A century ago, on 2-6 March 1919, the first congress of the Third International took place in Moscow. This marked the birth of the Communist International, which became a vital school of revolution…
The history of the Internationals is almost too complex for easy analysis. That of the Second is especially difficult to ‘debug’. Everything about it seems ‘right’ and yet inherent ‘flaws’ undid the whole thing.
One example is the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat, a tricky and finally disastrous phrase well analyzed in a book by that name by Hal Draper. In the context of a modern revolutionary movement the terms shifted in meaning, e.g. the idea of ‘dictatorship’ moving from something like ‘dictation’ to a tyrannical semantics of antidemocracy.
Somehow the critique of liberal democracy and its parliamentary format next to the great swan song of the Commune of Paris with its glimpse of some kind of proletarian direct democracy led to a vagueness of terms that ended up discombobulating the task of coherent governing principles. The problem was that ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ became that of a vanguard and the whole idea deviated into its opposite.
A lot must be considered here but we have proposed a successor to the overall marxist format with a new idea of an International: our idea of ‘democratic market neo-communism’ is failsafed, simple yet extendable, and a half way house between a liberal and a (neo-)communist system: imagine a liberal democratic system with simple remorphed elements: the expropriation of the capitalist superstructure crosses a divide into the new but overall the forms of a liberal system remain, including a parliamentary system, an ecological background, and the ability to go ‘both ways’: a socialism in one country AND an International. Our DMNC is designed to be able to construct an isolated socialism but with an external face that is janus’d: it can offer its ‘market’ aspect to externalities while remaining communist in its interior face. This market aspect is based on a Commons and has all the advantages of market system re-faced and linked to a Commons: capital is thus a shared resource. This kind of system can conjoin the advantages of capitalism while being in essence a communist system. It former capitalists become socialist entrepreneurs who licence resources from the Commons, etc…
Students of computer programming often learn that the way to success is to remorph something outstanding that ‘works’ incrementally and then debug it asap to see if the new morsel of code is not going to crash everything.
Somewhere in the passage from liberal democracy to the abstraction of proletarian democracy a series of bugs entered the mix and the whole thing crashed.
Our DMNC thus takes the three elements of viz. the american system: a presidential, congressional (skip the senate red herring, perhaps, or else create a Commune style ‘senate’ with a proletarian twist) and court system: remorph this into a neo-communism in a series of finite steps.
The expropriation of capital is a big step, almost one of our excess changes to code that will crash the system. There are ways around that: declare capital a social aspect of the Commons with the stroke of a pen, but let the outstanding entities remain with socialist incremental changes that allow the prior entity to evolve toward a communist endstate.
And we must extend our DMNC to include an International: if we declare Exxon to be a part of the Commons, the problem arises that it is a transnational corporation. We can still proceed with our socialism in one country but our model will need a revision of the idea of the Commons to include or create a ‘transnational global Commons’
The tendency, especially in the context of Russia with its Tsarist DNA, to sacrifice democracy to an abstraction of working class control that in reality was a vanguardist elite oligarchy is a classic case of massive bugs running riot in a too severe transformation of the starting point.
After so many failures the left needs a simple success to stave off a sense of incompetence. There is no mystery however to a student of programming and the zone of undebugged ‘nasties’ likes in the ambiguity of such terms as the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’, etc…