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Obama the Pitchfork Operator: A Remake of the Soviet Classic ^ | April 7, 2009 | Oleg Atbashian

Posted on 04/07/2009 7:00:44 AM PDT by Tolik

While some of today’s comparisons between Obama and communist dictators may go over the top, the general direction of such thinking is not without merit: since they share a utopian goal of forced equality, it’s logical to expect that their methods may also converge at some point. To wit, recent actions from Obama reminded me of a ploy Stalin used on Western entrepreneurs, which in itself is an illustrative morality play contrasting the differences between socialism and capitalism.

“My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks,” Barack Obama told the CEOs of the world’s most powerful financial institutions on March 27, when they cited competition for talent in an international market as justification for paying higher salaries to their employees.

Arrayed around a long mahogany table in the White House state dining room, the bankers struggled to make themselves clear to the president, but he wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He interrupted them by saying, “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.”

To get the full flavor of the president’s implication we must remember that in Obama’s code language, the word “pitchforks” means “a vigorous campaign of threats and intimidation perpetrated by Obama-sponsored ACORN and union activists in conjunction with theatrical outrage from government officials, amplified by the complicit media, and coordinated from one political center, which has now moved to the White House.”

Accordingly, the words “public” and “the people” denote “an appearance of broad popular movement created by a small but highly organized band of professional pitchfork operators (ACORN) who rely on the government funding and the media’s eagerness to present their deliberately planned actions and pre-fabricated messages as heartfelt and spontaneous.”

In compliance with Orwellian logic, Obama’s “Newspeak” not only redefines existing meanings, it also abolishes ranges of “Oldspeak” meanings such as property, markets, competition, capitalism, political opposition, and the rule of law. The latter is perhaps the most important ingredient missing in his new “pitchfork” formula, signaling that law is now being replaced with mob rule.

In a balanced society, an angry mob is never a part of the equation. But if the goal is to throw a capitalist society off balance in order to change it, an angry mob is the ticket. Anger is known to be the easiest and the most effective tool of crowd manipulation. Angry mobs cancel out the rule of law. Infusing anger into a community and turning it into an angry mob, canceling out the rule of law, and changing the balance in a society — this is what community organizers do for a living.

It was often pointed out during the election that Obama lacked management experience. While having a president with no experience is bad, it’s not nearly as bad as having a president with experience as a community organizer.

Community organizers were instrumental in forcing banks to give subprime loans to unqualified minority borrowers by using the “pitchforks” tactics — protesting in front of the banks, camping on the lawns of the bankers’ family houses, intimidating families, and suing  in courts. After the bankers were sufficiently roughed up, a community organizer would show up at their office to “negotiate” the bank’s surrender in the form of bad loans and money for community organizations that pay community organizers for their “services.”

Squeezed between the “pitchforks” and the government (see Community Reinvestment Act), the banks survived by releasing the accumulated toxic assets to the rest of the financial system, which over the years poisoned the entire world economy. Now that the crisis has propelled a former “pitchfork operator” into power, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the new organizer in chief would try to “heal” the economy how he knows best: by continuing to squeeze businesses between the “pitchforks” and the government — a tactic that had caused the disease in the first place. Only now he is doing it on a global scale.

Once a community organizer gains control of the media and the government, the next logical step is to turn the entire nation into a mob and set them against businesses, while offering the latter government “protection.” The subsequent takeover of the economy leaves the future society reduced to the two basic elements: an authoritarian government and a compliant mob. This may be an ideal arrangement for a community organizer, but it’s a direct opposite of what the Founding Fathers had intended.

Most Americans will probably associate this trend with the protection racket that was rampant in Chicago in the 1930s. It follows the same pattern: the mob, in conjunction with the unions, would organize strikes and protests, do physical damage, and intimidate business owners. Then a mob representative would meet with the owner and offer “protection” by saying “I’m the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

Curiously enough, at about the same time, a similar drama was unfolding halfway across the world in the Eastern Siberia — only this time the role of the mob was played by a government that claimed to act in the interests of the workers. And while the mobsters were motivated by greed and used the workers simply to milk the capitalists, a workers’ government, motivated by the common good morality, used the workers for something much more sinister and immoral.

After the Communists nationalized Siberian gold mines, the government’s incompetence and lack of incentives sent gold production into a decline. Many of the managers and engineers had fled abroad; the foreign-made mining equipment lay in ruins. But the country badly needed gold to finance industrialization and prepare for war with Western capitalism.

The popular sentiment, whipped up by the party-controlled media, was that “heads must roll.” Failing to deliver the required quotas, the remaining managers and engineers were declared enemies of the people and either executed or sent to hard labor camps. That didn’t help; the production continued to drop.

That’s when Nikolai Bukharin, a former community organizer in charge of industrial development, came up with an idea to infuse some capitalism and lease Siberian mines to British mining companies. The plan was approved by Stalin.

The lease terms were extremely favorable; before long British capitalist exploiters arrived at a few Siberian locations. They brought new equipment, trained the local workers, and quickly revived the industry. But as soon as things began to run smoothly, local unions organized strikes at all British-run mines, protesting exploitation and demanding a significant pay raise.

