We had several posts today on the leftist confusion over Darwinism, and as usual, despite its being pointless to even try, I can point to a way out beyond Darwin for students of Marx. World History and the Eonic Effect has been out for twelve years and was announced on Marxmail in 2000, so at this point it is not going to be used by left, and least not yet. The more recent Descent of Man Revisited is much simpler, and a little clearer. But WHEE is the main source: it is a hard book, but I refuse to make it much simpler. You have to do the work, at which point its meaning stands out. As Lamarck suspected evolution is macro, with a micro base, shows a rise of complexity, and more specifically operates as finite transition sequences over geographical regions.
But DMR can be enough for the left to see beyond Darwin. The macro, or ‘eonic’ effect, is not a theory, but a set of observations about a real-time case of ‘evolution of some kind’, in world history. We can see by careful study why Darwinism is so far off the mark. The objection is sometimes offered that this is some kind of cultural evolution, but the objection is not valid. Noone knows what evolution is, and Darwinism has misled everyone, so the macro effect in world history puts evolution through its paces, so to speak, and shows how evolution works. More, it probably shows how evolution generated the early homo sapiens macro style. We can’t be sure, but the suspicion arises that evolution is meta-genetic, teleological, global/Gaian, and heavily involved in the complex designs of civilization, as the Axial Age makes clear. The only thing that makes sense here is the fine-tuning argument, applied to human evolution/civilizational emergentism. This is so far beyond the Darwinian style of thinking as to be incomprehensible.
But the left should take this, not as a new theory, but as a warning: theories of evolution are too complex for science at this point: they will always be wrong. So instead descriptive chronicles can serve as stand-ins.
The macro effect can be taken as an test using systems analysis: does world history show signs of non-random structure? Once we discover that it does, we also discover a hidden sequential logic that is ‘evolution by definition’.
My point is that such wary/conservative guesswork is all that we can achieve at this point: formal scientific theories will always be wrong, more than likely. And bad theories like Darwinism are dangerous if they create instruments in the hands of elites for class warfare, viz. Darwinism, which is clearly an absurd oversimplification.
The simple perception of evolution in deep time, is actually enough, and this chronicle serves as a rough guide, until we obsess all over again on theories and apply speculation to the fuzzy record.
I think that all the issues of punctuated equilibrium, revolutionary dynamics, and economic determinism as a fallacy are dealt with at length, even as the real meaning of Lamarck becomes clear.
So it is a resource for getting beyond Darwinism. But, lot’s of luck trying to deal with the current left. The fixation on Gould, who really betrayed a needed paradigm shift, and the dialectic plus historical materialism is throwing everyone off the scent. Meanwhile the level of work at Uncommon Descent, sadly mixed with crypto-creationist and ID confusions, is actually superior to anything the left can provide. Best to get cracking. You will be tested on the macro effect!
DMR will show you how a teleological system works, if you can manage to study it. Probably not.
The question of human origins is a great mystery, and the dogmatic application of Darwinian theory to its study has produced a great confusion. The reductionist character of Darwinism has been made to work by postulating a creature of fiction, the survivor of the ‘survival of the fittest’ scenario, a kind of Social Darwinist untermench, also an expert, apparently, at economics of the capitalist brand. This creature has been stripped of his humanity and made into a mechanical object with no soul, free will, ethical agency, or much in the way of consciousness. Especially problematic are tendencies toward altruism. In a market economy, greed is good. A theory to make this plausible is an object of supply and demand. As the saying goes, it’s the economy, stupid.