Archive: birth of an idea: What is the Red Forty-eight Group?

R48G: What is the Red Forty-eight Group?
October 31, 2018

This refers to a discussion at the old Darwiniana blog of an imaginary 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 postcapialism 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.

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