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As Interest in Democratic Socialism Surges, Ocasio-Cortez Explains to Colbert What a 'Moral' Economy Would Look Like


As Interest in Democratic Socialism Surges, Ocasio-Cortez Explains to Colbert What a 'Moral' Economy Would Look Like

Jake Johnson, staff writer

Since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's stunning primary win over Rep.


"I believe that in a modern, moral, and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live."
—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Take that Pelosi, Schumer, Perez, et al.

The tide may actually be turning, the catalyst: Bernie Sanders.


This will require a sea change in participation. This young woman will be courted by the slickest of lobbyists available. The more constant - on a daily basis - the reminders of her commitments from her constituency, and the more collegial and constant that constituency is in its heart-felt adherence to the social democratic premises, the stronger the premise for the young folks to engage for change.

These are not easy times. The paradox is that the power brokers grease the way to downfall of coherent movements by offering to make it easy. the old ‘lets make a deal’ made into a TV show was. I would submit, among the most heinous media bulldozers in the undermining of an entire generation. Watch out youngsters!

Elders who are familiar with the tactics, fed up with them and willing to help are going to be some the most valuable servers in these times. Stick together folks - we need each other!


She could be described as an anti-libertarian. The ultimate polarized Congress, the libertarians versus the democratic socialists. Two opposing ideologies and one Congress. The Koch brothers versus Bernie Sanders. If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez loses this election that would be a bigger upset then her defeating Crowely. If this isn’t a safe Democratic district what is?


What a lovely person with a lovely spirit and a potent message. I would be so very proud to have someone like her represent me.


A welcome step in the right direction. I do believe that democratic socialist is slightly mislabeled. Because I don’t believe she wants to end capitalism. She appears to be along the lines of what I call a “neo-new deal” democrat. Capitalism remains in place. The state doesn’t nationalize the banks or energy corps. She does advocate a redistribution of wealth. The real trick will be implementing this unless an economic collapse forces a drastic change. The establishment oligarchs are just too entwined in the government to affect real substantial change. Because the military establishment is also so interwoven within the US economy getting change will require action from a mass movement of the nation. Which I find as sad because I just don’t see that happening yet. The Supreme Court will have a hard right majority for over a generation. They will effectively stop any big change that throttles business to allow workers a decent living.


Military Industrial Complex stays in place. Medical Industrial complex.


More treatment is always better; providers default to the most expensive option; more competitors drive prices up, not down; and there is no such thing as a fixed price. Hoilistic health care like acupuncture , and vitamin therapy should also be covered in your insurance plan but is not. How many ads do you have to see every night on T.V. adverstising every drug under the sun?



Agreed. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York's_14th_congressional_district - even Clinton got 77% and Obama in 2012 got 81%. There is literally 0 chance she will lose. If she loses, it will be so obviously a case of fraud it will be investigated. She is in. And we are all excited.


Joan did a good job of discussing that at ‘Seismic Political Upset’: ‘Seismic Political Upset’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a Landslide Over Wall Street Favorite Joe Crowley. I don’t have any issue with the term and neither should you.


She’s young and smart. I doubt it would be difficult to educate her about the downfalls of capitalism. Don’t forget what we saw was a few min. of her beliefs, she may already understand how bad it is.


I am as against socialism as anyone, but regardless of who uses it belligerence is the tactic of a child or fool. It only hardens opinion, it does nothing to change minds or move the intellectual discussion forward. If that is not the goal, I do not see the point of even expressing an opinion.


Among Millennials, interest in DSA is rising.

Also, among Millennials, support for the D-Party is dropping.

But I’m sure brilliant D-party strategies like pay go will bring them back.

That blue wave in November looks less likely with each passing day.


A moral economy should also include expanding one’s compassion so that our economy is no longer based on killing billions of innocent sentient animals per year to feed flesh-eaters and on killing the biosphere itself to fuel human population, consumption, and infrastructure growth.
Until progressives get beyond “humans-first” specieism, they will not be as “moral” as they think they are.
And as others have pointed out, capitalism itself views all life as commodity.
Until democratic socialists reject capitalism, they are still bought into an earth-killing, animal torture, enslavement, and money-worshiping system.


I want shrinkage of the government as a whole less laws, less power, less influence and more personal freedom… I want a military big enough to protect the country that is not spread across the world interfering. I want corporate ties to the state severed, so that people can improve their lives. With a minimum social safety net, to insure no one is starving.

Insults will not help anyone, they only serve to fulfill the stereotype that libertarians or conservatives do not care about people. There are real arguments against socialism. People will never come towards a point of view from which insults are thrown. It only causes a greater divide and inflames anger.


How is that possible? Even if the world went totally vegan, the amount of habitat displacement would be immense. The factory farm system is appalling, but this can be shifted to a much more humane way of farming. There are many people who’s bodies do not adapt well to a vegan diet. I think we should all stay on team people.


There is no universal freedom, your conception as to what that is one sided. If you give freedom to people to pollute, you take away the freedom of those to be free of pollution. There is no policy at all, not a single one, that benefits some without harming others. So, your conception of freedom is just the freedom of the rich and powerful to dominate us. You can pretend otherwise if you want, given how inequitable our society is and how weak working people and the poor are, you are just calling for what amounts to something closer to feudalism.

