Socialist Stumbling-Blocks

About: The Renewal of the Social Organism (Newspaper Article 8)

Ideas which take account of the realities that gave rise to the demands now agitating humanity, and are in harmony with the conditions under which it is possible for men to live together culturally, politically and economically " such ideas are drowned out by the clamor of others that are remote from life in both regards. People who long for something other than the traditional forms of life, or who have in fact already been torn out of these older forms by events, are people who until now have stood at such a remove from the forces that brought these circumstances to the surface of history that they lack any insight whatever into how they act and what they signify. Within the mass of the working classes, there is a dull consciousness that demands a change in their form of life, which they see as a result of capitalist forces dominating the economy. Yet the manner of their participation in economic life hitherto has not made them aware of the way these forces operate. Thus they are unable to conceive any fruitful way of transforming these forces. The intellectual leaders and agitators of the proletarian masses are blinded by utopian ideas and theories which derive from a social science still based on the old economic concepts that so urgently need changing. These agitators have not even the faintest idea that their notions about politics, economics and cultural life are in no way different from the “bourgeois notions” they are fighting, and that at bottom all they are striving for is to see the old notions realized by a new group. However, nothing really new ever comes about when different people do the same old thing in a slightly different way.

One of these “old ideas” is the attempt to control economics by political and legal means. It is an “old idea” because it has brought a large part of humanity into an untenable position, as the catastrophe of World War I has shown. The new idea that must replace this old one is to liberate the administration of the economy from any kind of interference by political or national power, and to conduct the management of the economy along lines that are based entirely on economic principles and economic interests.

    If you remove the reference to proletarian & WW-I you could probably think this was written a few days ago. You might also want to substitute for WW-I the next few wars like WW-II, Korea, Viet Nam, Gulf War I & II , Afganistan & next WW-III & IV.

The proletariat (from Latin proles, "offspring") is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is proletarian. Originally it was identified as those people who had no wealth other than their sons. The term was initially used in a derogatory sense, until Karl Marx used it as a sociological term to refer to the working class.



  1. socialism
  2. threefold


Mark de LA says
Read the entire short article. It points out the nature of some of the problems, viz:
It is a question of free social coordination between the various complexes of production and consumption, and not one of centralized control according to political policies. The point is to promote the economic initiatives of the workers through such an association, not to submit them to the tutelage of a bureaucratic hierarchy.
... read labor unions for Workers' Councils.

Mark de LA says
Suprisingly enough, RS is arguing for practical results rather than theoretical social changes. You might say he is a pragmatist without the the philosophical & political baggage. How to get from where we are now to practical things that work & are in a dynamic, sustainable balance is the big question. Those currently working on the economy are grasping straws & applying fixes that have failed in the past.  They are using theory instead of practical methods.
One thing I would do is call together a congress of people who produce goods & services, one representative for each guild such as a miner, mechanic, etc... & then see how they negotiate with eachother for the values of their work. One would have to remove the political groups such as labor unions & managers from participation.

Mark de LA says
The tone for the above suggestion has to be set in the context of cooperation rather than adversarial relations such as management-labor to work.

Mark de LA says
This website is an interesting summary of some of the ideas put forth by RS on the threefold commonwealth.

Mark de LA says
..& just for amusement the following P.1573 describes our current condition. 

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