Point of No Return

 

This is a new website themed around the ongoing Postcapitalist meme universe, but with a slightly different perspective: we consider that moving toward ‘postcapitalism’ is an emergency issue in a context of a paralyzed left and a socio-economic context that is close to a point of no return, but one suspects already past it. We must at least consider that hopefully, we have two generations left for at least some kind of exit strategy. The left is suffering more from its own past than from capitalist suppression (which is, however, implicit and a faux-totalitarian totalitarianism). The public seems better aware of Stalinist issues that most Marxists: the left must essentially renounce its past and start over as soon as possible. No fait accompli there. The basic outcome of Marxism/Leninism was Stalinism and then Putinism. This legacy must be renounced and the culprit ideological mess of pottage left behind. The high-probability of the Putinist outcome with Marxist legacies must be confronted and bypassed. The problem is not hard to find: although the proto-left spoke of ‘real democracy’  the bias against liberalism emerged early and fell on soil that amplified its negation: the Russian case, which proved barren of democratic possibilities. We should consider a way to remorph liberalism into communism and (neo-) communism into liberalism. That in fact makes an impossibly difficult question almost easy. Marx/Engels are superb historical icons and the star plot elements of the core heroic saga, the Red Forty-eight epic of the gestation of socialism/communism and before that the revolutions of the early modern. It is a thrilling tale, but a new left must move on  . Marx navigated into a rock and his economic determination thesis is flawed along with the leaden booted historical materialism. The Marxist left is unique in creating a theory of revolution, which its adherents must follow, often sailing past a good result in the name of those theories. How many opportunities have been thrown away because the situation didn’t follow theory? Consider the case of Venezuela: it should have had socialism decades ago but still navigates in circles without any blueprint for ‘what is to be done’ shibboleths. The entire verbosity of the left has been chatter throughout without a single practical suggestion for the given context. The construction of a socialist system, in reality, should not be hard but the ‘theory’ in every case throws adherents off track because it points to the impossible. If any given system inherits hidden DNA, then the Bolshevik was cursed by Tsarist past, while the American inherits the toy model of the ‘Rebs in revolution, one of the very few successful revolutionary, albeit bourgeois, passages. Its revolutionaries had no complicated theory to follow but were able to see intuitively the nature of a revolution. The American case then resolves to a simple variant as a socialist revolution.  The point here is that the issues have been made too complex, and almost no one in the Marxist cadre can grasp the later form of the canon in its ‘stages of production’ theory, historical materialism, and its flawed theory of history. Marx himself was somehow blocked in his efforts to complete Capital and the unfinished result landed in Engels’ lap at the onset of the futile exercise in interpretation continuing to this day. If the Rebs had required so many complications there would never have been a revolution at all. We have provided here a new approach to world history, a critique of the ‘epochs of production’, and a way beyond the dated historical materialism. Marx was a critic of theory as ideology but his work was essentially an ideology of revolution cloaked as a theory of history. It should all be set aside. However, the non-theoretical work of Marx/Engels is often useful still. The questions of class, as long as they are not made historical laws of history, are often useful taken empirically. But even there the issue of the working class has shifted in the passage of time. The working class is forever summoned to thought as the key to revolution, and then given as the excuse to do nothing{ it isn’t ready. Marx’s thinking reflects the core proletarian revolutionary gestations of the nineteenth century. But the idea has shifted now. The working class is really a part of the middle class, at least in such economies as the American. The idea remains key to the future of activism, but it must be better understood: the working class is the set of all wage laborers, and/or all those subject to capitalist dynamics as passive. That rightly restores the idea to the larger totality that is simultaneously an overset of multiple class definitions. The current context, in the news of the day, shows a union unable to convince its members to not vote for Trump. The left has lost the working class by its classic and flawed definition. We have created a new kind of model for socialist outcomes: ‘democratic market neo-communism’ which is both a specific blueprint for socialist or neo-communist reconstruction, possible to implement starting ‘today’, and equally a way to model social constructs.  The phrase is meant as a warning not to simply speak of socialism but to be specific. Our term refers to four or more things at once that must be solved: the problem of power as democracy, the problem of economies as planned or as (socialist) markets, the problem of property, expropriation and the creation of a Commons, and the constructs of government, constitutional foundations, and finally an ecological rendering of the overall framework. This is a three to four-term system and its complexity rises rapidly from simple euphoric exclamations about socialism. One of the reasons for Stalinism was just that complexity, reduced back to simplicity and dictatorship by a Stalin figure. The left must offer a guarantee of the system envisaged, details of the outcome, and legal failsafes for implementation. We have a manifesto on this construct, or DMNC. The idea of ‘Postcapitalist Futures’ is useful because there is a fairly ample set of (web) resources, and we can explore all that and ‘expropriate’ as needed. Our point is that our ‘practical platform’ is ready-now and/or open to further study. We could implement democratic market-neocommunism today. Democratic Market Neo-communism’ could be implemented today by a cadre of amateurs. Better yet a group versed in the universe of models of the type cited. With a ‘working class’ consisting of most leftists alive today, plus even the managers of capitalist orgs: salaried employees. The focus is those in that class who have an intent with respect to postcapitalism. Again, we note that DMNC could be implemented today, and is revolution/reform-ready. As to the question of revolution, we can point to the way revolutions have almost always spawned themselves and that the current global situation foretells that once more: a climate calamity on its way, a pandemic, a racial protest movement, and a presidential lunatic who has done more to implement (counter-) revolution than a gaggle of hotheads,  have all suddenly converged on systems that self-dismantled in a matter of days.  A ready left might even have taken over. The near-term future foretells this chaos effect becoming worse, and then worse. A new kind of revolutionary transformation will once again arise spontaneously, and it already visible. Two Manifestos  

 

 

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