Critical Thought
Mapping the Terrain
Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
For my uncle and fellow Marxist Ralph Kleinman
MarkFoster.online
Horizontal Rule
Table of Contents
  1. G. left communism, libertarian Marxism, syndicalist Marxism, and radical democratic Marxism: Left communism specifically is a non–Bolshevik, sometimes anti–Bolshevik, branch of the Marxist tradition. “Left–wing communism,” the “communist left,” and «ultra–gauche» (MP3 audio file)—French for “ultra–left”—are alternate designations for left communism. The “left” in left communism refers to the left of Vladimir Lenin. As a highly variegated set of traditions, left communism and libertarian Marxism can be broadly defined to incorporate a conglomeration of libertarian and democratic currents.
    It should be pointed out, however, that not all branches of left communism are specifically libertarian. Rosa Luxemburg, while a left communist and a radical democrat, supported a proletarian state and was not, therefore, a libertarian per se. On the other hand, autonomism, communization theory, and open Marxism (considered later in the chapter) are libertarian, but they were developed long after the era of left communism. The category of “radical democratic Marxism” could include some left–wing and libertarian currents, as well as some movements which may not strictly fall under either category, such as international revolutionary democratic communism and radical egalitarianism.
    Luxemburg, aside from the tendency named after her, has influenced some of the other approaches to left communism—particularly autonomist Marxism—as well as some approaches to Marxism–Leninism–Trotskyism. Certain segments of the communist left accept a version of spontaneism (revolutionary spontaneity). In the anti–reformist tradition of impossibilism, a number of left communists (mostly autonomists) consider reforming, or improving, existing societies to be, for the most part, a waste of time. (Marxist–Luxemburgists, for the most part, disagree.)
    In addition, many left communists oppose “frontism” (forming alliances with groups outside of a particular left-communist tendency to fight a common enemy), nationalism (including purely national revolutions), and both voting and running in national elections (parliamentarism). Lenin’s emphasis on national revolutions and, even more so, Stalin’s “socialism in one country” are often regarded as shifts to the right. Indeed, left communists have developed various critiques of a Leninist, or centralist, viewpoint. As shown in the quotation directly below this paragraph, Lenin was obviously not a fan of the majority of the communist left (an opposition which did not extend to Luxemburg).
    “‘Left Communism’ … ultimately never came to fruition, and Marxism in its Leninist variant triumphed in Russia. Some attempt has been made to account for the eventual demise of ‘Left Communism.’ The idea has certainly been rejected that its downfall was simply and solely caused by political machinations on the part of [Vladimir] Lenin and his associates. While this in cart helps to explain the defeat of the ‘leftists’ within the Bolshevik party itself, it still leaves unanswered the question why the revolutionary Marxists in Poland, Latvia and Lithuania were unsuccessful in carrying out lasting socialist revolutions in their respective countries. This fact in turn suggested that it was necessary to take into consideration more objective socio-economic factors that existed in the Russian Empire, with a view to ascertaining how far ‘Left Communism’ failed because it neglected realistically to take account both of the aspirations, and the power of the nationalities and the peasants, and of the weakness and shortcomings of the proletariat itself.” [Ronald I. Kowalski. The development of “Left Communism” until 1921: Soviet Russia, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. Ph.D. thesis (U.S. English, dissertation). University of Glasgow. Glasgow, Scotland. 1978. Page iii.]
    Below are several references.
    1. Marxism–Luxemburgism (MP3 audio file): It is a movement for democratic communism—not libertarian socialism—inspired by the much-loved Rosa Luxemburg (MP3 audio file), in German, or Róża Luksemburg (MP3 audio file) in the original Polish. Rōzāh Lūqəsẹməbūrəg (Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, רוֹזָה לוּקְסֶמְבּוּרְגּ) is a Hebrew spelling. She developed the dialectic of spontaneity and revolution. Although Luxemburg supported a highly nuanced version of revolutionary spontaneity (though not a pure “spontaneism”), she opposed antireformism or so-called “impossibilism.” She used the “general strike” as a practical illustration of spontaneity. Luxemburg’s approach to party membership was inclusive. Her organization was the Spartacus League or, in the original German, der Spartakusbund (MP3 audio file). See the Luxemburgism reddit.
      According to Luxemburg, socialism demands “a complete spiritual transformation.” “Red Rosa,” as she is sometimes affectionately called (including by this writer), was born in Poland, but she escaped persecution by fleeing to Switzerland. Luxemburg—who eventually emigrated to Germany and became a German citizen—was later assassinated. Although she died before left communism—the communist left—was established under that name, her work is frequently categorized under the left–communist heading. Paul Levi (MP3 audio file)—Luxemburg’s collaborator, attorney, friend, and fleeting lover—and Karl Liebknecht (MP3 audio file) were also important figures. Levi maintained a highly critical stance toward Lenin after Rosa’s assassination. Lenin reciprocated.
      Admittedly, including Marxism–Luxemburgism under the rubric of left communism is anachronistic. Perhaps “proto–left communism” would be a more appropriate designation for Luxemburgism. Nevertheless, Luxemburgists, myself included, generally identify with left communism. Rosa’s positions were, in many respects, similar to council communism. However, unlike the council communists, Rosa was not opposed, in principle, to voting in parliamentary elections.
      In this writer’s view, the withering away of “the state” refers to the gradual termination of the centralized government of coöperatives. This government or communist state, while democratic, will still retain some of the hegemonic characteristics of capitalism. As such, the communist state would, theoretically, become a transitional phase between capitalism and the subsequent decentralized global federation of coöperatives. That federation will, in other words, no longer be “a state” per se. In any event, since Luxemburg did not oppose the transitional proletarian state, the Marxist–Luxemburgist tendency of the communist left is not, in itself, a type of libertarian socialism. Given that Luxemburg’s critique of Vladimir Lenin was based on his increasing authoritarianism, she was, needless to say, clearly not a Marxist–Leninist. If anything, Marxism–Leninism became even more authoritarian, and correspondingly less democratic, over time—particularly under Lenin’s successor, Joseph Stalin (Russian Cyrillic, Иосиф Сталин, Iosif Stalin as pronounced in this MP3 audio file; or Georgian, იოსებ სტალინი, Ioseb Stʼalini or, alternately transliterated, Ioseb Stalini as pronounced in this MP3 audio file).
      “Capitalism is the first mode of economy with the weapon of propaganda, a mode which tends to engulf the entire globe and to stamp out all other economies, tolerating no rival at its side. Yet at the same time it is also the first mode of economy which is unable to exist by itself, which needs other economic systems as a medium and soil. Although it strives to become universal, and, indeed, on account of this its tendency, it must break down—because it is immanently incapable of becoming a universal form of production. In its living history it is a contradiction in itself, and its movement of accumulation provides a solution to the conflict and aggravates it at the same time. At a certain stage of development there will be no other way out than the application of socialist principles. The aim of socialism is not accumulation but the satisfaction of toiling humanity’s wants by developing the productive forces of the entire globe. And so we find that socialism is by its very nature an harmonious and universal system of economy.” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Accumulation of Capital. Agnes Schwarzschild, translator. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2003. Page 447.]
      “Let us … try to understand the problem in its simplest form: the capitalist form of production is governed by the profit motive. Production only makes sense to the capitalist if it fills his pockets with ‘pure income,’ i.e. with profit that remains after all his investments; but the basic law of capitalist production is not only profit in the sense of glittering bullion, but constantly growing profit. This is where it differs from any other economic system based on exploitation. For this purpose the capitalist – again in contrast to other historical types of exploiters – uses the fruits of exploitation not exclusively, and not even primarily, for personal luxury, but more and more to increase exploitation itself. The largest part of the profits gained is put back into capital and used to expand production. The capital thus mounts up or, as [Karl] Marx calls it, ‘accumulates.’” [Rosa Luxemburg, “The Accumulation of Capital – An Anti-critique,” in Rosa Luxemburg and Nikolai I. Bukharin. The Accumulation of Capital – An Anti-critique and Imperialism and the Accumulation of Capital. Kenneth J. Tarbuck, editor. Rudolph Wichmann, translator. New York and London: Monthly Review Press. 1972. Pages 46-150.]
      “… there was no direct connection between these spontaneous stirrings of exploited masses and the various socialist theories. The revolutionary proletarian masses did not have a definite socialist goal in mind, nor did the socialist theorists seek to base their ideas on a political struggle of the working class.” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Volume I: Economic Writings 1. David Fernbach, Joseph Fracchia, and George Shriver, translators. Peter Hudis, editor. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Page 143.]
      “It is clear that the Russian Social Democracy should not organize itself as a federative conglomerate of many national groups. It must rather become a single party for he entire empire. However, that is not really the question considered here. What we are considering is the degree of centralization necessary inside the unified, single Russian party in view of the peculiar conditions under which it has to function.
      “Looking at the matter from the angle of the formal tasks of the Social Democracy, in its capacity as a party of class struggle, it appears at first that the power and energy of the party are directly dependent on the possibility of centralizing the party. However, these formal tasks apply to all active parties. In the case of the Social Democracy, they are less important than is the influence of historic conditions.”
      “… Social Democratic centralism cannot be based on the mechanical subordination and blind obedience of the party membership to the leading party center. For this reason, the Social Democratic movement cannot allow the erection of an air-tight partition between the class-conscious nucleus of the proletariat already in the party and its immediate popular environment, the nonparty sections of the proletariat.
      “Now the two principles on which [Vladimir] Lenin’s centralism rests are precisely these:
      1. “The blind subordination, in the smallest detail, of all party organs to the party center which alone thinks, guides, and decides for all.
      2. “The rigorous separation of the organized nucleus of revolutionaries from its social-revolutionary surroundings.…
      “The indispensable conditions for the realization of Social Democratic centralism are:
      1. “The existence of a large contingent of workers educated in the class struggle.
      2. “The possibility for the workers to develop their own political activity through direct influence on public life, in a party press, and public congresses, etc.
      “These conditions are not yet fully formed in Russia. The first – a proletarian vanguard, conscious of its class interests and capable of self-direction in political activity – is only now emerging in Russia. All efforts of socialist agitation and organization should aim to hasten the formation of such a vanguard. The second condition can be had only under a regime of political liberty.
      “With these conclusions, Lenin disagrees violently. He is convinced that all the conditions necessary for the formation of a powerful and centralized party already exist in Russia. He declares that, ‘it is no longer the proletarians but certain intellecutuals in our party who need to be educated in the matters of organization and discipline.’ He glorifies the educative influence of the factory, which, he says, accustoms the proletariat to ‘discipline and organization.’
      “Saying all this, Lenin seems to demonstrate again that his conception of socialist organization is quite mechanistic. The discipline Lenin has in mind is being implanted in the working class not only by the factory but also by the military and the existing state bureaucracy – by the entire mechanism of the centralized bourgeois state.
      “We misuse words and we practice self-deception when we apply the same term – discipline – to such dissimilar notions as: 1, the absence of thought and will in a body with a thousand automatically moving hands and legs, and 2, the spontaneous coordination of the conscious, political acts of a body of men. What is there in common between the regulated docility of an oppressed class and the self-discipline and organization of a class struggling for its emancipation?
      “The self-discipline of the Social Democracy is not merely the replacement of the authority of bourgeois rulers with the authority of a socialist central committee. The working class will acquire the sense of the new discipline, the freely assumed self-discipline of the Social Democracy, not as a result of the discipline imposed on it by the capitalist state, but by extirpating, to the last root, its old habits of obedience and servility.
      “Centralism in the socialist sense is not an absolute thing applicable to any phase whatsoever of the labor movement. It is a tendency, which becomes real in proportion to the development and political training acquired by the working masses in the course of their struggle.”
      [Rosa Luxemburg. Revolutionary Socialist Organization. Ottawa, Ontario: Integer Press. 1934. Ebook edition.]
      “… [There is] the capitalist law of value, which on the one hand automatically takes care that wage workers never rise up from the proletarian state and escape labor under the command of capital, while on the other hand making possible an ever greater accumulation of unpaid labor into capital, and thereby ever greater concentration and extension of means of production ….” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Volume I: Economic Writings 1. David Fernbach, Joseph Fracchia, and George Shriver, translators. Peter Hudis, editor. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Page 293.]
      “Socialist theory up to now declared that the point of departure for a transformation to socialism would be a general and catastrophic crisis. We must distinguish in this outlook two things: the fundamental idea and its exterior form. The fundamental idea consists of the affirmation that capitalism, as a result of its own inner contradictions, moves toward a point when it will be unbalanced, when it will simply become impossible. There were good reasons for conceiving that juncture in the form of a catastrophic general commercial crisis. But that is of secondary importance when the fundamental idea is considered.” [Rosa Luxemburg. Reform or Revolution. Revolutionary Classics Course. London: Socialist Workers Party (UK). 2013. Page 7.]
      “Public control is indispensably necessary. Otherwise the exchange of experiences remains only with the closed circle of the officials of the new regime. Corruption becomes inevitable.… Socialism in life demands a complete spiritual transformation in the masses degraded by centuries of bourgeois class rule. Social instincts in place of egotistical ones, mass initiative in place of inertia, idealism which conquers all suffering, etc., etc. No one knows this better, describes it more penetratingly; repeats it more stubbornly than [Vladimir] Lenin. But he is completely mistaken in the means he employs. Decree, dictatorial force of the factory overseer, draconic penalties, rule by terror—all these things are but palliatives. The only way to a rebirth is the school of public life itself, the most unlimited, the broadest democracy and public opinion. It is rule by terror which demoralizes.” [Rosa Luxemburg. Reform or Revolution and Other Writings. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 2006. Pages 216.]
      “Comrades, we have here as extensive field to till. We must build from below upward, until the workers and soldiers councils gather so much strength that the overthrow of the [Friedrich] Ebert–[Philipp] Scheidemann or any similar government will be merely the final act in the drama; For us the conquest of power will not be effected at one blow. It will be a progressive act, for we shall progressively occupy all the positions, of the capitalist state, defending tooth and nail each one that we seize. Moreover, in my view and in that of my most intimate associates in the party, the economic struggle, likewise, will be carried on by the workers councils. The settlement of economic affairs; and the continued expansion of the area, of this settlement, must be in the hands of the workers councils. The councils must have all power in the state. To these ends must we direct our activities in the immediate future, and it is obvious that, if we pursue this line, there cannot fail to be an enormous and immediate intensification of the struggle. For step by step, by hand to hand fighting, in every province, in every town, in every village, in every commune, all the powers of the state have to be transferred bit by bit from the bourgeoisie to the workers and soldiers councils.” [Rosa Luxemburg, “On the Spartacus Programme.” The New International. Volume 9, number 1–3, January–March 1943. Online publication. No pagination.]
      “Only the Marxist scholar can best comprehend the deepest inner motives of Polish bourgeois society, its shameful past and its shameful present: he is in the best position to see in what directions our country’s history and the class struggle are driving. Only a penetrating study into the causes of the decline of the rebellious Polish nobility and of the disgraceful history of bourgeois-capitalist Poland, a study unclouded by romantic utopianism, made it possible to foresee the revolutionary regeneration of working-class Poland presently occurring before our eyes. Now, as in the past, it is an understanding of national and class development that enables us to grasp that the only real revolutionary deed at this juncture is bringing consciousness into this spontaneous historical process, there by foreshortening its course and speeding it onward toward its goal.” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Polish Questions and the Revolution in Russia. Northampton, Massachusetts: Anarcho-communist institute. August, 2014. Kindle edition.]
      “… so this wait-and-see attitude may continue for a while. It could be then that some “accident,” a new manifesto [by the tsar] or something similar, could set off a sudden, spontaneous outbreak. In general the work is going quite well and the mood is very good. One need only explain to the masses why the present strike seems outwardly to have gone by ‘without results.’—The organization is growing strongly everywhere, but at the same time it’s having trouble, because everything is in flux.” [Rosa Luxemburg, “To Luise and Karl Kautsky, January 2, 1906.” The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg. Annelies Laschitza, Georg Adler, and Peter Hudis, editors. George Shriver, translator. Brooklyn, London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Kindle edition.]
      [On identity politics:] “I am just as much concerned with the poor victims on the rubber plantations of Putumayo, the Blacks in Africa with whose corpses the Europeans play catch. You know the words that were written about the great work of the General Staff, about Gen. [Lothar von] Trotha’s campaign in the Kalahari desert: ‘And the death rattles of the dying, the demented cries of those driven mad by thirst faded away in the sublime stillness of eternity.’ Oh that ‘sublime stillness of eternity,’ in which so many cries of anguish have faded away unheard, they resound within me so strongly that I have no special place in my heart for the [Jewish] ghetto. I feel at home in the entire world, wherever there are clouds and birds and human tears.” [Rosa Luxemburg, “To Mathilde Wurm, February 16, 1917.” The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg. Annelies Laschitza, Georg Adler, and Peter Hudis, editors. George Shriver, translator. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Kindle edition.]
      “The true dialectic of revolutions … stands this wisdom of parliamentary moles on its head: not through a majority, but through revolutionary tactics to a majority – that’s the way the road runs.” [Rosa Luxemburg. Rosa Luxemburg or: The Price of Freedom. Natascha Mueller-Hirth, translator. Berlin, Germany: Karl Dietz Verlag. 2008. Page 68.]
      “Right in the midst of the confusion following numerous counterrevolutionary attacks, defamation campaigns, and conspiracies, we are witnessing a fact of uttermost importance for the future of the revolution: the effective elimination of the Executive Council of the Workers’ and Soldiers’ Councils, which is rendered completely powerless and irrelevant.…
      “The workers’ and soldiers’ councils were organs of the revolution, pillars of the new order, executors of the will of the masses in work wear and soldier’s uniforms. An enormous effort lay ahead of them. It was their duty to implement the will of the revolutionary masses and to transform the entire social and political state apparatus in the interest of the proletariat and in the spirit of socialism.”
      [Rosa Luxemburg, “On the Executive Council.” All Power to the Councils!: A Documentary History of the German Revolution of 1918-1919. Gabriel Kuhn, editor and translator. Oakland, California: PM Press. 2012. Pages 96-98.]
      “In the first place, only the nationalization of the large landed estates, as the technically most advanced and most concentrated means and methods of agrarian production, can serve as the point of departure for the socialist mode of production on the land. Of course, it is not necessary to take away from the small peasant his parcel of land, and we can with confidence leave him to be won over voluntarily by the superior advantages first of union in cooperation and then finally of inclusion in the general socialized economy as a whole. Still, every socialist economic reform on the land must obviously begin with large and medium land-ownership. Here the property right must first of all be turned over to the nation, or to the state, which, with a socialist government, amounts to the same thing; for it is this alone which affords the possibility of organizing agricultural production in accord with the requirements of interrelated, large-scale socialist production.…
      “… It is precisely the revolution which creates by its glowing heat that delicate, vibrant, sensitive political atmosphere in which the waves of popular feeling, the pulse of popular life, work for moment on the representative bodies in most wonderful fashion.…
      “… ‘the cumbersome mechanism of democratic institutions’ possesses a powerful corrective – namely, the living movement of the masses, their unending pressure. And the more democratic the institutions, the livelier and stronger the pulse-beat of the political life of the masses, the more direct and complete is their influence – despite rigid party banners, outgrown tickets (electoral lists), etc. To be sure, every democratic institution has its limits and shortcomings, things which it doubtless shares with all other human institutions. But the remedy which [Leon] Trotsky and [Vladimir] Lenin have found, the elimination of democracy as such, is worse than the disease it is supposed to cure; for it stops up the very living source from which alone can come correction of all the innate shortcomings of social institutions. That source is the active, untrammeled, energetic political life of the broadest masses of the people.…
      “… Socialism in life demands a complete spiritual transformation in the masses degraded by centuries of bourgeois rule. Social instincts in place of egotistical ones, mass initiative in place of inertia, idealism which conquers all suffering, etc., etc. No one knows this better, describes it more penetratingly; repeats it more stubbornly than Lenin. But he is completely mistaken in the means he employs. Decree, dictatorial force of the factory overseer, draconian penalties, rule by terror – all these things are but palliatives. The only way to a rebirth is the school of public life itself, the most unlimited, the broadest democracy and public opinion. It is rule by terror which demoralizes.
      “When all this is eliminated, what really remains? In place of the representative bodies created by general, popular elections, Lenin and Trotsky have laid down the soviets as the only true representation of political life in the land as a whole, life in the soviets must also become more and more crippled. Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element. Public life gradually falls asleep, a few dozen party leaders of inexhaustible energy and boundless experience direct and rule. Among them, in reality only a dozen outstanding heads do the leading and an elite of the working class is invited from time to time to meetings where they are to applaud the speeches of the leaders, and to approve proposed resolutions unanimously – at bottom, then, a clique affair – a dictatorship, to be sure, not the dictatorship of the proletariat but only the dictatorship of a handful of politicians, that is a dictatorship in the bourgeois sense, in the sense of the rule of the Jacobins (the postponement of the Soviet Congress from three-month periods to six-month periods!) Yes, we can go even further: such conditions must inevitably cause a brutalization of public life: attempted assassinations, shooting of hostages, etc. (Lenin’s speech on discipline and corruption.)…
      “Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of one party – however numerous they may be – is no freedom at all. Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently. Not because of any fanatical concept of ‘justice’ but because all that is instructive, wholesome and purifying in political freedom depends on this essential characteristic, and its effectiveness vanishes when ‘freedom’ becomes a special privilege.
      “The Bolsheviks themselves will not want, with hand on heart, to deny that, step by step, they have to feel out the ground, try out, experiment, test now one way now another, and that a good many of their measures do not represent priceless pearls of wisdom. Thus it must and will be with all of us when we get to the same point—even if the same difficult circumstances may not prevail everywhere.”
      [Rosa Luxemburg. The Russian Revolution and Leninism or Marxism. Bertram Wolfe, translator. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Ann Arbor Paperback imprint of The University of Michigan Press. 1961. Pages 42-69.]
      “… the Spartacus League demands:
      1. “As immediate measures to protect the Revolution:
        1. “Disarmament of the entire police force and of all officers and nonproletarian soldiers; disarmament of all members of the ruling classes.
        2. “Confiscation of all weapons and munitions stocks as well as armaments factories by workers’ and soldiers’ councils.
        3. “Arming of the entire adult male proletarian population as a workers’ militia. Creation of a Red Guard of proletarians as an active part of the militia for the constant protection of the Revolution against counter-revolutionary attacks and subversions.
        4. “Abolition of the command authority of officers and noncommissioned officers. Replacement of the military cadaver discipline by voluntary discipline of the soldiers. Election of all officers by their units, with right of immediate recall at any time. Abolition of the system of military justice.
        5. “Expulsion of officers and capitulationists from all soldiers’ councils.
        6. “Replacement of all political organs and authorities of the former regime by delegates of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils.
        7. “Establishment of a revolutionary tribunal to try the chief criminals responsible for starting and prolonging the war, the Hohenzollerns, [Erich] Ludendorff, [Paul von] Hindenburg, [Alfred von] Tirpitz, and their accomplices, together with all the conspirators of counter-revolution.
        8. “Immediate confiscation of all foodstuffs to secure the feeding of the people.
      2. “In the political and social realm:
        1. “Abolition of all principalities; establishment of a united German Socialist Republic.
        2. “Elimination of all parliaments and municipal councils, and takeover of their functions by workers’ and soldiers’ councils, and of the latter’s committees and organs.
        3. “Election of workers’ councils in all Germany by the entire adult working population of both sexes, in the city and the countryside, by enterprises, as well as of soldiers’ councils by the troops (officers and capitulationists excluded). The right of workers and soldiers to recall their representatives at any time.
        4. “Election of delegates of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils in the entire country to the central council of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils, which is to elect the executive council as the highest organ of the legislative and executive power.
        5. “Meetings of the central council provisionally at least every three months – with new elections of delegates each time – in order to maintain constant control over the activity of the executive council, and to create an active identification between the masses of workers’ and soldiers’ councils in the nation and the highest governmental organ. Right of immediate recall by the local workers’ and soldiers’ councils and replacement of their representatives in the central council, should these not act in the interests of their constituents. Right of the executive council to appoint and dismiss the people’s commissioners as well as the central national authorites and officials.
        6. “Abolition of all differences of rank, all orders and titles. Complete legal and social equality of the sexes.
        7. “Radical social legislation. Shortening of the labor day to control unemployment and in consideration of the physical exhaustion of the working class by world war. Maximum working day of six hours.
        8. “Immediate basic transformation of the food, housing, health and educational systems in the spirit and meaning of the proletarian revolution.
      3. “Immediate economic demands:
        1. “Confiscation of all dynastic wealth and income for the collectivity.
        2. “Repudiation of the state and other public debt together with all war loans, with the exception of sums of certain level to be determined by the central council of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils.
        3. “Expropriation of the lands and fields of all large and medium agricultural enterprises; formation of socialist agricultural collectives under unified central direction in the entire nation. Small peasant holdings remain in the possession of their occupants until the latters’ voluntary association with the socialist collectives.
        4. “Expropriation by the council Republic of all banks, mines, smelters, together with all large enterprises of industry and commerce.
        5. “Confiscation of all wealth above a level to be determined by the central council.
        6. “Takeover of the entire public transportation system by the councils’ Republic.
        7. “Election of enterprise councils in all enterprises, which, in coordination with the workers’ councils, have the task of ordering the internal affairs of the enterprises, regulating working conditions, controlling production and finally taking over direction of the enterprise.
        8. “Establishment of a central strike commission which, in constant collaboration with the enterprise councils, will furnish the strike movement now beginning throughout the nation with a unified leadership, socialist direction and the strongest support by the political power of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils.”
      [Rosa Luxemburg, “What Does the Spartacus League Want? (December 1918).” Selected Political Writings: Rosa Luxemburg. Martin Nicolaus, translator. Dick Howard, editor. New York and London: Monthly Review Press. 1971. Pages 366-376.]
      “At first view the title of this work may be found surprising. Can the social democracy be against reforms? Can we counterpose the social revolution, the transformation of the existing order, our final goal, to social reforms? Certainly not. The daily struggle for reforms, for the amelioration of the condition of the workers within the framework of the existing social order, and for democratic institutions, offers to the social democracy the only means of engaging in the proletarian class war and working in the direction of the final goal—the conquest of political power and the suppression of wage labor. Between social reforms and revolution there exists for the social democracy an indissoluble tie. The struggle for reforms is its means; the social revolution, its aim.” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Essential Rosa Luxemburg: Reform and Revolution and The Mass Strike. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2008. Page 41.]
      “The theoretical assumption of a society consisting only of capitalists and workers, which is completely justified and suitable for certain purposes of investigation – as in the first volume of Capital during the analysis of individual capital and of its exploitative practices in the factory – seemed to me inexpedient and inconvenient when the accumulation of the total social capital was in question. Since this latter problem represents the real historical process of capitalist development, it cannot in my opinion be understood by disregarding all the conditions of this historical reality. Capital accumulation as an historical process is carried forward from first day to last in a milieu of various precapitalist formations, in a constant political struggle and in unceasing economic interchange with them. How can this process and its internal laws be correctly understood by a bloodless theoretical fiction which declares this milieu, this struggle, and these interchanges nonexistent?” [Rosa Luxemburg, “The Accumulation of Capital, or What The Epigones Have Done to Marxian Theory (Anti-Kritik): Part I.” Tessa De Carlo, Joseph Griffin, and Louise McAllen, translators. The Campaigner. Volume 5, number 1, January–February 1972. Pages 45-67.]
      “The accumulation of capital strides forward and spreads itself out at the cost of the non-capitalist layers and countries, erodes them and supplants them at an ever accelerating pace. The general tendency and final result of the process is the exclusive world rule of capitalist production. This once achieved, the Marxist model then comes into force. Accumulation, i.e., the continued expansion of capital, becomes impossible, capitalism reaches a deadend, it can no longer function as the historical vehicle of the development of productive energy, it reaches its objective economic limit. The contradiction of the Marxist model of accumulation, dialectically understood, is only the living contradiction between the unlimited expansiveness of capital and the limit, which it itself establishes through progressive destruction of all other constituted forms of production – the living contradiction between the powerful forces of production, which in the process of accumulation rouse the whole earth from its slumbers, and the narrow basis which it itself through the laws of accumulation marks off. The Marxist model of accumulation – correctly understood – is just in its insolubility the exactly formulated prognosis of the inexorable economic downfall of capitalism as a result of the process of expansion of imperialism, whose special task it is to realize Marx’s hypothesis: the general undivided rule of capital.” [Rosa Luxemburg, “The Accumulation of Capital, or What The Epigones Have Done to Marxian Theory (Anti-Kritik): Part II.” Tessa De Carlo, Louise McAllen, and Christine Berl, translators. The Campaigner. Volume 5, number 3, May–June 1972. Pages 25-57.]
      “Not until the early [eighteen-]eighties did the spontaneous factory revolts in the Moscow district with their smashing up of machines provide the impetus for the first rudiments of factory legislation in the Czarist Empire.” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Accumulation of Capital. Agnes Schwarzschild, translator. W. Stark, editor. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. 1951. Kindle edition.]
      “The Russian proletariat, … who are destined to play the leading part in the bourgeois revolution, enter the fight free from all illusions of bourgeois democracy, with a strongly developed consciousness of their own specific class interests, and at a time when the antagonism between capital and labour has reached its height. This contradictory situation finds expression in the fact that in this formally bourgeois revolution, the antagonism of bourgeois society to absolutism is governed by the antagonism of the proletariat to bourgeois society, that the struggle of the proletariat to bourgeois society is directed simultaneously and with equal energy against both absolutism and capitalist exploitation, and that the programme of the revolutionary struggle concentrates with equal emphasis on political freedom, the winning of the eight-hour day, and a human standard of material existence for the proletariat. This two-fold character of the Russian Revolution is expressed in that close union of the economic with the political struggle and in their mutual interaction which we have seen is a feature of the Russian events and which finds its appropriate expression in the mass strike.” [Rosa Luxemburg. The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions. Patrick Lavin, translator. Detroit, Michigan: Marxist Educational Society of Detroit. 1925. Ebook edition.]
      “… a day will come when another volcano lifts its voice of thunder: a volcano that is seething and boiling, whether you need it or not, and will sweep the whole sanctimonious, blood-splattered culture from the face of the earth. And only on its ruins will the nations come together in true humanity, which will know but one deadly foe—blind, dead nature.” [Rosa Luxemburg, “Martinique.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 56, issue 08, January 2005. Pages 49-52.]
      “At first view the title of this work may be found surprising. Can the Social Democracy be against reforms? Can we contrapose the social revolution, the transformation of the existing order, our final goal, to social reforms? Certainly not. The daily struggle for reforms, for the amelioration of the condition of the workers within the framework of the existing social order, and for democratic institutions, offers to the Social Democracy the only means of engaging in the proletarian class war and working in the direction of the final goal—the conquest of political power and the suppression of wage-labor. Between social reforms and revolution there exists for the Social-Democracy an indissoluble tie. The struggle for reforms is its means; the social revolution, its aim.” [Rosa Luxemburg. Reform or Revolution and Other Writings. Dover Books on History, Political and Social Science. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 2006. Page 3.]
      “The most important and fruitful changes in its tactical policy during the last ten years have not been the inventions of several leaders and even less so of any central organizational organs. They have always been the spontaneous product of the movement in ferment. This was true during the first stage of the proletarian movement in Russia, which began with the spontaneous general strike of St. Petersburg in 1896, an event that marks the inception of an epoch of economic struggle by the Russian working people. It was no less true during the following period, introduced by the spontaneous street demonstrations of St. Petersburg students in March 1901. The general strike of Rostov-on-Don, in 1903, marking the next great tactical turn in the Russian proletarian movement, was also a spontaneous act. ‘All by itself,’ the strike expanded into political demonstrations, street agitation, great outdoor meetings, which the most optimistic revolutionist would not have dreamed of several years before.” [Rosa Luxemburg. Reform or Revolution and Other Writings. Dover Books on History, Political and Social Science. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 2006. Page 85.]
      “… as to private matters. Of course, you are right, that for some time now we have been leading a separate spiritual life, but this in no way began only in Berlin. We were already spiritually estranged for years in Zurich. The last two years in Z(urich) — it is firmly entrenched in my mind that I felt terribly lonely. But then I wasn’t the one who cut herself off and separated herself from you, it was the other way round. You ask whether I have never asked myself: how do you live, how are you going? I can only smile with bitterness. Oh yes, I asked myself these questions thousands of times, and not only of me, but also of you, loudly and consistently. But always got the reply that I did not understand, that you do not rely upon me, that I can give you nothing, etc. Until I stopped asking and showed in no way that I saw anything or was interested in anything. You write and ask how I could believe that you were interested in somebody else, as no one else could satisfy you or understand you. I used to say that to myself too.” [Rosa Luxemburg, “Rosa Luxemburg: Letters to Jogiehes.” Henry Zimmerman, translator. Australian Left Review. Volume 1, issue 30, May 1971. Pages 31-38.]
      “… [There] is certainly something new in the party founded by Rosa Luxemburg; it is a complete break with the past that the Communists are supposed to act like cheap hustlers and provoke the death of their brothers. I would rather not cite the evidence that this last remark is no exaggeration. This, I repeat, was the new theoretical basis on which the game began.” [Paul Levi, “Our Path: Against Putschism.” Historical Materialism. Volume 17, number 3, 2009. Pages 111-145.]
      “I would never compare myself with Rosa Luxemburg, but what is the difference here? I am told that Rosa Luxemburg had also been against that action [the March Action of 1921], and yet she wrote articles and appeals. You also know … that I too was against the movement at that time, but I also wrote leaflets and articles. And why was this? From the quite different standpoint that it was great masses that were going astray, and not a small conventicle of leaders who were driving the non-straying masses to disaster, and at that time there was a genuine, large-scale, powerful and spontaneous mass-movement, with more workers assembled in the Berlin Tiergarten than the number involved this time in the whole of Germany.” [Paul Levi, “What Is the Crime: The March Action or Criticising It? Speech at the Session of the Central Committee of the German Communist Party on 4 May 1921.” Historical Materialism. Volume 17, number 3, 2009. Pages 146-174.]
      “The Communist Manifesto, the most prophetic work in world literature, does not deal specifically with militarism or adequately with its accessory significance. It does, it is true, speak of the uprising ‘brought about sporadically. by the Proletarian struggle,’ and thus effectively indicates the role played by capitalist militarism vis-à-vis the struggle of the proletariat for freedom. It discusses at greater length the question of international or rather inter-state conflicts, and the capitalist policy of expansion (including colonial policy). The latter is regarded as a necessary consequence of capitalist development. It is predicted that national isolation and national contradictions would tend more and more to disappear even under the domination of the bourgeoisie, and that the domination of the proletariat would reduce them still further. One might almost say that the programme of measures to be taken under the dictatorship of the proletariat contains nothing specifically about militarism. The conquest of political power which is supposed to have already been brought about embraces the ‘conquest,’ that is to say, the overthrow of militarism.” [Karl Liebknecht. Militarism and Anti-Militarism: with special regard to the international Young Socialist Movement. Grahame Lock, translator. Cambridge, England: Rivers Press Limited. 1973. Page 77.]
      “The masses in the warring countries have begun to free themselves from the official webs of lies. The German people as well have gained insight about the causes and objectives of the world war, about who is directly responsible for its outbreak. The mad delusions about the ‘holy aims’ of the war have given way more and more, the enthusiasm for the war has dwindled, the will for a rapid peace has grown powerfully all over – even in the Army!
      “This was a difficult problem for the German and Austrian imperialists, who were seeking in vain for salvation. Now it seems they have found it. Italy’s intervention in the war should offer them a welcome opportunity to stir up new frenzies of national hatred, to smother the will for peace, and to blur the traces of their own guilt. They are betting on the forgetfulness of the German people, betting on their forbearance which has been tested all too often.”
      [Karl Liebknecht, “The Main Enemy Is At Home!: Karl Liebknecht (Leaflet, May 1915).” The Free Communist: For Social Revolution and Free Communism. Issue 6, August 2014. Pages 2-3.]
      “… one could … think of Rosa Luxemburg, that famous political debator of whom even [Vladimir] Lenin spoke so approvingly despite the fact that before her death she became his adversary.” [Batya Weinbaum, “Redefining the Question of Revolution.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 9, number 3, October 1977. Pages 54-78.]
      “LUXEMBURG,   ROSA   1870-1919,   Cosmopolitan, charismatic, and articulate Marxist activist for whom nationalism was a gigantic impediment to peace and progress. She was born in the Russian part of Poland and became a German citizen in 1895 by marrying a German worker. A brilliant, independent-minded revolutionary, she participated in the failed 1905 revolution in Russia. Returning to Germany, she joined Karl Liebknecht to found the Spartacus League. Because of her vocal opposition to the German war effort, she was imprisoned for the duration of World War I. But she reentered German politics as soon as the empire fell in November 1918. Although she was damned in the right-wing press as an agent of Moscow, her ‘Spartacus Program’ differed essentially from [Vladimir] Lenin’s Bolshevik theory in that it advocated a more democratic Communism. She proclaimed that ‘freedom only for the supporters of the government and for members of a single party’ is no freedom at all. Her assertion that ‘freedom is the freedom of those who think differently’ was displayed by dissidents in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) on January 17, 1988, much to the embarrassment of the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), which had always glorified Luxemburg in its propaganda.” [Multiple authors, “Luxemburg, Rosa 1870–1919.” Encyclopedia of Nationalism: Leaders, Movements, and Concepts—Volume 2. Alexander J. Motyl, editor. San Diego, Californa: Academic Press, A Harcourt Science and Technology Company. 2001. Page 307.]
      “As the reform movement within the national leadership of the UMWA [United Mine Workers of America] crumbles, the miners realise they may be banned from conducting future strikes without approval at the national level. But [Barbara] Kopple’s point is that the struggle itself – the Luxemburgian dialectic of spontaneity and organisation we see operating throughout Harlan County U.S.A. – is crucial even when it is defeated.” [Eingestellt von Malte, “The earth a common treasury for all.” Soliloquies of the English Cloister. Blog. January 21st, 2012. Retrieved on September 9th, 2015. Page 3.]
      “Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) continues to polarize the political landscape to this day: to some she is a Bolshevik terrorist, to others she is a left-wing icon. Rosa Luxemburg strove to create a society in which political freedom and equality would not be limited, but rather complemented by the principle of social freedom and equality – a demand which has still not been fulfilled today.
      “Rosa Luxemburg knew what it meant to be disadvantaged and to belong to an often-persecuted minority. This was partly due to an accident of birth and fate. She was Jewish, and although she was not at all religious, this did not protect her from anti-Semitism. But this was also due to her strong will to lead a self-determined life as opposed to abiding by the narrow-minded conventions and moral concepts prevailing at the time.”
      [Rosa Luxemburg: Freedom only for the supporters. Berlin, Germany: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (German, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung). Undated. Page 5.]
      “The Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung is one of the six political foundations in the Federal Republic of Germany associated with political parties. The Foundation’s main task is to provide political education. It is closely connected to the Left Party.
      “Since 1990, the work of the Foundation has been in keeping with its eponym, Rosa Luxemburg, and represents the main current of democratic socialism with an unwavering international focus. The Foundation considers itself committed to a radical perspective of enlightenment and social criticism. It stands within the tradition of the workers’ and women’s movements, as well as anti-fascism and anti-racism.
      “The Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung is a registered non-profit organization, whose most important body is the General Assembly. Its work is supported by the dedication and commitment of a large number of volunteers throughout Germany.
      “With its work, the Foundation promotes a critical analysis of society and fosters networks of emancipatory, political, social and cultural initiatives. It is active internationally in development cooperation and advocates an equal dialogue between the North and the South. At the same time, with the help of the Archive of Democratic Socialism, it documents important events and the results of left-wing politics. Within the framework of its Scholarship Department, the Foundation also provides grants to young academics.”
      [Stefan Thimmel. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. Berlin, Germany: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. 2013. Page 13.]
      “Relations between the Bolsheviks, the Communist International (Comintern) and the national communist parties from 1919 onwards have always been the subject of controversy. In Germany, for example, there has long been a dispute over the existence of a kind of early ‘Luxemburgism’ or ‘democratic communism,’ the collapse of which was followed after 1924 by the forced ‘Stalinization’ postulated by Hermann Weber. Alternatively, should one speak of an early ‘Bolshevization,’ which had started in 1920–21 to take away the freedom of manoeuvre possessed initially by independent forces within each national party? This was how many contemporaries perceived the situation, and Richard Löwenthal gave solid evidential backing to this view in 1960.…
      “In Germany, the legacy of an early ‘Luxemburgist’ or, indeed, ‘democratic’ communism was liquidated along with Paul Levi.”
      [Andreas Wirsching, “The Impact of ‘Bolshevization’ and ‘Stalinization’ on French and German Communism: A Comparative View.” Bolshevism, Stalinism and the Comintern: Perspectives on Stalinization, 1917–53. Norman LaPorte, Kevin Morgan, and Matthew Worley, editors. New York: Palgrave Macmillan imprint of St. Martin’s Press, LLC. 2008. Pages 89-104.]
      “… Bolshevism and Stalinism were seen as foreign bodies in the movement, preventing the autonomous development of any kind of local, regional or national left socialism or communism. For example, Hermann Weber, in his well-known and influential thesis about the stalinisation of the KPD [German, Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, ‘Germany’s Communist Party’], insistently points to the supposed existence of a ‘democratic’ communism of a Luxemburgist type, which he claims was dominant in the early years of the party. Only after 1924, he says, was this promising and locally autonomous tendency of German communism destroyed by Stalinisation.” [Andreas Wirsching, “Comparing local communisms.” Twentieth Century Communism: A Journal of International History. Issue 5, 2013. Pages 21-40.]
      “The literature on [Rosa] Luxemburg is voluminous, and much of it rather uncritical. For a particularly misplaced example, see Hermann Weber’s effort to distinguish among bureaucratic-dictatorial, revolutionary, and democratic communism. He places Luxemburg only in the latter camp, thereby ignoring her pronounced revolutionary commitments, and fails to provide any critical appraisal of her views ….” [Eric D. Weitz, “Politics Unhinged: The Formation of the Communist Party of Germany and the Collapse of the German Democratic Republic.” Report number 806-31. National Council for Soviet and East European Research. April 12th, 1993. Pages 1-149.]
      “Unlike so many of the leaders of the workers’ movement, especially the Bolsheviks, and particularly [Vladimir] Lenin, Rosa [Luxemburg] did not restrict her life to political activity. She was a complete being, open to all things, to whom nothing human was strange. Her political action was only the expression of her generous nature. From the disagreement between her and the Bolsheviks over the attitude of the militant in regard to revolutionary action came the great political disputes which surge among us, disputes which, no doubt, time would only have deepened had Rosa lived
      “It is by grace of Rosa’s profoundly human character that her correspondence will always retain a current interest whatever the course of history. We are, these days, in a situation very much worse, morally speaking, than that of the militants of the war years. Rosa believed firmly, in spite of the failure of social democracy, that the war would end by putting into motion the proletariat of Germany and lead to a socialist revolution. This hope has not been confirmed. The embryo of the proletarian revolution which was produced in 1918 rapidly suffocated in blood and dragged with it in its ruin the life of Rosa Luxemburg and of [Karl] Liebknecht. Since then, all the hopes which had been able to make militants have been dashed. We can no longer have blind confidence, like Rosa, in the spontaneity of the working class; their organizations have fallen apart.”
      [Simone Weil quoted in Andrea Nye. Philosophia: The Thought of Rosa Luxemburg, Simone Weil, and Hannah Arendt. New York and London: Routledge. 1994. Page 2.]
      “[Rosa] Luxemburg’s universalist stance of Enlightened Marxism, however, implies a valuable criticism of ‘Third World’ or populist socialism.…
      “… it is an undeniable fact that Luxemburg stood firmly in the tradition of Marxist internationalism. Her idea of territorial autonomy presupposed the international socialist community.…
      “The important thing for Luxemburg was not to stick to [Karl] Marx’s old views on Polish independence, but rather to apply the dialectical materialist method to changed conditions.…
      “In short, Luxemburg sought the path of national liberation not in the right of national self-determination but in the conquest of socialism itself.… She was convinced that social emancipation would drive out all kinds of human oppression, including both national and sexual.”
      [Jie-Hyun Lim, “Rosa Luxemburg on the Dialectics of Proletarian Internationalism and Social Patriotism.” Science & Society. Volume 59, number 4 winter 1995/1996. Pages 498-530.]
      “… no, [Rosa] Luxemburg was not what we’d call a ‘libertarian socialist.’ She was certainly a part of the broader left-communist/left-Marxist movements of her day (which often included libertarian socialists) but she herself was not a libertarian socialist.
      “Particularly, she advocated the use of a state-apparatus organized via democratic workers councils. In most ways, she was really a less authoritarian Marxist-Leninist. While Leninists were advocating for a Vanguard Party made up of Marxist intellectuals to organize the working class, Rosa claimed that workers themselves had to be their own Vanguard Party. In fact, I think her political affiliations are best summed up in her pamphlet ‘The Russian Revolution’ where she shows her overall support for the Russian Revolution while simultaneously criticizing its authoritarian aspects.
      “That being said, nearly every socialist ideology wants to claim Rosa for themselves.”
      [comix_corp (user name), “Was Rosa Luxemburg a libertarian socialist?” reddit inc. August 23rd, 2013. Retrieved on June 16th, 2016.]
      “… [Rosa] Luxemburg’s conviction [was] that no group of revolutionaries, however forward thinking, simply ‘makes’ a revolution from scratch. We make our own history, but not just as we please. That was [Karl] Marx’s view, and Luxemburg’s as well.” [Scott Tucker, “Rosa Luxemburg and the Libertarian Left.” Truthdig: A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion. Jan 14th, 2011. Retrieved on June 19th, 2016.]
      “Rosa Luxemburg’s very entrance, May 1898, into the German arena, center of the Second International, shook up the largest and most prestigious of world Marxist organizations—the German Social-Democratic Party (SPD). From the start, she became the subject of contention—contention that has not abated to this day.” [Raya Dunayevskaya. Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Liberation, and Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution. Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Humanities Press, Inc. 1982. Page 1.]
      “I examine how [Hannah] Arendt, in the company of Frantz Fanon and Rosa Luxemburg, illuminates nationalism as an especially explosive form of ‘identity politics.’ …
      “… Not mutual recognition on the part of autonomous peoples, each fortified inside its own territorial nation-state, but a community’s composition of itself as an ethnoculturally multiple political identity is for Luxemburg the only democratic path that modern polities can take.…
      “As appealing as Luxemburg’s formula of a unity of political identity and ethnic difference may be, it is easy to suspect it of hinging on the substitution of a dream of ethnic harmony for the reality of ethnic conflict. It is also easy to suspect it of hinging on a presumption that ethnic differences in the long run will not be very great. Certainly the spread of bourgeois political liberties and the eventual triumph of social democracy which Luxemburg views as the road to inter-ethnic peace and understanding, she also portrays as part and parcel of the general shift in the world from traditional cultural particularities to the universal characteristics of modern social life. Then, too, from the perspective of minority peoples, any attempt to extend the ties of solidarity to cover the entire human race is likely to appear as a threatening move by a large and morally arrogant but still particular people dressed up in universal-culture disguise.”
      [Joan Cocks, “On Commonality, Nationalism, and Violence: Hannah Arendt, Rosa Luxemburg, and Frantz Fanon.” Women in German Yearbook. Volume 12, 1996. Pages 39-51.]
      “… [Rosa] Luxemburg’s much-ridiculed faith in the vigor of the proletariat is the presupposition of a theory that does not relegate the individual’s right to autonomy to a distant future, but rather brings it as a requirement into the present: in the social struggle for the redistribution of goods and in the conflict over political rights, identity-constituting self-awareness can and must be achieved through one’s own actions as an individual and as part of the collective.” [Sidonia Blättler, Irene M. Marti, and Senem Saner, “Rosa Luxemburg and Hannah Arendt: Against the Destruction of Political Spheres of Freedom.” Hypatia. Volume 20, number 2, spring 2005. Pages 88-101.]
      “Perhaps what’s attractive about Rosa Luxemburg is the fact that she was a bit confused, that she didn’t produce ‘a coherent set of theories or principles,’ that there isn’t ‘a cogent body of organization and theory’; in fact, she’s a bit like the rest of us. She tried to think, to understand, to act, not only in opposition to capitalism, but also to what she thought she saw as the problems with [Vladimir] Lenin’s ideas and Bolshevik practice; in fact, a bit like the rest of us.…
      “It’s because Luxemburg doesn’t already have all the answers, that she leaves room for the coming generations to think, to criticise, to disagree, that she’s at least as important as Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky for us in trying to understand the events of the early part of the 20ᵗʰ century.
      “I’m not a Leninist, Bolshevik or Trotskyist (anymore!), at least in part because of ‘Red Rosa.’ I’m as confused as she was, and I don’t already have the answers. I prefer people (and organisations) that way.
      “I want to discuss, not to be told. The ‘answer’ is in the future. It doesn’t yet exist, and maybe it never will. It certainly isn’t the property of any party.…
      “… [Rosa] Luxemburg’s The Mass Strike [can be] useful, not as a prescription, but as a description of spontaneity.”
      [Sewer Socialist, “What would it take?” Revleft: Home of the Revolutionary Left. Forum. November 10th, 2016. Retrieved on December 21st, 2016.]
      “Rosa Luxemburg was the forerunner, yes the actual founder of Democratic Communism.… The altercations between dictatorial-bureaucratic Communism and Democratic Communism are an essential attribute of the history of Communism.” [Hermann Weber in Theresa M. Ganter. Searching for a New German Identity: Heiner Müller and the Geschichtsdrama. Oxford, England: Peter Lang. 2008. Page 262.]
      “… she [Luxemburg] was pretty definite about the mass strike, the national question, the economic crisis and the decline of capitalism to name a few. But she was certainly ready to put things into question: Marx on the problem of reproduction, the Bolshevik policy of Red Terror, and so on. And there were areas where she was inconsistent or contradictory, but it’s hard to look back and find any revolutionaries who don’t fall into that category. This includes us of course, even though we don’t know it yet.”
      [Various authors, “Luxemburgism.” libcom.org. December, 2010. Retrieved on July 11th, 2016.]
      “Luxemburgism is against the formation/use of a vanguard party to lead the revolution and instead it relegates the role of the party to one of agitation and propaganda. They believe that the party is composed of the most class conscious members of the proletariat, but it is not the job of the party to direct the revolution or to dictate to the masses. It would be more proper to think of the party that represents a Luxemburgist tendency as more of a political club rather than a political party, since this club would run no political candidates. Unlike other strains of Left Communism such as Council Communism, a Luxemburgist would not oppose voting in elections on principle since policies could be passed that increase the rights of workers under the current capitalist system. It also does not completely place its hope in proletarian spontaneity (council communism) as the only way of having a successful revolution but a combination of spontaneity and the party form. It stands in opposition to all revisionist tendencies as well as with more well known currents such as Leninism. Luxemburgists, and Left Communists in general, take seriously The First International’s and [Karl] Marx’s view of the proletarian revolution and the role of the party.…
      “I think it’s worth pointing out that neither modern Leninists or Luxemburgists are simply taking their namesakes as dogma and can/do differ from them in many ways.”
      [Different authors, “Communism 101: What is Luxemburgism and how does it differ from other tendencies?Reddit. 2013. Retrieved on July 12th, 2016.]
      “What exactly is the difference between Trotskyist revolutionary theory and Luxemburgist revolutionary theory? …
      “The Bolsheviks think that the proletariat is incapable for itself of realizing the revolution. That’s why it would need the party, which it must direct to the proletariat. The Luxemburgists … think that the proletariat is perfectly capable as [a] class of doing the revolution. The parties are organizations of the class, but they are not essential.”
      [Different authors, “Luxemburgism vs. Trotskyism.” International Luxemburgist Forum. June, 2008. Retrieved on July 13th, 2016.]
      “In 1910, a split took place among the ‘orthodox’ Marxists in the SPD [Social Democratic Party of Germany], between a centre wing led by Karl Kautsky, and a left wing that gradually grouped around Rosa Luxemburg. The reason for the split was the debate over the mass strike, a form of direct action that was growingly rejected by the Kautskyists in favour of parliamentary struggle. Although the issue of imperialism was not the original reason for the polemic, in the framework of this debate Kautsky began to argue that imperialism was not the result of an economic need inherent to capitalism at certain stage of its development, but a contingent policy adopted by the bourgeoisie in a certain historical context marked by colonial rivalries (a policy that was, thus, reversible).…
      “In her book The Accumulation of Capital, Rosa Luxemburg asks herself, regarding [Karl] Marx’s schemes of expanded reproduction: where does the increase in demand required to absorb the goods in which the accumulated part of surplus value is embodied come from? Her central argument is based on a revision of Marx’s accumulation schemes.… The conclusion Luxemburg draws from her analysis is that ‘the immediate and vital conditions for capital and its accumulation is the existence of non-capitalist buyers of the surplus value,’ because that part of the surplus value which is earmarked for capitalisation must be realised outside the capitalist market ….”
      [Daniel Gaido and Manuel Quiroga, “The early reception of Rosa Luxemburg’s theory of imperialism.” Capital & Class. Volue 37, number 3, October 2013. Pages 437-455.]
      “I have … described the evolution of what one might call Marxism-Luxemburgism ….
      “… Polish socialist Rosa Luxemburg, despite her celebrated differences with [Vladimir] Lenin about the desirable structure of a revolutionary political party, came to a conclusion virtually identical to his about the self-organization and self-activity of the labor movement. Experience shows, Luxemburg wrote (very much as Edward Thompson was to write a half century later) that ‘every time the labor movement wins new terrain, [the directing centralized organs] work it to the utmost. They transform it at the same time into a kind of bastion, which holds up advance on a wider scale’ ….
      “For Luxemburg, just as for Lenin, the dilemma was this: On the one hand, the self-activity of workers is the indispensable force propelling a transition to socialism, and it is folly to look to any other social group for that purpose. On the other hand, the trade union form of organization that workers over and over again create will predictably become a business and a bastion against change.
      “Thus the clash of thesis and antithesis. And from the same tumultuous event, the Russian Revolution of 1905, Luxemburg and Lenin derived essentially the same synthesis. Just as Marx had said, the working class would emancipate itself. But at moments of social crisis, workingclass self-activity would take on new organizational forms, outside the trade union movement. The locus classicus for this argument, and for me the most significant Marxist work of the twentieth century, is Rosa Luxemburg’s assessment of the 1905 Revolution, The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions. I shan’t attempt to summarize it here. Read it.”
      [Staughton Lynd, “Local unions, ‘primitive democracy,’ and workers’ self-activity.” Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society. Volume 4, issue 4, March 2001. Pages 49-58.]
      “… for all of her [Rosa Luxemburg’s] democratic sensibilities—and despite the immense and largely uncritical following she has won—Luxemburg’s conception of democratic politics is immensely problematic, reflecting the insufficiences of both the Marxian socialist tradition and her own particular contribution to it. Most seriously, politics for Luxemburg always aimed auf das Ganze [at the whole], a totalizing position fully in keeping with the Marxian tradition, but raised to new heights by her unswerving celebration of mass activism. As a result, she devoted precious little attention to the institutional grounding of a democratic-socialist polity. Instead, she continually promoted mass activism in demonstrations and strikes both as a tactic for accomplishing the tradition from capitalism to socialism and as the substance of democracy. Unwilling to countenance compromise even with other socialists, she infused her politics with the language of unwavering hostility to the institutions of bourgeois society, of militant and irreconcilable conflict between the forces of revolution and reaction, of hard-fought class struggle and proletarian revolution as the sole and exclusive means of political progress.…
      “But like all ideological traditions, Luxemburg’s offered a multitude of possibilities.… Luxemburg contra Luxemburg, a fitting enactment of the ambiguities intrinsic to her language and ideas.”
      [Eric D. Weitz, “‘Rosa Luxemburg Belongs to Us!’: German Communism and the Luxemburg Legacy.” Central European History. Volume 27, number 1, 1994. Pages 27-64.]
      “Apparently the election of 110 Social Democratic deputies has altered nothing. The Government and the majority of the Reichstag are just as reactionary as before, social reform lags as it formerly did, and the rivalry in armaments goes merrily forward. But those who expected that the elections could and would make any change in these respects were pinning their faith to unrealizable illusions. No bourgeois majority, no matter what its composition may be, will ever conduct an energetic struggle against the Government in behalf of a genuine parliamentary regime, against militarism and the increase of the naval forces, and for radical social reforms. Such a struggle can to-day be expected of a Social Democratic majority only. And it was obvious in advance that the majority of 1912 would not be Social Democratic.
      “The advantage for which we are fighting in an electoral is, above all, a moral one. Our most important duty does not consist merely in enlightening and organizing the proletariat, but also in inspiring it with the consciousness of its own power. If there are still many workers who assume a hesitating, apathetic, or even hostile attitude toward Socialism, this is not because they disapprove of our aim, but because they doubt our power to realize it. To prove that we are a mighty force becomes even more important than to prove that we are in the right. We succeeded in doing this most brilliantly in the last Reichstag elections. Over 4,250.000 votes and 110 seats in the Reichstag; a third of all the votes cast, and more than a fourth of all the Reichstag seats, Social Democratic—that speaks so clearly and plainly for itself that even the most apathetic understands it and even the most timid is encouraged. It plainly means that the German Social Democracy has ceased to be a mere propaganda party, that it has entered upon the practical struggle for power.”
      [Karl Kautsky in The Socialism of To-day: A Source-Book of the Present Position and Recent Development of the Socialist and Labor Parties in All Countries, Consisting Mainly of Original Documents. William English Walling et al., editors. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1916. Pages 43-44.]
      “… for years the Soviet authorities denounced her [Rosa Luxemburg] for having criticised the Leninist approach to power, ‘Luxemburgism’ becoming a term used to describe those who showed an heretical tendency to think they knew better than the Party. As the intellectual authority of Soviet communism dwindled among Western Marxists, such character assassination later rebounded to her favour. But still, this tended to lead to a celebration of her character rather than a rediscovery of her theory of capitalist breakdown.…
      “To treat [Rosa] Luxemburg the woman with the proper respect ought to mean engaging seriously with Luxemburg the thinker – this is only what she would have demanded, after all. But at last there are signs today that her ideas are ripe for rediscovery. There is something about the times we live in that makes a widely-understood rediscovery of her thought both possible and necessary.”
      [Bill Blackwater, “Rediscovering Rosa Luxemburg.” Renewal. Volume 23, number 3, 2015. Pages 71-85.]
      “I choose here to return once more to Rosa Luxemburg because she is an exemplary figure in the present context. The democratic cast of her ideas is well-known. Her work not only predates the Stalinist descent, it is also free of the anti-democratic distortions or ‘substitutionist’ ambiguities or compromises, as they are variously regarded, of [Vladimir] Lenin and his followers. Together with the democratic resources of her thought, any shortcomings in it may therefore help to illuminate the contours of a Marxism not yet dominated by the Bolshevik experience and its sequel.” [Norman Geras, “Democracy and the Ends of Marxism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 203, January–Feruary 1994. Pages 92-106.]
      “… there is a problem about simply attaching the spontaneist label to Luxemburg, and hence the qualifications and contradictions which arise whenever she is used, negatively and polemically, as the convenient bearer of it. This use of her is problematic because, on reading her work, one is confronted at every turn with concepts and arguments which radically separate her Marxism from that determinist science of iron economic laws which is the usual foundation of fatalism and spontaneism.” [Norman Geras, “Rosa Luxemburg: Barbarism and the Collapse of Capitalism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 82, November–December 1973. Pages 17-37.]
      “By the outbreak of war [World War I], the relationship [between Rosa Luxemburg and Paul Levi] seems to have mellowed into a sympathetic friendship; but Paul would have had, as Rosa’s lover, a privileged access to her mind. In this woman half a generation older, Paul found the word of Marxism made flesh, and, though this unique apprenticeship was apparently unknown even to her closest circle, Levi’s close intellectual relationship to his mentor was certainly recognized, and played no small part in his qualification for the KPD [German, Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, ‘Germany’s Communist Party’], leadership.” [David Fernbach, “Rosa Luxemburg’s Political Heir: An Appreciation of Paul Levi.” New Left Review. Series I, number 238, November–December 1999.]
      “The reformist bureaucrats dominated the official practice of the parties and unions in most of Europe before the First World War. However, each wave of mass strikes brought the conflicts between these officials and the more radical and militant ranks of their organizations into the open, precipitating the classic debates on socialist strategy in the prewar era. The struggles of the 1890s, and the subsequent consolidation of industrial unions and of socialist parties across Europe in a period of capitalist prosperity, produced the ‘revisionism’ debate of 1899-1900. Eduard Bernstein challenged predictions of capitalist stagnation and decline, giving a theoretical gloss to the union and party officials’ day-to-day practice and bolstering those social democrats who supported the French socialist [Alexandre] Millerand’s entering a capitalist dominated government as minister of commerce and labour. Arrayed against Bernstein and his allies were the most prominent theorists of German social democracy, Karl Kautsky and Rosa Luxemburg. Kautsky, prophetically, argued that ‘Millerandism’ would lead socialists to take responsibility for pro-capitalist policies – policies that involved attacks on workers’ wages, hours, working conditions and political rights. Luxemburg argued that the inherent instability of capitalist accumulation made mass struggles necessary to win and defend all temporary gains for workers under capitalism.” [Charles Post, “What Is Left of Leninism? New European Left Parties in Historical Perspective.” Socialist Register. Volume 49, 2013. Pages 174-197.]
      “… [Rosa] Luxemburg never insisted on expelling the right wing, nor did she (at least before 1914) try to organize her own left faction as a counterweight to the reformists inside the SPD [German Social Democratic Party] until after the outbreak of World War I. While there were important local groupings of the left wing, there was no identifiable, coherent national left-wing faction in the party. Luxemburg fully accepted that the party should encompass all political tendencies in the working-class movement. In a 1906 party debate, for example, she attacked the right wing for wanting to expel anarcho-syndicalists from the party by saying: ‘At least remain faithful to our old principle: nobody is evicted from the party for his views. Since we have never kicked out anyone on the far right, we do not now have the right to evict the far left.’” [Paul D’Amato, “Marx, Lenin, and Luxemburg: Party, organization, and revolution.” Internationalist Socialist Review. Issue 92, spring 2014. Online publication. No pagination.]
      “I discovered Rosa Luxemburg—along with Leon Trotsky—at a young age. In high school, actually, when I should have been doing something more immediately useful, like studying a foreign language or learning how to juggle.
      “I think I came to those Marxists first, before any others, because they seemed untainted by the crimes of Stalinism yet still offering uncompromisingly radical perspectives.
      “What distinguished Luxemburg in my mind was how much of a typical Third International Marxist she was.…
      “It was Luxemburg who reminded her peers that ‘the mistakes that are made by a truly revolutionary workers’ movement are, historically speaking, immeasurably more fruitful and more valuable than the infallibility of the best possible “Central Committee.”’ And it was Luxemburg who stood for the ‘bourgeois’ freedoms—freedom of speech, assembly, and expression—that would have been so valuable to life in the Soviet Union.”
      [Bhaskar Sunkara, “An Unoriginal Plan to Save the Planet.” Rosa Remix. Stefanie Ehmsen and Albert Scharenberg, editors. New York: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. August, 2016. Pages 66-69.]
      “The aim is to publicise and share articles, reviews and resources relating to [Rosa] Luxemburg’s life, ideas and legacy. The hope is to build a base for researchers (or anyone) interested in Rosa Luxemburg—and to help spread information about her as it becomes available.” [Rory Castle, “About the Blog.” Rosa Luxemburg Blog. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
      “Luxemburgism never was attempted in the real world, and its ideas were later shadowed by the battle between ‘Stalinism’ and ‘Trotskyism.’ However, most ‘Trotskyist’ organizations at least give credit to the ideas of Rosa Luxemburg. These organizations include Solidarity and Socialist Action.” [Editor, “Luxemburgism.” Socialism Wiki. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
      “… Rosa Luxemburg was the product of her times—the optimistic pre-war world of peace and progress. Her personality as much as her political ideas made her the champion of active revolution. Imperialism, with all its overtones of violence and inescapable confrontation of classes, was the hand-maiden of her obsession with the self-satisfaction and immobility of German Social Democracy. War was objectively inevitable but subjectively beyond imagination—and no one, except perhaps [Vladimir] Lenin, was more surprised than she when one day it broke out and engulfed pre-war Social Democracy. For her, peace and progress were not the usual bourgeois notions of economic development and a growing liberalism, but a Socialism strong enough to withstand the impact of international war and reassert the fundamental necessity of class conflict against it. Thus before 1914 wars no longer bad their primeval overriding power of pre-eruption; their impact was now limited by the requirements of the class struggle. All this of course proved an illusion, in 1914 as in 1939; and when the illusion was exposed the basis of her world collapsed. Unlike [Karl] Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg was acute and revolutionary enough to realize that the collapse was final. She drew the consequences. But she herself had been too much part of this world. She survived the political collapse of Social Democracy, but the revolutionary requirements of the future, the kind of personality that built the modern Soviet Union, that created twelve years of the thousand-year Third Reich, even the socially inclined conservatives of England, [Francisco] Franco, and America—these were alien monsters to Rosa Luxemburg. Her brilliant and devoted efforts during the German revolution were still no more than an attempt to deal with the problems of a new world by using the best tools and precepts of the old. In the last resort the relevance of her ideas to the world of today must mean a return to the basically optimistic enthusiasms of the Second International.” [J. P. Nettl. Rosa Luxemburg I. London and New York: Oxford University Press. 1966. Pages 39-40.]
      “Capitalism is ruled by two iron dictums—maximize profit and reduce labor costs. And as capitalism advances and consolidates power in a world where resources are becoming scarce and mechanization is becoming more sophisticated, the human and environmental cost of profit mounts.
      “‘The exploitation of the working class as an economic process cannot be abolished or softened through legislation in the framework of bourgeois society,’ [Rosa] Luxemburg wrote. Social reform, she said, ‘does not constitute an invasion into capitalist exploitation, but a regulating, an ordering of this exploitation in the interest of capitalist society itself.’
      “Capitalism is an enemy of democracy. It denies workers the right to control means of production or determine how the profits from their labor will be spent. American workers—both left and right—do not support trade agreements. They do not support the federal bailouts of big banks and financial firms. They do not embrace astronomical salaries for CEOs [chief executive officers] or wage stagnation. But workers do not count. And the more working men and women struggle to be heard, the harsher and more violent the forms of control employed by the corporate state will become.
      “Luxemburg also understood something that eluded Vladimir Lenin. Nationalism—which Luxemburg called ‘empty petty-bourgeois phraseology and humbug’—is a disease. It disconnects the working class in one country from another—one of the primary objectives of the capitalist class.”
      [Chris Hedges, “Reform or Revolution.” Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines. May 22nd, 2016. Online publication. No pagination.]
      “Rosa Luxemburg, the originator of the theory of capitalist economic catastrophe, … neglected entropy and scarcity. She was more interested in explaining the collapse of capitalism as the result of its immanent logic. Particularly, she asserted that regional markets exhaust profit opportunities. The dearth of investment opportunities then forces capitalists to expand globally to generate demand for products and ‘realize’ their surplus. It is a theory of imperialism. But when the market conquers the globe, economic development will reach a sudden crisis, a discontinuity, and the laws of economic expansion will break down.” [Anastasios Papathanasis, “Entropy, Foster’s Treadmill and Luxenburg’s Catastrophe: A Synthesis.” Journal of Political and Military Sociology. Volume 25, number 1, summer 1997. Pages 77-89.]
      “[Rosa] Luxemburg examines the reproduction process in the face of technological change which [Karl] Marx himself analyzed, in the sense of an increasing organic composition of capital. She examines the reproduction process in face of pre-capitalist economies, thought of as colonial economies or economies towards which the capitalist system expanded at a world level. She analyzes still the fundamental role of economies external to capital’s pure movement, such as military and State intervention expenditures, which also become explanatory elements of the real movement of capitalist reproduction and accumulation. Rosa Luxemburg compels us to think capitalism as a world system in order to reach a right conception of its evolution and its theoretical movement.” [Theotônio dos Santos, “World Economic System: On the Genesis of a Concept.” Journal for World-Systems Research. Volume 1, number 2, summer/fall 2000. Pages 456-477.]
      “[Paul] Levi was better placed than any of his colleagues to seek a synthesis between the specific revolutionary tradition of the German workers’ movement and the successful example of Bolshevism. He had been a close disciple of Rosa Luxemburg since shortly before the War, but, after extricating himself from the army in 1916, he made [Vladimir] Lenin’s acquaintance in Switzerland, endorsed Lenin’s return through Germany to Russia on behalf of the German radicals, and subsequently moved to Berlin ….
      “At the high tide of the revolutionary movement in Germany, a synthesis of ‘Luxemburgist’ and ‘Leninist’ traditions seemed possible, despite the past tactical differences between their two protagonists. Levi and his Spartakist friends accepted the need for a Communist party that grouped the revolutionary vanguard of the working class, excluding reformists and centrists, and could practise a disciplined tactic through to the seizure of power.”
      [David Fernbach, “Editorial Introduction to Paul Levi, Our Path and What Is the Crime?Historical Materialism. Volume 17, number 3, 2009. Pages 101-110.]
      “As a modernizing strategy, socialism fails in an international economy dominated by capitalist commodity relations. As war communism, it can be employed as a temporary expedient during civil war, but in the long term the new movements demand that it be articulated with their own democratic goals. This is by no means identical with the European doctrine of social democracy formulated as the alternative to both liberal and state capitalism at the turn of the century. Social democracy became, against the will of its left wing, a second modernizing strategy. In effect, it argued that state planning, the welfare state, and parliamentary democracy plus the limited nationalization of essential industries constituted a viable program for modernization. As we know retrospectively, its successes presupposed the subordination of the colonial world and the abatement of imperialist rivalries. Luxemburgism, which never won the support of a significant section of the workers’ movement after 1912, assumed modernity and proposed what might be called generalized democracy in an unarticulated form.” [Stanley Aronowitz, “Postmodernism and Politics.” Social Text. Number 21, 1989. Pages 46-62.]
      “For a long time Rosa Luxemburg’s name was associated with a rigid economic determinism, combined with an optimistic belief in the automatic breakdown of capitalism, which left virtually no place for the ‘subjective factor’ in history. Such a view is deeply mistaken, although some arguments in its favour can easily be found.
      “Luxemburg’s theory of the workers’ movement cannot be accused of underestimating the role of the ‘subjective factor’; on the contrary, it could rather be held to assign to it decisive importance in the final struggle.… The belief in an omniscient and omnipotent revolutionary vanguard, let alone the cult of individual revolutionary leaders was in her eyes a relic of populist ‘subjectivism,’ a product of Russia’s backwardness and authoritarian mentality. She opposed such ‘subjectivism’ without, however, making concessions to the ‘objectivist’ interpretation of Marxism or minimizing the role of the human will and consciousness in history. Against the Leninist view of ‘his majesty the central committee’ as ‘the all-powerful director of history’ she set her theory of the ‘subjective factor’ conceived as ‘the collective ego of the working class,’ as the will and consciousness of the masses. She frankly admitted that even the errors made by an authentic mass movement ‘are historically infinitely more fruitful and more valuable than the infallibility of the best of all possible “central committees.”’ She made it clear that the role of party leaders must decline in direct proportion to the advances of the masses.”
      [A. Walicki, “Rosa Luxemburg and the Question of Nationalism in Polish Marxism (1893-1914).” The Slavonic and East European Review. Volume 61, number 4, October 1983. Pages 565-582.]
      “Rosa [Luxemburg] argues that socialist democratic centralism, which is the rule of the majority within its own party, can only exist if two criteria are fulfilled.
      “Firstly there exists a layer of highly politicised workers, this she calls the vanguard.
      “Secondly, there is the possibility of creating politicised workers through campaigning. This condition can only be satisfied where political liberty exists. It is only under these conditions that you can have ‘social democratic centralism.’”
      [Aileen O’Carroll, “Rosa Luxemburg on socialism and the importance of the objective conditions.” Talk delivered to Workers Solidarity Movement. Dublin, Ireland, branch. September 1994. Web. Retrieved on February 1st, 2017.]
      “[Rosa] Luxemburg … pointed out that the capitalist system required linkages with pre-capitalist socio-economic organizations for its expansion, and assumed that its survival depended on such expansion; she thus viewed linkages with the pre-capitalist economies as integral for the functioning of the capitalist system. Luxemburg identified three such linkages: members of pre-capitalist social organizations were consumers of capitalist products, providers of raw materials for capitalist industry, and reservoirs of labor. It was especially in the colonies, Luxemburg … held, that ‘capitalist production cannot manage without labour power from other social organizations.’ Her argument could be extended to say that, in terms of labor, the capitalist system requires an on-going process of primitive accumulation (in [Karl] Marx’s sense) for its expansion and survival, and that this primitive accumulation partially rests on the mobilization of the reserve army of labor wherever it is found in the world.” [Tamar Diana Wilson, “Primitive Accumulation and the Labor Subsidies to Capitalism.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 44, number 2, October 2011. Pages 201-212.]
      “Faced with the expanding reach of privatized forms of culture, we have discovered that, in fact, we never had a common; we had only an ungoverned open access resource. From the last few decades of the nineteenth century to the present, both meaning and attention have been the objects of primitive accumulation on a stunning scale. The components of culture and of social communication have become commodities rather than common-pool resources. Once help meets facilitating the circuits of capital flowing through consumer goods manufacturing, private property forms of access to eyes and mindshare have taken on a life of their own. In our era of informationalized capitalism, the mining of our attention and the privatization of meanings have widened in scope. Intangible assets – including brands, patents, and intellectual property rights – made up less than a third of total nonfinancial corporation assets in 1980, but that share rose to nearly half in 2000 …. Rosa Luxemburg’s argument that primitive accumulation is never finished is vividly illustrated once again.” [Zoe Sherman, “Primitive Accumulation in the Cultural Commons.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 48, number 1, June 2015. Pages 176-188.]
      “Rosa Luxemburg was both shaped by, and, to an unusual degree, shaped, the historical conditions of her day. The turn of the twentieth century was a period of rapid transformation and political upheaval, as capitalism expanded across the globe. World socialist revolution was, as Georg Lukács put it, an ‘actuality,’ and Luxemburg participated in two revolutions in her short life. Had she lived, it is a distinct possibility that the fate of the German revolution, and thus of the world, would have been different. This is not to reiterate a version of the ‘great man’ theory of history, but rather to acknowledge that individuals can and do play pivotal roles within particular social contexts. Within the confluence of events in 1918 Luxemburg and her comrade Karl Liebknecht were valuable leaders with the potential to provide decisive guidance to the revolutionary movement. Instead, they were murdered, and therefore taken out of the equation.” [Helen Scott, “Rosa Luxemburg’s Reform or Revolution in the Twenty-first Century.” Socialist Studies / Études socialistes. Volume 6, number 2, fall 2010. Pages 118-140.]
      “Recently, Rosa Luxemburg’s thought has become especially relevant. For instance, the current economic crisis may be explained through the Luxemburgian thesis. According to Luxemburg, stock market or housing bubbles are a consequence of the fact that capitalism is not aimed at satisfying needs. Rather, its only aim is to create value: not to produce consumer products, but to make profit perpetually. The system creates great inequality, hunger and the relative dominance of speculative or financial economics. It is based on unemployment or unstable employment, militarism, the control of public opinion and the loss of citizens’ decision-making capacities and ability to participate in shaping a desirable future.” [Estrella Trincado, “The Current Relevance of Rosa Luxemburg’s Thought.” Socialist Studies / Études socialistes. Volume 6, number 2, fall 2010. Pages 141-159.]
      “Although Rosa Luxemburg was strongly convinced that under capitalism the ordinary worker could never earn more than what is absolutely necessary for the reproduction of that worker (and his/her family) – another ‘iron law’ introduced by Kautsky and Co. by deliberately ignoring Marx’s concept of historic and moral elements that influence the value of the labour force – her book on accumulation puts considerable emphasis on the role of demand in capitalist development. And the reception of her book in the English speaking academic community is linked to this issue. The first English edition of The Accumulation of Capital (1951) was vindicated as one of the pioneering works of what macroeconomists call effective demand theory (established by John Maynard Keynes, Michal Kalecki and Joan Robinson).” [Arndt Hopfmann, “The Accumulation of Capital in Historical Perspective.” The Accumulation of Capital in Southern Africa: Rosa Luxemburg’s Contemporary Relevance. Patrick Bond, Horman Chitonge, and Arndt Hopfmann, editors. Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. 2006. Pages 17-25.]
      “For those with a socialist politics that is uncompromising in both its commitment to democracy and its opposition to capitalism, it is common to raise the name of Rosa Luxemburg. A Polish German secular Jew, a Marxist political economist and political theorist, she was the most prominent leader of the left wing of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) and a founder of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL) and, later, the Spartacus League and the German Communist Party (KPD). Repeatedly jailed for her political activities in both Poland and Germany, she was ultimately murdered with her comrade Karl Liebknecht by the right-wing SPD leadership’s militarist Freikorps (Volunteer Corps) allies in the aftermath of the failed Spartacus Revolt in Berlin in 1919. Luxemburg thus became both a heroine and a martyr of the socialist workers’ movement. Though the Communist International of Josef Stalin, in the 1930s, denounced her as a ‘counterrevolutionary Menshevik’ and sought to eradicate her influence, anti-Stalinist Marxists of various stripes came to her defense, however critically, and would continue to do so in subsequent decades. And even today, more than 94 years after her death, Rosa Luxemburg refuses to finally die.” [Jason Schulman, “Introduction: Reintroducing Red Rosa.” Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan imprint of St. Martin’s Press LLC. 2013. Pages 1-10.]
      “The renewal of interest in [Rosa] Luxemburg especially characterised an important international conference in China on her ideas as a whole. Sponsored by the International Rosa Luxemburg Society, the Institute for World Socialism in Beijing and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Berlin, the conference was held on 21–2 November 2004 at the South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou (formerly Canton). It included eighty participants from China, Japan, India, Russia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Norway and the US. While this was not the first time that a conference on Luxemburg had been held in China, it represented the most far-ranging and comprehensive discussion of her work in the history of the country.” [Peter Hudis, “Rosa Luxemburg in China: A Report on the ‘Rosa Luxemburg’ Conference 21–2 November 2004 – South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.” Historical Materialism. Volume 13, issue 3, 2005. Pages 317-322.]
      “The Luxemburgist argument that imperialism stems from an increasing difficulty to accumulate within one’s own borders was utterly ridiculous even before 1914. The notion that Theodore Roosevelt got involved in Central America because the American state had reached the end of the frontier is almost laughable. Yet this notion was constitutive of the political imagination of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) and had a strong impact elsewhere. With respect to the American situation before World War I, California had barely been developed, and few capitalists had yet discovered ‘Fordism,’ i.e. how to realize profits and accumulate through sales to the same working class from which they extracted the surplus. It was assumed that capitalism would immiserate workers, when on the contrary it was already becoming the case that, with the formation of unions and a nascent form of the welfare state, workers could increase their buying power as their productivity increased. It was possible to accumulate domestically by deepening capital accumulation at home. Capitalism has not primarily depended on foreign adventures. This is especially true of the capitalism of the later half of 20ᵗʰ century, at whose helm stands the U.S.” [Leo Panitch, “Is Marx back? An interview with Leo Panitch.” Ian Morrison, interviewer. Platypus Review. Number 23, May 2010. Page 1.]
      “It is worth recalling what Rosa Luxemburg, a political personality respected throughout the world as a great socialist militant, had written about the lack of democracy in the leadership of the Russian Revolution, as early as 1918.
      “‘It is an incontestable fact,’ she wrote, ‘that the rule of the broad, popular masses is inconceivable without unlimited freedom of the press, without absolute freedom of meeting and of association… the gigantic tasks which the Bolsheviks have tackled with courage and resolution require the most intensive political education of the masses and accumulation of experience which is impossible without political freedom. Freedom restricted to those who support the Government or to Party members only, however numerous they may be, is not real freedom. Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently. This is not because of fanaticism for abstract justice but because everything that is instructive, healthy and cleansing in political liberty hinges on this and because political liberty loses its value when freedom becomes a privilege.’
      “‘We have never worshipped at the altar of formal democracy,’ she continued. ‘We have always distinguished between the social content end the political form of bourgeois democracy. The historical task facing the proletariat after its accession to power is to replace bourgeois democracy by proletarian democracy, not to abolish all democracy… The dictatorship (of the proletariat) consists in the way democracy is applied, not in its abolition. It must be the action of the class and not of a small minority, managing things in the name of the class… If political life throughout the country is stifled it must fatally follow that life in the soviets themselves will be paralysed. Without general elections, without unlimited freedom of the press and of assembly, without free confrontation of opinions, life will dry up in all public institutions — or it will be only a sham life, where the bureaucracy is the only active element.’
      “We have dwelt on these quotations to show that Rosa Luxembourg, in her statements about the need for democracy, went much further than the Kronstadt rebels. They restricted their comments about democracy to matters of interest to the proletariat and to the working peasantry. Moreover Rosa Luxemburg formulated her criticisms of the Russian Revolution in 1918, in a period of full civil war, whereas the Petropavlovsk resolution was voted at a time when the armed struggle had virtually come to an end.
