History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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The issue of degrowth compounds the evolution/revolution dilemma…china’s capitalism

February 23rd, 2018 · No Comments


Given China’s huge contribution to global warming and the heavy pollution it suffers from, such statements are welcome. But does this truly mean that China will now become a country that puts the environment first and, perhaps, save capitalism from its excesses? That is very unlikely, given Beijing’s integration into the world capitalist system and the dynamics of capitalism, in which all incentives are for more growth — a system that requires growth.


I think it is quite realistic to consider a ‘revolutionary’ option to the developing social, ecological and political crisis: willy-nilly the system will default to attempts to seize the future and we see that already underway on the right: so the choice is revolution from the right…or the left.

However, the question remains as to whether an evolutionary path is not the correct better alternative. This is the same old debate that arose with Bernstein and the second international, but the terms of that debate have shifted. The claims of Bernstein are not born out: the slow development of socialism isn’t happening, quite the contrary, the world system is falling into the hands of the right with a new set of occult reactionaries at work. They must be laughing at the naivete of historical materialists.
But the left can remake itself, inevitably it will, and produce an upgrade of the old canons that will address the overall task of modernity, ecology, economic populism and equality, with a robust socialism–our version is of a form of neo-communism. The left can be confident in one sense: it represents the future better than the right whose confused anti-modernism can only result in decline. The key issue to not sacrifice democracy in the name of defending democracy corrupted by capitalism. The older left saw through the word game but the result backfired in the antagonism to liberalism and its system of rights, a complete derailment. What is required has to be a postleninist respect for the core liberalism that history spawned against antiquity. That it was corrupted at the start by the capitalist revolution is nearly a cliche, but also a key piece in the puzzle. How could the bolsheviks have lost it.

The point is to be ready as the world system enters an inexorable instability caused by the internal contradictions of the current neo-liberal reaction. In the case of the US a monstrosity has emerged that is a deadly menace to planetary life and civilization. We are confronted by a kind of screaming ‘Your move’ as the left fumbles through one more march on Washington.
So the logic of revolution seems unrealistic, but the reality is that the right is on the move and will force the issue, if the left can be ready and not regurgitate a stale marxist/2nd international fiasco.

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