The puzzle of American, I won’t say ‘decline’, deviation from its historic path, is hard to understand, but the macro model of LFM and WHEE provide some insight.
The issue is not so much decline as the corruption of the democratic ideal, and its (covert) demise in the emergent imperialism, capitalist domination, and the increasing focus on militarization, and the hidden influence of covert agencies and hidden elite cabals. We can see the problems escalate in the wake of WWII and the creation of the CIA. Now everything seems like it has been subject to ‘cliche’ mechanization of thought, e.g. in the War on Terror, spawned and fed in the ‘official policy memo’ style sure to freeze thought, and make mediocre bureaucrats the reigning groupthink medium, but by no means the fulcrum of power. It feels like everyone has watched too many spy films, and succumbed to the rationalizations of covert psychopathy and Machiavellianism.
Whatever the case, an historic challenge, renewed, along the lines of the elder legacy of ‘communism’, with or without the marxist format, is needed, if only as a failsafe, to keep awake in the increasing mesmerization by propaganda ever more subtle, of corrupt government being subjected to the classic domination scenario of global capitalism. No problem, start with the flaws, failures, and debits of legacy communism. In fact, without skepticism, the idea could never become active again. But the basic crisis, starting with the climate catastrophe in the making, cannot be resolved with the usual activist methods. We need to conceive, at least in theory, a viable postcapitalist spectrum of economies, with a response to globalization in the recognition of the global status quo, still short of an global means to stand higher than economy. The outcome is an increasingly byzantine totalitarianism of capitalist obsession. We need to start now, because the last chances are dwindling, and, as with the TPP trade initiative, the already difficult situation is threatening to become progressively worse: the unchecked power of capitalist entities wishes to become absolute. We should have started the day after the fall of Bolshevism in 1989 with a new initiative. But, instead of seeing the opportunity in the fall of a false communism, we got hoodwinked all over again with such niceties as the ‘end of history’ meme, an extremely successful mind befuddlement that made the reigning free market ideology seem like Hegelian scripture with a Nietzschean subtext as nihilist dessert. This swindle has entered the unconscious of whole populations, to the point that a ‘burning planet’ can’t register in the official/public consciousness. We must be ready. Like them or not, the Leninists were ready: as their world system started to convulse, they were prepared. I think Leninism is a false hope behind which lies the acute insight of the cunning and penetrating Lenin.
We must disassociate from that legacy, but with the simple lesson learned: to be ready, and with a neo-communism that is intelligent, non-totalitarian, but undeceived by the capitalist corruption of the category of ‘democracy’. We don’t have to adopt the marxist brand of this, we can critique that contribution, and recreate something more attuned to the American tradition of revolutionary action, without being fooled by the betrayal of real democracy that attended the genesis of the American moment. Whatever the case, the situation we confront is unique, and we suspect drawing us toward fatality. We must renounce failed solutions, and the failing dogmas of free markets. .. to be continued…