Writer’s note: this is purely speculation, based on accurate projections. Take it with a grain of salt, suspend your disbelief if you want, and have fun reading it. As someone that enjoys writing science-fiction, I had a great deal of fun in writing this and I don’t want this to come across as a doomsday prophecy. For all the four people out there reading this, enjoy!
In the prior article, called World 3, we talked about the idea that industrial society may very well collapse by 2040. Due to the fact that most easily accessible energy reserves have already been depleted, with most fossil fuel industries requiring billions in subsidies to develop the infrastructure to extract oil and gas, we are assuming that a society in which industrial society has collapsed will not have access to these resources. It may very well take decades or centuries of coordination and concerted effort to create the complicated systems to even capture oil and natural gas again, should industrial society collapse. It may very well be that the machines available to us today, that enable us to do these things, won’t be able to be replicated or fixed in the future. Due to the enormous costs in labor and material to go about these projects, even at our stage of technological development, it may be nigh impossible in the future. In this article, the feudal environment we refer to is one where pollution has destabilized the climate, much of the biomatter in the biosphere that we can consume has been depleted, and humans have a dwindling supply of industrial-era technology and industrial-era scientific knowledge. Marxism, and its associated philosophies that are centered around proletarians, a class born from the industrial era, would be greatly challenged in adapting here.
In this article, we will talk about ways in which dialectical materialism could survive in neo-feudal times. DMSG assumes here that dialectical materialism is threatened by the collapse of industrial civilization, due to its following being more dependent on industrial society’s safety nets than most other groups (42% percent of people on the socialism subreddit are unemployed). In addition to this, due to the fact that communism and scientific socialism were designed for post-scarcity and industrial eras, we feel that the philosophy would be at risk of losing relevance in a world where technology is actively regressing. Because industrial-scale surpluses from advanced means of production sustain most of the systems we have today, the complex systems that socialism requires to function would be far harder to sustain in neo-feudal times. More people would need to be generalists, and a system that requires multitudes of specialized bureaucrats would be more inefficient than its competitors in a more simplified economy. Because of this, DMSG pitches forth two different solutions:
- Dialectical Materialism devotees reform the philosophy into an organized religion, with a decentralized chain of command, that focuses on surviving, retaining knowledge, and trying to rebuild industrial society. This solution requires less people and would resemble Judaism in that beneficial knowledge was passed down to kin, relating to things like food preparation, how to build intermediate technologies, and so on. This scenario could potentially start with just one family, as seen in the success of Abraham’s family in passing down their customs and beliefs. This scenario will be referred to as “Judeo-Bolshevism” for humor’s sake.
- Dialectical Materialism devotees partially recreate the government and economy of the Incan Empire, engaging in a more primitive form of socialism that would provide resources and stability for people. This solution requires more people already onboard, a stable climate for agriculture, as well as more resources and territory. In this scenario, over time industrial civilization could be rebuilt and with a secular understanding of the universe around them, this society would be more levelheaded and practical than its rivals. This scenario will be referred to as “Dialectical Incans.”
In the first scenario, should agriculture prove too tough in a depleted environment, and people persist as hunter-gatherers, the chances of dialectical materialism surviving are low. This is because we don’t have much knowledge of the prehistoric beliefs that hunter-gatherer communities held, primarily because their beliefs evolved over time as circumstances changed. With such a needless amount of information imported from an Industrial Era philosophy, the descendants of Dialectical Materialists would probably forget all of it over time just as we forgot prehistoric beliefs, because there is less utility in it at their stage of civilization. The information contained within the sentence, “Sky-God is happy today, so he’ll bless us with rain,” sounds as ridiculous to you as the sentence, “the means of production will finally be advanced enough for society to become post-scarcity,” sounds to hunter-gatherers. When the means of production are reduced to arrowheads and there’s no class conflict beyond the meatheads of the tribe bonking each other on the head to establish authority, Marxist theory loses importance. Scientific knowledge of the dialectical materialists that’s applicable to hunter-gatherer lifestyles may persist faintly, in the form of shamans predicting the weather through secular but primitive means or medicine men using hand soap made out of animal fat. to sterilize things. Based on the track record of hominid species so far, being a family that is down to its last member, and the very low populations of hunter-gatherer hominids throughout pre-history, it is likely that humanity would go extinct eventually living like that in a depleted environment. In regard to the second scenario’s chances of faring in such an impoverished environment, it’s pointless to talk about because all genuine civilizations need some degree of agriculture.
