Socialism in the 21st century? (audio and video recordings)

Chris Cutrone

Presented on a panel with Jamal Abed-Rabbo (Democratic Socialists of America), Patrick Quinn (Solidarity, Democratic Socialists of America) and Earl Silbar at the closing plenary discussion of the 2020 Platypus Affiliated Society International Convention, April 4, 2020.

The 21st century

Last year at the Platypus international convention closing plenary discussion, I spoke on the issue and problem of “Redeeming the 20th century.” There I commented on the phenomenon of the neo-social democratic and neo-Stalinist turn of the Millennial Left in the Bernie Sanders campaign of 2016 and the Jeremy Corbyn-aligned Momentum caucus of the U.K 파랜드 택틱스1. Labour Party. I titled my talk “Statism and anarchy today” and addressed the phenomenon of socialism and Marxism being mistakenly identified with statism and freedom being mistakenly identified with the anarchy of capitalism. — I have been thinking a lot lately about Karl Popper’s liberal “open society” of freedom and unavoidable risk contra socialism’s false and self-defeating promise of security. 

In previous convention talks over the last few years, I have sought to address the problems we inherit from the past 100 years, which I called the “century of counterrevolution,” following the failure of socialism after the 1917 Russian Revolution

I intended today to elaborate on the difference recognized by original historical Marxism between progressive capitalism and socialism, and to review the history from the late 19th century origins of Progressivism up to today. I was going to take the occasion of the impending defeat of Bernie Sanders’s primary campaign this year for nomination as Democratic Party candidate for President. 

But the coronavirus crisis has intervened, rekindling hopes in far-reaching government reforms of capitalism, for instance seeming to pose the need for Medicare for All public insurance for health care as well as student loan debt forgiveness and even a UBI universal basic income to deal with the pandemic. Trump and the Republicans he leads and not only the Democrats have been alleged to have embraced “socialism” in the crisis. 

In the aftermath of the 2016 election and sudden explosion of growth of the DSA Democratic Socialists of America in response to Trump, I declared the Millennial Left “dead.” At the time, it was commented that my declaration was “sublimated spleen” — repressed melancholy at the losses of the Millennial Left. Now, regarding the growing wave of disease about to engulf us and desperate attempts to stem the menacing tide of misery from economic and other social devastation and dislocation, I am struck by how the Millennial generation has had to endure the worst catastrophes to have occurred during my lifetime, the War on Terror, the Great Recession, and now perhaps the worst plague in more than a century — the gravest scourge since the 1918 Spanish Flu. This does not change the verdict of history, which, as the young Nietzsche recognized, is not merciful let alone sympathetic in its judgments, but is rather relentlessly ruthlessly “critical.” As Marx observed, in his historical moment, and at his similarly relatively young age of 25 years, it is necessary to be “ruthless” in the “critique of everything existing.” And as Engels observed, quoting Goethe’s Mephistopheles, “everything that exists deserves to perish.” — Is this the perishing we deserve? 

Back to basics

In the interest I serve that Marxism not perish entirely, I want to get back to basics and define the task of socialism properly Download Reaper Tekbon. This means defining the problem of capitalism properly. 

First, it is important to address what capitalism is not. It is not greed or profiteering, nor is it exploitation — all recognized sins and crimes in this society. Capitalism is not a social system or moral order or set of values — it is a crisis of the social system, moral order and set of values. The society we live in is bourgeois society. We live in bourgeois values and morality. Capitalism is the contradiction of that society and its values. And contradiction does not mean hypocrisy.

Rosa Luxemburg called capitalism “the wage system,” and her book masterpiece was on The Accumulation of Capital. This suggests the problem of capitalism that Marxism thought tasked socialism, namely, the crisis of capital accumulation that undermined and destroyed the social value of wage labor Download samsung android usb driver.

Georg Lukács observed the phenomenon of “reification” in capitalism, and described this, among other things, as a reversal of cause and effect.

We commonly identify capitalism with class inequality and hierarchy and its resulting relationships of exploitation, but we are given to think that this is the cause of the problem of capitalism, rather than, as Marxism properly recognized, as the effect of capitalism.

Marxist recognition of capitalism 

For Marxism, after the Industrial Revolution, capitalism exhibits a crisis of the value of labor in social production. But the value of labor, specifically of labor-time, is still the measure and still mediates the value of social production in capitalism. In short, and without explaining how this works in Marx’s view, it is the self-contradiction of the value of labor time that produces as a result the conflict between the value and social right of capital with the social right and value of wage-labor Download smart bills. In capitalism there is a conflict of social rights between labor and capital; but Marxism understood this as a conflict of labor with itself, since capital was nothing but alienated labor. Reification in Lukács’s sense meant a reversal of cause and effect such that capital appeared as a thing separate from labor; but as Nikolai Bukharin put it, in The ABC of Communism, capital is not a thing but a social relation. Specifically, it is the self-contradictory social relation of labor with the means of production, or, the contradiction of two aspects of value in social production, capital and labor, namely, between past accumulated dead labor and present living labor.

The self-undermining and self-destructive character of the disparity between the diminishing value of human labor-time in industrial social production and capital as the “general social intellect” of technique and organization in production and the reproduction of society — what my old professor Moishe Postone described after Marx as the “shearing effect” and resulting antagonism between labor and the needs of its reproduction and its results and effects in society — has as its expression in the phenomenon of inflation, the necessity of interest in credit, and finance as the necessary form of speculation — namely, the claim of the past and present on the future — in investment in production Download the latest 2019.

The result of massive and constantly increasing productivity in industry is the cheapening of labor and thus the cheapening of value. But this cheapening threatens the value of investment and its speculation, hence the crisis of social value in capital. Attempts to preserve value in capital result in accumulation and concentration, producing a separate capitalist class of investors, who, in Marx’s words, are not rich because they are captains of industry, but rather become captains of industry merely because they are rich: they are capitalists in the sense of not merely owners of capital, but rather are the agents and servants of capital. Capital does not follow the dictates of the capitalists; but the capitalists follow the dictates of capital.

Capital is not profiteering because profiteering is compelled by constantly diminishing value in capital, to preserve the value of investment. All production in capitalism is in this sense profit-driven, but not because profit is the goal or the ends of production, but rather because profit is the means by which capital preserves its value. Workers have an interest in the profitability of the capital that employs them, to preserve social investment in their work.

Marxism thus considered capitalism to be a general social compulsion to produce and preserve value in the form of capital to which all — everyone — in society are subject. In this sense, everyone in capitalism is a capital-ist, namely a follower of capital.

And capital does not mean money; rather, as we already call it, “human capital,” labor itself is a form of capital, and is of course the most important form of capital: Marx called it “variable” as well as “circulating capital.”

Crises of value in capital characteristically result — as in the recent Great Recession — in the twin phenomena of superfluous labor and superfluous money: money that cannot find investment as capital; and labor that cannot find employment in social production. This results in the destruction of existing concrete forms of production — the destruction of the concrete manifestations of capital — which means the depreciation of money and the unemployment, starving and perishing of the workers, the idling of machines and factories, the bankruptcy and dissolution of firms etc.

All of this is to help explain what Marxism originally meant by capitalism being, not a social system, but rather a contradiction of the bourgeois social relations by the industrial forces of production. Bourgeois social relations, for instance private property, meant the social relations of labor — for as we know from the bourgeois revolutionary thinker John Locke, the social rights of property are based in the social rights of labor — namely, the self-ownership of the workers to freely dispose of their labor as a commodity, for instance in the employment contract. For Marxism, industrial production represented the self-contradiction of the social relations of labor.

As Marx and Engels put it in the Communist Manifesto, it was capitalism itself which abolished — undermined and destroyed — private property, not only in the form of capital but also and most importantly in the form of labor: industrial production abolished the value of labor as a commodity. Nonetheless, this constant self-destruction of value was the occasion for its reconstitution and reproduction in different concrete forms after each crisis in value. In short, so long as there were starving workers desperate for employment, the social value of labor would be reconstituted — however it was subject to self-destruction, restarting the cycle of capital accumulation again.

The true task of socialism

Socialism arose, from the perspective of Marxism, from this constant self-contradiction, crisis, destruction, and demand for the reconstitution of the social value of labor. As such, socialism was an expression of capitalism, namely, an expression of the contradiction of bourgeois social relations and industrial forces of production. As the advocacy of the social value of labor, socialism was an expression of the demands of the reconstitution of the bourgeois social rights of labor, namely, its social value.

As all serious thinkers of capitalism have recognized, capital is meant to be a means to the ends of social production, namely, of serving and sustaining a society of labor. That capital has reversed this and become an end in itself and social labor a mere means to capital, this is the perversion that is denounced as capitalism, or the subordination and domination of society to the dictates of capital, to the compulsion to produce, reproduce and preserve the value of labor after it has been diminished, undermined and destroyed by industrial production.

