R48G: What is the Red Forty-eight Group?
October 31, 2018
This refers to a discussion at the old Darwiniana blog of an imaginary to realized leftist group whose name echoes the heroic saga of the 1848 years. We are still echoing that period when in the wake of the French Revolution the first socialist and communist movements and their philosophies emerged. It is the period of the great Communist Manifesto and its first clarion call. Our group could form into a party or a revolutionary/evolutionary movement at any time but the point here is to consider the need for a new left, beginning with a critical stance toward Marxism itself which provides a background but not as such a current language. In fact the core of Marx’s vision remains and our critique tries to detach that vision from the now dated theoretical construct. The theory of ‘stages of production’ of Marx is problematical and has tended to confuse leftists and it accompanies Marx’s refusal to get specific. Our approach is a version of neo-communism that deals with this problem and begins to propose a new
form of economic system and politics that can match the prophetic moment of both Marx and Engels and the early socialists from whose work they derived their basic starting point. This is really an attempt to leave behind bolshevism once and for all even as the tale of Marx/Engels turns into the core heroic saga for a new communism based on the expropriation of capital into a Commons. Our view is really that of Marx/Engels in the
’48 revolutions, rather than the later codifications of epochal stages of production. But what is the quibble over theory? The epoch of postcapitalism is upon us, effective
immediately. We must consider a new and effective communism beyond the harebrained, tragic and premature fiasco of the bolshevik misfire.
At a time of crisis when the fate of capitalism is itself bound up in the calamity of climate change the eerie abstractions of revolutionary vision crystallize into the direct
inevitability of a post-capitalism of some kind. We need to resolve the issues of democracy, markets, and ecological socialism. Our ‘Democratic Market Neo- communism’ is one realization.
We will have more to say as we go along.
You may sign up immediately for your Admit One ticket, invisible ink only…
The issues of revolution
Red Forty-eight Group: the question of revolution…that would mean ‘now’ May 24th, 2016 •
As our discussion today makes clear Marxism is stuck in another century. The gist of our manifesto is to take the core paragraph of the original: the expropriation of the bourgeoisie, and set the rest to one side. We don’t need a theory of historical materialism, dialectical materialism, such a strong prejudice against idealism. We need simple praxis not trying to convert everyone to a new philosophy.
We need a core movement that has some Marxist dna, but which operates with its own version of communism, able to decipher the neo-classical economic illusion, ready to fight for control of the industrial apparatus in motion, and ready to create a market communism, possibly on its way to full communism. A market communism with a Commons, as opposed to state control by a one party bourgeoisie calling itself radical, with a cut off point below which some forms of commerce, industry, and agriculture operate independently would be nice. Issues of constitutional balance of powers, core rights (without liberal economic rights of capital), newly defined democracy, national/transnational action to create a global federation….
This movement needs to be fair, republican to carry a future partial democracy, ruthless, non-violent or violent as needed, and with a strategy to limit its own one-party state malfunction. We know such a revolution is possible because all of our modern states began with revolutions, and the core issue of Marxism was to create a form of communism in order to save the bourgeois revolution for ‘real democracy’. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/reform_or_revolution_20160522: Hedges has some good ideas, but we don’t have the luxury of Lenin versus Luxembourg. We need a revolutionary movement that can bring the US dot.gov to its knees. The result will be (market) neo-communism on its way to a new form of society, postliberal democracy, and an economy that can support a large population without growth.
This requires a criminal indictment of the gangster government that wrought 9/11 a position on nuclear questions (disarmament)
a willingness to try and control population
a no growth economy that is able to provide a basic income
an indifference level below which people can live in a hybrid non-totalitarian mode with respect to the state