Postcapitalist Futures: The Last Revolution
This classic painting by Delacroix 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. It tokens our idea of The Red-fortyeight Group as 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.
Toward a New Socialism
from: The Last Revolution: Postcapitalist Futures
The Crisis of Capitalist Globalization
The world system is foundering in capitalist frenzy as this ignites global warming in the crisis of climate. In a perfect storm of the world system, the issues of global warming, capitalist dystopia, racism, fascism, and overpopulation, now a pandemic, converge to nature’s angry gift, a revolutionary cusp. This situation forebodes a breakdown of civilization in a crisis of system collapse. But a new model of history will show us that modernity is far larger than the current social structure in that slot and the idea of a social transformation, most practically in a spectrum of socialisms, beyond the capitalist was foreseen almost once and a rescue vehicle has already been born as the idea of the Last Revolution. Is it too late? we will produce a new ecosocialist template, a modeling tool of democratic market neo-communism as an historical should be/have been, the potential socialist endgame for capitalism and then examine a worst-case analysis: capitalism has taken us to the cliff’s edge with strong momentum. Postcapitalism must still do justice to the capilalist legacy and assess a resolution of the market phenomenon which is not in a one-to-one relationship to capitalism.
Such a moment calls for the classic gesture of the manifesto to confront the revolution generated by nature for a response of social action, Gaian wrath. But the eloquent manifesto of Marx and Engels, despite its immense influence as a driver of revolutionary ideology, proposed a sterile historicism and put socialism in the hands of psychopaths in the name of a value-free scientism of the early birth of positivism. The task of constructing socialism is not so complex as to require theories in post-Hegelian verbiage of misplaced causal theories of sociology. The task cannot be the application of value-free social ‘science’. We should be less eloquent and more practical, bring in the ethical foundations of a postcapitalist formation, and find an robust solution to socialist economy that is fair, practical and efficient, and able to change gears between growth, degrowth, maintaining a constant of economic, legal and ecological rights.
Anthropocene/Capitalocene Our new model is a carrier and container for ecological socialism, and left for completion of this larger universe. The future of capitalist society was long a debate, a great either/or, a field of rival disputations, and long-winded eulogies for the end of the leftist challenge. Yet now it is visible as an engine of doom, and its fate sealed. And the urgency of the men of 1848 now seems prophetic as we must wonder if we have run out of time to avert catastrophe. If we once listened to capitalist apologetics, we now wonder if those who cannot bring themselves to avert capitalist catastrophe investing in the trillions for further exploitation of fossil fuels have not gone mad, and are not the figures of a tragedy of hubris.
We must ask if the extreme provocation to revolutionary restart is now relevant in the sense of the Founding Fathers, a republic if you can keep it. But here Marx in his critique of bourgeois democracy coopted by capitalism, produced his classic bull’s-eye expose of the limits of ‘democracy’ in its contradictory legacy of capture by capitalists. The insight of the early socialists was that democracy and socialism should be matched the one to the other. Yet the two modes trend to jackknife the one against the other. The American foundation is unique in the prophecy of its Founding Fathers of the future of revolutionary return, as if this was a lurking subtext in the crystallization of the Constitution.
Democratic Market Neo-communism
The Marxist legacy has never produced a concrete model for a socialist system leaving the project to the Jacobin confusions of a revolutionary transition in chaos. The result has been a Stalinist nightmare. Yet the task of constructing a viable system is much simpler than one might think. Revolutions are dangerous: we need failsafed versions that have revolutionary marshals and overguides, civil liberties and habeas corpus given an outcome of civil strife and a clear outline of steps to be taken in the transition to a new system where control passes from a revolutionary cadre to t-zero restart in a democratic system.
Our idea of ‘democratic market neo-communism’ is a hybrid that attempts to remorph a liberal system into (neo-)communism, the ‘neo-’ a reminder that we disown all previous versions and start with a new system. This system will have a set of opposites in balance: The content of this system must establish strong ecosocialist axioms at all points.
The system must follow the expropriation of capital
The result will be a Commons, and not ‘state capitalism’ and be constructed as an ecological socialism. The higher control sector will be matched a lower indifference sector that can exist within the larger system as a reserve system.
It must found a democracy, yet be balanced by authority: the revolutionary group must cede to its democratic start, yet can remain in the background as guardians of the Commons.
It will allow socialist markets along with state planning, these markets must use licensed resources from the Commons.
It will have extensive liberal, economic, and ecological rights, with a Congress, and a presidential system that is electoral but inside the guardian revolutionary cadre, which can own no property.
Such a system is a reminder that in principle a socialist system