History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Magna Carta and ‘stream and sequence’ analysis

June 17th, 2015 · No Comments

The issue of the Magna Carta makes for fascinating history, but its real historical significance is swamped by the generation of democracy in the early modern, and this is a perfect case of our distinction of ‘stream and sequence’ in WHEE.
Over and over we see innovations stumble into history in the stream phase, and then at the next sequence interval we see the consolidation and amplification of the stream element(s). The question of freedom and law emerges in the early modern as of the Reformation, with a fight for freedom from theocracy. And Munzer in parallel to the more conservative Luther actually proposes a form of communist xtianity. He must have understood all too well via the Peasant’s revolution the core distinction to come later of upper class or bourgeois revolution and all-class revolution (in relation to the later working class revolution).
IN some ways Munzer’s formulation is better because it is based on a universal category of man via religion with an emphasis on the issue of class and social/economic culture.

The early modern really accelerates from there into a cornucopia of innovations, from the birth of ideas of freedom culminating in Kantian types of liberalism, and others, democratic revolution and much else. We see the medieval elements undergoing apotheosis in the modern transition. It is thus a question of why scholars deal with the Magna Carta to such length without the connection with the early modern. The question perhaps answers itself perhaps: there isn’t really a problem, save that on closer examination the Magna Carta refers to the rights of the nobility without quite the emphasis for other classes. (I am not sure if that is a valid criticism).

Developments like the Magna Carta therefore are classic cases of the way our macro system amplifies the innovations of earlier medieval periods.

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