Chinese communism, or rather, pseudo-communism represents the Stalinist destruction of the Marxist hopes for a socialist/communist social transformation. We cannot turn away from the reality of the abortion of the legacy which should have passed away in 1989 along with the Soviet equal abortion.
We have tried here to start over completely with a new model and terminology in a complete break with the Marxist tradition in its path to Stalinism and the Chinese version which now is empowered with its basically capitalist character mixing all the faults of Stalinism with those of capitalism.
We need failsafed terminology: we cannot use the terms socialism/communism alone anymore: they must be completed terms in at least a four-term system of some kind: our DMNC, or ‘democratic market neo-communism’ demands at least four qualifiers without which the term ‘communism’ is derelict: a democratic foundation, an economic set of socialist markets, a legally defined Commons independent of the state system, a new form in parallel of planning, and clearly defined legal, economic, and political rights, failsafed revolution without gulags, secret police, revolutionary marshals and observers, etc… By this standard China is NOT a communism at all but a deviation into monstrosity.
We need to be on guard because Chinese means to make its definitions global and enforced by fascist domination. We can be done with the sinicization of Marxism, because we done with Marxism, with intent to start over and do it rieght.
We are very pleased to publish (for the first time in English) this detailed and insightful article by Carlos Miguel Pereira Hernández, Cuba’s ambassador to China. Comrade Pereira delves into the meaning of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, carefully noting that it should be understood on its own terms, rather than being compared against a one-size-fits-all … Continue reading On the sinicization of Marxism
Source: On the sinicization of Marxism – Friends of Socialist China
Capital, Marx’s epic work, describes in detail the capitalist system and how it functions, but is notoriously difficult to read. Cafiero’s Compendium is a gateway to understanding the contents of Marx’s Capital.
This is the story of the failure of Marxism. Noone understands Marx, and his Capital, turned into an icon, makes no sense to most of its readers who almost always give up on it. Book after book attempts resolve the issues, in vain or not. The left, if not Marxists needs to move on and refound their subject without the Marx texts. It is extremely easy to state the principles of socialist society, and the issues of capitalism are also quite easy to state in clear and short accounts. So how did it happen that a subject so simple became an esoteric doctrine controlled by a new elite (that in fact doesn’t understand Capital either)? In part it is the novelty of a new canon that drives thought to false complexity. Fair enough, but then simplify. Regrettably, another factor is clear: Marx was a dominating authoritarian who turned his work into a kind of cult doctrine under rigid control. To the see point, consider the movie on Karl Marx and the revealing moment when he attacks Weitling out of the blue and destroys his participation even as Weitling’s working-class sentiments are attacked in the name of Marx muttering about theory. The sad reality is that Marx didn’t trust the working class and wanted to dominate a movement with elite materials. The movie may be factually misleading but I doubt it and the basic point is clear: Marxism needs to be retired and recast in the simplest form it can manage for those who might not even be literate. It could have more complex versions in parallel but theory is not needed there. Forget theory. Theories of history or economics don’t exist in scientific form, and if that is true, it is highly unlikely that Marx could have changed the basic reality.. It is the pretense that Marx claimed to have exposed, only to substitute his own arcana. Take any economics textbook and see if you could make a science from that. Impossible, yet easy to fool yourself that the mass of descriptive recipes with some numeration is scientific. I have examined many texts on economics, and noted the way almost every branch of higher mathematics has been used to try and found economics. I even found one text using QM’s Hilbert space theory. (I actually find that interesting, but still a bit nutty). The same is true of the Marx corpus. It is all unnecessary. History requires only a set of chronologies with descriptive accounts of its economic histories, AND lest one forget overall accounts of, yes, its politics, and also its ethical and aesthetic aspects. Etc…Marxism ended up in a botch because few understood it in the manner of Marx.
I venture that Marx was one of those who Schopenhauer, who detested Hegel, pointed to as totally confused by that philosopher. Fair or not, the issues of Hegel are actually better on one point that Marx’s reductionist pseudo-science: Hegel saw that history shows the emergence of freedom and that this factor is metaphysically vexed as it stands next to ‘science’ which can deal with the issue. Marx ended up with a crypto-teleological history based on forms of production. A very shaky way to do historical theory, doomed to not really work, and Marx struggled for years to produce his theory and clearly failed, ending his life in a kind of limbo of unfinished work, the empty spaces in the volumes of Capital.
We urgently need a new leftist paradigm beyond the Marx swamp. It is impossible to make the Marxist system work. A far simpler framework is easy to arrive at and could produce a movement ready for the coming crisis, and aware of what they are doing.
Source: Carlo Cafiero, Compendium of Karl Marx’s Capital – Anarchist Communist Group
Two books on the eonic effect:
I have not read the new research referred to but the older views of Marxists and of Marx (and most other scholars perhaps) have not been able to produce any deep understanding of the emergence of civilization: the confusion over Darwinism, and the fallacies of historical materialism, block any real understanding, now visible in the data of the eonic effect and its model. Next to that is the confusion over the history of capitalism which is not a modern phenomenon: capitalism in primitive forms has existed since the dawn of civilization but often mixed with the legacy of slavery. Continue reading “world history shows a clear dynamic in the eonic effect…//How Marxists View the Middle Ages”
We need to abandon the whole Bolshevik legacy, including that of China, and start over, if we hope to have a chance for a ‘real socialism’ or neo-communists. All the tired jargon of archaeo-marxist ideological posturing is obsolete now and we need a new kind of politics, party, historical vision.
