We have combined several versions of our ‘blogbook’ and next will reduce it all to one text.
Imagine that the whole literature of Marxism is obsolete and that the left has to start over. We
have done that here, at high speed with rough results. In principle with this material, a viable brand of socialism (we actually refer to neo-communism) is possible and, in principle, easy. The days of big publishers are passing and there are many ways to produce books now without interference. Our idea is to produce a specific platform with dna related to but distinct from Marxist brands and to show a specific model of social system, in detail.
The left should have been ready by now. What a moment to have ignited revolutionary (or even reformist) change. But the sudden surge of the BLM movement shows the reason: they are starting fresh where leftist/socialists are burdened with immense literatures they don’t understand
This strange situation in the US is like an invitation to revolutionary transformation. And the situation can only get worse. There is some talk of the BLM movement producing a socialist movement. They should try. But a core socialist construct is easy to come by. Although crude and rough this model could produce a new social economy tomorrow with a good chance of success. Look at the bolsheviks: with the materials they had, there was no way to succeed. But a practical approach is actually not that hard.
The revolutionary option is rejected by reformists, but the current system is itself revolutionary, in the midst of a revolution from the right. We talk to both groups with the reformists able to act in the present.
It is virtually impossible to conceive of revolution in a system so controlled as what we have now. But as this year shows, when the time is ripe, the ‘revolution’ happens out of the blue. The French and Russian revolutions were out of the blue. After four years of war the soldiers in the
WW1 trenches threw away their rifles and walked home. The revolution happened almost by default. The Tsar was laughed out and into extinction. Sadly the bolsheviks had no real program.
The way out of this chaos will be a combined approach to see what works. We should respond to a system that is subversive of its own legacy as it tries to pass into fascism with a counterrevolution’/revolution from the left that can recreate democracy, failsafed as socialism.
The current US can’t even handle its own post office: it is going, going…
Revolutions are often called out as illegitimate. But the situation now seems to be we can’t even manage a post office.
The left needs a new perspective on world history beyond defunct historical materialism:
Instead of a theory of history we should construct outlines: the basic outline in world history can be jotted down in a minute:
the era of Sumer and Egypt…after ca. 3000 BCE
the classical era…after ca. 600 BCE
the modern era after ca. 1800 BCE
We are in the third near its beginning: the system is still young and trying to find a correct politics, with democracy setting a keynote.
With a simple outline, we see three age periods, we can study their economies ad hoc, empirically. That’s it for historical theory. We see that modern revolution is a novelty in world history and that should alert us to the potential latent in the modern system. Socialism/communism are not some antithesis of liberal democracy but, as the early socialists understand, the path to ‘real democracy’.
We need to go with what worked: democratic revolutions had an outcome. A socialist revolution must produce something in that spectrum. Go with what worked: the early modern democratic revolutions show that revolutions can succeed. Socialists should study their success (and failures)/
The question of the working class is so confused now noone can make any sense of it. There is a simple answer: the working class may not be revolutionary as once thought, but they should be the center of gravity of a new democracy based on equality. And the working class is any kind of wage laborer. That is almost everyone except capitalists. Egad, by that standard the managers in corporations are ‘working class’. The endless confusion over the working class needs to be laid to rest. The problem is that the proletarian of the early days of the industrial revolution doesn’t exist anymore. The working class is really middle class now and the old formulas of Marx don’t work anymore. There is still a working-class in China, and our ideas should be sidestepping with ideas on an international. We have our plan for a real neo-communism in China, soon policies as to the Great Wall.
The tide is turning towards a new socialist perspective, But if the past is any guide the left will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and end up in the same state capitalism rut run by a one-party elite that was the inexorable fate of Marxist incomplete models. A new socialist social system requires a lot of work, historical, legal, constitutional, and economic.
We have a set of books and materials dealing with a hypothetical movement called The Red Forty-eight Group, with a manifesto and a neo-communist construct, Democratic Market Neo-communism in the context of ecological socialism.
