A comment by Siddiq on my blog argues that I am off-base by suggesting there is no need whatsoever for a conscious revolutionary subject. I want to take a moment to respond and explain my apparent difference with value critique writers like Robert Kurz.
In contradiction to value critique theorists like Kurz, I assume the collapse of capitalism and emergence of communism are one and the same event. Disputing this opinion, the commenter writes,
“First hand experience, and historical precedent, leads me to agree with Kurz that there is no guarantee that capitalist collapse will lead to some sort of emancipation.”
His argument is based on his direct experience in Zimbabwe in the aftermath of its recent crisis, where he observed economic crisis led not to a post-capitalist order, but to
“grassroots capitalism, in which the entire population hustled to survive by any means PERMITTED, most of which involved entrepreneurship and trading.”
I take this to mean, in the aftermath of the crisis, people tried to reconstruct their lives on the basis of barter relations. This is not at all unusual; as the commenter points out, evidence of this sort of thing can be found in any number of countries hit by an economic catastrophe. I can personally attest to seeing just this sort of behavior in the aftermath of the Argentine crisis with my own eyes. So I can vouch for the general view expressed in the comment, if not to the specifics in the case of Zimbabwe.
So what is the takeaway from these sorts of experiences with economic crisis and their political impact?