In this sense, the task of socialism that Marxism recognized in industrial capitalism already nearly two centuries ago remains today.

However, the clarity that Marxism achieved about the true nature and hence purpose or end of this true ask of socialism, to overcome the social relations of labor, has been obscured and lost. Instead, we have at present calls for socialism, as were posed already before Marx and Marxism, by pre-Marxian socialism, more naively and less critically consciously, based on preserving the value of labor. Even calls for UBI Universal Basic Income, for instance in the recent Presidential campaign of Andrew Yang, are based on the social value of labor that fails to find monetary compensation on the market.

Socialism today means the state and hence political management of capitalism — the administrative maintenance of the working class when capital fails to do so. But this means preserving capitalism against its own self-contradiction and crisis in social production.

Finally, a note on another way that capitalism is characteristically misrecognized, namely as competition and resulting individualism (including the competition of social groups in capitalism as “individuals,” for example nations and other concrete collectives, hence nationalism and other forms of competitive communitarianism): it is the self-contradiction and crisis of value in labor that drives workers against each other competitively in zero-sum games for survival, rather than as the original consciousness of bourgeois society recognized as a function of the development of cooperation: to lose one’s job in an obsolescent industry that loses to competition just means switching to a new and different form of employment. This development of social cooperation in production still occurs in capitalism, of course, but it is the tendency of diminishing and self-undermining value of labor in capitalism that renders such development fragmentary and unfulfilled, unnecessarily destructive and wasteful. So individualism and competitiveness is again not the cause but rather the effect of the problem of capitalism. | §

Chris Cutrone

Chris Cutrone is a college educator, writer, and media artist, committed to critical thinking and artistic practice and the politics of social emancipation. ( . . . )

Articles by month

Article dates

April 2020
S M T W T F S
« Mar    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Is electoralism a dead end? Chris Cutrone interviewed by Doug Lain on Zero Books (audio and video recordings)

download ni daqmx

A Democratic Party primary election day livestream interview with the contrarian Chris Cutrone from the Platypus Affiliated Society by Douglas Lain for Zero Books podcast will cover his new essay “Why Not Trump Again?”, the Bernie Sanders campaign, the coronavirus, and what is left of the Left 스미스 차트.

슈퍼 단간론파 2 2018 9월 모의고사 일생소애

Jobs and free stuff

Chris Cutrone

Platypus Review 124 | March 2020

THE CURRENT POLITICAL POLARIZATION in the U.S. is not Democrat vs. Republican or the minorities of race, gender and sexuality against straight white men: It is between the politics of free stuff vs epub 다운로드. the politics of jobs — demands for more free stuff vs. demands for more jobs.[1]

“Democratic socialist” candidate for Democratic Party nomination for President Bernie Sanders has responded to charges that he is actually a communist with the assertion that the U.S. is already socialist, but it is a socialism for billionaires. The kernel of truth in this is that there is already government subsidy and other kinds of support for capital Download the linux http file. The question is, why is this so? Corruption? Or rather is it actually in the interest of society? Of course it is the latter — the general interest of capitalist society, which both Parties serve (as best they can).

Karl Marx observed that the productive activities of general social cooperation are a “free gift to capital.” What did he mean? The social process of production is not at all reducible to the paid wage-labor of capitalist employees, but includes the activity of everyone in society 조영남 딜라일라. As Frankfurt School Director Max Horkheimer wrote, in “The little man and the philosophy of freedom,” “All those who work and even those who don’t, have a share in the creation of contemporary reality.”[2]

Whether in terms of Andrew Yang’s proposed “freedom dividend” of free money for all in a UBI or free public education and health care for all, the question is not who’s going to pay for it, but rather how can capital make use of it. These are not anti-capitalist demands but demands for the better functioning of capital. The question is, what are we going to do in our society with all the fruits of our production — with all our free stuff CartoonWars Gunner Bugpan? How can we make it benefit everyone? Is it just a matter of better shaving off more crumbs?

Yang proposes that the invaluable but currently unpaid labor of mothers, inventors and artists should be supported by society. Marx called this the communism of the principle of “from each according to ability, to each according to need” in a society in which the “freedom of each is the precondition for the freedom of all.” We already live in capitalism according to this principle, but capital fails to fulfill it Download excel table.

The Democrats propose to make capital fulfill its social responsibility; the Republicans think it already does so as best as possible, and any attempts at government intervention to make it do better no matter how well intentioned the reforms will actually be counterproductive. The result will be stagnation and lack of growth, undermining society along with capital. Without people working there can be no greater social benefits of production; without jobs there can be no free stuff 유튜브 영상 구간.

This is the essential difference in U.S. politics or really in capitalist politics everywhere: progressive capitalism vs. conservative capitalism. Not spendthrift vs. frugality or kindheartedness vs. cynicism or liberality vs mean-spiritedness, nor is it optimism vs. pessimism or idealism vs. realism Download Infinite Stratos. It is a division of labor in debate over advocating how to keep people working and how to distribute freely the products of their labor. It is not a difference in principle or one of honesty vs. deception: both sides are sincere — and both sides are self-deceiving.

Marx observed that the free gift to capital is the “general social intellect.” But that general social intellect has become the “automatic subject” of capital centos openjdk. How do we make it serve us, instead of us serving it? All politicians in capitalism want the same thing. The problem is that capitalist politics is not as intelligent as the society it represents. This is the true meaning of socialist politics — to realize the general social intellect — which today unfortunately is inevitably just a form of capitalist politics, whether by Sanders, Yang or Trump Download The Maneuver Gundam nt. They all want to better serve us — which means better serving capital. | P


[1] See my “Robots and sweatshops” as well as “Why not Trump again?,” Platypus Review 123 (February 2020); and “The end of the Gilded Age: Discontents of the Second Industrial Revolution today,” PR 102 (December 2017 – January 2018) and “The future of socialism: What kind of illness is capitalism?,” PR 105 (April 2018), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2020/02/01/robots-and-sweatshops/>, <https://platypus1917.org/2020/02/01/why-not-trump-again/>, <https://platypus1917.org/2017/12/02/end-gilded-age-discontents-second-industrial-revolution-today/> and <https://platypus1917.org/2018/04/01/the-future-of-socialism-what-kind-of-illness-is-capitalism/>.

[2] Horkheimer, Dawn & Decline: Notes 1926–31 and 1950–69 (New York: Seabury, 1978), 51 Cvx.

The American Revolution and the Left (audio recording)

Cutrone’s opening remarks begin at ~42:20: 

Nikole Hannah-Jones cancels 1776.

Nikole Hannah-Jones cancels 1776.

Chris Cutrone

Presented at a Platypus Affiliated Society public forum panel discussion with Norman Markowitz (CPUSA) and Bertell Ollman at Columbia University on February 22, 2020. 

“We should not fear the 20th century, for this worldwide revolution which we see all around us is part of the original American Revolution.” 

* * *

“I am delighted to come and visit. Behind the fact of [Fidel] Castro coming to this hotel, [Nikita] Khrushchev coming to Castro, there is another great traveler in the world, and that is the travel of a world revolution, a world in turmoil. I am delighted to come to Harlem and I think the whole world should come here and the whole world should recognize that we all live right next to each other, whether here in Harlem or on the other side of the globe 삼국지 10. We should be glad they came to the United States. We should not fear the 20th century, for this worldwide revolution which we see all around us is part of the original American Revolution.” 

— Senator John F. Kennedy, speaking at the Hotel Theresa in New York during his 1960 presidential election campaign, October 12, 1960  

ANY REVOLUTION IN THE UNITED STATES will express the desire to preserve, sustain and promote the further development of the original American Revolution. The future of socialism, not merely in North America but in the whole world, depends on the fate of the American Revolution. But the “Left” today denies this basic truth.

Marx called the United States Civil War the alarm bell tolling the time of world socialist revolution in the 19th century. That did not happen as he wanted, but the subsequent rise of the massive world-transforming force of American capitalism signaled — and still signals today — the task of socialism. 

My old comrades in the Spartacist League had a slogan, “Finish the Civil War!” It was vintage 1960s New Leftism in that it was about the Civil Rights Movement and overcoming de jure Jim Crow segregation as a legacy of failed Reconstruction Download linux wget. More than 50 years later, we can say that the task is more simply to complete the American Revolution. Former President John Quincy Adams (the son not the father), speaking before the United States Supreme Court in the Amistad case advocating the freedom of slaves who rebelled, foresaw the future U.S. Civil War over the abolition of slavery and called it “the last battle of the American Revolution.” He did not foresee capitalism and its new tasks and future battles. 

