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From historical materialism to the ‘macro/eonic model’: periodization instead of theory

October 15th, 2012 · No Comments

Using the historical model of WHEE in place of, or as a superset of, historical materialism

I am charging historical materialism with being confusing, but, of course, the eonic model can be confusing to some. But that model can be radically simplified and, in any case, gives a fairly clear portrait of modernity. We can see that a leftist response to the emergence of capitalism fits naturally into the context of the rise of the modern: but a modern innovation can come into being, with a response that can be delayed in relation to a (vis. communist/socialist) endstate. That’s all the theory you need. Trying to inflict debatable theories on the question simply blocks the realization….

There are many easy interpretations of the eonic effect, as a simple periodization you use already (if you have ever used the term ‘middle ages’, ‘modernity’, or the ‘Greek Miracle’ (Russell’s phrase) for ancient Greece, discussed the birth of Buddhism, Confucian tradition, or the decline of the Roman Empire, etc,) you are already using the data of the ‘eonic effect’: you can’t help it. the extensions backwards are less familiar, but simple. There is thus no theory here (although I introduce some fancy twists, perhaps mistakenly), only a chronicle. In that context, a socialist or communist revolution must replace the democratic revolutions beyond their ‘bourgeois’ character, but with a system of rights, in the context of the abolition of large-scale industrial property. There is no reason such a system can’t be obtained via a democratic revolution of the classic type. Whether such a system will preserve some small-scale aspects of markets is unclear. But the point here is ecological emergency: the proliferation of industrial private property is a menace to humanity.

That’s about all you need. Complicated theory is counterproductive. The rebels in the French/American revolutions didn’t indulge in theories. They had a recipe for action.

The short netbook at:
http://descentofmanrevisited.com/index_top_1848.htm contains all that you need, but it is too short, and isn’t really finished. I wrote a whole series of short ‘netbooks’ like it, and they were composed in one day or less, thus, the effort gets rushed at the end as the pages get shorter and shorter. There are about eight of these listed at http://eonic-effect.net.

The point, after reading the full version in World History and The eonic effect, is to consider the moment around 1848, which has a special meaning in the eonic periodization.
It is like the period after 400 BCE in antiquity: a post-transitional onset period, still flush with surging innovation, but one the wane, slowly but surely. Decline will come UNLESS you take countermeasures. In antiquity noone even had decent records at that point, and had no idea what was happening. But they began to see that the mysterious period of the core Axial Age was in their past: they were beginning to wonder why.

In that context, after many centuries, the great religions arose (in the Occident) and ‘mideonic stabililizers’ with a project of spiritual equality (and much else).
The post-capitalist generation of a new cultural systematics will be analogous, but it is entirely possible it will be non-religious. But if is as flat-footed as the Feuerbachian humanism religion will make a comeback.
In any case, the coming ‘global’ oikoumene almost certainly demands a post-capitalist settlement: communism by definition, whatever it means in practice. Or something that does the job. Stalinism failed here, so I think, however unfair, Marxism is fired, and gets no second chances. (It will by default accompany some new formulation).

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