Session 6: Sunday, June 3rd: 12:00 - 1:50pm
The left wing of the New Deal in the 1930s and 1940s proposed an expansive program of social provision to guarantee jobs, income, health care, education, and housing. The left New Dealers also proposed public enterprise in the fields of housing, health care, energy, and even goods production in competition with private enterprise in the short-lived Ohio Plan that set up production-for-use projects to create jobs by re-opening closed factories. The full New Deal program was not realized, but much of it was revived in the demands of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the follow-up Freedom Budget of the mid-1960s, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor Peoples Campaign in 1968. Today's new Poor Peoples Campaign is reasserting these demands. In recent years, the Green Party has campaigned for a Green New Deal to combine the full aspirations of the old New Deal with conversion to an ecologically sustainable economy based on clean renewable energy, regenerative agriculture, and recyclable and biodegradable goods. Can these New Deal programs be realized and sustained under capitalism? Or will capitalists use their economic and political power to roll back reforms? Can these program be undertaken at the state level? What is the relationship between New Deal-type reforms and the socialist goal of a classless political and economic democracy? This panel will discuss the programmatic content of a Green New Deal and its politics in the context of today’s capitalist economy.