Forum Replies Created
Number of papers sent out – 304
Number of papers returned:
Breakdown by branches: Central: 28, Edinburgh: 4, Glasgow: 4, Kent & Sussex Regional:
8, Lancaster: 2, Manchester: 11, North London: 7, North East Regional: 3, South
London: 7, South West Regional: 6, South Wales: 8, West London: 8, West Midlands
Total for branches: 99
You said we were subject to indifference and that is a nonsense. We are not exempt from compassion for other creatures, even as we may devour them, hard as that may be to a vegan to be willing to comprehend.
Survival has been through natural omnivorous means and reacting to challenges upon this, is not necessarily prejudice.
You are making prejudiced assumptions yourself to make a general point.
One of the problems with the debating method I think.
A sweeping generalisation indeed.
“This indifference self- excluded Marxian socialists from awareness of the advances made in ethology and natural science since the later 20th century”
Surely the enquiring and scientific mindset of Marxian socialists makes them only too aware of some of those developments that are worth a monkeys, but is tempered by the realisation that nothing can or will be done, save what is expedient to capitalism, without the overthrow of capitalism.
He is a lot more personable and cheerier in person. The kids will find him funny, hilarious and annoying in turns. At least he has the weather there. 😈
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by Matthew Culbert.
But here is a counter tendency to that, which is presently going out on the streets and advocating action on diverse issues such as climate change and actively supporting the scientific consensus in respect of it.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Matthew Culbert.
Let’s not kid ourselves, Wez, we are not just ordinary people like everyone else.
Oh yes we are. We are in the the 90-95%.
“a fart in the revolutionary bathtub.” Isn’t it against the rules to call someone that?
Of course it would and I am not doing so. I would not be so disrespectful of an individual who believes he has genuine concerns.
However the immense majority which make the revolution, will loosen any philosophical Gordian knots, will have no difficulty feeding into, as well as deliberating over, specialist scientific discussions and dealing with discerning any ‘notions of upperosity’ (O’Casey) and bad attacks of ‘wankers doom’ (Vanni), when the time comes to do so.
In my personal opinion only.
Matthew Culbert earlier wrote: “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.”
Matthew Culbert later wrote: “He seems to have a problem accepting, just because it is a <b>classless, commonly owned</b> society, that there are <b>no elite</b> interests will form <b>over</b> the people.”
Perhaps it’s better for me to clarify what I regard as the problem, because I think Matthew is missing my political point.
Both of your statements are focused on a socialist society that’s come into existence, and as far as that goes, I agree, rather than disagree (as you seem to be suggesting) with the points you’re making.
Well that is that then. Join us.
My criticism involves the social process of building that socialist society – that is, the process of production (by us now) rather than the product as an ideal.
Because I agree with Marx’s method of ‘theory and practice’, I think that if we have a theory, which we put into practice, then the product will be shaped by the theory which is put into practice.
But is not us but the workers who will do it.
To get to my key political point, if the theory that we espouse, now, in our efforts to build for a democratic socialism (of the sort embodied in your statements above), does not contain the theoretical seeds of democratic socialism, then we are going to find it impossible to build a democratic socialism. The society we build will reflect the theory we base our efforts upon.
But it already does so. We don’t have leaders or do we advocate leaderism.
It’s my political, philosophical and ideological opinion that ‘materialism’ (of the sort put forward by Engels, and taken forward by Kautsky, Plekhanov and Lenin) does not contain the seeds of your socialism outlined in your quotes, above.
Definitely Lenin. Engels shifted back and forth at times. So what?
As an example, your political characterisation of ‘specialists’ as ‘recallable delegates’ (which I agree with politically) would mean that the ‘specialists’ would do as they are told by their democratic delegators (which I would charaterise as the SPGB’s notion of ‘generalists’). That is, it’s the generalists who would be giving the specialists the aims, purposes, interests, theories, concepts, and methods of the generalists. There would not be (and could not be) specialists who themselves tell the rest of us what aims, purposes, interests, theories, concepts and methods are suitable for building our ‘better world’.
