Source: All seemed possible when the Sandinistas took power 40 years ago « Systemic Disorder
This account shows the obvious way that the left suffers from the problems of marxist theory: the golden opportunity comes and noone has any idea of how to proceed.
Here there is the additional problem of thinking that certain countries are not ready for communism: this is a clear result of Marx’s stages of production theory which indicates everyone has to go through capitalism to reach communism, a species of complete nonsense springing from bad theory.
ANY culture at any time is ripe for communism/socialism and do NOT have to go through capitalism at first…!!!
Our ecological DMNC can be adapted to absolutely any culture/economy of homo sapiens as a species hominid. But all the historical economies that have any elements of civilization are ripe for the balanced combination of our model which already includes its ‘swiss army knife’ of possible adaptations.
This ‘democratic market neo-communism’ should create a two-pronged authority between a leadership principle and a democratic system, a planned system but with a market component (socialist market) and a Commons with a legal access of all to resources, etc…There is no reason to have to go through capitalism first because it already contains all the components of capitalism in a far superior form, and without being capitalism at all: markets can access the Commons and are thus expropriated from the start and yet in a flexible system where they are part of a special kind of market where social entrepreneurs can work in parallel with and partly independent of planning sectors which are nonetheless connected (this kind of situation already exists in various forms in all capitalist economies where governmental functions are essential to the functioning of the economy, etc…the attempts of privatizers to undo this has created capitalist idiocy). Some might think that a planned economy could take over completely but whatever the future of technology holds that still isn’t true at this point and the total control of an economy will still backfire. A socialist market sector and a planned sector can interact and produce a dynamic new combination.
The idea that undeveloped economies have to go through capitalism first is the most idiotic blunder of marxist theory and haunted the russian revolution until Lenin saw through such nonsense. But then the stalinist phase of forced development (despite the spurious reputation for rapid growth/development) was totally unnecessary: the whole thing could have been done much more intelligently with something like our model.
Source: Lost opportunity…
We have repeatedly suggested that the stance of the left has shifted now: Marx in his era was very reluctant to get specific about what would replace capitalism: the unpredictable future and the creation of models in the abstract was grounds for giving only the most general indications…a good example of unpredictable futures is the way ecological concerns have come to the fore and/or the displaced position of the working class has made working class revolution problematical. In fact, the problem was always there: visible in the confusion of the bolshevik era and its feckless yet dangerous ad hoc moments.
Continue reading ” Lost opportunities…a record of failure”
We have discussed this issue many times here and while we have as frequently supported the revolutionary path we have also warned that marxist viewpoints merely wave the flag of revolution but can offer no solution to the problem of what should come after. To say that workers should smash the old state and construct communism is not enough. In the cases where the opportunity for this arose the left has in every case failed to complete the operation. Marx refused to go into details but in retrospect that was a mistake: the attempt to fill ad hoc the void behind empty terms like ‘socialism’ in a crisis situation has repeatedly failed. Worse, the confusion is codified as part of a tradition, one that in reality doesn’t exist: the leninist era was not in any way a path to communism. It was an artificial set of constructs that were more confusion than serious efforts to overcome capitalism.
The left cannot seem to grasp that it has no platform and the era of Lenin was a tremendous lost opportunity. It is a puzzle to consider just how dreadful was the botched chance to create a serious socialist society.
It doesn’t have to be that way. We have suggested numerous avenues to a practical approach that can work: our ‘democratic market neo-communism’ is one of them.
The left cannot appeal to a general public any more because all it can think of is stalinism. And the left barely even bothers to distance itself from that legacy. And this situation ends up feeding the reformist reaction.
Source: Is a Revolutionary Rupture with Capitalism Possible? – New Politics
These comparisons are apt, but perhaps misleading as Reich is no doubt aware: we see fragments in isolation when what we need is a combination that is able to integrate a set of opposites seen in isolation. Our ‘(ecological socialist) ‘democratic market neo-communism’ purports to integrate these fragments after a combined analysis of ‘democracy’ in relation to authority, markets in parallel with planning and a genuinely socialist idea of a Commons which is not the same as state capitalism.
The Chinese example is better compared to the nineteenth century take offs, e.g. the american, where the american now shows a kind of decadence of its initial success. All of our models are incomplete and mislead us: ‘socialism’, ‘democracy’, markets and capitalism, etc, are abstractions that have little meaning in isolation. Capitalism would seem an exception, being apparently quite thoroughly realized, but a closer look from the left shows a frankenstein myth come true and a market driven ‘self-organization’ mechanics now doomed to planetary wasteland creation, an incomplete fiction indeed. We think these terms have stable definitions or are complete recipes but in reality the whole question of political science is a species of primitive superstition.
Source: Robert Reich: America’s biggest economic problem isn’t China – Alternet.org
Our model of a postcapitalist set of political/economic systems is designed first to address the void of classic marxist discussions of socialism/communism in a void. It is not enough any more to call yourself a socialist waving a flag with that semantic phantom still to this day claimed by North Korea and China, and now by social democratic reformists.
To that core model we then bring the ideas of ecological socialism as a larger dimension of that set of specifications. The potential conflict of ecological and working class issues needs a careful analysis and resolution (not necessarily hard to do).
The longer postcapitalism is delayed the more difficult the remedy and we should really have had a transition to a new system almost at the start of the false dawn of the pseudo-epoch of capitalism. As things stand now the totalitarian domination of capitalism is destined to planetary catastrophe.
We need to be wary of the most probable outcome of failing capitalism: new forms of tyranny and dictatorship. We should consider that Putin shows, or would like to show, the future beyond the future of socialism: degenerate postsocialist caudillos. The trend is being fed from many veiled sources and already has many budding exemplars.
Our model of ‘democratic market neo-communism’ can help, first, to recast the issue of democracy at the point where many no longer trust the genre, and next to recast the issues of socialism in a form that is attractive to those betrayed by neo-liberal capitalism assuming the mask of democracy…
Source: If capitalism must end, what should replace it? – 1848+: The End(s) of History