The strike sounded absurd as the miners’ wages and living conditions by then were among the best in the country. The foreign management didn’t realize, of course, that the strike had been secretly ordered by the party’s central committee as part of Bukharin’s clever scheme. The unions wouldn’t dare defy the party. The workers simply did what they had been ordered to do.

The British gave in and raised the wages. But a few weeks later another strike broke out, with more picketing and demonstrations, as the unions demanded another significant raise and improvement of living conditions. The British gave in again. After yet another strike the Siberian miners already had a higher living standard than any of their Western counterparts, while the mining operation was becoming barely profitable. When the next anti-exploitation strike broke out, the capitalists cried to the Soviet government for help.

Bukharin, on behalf of the party and the government, answered that he had no power over the unions. This was not a capitalist country where governments oppressed their workers. This was a workers’ state, ruled by the workers who were getting angry at capitalist exploitation, and the government had to obey their will. Long story short, and not necessarily in these words, the gist of the message was that the Brits only had Stalin’s mercy standing between them and the pitchforks, and they better not push it.

Finally the Brits fathomed the depth of the hole they’d dug themselves into. There was nothing else they could do except run away from the threat of the pitchforks as fast as they could. Shipping back the equipment would only increase their losses, so they left the machinery behind.

As a result, the Soviet government got new working equipment, trained workers, and well-organized production — all free of charge. None of the captains of socialist industry lost any sleep; it was done for the common good of the workers, and so the end justified the means. According to a witness account, members of the party’s central committee, including Stalin, laughed hysterically every time Bukharin retold the story of how the workers’ state fooled Western capitalism.

But the joke really was on the workers. As soon as the British left, the mines were taken over by the state, the wages dropped to the national average, and the usual misery ensued. The unions had done their job; there were no more strikes. Who would dare protest the party that acted in the interests of the workers? No one was foolish enough to stick his head into that noose and be declared enemy of the people. And since everyone acted smart and in the interests of the common good, the industry quickly declined to the pre-capitalist level.

In 1937, Bukharin himself was declared an enemy of the people and, after a show trial, executed on unrelated charges. The allegations against him were as bogus and far-fetched as the very system he had helped to create — and of which he later became a victim. The gold-mining episode was perhaps one of the most innocent schemes he conjured in the interests of the common good.

In the absence of economic incentives, the stagnant and unproductive industries could only be run by threats and intimidation. Those who think that the Soviet system was an aberration of socialism, please consider that it had been consistent with the principles of equality and the common good. Stalin’s reign of terror was merely an inevitable end result of a collectivist utopian theory that contradicted human nature, vilifying people for “greed” and “selfishness,” which were mere manifestations of their individuality, and punishing the desire to be free from state-run slavery.

It appears that the ultimate manifestation of the “common good” principle is an absolute power of the state. Stalinists associated the idea of “socialism with a human face” with moral confusion and ideological corruption. At least the henchmen were consistent in their beliefs.

As post-Stalin liberal reforms softened the totalitarian system, they also made it more dysfunctional. With the fear of repressions withering away, the economy slowed down to a halt. And just as the last remaining fear was gone in the years of Perestroika, the country fell apart. This was a logical conclusion of an attempt to build a “workers’ paradise” based on “progressive” collectivist morality, which turned workers into slaves and corrupted the society to such an extent that it required a partial return of totalitarian rule by Putin in order to rein in organized crime.

But American “progressives” seem to be unable to learn from other people’s mistakes, even if the former KGB officer Vladimir Putin himself is asking Obama to take a lesson from the pages of Russian history and not exercise “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence.”

I don’t often agree with Putin, but when he’s right, he’s right. “In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute,” he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.”

Oleg Atbashian, a writer and graphic artist from Ukraine, currently lives in New York. He is the creator of, a satirical website where he writes under the name of Red Square.

TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: agenda; bho44; obama; olegatbashian; socialism; thepeoplescube
Previous posts of Oleg Atbashian's articles:

Laughing at the Contradictions of Socialism in America [Old Soviet-era jokes work now in the U.S.]

Want "Hope and Change"? Buy a Goat

Communists for Obama

A People's History: The "Progressive" Version - making fun of Howard Zinn's version of history

1 posted on 04/07/2009 7:00:44 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; neverdem; SJackson; dennisw; NonValueAdded; Alouette; .cnI redruM; Valin; ...

Nailed It!

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for the perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author all 100% to feel the need to share an article.)

I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention.

You are welcome to browse the list of truly exceptional articles I pinged to lately. Updated on March 19, 2009.  on  my page.
You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  

2 posted on 04/07/2009 7:01:41 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

If it’s pitchforks obama wnats, then he should get them...dump the damn tea bags and bring plastic pitchforks and torches instead.....

3 posted on 04/07/2009 7:05:04 AM PDT by joe fonebone (When you ask God for help, sometimes he sends the Marines.)
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To: All
Now that the properly conditioned guilt-ridden voters have elected the first Certified-Oppressed-Minority™ president, America has officially entered a new Guilted Age. The Guilted Age is similar to the Gilded Age, only instead of being motivated by the acquisition of gold, the nation is motivated by the distribution of Guilt™.

