Barack Obama's Marxist Roots

by Robert Yates

Barack Obama has called his mother, Ann Dunham, "the dominant figure in my formative years.... The values she taught me continue to be my touchstone when it comes to how I go about the world of politics."

It's fair to ask what those values are. To present his family in a positive light, Obama stated in a campaign ad that "I was raised by a single mom and my grandparents. We didn't have much money, but they taught me values straight from the Kansas heartland where they grew up."

Unfortunately, the record definitely shows that the values of Barack Obama's family are Marxist and far out of the American mainstream.

Ann Dunham's politics and values are masterfully examined by Chicago Tribune reporter Tim Jones in a March 27, 2007, article. Here's a link to the article, Obama's mom: Not just a girl from Kansas. link

Ann's high school friends said she "touted herself as an atheist" and considered herself a "fellow traveler." According to Webster's dictionary, a fellow traveler is translated from the Russian poputchik, "a person who espouses the cause of the party, especially, a Communist Party, without being a member."

At the University of Hawaii, she met a Kenyan student, Barack H. Obama, in a Russian language class. Obama's Marxist politics meshed nicely with Dunham's.

A window to Obama, Sr.'s politics is an article he wrote for the July 1965 issue of the East Africa Journal. Here is the link to the article, Problems Facing our Socialism:

In his article, Obama, Sr. provided several gems of socialist knowledge. "True there are cases in which nationalization is bad, but there are, likewise, quite a few benefits derived from it."

Showing his knowledge of Karl Marx, Obama, Sr. opined: "Yet one who has read Marx cannot fail to see that corporations are not only what Marx referred to as the advanced stage of capitalism, but Marx even called it finance capitalism by which a few would control the finances of so many and through this have not only economic power but political power as well."

What attracted Ann Dunham, the supposed daughter of the vast American prairie heartland, to this committed African Marxist? More telling was the fact that they met in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii in 1960. Did they want to read Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoy in the original Russian or were they sympathetic to the Soviet Union?

Perhaps Dunham moderated her politics as she matured and raised her family. Maybe she made new friends. In fact, the opposite is true. She exposed her son to Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party, USA. According to Dr. Gerald Horne, Davis mentored Barack Obama, Jr. as a young man.

Dr. Horne is a contributing editor of Political Affairs Magazine, a publication of the Communist Party USA. His article, Rethinking the History and Future of the Communist Party, in which he explores the Obama/Davis relationship, was published on March 28, 2007, on, Marxist Thought Online. Here is the link:

In this article, Dr. Horne identifies Frank Marshall Davis as the "Frank" that Obama mentions as a mentor in his autobiography, Dreams from my Father. Horne described Davis as someone "certainly in the orbit of the communist party--if not a member..."

When Obama, Jr. left Hawaii to attend Occidental College in Los Angeles, he continued to gravitate toward Marxist friends and organizations. In his autobiography, Obama said that "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets."

Upon arriving in Chicago, Obama once again chose to cultivate Marxist friends such as William Ayers, a member of the Weathermen whose stated goal is to achieve "the destruction of U.S. imperialism and achieve a classless world: world communism." In making one of the most personal choices anyone can, an adult Barack Obama joined Trinity United Church of Christ and embraced its radical pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who espoused Black Liberation Theology which has Marxism as its economic foundation.

At each stage of his political development, Barack Obama has been guided by Marxist mentors--his mother apparently being the foremost influence. Most fair-minded observers will have to conclude that Ann Dunham's Marxist views left their imprint on her son and have, as Obama says, helped shaped how "I go about the world of politics."

Robert Yates

Sign up for free news and updates from by entering your email address here: