We have had multiple posts on ‘new communism’, which deserves a ‘new Communist Manifesto’. The original is such a classic, that a new one might restrict itself to a kind of addendum, or commentary on the old, with a clear delineation of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ in a clear restatement of the issues of ‘communism’ as it emerged prior to Marx and Engels. The latter rescued the idea from being swamped in cultural proliferation, and gave it a substance that propelled it into the future. But we need to do that all over again, the old Manifesto serving the issue quite well. I think that Marx’s Capital is not in the same position. I recall a statement by the guru Rajneesh, a crypto-radical critic of the reactionary guru syndrome, who recommended reading the Manifesto, the great classic, but putting one’s copy of Capital on a shelf, unread.
It is not always worth the trouble reading that also classic tome. It confuses adherents with unnecessary obscurities of theory and jargon, almost designed to induce mystification in cadres. The issue is not the theory of historical materialism, but a clear definition of the praxis of a ‘new’ communist ‘procedure’ for its realization, by revolution if necessary.
The opening of the original was brilliant, and its clarion remains, even if we stand it upside down, and note that a spectre is haunting the globe: the spectre of free markets burning out a planet…
The point is obvious: the classic phrase works both ways: if the spectre of capitalism is haunting the globe, then so is communism… It needs to be a New Communism, freshly defined, and given a better take on world history. But, whatever the case, the spectre of a ‘new communism’ is haunting a lot more than Europe!
There are endless critiques of the communist idea, but suddenly they are all worthless, because, ironically, the dialectical complement, capitalism and its markets, is suffering catastrophic failure. The spectre, then, is capitalism, not communism.