A guilty electorate is a less demanding electorate: beggars are not choosers. Collective remorse makes the masses more malleable. Workers toil harder for less pay and donate surpluses to progressive causes within the hope that it would offset their culpability for having the wrong color, ethnicity, religion, zip code, profession, hobbies, vehicles, grocery bags, communing and shopping patterns, taste in food, living standard higher than in Zimbabwe, and exhaling the CO2 while breathing.

The pursuit of happiness in the Guilted Age becomes to mean this: the stronger your guilt, the happier you are to give your stuff to us. We call it Sharing™.

We don't believe in chance, that's why we are disposing of capitalism. We can't leave Guilt™ to chance either - it is a fickle sentiment and, therefore, it must be systematically reinforced and replenished. In order to support a massive guilt-fueled American economy, both Guilt™ and Sharing™ must be institutionalized and managed in a planned, scientific manner from a central location by experienced professionals.

To rule over the guilt-driven nation more efficiently, the Obama administration needs to create the US Department of Guilt - a government agency intended to stimulate and enhance guilt complexes among the population through coordinated guilt-inducing campaigns in the media, entertainment, and public education.

Guilt czar is to be selected from among the best professional guilt trippers on the raster of Socialist International, to oversee the proper distribution of Guilt™ among all Americans in accordance with assigned quotas (see diagram below). Guilt czar will steer and support the transition from Conspicuous Consumption™ of the Gilded Age to Conspicuous Compassion™ of the Guilted Age, as mandated by government edict.

To this end scientists at Karl Marx Treatment Center developed the following Progressive Guilt Quiz. It is to be taken by all Americans at the start of each fiscal year, to estimate their position in the Guilt™ hierarchy. The level of Guilt™ they are required to feel is directly proportional to the money they are required to Share™ with the Party and its organs in order to receive their annual Guilt™ Offsets.

Click here to take Progressive Guilt Quiz >>


4 posted on 04/07/2009 7:09:52 AM PDT by Tolik
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5 posted on 04/07/2009 7:11:06 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

bump for later.

6 posted on 04/07/2009 7:11:30 AM PDT by bassmaner (Hey commies: I am a white male, and I am guilty of NOTHING! Sell your 'white guilt' elsewhere.)
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To: Tolik
7 posted on 04/07/2009 7:17:14 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

A most important article. A must read for anyone who wishes to understand what is going on. Thank you for this post.

8 posted on 04/07/2009 7:18:45 AM PDT by mick (Central Banker Capitalism is NOT Free Enterprise)
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To: Tolik

Very interesting article!

9 posted on 04/07/2009 7:20:47 AM PDT by livius
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To: Tolik
"“My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks,” Barack Obama told the CEOs of the world’s most powerful financial institutions on March 27"

Wow! first I heard of that statement. I think Obama is closer to the pitch fork people than the banks, judging by the drop in the dow this morning, which I didn't anticipate. Must be something going on that the media is keeping hushed.

10 posted on 04/07/2009 7:27:12 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: Tolik


11 posted on 04/07/2009 7:35:28 AM PDT by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: Tolik

Isn’t it sad that the leader of Russia is more in favor of Capitalism than our own President?

12 posted on 04/07/2009 7:39:06 AM PDT by MuttTheHoople
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To: Tolik


13 posted on 04/07/2009 7:39:56 AM PDT by Califreak (111th Congress: Destroying America With Reckless Abandon)
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To: Tolik

You know, I’ll bet that stooopid cow Sarah Palin doesn’t know how to say “pitchfork” in Austrian, but Obama’s teleprompter does... ;-)

14 posted on 04/07/2009 8:06:45 AM PDT by an amused spectator (Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz's lawn jockey doesn't speak Austrian)
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To: an amused spectator


15 posted on 04/07/2009 8:09:33 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik
A very interesting article. Thanks for posting, Tolik.

I was struck by this line, "In the absence of economic incentives, the stagnant and unproductive industries could only be run by threats and intimidation."

as yesterday I was thinking about how much of the government interaction is bullying, threats and intimidation. Outside of that, the promise of free stuff.

It's disgusting that we as a free people, are constantly bullied and coerced by our government.

16 posted on 04/07/2009 9:59:19 AM PDT by Red Boots
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To: joe fonebone

““My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks,” Must be a hint for the new government job he has planed for us.

17 posted on 04/07/2009 10:24:39 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: MuttTheHoople
Isn’t it sad that the leader of Russia is more in favor of Capitalism than our own President?

And the MSM pretends it isn't so.

They count on the delusions of ignorant people being maintained...until it is just too late.

18 posted on 04/07/2009 10:28:21 AM PDT by Paul Ross (Ronald Reagan-1987:"We are always willing to be trade partners but never trade patsies.")
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To: Tolik
Certified-Oppressed-Minority™ president

Good'n...but I kinda like Certified-Oppressed-Naive-Dysfunctional-Oafish-Minority™ president, even better!

19 posted on 04/07/2009 11:37:20 AM PDT by CRBDeuce (here, while the internet is still free of the Fairness Doctrine)
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