      “Would anyone dare accuse Rosa, on the basis of her criticisms, of having been in collusion with the international bourgeoisie? Why then are the demands of the Kronstadt sailors denounced as ‘dangerous’ and as inevitably leading to the counterrevolution? Has not the subsequent evolution of events amply vindicated both the Kronstadt rebels and Rosa Luxemburg? Was Rosa Luxemburg not right when she asserted that the task of the working class was to exercise working class power and not the dictatorship of a party or of a clique? For Rosa Luxemburg working class power was defined as ‘the achievement in a contest of the widest discussion, of the most active and unlimited participation of the popular masses in an unrestricted democracy.’”
      [Ida Mett. The Kronstadt Commune. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1938. Pages 48-49.]
      “With the New Left in the 1960s, however, a quite … [new] assessment of Luxemburg began to emerge that broke out of these political frames. Th e appeal of Luxemburg was, at least initially, quite obvious: her political position outside of the ever more imprisoning polarities of authoritarian communism and social democracy; the emphasis on radical democracy to upset the organisational sclerosis of unions and leftist parties; the resounding trumpet for participatory democracy; and the focus, found in the Accumulation of Capital, on imperialism and colonial occupations (a theme converging directly with the mass attention given to the decolonisation revolts and dependency theory at the time). As the New Left embarked on a highly charged re-assessment of all the major thinkers of socialism, from Karl Marx and Lenin to Georg Lukács, Karl Kautsky and Antonio Gramsci, to Paul Sweezy and Maurice Dobb, among others, it was impossible not to confront – and be surprised by – Luxemburg. She was, after all, a thinker deeply embedded in the Second International, with its direct lineages in organisation and theory to Marx and Frederick Engels; politically lionised for her resolute stance against Social Democracy’s acquiescence to the debacle of World War 1, for her prescient critique of Bolshevik ruling practices in post-1917 Russia, and, moreover, her martyrdom in the failed German revolution.” [Greg Albo, “Rosa Luxemburg and Contemporary Capitalism.” Rosa Luxemburg: A Permanent Challenge for Political Economy—On the History and the Present of Luxemburg’s ‘Accumulation of Capital’. Loren Balhorn and Jan-Peter Herrmann, translators. Judith Dellheim and Frieder Otto Wolf, editors. New York: Palgrave Macmillan imprint of Springer Nature. 2016. Pages 25-54.]
      1. International Luxemburgist Network: They oppose top–down structures and favor strikes.
        “The International Luxemburgist Network groups together activists who are in general agreement with the ideas of Rosa Luxemburg. We stand for the democratic self-organization of the working class and mass strike as a major tool in the class struggle. It is through this process that workers can form themselves into a class capable of leading a truly democratic society, self-managed by all, according to social needs and not profit.” [The International Luxemburgist Network. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
        “Our [Luxemburgist] positions could be sumarized as below:
        1. “We don’t oppose social reforms to revolution. They are both linked in a dialectical way, the former being an mean (in the class struggle) of the latter. We oppose mere reformism and abstract revolutionaries slogans disconected from reality;
        2. “We oppose any top-down structure, both social and organizational. The workers’ organizations must be controlled by the base and opened (we thus disagree with [Vladimir] Lenin);
        3. “We stand for direct democracy for the organization and the social system we want after revolution;
        4. “We see mass strike (as it had been experienced in History) as a tool of struggle. One can define it as a self-managed strke movement uniting economical and political demands and that potentially enable workers to take power directly without leaders.…;
        5. “We stand for internationalism and oppose nationalism (even ‘red’) as bourgeois.”
        [Spartakus, “Luxemburgism.” libcom.org. December, 2010. Retrieved on July 11th, 2016.]
      2. Communist Democracy (Luxemburgist): “Basing ourselves on the analysis of Rosa Luxemburg (since 1904), we see that the policies applied by all the different ‘leninist’ in power were completely opposed to our Marxist principles. Since 1917 and until today, the different ‘leninist’ governments have abandoned all the objectives of socialism and communism; on the contrary, they have set up a highly hierarchical and authoritarian state, based on one party, with a state centrally planned economy (State capitalism). These parties have betrayed the most basic revolutionary and democratic principles, their leaders becoming the new dominating and exploiting classes.” [Editor, Communist Democracy (Luxemburgist). Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
      3. International Rosa Luxemburg Society (German, Internationale Rosa-Luxemburg-Gesellschaft): “One of the most important contributions of Rosa Luxemburg to modern Marxist thought is her refusal to separate the concepts of ‘democracy’ and ‘revolution.’ This approach is developed in a) her criticism of the limits of bourgeois democracy, b) her conception of the revolutionary struggle as democratic self-emancipation of the great masses, c) her vision of socialist democracy with the workers’ councils’ system as a possible form of ‘dictatorship of the proletariat,’ and d) her firm insistence – in discussion with Russian revolutionaries – on the importance of democratic freedoms in the transition towards socialism.” [“Rosa Luxemburg’s Concepts of Democracy and Revolution.” International Rosa Luxemburg Society. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
      4. Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung/Rosa Luxemburg Foundation: See also the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung/Rosa Luxemburg Foundation—New York Office.
        “The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation is one of the largest political education institutions in Germany today and sees itself as part of the intellectual current of democratic socialism. The foundation evolved from a small political group, ‘Social Analysis and Political Education Association,’ founded in 1990 in Berlin into a nationwide political education organisation, a discussion forum for critical thought and political alternatives as well a research facility for progressive social analysis.” [Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Berlin, Germany. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
      5. Workers Democracy: Supports a working class which makes decisions democratically.
        “The goal of the Workers Democracy Network is to organize a democratic workers movement that unites all workers, on an equal basis, around our common interests. We oppose business unionism and all cooperation with the corporate elite. We will build neighborhood, city-wide, regional and continental organizations that unite the entire working class: union and non-union workers; students, employed, self-employed and unemployed; immigrants and native-born; men and women of all ethnic backgrounds. We stand in solidarity with workers all over the world and oppose all nationalism, oppression and bigotry, which pit one group of workers against another….
        “By building a democratic, unified workers movement, we will lay the basis for a new world, free of capitalism, where workers will democratically run society and control their own lives.”
        [Editor, “Statement of Agreement.” Workers Democracy. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
      6. another Luxemburgism (William A. Pelz): Centered on five principles, Pelz argues for a reevaluation of the work of Rosa Luxemburg.
        “With the defeat of Nazism and the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (DDR) in what had been the Soviet zone of occupation, one would have hoped for a more positive reevaluation of Rosa Luxemburg and her theories.…
        “This paper will argue that a new appreciation of Rosa, ‘another Luxemburgism,’ true to Rosa’s [Rosa Luxemburg’s] principles and free of Stalinist revisionism, might develop from certain key aspects of her work. Among the tenants [tenets?] that cry out for inclusion in such a list, I will focus on five: 1) steadfast belief in democracy; 2) complete faith in the common people (the masses); 3) dedication to internationalism in word and deed; 4) commitment to a democratic revolutionary party; and 5) unshakable practice of humanism. There are, of course, many more areas of her thought which hold vital clues for those who would follow her in the twenty-first century. For reasons of time, I will limit my discussion to the above-mentioned five points.”
        [William A. Pelz, “Another Luxemburgism is Possible: Reflections on Rosa and the Radical Socialist Project.” Presented at the International Rosa Luxemburg Conference. April 1st2nd, 2007. Tokyo, Japan. Pages 1-7. Retrieved on December 2nd, 2016. Also published in Spectrezine. Volume 21, number 21, November 2008. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “Perhaps the best way to view the outlook of common people towards social revolution is to emphasize its constantly evolving nature. A once-conservative peasant could quickly become radicalized when forced by economic change to become an urban worker. The revolutionary often looked more to immediate reforms during periods of improvement in the standard of living. Workers could demonstrate for peace one week and support war as self-defense the next. As the revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg remarked, the masses were like the sea: calm and peaceful one moment, rough and stormy the next. The ebbs and flows of the workers’ movement in the next decades would confirm this standpoint.” [William A. Pelz. A People’s History of Modern Europe. London: Pluto Press. 2016. Page 102.]
        “Rosa Luxemburg had a … conception of the nature of the mass strike …. In her famous work on the Russian Revolution of 1905, The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions, she criticized both anarchists on the left and Social Democrats on the right as having an essentially mechanical view of strikes. That is, they saw the strike as a weapon that can either be used or not used according to the taste of leaders. Both tendencies based themselves on the ‘assumption that the mass strike is a mere technical weapon that can be “decided” or “banned” at will … A kind of jack knife that is closed and ready, carried in the pocket “just in case” and can be opened and used.’ As the German Revolution of 1918- 1919 was later to prove, neither commanding a strike wave, nor prohibiting it, would prove successful.” [William A. Pelz, “The Significance of the Mass Strike during the German Revolution of 1918-1919.” Workers of the World: International Journal on Strikes and Social Conflicts. Volume 1, number 1, June 2012. Pages 56-65.]
      7. revolutionary philosophy of praxis (Michael Löwy as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): This Brazilian–born scholar, now living in France, discusses Rosa Luxemburg’s model of “the self–emancipative praxis of the workers” and “the revolutionary pedagogy of action.”
        “Few Marxists of the 20ᵗʰ century were nearer to the spirit of [Karl] Marx’s philosophy of praxis than Rosa Luxemburg. Sure, she didn᾿t write philosophical texts, but she was able to interpret Marxist theory in an original and creative way. The revolutionary philosophy of praxis is a sort of electric current that runs through her work and life. However, her thinking was far from being static: it was a reflection in movement, which was enriched by historical experience.…
        “One could say that her writings are tensioned by two opposite poles: I) historical determinism, the inevitability of the final collapse of capitalism; II) voluntarism, the decisive role of emancipative action.… Against [Eduard] Bernstein’s revisionism, she insisted that the evolution of capitalism leads necessarily to the collapse (Zusammenbruch) of the system, and that this collapse is the historical road leading to the accomplishment of socialism. We have here, in last analysis, a socialist variant of the ideology of inevitable progress that dominated Western culture since the Enlightenment. What saves her argument from fatalistic economism is the revolutionary pedagogy of action: ‘it is only through long and stubborn struggles that the proletariat will conquer the degree of political maturity that will permit it to achieve the definitive victory of revolution.’…
        “Rosa Luxemburg was not an infallible leader; she made mistakes, as every human being and every political militant, and her ideas do not make up a closed theoretical system, a dogmatic doctrine that could be applied at all places and all times. But without doubt her thinking is a precious toolbox to try to dismantle the capitalist machinery and to search for radical alternatives. Her conception of socialism at the same time revolutionary and democratic — in irreconcilable opposition with capitalism and imperialist expansion — founded on the self-emancipative praxis of the workers, on the self-education by experience and by action of the great popular masses, is still extraordinarily relevant. Socialism in the 21ˢᵗ century cannot make it without the light of this blazing spark.”
        [Michael Löwy, “Zündende Funke: The Spark Lights Up in Action—Rosa Luxemburg’s Philosophy of Praxis.” New Politics. Volume XIV, number 55, summer 2013. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “It seems to me … that after 1914–15 the theoretical problematic of Rosa Luxemburg underwent a profound change under the impact of the war and the collapse of the International. It is only after this watershed that she began to talk of a historical alternative: socialism or barbarism.…
        “In the huge and uneven body of writings on Rosa Luxemburg that has been published since the mid-sixties, genuine analysis of the highest quality may be found alongside the worst confusion and arbitrariness. While some writers mount a full-scale hunt for ‘Luxemburgist deviations,’ others use every means to convert Rosa Luxemburg’s work into an ideological weapon against Bolshevism. In many cases, however, interesting and fruitful attempts have been made to re-establish the authentic revolutionary dimension of her political legacy.”
        [Michael Löwy, “Rosa Luxemburg: a new evaluation.” New Left Review. Series I, numbers 102–103, January–April 1977. Pages 138-142.]
      8. radical autonomism (Ross Abbinnett): He proposes that the work of Rosa Luxemburg can be regarded as a version of autonomist Marxism.
        “The article is an attempt to interrogate the idea of anti-capitalist politics in the light Rosa Luxemberg’s notion of radical autonomism.…
        “What I am particularly interested in is the relationship between the idea of autonomism which Luxemberg developed in response to [Vladimir] Lenin’s account of revolutionary struggle, and the strategies, agendas and ideas which emerged with the anti-capitalist movement in the late 1990s.…
        “… even at her most ‘autonomist,’ Luxemberg always sought to maintain the link between the economic conditions which formed the basis class antagonism, the proliferation of political conflicts, and the constitution of the working class as the agent of universal democracy. However Luxemberg’s account of the mass strike as a strategy which arose from the increasingly repressive organization of capitalism, does mark a significant departure from the Marxist–Leninist topology of class struggle. Her argument is that the economic conditions which bring about the mass defection of wage labour (the depression of average wages, increasing unemployment, the exhaustion of under-capitalized markets) should be understood as part of a process of political formation which is intrinsic to the capitalist mode of production.…
        “So, what light does Luxemberg’s autonomist Marxism shed on the political and theoretical issues raised by the contemporary anti-capitalist movement? … [T]here is a sense in which the spirit of Luxemberg’s politics returns in the theoretical discourse of the contemporary anti-capitalist movement: for her notion of a collective praxis which is responsible to the conditions of its own democratic constitution, is the central idea of the ‘new autonomism’ exemplified in the work of Naomi Klein and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. However, I will argue that the genealogy that links Luxemberg’s notion of the mass strike to the formation of new communicative possibilities which have emerged within the techno-scientific organization of capitalism, marks the return of the question with which we began: the question of if, and how, the praxis of divergent protest groups is to be gathered into a unified anti-capitalist movement.”
        [Ross Abbinnett, “Untimely Agitations: Derrida, Klein and Hardt & Negri on the Idea of Anti-Capitalism.” Journal for Cultural Research. Volume 11, number 1, January 2007. Pages 41-56.]
        “What has become known as ‘voluntarist Marxism’ tends to give more weight to the latter [class-consciousness] in its description of political praxis, as it situates the transformative power of the revolution in the collective forms of subjectivity that emerge from within the proletarian movement itself. Rosa Luxemburg, for example, maintained that the event of the revolution was inconceivable without the collective satisfaction constituted through heterogeneous forms of resistance and cooperation …. [Vladimir] Lenin’s appeal to the strategic organization of the masses by the revolutionary vanguard of the Party, on the other hand, was rather more sceptical about the formative power of local agency. For although he demanded the destruction of the ‘special apparatus’ through which the capitalist state maintains control of the working class, he also maintained that the necessity of the revolution was such that it could not be left to the chance that spontaneous solidarity will triumph over the organized interests of bourgeois society ….” [Ross Abbinnett. Politics of Happiness: Connecting the Philosophical Ideas of Hegel, Nietzsche and Derrida to the Political Ideologies of Happiness. New York and London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. 2013. Pages 79-80.]
        “The party acts as a bulwark protecting the class movement against digressions in the direction of more bourgeois parliamentarism. To triumph, these tendencies must destroy the bulwark. They must dissolve the active, class-conscious sector of the proletariat in the amorphous mass of an ‘electorate.’
        “That is how the ‘autonomist’ and decentralizing tendencies arise in our Social Democratic parties. We notice that these tendencies suit definite political ends. They cannot be explained, as [Vladimir] Lenin attempts, by referring to the intellectual s psychology, to his supposedly innate instability of character. They can only be explained by considering the needs of the bourgeois parliamentary politician, that is, by opportunist politics.”
        [Rosa Luxemburg, “Leninism or Marxism?,” in Rosa Luxemburg. Rosa Luxemburg Reader. Leuven, Belgium: Anarchy is Order: Principles, Propositions & Discussions for Land and Freedom. 2017. Pages 10-36.]
      9. post–capitalist localism (Greg Sharzer): He argues for a version of localism which is consistent with the work of Rosa Luxemburg,
        “Localism begins with the principle that when things grow too big, communities and collective values suffer. Concentrating economic and political power creates inequality. Owners of big factories who live far away don’t care about workers and the environment. In response, localism says we can change how we act within capitalism. If consumers don’t like a commodity, they can demonstrate their commitment to a better one: for example, choosing to buy a Fair Trade cup of coffee. Support ethical, small–scale businesses and little by little the excesses of economic growth will disappear. More radical localists say that power and size are integral to capitalism and the system needs to change; to do so, we can work together to make and distribute ethical products outside the market. Community gardening, farmers’ markets and biofuel movements will change the entrenched power of agribusiness. Foodies and locavores unite: you have nothing to lose but your fast food chains.” [Greg Sharzer. No Local: Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won’t Change the World. Winchester, England: Zero Books imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd. 2012. Page 8.]
        “… postcapitalist localism says that politics and economics are male domains and focusing on them leaves out women. This is true: women have been, and continue to be, marginalized in ways too numerous to list here. However, precisely because the political economy of capitalism structures women’s lives in brutal ways, it’s too important to ignore. A truly feminist theory does more than show women coping with oppression: it understands how women come together to resist it. That resistance begins at the local, but it doesn’t end there.
        “Rosa Luxemburg castigates those would who adopt ‘the morality of the bourgeoisie… the reconciliation with the existing order and the transfer of hope to the beyond of an ethical ideal–world.’ Postcapitalism’s ideal world helps reconcile workers with the existing one. The political alternatives based on it do too.”
        [Greg Sharzer. No Local: Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won’t Change the World. Winchester, England: Zero Books imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd. 2012. Page 157.]
        “[Rosa] Luxemburg opposed reforms that blunt the class struggle not only because ‘they lose not only their supposed effectiveness, but also cease to be a means of preparing the working class for the proletarian conquest of power.’ In other words, the ‘struggle for reform is (the party’s) means; the social revolution, its goal.’ Reforms can improve living conditions or they can also build workers’ confidence in self–organizing. The ‘difference is not in the what but in the how’: whether a party grants reforms from the legislature or mobilizes people to fight for them. The former can be a means of social control, maintaining the smooth operation of accumulation and, by fixing some of capitalism’s excesses, allowing a safety valve.” [Greg Sharzer. No Local: Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won’t Change the World. Winchester, England: Zero Books imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd. 2012. Page 188.]
        “In contemporary discourse, cooperatives are often considered as vehicles for post-capitalist social transformation. However, theorists affiliated with the first, second, and third Internationals groupings of socialist parties suggested that cooperative potential was circumscribed by market coercion, leaving co-ops with limited pedagogical value and subordinating them to political movements. Their experience suggests it is important to avoid conflating cooperatives’ demonstration of post-capitalist labor norms with the strategic problems of creating a post-capitalist society.…
        “A cooperative is a blanket term referring to an organization in which some aspect of production, distribution, or ownership is conducted collectively, either by business owners or workers inside the firm. The most democratically-run co-ops usually engage in profit-sharing among members, provide health and unemployment insurance, and limit wage differentials inside the firm. This article focuses on cooperation’s potential for creating a radically reformed or even post-capitalist economic order. What this article will call left cooperation sees democratic enterprises linking up with trade unions and community groups to eliminate the profit motive driving both shareholders and business unions. By building institutions that meet local needs through direct democracy, cooperatives can subvert hierarchical market relationships and prefigure broader shifts to a non-market economy.”
        [Greg Sharzer, “Cooperatives as Transitional Economics.” Review of Radical Political Economics. OnlineFirst edition. July, 2016. Pages 1-21.]
        “As the range of literature has expanded, so have the theoretical frameworks. European and North American AFNs [alternative food networks] are assessed differently, according to policy-fulfillment or transformative goals respectively. Other approaches focus on the ‘quality turn,’ the desire for unadulterated food that drives renewed interest in AFNs, or the political goals of AFN actors. The global-versus-local debate of the 1990s frames much AFN literature, emphasising re-localisation as a way to oppose transnational capital flows. Numerous other frameworks exist, based on the degree to which AFNs are able to oppose integration into conventional food-supply chains.” [Greg Sharzer, “A Critique of Localist Political Economy and Urban Agriculture.” Historical Materialism. Volume 20, number 4, December 2012. Pages 75-114.]
        “How we respond to … austerity – resistance or adapation – depends on how we understand capitalism. Localism sees it as uneven and fragile; the dispossessed can operate at the margins to create a fulfilling life for themselves. The alternative, a democratic, revolutionary socialism, agrees that capitalism is unstable and open to change, but not at the margins: rather, capitalism creates its own grave-diggers at its very centre. The working class, who have nothing to sell but their work, create everything and can therefore run everything. Capitalism can be organized against and overcome.” [Greg Sharzer, “Local resistance to global austerity: it will never work.” OpenDemocracy. January 3rd, 2013. Pagination unknown.]
        “[Greg Sharzer’s] No Local begins with a brief history of capitalism and a cogent explanation of its inner workings, centered on [Karl] Marx’s labor theory of value. Localism seeks a return to a preindustrial economic model that romanticizes small-scale production. But simplicity and smaller scale will not get rid of the social relations that underlie capitalism. Equal exchange and bartering don’t address the theft inherent even in small-scale capitalism, where workers are still paid less than the exchange value of the things they create, no matter the scale of production. Localists confuse use value and exchange value, forgetting that capitalism prioritizes profit (value) over human need (use value). By ignoring this question, localism leaves the question of exploitation unanswered and fails to root out the capitalist dynamic—accumulation for accumulation’s sake—that leads us to our current dilemma.” [Michael Ware, “Why Small-scale Alternatives Won’t Change the World.” Green Social Thought: A Magazine of Synthesis and Regeneration. Volume 62, fall 2013. Pages 30-31.]
        “[Greg Sharzer’s] No Local is a short but dense book, written in accessible prose and aimed at a wide range of readers. Its self-proclaimed task is to help proponents of localism realize the folly of their ways. The book’s argument is that local initiatives – from urban agriculture and farmers’ markets to alternative currencies and cooperatives – do little or nothing to change systemic inequalities. While Sharzer admits that some of these initiatives make slight improvements for a specific class of consumer (i.e. those that can afford the time and money required to participate), he attempts to show that these well-meaning alternatives are bound by the same economic rules as the large corporations they oppose. For example, a small, locally owned business may produce a niche product of superior quality, but its capacity to survive in a capitalist market is still dependent on externalizing costs, exploiting labour and destroying the environment. The take home message for localists is that individual choice, lifestyle activism, and micro-alternatives do not have the power to transform capitalism.” [Charles Z. Levkoe, “No Local: Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won’t Change the World.” Review article. Socialist Studies / Études socialistes. Volume 8, number 2, autumn 2012. Pages 252-255.]
      10. Communist Democracy (Luxemburgist): They advocate many of the principles which were promoted by Rosa Luxemburg.
        “Communist democracy is part of the workers’ democratic movement, and struggles:
        • “for the abolition of capitalism, wage labour, and the division of human beings into social classes;
        • “for the end of the dictatorship of the capitalist class, and to replace it with direct democracy;
        • “for a socialist-communist society;
        • “for the end of sexism and male domination;
        • “against all forms of racism, nationalism and patriotism; for the suppression of all frontiers.…
        “We advocate an international democratic revolution led by the people, giving way to:
        • “the conquest of direct democracy;
        • “the end of capitalism and wage labour;
        • “the grass root and democratic socialisation;
        • “the abolition of sexism, racism and nationalism;
        • “the suppression of the states and frontiers.”
        [Editor, “Communist Democracy (Luxemburgist).” Undated. Retrieved on May 28th, 2017.]
        “The fight for the abolition of all the forms of domination starts by preventing them in the struggles’ organizations and structures. The democratic communists are basically and by nature on the side of the free development of thought, on the side of the broadest democracy. It cannot be possible to fight against alienation in an alienated manner.
        “The democratic communists take part in the social movements and fight so that they are always organized in a democratic way. Our fundamental slogan is that ‘the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves.’ That means that the workers must be collectively their own leadership: the authentic communists always support the self-organization of the struggles. General assemblies, strike committees, national co-ordinations: the examples of structures of direct democracy created and directed by the workers and young people are very frequent, but they are at the moment limited in time.
        “The passage from the pro-reforms mobilizations to the taking over of power will be done by the development, the perpetuation and the convergence of these struggle structures, which must become the instruments of self-government, replacing the institutions of government of the bourgeoisie. The entire power must rest on these structures of direct democracy created by the exploited throughout the struggle, on all the levels: sovereign general assemblies, strike committees, workers councils, international coordination of general assemblies and councils. This is the process of a democratic and socialist revolution. The revolution must abolish the wage-earning work, capitalism and the frontiers, and replace them by direct democracy on all the levels.
        “The terms ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ have been opposed because of many historical treasons. The term ‘socialism-communism’ seems to us to make it possible to overcome them, and to affirm the unity of these two words.
        “The socialist-communist revolution is the conquest of real democracy. ‘In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.’ The real freedom of an individual can only be obtained through the conquest of the freedom for all. In the capitalist society, the immense majority is not free. Moreover, one human being, one class, one population which oppresses another cannot be truly free: the emancipation of the workers will allow the emancipation of the entire Human kind.”
        [Editor, “For Democratic Communism.” Undated. Retrieved on May 28th, 2017.]
      11. completing Christian communism (Roland Boer): He examines two essays by Rosa Luxemburg and develops an interesting perspective on Christian communism.
        “‘A curious piece of historical sophistry’ — that is how J.P. Nettl in his classic biography [of Rosa Luxemburg] … describes Rosa Luxemburg’s treatise, Socialism and the Churches …. A rather convenient dismissal, is it not? It does allow Nettl to sidestep the whole issue of religion in Luxemburg’s work and get on with what he regards as the more important issues in her life and thought. By contrast, I want to give this neglected text a little more justice than Nettl does. This essay, then, is a sustained engagement with that work by Luxemburg, along with her essay, ‘An Anti-Clerical Policy of Socialism’ ….
        Completing Christian Communism
        “… [According to Luxemburg,] socialism will complete what Christian communism began. Its intention may have been right — an ardent belief in communism — but it needs to go a step further: not merely the products of an economy need to be held in common, but the means of production themselves.…
        “In contrast to Christian communism, with its alms and charity, with its taking from the rich and giving to the poor, socialism points out that a proper communism is possible only when the land and all other means of production are placed in the hands of the producers themselves, the workers, who will produce what each one needs. In other words, to the Christian communists the socialists say, ‘You want communism? We’ll give you real communism!’”
        [Roland Boer, “Socialism, Christianity, and Rosa Luxemburg.” Cultural Logic: Marxist Theory & Practice. 2007. Pages 1-31.]
        “… the Social-Democracy in no way fights against religious beliefs. On the contrary, it demands complete freedom of conscience for every individual and the widest possible toleration for every faith and every opinion. But, from the moment when the priests use the pulpit as a means of political struggle against the working classes, the workers must fight against the enemies of their rights and their liberation. For he who defends the exploiters and who helps to prolong this present regime of misery, he is the mortal enemy of the proletariat, whether he be in a cassock or in the uniform of the police.” [Rosa Luxemburg. Socialism and The Churches (1905). Juan Punto, translator. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 2003.]
        “That ‘religion is a private affair’ only compels us to be neutral and not to take part in religious questions, when these only refer to intimate convictions and to the conscience. But this rule has another meaning, it not only constitutes a directing principle which should determine the proper conduct of Socialists, but it is an appeal addressed to the actual State. In the name of liberty of conscience, we demand the abolition of all public privileges which believers enjoy to the disadvantage of unbelievers, and we will assail all efforts attempted by the Church to become a dominating power in the State. It is not here a matter of conviction but of politics, and in this point the Socialist Parties of different countries can, according to circumstances, adopt very different tactics.” [Rosa Luxemburg. An anti-clerical policy of Socialism (1903). Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 2004.]
      12. Luxemburgian socialist feminism (Andrea Nye): To Nye, this form of feminism would involve a reworking of the notion of democracy.
        “Essential in any recovery of a Luxemburgian socialist feminism would be the reworking of the vexed concept of democracy. Marxists, like [Vladimir] Lenin, were quick to point out the lack of real democracy in the legislative maneuvering of interest groups and the corporate financing of elections in capitalist countries. Concentrated as they were on winning state power, democracy was hardly a priority for the Bolsheviks either. If the slogan, ‘socialist democracy’ had concrete meaning at all, it was a euphemism for a coercive rallying of public opinion behind the decisions of the supreme Communist party. While European Social Democrats continued to participate in parliaments and legislatures as if winning elections was an end in itself, in Russia the Soviets that were to have been the basis of socialist democracy became an instrument of party control. Democracy in both cases was deferred to a distant, utopian future when workers would be mature and true Communism possible.” [Andrea Nye. Philosophia: The Thought of Rosa Luxemburg, Simone Weil, and Hannah Arendt. New York and London: Routledge. 1994. Pages 47-48.]
        “Rosa Luxemburg was not a feminist in the way it’s generally understood now; rather, she was a socialist who viewed women’s emancipation as part and parcel of the liberation of the working class as a whole through socialism, and certainly was so actively pro-woman she is justly admired by many feminists today. Her own life can be viewed as a successful feminist vindication of women’s power and ability — after all, she climbed to the top echelons of the SPD despite being a woman and a left-winger who early on made enemies within the party; and a Jewish one at that!” [George Fish, “Red Rosa: An Intimate Self-Portrait.” New Politics. Volume 13, number 3, summer 2011. Pages 144-151.]
      13. Luxemburghian model (Alberto Melucci as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He distinguishes this model, which is characterized by spontaneity, from the Leninist model.
        “… it is clear that the models that western political tradition provides to explain the involvement of individuals are weak. For simplicity I shall refer to them as ‘Leninist’ and ‘Luxemburghian.’ The former is paradoxically common to Leninism, crowd psychology, and the theory of mass society; the common assumption being that involvement is the result of the work of a minority that drags an undifferentiated mass of individuals in the direction of their real interests (in the Leninist version) or in the direction of the purposes of the agitators, by means of suggestion and manipulation (in the case of crowd psychology). The Luxemburghian model is superior to the Leninist one and attributes to individuals the spontaneous capacity to mobilize collectively in the presence of discontent, injustice, and deprivation. What both models ignore is the fact that individuals interact, influence each other, and negotiate in order to define themselves as a collective actor and to define the field of their action.” [Alberto Melucci, “Getting Involved: Identity and Mobilization in Social Movements.” International Social Movement Research: A Research Annual. Volume 1, 1988. Pages 229-248.]
        “Sociological theory and research during the seventies have undoubtedly provided a deeper understanding of contemporary social movements. The forms of collective action which have emerged during the past twenty years in fields previously untouched by social conflicts (age, sex differences, health, relation to nature, human survival) are taking by now an increasing importance in sociological analysis and they become controversial and stimulating topics for both theory and research. The eighties seem to offer new material to this reflection, since collective action is shifting more and more from the ‘political’ form, which was common to traditional opposition movements in Western societies, to a cultural ground.” [Alberto Melucci, “The Symbolic Challenge of Contemporary Movements.” Social Research. Volume 52, number 4, winter 1985. Pages 789-816.]
      14. new Spartakists (Iñigo Errejón Galván as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Pablo Iglesias Turrión as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): They see parallels to the work of Rosa Luxemburg in the global anti–capitalist movement.
        “Some of the most important issues discussed inside the Global movement against Capitalism and war are the relations between political party and movement, movement Autonomy as opposed to institutional dynamics, and organisational problems. In this paper, we will recuperate some categories and political concepts from Rosa Luxembourg’s [sic; Rosa Luxemburg’s] thought. We will try to use those instruments to analyse some aspects of the mobilisation process of the Global movement since the Seattle demonstrations until the demonstrations against war in 2003 and 2004 taking the example of Madrid.…
        “Rosa [Luxemburg] innovates … when she recovers … [one] of the lessons from the proletarian combats: The strikes, as the revolutions (maybe the popular mobilisation waves in our days?) don’t have to be called for. They are not decided neither in the cupules of mass organisations nor in the central committees of the vanguards. They respond to historical moments that determine their own fighting tactics and organisational models through improvisation, reviewing and renewal while drawing on a rich base of historically formed repertoires of contention.: the enrichment of the popular action’s arsenal. It is not difficult to recognise here its proximity to the Global Movement, whose practice has been characterised by the invention and reinvention through consecutive battles.…
        “Something more interesting than what [Alberto] Melucci called the ‘Luxemburg model’ [sic; the Luxemburghian model] ….
        “We are now arrived to the adventurous thesis that constitutes the nuclei of our paper. We believe to have theoretically deducted how why Rosa Luxemburg is an anticipation of the Marxist trend that advocates for the power of the workers’ councils. Even a step further, this woman, limited, as it is natural by the historical context in which she writes, opens the door to the evolution form the extreme left to the Autonomism.”
        [Iñigo Errejón Galván and Pablo Iglesias Turrión, “The New Spartakists. The thought of Rosa Luxemburg to understand the Global Movement.” Presented at the Social Movements Conference Alternative Futures and Popular Protest. Manchester Metropolitan University. Manchester, England. March 30th– April 1st, 2005. Pages 1-17. Retrieved on April 30th, 2017.]
      15. The Collective to Fight Neurelitism™ or CFN™ (Mark A. Foster): It is “the Emancipated Autism Project”—a Marxist–Luxemburgist movement rooted in Dialectical metaRealism (a critical realist perspective). CFN focuses upon the worldwide community of Autists. The Autistic dialectic is absented or completed by forging unity, through struggle, with other Autists and, more generally, with all humanity. We accept the concept, from Marxism-Luxemburgism, of the dialectic of spontaneity and organization. The following is taken from the main page of the website:
        “The heart of this public sociology collective is Emancipated Autism™ (MP3 audio file), demonstrated in solidarity with other dominated peoples and in revolutionary community organizing against Neurelitism™ (neurological elitism). Neurelitism (MP3 audio file), a term coined here for a type of sanism, justifies disability or oppression. As a social–and–economic–development project for Autists and the similarly dissimilar, based upon Marxism–Luxemburgism, we value sustainable development (Agenda 21 and the 2030 Agenda), democracy, and human rights. Membership and participation are informal.
        “Materially, we fight Neurelitism by struggling against domination. Spiritually, we fight through our unity with intersections of humanity, while praying for the inner healing, and targeted scientific cures, of Autism’s empathy and other problems. With Dialectical metaRealism, the dialectic absents (contradicts) empathy’s absence. We shift the center of thinking [epistemically], in nonviolent resistance, to the subaltern. When applying The Echoing Practice (a heart meditation) and Echoes of Cosmic Unity™, we enter the cosmic envelope of unity and become, thereby, emancipated Autists. Think you are an Autist? Take some free tests.”
        [Mark A. Foster. The Collective to Fight Neurelitism: The Emancipated Autism Project. 2017. Updated and retrieved on July 11th, 2017.]
        “Like many autistics of my generation, the diagnosis I received was childhood schizophrenia. Indeed, autism was not even a category in the nosological (classification) system of the DSM-I [the first version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual from the American Psychiatric Association]. Since they had not yet devised a way to explain people like myself, they made us all psychotic. That was the common construction of the time. Yet, by today’s standards, I exhibited none of the usual symptoms of schizophrenia, the hallucinations, auditory or visual, and the delusions, nor was I, in any sense I can tell, out of touch with reality. In fact, I was very much in touch with my reality – often, in light of the constant bullying I received, painfully so.” [Mark A. Foster, “Fighting Neurelitism.” Many Voices – One Community. Volume 1, issue 2, article 13, 2009. Page 1.]
    2. Marxism–Pankhurstism (Estelle “Sylvia” Pankhurst): Pankhurst was a British Suffragette—a first–wave feminist—from a family of fellow radicals (including Sylvia’s mother, Emmeline Pankhurst). Sylvia Pankhurst fervently embraced left communism. She subsequently devoted herself to the cause of improving the lives of Ethiopians. After her death, she was honored by Haile Selassie I (Géʿzé, ቀዳማዊ ኃይለ ሥላሴ, Qadāmāwi H̱āyela Śelāsé or K’edamawī Ḫayile Šilasē).
      “Under communism all shall satisfy their material needs without stint or measure from the common storehouse, according to their desires. Everyone will be able to have what he or she desires in food, in clothing, books, music, education and travel facilities. The abundant production now possible, and which invention will constantly facilitate, will remove any need for rationing or limiting of consumption.
      “Every individual, relying on the great common production, will be secure from material want and anxiety.
      “There will be no class distinctions, since these arise from differences in material possessions, education and social status — all such distinctions will be swept away.
      “There will be neither rich nor poor. Money will no longer exist, and none will desire to hoard commodities not in use, since a fresh supply may be obtained at will. There will be no selling, because there will be no buyers, since everyone will be able to obtain everything at will, without payment.
      “The possession of private property, beyond that which is in actual personal use, will disappear.
      “There will be neither masters nor servants, all being in a position of economic equality — no individual will be able to become the employer of another.
      “All children will be educated up to adult age, and all adults will be able to make free, unstinted use of all educational facilities in their abundant leisure.
      “Stealing, forgery, burglary, and all economic crimes will disappear, with all the objectionable apparatus for preventing, detecting and punishing them.
      “Prostitution will become extinct; it is a commercial transaction, dependent upon the economic need of the prostitute and the customer’s power to pay.”
      [Sylvia Pankhurst, “Part Three: Sylvia Pankhurst.” Non-Leninist Marxism: Writings on the Workers Councils. Red and Black Publishers, editor. St. Petersburg, Florida: Red and Black Publishers. 2007. Kindle edition.]
      “The whole audience was eagerly looking for ‘The lady Suffragists.’ A party of women in a little gallery above the door, attracted considerable attention. ‘Those are the Suffragists, look up there,’ was whispered from all quarters. A man who sat next to the unrecognised Suffragette fixed his gaze upon these ladies, and turning to his companion said: ‘That is Miss Pankhurst; she has aged very much since I saw her last. The ladies have got their eyes on us; they will begin putting their question soon.’ The hall filled up rapidly and at last became so densely crowded that, owing to the press of people, the emergency doors at the back of the hall were burst open and a large crowd collected outside. Mr. Churchill was late, and during the Chairman’s remarks and the speeches that followed little attention was paid to what was being said for everyone was waiting for what was to happen next.” [E. Sylvia Pankhurst. The Suffragette: The History of the Women’s Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910. Boston, Massachusetts: The Women’s Journal. 1911. Page 44.]
      “I have been asked whether I consider that the militant methods of the English suffragettes are necessary for the winning of votes for American women. Obviously not, in nine of the States, for in nine States the vote has already been won, and by peaceful propaganda alone.
      “Women are finding it harder to obtain the vote in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Illinois than they did in any of the states in which the vote has been granted, but I believe in the policy of intervening in election contests, which American suffragettes have already begun to copy, with adaptations, from the English militants, will provide all the pressure that is necessary under American political conditions to obtain the franchise, even in the States where politicians are most obdurate, or, which is worse, most unstable and liable to change.”
      [E. Sylvia Pankhurst, “Shall American Women Become Militant?: Miss E. Sylvia Pankhurst, the Noted English Suffragette, Writes of This and Other Phases of the Movement – Her First Article for America Since Her Release from Prison.” The New York Times. May 4th, 1913. Page SM2.]
      “Child care should include instruction of the child in personal hygiene: brushing teeth and nails, washing the ears and eyes and all parts of the body, if the day school is supplied with means for such instruction that certainly is the case of borders. In the demonstration school such facilities should be available.
      “In a day school the young children should be taught to wash their hands on arrival at school, before eating, before returning home, after doing any work which soils the hands, gardening, or clay modelling, for example.
      “Schools for young people should, if possible, supply milk at the mid-morning break and also at a mid-day meal, particularly in view of the great distances some children have to walk to school in this country.”
      [Sylvia Pankhurst, “Proposal by Sylvia Pankhurst for an Ethiopian Women’s College, 1959: A suggested curriculum for a college of education for young women.” Gender and Education. Volume 20, number 1, January 2008. Pages 67-75.]
      “In Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, four days journey by motor from Eritrea, there are 8,000 Eritrean refugees at the present time, and numbers of them also in the intervening towns and districts. These people have held big demonstrations, marched to the Legations of Great Britain, France and the U.S.S.R. [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics], and sent telegrams to the recent Five Power Foreign Ministers’ Conference, appealing for the reunion of Eritrea to Ethiopia, as well as making the same appeal to the Ethiopian Government. They cite the leaflets and proclamations showered upon Eritrea by the R.A.F. [Royal Air Force] during the campaign to defeat the Italians in 1941, wherein it was promised that Eritrea should be reunited to Ethiopia, and the Eritrean soldiers were urged to desert from the ranks of Italy, and either return to their homes or join the Allies, in order that by the defeat of Italy they might be able to realize their desire.” [E. Sylvia Pankhurst, “Editorial.” International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-). Volume 22, number 1, January 1946. Pages 159-160.]
      “… she [Sylvia Pankhurst] described the two options presented to her by the CPGB [Communist Party of Great Britain] in respect of her paper – either to cease publication altogether or to hand it over to the Party under the editorship of someone of the Party’s choosing. She rejected both options. She wrote of the meeting with the leadership that, ‘with a spice of brutality, the disciplinarians set forth their terms to one who had for eight years maintained a pioneer paper with constant struggle and in the face of much persecution.’ She justified her rejection of the Party’s proposal on the grounds that ‘an independent Communist paper which would stimulate discussion in the movement on theory and practice’ was an essential prerequisite of healthy Party life. She acknowledged that Party discipline could and should be used to ‘prevent right opportunism and laxity’, but suppressing discussion of left-wing ideas would ‘cramp and stultify’ the Party. It was only permissible, she argued, to prevent such discussion in a revolutionary situation, but she ‘could not approve of a rigidity of discipline which is wholly out of place here and now.’” [Mary Davis. Sylvia Pankhurst: A Life in Radical Politics. London and Sterling, Virginia: Pluto Press. 1999. Page 87.]
      “For many readers, the Pankhursts come as a shock on close inspection, for the explosive mixture of idealism, self-sacrifice and strategic insight that enabled its members to contribute so notably to national life also made them ruthless, high-handed and self-righteous. They formed what we would nowadays recognize as a rather dysfunctional family. Yet for some years now we have been encouraged by pundits, prime ministers and large sections of the press to believe in the superiority of ‘Victorian Values’, in the notion of the big, happy Victorian – Edwardian family, and in the decline of parenting skills during the last three generations. To examine Victorian families in any depth is to be thoroughly disabused of such simplistic notions. The consequences of Victorian family life in the shape of the emotional scars borne by the children of the era are too extensive to miss.” [Martin Pugh. The Pankhursts: The History of One Radical Family. London: Vintage Books. 2013. Kindle edition.]
      “… [E. Sylvia] Sylvia’s evolution from suffragism and Socialism to Communism and anti-Fascism, culminating in her fight to save Ethiopia from [Benito] Mussolini’s invasion after 1935, seems to represent a rare strand of consistency with the Victorian Radicalism of Richard Pankhurst.” [Martin Pugh. The Pankhursts: The History of One Radical Family. London: Vintage Books. 2013. Kindle edition.]
      “… [Listen to] the words of a God-fearing, whole-hearted Christian woman. They should sink deep in the mind and heart of every American woman. The Courier-Journal [newspaper] commends them earnestly to the women of Kentucky—to the women of the South—who have not yet been reached by the visionary the ories of the sexually unemployed, nor caught by the bloody debaucheries of Pankhurstism.” [Editor, “May Number.” The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society. Frankfort, Kentucky. Volume 12, number 36, September 1914. Pages 66-67.]
      “Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt. president of the International Suffrage Alliance, returned yesterday on the Minnewaska [Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Ulster County, New York] from a three months stay in Europe, during which she presided over the international convention at Budapest [Hungary]. She was accompanied by Miss Mary Garrett Hay, chairman of the Woman Suffrage party, who spent six weeks with her in England. Neither was especially interested in Mrs. Pankhurst’s projected visit to this country.” [Editor, “How Pankhurtism Retards Suffrage.” The Sun (newspaper). New York. August 19th, 1913. Page 7.]
      “The teacher of young children must of course know how to care for them, how to deal with their physical needs and their personal hygiene. She must be able to help them in self-attention to their own personal hygiene. She must be attentive to their attitude and behaviour. Experience in dealing with children in addition to any book instruction on childcare is absolutely essential.…
      “There are people in England, plenty of them, who will tell you that the Suffragettes were sent to prison for destroying property. The fact is that hundreds of women were arrested for exactly such offences as I have described before it ever occurred to any of us to destroy property. We were determined, at the beginning of our movement, that we would make ourselves heard, that we would force the Government to take up our question and answer it by action in Parliament. Perhaps you will see some parallel to our case in the stand taken in Massachusetts by the early Abolitionists, Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison. They, too, had to fight bitterly, to face insult and arrest, because they insisted on being heard. And they were heard; and so, in time, were we.” [Emmeline Pankhurst. My Own Story. New York: Heart’s International Library Co, Inc. 1914. Pages 71-72.]
      “When visiting the Soviet Union in 1922, [Claude] McKay went as a delegate not of the American Communist Party but of the African Blood Brotherhood, a self-organized network for racial solidarity and self-defense. Because of his externality to the American Communist Party and his association with British ‘Left Wing’ communists, who critiqued Lenin for emphasizing centralized party politicking over mass initiative, McKay was received with hostility in Moscow, and ultimately was thrown out of the Lux Hotel and placed in a dilapidated room furnished with nothing but an army cot. Identifying himself as an ‘unorthodox comrade sympathizer’ and a ‘radical dissident,’ he even feared being denounced as a spy ….
      “… McKay’s internationalism in the 1920s was not identical to that of the Communist International. The term McKay applies to himself—‘radical dissident’—referred, at the time, to radicals who dissented from Soviet orthodoxy itself: anarchists, anarchocommunists, syndicalists, and ‘Left Wing’ communists with ‘anarchist’ tendencies like Sylvia Pankhurst and Rosa Luxemburg.”
      [Joel Nickels, “Claude McKay and Dissident Internationalism.” Cultural Critique. Volume 87, spring 2014. Pages 1-37.]
    3. Marxism–Bordigism (MP3 audio file): This communist-left tendency is associated with the Italian Marxist Amadeo Bordiga (MP3 audio file).
      “In launching our communist programme, which contained the outlines of a response to many vital problems concerning the revolutionary movement of the proletariat, we expected to ace a broad discussion develop on all its aspects. Instead there has been and still is only furious discussion over the incompatibility of electoral participation, which is soberly affirmed in the programme. Indeed, although the electionist maximalists proclaim that for them electoral action is quite secondary, they are in fact so mesmerized by it as to launch an avalanche of articles against the few anti-electionist lines contained in our programme.” [Amadeo Bordiga, “The System of Communist Representation.” Soviet. Volume II, number 38, September (13th) 1919. Online publication. No pagination.]
      “In Italy, France, and elsewhere there are many of these groups which have totally dissipated the first proletarian reactions against the terrible sense of disillusionment arising from the distortions and decompositions of Stalinism; from the opportunist plague which killed off [Vladimir] Lenin’s Third International. One of these groups is linked to Trotskyism, but in fact fails to appreciate that [Leon] Trotsky always condemned [Joseph] Stalin for deviating from [Karl] Marx. Admittedly, Trotsky also indulged rather too much in personal and moral judgements; a barren method as evidenced by the shameless way in which the 20ᵗʰ Congress has used precisely such methods to prostitute the revolutionary tradition much more than even Stalin himself.…
      “We are … not particularly interested in a working class which is statistically defined, and neither are we particularly interested in attempts to work out where the interests of the working class diverge from other classes (there are always more than two). What interests us is the class which has set up its dictatorship, i.e. which has taken power, destroyed the bourgeois State, and set up its own State: that is how Lenin put it, shaming those in the 2ⁿᵈ International who had ‘forgotten’ Marxism. How is it that Class can form the basis of a dictatorial and totalitarian State power, of a new State machine opposed to the old like a victorious army occupying the positions of the defeated enemy? Through what organ? The philistine’s immediate answer is: a man, and in Russia Lenin was that man (whom they have the nerve to lump together with the wretched Stalin, denied today and maybe murdered yesterday by his worshippers). Our answer is quite different.
      “The organ of the dictatorship and operator of the State-weapon is the political class party; the party which, through its doctrine and its continuous historical action, has been potentially granted the task, proper to the proletarian class, of transforming society. We not only say that the struggle and the historical task of the class cannot be achieved without the two forms: dictatorial State, (i.e. the exclusion, as long as they exist, of the other classes which are henceforth defeated and subdued) and political party, we also say – in our customary dialectical and revolutionary language – that one can only begin to speak of class – of establishing a dynamic link between a repressed class in today’s society and a future revolutionised social form, and taking into consideration the struggle between the class which holds the State and the class which is to overthrow it – only when the class is no longer a cold statistical term at the miserable level of bourgeois thought, but a reality, made manifest in its organ, the Party, without which it has neither life nor the strength to fight.
      “One cannot therefore detach party from class as though class were the main element and the party merely accessory to it. By putting forward the idea of a proletariat without a party, a party which is sterilized and impotent party, or by looking for substitutes for it, the latest corrupters of Marxism have actually annihilated the class by depriving it of any possibility of fighting for socialism, or even, come to that, fighting for a miserable crust of bread.”
      [Amadeo Bordiga, “The Fundamentals of Revolutionary Communism.” Communist Left. Numbers 23–24, spring 2006–winter 2007. Original pagination unknown.]
      “Historical materialism, presenting the course of prehistory in a new and original way, has not only considered, studied and evaluated the process of formation of families, groups, tribes, races and peoples up to the formation of nations and political states, but has precisely explained these phenomena in the context of their connection with and how they are conditioned by the development of the productive forces, and as manifestations and confirmations of the theory of economic determinism.” [Amadeo Bordiga, “The factors of race and nation in Marxist theory.” Originally published under the title, “I fattori di razza e nazione nella teoria marxista”, in issues 16–20 of Il Programma Comunista. September–November 1953. Translated in December 2013-January 2014 from the Spanish translation of the Partido Comunista Internacional. No pagination.]
      “Until the proletariat has seized state power and consolidated its rule once for all, and made it secure against a bourgeois restoration, the Communist Party will have in its organised ranks only a minority of the workers. Before the seizure of power, and in the transition period, the Communist Party can, in favourable circumstances, exercise an undisputed ideological and political influence on all proletarian and semi-proletarian strata of the population, but it cannot unite them all organisationally in its ranks. Only after the proletarian dictatorship has deprived the bourgeoisie of such powerful means of exerting influence as the press, the schools, parliament, the church, the administrative machine, etc., only after the final defeat of the bourgeois order has become clear to everybody, only then will all or practically all the workers begin to enter the ranks of the Communist Party.” [Amadeo Bordiga, “Theses on the Role of the Communist Party in the Proletarian Revolution.” From Communiste Program. Number 2, March 1976. Translated from the Protokoll des II Weltkongresses der Kommunistischen Internationale. Hamburg, Germany. 1921. No pagination.]
      “A recent leaflet of the M.R.A.P. (Movement against Racism, Anti-semitism and for Peace) attributed to Nazism the blame for the death of 50 million human beings, of whom 6 million were Jews. This position identical to the fascist warmongers slogan of self-styled communists, is typically bourgeois. In refusing to see that capitalism itself is the cause of the crises and cataclysms that periodically ravage the globe, the bourgeois ideologues and reformists have always pretended instead to explain them by each other’s wickedness. One can see here the fundamental similarity of the ideologies (if one dares say it) of fascism and anti-fascism. Both proclaim that it is thoughts, ideas, the will of human groupings which determine social phenomena. Against these ideologies, which we call bourgeois because both defend capitalism, against all these faded idealists, of today and tomorrow, Marxism has demonstrated that it is, on the contrary, social relations which determine the movement of ideas. This is the keystone of Marxism, and in order to see to what a degree pseudo-Marxists have disowned it, it is sufficient to point out that as far as they are concerned, everything comes about through ideas: colonialism, imperialism, capitalism itself, are nothing more than mental states.” [Amadeo Bordiga, “Auschwitz – the Big Alibi.” Communist Left. Number 6, July–December 1993. Translated from La Gauche Communiste. Number 13, 1987. The original was published in Programme Communiste. Number 11, 1960. No pagination.]
      “The analysis of the counterrevolution in Russia and its reduction to formulas will not be a crucial problem for the strategy of the proletarian movement in the new revolutionary upsurge which we expect, since it was not the first counterrevolution that ever took place; Marxism has experienced and studied a whole series of counterrevolutions. On the other hand, opportunism and the betrayal of the revolutionary strategy have followed a different course from that of the involution of the Russian economic forms.” [Amadeo Bordiga, “Lessons of the Counterrevolutions.” originally published in Bollettino interno del PCInt. September 10th, 1951. Translated into Spanish in El Programa Comunista. Numbers 36–37, January–April 1981. Translated into English from the Spanish translation in November–December 2013. No pagination.]
      “For those members who follow the teachings of Italian Left Communist Amadeo Bordiga, or sympathize with his views [an online interest group].
      “Bordigism is a tendency a part of the left communist tradition. It is opposed to the united frontism of Trotskyism and opposed to Stalinism. It opposes syndicalism and anarchism on the grounds that these positions are utopian, immediatist, and workerist. Bordigism maintains the importance of a restrictive vanguard party. As Bordiga says in his writing Fundamentals of Revolutionary Communism ‘By putting forward the idea of a proletariat without a party, a party which is sterilized and impotent party, or by looking for substitutes for it, the latest corrupters of Marxism have actually annihilated the class by depriving it of any possibility of fighting for socialism, or even, come to that, fighting for a miserable crust of bread.’ Bordigism takes the stance that democracy is not an end, but a means to an end and that, if we mean democracy to mean ‘the rule of all people’ and, consequently, ‘the rule of all classes’ then Marxists should be anti-democracy because, if society is broken down into two antagonistic classes (the bourgeoisie and the proletariat), and all states are organs of class rule, then we seek the rule of the proletariat over that of the bourgeoisie until a classless society can exist and terms such as ‘proletariat democracy’ are contradictory.”
      [“Bordigist.” RevLeft. Undated. Retrieved on September 10th, 2015.]
      “… [The] label of ‘Bordigism,’ which was often stuck to it, was always rejected by the Left in emigration, because it tended to give credence to a cult of ‘great men,’ which it had nothing to do with, at least until the end of the war… The theoretical and political development of this left, enriched by its experience, was to go beyond and enrich the contribution of the man [Amadeo] Bordiga. Thus the exasperated reaction of the Italian Fraction in 1933 was perfectly understandable ….” [Philippe Bourrinet. The “Bordigist Current”: (1919-1999), Italy, France, Belgium. 2013 revised edition. No location given. No pagination.]
      1. International Communist Tendency: “The Internationalist Communist Party (Battaglia Comunista) was founded with these objectives during the Second World War (1943) and immediately condemned both sides as imperialist. Its roots are in the Italian Communist Left, which from 1920 condemned the degeneration of the Communist International and Stalinization imposed on all the parties that belonged to it. In the Seventies and Eighties it promoted a series of conferences that led to the creation of the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party and finally the Internationalist Communist Tendency (2009).” [“About Us.” International Communist Tendency. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
      2. International Communist Party: “An initial distinction, embedded within all of our theses, should be made between democratic mechanisms posed as a ‘matter of principle,’ and their necessary use by the party in a particular historical period. We have already established that Lenin attributed no inherent value to democracy either inside or outside the party; in fact whenever he could, and whenever necessary, he didn’t hesitate to transgress it and stamp it underfoot; but in order to build the party organisation, he was obliged to use it as an ‘circumstantial mechanism’ with all its statutory, formalistic and bureaucratic baggage. As for us, we not only never attributed any value to it ‘as a principle,’ but we have rid ourselves of it for good, along with all the attendant rubbish about its use as an instrument for building the party. In 1920 we proposed that we no longer say we subscribed to the principle of ‘democratic centralism’ since democracy is not a principle we can ever uphold, while centralism is one we surely can.” [“The Communist Party in the Tradition of the Left.” International Communist Party. 1974. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
        “The apparatus of the proletarian State, insofar as it is a means and arm of struggle in a transitional period between two social systems, does not derive its organizational strength from any existing constitutional canons or schemas that aim to represent all classes.…
        “… The defence of the proletarian regime against the ever present dangers of degeneration can be ensured only if the running of the proletarian State is continually coordinated with the international struggle of the working class of each country against its own bourgeoisie, State and military apparatus; there can be no let up in this struggle even in wartime.…
        “… the fact of the proletarian State having the means of production at its disposal makes possible (after the draconian repression of all useless or anti-social economic sectors, begun already in the transitory phase) an accelerated development of those sectors neglected under capitalism, above all housing and agriculture: moreover, it enables a geographical reorganization of the apparatus of production, leading eventually to the suppression of the antagonism between city and countryside, and to the formation of large production units on a continental scale.…
        “Only by means of force will the proletarian State be able to systematically intervene in the social economy, and adopt those measures with which the collective management of production and distribution will take the place of the capitalist system.”
        [Editor, “What distinguishes our party.” International Communist Party. Undated. Retrieved on June 2nd, 2016.]
      3. spectacle of beings and things (Jacques Camatte as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): In Camatte’s left–communist approach to Marxism–Bordigism, He argues that we must abandon the world which is dominated by capital.
        “We must abandon this world dominated by capital which has become a spectacle of beings and things. A spectacle in the sense that [Jean] Pic de la Mirandole meant when he said that man was the spectacle of the world and its mirror as well. In fact man would have no special gift, all talents being distributed to all living creatures, man, who came last, would be left totally unprovided. Luckily God had pity on him and gave him some qualities of all the creatures and thus he became the spectacle of the world. In him all living creatures could somehow recognise themselves and see themselves act. As a result of the process of anthropomorphosis, capital becomes in turn a spectacle. It assimilates to itself and incorporates in itself all the qualities of men, all their activities, without ever being one of them, otherwise it would deny itself by substantialisation, inhibition of its life process.
        “In accepting this representation of capital, men see a spectacle which is their mutilated redundancy because in general they only perceive one part. They have long since lost the meaning of totality.
        “One must reject the presuppositions of capital, which immerse in a distant past, to escape the grip of capital (moment of the dissolution of the primitive communities) and, simultaneously, one can supersede [Karl] Marx’s work which is the finished expression of the arrival at totality, the accomplished structure of value, which, with its mutation of capital, has set itself up as the material community. One must envisage a new dynamic, for the CMP [capitalist mode of production] will not disappear following a frontal struggle of people against their present domination, but by a huge renunciation which implies the rejection of a path used for millenia. The CMP does not decay but has a downfall.”
        [Jacques Camatte. This World We Must Leave. Sydney, Australia: Jura Books. 1976. Pages 20-21.]
        “… there is a direct production of revolutionaries who supersede almost immediately the point we were at when we had to make our break. Thus, there is a potential ‘union’ that would be considered if we were not to carry the break with the political point of view to the depths of our individual consciousnesses. Since the essence of politics is fundamentally representation, each group is forever trying to project an impressive image on the social screen. The groups are always explaining how they represent themselves in order to be recognized by certain people as the vanguard for representing others, the class. This is revealed in the famous ‘what distinguishes us’ of various small groups in search of recognition. All delimitation is limitation and often leads rather rapidly to reducing the delimitation to some representative slogans for racketeerist marketing. All political representation is a screen and therefore an obstacle to a fusion of forces. Since representation can occur on the individual as well as the group level, recourse to the former level would be, for us, a repetition of the past.” [Jacques Camatte and Gianni Collu. On Organization. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1969. Page 1.]
        “The proletariat having been destroyed, this tendency of capital encounters no real opposition in society and so can produce itself all the more efficiently. The proletariat’s real essence has been denied and it exists only as an object of capital. Similarly, the theory of the proletariat, Marxism, has been destroyed, [Karl] Kautsky first revising it and then [Eduard] Bernstein liquidating it. This occurred in a definitive manner, for no assault of the proletariat has succeeded since then in reestablishing Marxism. This is only another way of saying that capital has succeeded in establishing its real domination. To accomplish this, capital had to absorb the movement that negates it, the proletariat, and establish a unity in which the proletariat is merely an object of capital. This unity can be destroyed only by a crisis, such as those described by [Karl] Marx. It follows that all forms of working-class political organization have disappeared. In their place, gangs confront one another in an obscene competition, veritable rackets rivaling each other in what they peddle but identical in their essence.” [Jacques Camatte and Gianni Collu. On Organization. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1969. Page 4.]
        “Like the May ’[19]68 movement but more so, the lycée movement emphasized very clearly that staying within the old forms of struggle inevitably leads to certain defeat. It is now becoming generally accepted that demonstrations, marches, spectacles and shows don’t lead anywhere. Waving banners, putting up posters, handing out leaflets, attacking the police are all activities which perpetuate a certain ritual – a ritual wherein the police are always cast in the role of invincible subjugators. The methods of struggle therefore must be put through a thorough analysis because they present an obstacle to the creation of new modes of action. And for this to be effective, there has to be a refusal of the old terrain of struggle – both in the workplace and in the streets. As long as revolutionary struggle is conducted not on its own ground but on the terrain of capital, there can be no significant breakthrough, no qualitative revolutionary leap. This is where we must concentrate our attention; it is a question which has to be faced now if revolution is not to stagnate and destroy itself, a setback which could take years to recover from. If we are to successfully abandon the old centres of struggle, it will require a simultaneous movement towards the creation of new modes of life. What’s the point of occupying the factories – like car factories for example – where production must be stopped anyway?” [Jacques Camatte. The Selected Works of Jacques Camatte. New York: Prism Key Press. 2012. Pages 159-160.]
        “Revolution does not emerge from one or another part of our being — from body, space or time. Our revolution as a project to reestablish community was necessary from the moment when ancient communities were destroyed. The reduction of communist revolution to an uprising which was to resolve the contradictions posed by the capitalist mode of production was pernicious. Revolution has to resolve all the old contradictions created by the class societies absorbed by capital, all the contradictions between relatively primitive communities and the movement of exchange value currently being absorbed by the movement of capital (in Asia and especially in Africa). Beyond this, the revolutionary movement is the revolution of nature, accession to thought, and mastery of being with the possibility of using the prefrontal centers of the brain which are thought to relate to the imagination. Revolution has a biological and therefore cosmic dimension, considering our universe limited (to the solar system); cosmic also in the meaning of the ancient philosophers and mystics. This means that revolution is not only the object of the passion of our epoch, but also that of millions of human beings, starting with our ancient ancestors who rebelled against the movement of exchange value which they saw as a fatality, passing through [Karl] Marx and [Amadeo] Bordiga who, in their dimension as prophets, witnessed this inextinguishable passion to found a new community, a human community. Wanting to situate the revolution is like wanting to fix its height. Saint-Just said that revolution could not stop until happiness was realized, thus showing the falsity of wanting to judge men in terms of the purely historical-material facts of a given epoch. The human being is never a pure being-there. He can only be by superseding and he cannot be only that which has to be superseded ([Friedrich] Nietzsche). Structurally and biologically man is a supersession because he is an overpowerful being. In other words, human beings are explorers of the possible and are not content with the immediately realizable, especially if it is imposed on them. They lose this passion, this thirst for creation — for what is the search for the possible if not invention? — when they are debased, estranged, cut off from their Gemeinwesen [community] and therefore mutilated, reduced to simple individuals. It is only with the real domination of the capitalist mode of production that the human being is completely evacuated.” [Jacques Camatte. The Wandering of Humanity. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1973. Page 21.]
        “… a transformation presupposes the simultaneous transformation of concrete into abstract labour, that is, products progressively lose their characteristic of being the result of the particular activity of man, to take on that of being a product of human labour. At this level of generalization of commodity production, man himself becomes a commodity – the labour power which can sell itself. And it is this particular commodity which generates surplus-value, through its consumption in the production process. This happens in the following way: the capitalists who own the means of production assure the existence of the worker, a person expropriated of his own means of production, reduced to the state of absolute dependence since he is the master of nothing except his own labour power, which can only be effective, and so real, when he comes into contact with the means of production which are in the possession of the capitalist. The latter consents to give him wages, i.e. a certain quantity of money allowing him to buy on the market, owned by the capitalists, the means of subsistence necessary to maintain his material life, on condition that the worker alienates his labour-power, which the capitalist will use as he wishes, according to the requirements of the production process itself.” [Jacques Camatte. Capital and Community. Seattle, Washington: Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2012. Kindle edition.]
        “[Jacques] Camatte’s work during the majority of the 1960s is … firmly placed within the Bordigist current.” [Chamsy el-Ojeili, “‘Communism … is the affirmation of a new community’: Notes on Jacques Camatte.” Capital & Class. Volume 38, number 2, 2014. Pages 345-364.]
    4. Zapatismo (MP3 audio file) or, in English, “Zapatism”: This communist–left tendency, the Zapatistas (MP3 audio file), is associated with the Mexican Marxist Emiliano Zapata (MP3 audio file). It is a left–wing communist system in Mexico.
      “The Zapatistas presented themselves to the world on January 1, 1994, though the roots of the rebellion can be traced back 500 years to the European invasion of the Americas. During those five centuries, indigenous communities lost control of historic lands and were often forced into various forms of slavery and/or virtual slavery. Many rebellions occurred during this period, making the Zapatista uprising part of a long history of struggle and resistance. By the late 20ᵗʰ century, indigenous communities in Chiapas lived on the most marginal and isolated lands in the state. High levels of poverty, and lack of health care and education plagued the communities. The Zapatista uprising was a direct result of these conditions.” [“Alternative Economy.” Zapatismo. Undated. Retrieved on September 19th, 2015.]
      “The mass media throw lies at the Mexican population. They try to muddy all that is good and all that is beautiful. Dozens of military vehicles are in the jungle and other points of Chiapas now, armoured helicopters, troops; fearful informers signal out persons in the civil population for public denouncement; police have arrested and detained many in different parts of the nation.
      “The ones responsible for the bankruptcy of the nation, those who support the guardias blancas (white guards – the private armies of the landowners and ranchers), those who have money to pay for hired guns, those who support the one-party government of the PRI, calculate they can liquidate 500 years of indigenous and popular resistance.
      “Is it too much to ask for Justice, Democracy and Liberty? Do we commit a crime for fighting for a roof, land, health, education, employment, culture, the right to information, independence and peace?
      “Today lead falls in our hearts. From this sorrow that overflows every hour, we receive your news and we do not feel alone. We know we have with us the best men and women of the American people, who will know how to be with us and will know how to be brave to impede fratricide in our nation. There is urgent need for international observers that testify to the events we denounce. That you promote more united and massive mobilizations to stop this horror of war.
      “May we awaken the people of the world to Life, for Peace with Justice and Dignity.”
      [Aide Rojas and Gabriel Ramirez, “A Letter from the Zapatistas: Transition Government in Rebellion State of Chiapas Council of the Government, San Cristobal de las Casas, 10ᵗʰ February, 1995.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 17, 1995. Pages 1-3.]
      “It took more than three months for the zapatistas to complete their consultation, until all the communities had discussed the matter thoroughly and resolved their doubts. It was widely expected that they would accept the government’s terms, but in fact they announced in June that they were rejecting them, principally because the government’s response to their demands was an attmept to buy them off with concessions to improve conditions just in Chiapas, whereas they had made clear from the beginning that their demands related to conditions in the whole country, and were demands not just for better material conditions but for freedom, democracy and justice. Nevertheless, they said that they would not take up arms immediately.” [John Holloway, “The Zapatistas.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 17, 1995. Pages 4-10.]
      “I want to take the zapatistas seriously. I want [Subcomandante] Marcos to be right when he says that they are stronger than the Mexican government. I want them to be right when they say that they want to change the world without taking power. I want them to be right because I do not see any other way out of the tragedy we are living, in which about 50,000 people die each day of starvation, in which over a thousand million people live in extreme poverty. Revolution is desperately urgent, but often it appears that we are trapped in a desperately urgent impossibility. I want Marcos’s declarations to be not only beautiful and poetic but to have a real theoretical and practical foundation. If we want them to be right, we must try to understand, criticise and strengthen the theoretical and practical foundation of what they are doing.” [John Holloway, “The Concept of Power and the Zapatistas.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 19, 1996. Pages 20-27.]
      “Neoliberalism is not an economic policy but an attempt to reorganise every aspect of human life. Neoliberalism destroys everything, but at the same time there arise new forms of resistance and struggle. They are no longer the struggles of the masses, but a new rainbow of different struggles, the struggles of women, the struggles of the gay movement, struggles to redefine the relation between people and nature, struggles for the rights of people in all the phases of their lives, as children, adolescents, old people, struggles just to survive, struggles that are often not perceived or recognised as struggles, struggles that, taken individually, are partial but that, seen all together, point towards the construction of human dignity.” [Eloina Pelaez and John Holloway, “The Dialogue of San Cristobal.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 20, 1996. Pages 61-63.]
      “The Zapatistas employ a considerable diversity of resources in achieving these variations: the variety of authorities cited – not limited to the traditional Left pantheon but including poets, novelists, football players and indigenous gods or demigods – a special way of talking that brings together a few words from Native-American dialects, sociolectal turns of phrase that are peculiar to Mexico, and dialectal expressions from cultured Spanish with words and phrases in English and French. There is no attempt to hide the juxtaposition of cultures, rather, it is exhibited along with an unusual conception of the world and its changes.” [Alejandro Giullermo Raiter and Irene Ines Munoz, “Zapatista Discourse: What is New.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 21, 1997. Pages 18-30.]
      “… the idea of dignity implies a critique of the state and of state-oriented theory. The state, in the sense of a political sphere distinct from the economic also presupposes the existence of the market. States (all states) are integrated into the world market, into the global network of capitalist social relations, in such a way that their only option, whatever the complexion of their government, whatever the form of democracy that they proclaim, is to actively promote the accumulation of capital, that is to say, humiliation and exploitation. That is why the revolt of dignity cannot have as its aim to take state power or to become channelled through state forms. The zapatista struggle haa been profoundly anti-state since its beginning, not in the superficial sense of proclaiming war against the Mexican state, but in its forms of organisation.” [John Holloway, “Dignity and the Zapatistas.” Common Sense: Journal of Edinburgh Conference of Socialist Economists. Issue 22, 1997. Pages 38-42.]
      “Zapatismo has illuminated the continent and the world since 1994 with an armed uprising that seeks not to seize power but to build a new world, and shows the importance of building communal, municipal, and regional autonomy, from below. More recently, Zapatismo has been attempting to expand throughout Mexico, propagating a political culture that is premised on listening as a foundation for doing non-institutional politics from below. With their Good Government Councils, the Zapatistas have taught us that it is possible—at least on a small scale—to build non-bureaucratic forms of power, based on the rotation of representatives, that go beyond conventional state practices.” [Raăl Zibechi. Dispersing Power: Social Movements as Anti-State Forces. Ramor Ryan, translator. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2010. Pages 1-2.]
      “… it is not exaggerated to speak of a ‘Zapatista Effect’ reverberating through social movements around the world; an effect homologous to, but potentially much more threatening to, the New World Order of neoliberalism than the Tequila Effect that rippled through emerging financial markets in the wake of the 1994 peso crisis. In the latter case, the danger was panic and the ensuing rapid withdrawal of hot money from speculative investments. In the case of social movements and the activism which is their hallmark, the danger lies in the impetus given to previously disparate groups to mobilize around the rejection of current policies, to rethink institutions and governance, and to develop alternatives to the status quo.” [Harry M. Cleaver, Jr., “The Zapatista Effect: The Internet and the Rise of an Alternative Political Fabric.” Journal of International Affairs. Volume 51, number 2, spring 1998. Pages 621-640.]
      “The most prominent defence of Zapatista nationalism is that it is somehow a different type of nationalism to the more regressive nationalisms many would automatically reject. For example, an article on the Irish ‘Struggle’ website seeks to defend the Zapatistas by stating that they are ‘nationalistic only in the sense of the scope of their demands. They are not nationalistic in the sense of chauvinism,’ as if the problem with nationalistic viewpoints is solely a matter of xenophobia and has nothing to do with the cross-class nature of such appeals. More recently, the booklet distributed at the recent UK Anarchist Bookfair stated: ‘it is important to distinguish the concept of the nation from that of the Nation-State’ and that ‘it is perhaps more accurate to view [Zapatistas] ‘nationalist’ talk as referring more to tradition and cultural identity than to the (re)construction of the bourgeois state.’” [Anonymous. The Sixth Declaration, the Zapatistas, nationalism and the state. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2007. Page 5.]
      “The first of January 1994, 502 years after the beginning of the invasion of illegal immigrants from Europe into the American continent, was the day in which it was declared that US commodities and capital could freely and legally enter with no restriction into Mexico. It was the day of implementation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The same day, an army of indigenous people entered in San Cristobal and other cities of Chiapas, wearing ski masks, carrying guns, and proclaiming revolutionary laws from the balcony of the city council. The world woke up in the new year and sleepy eyes and hangovered brains knew of an indigenous army called EZLN, Zapatista’s Army of National Liberation, shortly Zapatistas. Their aim was not a socialist state, nor a planned economy, nor to bring consciousness to alleged unconscious people, as it was the case in old socialist tradition. Their aim was living with dignity, and nothing less than the simple task of building a new world. Yet, they could not say how this new world would look like, they did not have a plan for you and me. In fact they wanted you and me to talk to them, and together bring about a new world, meeting our needs and aspirations.” [Massimo De Angelis. The Zapatista’s Voice—Limiting the Limitless: Global Neoliberal Capital, New Internationalism and the Zapatistas’ Voice. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1998. Page 10.]
    5. structural transformation of the public sphere (Jürgen Habermas as pronounced in this MP3 audio file with Patrick W. Hamlett, Peter Nugus, Matthew Festenstein, Eva Erman as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, Darrin Hicks, Alison Kadlec, Mark E. Warren, and others): Through communicative action, the public sphere, including its moral autonomy, can be transformed.
      “Nowhere did the constitutional establishment of a public sphere in the political realm, itself painfully enough won through violence, betray its character as an order of domination more than in the central article stating that all power (Gewalt) came from the people. Otherwise the constitutional state predicated on civil rights pretended, on the basis of an effective public sphere, to be an organization of public power ensuring the latter’s subordination to the needs of a private sphere itself taken to be neutralized as regards power and emancipated from domination. Thus the constitutional norms implied a model of civil society that by no means corresponded to its reality. The categories drawn from the historical process of capitalism, including its liberal phase, were themselves historical in character. They denoted social tendencies, but tendencies only. Thus, the ‘private people’ on whose autonomy, socially guaranteed by property, the constitutional state counted just as much as on the educational qualifications of the public formed by these people, were in truth a small minority, even if one added the petty to the high bourgeoisie. Incomparably more numerous were the ‘common people,’ especially the rural population. And both the princes, supported by army and bureaucracy, and the great landowners, the landed nobility, continued to exercise power in accord with the political laws of precapitalist society. Nevertheless, the new constitutions, written and unwritten, referred to citizens and human beings as such, and indeed necessarily so, as long as ‘publicity’ constituted their organizational principle.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Thomas Burger with Frederick Lawrence, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1991. Pages 84-85.]
      “… in the course of the accumulation of capital, the markets became deformed into oligopolies, so that one could no longer count on an independent formation of prices—the emancipation of civil society from authoritarian state regulation did not lead to the insulation of the transactions between private people from the intrusion of power. Instead, new relationships of power, especially between owners and wage earners, were created within the forms of civil freedom of contract.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Thomas Burger with Frederick Lawrence, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1991. Page 124.]
      “With the dissolution of ‘political’ power into ‘public’ power, the liberal idea of a political public sphere found its socialist formulation. As is well known, [Friedrich] Engels, inspired by a phrase of [Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de] Saint-Simon’s, interpreted it in such a way that the administration of things and direction of production processes would take the place of the rule over men. Not authority as such but certainly political authority would disappear; the remaining and in part newly forming public functions changed their political character into an administrative one.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Thomas Burger with Frederick Lawrence, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1991. Page 128.]
      “By ‘the public sphere’ we mean first of all a realm of our social life in which something approaching public opinion can be formed. Access is guaranteed to all citizens. A portion of the public sphere comes into being in every conversation in which private individuals assemble to form a public body. They then behave neither like business or professional people transacting private affairs, nor like members of a constitutional order subject to the legal constraints of a state bureaucracy. Citizens behave as a public body when they confer in an unrestricted fashion—that is, with the guarantee of freedom of assembly and association and the freedom to express and publish their opinions—about matters of general interest. In a large public body this kind of communication requires specific means for transmitting information and influencing those who receive it. Today newspapers and magazines, radio and television are the media of the public sphere. We speak of the political public sphere in contrast, for instance, to the literary one, when public discussion deals with objects connected to the activity of the state. Although state authority is so to speak the executor of the political public sphere, it is not a part of it. To be sure, state authority is usually considered ‘public’ authority, but it derives its task of caring for the well-being of all citizens primarily from this aspect of the public sphere. Only when the exercise of political control is effectively subordinated to the democratic demand that information be accessible to the public, does the political public sphere win an institutionalized influence over the government through the instrument of law-making bodies. The expression ‘public opinion’ refers to the tasks of criticism and control which a public body of citizens informally—and, in periodic elections, formally as well—practices vis-à-vis the ruling structure organized in the form of a state. Regulations demanding that certain proceedings be public (Publizitätsvorschriften), for example those providing for open court hearings, are also related to this function of public opinion. The public sphere as a sphere which mediates between society and state, in which the public organizes itself as the bearer or public opinion, accords with the principle of the public sphere—that principle of public information which once had to fought for against the arcane policies of monarchies and which since that time has made possible the democratic control of state activities.” [Jürgen Habermas, “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article (1964).” Sara Lennox and Frank Lennox, translators. New German Critique. Number 3, autumn 1974. Pages 49-55.]
      “Only at the postconventional stage is the social world uncoupled from the stream of cultural givens. This shift makes the autonomous justification of morality an unavoidable problem. The very perspectives that make consensus possible are now at issue. Independently of contingent commonalities of social background, political affiliation, cultural heritage, traditional forms of life, and so on, competent actors can now take a moral point of view, a point of view distanced from the controversy, only if they cannot avoid accepting that point of view even when their value orientations diverge.” [Jürgen Habermas, “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article (1964).” Sara Lennox and Frank Lennox, translators. New German Critique. Number 3, autumn 1974. Page 131.]
      “… the moral sphere is autonomous. Autonomy means that the form of moral argumentation is distinct from all other forms of argumentation, whether they involve stating and explaining facts, evaluating works of art, clarifying utterances, bringing unconscious motives to light, or whatever.” [Jürgen Habermas. Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. Christian Lenhardt and Shierry Weber Nicholsen, translators. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1990. Page 38.]
      “Neither Kantian ethics nor discourse ethics exposes itself to the charge of abetting, let alone justifying, totalitarian ways of doing things. This charge has recently been taken up by neo-conservatives. The maxim that the end justifies the means is utterly incompatible with both the letter and the spirit of moral universalism, even when it is a question of politically implementing universalistic legal and constitutional principles. A problematic role is played in this connection by certain notions held by philosophers of history, Marxists, and others. Realizing that the political practice of their chosen macrosubject of society is sputtering, if not paralyzed, they delegate revolutionary action to an avant-garde with proxy functions. The error of this view is to conceive of society as a subject writ large and then to pretend that the actions of the avant-garde need not be held any more accountable than those of the higher-level subject of history. In contrast to any philosophy of history, the intersubjectivist approach of discourse ethics breaks with the premises of the philosophy of consciousness. The only higher-level intersubjectivity it acknowledges is that of public spheres.” [Jürgen Habermas. Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. Christian Lenhardt and Shierry Weber Nicholsen, translators. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1990. Pages 165-166.]
      “In … [the] concretist interpretation, socialism is obviously no longer a goal, and, realistically speaking, never has been. Faced as we are with a higher level of social complexity, we must submit the normative implications attached to this nineteenth-century theoretical formulation to a process of radical abstraction. The communicative conditions necessary to the establishment of justified confidence in the institutions of rational self-organization of a society of free and equal citizens become central precisely when one adheres to the critique of naturalized and unlegitimated forms of power. To be sure, solidarity can only really be experienced in the context of the necessarily particular forms of social life we inherit or critically appropriate—and thus actively choose. However, in the framework of a society with a large-scale political integration, let alone within the horizons of an international communications network, mutually supportive coexistence, even conceived on its own terms, is only available in the form of an abstract idea; in other words, in the form of a legitimate, intersubjectively shared expectation.” [Jürgen Habermas, “What Does Socialism Mean Today? The Rectifying Revolution and the Need for New Thinking on the Left.” New Left Review. Series I, number 183. September–October 1990. Pages 3-22.]
      “It is true that the political sphere forms part of a wider cultural sphere, and today both are linked directly to the soiled channels of private television. Public television is now competing in a race to the bottom with the most degraded presentation and programming of commercial television. Public broadcasting has problems of its own as a form: but it rested on the correct idea that not all social functions can calmly be left to market forces. Culture, information and criticism are all dependent upon a specific form of communication all their own. The imperative of ratings ought not to penetrate the very pores of cultural communication.” [Jürgen Habermas, “There Are Alternatives.” New Left Review. Series I, number 231, September–October 1998. Pages 3-12.]
