Dissent has an issue with focus on socialism. I have just (almost) finished The Last Revolution, but I can see already that the hoity-toity leftist crowd will not deign to even look at the book. It is a book that could never have been pubbed by Verso, in fact, a great advantage, a plus. I can’t even get a link to the PDF (free) on Marxmail. Nor can I have any dialogue whatsoever with any Marxist: critiques of Marx are verboten, and in the inexorable Marxist to Stalinist transition, grounds for liquidation…..Discussions of any kind rate instant cancellation cases.That’s a pathetic situation. The left still hasn’t really exposed the issue of Stalinist and is crippled with its past. It must start over, and soon, time is short. And a key issues is that ‘socialism’ in isolation as a single term will always contract into something false. The term must be failsafed with a broader multi-term definition in progress, e.g. our ‘democratic market neo-communism’.
The text of the Last Revolution starts from scratch and in a hundred pages has a new framework that is without Marxist boilerplate and ‘ready to go’ for a new failsafed multiterm socialism. has a number of heresies the straight left, so far, cannot tolerate:
You can’t really criticize Marx, histories or his phony materialism as economism, etc… The whole of Marx would be better left behind with Marx/Engels as historical starting point without their flawed analysis, without historical materialism or dialectical materialism, etc…but waffled as they ended up blaming Spencer for social Darwinism. Don’t be a Darwin idiot: the problem is Darwin. Oveer and over the left spouts the standard Marxist cliches and purple passages but the canon is hopelessly muddled.
Next, the left needs urgently to acknowledge the 9/11 conspiracy by the US (and Israel) and also the literature on the JFK assassination. This however is the one thing the left can’t seem to do, and it is open to the charge of being coopted by the powers that be. The era of Chomsky here is over.
The censorship of these discourses on the left in favor of the official line is a disgrace to leftist integrity. One can critique conspiracy theories, but one of the main ones is the official story, itself a conspiracy theory. You cannot seriously reject the literature anymore surrounding 9/11 and the JFK assasssination.
The materialism of Marx was important to start in the early nineteenth century but now it seems passe. That is not some compromise with religion or metaphysics but a simple acknowledgment that no really stable modern philosophy has yet to come into being: secular humanism is a perfectly good starting point but it can’t really survive itself to become a genuine social philosophy. There are endless ways to improve on that. And in any case, times have changed. The US has more buddhists than Marxists at this point and that is a challenge to the left. What is needed is a generalized set of metaphilosophies as resources in reserve, as the the core working ideology stops embracing flawed junk from the past, like the emerging positivism of the era of Comte, et al (Marx)… Marxists can’t even get atheism right.
Socialism is a construct in real-time, and can do better almost without choosing between materialism and idealism. What a useless and dated debate from the age of Hegel. Kant was more profound and Kantian ethical socialism is a complete Kantian foundation for socialism, where dialectical materialism and historical materialism are third rate junk. Who Knows, but as things stand you couldn’t mention Kant without a leftist reaching for his gun. Sad. Marx was a failure but a good starting point. The first stage of revolution could founder in a civil war with Marxists. Better to ditch Marx hype and stick to what Marx got right, or better yet the whol thing from scratch, forget the pompous Marx. But even there times have changed. the working class has very few socialist, But it still does have some.
Further, the working class, if the set of wage laborers is almost the whole population. So what are we talking about? Socialism would have to be constructed by elements of all classes, with the working class as the industrial proletariat as a spear head. r whatever. And so on…
Rather than a science or a lifestyle, socialism is an approach to the world’s injustices that can compel us to act with one another—even in darker times.