History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Occupy darwinism!

October 29th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Climbing Mt. Improbable

Any radical initiative exposing Wall Street, and moving toward a new left in general, needs to get past the Social Darwinist ideology that is the mainstay of the attack on the middle and other classes. There are two components to this: the ‘liberal’ Darwinist science groups who use Darwinism to serve what they call a ‘secular’ agenda, viz. the new atheism, et al. The latter are excellent cover for the former, and are totally confusing the issue.
Darwinism is one of the indispensable props of the ‘greed is good’ ideology that is tearing the American and other societies to pieces. Deprived of its science fiction fantasy of natural selection, the challenge to economic ideology can begin from a new understanding.
No social movement on the left should be crippled by Darwinian ideology, from now on. OWS deserves to be something more than the usual laughingstock on this issue, mouthing the Darwinian cliches from the secular humanist dupes. Secular humanism would be a great vehicle for a new left, but it has been wrecked by the idiocy of much of its agenda, so a new perspective is needed. Whatever the case with that, the issue of Darwinism is simple: it is bad science. And the attempts to use that as grounds for some religious agenda is also bad science.
All that is needed is to accept the reality of factual evolution and its visible chronicle in deep time. The theory of Darwin, natural selection, is an ideological add-on that makes the promotion of various ideologies seem rigorous. That can be dropped, and the result is not some concession to right wing design arguments, but simply better science. For the left to stand up for real science here, beyond the abuse of evolutionism to promote economic ideology, would be an immense contribution.
It requires, not arguing with the rightwing Intelligent Design people, who can be bypassed, but confronting the so-called liberal Darwinists who are creating a science monopoly out of bad science, and using that to promote, among other things, Dawkins-style atheism, etc…
I have no stance on the atheism question, as such, but the attempt to use evolution to legitimate atheism is false from the word go. So a challenge to the Darwin groupies here, who are clogging the liberal/left with Darwinian fanaticism, are true laughingstocks: the right must be laughing all the way to the bank.

Let me emphasize that the religious red herring is irrelevant here. It is a question of demanding real science from scientists, and to stop the Big Science bulwark of the economic darwinism that is wrecking the achievements of a whole century. The darwinism here is cleverly disguised by indirection, but the behind the scenes use of this ideology, is rampant, and ruthless. The use of it, unspoken, to trash the middle and working classes has started to take off in the past decade, and it is sustained, behind a grossly ridiculous and hypocritical conservative ID movement, by the claims for science by Darwinists, claims that have been exposed over and over again.

In the end the religious issue won’t go away. However, I don’t think debates over theism/atheism after the fashion of the current new atheist milieu are of any value for anyone. Who cares? god, no god, it’s all bullshit in the useless formats on both sides. A real discussion here seems hopeless to expect. Atheist humanism is a poor substitute for religious idiocy. Both have failed, and it is important for the left to not go down with the new the new atheist ship. The only intelligent stance on the left is a dynamic agnosticism that can dialectically explore all sides and one that can embrace a public of diverse views in a single party.
Let me hasten to add that religious confusion, as the left always claimed, can be a force for exploitation. I think the left has a job to expose the exploitation of culture via religion.
But the effort to do that since the era of Feuerbach has failed. So drop it and move on. It is not viable to let eitehr religious traditionalists or atheist humanists coopt the left.
This issue requires additional commentary at some other point. The issue we started with is that of Darwinism: it is a bogus theory, and its ideology has infected science, and the old left.
A new left must challenge Big Science on science grounds, bypassing the atheism/theism quagmire, to make itself intelligent on the rampant behind the scenes use of Darwinism to prop the capitalist class struggle, horsewhip the ‘lower classes’ and make the virtues of altruism look like pseudo-ethical illusions of natural selection.
It is time a new left stood up to this bullshit scientism, bad economics, and Darwinian groupie culture. Whether that follows a religious or atheist humanist path remains open. Since both of the latter are problematical, the way to the future remains open.

The reason for the link to WHEE is to suggest that while we are ignorant, beyond the surface perception of its reality, of how evolution really works, world history itself might be able to give us a hint. In any case we must stop the false application of darwinism to historical analysis.

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