Communism and markets based in a Commons
September 16th, 2018 ·
One of the saddest confusions of the Marxist legacy was the idea that a bourgeois revolution must precede the transition to communism. This created the fumbled ball of
the Russian fiasco, as it became clear in fact to Lenin who sensibly ditched the distinction (I think) but didn’t really have a platform to work with: the fatal ad hoc of Stalinism simply moved into the void.
Although Lenin seems to have shaken loose from the idea, then, more of less, one of the confusions of the Russian revolution was the idea that Russia wasn’t ready for communism and that, e.g. Germany, should lead the way. What a horrible mistake. In fact any stage of society should be able to move into socialism.
This is a drastic example of the misleading effects of Marxist theory. A close look at the English civil war shows democratic, bourgeois, and proto-socialist ideas emerging in splendid chaos, together. The bourgeois revolution in the restoration was really close to a counterrevolution.
The issue for us would be to recast the whole subject and simple have one revolution (or electoral transition) that achieves the basic result of a neo-communism from the start: the democratic revolution and the communist revolution are really Janus-faced: they must both happen at the same time. The idea that an era of capitalism must occur in the standards stages of production sequence was a fatal miscalculation. A better issue might
be capitalist markets versus communist markets, as with our formulation of democratic market neo-communism. We have suggested a foundational/constitutional ‘Commons’ that does the work of the ‘communism’ but leaves open the question of a communist economy which might be eclectic: planned, with a market sector of a kind. It is not clear what Marx thought but he left the impression that communism would abolish markets. But as we see from the (partly sophistical) calculation debate that is going to be a problem. It is not clear just how Marx’s views changed from the era of the 1848 manifesto, but in the end the whole range of issues was botched.
The speculation here is that we can have capitalists with out capitalism, i.e. social capital (the Commons) but with an economy that may still have both planning and born-again markets and/or computational clearing computers and/or AI driven economic systems, and/or our third sector ‘let go’ semi anarchist completion of a triad.
…like a bad pointer in c programming… September 15th, 2018 ·
The projection of stages of production theory into the future resembles a ‘bad pointer’ in c programming: a placeholder that points to nothing suddenly causes s system crash because a random value takes over the pointer…The failure to specify what they were trying to do made the early communists act incoherently….
June 5th, 2018 ·
We have noted twice today the way ‘stages of production’ theory created a kind of fallacious overall view on the part of Marxists as to the way capitalism would yield to communism.
But the later was never really defined and it was thought that nothing should be said in advance on the subject. But it seems clear that Marx thought the key point was that communism would completely abolish the market. In retrospect that seems the wrong approach.
The point of communism is the issue of private property and primitive accumulation. The question of markets versus planning is more complex and can lead to miscalculations.
Our DMNC model creates a tool based on a kind of triad to try and prepare in advance for a new kind of system, yet one not as destructive as that which threw the Russian revolution into a set of catastrophes…
Our model of ‘democratic market communism’ doesn’t assume that communism inevitably follows capitalism because capitalism isn’t a stage of history: it is continuous set of processes in history and then a kind of ad hoc Frankenstein of the period of the industrial revolution. It was seen immediately that a response to this phenomenon was necessary. And Marx Engels codified these insights, but in the process they got too theoretical. It would be more practical to consider that the state of society can be continuously (and/or by revolution) adjusted to both the phenomenon of markets and the forms of socialism.
Our DMNC model states in advance the rough outline of what it is going to do and consider a ‘triad’ of three sectors: a planned sector, a market economy based on a Commons however in which entrepreneurs license resources from the Commons. A third sector is a kind of indifference zone below a certain threshold which is simply left to its own, more or less. This model integrates a triad of opposites and evades the kind of hopeless mess made by Bolshevik socialism.
It must include a strong authority to protect communism, plus a democratic parliamentary system completely protected from any kind of external financial control.
There is not enough detail here either, perhaps, but the point is that ‘communism’ is a set of axioms about social foundations. And that doesn’t as such banish forever the realm of markets (nor is this made an absolute contradiction to planning). The point here is that socialism/market economics can evolve together in tandem rather than be absolute opposites each given a stage of history…
Such a system could also interact with both an international and with an external capitalist outstanding order.
It would simply finish the question of economic rights and provide a robust package of social givens (education, jobs, housing, …) and this would be a legal/constitutional situation where each individual shares in the Commons.
With time the factor of planning is likely to develop but the seeming contradiction of market communism would find itself in fact a very flexible and dynamic duo/triad. It is important to see that economies are run both top/down and bottom/up and that the kind of economic domination of Bolshevik one party rule over all economic decisions would be a thing of the past…