The articles on bolivia from the left have apparently not gotten the situation straight, at least according to the atlantic (gasp!#). I fear that the left suffers from its own disinformation, and the question of what is really going on in bolivia is up in the air. We might take this article at face value, factual, for the sake of discussion ( a previous post today discussed the issue of revolutions in another article, with a lot on the revolution in Bolivia; Revolutions in Action). As far as I can make out, neither venezuela nor bolivia has had a revolution, in the sense of socialism/communism. It is well to review ‘revolutions’ in bolivia via, say, wikipedia, to put the immense amounts of attempted change (revolution?) in perspective throughout the twentieth century. Imperialism has been a terrible foe, but at the same time, the current bolivian situation looks to be still another lost opportunity for…what, revolution?! The atlantic article brings in fukuyama, usefully, and we examine the issue of democracy betrayed, evidently, and defended and the whole question of the left…etc…We will adjourn to our basic viewpoint at once:
noone in all these slogan-revolutions had any plan of action, and in bolivia the pseudo-revolution ends without democratic frames, or at least some ambiguities. As we have said many times: the revolution must remorph liberalism into communism with democracy, and communism into liberalism, with democracy. Continue reading “still another lost opportunity…//Evo Morales Finally Went Too Far for Bolivia – (saith that organ of the booerzhwoiZ) The Atlantic”
But, most of the time, the building of the revolutionary momentum is glacial, and the attempt to transform a state and society can be even more slow.
Source: A Letter to Intellectuals Who Deride Revolutions in the Name of Purity | Portside
One of the mysteries of world history (but clarified by the eonic model) is the sudden appearance of the phenomenon of revolution (there were earlier ‘premonitions’, perhaps, consider the early greek city-states): this striking fact belies the general tendency to conservative obsession that animates culture and politics…
R48G: modernity, revolution and postcapitalism… Continue reading “Revolution: its appearance in the modern era”
Our previous post cites Sanders’ older views on nationalization. The idea remains of interest and could be revived…
Better yet our DMNC, or ‘democratic market neo-communism’, takes up the slack in the idea and takes it beyond ‘state control’ to ….state control of another kind. Our model contains a basic Commons which is not as such open to ‘state’ control in the usual sense: it is something that pertains/belongs to everyone in the context of a diverse state structure consisting of a presidency that guards that Commons and neo-communist constitution, a parliament/congress, ecological and economic courts, a planned/market set of sectors (and another third low level sector, check out our manifestoes). If we are going to nationalize anything we should go the whole way and nationalize/communalize everything large scale, that is expropriate the full range of capital, leaving a threshold lower level to its own devices. We should be clear here that nationalization would lead to ‘state capitalism’ and that has a complex and debatable history. We must create a new set of checks and balances in the context of such ‘national capitalism’ and we call that the Commons. https://www.dropbox.com/home/Public?preview=Two+Manifestos+version+2.pdf
Nonetheless, the nationalization concept/nexus shows us that it is in principle possible to move via evolutionary politics toward our DMNC, although that at first seems unlikely. But the era of total chaos is almost here and we can see that evolutionary/revolutionary paths could merge as one.
We have repeatedly critiqued marxism.com for its knee jerk bolshevism even as we take up its useful articles, softball pitches for our swing. Whatever we say about the russian revolution the fact remains it was a gross failure and if we cite its legacy in such glowing terms the whole chance of convincing a skeptical public will be lost. To say that it was this was the first time the working class took power is nonsense but if it is true we should be wary of working class revolutions. The working class was eliminated swiftly and lost the right even to form unions. Continue reading “the working class was shafted by the bolsheviks…try something else…//Workers’ democracy in the Russian Revolution …and other bullshit…”
This situation is sufficiently lamentable, but even more unfortunate is the fact that many people who call themselves Marxists are equally ignorant of the writings of Marx and Engels. In my experience, even many people who consider themselves to be Marxist cadres rarely bother to plumb the depths of Marxist theory in all its richness and variety. All too often they merely skate over the surface, repeating thoughtlessly a few slogans and quotes taken out of context which they have learned by rote, the genuine content of which remains a closed book for them.
Source: Introduction to the Revolutionary Philosophy of Marxism – part three
The marxist rubbish peddled ad infinitum at marxist.com has been useful target practice from this source as we have tried to critique Marx, but from the left in a consideration of a neo-communism. Alan Woods is lamenting the public’s ignorance of Marx and Engels but maybe that is an opportunity at a time when it has become essential to recast the platforms of the left into a new version/upgrade. Marx had many insights, e.g. into the emergence of class in civilization, but they all get lost in the rubbish of theory that emerged from the premature sociological analysis so ponderously considered by Marx, who toiled away at the masterwork he was so significantly unable to complete. Leftists would do better to simply leave this literature behind and recast the canon in some new form, mindful to be sure not to betray the projected socialist future with some coopted version, carefully considering the issue of social democracy from Bernstein onward as it arose out of the corpus, still a controversial alternate universe that might preempt real social transformation if we are either seduced or misled, or finally left with it as a last resort. With bolshevism the revolutionary idea simply struck out: we must not contaminate future efforts with its tragic muddle.
It may be too late: at time when we need a sensible transition to a new society marxists and their religion threaten to make a sane future abort in the name of Marx’s theories. Marxists seem unaware of how much people hate marxism/Marx.
The left would have to start over in any case just to get a public hearing.
So while critical of marxism we have tried not to water down the revolutionary implications of socialism emerging from the French Revolution, thence it seems, to be hijacked by Marx/Engels, unless of course we do that with dialectical deliberation (we use the term ‘dialectic’ deliberately in a default meaning: debate, duality, etc…): the Bernie Sanders’ of this age are not ignorable.
Let’s face it, there were a lot of alternate paths to a framework for the left but the domination of Marx is a strange phenomenon in itself. The year is 2018 and still the hopeless muddle of dialectical materialism is being promoted as a foundation in theory for a vast social transformation. It is almost sickening: people were shaking their heads already in the nineteenth century at this Hegelian garbage. Preoccupation with the subject condemns marxists to marginality at this point.
We need to start over and craft an upgrade that leaves behind the term ‘marxism’, addresses the issues of economy, class, socialism in clear language that is empirically based and not cursed with the arrogant pseudo-brilliance of Marx pedants. The Marx/Engels saga of the 1840’s makes a useful historical background with the classic Manifesto as a useful episode and exit point. The whole useless mess of historical materialism/dialectical materialism should not arise again except in a critique of poor theories.
The worst aspect of marxism here is the way its ‘stages of production’ theory has made leftists think socialism is inevitable without specifying in advance what that should be. The result was the bolshevik calamity with the details worked out by Stalin.
Socialists deserve another chance but not if they produce a platform that can’t disentangle from marxism and the idiot cadre of marxist true believers.