I haven’t read this book but the issue of Marxism remains problematical. One can admire Marx historically but the world needs a framework that can actually do the job. Marx made a monopoly of his thought in a field with many thinkers, the result was a closed cult stuck forever in apologetics. In a larger sense, the way he cast his theories condemned the socialist idea to a failure of realization. In part the whole effort produced false theories of history and the result was the narrow now dated materialism of his time. The whole debate between idealism and materialism was useless and is not needed for a viable praxis. What a waste of effort. Socialism needs a far larger range of discourse than the obsessive analysis of economic systems. How does that attack on idealism advance socialism? Quantum field theory is now evidently idealist. What are Marxists going to do about that?
The dilemma seems ridiculous now and is doomed to antagonize needlessly a whole sector of the public and turn them into enemies.
The Frankfurt School was no better perhaps, but that is downriver history at this point.
We need something simple, failsafed, with a movement that can create a real postcapitalist economy without destroying civil liberties and able to create an open society, within the limits of ecological disaster.
Monthly Review has concocted a sophistical ecological interpretation in the Marx canon. Disaster strikes. Now ecology will be vitiated by Marx’s bad theories. Ecological socialism should be off limits to Marx idiots. Enough screw ups.
Socialism doesn’t need speculative monstrosities like historical materialism or dialectical materialism. The Marxist corpus has handed its enemies simple keys to its refutation and grounds for dismissing socialism. Marx’s other material is important but hard to extract from the misleading theories. We have suggested a new approach that doesn’t try to create a science of history. Every such attempt has failed and with Marx, the issue of freedom becomes a problem of theory, disastrous.
The effort here uses the material of the ‘eonic effect’, which is simply an empirical chronology of evolutionary civilizations, but with a clear indications of key transitions embedded. That is all we need. And the issue of economics is secondary to that larger process. Economies can dominate but they don’t really determine society which follows a different and far larger process. And after all that effort Marxism can’t even get economics right and muddles the whole subject. We can grant the cogency of Marx’s critique of capitalism. But even there we must move on.
We need a blueprint for a new society that is socialist, democratic, and constitutional, one that can resolve the ‘market’ enigma. The focus on the working class can remain central, but it needs a larger vision of the society that will follow capitalism. And it must be clear in advance lest the inexorable drift into Stalinism recur all over again. Marx’s focus on the working class backfired and gave the world of Leninism/Stalinism grounds for mass murder.
We have time to start over and clearly define the nature of the society that can produce a sane economy, an ecological/socialist perspective and a simple historical saga. And lest we forget, a real socialism should have long since exposed the Darwinist social Darwinism and its capitalist curse. Even that Marxism can’t manage in its sterile conformity to capitalist ideology in its mesmerizing worst.
The_Last_Revolution_Postcapitalist_ Futures_ver_FNL_4xa_12_18_21 shows a one hundred page rewrite for a socialist platform that is clear, simple, and realizable with a sane approach to a new kind of economy where Marxism could produce only the fake results foisted on the working class by the dictatorship of the Marxist bourgeoisie. In the end Marxism was the biggest swindle of the working class since capitalism.
In our approach we use an outline of world history and a sketch of the Axial Age: World history shows directionality and parallelism. That bestows on modernity an immense legacy of Chinese, Indic, Persian/Israelite, Greek/Roman cultures, just for starters. That heritage is filtered through the still more complex heritage of the early modern. To take all of that and strip it bare in a false dilemma of idealism versus materialism produced cultural flatlanders and social anemia.
The DMNC model is just that: a tool to consider socialism in practice. Use it, instead of sterile Marx cultism, deal with the actual cases of history. And critique the idiotic theory of Darwin.
Tony McKenna’s new book is an important defence of Marxism, against thinkers who have confused and obscured its revolutionary core, argues Chris Nineham