[Video] Is history bunk? Historical materialism on trial

Two ManifestosDecoding World History_ED1

We have repeatedly critiqued historical materialism here from the left, from a socialist point of view. Marx’s views are dated now and don’t serve the left anymore. The term ‘material laws and forces’ is ambiguous and can apply to many perspectives. That apparently means ‘economic’ processes. But world history is much more than the economic.
We have shown how world history shows an evolutionary driver in the strange pattern of eras and epochs visible in the eonic effect. We can call this also ‘material’ in the sense that it is not a theistic or supernatural force. Historical materialism is far too narrow and has turned the question of ‘socialism’ into a reductionist scientism that makes capitalism into an epoch of history and the drive to postcapitalism a future hope.

The left needs a new view of history beyond Darwinism, beyond histomat, beyond the materialism of the early positivists…The Marxist perspective is holding the left back.

Bourgeois, liberal and postmodern historians alike tend to reject the Marxist view that history is driven by material laws and processes. Some also reject the idea of progress, saying this is merely a point of view.

Source: [Video] Is history bunk? Historical materialism on trial

Legal Definition Unveiled to Put Ecocide on Par With War Crimes

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https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/06/22/moral-red-line-legal-definition-unveiled-put-ecocide-par-war-crimes

Democratic market neo-communism as ecological socialism: beyond theory madness to a recipe for a new system describable in one paragraph

Two Manifestos
Democratic_Market_Neo_Communism_ver_5(2)
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A quick sketch of a new approach to socialism/communism plus an outline of history might help to reorient thinking on the left. Although Marx’s theories of history don’t work he had a lot of other insights that might be of value. But the issue of history (and evolution) is too vast and complex for a simple theory. To claim that civilization operates on economic categories and passed through a fixed series of economic epochs makes very little sense. Capitalism was born long before feudalism and was gestating in ancient Greece (which has a lot of records: the same must have been happening in a lot of places) and probably in Neolithic/Sumerian times. Capitalism is thus a process stretching across history inside or outside of the various civilizations as they emerged.
Instead of the idea of economic epochs we might look at empirical world history, we see a natural periodization or series of epochs given empirically:

the Neolithic from 10/8000 BCE to the take-off of Sumer and Egypt ca. 3000 BCE (with long build-ups in the Neolithic): these two surge ahead and define a whole era of successor civilizations across Eurasia, Africa, and probably the New World (a controversial issue). A whole series of civilizations arise in their wake.
Then in the first millennium starting from ca. 900 to 600 BCE the Eurasian world undergoes a stunning set of take-offs across Eurasia in Greece, the Near East plus the Persian realm of Zoroastrianism (in a more complex nexus), India, and China. These entities define a whole series of civilizations across Eurasia and define a whole era of multiple worlds in parallel, and diffusion across the world. Note: the world system blends two proto-religions at the start. The original monotheism was supposed to be we suspect a combined Semitic/Indoeuropean blend, but that didn’t quite happen/
Then there is in the accident of a long decline and finally, the medieval period, which indeed had aspects of feudalism. But the latter was never a defining system but an ad hoc mainly European system. This medieval period confuses us because it the slow decline from the take-off of the earlier period, e.g. Greece…This remarkable phenomenon can be partially understood as the dissipation of the energy of the earlier creative period.
Then around 1500 up to 1800 we see a sudden and explosive take-off into the period we call ‘modernity’, a useful term without Eurocentric implications, which spread globally in record time to the point that a first world civilization emerged (with a process accelerator in capitalism). The mystery of the European take off (Europe was backward for millennia until it entered the (Greco-)Roman diffusion field. In the eonic model this factor is analyzed with a discussion of a ‘frontier effect’, but we can simply take the rise of the modern as a kind of transition to a new era followed by its extension to a global field. Note that Japan entered this modern field and developed faster than most of Europe, a sign that we are right in seeing modernity as a global phenomenon jumpstarted from a core set of zones in Western Europe, and England. Such statements are empirical, more or less and by pass the confusion of economic analysis. Capitalism is as ancient as civilization itself, but it does somehow amplify around the period of the Industrial Revolution. Note that socialism and democracy appear in parallel and then become chaotic oppositions where it makes better sense to see that socialist can help to create a more robust democracy.
Note that this sketch does better justice to the facts of world history, without a theory, and analyzes all the immense range of factors required for analysis: culture basics, politics, art, literature, philosophy, religion, and economic systems. To reduce that complexity to economics was a considerable blunder. To make matter worse everything else was dismissed as ‘idealist’.
Many have noted, shaking their heads, that Marxist is one of the worst ways of analyzing history.

