History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Beyond marxist theories to the real insights of Marx/Engels

February 1st, 2014 · No Comments

The tenacity of darwinism is a puzzle, and is especially evident on the left. But nothing can happen as long as they cling to this theory.
Last and First Men constructs an exit strategy from the darwinian millstone around the neck of the left. The strategy is simple: the study of world history shows something that blocks darwinian interpretations: a non-random process that expresses an historical dynamic.
In general the pattern of nineteenth century scientism haunts the left. Noone will listen to marxists anymore. But there is a way out of this situation. After all the case for the critique of capitalist economics and ideology is overwhelming, and the version of Marx/Engels is equally excellent, until the confusing moment when marxist obsessions over the theories of Marx are interjected into the discussion. The debate then pits marxist theories against other theories, and no matter how bad the latter, the marxist theories are arguably worse. Don’t misunderstand that: the practical discussions of capitalism, ideology, and economics in Marx/Engels, taken without theory, are superb. Then the old tired theories are brought in and the case evaporates. LFM suggests a different approach. The new model of history proposed could seem equally confusing, but it is irrelevant, because it is not a theory, but a way to outline history. The theories of Darwin, of historical materialism, and the economic interpretation of history now compete with a strong pattern of historical development. Which suggests its own model, but not a theory. There is a big difference. This new model can turned into a paper airplane: it points to a visible pattern of history which can be taken as is. We need to stop bugging our brains with theories that can’t work because the phenomena are too complex. The theories turn into myths.
Armed with the simple set of outlines we can look at the place of capitalism in world history. One of the blunders of marxist theory is the way it suggests that capitalism is a stage of history we can’t modify, history has to transcend it. Come on. That’s nonsense. The economies we subject ourselves to are not set by laws of history: we can overcome them at any time and replace them with something more intelligent. Economic constellations have no deterministic force. They are designs of men, and the term capitalism has a thousand variants that will defeat that theory. Which one are you talking about? The purported efficiency of markets beside the failure of planned economies has confused the discussion completely. Free markets that trash the planet are not efficient. This simple point is beyond the capacity of minds conditioned to the misleading capitalist ideology.

In any case, the model of history in LFM leads beyond even that model to simple historical outlines, and the freedom to alter economic constructs. And to skip darwinism, which is one of the major tools of exploitation via the unstated logic of social darwinism, which is used to justify the non-altruism of the capitalist culture, and the false analog of natural selection to the culture of economic competition.

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