Googling ‘natural selection + Stalin’, sure enough, I end up at Evolution News for a useful essay on the connection. But this conservative site would never acknowledge the connection of Darwinism/social Darwinism to capitalism, thus this piece/site while useful is hardly trustworthy.
In any case, our critiques of Marx are from the left and there the connection of Marx and Darwin needs careful examination. I am suspicious that Marx suspected from the first that Darwinism’s natural selection was ideological and then changed his mind, or else dissembled, under the influence of Engels, Marx one of the first to be wary of the rising orthodoxy set into motion by Darwin and his generation and which has produced so many hypocrites who must get on with their academic careers.
But, cf also:
Biographically speaking, reading Darwin’s Origin was seminal in Stalin’s own march toward a godless communism.
Source: Darwinism and Stalinism | Evolution News
Darwinism is the most blatant source of social Darwinism ideology but the left is oblivious to the issue, taking Marx’s embrace of Darwin at face value. His first reaction was the right one: ‘English ideology’, but he changed his story, did he simply lie? I fear that this has confused the left for generations and led to Stalin’s genocidal version of natural selection. Marxism remains forever suspect here, another reason to move on.
I find this book useful but those in the various camps, secular or religious, still take the issue to be theism versus atheism and that is not the case. I praised this book but in reality that̵…
Source: A new critique of selectionist darwinism – 1848+: The End(s) of History
The first part of this important book has a history of the emergence of anticommunism, which begins after the first World War and the counterrevolution of the US/Europe against the Bolsheviks, but intensifies into the Cold War after World War II.
Many readers on the left have a hard time with critiques of Marx, but it is clear now that the left throughout has shot itself in the foot and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. If instead of Marxism_to_Stalinism the left had produced a benign, democratic form of socialism able to think coherently about what that means and able to construct a viable economy, the world would have moved into international socialism very rapidly after World War II, as the US gov must have realized all too well. The communist left had the whole world for the taking in the period just after WWII. Even Italy and France had elected communists. Greece could have joined them, Eastern Europe, Indonesia, were threshold cases. Instead the whole potential ended up in Stalinist madness and confusions. We can consider the immense opportunity thrown away by Stalin, but must indict the whole Marxist as it canon failed on the spot, and within a decade or so the whole possibility was lost. The left based in Marxism was simply incapable of the socialism/they proclaimed and had created a complete red herring in Bolshevism that failed in every instance.
No doubt it has its own flaws (it is a model with variants, and simulations) but our DMNC could in principle have created a robust and viable International of postcapitalism, with planning, socialist markets, democracies and economic and political rights. In the whole legacy from 1917 none of the aborted experiments could even manage habeas corpus and all ended in liquidations. Cuba included.
As the system of world capitalism starts to nosedive the left needs a new framework beyond marxism/leninism and its inexorable stalinism.
This book shows how in the end the US conspired for genocide in Indonesia in a massacre the equal of anything in Stalinism.
It is almost impossible to consider oneself and American anymore: the US is a criminal organization…
Source: Grand ol’ US: a system of covert psychopaths and their mass murder…//The Jakarta Method: … – 1848+: The End(s) of History
I hope to write a new summary of the issue of critical Marxism discussed here many times and some solutions there. In the process we can add a new approach to world history, and a parallel critique of Darwinism. I seriously doubt that the current Marxist left has any second chances. And yet the world needs a form of socialism or communism in hybrid with democracy. If we examine Marx’s thinking we can see a set of (fatal) mistakes. His stages of production theory says that history will move automatically beyond capitalism. That theory of history just isn’t correct and has the weakness that it labels an unknown as the stage in question. But we can see that unless you get specific a figure like Stalin can simply make up his own definition using the term. And this is what happened with Bolshevism. Ant the result is that critics have a field day with an outcome that is clearly something else but which everyone calls ‘communism’. And amazingly Marxists don’t even protest.
I think the problems with Marxist theory are easy enough to repair, but let’s hope it isn’t oo late. Our approach won’t have, let’s hope, the problem as above: we speak of and eco-socialist ‘democratic market neo-communism’. In this way you cannot call Stalin’s fiasco communism if it doesn’t also have democracy, etc… The goal requires complex specification.
This failsafe approach just might renew interest and enthusiasm about socialism, at a time when a new generation is despairing of capitalism. People will prefer to go over Niagara Falls before they embrace the now dated legacy with its reputation for Stalinist horror.
There is at first zero chance of persuading Marxists of anything. The canon of Marx is almost a form of scripture. But the realization that Marxism will block any path beyond capitalism if it doesn’t pay dues to the legacy, might finally renew trust in a new kind of social politics
As disaster looms closer, perhaps a new audience will emerge.
Continue reading “Notes toward a critical marxism and a new path to postcapitalism”
I think that’s a right-wing and very conservative if not reactionary impulse. Stalin was the gravedigger of the revolution. Or as Trotsky put it, a river of blood separated Lenin from Stalin. The revolution was made by ordinary people in 1917 — first women, who then called workers into the streets. Eventually, the soldiers went over to the crowds, and you had a revolution. Tsarism was gone. In 1917, there was a euphoria of popular participation, committees, resolutions, and so forth.Ordinary people eventually have to go back home, make a living, take care of the kids, make dinner. Eventually, that democratic and participatory revolution was consumed by foreign intervention, the civil war, the breakdown of the economy, and the building, by the Bolsheviks, of a centralized, authoritarian state. If I write a second volume about Stalin, I’ll write about the period 1917 to the death of Lenin in 1924, about how the Soviet state was built, and how it turned from this more participatory, Paris Commune kind of ideal that you find in Lenin’s book State and Revolution into what eventually became a one-party state under Lenin, and eventually the Stalinist tyranny that destroyed most of the Leninist cadres in 1937.There should be no apology by people on the Left for Stalin. It’s true, of course, that he achieved many things: a forced, and quite crude, but successful industrial revolution, the literacy campaigns, the victory over fascism, the destruction of Nazism, the end of the Holocaust. But Stalinism was the nadir of the Soviet experiment. It was a bloody, ruthless period. It destroyed many of the important achievements that were won earlier. It made the country stupider by decapitating the party and decapitating the intelligentsia, and turning people into cogs, or little screws, as Stalin put it.Marxism and socialism are basically a democratic expansion of bourgeois liberal democracy. It’s the empowerment of ordinary people. Stalinism was the usurpation of power from the people, the decimation of the trade unions and the independence of ordinary people into a top-down dictatorship. Despite some of its achievements, it shouldn’t be celebrated.
Source: How Josef Stalin Became a Bolshevik
Ronald Suny has given us the best picture to date of Stalin’s path to the October Revolution. But the story of the future dictator’s early life doesn’t explain the rise of Stalinism. The key developments and choices that produced that system came after the Bolsheviks took power.
Source: The Man Who Would Be Stalin
As we used to say as kids playing cowboys/indians or mock battles, ‘We now take prisoners, beg for mercy’…That will have to pass for backslapping reformist ‘Comrades’ as salutation.
Our ‘Red Forty-eight Group’ is a leftist party group abstraction whose fundamental note so to speak reaffirms the revolutionary path but in a new way, and without as such rejecting the reformists. Like him or not Bernstein struck a dialectical chord that was unstoppable and in the end we can affirm revolutionary socialism and do nothing while the reformists busy beaver civil society’s mock socialism…so, can we evolve to socialism? as we said, ‘beg for mercy’. Continue reading “R48G: revolution, reform…?”