FACT CHECK: Did Ocasio-Cortez Say, ‘Under Capitalism, Man Oppresses Man. Under Socialism, It’s The Other Way Around’?

Aislinn Murphy | Assistant Managing Editor

An image shared on Facebook claims that Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “Under capitalism, man oppresses man. Under socialism, it’s the other way around.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Ocasio-Cortez ever said this statement.

Fact Check:

Ocasio-Cortez defeated 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley to represent New York’s 14th congressional district in 2018. A self-described democratic socialist, she is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Her rise to national prominence has made Ocasio-Cortez a popular target for fake quotes, with this particular image apparently created to make her look unintelligent.

“Do not shut this woman up,” reads the caption. “This sh*t is gold…” (RELATED: Does Ocasio-Cortez Want To Repeal Daylight Saving Time To Combat Climate Change?)

There is, however, no evidence that Ocasio-Cortez ever said the quote attributed to her in the Facebook post. An internet search reveals no credible sources linking it to her.

Furthermore, Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman Corbin Trent told FactCheck.org last year that the congresswoman never said it.

The origin of the quote is unknown but, according to etymologist Barry Popik, the earliest two instances date back to 1958, though the wording varies slightly. It appears in a book written by economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who is often credited with authoring it, and in a periodical where the quote is attributed to reporter Henry Shapiro.

It has also been referred to as an “old Soviet joke” in other sources.

Aislinn Murphy

Assistant Managing Editor