Liberalism and (neo-)communism

The legacy of marxism/leninism in its phase of bolshevism is one of a hard contrast between opposites and the obliteration of one society to construct another, the later however never really defined in advance by those proposing a new society.

Our suggestion is that this was a mistake due to the way thinking tends to polarize and in the history of socialism this process is notably at work. But the result has so far never produced a successful outcome. It could hardly be otherwise and social construction from scratch is a tremendously difficult task, one that ended up disastrously in the hands of dictators.

Our idea of ‘democratic market neo-communism’ suggests a different approach: instead of the polarization of hard opposites we might think in terms the basic affinity of modern social systems as they engaged in democratic revolutions and then were confronted with socialist critiques. The attempt to move beyond the liberal type of outcome was rightly critiqued by early socialists, and then that was taken up by marx/engels. But the different possibility should be considered that liberalism and socialism/communism are part of a unity of possibilities and that one can simply be remorphed into the other. If we take a basic liberal society and consider the ‘simple’ step of expropriation of capital, we can blend the two systems together without the hopeless confusion created by the total rejection of the past to create a new future.

The point of our terminology is that a democratic market system can be remorphed into a communist system with one simple change: the creation of a Commons. The result should resemble what came before, a liberal system, but with the important difference in the way we treat property. Everything about the source of ‘capital’ (primitive accumulation) suggests that from the beginning it was a part of an unstated ‘commons’. The process of primitive accumulation was completely artificial. That it allowed the rapid development of resources seems on the surface to justify that stage. But we can see just how incorrect that is in the end. We are stuck with the Exxons who have known for a long time that climate change was a danger yet suppressed their own research on the subject. Oil should have been a public resource from the start. The essential issue there is that a socialist framework must match the relative efficiency (much exaggerated) of capitalist operations. The sudden discovery of the complexity of market systems stunned the early socialists and led to a come back of capitalist organization. But the issue of markets can just as well be a part of postcapitalist systems: if capital is placed in a Commons and those resources given in loan to market organizations the malignant character of capitalism can be displaced from a new kind of market. In fact, efficient economies could prosper better than capitalist ones if only the chronic idiocy of rigid socialist thinking could be overcome by a new intelligence about economic systems which, admittedly, can be confusing. Based in a Commons, and balanced with a mirror image of planning, along with the fundamental of ecological thinking, the market phenomenon could become a relatively benign phenomenon. Our formulation is designed to be a version of liberalism remorphed as (neo-)communism, and communism remorphed as a liberalism. Historically the two became stark opposites when in reality a more complex resolution was needed that balanced the opposites in a dynamic duo.

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