The Political Fraud Of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’

| Educate!

Above and below: The Green New Deal logo from Green Party Watch. More than 100 Green Party candidates joined the Green New Deal Coalition by 2017.

NOTE: The Green New Deal was formulated by the Green New Deal Group of global Greens in 2007. It was modified by the Green Party United States and hundreds of Green Party candidates have run with the Green New Deal as part of their platform. The Green Party version of the Green New Deal calls for a public works program, local control and other changes that create an economic bill of rights, an emphasis on small businesses and cooperatives, financial reform, a functioning democracy and significant cuts to the military. Unlike the Democrats, the Green Party US views all of these changes as necessary for the Green New Deal to be effective, fair and sustainable. In the article below, Will Morrow raises concerns that the Green New Deal being proposed by Alexandria Ocasio Cortes will be insufficient and will serve as political cover for Democrats in the 2020 elections.  – MF

Last week, newly-elected Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released a proposal for an addendum to the rules of the US House of Representatives, to create a new congressional committee that would draft legislation for a “Green New Deal.” Nine Democrats have already put their names to the proposal, including Rashida Tlaib, who like Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

The document includes the call for a transition to 100 percent renewable energy within 10 years, and actions to “virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone.” It calls for “a job guarantee program to assure a living wage to every person who wants one”; “massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases,” and “upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety.”

The document, as with Ocasio-Cortez’s politics, is characterized by a massive political fraud. It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party. In particular, the members of the committee would be selected by the Speaker of the House, who is likely to be Nancy Pelosi, the stalwart of the Democratic Party establishment who has received the support of Ocasio-Cortez herself.

Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism’s neo-colonial wars abroad.

Ocasio-Cortez’s document, however, excludes any encroachment on the fortunes of the ruling class. It calls instead for “innovative public and other financing structures,” including a “new public bank,” or system of banks, or “public venture funds,” which in concrete terms means nothing more than new avenues for providing cheap credit to private corporations. Everything is phrased as part of consultation with “business” leaders.

Several of her proposals are explicitly aimed at promoting the interests of different sections of capital, including the call to “promote opportunities” for “entrepreneurship,” and “promote economic security, labor market flexibility and entrepreneurism.”

“Labor market flexibility”—that is, the ability of corporations to fire and hire at will. Such is the character of Ocasio-Cortez’s great left-wing reform!

The original “New Deal,” which included massive public works infrastructure projects, was introduced by Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s amid the Great Depression. Its purpose was to stave off a socialist revolution in America. It was a response to a militant upsurge of strikes and violent class battles, led by socialists who were inspired by the 1917 Russian Revolution that had occurred less than two decades before.

American capitalism could afford to make such concessions because of its economic dominance. The past forty years have been characterized by the continued decline of American capitalism on a world stage relative to its major rivals. The ruling class has responded to this crisis with a social counterrevolution to claw back all gains won by workers. This has been carried out under both Democratic and Republican administrations and with the assistance of the trade unions.

Since the 2008 crash, first under Bush and Obama, and now Trump, the ruling elites have pursued a single-minded policy of enriching the wealthy, through free credit, corporate bailouts and tax cuts, while slashing spending on social services.

To claim as does Ocasio-Cortez that American capitalism can provide a new “New Deal,” of a green or any other variety, is to promote an obvious political fiction.

None of the signatories to the bill believes that any of its proposals—except those directly tailored to corporate interests—will ever be implemented. Its purpose is rather to promote illusions that the Democratic Party, a party of the corporate and financial elite no less than the Republicans, can be transformed into an agency of social progress.

The document states that the newly-formed committee would be required to complete its plan by January 2020 and publish its draft legislation by March 2020, immediately prior to the next presidential elections. Any such documents would be wholly aimed at providing some popular appeal to the Democrats’ election campaign. They would be permanently shelved immediately after the election, regardless of the outcome.

Ocasio-Cortez’s promotion of the “Green New Deal” is also aimed at distracting attention from her own rapid rightward shift after her primary victory.

