I get the Kindle version here.
Our project re: socialism fulfills most of the criticisms given here, although a full renewal of terms is not possible it seems: we have refused the term ‘communism’ for ‘neo-communism’ but use the term ‘socialism’ still, perhaps a mistake, or perhaps not. The used in this book, e.g. ‘social freedom’ (I haven’t read the book) actually does this but seems remote.
It is simply idiotic for these german professors to be so pessimistic about socialism, or to say that it failed. Let’s state a simple fact: these Frankfurt professors would all be beneficiaries of the german social democratic health care system. Socialism of a sort, achieved. For myself, in the US, I spent forty years without health insurance and no doctor visits, betting my health would hold up. No decent jobs, no decent living space, nothing.
The american system missed an entire historical epoch here. And it is ripe for a socialist something. If the US can’t adopt some form of socialist upgrade it is doomed to simply fall apart, as we now see in fact. But these verbous german professors are probably useless here.
If a change of labels is needed, in fact, I have thought so and have tried to reconstruct the equivalent in new, or almost new terminology.
Our democratic market neo-communism combined with ecological socialism challenges socialists to get specific about a new society and has a new approach to economics, markets, expropriation, ecology, and politics, etc…
We have also created a new approach to world history beyond the failed theories of Marx.
The failure of Sanders ends with ‘whoops’ in this article. It is hardly a sign a new socialism won’t work. I was always critical of Sanders, but he proved that the socialist idea was still alive indeed. His failure was engineered by neoliberal manipulation. But Sanders still had the problem that in referring to socialism you refer also to the legacy of Bolshevism and even working class persons cringe. The cringe factor will go away at once if you clearly disengage from the past and speak to the future. Even so, a new generation, as it forgets the past, responds again to the idea. But the left cannot betray that as the idiot left drools over Marx, eulogizes Lenin and lets the right explain about Stalin.
In any case, as noted, the world of Sanders indeed still looked backwards. He could not quite disengage from the past and create a ‘new socialism’ which wasn’t socialism anyway, but social democracy.
The model of history we provide is extremely broad and encompasses all categories and is light years ahead of marx whose historical materialism is almost archaic.
In any case, the point is well taken: the old left is paralyzed by its own conceptual mechanization and boilerplate.
The realization that socialism needs a renewal has been a frequent discussion here. The material however of these writes at Frankfurt is simply too expensive requiring credit card debt next to acce…