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2020 Battle Lines: Capitalism and Growth (R) versus Socialism and Degrowth (D)

2020 Battle Lines: Capitalism and Growth (R) versus Socialism and Degrowth (D)

The Green New Deal will be up for a vote in the presidential and congressional elections, whether establishment Democrats like it or not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG9N4ZP5MQA

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a character familiar to anyone who has spent substantial time on campuses in the past two decades

She’s a walking, talking social justice warrior soundbite machine, someone whose knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep. Social media, where she excels, is perfect for shallow but woke wisdom.

At one level, she is the gift Donald Trump and Republicans could not have hoped for in their wildest dreams. Her wacky Green New Deal is so preposterous in many of its details and in its totality, it is a caricature. It’s a prime example of what I call Progressive or Parody?, where it’s “very hard to distinguish progressive political and social positions from parody.”

That four of the leading Democrat presidential candidates (Harris, Warren, Booker, Gillibrand) rushed to co-sponsor or endorse the Green New Deal will be a theme Republicans will drive home from today through Election Day 2020. That these four kneecapped themselves as General Election candidates is Ocasio-Cortez’s greatest accomplishment (for Republicans) so far.

At another level, though, Ocasio-Cortez should be taken seriously precisely because she is a character familiar to anyone who has spent time on campuses in the past two decades. She represents an ignorant ahistorical adoration for socialism that has captured a significant portion of the Democratic Party. Socialists like Ocasio-Cortez are the energy in the Democratic Party, which explains why presidential candidates immediately jumped on her bandwagon.

Capitalism versus Socialism is one battle line for 2020. Whether or not the ultimate Democrat nominee endorses the Green New Deal, the Green New Deal will be made to be the Democrat platform whether Democrats like it or not. Let’s have a vote on Capitalism versus Socialism.

At another level, it’s not just Capitalism versus Socialism. In listening to a 2015 audio of Mark Levin, I heard a term I had not heard before: Degrowth.

What is Degrowth? An academic association devoted to Degrowth describes it as follows:

Sustainable degrowth is a downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions and equity on the planet. It calls for a future where societies live within their ecological means, with open, localized economies and resources more equally distributed through new forms of democratic institutions. Such societies will no longer have to “grow or die.” Material accumulation will no longer hold a prime position in the population’s cultural imaginary. The primacy of efficiency will be substituted by a focus on sufficiency, and innovation will no longer focus on technology for technology’s sake but will concentrate on new social and technical arrangements that will enable us to live convivially and frugally. Degrowth does not only challenge the centrality of GDP as an overarching policy objective but proposes a framework for transformation to a lower and sustainable level of production and consumption, a shrinking of the economic system to leave more space for human cooperation and ecosystems.

Watch this video promoting degrowth, and it sounds a lot like the Green New Deal.

As Levin explains, the Degrowth movement is fundamentally at war with Capitalism, which is devoted to economic growth (transcription via Jeff Poor, Breitbart):

“In the last 15 year, many of the tenets of utopian statism have coalesced around something called the ‘degrowth movement,’” he said. “It is called the degrowth movement in Europe. It originates in Europe but is now taking a firm hold in the United States. The ‘degrowthers,’ that is what I call them, the ‘degrowthers,’ and like other words I’ve used in the past, it’ll be picked up. But that’s OK. The degrowthers include in their ranks none other than Barack Obama.”

The conservative talker pointed to aspects of the movement, which are in some forms parts of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) “Green New Deal.”

“I am telling you, this environmental movement is a communist movement, and I’ve been saying it for years,” he continued. “Now what I have done is dug much deeper into this degrowth movement, which we have imported to the United States. All of this: class warfare, immigration, race-based attacks — all of it actually circles around this degrowth movement, which is an attack on a developed nation, our nation. You might have well had a cover on it calling it the ‘Communist Manifesto.’”

“So the Reds have taken over the environmental movement,” Levin later concluded. “That’s what so-called climate change and global warming are all about.”

Levin also discusses Degrowth in his book Plunder and Deceit.

So the battle lines in 2020 are not simply Capitalism versus Socialism, but Growth versus Degrowth.

Let’s have a vote on two fundamentally different ideologies. It’s a vote we can still win, for now.

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Comments

IMO, key components of “de-growth” are normalizing non-reproductive life styles/demonizing the “breeders”, normalizing late term abortion/infanticide and euthanasia.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to SHV. | February 8, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Don’t you think we demonize non productive breeders who are the essence of socialism?

