The left needs to refound itself in a new format. The legacy of marxism is a strong resource, but it has been overplayed and unwittingly retards the left and suggests the wrong approach to dealing with capitalism.
Marx and Engels work perfectly as an historical introduction to the socialist challenge to emerging modern capitalism and the industrial revolution, but after 1848 Marx and Engels were stymied in their work in some fashion and Marx went into a mental fugue over ‘theory’ which locked him in writer’s block, Engels tearing his hair. The great project, few leftists seem to realize, was never completed and Marx shows signs of being unable to deal with the situation.
This later phase also includes Engels’ ‘dialectical materialism’ which pegs the left into the realm of speculative metaphysical oddments.
The left needs a historical saga of the early Marx/Engels followed by the passage to a new canon or formulation. That should include something better than historical materialism, a new view of history and evolution, a more adequate critique of economic theory and in a format that leftists can use to both educate themselves about economics and critique the mix of theory and ideology.
Remarkably the above after so much doesn’t exist and leftists by and large have no way to educate themselves on issues of economics or to critique the same, save with the always intriguing but now dated views of Marx.
Most of all the time is arriving when the left must move to precisely what Marx deferred to the future: constructivist socialist projects and blueprints, wary of Marx’s fulminations (and/or Engels’) on utopian versus scientific. The Marx canon has no ‘science’ in historical materialism and therefore must retreat to the ‘utopian’ bluepring hobby, mindful that this is not utopian but practical reasoning about social system construction.
The DMNC model of ‘democratic market neo-communism’ needs to deal with more than dialectical opposites: it must deal with the complexity of social construction: democracy/auhtority, marekets/planning, expropriation and property, levels of social action, anarchist free zones, one party, three party systems of government, constitutional constructs of law re: a Commons, and most of all an grafting of ecological socialism onto the basic ‘DMNC’.
If the left really begins to move past bolshevism daydreams and offer more than old slogans on all these issues the public will begin to respond again as they did in the early second international.
This approach reinvents both ‘socialism’ in one country’ and the matrix of a new ‘international’.
What better time than the present as the tooth fairy has practically pulled socialism out a hat during the pandemic…
We need for this
a critique of marxist historical theories
respect for but distancing from Marx/Engels and the obsessive quote mongering
a new approach to evolution, and world history
a new approach beyond ‘theories’ to empirical outlines
a new approach to economic histories
a perspective broader than historical materialism
a critique of scientism and the way marxism fell in that trap
introduction of fact/value distinction (!) into desert of histomat
a close look at Kantian ethical socialism
a paper airplane goodbye to the posthegelian obsession with the false conflict of idealism,materialism
a quick take on quantum mechanics and electrodynamics with wistful ‘double take’ on materialism
judicious pilfering of the things marxism got right and still usable
a construct of possible ‘socialism’ and/or ‘communism’
a break with the past, the magic wand/goodbye with ‘neo-‘and the passage to ‘neo-communism’:
we don’t have to justify past errors: our viewpoint is new, from scratch
attempts to survive neo-classical economics, its fake theories and the marginal revolution
ways to construct a socialist economy that actually works, can compete and surpass capitalist versions
the classic ‘clearing question’, the Misean attack, and computational economics
some kind of method to construct market socialisms in the context of planning…etc…
we have specific material on what we call ‘democratic market neo-communism’
which tries to answer to the objection that ‘socialism’ is empty verbiage until we get specific
a review and critique of Marx/Engels on ‘utopian versus scientific’ etc:
if marx’s theories aren’t really scientific we are back to model construction, not we hope ‘utopian’
exploring models of neo-communist economies, with markets, planning in tandem
The legal construct for a Commons (as opposed to state ownership/state capitalism)
We need to realize that the left barely has a platform that is specific beyond sloganeering
The revolution/reform dichotomy simply resurfaces into the discussion.
Our DMNC is based on the idea that we can remorph liberalism into communism, and vice versa
Remorphing can be more successful than total social construction which is complex and prone to error.
We are in desperate spot, a revolutionary moment in a system that could squash revolution
and in which evolutionary reform is itself in checkmate…
The sudden disintegration of the american system warns us that we need to be ready….
We have spoke of the Anthropocene and the Capitalocene. Here can adopt the title Chulhucene, a recent neologism that actually invokes HP Lovecraft’s usage…(google that)
Notes for a new blogbooklet….
1. The Crisis of Civilization
We are at a moment of emerging social crisis and collapse in the sudden decline of incomplete and fragmented modernities in which the capitalist phenomenon has started to metasthesize into a malignant social formation. We reject the idea that this is an age of capitalism: it is form of modernity that allowed unchecked capitalism to overtake the whole social formation
1.1 Ecological Calamity
The industrial revolution reaches its nemesis as capitalism turns malevolent and becomes a destroyer of an entire planetary system..
1.2 the reign of neoliberalism
The current period is designated as the reign of neoliberalism, but it is one and the same capitalist formation and ideology that emerged in the period the industrial revolution…it didn’t have to be that way..
1.3 Capitalism and modernity
Capitalism is not an epoch in world history but a component of modernity that has tried to become the definition of modernity when it should have been subjected to socialist interaction from the start…
1.4 Revolutions per second
The history of technology fascinates us but it is not the real driver of social history. Nonetheless th industrial revolution is unique moment, but prone to the mistake of technological thinking applied to all social constructs. But the business of social construction is far more complex than any technology…
1.5 1848 Red Fortyeight Group
The period of the post-revolutionary period in France produced a cascade of attempts to correct the tendencies of the the original in the birth of multiple leftist formations converging to the year 1848 with its failure to realize a properly constructed to the question of modernity…
2. History and Evolution
The place of history in evolution and evolution in history are a useful generalized category pair beyond the economic fundamentalism of much leftist thinking (dominated by confrontation with capitalism)
2.1 Epochs and ages
Marxism posits a set of economic epochs but the scheme fails to fret the ultra-complex factors of world history as a whole. The ages of economic organization might better find a large periodization in what modern archaeology has found as the natural progression of the epochs of civilization, roughly the Neolithic, the wake of Sumer and Dynastic Egypt, proximate antiquity and the rise of modernity.
2.2 The Eonic Effect
The ‘eonic effect’ is basically the periodization above but comes with a crackerjack surprise in terms of an insight into the evolution of civilization. But theories of history are risky: it is enough to follow simple chronologies as above and take simple modernity and its early modern as the basic ‘epoch’; this is far larger that capitalism. The two are not the same.
2.3 The modern transition
The eonic effect shows world history fretted in a complex of transitions and the early modern is a classic example.
2.4 Man and Evolution
Ultimately man evolves in a larger schema than that given by darwinism and that evolutionary process gets a glimpse in the eonic effect itself
2.5 Last and First Men
The coming of homo sapiens is key focus for the left and coming to an understanding of human evolution is a stage in the evolution of man beyond his present, beyond capitalism to socialism. We must be wary of the terms of evolutionary discourse and isolate the ideological factors in ‘theories’ proposed, not the least by capitalist economists.