Without drastic change, the current world order will almost certainly collapse into catastrophic global disorder with dir…
This is just the kind of disintegration of culture that is a premise of The Last Revolution: Postcapitalist Futures. Revolutionary thinking is not exactly a popular subject but the point (which can just as well support reformist logic) is that we must be ready with a postcapitalist social model, and in that context, Marxism has failed to do the job. Marxists have become a cult of Marx, and have made Marx’s theories unquestioned doctrines. In fact, if we simply disregard ‘theory’ and stick with empirical methods we can easily rescue a core portion of Marx, assuming we can in fact do that in practice. We don’t need historical materialism and dialectical materialism. The whole issue of socialism suddenly simplifies without that baggage. And the need for a broad cultural foundation demands something beyond economic reductionism. But if we critique Marx we confront a monumental cult barrier syndrome.
The DMNC model is itself, beside being far superior to Marxist muddle, so elementary as to be almost a thimble’s worth of discussion. And the DMNC model needs still another set of extensions, perhaps. The whole thing is really a challenge to start thinking about how to realize social transformation. In library of bookish blather the Marxist legacy is simply sterile and can offer very little byond mumbled references to state ownership and planning.
But the crudity of the DMNC model surpasses the vacuum of the Marxist canon, which is misleading and almost obscurantist. The issue of an International, and the place of the UN require some discussion. The legal basis of a Commons beyond the fallacies of ‘state capitalism’ and a host of other legal issues such as ecological courts remain up in the air.
The book is easily extendable and the current publication software is indeed remarkable. Amazon’s Kindle Create and/or paperback, and now hardback, self-publishing have made book production a matter of minutes to hours. Despite the remaining prejudice against self-published authors, the tide has turned and it is now evident that established book production can’t handle even such a key subject as evolution in the domination of Darwinian thinking in biology and academia. A peer-reviewed book on evolution is usually not worth reading. Self-published authors are increasingly the last resort in many areas, and now the domination of Marxist cadre thinking joins the list. The right outflanked the left on evolution and sites like Evolutionary News have produced a lot of good material on the Darwin debate, if you can remain unbamboozled by design arguments. But design arguments are here to stay and they have none of the theological implications the right tried to foist on them.
Self-publishing can obviously backfire and the floodtide of millions of bad Kindle books is visible at Amazon. Facing reality: the world of publishing on the left and in history and evolution cannot be done right in the context of peer-reviewed publishing, with obvious exceptions.
The crisis coming however could overwhelm the reasonable and cautious approach of The Last Revolution. Stalinist and fascist dictatorship could end up the gruesome choice as the capitalist elite moves to bunkers in Sweden (in fact, the north may end up too hot). The issues of a billion displaced persons are gruesome to contemplate. The revolution is already underway! and the response from the right is itself a pseudo-revolutionary farce. We need to act now, perhaps in the sense of real revolution. But there is noone to lead such a thing. Marxists? Hardly.
As we have noted many times, revolutionary intentions have always been outsmarted by history with a ‘big H’ and its creation of the real revolutionary moments, viz. the Russian and French Revolutions into which people stepped backward as the ‘revolution’ emerged spontaneously. Serendipity. In some ways, the Marxist left was indeed ready, or so it seemed, but events and especially the Civil War soon outstripped the revolutionaries in quotation marks who suffered the effects of bad theories and Marx’s refusal to be specific in advance. Nothing in the legacy warned of the danger of the Tzarist secret police turning into the Cheka. But we can see the problem now and can failsafe revolutions, produce specific models in advance.Revolutions need system analysis, operations research modes (as with the Second WorldWar), marshals and observers, mongoose prep for emerging stealth Jacobins.
Lenin had the new/old secret police as his main social construct, and the legacy of that is still the disaster we see in Russia. The left needs to remake itself, because its legacy was not Marx or Lenin but Stalin on the way to Putin. It doesn’t have to be that way.