Re: The discussion of historical materialsim
Cc: multiple cc’d subscribers at marxlist
Date: Thu, Sep 23, 2021 1:30 pm
This will be censored, so I will send it around so that some are aware they are being deprived of a discussion I think is important.
It is a pity nothing can seemingly be done with the current Marxist paradigm. But I can see no alternative.
Here’s one last attempt to communicate a critical Marxism for the times. In its current form Marxism has crippled the left and the results are visible in the way it is stalled as far as social action is concerned.
I would say (and have hundreds of essay posts at redfortyeight.com with a book archiving several years of its posts) that Marxist create cognitive dissonance in using the general terminology shared by China,
and North Korea and umpteen other Marxist and Leninist groups. The general public has no idea where Marxists are coming from and find few indications the whole range can even critique Stalinism, what to say of Leninism,
and bolshevism in general. That disorganization is a block for most newcomers and the general public.It is essential to start over and carefully lay a ground work that can point to what is intended without any reference to the Marxist legacy. The term ‘marxism’ is part of a cult of personality of Marx and is dated now.
I have proposed a generalized model of movements, the Red Fortyeight Group based on a sense that the whole left in the wake of the French Revolution generated a socialist response and the French Socialists are the source of Marx’s thinking, yet everyone is forced to make Marx the ultimate authority.
The R48G is a socialist/communist, in fact, a neo-communist formation that restates its basis history, economics, philosophy and general culture.
It avoids theories claiming a science of history and uses empirical chronologies instead.
It can thus move past scientism and reductionism, and acknowledge the realms of facts and values in history and culture.
That one step alone will completely remake the old Marxist dogmas of scientism.
Replace the Hegel fracas with the history of philosophy in general with a focus on Kant, a critique of metaphysics, a venue to embrace
provisional materialisms and idealisms without the confusing collision in Marx against Hegel.
Set aside the dialect except as a research project and consider its real foundation beyond the pastiche of Engels and dialectical materialism.
Materialism is fine but in the age of quantum field theory, the foundation is now up (down) in thin air.
A figure such as J.G. Bennett created a new brand of materialism based on Indian Samkhya ( from the occult fascist Gurdjieff) and whatever its limits
it shows that the reactionary right outsmarted the Marxists and their archaic materialism and produced a deadly new form of occult
materialism that is eating the left alive with fascist antidemocracy.
This new left then needs to refound democracy inside socialism.
The R48 formation produces a modeling tool (that is also a viable new format) called ‘democratic market neo-communism’ that shows how easy it is
to create a socialist economy that works beyond the confusions of state capitalism and state planning. Such a system has socialist markets based on a Commons and
social business orgs based on licensed ressources and a new type of postcapitalist markets.
That’s enough. But even that requires a huge amount of work beyond the current thumb twiddling over Marx oulala.
A small army of constitutional scholars is needed to create ecological courts and axioms, the legal basis of a shared Commons,
a new kind of republic, with a Congress and Presidential system, and a dozen ecological, working class and other organizations
and completed foundation of civil liberties, economic rights, ecological rights,and checks and balances.
The core idea of the Commons requires a kind of general equalization based on idea of the Universal Class.
The working class issues can lead to a realization that almost everyone under capitalism is ‘working class’ under the domination
of that economic system….
That’s enough for a start. Marxists seem to think they deserve the future and yet have no program, have done no homework and
spend all their time over Marxist boilerplate.
In any case a revolution starts with a revolution beyond Marxism, careful to take the useful parts of the legacy along.
Let’s hope the term ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ has been retired forever.
Thanks a lot.
We have cited a lot of texts: cf. the materials at redfortyeight.com
Sent: Wed, Sep 22, 2021 1:34 am
Subject: Re: The discussion of historical materialism
I don’t consider myself a Marxist now but I have been studying marxist texts since the midseventies of the last century when I lived in the EastVillage in New York and read a lot of books on Marxism, with an old Jewish communist coaching me.That’s almost fifty years ago. I have read a huge number of books here. But my views were in a larger context of secular humanist, new age, broad philosophical range with many aspects.
Recently I have tried to produce a critique of Marxism, but without any reactionary overtones: I find Marx’s theories of history to be flawed and taking the edge off of his many other essential contributions.
I you read my Deconding World History or now The Last Revolution (Postcapitalist Futures) you will see where I am coming from. Marx formed his ideas in the 1848 period, and that was a long time ago.
The long quarrel over Hegel was destructive and pushed many to an opposite extreme of reductionist science and the obsessive and useless debate over idealism and materialism.
The left should have stepped back to Kant and the school of Kantian ethical socialism emerged from that, in many ways a far better way to formulate a path to socialism.
Marx’s thinking as historical materialism and ‘stages of production’ theory to me are lead weights dragging marxists down and confusing them at the key point of revolutionary action.
I have written extensively in books and at my blog about a way to navigate through Marx, and much else, toward the parts that work without the baggage of his views on history and economics.
It is right that I should be critical of historical materialism. It belongs to another age and has probably antagonized a billion once potential persons disposed toward socialism.
I have proposed a new view of history in Decoding World History with a simple way to replace theories with simple chronologies.In the Last Revolution I offer a mini-manifesto
and a new model of socialism as ‘democratic market neo-communism’, a much simpler way to construct a socialism system. I have never met a Marxist who knew what he was talking about
and the reason is that Marx’s ideas are too complicated and were never really completed, as a glance at the ruins of the volumes of Capital make obvious. Behind the public image, Marx ended up
in writer’s block unable to finish his work as Engels stood by tearing his hair.
