September 16th, 2018 •
One of the saddest confusions of the marxist legacy was the idea that a bourgeois revolution must precede the transition to communism.
This created the fumbled ball of the russian fiasco, as it became clear in fact to lenin who sensibly ditched the distinction (i think) but didn’t really have a platform to work with: the fatal ad hoc of stalinism simply moved into the void.
Although lenin seems to have shaken loose from the idea, then, more of less, one of the confusions of the russian revolution was the idea that russia wasn’t ready for communism and that, e.g. germany, should lead the way. What a horrible mistake. In fact any stage of society should be able to move into socialism.
This is a drastic example of the misleading effects of marxist theory. A close look at the english civil war shows democratic, bourgeois, and proto-socialist ideas emerging in splendid chaos, together. The bourgeois revolution in the restoration was really close to a counterrevolution.
The issue for us would be to recast the whole subject and simple have one revolution (or electoral transition) that achieves the basic result of a neo-communism from the start: the democratic revolution and the communist revolution are really janus-faced: they must both happen at the same time. The idea that an era of capitalism must occur in the standards stages of production sequence was a fatal miscalculation. A better issue might be capitalist markets versus communist markets, as with our formulation of democratic market neo-communism. We have suggested a foundational/constitutional ‘Commons’ that does the work of the ‘communism’ but leaves open the question of a communist economy which might be electic: planned, with a market sector of a kind. It is not clear what marx thought but he left the impression that communism would abolish markets. But as we see from the (partly sophistical) calculation debate that is going to be a problem. It is not clear just how marx’s views changed from the era of the 1848 manifesto, but in the end the whole range of issues was botched.
The speculation here is that we can have capitalists with out capitalism, i.e. social capital (the Commons) but with an economy that may still have both planning and born-again markets and/or computational clearing computers and/or AI driven economic systems, and/or our third sector ‘let go’ semi anarchist completion of a triad.