History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Need for the macro model..Zizek on immigration, and some immigration issue links from this blog

April 26th, 2016 · No Comments

WE have addressed the issue of immigration here several times: http://darwiniana.com/?s=europe+immigration+islam

Zizek has gotten himself into trouble trying to comment on the immigration issue??? :https://thecharnelhouse.org/2016/04/24/slavoj-zizek-on-the-refugee-crisis-a-critique/

This article tries to sort out the confusion but has problems trying to distinguish the ideals of modernity and the visible reality otherwise in the context of Zizek’s equal confusions.
This is a problem tailormade for the macro model of WHEE. That model shows us the operation of historical dynamism on two levels. macro and micro. We see action of a macrosequence and the substrate on which it operates. The ‘ideals of the Enlightenment’, a term we might avoid for ‘macro emergents of the modern transition’, emerge inside the historical stream and the two blend and it becomes hard to sort out the result. In the following centuries we can see the macro process has succeeded: we see the innovations of modernity have taken hold, but these are mixed with the legacy stream and also confront the inexorable deviation from initial conditions that attend any such hypercomplex process. This becomes especially confusing with the issue of slavery and more generally the question of capitalism and modernity. The model is perhaps the only way to sort out the confusion.

First take a simpler and more primitive case: that of Archaic Greece in the Axial Age. We see the progressive corruption of antiquity in the outcome of the era culminating in Romanism and the gross expansion of slavery. And within the Axial Age interval and its immediate succession we see the birth of the idea of freedom and a first iteration of democracy, and yet without abolishing slavery. This innovation clearly associated with the ‘macro emergents, Greek, in the Axial Age’, becomes swamped in the succession and almost disappears, only to resurface in the modern transition. We can see that the issue of freedom and slavery are operating on two levels. The same effect is at work in the modern transition, and we see if anything the economic issue of slavery getting worse even as the elements of abolitionism, the idea of freedom (liberalism, socialism, Kantian philosophy….) are emerging to produce the abolition of slavery, this climaxing in the American Civil War.

This is an even more classic case of the two levels at work. Part of the problem, and the confusion is to consider that such a large scale process can totally transform whole population. In reality, as in this case, we see the operation on two levels, and the mixture of the two is not always successful. Nothing in the birth of the idea of democracy suggested a compromise with slavery, and yet the American revolution did just that, even as abolitionism was beginning to tide to overtake whole question of slavery.

We can see that it is false to reject an idealistic interpretation of the action of the Enlightenment, but one problem is the focus solely on the Enlightenment. The latter was beset with the same problems we have just described. The question of modernity is far broader and includes the ‘macro’ interval from 1500 to 1800 and this is far more comprehensive that the Enlightenment. A good example is the emergent abolitionist movement which has a religious basis, as did the English Civil War, and the birth of communism in the Reformation.
We cannot indict ‘modernity’ in our sense with the realizations that may occur in fringe areas: the american system was thus anomalous from the start, even as it produced a democracy, like the Athenian, corrupted by presense of slavery. But the Civil War corrected this within two generations as the seeds sown in the early modern began to come to some degree of fruition.

The issue of capitalism is especially rife with this kind of contradiction, and we see in the immediate wake of the Industrial/capitalist revolutions the appearance, analogous to abolitionism, of dialectical complements directed to correcting capitalist confusions, a process still incomplete.

This issue makes use of the so-called ‘frontier effect’ of the macro model, and we see the issue isn’t Europe or Eurocentric focus, but a larger global system that in the modern instance jumps to the European fringe area. This will remind us that the US despite a certain arrogance is one of the first ‘fringe’ barbarisms incompletely transformed by modernity, and certainly not the source of the modern transition, despite being an early vehicle for the classic democratic revolutions with its botched blend of slavery and democracy.

The issue of capitalism is both a problem for our model and a problem solved, in theory: obviously, as Marx sensed very well, capitalism was a two edged sword, and entered the modern combination very late with an explosive development economic mix, and this was challenged just as promptly with a kind of prophecy about the future realization of modernity beyond capitalism.

I can only recommend a long and careful study of the macro effect of WHEE. And I think marxists should try to acquaint themselves with the historical model given there. It can be a long study over several years to see the overall indication of that approach.

This model does not solve all problems, and the issue of immigration requires study on its own terms. But the model suggests that the effect of modernity will create a new world population and oikoumene, blend different demographic sources, and strangely implement modern secularism in curious combinations.

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