Toward a New Communist Manifesto…//The Communist Manifesto Is Still Haunting the Powerful – 1848+: The End(s) of History

Many attempts at manifestos on the left exist, including mine, which learned early on that one needs to proceed in low key to not compete with the Marx/Engels classic, while at the same time trying to move in a new direction, evidently stealth competition. This theme starts with the last chapter of Last and First Men: Toward a New Communist Manifesto, in fact, later a manifesto called Toward a New Manifesto matched with a new kind of socialist model, Democratic Market Neo-communism. There is finally a text, The Last Revolution, which contains both texts as an appendix.
The left has not really learned what Marx knew, or sensed, that attempting to control the future with a set of utopian blueprints would not work: the future will usually fool us. But Marx’s critique of ‘utopian’ versus ‘scientific’ frameworks doesn’t really work here and the flaws in Marx’s science have created a subtle chaos in all attempts to move into a realized communist future. His stages of production theory makes just this kind of speculative ‘forcing the future’ with its progression of economic epochs. But the future is quirky and moves in strange directions, as the anomalous Russian Bolshevism shows.
The new manifesto and related texts point to this contradiction and then make the ‘mistake’ all over again: grapple with a blueprint for the (near) future, don’t muddle discussion with claims of science, use a simple recipe approach and try to construct a failsafed model that is more than sloganeering and balances democracy, planning and markets, ideas of a Commons and expropriation, and an eco-socialist context added to the post-capitalist approach.
The whole game has been a series of failures but part of the problem is the failures of Marx and Engels to really get straight what they were about.

Source: The Communist Manifesto Is Still Haunting the Powerful – 1848+: The End(s) of History

Toward an New Communist Manifesto

The legacy of the great Manifesto echoes to this day and yet if we must assert this there is a problem: it needs as a text promotion and does not reverberate anymore and is at best a relic for the left.
This statement might be complete nonsense but the fact remains that at a time of global crisis and capitalist tragic finale, the left is marginalized and unable to state the problem properly.
But the great Manifesto is just that: a piece of propaganda with a special moment of eloquence. But it may or may not point to a larger frame of reference that really captures the issues of capitalism. We need however to retreat over and over to this work and its moment because after 1848 the thinking of Marx began to shift to a result that is no longer very effective or very clear. Between the great Manifesto and the fragmentary obscurities of Capital there is a strange contradiction.

Let’s consider then the great moment of this text but be able to approach the overall legacy of Marxism critically and ask if it is able to generate a real movement of transformation that can grapple with the crisis at hand.

Yolanda Díaz, labor minister in Spain’s first left-wing coalition since the 1930s, writes on why The Communist Manifesto is still today the sharpest critique of capitalist society.

Source: The Communist Manifesto Is Still Haunting the Powerful

 R48G: Zizek, dialectical materialism,  leftist idiocy, and the delusions of marxism…

We have been critical of marxism here without completely rejecting all of Marx’s insights and this seems problematical to some but nothing can make the point clearer than confronting a figure like Zizek. In fact, our stance mainly refers to the the legacy of bolshevism, but the pop ‘marxism’ of Zizek is material we should be wary of. In fact, I have a book trying to expose the confusions of dialectical materialism.
Zizek has created marxist chocolate fudge of this subject and I find myself unable to even read his take on the subject.
In the end Zizek lives in his own world and/or some marxist/leninist universe or else in some Hegelian disneyland.
This makes clear why we divorce our material from marxism and marxists. It is impossible to resolve the issues in Zizek because they are barely comprehensible.
The subject of dialectical materialism needs to be left behind in search of a new kind of left. The dialectic has confused almost all the leftists who use it, despite some classics that seem profound (and might be), e.g. from Western Marxism, and it is important to focus on what needs to be done and not try to justify, defend, or excuse the truly impossible muddle in which most marxists have ended up. Marx saw the dangers and in a way that drove him to make the problem worse by obsessing efforts to be scientific. But the result wasn’t science and a figure like Zizek makes it clear that the Hegelian bravura applied to dialectical materialism can sell books in the Zizek cult, but serious revolutionaries up to their last chance of real socialism need to travel light. Dialectical materialism, a concoction of Engels that Marx in a more ferocious moment toward his friend might well have shelved at once.
We need to simply note that we are socialists, reformist or revolutionary, and we adopt our own canon, and don’t need anything from marxism, let alone Zizek. We point to a kind of bare framework that deals with the practical questions of social transformation, economic reconstruction (and deconstruction, to use a postmodern term, ouch!), constitutional/legal constructs for a new type of specified socialism (e.g. our DMNC model), etc…
The issue of dialectic never arises because it has been left behind as a luxury revolutionism plain doesn’t need. We deal in recipes, not theories or theories manque as philosophies. We steer clear of Hegel, save historically, and can study his dialectic historically, but we may be out of time for that. Hegel is important for one chestnut, in our view: in a rising scientism he considered the ‘metaphysics’ of freedom in history.
We can proceed without his corpus in any case.
The issue is fearsome: marxists and bolsheviks may well have destroyed humanity’s three strikes to construct socialism as postcapitalism. That task struck out with marxism so we need to do something very different in a new attempt, if the chance ever arises. Let’s consider the American rebs, many of them high class Virginian planters, and many more dirt farmers. They carried out a revolution, one of the very few that succeeded, and they did that without a set of theories or Hegelian pastiche, or the dialectic. They were not yet confused by the philosophy of revolution.
We need that kind of plain sense. The socialist version is actually more difficult because the original revolution ended in a set of confusions (there Marx was very good at exposing the capitalist seepage into so-called democracy) and a socialist revolution is going to provoke a different kind of opposition. But either way the job of revolution and the construction of socialism has to be stated without the truly hopeless field of nonsense peddled by leftists now.
The steps should be clear, justified as logical elements, but at all points intuitive, etc…The sad reality is that socialist recipes aren’t that complicated (although they can be bad recipes) and can be done without training in Hegel or the reading of Capital. All we need is the original Manifesto, the rest is for academics and should not be used to confuse a general public, a confusion that is all too profitable for those who appoint themselves as the guardians of the esoteric cult.

