Detailing the method has always been harder for me than imagining the ultimate goal, which I’ve described here. However, I will give it a shot.
Firstly, we must realize that we are all subjective and that all our knowledge is dependently-arisen, relative and appears arbitrary.
Secondly, we must apply the scientific method as the objectively and internally most consistent way of verifying our knowledge.
Thirdly, we must reanalyze ourselves constantly and thus historical accounts and analyze the discourse and how it influences our opinions.
The result is an understanding of history that makes sense, but which doesn’t point to an inevitable development of events or fixed actors and therefore we can’t accurately predict the future. History is like a river and its inhabitants are like rivers as well.
Like a river of rivers, there is no start, no set path, no goal, but everything just flows. This in itself is neither good nor bad, thus our understanding must be based on a neutral analysis and not on wishful thinking. There is no divine purpose or a final synthesis and there is no best ideal or method and therefore no contrasting antithesis for either ideal or method. There are no aspects of human nature either that would categorically produce certain trends.
This means progress is inherently empty (it’s only temporal, not moral) and can be defined by a protest in one place, a setback in another, a new law in one country, a viral campaign online, a renaissance, a reactionary, an almost endlessly complex web of impulses, individuals, decisions, actions, organizations, environmental events et cetera, everything working together and opposing each other simultaneously.
Obviously, this leaves us uncertain what to prioritize as there are constant conflicts. Some examples: Hypothetically, a technological revolution might be required for us to discover that the best society lies millenia back in time. Pushing for progress here might create a backlash there. Hypothetically, a rapid emancipation of women could cause resentment which would cause slow-down and friction to the point of being counter-productive. If the middle-class is too happy, reforms for the working class will take longer. Reform changes might in effect be a postponing of revolutionary changes. If there is no more racism in Europe, then the fight for equality slows down. It’s important to note that the rhetoric is often more powerful than the facts.
Enlightenment slows down as pawns are pitted against each other and internal conflicts weaken the opposition, but all of these factors must be embraced as inevitable and dealt with by keeping the most far-reaching consequences and ideals in mind. There are so many fights to fight simultaneously and each new protest drowns in the white noise that is pop culture (the Spectacle). Every child has to reinvent politics on their own from the scraps they can hold onto in this torrent of nonsense, rage and dynamic political popular surges. However, the biggest threat might be the technological development as the latest technology always comes to those in power first and they are the ones who will use it to maintain the status quo. This might be the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity.
The key seems to be compromise; a compromise that both acknowledges the temporal aspect of change and its effects on people living in the ever-changing present and acknowledges the utilitarian concept of maximizing the benefits even where the long-term effects are obscure.
Only through communication, science and reanalysis is it possible to guess which actions are best at any given moment.
I know this is rather abstract considering the purported intent of this text, but the world is complex, the specific method for each person in each place at each time will be different.
A more practical prophecy regarding the path to the specific goal of a society without hierarchies is perhaps possible, although still vague. These are some of the things I imagine as possible stepping stones.
An increase in direct democracy within the parliamentary system, a smaller government, more referendums and more decentralization of political power, although most likely in tandem with more centralized power on higher levels, e.g. international organizations.
A legal system that is less principled and more attentive to circumstance, weaker police and military forces, fewer effects of crossing national borders like legal differences and customs control.
The internet provides a platform for communication between individuals separate from their real life social context, creating new borderless, classless social contexts, dissolving real life boundaries, emphazising personalities and therefore cosmopolitanism. Virtual citizenship and micronations also blur the lines.
Technology also has the potential to democratize media, both so called social media where individuals build networks independetly and communicate peer-to-peer and where blogs, vlogs and accidental photo journalists provide more of the original journalistic content, even though the big media houses dominate the filtering and funnelling that spoon-feeds the passive consumers of news.
The freeware, shareware, bitcoin, pay-per-view, pay-to-win/micro-transactions, click-monetization and ads culture also provide humans with a new view on economy, although admittedly still a predominantly fascist one.
States become more like corporations, eventually being subject to purchase. Corporations become more like states with corporate social responsibility and even democratically elected leadership. There’s also room for a plethora of syndicates, collectives and non-profit organizations.
This movement is not a singular movement; there will be many blog posts, many books, many grassroots organizations and demonstrations, many political parties and leaders, many triggering events, many causes and flows and when the flood water spills, it will become an ocean.
Edit: There are two major differences between me and Marx here. Firstly, I think power relations and dialectics are part of history, but not the only parts and there is no inevitable goal. Secondly, I don’t think class consciousness is necessary, in fact, the relativism of identities makes class consciousness counterproductive and similarly, a revolution is not in essence different from reform, they are just relatively different. (Pretty sure Foucault would support me on the first point.)
I worry when I see nazis in the streets because they are a manifestation of ideas that circulate among a greater number of people and the manifestation itself promotes the further circulation of those ideas. At the same time, counter-ideas come to the surface and counter-movements organize. The end result is too complex to predict and while the mainstream global progress is too big to be unpredictable, the irl (and online) versions of viral phenomena do burst out of the box meaning no action can be ignored with absolute confidence.
Edit: Also, my understanding of history blames a very specific culture involving a demanding and rewarding god, a personal soul and the inferiority and alienable ownership of animals for the appearance of hierarchies about 7,000 years ago, so my anarchism is almost reactionary and my “synthesis” comes from an approximation of the “natural” state in the past 100,000 years as the thesis and the philosophical foundations of this new culture as the antithesis.