27 November, 2019

26 November, 2019

Brexit: Manufacturing Consent?

While there are certainly some convincing left-wing arguments for leaving the European Union, none of these featured in most Leavers' reasoning in 2016, in the original push for a referendum or in the current Tory party's attempts to manufacture consent for a no-deal Brexit.

As the UK sits at the precipice of another general election, we must try and understand why and how the Conservative Party, and large parts of the economic elite, are doing this. The media (most major newspapers and television news including the BBC) are certainly pushing for this outcome and are engaged in a substantial propaganda war against Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.

It's worth re-visiting this great documentary, Manufacturing Consent (1992), featuring the ideas and work of Noam Chomsky. In this film Chomsky asserts that the media always works this way, in the interests of vested interests and big money. Brexit and this current election are no different.



Play




Play and its role in learning


I have been watching a BBC TV documentary about the role of Play on animal learning (especially in the young). The general conclusion was that Play was more important than it is usually given credit for.

But, any analysis of such things must start from a sound basis - one which must necessarily address a great deal more than the accumulation of just everyday knowledge and skills.

Indeed, to really get at the processes involved, it cannot be purely an aggregating mechanism, but also, in some way, informatively address unavoidable crises, and even the Emergences of the Wholly New.

Now, useful contributions can be made without such a stance, but it will never address the significant Qualitative Changes that are the essential ingredients in real Development - or The Evolution of Undertsanding, rather then the aggregation of Knowledge only.

So, though many of the points made were of some value, they could not address the more important questions.

Let us look once again at the Play of young animals in their early years, but let us consider it in terms of the diverse capabilities endowed to the animal in question by its Quantitaive Evolution!

For embedded in the baby animal, from birth, is a complex system of bones and muscles capable of a significant number of movements and abilities passed on to it by it Evolution over, perhaps, millions of years. The potential for what that animal could do, is already built into its form, and certainly NOT due to its actions and experience.

So, what is the primary role of Play?

It is to reveal to the individual the built-in potential of its inherited form, but as a form of pleasure and fun, rather than mere functional exercise - to encourage them to do it all the time. Part of that inheritance will be the endorphins and pleasurable emanations also released by such new movements.

It is a process of already available discoveries of the young animal's built-on potential, BUT, it is not how they discover the wholly New.

And it is not how Evolution takes place!

In the most advanced animals, like us, it is NOT how they qualitatively change their understanding of things! That is a very different process which has been termed Emergence, and must never be confused with the incremental accumulation of Knowledge, which ultimately just recreates what is already knowable.

Indeed a valid alternative word for what an Emergence reveals is that it delivers a Revolution: and such can be both in their Living Processes and in their Thinking. But in the latter it is NOT merely New Knowledge!

And, it is never merely an addition in either sphere: it is always cataclysmic and destructive. For it to occur, elements of what went before, first get challenged, in a series of usually overcome Crises, but ultimately do deliver the Emergence, where these have to finally cause an overall Collapse of the Old System, in what seems to be a debilitating Dissociation, but in so-doing it also dismantles the self-maintaining features of the past stability, and thereby enables a natural construction of a wholly New System.

This is always totally unpredictable from the prior seemingly permanent Stability.

And, if you dont believe it.....What was the Origin of Life, and the much latter Appearence of Consciousness? What was the Neolithic Revolution, when Mankind, after hundreds of thousands of years, switched from being Hunter/Gatherers to Farmers and Domesticators of Food Animals?

Also what were the English, American, French and Russian Social Revolutoons?

And why is all of this not a part of the Thinking of Mankind?





It is due to one of these Revolutions that took place 2,500 years ago in Ancient Greece - The First Intellectual Revolution, where the breakthrough was to assume the fixety of all fundamental categories, Names and even Concepts, by the universal adoption of The Principle of Plurality. For this excluded Qualitative Changes from Mathematics, Reasoning and even Science, where it still rules to this day!

The interesting thing about Play is that it limits what has to be passed in via genetic Materials, for in many animals and all plants literally everything that is needed is passed on in genetic material, but when Play is passed on, it both reveals the potentiality of bodily capabilities and also teaches the young animal how to use them in different ways - its more flexible.

There is NO training in flying insects how to fly, it is genetically transmitted: but in Humans Beings and many higher animals the transmission of playing, and parental care is far more efficient, if longer to acquire. Needless to sat Humans have an exceedingly long Childhood, while certain seabirds, for example, "fly" and swim straight from the nest, and are effectively "on their own" within weeks!

Evolution has equipped the higher animals in very different ways via actual Emergences, though they have never been clearly evident until Darwin and Wallace's revelation of Natural Selection, though even they didn't fully understand exactly how these radical developments occurred - they just discovered that they had happened.

