Napoleons Red Lancers

Third way, in politics, a proposed alternative between two hitherto dominant models, namely left-wing and right-wing political groups. Historically, the term third.

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Rather, my intention is to illuminate the primary arguments and some of the common themes that emerge even within the diverse array of interpretations, methods, and political commitments contained within Communism in the 21st Century. Achieving these distinctive qualities at the interpersonal level is called, by Eagleton, love, and at the political level, socialism. Indeed, for Chat- topadhyay, societies can be judged on the extent to which the individual is free within it, that is, suffering neither personal nor objective dependence.

In this context, Silvia Federici Chapter 8, Volume 1 takes issue with the long-assumed nexus between capitalist development and the even- tual liberation of humankind.

Such justifications, Federici claims, underesti- mate the knowledge and wealth produced by noncapitalist societies, just as they underestimate the extent to which capitalism has built its power through their appropriation. They also fail to see how capitalism, far from inventing social cooperation or large-scale intercourse, destroyed societies that had been tied by communal property relations and cooperative forms of work.

Moreover, the assumption that capitalism has been inevitable overlooks those in the past who struggled against its imposition, just as it forgets those resisting its machinations in the present. Federici reveals how illusory automation and mechanization have been for human libera- tion, having not only failed to ease the burden of labor in any meaningful sense but having become parasitic on the earth. Ultimately, such accounts fail to see capitalism as an historical and ongoing process of violent ap- propriation.

Ultimately, Federici offers a clear revision of Marxist analysis that contests the notion of capitalism as the necessary precondition for communism, calling for us to instead focus on those social relations that are conducive of human emancipation and the reclamation of the commons rather than a myopic gaze on production, industrialism, and consumption.

It is not that capitalism has achieved nothing, however. Indeed, Marx praised capitalism as generously as Eagleton praises Marx: capitalism has developed human powers of production and furthered a litany of cultural freedoms such as the emancipation of slaves, the invention of human rights, and the dismantling of empires. For Eagleton however, the question was something different: why, under capitalism, where we have accumulated more resources than throughout proceeding human history and where we labor harder than our ancestors ever did, do we yet remain unable to overcome poverty, exploitation, and inequality?

For Eagleton, the answer lies in the way we organize production: capitalism has not, indeed, cannot free us from toil. So what are we to take as the appropriate linkage between capitalism and communism today? What is perhaps most interesting here is the convergence between Ollman, Sayers, and Federici on the importance of the type of social relations of cooperation and association within communism, which are routinely downplayed in many traditional accounts that emphasize the importance of productive forces.

Yet even though ownership is no longer based around private interests, or production attentive to profit, individuals are rewarded according to the work they do so that the notion of wealth re- mains confined under its bourgeois trappings. This is a critical point that Lebowitz also engages with at length. Sayers reiterates that this is only to be a transitional phase, however, on the way to full or true communism—the place that has transcended and overcome the free market and its notion of profit as value. Chattopadhyay, while denying the centrality of the two-step process, nevertheless shares with Sayers the notion of the change in wealth under communism.

Sayers, it d-VPass-0FM-r For Chattopad- hyay, the mark of communist society is the change in wealth from capital accumulation to the expansion of free time for all. Offering a significant departure from Orthodox Marxism, Lebowitz contests the standard interpretation of the Gotha Programme finding that not only does each stage contain strikingly different relations of distribu- tion, but that Marx was not necessarily consistent regarding his depic- tion of communist society particularly its economic characteristics.

Karl Marx, Yesterday and Today

They are seen as a worker, not a human being. Lebowitz makes clear that this inherited defect of the self-interest of owners in socialism is the opposite of soli- darity, community, and association envisaged by Marx and must be ac- tively subordinated if the new society of communism is to develop as an organic system.

In my chapter, I argue that a focus on material production risks subsuming human emancipation under the interests of industrialism, distribution, and consumption, which unwittingly reproduce capitalist relationalities in ways similar to those identified by Federici and Lebowitz regarding the exchange of equivalents under socialism. Under the productivist dogma of Diamat at the turn of the 20th century, Marxists would forget entirely that the emancipatory promise of communism is not strictly reducible to material production, that the individual under full communism is not to be considered rich because they have much, but because they are much.

