Above: Recent Issue of Time. Obama as FDR.
In Obama’s The Audacity of Hope, he noted his philosophical contention by addressing his favor for FDR’s New Deal — the birth of American Socialism and the death of America’s puritanical notion of Rugged Individualism. Modern sociologists and economic theorist Max Weber wrote in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, that the entrepreneurial spirit and advancement of capitalism were directly linked to religion and not the material stages promulgated by Karl Marx. Hence, it was the teachings of religious values and ideals that allowed capitalism to flourish. It was Republican president Herbert Hoover that first used this phraseology in his efforts to keep the American economy from emulating the socialist economies of Europe; in essence, he as well as the conservative nature of American society saw a BEST society as one that was extrapolated from the premise of the individual: Hard work allowed the formation and the spirit of a capitalistic democratic society to advance. Moreover, this state of order juxtaposed to Weber’s Thesis permited the moral and responsible behavior of a society.
However, the falsity of the work ethic notion and capitalism as viewed by society was that individuals sin; individuals sought wealth and material goods feared by Marx and the utilitarians of the 19th century. Both witnessed the progress of the industrial bourgeoisie in industrial states where governments elected to be absent. In 19th century America, according to Democratic Socialist of America (DSA):
Several hundred thousand American workers of the Knights of Labor, the American Federation of Labor, and socialist and anarchist groups all demonstrated for the Eight Hour Day. It was the center of a world-wide movement for shorter working hours. Even the song lyrics of the American movement, “Eight hours for work/eight hours for sleep/eight hours for what we will,” argued for a “natural” pace of life in tune with the seasons, rather than the long hours and miserable conditions imposed by the capitalists.
Tension escalated well before the panic of 1929; America allowed rugged individualism and a conservatism to shape a culture with little remorse. Thanks to John Maynard Keynes’ Keynesian policy, the United States became a transformative state and permitted government injections (or stimulus) to move the economy. This gave birth to our modern economic system. Sure, it was Alexander Hamilton’s policies in the establishment of our economic system that created our current system; but in essence, the United States evolved into a hybrid state of capitalism and socialism. One does not function without the other. This is why Obama must continue the New Deal of FDR: American Socialism.