Barack Obama & The Three Little Pigs

ONCE again, we stray from “The Controversy” over evolution and creationism in order to deal with our larger concern — preserving the values of the Enlightenment, upon which our civilization depends. We can’t forget that if we lose our freedom, there isn’t much else that matters. Therefore, dear reader, we beg your indulgence as we present a Curmudgeonly parable.

When you were little, your mother told you the story of the Three Little Pigs. Well, that’s obsolete now. This is the updated version:

Baby Barack was born in the sturdy brick house that had been built by Practical Pig, and in due course he inherited it. Barack had been raised on old family tales about his long-gone uncles who had built their houses of sticks and straw. According to family legend, the uncles were devoured when the Big Bad Wolf huffed and puffed and blew their houses down.

But Barack had his own ideas. He wasn’t impressed by the old tales, and he didn’t like his ancestral brick house — in fact, he hated it. The house was old and it had been dominating the landscape for years. “Change is good,” he announced. “It’s time for change.”

Looking around for a more stylish architecture, he studied old pictures of his deceased uncles’ homes. They were made of sticks and straw, and they were beautiful! They didn’t stand very long, but Barack told himself that was no argument against them. He could do the same thing, but this time, because it would be his work, things would turn out better. He called his plan the Audacity of Hope.

Ignoring all the experience to which he was heir, and against the advice of his contemporaries who warned him that his dream would be yet another repetition of past folly, he gathered together a team like-minded workers who shared his vision of sticks and straw.

Together, Barack and his crew began to refashion his house. While they worked they chanted: “Yes we can!” Brick by brick, as the neighbors looked on in disbelief, Barack disassembled the house, threw the bricks away, and replaced them with sticks and straw. Finally the entire house was transformed. Barack looked at his new house and said: “This is change you can believe in.”

And all the while, from his lair in the woods, the Big Bad Wolf was watching.

So that’s the story, kiddies. Oh, you want to hear how it ends? We don’t know yet. The story of “Practical Pig’s Idiot Son” isn’t over. Stay tuned.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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19 responses to “Barack Obama & The Three Little Pigs

  1. The parable is clever, but I remain unconvinced that Obama plans to implement socialism. Note the definition of socialism:
    “Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating state, worker or public ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by free and equal access to resources for all individuals with an egalitarian method of compensation”

    No one suggests we build that straw house, making your parable a straw man.

  2. “Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating state… ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods…”

    That is not the definition of what the Obama administration has done to General Motors? What it would obviously like to do to the health care industry? How about the bailouts? How dictating to private enterprises how much their executives can earn? How about threatening to RETROACTIVELY tax executives over 90% for their bonuses unless they refuse to accept said bonuses?

    After all that, you don’t think the suggestion is there?

  3. There is only one “ist” or “ism” on the political Left and the first part of the word is “Marx”. All other attempts to obfuscate cannot change its nature – Socialism, Statism, Communism, Fascism.

    All are Tyranny of the same stripe. History will likely prove Curmy correct.

  4. Gabriel Hanna

    I’m not sure arguing over the socialist label is very productive here.

    The type of socialism nhfalcon refers to exists today only in places like North Korea and Cuba.

    Barack Obama definitely wants to establish a European style welfare state. You can argue if you like about whether the welfare state is “socialist” but it doesn’t matter, because I’m opposed to the welfare state too, regardless of what you want to call it.*

    *Actually, what I’m really opposed to is moving further along to what the welfare state looks like in Europe; I am aware that things like social security, Medicare, and minimum wage laws are also part of the welfare state apparatus. Don’t bother to caricature me, thank you. I’m not a Randian or an anarchist.

  5. Gabriel Hanna says: “I’m not sure arguing over the socialist label is very productive here.”

    This is interesting, because “socialism” wasn’t mentioned in my parable. Just tossing out bricks that had been very useful, and replacing them with sticks and straw — stuff that had been tried before and that didn’t work out. I think I’ve created a Rorschach test.

  6. And who is the Big Bad Wolf?

    HHmmmm????

  7. The Gadfly asks: “And who is the Big Bad Wolf?”

    Darwin?

  8. Gabriel Hanna

    This is interesting, because “socialism” wasn’t mentioned in my parable.

    I know, that’s why I said arguing about it wasn’t very useful.

