History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Chomsky on the ‘end of history’

September 5th, 2014 · No Comments


This is another article that makes me think someone is indirectly commenting on my Last and First Men: here Chomsky does the sensible thing, cite the ‘end of history’ in its common sense meaning. And he may be right: the current climate calamity could simply ‘end history’.

The larger meaning springing from Fukuyama (via Kojeve/Strauss..Hegel???) is a series of sophistries designed to get away with a teleological argument. We can see that the argument was wrong somewhere since triumph of liberal systems is looking like an increasing set of puzzles as to definition: is the dot.gov.us really a democracy? Etc,…

Last and First Men suggests an exotic solution to the teleological argument: in a recurrent/cyclical finite transition model applied to world history, there is a suggestive directionality to democratic recurrence. The problem is how to define democracy: behind the whole confusion of communism was the effort to producer a real definition of democracy free of the covert domination of capital. The history of communism has been so obscured by Bolshevism that we no longer see the cogency of this original match of democracy and communism.
This approach skirts the obvious difficulty in Fukuyama’s argument: it doesn’t make any sense: how could history stop (in a fashion other that Chomsky’s usage) and come to an end. The confusion is resolved in part by noting the ‘end’ is a pun: it means that the ‘end’ of history, in the sense of ‘goal’, is such and such. Hegel’s original intuition (he never used the phrase) was correct and the ‘macro model’ of WHEE suggests the reason. The macro model allows a suggestion therefore of the ‘end’ as a timeless entity. Like an attractor in some kind of teleological system (which science rejects).
But the purely temporal flow towards an ‘end of history’ is visible to us in antiquity: the ‘end’ or convergent likelihood of history was simply decline and fall (in the Occident), a terminal empire. An entropic state. So the ‘end of history’ is some other sense requires some kind of metahistorical process…

The use of the idea is to see that somewhere in the contradictions of communism and capitalism the world system can find a stable solution to the crisis of economic laissez-faire.

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