The idea of neo-communism as a theoretical exercise, apart from giving space to public discussions of things controlling agencies consider subversive (pressing your luck), is that if communism emerges as a sequence of trials each one must be a different attempt and not repeat the past mechanically. That was the idea from the beginning, in fact: the successors to the French Revolution were second-guessing its failures and remorphed the core idea in a new way based on issues of economy, proletariats, and capital. A future trial might acknowledge the ‘end of history’ meme, however propagandistic in the form given, and try to maintain the core of the analysis of economy, proletariats and capital but remix the whole platform in a new trial.
The example of ‘elder’ (bourgeois) revolutions shows that the whole procedure was intuitive, and based on open definitions, not on theories. Marxists (and to be sure bourgeois economists) saddled ‘the revolution’ with action according to theory, which is treacherous, while the core praxis was really a definitional sequence using ideas that are recipes, not theoretical analyses. So, instead of carrying out the results of theories it is better to create a program that is clear to all parties on the spot and consists of a set of ‘do this, then..’ operations. The question of theory in neo-classical economics is a puzzle hard to get straight until you realize that it is sophistical at its core, and, in any case, completely confusing to amateurs. Isn’t it really an unconscious mystification? We can’t even determine if that is a correct criticism, true mumbojumbo. The simple way to ‘debrief’ these theories to let amateurs be liberated from economists is by pointing out that economies are not deterministic systems but complex aggregates of ‘free agents’ who have choice if not free will. There is no science here. Economists can pretend all they like but their theories will always be technically incorrect. Consider the analog in computer programming. one byte that is arbitrary or off the mark, a ‘bad pointer’ in the lingo, will crash the program. But economists think nothing of ‘programs’ ( more or less analogous to differential equations) that have bad bytes at every point because a free agent determines the next moments in the system. This fails to sink in, but the completely different context from physics where these equations do hold, as to the basic type, and match the future of the system exactly, i.e. deterministically. So economic theories are just dead chicken. Not to misunderstand, mathematical economics will still continue but it will ‘desperation math’ and not the public hard-on of experts spouting the calculus of marginal niceties.
In this system of basic macro if not micro control of capitalism.
A new communist gedanken experiment ought to be able to start with a fundamental axiom: all large scale property or capital is returned to the commons, which would be technically distinct from the State. A revolutionary program tends to contract the public space where it must create a new spectrum or dialectic of social diversity. But the main task is to control only the large-scale industrial apparatus if only in a legal sense. In any case the claims for free markets have fallen into a ditch: free markets are dangerous and are about to get us killed. Since a real communism would be hard to achieve right off a system of public legal control over markets would be a start. It is irrational to think otherwise. Exxon-Mobil and its nexus has just about destroyed a planet, and took upon itself to act with indifference to the dangers of its action, even after it itself knew the danger. Capitalism means acting in the present on a principle of markets without considering the future. Such a dumb mechanism has taken charge in a chorus of ideological nonsense.
In the preliminary system depicted above this situation would have been corrected at once by agents of the Commons…
In any case, a new communist trial needs to differ from the past in a closer remorphing of liberal democracy into a postcapitalist format. It can’t be a totalitarian system and must acknowledge the gains of freedom, such as they were, in the democratic revolutions. Actually, if you look closely, all the socialist republics of the soviet era had all these constructs, as vestigial appendages, in their so-called constitutions. So it is not as if this issue were mysterious or against the logic of communism. Bolshevism produced a strange outcome: all the forms of democracy and rights were there but ignored in practice: what were they thinking? A new approach has to be different. A large segment of the system won’t even be economic players, but ‘just people’ supported by the larger infrastructure. That could a desirable check on totalitarian impulses. And many will be much more willing to live in such a system in the dangers rapidly coming of a planet on fire.
It may turn out that the issue of economics will be marginalized as energy moves to create an architecture of a society designed for all where now there is a society designed for social darwinism. Such a future communism must be more than an economy: it will contain a majority beyond work in a world of automation, robots, zero to limited growth, guaranteed minimal incomes, etc… The idea of communism seems like a hopeless case, and so discussion stops. But the virtual commies have to save the day by keeping the idea alive, with increasing ‘in your face’ public outbursts.
to be continued, without a doubt…Virtual commies of the world unite…