By Sumantra Maitra • The Federalist
Cathy Young wrote last year that “commie chic” is cool again. In an essay, she cited a Gallup poll stating that “among Democrats, Democratic-leaning independents—and, perhaps most significant, among all American adults under 30—socialism is now viewed more positively than capitalism.”
Look around and you can see essays in papers of record praising the sex lives of East German women (failing to mention that they probably had to do it with a Soviet soldier in a back alley for a loaf of bread), and the idea that taxing billionaires would help make a society where there’s no inequality, and where everyone has not just a means but a “right” to a guaranteed satisfactory life and minimum income, health care, and education. Oh, and there are also free unicorns at the end of each red rainbow.
Almost determined prove her point, within a few months of that essay the darling of the Anglo-American left, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, took out the structural plan for the much-vaunted Green New Deal, which might be better described as a neo-Maoist Green Leap Forward, and it is comedy gold.
The details are for everyone to see, for as long as they are online, which, going by the interminable mockery, won’t be for much longer. The deal wants to eliminate air travel altogether. That logically entails more than 500,000 job losses in the air transport sector.
It also wants green energy refitting in “every single” American home, and to ban “non-essential personal transport” (a.k.a. cars) in favor of public transport. Consider entire energy sectors simply eliminated by government diktat, alongside the logistical nightmare of annexing and disposing of millions of personal cars. Entire auxiliary industries annihilated for the “greater good of humanity,” in a utopian zeal, without any actual plan on how to do it, or who would pay for it, or what would be the sudden alternative for millions of people out of livelihoods working in the automobile sector and other industries dependent on it.
Simultaneously, the deal wants to provide guaranteed income for people “unwilling to work” (really!) and to nationalize health care and education, and change fossil fuels to renewable energy all within a span of mere 10 years, while getting rid of nuclear energy altogether. It also wants to impose a carbon tax, similar to what was imposed in France and led to mass riots continuing to this day. Aside from that, it also comes along the same progressive policy frameworks of abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It boasts of every single Democratic presidential candidate backing it, too.
The Absurdity Truly Does Not Stop
The only thing the Green New Deal cannot guarantee to control or nationalize is—and I swear I am not making this up—bovine flatulence. To offset that smelly inconvenience, it generously wants to plant a lot of trees. Here’s a quote.
We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.
If a conservative had to caricature the worst memes about linguistically challenged leftist, hippie, first-year college student of sociology, with an “IQ thirty points below an absent-minded jellyfish,” to borrow the words of P.G. Wodehouse, she couldn’t come up with a better document.
Nothing highlights a conservative need for societal hierarchy than outright socialist foolishness. It will cost, in a minimal normative estimate, around $6.6 trillion per year, or more than a triple of what the U.S. federal government currently collects in tax revenue. It would mean a total government spending of three-fourths of the gross domestic product, for this plan alone.
It would need “installing 335,000 onshore wind turbines; 154,000 offshore wind turbines; 75 million residential photovoltaic systems; 2.75 million commercial photovoltaic systems; 46,000 utility-scale photovoltaic facilities; 3,600 concentrated solar power facilities with onsite heat storage; and an extensive array of underground thermal storage facilities.” How to afford the deal? According to our bartender-economist prodigy, it would be just by nationalization and printing cash currency. I hesitate to take up Venezuela, or the Weimar Republic, but sometimes you are left with no choice.
The surprising thing is that there’s no organized media pushback, which hints at something far more rotten. In an ideal world, there would be journalists flocking and camping in front of every single Democratic presidential candidate’s office to constantly badger them about their support of this insane document, or for that matter, their lack of activism about (alleged) rapists and racists in Virginia.
The only thing visible is reluctance and obfuscation. When the supposed gatekeepers of society act as public relations agents for a certain specific ideology, no wonder it leads to a reaction. The rules of the game should be universal. The moment it is quite evidently not, people feel disillusioned, and there is a disconnect between the masses and the elites.
The Green New Deal’s Reception Is Sinister
That is why this Green New Deal is a harbinger of something far more sinister. It goes without saying that no one in the Democratic Party and in the media and academic elites, other than hardcore ideologues, actually believe this is a plausible scenario. To fundamentally transform a society of more than 300 million people, to completely eradicate air travel and cars and retrofit every single home with green energy, to provide taxpayer-sponsored health care, education, food, and shelter for people, some of whom are simply are too lazy, privileged, and narcissistic to work, would entail a level of coercion that cannot be brought about by anyone other than an all-encompassing nanny state, facing zero resistance.
It is, put simply, a totalitarian endeavor. That level of promised welfare wouldn’t be solved by taxing billionaires but would need to be funded by a Scandinavian-level enormous flat tax of every single American, including the middle and working classes. It wouldn’t be possible to win that argument, because it simply won’t fly in the West in a normal debate. Tell an average British or American person that he needs to pay 60 percent of his income and give up his car so that a lazy person who chooses not to work can sit at home and see how that works out.
The Green New Deal is obviously idiotic, but the people in the media and academia—and especially the politicians who are bandwagoning with it—are not. It is, as always, means to achieve power, with the ultimate aim to nationalize and expand the state to a leviathan.
The green utopianism and anti-nuclear activism in Europe in the 1980s was funded by the Soviets and it was simply an endeavor to gain power. Post-Cold War, a heavy portion of the determined reds quickly changed jerseys and termed themselves greens, liberals, and social democrats.
Arguably, the one who is more dangerous than Trotsky is the one preaching Trotsky’s virtues to a naïve kid at your local university. The crazy utopian and idealistic college kid with a commie chic ideal is a nuisance with his spray paints, vegan activism, and Che shirt, but is just that—a nuisance. It is simplistic to just focus on him or her, failing to see the bigger picture, of a far larger threat of soft, smiley faced totalitarianism—the seemingly effete elites, who instigate and support these crazies and in turn seek their support, to gain control of society and curtail freedom.
After all, if there is ever totalitarianism in the West, it would come from the side that wants to increase the government and bureaucracy, not cut it down; and it would come with the overwhelming support of the elite intellectuals, fellow travelers, and cheerleaders in media and academia.