On 2 September 2021, CounterPunch published my article ‘Confessions of a Secret Controlled Demolitions Special Operative for 911’. Some readers believe
Many readers will reject our brand of explanation here as speculative, and that’s completely OK. Our interpretations however are one thing and the basic eonic effect another. The latter is a rock-solid nonrandom pattern in world history and not speculation at all. Explaining it is quite another matter. It is probable that the category of ‘evolution’ is the right one, but not Darwinian evolution, which is so crackpot and speculative that we must rescue the idea of evolution to a new set of facts. The eonic effect, taken in the large foots the bill, minus our interpretations, perhaps. The eonic effect shows a global process, able to focalize on regions, effect or remorph species change according to unseen form factors and in time remorph repeatedly a set of basic blueprints. In the case of civilizations, we see how men create civilization but do so in the context of a related set of form factors.
Our previous post may seem speculative but the Old Testament is a dangerous ‘frenemy’ to a scientific project. Until we adopt a set of potentially scientific concepts in the process of explanation. Here is the challenge is simple to state: explain Israelite ancient history between Solomon and the Exile with naturalistic concepts without reductionist nonsense or causal sociology which clearly won’t work.
At the last minute we are saved from collapse of this project by the study of Archaic to Classical Greece. Archaic Greece (or in our model, Greece ca. 900 to 600/400 BCE) is a very unnerving but beautiful and ultimately very clear parallel variant to the case of the Israelites in the transition period. And the synchronous timing is uncanny. But the details which come in parallel are convincing. We see the collation of the Iliad and Odyssey in exact concert with the early manuscripts of the biblical corpus, we see the same fixation around a divide ca. 600 BCE, and we see an immense corpus of innovations, literary, philosophic, scientific and political. This is a huge study, but our basic point is made: we see a common dynamic behind the Israelite and Greek case and both in a short interval up to 600 BCE, with a 200-year extension as the early results try to manifest in stable form. We cannot say ‘god’ generated the Israelite case without the same for Archaic Greece and other cases, etc…
The Greek case doesn’t generate a religion but all the resources for a new kind of civilization, many of which barely survive only to reappear in the modern case (e.g.science). Greece remains polytheistic in a strange brand of aesthetic polytheism, but generates the seeds for future secular culture.
The eonic effect shows the way religions (and secularism, and philosophies, and science…) emerge in the context of ‘eonic transitions’, three times, at least: emergent ‘Isra…
As we survey the current onset of planetary disaster it is important to review the case for socialism (and/or our neo-communism), and this with a general audience of modernist, liberal/democratic citizens, likely at the start to be oriented to capitalist ideology. We need to try and make the case for a version of socialist democracy as the larger world system moves into chaos. Let us consider the grim reality: the Amazon basin is about to not just suffer destruction, but deliberate destruction by a sociopath (Bolsonaro) intent on what seems like spite levied on ecologists, some kind of parody of Trump, already a parody. For decades ecologists have sounded the warning, we expected something would emerge to save that resource, but it didn’t happen. The Amazon is soon gone, a catastrophe for the planetary system. We face the prospect that capitalist ideology will not prove capable of fending off the coming disaster. It is hard for the public to conceive of a socialist response, but we can predict that you are dead by the current system. Dead. Perhaps a socialist exit strategy can work. We should note that you are losing your democracy as the era of Trump in mysterious ‘stupidity and cleverness’ produced a sort of ‘faux fascist’ feint, the real thing now with an embedded disguised foundation. Trump is not the point, he came, he saw and didn’t conquer, but a hidden backup appears to lurk, for the future. Trump stupid?
In four years he created a closet fascist Republican party.
Our idea here is to take the socialist legacy critically, and to critique its source ‘Marxism’ which is a failure, but with a set of classic ideas here, and create a complete break with the past and start from scratch with a formation that can do the job right, and blend that with democracy. The dilemma of reformism and revolution is fading it seems: nature will produce the revolution as the climate system falls apart. As usual, as with the French and Russian revolutions, revolutionaries could not produce revolution, but the system itself did so. We need to have a system at ready for this foreclosing future.
The question of socialism/communism has been made impossibly difficult by theories which we can set aside and simply work with recipes, procedures of action and transition to a new system. The American Rebs could do it, and the current system can also do that, but noting that a socialist/democratic revolution, is about twice as difficult, with tricky aspects. The American Revolution had its great moment, as a revolution, but to a closer look it was ‘democracy’ prone to capture by elites. We can expect to replicate that classic moment and do it right. This approach is not utopian because its first iteration wasn’t utopian: we can realize what’s needed in a practical way.
