Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Socialism

Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). The DSA web page contains articles that explain their vision to which Ocasio-Cortez aspires. One of these is “Toward Freedom: Democratic Socialist Theory and Practice: The Democratic Socialist Vision (posted on 12/22/2012) by Joseph Schwartz and Jason Schulman. Let us extract from this article some key goals of Ocasio-Cortez’s socialism as represented in this article. If she has important differences with these quotations and rejects them, she can always say so. She is active in making speeches at present.

In this blog, I do not criticize the assertions or program of these democratic socialists in detail or at length. My goal is mainly to make clear what they are after. I do not repeat their arguments and critique them. My goal is to cut through nearly all their analysis so that we can see clearly their conclusions. I list 10 key quotations. My own brief comments are in brackets below the quotes; that much criticism and/or reaction I cannot resist. I am certain that many readers have very many more acute and pointed reactions than my own.

Quote 1: “…the values of liberal democracy can only be fulfilled when the economy as well as the government is democratically controlled.”

[Imagine every business and consumption decision subjected to democratic or liberal democratic discussion and debate before it’s decided. This is an absolutely impossible vision of interminable conflicts and unsatisfactory resolutions by votes in which majority rules.]

Quote 2: “Socialists therefore argue that private corporate property is not only wrong, but also nonsensical. Wealth is a social creation and should be controlled by society as a whole.”

[No private property? No profit motive? Wealth creation will cease.]

Quote 3: “…however we organize the division of labor—the structure of careers and life opportunities—it should be decided democratically…”

[My goodness, these people are crazy and totalitarian! They intend to decide millions of dynamic forward-looking and personal decisions by endless talk, discussion, debate, vote and consensus formation.]

Quote 4: “…stress democratic control over consumption and social provision, in addition to Marxism’s traditional focus on democratic control over production.”

[Does placing the word “democratic” (as in democratic consumption) in front of every freely-done activity assure that it can be done by political processes? Does the word democratic make the thing better? From whence arises this hugely mistaken faith in the “democratic”? It’s unbelievable.]

Quote 5: “The left would have to organize not only in the formal political arena, but also in the workplace, the neighborhood, the church, and the PTA. Though those who hold electoral state power set the boundaries within which political struggle occurs, organizing in civil society (at the grassroots) is critical for the growth of the left. Cultural, educational, and ideological work is as ‘political’ as are elections.”

[Horrible in its insidious and suffocating vision. What happens to those who do not go along with the program? A left in power or striving for power will resort to violence against others and among themselves. It will not be long before the democratic socialists will be bickering, arguing, disagreeing, and shooting one another.]

Quote 6: “…must reintroduce the values of equality and solidarity which support universal public provision through progressive taxation. And it must also advance a compelling vision of economic growth through greater democratic control over capital. A strategy of gradually encroaching upon the prerogatives of capital will involve creative experiments in workers’ buy-outs, democratic control over pension funds, and mandated worker and consumer representation on corporate boards.”

[Capitalism is to be transformed into crowd control of resources. You can imagine how that’s going to work.]

Quote 7: “But only under socialism will fully democratic debate over the use of society’s wealth be possible and the satisfaction of people’s basic needs assured.”

[The words “democratic debate” in their minds suggests a viable method of ownership and control; but it’s not at all viable. It’s impossible to conceive of any sensible disposition of resources and opportunities resulting from endless debates over preferences and their satisfaction. There cannot be a peaceful resolution and outcome of these problems without private property. The democratic socialists lack all understanding of these basics. What they propose has poverty as the necessary result.]

Quote 8: “If the social democratic welfare state can no longer be sustained strictly on a national level, it must be created on an international level.”

[They hold out for organizing the poorer peoples of foreign countries into an international coalition, especially in countries where the welfare states (socialism in action!) are failing. Let’s all 6 billion of us debate who is to have an ipod.]

Quote 9: “To fulfill the promise of political democracy, which is eviscerated by economic inequality, democratic socialists work towards a society characterized by equality, solidarity, and participation. Participation will not be orchestrated from above by a paternalist state, but will occur from below in the workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools of civil society.”

[The democratic socialist vision provokes the proverbial puking. What’s the difference between a state’s power and the powers exercised in more decentralized ways as in workplaces, neighborhoods and schools? Power is power. Democratic power is still power. “Community” control is still control, and their intent is that this control be over all economic decisions.]

Quote 10: “We will finally eliminate the gross inequalities engendered by a capitalist social order. No longer will the accident of a child’s class, race, or sex influence his or her life opportunities.”

[Ridiculous. This idea of gross inequalities along the lines of class, race and sex being a consequence of capitalism has always been ridiculous and it still is ridiculous. Inequalities are created among other things by one’s own habits, character, thinking, desires, plans, decisions, and work. Class, sex and race are sources of inequality mainly when governments make them so, not through a private property order. How can the capitalistic opportunities to create wealth, to own and control private property, and to make economic decisions free from the needless, retarding and baleful interference of others via democratic debates be considered a bad thing? Under capitalism or a private property order, the incentives to utilize undervalued people are enhanced, not diminished.]


9:03 am on August 5, 2018