(28.) On transformism
and functionalism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, see Desmond, Politics of Evolution.
This discussion was situated within a larger debate over transformism
, the belief that epecies distinctions were permeable rather than regarding them and perpetually (perhaps divinely) fixed (Tort 330).
These include the growing body of information about the details of geohistory, methods of reconstructing geohistory, the relationship between human and geological history, the interlacing of life history with geological history, and the question of transformism
and the place of humanity in the history of life.
The problem presented is how to develop a democratic path to a democratic socialism--as it considered that democratic institutions are needed for building a democratic socialism--with struggles that are fought both outside and within the State's strategic field, avoiding the risks of mere transformism
, that is, the continuous and progressive state transformation that ends up preserving the updated conditions of domination?
In this period, characterized by some recent historians as the period of the "eclipse" of Darwinism (Bowler, 1992), a wide variety of evolutionary theories were formulated in British, German and American biology, in which endorsement was given to some of the main features of Darwin's conception of descent from common ancestors, but in which Darwin's principle of natural selection as the cause of species transformism
was considered inadequate.
The second problem with the book is Hedman's belief that "caesarism" represents a challenge from above "to the domination and reproduction of a historic bloc of social forces." Such a notion seemingly fails to take into account that "caesarism" and "transformism
" are both equally valid methods by which the dominant bloc may be able to maintain itself in power.
As always, the big worry was the human species, but it is becoming clearer and clearer that the big people in charge in Rome did not much like any kind of transformism
(London: George Allen and Unwin, 1972), 143, 151 ff., discusses Stalinist "transformism
" and the uses of Pavlovian physiology to underscore the idea that humans were infinitely malleable through the "conditioned reflex." See also Igal Halfin, Terror in My Soul: Communist Autobiographies on Trial (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003), 238 ff.
While theoretically Lamarckism enables transformism
or evolution, acquisition means little for the individual, according to Wharton, apart from inheritance.
These include a modality of transformism
in which the demands and identities of an existing antagonistic construction are disentangled, and thus tamed within an existing system of rules and institutions, either by being isolated from one another or addressed in a punctual fashion; a modality of containment or conflict management whereby antagonisms are played off against one another (practices of divide and rule, for example) so as to blunt their political edge; and a logic of pre-emption in which the possibilities of conflict are forestalled before they are able to become antagonistic constructs (such as practices of cooptation and coercion).
In addition to economic differences, exacerbated by the deep seated practices of transformism
, clientelism and familism, one finds other differences: the subjugation of women, the destitution of the submerged cultures of the South and Italy's islands, the aggravated problems of illiteracy and education, the hypocrisy of the moral and spiritual institutions.
, Evolution and Romanticism," Nineteenth-Century French Studies, 29 (2000-2001): 1-20.