Polemic from the 1970s
- Comments on the Transitional Programme, First Published: Proletarian, No. 3 n.d. [1975?] , Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba , The article was written by Paul Cockshott, for security reasons the Journal did not give authors names at the time. It is a critique of the Transitional Programme written by Trotsky.
- The distinguishing features of Leninist Politics. Originally appeared in the journal Communist Formation.
Polemic from the 1990s
During this period I was active in the Workers Party of Scotland
- Against Nationalism ‘the falsest of all false paths’ De Leon.
- Against Republicanism A defence of radical democracy against the romance of the republic, by Paul Cockshott.
Ending Exploitation A defence of the idea of abolishing exploitation against Diane Elson’s proposals for merely mitigating it.
- Historical Materialism and the repudiation of subjectivism, Talk at an Open Polemic conference.
- Markets and the future of socialism Article that appeared in the WPS journal Partisan in 1992. This is the proof copy. Provides a discussion of the role of value in a socialist economy and its relationship to economic planning.
- Reform or revolution in Marxist Politics Looks at the circumstances in which reformist and revolutionary methods are applicable.
- Six theses on the communist movement Originally appeared in Open Polemic.
- The Socialist Mode of Production an article looking at the distinguishing features of the socialist mode of production and why the first socialist states lost the struggle with capitalism.( Updated July 2000)
Polemic from the 2000 to 2010
- Democracy without Politicians, Dave Zachariah, a defence of direct democracy.
- Ideas of Leadership and Democracy, A critique of the idea of leadership in revolutionary movements and how it relates to mass democracy.
- Marxism of the 21st Century An article originally published in German in Junge Welt in 2007. A call for the development of a new working class political economy.
Sten Ljunggren is worried both by our general proposals for direct democracy and by our advocacy of a system of central planning. This response is in five sections. The first puts the debate into the context of what we see as the key features of the communist mode of production. The second deals with the question of control theory, and replies to Ljunggren’s doubts about the use of computer models in planning. The third section puts forward our critique of market socialism and the fourth response to Ljunggren’s argument that a planning system cannot be as flexible as the market since it supposedly cannot replicate the horizontal links between enterprises found in market systems. The final section points out the differences between our conceptions and the planning mechanisms in the former Soviet Union, responding to Ljunggren’s claim that there is not much new in our economic ideas.
- Reply to Conrad, Rogers and Macnair a response by Paul Cockshott to criticisms leveled of his position by various CPGB authors.
- Review of Mike Macnairs book Revolutionary Strategy, A critical assessment of the book.
Polemic after 2010
Many of these are reproduced from my blog at paulcockshott.wordpress.com but in downloadable pdf form.
Big Data and Super-Computers: foundations of Cyber Communism, a blog post based on a talk I gave in Shanghai.
Bitcoin is not what socialism needs, a polemic against bitcoin joint with P. Dapprich.
- Choose the future, choose socialism, an article comparing capitalism to socialism.
- Class and the LGBT lobby, an article arguing that the relatively economically advantaged position of gay men is something that should be noted when assessing the political programmes of gay lobby groups.
- Critique of the ‘social construction of sex‘, a short article against Freya Brown. The social construction of sex which had been promoting an extreme version of the Butler dogma.
Equivocation in the face of black reaction, Analysis of the Charlie Hebdo atrocity and the rise of armed Islamism in the light of the political economy of the Gulf Monarchies.
Gender or Sex-stereotypes: A Critique of Judith Butler, joint paper with Kim Cortes critiquing the postmodern philosopher Butler from a Marxist standpoint.
Around the Scottish Referendum
- Pre Referendum Notes amended 17 sept 2014
Examines the risks and advantages of different currency options post-referendum.
This is a review of a proposal raised by the New Economics Foundation for the establishment of digital currency to run in parallel with Sterling in Scotland. I would characterise the proposal as a form of utopian capitalism. I will argue that the proposal has several flaws, and should be assessed in a sober and realistic fashion.
- Comments on insecurities in the referendum vote Analysis of where the Scottish referendum may have had openings for a buse. The outcome of the Scottish independence referendum was bound to disappoint many voters. Even so, there is something unusual and unsettling about the level of discontent that warrants consideration. There have been thousands of complaints to the electoral commission and an e-petition has been posted. This cannot be ignored.
Polemic post Brexit
- Should we support the Launch the Lifeboat Slogan, article against support for the SNP position on Brexit.
Response to Garry Maclachlan, a critique of reflex anti-Stalinism on the left.