The link to Common Dreams is the umpteenth this month warning of the coming-now-here catastrophe of our ecological disaster. We present a new framework making the point we can produce them very rapidly. It speaks to reformists and/or revolutionaries. We might prefer reformist demcratic (pseudo-socialism) but unless the left can expropriate monstrosities like Exxon, now willfully engaging in planetary ecocide the calamity will be guaranteed. We speak therefore of ‘neo-communism’ and offer a new kind of system with failsafe guarantees against stalinism, models for a robust new kind of economy, and an exit vehicle from the stale and dated marxism. That said, protestant reformed marxists after some sense knocked in their heads are open candidates for a new revolutionary/reformist transition.
Marxists could do an immense service by disowning marxism, and starting over with a new framework. Failing that we consider leaving them behind, to attempt something new. The material below is an hour’s work and does just that, however incomplete. There is no excuse anymore for monopolizing socialist ideas with Karl Marx as fetish saint. We have moved on and will never use the term ‘communism’ without a prefix as in neo-communism and a with failsafe revolutionary options that can bypass jacobinism and guarantee habeas corpus,etc. The left cannot rehash bolshevism, if they do, we are all dead.
The future is at risk at the start from the army of covert agency psychopaths who have billions in resources and decades of experience at destroying leftists. The must find the resolution to the near hopeless situation left to us. But the left has time on its side: the capitalists have run out of time. Having critiqued Marxists, it is also true that they have preserved the revolutionary option. For that they have our respect, although what we say is to reformists and/or revolutionaries. We have variously advocated the be drafted/shanghaied into our R48G formation (below)
The revolution/reform dilemma is false, perhaps: Gaian nature is mad as hell and is already staging the ‘Revolution’.
Our idea is that of ‘democratic market neo-communism’ which could be the blueprint to reconstruct a new society in less than a month.
R48g: Red Fortyeight Group: The algebra of left movements: Let R48G be….Movement X, revolutionary/reformist, I am too old to found a movement but I can offer an algebra of movements that are able to deal with the crisis.
Let just note that every movement based on marxism has failed. There are simple solutions to its confusions.
Some notes for a new book on an emergency left, companion to Last and First Men
The idea of the Red Fortheight Group points to the era of the bourgeois revolution moving into a socialist future in the 1848 period, the era of Marx and Engels and the first challenges to the suddenly crystallizing capitalist order. Our idea tokens a movement variable of The Red-fortyeight Group as an algebra of movementsin a superset of liberal, socialist and communist groups, factions, parties and their futures in our own time as the prophecy of the Last Revolution takes shape at a moment of global system collapse.
The need for a critical postmarxism: at a time of crisis the older facts on the ground of Bolshevism have completely wrecked the legacy of Marxism: the latter used to be an immensely popular idea but now leaves most including the working class paranoid and wary of Stalinism. The left must start over and produce a new view of history and evolution, a blueprint for a new society, and a new type of economy that works.
Again, the left MUST start over. The material was composed in one hour or so and shows how a new left can emerge in no time
We need more materials, no doubt, viz. on ecological socialism.
The left needs to critique and move beyond Darwinism which is going to be a tool of capitalists and rogue scientists to use genocide as the crisis deepens. (Stalin was the great pioneer here, to the immense discredit of Marxists.) The idea of natural selection is used by the field of rogue scientists to justify capitalism, competition, mass murder as evolution, etc…
A simple framework for a robust take on ‘evolution’ can be provided in about five minutes. The sophistical lies and deceptions of Darwinism’s natural selection are dangerous and totally unnecessary.
Our take on ‘decoding world history’ shows how easy it is to produce a simple outline/model of world history. Historical materialism is not a sound framework and leads to the worst kind of reductionist scientism. We don’t need to reduce the world to economic categories.
A sound study of history must embrace the fact/value distinction and be a story/history of free agents, with the dialectic of free will.
