We cringe with horror at the antics of ISIL, but they’re very similar to those employed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR aka ‘Russia’) before them, that previous political entity with objectives almost exactly the opposite. The fact that the USSR crashed almost simultaneously with the rise of fundamentalist Islam is almost too coincidental to be ignored—almost.
It’s almost like there IS indeed a dialectic of history—thesis, antithesis, synthesis—as theorized by Hegel, regardless of whether it ultimately has anything to do with the means of production, as theorized by Marx. In this scenario, something at least has to be offered up as an alternative to the dominant capitalist-consumerist system, or whatever system happens to be on top at any given time.
In this view, therefore, there is no one specific dialectic going on at any one given time, but more of a random one—something anything. Sounds a lot like evolution, doesn’t it? Yes, it does, but more like a cultural evolution, a dialectic of ideas, as theorized by Hegel, in which we seem to be subconsciously struggling toward something else–always. Or is it a function of language itself? (More …)