The ‘end(s) of history’? 1848+…?

As noted, we changed our logo: we have tried to put the idea of the ‘end of history’, which has a very confusing history, starting with Hegel, or rather, with Kant and his famous essay on history, into some kind of intelligible context. The idea of Kant, a challenge to search for evidence of a progression toward the perfect civil constitution and other factors, was put into a post-newtonian context by Hegel and his design argument using ‘Geist’, then turned into a leftist theme and slogan (Hegel never used the term ‘end of history’) and then was turned on its head in the era of Fukuyama (who has since changed his mind). Marx’s stages of production theory falls into place as one attempt to answer Kant’s challenge. The problem here is the difficulty of grasping what is summoned to awareness: a teleological process. Marx spoke in terms of reductionist science denouncing teleology, but his theories indirectly assume a teleological character.

In the end we must establish a framework of teleology for history before we can speak of the ‘end of history’. But that will be a ‘timeless’ component related to a temporal context.

That is very controversial for science. But the overall sense is right as a hunch, gedanken experiment.

In terms of the eonic effect/model we can see clearly the action of that teleology is visible only as directionality which shows ‘direction’ only at a given point. Suddenly the problem seems to clarify itself: the ‘transitions’ are intervals that seem to interact with a ‘feedback’ effect that resets direction, which only reflects teleology, without being the same thing. If you are going from A to D, the stage of B will show direction toward D but not fully imply that ‘end point’… If we are just after B directionality of the future will seem paradoxically in our recent past.

In our current frame, then, the modern transition seems to set direction but cannot completely control the local post-transitional future. So the transition sets the ‘end(s) of history’, which could be multiple or a spectrum. e/g the smooth conceptual spectrum between, say, democracy, socialism, etc… As Hegel noted, the key note is some version of the idea of freedom, in history. Science cannot reckon such an idea. The eonic model distinguishes ‘system action’ and ‘free agency’: We can in principle change the future, but in practice that could lead nowhere, as with a man without a compass. But the evolution of freedom can’t be deterministic: the direction setter must (intermittently) stop its action to let free agents act freely, whatever the result.

This is a dangerous situation: the ‘future’ can be, as it were, overpowered by chaotic outcomes and not ‘reach’ its defining character projected into the future.

The year 1848 in the eonic model is a useful metaphor for the period just after the transition, or the setting of potential ‘direction(s)’, 1848+ is the obvious period emerging in the wake of the transition up to our present. Also note the obvious way in which Marx joins the ‘direction setters’ with his stages of production’ prophecy. But there is no guarantee of any given future even if is given directional impetus in the period of transition. The timing of Marx/Engels is spectacular, downright elegant, and spooky, just after the ‘eonic divide’ when system action turns to free agency, but unfortunately his prophecy is not science but another (kibbitzing) direction setter sermon to the future. “Free agents of the world, unite’… Capitalist free agents will cast the future to that wolf pack they call ‘The Market’. So long sucker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s