Marx and Lenin’s views contrasted

September 2021 Forums General discussion Marx and Lenin’s views contrasted

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    Young Master Smeet


    “If ‘we ask‘, YMS, how will we know that ‘we’ve received‘, without a vote?””

    Well, the absence of a motion of censure would be a start.

    But what you’re saying is that if we ask to go and produce possibly conflicting theories, and then we note we’ve received them all.  That wouldn’t give us any truth.  At best it would just give us robustness of debate (which would be a good thing in itself).

    As to private theories in private time, they’d be held without a vote, wouldn’t they?


    lBird “the social problem of ‘scientific experts’ keeping the rest of us ‘un-informed’”.

    Not so.   The problem that faces anyone willing to learn a science is not the suppression by scientists of scientific information but the provision by scientists of a mind-boggling abundance of scientific information.  The problem is how to tame the scientific information.

    People probably start by firing up their search engine, Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo, or Wolfram Alpha for mathematics, and follow up on the results.

    An alternative port-of-call is Wikipedia, for its hundreds of thousands of clearly written hyperlinked articles.  Wikipedia’s scientific content ranks among its most reliable and informative.

    Far from censoring scientific information, Wikipedia is a globally transparent open-source collaboration that throws its pages open to everyone for editing.  It meticulously time-stamps and permanently logs each page’s revision history so that anyone, who wants to, can follow its genesis and development.

    And, of course, there are the multi-talented web science broadcasters — who expand the proud tradition of Martin Gardner and Stephen Jay Gould — who have turned YouTube into the most imaginative vehicle for communicating mathematics and science.

    In no special order, they include: Vsauce, SmarterEveryDay, Veritasium, MinutePhysics,  3Blue1Brown, PhysicsGirl, Sabine Hossenfelder,  Numberphile, Stand-up Math, Tibees, Eddie Woo.

    To put lBird’s ‘social problem’ into perspective, science is not being suppressed by scientists qua scientists.  Where it is being suppressed, it is being done so out of commercial or political pressure.

    Science, qua science, is irrepressible.

    * * *

    Open Problems

    A general knowledge of science is totally inadequate for comprehending and adjudicating on most of the open problems science.

    • A little learning is a dangerous thing.
      Drink deep

    To exemplify the nature of the problem, here follows a shortened list of major open current research topics that defy comprehension and resolution by anything other than deep and thorough investigation.  General scientific knowledge hasn’t a hope in hades.

    Major Unsolved Physics Problems

    • Theory of everything
    • Arrow of time
    • Interpretation of quantum mechanics
    • Yang-Mills theory
    • Color confinement
    • Physical information 
    • Dimensionless physical constant 
    • Fine-tuned universe
    • Quantum field theory
    • Locality
    • Unruly effect
    • Problem of time
    • Cosmic inflation
    • Horizon problem
    • Origin and future of the universe
    • Size of universe
    • Baryon asymmetry
    • Cosmological constant pro
    • Dark matter
    • Dark energy
    • Dark flow
    • Axis of evil
    • Shape of the universe
    • Largest structures
    • Extra dimensions 
    • Vacuum catastrophe 
    • Quantum gravity 
    • Black holes, information paradox
    • Cosmic censorship hypothesis 
    • Hierarchy problem
    • Planck particle 
    • Magnetic monopoles 
    • Neutron lifetime puzzle
    • Proton decay and spin crisis 
    • Supersymmetry
    • Generations of matter
    • Neutrino mass
    • String CP problem
    • Anomalous magnetic dipole moment
    • Proton radius puzzle
    • Pentaquarks, exotic hadrons
    • Mu problem 
    • Koide formula 
    • Solar cycle
    • Coronal heating problem
    • Astrophysical jet
    • Diffuse interstellar bands
    • Supermassive black holes
    • Kuiper cliff
    • Flyby anomaly 
    • Galaxy rotation problem 
    • Supernovae 
    • p-nuclei
    • Ultra-high-energy cosmic ray
    • Rotation rate of Saturn
    • Origin of magnet are magnetic field 
    • Large-scale anisotropy
    • Age-metallicity relation
    • Lithium problem 
    • Ultraluminous X-ray sources
    • Fast radio bursts
    • Quantum chromodynamics 
    • Quark-gluon plasma
    • Strangelets
    • Quark-gluon formation 
    • Nuclei and nuclear astrophysics 
    • Abraham-Minkowski controversy
    • Bose-Einstein condensation 
    • Gauge block wringing
    • Scarnhorst effect 
    • Newtonian N-body problem
    • Turbulent flow
    • Upstream contamination 
    • High-temperature superconductors 
    • Amorphous solids
    • Cryogenic electron emission
    • Sonoluminescence 
    • Topological order
    • Fractional Hall effect
    • Liquid crystals 
    • Semiconductor nanocrystals
    • Metal whiskering 
    • Superfluid transition in He-4
    • Plasma physics and fusion power 
    • Injection problem: Fermi acceleration 
    • Solar-wind interaction with comets
    • Alfvénic turbulence 
    • Stochasticity in gene expression
    •  Memory
    • Quantitative studies of immune system
    • Homochirality
    • Magnetoreception in animals 

