The left needs to recast its overall framework beyond classic marxism to the issues of social transformation. The left is paralyzed and not just between reformism and radical revolutionary perspectives. Its legacy is stale and unable to break out of its dogmatic tone and commentary. The problem is not hard to solve: everything on the left is bound up in the monopoly of thought created by Marx and Engels. The left is stuck in the nineteenth century with a perspective that is almost archaic. Further, that legacy was perverted beyond repair by Bolshevism. And yet to this day, Marxist enthusiasts speak with hushed tones of the great proletarian revolution of Lenin. And then wonder that the public is almost universally unreceptive.
The solution here is nothing complicated: recreate the legacy, disown its failures, dispense with Marxist boilerplate and communicate to the public with an appealing platform that can help them move into a new kind of society. The postcapitalist era has arrived and yet the left has nothing to say about a new society beyond a few empty references to socialism. A new left has to define what that means, construct a model of how it can function, and reinvent economy beyond capitalism. The saddest failure of the old left is to have convinced the public that capitalist ideologues were right about ‘evil socialism’ and that capitalism was the only answer. Another problem for the left is that a huge dogmatic literature dominates all discussion with no voice from the outside. But in the age of internet and new forms of publishing, it is possible to dissent on the left and put the result into print in a matter of weeks, goodbye to peer review, for better or worse. We have assembled multiple books in a matter of a year or two: the result shows that the domination of a cadre is not absolute. The result may be open to its own critique but at least it is novel, yet faithful to ‘socialism’ beyond marxism, and shows that a new left is possible almost on the spot. There is no excuse for the chapter and verse routines of the Marx theologians stuck in nineteenth-century mechanization of thought. A revolutionary moment has arrived and will soon pass as the older lefty idles in neutral. Our contributions are high-speed products, and open to their own problems but it nothing else they can break old habits and force a retelling. Disowning bolshevism is essential. Even the term ‘socialism’ is borderline, but one we perhaps should maintain because it was not invented by Marxists. It goes back before Marx and Engels, all of whose thinking was not original to them. We will simply give space to a list of resources that can at least in principle show that a new avenue to socialism is possible. We will amply this and add to it as we go along. All the left really needs is the classic manifesto of Marx/Engels. We have two manifestos, one trying pump air back into the tires of the older one and a sort of meditation on the infrastructure of a ‘neo-communism’. But the terms socialism and communism should not be used anymore in isolation: that bad habit is an invitation to confusion. We must specify the particulars. Marx always refused to do this, but the result there backfired. Those on the left must tell the public what they plan to do, how they will achieve it in the context of democracy, demand ombudsmen of revolution, habeas corpus from start to finish, and finally an economy in which those floundering in the capitalist asylum can thrive. So beside our manifesto, we have a tool to model ‘socialisms’ in the plural, called ‘democratic market neo-communism‘ and that as a form of ecological socialism. Two Manifestos
The legacy of ‘historical materialism’ has come and gone. That assembly of theory did more to cripple the left than anything else, even if in its original context it served to forge socialism in the context of secularism. But theories of history are fragile fare and soon break. Marx’s theories have been subjected to such a volume of critique for over a century that it is fruitless to try and revive a dead brand. The left needs a new perspective on history (and evolution) that is more flexible than the strange piece of archaic sociology of Marx’s economic analyses. The left needs a new perspective on world history beyond defunct historical materialism: