The New Communism: Reflections at the End of Capitalism and the Need for Engaging Minor Sciences
Along with Alain Badiou and Antonio Negri, for Vattimo and Zabala the idea of communism, after being pulverized, exorcised, and largely forgotten in the wake of the Cold War, is having a come-back. Of course at the popular level of American political discourse, the word socialism is a curse-word, and communism cannot even be invoked in any serious way. So communism remains marginalized and relegated to European and American academic Leftists, but Vattimo and Zabala raise the question anew in extraordinarily fresh, important and original theoretical terms. This chapter engages with and expands upon Vattimo and Zabala’s analysis to consider the stakes of their intervention as well as reflect on the “return of the Real” in terms of an ecology that would constitute an absolute limit for capitalist growth. If capitalist growth is unsustainable in absolute terms, because it is based on indefinite increase of products, production and profits, then it can only survive in relative terms, by allocating more and more resources to fewer and fewer people and corporations and impoverishing more and more people. Put simply, capitalism has metastatized, and it will kill us if we do not develop and implement an alternative. And any alternative to capitalism would have to be broadly communistic, in Vattimo and Zabala’s terms.