Open Borders on Steroids

From the actual GND proposal to Congress:

To achieve the Green New Deal goals and mobilization, a Green New Deal will require the following goals and projects:

  1. providing all people of the United States with—
    (i) high-quality health care;
    (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing;
    (iii) economic security; and
    (iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.

Notice that it says “people,” not citizens. It’s not just open borders, it’s open borders on steroids.

I’m sure “nature” will be super happy when we invite the whole world in and guarantee that we will feed, house, keep and cure everybody while providing free nature trips. That will do enormous good to the environment.

And it’s not an accidental slip. Here is another example:

  1. guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States;

And there are more examples. I’ll let you guess how many times the word “citizen” appears in the document in any context.

Avatar

To pre-empt a discussion of the new avatar: a post went somewhat viral and I changed the avatar to hide from scrutiny. I stand by everything I said in that post and am ready to proclaim it from the rooftops but I always fear militant idiots that spring up like mushrooms with every passing day.

Everybody is welcome to guess which post it is. A hint: it’s finally something mine and not guest-authored and it’s very serious. Which is rare because usually only the silly things catch on.

Book Notes: Castellanos Moya’s Tirana memoria

This is the weakest book by Castellanos Moya that I have read. It’s a good novel, don’t get me wrong, but Castellanos Moya is writing about the 1940s in El Salvador, and the rage that fills his other novels and makes them so amazing is not there.

I understand why he wrote Tirana memoria. Castellanos Moya is obsessed with the Civil War and its aftermath, and he wanted to go back to the origins and see what created the horror the country is right now. But it’s impossible to be incandescent with anger over a quaint old dictatorship of the 1940s when so much worse shit happened since then. So the novel is much more peaceful in tone, its humor is kinder, the plot is sweeter, and the characters might be pathetic at times but they are not monstrous.

What I like is how hard Castellanos Moya is working on trying to figure out what went wrong and led the country to the horrible situation of today. He isn’t seduced by the simplistic, childish sloganeering of “the US did it!” or “it’s all because of colonialism / neocolonialism!” He’s a profound guy and there are no easy answers in his books.

I’m starting the next novel immediately, and I already know it’s going to be great because the blurb sounds very intriguing.

NGD

Here is a good explanation of why the NGD includes a plan to provide economic security to those who are “unwilling to work.” I mean, it’s clearly not going to do anything for the environment. And neither will high-quality education and healthcare, important as they might be in their own right.

Why would the left include a provision about subsidizing the lifestyle of lazy people in its climate change manifesto? Because that’s what intersectionality requires. An intersectional progressive recognizes that racism, and sexism, and homophobia, and transphobia, and age-ism, and classism, and so on, are separate-but-related phenomena. To ignore just one of these sources of oppression is to fail intersectionality; the seriously social-justice minded must treat all of these issues as equally important and confront them en masse.

This makes a lot of sense. I know from personal experience that an attempt to achieve absolutely anything in progressive circles is always smashed to pieces because you forgot to include the pet grievance of every minuscule identity group in your proposal. Saying, “but what we are discussing right now is our proposal to the administration on the approximate schedule of union bargaining. It’s not really about the gender-queer” produces so much angst and rage that the initial purpose of the meeting is soon forgotten.

Another reason these pie-in-the-sky promises are included while stuff that would actually do a lot of good for the environment is excluded is that the GND is not supposed to result in any action. The last thing its authors want is to see anything done to address climate change.

To give an example, if I say, “I’m going to write a book that would entirely transform the field of Hispanic Studies, sell 10 million copies, and bring about world peace,” it’s very clear that I’m not actually writing anything and have no real plan to do so. However, if I say, “I wrote 562 words for my first chapter yesterday. I need to write 400 words today to fulfill my weekly quota. I also need to read and annotate two more sources for the next chapter, so I’m on my way to the library to pick them up,” it’s clear that I’m working on a book that will be finished and will get published. It won’t change the world or bring about world peace but it will be more than the person who operates according to the first scenario will ever do.

The New Green Deal makes me so angry because we have an extremely serious issue that needs to be addressed urgently. Yet people who should be doing something about it because it’s their fucking job treat us like dumb little kids and promise us all a balloon and a big lollipop if we just shut the ef up and vote for them.

And Bernie signed it, too. It’s such a letdown. I always want to believe in Bernie and that he can stand up to the loony-tunes wing but he always fails.

Not Too Bad

The worst part about the Soviet experience is that it was all for nothing. Nobody learned any lessons. The world said to us, “well, that wasn’t too bad. Let’s try that again and again.”

The complete lack of interest in one of the most horrific and tragic experiences of humanity stems from how uncomfortable it is and how it disturbs the inane fantasies of the spoiled brats who rule out imaginations.