Internationalism is logically dependent on the ju- ridical form of the nation-state and some prior ethic of nationalism that limits the potential for universal, collective action.

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As such, principles of socialist internationalism expressed in the Internationals or world com- munism, while professing incredibly strong cosmopolitan norms, remain ethically insufficient because of their explicit acceptance of methodologi- cal nationalism, the belief that human community is determined by the nation-state. The problem inheres not just with the capture of state power by the vanguard, which threatens the subversion of emancipation under a new ruling class or bureaucracy.

It is also bound up with the reliance on the spirit of internationalism that is limited by an underlying commitment to the particularism of the state that may override the type of universal association required by communism. Yet by shifting focus from wage labor to labor power and its reproduction , Federici hopes to widen Marxist analysis to include gender and the colonial dimensions of late capitalism, which she considers most important for a feminist program and for the politics of the commons.

These progressive elements of the communal nature of communism are also highlighted by Paul Burkett Chapter 9, Volume I. Given the worsening crisis of poverty and the environment, Burkett rightly points out that the question of sustainable human development is crucial for the communist tradition, which has long been deemed ecologically unsus- tainable due to its alleged assumption of a limitless nature and human domination over it.

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These progressive dimensions of communism are taken further by Roger Paden Chapter 7, Volume 1 who reexamines the relation between utopian thinking, communism, and the normativity of urban planning. This is because in distinction to the static utopian projects of Saint Simon, Owen, and Fourier, Marx and Engels advanced a form of utopianism justified on the human need for conscious self-development humanism and the need for the discursive development of moral categories historicism.

Simultaneously, however, communism was also a new way of life in the process and relations of production, a new social cul- ture.

This involves en- gaging with a number of historical ruptures in the radical Left that con- tinue to resonate in the communist present. This is followed by accounts of the many ongoing state-socialist projects, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, more recent developments in Mexico and Venezuela, and an as- sessment of the existent potentialities of radical working-class socialism at the start of the 21st century.

Given the vast differences that arise from the distinct historical content or country-specific analysis of each chapter in Volume 2, it is impossible to draw out any commonalities, though it re- mains pertinent to offer an account of the main arguments of each chapter.

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Despite the divergence on the questions of historical materialism, state power, and the role of the proletariat—all of which continue today—Graham finds that there was broad agreement between Marx and Proudhon on the foundational question of the abolishing the state along with the abolition of capitalism. Nevertheless, what was keenly disputed was the best method and organi- zation to bring about these social, economic, and political transformations.

Moreover, d-VPass-0FM-r Bakunin, on the other hand, advocated a collectivist position. The tragedy of the Paris Commune brought these issues to a head. Yet from the mids to the early s, there was a convergence between some anarchist and Marxist currents toward libertarian or anarchist commu- nism that resulted on the anarchist side from an internal critique of its earlier expressions of anarchist socialism.

For Graham, there are now more similarities between these so-called class struggle anarchists and council communists than there are between those anarchist currents that empha- size process, assembly forms of organization such as the Occupy movements, discussed by Rodrigo Nunes and Kier Milburn in Volume 3 and the creation of a decentralized ecological society.

At the same time, it seems that some rapprochement between these two revolutionary strands of socialism is now possible given the failures of state socialism, the in- creasingly authoritarian tendencies of the modern state, and the need for direct forms of self-organization at local and cosmopolitan levels.

Why is Marxism still relevant in the 21st century?

The Stalinist deformation of the Soviet Union disassociated the leadership and bureaucracy from the in- terests of the proletariat in favor of the interests of the Soviet ruling class. Building from these antecedents to the Soviet experiment, Catherine Samary Chapter 3, Volume 2 presents both an historical and contem- porary account of the capitalist restoration throughout Eastern Europe, following the demise of the Soviet Union. Despite the many failed prom- ises of economic development and civil freedoms that were to follow the d-VPass-0FM-r Yet, whereas much has been made of those aspects that introduced political pluralism, elections and new laws that radically transformed the economy and the state, the other tendency in the spirit of have been neglected, namely, the desire to hold onto the social contract of the Soviet system, which assured employment, access to basic goods and services, and liv- ing conditions.

