http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/intro1_1_1.htm: In search of history
The perspective of WHEE is confusing because it exposes the viewpoints of reactionary antimodernists but at the same time making short work of the ‘flat history’ ideologies arising in the wake of such things as Darwin’s theory of evolution (consciously or unconsciously applied to history). The book provides a triple play that resolves the enigma of the Axial Age, gives the answer to Kant’s challenge in his famous essay on history, and shows the connection between history and evolution.
The books on the Axial Age are uniquely confused because they can’t acknowledge what they are seeing: a unified transformation of parallel cultures in a synchronous phasing. This issue is too much for conventional sociologists of history and they are forced to try and avoid looking at the data in an attempt to finesse the clear violation of historical causality/continuity.
Kant’s essay asks for the overall pattern of history, and WHEE provides it with devastating clarity. But the mysterious world of the modern historian is unable to accept this and must apply the dogma of randomness to both evolution and history. But this forces us to remain blind to the very simple pattern of non-random ‘evolution’ in the emergence of civilization.
The issue of transitions in a series of epochal intervals is too speculative for most, but the reality is that the idea of flat history is speculative.
It is in this context that the work of Spengler and Toynbee suffers failure: the issue is not the ‘civilization’ as the unit of study. The latter are too unwieldy. What we see is a series of transitional zones that can seed a larger transformation. It makes much more sense than trying to deal with the ungainly spasmodics of whole civilizations.