      Depends JD.

      Socialism is not something the masses choose. Socialism is something chosen for the masses and in every case is chosen for the masses by a very wealthy upper class who do not have to suffer like the little people.

“It calls for a future where societies live within their ecological means, with open, localized economies.”

This WILL get traction with the social jackass warriors because it provides so much room to virtue signal about downsizing and living sustainably:

What they will get of course, is this:
“resources more equally distributed through new forms of democratic institutions. ….”

As in all socialist/communist paradises, the resources will be equally distributed at the very top.

    lc in reply to elle. | February 9, 2019 at 9:20 am

    This is the UN’s Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030. If you are unfamiliar with it, please look it up. It is about global control/global socialism and climate alarmism is a vehicle of choice to achieve it.
    I want to know who is pushing AOC. Surely someone, some group is promoting and funding her. How did this “Green new deal” surface so suddenly after her election?

Colonel Travis | February 8, 2019 at 9:42 pm

At another level, though, Ocasio-Cortez should be taken seriously precisely because she is a character familiar to anyone who has spent time on campuses in the past two decades. She represents an ignorant ahistorical adoration for socialism that has captured a significant portion of the Democratic Party.

Totally agree. The dumbest thing the (R) party can do is assume voters will simply see this nonsense as nonsense (which is another way of saying they’d rather not do anything because they’re lazy wimps.) They better fight this crap or we are screwed, if we aren’t already screwed and Trump is just an aberration on Hayek’s road to serfdom. The (R) party doesn’t fight for squat. It never has. I noticed this decades ago when I moved from the left to the right – how come the right never fights?

And look where we are as a result of this Not-This-Hill-Not-This-Time passiveness: multiple presidential candidates endorsing the most idiotic “growth” plan ever proposed in this nation’s history.

    snopercod in reply to Colonel Travis. | February 9, 2019 at 8:37 am

    You will never hear a Republican in congress say these words:

    “Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.” –Ayn Rand

      The Republicans are too busy trying to figure out how to circle the wagons around the Democrats to protect them against Trump while the Democrats are blowing themselves up. They are kind of like Clinton’s UN troops “protecting” the Rwandans (“Hotel Rwanda”) as they butchered themselves while the UN troops stood by looking the other way.

legacyrepublican | February 8, 2019 at 9:47 pm

Taking things to their logical absurdity, this is what I would ask AOC …

If we have open borders, as you advocate, should what are now pregnant illegal immigrants be forced to have an abortion because they would drain resources from those who need it more?

Like Socialism in general, the philosophy of “degrowth” runs counter to human nature. Degrowth demands that people be satisfied with crumbs. It requires them to be content when they know in their hearts they could do more.

Failure is built in to this terrible, anemic vision.

Excellent article. Pretty sobering, too. This may be something we have to watch very closely.

“It calls for a future where societies live within their ecological means, with open, localized economies and resources more equally distributed through new forms of democratic institutions. Such societies will no longer have to “grow or die.” Material accumulation will no longer hold a prime position in the population’s cultural imaginary. The primacy of efficiency will be substituted by a focus on sufficiency, and innovation will no longer focus on technology for technology’s sake but will concentrate on new social and technical arrangements that will enable us to live convivially and frugally.”

They can’t even achieve this among themselves, yet lecture how it is the aim of all cultures.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 8, 2019 at 11:50 pm

Why are those Communist Millionaires sitting in front of Van Goghs worth Billions and Billions of Dollars (to sort of sound like Carl Sagan)???????????????????????

Terminology is a weapon. The Left uses it routinely. The rest of us had better catch on. If it’s a fight between “capitalism” and “socialism”, the unsophisticated will vote for socialism because “capitalism” sounds bad, or at least foreign. The “capitalist” is someone who isn’t you and isn’t even someone you know, so what’s the worry if he takes a pounding in the Brave New World?

More properly (and understandably) labeled, the struggle is between free men and free markets, or socialist control. That is something the man in the street can vote on.

As for “degrowth” . . . Free markets (not “capitalism”) take care of appropriate “degrowth” automatically via the natural operation of supply & demand. No direction by a totalitarian Central Committee needed.

The New American Communist Manifesto.