We are pleased to republish from Workers Today this very important article by the late Domenico Losurdo (1941-2018), a distinguished Italian Marxist scholar and communist militant. Losurdo outlines three distinct waves of social experiment in the young Soviet state in the 15 years following the October Revolution and makes a comparative analysis with the development … Continue reading Domenico Losurdo: Reflections on the transition from capitalism to socialism
Source: Domenico Losurdo: Reflections on the transition from capitalism to socialism – Friends of Socialist China
One has to wonder, why did Marx base his work on this idea. It is abstruse, hard to reify and probably wrong. The specific implication that in fact productive forces drive history is demonstrably wrong. And ‘materialism’ is hardly defined in economic terms. There are many forms of materialism, even religious versions, such as the classic Samkhya. Materialism is a bit shaky now in the era of quantum sciences, viz. quantum field theory.
We have looked at the eonic effect: it hardly proves that ideas drive history but it does show that ideas are crucial in the development of history. The eonic model shows the way religions, art, politics are driven by maacro forces of an evolutionary nature, although it is very hard to fully develop the argument because the mechanisms of evolution are not visible to the naked eye. Marxists have devoted endless energy to trying to vindicate Marx, in vain. They would do better to simply start over and stop blocking socialist evolution with their obsessive errors. The eonic model falsifies historical materialism, and it is equally different on ‘evolution’ from Darwinism
The endless and dreary repetition over and over again of Marx’s confusions has crippled the left.
Marx’s theory is “materialist” in a very specific sense. Marx didn’t just reject the notion that the ideas in people’s heads are the primary driver of history. He didn’t even simply emphasize that humans are driven by material needs. He thought the capacity of any given society to meet those needs (its “forces of production”) and the way it organized itself to do so (its “relations of production”) were the primary factors that explained why and how different forms of society rose, fell, and replaced each other in different historical epochs.
futile efforts to revive the dead horse of Marxism…//If You Want to Understand Marxism, Read G. A. Cohen
Bringing in Cohen is a clever strategy, in vain, I fear. I have repeatedly suggested a look at The Last Revolution to Jacobin, to no avail. I have been canceled and won’t get a hearing. Lots of other places to get such a hearing. Clearly however, as I suspect, the ranks of Marxism are becoming aware of my critique. But does Jacobin seriously think that Cohen, analytical Marxism and/or the Western Marxists, despite impressive and intelligent work can really salvage Marxism as a theory of history? We are running out of time, we need a minimal package to construct socialism and postcapitalism. Surprisingly Marx eliminated himself and his many followers from being able to do that. Continue reading “Falsifying historical materialism”
This useful article on the Second International shows the almost tragic history of the (marxist) left as it emerged from the nineteenth century. In some ways the early success of the movement and in particular in the German case seems almost mythical now. Where every attempt in the US to create a worker’s party has failed in every case, we are reminded of the strange case of the US in history and its peculiar fate. This has been analyzed many times, but the analysis can never quite arrive at at any kind of answer. The issues are a reminder that the questions raised by The Last Revolution remain in part unsolved: the question of a new International lurks in the analysis that is in principle a general one, but in fact a discussion of the potential of socialism in the US.
But perhaps this history can help us realize that a new left is needed and that it must learn from but break with the past.
On July 14, 1889, the Second International was born to unite the workers of the world. What happened to that dream?
Source: The Rise and Fall of the Second International
Marxism.com often produces interesting historical essays as here, although no doubt such a subject is likely to elude simple explanations, but the period described here seems to confirm the frequent view stated here that Marxist-based movements have repeatedly come to the ‘tipping point’ and then failed. And the case, Bolshevism, where they did succeed ended in Stalinist nightmare. This missed opportunity syndrome needs careful reflection by Marxists but unfortunately the ‘ism’ is a frozen corpus and discussion is almost impossible.
Marxists can debate all they want here but the record shows failure in all cases. To me the reason is that Marxism is flawed from the start and can not resolve the issues of history, economics, human nature or dialectic and blunders into failure simply because they cannot offer a believable account on subjects, many of them secondary to the practical task of constructing socialism. It might help to simply skip those aspects in a new kind of platform. Here our discussions of the eonic effect can help to repair the problem with a kind of neutrality about many subjects that are not easily reduced to a formula.
The site here also has another piece once again on Marxism and philosophy, a subject that has drawn our critical ire several times, and we will link to the other article in the next post. But the stance of Marxism on philosophy is so hopelessly flawed that it ends up alienating a multitude of those who have an interest in socialism.
102 years ago, British workers struck in solidarity with the Russian Revolution. Conditions were ripe for revolution, though the opportunity was missed.
Source: 1920: when Britain came close to revolution | The British Labour movement | History & Theory