A new avenue to postcapitalism needs to be found. We can admire Marx, but the realization of his thought has become set in cement and is hard to change now. We need to start over, without throwing the baby out with the bath. One of the first problems is the way the emergence of bolshevism recast marxist thinking along Russian lines where there had been no tradition of democracy. This created a sense that all liberal forms of government were wrong. Maybe, but the onset of a real communism must mediate the ‘end of history’ argument: communism needs more democracy, and democracy needs more communism. That requires a form of democracy that can clearly realize the way that capital undermines democratic freedom.
In a first stage of communism, we expropriate the larger combines of Capital industriality. That’s not the same as total abolition of all private property. The issue starts with small shops and flea markets and moves upward. Obsessive focus on logical definitions can blind one to the more important questions of what can be realized, to start. The factors behind climate change could be one type of experimental definition. This is therefore a huge areas that the older communism never even studied, prior to the Russian revolution.
We must be clear about what is meant now, and from now on.
These are very old views, almost cliches, but the simple fact is that the mainline of Leninism cannot achieve this. It used the phrase ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ to create a dictatorship of a the bourgeoisie disguised as the communist parties, etc…
A neo-communism needs new approaches. First, we can create a transitional situation where a revolutionary party assumes a non-democratic power. But then they need to create a constitutional settlement that expresses a form of communism that increases the freedom of the larger population (not just the proletariat): we have but to analyze what has happened in the US to see how to proceed.
We abolish private property as Capital, as the property of the bourgeoisie, but we can do this with or without total expropriation. Note that the properties that define capitalism are mostly large scale and can be subject to expropriation without at first the chaos of total confiscation. The issue in terms of climate change, for example, is vast in scope, but does not constitute the totality of Capital realizations, etc…
The point here is that a new range of experiments is possible, especially for a global system. A federated system with the power of the UN could police the extremes of Capital depradation, while the small scale, with a dash of anarchist indifference at the small scale.
Etc…The point here is that the challenge to the bourgeoisie is to a small group of psychopaths. The larger population should never be punished for the sins of the Capital bourgeoisie.
This is merely a dashed off set of points: the real issue is to get started with refining this into a realizable plan. The larger powers of Capital have almost prepared their own revolution, and unless we have a response ready, with cadres to deal with that response we will soon be powerless to do anything.
To reiterated: the path of revolution moves beyond fake democracy to the powers of the revolutionary movement to a defined form of democracy of a new type. The domination of a bolshevik type one-party bourgeoisie was obviously a botch.
It could be that the expropriation of the properties of the bourgeoisie could lead to a long and intractable civil, the source of the final dictatorship of the bolsheviks. But the tactics of that group were at all points excessive and never relented on anything could have made the outcome viable.
The final stage of a revolution must be some form of democracy: that lesson in the muddle of ‘end of history’ debates must not be lost. We should consider the early point at which democracy was under definition, there were many, not all the electoral format. What the case a movement toward an increase in the freedom of all is the key to success against massive oppositions….
In short neither the marxist nor the leninist/bolshevik definitions of revolution, and communism are required by their successors. The term was appropriated at the start, and could be so recast in our coming future.
I am assuming that at some point a majority will be ready for such a transition. If the temperatures of the Persian Gulf zone become as predicted in global warming to make human life marginal the dangers in the larger picture will produce a new idealism and a new struggle for a postcapitalist system and its eventual democracy recast…