I have to wonder if my The Last Revolution isn’t echoing here! It is a comprehensive effort to create a ‘blueprint’ of the kind cited here. In any case, my The Last Revolution (which Jacobin has been informed of invited to download the free copy PDF, I am fairly sure they are aware of it) tries to comprehensively formulate that ‘better socialism’ discussed at Jacobin. They are welcome to consult my text but since I am ‘canceled’ at such places and at Marxmail, etc, …, I doubt if they would deign to communicate. The new commie elite must already be in place complete with embryonic class rebirth….(cf. the editors of all the various leftist magazines and literature…I am not a member with a self-published book, the new route to discussions on the left)…The danger on the left in a revolutionary moment would be the outbreak of violent conflict with crypto-Stalinist marxist cadres who can’t change a single word in Marx…
Some observations: the article never references the fact that a revolutionary change is implied by such a new system (although in my text I certainly allow the reformist alternative). All of this is evidently supposed to just happen…Discussion of revolution and its aftermath is essential along with failsafes against re-Stalinization and derailed revolutionary power…The failures of Marxists have been very stark here. One can’t just pass over the issue in silence
: in my view the whole legacy of Bolshevism PLUS that of Marx needs to be left behind in order to start over. It is important to be clear here because many self-styled agents on the left make a canon dogma of Marxism and the Jacobin ‘Blueprint’ will end up in a hash with Marxist thinking (which remains useful in fragments in the backgroud) and/or denounced as some counterrevolutionary piece and/or …
: The Last Revolution restarts without Marxism, citing only the historical drama of Marx/Engels in the 1848 era… The left needs to get past the whole morass of Marx/Hegel, the failure Marx’s theories, the useless baggage of historical materialism, dialectical materialism…A new socialism needs a new historical framework that is not still more Marx boilerplate and reductionist scientism applied to history in the form of confused economics. The Last Revolution has a new strategy there with a snapshot version of the simple outline in my ‘eonic model’
: The left has to screw up its courage and deal with Darwinism, plus the twin conspiracies of JFK and 9/ll, including the issue of Israel/Mossad and in generatl the crimiinal mafia running the American government and behind the drug trade at the core of the Deep State
: A lot more here, consult the Last Revolution with its plethora of notes, and its own limitations: it needs a more specific ecosocialist project. The DMNC model is a kind of container for ecolotical socialism..
: I may have misjudged the Jacobin people here: this was perhaps just a floater piece, with no intention to reference climate change, etc, etc… But the issue has a new standard in the complexity and detail of the Last Revolution….
In any case despite suspicious caution I welcome any suggestions here despite the fragmenetary nature of the discussion.
In The Blueprint, a book I’m cowriting with Bhaskar Sunkara and Mike Beggs, we lay out an alternative vision that disaggregates the issue of workers’ democracy from the issue of consumer preferences. The most important reason socialists have always advocated democracy at the workplace is that the workplace is the place where most adults have to spend at least half their waking lives most days of the week. No one should have to spend all that time taking orders from bosses over whom they can’t exercise any kind of direct democratic accountability. And the lack of democratic input in deciding what happens to the product of workers’ collective labor — the lack Marxists call “exploitation” — generates an utterly indefensible level of economic inequality.But there’s no reason that democracy at the workplace, and marketless planning of those public goods where markets generate the most socially undesirable consequences, can’t coexist with the use of market mechanisms to solve the information problems that plagued even Gorbachev-era Soviet planners. In the model outlined in our book, full democratic socialism would entail not only domains like health care and education but banks and other commanding heights of the economy would be state-owned. The remaining quasi-private sector would be made up of competing worker-owned cooperatives that would essentially rent the physically means of production from the public as a whole through grants from state-owned banks. When all this is combined with a robust civil society, a free press, and real multiparty elections, it is possible that such a setup could give us a world fundamentally different from both what existed in the Soviet Union and the neoliberal order that’s become globally hegemonic since the USSR’s collapse.
Source: Gorbachev Couldn’t Reform the Soviet System — but a Better Socialism Is Possible
We have been critical of the idea that Marxism is science for over a year plus here and The Last Revolution goes over this in a lot of detail. Having sent many links to Jacobin on this I have to assume this article is a shot over the bows for me. In any case, the idea that Marxism is science along with Engels’ useless Dialectics of Nature is not really defensible anymore, and I am puzzled anyone on the left would still try. Marx’s interest in science is commendable but what science are we talking about, in the early to late nineteenth century in the context of reductionist science, causal physics, and the botched job of Darwinism which Marx annexed to his doctrine of materialism, compounding the confusion. In that context, Marx tried something daring by trying to turn history into a study of economic categories but that was simply off the mark from the start. World history is an immensely complex field far beyond mere economic categories and Marx’s ‘stages of production’ theory applied to history in a sequence of epochs is a pile of nonsense.
Marx created a difficult situation for his faithful by locking them into nineteenth-century science notions, and with a system that even scientists of his time saw as dubious. And science has moved on. With the coming of Quantum Mechanics, and then Quantum Field Theory/String Theory we are all out in left field wondering just what science is telling us, if anything.