An argument that I use with progressives is one with carbon units. Lets say a third worlder has a carbon usage of 1, and a typical American uses about 20. By bringing more people up to our standard of living, they are essentially multiplying the carbon footprint of those people, so in essence, immigration of furthering the destruction of the planet. Yes, I am using their terminology, but only to show that they are actively promoting one policy which is directly against another policy, which then forces them to abandon the argument (preferred) or actually admit that it will require those with more to do with less. Then you can really go at them by asking why they are going after those in Hollywood to begin the sacrifice since they are operating at multiple thousands of carbon units. Then we eventually get them to see their uncomfortable truth, that Hollywood wants US to conserve so that the carbon is there for their use down the road. Even if the SJW won’t admit it, one has still planted a seed which makes it harder for them to sleep well, and that is a worthy victory. In every case, with finite resources, someone has to suffer to benefit another. The young support Nobamacare because the young don’t get sick and it has a very minor impact on their lives, other than $3000 of their discretionary beer fund now disappearing into a health plan, err, make that a “free” heallth plan that they neither needed or wanted. Well, they wanted it when it was promised as being free, but now they are pissed because it isn’t. AOC simply needs to be hammered with “who is going to pay for this” every time she opens her mouth. The “haves” need to realize that she is talking about them, not some other group who is going to cover the true costs. As soon as they mention the ultra-rich, it means that they are really coming after you and me, but under cover.

    Colonel Travis in reply to MajorWood. | February 9, 2019 at 12:59 am

    Well, they wanted it when it was promised as being free, but now they are pissed because it isn’t.

    This isn’t true. Obamacare’s favorably in multiple polls has never been higher than it is now. I’m certainly pissed because we have to look for a new plan for 2020 and there isn’t a single Obamacare plan that matches (forget exceeds) what we have now. They’re all inferior and cost more.

    This is yet another example of saying – well, just wait until they get Policy X, then they’ll regret it!

    Nope.

    Ted Cruz took the lead once to try and kill this stupid program and he was pilloried by his own freaking party.

    The (R) party never had the balls to end Obamacare and when they don’t push back, more leftism is exactly what you get.

      mathewsjw in reply to Colonel Travis. | February 9, 2019 at 4:16 am

      Obamacare favorably? ain’t true.

      spot on with the rest

        Colonel Travis in reply to mathewsjw. | February 9, 2019 at 4:41 pm

        Sorry, it is true. Google “obamacare poll” – doesn’t matter the poll. Its popularity has gone up, not down.

        Again, this is why you can’t just sit there and let this crap take over. Because it will take over.

It is late, and should have read “why aren’t they going after the Hollywood people.” I’ll listen to Redford when he stops bizjeting up to the rockies every weekend.

Just watched Tucker’s interview with AOC’s “Green New Deal” advisor, Cornell Law’s own Professor Crockett. Several questions come to immediate mind. First of all, what is that on his head? Equally importantly, how did someone that stupid get tenure at Cornell?

I’m afraid it will, again, become necessary to cull the Marxist population.

More accurate title;

2020 Battle Lines: Capitalism Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness Growth (R) versus Socialism Death, Slavery (jobs), Pursuit of Misery Stagnation (D)

This battle was described 60 years ago by Ayn Rand. If you don’t want to read the book, watch Atlas Shrugged Part 3, available on Amazon Prime Video.

The reason socialism keeps failing in America is because it needs a failed economy to play against. Every time they get close to achieving that part with their programs, a Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump gets elected and presses the right buttons to re-ignite the economy.

Although freedom and liberty are fragile, true capitalism is hard to destroy. There is no economic “hidden hand” in socialist/communist economies. It’s all centrally-planned doom and gloom which becomes further entrenched as the economy inevitably lurches from one crisis to another.

That is why these commies are in a panic. Their moment of “saving the day” is slipping through their fingers as Trump’s economy proves them wrong. After over 100 years of patiently whittling away at our institutions, they are panicking just as they were sure their day of total victory was at hand.

Now we will have to wait and see whether they choose to proceed with the violence anyway. In modern times, governments have killed more of their own citizens than enemies have. By far, it’s been the communist governments. “Those counterrevolutionaries (deplorables?) must be purged!” Exaggeration? USSR, China, Cuba, Pol Pot, Vietnam, and so on. Venezuela next?

Are you ready to move into your tiny house?

For those of us who live in rural areas, it’s time to dust off the horse and buggy, and get ready to travel Amish style. Now that’s what I call progress.

