World history doesn’t really follow the economic categories proposed by marxist theory. We have proposed instead a set of tools to examine the empirical facts based on one of the most obvious chronologies. History can fool us: it looks like a random play of events but that impression is misleading: behind the surface world history shows a very complex developmental evolution of culture and civilizations (the latter term is itself a problem).
R48G: the eonic model as a tool
Our model explains why so much great literature appears in the transition zones of the early modern, with spectacular effect, and then suddenly wanes in the wake of the transitional interval. This puts everyone in a strange position. After a while Shakespeare as a world-historical poet of the globalizing
‘pidgin English’ begins to pall and people begin to look at their own traditions. But we can also get wise to what is going on and see that the effect is to create a world culture to which all belong. And in any case the process of modernity globalization, despite the cavil of the reactionary gurus and postmodernists has been a spectacular success and has created already a global oikoumene of shared modernism. So we might be wary of kicking a gift horse in the mouth even as we move to critique the outcome of this prodigious show of the eonic effect. The same confusion arose in antiquity with the Israelites who unfortunately thought themselves bound in a special relationship with god, to the unending confusion of later religion. The Israelites were certainly in the right place at the right time and spawned (along with the Persians, we forget) the lineage of monotheism. But we must in the modern case move to prevent any suggestion of Eurocentric superiority, the result would destroy the whole era. Let us note the parallel and eerily synchronous buddhism appearing in almost direct concert with Israelite monotheism, soon to spawn Mahayana and Christianity.
We can see the need for something like the eonic model as a successor to historical materialism and this can be adopted in a streamlined form as a model, that is as a tool. The issue is not a new belief system but a tool that is useful and can be adopted on provision. It points to a complicated reality but even on the surface it produces a handy way to resolve the confusions of historical development.
We can adopt a simple version of the eonic model, as a tool for historical inspection and a set of suspicions about the emergence of civilization:
civilization emerges in a complex set of transitions in a macrosequence
these transitions initiate new epochs and monopolize almost all ultra-complex core cultural innovations at their starting points
technology Innovation) and economic development are not the same and show continuous histories… Eras after the divide realize the implications of the transitional periods but may suffer decline in their
‘middle’ period (medieval?)
the Axial Age was a clear exemplar of the macro sequence which shows potential sequential and parallel aspects
this parallel/sequential aspect can be seen as a minimax of some kind to maximize teleological directionality and lateral integration as one process.
Modernity resumes the sequential logic after the lateral synchrony of the Axial Age, the reason is transparent: the end state of globalization needs unique focus…
The transitions never repeat themselves and always restart at a frontier area, the so-called frontier or acorn effect: e.g. Israel at the frontiers of ancient Egypt, Persia at the frontier of ‘Sumer’, Greece at the frontier of the Middle East. India and China in this period are obvious related cases of frontier effects. Note thus that the modern transition occurs in one of the last areas of the Eurasian sphere…
This model can be used as a tool and then replaced with a simple chronology of epochs, and we see two such very clearly (probably seven in all starting 8000BCE 0r even 10000), from 3000 to 600, then 600 to
1800, followed by a new epoch, the modern after 1500/1800 (our marker points are relative to 300 year
transitions) showing the start of a new epoch in this series. We can see that we are already using this model! An example is our instinctive sense of the ‘middle ages’, clearly a sense of the middle section of the epoch emerging from the Axial Age (better called the Axial interval).
This model we should note is a generalization of the Israelite sense of the Axial period and thought it evidence of ‘god’ in history. This effect is NOT the result of theistic action, which would be cosmic (or to an atheist nonexistent), however and the point is obvious from the way it generates religion, secularism, in one and the same pattern. But this data does leave the question of ‘where the blazes’ does all this come from? We should adopt a provisional agnostic stance here, the value of our model which merely shows what is going on, not how. We have attempted a number of discussions of this in WHEE and Enigma of the Axial Age, but in the final analysis we don’t understand our own process of evolution, in deep time and in history, but we do receive many indications of how to proceed and here is the crucial point: we don’t have to produce a theory of this to proceed: the macro action as we perceive it is always in the past in a transient interval and we are left with a series of ‘to do’ potentials that we must realize
as our own free action. We thus don’t actually require the model but we would do well to at least hold it
in reserve as tool. We will otherwise make all sorts of mistakes, e.g. history is random and shows not teleological. Using this model as a tool we get a strong red light warning that that is false.
This model is tailor made for postmarxist historiography but conventional science, historiography, evolutionism, and marxism will do everything they can to suppress this model. But perhaps not for long. As the reign of darwinism and scientism collapse people will begin to ask where they went wrong.