In the context of this interesting post at CP it is worth a look at our study of the eonic effect and its viewpoint on modernity, revolution, democracy and its continuation in the projected socialist/communist version of democracy that emerged in the revolutions of 1848.
The essay’s focus on the French Revolution is apt but we have traveled this ground before in relation to the search for the continuation of the too limited bourgeois revolution: the generation of Marx/Engels demanded a revolution beyond the type of the French. Marx championed the proletariat here with an acute analysis of class and class struggles. But there has been no really successful continuation of the revolutionary genre. We live in the ‘success’ of the French Revolution, so to speak, but not the ‘success which was failure, or no-show’ for a completion of revolutionary modernity. In part the reason is transparent: the so-called democratic revolution suffered a confusion of politics and capitalism and the result, all too obvious now, was pseudo-democracy. So the revolution to come is a tricky course correction of the French Revolution (or for that matter the English Civil War) and the results seem so far to always end in a muddle of thought, to say nothing of the Bolshevik calamity.
This article smells the reality of revolution in the air, and the moment is arriving. But is there a left that can deal with the situation assuming the revolutionary moment arrives?
This blog has explored this issue ad infinitum…and we should simply note that citing the French Revolution is in a way right, but the revolution to come must be more than a socialist pipe dream doomed to fail. It needs to integrate socialism and liberalism in a system that finally answers to the failure or limits of the French case. If anything the socialist left doesn’t understand their own position. Socialism is the only final option, but that doesn’t provide any real definition of what is needed. The revolution will tend to fall between two stools and pass into a new despotism like that of Putin in Russia, a regime that capitulates to barbarism.
There is also the outcome of the English Civil War in the Restoration and the cooptation of the great achievement of Parliamentarian politics then coopted into oligarchy, the object of Marx’s acute analysis.
Marx’s great theme of proletarian revolution sounds inspiring but was too unspecified and wished from the wishing well for a proletarian dictatorship. In fact a contradictory and failed idea.
What is needed, and proletarian revolution can be its companion,is revolution by and creation of the universal class so to speak, as the assembly of revolutionaries in all classes founding new kind of government that can reconcile democracy and authority, economic function in the play of planning and (socialist) markets and the creation of a Commons that is logically and legally distinct from state capitalism which is the new oligarchy of ‘proletarian’ hallucination, all too obvious in the bolshevik case.
In fact the issue of a revolutionary French to Socialist revolution is the keynote, but a virtual future with no guarantees. Current lefts are so harebrained and full of marxist boilerplate we should fear the inexorable repetition of bolshevik misfire all over again. We need to get smart and study the question! So far the only achievement of the the radical left is first, bourgeois pseudo-democracy or the stalinist successor, dictatorship as Putinocracy.
The decision of Senator Bernie Sanders to withdraw from the Democratic presidential contest is a blow to the prospects of democracy in America. For several years, but especially since 2016, Sanders has been talking of the need for political revolution, by which he means: (1) revitalize democratic institutions and the economy by taxing the rich and closing More