Socialism thrives in chaos and in the midst of tragedy. It was true when socialist revolutionaries brutally seized power in Russia and China in the twentieth century, and it’s true today in the United States, where socialists and progressives are now openly celebrating the economic collapse that has occurred as a result of government’s reaction to the coronavirus outbreak.
A more recent, and perhaps most appalling, example of this occurred in late April, when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a self-described socialist, announced on Twitter that she “loves” that oil prices plummeted below $0 toward the end of last month.
“You absolutely love to see it,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a post on Twitter that she has since deleted.
Yes, you read that correctly. Comrade AOC is over the moon that oil prices have collapsed and as a result, many people will likely lose their jobs, businesses, and investments.
In the same post, Ocasio-Cortez explained why the prospect of the U.S. energy industry collapsing makes her so happy: “This along with record low interest rates means it’s the right time for a worker-led, mass investment in green infrastructure to save our planet. *cough*”
That “worker-led, mass investment in green infrastructure” AOC referred to in her post is her monstrous Green New Deal, a proposal to eliminate all fossil fuels and replace them with more expensive, less-reliable wind and solar. The GND is backed by virtually every leading progressive and socialist in the Democratic Party, including several senators who campaigned to be the Democratic Party’s 2020 nominee for president.
Ocasio-Cortez says that her Green New Deal will “save the planet,” a laughably ridiculous claim. Not only would the Green New Deal do absolutely nothing in the long term to reduce total global CO2 emissions – the thing AOC and her socialist friends say is causing climate change – it would cause unprecedented and widespread environmental damage because of the gargantuan number of new wind turbines, solar panels and transmission lines that would need to be built to replace much more efficient fossil-fuel-powered electricity.
For context, replacing existing conventional energy sources with solar power would require more than 18 billion solar panels that would cover a land mass the size of the states of New York and Vermont combined. And this doesn’t even include the huge mining operations that would be necessary to provide enough natural resources and rare earth minerals to power the United States using solar, wind or both.
The Green New Deal isn’t really about “saving the planet” for Ocasio-Cortez, and it never has been. The purpose of this radical plan is to promote AOC’s socialist vision for America. How can we be sure? Just look at all the non-climate-related provisions included in the GND.
The Green New Deal would, among other things, impose a national government-run health care system, create a whole new system of publicly owned banks, establish “free” college tuition and a student loan “forgiveness” program, establish government basic income programs, guarantee a job with the federal government and a whole lot more.
And if that’s not enough to convince you, consider the words of Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s former chief of staff, who admitted in a report by the Washington Post that the Green New Deal “wasn’t originally a climate thing at all … we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
Despite widespread positive coverage from the mainstream media and support from politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the Green New Deal died spectacularly in Congress in 2019. But now, with the economy in freefall, oil prices crashing and tens of millions of Americans out of work, Ocasio-Cortez sees her chance to promote socialist policies that ordinarily would have no chance of success. As AOC said in a separate post on Twitter on Monday, it’s a “key opportunity.”
With such a remarkable chance to impose collectivism and enhance the power of government, what socialist wouldn’t be happy?
Of course, socialism is nothing to celebrate for those who have taken the time to study the history of collectivist movements. In every place where the radical, sweeping changes AOC and others now demand have been tried, death, misery and economic chaos have followed – from Communist China to the Soviet Union to Venezuela, Zimbabwe and beyond.
In the past century, socialist and communist governments have murdered, imprisoned or exiled more than 167 million people – making it a heck of a lot more dangerous than coronavirus.
Conversely, the fossil fuels AOC loathes have provided Americans and the entire industrialized world with affordable, reliable energy for more than a century, creating untold trillions of dollars of wealth and serving as the foundation for modern society and countless technological innovations.
Conventional energy sources have also been one of the key drivers behind the U.S. economy over the past two decades. About half the jobs created under the Obama administration were related to the fracking boom – which, ironically, President Obama opposed at every opportunity and AOC and other socialists still oppose.
And under the Trump administration, U.S. energy has grown even more rapidly. Thanks to Trump’s deregulatory actions, America has been on the road to energy independence and enhanced economic growth. In late 2019, the United States became a monthly net-exporter of petroleum and crude oil for the first time since record-keeping began in 1949.
For Ocasio-Cortez, those remarkable achievements are nothing more than roadblocks to enacting her radical brand of eco-socialism. In her mind, a government-imposed economic collapse, followed by a series of new multi-trillion-dollar government programs that the national government can’t afford is much better news.
Hopefully, one of the many lessons Americans will take away from the present coronavirus crisis is not only that socialists never let a good crisis go to waste, but also that politicians like AOC openly root for them.
Justin Haskins is editor-in-chief of StoppingSocialism.com, a New York Times bestselling author, and the director of the Socialism Research Center at The Heartland Institute. Follow him on social media @JustinTHaskins.