The Green New Deal Mirrors Mao’s Great Leap Forward

The Mises Institute’s William L. Anderson published an article titled “AOC and the Green Great Leap Forward.” Anderson wrote:

When Baby Boomers were in college a half-century ago, many saw Mao as their political hero, a man with great vision who had the political will to do what was necessary to advance the fortunes of his own people. That he was a murderous tyrant who presided over mass death that exceeded even the killings of World War II was irrelevant or even ignored.

Today, we are told by her adoring press that Alexandria Occasio-Cortez is the New Visionary, a person who is far-seeing and knows what we have to do in order to survive the coming consequences of climate change. That her grand vision is little more than a mass-depopulation scheme is ignored, and we ignore it at our peril.

I believe that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a clear and present danger to our Constitutional Republican form of government.

The Great Leap Forward

It is important to understand history in order to realize how dangerous the Green New Deal is. Let’s look at the last time this type of massive government reorganization of society happened. It was tried in China under Mao Zedong. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Overall, the radicalization of policy that led to the Great Leap Forward can be traced back to the anti-rightist campaign of 1957 and a major meeting of China’s leaders at the resort city of Qingdao in October of that year. 

In the Encyclopedia Britannica’s study of the Great Leap Forward found:

[I]n Chinese history, the campaign undertaken by the Chinese communists between 1958 and early 1960 to organize its vast population, especially in large-scale rural communes, to meet China’s industrial and agricultural problems. The Chinese hoped to develop labour-intensive methods of industrialization, which would emphasize manpower rather than machines and capital expenditure. Thereby, it was hoped, the country could bypass the slow, more typical process of industrialization through gradual accumulation of capital and purchase of heavy machinery. The Great Leap Forward approach was epitomized by the development of small backyard steel furnaces in every village and urban neighbourhood, which were intended to accelerate the industrialization process.

[ … ]

After intense debate, it was decided that agriculture and industry could be developed at the same time by changing people’s working habits and relying on labour rather than machine-centred industrial processes. An experimental commune was established in the north-central province of Henan early in 1958, and the system soon spread throughout the country.

Under the commune system, agricultural and political decisions were decentralized, and ideological purity rather than expertise was emphasized. 

What were the outcomes of the Great Leap Forward?

Encyclopedia Britannica’s study of the Great Leap Forward found:

The program was implemented with such haste by overzealous cadres that implements were often melted to make steel in the backyard furnaces, and many farm animals were slaughtered by discontented peasants. These errors in implementation were made worse by a series of natural disasters and the withdrawal of Soviet support. The inefficiency of the communes and the large-scale diversion of farm labour into small-scale industry disrupted China’s agriculture seriously, and three consecutive years of natural calamities added to what quickly turned into a national disaster; in all, about 20 million people were estimated to have died of starvation between 1959 and 1962.

This breakdown of the Chinese economy caused the government to begin to repeal the Great Leap Forward program by early 1960. 


In an article titled “AOC’s Green New Deal Is a U.S. Version of Mao’s Disastrous Great Leap Forward” the Foundation for Economic Education’s Dr. William Anderson, a Professor of Economics at Frostburg State University, wrote:

In what its supporters have claimed is “visionary,” congressional media darling Alexandria Occasio-Cortez (AOC) has released her short-awaited Green New Deal, and she has called for nothing short of the destruction of life as we have known it:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she has no qualms about acknowledging a so-called “Green New Deal” will mean unprecedented governmental intrusion into the private sector. Appearing on NPR, she was asked if she’s prepared to tell Americans outright that her plans involve “massive government intervention.”

We cannot predict what would be the outcome if the Green New Deal Resolution was fully implemented. What we can say is it would require a massive government takeover of all means of production with the stated goal of “saving the planet.”

As George Santayana wrote, ” “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

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Great Leap Forward

AOC’s Green New Deal Is a U.S. Version of Mao’s Disastrous Great Leap Forward

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Alfonso Castro on Unsplash.

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