A work in progess, to accompany Descent of Man Revisited, and Last and First Men:
The current world situation confronts the ominous prospect of global warming and climate change in the unrestricted play of capitalism. The issues of economics are very complex and delusive, but the overall outcome in the estimates of scientists defaults to stark prophecies of catastrophe. The prospect of radical transformation confronts the revolutionary option, but then retreats to the hopes of reformist activism. Here controversies of a political nature lead to suspicions that two options are going to end up equivalent, and beset with stalemate in the collision with a strangely totalitarian nexus of markets. The question of a path to postcapitalism, once controversial, now seems the only options for last chances.
This is a first set of draft notes for a companion volume to Descent of Man Revisited and Last and First Men. We will attempt a critique of marxism and put its legacy in a new historical context. We can attempt to review the history of radical change in the context of modernity and to critique some of the assumptions at play in the contest of futures. The modern left is to a first view the continuation of the French Revolution beyond its supposed bourgeois character to the struggle of the new proletariat. But a closer look shows us that the deep sources point to the early modern, at its earliest in the sixteenth century in the struggles with medievalism, monarchy and fixtures of class societies. This situation saw the birth of socialism and this theme was taken up by Marx and Engels and codified into the tenets of so-called ‘Marxism’. This initiative exploded via the so-called Second International and the Bolshevik action in the Russian Revolution. The Stalinism outcome was a tragic derailment of the entire socialist project. This outcome was more than a tragedy, it bequeathed an analytical puzzle in the nature of the theory in question, one repeatedly criticized and yet unable to review the strangely dogmatic tenacity of the Marxist corpus. The collapse of the whole initiative in 1989 should have been an opportunity to review the legacy but if anything the revolutionary left has closed ranks around the original doctrine and turned into a kind of cult of Marx.
Once we snap out of the mesmerizing appeal of the classic saga of Marx and Engels a century of criticisms resurface to challenge the conventional view. This critical perspective is so cluttered with ideological sloganeering that the task of objective review is made almost impossible. The key issue is whether the legacy can be salvaged at all. The problem is that a kind of cognitive dissonance sets in as the terminology of Marxism refers to an idealistic radicalism of the current generation and at the same time refers to the usage of all past and current communist systems from the Russian to the stil in play monstrosity of North Korea. To what does the terminology refer?
Once we see that the whole tradition needs to be left behind in order to start over with a fresh account of the potential of socialism/communism. As we do this we see what many critics have seen from the start, the flawed theoretical basis left by Marx. The corpus here claims to be a science but that claim belongs ot a period in history in the wake of the tremendous success of Newtonisn physics when ambitious thinkers saw fit to storm the gates of glory for like theories in all fields of knowledge. As the so-called hard sciences thrived and moved into cosmology, bio/chemistry, thermodynamics, and finally genetics, the expectation of similar success fell flat in the realms of ethical, aesthetic domains as the attempts to bring science to psychology, sociology, and history all failed. And here in many ways the question of evolution became the threshold demarcation level: the question of evolution emerged in the late eighteenth century and then in a strange development was captured by the work of Darwin and Wallace and given what seemed a scientific basis in the theory of natural selection. The reality was that ‘evolution’ was well past the demarcation level and was not amenable to the kind of reductionist program that had been so successful in the genuine base level sciences. But the strangest think then happened: the paradigm turned in to a hard-core belief system and ideology beyond the bound of reason in its obsessive embrace of a basic fallacy. And yet this conclusion was made into a kind of deviant heresy in a cult of Darwin’s theory. And here
new left forward, companion to Last and First Men.
The enigma of world history, and the elusive quest for science has long suffered confusion even as the cousin ideas of evolution seemed to have achieved the level of science. It is ironic therefore that the failure of a science of history is a challenge to the current dominant paradigms of Darwinism. It is important to consider that we can observe history at close range, up to a point, while the process of evolution points to immensities of time in succession to the Big Bang. There we do see evolutionary sequences, but not at close range and the mechanism behind that we do not see. We see the facts of evolution but not at close enough range to construct a theory. We need to be clear at the start: we can detect evolution in deep time, but we cannot yet understand how it works. The study of the so-called eonic effect can show us at the margins a glimpse of what evolution is like because it can for the first time record an interval of the ‘evolution of something’ and this is historical and observable in broad strokes. The connection to deep time is at first unclear but we can infer there must be a connection. This is not a new theory but a demonstration of the complex ‘logistics’ of evolution in action on the surface of a planet.
