I made some complaints last week about the expense of Naomi Klein’s new book, and said I wouldn’t buy it until it was discounted next year or so. But I was seriously joking and ordered the Kindle version, chocked up to additional credit card debt. It is a better book that I thought, but not good to enough deserve credit card debt. As I noted last week this book should have been put into a free PDF online like my Last and First Men. The author is set to make a bundle on this book while the the rest of us are going broke and the movement indicated by Klein won’t materialize, in part because it can’t materialize a ‘new communism’ in the whispered indications of capitalism being the problem.
My moans and groans instead of strongly plugging this book (as I did with The Shock Doctrine) indicate probably why a movement is going to end up as confused perspectives trying to scold each other. Bickering has already started…
As for myself I think I offered a comprehensive new set of ideas on the resolution of the capitalism question, and a lot more. But since I have ended up being boycotted for writing it, I will refuse nonetheless to take the hint to submit to the programs of celebrities like McKibben and Klein. By next year we should be ready to see their failures. Since they wouldn’t deign to communicate with me, I will have to continue in the void of a real left.
Anyway, enough grumbling: let the climate march, 350.org, KLein et al. have the next six months to see what they can do, by which time we might be able to move to more radical thinking. Klein’s book is excellent, but what it discusses we knew in 1990.
I would like at least some discussion of Last and First Men, but its views are still too strong for conventional marxists. Core marxism is what Klein seems to hope she means but sees the endgame for that ism, while I think I have found a way to refine that legacy to be useful and renovated legacy for a larger audience.
The process needed arose with relative clarity in the leadup/followup to the Second Internationale: a populist leftism with revolutionary axioms and a postcapitalist prophecy in action as a movement to realize the coming end of capitalism. I say this because everyone, including Klein, is straining to discuss ‘communism’ without mentioning it. That is because the original ‘right’ approach failed, and we now confront Gandhians, OWS anarchist with their Chomskyite non-leadership.
The only movement I see with the gumption to tackle the American Imperialism/capitalism is the Al Qaeda to Isis spectrum which is an unsettling indication that such insane movements predict our condemnation to Sunday school wishfulfilment.
In any case, we should be more or less supportive of the Klein/McKibben axis, even given the one way support, and take the final sermon of the third little pig seriously, and prepare to do the job right. At the crucial point it would be good if the same old tired bolshevik marxism proved unable to stage its coup d’etat of the tough guys for a neo-Stalinist combination. I think Last and First Men lays down a study path in that direction, at the least.
Meanwhile, Klein’s book is doing what it can do, given a caveat that if you reference capitalism as the problem you can’t change your mind and call the police on those who took you seriously.