      “While only one of [Jürgen] Habermas’ major texts includes the ‘public sphere’ in its title, the task of interpreting and defending the idealizing expectations embedded in the institutional arrangements of bourgeois modernity has never been far from his central purposes. For Habermas, the critical theorist must battle against ideologies that block our appreciation of the ambiguous potentials of modernization processes. This is no mere contemplative, theoretical, interest. A conception of an engaged critical theory has been reflected in a life that, together with its enormous scholarly endeavours, has found time for the responsibilities of the public intellectual. Habermas has always offered himself as a critic in the public sphere. His determination to seize opportunities for entering into public discussion about the choices available to the present was evident in his student days. Habermas was an active participant in a post-war German student movement that saw the goal of a democratized University as a preliminary to a programme of major reform in the institutionalized priorities of German society. Since those distant days, Habermas has made his views known on many controversial topics, from a lively interchange with leftist student radicals in the late 1960s, to a critique of right wing ‘distortions’ about the recent fascist German past in the ‘historians dispute’ of the 1980s, and most recently engagements with the aspirations of current American foreign policy. A willingness to engage with the particular issues thrown up by contemporary politics is, for Habermas, a central responsibility of the critical theorist. He repudiates the suggestion that any general theory is ‘supposed to be able to solve all of life’s problems’ and stresses that the theorist needs to be able to ‘visit [already] “disassembled” problems that have their place in very different contexts.’ In recent years, Habermas’ important contributions to ongoing discussions about German unification, over the future of European political solidarities, on the problems of asylum seekers, multiculturalism, and on the Gulf and the Iraqi Wars have been quickly translated into English.” [Pauline Johnson. Habermas: Rescuing the public sphere. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2006. Page 13.]
      1. deliberative democracy: Habermas discusses a socialist perspective on the “structural transformation of the public sphere” from state domination. Deliberative democracy is a term coined by Joseph M. Bessette. It refers to an approach to democracy characterized by the rational discussions of regularly elected, and accountable, representatives and the pursuit of popular consensus.
        “The deliberative mode of legislation and a strict dependence of administrative activity on statutory guidelines are threatened just as much by autonomous and self-programming bureaucracies as by the privileged influence exerted by formally private social organizations. In the United States, however, the influence of interest groups that implement their private aims through the government apparatus at the cost of the general interest is considered the real problem, at least since the famous discussion between the Federalists and the Antifederalists. In this classical stance against the tyranny of societal powers that violate the principle of the separation of state and society, rejuvenated republicanism, too, conceives the role of the constitutional court as that of a custodian of deliberative democracy ….” [Jürgen Habermas. Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy. William Rehg, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1996. Page 275.]
        “… I have proposed that we understand the normative bases of constitutional democracy as the result of a deliberative decision-making process that the founders—motivated by whatever historical contingencies—undertook with the intention of creating a voluntary, self-determining association of free and equal citizens. The founders sought a reasonable answer to this question: what rights must we mutually accord one another if we want to legitimately regu- late our common life by means of positive law?” [Jürgen Habermas, “Constitutional Democracy: A Paradoxical Union of Contradictory Principles?” William Rehg, translator. Political Theory. Volume 29, number 6, December 2001. Pages 766-781.]
        “A legitimating authority can only spring from a democratic process that grounds a reasonable presumption for the rational acceptability of outcomes. And this will be only the case if there is a cognitive dimension built into it—the decisions of the democratic law giver must remain internally linked to preceding deliberations. And here is the entry for a discourse theory that claims to explain how the institutionalization of deliberative politics can generate a postmetaphysical and postreligious kind of legitimacy within a pluralist civil society.” [Jürgen Habermas, “Concluding Comments on Empirical Approaches to Deliberative Politics.” Acta Politica. Volume 40, number 3, September 2005. Pages 384-392.]
        “The people from whom all governmental authority is supposed to derive does not comprise a subject with will and consciousness. It only appears in the plural, and as a people it is capable of neither decision nor action as a whole. In complex societies, even the most earnest endeavors at political self-organization are defeated by resistant elements originating in the stubborn systemic logics of the market and administrative power. At one time, democracy was something to be asserted against the despotism palpably embodied in the king, members of the aristocracy, and higher-ranking clerics. Since then, political authority has been depersonalized. Democratization now works to overcome not genuinely political forms of resistance but rather the systemic imperatives of differentiated economic and administrative systems.” [Jürgen Habermas, “Popular Sovereignty as Procedure.” Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics. James Bohman and William Rehg, editors. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1997. Pages 35-65.]
        “I would like to sketch a proceduralist view of democracy and deliberative politics that differs in relevant aspects from both the liberal and the republican paradigm.…
        “According to the communitarian view, there is a necessary connection between the deliberative concept of democracy and the reference to a concrete substantively integrated ethical community.…
        “In contrast to the ethical constriction of political discourse, the concept of deliberative politics acquires empirical reference only when we take account of the multiplicity of communicative forms of rational political will-formation. It is not discourse of an ethical type that could grant on its own the democratic genesis of law. Instead, deliberative politics should be conceived as a syndrome that depends on a network of fairly regulated bargaining processes and of various forms of argumentation, including pragmatic, ethical, and moral discourses, each of which relies on different communicative presuppositions and procedures.…
        “According to the liberal view, the democratic process takes place in the form of compromises between competing interests.…
        “According to the republican view, the citizens’ political opinion- and will-formation forms the medium through which society constitutes itself as a political whole.”
        [Jürgen Habermas, “Three Normative Models of Democracy.” Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political. Seyla Benhabib, editor. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1996. Pages 21-30.]
        “There are two general reasons why representatives could be expected to do a better job of deliberating about public policy than their constituents. First, they are typically more knowledgeable and experienced in public affairs. Second, they function in an institutional setting that foster collective reasoning about common concerns, while their constituents usually lack the time, inclination, or environment to engage in a similar enterprise.
        “Deliberative democracy also demands, however, that the representatives of the people share the basic values and goals of their constituents, their own deliberations about public policy must be firmly rooted in popular interests and inclinations. The electoral connection is the chief mechanism for ensuring such a linkage between the values and goals of representatives and represented. If that linkage is sufficiently strong, then the policies fashioned by political leaders will effectively be those that the people themselves would have chosen had they possessed the same knowledge and experience as their representatives and devoted the same amount of time considering the information and arguments presented in the national councils.
        “Thus, the deliberative democracy fashioned by the architects of the American constitutional order is distinct both from direct democracy, where the people themselves make the key political decisions, and from the kind of democracy proposed by Edmund Burke, or at least some of his interpreters, in which the wise and virtuous, freely chosen by the community, rule through the exercise of their independent and superior political judgment, disconnected from popular sentiments. The deliberative democracy of the framers, it can be said, is less democratic than direct democracy but more democratic than this version of the Burkean prescription.”
        [Joseph M. Bessette. The Mild Voice of Reason: Deliberative Democracy & American National Government. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press. 1997. Page 2.]
        “Deliberative democracy theorists care a great deal about how deliberative practices are structured, positing a variety of requirements for fairness, openness, and the elimination (as far as possible) of strategic manipulation. However, there are a large number of other issues to be addressed in how deliberation is structured, and it is here where social constructivists might contribute. Thus, most examples of deliberation do not involve simply putting a representative sample of citizens in a room together and waiting for agreement to emerge from their interactions. Rather, most deliberative practices are mediated by facilitators whose tasks include making sure that the normative standards of effective deliberation are met. Social constructivists can address the important issues of howfacilitators are selected, of howtheir roles and identities within the deliberative experience are constructed, and of how the specific techniques they employ help to not only construct the hoped-for consensus but also construct the roles and identities of the participants themselves.” [Patrick W. Hamlett, “Technology Theory and Deliberative Democracy.” Science, Technology, & Human Values. Volume 28, number 1, winter 2003. Pages 112-140.]
        “Deliberative democracy represents a discursive turn in democratic theory. Its proponents argue that decision-making processes ought to be aimed at achieving consensus through rational discussion …. Deliberative democracy holds that the legitimacy of law-making ought to depend on the quality of the public deliberation of citizens …. Traditional theories of democracy focus on voting. However, deliberative democracy involves avoiding, if possible, majoritarianism in favour of consensus through rational deliberation among those who are equal and committed to others’ abilities, rights and theirs and others’ responsibilities to contribute ideas and to deliberate …. Notwithstanding the risk of potential coercion by the majority perspective, proponents of deliberative democracy believe that public opinion can be influenced by discussion and exchange of ideas that promote reflection on one’s views to enhance the quality of decision-making ….” [Peter Nugus, “Rhetorical strategies of political parties and organized movements: Deliberative democracy and the Australian monarchy–republican debate.” Journal of Sociology. Volume 45, number 3, August 2009. Pages 307-328.]
        “Arguments for deliberative democracy have been overwhelmingly concerned with establishing that democracy conceived as a process of this sort possesses a legitimacy lacking from democratic procedures which are understood merely as mechanisms for the aggregation of private interests or preferences. Proponents of deliberative democracy argue that the process of debate, discussion and persuasion prior to the aggregation of votes is crucial for the legitimacy of the outcome. The literature on deliberative democracy has generally been concerned to flesh out the details of the contrast with accounts of democracy focused on the aggregation of votes, to offer a fuller specification of the reasons to prefer deliberative democracy, and to suggest ways in which this ideal conception may be employed, as a critical criterion or as a model for institutional design ….” [Matthew Festenstein, “Deliberative Democracy and Two Models of Pragmatism.” European Journal of Social Theory. Volume 7, number 3, August 2004. Pages 291-306.]
        “… the deliberative democratic model distinguishes between the ethnos [Greek/Hellēniká, ἔθνος, é̓thnos, ‘nation’] and the demos [Greek/Hellēniká, δήμος, dḗmos, ‘municipality’], between the ethnic, cultural, lingustic, and religious identity of a people, and the political constitution of the people as an organized, self-governing body. A demos can consist of more than one ethnos; the sovereign political community may encompass and usually does encompass more than one ethnic, religious, and linguistic community. What makes such an ethnically diverse body politic one is not some mystical act of sovereign willformation, but the constitutional and institutional principles through which such a people enter into the world-historial arena and demand recognition from others. No nation is the seat of an ultimate, mystical sovereignty. Democracies are not formed through the mystical sovereignty of nations but through the constitutional principles which peoples adopt to govern themselves by and the institutional arrangements which they set into motion. Perhaps the events of recent history in the heart of Europe will have taught us how disastrous it is to conflate the aspirations of different groups to cultural and ethnic self-expression with the issue of political sovereignty.” [Seyla Benhabib, “Democracy and Difference: Reflections on the Metapolitics of Lyotard and Derrida.” The Journal of Political Philosophy. Volume 2, number 1, 1994. Pages 1-23.]
        “If democratic theory took a deliberative turn in the 1990s, deliberative democracy has taken a ‘civil society turn’ to address these shortcomings on the regional and global levels. In light of the present circumstances of world politics, consisting of an increasing asymmetry between rule-makers and rule-takers and inequalities among states, many deliberative democrats investigate the role of transnational non-state actors — ranging from social movements to interest groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — for achieving more transnational or global democracy. Instead of emphasizing juridical aspects, this deliberative civil society or stakeholder view lays stress upon the core democratic qualities or mechanisms of participation, accountability, authorization and deliberation.” [Eva Erman, “In search of democratic agency in deliberative governance.” European Journal of International Relations. Volume 19, number 4, April 2012. Pages 847-868.]
        “Deliberative democrats address this dilemma, the demand for democratic legitimacy, by modifying the first part of its formulation—by shifting the locus of justification for applications of social and political power from public officials to the stakeholders themselves; this strategy fenders the reasons used to justify those policies consistent with the conceptions of the good held by stakeholders, making it more likely that they will accept the policy as justified. Empirical evidence demonstrates that stakeholders who have adequate pre-decisional voice; participate in open, credible, and collaborative processes; and are able to revise any decisions resulting in inefficiency or injustice will endorse policies ensuing from this process even at the cost of their own interests. But, participation itself does not constitute legitimacy, for broad participation cannot ensure that both the process and outcomes of deliberation are truly inclusive, just, or reasonable. Rather, the invention, formulation, evaluation, and revision of law and social policy must also be the product of a rigorous process of public debate and discussion in which citizens, considered as moral and political equals, move beyond mere self-interest and reflect on the common good.” [Darrin Hicks, “The Promise(s) of Deliberative Democracy.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs. Volume 5, number 2, summer 2002. Pages 223-260.]
        “It is now well established that the movement toward ‘deliberative democracy’ in democratic theory is due in part to the frustrations that emerged out of the disputes concerning liberalism. The liberal emphasis on atomistic individualism and the Rawlsian priority of the right over the good was challenged by communitarian thinkers, such as Michael Sandel who said that liberalism ‘cannot secure the liberty it promises’ because ‘it cannot inspire the sense of community and civic engagement that liberty requires.’ In turn, liberals argued that advocates of communitarianism neglect the extent to which privileging the common good over individual rights leaves us vulnerable to coercion, intolerance and crushing conformity.” [Alison Kadlec, “Critical Pragmatism and Deliberative Democracy.” Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory. Number 117, December 2008. Pages 54-80.]
        “If we assume, as we must, that authority is a necessity in today’s societies, the burden of argument for deliberative democrats includes at least the following: (1) specify the senses in which authority is necessary in a deliberative democracy, and (2) specify the relationship between democratic decision making (both deliberative and majoritarian) and authoritative decision making. In doing so, it will be important to show that (a) grounds for authority need not be uncontestable to serve authoritative functions and (b) because democratic authority is generated by settling political issues into patterns of warranted trust, it can provide at least as much social and psychological security for citizens and authorities alike as can the uncontestable authority it would replace, if not more.” [Mark E. Warren, “Deliberative Democracy and Authority.” The American Political Science Review. Volume 90, number 1, March 1996. Pages 46-60.]
        “I will argue, more specifically, (1) that the idea of justice underlying deliberative democracy is the demand for the co-original recognition of the private and public autonomy of citizens. (2) This explains how democratic deliberation combines procedural and substantive aspects in a unique and inextricable manner, whereby the procedural and the substantive criterion of validity represent two sides of the same idea of justice. (3) Deliberation is geared towards the construction of a moral we-perspective which embodies the impartial recognition of the autonomy of the concrete other and takes into account the particular perspectives of all people involved. Such a construction requires the active participation of all citizens because only they themselves have access to their own particular perspective on the matter at hand. (4) The counterfactual and symbolic character of the recognition of autonomy as a criterion of justice implies, however, that all actual agreement on legal norms is necessarily fallible and temporary. Thus, democratic deliberation is part of an ongoing constitutional project as an open-ended, historical elaboration of the co-original recognition of the private and public autonomy of citizens.” [Stefan Rummens, “Democratic Deliberation as the Open-Ended Construction of Justice.” Ratio Juris. Volume 20, number 3, September 2007. Pages 335-354.]
        “… the opinions of various theoreticians as to what deliberative democracy is, are far from uniform. Nevertheless, all these thinkers share the conviction that deliberation is a desirable thing in the contemporary world, and thanks to it the public can change their preferences and determine what will benefit their community. They consider discussion to be the basis for legitimizing contemporary governments. The rules of deliberation, established by participants, as well as the equality and freedom of all participants to question arguments, are also important for them. Moreover, deliberative democrats are usually not opposed to the rules of representation, although they believe that governance could be more beneficial to society as a whole if certain decisions were made by means of deliberation.” [Marta Wojciechowska, “Deliberative Democracy as an Answer for Crisis in Democratic Governance.” Radical Politics Today. April, 2010. Creative Commons. Pages 1-14.]
        “… the limits of deliberative democracy are revealed when we examine the ‘deliberative designs’ advocated. On the one hand, by privileging linguistic forms of communication, such procedures will not be able to take into account the large body of social knowledge which cannot be put into words. On the other hand, knowledge communication will not include those individuals who for logistical reasons cannot be accommodated in the relevant social forum (a citizens’ jury, for example). Given the logistical difficulties of accommodating millions of individual ‘stakeholders’, it is never suggested that all of the population will be involved in the relevant decision-making …. From a Hayekian perspective, therefore, markets are much more likely to draw on an array of socially dispersed knowledge.” [Mark Pennington, “Hayekian Political Economy and the Limits of Deliberative Democracy.” Political Studies. Volume 51, number 4, December 2003. Pages 722-739.]
        “There are moments in Between Facts and Norms when [Jürgen] Habermas’s account of liberal democracy oscillates between these two poles— counterposing the ideal presuppositions for deliberative democracy, and the actual democratic deficits of existing advanced capitalist states. In contrast to the ideal—a robust and vibrant public sphere, and a political system sensitive to citizens’ values, interests and needs, that can meet it half-way—a more sober, critical assessment of political realities will sometimes emerge. In the course of the book, however, Habermas also advances a third, more conciliatory, position. Acknowledging the defects in current political practices, procedures and institutions, he nonetheless judges these states to be ‘more or less’—a recurring phrase—democratic, in the stronger, ideal sense of that term. He thereby effectively collapses the distinction that he himself has set up between an ideal, constitutionally regulated polity and its instantiation in existing liberal democracies.” [Deborah Cook, “The Talking Cure in Habermas’s Republic.” New Left Review. Series II, number 12, November–December 2001. Pages 135-151.]
        “… the main focus of the debate was clearly the articulation, critique and, ultimately, defence of deliberative democracy. [Jürgen] Habermas opened the Conference by arguing for a proceduralist model of democracy (as opposed to the liberal and republican). His claim was that this proceduralist model would allow for the expression of difference in that it calls into question the republican ‘move towards an ethical construction of political discourse.’ This discourse-theoretic model insists on the fact that democratic will-formation does not draw its legitimating force from a previous convergence of settled ethical conviction, but from both the communicative presuppositions that allow the better arguments to come into play in various forms of deliberation and the procedures that secure fair bargaining processes. Others (notably Joshua Cohen and Ben Barber) argued for their own versions of deliberative democracy using Habermas’s communicative theory.” [Judith Squires, “Discussing Deliberative Democracy: Democracy and Difference—Yale University, 15-18 April 1993.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 65, autumn 1993. Pages 61-64.]
        “Jürgen Habermas’s theory of ‘discourse ethics’ has been an important source of inspiration for theories of deliberative democracy and is typically contrasted with agonistic conceptions of democracy represented by theorists such as Chantal Mouffe.…
        “Jürgen Habermas is perhaps the leading contemporary defender of the ‘unfinished project’ of modernity and Enlightenment reason. His work is often contrasted with post-structuralist thinkers who are typically cast as intellectual enemies of the Enlightenment.”
        [Gulshan Khan, “Critical republicanism: Jürgen Habermas and Chantal Mouffe.” Contemporary Political Theory. Volume 12, number 4, November 2013. Pages 318-337.]
        “The rapid proliferation of the term deliberation involves the danger of concept stretching. In many cases it is not clear whether some commentators on deliberative democracy merely refer to any kind of communication, or to deliberation in the sense of systematically weighing rational arguments. Some references to deliberation appear to involve nothing more systematic than merely talking. Other deliberationists hold firmly to Habermasian communicative action as the standard of deliberation. This dual tendency to construe deliberation both too broadly and too narrowly can lead to serious confusion.” [André Bächtiger, Simon Niemeyer, Michael Neblo, Marco R. Steenbergen, and Jürg Steiner, “Disentangling Diversity in Deliberative Democracy: Competing Theories, Their Blind Spots and Complementarities.” The Journal of Political Philosophy. Volume 18, number 1, March 2010. Pages 32-63.]
        “… [Jürgen] Habermas and [Chantal] Mouffe differ on how to bring this about. Habermas’s vision, which he labels ‘deliberative democracy,’ relies on reasoned and inclusive public deliberation that is geared to reaching consensual decisions. His arguments foreground concerns about legitimacy and (universal) justice, concerns that he believes are ignored by poststructuralists at their peril. Mouffe’s (poststructuralist) vision of democracy is critical of Habermas’s defense of rationality and universalism, believing these to be inimical to pluralist societies. Her ‘agonistic pluralism’ accentuates ways for democratic politics to represent difference. Thus, the debate between the two theorists rests on how best to promote democratic participation and decision making without impeding sociocultural difference. To put it another way, the debate hinges on democratically representing difference without thereby sanctioning injustice and intolerance.” [Ilan Kapoor, “Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism? The Relevance of the Habermas-Mouffe Debate for Third World Politics.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political. Volume 27, number 4, October–December 2002. Pages 459-487.]
        “[Jürgen] Habermas originally conceived of discourse ethics as a moral theory derived from the pragmatic presuppositions of everyday discursive practice, rather than from the (purported) intuitions of a particular historically and spatially bounded community – a moral theory to which, he supposed, all human beings were demonstrably and ineluctably bound by dint of the communicative constitution of collective life. If his argument works, then the validity and feasibility of deliberative democratic proposals need not depend upon the prevalence of deliberative democratic values.” [Nick O’Donovan, “Does deliberative democracy need deliberative democrats? Revisiting Habermas’ defence of discourse ethics.” Contemporary Political Theory. Volume 12, number 2, May 2013. Pages 123-144.]
        “In its simplest terms, deliberative democracy refers to a conception of democratic government that secures a central place for reasoned discussion in political life. This conception has itself been the topic of much recent discussion, most of it favourable, with even its critics tending to acknowledge the intuitive attractiveness of democratic deliberation. The new use of the label ‘deliberative’ by veteran theorists John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas to describe their – quite dissimilar – normative conceptions of democracy is further evidence of its current popularity …. Deliberative democracy, it seems, is in vogue. But does it deserve its current favourable reception? Why should we prefer a deliberative model to, for example, a non-deliberative participatory model or a purely procedural one? This essay sets out to consider the merits of the main arguments commonly advanced in favour of the deliberative conception of democracy.” [Maeve Cooke, “Five Arguments for Deliberative Democracy.” Political Studies. Volume 58, number 5, December 2000. Pages 947-969.]
      2. theory of communicative action: This theory was a result of Habermas’ “communicative turn.” Communicative action may be understood as action which is coordinated through conversation or consensus. Society, to Habermas, is based upon language. Therefore, using human language in a rational manner, as well as discovering that others are using language irrationally, can contribute to emancipation.
        “When we use the expression ‘rational’ we suppose that there is a close relation between rationality and knowledge. Our knowledge has a propositional structure; beliefs can be represented in the form of statements. I shall presuppose this concept of knowledge without further clarification, for rationality has less to do with the possession of knowledge than with how speaking and acting subjects acquire and use knowledge.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Theory of Communicative Action: Volume 1. Reason and the Rationalization of Society. Thomas McCarthy, translator. Boston: Beacon Press. 1984. Page 8.]
        “In communicative action, beyond the function of achieving understanding, language plays the role of coordinating the goal-directed activities of different subjects, as well as the role of a medium in the socialization of these very subjects.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Theory of Communicative Action. Volume 2. Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason. Thomas McCarthy, translator. Boston: Beacon Press. 1987. Page 5.]
        “While instrumental action corresponds to the constraint of external nature and the level of the forces of production determines the extent of technical control over natural forces, communicative action stands in correspondence to the suppression of man’s own nature. The institutional framework determines the extent of repression by the unreflected, ‘natural’ force of social dependence and political power, which is rooted in prior history and tradition. A society owes emancipation from the external forces of nature to labor processes, that is to the production of technically exploitable knowledge (including ‘the transformation of the natural sciences into machinery’). Emancipation from the compulsion of internal nature succeeds to the degree that institutions based on force are replaced by an organization of social relations that is bound only to communication free from domination. This does not occur directly through productive activity, but rather through the revolutionary activity of struggling classes (including the critical activity of reflective sciences). Taken together, both categories of social practice make possible what [Karl] Marx, interpreting [Georg Wilhelm Friedrich] Hegel, calls the self-generative act of the species. He sees their connection effected in the system of social labor. That is why ‘production’ seems to him the movement in which instrumental action and the institutional framework, or ‘productive activity’ and ‘relations of production,’ appear merely as different aspects of the same process.” [Jürgen Habermas. Knowledge and Human Interests. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1987. Pages 42-43.]
        “Over and against the communicative domain of nonpublic opinion stands the sphere of circulation of quasi-public opinion. These formal opinions can be traced back to specific institutions; they are officially or semiofficially authorized as announcements, proclamations, declarations, and speeches. Here we are primarily dealing with opinions that circulate in a relatively narrow circle—skipping the mass of the population—between the large political press and, generally, those publicist organs that cultivate rational debate and the advising, influencing, and deciding bodies with political or politically relevant jurisdictions (cabinet, government commissions, administrative bodies, parliamentary committees, party leadership, interest group committees, corporate bureaucracies, and union secretariats).…
        “In addition to this massive contact between the formal and informal communicative domains, there also exists the rare relationship between publicist organs devoted to rational-critical debate and those few individuals who still seek to form their opinions through literature—a kind of opinion capable of becoming public, but actually nonpublic.”
        [Jürgen Habermas. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Thomas Burger with Frederick Lawrence, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1991. Pages 246-247.]
        “The political system requires an input of mass loyalty that is as diffuse as possible. The output consists in sovereignly executed administrative decisions. Output crises have the form of a rationality crisis in which the administrative system does not succeed in reconciling and fulfilling the imperatives received from the economic system. Input crises have the form of a legitimation crisis; the legitimizing system does not succeed in maintaining the requisite level of mass loyalty while the steering imperatives taken over from the economic system are carried through. Although both crisis tendencies arise in the political system, they differ in their form of appearance. The rationality crisis is a displaced systemic crisis which, like economic crisis, expresses the contradiction between socialized production for non generalizable interests and steering imperatives. This crisis tendency is converted into the withdrawal of legitimation by way of a disorganization of the state apparatus. The legitimation crisis, by contrast, is directly an identity crisis. It does not proceed by way of endangering system integration, but results from the fact that the fulfillment of governmental planning tasks places in question the structure of the depoliticized public realm and, thereby, the formally democratic securing of the private autonomous disposition of the means of production.” [Jürgen Habermas. Legitimation Crisis. Thomas McCarthy, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1988. Page 56.]
        “The structures of intersubjectivity are just as constitutive for experiences and instrumental action as they are for attitudes and communicative action.” [Jürgen Habermas. Legitimation Crisis. Thomas McCarthy, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1988. Pages 28-29.]
        “… the theory of communicative action can reconstruct [Georg Wilhelm Friedrich] Hegel’s concept of the ethical context of life (independently of the premises of the philosophy of consciousness). It disenchants the unfathomable causality of fate, which is distinguished from the destining of Being by reason of its inexorable immanence. [Jürgen Habermas. The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures. Frederick Lawrence, translator. Cambridge, England: Polity Press. 1990. Page 316.]
        “Communicative action (CA) theory need not displace the critical insights of social scientists, geographers, and other urban scholars about the processes of social, economic, and political change that shape urban settlements. CA analysts believe we settle differences in research findings and interpretations by studying the consequences these differences produce instead of claiming philosophical trump. In the first part of this article, I summarize and critique the argument that CA theory is unrealistic explaining of how CA analysts care more about relevant consequences than causal certainty. In the second part of the article, taking some conceptual advice from social theorist Jurgen Habermas, I show how CA analysis can combine structural and intentional concepts to revise and integrate the apparent antagonism between comprehensiveness and compromise for planning practice. I conclude that a pragmatic CA provides a useful and critical theory for planning practice that remains open to future challenge and debate.” [Charles J. Hoch, “Pragmatic Communicative Action Theory.” Journal of Planning, Education and Research. Abstract. Volume 26, number 3, March 2007. Pages 272-283.]
        “In the midst of the social and political crisis of European-American civilization of the 1960s, the German social theorist Jürgen Habermas offered his inaugural lecture at Frankfurt on the theme ‘Knowledge and Human Interests.’ Habermas’s lecture over three decades ago marked the beginning of his systematic project to provide a ‘historically oriented attempt to reconstruct the prehistory of modern positivism with the systematic intention of analyzing the connections between knowledge and human interests.’” [Corey D. B. Walker, “‘How Does It Feel to be a Problem?’: (Local) Knowledge, Human Interests, and The Ethics of Opacity.” Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World. Volume 1, number 2, fall 2011. Pages 104-119.]
        “The Internet appears to do the trick of giving the concept of the public sphere a new lease of life by reformulating it in a way that answers some of the major defects that critics have pointed out since its original formulation by [Jürgen] Habermas …. [T]he public sphere described by Habermas was far from democratic or even public. It was public only in the sense that a British public school is public, i.e. exclusive to all but white bourgeois males. Predicated on exclusion it could only ever be the basis for a partial version of democracy that would inevitably exclude other genders, sexualities, ethnicities and classes. Moreover the Habermas version of the public sphere and particularly his account of the role of the mass media are resolutely serious; pleasure and desire are denied space in a culture determined by ‘critical reasoning.’” [Martin Lister, Jon Dovey, Seth Giddings, Iain Grant, and Kieran Kelly. New Media: a critical introduction. Second edition. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2009. Page 219.]
        “The present study was based on the principles of critical theory as postulated by [Jürgen] Habermas …, in which self-assessment essentially consists of becoming aware of teaching-learning experiences through reflection on learning and critical thinking. Self-assessment was considered in line with Habermas … and the types of scientific interest. Technical interest, inherent to the empirical and analytical sciences, is aimed at achieving resource efficacy from the perspective of the rational and technological paradigm. Practical interest, corresponding to the historical and hermeneutical sciences, is aimed at understanding themeaning of events to enable the agents involved to interpret reality and orient personal and social practice. This type of interest corresponds to an interpretive or hermeneutical paradigm, and its main goal is understanding, self-understanding, and comprehensive communication between teachers and learners.” [José Siles-González and Carmen Solano-Ruiz, “Self-assessment, reflection on practice and critical thinking in nursing students.” Nurse Education Today. Volume 45, October 2016. Pages 132-137.]
        “The main purpose of [Jürgen] Habermas’ theory of communicative action is to show how a conception of rationality with critical force can be extracted from everyday practices of communication. This conception of rationality not only provides a basis for context-transcendent standards of validity (such as truth and justice), it also projects a normative picture of individual human flourishing in terms of a ‘utopian vision’ of the rationalisation of the lifeworld. This is a ‘utopian vision’ of a society in which first, there is permanent revision of traditional interpretations and practices, no element of which is exempt from revision; second, social integration is dependent on discursive procedures for establishing and justifying norms and third, the identities of individual subjects are self-regulated through processes of intersubjective critical reflection and, to a high degree, detached from concrete cultural contexts.” [Maeve Cooke, “Between ‘Objectivism’ and ‘Contextualism’: the Normative Foundations of Social Philosophy.” Critical Horizons. Volume 1, number 2, September 2000. Pages 193-227.]
        “[Jürgen] Habermas is primarily a social theorist, moreover, a social theorist with critical intent. He proposes a normative theory of society that sets out to investigate possibilities for human freedom and justice by way of rational reconstruction of the communicative competencies of participants in actual social practices. A central aim of the theory is to explicate standards for critically assessing, and if necessary transforming, existing social institutions and structures in light of the normative conceptions yielded by these investigations. The cornerstone of his critical social theory is a theory of communicative action, centring around a normative model of social interaction based on the rational potential implicit in everyday practices of language use. His reflections on language and communication, which constitute his formal pragmatics, aim to make this rational potential explicit. They endeavour to show that a potential for rationality, in the form of an orientation towards the argumentative justification of validity claims, is built into everyday practices of linguistic communication.” [Maeve Cooke, “Meaning and Truth in Habermas’s Pragmatics.” European Journal of Philosophy. Volume 9, number 1, April 2001. Pages 1-23.]
      3. postmetaphysical thinking: Habermas examines the possibility of utopia in the context of a “critique of the philosophy of consciousness.”
        “… I would like to go into the critique of the philosophy of consciousness that paved the way for postmetaphysical thinking. Specifically, the transition from the philosophy of consciousness to the philosophy of language results in advantages not only from the standpoint of method but from the standpoint of content as well. This transition breaks out of the circle of a hopeless to-and-fro between metaphysical and antimetaphysical thinking, i.e., between idealism and materialism. Moreover, it makes it possible to attack a problem that cannot be solved using the basic concepts of metaphysics: the problem of individuality. But several very different themes come together in the critique of the philosophy of consciousness. I want at least to name the four most important of these.” [Jürgen Habermas. Postmetaphysical Thinking: Between Metaphysics and the Critique of Reason. William Mark Hohengarten, translator. Cambridge, England: Polity Press. 1995. Page 47.]
        “Among the characteristic experiences of modernity are an acceleration of the historical process and a constant expansion of the future horizon, with the result that present situations are ever more plainly interpreted in the light of pasts made present and, above all, future presents. One function of this transformed and reflexive consciousness of time is the imputation that present action will be placed under premises that anticipate future presents. This applies to systemic processes (such as long-term political commitments, debt-financing, etc.) as well as to simple interactions. The consciousness of crisis that is becoming more and more prevalent in modern societies is the underside of this now-endemic Utopian current.” [Jürgen Habermas. Postmetaphysical Thinking: Between Metaphysics and the Critique of Reason. William Mark Hohengarten, translator. Cambridge, England: Polity Press. 1995. Page 154.]
        “In recent years, there has been an explosion of ambitious sociological research that attempts to map and explain the dynamics of media understood not as technologies or individual organizations but rather as systems interacting with other systems. This approach has multiple roots, but in this essay, I argue that its reach and influence have been amplified by the work of Jürgen Habermas, especially through his concept of the ‘public sphere.’ Habermas has been especially helpful in clarifying normative debates about democracy, and he is right to suggest that normative criteria can usefully guide empirical research. Yet his own empirical model, despite some recent improvements, remains underdeveloped and moreover, embodies debatable assumptions about the social origins of democratic and intellectual renewal.” [Rodney Benson, “Shaping the Public Sphere: Habermas and Beyond.” The American Sociologist. Volume 40, number 3, September 2009. Pages 175-197.]
        “As explained by [Jürgen] Habermas …, the concept of the public sphere has its roots in the ancient institution of the Greek polis [Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, πόλις, pólis] or city-state.…
        “… Instead of separating different institutional arrangements from each other and compartmentalizing them into different sectors, the alternative framework emphasizes the process of transformation affecting the public sphere. At the same time, it focuses on the complex network of transactions that exists among different providers of public services. Readjusting the conceptual framework in this way will lead to new observations and empirical statements that receive their meaning from the categorical framework in which they are made.…
        “… Institutional analysis provides a more effective way for understanding the role played by nonprofit organizations in the public sphere than the rational-bureaucratic models of organizations and the sectorial view of society that dominated third-sector research in recent years.”
        [Antonin Wagner, “Reframing ‘Social Origins’ Theory: The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. Volume 29, number 4, December 2000. Pages 541-553.]
        “In a number of recent essays Jürgen Habermas examines the relationship between religion and philosophy, in particular, between religion and those modes of social and political philosophy that are guided by what he calls a ‘postmetaphysical’ impulse. In the present context, the most important feature of postmetaphysical thinking as understood by Habermas is its agnosticism with regard to the validity of religious beliefs. This agnosticism is based on the theses that philosophical truth claims—like the truth claims of science and universalist morality—must be capable of being supported publicly by reasons that everyone, everywhere could come to accept and that religious convictions are not capable of being supported publicly by such reasons. A second important feature of postmetaphysical thinking, closely related to the first, is its rejection of ideas of transcendence in a metaphysical, ‘otherworldly’ sense; accordingly, the reference point for its claims to validity is not something beyond human practices and human history, but internal to them.” [Maeve Cooke, “Salvaging and secularizing the semantic contents of religion: the limitations of Habermas’s postmetaphysical proposal.” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion. Volume 60, numbers 1–3, December 2006. Pages 187-207.]
        “[Jürgen] Habermas’s programme of formal pragmatics provides the basis for a postmetaphysical conception of communicative rationality that is supposed to permit context-transcendent social criticism while acknowledging the historicity of knowledge and the situatedness of reason in particular socio-cultural forms of life. However, in the period since the late 1960s Habermas has dealt with metatheoretical questions primarily from the point of view of their relevance for a critical social theory and not as theoretical problems of interest for their own sake. In his introductory essay to the present collection, he acknowledges the need for a more strictly ‘theoretical perspective.’” [Maeve Cooke, “Socio-Cultural Learning as a ‘Transcendental Fact’: Habermas’s Postmetaphysical Perspective.” International Journal of Philosophical Studies. Volume 9, number 1, February 2001. Pages 63-83.]
      4. philosophical discourse of modernity: Habermas examines “the rhetorical dimension” in the modern world.
        “The rhetorical dimension plays a different and far more important role in the language of literary criticism and philosophy. They are both faced with tasks that are paradoxical in similar ways. They arc supposed to feed the contents of expert cultures, in which knowledge is accumulated under one aspect of validity at a time, into an everyday practice in which all linguistic functions and aspects of validity are intermeshed to form one syndrome. And yet literary criticism and philosophy are supposed to accomplish this task of mediation with means of expression taken from languages specialized in questions of taste or of truth. They can only resolve this paradox by rhetorically expanding and enriching their special languages to the extent that is required to link up indirect communications with the manifest contents of statements, and to do so in a deliberate way. That explains the strong rhetorical strain characteristic of studies by literary critics and philosophers alike. Significant critics and great philosophers are also noted writers.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures. Frederick Lawrence, translator. Cambridge, England: Polity Press. 1990. Page 209.]
        “… [The] new rhetoric is characteristic of the postmodern condition, which is a turning point not only with respect to modern capitalism but also Western civilization itself. At such a turning, we cannot simply eliminate the doubles produced by the human sciences, as both [Michel] Foucault and [Jürgen] Habermas attempt. Rather, we must think through the intensification of the doubling that the two forms of critique bring forward.” [Ian Angus, “Habermas Confronts the Deconstructionist Challenge: On The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity.” Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory/Revue canadienne de théorie politique et sociale. Volume 14, numbers 1–3, 1990. Pages 21-33.]
      5. theory of actionism: This perspective on “associational practices” was developed by Claus Offe (MP3 audio file) as logics of collective action. Offe’s framework was critiqued by his former professor and fellow second-generational Frankfurt School theorist, Jürgen Habermas.
        “[Claus] Offe has developed experimental reflections on a theory of actionism.…
        “Offe starts from the thesis that the class character of the state, which he asserts, is not at all accessible to objectivating knowledge. In my opinion, we do not need to share this premise, since the model—introduced above—of suppressed but generalizable interests can indeed be applied to a reconstruction of non-decisions, selection rules, and latency phenomena. Even if we had to share Offe’s premises, his argumentation would remain inconsistent. Let us assume that the goal of removing a class structure could be grounded from the following point of view:
        “—a practice that can justify itself is an independent, that is, rational practice;
        “—the demand for a justifiable practice is rational wherever political consequences can result from actions;
        “—hence, it is rational to desire the transformation of a social system that can advance normative-validity claims only counterfactually, that is, that cannot justify its practice because it structurally suppresses generalizable interests.
        If the class character of our system of domination were, as Offe states, not recognizable, revolutionary action would be able to base itself at best on conjectures that turn out, retrospectively, to be true or false. As long as class character is not recognized, political action cannot be justified on the basis of generalizable interests; it remains an irrational practice. An irrational practice (whatever goals it may claim for itself) cannot be singled out from any other given practice (even from an avowedly fascist one) with grounds. Indeed, in so far as such a practice is carried through with will and consciousness, it contradicts the (and precisely the) only justifications that can be laid claim to for the transformation of a class structure.
        “Such considerations need hinder no one from accepting a decisionistic action pattern —often enough there is no alternative. But in that case one acts subjectively and, in weighing the risks, can know that the political consequences of this action are only calculable in moral terms. Even then one must still presuppose a trust in the power of practical reason. Indeed, even one who doubts practical reason itself could know that he is not only acting subjectively but is also placing his action outside of the domain of argumentation in general. But then a theory of actionism is also superfluous. The execution of an action has to be sufficient unto itself. Unjustifiable hopes that are tied to the success of an action can add nothing to it. It must, rather, be done for its own sake, beyond argumentation. It is a matter of indifference how much rhetoric one employs to call it forth as an empirical event.”
        [Jürgen Habermas. Legitimation Crisis. Thomas McCarthy, translator. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 1988. Pages 142-144.]
        “[In Legitimation Crisis, Jürgen] Habermas categorically rejects [Claus] Offe’s ‘actionism’ as the ultimate criterion of the theory’s validity, that is, the view that a rational political praxis can only justify itself retroactively. Such a view, he argues, amounts to admitting that all action is ultimately an irrational ‘act of faith,’ incapable of theoretical justification in advance …. This, in turn, amounts to a de facto acceptance of the ‘decisionistic’ position advocated by positivism, which, with its rigorous separation of facts and values, its glorification of instrumental rationality, and its consequent belief that only means, not ultimate ends, can be rationally determined, has, perhaps unwittingly, contributed so much to the legitimation of a fundamentally irrational social order.” [Axel van den Berg, “Critical Theory: Is There Still Hope?” American Journal of Sociology. Volume 86, number 3, November 1980. Pages 449-478.]
        “Our main argument throughout this paper is that differences in the position of a group in the class structure (we consider here only the classes of labor and capital), not only lead to differences in power that the organizations can acquire, but also lead to differences in the associational practices, or logics of collective action, by which organizations of capital and labor try to improve their respective position vis-à-vis each other; these differences tend to be obscured by the ‘interest group’ paradigm and the underlying notion of a unitary and utilitarian logic of collective action that covers all associations.…
        “… those in the inferior power position can increase their potential for change only by overcoming the comparatively higher costs of collective action by changing the standards according to which these costs are subjectively estimated within their own collectivity. Only to the extent that associations of the relatively powerless succeed in the formation of a collective identity, according to the standards of which these costs of organization are subjectively deflated, can they hope to change the original power relation. Conversely, it is only the relatively powerless who will have reason to act nonindividualistically on the basis of a notion of collective identity that is both generated and presupposed by their association. The very fact that the more powerful will find the individualistic and purely instrumental form of collective action sufficiently promising for the preservation of their power position prevents them from transcending their basically utilitarian mode of collective action. In contrast, workers’ organizations in capitalist systems always find themselves forced to rely upon nonutilitarian forms of collective action, which are based on the redefinition of collective identities—even if the organization does not have any intention of serving anything but the members’ individual utilitarian interests, for example, higher wages.… The logic of collective action of the relatively powerless differs from that of the relatively powerful in that the former implies a paradox that is absent from the latter—the paradox that interests can only be met to the extent they are partly reidefined.”
        [Claus Offe and Helmut Wiesenthal, “Two Logics of Collective Action: Theoretical Notes on Social Class and Organizational Form.” Political Power and Social Theory. Volume 1. Maurice Zeitlin, editor. Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press. 1980. Pages 67-115.]
        “State power subject to such contradictory demands can determine its own strategies neither through a general consensus of citizens nor through technocratic calculation: its opportunistic actions can neither be willed nor calculated. However, this interventionist power does not draw quietly or exclusively on its own resources; it is constantly in danger of succumbing to the competitively-regulated movement of individual capital units. Consequently, it must procure for itself a basis for overall legitimation. Thus, because of the autonomization of the political-administrative system, the normative system must also break free from the relationship of positive subordination and become variable so that it can in turn satisfy the need of the political-administrative system for legitimation.” [Claus Offe. Contradictions of the Welfare State. London: Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers) Ltd. 1984. Page 50.]
        “… [A] strategy of maintaining the commodity form presupposes the growth of state-organized production facilities exempt from the commodity form. This, again, is a contradiction only in the structural sense, – a source of possible conflicts and destabilizing developments which in turn remain contingent upon political action. This contradiction can give rise to social conflicts and political struggles which try to gain popular control over exactly those ‘weakest links’ in the world of commodities. Although it is a puzzle to many Marxists who consider themselves ‘orthodox,’ it still is hardly deniable that the major social conflicts and political struggles that have taken place during the decade of the [nineteen] sixties did not take place within exchange relationships between labor and capital, but took place as conflicts over the control over the service organizations that serve the commodity form without themselves being part of the commodity nexus.” [Claus Offe and Volker Ronge, “Theses on the Theory of the State.” New German Critique. Number 6, autumn 1975. Pages 137-147.]
        “How likely is it that individuals actually practice – rather than merely agree to and proclaim – egalitarian social norms? One method to answer this question is through distribution experiments where persons must make a choice between more efficient and more egalitarian courses of action. … One finding is that professional self-selection and socialization into norms of efficiency play a major role in shaping such choices: Students of economics and business administration show significantly lower inclinations to act in ‘inequality averse’ ways and are much more likely than students of other disciplines to sacrifice equality for efficiency in their choices.” [Claus Offe, “Inequality and the Labor Market: Theories, opinions, models, and practices of unequal distribution and how it can be justified.” Zeitschrift für Arbeitsmarktforschung. Volume 43, number 1, 2010. Pages 39-52.]
        “… which circumstances and with what aims, which dilemmas are to be expected along the road, and how the new synthesis of a postrevolutionary order ought to be constituted, and what meaning should be assigned to the notion of ‘progress.’ In all of the revolutions of the last two centuries some kind of answers to these questions had been available, although most of them proved wrong. These answers of revolutionary theorists were formulated independently of the immediate contexts of action and were known to the participating agents ;r in that sense, they were theoretical answers.” [Claus Offe and Pierre Adler, “Capitalism by Democratic Design? Democratic Theory Facing the Triple Transition in East Central Europe.” Social Research Volume 58, number 4, winter 1991. Pages 865-892.]
        “The ‘new politics’ of the new social movements can be analyzed, as can any other politics, in terms of its social base, its issues, concerns, and values, and its modes of action. In order to do so, I will employ the term ‘political paradigm.’” [Claus Offe, “New Social Movements: Challenging the Boundaries of Institutional Politics.” Social Research Volume 52, number 4, winter 1985. Pages 817-868.]
        “Civil and criminal sanctions applied to perpetrators and victims all serve to accomplish what I will term first-order effects. From these, second-order effects of the judicial treatment of action and suffering that occurred in the past can be distinguished. Such second order effects of judicial sanctions condition, in a much less determinate fashion than first-order effects, the attitudes and dispositions for future action on the part of third parties and the public in general. They will make people trust or distrust the judicial system and have other rather diffuse and long term effects of various sorts.” [Claus Offe, “Coming to Terms with Past Injustices: an introduction to legal strategies available in post-communist societies.” European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie / Europäisches Archiv für Soziologie. Volume 33, number 1, 1992. Pages 195-201.]
        “The key figure within the collective rational action assumption is the property-less male wage laborer, employed full-time for most of his adult life, whose material subsistence and that of his family depend on a continuous stream of contractual income. He shares these features with a large number of fellow workers who, taken together, constitute the vast majority of the economically active population. Like them, he is exposed to risks partly inherent in the dynamics of the capitalist mode of production. These wage workers also share some common cultural patterns, such as a certain productivist discipline, a sense of solidarity and the perception of being involved in some fundamental social conflict that divides labor and capital. This overarching sense of solidarity and conflict manifests itself in certain political and economic forms of participation and association, experienced as the only available means of promoting their collective interests in income maintenance and social security, in adequate working conditions, in continuous full employment and the prevention of poverty, and in the redistribution of income and economic control. This configuration of conditions and orientations can be described summarily as labor-centered collectivist statism.” [Claus Offe, “Democracy against the Welfare State?: Structural Foundations of Neoconservative Political Opportunities.” Political Theory. Volume 15, number 4, Novembebr 1987. Pages 501-537.]
        “… rather than being a ‘methodological‘ controversy, we suggest that the structuralism-individualism dimension is a historical one: some social formations might be more adequately analyzed within the individualist ‘action’ framework, whereas others require a more ‘structuralist’ approach for their adequate understanding.” [Johannes Berger and Claus Offe, “Functionalism vs. Rational Choice?: Some Questions concerning the Rationality of Choosing One or the Other.” Theory and Society. Volume 11, number 4, July 1982. Pages 521-526.]
        “In general, the repressive character of a political system – that is, those of its aspects serving to strengthen authority – is measurable in terms of whether it exempts de facto certain spheres of action, corresponding to the interests of particular groups, from the use of public force, so that these areas be come sanctioned as natural and inviolable. The authoritarian character of a system of political institutions, on the other hand, is reflected in whether it accords equal prospects for political consideration to all the various classes of mutually incompatible social interests, needs, and claims, or whether these prospects are distorted or biased in some specific direction.” [Claus Offe and Michel Vale, “Political Authority and Class Structures — An Analysis of Late Capitalist Societies.” International Journal of Sociology. Volume 2, number 1, spring 1972. Pages 73-108.]
        “… one could dismiss the use of the notion of the common good as a rhetorical slogan, used to achieve strategic goals. On the one hand, those who use this slogan have the populist aim of enlisting the acclamation of a public that is known often to view politics, parties and associations with morose suspicion and cynical indifference. On the other hand, they oppose a set of related pressures: pressures that come from bearers of functional and territorial representation, thus from associations and regional bodies; that limit the scope of governmental action; and that can further diminish their credit with the voting public. In addition, it no doubt lies in the interest of ruling elites to shirk their own responsibilities and shift the burden of managing problem situations into the realm of ‘civic’ self-help and community spirit.” [Claus Offe, “Whose good is the common good?” Philosophy and Social Criticism. Volume 38, number 7, 2012. Pages 665-684.]
        “To turn to the cases of CEE [Central and Eastern Europe]: to many people’s surprise, the new political resources of democratic freedoms of participation and collective action were partly invested, as it were, not in a centripetal political competition among political parties but into the revival of ethnic identities and the promotion of their claim to statehood. The worst case of this dynamic of ethnic repression, secession and civil war was of course Yugoslavia. The good news within the family of the fourth wave comes from countries where there is little or no opportunity for ethnic conflict because 90 per cent or more of the resident population do belong to and identify with the titular nation.” [Claus Offe, “Political liberalism, identity politics and the role of fear.” Philosophy & Social Criticism. Volume 38, numbers 4–5, May/June 2012. Pages 359-367.]
        “I introduced this essay by saying that contemporary liberal democracies are ‘not functioning well.’ Apart from the question of normative standards concerning the characteristics and criteria of a ‘well-functioning’ democracy that this proposition suggests, it can also be read as an empirical generalisation: Many—and probably an increasing number and highly diverse sorts of—people converge on the belief, expressed in words and even more often in their patterns of behaviour and (in)action, that the way democracies function and the political outcomes they generate are often frustrating, disappointing, short-sighted, unfair, and thus seriously deficient. Rather than this disappointment leading to widely advocated rejection of liberal democracy and its principles, there is an ongoing and vivid democratic meta-discourse on possible improvements, extensions, and innovations of the democratic mode of organising political rule.” [Claus Offe, “Crisis and Innovation of Liberal Democracy: Can Deliberation Be Institutionalised?” Sociologický časopis/Czech Sociological Review. Volume 47, number 3, 2011. Pages 447-472.]
        “The changes in the legal-bureaucratic organization are analyzed, following [Claus] Offe’s approach [in his Contradictions of the Welfare State], throughout three series of overlapping and/or successive logico-historical models: action of public authorities adapted to legal regulations; action adapted to definite goals; and action adapted to more or less extensive processes of political or social consensus.
        “Each one of these three levels represents in some sense the paradigm of the mechanisms of action of the public authorities according to each one of the three successive State sub-models: State of Law, adaptation to regulations; Social State, adaptation to goals; advanced democratic State, adaptation to processes of consensus.”
        [Antonio J. Porras, “Claus Offe and the Late Democratic State Theory.” Working paper number 16. University of Seville. Seville, Spain. 1990. Pages 1-26.]
      6. lure of technocracy: Habermas discusses an obstacle to the achievement of “supranational democracy” in Europe.
        “On paper, supranational democracy may be the declared long-term goal. However, if the economic constraints become intertwined with the flexibility of a free-floating European technocracy, it is probable that the unification process planned for but not by the people will grind to a halt before reaching the proclaimed goal. Without feedback from the insistent dynamics of a political public sphere and a mobilized civil society, political management lacks the drive to use the means of democratically enacted law to redirect the profit-oriented imperatives of investment capital into socially acceptable channels in accordance with the standards of political justice. This is why the functional benefits of an increase in the decision-making power of the European organs, without sufficient democratic oversight, would be problematic not only from the perspective of legitimation. The authorities would be predictably biased in favour of a particular pattern of politics. A technocracy without democratic roots would have neither the power nor the motivation to accord sufficient weight to the demands of the electorate for social justice, status security, public services and collective goods, in the event of a conflict with the systemic demands for competitiveness and economic growth.” [Jürgen Habermas. The Lure of Technocracy. Ciaran Cronin, translator. Cambridge, England, and Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2015. Page 17.]
        “The book to be reviewed here – The Lure of Technocracy – is Jürgen Habermas’ latest statement on Europe, its crisis, its politics and its prospects. It is the English translation – a remarkably good one – of Im Sog der Technokratie [In the Wake of Technocracy] …. The German original came out as Volume XII of Kleine politische Schriften [Brief Political Writings], a series that dates back to 1980 and which, according to Habermas …, it is to conclude. The twelve volumes, all of them collections of occasional papers, interviews and public lectures produced alongside Habermas’ main works, have long become an object of wide admiration, in Germany and beyond, for their unique combination of political activism, profound scholarship and, not least, brilliant essayistic prose, and they can already now claim a prominent place in the political and cultural history of postwar Germany. The Lure of Technocracy consists of ten pieces from the last three or four years, seven of them more or less directly concerned with European integration and its crisis since 2008. The three remaining chapters, assembled under the title German Jews, Germans and Jews, are indispensable reading for anyone interested in West German intellectual life after 1945. Although they stand for an important subtheme of Habermas’ Europeanism, I will focus on the seven chapters that precede them.” [Wolfgang Streeck, “What About Capitalism?: Jürgen Habermas’s Project of a European Democracy.” European Political Science. April, 2016. Pagination unknown.]
        “For [Jürgen] Habermas, ‘To renounce European unification would also be to turn one’s back on world history.’ Solidarity has always been a central concept for him, and it has been the guiding principle of his writing about Europe since the beginning, when he spoke in 1998 of the need for solidarity within the nation-state to be extended beyond its borders, ‘so that, for example, Swedes and Portuguese are willing to take responsibility for one another’ …. He now returns to this theme, arguing from the history of the concept that, rather than confusing politics with morality, it refers to a social context that ‘has to be created through politics.’” [William Outhwaite, “The Lure of Technocracy.” Review article. Cambridge Review of International Affairs. Volume 28, number 4, December 2015. Pages 757-772.]
        “At one point, [Jürgen] Habermas endorses the development of a post-national world order, which is ‘indispensible if unbridled global capitalism is to be steered into socially acceptable channels.’ At first glance, this seems right. We need a global political system to counterbalance a global economic system. But Habermas assumes an older form of capitalism, one more stable and predictable than its newer form as a force of technological disruption and creative destruction that now penetrates very deeply into societies and cultures around the world. We’ll need rooted social realities to tame the deracinating dynamism of global capitalism. A world political order is the opposite of that, as are all cosmopolitan ambitions. Which is why those ambitions are almost certain to become a tool of global capitalism, not a counter-force.” [R. R. Reno, “While We’re at It.” First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life. Number 264, June–July 2016. Pages 67-68.]
    6. realization of humanity (Theodor Adorno as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Max Horkheimer as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Adorno and Horkheimer develop a practical model for the future based upon freedom. Individually and collectively, they also discuss a variety of other subjects.
      “[Max] Horkheimer: To achieve the condition of an animal at the level of reflection—that is freedom. Freedom means not having to work.
      “[Thedodor] Adorno: Philosophy always asserts that freedom is when you can choose your own work, when you can claim ownership of everything awful.
      “Horkheimer: That’s the product of fear. In the East they have realized that freedom of this sort is not such a big deal, and that’s why they have chosen slavery instead. The main point there is that justice should prevail; they set no store by freedom. Freedom would mean reverting to a diffuse state of affairs at a higher level. Since civilization is identical with labour, idolizing the one is as bad as idolizing the other. The chaotic, the diffuse—that would be happiness.…
      “Horkheimer: In the long run things cannot change. The possibility of regression is always there. That means we have to reject both Marxism and ontology. Neither the good nor the bad remains, but the bad is more likely to survive. The critical mind must free itself from a Marxism which says that all will be well if only you become a socialist. We can expect nothing more from mankind than a more or less worn-out version of the American system. The difference between us is that Teddie [Theodor Adorno] still retains a certain penchant for theology. My own thoughts tend to move in the direction of saying that good people are dying out. In the circumstances, planning would offer the best prospect.…
      “Adorno: Reform of the administration cannot be brought about by peaceful means.…
      “Horkheimer: Man is worth something only as long as he works. This is where the concept of freedom comes in.
      “Adorno: Freedom from work.
      “Horkheimer: Freedom is not the freedom to accumulate, but the fact that I have no need to accumulate.
      “Adorno: That’s something you can find in [Karl] Marx. On the one hand, Marx imagined liberation from work. On the other, social labour is seen in a very bright light. The two ideas are not properly articulated. Marx did not criticize the ideology of labour, because he needed the concept of labour in order to be able to settle accounts with the bourgeoisie.
      “Horkheimer: We are in need of a dialectic here. People repress their own chaotic drives which might lead them away from work. This is what makes them feel that work is sacred.
      “Adorno: The idea of freedom from labour is replaced by the possibility of choosing one’s own work. Self-determination means that within the division of labour already laid down I can slip into the sector that promises me the greatest rewards.
      “Horkheimer: The idea that freedom consists in self-determination is really rather pathetic, if all it means is that the work my master formerly ordered me to do is the same as the work I now seek to carry out of my own free will; the master did not determine his own actions.
      “Adorno: The concept of self-determination has nothing to do with freedom. According to [Immaneul] Kant, autonomy means obeying oneself.
      “Horkheimer: A misunderstanding of feudalism.
      “Adorno: A necessary false consciousness, ideology.…
      “Adorno: Transcendental apperception: labour made absolute. Labour, which is a prescribed relationship within society, is reinterpreted to signify freedom.…
      “Adorno: … Freedom truly consists only in the realization of humanity as such.…
      “Horkheimer: … Freedom is being allowed to do as you wish.…
      “Adorno: … We might almost say that the dialectic, which always contains an element of freedom, has come to a full stop today because nothing remains outside it.”
      [Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer. Towards a New Manifesto: Conversations between Adorno & Horkheimer. Rodney Livingstone, translator. London and Brooklyn New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2011. Google Play edition.]
      “The reason why … [the] entire question of spare time is so unfortunate is that people unconsciously mimic the work process, whereas what they really want is to stop working altogether. Happiness necessarily presupposes the element of effort. Basically, we should talk to mankind once again as in the eighteenth century: you are upholding a system that threatens to destroy you. The appeal to class won’t work any more, since today you are really all proletarians. One really has to think about whom one is addressing.” [Theodor Adorno in Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, “Towards a New Manifesto?” New Left Review. Series II, number 65, September–October 2010. Pages 33-61.]
      1. culture industry (Adorno): The mass media (including capitalist advertisements and commercials) create a culture industry (popular culture or mass culture) of “false needs.”
        “The culture industry fuses the old and familiar into a new quality. In all its branches, products which are tailored for consumption by masses, and which to a great extent determine the nature of that consumption, are manufactured more or less according to plan. The individual branches are similar in structure or at least fit into each other, ordering themselves into a system almost without a gap. This is made possible by contemporary technical capabilities as well as by economic and administrative concentration. The culture industry intentionally integrates its consumers from above. To the detriment of both it forces together the spheres of high and low art, separated for thousands of years. The seriousness of high art is destroyed in speculation about its efficacy; the seriousness of the lower perishes with the civilizational constraints imposed on the rebellious resistance inherent within it as long as social control was not yet total. Thus, although the culture industry undeniably speculates on the conscious and unconscious state of the millions towards which it is directed, the masses are not primary, but secondary, they are an object of calculation; an appendage of the machinery. The customer is not king, as the culture industry would have us believe, not its subject but its object.” [Theodor Adorno. The Culture Industry: Selected essays on mass culture. J. M. Bernstein, editor. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2005. Pages 98-99.]
        “In its inevitably globalized forms, the US culture industry continues to produce the deep divisions between local resistance and subaltern imitation so characteristic of colonial conflicts from the age of traditional imperialism to the neo-imperialisms of our postindustrial era. And the culture industry today does its work in ways that encompass a wide range of nominally different political positions, so that in many respects left, liberal, and conservative cultural works often achieve complementary, rather than contested, ends. In this respect, little has changed since [Max] Horkheimer and [Theodor] Adorno argued in 1944: ‘Even the aesthetic activities of political opposites are one in their enthusiastic obedience to the rhythm of the iron system’ ….” [John Carlos Rowe, “Culture, US Imperialism, and Globalization.” A Concise Companion to American Studies. John Carlos Rowe, editor. Malden, Massachusetts: Wiley-Blackwell. 2010. Pages 284-302.]
      2. dialectic of enlightenment (Adorno and Horkheimer): Conforming to that culture, by purchasing advertised products, supports capitalism. Enlightenment can free people from “false needs” of the culture industry.
        “The first essay, the theoretical basis of those which follow, seeks to gain greater understanding of the intertwinement of rationality and social reality, as well as of the intertwinement, inseparable from the former, of nature and the mastery of nature. The critique of enlightenment given in this section is intended to prepare a positive concept of enlightenment which liberates it from its entanglement in blind domination.” [Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. Edmund Jephcott, translator. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. 2002. Page xviii.]
        “The economically determined direction of the whole society, which has always governed the mental and physical constitution of human beings, is causing the organs which enabled individuals to manage their lives autonomously to atrophy. Now that thinking has become a mere sector of the division of labor, the plans of the authorized experts and leaders have made individuals who plan their own happiness redundant. The irrationality of the unresisting and eager adaptation to reality becomes, for the individual, more reasonable than reason. If, previously, the bourgeois had introjected the compulsions of conscience and duty into themselves and the workers, now the entire human being has become at once the subject and the object of repression. In the progress of industrial society, which is supposed to have conjured away the law of increasing misery it had itself brought into being, the concept which justified the whole-the human being as person, as the bearer of reason-is going under. The dialectic of enlightenment is culminating objectively in madness.” [Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. Edmund Jephcott, translator. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. 2002. Page 169.]
        “Since the Communist Party already exists within society, this means renouncing what we mean by practice. By practice we really mean that we’re serious about the idea that the world needs fundamental change. This has to show itself in both thought and action. The practical aspect lies in the notion of difference; the world has to become different. It is not as if we should do something other than thinking, but rather that we should think differently and act differently. Perhaps this practice really just expects us to kill ourselves? We probably have to start from the position of saying to ourselves that even if the party no longer exists, the fact that we are here still has a certain value.” [Max Horkheimer in Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer. Towards a New Manifesto. Rodney Livingstone, translator. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2011. Pages 78-79.]
        “[Theodor] Adorno develops his position … in The Dialectic of the Enlightenment, which serves an excellent introduction to Adorno’s work. Drawing on the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and Marxist thinkers such as Georg Lukács, Adorno promotes a critique of Marxism, which analyzes the relationship between enlightenment, myth, and the domination of nature. In responding to what he calls ‘the darkening of the world’ brought about by fascism, Stalinism, and the Holocaust, Adorno argues that the world has retreated into myth and barbarism, which is dialectically present in the ‘origin’ of modern society that begins with the Enlightenment. Here, it is the control and mastery of nature as part of the Enlightenment project that drives history rather than class conflict.” [Louise A. Hitchcock. Theory for Classics: A student’s guide. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2007. Page 39.]
        “Only, in the Adornian dialectic, this mirroring is brought out in a distortive fashion, and an unwanted reflection is returned to the modern, post-Enlightenment bourgeois reader. The mythical Greek hero, the noble and exalted warrior of Troy, is transformed into a proto-capitalist, and then, in the person of Odysseus, into a Jew. The Western myth is Orientalized, then Semitized, and finally shattered altogether. In the course of this redirection of classical reception history, [Theodor] Adorno is performing several things at once. The following will attempt to unravel a few of the many threads of Adorno’s intricate chapter of Dialectic of Enlightenment as it resonates with the rest of that work and its immediate and more remote historical contexts.” [James I. Porter, “Odysseus and the Wandering Jew: The Dialectic of Jewish Enlightenment in Adorno and Horkheimer.” Cultural Critique. No. 74, winter 2010. Pages 200-213.]
        “In Dialectic of Enlightenment, [Max] Horkheimer and [Theodor] Adorno provide a polemical reading of the Enlightenment. The traditional understanding of the Enlightenment tracks the expansion of human emancipation with the development of our rational faculties in all areas of life. [Immanuel] Kant, of course, is the central thinker in this story. For Kant, reason dissolves the unreflective assumptions we inherit from tradition and authority, permitting the species to advance by subjecting all questions and issues – even rationality itself – to rational critique. The Enlightenment, then, represents the move away from intellectual immaturity toward freedom and autonomy based on reason. Transcendental reason comprises the idea of human freedom (autonomy), and this in turn has political and social consequences. No authority or form of political organization is legitimate if it cannot stand up to rational critique. As Kant sees it, free individuals exercising their rational faculties can overcome the tension between pure reason and practical necessity and create free societies through the use of practical reason. The Enlightenment is the struggle for true emancipation.” [Ernesto Verdeja, “Adorno’s Mimesis and its Limitations for Critical Social Thought.” European Journal of Political Theory. Volume 8, number 4, 2009. Pages 493-511.]
      3. negative dialectics (Adorno): Although the dialectic (contradiction) will always produce something (a synthesis), we need to be open to a variety of possibilities. In other words, the product (or synthesis) of the dialectic can sometimes be unfavorable or negative and not, as commonly understood, an improvement over previous conditions.
        Negative Dialectics is a phrase that flouts tradition. As early as Plato, dialectics meant to achieve something positive by means of negation; the thought figure of a ‘negation of negation’ later became the succinct term. This book seeks to free dialectics from such affirmative traits without reducing its determinacy. The unfoldment of the paradoxical title is one of its aims.” [Theodor W. Adorno. Negative Dialectics. E. B. Ashton, translator. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2004. Page xix.]
        “A philosophy that lets us know this, that extinguishes the autarky of the concept, strips the blindfold from our eyes. That the concept is a concept even when dealing with things in being does not change the fact that on its part it is entwined with a nonconceptual whole. Its only insulation from that whole is its reification—that which establishes it as a concept. The concept is an element in dialectical logic, like any other. What survives in it is the fact that nonconceptuality has conveyed it by way of its meaning, which in turn establishes its conceptuality. To refer to nonconceptualities—as ultimately, according to traditional epistemology, every definition of concepts requires nonconceptual, deictic elements—is characteristic of the concept, and so is the contrary: that as the abstract unit of the noumena subsumed thereunder it will depart from the noumenal. To change this direction of conceptuality, to give it a turn toward nonidentity, is the hinge of negative dialectics. Insight into the constitutive character of the nonconceptual in the concept would end the compulsive identification which the concept brings unless halted by such reflection. Reflection upon its own meaning is the way out of the concept’s seeming being-in-itself as a unit of meaning.” [Theodor W. Adorno. Negative Dialectics. E. B. Ashton, translator. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2004. Page 12.]
        “When [Theodor] Adorno decries that ‘Whoever believes in God, therefore cannot believe in God,’ the thinker is confronting the reality that after Auschwitz, any pretense at continuing the same metaphysical speculations removed from experience is inauthentic.… By daring to proffer a metaphysical atheism after such deicide [the killing of God], Adorno is opening a negative dialectic par excellence to explore anew the possibility of thinking, saying, and even praying after Auschwitz. Just as negative dialectics demands a deeper self-reflection through a thinking against thought, so too must there be a praying against prayer.” [Rabbi Aubrey L. Glazer. A New Physiognomy of Jewish Thinking: Critical Theory After Adorno as Applied to Jewish Thought. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. 2011. Kindle edition.]
      4. aesthetic theory (Theodor Adorno): He develops a critical theory of art and aesthetics.
        “Immersion in art’s origins tantalizes aesthetic theory with various apparently typical procedures, but just as quickly they escape the firm grip that modem interpretational consciousness imagines it possesses. Art anterior to the Paleolithic period is not known. But it is doubtless that art did not begin with works, whether they were primarily magical or already aesthetic. The cave drawings are stages of a process and in no way an early one. The first images must have been preceded by a mimetic comportment—the assimilation of the self to its other—that does not fully coincide with the superstition of direct magical influence; if in fact no differentiation between magic and mimesis had been prepared over a long period of time, the striking traces of autonomous elaboration in the cave paintings would be inexplicable.” [Theodor Adorno. Aesthetic Theory. Robert Hullot-Kentor, translator. Gretel Adorno and Rolf Tiedemann, editors. London and New York: Continuum. 2002. Page 329.]
        “… what I would postulate is more dialectics. On the one hand, dialectical penetration of the ‘autonomous’ work of art which is transcended by its own technology into a planned work; on the other, an even stronger dialecticization of utilitarian art in its negativity, which indeed you [Walter Benjamin] do not mistake but which you designate by relatively abstract categories like ‘film capital’, without tracking it down to its ultimate lair, as immanent irrationality.” [Theodor Adorno, “Correspondence with Benjamin.” New Left Review. Series I, number 81, September–October 1973. Pages 55-80.]
        “In Aesthetic Theory, [Theodor] Adorno famously argues that contemporary artworks must negate their immediate sensuous tendencies in order to hold out the prospect of a utopia that resists pandering to the ‘system of illusions’ of capitalist consumerism and lapsing into premature reconciliation with the status quo. This entailed a special necessity to think art’s relation to critique and cognition, and to philosophy in particular. Thus Adorno defines the truth-content of artworks in terms of an ‘enigma’ awaiting resolution by philosophy.” [Austin Harrington, “New German aesthetic theory: Martin Seel’s art of diremption.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 109, September/October 2001. Pages 6-13.]
        “Attempts by scholars of popular music and jazz to find fruitful ways to apply [Theodor] Adorno’s aesthetic theory to the most prominent forms of twentieth-century music now form a well-worn path. It is perhaps the case that his specific critiques of jazz and popular music are less of a stumbling block for attempting to find a redeeming aspect of the chord symbol than is a reading of his musical aesthetics which focuses on his espousal of atonality and harmonic dissonance as central to any kind of authentic musical experience in the era of the culture industry. Here I intend to contribute to that debate by interrogating the extent to which the central categories of Adorno’s modernism do in fact depend on such a focus, and hence to offer a rethinking of the chord symbol’s significance on this basis.” [Mark Abel, “Radical openness: Chord symbols, musical abstraction and modernism.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 195, January/February 2016. Pages 25-37.]
        “It is arguably Aesthetic Theory, as the philosophical summation of [Theodor] Adorno’s writings on art, that remains his most living text. Its power lies not only in its theoretical generalization of the arts into a concept of art that is historically dynamic; its list of dialectical pairs is still useful for thinking about art today. Categories deployed in the ‘Adorno and Contemporary Art’ panel, with reference to experimental film and performance art, for instance, included technique/technology and construction/expression.” [Sebastian Truskolaski, Rose-Anne Gush, and Alex Fletcher, “From Berg to Beyoncé: Adorno and Politics: 1ˢᵗ Istanbul Critical Theory Conference, Boğaziçi University.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 199, September/October 2016. Pages 65-67.]
      5. dialectic of tact (Adorno): Tact, to Adorno, “is the determination of difference.”
        On the dialectic of tact. – …. The prerequisite of tact is a convention which is both fractured and yet still extant. This has now irretrievably decayed, and lives on only in the parody of forms, a capriciously dreamed up or recollected etiquette for the ignorant, like the preaching of advice columnists in newspapers, while the common understanding which might have borne those conventions in their humane hour has passed over into the blind conformity of auto-owners and radio listeners. The dying out of the ceremonial moment appears at first glance to benefit tact. The latter is emancipated from everything heteronomous, everything which is rote learning in the bad sense [schlecht Auswendigen], and tactful behavior could only be one which guided itself according to the specific constitutive features [Beschaffenheit] of each human relationship. Such emancipated tact however runs into the same difficulties which everywhere plague nominalism. Tact meant not simply subordination to ceremonial convention: the latter has been unstintingly ironized by all modern humanists. The achievement of tact was on the contrary as paradoxical as its historical position. It demanded the actually impossible reconciliation between the unauthenticated claim of convention and the unruly one of the individuated [Individuums]. Tact could not at all be measured, outside of that convention. This latter represented, however insubstantially, that which is general, which comprises the substance of the individual claim. Tact is the determination of difference. It consists of knowing deviations. But when, once emancipated, it confronts the individuated absolutely, without a generality from which it could be deciphered, it falls short of the individuated and finally does the latter injustice. The inquiry into one’s health, when this is no longer required and expected by one’s upbringing, turns into nosiness or an insult, and the silence on touchy subjects turns into empty indifference, as soon as no rule governs what one should or should not speak about. Individuals thus begin to react with hostility to tact, and not without reason: a certain kind of politeness does not give them the feeling of being addressed as human beings, but evokes an intuition of the inhumane condition in which they find themselves, and those who are polite run the risk of seeming impolite, because they still make use of politeness like some outmoded prerogative. Ultimately, emancipated, purely individual tact turns into a mere lie. What can be marked of it today in the individuated, is what it specifically silences – the actual and still more the potential power, which each person embodies. Behind the demand to confront the individuated as such, without any preamble, absolutely as befits such, lies an eager supervision, checking whether each word tacitly gives an account of what the addressee, amidst an all-encompassing hierarchy hardened in itself, is saying, and which are the addressee’s chances. The nominalism of tact aids the triumph of that which is most general, the naked reach of administration, even in the most intimate constellations. The write-off of conventions as outmoded, useless and extraneous ornaments only confirms the most extraneous of all things, a life of immediate domination. That the discontinuation of this caricature in schoolboyish camaraderie makes existence even more unbearable, as the mockery of freedom, is merely a further sign of how impossible it has become for human beings to live together under current conditions.” [Theodor Adorno. Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damaged Life. Dennis Redmond, translator. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 2005. Creative Commons.]
      6. social function of philosophy (Max Horkheimer): To Horkheimer, philosophy reveals the contradictions embedded in human life.
        “The real social function of philosophy lies in its criticism of what is prevalent. That does not mean superficial fault-finding with individual ideas or conditions, as though a philosopher were a crank. Nor does it mean that the philosopher complains about this or that isolated condition and suggests remedies. The chief aim of such criticism is to prevent mankind from losing itself in those ideas and activities which the existing organization of society instills into its members. Man must be made to see the relationship between his activities and what is achieved thereby, between his particular existence and the general life of society, between his everyday projects and the great ideas which he acknowledges. Philosophy exposes the contradiction in which man is entangled in so far as he must attach himself to isolated ideas and concepts in everyday life.” [Max Horkheimer. Critical Theory: Selected Essays. Matthew J. O’Connell and others, translators. New York: The Continuum Publishing Company. 2002. Pages 264-265.]
      7. myth and enlightenment (Adorno and Horkheimer): According to Adorno and Horkheimer, “historical time laboriously, revocably, detaches itself from space, the irrevocable schema of all mythic time.”
        “Taken as a whole, the adventures that Odysseus encounters are dangerous temptations that pull the self from the course of its own logic. He entrusts himself anew to each one, tries it out like an eternal novice, indeed, sometimes like a curious fool or a mime who inexhaustibly rehearses his rolls. ‘But where danger threatens/ that which saves from it also grows’: the knowledge in which his identity consists and which enables him to survive draws its substance from the experience of the multifarious, the diverting, and disintegrating; and the knower who survives is at the same time he who entrusts himself most recklessly to mortal danger, on which he hardens and strengthens himself. This is the secret of the process between epic and myth: the self does not constitute the rigid antithesis to adventure; rather the self develops its rigidness in the first place through this antithesis: its unit)y is exclusively in the multiplicity of what this unit)y denies. Like the heros of all true novels after him, Odysseus loses himself in order to find himself; the estrangement from nature that he undertakes is completed in his self-abandonment to that nature on which he measures himself in every adventure, and ironically the inexorable force that he commands triumphs in that he himself returns home an inexorable force, the judge and avenger of the legacy of the powers from which he escaped. At the Homeric stage, the identity of the self is so much a function of the non-identical, of the dissociated, unarticulated myths, that self-identity must be derived from them. The inner organization of individuality — time — is still so weak that the unity of the adventure remains external and its continuity remains a spatial change of arenas, of sites occupied by local deities to which the hero is driven by the storm. Whenever historically the self has again experienced such debilitation, or when this debility is presupposed in the reader, the narrative of life has once again slipped back into the sequence of adventures. In the image of voyaging, historical time laboriously, revocably, detaches itself from space, the irrevocable schema of all mythic time.” [Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer, “Odysseus or Myth and Enlightenment.” Robert Hullot-Kentor, translator. New German Critique. Number 56, spring–summer 1992. Pages 109-141.]
      8. enlightened citizen of the eighteenth century (Max Horkheimer): To Horkheimer, a consideration of the particulars is, in this case, more telling than a focus on the whole.
        “The characteristics of an enlightened citizen of the eighteenth century come forward more powerfully in the superior, thoroughly cultured style and details than in the conception of the whole. No linguistic gesture that feigns at depth in order to render meaning lessness and death meaningful by a sleight-of-hand, no theology of Nothingness, no replacement of the philosophy of history through a historicization of Being, in which the victims do not appear and the hangmen hide themselves ….” [Max Horkheimer, “Schopenhauer and Society (1955).” Todd Cronan, translator. Qui Parle. Volume 15, number 1, fall/winter 2004. Pages 85-96.]
    7. honest socialism (Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Benjamin (1892–1940)—a twentieth–century libertarian Marxist theorist, a peripatetic Renaissance man, and an all–around countercultural maverick—proposes a version of socialism or communism. It is apparently inspired, at least partially, by the work of Rosa Luxemburg. He also discusses a wide variety of other subjects.
      “Let us in fact take the socialist precept seriously, let us concede that the individual is constrained—in his inner life constrained and benighted; from this difficulty we regain an awareness of the richness and abundance, the natural being of the personality. Slowly, a new generation will dare once again to look about on its own and not only through its artists. The oppression and untruth that now confine us will be recognized. The dualism of social morality and personality will be acknowledged. From this difficulty a religion will be born. And necessarily so, because never before has the personality been so hopelessly entangled in the social mechanism. But I fear that you’ve not yet entirely understood me and that you believe you’ve detected individualism where I merely demand honesty—and not least an honest socialism, as opposed to the conventional one of today. As opposed to a socialism upheld by those who do not feel quite right by themselves.” [Walter Benjamin, “Dialogue on the Religiosity of the Present.” Early Writings: 1910-1917. Howard Eiland and others, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press imprint of Harvard University Press. 2011. Pages 62-84.]
      “… among all the possible forms and means of expression, a credo is the last thing my communism resorts to; that—even at the cost of its orthodoxy —my communism is absolutely nothing other than the expression of certain experiences I have undergone in my thinking and in my life; that it is a drastic, not infertile expression of the fact that the present intellectual industry finds it impossible to make room for my thinking, just as the present economic order finds it impossible to accommodate my life; that it represents the obvious, reasoned attempt on the part of a man who is completely or almost completely deprived of any means of production to proclaim his right to them, both in his thinking and in his life —that it is all this and much more, though in each case nothing but the lesser evil (see [Karl] Kraus’s letter to the female landowner who declared her opinion of Rosa Luxemburg)—is it really necessary to say all this to you [Gerhard/Gershom Scholem]?” [Walter Benjamin in The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem. Gary Smith and Andre Lefevere, translators. Gershom Scholem, editor. New York: Schocken Books Inc. 1989. Page 110.]
      “… we are faced with the fact—of which the past decade in Germany has furnished an abundance of examples—that the bourgeois apparatus of production and publication can assimilate astonishing quantities of revolutionary themes, indeed, can propagate them without calling its own existence, and the existence of the class that owns it, seriously into question. Tins remains true at least as long as it is supplied by hack writers, even if they be revolutionary hacks. I define the hack writer as the man who abstains in principle from alienating the productive apparatus from the ruling class by improving it in ways serving the interests of socialism. And I further maintain that a considerable proportion of so-called left-wing literature possessed no other social function than to wring from the political situation a continuous stream of novel effects for the entertainment of the public. This brings me to the New Matter-of-factness. Its stock in trade was reportage.” [Walter Benjamin. Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings. Edmund Jephcott, translator. Peter Demetz, editor. New York and London: A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book imprint of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1978. Page 229.]
      “I cannot assess all of this [the situation in Russia]; basically, the situation here enables and requires one to take on a position within it, even though this might be a sceptical position in many respects; from the outside, all you can do is observe it. It is totally impossible to predict what’s going to come of all this in Russia. Perhaps a truly socialist community, perhaps something entirely different. The battle that is going to decide this is still in progress.” [Walter Benjamin, “Moscow Diary.” October. Volume 35, winter 1985. Pages 9-136.]
      “Politics was not a subject Benjamin addressed directly in writing during his university years, except on rare occasions. In his ‘Dialogue on the Religiosity of the Present,’ from the fall of 1912, he briefly envisions an ‘honest socialism,’ as opposed to the conventional socialism of the day …. And there is a point in the letters where he rather casually mentions to a Zionist friend, Ludwig Strauß, that he has not yet decided between a social-democratic and a left-liberal orientation. In any case, he adds, given the fact that politics is the vehicle of political parties, not ideas, in the end political action can be a matter of only one thing: the art of choosing the lesser evil …. Nevertheless, the faith in ‘education’— the belief that politics begins in education and comes to fruition in culture— would, for the remainder of his university years, motivate his increasing prominence in the active organization of the political life of his faction of the Youth Movement. And it would continue to motivate his protest against school and family, and continue to provide the model for his severe, aesthetically colored ethical program.” [Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings. Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press imprint of Harvard University Press. 2014. Pages 40-41.]
      “Various cultural opportunities opened up for [Walter] Benjamin in Moscow. He held meetings with officials and cultural figures and met [Leon] Trotsky’s sister, Olga Kameneva, who had worked with the theatre director [Vsevolod] Meyerhold. He was interviewed on art and culture for a Moscow newspaper. In his diary Benjamin recorded encounters with intellectuals and his fears for the future of the revolutionary society. He told Jula Radt, in one of a number of very intimate letters, that what Russia would become was unclear: perhaps a genuine socialist society, perhaps something quite different. ‘The struggle which will determine this is in process without interruption.’” [Esther Leslie. Walter Benjamin. London: Reaktion Books Ltd. 2007. Page 81.]
