As with the french and russian revolutions the onset will be unexpected but we need to be ready with the right framework when the moment comes. The current left is spasmodic and too focused on the marxist legacy. That legacy is fine the way it is and yet it is necessary to ‘leap out of one’s skin’ and break old habits in the process recasting the whole question afresh.
Leftists should note the point: a repeat of marxism/leninism will not be acceptable to a new generation and in any case the question of ecological economics needs to be made central. It is not enough to argue that marxism was actually ecological socialism from the start. It wasn’t really. At a time of impending climate catastrophe the options begin to narrow and we won’t have time to recast the whole marxist legacy so we should do a remake in very rough terms and in a form that is at once faithful to post-capitalist premises and yet free from the mechanization of thought that haunts all fixed legacies.
We have made a slight change to that legacy with a focus on the universal class instead of the working class, and the moment of Trump suggests that is right. It makes no difference, save to our perception of a holistic perspective: the working class emphasis is essential in the proposition of the universal class. But we see that appealing to the working class can backfire and the idea in the US at least is no longer the same handle it was in the earlier era of industrialism.
We must in any case think in terms of that class as a basic focus: it wasn’t our intention to do otherwise, save to note that the problem is not solely one of the working class, but the whole system of classes and social sectors. We must have a solution to the whole question of society, economy, and politics, in advance: no more ‘on the fly’ constructions, an invitation to stalinist ad hockery.
It is not a funny question: the left will disintegrate at the crucial moment of revolutionary open window, if that occurs, because it will be dominated by die-hard dogmatists who will suddenly repent of their repentance of stalinism. It is in that sense that we ‘disown’ the marxist legacy: the idea of postcapitalist communism was born before Marx/Engels and was codified by them. Once we disown them we can in fact turn around and make us of their basic research.
The idea is to create a discontinuity in a process of mechanization to allow behavioral habit to reach a new state of creativity. One thinks of the sufi stop exercise, a much hyped esoteric idea, but the point is simple: breaking old habits…