Note that our three eras (epoch if you like) are probably preceded by others in the Neolithic, and that the last, the modern, is still underway, or so we suspect.
This situation requires a new kind of model. We can’t apply causal theories to a system still incomplete that we ourselves are realizing in our present. The so-called eonic model deals with this situation. Everyone from Karl Popper to Isaiah Berlin criticized Marx’s theories for applying causal predictions to a future of free agents.

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Here we can insert a quick sketch of a socialist system (we don’t distinguish socialism from communism at such as did Marx: one can alternately call socialism a stage leading to communism but that complicates the simplicity of the whole issue.
Our idea is that to refer to ‘socialism’ alone invites delusive interpretation of an undefined term. If we get more specific we can clarify the historical entity envisioned:
‘democratic market neo-communism’ suddenly puts into a four or five-term system: we must construct ‘democracy’, and economy of socialist markets, AND planning, a ‘communism’ based on expropriation of capital, but buffered in a Commons instead of ‘state capitalism’ or state ownership. This system must thus be a democracy with economic, political and social rights and liberties, a constrained set of markets based on ‘licensed’ resources from a Commons, along with a large-scale structure of political, ecological, and economic factors bound in a set of checks and balances. This system instead of using imaginary categories which can prove deceptive starts with a liberal system and remorphs it into (socialist) neo-communist system. Note the point; socialism has to start with a democratic/liberal system and remorph that.

This system (which needs more detail, no doubt) needs no theory of history, beyond noting the issue of modernity, can be described in one paragraph (but would need a lot of new legal and constitutional specifics), and has no mystical unknowns but no doubt rough points of realization. But you could construct such a system not from theory but as a recipe of a liberal (democratic) system remorphed in simple stages.
This approach cuts through the incomprehensible jargon of the Marxists and we know that it can (probably) work because we know its relatives work. Note that however hard in practice you can take a liberal system and make one change: expropriate capital to a Commons. The other changes follow naturally.

Note that this approach has a built-in failsafe: a system of Bolshevism flunks the definition and is in exile from the category of ‘communism’ which is an abuse of terminology by Bolsheviks. It is eliminated at the start.
We must have at least a four-term system: democracy, markets, planning, a Commons (NOT state ownership, as such), plus a whole series of other things,political/ economic rights, ecological agendas, etc, but a basic core that will automatically disqualify aberrations of the Bolshevik madness. Bolshevism wasn’t a ‘communism’ at all in our sense.

Update: Note that we can construct an ecological socialism/communism without marxism, without dialectic or dialectical materialism, without Marxist historicism, without Hegel/Marx and the oppressive jargon of German philosophy, The system is not a pretense of science, but a constructive recipe open to anyone at the level of basic literacy and recognizable as a socialist variant of democracy. We don’t need Darwinism which can be simplified to an empirical history of life, and not a theory, as yet. This system doesn’t indulge a battle between idealism and materialism, who cares, and follows the trend of religion from the Reformation to the rise of secular humanism: the system would probably need to incorporate the still developing history of religion in modern times. The system might stand beyond theism and atheism and still give a boost to secular humanism. The trend of modernity is beyond the ancient monotheism, but this need be no intolerant divide, another who cares in our system

Marx and Hegel: design arguments

We should note that Barzun critiqued Marx along with Darwin (and also Wagner) and even for a socialist his arguments are interesting. In fact, we have suggested a post marxist interpretation for the left that can absorb criticisms of Marx’s theories. We are in the process of doing that ourselves. Marx ironically once critiqued comes into his own more effectively without his Grand Theory.
But the debate between Hegelians and Marx/marxists is classic and is an obvious earlier version of the design argument current. This was before Darwin but the ‘dialectic’ resembles the recent one because they both enter the terrain carefully marked out by Kant as: Achtung: minefields ahead.