For Samary, any consistent interpretation of must include both the anticommunist and the anti-bureaucratic dimensions of this movement—the latter of which had long-standing precedents within the conflicting logics of Real Socialism, such as the reforms in Czechoslo- vakia and , or in Yugoslavia The introduction of neoliberalism—and its benchmarks of elections and privatization—was presented as an answer to the former Soviet dictator- ship, but without full knowledge of the economic program that would remove the fundamental aspects of the social contract inherent to state socialism.

What the peoples of Eastern Europe really sought, claims Sa- mary, was the retention of the social contract and the obtainment of civil freedom, while getting rid of the bureaucratic and parasitic class. Vuving claims that Chinese communism was born of the dream that China would one day regain its lost power and sta- tus. When these sources of cheap labor, capital, and technology are exhausted, China will experience the natural end of its high-growth phase.

Here, the ability to innovate will be key; yet Vuving suggests that the same structures that have allowed China to rise may render it resistant to moving toward a more sustainable form of growth. Yet for Bruce Cummings Chapter 5, Volume 2 , history has consistently failed to bare out these predictions be- cause observers fail to engage with the nature of a North Korean political system that has survived because it has diverged so fundamentally from Marxism-Leninism, turning to an older political culture of corporatism, a philosophy of neo-Confucianism, and a modern form of dynastic monar- chism.

Cummings likens the ideology of Kim Il Sung to a form of socialist corporatism, one in which the nation substituted the proletarian class as the unit of historical conflict and in which organic and familial metaphors, of blood, of the fatherly leader were emphasized. Here, the appearance of Jong Un was a spitting image of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, when he came to power in the late s, even to the detail of hav- ing the same iconic sideburns shaved up high.

Amid such ritualism, it is little wonder that ordinary Koreans often call their leader wang king. While Marx would shudder to hear this monarchy being associated with communism, Cummings points out that DPRK is a modern form of monarchy—born of the resistance to Japanese imperialism and the histori- cal narrative that the regime has chosen to engineer around this—a mon- archy realized in a highly nationalist and postcolonial state, and one likely to be around well into the 21st century.

The changes within Vietnam as it grapples with the challenges of mo- dernity and development contrast sharply to with the dynastic monarchy in North Korea. Thaveeporn Vasavakul Chapter 6, Volume 2 provides an analysis of the transformations within Vietnamese socialism since , highlighting not only how the state was redefined but how intra- state and state—citizen relations were also reconfigured. Attempting to adopt good practices of development, the Leninist regime has amended d-VPass-0FM-r Economically, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam DRV originally followed a mixed model drawn from the Soviet Union and China, and while there was a considerable degree of institutional adaptation, central planning and state control of the means of production were predominant.

Politically, the socialist state system consisted of four basic components: the party, the state, the National Assembly, and mass organizations. Yet between and a number of policies amended these significantly. The Sixth Plenum of the Fourth Congress in endorsed a free market to operate within the planned economy and while subsequent reforms were partial toward a multisector commodity economy, they were confirmed in by the official launch of doi moi, the de-collectivization of rural Vietnam and the abolishment of the two-price system in For Vasavakul, this has brought about a related set of political changes, including the rise of a strong executive, a state role in business and service delivery, and the enhancement of democratic space includ- ing elected bodies, popular organizations, direct citizen participation, and public accountability.

At the same time, however, the state has become a large marketplace where exploitation takes place. Moreover, under the new market system, the working class has become socially fragmented; the peasantry has gained economically but has been weakened politically; and the system has turned cooperative members into individual and in- dependent producers. The question for Vietnam is how to institutionalize socialist ideals within this new order. Vasavakul speculates on a number of possibilities. Thirdly, Vasavakul looks to the development of socialist democratic spaces, particularly increased roles for popular organizations and the development of grassroots de- mocracy, which may bring about a better quality of governance.

Finally, socialist ideals may reemerge as Vietnam rethinks post-central planning ideological and cultural values that had turned away from the egalitarian- ism and anti-exploitation ideology of the DRV during the war of national liberation, to one of political patronage networks under doi moi. Vasavakul contends that while the ideology of the doi moi has birthed many exploit- ative practices, it does not rule out the emergence of alternative political d-VPass-0FM-r The Morelos Commune of , when Zapata and his troops retreated from Mexico City, was an experiment in self-government and created an egalitarian society with communal roots in their home territory that combined military and ad- ministrative control of the villages with radical agrarian reforms.

