Readers of a blog criticizing Marx from the left get discombobulated and I can sympathize in some ways! The point here is that the criticism is mostly of Marx’s theories which are naive and confused over newtonian causal issues, as are most ‘theories’ of history. After ten years deciphering the ‘eonic effect’ I am rarely if ever impressed by attempts at historical theory. NOONE can get the question right, for reasons the eonic model makes clear, without being another theory. The ‘theory’ of historical materialism and stages of production theory impressed the nineteenth century but seem dated now, a moment in the rise of post-Hegelian positivism and scientism. You can’t reduce history to economic issues, eliminate idealism in favor of old-fashioned materialism, prophesy future communism without defining it, etc… The left cannot transform society with that legacy, so once that sinks in a new platform must be developed.
It is a dismal legacy, and yet marxists tend to bestow misplaced reverence to a figure who has passed into history. But marxists could perform a service by simply discarding the theories and focusing on Marx’s empirical work: his thought on issues of class, exploitation, etc, have survived better than his theoretical monstrosities and speak directly to a descriptive perspective. A selection of Marx’s empirical ideas and studies could be a useful summary of the legacy and a way to pass on: a new generation has to stop its misplaced cult worship of a holy founder in the religion of marxism. The issue now is postcapitalism and we need to escape the dead hand of marxist regurgitators, who have botched every opportunity they had to create socialism. It is a horrendous legacy. We can’t afford another bungled marxist attempt to create a world beyond capitalism.
Democratic Market Neo-communism
We have discussed this issue here many times but the author of this piece sees the basic point: the bolshevik era never produced any socialisms at all. The stalinist brand especially was simply a socialist imposter.
There is every possibility for real socialism and in an era of approaching climate calamity we can see that capitalism is coming to an even worse failure than fake socialism. We must figure out where fake socialism went wrong and create the real thing. Part of the problem lies in Marx’s mis-analyis of capitalism and then in his stages of production theory the prophecy of the coming of communism, which he failed to define. The result was that Stalin ended up being the definer. The coming of socialism is not historically invevitable: it must be defined and then created by free agents, not historical forces. We can see that Marx equated capitalism and markets but the two are not the same: we could have socialist/communist markets if we do it right. Continue reading “Were marx’s theories to blame?…//Why Did Socialism Fail?”
Time is short and the global crisis of capitalism and ecology is accelerating. And yet there is no real left in the old sense. We have gotten Bernie Sanders but a close look shows a very weak leftist platform that coopts the language of socialism and revolution for something that isn’t even social democracy. if he can get elected and do some good,let him do so, but I fear he will put us on a treadmill where the term ‘revolution’ has been bankrupted. Continue reading “So, where does marxism go wrong…?”
Postcapitalist Futures: critique of Marx’s stages of production theory
Source: Stages of Production theory – Darwiniana
What a hopeless foundation for attempts to create a new society! We have critiqued Marx’s claims for science, but the quagmire of philosophic inderterminacy is an equal liability. Hegel and the source of dialectic make a fascinating historical exploration, but how on earth did making sense of this set of enigmas become the foundation for attempts to lead beyond capitalism? The result has been the whole garbage of dialectical materialism, material dialectic, and claims for a foundational science (with Hegelian whispers) that doesn’t exist. It is a failed strategy. To try and repeat it is lunacy. And the public won’t listen.
Schopenhauer made the claim/jibe that everyone who studied Hegel was confused for life and lost the power of thought. It seems so when reviewing marxism.
The crisis of capitalism requires something practical and free of attempts at the critical moment to be distracted by the subtleties of philosophy dressed up as scientism, and vice versa. The result here is that marxists have no clear program and no practical plan of action. And every student of the subject ends up confused.
Their theories contributed to the downfall of bolshevism and turned the idea of communism into an arcane mystery that must be elucidated by a cadre of experts who in fact are as confused as the plebs with their theories are designed to control the working class with a priestly arcana.
The american rebs, in their bourgeois democratic finery, at least produced a successful revolution, however limited. Their troopers needed no theory to grasp the basics of a new republican, soon democratic, sort of, politics. If they had had to study something as arcane as marxism we would never have had the american experiment.
In the second part of his new introduction to The Revolutionary Philosophy of Marxism, Alan Woods explains some of the fundamentals of the Hegelian dialectical method and how these apply to both the natural world and human society. He also details how Marx masterfully applied the dialectical materialist method to his study of capitalism, and in so doing laid bare its inherent contradictions.
Source: Introduction to the Revolutionary Philosophy of Marxism – part two