The philosophical Revolution that began to tackle Qualitative Change did in fact begin seriously in the early 19th century, via the criticisms of Formal Logic by the German Idealist Philosopher Hegel, but he only applied his Dialectics to Human Thinking, and the task of applying it effectively across the board, and particularly in Science has only begun to make inroads there in the 21st century, with the recent successful attack upon the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory.

Now, there is still an enormous amount yet to be addressed, but Qualitative Change occurs in literally Everything so the current domination of Plurality in most Intellectual Disciplines, has still got a long way to go. Apart from the recent application to Sub Atomic Physics, the only extensive and indeed, at the time comprehensive prior definition and application to concrete Reality was undertaken in the Study of Capitalist Economics by Karl Marx in the 19th century, but both denounced and suppressed by an academia dominated by the pro Capitalist Ruling Class across the World, clearly because Marx's conclusion was the necessity for a Socialist Revolution...

The State I


What is the State and whose interests does it work for?

The State: Now, Post-Revolutionary & Ultimately Desired


Now, the unavoidable and constant defining problem, for the vast majority of ordinary Working People, historically (and even now) has always been: who is in control of the State in which they live, for it is is absolutely never in the hands of the majority.

Now, when the difficulties of living under such circumstances, though never good, can and do get altogether too much to bear, so there can be, and, indeed, often has been, some kind of revolt, which, when it proceeds to general fighting action against the whole State, is termed a Revolution.

Indeed, a colleague was recently able to identify almost 800 violent revolts against their current overlords within our known Social History. It wasn't as rare as you think!

But, literally no Society is totally homogeneous - possessing of the same needs and desires throughout all its inhabitants. Militarism and Wealth has always accrued to minorities of individuals, which has always divided Society into various Classes, with the consequence that the majority is kept virtually powerless, and a relatively tiny Elite is therefore maintained in overall and lucrative control - even in supposed democracies.

And, that Elite has always necessarily gathered around itself a penumbra of somewhat privileged retainers and servants, who see their future solely in terms of the Elite they serve.

But, the majority have no say, AND also importantly NO means to overthrow the incumbent regimes, until, that is, some form of major crisis also affects even those who thought they were safe, and new temporary alliances between parts of the Middle and the Lower Classes, which could possibly challenge the Elite's Control.

The Middle Classes could, of course, never do that by themselves, though certain armed sub groups certainly could carry out successful coupe d'états- such as The Army, for example! But, it was The People-in-Arms in Russia, during the First World War, that ultimately sided with the suffering People, because that is also exactly who they too really were.

But, in most Revolutions, nascent New and increasingly powerful Classes - like Landowners, Manufacturers, Merchants and Traders, who then had sufficient financial wherewithal, and had promised the Lower Classes exactly what they desired to form into a capable Revolutionary Alliance, but who could also separate from that coalition upon success to deliver a new privileged elite!

In the English Revolution, the Parliament - representing the wealthier Landowners, chose Oliver Cromwell, as their leader, and who built his New Model Army, largely out of the Peasant Class, but who then developed their own ideas and associations like the Diggers and the Levellers, and who certainly had much more radical ideas than the wealthy Middle Class. Yet together they defeated the Royalists and decapitated the King! But, thereafter, the successful Revolution did literally nothing for the Peasants.

Upon Victory, the alliance fell apart (or more accurately was cleansed of its lower orders), while the privileged layers within the Army were easily converted into a means of maintaining the now established New Order. Indeed, Cromwell is still, to this day, reviled in Ireland for his brutal putting down their own Rebellion.

And then, slowly at first, but soon reaching colossal proportions the Peasants were driven from the land by Enclosures by the Landlords, to make way for much more profitable Sheep Farming, and also to increasingly supply Workers for the new Capitalist Factories appearing everywhere.

The promises to ordinary people of:

Liberté, Egalitéet Fraternité

were soon forgotten after the French Revolotion, and it was becoming clear that, every such Revolution, would not be completed without a change in both the Economic and the Political Systems too! It meant that the toiling masses had to be equipped with an agenda for the New State, developed from their needs and desires, and independent of those from more privileged prior comrades in arms, and involved themselves in a continuing fight to establish it, even after such a supposed initial Victory.

But, in Russia the nature of the New Revolutionary State, even though it was finally achieved decisively by the Toiling Masses, had effectively just transferred ownership of the Means of Production into the hands of a New State Bureaucracy.

The workers still had no direct control!

And, predictably, the new arrangement generated its own privileged Elite - Communist Party leaders and bureaucrats.

What was being undertaken in such a Revolution had to have those involved adequately informed by an understanding of all of this, and equipped with both a Powerful Theory and Developed Practice to produce the Conscious Engine Room both of and for the Toiling Masses. The Class had to have a dedicated Revolutionary Party to ensure its real success, which had also learned lessons from the mistakes of the past.

25 November, 2019

Is Revolution a Natural Part of all Development?



Natural Revolution

SHAPE Journal is proud to present a new film by Michael C Coldwell and Jim Schofield.