It is also curious on the policies you talked about to bring this up as if we haven’t been increasingly doing this since at least Reagan. Lower taxes on the rich and corporations, estates, carried interest and capital gains, weaker unions, no capital or price controls, financial deregulation, mass privatizations, deals like NAFTA and the WTO that undermine the ability to do actual environmental, labor and financial regulations, among other things. We have been doing this stuff, it has been a disaster.

“There are real arguments against socialism”

There is no one socialism. Your arguments against market socialism would be different than arguments against, say, libertarian socialism. But the “libertarian” and conservative arguments against the particular things Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders are arguing for are weak. The facts in regards to single payer, for example, versus this system are clear. Single payer is simple a better system. It costs less, has less waste, is more efficient and is more humane. There is well functioning healthcare system anywhere in the world that operates along libertarian lines. The closest you can get (maybe Singapore) necessitates far more state involvement within and outside of the healthcare system that you libertarians would ever accept. And let’s be clear anyway, no country has ever adopted a libertarian platform to develop, and no country will. It is the economics of something like modern Somalia, a failed state. Let’s stay grounded in reality.


Quite likely the Republicans aren’t even putting up a candidate to oppose her. So who are her opponents on the ballot?

I expect her to get elected to Congress. Getting much of her program (any of her program?) enacted into law any time in the next decade is another matter.

From the signboard of her program, the first three on the left, #2 and #3 on the right, and maybe #7, are obviously ‘socialist’. BTW, The New York City Housing Authority (representative of point #2 on the left) provides terrible housing and is unresponsive to customer complaints. She and her prospective constituents can’t be ignorant about that. What does she intend to do about fixing the problem in her own backyard?
– And, the furthest socialists would do an inventory on existing housing, and then force Mia Farrow, Yoko Ono, Oscar Madison, Archie Bunker and others who have space in their homes to make space available at affordable terms for the homeless and those who can’t find housing.

From the signboard, points #5, 6, 7 on the left and #1, 4, 5, 6 on the right pander to identity groups. Perhaps to include them in the winning voters coalition. Particularly, #1 on the right panders to well-off environmentalist limousine liberals. The way that impacts poor people necessitates socialism so that the costs don’t rise out of the reach of the poor. ‘Growth Boundaries’ in Portland OR has caused housing costs to go way up. The environmentalist war on energy in Europe has given the Germans a new word which translates as ‘energy poverty’. California’s renewable energy demands puts the state at an increased of brownouts and rolling blackouts. Environmentalists expect Californians to just “sweat it” (no air conditioning) until the power comes back on.

Promising ‘positive rights’, that society, meaning government, must provide everyone, is “easy”. Delivering more than a pretend quantity of those things is harder. Another BTW: The SS trustees tell us that Medicare will be bankrupt in 8 years. Expected taxes don’t cover expected obligations to pay.


I appreciate your honesty, and 99% of humans are on “team people.”
This means that 99% of humans are complicit with the terrible torture, abuse and killing of billions of innocent animals, and with committing ecocide by destroying the biosphere.
If humans were truly moral, they’d scale back on making new babies, and scale back capitalism and the technoindustrial grid.
Instead, humans continue to murder the biosphere and pave it, and there is no “humane” way to enslave other sentient beings to use them for food.
Would you like to be imprisoned and slaughtered so somebody can eat you, wring milk from you, or steal your eggs?
I didn’t think so. Guess what? Other animals don’t like it either.
It’s called specieism-- the arrogant idea that humans are the only species that really counts—and it is our biggest flaw.
We’re the most destructive bullies ever seen, and there’s no true honor in us as long as we continue viewing all other life on earth as mere fodder for us to consume.


Bernie and Ocasio-Cortez are gonna get it right this time. :slight_smile:


Back in 2009, T.R. Reid published a book, ‘The Healing of America’. In it he did a world survey of healthcare systems, and found four categories. Instances of each of the four categories could be found in America; Single Provider = the Veterans’ Administration (VA) hospital system, and the Indian Health Service (IHS). Single Payer = Medicare and Medicaid. Libertarian pay-out-of-pocket = cosmetic surgery and LASIK surgery.

The VA and IHS are disasters. You have heard of the VA’s waiting lists to nowhere. Hospital administrators who implemented such waiting lists to nowhere got raises and promotions. As for “less waste, more efficient”, as (public, government) monopolies there is no mechanism in their structure forcing them to waste less and become more efficient. In a notorious case, France insisted on developing its own HIV test, took an extra 2 years, rather than license the American-developed test. How many French died because of that? It is different in the private sector. Competition and the need to actually make a profit causes managers in the private sector to look for and demand efficiency.

Yes, there have been examples. What comes first to my mind is Iceland about 1000 years ago. Perhaps because I have Norse ancestry and like reading Icelandic sagas. A country of about 50,000 people, most of whom were farmers. Arguably the place didn’t even have a government, although they did have law which everyone knew and kept in mind, and they did have yearly ‘courts’ to hear lawsuits and disputes.