My model of ‘democratic market neo-communism’ (with an addition of eco-socialist content to a general framework) is ultra simple in essence, whatever the complications of realization. But it is balanced
between communism (neo-), democracy (liberalism), planning and socialist markets, etc… Cf discussions in The Last Revolution, and multiple other books.
I am also a critic of Darwinism, and my Descent of Man Revisited shows a way out and has thousands of download. I am also a critique of 9/11 propaganda and it is sad that marxists who are oftern acute on
ideological hypnosis, are stuck on the most notorious false flag op of all time.
I have created a mockup of a kind of new left: the Redfortyeight Group, a model for a new kind of movement toward socialism, my democratic market neo-communism. .
The above combination of views creates a kind of triple cancel effect and as you can see as it swings into action at once around marxists, and then again, academic biologists, Darwinists, and the 9/11 con men
like Chomsky who I am suspicious of as a covert plant on the left. He is far too smart to be confused by 9/11, so what is his game, produces a dead confromity.
I have a very useful model of world history in my various books, and deserve credit for that as solving one of the key problems for a real theory of evolution,
but all you get from that is the excommunication of the professors, who are mostly frauds.
We live in the new world of POD and the ability to publish books outside the propaganda brainwashing of the general consensus which tends to overlap with Marxism and weaken its thrust.
I am critical because to an outsider like me the Marx group is too constricted by its own ideological legacies. We need some Marxists to walk out the door into a new kind of revolutionary socialism/communism,
one that can be popular again as in the early second international. Marxists have missed the boat at this terrible moment of doom that just maybe beyond redemption.
That’s enough. It seems to me that the Marxists have stalled the left, and done that for everyone else. We need a revolutionary movement but don’t have one because any such hope is bolloxed by
the Marx monopoly. So I give it a shot: try to challenge the rigid world created by the authoritarian Marx who created a monopoly of socialism/communism as thought systems, and this no longer works.
Thanks for asking for some info. But I have provided resources on all this but you still ask me if I am a Marxist. I think despite my criticisms the Marx milieu could adapt to a new future and create a real path
to socialism, but in its present form it is stalled and stuck in the past. Look at the Common Dreams world: this Friday the Sunrise Group with Greta Thunberg will have another demonstration. These groups, which are
at their reformist limits nonetheless are thriving and vigorous, but I fear a heavier brand is needed. But the Marxists act as if they were licked. They wouldn’t be able to show their face in public demonstrate in the streets any more (in the US). The reason is .obvious. My ‘DMNC’ package is a hybrid, but not a compromise: remorph liberalism into (neo-)communism, and vice versa. A fast route that is real communism but free of all the crypto-stalinist madness of
the older versions.
That’s enough. I critique Marxists, without being one, but the brand called ‘democratic market neo-communism’ goes one better than the now obsolete thinking of Marx (referring to historical/economic issues, the rest
of his corpus being often still relevant). If I sound upset it is because we just now passed the point of no return without a peep from the Marx world which should have recreated itself in 1989 and been out front in a
challenge to what’s going on.
It would have been nice to have shared this with the group.
See also Last and First Men, a sort of textbook for a new formation of socialists of the future.
From: Jeffrey Masko
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2021 11:37 pm
Subject: Re: The discussion of historical materialsim
Just wondering, have you ever thought or called yourself a marxist? I ask because someone like me, and many others on the list and elsewhere, work under the idea of Marxian theory, like folks in genetics work under Darwin’s theory. We think at least some of Marxian theory is worthwhile, but many of us do not call ourselves socialists. Do you consider yourself a socialist? I don’t call myself a Marxist for the same reason Marx didn’t, so I think of myself as a communist. Marxism is necessary, but not sufficient for revolutionary socialist thinking or communism.
Are any of your premises or assumptions built on the work of others? Do you dismiss the work of Marxisan theory or do you engage with the history of ideas, which is essential in having dialogues with others? For me, these things are important in getting others to take your ideas seriously as you make broad generalizations about Marxist cults that are beside the point.
There are plenty of Marxist/anarchist activists and scholars who are not dogmatic and infuse their theory with post structuralism and lots of diverse theories and approaches, so I’m afraid you haven’t looked at the whole field. If you cherry-pick your evidence, then yes, Marxism sects exist. So what? The listserv isn’t one of them. We all have diverse notions of marxian/socialist theory, is that ok or should be all agree with you and follow only your way of thinking? Hope this helps.
On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 11:08 AM Nemonemini wrote:
Thanks for your email to me. But after what you said the fact remains that almost all my
posts are moderated out. (I find the software confusing because I have no idea what’s posted
in fact, mostly nothing. I replied to you via the post on historical materialism, but you may not see it.)
The issue of cults refers to Marxists in general, not this list.
All I meant was that discourse going back to the nineteenth century is dated, and incapable of
revision or any real discussion because it is dogmatically fixed.
Trying to communicate with a group like this could break the deadlock, but the odds are
against it due to the rigidity of the discourse. I have met hundreds of stranded leftists who
would like to do something realistic on the left but who are unable to interact with the mass of
religious believers in marxism. It is a heartbreaking situation.
There are dozens of socialist and communist marxist groups on the web, and not a single one
is going anywhere. Alan Woods at marxixsm.com is writing a book on the history of philosophy
climaxing in Dialectical Materialism. Egad. How can anyone think at this point that they can lead the
left with such a idiotic pastiche of fallacies?