The American Socialist Eugene Debs famously said that the 4th of July was a socialist holiday and that American Revolutionary figures such as Jefferson and Lincoln belonged to the struggle for socialism — and not to the capitalist political parties of Democrats and Republicans. Today, more than 100 years later, this remains no less true. 

Up to the 1960s New Left, the American and global Left and socialists and Communists all used to know this basic truth. — Indeed mainstream capitalist politics acknowledged this fact of the ongoing task of the American Revolution: Kennedy claimed the revolutionary heritage for the U.S Download Finney and Pub. against the Soviet Union; even Nixon in 1968 at the Republican National Convention before his election called for a “new American Revolution.” 

Today, Bernie Sanders and Trump call themselves not politicians but leaders of a movement; Sanders calls for a “political revolution” in the name of “democratic socialism.” What they mean of course is an electoral shift to support new policies. In 1992, when conceding to Bill Clinton’s electoral victory after 12 years of Republican rule, George Herbert Walker Bush (the father not the son) said that the U.S. accomplishes through elections what other countries require civil wars. 

We are discussing the meaning of the American Revolution for the Left today because we face a general election later this year. 

Such elections for the President and Congress, which have stakes at a global and not merely national level, raise issues of the U.S. political system and its foundation in the American Revolution. The future of the American Revolution is at stake. 

In the recent Trump impeachment farce, there was at least the pantomime of conflict over the future of the American Republic: Was Trump a threat to the Republic 킹 오브 파이터즈? — Were the Democrats and their allies in the Deep State permanent bureaucracy? There has been an evident crisis of legitimacy of the political order.

Do the rather mild and moderate policy reforms Trump has been implementing and seeks to accomplish amount to a Constitutional crisis — threaten a civil war? Despite the overheated language of the Democrats, Trump’s confident and rather blasé attitude, and the matter-of-fact Constitutional arguments by his lawyers and Republican Senators and Congressmen seem appropriate — indeed unimpeachably correct. 

What about “fascism”? This favored word on the Left and even among Democrats speaks to the threat of civil war — extra-legal action and perhaps violence. There has been the so-called “resistance” — a term that Attorney General Barr said implied the danger of civil war and even revolution: he also said, in the same speech before the Federalist Society last year, that the U.S Download Windows 2012 r2. Presidency embodied the “perfected Whig ideal of executive authority” as envisioned by Locke and the English Glorious Revolution — that is, a revolutionary ideal of political authority.

Mao said to Nixon in China that one finds among the Left-wing followers of Marx actual fascists. He was contrite about the results of the Cultural Revolution and admitted its pathology. — Today’s Maoists and DSA Democratic “socialists” ought to listen and take heed. 

It is not a matter of wanting the revolution but rather of its actuality. 

The struggle for socialism will not be according to the fevered fantasies of today’s supposed “revolutionaries.” A socialist revolution will take place — if at all — on the basis of a mass desire to save society, not destroy it. Capitalism will appear as the threat to America, not socialism. 

The problem is the exaggerated rhetoric of mainstream politics today. It expresses a partial if distorted truth, that capitalism recurrently produces crises in society, over which political conflicts take place Download Imodio. We are in the midst of such a crisis now — expressed by the crisis of the major capitalist political parties symbolized by Trump and Sanders. 

It has happened before. The Great Depression brought a sea-change in American and indeed world politics: in the U.S., a change of the political party system through FDR’s New Deal Coalition overturned the more than 50-year post-Civil War and Reconstruction dominance of the Republican Party. The 1960s experienced a new crisis and change of politics with an upheaval among the Democrats and bringing forth not only the New Left but the New Right that triumphed 50 years after the New Deal. 50 years after the 1960s, today we are experiencing another change out of the crisis of the New Right — the crisis of the Reagan Coalition of neoliberalism and neoconservatism and of the culture wars that came out of the New Left and the crisis of American society that followed. 

The Democrats have desperately sought to stem the tide of Trumpian post-neoliberalism — and indeed against the swell of support for Bernie Sanders’s Democratic “socialism.” They have done so on the basis of their prior existing post-’60s neoliberal electoral coalition of wealthy progressives, ethno-cultural and/or “racial” minorities, liberally educated women and others, queers and what remains of organized labor Download safari youtube videos. Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and immigrant rights activists have protested not only against Trump, but have hounded Bernie and his Sandernistas, the much-maligned “Bernie Bros” and Millennial hipster straight white male Brocialists more generally — the “Squad” of Congressional Representatives AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley notwithstanding.

Last year’s New York Times 1619 Project led by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones — aimed at delegitimating Trump after the failure of the Russia collusion hoax, in what Editor Dean Baquet called the “shift from Russia to race” — took the occasion of marking the quart-centenary of the arrival of African slaves in the English colonies and explicitly sought to negate the American Revolutionary founding in 1776.

Trump’s Presidency seems to prove the invalidity of the American Revolution, and indeed has implied that its meaning was confined to privileged white males who must at all cost be cowed in the public sphere. It seems obvious that women, blacks and other minorities have no stake in and must disavow the American Revolution. The idea of a kind word being said about the American Revolutionaries — the Founding Fathers — nowadays seems importune if not simply a provocative offense and outrage — the Tory Alexander Hamilton’s musical fame under Obama notwithstanding big mouse cursor.

This is a sad commentary on our historical moment today. It speaks to the utter and complete destruction of the original historical Left, socialism and Marxism —the complete triumph of counterrevolutionary ideology over everything from Classical Liberalism onwards. Such ideology ensures the continuation of capitalism.

However, this is a historical phenomenon only 50 years or so old. And it speaks not to the future but the past. The Millennials blew their chance to relate to history in new ways that challenged and tasked them beyond post-’60s doxa.[1]

The problem is that the recent and ongoing crisis of the post-’60s neoliberal political order has been expressed either by Trump and his new direction for the Republican Party or by a nostalgic desire to reconstitute the old Democratic Party New Deal Coalition that fell apart a half-century ago, symbolized by the old New Leftist Sanders and the reanimation of the post-’60s collapse into the Democratic Socialists of America, both of which date to the Reagan Revolution era of the 1980s and its “resistance” to that time’s neoliberal changes in capitalism. This does not augur new possibilities but holds to old memories from a time many if not most were not yet even alive. Its spectral — unreal — quality is evident naver tvcast 동영상 다운로드.

“The past is not dead; it is not even past.” And: “Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it” — are condemned to be trapped by it. These banal catch-phrases can hide but also reveal a meaningful truth: that we are tasked by history, whether or not we recognize it. American history continues, regardless. The U.S. President is indeed, as is said, “the leader of the free world.” As Trump says, America is the greatest country in world history; as his impeachment prosecution declared, his Senate jury is the “highest deliberative body in the history of the world.” This is simply — and undeniably — true. Why and how it was constituted so, historically, is an unavoidable fact of life, for people here and around the world, now and for the foreseeable future Download listening to niv English Bible. — Can we live up to its task?

My own rejoinder to Trump’s Make America Great Again is to Make America Revolutionary Again. — But no one else on the Left seems to be seeing the sign of the times. Instead, everyone seems eager to rescue the neoliberal Democrats from the dustbin of history. Even Bernie must genuflect to their PC orthodoxy. — But not Trump!

This is indeed a time of reconsideration of history and its haunting memories. The question is whether they must, as Marx said, remain “traditions of dead generations weighing like a nightmare on the brains of the living,” or can they be redeemed by the struggle for freedom in the present. It seems that the Millennial Left of the last two decades has joined the dead generations that came before it. Any rebirth of a true socialist Left and of a Marxist recognition of its actual tasks and possibilities must reckon with the history that has been abandoned by recent generations, starting at least since the 1960s, and pursue its unfulfilled potential.

For the American Revolution still lives. | §

_________________

1. See my “The Millennial Left is dead,” Platypus Review 100 (October 2017), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2017/10/01/millennial-left-dead/>.

Trotsky, Benjamin, Adorno and Greenberg’s critique of “revolutionary art” (audio recording)

Presentation at the 2020 CAA College Art Association conference in Chicago on the panel “Another Revolution: Artistic Contributions to Building New Worlds 1910-30 (Part 1)” with Aglaya K. Glebova and chair Florian Grosser with discussant Monica C Bravo.

