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I was pleased when I heard this lady had unseated one of the neoliberal democrat stalwarts in New York. I noted that she had used publicity and legwork to promote a socialist platform akin to Bernie - and even later Bernie was sharing a platform with her.

I was then surprised to see a headline on my BAR twitter feed @blkagendareport, "Any socialist who thought, as I did, that Ocasio-Cortez would be our socialist champion should watch the entire 27-minute PBS Firing" (22 August); before I read the article I downloaded the PBS clip and watched it. I stopped the clip after, I paraphrase, "Capitalism is trade and has been good for the US". Annoyed, this meant I had to write an unnecessary blog, an apology blog, worse a blog that is divisive.

I am still pleased that she has unseated the neoliberal, and I like seeing her as a possible figurehead of young people to stand up for what is right - Medicare for All etc. But where is her socialist education? The paraphrase "Capitalism is trade and has been good for the US". This is the naive level of armchair socialism I was spouting when I was 18. This has nothing to do with understanding capitalism, has no understanding of what trade means, and whilst the US hegemony in the neocolonial era was clearly good for the US that had nothing to do with trading but was based on imperialism and how they turned trade into exploitation - following on from previous colonial exploitation from my own country etc. This is really socialist education 101, and it makes me wonder what is happening in the Democratic Socialists of America, of which she is a member. Anecdote - In my first school a group of Socialist Workers were disrupting my school based on the ludicrous conference platform that disrupting education was the first step towards socialism. I asked one of them why, and she told me to "ask Dick" - her leader. So maybe Ocasio-Cortez is this season of Trots - angry, strong-minded but ignorant.

How much does this ignorance matter? At the level of public political debate it doesn't matter. The slogans she is promoting Medicare for All etc are good policies, and hopefully young people will unite behind her. And of course if the US ends its neocolonial exploitation through war and unfair trade practices - in line with her policies, then there will be the money to pay for such policies - if the 1% were to allow it.

But for her to see capitalism as trade, for her not to understand the US history of exploitation - including of her ancestral Puerto Rico, and for her to think that there are nice political decisions that can be made to lead to her idealistic future, it's crazy. It is so completely snowflake. I know - divisive, sorry.

Anyway I made the effort to watch the whole thing. To me it was summed up by Quetzal Cacares in the article as "It is hard to tell If she is receiving tutelage from someone in the Democratic Party's Fairytale & Children's Section."

Quetzal asks the question throughout "Is she a train wreck about to happen?" I take a very long time to think before answering that. My knowledge of grass roots politics in the US is non-existent. There are clearly good comrades who know that she is creating policy-on-the-fly, that she is not grounded. But being grounded in Marxism is not her platform. So she doesn't see where the problems have come from, so she doesn't understand trade, so Republican hacks have a far greater understanding of how trade works. Does that matter? I think not. If through her figureheadery there is greater activism, there is greater involvement by like-minded armchair socialists with the same policy platform of fairytale democratic socialism, then that has got to be better. If they ever reach the stage where people before profits becomes a relevant decision, she has already made clear where she stands. Will there be sufficient impetus to bring home the drones? Does a train need to know how its engines work in order to wreck? If the train is going in the right direction, will the passengers still get there?

Quetzal and other good comrades in BAR and elsewhere need to give her support and seek opportunities to educate her - without compromising their own positions. Reserved support. I would give her similar reserved support, but I would not have been raving about her if I had spent time studying her - I should know better.

PS She appeared to have some positive interaction with the centre-right interviewer. I doubt that the interviewer would have been interested in a class analysis.

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