History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Hegel and the witchcraft disguised as capitalist ideology

November 25th, 2014 · No Comments

The issues of historical theory mimic those of evolution, and in the context of capitalism and its ideology we have a pronounced reductionist viewpoint disguising a crypto-teleological perspective disguised by scientism. The way in which Hegel came to haunt the discussion of the place of capitalism is hard to unravel, but in Last and First Men we can proceed by constructing a teleological model, only to see that it works better with both capitalism and communism as outcomes: the latter evidently as an endstate for the system as a whole. But that was precisely the reason for the obscuring of the question with Hegel who is very far from the basics of scientific method.
I think the question of teleology is subject to total misunderstanding due to the variants of the way it can be defined: if you claim some specific state to be teleological that is one thing. But if you define teleology as a process then the result is totally different. If you claim a teleology for capitalism that is more or less specific. But if the teleology is a ‘process’: the process of realizing ‘justice’, say, then the result will not be a simple endstate but the process itself, which may oscillate between capitalism and communism (to make a long discussion short). This is the reason for the Hegelian fog that has descended over the discussion. But the discussion, which originally arose on the left, is best concluded there: it is clear that a teleology of realizing ‘justice’ is likely to show what history shows: a trend toward communism from capitalism, but a reversal back toward capitalism if ‘comnunism’ couldn’t realize justice! That oscillation is now swinging back to its prior positions, etc… All this in the preposterous use of Hegel applied to supposedly scientific issues. But Hegel was of interest because he wasn’t a victim of Iron Cage mentality.
Our discussion of ‘teleology’ is very crude here, and Last and First Men constructs its own version of that (in a specific model) and the conclusion to the early modern shows the completely obvious resolution of the question: democratic revolution allows capitalism to explode under its aegis, in the process constricting democratic freedom itself: a postcapitalist conclusion is then given the task of reinventing democracy. The obvious has to be obscured here because it exposes the ideological eternity of capitalist delusion.
We are coming to the original perspective here, really quite simple: the realization of democracy begins with the ‘freedom’ implied by ‘free markets’ and then is challenged with the need to correct the distortion created by free markets in the construction of pseudo-democracy with a better realization of democratic freedom via communism. A lot of jargon, no doubt, but we should be aware of the full complementarity of the jargon and get unstuck from the delusion the free market totalitarian labeled ‘democracy’ is the real mccoy.

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