Chris Cutrone

The Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky’s book Literature and Revolution (1923) and its critique of the claims of “revolutionary” art at the time was seminal for the subsequent thought of the Marxist critics of modernist art, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno and Clement Greenberg, all of whom addressed socially and politically committed art as varieties of modernism, subject to the same self-contradictions of bourgeois art in capitalism. They took inspiration from Trotsky’s Marxist approach to history in capitalism, specifically his claim, drawing from Marx, Engels, Rosa Luxemburg and Lenin, among others, that the transition beyond capitalism begins only well after the revolution, and that neither revolutionary politics nor ostensible “revolutionary culture” actually prefigure a true socialist or communist society and culture but only exhibit the contradictions of capitalism raised to a heightened and more acute degree. Moreover, modernism as a pathological symptom of capitalism did not exemplify a culture of its own but only a crisis of bourgeois culture that was not a model for a future emancipated culture, but at best was merely a constrained and distorted as well as fragmentary and incomplete projection of capitalism that was authentic only as an exemplar of its specific historical moment.

The history of Marxism is contemporary with and parallels the history of modernism in art. Charles Baudelaire, who coined the term “modernity” to refer specifically to the 19th century, and initiated modernism in both artistic practice and theory, is, like Marx, a figure of the 1848 moment 트위터 디엠. Modernism in art emerged around this central crisis of the 19th century, namely the capitalism resulting from the Industrial Revolution.

The relationship between modernism and Marxism was a potentially fraught one, however. In the aftermath of the post-WWI revolutionary wave, mostly Marxism became hostile to modernism, describing it as bourgeois decadence — a symptom of the decay of bourgeois society and culture in capitalism. Pre-WWI Marxism had a similar estimation of the culture of advanced capitalism, but less simply derogatorily than the utter condemnation by Stalinist repressive Socialist Realism seen in the 1930s and after. Stalinism regarded modernism as formalist and individualist, and raised earlier bourgeois art as a “Socialist Realist” and Humanist standard against it.

Leon Trotsky, one of the central leaders of the 1917 Russian Revolution, was a Marxist, like Lenin himself, whose sensibilities were formed in the pre-WWI era Download Fifty Shades of Grey. Called upon to weigh in on debates within the Communist Party about state patronage of art in the Soviet Union, Trotsky wrote his book Literature and Revolution, which sought to clarify the Marxist attitude towards modern art, especially purportedly revolutionary and even supposedly “proletarian” art. Trotsky was unequivocal that there was and could be no such thing as proletarian art, but only bourgeois art produced by working class people. This is because as a Marxist, the terms bourgeois and proletarian were not sociological but rather historical categories. For Marxism, bourgeois society and culture had been proletarianized in the Industrial Revolution, but this did not produce a new society and culture but rather the proletarianized bourgeois society and culture went into crisis, exhibiting self-contradiction — unlike the bourgeois society and culture that had emerged out of Medieval civilization in the Renaissance.

The bourgeois social culture and art in the crisis of capitalism, like its economics and politics, demanded the achievement of socialism. This was the proletarian interest in modern art: the authentic democratization of culture and art that capitalism both made possible and constrained, giving rise to only distorted expressions of possibility and potential. Modernist art for Trotsky could not be considered a new culture but rather an expression of the task and demand for transcending bourgeois society and culture 바보같은 사랑 다운로드.

This is the value of art as an end in itself, taking itself as its own end or purpose; hence, l’art pour l’art, art for art’s sake, is an expression of freedom, in both the bourgeois emancipation of production for its own sake and the Humanistic value of life in itself — a value unknown in traditional culture, which elevated morality above life, and subordinated aesthetic production to ritual or cultic community values.

This meant that the history of society, including its transformation in bourgeois emancipation and crisis in capitalism, could find expression in the history of art. The Marxist approach to art is hence primarily historical in character.

Later, towards the end of his life, in 1938, a decade and a half after his book Literature and Revolution, Trotsky wrote a series of letters to the American journal Partisan Review in which the art and literary critic Clement Greenberg first published. In his letters on “Art and politics in our epoch,” Trotsky described their relation as follows — please allow me to quote from Trotsky at some extended length, for in a few paragraphs he sums up well the attitude of Marxism towards art:

“The task of this letter is to correctly pose the question.
“Generally speaking, art is an expression of man’s need for an harmonious and complete life, that is to say, his need for those major benefits of which a society of classes has deprived him 싸이어. That is why a protest against reality, either conscious or unconscious, active or passive, optimistic or pessimistic, always forms part of a really creative piece of work. Every new tendency in art has begun with rebellion. . . .
“The decline of bourgeois society means an intolerable exacerbation of social contradictions, which are transformed inevitably into personal contradictions, calling forth an ever more burning need for a liberating art. Furthermore, a declining capitalism already finds itself completely incapable of offering the minimum conditions for the development of tendencies in art which correspond, however little, to our epoch. It fears superstitiously every new word, for it is no longer a matter of corrections and reforms for capitalism but of life and death. The oppressed masses live their own life. Bohemianism offers too limited a social base. Hence new tendencies take on a more and more violent character, alternating between hope and despair. The artistic schools of the last few decades – Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism – follow each other without reaching a complete development Download the subtitles for Rampage. Art, which is the most complex part of culture, the most sensitive and at the same time the least protected, suffers most from the decline and decay of bourgeois society.
“To find a solution to this impasse through art itself is impossible. It is a crisis which concerns all culture, beginning at its economic base and ending in the highest spheres of ideology. Art can neither escape the crisis nor partition itself off. Art cannot save itself. It will rot away inevitably . . . unless present-day society is able to rebuild itself. This task is essentially revolutionary in character. For these reasons the function of art in our epoch is determined by its relation to the revolution. . . .
“The real crisis of civilization is above all the crisis of revolutionary leadership. Stalinism is the greatest element of reaction in this crisis 만화책 원피스 다운로드. Without a new flag and a new program it is impossible to create a revolutionary mass base; consequently it is impossible to rescue society from its dilemma. But a truly revolutionary party is neither able nor willing to take upon itself the task of “leading” and even less of commanding art, either before or after the conquest of power. . . . Art, like science, not only does not seek orders, but by its very essence, cannot tolerate them. Artistic creation has its laws – even when it consciously serves a social movement. Truly intellectual creation is incompatible with lies, hypocrisy and the spirit of conformity. Art can become a strong ally of revolution only in so far as it remains faithful to itself. Poets, painters, sculptors and musicians will themselves find their own approach and methods, if the struggle for freedom of oppressed classes and peoples scatters the clouds of skepticism and of pessimism which cover the horizon of mankind.”

There are several key ideas to be noted here 세월호 영화. To begin with, that Trotsky — that is to say, Marxism — does not seek to provide an answer but rather only to correctly pose the question of the relation of art to politics in capitalism and any struggle for socialism: it is not prescriptive of a solution, but only diagnostic of a problem. That art is a “protest against reality,” no matter whether “conscious or unconscious, optimistic or pessimistic,” still a “protest,” whether expressing “hope or despair” — a very peculiar proposition that would not apply to art before capitalism, or before modernism. Adorno famously characterized art as the “expression of suffering” — also a description specific to the history of art in capitalism. And that art cannot save society — as the revolutionary cultural modernist Bohemians of the Russian Revolutionary era claimed — indeed, it cannot even save itself. Not least because it is a specialized activity on a very narrow base: the oppressed masses live their own lives, from which art is necessarily separated and exists apart.

So what can art do, according to Trotsky — according to Marxism? It can express the suffering of capitalism in which the “intolerable exacerbation of social contradictions 죽은시인의사회. . . are transformed inevitably into personal contradictions,” and hence express a task, the “ever more burning need for a liberating art” expressed by every “really creative piece of work.” Art can express a need — but could not itself satisfy that need. This is the translation of the famous Marxist formulation, that bourgeois society in capitalism stood at a crossroads of “socialism or barbarism,” or, as Trotsky put it, art along with the greater society will “rot away” inevitably under capitalism.

Clement Greenberg’s essay on “Avant-garde and kitsch,” published the following year after Trotsky’s letters on art in Partisan Review, described the barbarization of bourgeois art in capitalism as its “Alexandrianism.” Art in capitalism became instantly transfixed, and, as such, museumified, leading a paradoxical undead existence or only as a spectral after-life of its emancipation in bourgeois society. Georg Lukács, in History and Class Consciousness, published in the same year as Trotsky’s Literature and Revolution, described this greater effect in society as “reification” or thing-ification, as the “spatialization of time,” what Marx called the congealing of human action in capitalism in the form of capital as “dead labor” which dominates living labor. Greenberg described the avant-garde as the attempt to set Alexandrianism in motion, and, as such, imitating the processes of art. Kitsch, in which Greenberg included Socialist Realism, by contrast, imitated the avant-garde, but exhibiting an apparent timeless value, as opposed to the avant-garde’s “superior consciousness of history.” This was modeled on Marxism itself, as the political avant-garde of bourgeois society in capitalism 갤럭시탭 유튜브 동영상 다운로드. Marxism distinguished itself from the rest of bourgeois intellectual culture and politics only by its critical historical consciousness, of its fleeting ephemeral specific moment, as Benjamin described it in his “Theses on the philosophy [or, concept] of history,” the “now-time” (Jetztzeit) of revolutionary necessity that “blasts the continuum of history,” to which culture — barbarism — inevitably conforms, as kitsch.

