OBAMA THE NEW AMERICAN ZEITGEIST

This is the link to the song Obama The New American Zeitgeist:

http://www.reverbnation.com/kin?popup_render=%2Fcontroller%2Fartist%2Fadd_photo%2F320290%3Ffrom_activate%3Dtrue

Amidst much acclaim Barack Obama’s bid for the American Presidency has stimulated numerable musical artists to express both their approval of his candidacy on the one hand and their expectations and hopes for his administration on the other. A recent and cursory perusal of the offerings on such sites as You tube and My space shows that the majority of offerings are from American performers. Understandably, the majority of these songs are concerned with what Obama could and ‘should’ mean to the collective American social experience post January 2009, if he is elected. Equally as important however, has to be the expectations, hopes and perceptions of the more numerous peoples of the world who reside outside of America’s borders. Many for example here in Europe, are preoccupied with not only the political but also the psycho-cultural developments and machinations taking place around Obama.

Wittingly or unwittingly, progressive, seasoned and concerned observers are looking at the Obama phenomenon as something of a barometer for looking at their own political and social structures both in respect of their strengths and deficits. For example, one question that is now posed is – whether the example of what may perhaps be termed ‘radical democracy’ now unfolding under our eyes in the USA, might, to some extent, be able to provide clues or solutions that can help ethnic and racial minorities for example, who are citizens and residents in European states reformulate their own issues of identity and belonging’ and their socio-cultural positions in the light of aggressive globalisation that is now taking place both within and without Europe. For these peoples especially, it spews up for consideration, these issues and also whether a structural meritocracy of the American type is now able to deliver both meaningful and empirically quantifiable socio-political change in the respective body politics of European nation states as they if embraced and then implemented. Barack Obama’s entire raison detr’e is based upon his implied adamant assertion that the America political structure of which he is a product, is capable of elevating and delivering someone ‘like him’ to the highest position of political power in the world. Against this, and not withstanding all of the historical criticisms made by the ‘old world’ against that of the ‘new’, both as regards to the social and racial iniquities of America’s internal development and also her hegemonic / imperial cultural activities –most especially since post World War2 – the fact still patently remains that for ‘some one like him’ to appear with a seemingly strong popularist mandate in France Italy, Germany, Britain, Spain, etc, is acutely inconceivable to all who claim to be students of the socio-political history and culture of any country on

(2).

the continent of Europe. Only perhaps the vainglorious and the myopic in abject denial, would wish to claim that there are green shoots in some European land waiting in the not too distant future, to bring forth an “Obama”. Whether one is talking about a mainstream political candidate who is half Moroccan half Caucasian in France, a mixed race Turkish and Bengali in Germany, an ethnic Chinese national in Greece or an Italio-Eritrean in Italy, the historical-cultural fabric of all of these states is not yet receptive to such a possibility. In scrutinising the neo rapturous reception that Obama received on his brief sojourn to Europe recently and the supportive editorials and popular newspaper ratings of many, if not all, of the reputable European broadsheets, it is interesting to ask whether this acclaim and

validation might not be, not so much a sense of ‘guilt’ at their own sense of historical retard-ness but on the contrary, a desire to ‘live’ this American reality vicariously through the lens of what one could here characterize as a postponed sense of possibility. Be that as it may, what is nevertheless quite clear and of crucial importance is that the Obama phenomenon has stridently and most patently set the agenda (subject to his victory especially if it proves to be a landslide), for a post- globalised world. To this extent then, Obama can correctly be viewed as something of a lightening rod, a conduit, for the what is absent from conservative European agendas but which nevertheless, has not escaped either the attention or the nascent psychic yearnings of the myriad racial and ethnic minorities that reside within European borders. What the Jacobins in France were not able to fully achieve a couple of centuries ago and what Cromwell in England, as something of puritan would have blanched on, was to be more fully realised in what was the previous 13 colonies in 2008. In short for them, Obama and his inherent possibilities represents a form of projection capital that they can and will, carry with them as they continue to negotiate their ‘outsider’ statuses within their respective countries. We need not here and now, concern ourselves with how the prospect of an Obama victory may be perceived in outside of Europe, in Africa, China, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, etc. Suffice to state, that it is bound to alter their perceptions of what they all might have assumed ‘America to be’ will have to be somewhat reconsidered in the light of ‘ what it may now become’. A new paradigm perhaps or, is the ‘American dream’ about to awake into a new reality that would have been construed as implausible even 18 months ago?

Obama: The American Zeitgeist is a composition created in Britain. As well as alluding to the issues in the above it also posits the admirable ‘upside’ of the American coin inasmuch as it asks whether under an Obama stewardship, America will assert itself in response to the highest and noble virtues that were inherent within the thinking systems of the country’s Founding Fathers. If Barack Obama has his investiture and becomes the new head of state in January 2009, he will have satisfied the belief that even a half African, African American can come from a (quite unusual of sorts), log cabin and with a little discernable help, then make it to the White House. In doing so he would have broken through a very visible two hundred and thirty years old ceiling of entrenched power and privilege. Let us be clear, Obama, would not be so ubiquitous and popular if it was not for the endorsement of the Wasp and Jewish power elites of which he is a one hundred percent beneficiary and recipient. Is it

(3).

ironic or not, that it is a Black man who has en-ennobled these elites thinking on turning into a reality some of the great edicts of the American constitution? By this, one is alluding not only to the fact that a man who in 1776 would have been deemed 3 fifths a human being may now be commander in chief of the country, but also something more. A key determinant of the United States constitution was that in its enunciation and practice, it should allow the American citizen as constituted to be ‘free from tyranny’ from both within and without. In contradistinction however, since the end of the 19th century in 1898 and its ‘ venture’ into Cuba, American foreign policy has for much of the time, been viewed by tens of millions of people world-wide, as being a far from benign and welcome presence on the globe. On the contrary, numerous generations have seen it as merely exercising it’s economic might and military power as the central harbinger of something much unwanted and unwelcome, indeed, itself a tyranny, exploiting world resources for its rapacious economy on the one hand and simultaneously culturally force-feeding them with American kitsch products on the other. So, this song questions and questions from the point of view of a quite deliberately unspecified ‘world citizen’ as to whether American foreign and economic policies around the globe will now be dictated by a new ethos – one that is perhaps far more commensurate with the previous zeitgeist one that was enshrined in the constitution. In asking if it will now operate away from ruler-ship and more towards leadership, the song is also rather prescient and pertinent inasmuch as there is currently taking place, new movements in the geo-economic tectonic plates. Witness that we seem to be moving into a world where America may not be able to exist and sustain itself anymore in its belief that it has the inviolable right to be the sole, supreme and solitary hegemonic entity. In contradistinction, it will most probably have to negotiate its interests and share authority to lead, with the demands, interests and expectations of an emergent China and a newly resuscitated Russia, whilst we also need to be aware of course of the spectre of India is also starting to hover on the periphery. A new real-politic then may well presage that a new administration frankly, (be it Obama led or otherwise), will now have to contend with the fact that American unfettered suzerainty and dominance will be a thing of the past as we have perhaps moved into an era of world powers rather than a world power.

If elected, the question will remain as to whether the version of an Obama tooled American dream will be perceived as one that can be realistic a dream to eventually become a world one, if it does, then Obama will indeed be the new zeitgeist and as such be welcomed. If crystallized as a new reality, we the world can and will be happy to live with that.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “OBAMA THE NEW AMERICAN ZEITGEIST”

  1. This is the link to the song Obama The New American Zeitgeist

  2. This is the link to the song Obama The New American Zeitgeist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: