For a Kinder, Gentler Society
The Neo Communist Manifesto
  • Filip Spagnoli
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The Neo Communist Manifesto .
Sound Bite

Does communism, against all odds, have something useful to contribute to the pressing debate over economic strength, societal well being, and humanity versus the corporation? There are some elements of communist theory that deserve to be rescued from the proverbial dustbin, and that is the purpose of this book. This, however, requires a substantial rethinking of communism, a drafting of a kind of neo-communism from which everything that is impossible and/or undesirable is deleted.

This book differs from other books on communism, such as The Passing of an Illusion by Furet, or The Black Book of Communism by Courtois et al., in that it is not a historical account of the the communist experience in some parts of the world. This book examines the original theory and worldview presented by and finds interesting clues to how we might tackle some of the problems that are still inherent in today’s capitalist mode of production and work.


About the Author

Filip Spagnoli obtained his PhD at the University of Brussels. He has written numerous OpEd articles in leading Belgian newspapers, specialized articles in philosophical periodicals, and two books through Cambridge Scholars Press and two through Algora Publishing.

Currently employed by the research  and statistics directorate of the Belgian Central Bank, Spagnoli is a regular guest speaker at conferences and universities and is a participant in European Commission study visits to Eastern European countries with the aim of delivering statistical expertise and helping these countries to achieve membership of the European Union.

About the Book

The all-out rejection of communist states and communist theory was an example of intellectual laziness. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the USSR, the West's rejection of all that smacked of socialism or communism was...

The all-out rejection of communist states and communist theory was an example of intellectual laziness. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the USSR, the West's rejection of all that smacked of socialism or communism was bolstered all the more, but that rejection was already close to complete at the time when the abuses of these states first became known.

However, if we begin by developing a fair and complete description of the worldview of communism, one that would have allowed Marx and most other communists to recognize themselves, we might actually conclude that they were onto something. No grand theory looks quite as good in practice as it does on paper, but an honest appraisal sees elements here that would help society today.

The descriptive part is followed by a chapter in which the author evaluates the theory in the light of recent historical developments and current needs. What has to be rejected and what continues to be useful or even necessary? The result of such an analysis would constitute the core of a new, purified communist manifesto.

This book seeks to set the record straight as to what communism means, what it was meant to mean, and what it could mean. The author proposes we give it some fresh thought in the context of economies smashed by the invisible hand of the market, and explores how a "neo-communism" would compare to the winner-take-all capitalism that is eating the globe today.

It all adds up to a thoughtful, precise, and provocative read.


Excerpt

"Communism, it appears, is a highly complex, contradictory and nuanced system of thought, full of things which can still enlighten and help us today, but at the same time marred by shortcomings that can and did have dangerous political consequences. Therefore, a simplistic approach won’t do. Outright rejection or adoption isn’t possible. The theory has to be modified in such a way that we can reject the errors and excesses and at the same time keep the insights. Such a purified version...

"Communism, it appears, is a highly complex, contradictory and nuanced system of thought, full of things which can still enlighten and help us today, but at the same time marred by shortcomings that can and did have dangerous political consequences. Therefore, a simplistic approach won’t do. Outright rejection or adoption isn’t possible. The theory has to be modified in such a way that we can reject the errors and excesses and at the same time keep the insights. Such a purified version will allow us to rescue communism from the dustbin of history...."

"Rather than focusing on the macro level and working towards a New Society, communism should focus on the area where it is best, namely work and productive activity. It is there that communism has the most interesting things to say, and capitalism has the weakest defense.

"It is not unreasonable to claim that you are free when you consider your life a work of art, when you constantly try to improve yourself, when you develop your possibilities, when you work on yourself, when you enrich your life and when you try to become what you are potentially. When you can do what you want, unhindered by anyone or anything, you are free in a certain sense of the word, but when you haven’t developed yourself and your possibilities, the range of choice for your actions is limited, and hence your freedom is limited, even if no one actually limits your choices. You have limited them yourself because of your lack of self-development."



Pages 200
Year: 2009
BISAC: POL005000 POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Communism & Socialism
BISAC: POL013000 POLITICAL SCIENCE / Labor & Industrial Relations
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-735-9
Price: USD 19.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-736-6
Price: USD 25.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-737-3
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