This is a first edition of a companion volume to Descent of Man Revisited and Last and First Men. We will attempt a critique of marxism from the left and put its legacy in a new historical context. A critque from the left will sow confusion in the right. Our objective is to find the basis for a view of history than can found the activist range of socialism. Marx’s theories of history attempting to do that are dated now and tend to confuse the adherents of social change with a theory of history that has been rejected by a multitude of independent thinkers. We can connect the two discussions with an at first outrageous argument: historical evolution induces ideological outcomes and these can induce ideological ‘shoulds’. This seems to contradict scientific objectivity. Perhaps but we are not external observers of history, thence evolution, we are immersed in the systems in question.
We will construct a short version of our thesis in a way that allows incremental expansion, with an archive of short essays from the blog at redfortyeight.com.org. The world system is in trouble in the context of the economic erosion of ecological balance. The controversies of the left then come into their own only to be suject to a Marxist monopoly. The works of Marx are such that they thrive better under challenge, than as fixed dogmas of a prophet. The socialist idea was never the exclusive domian of economic categories and histories. History is far richer. As to Marx we need to intercept a forward pass and proceed to socialism is a new way. Our idea of the ‘Red Fortyeight Group’ is of a hypothetical left movement that points to the era of the ‘48 revolutions and as a superset of the spectrum. That allows us to consider the Marxist legacy both critically and as a practical resource or library. The left must start over in each generation and take into account the history of its failures.
A new framework here is not hard to achieve and in the process we are ironically presented with a simpler formulation beside the egregious obscurity of the Marxist analysis. The world is on the move and we must hope to pass beyond the failures of the era of Bolshevism into a much simpler approach to social change thatn the quixotic search for a science of history. The problem was fairly well seen by men thought conservatives now, such a Popper with his Poverty of Historicism. He failed to see that socialism is not dependent of theories of history. Popper, and Isaiah Berlin, faulted the denial of freedom of historical agents. The issue of free agents comes to the fore as theories of an older period seem to make of those agents Frankensteins. The material on the eonic effect will servre as a kind of commentary and leave the subject free of theory with a realization that the subjects of history and evolution are basically the same, and require related models. There ideology lurks, but we will see that ideologies themselves evolve in our sense. So as we are immersed in history we pick up its ideologies and develop them at will. That was the confusion of the ‘end of history’ debate but we can resolve that confusion directly.
History and Evolution: Decoding World History/Debriefing Darwism
World history is an undiscovered country. Contemporary understandings show great confusion and make obvious the lack of a scientific perspective. Compared to the facility of physics, at least in the context of its mysterious mathematical methods that seem to develop in a just-in-time synchrony with the needs of new theories, the field of history shows no real reductionist resolution. The reason should be obvious: the issues of psychology and consciousness, values over facts, social existence, and religious versus secular discourses. History must grapple with the idea of freedom, physics must not. The idea of a science of history fails at the first step.
But all at once we confront a surprise in the reformulation of the question; the eonic effect, stumbling into an awesome mystery tour through ages in transition. One thinks of the classic phrase, voices of silence. We catch a glimpse of history’s law of motion. But that perception is of a crude outer mechanics that evolves a much more elusive complexity that has a character not seen in physics, such as ethical and aesthetic aspects, the realm of values beyond facts.
