Can't access the full article, but hopefully it is not as vacuous as this extract.
At 12:34 PM 3/10/2008, Charles Brown wrote: >Content-Transfer-Encoding: >base64Content-Disposition: >inlinehttp://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/marxism/2008-March/024922.html > >http://www.newleftreview.org/[EMAIL PROTECTED] > > >What is the communist hypothesis? In its generic sense, given in its canonic >* Manifesto*, 'communist' means, first, that the logic of class-the >fundamental subordination of labour to a dominant class, the arrangement >that has persisted since Antiquity-is not inevitable; it can be overcome. >The communist hypothesis is that a different collective organization is >practicable, one that will eliminate the inequality of wealth and even the >division of labour. The private appropriation of massive fortunes and their >transmission by inheritance will disappear. The existence of a coercive >state, separate from civil society, will no longer appear a necessity: a >long process of reorganization based on a free association of producers will >see it withering away. > >'Communism' as such denotes only this very general set of intellectual >representations. It is what Kant called an Idea, with a regulatory function, >rather than a programme. It is foolish to call such communist principles >utopian; in the sense that I have defined them here they are intellectual >patterns, always actualized in a different fashion. As a pure Idea of >equality, the communist hypothesis has no doubt existed since the beginnings >of the state. As soon as mass action opposes state coercion in the name of >egalitarian justice, rudiments or fragments of the hypothesis start to >appear. Popular revolts-the slaves led by Spartacus, the peasants led by >Müntzer-might be identified as practical examples of this 'communist >invariant'. With the French Revolution, the communist hypothesis then >inaugurates the epoch of political modernity. > >What remains is to determine the point at which we now find ourselves in the >history of the communist hypothesis. A fresco of the modern period would >show two great sequences in its development, with a forty-year gap between >them. The first is that of the setting in place of the communist hypothesis; >the second, of preliminary attempts at its realization. The first sequence >runs from the French Revolution to the Paris Commune; let us say, 1792 to >1871. It links the popular mass movement to the seizure of power, through >the insurrectional overthrow of the existing order; this revolution will >abolish the old forms of society and install 'the community of equals'. In >the course of the century, the formless popular movement made up of >townsfolk, artisans and students came increasingly under the leadership of >the working class. The sequence culminated in the striking novelty-and >radical defeat-of the Paris Commune. For the Commune demonstrated both the >extraordinary energy of this combination of popular movement, working-class >leadership and armed insurrection, and its limits: the *communards* could >neither establish the revolution on a national footing nor defend it against >the foreign-backed forces of the counter-revolution. > >The second sequence of the communist hypothesis runs from 1917 to 1976: from >the Bolshevik Revolution to the end of the Cultural Revolution and the >militant upsurge throughout the world during the years 1966-75. It was >dominated by the question: how to [EMAIL PROTECTED] the Paris >Commune-against the armed reaction of the possessing classes; how to >organize the new power so as to protect it against the onslaught of its >enemies] was no longer a question of formulating and testing the >communist hypothesis, but of realizing it: what the 19th century had dreamt, >the 20th would accomplish. The obsession with victory, centred around >questions of organization, found its principal expression in the 'iron >discipline' of the communist party-the characteristic construction of the >second sequence of the hypothesis. The party effectively solved the question >inherited from the first sequence: the revolution prevailed, either through >insurrection or prolonged popular war, in Russia, China, Czechoslovakia, >Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, and succeeded in establishing a new order. >But the second sequence in turn created a further problem, which it could >not solve using [...] > >Full: http://www.newleftreview.org/YÙOX\XÛIY]ÏLÌ >H _______________________________________________ Marxism-Thaxis mailing list Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu To change your options or unsubscribe go to: http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis