Here is a comment I made on someone else’s facebook page that I thought might be of interest:
1. To see economic and political processes in the present and future as simply a continuation, with slight modifications, of the past is analytically mistaken and politically counterproductive. A vibrant, open ended Marxism should take into account discontinuities, changing conjunctures, and new phenomena at the national and global level that emerge in the course of capitalist development and modify, not only the conditions for the production and realization of capital, but also class and democratic struggles at the national and global level. Sometimes these modifications are of great consequence and thus have deep going programmatic, strategic and tactical implications.
2. To comprehend the evolution and shifts of US capitalism over the past century one has to be mindful not only of its systemic imperative to accumulate capital at the level of the firm, but also to remember that that this law operates within and is greatly modified by a world system in which capitals and nation states compete for political and economic dominance/hegemony. The Golden Age of capitalism, not to mention the turn to neoliberalism, can’t be comprehended outside of this larger context and dynamic.
3. In thinking about the rise of Trump and Trumpism from a strategic and tactical point of view, one has to understand it more as a sharp break than a continuation of past political processes.
4. As for the social/political constituencies that have to be assembled to move down “freedom road,” one has to accent the imperative of political and social alliances/coalitions. Such a view finds confirmation in the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Gramsci, etc., but also is evident in the historical record of the past century. The gravediggers of capitalism and the drum majors of a deeply democratic and egalitarian society are not confined to the point of production. Socialism’s historical subjects – note the plural – are found in various social spaces, possess multiple identities, and are animated by a range of social needs, desires, and interests that are at loggerheads with capitalism’s imperatives, trajectory, and values. A narrow framing of this matter serves no good purpose.