History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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R48G: the ambiguity of ‘revolution’…

September 13th, 2017 · No Comments


We are confronted by the seeming impossibility of ‘revolution’, the success of such in the early modern, and the sudden bankruptcy of the ‘end of history’ ideology as the inevitability of some kind of postcapitalism emerges ominously confronted by climate catastrophe.

We confront two possibilities, the evolutionary and regime change (revolutionary) options, a situation invoking our ‘virtual revolution’ mode. In fact the phenomenon of revolution is associated with the early modern and part of our problem is the inability to replicate the creative totality in which ‘revolutions’ occurred. We have a clue to the problem: if we aim at revolution we can undershoot the problem and end up in an artificial replacement for the early modern (which we deduce on other grounds, i.e. the issue of the eonic effect, to be a macro transition, a bit speculative, but…). This might suggest that the term ‘revolution’ needs to be melted down and recast in a practical successor concept and/or replaced with something like our floating fourth turning point, i.e something beyond ‘mere’ revolution as a man-made equivalent to a macro transition, an unlikely prospect and yet one that suddenly confronts us as a necessity, if it is true that capitalism unchecked will wreck a whole planet.
This is obscure, but the point is clear enough: ‘revolution’ is a logical necessity of foundational starting points, and also a descriptive term for its exemplars in the early modern (english civil war, french revolution, american rebs revolution). If we assume we know the latter to perform the former we end up in a muddle and the history of socialism and democracy clearly reflects that muddle. We can solve the problem with a systematic rational procedure of regime change, blueprints of what is to be done, failsafes against stalinist outcomes, external observers/marshals, etc…We have shown very little imagination or scientific analysis of procedural ‘revolution’ and/or ‘evolutionary’ paths that are the next equivalent. The problem is the incoherence of reformist paths even as they move to replace the truer option with compromised nullities.
This is the invariant situation now bedeviling the Sanders ‘Our Revolution’ muddle and we need to at least ask how we can define a real revolution and a strategy, with revolution/evolution in theoretical relationship, to real that definition. Too many efforts to second guess the French or Russian revolution (or Commune) have confused all parties to the debate. We must start from scratch mindful of the complexity of the total question.
In specific terms our suggestion was a critique of the end of history meme as falsified, a critical postmarxism that is not confused by the theory of historical materialism, a consideration latent in the suggestions of kantian ethical socialism of human free agency, a decision on that basis to transcend or move beyond capitalism using axioms of fairness or a categorical imperative, a distinction of capitalism from the question of markets, a collation of the democratic impulse with a socialism or neo-communist axiom of equality, and thence something like our abstract model using a triad of democratic market neo-communism. This system is not utopian because if it is so is simple democracy, which has already had some realizable form.

Is there a practical path to any of this? Same question as that which haunted the abolitionists: we can do nothing and endure slavery forever or we can move, quite a fight, to transcend it. In the same way the future of free market tyrannies can go on forever with ad infinitum social democratic pretense or move to refoundation equivalent to constitutional or evolutionary amendments to a constitution…
We need to note the fate of the Roman Empire/Republic: an entity that wore out its future (and ended up challenged by a religion, a floating fourth turning point, perhaps failed): leave things be and they get worse and worse until they become medieval terminations.
We have the potential and resources to do the job right. Consider.

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