The evolution of freedom?
October 5th, 2018 •
In Last and First Men we tried to repair the strange meme of Nietzsche of the last man with its perverted view of modernity and freedom. As pirates go, he walks the plank…
The question of future human evolution has so many crackpot attempts to solve the puzzle that we are better off remaining agnostic save only to consider that homo sapiens may already have all the required mystery factors hallucinated by evolutionary science fiction: he just can’t effect their realization.
Occult fascism picked up the theme and we can suspect it is really a corrupted variant of the kind of new age theme associated with sufism/yoga. Who would have thought Homo sapiens could reach ‘enlightenment’, hoorah for the human potential movement, wow, who knew? Last or first men, these new age fakers (fakirs?) But what this archaeological site really represents is unclear and the method has only the rarest indication of rumored success with all sorts of second string supermen like the rogue sufi gurdjieff or the circus gurus of India. We can smell the presence of some such vultures in the rise of fascism and indeed with figures like the clueless Nietzsche dropping clues all over the place in strange incomprehension of the scrambled pieces of the puzzle. The completely distorted myth of the kali Yuga is a symptom of the distortion of some ancient teaching that now drives the attempts to destroy modernity. The claims to represent the ‘evolution’ of man is still another distortion of that term. And what of that big ditto, the buddhist movement. Bum steer, if you please? Whatever happened to all those smiley faced Arhant? First and last zombies. Sieg heil. What about the capitalist oligarchs? What’s their superman rating. Cf. the smelly fart rankings of the gurus at the Gurdjieff Con. The first shall be last, duh.
We cannot expect ‘evolutionary nature’ to evolve a superman if the result is a mechanical list of ‘superman’ properties: clearly the issue is the way the concepts of the ‘evolution of will’ (a not very clear phrase) or the evolution of freedom can’t be the result of causal mechanics. So if anything evolution must stop or pause or idle as the will lurks in potential with no realization…
June 26th, 2018 • No Comments
The question of modernity
December 11th, 2017 •
The need for a larger perspective….of modernity
January 8th, 2015 •
The neo-communist left has to have a far larger universe than that created by historical materialism: it needs a global anthropology that can talk to a generalized modernity/secularism. But what is that? The nineteenth century created a reduced subset to all that in the forms of positivism, scientism, secular humanism, Marxism…
Marxism needs to be rescued from this situation: the situation is not hard to solve: we use the ‘macro model’ (or you can skip that) to look at what we call the ‘modern transition’ from 1500 to 1800 (approx/) at which point the new era of modernity begins. The early modern clearly shows at once what happened: Marxism jumped on a yippee surfboard in the Feuerbachian reaction to Hegel and downshifted into a very limited perspective. The overall idea was brilliant, however, and can easily be recast to include 1. a larger whole than Hegel and his critics 2. the ‘dialectic’ of the modern transitional with counterpoints in the Reformation/Rise of Science, revolutions from Münzer to the French Revolution. 3 the rise of liberalism, ideas of freedom, philosophies of freedom, 4. German Classical Philosophy….
In general the Marxist perspective can’t even handle the Enlightenment very well. The so-called ‘dialectic of the Enlightenment’ started chasing a good idea for a critique and ended up in the hopeless muddle of the postmodern critique of modernity.
In the larger view the issue of communism is 1. a response to the need for a post-transitional ‘revolution’ against capitalism, 2. the need to reconstruct modernity in this new context, requiring versions of the Reformation, Scientific Revolution, rise of liberalism/communism (socialism), industrialization and its technologies and globalization, 3.some reckoning with the complex chords generated: e.g. the Romantic Reaction, the export of buddhism and figures like Schopenhauer, etc…
You can see that the current tactic of trying to use Marxism to challenge all other aspects of modernity is ill-conceived and the route to sterility and scientism made worse.
Last and First Men creates an historical context for not only the larger perspective of modernity, but a still larger context of world history. This approach requires looking at a whole complex (dialectic) of counterpoints, contraries and pairs of opposites.
In specific terms, the new left here needs to study the reality of global religion, from Xtianity/Islam to buddhism, and Confucianism Taoism, etc… It needs to have a larger philosophy that can work with materialism and idealism in a larger context than simple collision. Etc…
This problem of selecting a small subset of modernity to define secularism haunts the science world whose cadre of poorly educated scientism troopers has created, like marxism, an extremely narrow subset of modernity that beggars the whole transition to a new era.
It would be nice to ditch the old Marxism and create a larger version that is tuned to the greater whole of modernity, and thence antiquity.