The ever expanding new demographic is coming for you. Like it or not. I

I enjoyed the Thatcher video. Thanks

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | February 9, 2019 at 10:38 am

If you are like me and believe incentives explain a lot of human behavior, it is irrational for politicians to adopt “degrowth” policies.

Last year, the government confiscated $3.6 TRILLION from people who earned it. That’s more than any government in any country in any universe has ever confiscated from its subjects. GDP is so large that in addition to confiscating $3.6T, they also borrowed another $600 billion to make good on promises they made to get themselves elected.

They have created the best possible world for themselves. They leave the productive assets in the hands of non-state owners who are responsible for allocating resources efficiently in competitive markets. Consumers then vote with their dollars on who the winners and losers are. The 536 people in a far away capital regulate how the assets are used. They are sort of a passive silent partner who confiscates a portion of the earnings of everybody involved in the economic system without having to manage the assets and people involved. Of course, when you are confiscating $3.6 TRILLION a year and spending $4.2 TRILLION, there will be enormous opportunities for waste, fraud and corruption built into the system. But even after that is skimmed off the top, the 536 people get to redistribute several trillion dollars each year in ways they believe will help get themselves elected and re-elected.

“Degrowth” will kill their Golden Goose.

For the snowflakes who believe socialism will produce social justice…

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-06/meet-rich-kids-venezuela

This is the case in every socialist/communist country. Why is it that the people who steal from the “rich” end up richest of all while the middle classes and poor end up destitute or dead?

Now consider the Masters of the Universe who are funding these “children of the corn”. What does everyone think will happen if they succeed in gaining power?

caseoftheblues | February 9, 2019 at 12:28 pm

An inch deep….rather generous I’d say…

The battle between socialism and capitalism has been going on in this country for a century. It runs in cycles, usually following the normal economic fluctuation of our economy.

In the early 20th Century, capitalism was king. With laissez-faire capitalism still in command. Socialism was pretty much confined to collective bargaining. Then we had the Great Depression. Socialist government programs flourished with the New Deal leading the way. Ironically, these programs did nothing to reverse the depression, to any significant degree. In fact, when the normal cycli recovery de begin to manifest itself, the economic fallout from the New Deal policies actually resulted in another recession. Capitalism got another shot in the arm during WWII and the post-war years, those a minor recession manifested itself in 1945 as the US economy re-geared from wartime production to peacetime production. A series of recessions, as well as the use of government welfare by the Democrats to maintain power led to the expansion of socialism under the Great Society. The 1973 Oil Crisis recession coupled with the 1979 Energy Crisis, and the government measures to control effects on the economy, opened the door to further expansion of socialist programs in the US. The Great Recession set the stage for socialist expansion. From huge bank bailouts to nearly $1 trillion a year fiscal stimulus packages, all paid for with deficit spending, to Obamacare, socialist programs expanded significantly. When coupled with the anti-manufacturing bias of the government, this set the stage for 2916, 2018 ans 2020. In 2016, the collectivists were already celebrating the coming of the Socialists States of America. Then Trump won. This left the nation divided, almost equally, along those relying upon government largess and those who wished to pursue independent means. And, that is where we are today.

The Democrats, being the party of the dependent class, have to offer that class more government largess, to advance politically. They have to advocate for socialism plus. Republicans have a unique problem. Their constituency would naturally be those seeking a life of independent means. But, to cater to the desires of this constituency means that they can not compete in urban areas which are heavily populated by the dependent class. So, the GOP mouths support for the independent class, then turns their back on that constituency once elected. This loses them, not only, the the dependent class voters [which they are not going to gain anyway], but the independent class voters, who now simply stay home. Dems are always going to push socialism programs and policies, they have to. Republicans have no obvious winning strategy.

The big problem today is that there is almost an even numerical split between the independents and the dependents. Neither side can win the contest. Though the more government meddles in the economy and lives of the citizenry, the more the dependent class grows and the more the independent class shrinks. Given the current state of affairs, time is on the side of the socialist Democrats.

Her persuasion game is very strong. By proposing a set of impossible goals with no plan on how to achieve them, weve let ourselves get trapped in arguing whether they are possible, while forgetting to argue whether they are *moral*.

The systems she represents, if implemented will inevitably result in both human suffering and ecological catastrophe, the same as they have everywhere else that has succumbed to their siren songs.

We need to show our own plans for freedom and justice and equality under law, and how that system lifts everyone out of pain and misery.

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