The eonic model and its data opens a new future for historical analysis…//Peter Singer charts the path from Hegelian philosophy to Marxist revolution | Aeon Videos

Despite the great interest in this delicious-looking video on Hegel and Marx which I hope to watch at some point soon, the subject of history needs to move on, starting with getting disentangled from Darwinism and then considering the implications of the ‘eonic effect’ and its model. The dynamic of history is not what we think and especially in the case of Marx (Hegel seems to endure in spite of himself) we need to move on from his incorrect theories of history which have crippled the path to socialism and turned Marxists into a dogmatic cult. In fact, freed of those theories Marx’s basic thinking on class and class struggle spring back with enduring relevance. But the dynamic of history is far different from the crypto-teleological depiction of stages of production. Continue reading “The eonic model and its data opens a new future for historical analysis…//Peter Singer charts the path from Hegelian philosophy to Marxist revolution | Aeon Videos”

 The harm done by taking ‘Marxism’ as science

We have been critical of the idea that Marxism is science for over a year plus here and The Last Revolution goes over this in a lot of detail. Having sent many links to Jacobin on this I have to assume this article is a shot over the bows for me. In any case, the idea that Marxism is science along with Engels’ useless Dialectics of Nature is not really defensible anymore, and I am puzzled anyone on the left would still try. Marx’s interest in science is commendable but what science are we talking about, in the early to late nineteenth century in the context of reductionist science, causal physics, and the botched job of Darwinism which Marx annexed to his doctrine of materialism, compounding the confusion. In that context, Marx tried something daring by trying to turn history into a study of economic categories but that was simply off the mark from the start. World history is an immensely complex field far beyond mere economic categories and Marx’s ‘stages of production’ theory applied to history in a sequence of epochs is a pile of nonsense.
Marx created a difficult situation for his faithful by locking them into nineteenth-century science notions, and with a system that even scientists of his time saw as dubious. And science has moved on. With the coming of Quantum Mechanics, and then Quantum Field Theory/String Theory we are all out in left field wondering just what science is telling us, if anything.
The science of Marx simply doesn’t wash anymore. Not at all. In retrospect, calling something like Marxism science is dangerous because it makes critics into counterrevolutionaries who must be lliquidated because they are not scientific…Madness. And it happened with Stalin.

Trying to produce a science of history has always failed because history is not like physics and shows the transformation of facts and values in a dynamic totally beyond current science. Better to use descriptive approach and deal with simple chronologies. Marx’s theory subjects the left to endless debates and rejection by critics who have long known the flaws here. And the whole mess is compounded by Engels and his total confusion over the dialectic. Taking The Dialectics of Nature as a path to science is hopeless confusion and gives even sympathetic leftists a difficult dilemma.
Socialism doesn’t require a science of history and can be constructed far better without a pretense of theory and science. This blog has endless material on this…
cf. The_Last_Revolution_Postcapitalist Futures_ ED2_8_23_22

From Marx and Engels to the present day, socialists have been deeply engaged with the world of science. With the provision of lifesaving vaccines held hostage by corporate profiteering, the story of this relationship is more important than ever.

Source: How Marxists Brought Science to Politics and Politics to Science

Marxism and scientism

One of the key foundation points of The Last Revolution is the context/history of ‘scientism’ in the nineteenth-century gestation of Marx/Marxism: Google: scientism and a good study, Science and scientism in nineteenth-century Europe By Richard Olson. The complexity of this subject is considerable and our text merely points to the influence of scientism on Marxism/communism. Marxism thrived under this regime (as ideology or propaganda as theory?) and then by the twentieth century founded in its multiple exposes and/or historical realizations (Bolshevism). The latter study sees the connection to Darwinism/Social Darwinism but is slightly reticent on the issue of natural selection: it our view that is the core ‘scientistic’ myth of the Darwinian ideology.
A further aspects the idea of a science of history which has many nooks and crannies and an almost complete universe of fallacies and bad theories. The Lst/Rev adopts a new approach, one designed to focus on simple chronologies to keep the student well away from useless efforts to apply causal physics to history. This approach steps backward into what probably would be required for such a science: an evolutionary model, in a new sense, and not a theory but an empirical history as evolution taken as a discrete/continuous sequence effect, with (probably, our guess) a form of directionality, perhaps teleology. We make no hard claims there, but use this hypercomplext structure as a warning to stick to empirical histories. A system operating in a timed frequency is preposterous, but the evidence is there: judge as ye will.
The point here is that to found a socialist project on a science of history is always going to fail, best to stay low. Instead of the historical inevitability of Marx’s progression of epochs of production, a clearly brittle ‘theory’, we have the ‘core free agency of historical agents in the modern transition’, as they mediate the emergent political field of source ideas, e.g. democracy, socialism,… :the eonic macro effect seems to field these core starting points and leaves them to human realization. Thus socialism and democracy come into conflict/harmonization as the field attempts to reconcile the two into a unity: this idea appears directly in the early socialists, picked up by Marx. This was the ‘real democracy’ suggested by those first socialists. Behind Marx’s failed historical theories stands a cogent analysis of the capture of democracyy by the bourgeois state. Marx is original in his key insight into the problematic of unchecked capitalism, which is as much a modern innovation as the rest, but in the same way in need of resolution or harmonization into a new form of social economy: this project surely failed because no one could handle the mystery of markets until the twentieth-century debates on that. As a matter of fact, Marx, the critic of capitalism, admired it even as he foresaw correctly the dangers to come. Let us note (a la the eonic effect) the strange appearance of Adam Smith in such a timely moment, and that if anyone had actually followed his account the whole history of capitalism might have been far different.
We must wonder if modernity is not a fault unaccomplit: A series of potentials realized in fragmentary form.

But historical materialism has distorted the study of history…//No, Karl Marx Was Not Eurocentric

Although the charge against Marx that he was Eurocentric is not really correct, he did not fully grasp why the issue of Eurocentrism arises at all. Further, his view of world history is very limited and suffers the reductionist limits of historical materialism. Marx was ‘just one more sucker’ for Darwinism, and could not properly assess the fact/value question in the clear ‘idealist’ factors of the history of philosophy, art, and religion. Because of the confusions of the generation of Hegel, Marx perpetrated the monumental blunder of pitting materialism against idealism, where the two remain forever Janus-faced in the study of man, nature and his anthropology. Continue reading “But historical materialism has distorted the study of history…//No, Karl Marx Was Not Eurocentric”

The simple chronological dynamic of world history in one paragraph

Our eonic model can itself become somewhat elusive, but the basic idea is very simple and without theory: here is a world history model in a nutshell. Throw out Toynbee, Spengler, Marx, et al, and their idiotic theories and consider the simple chronology below. It is all you need and the result doesn’t require the ‘eonic model’ which can be considered later. You can speak thus (empirically) of the ‘evolution’ of civilization, as a category, but there is no simple theory for this. But who cares, you can with study ‘see’ what is going on, both micro and macro, sort of.

Our discussion of ‘decoding world history’ makes a distinction of ‘theory’ in the sense of physics and a ‘model’ which, for us, is not a theory, but an empirical construct like a chronological outline or descriptive set of chapters in a book. Marx struggled for years to produce a theory of history but he always failed and drove himself to distraction. A close look shows and incomplete project he could never finish, and the example of Capital makes clear. The problem was his theory of stages of production in a scheme of epochs, …feudalism, capitalism, communism…The wrong approach is a puzzle in itself, but then Marx had never heard of Sumer and lived just at the dawn of modern archaeological revolutions. Let’s cut to the chase and pull a rabbit from a hat with a genuine progression of historical epochs:
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. Note we suspect this kind of chronology should include the Neolithic, but so far our data is a bit weak.

