Reason and Science in Danger.

July 2024 Forums General discussion Reason and Science in Danger.

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    L.B. Neill

    It is an interesting final remark upon my stance- one which seems to find no rest.

    But “educate oneself about history, society, science, politics, philosophy…” seems to sit well with me. What a similarity we can share. But I put it in the affirmative: and not bad for a thoughtless rock am I! Don’ answer that!

    We can leave it there, and thankyou, I appreciate your views and your debate… I am still on a learning curve, and hope it continues.




    Like Sarmiento and Hostos  said: Read and study everything, and Hostos created one of the best education system which motivates the students to think by themselves and become an independent thinker

    L.B. Neill

    Thanks Marcos. Independent thinking is so crucial in this age- and the ones before it…

    I remember some once said: learn everything and forget it- not that we just forget it, but that we are not ruled by it… Always learn, and question.

    I am going to look up Sariento and Hostas-

    Adios mi amigo!


    This has been a very interesting and enlightening debate, marred only by the inevitable personal insults by the SPGB against TrueScotsman. Plus ca change…
    I should declare openly, though, to TrueScotsman, that my Democratic Communist politics are closer to those of the SPGB than to those of TrueScotsman.
    There are two outstanding parallels between this thread and my many debates with the SPGB about ‘science’, which mirrors the “Leninist Elite versus Mass Class” basis of this one.
    The first parallel, as I’ve already pointed out, is the SPGB’s mode of political debate – it doesn’t argue politics, but attacks individuals, and so loses the political debate, in the sense that its own ideological beliefs remain sacrosanct, but it doesn’t spread its own political message to workers who debate with them. It’s a method that will end in cult-like isolation.
    The second, is that my arguments in defence of democratic science (the ideological belief that only mass control of physics, maths, logic, etc. is acceptable for a democratic socialist movement and its eventual product, socialism) are exactly the ones used by the SPGB to defend their politics.
    That is why I agree with the SPGB as against TrueScotsman’s politics. I believe that only mass communist consciousness amongst workers across the planet can build socialism. TrueScotsman disagrees with this, and argues for a party to lead the still non-socialist workers into socialism – which is fair enough, and a political and ideological one, which I disagree with, but I can understand and debate with.
    The problem is, the SPGB are contradictory, and on the issue of ‘science’, agree with TrueScotsman’s political and ideological position: that an elite is needed to lead the benighted mass.
    My position, and I think it was Marx’s too, is that only the proletariat can liberate itself, in all areas of social production, which naturally (and I chose that term consciously) includes the power of human ‘science’.
    ‘Nature’ and ‘Society’ are human products, and within a democratic socialist society can only be changed democratically.
    I think TrueScotsman would disagree that either should be democratically produced (but at least holds a consistent political position), whereas the SPGB thinks ‘Nature’ is simply sitting ‘out there’, waiting to be ‘discovered’ by an elite of physicists (and other ‘scientists’), and so ditches its correct democratic politics regarding ‘Society’ when dealing with ‘Nature’. It’s a confused political stance that must lead nowhere. At least TrueScotsman’s consistent beliefs have had, and continue to have (unfortunately from my perspective) political relevance today.
    Anyway, I couldn’t resist posting, so my apologies to those who detest the notion of ‘Politicised Science’, and prefer a self-selecting elite to hold power in science.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by LBird.

    Bijou Drains, alanjjohnstone, thanks for your kind words.

    My advice is to read up about Chinese physics and politics, and try to see how they don’t separate ‘Nature’ and ‘Society’ (just as Marx didn’t), and to see how Engels was badly influenced by ‘Western Science’ (ie., what I’d call ‘bourgeois science’).

    All ‘Science’ is socio-historical and so changes, and is powerful.

    The question is: ‘Who is to control its power and how it changes?’.

    The SPGB and TrueScotsman would agree (I think) about who should have power: an elite, who have an ability and motivation which not shared by the mass of humans.

    Why the SPGB diverges from its democratic political beliefs when it comes to ‘science’ is a mystery that I’ve never been able to really solve.

    I suspect it’s because you regard Marx and Engels (as do all Leninists) as in effect a ‘single being’, and regard the critical investigation of this belief as illegitimate.

    Perhaps TrueScotsman can now say whether they align with the SPGB on this issue of ‘science’, or have I misjudged TrueScotsman’s politics? I would imagine that TrueScotsman regards the Party as the ‘Scientist’ within ‘Scientific Socialism’?


    Anyway, I couldn’t resist posting, so my apologies to those who detest the notion of ‘Politicised Science’, and prefer a self-selecting elite to hold power in science.

    Power to do exactly what LBird????

    Specialists, and you long ago agreed there will be specialists as well as generalists in socialism, will by definition always know more than the non-specialists on the subject in question. But they will have zero power over the latter given the nature of a socialist society in which labour is performed on a completely free voluntary basis and goods and services can be freely appropriated without any form of quid pro quo exchange

    Free access/voluntary labour eliminates or negates the very mechanism by which some hold power over others. Period

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