The issue of communism is still too controversial for a serious discussion. That is because of the flaws in the original formulation leading to the wretched implementation of the bolsheviks. But the idea does not belong to either Marx or the bolsheviks and springs from the contradictions of the French Revolution and the onset of capitalism in the wake of the industrial revolution. The work of Marx/Engels came later and gave the idea some ballast. It would be good to resuse the general core of the marxist package, mindful that it has several keys flaws which wrecked its usage. The dialectic as an adjunct has contributed nothing to the corpus but confused idiocy, while the age of scientism and darwinism spoiled a humanistic perspective with reductionist confusions: even Marx couldn’t get past the idea of the nullity of ethics in a deterministic system view. The latter is part of a package of bad science that persists to this day and that can’t acknowledge free agency, ethical reasoning etc… A whole slew of completely unnecessary dogmas ended up like a millstone around the neck of people who were trying to solve an economic problem of globalization. The world view of the era of Feuerbach seemed right at the time in the wake of the early modern and the onset of a post-religious era, post-religion with respect to legacy religions.
Thus the communist idea has been a victim of its early proponents. We offered a lot of suggestions in Last and First Men for a new apparoach, but the current marxist scene makes even minor dissent almost impossible. You have to repeat even the errors of the legacy at its worst, and if you don’t you are out.
This is a sad outcome and leaves the era of globalization with a cult of ‘left’ idiots unable to reckon with capitalist globalization. That’s a little unfair: if people could just loosen up a little the marxist legacy could be updated/repaired in a week to fuel a new movement with a new energy.
But there is a lot of dead wood here. Let’s face it: historical materialism is a failed theory that alienates nine out of ten outsiders. It automatically repulses religionists and is ignored by economists because it is poor theory of both history and economics. If only Marx/Engels had taken this as a set of rough draft observations on the way to theory and used a lighter version for practical work. Instead, we get the usual cultic situation where complete idiots mouth the dogmas and drive out anyone who doesn’t follow party line.
I have written a book on marxism with a lot of warm praise of Marx/Engels and some very light criticisms. Result? I can’t exchange emails with marxists, subscribe to marx listservs and am close being threatened for my life. That’s beyond belief. The whole marxist left is filled with these morons, and some even very intelligent jewish leftists.
The drastic future solution is to ‘divide and conquer’ the deadbeat left with a neo-communist group that can do backflips and sommersaults to use/upgrade the useful core of marxism bypassing the older groups, call it something else, and create a new set of parties, workgroups, websites…That’s very inefficient, but the current scene is very stupidly stuck in the past.
And with all due respects the left is being used by adventurers like Zizek who are part of the Verso book racket. Zizek has confused the issues with a reemphasis of all of marxism’s vices…I will look the other way at the Zizek books: they inspire many, and they can be simply bypassed.
But in general the inertia of the left makes any use of its canon and any upgrade almost impossible.
We needn’t lose hope: in producing Last and First Men I noted the immense unpublic effect of the book: a large number of people responded to the format and would respond further if any mention of the book didn’t produce popery from the dead cult.
Meanwhile a project of an Islamic communism could be a workable one and lead to a real left in the Middle East. But if western marxists start to become retards they can’t exert leadership in other cultural globalization sectors, and the dead cult effect will simply spread, as it did with, for example, the poor quality of the Nasserite socialism, ruined by stalinist times and men.
A new workable initiative is needed that can upgrade its core and be able to appeal to cultures like the moslem. Currently communism is anathema in that realm, although that wasn’t always so. The issue here is to realize that capitalism isn’t going to work in the Middle East. The capitalists/Americans have turned the whole place into a colony of the worst kind. So what is needed is 1. an anti-imperialist war, with a political project to unify the region and develop a transitional form of protected economy with lingering capitalist elements perhaps, but with a general communist context that can safeguard the boundaries, so to speak: industrial macro-economy is under a regime moving beyond private property to default state/common ownership. There is no other solution. Free markets don’t exist anymore and are an excuse to clobber independent attempts at market solutions. Look at the Middle East: it has gotten zero benefit from its own oil resource as a bunch of hyenas turn the region into hellish chaos.
So a ‘communist’ integration with vestigial transitional market legacy can rev up in the protected zone created by the new union. Let me repeat to market fanatics: real capitalism isn’t really an option in the Middle East. It is there and dysfunctional. And the local elites are such idiots as to make anything hopeless. But an organized revolutionary left movement could pull off the solution eluding the cultures of the Middle East now.