Science for Communists?

June 2024 Forums General discussion Science for Communists?

Viewing 11 posts - 1,426 through 1,436 (of 1,436 total)
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  • #103965
    twc
    Participant

    Et tu, Alan!

    #103967
    moderator2
    Participant

    Message# 1426 should have been posted under this account as moderator2. Apologies. I won't bother deleting the post and reposting under the appropriate account, i hope this message is suffice an explanationAlso forum users should note warnings are issued after consultation and agreement reached among the three moderators. It is pretty much irrelevant which of the moderators actually posts the warning as it is a collective decision to issue a warning and any subsequent ones.

    #103966
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    robbo203 wrote:
    LBird wrote:
    robbo203, post #1399, wrote:
    Though I agree that it is very probable that for any given subject area in science only a minority is likely to be sufficiently competent to judge on the particular merits of a given theory, this is  not in any way a elitist view as I explained, It is purely a function of the social division of labour which L Bird completely ignores.

    [my bold]The problem is, robbo, who or what actively determines 'the social division of labour'?You talk of this category as if it were something outside of our own production, something outside of our political control, something that is active, in the face of which we are passive.Any workers' organisation built upon your principles will tell workers that they are not the 'active, conscious, subject', but that the 'social division of labour' is, and that they must obey the 'social division of labour'.Anyone with any political nous whatsoever, can see that humans determine their 'social division of labour', and that if this political truth is hidden, that a 'special minority' will be the ones who 'determine', whilst they hide this truth from the masses, who will believe that this actually socio-historically-produced 'division' just 'is', timeless, ahistorical, and outside of human interference, and they have to 'obey it'.It seems bloody obvious to me that any Leninist would tell the passive workers that the power structures which allowed Stalin to control production was "purely a function of the social division of labour", and that those workers should avoid the troublemaker LBird, who is 'ignoring' a reality, which is 'out there', and not socially-produced.I don't agree with you, robbo, because I'm a Marxist, and I argue for the democratic control of all human production, including everything from widgets to scientific knowledge. That is, 'socialism/communism'.You're not a Marxist, nor a Communist, nor a democrat, but you are an elitist. Although, I'll grant that you seem to be unaware of this.

