R48G: reform or revolution redux…
September 6th, 2017 •
Our seemingly consistent critique of ‘reformist leftism’ is, of course, misleading because we have also made ‘compromise’ a studied angle with our idea of ‘virtual revolution’ which embraces the whole contradiction. That in addition to hybrid of markets and communism. This is not really compromise but quiet desperation.
The issue is not so much the superiority of either pole but the increased control by a totalitarian capitalism that seems to preclude revolutionary actions. That is misleading and partly the result of too much wrong thinking but the issue remains to find a vehicle, any vehicle, that can lead to some kind of change. But the issue of revolution, however unrealistic at first, won’t go away because the current regime is actually closing in on reformism, as with the anti-union successes, and everyone will discover too late that real options no longer exist. Actually, the problem lies in the way the problem has been analyzed and the confusing interpolation of leninism/stalinism into definitions of communism, with analog confusions from Mensheviks.
We have suggested seeing revolutionary communism as, in part, a variant of the democratic revolutions of the early modern and adapting economic thinking to that kind of foundation, save that we derive the nature of democracy from axioms of fairness and equality: the logical requirement of communism of some kind in the creation of a Commons. To bring capital under control need not imply the total absence of markets. The two ideas are logically separate, perhaps…
Classic marxism confused the issue, we suspect, in the way it posits a stage of communism to follow a stage of capitalism, in turn after a stage of feudalism. Such an analysis simply doesn’t correspond to the way world history unfolds and enforced a rigid antithesis of communism and capitalism. But as noted, after the expropriation of capital into a neo-communist Commons, it is still possible to have markets, no doubt in a balance of planned sectors. In addition we have propose an autonomous sector below a certain threshold given a touch of anarchism to a highly complex overstructure that must break new ground economically but which has the potential to both recast communism as democracy and economically as a viable experiment that can evolve and provide the net equivalent of capitalism in a truer form under the aegis of ‘democratic communism’. This is not a social democratic compromise but could mimic that in early phases, e.g. moving toward an electoral constitutional convention, say, that could found communist axioms. In fact, a revolutionary situation is emerging but the old marxist left is not ready. Get ready!
So, the social democratic band music is now stealth revolutionism, not so stealthy, more or less in the open. The eerie background music is, no, revolution is the first necessity. But this formulation can move into new ground in a threatened future to a reformist slingshot to a revolutionary situation likely to emerge in the coming chaos of climate catastrophe.