dharam Ghai and Barrack Obama, who critiqued the document for being neither African nor socialist enough."

    I have a copy of Barack Obama's paper here in my hand, obtained from the stacks at UCLA (see the picture above).  The paper is as describe by Odhiambo and Cohen, a cutting attack from the left on Tom Mboya's historically important policy paper "African Socialism and Its Applicability to Planning in Kenya."  The author is given as "Barak H. Obama" and his paper is titled "Problems Facing Our Socialism", published July, 1965 in the East African Journal, pp. 26-33.  [UPDATE:  I sent Politico a copy, and they've posted a PDF file of the paper here.]

    Continue...
    News Source: presto pundit

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