      “[Walter] Benjamin’s libertarian Utopia is … grounded in a neo-Romantic structure of feeling. There is a very illuminating passage in a letter of 1918 to Gershom Scholem where this connection is explicitly stated. After proclaiming that Romanticism is ‘one of the most powerful movements of the present times,’ Benjamin argues that ‘through the reception of social elements’ the ideal side of Romantic catholicism (as opposed to its association with political power) ‘developed into Anarchism …’. As we have seen, the Catholic-Romantic restorative dimension is intimately linked, in Benjamin’s speech on students …, to its libertarian aspect: monastic communities and anarchist groups are presented as the two most significant models of social action.” [Michael Löwy, “Revolution Against ‘Progress’: Walter Benjamin’s Romantic Anarchism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 152, July–August 1985. Pages 42-59.]
      1. concept of history: Benjamin develops a distinctive revision of historical materialism.
        “Historicism rightly culminates in universal history. It may be that materialist historiography differs in method more clearly from universal history than from any other kind. Universal history has no theoretical armature. Its procedure is additive: it musters a mass of data to fill the homogeneous, empty time. Materialist historiography, on the other hand, is based on a constructive principle. Thinking involves not only the movement of thoughts, but their arrest as well. Where thinking suddenly comes to a stop in a constellation saturated with tensions, it gives that constellation a shock, by which thinking is crystallized as a monad. The historical materialist approaches a historical object only where it confronts him as a monad. In this structure he recognizes the sign of a messianic arrest of happening, or (to put it differently) a revolutionary chance in the fight for the oppressed past. He takes cognizance of it in order to blast a specific era out of the homogeneous course of history; thus, he blasts a specific life out of the era, a specific work out of the lifework. As a result of this method, the lifework is both preserved and sublated in the work, the era in the lifework, and the entire course of history in the era. The nourishing fruit of what is historically understood contains time in its interior as a precious but tasteless seed.” [Walter Benjamin, “On the Concept of History.” Selected Writings: Volume 4, 1938-1940. Edmund Jephcott and others, translators. Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, editors. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press imprint of Harvard University Press. 2003. Pages 389-400.]
        “The historical materialist who investigates the structure of history performs, in his way, a sort of spectrum analysis. Just as a physicist determines the presence of ultraviolet light in the solar spectrum, so the historical materialist determines the presence of a messianic force in history. Whoever wishes to know what the situation of a ‘redeemed humanity’ might actually be, what conditions are required for the development of such a situation, and when this development can be expected to occur, poses questions to which there are no answers. He might just as well seek to know the color of ultraviolet rays.
        “The historical materialist who investigates the structure of history performs, in his way, a sort of spectrum analysis. Just as a physicist determines the presence of ultraviolet light in the solar spectrum, so the historical materialist determines the presence of a messianic force in history. Whoever wishes to know what the situation of a ‘redeemed humanity’ might actually be, what conditions are required for the development of such a situation, and when this development can be expected to occur, poses questions to which there are no answers. He might just as well seek to know the color of ultraviolet rays.
        “[Karl] Marx says that revolutions are the locomotive of world history. But perhaps it is quite otherwise. Perhaps revolutions are an attempt by the passengers on this train—namely, the human race—to activate the emergency brake.”
        [Walter Benjamin, “Paralipomena to ‘On the Concept of History.’” Selected Writings: Volume 4, 1938-1940. Edmund Jephcott and others, translators. Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, editors. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press imprint of Harvard University Press. 2003. Pages 401-411.]
        “Walter Benjamin’s theses On the Concept of History promise a discussion on a new concept of history, and concomitantly on a new concept of the present. A characteristic of the text is that at the center of it there is no discursive explanation, but an image instead. Benjamin’s concept of history seems to do away with philosophy’s conceptual games, and transforms concepts into images, which spoil the promise of truth offered by philosophy of history. For Benjamin, the traditional concepts of history evaporated as he wrote the historical-philosophical theses. He could no longer be convinced that every historical event derives from a linear cause and effect relationship, and that all events together constitute a progressive, continuous motion. In thesis IX this appears as ‘one single catastrophe, which keeps pilling wreckage upon wreckage,’ the ‘pile of debris’ was so vast that it even ‘grows toward the sky.’ According to Benjamin, everything about history has been untimely, sorrowful and unsuccessful. History has collapsed into a ‘single catastrophe’ in which the history of mankind has shown to be a failure. The basis for Benjamin’s image of the pile of debris reaching to the sky, and the catastrophic concept of history in these theses, goes beyond concepts and phrases. For Benjamin, the stigma of philosophical language is that it does not extend to mimesis [Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, μίμησις, mímēsis, ‘to imitate’] – remembrance. Only images attempt to gain direct access to mimesis.” [Alfredo Lucero-Montano, “On Walter Benjamin’s Historical Materialism.” Astrolabio. Revista internacional de filosofía. Number 10, 2010. Pages 126-131.]
      2. mechanical reproduction or technological reproducibility: Benjamin’s critical social theory, which included an approach to art, was influenced by the Jewish Kabbalah (Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, הָקַבָּלָה הָיְהוּדִי, hā-Qạbbālāh hā-Yāhūḏiy, “the Jewish receiving”). He writes about the image and the “continuous process of change.”
        “Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be. This unique existence of the work of art determined the history to which it was subject throughout the time of its existence. This includes the changes which it may have suffered in physical condition over the years as well as the various changes in its ownership. The traces of the first can be revealed only by chemical or physical analyses which it is impossible to perform on a reproduction; changes of ownership are subject to a tradition which must be traced from the situation of the original.
        “The presence of the original is the prerequisite to the concept of authenticity. Chemical analyses of the patina of a bronze can he]p to establish this, as does the proof that a given manuscript of the Middle Ages stems from an archive of the fifteenth century. The whole sphere of authenticity is outside technical and, of course, not only technical-reproducibility. Confronted with its manual reproduction, which was usually branded as a forgery, the original preserved all its authority; not so vis à vis technical reproduction. The reason is twofold. First, process reproduction is more independent of the original than manual reproduction. For example, in photography, process reproduction can bring out those aspects of the original that are unattainable to the naked eye yet accessible to the lens, which is adjustable and chooses its angle at will. And photographic reproduction, with the aid of certain processes, such as enlargement or slow motion, can capture images which escape natural vision. Secondly, technical reproduction can put the copy of the original into situations which would be out of reach for the original itself.”
        [Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. Harry Zohn, translator. Hannah Arendt, editor. New York: Schoken Books. 2007. Pages 217-251.]
        “Since you [Gerhard/Gershom Scholem] are finally attempting to clarify the relationship between your graduation and the Kabbalah, I will make the following pronouncement: I will claim to be a great kabbalist if you do not get your doctorate summa cum laude.” [Walter Benjamin. The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin: 1910-1940. Gershom Sholem and Theodor W. Adorno, translators and annotators. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press. 1994. Page 166.]
        “For the dialectical historian concerned with works of art, these works integrate their fore-history as well as their after-history; and it is by virtue of their after-history that their fore-history is recognizable as involved in a continuous process of change. Works of art teach him how their function outlives their creator and how the artist’s intentions are left behind. They demonstrate how the reception of a work by its contemporaries is part of the effect that the work of art has on us today. They further show that this effect depends on an encounter not just with the work of art alone but with the history which has allowed the work to come down to our own age. [Johann Wolfgang von] Goethe made this point in a characteristically veiled manner when, in a conversation about [William] Shakespeare, he said to Chancellor [Friedrich] von Müller: ‘Nothing that has had a great effect can really be judged any longer.’ No statement better evokes that state of unease which marks the beginning of any consideration of history worthy of being called dialectical. Unease over the provocation to the researcher, who must abandon the calm, contemplative attitude toward his object in order to become conscious of the critical constellation in which precisely this fragment of the past finds itself with precisely this present. ‘The truth will not run away from use—this statement by Gottfried Keller indicates exactly that point in historicism’s image of history where the image is pierced by historical materialism. For it is an irretrievable image of the past which threatens to disappear in any present that does not recognize itself as intimated in that image.” [Walter Benjamin. The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media. Edmund Jephcott, Rodney Livingstone, Howard Eiland, and others, translators. Michael W. Jennings, Brigid Doherty, and Thomas Y. Levin, editors. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press imprint of Harvard University Press. 2008. Pages 118.]
        “The here and now of the original constitutes the concept of its authenticity, and on the latter in turn is founded the idea of a tradition which has, to the present day, passed this object down as the same, identical thing. The whole sphere of authenticity eludes technological—and of course not only technological—reproduction. But whereas the authentic work retains its full authority in the face of a reproduction made by hand, which it generally brands a forgery, this is not the case with technological reproduction. The reason is twofold. First, technological reproduction is more independent of the original than is manual reproduction. For example, in photography technological reproduction can bring out aspects of the original that are accessible only to the lens (which is adjustable and chooses its viewpoint arbitrarily) but not to the human eye; or it can use certain processes, such as enlargement or slow motion, to record images which escape natural optics altogether. This is the first reason. Second, technological reproduction can place the copy of the original in situations to which the original itself cannot attain. Above all, it enables the original to meet the recipient halfway, whether in the form of a photograph or in that of a gramophone record. The cathedral leaves its site to be received in the studio of an art lover; the choral work performed in an auditorium or in the open air is enjoyed in a private room.
        “One might summarize these aspects of the artwork in the concept of the aura, and say: what withers in the age of the technological reproducibility of the work of art is the latter’s aura. This process is symptomatic; its significance extends far beyond the realm of art. It might be stated as a general formula that the technology of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the sphere of tradition. By replicating that which has been reproduced many times over, the technology of reproduction substitutes a mass existence for a unique existence. And in permitting the reproduction to reach the viewer in his or her own situation, it actualizes that which is reproduced. These two processes lead to a massive upheaval in the domain of objects handed down from the past—a shattering of tradition which is the reverse side of the present crisis and renewal of humanity. Both processes are intimately related to the mass movements of our day.”
        [Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility [First Version].” Michael W. Jennings, translator. Grey Room. Number 39, spring 2010. Pages 11-38.]
        “I wish to thank you [Gerhard/Gershom Scholem] very much for sending me the ‘Kabbalah.’ Though no judgment can arise out of the abyss of my ignorance in this area, you should still know that the rays of your article did force their way even down there. Otherwise, however, I have to content myself with cobweb-thin esoteric knowledge; at the moment— for the purpose of a radio play about spiritism. I am about to cast a glance over the relevant literature, not, to be sure, without having constructed, slyly and for my private pleasure, a theory on these matters which I intend to put before you on a distant evening, over a bottle of burgundy.” [Walter Benjamin in The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem. Gary Smith and Andre Lefevere, translators. Gershom Scholem, editor. New York: Schocken Books Inc. 1989. Page 26.]
        “Famously, [Walter] Benjamin used the notion of aura to describe the way in which relived experiences were bound to a particular time and place. In modern parlance, aura casts its halo around the episodic memory of events and source memory—how and when we came to know something. Photography weakened aura—‘a strange tissue of time and place’—by mechanical repetition, by throwing up the same advertisement which we see over and over again at various points, casting the pall of uniformity over unique experience. But this is merely part of a more general effect in which the mass production of standardized objects—from tract housing to clothing—erodes auratic experience.” [Julian Stallabrass, “Memory and Icons: Photography in the War on Terror.” New Left Review. Series II, number 105, May–June 2017. Pages 29-50.]
        “What impressed [Walter] Benjamin about the Kabbalah was that all creation is a variation of … [the] primordial Torah, i.e., divine language. According to this conception, language is the ‘mental entity’ of not only human beings but all creation.” [James McBride, “Marooned in the Realm of the Profane: Walter Benjamin’s Synthesis of Kabbalah and Communism.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion. Volume 57, number 2, summer 1989. Pages 241-266.]
        “The critical theorist Walter Benjamin once noted that ‘the past can be seized only as an image which flashes up at the instant when it can be recognized and is never seen again’ …. The past, in other words, is not accessible to us as stories with their meanings already intact but as fleeting ‘images’ to be deciphered. Benjamin reminds us that meaning doesn’t simply emanate from random events; rather, it is the historian who not only assigns order and coherence to events but also renders them significant, or not. Because the meaning of these images from the past is not transparent or self-evident, reading history, then, requires something extra-historical: a politics or an ethics. But Benjamin’s insight suggests something else at least as important: We have no access to the past that is unmediated.” [Jeffrey Nealon and Susan Searls Giroux. The Theory Toolbox: Critical Concepts for the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Second edition. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2012. Page 108.]
        “In Walter Benjamin’s piece entitled ‘The Work Of Art In the Age Of Mechanical Reproduction,’ he expresses how ‘a work of art has always been reproducible, [but the reproduction] is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.’ This unique existence is part of what Benjamin refers to as the aura of a piece of work, which he also attributes not only to the context that the piece of art was created in, but also the history that it is embedded in. He argues that industrialized societies are ‘overcoming the uniqueness of every reality by accepting its reproduction,’ and attributes this trouncing to modern technologies …. But there are some composers, such as John Cage, who wished to create music that ‘[would] find beauty in everyday modern life, [thus] encouraging a different relationship [with] society’ …. In one of his most famous compositions, 4′33″, Cage sat behind a piano for four minutes and thirty-three seconds and played no notes. In a composition such as this, many people became enraged and questioned the definition of this piece as music. But if one looks at Benjamin and Cage’s philosophies, perhaps a different perspective can be taken.” [Zach Porlier, “Walter Benjamin and 4′33″.” ESSAI. Volume 7, article 39, April 2010. Pages 132-136.]
      3. arcades project: Benjamin develops a critical social theory of architecture.
        “For the first time in the history of architecture, an artificial building material appears: iron. It undergoes an evolution whose tempo will accelerate in the course of the century. This development enters a decisive new phase when it becomes clear that the locomotive—on which experiments had been conducted since the end of the 1820s—is compatible only with iron tracks. The rail becomes the first prefabricated iron component, the precursor of the girder. Iron is avoided in home construction but used in arcades, exhibition halls, train stations—buildings that serve transitory purposes. At the same tinle, the range of architectural applications for glass expands, although the social prerequisites for its widened application as building material will come to the fore only a hundred years later.” [Walter Benjamin. The Arcades Project. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 1999. Page 4.]
        “Most of the Paris arcade came into being during the decade and a half which followed 1822.… An ‘Illustrated Paris Guide’ said: ‘These arcades, a new contrivance of industrial luxury, are glass-covered, marble-floored passages through entire blocks of houses, whose proprietors have joined forces in the venture. On both sides of these passages, which obtain their light from above, there are arrayed the most elegant shops, so that such an arcade is a city, indeed a world, in miniature.’ The arcades were the setting for the first gas-lighting.” [Walter Benjamin, “Paris: Capital of the Nineteenth Century.” Perspecta. Volume 12, 1969. Pages 163-172.]
        “… I shall come to the thing that is most important to me: the arcades study. I recall the conversation we had in Denmark last September, and I find it highly troubling that I have no idea which of your plans you will now be carrying out. It amazes me that Fritz [Fränkel] is trying to find a possibility for the notes, are you thinking of writing something for the journal? I would actually consider that very dangerous, as you would have relatively little space and would never be able to write what your true friends have been awaiting for years, the great philosophical study that exists purely for its own sake and makes no compromises, and whose significance would help to compensate for a great deal of what has happened these last few years. Detlef, it is not simply a matter of rescuing you, but also this work. One should anxiously guard you from everything that could jeopardize it, and devote the greatest possible energy to supporting everything that might further it. I think you have rarely known me to be so enthusiastic about something, which shows you most clearly what high hopes I place in the arcades study. – I hope you will not resent my ecstasy. I await your news with longing and fear, please write to me about the exposé. – I have so much time; if only I could keep you company a little in your hours of solitude and have you read to me from your notes. Fare thee well and kindly let me remain in good favour with you.” [Walter Benjamin in Gretel Adorno and Walter Benjamin. Correspondence: 1930-1940. Wieland Hoban, translator. Henri Lonitz and Christoph Gödde, editors. Cambridge, England, and Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2008. Pages 176-177.]
        “[Walter] Benjamin did not live long enough to act as an advocate for himself and for his works by writing introductions or afterthoughts to revised or republished editions of his books. But even so he has left numerous documents, in which, on the one hand, he speaks about a reorientation in his thinking, but on the other emphasizes the continuity of his fundamental conceptions. For example, letters from the middle of the 1930s, that is, the decisive, second phase of his work on the Arcades Project, mention that ‘a mass of ideas and images’ originating in the very distant past when he ‘thought in purely metaphysical, and indeed theological terms’ had to undergo a ‘process of complete and radical change.’ These letters also refer to ‘a melting-pot process’ that has moved the ‘whole mass of ideas originally animated by metaphysics’ toward a new ‘aggregate condition,’ where they would be safe from the objections ‘provoked by metaphysics.’” [Uwe Steiner. Walter Benjamin: An Introduction to His Work and Thought. Michael Winkler, translator. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press. 2010. Page 8.]
        “The obdurate steel walls form a concealed shaft that opens up to the sky only once one reaches the uncovered final section that extends to the sheet of glass with its inscription. Similarly, the sea is obscured until one starts down the flight of steps. A clear link may be made between the steel and glass composition of the monument and that of the Parisian arcades whose architectural and cultural composition occupied much of [Walter] Benjamin’s thought in his Passagen-Werk [Arcades Project].” [Noah Isenberg, “The Work of Walter Benjamin in the Age of Information.” New German Critique. Number 83, spring–summer 2001. Pages 119-150.]
        “[Walter] Benjamin’s break with the ‘materialist/progressivist’ perspective from 1933 to 1935 is not at all a break with Marxism. The essays of 1936 to 1940 are also Marxist, but constitute a new and original reinterpretation of historical materialism (nourished by Romantic culture and Jewish theology), radically different from the orthodoxy of the Second and Third Internationals. They should be considered as an attempt to deepen and radicalize the opposition between Marxism and bourgeois ideology, to heighten its revolutionary potential and sharpen its critical content. This was also the aim of Benjamin’s uncompleted book on the Parisian Arcades (Passagenwerk) ….” [Michael Löwry, “Walter Benjamin and Marxism.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 46, issue 9, February 1995. Pages 11+.]
        “[Walter] Benjamin was nearer, in 1921, to the romantic and libertarian socialism of Gustav Landauer – or of Georges Sorel – than to [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels. It was only later, in The Arcades Project [Passagenwerk], that he would use Marxian concepts in order to criticise the fetish-cult of the commodity, and analyse the Parisian arcades or passages as ‘temples of merchant capital.’ However, there is also a certain continuity between the 1921 fragment and the great unfinished book from the 1930s. In any case, for the young Benjamin, (gold or paper) money, wealth and commodities are some of the divinities, the idols of the capitalist religion, and their ‘practical’ manipulation in capitalist life constitutes cult phenomena, beyond which ‘nothing has any meaning.’” [Michael Löwry, “Capitalism as Religion: Walter Benjamin and Max Weber.” Historical Materialism. Volume 17, number 1, March 2009. Pages 60-73.]
        “In the Paris arcades of the 1920s and 1930s, Walter Benjamin recognised the traces of a recent past, quickly obliterated by destructive forgetting. For the visitor in [Walter] Benjamin’s time, the Parisian arcades presented a collection of neglected shop-fronts and quaint stores, housed in the once opulent forerunners to modern shopping malls. The various musings that grew out of Benjamin’s fascination with these semi-derelict spaces of early consumer culture provided the foundation for The Arcades Project.
        “What was it that Benjamin was looking for in the arcades, and what was it that he ultimately found there? The collective history Benjamin sought was not his own—those recollections were reserved for his writing on Berlin, the city of his childhood. As portals crossing the threshold between the now and the what-has-been, the arcades in a state of decay proved to be fertile ground for Benjamin’s ideas. In them he found the origins—the wish images and dreamworlds—of his own era. If the abandoned arcades proved to be of use (not despite, but because of their decay and obsolescence), what purpose can modern ruins serve for researchers investigating contemporary urban space? …
        “This article attempts to combine an auto-ethnographic account of my experiences in particular locations that are of personal and local significance, with Benjamin’s efforts to chronicle his own experience of decay and memory—both private and collective.”
        [Emma Fraser, “At the Stage of Their Fate: Salvaging the Urban Obsolete in Sydney.” Societies. Volume 3, 2013. Pages 464-481.]
        “During his [Walter Benjamin’s] travels in Europe in the early decades of the twentieth century, Benjamin collected postcards of Italian townscapes, sibyls, and Russian toys, numerous photographs of the Arcades in Paris, as well as his own notes scribbled on anything that came to hand when the muse struck him: the back of receipts, on library cards, or newspaper ads. Friends bestowed great care in protecting his documents. Georges Bataille hid the manuscript of the ‘Arcades Project’ (1927-39) in the Bibliothèque Nationale (where it was discovered by Giorgio Agamben in 1981, and published a year later), while Gretel [Adorno] and Theodor Adorno kept papers in their New York safe, later transporting them to Frankfurt. Bertold Brecht was to have shipped Benjamin’s library, his ‘intellectual wine cellar,’ as he liked to call it, to Svendborg in Denmark, where Brecht took refuge, but it was lost during WWII [World War II]. After leaving Berlin, Benjamin’s existence was put on permanent hold, trapping him between ‘two dialectic poles of order and disorder.’ He once used those words to describe the collector-archivist’s ontological dilemma, as requiring a sort of Rettung (rescue), but now it had become his destiny too.” [Maria Zimmermann Brendel, “The Everlasting Now: Walter Benjamin’s Archive.” ArtUS. March, 2007. Pages 54-57.]
      4. downfall of the tyrant: Benjamin conducts a study of German tragic drama.
        “The enduring fascination of the downfall of the tyrant is rooted in the conflict between the impotence and depravity of his person, on the one hand, and, on the other, the extent to which the age was convinced of the sacrosanct power of his role. It was therefore quite impossible to derive an easy moral satisfaction, in the manner of the dramas of Hans Sachs, from the tyrant’s end. For if the tyrant falls, not simply in his own name, as an individual, but as a ruler and in the name of mankind and history, then his fall has the quality of a judgment, in which the subject too is implicated.” [Walter Benjamin. The Origin of German Tragic Drama. John Osborne, translator. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2003. Page 72.]
      5. doctrine of the similar: Benjamin examines various similarities produced by nature.
        “Insight into the areas of the ‘similar’ has a fundamental importance for the illumination of large areas of occult knowledge. Such insight, however, is to be gained less by demonstrating found similarities than by reproducing processes which produce such similarities. Nature produces similarities—one need only think of mimicry. Human beings, however, possess the very highest capability to produce similarities. Indeed, there may not be a single one of the higher human functions which is not decisively co-determined by the mimetic faculty. This faculty, however, has a history, both phylogenetically and ontogenetically. With respect to the latter, it is in many ways formed by play. To begin with, children’s games are everywhere interlaced with mimetic modes of behavior, and their range is not limited at all to what one human being imitates from another. A child not only plays at being a grocer or a teacher, but also at being a windmill or a train. The question which matters, however, is the following: what does a human being actually gain by this training in mimetic attitudes?” [Walter Benjamin, “Doctrine of the Similar (1933).” Knut Tarnowski, translator. New German Critique. Number 17, spring 1979. Pages 65-69.]
      6. radical critique: Benjamin explores a theme which underlies much of his work—that a critique of human progress “must be the basis of any criticism of the concept of progress itself.” The term, radical critique, is taken from Bülent Diken (MP3 audio file).
        “Social Democratic theory, and even more its practice, have been formed by a conception of progress which did not adhere to reality but made dogmatic claims. Progress as pictured in the minds of Social Democrats was, first of all, the progress of mankind itself (and not just advances in men’s ability and knowledge). Secondly, it was something boundless, in keeping with the infinite perfectibility of mankind. Thirdly, progress was regarded as irresistible, something that automatically pursued a straight or spiral course. Each of these predicates is controversial and open to criticism. However, when the chips are down, criticism must penetrate beyond these predicates and focus on something that they have in common. The concept of the historical progress of mankind cannot be sundered from the concept of its progression through a homogeneous, empty time. A critique of the concept of such a progression must be the basis of any criticism of the concept of progress itself.” [Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History.” Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. Harry Zohn, translator. Hannah Arendt, editor. New York: Schoken Books. 2007. Pages 217-264.]
        “The critique of the concept of the masses, as the modern metropolis throws it into relief, should be given a more central position than it occupies in the present version. This critique, which I initiate in my passages on [Victor] Hugo, should be elaborated by means of an interpretation of important literary documents.” [Walter Benjamin, “Reply.” Harry Zohn, translator. Aesthetics and Politics. London: Verso Editions imprint of New Left Books. 1977. Pages 134-141.]
        “Is it … possible to redeem the idea of radical critique on the basis of this paradoxical coincidence, the simultaneous absence and presence of the idea of revolution/radical critique in contemporary society? After all, if problems can only be grasped by means of a ‘rectification,’ critique must proceed with reference to past events rather than future promises; it must be untimely. As Walter Benjamin put it [in Illuminations: Essays and Reflections], radical critique can only take the form of a redemptive disruption, arrest of the indistinct, ‘empty’ flow of chronological time. The critical gesture is necessarily ‘a tiger’s leap into the past’ that turns the origin into a goal, repetition into creation; for the redeemed ‘past’ is not the past in the chronological sense but the whole of time, ‘the entire history of mankind,’ that is, the whole time, the time of the virtual. What is essential to the idea of radical critique is a time of immobility, a time that ‘stands still and has come to a stop.’” [Bülent Diken, “Radical Critique as the Paradox of Post-Political Society.” Third Text. Volume 23, issue 5, September 2009, 579-586.]
        “Walter Benjamin was the first to use Marxist sociology as a tool literary criticism. He was at his best when he delved into the subtleties of 19ᵗʰ century romanticism; but he also had a goal for his time: he hoped to find for his writer friends a theory that would both permit them to be creative and permit him to remain a Marxist. His friendship with [Bertold] Brecht opened to him a rich field of exploration precisely for that quest of a political literature. The two friends believed that the key to the future was the ‘epic theater.’ Fortunately for us, Brecht was too much of a poet to follow his own theories which often left Benjamin agape.” [Henry Pachter, “Bertolt Brecht and Stalin.” Salmagundi. Number 17, fall 1971. Pages 63-64.]
      7. one–way street: Benjamin writes an essay on streets.
        “Nobody was expecting me, no one knew me. For two hours I walked the streets in solitude. Never again have I seen them so. From every gate a flame darted, each cornerstone sprayed sparks, and every streetcar came toward me like a fire engine. For she might have stepped out of the gateway, around the corner, been sitting in the streetcar. But of the two of us I had to be, at any price, the first to see the other. For had she touched me with the match of her eyes, I should have gone up like a magazine.…
        “A highly embroiled quarter, a network of streets that I had avoided for years, was disentangled at a single stroke when one day a person dear to me moved there. It was as if a searchlight set up at this person’s window dissected the area with pencils of light.”
        [Walter Benjamin, “One-Way Street.” One-Way Street and Other Writings. Edmund Jephcott and Kingsley Shorter, editors. London: New Left Books. 1979. Pages 45-104.]
      8. the secret: Benjamin critically examines photography.
        “Photography, with its devices of slow motion and enlargement, reveals the secret. It is through photography that we first discover the existence of this optical unconscious, just as we discover the instinctual unconscious through psychoanalysis. Details of structure, cellular tissue, with which technology and medicine are normally concerned—all this is in its origins more native to the camera than the atmospheric landscape or the soulful portrait. Yet at the same time photography reveals in this material the physiognomic aspects of visual worlds which dwell in the smallest things, meaningful yet covert enough to find a hiding place in waking dreams, but which, enlarged and capable of formulation, make the difference between technology and magic visible as a thoroughly historical variable.” [Walter Benjamin, “A Small History of Photography.” One-Way Street and Other Writings. Edmund Jephcott and Kingsley Shorter, editors. London: New Left Books. 1979. Pages 240-257.]
        “Criticism is a convivial art. A healthy reader doesn’t give a fig for the reviewer’s judgement. But what he really appreciates is the delightful bad habit of keeping abreast of things, uninvited, while someone else reads. To flip open a book in such a way that it beckons like a ready-laid table, at which we take a seat, along with all our ideas, questions, convictions, quirks, prejudices and thoughts, such that the few hundred readers (is it really so many?) in this society vanish and, on account of that, we get well fed and watered – that is criticism. At least, the only sort that makes a reader hungry for a book.
        “If, for now, we can agree on this, then the 120 plates in this book are laid out for innumerable observations and observers. Indeed, we wish this work, which is rich – spare only in words – as many friends as that. But the silence of the researcher, who has provided these images, must be respected. Perhaps his knowledge belongs to that type which makes one silent the more one possesses it. And in this case, more important than knowing is being able. He who brought this collection of plant photos into being may eat more than bread.…
        “These photographs disclose a whole unsuspected treasury of analogies and forms within the plants’ being. Only photography is able to do this. For it requires a powerful magnification before these forms are able to cast off the veil that our inertia has thrown over them.”
        [Walter Benjamin. On Photography. Esther Leslie, translator and editor. London: Reaktion Books Ltd. 2015. Page 83.]
        “[Walter] Benjamin’s ideas are worth mentioning because he was photography’s most original and important critic—despite (and because of) the inner contradiction in his account of photography which follows from the challenge posed by his Surrealist sensibility to his Marxist/Brechtian principles—and because Benjamin’s own ideal project reads like a sublimated version of the photographer’s activity. This project was a work of literary criticism that was to consist entirely of quotations, and would thereby be devoid of anything that might betray empathy. A disavowal of empathy, a disdain for message-mongering, a claim to be invisible—these are strategies endorsed by most professional photographers. The history of photography discloses a long tradition of ambivalence about its capacity for partisanship: the taking of sides is felt to undermine its perennial assumption that all subjects have validity and interest. But what in Benjamin is an excruciating idea of fastidiousness, meant to permit the mute past to speak in its own voice, with all its unresolvable complexity, becomes—when generalized, in photography—the cumulative de-creation of the past (in the very act of preserving it), the fabrication of a new, parallel reality that makes the past immediate while underscoring its comic or tragic ineffectuality, that invests the specificity of the past with an unlimited irony, that transforms the present into the past and the past into pastness.” [Susan Sontag. On Photography. New York: RosettaBooks LLC. 2005. Page 60.]
      9. Society for Earth Research: Benjamin begins a science–fiction script with this line by the announcer.
        “I, as the announcer, see myself in the pleasant condition of taking a position above all parties—I meant to say planets. Since the following events take place between the earth and the moon-or rather either on the former or on the latter—I would be breaking the rules of interplanetary behavior if I, as the announcer, were to take the position of either the earth or the moon. To remain correct, I will let you know that the earth appears to the moon, which knows all about the other, as mysterious as the moon to the earth, which knows nothing about the other. That the moon knows everything about the earth and the earth nothing about the moon you may deduct from the single circumstance that there is a committee for earth research on the moon. You will have no difficulty following the meetings of this committee. Just to assist you with your orientation, let me point out the following: the debates of the moon committee are extremely short; the allotted speaking time on the moon is the shortest anywhere. The moon inhabitants live on no other substance than the silence of their fellow citizens, which they hence do not like to see interrupted. It is also worth mentioning that an earth year amounts to only a few moon minutes. We are dealing here with the phenomenon of time warp, with which you are undoubtedly familiar. The fact that, on the moon, photographs have always been taken is hardly worth mentioning. The technical equipment of the Society for Earth Research is limited to three units, which can be operated more easily than a coffee mill. First, we have a spectrophone, through which everything that happens on earth can be seen and heard; a parlamonium, which can translate tedious human speech into music for moon citizens spoiled by celestial harmony; and an oneiroscope, with which the dreams of the earthlings can be observed. This is important because of the interest in psychoanalysis prevalent on the moon. You will now join a meeting of the moon committee.” [Walter Benjamin, “Lichtenberg: A Cross Section.” Gerhard Schulte, translator. Performing Arts Journal. Volume 14, number 3, September 1992. Pages 37-56.]
      10. poet’s autonomy and autonomy of art: Benjamin examines autonomy using the poet and art as illustrations or, perhaps, as metaphors.
        “… you are all more or less familiar with it as the question of the poet’s autonomy: his freedom to write whatever he may please. You are not inclined to accord him this autonomy. You believe that the current social situation forces the poet to choose whom his activity will serve. The bourgeois writer of popular stories does not acknowledge this alternative. So you show him that even without admitting it, he works in the interests of a particular class. An advanced type of writer acknowledges this alternative. His decision is determined on the basis of the class struggle when he places himself on the side of the proletariat. But then his autonomy is done for. He directs his energies toward what is useful for the proletariat in the class struggle. We say that he espouses a tendency.” [Walter Benjamin, “The Author as Producer.” John Heckman, translator. New Left Review. Series I, number 62, July–August 1970. Pages 83-96.]
        “The nineteenth-century dispute as to the artistic value of painting versus photography today seems devious and confused. This does not diminish its importance, however; if anything, it underlines it. The dispute was in fact the symptom of a historical transformation the universal impact of which was not realized by either of the rivals. When the age of mechanical reproduction separated art from its basis in cult, the semblance of its autonomy disappeared forever. The resulting change in the function of art transcended the perspective of the century; for a long time it even escaped that of the twentieth century, which experienced the development of the film.” [Walter Benjamin. Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. Harry Zohn, translator. Hannah Arendt, editor. New York: Schoken Books. 2007. Pages 226-227.]
        “Opinions are freely given, that is to say: society does not seek to force determinate opinions on individuals; instead once and for all society declares its thoroughgoing indifference towards private standpoints and convictions. The latter’s claim to so-called validity has simply not been put to the test. Their applicability is the only thing in which the communal body is interested.” [Walter Benjamin, “On theoretical foundations: Theses on Brecht.” Andrew McGettigan with Sami Khatib, translators. Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 179, May/June 2013. Pages 28-29.]
      11. on hashish: Benjamin writes about his own experiences using hashish (Arabic/ʿArabiyyaẗ, الحَشِيش, ʾal-ḥašīš, “the grass” or “the lawn”).
        “Aftereffect: perhaps a certain weakening of the will. But the sense of elation gains the upper hand, though with diminishing effect. Despite my recurring depression, my handwriting has recently displayed an upward slant, something I have never before observed. Can this be connected with hashish? A further aftereffect: on returning home, I tried to fasten the chain, and when this proved difficult my first suspicion (quickly corrected) was that an experiment was being set up.
        “Even if the first trance stood on a higher plane morally than the second, the climax of intensity was on a rising curve. This should be understood roughly as follows: the first trance loosened objects, and lured them from their accustomed world; the second inserted them quite quickly into a new one-far inferior to this intermediate realm.…
        “The constant digressions under the influence of hashish. To start with, the inability to listen. This seems incongruent with the boundless goodwill toward other people, but in reality they share the same roots. No sooner has the person you are talking to opened his mouth than you feel profoundly disillusioned. What he says is infinitely inferior to what we would have expected from him before he opened his mouth, and what we confidently, happily assumed him to be capable of. He painfully disappoints us through his failure to focus on that greatest object of interest: ourselves.”
        [Walter Benjamin. On Hashish. Howard Eiland and others, translators. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press imprint of Harvard University Press. 2006. Pages 27-28.]
    8. socialist world government (Immanuel Wallerstein): The founder of world–systems analysis (considered in a subsequent chapter) proposes a possible future of revolutionary and reformist socialism or communism. It would, he postulates, be based upon “decommodification,” relative democracy, and relative egalitarianism. Perhaps Wallerstein’s “socialist world government” can be considered as an exercise in his utopistics.
      “There are today no socialist systems in the world-economy any more than there are feudal systems because there is only one world-system. It is a world-economy and it is by definition capitalist in form. Socialism involves the creation of a new kind of world-system, neither a redistributive world-empire nor a capitalist world-economy but a socialist world-government. I don’t see this projection as being in the least utopian but I also don’t feel its institution is imminent. It will be the outcome of a long struggle in forms that may be familiar and perhaps in very new forms, that will take place in all the areas of the world-economy ([Chairman] Mao’s continual ‘class struggle’). Governments may be in the hands of persons, groups or movements sympathetic to this transformation but states as such are neither progressive nor reactionary. It is movements and forces that deserve such evaluative judgments.” [Immanuel Wallerstein, “The Rise and Future Demise of the World Capitalist System: Concepts for Comparative Analysis.” Comparative Studies in Society and History. Volume 16, number 4, September 1974. Pages 387-415.]
      “What I think we should keep in the forefront of our minds is that the basic issue is not ownership or even control of economic resources. The basic issue is the decommodification of the world’s economic processes. Decommodification, it should be underlined, does not mean demonetization, but the elimination of the category of profit. Capitalism has been a program for the commodification of everything. The capitalists have not yet fulfilled it entirely, but they have gone a long way in that direction, with all the negative consequences we know. Socialism ought to be a program for the decommodification of everything.” [Immanuel Wallerstein. The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World. New York and London: The New Press. 2003. Page 244.]
      “The crucial thing wrong with the capitalist system is not private ownership, which is simply a means, but commodification, which is the essential element in the accumulation of capital. Even today, the capitalist world-system is not entirely commodified, although there are efforts to make it so. But we could in fact move in the other direction. Instead of turning universities and hospitals (whether state-owned or private) into profit-making institutions, we should be thinking of how we can transform steel factories into nonprofit institutions, that is, selfsustaining structures that pay dividends to no one. This is the face of a more hopeful future, and in fact could start now.” [Immanuel Wallerstein. The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World. New York and London: The New Press. 2003. Page 256.]
      “We have entered an anarchic transition—from the existing world-system to a different one. As in any such period, no one controls the situation to any significant degree, least of all a declining hegemonic power like the us. Though the proponents of a us imperium may think they have the wind in their sails there are strong gales blowing from all directions and the real problem—for all our boats—will be to avoid capsizing. Whether the ultimate outcome will be a less or more egalitarian and democratic order is totally uncertain. But the world that emerges will be a consequence of how we act, collectively and concretely, in the decades to come.” [Immanuel Wallerstein, “Entering Global Anarchy.” New Left Review. Series II, number 22, July–August 2003. Pages 27-35.]
      “If, as I have argued elsewhere, the modern world-system is in structural crisis, and we have entered an ‘age of transition’—a period of bifurcation and chaos—then it is clear that the issues confronting antisystemic movements pose them selves in a very different fashion than those of the nineteenth and most of the twentieth centuries. The two-step, state-oriented strategy has become irrelevant, which explains the discomfort of most existing descendants of erstwhile antisystemic organizations in putting forward either long-term or immediate sets of political objectives.…
      “… we need to develop the substantive meaning of our long-term emphases, which I take to be a world that is relatively democratic and relatively egalitarian. I say ‘relatively’ because that is realistic. There will always be gaps—but there is no reason why they should be wide, encrusted or hereditary. Is this what used to be called socialism, or even communism? Perhaps, but perhaps not. That brings us back to the issue of debate. We need to stop assuming what the better (not the perfect) society will be like.”
      [Immanuel Wallerstein, “New Revolts Against the System.” New Left Review. Series II, number 18, November–December 2002. Pages 29-39.]
      “Revolutionaries were not in practice very revolutionary, and reformists not always reformist. Certainly, the difference between the two approaches became more and more unclear as the movements pursued their political trajectories. Revolutionaries had to make many concessions in order to survive. Reformists learned that hypothetical legal paths to change were often firmly blocked in practice and that it required force, or at least the threat of force, to break through the barriers.” [Immanuel Wallerstein. The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World. New York and London: The New Press. 2003. Page 273.]
      “… we need to develop the substantive meaning of our long-term emphases, which I take to be a world that is relatively democratic and relatively egalitarian. I say ‘relatively’ because that is realistic. There will always be gaps—but there is no reason why they should be wide, encrusted, or hereditary. Is this what used to be called socialism, or even communism? Perhaps, but perhaps not. That brings us back to the issue of debate. We need to stop assuming what the better (not the perfect) society will be like.” [Immanuel Wallerstein. The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World. New York and London: The New Press. 2003. Page 282.]
      “Structural crises cannot be overcome. The existing system cannot survive. The period is one of chaotic wild fluctuations in everything. There is a very fierce political battle over to which of two alternatives (the forks of the bifurcation) the world collectively will tilt.
      “The two alternatives can be broadly described. On the one side, there are those who wish to replace capitalism with a non-capitalist system that will retain all of capitalism’s worst features – hierarchy, exploitation and polarization. And on the other side there are those who seek to create a historical system that has never yet existed, one based on relative democracy and relative equality.”
      [Immanuel Wallerstein, “New world-system?: A conversation with Immanuel Wallerstein.” Eurozine. February 8th, 2013. Web. No pagination.]
      “… I think we have to act collectively as social scientists, as historical social scientists, which is the phrase I would use. We have to put away this myth of the uninvolved, value-neutral scientist. None of us are value-neutral. None of us can be value-neutral. It’s not even desirable to be value-neutral. In fact, the most important thing I would say is to have a collective debate about what constitutes substantive rationality and to try to move the world in that direction. But saying that, of course, I don’t therefore think that we should get propagandists for party-structures — quite the contrary: we serve no use in that function. We serve our use as analysts and as critics. But as critics involved in the process of the transformation of the world.” [Immanuel Wallerstein, “Culture in the World-System: An Interview with Immanuel Wallerstein.” Anand Kumar and Frank Welz, interviewers. Social Identities. Volume 7, number 2, June 2001. Pages 221-231.]
      “What I mean by utopistics, a substitute word I have invented, is something rather different [from utopian visions]. Utopistics is the serious assessment of historical alternatives, the exercise of our judgment as to the substantive rationality of alternative possible historical systems. It is the sober, rational, and realistic evaluation of human social systems, the constraints on what they can be, and the zones open to human creativity. Not the face of the perfect (and inevitable) future, but the face of an alternative, credibly better, and historically possible (but far from certain) future. It is thus an exercise simultaneously in science, in politics, and in morality.…
      “Our moral codes also presume, of course, to offer us a guide to the best goals. And politics is about the terrestrial achievement of these goals, or at least claims to be. Utopistics is about reconciling what we learn from science, morality, and politics about what our goals should be―our overall goals, not those secondary subordinate ends we call means. The latter are also no doubt important, but they constitute the ongoing problems of the normal life of a historical system. Establishing our overall goals is something we usually have difficulty doing effectively. It is only in moments of systemic bifurcation, of historical transition, that the possibility becomes real. It is at these momenets, in what I call transformational TimeSpace, that utopistics becomes not merely relevant but our prime concern. We are at that moment now.”
      [Immanuel Wallerstein. Utopistics: Or, Historical Choices of the Twenty-first Century. New York: The New Press. 1998. Pages 1-3.]
      “Is there a singular hierarchy of universalisms, some of which are reasonable and acceptable and others of which are deeply repugnant? …
      “There is no easy or immediate answer to such a question. The attempt to draw fuzzy lines instead is the only real alternative. It is our continuing quest for unifying the true and the good. The journey, rather than reaching some utopian arrival point, is the positive action. It is a moral action, but it is an intellectual one as well, one furthermore that can only be conducted plausibly by a truly worldwide collectivity of participants in the quest. Each will bring to the quest a different biography, a different experience with priorities, a different insight into the possible consequences of alternative paths. Each may restrain the worst impulses or the weakest judgment of the other.”
      [Immanuel Wallerstein, “Cultures in Conflict? Who are We? Who are the Others?” Journal of the Interdisciplinary Crossroads. Volume 1, number 3, December 2004. Pages 505-521.]
      “I have attended most meetings of the World Social Forum since the second one at Porto Alegre [a city in Brazil] in 2002. I have done so because I have believed that it has been the ‘only show in town’ for the world Left in the twenty-first century, the one most likely to achieve that other world that is possible. Ever since that first meeting I attended in 2002, I have been witness to a continuing debate about the merits and future of the WSF [World Social Forum], a debate in which more or less the same arguments have been repeated endlessly.…“If the question is whether the World Social Forum as an institution will continue to be the principal framework for the world movement for social justice and a better historical system, my answer is that I am not sure. It is however the best framework we have at present. And I for one think we should continue to try to use it. If however in several years it is not functioning – because it has not learned how to combine the three different tactics and priorities – then we may have to create an alternative. Let us first however make the effort to realise the fusion of the three seemingly contradictory tactics and priorities.”
      [Immanuel Wallerstein, “World Social Forum: Great Success, Shaky Future, Passé?” World Social Forum: Critical Explorations. Jai Sen and Peter Waterman, editors. New Delhi, India: OpenWord. 2012. No pagination.]
      “This short book [Utopistics: Or, Historical Choices of the Twenty-first Century] is the revised version of The Sir Douglas Robb Lectures given by Immanuel Wallerstein in 1997 at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Here, Wallerstein narrates a history of modernity, or global capitalism, which he calls the modern world-system, and analyzes as being in a state of chaos and on the brink of a revolutionary transformation. In the final chapter, Wallerstein proposes a number of goals that progressives around the world should pursue; suggests some methods by which these goals could be achieved; and issues a moving call to action at the very moment we are plunging headlong into a global struggle whose outcome is uncertain. Although Wallerstein is careful to differentiate himself from traditional Utopian thought, and indeed, considers the idea of progress to be pernicious, his work is interesting precisely because it is Utopian, written with the advantage of a post-1989 perspective and at the cusp of the new millennium.” [Hoda Zaki, “Utopistics: Or, Historical Choices of the Twenty-first Century.” Review article. Utopian Studies. Volume 10, number 2, 1999. Pages 328-330.]
      “Turning to Immanuel Wallerstein, we could say that it is a exceedingly important that a thinker of his calibre turn his theoretical gaze towards the question of Marxist utopianism. His contribution Utopistics: Or, Historical Choices of the Twenty-first Century (1998), is a needed discussion of the theme. What I find central in this succinct, but charged, discussion is the way Wallerstein continues in the venerable tradition of ‘the Critique of Utopian Reason’ inagurated by both [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels. He does this by bringing to the foreground the need to differentiate between abstract and concrete utopianism. Utopistics is the name Wallerstein grants to concrete utopianism.” [Eduardo Mendieta, “Utopia, Dystopia, Utopistics, or the End of Utopia: On Wallerstein’s Critique of Historical Materialism.” Review (Fernand Braudel Center). Volume 25, number 3, 2002. Pages 225-243.]
      “What about the desired outcome of anti-capitalist struggle? Unlike earlier Marxists, [Immanuel] Wallerstein realizes that the socialist utopias of [Joseph] Stalin, [Chairman] Mao, and Kim Il Sung fell short of [Karl] Marx’s idea of good society. Now that even second-rate utopias are becoming few and far between, the only place for socialism is in the future. Then, of course, not individual countries but the whole world will be ruled along the lines first envisioned by Marx and then elaborated in the theories of his countless followers. To further elaborate on the vision of good society,Wallerstein calls on social scientists to develop a new branch of knowledge that he calls ‘utopistics.’ This field of intellectual endeavor is described as ‘the task of imagining, and struggling to create, this new social order’ ….” [Andrew Savchenko, “Constructing a World Fit for Marxism: Utopia and Utopistics of Professor Wallerstein.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Volume 66, number 5, November 2007. Pages 1033-1052.]
      “Systemic transformation … is not immediate and abrupt but, in the language of the new sciences of complexity, takes the form of a bifurcation arising out of a period of transition characterized by chaotic fluctuations. By definition, such a period (the next fifty years perhaps) is one of great disorder. But as a consequence, that medium-term future also presents great possibilities, for unstable systems pose fewer constraints and very small fluctuations, now capable of massive amplification, could determine the direction any transformation might take. Free will can be expected to find greater latitude while the potential effects of individual agency will multiply.” [Richard E. Lee, “The Structures of Knowledge and the Future of the Social Sciences: Two Postulates, Two Propositions and a Closing Remark.” Journal of World-Systems Research. Volume 1, number 3, fall/winter 2000. Pages 786-796.]
      “… Immanuel Wallerstein, founder of one of the most influential critical theories of world capitalism in the interim, considered the question [of utopianism] in 1998. The answer he gave in his book Utopistics was the same [i.e., that utopianism had run its course], but its import was the opposite. ‘Utopias,’ he wrote in his opening sentences, ‘are breeders of illusions and therefore, inevitably, of disillusions. They can be used, and have been used for terrible wrongs. The last thing we really need is still more utopian visions.’ In lieu of these, Wallerstein proposes a more modest notion—intending by the term ‘utopistics’ no more than a ‘sober and realistic evaluation’ of different feasible ways of organizing society, judged according to their degree of ‘substantive rationality.’ He ends by sketching an order he reckons superior to the one we live under today: an economy whose units resemble non-profit institutions like public hospitals, a less unequal if still class society, an ecology that charges costs of damage inflicted on the biosphere to the polluter. Whatever its merits, this is scarcely the end of utopia [Herbert] Marcuse had in mind.” [Perry Anderson, “The River of Time.” New Left Review. Series II, number 26, March–April 2004. Pages 67-77.]
    9. dialectical utopianism (David Harvey): He discusses the importance of pulling together socialism or communism based upon “a spatiotemporal utopianism.”
      “The dialectic is ‘either/or’ not ‘both/and.’ What the materialized utopianism of spatial form so clearly confronts is the problematics of closure and it is this which the utopianism of the social process so dangerously evades. Conversely we find that fragmentation and dispersal cannot work, and that the bitter struggle of the ‘either-or’ perpetually interferes with the gentler and more harmonious dialectic of ‘both-and’ when it comes to socio-ecological choices. We also find that the shadowy forms of spatiotemporal utopianism are not too hard to exhume from a study of our own historical geography as impelled by the geopolitics of capitalism. The task is then to define an alternative, not in terms of some static spatial form or even of some perfected emancipatory process. The task is to pull together a spatiotemporal utopianism – a dialectical utopianism – that is rooted in our present possibilities at the same time as it points towards different trajectories for human uneven geographical developments.” [David Harvey. Spaces of Hope. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press. 2000. Page 196.]
      “The traditional way of thinking about socialism/communism, for example, is in terms of a total shift from, say, competition to cooperation, collaboration, and mutual aid. This is far too simplistic and restrictive.” [David Harvey. Spaces of Hope. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press. 2000. Page 211.]
      “My own preferred short-list of universal rights worthy of attention runs as follows:
      1. “The right to life chances …
      2. “The right to political association and ‘good’ governance …
      3. “The rights of the direct laborers in the process of production …
      4. “The right to the inviolability and integrity of the human body …
      5. “Immunity/destabilization rights …
      6. “The right to a decent and healthy living environment
      7. “The right to collective control of common property resources …
      8. “The rights of those yet to be born …
      9. “The right to the production of space …
      10. “The right to difference including that of uneven geographical development …
      11. “Our rights as species beings …
      12. “The dialectical utopianism to which I aspire requires the perspective of a long and permanent historical-geographical revolution. Thinking about transformative political practices as manifestations of a dialectical and spatiotemporal utopianism is helpful. But it will only be so if we understand how activity and thought in the different theaters of social action relate, combine, and dissolve into each other to create an evolving totality of social action.”
        [David Harvey. Spaces of Hope. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press. 2000. Pages 248-253.]
        “In Spaces of Hope, David Harvey attempts to piece together a ‘Dialectical Utopianism’ based around the continuing relevance of Marxism. This, he says, is what haunts him in his sleep, the idea that the realm of possibility remains open, the implicit closures, which we impose upon the world, are only transitive, historical and cultural constructs in relation to the world itself. Hauntology, it seems, is at work once again.…
        “… The book is eminently readable and highly recommended because the figure that strings together its complex array of concerns and asserts a presence at every possible moment is none other than Marx.”
        [Neil Curry, “Spaces of Hope.” Review article. Capital & Class. Volume 24, number 3, autumn 2004. Pages 238-239.]
      13. socialist economic order (Morris Zeitlin): He defends to “the utopian promises implicit in Marxism.”
        “In Marxist literature of the [nineteen-]nineties one notes a growing volume of thought given to changes in the economic structure of contemporary capitalism, less to those in its ideological superstructure, still less to changes in the working class, and least to what has been called the utopian aspect of Marxism—the cinderella of the socialist ball. Yet precisely the utopian vision implicit in Marxian theory had in the past drawn millions of the world’s oppressed to socialist movements.… We need to pierce the seductive bubbles and babble of dominant ideology better than we have. It is long time to make explicit the full brilliance of the utopian promises implicit in Marxism.
        “When one thinks of the great gifts they hold for humanity, one wonders why they have been kept modestly veiled. Just think of the immensity of these gifts to millions and millions of oppressed humanity:
        “Abolition of the right to exploit human labor for private profit and the end of demeaning subjection in the workplace;
        “The end of alienation from one’s work, work turned into creative, fulfilling labor;
        “The end of male domination over the female half of humanity and recognition of women’s special function and needs in society;
        “Full economic, political, and cultural equality to oppressed peoples and races in a cooperative world;
        “Full and equal health, education, and cultural opportunities to the world’s children and youth everywhere on Earth;
        “Healthful and beautiful cities amid revived nature for all humanity’s habitats;
        “Full political empowerment to all people ruled by despots or made fools of by a sham democracy.…
        “… [People] need a living environment conducive to love, respect, comfort, beauty and harmony; and that these needs come a close second to food, clothes, and shelter. Yet the socialist message vaguely promises their fulfillment once a socialist economic order is put in place.”
        [Morris Zeitlin, “In defense of utopia.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 48, issue 7, December 1996. Pages 23-28.]
      14. world of common ownership and sustainability (Molly Scott Cato and Peter North): Cato and North propose a global “commons-based economy.”
        “The classical economists bequeathed us an understanding of the nature of economies in terms of three factors of production: land, labor, and capital. If we are to transcend the unsustainable and inequitable economy we live with today, an intellectual reinterpretation of these three factors is a vital first step. In this paper we provide such a liberating reinterpretation with examples from European and Latin American praxis.…
        “… To create a framework within which a commons-based economy can be created, we have to begin by going directly to the heart of the problem: the understanding of the basic ‘factors of production’ in terms of private, not common, ownership and control.…
        “… We focus on how money can be ‘commoned.’ By this, we mean ways that money can be changed from something ‘out there,’ created by banks and governments perhaps from or as a fiat proxy of natural resources like gold, to something that is created and used by subaltern groups to facilitate bringing the economy into democratic, common ownership and control ….
        “… For the purposes of this paper we are seeking solutions based on common ownership of capital, seen as multiple and socially constructed, appropriate and useful at some times and places, not others … rather than universal, and state sanctioned and enforced.…
        “… [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels lauded the utopian Robert Owen … and the cooperative movement ….”
        [Molly Scott Cato and Peter North, “Rethinking the Factors of Production for a World of Common Ownership and Sustainability: Europe and Latin America Compared.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 48, number 1, June 2015. Pages 36-52.]
        “During its 13 years as a worker-owned cooperative, Tower Colliery could be considered an economic success. Internally, the organization and management were emancipatory and empowering to the workers, and this allowed them, collectively, to reassert some degree of control over their economic and social space. Consequently, over the same period, where coal prices were stable and the global market contracting, Tower increased its sales and output, diversified its activities, created additional jobs, invested with a view to the long-term, and distributed part of its increased surplus to support local community initiatives. Furthermore, the continued existence of Tower ensured that capital was effectively anchored in the local community. In addition, Tower’s activities contributed to the economic security and well-being of the local community.” [Russell Smith, Len Arthur, Molly Scott Cato, and Tom Keenoy, “A narrative of power: Tower Colliery as an example of worker control through cooperative work organization.” WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society. Volume 14, number 3, September 2011. Pages 285-303.]
        “The International Cooperative Alliance … gives a list of values that cooperatives should share (information from the Cooperative Union Ltd, Manchester). ‘Self-help’ and ‘self-responsibility’ are clearly demonstrated by the history of Tower [Colliery] …. The next three listed values are ‘democracy, equality, and equity.’ These are the sorts of values that shine through Tyrone’s [Tyrone O’Sullivan’s] account of Tower and its history. They are also evident in the company’s structure. Six members of the board of directors are elected by shareholders; they must work full-time at Tower and must be shareholders. Two of these members retire by rotation every year. They may offer themselves for re-election but others may be nominated to stand against them. There are also three non-executive directors who are appointed by the directors for a two-year term: they are not shareholders of the company. Aside from the board of directors there is a senior management team, led by the colliery manager, the members of which are appointed by the board and run the company on a day-to-day basis.” [Molly Scott Cato. The Pit and the Pendulum: A Cooperative Future for Work in the Welsh Valleys. Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales Press. 2004. Page 187.]
        “As we approach the end of the UN [United Nations] Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, with its proposition that ‘sustainability can be regarded as one of a group of higher-level graduate dispositions’ that is expected to be main-streamed in teaching practice across curricula …, it is timely to question the style of sustainability education at university level, rather than the typical focus on the content alone. The call for knowledge about sustainability to be included in university curricula was first made nearly a decade ago, with a UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] report recommending that ‘Higher education should emphasise experiential, inquiry-based, problem-solving, interdisciplinary systems approaches and critical thinking. Curricula need to be developed, including content, materials and tools such as case studies and identification of best practices’ …. This clearly implies that students’ ability to think critically is more important for an understanding of sustainability than the specific factual or analytical content of programmes.” [Molly Scott Cato, “What the willow teaches: Sustainability learning as craft.” Learning and Teaching. Volume 7, issue 2, summer 2014. Pages 4-27.]
        “In this paper, rather than launching yet another critical attack on an impervious discipline [neoclassical economics], I move instead to imagine the role of economist for a sustainable society using the method of the thought experiment. I begin by taking seriously the reverence with which economists are treated in our society. I create an ideal type of a priest figure, the ‘shaman’, against whom I explore the role and behaviour of an economist. I suggest that the role of an economist is one of an intermediary between people and the resources they need for survival, a role that in less rationalist societies might have been performed by a priest or shaman. I recognise that this is an unusual method, but would argue that to achieve real change requires experimental methods, including experimental methods of thought. The aim of the paper is to explore what this conception of economists as intermediaries implies for our role in an era where overconsumption is threatening our survival as a species and where our lifestyles are threatening the existence of other species, as well as our own.” [Molly Scott Cato, “The economist as shaman: revisioning our role for a sustainable, provisioning economy.” The Journal of Philosophical Economics. Volume V, issue 2, spring 2012. Pages 64-83.]
        “The concern for operating as a rounded person in one’s work, and for developing craft and skill, is also addressed by the cooperative form of industrial organization, where skills are shared and workers take responsibility for all tasks, rather than using a narrow range of skills within a structure dictated by the division of labour. Empowerment is a key concept. The cooperative enables workers to maintain power over their own work, a central requirement for green economists. A cooperative requires a pooling of skills and that everybody within the cooperative be prepared to involve themselves in all the tasks required. Cooperatives also provide a structure for maintaining all the value of work within the group of workers.” [Molly Scott Cato. Green Economics: An Introduction to Theory, Policy and Practice. London and Sterling, Virginia: Earthscan. 2009. Page 63.]
        “I have attempted to show how the relative definition of poverty and the growth dynamic of a capitalist society enjoy a symbiotic relationship, catalysed by the advertising industry. These major forces combine to impose consumptive pressure on people and the planet and in themselves increase perceived inequality and hence unhappiness. Such definitions actually reduce human freedom, by setting a standard of consumption that we feel pressured to achieve.” [Molly Scott Cato, “The freedom to be frugal.” Feasta Review. Number 2, 2004. Pages 48-53.]
        “Local Exchange Trading Schemes, or LETS, are an attempt to create a non-sterling economy through an extension of bartering. Through LETS participants trade with each other using a form of local currency set, roughly, at parity with national currency To establish a LETS scheme a group puts together a directory of goods and services that members can provide each other, and trading takes place wherever possible without the need for sterling. Participants credit each others’ accounts using the local currency. Credits do not have to be earned before they are spent. Some members go into ‘debt’ while others simultaneously earn – the person commissioning the job has their account debited and the person doing the work’s account is credited the same amount. There are no credit limits, interest payments or repayment schedules, although all balances and turnovers are published and available to all members to ensure that obligations to provide services to members and to repay any ‘debt’ (or ‘commitment’ as it is called). This money is only of use to and accepted by members of the network, with the result that it stays within the community that created it – it is a ‘local’ form of exchange.” [Peter North, “Exploring the politics of social movements through ‘sociological intervention’: a case study of local exchange trading schemes.” The Sociological Review. Volume 46, number 3, August 1998. Pages 564-582.]
      15. ultimate liberation of the human species (Andrzej Walicki as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He attempts to reconstruct the communism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels while, simultaneously, not ignoring the legacy of totalitarian communism in the twentieth century.
        “An analysis of the Marxist theory of freedom … requires a detailed reconstruction of the Marxist views on the different stages and preconditions of freedom, on the alleged necessity of developing toward communism, and finally, on communism as the ultimate liberation of the human species. The scope of such an investigation has to be very broad, covering in fact the entire history of Marxism as communism—that is, of Marxism as a historical justification of communism, as a vision of the communist future, and as an ideological and pseudoscientific legitimization of revolutionary attempts to realize the communist ideal. The range of this broad topic is well defined by [Friedrich] Engels’s famous words on ‘the leap from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom.’ The ‘kingdom of necessity’ refers to the Marxist conception of historical necessity as paving the way for freedom; the ‘leap to kingdom of freedom’ refers to the doctrine of ‘scientific socialism‘ and to the conception of the dictatorship of the proletariat; the ‘kingdom of freedom’ refers to the Marxist conception of communism and its attempted realization in the Soviet Union.…
        “… whether we like it or not, the dogmatic and utopian side of Marxism is of the utmost importance for understanding communist totalitarianism and therefore should not be passed over in silence or conveniently forgotten.…
        “… a comprehensive historical study of the Marxist conception of freedom—that is, Marxism as an ideological justification of communism—must deal with its relationship to Soviet-style totalitarianism as its most important practical result.”
        [Andrzej Walicki. Marxism and the Leap to the Kingdom of Freedom: The Rise and Fall of the Communist Utopia. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. 1995. Pages 1-3.]
        “The main thing is to become fully aware that militant anticommunism in a country without communists can only counterproductive.
        “In the intellectual sphere this should involve a radical of the simplified totalitarian theory. The best way of is, I think the detotalitarization theory. It preserves the of totalitarianism, necessary, in my view, for understanding of militant communism, but, at the enables us to understand that the so-called collapse of communism was not a sudden, miraculous event but only the last link in a long chain of less spectacular, sometimes hardly visible events and processes. To put it differently: it prevents us from forgetting the horrors of Stalinism, but, at the same time, renders justice to post-Stalinist periods, thus paving the way for a better mutual understanding and national reconciliation.”
        [Andrzej Walicki, “Totalitarianism and Detotalitarization: The Case of Poland.” The Review of Politics. Volume 58, number 3, summer 1996. Pages 505-529.]
      16. democratic workers’ self-governance (John E. Elliott): Elliott concludes that Karl Marx could legitimately be designated as the founder of this form of governance.
        “Using textual evidence, primarily from original sources, this article presents and evaluates the argument that workers’ self-governance and self-management are central to Karl Marx’s vision of the prospective post-capitalist society. Indeed, that Marx can reasonably be characterized as a founder of democratic workers’ self-governance. Major rebuttal arguments which challenge Marx’s credentials in democratic self-governance are also examined and assessed: these pertain to Marx’s views on planning market processes, association and broader arguments concerning the state, authority and freedom.…
        “Marx’s own argument concerning self-governance and self-management is characterized by a certain amount of internal tension as well as lacunae. Yet, without significant qualification, the view of Marx as super-centralizer is profoundly misleading This paper examines the textual evidence and argument supporting an alternative interpretation — that workers’ self-governance and self-management are central to Marx’s vision of the prospective post-capitalist society, and that Marx, reasonably, can be characterized as a founder of democratic workers’ self-governance.…
        “It is reasonable to expect that there would be tension between Marx’s two principles [social control and regulation with a general organization of labor] of socialist economic organization. Overall economic planning does imply centralization; worker associational control over production and overall economic policy suggests decentralization. No doubt, blending the two in practice would require flexibility, compromise and creative innovation. But the relationship presumably cannot be accurately described as one of simple logical contradiction.”
        [John E. Elliott, “Karl Marx: Founding Father of Workers’ Self-Governance.” Economic and Industrial Democracy. Volume 9, number 3, August 1987. Pages 293-321.]
        “This conference has examined and assessed opportunities, challenges, prospects, and obstacles to some of the salient dimensions of social solidarity and human community. Discussions have ranged from ethical foundations to case studies, both within and among enterprises, at home and abroad. We have encountered, if not resolved, fundamental issues of philosophical presuppositions, and explored problems of connecting perspectives from the academy with those of business practice. Within the overarching framework of social economics, alternative ap? proaches to solidarity have been identified as both social fact and moral value.
        “One of these approaches is worker ownership and self-governance.”
        [John E. Elliott, “Recapitulation and Prospects: Worker Ownership and Self-Government.” Review of Social Economy. Volume 42, number 3, December 1984. Pages 433-438.]
        “… democracy fosters a closer approximation to consensus and convergence between the values and plans of leaders and followers. The essence of democratic leadership lies in weaving together diverse views and needs into a workable consensus, on the one hand, and explaining that consensus to followers in such a way as to elicit their cooperation and enthusiasm, on the other. Examples of the need for a deeper democratization of relationships between leaders and others may be given from both western capitalist and former Soviet-style societies.” [John E. Elliott, “Challenges Facing Social Economics in the Twenty-First Century: A Radical Democratic Perspective.” Review of Social Economy. Volume 51, number 4, winter 1993. Pages 504-525.]
        “If the economy is to proceed along wholesome directions, the medium of exchange in its simple tangible form ought to reflect the life cycle of the goods it is supposed to mirror while circulating. Like commodities, it ought to decay. Normative prescriptions follow. Failure to acknowledge this simple truth lies at the foundation of all social mismanagement. Thus the whole political economy of the West, and its pecuniary vicissitudes – the root of all economic dynamics – are read and interpreted as an account of stubborn errors and unwarranted seizures of the fruits of other people’s labor committed in the name of an illusory, but nonetheless most potent and binding belief, that of the imperishability of the medium of exchange.” [John E. Elliott, “Free-economics: The vision of reformer Silvio Gesell.” International Journal of Social Economics. Volume 31, number 10, 2004. Pages 923-954.]
        “Under capitalism, the industrial capitalist engages in primary exploitation on the basis of a class monopoly over the physical means of production and a regime of alienated labor and domination both inside and outside the enterprise When successful, such primary exploitation yields its ‘golden fruits’: surplus values which are translated into profits through competition. Secondary exploitation, based purely on property ownership and facilitated by markets for credit and land, is conducted by the financial and landed capitalist; in effect, fernier capitalists extract a portion of society’s total surplus value as interest and rent.” [John E. Elliott, “Roemer versus Marx: Alternative Perspectives on Exploitation.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 20, numbers 2 and 3, June 1988. Pages 25-33.]
        “Capitalists’ growing monopoly power supplements their basic property power and thereby extends the range of alienation and exploitation. Monopoly is also interwoven with cycles. During depressions, small, bankrupt businesses sell out to larger capitalists. By restricting entry, generating monopoly profits, and extending labor-saving inventions, monopoly increases cyclical severity. However, monopoly’s extra surpluses and large-scale operations facilitate big investment projects and technological changes. Moreover, monopoly socializes work and production, reducing the socioeconomic distance between mature capitalism and communism.” [John E. Elliott, “Karl Marx’s Theory of Socio-Institutional Transformation in Late-Stage Capitalism.” Journal of Economic Issues. Volume 18, number 2, June 1984. Pages 383-391.]
        “John Elliott, late Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California, appears to some researchers as an institutionalist, to others as a Marxist, and to still others as a Post-Keynesian. But such labels are unable to capture the nuances of a complex and driven personality. John Elliott was all of these and none of them. He viewed the economy as a system of power and worried that the power that permeates through the economy has profound social, moral, and economic consequences that neoclassical theory chooses to ignore. An appreciation for his unique contribution to political economy requires a holistic examination of his life and writings. To do otherwise would be to only see part of the picture, just as the individual heterodox schools see only a part of the whole problem. To combat this, Elliott believed required nothing less than a unified heterodoxy.…
        “… Elliott views exploitation as important and discusses alienation as a common theme similar to Marxian analysis. He emphasized the importance of institutions and the historical, cultural and social milieu in analyzing a society just as institutionalists do. He was concerned about how differing expectations and path dependency can shape economic outcomes in a manner similar to that used by Post-Keynesians.”
        [Zagros Madjd-Sadjadi, “The Three Faces of John Elliott: His Contribution to Political Economy.” American Review of Political Economy. Volume 12, number 1, June 2004. Pages 58-84.]
      17. counter–hegemonic bloc (Vishwas Satgar [Hindī, विश्वास सतगर, Viśvāsa Satagara as pronounced in this MP3 audio file]): He develops a neo–Gramscian approach to the establishment of a global coöperative political economy.
        “In the Prison Notebooks [Antonio] Gramsci does not speak of ‘counter-hegemonic’ contestation, but instead uses the military metaphor ‘war of position’ as the basis to argue for the active construction by the working class of an alternative historic bloc of social forces and an alternative hegemony. While I use the term ‘counter-hegemonic,’ I build on Gramsci’s understanding.… I argue that the starting point for building a counter-hegemonic bloc is the national arena, but must also include the global political economy, which operates at the regional and global levels. Cooperative movements and labour organizations have also organized themselves at these various levels. Hence a counter-hegemonic bloc, while rooted in the national, has to be projected externally to contribute to changing the world order at its various levels.
        “However, while the arguments laid out thus far makes the case for cooperative alternatives to neoliberal globalization and development, the actual content that cooperatives bring to a counter-hegemonic bloc has to be defined more clearly. What does the global cooperative movement bring into a counter-hegemonic alliance with labour? What does labour solidarity achieve in a relationship with the cooperative movement?”
        [Vishwas Satgar, “Cooperative Development and Labour Solidarity: a Neo-Gramscian Perspective on the Global Struggle Against Neoliberalization.” Labour, Capital and Society / Travail, capital et société. Volume 40, number 1/2, 2007. Pages 56-79.]
      18. revolutionary transformation of human living conditions (Radovan Richta as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): The Czech philosopher and sociologist examines the conditions for a successful socialist revolution.
        “The socialist movement already faced the reversing tendency of political power when it took the first steps of the revolutionary transformation of human living conditions, when it established the dictatorship of the proletariat to expropriate the capitalists and break their power. Directly following the revolution there occurred such a concentration of power over all aspects of man’s life as had never existed in any former social order. At the same time no guarantees were created against the misuse of this power, which soon began to get out of the control of the movement and to contaminate the leadership, by transforming the instruments of revolutionary change into power organs of bureaucratic forces. This experience should lead us to the conclusion that socialist society can only exist as such if alongside the overcoming of class differences it also liquidates step by step those instruments of repression which have lost their justification for existence.
        “A society can only be described as socialist if it gradually restricts and abolishes its organs of political power so that they cannot turn against the socialist development, a society which stops the intervention of the organs of power in those spheres which do not belong to it (such as economics, science, culture, party life etc.). This involves the continuous enlargement of freedoms and democratic rights for everybody. The citizen of a socialist country should not have only as many or even fewer freedoms than exist in a bourgeois society, freedom of movement and travel – but more; he should not enjoy fewer or as many, but more rights: personal and national right of self-determination, the right to education, to work and the development of his capabilities, the right to individual property, to participation and decision-making.
        “When ever the pre-conditions can be created, socialist democracy moves from the ordinary representative system to the higher form of direct democracy, to the system of self-management and combines these two forms. We currently face the task to develop our own system of socialist democracy, to open up by stages new possibilities for representative democracy on the basis of the national front to which additional organisations which have proved their socialist orientation shall be added over a period of time.”
        [Radovan Richta, “Models of Socialism.” Australian Left Review. Volume 1, issue 17, February–March 1969. Pages 33-44.]
      19. socialist project of class emancipation (Ellen Meiksins Wood): Class emancipation is a means to acheving “the larger end of human emancipation.”
        “… it is no longer taken for granted on the Left that the decisive battle for human emancipation will take place on the ‘economic’ terrain, the home ground of class struggle. For a great many people, the emphasis has shifted to struggles for what I shall call extra-economic goods—gender-emancipation, racial equality, peace, ecological health, democratic citizenship. Every socialist ought to be committed to these goals in themselves—in fact, the socialist project of class emancipation always has been, or should have been, a means to the larger end of human emancipation.…
        “Several strategic points follow from this, which can be summed up very briefly. Socialists must support all emancipatory struggles which can be won within the boundaries of capitalism, but we also have to look beyond those boundaries. And our view will be obstructed if we accept the mystifications of capitalism, its illusions about the richness and autonomy of the extra-economic sphere, its false appearance of relegating class relations to a marginal and insulated economic realm, its attempt to pass a devalued political currency as the coinage of human emancipation.”
        [Ellen Meiksins Wood, “Capitalism and Human Emancipation.” New Left Review. Series I, number 167, January–February 1988. Pages 3-20.]
      20. idea of democratic communism (Rohitash Chandra [Fiji Hindī, रोहिताश चन्द्र, Rohitāśa Candra as pronounced in this MP3 audio file]): Chandra contrasts democratic communism with “dictatorial communism.” Fiji Hindī (Fiji Hindī, फिजी बात, Phijī Bāta) is the Hindī dialect spoken by the descendants of indentured laborers who migrated from India to Fiji.
        “The world has experience the negative effects of dictatorial communism due to the implementation of the original idea of communism given by Karl Marx where dictatorship is used to enforce it. This certainly does not work since we cannot rely on a single person or group do enforce the transformation of the society where resources are shared.
        “An alternative implementation would be democratic communism. A legal system such as a constitution can be used to implement the changes needed for the future where humanity reaches the peak and wealth and knowledge is shared. This does not mean that the market cannot be free and only the government should run the market. The government can compete with the free market and substantial amount of tax can be used to distribute the wealth with the underprivileged. A free education system can then help the masses get over poverty line. This would be a socialist system and that true democratic communism can also be achieved. A caste-less and classless society is the feature of the highest state of humanism.
        “Just because communism has not worked in the past does not mean that it will never work in the future. The world is entering a different age of information and education. With time, education will be freely accessible through online learning and after few centuries the world’s collective level of education will rise. Socialism and communism ‘the ability to share what you have earned with others,’ will then be more practical and systems of governance will change. I don’t think that there has ever been a democratic communism implementation in a developed country where infrastructure and education has been in its peak. Howsoever, the communism philosophy marks the peak of humanity and humanity should not lose hope on it.
        “The idea of democratic communism would be to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor and have a caste-less society. The type of education will have direct effect on poverty. When the skill set is given to the poor, then they will have the means to get proper jobs. Those who are lazy and ignorant – a special programme can be used to address them. It does not mean that one can be lazy and enjoy the benefits of the hardworking in the communist state. The goal is not to have a ‘wealthy’ society where the wealth is handled by the elite one percent, but distributed over the whole of the society and education is a form of wealth. The wealth of humane and moral fibre is the most important in a future society.
        “If you have 10 kg rice that you are not using (which may later rot and be thrown away), and there is a village next to your house dying without food, then in a capitalist system – it is legal for you to retain to the 10 kg rice. In a communist system, that rice will be legally shared with those who need it. That is humanity.
        “Open Source Software is a successful implementation of the idea of communism in practice. Open source software such as Linux is very reliable and powerful that most of the world internet servers use it. Android devices use Linux as their operating system and most of the top research labs in the world run simulations of their scientific experiments on Linux. Everyone is free to contribute to Linux and no one owns it, we are all free to use it and extend. That is part of the philosophy of communism.
        [Rohitash Chandra. Being at Home: Poetry, Philosophy and Expressions, 2008-2012. Suva, Fiji: SFF Press imprint of Software Foundation Fiji. 2014. Creative Commons. Kindle edition.]
      21. socialist feminism or dual-systems theory (Donna Haraway, Sylvia Walby, Holly Graf, Gillian Howie, Zillah Eisenstein, and many others): This activist blend of Marxism and radical feminism emerged from the New Left of the 1960s and 1970s. According to these anti–Leninist feminists, women, in their struggle against domination or oppression, must challenge both patriarchy and capitalism (the dual systems).
        “Socialist feminists rejected Leninism and Maoism and, like the rest of the New Left, understood the allegedly socialist regimes as corrupt, brutal, and undemocratic.
        “The distinctive mark of socialist feminism was its view that autonomous structures of gender, race, and class all participated in constructing inequality and exploitation. Socialist feminists expanded the Marxist notion of exploitation to include other relations in which some benefited from the labor of others, as, for example, in household and child-raising labor. They argued that militarism and conquest, as well as environ mental destruction, were propelled by masculinist drives as well as by the search for profit. From conceiving the structures of male domination as somewhat autonomous, it followed that, in any given situation, no one of them was always the key factor, which in turn meant that gender issues would not always be foremost, nor should they always be a priority.…
        “Socialist feminists were as anticapitalist as any other socialists in the New Left, but never conceived capitalism as the sole or always the primary adversary. They offered no design for a socialist economy and thought it unnecessary and un-useful to do that; generally favorable toward public ownership, and especially cooperatives, they believed that a just economy—one that guaranteed equality and well-being to all—would have to emerge from a democratic process.
        “The socialism imagined by the socialist feminists returned them in some ways to what [Friedrich] Engels had called ‘utopian’ to distinguish it from ‘scientific’ socialism. Suspicious of vanguardism, socialist feminism rested on a commitment to democracy and an opposition to Leninism. Its activists emphasized direct democracy and often rejected hierarchical leadership ladders. Socialist feminists equally rejected American-style democracy, with its passive and substantively disfranchised electorate. The socialist feminist vision called for participatory democracy, a system that required its citizens’ active participation in discourse and policy formation. That goal is closely connected to the principle of prefigurative politics—the notion that a democratic end cannot be achieved through undemocratic means, because the end would be corrupted by undemocratic means. Economic democracy and working-class power—socialism’s previously dominant ideas—could only be achieved through political democracy and active participation of the citizenry.”
        [Linda Gordon, “Socialist Feminism: The Legacy of the ‘Second Wave.’” New Labor Forum. Volume 22, number 3, fall 2013. Pages 20-28.]
        “This chapter is an effort to build an ironic political myth faithful to feminism, socialism, and materialism. Perhaps more faithful as blasphemy is faithful, than as reverent worship and identification. Blasphemy has always seemed to require taking things very seriously. I know no better stance to adopt from within the secular-religious, evangelical traditions of United States politics, including the politics of socialist feminism. Blasphemy protects one from the moral majority within, while still insisting on the need for community. Blasphemy is not apostasy. Irony is about contradictions that do not resolve into larger wholes, even dialectically, about the tension of holding incompatible things together because both or all are necessary and true. Irony is about humour and serious play. It is also a rhetorical strategy and a political method, one I would like to see more honoured within socialist-feminism. At the centre of my ironic faith, my blasphemy, is the image of the cyborg.
        “A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction. Social reality is lived social relations, our most important political construction, a world-changing fiction. The international women’s movements have constructed ‘women’s experience,’ as well as uncovered or discovered this crucial collective object. This experience is a fiction and fact of the most crucial, political kind. Liberation rests on the construction of the consciousness, the imaginative apprehension, of oppression, and so of possibility. The cyborg is a matter of fiction and lived experience that changes what counts as women’s experience in the late twentieth century. This is a struggle over life and death, but the boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion.”
        [Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century.” Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. Donna Haraway, editor. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2010. Pages 213-256.]
        “Cyborgs are kin, whelped in the litter of post–World War II information technologies and globalized digital bodies, politics, and cultures of human and not-human sorts. Cyborgs are not machines in just any sense, nor are they machine-organism hybrids. In fact, they are not hybrids at all. They are, rather, imploded entities, dense material semiotic ‘things’—articulated string figures of ontologically heterogeneous, historically situated, materially rich, virally proliferating relatings of particular sorts, not all the time everywhere, but here, there, and in between, with consequences. Particular sorts of historically situated machines signaled by the words ‘information’ and ‘system’ play their part in cyborg living and dying. Particular sorts of historically situated organisms, signaled by the idioms of labor systems, energetics, and communication, play their part.” [Donna Haraway, “Awash in Urine: DES and Premarin® in Multispecies Response-ability.” WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly. Volume 40, numbers 1 and 2, spring/summer 2012. Pages 301-316.]
        “… anglophone object relations theory … maybe did more for U.S. socialist feminism than anything from the pen of [Karl] Marx or [Friedrich] Engels, much less [Louis] Althusser or any of the late pretenders to sonship treating the subject of ideology and science.” [Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective.” Feminist Studies. Volume 14, number 3, autumn 1988. Pages 575-599.]
        “… since the mid-seventies the WLM [women’s liberation movement] had become divided between the politics of socialist-feminists and radical/revolutionary feminists, many of the latter seeing ‘women’s autonomy’ as meaning complete separation from men. This had resulted in a number of disputes about the relationship of men to the WLM generally (for example, the conflicts over the involvement of men in the National Abortion Campaign and over the age at which boy children should be excluded from women’s centres) but it also brought radical feminists into conflict with some of the smaller self-organized groups.” [Kathryn Harriss, “New Alliances: Socialist-Feminism in the Eighties.” Feminist Review. Number 31, spring 1989. Pages 34-54.]
