Democratic Socialism is the only means of government which will both ensure our survival and protect our freedom. Marxism and communism will never get the chance to be understood in today's society much less be workable. Let go of the ego and look for 'real' solutions instead of ideologies that shock and awe
Comes out of the same tradition of Marxist thought that you are saying is unrealistic, right ?
Eugene Debs, the man many people see as the father of Democratic Socialism in the United Sates was himself a Marxist. One need not be a Communist in order to be a Marxist. As all Marxism is, when not treated like a sacred cow, is simply a form of critical analysis.
As to not being Progressive, well if you mean not Liberal than I suppose in that sense yes it's not. But neither is Democratic Socialism sense both seek to eventually end capitalism. The Liberalism that we've seen associated with the Democratic Party since The New Deal does not seek to end capitalism but rather reform enough to make the system bearable for the majority of the population.
Now if you mean Progressive in the sense of social progression than I think we can say Communism is Progressive as it advocates an Egalitarian Society where The State has withered away and the Societal Structures that made the power dynamic of capitalism possible no longer exist.
Personally though, I think a strong Labor Party would go a lot farther in dismantling Capitalism than either the Legislative Reformism of Democratic Socialism or The Revolution that Communism advocates.
I think history has shown that it has been The Union that has been the most effective weapon for American Workers in fighting the class war. Either way though if capitalism isn't stopped our Future I think will be somewhat more deprived than we'd like it to be.
I heard an interesting interview yesterday that you might like, fyi:
Against the Grain with Sasha Lilley
Political theorist and media scholar Jodi Dean discusses why communism remains such a powerful ideological force -- and why the left should claim the term without apology.
I'm currently 30 minutes in, and have already learned quite a bit.
ETA- She's making some very good points. I'm going to look her up; see if she's got anything else out there.
not about marx. That is typically the problem. The things you're saying reflect that you have read about marx, not read marx. Marxism is not shock and awe ideology and pure marxism is the complete denial of ego, so the phrase "Let go of the ego" is quite strange. Lastly, marx was extremely practical and pragmatic which is way so much of our modern era has communistic and socialistic attributes (compared to previous historical era's naturally). Marx pragmatism comes across most dramatically when you read the letters between marx and engles. BTW-everything you hate about your job (whatever that job is) comes from the capitalistic ideology and everything you love about your job (hope there is something you love about your labor) is either socialistic or communistic. We are likely on the path marx described, just not on his timetable, and entering a global socialistic phase. For others interested in marx and who do not know about red to green theory, it is pretty cool. But, you need a fair about of training in marxism to fully get it. Lots of potential in R/G.
He explained the problems of his day very well. Marx did several things. He is considered to be one of the founders of modern social sciences, along with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber. Unlike many other intellectuals of his time, he insisted that social theories must be examined through a scientific method to see if they world work. Marx is also notable for writing mostly for the poor and disenfranchised, whereas his contemporaries wrote mostly for fellow intellectuals. A talented economist, Marx helped the world understand capitalism better than anyone since Adam Smith -- for example, he was the first to explain why the previously feudal countries of Europe became industrial economies and capitalist powerhouses. Much of what he wrote about how capitalism works stands up to scrutiny close to 200 years later, leading some to call him the father of economic history. The study of sociology was also highly influenced by Marx's writings.
Although many people today think of him as a dangerously misguided individual, the modern understanding of social science and economics - both liberal and conservative - owes an enormous debt to him and his theories. Similarly, his critiques of capitalism and advocacy of communism seem less applicable in the modern world (not that he is no longer relevant). However at the time he was writing, the conditions for the working class, especially in England (where he wrote Capital), were truly appalling, and much of the ideas and movements that would improve and reform it -- and, ironically, blunt so much of communism's power -- were still considered seditious. A year before he began his studies at the University of Bonn, England transported several men to Australia for forming a union.
Ultimately, what Marx didn't reckon on was the dynamism of democracy in order to effect change. Remember, Marx was writing during a time when there was no minimum wage, no worker protection, no welfare system, no laws against child labor, not anti-trust or anti-monopoly laws, no laws demanding truthful advertising, no laws banning unsafe products, no laws guaranteeing rights to women and minorities (and, in a lot of cases, for Europeans and men, too), and, for most of the world, no voting rights for most people. We have come a long way since Marx's time, and he is arguably vindicated by history.
A good way to understand Marx is that he was a lot like a medical doctor of his time: By the end of Marx's life, medicine had discovered germ theory and understood what caused disease, but although it could now prevent the spread of illness (through quarantine, sterilization of operating rooms, and good public health/sanitation policy), when it came to treating people who were already ill, the doctors couldn't do much better than their grandfathers. Marx figured out what was wrong with the new industrial capitalism, but as far as how to handle it, he couldn't do much better than proposing the kind of utopian socialism that had been presented in the early 19th century, rather than the somewhat odd and piecemeal form of modern social democracy.
I'll keep this in mind when I get around to reading Marx. (one of these days)
Came over from another thread.
It should also be noted that there isn't "one" socialism. There are a lot of different currents within socialism such as libertarian socialism (anarchism). It should also be noted that Marx didn't invent scientific socialism. He "borrowed" from the anarchist, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's The Politics of Misery, who in turn, "borrowed" from socialists thinkers before him.
I like your critique. Just wanted to add information about extra-Marxist socialism.