1619 question, democracy and slavery in world history (and socialism) , the eonic model, and the nature of systems, theories, and causal fallacies

I put the posts on the issue of democracy, and slavery (1619) into one post, and will continue to add material, perhaps.

This kind of model cuts straight to the real issues. But it is tricky and requires study. But it shows clearly how world history is not a causal system in the usual sense. And that includes historical materialism. Best to stay with empirical histories and then carefully consider something like the eonic model. It is a crude and time and motion model that stumbles into a strange mystery, a dynamic that is completely unexpected and very difficult to resolve even though we can see what it is doing. Economic systems are subsystems and don’t direct the path of evolving civilizations, save perhaps in the short term. Marx was tearingf his hair trying decipher some epochal sequence in history. Suddenly we find the right way to consider that, viz. the eonic effect. But the results incomplete empirically and vast in scope.
One must be an avid reader of history to even start here, and even then it is hard.

The issue is not economic systems, but ‘evolution’, in some new definition, the evolution of civilization. Evolution, as Lamark first realized (despite his apparent goof on some aspects of adaption, if they were indeed goofs, in the era of epigenetics), in a crude sense: he spoke of two levels, etc…

We should note the argument here applies also, with modifications, to the emergence of socialism beside democracy. We can look at that in another post.

three posts:

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The context of the eonic effect/model:///An interesting thread at Marxmail: Re: [marxmail] GOP Still Wants to Pretend the Preservation of Slavery Wasn’t a Major Reason for the American Revolution – CounterPunch.org You mean the 1619 Project. – 1848+: The End(s) of History
The eonic model provides another way to see this debate: the hopeless confusion gets even more hopeless if we backtrack to what should be included in the debate, the emergence of democracy in ancient Greece. The eonic model is tricky and needs a certain amount of study: it is a two-level model with macro and micro levels: here’s the point, tricky but unavoidable: The model distinguishes macro and micro levels, as ‘system action’ and ‘free agency’: democracy’ emerges as macro in ancient Greece and then follows its micro realization. We see the emergence in tandem of the ‘freedom’ concept as such, ‘eleutheria’. We see the emergence of ‘system’ aspect with Solon, followed by the (delayed) emergence of democracy but coexisting with slavery. (Solon was in reality one of the first (almost) abolitionists, but his formulation was soon swallowed up.
So, the first great democracy in world history (I am always reluctant to proclaim ‘first’: Sumerians were usually the real firsts). The Athenians spoke eloquently of democratia, oblivious to the social foundation of horrific slavery.
It seems as though the macro process must start somewhere no matter if the outcome is a scrambled result and the modern recursion seems like it got it right but was still a more or less scrambled result.

Re: [marxmail] GOP Still Wants to Pretend the Preservation of Slavery Wasn’t a Major Reason for the American Revolution – CounterPunch.org You mean the 1619 Project. I have no problem with an…

Source: An interesting thread at Marxmail: Re: [marxmail] GOP Still Wants to Pretend the Preservation of Slavery Wasn’t a Major Reason for the American Revolution – CounterPunch.org You mean the 1619 Project. – 1848+: The End(s) of History

——————

An interesting thread at Marxmail: Re: [marxmail] GOP Still Wants to Pretend the Preservation of Slavery Wasn’t a Major Reason for the American Revolution – CounterPunch.org You mean the 1619 Project.

http://www.marxmail.org/msg174873.html

Re: [marxmail] GOP Still Wants to Pretend the Preservation of Slavery Wasn’t a Major Reason for the American Revolution – CounterPunch.org
You mean the 1619 Project.

I have no problem with any of it other than the bizarre understanding of the American Revolution. I’ll restate a few of the big points . . . .

1. The calendar makes its own demands. Britain did not abolish slavery until the 1830s, so it was not under any greater threat under the British Empirem in 1776 than it would be out of it. In fact, with this in mind, slavery would have remained legal for another half centuiry under the empire in states that actually got rid of it between the 1770s and the early 1800s after getting independence.

2. The American War for Independence was “American” in a united sense only in hindsight. It represented the united effort of thirteen then-distinct political entities. Slavery could well have been a factor for the big slaveholders in places like South Carolina, but it hardly existed and had no appreciable weight in the deliberations of a state like Massachusetts. In fact, if we include Vermont–which expolicitly excluded slavery from its beggining–the assertion has the nonslaveholding (and actually antislavery) settlers there waging a war against slaveholding Britain to hand on to their own non-existent slaves. These points don’t argue that the Revolution was an antislavery slavery force in general, but they demonstrate the fallacy of generalizing it as something to preserve slavery.

3. We’re talking about are bourgeois revolutions. The English, French or American Revolutions wound up establishing a new class as the masters. None of it necessarily did much good for the people in general, save in that the people were able to make their weight felt. And each of them has some very horrible results–or certainly sought to have them–for some sections of the population. After the revolution in Paris, the slaveholders on Saint-Domingue went prancing about with tricolor cockades in their hats. Cromwell invaded Ireland. The new United States raised English duplicity in dealing with the native peoples to whole new levels, and made internal compromise that left slavery to the states, guaranteeing its survival for nearly another century. .

Deplorable . . . but that doesn’t make something less bourgeois . . . not today and not in the past. Quite the contrary.

So a slave revolt here or there or greater native resistance in one place than another or workers learning how to organize in their interests–all shape a better result than would have been the case without them, but the general contours of what comes out of those upheavals not be in the hands of a Babeuf. A major consideration in my thinking was what African Americans were writing about the American Revolution in the Civil War period and later..

This isn’t a matter of someone being a Marxist or not based on their analysis of what happened in the eighteenth century. But I have just seen no justification for abandoning the rather traditional Marxist understanding of what a bourgeois revolution was and where the American Revolution fit into it.

When the 1619 Project appeared almost two years ago, I thought making these points about its flawed understanding of the American Revolution was worth noting, though the priority that the World Socialist Web places on this was rather odd. It’s preoccupation with the old news of 1776 has become old news in its own right at this point.

Decades of working for a living has taught me that whatever input I can have, I should make it and just let it ride. If people accept it, great. If they continue to talk around the points . . . well, time and experience will probably make the case better than I have. So, too, on this point.

[marxmail] The Revolutionary Minimum-Maximum Program – Cosmonaut

It is interesting to follow this thread at Marxmail beyond the original link, as below. We will follow with one later entry on the thread.

https://cosmonautmag.com/2021/05/the-revolutionary-minimum-maximum-program/

Source: [marxmail] The Revolutionary Minimum-Maximum Program – Cosmonaut

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