DMNC models to the rescue…//The democratic road to socialism: A reply to Mike Taber | John Riddell

The endless discussions of the path to postcapitalism are mostly in a void where marxists themselves talk in abstractions and then wonder why they never succeed in practice.

No use debating revolution versus reform if you have no real plan of action. Marx proclaims that communism will succeed capitalism in a statement of a kind of historical dynamic based on stages of production, but is that true? The resulting bolshevik era with its mix of ‘communist’ states was a failure because the implications of marxism were the dangers of stalinism, and that was the outcome as the whole shebang failed. We cannot endlessly debate or second guess the outcome: we need to abandon the whole legacy (not the same as failing/refusing to study that history) and try to define what is to be done in good detail. It would seem that monofocus on socialism or communism will inexorably fail because it is all an incomplete discourse missing key components. That is why we have discussed here a construct called (ecological) ‘democratic market neo-communism’, and this is not one problem called ‘communism’ but at least a tetrad of interacting elements: democracies, markets/planning, and a new legality of a Commons, a problem that is extremely complex destined to fail without careful strategies of realization and we can see that in the end the bolshevik failure defaulted to a stalinist dictatorship with one man doing the job that should have been done, or started by Marx et al in a large team in the nineteenth century.  Marx himself was unclear on many points, for example, markets. To abolish markets is a dangerous step because their rationalization in communism form failed. Future computational economics may help to resolve the obscurity but in general the question of economic functions is too primitive on all sides. We are left to suggest there can be communist markets after the phase of revolutionary expropriation. Why not, if the entrepreneur or manager makes use of licensed resources with a new body of post-property law and a resolution of the question of labor, etc…? This allows an escape from bureaucratic state capitalism which usurps worker issues and becomes a nightmare of computation in a void. Throw in workers councils if you like but this model is about a universal class not just the working class which nonetheless is a key aspect of the universal class.
The point here is that the real problem is by suggestion at least a tetrad and a quick glance at the three body problem in physics might suggest the problem is too complex for any simple formula. You must use adopt an experimental approach. But we can if not solve then at least simplify the problem: our ecological socialism as ‘democratic market neo-communism’ reduces the possibilities to a range of constrained outcomes and resembles that classic early success (in quotation marks) of the american repubblic, if that were remorphed into a basic communism. Ours is one such perhaps outlandish example: Our ‘democracy’ factor in our two manifestos is in fact a complex combination of electoral parliament, faux anarchist lower sectors, and a strong presidential authority with one task: guarding the Commons (with no doubt a few other duties). The original revolutionaries (evolutionaries) become a delimited one party state of guardians and control of general politics as the parliamentary task with a resolution of a three party system (multi-party system: the point is to ensure that a parliament has a triadic dialectic that can introduce a new party into a basically two party system, sound familiar?). In addition this system will have a system of courts, and more than that: a new breed of ecological and economic courts….
Note that this is a remorphed version of the american/US system: when in doubt remorph piecemeal. We have stated in advance our plan, but there is every reason to adapt to circumstance in practice. The point is that the above is almost ‘easy’ to bring about IF it can achieve expropriation: it is so simple despite its complexity that it can be functional day one. The reason it that is sublates ‘laissez-faire’ into a set of communist constraints: again a remorphed system. That is, it succeeds because it is a close match to  known systems that were functional. The abolition of private property (capital) is of course a dangerous threshold.
Our little experiment would surely work, for the same reason the early american republic worked, save only that question of private property remains a psychological, but not a real political, stumbling block. This system will have a lot of buffers and checks and balances, concept entirely foreign to the time and place of the leninist fiasco.
This system seems to require a revolutionary refoundation, but we have always allowed/suggested that an evolutionary electoral is never ruled out. This model is designed to be so attractive with its freedoms, economic and political rights that in general the public would vote for it, especially as social crisis and breakdowns looms. And such a crisis point must be kept safe from anymore marxist/stalinist amateurs who haven’t done any homework beyond chapter and versing marx’s shibboleths.
Our reference to a tetrad is a bit outlandish, but is simply a reminder that complex systems soon outstrip ‘dialectical reasoning’, that curious fetish of marxists stealing candy from hegel. etc…etc…

We have cautioned against the implication of the destruction of the bourgeois state. The result is a vacuum that is beyond computation or any reckoning. If we take a liberal system and ask how to make it a communism we have a riddle easier to solve…

By Eric Blanc: I wrote my piece on Marxist theorist Karl Kautsky’s pre-1910 strategy on the democratic road to socialism in the hopes of helping socialists today sharpen our political strategy. Mov…

Source: The democratic road to socialism: A reply to Mike Taber | John Riddell

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