        “Socialist feminists do not think that the oppression of women is based solely on the economic system, and they suggest that patriarchy and capitalism are combined into one system. They believe that we must understand the continuing effects that colonization, imperialism, and racism have on the women of the world.” [Holly Graf. A Very Short Summary of Socialist Feminist Theory and Practice. April 30th, 2012. Page 3. Retrieved on August 27th, 2015.]
        “Dual-systems theory is a synthesis of Marxist and radical feminist theory. Rather than being an exclusive focus of either capitalism or patriarchy, this perspective argues that both systems are present and important in the structuring of contemporary gender relations. Contemporary gender inequality is analysed as a result of the structures of a capitalist and patiarchal or capitalist-patriarchal society.” [Sylvia Walby. Theorizing Patriarchy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell Ltd. 1990. Page 5.]
        “The aim of this paper is to indicate, via this ‘abrupt distance afforded by the abstract concept,’ what has been subsumed, elided, and erased in the recent canonization of feminist theory and to suggest that the exclusion of materialism, associated with socialist feminism, has led to a form of ‘cultural’ feminism within which is a particular thread of anti-realism that has left feminism unable to articulate, investigate or analyze its own conditions.” [Gillian Howie, “After Postmodernism: Feminism and Marxism Revisited.” Critical Matrix. Volume 16, fall 2007. Pages 40-55.]
        “… socialist-feminism has continued to develop and change. While maintaining a commitment to understanding the connections between male dominance and economic exploitation, much (though not all) socialist-feminist research has moved away from the search for all-encompassing theoretical analyses.” [Doreen J. Mattingly and Karen Falconer-Al-Hindi, “Should Women Count?: A Context for the Debate.” Professional Geographer. Volume 47, number 4, 1995. Pages 427-435.]
        “Although there are socialist women who are committed to understanding and changing the system of capitalism, socialist feminists are committed to understanding the system of power deriving from capitalist patriarchy. I choose this phrase, capitalist patriarchy, to emphasize the existing mutual dependence, of the capitalist class structure and male supremacy. Understanding this ‘interdependence’ of patriarchy and capitalism is essential to the political analysis of socialist feminism. It becomes necessary to understand that patriarchy (as male supremacy) existed before capitalism and continues in post-capitalist societies.” [Zillah Eisenstein, “Constructing a Theory of Capitalist Patriarchy and Socialist Feminism.” Critical Sociologist. Volume 25, issue 2-3, March 1999. Pages 196-217.]
        “Today, with the Left itself battling to survive a cold destructive climate, more would agree with the North American feminist Zillah Eisenstein, a leading theoretician of socialist feminism in the USA in the 1970s, who recently declared— adapting to what she sees as new realities, rather than expressing anger or sectarian sentiment—that ‘the specification of feminism as socialist has little political context today.’ Socialism, she feels, seems to hold out little promise for women, and the radical edge of feminism is now to be maintained through a focus on ‘the particularities of women’s lives.’ In agreement with those known as ‘difference theorists,’ Eisenstein now argues that it is in their specific identity as women that feminists should seek a politics which unites all women through the assertion and revaluing of our experience of ‘difference.’” [Lynne Segal, “Whose Left?: Socialism, Feminism and the Future.” New Left Review. Series 1, number 185, January–February 1991. Pages 81-92.]
        “The politics I am calling ‘socialist-feminism’ has long been a self-aware wing of modern feminism, playing a major role in the women’s liberation revival of the late 1960s, as well as providing the dominant perspective for much women’s history scholarship since then. While modern socialist-feminism is uniquely self-aware and self-defined, I believe that it is possible to trace such politics back at least to the mid nineteenth century and to argue that they have consistently been a radicalizing force in the larger history of feminism. This article can be read, therefore, as a contribution to the reconstitution of the socialist-feminist tradition, as part of a contest with other kinds of feminism for control over the meaning and political direction of the contemporary women’s movement.” [Ellen Carol DuBois, “Woman Suffrage and the Left: An International Socialist-Feminist Perspective.” New Left Review. Series 1, number 186, March–April 1991. Pages 20-45.]
        “Asking, as Mihaela Miroiu does, what is the place of feminism within communism or if communist (or socialist) feminism is a contradiction in terms is not a new exercise. Early in the twentieth century, as socialist movements emerged throughout Europe and in the United States, and as feminism became a recognisable political identity, a number of socialists had similar concerns. In 1910, British Socialist Labour Party member Lily Gair Wilkinson saw no value in working separately for women’s rights, because ‘There can be no freedom for single individuals … but men and women as a community…,’ while her contemporary, Hannah Mitchell, of the Independent Labour Party, ‘realised that socialists were not necessarily feminists in spite of the item in their programme affirming their “belief” in the complete social and economic equality of women with men.’” [Jane Slaughter, “Communist Feminism: The Unfulfilled Possibilities of a Difficult Relationship.” Aspasia. Volume 1, number 1, spring 2007. Pages 236-240.]
        “While the feminization of poverty analysis and movement have not been explicitly socialist-feminist, they have tremendous implications for socialist-feminist theory because they demonstrate that a socialist economic analysis and/or transitional economic program will have to be feminist at its core in order to explain and solve the problem of poverty.…
        “… we hope to draw on the strengths of socialist-feminist theory and to link them to the analysis and political work which is being done around the issues of women and poverty.”
        [Wendy Sarvasy and Judith Van Allen, “Fighting the Feminization of Poverty: Socialist-Feminist Analysis and Strategy.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 16, number 4, December 1984. Pages 89-110.]
      22. left libertarian feminism (Jahn Detlef as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, Matt Henn, and Amy R. Baehr): They consider this version of feminism in the context of Sweden.
        “Following the [German] Christian Democrats’ electoral victory in 1983, the SPD [Social Democratic Party of Germany] in opposition changed its priorities several times. However, these changes had more to do with left-libertarian challenges (above all from the Greens) than with welfare state policy.…
        “… [A] defining challenge to social democracy in modern societies is the ecological discourse, which is part of the left-libertarian discourse. The ecological cleavage is differently mobilised in Western societies. For our selected countries, it is most highly mobilised in Germany, followed by Sweden, and finally in Great Britain. This means that it is very important for the German SPD to respond to the left-libertarian discourse, less so but still important for the Swedish SAP [Social Democratic Party], and least important for the British Labour Party.…
        “There is a substantial general literature on the left-libertarian discourse in SDLPs [social democratic-labor parties], although this is comparatively very limited for the British Labour Party.…
        “… The SAP [Swedish Social Democratic Party], although open to the socialist and neo-liberal discourse, is closed to the ecological discourse. This may be an indicator of the materialist and economic orientation of the SAP, which has also been confirmed in terms of its position with respect to other left-libertarian issues such as feminism.…
        “In the context of the left-libertarian discourse it is important to note that a feminism which is based solely on equality, gender solidarity and economic concerns is qualitatively different from the new, left libertarian feminism that insists on ‘women’s self-organisation, the right to be different from men, and the expression of a new gender-based communitarian culture’ ([see Herbert] (Kitschelt …).”
        [Jahn Detlef and Matt Henn, “The ‘new’ rhetoric of new labour in comparative perspective: A three‐country discourse analysis.” West European Politics. Volume 23, issue 1, 2000. Pages 26-46.]
        “Swedish social democrats have also adopted only those elements of the feminist agenda that easily fit into the conventional socialist discourse on equality and gender solidarity. They shun, however, a feminism that insists on women’s self-organization, the right to be different from men, and the expression of a new gender-based communitarian culture …. Joyce Gelb … quotes a study on Swedish feminism and politics which concludes that ‘“[q]ualitative” gender issues, unrelated to economic concerns, have been neglected in a system that defines equality almost exclusively in economic terms.’ And her own study finds that in Sweden equality is still defined in male terms ….” [Herbert Kitschelt. The Transformation of European Social Democracy. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. 1994. Page 271.]
        “There are libertarian feminists, right and left. Both believe liberty should be the primary value animating feminist politics. Left libertarian feminists believe the state and our conventional social forms often conspire to restrict women’s liberty. But right libertarians emphasize the threat of state power …. Right libertarian feminists are currently in political coalition with conservatives …. The space is lacking here to examine right libertarian feminist views.” [Amy R. Baehr, “Conservatism, Feminism, and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese.” Hypatia. Volume 24, number 2, spring 2009. Pages 101-124.]
      23. free market socialism (Theodore Burczak): Burczak, in his (arguably) libertarian approach, asks whether Friedrich Hayek’s focus on “the rule of law to the formation of a spontaneous social order” can be applied to socialism.
        “Given [Friedrich] Hayek’s understanding of the centrality of the rule of law to the formation of a spontaneous social order, is it possible to defend what might be called a socialist spontaneous order? Can there be socialism with the rule of law? Much would depend on what one understands the concept of socialism to entail. I will follow [Karl] Marx and maintain that socialist society would have at least two fundamental characteristics. First, socialism would abolish the wages system, thereby ending the exploitation of labor …. Second, under socialism the distribution of the fruits of production would take place, to some extent, according to need and not just according to the vagaries of income distribution that result from market processes …. To achieve these objectives, a socialist economy has traditionally been understood to require large amounts of national economic planning and social ownership of productive property, particularly ‘the commanding heights.’ National economic planning, though, concentrates political and economic power in such a manner that it is perhaps impossible for planners to follow the principles of neutrality and universality that the rule of law requires. The goal of this chapter is to show that socialist goals might be achievable, not through national economic planning or the conscious design of outcomes, but by adopting rules and policies consistent with the notion of the rule of law that underlies Hayek’s theory of spontaneous market order. The result will be something that could be called free market socialism, unplanned socialism, or a socialist spontaneous order.” [Theodore Burczak, “A socialist spontaneous order.” Hayek, Mill, and the Liberal Tradition. Andrew Farrant, editor. London and New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business. 2011. Pages 130-147.]
      24. self–management and immediate participatory democracy in action (Peter Marcuse as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Marcuse—a German–American scholar and the son of Herbert Marcuse—has a positive take on coöperatives.
        “As [Karl] Marx has it:
        “The co-operative factories run by workers themselves are, within the old form, the first examples of the emergence of a new form, even though they naturally reproduce in all cases, in their present organization, all the defects of the existing system, and must reproduce them. But the opposition between capital and labour is abolished there, even if at first only in the form that the workers in association become their own capitalists, i.e., they use the means of production to valorise their labour.…
        “… as Marx has pointed out, worker co-ops operating within a capitalist, profit-driven market economy cannot operate independently of that economy. They may come close in those sectors that are in fact already to some extent outside the market, e.g., education, health care, municipal services, artistic cooperatives, but these are exceptions, and relatively small ones given the scale of such competition-free activities—and they are exceptions constantly under threat today from the expansion of destructive privatization.…
        “… cooperatives should be encouraged, in any sphere of activity, as an alternative to marketbound profit-driven activities. Co-ops avoid exploitation by others in production, and can be lessons in the possibilities of self-management and immediate participatory democracy in action.
        “Cooperatives can illuminate the contradictory role of the state in collective activities. The state today is an institution dominated by capital but subject to significant pressure by the exploited. Their role in a post-capitalist society may be quite different; it cannot be assumed that present co-ops will continue and become a pillar of a new society— they may or may not. They will provide lessons useful in such a new society, but that is only a minor factor in their activities today.”
        [Peter Marcuse, “Cooperatives On the Path to Socialism?” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 66, number 9, February 2015. Pages 31-38.]
        “Urban residents and agricultural cooperative members [of East Germany], whose living conditions, in particular whose housing, may be thrown into crisis by unification, are the third of the forces from whom opposition to the takeover from the West may be expected. Speculators in the West are buying up claims by dispossessed or uninterested Westerners to East German property as quickly as they can, claims that were considered worthless before October. Cars with West German license plates are cruising residential areas photographing houses for potential investors. The West German Real Estate Association warns its members against using straw men to buy East German property; the law prohibits authorized sales to noncitizens, but everyone knows such sales are prevalent. The community-based citizens’ movements that provided much of the initial basis for the October changes are beginning to realize that these new market-based forces may not provide the solutions they still seek. But as of today, they are far from seeing the national strategy that would be required to protect these seemingly local interests.” [Peter Marcuse, “Letter from the German Democratic Republic.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 42, number 3, July–August 1990. Pages 30+.]
        “Opposing the coercion of capital has a long history, often directly relevant to the control of space. Sit-in strikes challenge the ownership rights of private property; picketing and strikes challenge capital’s power over labor; boycotts under special circumstances can be effective; but economic challenges to the power of capital, e.g., cooperatives, non-profits, worker-owned businesses, while promoting certain forms of opposition and creating limited spaces free of capital’s domination, are nowhere near countering the power of capital. Globalization has substantially increased the power of capital over labor. The possibilities of resistance to economic oppression through economic or market means are present but limited today. What opposition to economic power, and its control over urban space, that will occur will necessarily be non-market.” [Peter Marcuse, “The forms of power and the forms of cities: building on Charles Tilly.” Theory and Society. Volume 39, numbers 3–4, May 2010. Pages 471-485.]
        “Economic displacement … is a consequence of cooperative and condominium coversions accompanying gentrification. In 1983 the number of conversions under noneviction plans alone was 18,967, of which 6,168 ended up priced at $100,000 or more. Conversions under eviction plans, which are even more likely to result in direct displacement, run at about seventy percent the level of those under non-eviction plans. While some former tenants continue to occupy these units, the typical pattern of substantial increases in real occupancy costs after conversion will result in exclusionary, if not direct, displacement. Limiting ourselves to conversions resulting in units selling for over $100,000 about 10,485 households are subject to direct or exclusionary displacement each year. This figure includes households that are physically displaced, but does not include households economically displaced from remaining rental units in the neighborhood, whose prices are also driven up.” [Peter Marcuse, “Gentrification, Abandonment, and Displacement: Connections, Causes, and Policy Responses in New York City.” Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law. Volume 28, January 1985. Pages 195-240.]
        “City governments, reacting to forces that are to a considerable extent outside their control, adopt policies oriented· toward attracting private investment. Peter Marcuse, emphasizing the uses of ‘urban fiscal crisis’ as a concept, points to two constituent factors. The first is the problem inherent in capital accumulation, which, to counteract falling rates of profit, constantly seeks to cheapen labor costs and automate production. To accomplish these goals, capital shifts locations. The state, however, must bear the social costs of capital mobility: infrastructure provision, facilities for the working population, the redundant workforce left behind when businesses move elsewhere. Consequently, Marcuse identifies a real tendency to crisis within the economic and political systems but suggests that there is also a fraudulent crisis that justifies government policies transparently serving private interests.” [Rosalyn Deutsche. Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 1996. Page 86.]
      25. fullest realization of democracy (Paul Marlor Sweezy): Over the course of Sweezy’s career, his Marxist, non–dogmatic, and democratic approach to socialism changed and evolved.
        “… a socialist believes that in the long run the fullest realization of democracy will be possible only under socialism. He could therefore hardly be expected to regard the suppression of socialist propaganda as a strategic retreat in a larger battle for greater democracy. One who believes that capitalism is the best possible system, on the other hand, might come to precisely this conclusion. In the case of an already established socialist system, the roles might be reversed. Here the socialist might consider the suppression of capitalist propaganda necessary in order to make possible the advances to greater democracy which the development of socialism will bring with it; while the advocate of capitalism would of course take an opposite position. We cannot conclude, however, that Bourgeois and Socialist can never agree that suppression is in the interest of democracy. When it comes to doctrines like Fascism, which reject democracy in principle, bourgeois democrats and socialists can agree on the necessity for suppression.” [Paul M. Sweezy, “Paul M. Sweezy.” Democracy in a World of Tensions: A Symposium prepared by UNESCO. Richard McKeon with Stein Rokkan, editors. Paris, France: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 1951. Pages 391-424.]
        “As to the form of ownership of the means of production which would characterize socialism, Marxists have never been dogmatic. Ownership must be by public bodies, but that does not necessarily mean only the central government: local governments, special public authorities of one sort or another, and cooperatives can also own means of production under socialism. And there can even be a certain amount of private ownership, provided it is confined to industries in which production takes place on a small scale.
        “A corollary of public ownership of the means of production is economic planning. The capitalist economy is governed by the market, that is to say, by private producers responding to price movements with a view to maximizing their own profits. It is through this mechanism that supply and demand are adjusted to each other and productive resources are allocated to various industries and branches of production. But public bodies have no compelling reason to maximize their profits (though, admittedly, under certain circumstances they may be directed to make as much profit as they can). In general, therefore, they must have some other principle to guide their economic conduct, and this can only be the following of a plan which coordinates the activities of all the public bodies.
        “Now socialists claim that it is precisely the freedom from the necessity to make profits and the coordination of all economic activities by a general plan which allows socialism to overcome the contradictions of capitalism and to develop its resources and technology for the greatest good of the people as a whole. Under such a system, crises and unemployment could only result from bad planning; and while bad planning is certainly not impossible, especially in the early stages of socialist society, there is no reason why planners should not learn to correct their mistakes and to reduce the resulting maladjustments and disproportions to smaller and smaller dimensions.”
        [Paul M. Sweezy. Marxian Socialism: Power Elite or Ruling Class? New York: Monthly Review Press. 1960. Page 9.]
        “From the very beginning, when I first became a Marxist, it was a long process of education and learning to get out of the simplistic formulas, without ever actually repudiating them or considering that the positions I had taken, even though oversimplified and overly dogmatic, were wrong. They needed to be refined, to become more aware of the depth and difficulties of the problems. Ideas of revolutionary change—of course, I got this from the literature that I found so compelling in terms of its understanding of historical processes—were vastly oversimplified, vastly underestimating forces of inertia and the dead weight of historical traditions and institutions, the difficulties of changing people to adapt to new situations.…
        “I define socialism as the opposite or alternative to capitalism. I don’t set down any utopian criteria. It is the real Other. I think that is the important thing.”
        [Paul M. Sweezy, “An Interview with Paul M. Sweezy.” Christopher Phelps and Andros Skotnes, interviewers. Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 51, number 1, May 1999. Pages 31-53.]
        “There is capitalism and then there are those who manage to get a bit of independence of capitalism, and not two systems. There is no socialist system. There are societies which call themselves socialist that are not under the regime of capital. That’s all to the good, and it has possibilities. But some of us went too far in our analysis. I was very much influenced by [Chairman] Mao because I think he was a very great man and I think he deserved to have influence. But sometimes it’s hard to know just how far to go. Take enthusiasm for the Cultural Revolution, for example. It seemed to be such a right thing to do. It seemed in an abstract sense to have all the rationality on its side. But obviously the Chinese people were not ready for that.” [Paul M. Sweezy, “Interview with Paul M. Sweezy.” Sungar Savran and E. Ahmet Tonak, interviewers. Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 38, number 11, April 1987. Pages 1-11.]
        “The rise and spread of an independent socialist section of the world, however, introduces certain complications. It was pointed out above that the colonial bourgeoisie takes the lead in organizing and promoting movements of national independence, but the ultimate objective of the colonial bourgeoisie is the establishment of independent capitalist nations. Consequently it sees enemies in both imperialism and socialism. The colonial working class, on the other hand, though numerically small, adopts a socialist goal almost from the outset; while the oppressed agricultural masses are not unreceptive to socialist ideas and tend to follow the leadership of those who demonstrate most clearly by their actions that they mean to win a genuine improvement in conditions. The position of the colonial bourgeoisie tends more and more to unfit it for the role of leadership which it assumes in the early stages of the national movement. It wavers between accepting the support of the forces of socialism, both external and internal, against imperialism, and temporizing with imperialism in order to keep in check the socialist menace. The result is a policy which always stops short of decisive action, reverses itself and backtracks, then once again moves hesitantly forward. Since this is not the kind of policy which can make a strong appeal to the mass of the peasantry, and since without such support the national independence movement is impotent, it follows that leadership gradually tends to slip out of the hands of bourgeois elements and into the hands of the working class in alliance with the more advanced sections of the peasantry, which, though not necessarily socialist in their convictions, nevertheless have no stake in the maintenance of capitalist relations of production after independence is achieved. Eventually, therefore, it falls to the lot of the working class to lead the nationalist opposition to imperialism in the colonial countries just as it stands at the head of the socialist opposition to imperialism in the advanced countries. When this stage has been reached the two great opposition forces are united not only in their immediate objectives but also in their ultimate resolve to work for a socialist world economy as a way out of the growing contradictions of imperialist world economy. In the long run the colonial bourgeoisie is unable to play and independent historical role and must split up into two opposing factions, one of which attempts to save its own precarious privileges by means of an open alliance with imperialism, while the other remains true to the cause of national independence even though the price is the acceptance of socialism.” [Paul M. Sweezy. The Theory of Capitalist Development: Principles of Marxian Political Economy. London: Dennis Dobson Limited. 1946. Pages 327-328.]
        “First, let me say that I shall remain within what may be called a Marxist universe of discourse. And for all Marxists, socialism is not the end of the road: it is itself a way station on the journey from capitalism to communism. As far as the latter is concerned, there would probably be pretty general agreement on its main features: under communism, classes have disappeared; the state has withered away; crippling forms of the division of labor have been overcome; distinctions between city and country and between manual and mental labor have bee abolished; distribution is according to need, etc. But there would also be pretty general agreement that it is impossible to move directly from capitalism to communism, that the two are separated not by years or even decades but by a whole historical epoch, or perhaps even more than one historical epoch. In the meantime there must be a concrete target which a society setting out on the journey from capitalism to communism can aim at, can orient its policies toward, and by reference to which it can measure its advances or retreats. This target we call socialism, and here the disagreements begin.” [Paul M. Sweezy in Paul M. Sweezy and Charles Bettelheim. On the Transition to Socialism. New York: Monthly Review Press. 1971. Pages 123-124.]
        “I don’t find it easy to put my finger on just what is wrong, but in most general terms I think the trouble is—superficiality. Everything is made to depend on hostility to socialism which is taken as a datum and as such can only be considered to be a subjective factor. The objective factors which underlie and explain this hostility are not examined—except belatedly and so to speak incidentally when the threat of socialism to the empire is brought in near the end. And even then nothing systematic is said about why the U.S. wants an empire anyway. A critic could legitimately claim that the whole argument as it stands is compatible with the assumption that U.S. policy is dominated by an irrational dislike of socialism and an equally irrational desire for an empire.” [Paul M. Sweezy, “Four Letters to Paul Baran.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 56, number 5, October 2004. Pages 94-110.]
        “The deep-seated tendency of capitalism in its modern most developed form is to fall increasingly short of producing what it is capable of producing owing to a lack of purchasing power in the hands of workers, farmers, and the unemployed. In these circumstances, publicly financed production of waste in the form of weapons of destruction makes the system work more efficiently and smoothly than it otherwise would. On the other hand, a society striving to achieve socialist goals has a tendency to produce goods and services up to and even beyond its rated capacity. For it, the necessity to engage in a waste-producing arms race is a total negative and ultimately a disaster.” [Paul M. Sweezy, “Socialism: legacy and renewal.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 44, number 8, January 1993. Pages 1+.]
        “The socialist movement spread throughout the nineteenth century, following in capitalism’s footsteps across the globe. Workers’ revolts occurred on occasion, most notably in the Paris Commune of 1870–71, while huge socialist parties developed—officially dedicated to overturning capitalism— with the Social Democratic Party in Germany the most prominent. By the beginning of the twentieth century it was already clear, to quote from the same article by [Paul M.] Sweezy, that ‘the future of humanity would be shaped by the outcome of a bitter and most likely protracted struggle between capitalism and its internally generated opposition.’” [John Bellamy Foster, “The Renewing of Socialism: An Introduction.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 57, number 3, July–August 2005. Pages 1-18.]
        “Rather than carefully specifying the method by which he ‘knows’ the class nature of the state, [Paul M.] Sweezy attempts to inform us as to its nature by way of a critique of Trotskyist theory. His summary of the Trotskyist theory of bureaucracy is interesting in that he does not criticize Trotskyism on the basis of its fundamental inconsistencies with the science of Marxism. Rather, his criteria for the validity of the theory rests on its lack of correspondence with the so-called ‘real’ world, i.e., with the facts. Sweezy portrays Trotskyism as predicting a second revolution and, ‘either the second revolution comes and proves the correctness of the theory; or if it fails to come, the theory has to be abandoned and another put in its place.’” [Geoffrey Silver and Gregory Tarpinian, “Marxism and Socialism: A Response to Paul Sweezy and Ernest Mandel.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 13, number 1, April 1981. Pages 11-21.]
        “The transition from capitalism to socialism is the most difficult problem of socialist theory and practice. To add to this the question of ecology might therefore be seen as unnecessarily complicating an already intractable issue. I shall argue here, however, that the human relation to nature lies at the heart of the transition to socialism. An ecological perspective is pivotal to our understanding of capitalism’s limits, the failures of the early socialist experiments, and the overall struggle for egalitarian and sustainable human development.…
        “See Paul M. Sweezy, ‘The Transition to Socialism,’ in Sweezy and Charles Bettelheim, On the Transition to Socialism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971) ….”
        [John Bellamy Foster, “Ecology and the Transition from Capitalism to Socialism.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 60, number 6, November 2008. Pages 1-12.]
      26. four–celled matrix (Nancy Fraser): Fraser develops a multidimensional approach to “redistribution and recognition.”
        “… the Marxian working class is the body of persons in a capitalist society who must sell their labour-power under arrangements that authorize the capitalist class to appropriate surplus productivity for its private benefit.…
        “Imagine a four-celled matrix. The horizontal axis comprises … two general kinds of remedy …, namely, affirmation and transformation. The vertical axis comprises … two aspects of justice …, namely, redistribution and recognition. On this matrix we can locate … four political orientations …. In the first cell, where redistribution and affirmation intersect, is the project of the liberal welfare state; centered on surface reallocations of distributive shares among existing groups, it tends to support group differentiation; it can also generate backlash misrecognition. In the second cell, where redistribution and transformation intersect, is the project of socialism; aimed at deep restructuring of the relations of production, it tends to blur group differentiation; it can also help redress some forms of misrecognition. In the third cell, where recognition and affirmation intersect, is the project of mainstream multiculturalism; focused on surface reallocations of respect among existing groups, it tends to support group differentiation. In the fourth cell, where recognition and transformation intersect, is the project of deconstruction; aimed at deep restructuring of the relations of recognition, it tends to destabilize group differentiations.
        “This matrix casts mainstream multiculturalism as the cultural analogue of the liberal welfare state, while casting deconstruction as the cultural analogue of socialism.…
        “I have argued here that socialist economics combined with deconstructive cultural politics works best to finesse the dilemma for the bivalent collectivities of gender and ‘race’—at least when they are considered separately. The next step would be to show that this combination also works for our larger sociocultural configuration. After all, gender and ‘race’ are not neatly cordoned off from one another. Nor are they neatly cordoned off from sexuality and class. Rather, all these axes of injustice intersect one another in ways that affect everyone’s interests and identities.”
        [Nancy Fraser, “From Redistribution to Recognition? Dilemmas of Justice in a ‘Post-Socialist’ Age.” New Left Review. Series I, number 212, July–August 1995. Pages 68-93.]
        “Enter the politics of recognition. If the first phase of postwar feminism aimed in effect to ‘engender’ the socialist imaginary, the second phase effectively redefined gender justice as a project aimed at ‘recognizing difference.’ ‘Recognition,’ accordingly, became the chief grammar of feminist claims making at the fin de siècle [end of the cycle or age]. A venerable category of Hegelian philosophy, resuscitated by political theorists, this notion captured the distinctive character of many postsocialist struggles, which aimed more at valorizing culturalized differences than at promoting economic equality. Whether the question was violence against women or gender disparities in political representation, feminists increasingly resorted to the grammar of recognition to press their claims. Unable to make headway against injustices of political economy, they preferred to target harms resulting from androcentric patterns of cultural value or status hierarchies. The result was a major shift in the feminist imaginary: whereas the previous generation had sought to reconstruct the redistributive project so as to challenge male domination, this one all but abandoned redistribution to concentrate overwhelmingly on recognition.” [Nancy Fraser, “To Interpret the World and to Change It: An Interview with Nancy Fraser.” Nancy A. Naples, interviewer. Signs. Volume 29, number 4, summer 2004. Pages 1103-1124.]
        “Seeking to dispel the mystique of cultural feminism, these chapters aim to retrieve the best insights of socialist-feminism and to combine them with a non-identitarian version of the politics of recognition. Only such an approach, I maintain, can meet the intellectual and political challenges facing feminist movements in a period of neoliberal hegemony.” [Nancy Fraser. Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Pages 9-10.]
        “… I have rebutted arguments that cast the concerns of socialist-feminism as incompatible with those of newer paradigms centered on discourse and culture. Putting aside the usual sectarian blinders, I have proposed conceptions of gender, justice, and recognition that are broad enough to encompass the concerns of both camps. These conceptions are two-dimensional. Spanning both distribution and recognition, they are able to comprehend both the class-like aspects and status aspects of women’s subordination.” [Nancy Fraser. Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Page 173.]
      27. idea of democracy realized in its true meaning (Max Horkheimer as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He distinguishes the democratic concept of socialism from the perverted concept of socialism in the Soviet Bloc.
        “The doctrine of [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels, though still indispensable for understanding the dynamics of society, can no longer explain the domestic development and foreign relations of the nations. The impulses that motivate me today as they did in the past are no less opposed to the obviously inconsistent claim to apply aggressive concepts such as class domination and imperialism to capitalist countries alone and not to allegedly communist ones as well, than they are to the correlative prejudices of others. Socialism, the idea of democracy realized in its true meaning, has long since been perverted into an instrument of manipulation in the Diamat [Russian Cyrillic, Диамат, Diamat, i.e., dialectical materialist] countries, just as the Christian message was perverted during the blood-bath centuries of Christendom. Even the condemnation of the United States’ fateful invasion of Asia contradicts the critical theory and is for Europeans a case of going along with the crowd, unless those who condemn it also condemn the terrible raids men make upon one another with the connivance of the hostile great powers.” [Max Horkheimer. Critical Theory: Selected Essays. Matthew J. O’Connell and others, translators. New York: The Continuum Publishing Company. 2002. Pages vi-vii.]
      28. demodernization (James F. Petras): Petras proposes a class–based, Marxian approach to achieving a “participatory political economy.”
        “The centrality of force in periphery capitalist rule (inherent in the political imbalances created by imperial cohabitation of the social structure) is negated through forms of nondemocratic popular rulership; imperial-induced modernization is negated by parallel processes of nationalization and demodernization anchored in efforts to resocialize and relocate labor in a productive and participatory political economy. The historical setting for contemporary socialist development in the periphery is largely the deformations of prolonged imperial-induced expansion: it is not sufficient, or even adequate, to simply socialize the tools fashioned by the capitalists when many of the instruments served alien human needs. The deepgoing nature of socialist transformation calls forth a new set of concepts, ‘demodemization,’ which to many bourgeois writers will appear to be regressive but will in fact serve to create the foundations for socialist relations of production. The growth of socialism however and the weakness of private national capital has not led ‘inevitably’ to social revolution. Several variants of state capitalist rule have appeared whose radical and statist rhetoric will appeal to developmental ‘socialists.’ but hardly to those Marxists who ground their analysis in class realities. It is in this context that a new and more profound examination of the role of the working class in twentieth century revolutions is now on the agenda.” [James F. Petras, “Class and Politics in the Periphery and the Transition to Socialism.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 8, number 2, June 1976. Pages 20-35.]
      29. communist socialism (Joseph Dietzgen): He develops an approach to communism or socialism which is focused on the “struggle for freedom.”
        “Contemporary socialism is communistic. Socialism and communism are now so near each other that there is hardly any difference between them. In the past they differed from each other as does liberalism from democracy, the latter being in both cases the consistent and radical application of the former. From all other political theories communistic socialism is distinguished by its principle that the people can only be free when they free themselves from poverty, when their struggle for freedom is fought out on the social, i.e., on the economic, field. There is this difference between the modern and the older socialistic and communistic theories: in the past it was the feeling, the unconscious rebellion, against the unjust distribution of wealth, which constituted the basis of socialism; to-day it is based on knowledge, on the clear recognition of our historic development. In the past socialists and communists were able only to find out the deficiencies and evils of existing society. Their schemes for social reconstruction were phantastic. Their views were evolved not from the world of realities, not from the concrete conditions surrounding them, but from their mental speculations, and were therefore whimsical and sentimental. Modern socialism, on the other hand, is scientific. Just as scientists arrive at their generalizations not by mere speculation, but by observing the phenomena of the material world, so are the socialistic and communistic theories not idle schemes, but generalizations drawn from economic facts. We see for instance that the communistic mode of work is being more and more organized by the bourgeoisie itself. Only the distribution still proceeds on the old lines and the product is withheld from the people. The small production is disappearing while production on a large scale takes its place.” [Joseph Dietzgen. Some of the Philosophical Essays on Socialism and Science, Religion, Ethics, Critique-of-Reason and the World-at-large. M. Beer and Th. Rothstein, translators. Chicago, Illinois: Charles H. Kerr & Company. 1906. Pages 79-80.]
        “We call upon society — and by virtue of its accumulated wealth we are entitled to call upon society — that it shall vouchsafe to each of its members not only work, but also daily bread, and that it shall feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, in short, it shall carry out the work of love and mercy. We appeal to society, not only to call itself human but to be human. In the place of religion, social democracy puts humanity, which shall no more rest on the basis of ah ethical commandment, but on the recognition that its savior can only be found in co-operative, brotherly work: in economic communism. The original sin, from which mankind has been suffering, is selfishness. Moses and the prophets, all religious founders and legislators together have been unable to extirpate it. ‘The sin dwelleth in the flesh as the nail in the wall.’ No preaching or teaching and commanding could eradicate it, for the whole constitution of our present society hinges upon that nail. Bourgeois society rests on the selfish distinction of mine and thine, rests on social war, on competition, on the cunning devices of getting the best of each other.” [Joseph Dietzgen. Some of the Philosophical Essays on Socialism and Science, Religion, Ethics, Critique-of-Reason and the World-at-large. M. Beer and Th. Rothstein, translators. Chicago, Illinois: Charles H. Kerr & Company. 1906. Pages 109-110.]
        “… we must use the inductive method. By means of this method we find that the moral world generally consists of the considerations dic tated by the social need of a given human organization. Then we find the undeniable fact that that social neces sity develops with the progress of productive forces called civilization, that the social instinct of man grows, that human association becomes broader and deeper, and that morality becomes more moral. Even Christian morality demands that the limited brotherly feeling of the clan, horde, nation and state shall expand into in ternational brotherhood. But its inordinate religious spirit, its admixture of hypocrisy and foolery, prevented the ideal from being realized. It is economic materialism only, it is but the communistic re-construction of society on the basis of material work, which will bring about the true association of men. Only from the abolition of class-rule, from the transformation of the selfish capital istic organizations into co-operative instruments of production will issue the true brotherhood of man, the true morality and justice.” [Joseph Dietzgen. Some of the Philosophical Essays on Socialism and Science, Religion, Ethics, Critique-of-Reason and the World-at-large. M. Beer and Th. Rothstein, translators. Chicago, Illinois: Charles H. Kerr & Company. 1906. Pages 159-160.]
        “Though the communists and the ultra-conservatives came to widely different conclusions, still I felt and read between the lines that both of these extreme parties based their demands on one fundamental premise. They knew what they wanted; they both had a definite beginning and end. And that permitted the assumption that both had a common philosophy. The Prussian landholding aristocracy based the cross, which they wore as an emblem on their hats on the historically acquired royal military power and on the positive divine revelation of the Bible printed in black and supported by the ecclesiastical police force dressed in black. And the Communist point of departure was quite as positive, unquestionable and material, viz., the growing supremacy of the mass of the people with their proletarian interests based on the historically acquired productive power of the working class. The spirit of both of these hostile camps was descending from the results of philosophy, primarily from the Hegelian school. Both of them were armed with the philosophical achievements of the century, which they had not only mechanically assimilated, but rather continually provided with fresh food like a living being.” [Joseph Dietzgen. The Positive Outcome of Philosophy: The Nature of Human Brain Work Letters on Logic. The Positive Outcome of Philosophy. Ernest Untermann, translator. Eugene Dietzgen and Joseph Dietzgen, Jr., editors. Chicago, Illinois: Charles H. Kerr & Company Co-Operative. 1906. Pages 328-329.]
        “Consciousness, as the Latin root of the word indicates, is the knowledge of being in existence. It is a form, or a quality, of existence which differs from other forms of being in that it is aware of its existence. Quality cannot be explained, but must be experienced. We know by experience that consciousness includes along with the knowledge of being in existence the difference and contradiction between subject and object, thinking and being, between form and content, between phenomenon and essential thing, between attribute and substance, between the general and the concrete. This innate contradiction explains the various terms applied to consciousness, such as the organ of abstraction, the faculty of generalization or unification, or in contradistinction thereto the faculty of differentiation. For consciousness generalizes differences and differentiates generalities. Contradiction is innate in consciousness, and its nature is so contradictory that it is at the same time a differentiating, a generalizing, and an understanding nature. Consciousness generalizes contradiction. It recognizes that all nature, all being, lives in contradictions, that everything is what it is only in cooperation with its opposite. Just as visible things are not visible without the faculty of sight, and vice versa the faculty of sight cannot see anything but what is visible, so contradiction must be recognized as something general which pervades all thought and being. The science of understanding, by generalizing contradiction, solves all concrete contradictions.” [Joseph Dietzgen. The Nature of Human Brain Work. Oakland, California: PM Press. 2010. Page 32.]
      30. genealogy of horizontalism (Nicholas Kiersey and Wanda Vrasti as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): She examines the genealogies of horizontalism in both Marxism and anarchism.
        “This article … explores the commitments of horizontalist movements via a genealogy of their practices, both discursive and non-discursive.…
        “The guiding ontology of the [horizontalist] movements thus established through a genealogy of their practices, the second and third portions of this article seek to evaluate the strategic opportunities available to the horizontal left from the perspective of two literatures, those of anarchism and autonomist Marxism.…
        “… concepts like ‘the party’ and ‘party leadership,’ and the very notion of wielding state power, sit uneasily with the genealogy of horizontalism we have outlined in this paper.…
        “… the story of Greece’s encounter with the neoliberal order raises a difficult paradox for our genealogy of horizontal politics. On the one hand, as we noted earlier, cutting off ‘the king’s head’ in our own minds is one of the most cherished values of the horizontal tradition. On the other, however, it is clear that the anti-austerity movements in Europe have thus far not been quite up to the task.”
        [Nicholas Kiersey and Wanda Vrasti, “A convergent genealogy? Space, time and the promise of horizontal politics today.” Capital & Class. Volume 40, number 1, 2016. Pages 75-94.]
      31. thoroughgoing democratic and egalitarian society (Bertell Ollman): He contrasts the egalitarian and democratic society in socialism with the holcaust of capitalism.
        “… [Karl] Marx believes that the transformation in people’s nature that is required for them to be able to live in socialism can only take place through the mediation of the workers’ class interests, given the workers’ key class interest in developing a thoroughgoing democratic and egalitarian society if any of their other main class interests are to be satisfied.…
        “… For Marxists, all arguments for socialism are based on an analysis that demonstrates that capitalism is not only responsible for our worst social and ecological problems but contains the means for their solution as well as the seeds of the new world that would follow.…
        “Lest we forget: capitalism is an ongoing holocaust, not only against the countless millions it drops bombs on, starves, poisons with pollution, deprives of needed medical care, or works to death, but the even greater numbers it stultifies and strangles slowly with alienation and anxiety ridden jobs and joblessness. At the same time and as part of the same processes, it creates the conditions for something totally new and deeply satisfying.”
        [Bertell Ollman, “The Utopian Vision of the Future (Then and Now): A Marxist Critique.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 57, number 3, July–August 2005. Pages 78-102.]
      32. revolutionary–libertarian opposition to Bolshevism (Maurice Brinton): Brinton (1923-2005), a pen name of Christopher Agamemnon Pallis (Greek/Hellēniká, Χριστόφορος Αγαμέμνων Πάλλης, Christóphoros Agamémnōn Pállēs as pronounced in this MP3 audio file), presents a history of libertarian Marxism in oppositon to Bolshevism and Leninism. He was previously a Trotskyist. The now–defunct organization he founded, Solidarity (UK), was largely based on council communism.
        “For many years the only alternative appeared to be the hypocritical laments of social-democracy or the snarls of open counter-revolution. The voice of the revolutionary- libertarian opposition to Bolshevism had been well and truly smothered.” [Maurice Brinton. The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control, 1917-1921: The State and Counter-revolution. London: Solidarity. 1970. Page 84.]
        “Today people as different as Young Liberals and Labour ‘lefts,’ tired trade union officials and ‘Trotskyists’ of one kind or another-not to mention anarchosyndicalists and ‘libertarian Marxists’—all talk about ‘workers’ control.’ This suggests one of two things. Either these people have common objectives—which seems unlikely-or the words serve to mask as much as they convey. We hope to dispel some of the confusion by recalling how, at a critical stage of history, the advocates of different conceptions of ‘workers’ control’ confronted one another and by showing who won, why they won, and what the consequences were to be.” [Maurice Brinton. The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control, 1917-1921: The State and Counter-revolution. London: Solidarity. 1970. Page i.]
        “We have to pay a ransom to both the past and the present. We have not appeared on the political scene from nowhere. We are part of a revolutionary libertarian tradition for whom these concepts had deep significance. And we are not living in a political vacuum. We are living in a specific historical context, in which a constant struggle is taking place. In this struggle the conflicting interests of different social strata (bourgeoisie, bureaucracy and proletariat) are expressed in different types of demands, more or less clearly formulated. Different ideas about control and management figure prominently in these controversies. Unlike Humpty Dumpty we cannot make words mean exactly what we choose.” [Maurice Brinton. The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control, 1917-1921: The State and Counter-revolution. London: Solidarity. 1970. Page iii.]
        “It would be tragic if the ahistoricism and anti-theoretical bias of much of the libertarian movement today allowed new militants to fall into old traps or compelled them again to take turnings that at best lead nowhere—or at worst onto the grounds of previous defeats.” [Maurice Brinton. The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control, 1917-1921: The State and Counter-revolution. London: Solidarity. 1970. Page 25.]
        “Fifty years after the Russian Revolution we can see in sharper focus some of the problems that were being so heatedly discussed between 1917 and 1921. The libertarian revolutionaries of 1917 went as far as they could. But today we can speak from real experience. Hungary 1956 and France 1968 have highlighted the problems of modern bureaucratic capitalist societies and shown the nature of the revolutionary oppositions they engender, in both Eastern and Western contexts. The irrelevant and the contingent have been swept aside. The key questions of our epoch are now increasingly seen as man’s domination over his environment and over the institutions he creates to solve the tasks that face him. Will man remain in control of his creations or will they dominate him? In these questions are embedded the even more fundamental ones of man’s own ‘false-consciousness,’ of his demystification in relation to the ‘complexities’ of management, of restoring to him his own self—confidence, of his ability to ensure control over delegated authority, and of his re-appropriation of everything that capitalism has taken from him. Also implicit in this question is how to release the tremendous creative potential within every one of us and harness it to ends which we ourselves have chosen.…
        “To be meaningful the revolution to come will have to be profoundly libertarian. It will be based on a real assimilation of the whole Russian experience. It will refuse to exchange one set of rulers for another, one bunch of exploiters for another, one lot of priests for another, one authoritarianism for another, or one constriding orthodoxy for another. It will have to root out all such false solutions which are but so many residual manifestations of man’s continued alienation. A real understanding of Bolshevism will have to be an essential ingredient in any revolution which aims at transcending all forms of alienation and of self-mystification. As the old society crumbles both the bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy will have to be buried under its ruins. The real roots from which they grew will have to be understood. In this gigantic task the revolution to come will find its strength and its inspiration in the real experience of millions, both East and West. If it is even marginally assisted by this little book our efforts will have been well worthwhile.”
        [Maurice Brinton. The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control, 1917-1921: The State and Counter-revolution. London: Solidarity. 1970. Pages 85-86.]
        “Without democracy the revolutionary organization will be unable to develop the required originality of thought and the vital initiative and determination to fight upon which its very existence depends. The Bolshevik method of self-appointed and self-perpetuating leaders, selected because of their ability to ‘interpret’ the teachers writings and ‘relate them to today’s events’ ensures that no-one ever intrudes with an original idea. History becomes a series of interesting analogies. Thought becomes superfluous. All the revolutionaries need is a good memory and a well-stocked library. No wonder the ‘revolutionary’ left is today so sterile.
        “Struggle demands more than a knowledge of history. It demands of its participants an understanding of today’s reality. During strikes, workers have to discuss in a free and uninhibited way how best to win. Unless this is made possible the ability and talent of the strikers are wasted. The loyalty and determination that strikers display — often referred to by the press as stubbornness or ignorance — derives from the knowledge that they have participated in the decisions. They have a feeling of identification with their strike and with its organization. This is in marked contrast to their general position in society where what they think and do is considered quite unimportant.
        “During strikes, representatives of the various political groups gain control of the Committee. Demands entirely unrelated to the dispute then make their appearance. The outcome is inevitable. A lack of interest, a diminution of activity, sometimes evens a vote to return to work. The feeling of identification disappears and is replaced by a feeling of being used.”
        [Maurice Brinton. Revolutionary organisation. Bellsmyre, Dumbarton, Scotland: Solidarity. 1969. Ebook edition.]
        “We sleep on the floor of a large isolated farmhouse about 3 miles out of town. Some 15 Portuguese comrades have been lodging there every night for several months. The farm has been expropriated by the local Institute for Agrarian Reform (IRA) in which libertarian revolutionaries work in uneasy alliance with the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and members of the local MFA [Portugese, Movimento das Forças Armadas, ‘Armed Forces Movement’]. Their aim is to help the farm workers to solve some of the practical problems which immediately and inevitably crop up in the wake of occupations. The libertarians want to assist, without substituting themselves for those they are seeking to help. It is an almost impossible task.
        “The farm comprises a large communal living room in which meals are taken at daybreak or sundown. From it passages lead to a number of communicating rooms, stripped of all furniture and fittings, except for mattresses strewn on the floor. There is running water and electricity. There is beer in the fridge and bread and cheese are brought back from the town each day. There are also sten-guns amid the guitars. Dispossessed landlords have threatened to string the young revolutionaries up from the nearest lamp-post at the opportune time, ‘when we return to power.’ Under such a threat the wine tastes sweeter and life is lived to the full.”
        [Maurice Brinton. Portuguese Diary 1: August 1975. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 1975.]
      33. participatory economic system (Pat Devine, Fikret Adaman as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, and Begüm Özkaynak as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): They develop a Marxian approach to socialism, including participatory economic planning, which can be contrasted with command economies. Watch Devine’s video, The political economy of a self-governing society.
        “… we define a participatory economic system as a process in which the values and interests of people in all aspects of their lives interact and shape one another in a process of decision-making through negotiation and cooperation. Participation will be argued to have two dimensions, intra-firm and extra-firm. The first is concerned with the implications of generalised participation within the firm for the mobilisation of tacit knowledge in relation to the process through which potential entrepreneurial activities that might be undertaken by the firm emerge and the choice of which of these activities should actually be pursued. The participatory firm contrasts with the firm in capitalist or command planning models since the latter systems both fail in varying degrees to secure generalised participation.” [Fikret Adaman and Pat Devine, “A Reconsideration of the Theory of Entrepreneurship: a participatory approach.” Review of Political Economy. Volume 14, Number 3, July 2002. Pages 329-355.]
        “In this paper I have outlined a model of participatory economic planning based on a process of negotiated coordination. The model was developed in response to the evident weaknesses of the Soviet model of command central planning and the challenge presented by both capitalist ideologues and market socialists to the very possibility of economic planning. It was deliberately designed as an alternative to state coercion and the coercion of market forces as a means of coordinating economic activity in a complex modern economy. However, the model was initially developed without reference to the socialist calculation debate, ecological concerns or the global dimension, and with insufficient attention to the importance of uncertainty, innovation and entrepreneurial activity.” [Pat Devine, “Participatory Planning Through Negotiated Coordination.” Science & Society. Volume 66, number 1, spring 2002. Pages 72-85.]
        “The present authors have advocated a system of participatory planning, … in discussion of the economic theory of socialism, arguing that what is needed is a paradigm shift in the way in which economic interactions are conceptualized in order to overcome the two sources of imperfection of knowledge identified in the evaluation of the socialist economic calculation debate. The system of participatory planning advocated is one in which the values of individuals and collectives interact and shape one another through a process of cooperation and negotiation. Such a process, it is claimed, would enable tacit knowledge to be articulated and economic life to be consciously controlled and coordinated in a context that dispenses with coercion, whether by the state or by market forces.” [Fikret Adaman and Pat Devine, “On the Economic Theory of Socialism.” New Left Review. Series I, number 221, January–February 1997. Pages 54-80.]
        “A capacity for participation acquired through direct democratic participation in the immediate context of daily life is likely to be associated with enhanced desire and ability to participate, directly or indirectly, at levels of social organization not susceptible to direct democracy. There are two sides to this. First, participation involves working together voluntarily with others. Although this may be painful and frustrating it nevertheless tends to foster collective values, mutual respect and a democratic ethos. Second, in order to run a particular aspect of social life efficiently it is necessary to understand it – how it works, how the different parts interact with one another to form a whole, how it relates to other aspects of social life. This capacity to think in terms of systems as a whole and their interactions with other systems is necessary for an understanding of how society works. It is an essential precondition for effective participation and self-government.
        “If the desire to participate is associated with the ability to do so effectively, then it may be expected to increase as the conditions necessary for effective participation are achieved by ever more people and eventually by everybody. This process involves complementing the formal political equality of liberal democracy with the real economic and social equality associated with the socialist, participarly the Marxist, tradition. Only with real economic and social equality can there be real political equality. The redistribution of economic resources and social power remains as urgently needed as ever and the struggle to achieve it has a long way to go. However, the experience of attempts to develop and theorise new forms of democratic practice suggests that this traditional socialist programme by itself is not enough.
        “… refusal to face explicitly the fact of unequal personal development and the reasons for it, makes it impossible to identify the forms of social organization that are most enabling for personal growth and development. The argument … is that the most important inequality from the standpoint of the development of autonomous, self-activating people is the unequal distribution of time spent on rewarding, emancipatory, psychologically productive activities. Sharing out the time available for rewarding activities means also sharing out the time spent on unrewarding activities. As with all forms of redistribution, this will be resisted, perhaps more determinedly than any other form of redistribution.…
        “Fully developed democracy, a self-governing society, will be achieved to the extent that people participate on a basis of equality with one another.”
        [Pat Devine. Democracy and Economic Planning: The Political Economy of a Self-governing Society. Cambridge, England: Polity Press. 1988. Pages 159-160.]
        “Models of participatory planning are based on the principle that decisions should be taken, directly or indirectly, by those affected by them. The fact that all affected by a decision are involved in taking it enables the all-pervasive interdependencies of economic life to be taken into account. Models of participatory planning differ according to how they conceive of: the different interests affected by a decision; the sort of information needed for decision-making at different levels, and the way in which the information is generated; and the process through which decisions are taken.” [Pat Devine, “Market Socialism or Participatory Planning?” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 24, number 3 and 4, 1992. Pages 67-89.]
        “The contributors to the symposium share a commitment to democratic participatory socialism. There are many other points of agreement among all or some of them. However, there are also disagreements, over detail but also over more fundamental principles and values. In order to promote debate and interchange the following procedure was adopted. Once the papers had been written, each paper was commented on by two of the other contributors and the original authors then wrote a reply to the comments. Apart from the commitment to democracy and participation, and of course the initial rejection of market socialism, no attempt has been made to present agreed positions. We hope the symposium will contribute to the discussion necessary as part of the rebuilding of the socialist movement.” [Pat Devine, “Building Socialism Theoretically: Alternatives to Capitalism and the Invisible Hand—Introduction.” Science & Society. Volume 66, number 1, spring 2002. Pages 5-6.]
        “My concern is with how economic activity could be organised in a complex modern socialist society, but three preliminary comments are needed. First, such a society must be based on radical participatory political democracy, combining direct democracy through the voluntary associations of civil society and representative democracy. Politics won’t disappear under socialism and political parties will continue to exist in one form or another to provide alternative visions and values for future developments and to determine social priorities, but radical democracy must be rooted in civil society. second, while the formal economy, with which the model outlined below is concerned, will continue to exist for the foreseeable future, there is likely to be a fundamental change in the ‘work-life balance,’ with a significant shift to household and local community production and caring. This does not mean a subsistence economy, as the two sectors will be mutually dependent. Third, ecological sustainability, and a qualitatively richer life experience, will require major changes in social structure and life style in the metropolitan capitalist countries; and these cannot be achieved by manipulating the market context that shapes people's individual behaviour, but require instead the active participation of people individually and collectively in debating and creating the society in which they wish to live, through discursive processes of deliberative democracy.” [Pat Devine, “The political economy of twenty-first century socialism.” Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Issue 37, winter 2007. Pages 105-115.]
        “Our general proposal is that, at each level of decision making, those who are affected by the decisions participate in making them. The decision-making bodies would have available to them two sorts of knowledge: explicit, ‘objective,’ frequently quantitative; and implicit, ‘subjective,’ tacit, typically qualitative, provided by the contributions of the groups taking part in the process. As already indicated, we do not see the process of negotiated co-ordination as an aggregation process, rendering consistent pre-existing plans. Rather it is a discursive process of deliberative democracy. The tacit social knowledge of the decision-making bodies at each level is drawn upon to assess the available explicit knowledge, to review past decisions and to decide what to do next. In this deliberative process those participating discover one another’s views and form judgements as to what might be possible, what they might be able to contribute, what they perceive as fair. In the course of discussion, the different tacit knowledges of the groups represented are drawn upon, views change and agreement on a common endeavour is promoted.” [Fikret Adaman and Pat Devine, “Participatory planning as a deliberative democratic process: a response to Hodgson’s critique.” Economy and Society. Volume 30, number 2, May 2001. Pages 229-239.]
        “Participatory planning is an approach that replaces the self-regulating market by a process of negotiation, thus avoiding the drawbacks of both centralized socialism and market socialism. It envisages a self-governing society in which, rather than the state or the self-regulating market or some combination of the two coercing society, the diverse voluntary associations that make up civil society control both the state and the economy. Self-government may be defined as a situation in which those affected by a decision participate in making the decision, in proportion to the extent to which they are affected by it. The institutional form that this takes is that of social ownership, ownership by those who are affected. Thus, there will be different social owners, from local to global, depending on how widespread the consequences of the decision are, in line with the principle of subsidiarity.” [Fikret Adaman, Pat Devine, and Begum Ozkaynak, “Reinstituting the Economic Process: (Re)embedding the Economy in Society and Nature.” International Review of Sociology—Revue Internationale de Sociologie. Volume 13, number 2, 2003. Pages 357-374.]
        “Socialist society has eliminated class exploitation and oppression, so that all members of society are equal participants in labor, sharing a new type of social relation of equality and mutual assistance. In terms of distribution, socialist society has eliminated capitalist private ownership and made the means of production available to all society. It has thus eliminated exploitation and oppression, so that all instances of appropriating others’ labor without payment have disappeared. The means of consumption are completely distributed according to labor, and society makes available to each an amount of consumption equal to the amount of labor that worker has contributed to society.
        “According to Marxist economics, production determines distribution and consumption, and then influences consumption through distribution. At the same time, distribution is related to accumulation, which is also related to consumption. Therefore, the nature of production and distribution determines the nature of consumption, and also the level of production and distribution (the proportions between accumulation and consumption) determines that of consumption. As a result, socialist consumption also possesses the distinctive proportional features of planning applied in production.”
        [Pat Devine, “Question 2: Feasibility and Coordination.” Science & Society. Volume 76, number 2, April 2012. Pages 172-176.]
        “Socialists want an end to alienation — from one another, society, the economy and non-human nature. The capitalist mode of production — the transformation of all inputs used in the productive process into commodities — creates a state of generalized alienation. People are atomized and subject to an individualistic socioeconomic and cultural logic in which their underlying identity is reduced to that of worker and, in late capitalism, consumer, competing against other workers and consumers. The unfolding of this relentless logic in the era of neoliberalism has seriously weakened and eroded the defensive collective institutions of social solidarity that developed in earlier periods of capitalist development, and has promoted relationships among people characterized by mistrust and self-seeking behavior. Far from increasing people’s sense of well-being, capitalism has created a sense of insecurity, powerlessness and unhappiness, accompanied by increasingly self-destructive and socially dysfunctional behavior.” [Pat Devine, “Question 1: Why Socialism?” Science & Society. Volume 76, number 2, April 2012. Pages 155-158.]
        “Remember who is judging effort in a participatory economy: a committee of one’s workmates. Is there any reason for co-workers to reward clumsy effort rather than proficient effort? Why would fellow workers have any less incentive to discourage ineffective effort and encourage effective effort on the part of co-workers than capitalist employers do? Who is in a better position than the people working beside her to know if someone is only giving the appearance of trying? Of course there will be disagreements among co-workers about the sacrifices people make, and effort rating committees will inevitably make mistakes. But if procedures, including grievance procedures, are fair, and workers are free to move to a new workplace where they feel workmates will evaluate them more fairly, then for all its faults there is no better way to determine pay differentials.” [Pat Devine, “Question 3: Incentives and Consciousness.” Science & Society. Volume 76, number 2, April 2012. Pages 202-206.]
        “How can socialism address inherited inequalities, oppressions, stratifications? First, it must be emphasised that such inequalities and oppressions have a material basis in perpetuating economic and social inequality in class-based societies. This is once again evident in the current rise of a xenophobic far-right in Europe in the present financial and economic crisis, exploiting the real problems and sense of powerlessness experienced by the frequently ghettoized unemployed and precarious groups in society. It can also be seen in the more general rise of fundamentalism as a reaction to the destabilizing impact of capitalism unleashed during the current neoliberal epoch.” [Pat Devine, “Question 5: Social and Long-Term Planning.” Science & Society. Volume 76, number 2, April 2012. Pages 253-257.]
        “[Pat] Devine states repeatedly that his model represents … ‘an alternative to state coercion and the coercion of market forces.’” [David Laibman, “Participatory Planning Through Negotiated Coordination: Comment.” Science & Society. Volume 66, number 1, spring 2002. Pages 86-88.]
      34. democratic–anti–imperialist project (Marta Harnecker as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Harnecker, a Chilean–born sociologist of Austrian ancestry, develops her own version of a Marxist, but non–Leninist, socialism for the twenty–first century. She envisions “a society of workers organized around a humanist and solidarity-based logic.” Harnecker also critiques capitalism.
        “The viability of a democratic-anti-imperialist project as an alternative to the capitalist neoliberalism of the Right depends on our ability to build a huge bloc of forces to carry it forward, and that depends largely on the Left’s own political project. In past decades, the Left’s project, especially that of the Communists, excluded from its culture and vision important sectors of society, even though this was never explicitly stated.…
        “To make possible such a broad democratic project, we need a new Left culture based on respect for political and ideological pluralism; abandonment of hegemonism and sectarianism; a search for each country’s own road based on respect for national traditions; the search for a language that permits us to communicate with the people, reaching its deepest sentiments; and, finally, a style of leadership that is not top-down and that allows people to appropriate the project, make it their own, and feel encouraged to enrich the project with their initiatives and to correct errors and deviations with their criticisms.”
        [Marta Harnecker, “Democracy and Revolutionary Movement.” Social Justice. Volume 19, number 4, winter 1992. Pages 60-73.]
        “… I use the label ‘left’ to refer to the set of forces that struggle to build an alternative to the exploitative and oppressive capitalist system and its logic of profit. That is, a society of workers organized around a humanist and solidarity-based logic, with the aim of satisfying human needs. A society free from the material and spiritual poverty that capitalism engenders. A society that does not issue decrees from above but rather builds from below, with the people as protagonists. In other words, a socialist society.…
        “… [The] socialism of the 21ˢᵗ century, which seeks to guard its distance from the practices of twentieth-century socialism, has recovered some of [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels’ original ideas. These ideas were not only distorted by the actions of the Soviet regime and the Marxist literature disseminated by that country, but were also downplayed or ignored by those who rejected socialism given what was done in its name.…
        “… socialism came to be associated with a lack of democracy and freedom due to the actions of the Soviet regime.…
        “Twenty-first century socialism proposes to replace the neoliberal capitalist model with a new socialist model whose main characteristics are:
        1. “Human development as the center and focus. Socialism is to be governed by the logic of humanism and solidarity and have as its aim the satisfaction of human needs, not profits.
        2. “Respect for nature, and opposition to consumerism. Our goal should not be to live ‘better’ but to live ‘well.’
        3. “… socialism requires a new dialectic of production/distribution/consumption based on: a) social ownership of the means of production, b) social production organized by workers, and c) the satisfaction of communal needs.
        4. “A new concept of efficiency that both respects nature and seeks human development.
        5. “Rational use of available natural and human resources through a decentralized participatory planning process that has nothing to do with the hyper-centralized bureaucratic planning of the Soviet state.”
        [Marta Harnecker. A World to Build: New Paths Toward Twenty-First Century Socialism. Fred Fuentes, translator. New York: Monthly Review Press. 2015. Google Play edition.]
        “The new political organisation must take democracy as its cause because it understands that the fight for democracy is inseparable from the struggle for socialism.” [Marta Harnecker. Rebuilding the Left. Janet Duckworth, translator. London and New York: Zed Books. 2013. Google Play edition.]
        “New actors are particularly sensitive about the subject of democracy. Their struggles have generally begun by fighting back against oppression and discrimination. Small wonder, therefore, that they don’t want to be manipulated; instead they demand that their autonomy be respected and that they be allowed to participate democratically in the decision-making process. They promote consensus in their own organisations, and, if that is unattainable, they believe that decisions must be adopted by a very large majority.” [Marta Harnecker. Rebuilding the Left. Janet Duckworth, translator. London and New York: Zed Books. 2013. Google Play edition.]
        “… we cannot reject all kinds of representation because of the bad use to which bourgeois democracy has put this concept. Under socialism, there must be a system which allows citizens to be represented.…
        “… Direct democracy is viable at the local level, in small communities, but it cannot be exercised on the national level, except in exceptional cases (plebiscites, referenda).”
        [Marta Harnecker. Rebuilding the Left. Janet Duckworth, translator. London and New York: Zed Books. 2013. Google Play edition.]
        “21ˢᵗ-century socialism cannot, therefore, arise from a government decision, nor from an enlightened vanguard. It cannot be decreed from above. It is a process that has to be built by people, who, transforming circumstances, transform themselves. It is not a gift; it is a conquest.” [Marta Harnecker, “Question 1: Why Socialism?” Science & Society. Volume 76, number 2, April 2012. Pages 163-167.]
        “Twenty-first-century socialism cannot afford to leave work processes that alienate workers unaltered. It cannot maintain the division between manual and intellectual work. Workers must be informed concerning the production process as a whole; they must be able to control it, to review and decide on production plans and on the annual budget, and to manage the distribution of surplus, including its contribution to the national budget.” [Marta Harnecker, “Question 1: Why Socialism?” Science & Society. Volume 76, number 2, April 2012. Pages 187-191.]
        “We cannot build socialism with the dull tools of capitalism, but we also cannot eliminate these dull tools overnight. Instead, their role should be gradually decreased, to the extent that we are capable of creating conditions for cultural transformation that strengthen the role of motivations other than mere individual self-interest. From a society where people receive according to what they give, we will move gradually to a society in which people contribute according to their capabilities, and receive according to their needs.” [Marta Harnecker, “Question 3: Incentives and Consciousness.” Science & Society. Volume 76, number 2, April 2012. Pages 206-209.]
        “From an abstract conceptual standpoint, socialist society begins when the means of production are no longer owned by capitalists and have passed into the hands of the revolutionary workers’ state and simultaneously workers begin to assume the control of the means of production on their own behalf, guided by the logic of full human development. But it is only through a process of transition that juridical social ownership of the means of production by the workers (state property) becomes real ownership. At first, the state appears as the owner of the means of production on behalf of all working people, that is, the whole society, because this will be a society of workers.” [Marta Harnecker, “Question 4: Stages and Productive Forces.” Science & Society. Volume 76, number 2, April 2012. Pages 220-226.]
        “Under socialism in its beginnings, the passage to the state of the principal means of production does not mean anything other than a juridical change of property. The subordination of workers to an external force continues: there are new socialist managers, but the alienated status of the workers in the production process remains unchanged. This is formally collective property, because the state represents society, but real appropriation (ownership) is still not collective.” [Marta Harnecker, “Question 5: Social and Long-Term Planning.” Science & Society. Volume 76, number 2, April 2012. Pages 243-247.]
        “For many on the left accustomed to seeing socialism in terms largely derived from the Russian Revolution, the recent developments in Latin America are startling, even bewildering. These reflect very different revolutionary conditions, and a very different theory and practice of socialism. For some of those still firmly wedded to old models, and who see only one possible path to socialism, this is simply ‘not the right way’ to carry out the transition to socialism. The victories that brought these revolutionary-popular governments to power were through the ballot box, not armed struggle. The seizure of the state and economy is by no means complete. The role of the revolutionary political instrument (the party) is very different from that of old. Nor does there seem to be an emphasis on top-down, state-bureaucratic planning. Most disturbing of all, perhaps, is the fact that these revolutions seem to be inspired initially not so much by Marxism, as by revolutionary traditions indigenous to Latin America that go back centuries.” [Marta Harnecker, “Latin America & Twenty-First Century Socialism: Inventing to Avoid Mistakes.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Janet Duckworth, translator. Volume 62, issue 1, July–August 2010. Pages 1-83.]
        A World to Build is an important book, arguably written by the person most qualified to write it. Latin America is where progressive forces learned to adjust and advanced furthest over the past half century. And for fifty years, Marta Harnecker has participated in that process 24/7—in [Salvador] Allende’s rise to power in her native Chile, in exile in revolutionary Cuba, traveling to compile oral histories from activists pioneering new social movements everywhere on the continent in the 1980s and 1990s, and advising Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in the 2000s. Harnecker has been everywhere in Latin America where progressives were active, and participated in every conceivable form—as activist, educator, political strategist, historiographer, and author of more than eighty books and monographs. Nobody spans the breadth and depth of the region’s political history over the past four decades like Marta Harnecker. A World to Build offers readers her most important insights—as always, without jargon or dissimulation.” [Robin Hahnel, “A World to Build: New Paths Toward Twenty-First Century Socialism.” Review article. Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 49, number 2, June 2017. Pages 327-329.]
        1. capitalist dynamic: Harnecker critiques the alleged laws of capitalism.
          “The capitalist dynamic is explained by the hunger for profit and the associated exploitation of wage labor, generating the economic laws that govern this process. The state only intervenes to create the two basic conditions for the existence of the capitalist mode of production: (1) the complete separation of the producer from his/her means of production; and (2) the primitive accumulation of money capital. Then, once this mode of production has established itself, the state intervenes to facilitate or favor the logic of how it functions.” [Marta Harnecker, “Latin America & Twenty-First Century Socialism: Inventing to Avoid Mistakes.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 62, issue 3, July–August 2010. Pages 1-83.]
        2. development of the capitalist mode of production: Harnecker considers the accuracy of Karl Marx’s predictions.
          “I believe it is incredible how [Karl] Marx anticipated what would happen in the world in regard to the development of the capitalist mode of production. To name only a few things: he announced the tendency to concentrate more and more in less hands (look at multinationals today), the conscious technical application of science to the process of production in general and especially to the exploitation of soil (look at robotic and transgenic agriculture), the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world market, and, with this, the growth of the international character of the capitalist regime (look at globalization), and so on. He could foresee all this because he was capable of discovering the logic of capital and, in doing so, he was looking to provide workers with the theoretical instruments for their liberation.” [Marta Harnecker, “A New Revolutionary Subject.” Tassos Tsakiroglou, interviewer. Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 68, issue 11, April 2017. Pages 58-62.]
        3. leftist strategy: Harnecker argues that the left should focus upon important political, social, cultural, and economic transformations.
          “The left should take into account the important social, political, economic and cultural transformations that have occurred in recent times in the world. The new forms of capitalist domination go beyond the economic and state spheres; they penetrate the fibers of society, thus changing the conditions of struggle. The influence of the communications media, for instance, is of such magnitude that it has succeeded in winning over broad sectors of the population to capitalist conduct. As a result, repression is less necessary than before to guarantee the system's reproduction. Noam Chomsky was right in affirming that propaganda is as necessary for bourgeois democracy as repression is for a totalitarian state.
          “To this it is necessary to add the lack of trust that common people have for politics and politicians. People are fed up with promises that cannot be fulfilled and thus mere propaganda in favor of an alternative society is not enough. It is necessary to demonstrate in everyday practice what is being preached. This is only possible ‘with the development of popular alternatives to capitalism that discard the profit motive and the relations imposed by it and replace it with a new humanistic logic based on solidarity in spaces occupied by the left’ …. It is thus necessary to achieve a new type of ‘bottom-up’ democracy.”
          [Marta Harnecker, “On Leftist Strategy.” Science & Society. Volume 69, number 2, April 2005. Pages 142-152.]
        4. transition toward socialism: Harnecker describes the present historical moment in Latin America.
          “We in Latin America are living in a historical period that I call the ‘transition toward socialism.’ However, while the goal can be shared, the form and methods used in the process of that transition must be adapted to the specific conditions of each country, depending not only on each nation’s economic characteristics but also on the existing configuration of class and political forces. This strategy of pursuing socialism through existing institutions is not only a long process but also one full of challenges and difficulties. Nothing promises uninterrupted progress; retreats and failures will occur as well.” [Marta Harnecker, “Social Movements and Progressive Governments: Building a New Relationship in Latin America.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 67, issue 8, January 2016. Pages 25-34.]
        5. art of constructing forces: Harnecker considers the activities required to build a revolutionary social movement.
          “For the left, politics must be the art of making possible the impossible. And we are not talking about a voluntarist declaration. We are talking about understanding politics as the art of constructing a social and political force capable of changing the balance of force in favour of the popular movement, so as to make possible in the future that which today appears impossible.
          “… We have to think of politics as the art of constructing forces. We have to overcome the old and deeply-rooted mistake of trying to build a political force without building a social force.
          “… Unfortunately, there is still a lot of revolutionary phase-mongering among our militants; too much radicalism in their statements. I am convinced that the only way to radicalise a given situation is through the construction of forces. Those whose words are filled with demands for radicalisation must answer the following question: What are you doing to construct the political and social force necessary to push the process forward?”
          [Marta Harnecker, “Ideas for the Struggle.” Federico Fuentes, translator. Links: International Journal of Socialist Renewal. 2009. Pages 1-45.]
      35. Democratic Planned Socialism (Al Campbell): Campbell develops a Marxist approach to socialism. Its “broadest goal,” he says, should be “human development.”
        “The broadest goal of Democratic Planned Socialism is human development. This requires conscious collective control of all the institutions one is part of, including the system for the production of goods and services used, i.e., the economy. This in turn requires a balance between direct democratic decision making for some economic issues, and parametric decision determination for others, where the decision rules for the latter are democratically determined. On the one hand, if one tried to democratically discuss out and vote on too many details of the process of production directly, it would leave no time for other dimensions of human development, and thereby thwart socialism’s central goal. On the other hand, given that people will have different ideas concerning what to produce and consume, and how to distribute what is produced, conscious democratic social interaction is necessary if the socialist goal of people consciously and collectively controlling the institutions they are part of is to be realized. People are not consciously collectively in control of an economy that is on ‘auto pilot’ in the name of efficiency, an economy that claims to reach a social optimum without people really socially interacting to determine social preferences, a market economy. Enabling a fuller human development requires moving beyond markets to a democratic planned economy.” [Al Campbell, “Democratic Planned Socialism: Feasible Economic Procedures.” Science & Society. Volume 66, number 2, spring 2002. Pages 29-42.]
        “Capitalism — like all social systems, including post-capitalist ones — is a social system driven by contradictions. Dialectics views change as resolution of existing contradictions (creating a new system with new contradictions, and hence continual social development). It is from that understanding that Marx and Engels were able to “envision the future.” Post-capitalist society arises out of human (class) struggle to resolve the primary contradictions of capitalism that stunt and warp human development and block our potential “to be more fully human.” Hence they envisioned the next step in social evolution to consist of the elimination of capitalist markets and commodities and their replacement with socially determined and controlled planning, the transcendence of capitalist alienation and the development of authentic ‘social individuality,’ the development of a society of ‘free and associated individuals,’ and so on. These ideas about the future post-capitalist society are not arbitrary speculations; they are rooted in the resolution of real contradictions in the present, negation of existing barriers to human development.” [Al Campbell, “Introduction—Designing Socialism: Visions, Projections, Models.” Science & Society Volume 76, number 2, April 2012. Pages 140-146.]
        “Notwithstanding their much noted aversion to detailing the nature of a post-capitalist society, [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels indeed have a general vision of such a better society that both runs through and informs their entire lives’ work. It is rooted in their concepts of the inherently social nature of humans and potential authentic human development in accord with human nature, and the negation by humans as the active agents of history of the barriers posed to that development. This process is understood as a dialectical interaction of the transformation of the social institutions that influences the development of humans and the transformation of humans that influences the development of social institutions. Broadly then, their vision of a better society is one where the institutions support and promoted the authentic development of humans, and humans support and promote the continual development of new institutions that will constantly move forward the unending process of human development. Among the general characteristics of a near-term post-capitalist (socialist) society that they specifically mentions are a collective society, democratic decision making, common ownership of the means of production, the end of money and markets and their replacement with democratic planning, individual labor carried out consciously as part of the total social labor, and an equal claim on the social product in accord with the time one contributes to social production. More abstractly, they refer to the process of the continual transcendence of what exists by the further transcendence of the socialist phase of human development with the development of new communistic conceptions and practices of work and of justice.” [Al Campbell, “Marx and Engels’ Vision of a Better Society.” Forum for Social Economics. Volume 39, number 3, October 2010. Pages 269-278.]
        “… even before achieving socialism, and recognizing as [Karl] Marx did that a single socialist market will be a part of socialism, one should be struggling against this socialist market as the precursor to the struggle to move from socialism to communism. As always, that will involve struggles about institutions, relations among people, and consciousness. Concerning institutions, some institutions, by the nature of their product or by the nature of the welfare concept of social democracy, already partially function on the base of need even under capitalism. Free public education (one of the demands of Marx and [Friedrich] Engles in the Manifesto) is one example of such an institution. But notice that exactly because this free education today is embedded in capitalism it only partially addresses humanity’s need for self development. Capitalism has instituted it because for the last few hundred years it has needed workers with a basic education. For capitalism, free education is offered as part of its profit drive. Education under capitalism is something that both does serve the workers in their struggle for self development, and at the same time is limited in how much it serves them, specifically because it is aimed at giving them skills needed for modern production and not skills like critical thinking, authentic social analysis, group decision making, and so on.” [Al Campbell, “Building Socialism and Communism: Planning and the Process of Transcending Markets.” Working paper 2008-09. Department of Economics. University of Utah. Salt Lake City, Utah. March, 2008. Pages 1-17.]
        “Neoliberalism is a particular organisation of capitalism. Its birth consisted of a reorganisation of the previous organisation of capitalism. Under the Keynesian compromise, both private capital and its collective agent, the government, focused on ensuring that the conditions existed for minimally interrupted production, sales and growth as the key to optimising capital accumulation. That organisation of capitalism, which had worked well for two decades in the specific conditions of rebuilding Europe and Japan, went into a crisis in the late 1960s and the 1970s. A falling rate of profit was a key manifestation of the crisis of accumulation. Neoliberalism shifted the policies of private capital and government that were considered to be optimal for capital accumulation, given the concrete conditions that had come to exist by the 1970s and 1980s. Protecting the value of existing capital and, most important to this organisation, sharply intensifying the drive to reduce labour’s compensation and labour’s share of output, are the key components to neoliberalism’s strategy for optimal capital accumulation under current conditions.” [Al Campbell, “The Birth of Neoliberalism in the United States: A Reorganisation of Capitalism.” Neoliberalism: A Critical Reader. Alfredo Saad-Filho and Deborah Johnston, editors. London and Ann Arbor, Michigan: Pluto Press. 2005. Pages 187-198.]
      36. revolutionary libertarian socialism (Victor Serge as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, in French, or Victor Lvovich Kibalchich [Russian Cyrillic, Ви́ктор Льво́вич Киба́льчич, Víktor Lʹvóvič Kibálʹčič as pronounced in this MP3 audio file], in the original Russian): Serge, a former Bolshevik disillusioned by the encroachment of authoritarianism, developed his own version of libertarian socialism. The term “revolutionary libertarian socialism” is taken from Wayne Price.
        “… he [Victor Serge] was much more critical of the actions of [Vladimir] Lenin and [Leon] Trotsky than most Trotskyists are willing to accept. For another, when he did defend their worst actions, he exposed a streak of his own authoritarianism. Also, at the end of his life, he moved away from a revolutionary libertarian socialism toward a more ‘moderate’ political position.” [Wayne Price. Victor Serge and the Russian Revolution. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 2007. Page 3.]
        “… eventually … the proletariat, having become powerful and numerous, demanded in its turn the benefits of bourgeois liberties, and ripped by force from the hands of the bosses a set of workers’ liberties: the right to vote, freedom of the press, freedom of association, the right to strike, and the right to organise in unions. These are recent conquests, dating from the end of the last century, and still contested at the beginning of this one. During the same period, the rapid increase in material well-being and advances in science and technology had enormous effects on social attitudes. Christian humanism – refreshed by the rise of anti-clericalism and the decline of the theological spirit, taken up by revolutionary movements and enlarged upon by Socialism and liberalism – elaborated a new, confused but altruistic conception of liberty. It ran in the direction of guaranteeing man (white men, of course; there was no question of applying these principles in the colonies) freedom of individual initiative (to those having the means), and a certain minimum of social security. Guarantees of these rights could only reside in the existence of elected assemblies and free press, and the strict administration of justice, all of which implies the right of self-defence and public accountability. The liberal philosophers of this period rose to the defence of the small individual against the state. Anarchist revolutionaries, in opposing both the state and the tenets of capital, attacked the very concepts of authority and organisation. In doing so, they pushed to its conclusion the logic of humanism and liberalism. Whilst Marxists foresaw the formidable organisation of industrial production and the formation of collectivist states, the libertarians fought against just such developments.…
        “It is worthwhile remembering that the Russian Revolution began in such a ferment of democratic movements and institutions that even Bolshevism was strongly infected with liberalism. The blockade, foreign intervention and civil war killed off the young soviet democracy. Nevertheless, the Jacobin formula of proletarian dictatorship enunciated by [Vladimir] Lenin continued to affirm: ‘Dictatorship without mercy against the enemies of the revolution, democracy on the largest possible scale for the workers.’ A thorough analysis of the libertarian and authoritarian-totalitarian tendencies in Bolshevism needs to be carried out. The authoritarianism of the great Bolsheviks stemmed from their dogmatic conviction that they, and they alone, possessed the truth, and in that sense it derived directly from the psychology of Karl Marx himself. It was dogmatic Marxism. Nevertheless, Lenin and numerous others did undertake an ideological renewal, all the more because they always accepted the need for democracy.”
        [Victor Serge, “Planned Economies and Democracy.” Revolutionary History. Volume 5, number 3, autumn 1994. Pages 177–98.]
        “The Marxism of the Russian Revolution was at first ardently internationalist and libertarian (the doctrine of the Communist State, the federation of Soviets); but because of the state of siege, it soon became more and more authoritarian and intolerant.
        “The Marxism of the decadence of Bolshevism – that is to say, that of the bureaucratic caste which has evicted the working class from power – is totalitarian, despotic, amoral, and opportunist. It ends up in the strangest and most revolting negations of itself.
        “What does this mean except that social consciousness even in its highest forms does not escape the effect of the realities which it expresses, which it illuminates and which it tries to surmount. Marxism is so firmly based in truth that it is able to find nourishment in its own defeats. We must distinguish here between the social philosophy – scientific, to speak more accurately – and its deductions for, and applications to, action. (These are actually inseparable, and this is the case not only with Marxism but also with all those intellectual disciplines which are closely tied to human activity.) It is our business neither to force events, nor to control them, nor even to foresee them – even though we are constantly doing all these things, with varying success; our activity, being creative, boldly ventures into the uncertain; and, what we do not know generally getting the better of what we know, our successes are rather astonishing victories.”
        [Victor Serge, “Marxism in Our Time.” Partisan Review. Volume 5, number 3, 1938. Pages 26-32.]
        “In the development of new forms of government, we must follow the demands of life, and leave complete freedom to the creative activity of the popular masses. The last government tried to solve the agrarian question by agreement with the ancient, immovable bureaucracy of the Tsar. Far from settling the problem, the bureaucracy simply attacked the peasants … So the peasants want to solve the agrarian question themselves. Let there be no amendments to their plan! Will the peasantry act in the spirit of our programme or in that of the SRs [Socialist Revolutionaries]? It is of little importance: the main thing is for them to have the firm assurance that there will be no more landlords and that they can set about organizing their own lives.” [Victor Serge. Year One of the Russian Revolution. Peter Sedgwick, translator. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2015. Page 90.]
        “No one thought of fighting for a totalitarian state; men fought and died for a new kind of freedom. Bolshevism triumphed by proclaiming to the masses and to the world a democracy of free workers, such as had never before been seen. The first Soviet Constitution drawn up by [Yakov Mikhailovich] Sverdlov guaranteed every liberty to the toilers. No one, for example, thought of abolishing the freedom of the press the day after the victorious insurrection. The Bolsheviks’ aim was ‘to take the monopoly of the press from the bourgeoisie.’ With this end in view it was necessary to suppress the reactionary press which, moreover, specialized in campaigns of slander. But, said [Leon] Trotsky, ‗every group of citizens should have printing presses and paper at his disposal.’ And [Vladimir] Lenin put forth a proposal that every group of citizens supported by 10,000 to 15,000 toilers should have the right to issue a paper if it wished.” [Victor Serge. From Lenin to Stalin. New York: Pioneer Publishers. 1937. Page 22.]
