the primitive idiocy of politcal science on all sides…/A multiple-choice test by the New York Times, answer correctly and you are DSA material
September 23rd, 2018 •
Starting with the first question we see that neither the times nor the left has done their homework. Political science on all sides is a kind of primitive thinking that shows us that concepts of government are in their own dark ages. The entire legacy of marxism is a void that can’t handle even a questionaire (with loaded questions no doubt).
That’s not about proyect’s very good analysis but the way the questions point to the absence of any real knowledge by any party of a platform. We may as well forget marx and start over with a new formulation. And it is hard to see how the DSA has any kind of framework. We should remind the times that ‘democracy’ doesn’t exist yet and that the term has been grafted on american plutocracy as propaganda. The US is therefore not an exemplar of anything. At this point it is a sick joke.
The american system did produce a few innovations such as the separation of powers (which actually existed before, but…). What is democracy: the era of rousseau shows the way that the definitions were very limited and inadequate: electoral and direct democracy. Electoral democracy is a failure. But should continue as a key component.
We have pointed to our model/tool to study the complexity of an overall solution to the question which we call ‘democratic market neo-communism’. A complete version would have on the order of a hundred complex components with complex interactions, so obviously we must accept our own criticisms. We discard the distinction between socialism, communism, optionally.The first is a descriptive for the second which is ‘strictly neo-‘. You should not reference marx or marxism here, save as historical footnotes: everything is from scratch. Even this detailed depiction is incomplete. But at least it addresses the questions of state and economy, democracy, markets and planning, etc…The key idea is the constitutional foundation of a Commons as the basis for a neo-communism. Why should workers own the means of production? That, to be sure, is one option at the lower end of three sector system (the anarchist third sector) but overall the ‘means of production’ reside in a Commmons. That requires a careful legal construct and is NOT the same as state ownership. The ‘state’ apparatus has no direct control of the means of production. That state system has three branches: the presidential, the parliamentary, and the legal, with a new aspect, ecological courts. The economic system is run by a specific set of economic agents, but extra entities, e.g.labor unions, can mediate policies, while ‘markets in a Commons’ can allow socialist entrepreneurs with licensed resources to create large-scale corporations under close regulation but a relatively high degree of autonomy. This creates a possible managerial ‘class’ with excessive powers, but a close look, and further development can construct this possibility. The economy is basically mediated by economists, with a many other inputs, we can’t eliminate a bureaucratic complication here, as such.
The presidential system is a strong authority with a one-party system of communist guardians who guard the basic status of the Commons. This matched with a three party parliamentary system with two oppositional parties and a third dialectical formation that can allow the entry of new third or more new parties. This system is focused on ecological socialism, the Commons, a market sector with licensed resources from the Commons, a planned sector and a third lower sector. The presidential party does not allow dissent to the axioms of the system of the Commons but has few other powers in a state of guardianship. Such dissent is tantamount to counterrevolution and implies that one group will seize control of shared resources and leave the rest with nothing. It is not democratic to allow that possibility. But our third party however can discuss such issues.
This is the basis of a true democracy. The three party parliament resolves the issues of democracy inside a strong control system of the one party/three party state. Ecology, economic rights, and personal liberties are strongly balanced in this system, which shows up conventional political science as a species of primitive idiocy.
The catch as usual is the resolution of revolution versus electoral paths. But this framework allows both options. The question of revolution is treacherous and requires its own new formulation. We have suggested, for example, a series of failsafes that can block leninist/stalinist pseudo-revolutions.
Source: A multiple-choice test by the New York Times, answer correctly and you are DSA material | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist