We have critiqued ‘historical materialism’ repeatedly here, from the left and suggested a new approach that could serve the left better than the dated legacy of Marxism. This article starts with an attack on postmodernism and its rejection of historical laws, etc…But the issue of history is not so simple and the lack of a science does not entail the lack of analysis. The issue is falsely posed: we can reject a ‘science’ of history without rejecting a larger analysis of its essential nature.
The eonic model is a new breakthrough that distinguishes ‘system action’ and free agency and shows how the two interact as we place the issue of civilization in the context of post-Darwinian evolution.
This model uncovers the unsuspected dynamic behind world history and its connections: the category is an evolutionary model and a two-level micro/macro distinction.. No other model can match the blend of historical determination and the action of free agents inside it.
This model can easily adapt to new versions of liberalism, socialism, and what we call neo-communism. The interaction of a system and a free agent is the key to this approach and occurs in ordinary life in dozens of examples: the most obvious being the ‘system action’ of an automobile and the ‘free agency’ of the driver.
The left including Marxists would do well to recast their whole subject and start over ASAP as time runs out for the left: an old-style revolution in marxist terms isn’t going to happen: what is needed is a platform with a more generalized model of history and crucially a reminder that now ‘laws of history’ are going produce postcapitalism: men/women as free agents must construct and realize a new model of society.
The International Marxist Tendency proudly presents the Winter 2021 issue of the In Defence of Marxism theoretical journal! This latest edition is themed around the topic of historical materialism. We publish below the editorial by Alan Woods.
Fabian Escalante, a founder of Cuba’s state security services, served as head of Cuba’s Department of State Security in 1976 -1996 and vice-minister of
The religious obsession with the Big Bang goes on and on, as does the related debate among scientists.
But the issues of metaphyics lurk to undermine certainties here. And here we have a direct connection to Kant and his famous antinomies, one of which relates directly to the issue of the Big Bang: there is a beginning in time, there is no beginning in time. This antinomy pertains directly to the Big Bang theory. This contradiction is intractable and sure enough the theory itself has reflected the antinomial background by generating larger theories in which the Big Bang is only a relative beginning (with our without the puzzling multiverse theory). Related to the antinomial issue is the most basic puzzle that attends the whole discourse: If the Big Bang is the ‘beginning of time’ what came before? We cannot think our way out of this kind of confusion. In fact, in the Kantian resolution we see the logical dilemma as insoluble leads to transcendental idealism (which is not transcendental nor really an idealism a la Hegel) which seems to suggest that space-time are constructs of mind. This is problematical and a much detested ‘non-conclusion’ scorned by hard materialists. There is a consolation prize here, apparently: if TI is right then we seem to have a simpler approach to space travel that the complications of rocket science. For that we may be locked in a Zen monastery, for keeps.
In just 18 minutes, Miller lays to rest any reasonable doubts that our universe must have had a beginning. As in, “In the beginning.”
Hegel however finds an echo in the eonic effect in terms of the emergence of freedom, but as an evolutionary aspect. Marx however is still historically very relevant in simply pointing to socialism/communism as future potentials, etc… A whole book could discuss this in both cases, but we need to move on now.
But Marxists fail to see the limits of their own foundations. Compared to Kantian ethical socialism Marx’s crudity is strange for such an intelligent man. But the suspected reason comes to mind: model stripped of ethics is training for killers in the revolution. Any discussion of Marxism now is haunted by its legacy of violence. Marxists seem oblivious to their own logic. There is no going back to that. The Chinese communists killed one million capitalists early (or so I read, needs a fact check).
Is that Marxism? If you say no, no one will believe. This is but one of the reasons a new start is needed. The treatment of the objects of revolution must be reconsidered very carefully.