We have made the point that the core left legacy,viz. marxism, by never specifying the nature of what was proposed due to Mark’s reluctance to get specific has too often wasted opportunities in fruitless wrong experiments, most notably the debacle of bolshevism. In addition, Marxism is far too complex a system for practical use, a point lost on many Marxists. Further, the complexity of the system masks a series of wrong theories. We should consider that no science in the realm of history, sociology, or economics really exists. So the pretense of having one is simply ideological propaganda. In many ways the issue of socialism is fairly simple (with complications of realization): it is a question of recipes not of historical theories like historical materialism. Marx has a host of brilliant insights but his overall theoretical perspective as in ‘Stages of Production’ theory as ‘Historical Materialism’ is egregious and mostly false, subtracting form the general cogency of his general empirical observations.
Our DMNC model is just that: a recipe approach to a neo-communist system of a new type: it is both a realizable blueprint and a model you can tinker with: issues of politics, authority, democracy, economics, markets and planning, expropriation and a Commons, etc, remind us that we must create a society that people will find just, efficient, and legally sound in the context of shared resources, equality, economic rights, and ecological socialism. A socialism (we don’t distinguish between socialism and neo-communism unlike legacy marxism) in a real sense should be immediately attractive to its publics, possibly exempting the capitalists, and we should note how the left has ended up with an antagonized public. In that case, something is wrong: people prefer the exploitation they know because they fear the outcome of Stalinism.
A model like our DMNC has nothing to do with any of that, and frankly may even leave behind Marx and marxism, save for their historical epic saga. We can put Marx on posters, and skip the rest. Let us consider the American Rebs: they had no theory, only a set of recipes, between republicanism and a barely conceived democratic idea (suffering ironically the same kind of discredit now suffered by socialism) inherited from antiquity under a cloud of discredit. How ironically similar to our current situation. they brought it off, but the result clearly suffered the diagnosis of Marx and the socialists as to the bourgeois revolution and democracy captured by capitalism. So they sermonized about ‘real socialism as real democracy’.
The point here is that the left can’t just chant mantras of socialism: they have to win over a new public with some real guarantees and future projections that are realizable, just and resolve the ecological crisis and economic terminal capitalism.
The Anthropocene and The Coming of Postcapitalism ver 12(1)
Notes, books and blogbooks
Our continuing blogbook as promised is simmering but we have many already: first, a picture book with useful short reads: Last and First Men (paperback, Kindle, free pdf) points to a new way to introduce a post-marxist left.
Last and First Men
plus two manifestos:
Two Manifestos version 2(4)
The works of Marx, such as Capital, are too complex and routinely confuse the vast majority of leftists, create a cadre of explicators.
The key issue is that Marx’s theory of history, ‘Stages of production’ theory doesn’t work. We recommend instead a new version of world history based on World History and the Eonic Effect: a simpler version can be found in Decoding World History. In addition, the Marxist dialectic has confused many: we can try to look at the history here and recommend standing back from dialectical materialism, one more bogus theory hanging like a millstone around the necks of Marxists:
Decoding_World_History version 11
Socialism doesn’t require theory, if only because theories, outside of physics and the basic sciences connected to that are always wrong at this point. A theory of social organization doesn’t exist as science and Marx in attempting the impossible produced a very brittle set of theories and these confused his otherwise brilliant and useful works in the context of early socialism. Few leftist/Marxists realize the uselessness of Capital, a work that the vast majority of leftists don’t understand: how could they, the book is a mess.
The short pieces of Marx/Engels from the early period are all that is needed. Socialism doesn’t require ‘theory’. Like the Rebs in the American revolution leftists need to think clearly about basics stated in the open without a lot of intellectual posturing or marxist abstractions. Our approach is a recipe to construct a republic based on a Commons and is a variant of democratic liberalism.
Computer programmers, advanced amateurs at least, in the old days avoided top-down programs: a short piece of code that is put through a debugger at each stage guarantees success. Trying to get a three thousand line program to work the first time is almost impossible.
We are continuing our effort to produce a new formulation of the issues at focus in most leftist movements with a critique of marxism and a strong recommendation to move on and recompute the basics that Marxist dogma gets wrong and which the left groups can’t shake off because they have become a kind of religion. Marxism is a great resource but unless we can restate the issues again it will prove a deadweight and dogmatic brake on the hard thinking needed for a first socialism. We have many examples of ‘theories’ but the only ones that work are those in physics and its immediate associated subjects, like chemistry. No sociological or historical theory has ever succeeded.
