Nothing brings people together quite like a crisis. Especially an existential crisis that threatens large numbers of people. What you may not know, is even the Grand Puba of the modern Democratic Socialists knew it would take a crisis to advance their cause. Here is Michael Harrington in 1988 talking about the financial collapse he predicted within 5 years of President Reagan leaving office.
1930’s. New Deal. The dream is over. Will the left be able to take advantage of the opportunity? Sound familiar? It should.
Obviously the financial collapse Harrington predicted never happened. The late 80’s and ’90’s were spurned by the tech boom which improved the lives of people around the world in ways that were the stuff of science fiction movies. The recessions of the early ’90’s and 2000’s did not reach crisis levels. Even the housing collapse that began at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency didn’t crash the economy. What was the Left to do?
The Inconvenient Truth is, creating one was required. And while none of Al Gore’s predictions came true, his flick grossed $84M and only cost $1M to make. Pretty good return on investment. Not to mention it earned him a Nobel Prize. For being 100% wrong.
When Gore’s original 10-year predictions were wildly off, the Left just waited a few years and decided to try again. Forgive my Gen X “Reagan didn’t launch a bomb, acid rain didn’t melt my skin off, the polar bears aren’t dead and we still have the Ozone” cynicism. But agitprop is agitprop. And there is a whole new generation is available for manipulation.
Best Supporting Actress, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is now all over the place and is like really sure we only have 12 years to irreversible planetary disaster. Her Green New Deal resolution implores us to agree to a World War II level mobilization that completely upends our economic system and energy sector. She talks about “frontline” communities. She wants us to engage in a war using the language of war.
Where does this garbage come from? It has its roots in the language of Michael Harrington. A crisis is required to achieve the political goals of Cortez and her backers. Since there is not an imminent crisis, other than Hillary losing in 2016, they will forecast one in the future. Again.
So this young woman who doesn’t know basic facts about the term of President Reagan, is somehow and expert on the 1930’s. Not really. It’s a script. And you are going to love how it evolved.
In 2008, David Spratt and Phillip Sutton wrote a book called Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action. Both men appear to be on the boards of think tanks and NGO’s related to climate change advocacy. So, they need people to believe the existential threat in order to maintain funding. This will be a theme as we dig deeper into the money behind the movement. There’s a lot of it floating around. From the book summary on the website (Emphasis is mine):
Plan a large-scale transition to a post-carbon economy and society
We face a multi-factor sustainability crisis and systemic breakdown.
The obstacles to implementing climate solutions are political and social in character, not technological or economic.
Speed is of the essence in constructing a post-carbon economy as quickly as humanly possible.
An imaginative, large-scale programme comparable in scope to the “war economy” or the transformation of the Asian “tiger” economies is required.
According to the authors, we had already passed climate tipping point and disaster was imminent if we didn’t do something right now! Eleven years ago. They are also the first reference I can find to linking climate and a large scale economic program.
Mash “war economy” and FDR and funny things start to happen. The next time these ideas pop up is in the 2012 Presidential campaign. Of Jill Stein. The Green New Deal was the centerpiece of her campaign. From an op-ed she wrote for The Guardian in 2012 (Emphasis mine):
This is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Why not use a similar strategy to FDR’s for getting us out of it? Under the New Deal of the 1930s, unemployment rates were substantially reduced, and millions of jobs were created.
For this reason, I propose a Green New Deal for the 2010s, which – unlike the doomed-to-fail proposals of Obama and Romney – is proven to work. The Green New Deal will create 25m jobs by implementing nationally funded, but locally controlled, direct employment initiatives. These would offer public-sector jobs that can be “stored” in job banks in order to take up any slack in private-sector employment.
The Green New Deal protects the right to quality healthcare, to be achieved through a single-payer Medicare-for-all program; a tuition-free, quality, public education system from pre-school through college; decent affordable housing, including an immediate halt to all foreclosures and evictions; and the right to accessible and affordable utilities including heat, electricity, phone, internet and public transportation.
The Green New Deal also provides grants and low-interest loans to grow green businesses and cooperatives, with an emphasis on small, locally-based companies that keep the wealth created by local labor circulating in the community – rather than being drained off to enrich absentee investors. We will redirect public research funds away from fossil fuels and other dead-end industries and toward sustainable energy systems such as wind, solar and geothermal. We will invest in sustainable, nontoxic materials, closed-loop cycles that eliminate waste and pollution, and organic agriculture, permaculture, and sustainable forestry.
Most importantly, under the Green New Deal, we will build a financial system that is open, honest and stable, and a political system that protects the rights of voters, not the political parties and their corporate funders.
Sound familiar? Stein’s urgency was based on what she framed as an unemployment crisis. Now proponents are framing climate itself as the crisis. You can hear Stein discussing her plan here, here, and here. It almost sounds like she wrote those missing FAQ’s doesn’t it?
So the plan from a Kremlin loving, fringe candidate that got 0.36% percent of the vote in 2012 has gone mainstream. In some cases, it has been broken into multiple plans, such as Medicare for All. These have been embraced by multiple primary candidates in the Democrat party. Just as Michael Harrington envisioned. But now it’s not just a “New Deal”. It’s a war.