Anti-received knowledge

July 2022 Forums General discussion Anti-received knowledge

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 88 total)
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  • #189365
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    “…I can’t make any of youse give a political answer to these political questions…”

    Do you think that’s true, if so who voted for it?

    #189366
    LBird
    Participant

    alanjjohnstone wrote: “And we will continue to let you ask and pose those questions and to say we have never engaged…just how many members and how many times have we answered…you may disregard what we say, but don’t say we have never engaged with you in discussion.”

    Well, I’d be obliged, alan, if you could point me to the political answer to the political question ‘who will control truth production within socialism?‘.

    No-one has ever engaged, no-one has ever answered…

    As you say, I can continue to ask, and the SPGB can continue to ignore, but I think that I’m justified in saying that youse have never engaged in a political discussion.

    Abuse, ignorance and quips, maybe, but never political answers.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by LBird.
    #189368
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    It has been answered so many times, LBird.

    Just like how resources are allocated, just as how services and goods are delivered it will be the communities, small and large, who will decide how life will be run. It will not be one size fit all. What is studied and taught will be what is wanted by students and professors. I know Marx was much more in favour of technical education but he also understood the necessity of the abstract subjects.

    “For as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a herdsman, or a critical critic, and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic. This fixation of social activity, this consolidation of what we ourselves produce into an objective power above us, growing out of our control, thwarting our expectations, bringing to naught our calculations, is one of the chief factors in historical development up till now.”

    Socialist society if unable to exercise direct democracy with general assemblies  will delegate many of the responsibilities to interested parties such as committees and councils, many which already exist in todays society, who possess more specific information and knowledge. It is not handing power to an elite but deferring to specialists such as the General Medical Council, something I think you take umbrage at, claiming that everyone can know everything. Yet these bodies already take their instructions from the outside government departments  and with socialism will still be under the command of society as a whole via its various networks of professional and consumer associations, the structure we have the basis for but will be greatly adapted and adjusted to fit our new circumstances.

    Nowhere has anyone within the SPGB advocated that control is not social and that sections of the population, an elite,  are given privilege and power to impose decisions upon others without consent.

    It was our case against syndicalism and industrial unionism where we insisted that production remains under the rule of society as a whole, not just the direct producers, something I think you also have challenged with support for workers’ councils.

    We talk of conditional “workers’ power”, not its unlimited authority and it is more figuratively than literal because out intent is to abolish the concept of worker and again I refer you to the Marx quote above.

    We do not claim the arrogance of suggesting that we have all the answers particularly in relation to how socialism itself will be arranged and organized. All we do is present a portrait painted by a broad brush of the basics.

    #189369
    Brian
    Participant

    “Well, in political terms, Brian, ‘an elite’ is precisely what ‘specialists’ are.”

    Again you are projecting the implications and consequences of a class society onto a classless society. That definition only holds true when the specialists have a direct access to the decision making process and can decide what’s best for serving their interests over and above the interests of society.  In a classless society such a situation will not arise where the common interests of society take precedent over individual interests.

    “Unless you are prepared to state that the decisions of the ‘specialists’ will be subject to the democratic control of ‘generalists’” …

    The specialists will advise whilst the generalists will decide.  How the generalists reach a decision will obviously depend on the democratic framework employed by the associated producers.  We can speculate on this democratic framework but it would be undemocratic to decide now on a “blueprint”.  Nevertheless, it would be safe to say that the scientific method would be applied in determining what actually constituents an advancement in social progress.

    “… – that is, that ‘generalists’ as a political force know better about any ‘specialism’ than do the ‘specialists’. This means that the assumptions, aims, theories, methods and practices of the ‘specialists’ will be dictated by the ‘generalists’.”

    This is anti-democratic by implying there will be a ‘them and us’ situation where the advance of and purpose of science is perceived has a threat to human progress.  It not only places social progress in a mental strait jacket where all ideas, theories and practices are restrained by a search for The truth before all else, but it also means that a socialist society will be unable to realise the potential for producing an abundance.

    In short stagnation!

    “If you disagree with this democratic belief in the power of the ‘generalists’, all well and good – but then announce that clearly, that there will be an elite within your version of ‘socialism’ that will be outside of our democratic control.”

    I have “announced it clearly” above. But yet again a further projection which does not hold water by implying the division of labour into specialists and generalists – by definition – creates an elite on the one hand and alienated labour on the other.

    You denounce the SPGB for being undemocratic yet here is an example of you making undemocratic statements simply because you always fail to search out the implications and consequences of such statements.  But nonetheless expect the SPGB to do just that!

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Brian.
    #189370
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    who will control truth production within socialism?‘.

    No one and everyone. ‘Truth’ production is only a part of a manufacturing process in a class society surely?

    Truths, Half-Truths and Lies

    #189371
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    The trouble is L Bird, that you state that:”The Truth” can only be established by a democratic vote of all of the world’s workers, but how can this be true, if all of the world’s workers haven’t voted to say that it is true?

    Can I suggest that you go away and arrange a poll of all of the world’s workers to establish if what you are saying is an individual is true and then if you have established it as true, using your own criteria of a world wide plebiscite in which the majority have voted in favour of your definition of truth, we can talk about it.

    Otherwise, by your own definition, all you are doing is coming on to this board and spreading untruths.

    #189374
    LBird
    Participant

    Matthew Culbert wrote: “who will control truth production within socialism?‘.

    No one and everyone. ‘Truth’ production is only a part of a manufacturing process in a class society surely?

