|Shaw and Davidson : Even now, loyal to 'the market'.|
More than at any other time, we need a Green New Deal. So why isn't the Green Party proposing one?
THE CORONVIRUS pandemic has fully exposed the vulnerabilities of a failing economic system and we are now confronted with an ever deepening recession. The business sector, only able to survive via a massive injection of government funds, is shedding jobs at an alarming rate. Suddenly, New Zealand's 'strong economy' looks like anything but. Over the first four weeks of the lockdown some 33,000 people applied for a benefit and the numbers continue to mount. They will join the tens of thousands of other New Zealanders battling poverty and subsistence living. This is a human disaster and it is little wonder that the Ghost of the Great Depression has swung into view.
As well, just to remind everyone who might have forgotten about it over the last few fraught weeks, the climate crisis is still with us. The crisis can only deepen as attempts are made to crank up the capitalist machine again.
If ever there was a time that demanded a response that put people and the environment first, it is now. We need a bold and visionary approach that tackles growing economic inequality, the coronavirus and climate change at the same time. Simply trying to restart an economic model that has comprehensively failed is madness. The appropriate policy response is a Green New Deal (GND) but, In New Zealand, the political party that could - and should - be championing the cause of a GND just isn't. The Green Party remains locked in a dance to the death with neoliberalism
Even as far back as 2007 a mainstream economist like Nicholas Stern, a former chief economist at the World Bank, declared that the 'climate crisis is the result of the greatest market failure the world has seen'. Yet the Green Party, under the conservative rule of James Shaw and Marama Davidson, continue to complacently act as if an market-friendly environmentalism is possible. Even as neoliberalism collapses around them , Shaw and Davidson continue to call not for #systemchangenotclimatechange but for #greencapitalism.
|Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez : Proposing a GND for the U.S.|
While the GND offers a viable egalitarian and ecologically sane alternative to the reign of neoliberalism, the Green Party continues to reject it for the madness of the market. The best the Green Party can come up with are policies like a proposal for light rail that can be clipped on to the market economy like a fashion accessory. Even its proposed $1 billion 'nature fund' is based on the premise of boosting the neoliberal economy. It is little more than a weak attempt by the Green Party to 'patch up' the very market economy that got us into this mess in the first place. It is also obviously betrays the importance that the Green's put in remaining 'in synch' with Labour. With Green MP's now firmly ensconced in ministerial offices, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish where exactly the Labour Party ends and the Green Party begins.
The GND requires us to move away from the fundamentals of capitalism, a system based on individualism and competition, for the purpose of maximizing profits. But it is this system that the Green Party continues to loyally support. The only way we will survive is to rebuild our economy and society based on collectivity and solidarity, focused on human need. The Green Party though continues to docilely trot behind the Labour Party into a increasingly barbaric future. Unfortunately, they are dragging the rest of us into that future as well. We need to stop them.