Fukuyama has navigated into being a liberal, it seems, and this is good. We can use the eonic model to suggest the best interpretation of the ‘end of history’ argument. Our site logo, the ends of history, plural, is merely a linguistic flourish to poke the end of history idea which is actually a useful concept. The end of history must have several brands and flavors. With
Fukuyama we have a sort of Hegelian Charles Chaplin in a comedy routine of historical interpretation. He was right and wrong: the end of history was to be communism, but this wasn’t the opposite of democracy.
This blog is called 1848: The Ends of History. The point here is that history shows directionality but moves in multiple directions. Consider the Axial Age. Directionality splits into multiple streams. The outcome is a set of cultural zones unified by a common modernity: the end/ends of history show unity and diversity.
The lesson of modernity is that the rival streams need to reintegrate into a larger unity, without homogenizing to excess the great diversity of world history. But Fukuyams is right in a way: the eonic model, amazingly, shows a definite pattern in the emergence of democracy. We will explore that in detail in our little book at Lastmandthere.info, a work in progress.
The issue is simple: modernity equivocates both democracy and communism because it is trying to integrate the two into a ‘real democracy’. That was the point of Fukuyama’s book on the ‘end of history’: trying to force history into a communist mode, pseudo-communism really,was a colossal failure because the result was not democratic, to say the least. The antithesis of democracy and communism is not really present in early socialist thinking or the early Marx. But the critique of liberalism as captured by capitalism, a truly cogent insight of Marx et al., backfired and by the time of Lenin and the Russian legacy of authoritarian government democracy got factored out of the communist equation.
In the future we will know better come to see the necessity to blend the liberal and the communist in a way that is both socialist and democratic.
Without democracy communism is barren, but without communism democracy is doomed.
That said, there are many options in the blend of democracy and communism. The abolition of private property is a harsh task, made harder by the failure to do the job earlier when societies were fresher.
But the issue is not unreasonable: the question of property is confused by rightness of small scale personal property, versus the large scale resources of planetary ecology that are essentially plundered by capital from a Commons. In the end, unless we can ‘communize’ those natural resources we will create an awful tyranny of capitalists: that is well underway now.
Look at oil. This is a part of the Commons shared by all men in the natural ecology of a planet. To have allowed this to fall into the hands of the especially ruthless and blind global corporations is a decision about man’s future that won’t stand. Humanity will beat war with itself as long as this domination persists. Why should the reckless greed of the Exxon capitalists have unlimited domination of man and his future? And so on: the point is so clear in the early socialists and early Marx. But the later Marx fell into a false theoretical mode (actually we see it already in the earlier period, more or less) and ended up confusing the issue with epochs of economic history, viz. feudalism, capitalism then communism. That’s bad theory. And this threatens to give capitalism a status it doesn’t deserve at all: capitalism destroying the Amazon basin is not licensed by capitalist ideology or some age period of its inevitability: the resource should be, should have been in a Commons from the start, with a global agency able to enforce this. From their behavior in the revolutions of 1848 Marx/Engels made obvious the fact they believed this in their early phase.
A socialist container for capitalism should have been fundamental from the start. Capitalism isn’t that big a deal. It means industrialization plus a series of financial instruments. There is no reason why these can’t enter a communist container. Now the obsessive lunacy of trying to privatize all social functions is, we hope, the last stage of a form of madness doomed to either come to a halt or continue till final ruin besets a whole planet.
We have proposed ‘democratic market neo-communism’ as a ground plan for an ecological socialism. It makes for a terrific ‘end of history’ argument. Unfortunately, if we study the eonic effect we see that the process only initiates the starting point: democracy mysteriously appears in the early modern, and then is left to human effort to keep it alive, a chancy process, to say the least.
Later we will go into the complex demonstration of one way of seeing emergent democracy in terms of the eonic effect: the historical backdrop is elusive but once seen almost spooky. Just to hint at the mystery, let’s note the concept of the divide, given a 600 BCE an 1800 AD. And then ask, is it chance that Solon appears just around the first, and democracy explodes around the second?
So there is way to consider the ‘end of history’, i.e. democratic directionality. But we must be wary of Hegel here and notd the blazingly obvious: just as democracy was emerging, a communist critique also emerged in parallel with a question, what is the correct argument. Looking back it was clear that the dualistic dilemma between them was false. In any case communism appears as early as the Reformation, then the English Civil War. It is and always was the companion of democratic emergence. The idea of communism has been corrupted by bolshevism beyond recognition. It should be other than state capitalism and command economies, that dreadful lunacy of the early bolshevism.
In fact the idea of a Commons allows us to simply redefine private property as a part of a Commons with the stroke of a pen: the capitalist owners are transmogrified into stewards of the Commons. More likely, we may expropriate private capital, but the option remains to refine our ideas of that. We don’t have to get into life and death struggles with evil capitalists: we can simply redefine the rules of the game in place. If that backfires then we get a bit ruthless and make expropriation explicit. But the more general point is that communism should be a breeze, as long as capitalist madness, a progressive disease it seems, doesn’t befuddle the rising tide of Ayn Rand lunatics beyond socialist redemption.
Note: we will inject the mysterious logic of democratic emergence, whether it makes sense or not: in the eonic model we distinguish ‘system action’ and ‘free action’. System action decreases the ‘free agency’ (or degrees of freedom) in free action temporarily to induce some outcome, in embryo, to be completed as free action with greater restored degrees of freedom. But if ‘system action’ attempts to induce ‘democracy’, or let us say, greater freedom it can end up decreasing freedom (or degrees of freedom) in the decrease of free agency. The solution in the process is to do the induction near the end point of an eonic transition, that is, just at, or before the divide.
A remarkable and deep discovery about the dynamics of world history ….
We must face the grim reality that man alone was unable to found democracy; it emerges in relation to a macro process.