Having critiqued marxism I should also hasten to point out that marxists are one good set of candidates for a postcapitalist transition. But the frozen mindset needs to be broken. As we noted yesterday endless efforts to defend leninism are pointless. Consider that that was a failure and start over. That’s a big job. Start at once. We have provided one way to go.
Make the period of Marx/Engels in the 1840’s a foundational saga and reinvent the subject after that, our approach which bore fruit in Last and First Men. The tenets of marxism aren’t really necessary and very hard to defend anymore, next to the leninist confusions. If we give up and denounce leninism, we can turn around and possibly learn from it. But it arose in very special circumstances. We must be wary of succumbing to a totalitarian system even as we remain wary of any system that is too powerless to make a communist foundation.
Step one, stop using the terms ‘marxist/marxism’. The whole game needs a new title and has to stop being a cult of marx.
In the end marxist/communists (and most socialists) are the only resource we have for what could be a grisly process.
our twin manifestos, etc…
Starting tomorrow we will move to rapidly finish our blogbook….
Finishing this little blogbook keeps getting stalled but it is almost more useful as a set of notes. And the book already exists in a sense in our other texts, our twin manifestos, etc…
The point is to develop a whole new literature in a streamlined superset for the marxist legacy. This is hard for marxists: the scandal of the whole subject is that marx ended up in a muddle and couldn’t finish his project, Capital being a derelict.
We have suggested a simpler approach, with or without our model. Economies are constructs created by free agents in technological contexts. Their functionality, further muddled by the bad theories of neo-classical economists, should be assessed as experiments in motion (that’s what economists actually do in practice, collect statistics and create empirical models) with the factor of free agency as fundamental: men create economies and men can change them.
The marxist legacy won’t form the basis for a future leftist transition. Period. It has been torn to pieces over and over again, yet marxists are the last to know, it seems.
Historical materialism is a brilliant but failed analysis and tended to confuse the issues for those working toward some kind of socialism. My study of the eonic effect shows a way out of that morass, but it is too controversial for many. But a simplified version, the point of the blogbook, could do the job seamlessly. Communism doesn’t require a scientific theory based on economics. It requires a constitutional definition and a set of economic projects to serve a postcapitalist transition.
Our simplified model of history is based on a descriptive chronology that shows evidence of a dynamic in action. It can be taken non-dogmatically not as a speculative theory but as a warning: noone has gotten history right and we can suggest why and a way to assess at least something of its fierce complexity without fully committing to a hard and fast set of claims. And science has fumbled on evolutionary theory and we can offer a very simple work around. Since we don’t have the full evidence this model can be taken on provision empirically. But it suggests caution as to other views attempting in all cases wrongly a science of history. Here the issue of modernity falls into place and we can see that the social question of communism is related to the emergence, and completion, of the democratic project and its revolutions. We have suggested a form of communism that is axiomatic and constitutional with sectors that are still connected with markets, next to an experimental sector that is planed. And an autonomous subsector that alloys a final balance of three such sectors, etc…
The left cannot repeat the past: it must create a new solution and set of proposals. This can use marxism as ballast but each aspect must be critiqued and recast. The main issue is to evade sterile social democratic hype and at the same time create a social democratic version of its own, but hopefully with a communist basis. There might be a way to compromise but the old efforts to do so have all failed. Tony Blair was a laborite?
Since capital is global it is hard to see how our model could work, let alone generate a revolution. There are a number of way stations: a proto-communist starting point could ….well that was the point of our model! We allow an economic market sector under communism assumptions as constitutional axioms creating a Commons with economic rights. Property rights for large-scale economic entities would be phased out and/or highly regulated where transnational.
Marxism is unusual in its theoretical emphasis. No other modern revolution required such an apparatus of theory. Their basis was a set of political recipes, or praxis. I fear diehard marxist cadres are going to seize the opportunity and turn in circles in the same way of failure.