Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s Green New Deal: A Socialist Suicide Pact Worthy of Rev. Jim Jones
Lots of conservatives are laughing at Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and her Green New Deal. And from one perspective, they’re right. It’s not public policy but a delusional wish list, a ransom note pasted together with clipped out words from storybooks and glued in place with bubblegum. It’s much like the Catholic/Bolshevik Tradinista Manifesto which appeared a couple of years ago, to wide acclaim, and mockery here at The Stream.
Cortez wants to end all air travel and stop cows from farting, in order to financially support those “unwilling to work” and appease the gods of the Climate. If you don’t laugh you’ll cry.
But once you’ve stopped chuckling, you notice something unsettling. Namely, the cold Bolshevik steel in the eyes of leftist zealots. The power of Utopian promises and apocalyptic threats to recruit the young and intellectually lazy. The enduring appeal of fantasies of force, from the national socialist thugs of 1920s Berlin to the disgruntled Muslim youths who sign up for ISIS.
Socialism as Antichrist
Indeed, the fact that Cortez’s plan is absurd shouldn’t let us wave it off as insignificant. In fact it could prove quite powerful. That’s because it’s not a political but a religious document. Socialism was from the very beginning not a political movement but a creed. From its origins among the violent rebels of the radical Reformation — whom Luther condemned for wanting to share not just property but wives — socialism has been a worldly Christian heresy intended to replace and persecute the Church. To turn our gaze from heaven and the Second Coming to a worldly new Jerusalem we can put in place by force, by our own human power. Whose walls we can build with the “oppressors” we have killed, and streets we’ll pave with their skulls.
I won’t repeat the devastating case against socialism stated by Pope Leo XIII. That pope considered socialism diabolical, an evil parody of Christianity that attacked the family and legitimized mass theft. Of course he was right. As I wrote here last year, even the modestly socialist welfare state in Europe has been the engine that secularized whole, once-faithful nations. By making the State the all-provident power to which we all look in times of need, it pried God off His throne.
And that, more than bashing capitalism or dialing down the climate, is what the Green New Deal is all about. This is just one more front in our ongoing spiritual warfare against principalities and powers. And that doesn’t have me laughing. Not when a movement based in delusions, wish-fulfillment, envy, sloth, and rage is appealing to young people. And misdirecting their natural idealism and zeal to the service of deepest Hell.
Other People’s Religions Are Funny
Here’s a bumper sticker I’ve always meant to have printed up: “Other people’s religions are funny.”
The reason for that is simple: religious systems seek to answer all our questions. To give our suffering meaning. And to focus our hopes on something bigger and higher than the day to day schlep through the muck. To find an unseen explanation for everything that exists. And a goal toward which the cosmos is hurtling.
That’s a very tall order. And if you stand outside such a system looking in, unconvinced by its claims, the whole thing can seem ridiculous. Think for a moment of the Hindu elephant god, Ganesh. Mormon sacred underwear. The mock landing strips of a cargo cult. A jihadi’s 99 virgins.
The Power of Zeal
By contrast, one’s own religion is deadly serious. If you have strong reasons of personal experience or intellectual arguments to hold to a religion, it unfolds like a flower. The more extreme its claims, the more powerful a creed can be. What seems to outsiders like goofy superstition strikes you as a glorious paradox, which reaches down to the core of human longings. So Christians see the Eucharist.
The more your faith demands of you (up to a certain point of diminishing returns, for most of us), the more committed you are to it. That’s because we value things not so much by what we get out of them, as by what we put into them. That fact of human psychology cuts both ways. It explains great mystics like St. John of the Cross. And also why Scientologists find it so hard to escape their cult.
Religions drive people to do things. Then goad them to organize in groups, to accomplish even more. Often these people prove willing to use violent force to get those things accomplished. So the further a religion’s dictates are from the natural law which God wrote on our hearts (including property rights), the more damage it can do. No matter how foolish its claims.
It’s All Well and Good Till There’s No More Toilet Paper
Yes, the Aztec belief that the gods were dying and needed human blood to keep the sun coming up seems ridiculous. But on the prisoners whose hearts they were cutting out and thighs they were roasting in chipotle sauce? The joke was lost. Likewise for the Jews who laughed at the National Socialists. And the Duma deputies who waved off the Bolsheviks. And the Venezuelan economists who chuckled at the bumpkin Hugo Chavez.
There was nothing funny about the socialist death cult the Rev. Jim Jones started. It took off in San Francisco, with the backing of prominent politicians like Mayor Willie Brown and gay activist Harvey Milk.
Read Daniel Flynn’s shocking account of that movement in his new book Cult City. He recounts in sobering detail how dreams of perfect equality, of establishing heaven on earth, led thousands to perish in a man-made hell in the jungle. When their Utopia began to fall apart, Jones called on them all to refuse to live in a wicked capitalist world. And almost to a man, woman, or parent, they agreed. Those who didn’t were forced to swallow poison at gunpoint.
Now ex-barmaid Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is the one mixing the Kool-Aid. You’ll be shocked at how many people prove eager to drink it.