From the concept of ‘civilizations’ to global differential transitions
April 30th, 2018 •
R48G: the illusion of ‘western civilization’…the modern transition, globalization, and the breakdown of the bourgeois revolutions…
September 19th, 2017 •
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n18/pankaj-mishra/what-is-great-about-ourselves The term ‘the West’ is really a fiction: we have discussed this many times in order to get past Eurocentric confusions including those in the critics of Eurocentricism. In terms of the eonic effect we can see that there is no ‘western civilization’ apart from simple descriptive geographical reference. The so-called West is the result of a new branch of the macrosequence jumping to the west of Eurasia in spectacular ‘frontier effect’. Its status is that of an entity already a part of a global system and the macro action was always the creation of a global oikoumene. The latter is already in existence but needs a new framework for its final consolidation.
The problem is that the ‘liberal’ idea was close to fake from the start and a study of the early modern shows clearly how ‘revolution manque’ in the English case gave birth to the kind of bourgeois pseudo-democracy that characterizes modern so-called democracies. The latter (more directly in the wake of the French revolution) were carefully critiqued by the early socialists whose ideas were taken up by Marx/Engels who attempted to critique exactly the kind of mess of pottage Pankaj Mishra broods over in his review. This critique comes home to roost in our own time as the socialist framework (manque) carries the obvious solution: a new set of national socialist democracies and an international to bind them together and fulfill the completion of the oikoumene created by the globalizing modern (eonic) transition. All very obvious, but if so why is the ‘solution’ beyond the comprehension of the ‘failed liberals’ who have completed whatever was the case with their usurpation of the modern project?
The study of occidental antiquity shows how the failure of this project’s analog in the roman case consisted of a republican system losing its integrity, turning into an empire and completing an oikoumene on false foundations and this to last ad infinitum in a phony ‘end of history’.
Deja vu all over again.
So we see two possibilities with chaos as a third: the creation of a true global community as an international (almost certainly with democratic communism as a foundation) or the consolidation of the global system as an american empire shedding its democracy and becoming a monolithic imperialism based more or less on plunder, militarism, and capitalist totalitarianism. The latter has been well underway for some time! In the latter case the fate of england is irrelevant: a small and vanishing colony of the Colossus, hallucinating its PBS costume dramas upstairs/downstairs redux. It is entirely possible that the imperial baton could pass to China but this seems unlikely. A dual system stalled in place for a century or so is also possible: after all the Roman empire was occidental….
The notion of the ‘end of history’ pace Fukuyama is a hopeless piece of junk, but one that seems to have confused everyone. The end of history as things stand now will be american domination as empire and the passing away of democracy as such. The original version of the idea, let us recall the obvious, was leftist one. As little as we trust this meme, we should at least get the football across the finish line with the reminder that the ‘end of history’ was something like an upgrade and completion of the liberal age as socialism/communism and an international.