We have to carry revolutionary and evolutionary arguments. In fact, if we consider revolutionary arguments at all they will tend to dominate the distinction, so we end in the revolutionary perspective, no doubt. But the question of revolution is not so simple. We can no longer simply give a pass in the Lenin admiration society: we have to consider something new, new even beyond the real revolutions of the early modern which invented the genre. Our idea of ‘virtual revolution’ simply means: think before acting.
The transformation of a society all at once is not an easy thing to do. We need to have at least a rough idea or blueprint of what is to be done.
The question of revolution can end in moral catastrophe, and the initiation of a revolution is rarely seen: history seems to end up at some times in a funk and revolutions emerge to break a deadlock or fill a vacuum, the bolshevik example being a prime example, with the French example not far behind.
History forces revolution upon us and our present moment is starting look like this, with climate change and a pandemic providing a spontaneous ‘revolution’ that has closed down capitalist economy in a sudden burst of socialist effects.
It is worth asking if capitalism has a planned or unplanned history. The obvious first answer is that it is unplanned as a simple market phenomenon that then in the early modern generates a new form in tandem with the Industrial revolution. And the ideas become explicit in the onset of figures like Adam Smith. But it is notable that as capitalism becomes planned in some facets its character might turn malevolent and the explicit lawless manipulation of economic ‘laws’. That’s why the canon degenerates ending with monstrosities like Ayn Rand.
But the planned economy has its own liabilities, but its foundation if socialist presumes certain actions at a level of virtue made constitutional. This is a crucial phase, yet it has been itself perverted in process. Perhaps that is merely the complexity of the needed planning. But the basic idea is crucial to a new stage of economic existence. In the flowering of unchecked capitalism the euphoric outcome seemed to constitute an economic end state, but as we can see the whole process of capitalism was doomed from the start and not a few prophets said so, pace Marx.
But the issue is more than planning. The future postcapitalis must carry its prior genomic economic dna and as in our DMNC markets might still exist, though in the context of a Commons. The point is that we can’t easily see from slogans how to proceed to correct the now malevolent ‘crash’ of the capitalist idea. We must consider beyond Marx’s critique utopian versus scientific socialism, some real blueprints of a functional system, and that at a time when the outer system is begging for man’s intervention against himself.
We have invoked our ‘democratic market neo-communism’ as a toy system or model to explore the way multiple factors enter into socialism and we must be able to construct something that can really work as a socialist economy in a new legal and constitutional format.