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.
Source: Why Are You a Socialist? – Dissent Magazine
The Left’s agenda has to include three basic commitments: democratize production, decommodify life’s essentials, and defend the public goods we all hold in common. To do that, we have to transform the very idea of ownership.
Source: We Can Reimagine Our Systems of Ownership and Control
Remembrances of the late author have focused on her best-selling Nickel and Dimed with only rare acknowledgement of the major roles she played in women’s liberation and U.S. socialism.
Source: My revolutionary inspiration, Barbara Ehrenreich | MR Online
The fact that tens of millions of US workers still support Trump shows the massive confusion that exists. Part of the reason for that confusion is the absence of any significant working class socia…
Source: Democratic Socialists of America and the Political Crisis of Socialism – Oakland Socialist
The high cost of insulin is one of the great injustices of the US health care system. But now, states like California are looking at directly manufacturing this essential medicine — a potentially massive win for both patients and left-wing politics.
Source: Are We at the Dawn of “Insulin Socialism”?
The Institute for Christian Socialism is trying to build left-wing solidarity within religious communities. In their eyes, an awareness of and commitment to socialism is inherent to the Gospel.
Source: The Institute for Christian Socialism Wants to Bring Left Politics to American Christianity
This book is a classic account of Kantian Ethical Socialism (referred to in the previous post). It arose in the late nineteenth century in Marburg and is a permanent challenge to the confusions of Marxism which ended up in a futile war against idealism. The debate over idealism and materialism is a a complete waste of time at this point. Nobody can win that debate because the two opposites are too entangled together.
Marx was forced in his theories to eliminate free agents and their ethics in the dynamics of historical motion, a disastrous mistake. And a dangerous one. It gives a revolutionary seeming license of void ethical issues.
Kant can be forbidding, but there are ways to get a good overview.
This study argues for three main theses: (1) Immanuel Kant’s ethics is a social ethics; (2) the basic premises of his social ethics point to a socialist ethics; and (3) this socialist ethics constitutes a suitable platform for criticizing and improving Karl Marx’s view of morality.Some crucial aspects of Kant’s social ethics are that we must promote the “realm of ends” as a moral society of co-legislators who assist each other in the pursuit of their individual ends, which requires in turn that we seek the realization of the republican state and peace between the nations. Thus hope for progress, as supported by the enthusiasm engendered among the spectators of the French Revolution, becomes pivotal to Kant’s ethics as well as other moral feelings such as moral indignation and solidarity with the victims of oppression.Kant views the moral society in the final instance as an “inner” unification of good wills. In a decisive elaboration of Kant, the neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen argues that all our social institutions, and notably economic enterprises, must instantiate the “realm of ends,” leading him to support cooperative socialism in Wilhelmine Germany. In his own words, Kant “is the true and real originator of German socialism” (1896).There are important evaluative similarities between Kantian socialist ethics and Marx, such as a condemnation of capitalism as a system of servitude and an understanding of the ideal society as a cooperative society, but only Marx contends that the ideal society does not set a moral task and that there is a dialectic operative in human history that inevitably leads to communist society. This dogmatic Hegelian understanding of history must be replaced by Kantian regulative understanding of progress in support of revolutionary praxis as moral praxis.We need a “Kantianization” of Marx, as Cohen and other neo-Kantian socialists also proclaimed in the three decades leading up to World War I. This study concludes with “A Historical Note on Kantian Ethical Socialism,” addressing, among others, Cohen, Karl Vorländer, Eduard Bernstein, and Kurt Eisner and the Munich Revolution of 1918. Their voices were largely silenced by the rise of fascism, and this study hopes to show that their voices still need to be heard.