Towards the Reconstruction of Marxism: Part 1 – Where is Marxism?

During the following weeks, I will go on and publish a small book in parts (it is more like an essay) about the future of Marxism and the Revolutionary Left, in general, which I helped to be written. I don’t entirely endorse its points, but I deeply believe that it is a generic schema we can work upon. Enjoy!

 

INTRODUCTION

One hundred years have passed from the great Russian Revolution that gave embodiment to the socialist project, which was set to offer the proletarian the world he was promised and deserved. But how did we get here? The Soviet Union collapsed, after she had chosen the capitalist road over the revolutionary one, and with her all the hopes for the construction of a Communist tower that would reach heaven and bring it back to reality, to Earth, were transformed into nothing more than childish dreams. Marxism found its place in a few pages of history; history which would inevitably prove it right. And every glimpse that still exists, every little spark that remains, will not light the fire that will burn the hill. The Empire is a canvas hostile to every vivid color. Black and white, black or white… Two feelings can characterize this century’s Left: nostalgia and desperation. The spectre that used to haunt Europe now looks more like Casper the Friendly Ghost. But time changes. In fact, time has to change, it can do nothing else but change. What the future brings… that is up for a discussion.

THE QUESTION

I shall now fix my question. What primarily concerns us is not how we got here, but how we will become able to get out of here. First of all, I should say something about the “here” part. What is this place? Where are we? There is only one comparison that could be made to capitalist social reality: that of the desert. You fulfill your thirst with empty illusions. That is also what makes our “escape plan” extremely difficult: truth hurts, the knowledgeable always remains thirsty. However, there is a time that fantasies have to disappear from the landscape, so that we can see behind the fog.

DOGMATISM

To bring change we should fight. And how do we fight? That remains somewhat unclear and will remain so for a long time. It is truly impossible to come up with the perfect combination, since such a thing doesn’t exist, simply. For a long time Marxists have treated the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, etc, as they were the Bibles of the Holy Revolution. That way they saw the tree, but missed the forest, the core of these works. Marx never intended his books to become algorithms that would be followed strictly. The main problems with dogmatism are:

  1. It makes the movement predictable.
  2. It attacks every new theory that doesn’t derive from earlier works or improves them.
  3. It rejects the possibility of new interpretations.
  4. It completely ignores the fact that the capitalist society, as any other society, develops.
  5. It minimizes the available routes for action to a few or even, one.

Thus, it is clear that if we want to breathe new life into Marxist theory, we should firstly go against dogmatism. In fact, the only positive thing of the disappearance of Marxism from the intellectual and political scene these last decades is exactly that: this period serves as a process of de-dogmatization.

 

Part 2 – Our Primary Targets will be posted soon.

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