Let us note that Hegel is a renegade from Kant, a scandal in itself, and proceeds to sense design in world history abstracted to a ‘concept’ of ‘Geist’, and this is countered by Marx’s attempt to promote the up and coming scientific reductionist scientism that cannot allow design arguments. Ironically Marx’s theory ends up with a materialist design argument in the posit of epochs of history leading inexorably to communism. Hegel’s ‘spirit’ is a handy mystical tidbit indeed, and consider the eonic effect and its model: some intangible something that straddles a planet and explains everything including the emergence of freedom. Result? a generation of post-Hegelians throwing rotten tomatoes at the Hegelian temple. The critique of Hegel is well taken but the attempted opposite of historical materialism is equally flawed.
In fact, the argument is intractable and for good Kantian reasons sets off multiple alarm bells is those who evidently will never learn, poor post-Kantians all.

Source: The ID Deception and the ‘atheist’ advantage in design arguments//Decoding World History and the correct approach to design in history – 1848+: The End(s) of History

You are dead by capitalist deadly weapon, so how about a socialist exit strategy

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.

Two Manifestos

======== Continue reading “You are dead by capitalist deadly weapon, so how about a socialist exit strategy”

R48G: the red fortyeight group and some notes toward a critical marxism

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”

The ‘yahweh’ cargo cult of the Israelites…//The eonic effect: a design argument that needs ‘atheism’?…//Stephen Meyer: The Evidence “Cries Out” for God, Not the Other Way Around | Evolution News – Darwiniana

We put ‘atheism’ in quotation marks because it tends to suffer the incoherence of that which it negates. None of the above, is about all we are left with, although negating god ideas remains a roughly ‘operationally relevant strategy applied to any given ‘god’ idea almost always a semantic mess of pottage.

The design argument is open to any number of useful naturalistic interpretations, but the idea tends to outstrip its moorings as we consider teleological issues, which again are possible concepts inside nature. The teleological arguments for the existence of god are really the same as design arguments. But here again there is no way to use this to prove anything about ‘god’.

I recommend a look at the eonic effect, which has an ingenious perception of the birth of Israelite monotheism as a ‘cargo’ cult of the eonic effect.
Look at Archaic Greece in the Axial interval: it shows a host of creative advances clustered in a short period, while in parallel we see the Israelite invention of monotheism. We can see that these are different instances of the same ‘eonic effect’. And the interpretation as ‘god’ in history fails, although the Israelites created a religion around the idea.
You see the hopeless confusion of the whole question of ‘god in history’.

Design thinkers who wish to see design as a theistic proof are stuck here: the eonic effect works by showing that a non-theistic interpretation shows design in history. The idea of an external god there doesn’t work.

The ID group has so terrified Darwinists that they have battened down the hatches around fake science to ‘disprove’ the issue of design. Richard Dawkins with chattering teeth has pronounced natural selection the answer to design. But the issue of design never works as a proof for the existence of god, for a simple reason that the god idea is incoherent. And figures like Kant long ago exposed such logic. The problem appears step one with the term ‘intelligent’. Can we predicate design as ‘intelligent’ to conclude the existence of god? Can we call ‘god’ intelligent. Think carefully the idea is a trap.Consider the absurdities latent in our terminologies with a slightly different example: If Gautama was enlightened isn’t an omnipotent ‘god’ enlightened? If buddhas then pass beyond existence, does god then pass beyond existence? The idea creates hopeless confusion and shows how only a primitive theism can ascribe personhood and consciousness to ‘god’. The same would be true of ‘intelligent’, no doubt. When we mix different and distinct terminologies the results are garbage in garbage…In fact we no language or concepts to even discuss the question beyond the idiot level of Christian theology. And design arguments at that level fail at the start. But design in nature is a perfectly good concept and can be considered without theological implications. It suddenly becomes, if not fully coherent, then at least a question for science to explore.

Source: The eonic effect: a design argument that needs ‘atheism’?…//Stephen Meyer: The Evidence “Cries Out” for God, Not the Other Way Around | Evolution News – Darwiniana

The eonic effect, world history, racism, slavery and the modern transition.

The eonic effect is too much to take in all at once and needs a study plan and reading.
The opinion here of academics et al who preside over the regime of Darwinism is not relevant.
Break away from all that.
But a new way to study history is needed, perhaps with some help from computers.
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This is a response to an email from a reader of WHEE4thed after asking
for any attempts to critique the eonic model.
Here is a part of that email with its question, a good one, but
it is important to get the eonic model down cold: Decoding World History, is a start.
The question is about the ‘frontier effect’ and the way the ‘eonic sequence’ never steps in the same spot twice.

Here is the good question, a good one, and a softball pitch for the eonic model. The question does not follow the definition Continue reading “The eonic effect, world history, racism, slavery and the modern transition.”