Harrington a victim of Marxist confusions…

We discussed this useful review below, along with the book about Harrington. I read the book quickly this afternoon, and found it very interesting, but Marxists are stubbornly convinced they have the ultimate standard to judge a figure like Harrington, in the negative. I would say rather that it is almost tragic that a thinker with the talents of Harrington ends up thrashing about in Marxism only to succumb to terminal confusion, and obsessive yet understandable detestation of communism, viz. Stalinism. Harrington actually tries to survive/resolve the economic determination muddle with a defense of Marx, and thrashes around in the whole debate. It is clear that Marx’s economic determination thesis is flawed even as Marxists over and over and over rush to his defense by saying that Marx didn’t really mean what he said and that critics get him wrong, and perhaps blaming Engels. One leftist after another founders in this totally useless debate and ends up in confusion, with a choice, confession of faith or heretical banishment. This quagmire has gone on too long ( I have suffered almost fifty years of this morass and find it increasing crazy) and needs to stop: the only way to do that is to wrest the idea of socialism/communism from its Marxist monopolists and start over, fighting one’s way out of the jungle of Marxist idiots, and Marx himself. And none too soon: we are running out of time and any chance of a leftist rescue package from planetary ecocide is dwindling fast.

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A cogent critique of Harrington but is the mainstream Marxist left any better here, beyond chanting the mantra of a revolutionary working class and then adjourning for lunch? Harrington reflects the impotence of the conventional sloganeering but the larger left steeped in Marx is unable to apply a relevant analysis of economics, history, or revolution and is stuck forever in the treadmill of Marx chapter and verse citation and homily. And it won’t work anymore. The focus in mature capitalist society on the working class fails to really find any such class save as blended with the middle class. The recent resurgence of a union movement visible with Amazon, Starbucks, et al. hopefully can contradict that statement. The great tide of labor into unionization in parallel to Marx’s initiative has seen a great success, followed by its cooptation, and destruction at the hands of capitalist attacks, what to say of Mafia penetration, class struggle indeed, but very little toward the transformation beyond capitalism.
The issue of the working class is mostly a handful of cliches capped with the vain hope that the working class will take over the government and rule with justice at last. How is that to happen? The only real exemplar here is the Bolshevik case which failed on day one and produced not the dictatorship of the proletariat but the dictatorship of a Marxist bourgeosie, and a working-class deprived of their labor organizations. Marxism is unique in the way, unlike most ideologies where its proponents carry out a program, it tries to get another class to carry out the program as they stand by and kibbitz with Marx quotations. That creates a tricky complication on the order of doing a yoyo standing on your head. Harrington’s plight is therefore not surprising. Continue reading “Harrington a victim of Marxist confusions…”

Book review: Biography of Michael Harrington exposes his ‘Failure of Vision’ – Workers’ Voice/La Voz

A cogent critique of Harrington but is the mainstream Marxist left any better here, beyond chanting the mantra of a revolutionary working class and then adjourning for lunch? Harrington reflects the impotence of the conventional sloganeering but the larger left steeped in Marx is unable to apply a relevant analysis of economics, history, or revolution and is stuck forever in the treadmill of Marx chapter and verse citation and homily. And it won’t work anymore. The focus in mature capitalist society on the working class fails to really find any such class save as blended with the middle class. The recent resurgence of a union movement visible with Amazon, Starbucks, et al. hopefully can contradict that statement. The great tide of labor into unionization in parallel to Marx’s initiative has seen a great success, followed by its cooptation, and destruction at the hands of capitalist attacks, what to say of Mafia penetration, class struggle indeed, but very little toward the transformation beyond capitalism.
The issue of the working class is mostly a handful of cliches capped with the vain hope that the working class will take over the government and rule with justice at last. How is that to happen? The only real exemplar here is the Bolshevik case which failed on day one and produced not the dictatorship of the proletariat but the dictatorship of a Marxist bourgeosie, and a working-class deprived of their labor organizations. Marxism is unique in the way, unlike most ideologies where its proponents carry out a program, it tries to get another class to carry out the program as they stand by and kibbitz with Marx quotations. That creates a tricky complication on the order of doing a yoyo standing on your head. Harrington’s plight is therefore not surprising. Continue reading “Book review: Biography of Michael Harrington exposes his ‘Failure of Vision’ – Workers’ Voice/La Voz”