Revolutionary road

Marxist confusions and DMNC
May 11th, 2018
https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/05/what-made-marxism-so-deadly/
This is a cogent analysis but we should not forget that the birth of democracy was almost more violent: the english civil war killed proportionately more people than the first world war, and ended, as did bolshevik communism, in retrograde motion because it couldn’t quite define ‘democracy’ at all. Pseudo-democracy finally arrived, Parliament and its oligarchs…sounds familiar.

One issue with bolshevik communism is the foundation in historical tsarism and the resulting inability to equate communism with the completion of democracy: the action by a dictator to direct a ‘communist’ experiment was fallacious from the start but somehow part of the dna of russian autocratic history.
The larger difficulty, pointed to here many times, is the tendency emerging from marxism to unwittingly negate liberalism (hence democracy) in the attempt to define using ‘stages of production’ theory the fixed historical transition from capitalism to communism. But a subtle fallacy lurks there, as noted here many times. We may wish to reach some form of postcapitalism but we might consider ‘markets’ beyond capitalism and communist democracy that is a transformtation not quite antithetical to the universe of ‘liberalism’. The tendency of marxism is to posit an ‘epoch’ of postcapitalism as ‘communism’ but a more realistic view might consider communism as a challenge to create a robust economics on a par with the obsession with free markets: marx/engels seem to have thought communism would completely abolish markets but looking back we can see that ‘markets’ and the obsessive ‘free markets’ of the capitalist era are not necessarily the same: we can create a mixed system in a context of the creation of a commons (the equivalent of the expropriation of capital) where markets exist in relation to planning, not phony market socialism, but real markets with resources licensed from the Commons, to allow a robust economic communism. We sense a contradiction where none need exist. These markets could even have socialist entrepreneurs competing with planned sectors whether less efficient or not, with considerable autonomy, and internationalist interactions, but only in the context of shared resources.
Here the question of authority defeated the bolsheviks, as well it might have given the context of the civil war. But there we find simply another challenge to produce both democracy and strong authority, a trick anticipated by the founding fathers. Consider:
a system of democratic market neo-communism, based on a Commons beyond private property
this contains both planned and market sectors, plus a third ‘autonomous’ or lower indifference level of ‘let be’, more or less cf our Two Manifestos…
this system must not only balance planning and markets but anarchic democracy and authority: we could envisage a four party state, with a ‘one party’ state of presidents with strong authority, but limited to the defense as guardians of the Commons with no direct interference in the economy or other politics, save some foreign policy aspects: all the other functions of state and economy devolve to other agencies, parties and courts: a three party mix as a deliberate triad to promote a parliamentary system absolutely protected from external commercial influences: the three party system would regulate economic issues with ecological courts to regulate economic environments and economic courts to mediate planned and market interactions. This system could be dynamic with relatively small degrees of ‘differential equality’ in a ‘permanent (r)evolution’ form basic raw communism to a more sophisticated version. This system might still require ‘labor unions’ in the mediation of labor issues. etc…the variants are multiple. This approach, while it would certainly consider a new international, would attempt to produce an heretical idea of ‘socialism’ in one state, one that would interact with foreign markets as such but also in a ‘dialectical’ mode with or without conflict with a robust self-defense of the local system and a potential sedition of the world system (non-violent?) toward postcapitalism…(let us note that china has produced an abortive version of this: the system suddenly allowed markets in the context of (pseudo) communism…it is not adequate to our definitions)
We are still in transition to a definition of democracy and are confronted by a spontaneous rebellion of the ‘Diggers’ of the english civil war demanding an open Commons…

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