< < <
Date Index
> > >
Hegel, universal history and the eonic effect
by Nemonemini
15 August 2002 23:01 UTC
< < <
Thread Index
> > >
I noticed that Luke Rondinaro's very interesting little essay seemed suddenly 
to exclaim about Hegelian Geist.
I dislike Hegel bashing, but...;  And I note the eonic introduction 
specifically disallows the use of the term 'god' in the eonic model. Whether 
that includes 'geist' I didn't say, but since that is something else, and 
Hegel may have been an atheist (or not), the question is a non-starter. 
The problem is that Hegel saw clearly that there is something strange about 
history, a fact obvious from the eonic effect. Look at the Axial Age 
confusion, and the hard data in spite of that confusion. 
No normal causal system is going to be able to deal with that. Just as Hegel 

I have to smile. Enjoy Hegel, he will spring to life as you reflect on the 
philosophy of history as an idea evolving within history and the eonic 
pattern. But don't get hung up on propaganda. 
 My approach is a general material phenomenology, and a version of 
methodological naturalism, but it is remarkable how a simple form of 
periodization can rapidly highlight what Hegel was up to. What can morph 
whole cultures in rapid time slices and produce great art on cue? Geist? I 
think not!  We begin to see naturalistic explanations arising, finally, for 
these deep structures in world history that Hegel sensed, but which a 
positivist Darwinian age has (hystericallly) denied. 

Face it, we are primitive chimps liabel to Darwinian mythology. 
I need, and have adopted, a kind of defensive strategy here with respect to 
Hegel, who tends to cause great confusion, in part abetted by Hegel's 
'exoteric' strategy of plying religion for the masses, guess that's us. 
People spend their whole lives battling a phantom Hegel.
 The question is simple. Hegel tends to get bashed by leftists a la Marx, 
which is almost a tradition on the left. Fine. But a close look shows the 
left is crypto-Hegelian, and the solution is to put Hegel in perspective, and 
to see the medium in which he arose, the debates of the 1790's in the wake of 
Kant. Leftists tend to omit this history and fall into the trap of negating 
Hegel then pilfering his dialectic. 
As they say, "I'll have noone of that'.  The dialectic is excluded from the 
eonic model, it simply creates a hopeless muddle at this point. There are 
several notes on the issue. 
The eonic model captures the 'idea for a universal history' at the source of 
the stream, before the dialectic can into existence in response to Kant's 
critiques. By this method we simply seize high ground against Hegel, who is 
subtle because he seizes high ground against everyone else, to the 
consternation of his critics who can't figure out why he bugs them so much. 
So, with some respect, we sneak attack the Hegelians. 

So the solution is to see the overall context of the whole stream of 
idealism, and distinguish with great care the quite different transcendental 
idealism of Kant. 
So Kant stands guard around the eonic effect, and the result is you don't 
even get near Hegel. The abuse of another's work with bad Hegelian junk 
requires genuine foxhole tactics. 
That said, the 'real' Hegel's system is an elegant tinkertoy whose very basis 
is too abstract for direct application to history, a point that is forgotten 
in the popular 'Philosophy of History' which is not matched with Hegel's 
system! I would be wary of negating such a thing. Put it in a museum for 
examination, it has a strange eerie greatness to it. 
But Hegel needs a reality check. I am suspicious of his 'heroes', Napoleon, 
Caesar. World historical? Hardly, they are wreckers and spoilers, at the end 
The 'heroes' for the eonic model are the eonically emergent correlates of the 
sequence of transitions, the Solons, Heraclitus, the Ionians, the Indians 
yogis, a host of others. As we pull away from the modern transition, we can 
toss Hegel and Marx both into that category.... So the answer is to be very 
clear of the historical run from Kant via Fichte to Hegel and Marx, and see 
that this labyrinth is a series of 
Sphinxes for a whole civilization, but not something you can use too easily 
for a working model. 

Lots to say here, but armed with a foundation around the Third Antinomy of 
Kant, we can do Hegel one better, and move in a different direction. 
The alternative is the usual positivistic Hegel-bashing which is like 
fighting with quicksand. With the eonic model we have a better way, turn 
Hegel into eonic evidence. 

John Landon
Website on the eonic effect

< < <
Date Index
> > >
World Systems Network List Archives
at CSF
Subscribe to World Systems Network < < <
Thread Index
> > >