     Groan. Once again its back to the drawing board to explain to LBird in terms that he can hopefully understand just how ridiculous is his whole argument..  But first of all let’s cut out all this crap about me not being a Marxist or a communist or a democrat.  I fully support and actively advocate the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production.  That makes me all the things LBird claims I am not.   I just dont support his crackpot idea that the truth of scientific theories – tens of thousands of them – should be voted upon by the entire global population. Not once has LBird ever explained what would be the point of these multiple and indeed endless referenda on scientific theories.  What difference is it going to make if a particular scientific theory is rubber stamped as The Truth by virtue of this being decided upon by a democratic vote? Lbird never explains.  All we get from him on this subject is a resounding silence. It makes me wonder how serious LBird is about a genuine exchange of ideas. How you determine the truth of a theory in a communist will makes absolutely no difference that I can detect at all. In fact this kind of fetishistic obsession LBird seems to have with formally rubber stamping a scientific theory as The Truth seems to me to be the very opposite of the kind of view expressed by Marx that we should “doubt everything”.  LBird’s proclivity towards absolutism and formalism is redolent of the Leninist concept of the “Party Line” Democracy is about power.  The fact that I know nothing about String theory in a communist society does not vest the astrophysicists in a communist society who knows about these arcane matters with some kind of power over me.  This is where LBird goes completely off the rails.  He does not understand what democracy is about or indeed how a communist society would function – its basic dynamics, if I could put it like. His attitude towards democracy is almost childlike in its naiveté.  I’m surprised he hasn’t yet come up with the suggestion that the total global population in a communist society should decide by means of a democratic what I should wear, what music I should listen, who I should associate with and what kind of restaurants I should patronise. Clearly anyone with a modicum of common sense will understand that when we talk about democracy there are limits to how far we can or should take this concept.  What LBird is suggesting goes way beyond any kind of sensible notion of what those limits are.  I mean really – how on earth  does LBird propose to organise a global vote on even a handful of scientific theories let alone tens of thousands every year. Has he even once thought about the logistics or organising such a vote never mind the purpose its isupposed to serve. The truly hilarious aspect of mind-numbingly dumb idea is the plain fact that for each of these tens of thousands of referenda carried out year only a tiny tiny proportion of the populace is ever going to even bother to vote.  So we are going to end up in any case to what amount to, in LBird’s terms an “elitist” outcome.  If you don’t know about String theory why would you be even interested in voting for it?  I wouldn’t. What’s the point? This brings me to the point that LBird makes as follows in response to my point about the inevitability of the social division of labour:“The problem is, robbo, who or whatactively determines 'the social division of labour'?You talk of this category as if it were something outside of our own production, something outside of our political control, something that is active, in the face of which we are passive.” No L Bird the problem is NOT who or what actively determines the social division of labour.  The problem, for your argument, is that there is a social division of labour to begin with!  The implications of the fact that there is such a thing as a social division of labour utterly destroys your whole argument and reduces it to rubble. It really does not matter how the social division of labour was determined though, if you want my opinion on the matter, I would say it is an emergent phenomenon which no one individual or group actively brought about.  But let us indulge you and run with your argument for a moment.  Suppose your concept of “democratic communism” was implemented. Would the workers retain the social division of labour or scrap it?  If the former, you would still have a minority of specialists in various fields of scientific endeavour.  We cannot all expect to be neurosurgeons, for example, which takes years and years of practice and intensive study.  Neurosurgeons know things about the workings of the brain which most of us, myself included, do not.  And because they have this specialist knowledge that means they know things which we don’t.  Which means when it comes to voting on such things we are not in much of a position to vote even if we wanted to which is unlikely. Still, as I say this is no problem as far as I concerned as along as neurosurgeons are unable to convert their specialist knowledge into a source of economic and political power over me.  My contention is that there is no lever that they could possibly pull in a communist society that would afford them such power.  You seem to think otherwise and my challenge to you is to explain how so. How in a society of free access to goods and services where labour is performed on an entirely voluntary basis can any individual or group exercise power of others? You don’t seem to recognise this but the whole logic of your argument is deeply anti-communist in its implications. Then there is the option of scrapping the social division of labour altogether which the workers could do under your concept of democratic communism.  So let’s say they scrap the social division of labour. What would that mean? It would mean either that there would be no neurosurgeons or else everyone will be compelled to become a neurosurgeon.  Since to become a neurosurgeon requires years of study and practice what this in turn means is that we can’t also become a competent mechanical engineer or geophysicist which also takes years to accomplish.  Either way we are looking at a society without specialists of any kind. Is this what you want LBird?  More to the point do you seriously believe this is remotely sustainable? In my opinion even to advocate it as a communist is to make a laughing stock of communism which is partly why I am so staunchly opposed to your whole line of thought. You make communism look ridiculous and impracticable 

    These  conceptions expressed by robbo203 are totally correct, All the essentials ideas about this topic have been covered

    #103960
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    LBird wrote:
    At least it's clear that, for the SPGB and its supporters, almost any elite, rather than the class conscious democratic proletariat, is going to have political power in their version of 'socialism'.So much for socialists helping to develop the class consciousness of workers, and bringing the class up to the abilities of the bourgeois elites.

    No it is absolutely not clear or anything of the sort. The workers collectively will have the power and the workers presently, consist of those scientists and others who you mischaracterise as bourgeois elites, as the workers presently run capitalism from top to bottom, they will run socialism without elites being  in control of any power over them. This is not the same as having specialist funtioning groups of workers. I don't want a kids appendix removed by a butcher. But a butcher may gain the doctoral qualifications to do so. You are guilty of obfuscation.

    #103968
    twc
    Participant

    Anti-socialist illusion of political power in socialism

    LBird wrote:
    the class conscious democratic proletariat is going to have political power in socialism

    The Socialist case (Object and Declaration of Principles [1904] originating from Marx) has always been:Political power is a necessary attribute of a class-divided society.Common ownership and democratic control of the social means of production removes class division, and hence removes classes and class politics.LBird seeks political power over non-existent class enemies in a classless society — chief among whom are political power hungry bourgeois scientists, intent on taking over the socialist world and experimenting, à la Dr Mengele, on unsuspecting class-conscious proletarians in socialism!

