We have harangued Sanders for his compromised term ‘socialism’, a bit unfair since that coopted usage (‘socialism’ for social democracy) is very widespread. But we can see that the twin poles, evolutionary/revolutionary will sooner or later meet, and one might expect the revolutionary angle to become dominant at the right moment of the coming social crisis…At some point the obvious in the abstract must become tangibly practical.
It is hard to see how the current situation can persist much longer, but passivity reigns still even as the president (sic) of the US embraces climate denial, a grim sign that the lemmings have not yet woken up and will go ‘over the falls’ binging on Netflix. In fact a new public is already becoming aroused and a social breakdown is already implied by the sheer nullity of corporate and political elites, the ominous signs of impending revolution reminiscent of the French mental regal oblivion leading to 1789 and/or His Idiocy the Tsar’s endgame in the calamity of WWI. Trump, well, one has a bad feeling about him, he has that look of the ‘last man’, last Prez???
We need two protocols, evolutionary and revolutionary. The first is beginning a kind of take off, but the second looms in the background destined to overtake the first and find the left unready to deal with the situation. It will take more than regurgitated marxism to deal with that catastrophe. We need a new economy in a communist, not just socialist, context, a new constitution (we suggest a Commons). a new format for democracy and much else. What is needed doesn’t yet exist, not just socialism, but ecosocialism, not just socialism, but (neo) communism,and not just communism but an economic insight that can understand, not just abolish, markets. Capitalism we can abolish, markets (now communist) might take time. Planned economies wrecked the hopes of socialists/communists: a new left must screw on its thinking caps and get the issues straight. Our democratic market neo-communism, a sort of toy model enforces a triadic/tetradic puzzle of contradictions: planned/market economies (the calculation debate), neo-democratic systems that also balance control with a kind of anarchism, an ecological foundation that reconciles itself against working class collisions over social product, economic populism and ecological sanity matched in a new unity, or else at least a rough dialogue…etc…The left cannot afford another failure like bolshevism, the right will close in and destroy that at once and revert to air conditioned bunkers in the arctic as billions are left to perish.
Thinking caps, …
…Noam Chomsky’s warning about what a Sanders presidency would have faced in 2017: “His campaign … [was] a break with over a century of American political history. No corporate support, no financial wealth, he was unknown, no media support. The media simply either ignored or denigrated him. And he came pretty close—he probably could have won the nomination, maybe the election. But suppose he’d been elected. He couldn’t have done a thing. Nobody in Congress, no governors, no legislatures, none of the big economic powers, which have an enormous effect on policy. All opposed to him. In order for him to do anything, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus, which would have to grow from the grass roots. It would have to be locally organized, it would have to operate at local levels, state levels, Congress, the bureaucracy—you have to build the whole system from the bottom.” [emphasis added]This is a key and commonly underestimated point. A grassroots people’s movement and politics can’t just be just about electing progressive-populist candidates. It must also be about defending leftist politicians against capitalist and broader right-wing reaction after they gain office.