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Pajiba 10 For Your Consideration: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

By Petr Knava | Pajiba 10 | July 2, 2018 |

By Petr Knava | Pajiba 10 | July 2, 2018 |


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In what seems like much, much longer than a year ago, when we were last doing this here Pajia 10 malarkey, I entreated you all to vote for my pick:

Socialism.

You lot didn’t fancy that.

It was probably my fault, really. I went a bit too abstract with it. And maybe I see that point now. ‘Socialism’ as a Pajiba 10 entry would likely be too much of an avant-garde sorta result. I hear you.

Well a year on from that rejection, socialism has shown that it heard you too. Because in that time it has observed the political landscape of the United States, it has listened to the cries of its people and to the straining of its social web, and it has—through sheer will—manifested an avatar.

A champion.

A 28-year old spear tip of change.

Yes indeed, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year old former Bernie organiser standing victoriously where Joe Crowley, fourth-ranked Democrat in the House and as establishment Democrat figure as it gets, lies defeated.

The beauty of it all is it wasn’t meant to happen like this.

The Democratic Party apparatus—far-reaching and deeply embedded—is a well-oiled machine of power. It runs on money. It collects and spends colossal amounts of it in support of those candidates it considers politically acceptable—in practice ‘just progressive enough, but not too much.’ Seeing off the challenge of a grassroots campaign built on democratic socialist ideals should have been the easiest task in the world. It should’ve taken nothing more than some lip service to the young challenger’s policies, a vague, substance-less tilt to the left, and then a swift and merciless burial beneath a pile of money.

It should have been that simple.

In her challenge to Joe Crowley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign was outspent 10 to 1. While the Crowley machine could afford to employ an army of staff, Ocasio-Cortez beat the streets until her shoes had holes in them.

While Joe Crowley and his campaign toed the party line and marched in tune to the bullshit anthem of ‘third way’ politics, adopting the rhetoric of progressive movements while cowardly prostrating themselves before Wall Street and neoliberalism, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dared to walk the goddamn walk.

It should have been so simple. Our rulers know what’s best for us, after all. They know what policies people want. They know who is electable and who is not.

It should have been so simple. A little ripple, and then a calm lake as order is restored.

But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not a ripple. Neither is the movement around her. She, like Jeremy Corbyn and the renewed Labour Party he leads in Britain, is a wave.

The Democratic Party is the more acceptable face of the Republican Party. Two factions of what fundamentally amounts to one Big Business Party. One, a force of outright evil, the other a friendlier face, a useful idiot, an enabler of evil, and a vile hypocrite. There is no Donald Trump without the Democratic Party. The Republicans may well have created him, but the Democrats made sure that the ground was fertile for his making. Through their decades-long slide into Wall Street-dictated upwards wealth transferal, their complicity in dismantling the fabric of society, their cynical and imperialist ambitions abroad—the Democrats have red in their ledger and nothing but failure and compromise and an orange-haired fascist in the White House to show for it. The political class and their stenographers in the media want you to believe that this is the way things will always be; that this is the consensus; that there can be no disruption.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is disruption manifest.

If that’s not Pajiba 10 material, I don’t know what the fuck is.

(Header pic courtesy of Getty Images)



Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.



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