But people are likely to wonder why a determinist has radical beliefs at all, which he repeats ad nauseam, rather than say, speculating on where all these complex forces might be leading?Finally, a sharpened tongue. By the way dudettes and dudes, the comments section here has been especially piquant over the last coupla weeks. Good show, etc. You are more interesting than blogs and newspapers, that's for sure.
Anyway, it's an interesting question, or a couple of them mashed-up as a reasonable question, and although I think the answers are easily found in the archives of this very web blog, I sort of want to answer. Now to an extent, asking why a determinist has radical beliefs is like asking why a Calvinist went to heaven. Har har. But, look: historical determinism doesn't deny individuality or individual agency; it doesn't even deny free will, although it perhaps snickers at most popular notions of free will as mere minor artifacts of a very particular culture. Each ticking second of your life is not written in advance, and the sum total of each will acting in this world in part makes the history that determines the circumstances in which each mind finds itself. There's a place for a just and moral life within an unjust, immoral, and impersonal world. Am I, as the commenter goes on to suggest, a religious man? Well, maybe I am really preaching about the deus absconditus. Yinz decide.
This is why I really like this whole Occupy dealio. As one eminent blurgher said, Occupy Wall Street is no revolution. I love their absence of a program and agenda, their lack of leaders and, at least to-date, their charmed indifference to calls on all sides for them to get such things. I think that packing a tent and sitting your ass down and not moving is just great. I think it's exactly what this country needs. I think that it is at heart and root a contemplative practice. I think those kids are transmitting the grace-waves of beneficence to the rest of humanity. I think that the very act of abjuring traditional activism is necessary and ingenious. I also think that Occupy, or something very much like it, would have inexorably occurred five years ago or ten years hence, one way or other; that this moment I so admire is both specific and inevitable. I'm jealous that I didn't dream it up. But the thing is: someone was certain to dream it up.
Anyhoo, as to where all these complex forces etc etc ad bloggiam are leading us, well, in my optimistic moments, I say a materially poorer (at least for those who are not materially poor) but altogether better and more local world. In most moments I say, toward extinction. They aren't mutually exclusive, by the way. The optimistic former is just a hopeful waystation on the road to the unavoidable latter.