Source: Corona Communism? Zizek a stalinist??? – 1848+: The End(s) of History

The need for a new post-marxist set of frameworks…

We have extracted a short blogbook from a longer piece with older archived posts.
The text points the way to a new and simplified approach (we had several here) to a leftist paradigm without the confusions of historical materialism. The booklet is at most a series of notes for a whole book and/or an introduction to World History and the Eonic Effect.
Every scientific theory ends up obsolete and marxism is not exception, but leftists tend to keep it central in a kind fetishism of true believers.
Most of the rest of the marxism is another matter: filled with useful material of one kind or another. But the theoretical confusions of marxism pervade the whole subject and the whole left.
We need to make Marx/Engels historical introductions to a new formulation created in our ‘now’ and relevant to the conditions of current economics, globalization, and science, and with a rewrite introducing ecological socialism as a keynote.

Utopian/scientific and the questions of values

Marx’s classic theories are more of a liability than an asset at this point: they give the impression of misdiagnosis. The larger critique of marx and marxists in the context of empirical studies tends to be far more successful. The left needs to propose an expert analysis and response and present a completely new face to the public. The classic distinction of utopian and scientific given by engels is part of the same problematic: the scientific basis of marx’s thinking about modes of production is not there and the resulting charge of utopian against any constructive effort backfires comletely.

Mode of production theory Continue reading “Utopian/scientific and the questions of values”

Engels and Munzer…xtian communism…?

Engels our first munzerian..Marx and the xtians of the hyparchic future

April 30th, 2015

Last and First Men envisions a kind of Xtian church taking up the path of communist endeavor all the way to revolution. This need not be anything dogmatic or anything like a coup d’etat on the left. A streamlined ‘church’ at the level of thought can (in fact, Engels almost did this exercise ages ago in the Continue reading “Engels and Munzer…xtian communism…?”

The failure of dialectical materialism

The failure of dialectical materialism
January 8th, 2015 ·
The reason for my attack on dialectical materialism is not based on some logical/scientific objection, quite the contrary: after a generation of the New Age movement many would look back on nineteenth
century dialectic as old-fashioned, and to underpowered compared to the more recent versions of ‘non-
dual’ experimental thought.

A book like Ouspensky’s Tertium Organon completely stole a march on the left from the right. More generally the lore of ancient Samkhya is far more fertile here, with its genuines ‘triads’ instead of dialectical dyads.

I do Not reject the dialectic, which should mean basically a ‘debate’, a corellation of opposites in thought. It also has a close relation to metaphors of transformation, etc…

But I think the time has come to move on: noone not already converted to marxism is not going to spend much time on dialectic.

So I think that a whole new canon of postmarxism is needed. I would be almost impossible to excise the dialectical legacy however.

But there is a simple solution to that: do the dialectic! Last and First Men reinvents what it calls
‘dialogical metadialectic’, which can be used to examine the self-referential dialectic argumentation on
the validity of ‘metadialectic’, i.e. some triadic connection to a reduced dyadic dialectic, …
We have better things to worry about at this point.
Let’s put it plainly: put dialectic on the sidelines as a research project in need of critique, state all axioms/theorems of neo-communist logic on simple logical deductions. And leave it at that. The left can’t afford to waste its energies defending dialectics. And the confused use of dialectics to explain revolution, historical change, evolution, etc, are too marginal to be useful anymore.
The issue of revolutionary/evolutionary change is clearly discussed in LFM using a completely different kind of discussion.
There was an old debate about whether dialectic could be applied to nature, with Engels challenged here many times. The critique is important but this just shows how marxists wish to reinvent ‘samkhya’ with triads for dialectics. The confusion of the two is a blind spot for marxists.