A new left, and the Occupy movement is a sign that is coming, needs to rethink its fundamentals:
1. it needs a new history of civilization,
2. and that includes some awareness of the Axial Age
3. with a better sense of modernity and its secular legacy,
4. a new take on revolution, as historical dynamics, beyond the myth of dialectics,
5. an extension of its atheist humanism to a full embrace of German Classical philosophy,
6. in the process moving past ‘historical materialism’ to a larger framework that transcends ‘materialism’ and ‘idealism’ (with a renewed consideration of idealism after the futile materialist attacks on that), viz. transcendental idealism,
7. a post-darwinism that can seriously critique social darwinism with a view on evolution that is within science, but not reductionist, or plagued with the economic ideology in disguise now rampant…
The list could go on and on, perhaps to a Luther-style 43 theses nailed to the door to the Monthly Review….. The left has to shed its skin.
None of theis going to happen with the current cadre of really braindead idiots, who are waiting for the chance to take over any new left, viz. the Occupy groups, liquidate its creative core, and restalinize the whole left. But then again unlike the socialists marked down in the Bolshevik revolution a new left may be able to outflank the dead mass at its centre of gravity, on the premise that no repetition is possible.
This approach has an ace up its sleeve: Lenin wasn’t really a socialist or proletarian: a new left can walk away with much of classic Marxism (completely repackaged and undated, with no mention of Marx) on the grounds that it has never really been tried, albeit given its ‘trial’ in the Second Internationale. But the Leninist revolution was a completely deviant possibility.
Now the non-violent tactics of the OWS, which may nor may not be the full picture, are one ingenious way to bypass the old left. At one and the same time, the stages of 1. market capitalism 2. social democracy 3. socialism proper and, far away, 4. pure communism (whatever that is, Bolshevism hadn’t a clue) need to be defined in writing, and exact treatises, without the bluff about communism/sociaism that allowed the Leninists to fake their way into something else.
All of this is simple: a creative left must leave the old cadres behind, and start from scratch.