History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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R48G: the universal class, the universal set and parallel streams on the left

August 16th, 2017 · No Comments

We have included an older post on ‘#blacklivesmatter’ from the period of Sanders’ contretemps with the group: this history shows a good example of one aspect of our consideration of the ‘universal class’: the term itself refers to set theory indirectly and suggests all the subsets of a larger set. The point here is that the history of the left shows a spectrum of parallel movements beside the socialist stream which rapidly became dominated by marxism. But a look at radical modernism since the Reformation shows a more complex picture, a classic example being the abolitionist movement. In similar fashion we can see how the tension between different ‘subsectors’ on the left is inevitable unless, as with our universal class, we see the left as dealing with a holistic version of culture beyond the economic issue of the working class. Our formulation is thus more flexible and can easily create a set of subsets inclusive of multiple parallel, distinct yet related, movements and factions. This is important because the change required via evolution/revolution is what we called a ‘floating fourth turning point’ which points precisely to the larger range of social change implied from the left, especially the issue of race.
At a time of tragedy these remarks, which are a bit abstract, move on a sideline for anyone on the left at risk of counterproductive collisions…

archive: #blacklivesmatter and the larger framework of Last and First Men
August 10th, 2015 ·

#BlackLivesMatter: The Birth of a New Civil Rights Movement | Portside

The #blacklivesmatter initiative and the confusion at a Sanders debate brings home one of the sleeper issues of Last and First Men and its attempt to create a superset of the marxist core which is a revolutionary or reformist action plan based on industrialization, capitalism, the working class or proletariat. Many have noticed, and history has shown the problem that can arise with this: the peasants and kulaks weren’t even addressed in the marxist core and this slide into dangerous confusions in the Russian Revolution.
What was the problem? The brilliant but limited vision of a purely proletarian revolution. But there are many other protests and initiatives needed. And the Civil Rights Movement is a perfect example.

The theoretical solution which has already been highlighted in Last and First Men is to extend the marxist/brand thought-system to one based on the larger context of the modern transition. A close look shows the French Revolution closer to this than the so-called Proletarian Revolution, but with the ‘bourgeois revolution’ catch 22. Whatever the case the larger revolution is modernity itself from Reformation to French Revolution. That includes all the key components of modernity. And there we see embedded all the issues of civil rights, but in the question of racism this is delayed until very late and is a component of abolitionism which the marxists immediately noted was ambiguously addressed even by French Revolutionaries with respect to Haiti. And the botched revolution of the Americans actually compromised with slavery resulting in black assaults on the revolution against England. Sound familiar? the record of liberal to radical revolutionary movements with respect to blacks as freemen, what to say of racism, was ambiguous from the start, and endgame of the Civil War spawned its insufferable back-tide leading to the elements of racism we see today.

Radical marxist style movements have by and large been partners to the fight against racism, but a larger analysis might help to make that, and many other protest angles, part of a common endeavor.

In Last and First Men that was the reason for the idea of the Universal Class as a superset of the Proletarian Class: the universal class is the common endpoint of class transformation and addresses all the issues of the subsets of that class, viz. here, the issues of racism in the black groups associated with the spectrum of the Universal Class, movements and thematics moving in parallel with proletarian analyses, etc…

This is a bit abstract, but the model in Last and First Men is more powerful than that of the purely proletarian marxist and addresses movements such as #blacklivesmatter at the drop of a hat.

In general the context of revolutionary transformation of capitalism into communism becomes a recursion of the ‘revolutionary’ modern transition whose focus is more general and points to the larger transformation of modernity into a postcapitalist version. But this requires the transformation of the whole of modernity and this would immediately include the movements against racism.

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