Why I Am Not A Marxist
And, Why Revolution Is Now Both Justified, And Urgently Necessary
In terms of my baseline and immediate hopes for humanity, I think we would be patently foolish to allow republican constitutional democracy, national sovereignty, human rights and freedom, based on a respect for the individual, who is at all times alive with a divine spark, and who is endowed with the innate capacity for reason, creativity and love - however flawed and imperfect these concepts and systems may be - to be replaced by a globalist neo-feudal technocracy of banking elites and their political and technocratic minions, overseen by Davos, Wall Street, and the City of London bankers - which is what is happening now across the West. I want to make that clear from the start.
And further, when I call for a non-violent, grassroots democratic revolution, as I have, and I do, it is not to create some utopian society, which generally turns out to be a dystopian nightmare: it is a revolution to simply remove the banking elite and other transnational oligarchs from power, to restore the rightful power of the people, to the people, and to restore constitutional republican democracy and freedom. That is critical to bear in mind.
But, while roughly 30% of the people of the West are beginning to realize what is going on, and what is at stake, the great majority of the people are sleep-walking into a dystopia beyond their imaginings, and they have no idea of the value of what they are about to lose, and are losing, nor the horrors that are in store for them, if they remain asleep - which is to say, in denial, in deep dissociation from reality, and willfully ignorant. This is critical for us to understand now. It cannot be over-emphasized or stately strongly enough.
From the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia was under the spell and the bootheel of authoritarianism, and the West was the land of democracy and freedom. Ironically, the polarities have now reversed. The people of Russia have rejected authoritarianism, or so it seems, although some people now question it; but they have a very strong resistance to returning to anything remotely resembling the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the corporate take-over of the Western world has produced a rabidly anti-democratic, neo-feudal technocracy, which is now deeply authoritarian. We have become the Soviet Union, or are rapidly becoming so.
In the West, the business and the state have merged, which according to Mussolini, is the definition of fascism. Communist China is its mirror image. Red fascism, I call it. In both cases, the business elite and the state have merged: the only difference being, in the West, the business elite are in the driver’s seat, and dominate the state and the political elite; while in Communist China, the political elite and the state control or at least dominate the business elite. Both China and the West are now deeply authoritarian, and yes, they are the mirror image of one another. Increasingly, they are more alike than they are different.
Russia refuses both models. Russia, it seems, chooses freedom and independence, having lived through the horrors of authoritarianism enough, to finally learn the lesson, which the West and China have yet to learn.
Meanwhile, the Third World, the Majority World, or Global South, is looking at China and the West, and while they may be open to Chinese investment (because there are no strings attached, unlike the policies of the West), they are not keen to adopt the system or ideology of either China or the West, but seek an independent way ahead - and that is intelligent; that is wise; and that is good.
And it would be good to see the Non-Aligned Movement be reborn, and take on a much, much more active, and activist, role in the world, particularly with regards to solidarity, cooperation and mutual aid among nations that choose to be subordinated neither by China, nor the West.
And so, while the old notion, stemming from the Crusades, and long before, of a clash of civilizations - which is an idea that was re-popularized by Samuel Huntington, I believe his name was - is a dastardly parochial, arrogant and imperialist notion, historically; when taken in a more neutral way, has some relevance today. There is a clash of civilizations going on today. And the more civilized world is now the Third World, the Global South, or large parts of it, along with Russia - it is certainly not Communist China, and it is certainly not the neo-fascist West, which is now ruled by a cabal of bankers and technocrats, at Davos, Wall Street and the City of London.
In light of that brief sketch of the current state of our world, yes, I would adamantly choose, and endorse, and passionately promote, not only a multi-polar world, a world that respects the sovereignty of nation-states; but also, a world that truly respects liberty, equality and solidarity, republican constitutional democracy and universal human rights, over a world ruled by crypto-fascist bankers and corporate oligarchs in the West, or Communist party mandarins in China. That may not sound very revolutionary, but in a world that is rapidly closing down into a dark dystopia of authoritarian rule, I can assure you, it is. And it is a revolution we all need to get on board with, or else be slaves.
