The world is moving from a early modern ‘euro-focus’ to the creation of a global oikoumene: while capitalism helped to produce some of the groundwork for this it is in the end counterproductive and the real effect of a global community is thwarted by the imperialism of the starting areas.
We should note that the US is only marginally a part of the modern transition, and it swiftly deviated from anything like a purveyor of global community…
R48G: Eurocentrism, the eonic model and the left
April 11th, 2017 ·
The eonic model is needlessly too controversial for many but it explains very easily many of the questions that tend to vitiate real understanding such as the Eurocentric focus of accounts that peddle the idea of ‘Western civilization’ or the Christian West. The actual facts of the rise of the modern are so strikingly similar to those of Axial/Classical Greece in antiquity that we get a clue to something more complex. That modernity is as aspect of macro induction is too much for most, but the evidence suggests it, starting with the eerie timing of the whole complex of transition areas depicted in the model of the eonic effect
The problem with this developmental process is the ambiguity of macro and micro processes: the overall effect is benign while the larger sphere of influence falls into the hands of ambiguous exploiters, e.g. imperialists, exploiters…At least, in all cases, the phases of imperialism in the transition zones were
short lived. The American case (which is not a transition zone for the early modern, although at the end it became a staging area for democratic emergence) with its late imperialism is now beginning to fall apart, we suspect.
The point here was well understood by Marx/Engels who saw clearly the transient effect of the rise of modernity in the transition zone in Europe and the crisis this provokes in the process of globalization. That the fate of modernity fell into the ambiguities of the capitalist globalization is a misfortune
although in principle the process was projected as a benign potential. The modern transition is unique in the way it spawns a leftist challenge to the degeneration of modernity/globalization’s imperialism and exploitation. It is important to see that the modern transition is not inherently a capitalist process and here the marxist left has tended to its own oversimplification. But the point is clear that our macrosequence, so pure in its spectacular initializations is at risk from the unmodified field of streaming history not directly effected by the larger process. The point is that the macro effect doesn’t come with
a police force and simply injects its transitional zone with creative influences, the outcome be what it may. Here the modernist transition needed desperately a counterpoint to its ‘benign’/’malign’ capitalist innovations and this was almost immediate in the almost providential appearance of figures such as Marx/Engels. Even with this the challenge to the capitalist tidal wave has been weak, and the Russian revolution has most unfortunately discredited the attempted correction. But the general point is clear: undiluted capitalism is not the same as the rise of modernity and requires desperately a corrective.
We can thus both strong endorse the marxist classic (with other parallel socialist and related movements) and yet caution at its limitations.
It would not be hard to correct the correction and it is important to consider that if the emergence of capitalism was grossly flawed the emergence of its challenger could itself shows its limits.
The value of the eonic model is that it demonstrates the logic of modernity in the context of larger world history and suggests a broder set of ‘modern innovations’ beyond the economic as a field of culture,
soon to be warped by capitalist emergence. As noted the ambivalence of marxists/socialists is a crucial
aspect of this macro transition and yet these movements have not so far succeeded in their task of bringing capitalism into harmony with the emerging culture of modernity.
The question of Eurocentrism is solved at a glance by the eonic model: modernity (not the same as the Italian, etc, Renaissance) arises in exact timing 2400 years after the onset of the Axial Age in one of the last frontier zones (Europe) of the Eurasian field of emergence civilizations driven by the macrosequence. The modern transition from 1500 to 1800 produces a spectacular set of innovation in religion, science, politics, philosophy, literature, art, technology and economics. But the latter two
categories are really independent social processes influenced by the macro effect to be sure, but not the
same. Technological and economic streams and innovations can occur continuously in all eras and are not discontinuous injections. Some cases to be sure are borderline, capitalism itself perhaps, but the interaction of these processes is very complex. However, the sudden appearance of complex art, etc, on schedule, rapidly waning out of the timing interval, is almost impossible to explain by any other model. Why is it so much literature and art suddenly appear in our transition zones, Germany, England, France, etc, in the transition interval and then wane almost immediately after the divide. How explain a similar effect for modern music? We are totally outclassed by the eonic effect and barely know what hit us. We should put both the American and Russian cases as not really a part of the modern transition, but are sidewinders that become direct candidates for diffusion from the core zone.
This is at first a preposterous model of history but no other model can explain so many strange aspects of world history.