She has backtracked on her earlier criticisms of Israeli slaughters of Gaza protesters; hailed the late Republican Senator and war criminal John McCain as an “unparalleled example of human decency and American service;” called for securing US borders, dropped her previous calls to “Abolish ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement],” and declared that this slogan “does not mean abolish deportations” of immigrants. Over the weekend, she declared her support for Nancy Pelosi as the speaker of the House.

The “Green New Deal” is another example of the political function of Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA in seeking to provide a “left” political veneer for the capitalist politics of the Democratic Party. The latter is campaigning against the billionaire demagogue Trump on a right-wing basis, attacking him not for his militarist threats, fascistic rants, attacks on immigrants and efforts to build up an extra-parliamentary extreme-right movement, but for being insufficiently deferential toward the American intelligence agencies and aggressive toward Russia.

A socialist response to climate change cannot take place through the Democratic Party or within the framework of capitalism. It requires the organization of production according to a rational, scientific plan on a global scale. This requirement is fundamentally incompatible with both the private ownership of humanity’s productive forces (and the subordination of production according to the profit interests of the capitalist class), and the continued division of the world into rival national states, who compete on behalf of their own capitalist class for markets, profits and geostrategic control.

What is needed is not empty promises of a new “New Deal” bestowed from above by the capitalist class—which in any case is impossible—but socialist revolution by the working class and a fundamental transformation of society.

  • Johnny Prescott

    I was trying to be cautiously optimistic about AOC. I have heard her make a few utterances about cutting military spending, which was definitely a step in the right direction. However, I have noticed that she has been paraded all over MSM, from “news” shows like Chris Hayes to talk shows like The View. If she was really this radical fire brand, she would not be receiving this warm welcome.

    I fear she very well may be the new Bernie – the new sheepdog of the left, corralling people back into the D party herd.

  • mwildfire

    “If she was really this radical firebrand, she would not be receiving this warm welcome.” That has GOT to be true. Kinda like Obama, how he was lionized by the media after a little speech, prepping him for his presidential run–they’d already ascertained that there would be no change under him, but he was so excitingly dark-skinned! I don’t know, Bernie IS better, it seems, but maybe the degree to which people like him can challenge militarism and Israel and the gas industry, is the degree to which the rulers are confident that they are powerless, that it’s empty talk.

  • Ignatz deFyre

    While the article rightly points out that politics under either party is one and the same, it trots out the tired fairy-tale utopian slogan of: “it requires the organization of production according to a rational, scientific plan on a global scale”. Good luck with that.

  • eight.of.wands

    Lemme break it down bite sized:
    D = death of dreams, PERIOD
    R = rightwing ratfckrs, PERIOD
    Third Party, baby, i’ll never vote anything else EVER again, from city clerk to President….screw that old canard “oh, it’s a wasted vote”….no, my friends, that’s wut we’re doing NOW, wasting our votes, punching ourselves on both sides of our ‘two-party’ face…..election after election after useless election, lesser of 2 weevils downward spiral into Hell…
    Third Party is our only way forward, don’t say it can’t be done…..that’s nonsense, Bernie did it, beat the Clintons like a drum (WE DID IT, goddammit!) they were forced to retaliate w criminal election fraud throughout the primaries to squeak over the top like bilge rats….. Sanders is a lost case/cause now, we are awaiting our next “Bernie” to flip an election cycle on its head once again…..keep an eye on Gov. Jesse Ventura…

  • potshot

    I don’t see Bernie as being socialist. He betrayed himself in announcing his run when he concomitantly announced that when he was crushed by the Dimocratic machine he would endorse everything he ran against. Then, at the top of the Clinton email scandal it was no less than St. Bernie who trotted out the royal pardon for it. Didn’t even need Repugs like Mitch McConnell or John McCain. My thinking at the time was anything to drive that dangerous warmonger out of the race. Even if it were moss growing on the south side of a tree in Siberia. Not to worry. St Bernie raised his royal sceptre to give Mrs. Clinton a pass.