    Major Unsolved Mathematics Problems

    There are hundreds of mathematical problems awaiting solution in fields including 

    • computer science,
    • algebra,
    • analysis,combinatorics,
    • geometries — algebraic, differential, discrete, Euclidean
    • theories — graph, group, model, number, set, Ramsey
    • dynamical systems,
    • partial differential equations

    Millennium Prize Problems

    • P versus NP
    • Hodge conjecture
    • Riemann hypothesis
    • Yang–Mills existence and mass gap
    • Navier–Stokes existence and smoothness
    • Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture
    • Poincaré conjecture — now solved; a generalization is still unsolved.


    lBird, surely even you must finally admit that — at least for the humanly foreseeable future — the TRUTH of research problems in physics  and mathematics cannot be adjudicated and declared by universal ballot.

    A totally different criterion of objective scientific truth —that apparently lies beyond your kind — totally escapes you.  That, sadly, is your loss.

    As for your own jackass method…

    Marx never in his wildest dreams ever thought so.



    twc referred to me as ‘jackass’.

    Isn’t the moderator ever going to censure those who abuse other posters? This often includes ALB, and others.

    The same moderators who ban me for referring to these abusers in their own unacceptable terms?

    Why aren’t all posters treated in the same way when their abuse is posted, or why isn’t there a free-for-all, in which I can descend to the depths, too?


    Is it a bird or is it a jackass? Let’s have a vote to determine the truth.




    I think TWC referred to your “jackass method” – not you personally



    You say “The problem is, whose ‘physics’?”

    Just to make myself clear I am fully supportive of the notion that everyone should be  be able to access scientific knowledge and freely contribute to that body of knowledge should they so choose.  In no sense am I suggesting some kind of proprietorial arrangement.   Knowledge is social  and to that extent I have agreed (from the very start of this debate actually) with your comment about the “social production of knowledge”.

    Where you and I part company is over your inference that just because something is a social product  that necessarily implies that the making of that “social product”  requires “democratic control”.  This does not follow.   It is in fact based on  a complete misunderstanding of the nature and purpose of democratic decision-making.

    I had an old Berlingo van a few years ago.  Like a scientific theory, this too is or was (its probably been scrapped by now!) a “social product” .  Its final assembly stage may have been in a factory somewhere in Spain (where I live) or France but the components parts might have been manufactured in multiple units spread out right across the globe.  This is to say nothing of the primary resources like minerals or oil which would eventually be manufactured into the various metal or plastic pieces that comprised  my old van.

    It is literally impossible to exercise democratic control over this vast immensely complicated process  from the extraction of the raw materials right through to the design and final assembly  of the product in question.   Sure , the workers in the all the many production units involved in this process can organise themselves democratically in their  production units (and I would fully endorse that)   but your whole basic line of argument to date has been that the whole of society should be involved in the democratic  control of this process from start to finish.   This follows according to you from the fact that what is produced is a social product.  Therefore, according to you ,it has to be democratically controlled.

    But as I’ve tried to explain to you many times that is not just logistically possible.  8 billion people on planet Earth cannot possibly be involved in the decision-making involved in producing a van from start to finish  – let alone the millions of other social products produced today!

    So just because something is a social product this does not mean it has to be democratically  controlled.    Its the same with scientific theories.   Inescapably a deep understanding of say, Physics , is going to be limited to those who have spent a considerable amount of time studying this subject and who also have an interest in it.   The vast majority of us are not particularly motivated  to study Physics to this degree of intensity and even if we were we dont have the time or opportunity to do so.   We have other pursuits that claim our time and intention.

    This applies to trained physicists as well.  They too dont have the time or opportunity to develop a deep understanding of neurology or structural engineering .  They are just as much lay people as the rest of us with respect to these latter disciplines.  Ironically you comment “The upshot of this, robbo, is that current ‘physicists’ don’t know their arses from their elbows when it comes to the politics of social production.”   Exactly.  So you are proving my point

    What this means is that any real advances in the scientific discipline of Physics is perforce going to be restricted to the contributions of specialists in this field.   There is no way you can get round this fact unpalatable though it may be to you. But that does not make physics any the less  a social product.  Physicists learn from each other and from physicists long gone and dead.   Physics involved an accumulation of knowledge

    However if the development of scientific theories cannot and indeed should not be subject to democratic control, the application of those ideas in practice – for instance in the development  of  technological innovations – is an entirely different matter.    This is the province of “democratic control”  – in the practical business of our daily lives and the decisions that shape our lives and not in the thought processes going on in the heads of scientific specialists themselves



    Matthew Culbert


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    lBird “twc referred to me as a ‘jackass’.

