Although our DMNC model is essentially a revolutionary projection, we have always tried to offer an evolutionary version, even if it is a long shot. The point here is that we can define an evolutionary neo-communism that isn’t social democratic IF we can through electoral means begin the transition to a new system with the electoral expropriation of private property and a new constitution founded in a Commons. Is there any hope that that could happen? In theory it could happen. As climate chaos comes home it just might happen. In the early struggles for suffrage many thought that was what would happen, but it didn’t.
The working class was not what was expected. Because of that we see the struggles of the TWO FAILURES, Kautsky and Lenin battling in the void of the marxist fragments that had betrayed them. The worst of these horrors was the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ meme. In fact, a revolutionary/evolutionary mixture is likely, so one must be wary of social democratic undertow.
Our DMNC is a much better approach: If offers a remorphing of liberalism instead of smashing everything. Instead of state capitalism we offer a Commons, much better: everyone has a share by law…
Under the right conditions it just might happen through electoral means, the more so as our approach is mostly a change of labels (though with legal force): capitalists become socialist entrepreneurs as they come to work no longer owners but stewards. Etc…
The working class should have prominence but to say the working class must be in control will not work: it is a new form of tyranny. Our idea of the universal class suggests a balance of classes (the working class might end as a majority) all merging into the universal class. Marxists have miscalculated the working class. As the age of Trump makes clear the ‘base’ of such figures is oddly problematic: there are numberless versions of the working class, some of them quite alt-right.
Leftists will deny the connection but the point is no class can be a messaiah. It is a fantasy of the proletarian hero created by Marx. It made better sense in Marx’s time.
We need to stop fussing over the working class abstraction and study the multiple actual cases, all different.
We must select/invite from all classes all those who share an idea of a postcapitalist society. To scrap democracy for worker’s councils won’t work. And marxist social darwinism suddenly appeared as the conflict of classes, survival of the fittest class, what stupidity. One thinks of the petty bourgeois ladies selling clothing in the streets in the turmoil of revolution, are these derelicts to be eliminated? The chinese bolsheviks liquidated fifty million, including most of the capitalists. Social darwinist socialism ain’t the right approach.
The working class as the head of state is an abstraction. The result will be a vanguard. We must study the reality of vanguards also. We have to hope, and make it happen with safeguards that a vanguard can found a communist system. The experience of the bolsheviks is not encouraging. We need a practical and detailed recipe (like our DMNC) that lists the steps specifically and indicates the outcome so we can know if whole thing has derailed. Marxists in the main thought stalinist bolshevism was communism because they had no practical plan or failsafe, etc…
In any case the standard marxist formulation hardly makes sense, as the chaos of the second international makes clear….
Kautsky’s conception was that the state does not represent the interests of a particular class and that capitalism could, therefore, somehow, “grow over” into socialism—without the need for revolution. This appears to be Jacobin’s basic approach as well. This “neo-Kautskyist” understanding of the state and socialism rejects the idea that we currently live under bourgeois democracy, and that the working class needs to smash the capitalist state and establish a workers’ democracy. Furthermore, it all but rejects or rules out the possibility of a successful proletarian revolution. Concrete tactical and strategic conclusions flow from this outlook—including finding ways to justify class collaboration, for example, by working within the capitalist Democratic Party.