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Repost: Kantian ethical socialism

October 29th, 2011 · No Comments

http://darwiniana.com/2011/10/27/the-russian-revolution-and-the-liquedation-of-majority-left/ This strong attack on Zizek was meant seriously, but it is also true that I sympathize with the classic Marxist strain. However, IT WON’T WORK anymore to peddle straight Marxism. The Arab Spring made obvious that Leninist violence has to give way to the Gandhian legacy, at least to start. Whatever the case, the real legacy of Marx is almost impossible to discuss because it has been wiseacred to the point of nullity by its propagandists.
Face it, a huge number of people, the type that once made the left robust, simply cock their pistols at the mention of Marx. Period.
I think the OWS groups are moving in another direction, but this is really the same old direction, nothing ever changes, except that fresh bread goes stale: thus Marxist theory, stale to the point of moulding, greenish yuck. They need, not a neo-Marxist ideology, but a history of socialism as a virtual workable project to the left of their probable basic
orientation in the context of conventional (labor) politics.
This virtual left project should simply ditch Marx, putting him behind the back, to be picked up by the other hand. The whole tradition should be broken down and recast. Its Leninist failures can and must be disowned, what to say of Stalinist latencies.
The Marxist legacy should be recycled around the whole problematic of the modern transition, and start with the Reformation, up to the French/American/democratic revolutions. German Classical Philosophy instead of Hegel, and much else, including a new and better stance toward or replacement for atheist humanism.

How about the classic side potential, Kantian ethical socialism, which had a robust presence in the period of the Second Internationale. It would make a superb replacement for conventional Marxsim:
Kantian Ethics and Socialism

The old left is being sidelined by the rise of a new approach. But people still need to consider the issues of socialism, economic ideology, revolution, in the classic sense of the French Socialists et al. from whom Marx/Engels borrowed everything. That more ancient ground, still hybrid with the issues of the French Revolution would serve better than dead Marxism. Socialism is NOT a marxist monopoly, and the proponents of Kantian ethical socialism were among those murdered and wiped out by the left (and right). They held to a higher standard.
This project could remain a resource, virtual, educational in the context of the current OWS movements. If the world is going to devolve into a revolutionary chaos, then the virtual project is ready.
The left is running out of time, and the rehash of Stalinist nightmares by Zizek is, well, cock you pistol. They have declared they will kill you for a long list of Leninist reasons, so defend yourself.
Van der Heuvel’s book is a gem of the socialist tradition.

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