    Not so. 

    I was referring, not to you, but to your ‘method’.

    Karl Marx used an analogous reference “ass’s hoof”, in an 1881 letter to his long-time associate and First Internationalist, Adolf Sorge, living in New York, when commenting exasperatedly on the ostensibly pro-working class, but actually anti-working class, economic theories of American Henry George.  

    • This cloven hoof (at the same time ass’s hoof) is also unmistakably revealed in the declamations of Henry George.

    Marx’s reference to “cloven hoof” is probably lost on you.  But, it was music to the ears of  a 19th century German who shared with Marx a supreme love for the great German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

    Goethe features as one of Marx’s favourite poets in his famous answers to the parlour game Confessions.

    To explain…

    Marx’s ‘cloven hoof’ refers to Mephistopheles’s sexual advances upon pure Gretchen — the eternal feminine — in Goethe’s Faust, Part One.  Mephistopheles is, of course, the devil to whom Faust has sold his eternally damned soul.

    Marx knew that Sorge would instantly pick up on the literary allusion, and enjoy the double entendre — sexual seduction plus asexual asininity — in pursuit of devilish duplicity. 

    You see, both of them personally knew the American translator of Goethe’s Faust, Bayard Taylor, who edited at the New-York Daily Tribune during Karl Marx’s sojourn as its London-based European correspondent.

    I apologise for any confusion on your part:

    It is your ‘method’ that is “jackass”.

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 4 weeks ago by twc.
    • This reply was modified 9 months, 4 weeks ago by twc.
    L.B. Neill


    twc often gives sobering advice suitable for correction of an idea.  He once encouraged me to detox from some ideological nuances based on reformism. The river now has less twists and turns.

    Consider it method critique… less ‘redoubling’ and logical loops.

    We can all get a little heated… but we debate and it leads to discoveries- be prepared to discover, and sometimes to receive correction!




    Correction.  I wrongly referred to Bayard Taylor (whose English translation of Goethe Marx probably thought a foredoomed failure).

    The intended mutual acquaintance was Charles Dana, managing editor of the New York Daily Tribune, who met Marx through Ferdinand Freiligrath, the poet of the “Farewell Words from the Neue Rheinische Zeitung” (NRZ), blazoned in red ink atop the NRZ’s suppressed final edition, and who later donated exiled Bakunin’s copy of Hegel’s Encyclopaedia Logic to a grateful Marx while writing Capital.

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by twc.

    Marx on his time used many phrases and expression who might sound outrages to our time, but they were widely accepted during his time, that is the reason why several opponents of Marx have said that he was racist, an  antisemite, regarding some expression used with Ferdinand Lasalle, Paul Lafargue, and the Jewish question


    From the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: What is philosophy? What is revolution?

    If you read the whole article and every detail you will see that the whole thing is based on the unification of idealism and materialism or vice-versa, but they do not show any evidence that Marx used such concept even when he was young Hegelian. There is not any counterrevolution when there is not a revolution. Basically it is a concept created and developed by the Marxist Humanists


    Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Engels, Marx’s fellow pioneer historical materialist and scientific socialist.



    To Frederick Engels on his 200th Birthday

    Fred, humanity has disappointed you over the past 200 years.

    It has failed to follow through on the head start you gave it on the road to socialism.

    I take some comfort in the knowledge that you, above anyone, recognised humanity’s protracted rise from prehistory.

    A little joy.  After 200 years, it has become possible from mitochondrial analyses — a science unknown  in your lifetime — to endorse your crucial view of hunter-gather matrilocal residence.  I hear your jolly laughter.

    I can dimly comprehend the pleasure you would have taken in learning that, 200 years on, the publication of Marx’s vast corpus of work is nearing completion, and that the greatest and most important of his works are widely available everywhere around the globe.

    And now for the dialectics…

    Fred, you might be utterly flabbergasted to find that 200 years after your birth — a period through which you lived over one-third; your lifetime being triumphantly longer than the dark ages through which the socialism-destroying bolsheviks ruled over capitalist Russia — you have been elevated, in superb Leftist contempt, to the “most reviled” (like Epicurus) and “best hated, calumniated” (like Marx) man of our times.

    I feel your dismay, just as at first it dismayed me, but I also know that you would have borne all Leftist anti-socialist insults, honourably, with the contempt they deserve.  Oh, on second thoughts, you would have treated them, correctly, as beneath contempt.

    And so, on your bicentennial birthday, from one who is proud to proclaim myself “so poor as to do you reverence” …

    Your time will come.  And, with it, all humanity’s.

    You paved our way …

    For socialism, Fred 200!

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by twc.
    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by twc.
    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by twc.
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