History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Revolutions and floating fourth turning points…

July 4th, 2018 · No Comments


Sooner or later it is going to occur to some self-styled prophet that the materialism of the old marxist left has crippled it and created a vehicle that noone can really use in the context of the complexity of world history. That prophet will try to create a religion on the left. Let’s hope not. But the point remains that the left invoking socialism has little to say about culture.
A new left needs what we called ‘floating fourth turning points’ in relation to the crisis of modernity, not just the crisis of capitalism.
The idea of a floating fourth turning point barely makes any sense but is really an attempt to look at the meaning of modernity, of democracy and the questions of communism in the context of revolutionary (evolutionary) options.
The point is merely that economic perspectives are too narrow. The whole of general culture must be examined, a very tricky and dangerous task. If the marxist left is a total failure it is because stalin ended up dealing with this issue by default: the arbiter of culture, religion, economy, politics…You will argue that this has nothing to do with marxism, but that involves claiming that if it quacks like a duck it isn’t a duck. In any case the left is stalled because noone wants a repetition of bolshevism. Every time you use the term ‘socialism’ without specifics you invoke that legacy.
We have tried to break that habit with new terminology: democratic market neo-communism. This specifies the issue of democracy and its revolutions, markets and the calculation debates/economic theories (markets beyond private property), and communism beyond private property founding a Commons, ‘neo’…
That may not be specific enough but it specifies what is the case with respect to fuzzy jargon, ‘socialism’, what’s that?

The issues raised by ‘floating fourth turning points’ are too complex for easy analysis but they can serve as a reminder that marxist historical materialism is part of the problem suffered by the left whenever they spout jargon about the working class and socialism: these terms invoke a legacy that is rejected by the majority at this point, unlike the period of the early twentieth century when fresh terminology inspired millions.

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