Trotsky’s Marxist assertion that “art is a protest against reality” is based on the earlier bourgeois recognition by Kant and Hegel that art, as Geistig or Spiritual activity, seeks not to express what is, not to affirm what exists, but rather to express what ought to be, the potential and possibility for change: art is the expression of freedom. Greenberg’s avant-garde expresses a fleeting historical potential for transformation that kitsch obviates, neglecting the task of freedom in favor of a timeless naturalization of art. Benjamin wrote in his essay on “The author as producer” (1934) that the task of artists is to teach other artists: as he put it, the artist who doesn’t teach other artists teaches no one. Benjamin called this artistic “quality,” which he distinguished from political “tendency.” Benjamin went so far as to assert that art could not be of the correct — socialist — political tendency if it failed to have formal aesthetic quality filezilla 32bit 다운로드. Such quality was primarily educative in value: it demonstrated and educated the potential transformation of aesthetic form itself, for both viewer and producer.

Adorno’s posthumously published draft manuscript Aesthetic Theory — which references Trotsky’s Literature and Revolution as a key departure for his approach — concludes with a criterion for judging the art that lives on in capitalism despite the self-evidence of even its right to exist having been long since lost, that art is the “writing of history” of “accumulated suffering.” Marxism’s essential legacy for considering the history of modern art, especially as consciousness of the condition of failed socialist emancipation from capitalism formulated by Benjamin, Adorno, Greenberg and others in the post-revolutionary crisis era of the 1930s, is this memory of accumulated suffering — the suffering from the unrealized potential of both art and society. | §

Robots and sweatshops

Chris Cutrone

Platypus Review 123 | February 2020

STARTING WITH THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, there have been two contrary tendencies in the development of social production: increased automation lowering socially necessary labor-time; and the desperation of people rendered superfluous as workers 아크로벳리더.

For Marxism, this presented a social and political task for the working class to demand higher wages for fewer hours.

An alternative to this would be for workers to try to fight against technology — the Luddites 썸뱅크.

Conversely, the capitalists could invest in machines instead of labor.

Thus was born the antagonism between wage-labor and capital Tekken tag tournament.

The outcome of the class struggle between the workers and capitalists was to be the realization of the potential for both increased production and the reduction of human toil: socialism 스타 피쉬서버.

However, since machine production created a permanent class of unemployed people, there would always be a demand for work that could be exploited by the capitalists to pay lower wages Download Jeju Air.

Paying lower wages decreases the market for produced goods, which means a drive for higher profitability, leading to further pursuit of cost-efficiency in production as well as depression of wages 다우트 자막.

That leads to both robots and sweatshops.

Disparities and imbalances between capitalist profits and workers’ wages lead to periodic crises in which there is money that cannot find profitable investment and workers who cannot find employment titanium.

But eventually balance is restored through the cheapening of money-capital — and the cheapening of labor.

New forms of work are developed to serve new technologies of production Download The Sun's Descendantost. — Until the next crisis begins the cycle all over again.

This meant that the working class as a whole — both employed and unemployed — needed to be organized as a social and political force to ensure increased social wealth and to prevent exploitation Chrome Edge.

Since this is a matter of the organization of society as a whole — including internationally, and indeed globally, in the cosmopolitan exchange of wage-labor and capital — it requires the political act of taking state power: world socialist revolution Download Kangwon University. | P

Why not Trump again?

Chris Cutrone

Video recording of presentation at SAIC, December 4, 2019.

Presented with an introduction to Marxism in the Age of Trump and “Why I wish Hillary had won” at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, December 4, 2019. Published in Platypus Review 123 (February 2020) xbmc 자막 다운로드.

“Nothing’s ever promised tomorrow today. . . . It hurts but it might be the only way.”
— Kanye West, “Heard ‘Em Say” (2005)

“You can’t always get what you want / But if you try, sometimes you find / You get what you need.”
The Rolling Stones (1969)

KANYE WEST FAMOUSLY INDICTED President George W. Bush for “not caring about black people.” Mr. West now says that it’s the Democrats who don’t care about black people. But he thinks that Trump does indeed care.

West, who received an honorary doctoral degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago a few years ago, intends to move back to Chicago from Hollywood, which he describes as The Sunken Place 캡틴라미.

West’s wife Kim Kardashian convinced President Trump to free Alice Johnson, a black grandmother, from jail, and to initiate the criminal justice sentencing reform legislation called the “First Step Act.” Prisoners are being released to join the workforce in which the demand for labor has been massively increased in the economic recovery under the Trump Administration. The reason for any such reform now, after the end of the Great Recession, will be this demand for workers — no longer the need to warehouse the unemployed.

Trump ran on and won election calling for “jobs, jobs, jobs!,” and now defines his Republican Party as standing for the “right to life and the dignity of work,” which was his definition of what “Make America Great Again” meant to him vaio care. This will be the basis now for his reelection in November 2020, for “promises kept.”

The current impeachment farce is indeed what Trump calls it: the Democrats motivated by outrage at his exposure of their shameless political corruption, with the Biden family prominently featured. After trouncing the infamous Clintons in 2016, Trump is keeping this drumbeat going for 2020. Don’t expect it to stop. The Democrats have wanted to impeach Trump from the moment he was elected, indeed even beforehand, but finally got around to it when Trump exposed them — exposed their “frontrunner.”

Trump has held out the offer of bipartisan cooperation on everything from trade to immigration reform. He went so far as to say, when congratulating the Democrats on their 2018 midterm election victories, that he would be potentially more able to realize his agenda with a Democrat-majority Congress, because he would no longer have to face resistance from established mainstream Republicans opposed to his policies 구해줘 다운로드. In his State of the Union Address to Congress this year, Trump contrasted the offer of negotiation and cooperation with the threat of investigations. As it turns out, the FBI, CIA and other U.S. government security services personnel who have tried to indict Trump out of political opposition are now finding themselves the targets of criminal investigation. At least some of them are likely go to prison. The bloated national security state is dismayed and in retreat in the face of Trump. — Good!

What is the argument against Trump’s reelection 팟플레이어 스킨? That he is utterly unbearable as a President of the United States? That Trump must be stopped because the world is running out of time? Either in terms of the time spent by separated children being held under atrocious conditions in appalling immigration detention centers, or that of glaciers falling into the ocean? Both of these will continue unabated, with or without Trump. The Democrats neither can nor will put a stop to such things — not even slow them.

What is the argument for electing the Democrats, then? A Green New Deal? — Will never happen: Obama promised it already in 2008. That they will restore “civility” to American life? Like we had under Obama cookie games? In other words, the same conditions, but with a comforting smile instead of an irritating smirk?

But Trump’s supporters became annoyed with Obama, and have been reassured by Trump’s confidence in America: Trump’s smile is not sarcastic; Obama’s often was. Don’t the Democrats deserve that grin?

Will the Democrats provide free quality health care for all? — Not on your life!

Neither will Trump. But not because he doesn’t want to: he definitely does; he thinks that it’s absurd that the wealthiest country in world history cannot provide for its citizens 장기 게임 무료. But what can you do?

The last time national health care was floated as a proposal was by Nixon. But it was defeated by Democrats as well as Republicans. Nixon floated UBI (Universal Basic Income), too — but it was opposed by the Democrats, especially by their labor unions, who — rightly — said that employers would use it as an excuse to pay workers that much less. Abortion was legalized when fewer workers were needed.

But that was a different time — before the general economic downturn after 1973 that led to the last generation of neoliberalism, austerity and a society of defensive self-regard and pessimism 청소년서체. Now, it is likely we are heading into a new generation-long period of capitalist growth — and optimism. — At least, it’s possible. Nixon and Mao agreed that “what the Left proposes we [the Right] push through.”

Are we on the brink of a new, post-neoliberal Progressive era, then? Don’t count on it — at least not with the Democrats! They won’t let their Presidential nominee next year be Bernie Sanders. — Probably, they won’t even let it be Warren, either. And anyway, after Obama, no one is really going to believe them. Even if Bernie were to be elected President, he would face a hostile Democratic Party as well as Republicans in Congress pan baidu. It’s unlikely the Squad of AOC et al. will continue to be reelected at all, let alone expand their ranks of Democratic “socialists” in elected office. The DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) have already peaked, even before the thankless misery of canvassing for Democrats — not “socialists” — in the next election. The future belongs not to them, but to Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping hosted by Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Climate change must be stopped by China a thousand years 다운로드.

