The Green New Deal: Myths and Migraines

Written by Dr. Daniel Boland

The Green New Deal (GND) is the Democrat Party’s latest version of the American Dream. The GND is a lengthy list of radical proposals for total transformation of our culture, our economy, our health care and educational systems, our environmental conditions, and on and on.

The GND expands government incomprehensively. No more carbon-spewing airplanes. High-speed rail will take us everywhere. Government-administered universal health care for all but no private insurance (so wait your turn).

Not to worry: the bureaucracy will care for us, will put our children in government daycare, will see to our pesky grandparents. The government will cover everything. No worries!

We need no longer fret about farm animals emitting their befouling digestive vapors into our soon-to-be pristine atmosphere. Some astute planners suggest that even toilet paper (scourge of civilized nations) will be passé.

Democrat Socialists also assure us of equal pay for everyone, no matter what job we do (or avoid). There will be subsidized options for the energetically-deflated who can thence stay home and compose music as Nancy Pelosi idealizes.

There’s more.

Safe, adequate housing for everybody, economic security from cradle to grave, clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, access to nature for all of us. Democrats already demand open borders and no more guns in private hands (only the crooks will be armed), and free government abortions for woman who weary of Nature’s gift of motherhood. Newborn babies will be left to die if child-rearing and responsible parenting are deemed just too burdensome.

Brave new world of Democrat Socialism beckons

Democrat Socialism’s GND highlights the socio-economic perspicacity of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, abetted by dozens of Democrat elders. Indeed, many Congresspersons (who should know better) line up behind her, in pathetic testament to the vacuity of their vision for America, with dubious “true faith and allegiance to the Constitution,” as their oath of office dictates.

Independent-minded Democrat presidential candidates are lining up to espouse the GND. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and lesser-known hopefuls believe—or pretend to believe—that bigger government and the Socialist agenda are the future of America.

The GND (a reminder of Franklin Roosevelt’s massive expansion of government in 1933) raises endless questions. The GND’s budget-boggling programs demand overwhelming centralized federal control. The cost: more trillions of dollars than the total wealth of all nations on the planet.

Purveyors of the Green New Deal call it “Democratic Socialism.” But no two words in political discourse are more opposed than “democracy” and “socialism.” Adults with knowledge of history and an ear for political chicanery immediately recognize this as a cynical attempt to hide socialism’s dreary realities.

Adults with knowledge of history and reverence for truth also remember the abhorrent legacies of Germany’s National Socialism, of Lenin’s enormous, brutally centralized Soviet Socialist System, of Maoist Marxism in China, of Castro’s devastated Cuba, of the total wreckage in Socialist Venezuela, of the lingering futility in Laos and Cambodia.

Even seemingly benign Scandinavian variants demand a flattening of individual creativity. The Nordic Socialist model blocks the growth and free expansion of private enterprise, enforcing a dead-end for entrepreneurs, for the private creation of jobs and for the potential to generate economic prosperity and personal wealth.

No matter what label attaches, all forms of socialism produce an oppressive Big Government which engenders an increasingly faltering society in which systems of production, distribution, pricing, supply and demand, quantity and quality are arbitrarily imposed and enforced, sometimes with brutal efficiency.

The human measures

Socialism creates a centralized bureaucracy which denies individuality, stifles creativity, punishes personal initiative, demands collective sameness, elevates intrusive governmental oversight, disparages entrepreneurship, deprives citizens of their inherent responsibility for their own lives, and makes moral decisions which properly belong to the individual.

Socialism’s worst outcomes involve 1) stifling individualism, private ownership and personal incentive and 2) the subtle, soul-sapping poison of faux security-for-freedom: give up your fundamental human rights and your creativity. The State will grant free medical care, free education, free retirement, free everything. Just don’t rock the boat or get feisty.

No matter how fervently Presidential candidates praise Democratic Socialism (especially Sanders who raves about the Cuban and Nordic models), no matter how much deceptive rhetoric flows from lock-step Democrats, the historic patterns of socialism’s dehumanizing principles cannot—and should not—be denied.

Freebies from cradle to grave

Some uninformed voters respond positively to the facile, fractious rhetoric of Sanders, Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, Booker and Harris. Naïve voters are especially vulnerable when pandering promises are made for free education, free housing, equal pay for all, free medical care, free abortions and an endless array of no-cost benefits, to be doled out from birth to death in Scandinavian style by an ever-more benign government which expects (wait for it!!) nothing in return except uniformity in performance, income, living style, energy—but at the cost of one’s individualism and liberty.

Some people value personal responsibility and relish the freedom to choose their work and life style, to freely select their own medical care, to freely pursue their own education, to freely make as much money as possible, to freely express their own talents, to freely build their own family and honor their responsibilities. To them, the idea of being “taken care of” for a lifetime by governmental agencies and hovering bureaucratic overseers is insipid. Why surrender one’s talents, individuality and potential to a smothering system which muffles creativity and represses self-expression in favor of uniformity and compulsory sameness—which the left deems “equality.”

In a 1945 speech in the House of Commons, Winston Churchill said, “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” Capitalism has faults, to be sure, but history offers abundant testament to the demeaning limits and debilitating outcomes of socialism.

