Review: Obama’s Not a Socialist, by Stephanie Herman

-By Warner Todd Huston

The most often used epithet cast at President Obama is that he’s a raving socialist. It is an easy charge to make what with his wanting to “spread the wealth,” his desire to destroy the autonomy of the business community and place it squarely under the thumb of government, and his constant expansion of big government . It can easily lead one to imagine that Obama thinks he’s Karl Marx incarnate. But is he? Is he really a socialist? (Download book HERE)

In her new short essay, Obama’s Not a Socialist, Stephanie Herman takes up this question and decides that while he may be a “socialist in his heart,” he is not a real socialist. Instead, Herman calls him a “corporatist.”

Before she gets to her assessment of Obama, Herman does a pretty fair job encapsulating the intellectual history of socialism from its 1800s era beginnings to today. She hits the high spots of socialist thinkers, what they imagined socialism to be, and in what climate their ideas were created.

This short history lesson is very useful for those not informed of the intellectual history of the “ism” that is socialism. Today, more than a century after such ideas were dreamed up, we all know the failures, the evils and oppression of socialism, but how did it start? Was it such a bad sounding idea when it first came about? Herman gives us some well grounded perspective on these questions showing that in the beginning socialism seemed wonderfully conceived. It is this bit of history of which too many are unaware, a history that helps put the whole concept into perspective.

As good as the short description of the history of socialism is, though, her descriptions of the evils of corporatism are even better. Herman’s definitions are those that more Americans need to come to understand and it is information that helps the reader discern what the difference is between capitalism and corporatism, the later being the wrong track down which the U.S. has gone. Capitalism isn’t what’s wrong with the world today, Herman reminds us, corporatism is.

In essence, what it comes down to is that Obama and his ilk are obsessive control freaks. They want their dirty hands around every aspect of our lives because, in their arrogance, they think they know better than we do about what’s best for us. And, if they happen to get filthy rich while in the driver’s seat, well that’s just a plus for them.

Herman’s essay on corporatism and Obamaism is free of conspiracy theories, heavy on facts and historical information, and written so that anyone can understand it. If you want a good, short read on our current economic and political predicament, you can’t go wrong with Obama’s Not a Socialist by Stephanie Herman.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001