With the catastrophic recent term of the Supreme Court finally concluded, it can no longer be denied that the judiciary is firmly under the thumb of the conservative movement. In discussions of how the conservatives accomplished this feat, we often hear about the organizing acumen of the Federalist Society, or the vast financial resources of the Kochs, the Olins, and the Scaifes.
There’s nothing new in United States history about the slanderous demonization of those who step up and fight to make a better world from the bottom up.
Blinded by American Exceptionalism, however, many of the U.S. Left are not able to answer the question, and their silence speaks. We must always oppose empire, under any heading. No nation has the right to dominate another, let alone invade and occupy it. That was the principle we as leftists affirmed in 2003, when George W. Bush led the United States into a war of aggression against Iraq.
We added two updates to our post on /marxism/world history/eonic model, link below. The question of marxism and world history raises so many issues that the post could go on and on.
We note two issues: the rise of the left in the modern world is itself an eonic effect, which means that Marx/Engels are themselves data in the eonic history or sequence. They appear in fact just outside the modern transition (whose boundary is perhaps fuzzy) in a mixture that remains unclear of ‘system action’ and ‘free action’. The point would seem that democracy and socialism are paired eonic effects, but that socialism arrives a little late, for the obvious reason is that capitalism and the Industrial Revolution are clustered near the ‘divide’. But the issues of socialism appear very early with More (a conservative with however his Utopia) and Thomas Munzer and the early intimations of socialism in the English Civil War. The question of the divide is tricky and I would be wary of the idea before an extensive study of the eonic data in world history. But the point is that a socialist response to capitalism has its own mysterious historical signature, thus with good reason to honor its historical meaning and to also be wary of its possible distortions. More on this later…
The issue of Christianity is super complex and yet in a larger context it makes sense as a continuation of the phenomenon of emergent religions in the Axial Age, itself a part of the eonic sequence. But its actual realization is outside the early transition and its starting point is to say the least obscure. But we can see that even as Mahayana starts to emerge with its theme of the ‘savior religion’ one such appears in concert thousands of miles away in the accident. Coincidence? We must suspect the larger context of the eonic sequence going through its phase of generating religions and Christianity, and then Islam are connected with the later history of the early transitional phase of the remarkable proto-Israelites whose actual history is still barely known to us. A lot more to say here…
Update: one of the ironies of our critique here is that modern left, and the emergence of democracy AND socialism are ‘eonic effects’, correlated with the eonic sequence in the modern transition and this starts with both the Reformation and the appearance of Thomas Munzer. So, and it is a good laugh, Marx/Engels are themselves ‘eonic data’.
Update 2: the emergence of Christianity (in the context of the early Israelite transition) is in fact a mystery even now (despite its obvious connection indirectly via the Judaic legacy) and is not an eonic effect as such and yet is directly parallel with the emergence of the Mahayana in the second stage of Buddhism around the period of the turn of the millennium. The history of Christianity is thus a super mystery, yet obviously connecte to the larger pattern of religious development in the Axial Age. Historical materialism is almost laughable as a means of explanation here. But everyone else is confused also, including Christians themselves.
However, the two events do have some stark parallels. Each was an avoidable security failure, received a mountain of fear-inducing media coverage, and has since been used to justify further centralization of repressive government powers. The response to the events of January 6 has been marked by a crackdown on dissent: a dramatic increase in anti-protest bills around the country, including at least 88 that have been introduced since the Capitol riot; a massive buildup of the Capitol police into a national force to target “terrorism;” as well as the rollout by the Biden administration of a sweeping domestic counter-terror strategy.U.S. history shows that such expanded powers to crush protests wind up disproportionately impacting those on the Left, no matter what led to the laws’ passage in the first place. In many ways, the response to January 6 may wind up being more dangerous than the event itself.
These discussions are of great interest but two aspects are neglected: the issue of American (and other) mis-definitions of democracy, and the void that has overtaken the left. The American system has never really been truly democratic as an electoral system dominated by capitalism. It is thus almost surely doomed to drift into breakdown even without the pressure of an increasingly demented right. This article makes no mention of the capitalist factor. And secondly there is no left as such anymore. The failure of Marxism, and yet its persistence as a dominating factor, has paralyzed thinking about socialism and democracy as the legacy of Marx/Lenin/Stalinism has clearly failed to produce any kind of (r)evolutionary response to the growing right unchallenged by any consistent of coherent response to capitalism as such. The jargon of Marx doesn’t work anymore and yet it has a cultic tenacity that defeats all innovation.
We have produced our modeling tool: ‘democratic market neo-communism’ and that in the context the issues of eco-socialism. Despite the failure of Marx’s theories, he and his generation of early socialists who he expropriated and dominated, had a keen insight into the weakness of bourgeois democracies, and the corrosive effect of capitalism. But that legacy fractured as democracy and socialism became antagonists, and by the time of Lenin, democracy didn’t stand a chance against totalitarian outcomes. The whole legacy is ‘shot’ and our draft text The Last Revolution tries to start over from scratch, not so hard to do.
The left is clearly split between those who preach democracy/reformism and the nullity of the Marx dominated left who have lost any sense of a coherent program.
The right’s ‘coup in motion’ needs a strong response from an ‘in principle’ revolutionary left (that can also carry the reformist sectors piggyback) that has a new set of materials, a new definition of democracy, a socialist guarantee (our neo-communism is basically ‘socialism’ 2.0, a hybrid with democracy so-called…etc…)
Unless a strong left able in principle to carry out regime change, and do it right, can challenge the new right, the latter will simply walk away with the crown jewels.
The U.S. is becoming increasingly ungovernable, and some experts believe it could descend into civil war. What should Canada do then?
Reclaiming science for the left is a great idea but the legacy of historical materialism has tended to make scientism dominate along with Darwinism. Marx started with suspicions of Darwin but then closed ranks, suspiciously, around Darwin’s theory as good for his materialist enterprise. The legacy of natural selection in the hands of the Stalinists is a caution to the ideological abuse of science for class genocide. The left should have led the way to the expose of Darwinism, but instead the right has cleverly taken up the expose and the result makes the left look ridiculous.
Writer Kim Stanley Robinson talks to Jacobin about Ministry of the Future and his other books, climate change, and why he thinks the Left should reclaim science as a tool of socialist progress.