        “… Victor Serge … sought to balance the libertarian ethic of the anarchists with the theoretical rigor of the Marxists.” [Richard Greeman. Victor Serge: The Russian Heritage—Part One: The Kibalchich Legend. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 2015.]
        “We desired a libertarian, democratic revolution, without the hypocrisy and flabbiness of the bourgeois democracies— egalitarian and tolerant towards ideas and people, which would employ terror if it was necessary but would abolish the death penalty. From a theoretical point of view, we stated these problems very badly; certainly the Bolshevik put them better than we. From the human standpoint, we were infinitely nearer the truth than he was. We saw in the power of the Soviets the realization of our deepest hopes, as he did also. Our mutual understanding was based on deep misunderstanding, as well as on sheer necessity.” [Victor Serge. Memoirs of a Revolutionary. Peter Sedgwick with George Paizis, translators. New York: New York Review Books imprint of The New York Review of Books. 2012. Page 74.]
        “In Memoirs of a Revolutionary Victor Serge describes the first decade of Soviet rule as displaying ‘the obscure early stages of a psychosis’, the symptoms of which became increasingly pronounced as time wore on and the defeats and corpses piled ever higher. The experience of living through the twenty-year period from the October Revolution of 1917 to the Stalinist purges (which reached their apex in 1937) he declares ‘must be a psychological phenomenon unique in history.’” [Hannah Proctor, “Lost minds: Sedgwick, Laing and the politics of mental illness.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 197, May/June 2016. Pages 36-48.]
      37. open utopia (Alexander Riccio): Informed by Marxism and by Ernst Bloch’s notion of “concrete utopias,” Riccio proposes an anti–elitisit, democratic system for the future.
        “Socialist contributions toward defining utopia pointed the dream toward practical action, making the dream a reality—what Ernst Bloch labeled ‘concrete utopias.’ By introducing concrete utopia into the utopian lexicon, Bloch intended to provide a sense of utopia as capable of practical action. Like [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels before him, he encouraged us ‘to hope materialistically’ and link our utopian Socialist contributions toward defining utopia pointed the dream toward practical action, making the dream a reality—what Ernst Bloch labeled ‘concrete utopias.’ By introducing concrete utopia into the utopian lexicon, Bloch intended to provide a sense of utopia as capable of practical action. Like Marx and Engels before him, he encouraged us ‘to hope materialistically’ and link our utopian vision to real-world social developments. Jumping forward multiple generations to the failures of Soviet-style communism, the rise in US superpower, the dawn of neoliberal globalization, and an entrenchment of Thatcher’s belief that ‘There is No Alternative’ to capitalism, it’s all too easy to view utopia as a long dead and ossified relic of past social dreaming. Partially to blame, in my view, is that our social histories depict utopias as cold impersonalized versions of strategic revolution devoid of prefigurative practice. Yet, the fall of the Soviet Union, and with it the notion of centrally planned communism, provided a new rupture in the social imaginary—one proclaiming that ‘Another World is Possible.’ …
        “… Displacing state power requires reorienting authority and relational positions of power. In turn, my work suggests, that requires localized bases of activity that can connect with the regional, national, and, ultimately, global. By putting radical democracy at the center of strategy, we could root experiments of democratic practice in local everyday life where participation is possible.”
        “Proponents of prefigurative revolution need the conceptual intervention of an open utopia chiefly to curb latent elitism. The pressures of undertaking revolutionary activity by reconfiguring everyday experience explain both the burnout endemic to prefigurative practices and the impulse toward moral purification. The prefigurative focus in this conception of revolution based on dealienated interpersonal relations lays bare all of one’s own and humanity’s shortcomings and makes individual faults the primary locus of personal reflection. Strategically undermined by excessive navel-gazing, the prefigurative can’t connect visions beyond small autonomous territories or intentional communities. Adopting a notion of open utopia encourages acceptance of human nature and oneself without discouraging the urge to push beyond the inherent messiness of organizing practices within capitalist social relations. Such a framework mitigates tendencies toward political purity without slighting the need to unleash radical imagination in everyday experience to craft a dealienated society in the here and now.”
        [Alexander Riccio. Everyday Movement Against Capitalism: Prospects for a Prefigurative Strategy Towards Open Utopia. Washington, D.C.: The Next System Project. April, 2017. Pages 9-10 and 16-17.]
      38. non–market socialism (Adam Buick and John Crump): Using a Marxian analysis, they develop a libertarian socialism which is inclusive of some Marxist and anarchist approaches.
        “… we shall identify the essential features of capitalism and then go on to discuss state capitalism and the nature of the capitalist class. We shall be describing in Marxian terms, concisely but thoroughly, the economic mechanism and set of social relationships that constitute capitalism. We believe [Karl] Marx’s analysis to be in general still valid even if, the institutional forms of capitalism have changed from those of Britain in the nineteenth century which Marx studied. We can assure readers who may initially find parts of this chapter difficult that if they persevere they will acquire a basic understanding of the key concepts in Marxian economics which will not only allow them to follow better the other, less theoretical chapters but will also equip them to tackle the many other books and articles written these days from a general Marxist theoretical standpoint.” [Adam Buick and John Crump. The Alternative to Capitalism. Norwich, England: Theory and Practice. 2013. Page 3.]
        “It is important to emphasise the scale of the claim which is being made here with regard to non-market socialism. It is not being suggested that non-market socialism is another socialist tradition which should be placed alongside Social Democracy and Leninism, and seen as a rival to them. The claim is considerably more audacious than that. What is being argued is that, collectively, anarcho-communism, impossibilism, council communism, Bordigism and situationism are socialism in the twentieth century. Outside these currents, socialism has not existed, since what conventionally are considered to be the great victories of ‘socialism’ in the twentieth century have been nothing more than extensions of state capitalism at the expense of private capitalism. Social Democracy and Leninism have made priceless contributions to world capitalism by deflecting working-class criticism away from the key elements of capitalism as a mode of production to the contingent, and increasingly obsolete, manifestations of capitalism in its private capitalist form.” [Adam Buick and John Crump. The Alternative to Capitalism. Norwich, England: Theory and Practice. 2013. Page 69.]
      39. true industrial democracy (Harold Joseph Laski): Laski develops a libertarian Marxist critique of state sovereignty and a nondogmatic Marxism “from below.” He focuses upon the democratization of power.
        “What … the trade-union is compelled to deny is the subordination of the function he fulfils as a producer to his interest in the supply of his needs. It is, in any case, painfully clear that the state does not in any full sense secure that supply. It ensures production; but the distribution of A the product is weighted in the interest of those who wield economic power. That is the main reason why the worker sees in the productive process a lever that will react upon the state itself. True political democracy is, as he realises, the offspring of true industrial democracy. If he were to admit the paramount character of the consumptive process no strike would ever occur. But, obviously, the judgment is constantly made, and that in industries of basic importance, that the attainment of a new equilibrium in industrial relations is worth the heavy price invariably paid for it.” [Harold J. Laski. Authority in the Modern State. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. 1919. Page 86.]
        “They [Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels] both understood that, without … self-consciousness, nothing could prevent the exploitation of the wage-earners by their masters; and that every social agency, from the pietism of the churches, through the pressure of the news-papers and the censorship exercised over them, to the brutal and deliberate use of the army and the police would be employed to break any rebellion against this exploitation. They knew that every society was a class-society, that its education, its justice, its haabits, were limited by their subordination to the demands of the class which owned the instruments of economic power. They had come to see, in the famous aphorism of Marx, that ‘the ruling ideas of an age were the ideas of its ruling class.’ They had come to see also that freedom is never given from above, but must be taken from below; yet it can only be taken by men who have philosophy as well as habit. They had both seen through the hollowness of the official churches, and measured the gap between their actual and official practice.…
        “… they [Marx and Engels] were, first of all, opposed to any separate Communist Party, they appreciated always the heavy price of splitting the working-class movement. They recognised the necessity of a flexible application of their basic principles; at no time did they seek mechanically to impose a dogmatic view of their meaning upon the other socialist parties of the world. There is no evidence to suggest that they supposed that the passage of the state-power from a bourgeois to a working-class party would mean the creation of a rigid dictatorship which established a taut orthodoxy not less upon its own members, than upon other citizens, and regarded criticism of that orthodoxy as the supreme treason; still less is there evidence that they would have argued either that one cannot serve the cause of socialism without being a dialectical materialist, or to argue seriously that, because members of the Communist Party are dialectical materialists, they alone can hope to understand the process of science and nature and society. Both of them were fierce controversialists, accustomed to giving and taking hard blows; but they never pretended to the kind of infallibility so absolute that it is entitled to establish what is virtually an inquisition to enforce their dogmas.…
        “… The [Communist] Manifesto did not propose the exchange of one dictatorship for another; it proposed the democratisation of power by putting the authority of the state the into the hands of the working class. It assumes that the decline of capitalism has produced a working class mature enough to recognise that it must take its destiny into its own hands and begin the building of socialism. It does not believe that this effort can be successfully made until all the economic conditions of a particular capitalist society are ripe for it; over and over again Marx and Engels made it clear that they regarded any other view as irresponsible.”
        [Harold J. Laski, “Introduction to the Communist Manifesto.” Social Scientist. Volume 27, number 1/4, January–April 1999. Pages 49-111.]
        “The [Communist] Manifesto itself declares quite explicitly that Communists are vanguard of the working class. They are not its masters; they are in the forefront of the co-operative effort to abolish capitalist society. Still more important, the Communists do not form a separate party of their own. They ally themselves with other organisations, especially of the working class, which aim at the same end as themselves, or may objectively be regarded as assisting that end unconsciously.…
        “Why ‘communist’ and not ‘socialist’ Manifesto? Obviously, in the first instance, because it was the official publication of the Communist League. We have little other evidence on which to base speculations. It was possibly the outcome of a recollection of the Paris Commune in the French Revolution, an institution to which all socialists did homage. It was possibly a desire to distinguish the ideas for which they stood from socialist doctrines which they were criticising so severely. The one thing that is certain, from the document itself, is that the choice of the term ‘Communist’ was not intended to mark any organisational separation between the Communist League and other socialist or working-class bodies. On the contrary, [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels were emphatic in their insistence that the communists do not form a separate Party and that they ally themselves with all the forces which work towards a socialist society. The idea of a separate communist party dates from the Russian Revolution; it had no place in the thought either of Marx or of Engels.…
        “There is little in England of extreme communism, even less of what may be broadly termed the Fascist ideal. But it is important to remember that English institutions are much more suitable to the nineteenth century libertarian state than to the egalitarian state of the twentieth. If they are to be made sensitive to the wishes of the new democracy their comprehensive reconstruction is desirable. Yet anyone who envisages the single difficulty of reconstructing the House of Lords will realize that institutional rebuilding is no easy task. What would occur if a Labor government found the House of Lords recalcitrant upon measures to which it attached supreme importance?” [Harold J. Laski, “The New Test for British Labor.” Foreign Affairs. Volume 8, number 1, October 1929. Pages 69-83.]
        “Capitalist society … is running a race with communist society for the allegiance of the masses. The terms upon which the former can be successful are fairly clear. It has to solve the contradiction between its power to produce and its inability to distribute income in a rational and morally adequate way. It has to remove the barriers which economic nationalism places in the way of an unimpeded world-market. It has to remove the fear of insecurity by which the worker’s life is haunted. It has to end the folly of international competition in wage-rates and hours of labor; it has to find ways of saving Western standards from the slave-labor of the East.” [Harold J. Laski, “The position and prospects of communism.” Foreign Affairs. Volume 11, number 1, October 1932. Pages 93-106.]
        “He [Benito Mussolini] has openly thrown overboard all pretense of majority-rule. He will obtain power not because the mass of the electorate supports his views, but because his followers will not allow opposition to make itself heard. Government, for him, exists to fulfil needs, not to give effect to wills; and its first requirement is an overwhelming strength incompatible with liberty. For liberty, indeed, Mussolini professes no affection. He has called it a nineteenth-century concept which has exhausted its utility. Liberty, for him, is the parent of anarchy if it implies hostility from opponents, and the proof of disloyalty, involving expulsion from the party, if it comes from his declared supporters.” [Harold J. Laski, “Lenin and Mussolini.” Foreign Affairs. Volume 2, number 1, September 1923. Pages 43-54.]
        “The method by which the proletariat was to secure power lies at the very root of [Karl] Marx’s doctrine; and it has been in our own day, perhaps, the main source of his influence. The method was revolution, and a dictatorship of iron rigour would consolidate the new system until the period of transition had been effectively; bridged. Marx did not blind himself to what all this implied. The history of capitalism was the history of a relentless defence of each phase of the rights of property. They were maintained by methods at each point unconnected with ethical demands. If the conflict was extreme as in the days of June, 1848, or with the Commune of Paris, the last ounce of misery was wrung from its opponents, that capitalism might be secure. A period of comparative quiescence may produce the concession of social reform, but this is merely deception. Once a really vital point is touched by the workers’ demands, they are met by armed resistance. That means, of course, that only by conscious violent intervention can communism be realized.” [Harold J. Laski. Karl Marx: An Essay. London: Allen & Unwin Ltd. 1921. Page 35.]
        “To discredit the State seems like enough to dethroning it. And when the voice of the State is viewed as the deliberate expression of public opinion it seems like the destruction of the one uniquely democratic basis we have thus far at tained. But the objection, like the play queen in Hamlet, protests too much. It assumes the homogeneity of public opinion, and of that homogeneity not even the most stout-hearted of us could adduce the proof. Nor is its absence defect. On the contrary, it seems to me that it is essentially a sign that real thought is present. A community that can not agree is already a community capable of advance.” [Harold J. Laski. Studies in the Problem of Sovereignty. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. 1917. Page 24.]
        “Social changes, on the one hand, and scientific development, on the other, have operated to revolutionise the position of government both in the national state and in the international community. An adequate legal philosophy, that is to say, must not only explain the legal right of a government to obedience, but its ethical right as well. It must not only do this. It must explain, also, how the sovereignty of the state can be reconciled with a world in which the hinterland between states is organised, must show, therefore, how a state which is the subject of a vast range of determinate obligations can remain subject to no will save its own, and yet remain under compulsion to fulfil its obligations. Increasingly, the inadequacy of the classical theory of the state to express the needs of our time is evident to the new generation.” [Harold J. Laski, “Law and the State.” Economica. Number 27, November 1929. Pages 267-295.]
        “The survival of political democracy today is, all over the world, definitely impossible unless it can conquer the central citadel of economic power. There cannot, in a word, be democracy unless there is socialism. That does not mean the necessary victory of democracy. Its expansion in the nineteenth century into a world-ideal now appears, in the perspective of post-war events, to have been simply a function of capitalism in prosperity; with the eclipse of capitalism it is not improbable that civilisation may have to pass through an age of dictatorships which, whatever their formal professions, will, in fact, simply seek to inhibit the emergence of egalitarian institutions for the benefit of the invested interests.” [Harold J. Laski. A Grammar of Politics. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. 1925. Page 4.]
        “There is profit for the few to be made out of the present way of life; can they adjust themselves to that transvaluation of values implied in a system which, by its primary assumptions, pays no regard to the individual title to profit? Are our national institutions so organised that, should the will of the masses be on the side of a new social order, their will has the chance of prevailing against a powerful and obdurate minority? Whatever, let us note, be the forms of the modern state, the character of its society is increasingly democratic; its privileges now belong to a wealth whose power is indifferent to birth. But is there any reason to suppose that democratic societies have found their appropriate institutions? Is it not the fact that the basic principles of the democratic state are more rigidly criticised than at any previous time? Are we not driven to re-examine the basis of our institutional habits if we are to find the formulae of a new world?” [Harold J. Laski. Democracy in Crisis. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press. 1935. Page 30.]
        “Let us note, in the first place, the tendency in the modern state for men to become the mere subjects of administration. It is perhaps as yet too early to insist, reversing a famous generalisation of Sir Henry Maine, that the movement of our society is from contract to status; but there is at least one sense in which that remark is significant. Amid much vague enthusiasm for the thing itself, every observer must note a decline in freedom.
        “What we most greatly need is to beware lest we lose that sense of spontaneity which enabled Aristotle to define citizenship as the capacity to rule not less than to be ruled in turn. We believe that this can best be achieved in a state of which the structure is not hierarchical but coördinate, in which, that is to say, sovereignty is partitioned upon some basis of function. For the division of power makes men more apt to responsibility than its accumulation. A man, or even a legislature that is overburdened with a multiplicity of business, will not merely neglect that which he ought to do; he will, in actual experience,surrender his powers into the hands of forceful interests which know the way to compel his attention. He will treat the unseen as non-existent and the inarticulate as contented. The result may, indeed, be revolution; but experience suggests that it is more likely to be the parent of a despotism.” [Harold J. Laski, “The Pluralistic State.” The Philosophical Review. Volume 28, number 6, November 1919. Pages 562-575.]
        “Representative democracy seems to have ended in a cul-de-sac. And few of the remedies for its difficulties that were put forward by the thinkers of the nineteenth century seem in the least degree adequate to its cure. That the best men do not enter political life, that it is dangerous to enfranchise the uneducated, that our methods of voting are illogical or absurd, that we need more experts, or better information, that parties subordinate the national to functional interests, that there is too much government, or too little—none of these explanations even begins to scratch the surface of the problem. Who are the best men? What is an educated person? Who can say that the strict logic of Germany’s voting system makes the results of her governance more adequate than those of Great Britain? Who can tell, by any objective criteria, when a party is hostile to the interests of the whole community? Is there a single vital theme of government policy—the tariff, disarmament, currency, wage-standards—upon which the experts speak with a united voice? Better information we all may proclaim as desirable. But in the presence of interests so profoundly conflicting as those which divide the modern state, who is to interpret the information in a way so disinterested as to command widespread assent for the policy in which it is to issue? Men speak of institutional reorganization. But it is useless to reorganize institutions unless the community is agreed upon the purposes for which they are intended. The demand either for more or for less government is meaningless unless it can specify also the kind of society it is proposed to build. All schemes of greater or lesser social regulation must be built upon a clear view of public policy; and that is largely absent from the affirmations of either side.” [Harold J. Laski, “The Present Position of Representative Democracy.” The American Political Science Review. Volume 26, number 4, August 1932. Pages 629-641.]
        “This essay examines the relationship between democratic theory and historical critiques of state sovereignty analyzing Harold Laski’s geneological approach to the history of political thought. This approach led Laski to conclude that the apparently ‘unified’ character of soveriegn statehood made differences within states invisible, rendered similarities across states meaningless, obscured the liberal state’s connections to capitalism, and supported order and authority over the less predictable qualities of democratic freedom. Laski’s critique of sovereignty ultimately suggested that true democracy was impossible within the context of sovereingty and that real ‘international cooperation’ could only happen under conditions in which individual states were prevented from speaking in the unified voice of their people. The esssay suggests that contemporary democratic theorists and international ethicists could have much to learn from Laski’s refusal to relegate democracy to the internal boundaries of states.…
        “For Laski, international democracy was simply impossible as long as its sole participants were sovereign states. But Laski’s virulent critique of sovereignty, his insistence that we rethink the concept in its entirety, amounted to more than hyperbole driven by international crisis.”l
        [Jeanne Morefield, “States Are Not People: Harold Laski on Unsettling Sovereignty, Rediscovering Democracy.” Political Research Quarterly. Volume 58, number 4, December 2005. Pages 659-669.]
        “In this article I will reconstruct one prominent pluralist critique of state authority – the one proposed by Harold Laski – and explain how it undermines the very basis of the authority of associations.…
        “Among the British pluralists, the most academically inclined was Harold Laski. Laski inveighed against state sovereignty, but his arguments against the state’s claims to authority would also serve to undermine the authority of other groups …. He was, in essence, more of an anarchist than a pluralist …. But it is this tension in Laski’s thought that makes him an ideal exponent of the antinomian defect of pluralist theory. Laski seems to have reached this conclusion himself and, as a result, his attitude towards pluralism changes considerably later in his life. On one hand, it is Laski who, in his early writings,‘provides[s] a name for what had been a somewhat heterogeneous body of thought’ …, and who popularizes such thought in academic circles. But it is also he who later abjures pluralism on philosophical and political grounds on his way to embracing libertarian Marxism and Labour Party politics …. The ambivalence he expresses towards the authority of groups leads to his eventual abandonment of some important elements of the pluralist critique: first the idea of group personality and later the idea of the equal stature of the state and other associations.”
        [Víctor M. Muñiz-Fraticelli, “The Problem of Pluralist Authority.” Political Studies. Volume 62, number 3, October 2014. Pages 556-572.]
        “Mr. [Harold J.] Laski does not like the treatment that [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels gave the ‘middle class’ in ‘The Communist Manifesto.’ ‘At one point,’ says Mr. Laski, ‘it is subject to a vituperation so scathing and relentless, as to make it seem the nurse of all social evil. At another its great historic achievements are exalted beyond all praise.’ This is simply rubbish. What Mr. Laski evidently has failed to understand is that the term ‘middle class’ is now used loosely in two different connections. The middle class historically is, of course, what is now known as the capitalist class, it, the present ruling class in society. That part which is now loosely referred to as the ‘middle class’ is hut a substratum of the general property-holding or capitalist class. Moreover, it should be possible for Mr. Laski to distinguish, on the one hand, between the achievement of a great historic class during its period of formation, and while it is fighting the ruling class doomed by economic law to extinction (in this case, the feudalism class), and, on the other hand, the obstructionism of the same class, once it has established itself as the ruling power in society, and outlived its usefulness, having thus become a reactionary class.” [Arnold Petersen. Karl Marx and Marxism. New York: New York Labor News Company. 1934. Pages 40-41.]
      40. global awakening (Karen Abney-Korn, Shawn Cassiman, and Dana Fleetham): They construct a path out of dystopia based upon “direct action,” “Marxist analysis,” and “Anarchistic practices.”
        “Some scholars argue, ‘… we need Marxism to understand the structure of society and anarchism to prefigure or anticipate a new society’ …. We agree.…
        “… Through direct action … and a blend of Marxist analysis and Anarchistic practices … it may be possible to put imagination into action and use it to facilitate transformation. Essential to this process is collaboration and collective thought and action. Many contemporary authors have explored the collective mind and how it can be mobilized to facilitate change …. Dispersing power, for example, is a noted practice in successfiil revolutions ….
        “As we awake, we begin a collective process of imagining our future. Competing models pose challenges as we attempt to coexist amid a variety of understandings. We engage in movement building as teachers, reformers and visionaries. As teachers, we reinforce existing myths and models as well as challenge them. As reformers, we strategize transformation and repair, and while acting as radical visionaries, seek a complete overhaul of existing structures and systems. Are these identities distinct? Which vision is correct, if any? How do we find a shared dream? Must we? These are the questions our local Occupy group has had to contend with.…
        “Many of us draw attention to the state as an oppressive institution, though how we go about challenging the oppressiveness is open to considerable debate.…
        “While diverse imaginings or dreams may seem like obstacles to our movement, they are in fact clarifying and enable us to navigate multiphcity while simultaneously celebrating a fragile unity. Without imagination the differences that shape our ideologies may seem too insurmountable to engage. This is precisely where the ‘currents of Anarchism’ are most obvious in the Occupy movement and in other new social movements …; in this refusal to insist upon a particular goal or way of reaching it, but to build the new prefiguratively in solidarity and alongside others.”
        [Karen Abney-Korn, Shawn Cassiman, and Dana Fleetham, “While We Were Sleeping: From Dystopia to Global Awakening.” Perspectives on Global Development and Technology. Volume 12, number 1/2, January 2013. Pages 80-97.]
        “Staughton Lynd tells us that we need Marxism to understand the structure of society and anarchism to prefigure or anticipate a new society.…
        “What Staughton Lynd learned from organizing all his life is that leadership comes from below, it is being someone to whom others turn for help. Personal loyalty is valued more than intellectual consistency. ‘You have to swim in the sea of the people.’”
        [Denis O’Hearn, “Foreword, Forward!,” in Staughton Lynd and Andrej Grubacic. Wobblies & Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism and Radical History. Oakland, California: PM Press. 2008. Pages xi-xx.]
      41. democratic, collective ownership of the major means of production (Ronald Aronson): He develops a Marxist, democratic approach to socialism or communism.
        “I remain a socialist in wishing for democratic, which is to say, collective, ownership of the major means of production, controlled by workers as far as possible, and the elimination, as far as possible, of social and economic inequality. But I stress ‘as far as possible.’ And I do not believe in such goals as if they by themselves will solve the complex welter of human problems we should be devoted to solving, many of which must be tackled each in their own way, each for their own sake, and by a variety of democratic movements. Thus as a communist, as a Marxist, and as a socialist, I today feel most confident arguing that the radical longings and the radical projects of the past two hundred years can best be gathered under the rubric of democracy.” [Ronald Aronson, “The End/s of Socialism.” Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory. Number 76, October 1990. Pages 1-17.]
        “Much of the 20ᵗʰ century centered on these hopes, with militants seeking to fulfill them, opponents struggling ferociously against them, successful revolutionaries working to realize them under near-impossible conditions, moderate parliamentarians seeking to advance them inch by inch. Both revolutionaries and reformers actually did arrive in power, and both called what they did ‘socialism.’ Yet in the process something strange happened: under the immense strains of war and civil war, postwar desolation, depression, and the ebbs and flows of class-consciousness — and in response to the unexpected staying power and productive force of capitalism — revolutionary socialists abandoned workers’ democracy and democratic socialists gave up on abolishing capitalism. Committed and brilliant leaders lost their bearings.” [Ronald Aronson, “The Soul of Socialism.” New Politics. Volume 11, number 1, summer 2006. Pages 122-129.]
        “If the New Left is to continue the process of its self-creation it must develop a socialist consciousness capable of directly challenging the existing intellectual and moral supremacy of liberalism; it must break the present ideological unanimity. This needs to be done if it is to develop a movement which aims not only at organizing those already excluded by the system, and providing a haven for those who reject it, but also those who at present identify, not with the system as such, but with the dominant ideology. The existing gap between ideology and reality needs to be expressed in an alternate theory and a vision, which rejects the attempt simply to rehabilitate existing social conditions. In other words, not only a practical basis but also an intellectual basis for a socialist movement has to be created in the United States. The central concept of any contemporary socialism will be popular control—participatory democracy.” [Ronald Aronson, “The New Left in the United States.” The Socialist Register. Volume 4, 1967. Pages 73-90.]
        “Certainly there are those Marxists who, regarding themselves under the influence of [Vladimir] Lenin or [Leon] Trotsky (the first moved by a willingness to anticipate revolutions elsewhere and the second by an unreasonably optimistic theory of ‘permanent revolution’), imagine that some form of socialism might be achievable at a relatively low level of industrialization. But what do these theories tell us? Given the relationship between classes, it might be possible to ‘seize power’ before the working class is sufficiently large, sufficiently experienced in industrial struggles, and the economy sufficiently developed, to make possible the kind of advanced industrial socialism anticipated by [Karl] Marx. ‘Readiness’ in this sense is a more subjective matter than I have been making it, and some argue that to deny it of South African workers is to demean them, to belittle ordinary people’s widely demonstrated capacity to intervene in history. Certainly, it can be argued, one historical example after another – the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, – proves that such a seizure of power is possible in conditions of underdevelopment.” [Ronald Aronson, “Is Socialism on the Agenda?: A Letter to the American Left.” Transformation. Volume 14, 1991. Pages 1-23.]
        “How do we comprehend the laundry list of contradictory currents that we experience daily: mind-boggling augmentation of human power (so often leading to tremendous improvements in the human condition) we see at every turn; terrible growth of human destructive force and willingness to further increase and sometimes even use that force; massive stupefaction of the consuming public, drugged to the point of accepting the creation of a cancerous and earth-threatening environment; passing of the subversive and liberating trends of both capitalist and socialist transformation, so that for the first time in over two hundred years we live with no sense of alternative; in spite of all this the return, again and again, of the spirit and strength to continue the various struggles for peace and social change? What philosophy of history – what interpretation of the direction of our history – can illuminate the logic, if any, the coherence, if any, of the incoherent and threatening picture any honest look at the twentieth century must concede as it nears its end? Does a ‘cunning of reason’ lie behind these wildly disparate phenomena of modern life?” [Ronald Aronson, “After Progress.” Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory. Number 87, June 1996. Pages 83-107.]
        “Capitalism is still very much with us. A strong case can be made that its problems, if anything, are worsening, and that nothing short of a socialist transformation will resolve them. But if this is to become the programmatic demand of an actual movement, that movement will have to be a radical coalition that is also feminist, pro-gay liberation, anti-racist, and ecological – or it will not be. Marxists, shorn of their universality and historical self-confidence, their objectivism and their tendency to a theory-centered authoritarianism, will be only one current among many. Relativized, their project will be transformed, will no longer be Marxist as we know it: like other partners in the coalition, they will have to put their insights forth in relations of mutual respect that will mark a new stage in the history of radicalism.” [Ronald Aronson, “Sartre and Marxism: A Double Retrospective.” Sartre Studies International. Volume 1, number 1/2, 1995. Pages 21-36.]
        “For [Karl] Marx socialism was a tendency of the present, and therefore did not require to be detailed in advance of the free producers’ democratic shaping of the appropriate institutions; for us it exists as Communist and social-democratic ‘false reality’ that must be combated by a ‘true idea’ before any working class can be expected to want it, let alone fight for it. To remove it from the present, as we must, to recast it as ‘ideal’ future, as we must, is to question the very status and foundations of Marxian socialism—as materially and historically based syntheses of philosophy, economics and politics.” [Ronald Aronson, “Historical Materialism, Answer to Marxism’s Crisis.” New Left Review. Series I, number 152, July–August 1985. Pages 74-94.]
        “After their split [the estangement between Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus], the Cold War’s either/or demands would dominate the Left: supporting revolutionary social change often meant becoming indifferent to political freedom; defending political freedom often meant rejecting the only significant project challenging capitalism. Much of the Left learned to justify one side or the other. Thus were the hopes of a generation to move toward socialism and freedom—both Sartre’s and Camus’ hope in the postwar period—to be dashed. People on the Left were pressured to make an impossible choice between what became Sartre’s grim realism (communism as the only path to meaningful change) and Camus— visceral rejection of communism (which left him unable to identify himself with any significant force struggling for change).” [Ronald Aronson, “Camus versus Sartre: The Unresolved Conflict.” Sartre Studies International. Volume 11, number 1/2, 2005. Pages 302-310.]
        “… in [Albert] Camus and [Jean-Paul] Sartre, the Cold War itself, in its demand that everyone take sides in a pitched struggle of good against evil—to which Sartre and Camus fell victim and became accomplices in their distinctive ways—converted their tragic world-historical conflict into a mere morality play. If one was right, it seemed, then the other had to be wrong, and their story lacked complexity and interest. No wonder no one has felt impelled to tell it in full. And, as we know today, the two men left burdens of interpretation and explanation for their followers, bequeathing them the task of untangling their strengths from their weaknesses, their true insights from their false ones.” [Ronald Aronson, “Camus and Sartre on violence—the unresolved conflict.” Journal of Romance Studies. Volume 6, issue 1–2, spring–summer 2006. Pages 67-77.]
        “… in the UAW [United Auto Workers], communist and socialist activists among the strikers played a key role, bringing organizational skills and resources to other auto workers. Just as important, they contributed their sense of mission and connection with a larger climate of values, and a historical vision of the ultimate victory of the working class and its place in universal moral and social progress. This was also the case in South Africa, as the large and well organized Communist Party played a key role in the struggle to end apartheid, including creation of an internal underground organization capable of withstanding and combating the South African police state, and Umkhonto We Sizwe, the guerrilla army that trained abroad and infiltrated back into South Africa to carry out the ‘armed struggle.’ The Communist Party’s resources, and especially its connection with external forces, were essential to keeping the movement going to end apartheid, but so was the vision it conveyed of a future nonracial socialist society.” [Ronald Aronson. We: Reviving Social Hope. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press. 2017. Page 58.]
        “Time was when anyone like to open a book with a title like Living Without God would have shared certain assumptions with the author (and other readers). Disbelief in God was only one of these. All would certainly have believed in Progress, the shared conviction that human life had improved over time and was continuing to improve. Its causes might be science and technology, the spread and deepening of education, economic growth, or social and political developments such as democracy or socialism. All these forms of betterment were going hand in hand with human enlightenment.” [Ronald Aronson. Living Without God: New Directions for Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists, and the Undecided. Berkeley, California: Counterpoint. 2008. Page 25.]
        “What are the dialectics of disaster in the twentieth century? Although each situation has its own specific history, logic, and characteristics, I began to discern certain recurrent patterns. First was the remarkable fact that much of the slaughter in the twentieth century has invoked, in one form or another, watch-words of class struggle. Certainly it is a grotesque blockage, distortion, and displacement of the conflict between capitalism and socialism, or indeed between bourgeoisie and proletariat, that leads to Cruise missiles in Britain; but it was also a grotesque blockage, distortion, and displacement that doomed millions of Jews and incinerated much of Europe. The second remarkable fact, contained within the first, has been the profound irrationality of such genocidal politics. I have been unable to avoid the term madness because of the systematic ruptures with reality of much policy and behavior—even though I recognize the burden I entail in whose source was in Washington, had few roots among the people it sought to rule, deeply corrupted Vietnamese society, and collapsed as the Americans departed. Each madness became reality, overruling and mocking the Marxist analysis saying that it was impossible—or rather, in each case achieving the ‘impossible’ required genocidal violence.” [Ronald Aronson, “1984 and beyond: hope today.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 37, issue 1, May 1985. Pages 38+.]
      42. communities of resistance (Ambalavaner Sivanandan [Tamiḻ, அம்பலவன் சிவானந்தன், Ampalavaṉ Civāṉantaṉ as pronounced in this MP3 audio file]): He develops a democratic and an ethical approach to socialism and Marxism.
        “Socialism is a moral creed, a secular faith – tolerant, loving, creative, increasing all to increase the one. It is that morality above all that the movement of workers has garnered and fostered and kept alive all these generations to in-form and fashion our societies when Prometheus had been unbound again. What we have learnt from the labour movement, what we must hold on to, are not the old ways of organisation, the old modes of thought, the old concepts of battle against capital, but the values and traditions that were hammered out on the smithy of those battles: loyalty, solidarity, camaraderie, unity, all the great and simple things that make us human.
        “That is the morality of socialism that the working-class movement, the peasants’ movement, the women’s, black and gay movements, the green and anti-nuclear movement – all the movements of liberation have sung out. Technology can now make it flesh, and we cannot let capital take it away from us.
        “We can now ordain our societies so that there is greater productivity with less labour, improved consumption for all and more time to be human in. When our problem is no longer the production of goods as such, we should be looking to their more equitable distribution; when large numbers of workers are no longer necessary for such production, we should be looking to the more equitable distribution of work. If the same number of goods can be produced by half the workforce, it follows that the whole workforce need work only half the time rather than leave the other half unemployed. Not because work itself is sacrosanct, but because the culture of self-esteem and worth erected on the notions of working and earning will be a long time a-dying. We can set the process in motion, however, by providing everybody with a minimum wage irrespective of whether he or she works or not – so assuring effective demand, on the one hand, and replacing the work ethic with the leisure ethic, on the other. But such leisure will be active, creative leisure – not reified or nuclearising of us, but growing, organic, connecting us to people again: old people, children, the sick and disabled, the oppressed and the exploited. And education will be geared not just to jobs but to using leisure intelligently and creatively, to working things out for ourselves for the technology that does all the thinking for us in the machines we produce is also the technology that requires us to return to the basic principles that produce such thinking: it requires that we not only know that 2 and 2 make 4, but why. It enables us to return to fundamentals, to holistic thinking, to an authority over our own experience and so removes us from our captive submission to the media, politicians, the video civilisation.
        “We have cultures of resistance to create, communities of resistance to build, a world to win. Now is the moment of socialism. And capital shall have no dominion.”
        [A. Sivanandan. Catching History on the Wing: Race, Culture and Globalisation. London: Pluto Press. 2008. Pages 213-214.]
        “We need to have the political freedom to decide our governments, the economic freedom to make our choices, the cultural freedom to make, and remake, our histories. That is what democracy means to us – not the ‘democracy’ that is foisted on us, for our own good, by those who know what is best for us. Not the democracy that pretends to fight a war for democratic values while denying those values in the very act of prosecuting the war. For not only is this war a war of sanitised warfare, bereft of real people, but a war also of sanitised values, bereft of real morality.” [A. Sivanandan. Catching History on the Wing: Race, Culture and Globalisation. London: Pluto Press. 2008. Page 217.]
        “… what the white Marxists fail to grasp is that the slave and colonial exploitation of the black peoples of the world was so total and devastating – and so systematic in its devastation – as to make mock of working-class exploitation. Admittedly, the economic aspects of colonial exploitation may find analogy in white working-class history.” [A. Sivanandan. Catching History on the Wing: Race, Culture and Globalisation. London: Pluto Press. 2008. Page 15.]
        “… [Consider] the socialist policies of [Julius Kambarage] Nyerere’s Tanzania. It is a socialism particular to African conditions, based on African tradition, requiring an African (Swahili) word to define it. Ujamaa literally means ‘familyhood.’ It brings to the mind of our people the idea of mutual involvement in the family as we know it. And this idea of the family is the sustaining principle of Tanzanian society. It stresses cooperative endeavour rather than individual advancement. It requires respect for the traditional knowledge and wisdom of one’s elders, illiterate though they be, no less than for academic learning. But the business of the educated is not to fly away from the rest of society on the wings of their skills, but to turn those skills to the service of their people. And the higher their qualifications, the greater their duty to serve.” [A. Sivanandan, “The Liberation of the Black Intellectual.” Literary Review. Volume 34, number 1, fall 1990. Pages 12-25.]
        “The struggles stretch from civil society to state and back in a continuum, affecting material changes in the life and rights of ordinary people and extending, in the process, the bounds of civil society itself.
        “And what these movements throw up, by their very nature, are not diverse cultural politics but a multi-faceted political culture which finds authority in practice, tests theory in outcome, and works towards a wider political movement commensurate with our times, but unrelenting still in its struggle against capital. The point is to overthrow capitalism, not to join it in order to lead it astray into socialism.”
        [A. Sivanandan, “The Common Hurt of the Underclass.” New Statesman & Society. Volume 3, number 88, February 1990. Pages 28-30.]
        “In real life and real struggle, the economic, the political and the ideological move in concert, with sometimes one and sometimes the other striking the dominant note – but orchestrated, always, by the mode of production. It is only the marxist textualists who are preoccupied with ‘determinisms,’ economis and otherwise.” [A. Sivanandan, “From resistance to rebellion: Asian and Afro-Caribbean struggles in Britain.” Race & Class. Volume 23, number 2/3, 1981/1982. Pages 111-152.]
        “… if Communism succeeded in enlisting most of the discontented or non-European races on its side, so that the frontier between democracy and its enemies was a racial as well as an ideological and political frontier – then the danger would be greatly multiplied, and the chance of our eventually coming out on top would be so much the poorer. To the extent that we solve the racial problem itself, we shall of course be preventing that combination from coming about. On the other hand, the fact that we face the problem in the presence of the Communist menace gives it a double urgency.” [A. Sivanandan, “Race and resistance: the IRR story.” Race & Class. Volume 50, number 2, 2008. Pages 1-30.]
      43. tradition of democratic communism (Daniela Cammack): She argues for the influence of this tradition, represented by the work of François-Noël «Gracchus» Babeuf (MP3 audio file), on the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
        “… I shall argue, they [Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels] associated themselves with the kind of democratic communism advocated during the Revolution by Gracchus Babeuf [François-Noël ‹Gracchus› Babeuf] and other members of the 1796 Conspiracy of the Equals. The Equals’ first priority had been to reinstate the Constitution of 1793, which had established universal (male) suffrage, national and local elections, majority rule, a uniform civil and criminal legal code, unlimited freedom of the press, speech and assembly, and other key democratic rights; and there is no reason to think that Marx and Engels, in their turn, ever abandoned these goals.…
        “The memory and legacy of the French Revolution … played a large part in the formation of the political ideas of Marx and Engels. I will now show how this perspective can assist our understanding of their political goals, in particular the democratic nature of their communist commitments.
        “Light can be shed on this issue by examining Marx’s and Engels’ relation to the tradition of democratic communism represented during the Revolution by François-Noël ‘Gracchus’ Babeuf, journalist, political agitator and leading member of the ‘Equals,’ who had planned to overthrow the Directorial government in 1796.…
        “Marx and Engels’ communism—like that of Babeuf before them—was democratic ‘all the way down.’ Their commitment to democracy was not a mere prelude to their communism (in either an analytical or chronological sense), nor did they conceive of communism as a more ‘genuine’ or ‘truer’ substitute for democratic political practices. They would have been baffled and surprised by the separation of communism from democracy in later accounts of their thought (including the use of the term ‘conversion’ to describe their embrace of communism), just as surely as they were baffled and frustrated by the dawning realisation, towards the end of their lives, that the natural ‘twin’—at least in this period of human history—of the kind of liberal representative democratic measures that they supported might, in fact, be a regime of private property in the form of capitalism, rather than the public administration of communal property which was the hallmark of communism. Yet not until some time after the period with which this paper is concerned did the gradual unfolding of communism twinned with democracy cease to seem the most likely political development.… To comprehend fully the thought of these nineteenth-century political activists, we must perhaps learn to feel the shock of the fact that before the twentieth century was out, it was capitalism that had come to be perceived as the natural ally of the democratic political process, rather than the communism of many of the nineteenth-century men and women who worked so hard to achieve democracy.”
        [Daniela Cammack, “Marx, Engels and the Democratic Communist Tradition.” SSRN. December 21st, 2011. Pages 1-46. Retrieved on September 21st, 2016.]
        “The greatest error in all politics is doubtless the idea that the essence of conspiracy consists in the intent to overthrow established governments. If this were true, the peoples would be doomed to remain for all time under any government, no matter how base and vile, that had once succeeded in establishing itself. Such reasoning flouts the principle of the sovereignty of peoples; it is nothing more than a new version of the divine right of kings. From this viewpoint the Revolution of July 14, 1789, which overthrew an established government, was a criminal conspiracy.
        “Less erroneous is the assertion that conspiracy is the intent to overthrow legitimate authority or a Constitution freely adopted by the people. But let there be no misunderstanding on this score: these two things are still by no means the same.
        “To work for the overthrow of a Constitution freely adopted by the people could still be far from conspiracy. The people might, with apparent freedom, have adopted a radically vicious Constitution. Lack of proper information might have prevented them from recognizing this. In such an eventuality it would be no crime to show the people how to improve matters; such a thing would be no more than the performance of a work of public education and enlightenment. The first and basic prerequisite of human association is the recognition of an implicit right to improve the social and political system in order to promote the happiness of its members. This right is usually unwritten, but it is absolutely inalienable. The people are never to bind themselves against their own true interests; they are never to place shackles upon themselves; nor are they to devise laws to shackle future generations. In agreeing to abandon the state of nature and on becoming a member of society, each man has in effect relinquished his primordial independence solely in order to improve his lot. Society, in other words, is committed to an unending quest for human welfare, and every man, woman, and child is to reap his or her fair share of the social reward that is the fruit of social cooperation.”
        [François-Noël Babeuf. The Defense of Gracchus Babeuf Before the High Court of Vendôm. John Anthony Scott, translator and editor. Northampton, England: The Gehenna Press. 1964. Pages 14-15.]
        “Where are those Jacobins and men of the Pantheon? Take courage, my friends; they are not dead. A troop in retreat is not routed. Each member of those societies is still secretly at work for the citizen at home, and for the soldier under arms. The Pantheon is not at Paris only; it is also at every point of the Republic. We, the Tribune of this entire Republic — an honorary and afiiliated member of all those academies of pure republicanism, who collect together the results of their best labours—to us it belongs to make them known to our brothers, to show them where are their most solid bulwarks. Warriors! go to the north; seek the real supporters of your rights in those climates where the temperature forms geniuses more profound than brilliant, more perseveringly firm than carried away by momentary enthusiasm—more frankly zealous to achieve good, than blessed with the wit of giving us the superfices for the substance of it. Go to that city which has given birth to the hero of democracy, and where your tribune con summated a term of exile.” [Phillipr Buonarroti. Buonarroti’s History of Babeuf’s Conspiracy for Equality; with the Author’s Reflections on the Causes and Character of the French Revolution and the Estimate of the Leading Men and Events of that Epoch. Also, His View of Democratic Government, Community of Property, and Political and Social Equality. Bronterre, translator. London: H. Hetherington. 1836. Page 358.]
      44. critical and liberatory science (Steven Rose, Richard Charles Lewontin, and Leon Kamin): While critiquing the former Soviet Union, some Trotskyist theory, and the vulgar Marxism of economism, they argue for the contributions of “critical science” (perhaps a scientific socialism) to “a more socially just—a socialist—society.”
        “Over the past decade and a half we have watched with concern the rising tide of biological determinist writing, with its increasingly grandiose claims to be able to locate the causes of the inequalities of starus, wealth, and power between classes, genders, and races in Western society in a reductionist theory of human nature. Each of us has been engaged for much of this time in research, writing, speaking, teaching, and public political activity in opposition to the oppressive forms in which determinist ideology manifests itself. We share a commitment to the prospect of the creation of a more socially just—a socialist—society. And we recognize that a critical science is an integral part of the struggle to create that society, just as we also believe that the social function of much of today’s science is to hinder the creation of that society by acting to preserve the interests of the dominant class, gender, and race. This belief—in the possibility of a critical and liberatory science—is why we have each in our separate ways and to varying degrees been involved in the development of what has become known over the 1970s and 1980s, in the United States and Britain, as the radical science movement.” [Steven Rose, R. C. Lewontin, and Leon Kamin. Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature. London and New York: Penguin Books imprint of the Penguin Group. 1990. Pages ix-x.]
        “… [One] type of cultural reductionism is exemplified by certain tendencies in ‘vulgar’ Marxism, in sociological relativism, and in antipsychiatry and deviancy theory. Vulgar Marxism is a form of economic reductionism that locates all forms of human consciousness, knowledge, and cultural expression as determined by the mode of economic production and the social relations that this engenders. Knowledge of the natural world, then, is no more than an ideology that expresses an individual’s class position relative to the means of production, and it changes as the economic order changes. Individuals are ultimately shaped in all but the most trivial ways bv their social circumstances: the iron laws of economic history determine a historically infinitely plastic ‘human nature’ and mechanically cause human actions. Disease, illness, depression, and the pain of day-to-day living are no more than the inevitable consequence of a capitalist and patriarchal social order. The only ‘science’ is economics. This type of reductionism, which discounts human consciousness as a mere epiphenomenon of the economy, is of course in a strange wav a close relative of social Darwinism: one finds its expression in the line of social and political writing that runs from [Karl] Kautsky through to some contemporary Trotskyist theorists (for instance, Ernest Mandell) on the ieft.
        “Against this economic reduction as the explanatory principle underlying all human behavior, we would counterpose the understanding of Marxist philosophers like Georg Lukács and Agnes Heller, and of revolutionary practitioners and theorists like Mao Tse-tung on the power of human consciousness in both interpreting and changing the world, a power based on an understanding of the essential dialectical unity of the biological and the social, not as two distinct spheres, or separable components of action, but as ontologically coterminous.
        “The bourgeois manifestation of economic reductionism takes the form of a cultural pluralism which maintains that all forms of human actions or belief are determined by ‘interest.’”
        [Steven Rose, R. C. Lewontin, and Leon Kamin. Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature. London and New York: Penguin Books imprint of the Penguin Group. 1990. Pages 75-76.]
        “… the point is not to ‘justify’ the Soviet actions, which are as barbarous as those of any strong state that believes itself under threat, and which are certainly diametrically opposed to the human liberatory goals or socialism and communism. What we see in the action of the Soviet state however, is the mirror to the medicalized ideology of biological determinism in the advanced capitalist states of the West. Looking into that mirror enables us to see our own situation more clearly.” [Steven Rose, R. C. Lewontin, and Leon Kamin. Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature. London and New York: Penguin Books imprint of the Penguin Group. 1990. Page 167.]
        “Neither under socialism nor capitalism should the individual ‘facts’ accumulated by science be different. Using the same instruments and doing the same experiment, socialist and bourgeois scientists should obtain the same results; it is in this sense that science is objective. Where the difference (that is, the non-neutrality) emerges lies precisely in the selection of facts to accumulate, experiments to perform, and theoretical frameworks within which to set these facts. Even here there is not total ideological freedom for the scientists to design his theories; they are limited both by the internal logic of his science and the necessity that there is no mismatch between predictions derived from the theory and further facts collected in order to test it. It may be the case that the dialectical mediations between objective reality and the scientific interpretations of this reality are not uniform in all sciences, but there is a gradation, the mediations being strongest in the social and biological sciences, weakest in physics and mathematics. But such analyses are presently only tentative. The point which concerns us here is that [Vladimir] Lenin’s dichotomisation, which labelled such relativism as idealism and from which the present day Althusserian concept of science is in linear descent, is inadequate, as [Karl] Korsch and [Georg] Lukács were to point out in the context of philosophy, and it has confused analysis subsequently.” [Hilary Rose and Steven Rose, “The Radicalisation of Science.” The Socialist Register. Volume 9, 1972. Pages 104-132.]
        “No biologist could doubt the premise that individual differences in genes, and during development, help shape a person’s actions and distinguish how one person behaves in a given context from how another behaves; nor that a study of the mechanisms involved in these developmental processes is of great scientific interest. But that is neither the reason why nor the way in which ‘violence research’ is currently being conducted. Rather, it is framed within a determinist paradigm which seeks the causes of social problems in individual biology, and it is fostered by a political philosophy – on both sides of the Atlantic – which rejoices in the privileges which come with inequalities in wealth and power and rejects steps to diminish them. The rate of violent crime and of incarceration is higher in the US than in any other industrial country. Can it really be the case that there is something unique about the genotype of the US population which so dramatically predisposes it to violence.” [Steven Rose, “The rise of neurogenetic determinism.” Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Issue 2, spring 1996. Pages 53-69.]
      45. coöperative and combined labor (Donald Clark Hodges): He develops a Marxist approach to socialism which critiques Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Leon Trotsky. Hodges also references an approach, “liberal socialism,” which synthesizes social democracy with nineteenth–century economic liberalism.
        “Although [Karl] Marx showed how organization and science are productive forces distinct from labor and capital, he did not pursue this line of thought to its conclusion. To have done so would have led to the unequivocal recognition of organization as an independent factor of production. Instead, Marx treated it as a derivative and dependent factor of the labor process. On the one hand, the organization of the labor of society was explicitly defined as cooperative and combined labor; science was conceived as a form of ‘intelligence in production’ materialized in machinery and in the expertise of intellectual workers. On the other hand, the productive force of cooperative labor was interpreted as the property of the capitalist for which he pays nothing; science was said to be purchased and pressed into the service of the capitalist. As material conditions of production, science and organization are aspects of human labor; as social relations of production and property of the enterprise, they function as capital.” [Donald Clark Hodges. The Bureaucratization of Socialism. Amherst, Massachusetts: The University of Massachusetts Press. 1981. Page 23.]
        “… [Karl] Marx had formulated only one principle, fully applicable during the highest stage of communism but modified during the lowest stage. Thus, he regarded payment according to work, under the pressure of physical necessity and goaded by material incentives, to be the closest approximation to this principle during the lower stage. Although [Vladimir] Lenin, and [Joseph] Stalin after him, had misinterpreted Marx by splitting this principle into halves and then reconstituting them as two separate principles—one for the lower stage and the other for the higher—[Leon] Trotsky also misinterpreted Marx by failing to recognize Marx’s own modifications of this principle. What is important is that, for Trotsky, the lowest stage of communism could not appear until both halves of the principle were at least partially realized. And for that, a society flowing with milk and honey was a virtual prerequisite.…
        “… the only rivalry of revolutionary consequence was between the Stalinist and Trotskyist vanguards. Both departed from [Karl] Marx’s theory of a postcapitalist new order but they did so in different ways: [Leon] Trotsky through a dogmatic or fundamentalist interpretation of the Marxist classics, [Joseph] Stalin through their historical adaptation to new conditions and tasks. Each in his own way misinterpreted the transformation that had been wrought in the Soviet Union: Trotsky minimized the differences with Western capitalism; Stalin exaggerated them. Socialism was indeed possible and victorious in one country, but it was not the lower stage of communism as understood by Marx and [Friedrich] Engels.”
        [Donald Clark Hodges. The Bureaucratization of Socialism. Amherst, Massachusetts: The University of Massachusetts Press. 1981. Pages 118-119.]
        “Liberal socialism, as the term suggests, represents a convergence of two tendencies: on the one hand, a liberalizing of Marxism socialism taking the form of social democracy or Fabianism; on the other hand, a socializing of nineteenth-century liberalism and the principles of the Enlightenment. The result is a more tolerant or eclectic socialism than the Marxist-influenced social democracy of the past, a socialism that is not only democratic but also liberal in a new way. As a theory of the ‘mixed State,’ it borrows from socialism its critique of State power and traditional rights, and from liberalism its critique of bureaucracy, centralization of powers and the monolithic State. Indeed, the point of contact between welfare liberalism and welfare socialism is the so-called ‘Welfare State,’ whose champions include socialists with a faith in cosmopolitan and humanitarian ideals, as well as new-style liberals committed to extending the powers of government.” [Donald Clark Hodges, “Liberal Socialism: On the Horns of a Dilemma.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Volume 22, number 4, October 1963. Pages 449-462.]
        “For [Karl] Marx, a force of production is that which is necessary to the production of value; for [Joseph] Stalin, it is that which is directly necessary to its production. Stalin seems to have identified the direct production of values with all labor directly applied to producing commodities. On the contrary, Marx showed how it was possible for workers to be directly related to production and yet to produce values indirectly, viz., technical mental workers, industrial scientists and engineers. These members of the intelligentsia are also members of given classes, namely, the proletariat under capitalism and the working and peasant classes under socialism Economically speaking, there is more in common between productive strata of the intelligentsia and the laboring classes than there is between produc five and unproductive members of the intelligentsia.” [Donald Clark Hodges, “Class, Stratum and Intelligentsia.” Science & Society. Volume 27, number 1, winter 1963. Pages 49-61.]
        “Marxian social science does not constitute an independent body of knowledge, but is an integral part of scientific socialism. Scientific socialism was the first systematic attempt to base the proletarian class struggle upon history and economics instead of upon abstract principles of justice and morality. It consists, on the one hand, of a scientific theory of history and society; on the other hand, of the strategy and tactics of the proletarian revolution. Following [Friedrich] Engels, [Vladimir] Lenin defined it as the theory and programme of the labor movement …. Its task, according to Engels, is to understand the historical and economic succession of events leading to the creation and exploitation of a proletariat and to discover in economic conditions the means of proletarian emancipation ….” [Donald Clark Hodges, “The Dual Character of Marxian Social Science.” Philosophy of Science. Volume 29, number 4, October 1962. Pages 333-349.]
        “… [Karl] Marx is saying that the moral point of view, like the religious one, is cognitively pretentious as well as hypocritical; that moral ideas are ideological expressions of class antagonisms; that Communism will abolish morality along with religion by undermining their economic and social foundations; and that the socialist counter-morality to the dominant bourgeois morality of our times consists of obsolete verbal rubbish and misleading ideological nonsense more harmful than beneficial to the Labour movement.” [Donald Clark Hodges, “Marx’s Ethics and Ethical Theory.” The Socialist Register. Volume 1, 1964. Pages 227-241.]
        “Without the continuing co-operation of science and socialism, there could, indeed, be little hope in progress. Just as science is necessary to the planned organization of social production and distribution, so these in turn are necessary to the advancement of science.” [Donald Clark Hodges, “Engels’ Contribution to Marxism.” The Socialist Register. Volume 2, 1965. Pages 297-310.]
      46. public control (Terrell Carver): He discusses socialism or communism as explained by Karl Marx himself versus the Marx of legend.
        “The socialist argument was that public control should trump the supposed self-regulating properties of ‘the market.’ …
        “The most important place to track these developments that have made [Karl] Marx Marx is not in the biographical narratives per se but rather in the bibliographical selections, listings and evaluations that the biographers produce or reproduce. In the case of a thinker (of most any kind, or even painter or composer), the attribution of major or minor status to a work – or even manuscript, unfinished or rough-draft ‘work’ – represents the narrative device through which a biography proceeds in an overall chronological way.…
        “… the selection and hierarchy of works through which Marx told his readers about himself – at the few points when he did so – is startlingly different from the selection and hierarchy as it has been constructed – and significantly re-constructed – in the 130 or so years since his death …. The conclusion here is not that he was right about this and others wrong, or that any of the others is ‘more right’ than another. Rather my conclusion is that the process of canon formation has another dimension, which needs critical exploration.”
        [Terrell Carver, “Making Marx Marx.” Journal of Classical Sociology. Volume 17, number 1, February 2017. Pages 10-27.]
      47. Militant and Triumphant Socialism (Charles Henry Vail): He develops a democratic approach to the scientific socialism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
        “We must distinguish between Militant Socialism and Triumphant Socialism. Militant Socialism is a movement of the proletariat class working within the confines of the present system to bring about the realization of Triumphant Socialism—a future state of society based upon the collective ownership and democratic manage ment of the social means of production.
        “Scientific Socialism includes both Militant and Triumphant Socialism. I wish to set forth the fundamental principles of these two phases of Scientific Socialism.”
        [Charles H. Vail. Militant and Triumphant Socialism. Chicago, Illinois: Co-operative Printing Company. 1913. Page 8.]
        “The working class cannot free itself except by socializing the means of production. When these instruments are socially owned, the cause of all economic dependence and oppression will be abolished. When the working class is supreme, the last act of class government will be to remove this cause of class division and class struggles. Thus, while as Militant our cause is identified with class, as Triumphant it is identified with humanity. This is the distinction between Militant and Triumphant Socialism. Militant Socialism is primarily a movement of the proletariat class; Triumphant Socialism will abolish class divisions and make humanity supreme. The cycle of class divisions, which began with the introduction of slavery, will end with the advent of Socialism. In the coming regime there will be but one class—humanity—to which every member of society will be recognized as belonging.…
        “Of course, one may be a Socialist who merely believes in the Socialist ideal of society, with out knowing the Socialist theory of social evolution or the origin of surplus value or even recognizing the proletariat character of the move ment, but he cannot be a Scientific Socialist without knowing and accepting the fundamental principles of the Marxian philosophy. Scientific Socialism includes a knowledge of the present system and its workings, as well as the doctrines and advantages of the Socialist system. A knowledge of the Socialist philosophy is also necessary to guard against the futile dreams of Utopianists.”
        [Charles H. Vail. Militant and Triumphant Socialism. Chicago, Illinois: Co-operative Printing Company. 1913. Pages 57-58.]
        “… there is a limit to the extension of these markets, and not only that, but the time draweth nigh when these markets will begin to contract. Russia, China, Japan, Australia, and the East Indies are already developing into industrial states, and will soon be able to supply their own wants. These nations are beginning to produce for themselves; they are adopting our inventions and improvements and will soon cease to be customers and become competitors. Every extension of the market has been tantamount to conjuring up a new competitor. When these new foreign markets are closed, what will be the result? There is but one answer. The whole capitalistic system will fall. It will end in the bankruptcy of the capitalist society. This cataclysm will engulf the whole world unless forestalled by the Socialist Commonwealth.” [Charles H. Vail. Principles of Scientific Socialism. New York: Commonwealth Company. 1899. Page 188.]
        “The Socialism of to-day is distinguished from the Utopian theories of the past by the fact that it is scientific. All great movements inevitably pass through a Utopian phase and Socialism is no exception to the general rule.
        “Socialism is evolutionary in character. There have been the John the Baptists of the new order, proclaiming the way of peace in the industrial wilderness. As alchemy and astrology preceded chemistry and astronomy, so the Utopias of Owenism, Fourierism and Simonism had to precede the full development of Scientific Socialism.
        “These precursors of social democracy aimed to run society into a special mould. In the absence of a thorough knowledge of economic laws they conceived that an industrial system was something society could put on, as a man puts on a suit of clothes, ready made. They thought a perfect system could be invented and super imposed upon society through propaganda. Their crude theories corresponded, as Fredrick Engels has pointed out, to the crude state of capitalist production and to the crude state of the classes. Nevertheless, these men had a far-sighted historic penetration and sagacity. They were admirable critics of capitalist methods, depicting with keenness and satire the evils inherent in capitalist society, but they had not the data to enable them to clearly perceive the genesis of capitalist exploitation. The Utopianists did well, but it was left for Karl Marx to clearly point out the source of surplus-value and the evolutionary tendency in economics. Marx did for economics what [Charles] Darwin did for biology. The discoveries of Marx placed Socialism upon solid ground and reduced it to a science.
        “Modern Socialism, then, is scientific and rests upon a historical, economic and scientific basis. It points out with accuracy the laws of social and economic evolution.”
        [Charles H. Vail. Principles of Scientific Socialism. New York: Commonwealth Company. 1899. Pages 5-6.]
        “Many express a fear of Socialism without realizing that one form of Socialism is already here,—the plutocratic. This plutocratic Socialism—Socialism without democracy—is the only form we need to fear. The trust utilizes the methods of Socialism—combination, co operation and co-ordination—to get the best results from man and nature without the Socialist aim and spirit. The trust is simply Socialism for the benefit of the few. The trust, however, has come, and come to stay. The only solution of the problem is that which has been pointed out,—the socialization of the trust, that the bene fits now monopolized by the few may become the in heritance of all. The choice must be made between plutocratic Socialism and democratic Socialism.” [Charles H. Vail. Principles of Scientific Socialism. New York: Commonwealth Company. 1899. Page 25.]
        “Under Socialism money—by which I mean gold, silver and their representatives—would become superfluous. To be sure, money may be used for some time after Socialism is established, and if minor businesses are left in private hands, it may be, for the sake of convenience, continued indefinitely. With the abolition of private capital, the part which it would play would be very meagre. The love of money, which is the root of all evil, would entirely disappear. Such is impossible under our present system, for money is the very quintessence of capitalism. But it may be asked, How would exchanges be carried on under Socialism ? We answer, By account, facilitated by labor checks. These checks, tickets or certificates of labor would readily take the place of money. Of course, for settling balances with foreign nations, gold and silver would be used, as bullion, the same as now.” [Charles H. Vail. Modern Socialism. New York: The Humboldt Library. 1897. Page 45.]
        “We must remember that the Co-operative Commonwealth is not a fixed system, but rather the most flexible of systems, aiding and abetting social evolution in every department. There is no form of wage payment now in vogue which is incompatible with the spirit of Socialism. Should equality of income be introduced and prove disastrous, as our friends prophesy, it would not mean the overthrow of social production; but rather the introduction of another principle of distribution.” [Charles H. Vail. Modern Socialism. New York: The Humboldt Library. 1897. Page 57.]
        “Interest-bearing capital would not exist under Socialism, for private ownership of the means of production would be impossible. And so interest, which is the remuneration for the use of capital in production, would cease. The reason why interest is paid to-day is, that money is employed productively with a view to profit by the sale of the product. A man borrows money to make money, and interest is but a fair division of the booty. When all capital is social, and a man can no longer use money in making money, he will not borrow and pay for its use. Under Socialism Aristotle’s view that money should not breed will be fully realized. The abolition of interest will be nothing arbitrary, but the natural result of the socialistic principle of collective capital. The dependence of labor upon capital, as at present, is un natural and the result of a perverse social system. The evils thus perpetrated can only be remedied by establishing the Co-operative Commonwealth, in which capital will become subservient to labor, and minister to labor’s happiness and freedom.” [Charles H. Vail. Modern Socialism. New York: The Humboldt Library. 1897. Page 62.]
      48. Marxian socialism (John Spargo): He proposes a democratic approach to Karl Marx’s socialism.
        “There is nothing in the theory of evolution by mutations that is incompatible with the Marxian theory of social evolution. But we must reject the catastrophic theory of sudden transformations of the social organism as being not only incompatible with the fundamental philosophy of Marxian Socialism, but contrary to the whole movement of history.” [John Spargo. Applied Socialism: A Study of the Application of Socialistic Principles to the State. New York: B. W. Heubsch. 1912. Page 30.]
        “It is a fundamental condition of Socialism that all such processes and functions be socialized. In other words, it is a sine qua non of Socialism that they be so organized as to eliminate profit-making by investors. This does not mean that they must all be taken over by the supreme political organization which we call the State. Nor does it mean that they must all be socialized at once. A few advocates of Socialism, more zealous than intelligent, seem to believe that there will be a grand transformation day upon which all the functions of capitalism will be socialized, but that idea is not held by thoughtful Socialists. It is in fact fundamentally opposed to the philosophical basis of modern Marxian Socialism.” [John Spargo. Applied Socialism: A Study of the Application of Socialistic Principles to the State. New York: B. W. Heubsch. 1912. Page 118.]
        “From time to time there have been many learned attempts to refute Marxian Socialism by the easy method of demonstrating the impossibility of basing a workable system of distribution upon the principle of giving to each worker the value of his labor-product. The authors of most of these attempts, like many ill-informed Socialists, have made the mistake of supposing that [Karl] Marx’s theory of value must be regarded as the basis of the system of distribution which the Socialist State must adopt. They have taken it for granted that the whole fabric of Socialist society would depend upon the perfect application of the law of value, the exchange of equivalent values. As a matter of fact, Marx’s theory of value has no more to do with the method of distribution in the Socialist State than with the length and breadth of the canals of Mars.” [John Spargo. Applied Socialism: A Study of the Application of Socialistic Principles to the State. New York: B. W. Heubsch. 1912. Page 185.]
        “… the abolition of all private industry is not an essential condition of modern, scientific Socialism. This is not a diluted form of Marxian Socialism: on the contrary, the strictest interpretation of Marxian Socialism leaves room for a good deal of private industrial enterprise. The private printing press will not be impossible under Socialism, nor is there any reason for sup posing that the private production of books, pam phlets, newspapers, pictures, statues or other works of art will entirely disappear.” [John Spargo. Applied Socialism: A Study of the Application of Socialistic Principles to the State. New York: B. W. Heubsch. 1912. Page 293.]
        “It would be impossible to get a Socialist and a Single-Taxer, for example, to agree if the discussion should take the form of an attempt to harmonize their respective philosophies or to determine which was the more worthy of support. The moment such a discussion was opened all chances of common understanding would be destroyed. Political parties are not based upon abstract philosophies, however, but upon definite measures and economic interests. Bearing this fact in mind, the followers of Marx and the followers of Henry George soon discovered that they were not opposed to each other; that, indeed, they have common interests. The Marxian Socialist may not, and does not, believe in the highly individualistic philosophy of the Single-Taxers, but he does believe in the principle of having the community take through taxation the unearned increment—the land values created by the community.” [John Spargo. Americanism and Social Democracy. New York and London: Harper & Brothers Publishers. 1918. Pages 49-50.]
        “Marxism, though it has come to be regarded as synonymous with Socialism, has in reality no definite and necessary connection with Socialism in the primary and essential meaning of that term. It consists, on the one hand, of a theoretical system, and, on the other hand, of a conception of tactics governing proletarian action. The principal features of theoretical Marxism are, first, a theory of social evolution and, second, a complete system of political economy. The conception of tactics is really derived from the theory of social evolution, and the sepa ration of the two is admittedly an arbitrary classification.
        “The doctrine of historical materialism, which finds in the material and economic forces the motivation of social progress, is the basis of the Marxian superstructure; but there is nothing in that doctrine which logically and inevitably leads to a belief in the soundness of collectivist principles. On the other hand, belief in collectivism does not logically and inevitably lead back to the acceptance of that theory of historical de velopment. It is quite possible for one to believe in the doctrine of historical materialism without any reservations whatsoever, and still believe that private ownership of railways, for example, is better than public ownership of railways. It is equally possible to believe fully in public ownership while rejecting utterly [Karl] Marx’s great theory. Some of the best-known exponents of that theory are anti-Socialists.”
        [John Spargo. Americanism and Social Democracy. New York and London: Harper & Brothers Publishers. 1918. Pages 193-194.]
        “The interindustrial and international trustification of industry shows a remarkable fulfillment of the law of capitalist concentration which the Socialists were the first to formulate; the existence of petty indus tries and businesses, or their numerical increase even, being a relatively insignificant matter compared with the enormous increase in large industries and busi nesses, and their share in the total volume of industry and commerce. In agriculture, concentration, while it does not proceed so rapidly or directly as in manu facture and commerce, and while it takes directions and forms unforeseen by the Socialists of a generation ago, proceeds surely nevertheless. Along with this concentration of capital and industry proceeds the concentration of wealth into proportionately fewer hands. While a certain diffusion of wealth takes place through the mechanism of capitalist concentra tion, by developing a new class of highly salaried officials, and enabling numerous small investors to own shares in great industrial and commercial cor porations, it is not sufficient to balance the expropria tion which goes on in the competitive struggle, and it is true that a larger proportion of the national wealth is owned by a minority of the population than ever before, that minority being proportionately less numerous than ever before. Further, the peculiar financial organization of modern capitalist society enables the ruling capitalists to control and use to their own advantage the wealth of others invested in industrial and commercial corporations. Thus to the concentration of ownership must be added the con centration of control, which plays an increasingly important part in capitalist economics.
        “Whatever defects there may be in the Marxian theory, as outlined by [Karl] Marx himself, and whatever modifications of his statement of it may be rendered necessary by changed conditions, in its main and es sential features it has successfully withstood all the criticisms which have been directed against it. Eco nomic literature is full of prophecies, but in its whole range there is not an instance of prophecy more literally and abundantly fulfilled than that which Marx made concerning the trend of capitalist develop ment. And Karl Marx was not a prophet — he but read clearly the meaning of certain facts which others had not learned to read, the law of social dynamics. That is not prophecy, but science.”
        [John Spargo. Socialism: A Summary and Interpretation of Socialist Principles. New York: The Macmillan Company. 1910. Pages 149-150.]
      49. industrial socialism (William D. Haywood and Frank Bohn): They explore a Marxist approach to democratic ownership by the working class.
        “Socialism is the future system of industrial society. Toward it America, Europe, Australasia, South Africa and Japan are rapidly moving. Under capitalism today the machines and other means of wealth production are privately owned. Under Socialism tomorrow they will be collectively owned. Under capitalism all popular constitutional government is merely political. Its main purpose is the protection of private property. Industry is at present governed by a few tyrants. Its purpose is to take from the workers as much wealth as possible. Under Socialism industrial government as well as political government will be democratic. Its purpose will be to manage production and to establish and conduct the great social institutions required by civilized humanity. Political government will then, of course, have ceased to exist.
        “This booklet is primarily an introduction to the study of Socialism. Its title has been chosen advisedly. But the authors have also in mind a second purpose. While there have been published a number of booklets with the contents of which they are in entire agreement, none has yet appeared in English which attempts to cover the whole matter of Socialist principles and tactics from the industrial standpoint. The point of view of industrial unionism is to them the most essential factor in the study of Socialism. Without that the whole literature of economics, politics and history is entirely worthless to the working class. With it the Socialist education of the workers begins. The authors are constantly presenting this point of view from the rostrum. This booklet makes it accessible to all those who wish to understand it.”
        [William D. Haywood and Frank Bohn. Industrial Socialism. New York: Charles H. Kerr & Company Co-operative. 1911. Page 4.]
        “The most priceless intellectual possession of the world’s workers has been the gift of the Socialist Movement. This includes a complete system of thought with regard to human society and social progress. It was worked out by the first great scientific Socialists, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Their main ideas are included in this system.…
        “… Until Marx it was generally thought that history was made by great men. Great men won battles, made treaties of peace, created constitutions and laws, ruled nations, and saved humanity from destruction. Marx and Engels showed, through their study of history, that this was a childish view of life and of government. The great facts of history—its wars, its governments, its art, science and literature—these were created by a deeper social force. This force, said Marx, was the economic or material force. People lived as they did and acted as they did, because they made their living in a certain way. If they used small, rude tools, and the soil they worked was poor, their ideas would be much different from what they would be if they used larger and more productive tools upon richer soil. The nature of man’s social life depends chiefly upon the physical conditions under which he is living. This same principle is true in matters of morality. An individual, or nation, or a class, will finally come to think that right which is to his material advantage. Nations make war in order to add to their possessions. Individuals engage in such work or business as will yield them the largest pay or profits. A class will fight to the death with another class over profits or wages.…
        “… An understanding of the class struggle … comes only from a knowledge of the economic interpretation of history. If the conditions of a people are determined by the nature of the tools they use, of the work they do, and by their relation to these tools (that is, whether they own them or not), then we may easily obtain an insight into the working class struggle. All the great revolutions of history, said Marx, have been class struggles. So, too, must be the movement of the workers. No class has been really free until it has ruled society. Therefore the working class, to be free, must rule society. But the workers, when they free themselves, will make slaves of no one. Machines will be so developed that every one can labor and live in freedom. Long ago slavery was necessary to the end that the master might develop civilization. Under Socialism a higher and better civilization will be open to all.”
        [William D. Haywood and Frank Bohn. Industrial Socialism. New York: Charles H. Kerr & Company Co-operative. 1911. Pages 55-58.]
      50. workers’ councils and the economics of self–managed society (Cornelius Castoriadis): Recalling the work of Daniel de Leon, Castoriadis proposes a libertarian approach to economic organization.
        “We would like to contribute this pamphlet to the serious and sustained discussion now taking place among libertarian revolutionaries about all aspects of a self-managed society. This discussion is already ranging widely and fruitfully over such fields as education, conditioning by the family, internalized repression, urbanism, town planning, ecology, new forms of art and communication, new relations between people, and between people and the essential content of their lives. In this surge of questioning one dimension is, however, missing. The dimension is that of economic organization. The silence here is quite deafening. Sure, there are occasional distant echoes of what [Daniel] de Leon said before the First World War about ‘socialist industrial unions’ – or about what various syndicalists have proclaimed, with diminishing credibility, about the need for ‘one big union.’ For modern revolutionaries, however, this is totally inadequate. Perhaps what we propose isn’t good enough either, but at least it tries to grapple with the problems of our epoch.” [Cornelius Castoriadis. Workers’ Councils and the Economics of Self-Managed Society. Edmonton, Alberta: Thought Crime Ink. 2014. Ebook edition.]
      51. council communism or councilism: Proponents of this position advocate for an economy controlled by workers’ councils. See the website, Left-Wing, Anti-Bolshevik and Council Communism.
        “In the course of 1921, the council-communist movement thus began to demarcate itself clearly from official Communism. The movement’s starting points can be summarised simply. Firstly, capitalism is in decline and should be abolished immediately. Secondly, the only alternative to capitalism is a democracy of workers’ councils, based on an economy controlled by the working class. Thirdly, the bourgeoisie and its social-democratic allies are trying to save capitalism from its fate by means of ‘democratic’ manipulation of the working class. Fourthly, in order to hasten the establishment of a democracy of councils, this manipulation must be consistently resisted. This means, on the one hand, boycotting all parliamentary elections and, on the other hand, systematically fighting against the old trade unions (which are organs for joint management of capitalism). Finally, Soviet-type societies are not an alternative to capitalism but, rather, a new form of capitalism.” [Marcel van der Linden, “On Council Communism.” Historical Materialism. Volume 12, issue 4, 2004. Pages 27-50.]
        “In the course of 1921, the council-communist movement … began to demarcate itself clearly from official Communism. The movement’s starting points can be summarised simply. Firstly, capitalism is in decline and should be abolished immediately. Secondly, the only alternative to capitalism is a democracy of workers’ councils, based on an economy controlled by the working class. Thirdly, the bourgeoisie and its social-democratic allies are trying to save capitalism from its fate by means of ‘democratic’ manipulation of the working class. Fourthly, in order to hasten the establishment of a democracy of councils, this manipulation must be consistently resisted. This means, on the one hand, boycotting all parliamentary elections and, on the other hand, systematically fighting against the old trade unions (which are organs for joint management of capitalism). Finally, Soviet-type societies are not an alternative to capitalism but, rather, a new form of capitalism.” [Marcel van der Linden, “On Council Communism.” Historical Materialism. Volume 12, number 4, 2004. Pages 27-50.]
        “The self-expropriation and proletarianization of the bourgeoisie by the second World War, the surmounting of nationalism by the abolition of small states, the state-capitalistic world-politic based on state federations, the spreading of the class concept until it fosters a majority interest in socialism, the shift of gravity from the typically laissez-faire form of bourgeois competition to the unavoidable collectivization of the future, the transformation of the class-struggle from an abstract-ideological category into a practical-positive-economic category, the automatic rise of factory councils after the unfolding of labor democracy as a reaction to bureaucratic terror, the exact rational regulations and directions of human activities and conduct through the abolition of the power of the impersonal, unconscious and blind market economy – all these factors car make us aware of the enormous upsurge of energies made free when the primitive, mechanical, raw and brutal beginnings of social collectivism, such as fascism presents, are at last overcome.” [Editor, “Prelude to Hitler—The International Politics of Germany: 1918-1933.” Living Marxism. Volume V, number 2, fall 1940. Pagination unknown.]
        “Searching in the past for radical elements which are of vital importance for present and future anti-capitalist struggles, this paper presents and discusses the critique of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union developed by the two largely neglected political and theoretical traditions of anarchism and Council Communism. It argues that despite their theoretical and political inconsistencies, ambiguities and mistakes, both trends have provided valuable insights that could contribute to our better understanding of the Russian Revolution and the formation of the Soviet Union. A critical assessment of the anarchist and councilist evaluation of the Russian Revolution represents a fundamental part of the process of critically assessing the radical anti-capitalist tradition and, therefore, it constitutes part of the present struggles for human emancipation. In this sense, the essay, firstly, examines the anarchists’ account of the Russian Revolution and their analysis of the new Soviet regime. Next, it considers the appraisal of the Soviet social formation carried out by the Council Communist tradition. It goes on to outline the contribution and the common perspectives that anarchists and Council Communists have shared.” [Christos Memos, “Anarchism and Council Communism on the Russian Revolution.” Anarchist Studies. Volume 20, number 2, autumn–winter 2012. Pages 22-47.]
        “The severe post-war political crisis in Germany during the years 1918-21 was the context for the emergence of a widespread network of workers’ councils which made a spectacular if rather ineffective challenge to the existing state apparatus. While the majority of these councils were dominated by the social democrats and did not express any aspirations beyond the establishment of a democratic republic within the framework of capitalism, there developed at the same time, within this broad council movement, a specific current of council communism with clear revolutionary and anti-capitalist goals. At its high-point in 1919 and 1920, this movement represented a powerful anti-bureaucratic Marxist alternative to the rapidly consolidating Leninist communist movement.” [John Gerber, “From Left Radicalism to Council Communism: Anton Pannekoek and German Revolutionary Marxism.” Journal of Contemporary History. Volume 23, number 2, 1988. Pages 169-189.]
        “… revolutionary syndicalism and council communism attempted to ‘generalize one model of organization, derived from the sphere of production, to all of society.’” [Kenneth H. Tucker, “How New are the New Social Movements?” Theory, Culture & Society. Volume 8, number 2, 1991. Pages 75-98.]
        “Sergio Bologna, a noted workerist who once referred to the concept of class composition as the ‘skeleton key which opens all doors’ …, put this model to work in a 1967 conference by effectively rewriting the history of the German councilist movement. After surveying the industrial geography of Germany at the turn of the century, he demonstrates how the particular ways in which laborpower was exploited in industrial production led to the adoption of the council as a form of struggle by those whose labor-power was being exploited.” [Salar Mohandesi, “Class Consciousness or Class Composition?” Science & Society. Volume 77, number 1, January 2013. Pages 72-97.]
      52. democratically elected community councils (Harry Magdoff and Fred Magdoff): In light of the failure of the former Soviet Union to establish socialism, the authors propose a council–based socialist and Marxist system.
        “Many factors underlie the failure to establish a socialist society in the Soviet Union. Despite major improvements in social welfare and an impressive industrialization, a clear road to socialism was never firmly established— certainly not the socialism [Karl] Marx advocated. While not capitalist, neither was the Soviet Union socialist.…
        “Empowerment applies to all domains and to all levels of society. Accordingly, the key to such empowerment—as opposed to generously conceded “participation” (that is actually effective exclusion for many)—is that it needs to begin during the struggle before a revolutionary transformation has occurred. Empowerment can be forged in the radical re-creation of a socialist mass movement, oriented toward its own enterprise of instituting a hegemonic alternative to capital’s social order. Following a revolutionary transformation a progressive self-empowerment can develop through aggressive popular intervention in the socioeconomic and political spheres, directly and indirectly defying and challenging the forces and institutions of the new society. Worker councils can work with the top management, choose management replacements when needed, and participate in a dynamic interaction with management over the work process and working conditions as well as future plans. Democratically elected community councils must also have similar power to shape the fabric and direction of their communities. This should lead in the direction of transferring power from the state to the people, with a greatly diminishing role for the state.”
        [Harry Magdoff and Fred Magdoff, “Approaching Socialism.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 57, issue 3, July–August 2005. Pages 19-61.]
