7. Conclusion

Ecological Endgames: 
A Tyranny of Markets


Section 7.3.2

World History 
And The Eonic Effect

Civilization, Darwinism, And Theories of Evolution
4th Edition
The Book
By  John Landon





7. Conclusion  
     7.1 History and Evolution: A Paradox Resolved 
        7.1.1 Transition and Divide: A New Perspective on Modernity 
    7.2 The Eonic Effect As a Resolution of Kant's Challenge      
      7.2.1 Freedom’s Causality, Teleology and Politics  
        7.2.2 Free Will, Moral Action, and Self-consciousness       
     7.3 Will Democracy Survive? Toward A Postdarwinian Liberalism    
      7.3.1 Modernism, Eurocentrism, Imperialism, and 'Western' Civilization
        7.3.2 Ecological Endgames: A Tyranny Of Markets
     7.4 Ends and Beginnings       
     7.5 Critique of Historical Reason  
        7.5.1 Spengler, Toynbee, and Cyclical Theories 
        7.5.2 Is There a Postmodern Age?  
        7.5.3 Evolution and The Idea of Progress
        7.5.4 The Case of the Missing Centuries 
     7.6  Beyond Darwinism: A Theoretical Self-Defense
         7.6.1 The Meaning Of Evolution
         7.6.2 The Great Transition



    World History And The Eonic Effect: Fourth Edition

     7.3.2 Ecological Endgames: A Tyranny of Markets


Having set up our model with an emphasis on the emergence of modernity from the early modern, with its characteristic generation of a liberal order we are left, after much trouble, with what Marx would consider ‘still another bourgeois ideology’, complete with a legitimation tactic in theory. Walking talking liberals appear from medieval cold storage into a New Age of Freedom. Manchester beckons, but what to do, altruism must wait on new mutations, we suppose, in a field of group selection, nay, kin selection. Brilliant work by the biologists.

A closer look shows the rightness of our framework, which endorses nothing that arises in the wake of the transition, but that political evolution becomes crystallized and almost frozen around the divide, leaving the future open, yet constricted in the prodigious outcome of modernity. It is essential to consider our distinction of macro-action and micro-action, and the downshifting to low octane ‘free action’. The field of micro-action is not given any endorsement by the facts of macro-action. The realization could fall into the hands of imperialist thieves and our system is indifferent to the outcome. Have a nice mideonic future fighting for a hot meal. Course corrections thus fall to the lot of those in the field of micro-action. Nothing is entailed as historical inevitability in either the outcome of the transition or its continuation beyond the factor of eonic determination. There is something peculiar about the outcome of modernity. Perhaps our eonic sequence indulges in an experiment, with system return in several millennia. In any case, a capitalist should take note: he doesn’t control that future in a system of markets.

After the great triumph of liberalism, the system starts into a miser’s paradise of Capital, soon a Darwinian hyena feast, a fine piece of Whiggish ‘science’, then jacknifing in the emergence of the far left, correctly pointing to the strangeness and contradictions in the resulting capitalist society that comes into existence. Marx and Engels, despite their botched theories, are two to reckon with and no sooner does our modernity take off than we are confronted with the instant appearance of a mideonic project. The disastrous outcome of the Bolshevism doesn’t really change the basic issues they raised (collating/codifying the basic work of many early proto-socialists and French Revolution stragglers). We should note their Janus-faced liberalism, and their one great success, among a field of working class agents, in igniting a labor movement, what to say of the chances of a revolution toward socialism. But some postmodern or leftist reconstruction of the modern transition in a socialist extension to democracy is so far beyond the powers of revolutionary leftists, and yet the potential to achieve a higher freedom in a new form of democracy remains open to the full. In any case there is no law of history entailing the inevitability of capitalism. It is a side effect of a larger system. The stage of modern capitalism makes sense on its own terms, an historic breakthrough, but the imposition of a fanatical precision in the spurious laws of a market order onto helpless populations is a sudden new form of tyranny and a paradoxical outcome of grand sequence of eonic productions.