(The clearest indicator of American counties voting for Trump in 2016 was density of military families — not due to patriotism but war fatigue: Trump has fulfilled his promise to withdraw from the War on Terror interventions while funding the military, and is the peace President that Obama was supposed to be, drawing down and seeking negotiated settlements with everyone from North Korea to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Taliban in Afghanistan; the Neocons are out and flocking to the Democrats.)

The arguments against Trump by the Democrats have been pessimistic and conservative, distrustful and even suspicious of American voters — to which he opposes an unflappable confidence and optimism, based in faith in American society. Trump considers those who vote against him to be mistaken, not enemies. But the Democrats consider Trump voters to be inimical — deplorable and even irredeemable.

My Muslim friends who oppose Trump — half of them support Trump — said that after his election in 2016 they found their neighbors looking at them differently — suspiciously. But I think it made them look at Americans differently — suspiciously. But it’s the same country that elected Obama twice.

If Trump’s America is really the hateful place Democrats paint it to be, for instance at their LGBTQ+ CNN Town Hall, at which protesters voiced the extreme vulnerability of “trans women of color,” then it must be admitted that such violence is perpetrated primarily not by rich straight white men so much as by “cis-gendered heterosexual men — and women — of color.” — Should we keep them in jail?

The Democrats’ only answer to racism, sexism and homophobia is to fire people and put them in prison. — Whereas Trump lets them out of jail to give them a job.

Perhaps their getting a job will help us, too.

So: Why not Trump again? | §

Realizing Philosophy (interview with Doug Lain for Zero Books)

Download the Warcraft 3 patch

Chris Cutrone is a college educator, writer, and media artist, committed to critical thinking and artistic practice and the politics of social emancipation html excel 다운로드. He is the former head of the often contrarian Marxist group The Platypus Affiliated Society and in this podcast, we discuss the possibility of realizing philosophy Ant-Man.

“Ends of philosophy” essay by Chris Cutrone:

Part 1: (10/6/19 Zero Squared podcast #217)

https://player.fm/series/zero-squared-92560/zero-books-217-realizing-philosophy-wcutrone

Part 2: (10/14/19 Zero Squared podcast #218)

https://player.fm/series/zero-squared-92560/zero-squared-218-realizing-philosophy-pt-2

Unedited audio recording of original interview:

https://archive.org/details/zerobooksinterviewendsofphilosophy073119

Symptomatic Redness podcast — hostile interview with Chris Cutrone

명상 의 말씀 다운로드

Part 1: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/dietsoap/episodes/2019-06-02T21_36_24-07_00

Part 2 teaser: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/dietsoap/episodes/2019-06-10T17_08_10-07_00

Part 3: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/dietsoap/episodes/2019-06-17T09_55_47-07_00

Full unedited interview: https://archive.org/details/symptomaticredness22319

In this episode of Symptomatic Redness, Derick Varn and Lexi Kay of Swampside chats 삼성 로고. Chris Cutrone took on a variety of relatively hostile questions for a few hours. This is part one and is available for everyone. Derick Varn is a former member of the Platypus Affiliated Society Download movie cubes. Can Cutrone hold his ground when facing hostile questions? Find out.

Redeeming the 20th century

Statism and anarchy today

Chris Cutrone

Prepared opening remarks presented at the closing plenary of the 11th annual Platypus Affiliated Society international convention, April 6, 2019, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A complete audio recording of the event, including response by Richard Rubin and audience Q&A, is available online at: <https://archive.org/details/Redeeming20thCentury040619>.

Audience at the Platypus convention closing plenary discussion.
http://chriscutrone.platypus1917.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/redeeming20thcentury040619audience.jpg

The 20th century

A SENIOR TEACHING COLLEAGUE of mine at the University of Chicago revised the college core syllabus, which he said needed to be “brought into the 21st century.” What he really meant by this was brought into the 20th century — specifically, the late 20th century. But the 20th century was determined by the 19th century. There was very little that was new, and most of it was bad. I spoke at previous conventions about 1873–1973, 1917–2017 and 1918–2018.[1] In those discussions, I divided the 100-year cycles into their first and second halves of 50 years. What was new was Marxism and anti-Marxism. As Marxism died and its memory faded in the second half of the last century, there was absolutely nothing new. My colleague invoked ideas that had their genesis in the early 20th century as anti-Marxism: for example, Foucault – Heidegger – Nietzsche.

The Stalinist historian Eric Hobsbawm defined the “short 20th century” as the period 1914–91, from WWI to the fall of the Soviet Union. But perhaps the 20th century could be defined not by the catastrophe of world war in 1914 but the failure of the world socialist revolution in 1919, which was already prefigured by the capitulation of Marxism in 1914 — and the war certainly contributed to not only the crisis and the revolutionary opportunity but also the counterrevolutionary reality, in whose brutality the war continued.[2] 2019 marks the centenary of 1919, which was not the failure of the revolution, as we marked last year in 2018 as a function of both 1918 and 1968, but the triumph of the counterrevolution.

100 years

This year we observe the 100th anniversary of the defeat of the German Revolution in 1919 and the 30th anniversary of the collapse of Stalinism in 1989 guiformat 다운로드. It is unclear to me which of these takes priority in my talk now. I therefore want to build upon the last two years of anniversaries I have observed in my remarks at the annual Platypus conventions, namely, the centenaries of 1917 and 1918, and 50 years of 1968.

In my remarks last year on 1918–2018 as the “century of counterrevolution,” I thematized the issue of the presence of the revolution in the counterrevolution as the converse and complement to the issue of 1917 as the presence of the counterrevolution in the revolution. Usually, the 20th century is treated by the “Left” as one of accomplishment. The supposed advances and gains of the 20th century take two forms: the so-called “actually existing socialism” of the East in the Stalinist-ruled states of the USSR, Eastern Europe, China, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba; and the social-democratic welfare state in the West. Today, in 2019, we are faced with what has been evident for the past few years: the reemergence of the legacies of neo-Stalinism and neo-social democracy, both of which are called “socialism.” In the Democratic Socialists of America and in the Momentum movement of the U.K. Labour Party, we see both tendencies present. In the abiding “continuing struggles” of “anti-imperialism” and “anti-fascism” — including “anti-sexism” and “anti-racism” — we find the united front of neo-social democracy and neo-Stalinism: street-fighting as well as imposed government and para-state civil society — corporate and academic — “hate speech” code restrictions.

This is because, as Trotsky and the Frankfurt School observed already back in the 1930s, the liquidation of historical Marxism after the failure of the world proletarian socialist revolution of 1917–19 was present in both Social Democracy and Stalinism. They are the twin headstones at the grave of Marxism. In the 1930s, Trotsky treated both equally as varieties of reformist opportunism, whose residual differences were actively liquidated at the time in the Popular Front Against War and Fascism. Trotsky anticipated by one year the official announcement of the Popular Front in 1935 with his “French Turn,” having his followers join the official social-democratic parties world-wide in 1934. The fact that these parties had betrayed Marxism both in WWI and in the revolutions that followed, that Social Democracy was on the side of active counterrevolution as opposed to Stalinism’s apparent continuity with the revolution, did not matter one bit to Trotsky: Stalinism was just as proven in his mind to be counterrevolutionary; and social-democratic parties were just as potentially transformable into revolutionary socialist parties as the ostensibly “revolutionary” Communist Parties could have been 무한도전 431.

The first assumption I must ask you to entertain is that both Social Democracy and Stalinism were forms of avoidance of the struggle for socialism in the 20th century, and that everything accomplished under their auspices was actually stepping back and away from and not towards socialism. As such, both Stalinism and Social Democracy represented obstacles to socialism. — Here, the anarchists and “Left communist” Marxists would apparently agree. But historically, this was the perspective shared by the Frankfurt School and Trotsky, both of which must be distinguished from and recognized properly in their opposition to such “Left communism” and anarchism, for both Trotsky and the Frankfurt School represented the memory of original historical Marxism, and of its last protagonists, Lenin and Luxemburg, among others.

The forms of the liquidation of Marxism in the post-failed revolutionary aftermath of the 1920s–30s are various, but have continued to endure ever since then: they express the same problems we see on the “Left” today, in both its neo-Stalinist and neo-social democratic guises. — These problems are also present in anarchism and so-called “Left communism.” As such, they express not only problems of the “Left” but the political antinomies of capitalism itself. In this sense, they were not new problems of the 20th century, but old problems that Marxism had already addressed and at least theoretically “overcome” in the 19th century — at least, Marxism had appeared to have overcome these problems. This is the reason for Platypus’s emphasis on pre-WWI Marxist history, to find the sources for 20th century problems that were originally obvious to Marxists historically but in the meantime have become obscure, elusive and intractable today. While it would seem that history proved in fact that the old problems had not actually been overcome by Marxism, such a perspective would assume that we somehow “know better” today, that the 20th century had provided lessons that have been learned — even if some anarchists had already warned of them in the 19th century. So it is incumbent upon me in my defense of and advocacy for Marxism to prove otherwise.

