Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Obama's Ambitious Plan to Rescue Millions of Homeowners: Niebuhr's Ideology Stands Him in Good Stead

President Obama has an ambitious plan to help at least  5 million homeowners refinance their mortgages,  as falling house prices have burdened these owners with mortgages which now outstrip the price of their homes.  75 billion federal dollars will be spent on the plan,  which Obama will speak on this  Wednesday.  His rescue and redistribute philosophy has found an opening in the current crisis, and the way was well prepared before him.  

Steeped in the writings of the philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr   -  whom Obama has called his "favorite philosopher"  -   Obama's ideology has been poised,  one might say,  to step in and take command in just such a crisis of capitalism.  Fiscally conservative caution was lacking during the 8 year Bush reign,  and Republicans ought to see the connection between those GOP years and Obama's unique opportunity in this historical moment, and the philosophical teachings of Niebuhr will stand him in good stead now.  

Reinhold was an American Protestant theologian and philosopher who was born at the close of the 19th century,  and died in the early 1970s.  He had socialist leanings to his ideology,  and believed strongly that collective social groups were the cause of human evil,  as opposed to individuals.   He attempted  at one point in his career as an author and philosopher  to fuse Marxism with Christianity.    Martin Luther King said he owed much of his own ideology to the writings of Niebuhr.    Politically,  Niebuhr was a liberal pragmatist much like Obama himself.    An exceptionally good piece on Obama's connection to Niebuhr can be found at this link: 
and is from June 14,  2008;  "The Obama Niebuhr Connection". 

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