History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Pinker’s darwinism has been his undoing, another career wrecked by that theory…

February 20th, 2018 · No Comments

Pinker’s thesis is a good example of the dangers of historical theorizing. The eonic model is a harsh judgment of pinker’s seemingly harmless projection of an idea that actually requires something like our macro model. We have endorsed however a focus on progress in relation to decline as in any case viable in the sense of our distinction of system action and free action: we can see that in the wake of the macro transitions free agency remains as the agent of ‘progress’ or not. This kind of usage of the term ‘progress’ is a bit risky stretched across so many disciplines from evolution to history, but if we can find a macro dynamic in each case we can use the term progress if we are careful to state what it means and remain wary of ideological abuse. S.J. Gould warned of this but he was still stuck in darwinism. We have always claimed that evolution in deep time requires, and shows a macro effect and therefore qualifies as a candidate for the idea of progress, but this of course approaches the pitfalls of value analysis in terms of biological facts. We might skip that and speak of ‘progression’ but note that lamarck, the real founder of evolutionary theory, distinguished the rise of complexity and the action of environmental interaction (natural selection?): this is a genuine ‘macro/micro’ distinction and complexification might be a viable approach to a possibly confused idea of ‘evolutionary progress’.

In history we are surprised to find a macro factor but it is almost certainly there: we can detect a series and pattern of advancing hotspots that fret a larger ‘macro’ pattern, one made still more complicated with a parallel effect. Any history of human civilization must begin to take this ‘eonic effect’ into account. Further, it can’t be equated with technological or economic ‘evolution’: the reason is that human free agency seems sufficient for invention, and economic action while the larger progression of civilizations is driven by something too complex or elusive for human agents, so far…We don’t even know what this phenomenon really is. That’s why decline was so critical in antiquity: the immense advances of archaic/classical greece were associated with a macro factor that later free agency couldn’t replicate.
In modern times, we are approaching a critical level where human awareness of human history might begin to replicate its own kind of macro effect. It might at least short of that be wary of the components of social belief that constrict perception. And even the idea of progress can be one of them as its meaning is restricted to ideological promotion as appears to be the case with pinker.
We have also noted here the limits of the marxist version of progress hidden in its stages of production theory. We have rejected that. Despite the existence of a macro and micro version of economic systems the usage is not evolutionary and doesn’t apply in the same way. Note that economists have started to create their own macro factors to control economies, but this is not macroevolution in the sense of evolution. The only thing resembling a macro effect in the history of economic systems is precisely the industrial/capitalist revolutions of the eighteenth century, and this is our eonic effect again (perhaps, we must be wary of how we apply the eonic model)! Note then that the onset of industrial economy shows eonic correlation, but so does the idea of socialism/communism. The rise of modernity confused people because it seemed like it was the invention of capitalism, but capitalism has existed for millennia. The sudden amplification in modern times is therefore not really an ‘eonic effect’. The point here is that the immense advance generated in the early modern, what we call the modern transition, coincided with the industrial revolution and this has tended to confuse analysis, even in marx. The real point here is not economics but democracy and the struggle to define it. Pinker is on thin ice here because his promotion of classical liberalism is a closet ideological promo for capital, or so it seems. It is important to see that capitalism is not really an evolutionary category because it lacks a macro factor and the only candidate for that is something like a socialist transformation of society, something like our ‘floating fourth turning points’.
This is getting complicated, and makes no sense unless you study the eonic model.
We can summarize however by saying that the issue of progress is now that of free agency in the wake of the macro transition of the larger system.
Pinker’s darwinism has been his undoing, another career wrecked by that theory..

from yesterday:

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