Redemption

The question of the potential “redemption” of the 20th century hinges on the question of historical “progress.” If progress has been made since 1919, then no redemption of the 20th century is really necessary: we can simply build upon past practices in the present and proceed accordingly 트리플 스렛. So the issue of redemption is actually based on the reverse evaluation, that the 20th century did not progress beyond the original issues of historical Marxism, and indeed regressed below it. This was the assumption of both Trotsky and the Frankfurt School by the 1930s. They regarded the problems of Stalinism and Social Democracy as repetitions of past problems that Marxism had already consciously processed in its history before WWI.

The “Left” has tried to preserve itself through appropriating past history in a certain way. The paradox — actually a contradiction — is as follows: On the one hand, the “Left” treats itself as independent of the dominant society in capitalism, thus treating the society it seeks to change as outside of itself (perhaps treating the presence of capitalist society within itself as an outside contagion to be fought against and expelled); on the other hand, the “Left” claims the supposed “progress” of society in the 20th century as its own, as the result of its own doing.

But this is the way capitalist society always grasps itself: as an autonomous subject trying to take hold of an extrinsic object. Originally, by contradistinction, Marxism characterized itself — “communism” or “proletarian socialism” — as the “actual self-consciousness of the real movement of history.” Both Stalinism and Social Democracy (reformist Revisionism) followed original Marxism in this, by identifying themselves with the real movement of history.

The problem is that history and its movement in capitalism is self-contradictory, and is thus non-identical with itself. So, in identifying oneself with history, one inevitably falls into a partial, one-sided antinomical perspective that privileges some aspects of historical movement over others. The “Left” thus leaves itself at the mercy of capitalism and is merely tossed about by the Sturm und Drang of its contradictions and historical changes. When one looks soberly and honestly at the actual history of the action and thought of the “Left” — Stalinism and Social Democracy, as well as anarchism and “Left communism,” and liberalism, too — in the 20th century, one finds it always on all sides of all issues. The “Left,” in one form or another, has variously justified and supported in certain moments of history even imperialism and fascism. It has been pro-imperialist and anti-imperialist, pro-fascist and anti-fascist — revolutionary and counterrevolutionary. The actual history in its violent vicissitudes is hence forgotten — repressed. The way this is done is to resolve history by ironing it out, and rest content that, through it all, “progress” has been made in the end openvpn 다운로드. — That is, until the next historical shift of capitalism unsettles history once again, throwing progress into doubt.

Antinomies

I have raised one set of antinomies already, namely, anti-imperialism and anti-fascism (the subject of a prior convention talk of mine in 2011[3]). There are others. For instance, parliamentarism-electoralism as opposed to extra-parliamentary activity, or the battle of the “ballots” vs. that on the “streets.” There is also “anti-exploitation” vs. “anti-oppression,” or socio-economic “class” vs. “race, gender and sexuality.” In the time of the historical origins of Marxism, there was also “social” vs. ”political action” — the debate which broke up the First International Workingmen’s Association, in the original split in socialism between anarchism and Marxism. There is also the antinomy of political and economic struggles. What one will find today is that all tendencies on the “Left” are actually riven by such divisions, still. For instance, all these oppositions are present in the DSA and in Labour’s Momentum movement.

This shows that the 20th century is still with us — as is indeed the 19th century. That is actually cause for hope. The fact that such antinomies still beset the “Left” shows that the problem of capitalism as Marxism originally understood it has not been overcome — if only we can continue to recall it.

These antinomies must be regarded properly as forms for the social and political movement of capitalism itself. Capitalism is internally divided and destroys itself periodically, only to reconstitute itself again, through its characteristic social and political struggles, whether between “classes” or “nations,” etc. So the first task of redeeming the 20th century would be to recognize properly that the only “progress” made was progress in capitalism — namely, actually the regression from socialism, at least as far as the political struggle for socialism as Marxism originally understood it is concerned Download Vegas Pro 15.

Hypothetically, the perpetuation of capitalism also means sustaining the possibility for socialism. The only question is how this potential possibility is manifest and grasped in practice and theory. There, we can observe an obvious regression in political potential for socialism from the early 20th century to today. — Unless we assume that the election and policies of “socialist” Democrats and Labourites and/or demands of those engaged in street fighting or guerilla warfare immediately promise the achievement of socialist revolution, which I think we have reason to doubt: the mid-20th century is not about to be repeated.

Indeed, the implementation of what would now be considered “socialist” policies by either elected officials or leaders of political revolutions in the 20th century can be considered today as part of the history of capitalism — the history for whatever potential for socialism exists concretely in the world today, which is after all how Marxism originally addressed capitalism to begin with: capitalism is the possibility and necessity for socialism.

Oscillation — vicissitude

Towards the end of his life, my old professor Moishe Postone raised the specter of history oscillating between liberal and authoritarian state-centric forms of capital — this was always Postone’s great apprehension and suspicion of Platypus with our positive appraisal of Lenin and Trotsky — so that the state-mediated capitalism succeeding the original liberal forms of capitalism in the early 20th century reverted by the end of the 20th century to neoliberalism, but might be followed by another phase of statist capital as a result of the crisis of neoliberalism in the 21st century. I addressed this phenomenon of reaction against the failure of Marxism in my Platypus convention President’s report in 2012, in the wake of the demise of Occupy Wall Street, on “1873–1973: The century of Marxism: The death of Marxism and the emergence of neo-liberalism and neo-anarchism.”

What is striking now is how, at the terminus of the Millennial Left, anarchism has been nearly completely suppressed in favor of statist forms of “socialism,” in both neo-social democracy and neo-Stalinism. This is very different from where the Millennial Left originally started out, in the new Students for a Democratic Society (established in the same year, 2006, as Platypus), steeped as it was in neo-anarchism, especially as inherited from the 1990s anti-globalization and avowedly “post-“ if not simply “anti-political Left” of Generation X. Despite the anti-imperialism of the anti-war movement at that time, which prioritized defense of Third World regimes against the U.S., this neo-anarchism persisted through #Occupy. It can be seen in the more general anti-austerity movement in response to the post-2008 global economic crisis. But as the Great Recession wore on, eventually there was a turn to state-oriented and capitalist electoral politics, for instance with SYRIZA in Greece, but also Podemos in Spain — despite the latter’s avowedly “anti-political” stance, which, unlike SYRIZA, failed to take power and faded, Podemos having lost out to the traditional Socialists. 

The turn towards the Labour Party in the U.K. through Momentum under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and towards the Democrats, first via Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the Democratic Party nomination for President, and then through its ostensibly “socialist” progressive liberal fringe, the Democratic Socialists of America, after the Brexit vote and Trump’s election, shows the utter collapse — indeed, I called it the “death” — of the Millennial “Left.”[4] “Marxism” was originally disputed by the Millennial Left in opposition to both Social Democracy and Stalinism, but now has been completely assimilated to these two latter legacies 루시퍼 시즌4 다운로드. Whatever potential possibility and hope for opportunity of historical change that had come with the Millennial Left was expressed by its rejection of the traditional identification of Marxism with statism. Now this has disappeared. This repeated the failure of the 1960s New Left to overcome the problems of its elders in Stalinism and Social Democracy and subsequent assimilation to their legacy.

As I wrote in “The Sandernistas,” about the Millennial Left’s enthusiasm for Bernie, what “socialism” means is merely return to the New Deal and Great Society government programs of the Democratic Party in the 20th century.[5] Similarly, the Corbynistas want to return to the old Labour policies before neoliberalism. Where has the original “anarchist” spirit of the Millennials gone? — This is as striking as the disappearance of ostensible “libertarian” discontents from the Republican Party under Trump, however they are still expressed positively in moves to criminal justice reform as well as “free speech” efforts against Political Correctness that Trump has initiated. Trump remains the central phenomenon of our time, however shadowed by militant neo-social democracy and neo-Stalinism in response to him. The crisis of neoliberalism will deepen before it abates. In any case, the center of action remains the state. What the “Left” wants above all is to unelect Trump and reverse the Brexit vote, to which everything else is subordinated. The calls for increased welfare provisions, nationalization of industry and other capitalist state reforms are just enabling fictions.

