Revolutions are a modern ‘invention’ but their enigma (especially as seen in the eonic effect) makes their realization very difficult. And the left understandably extended the meaning of ‘revolution’ in the wake of the french revolution into new areas, socialism…
The problem is that the basic format of revolutions can be lost and unless the issue of democracy is resolved the outcome, as with bolshevism, is doomed…
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’ (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.