100 Days of Socialism, with the Green New Deal

Last week, DL began its unfurling of the National Political Education Committee’s landmark 100 Days of Socialism, a dynamic alternative to all that chatter about the Biden Administration’s “first 100 days.”  Exploring what the first 100 days of a socialist government might look like, we began with the NPEC’s own Sanjiv Gupta and Daphna Thier and continued  with  Krystle Okafor’s essential vision from the Afrosocialist Caucus.  And today, we’re featuring 100 Days of the Green New Deal–which we first featured in our Spring 2019 issue! Below, Ashik Siddique reminds us that our demands set a high bar, one that we need to keep fighting for.

In the coming weeks, stay tuned for  pieces from the Socialist Feminism, Labor and Young Democratic Socialists of America. What do you want from these first 100 days? Let us know! (Ed.)

My name is Ashik Siddique, I’m on DSA’s Green New Deal campaign committee, from Washington DC, on Piscataway land.

This alternative 100 Days prompt is great for us because it flips the script on what you usually hear about the climate crisis—how unsolvable it is because of *human nature*. But as socialists, we know that what’s leading us to climate catastrophe isn’t human nature—it’s capitalism. And if we can organize working class power to challenge capital, then we can win a society where the abundance of this planet is democratically shared & managed by everyone, not just the capitalists who are currently ruining our planet for their own profits while they plan to move to Mars

DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group has laid out our vision for a radical Green New Deal, with 7 guiding goals that you can check out at ecosocialists.dsausa.org. If we were in power, we would launch a ten-year national mobilization to solve the climate crisis & fulfill the most radical ambitions of the original New Deal—and go much further to repair the harms of racism & colonialism that were unresolved or further perpetuated throughout the 20th century, which AFROSOC’s Krystle Okafor has laid out well.

  • Our government would take full responsibility for the United States’ outsize contribution to carbon pollution, and use its industrial capacity to help decarbonize the global economy as fast as humanly possible. 
  • We would quickly nationalize fossil fuel companies to phase them out—& try fossil fuel CEOs for crimes against humanity. We would publicly own electric utilities, so we can control the shift to 100% renewable, fossil-free energy by 2030.
  • We would establish a federal job guarantee that builds working class power through the public sector, with good union jobs, shorter workweeks & living wages for necessary work that repairs our society & restores our ecosystems.
  • We would start to decommodify survival by ensuring universal needs are guaranteed as public goods—healthcare, housing, electricity, public transit, would be free & funded by the state. We would reinvent our communities to serve people and planet, not profit, prioritizing funding for projects that meet human needs in ways that redress social and environmental injustices.
  • We would start to demilitarize and decolonize US empire, by shifting resources from the bloated military budget to international aid, climate reparations, & restoring land to Indigenous management, to build real global solidarity toward climate justice. 
  • And we would redistribute resources from the worst polluters, shifting funds from endless wars and wealth extraction by elites to fund the ecological & societal transformation we need.

So, where are we at IRL? In Biden’s first week in office, he re-entered the Paris Agreement, cancelled the Keystone pipeline—good things that… re-established the status quo of Obama’s presidency

Biden’s recently announced American Jobs Plan went further, committing trillions to green infrastructure. It’s not nearly enough to fully decarbonize the economy, but would at least begin reshaping the physical landscape of this country over the next decade. 

But on what terms? Where will those trillions go? Will it be to capitalists like Elon Musk & Tesla, or Uber & Lyft, who are lobbying to bust down labor rights for millions of workers? Will it find new ways to exploit workers and frontline communities, within US borders & across the Global South

These are massive challenges—how we get from where we are to the world we want?

The labor movement is historically weak now,  but unionization rates are actually comparable to those at the beginning of the Great Depression — when mass worker action increased dramatically over the decade of the original New Deal, to win massive advances for the working class.

That’s why, in this first 100 days, the DSA GND campaign is campaigning for the PRO Act, to Protect the Right to Organize & help build labor power to get as strong as it needs to be in the years ahead to win a just transition to a green economy for all.

We do have massive openings to reshape the political and physical terrain of American society this decade—but it’s up to us to build a socialist organization that can form the backbone for working class power to win a real Green New Deal. 

Join the DSA campaign for the PRO Act at this link, and let’s get organizing together to win the world we want! https://pro-act.dsausa.org/