The changing tides and the fragility of the elites’ plan
The libertarians of the right, along with a few anarchists and libertarians on the left, were the first to speak out against the “new normal” of authoritarianism, which has been pushed down our throats under the pretext of an emergency. Now the greater majority of conservatives are also joining the ranks of those standing in defiance and resistance to the new authoritarian normal. This is happening internationally, by the way. And the left, which has been eerily silent, or else ominously and insanely cheer-leading for authoritarianism, is beginning to question the standard narrative, and the move towards what can only be honestly called fascism. The dam is breached. Awareness, I hope, will spread fast in the left: that whatever you may think of the virus, or the vaccine, is irrelevant: what matters, is whether you support freedom, or whether you support fascism. Once large segments of the left, and also the moderate right (the libertarians and conservatives), are openly and staunchly anti-authoritarian and ant-fascist, all that will be left of the support for the Davos oligarchs’ grand plan to convert the world into a fascist police state, will be the liberal centre. And the liberal centre is notoriously vacant, vacillating, and will almost always go with the crowd. When the tide begins to turn, it will become uncool, unfashionable, unhip, and unvirtuous, to be associated with any kind of support for fascism or authoritarianism, and the liberals will jump ship, and join the ranks of the real resistance. That day is coming soon, I pray. Until then, we keep flying the banner of freedom, and do not relent.
As for very long term views, or long term hopes for humanity, I'm an anarchist (libertarian socialist), believing, along with Thomas Jefferson and Henry David Thoreau, as well as Lao Tzu, that that government is best which governs the least. There is an important place for the nation-state to take an active role in nation-building, certainly, now and probably for decades to come. I am talking about long term trajectories here - “when men are ready for it”, as Thoreau put it so lucidly and so well, in his essay, On Civil Disobedience. But again, I must emphasize, when the people are ready for it, and not before: then, they can have a radically decentralized government.
For the moment, the urgent priority, and urgent necessity, is to reign in, and to dethrone, the neo-feudal, imperialist, Malthusian, genocidal, and literally neo-fascist corporate oligarchs, who have taken over the Western world, in some strange dystopian hybrid of Bolshevik/neo-Maoist/technocratic fascism, and who are disemboweling constitutional democracy, human rights and freedom, along with national sovereignty, and any hopes for human dignity, creativity, or the flourishing of the human spirit, before our very eyes.
First things first. Defeat the oligarchs. This is the over-riding priority of our time. If we fail at that, we will have failed at everything; and all our activism, our theories, our ideologies, our philosophies, our little clubs and cliques, and favoured political movements and parties, and our visions for a better world, will be little more than spit in the wind - or colourful autumn leaves, in the midst of a hurricane.
We must unseat the oligarchs, and defeat this new wave of fascism - which is a liberal fascism, by the way, which paints itself as “progressive”, “inclusive”, humanitarian, cosmopolitan, sustainable and green - or else we will have resigned ourselves to slavery, and to chains.
But onto the question of Marxism. We will return to the question of oligarchy vs freedom, soon enough; and to the question of revolution, which it now urges upon us, despite our natural human love of comfort, stability, and familiarity.
When the norm becomes, not only anti-human, but deeply pathological, then it is time to reject the norm. And when that norm is imposed by an increasingly authoritarian system, then it is time to abolish that system, as the Declaration of Independence so cogently and eloquently argued, and urged.
That time is now.
But let us pause a moment, to clarify some thoughts and reflections on political philosophy - if for no other reason, than these two: One, we must learn from the mistakes of the past, or be doomed to repeat them; and Two: we must find a way to unite the people - difficult, or even impossible as that may seem. I assure you, it is not. We can, we must, and so we will.
So let us clear away some debris, before we begin in earnest.