The strange outcome of the modern transition is this sudden crystallization of a new market order, given unlimited license to exploit, based on the reign of capitalism. It is significant how little we have said about this! Our job was done without significantly addressing the questions of economics. For reasons very similar to those in our critique of Darwinism, we can see that the ‘laws of markets’ are an outcome, and ideology, not the framework for macrohistory. Adam Smith, with a skeptical and benign side, was an advisor suggesting how we should adopt a policy of economic organization. A policy recommendation is not a statement about laws of history. And yet this point, as Marx saw clearly, was lost in the alienation inside economic systems, taken to legitimation strategies as ‘this is how things are, and must be’. The basic insight of Marx is exceedingly simple here. The laws of markets are human creations imposed on a system by the regime of capital. It has no long-range evolutionary force, but a tremendous momentum that will rise to overtake all other options. And this one is monstrous, able within two centuries of wrecking the entire biosphere. At least we can say that this is micro-action, and not demanded by any laws of history, and thus has no ultimate teleological force. We could expect no teleological system feedback, if any, for several millennia in the current shutdown of the eonic sequence. Such is the nature of a discrete-continuous model. A market order appears to fill the vacuum. Thus intervention at some point seems inevitable.

The confusing overlay of economic and eonic history is the source of much perplexity, but is in essence simple. Note the resemblance of the Ionian and modern Enlightenments. The first had no Industrial Revolution. Should we not suspect the independence of the different processes? Note the resemblance to Marx’s thinking, but with the elements of theory transposed. We have repeatedly critiqued Marx, but his thinking tends to resurface, because his system is a disguised variant to the issues of Kant’s Challenge. More basically, his critique, which was after all taken from the conservative Hegelian version, suggests the limits of the systems emerging at our divide. Look at the American sidewinder, after all the effort to produce a balanced set of checks and balances, the whole state falls into the hands of that ‘fourth branch of government’, the rising forces of the capitalist class, what to say of the inevitable course correction of the great Civil War. We might think Lincoln shrewder than the leftist. Our distinction of discrete freedom sequence and econostream corresponds to Marx’s historical economism and ‘leap into freedom’.

But the terms of the Marxist analysis are scrambled, the dangerous metaphor ‘leap into freedom’ requires the net equivalent of restaging the whole eonic sequence, as a new transition. But our system doesn’t grant that. Marx was a frustrated transcendental idealist. We have produced the ‘leap’, but it is already past macro-action. The mideonic leap must limit itself to the phenomenonal realization of freedom, whatever that means. Nothing in what we have said forbids this, but the complexity of change is great indeed. We see, looking backward, the relation of revolution to emergent freedom, but it does not follow that revolution is the ‘mechanism to be imitated’, for the simple reason that total change, as seen in our transitions, is more than regime change. Our analysis is quite different, and more useful, but without a predictive conclusion. The discrete freedom sequence is seen looking backwards, through a glass darkly, detected marginally via periodization, and we cannot produce its extensions save as free action in the waning of eonic determination, a term we left mysterious, undefined for good Kantian reasons.

This jargon is odd, but reflects exactly what happened in the nineteenth century. Declared ‘bourgeois civilization’ and subject to entire negation, confusing eonic and economic sequences, the modern transition becomes an abstraction, its dynamic reduced to a plan for revolution, but this must be tantamount to staging a whole new transition. The result enters the fatal jackknifing confusion so tragically visible in the Bolshevik fiasco. Nothing, however, in our model preempts gestures to correct the flaws in liberal civilization. And the efforts of Abraham Lincoln fairly well prove the point. So that’s that.

We escape ideology because our model embraces a full spectrum, and we appropriately end our discussion with a leftist question mark, since that question is about the future, but even from a Marxist viewpoint a basic default viewpoint for our model is some suitably critical liberalism, subject to the proviso that no historical inevitability attends this in terms of its actual outcome, and that has nothing to do with endorsing so-called ‘market ideologies’ or capitalism. Such categories require independent justifications, as elements of econostream. Our subject is theories as laws or teleologies of history, and there are no such laws that justify economic domination. Capitalism is not a stage of history, but one possible outcome as an eonic emergent of the modern transition. It is not surprising that, given the clear warning in Kant’s Challenge, a teleological collision was the first born, and orphan, of our transition.



   Web:  chap7_3_2.htm





Last modified: 10/04/2010