We will stop here by considering two Manifestos, the first an echo that considers and says goodbye to the old version, and produces a simple blueprint we call ‘democratic market neo-communism’. This a blended liberal and socialists system with a host of failsafes and checks and balances. It looks like liberal democracy but with one difference: the reign of capital comes to an end with the expropriation of private property, large-scale property. Consider Exxon-Mobil. It controls (along with other like corporations) the resource of oil and has proven like Bolsonaro intent on not changing its way, come hell or high water. This system is perverted. These corporate monsters stole a resource and made it private property. In the end it is going to kill you and your future, and, like Bolsonaro, its agents don’t really care. This is really your asset or resource, stolen from you. What Marx called ‘primitive accumulation’. Expropriation is anathema to capitalists, and they will destroy the planet before they yield title. You are cheated out of what belongs to you, and the larger public, and as a result you will be dead, soon.
Our idea of democratic market neo-communism is designed to be both a liberal and socialists hybrid. It is simple, evades the ponderous theories of marxism and points to system that is another version of the American (or any other such system now existing) Revolution.
There is a lot more to say here, but the basic point is clear: constructing a democratic socialism is a rational procedure but must start fresh beyond Marx, Lenin, Stalin (whose systems weren’t socialism at all, but monstrosities by hopeless idiots). It will soon be the fate of American Yankee ingenuity to try again. If we can not be hopeless idiots we can manage a rational and in essence utterly simple lifeboat system, with or without a revolution, the latter to be nature’s version as system collapse. Americans might just be good at this and manage to create a national and then international lifeboat. The alternative will be a complicated fascist tyranny with bunkers in Sweden for a small elite as you fend for yourself in a developing anarchy.
Let me admit to some degree of arm-twisting, but I assume you are not a hopeless idiot, or part of Trump’s base. The proposal merits consolidation if the only option is that you are dead.
The Red Fortyeight Group is a putative sort of hovering paper airplane flying overhead the coming labors to create new kind of left.
This is fairly crude stuff on the way to being filed away or turned into a book. The core idea here is my respect for Marxists and his crew of adherents but a warning that conventional marxism has no second chances but that the real socialism is not a science of history but a set of recipes, and they have to be clear to and realizable by diverse groups from barely educated to the sophisticates of college frat culture. That ‘s the working class, but in our format this class is far broader than the factory worker: it is anyone who stands as passive to capitalist economic domination. These definitions might profit from a certain looseness and point to the ‘recipe’ not theoretical nature of socalist gestures.
The current moment stands transfixed by the moving calamity of climate change, and now in our immediate present, in the US, the tragedy/farce of the Trump presidency, now a clever piece of crypto-fascist legerdemain. The eerie strangeness of such a drone fascist pretender has generated a mysterious revolution in reverse gear, a sort of tragicomic coup d’etat that moves in the tide of reactionary anti-democratic forces attempting to undo modernity as such.
But the question of the left is much larger than that of the current chaotification of American democracy. The term emerges in the context of the French Revolution but its dimension is larger, emerging in the early modern with the Reformation and the mysterious birth of a working class revolution in the era of Thomas Munzer.
The place of the left is to stand ready for a rescue operation that can diagnose the tragedy unfolding via capitalism and take the path to a new social formation, assuming it can envision what that might be. It might be socialism but the term is too vague at this point and we become specific about what that means. Continue reading “R48G: the red fortyeight group and some notes toward a critical marxism”
This lets the cat out of the bag, as if it hadn’t happened already. Biologists have the notable achievement of turning evolution into a kind of fantasy or religion, like the doctrine of the resurrection, have faith and believe.
The sad result is that we can no longer trust scientists. And in the era of the pandemic that has had disastrous results. Here even the left has been complicit. What else in science is propaganda?
Science has sought to shrink the realm of the inexplicable. We now understand – at least approximately – the laws of nature that govern the weather and catastrophic events like an earthquake. Telescopes and rocket-ships have also allowed us to probe deeper into the heavens to make a little more sense of the universe outside our tiny corner of it. More
Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Since about 2000, Americans have begun abandoning religion in droves, especially but not only the younger generations (Millennials and younger). Now a Gallup poll finds that for the first time in seven decades, only 47% of Americans say they belong to a church, synagogue or mosque. That figure was 70% in 1999.
Update: We should be wary of critiquing Marx here on this point. The social condition of religion are clearly relevant and Marx was determined to analyze this in his own way.
Update: Having mentioned the eonic effect I should point out that the triangle of Kant, Hegel, Marx (in some ways Schopenhauer makes Kant clearer) is a spectacular moment in the eonic sequence itself at its modern divide (consult the eonic model) and that also explains why such a moment is repeatedly recalled and analyzed like an echo of that strange moment or generation. But it is only a brief moment in a large situation. Marx and Hegel are just at the limits of the eonic transition of modernity. Same for Kant who is well inside.
