archive: Red Forty-eight Group: ‘Our Revolution’, democratic market neo-communism, and the rapid appearance of totalitarian capitalism
June 26th, 2017 ·
It is time to consolidate our framework discussed under the keywords Red Forty-eight Group (which refers to the birth of postcapitalist revolutionary movements in the wake of the 1848 revolutions. Our project, Toward a New Communist Manifesto, was a start, but the task is enormous.
The general point is that we are at risk of being completely outplayed by the forces of capitalist civilization. Their power is immense and growing. But they have shown their weak spot: the legacy of capitalist rationalization has foundered in a remarkable display of stupidity: the rationality turned out to be ideological hypnosis so severe the perpetrators can’t figure out that climate change is even a problem. The automated dynamic of free markets has by its own logic undermined the sanity of conventional economic thinking. Our response to that must be more than new-dealist progressivism, although we should applaud and support the spectrum of such efforts. We must confront the logic of those still in the era of the French Revolution whose inner logic foretold the larger revolution to come that would deal with class, capitalism, and globalization. We must study the Russian instance but we can both study and set aside that episode: we are now in the full autumn of capitalism, where Russia was in its early spring, and we can proceed with a greater efficacy to challenge the capitalist monstrosity. It won’t be easy, but the system, especially but not exclusively given the climate crisis, will amplify our efforts if they are rightly directed to a true revolutionary change. That can come via an evolutionary
path, but we must change the whole dynamics with a new economic system, a new politics, a new constitutional democratic communism, and a new world view or set of such that can realize the post-religious legacies of the Axial Age: the simplest candidate is modernity itself, with the classic secular humanism of the age of Feuerbach being shown to be too limited for the task, although its basic thrust is more than open to a suitable upgrade.
The climate crisis is proving to be so severe that global civilization is going to destabilize. The left needs to be ready. Marxism is a starting point, but in some ways a liability. The key moment of transformation will come suddenly and the left needs to be ready.