Multimillionaire Counterrevolutionary: Mark R. Levin’s New Book “American Marxism”    

This review pretty well nails it with respect to Levins’ hyperconservative rant.
In a funny irony our radical perspective in The Last Revolution is also critical of Marxism, but in an entirely different, and radically leftist mode. Marx needs a good critique from the left so that his core thinking can be freed from its confusions, and be able to challenge the capitalist juggernaut.

Source: Multimillionaire Counterrevolutionary: Mark R. Levin’s New Book “American Marxism” | Portside

(PDF) Review of Tony McKenna The War Against Marxism: Reification and Revolution

A useful review of the core of War Against Marxism, but the result still makes little sense. We have spent two centuries rehashing Hegel versus Marx and the results are totally confusing and unproductive. Marxism has failed to produce socialism and the result should be ‘you’re fired’, so we can start over with something more productive. Neither Hegel nor Marx had the data for a study of history and/or evolution even as the ideology of Darwinism ended up snaring the whole Marx legacy. The references here to Hegel’s method are ludicrous. What was that? Maybe a Sparks notes version might help.

I recommend a complete break with this jargon ridden universe and a simple escape route of socialism into a new and simpler approach to history, philosophy, religion and economics. The idea for a science of history and/or a philosophy of history has failed and a new approach such as simple chronologies can be a useful substitute. The whole base superstructure distinction is a pack of nonsense. It is very hard to resolve the dynamic of history but it is clear that that is not economic. Economic determination is secondary in historical realization and it is not clear just how history works. A close study of the eonic model can suggest a new perspective with a warning that historical and organismic evolution remain unsolved problems for human knowledge. The realm of Marx and Hegel in this direction are obsolete realms of fiction. Marx was an ambitious theorist who ended up in twenty years of writers block unable to complete Capital because its core was incoherent and incapable of scientific completion. Marx finally gave up and handed the whole mess of Capital to Engels who managed to rescue something from the mess of pottage. The generations studying Capital have produced a sophistical and incoherent cult that is a de facto religion and a dangerous stance toward heretics still in the realm of common sense. Marx was a predator who took over the idea of socialism and made it a kind of personal property as an ism in his name, Marxism. Time to just let go and and start over.

PDF | Bloomsbury Academic: London and New York, 2021. 280 pp., $29.95 pb ISBN 9781350201415 About the reviewer Fouad Mami is a literature scholar from… | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate

Source: (PDF) Review of Tony McKenna The War Against Marxism: Reification and Revolution

Pot calling kettle black…? //Philosophers with No Clothes: A Review of The War Against Marxism – Counterfire

The charge of obscurantism applies equally and unfortunately to Marxists themselves. It really isn’t clear what Marxist theory really means and the ‘delinking of ideas from material reality’ is curiously dangerous jargon in its negation of autonomy and appears to be economic determination at its core. This whole thrust of Marxism is not believable in the end and is economic fundamentalism, or so it seems from a jargon that makes little sense. The absolute distinction of materialism and idealism is the core confusion of Marxism and assuming it makes any sense has never resulted in any real clarification of sociology or economics for that matter.
The collision of Marx and Hegel is a misfortune and ended up creating a narrow and reductionist perspective.
The realm of Marxism claims to be a vanguard for the left but at a time of social crisis and climate change we see no movements that can really challenge any of that beyond sifting through the bon mots of Marx’s obsession with his pseudo-science of historical materialism.

We need a movement that is active against capitalism, without the baggage of obscure theory and not stuck forever in the battle of idealism and materialism. An actual blueprint of a socialist society is needed as a guarantee against the front of theory to create a new elite or marxist bourgeoisie.  The working class was swindled by the Marxists who preached a worker’s state and then created a dictatorship of the Marxist bourgeoisie and left the world of labor dominated by a new elite. A constitutional system guaranteeing the rights of workers and everything else is needed, along with ecological socialism, a genuine democracy and an economy that works. Marxists talk little but gibberish, have  a pathological obsession with idealism, no plan for a future postcapitalist system, and no real avenue to transformation, etc, etc…

This delinking of ideas from material reality also led to the notion of the ‘relative autonomy’ of various processes from the economic structure of capitalist society. For Marx the way the main contradictions in society played out always depended on actual human practice, but the idea of ‘relative autonomy’ effectively breaks any notion of determination of human behaviour by the existing conditions, rendering Marxism redundant.

Source: Philosophers with No Clothes: A Review of The War Against Marxism – Counterfire

OK not to be a Marxist?


In the odd chance de Boer read my critiques of Marxism at and tried to agree with me let me clarify ‘why it is ok not to be a Marxist’: the point was to stress the need for a neo-marxism at a time when the issues of the proto-socialists of the Marx era are as relevant as ever but frozen now in corrupted terminology.
The problem is the drift of terminology into forms of semantic confusion and cognitive dissonance to the point where new terminology is required. As our previous post about the Chinese corruption of terms makes obvious, the whole legacy of Marxism is so confused by the Bolshevik era that we have to redefine what we mean.