As to Marxism:
I am not a Marxist. I'm also not a Platonist or Aristotelian. But it would be foolish not to study Marx, Plato and Aristotle. We should read, discuss and reflect widely and deeply, or be forever chained to dogma and delusion.
I have a deep respect for Marx, and for Marxists, yet I find there are good reasons, for me, not to call myself a Marxist; even though I think that a study of Marx - as a sociologist, rather than as a political philosopher (he was brilliant at the former, but perhaps more than a bit naïve in regards to the latter) - is indispensable.
In short, Marx was excellent at analyzing the problem; he was terrible at proposing a solution.
I have no problem with the people of certain cities, towns, villages, counties or countries deciding democratically that they prefer socialism, and they want socialism - so long as it is democratic. If the people of Northern Europe prefer a mixed economy, with socialist elements such as universal health care, publicly funded pensions and education, and a social safety net, combined with a democratically regulated market economy, that is fine by me; and it certainly seems a far better model than either wild-West, deregulated, laissez-faire capitalism, or command and control authoritarianism, ie: Marxist-Leninism, pretending to be “socialism”.
I do have a problem when any group, government or nation becomes authoritarian, justifying its arrogance and its domination by saying it is for the benefit of the people. We tried authoritarianism and it doesn’t work. The example of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union should be proof enough. And not only does it not work, but authoritarianism creates far worse problems and far more human misery than it ameliorates or solves. The Taoists understood this 2,500 years ago, and it is time that we did too. The American Revolutionaries understood it, as well. But most people in the 21st century have forgotten the lessons of history, and that is not only a great tragedy - it is also extremely dangerous.
Let the people choose their own way of living. And let us not have only one way. What business is it of mine if the people of Texas want a libertarian-conservative democratic republic; or the people of Washington State want some form of neo-Maoist authoritarianism; or the people of Vermont, or even just one city in Vermont, want democratic socialism? That is their business. I don’t live there, so it is none of my business. If we value freedom, as we should, then we must also value the freedom, independence and self-determination of people everywhere - and that means, we must also value, or at least tolerate, diversity, as well as freedom.
In fact, the US and Canada are vast countries, the size of dozens of most countries on the planet, and moreover, they were originally established as confederations, in Canadian terminology, or as a federation of states, in American terms: why, therefore, should the central, federal government be the tyrant of any province or state which is a member of the union? Do we believe in freedom, or do we not?
Furthermore, can democracy truly be practiced on a scale so vast, or is it doomed to revert to oligarchy, which is feudal in nature, inevitably, if and when power becomes centralized in the federal government, which is simply far too removed from the people as to be unaccountable to them? I would say that it cannot. That means, we need to decentralize political power, and also economic power, if we wish to preserve either freedom or democracy.
That does not mean that the unions of confederation or federation which make up Canada and the United States must be severed. It merely means, that if freedom or democracy are to survive, the power must be decentralized to the local communities, primarily, as Jefferson intended, and urged, and secondarily, to the county, province or state after that, with the federal government having the least power of these four levels of government, not the greatest power, and certainly not the overwhelming power, as it does now.
Of course, the oligarchs at Davos want to centralize power even further, into a global government, whether or not it is is openly called that. That would be a tyranny worse than anything the world has ever seen. And it will be, if we do not stop it.
The same premise holds for the European Union. Over-centralization of power is the primary problem, or certainly one of the primary problems, all over the world. The same is true for Europe, and for the European Union. Dissolve it, or democratize it, and now - and if rescuing it is what the people of Europe want, then it must be decentralized in its powers, so that freedom and democracy can live in reality, and not merely in rhetoric and in school books.
To be clear, I have no problem with socialism, so long as it is steadfastly anti-authoritarian and democratic; although I do think a mixed economy, as they have in Northern Europe, with constitutional rights, freedom and democracy, of course, and a democratically regulated market, combined with socialist elements in a robust public sphere, such as public health care, educations, roads, parks, libraries, fire departments, police, transit, utilities (including water, sanitation, electricity, heat and internet access), child care and pensions, is a better and more attainable goal for the short term (outside of the US, of course, since American political culture is lost in space).
