by Melanie Phillips
With the tape that has come to light of Obama’s 2001 interview on constitutional matters (and the patently inadequate gloss provided by Camp Obama), we can at last hear in his own words how genuinely radical he is. All his radical associations, dismissed as ‘guilt by association’ by those swept up in this madness, are here finally explained and justified by this piece of the jigsaw. In this interview, Obama laments the fact that the Supreme Court has never waded into areas of ‘economic justice’ and the ‘redistribution of wealth’. But the really important bit is this:
Obama dismisses negative liberties and wants ‘positive rights’ instead. This would mean, quite simply, the replacement of individual autonomy by state power. It would mean the end of individual freedom and the end of America’s founding value system.To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that... (my emphasis).
This is because negative liberty is liberty. It means that everything is permitted unless it is actively prohibited. ‘Positive liberty’, by contrast, means that individual rights consist instead of what the state hands down to the individual. Presented as a means of expanding ‘rights’, what it actually expands is state control and what it shrinks is individual freedom. It thus also opens up the way to the exercise of group rights, delivered by the state, which trump the rights of the individual in a society dominated by the belief that minorities are systematically oppressed by the majority and that therefore minority or group demands must always trump majority or civilisational values. It descends directly from the dictum of Rousseau that people must be 'forced to be free' -- a doctrine which ran from the French Revolution all the way to Hitler and Stalin.
This is also precisely the route down which the UK has so catastrophically been directed by a Labour government committed to upending the nation’s constitutional settlement and by an enthusiastically compliant activist judiciary. Through ‘Human Rights’ legislation the English common law -- the originator of that true liberty which lies at the heart of the American Constitution – has been fettered by the codification of 'rights’, which in turn have made freedom contingent on the say-so of the judiciary. Now Obama wants to ‘break free from the essential constraints’ of the US constitution – but those constraints are on state power. He can’t rely on the Supreme Court to do this, he says – not surprising, since it is bound by the Constitution – and so ‘community organising’ will be used to bring about that transfer of power instead.
Now we can see how foolish are all those who persist in thinking that as a ‘community organiser’ Obama was just a kind of souped-up charity worker. As has been pointed out on this blog and in numerous investigations published on the net, ‘community organising’ is straight out of the Alinsky/ Gramsci Marxist playbook – a means of radicalising the proletariat so that it takes power and overturns the values of the society. Instead of the founding Fathers and the Supreme Court, America is about to get a new constitution written by the thugs of ACORN.
Now we can see the change that we all have to believe in. It is America itself which is to be changed -- and the liberty that it defends crushed by state control.
As history tells us, sometimes democratic elections bring to power a leader who threatens freedom. This is just such a moment.