The threat of postcapitalism is going to generate an immense amount of false compromise, promises to reform, eulogies for the New Deal, and more hype over progressive movements. We can certainly explore compromise solutions to capitalist reality but we need to see also that as we run out of time it is good to START now with a realizable postcapitalism. That we have called ‘neo-communism’, which may or may not annex the classic marxism that accompanied the left after 1848.
I think we confront a contradiction: the categories of marxism are already so classic we can’t easily change them, but at the same time there are no second chances with classic marxism: that ground has been turned into a set of fixed cliches and their refutations from the right. The whole canon must start afresh.
I think one way to do this, as with the soon to be released Last and First Men is to create a larger historical framework than the limited historical materialism. The latter is a Theory, and theories of history or economics are all failures. A better approach is to look at the general outline of world history, and study economic issues on a case basis. One of the traps of historical materialism is the way it sets up a framework of determinism: what is the way out then? A larger view of history will be basically a labor of humanists, and the idea of freedom via Kant/Hegel can be made central.
But basically the idea is that economies are human creations, the results of policies, not laws of history,and we are free to change them at any time. Marx had a sense that capitalism was a stage of history, even as he saw through such claims. We need to take capitalism off its pedestal as a stage of history and see that the whole thing is a clever hack disguising the combinations of Capital/industrialization scenarios. We have ample evidence of the failures of free markets, next to a required commitment to create a new kind of economy that is post free market. Depending on the degree of crisis, the inefficiencies of planned economies will seem severe or irrelevant. And if we fail to start Now, we will end up with the Stalinist approach, and noone will care anymore at the point of supercrisis. We should start now to devise
postcapitalist economic issues
postcapitalims economic theory
neo-communist protocols of the abolition of private property
a new form or the human ‘commune’ to create sustainable communities that don’t reinvent feudalism.
There are many examples from world history of the prospects of decline and environmental collapse looks to be the next star in the drama of the ‘Decline and Fall of ….’ scenario.