Should modern farming be tenable, Scenario 1’s Judeo-Bolshevism would be excellent One of the interesting things to take into account is the intermediate technology movement, which seeks to provide productive tools made very cheaply out of local materials and provides people in poorer countries with amenities that they could never afford otherwise. Because of the fact that intermediate technology is based on complex functions being completed with more simple materials, in a neo-feudal society where mass production industries have ceased to function, those who know how to build intermediate technologies would become invaluable to the communities they were part of. Because of this, should Judeo-Bolshevism be pursued where Dialectical Materialism was passed on in the form of an ethnoreligion, where it was passed down from one person to another, if instructions and teachings for how to create intermediate technology were passed down as well, that would secure a prosperous life for future dialectical materialists. If families passed on this knowledge through the generations, Dialectical Materialists could operate a system akin to Guild Socialism, where they provided neo-feudal societies with more resources than they could’ve come up with otherwise in exchange for more wealth. If this were to happen, where society came to be dominated by socialist guilds, dialectical materialists could eventually pivot society towards industrialization again in time, bypassing the problems that we’ve encountered this time around with hindsight that we never had. In this scenario, it wouldn’t be bad necessarily if in time the wealth accrued by the guilds was socialized by an overarching religious organization, akin to the catholic church, in order to steer society back towards modernity.
Because of the success of Judaism in surviving so long, despite the odds against it, Scenario 1 is not unrealistic or impractical at all in mimicking the structures and traditions of Judaism. Because of the fact that we’ve seen faiths across the world specialize in different roles in society, establishing a guild socialism based on Judeo-Bolshevism would help society survive in the long run. On another note, because of the great advances made by the Catholic Church in developing and promoting scholasticism throughout Europe, a belief system that eventually centralized itself to better allocate it’s resources like the Catholic Church did would be tremendously useful. In addition to that, the bureaucracy of the Catholic Church has shown itself time again and again to be tremendously perceptive and intelligent, because it affords scholars the ability to study things ranging from faith to fair wages to macroeconomics their entire lives. If Scenario 1 were to lead to guild socialism, that lead to a religion organizing itself in a fashion akin to the Catholic Church, society would eventually resemble a socialist theocracy where dialectical materialism reigned supreme. The beauty about faith and economics, in Judeo-Bolshevism’s case, is that societies across the world would want Judeo-Bolsheviks to come and supply them with intermediate technologies and would be forced to tolerate their faith as a matter of conditions. On the topic of Judeo-Bolshevism’s faith, the trials and ordeals of industrial-era forms of socialism would be canonized and learned about, to understand where things went wrong and where things could be improved. While the tenets and logic behind dialectical materialism would be talked about, we’d also incorporate history into this faith in order to ensure that the troubles of our past and present wouldn’t necessarily be replicated again.
Conversion, being an alienating thing that would destabilize the monopoly over the trades that the dialectical materialist guilds held, wouldn’t be forced out of simple class interests alone. In time, as society redeveloped itself, the central authority of Judeo-Bolshevism could begin starting up more trade apprenticeships, to fill in new niches that needed to be filled, in order to always keep itself relevant to society. As society left the agricultural phase, as more and more peasants became proletarians out of necessity, joining Judeo-Bolshevism would become a sound economic choice in securing better economic standing. for people. Unlike previous iterations of socialism, forced on people at gunpoint or by ballot box, this would be a socialism where people joined it voluntarily. Unlike the churches of the past, with their flocks converting to atheism out of a lack of belief, I’m not sure that Judeo-Bolshevism would ever have that problem because it’s so grounded in reality to begin with. It doesn’t take an extraordinary mind to doubt the divinity of Jesus, but it does take an extraordinary mind to doubt the real issues of class, when you live in a neo-feudal society where you don’t have the rights that you’d otherwise have in a liberal democracy. Judeo-Bolshevism could very well wind up skipping a lot of problems that other religious organizations have faced throughout history.
