Last Updated on May 29, 2021
New York Democrat congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made enemies with far-left socialists who accuse AOC of being a neoliberal stooge for the Joe Biden regime, illustrating divides on the left that may only deepen as the years go on. The so-called “Squad” of leftist lady lawmakers in Congress is revealing itself to be a politically cynical crew that seems perfectly comfortable shilling for the crooked Swamp establishment in Washington, D.C.
The World Socialist Website, published by the Trotskyite International Committee of the Fourth International, explains the rift between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the workers of the world. Ocasio-Cortez did an interview in March with the Democratic Socialists of America’s Democratic Left magazine that inflamed the Trotskyites. In her DSA interview, AOC responded to leftist criticism of Biden by saying, “Well, I think it’s a really privileged critique. We’re gonna have to focus on solidarity with one another, developing our senses for good faith critique and bad faith critique. Because bad faith critique can destroy everything that we have built so swiftly. And we know this because it has in the past, and it’s taken us so many decades to get to this point. We do not have the time or the luxury to entertain bad faith actors in our movement.” AOC said that she joined DSA because “We felt like there wasn’t this class essentialism, but that this really was a multiracial class struggle that didn’t de-prioritize human rights, frankly, I was really impressed” and said of DSA candidates, “They are people that you want to be around. And they are not cynical, and they do not engage in ‘more socialist than thou.’ They are just relentlessly positive.”
The World Socialist Website is not having it, saying, “The reference to “class essentialists deprioritizing human rights” shows Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA are working in line with a definite political tradition: American anti-communism. Nothing socially progressive can emerge from this morass…Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA are carrying forward their pro-imperialist, anti-communist traditions into the 21st century. Their main role, as expressed in the interview, is to serve as gatekeepers of the bourgeois political left, channeling social opposition into the Democratic Party and placing its left opponents beyond the pale. Those who fight to mobilize the working class (“class essentialism”) for a break with the Democratic Party are “cynical bad faith actors” who want to “destroy.” But the frenzied tone of these McCarthyite attacks betrays a high level of anxiety in leading Democratic Party circles over the growth of social opposition to conditions of massive inequality…Under these conditions, Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA serve as the keystone in the architecture of the capitalist political system. This is a lesson of the reactionary role played by the political tradition that calls itself “democratic socialism,” which really has nothing to do with socialism at all.” (World Socialist Website passage ends)
AOC is likely to face similar criticism from the anti-capitalist crowd as her political career progresses, especially since AOC receives a massive amount of media attention for her self-professed democratic socialism. A glance at AOC’s campaign contributors list shows donations from corporate America, which pitched in handsomely to AOC’s campaign coffers in the 2020 election cycle. AOC took cash from employees, representatives, or immediate family members of employees or representatives of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Kaiser Permanente, Facebook, Disney, and IBM.
AOC’s split with the far left shows that the Squad is really a neoliberal Washington establishment-cheerleading Swamp social club. Look no further than AOC’s Squad comrade Ilhan Omar, who is portrayed as a fundamentalist Muslim but cannot help tweeting, “LGBTQ rights are human rights.” Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is not officially a Squad member but more or less the Squad’s sorority den mother, presents herself as a populist anti-banker champion but Warren jumped in to demand possible Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) action to stop the populist GameStop short squeeze, based on Reddit, that recently tried to bankrupt the short-selling hedge fund Melvin Capital. When push comes to shove, Warren is on the side of the financial elites. Will AOC’s Squad face more criticism from the Left, as progressives realize AOC is exerting more effort whining about the January 6 pro-Trump protest than she is actually trying to hold the Joe Biden administration accountable? Stay tuned!