A Green New Deal?
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has recently proposed an ambitious plan to establish a “Select Committee for a Green New Deal”. The text of her proposal may be found here. In it, we see that she seeks to wrestle with the earth shaking issue of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions of which first world countries like the United States and EU countries bear the lion’s share of responsibility. Most of the motor vehicles, polluting infrastructure, etc. is within these countries. It is common for an American household to have 2, 3, and even 4 fossil fuel burning vehicles. Power plants burning oil and coal add to the toxic soup that directly contributes to not only the inevitable disappearance of substantial chunks of the US coastline, but an increase in hurricanes and typhoons such as those that ravage Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Bangladesh. The Maldives, a group of low lying islands in the Indian Ocean, are predicted to totally disappear within this century. In short, climate change ain’t a game. Millions of lives are at stake. Furthermore, the individuals and entities responsible for this crisis have names and addresses. A few corporations are also the biggest polluters. Since we know that the fate of humanity is wrapped up in how we wrestle with the messes we’ve made, and that this isn’t something to be treated lightly, and that this is a crisis caused by capitalism-imperialism, we can conclude reasonably that destroying the system of capitalism-imperialism headquartered in the United States is our greatest and most realistic hope for resolving the climate change contradiction.
The proposals in Ocasio-Cortez’ draft resolution are ideologically and politically untenable. It’s the ABC of Marxism and class struggle that the ruling class, the class which Ocasio-Cortez helps manage the affairs of, will never allow a “progressive” to make changes to the fundamental order of things to the extent that it impacts their bottom line. The job of the capitalist is to exploit. The job of ExxonMobil is to sell petroleum products. Thousands of black and poor white people are currently being poisoned on the stretch of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, in popular parlance known as Cancer Alley. Oil refineries and chemical plants cover this stretch of river and the health of the surrounding population who live in these areas is not of concern to the executives who pull down regular bonuses of tens of millions of dollars every Christmas season. Closer to home, Granite City, Illinois, Sauget, East Saint Louis, and other working class areas are treated to fumes courtesy of various chemical companies. These companies make billions of billions of dollars. They are not going to be reined in by a congressional resolution or a select committee. This thing is dead in the water, especially in this reactionary administration that will be re-elected in 2020 because of the utter stupidity and weakness of the opposing wing of the committee for management of the affairs of the bourgeoisie, aka the Democratic Party. All revolutionaries should beware these attempts to throw dust in the eyes of the masses sad ourselves. Check this:
“The select committee shall have authority to develop a detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “Plan for a Green New Deal” or the “Plan”) for the transition of the United States economy to become greenhouse gas emissions neutral and to significantly draw down greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and oceans and to promote economic and environmental justice and equality. In furtherance of the foregoing, the Plan shall: (a) be prepared in consultation with experts and leaders from business, labor, state and local governments, tribal nations, academia and broadly representative civil society groups and communities; (b) be driven by the federal government, in collaboration, co-creation and partnership with business, labor, state and local governments, tribal nations, research institutions and civil society groups and communities; (c) be executed in no longer than 10 years from the start of execution of such Plan; (d) provide opportunities for high income work, entrepreneurship and cooperative and public ownership; and (e) additionally, be responsive to, and in accordance with, the goals and guidelines relating to social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice and equality set forth in paragraph (6).”
This is utter and complete class collaboration. One of the hallmarks of social democracy is the old canard that the ruling class can be bargained with and negotiated with for greater justice without spilling blood and waging war. This is the socialism of academia, the socialism of the bourgeoisie, the socialism of fools. This is not the socialism of the proletariat. You do not sit down and negotiate with “business” and “local and state governments”. Furthermore, union bureaucrats are lock and stock on the side of the class enemy and firmly social chauvinist. Every proletarian, every semi-proletarian knows that the boss ain’t giving you a goddamn thing if you don’t terrorize and scare the shit out of him. The New Deal in the 1930s was a sop thrown by the Roosevelt administration after years of class struggle in the heat of the Great Depression. The Communist Party was at its height (soon to be gutted by Browderite revisionism and opportunism). Cadres and mass workers were violently fighting evictions, layoffs, pay cuts, and fighting with cops in the streets. Unemployed marches drew thousands and often ended in fistfights and gunfights with scabs and cops. We are reaching that point of struggle again, another economic crash is looming. American politics is ever more radicalizing, on both the left and the right. Leftists are forming militias and learning how to shoot, reactionaries and fascists are mailing bombs to bourgeois news outlets and conducting spree killings. Congress and what is going on there is not on the mind of the lowest and deepest masses. They don’t vote, they don’t campaign. They realize that power comes from the barrel of a gun. Fascists realize this as well. Both are acting accordingly. The 2020s will undoubtedly be a decade of blood in the streets to meet the rise of the oceans. Class struggle is sharpening and intensifying, both at home and overseas. The best gift we can present to our comrades who are already ahead of us in actually existing people’s wars is one of our own. Social democracy is a dead trifle, congressional draft resolutions we can wipe our ass with.
How can we deal with climate change? In the final analysis, only through the violent overthrow of the currently existing order of things as soon as humanly possible and the establishment of socialism. Under socialism, when the people rule, when the bourgeoisie are suppressed, it will be recognized that we must pursue renewable energy sources and produce the things that we need to survive in a sustainable fashion. Under capitalism, there is no hope for any of this. Green capitalism still pollutes. A green new deal is a myth. The only new deal that can save the planet, its plants and animals, and ourselves is the new order. The socialist order, secured with blood and fire.