Statism and anarchy today

Significantly, I myself would characterize the task of socialism today as essentially “anarchist” in nature, but not as “post-political” as with post-New Left neo-anarchism, but rather pre-political, namely, the necessity to organize the potential for civil-social action independent of the state and capitalist politics, as a precondition for any kind of political formation let alone socialist party-building. This must be distinguished sharply from “movement-“ or “base-building,” however, in that they are, by contrast, dependent on their converse and complementary phenomenon, electoralism: the “movement” is always understood as a pressure-tactic on elected officials, whether in government or legislative-parliamentary opposition. The ostensible “base-building” is according to the model of “community organizing” and NGO activism, that is, as civil society constituencies for electoral parties, especially in the neoliberal mode of privatized outsourcing of political action Download Kyungsung University. In this way, I would distinguish the actual present historical necessity from the past neoliberal model which expressed not a return to but actually the thinning-out of civil society and capitulation to statism, however post-Fordist in character. The “Left” today is stuck in the characteristic post-New Left neoliberal modality of social-movement activism, which is actually just a training ground for NGO lobbyism and its group identity-politics and professional-managerial cultural racketeering. Any pre-socialist organizing today would need to cut sharply across the established divisions in the capitalist-state management of civil society. The crisis of neoliberalism provides an opportunity for this — which the Millennial Left in its death is precisely avoiding.

The new phase of capitalism now emerging from the crisis of its past neoliberal forms since the 1970s will offer possibilities for such organizing, as existing civil society is destroyed and reconstructed according to the new needs of capital. This is an opportunity to return to the original Marxist vision of socialism as immanent to and building upon the foundations of capitalism. The statist turn of the Millennial Left fails at this in its clinging to the established prior forms of neoliberal capitalism embodied by the existing Democrat and Labour Parties, which will be as slow to change now as they were in the face of the neoliberal shift beginning in the 1970s — they didn’t complete their turn for another 20 years, in the 1990s. The Millennials joining them now will be their unopposed official leadership in 20 years’ time, just as Hillary and Bill Clinton came to power in 1992, 20 years after their youthful participation in the (losing) 1972 McGovern Democrat campaign for President. The Millennials will learn through their defeats now how to adapt to capitalist politics in the long run, as usual, through a backward and shamefaced movement — by contrast, the avowed Right will be more straightforward, unabashed, and hence successful. This will give the Millennials’ electoralism and statist orientation an apparently more “principled and responsible” character, by contrast to the more blatant opportunism of the Right in pushing through whatever capitalism requires. But “resistance” or not, the overall drift is the same.

History

By contrast to Postone, I regard neoliberalism as a form of statism and not anti-statism, with anarchism and libertarianism always marginalized fringe ideological phenomena, and so post-neoliberalism will not require any profound changes in capitalist politics at the level of the state, which however requires periodic fine-tuning Let's have a meal2 download once. The mid-late 20th century New Left, with its characteristic confusions about the capitalist state, mistaking it as a compromise formation with socialism (in this way recapitulating the old opportunist reformist Revisionism), was always deeply ambivalent in its neo-anarchist social-movementism, by the 1980s resigning itself to and even celebrating its powerlessness as some principled virtue — the “Left” itself came to be actually identified with such powerlessness, mocking the original 1960s New Left vision of “be realistic, demand the impossible.” That is not going to change in the least with the present electoral turn of the Millennial Left. The resulting statist managerial professionals emerging from the Millennial generation will always be regarded as bastard children and not recognized as the Left’s own — just as the 1980s yuppies and the 1990s Clintons were never recognized as the offspring of the New Left that they were. But the continuing “Left” on the marginal fringe won’t matter at all, other than as the usual paragon of hypocritical denial for which the New Left has served as eminent historical example. See the “long march through the institutions” through which New Left Maoists gave us academic “Left” blather, charter schools and Obama’s Presidency. Before them, the Old Left Stalinists had always been what they ended up being, bureaucrats of corporate management and the capitalist state — many more of them lived out illustrious post-WWII careers than were purged by McCarthyism, in which they had not been “coopted” or “sold out” but rather fulfilled their original 1930s youthful Great Depression vision for reformed capitalism.

As Lenin observed and Adorno repeated 50 years later, the apparent rebirth of anarchism in the wasteland of the defeat of Marxism was only a symptom of historical failure and never more than a return of a “ghost” (or, as Lenin put it, a “phantasm”).[6] But the ghost was not actually of anarchism itself but rather of what Marxism originally had been, the effective union of social and political action. That the historical mission accepted by Marxism became divided between the reduction of politics to statism and the reduction of social freedom to capitalist anarchy is the symptom that must be worked through towards any possibility for socialism.

Historically, Marxism already traversed this path, in the 1860s–70s, in the prelude to the mass socialist parties of the late 19th – early 20th centuries. Marxism emerged ascendant and anarchism diminished in the 1880s–90s, and the Second Industrial Revolution expanded the ranks of the proletariat and of socialist politics internationally through the Second or Socialist International, as the geopolitical order of capitalism found new players in the rise of Germany, Japan and the United States, and the older 19th century British and French socialist traditions were taken up and subsumed by Marxism Download macos Mojave. At the same time, Bonapartist states in the industrializing countries led capitalism into a new and even greater era. The freewheeling Gilded Age saw the most massive quantitative transformations in the history of civilization. The Second Industrial Revolution of the late 19th century resulted in mass socialist parties unprecedented in world history, and within a generation they were prepared to take power.[7] This produced what Luxemburg and Lenin regarded as the welcome “crisis of Marxism” itself, which they took as opportunity to clarify the tasks of socialism. We are nowhere near such a condition today. Indeed, the question of the meaning of socialism is being suppressed through its advocacy: precisely when everyone is claiming to be “socialist” its memory is being buried. Socialism currently is being not constituted but liquidated. The last time this happened was in the mid-20th century, when Stalinism and Social Democracy liquidated Marxism and adapted to continuing capitalism. It is happening yet again.

Redeeming the 20th century, then, means recognizing its repetition today. The reigning statism of the Millennial Left arriving at adulthood, whether neo-social-democratic or neo-Stalinist, is the death-mask imposed upon it by its 20th century forebears, smothering it from birth — especially the 1960s New Left, internalizing, through “anti”-authoritarian rebellion, the mocking face of state “socialism.” Any haunting reminders of anarchism that may trouble its conscience moving forward will be a mere spectral apparition and no living spirit of socialism. That spirit can only find life in a rebirth of Marxism, which for now exists outside and against the stream of the present, and, like Benjamin’s Angel of History, sees not a chain of events, carrying us helplessly from one “damned thing” to another, but only one single mounting catastrophe.[8] As for Benjamin, the only hope is not in the flow of time, but in the monstrous abbreviation and compression of history that can blast the continuity of the present. | P


Notes

[1] See my: “1873–1973: The century of Marxism: The death of Marxism and the emergence of neo-liberalism and neo-anarchism,” Platypus Review 47 (June 2012), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2012/06/07/1873-1973-the-century-of-marxism/>; “1917–2017” PR 99 (September 2017), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2017/08/29/1917-2017/>; and “1918–2018: The century of counterrevolution” PR 106 (May 2018), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2018/05/04/1918-2018-the-century-of-counterrevolution/>.

[2] See my “1914 in the history of Marxism,” PR 66 (May 2014), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2014/05/06/1914-history-marxism/>.

[3] See my: “The ‘anti-imperialist’ vs. ‘anti-fascist’ Left: Some genealogies and prospects,” available online at: <http://chriscutrone.platypus1917.org/?p=1203> Doctor Strange Korean Subtitles.

[4] See my “The Millennial Left is dead,” PR 100 (October 2017), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2017/10/01/millennial-left-dead/>.

[5] “The Sandernistas: The final triumph of the 1980s,” PR 82 (December 2015 – January 2016), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2015/12/17/sandernistas-final-triumph-1980s/>.

[6] See V.I. Lenin, “Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder (1920), Chapter 4 “The Struggle Against Which Enemies Within the Working-Class Movement Helped Bolshevism Develop, Gain Strength, and Become Steeled,” available online at: <https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/lwc/ch04.htm>; and Theodor W. Adorno, “Resignation” (1969), trans. Henry W. Pickford, Critical Models: Interventions and Catchwords (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), 292.

[7] See my “The end of the Gilded Age: Discontents of the Second Industrial Revolution today,” PR 102 (December 2017 – January 2018), available online at: <https://platypus1917.org/2017/12/02/end-gilded-age-discontents-second-industrial-revolution-today/>.

[8] Walter Benjamin, “On the concept of history” (1940), AKA “Theses on the philosophy of history,” in Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken Books, 1969), 253-64. Available online at: <https://www.sfu.ca/~andrewf/CONCEPT2.html>.