At a time of crisis we need something like marxism, but we also need a critique of the original legacy and a way to refound the equivalent in a new era, and at what should be the end of the capitalist era.
The quote from this essay at Counterpunch cites a classic chestnut from Marx on history. But is it really correct?
We have tried to create a new approach to world history using the interpretation of the ‘macro or eonic effect’ from World History and the Eonic Effect: history has a complex design, directionality and a mysterious logic that stands beyond the issues of economics. Marxism is such a classic that it is hard to communicate any critique or variant to the main cadre. But time is short and we should consider that classic marxism, quite undeservedly perhaps, is beset with its legacy of bolshevism. This article does exactly what we have suggested won’t work: try to repair a bad reputation and proceed with the original. But history has moved on even as it has validated the core of the original marxism.
We have made a few suggestions:
adopt a larger view of world history
challenge darwinism and consider the issues of historical evolution
move beyond classical economics to a critique of neo-classical economics
set aside stages of production theory and consider that instead of being ‘stage of history’ capitalism is simply an extreme form of what has been gestating since the Neolithic. It has been a vehicle to bring development and globalization to fruition, but it was never a necessary stage in the extreme form we have inherited and which we must transcend. We do that as free agents who can create history because they have wills and freedom beyond economic determinations, etc…
We are out of time to create a new tradition replacing marxism. We need instead to snap out of marxist hypnosis, declare our strategy to move beyond capitalism as it is now, and create a system of the communist type.
We have made many suggestions about that. But we cannot expect straight marxism is going to appeal to the current generation. We can’t just plead the greatness of Marx, etc…That phase is over, even if its core remains useful as an Old Testament to a New.
History does nothing, it ‘possesses no immense wealth’, it ‘wages no battles’. It is man, real, living man who does all that, who possesses and fights; ‘history’ is not, as it were, a person apart, using man as a means to achieve its own aims; history is nothing but the activity of man pursuing his aims (Karl Marx, Holy Family)