Last and First Men: Last men indeed! The realization that the climate change movement is connected to broader issues from social justice to race is a turning point for activists, and a warning to the far left to get its act together. Not even the climate movement is ready for the realization that ‘postcapitalism’ is either on its way or the planet is doomed. The basic movement for this situation emerged at the dawn of capitalism but was hijacked by bolshevism which distorted the whole possibility. At this point we don’t know what a real solution would look like. But we can take what we have, activist issue groups, take them as is, and yet create a viable framework as an alternate carried by the middle. If we look at Marx/Engels we see that this was the strategy they adopted after 1848, an electoral and a potential revolutionary path. And that generation was clearly passing through the situation we are living now: radical anarchist movements colliding with communist ones. It doesn’t look like it, but the anarchist wing is in control now, for better or for worse. That is blocking the radical impulse, even as the legacy marxist groups are moribund, next to a working class that is almost pathetic. We can learn from that period, but we must recreate the basics. A new Universal Class (and in Last and First Men) can carry the future until the proletariat awakens and/or the larger social universe of classes wakes up.
We have seen the whole game already and need to recreate a new mega-movement that can serve as a failsafe. We can think of many objections to a truly radical, probably revolutionary movement, but we can simply keep alive the revolutionary possibility for the sake of those whose future we may have already destroyed. If that is the case the whole system is going to go into madness as the social forces that have resisted even the minimum change confront the wrath of those who have lost a planet. At that point even bolshevism will seem placid. We can forestall that horrific endgame, but only if we stop the dawdling sentimentality of most current activism. The importance of this failsafe logic lies also in the clear signals generated by the current regime, as in the US, that they will be the first revolutionaries: democracy will be destroyed in a strategy to make what they clearly see as the inevitable revolution turn in their favor, a fascist state capitalism. This is happening even now. Look at the situation in Paris, demonstrations banned. This is no accident.
The radical possibility seems remote. But a year ago even Sanders seemed remote. We can see this as distasteful, but men of the future, perhaps near future, will be enraged to a degree we now find improbable…
We must have ready a failsafe neo-communism that anticipates all the ways such a path can derail into some grotesque parody.
The issues are clear:
a global movement
a project of federated states, as socialist republics
movement as a group and/or in individual states
a project for social control of rogue capitalism and/or all large-scale capitalist projects
economic possibilities beyond pure capitalism and solar capitalism
a set of programs in the ready for social democratic, socialist, and communist outcomes
…there is much more, but the basics are in theory clear…
We have lost a whole generation to sentimental thinking right and left. Time was running out. Now time has run out…
This project will show a recursion of all the old outcomes, so be it: social democracy trying various compromises, the same with socialism, and the inability to get (neo-)communism right.
It is hard to figure this situation. But consider the obvious: the American system might just make it if campaign laws can make democracy work as intended. So towards that phantom we compromise with another generation of hope, and no more. But we can’t reject that outcome. But we can set a limit to bullshit. Electoral reform, as far as we know, is never going to happen, short of the very revolution we had hoped to evade, etc…
Much of the resistance now is by those who dismiss the future and wish only to live out their current life, screw the future. That’s a major weakness in those who otherwise seem to have overwhelming power.
We must face reality: the TPP is almost on the verge of becoming law. They will be able to file suit against actions risking their future profits, e.g. climate change groups…