The issue of activism (as per last post) is indeed beset with a riddle and the future of activist movements is up in the air. Actually the problem is not hard to solve: a movement must ‘activate’ the energies of its supporters, but the capitalist dominated system is far better at creating activists of its own brand. The ‘System’ has a monopoly on ‘consciousness activism’ via media, advertising, and marketing strategies. It also has a captive government and the resources to control that entity. What else do we need to know? Oh yes, the brother of Sigmund Freud put it in writing in his book on brainwashing. We also know now that the covert agencies have developed social technologies to foment ‘revolutions’ (nothing of the sort) under false pretenses. And we don’t quite know to what extend these influenced the Arab Spring, indeed, the OWS.
The OWS incident shows the nature of the problem and the way the ‘solution’ can be challenged by the state. The OWS et al. are a warning that phoney/baloney marxism gets a radical anarchist response.
I think one aspect of the problem is that activists want a revolution but are still confused by the difference between bourgeois revolution in the name of democracy and radical revolution they fear will not end in democracy. That’s obvious, but the solution if so has not been found. The marxist left needs to find a better way to communicate this without catching the Leninist flu of anathematizing liberalism
I think that one part of the problem can be addressed by redefining a postmarxism that can lead movements to a long term rebellion that can deal with progressive issues in isolation without abandoning the long term. The reality of the coming postcapitalism is gestating and is down but not out.
I think a broader populist communism with an edited marxist revision of the classics pegged to a critique of neo-classical economics absent in Marx, with a more intelligent theoretical basis than historical materialism but still focused on the issues of economic ideology can lead to something viable as a short-term issue activism and a long term revolution to postcapitalism. The latter is a humungous invitation to monstrosity but we have to face the fact that nationalist activism is too self-centered and feckless to resolve anything. All these activists are using smartphones based on exploitations in Congo and China. That’s hypocrisy instance #1 in a long list… As we proceed in this vein we see these problems are from a standard list and were present from the start since 1848. And we need a new superset of the proletariat. Market ideology sleuths have long since learned how to turn the proletariat. They were manipulated into being racists like puppets on a string. The idea is no longer so useful: a very simple variant, the Universal Class, can help to jumpstart a new approach that can still be ‘proletarian’ but with a broader dna that can produce new movements in new combinations to defeat elite manipulation.
But most of all the left needs to understand economics to the point of being able to suggest forms of post-capitalist economy that work. No one quite realizes that neo-classical economic theory has been close to fraud since the beginning: we don’t have any scientific models that explain economies. The ersatz calculus clones that are current now are fake and one of the major reasons radicals can’t debrief the economic monster now in place. Marxists have confused the issue here by trying to show Marx produced the answers with his own theory. Up to a point that’s true, but classical economics isn’t the issue anymore. The issue now is how people use calculus to promote fraud at a level too complex for the ‘proletariat’ to figure out. Marxist theories are not able to deal with the immense complications of theory in place now.
So activists and revolutionaries inherit a windfall, with an ace in the hole: a century plus of neo-classical economic theory is not just false, but fake. So the theoretical basis of capitalism is a deception, which means that a fundamental challenge to the system is almost ripe fruit falling into one’s lap. That’s a major victory at the starting point.
The point is more and more obvious when you think about it and the conclusion is that capitalist/governmental elites have no theoretical basis beyond fraud to impose capitalism. That capitalism is the most efficient system has been based on the prostitution of higher mathematics. So it’s your move’ to the revolutionary economist.
A lot more is needed there, but the core idea of modernity is that revolutions so long suppressed in the millennia since Egypt/Sumer at the dawn of the state are a core idea that came into existence in the early modern. Our task now is to examine these crude wonders and find the equivalent at the dawn of postcapitalism. Issue activism can’t solve the interconnection of problem of the social totality.