archive: R48G: the empty rhetoric of democracy without a commons
August 31st, 2017 •
The idea of communism has been so discredited that we forget that in some form it is the only solution to the problem of fairness, and thence of democracy: our current system promotes the theme of democracy in order to covertly promote forms of inequality, and domination by the economics of capitalism. These are fairly old ideas! But their cogency is becoming obvious all over again as we begin to grasp in intuitively terms the way the demand for democracy has produced its opposite. The problem arises with the equation of democracy with ‘electoral democracy’, an equation that was never established until fairly late in the game.
Unless we can establish a commons as the basis for fundamental equality of resources our talk of
democracy is mostly empty rhetoric…
archive: market (neo-)communism in the transition through the coming crisis…
April 2nd, 2016 •
In the context of the climate crisis we are moving beyond populist politics on inequality: we will be lucky if we can prevent the elites from simply deleting the working and other classes from any share of the pie as they create elite survival pods.
In that context, we must think in terms of the whole, i.e. some form of neo-communism, free of the cliches and dead hand of the older brands.
We might do what we did with socialism: consider market socialism, here market communism, as a Gedankenexperiment. A communist revolution might seem unrealistic, but if we approach the endpoint in stages we can begin to consider at least something: market communism considers a system of a planetary federation of communist republics, with control of all large-scale industry under governmental and UN control, but leaving some or multiple aspects of industrial civilization strictly regulated,
delivered beyond private property to the Commons, but still functioning in a de facto semi-independent manner. To this, we have a strict new form of democracy where the control of process by capitalism is made impossible. The latter is accomplished, could rapidly transform the paralysis of government we see. There is a host of possible scenarios here, including full communism from the start in a situation of such a crisis that the forms of economy and government collapse.
But there are a number of way stations reachable via electoral processes, or revolutionary situations at the margins. We should have a set of options in multiple varieties. What we must do is ask how legacy marxism could prove viable, or remain worthy of a second chance. Surely we must recast that classic for a new situation, in a form that people will actually buy into. If we can get bolshevik lunacy out of our minds and memories we will see that the original idea of communism was transparent, robust,
republican/democratic, and economically intelligent, with covert agency lunatics, secret polices, etc…We can see how this could prove impossible to achieve: the boondocks of the American system under constitutional license is armed to the teeth and in denial about anything but further environmental exploitation, but the tipping point of shocked realization may actually exist: the competition of bad alternatives will sooner or later take effect.