The so-called new atheism treats beliefs in isolation from their social conditions and does not link the persistence of religion to our alienated forms of life under capitalism.
Surely this is the wrong analysis. By restricting study to social context the gesture of reductionism fails. Religion is not an alienated form of life under capitalism. Bullshit. It might assume that demeanor in context. But religion emerges millennia prior to capitalism. Further, the rational critique of superstitions while entirely appropriate in one way misses the points that a spiritual domain is not a superstition. The problem is the destructive duality of western thought here. So it is not that spirituality is a superstition against materialism, but that both are a unity in a larger context, possibly of the universal materialism of ancient Samkhya revived in the new age movement by figures like Bennett (and his sources). The spiritual then, as an aspect of a larger material nature is real but subject to the Kantian limitations of metaphysics. It is real but can it be knowable? The materialist left was outplayed by a rightist clever piece to try and speak in materialist language: the figure Gurdjieff, that dark occultist, revived some bit of sufi interpretation of the classical India Samkhya with its materialism, atheism, and triadic dialectic. It was a clever piece taken up by Bennett. The point here is that while materialism is a good foundation but its western form is crippled by a false duality. Can anyone recall that the yoga now so popular in the new age wasteland was and is a materialist conception based on that very Samkhya? The great yogas of India were at one point materialist.
Anyway, the reduction of religious beliefs to material conditions just doesn’t work. It does not follow that we should not critique the drift into the superstition of much of this legacy.
The left should be wary of their own perspective. The strange and eerie triad of Kant, Hegel, and Marx is prone to dangerous confusions and sounds elegant in academic jargon in excelsis but is a lost thought in the actual reality invoked by ‘marxism’, which is the dangerous cadre ‘religion’ of Stalinist executioners.
Anyway the endless dialectic of Hegel and Marx is a lost cause now. If all this confusion could take five minutes to review Kant the useless and almost endless parade of marxist finery in those who are addressed by this left, might settle back into sanity. Marx and Hegel both are oblivious to Kant’s critique of metaphysics and both are extravagant metaphysicians of idealism, and materialism both.
This is all very interesting but the study of religion in the context of Marx, what to say of Hegel, is out of date now, despite its continuing interest as one aspect.
But the issue of religion is more than that of monotheism or the issue of ‘god’. It encompasses via the New Age movement, the hidden aspects of Christianity, the case of Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, the history of Hinduism, the Zoroastrian component and much else.
A study of the eonic effect can help to free the discussion from the idiotic straightjacket of ‘historical materialism’ which is entirely brain dead on all aspects of religion. The idea that socialist revolutionaries pegged Marxist are going to rewrite world culture via Marx’s confused theories and of historical materialism will cause an immense jackknife of the left against itself and turn the public to rightist fanaticism. But Marxists won’t listen. Their own ideology has all the characteristics of religion, and religion at its worst. Don’t go that route. The world has one last chance at socialism and Marxists will be there to spoil it.
The secular trend in world history is validated here but at the same time the secular humanist has been reduced to a sort of atheist worshipping at the altar of Newton and reductionist scientism. The secularist fails to understand his own historical position.
I have often recommend the model of the eonic effect as a better foundation : it approaches theory but then stands back and sees that historical theories and theories of religion are not so easy to come by and that basic outlines are enough: there we find a simple periodization of history and evolution and a context of empirical mapping instead of the now visibly amateurish nonsense of Marx and his epochs of production. The economic angle simply won’t work on the history of world culture and its regions.
Threatened with extinction by secular reductionists the immensely elusive world of esoteric Buddhism declared war on secular modernity and generated a fascist response while remaining hidden from view.
The left cannot go about these issues in the now archaic fashion of the era of the Marx/Hegel collision.
I recommend a close study of the ‘eonic effect’ as a warning against doing stupid things after the fashion of a now long gone left…
The passing of the Axial Age religions is not the same as the passing of
spirituality or the broader range of religious beliefs beyond ‘religion’.
A huge new age movement, often retrograde, but rapidly generating a new cultural force is creating a new kind of ‘non-religion’ in the middle of the secular sphere.
A Kantian perspective can be useful: the critique of metaphysics works both ways and secular beliefs are often crypto-metaphysical.
Our study of the eonic effect shows that the passing of the religions of an earlier era or epochal is inevitable, but that does not as such refer to all spiritual beliefs.
Religion’s Sudden Decline: What’s Causing It and What Comes Next,