In Scenario 1, should there be agriculture, Judeo-Bolshevism has a good chance of actually succeeding in keeping dialectical materialism alive through the Dark Ages of Post-Industrial Earth, in expanding its reach beyond the confines of academia and disappointed parents’ basements, and helping in getting us closer to achieving post-scarcity once again. The fact that dialectical materialists in this future would have the luxury of hindsight, to understand what to do when different technological and industrial milestones were reached, is invaluable. We’d have a second chance at implementing socialism and ignoring the class interests of guild-members In Scenario 1, we establish a fair and equitable socialism built through economic incentives, allowing a socialist society to emerge with its hands clean, without a shameful past, of never needing totalitarianism, and with the luxury of not having to hide or cover anything up. A society built on rationality, faith in the pursuit of science, and other lofty materialist ideals, where guilds came to dominate the entire economy, under which everything was coordinated by a materialist theocracy, would be great to live in well before post-scarcity. Regardless of the reception to this idea, I will probably look at how to incorporate Judeo-Bolshevism into my own future family, as having been raised in a Jewish family, I understand the benefits that come with a religion that’s passed down in such a manner. As a passionate believer in dialectical materialism, it makes no sense why I wouldn’t want to secure its existence and promote it in future generations. Not sure how I’d ever convince an attractive and sane girl to go along with that just yet, but that’s besides the point; onwards to Scenario 2!
Scenario 2, otherwise referred to as Dialectical Incans, is an interesting scenario because establishing an Incan Empire-replica based on dialectical materialism would be very interesting. The Incan Empire was a success story, and if it hadn’t been for the conquistadors blessing the New World with rapid modernization, might’ve created not only a remarkable civilization but something on par with the Roman Empire in the New World. The Incan Empire, arising from a such a materially poor region, practiced collectivism on a scale that no civilization previously had ever done. The Incans operated in a moneyless society, where the only use for gold was in international trade, where citizens were guaranteed food and shelter in return for work, and where educational systems allowed for a vast number of skilled workers. The Incan Empire, if it had endured longer, would’ve been an incredible success story. If Dialectical Materialists were to have the resources and numbers to start their own society, using the Incan system would be very conducive to preserving an understanding of dialectical materialism, fostering a socialist culture, and begin reconstructing industrial society. If we could reconstruct the leadership system to be run by an alternative that didn’t rely on royalty, that was led by the representatives of the various labor groups throughout society, we’d have a working model of state socialism that could survive in neo-feudal times.
The problem here is in the fact that as of right now, we don’t have very many suitable people to select from in the West for such a task as seen in Scenario 2’s “Dialectical Incans.” Truth be told, the society we live in has softened and pampered so many in the socialist camp that they lack any tangible skillsets that could be useful in neo-feudal times. Chances are that by the time civilization collapses, that won’t have changed much at all. There is one possibility, however, in that in several towns through Central and South America, indigenous forms of government have been implemented to root out the corruption inherent in the moneyed systems of Western governance. It’s not an organized movement, and most of the time these towns have such a tough time dealing with the cartels that their useless government just becomes the one problem they can fix in their lives, and in doing so, these townsfolk “return to tradition” quite literally. If Dialectical Materialists were to collaborate with people native to the areas that the Incans dominated, promoting the same kind of “return to tradition” movement in countries that have seen civil war, corruption, and cartels disrupt domestic life for decades, it wouldn’t be a tough sell. Unlike Western socialists, most of who for all intents and purposes are just aspiring dictators in shoddy disguises, conservatives in general are working people that just want the best for themselves and their nation. Because “returning to tradition” for some of these working people in South America constitutes returning to a form of state socialism that gave their ancestors so many benefits and luxuries, it’s not out of the question that DMSG could leverage its funding in the Developed World to kickstart movements in former Incan territories to stir up a nationalist class consciousness, that in essence would resemble something like Strasserism.
Both scenarios are “out there” but they aren’t totally unrealistic, and in creating these scenarios, it allows people to think about these problems as well, offering up their own plans or perhaps their own critiques. Regardless, this speculation isn’t wasted energy. By 2050, the Earth will only have a quarter of the arable land it had in 1960, with three times the population. Because countries retain their competitiveness of the global market by skirting environmental regulations, so far only post-industrial nations that have simply offshored their pollution can reasonably be “green” right now. The truth is that it’s pretty unrealistic to assume that we will reach post-scarcity with a population as high as ours is today, because the demands put on the environment to not only sustain ourselves but give ourselves the post-scarcity prosperity we dream of is impossible on a finite planet. Space exploration won’t alleviate these concerns, largely because it’s not ever going to be cost-effective within our lifetime. Colonies on other planets are also out of the question, because they will never be economically viable at our stage of development either. When we think about Earth Escapism, the idea that we can jump planets or live in Outer Space, we fail to consider the fact that Antartica, much like space today, is only inhabited by scientists because it isn’t economically viable to put anyone else out there. We’re stuck on a planet, populated by too many billions of people, and the simple truth of the matter was that Marx was wrong. Post-scarcity isn’t inevitable in liberal capitalism, because our society has cannibalized our environment in the process. We might have to give it another go.