Reply to Philomath

Tiencienwey (Tianjin [‘Heaven’s Ferry']), n.d., Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677)

Tiencienwey (Tianjin [‘Heaven’s Ferry’]), n.d., Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677)

Hi Philomath,

No, I haven’t read Fukuyama’s Political Order and Political Decay.

China is succeeding where the Soviet Union failed.

This makes sense because the first successful socialist revolution, opposed by the ‘Whites’ and invading capitalist nations, was in the Soviet Union.

Lessons, and extremely costly lessons, in both states, had to be learnt first.

Capitalist ideology holds these lessons up as proof that socialism could never work, and of its ‘evils’ (hence, to those who dare to dream, to think of and to want something better, ‘capitalism is your best – and only – option’).

But they are lessons, just as the first and second world wars (and the many other wars), the Great Depression and global warming were and are lessons – that this will always be what you must expect under capitalism, as reflections of its driving motive of profit and its unpreventable crises.

Clockwise from top: Jinwan Square, Tianjin Financial Centre and Hai River, Xikai Church, Panorama of downtown Tianjin, Tianjin Railroad Station, Tianjin Eye

Clockwise from top: Jinwan Square, Tianjin Financial Centre and Hai River, Xikai Church, Panorama of downtown Tianjin, Tianjin Railroad Station, Tianjin Eye

The Chinese have learnt that the motive for profit, which is the basis in consciousness of capitalism, must be incorporated within socialism – i.e. on a socialist base.

Over time, it is entirely reasonable that this profit motive can be modified (i.e. re-oriented from the individual to the society – in other words better utilised for the society).

Socialism, which, even more than capitalism, can only fully function internationally, is, as can be seen in China, very much a work in progress.

As China continues to develop, the capitalist nations will be forced by economic imperative, as Engels recognised in 1894, to follow.

Best wishes, Phil


Images: Top/bottom

Reply to Anand – capitalism, socialism, mysticism and materialism


Hi Anand,

thank you for your interest.

The causes for the collapse of the Soviet Union are obviously multiple and complex but they include the fact that the Soviet Union was the first socialist state (which the capitalists will never forgive Russia for, as can be seen in their ongoing hostility to Russia), that, impoverished, it was surrounded from the outset by a hostile and invading West, that the arms race was a drain it could not maintain and, in my view, it was the price paid for ‘overleaping’ the bourgeois stage of development (the Chinese have learnt from this).

But again, fundamentally it is not a matter of what people like or don’t like, it is the working of objective reality and its necessity, and of understanding this.

That a system we know as ‘capitalism’ grew from another system we know as ‘feudalism’ was necessary, as the productive forces developed. Likewise, and for the same reason, capitalism will be replaced by another known as ‘socialism.’

Invasion, drone technology, black ops, psy ops and internet monitoring etc. can delay this as long as possible (again, that is the working of objective reality), but nothing can stop it. Consciousness is secondary to/the product of objective reality.

On your second point, the dominant mystical theory in the West (Neoplatonism) is a theory of knowledge and that theory, having been turned by Marx from ‘standing on its head’ to its material feet became the theory of knowledge of dialectical materialism.

At a time when there has been so much disillusion with Marxism and the ‘possibility’ of socialism (a mainly manufactured disillusion), this whole current needs to be reconsidered because after Marx, it is the epistemology of the future, because of the immense and ongoing contribution of mysticism to all aspects of culture which should be acknowledged and discussed openly, not denied and treated like pornography as academic philosophers do to it, and because by examining both its potential and shortfalls (particularly its teleology – one reason I am not a Marxist) embodied in Marxist theory, the theory now known as dialectical materialism can be further developed.

My blog is to argue for the living significance of mysticism in the West, for its relationship with materialism and for the entirety of that current’s reconsideration because of its importance.

Best regards,




Art and social life: the Russian Revolution and the creative power of idealism 16

Georgy Vychegzhanin, plate with the monogram 'RSFSR.' 1921

Georgy Vychegzhanin, plate with the monogram ‘RSFSR.’ 1921

Sergei Chekhonin, plate with the emblem of the RSFSR. 1921

Sergei Chekhonin, plate with the emblem of the RSFSR. 1921

Bazilka Radonič, 'The New Government.' Plate. 1921

Bazilka Radonič, ‘The New Government.’ Plate. 1921

Alexandra Shchekatikhina-Pototskaya, 'Bell Ringer.' Dish. 1921

Alexandra Shchekatikhina-Pototskaya, ‘Bell Ringer.’ Dish. 1921

Sergei Chekhonin, 'Coral Ribbon.' Plate. 1919

Sergei Chekhonin, ‘Coral Ribbon.’ Plate. 1919

Source: Art of the October Revolution, Compiler, Mikhail Guerman, Trans., W.Freeman, D.Saunders, C.Binns, Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad, 1986