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Manifestos and Doug Greene’s data on the Marx/Engels CM

September 26th, 2016 · No Comments

http://darwiniana.com/2016/09/26/the-communist-manifesto-a-weapon-of-war/ We can collate this piece by Doug Greene, and Ayres Demanding the Impossible to our ‘manifesto generator’ collection of resources.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/75650151/XML_DARW_GC_Axial/Toward%20a%20New%20Communist%20Manifesto.pdf (the earlier first version)

Doug Greene has a useful discussion of the history of the Communist Manifesto, and it is nice to see the issue of that work coming to the fore.
My idea of a New Manifesto, or generator of such, in the text cited by me (cf. Amazon version) was more of a gesture than a rewrite or new version, the original is so classic it is practically ‘in granite’: the idea was to take the core idea of communism and to let the rest stay in the background. We can add or subtract from the rest to create a new legacy that echoes or builds on the older marxist legacy. To do that we must be wary of compromises. This is not a gesture of compromise, but an attempt to create a ‘koine’ of communist thinking.
The point here is that at a moment of crisis we need something general enough to speak to a very diverse group of activists who might baulk at some aspects of classic marxism. We can achieve this with our streamlined version of the Manifesto, and set of proposals (perhaps closer to the spirit of the original than bolshevik communism) called democratic market neo-communism. This is a mininmal range of potentials distinct from the usual market socialism which has had many critics. The point is that this is not a compromise with markets, but a constitutional foundation of communism (nor neo-communism) as the expropriation of the bourgeoisie. This leaves open the question of a communist economy. The idea of market communism is a deliberate seeming contradiction. But with the abolition of private property (at the industrial scale), the term ‘market’ changes its meaning to ‘exchange relations’ since the ownership has reverted to, not the State, but to the Commons, an entity to be carefully defined with separate powers in a court of economic mediation.
As we enter the age of AI and Big Data computation the question of planned economies opens up all over again as more than realizable and our primitive market communism as a hybrid might pass into a more totalized communism, but the point we have made is that we must distinguish a constitutional communism from the economy that goes with it.
Our outline has a number of features:

a constitutional communism
a hybrid of planned and semi-autonomous market corporations
a lower threshold with an anarchist aspect of economic, communal, agricultural, petty bourgeois, light industrial entities
the state would provide, next to this ‘let go’ sector, a full complement of populist programs, finishing once and for all the ragtag muddle of ‘social democratic/new dealist’ failures
the governmental complex must be a version of ‘real democracy’ and this requires a set of governmental innovations that can free congresses/senates from what we see in the bourgeois phases of governance, little more than a scheme of capital bribery, influence peddling, etc.. A candidate for office would join a list of candidates financed by external institutions that preempt the current ‘buying up of politicians’. Campaigns would be short, cheap, equal in access to media, and meritocratic.
The legal system would have extensions in the separation of economic powers, with courts to mediate economic issues, next to planning bureaucracies parallel to independent semi-autonomous corporations licensed to ‘entrepreneurs’ able to innovate and produce within the larger communist context.
The executive branch must be republican in balance with the democracy but with strong powers to guard the revolution of communism.
The lower threshold zone might easily be the source of innovations and corporate creations that could grow across the threshold to become members of the Commons.

There is a lot more here, notably, if we refer to the US government, its covert agencies, its deep state, its imperialism, its collusion with capital, its absurd politics/bribery complex, etc..

Further, the whole game jumps suddenly to the higher complexity of an international context, absolutely essential in the mediation of free trade and equalized economies. A US revolution would have to move to a set of robust internationales and be able to think beyond nationalism.

Finally, our virtual manifesto explores the idea of the ‘Universal Class’ as new variant of the working class, and a means to unify all classes under a new class in a convergence of the working class and the middle class.

The first and last point: as with the debate over ecological marxism, market neo-communism must be a rescue vehicle in an era of climate catastrophe and bring the industrial free market system to ecological sanity.
Our streamlined version of marxism seems to have eliminated almost all of it. That misses the point: the issue is select a corpus that can stand as a communist koine at a time of crisis and multiple independent cultural/intellectual cultures.

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