The science of Marx simply doesn’t wash anymore. Not at all. In retrospect, calling something like Marxism science is dangerous because it makes critics into counterrevolutionaries who must be lliquidated because they are not scientific…Madness. And it happened with Stalin.
Trying to produce a science of history has always failed because history is not like physics and shows the transformation of facts and values in a dynamic totally beyond current science. Better to use descriptive approach and deal with simple chronologies. Marx’s theory subjects the left to endless debates and rejection by critics who have long known the flaws here. And the whole mess is compounded by Engels and his total confusion over the dialectic. Taking The Dialectics of Nature as a path to science is hopeless confusion and gives even sympathetic leftists a difficult dilemma.
Socialism doesn’t require a science of history and can be constructed far better without a pretense of theory and science. This blog has endless material on this…
cf. The_Last_Revolution_Postcapitalist Futures_ ED2_8_23_22
From Marx and Engels to the present day, socialists have been deeply engaged with the world of science. With the provision of lifesaving vaccines held hostage by corporate profiteering, the story of this relationship is more important than ever.
Source: How Marxists Brought Science to Politics and Politics to Science
This is an interesting essay, and rightly provocative, but the situation in Ukraine would seem to involve more than capitalism. Destroying Ukraine in the name of capitalism seems a typical Marxist oversimplification and one that tries, not without interest, to apply Marxist economic principles.
But the economic focus in Marxism is excessively reductionist. The confusion is not so much in the analysis on the ground but the disastrous remedy proposed by Marxism. We need a broad view of history, empire, economics and cultural factors and a better analysis of modernity the incorrect Marxist theories of the economic stage of history. Beset with the curse of capitalism we confront the curse of Marxism. Putin is in the end the fag of Bolshevism, and we need a post-marxist framework to look more clearly at history and economic systems
Ukraine, per se, is not the issue. It is tragically a war-ravaged pawn in a much larger conflict. Nor is the issue about either Russian President Vladimir Putin or U.S. President Joe Biden as leaders. The same history and confrontation would prevail upon their successors. Meanwhile, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s effort to force change on the PRC by imposing the biggest sanctions action in history (i.e., a trade war and a tariff war) utterly failed. Trump was caught up in the same history as Biden, even if each focused on attacking the Russian-Chinese alliance differently.
Source: The Role of Capitalism in the War in Ukraine – CounterPunch.org
The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter believed that the triumph of socialism was inevitable, but he rejected the Marxist view of how capitalism works. His ideas are a stimulating challenge for those seeking an alternative to capitalism today.
Source: Joseph Schumpeter and the Economics of Imperialism
A useful review of the core of War Against Marxism, but the result still makes little sense. We have spent two centuries rehashing Hegel versus Marx and the results are totally confusing and unproductive. Marxism has failed to produce socialism and the result should be ‘you’re fired’, so we can start over with something more productive. Neither Hegel nor Marx had the data for a study of history and/or evolution even as the ideology of Darwinism ended up snaring the whole Marx legacy. The references here to Hegel’s method are ludicrous. What was that? Maybe a Sparks notes version might help.
I recommend a complete break with this jargon ridden universe and a simple escape route of socialism into a new and simpler approach to history, philosophy, religion and economics. The idea for a science of history and/or a philosophy of history has failed and a new approach such as simple chronologies can be a useful substitute. The whole base superstructure distinction is a pack of nonsense. It is very hard to resolve the dynamic of history but it is clear that that is not economic. Economic determination is secondary in historical realization and it is not clear just how history works. A close study of the eonic model can suggest a new perspective with a warning that historical and organismic evolution remain unsolved problems for human knowledge. The realm of Marx and Hegel in this direction are obsolete realms of fiction. Marx was an ambitious theorist who ended up in twenty years of writers block unable to complete Capital because its core was incoherent and incapable of scientific completion. Marx finally gave up and handed the whole mess of Capital to Engels who managed to rescue something from the mess of pottage. The generations studying Capital have produced a sophistical and incoherent cult that is a de facto religion and a dangerous stance toward heretics still in the realm of common sense. Marx was a predator who took over the idea of socialism and made it a kind of personal property as an ism in his name, Marxism. Time to just let go and and start over.
PDF | Bloomsbury Academic: London and New York, 2021. 280 pp., $29.95 pb ISBN 9781350201415 About the reviewer Fouad Mami is a literature scholar from… | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate
Source: (PDF) Review of Tony McKenna The War Against Marxism: Reification and Revolution
I have at times bought remaindered copies of economics textbooks for a dollar or so (no more, they have mostly disappeared) at Amazon but found the whole subject indigestible and filled with mathematical sophistries. A new wind seems to be blowing through the subject and this new brand is free online. The subject remarkably is tiptoeing let’s hope toward postcapitalism. We need a viable economy as ecosocialist ‘democratic market neo-communism’ with an economy with socialist markets based on a Commons with licensed resources. This hybrid should get its own textbook, either as a manifesto for revolutionary/reformist economic transformation or as textbook for such a system coming into being.
“The Economy,” a new textbook, is designed for the post-neoliberal age.
Source: Is It Time for a New Economics Curriculum? | The New Yorker