But I do have a problem with Marxism, primarily because it is ambivalent, at best, about power (a problem which still plagues the left, right and centre, and even libertarians, tragically - and yes, right-wing libertarianism, which is to say, anarcho-capitalism, is an utterly naïve contradiction in terms); and because of that ambiguity about power, Marxism - as with socialism broadly, and as with liberalism and conservatism as well - has a weakness for elitism and for oligarchy. And replacing one oligarchy with another is not liberation, of course, but merely a change of the outward form the oligarchy takes, which is therefore simply a changing of iron chains, for chains of a different colour. That’s what we call democracy. It is also what most people call revolution. We are deluding ourselves.
(As an aside, I want to make another important note here. Two, actually. One: yes, the ruling elite of the Western world are, by and large, and with few exceptions, deeply corrupted by big money, and by the corporate empire that now rules most of the world. Two: the masses are not innocent by-standers. We are either resisters of the new global corporate-fascist empire, or collaborators. And while most people would not admit it to themselves, most are collaborators. We see it in their actions, their non-actions, and in the polls. 50% of Americans support torture, for example! Yikes. Father please forgive them, for they know not what they do. But yes, it is time to drive the money changers from the temple, and with a whip, as Jesus did. And yes, to paraphrase Nietzsche, these asides are worth more than most people’s entire books, quite frankly. To quote Chomsky: I don’t believe in false modesty; I’m good at some things, and not good at others. That’s not arrogance, it’s just simple honesty.)
Chomsky summed it up perfectly when he said, “You’re either an aristocrat or a democrat.” You either believe in democracy, in the people governing themselves, or you believe in one form or another of elite rule. Marxism is dangerous because it is ambivalent about that central question. Changing the faces of the aristocracy, the monarchy or the ruling class, is not liberation. It is distraction at best; and a perpetuation or deepening of tyranny and injustice, more typically.
Tony Benn was right, by the way: the truly radical idea, and the more liberating and emancipatory idea, is not socialism, but democracy. For that reason, I would say that Thomas Paine was more of a revolutionary than Marx, and a better guide, as well.
Why am I not a Marxist?
Marx leaned toward elitism, or vanguardism, which is a form of elitism; and elitism always carries the seeds of authoritarianism, despite all good intentions or denials. Bakunin pointed this out, and Bakunin knew Marx better than anyone who lived after Marx, and better than most Marxists.
Dialectical materialism is a somewhat useful lens for historical understanding, but deeply flawed; and more importantly, and more fundamentally, both materialism & idealism are subtle forms of delusion. Reductionism is blindness. Interactionism, or a whole-systems view, is better. Non-dualism, a la, Nagarjuna & Spinoza, or Shankara, Lao Tzu, Meister Eckhart or Hildegard of Bingen, is better yet: most accurate, and best - if, that is, we wish to be awake, or to be free.
As to the first error, of a tendency towards elitism, and hence towards authoritarianism, many Marxists will screech, "That was Lenin's fault! Not Marx!" But I am inclined to agree with Bakunin. Bakunin knew Marx personally, was his close friend, and later led the debates in the First International against Marx's faction and views. I think Bakunin understood Marx better than virtually any living Marxist today, or since, because Bakunin was there. In any event, Marx was either a crypto-elitist/authoritarian, as Bakunin accused him of being, or he was dangerously naive in his leanings towards elitism. Either way, this is a serious weakness, at best.
These are not minor errors. These are errors of profound significance. They need to be reflected upon, and deeply. Brushing them off casually would be foolish in the extreme.