This book will attempt to demonstrate this hidden factor and approach the issue of a science of history indirectly via a new discovery we have called the eonic effect as the first real step to such a science. As we enter the unknown, we find a phenomenon of nature that still eludes us with a complexity of a new order of magnitude. We often confront machines we cannot understand, but we can see what they do. The eonic effect in history gives us a glimpse of (historical) (macro-) evolution: a field of form effects operating over a species region. It is mysterious yet we can see what it is doing
Toward a New Communist Manifesto
The Crisis of Capitalist Globalization At a time of social crisis, the classic Manifesto of Marx and Engels in the era of the 1848 revolutions resonates with an eerie relevance for the age of neoliberalism and dangerous climate change. The clever fiction of the end of history is exposed as an artifice of philosophic legerdemain, Hegel from the bottom of the deck. The original tour de force would be a hard act to follow, but in reality, our ‘new’ manifesto is a studied echo of the old brought to its real future, via the prophetic desperation of two revolutionaries before their time. The era of the 1848 upheavals, in the last tremors of the mighty French Revolution, has been called a turning point in world history, but one which failed to turn. It is an ironic aspect of our current era that this ‘revolution manqué’ is an apt metaphor for our own predicament. It threw down the gage to the future of the whole of industreality. That remarkable period of revolt was a shot over the bows of the capitalist revolution unfolding toward its long march to globalization, with the problematical outcome of its success beset once again with the haunting realization the failure to turn is a world of markets going mad. A rational limit or else overthrow of the new capitalist affair might have spared the planetary community much suffering, but now the issue goes into the critical zone, as the crisis reaches a point of no return. And that moment has a symbolic significance in terms of a larger view of world history. Toward a New Communist Manifesto Democratic Market neo-communism At a time of developing climate catastrophe, it is important to bring to the fore the challenge of revolutionary change. There is no reason why this can’t be followed with an electoral path, but the implications are and remain that of constitutional renewal. This approach, even as it can and should inform mainstream activist logic working on issue initiatives and electoral options, is a discipline of thinking on problems holistically, involving social, economic, constitutional and political perspectives in the context of a totalitarian capitalist regime, with global domination as its keynote. Our perspective is thus both nationalistic and internationalist. The times require the dangerous passage of revolutionary regime change, even if this provokes an apparently unrealistic goal, and this must at least be contemplated as a potential option. Democratic_Market_Neo_Communism) Capitalism is not an option The debates on the left and with the public over capitalism have been contentious and mostly have failed to convince. But we are entering a new situation, fraught with danger, planetary danger, in the escalating crisis of climate change and its core capitalist culprit. A remarkable moment has arrived: the capitalist economic process has turned malevolent and threatens to terminate the history of man. Its unstoppable character and the ideological hard hypnosis it has induced has emerged all too clearly in the Trump era with its deliberate blindness to any idea of global warming. And we have two wonder if a Trump’s imitator like Bolsonaro is so gripped in the madness of capitalist obsession that he is renewing the attack on the Amazon Basin out of sheer wilful spit of the critics of capitalist depredation. We can see clearly now that the debate is over, Bolsonaros and Trumps or not, we are pressed whatever we thought to somehow conceive a path to postcapitalism. And here even the left seems unready as the capitalist vise tightens in scofflaw indifference to the one-way path over the Falls. Many determined leftists have long upheld their seemingly useless efforts against capitalist pleading. Now who can listen any longer. The future is clear: postcapitalism or nothing. The last-ditch compromises of capitalism will waste a little more time as the Bolsonaro fiddle with the forest burn but soon the last capitalist idiot standing will have to face facts, desperately turning up the dial on the air-conditioner…Capitalism is not an option Stages of production theory: A system of epochs done right Marxists are devoted students of socialism but they are stuck in a treadmill of bad theories that cloud the many better insights of Marx’s thinking. Marx exudes an aura of being super smart but his work is mired in the stupidities of the era of reductionist scientism. He almost saw through Darwinism and grasped its problem at a first glance but then kowtowed to his sidekick Engels and embraced the fatal dose of a second pseudo-science. In the end, Marx comes off as almost stupid in his obsession with his theories. That work was one thing in the Second International period, but now the left needs to move on. The series of economic epochs is not useful anymore. Marx, let us note, had never heard of Sumer. The revolution in archaeology makes older epochal histories obsolete. Stages of production theory: A system of epochs done right
Some online resources:
Appendix: notes for an operational manual:
The current moment stands transfixed by the moving calamity of climate change, and now in our immediate present, in the US, the tragedy/farce of the Trump presidency. The eerie strangeness of such a drone fascist pretender has generated a mysterious revolution in reverse gear, a sort of tragicomic coup d’etat that moves in the tide of reactionary anti-democratic forces attempting to undo modernity as such.
