History as causal mechanics or simple story?
May 27th, 2018 •
This influence is crystallized most clearly in Smucker’s argument that the “historical task” of progressive movements “has more to do with ‘telling a good story’ than it does with ‘speaking the truth,’” and that the central front in the battle for power is “essentially a contest over popular meanings and common sense.”
Storytelling is all the rage in today’s professional organizing milieu, and a number of NGOs have emerged to offer their services in developing “narrative strategies”: Working Narratives, the Center for Story-Based Strategy, #AllofUs, and Smucker’s own Beyond the Choir, among others. The fundamental assumption here is that politics is ultimately a clash of discourses and cultural norms, and that the key to winning power is winning the “Battle of the Story.”https://darwiniana.com/wp-admin/post-new.php
prior citation: https://jacobinmag.com/2017/11/hegemony-how-to-gramsci-organizing
If you wanted a good story none could beat the eonic effect as a macro narrative of world history and probably extendable to human evolution in general. But it is too complicated perhaps for easy use and we should bear in mind that an earlier ‘story’ based on the eonic effect got it muddled: the Old Testament tale is basically an ‘eonic story’, one that generated a series of religions, and confused the issue of history by ascribing ‘eonic effects’ to ‘god’, viz. Yahweh. It was a Reformation, however, and a revolution against pagan polytheism. And revolutionary Christianity effected its own transformation, but it was not in the mainline of the eonic sequence, hence its partial success/failures…
In modern times our epochal transition has spawned the stories, and historical facts, as to ‘revolution’ and this can easily resolve to a muddle because the dynamics of revolution are not easily understood. Deja Vu all over again.
At least we can be confident of the way a larger history supports revolutionary action. We can predict with some confidence based on the early modern that just as the Axial interval generated the passing of polytheism in the Occident the modern transition will equivocate democracy and communism to produce some attempt at what Kant pointed to, the ‘perfect civil constitution’.
So, whatever our confusions, we sense a certain confidence about historical momentum, wary however that as with the botched christianity/judaism, our ‘revolutions’ can misfire. We are however beset with the compulsion to ‘try again’….!