The impulse to recast the basics on the left is notable but repeated efforts here always gravitate backwards into the failed legacy of Bolshevism, marxism and Leninism.
A new movement must radically sever a past that drags them into repeated failures. The point should be obvious but isn’t. This blog has a huge number of posts on the issue of critical marxism and from there a new left.
A new left needs to be new.
1. It should not use the term marxism and take Marx/Engels historically, their classic Manifesto being enough. All the theoretical later material is hopelessly muddled. A new left must be free of the Marx cult of personality and label itself in a more general and/or neutral fashion.
2. A new left must sound different/new, act differently with new frameworks, drop historical materialism, stage of production theory, etc…
3. Adopt a simplified account of work history that isn’t confused by the obsession with economic analysis: history is not an economic mechanism.
4. Stay ware of theories of history. All without exception have failed because the phantom of a science of history eludes all students of the subject.
5. Take up the critique of Darwinism and free the left from its crypto-social Darwinist scandal…The Darwinian pseudo-science should long ago have been critiqued from the left.
Theories of evolution are very difficult and as yet not within scientific reach: adopt an empirical historical view and the subject can be far more helpful.
6. Get to the bottom of economic theories/ideology and adopt again an empirical approach…
7. Develop an explicit model of socialist/ecological outcome including a democratic politics in a new socialist from./…
The question of revolution/reformism remains unresolved, but perhaps that is inevitable: a doubloon approach might work. The current crisis in the US is feeding both possibilities and the revolutionary option seems almost inevitable in a collapsing capitalist America. The climate crisis forbodes the collapse of social revolution to come but the attempts by the older left with all of its stale perspectives might well preempt any resolution.
The left will sooner or later be handed a revolutionary option on a platter, but if the legacy of Bolshevism is any warning, that opportunity will be squandered…
Tactical proposals on how to advance the movement are only valuable if there exists an organization and militants to carry them out. Individual activists lack the striking power and impetus of an organization.