The Nineteenth Century Background of Contemporary Politics*
Three events make the domestic and international politics of the century in which we live unique. These are: (1) the Cold War, (2) the release of atomic energy and (3) the political rise and cultural resurgence of Africa, Islam and Asia. The "trapped universals" essential for an understanding of (3) will concern us in Chapters 10, 12, 13, 14, 16 and 19. Events (1) and (2) derive from sets of cognitive philosophical premises that were discovered and formulated in the nineteenth century, the one in the natural-history biological and social sciences with their more inductive naïve realistic concepts, the other in mathematical physics with its formal theoretical constructs or concepts by postulation that are concepts by intellection.
Nineteenth century biological and social thought was dominated by the idea of evolution. This idea took on two antithetical formulations in different portions of the modern Western world. The first formulation derives from Hegel and tends to dominate thinking and action in Germany and eastward. The second formulation derives from Darwin and dominates all Anglo-American thought and most Continental European thinking west of the Rhine.
The Hegelian concept of evolution operates through theses and conflicting antitheses governed by the logic of negation. Hence it is appropriately called "dialectical evolution." The Darwinian concept of evolution adjusts organism to environment by operating on rare____________________