How will a neo-communist revolution deal with the basic freedoms in the American legacy?
The dilemma on the left, the perennial muddle, is the far left attack on ‘freedoms’ in the name of overcoming ‘liberal capitalist’ ideology. Is there any way out of the dilemma: Last and First Men discussed little else, but it was not able to create any discussion of this. These cynical old school marxists simply let ‘idealists’ promote their cause, ready for the liquidation of liberals as the revolution comes to power. That was fairly explicit in Cuba, btw.
I think the problem has a simple solution, and the American system has one of the keys: a prior democratic tradition however corrupt. I think revolutions carry the dna of the systems they overthrow, consider tsarism and bolshevism…
In any case, the problem we have cited is very easy to solve in principle, and the bolsheviks could just as well have solved it: but they chose the arbitrary imposition of the ‘Red Terror’ to implement communism. If we review the history carefully we can see that the realization was grossly over-paranoid and could have allowed an immense de facto culture of prior liberty to simply pass into the new system.
The issue was the viciousness of the Civil War, and the resulting paranoia that wrecked the whole system.
Let’s at least move to ‘theory’: the ‘end of history’ meme reminds of the theoretical solution: communism without democracy is one blind alley. Democracy without communism if going to be a bourgeois fake.
So the answer is that bolshevism couldn’t achieve the (really hard) solution to the ‘end of history’ combination needed. And vice versa.
The moral is that a communist resolution subtracts degrees of economic freedom, but in the name of creating a higher freedom in the general proletariat/universal class. This combination and the sequence of operations needed to bring it about can first as an idea experiment go through the bolshevik revolutionary history and mark down which totalizing decisions were absolutely essential and which were egregious paranoia/terror-generation/rotten-tsarist-dna…