History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Russia was industrializing rapidly: our DMNC model might have been more appropriate…

November 10th, 2017 · No Comments

Marxists have outsmarted themselves and created a core confusion about what the left can and must do. In part this is due to the fallacious ‘stages of production’ theory that have made feudalism, capitalism, and communism stages of history and this theory muddled the whole bolshevik experiment. Russian was industrializing, after a fashion, but with bolsheviks (and the general marxist world culture) two confusions are in evidence: should one go through a capitalist phase and more generally the perception of capitalism as a stage of history.
We can see that Lenin almost figured it out and we can note his brief NEP moment as he seemed to sense a more complex set of possibilities.
We have to wonder if something like our DMNC couldn’t have allowed the revolution to embrace both planning and markets by creating a flexible system based on communist axioms but with a robust market mechanics beyond the reach of global capital and yet possibly linked to it. As crucial as is the idea and entity of an ‘international’ socialism in one country should be designed possible from the start. And the red herring of a capitalist stage can be set aside with the realization that communism, industrialization, and capitalism are three players in what must become an integrated conceptual nexus. We have suggested that once a strong socialism/communism is established in the creation of a Commons the question of what kind of economy to adopt can be approached more realistically. The bolsheviks had an immense opportunity, but somehow played the wrong hand. First, any society is ready for communism. A stage of capitalism can be replaced with a system of communist markets (in relation also to planning) that can develop robustly beyond the fallacies of ‘state capitalism’ and with independent bodies and courts to regulate the questions of economic well beyond the meddling of political elite, which must be a guardian of the Commons, but not a crypto-bourgeoisie. Managing the latter is the real issue of a viable communism. The issues of its economic functionality are not beyond solution. We have suggested quixotically a kind of Platonic cadre of Guardians with an ascetic mien: perhaps disallowed any possessions, monies, or dachas…A bit outlandish but in general the matrix of state capitalism is a failure.
Most of all a democratic context is needed and a robust economic populism at the core of our DMNC will likely prove highly popular. It is hard to fathom the totally fallacious stalinist fiasco ending so unnecessarily in a totalitarian ‘forcing socialism’ endgame.
Our framework is very general and requires some careful extensions, and the problem of an incomplete international remains to complicate the solution, but all in all the question of communism some practical models that can actually work.
We note also that our framework has a third sector: a threshold indifference level where small scale entities are left to themselves. The question of communism is the question of the State and this can’t work as a ‘total’ or totalitarian system. A triad of systems, planned, market communism, and a diverse semi-anarchist lower level below threshold can add a set of multiple dimensions to the experiment…

archive: The bolsheviks came to the point of trying to invent our DMNC but ended up in the sterile ‘stages of production’ fallacy…
November 3rd, 2017 ·
Marxist ‘stages of production’ theory created a confusion that haunted the bolshevik revolution when in reality there shouldn’t have been a problem: that was the idea that communism could only come when capitalism had completed its phase, etc…

In reality any society whatever is always instantly ready for socialism/communism and the fallacy of capitalism as some inevitable stage of history has muddled the clarity of the early socialists.
If we study the English Civil War before the rise of bourgeois democratic ideology we can see that the emergence of democracy and the idea of communism were close companions in a chaotic mix. The coming of the Restoration shows how democracy became a casualty of the ‘bourgeois counterrevolution’. We have never gotten it straight since. And marxists have confused the issue with a mythology of capitalism.
Clearly the resolution is in principle simple: creating democracy requires a foundation of economic democracy. Here the idea of communism emerges, not as some stage of history, but as a set of assumptions about what democracy needs as a foundation. Our idea of neo-communism with a Commons of resources doesn’t require a capitalist phase of history: one should do the job right from the beginning, and democracy, economic development, and postcapitalism, but with markets, and planning, enter into a common framework from the start. In a way Marx and Engels realized this, at least in their 1848 phase, but somehow clarity was lost in the ruminations of historical materialism.

The point here is that any society at any stage can remorph toward communism and this is not in contradiction to the existence of markets. The polarization of concepts has confused the whole question…
So the bolsheviks ended up doing it our way but nonetheless came to think, especially with Stalin, that state control of the economy, and collectivism in general were the inevitable ‘next phase’. But the situation, pace our DMNC, should have been more integrated and flexible from the start. Russia is/was an almost candidate for our ‘democratic market neo-communism’ but derailed into the confused ‘stages of production’ thinking that didn’t even apply to their own situation.
What a lost opportunity…
We note in passing Lenin’s curious and curiouser ‘NEP’ moment…

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