This is a superb summary of the issues with ‘socialism’, but it falters on one point, the basis as a working class party. As many readers of this blog know we have moved to a more general approach: the Universal Class. Look at the activists of all stripes. Almost none of them are working class (but wait, of course they are working class), unless they are on union business. And anyone not in a union is a peon to most union men. That’s a distortion of the original idea, and in general the Universal Class is a better rendition of the idea of the proletariat: it is anyone who is not in the subset called the ‘bourgeoisie’ in the sense of The Communist Manifesto. Waiting for the working class to stage a revolution is a non-starter. Lenin, btw, understood the point, and hedged, but that doesn’t mean I endorse his approach. I recall during the OWS an article by a union organizer expressing contempt for the people in the movement: they should be fighting for the unions, the working class. The OWS was just a bunch of flakes: the idea was to submit to the, etc…The original idea is no longer working, or according to definition.
The Universal Class is thus the working class, but it is restated to make sure everyone is included who is really in that class. Most of the old fashioned working class now is overseas, etc…The working class formation is forever never happening. We won’t see a new working class party. It won’t happen. The Foxconn workers and the Coltan miners of Congo aren’t in the vicinity. We need a broad universal class concept that can change gears to be the working class, or whatever. There are millions of people without work. Marxism tends to dismiss these as lumpenproles. We need a new take altogether.
We need in the sense of author at the link, an electoral/revolutionary party with universal membership, as in the original democratic revolutions. This could be reformist true socialism, or revolutionary socialism. It is hard to see how the former can arrive without the latter, but in any case, the full set of the working class is needed, the Universal Class.