(Check out Alternet’s article on this book today: scroll down for link or go to site)
This book raises some interesting issues, and we will link to it now, for comment tomorrow. This is precisely the kind of potential scenario that formed the basis for the still counter-intuitive idea of a New Communism in Last and First Men. The Left needs to be ready if the moment comes, the way the Bolsheviks were ready, egad. A New Communist movement should be readier than the Bolshevik/Leninists and have at hand a critique and/or substitute for the kind of Leninist slide into oblivion we see in the Russian revolution. The general liquidation sequence in the Russian Revolution was dire: the whole left we see now would vanish in a purge. We need to be ‘ultra far left’, i.e. ready with a hand on the future beyond the future present. We know the game now, and can anticipate the way efforts derail.
There is a useful exercise here: we have done it many times here and at redfortyeight.com: we invoke the idea of the Ultra Far Left: to always be to the left of leftists we will disagree with, certainly if they are crypto-Stalinists, say….The breakup of comrade-solidarity in power struggles, and the isolation of non-conformists in the marxist sphere invoke the danger in advance of the consequence of dissent.
I produced a perfectly good book on communism, which is under a boycott on the left: I can only assume in general that I would suffer early liquidation by the creepy Stalinists now still running the marxist left. The right response is to be ‘ultra far left’: i.e. moving further to the left rather than to the right, given a collision with the cooptation of the left by, e.g. dead marxists…
It is useful to study the Russian revolution here to see how the dynamics derailed there into the dread ‘general liquidation sequence’ leading to Stalinism.
We have multiple time redefined the term ‘liquidation’ here…check the archives…
In a word the Ultra Far Left must divide and ‘not conquer, but reunify…’ the left with a set of initiatives that fulfill and break with a legacy, e.g. marxism: we need to do backflips as we remain faithful but junk the marxist dead beat ideology. etc, etc…
Again, I have no hope for myself here given the way the general liquidation sequence emerges from darkside-psychology, but on the Ultra Far Left I will liquidate (philosophically should do it, enough) first, by being quicker on the draw, hopefully leaving something better than proto-Stalinism. The current left is probably hopeless, so we are already near the crux of the issues.
I should remind the left that the Russian example was pathological from the start. What were they thinking? A bunch of Stalinist Neanderthals. It obviously doesn’t have to be that way, although I have residual respect for Lenin in some, if not all, respects.
We criticize the Founding Fathers as bourgeois revolutionaries, but they were at least able to endure the ‘dictatorship of the revolutionary transition’ to grant freedom to those who had fought for freedom.
The muddle over the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ shows the way the Bolshevik revolutionaries couldn’t make that transition, instead fomenting the false paranoid version whereby the realization of communism had to be totalitarian to the end.