I think the strategy of putting LFM online has been a success: already close to half a million page views over six months, how many unique readers is unclear.
I think that the left has few other strategies than to streamline marxism (and change the name) without betraying it basic premise. But one catch with Marx/Engels is their confusing overall portrait: they changed their tactics after 1848 to pursue the labor party strategy, with some strong timeouts to proclaim revolution once more, as with the Commune. We need a new revolutionary strategy in potential, whatever the odds for and against.
Last and First Men is based on a ‘IF’: capitalism is putting a whole planet at risk: if that is the case, the revolutionary option is ominously tabled without reservation.
Capitalism is unsustainable from an ecological perspective, and…constitutes a form of structural genocide against future generations…”
Garry Leech, Capitalism: A Structural Genocide
Capitalism was easy. Now comes the hard part. At a time of rising social crisis in the outcome of globalization, the place of capitalism is coming under intense scrutiny. It is ironic, and this has always been so, that at its moment of triumph, everything turns sour with the culture of markets, and its manic style. The defenses of capitalism, beside their mirror image in the debates over communism, have tended to seem irrefutable given the evidence of economic transformation, the mesmerizing ideology of laissez-faire. There the Hegelianized propaganda of the ‘end of history’ has created a powerful set of illusions. But now suddenly the prospect that we are all ‘dead by economy’ changes one’s view of the matter as the point of no return seems to have arrived in the form of the Faustian endgame in the accelerating destruction of the ecological base, and the dire scenarios of global warming. All at once the charge of utopianism, so often applied to the communist idea, flips to capitalism itself.
We need a conceptual and theoretical re-examination of the ‘communist idea’. If its strategic application seems as yet unrealistic then its consideration will prove the guarantee against the charade of false compromises that wil hustle down the pike at the moment of crisis. Marx and Engels rescued and amplified the idea descending from the chaos of the endgame of the French Revolution. We may need to do that again, sublating that idea into a superset or larger context. The resurfacing of the idea is inevitable if as a placeholder it means ‘postcapitalism’ and we suddenly snap out of the fixation on market ideology that is taken as beyond discussion.
Whatever we think of capitalism we dare no longer consider it the ‘end of history’. The ideology of the ‘end of history’ in a finesse using Hegelian historicism diguised behind Nietzschean nihilism and sociological reductionism, with a hidden Social Darwinist diatribe hidden in the charges against the ‘last man’, dealt a teleological ace from the bottom of the deck. But the illusion of capitalist inevitability fades fast once we see that the last men are the monomaniac free marketeers, demented enough to pursue with ‘apres moi’ indifference the destruction of a planet for the last ounce of profit, ‘Who cares?’ One will be dead before the apocalypse. The last nemesis of the profit obsession living in the eternal present of capital accumulation is degenerating into a kind of madness.