I think that the idea of neo-communism (which was not especially popular here until recently) is starting to sink in as a potential future that needs a lot of work in preparation. That should start now, with or without expectation. It seems likely that as the state of politics, and climate, becomes terminally wretched people will be less afraid of the traditional failure of the old communism. The idea arose in tandem with modern capitalism, correctly foreseeing the endgame we now suffer. In fact the idea was barely even tried, and was stuck in a series of cliches that turned out to be the nemesis of Bolshevism. The question is resolved in part by desperation: we are going to throw away the future of a whole species, so that a bunch of neanderthals, especially the American brand, can press the fantasy of free markets and consumer heaven to their ultimate Ayn-Randian conclusion. The endgame there will likely make even Stalinist Bolshevism seem better by comparison. What is so puzzling is the inability of current governments to take even the barest of first steps to reckon with the crisis.
Once we see the likely future we can be ready with something that will bypass the older failures of the Russian calamity. There is something strange about the nose-dive of American civilization in the last generation. Chomsky and others chronicle part of that story, as to imperialism: the crucial turning point came in the wake of a huge success, WWII, while the seeds were sown very early in the expansionist character of nineteenth century proto-imperialism and its ‘dead injun’ ideology. In that sense the ‘original sins’ of a great republic, viz. its confused starting point on the issue of slavery, no less, seem to have doomed the future of the whole experiment. The ghosts of the civil war still haunt the devices of neo-liberalism. But we can see that the case for a new beginning is transparent from the built-in tragedy of the once and future republic, democracy or not. Something ominous, insidious, happened in the hubris of war, despite the hymnal of democracy, and the dark rise of the covert agencies, created, then protested in muffled terms by that tragic goof, Truman, who saw the assassination of JFK for what it was, and tried to sound a warning in veiled language echoing Eisenhower’s warnings of the military-industrial complex. The idea of communism reinvents itself as a critique of the rising totalitarian character of the capital-dominated state. The current left is strangely paralyzed and cannot seem to see the full scale of the hidden coup d’etat, especially as pointed to by 9/11 researchers. It is a transparent tactic, finally: the false-flagging of terrorism has enabled a nearly complete take-over of the American Republic.
In any case, the issue here isn’t reforming the American system, but the larger context of a planetary crisis. There we see two possibilities narrow the field: an American imperialism dominated by capital in a fascist suppression of the democratic multitude, or…a post-capitalism envisioned as a democracy, but one that can rewrite the ‘rights of capital’ used to undo the whole history of democratic government. It seems clear that we are not going to produce a third party that will leverage a few bills that can deal with the crisis. The current system is clearly in a terminal state. Since it has been near that point before and recovered, we can’t be dogmatic. But we are far more likely to realize too late that the whole system of American government was an imperial-capitalist totalitarianism in the making, from the time of Andrew Jackson onward, with a brief reverse tide in the Progressive movements, and the New Deal. But we have seen the explicit betrayal by brazen lies of a second New Deal in the deceptions of Obama.
The left can hardly be said to have accomplished anything whatever since the 1970’s. Fine language and celebrity mini-movements, a few headline,s and a final zero. There is a better way.