Darwiniana

History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Can marxism transcend scientism, darwinism…?

June 26th, 2015 · No Comments

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2015/03/slavoj-zizek-modest-rejoinder

Going ‘boing boing’ between Marx, Hegel and then back again is a liability of reductionism marxism, and the fault lies in the excessively narrow perspective of the classic historical materialist conception.
We can’t resolve the confusion with a Hegel/Marx dialectic.

A much better way is an historical narrative based on the macro effect in WHEE: we can put religion, philosophy, secularist perspectives, and science into a unified context. The left should adopt a generalized view of the modern transition, so-called, with its core democracy/communism tension.
The legacy of marxism to impose a materialist conception on the totality of thought is an idea that increasingly looks stupid. That might have made sense briefly in the wake of the Hegelian movement, but today it is a view that corresponds to a minority. The audience for radical thought has shifted ground and don’t live in the Iron Cage anymore. But the academic/scientific and marxist worlds are definitely stuck forever therein.
In any case most discussions of and by Zizek are incomprehensible to me. I didn’t spend any educational time deciphering Hegel–or Marx’s Capital, and expecting the radical public to do this is misguided.
The neo-communist left needs to focus on histories of the early modern coming to their ‘divide’ point after the French Revolution, with a sense of the ‘end of history’ spectrum or dialectic moving between capitalist democracy and as yet uninvented postcapitalist democracy. The key here is a critique of bourgeois economics, of the brand that came after Marx, and debriefing its incredible complexity and fraudulence.
Marx/Engels work beautifully as a classic saga and the movement to and through 1848 and its moment of historical materialism challenging ‘German Ideology’ remains classic. But the point is missed here: finding the ideology in Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer et al is not so easy and the critique tended to backfire. The positivist movement leading to scientism and darwinism was far more ideological and a disaster for marxism.

If the left can’t debrief darwinism it is going to be at the end of the line behind the bible belt, an absurd fate…

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