The left is stuck in place and can’t seem to learn from its mistakes. Here the issue of work is up in the air: at a time when degrowth raises a spectre over ‘work’ in traditional legacies the idea of a steady state system that doesn’t have much work at all in the older sense emerges to challenge the whole model of capitalism and socialism.
The charge of utopian is as usual unfair. But it is correct that the early socialists failed to take into account the proletariat. But the marxist take on the question seems equally confused. Marxism ends up it a strange mindset: give priority to the working class, and simply forget everyone else. Marxists then wonder why they generate implacable opposition.
The idea of liberating the whole humanity is rejected as utopian. The whole program is wrong, and it is not surprising that it has failed in every case attempted. Without exception.
The focus on the working class needs to be balanced with a program for the whole of society. Marxists are confused about who the working class is: most middle class salaried employees are part of the working class, and yet they are not a part of the fantasy of the proletariat and its dictatorship. Marxists want workers on factory shop floors to inherit the earth. It will never happen.
A new postmarxism is needed that can start over. The focus on the working class can remain but it is an ace in the whole that needs to be played differently, and in the context of capitalist hypnosis as such. its larger context is needed: the ‘working class’ consists of all those who are passive entities in the reign of capital.
The charge of utopian as we have said here many times is unfair: marx claims a science that is a mirage, and the real question is a version of the so-called utopians, this time with a focus on the proletariat, but without alienating the larger scheme of social groups.
There is too much to comment on here, but the basic point is that the older marxism isn’t going to work. We needed something that should be on its way already, but now at the peak of a social crisis, marxists simply chant old cliches.
Time is short, and the left by default gets a final chance. Let’s not blow it with marxist religious dogma.
Our idea of democratic market neo-communism has dozens of posts here: the basic issue is not a lot of useless marxist analysis but the simple gesture of expropriation in a system that can function economically. Marxist have never proposed a practical system.
The idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat is useless at this point. \
The world needs something on postcapitalism that can work. Marxists have failed to learn anything from their failures and should be ‘fired’ for incompetence…
Rather than a novel form of emancipatory politics, post-work is better understood as a return to the utopian socialist tradition of Robert Owen, Charles Fourier, and Henri de Saint-Simon, all of which Marx and Engels furiously polemicized against. Engels writes in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific that “One thing is common to all three [Owen, Fourier, and Saint-Simon]. Not one of them appears as a representative of the interests of that proletariat… Like the French philosophers, they do not claim to emancipate a particular class to begin with, but all humanity at once