GUEST BLOG: Dave Brownz – THE FUTURE IS THE COMMUNE

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Dying capitalism is beset by contradictions. The dull compulsion of the hidden hand is not working. It is left naked and exposed. The increasing anarchy of the market in the age of imperialism is now compounded by the terminal crisis of overproduction. Capitalism has exhausted its historical mission, to create the embryo of socialism, and is now destroying nature, the material base of its own existence. Crises accumulate and overtake it threatening the future of humanity.

Marx’s metabolic rift foresaw the breakdown between nature and society. The working class as part of nature is the only force capable of making a revolution to restore the unity of nature and society. The ruling class is desperate to smash the revolution with fascism.

But who will resist this destruction? Only humans who are an integral part of nature as they once were before the onset of class society – that is the Commune. Marx in Grundrisse spoke of the commune as a society in which collective ownership land and labour ruled.

The original commune corresponds to what is now called the lineage mode of production in which matrilineage is the organising principle. Work and the product of work is allocated by ‘mother right’ among kinfolk according to their productive ability and reproductive need.

The overthrow of the ‘mother right’ created the first class divided society, the patriarchal mode of production, where men exploited women’s productive and reproductive labour as domestic slaves. But Marx and Engels did not acknowledge the existence of a distinct patriarchal mode, nor its survival embedded in the later tributary and capitalist modes.

Yet as an exploited and oppressed class confined to slavery, women fought against their defeat. Their resistance to patriarchy over 10,000 years is the historical thread that carries the life of the Commune through successive dominant modes as women’s class struggle for liberation.

This was true of the Commune of Paris 1871 when women played an active role in the insurrection against the reactionary capitalist patriarchy of France. It was also true of the Russian revolution of 1917 which laid the foundations for an international Commune only to have the promise of world revolution destroyed by global counter-revolution.

Today the essence of the Commune is kept alive in the growing struggle against capitalism’s drive to destroy the historical power of the proletariat to end rotten capitalism as the last class society to make way for the return of the Commune.

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Neoliberalism was the last chance for dying capitalism to restore profitable production. It failed to exploit workers sufficiently to make enough profit to avoid the onset of terminal crisis. The restoration of Russia and China as rampant capitalist rivals only prolongs the agony.

As capitalism decomposes, it exposes the rotting corpses of previous modes of production in its bowels. Slavery, serfdom and unfree wage labour return with all their reactionary cultural crap rising to the surface. Nationalism, racism and sexism eat away at the material gains of the class struggle since the 19th century, provoking the long overdue backlash as nature reacts to capital’s barbarism.

Marxists recognise the class war between labour and capital as the contradiction between nature reproducing itself, and capitalist society destroying nature. This contradiction is expressed as the class struggle for the socialist revolution to end capitalism, to return to nature and create the conditions for a post-capitalist future.

It was clear to the young Marx as a student of the scientific advances of the enlightenment, that capitalism was its own worst enemy and would end up as the anarchic, self-destructive mode today. The rise of the irrational, the cult of the individual, mired in the particularity of nation, race and gender, acts to destroy the secular, scientific, and universal truths of life in the material world.

The battle to defeat the Climate deniers and the Covid deniers illustrates perfectly how ignorance of science and reason, expressing itself as a cultural war, is really the class war between humanity, reproducing itself within nature, against capital’s destruction of nature.

This contradiction between labour and capital puts the working class on the side of nature. Humanity must restore itself as nature and return to its material roots to wage the class war. Our survival depends on winning this war, ending class society and building the international Commune.

Forward to socialist revolution and the International Commune!

Dave Brownz is TDBs guest Marxist blogger

11 COMMENTS

  1. The spectre is still haunting but not only Europe but the whole world. Marx who made himself famous with his definition of religion as the opiate of the masses succeeded in creation of a new religion – Marxism. After the spectacular fall of communism in the Soviet block people enticed and deceived by the historical materialism and political economy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels try hard to find some hints, a sentence here another sentence there to prove that Marx was de facto a prophetical environmentalist and a propagator of matriarchate in the form of feminism. They just ignore the gloomy reality that was and is evident in the communist/socialist countries with massive industrialisation without any regards to the nature and the unprecedented pollution that was all planned under the wings of Marx and Engels’ Kapital. They, too, seem to forget the horrible form of Commune life in Russia after the Revolution in 1917 that in accordance with Marx and Engels’ Manifesto abandoned the traditional family (what a freedom for women) resulting in the whole generation of Bezprizorniki.
    They also do not mind to lie to the working class and use them as the tool to achieve the power and prove that they are the only true prophets of the world, the same way as did Marx and Engels and Lenin who never ever worked hard in a factory or on the field (Marx and Engels livelihood originated in Engels’ fathers factory) in order that they will join the army of the greens under the baton of the richest people on the Earth.
    So, dear working class, go on, proletariat, unite under the baton of billionaires, committ ritual suicide cutting the use of cheap fossil fuels in order to chase the wind of the lower levels of CO2 and Methane. The best under the leadership of matriarchal figures who you cannot be sure if they have vaginas or penises. Good luck, you make China very happy.

    • The original commune based on mother right empowered women for millennia until it fell to the overthrow of ‘mother right’ by the patriarchy.
      The Paris Commune saw men and women together stand up for workers’ liberation before they were militarily executed en masse by the French and Prussian generals.
      The Soviet Commune abolished the bourgeois family and its patriarchal oppression of women from time immemorial but fell to the counter-revolution of imperialism and its agent Stalin which reinstated the patriarchal family to serve the bureaucracy.
      The Chinese commune never left the peasant commune as the CCP never empowered workers, especially women workers, to shape the future of the family.
      In each case the rights of women were aborted by men who usurped their labour, in both senses, to amass wealth in the patriarchal family in all societies including capitalism.
      The commune we need today will embody the rights of women as equal to men as the precondition for any social liberation struggle the releases us from class society and restores us to nature.

