I have linked to the OWS every day for over a year. But I have never had a sense of belonging to a movement (and never once a communication from anyone there, I am no doubt in their ‘go to hell’ category): my fault, completely, but I think that this movement is reaching a turning point. Occupy Sandy was a splendid idea, and initiative, but we need a new movement moving increasingly toward radical post-marxist revolutionary preparation (matched two-level with a ‘Neo-Progressive’ movement). Such movements exist already, but are paralyzed, by their crypto-Stalinist marxism. One reason the OWS surged is because it raised the question of a post-marxist ideology of activism. But in the end what is needed is a post-marxist marxism, a radical reformulation of a postcapitalist revolutionary movement. It’s that or bust. Marx took over and dominated the left of his time, but the same is now needed contra marxism. The idea of communism is the heritage of the French Revolution, not of Marx. In fact, most of the core content is invariant, and a recasting of a good deal of marxism is entirely germane. But marxists constantly regargle marxist cliches, and thought stops. A complete rewrite could help. The marxist left has bet on the ‘proletarian’ phantom and failed. We need a group of the 99% to fight for a new set of communist principles, beyond class.
It requires a movement, a party, a group of leaders, a platform of democratic-communist rights lore, but beyond the Lockean confusion of property rights. this movement needs to be global, skip the false ideology of historical materialism, be clear about the 9/11 conspiracy that animates a fascist government, and I would think a postdarwinian critique of the social darwinism now in effect and aiming finally at a class warfare apocalypse of the kind we saw in Nazism.
In many ways the American public is too far gone for this, and its source in a global exterior would seem more likely, practical. But I think the tide is turning against the American system. A neo-communist movement is becoming a possibility. Such a movement must liquidate its legacy of marxism, create a new party, a new world view, a new approach to postcapitalism, a program of expropriation of macro-industry, a new model of economic society that can guarantee basic rights, establish real solutions to sustainable economy beyond class exploitation, etc… It would be nice if this movement could absorb the old left, but the sad reality is that that group of hasbeens is going to be still another enemy. But not for long. I think that if a group of leftist intellectuals could recreate the communist idea, tell the old left to bugger off, create something new without the liabilities of Marx/Engels, the public would begin to respond. The fixation on the proletariat is nearly obsolete: there are suddenly millions open to this message, people of indeterminate class.
Such a movement needs some intelligence on economics, but the domination of economists, very smart idiots, is part of the problem. Marxists are not very cogent here. They succumb to cliche at a moment’s notice. Still, the rough measure of marxist critique is a step to what is needed.
This has to operate beyond the fashionable commentariat, including the Chomskys, which is obviously too chicken to discuss the reality of revolution, 9/11 expose, and revolutionary activism. The fist step is a way to talk the talk without getting murdered by covert agencies, etc… I think Obama shows the point of no-return: the expectation of a new liberal surge to reclaim the New Deal was completely finessed by a carefully manufactured presidential fake, courtesy of the neoliberal cooptation of democrats, what to say the covert manipulation of Manchurian Candidates. The right has studied FDR, and has created a politics that will never see another such.
The suspicion that electoral liberalism is completely penetrated should be a tonic. There are no other clear options than revolutionary preparation.