These examples demonstrate, for Bosteels, that the potential for local self-rule through the commune is not lost. However, this tran- sition will have to deal with a set of related crises, not just economic but around political participation, civil freedoms including addressing sex- ism, homophobia, and racism , the aging demographic, growing inequal- ity, and unemployment. Here, the centralized control of the FAR, whose leadership is increasingly vested with private interests, and the looming economic power of the United States, exists alongside the tendency for foreign capital to reintegrate Cuba into global capitalist networks where the old revolutionary values are unlikely to survive.

Here, the inefficiency of the economy and inability of the state to ensure a basic standard of living may result in the obtainment of International Monetary Fund IMF loans and externally mandated restructuring. This, Rein believes, could open the possibility for rethinking what a socialist revolution can mean in the 21st century. The contemporary transformations of the aging revolutionary regime in Cuba are vastly different from the new and novel experiments with socialism currently underway in Venezuela. This bottom-up ap- proach of local self-administration—of communal councils, communes, and communal cities—has expanded direct and participatory democratic forms considerably.

The seeming weakness of these groups contrasts sharply with the strength of the radical Left in the previous two centuries, which Graham and Blackledge emphasized at the beginning of the volume. Camfield focuses on one distinct politi- cal current of communist lineage: radical working-class socialism, de- fined by its identification of mass working-class struggle and revolution, as the path to communism; the belief in taking political power and the rejection of both reformism and small radical minorities i.

The bulk of the chapter documents these radical working-class socialist organizations, which currently exist in Asia, South America, Europe, and elsewhere. Significantly, Camfield finds that radi- cal working-class socialist groups and parties are relatively weak, despite the GFC and the rise of anti-capitalist movements since the mids. Volume 3: The Future of Communism The closing volume, Volume 3, The Future of Communism, follows the trajectory of communist ideas, and particularly the possibilities for eman- cipatory change, into the 21st century.

Yet, like the previous volume, it is difficult to account for any thematic commonalities given the vast differ- ences in subject matter that each chapter addresses. From the GFC, the Arab Spring, Occupy, and the WSF, to the problems of value, the com- mons, and digital technology; from theoretical engagements with femi- nism and critical theory, to new forms of organization, assembly, militancy, and communizing, Volume 3 offers an array of engagements that cannot be meshed together as one coherent narrative.

Given the ongoing financial stagnation since the GFC, and the lack of any substantive changes in banking and finance markets, Massimo De Angelis Chapter 1, Volume 3 offers a timely examination of the causes of recurrent capitalist crisis. The second, Keynesianism Plus, seeks to coagulate social coop- eration around the need of capital accumulation through the triple attrac- tors of markets, states, and civil society.

This last plan, clearly favored by De Angelis, combines direct democratic processes that make possible the communalization of property and the actualization of particular resources as a commons. Teivainen describes the main forums and myriad local and thematic events that have developed since the first forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, , but his primary concern is in detailing the various historical processes— particularly the transnational connectivity of Brazilian social movements— that led to the emergence of the WSF.

It also prohibits military d-VPass-0FM-r For the open space method of the forums and autonomist nonstate conceptions of the commons, while germane to local settings, is difficult to mobilize transnationally. The case is tragic and farcical, yet symptomatic of an influential current in interna- tional leftist politics, which Massouh believes clings to anti-imperialism and thereby lends support to despotic regimes on the pretext of giving priority to the national question.

Massouh finds that the Assad regime has exploited Left parties internally, while painting events in Syria as an imperialistic plot externally. Indeed, the Sunni merchant class continues to work hand in hand with the regime. Nevertheless, through an engagement with the nuances of Syrian society, Massouh demonstrates how the Sunni contention under the Assad regime expresses broader pattern of state—society and class relations in modern Syria.

In these ways, classic notions of class struggle and anti-imperialism are insufficient for under- standing the Syrian Revolution, or helping it. Yet a third option is also identified by Eden: Italian post-workerism, based on a politics of the common.

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In this tradition, demands of the here and now are deemed possible, valuable, and able to lead to radical social transformation. Core demands relate to general social income and participatory democracy, global citizenship, and open access to the common. Rather, it is about increasing power to win profound changes in how society is orga- nized.