        “A transformation must, by historical necessity, take place along a broad line, that private ownership of the means of production had been condemned by history, that it would break, that the exploiters would eventually be expropriated. This was established with scientific exactitude. We knew it when we raised in our hand the banner of socialism, when we declared ourselves socialists, when we founded socialist parties, and when we set out to transform society. We knew it when we seized power in order to embark on socialist reorganization. But the forms of transformation and the rapidity of the development of the concrete reorganization we could not know. Only collective experience, only the experience of millions, can give decisive indications in this respect.” [Harry Magdoff, “Are There Economic Laws of Socialism?” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 37, issue 3, July–August 1985. Pages 112-127.]
        “Think about the black population, the Hispanic population, the poor; If you are going to make a decision that gives first priority to the poorest, that will mean both taking away, not only from the very rich, but the not so rich, and also not leaving room for many people to have advancement in their standard of living. They are not going to be able to get a new car or any car, or whatever the case may be. Yet they are the majority. The question then comes: How do you have a democracy that is not simply one person, one vote? And I don’t know the answer.
        “We use the term democracy as if we all agreed what it means. But there is no real democracy, no matter how many people vote, if the rich and their allies determine the way the rest of the population lives. There’s no democracy if the rich and powerful dictate to and exploit the weaker nations, where the vast majority of the world population lives.
        “I think that none of this is going to happen without social movements. Big social movements, tied in with the working class. With the people. We’ll never get it until the consciousness of the people changes. We have to develop a new kind of democracy, which takes this into account.”
        [Harry Magdoff, “Creating a Just Society: Lessons from Planning in the U.S.S.R. & the U.S..” Huck Gutman, interviewer. Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 54, issue 5, October 2002. Pages 1-22.]
        “It is hard to organize unions in an environment where there is always surplus labor that can not only replace militant leaders but also an entire labor force, if necessary to break a strike. Workers in many businesses are well aware that if they get too bold and demand wage increases or resist concessions the response from owners will be to move the plant to Mexico or China. Thus, in addition to a mostly hostile government and media attitude toward labor for the last few decades, the fear of job loss has had a profoundly quieting effect on militancy. Union membership in the United States has declined markedly over the last two decades and now represents only 13 percent of wage and salary workers.” [Fred Magdoff and Harry Magdoff, “Disposable Workers: Today’s Reserve Army of Labor.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine. Volume 55, issue 11, April 2004. Pages 18-35.]
      53. council democracy (Alex Demirović as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He contrasts a democracy based upon upon councils with “liberal democracy.”
        “Democracy, as it is widely understood, is equated with parliaments, periodic elections, parties, and representation. This form of liberal democracy has repeatedly been in crisis since the 19ᵗʰ century, but it has consistently been able to revive itself and, if anything, expand further. Parliamentary democracy has once again been diagnosed as being gradually eroded and in crisis in recent years: the dominance of business interests in politics, the distance of parties and parliaments from the general public, the imperviousness of public opinion to the interests of the populace, the executive decisions made to benefit institutional investors, and the spread of corruption, as well as that of right-wing populism and nationalism, are all symptoms of this erosion. Critics often pin their hopes on forms of direct democracy, but contrary to what this term suggests, it offers little potential for participation or agency. Direct democracy operates within the framework of liberal democracy, which is based on finding majorities to pass bills and therefore ultimately on a dichotomous yes or no position. As a result, social relations themselves are not constituted in a directly democratic way. Rather, direct democracy adds yet another procedure arises which is supplementary to the parliament instead.
        “Liberal democracy separates the economic from the political sphere, the public from the private sphere and the universal from the particular in the social sphere.…
        “Council democracy, by contrast, extends collective self-determination to much more than the economic sphere alone. More importantly, it comprehends all social labor as well as the social division of labor, and consequently challenges the separation and configuration of economics and politics, everyday reproductive labor and social decision-making, as well as the separation of the public and private spheres. It makes that challenge in the interest of reorganizing and democratically structuring social life in its entirety rather than simply for the benefit of individual workplaces or regions. The state, as an ostensibly neutral authority enthroned above society, consequently becomes superfluous because the planned management of production and distribution in the society is organized from below …. From this perspective, democracy is no longer merely a political regime but instead constitutes a way of life that determines every sphere and as such constitutes a different form of community, which [Karl] Marx identifies as the association of free individuals.”
        [Alex Demirović, “Council Democracy, or the End of the Political.” Joe Keady, translator. An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy. Dario Azzellini, editor. London: Zed Books. 2015. Pages 35-65.]
      54. automatic rise of factory councils (Otto Rühle as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He formulates a perspective on council communism.
        “Hope for the final uprising of the proletariat and its historical deliverance does not spring from the miserable remnants of the old movements in the still-democratic countries, and still less from the shabby fragments of those party traditions that were scattered and spilled in the emigration of the world. Nor does it spring from the stereotyped notions of past revolutions, regardless of whether one believes in the blessings of violence or in ‘peaceful transition.’ Hope comes rather from the new urges and impulses which will animate the masses in the totalitarian states and will force them to make their own history. The self-expropriation and proletarianization of the bourgeoisie by the second World War, the surmounting of nationalism by the abolition of small states, the state-capitalistic world-politic based on state federations, the spreading of the class concept until it fosters a majority interest in socialism, the shift of gravity from the typically laissez-faire form of bourgeois competition to the unavoidable collectivization of the future, the transformation of the class-struggle from an abstract-ideological category into a practical-positive-economic category, the automatic rise of factory councils after the unfolding of labor democracy as a reaction to bureaucratic terror, the exact and rational regulations and directions of human activities and conduct through the abolition of the power of the impersonal, unconscious and blind market economy – all these factors can make us aware of the enormous upsurge of energies made free when the primitive, mechanical, raw and brutal beginnings of a social collectivism, such as fascism presents, are at last overcome.” [Otto Rühle, “Which Side To Take?” Living Marxism. Volume 5, number 2, fall 1940. Pagination unknown.]
        “[Karl] Marx was justified in promoting the adoption of a policy which, he was convinced, could alone lead to the liberation of the proletariat. He was right, too, in insisting that the International must free itself from [Mikhail] Bakunin, seeing that Bakunin was a declared opponent of this policy, and was doing all he could to counteract it. But that Marx, in order to secure this concrete triumph, should have stooped to personal calumny, is a condemnation, not of Bakunin, but of Marx himself. We have here a deplorable demonstration of the disastrous trait in his character which made him regard all the problems of politics, the labour movement, and the revolution, from the outlook of their bearing on his personal credit. A council of international revolutionaries, whose main business in life is to blow to smithereens the world of private property and bourgeois morality, is induced by its leader to pass a vote of reprobation and a sentence of expulsion upon one of the most brilliant, heroic, and fascinating of revolutionists the world has ever known on the ground that this revolutionist has misappropriated bourgeois property. Is it possible to point to anything more painfully absurd in the whole story of the human race?” [Otto Rühle. Karl Marx: His Life and Works. Eden and Cedar Paul, translators. New York: The Viking Press. 1929. Ebook edition.]
        “However much the revolution develops into the international affair, it is above all an affair of each country, of each people for itself. Though the revolutionary experiences of Russia may be valuable to the proletariat of a country, as thankful as it will be for fraternal advice and neighbourly help – the revolution itself is its own affair; it must be independent in the struggles, free in its decisions, and unbiased and unimpeded in its evaluation and exploitation of the revolutionary situation.” [Otto Rühle, “Moscow and Ourselves.” Mike Jones, translator. Die Aktion. Volume 10, number 37/38, September 1920. Pagination unknown.]
        “The Third International describes itself as the communist International. It wants to be more than it is capable of. It is the revolutionary International, no more and no less. It is located at the highest point to date on the graduated scale of Internationals and it achieves the greatest task that it can accomplish and which it is possible to achieve today.…
        “Russia is still a long way, by many miles, from communism. Russia, the first country which has arrived at revolution and conducted it victoriously to the end, will be the last country to arrive at communism.
        “No absolutely not, the Third International is not a communist International!
        [Otto Rühle. Moscow and Us. Leuven, Belgium: Anarchy is Order: Principles, Propositions & Discussions for Land and Freedom. 2001. Page 5.]
        “… [The] council movement [Vladimir] Lenin could use no longer in Russia. In other European countries it showed strong tendencies to oppose the Bolshevik type of uprisings. Despite Moscow’s tremendous propaganda in all countries, the so-called ‘ultra-lefts,’ as Lenin himself pointed out, agitated more successfully for revolution on the basis of the council movement, than did all the propagandists sent by the Bolshevik Party. The Communist Party, following Bolshevism, remained a small, hysterical, and noisy group consisting largely of the proletarianized shreds of the bourgeoisie, whereas the council movement gained in real proletarian strength and attracted the best elements of the working class. To cope with this situation, Bolshevik propaganda had to be increased; the ‘ultra-left’ had to be attacked; its influence had to be destroyed in favour of Bolshevism.” [Otto Rühle, “The struggle against fascism begins with the struggle against Bolshevism.” Living Marxism. Volume 4, number 8, 1939. Pagination unknown.]
        “It is a new beginning for the communist movement the communist workers party, the revolutionary factory organisations regrouped in the General Workers Union, the revolutionary councils, the congress of revolutionary councils, the government of the revolutionary councils, the communist dictatorship of the councils.” [Otto Rühle. The revolution is not a party affair. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 1920.]
        “When numerous labourers work together side by side, whether in one and the same process, or in different but connected processes, they are said to co-operate, or to work in co-operation.” [Otto Rühle (abridgement of Karl Marx’s Capital). Capital: A critique of political economy. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 1939.]
        “… [Otto] Rühle deemed the Bolsheviks’ foreign policy (especially the Peace of Brest-Litovsk) and the distribution of land, which re-established private property in the agricultural sector, as acts of bourgeois politics. Unlike Trotsky, he argued that the nationalisation of the basic branches of the economy did not relate to socialism and emphatically pointed out that ‘nationalisation is not socialisation. Through nationalisation you can arrive at a large-scale, tightly centrally-run state capitalism, which may exhibit various advantages as against private capitalism. Only it is still capitalism.’ By the same token, the Red Army was considered to have been a bourgeois army because of its organisational structure and the function it served for the benefit of the bourgeois-capitalist interests. Diametrically opposed to any socialist principle, the Bolshevik authorities persecuted the social and political fighters, imprisoned and sentenced them to death. The Soviet capitalist state was run by a ‘centrally organised commissariat-bureaucracy’ which imposed its will by following a ‘bourgeois capitalist policy.’ Rühle did acknowledge that there was a substantial proletarian-socialist element within the Russian Revolution, which played a vital role in overthrowing tsarism, primarily due to the incapacity of the Russian bourgeoisie to fulfil its historical mission. In an apotheosis of the most positivist and deterministic elements of Marx and orthodox Marxism, however, Rühle came to argue that the Russian Revolution could only be a bourgeois revolution. Thus, he noted that ‘according to the phaseological pattern of development as formulated and advocated by Marx, after feudal tsarism in Russia there had to come the capitalist bourgeois state, whose creator and representative is the bourgeois class.’” [Christos Memos, “Anarchism and Council Communism on the Russian Revolution.” Anarchist Studies. Volume 20, number 2, 2012. Pages 22-47.]
        “Much the best parts of this book are the historical sections. In these are brought together many details of the activities of revolutionary societies throughout Europe from the early ’[eighteen-]forties of last century down to the break-up of the First International in 1873. Much of this history, as, for example, that of the Federation of the Just formed by exiles in Paris in 1836 and subsequently converted into the Communist League, is not readily accessible elsewhere in English. In this book it is well told and the reader meets a varied company of revolutionary personalities—exiled and discontented aristocrats, escaped prisoners from Siberia, journalists, proletarians, politicians from France, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Russia—whose names have mostly been forgotten even amongst the leaders of movements of which they were the direct forbears.” [Barbara Wootton, “Karl Marx: His Life and Works.” Review article. The Economic Journal. Volume 40, number 158, June 1930. Pages 323-324.]
      55. theory of proletarian action (Antonie Pannekoek as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, in the original Dutch, or Anton Pannekoek as pronounced in this MP3 audio file, in the German): He develops an council communist approach to revolutionary mass action.
        “It is only when taken together that the two statements ‘The actions of men are entirely determined by their material relations’ and ‘Men must make their history themselves through their own actions’ constitute the Marxist view as a whole. The first rules out the arbitrary notion that a revolution can be made at will; the second eliminates the fatalism that would have us simply wait until the revolution happens of its own accord through some perfect fruition of development. While both maxims are correct in theoretical terms, they necessarily receive different degrees of emphasis in the course of historical development. When the party is first flourishing and must before all else organise the proletariat, seeing its own development as the primary aim of its activity, the truth embodied in the first maxim gives it the patience for the slow process of construction, the sense that the time of premature putsches is past and the calm certainty of eventual victory. Marxism takes on a predominantly historico-economic character in this period; it is the theory that all history is economically determined, and drums into us the realisation that we must wait for conditions to mature. But the more the proletariat organises itself into a mass movement capable of forceful intervention in social life, the more it is bound to develop a sense of the second maxim. The awareness now grows that the point is not simply to interpret the world, but to change it. Marxism now becomes the theory of proletarian action. The questions of how precisely the proletariat’s spirit and will develop under the influence of social conditions and how the various influences shape it now come into the foreground; interest in the philosophical side of Marxism and in the nature of the mind now comes to life. Two Marxists influenced by these different stages will therefore express themselves differently, the one primarily emphasising the determinate nature of the mind, the other its active role; they will both lead their respective truths into battle against each other, although they both pay homage to the same Marxian theory.” [Anton Pannekoek. Marxist Theory and Revolutionary Tactics. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 1912.]
        “Whereas the Communist Parties, directed by the Moscow Comintern, refer to Marxism as their guiding doctrine, they meet with more and more opposition from the most advanced workers in Western Europe and America, most radically from the ranks of Council communism. These contradictions, extending over all important problems of life and of the social struggle, can be cleared up only by penetrating into the deepest, i.e., the philosophical principles of what is called Marxism in these different trends of thought.” [Anton Pannekoek. Lenin As Philosopher: A Critical Examination of the Philosophical Basis of Leninism. Revised edition. Lance Byron Richey, editor. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marquette University Press. 2003. Pages 63-64.]
        “They [workers] must, every man of them, act themselves, decide themselves, hence think out and know for themselves. Only in this way will a real class organization be built up from below, having the form of something like workers’ councils. It is of no avail that they have been convinced that their leaders know what is afoot and have gained the point in theoretical discussion—an easy thing when each is acquainted with the writings of his own party only. Out of the contest of arguments they have to form a clear opinion themselves. There is no truth lying ready at hand that has only to be imbibed; in every new case truth must be contrived by exertion of one’s own brain.” [Anton Pannekoek. Lenin As Philosopher: A Critical Examination of the Philosophical Basis of Leninism. Revised edition. Lance Byron Richey, editor. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marquette University Press. 2003. Page 157.]
        “Given the impossibility to collect the workers of all the factories into one meeting, they can only express their will by means of delegates. For such bodies of delegates in later times the name of workers’ councils has come into use. Every collaborating group or personnel designates the members who in the council assemblies have to express its opinion and its wishes. These took an active part themselves in the deliberations of this group, they came to the front as able defenders of the views that carried the majority. Now they are sent as the spokesmen of the group to confront the views with those of other groups in order to come to a collective decision. Though their personal abilities play a role in persuading the colleagues and in clearing problems, their weight does not lay in their individual strength, but in the strength of the community that delegated them. What carries weight are not simple opinions but still more the will and the readiness of the group to act accordingly. Different persons will act as delegates according to the different questions raised and the forthcoming problems.” [Anton Pannekoek. Workers’ Councils. Anton Pannekoek, translator of his own Dutch-language text into the English language. Oakland, California: AK Press. 2003. Page 24.]
        “In his theory [Karl] Marx started with the information at hand in his time. The great political revolution that gave Europe the aspect it had, the French Revolution, was known to everyone to have been a struggle for supremacy, waged by the bourgeois against nobility and royalty. After this struggle new class struggles originated. The struggle carried on in England by the manufacturing capitalists against the landowners dominated politics; at the same time the working class revolted against the bourgeoisie. What were all these classes? Wherein did they differ from each other? Marx proved that these class distinctions were owing to the various functions each one played in the productive process. It is in the productive process that classes have their origin, and it is this process which determines to what class one belongs. Production is nothing else than the social labor process by which men obtain their means of subsistence from nature. It is the production of the material necessities of life that forms the main structure of society and that determines the political relations and social struggles.” [Anton Pannekoek. Marxism and Darwinism. Nathan Weiser, translator. Chicago, Illinois: Charles H. Kerr & Company. 1912. Page 17.]
        “The knowledge and the tactics which, during the early rise of capitalism, were of great service to the proletariat, failed in the face of the new imperialistic development. Outwardly this was apparent in the increasing impotency of the parliament and the labor union movement intellectually in the substitution of tradition and declamation for clear insight and militant tactics, in stultification of tactics and the forms of organization, in the transformation of the revolutionary theory of Marxism into a doctrine of passive expectation.” [Anton Pannekoek, “The Third International.” International Socialist Review. Volume 17, number 8, February 1917. Pages 460-462.]
        “It is to be expected that, as a result of great economic tension and conflict, the class struggle of the future proletariat will flare up into mass action; whether this mass action be the came of wage conflicts wars or economic crises, whether the shape it takes be that of mass strikes, street riots or armed struggle; the proletariat will establish council organizations – organs of selfdetermination and uniform execution of action. This will particularly be the case in Germany. There the old political organs of the class struggle have been destroyed; workers stand side by side as individuals with no other allegiance but to that of their class. Should far-reaching political movements develop in Germany, the workers could function only as a class, fight only as a class when they oppose the capitalist principle of one-man dictatorship with the proletarian principle of self-determination of the masses. In other parliamentary countries, on the other hand, the workers are severely handicapped in their development of independent class action by the activities of the political parties. These parties promise the working class safer fighting methods, force upon the workers their leadership and make the majority of the population their unthinking followers, with the aid of their propaganda machinery. In Germany these handicaps are a dying tradition.” [Anton Pannekoek, “State Capitalism and Dictatorship.” International Council Correspondence. Volume III, number 1, January 1937. Pagination unknown.]
        “… now is the time to bring to the fore the other part of Marxism which has been so neglected; now, when the workers movement must find a new direction, in order to overcome the narrow views and the passivity of the old era, if it wants to overcome the crisis. Men must themselves make history, or else history will be made by others for them. Of course, they cannot build without taking the circumstances into account, but they build nonetheless. Man himself is the element which can actively shape history. In effect, the economy must condition him, but he must act. Without his action, nothing happens; and acting in the sense of changing society is something very different and much greater than depositing a vote in a ballot box every five years. A new world can by no means be built so easily. The human spirit is not just the product of economic relations, but is also the cause of change in those relations. Great changes in the mode of production (such as, for example, the passage from feudalism to capitalism, and from the latter to socialism) only take place when new needs influence man’s spirit, and lead him to a particular form of desired action; when this will to action becomes effective man changes society, for the purpose of making society meet his new needs. Marxism has taught us how our predecessors, by changing their world, were driven by social forces; now it teaches us that today’s men, driven by economic necessity, must get to work if they want to change the world.” [Anton Pannekoek. Marxism as Action. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 1915.]
        “Without the action of the masses, there can be no revolution.
        “Two things can follow. The masses remain in action: they do not go home and leave the government to the new party. They organize their power in factory and workshop and prepare for further conflict in order to defeat capital; through the workers’ councils they establish a form union to take over the complete direction of all society—in other words, they prove, they are not as incapable of revolution as it seemed. Of necessity then, conflict will arise with the party which itself wants to take control and which sees only disorder and anarchy in the self-action of the working class. Possibly the workers will develop their movement and sweep out the party. Or, the party, with the help of bourgeois elements defeats the workers. In either case, the party is an obstacle to the revolution because it wants to be more than a means of propaganda and enlightenment; because it feels itself called upon to lead and rule as a party.”
        [Anton Pannekoek. Party and Class. London: Anarchist Federation. 2009. Pages 8-9.]
        “What distinguishes revolution from what is today called social reform? Its depth. The revolution is a series of profound and decisive reforms. Where does this decisive character come from? It comes from the class that accomplishes them. Today it is the bourgeoisie, or even the nobility, that holds power. All that these classes do they naturally do in their own interests. It’s in their self-interest that they accord the workers a few ameliorations. As soon as they see that reforms don’t succeed in putting down the people they begin to concoct new laws of an oppressive character. In Germany these are laws against the freedom of assembly, against cooperatives, sick funds, etc. After the revolution the proletariat will act in its own interest in making the machine of state work for it. The difference between revolution and social reform consequently resides in the class holding power.
        “Those who believe that we will manage to gradually realize socialism by social reform within the current regime misunderstand the class antagonisms that determine reforms. Current social reform, having as a goal the preservation of the capitalist system, finds itself in opposition to the proletarian reform of tomorrow, which will have the contrary goal: the suppression of the system.
        “The organic connection that exists today between reform and revolution is completely different. In fighting for reform the working class develops and makes itself strong. It ends by conquering political power. This is the unity of reform and revolution. It’s only in this special sense that it can said that from today on we work every day for the revolution.”
        [Anton Pannekoek, “Two Sorts of Reforms (1908),” in Anton Pannekoek. Essential Pannekoek. Berkeley, California: The Anarchist Library imprint of Open Guild Organization. 1962. Pages 11-12.]
        “Antonie (German form: Anton) Pannekoek was born on January 2, 1873, at Vassen, a little village of Gelderland, an agricultural region, then one of the most backward provinces of the Netherlands, From his rural childhood he seems to have kept a taste for a simple language little graced with literary artifice, and at times somewhat rough. He studied mathematics at the University of Leyden which, in 1902, was to confer on him a Doctorate in Astronomy. Among the professors under whom he studied was the illustrious Kapteyn of Gronigen, one of the first to apply photographic techniques systematically to the observation of celestial bodies and to the study of their distribution in space. It was, then, to studies concerning the precise motion of the stars that the young Pannekoek first devoted his intellectual energies.” [Serge Bricianer. Pannekoek and the Workers’ Councils. Malachy Carroll, translator. St. Louis, Missouri: Telos Press. 1978. Pages 32-33.]
        “At its [council communism’s] high-point in 1919 and 1920, this movement [in Germany] represented a powerful anti-bureaucratic Marxist alternative to the rapidly consolidating Leninist communist movement. The most articulate theorization of revolutionary council communism was provided by the Dutch Marxist theorist Anton Pannekoek, who had a long career of activism in both Dutch and German social democracy.… Although left radicalism in Bremen [Germany] represented one of the two poles around which the early German communist movement gravitated and exemplified what was, perhaps, at the heart of the west European revolutionary Marxist tradition, few historians have paid much attention to this movement or attempted to trace its evolution into council communism. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to describe and analyse the development of the left radical movement in Bremen from its origins shortly after the turn of the century to its rapid demise as a form of council communism in the period after 1920.…
        “Pannekoek carried the issues raised by the demonstrations …, articulating for the first time a new theory of mass action ….
        “Pannekoek’s theory of mass action was underpinned by a substratum of ideas about the role and limitations of traditional working-class organizations and the relationship between leaders and followers. He argued that the key issue confronting the socialist movement was the contradiction between the will to struggle of the masses and the inability of the party and trades union leadership to give expression to that will. He felt that because of the bureaucratic nature of the traditional working-class organizations, the leaders were far less radical in terms of basic revolutionary perceptions and insights than the masses of workers. Unlike the workers, whose thoughts were derived from perceptions of collectivity, the party and trades union leaders could think and reason only in terms of themselves.”
        [John Gerber, “From Left Radicalism to Council Communism: Anton Pannekoek and German Revolutionary Marxism.” Journal of Contemporary History. Volume 23, number 2, April 1988. Pages 169-189.]
        “[Anton] Pannekoek’s point of departure was his belief that Marxism was composed of both determinist and activist elements, each of which had received different degrees of emphasis in different historical periods. During the early phase of industrialization, when socialists were confronted with the task of organizing the proletariat and preventing premature putsches, Marxism took on a predominantly historico-economic character as a means of giving the movement self-confidence and a long range justification. But as the proletariat became better organized and more capable of active intervention in social life, Marxism was increasingly seen as a theory of proletarian action. The conclusion Pannekoek drew from this was that [Karl] Kautsky’s perspective was derived from conceptions formed during the early stages of the worker’s movement, which accounted for his fear of defeat and emphasis on self restraint. Pannekoek felt that his own position reflected the sentiments of a younger generation of workers, whose conceptions had been forged during the mass struggles of the preceding decade.” [John Gerber. Anton Pannekoek and the Socialism of Workers’ Self-Emancipation, 1873-1960. Dordrecht, the Netherlands, Boston, Massachusetts, and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 1989. Pages 76-77.]
      56. Marxism–Gorterism (Herman Gorter as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Gorter, a Dutch–language poet, developed a version of left–wing communism. Among his proposals was that industrial organizations should be unified into a single league.
        “On every occasion we summon them [the workers] for common action: for the strike, the boycott, for revolt, street fights, and especially for the workers’ councils, the industrial councils. We seek them everywhere. Only not in parliament, as we used to do. This, in Western Europe, belongs to a past epoch. But in the workshop, in the union and in the street – that is where we find them. That is where we win them. This is the new practice, succeeding social democratic practice. It is the Communist practice.…
        “You seek to slyly deceive the workers. You put the rope round their neck and let them hang. We help them to avoid the rope. We do this because here we are able to do so. You follow the tactics of the peasant races; we those of the industrial races. This is no scorn, and no mockery. I believe that with you it was the right way. Only you should not – either in this small matter, or in the great question of parliamentarism – force on us what was good in Russia but leads to destruction here.…
        “As you did then, we of the Left Wing wish to do now in the Third International. Through our very programme and tactics we wish to chase away all vacillating and opportunist elements; we only wish to accept the truly Communist, truly revolutionary ones, we wish to carry out truly communist action. And all this exclusively with a view to inspiring the entire class with communist spirit, and of preparing it for the revelation and the dictatorship.…
        “We, comrades of the Left Wing, must stand close together, must start everything from below upward, and must criticise as keenly as possible all those that in the Third International do not go the right way (Personally I believe that in countries where the revolution is far off as yet, and the workers are not yet strong enough to make it, parliamentarism can still be used. The sharpest criticism of the parliamentary delegates is necessary in that case. Other comrades, I believe, are of a different opinion.).…
        “It would be a thousand times worse, that opportunism, with its devastating effect on the soul and the strength of the proletariat, should again slip in, than that the Left Wing should be too radical. The Left Wing, even though at times it goes too far, always remains revolutionary. The Left Wing will alter its tactics as soon as they are not right. The opportunist Right will grow ever more opportunist, will sink ever further into the morass, will corrupt the workers to an ever greater extent. Not in vain have we learned from twenty-five years of struggle.…
        “The Left Wing believes that the West-European revolution will make and follow its own laws.…
        “And, finally, I will gather my statements into a few theses, so that the workers who must strive for themselves to gain a clear insight into those tactics, may have them before their eyes in a concise, surveyable form. They have to be read, of course, in the light of the above exposition.
        1. “The tactics of the West-European revolution must be different from those of the Russian revolution.
        2. “For here the proletariat stands alone.
        3. “Here the proletariat must make the revolution all by itself, against all other classes.
        4. “The importance of the proletarian masses, therefore, is relatively greater, and that of the leaders smaller than in Russia.
        5. “Consequently, here the proletariat must have the very best weapons for the revolution.
        6. “The Trade Unions being insufficient weapons, they must be replaced or changed into industrial organisations, that are united into one league.
        7. “As the proletariat must make the revolution all alone, without help, it has to rise very high morally as well as spiritually. It is better therefore not to use parliamentarism in the revolution.”
        [Herman Gorter, “Part One: Herman Gorter.” Non-Leninist Marxism: Writings on the Workers Councils. Red and Black Publishers, editor. St. Petersburg, Florida: Red and Black Publishers. 2007. Kindle edition.]
        “She sits still, looks ahead
        “past her cheeks so red,
        “her fingers move everywhere
        “over her legs, both bare.
        “Her light hair is still,
        “the eyes cannot be seen,
        “her breasts too are still,
        “all is serene.
        “Beneath her chin red light –
        “warm shadow,
        “and in her lap, bright,
        “darker shadow.”
        [Herman Gorter. Herman Gorter: Poems Of 1890, A Selection. Paul Vincent, translator. London: UCL Press. 2015. Creative Commons. Page 61.]
        “There only remained the ‘Gorterist’ opposition in Amsterdam ….” [Philippe Bourrinet. The Dutch and German Communist Left (1900–1968). Online PDF file. No publication information. Page 114.]
        “The young Herman [Gorter] was the beneficiary of a major reform in Dutch secondary education introduced in 1864, attending a new-style high school, the Higher Civic School (HBS). Ironically, though the syllabus at these institutions was largely science and modern language-based, Gorter’s great love was Classical studies, which he went on to study at Amsterdam University, where in 1889 he received his doctorate for a thesis on Aeschylus’ use of metaphor (after having a more daring project on poetic inspiration rejected). Shortly afterwards he was appointed to his first post as a Classics teacher and the following year married his fiancée Wies Cnoop Koopmans, despite expressing some last-minute doubts. Those doubts were not unfounded. Though the couple remained together until his wife’s death in 1916, it was an ‘open’ marriage, at least on Gorter’s side, and a childless one. The poet’s powerful erotic drive sought an outlet in two intense long-term relationships, with Ada Prins and later with Jenne Clinge Doorenbos, of which he made no secret. Jenne, herself a writer, became his editor and collaborator as well as muse (‘the Spirit of Music’ as the poet dubbed her in Nietzschean style).” [Paul Vincent, “Herman Gorter (1864-1927): Poet, Lover and Revolutionary.” The Low Countries. Volume 19, 2011. Pages 138-147.]
      57. Group of International Communists: This group is based upon the principles of council communism.
        “With this work the Group of International Communists have put forward for debate, for the first time in the post-war history of the working class movement, the practical possibility of ordering social production and distribution on the basis of a use-value economy. They have brought together all the experience accumulated as a result of earlier attempts, by theoretical representatives of the working class of a previous era, to solve this most ultimate and conclusive of all areas of the revolutionary theory of the proletariat, in order that the root causes which in the final outcome render all those earlier efforts scientifically untenable may be laid bare and so prevented from generating further confusion.…
        “The simple language and the clear methods of analysis employed, which are understandable to every class-conscious worker, ensure that every revolutionary who diligently studies the following pages can also fully grasp their content. The clarity and disciplined objectivity of the writing likewise open up the possibility of a broad arena of discussion within the working class movement, one which can draw into its orbit all the varied schools of opinion represented within its ranks. Since we Council Communists also, within our own ranks, must subject the possibilities projected here to the most thoroughgoing discussion, we reserve for a latter date the final expression of our standpoint towards the exposition which follows.”
        [Group of International Communists. The Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution. Mike Baker, translator and editor. London: Movement for Workers’ Councils. 1990. Page 27.]
      58. neo–councilism (Jim Davis): He proposes twenty–seven theses for what he calls “a Marxist–based Anarchism.”
        THESES FOR A NEO-COUNCILISM (1983)
        1. “Neo-councilism, which I considered to be a Marxist-based Anarchism, is a direct result of the defeated French Revolution of May-June 1968.…
        2. “Neo-Councilism is based upon the historical sources of libertarian revolutionary theory, combined with the lessons that have been learned from both the successes, and of the failures of past revolutionary situations. From such a base, we can then develop a practical revolutionary theory that can be realized by practice.
        3. “My philosophy is that of dialectical evolutionism. Material conditions arise in connection with thought; thought arises in connection with the material conditions. The realization of thought demands action; the realization of action demands thought.
        4. “Neo-Councilists are not vulgar determinists, either in history or in economics.…
        5. “The kind of society that we want to help in the creation of, is by conception a classless one in which there are neither rulers, nor ruled.…
        6. “Neo-Councilists maintain that the future society must be organized upon the basis of workers’ and consumers’ councils.…
        7. “… The aim of the social revolution is for the producers to gain control over the means of production, thus gaining control over their lives.…
        8. “The only solution to the present crisis is world revolution.…
        9. “The struggle against capitalism and its state is not just the activity of one special group.…
        10. “… The future society must be built, and to build one must have a plan.…
        11. “… The idea of freedom is an innate part of the human condition.…
        12. “… The act of nationalization means that the state will control all that which is being nationalized.…
        13. “There does not exist anywhere upon this planet libertarian socialism.…
        14. “… The triumph of the social revolution means the elimination of the capitalist modes of production and consumption.…
        15. “Neo-Councilists have no interest in the reform of capitalism, for we want to abolish it.…
        16. “In regards to technology, as a whole, it can be either libratory or oppressive.…
        17. “Neo-Councilists support the movement for total nuclear disarmament ….
        18. “Neo-Councilists recognize that the unions, under capitalism, have lost all practical value ….
        19. “Self-management under capitalism is nothing more than a new tactic of capitalism ….
        20. “Under capitalism all elections are nothing more than mystifications.…
        21. “Religion is purely a private affair upon the level of the individual.…
        22. “All so-called ‘national liberation movements’ are nothing more than a mystification of the deadly struggle between the imperialistic superpowers.…
        23. “As capitalism degenerates it creates the forces of its destruction, and therefore has to resort to even more tricks to maintain its power.…
        24. “As to the road of action we reject the use of terrorism.…
        25. “… The work group must be able to survive the transition intact.…
        26. “We, as Neo-Councilists, recognize the importance of the military side of revolution.…
        27. “Revolutionaries do not make the revolution; the breakdown of capitalist society will do that.”
        [Jim Davis. Vision and Praxis: A manifesto of Non-State & Non-Market Socialism. Raleigh, North Carolina: Lulu Publishing. 2011. Ebook edition.]
      59. anti–Bolshevik communism (Paul Mattick, Sr. [German, Paul Mattick, sen, as pronounced in this MP3 audio file]): Mattick developed an approach to council communism.
        “… revolutions involved the organised as well as unorganised masses of workers, which created their own and new form of organisation for action and control in the spontaneously- arising workers’ and soldiers’ councils. But in both Russia and Central Europe the actual content of the revolution was not equal to its new revolutionary form. Whereas in Russia it was mainly the objective unreadiness for a socialist transformation, in Central Europe, and here particularly in Germany, it was the subjective unwillingness to institute socialism by revolutionary means, which largely accounts for the self-limitation and finally the abdication of the council movement in favour of bourgeois democracy. The ideology of Social Democracy had left its mark; the great mass of workers mistook the political for a social revolution; the socialisation of production was seen as a governmental concern, not as that of the workers themselves. In Russia, it is true, the Bolshevik Party advanced the slogan ‘All power to the Soviets,’ but only for opportunistic reasons, in order to reach its true goal in the authoritarian rule of the Bolshevik Party.
        “By itself, the workers’ self-initiative and self-organisation offers no guarantee for their emancipation. It has to be realised and maintained through the abolition of the capital-labour relationship in production, through a council system, which destroys the social class divisions and prevents the rise of new ones based on the control of production and distribution by the national state. However difficult this may prove to be, the history of the existing state-capitalist systems leaves no doubt that this is the only way to a socialist society. This had already been recognised by small minorities in the radical movement prior to, during, and after the Russian Revolution and was brought into the open within the communist movement as an opposition to Bolshevism and the theory and practice of the Third International. It is this movement and the ideas it brought forth, which this volume recalls, not, however, to describe a particular part and phase of labour history, but as a warning, which may also serve as a guide for future actions.
        [Paul Mattick, Sr. Anti-Bolshevik Communism. London: Merlin Press. 1978. Pages x-xi.]
        “The Russian soviets and the German workers’ and soldiers’ councils represented the proletarian element in both the Russian and the German revolution. In both nations these movements were soon suppressed by military and judicial means. What remained of the Russian soviets after the firm entrenchment of the Bolshevik party dictatorship was merely the Russian version of the later Nazi labor-front. The legalized German council movement turned into an appendage of trade-unionism and soon into a capitalistic form of control. Even the spontaneously formed councils of 1918 were – the majority of them – far from revolutionary. Their form of organization, based on class needs and not on the various special interests resulting from the capitalistic division of labor, was all that was radical about them. But whatever their shortcomings, it must be said that there was nothing else on which to base revolutionary hopes. Although they frequently turned against the Left, still it was expected that the objective needs of this movement would bring it inevitably into conflict with the traditional powers. This form of organization was to be preserved in its original character and built up in preparation for coming struggles.” [Paul Mattick, Sr., “Anti-Bolshevist Communism in Germany.” Southern Advocate for Workers’ Councils. Number 37, August–September 1947. Pagination unknown.]
        “The application of the social average labor hour as the computing unit presupposes the existence of workers’ councils (soviets). Each enterprise comes forward as an independent unit and is at the same time, as we shall show later, connected with all the other enterprises. As a result of the division of labor, each factory has certain end products. With the aid of the production formula mp [means of production] + r [raw materials] + l [labor] each enterprise can compute the labor time contained in its end products. In the shoe factory taken as an example, the end product (one pair of shoes) – contains an average of three working hours. This average can be found for each product in each enterprise. The end product of an enterprise, insofar as it is not destined for individual consumption, goes to another enterprise either in the form of mp or r, and this one in turn computes its end products in labor hours. The same thing holds for all places of production, without regard to the magnitude or kind of their products.” [Paul Mattick, Sr., “What is Communism?” International Council Correspondence. Volume 1, number 1, October 1934. Pages 1-9.]
        “The Yugoslav ‘market socialism,’ … in which a combination of Workers’ Councils and professional management runs industrial and commercial enterprises in accordance with the profitability principle and in competition with other enterprises, and where agriculture is mainly carried on by private peasants, suffers all the contradictions characteristic of capitalistic market relations, such as disproportional development, business failures, unemployment, and the ups and downs of the business cycle.” [Paul Mattick, Sr. Marx and Keynes: The Limits of the Mixed Economy. Boston, Massachusetts: Extending Horizons Books imprint of Porter Sargent Publisher. 1969. Ebook edition.]
        “… the plain fact is that even in the purportedly ‘socialist’ revolutions of the past, the task of reorganizing society was left to the state, the party, and hence an elite. The rebelling population acquired their political experience within organizational forms that had been shaped by the class nature and political economy of capitalist society and hence could not measure up to the requirements of a classless society. Revolutionary means were used to reformist ends, namely, remain in the hands of the producers; the establishment of a new state with an autonomous power position must be prevented. The experiments of the council communists showed, if only in vague form, the direction the proletariat’s struggle for emancipation must take, although they still lacked the concrete basis on which to bring this about. But whatever the difficulties facing socialism the existing state-capitalist systems have proven that their way, any event, is not the way to socialism.” [Paul Mattick, Sr. Economics, Politics and The Age of Inflation. Pacifica, California: Marxists Internet Archive (Marxists.org) ebook edition. 2006. Ebook.]
        “… it is no utopia, no empty theory, that these workers’ councils, wherever they group themselves around production, in the shops, as shop organizations, themselves aim to take possession of the means of production, and themselves direct and manage production. It is a demand which is raised in the course of developments by broad masses of workers. The intellectual element will have to suppress this striving with force if it wants to assert its control in the state economy. From the viewpoint of the workers’ councils, the statement of the problem in matters of economic organization is not as to how production must be governed, and in this sense best organized, but as to how the mutual relations of human beings to each other and among each other are to be regulated in connection with production. For, to the councils, production is no longer an objective process in which the labor of man and the product thereof becomes separated from him, a process which one computes and directs like lifeless material, but to them production is the vital function of the workers themselves. If production – the vital function of human beings when everyone is obliged to work – even today is social in practice, then also the participation of human beings in that production, their own vital function, can be socially regulated without putting them on a level with their own working instruments and without subjecting them to the command of a special class or element. Once the problem is put in this way, its solution is no longer so improbable, but rather easy to find. It presents itself, as it were, of its own accord. It is the labor of human beings itself, their own vital function, in the fields of production, which serves as a criterion for the adjustment of their mutual relations. Once the labor of individuals, as well as their union in shop organizations, has been introduced as the determining factor in the social adjustment of the mutual relations, there is no longer room for any sort of leadership or management which does not itself take part in the productive process, which merely exercises governing functions and appropriates to itself the products of others.” [Paul Mattick, Sr., “Workers’ Councils and Communist Organization of Economy.” International Council Correspondence. Volume 1, number 7, April 1935. Pages 7-18.]
        “Among the many theoreticians who argued against [Rosa] Luxemburg, Otto Bauer and Nikolai Bukharin merit particular attention. Bukharin’s delayed critique reflected not only theoretical interest but also the struggle the Bolsheviks were waging at that time against ‘Luxemburgism’ in order to clean the tradition linked to her out of the communist parties. Bukharin found nothing to object to in [Karl] Marx’s reproduction schemas and rejected Luxemburg’s critique on this subject. Of course, the circuit of capital, represented at a very high level of abstraction, required later completion on a lower, more concrete level of abstraction. In any case, the reproduction schemas admitted of neither [Mikhail Ivanovich] Tugan-Baranovsky’s nor Luxemburg’s interpretations. According to Marx and [Vladimir] Lenin, even in a ‘pure’ capitalist system nothing stands in the way of accumulation and the realization of surplus value. Bukharin saw the basis of Luxemburg’s false theory in her identification of the accumulation of capital with that of money capital. She imagined that the share of the surplus value that must be accumulated as additional capital must first be transformed into money already at hand within the system. Only then would the surplus value be realized, and the expanded reproduction would be the reproduction of capitalist accumulation. Without this metamorphosis of surplus value from the commodity form into the money form, accumulation could not take place. Bukharin, however, pointed out that, like capital itself surplus value appears in various forms: as commodities, as money, as means of production, and as labor power. For each of these the money form is not to be identified with the total surplus value in its various forms. Surplus value must go through its money phase, only not as a whole, at one time, but rather bit by bit, through innumerable commercial transactions, in the course of which a given sum of money can repeatedly accomplish the transformation of commodities into money and money into commodity. The total surplus value does not have to encounter a sum of money equivalent to it, although every commodity, in order to be realized, must be turned into money. The fact that the growing capital is accompanied by an increasing mass of money does not mean that capital and money capital have to accumulate at the same rate. Capital is objectified in many forms, of which that of money is one, but not the exclusive, functional form of realized surplus value.” [Paul Mattick, Sr. Economic Crisis and Crisis Theory. Paul Mattick, Jr., translator. London: Merlin Press. 1981. Ebook edition.]
        “Unable to return to the conditions of the past and unable to transform itself into a state capitalist system, the mixed economy alternates between stagnation and destruction, between insufficient capital expansion and increased waste production. It is, then, not a manifestation of capitalism’s ability to ‘reform’ itself by realizing the goldgen mean of just the right amount of government control and just the right amount of private initiative for the ‘optimum’ achievement of ‘economic efficiency’ but a manifestation of the rather ‘permanent’ crisis condition in which capitalism has found itself since the beginning of this century.” [Paul Mattick, Sr., “Dynamics of the Mixed Economy.” Science & Society. Volume 28, number 3, summer 1964. Pages 286-304.]
        “While there is no connection between Marxism and physical determinism or indeterminism, there is also no real connection between the cold war and the different concepts of physical reality in the East and the West. Indeed, what possible connection could there be between the indeterminacy of nuclear physics and all the social problems that beset the world and give rise to its political movements? These social struggles were disturbing the world before the rise of the new physics and they cannot be abated by either science or philosophy. Political relations between East and West will not improve simply because physicists abstain from ideological interpretations of their work. This work, and its practical application, is the same in the East and the West. Where there is disagreement, it does not matter, i.e., in specula- tions as to what the physical knowledge of the future may reveal. Some Eastern scientists do not bother to embroider their work with philosophical interpretations; others try to fit it into the scheme of dialectical materialism so as not to violate the state-prescribed ideology in which they may also actually believe, just as Western scientists accept almost generally the ruling ideologies of their own society.” [Paul Mattick, Sr., “Marxism and the New Physics.” Philosophy of Science. Volume 29, number 4, October 1962. Pages 350-364.]
        “Although written over an extended period of time, the articles embody a remarkably consistent interpretation of Marxism whose roots can be traced to the left wing of Social Democracy, exemplified by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, and the less well-known Anton Pannekoek, Herman Goiter, and Karl Korsch. The interpretation centers on the insistence that the emancipation of the proletariat and humanity as a whole can only be realized through the spontaneous actions of the workers, which then give rise to their own organizations. In [Paul] Mattick’s view, there can be no socialism without workers’ control and no genuine workers’ control without socialism.” [Elise K. Tipton, “Anti-Bolshevik Communism.” Review article. International Labor and Working-Class History. Number 17, spring 1980. Pages 68-70.]
        “From the standpoint of ‘council communism,’ [Paul] Mattick criticizes most of the socialist movements and their leaders. [Karl] Kautsky and [Vladimir] Lenin are subjects of critical essays written in the 1930s, and a 1947 review of Trotskii’s [Trotsky’] biography of [Joseph] Stalin serves as a medium to criticize both. Essays dealing with Rosa Luxemburg, Otto Ruihle, and Karl Korsch are more sympathetic—their fear of organization and their preference for spontaneity are themes running through most of these essays. Even a council confined to the workers of one factory would seem too much of a restraint on Mattick’s individualism.” [Joseph D. Phillips, “Anti-Bolshevik Communism.” Review article. Slavic Review. Volume 40, number 2, summer 1981. Page 291.]
      60. New Associationist Movement (Kojin Karatani [Japanese, からたに こうじん, Karatani Koujin as pronounced in this MP3 audio file; カラタニ コウジン, Karatani Koujin as pronounced in this MP3 audio file; or 柄谷行人, Karatani Kōjin as pronounced in this MP3 audio file]): Karatani is a major figure in the New Associationist Movement. In grand historical fashion, he makes a case for a new stateless economic system. The website, affiliated with the New Associationist Movement, is in Japanese.
        “We can broadly differentiate socialism into two types. The first is socialism by means of the state, and the other is socialism that rejects the state (i.e., associationism). Strictly speaking, only the latter should be called socialism. The former should properly be called state socialism or welfare statism. It is often said that the socialist movement pursued the egalitarianism that the French Revolution was never able to realize. But socialism in the strict sense (associationism) is not a continuation of the French Revolution: this socialism was actually born as a rejection of that revolution.” [Kojin Karatani. The Structure of World History: From Modes of Production to Modes of Exchange. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 2014. Page 236.]
        “Previously, I pointed out how universal religion arose in the form of an unconscious, compulsory ‘return of the repressed,’ rather than a conscious, nostalgic restoration of the past. We can draw the same distinction with regard to nationalism and socialism. Nationalism is nostalgic, a proactive attempt to restore past ways of life. By contrast, even as associationism seeks to restore the past form of mode of exchange A, it is not about restoring the past. Associationism is about creating the future anew. This is why associationism seeks to transform the status quo, while nationalism generally ends up affirming it.” [Kojin Karatani. The Structure of World History: From Modes of Production to Modes of Exchange. Michael K. Bourdaghs, translator. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 2014. Page 260.]
        “… it becomes necessary to consider a realm that [Immanuel] Kant did not scrutinize—a place where all differences are unconditionally bracketed: the monetary economy. This is where manifold use values and the practical labor that produces them are reduced to exchange value, or, in [Karl] Marx’s terms, ‘social and abstract labor.’ In the beginning of Capital, Marx wrote: ‘The commodity is, first of all, an external object, a thing which through its qualities satisfies human needs of whatever kind. The nature of these needs, whether they arise, for example, from the stomach, or the imagination, makes no difference. Nor does it matter here how the thing satisfies man’s need, whether directly as a means of subsistence, i.e., an object of consumption, or indirectly as a means of production.’ In other words, it is in the world of the commodity economy where we find an attitude that is totally indifferent to the difference of things—the use value—and concerned only with one thing: interest.” [Kojin Karatani and Sabu Kohso, “Uses of Aesthetics: After Orientalism.” boundary 2. Volume 25, number 2, summer 1998. Pages 145-160.]
        “Credit did not grow out of barter, but the reverse. Also buying and selling stems from credit. It follows that money stems from credit. Therefore, gift exchange precedes barter on the level of logic. This seems to stand true even historically. As an example, as Malinowski showed, the Kula ring in the Trobriand Islands is a gift-exchange but is accompanied by barter or trade. In this case, the preceding gift exchange paves the way for barter, by bringing about friendly relations among different communities. Since exchange in general is carried out between communities, it requires something to guarantee it. This is provided by a spiritual power attached to the things exchanged. That is what Marx called the fetish.” [Kojin Karatani, “Capital as Spirit.” Crisis & Critique. Volume 3, issue 3, 2016. Pages 167-189.]
        “… beginning in the 1990s, my stance, if not my thinking itself, changed fundamentally. I came to believe that theory should not remain in the critical scrutiny of the status quo but should propose something positive to change the reality. At the same time, I reconfirmed the difficulty of doing so. Social democracy to me would not offer any promising prospect, and it was finally around the turn of the new century that I began to see a ray of hope that led me to organize the New Associationist Movement (NAM) in Japan. Certainly innumerable real movements that seek to abolish the status quo are occurring in all corners of the world, inevitably, under the procession of the globalization of world capitalism. But, in order to avoid the repetition of bygone mistakes, I insist that a transcritical recognition is necessary.” [Kojin Karatani. Transcritique: On Kant and Marx. Sabu Kohso, translator. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 2005. Page xii.]
        “I … wrote a manifesto in 1961, calling to reorganize the Socialist Student League as a free association of activists. ‘Students’ does not just mean students in a literal sense. If one thinks universally, that person is a ‘student,’ regardless of his or her social position. This league was free from a centralized party—it was kind of an anarchism. Actually it was forty years later that I came to realize this, when I was engaging with something similar—that is, when I wrote a manifesto for the New Associationist Movement (NAM). But at the time I was not familiar with anarchist theory. The anarchism that I knew and liked was the kind that exists within the spontaneously spreading mass movement—it cannot be created by leadership of any kind. In this regard, I was an anarchist, yet I disliked stereotypical anarchists of the bohemian type and have never called myself an anarchist. Though I have never called myself a Marxist either.…
        “As soon as I finished writing the book [Transcritique: On Kant and Marx], I started a social movement called New Associationist Movement, or NAM. This move in some ways reveals my aims and intentions of writing Transcritique, especially on the level of practice. Fredric Jameson commented on the book as follows: ‘New relations between [Immanuel] Kant and [Karl] Marx are established as well as a new kind of synthesis between Marxism and anarchism.’ This really captures it all.”
        [Kojin Karatani in Brian Hioe and Houston Small, “There is no such thing as Japanese Marxism: An interview Kojin Karatani.” Platypus Review. Issue 71, article 1, November 2014. Web. No pagination]
        “Drawing its name from the lexicon of the early socialist movement, associationism was a utopian programme that sought to transcend capital, nation and state—seen as three mutually-reinforcing moments of a ‘Borromean knot’—through the creation of federated worker and consumer cooperatives, boycotts, and local currency schemes, which were supposed to sow the seeds of a post-capitalist mode of production in the midst of capitalist society. Justification for this orientation had come from [Kojin] Karatani’s reading of Marxian political economy, which viewed the moment of consumption as one of greater leverage for workers than that of production, since capital has no direct power to enforce the purchase of its products.” [Rob Lucas, “Socialism as a Regulative Idea?” Review article. New Left Review. Series II, number 94, July–August 2015. Pages 105-125.]
        “The New Associationist Movement (hereafter NAM) is the work of Karatani Kojin, Japan’s most gifted critic, and a number of associates including the economist Nishibe Makoto, the lawyer Kuchiki Sui, the critic and economist Asada Akira and others, even though there is no formal organization as such, and no leader since its members are all equal representatives.… The purpose of NAM is to ‘achieve a clear perspective on the abolition of capitalism and the state’ and to combine a number of dispersed movements into a new association pledged to realizing the goal with methods that no longer belong to either socialism or anarchism but plainly originate from both.” [Harry Harootunian, “Out of Japan: The New Associationist Movement.” Radical Philosophy: Philosophical Journal of the Independent Left. Number 108, July/August 2001. Pages 2-6.]
      61. classless society of freely associated producers (Paul Paolucci): He distinguishes Karl Marx’s egalitarian communism from utopian socialism, on the one hand, 7and from the Soviet communism which developed under Vladimir Lenin and other Bolsheviks, on the other.
        “The service [Karl] Marx thought he rendered was to further the goal of creating a more egalitarian society ….
        “… opposed to a simple utopian schematic, Marx asserted, the ‘working class have no ready-made utopias to introduce’ …. As such, Marx’s vision of communist politics never ossified into a rigid preformulated theorem. Like much of his dialectical thought, his vision of communism and its requisite political struggle combined both precision and flexibility, stability and change. It can be thought of as encompassing four stages: 1) the revolutionary program; 2) a socialist transitionary period; 3) the general structure of communist society; and 4) long term communist development ….
        “… Marx advocated both reform and revolution depending on the situation, but held on to broad goals such as overturning bourgeois property relations, increasing access to social wealth, and stepping-up levels of democratic participation.…
        “The constant in his [Marx’s] political outlook was his commitment to the communist transformation of capitalist society – a classless society of freely associated producers.”
        [Paul Paolucci, “The Discursive Transformation of Marx’s Communism into Soviet Diamat.” Critical Sociology. Volume 30, issue 3, May 2004. Pages 617-667.]
        “The quality of the labor needed and appropriate for a level of economic and technological development further plays a commanding role in the average quality of human individuality that is expressed. This suggests that the laboring ability found in the species as a whole is directly involved in the possibility of the human individual as its unit representative outcome. In Marxist thought, this possibility has reached is highest point and most crystallized moment under capitalism …, though it is one marked by an alienation that should be transcended with the emergence of communism.” [Paul Paolucci, “Assumptions of the Dialectical Method: The Centrality of Labor for the Human Species, Its History, and Individuals.” Critical Sociology. Volume 31, issue 4, July 2005. Pages 559-581.]
        “Not all societies are class societies, not all class societies can be analysed in the same terms as capitalism, and we cannot be sure how far into the future capitalism will continue.” [Paul Paolucci, “The Scientific Method and the Dialectical Method.” Historical Materialism. Volume 11, issue 1, 2003. Pages 75-106.]
        “… if it is asserted that [Karl] Marx should be ignored and/or discarded as archaic, on what grounds should a position be evaluated? Viewing it as emblematic of Marx’s personal political project incarnate, as representative of proletarian revolution in advanced capitalism, or as an actual ‘actually existing’ socialist or communist order, the fall of Sovietism stands to confirm the death of Marxism. Within Marxian sociological schools, however, Stalinist-Leninism was not universally seen as indicative of Marx’s, and by extension the Enlightenment’s, communist project ….” [Paul Paolucci, “Questions of Method: Fundamental Problems Reading Dialectical Methodologies.” Critical Sociology. Volume 26, issue 3, October 2000. Pages 301-328.]
        “[Karl] Marx’s work is rooted in his lack of expositional clarity in making explicit his dialectical methodological procedures. This has been compounded by an additional problem in conceptual practice: What is the relationship between his general sociology—viz. historical materialism—and his study of capitalist society specifically—viz. the critical analysis of the capitalist mode of production? And, to complicate matters further, these two problems are often conflated with Marx’s contribution to the history of the socialist/communist political-revolutionary project. Clearly then, within Marx’s work there exists divergent, though often overlapping, goals, foci, and interests that are not always clearly related. In his social scientific moments, nevertheless, the common thread that exists is his use of the dialectical method.” [Paul Paolucci, “Assumptions of the Dialectical Method.” Critical Sociology. Volume 27, issue 3, May 2001. Pages 116-146.]
      62. collective ownership and collective administration of workplaces (Dario Azzellini as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He considers the dominant form of such ownership and administration—coöperatives—and refers to other conceivable opportunities for horizontalism, as well.
        “That contemporary worker-controlled companies almost always have the legal form of cooperatives is because the cooperative form is the only existing legal form of collective ownership and collective administration of workplaces. Usually, however, these are based on collective ownership, without any option of individual property; all workers have equal shares and an equal voice. One of their important and distinctive characteristics is that they question the private ownership of the means of production. They provide an alternative to capitalism based essentially on the idea of a collective or social form of ownership. Enterprises are seen not as privately owned (belonging to individuals or groups of shareholders), but as social property or ‘common property,’ managed directly and democratically by those most affected by them. Under different circumstances, this might include, along with workers, participation by communities, consumers, other workplaces or even in some instances, of the state (for example, in countries like Venezuela or Cuba). That workers control the production process and are decisive in decision-making usually also turns them into social and political agents beyond the production process and the company ….” [Dario Azzellini, “Contemporary Crisis and Workers’ Control.” An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy. Dario Azzellini, editor. London: Zed Books. 2015. Pages 66-92.]
        “In keeping with its intention to build an important social and solidarity economy, the government has focused on promoting cooperatives. Venezuela previously belonged to the Latin American countries with the fewest cooperatives. At the beginning of the [Hugo] Chávez government, there were only 813 cooperatives officially registered.
        “The creation of cooperatives was greatly simplified in 2001 with the special law for cooperative associations. They are also exempt from charges involved in official registration and other administrative steps. In addition, cooperatives fulfilling the statutory framework are also exempt from income tax. Funding takes place through micro-credit programs following the ‘micro-finance law.’ The access to credit at favorable terms is organized through specially established state banks (Banco de la Mujer/Women’s Bank, Banco de Desarrollo Económico y Social/Bank for Economic and Social Development, Banco del Pueblo Soberano/Bank of the Sovereign People), and funding institutions. Small cooperatives can even get interest-free loans. The number of loans (not only to cooperatives) exceeded 150,000 in 2006.”
        [Dario Azzellini, “Venezuela’s Solidarity Economy: Collective Ownership, Expropriation, and Workers Self-Management.” WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society. Volume 12, number 2, June 2009. Pages 171-191.]
        “In January 2007, [Hugo] Chávez proposed to go beyond the bourgeois state by building the communal state. He thus picked up and applied more widely a concern originating with anti-systemic forces. The main idea was to form council structures of all kinds (communal councils, communes, and communal cities, for example), as bottom up structures of self-administration. Councils of workers, students, peasants, and women, among others, would then have to cooperate and coordinate on a higher level in order to gradually replace the bourgeois state with a communal state. According to the National Plan for Economic and Social Development 2007-2013, ‘since sovereignty resides absolutely in the people, the people can itself direct the state, without needing to delegate its sovereignty as it does in indirect or representative democracy.’” [Dario Azzellini, “The Communal State: Communal Councils, Communes, and Workplace Democracy.” NACLA Report on the Americas. Volume 46, number 2, summer 2013. Pages 25-30.]
        “Principles of horizontalism and autonomy can play an important role at the level of international relations. The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), for example, is a Caribbean and Latin American alliance for regional integration based on principles of solidarity, complementarity, and mutual support. Founded in 2004 by Cuba and Venezuela, the ALBA today has nine full-member countries. In addition to the two founders, they are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadine, and Saint Lucia. Suriname joined as ‘special guest member’ in 2012 and, along with Haiti, aims at becoming a full ALBA member.” [Dario Azzellini, “ALBA-TCP: Building Solidarity and Autonomy Among Nations.” NACLA Report on the Americas. Volume 47, issue 3, 2014. Page 47.]
        “This book appears at an opportune moment. The crisis of the neoliberal phase of capitalism has posed difficult, and sometimes intractable problems for the bosses, their states and social structures. However, the crisis has affected the labour movement just as profoundly, because it had been operating within a set of parameters that suddenly changed. Structures, practices and expectations that developed over decades are being put to the test and found wanting. A good example of that is reformist social democracy. While it took many guises over the years, in essence it promised benefits to the working class via voting and use of parliamentary structures, in return for quiescent acceptance of the status quo. A recent, and very radical manifestation of its crisis has been witnessed in Greece. This saw the near elimination of the traditional social democratic party, PASOK, and its replacement by Syriza. Yet this too, despite its radical intentions and language, has foundered on the same rocks.” [Donny Gluckstein, “An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy.” Review article. Journal of Economic and Social Thought. Volume 2, issue 3, September 2015. Pages 212-217.]
      63. coöperative communism (Richard Barbrook): He distinguishes the coöperative communist approach of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, characterized by “participatory democracy” and “proletarian economics,” from state capitalism. Visit this website.
        “In Capital, Volume 3, [Karl] Marx also identified participatory democracy as the organisational principle of proletarian economics. Just like the state, capitalist firms had imposed the domination of a small elite over the majority of the population. But, by electing the directors of their enterprises in the same way as they did with the leaders of the republic, members of industrial cooperatives were pioneering the democratisation of the factory system. Only when every worker was also a manager would the differences between capitalists and proletarians finally disappear. In complete contrast to their Social Democratic and Communist disciples in the next century, Marx and [Friedrich] Engels denounced the nationalisation of industry, education and the media. For them, cooperative communism was the antithesis of state capitalism. Far from advocating the fusion of big government with big business, Marx and Engels looked forward to the victory of participatory democracy over all forms of bureaucratic fetishism. The market and the plan were symbiotic aspects of the same oppressive system. As the heroic example of the 1871 Paris Commune had proved, the people who produced the wealth upon which human civilisation was founded must become masters of their own collective destiny: the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat.’” [Richard Barbrook. Imaginary Futures: From Thinking Machines to the Global Village. London and Ann Arbor, Michigan: Pluto Press. 2007. Pages 141-142.]
        “In this era of ambivalence and uncertainty, of one thing we seem to be sure: we live in the information society. In Imaginary Futures, Richard Barbrook shows how the information society—one of the most representative images of contemporary post-industrial culture—has, far from being the neutral marker of technological development, been the object of a sophisticated historical ideological construction. Today’s fascination with the ‘net,’ he asserts, is the current variant of the longstanding and powerful cultural myth of an ‘imaginary cybernetic future’ that became the object of contention between the two Cold War superpowers and their intellectual and managerial elites. ‘The future,’ in other words, ‘is what it used to be.’” [Paolo Gerbaudo, “The cold war of the information society.” Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Issue 37, winter 2007. Pages 141-144.]
      64. cyber–communism (Richard Barbrook): He develops an explicitly anti–Stalinist approach to digital left communism.
        “A spectre is haunting the Net: the spectre of communism. Whatever their professed political beliefs, every user dreams of the digital transcendence of capitalism. Yet, at the same time, even the most dedicated leftist can no longer truly believe in communism. The horrors of totalitarianism have discredited its promises of social emancipation.… The freedoms of the information society will be created by an elite of entrepreneurs, technocrats and ideologues. Needing to popularise their prophecies, right-wing gurus emphasise that every hi-tech professional can compete to join the emerging digital aristocracy. Above all, they predict that everyone will eventually enjoy the technological marvels currently only available to the lucky few. In the late-1990s, the prophets of American neo-liberalism measure our progress towards utopia through increases in the ownership of digital artefacts: home computers, Net connections, mobile phones and laptops. Ironically, this right-wing futurism echoes the preconceptions of Stalinist communism. In the former Soviet Union, the enlightened minority was also leading the ignorant masses towards eventual emancipation. Any suffering caused by the introduction of new technologies was justified by the promise of future liberation. During the 1930s, Josef Stalin similarly measured progress towards utopia through the rising output of modern products: steel, cars, tractors and machine-tools. Although the Soviet Union has long disappeared, the ideologues of American neo-liberalism are still inspired by the Stalinist version of communism.” [Richard Barbrook, “<The::Cyber.Com/munist::Manifesto>.” The Hypermedia Research Centre. University of Westminster. London, England. December, 1999. Web page. Retrieved on February 8th, 2017.]
        “A spectre is haunting the Net: the spectre of communism. Reflecting the extravagance of the new media, this spectre takes two distinct forms: the theoretical appropriation of Stalinist communism and the everyday practice of cyber-communism. Whatever their professed political beliefs, all users of the Net enthusiastically participate in this left-wing revival. Whether in theory or practice, each of them desires the digital transcendence of capitalism. Yet, at the same time, even the most dedicated leftist can no longer truly believe in communism. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the Soviet Union, this ideology is completely discredited. The promises of social emancipation turned into the horrors of totalitarianism. The dreams of industrial modernity culminated in economic stagnation. Far from representing the future, communism seems like a relic from the past.” [Richard Barbrook, “Cyber-Communism: How the Americans Are Superseding Capitalism in Cyberspace,” in Richard Barbrook with Andy Cameron. The Internet Revolution: From Dot-com Capitalism to Cybernetic Communism. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Network Notebooks. 2015. Pages 28-50.]
        “The media corporations are desperate to reverse history back to the previous paradigm: the Fordist factory. As in old sci-fi stories, they dream of giant mainframes spying upon everyone’s on-line activities. Like members of the secret police, the owners of copyright are nostalgic for the Cold War days of ‘Big Brother’. However, history has moved on. The centralised vision of computer-mediated communications is already technically obsolete. How much computing power would be needed to make a detailed analysis of every piece of data in the information flows passing across the Net? How could constant top-down surveillance be imposed on all peer-to-peer file-sharing within cyberspace? But, without constant monitoring from above, the effectiveness of encryption and other security devices is limited. As hackers have repeatedly proved, anything which is encoded will be eventually decoded. When no one is looking, media commodities will spontaneously transmute into free gifts on the Net.” [Richard Barbrook, “The Regulation of Liberty: free speech, free trade and free gifts on the Net.” The Commoner: A Web Journal for Other Values. Number 4, May 2002. Pages 1-14.]
      65. left–wing alternative (Daniel Cohn-Bendit as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Gabriel Cohn-Bendit as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He takes a left–communist approach to the “bureaucratic system of the capitalist state.”
        “There is no such thing as an isolated revolutionary act. Acts that can transform society take place in association with others, and form part of a general movement that follows its own laws of growth. All revolutionary activity is collective, and hence involves a degree of organization. What we challenge is not the need for this but the need for a revolutionary leadership, the need for a party.
        “Central to my thesis is an analysis of the bureaucratic phenomenon, which I have examined from various viewpoints. For example, I have looked at the French workers’ unions and parties and shown that what is wrong with them is not so much their rigidity and treachery as the fact that they have become integrated into the overall bureaucratic system of the capitalist state.
        “The emergence of bureaucratic tendencies on a world scale, the continuous concentration of capital, and the increasing intervention of the State in economic and social matters, have produced a new managerial class whose fate is no longer bound up with that of the private ownership of the means of production.
        “It is in the light of this bureaucratization that the Bolshevik Party has been studied. Although its bureaucratic nature is not, of course, its only characteristic, it is true to say that Communists, and also Trotskyists, Maoists and the rest, no less than the capitalist State, all look upon the proletariat as a mass that needs to be directed from above. As a result, democracy degenerates into the ratification at the bottom of decisions taken at the top, and the class struggle is forgotten while the leaders jockey for power within the political hierarchy.
        “The objections to Bolshevism are not so much moral as sociological; what we attack is not the evil conduct of some of its leaders but an organizational set-up that has become its one and only justification.”
        [Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Gabriel Cohn-Bendit. Obsolete Communism: The Left-Wing Alternative. Arnold Pomerans, translator. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. 1968. Pages 249-250.]
      66. participatory Marxism (discussed by David Priestland and Andrew Raposa): Versions of communism are proposed based upon “popular consent.”
        “Everywhere, … whatever the local specificities, a Romantic, participatory Marxism was the inspiration – one that set itself firmly against Soviet Marxism (especially coming so soon on the heels of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia). Che Guevara was now joined by Ho Chi Minh in a new pantheon of leftist heroes – Ho’s distinction being principally his defiance of the USA; people knew little of his politics. [Joseph] Stalin, however, had definitely been excluded.” [David Priestland. The Red Flag: A History of Communism. New York: Grove Press imprint of Grove/Atlantic, Inc. 2009. Page 366.]
        “At this time, current structural realities of the American electoral system militate against third party movements. Leftist preferences for these movements for a participatory Marxism can be encouraged by the general nature of dialectical thinking where the opposing class forces within capitalism are revealed as nothing more than a set of techniques designed to insure the rule of the powerful elite under the guise of ‘popular consent.’ Therefore, it is a corrupt system of rule Capitalist interpretation of Marxism sees it as totally irrelevant and not applicable to a modern free liberal social order.” [Andrew Raposa, “Why Marx Matters.” New Politics. April 26th, 2015. Web. No pagination. Retrieved on February 18th, 2017.]
      67. viewpoint of participatory Democracy (Donald A. R. George): George finds his approach to self–management to be consonant with both Marxism and anarchism.
        “The paper discusses the ideological basis of self-management. It considers whether self-management, as an economic system, is consistent with ideologies of Marxism, Anarchism, and Democracy. It goes on to consider the political question as to which groups are likely to oppose and which to support the introduction of self-management into a modern society.…
        “… Economic ideas do not exist in a political and ideological vacuum however, and it is therefore of interest to consider how the idea of self-management is related to various broader ideologies and to ask which ideologies, if any, provide a basis from which self-management as an economic system can rationally be supported. This analysis leads naturally to the question of political support for selfmanagement. Which groups are likely to support self-management and which to oppose it? These are the questions addressed in this paper.…
        “Self-management cannot be regarded from the Marxist viewpoint as a capitalist form of economic organization, although some Marxists would argue that market self-management is an unstable type of economic system which must eventually transmute into either capitalism or socialism. Self-management accords well with the ideology of Anarchism, particularly its ‘Left’ or anarcho-communist variant. The viewpoint of participatory Democracy provides the soundest basis from which to advocate self-management, which can be seen as a natural extension of Democracy from the political to the economic sphere.”
        [Donald A. R. George, “Self-management and Ideology.” Review of Political Economy. Volume 9, number 1, January 1997. Pages 51-62.]
      68. self–managed socialism (Brian Aarons): Drawing on various libertarian Marxist, anarchist, and ecological currents, as well as other perspectives, Aarons proposes his “new revolutionary theory of society.”
        “Revolutionary theory and practice must itself partly change on the basis of ecology theory, and the various brands of Marxist dogmatism which deny that a crisis exists, or see it as only a minor issue compared to traditional ones of the revolutionary movement, only demonstrate their own inadequacies and weaknesses.
        “This brings us to the revolutionary position. While … revolutionary thought and perspectives must change in the light of ecological knowledge, an ecologically informed revolutionary movement is the only force capable of dealing satisfactorily with the crisis. There are many ways one could state the need for a revolutionary solution; an apt one here would be in terms of the scientific models which ecologists themselves propose.…
        “… the ecology crisis will only be solved in the political sphere. Everyone must change, and we must all begin to change now, but our most important task is not to change the color of the toilet paper we use, or stop driving cars, although these are both worthwhile actions, but to take action against those who color toilet paper in order to sell it, or produce motor cars purely for profit. Political struggle and revolutionary change to create a self-managed socialism free from bureaucratic distortions is the only final answer. Otherwise destruction or the permanent possibility of destruction in a permanently polluted world face us. To end this condition we need hope.”
        [Brian Aarons, “Ecology and Revolution.” Australian Left Review. Volume 1, issue 36, July 1972. Pages 33-39.]
        “A new revolutionary theory of society would need to incorporate the following points:
        “a) It would draw upon other schools and traditions of thought besides the mainstream marxist one. In particular, certain anarcho-marxist, anarcho-communist and libertarian-communist theories have much to contribute. Although marxism as a practical guide to revolutionary activity may be superior to anarchism, it can still learn from the anarchist tradition. The split between anarchism and marxism has had some bad effects on marxism itself, not the least of which were some of the post-October bolshevik mistakes, especially during [Joseph] Stalin’s ascendancy.
        “b) There would be a strong emphasis on an attempt to understand the process of human consciousness and the role of ideals. In particular, the relation between the human brain (the bearer of consciousness) and the external world needs to be understood in a far more accurate way than mainstream marxism has hitherto.
        “Human consciousness should be seen as a part of the material process which is not subordinate to other factors (as some vulgar marxist “reflection” theories would have it) but rather interacts with them as a factor (and an important one at that) in its own right.
        “c) Related to this is a need for an understanding of the sociology of consciousness and ideas. The work of [Antonio] Gramsci, and [Georg] Lukács’ History and Class Consciousness may well provide the beginnings of such an understanding. The main questions here are how and why people come to adopt their ideas, values and attitudes and to understand the dialectical interplay between individual, group and social consciousness. The inertia of old ideas (their prevalence long after the conditions which led to their emergence have ceased to exist) and the conditions for acceptance of new ideas and ideological frameworks are also extremely important problems.”
        [Brian Aarons, “marxist theories of revolution.” Australian Left Review. Volume 1, issue 34, March 1972. Pages 18-24.]
      69. communist Internet (Christian Fuchs as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He considers the possibility of an Internet which is under the collective control of all users.
        “A humanization of the Internet requires a communist Internet in a communist society, an Internet that is not controlled by the logic of capital and by private profit making, but an Internet that is controlled by all users, benefits all users and is grounded in the logic of the information gift that is inexhaustible by consumption and accessible to all without payments, the logic of common access to technology and knowledge, common production, common ownership, common control, common interests beyond class, common benefits – the logic of the commons = the reality of communism.…
        “… For [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels, communism meant not just the common ownership and control of certain means of production and goods, but the common control of all socially necessary goods.…
        “In a communist society, digital labour becomes digital work. The use-value created is informational: digital work creates shared cognition, communication (social relations) and cooperation (communities, collaborative work).…
        “Especially Autonomist Marxist and Anarchist thinkers have argued that the concept of work should just like the notion of labour be defined as being coercive as well as essentially capitalist and dominative in nature. A free society would then be a non-work and non-labour society.”
        [Christian Fuchs, “What is Digital Labour? What is Digital Work? What’s their Difference? And why do these Questions Matter for Understanding Social Media?” tripleC: Cognition, Communication, Co-operation. Volume 11, number 2, 2013. Creative Commons. Pages 237-293.]
      70. the new communism (Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou, Alexander J. Means, and others): They attempt to resurrect communism from its Marxist–Leninist past into a new stateless system. To Žižek, a twenty-first communism involves the resuscitation of the commons, not a return to the revolutionary struggles of yesteryear. This new communism, sometimes called 21stcentury communism, might be understood as a collection of largely academic approaches to renewing communism. Means, while referencing Badiou’s communist hypothesis, emphasizes radical democracy. The first quotation, while clearly written from an oppositional perspective, sets out the basic contours of the new communist framework. Žižek,, for instance, refers to “the new communist collective.”
        “A specter is haunting the academy—the specter of ‘new communism.’ A worldview recently the source of immense suffering and misery, and responsible for more deaths than fascism and Nazism, is mounting a comeback; a new form of left-wing totalitarianism that enjoys intellectual celebrity but aspires to political power.
        “The Slovenian cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek and the French philosopher and ex-Maoist Alain Badiou have become the leading proponents of this new school.… Among new communism’s most important English-language texts, all published in the last few years, are The Idea of Communism, edited by Costas Douzinas and Žižek, Badiou’s The Communist Hypothesis, and [Bruno] Bosteels’s The Actuality of Communism.”
        [Alan Johnson, “The New Communism: Resurrecting the Utopian Delusion.” World Affairs. Volume 175, number 1, May/June 2012. Pages 62-70.]
        “What really remains of the great ideological machinery of freedom, human rights, the West and its values? It all comes down to a simple negative statement that is as bald as it is flat and as naked as the day it was born: socialisms, which were the communist Idea’s only concrete forms, failed completely in the twentieth century. Even they have had to revert to capitalism and non-egalitarian dogma. That failure of the Idea leaves us with no choice, given the complex of the capitalist organization of production and the state parliamentary system. Like it or not, we have to consent to it for lack of choice.… As our ideologues admit, it is not as though relying on the greed of a few crooks and unbridled private property to run the state and the economy was the absolute Good. But it is the only possible way forward.” [Alain Badiou. The Communist Hypothesis. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2010. Pages 4-5.]
        “What is the communist hypothesis? In its generic sense, given in its canonic [Communist] Manifesto, ‘communist’ means, first, that the logic of class— the fundamental subordination of labour to a dominant class, the arrangement that has persisted since Antiquity—is not inevitable; it can be overcome. The communist hypothesis is that a different collective organization is practicable, one that will eliminate the inequality of wealth and even the division of labour. The private appropriation of massive fortunes and their transmission by inheritance will disappear. The existence of a coercive state, separate from civil society, will no longer appear a necessity: a long process of reorganization based on a free association of producers will see it withering away.” [Alain Badiou, “The Communist Hypothesis.” New Left Review. Series II, number 49, January–February 2008. Pages 29-42.]
        “[Alain Badiou:] I believe four teachings that are equivalent to criteria can be deduced from his [Karl Marx’s] thinking. First of all, Marx developed an idea that was very important, indeed fundamental, in my opinion: according to him, communists aren’t ‘outsiders,’ they’re not a distinct or isolated historical and political component. On the contrary, they’re directly involved in a pre-existing general movement that they’ll later be responsible for directing.…
        “The basic concept is less that of leadership than of direction. Indeed, this is the second criterion: the bearers of the communist Idea are characterized by an ability to communicate what the next step is.…
        “The third criterion of communist organization is that it must follow an internationalist logic. Marx stressed this point heavily, and that’s why he created the First International. But once again, internationalism must not harden into a separate entity. Communists are internationalists, but they must be so right within the local processes of emancipation.… And finally, the fourth and last criterion, communists must defend a global strategic vision, subsumed by the Idea as I have presented it, and whose matrix is anti-capitalism.…
        “[Marcel Gauchet:] Like in the good old days! But tell me: do you really think today’s working classes are converting to this new communist program? …
        “[Alain Badiou:] Don’t be ironic.… When you see how loads of people – many of whom are involved in local struggles and organizations – come to hear us and interact productively with us, you should take that as a beginning, as yet very modest, no doubt, but real, of verification of what matters to me: the Idea and its development in reality.”
        [Alain Badiou and Marcel Gauchet. What Is To Be Done?: A Dialogue on Communism, Capitalism, and the Future of Democracy. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2016. Pages 52-54.]
        “… to provide a vigorous subjective existence to the communist hypothesis is the task those of us gathered here today are attempting to accomplish in our own way. And it I insist, a thrilling task. By combining intellectual constructs, which are always global and universal, with experiments of fragments of truths, which are local and singular, yet universally transmittable, we can give new life to the communist hypothesis, or rather to the Idea of communism, in individual consciousnesses. We can usher in the third era of this Idea’s existence. We can, so we must.” [Alain Badiou. The Communist Hypothesis. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2010. Page 260.]
        “The general horizon of the era is communist. And this communism will have to be constructed on the basis of society’s self-organizing capacities, of processes for the generation and distribution of communitarian, self-managing wealth. But at this moment it is clear that this is not an immediate horizon, which centers on the conquest of equality, the redistribution of wealth, the broadening of rights. Equality is fundamental because it breaks a chain of five centuries of structural inequality; that is the aim at the time, as far as social forces allow us to go-not because we prescribe it to be thus but because that is what we see. Rather, we enter the movement with our expecting and desiring eyes set upon the communist horizon. But we were serious and objective, in the social sense of the term, by signaling the limits of the movement.” [Bruno Bostells, The Actuality of Communism. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2011. Page 227.]
        “One should be careful … [to avoid] a Kantian … [conception of] communism as a ‘regulative Idea,’ thereby resuscitating the spectre of an ‘ethical socialism’ with equality as its a priori norm-axiom. One should rather maintain the precise reference to a set of social antagonisms which generate the need for communism — [Karl] Marx’s good old notion of communism not as an ideal, but as a movement which reacts to actual social antagonisms, is still fully relevant. If we conceive communism as an ‘eternal Idea,’ this implies that the situation which generates it is no less eternal, that the antagonism to which communism reacts will always exist — and from here, it is only one small step to a ‘deconstructive’ reading of communism as a dream of presence, of abolishing all alienating re-presentation, a dream which thrives on its own impossibility.” [Slavoj Žižek, “How to Begin From the Beginning.” The Idea of Communism. Costas Douzinas and Slavoj Žižek, editors. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2010. Pages 209-226.]
        “[Karl] Marx always emphasized that the exchange between worker and capitalist is ‘just’ in the sense that workers (as a rule) get paid the full value of their labor-power as a commodity – there is no direct ‘exploitation’ here; that is, it is not that workers ‘are not paid the full value of the commodity they are selling to the capitalists.’ So while, in a market economy, I remain de facto dependent, this dependency is nonetheless ‘civilized,’ enacted in the form of a ‘free’ market exchange between me and other persons instead of the form of direct servitude or even physical coercion.” [Slavoj Žižek, “Answers without Questions.” The Idea of Communism. Volume 2. Slavoj Žižek, editor. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2013. Page 177-205.]
        “What truly matters is precisely the degree to which the democratic explosion succeeds in becoming institutionalized, translated into social order.…
        “The problem is thus: how to regulate/institutionalize the very violent egalitarian democratic impulse, how to prevent it being drowned in democracy in the second sense of the term (regulated procedure)? If there is no way to do it, then ‘authentic’ democracy remains a momentary utopian outburst which, on the proverbial morning after, has to be normalized. The harsh consequence to be accepted here is that this excess of egalitarian democracy over the democratic procedure can only ‘institutionalize’ itself in the guise of its opposite, as revolutionary-democratic terror.”
        [Slavoj Žižek. In Defense of Lost Causes. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2009. Pages 265-266.]
        “An act is more than an intervention into the domain of the possible—an act changes the very coordinates of what is possible and thus retroactively creates its own conditions of possibility. This is why communism also concerns the real: to act as a communist means to intervene into the real of the basic antagonism which underlies today’s global capitalism.” [Slavoj Žižek, “A Permanent Economic Emergency.” New Left Review. Series II, number 64, July–August 2010. Pages 85-95.]