Marxism: capitalism’s ace in the hole?

Update: Marx’s insights were monumental and yet he shot himself in the foot by proposing to create some kind of master theory, in the early age of scientism emerging in the context of positivism. Marx exposed the way ‘theories’ were really ideology in disguise and then turned around and made the same mistake with his theory of the stages of production. But that theory of economic stages was simply another ideology in disguise: a form of socialist propaganda. One might think: fight back, use the weapon of the enemy. And that worked, for a while. In the nineteenth century the aura of science was still mesmerizing and Marx’s claims were taken at face value in the surge of the first/second International. But almost at once critics emerged and exposed the theory for what it was. You might think, hold fast, damn the torpedoes and bullshit the bullshitters. Again that got the left up to the Bolshevik era. And that was the endgame finale, not a new starting point. The critics were confirmed in their critiques and it was clear that something was underway that had no connection to the theory, and it was clear the theory, in any case, was not correct. The moral here is clear: you can’t propose a theory that is really propaganda. No matter how hard you try, Marxists will blink and not get the point.
The solution is simple: drop theories, propose a revolutionary/reformist platform in recipe form based an a recommendation of something better, and carefully defined. Utterly obvious. But so far the obvious has mostly been ignored. Note the point: Marx refused to define communism to come, but then proposed a theory that said it was inevitable as the next stage of history. So a void was proclaimed and the result is like a bad computer program where a key variable is undefined: the result is that something else will happen depending on garbage in/out (like a bad pointer in c programming). The result is like a computer crash, save that real life doesn’t quite crash, instead goes GIGO, and that meant Stalin entered as the definition and the definer of last resort.

Stages of production theory is a strange mistake for a man as smart as Marx. But hypnotic lure of science beckoned at the dawn of positivism. You can see the problem in the fascinating movie about Marx/Engels: Marx’s treatment of poor old Weitling was always a strangely cruel moment, but Marx’s point was that leftist idiots needed theory, his theory. He stance was arrogant, and on the way to value-free tragedy. Marx and Weitling were both idiots.

Sociology and history don’t yield to theory and in reality they theories aren’t needed. A simple chronology of world history is simple:
early evolution of man (and before that organisms)
Dawn of ‘higher civilization’ ca. 3000 BCE
a mysterious middle era of global advance in parallel, ca. 600 BCE
the rise of the modern era, ca 1800 (with a transition from ca. 1500 to 1800)
This scheme can easily replace theory and become a source of rich empirical studies
in this context we see that democracy has a strange trend and that it is joined by socialism
in the modern transition. That simple observation is a good replacement for ‘end of history’ nonsense
not laws of history, but the projected resolution of democratic modernity via socialism as a buttress of freedom and equality,
this to be carried out not as teleological history but as the agency of free men seeing the limits of capitalism, etc…
The objective must be defined, specifies to the public, and if revolution arrives it must be failsafed against the inherent
violence of the theoretical approach where violence is quite OK since science is beyond fact/value ideas, etc…

The terms like ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ are still necessary but they must be defined carefully if they want a new future.
Our DMNC model is at least a gesture in that direction. But it is clear that the marxist outcome is likely to be stalinist.

At a time of crisis, the marxist perspective dominates thinking but is incapable of creating a new movement Continue reading “Marxism: capitalism’s ace in the hole?”

On the difference between Marx and Hegel’s dialectical method…

This site sends out essays for review and then stages comment threads. In this case I could/would not review such a topic given the near impossibility of getting it straight.
The text of my Samkhya: Ancient and Modern might suggest why. The issue of dualistic versus triadic dialectic is impossible to resolve and Marx/Hegel antithesis is probably without merit on either side. Still, it is a classic puzzle, but one that I recommend left put on the sidelines. The triad is going to be, if not mystical, then not logical in the sense of science. In any case the original Samkhya, taken as mystical, was actually materialistic, and mystical at the same time. The materialistic method is not really non-mystical itself and the ‘triad’ is indifferently material or spiritual, that is neither.

Source: (99+)

The calculation debate

Interesting discussion of planned economies at marxmail.
Can planned economies work and be as efficient as market or mixed economies? (Quora)

One reference: Lange would write about the use of computers to do economic planning without having to rely upon markets. His paper on that subject, the very last paper that he wrote was “The Computer and the Market” ( That paper was written in 1965, back when mainframe computers were the main form of computer technology. Since then, computer technology has made enormous advances. Paul Cockshott is probably the best known recent writer on the uses of computers for doing socialist economic planning. A lot of his writings on the subject can be accessed from his website

My own post forwarded to marxmail: Continue reading “The calculation debate”

 Marxists laughing stocks to call Kant a dead end…???

