History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Are marxists too kind to capitalism?

February 14th, 2018 · No Comments

Is marxism too kind to capitalism: creating a stage of history here has backfired: the system can never set its correct foundation because we have tacitly agreed to do it the wrong way in the name of the ‘era of capitalism’…
Our discussion of Marx’s ‘teleology’ was an attempt to forestall a major flaw in marxism: it is too kind to capitalism! The great epoch of capitalism has to endure until all its potential is exhausted and that’s a dangerous delusion. Its potential to destroy planets doesn’t require an historical realization!
the reality is that capitalism is not a truly organized form of economy: it is ad hoc at all points and any idea of a capitalist stage of history should have been challenged at once. It was challenged, including Marx/Engels, but somehow the canon crystallized around a progression of epochs.

From the perspective of the eonic effect there are epochs, of a kind, and the most recent would be ‘modernity’ triggered by the early modern transition. Marx tended to confuse this with capitalism, but that doesn’t really work. The point is that new forms of production have arrived continuously across world history: the issue is not capitalism versus communism, but communism as such: we move to create democracy and this ends as bourgeois revolution and the freedom of capital: we proceed to an axiom of fairness and this makes communism derivable in another way. The issue of markets is something else: we can have a form of market economy inside communism and it might actually make realizable what capitalism should have been: a revolution in the production of abundance for all. Instead it simply contracts on itself and threatens to undo its own advantages: the failure of two centuries of capitalism since the industrial revolution to solve the problem of economy as abundance, fairness, and economic well being/rights is a decisive condemnation. The onset of climate change is the final nail in the coffin. But here classic marxism is misleading: the issue is not what is to replace capitalism but a system that actually works. No such system has ever been invented. It seemed like capitalism could solve the problem of poverty. It failed even on that simply task even as it moved to stunning increases in production. By every standard of reasonable expectation such a prodigious scheme of exonomic output should have answered to the millennial hopes of men. No such luck. An immensity of overproduction, waste, and environmental stress, and everything else, has stiff-armed poverty in a drama of Mr. Scrooge. The system is actually getting worse, witness the egregious entry of Any Randism to turn an already ambiguous system into a monstrosity. The neo-liberal era spells the doom of the whole capitalist phase, not epoch. But again the fault lay at the beginning, as Marx/Engels with studied ambivalence knew all too well. No good accusing them of epoch logic if they really hustled the 1848 revolutions which introduced communism and the proletariat to the game.
Calling capitalism a stage of history is thus a dangerous game: we to produce the epoch of capitalism either over or ‘never started and look simply at the necessity of a proper system from the start. The question was muddled by the way the truer radicals of the early modern were taken over by the bourgeois pseudo-revolutionaries who invented a perverse form of democracy before the real thing had ever existed, to the total confusion of the whole vein of politics.
We are living in the endgame of a set of mistakes and we can only proceed by correcting them and seeing the ironic aptness of Ayn Rand’s portrait: the capitalists as fourth-rate Nietzschean parodies of the Overman making a botch of everything. These capitalists are actually stuck in a moronic delusion, whatever the ‘quickie riches’ on the surface. It should never have been confused with a stage of history.

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