  • eight.of.wands

    I think Bernie was on the level to begin with, just look at all the game-changing rhetoric he monkey wrenched into that election cycle….but as soon as he / we gained serious traction, to the utter astonishment of the clueless and psychopathically arrogant Clinton DNC, “the powers” sat Sanders down in a room and wrkd him over…..that’s why i thank Bernie, wish him the best, and turn my sights now towards whatever forthcoming populist Third Party movement takes shape…

  • Big Money needs to be kept out of anything that can be honestly called a Green New Deal.

    But I think the author of this article is probably right–once the establishment Dems get their fingers into it, it will be turned into a corporate-friendly “free market” economic salvation plan and/or reworked and repurposed as an effective campaign tool for the DINOs over the next two years leading up to the 2020 election season.

    If Ocasio-Cortez is being other than excessively prudent and really believes that playing to the Right–to the Pelosi/Clinton/neolib Right wing of the Dem Party–is going to go down well with the people who voted for her, she’s very badly mistaken. Likewise with other Democratic Socialists who ran on progressive platforms. Millennials, working people, and committed progressives are paying attention. And we’re not going to fall for some greenwashed neolib bucket of steaming.

  • rgaura

    Ms Cortez deserves a chance to get her footing and do what is possible. Articles like this miss the point of education, that she is putting forward ideas that can take root in the mass mind and flower into reality. We need to visualize solutions before they will be implemented. I for one celebrate and support my fellow boriqueña! Vamos a ver…

  • dopfa

    “Articles like this” point out the obvious. The Democratic Party will never change, no matter what shiny “bold new progressive leaders,” they present. The newbies will be sucked up into the evil system and come out millionaires at the end.
    “We need to visualize solutions” that have nothing to do with capitalism, because capitalism is the root of all kinds of evil. Looks like Cortez might be a capitalist in socialist clothing. Republicans are corporate wolves in wolf’s clothing. Democrats are corporate wolves in sheep’s clothing. The latter is more deadly, because liberals cheer for corporate war mongers like Obushma and Clinton, both of whom are the direct cause of the refugee crisis from Honduras, as well as the chaos in Libya and the rest of the Middle East. Part of their danger also lies in their erroneous demonization of Russia, threatening world war based on lies. If she supports Pelosi for speaker, she supports the war mongers. Pelosi took impeachment off the table, allowing to this day the continued slaughter of innocents in the name of fighting terrrrrr. The Dems back Saudi Arabia in slaughtering innocent children by the busloads, making them the lucky ones of Yemen because their deaths came quickly, unlike the millions starving to death right now. The US spends thirty two million dollars an hour of our tax dollars on WAR, with both parties obscenely profiting, so if AOC believes Pelosi is the way to progressive leadership, we’re in for the same corporate war-mongering and capitalist pandering as usual.

    It’s going to take turning our backs on the present system and creating one of our own, one co-op, farm, garden, and energy system at a time. Each of us have to look in our mirrors for the “bold, new leaders” it’s going to take to affect real change, not to more empty promises by shiny new people. (Obama was a shiny new leader who prosecuted more whistle-blowers than all other presidents combined, and would murder Julian Assange and Edward Snowden in a heartbeat. His drone war was unprecedented in the slaughter of innocents, as were his conventional invasions. Bush dropped 70,000 bombs on five nations. Obama dropped 100,000 bombs on seven nations.) Hope and change have to come from within, not from false idols like Bernie and AOC. Grow some veggies for your community. Work for divestment from war and fossil fuels in your city. They’re far more revolutionary acts than voting for the same $#!+ different election.

  • jimprues

    The Dems have two very different wings right now. We have yet to see who prevails once the House is in Dem control. That said, yes, we need a systemic overhaul, not platitudes.
    World 5.0 recommends ending the legal status of corporations. That would fix a lot… 🙂

  • Matthew Borenstein


  • David Schultz

    There will be significant confusion between Jill Stein’s Green New Deal and the Ocasio-Cortez plan which is a hijacking of that name. Big media will be happy to jump in to further pervert and control the debate.

