We have commented several times on this useful article (link below, and which seems influenced by our discussions here) but we should caution the implications of its discussion: the socialist left has no real program beyond a series of abstractions and the public therefore has every right, especially given the history of bolshevism, to simply reject the socialist projection as a con game for will to power types to seize control of social infrastructure and do as they please in the name of the abstract ‘ism’. This article rejects the need for a blueprint but we have suggested that the left needs a whole spectrum of blueprints: we must assure the public that we have a sound set of proposals given in detail. We can anticipate the uncertainty of the future but that is not an excuse for retreating to slogans, tidbits of marx jargon, and marx’s refusal to get specific.
We can certainly be wary of blueprints but we should produce them anyway and in advance: we are already in that future of the uncertain projected by Marx and failing to have attempted to be specific is itself debilitating.
And we cannot take marxism for granted, despite the usefulness of its canon for orienting thought. We will/would come to the crucial moment considering its tenets to be sound when in fact they have rarely been critiqued, save by the outsiders who reject the socialist possibility.
There are many difficulties with the marxist canon: its view of history in terms of historical materialism is fallacious and out of date. The economic view of history is too limited. ‘Stages of production’ theory fails to grapple, or even look at world history (Marx’s views were formed in the early nineteenth century!). The focus on the proletariat and the working class was a brilliant strategic and analytical move but even there the problem arises of creating a ruling class all over again, one with no revolutionary focus, and of alienating those who are not working class from the construction of socialism. Strictly speaking the vast majority of leftists at all times are ‘petty bourgeois’ intellectuals who are incidental to the creation of socialism.An absurd situation Something is wrong with marxist class analysis. It is easy to repair this and reset focus with our idea of the ‘universal class’, discussed here many times.
Marxism has not resolved the economic question of markets and is unable to construct a viable economy beyond the sterile idiocy of the bolshevisk, russian, chinese, etc, ad hoc concoctions based on the fallacy of state capitalism. The bolshevik completely struck out on the issue of democracy and we must suspect that there is something wrong with marxism itself: not hard to figure out: the brilliant analysis of marx of the way capitalism corrupted democracy backfired and the animus to democratic forms resulted in a dominant elite/vanguard simply expropriating the outer forms of democracy.
The confusions go on and while we can wonder if the future will honor ‘blueprints’ we must nonetheless be prepared with a brief case full of them.
We have tried with our idea of ecological democratic market communism to suggest that without preparation in advance the sudden increase of complexity in cafe models by revolutionaries can lead only to catastrophe. And we can’t rely on ‘marxist shibboleths’ here: at step one we need a new perspective on history beyond the failed historical materialism and its confusions over economic epochs. That’s a big job and yet the left can’t even get started given the dogmatic reign of marxist idiocy…
For socialists, establishing popular confidence in the feasibility of a socialist society is now an existential challenge. Without a renewed and grounded belief in the possibility of the goal, it’s near impossible to imagine reviving and sustaining the project. This, it needs emphasis, isn’t a matter of proving that socialism is possible (the future can’t be verified) nor of laying out a thorough blueprint (as with projecting capitalism before its arrival, such details can’t be known), but of presenting a framework that contributes to making the case for socialism’s plausibility.