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History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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The eonic effect and the history of music…and a caution about the complexity of revolutionary change…

August 27th, 2017 · No Comments

Note our previous post: http://darwiniana.com/2017/08/27/6-why-is-modern-pop-music-so-terrible-youtube/

One of the most mysterious aspects of the eonic effect in its modern perspective (the modern ‘transition’) is the close correlation with the flowering of what we call ‘classical music’. It is a little dangerous to generalize here and the study in WHEE has no data on ‘popular music’ (whatever that means), in the early modern. And we cannot extend the model much beyond the ‘divide’ line (ca. 1800, plus/minus). But the match with classical music is striking indeed, but somewhat off sync, i.e. the creativity extends well past the divide and we get an extended transition effect up through Verdi, Wagner, and the last gasp Puccini.
The issue of the transition to tonal music would seem to be a form of decline although I would be wary of making such a claim. It is more like something switching off as creativity enters a new experimental mode: from system action to ‘free action’. The issue of the eonic model can be ambiguous, almost treacherous, to use. But one thing is clear, the rise of classical music first in the Italian early modern it would seem and then throughout the transition frontier line and with an especially strong flowering in a prime transition zone: Germany. The spectacular climax at the divide ca. 1800 with Mozart/Beethoven, etc, is thus no accident. Baffling! But one of the most striking of the eonic effects in world history. It is unsettling that this is so and it leaves a set of questions the model doesn’t fully answer, but an unnerving study of the overall eonic sequence shows clearly that a huge amount of human creative advance is directly ‘macro related’. That’s not necessarily the same as saying that human creativity isn’t involved, i.e. that it is externally induced. We cannot extend the model to the question of ‘pop music’ and the strange creative moment of the Beatles era.

It is important to wary of this kind of analysis, and equally wary of not considering it. So far this study has not made an impact on scholars who seem oblivious to the enigma of world history.

Again, the sudden fall off of classical music genius is unnerving and almost spooky. And it is a reminder our tools for studying history are primitive indeed.

A note for ‘socialists/leftists’ of all stripes: we must note that revolutionary action in the early modern shares this mystery and that revolutionary action in the wake of the early modern requires a careful reminder of the complexity of social change. Socialist and marxist wake up call! You are quite ignorant of historical dynamics! This kind of analysis can make historical materialism look ridiculous.
That would seem an argument against revolution. After the screw up of bolshevism the point would seem clear. But it ‘ain’t’ necessarily so! The destruction of music by capitalism (as the video claims, not necessarily fair) shows that capitalism’s screw ups are likely worse. As the issue of climate catastrophe makes suddenly obvious. Revolutionaries, if we are left with no choice re: revolution, need to carefully consider their strategies.

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