  • eldwdubu

    Some people are anarchists and they feel the only way they can get their ideas to take hold so is to encourage the current system to fail. They feel the only institution that keeps people hoping is the Democratic Party because it has a progressive insurgency so anarchists constantly attack the Democratic Party.

  • Jon

    My assessment as well. Maybe they said ” Remember poor Mr. Kennedy? He didn’t give in to our demands . . .”
    Referencing: “to the utter astonishment of the clueless and psychopathically arrogant
    Clinton DNC, “the powers” sat Sanders down in a room and worked him over”

  • Jon

    Or, to use the phrase by another Green: “the financially obese.”

  • The mass mind as you put it already knows about climate change and economic injustice. It doesn’t need to be “educated”–it’s what got Ocasio-Cortez and other vaunted progressives elected. We already have a ton of good ideas about what needs to be done, none of which involves the recidivist ass-end of the Dem Party represented by Pelosi and her businessman and banker “friends” in the corporatocracy. If Ocasio-Cortez seriously believes that anything real can be acieved by playing along with the DINO Right wing, she’s in for a rude awakening and the people who elected her won’t be showing up for any empty politcal theater. Or to vote for her again.

  • The system has been failing for decades now, and the DINO party is the most effective progressive killing machine out there.

  • eldwdubu

    That greater progressive killing machine is the Republican Party. The fact is we have 2 right wing, corporate, Wall Street party’s but one of them have a progressive insurgency within it, you can dismiss it but the question is why?

  • Johnny Prescott

    Just one thing. I very recently read (but I can’t recall where!) that Obama actually dropped, on average, 72 bombs a day. That adds up to something like 210k. I would like to fact check that, but I thought it came from someone reputable….Maybe Jeremy Scahill…

    Anyways, great comment. All the heavy lifting needs to be done locally.

  • Johnny Prescott

    “If Ocasio-Cortez seriously believes that anything real can be acieved by playing along with the DINO Right wing, she’s in for a rude awakening…”

    Right. And perhaps that is why people are calling her naïve?

  • Johnny Prescott

    Bernie is not at all a socialist, but unfortunately, that term has been largely redefined by popular culture. Bernie is a staunch capitalist.

    Socialists don’t vote for war and empire. Socialists want the workers to own the means of production. These are things Sanders rarely touches (in the first case) and never touches (in the latter case).

  • potshot

    That’s the inchoate thought I have about Bernie when I’m trying to summon it. So thanks for that. Granted in the presidential election, setting aside Jill Stein, who had exactly zero chances of winning, St Bernie was the best of a bad lot. Still when he was mayor of Burlington he fought for, and won, basing of the newly minted F-35. The most expensive weapons program to date, because he said it would create jobs. Despite that his constituents didn’t want it. He had constituents who were sitting in at his office to protest the Iraq war arrested. As you’ve said, he rarely touches on issues of militarism and foreign policy. He managed on the campaign trail in 2016 to say a few words about apartheid Israel. I don’t think he used that term exactly. In the event, he didn’t give the issue the gravitas it warrants.

  • I don’t really think that naive conveys a complete picture. On the one hand, I would probably use the word in the way you suggest. On the other, there are quite a few people who’ve used it to urge her to suppress what might be real prog instincts–and any effort to construct a solid prog agenda–and “learn” from the sagely corrupt establishment in Congress “how things work.” Sadly I think the latter strain of logic has been winning out.

    Foolish would be a better word, perhaps. She’s not ignorant–just unfamiliar with the territory she’s entering; but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be expected to be skeptical of smiling, friendly DINOs in power. Freshly triumphant, she’s no doubt being courted and greeted by the DINO end of the party, which can’t simply avoid or dismiss her. The Pelosi camp appears to have successfully played her, and she appears to be munching their poisoned apple.

  • I’m not dismissing it. If anything the dominant Right wing of the Democratic Party is dismissing it–by supressing and coopting it for their own ends, or at least attempting to. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and there’s more than one way to quell an insurgency. And do you see any progressives running into the maw of the Republican Party? I sure don’t.