Fruit of a poisonous credo 

In 1989, I visited Communist Poland and saw Democratic Socialism in action. I visited friends and colleagues in Warsaw and Krakow, met politically-active members of the Politburo, spent days with several academics from Warsaw University and visited with several resident journalists. I talked with many Poles, including Communist Party members, studied their behavior, discussed their values, listened to their fears (spoken openly and whispered privately) about the quality of life and the moral milieu under socialist ideology writ large in Polish history over six decades.

One day in Krakow, my guide (a stoic woman with no regard for the rulers of her nation) took me to the city center where stores and shops clustered. In front of one department store, we spotted a long line stretching up the street and around the corner. My guide grew excited; she knew exactly what this long line of quiet citizens really meant. She pulled me to the front of the line. She wanted me to see what their Communist economy had produced.

In a healthy economy, the department store could have been like Macy’s, but the store shelves were completely empty, nothing on them whatever. Nothing to buy. Clothes racks, empty. Glass display cases empty. The store was barren of goods. And only then did I realize that this two-block-long line of people were waiting to buy toilet paper, stacked just inside the door where an official sat at a folding card table, watching me glumly. I looked back at the line of people, some of whom nodded at me, as if to say, “See how we live?”

After hours of waiting, each person could buy only two rolls of toilet paper. One elderly woman came up to me and tore open the roll she had just received. She handed me a sheet, spoke to me in Polish, her voice quavering with anger. Her meaning was clear: “Feel this!” I felt the piece of toilet paper she held; its texture was of sand paper.

The cost of naivete

There are many more poignant, crucial details:

  • of countless autos which littered every street of every city, abandoned for lack of replacement auto parts
  • of the countless broken windows in apartment buildings, unrepaired for want of replacement glass
  • of countless unfinished construction projects sitting idle month after month because of unavailable building materials
  • of a centralized distribution system so poorly planned that food rotted in the fields while people hungered in the cities
  • of countless unemployed men, sitting in rows along curbs with heads bowed in despair, silently smoking stale cigarettes, exchanging not a single word
  • of pollution so thick on city streets that smog swirled like London fog around one’s ankles
  • of the ever-present State Security agents, unsmiling men, coldly watching their own citizens with suspicious gaze
  • of serious teenaged army soldiers dressed in thick grey uniforms: prematurely grim youngsters, groomed in the official tenets of atheist rhetoric
  • and, most memorably, of the frightened young desk clerk at my hotel. When I was checking out, she handed back my passport and at the same moment glanced warily across the lobby at the State Security agent, clad entirely in black, sitting, watching. She leaned closer to me and whispered, “America must be a wonderful country. In America, you do not have to be afraid.”

Socialism’s message to us all

To this day, the lasting message of my visit remains quite clear to me:

  • Socialism inevitably demands, however gradually, a surrender of initiative and creativity.
  • It is a primitive system based on a perverted vision of human nature and belief in the infallibility of bureaucratic power.
  • It militates against human ingenuity and dictates the expression of artistic and creative talent.
  • It abhors civic virtues of industry, inventiveness, drive, inspiration, and of the simple desire to get ahead and make money. These civic virtues fuel a free capitalist economy which rewards risk-taking and propels fiscal achievement. Under socialism, however, these virtues are held back by the bureaucratic mandate of socialist “equality” at the cost of fundamental human freedom.

Socialism invariably creates repression of dissent and degrees of increasing violence. Repression begins with name-calling and the accusatory dictates of political correctness, which we already see abundantly in America. Repressive tactics often escalate to psychological intimidation, which we also see now in America.  Then come legal sanctions, violence and eventually control by political terror and disregard for human rights.

At worst, the power of the socialist State becomes absolute. All sources of production and distribution are controlled by the bureaucracy. Control extends into every aspect of human activity, including into businesses, education, healthcare, the arts and media—even (as we see in China) into religion and family life. Morality and law are decided by power. God becomes an intrusive myth.

What do we do now?

Some Americans are blind to the revelations and lessons of history. They say, “It could never happen here.” But the facts are clear: socialism is already well established within our political elite.

Socialism is a doorway to moral decay, economic chaos and cultural suicide. Socialism brings misery to the people over whom it inevitably exercises coercion, repression and brutality. This is history’s lesson, verified in every nation where socialism has been implemented and/or now exists.

Socialism always elevates the power of the collective State over individual dignity. Malignant outcomes are inevitable. Yet socialist messages are being preached every day by our elected political celebrities who are either ignorant of the human costs or, worse, fully aware that socialism will destroy our Republic.

What we do next—how we vote—will make all the difference.

IFI Worldview Conference!

On Saturday, March 16, 2019, the Illinois Family Institute will host our 5th Annual Worldview Conference. This year, we will focus on the “transgender” revolution. We will hear from Dr. Michelle Cretella, President of the American College of Pediatricians; Walt Heyer, former “transgender” and contributor to Public Discourse; Denise Schick, Founder and Director of Help 4 Families, and daughter of a man who “identified” as a woman; and Doug Wilson, who is a Senior Fellow of Theology at New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho, and pastor at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho .

The Transgender Ideology:
What Is It? Where Will It Lead? What is the Church’s Role?

Click here for more information.