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the failure of the marxist method, rome and the axial age…//The class struggles in the Roman Republic: introduction to the first German edition

June 2nd, 2018 · 2 Comments

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Despite any number of interesting insights, the marxist style analysis of roman empire misses the mark and fails: the method of historical materialism simply cannot grapple with the overall complexity of historical development.

The study of social relations of production is a great one but marxists turn it into an absolute and eliminate the factor of consciousness. Why on earth do that? We cannot reduce civilization to relations of production as some set of ‘laws of history’.
Our eonic model rapidly uncovers a larger outline as an answer in terms of an evolutionary developmental process behind world history. It is not a complete analysis but it shows the larger dimension of historical progression: there we see the roman republic, in concert with the greek city states, emerge in the context of the axial age. This beginning point requires study to be able to see the later phenomenon of decline in context. Marxist analysis fails to see this larger context, and also fails to see the parallel emergence of monotheism in the middle east and the way two or more strains of ‘eonic timing’ later produce the world of christianity and its take over of the roman world. This religion is something more than class struggle of the relations of production. This is not mystical history either, the whole subject remaining mysterious in its dynamic.
The comparison to modernity is misleading: modern civilization is suffering from capitalism, and this is not the same as ‘decline’.
The theme of socialism or barbarism is nonetheless cogent, but the marxist monopoly of communist/socialist models is strangling the left in a kind of straightjacket. The empirical study of class relations in the roman republic is a gripping topic, but the materialist method fails to really resolve the issues….

Source: The class struggles in the Roman Republic: introduction to the first German edition

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 nemo // Jun 2, 2018 at 9:29 am

    n saying this, I am conscious of the fact that it flies in the face of the recent fashion for post-modernism, which informs us that it is impossible to draw any conclusions from history, since history follows no laws that can be understood by the human mind. From this point of view, either the study of history is merely a form of entertainment or a complete waste of time.
    from the woods essay: this right and wrong at the same time. Eschewing postmodern views it is nonetheless true that ‘laws of history’ in the sense of reductionist science don’t exist: the factor of free agency is real, free will or not..
    The eonic model shows that the right category is the ‘evolutionary’ in a special sense…

  • 2 nemo // Jun 2, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Karl Marx uncovered the hidden mainsprings that lie behind the development of human society from the earliest tribal societies up to the present day. As he explains in a celebrated passage from his preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy:

    “In the social production which men carry on they enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will; these relations of production correspond to a definite stage of development of their material powers of production…The mode of production in material life determines the general character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence (which) determines their consciousness.”

    This is the numero uno chestnut of historical materialists: if marxists would simply study relations of production empirically and not try to create a pseudo-science out of it they would be far more successful…

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