    So the Republican Party doesn’t need to crush any progressives. The Democratic Party does it for them.

  • rgaura

    I am so happy to know that the critics here are doing so much to change things in the US. I think we should support all efforts in the right direction. There is no one tactic, one plan, that will turn around a very entrenched and corrupted political situation. It will take us all being creative and committed from our own positions to make real change. I’m so tired of the lack of solidarity, the lack of tolerance of differing views that seems to paralyze movements. Give the representative a chance to do what she can, and support her! If you can do better, show me! If she doesn’t go progressive enough, communicate with her. But lets cut the righteous rhetoric and divisive rants. Deal with the real

  • Well yesterday I sent a little missive to her campaign e-mail address saying, essentially, “You’re not going progressive enough.” It wasn’t that short and simple though.

    I think she and other newly-minted progs are going to get that message in one form or another more and more from their voter base in the next few months as that base watches the people who were elected to push back hard Left tack further and further to the Right . . . .

    Will they listen to us and do all they can? Or will they tell us to “deal with the real”?

  • eldwdubu

    Go ahead and miss the point it does not matter. People are going fight for progressives causes in and out of the Democratic party. Your point view is hopeless. Strong people struggle no matter the odds and never get too deeply in despair.

    Perhaps you do see a path that will lead to a better world, a better USA I would love to hear it.

  • ThisOldMan

    Actually, the main thing holding up a green new deal is mentioned only in passing by this article, and then only in monetary terms: The DOD and related agencies can not possibly project the power needed to maintain American hegemony around the globe without using fossil fuels. Renewables could perhaps power military bases, but not armored vehicles, helicopters, fighter jets and ships — let along missiles & rockets to launch satellites. If they were dumb enough to try, any other nation that refused to also so hobble its military would defeat them effortlessly (anyone who doubts this should read “Oil, Power and War” by Matthieu Auzanneau). So it won’t happen before US imperialism is reigned in by a raging population suffering immensely from climate change. What the rest of the world may do meanwhile I won’t venture to guess.

  • Günther Rückl

    Dopfa, there are many important elements in readers’ contributions so far in how to enact change, radical change, I can support. But how do you re-educate a nation that had been indoctrinated for many decades and that embraced, and keeps enthusiastically embracing, the snake oil sold to them by the ruling elites supported by the Republican as well as Democratic Party? That in a nation that is woefully ignorant about the status quo and prospects of the world, political systems and the environment. Forget about the vast majority of adult Americans that is hopelessly addicted to the material comfort created by capitalism at the cost of the environment and their own health; it is the young people, the teenagers who may be capable of looking ahead and realize that their future is doomed under the status quo. I can see no way to establish a movement quickly enough to take on the Capitalist system as a whole which, in response to an uprising, will not shy away to use the military to suffocate and snuff out every fledgling anti-Capitalist movement. A peristroika of immense proportions… no, not in the books, folks. I am sorry, friends, I see no workable approach at how to change minds and souls of a chronically brainwashed society, within the time frame of one generation. The world is damned to go under under US leadership – and likely others’, too. Should the bottom fall out by a catastrophic event in not too fat away future the chaos to ensue will not allow the creation of a reasonably well functioning new system of healthy, equitable human relationships.

  • Günther Rückl

    I hope you are right, sherlock. I am just not quite as convinced about the readiness and determination of Americans. Well, I am a foreigner who has watched this society in action for the past 30 years and I am neither impressed nor hopeful…

  • wmark

    This “Green Party” position is a prefect case of condemning the good because it is not perfect. Purity tests never float on the stormy seas of politics. I totally agree with the Green Party’s Green New Deal, yet, I am certain, it is a step too steep. I am hoping Congressperson-elect Cortez’s version is not excessively bold to get passed. One thing is for sure, it has no chance in hell of becoming law when Republicans hold the Senate and Presidency. At best, the nation must wait until after 2020 before the bill has any chance. The next two year must be used to educate the public and Congress the benefits of the Green New Deal.