Our Red Forty-eight Group is an abstract movement as a gedanken experiment, and is also a vehicle that can be activated on the spot to jumpstart a new versioning, both evolutionary and revolutionary. It is all very well to trumpet socialism but at this point, what are you talking about? The wheel of fortune has come around again to a moment of potential for change but it seems noone can avail themselves of the situation at hand.
At a time of crisis and social disintegration, there is nothing that can deal with the reality on the ground.
The world is going over a cliff and desperately needs a movement for the times, but none are visible.
The Red Forty-eight Group is an abstracted version or template for a hypothetical movement that speaks to revolution and/or reformist groups. But at this point, it should transition to the basis for a real movement that can deal with capitalism, the climate crisis, the near-derelict US, socialism, both in one country and new ideas for an International. We have often spoken of ‘virtual revolution’, a good exercise for evolutionary reformists to see the limits of activism and the factor of revolutionary transformation.
The basic idea is a variant of both liberal and socialist legacies: the liberal tradition can take a quantum leap into its real destiny as ‘democratic market neo-communism’ with an ecological timbre. The basic transformation is to expropriate resources to a Commons. With that basis, many of the structures of liberalism (democracy) can remain. This is not state capitalism, but a way to guarantee shared resources with a new legal format for a Commons. The issues of markets cease to matter once the basic Commons is established. This system can have planning, socialist markets with licensed resources, etc…This kind of system can work day one because liberal systems can work day one and doesn’t require the hopeless confusions of total reconstruction. A state is a multi-term system with rapidly escalating complexity. Start rather with a model and remorph that.
This is not some fantastic system imagined in the abstract to be completed after a revolution. It is rather a practical variant of liberalism, and vice versa, a practical variant of ‘communism’ which is a system with shared resources.
While our thinking learns a lot from marxism it is critical of the legacy there, and moves away from it, and considers that the public won’t again accept that Marxist bolshevism as a legacy until it is completely recast and breaks with the calamity of Stalinism. It is hard to believe that leftist sects still can’t adopt a critical post-marxism that can reconfigure issues of history, society, economics…The world has run out of time and yet no movement exists that can address the current crisis.
The Red Forty-eight Group refers to the explosive period of 1848 whose moment still resonates in our era because it struck a kind of fundamental note in a period of the birth of socialism, with Marx/Engels surfing on the big wave. This name stands beyond particular ideologies born at that period to a superset of all that arrives from that period. A critical stance often ends up in reformist perspectives in shallow compromise. We might critique legacy leftist ideologies but they convey from the early modern the reality of revolutionary action and remind us, although we must equally speak to social democrats and reformers, that all the freedoms of modern man were achieved by revolution, not least the American. What conclusion are we to draw from that?
Two Manifestos version 2(4)
We have a summary of these two blogbooks below:
Capitalism, Communism and the Evolution of Civilization(2)The Anthropocene and The Coming of Postcapitalism ver 12(2)
This is a set of notes summarizing the issues of the blogbooks
The current moment stands transfixed by the moving calamity of climate change, and now in our immediate present, in the US, the tragedy/farce of the Trump presidency. The eerie strangeness of such a drone fascist pretender has generated a mysterious revolution in reverse gear, a sort of tragicomic coup d’etat that moves in the tide of reactionary anti-democratic forces attempting to undo modernity as such.
The place of the left is to stand ready for a rescue operation that can diagnose the tragedy unfolding via capitalism and take the path to a new social formation, assuming it can envision what that might be. It might be socialism but the term is too vague at this point and we become specific about what that means.
The left arises in the early modern as does the modern novelty, revolution. The early Greek city-states, and elsewhere, essentially invented the genre, no doubt, but it is not until modern times that the process takes a formal rendering. We can see the Reformation as the starting point and the beautiful and preposterous Utopia of More prophecies a new genre.The English Civil War, despite its confusing history is a key moment in every respect. But then in the Restoration we see the confusing mix of counterrevolution and oligarchy smothering the democratic potential of the triumphant Parliament. This phenomenon reflects the critique of Marx of such compromised democracy manque.
