Darwiniana

History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Free online version of WHEE, fifth edition

January 26th, 2018 · No Comments

https://www.dropbox.com/home/Public/XML_DARW_GC_Axial?preview=WHEE_5thed_pdf.pdf

World History and the Eonic Effect seems to fail to resonate with most readers (although the stats of attempting readers are ‘huge’). But a basic point is made thus, and we have suggested repeatedly that the classic legacy of historical materialism will get no second chances: the left must come up with a new historical vision and we have tried to suggest that a streamlined/minimal version of the eonic effect could do the job. Unfortunately the full version of the book is too long and too dense, it seems, and most readers have no background in world history, or else a smattering in a single direction. The larger picture barely has a literature in the sense of an integrated treatment, let alone an audience of readers. The so-called ‘eonic effect’ requires a parallel and balanced study of eight to twelve global regions and times. Books for such a thing don’t exist…well, WHEE is one such effort.
We can cut through the thicket here with some observations about a minimum perception:

world history shows a non-random pattern and that’s amazing, remarkable, and subjects our curiosity to a peculiar wonder, driving us to examine what is operating behind the scenes
the israelites uniquely sensed this in a very limited zone of ancient Canaan but created a cargo cult monotheism based on an age of revelation, this has confused the issue. But the idea of ‘god’ acting in history, while obsolete entirely, gives a sense of the mysterious wonder operating here..a Kantian perspective distinguishing phenomenal versus noumenal might work better…that, and a teleological model…
WHEE provides a minimal ‘directionality’ model instead of teleology…
this requires a division of the process of analysis into ‘system action’ and ‘free action’ and this is at first confusing but it is necessary to see the two aspects and in fact the ‘model’ enforces this discipline. That’s obscure at first, but we do the equivalent all the time in the way we distinguish, if we were writers, the genre from one of its instances: the genre is very general, the instance is an actual book in that genre…

The data of world history is still limited and we can’t complete the study, but what we have surpasses the boundaries of likelihood and this provides something close to a proof of the rightness of our approach…

A minimalist version could create a new foundation for the historical study of economic history for a postmarxist exploration…All you need is a broad survey based on an outline with a question or set of hypotheses about the meaning of such a perceived system operating on a stupendous scale.
This also counsel us to be wary of fallacies of social evolution/revolution: the complexity of the whole is stunning, yet nonetheless visible in outline in a very simple way.

In any case, we should repeat the point: marxist historical materialism gets no second chances so one might as well move on to a new model of history. But theoretical history is doomed to repeated failure in the reckoning of theistic and/or reductionist versions.
You don’t have to agree with the interpretation, but you do have to reckon with the larger data set shown of world history. Reducing the whole thing to a set of economic epochs as per marx looked brilliant once, but is totally useless at this point…
As for WHEE, you don’t have to read it through, at first, jump around and try to visualize a few of the sectors of transition depicted. Proceed without theory to a sense of wonder and then and only then move to interpretation.
The ‘eonic effect’ is then truly amazing, something almost inconceivably wondrous…Also note that this approach can be taken in reverse gear: try to refute the eonic model: you have to read thee same books in the same bibilography. You can’t refute theories but you can’t really negate the non-random pattern shown.

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