        “… it is not enough simply to remain faithful to the communist Idea; one has to locate within historical reality antagonisms which give this Idea a practical urgency. The only true question today is: do we endorse the predominant naturalization of capitalism, or does today’s global capitalism contain antagonisms which are sufficiently strong to prevent its indefinite reproduction? There are four such antagonisms: the looming threat of an ecological catastrophe; the inappropriateness of the notion of private property in relation to so-called ‘intellectual property’; the socioethical implications of new techno-scientific developments (especially in biogenetics); and, last but not least, the creation of new forms of apartheid, new Walls and slums.” [Slavoj Žižek. First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2009. Pages 90-91.]
        “The ‘hard real’ of the ‘logic of the capital’ is what is missing in the historicist universe of Cultural Studies, not only at the level of content (the analysis and critique of political economy), but also at the more formal level of the difference between historicism and historicity proper. Moishe Postone is among those rare theorists who pursue the ‘critique of political economy,’ with his attempt to rethink the actuality of [Karl] Marx in the conditions following the disintegration of the Communist regimes in 1990.” [Slavoj Žižek. Living in the End Times. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2011. Page 185.]
        “… ‘commons’ [include] the shared substance of our social being whose privatization is a violent act that should also be resisted with violent means, if necessary. These commons include those of culture, the immediately socialized forms of ‘cognitive’ capital (primarily language), and our means of communication and education.… ‘Commons’ also include the shared infrastructure of public transport, electricity, post, etc., and the commons of external nature threatened by pollution and exploitation (from oil to forests and natural habitat), as well as the commons of internal nature (the biogenetic inheritance of humanity). What all these struggles share is an awareness of the destructive potential—up to the self-annihilation of humanity itself—if the capitalist logic of enclosing these commons is allowed a free rein. It is this reference to ‘commons’—this substance of productivity that is neither private nor public—that justifies the resuscitation of the notion of Communism.” [Slavoj Žižek, “Nature and its Discontents.” SubStance. Issue 117, volume 37, number 3, 2008. Pages 37-72.]
        “The true utopia is the belief that the existing global system can reproduce itself indefinitely; the only way to be truly ‘realistic’ is to think what, within the coordinates of this system, cannot but appear as impossible. How are we to prepare for this radical change, to lay the foundations for it? The least we can do is to look for traces of the new communist collective in already existing social or even artistic movements. What is therefore needed today is a refined search for ‘signs coming from the future,’ for indications of this new radical questioning of the system. Here, we can count on some unexpected allies.…
        “… [The] strategy of interrupting the smooth flow of our participation in the routines of daily life can also assume more radical forms: in Los Angeles, groups of digital artists and militant engineers arrange for all incoming audio and video transmissions in a limited residential area to be cut, and then film the perplexed inhabitants as they venture outside, not knowing what to do, disconnected from their daily infusion of the media-drug.”
        [Slavoj Žižek. Living in the End Times. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2011. Page 363-364.]
        “… communism, for me, is not an answer. Communism is not the name of a solution but the name of a problem: the problem of the commons in all its dimensions – the commons of nature as the substance of our life, the problem of our biogenetic commons, the problem of our cultural commons (‘intellectual property’), and, last but not least, the problem of the commons as that universal space of humanity from which no one should be excluded. Whatever the solution might be, it will have to solve this problem. So what you are trying to capture with the common good is the name of a problem. This is communism for me. What will be the answer? I don’t know. Maybe we don’t have an answer. Maybe it will be a catastrophe. Maybe … I don’t know.” [Slavoj Žižek. Demanding the Impossible. Yong-june Park, editor. Malden, Massachusetts: Polity Press. 2013. Pages 21-22.]
        “It is … [a] reference to ‘commons’ which justifies the resuscitation of the notion of Communism: it enables us to see the progressing ‘enclosure’ of the commons as a process of proletarization of those who are thereby excluded from their own substance, a proletarization also points towards exploitation.” [Slavoj Žižek, “Descartes and the Post-Traumatic Subject.” Filozofski vestnik. Volume XXIX, number 2, 2008. Pages 9-29.]
        “Communism … may … be understood as Serge Halimi understands it (with reference to its Marxian roots) as a thoroughgoing critique in advance of capitalist globalization.” [Paul Thomas, “Communism.” Encyclopedia of Governance. Mark Bevir, editor. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc. 2007. Page 124]
        “According to [Slavoj] Žižek, since communism is an ‘eternal idea,’ it works as a Hegelian ‘concrete universality’: ‘it is eternal not in the sense of a series of abstract-universal features that may be applied everywhere, but in the sense that it has to be reinvented in each new historical situation.’ … I can sum up Žižek’s idea of communism by presenting the following four aspects of it.
        “The most important aspect (at the level of setting up the stage) is the question of fidelity to the idea of communism. It is not sufficient to evoke the idea of communism as an ideal …. [S]econdary antagonisms … are presented as the problems of the commons: the commons of culture, the commons of external nature, and the commons of internal nature. Note that from the perspective of the principle of contradiction, the commons is a negative category, while in the secondary antagonisms, the commons becomes a localized and positive category.… This brings us to the third aspect …. When [Karl] Marx defined communism as ‘the real movement which abolishes the present state of things,’ he had in mind that ‘bourgeois cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society.’ … This leads us to the fourth aspect …. [W]e should bravely move from the problem of the commons to a new conception of the state, and finally we must get rid of the unilateral connotation of mastery as an alienating force, in order to conceive of a notion of mastery that reveals, rather than sutures, what is common.
        [Agon Hamza, “A Plea for Žižekian Politics.” Repeating Žižek. Agon Hamza, editor. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 2015. Pages 242-256.]
        “… [The] daring reconfiguration of the Jacobin imaginary against the grain of insipid postmodern liberalism, however, loses ground when it collapses into grandstanding calls for a new communism, following primarily Alain Badiou’s directions. Here … [Slavoj] Žižek’s position is more nuanced, but at the same time confusing the deserved demolition of postmodern liberalism with a nostalgic invocation of the language of ‘lost causes’ – lost universals. The desire is right on mark; but the name of desire means a historical somersault.… But, of course, communism is not an eternal idea. (The very thought would make [Karl] Marx’s skeleton rattle.) It is a social-historical formation and, as such, a finite one, except for the added twist that it is a core element of modernity, a social-historical formation that has so far defied its finitude.” [Stathis Gourgouris, “Recoil from the Real? – Žižek out of Athens.” Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. Volume 16, number 3, September 2011. Pages 281–290.]
        “Instead of a politics thought primarily in terms of resistance, playful and momentary aesthetic disruptions, the immediate specificity of local projects, and struggles for hegemony within a capitalist parliamentary setting, the communist horizon impresses upon us the necessity to abolish capitalism and to create global practices and institutions of egalitarian cooperation. The shift in perspective the communist horizon produces turns us away from the democratic milieu that has been the from of the loss of communism as a name for left aspiration and toward the reconfiguration of the components of political struggle—in other words, away from general inclusion, momentary calls for broad awareness, and lifestyle changes, and toward militant opposition, tight organizational forms (party, council, working group, cell), and the sovereignty of the people over the economy through which we produce and reproduce ourselves.” [Jodi Dean. The Communist Horizon. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2012. Pages 11-12.]
        “Whereas Proudhonism proclaimed the abolition of capital, albeit equating it with big capital and the evil of wage labour, as their goal, the new communists appear at best confused and at worst disingenuous when they take the name of a movement which aimed at the revolutionary transformation of capitalism but aimed explicitly at its preservation. At best the new communists seek to prevent the abolition of their own conditions of labour through neoliberal privatization, though here too they are inconsistent, saying on the one hand that ‘any attempt to privatize [intellect] becomes problematic’ thanks to its social character and, on the other, launching their philippics against the possibility. In fact, they need not have bothered. In reality the intellectual property rights regime which the West and particularly the United States have attempted to impose on the world ‘has not and could not change the nature of knowledge and the ways in which this can be transferred [or not] among economic agents’ ….” [Radhika Desai, “The new communists of the commons: Twenty-first-century Proudhonists.” International Critical Thought. Volume 1, issue 2, 2011. Pages 204-223.]
        “… [Slavoj] Žižek proposes a radicalization of the proletarian subject. He refers to the wider concept of ‘the commons’ that potentially includes all types of people coming from various perspectives of the lower classes who realize they share a common distinction: an imminent zero-point in which fundamental change will be inevitable. ‘The commons’ then supplant the simple dichotomy proposed by [Karl] Marx – that of the proletariat and the owners – and represents a ‘singular universality of the proletariat’ ….” [Douglas Reeser, “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce.” Review article. International Journal of Žižek Studies. Volume 4, number 1, 2010. Pages 1-5.]
        “Slavoj Žižek’s In Defence of Lost Causes (IDLC) is probably the most provocative and flamboyant gesture in political philosophy since [Jean-Paul] Sartre sold the Maoist La Cause du Peuple [The Cause of the People] on the Parisian streets in June 1968. From the guillotine on the front cover, through the rehabilitation of [Martin] Heidegger’s engagement with the Nazis and [Michel] Foucault’s endorsement of the Iranian Revolution, to the announcement that the work seeks a dialectical recovery of the progressive moment in Stalin’s revolutionary terror and Mao’s cultural revolution, the book is calculated to shock. Committed to a politics of universal truth that avows the idea of egalitarian communism, Žižek’s position is vehemently opposed to the ruling liberal consensus. In place of the militant defense of human rights, passionate support for an extension of democracy and the multicultural politics of the struggle for recognition, Žižek advocates what he calls ‘emancipatory terror’ …, strict egalitarian justice and the dictatorship of the proletariat.” [Geoff Boucher and Matthew Sharpe, “Introduction: ‘Žižek’s Communism’ and In Defence of Lost Causes.” International Journal of Žižek Studies. Volume 4, number 2, 2016. Pages 1-7.]
        “I would argue that communism conceived only as anticapitalism detached from democratic values and aspirations cannot provide a solid ethical or theoretical foundation for reconstructing a transformative conception of common education today. The communist hypothesis does mark an important new willingness to open a broader discussion of emancipatory possibilities beyond capitalism without apology. However, for communism to become an inspirational historical force again, it would need to offer more than just an anticapitalist politics, but also different visions of life in common that are full of richness and meaning across all facets of human existence. Such alternative visions of common life can only emerge through educational processes of informed criticism, dialogue, collaboration, and dissent. Thus, in my view, the new communists would do well to think through how the traditions of radical-progressive education, as embodied by John Dewey, W. E. B Dubois, George Counts, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, and others, and its emphasis on human autonomy and democratic development could contribute in meaningful ways to imagining a democratic communism for the twenty-first century. Such a project also has the potential for enriching educational theory as well.” [Alexander J. Means, “Educational commons and the new radical democratic imaginary.” Critical Studies in Education. Volume 55, issue 2, 2014. Pages 122-137.]
        “[Jodi] Dean [in The Communist Horizon] proceeds to argue that ‘communicative capitalism’ is an ‘ideological formation’ centered on ‘networked communication technologies’ that subject us to ‘the competitive intensity of neoliberal capitalism’; commercialize and monitor our ‘social networks’; contribute to ‘the displacement and dispersion of critical energy’; and yet also help bring into existence a ‘common’ that cannot be enclosed by capitalism. This discussion is the most interesting and most pessimistic part of the book, for although Dean calls for the reclaiming of ‘the commons,’ her analysis suggests that a communist reclamation of such a dispersed social world is a rather remote possibility.” [Jeffrey C. Isaac, “The Mirage of Neo-Communism.” Dissent. Volume 60, number 3, summer 2013. Pages 101-107.]
        “But what traces of a new communist collective would [Slavoj] Žižek find if he were to turn his cultural-critical gaze towards emerging Christianity? Within the transnational loose association of individuals and communities involved in the emerging church conversation, alternative worship, and fresh expressions of church, there are certainly flash mob and shared ritual elements, such as Guerrilla Worship from Dream in Liverpool, UK, and arts festivals like Greenbelt in the UK and Wild Goose in the US.” [Katharine Sarah Moody, “Retrospective Speculative Philosophy: Looking for Traces of Žižek’s Communist Collective in Emerging Christian Praxis.” Political Theology. Volume 13, issue 2, April 2012. Pages 183-199.]
      71. neo–communism (Filip Spagnoli as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He proposes a new version of communism based upon “a radically egalitarian distribution.”
        “In communism, there will be no more economic or political oppression because the equal ownership of the means of production has abolished all classes and hence also the need for a state apparatus for the protection of class relations. However, there will be no more oppression of classes. Individual criminal actions will continue to be suppressed, even in communism, but this can happen without a state.” [Filip Spagnoli. The Neo-Communist Manifesto. New York: Algora Publishing. 2010. Page 88.]
        “Material redistribution through taxation, unemployment benefits, healthcare systems and so forth is not enough because it does not affect material inequality in a substantial way. It only provides a minimum of basic goods, not a radically egalitarian distribution. The remaining material inequality, and more specifically the inequality of the ownership of the means of production, still engenders unequal economic, political and judicial power. Democracy is self-defeating. It can never deliver what it promises because it does not go far enough. It can only give people formal instead of substantial equality. Elections, rotation in office, economic rights, and equality before the law are superficial phenomena without effect on the deeper economic processes of exploitation and class rule. Democracy must therefore be replaced by something better.
        “Communism claims that there can only be real political equality and real equality of power when the most important goods — the means of production — are the equal property of all citizens. In all other cases, the rich will have more opportunities to benefit from political participation and judicial protection. Equal rights will lead to an unequal outcome, and this is of course the purpose of the system.”
        [Filip Spagnoli. The Neo-Communist Manifesto. New York: Algora Publishing. 2010. Page 107.]
        “Is our good life something individual and outside of politics and the public space, or is it something more communal? Does it mean that our private space has to be protected against others or does it also need others, their points of view, their criticism, and their cooperation in shaping our lives? I think the latter is the case because without the public space in which others can appear and without the political space in which we can cooperate with others, our volition is of inferior quality. We may be able to do what we want, but what we want is not what would be best for us.” [Filip Spagnoli, “In Defense of the Compatibility of Freedom and Equality.” Texas Wesleyan Law Review. Volume 13, 2007. Pages 769+.]
        “Individual rights, individual responsibility, and the individual right to denounce violations before an international judicial or quasi-judicial institution gradually took root after World War II. Today, the treatment of citizens by their state is no longer the exclusive competence of the state in question. The days are gone when states could treat their citizens as they liked. Individuals now have a right to speak in the international community and they are no longer confined to national law. They have international law to help them and international stages to voice their protest. International organizations in turn have a right to poke their nose into national affairs.” [Filip Spagnoli, “The Globalization of Human Rights Law: Why Do Human Rights Need International Law?” Texas Wesleyan Law Review. Volume 14, spring 2008. Pages 317+.]
      72. base materialism (Georges Bataille as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): He develops a radical version of libertarian Marxism using a distinctive form of materialism.
        “If we were to identify under the heading of materialism a crude liberation of human life from the imprisonment and masked pathology of ethics, an appeal to all that is offensive, indestructible, and even despicable, to all that overthrows, perverts, and ridicules spirit, we could at the same time identify surrealism as a childhood disease of this base materialism: it is through this latter identification that the current prerequisites for a consistent development may be specified forcefully and in such a manner as to preclude any return to pretentious idealistic aberrations.
        “Sufficient agreement exists concerning present social conditions, bourgeois moral values, and the intellectual edifice that supports them. For quite some time, all thinking that has not undermined this dilapidated edifice has immediately taken on its demeanor of senile trickery and comical smugness. But it is useless to insist here on the bankruptcy of bourgeois culture, on the necessity of destroymg one day even its memory, and beginning now to establish a new basis for mental agitation. To whatever extent the unhappy bourgeois has maintained a human vulgarity, a certain taste for virility, disaffection with his own class quickly turns into stubborn hatred. And we must insist from the outset that a still relatively new form of intellectual activity, not yet castrated and domesticated, is linked by the force of things to the uprising of the lower classes against present-day work.…
        “The inevitable character of this exhausting subterfuge is easy moreover to display in broad terms. It is sufficient to recall in the first place that there had not been, before [Karl] Marx, any revolutionary movement free of idealism (in the most vulgar sense of the word). At even a relatively recent date, the works of Hugo manifested with great literary brilliance this infantile ethical tendency of revolutionary unrest.”
        [Georges Bataille. Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939. Allan Stoekl with Carl R. Lovitt and Donald M. Leslie, Jr., translators. Allan Stoekl, editor. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 1985. Pages 32-34.]
        “The adjoining room was the most oppresive. Its walls bore no trace of the old regime. The flooring was dirty and the plaster bare, but the advent of the revolution was recorded in numerous charcoal inscriptions. These had been drawn by the sailors or workers who, during the time they ate and lived in the room, had felt obliged to set down in crude language and cruder images the event that had overturned the universal scheme of things, and that their exhausted eyes had witnessed. I had never seen anything more irritating, or anything more human. I stood there, gazing at that crude, clumsy writing, and the tears came to my eyes. Revolutionary fervor slowly filled my head, sometimes expressed in the word ‘lightning-bolt,’ sometimes in the word ‘terror.’ [Vladimir] Lenin’s name frequently recurred in these inscriptions which, although traced in black, were more like traces of blood. The name was curiously altered; it had a feminine form – Lenova!” [Georges Bataille. Blue of Noon. Harry Mathews, translator. London: Paladin Grafton Books imprint of the Collins Publishing Group. 1988. Page 117.]
        “The Democratic Communist Circle went out of existence in 1934. At that time [Georges] Bataille, after several months of illness, underwent a serious psychological crisis. He separated from his wife.
        “Bataille personally took the initiative in 1935 to found a small political group which, under the name of Counterattack, united some former members of the Communist Circle and, following a definite reconciliation with Andre Breton, the whole of the surrealist group.”
        [Georges Bataille, “Autobiographical Note.” October. Volume 36, spring 1986. Pages 106-110.]
        “The French intellectual Georges Bataille (1897-1962) developed base materialism in his work during the late 1920s and early 1930s as an attempt to break with all existing materialism. This essay is an explication of base materialism and its radical implications for contemporary theory. Bataille argues for the concept of an active base matter that disrupts the opposition of high and low and destabilises all foundations. Then he attempts to use this to develop a radical libertarian Marxism, opposed to both Stalinism and fascism. Although it provided a critique of the emphasis in Marxism on production, the active flux of base matter could not be contained in a political discourse.…
        “By doing away with … hierarchy in materialism, Bataille turned his attention to ‘base’ matter, everything that had hitherto been excluded by both idealism and materialism: ‘luxury, mourning, war, cults, the construction of sumptuary monuments, games, spectacles, arts, perverse sexual activity (i.e., deflected from genital finality)’ ….”
        [Benjamin Noys, “Georges Bataille’s Base Materialism.” Cultural Values. Volume 2, number 4, October 1968. Pages 499-517.]
        “[Georges] Bataille’s use of [Karl] Marx reworks a series of figures and images from Marxian writing and places them in his own heterologic context. Various critics have independently noted these borrowings, but bringing them together highlights his discrete attempt to wed Marxism to a peculiar conception of affect. Marx’s materialist transcendence of philosophy from within underwrites Bataille’s celebrated notion of a ‘base materialism.’ But where Marx’s transcendence of philosophy had been Hegelian, Bataille’s is more purely Nietzschean. Marx’s dialectical transcendence of philosophy, outlined in his eleventh thesis on Ludwig Feuerbach, was to be rethought in terms of the model of transcendence presented by Nietzschean transvaluation. With a nod towards [Vladimir] Lenin’s critique of ultra-leftism, Bataille saw his approach as a maturation of the kernel of truth in Surrealism, such that ‘Surrealism [was]… an infantile disorder of this base materialism.’” [Gavin Grindon, “Alchemist of the Revolution: The Affective Materialism of Georges Bataille.” Third Text. Volume 24, issue 3, May 2010. Pages 305-317.]
      73. political economy of the suffering classes (Victor Cathrein, S.J. as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Cathrein, a member of the Society of Jesus (a Jesuit), develops a democratic version of Marxian socialism.
        Socialistic communism, or simply socialism, advocates the transformation of all capital, or means of production, into the common property of society, or of the state, and the administration of the produce and the distribution of the proceeds by the state. Since modern socialists, and chiefly the followers of Karl Marx, intend to realize this scheme entirely upon a democratic basis, they call themselves social democrats, and their system social democracy. Social democracy may be denned as that system of political economy which advocates the inalienable ownership on the part of the state of all capital, or materials of labor, as also the public administration of all economic goods and the distribution of all produce by the democratic state.
        “We call socialism a system of political economy, not as if it did not also lead to many political and social changes, but because the gist of socialism consists in the nationalization of property and in the public administration and distribution of all goods. Socialism, at least as it is conceived by its modern defenders, is in the first instance an economical system, and only secondarily and subordinately a political system affecting society, the state, the family, etc.
        “Socialism has been defined as the political economy of the suffering classes, that is, ‘a philosophy which in its nature and in the sentiments of contemporaries is actually the economic philosophy of the suffering classes.’ This explanatory clause is, to say the least, superfluous; to our mind it is incorrect. It makes the nature of socialism dependent on an external factor, namely, the actual subjective conception of men. Even though all the socialists of to-day could be convinced of the impracticability of their system and made to abandon it, yet socialism would still remain the same system, though it no longer existed in the consciousness of contemporaries. On the other hand, the ideal state imagined by Plato is in truth socialistic, although his contemporaries looked upon his theory as an idle dream. Moreover, if such a definition were correct, the moderate economic system which is advocated by the German Centre party and other conservative politicians for the relief of the laborer and artisan would be socialistic, which we cannot grant to be the case.…
        “Karl Marx, the chief founder of modern socialism, often spoke of himself as a communist; and rightly so, since the general notion of communism is always contained in the specific notion of socialism.”
        [Victor Cathrein, S.J. Socialism: Its Theoretical Basis and Practical Application. Authorized translation. Revised and enlarged by Victor F. Gettelmann. New York: Benzinger Brothers. 1904. Pages 17-19.]
      74. subsistence economy (Wolfgang Streeck as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): Streeck, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Research (Cologne, Germany), speculates in the YouTube video, How Will Capitalism End: Reflections on a Failing System – A Lecture by Wolfgang Streeck (MP3 audio file), that a subsistence economy may succeed a “post–capitalist interregnum.”
        “Maximizing is the hallmark of the capitalist economic ethos whereas limiting effort to what is ‘necessary’ for meeting one’s ‘needs’ is the essence of economic traditionalism and the motivational basis of a subsistence economy.…
        “The normalized actor under capitalism is someone who does not relent in his effort to get richer regardless of what he has already achieved; for him ‘the sky is the limit,’ and there is no pre-established point where he ‘has enough,’ or is institutionally expected to have enough. This holds true not just for capitalists or for capitalist firms but also for consumers, whose desires are ideal-typically assumed, and more often than not empirically prove to be, open-ended. Maximizing is the hallmark of the capitalist economic ethos whereas limiting effort to what is ‘necessary’ for meeting one’s ‘needs’ is the essence of economic traditionalism and the motivational basis of a subsistence economy.”
        [Wolfgang Streeck, “Taking capitalism seriously: towards an institutionalist approach to contemporary political economy.” Socio-Economic Review. Volume 9, number 1, 2011. Pages 137-167.]
        “There are two alternative and, to a certain extent, competing accounts of what started the exodus of women from the subsistence economy of the family into the money economy of the market.” [Wolfgang Streeck, “Community, Market, State―and Associations?: The Prospective Contribution of Interest Governance to Social Order.” European Sociological Review. Volume 1, number 2, September 1985. Pages 119-138.]
        “… the artificial village of the emerging welfare state, which came to replace the real village of pre- and early industrial society and whose subsistence economy offered parts of the population a, however modest, alternative to having to make a living under the pressures of markets and capital accumulation.” [Wolfgang Streeck, “Industrial Relations Today: Reining in Flexibility.” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets. Volume 4, number 3, September 2009. Pages 15-36.]
        1. post–capitalist interregnum: To Streeck, “capitalism is vanishing on its own.” What will replace it will not be socialism but, rather, a long–lasting period of social entropy.
          “A post-capitalist society would, then, appear to be one whose system integration is critically and irremediably weakened, so that the continuation of capital accumulation – for a final, intermediate period of uncertain duration – becomes dependent on the opportunism of collectively incapacitated individualised individuals, struggling to protect themselves from risk in their social and economic lives. Undergoverned and undermanaged, the social world of the post-capitalist interregnum – in the wake of neoliberal capitalism’s neutralisation of states, governments, borders, trade unions and other moderating forces – can at any time be hit by disaster: bubbles may implode, for example, or violence penetrate from a collapsing periphery into the centre. With individuals deprived of collective defences and left to their own devices, what remains of a social order hinges on their motivation to co-operate ad hoc with other individuals, driven by elementary interests in individual survival and, often enough, fear and greed. As society loses its ability to provide its members with effective protection and proven templates of social action and social existence, individuals have only themselves to rely on while social order must depend on the weakest possible mode of social integration – Zweckrationalität (or ‘instrumental rationality’).” [Wolfgang Streeck, “The post-capitalist interregnum: The old system is dying, but a new social order cannot yet be born.” Juncture. Volume 23, issue 2, 2016. Pages 68-77.]
          “For the decline of capitalism to continue, that is to say, no revolutionary alternative is required, and certainly no masterplan of a better society displacing capitalism. Contemporary capitalism is vanishing on its own, collapsing from internal contradictions, and not least as a result of having vanquished its enemies – who, as noted, have often rescued capitalism from itself by forcing it to assume a new form. What comes after capitalism in its final crisis, now under way, is, I suggest, not socialism or some other defined social order, but a lasting interregnum – no new world system equilibrium à la [Immanuel] Wallerstein, but a prolonged period of social entropy, or disorder (and precisely for this reason a period of uncertainty and indeterminacy). It is an interesting problem for sociological theory whether and how a society can turn for a significant length of time into less than a society, a post-social society as it were, or a society lite, until it may or may not recover and again become a society in the full meaning of the term. I suggest that one can attain a conceptual fix on this by … distinguish[ing] between system integration and social integration, or integration at the macro and micro levels of society. An interregnum would then be defined as a breakdown of system integration at the macro level, depriving individuals at the micro level of institutional structuring and collective support, and shifting the burden of ordering social life, of providing it with a modicum of security and stability, to individuals themselves and such social arrangements as they can create on their own. A society in interregnum, in other words, would be a de-institutionalized or under-institutionalized society, one in which expectations can be stabilized only for a short time by local improvisation, and which for this very reason is essentially ungovernable.” [Wolfgang Streeck. How Will Capitalism End?: Essays on a Failing System. London and Brooklyn, New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2016. Pages 21-22.]
          “… capitalism, as a social order held together by a promise of boundless collective progress, is in critical condition. Growth is giving way to secular stagnation; what economic progress remains is less and less shared; and confidence in the capitalist money economy is leveraged on a rising mountain of promises that are ever less likely to be kept. Since the 1970s, the capitalist centre has undergone three successive crises, of inflation, public finances and private debt. Today, in an uneasy phase of transition, its survival depends on central banks providing it with unlimited synthetic liquidity. Step by step, capitalism’s shotgun marriage with democracy since 1945 is breaking up. On the three frontiers of commodification—labour, nature and money—regulatory institutions restraining the advance of capitalism for its own good have collapsed, and after the final victory of capitalism over its enemies no political agency capable of rebuilding them is in sight. The capitalist system is at present stricken with at least five worsening disorders for which no cure is at hand: declining growth, oligarchy, starvation of the public sphere, corruption and international anarchy. What is to be expected, on the basis of capitalism’s recent historical record, is a long and painful period of cumulative decay: of intensifying frictions, of fragility and uncertainty, and of a steady succession of ‘normal accidents’—not necessarily but quite possibly on the scale of the global breakdown of the 1930s.” [Wolfgang Streeck, “How Will Capitalism End?” New Left Review. Series II, number 87, May–June 2014. Pages 35-64.]
          “It is important to stress that no one version of the interface between capitalism and society is intrinsically morally superior to the others. Every embedding of capitalism in society, every attempt to fit its logic into that of a social order will be ‘rough and ready,’ improvised, compromised and never entirely satisfactory for any party. This does not stop the partisans of the various national models from decrying the alternatives and promoting their own as the most correct and rational. The reason for this is that what is at stake in the conflict of economic models is not just people’s standard of living but also the moral economy that has become established in each case.” [Wolfgang Streeck, “Why the Euro Divides Europe.” New Left Review. Series II, number 95, September–October 2015. Pages 5-26.]
          “By 1971 there were clear signs that the—in hindsight, idyllic—world of post-war Fordism was coming to an end. As workers began to rebel, demanding an increasing share of profits after two decades of uninterrupted growth and full employment, customers were also becoming more difficult. Throughout the West, markets for mass-produced, standardized consumer durables were showing signs of saturation. Basic needs had by and large been covered; if the washing machine was still washing, why buy a new one? Replacement purchases, however, could not sustain comparable rates of growth. The emerging crisis manifested itself most visibly among the prototypical mass producers of the Fordist age, the automobile industry, whose manufacturing capacity had grown inordinately, but which now found itself squeezed between increasing worker resistance to its Taylorist factory regime and growing consumer indifference to its mass-market product regime. In the early 1970s sales of the vw Beetle suddenly plummeted and Volkswagen as a company entered into a crisis so deep that many took it as the beginning of its end. ‘Limits to growth’ became a central topic of public discourse, with capitalist firms and democratic governments embarking on a desperate search for a new formula to overcome what threatened to be a fundamental crisis of capitalist political economy.” [Wolfgang Streeck, “Citizens as Customers: Considerations on the New Politics of Consumption.” New Left Review. Series II, number 76, July–August 2012. Pages 27-47.]
          “‘Just as ancient peoples had above all need of a common faith to live by, we have need of justice,’ Émile Durkheim wrote in his seminal work on the division of labour. Since the end of the post-war era, it is all water under the bridge, much of which has flowed down the Hudson River, past the southern tip of Manhattan from where the world is governed these days. Trade unions are disappearing, capital listens only to presidents of central banks, not to political parties; and the money of the rich is everywhere and nowhere, gone in an instant when strapped tax-states reach for it. We can only wonder what form of opiate of the people the profiteers of late capitalism will come up with, once the credit doping of the globalization era stops working and a stable dictatorship of the ‘money people’ has yet to be established. Or may we hope they will have run out of ideas?” [Wolfgang Streeck, “Markets and Peoples: Democratic Capitalism and European Integration.” Tessa Hauswedell, translator. New Left Review. Series II, number 73, January–February 2012. Pages 63-71.]
        2. great regression: Streeck He examines the disastrous consequences of the rise of neoliberalism.
          “Neoliberalism arrived with globalization or else globalization arrived with neoliberalism; that is how the Great Regression began. In the 1970s, the capital of the rebuilt industrial nations started to work its way out of the national servitude in which it had been forced to spend the decades following 1945. The time had come to take leave of the tight labour markets, stagnant productivity, falling profits and the increasingly ambitious demands of trade unions under a mature, state-administered capitalism. The road to the future, to a new expansion as is always close to the heart of capital, led outwards, to the still pleasantly unregulated world of a borderless global economy in which markets would no longer be locked into nation-states, but nation-states into markets.
          “The neoliberal about-face was presided over by a new goddess known as tina—There Is No Alternative. The long list of her high priests and priestesses extends from Margaret Thatcher via Tony Blair down to Angela Merkel. Anyone who wished to serve tina, to the accompaniment of the solemn chorus of the united economists of the world, had to recognize the escape of capital from its national cages as both inevitable and beneficial, and would have to commit themselves to help clear all obstacles from its path.”
          [Wolfgang Streeck, “The Return of the Repressed.” New Left Review. Series II, number 104, March–April 2017. Pages 5-18.]
        3. crises of democratic capitalism: Streeck traces the history of these crises. Post-war democratic capitalism underwent its first crisis in the decade following the late 1960s, when inflation began to rise rapidly throughout the Western world as declining economic growth made it difficult to sustain
          “the political-economic peace formula between capital and labour that had ended domestic strife after the devastations of the Second World War. Essentially that formula entailed the organized working classes accepting capitalist markets and property rights in exchange for political democracy, which enabled them to achieve social security and a steadily rising standard of living. More than two decades of uninterrupted growth resulted in deeply rooted popular perceptions of continuous economic progress as a right of democratic citizenship—perceptions that translated into political expectations, which governments felt constrained to honour but were less and less able to, as growth began to slow.” [Wolfgang Streeck, “The Crises of Democratic Capitalism.” New Left Review. Series II, number 71, September–October 2011. Pages 5-29.]
        4. industrial relations: Streeck discusses the privileging of wealth over workers.
          “My conclusion can be brief. Half a century ago it was the mission of research on industrial relations and the world of work to teach capitalism how to respect a growing sphere of social rights and flourish nevertheless, as a condition of social stability and political support for democracy. In the 1980s the Fordist compromise fell apart, and the balance of power on which it rested shifted away from workers and their organizations. Subsequently the protective institutions that had grown along with the postwar economy came to be seen as impediments to the creation of wealth, and to social progress in general. Pressures increased to adapt social life to the demands of ever more volatile markets, rather than the other way around. As social rights turned out to be too sticky and insufficiently flexible for increasingly competitive markets, the idea that they had not originally been created to be efficient tended to be forgotten. Along with economic change, cultural values and ways of life changed as well to accommodate unprecedented levels of uncertainty and a broad re-engineering of postwar institutions in the spirit of economic efficiency.” [Wolfgang Streeck, “Industrial Relations Today: Reining in Flexibility.” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets. Volume 4, number 3, September 2009. Pages 15-36.]
        5. politics of public debt: Streeck examines “the rise in state indebtedness.”
          “Approaching this paper’s subject – the politics of public debt – …, I will show that political-economic theories in the tradition of Public Choice, which attribute the rise in government debt to an inherent tendency of democracies to ‘live beyond their means’, cannot account for the fiscal crisis of today. Having rejected what I call the democratic failure theory, and based on the records of the last four decades, I will present a list of proximate causes accounting for the rise in state indebtedness and relate them to what I consider, for the purposes of my narrative, the ultimate cause behind them. That cause, I will argue, is the long-term decline in the growth performance of advanced capitalist economies and their subsequent inability to honor the promises of economic and human progress on which their legitimacy depended.” [Wolfgang Streeck, “The Politics of Public Debt: Neoliberalism, Capitalist Development and the Restructuring of the State.” German Economic Review. Volume 15, number 1, February 2014. Pages 143-165.]
        6. how to study contemporary capitalism: Streeck makes a proposal which he says, moves the study of capitalism “from sociology to economics.”
          “How to study contemporary capitalism, then? My first answer is: not as an economy but as a society – as a system of social action and a set of social institutions falling in the domain of sociological rather than today’s standard economic theory. This is in fact the tradition of political economy in the nineteenth century. Political-economic theory was to identify the actors and interests underlying, or hiding behind, the ‘laws of movement’ of ‘the economy,’ translating economic relations into social relations and showing the former to be a special case of the latter. Treating the economy as a society, or as socially and politically constructed or ‘constituted’ …, is the obverse of treating the society as an economy, which is the approach of ‘rational choice’ economic imperialism. Indeed ultimately the approach I suggest amounts to a sort of imperialism as well, only in the opposite direction: from sociology to economics.” [Wolfgang Streeck, “How to Study Contemporary Capitalism?” Archives Européennes de Sociologie/European Journal of Sociology. Volume 53, number 1, April 2012. Pages 1-28.]
        7. associative model of social order: According to Streeck, “the associative model consists predominantly of mutal recognition of status and entitlements.”
          “AN ASSOCIATIVE MODEL OF SOCIAL ORDER …
          “The medium or ‘currency’ of the associative model consists predominantly of mutal recognition of status and entitlements. Of course, concerted groups may bring to bear on a given issue customary solidarities, monetary resources, bloc votes and even threats of coercion should the negotiative process break down, but, fundamentally, they are making demands on each other—informing each other about the magnitude and intensity of their preferences and their likely courses of action if agreement is not reached—and offering in return for the satisfaction of these interests to deliver the compliance of their members. This scambio politico [political exchange], to use an expression which has gained considerable currency in Italy, obviously depends on whether the minimal, enabling conditions have been met, but its efficacy is greatly enhanced if, as the result of iterative efforts at concertation, the participating associations have acquired new resources.”
          [Wolfgang Streeck, “Community, Market, State―and Associations?: The Prospective Contribution of Interest Governance to Social Order.” European Sociological Review. Volume 1, number 2, September 1985. Pages 119-138.]
      75. anti–state, anti–market socialism (Jimmy Davis): He develops an anti–authoritarian, a revolutionary approach to council communism.
        “In place of state terrorism, councils of all types would spring up to bring direct democracy, and socialism into every aspect of human life. All councils would operate according to the principles of socialist democracy. All delegates to the councils would be subject to immediate recall, for any reason and at any time by those who delegated them. Work in the councils is not considered a labor in and of itself; all delegates must also engage in other productive and creative labor.” [Jimmy Davis. The Road to Anti-State, Anti-market Socialism. Seattle, Washington: Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2014. Kindle edition.]
        “That socialism means radical atheist. This is false as one can be religious and still be a socialist (as more and more people are realizing everyday). The tradition of radical atheist amongst revolutionaries is an unfortunate holdover from the capitalist ideological will struggle against feudalism. Since the feudal system based itself upon the divine order and was supported by the church. The ascending capitalist class and undermine the power of religion to undermine the power of the feudal aristocracy. The capitalist intellectuals were atheistic. So they all agreed that some religion was necessary to control the masses. As it is all too often, modern revolutionaries in the search for models instead of making your own issue go along choose the capitalist model for revolution.” [Jimmy Davis. The Road to Anti-State, Anti-market Socialism. Seattle, Washington: Amazon Digital Services LLC. 2014. Kindle edition.]
      76. workers’ coöperatives (Peter Hudis): He explores these coöperatives as Marx’s vision for the transitional form between capitalism and a largely mysterious socialism.
        “[Karl] Marx’s conception of a postcapitalist society is therefore both expansive and visionary, in that it excludes any social formation that takes on an autonomous power at the expense of its creators. This is why even when he endorsed workers’ cooperatives as a possible transitional form to socialism, he warned that they too can become a ‘sham and a snare’ if they are not under the workers’ actual, and not just formal, control. This is why even when he noted that the concentration and centralisation of capital points towards the socialised relations of the future, he argued that they could serve as the basis for a future society only if they there were accompanied by ‘other large-scale organic revolutions in the mode of production.’ Marx never endorses a given social form as the solution, unless it avoids the tendency of human subjective activity to become constrained by forces of its own making.” [Peter Hudis. Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism. Leiden, the Netherlands, and Boston, Massachusetts: Brill. 2012. Page 209.]
        “This work has tried to show that a much deeper, richer, and more emancipatory conception of a postcapitalist society is found in [Karl] Marx’s work than has hitherto been appreciated. This is not to say that Marx provides anything in the way of a detailed answer as to what is a viable alternative to capitalism. His work does, however, contain crucial conceptual markers and suggestions that can help a new generation chart its way towards the future.” [Peter Hudis. Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism. Leiden, the Netherlands, and Boston, Massachusetts: Brill. 2012. Page 215.]
        “In my new book, Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism, I argue that [Karl] Marx had far more to say about a post-capitalist society than has been appreciated by his critics and followers.…
        “The only way to transform relations of production is for working conditions to be controlled by the laborers themselves, instead of by some autonomous force (such as the market or a hierarchical state plan) that operates irrespective of their will.… Simply replacing the domination of the market by the state is no solution at all.…
        “… Material production will be determined by the producer’s conscious decisions instead of by the autonomous force of value production.…
        “… Marx was not referring to the existence of small, isolated communities that operate in a world dominated by value production. He never adhered to the notion that socialism was possible in one country, let alone one locale. He was pointing instead to a communal network of associations in which value production has been superseded on a systemic level.…
        “… Marx’s concept of socialism or communism is based on the abolition of wage labor, capital and value production.… Distribution according to labor is entirely consistent with value production, whereas distribution according to actual labor time reflects or expresses a fundamental break from value production altogether.…
        “… He [Marx] objected to capitalism because it is a perverse society in which human relations take on the form of relations between things.”
        [Peter Hudis, “Yes, There Is An Alternative – And It Can Be Found in Marx.” Praktyka. Volume 3, number 9, 2013.]
        “In contrast to the dominance of abstract labour, concrete labour, the free human activity done for its own sake and in order to produce useful and enjoyable goods and experiences, is a goal in itself. But since any interaction with nature to shape it, even labour freely engaged in ([Karl] Marx used the example of composing music) is a realm of necessity, or hard work in other words, too much of even this good thing would leave humans under the dominance of forces outside their control. Therefore, a radical reduction of labour time and expansion of free time for all activities engaged in for the purpose of happiness itself are the preconditions for a non-capitalist life. As [Peter] Hudis argues throughout, Marx made clear what those who claimed to construct regimes in his name ignored: that the transformation of distribution in itself cannot end the capitalist relation, but only the transformation of production, of work. Thus self-managed cooperatives, although not sufficient in themselves if the rest of the society remains under the sway of abstract labour, money, corporation, market and state, are nevertheless for Marx a basic unit for a post-capitalist society.” [Steven Colatrella, “Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism.” Review article. Capital & Class. Volume 38, number 2, June 2014. Pages 473-475.]
        “Within the collective society based on common ownership of the means of production, the producers do not exchange their products; just as little does the labour employed on the products appear here as the value of these products, as a material quality possessed by them, since now, in contrast to capitalist society, individual labour no longer exists in an indirect fashion but directly as a component part of the total labour. The phrase ‘proceeds of labour,’ objectionable even today on account of its ambiguity, thus loses all meaning.
        “What we are dealing with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society, which is thus in every respect, economically, morally and intellectually, still stamped with the birth-marks of the old society from whose womb it emerges. Accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society—after the deductions have been made—exactly what he gives to it. What he has given to it is his individual quantum of labour. For example, the social working day consists of the sum of the individual hours of work; the individual labour time of the individual producer is the part of the social working day contributed by him, his share in it. He receives a certificate from society that he has furnished such and such an amount of labour (after deducting his labour for the common funds), and with this certificate he draws from the social stock of means of consumption as much as the same amount of labour costs. The same amount of labour which he has given to society in one form he receives back in another.
        “Here obviously the same principle prevails as that which regulates the exchange of commodities, as far as this is the exchange of equal values. Content and form are changed, because under the altered circumstances no one can give anything except his labour, and because, on the other hand, nothing can pass to the ownership of individuals except individual means of consumption. But, as far as the distribution of the latter among the individual producers is concerned, the same principle prevails as in the exchange of commodity-equivalents: a given amount of labour in one form is exchanged for an equal amount of labour in another form.…
        “In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour, and thereby also the antithesis between mental and physical labour, has vanished; after labour has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-round development of the individual, and all the springs of common wealth flow more abundantly—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs!”
        [Karl Marx, “Critique of the Gotha Programme.” Marx & Engels: Collected Works—Volume 24, Marx and Engels, 1874-83. London: Lawrence & Wishart. 2010. Pages 76-99.]
        “In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour, and with it also the antithesis between mental and physical labour, has vanished; after labour has become not only a means of life but itself life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-round development of the individual, and all the springs of cooperative wealth flow more abundantly – only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” [Karl Marx. Critique of the Gotha Programme. Peking (Beijing), China: Foreign Languages Press. 1972. Page 17. Alternate translation of the preceding paragraph.]
        “In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly – only then then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” [Karl Marx. Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme. Moscow: Progress Publishers. 1970 (German original, 1875). Page 5. Another translation of the same paragraph above.]
        “… [Karl] Marx assumes that part of the text [referring to the Gotha Program of the German Social Democratic Party] was nothing but empty slogans and can be ignored. The emphasis in the Gotha programme is that every laborer should get an ‘undiminished’ part of his labor. (Since capitalist exploitation is based on the workers’ wages being less than the value produced by the workers, this Lassallean approach seems to be a logical way to eliminate exploitation.)” [Hans G. Ehrbar. Annotations to Karl Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme. Privately published. August 26th, 2010. Page 25.]
      77. workers’ self–directed coöperative enterprises (Richard D. Wolff): Wolff, a Marxist economist, presents an egalitarian, a communist, and a market socialist alternative to capitalism. This approach for “a better society” is explored on the Democracy at Work website (co–founded by Wolff) and on an associated YouTube channel.
        “A different economic system from the ground up means reorganizing enterprises to put democratic majorities (of employees and of residents of communities that interact with the enterprise) in charge of all the basic decisions: what, how, and where to produce and what to do with the profits. With the people in charge of enterprises—instead of tiny groups of capitalists—the economic resources they send to the government (e.g., taxes) will require it finally to serve the people in return. Just as capitalist enterprises always made sure to shape government to work primarily for them, so a social transition to workers’ self-directed cooperative enterprises would make sure that government, for the first time, genuinely works for the majority.” [Richard D. Wolff. Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2016. Pages 38-39.]
        “To reverse organized labor’s decline and rebuild the left requires either reviving the old New Deal coalition or forming a new comparably powerful alliance. That means confronting and outwitting the long demonization of unions and the left. It requires a strategy that engages and wins struggles with employers. More important, it requires a strategy to reposition labor unions and their allies as champions of broad social gains for the 99 percent. To escape the label of ‘special interest’ unions must work for far more than their own members.
        “The needed strategy is available. It proposes a new alliance among willing labor unions, community organizations, and social movements. The alliance’s basic goal is a social transition in which worker cooperatives become an increasing proportion of business enterprises. The increasingly used term worker self-directed enterprises (WSDEs) stresses democratic decision making. In WSDEs, all workers democratically decide what, how, and where to produce and how to use the net revenues their work generates. In WSDEs, whether or not workers are owners or self-manage, they function, collectively and democratically, as their own board of directors, their own bosses.”
        [Richard D. Wolff. Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2016. Page 275.]
        “WSDEs [workers self-directed enterprises] organize economic decisions to serve the interests of the majority of people in each enterprise, the workers. They eliminate the decision-making roles and positions of that minority that rules inside capitalist enterprises (major shareholders or owners and their chosen representatives, typically boards of directors). More broadly, the people themselves – in the persons of enterprise workers and residents of communities interdependent with the enterprise – become the key economic decision makers. Inside the enterprise, the workers become their own board of directors. As such, they receive and distribute the surpluses (profits) their labor generates. That defines the end of exploitation: the end of any enterprise organization in which the producers of surpluses/profits are different people from those who obtain and distribute such surpluses/profits.” [Richard D. Wolff, “Alternatives to Capitalism.” Critical Sociology. Volume 39, number 4, July 2013. Pages 487-490.]
        “In presenting the ‘communist alternative’ we speak of communism not as a social system, not in terms of society as a whole. We refer instead to the communist class structure of production as an alternative to the capitalist. We stress a class change in production in the hope and belief that it will help to produce a better society.
        “In an enterprise with a communist class structure of production, the productive laborers—those who produce the surplus—are also the people who get and then distribute that surplus. As they produce collectively, so they collectively appropriate and distribute. Communism, in this limited sense, makes the surplus theirs and thereby ends their exploitation. The concept of ‘worker’ changes accordingly. The productive worker’s tasks in any enterprise organized as a communist collective include more than helping to produce the surplus as in a capitalist enterprise. In the communist enterprise, productive workers must also participate in the collective appropriation and distribution of that surplus. From Monday through Thursday, for example, they produce the surplus; on Friday, they meet to appropriate and distribute it. Productive workers become their own board of directors.…
        “In communist enterprises, the productive workers take over the processes of appropriating and distributing the surplus from capitalists. What does this mean for unproductive workers? As in capitalism, productive and unproductive workers relate to the surplus differently. However, in a communist organization of production, productive and unproductive workers confront one another directly without the intermediation by capitalists. The two kinds of workers-surplus producers and the enablers of surplus production-must define, negotiate, and resolve their differences and relationships or else risk the dissolution of the communist organization of production (and perhaps thereby initiate a transition back to capitalism or yet another organization of production).…
        “Political struggles will likely also attend the evolving interdependence among communist enterprises. Given the specializations of production among them, they will need each other’s products as raw materials, machinery, and so on. As workers’ skills and interests develop and as their personal circumstances change, they will need to move from one to another enterprise. Shifting consumer tastes and incomes as well as changing technologies will raise aggregate demand for some products and reduce it for others, requiring accommodations in all communist enterprises. Their interdependence will generate opportunities, costs, and pains for communist enterprises. Thus they will need to develop and adjust their relationships continuously. Political struggles are likely over how best to arrange such continuous adjustments and share their costs.”
        [Richard D. Wolff, “Why Communism?” Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. Volume 19, number 3, July 2007. Pages 322-336.]
        “… there were always dissenting socialists and Marxists who critically evaluated state capitalisms from a socialist perspective. Other socialists and Marxists developed this space in multiple ways. Some criticized USSR-type socialisms on the grounds of their inadequate or absent democratic institutions; they contrasted top-down with bottom-up constructions of socialist systems. Many questioned the durability or even the possibility of genuine socialism if unaccompanied by genuine democracy. My argument shares the critique of top-down organizations of socialism.” [Richard D. Wolff. Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2012. Page 160.]
        “… capitalism, socialism, and communism as they were understood and actually existed over the last century shared a common organization of the surplus in their industries. That organization was capitalist. It was not—or at least not yet—an organization in which the producers and appropriators/distributors of the surplus were the same people. The great debate between capitalism and socialism, the debate that so many (Francis Fukuyama, Robert L. Heilbroner, and others) had declared finally resolved in capitalism’s favor by the 1990s, turns out to have been a debate between private and state capitalism.
        “Within actually existing socialist states there have been greater and lesser movements back toward private capitalism over the last half-century. Many social reforms achieved as part of the movements toward socialism after 1917 proved temporary and subject to erosion or reversal. Especially after the 1980s, socialized property in the means of production reverted to private property. Planning apparatuses gave way to market mechanisms of distribution. Relatively more economic and social equality returned to greater inequality. To the millions who struggled for socialism and communism over the last 150 years, who believed them to be embodiments of a more egalitarian and democratic social order, the last several decades of movement back toward private capitalism have been deeply distressing and demoralizing.”
        [Richard D. Wolff. Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. 2012. Page 163.]
        “… [Some] Marxist economists also argue that for a differently defined socialist alternative to replace such state-capitalism there would have to be fundamental change in the organization of surplus inside enterprises. Following [Karl] Marx’s suggestions, enterprises would have to be internally reorganized such that surplus-producing workers become also their own collective boards of directors. Instead of small, elite boards of directors elected by major shareholders, this reorganization of the surplus would yield workers’ self-directed enterprises, giving all workers both a specific and a general job description. For example, each worker might do a particular task from Monday to Thursday, but on Friday all workers meet to decide democratically what, how, and where to produce and what to do with the surplus/profits they produce. These Marxist economists describe their proposal as economic democracy; only when such a democracy is instituted inside enterprises has a society created the microlevel constituent of a genuine socialism ….” [Richard D. Wolff and Stephen A. Resnick. Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 2012. Pages 333-334.]
        “The frustration of the left, given … [an] exhaustion of traditional socialisms’ appeal, arose from having no other broadly agreed-upon vision of an attractive alternative to capitalism. The left could not provide what mass audiences craved as they deepened their criticisms of capitalism’s longer-term decline and short-term crisis.
        “Enter the notion of workers’ cooperatives or, better, the awkward but more specific term: workers self-directed enterprises (WSDEs). This centuries-old idea has been revived, redesigned and applied to go well beyond traditional socialism. The result is a new vision of an alternative to capitalism that could help to mobilize a new left.
        “WSDEs replace hierarchical, top-down capitalist enterprises run by major shareholders and the boards of directors they select with a democratic enterprise directed by all its workers. The latter, collectively and democratically, make all the key decisions of what, how and where to produce. Most importantly, they decide how to use the enterprise’s net revenue.”
        [Richard D. Wolff, “Economic Prosperity and Economic Democracy: The Worker Co-Op Solution.” Truthout. Web. January 12th, 2014. Retrieved on March 12th, 2017.]
        “Marxists differ from liberals, social democrats, and conservatives in regard to these crisisinduced shifts among private capitalisms, state-interventionist capitalisms, and state capitalisms. For Marxists, the better solution to capitalism’s crises is to organize the economy and society in a noncapitalist way. The Marxist idea begins with a change in the way that production is organized. No longer will workers collectively produce a surplus and deliver it to others (private or state capitalists) who then will use it to maintain their capitalist class structure of production. Instead, the workers will produce a surplus that they themselves will collectively appropriate and distribute. There will no longer be a ‘class division’ between the producers and appropriators of the surplus. Factories and offices will be places where communities of workers produce goods and services and also collectively appropriate and distribute their surpluses. That is, they will be enterprises exhibiting a communist rather than a capitalist class structure. And they will find ways of coordinating their interdependent decisions: combinations of centralized and decentralized decisions organized around individual exchanges and planned distributions.” [Richard D. Wolff, “Remarx—The U.S. Economic Crisis: A Marxian Analysis.” Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. Volume 14, number 1, spring 2002. Pages 118-131.]
      78. coöperative commonwealth (Stanley Aronowitz): He proposes a populist approach to decision making in a socialist context.
        “… democracy has been defined as the participation of the ‘people’ in decision-making. In the context of the nation-state, the citizenry intervenes on a continuous basis in the decisions affecting their everyday lives as well as the life of the community, whether the national or a local jurisdiction. This concept, often termed ‘radical’ democracy has been variously identified with the ‘cooperative commonwealth’ the old Anglo-Saxon term for socialism—a self-managed society of producers of social as well as economic goods, in which the ‘state’ either disappears or is relegated to administrative, i.e. coordinating functions, but in any case does not impose its will from above. This bottom up regime does not necessarily mark the ‘end’ of politics, but it sharply restricts the sovereignty of bureaucratic, centralized institutions. Representatives are chosen by popular assemblies of workers, members of the armed forces, and community residents and merchants. These assemblies may elect delegates to make decisions subject to the popular will. Radical democracy confirms the right to recall representatives at any time.” [Stanley Aronowitz, “The Retreat to Postmodern Politics.” Situations. Volume 1, number 1, April 2005. Pages 15-46.]
      79. theory of coöperative commonwealth (Reginald Wright Kauffman): He develops a democratic, Marxist, anti–anarchist approach to socialism.
        “Socialism is not Anarchism, because Socialism demands not less government of all kinds, which Anarchism wants, but a great deal more government of the democratic kind, which Anarchism abhors.” [Reginald Wright Kauffman. What is Socialism. New York: Moffat, Yard and Company. 1910. Page 25.]
        “Of course, says the Socialist, that part of the history of man of which we have any written record is proportionately a very small one. As a matter of fact, he declares that the race has thus far been in a state of savagery for ninety-five per cent, of its time, and during the bulk of that longer period was living the communistic life. In such conditions wealthmaking was a tribal affair, and however the tribe warred against its neighbors, it co operated within itself. It was in such cir cumstances, the Socialist maintains, that the animals were first domesticated, the cereals first cultivated, the metals first smelted and the wheel, the lever, the rudder and the loom invented. And no sooner, he pursues, did com petition appear and assume control than the old forces were revived and co-operation, in the form of combination, re-asserted itself as a natural tendency against which legislation has been powerless and public opinion impotent. Thus, he argues that the trusts, by proving that combination produces greater profits with less waste and a larger share of considera tion for the workman, are establishing his own theory of a co-operative commonwealth. Let us try to understand, in as brief a space as may be, how he endeavors to substantiate such a conclusion.” [Reginald Wright Kauffman. What is Socialism. New York: Moffat, Yard and Company. 1910. Pages 78-79.]
        “It may have appeared to the reader that, in the latter part of the preceding chapter, I de voted too much space to the theories of the Socialist regarding the trend of Capitalism, and too little to the arguments that the oppo nents of Socialism advance against those theories. In that instance it was, however, necessary clearly to bring before the reader the Socialistic attitude as a whole, and not piecemeal. The subject here is one that must, for the sake of lucidity, be considered in concrete units, because not until we have compassed the entire viewpoint of the Marxian, in this particular, can we adequately appreciate the objections of his critics or the rebuttal of their antagonists. Nevertheless, such an observation having now been achieved, we may safely proceed to the Capitalistic commentary thereon.” [Reginald Wright Kauffman. What is Socialism. New York: Moffat, Yard and Company. 1910. Pages 95-96.]
      80. Coöperative Commonwealth Communities enterprise (Norman D. Livergood): Livergood envisions a system of global coöperativism. He synthesizes his understanding of the perennial philosophy (Latin, philosophia perennis), or the perennial tradition, with a version of critical social theory.
        “The realization of the cooperative commonwealth community is in part dependent on the presence of intelligent persons in a society responding appropriately to the novella. Whether such discerning people will be present in American or world culture within one year or one hundred depends on innumerable factors.…
        “The Cooperative Commonwealth Communities enterprise advances through stages. Thus far we’ve explored the political-economic stage, in which a group of people have come together to build cooperative commonwealth communities in the western states of America. That stage constituted three phases, as we’ve seen.…
        “Like all esoteric knowledge, the spiritual dimension of commonwealth community membership seems prosaic and lackluster to the ordinary mind. This is one of the many reasons why the Spiritual Dimension Group reserved this esoteric knowledge for those who demonstrated the ability to understand and appreciate the higher dimension of community interactions.”
        [Norman D. Livergood. The New Commonwealth. Tempe, Arizona: A Dandelion Books Publication imprint of Dandelion Books, LLC. 2011. Kindle edition.]
        “In this book, we’ll examine the precise nature of capitalism as it has become ingrained in American society: a militaristic, imperialistic, dictatorial, fascist, police state. We’ll also study how we can overcome the onslaughts of capitalism through understanding the perennial wisdom of Plato, through understanding progressivism and progressives, and through building cooperative commonwealth communities.
        “We will analyze how the minds of Americans have been systematically taken over by capitalist propaganda and brainwashing, until today most Americans are unable to realize that the United States has become identical in essence to Nazi Germany in 1933.…
        “The intentional community envisioned in The New Commonwealth novella differs entirely from such entities as the ‘created nations’ after World War I and II. The community is not created by merely taking over the territory and populace of a previously established locale (town, city, state, or nation).…
        “The only viable way for this to occur is for a Perennialist, totally positive group to constitute itself as a ‘saving remnant,’ separate from but related to the larger culture. This Perennialist saving remnant leavens and fecundates the larger culture with its higher knowledge and power, ultimately transforming the negative culture into a commonwealth. This actually constitutes realizing a new world in the sense of making real or concrete, giving reality to, being fully aware or cognizant of a world that already exists as an Ideal or Form.”
        [Norman D. Livergood. We Must Replace Capitalism with Commonwealth. Tempe, Arizona: A Dandelion Books Publication imprint of Dandelion Books, LLC. 2014. Kindle edition.]
        “The new form of society – communism – is created by the proletariat’s destruction of private property which thereby establishes communal ownership and blends the interest of each into the whole. Now for the first time man can realize his true nature as a social creature. The common good is recognized as the individual’s good. Socialized life does not destroy individual value, it merely enhances it and uses it for the whole, according to [Karl] Marx. Man thus becomes ‘the subjective existence of society thought and felt for itself.’
        “The result of the technique of change, therefore, is a class-less and a state-less society. This is expressed as the ‘withering away of the state’ in which a state is no longer necessary due to man’s transformed nature. Now has arrived the dialectical synthesis; the parts are so related that individual claims to completeness are denied and yet aspects of each are maintained and ennobled in the inclusive whole. This is communism.”
        [Norman D. Livergood. Activity in Marx’s Philosophy. The Hague, the Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff. 1967. Pages 41-42.]
        “The mystical aspect of Dialectic is evidenced by the sudden flash that shines forth, the light that is kindled in one soul which leaps to another and then sustains itself. As a Master—such as Socrates or Plato—creates the dialectical atmosphere and brings his inner wisdom to bear on the shared mystical experience, a literal enlightenment takes place. Such an experience cannot be contrived by merely trying to set up a ‘debate’ or a ‘philosophical conversation.’ There must be a real magician—a genuine philosopher—present to bring about the flash of intuitive illumination eventuating in attunement with true reality, the ‘activation of the subtleties.’” [Norman D. Livergood. Rediscovering Plato and the Mystical Science of Dialectic. Tempe, Arizona: A Dandelion Books Publication imprint of Dandelion Books, LLC. 2008. Pages 74-75.]
        “Progressive awareness is a new concept, perspective, and procedure which the author developed through his study of philosophy, religion, psychology, political-economic dynamics, artificial intelligence, and in his pursuit of discernment through assimilation of the Perennial Tradition.” [Norman D. Livergood. Progressive Awareness: Critical Thinking, Self-Awareness & Critical Consciousness. Tempe, Arizona: A Dandelion Books Publication imprint of Dandelion Books, LLC. 2005. Page vii.]
        “As the Perennial Tradition points out, even what we imagine to be our ‘self’ is concocted from beliefs put into us by others. Our ‘self’ is not our real Self at all.
        “Progressive awareness involves the careful consideration of multiple points of view and keeping our minds open to alternative sources of information. Unless we work at gaining progressive awareness, the natural tendency is to limit our ideas to only those that are easily available, never really discovering or considering alternative sources of information.”
        [Norman D. Livergood. Progressive Awareness: Critical Thinking, Self-Awareness & Critical Consciousness. Tempe, Arizona: A Dandelion Books Publication imprint of Dandelion Books, LLC. 2005. Page 15.]
        “Critical consciousness is the ability to perceive social, political, and economic oppression and to take action against the oppressive elements of society.…
        “The tactics of critical consciousness and a pedagogy of the oppressed were first developed by [Paulo] Freire in his work with third-world people, helping them gain an awareness of world conditions while teaching them to read.”
        [Norman D. Livergood. Progressive Awareness: Critical Thinking, Self-Awareness & Critical Consciousness. Tempe, Arizona: A Dandelion Books Publication imprint of Dandelion Books, LLC. 2005. Page 191.]
        “Talking about theories and ideas is an integral part of group work in consulting philosophy—but only in the context of a specific problem. If a woman is trying to decide how to respond to her husband’s distaste for her career, then theories about women working will naturally arise. But talking about theories divorced from specific personal problems keeps the person in the ‘safe’ realm of intellectualizing. When the group discusses theories it is in direct reference to a person’s problem, a theory embodied in someone’s values or ways of thinking.” [Norman D. Livergood, “Roles People Over-Act.” Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice. Volume 5, number 4, December 1968. Pages 248-253.]
      81. workers’ self management and communism from below (Steve Ryan): Ryan refers to a “reinvigorated libertarian left” as a ‘communism from below’ and examines the “movement against cuts” in the UK.
        “… workers are beginning to sense what is coming after a languid summer, This at some stage will turn to anger, not just with the government but with union leaders, especially if some unions do take militant action.…
        “As the struggle develops this autumn opportunities and initiatives will arise. As they do communists should be developing the argument for a permanent change to a society based on workers’ self management and communism from below, they should also be operating these principles in practice wherever they are engaged whether in the unions, anti-cuts groups etc demonstrating the practice as well as the theory.
        “This is a hugely important time, and reinvigorated libertarian left has a key opportunity to help a successful and mass fight back. Equally, if it is mishandled the movement is facing a massive defeat which may discredit it for decades.”
        [Steve Ryan, “A Movement Against Cuts.” The Commune: For Workers’ Self-Management and Communism from Below. Issue 17, September 2010. Pages 1 and 3.]
      82. laborist production (David Ellerman): He explores this mode of worker production in the context of discussing normative property theory.
        “This paper is a non-technical preliminary report on a normative theory of property. It provides an alternative approach to normative economic theory that does not require or utilize any social welfare function. Normative property theory consists of a principle which specifies how rightful ownership Is Initiated (theory of appropriation) and a principle which speclfies how rightful ownership may be transferred (theory of permission). Thus the theory provides normative constraints which govern the rightful appropriation and transfer of property.…
        “… if a legal property system is to satisfy the norms provided by normative property theory, it must recognize and guarantee in law: (1) that the workforce In an enterprise has the collective legal responsibility for its productive activities, i.e., that the workers have the right to self-manage their work, and (2) that the workforce in an enterprise has the right to the ownership of its whole product. We will call this form of production, laborist production (also called labor-management or workers’ self-management) If any of the material goods to be used up in production were initially owned by absentee owners (e.g., by the workers who produced the intermediate goods or by the community in the case of land and natural resources which are not the products of labor), then the workforce In the enterprise would have to satisfy its (prospective) liabllities by obtaining the owners’ consent.”
        [David Ellerman, “Introduction to Normative Property Theory.” Review of Radical Political Economics. Volume 4, number 2, June 1972. Pages 49-67.]
        “… Labor should, by the principle of responsibility, legally appropriate the whole product (in addition to the labor services). In short, the people working in an enterprise should ‘be the firm’ (in the sense of whole product appropriator or residual claimant). The principle of responsibility implies that production should be legally organized as what are called ‘democratic firms’ or ‘labor managed firms’ where the people working in the firm are the residual claimants.…
        “I have outlined a descriptive and a normative property theoretic treatment of the firm. The descriptive theory leaves unanswered the economic questions addressed in the economic theories of the firm. The normative theory of the firm was approached from the responsibility theory of appropriation. In the same way that the joint work of the criminous employer and employee is legally reconstructed as a ‘partner ship,’ so should the joint work of all who work in each productive opportunity be legally recon structed as a ‘partnership’ or democratic firm.”
        [David Ellerman, “The Democratic Firm: An Argument Based on Ordinary Jurisprudence.” Journal of Business Ethics. Volume 21, number 2/3, September 1999. Pages 111-124.]
      83. new commune–ism (Ernesto (Ernie) Raj Peshkov-Chow): The author—with a multilingual name—attempts a revision of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ Communist Manifesto. The book’s focus is on radical democracy and socialism from below. The original Manifesto forms the appendix.
        “This book began with a question. If Karl Marx were alive today and was asked to write a new edition of the Communist Manifesto, how would it be different from the original composed in 1848 by him and Friedrich Engels?
        “After numerous false starts and much consideration, especially about who Karl Marx was and would still be, the question changed. How to choose the right author? If Marx could have been asked to choose someone to update his work 130 years after he died what sort of criteria would he have suggested? A worker who is also a well-read intellectual; an internationalist, who can see beyond narrow ethnic or cultural boundaries; someone who has dedicated his life to the betterment and empowerment of the international working class; someone serious but with a sense of humor.”
        [Ernesto (Ernie) Raj Peshkov-Chow. The New Commune-ist Manifesto: Workers of the World, It Really is Time to Unite. Vancouver, British Columbia: RED Publishing. 2013. Kindle edition.]
        “Expanding democracy is critical to saving our planet and making a better life for every person in the world. Democracy does not mean arbitrary power for a few. It means the right of everyone to an equal claim to ownership of their communities’ social means of livelihood and an equal right to participate in economic decisions. It means providing everyone on our planet with an equal right to have his or her needs met. It means the right of people in all occupations to participate as equals in directing their social labor time.
        “The old communism is dead. Long live the new communism! The new communism does not mean centralized state ownership and top-down party rule. It means commune-ism. A commune is a local district, its land, people and the way they make social decisions. A commune could be as small as a village or as large as a major city. Commune-ism means direction of resources and social labor from the bottom up. Today in a world of global markets and nation states, that means ownership by local communities, towns, cities, provinces/states, regions, national governments and by democratic, transparent international institutions.
        “The New Commune-ist Manifesto has been published so that people around the world who see the need for real, economic democracy — the essence of communism — can read, discuss, debate and come together to clarify views and aims so that our movement, the new commune-ism, can grow.”
        [Ernesto (Ernie) Raj Peshkov-Chow. The New Commune-ist Manifesto: Workers of the World, It Really is Time to Unite. Vancouver, British Columbia: RED Publishing. 2013. Kindle edition.]
      84. international revolutionary democratic communism: The Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee)—which publishes the Weekly Worker—proposes a new anti–Stalinist Marxist–Leninist approach to communism. They began as a Marxist–Leninist–Stalinist party, but they have since rejected Stalinism (as well as Marxism–Leninism–Trotskyism). They work to unite the fragments of “the Marxist left.”
        “The Communist Party of Great Britain is a revolutionary political organisation that fights to bring together the various fragments of the Marxist left into a Communist Party cohered around a genuine communist programme. Only a united, principled organisation could begin a serious fight to spread the influence of Marxism in the workers’ movement and broader society, in the UK and (where possible) throughout the world. Our goal is to overthrow capitalism and build a communist society free from the exploitation and oppression that characterise all class societies.” [Editor, “Who we are.” Communist Party of Great Britain. Undated. Retrieved on March 14th, 2017.]
        “The world struggle for democracy, taking place in a combined and uneven way in different countries across the world, culminates in the replacement of global capitalism with world communism. This struggle can only be conducted successfully by the international working class whose advanced section organises itself into a world party which combines the revolutionary struggle for democracy with the aim of communism.
        “We recognise the unfortunate tendency for communists to identify themselves with the names of their favourite dead leaders, for example as Marxists, Leninists, Stalinists, Maoists and Trotskyists, etc. We agree to encourage the use of the term ‘international revolutionary democratic communism’ as the most scientific summary of the essential class politics of the working class. Critical assessment can and should be made of the contributions that leading theoretical and practical activists, beginning with [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels, have made to international revolutionary democratic communism.”
        [Steve Freeman, Moshé Machover, and Dave C. Spencer, “A New Tendency/Initiative.” New Interventions. Volume 13, number 1, spring 2009. Page 50.]
        “The party we must fight for is the world party. What is the scientific name for this? Of course, [Vladimir] Lenin spoke about Marxism. But he used the term ‘international revolutionary social democracy.’ This should be used in modified form. ‘Social’ refers to socialism. This should be replaced by ‘communism.’ Our aim is world communism or human liberation. In 1917 the Bolshevik Party changed its name to ‘Communist.’ We should follow that advance.
        “The words ‘revolutionary’ and ‘democracy’ are in the original. However, since the rise of Stalinism they take new significance. Stalinism destroyed democracy in the world communist movement and undermined or destroyed many democratic movements. Stalinist communism played a counterrevolutionary role. Any new world communist party must emphasise its revolutionary and democratic component. Real democracy is revolutionary. It requires a revolution to achieve it. International revolutionary democratic communism identifies the aims of the world party and the means of achieving it.
        “We must have no illusions in any idea of a British Marxist party. Building an independent national Marxist party is a dead end. National communism or communism in one country is impossible. It makes no more sense than a national communist party. Unfortunately ultra-leftism is liable to forget this in its urgent desire to launch a revolutionary party where it is. The error is voluntarism and the belief that we can do anything if we try hard enough.”
        [Editor, “Marxist party – an illusion.” Weekly Worker. Issue 647, November 2006. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “The term ‘communist’ is associated with Stalinism. Most parties bearing the name ‘communist’ are connected historically with [Joseph] Stalin’s USSR. We must differentiate ourselves by emphasising a new communism which is revolutionary democratic and internationalist. This takes us back to [Karl] Marx’s own politics.…
        “International revolutionary democratic communism can be used alongside ‘Marxism’ or simply ‘communism.’”
        [Editor, “What now for the Marxist Party campaign?” Weekly Worker. Issue 657, January 2007. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “In 1998 the Revolutionary Democratic Group and the CPGB [Communist Party of Great Britain] agreed to form the ‘Revolutionary Democratic Communist Tendency.’ A first meeting was held on January 9 of that year.…
        “This tendency did not survive. However, revolutionary democratic communism did not die. It was and remains an alternative to Stalinism and Trotskyism. It is inevitable it would revive within any CMP [Campaign for a Marxist Party] because over the last 20 years both Stalinism and Trotskyism have failed.”
        [Dave Craig, “What next for CMP?: We need to campaign for an international communist party, writes Dave Craig of the Revolutionary Democratic Group.” Weekly Worker. Issue 748, April 2008. Online publication. No pagination.]
        “What does a ‘revolutionary democratic attitude’ mean in practice? …
        “… the draft platform of the ‘Revolutionary Democratic Communist Tendency’ is fundamentally flawed as the programme of a revolutionary tendency.”
        [Ian Donovan, “Reply to ‘Draft Revolutionary Democratic Communism.’” Revolution and Truth (website). February, 1998. Online publication. No pagination. Retrieved on October 25th, 2016.]
        “The political left … is in … [bad] shape. This sort of statement is often made simply as a way of saying that the author’s own group’s views are not generally accepted. I do not mean to say this – though it is, of course, true that views of the sort held by CPGB [Communist Party of Great Britain] comrades are held only by a small minority. The point is that though free market fundamentalism is in decline, the political left in general has not benefited from this decline.
        “The Labour/socialist parties are now as committed to free market dogmas as the parties of the right – in some cases more so. A large part of the former ‘official communists’ now fall into this camp: whether as being the major ‘left’ party, as in Italy, or as providing the hard-core of the pro-market wing of the ‘left,’ like the ex-Eurocommunist and fellow-traveller Blairites in Britain. But this commitment has hardly benefited these parties. Though in Britain Labour has clung to office with capitalist support, and in Germany, France, Spain and Italy ‘social-liberal’ parties have moved in and out of office, the underlying trend has been one of declining numerical support for the parties of the consensus, including those which self-identify as ‘of the left’; increased abstentions; episodic surges in voting support for anything perceived as ‘an alternative’, usually on the right but occasionally on the left; and a widespread belief that ‘they’ (politicians) are all corrupt.”
        [Mike McNair. Revolutionary Strategy: Marxism and the Challenge of Left Unity. London: November Publications Ltd. 2008. Ebook edition.]
      85. radical democracy (Ernesto Laclau as pronounced in this MP3 audio file and Chantal Mouffe as pronounced in this MP3 audio file): They propose a socialist approach to direct democracy.
        “… we shall defend the thesis that it is this moment of continuity between the Jacobin and the Marxist political imaginary which has to be put in question by the project for a radical democracy. The rejection of privileged points of rupture and the confluence of struggles into a unified political space, and the acceptance, on the contrary, of the plurality and indeterminacy of the social, seem to us the two fundamental bases from which a new political imaginary can be constructed, radically libertarian and infinitely more ambitious in its objectives than that of the classic left. This demands, in the first place, a description of the historical terrain in which it emerged, which is the field of what we shall call the ‘democratic revolution.’” [Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. Second edition. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2001. Page 152.]
        “Let us come to a conclusion. This book has been constructed around the vicissitudes of the concept of hegemony, of the new logic of the social implicit within it, and of the ‘epistemological obstacles’ which, from [Vladimir] Lenin to [Antonio] Gramsci, prevented a comprehension of its radical political and theoretical potential. It is only when the open, unsutured character of the social is fully accepted, when the essentialism of the totality and of the elements is rejected, that this potential becomes clearly visible and ‘hegemony’ can come to constitute a fundamental tool for political analysis on the left. These conditions arise originally in the field of what we have termed the ‘democratic revolution,’ but they are only maximized in all their deconstructive effects in the project for a radical democracy, or, in other words, in a form of politics which is founded not upon dogmatic postulation of any ‘essence of the social,’ but, on the contrary, on affirmation of the contingency and ambiguity of every ‘essence,’ and on the constitutive character of social division and antagonism. Affirmation of a ‘ground’ which lives only by negating its fundamental character; of an ‘order’ which exists only as a partial limiting of disorder; of a ‘meaning’ which is constructed only as excess and paradox in the face of meaninglessness — in other words, the field of the political as the space for a game which is never ‘zero-sum,’ because the rules and the players are never fully explicit. This game, which eludes the concept, does at least have a name: hegemony.” [Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. Second edition. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 2001. Pages 192-193.]
        “… [the] question of power and antagonism is precisely at the center of the approach that I want to put forward and whose theoretical bases have been delineated in Hegemony and Socialist Strategy …. What we attempted to do in that book was draw out all the consequences for a radical conception of democracy of the ineradicability of power, of antagonism, and of the fact that there can never be total emancipation but only partial ones. This means that the democratic society cannot be conceived any more as a society that would have realized the dream of a perfect harmony or transparency. Its democratic character can only be given by the fact that no limited social actor can attribute to herself the representation of the totality and claim in that way to have the ‘mastery’ of the foundation. The central thesis of the book is that social objectivity is constituted through acts of power. This implies that any social objectivity is ultimately political and that it has to show the traces of exclusion that governs its constitution.” [Chantal Mouffe, “Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism?” Social Research. Volume 66, number 3, fall 1999. Pages 745-758.]
        “… if we accept [Carl] Schmitt’s insight about the relations of inclusion–exclusion which are necessarily inscribed in the political constitution of the people – which is required by the exercise of democracy – we have to knowledge that the obstacles to the realization of the ideal speech situation – and to the consensus without exclusion that it would bring about – are inscribed in the democratic logic itself. Indeed, the free and unconstrained public deliberation of all on matters of common concern goes against the democratic requisite of drawing a frontier between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ We could say – this time using Derridan terminology – that the very conditions of possibility of the exercise of democracy constitute simultaneously the conditions of impossibility of democratic legitimacy as envisaged by deliberative democracy. Consensus in a liberal democratic society is – and will always be – the expression of a hegemony and the crystallization of power relations. The frontier that it establishes between what is and what is not legitimate is a political one and for that reason it should remain contestable. To deny the existence of such a moment of closure, or to present the frontier as dictated by rationality or morality, is to naturalize what should be perceived as a contingent and temporary hegemonic articulation of ‘the people’ through a particular regime of inclusiort–exclusion. The result of such an operation is to reify the identity of the people by reducing it to one of its many possible forms of identification.” [Chantal Mouffe, “Carl Schmitt and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy.” The Challenge of Carl Schmitt. London and New York: Verso Books imprint of New Left Books. 1999. Pages 38-53.]
        “This article is an attempt to use [Chantal] Mouffe’s agonistic approach to shed an alternative light on Occupy and similar movements, and to reformulate Mouffe’s critique of these movements. Part of the effort was oriented to showing that the agonistic framework provides the tools for a more adequate description of the movement than (post-autonomist and other) theories however influential they may be within these movements themselves. Indeed, nothing prevents us from considering the new protest movements as attempts to create a chain of equivalence between widely differing and isolated demands. Under these conditions, central signifiers such as ‘Occupy,’ ‘Real Democracy Now!’ or ‘the 99%’ have become empty signifiers that represent and produce the fragile unity of these movements as such.” [Thomas Decreus, Matthias Lievens, and Antoon Braeckman, “Building Collective Identities: How New Social Movements Try to Overcome Post-politics.” Parallax. Volume 20, issue 2, 2014. Pages 136-148.]
        “Chantal Mouffe, who, along with Ernesto Laclau, is probably most responsible for the recovery of [Carl] Schmitt by theorists of radical democracy, says that ‘I am convinced that a confrontation with his thought will allow us to acknowledge – and therefore, be in a better position to try to negotiate – an important paradox inscribed in the very nature of liberal democracy.’ Mouffe thereby performs a theoretical amputation of Schmitt: his political metaphysic is separated from his fascist normative politics, in the hopes that each can survive on its own and so reveal the connection between them to have been inessential, rather than bearing the internal relation that Schmitt thought them to have. The Schmittian political metaphysic is in turn transplanted into Mouffe and Laclau’s radical democratic theory as its own proper heart; the same maneuver shows the truth of Schmitt’s original critique, that liberalism is chimerical, holding within itself an irresolvable aporia [Ancient Greek/A̓rchaía Hellēniká, ἀπορία, a̓poría, ‘impasse’] which always threatens to overtake it and transform it in practice into barbarism.” [Nathanael W. Vaprin. Immanuel Kant and the Theory of Radical Democracy. Ph.D. dissertation. Vanderbilt University. Nashville, Tennessee. 2013. Pages 2-3]
        “Used in the wider, umbrella sense, post-Marxism has a long pedigree. Some commentators go so far as to suggest that Marx himself was the first post-Marxist. They point to contradictions in his work regarding the relationship of structure and agency. Wherever he emphasises agency over the laws of historical materialism and economic development (which he formulates elsewhere), he already prepares the path for one of post-Marxism’s central claims: the dominance of historical contingency, of human activity and (political) activism, in shaping historical processes and the subordinate or negligible role of a teleological determinism. The discrepancies between the prognoses of [Karl] Marx, [Friedrich] Engels and others and actual historical developments in the twentieth century led to a considerable number of reflections on this topic of contingency and determinism, structure and agency. According to Perry Anderson …, the whole story of ‘Western Marxism’ in the first half of the twentieth century should be understood as intellectual attempts to come to terms with unexpected – and, for leftists, far from promising – developments, which undermined Marxists’ original historical optimism. The most important milestone in re-conceptualising the contingency-versus-determinism problematic in the first half of the 20ᵗʰ century was contributed by Antonio Gramsci in his reflections on hegemony. With the identification of ideologically hegemonic power blocs across social classes, he thought to have found the reason which explained capitalism’s failure to collapse. Later, Louis Althusser added the concepts of overdetermination and relative autonomy to shift the balance even further from determinism towards contingency. Other theorists questioned further central tenets of traditional Marxism or, more precisely, their relevance under twentieth century conditions. André Gorz and Herbert Marcuse both doubted the indispensable role of the working class for revolutionary change. Rudolf Bahro pointed to Marxism’s blindness with regard to the natural limits impairing its vision of a post-capitalist society of plenty. In Britain, Stuart Hall and other thinkers close to the journal Marxism Today synthesised many of these issues into con