We have often referred to a ‘critical marxism’ as essential to renewing the left. That is not the same as some kind of passage into social democratic compromise. We throw out marxism but keep a lot of its ideas, restated. On the contrary then our idea points to socialism/neo-communism, revolutionary transformation (which can be reformist, at least in theory), the expropriation of capital, a new understanding of markets and economies, the nature of a Commons, ecological socialism, economic rights, governmental systems in socialist democracy, etc…It is a huge field but doesn’t spend all day quoting marx in false awe as marxists are too stuck in their jargon to think in practical terms and noone will listen any more. Marx is important historically and should be studied as such, but a new left must redefine all its terms and frameworks around the original socialist key prior even to Marx, i.e. a Commons as the expropriation of capital.
But a real neo-communism must think carefully it project and not end in the kind of muddle (a reactionary portrait, but still apt) we see in the films Dr. Zhivago. A neo-communism that really works requires detailed depiction, planning, and legal, ecological, constitutional and all sorts of other considerations.
The old left has been wringing its hands for decades to no avail while the George Floyd protest spread globally in a few weeks. That should be a wake up call.
The idea socialism doesn’t belong to Karl Marx. His monopoly has gone on too long and is filled with dated theories and a world view that is a mirage: historical materialism, why bother? socialists don’t need such a philosophy which doesn’t work any way due to its economic fundamentalism.
The whole left needs to rethink itself, but sadly it never budges from marxist orthodoxy. A new generation must simply move beyond it, but without getting into the muddle of half-baked social democrats.