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archive: Red Forty-eight Group: need for a new brand of revolutionary movement

July 16th, 2017 · No Comments

Upate, and…what happened to the working class in yesterday’s vanguardist dialectic? //Red Forty-eight Group: need for a new brand of revolutionary movement
October 8th, 2016 ·

Update: this post from yesterday (deleted and reposted below) made a controversial/dubious statement: a kind of vanguardist overemphasis. What happened to the ‘working class’. Actually the statement was deliberate and simply focuses on the double action, populist and vanguardist. The citation of Ellis’ book The Quartet is perhaps misleading: read the book. This was a serious dialectical exercise to consider vannguardism versus the working class…
The point here is simple: we can energize the working class, but then a vanguard will come to the fore, and at that point we must have very carefully defined how it is to act, i.e. communist, democratic (if temporarily with strong authority), with rights and liberties next to the power to control large scale industry (with a good deal of autonomy). That vanguard in our formulation will not be a one-party state, control ‘property’ of the Commons, control the economy…all this requires a new form of the separation of powers. My point about the Founding Fathers was simply a warning that a elite can just as well create a democracy as not and be self-preprogrammed to give certain guarantees, etc…

A vanguard that defines its own limits, makes pledges to act according to principles of democracy, equality, and so one, has a good chance of success.
Let us note that American democracy (or a republic) was created by an elite, cf. The Quartet by Joseph Ellis, against popular opinion. A vanguard and a populist movement are the ‘yoyo’ that is hard to compute and is the non-linear two-headed beast behind a successful transition.

Red Forty-eight Group: need for a new brand of revolutionary movement
The marxist left hasn’t produced any activist movements of late, why is that? It is a frustrating question, because the marxist legacy holds the keys to a genuine crisis movement of the type we need now. But its legacy is frozen in its own crud and vitiated by excessive theories that don’t really hold up, like historical materialism.
But a streamlined and lightweight version of the marx legacy that at the same time creates a radical break with its own past could take off and generate a response to the current crisis.
All that is needed is an historical account of the nineteenth century left, a history of the communist idea, a general take on the question of economic theories, ideology, class and class struggle, and a post-Feuerbachian secularism that isn’t going to waste time on theism/atheism debates. It is also my sense, despite its strong position, unfair, that darwinism needs to go. It is a liability that has undermined the integrity of science and fueled the antiscience of much of the right, especially on climate change. Beyond that it distorts social understanding. All that is needed is to stand back and consider that evolution is visible in deep time, but its mechanism remains unknown. And the suspicion lurks that teleology is involved.

The left needs to get past the ‘end of history’ debate: the real such ‘end of history’ is approximated closely enough in an obvious way a hybrid that can reconcile democracy and postcapitalist socialism/communism.

What did the idea come from? You could probably find it in Hegel, but I prefer my version in WHEE of the ‘discrete freedom sequence’. There actually is a directionality behind democracy in world history, a point requiring careful demonstration. But after the larger system gives that a boost the rest is up to man, with a serious chance of ‘fuck up’. We have seen two fuck ups so far, bolshevism and climate era capitalism and its destruction of democracy. That is not a promising record for homo sapiens.

The marxist left has to mutate into something classic yet novel and try to lead a revolutionary (plus evolutionary/electoral) movement. It has to free itself of cultic idiocy, drop the ‘personality’ cult of ‘Marx’ by dropping the term ‘marxism’, focus on the Communist Manifesto, consigning the incomplete train wreck Das Capital, so beloved of Marx critics, to the library, graduate from classical economics to a critique of neo-classical economics (mastering the math to do so and expose mathematics in economics), resolve the planning problem (but market neo-communism might be a good transitional vehicle), create a hybrid of the Enlightenment and Romantic movement thereby creating an ecological communism/socialism. In general the period of Marx and the post-Hegelians is too limited and needs a larger perspective on modernity. This left might well continue the legacy of Feuerbach, modified, but it must also communicate with the classic religions. We have pulled a rabbit out of a hat here: The Church of Munzer and a church of historical memory: the left has to lead the way to a new secularism but it must also get knowledgeable about consciousness and be able to challenge buddhism, islam, xtianity, not with polemics so much as a real understanding, a difficult task. We may be out of time there.

What is needed is a populist movement with a postcapitalist platform, such as the market neo-communism proposed here, and with a new stance on class warfare: a focus on the Universal Class rather than the working class. There is not real contradiction, but the Universal Class is a larger superset that will energize a broader spectrum of the range of class combinations.

It needs to happen this year, stat. Shuffle the Marx papers and throw the junk out. Divorce from ‘isms’, divorce from Leninism (but study the guy), make clear the divorce from Stalinism is total, and that a movement has a right to revolt against fake democracy to create the real thing. The fallacies of electoral/direct democracy compete with their virtues, and a democratic revolution can be fought by an elite vanguard as well if not better than a populist revolt IF they do the job right and act according to principle and don’t screw up the whole game at the start with power formations. It can’t just reflex into the tired mental diseases that result in government by psychopaths and the CIA’s. A vanguard and a populist movement are the tricky duo that operate hopefully in tandem.

A vanguard that defines its own limits, makes pledges to act according to principles of democracy, equality, and so one, has a good chance of success.

Let us note that American democracy (or a republic) was created by an elite, cf. The Quartet by Joseph Ellis, against popular opinion. A vanguard and a populist movement are the ‘yoyo’ that is hard to compute and is the non-linear two-headed beast behind a successful transition.

We have to at least try this. All the other progressivist efforts have been realized and then dismantled. Can you try again, and again…? A change in the system is needed.

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