    Thanks for your straightforward answer, Matthew.

    I partially agree, in that ‘everyone’ will control truth production within socialism – but… how could ‘no one’ control truth production? This would suggest that ‘truth’ produces itself, if there is no active human agent involved in the process. You would have to give a political explanation of ‘what’ and ‘how’ this ‘non-one produced truth’ emerges for humans, and why humanity must remain passive in this process.

    Your latter statement seems to suggest that ‘truth’ is only manufactured within class society – but wouldn’t ‘truth’ exist within socialism? Surely we’d democratically manufacture ‘truth’ to our interests, aims, and purposes, using our democratic science?

    The real political problem underlying the ideology that ‘truth’ produces itself, or that ‘truth’ won’t exist in the future, is that that would leave the field of ‘truth production’ (because it must be socially produced) open to an elite – who’ll surely claim, of course, that they aren’t actively doing this, but simply ‘discovering’ it, which will mean that their elite interests will be served by their political control of the process.

    Marx’s emphasis was upon social production, by an active humanity, by democratic methods, that can change its products. This political and ideological stance, which I agree with, would be undone by an ideology that suggested ‘truth’ simply sits outside of humanity (which would thus remain passive), or that an elite, according to its own interests, using undemocratic methods, is the part of society to do this social production. Plus, any change in ‘truth’ would not be under our political control. I’m sure that none of these political beliefs would have satisfied Marx, and they certainly don’t satisfy me.

    If I’ve misunderstood your post, please correct me.

    #189379
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    Your latter statement seems to suggest that ‘truth’ is only manufactured within class society – but wouldn’t ‘truth’ exist within socialism? Surely we’d democratically manufacture ‘truth’ to our interests, aims, and purposes, using our democratic science?

    Of course truth will exist, but it would be in context of its being a  live changing one, subject  to interrogation and reinterpretation, in light of new knowledge and challenging of its veracity and not some absolute entity, which is impossible in any case.

    Your fear of technocratic, scientific or bureaucratic specialists forming into ‘elites’ is way off the mark, as specialists will be themselves part of society, not some privileged section,but also subject to recallable delegation, in such cases say, where they move from local into regional bodies.

    I think there will be much more educated interrogation of any findings and resource allocation will be a democratic process which will be surely allowing for some degree of ephemeral or speculative or research largesse on the part of allocations.

    #189382
    Wez
    Participant

    ‘Of course truth will exist, but it would be in context of its being a  live changing one, subject  to interrogation and reinterpretation, in light of new knowledge and challenging of its veracity and not some absolute entity, which is impossible in any case.’

    But surely it will always be true that: class conflict is the dynamic element in society that produces historical change, bacteria causes many diseases, the Earth is spherical, there are no gods, we will die without access to oxygen etc.?

    Given the ever changing scientific hypotheses we must be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater – there are some things that will always be true and some things that will always be a lie like holocaust denial, creationism, religion, racial superiority or that Queen was a great rock band.

    #189386
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    “or that Queen was a great rock band.”

    Now that’s a step too far, Wez…  😆

    #189387
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Let’s have a binding vote on it to decide the truth.

    #189388
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    I vote “Queen were Shite”

    #189389
    LBird
    Participant

    Matthew Culbert wrote: “Of course truth will exist, but it would be in context of its being a  live changing one, subject  to interrogation and reinterpretation, in light of new knowledge and challenging of its veracity and not some absolute entity, which is impossible in any case.

    Your fear of technocratic, scientific or bureaucratic specialists forming into ‘elites’ is way off the mark, as specialists will be themselves part of society, not some privileged section,but also subject to recallable delegation, in such cases say, where they move from local into regional bodies.

    I think there will be much more educated interrogation of any findings and resource allocation will be a democratic process which will be surely allowing for some degree of ephemeral or speculative or research largesse on the part of allocations.

    It’s a shame that you haven’t been party to these discussions regularly over the past few years, Matthew, because there’s little to politically disagree with, in your post, (other than your characterisation of my personal ‘fear’, but we can let that lie, because the political content of the post).

    Certainly, your post provides an excellent basis for further political discussion, if you’ve a mind to continue. I must say, a breath of fresh air! 🙂

    #189393
    Matthew Culbert
    Keymaster

    “But surely it will always be true that: class conflict is the dynamic element in society that produces historical change, bacteria causes many diseases, the Earth is spherical, there are no gods, we will die without access to oxygen etc.?

    Given the ever changing scientific hypotheses we must be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater – there are some things that will always be true and some things that will always be a lie like holocaust denial, creationism, religion, racial superiority or that Queen was a great rock band.”

    ————————————————————————

    Wez, Speaking specifically of the new society, class will not feature. So class conflict won’t remain.

    That’s important to stress, as the concern of LBird is that democratic control will be lost over specialists with the risk of them forming new elites dispensing treatises from ivory towers without accountability or that their influence may be an undue one.

    I have tried to address this concern, as I know others have also.

    The danger of substituting the removal of ‘Absolute Truth’ as emanating from beyond our ken, for scientific wisdom percolating down to the ignorant dumb clucks like me.

    I view that as a caricature which is misplaced, while still understandable in light of the present make-up of the scientific establishment, the scientific bodies will not figure as an ‘establishment’ in the new society.

    I am not advocating removing presently scientifically uncontested, bedrock verifiable assumptions, or wasting time interrogating the existence or otherwise of Deities.

    #189398
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    We have gone over this topic thousands of times without any results, it is like an endless cycle. It is just a wasting of time. The world is falling apart

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