The charge of utopianism is castigated from the right, and the left, and is charged by Marx himself as a mere precursor to his ‘scientific’ socialism. But if a later age finds his science wanting we are thrown back to the philosophical if not utopian ‘blue print’ formulations that pass through the early modern gestation of revolutionary action. The early modern most naturally equivocates a kind of dialectic of revolution, democracy, and finally socialism. The classic phasing of the French Revolution produced the modern version of socialism and communism in its wake, during which the issues of class, ideology and liberalism were the object of world-historical debates. There Marx’s unique contribution was to show the framework of liberalism, to spawn democracy, was de facto captured by the capitalist regime. From there he proceeded to a set of theories that seem less useful now, as they provoke their own metaphysical ideology, based on economic fundamentalism. World history is a curious enigma and will not yield easily to the regime of science. We can invoke the world of ‘models’ to consider a continuum of applied socialism in practice.
The legacy of marxism propounds a view of history that is of dubious scientific value. The tenets of productive force determinism seem dated now but served to generate a tremendous early tide of movements
The core of marxism is useful, but we must start from the beginning all over again.
Marx/Engels are almost perfect as epic figures in the core heroic saga of 1848 and the gestation of socialism in France in the wake of the French Revolution.
Our task here is to posit a new leftist formation, The Red Forty-eight Group as a superset and exit point for all the endless Socialist This/Socialist That sects that can’t fathom their deadlocked condition in the current situation which in the US is practically begging for a revolutionary action.
The idea of the red forty-eight group looks to the year 1848 whose seminal significance is a forward pass to our time of the basic milieu of revolutionary action and the emergence of modern politics.
Most of this already exists in various books which we will cite at the end of this short summary of their issues.
At a moment when in the US the shennanigans of Trump have almost singlehandedly created an invitation to revolution we find the whole left paralyzed.
In addition the coming of the Covid-19 pandemic has shown a grotesque further horror demo from the Trump and his gang. It is a moment when, if you can’t revolt, you end with your just desserts, slavehood. Slavehood and slavery are technically not the same but the difference seem marginal at this point.
We can conclude a set of books available via the web, for sale, or free, that animate a revised leftist platform and deals with a set of issues pointing to a new kind of platform. After that we will outline still another blogook as a work in progrees outlining the issues raised. We need an instant book done in one sitting and this is both a book and a mere outline of a book…
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.
3. Once and Future Socialisms
3.1 What is to be done?
Lenin’s classic tends to mesmerize us with the failed Bolshevik disaster The Red Forty-eight Group disowns the whole legacy and resolves to study is a failure and creates a decisive break in historical continuity: a revolution in the ranks of the revolution. We end with the same question after debriefing Bolshevism: what is to be done?
3.2 Critical marxism
We have considered the classic image of Marx/Engels as inspirational as we move rapidly through a critique of marxism to some new starting point. Dialectical materialism should be dismantled on the spot and the issue of dialectic repaired with a new insight into complex systems. There may be a higher logic in the Hegelian culture Kampf of geist but in the nonce, straight dyadic logic is the only safe tool available.
3.3 A New Manifesto
We have a new manifesto taken as an echo of the Marx/Engels classic and yet a new call full bullet points for a fresh revolutionary restart…
The shibboleths of socialism sounded in a void are not enough: we must attempt constructed socialist blueprints and the process moves from the forced focus on socialism to a complex system of interacting components: democracy/authority, markets/planning, and properties/individualities versus a Commons of expropriation, the latter the fundamental task of what is taken as or called neo-communism, as in democratic market neo-communism. This complex system contains four complexities in one and shows why bolshevik oversimplifications were inadequate to social reformation.
To this democratic market neo-communism we must bring an ecosocialist content and make the basic construct serve to create an ecological socialism.
The conclusion is the construction of a new revolutionary framework (we must offer equally a version to the reformist wing with a warning about the problem of expropriation in that case) that can free itself for its own past with a creative energy chapter and verse marxist boilerplate no longer provides
We have completed our short booklet satisfying the requirement of crisis times of being ersatz done in one sitting, yet ready for instant amplification…