From scientism and ‘theory’ to empirical history

Marxist theory is flawed and should be scrapped…using the eonic model or a simple outline in place of theories…

November 19th, 2017 •

The eonic model would make a superb basis for a new postmarxist historical framework, but it seems unlikely anyone on the left would listen. The critique of darwinism is so heretical that everyone stops listening immediately. And the strange character of the model created suggests some kind of crank theory.

In fact, there is no theory at all because the evidence is so elusive and incomplete that one has a hard time concluding anything. That why we talk about a ‘model’ (sometimes considered a ‘theory’, but here an outline) But that’s the point: world history is an enigma that has eluded almost all schools of thought, religious and scientific. We can suggest a way to use the model without using it: an empirically visible progression of epochs over millennia. Visible transitions that resemble a punctuated equilibrium effect: these shows a clustering of advance, innovation. An evident dynamic, but operating behind the scenes: a resemblance to a noumenal aspect.

This makes the study of history very treacherous. All parties will create opposing ideological brands and miss the key to a larger unity of secular, religious/spiritual, theistic/atheistic, materialist/idealist, evolutionary, and economic histories. The whole subject can be cast as a version of Big History, but maintain a dimension beyond such ‘flat histories’. The material aspect gets a spiritual angle, and the spiritual gets a material angle. The term ‘spiritual’ can be scrapped altogether.

A postmarxist analysis could thrive in this context and deals with economic histories as empirical chronicles from the Neolithic to the present. The issue of democracy is built in, very strangely. The question of theory and ideology is intrinsic and the idea of freedom becomes a component of dynamism, which both absorbs and refutes Hegelian history. The framework of Kant is a useful set of questions beginning to get answered by archaeology….Economic determinism is out. Hegelian dialectic is out. The Old Testament is out, but gets an elegant reckoning in another form, theistic historicism is out (but ‘god’ can redefined in so many ways, this victory is pyrrhic) but gets a kind of Gaian remix. Darwinism is out, but the idea of evolution comes into its own in a new form, etc,…

In any case, historical materialism, and religious historicism are caput. The idea of Big History is useful enough but is still darwinian and misses a key aspect of the emergence of civilization, and so on.

The whole marxist theory package can be replaced with a few simple ideas:

study history as a chronicle of three epochs, Egypt, Sumer to classical antiquity, the evidence of the Axial Age and its succession, the rise of modernity as a new era underway. One can study this continuously, extend it backwards and/or study its clear discontinuities about which we can set an hypothesis. If discontinuity suggests a dynamic, we can adopt an hypothesis of teleological action. Such a dynamic suggests a distinction of system action and free action and we get a windfall in this approach that goes beyond the sterile approach for historical laws…

There is more, but the basic point is clear.

We have suggested that communism is really an aspect of the democratic revolution can become the true meaning of the ‘end of history’ meme on that basis. The ‘end of history’ meme is caput! But we can reset the issue as a version of the ‘evolution of freedom’, a demonstrable aspect of our ‘eonic data’….

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