marxist mis-analysis of Zinn’s classic (mis-analysis)…//A Marxist Appraisal of Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” – Socialist Revolution

Update: This post is a good example of the power of the ‘eonic model’. But it requires study and a reading of Decoding World History and/or The Last Revolution  (see the links on the sidebar) would help. But the left is so ingrained in the bad theories of Marx that it is virtually hopeless to communicate. The ‘eonic model’ so-called is not a theory but an outline of historical evolution. But it requires studying world history. The simple chronology in the model is very easy to understand, not so easy is the reading of historical books on world history. But the outline can be a start. For reasons that the ‘eonic model’ makes clear there is no way to a science of history, although the eonic effect as such points to such a theory which would be extremely complex. The academic world is unable to handle this kind of model because they are confused about Darwinian evolution. The evolution question is simply mishandled by biologists with their obsession with natural selection. The error is so simple that failure to grasp its implications makes us wonder about academics.  The material below can be taken simply as a warning that historical materialism is not scientific at all. Nothing in reaching socialism requires Marx’s theories. And it is very doubtful if Marxists can help us to reach socialism, which predates Marx, and they are really one more obstacle on that issue.

Source: A Marxist Appraisal of Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” – Socialist Revolution
Zinn’s classic is rightly respected on the left but the book in detailing the crimes of American history has nothing to say about the crimes of the left, which, to be sure, is not the book’s topic, and yet the impression given results in a kind of propaganda and gives the appearance of deception in a socialist.
And then again the analysis of the book at Socialism Revolution is typical Marxist mishmash and theory fallacy. To criticize a historian for being moralistic is Marxist idiocy and the whole issue of historical materialism creates a wrong-headed perspective and over and over again misunderstands history. Marx’s views on slavery are typical here, at least in the telling of this essay. Marx’s hard-headedness gets him into a set of fallacies. It is true that slavery is connected to the rise of modern capitalism but then Marx with his stages of production confusion calls it necessary in that respect. Surely not. The deeper point is that whatever its sins capitalism created a path beyond slavery and emerges in concert with the Industrial Revolution and abolition. It does not follow that slavery is a mode of production in the Marx sense. And the eonic model points to transistion zones, which the American does not have, except, ironically, just at the divide point. Capitalism as a term has no consistent definition and becomes different in meaning in different periods. We see all these in connection to the eonic effect and we can see that there is a completely different historical dynamic at work. ‘Modern’ capitalism comes into existence at a classic ‘divide’ point in the eonic sequence along with abolition, and much else. The case of America is that of a confusing rogue barbarism with no connection to the eonic effect save in its late staging of ‘democracy’ still in the disease of slavery. We can see that eonic macro history shows induction in terms of the Industrial Revolution, modern capitalism, democracy and finally socialism (which precedes Marx and his confusing and fallacious theory of history which has corrupted the term).
Slavery is to be condemned as morally evil and nothing in world history required its grim history. It is not a stage of production in a theory of economic history. It is a disease of civilization more or less absent at the dawn of higher civilization but then grossly metastasizing in the two eras from ca. 3000 BCE and after. (Slavery may well have existed at the margins in the Neolithic). Christianity emerges to challenge the diseased civilization of the Roman oikoumene and while its stance toward slavery is ambiguous at the start the religion led slowly beyond slavery with its substitute caste system which slowly replaced slavery with a class system causing to the horrific Indian version. No, it is NOT true that all those Roman buildings in their barbaric magnificence required or justified slavery. They are a mistake of history suffering a terminal disease. This point should perhaps be debated, but the point is that in principle a system beyond slavery emerged, more or less, and then regressed in the dreadful American case. Christianity brought a universal respect for man as such.

Slavery was never necessary for capitalism as such. The point is obvious in the modern world where it has been replaced with wage labor, exploited or not. The persistence of slavery at the margins in the era of globalization must be considered, to be sure. But the US (and the Americas) could have developed without slavery and suffered a permanent curse for not having done so. The point is the macro-history of the eonic model never induces slavery in any case that is visible to us. But it can sometimes overlay one thing on top of another, the rising slavery of classical antiquity in the early Greek case showing the birth of the idea of freedom (eleutheria) even as slavery was spreading in the ancient world. Ironically the American case was identical here. Eonic macrohistory shows a moral aspect and we cannot excise ethical issues from history in the name of science or degenerate pseudo-sciences like historical materialism. We should note the aborted abolitionist seed idea appears with Solon once again near the ‘divide’ ca. 600 BCE in a core eonic transition zone. This is a clincher and we see macro process actually attempting and aborting abolition in early Greece.

Historical materialism is a flawed pseudo-science and a post-Marxist left is needed to move beyond the erroneous scientism of Marx. To be fair, this is a problem with science as such which tries to generalize without the value domain. We see this in evolution but the reality is that evolution is not physics and moves in the value domain, and this becomes crucial for understanding history.

This is pretty tricky and the eonic model is better studied carefully in simpler cases. But the point is tabled and close to proven: slavery was never necessary in the emergence of civilization. Consider the Egyptian pyramids: early on they were constructed by patriotic conscript labor, slavery no doubt appearing later on as Egypt degenerated. A similar case is probably true of Sumer, more or less. The eonic model is a far better model for the left than Marx’s reductionist scientism, along with his confusing teleology of epochs of production, a total mess of an historical theory.

Source: A Marxist Appraisal of Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” – Socialist Revolution

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