We could also add that Marxism - despite its being rabidly anti-religious, which is a weakness, and not a strength - early on, took on quasi-religious dimensions, becoming dogmatic, sectarian, and with its own priestly class. The founder is sacrosanct, and His word form the gospels and the canon; Lenin, Trotsky and Engels are the apostles; and heretics are excoriated, if not purged, or burned at the stake. But this would be unfair to single out Marx and to Marxism; because every zealot of every ideology does the same thing. The libertarians do it, the neoliberals and neoconservatives are rabid about it, neoclassical economics is founded upon it; post-modernists are strident in dogmatically asserting there can be no dogma, because all truth is a social construct (clearly post-modernism is an exhumation of the rotting corpse of ancient Sophism, strutted about in lipstick and heels, and is a facile pack of polysyllabic psychobabble, and self-contradictory, nihilistic rubbish).
Even some of the more strident anarchists fall into a commonplace form of medieval scholasticism, which is still, in the 21st century, the norm of our “civilization”, and not the exception. (How one can be an aggressively dogmatic anarchist, is hard to imagine, but it is frequently done!)
The teacher of one of my teachers, Lama Yeshe, was right when he said that the problem of the West is our addiction to ideology. The great scholar of world mythology, Joseph Campbell, said the same thing. He said that the West diverged from the East, roughly 5,000 years ago, when the West adopted the (delusional) outlook of dualism, and further, went into an over-emphasis on the written word, and an over-emphasis on doctrine, or ideology. We still suffer from the delusion of dualism, and the idolatry of ideology, to this day.
Fundamentalism is alive and well. And the secular fundamentalists are the worst, and the most dangerous, because, a) they are simply far more numerous than the religious fundamentalists, now; and b) they hold all the major positions of power.
Beware the ideologues. Ideology is simply another term for a body of ideas, or a philosophy. Philosophy, in that broad sense, is inescapably essential. But the hubris-filled worship of any pet ideology, is almost as dangerous as nihilism, which, paradoxically, also reigns supreme in the contemporary late-modern world. A little humility is a good thing. Let us not pretend to be omniscient, nor infallible.
We should remember that the Renaissance was born, not due to the patronage of rich bankers (the Medicis never produced a work of art or great literature, and moreover, they came to prominence two centuries after the Renaissance began, with, I would argue, the inspiration of St. Francis of Assisis); and the Renaissance was not even due to the genius of the Renaissance artists and philosophers. The Renaissance was born, due to an underlying attitude, or state of mind, which balanced a renewed spirit of confidence and dignity, with an equal measure of tolerance and humility. The new renaissance, which is emerging now across the world, will require the same spirit of confidence and humility in balance, if it is to ripen and come to fruition swiftly, as it must if we are to survive as a species.
Infantile factionalism, partisan zealotry, dogmatism and sectarianism, must be set aside, and overcome. Which means that hubris and ego must be overcome, or at least placed in check.
There are a number of people whose guidance I would take over that of Marx. Jesus, the Buddha and Lao Tzu top the list. I would also take John Ball or St. Francis as a guide over Marx.
(And yes, the cynics and the materialists will scoff and snear, for they are frankly lost and delusional. They believe they are scientific, but in reality their views are based in metaphysical assumption and conjecture, backed by a quasi-scientific medieval dogmatism. None of them have bothered to do any serious study or investigation into epistemology, self-evidently, and none of them have answered or even seriously addressed Hume’s radical challenge to the unfounded presumptions of induction, which leaves all of their views hanging in mid air, utterly unsupported by any trace of true empiricism. (See Nagarjuna, for the only serious answer to Hume.) Go back to first principles. Question everything. And question deeply. See Einstein, Schrodinger, Wheeler, Wallace and Bohm, as a start. As Shakespeare said, “There is more to heaven and earth than is contained in your philosophy.” See Martin Luther King Jr.’s statement, quoting John Donne: “No man is an island.” Plumb the depths of that remark, and we will begin to leave behind the shadows of the cave. Or as Einstein said, “The perception of a division between self and other is a kind of optical delusion.”)
