The debate between reformists and revolutionaries in perhaps played out. But a strange phenomenon seems in play: revolutionary potential is arriving out of chaos, even as the right is in the grip of a crypto-revolutionary syndrome of its own: the Great Counterrevolution. Revolution done right thus becomes a left ‘counter’ and the final inheritor of the right’s momentum. Hopefully without warfare in the streets.
Reformists might be ready to see the futility of their efforts since 1968. Tiresome windbags and phony disciples of that idiot Gandhi.
Non-violence needs to be taken out of its junk Hinduism wrapper and assessed in objective terms. Hindus are not Gandhians and do not follow the tactics of the Jain: to be non-violent is to not step on insects and you must sweep a path before on your way. Everyone else report for the Yankee doodle reb/revolt 2.0.
But we cannot really aspire to a revolution: revolution is coming to us and we should be ready. The theme might well be democracy, but we already have that under the same name as crypto-fascism. The idea that socialism can reinvent democracy is the core theme ever since the French Revo shows its limits. But it has not thrived in Marxist discourse in a real way: we must be pickpockets and make off with what Marx got right and relabelled it in a way that doesn’t foment rabies in conservatives. The main sloganetic (?) should indeed be democracy: that must be the first things the mad dogs here, and that will stand for its own redefinition in an intelligent socialism
Just that much is beyond reformism, and we must failsafe its entry back into civil society/discourse. In fifty years a billion people will be desperate, and at our doors. Ready?
A republic if you can keep it: the challenge of revolution: socialist democracy as the last chance option
The ‘revolution’ option is enshrined in the lore of the original revolutionary outcome of American ‘democracy’. That the result wasn’t much of a democracy and points to a new future of the genre: intelligent socialism is the prescription needed for a ‘real democracy’.
That may seem unrealistic but the future of the American system as is seems quite unrealistic…
Imagine that the whole literature of Marxism is obsolete and that the left has to start over.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 a 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 is 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)