The place of the left is to stand ready for a rescue operation that can diagnose the tragedy unfolding via capitalism and take the path to a new social formation, assuming it can envision what that might be. It might be socialism but the term is too vague at this point and we become specific about what that means.
The left arises in the early modern as does the modern novelty, revolution. The early Greek city-states, and elsewhere, essentially invented the genre, no doubt, but it is not until modern times that the process takes a formal rendering. We can see the Reformation as the starting point and the beautiful and preposterous Utopia of More prophecies a new genre.The English Civil War, despite its confusing history is a key moment in every respect. But then in the Restoration we see the confusing mix of counterrevolution and oligarchy smothering the democratic potential of the triumphant Parliament. This phenomenon reflects the critique of Marx of such compromised democracy manque.
The charge of utopianism is castigated from the right, and the left, and is charged by Marx himself as a mere precursor to his ‘scientific’ socialism. But if a later age finds his science wanting we are thrown back to the philosophical if not utopian ‘blue print’ formulations that pass through the early modern gestation of revolutionary action. The early modern most naturally equivocates a kind of dialectic of revolution, democracy, and finally socialism. The classic phasing of the French Revolution produced the modern version of socialism and communism in its wake, during which the issues of class, ideology and liberalism were the object of world-historical debates. There Marx’s unique contribution was to show the framework of liberalism, to spawn democracy, was de facto captured by the capitalist regime. From there he proceeded to a set of theories that seem less useful now, as they provoke their own metaphysical ideology, based on economic fundamentalism. World history is a curious enigma and will not yield easily to the regime of science. We can invoke the world of ‘models’ to consider a continuum of applied socialism in practice.
The legacy of marxism propounds a view of history that is of dubious scientific value. The tenets of productive force determinism seem dated now but served to generate a tremendous early tide of movements
The core of marxism is useful, but we must start from the beginning all over again.
Marx/Engels are almost perfect as epic figures in the core heroic saga of 1848 and the gestation of socialism in France in the wake of the French Revolution.
Our task here is to posit a new leftist formation, The Red Forty-eight Group as a superset and exit point for all the endless Socialist This/Socialist That sects that can’t fathom their deadlocked condition in the current situation which in the US is practically begging for a revolutionary action.
The idea of the red forty-eight group looks to the year 1848 whose seminal significance is a forward pass to our time of the basic milieu of revolutionary action and the emergence of modern politics.
Most of this already exists in various books which we will cite at the end of this short summary of their issues.
At a moment when in the US the shennanigans of Trump have almost singlehandedly created an invitation to revolution we find the whole left paralyzed.
In addition the coming of the Covid-19 pandemic has shown a grotesque further horror demo from the Trump and his gang. It is a moment when, if you can’t revolt, you end with your just desserts, slavehood. Slavehood and slavery are technically not the same but the difference seem marginal at this point.
We can conclude a set of books available via the web, for sale, or free, that animate a revised leftist platform and deals with a set of issues pointing to a new kind of platform. After that we will outline still another blogook as a work in progrees outlining the issues raised. We need an instant book done in one sitting and this is both a book and a mere outline of a book…
Notes toward a new leftist platform
1. The Crisis of Civilization
We are at a moment of emerging social crisis and collapse in the sudden decline of incomplete and fragmented modernities in which the capitalist phenomenon has started to metasthesize into a malignant social formation. We reject the idea that this is an age of capitalism: it is form of modernity that allowed unchecked capitalism to overtake the whole social formation
1.1 Ecological Calamity
The industrial revolution reaches its nemesis as capitalism turns malevolent and becomes a destroyer of an entire planetary system..