It is absolutely crazy to suggest I would need to be telling an atomic scientist or a physicist what his theoretical conclusions should be, or areas, aims or purposes should be, however as they would be a part of the zeitgeist of the prevailing age.
They would be specialising and feeding back. Certainly science and all of that in the service of capitalism is bound to be a different beast from science in the service of socialism. Scientists in general do try to give politically neutral scientific advice, but their preferred solutions are constrained by the capitalist system, but even so many of them find themselves ditched for straying too far from acceptable norms.
I would suggest that research will through up potentially fruitful areas for further investigation and this would be fed back for decisions as resource commitments would be locally, regionally or globally as required.
It is not possible at this juncture for a few hundred socialists to say otherwise.
This political power, though, goes against everything that the bourgeois have said about their ‘science’ for 300 years, and their ideological argument that ‘The World’, ‘The Universe’, ‘Real Reality’, etc. already exists, and so can’t be changed. The prizefighters of the bourgeoisie (economists, physicists, mathematicians, etc.) insist that they are all simply dealing with ‘reality’, which ‘exists’ and can’t be changed, and simply ‘discovering’ ‘what exists’, already. And they claim to have a politically-neutral ‘scientific’ method, which, if it does exist, can clearly be employed by ‘specialists’, an elite, outside of the social control of the masses, the ‘generalists’.
I don’t think you can lump the ‘dismal’ economists into the field of science.
Scientists would be a part of the social process and could not reside outside it. You appear also to have prejudicial prior assumptions about scientists and mathematicians, (prize fighters of the bourgeoisie) while like everyone else, they will be influenced by the prevailing ideology, while perceived as politically neutral.
Our political problem is that ‘materialism’ is precisely an ideology required to maintain these political beliefs in a disinterested, non-ideological, politically-neutral body of ‘specialists’, who themselves determine their aims, purposes, …etc, and it argues that to do otherwise (ie, what you and I are suggesting, ‘recallable delegates’ in all academic fields) would be to destroy the very foundations of science.
I don’t give a damn for philosophical materialism. It is historical materialism is our big thing.
So the foundations of science can be a fact in the service of the classless society.
I can sum all of this up by saying that, unless our ‘theory’ is from the start conducive to our hoped-for practice and product, then the outcome, socialism, will not be of the sort that is outlined in your political statements, which I agree with.
I say as far as we can this is so. We don’t not do the blueprints for the future that would be arrogant in my view.
‘Materialism’ is not that ‘theory’. Our ‘theory’ must be democratic from the outset.
But you are into philosophical materialism. I am into historical materialism. This type of conversation will be like a fart in the revolutionary bathtub.
” The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves. We cannot, therefore, co-operate with people who openly state that the workers are too uneducated to emancipate themselves and must be freed from above by philanthropic big bourgeois and petty bourgeois.”(1879 Marx and Engels )
world population is well beyond carrying capacity of the planet.
I do not accept this at all.
Well comrade, I want to get some closure on it, so Lbird can join with us and collectively get behind the propagation of an advanced post-capitalist, commonly owned, production for use, free access society.
He already agrees I think, that only a commonly owned, production for use society of true social equals to the means of production and distribution is ever socialism.
He seems to have a problem accepting, just because it is a classless, commonly owned society, that there are no elite interests will form over the people.
Rather that the people themselves will administer over resources in administration of things.
This will, be a democratic process, locally, regionally and globally using instantly re callable delegation where specialization is required to prevent the formation of elites developing , whether scientific, technocratic or bureaucratic,so that it will be an interaction rather than an elite-downward process, where control has been surrendered to specialist bodies.
“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.
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.
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?
I have done it for you.
He seemed to enjoy anticipating giving it,
and then doing it as, much as the audience.