The unexpected victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Democratic primary in The Bronx in June caused quite a stir, given her membership of the Democratic Socialists of America and her controversial policy positions. Nonetheless, she has been enthusiastically embraced as “the future” by the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Events in Britain suggest Democrats might want to exercise some caution here before they go all in.
Jeremy Corbyn has led the British Labor Party since September 2015, when, like Ocasio-Cortez, he won an upset victory in the leadership contest. Corbyn has pledged himself to “21st century Socialism,” and in due course it is hoped he will enlighten us on how that differs from 20th century socialism.
“Socialism” is not a verboten word in the British political lexicon in the way it is in the United States—the lessons of the Cold War left less of an impression on the Mother Country—so Corbyn’s economic flights of fancy have gotten a lot less scrutiny than Ocasio-Cortez has. Instead, the aspect of Corbyn’s worldview that has gotten the most negative traction are his views on foreign policy.
To the extent that Corbyn was known when he was on the backbenches, it was for his involvement in the Stop the War Coalition, which he led between 2011 and 2015. StWC combines in its membership Stalinists and Islamists, and confines its appetite for anti-imperialism and anti-militarism to actions by Western governments.
Read the rest at The New York Post