1.2 the reign of neoliberalism
The current period is designated as the reign of neoliberalism, but it is one and the same capitalist formation and ideology that emerged in the period the industrial revolution…it didn’t have to be that way..
1.3 Capitalism and modernity
Capitalism is not an epoch in world history but a component of modernity that has tried to become the definition of modernity when it should have been subjected to socialist interaction from the start…
1.4 Revolutions per second
The history of technology fascinates us but it is not the real driver of social history. Nonetheless th industrial revolution is unique moment, but prone to the mistake of technological thinking applied to all social constructs. But the business of social construction is far more complex than any technology…
The period of the post-revolutionary period in France produced a cascade of attempts to correct the tendencies of the the original in the birth of multiple leftist formations converging to the year 1848 with its failure to realize a properly constructed to the question of modernity…
2. History and Evolution
The place of history in evolution and evolution in history are a useful generalized category pair beyond the economic fundamentalism of much leftist thinking (dominated by confrontation with capitalism)
2.1 Epochs and ages
Marxism posits a set of economic epochs but the scheme fails to fret the ultra-complex factors of world history as a whole. The ages of economic organization might better find a large periodization in what modern archaeology has found as the natural progression of the epochs of civilization, roughly the Neolithic, the wake of Sumer and Dynastic Egypt, proximate antiquity and the rise of modernity.
2.2 The Eonic Effect
The ‘eonic effect’ is basically the periodization above but comes with a crackerjack surprise in terms of an insight into the evolution of civilization. But theories of history are risky: it is enough to follow simple chronologies as above and take simple modernity and its early modern as the basic ‘epoch’; this is far larger that capitalism. The two are not the same.
2.3 The modern transition
The eonic effect shows world history fretted in a complex of transitions and the early modern is a classic example.
2.4 Man and Evolution
Ultimately man evolves in a larger schema than that given by darwinism and that evolutionary process gets a glimpse in the eonic effect itself
2.5 Last and First Men
The coming of homo sapiens is key focus for the left and coming to an understanding of human evolution is a stage in the evolution of man beyond his present, beyond capitalism to socialism. We must be wary of the terms of evolutionary discourse and isolate the ideological factors in ‘theories’ proposed, not the least by capitalist economists.
3. Once and Future Socialisms
3.1 What is to be done?
Lenin’s classic tends to mesmerize us with the failed bolshevik disaster The Red Forty-eight Group disowns the whole legacy and resolves to study is failure and create a decisive break in historical continuity: a revolution in the ranks of the revolution.
3.2 Critical marxism
We have considered the classic image of Marx/Engels as inpsriational as we move rapidly through a critique of marxism to some new starting point. Dialectical materialism should be dismantled on the spot and the issue of dialectic repaired with a new insight into complex systems. There may be a higher logic in the hegelian culture kampf of geist but in the nonce straight dyadic logic is the only safe tool available.
3.3 New Manifesto
We have a new manifesto taken as echo of the Marx/Engels classic and yet a new call full bullet points for a fresh revolutionary restart…
The shibboleths of socialism sounded in a void are not enough: we must attempt constructed socialist blueprints and the process moves from the forced focus on socialism to a complex system of interacting components: democracy/authority, markets/planning, and properties/individualities versus a Commons of expropriation, the latter the fundamental task of what is taken as or called neo-communism, as in democratic market neo-communism. This complex system contains four complexities in one and shows why bolshevik oversimplifications were inadequate to social reformation.
To this democratic market neo-communism we must bring an ecosocialist content and make the basic construct serve to create an ecological socialism.
The conclusion is the construction of a new revolutionary framework (we must offer equally a version to the reformist wing with a warning about the problem of expropriation in that case) that can free itself for its own past with a creative energy chapter and verse marxist boilerplate no longer provides
We have completed our short booklet satisfying the requirement of crisis times of being ersatz done in one sitting, yet ready for instant amplification…
These notes are an introduction to a series of blogbooks that became Kindle books and they express our set of notes in greater detail…