    #103969
    twc
    Participant

    LBird’s methodology for “developing class consciousnes”

    LBird wrote:
    So much for socialists helping to develop the class consciousness of workers, and bringing the class up to the abilities of the bourgeois elites.

    “I tell workers to vote for the Labour Party”  Voting for Labour = Labour is True  Labour is True = Capitalism is True∴ LBird tells workers:       Socialism is False.LBird tells workers what to think  Elitists tell workers what to think  Manipulating thought = Falsifying the Vote  Falsifying the vote = Untruth  Voting is the basis of LBird’s Utopia∴ LBird’s Utopia condones:       falsification of Truth by elitist manipulators.LBird’s voting practice in light of Marx’s Thesis VIII“All social life is essentially practical.  All mysteries which lead theory to mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice.” — Karl Marx, Theses on Feuerbach.The mystery of LBird’s wacky theory is unmasked by LBird’s practice of how he actually votes for the Truth.   Thanks Karl Marx.

    #103970
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    twc wrote:
    Anti-socialist illusion of political power in socialism

    LBird wrote:
    the class conscious democratic proletariat is going to have political power in socialism

    The Socialist case (Object and Declaration of Principles [1904] originating from Marx) has always been:Political power is a necessary attribute of a class-divided society.Common ownership and democratic control of the social means of production removes class division, and hence removes classes and class politics.LBird seeks political power over non-existent class enemies in a classless society — chief among whom are political power hungry bourgeois scientists, intent on taking over the socialist world and experimenting, à la Dr Mengele, on unsuspecting class-conscious proletarians in socialism!

    Talking about political power within a socialist power is totally incorrect . There would not be any need for political power in a classeless society

    #103971
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Libcom Further Reading Guide on Sciencehttp://libcom.org/library/science-further-reading-guide

    #103972

    Why Icebergs Float

    Quote:
    From paintings and food to illness and icebergs, science is happening everywhere. Rather than follow the path of a syllabus or textbook, Andrew Morris takes examples from the science we see every day and uses them as entry points to explain a number of fundamental scientific concepts – from understanding colour to the nature of hormones – in ways that anyone can grasp. While each chapter offers a separate story, they are linked together by their fascinating relevance to our daily lives.The topics explored in each chapter are based on hundreds of discussions the author has led with adult science learners over many years – people who came from all walks of life and had no scientific training, but had developed a burning curiosity to understand the world around them. This book encourages us to reflect on our own relationship with science and serves as an important reminder of why we should continue learning as adults.

    By an educationalist, rather than a scientfiic practitioner, chapter 5 has some useful comments.

    #103973
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks for the link. I have it saved as a really useful resource.

    #103974
    Anonymous
    Guest
    mcolome1 wrote:
    twc wrote:
    Anti-socialist illusion of political power in socialism

    LBird wrote:
    the class conscious democratic proletariat is going to have political power in socialism

    The Socialist case (Object and Declaration of Principles [1904] originating from Marx) has always been:Political power is a necessary attribute of a class-divided society.Common ownership and democratic control of the social means of production removes class division, and hence removes classes and class politics.LBird seeks political power over non-existent class enemies in a classless society — chief among whom are political power hungry bourgeois scientists, intent on taking over the socialist world and experimenting, à la Dr Mengele, on unsuspecting class-conscious proletarians in socialism!

    Talking about political power within a socialist power is totally incorrect . There would not be any need for political power in a classeless society

    we'll need to change the meaning of "office politics" and not use that phrase either.  sometime people call powr in the office place political power.  I assume socialism will still have offices.  Or would there be no need for any offices in a classless society? Also in your classless socialism society, what do you call it when a bunch of people all seem to agree on the same things about politcs.  if a bunch of people listen to one person on the subjects of politics I usually say they have political power.  What you call that in socialism?Tellign people not to use a word or that it's wrong is asserting power over their speach.  Maybe you want to just suggest a better way of saying things? Since you don't need political power to tell people what they should say, in socialism, maybe you want to practice persuading people?  

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