Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is causing a bit of a storm over in the US. Her dramatic rise to stardom has been in part a response to the presidency of Donald Trump and the elitism of both the Democratic and Republican parties. Whilst many of those suffering in America are strong Trump supporters, there is a growing tide of left-wing sentiment in the USA, and as you can imagine, fans of Bitcoin are not too happy about it.
Some of Ocasio-Cortez’s ideas include “Medicare 4 All” and drastically reducing carbon emissions. Heaven forbid working class US citizens might not have to pay for healthcare, or might not have to grow gills to live underwater as climate change becomes more apparent.
For Europeans, and in particular the British, free healthcare has become a source of pride. This is why when general elections roll around in the UK, even the Conservative party are reluctant to advertise creeping privatisation and instead promise more funds for the NHS. Whilst climate change is accepted widely in Europe and elsewhere, the US, particularly those on the right, continue to refuse the scientific evidence.
The beast of capitalism
In the USA though, a beast has risen so far that such ideas are considered radical. That beast consists of Big Pharma companies and the industry of insurance companies who profit massively from the bizarre society they have created. Those who push the sound money narrative of Bitcoin argue that Medicare 4 All is a non-starter. This is in spite of it being widely available in most nations around the world.
Much of the criticism Ocasio-Cortez receives consists of a “but Venezuela” narrative, as if Ocasio-Cortez’s social democracy is akin to Maduro’s dictatorship. Whilst the world crumbles under global warming, the idea that cutting carbon emissions is Stalinist thinking. The arguments from Bitcoiners has created a false echo chamber whereby they each see each other’s tweets and pat each other on the back for their great economic insight. They dismiss Ocasio-Cortez, yet strangely Bolsonaro is championed by some Bitcoiners for his right-wing economics when for many he is a fascist.
Money as free speech has consequences
What they don’t seem to be able to comprehend is that the policies that Ocasio-Cortez proposes are extremely popular with a wide variety of people throughout the western world. The capitalist entities controlling the US have done so since the 1970s, when the FEC allowed unlimited donations from donors towards political parties. Since then, US politics has become the playground of the oil and gas industry, Wall Street, and other nefarious actors. The issue wasn’t necessarily the removal of the gold standard, but the rapacious capitalism that was allowed to seep into all aspects of American life.
This has led to the removal of political debate within the USA. Democrats in the end had to succumb to Wall Street to gain enough finance to run successful election campaigns. That is why Clinton and Obama were both still darlings of Wall Street. The idea that the mainstream of the Democratic party is on the left of the political spectrum is laughable. They are more akin to the Conservatives in the UK (the centre-right), whilst the Republicans are further right than this. Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez by all reasonable accounts are centre-left, not socialists.
The marginal 70% tax rate that Ocasio-Cortez has suggested is another bugbear of Bitcoiners. Whilst many have either deliberately or unintentionally misinterpreted this as theft, despite this tax only applying above $10 million, questions should be asked why the wealth inequality gap has widened so drastically. Instead of dismissing her as a socialist (which when analysed isn’t even true since she isn’t a socialist), perhaps they should look at other examples of social democracy in action.
Sweden and Finland have two of the highest happiness ratings in the world, and whilst they’re not out-and-out socialist states, they are definitely siding on the left of the political spectrum, which counters the argument that “sound money” is the saviour of the world. Yet we can go further. “Socialism never works” is the common argument put forward by Bitcoiners as they point towards Venezuela and the USSR. Yet the Mondragon Cooperative in Spain has highlighted how a social cooperative can work on a relatively large scale.
The USA has twisted capitalism and created a form of corporatism that is unrivalled. Whilst elements of this is due to the quantitative easing that has allowed money to rise to the top, there are wider elements that need to be considered. If Bitcoiners believe that The Bitcoin Standard is going to convince the masses when it is littered with historical and factual inaccuracies, they are in for a rude awakening. Taking a peek out of their enclosed bubble instead of being arrogantly dismissive would be a wiser move.
Bitcoin will never succeed by only attracting those on the right, and the left isn’t suddenly going to one day think Bitcoin is great. Discussion and the sharing of ideas is a necessity, but too many in Bitcoin take a dismissive stance.