History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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History and economy

April 13th, 2009 · No Comments

Since we are on the topic of Marxism, here’s a passage from World History And The Eonic Effect:
Out Of Revolution

Was I too fair to Marx here (comment in the comments section if you wish)?

I am working on a fourth edition. I would like to move on a bit here.
I think not, since the eonic model is based on Popper’s critique of Marx’s historicism and Isaiah Berlin’s historical inevitability. But the eonic model has a way of restating Marxism in one line: econostream != eonic sequence.
Which is a way of saying that the macrohistorical directionality we see in the eonic effect is larger than economic evolution.

Marx and Engels lived in the 1840’s. If you read a book on that decade, plus the history leading out of the French Revolution, their thinking makes a lot of sense in that context. If you don’t believe Marx, go read Dickens, who cogently portrayed class society in action, in all its grotesqueness.
The later work of Marx to produce his theories was less successful, although Capital, if you don’t bother to read it, serves well as a form of symbolism. That has mostly been its purpose.
Marx’s critical mistake, to me, lies in one of his most brilliant works: the critique of Hegel’s doctrine of right. To attack the system of liberal rights looked logical at the time, but created a form of thinking, so evident in Lenin, that snowballed into a monstrosity where the liberal world is taken as the root of all evil, and therefore anything goes: since liberal rights are liberal then they must be systematically negated. Observe Lenin in the Russian Revolution and this gross form of aberrant thinking takes off and becomes systematic, with calamitous results.
It is important for theorists to remember that people will take you at your word, literally, and proceed logically to many absurdities.
Much of Marxism is like that: the triumph of unintended consequences.

I think if you look at the eonic effect, and the so-called modern transition, you will see a better approach. Marx is really attempting to grapple with modernity, not just economic capitalism. The good and the bad come together, and there is no postmodern world beyond the modern that will be better. The first of the ‘postmodern’ fallacies (tho not called that) appear in Marx’s wish to completely restart history–after modernity had just restarted it. The confusion resulted in a jackknife effect: modernism/capitalism pitted against itself, in a kind of spastic effect. If you think otherwise look carefully at the way the Bolsheviks suddenly turned into another bourgeoisie in contral of the means of production. A strange swindle.
The correct response to capitalism might well be some form of socialism, but has anyone ever defined it? The entire bolshevik revolution came and went with only the most demented and ad hoc constructions substituting for a definition.
In any case, the question of historical theory in Marx is flawed, for reasons the eonic model make very clear.

Tags: 1848+ · Critique of Evolutionary Economy · selections · Ultra Far Left · World History and The Eonic Effect

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