History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Rethinking marxism…

October 19th, 2017 · No Comments

This essay is part of the background to the previous post and is interesting enough but we must strongly challenge the claim this has been demonstrated by a theory of Marx. Marx was theoretically confused and in many ways betrayed his own logic. He had a kind of bourgeois mentality that couldn’t quite shake loose from capitalist fetishism.

Now, it may be right that a revolutionary rupture is unrealistic, but that is not the same as saying we say that because of Marx’s theories. Marx thought we would remain inside capitalism until the dynamic he discussed brought the system into a new state, via his ‘stages of production’ theory, which is not scientific but a kind of crypto-teleological speculation. We must consider instead the factor of free agency in a non-deterministic system where we are free to construct economies as subsystems of a larger cultural matrix. And that’s a reminder we must not wait til the system transforms automatically in some mysterious logic of Dr. Marx, the bourgeois who actually wanted to give capitalism a longer reign in order to exhaust its potential. But that could be a fatal strategy now: we are out of time for a slow evolution to postcapitalism. Climate catastrophe lies that way and we must aggressively try and deal with that situation as soon as possible.

In brief, I’ll conclude that in order to make Marxism consistent with itself it is necessary to abandon the statist perspective to which Marx and Engels arguably were committed, and which they transmitted to most of their successors. It is necessary to conceive of revolution in a gradualist way, not as a sudden historical “rupture” in which the working class or its representatives take over the national state and organize social reconstruction on the basis of a unitary political will (the proletarian dictatorship). According to a properly understood Marxism, even the early stages of the transition from capitalism to post-capitalism must take place over generations, and not in a planned way but unconsciously and rather “spontaneously,” in a process slightly comparable to the transition from feudalism to capitalism. I will also argue that my revision can be the basis, finally, for a rapprochement between Marxists and anarchists.1

Source: Rethinking the Marxist Conception of Revolution | Dissident Voice

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