Socialism is making a comeback but it is important to see that the older brand is played out and that a new generation will be done a disservice if they fall into old grooves. Time is short but no work is being done to recast the old legacy into something new and practical and the result will be a kind of sluggish inaction stuck in a dated version of marxism. We have critiqued marxism, after praising its historical moment and the way it created a way station to the future. But after the legacy of Bolshevism, the subject must start over and become a new framework. Continue reading “Letter to the Socialists, Old and New “
In 1848 a series of popular uprisings broke out in Europe, including in France. They largely failed, and authoritarian, right …
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.
We have produced some fairly radical perspectives here but it does not follow that we endorse all the theories of marxists or Marx.
Leftists unfamiliar with the history of nineteenth century thought often take historical materialism at face value, and the history of Marx’s thinking here is complicated. But that intellectual milieu was immensely complicated and very diverse. Yet in the end the marxists took up the most narrow, reductionist form of scientism and castigated all else as class ideology. The early modern from the Reformation to the Enlightenment virtually disappered into the canon of mentally challenged marxist cultists. Continue reading ” The strange way Marx crippled leftist thinking…”
We have often said it, and now it has happened: all the great revolutions in history had a spontaneous indirection, the French and Russian revolutions are good examples. Continue reading ” R48G: spontaneous revolution…red forty-eight group and evolutionary/evolutionary dualities…”
Marx’s theories of world history have almost endlessly critiqued even as his cadre, oblivious to the problems, continues with the same dogmatic platform that generates almost universal rejection by a larger public.
Instead of theories of history, which presume to be science, one can simply follow the contours of world history empirically and study the economic factor in that context, next to a host of other factors…factored out in the marxist toy model of stages of production.
The eonic effect/model might seem itself an exotic theory which it is not: we can take its core data set as the plain to view progression of civilizations since the Neolithic (which should be included).
A simple chronology of world history would free the left from near religion of Marx’s musings over feudalism, capitalism and communism as fixed epochs, a view that has been challenged so many times it has left its cadre spouting obsolete mantras…
The ‘eonic effect’ is one of the most exciting discoveries in the study of world history and evolutionary science, but unfortunately its study has made little headway in the public doma…
The left needs to explore more complex combinations than the usual vacuous mantra of socialism.
The DMNC requires careful examination of the dialectic of authority in democracy, the interplay of markets and planning and the legal and other aspects of a Commons which has to be more than a one party control nexus as state capitalism.
In the context of this interesting post at CP it is worth a look at our study of the eonic effect and its viewpoint on modernity, revolution, democracy and its continuation in the projected socialist/communist version of democracy that emerged in the revolutions of 1848. Continue reading “The model of the French Revolution…??//American Politics Without Sanders “