Thomas Paine also comes to mind, as a superior political philosopher over Marx. I realize that republican liberal democracy is a tragically flawed and deeply imperfect system, or philosophy, but with some common sense applied, for example, by making human rights truly universal, as Thomas Paine urged, and taking Thomas Jefferson's advice to, “crush the moneyed aristocracy in its infancy”, it is a system that could work better in practice than Marxism has to date. The problem with liberal democracy, which quickly morphed into crony capitalism, then neoliberalism, which is corporatism, which, as FDR and Mussolini both said, is the proper definition of fascism, is that we failed to heed Jefferson’s warning - we failed, that is, to “crush the moneyed aristocracy in its infancy”, and for that reason, 200 years later, we now have a new global empire of neo-feudal, crypto-fascist corporatism. But as Thoreau said, it is never too late to correct our errors.
“I pray we shall crush the moneyed aristocracy in its infancy, for already it bids defiance to our laws and seeks a contest of strength with our democratic government.” - Thomas Jefferson, 1812
Again, it bears repeating: we should listen to Thoreau, as well as Thomas Jefferson, and realize now, that it is never too late to correct our errors.
Remember, comparing the theory of one system, with the actual experience of another, is dishonest, whether consciously so or not. Marxism promises a workers' paradise, and human liberation; but Bakunin predicted, decades before the Russian Revolution, that if Marx or his followers ever succeeded in their revolution, it would bring about a tyranny worse than that of the Tzar. So far, it looks like Bakunin was right.
I would also take Gandhi, Thoreau or Martin Luther King Jr. as guides over Marx. Or Bookchin, Chomsky, Emma Goldman, Michael Albert or Kropotkin.
Marx is not the only figure on the left. Nor is he the best thinker in terms of political philosophy. In fact, I would say that he was a brilliant sociologist, but a terrible philosopher, and an even worse political philosopher. His analysis of the problems of modern capitalist society is helpful, but his solution is dangerously naive, for the reason of its elitist tendencies.
Lord Acton was more sober-minded, when he said that, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Which is why the anarchist-socialists, or left-libertarians, make far more sense, in practice - grand Marxist rhetoric notwithstanding. They understand that power corrupts, just as Jefferson did; and for that reason, both Jefferson and the libertarian left (which was and is more consistent than the liberal democratic republicans) urged that power be decentralized, and kept very close to the people, where the people can more easily control it. Both recommended and urged horizontal networks or federations of shared power, and rejected pyramidal top-down power structures, which are inherently oligarchic in nature. Most of the founders of the United States, however, aside from Jefferson, were aristocratic in their views - they were elitists and oligarchs, like Marx - and so they rejected decentralization, and federated, local, town-hall democracy, as unacceptable.
The same thing, in essence, happened after the Bolshevik Revolution. Lenin immediately destroyed the workers' councils, which could have brought in a form of radical direct democracy. Oligarchs, aristocrats and elitists don't like such things. Marx was either naive; or else dangerously vague, and left the door wide open to tremendous abuse of power. Either way, he is not a reliable guide.
What would I offer in place of Marxism, as a political philosophy? I would offer what I have offered: which is, a synthesis of the non-dual view, sometimes called the perennial philosophy, with the spirit of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment: the values of dignity and confidence, in balance with tolerance and humility, the values of liberty, equality and solidarity, and the values of republican constitutional democracy, universal human rights and freedom, synthesized further, with a deeply green or ecological awareness.
In the short term, I would urge a non-violent democratic revolution, (Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. would certainly concur, and heartily so, and would wonder what we are waiting for) to restore republican constitutional democracy, freedom and human rights.
"The moneyed aristocracy" which Jefferson warned us about, 200 years ago, have finally taken over. And they want to take us back to feudalism, but with advanced science and technology, so that they can be god-kings, and we can once again be serfs. Only the delusional, the corrupt and the insane can be complacent now. Revolution is now not only legitimate, it is demanded, of any person of sound mind and good conscience.
As to the longer term, I think that is up to the people to decide. I would advocate for anarchist, libertarian socialism. But the people can decide for themselves, and should. It’s called democracy. And Churchill was right: it’s the worst system ever invented, except for all the rest.
