http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap6_5.htm: 1848: End of Eonic Sequence?
If we examine the ‘evolution’ of civilization that we see in the macro effect we can see that we never observe transitions until they are over (although the Israelites sensed something was afoot) and that the macro effect as a whole was unobserved until modern times: it is related to the issues of Kant’s Challenge which are pattern resolves. How amazing that Kant should appear just as the macrosequence concludes.
It is a significant point and a dire warning: man has had the benefit of an elusive and ultra-sophisticated evolutionary machine and now he is on his own. There may be a further interaction of other kinds, but a large scale transition of the type we have seen could not really happen in the context of man now observing that in the past. That is not a dogma, but a suspicion from looking at the evidence. The surprise is gone. This is as it should be because the macro system can’t interact for very long without creating dependency of some kind. But it is a truly unnerving set of requirements we confront: how about the macro correlation of Greek Axial Age literature as an Axial transition? Does anyone really consider that we can reproduce such effects? We can see why the trend downwards (visible in the fate of the Roman Republic) occurs and how hard it was to withstand it. Impossible, well we have to nod to the Xtians (Gibbon protests to the sidelines) who, if they didn’t revive the ‘Empire’ did lead the world through the trauma of the Dark Age, laying the foundations for a new society to come.
It is hard to see how modernity could pass away into such a drastic decline. But we see symptoms of decline already. (In the context of modernity). But the resources to forestall a Dark Ages are ample and that cyclical brand of thinking isn’t the point. But the standard has been pegged at a very high level. It is one thing to fund scientific and technological research, quite another to ‘found’ art movements. Without this parallel dimension the collapse into one-dimensional culture, while not actually decline, will reinvent decline on a higher level.
One issue is the complexity of the situation is now immersed in: we have science, technology, global implosion of multiple world religions, implications of archaeological wonders and the rising tide of evolutionary data… The list is long and yet man as he is now still isn’t quite up to the task in terms of intelligence, but he has ‘increased his need’, in the sense of ‘need to know’, here need for ‘conehead’ mental gymnastics.
We have seen in the case of the US system a very insidious version of just the kind of ‘decline reinvented’: no Visigoths charging through Washington in a pillage of its greater monuments, but the interior ‘invasion of the barbarians’ via the onslaught of corporate neo-liberalism and the ‘barbars’ of Langley who have essentially taken over the White house.
I think the overall system is moving to an early endgame in the scenarios of capitalism to the last or a surge out of the catacombs of a left capable of resolving the apocalypse of capitalist sound and fury. History has broken out of the now two lengthy period intervals of 2400 years, and has entered a new measure of age periods as civilization accelerates the phases. Maybe this is a good sign. The Roman Republic lasted six centuries, but our own is almost gone after two, and the challenge of the ‘next higher future’ is already upon us. In many ways the left spawned in the wake of the French/Industrial Revolutions, in producing at the least a ‘word’, communism, to depict the future beyond capitalism shows at least the potential to forestall a wasted age of ’empire’.
‘Communism’ is almost an undefined term: we mean the ‘chase plane’ formation on the heels of racing capitalism, which can only burn out, it seems. But this requires more than its cliched definition: a coming communism after capitalism must be able to resolve the dreaded ‘hard questions’ we have hinted at already: issues of religion, art, creativity, consciousness, and, last but not least, a future for science. We must note that science itself is subject to all the perils of other formations that went into decline. The future of science is not guaranteed. It is turns man into a robot, man will fight back and move into a mystical outcome. In any case, the future is coming faster: we are already in the US at the threshold of decline, but history won’t repeat itself, and the prospect of a millennium in social doldrums seems unlikely. But the internal decline behind the appaearance of technological progress is