The left preaching ‘revolution’ is confronted with the exemplar of the modern transition (consider the eonic model) which was itself a kind of meta-revolution in the sense of creating a transformation in all categories of society over several centuries. By comparison a socialist revolution is a bit anemic. A future society is not going to stand for some kind of denatured marxist scientism based on materialism, scientism, reductionism, darwinism, etc… What is the alternative?
That is a good question and all that can be said is that where modern secularism has been captured by a narrow set of conceptions, the future, and socialist future, must deal with a new and more robust secularism. We should note the way cultural thought contracts away from the early modern. The Romantic movement has disappeared save with academic history as the left flounders in the attempt to find ecology in marx, that after a two generations, in parallel and tandem with the peak enlightenment, explored the realm of nature. Thus for a start the categories of the modern transition (hard to list!) taken as a core would quickly start, at least, to reset a balance.
A socialist future is not enough: that might resolve the issue of capitalism, but it won’t produce a vision of the future that can address philosophy, religion, science/scientism, consciousness, ethics, art/literature and creativity, with a long etcetera here, before mere (vulgar, pronounce snobbishly) economics. Check out the chapter From Reformation to Revolution in WHEE for a slightly larger list.
We cannot berate the left if it can’t perform the wonder of the early modern, but we must at least make some attempt to recover the gifts of time before socialism itself becomes some form of barbarism. The start is simple: at least study the problem. And we should query the riddle of the eonic effect.
We interject here our mega-chestnut, the DMNC model, which attempts to integrate categories between political authority/freedom, market/planning, and a Commons versus the legacy of property/capital, that prior to the crucial entry of ecological aspects. But such a society must stage also an open society effect (which doesn’t preempt some forms of control) that can leave an open field to subtler categories, as above. We see in the eonic effect a macro process that can stage art movements in a timed sequence, something (hyper-technological) beyond our powers or even conceptions. Socialisms so far are too primitive to survive long, while capitalism was given its free reign and has produced a burning planet, demented ideologues, and a class system where wealth creation could have liberated the many from class.
As usual we point out that ‘socialism’ is a school boy paper airplane aimed at Wall Street. Hohum, saith the capitalist multitude.
R48G: the revolutionary impulse and modernity/antimodernity
March 13th, 2017
One of the ironies of the analysis of the antimodernists and their calls for some kind of ‘new age’ epoch (the aquarian age meme was one such piece of nonsense) is that modern revolutionary dynamism itself is both modern and antimodern at the same time:
the revolutionary impulse (nothing like the modern ‘revolution’ really existed in earlier eras) has tended to promote the ‘modern’ against the ‘medieval’ but it soon enough became clear that a set of secondary ‘revolutions’ would be needed to complete modernity. (A related example is the chaotic legacy of, say, the english reformation between henry/8, the english civil war and its restoration, a spectacle of not being able to get it right). The classic case is the nineteenth century left with its canonical codification by mars/engels: the idea of the ‘last revolution’ has the implication that a postcapitalist era will emerge in reaction to the contraction of modernity in the downshifted version of capitalist economic organization.
We have suggested a more generalized version of such a revolution as a ‘floating fourth turning point’ (see the book on the subject, amazon), referring to the ‘eonic effect’. i.e. some kind of economic revolution balanced with a full platform of cultural aspects that can forestall revolutionary oversimplification. The ‘revolution’ of modernity was itself such a transformation, a warning of the complexity of the task of postcapitalist social reorganization.
It is worth studying the case of the greek enlightenment in the axial age and its related roman degenerations. By analog to attempts to castigate modernity we might charge greece with roman sins: obviously that doesn’t work. The obvious point was for rome to have realized the greek enlightenment. In the same fashion we must be wary of blaming the early modern for the deviations and degenerations of those who come later. The whole point is to realize modernity not to abolish it. But that is not an easy task given the tremendous complexity of the early modern.