I was critical of Woods’ History of Philosophy but tried to be less negative in a second attempt, but his work is ruined by the attempt to call Kant a dead end. That is typical of the wreckage of historical culture created by ‘historical materialists’ and their narrow visions. A good example is the chapter, The Dead End of Kant. As a socialist one winces at the kind of blanket judgment that leaves cultural history in a shambles. Kant is no dead end, but the inventor for a new aspect of idealism. Foar what earthly reason do ‘socialists’ have to trash Kant on the way to their vaunted new culture? It is like defacing exhibits in a museum.The left in the era of Hegel got sidetracked into a useless debate of materialism versus idealism which turned the whole Marx project into a one-sided monstrosity unable to evaluate culture and bent on narrow visions. And they can’t handle a Kant. What an instant mess. But in a strange outcome the ‘dialectic’ somehow survived into Marxism, but it is a narrow version, much vaunted as a ‘materialist’ dialectic. But the dialectic was always materialist, as in the classic Samkhya with its triads of ‘triadic’ versus ‘dual’ dialectic (the opposition of a pair of opposites versus some barely known three term non-dual version). But the dialectic has no real explication in Marxism. It is strange orphan in Marx and made into a universal and final version of an idea already distorted. So what will happen in Marx world when yogis attempt to do the dialectical triadic Sankhya yoga: will they be liquidated by a Stalin in chard of all thinking on dialectic? etc… Attacking Kant is typical of the amputations of Marxists of cultural history. Kant is open to critique, obviously, but to dismiss him thus is grotesque. And he is the ultimate source of a dialect before Hegel turned that into a mishmash of trinitarian Christianity and mystical thinkers like Boehme. The ‘dialectic’ in dual or triadic versions is a complicated subject and still unresolved even by yogis who has realized mysterious states of consciousness. To reduce to a post-Hegelian trinket won’t work. The sad reality is that philosophy after Kant started downhill to reach finally the philosophic realm of Rorty. The passage via Hegel/Marx was the first step down. Brilliant as both are. Transendental idealism has a better popular version in Schopenhauer, unfortunately no leftist, but a keen student of the real significance of Kant.

The eonic model would work better: it is completely generalized and stands beyond materialism and idealism, and shows the historical reality of both. The model is a periodization of world history and doesn’t dogmatize about some mysterious law of history or science of such. It simply shows each stage as empirical and points to economies as secondary processes inside civilizations. Economies can overtake societies but they never determine the fate of civilization as such which has its own process of creative evolution. Cleary capitalism has overtaken a whole civilization and then turned malignant. It is easy to bring in a modified marxism there, if it can be melted down and recast. The debate over materialism and idealism is simply not more than a side issue. Both are very much in evidence in modern ‘secular humanism’ freed of its crackpot versions we see in so many versions of rank scientism. A true humanism looks at the mental process in its material and ideal aspects in search of a higher unity. And the dialectic can never be a Marx monopoly in its reductionist narrowness.

I was very critical of Woods, as his book came out, but I hadn’t read it, although I did read his Reason In Revolt. This summary is useful and suggests the context in which ‘dialectical…

Source: Marxism’s contracted philosophic mess of pottage – 1848+: The End(s) of History

Philosophers with no clothes: A Review of ‘The War Against Marxism’ | MR Online

We have been critical of Marxism here but this is not the same as what we see in this book which, however, has some important issues. The question of the Frankfurt school is hard to resolve but as a critic of Marxism I include the Frankfurt school in the general critique. We have cited a quotation from the MR article: it is as obscurantist as anything in the Frankfurt Group. The discussion of the commodification of labor is both profound and yet sophistical. Who can understand a Marxism based on these abstractions of the Marx canon, always subjected to the confusions inherited from the Marx era. If the point however is to challenge the failure to focus on the working class, OK. But in general, Marxism doesn’t make any sense. Is the paragraph below of much help to the working class? It is very hard to know what the core of Marxism is really about. A kind of fetishism of Marx arcana seems to reign over the practical tasks of bringing about socialism. The commodification of labor is a crucial point of discussion but these renderings end up creating a peculiar metaphysics that is impossible to resolve, or for that matter even understand. And the psychology emerging from Marx is at best plain scientism, unable to resolve itself to an account of consciousness. In any case the capitalist system remains in place. A new start is needed:

We have proposed instead to simply ditch Marxism and start over beyond its theoretical confusions but also to be able to consider its class focus on class, ideology. Without complicated theory. Once we do that we can certainly put Marx in a larger perspective of the challenge to emerging capitalism of the early socialists whose work Marx annexed to a system that is flawed. We have created a recipe approach instead of theory. And we can see via a new approach to history as in the eonic model that the general understanding of evolution and history both is fallacious theory. Continue reading “Philosophers with no clothes: A Review of ‘The War Against Marxism’ | MR Online”