Moreover, while we human beings have more in common than we have differences that divide us, we are simultaneously diverse - and that diversity is a strength, not a weakness. That means, we should shun uniformity, not demand it.
Not everyone eats the same food, so why, as the Dalai Lama has said, should they all have the same religion? And why, moreover, should every nation or community share the same standardized, homogeneous orthodoxy or ideological norms?
Diversity is good. Let the people decide. But first, the people need to reclaim their power. It is that, or it is a dark dystopia ahead.
More important than ideology now, is that we unite the people. The oligarchy is the real enemy. Divide and conquer is the principle strategy of all empires, including this last of empires, which is the empire of global, neo-feudal, technocratic corporatism. We must cease to allow ourselves to be divided.
The ruling global, neo-feudal, corporate oligarchy has proven itself to be genocidal, war-mongering, imperialist, predatory, parasitic, hubris-filled and egomaniacal, Machiavellian, neo-Malthusian, ecodical, rabidly anti-democratic, and now, literally neo-fascist, as well. Moreover, while painting themselves as inclusive and green, they clearly are incapable of stopping their relentless devouring of the people and the planet, along with the productive economy, the nations of the world, the remnants of freedom, democracy, sovereignty, constitutional rule and human rights, and are driving us, not merely into a new, deeply dystopian dark age, but towards extinction and collapse. When do the people collectively say, “Enough!”?
It is now, as Vandana Shiva said in the title of her recent book, a matter of, Oneness vs The 1%. Or as I expressed it in the title of my own recent book, an issue of, The People vs The Elite.
Unite the people.
Reclaim your power now.
Every empire is undone by hubris in the end.
This last of empires will fare no better.
J. Todd Ring,
October 23, 2021
Another essential note must be made here. I have said it before, but it bears repeating, because it is crucial for us to understand. The true leaders of the ecology movement are anti-authoritarian, anti-globalist, and anti-fascist. So is the real left, the thinking left. We DO have common ground. We MUST unite the people now, or we are doomed to neo-feudal, corporate-fascist technocracy.
My previous essays are on WordPress and Blogspot.
My books can be found on Barnes & Noble (and that other evil corporation, which should be renamed VoldemortCorp Incorporated).
Further notes from the underground:
Tony Benn gives a brilliantly lucid and powerful telling of the history and significance of democracy, the best I have seen actually, in his BBC Big Ideas documentary. It is definitely worth watching.
Also of profound importance for perspective is Murray Bookchin’s, The Ecology of Freedom, along with Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Rianne Eisler’s The Chalice & The Blade, Joanna Macy’s World As Lover, World As Self, Allan Wallace’s Choosing Reality, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World Revisited, Bertrand Russell’s Roads To Freedom, Chomsky’s Class Warfare, Year 501, Manufacturing Consent, and Necessary Illusions; Etienne de La Boite’s The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude, and Henry David Thoreau’s, Walden and On Civil Disobedience. To which I would add my own works, Enlightened Democracy and The People vs The Elite, as a synthesis and distillation of the best.
See also, Chomsky on libertarianism, neoliberalism, anarchism and socialism.
Allan Woods does a brilliant exposition here, of why philosophy is important, and indispensable. Again, I am not a Marxist, but I am also not a Platonist, nor an Aristotelian - and it would simply be foolish not to study Plato, Aristotle, or Marx. Read, discuss and reflect, widely and deeply, my friends.
Allan Woods on the History of Philosophy - on Spotify
Excellent talk here, also, linked below. (A very good podcast series, it seems.) But he fundamentally fails to grasp Hume's radical challenge to induction, which in turn radically challenges and undermines all "science", "empiricism" & Western philosophy. I'd say only Nagarjuna answers Hume, not Kant, Nietzsche, the existentialists, Popper, or Post-modernism.
How can we know anything? The ABCs of Marxist philosophy
This brief talk is also excellent, even if I don't agree with everything he has to say.
Morality and Class Society - The ABCs of Marxist Philosophy: