A contradiction in left-wing politics for decades has been the professed support of community, diversity, localism, and democracy on the one hand with the advocacy of federal power to address society’s ills on the other. The Green New Deal (GND) issued by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and co-sponsors illustrates the contradiction in spades.
The proposed scope of new federal authority under the GND is remarkable. The plan demands a “national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II” and a “10-year national mobilization.’’ The use of the war-like “mobilization” is particularly aggressive when talking about peacetime domestic policymaking.
The plan would push the nation to reach zero greenhouse gases, upgrade all buildings, generate all power with zero emissions, overhaul transportation, and generate “massive growth” in clean manufacturing. It would supposedly provide all people education, training, a good job, high-quality health care, affordable and safe housing, economic security, clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature.
It would do all this with spending, regulations, and government “ownership stakes.”
Yet even as the central government’s power was hugely increased, the GND promises “transparent and inclusive consultation, collaboration, and partnership” with everybody. As bureaus all over Washington were formulating one-size-fits-all plans to control our lives, the GND promises, “all people of the United States may be full and equal participants in the Green New Deal mobilization.”