Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has backed a so-called Green New Deal, aimed at creating a new green industry that she says will guarantee every American a job. Her pitch is full of the usual naff pastiche: ‘This is going to be the New Deal, the Great Society, the Moon shot, the civil-rights movement of our generation.’ The US green left is making some huge promises. Ocasio-Cortez says this proposal, to make 100 per cent of US electricity renewable and phase out fossil fuels, will also eliminate structural inequalities, racism and social injustices of all kinds.
All that is missing is “And world peace!” delivered in a breathy voice of an earnest beauty pageant contester.
It’s fun entertainment with a cute performer releasing fun memes all the time. But it’s an absolute mystery how anybody can take this seriously and believe there is anything remotely political about any of this.
Let’s not blame this particular entertainment starlet, however. There is nothing remotely political about anything. Trump was elected, he is clearly incompetent, clearly knows nothing about anything, clearly is an ugly-looking equivalent of AOC. . . and so what? Nothing. The country is chugging along just fine. Because he’s not very relevant. The political field itself is not very relevant because governments govern nation-states. Which capital no longer finds very relevant. We could elect a giant pistachio ice-cream scone, and it would all chug along pretty much the same.
The political class still will exist, however, because it’s feeding many people (not just politicians themselves, obviously, but a huge press apparatus that pretends politicians are relevant, an enormous bureaucracy, etc). It can’t give us much in material terms but it can give us something we value so much more: an opportunity to repost and get likes!
And world peace, of course.