Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society: The Life of Marx and the Development of His Work

In many ways biographies of Marx (and Engels) are just what are needed to portray the saga of early socialism but we should keep in mind that Marx himself refused to get specific about the nature of that socialism or a socialist society. We should be mindful of this and not try to push Marx’s theories beyond their limits. Marx explicitly left the tasks of socialism/communism to the future and no doubt that was appropriate in his time, but we must then remember that we have to go beyond Marx, as he enjoined, and speak to our own time with specific constructs of social models that can realize a future postcapitalism. We should note that the failure to do this during the Russian revolution ended up with Stalin filling in the blanks in the vacuum left by ‘socialists’/’communists’. Leftists are constantly scrounging through Marx’s works for indications about what socialism is or should be. But there is nothing there to do that. We find a lot of cogent critique of classical economics, but that is long gone now in the era of neo-classical economics. we have another task, just what Marx predicted would happen. Thus the inspiration of biographical accounts is pretty much all that we can inherit from Marx. There is a larger use of Marx beyond his specifics: if we look at the rise of modern economics we find a developing set of unchallenged assumptions and it is significant that Marx and Engels suddenly appear to create a dialectical challenge to the emergence of modern economic systems suddenly overtaken by a peculiar kind of capitalism well analyzed by Adam Smith, but then malevolently mutating into the strange monstrosity that confronted Marx. And Marx’ response was simply to challenge the legitimacy of that outcome which had in any case been complicated from the start by its dark side, viz. the question of slavery. If Marx had done nothing else that would have been enough. But Marx’s tendencies to theory complicated his legacy: consider the stages of production theory with its progression of epochs: the result is a crypto-teleological theory of history which doesn’t specify what the ‘epoch’ of postcapitalism will be, simply labelled ‘communism’ We cannot make a mechanical prediction about a system that doesn’t define the key final epoch, ‘communism’ and the result we see in the way the bolshevik moment derailed in the fog of that non-definition.
We do Marx better justice with a creative attempt to recast, better, set aside his theories, and consider his key achievement: shattering the pseudo-scientific complacency of the classical economists, and challenging the rapidly self-sanctifying ‘legitimacy’ of the new economic system overtaking modernity and usurping its definition.
Let us recall that with Thomas Munzer the idea of modern communism is the first born of the era of emergent modernity: capitalism is a spurious and ad hoc conglomeration of elements and attempts to become its defining standard to the point of a spurious recasting of ethical principles with respect to acquisitiveness…


arl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society:

Capitalism Versus Democracy

What this signals, for those to whom it isn’t yet obvious, is that there are no circumstances short of revolution that will move the Democrats from service to their rich patrons. Given the stakes of environmental crisis, deaths of despair overtaking the hinterlands and military inclinations pushing the U.S. toward wars it can’t win, Democrats are signaling that they would rather go down with the U.S.A. Titanic than offer up the solutions being put forward by young socialists.

Source: Capitalism Versus Democracy

 DMNC: communist economies more efficient than capitalist?

Despite its reputation for basket case economics the idea of communism (socialism) as in our ‘democratic market neo-communism’ should be able to create far more efficient economies than pure capitalism. We need at each point to qualify the terms /communism/socialism/ to some key specifics: the issue of democracy and authority, the issue economics in practice, e.g. socialist markets and planning and the creation of a Commons. The prospect of affluence as the climate crisis deepens has little in the way of guarantee…

Source: Climate, communism and the Age of Affluence?

Lurking social darwinist ideology 

One of the strangest puzzles of modern science is the unreasonable tenacity of the darwinian paradigm. Even when we factor in the various agendas, from social darwinism, to anti-design atheism, what to say of the dumbed down effect of reductionist science, it still makes no sense to let such a transparent pseudo-science claim the mantle of scientific rigor. One possible explanation is, indeed, the ideology of capitalism that somehow fees off the selectionist mythology in relation to economic market obsessions, which borders on some kind of conspiracy theory, save only that all parties seem asleep in their hard-core belief: they could not easily mount a conspiracy on that scale or keep it up without bedrock of scientific ignorance that reigns in a system already paralyzed by disinfo..

Source: Exposing darwinism, to no avail…lurking social darwinist ideology – Darwiniana