Last and First Men invokes the ‘end of history’ ‘meme’ and the book will perform additional ‘burial rites’ for the orphan phrase that so successfully made neo-cons certain Hegel endorsed their views.
Noone who has used this phrase seems to have understood it. If we study the ‘eonic effect’ or the ‘macro model’ the term suddenly springs to life as a term for the ‘teleological’: it is not about the terminus of history but the ‘aim’ or ‘end’ of history. It is therefore useful to ask what light the ‘eonic model’ and/or a systems extension with a teleological attractor, can throw on Hegel, who sensed what was going on, but could not quite figure how it worked.
Here Hegel’s idea of the ‘teleology’ of freedom in history (what were his actual thoughts and words?) is, surprisingly, a valid one, subject to careful scrutiny. If we we take the example of the macro effect in world history we can see how Hegel’s intuition mutated into one of its derivations in his successors, that there is a directionality in history in the emergence of democracy (but the man who invented the term, Kojeve, favored communism). It seems likely that this is true in a sense not intended by those who created an ideology of this. In any case the macro model shows, to our consternation, that the macro system is cyclical, and, indeed this can be a form of the teleological as progressive cyclicity in approximation
In any case, the ‘eonic effect’ shows the way the appearance of democracy is non-random, thus a part of a larger scheme of emergence. OK, but that is not quite what Hegel said, nor what his successors said, using terms such as the ‘end of history’.
One issue here is that in the macro model, the ‘end of history’ could be a timeless teleological kind of attractor (?),that seems to exert a directionality,one that is fuzzy enough to be simply ambiguous.
That means the wrong result could end up being realized, at least temporarily, because it resembles the telos formulated by the attractor.
Fukuyama could be right or wrong at the same time. Nothing in this includes capitalism at the end of history: the sudden overamping of market economies in the ‘end of history’ phantasm could be, to the contrary, grounds for the failure of the particular realization in question. It is a reasonable guess that capitalism arises from economic freedom, but if it takes away the freedom of a proletariat, it enters critical failure mode.
All of this shows that the end of history claim is false if we can’t define democracy rightly. And whole point of the emergence of socialism/ communism was that, well, ‘hey guys, those bourgeois fellows couldn’t define it, now its our turn’.
Apart from anything else noone seems to have pointed to the obvious clue to problem in the thesis of the end of history. Assume such an end is real and is democracy. But if the system is content, as noted, with a fake look alike, prior to disengaging from its trial for a new recurrence toward a new attempt, then the whole thing resolves to an antinomy, as Kant might have warned the proponents of Hegelian kool aid.
The point here is that in approaching the end of history the failure to define democracy will cause the system to go nuts, as indeed it did around 1848 as the attempts to create democracy as socialism/communism and democracy as against this create a kind of non-revolution. In our system terms (and Hegel did NOT use systems analysis, but Oh well). We see the problem Marx pointed to very clearly now: democracy is/is not the ‘end of history’ because its definition is a botch and the system starts to equivocate the meaning of the terms. Strange, but the history of the last two centuries shows most of the combinations. And in any case now, the American system, for example, has so deviated from its real potential and definition that the ‘end of history’ nemesis begins to creep up on the first of the great ‘democracies’ as now a fake. Thus we see the system going nuts between two fake democracies, the capitalist bourgeois pseudo-democratic revolution brand, and the anti-liberal pseudo-democratic communist brand. If both fail the endgame will not be anything like the end of history, but a new dark ages or an imperial degeneration. The phase of the trial will pass and the ‘attractor’s’ orbit will not recur until its frequency period returns to the starting point. According to the eonic model that would be two thousand four hundred years from 1800, plus or minus a few centuries. Crazy: exactly 2400 years after Solon, the recurrence cycle of democracy started again, in a new transitional area. Still the attractor model is not sound enough to conclude anything. Simply that its analysis throws light on the term ‘end of history’. The model could thus be inadequate to make this prediction. The system model is too speculative or plain nuts (although it resolves the Hegelian paradoxes of the garbage use of the term ‘end of history).
There is another option: we get fed with going in circles and decide to take history in our own hands.We are not passive objects, and once we see what the evolutionary directionality was trying to do, we can help the system along….There we go again: looking for the right Definition of the ‘end of history’…. The real end of history could be to exit the kind of system we seem to detect looking backwards. I you complain of this then you should not have used Hegel in the first place. The obvious next experiment is a more equal system that preempts economic exploitation but is still a rights democracy, but without full property rights of industrial capital, if those exploit, just as the first critics of bourgeois revolution suspected.
So, two centuries or so after the American Revolution, the American system is starting its nosedive as a pseudo-democracy, the system will start of recycle therefore, if there is any time left. I fear there is not.
‘You can simply dismiss all this as nuts, but as schools boys say, ‘he did it first, it is his fault’. It was Fukuyama, Strauss, and Kojeve, respectable persons with high social status and PH’Ds who started it, not I. There were respectable non-marxist historical materialists, so why on earth did they invoke Hegel whose theme was the action of Geist in history. The end of history is used by these clever materialists because Hegelian propaganda using perloined ‘phenomenologies of spirit’ is a good solution to their theoretical difficulties, if they can disguise he result, as indeed Fukuyama did, behind a Nietzschean fake mustache. Cheating! If they want to be Darwinians, but invoke Geist to get directionality they are frauds, cutpurses or pickpockets, fit only for the Rand corporation, not historical sociology of the buttoned down type. If you want to do it right you can actually apply systems models to Hegelian Geist by buying my book at Amazon and reading it.