Judith Balso has an interesting contribution in “The Idea of Communism” that basically says the era of communism is closed and that new forms of politics at a distance from the state must emerge. This is hotly contested by Zizek, who claims that it is nonsense to distance yourself from the state if you have no alternative to the state. Zizek notes that the state-bureaucratic socialism was always twinned with participatory and anti-statal socialism - the two acted as a pair, and they (temporarily) die together. For Zizek, as I’ve written before, the state is to be forced into a new register of radical interaction with social movements. This process is largely ideological, so much that the rulers will have changed without recognizing it - they will operate like communists despite probably still decrying communism. One idea that Zizek stresses is that we must not be afraid to be “big” - like Mao said - in that we should not always try to become-minor and retreat to the interstices of power and so on.
The idea that the “socialism-from-above” of the 20th Century was bound up with the failure of socialism-from-below is a tough pill to swallow, since the latter was always posited as the redemptive future of a post-statist communism by various Left groupings. However, one could read Balso’s suggestion in a different way - that the Cultural Revolution was an attempt at creating a convergence between statal and anti-statal modes of organization, precisely as Zizek suggests, but that this failed, too. For Zizek, though, there is merit in things like the activation of large sections of the poor masses in places like Latin America (without glorifying their leaders as many do). These positions are opposed, but there might be points of conjuncture that I’d like to think about.