For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Ephesians
If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
It's a cliche that Communism is an alternative religion, or at least that it plays the role in the minds of its adherents that a religion plays. But it's also true. And great writers like Whittaker Chambers have made that truth far more than a cliche.
Barack Obama here translates into secular terms, and thereby warps and perverts, what Christians believe about God. All that we have is a gift. God has given us our talents, our abilities, our opportunities. And especially in salvation, the work is of God. None of us has anything to boast of.
Obama replaces God with the government. What we have is all a gift...of the government. Therefore, presumably, just as Christians owe everything back to God ("All things come of thee, oh Lord, and of thine own have we given then"), presumably entrepreneurs owe everything to the government. They have done nothing of themselves. It is the gift of State. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
A little later, Obama weakens a bit in the direction of synergism:
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.
Because we are not fools, we know that "do things together" is easily deciphered code for "the government does things." Obama makes this clear in the next sentence by comparing all businesses to firefighting and urging the necessity for firefighting to be done by a government agency.
So here, Obama is sounding a bit like St. Paul in another place,
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Phil. 2:12-13)
But Obama's synergism doesn't amount to much. Ultimately, like a devout Christian (perhaps especially a Calvinist), Obama believes what he said the first time: If you've got a business, you didn't build that. State made that happen. It's all of grace, and therefore all is owed back.
Should this Socialist religionist creep us out? Yes, he should. (And if anyone gives me a hard time about using the "S" word, I shall be much inclined to rend him limb from limb. There comes a time when you just have to say it, as Balint Vazsonyi told us ten years ago.) As Lawrence Auster points out, here Obama is canceling all individual achievement and making all achievement collective in nature. And I'm quite sure Obama really believes it.
This is the true face of the left. Get used to it, because you'll be looking at it for a long time. But also: Fight it to the end.