    If I were telling your fable, Barack wants to replace a stick house with a straw house; while you and I would like to see a brick house. But the President is claiming that the the stick house really IS the same thing as a brick house (possibly it has a brick foundation) and making our house out of bricks would just make things worse.

    I think I would like to point out that no one has ever managed to replace the business cycle with anything but grinding poverty for the many and opulence for the powerful; and that when people say that, in this country, “the rich are getting richer” they mean, “relative to everyone else”.

    Poor people have also been getting richer, for as long as I can remember, in ABSOLUTE terms.

  9. The Curmudgeon wrote ,”This is interesting, because “socialism” wasn’t mentioned in my parable. ” and from a previous post “There’s a raving socialist in the White House” (see
    Creationists: Crybabies & Nancy-Boys)

    I think it was fair of me to interpret your parable this way given your previous posts.

    If the straw house in the parable doesn’t describe socialism, what does it describe? Is Britain’s society destined to fall apart simply because they have a more liberal government than anyone is advocating for here? If not, then why will moving in that direction cause our house to fall apart?

  10. Gabriel Hanna

    If not, then why will moving in that direction cause our house to fall apart?

    Doesn’t have to fall apart entirely for us to be against it. Why can’t we be against it if we think it will make things incrementally worse than they are now?

  11. Gabriel wrote “Doesn’t have to fall apart entirely for us to be against it. Why can’t we be against it if we think it will make things incrementally worse than they are now?”

    Perfect – that’s my point. We agree it won’t lead to disaster. I think it will make society a bit better, you think a bit worse. Doesn’t mean either one of us is anti-enlightenment, and that’s the main point.

    Let me just add that the instant I believe the progressives are driving toward actual socialism I’ll be on your side on a moments notice. In the same way, I’m sure the instant you perceive that conservatives are driving toward theocracy you’ll join me in opposing. Hopefully neither will ever happen.

  12. comradebillyboy

    All in all I find the parable most unpersuasive. Then again subtlety just goes right over my head, except when I am being subtle. I generally agree with most of his political goals, but the messianic message of his most ardent cheer leaders is quite annoying.

  13. comradebillyboy

    Perhaps I should say “messianic tone of his minions” as opposed to message.

  14. Gabriel Hanna

    Perfect – that’s my point. We agree it won’t lead to disaster. I think it will make society a bit better, you think a bit worse.

    This isn’t quite what I think. I was just trying to point out that you can oppose something without insisting that it must mean DOOM FOR US ALL.

    Doesn’t mean either one of us is anti-enlightenment, and that’s the main point.

    I do agree with this, and I would argue that neither socialism nor the welfare state are anti-Enlightenment either.

  15. Gabriel Hanna wrote

    I would argue that neither socialism nor the welfare state are anti-Enlightenment either

    You make some good points, but I think in the above there’s an element of ‘apples and oranges’ in attempting an analysis. “Socialism” is an ideology, and one can argue for/against it on ‘ideological’ grounds — but that’s a different sort of discussion (and not, in my view, terribly interesting).

    The Enlightenment, though embodying certain ideals, is not an ideology in the same sense at all, much more a pragmatic methodology: in an oversimplified nutshell, the method of using human reason in empirical enquiry in place of appeals to the scriptural authority of revealed religion.

  16. It’s rare when we disagree so completely Curmy!

  17. Colloquy says: “It’s rare when we disagree so completely Curmy!”

    No problem. It’s only a fairy tale.

  18. Gabriel Hanna

    The Enlightenment, though embodying certain ideals, is not an ideology in the same sense at all, much more a pragmatic methodology: in an oversimplified nutshell, the method of using human reason in empirical enquiry in place of appeals to the scriptural authority of revealed religion.

    I think you’re getting into “no true Scotsman” territory here. You might deny that socialism is an outgrowth of the Enlightenment, but you’ll have a harder time doing that for the French Revolution.

    You can put reason on a pedestal, as a sign of respect, or you can put it on a pedestal so you can worship it.

    I think the Enlightenment has a down side. So has everything else.

  19. retiredsciguy

    Newcomer writes,
    “Let me just add that the instant I believe the progressives are driving toward actual socialism I’ll be on your side on a moments notice.”

    By the time you notice it, it may have already happened. Remember the story of the frog in the slowly-warming cooking kettle of water?