Another element I’m liking in Nihilist Communism is the statement that being working class is not an identity, it’s not a cultural thing, and that there isn’t anything necessarily virtuous in being working class.
That’s something that has marked a lot of leftist and social justice analysis, something I’ve brought up before but the association of ‘oppression’ as a concept with ‘virtuousness’ as a concept both obfuscates a lot of aspects of oppression (for instance in creating the moral desire to be oppressed, hence people either donning working class clothes or trying to analytically ‘edge into’ oppressed spaces by arguing that they, themselves, are oppressed), or by engaging in guilt rhetoric or by finding some contrarian point (by casting the oppressed as, themselves, being inherently oppressive; leaving the ‘normal’ ‘middle class’ analyst as the most clearly Good person, see the way northern liberals talk about the Southern working class, or the way white liberals construct PoC as inherently homophobic).
Certainly there’s a colonizers mentality that comes with occupying an oppressive position, but we shouldn’t get into abolishing oppression because the oppressed are better / more deserving people, we should be trying to abolish oppression because it destroys people’s lives, whether those people are virtuous or saintly. The association of Oppressed / Revolutionary (that is, being of the revolutionary class) with ‘goodness’ helps no one.
Does a communism that is less “the working people are virtuous” also end up leaning less on “work is good and economic systems ought to be about empowering workers to work”? One of the things that I find most offputting in a lot of leftist economic proposals is the assumption that the role of an economic system ought to be creating work (and distributing the fruits of that work) rather than eliminating work or finding ways to get more goods from less work. What I want is an economy that produces enough for everyone with as little work as possible. Is there anyone doing leftist economic analysis that assumes the necessity of work is a problem we haven’t solved yet, not a virtue and not a goal (and not an identifier of the people qualified to wield coercive power?)
The “creating work” bit is to deal with, I believe, a really misunderstood conception of the marxist term “Alienation of Labor.” Now the Alienation of Labor is a thing, but it is a different problem than what you are trying to solve by getting everybody a 9-5.