This troublesome phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat” is a messy lump of several poorly defined concepts. To understand the word “dictatorship” as we do now – as the opposite of democracy, an authoritarian regime in which an individual or minority group exerts violent and absolute power – is an anachronistic projection which totally distorts Marx’s usage.
Social change is not made by noble heroes, even if they find themselves in the right place at the right time to take the credit. It is made by the commoners—by those who remain nameless and faceless in the legends, and in the political ideologies of Mark Lilla and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
A curious symptom of the resistance to theory on the Anglo-American left is a fixation on the Enlightenment. The striking paradox of this fixation is the anti-intellectual appropriation of a trend of European philosophy, which is credited with introducing the now inviolable standards of secularism, republicanism, rights, freedoms, and equality.
It remains to be seen what kind of politics can be built on the foundation of the notion of racial capitalism. To determine what organizational and practical activity can be derived from this analysis, we should turn to the comparison we have in front of us: the work of the communists of the early 20th century, who began with the now widely discredited and ridiculed Black Belt thesis.
The large crowd of demonstrators at San Francisco International Airport was diverse, a global array of nationalities, ages, and dispositions. They shouted loudly, against Trump and his Muslim ban, that refugees are welcome here.
Among other things, whiteness is a kind of solipsism. From right to left, whites consistently and successfully reroute every political discussion to their identity.
November 8, 2016 – we may remember this as the day that the liberal elite of the American coasts learned of a world outside its Facebook feed.
While a Trump presidency is not impossible, in this topsy-turvy election it has turned out to be foolish to make predictions. It seems fair, however, to ask a question that is being ignored or suppressed: if eight years of Bill Clinton gave us George W. Bush, and eight years of Obama gave us Trump, what would eight years of Hillary Clinton give us?
The first part of this essay sought to show how the development of the Marxist theory of the state was closely connected to the problems of revolutionary strategy, specifically in terms of the forms of working-class organization appropriate for developed democratic societies.
The debates of the European Left at the twilight of the classical workers’ movement still divide our contemporaries along rigid sectarian lines, resulting in spectacular eruptions of uncomprehending crosstalk.