From the Versailles Dining Room of The Hoover Institution, episode CCXXI Niall Ferguson on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and The Green New Deal . Old Socialist comments

It can’t be anything like a surprise that Neo-Conservative Mr. Ferguson attacks, again, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and The Green New Deal (GND) in his regular Sunday Times column:

Last week I began to understand how the Democrats will lose the 2020 presidential election. The reality is that they are not one party, but two: a liberal and a socialist. The former can beat Trump — but not if it is associated with the latter. Socialism is a term for so long regarded as anathema in the US that it used to be avoided altogether: instead of “socialism”, one said either “progressive” or “the s-word”.

These days, however, the s-word is no longer taboo. The Democrats, in their eagerness to recruit a new generation of young voters, have admitted a faction of radical ideologues into their midst.

Exhibit A is the Green New Deal unveiled on Thursday by the Bronx’s very own La Pasionaria, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), and the rather less glamorous 72-year-old Massachusetts senator Ed Markey.

Mr. Ferguson backtracks just a bit, in the interest of maintaining something resembling bourgeois political respectability, perhaps his comments on Keynes were a valuable object lesson to him, on the Environmental Question?

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not in denial about climate change. Yes, the evidence is pretty compelling that manmade emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases are causing average temperatures to rise and the weather to become more volatile.

Mr. Ferguson fails to see the relevance another key part of this GND:

But I am not quite sure how this is “related” to the “large racial wealth divide” and “gender earnings gap” referred to in the Green New Deal on page 3 or the “systemic racial, regional, social, environmental and economic injustices” on page 4.

The Green New Deal asserts that climate change has “disproportionately affected indigenous peoples, communities of colour, migrant communities, deindustrialised communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities and youth”.

The Ferguson myopia is based not in the facts of contemporary life for the 99%, who do not share the ratified air of a Think Tank, where 1929 went to live. The collapse of the Neo-Liberal Swindle, and the destruction of the institutions of the Welfare State through Austerity, and the fact that the poorer and the darker you are has relevance to your exposure to the pollution, and garbage of our collective Consumer Society.

But never at a loss for a self-serving pseudo-argument, that is argument’s  place-holder:

However, this drearily familiar list of the victims of patriarchy and white supremacy bears only a tangential relationship to the real Americans who were killed or lost their homes in last year’s Californian wildfires.

Mr. Ferguson is an unapologetic Imperialist, and try as he might that Imperialism cannot be separated  from White Supremacy! The British Empire was based on ‘White Man’s Burden’ : to civilize the heathens!  The victims of California wildfires, mere self-serving divertissement, to put it in highfalutin terms.

More of Ferguson’s project of self-rescue  awaits the patient reader:

The measures proposed in the Green New Deal to “achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” are breathtaking. More nuclear power stations? Er, no. Comrades, we’re talking about a “10-year national mobilisation” on the scale of the Great Patriotic War . . . sorry, I meant the Second World War. By the end of the Green Leap Forward, 100% of US power demand will be met from “clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources”, which means geothermal, hydro, solar and wind. Nukes are out, according to the FAQ sheet on the “10-Year Plan” released by AOC’s office.

The Green New Deal, as conceptualized by Ferguson, is Stalinist! But Mr. Ferguson polemic seems never ending, as he seeks to include all that he deems relevant to the current political moment, and GND as an utterly alien idea. Ferguson cannot be unaware of FDR’s New Deal, his polemic demands that that history and the evolution of that New Deal, over time, retains its status as alien that demonstrate the imperative of the Propagandist.

Old Socialist






About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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