      • Hi, Dave.
        The concept of some original stage of development of the history of mankind that was characterized by matriarchate was not proved and is NOT held by most of the anthropologists today. It was promoted in the middle of the 19th century and Engels then applied it to the concept of the origin of class society with patriarchate and the origin of the private property and accordingly Engels and Marx held the view that the traditional family will be abandoned in classless societies. It did not happen, though there were some tendencies in the early USSR, as you have written.
        On the other hand anthropologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and doctors generally agree that the first three years of the life of any human are the most important and that in this time the decisive moment is if the child has the special and unique relationship with at least one person. The mere look at men and women will tell anyone that women are more able and prone to this role in spite of all gender neutral propaganda about pregnant people etc.
        And even more, all medical scientists together with social scientists and social workers say that there is a big different between the psyche of children growing up in traditional “patriarchal, bourgeois” families and those who grow up in broken families and single parent families or in institutional “collective” care. The family is important, just look around you, look at the statistics of children with poor achievments at schools, the statistics of prison inmates etc.
        Unlike you, I am a woman and I can tell you that the best thing that any society and any social order can do for women (and children) is that it will enable women to stay home and care full time about children till they go to school and even then work so that they will be home when the kids come home. Mind you, I know that there are many women who agree with me but there are also those who prefer their career, they should have the freedom of choice. The way to this is probably through technology and through higher wages for men.
        As for the restoring us to nature, sorry, it’s just an utopia. People are consumers, you cannot change their nature.

        • Of course, I did not mean that men should have higher wages and salaries than women, the point is that families should be able to live on one income regardless if by their choice the breadwinner is a man or a woman.

          Some other points about the alleged pro women “socialist” policies: one enabled women not to name the fathers of their children. How does it help women to transfer the burden of caring about their children on the shoulders of taxpayers? Then the education preparing the psyche of the girls so that they are thinking more about their jobs than about caring about their own children is just ill. I was working in a kitchen for a minimum wage here and one of my co-workers had two children, one only 6 months old and she preferred working there and pay all her wages for early child care. Does it make any sense? And finally our latest abortion law that enables women to kill their children up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Go and have a look at the foetus how it looks at that point, the child has all his/her senses developed, can hear the beat of the mother’s heart. Who is caring about the girls, future women, being killed this way?
          Women and men are equal, they should have the same rights, same salaries, wages etc. But look at them, they are different and not only outwardly but also inwardly, their brains operates a bit differently, they have other hormones, other emotions, other predispositions so why to pretend it is not so and put more burden on their shoulders by abandoning the traditional model of family?

          • Thank you for the link, but matrilineal does not mean matriarchal. Maybe it is more related to the fact that “mater semper certa, pater incertus est” (mother is always sure, father never).

  2. If USA is anything to go by I see the proletariat loudly leading the charge into the establishment of a fascist future, under capitalist corporate control. Of the classic class divisions, the proletariat have proved to be the easiest to manipulate.

  3. I think you’ll find the Bezprizorniki were a result of the civil war not family policy which was quickly changed from ‘free love’ to more bourgeoise values the largely bourgeoise bolsheviks were familiar with lets face it you couldn’t get more traditional straight laced than iosip vissarionovich could you?
    Strangely the CHEKA by a strange administrative quirk were in charge of setting up hundreds of orphanages that were ripe recruiting grounds for ‘the organs’ as the inmates had no family ties and owed everything to the state so made good little spies and executioners…but on the upside the world got FED cameras.

  4. The original commune based on mother right empowered women for millennia until it fell to the overthrow of ‘mother right’ by the patriarchy.
    The Paris Commune saw men and women together stand up for workers’ liberation before they were militarily executed en masse by the French and Prussian generals.
    The Soviet Commune abolished the bourgeois family and its patriarchal oppression of women from time immemorial but fell to the counter-revolution of imperialism and its agent Stalin which reinstated the patriarchal family to serve the bureaucracy.
    The Chinese commune never left the peasant commune as the CCP never empowered workers, especially women workers, to shape the future of the family.
    In each case the rights of women were aborted by men who usurped their labour, in both senses, to amass wealth in the patriarchal family in all societies including capitalism.
    The commune we need today will embody the rights of women as equal to men as the precondition for any social liberation struggle the releases us from class society and restores us to nature.

  5. The French upheld the goddess of reason in 1793 (?) and we know how badly that ended. While capitalism is failing the end of Daniel 2 tells us who sets up an everlasting kingdom.

  6. My Dad’s best mate from his Army days was a Māori from a small settlement up in the Far North, Te Kao. After their national service Dad went and visited the Far North with his mate. They rode an old tractor down to the estuary and from the beach threw their lines into the channel. They soon had a dozen huge snapper and it was time to chug the old tractor back home. On the way they stopped at people’s houses bartering fish for vegetables or an IOU agreement. When they got home, the whole village had fish and Dad and his mate had a good lunch and a cold beer. No need for money and accounting.

    A community of sharing without the greed motive is a rare thing. Setting aside the communist theories for a sec, we already have a model for a good society if we are humble enough to admit that our indigenous culture has some things to teach us. It will be different from Paris or Cuba, it will be a Kiwi way and it can work.

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