This article makes clear what was often puzzling to an outsider: the inert character of much of the left. We have suggested how not to play it safe: create a new electoral/revolutionary movement that frees itself from the stale part of the Marx legacy even as it builds on a restatement of its core. We have suggested some ways to do this, but, as this article indicates, such a newly created movement has to challenge the impossibility and be willing if necessary to be a near fringe start up. Done right, however, there is no reason such a movement can’t be as popular as the Sanders brand. It can proceed with a larger group than the working class: the Universal Class, which can change gears between any and all classes and also be a way to try and energize the ‘working class’. The classic marxist format is stale. How will you convince a world of a billion theists of atheism, or historical materialism? Last and First Men (http://last-and-first-men.copm) suggests making a dialectical balance of ‘modernity its platform: a socialist/neo-communist movement is trying to complete the realization of modernity as a post-capitalist social revolution. The attempts to create a ‘communist’ society in the past were about a set of abstractions with no content. This altered approach invokes the basics of modern culture between religion, reformation, and secularism (which can include religion), with elements of the whole early modern. Consider philosophy: German Classical philosophy contains a complete spectrum of all possible perspectives, as it were. Why not simply adopt such ‘all possible perspectives’? Instead marxism amputated itself from the early modern, picked the most reductionist sideshow in the period of positivism, a sterile materialism and a fanatic historical materialism, along with a ‘dialectic’ so stilted it couldn’t even do a ‘dialectic of materialism and idealism’. Trying to eliminate this duality was a completely pointless exercise that guaranteed division by halves of any possible constituency. Who on earth cares at a period of near 2 degree climate change about the choice between idealism and materialism? Gad!
Classic marxism makes a great reference resource, to prevent outrageous compromises, but the real movement must be from scratch. And if the ‘working class’ is going with Trump, or else overseas, or whatever, the movement starts with the Universal Class. Those who join.
Again, theories can be counterproductive. The revolutionaries of the American Revolution knew what they had to do and they didn’t try to promote social theories.
Look at, say, the Sanders movement: noone has to iron out a philosophy of life, several might be implicit, the movement simply starts with what is at hand. A full socialist/neo-communist movement can a little more programmatic, but not much. It is not reasonable to enforce contracted ‘isms’ at a moment of crisis such as the present. And such a movement must be wary of theories. Marxists walk around with cement blocks: they can’t ever critique Marx. It is gospel. That’s nonsense. Make Marx/Engels figureheads, with wall portraits, and make the movement eclectic, but without false compromises: socialism/neo-communism is going to aim at the forms of state ownership, with its electoral version to be determined. Menshevik/Bolshevik type divisions are built-in, and those words will be banished from discussion: electoral/revolutionary….
Such a platform has to solve the planning problem before breakfast or else be a mix of markets and socialism. Such a movement is going to look attractive as the ‘cooker’ heats up. And it in any case needs to be in place since the right already has a game plan under wraps, we can be sure: several, government et al: and it won’t be democratic, let alone socialist. The 1% got a head start and 9/11 was one step to consolidating proto-fascism.
mini-archive: some recent left posts