The eonic effect: an ultra simple periodization…and the eonic model as a descriptive empiricism

The eonic effect is a far superior foundation for historical study because it gets free from false theories trying to find a science of history and concentrates on chronologies or simple periodization. Once you get free from the obsession to find a set of causal laws of history, the empirical richness of history stands out, and ironically we discover all over again the real path to a future account of history in science terms, but this time in the category of ‘evolution’, postdarwinian evolution.

We illustrate the ‘eonic effect’ in world history as a set of three eras with modernity at the end. This simple chronology is the simplest and probably the best periodization of world history (and considers a subset as the data of the so-called Axial Age). This simple fragment of world history is in fact rich in structure and shows the way civilizations in the context of a set of transitions ‘evolves, which is very different from a set of ‘laws’ in the sense of science.

We see civilization emerging from the Paleolithic into the Neolithic and then a jump to what is called ‘higher civilization’, ’higher’ justified or not. A set of two and a half epochs of some kind thence take up the whole of world history into our time with:

higher civilization in Sumer, Egypt, ca. 3000 BCE
classical antiquity with parallel exemplars ca. 600 BCE
the modern era in a rapid emergence around 18oo

That’s it. We will start over and try to expand on this, but the point is we have a useful periodization of world history, of the Neolithic then two long eras, then the start of a third, and that is our own present.

Sometimes postmodern critics try to expose ‘grand narratives’ but in this case, we escape that criticism by looking at a set of empirical datasets. But the grand narrative critique is false, in the end: the real issue is to find a grand narrative that works. Here we see a fragment that nonetheless gives us a hint about the evolution of civilizations.

The data of the eonic effect is provocative in the richness of its mysterious detail and structure and from this we can attempt a model which isn’t a theory but a set of statements about what we see: a set of strange transitions, and a sequential and parallel logic that is mysterious. But the value of the model is to see the rise of modernity in context. This is not an economic stage of productive forces, although capitalism emerges in this transition at the end of its action, but a depiction of the massive flood of innovations that change the course of history. We can see that the rise of the modern is not a European but a local start for a global transformation.
The question of democracy is a core resurgent innovation in the modern period and is associated with socialism in an attempt to refine the real meaning of democracy.

In any case, the tactic of periodizaation uncovers something a search for causal laws will miss: a massive non-random pattern (the eonic effect by another name) and such a pattern imples a question, what generates this. That and many other issues arise and can prove to be a far simpler and robust way to study history that the sterile search for historical laws or the Marxist historical materialism with is confusion of base and s

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