Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez terrifies the Trump White House.
With the midterms looming and the socialist movement growing in the United States, the White House has released a report that claims socialism is a failure.

THERE'S A CERTAIN bitter irony in the fact that some of the most vociferous calls for Democrats to get out and vote in the American midterm elections are coming from the very same people who helped to dump the United States into its present predicament in the first place. If they hadn't deliberately set out to prevent Bernie Sanders from becoming the Democratic Party's presidential candidate Trump would have never got near the White House.

While Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and other corporate Democrats urge Democrats to get out and vote in order to wrest political control from the Republican's it is they who provided Trump with the ammunition for his campaign against the Washington 'establishment' and his claim that he would 'drain the swamp'.

The centrist or 'third' way politics of the corporate Democrats that benefited the ruling elite at the expense of the American working class led directly to the presidency of Donald Trump. Yet they continue behave as if they did no wrong. It was all Vladimir Putin's fault. Or,as Hilary Clinton writes in her book What Happened,it was the fault of Bernie Sanders for having the temerity to believe that he should of been the Democrat's presidential candidate. Why couldn't he just step aside gracefully and allow her a free run at the presidency? The sense of entitlement is breathtaking.

The corporate Democrats still display the same conceit and arrogance that drove many voters into the waiting embrace of Trump. When Alexandra Ocasio Cortez swept to victory in a New York Democratic primary the response of minority House leader Nancy Pelosi was to shrug her shoulders and declare that the Democratic Party had no interest in socialist politics " We’re capitalists, and that’s just the way it is” was her smug response to Ocasio-Cortez's victory.

But Pelosi, like her fellow corporate Democrats, is out of step with the public mood. The most recent Gallup poll shows the number of Democrats who approve of capitalism has dropped by nine points to 47%, while 57% approve of socialism. Unlike Pelosi they don't think capitalism is 'just the way it is'.

The corporate Democrats, are hoping that disdain for Trump will be enough to drive the Democrat's to victory in the midterm elections. Centrism, despite all its talk of 'pragmatism' and 'realism' and a more 'nuanced politics', is now based on little more than it isn't Trumpism. It has nothing to say about the issues facing ordinary Americans except 'business as usual'.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, displaying remarkable tone-deafness, has said that he hopes that the midterm elections will see a return to 'normalcy' in the United States. Butf or many Americans that 'normalcy' was a lack of jobs, financial insecurity and a political elite that didn't listen to their concerns. This was the 'normalcy' that saw President Barack Obama bail out the banks after the 2008 financial crash while ordinary Americans lost their homes. Does Biden really think that Americans want a return to that 'normalcy'? Does he really think that's a political 'alternative'?

If there is any hope for the Democratic Party then it lies with its progressive candidates.

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), won New York’s 14th District primary, she immediately became a symbol of the potential future of the Democratic Party. Since then she has spent her time barnstorming the country for progressive candidates like herself. She has also continued to stress that democratic socialism isn't some revived variant on a failed social democracy .

Similarly another successful New York senate candidate, Julia Salazar, also a DSA member, recently told Jacobin magazine:

“There’s no question that we have to expand and comprehensively fund the social safety net, but if we do that without altering the more basic structures that disempower people and keep them in wage slavery, we’re never going to see long-term social change.”

It is people like Ocasio-Cortez and Salazar, and the growing movement that they represent , that is making the Trump White House nervous. With the midterms looming, the White House's research team, the Council of Economic Advisers, have cobbled together a 72 page document, 'The Opportunity Costs of Socialism' and which was released last week. It purports to 'prove' that socialism is a losing proposition for the American people.

Perhaps unintentionally, the report itself admits to its political intentions.

Although it, laughably, claims it was written to mark Karl Marx's 200th birthday, it goes on to say that 'Self -declared socialists are gaining support in Congress and among much of the electorate.” It warns "“socialism is making a comeback in American political discourse.” 

This report is apparently intended to convince folk that, under capitalism, they have never had it so good and socialism is sheer lunacy.

The report throws everything but the kitchen sink in its efforts to discredit the socialist project. Everything that isn't good old market fundamentalism gets tagged as 'socialist'. That includes everything from Scandinavian style social democracy (“Living standards in the Nordic countries are at least 15 percent lower than in the United States,” ) to the Bolivarian socialism of Venezuela. In fact Venezuela gets mentioned some thirty times. But, strangely, there are no mentions at all of the severe economic sanctions that the United States has imposed on the central American country.

Such is its 'grab bag' approach the reports suggest that Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might be inspired to attempt to roll out a American version of Mao Zedong's 'Seven Year Leap."

The report even takes a shot at French economist Thomas Piketty, whose 2013 book Capital still continues to annoy right-wing economists for daring to confirm that capitalist systems have a habit of continually cycling capital upward to the narrowest and wealthiest echelons of society. Says the report:

"Piketty (2014) concludes that the Soviet approach and other attempts to “abolish private ownership” should at least be admired for being “more logically consistent."

It will come as no surprise that the authors think that free healthcare for all is the thin edge of the wedge and a Trojan horse in the campaign to overturn capitalism.

in the end this  report is an intellectually-lite mish-mash of facts, half-truths and straightout falsehoods thrown haphazardly together to supposedly prove the failure of socialism. But what the report only proves is that Trump and the American ruling class are terrified by the growing electoral power of the socialist movement.


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