  • Mychele Hillary

    Communicate with her? Has there been any communication between the Green party and AOC, much less Bernie Sanders?? They are in the business of sheepdogging, they are not going to communicate with anyone. Soon we will see the corporate sponsors of the green knew deal revealed. Perhaps even a Super Bowl ad?

  • Mychele Hillary

    Perhaps if the Green party GND were shared widely on the enviro & social justice pages they will confuse the two themselves and demand the more comprehensive of the two?

  • David Schultz

    In my threads it has been noted that although many people on these forums claim Green Party affiliation there is a general absence of Green Party oriented discussion. Although I held a minor spot on a Green Party technical committee, I hardly represent the views of core membership. I rather find the lack of enthusiasm disconcerting being that I am the one pointing this out!

  • Alec Sevins

    Anything with industrial wind turbines in its logo is wrong out of the gate. They’e scaled far too small in that logo as well (industry ploy to make them seem benign). People need to understand how much land and scenery is being trounced by those vast projects, and you can’t even begin to build, maintain and backup up their intermittent power without fossil fuels.

    “100% renewables” defies the laws of physics for large scale energy production, and the size of the economy is the root problem; economic growthism needs to end on this finite planet. Also, trying to bring the world’s poor up to middle class standards just means more consumption and depletion. Degrowth is the answer.

  • Laura Miller

    These are all some very interesting comments and i dont disagree with a lot of them. Just want to mention youd be surprised at how many of us trump supporters feel the same way. This is why he has enemies from both the parties. Its not actually Trump we all support its what hes trying to do. Someday i hope we can form a third party and majority of us americans who are tired of the Dems and Repubs Ripping us off and getting away with it will be able to really drain the swamp. We cant begin to make real change until we have some leadership with some integrity and we hold the thieves accountable for past and future wrongs against the good of the american progress. Js. God bless our USA

  • kevinzeese

    Thanks for your comment. AOC was one of the best people elected to Congress in the mid-terms. This article describes in detail how the mid-term elections rather than being a “Blue Wave” were really a “Corporate Wave.” The Democratic Party has become more conservative and more militarist after the election. The time is now to leave the Democratic Party and help build a viable third party. The Green Party is our best alternative. Get involved.

  • adrianzupp

    I’m an anarchist but GND is a step in the right direction. I believe in radical change; but I think we have to work at positive reforms along the way. We can do both concurrently. The Dem Party is a sick joke and I say that in any forum I can, but until a true movement external to the body politic rises up, this is at least keeping serious action on climate change on the agenda. I think AOC is sincere in her efforts and only a capitalist to the extent any of us are: stuck in this system and trying to change it. I agree with all of your criticisms of the Dems. This is one of the huge hurdles to progress, let alone real change. They are all money/power bitches. I’m going to do what I can to heighten support for GND and saving the planet generally, while not giving up on radical institutional change for the long run. We have to win this. I just don’t feel AOC is the same as the others you mention. In fact, for now, being in the Dem Party is her best megaphone. My wish would be that, unlike Sanders, in the future she will step outside of the political machine and drive civil movements with the popular support she is accruing. Appreciate your comment.

  • adrianzupp

    I disagree. I think there are many people who know little or nothing about climate change. I have no faith in the Dem Party, but raising the energy level for action must do some good somehow and I think it already is, with the Sunshine Movement et al. At this point, unless workers, en masse, take over their workplaces, the shitty legislative system is all we’ve got. Will it change? No. Can meaningful legislation happen? Yes. Difficult, slow, incremental, and tons of bullshit. But we can make progress while trying to institute real change. I hate the system. I abhor elites. Institutional change is the answer to our problems. But there is no loss in what AOC is doing in the meantime. I believe she is genuine and I don’t think she is “naive.” (And you can’t know everything at 29. She is really calling out the mongrels and her knowledge is pretty damn good and appropriate for the forum.) But the more that gets repeated, the more we reinforce a selling point generated by the Old Guard to cut her down. All the politicians we despise would love that.