This is a film about revolution.

A film about how revolutionary emergences are a natural and crucial part of all developing reality. 

Based on a wide-ranging discussion between Marxist philosopher and scientist Jim Schofield, and filmmaker and researcher Michael C Coldwell, this essay film explores diverse themes, from Stalinism to the evolution of language, from the origin of life on earth to the failure of the 1960s revolutionary movement. The visuals are ripped and mashed from Youtube - archive footage, newsreels and films from the 20th century. Music is supplied by Conflux Coldwell and the Urban Exploration collective.

19 November, 2019

27 October, 2019

Special Issue 66: The Origin


Papers on Emergence and Abiogenesis - The Origin of Life on Earth



This edition collects my key papers addressing the Origin of Life and introduces my theory of Truly Natural Selection - the idea that matter itself undergoes a kind of evolution, and that this process eventually lead to life emerging on our planet.

This is part of an ongoing examination, by this author, of Emergences - those crucial events whereby all truly new entities originate.

Several sets of papers, upon this topic, have been published by this theorist before in the journal, but it can’t be, and certainly isn’t, a totally completed project. Indeed, the most important part of such a task, is always to divide yourself off from the Millennia-old, and very well established amalgam of different stances unified by both a belief in the Principle of Plurality on the one hand, and the age-old validator of “If it works, it is right!” on the other. And, truth-be-told, you only detach yourself from that well-entrenched position, in a series of stages, as you realise yet another weakness in the Old, made clear by an emerging appreciation of the strength of the New.

Now, I also feel that I cannot expect my readers to follow the same devious path as I have been forced to take, so there are times when a full re-statement of certain arguments, including a great deal of what has already been published before seems completely unavoidable. And this is just such a situation!

And, it is also very important, for the additions and extensions are via the Holist and Dialectical approach to science and understanding, as against the usual Pluralist and Formal Logical approach. This major transfer turns out to be both profoundly difficult and easily self- torpedoed, by unconscious and habitual returns to the old methods.

Now, as these methods have been used to both demolish the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory in Sub Atomic Physics, and the revelation of the world of Mathematics as actually being in Ideality, rather than Reality, and finally a wholly original stance upon the Origin of Life on Earth, it is clearly important to get as clear a description of the methods involved as possible.

25 October, 2019

Avoiding Global Catastrophe by Unifying the Struggles of the Left


Extinction Rebellion must challenge Capitalism or it will achieve nothing.

Two significant problems currently stand in the way of the essential political actions absolutely necessary to dispense with the clearly evident causes of both accelerated climate change and profound social inequality - the Capitalist System that dominates our planet.

For nothing less could possibly make any real and lasting difference!

However, being confronted with such a seemingly impossible-to-achieve solution (global system change, no less) will always then impel everyone to focus their anger-and-actions upon a current single issue or evident problem which seem capable of being addressed. And, the apparent lack of any wide-ranging and integrating stance for our activism, more or less guarantees the inevitable downturn and final ebbing-away of support in all such individual-and-separated endeavours! The underlying cause isn't dealt with and so these burgeoning movements can ultimately achieve nothing.

The first difficulty is that clearly and evident separation of all the necessary and growing struggles, which, when so isolated from one another, and with no evident, overall-solving-objective available, can never individually have the necessary wherewithal to actually visualise any real change-in-the-system, and no matter how legitimate those single issues are, they will definitely only swiftly build to a maximum, and then decline, ENTIRELY due to each isolated struggle's unavoidable lack of achieving any persisting success.

Surely, the dynamism of such struggles just HAS to be understood!

For, the "purely moral" isolation often involved does NOT naturally indicate a necessary wider scaling-up of protest into something both more general, and with a wider range of other related and important struggles - with common causes. And crucially, a unifying-political-form of organisation, encompassing the extended, clearly-related range of issues, and a consequent coherent, comprehensive and integrated Programme of what has to be done, AND ALSO, necessarily, a series of clear Objectives to be concretely achieved, on-the-road to a Final permanent Political Transformation of the situation, will be vital in sustaining the necessary momentum of all the struggles.

I was immediately energised by the Extinction Rebellion response to the clearly accelerating Global Warming and consequent Climate Change, and the also clearly evident increasing undermining of the usual Climate Stability, into instead the possibly catastrophic outcomes for both the Planet and its Peoples.



I have been involved in a wide variety of such political struggles all my adult Life, and have seen the rise and fall of many totally legitimate, but almost always separated social movements, which, even when they succeeded, NEVER left behind a sufficient political Change to defend and maintain those gains! So, while the solution seems clear,  the Unity of such Struggles required is never ever achieved both concretely or organisationally.

YET, the argument frequently and vigorously insisted upon by many organisers of such actions is that the widening the struggles will drive away supporters of this particular individual struggle, and hence cause it to fail! This is certainly the flawed reasoning behind trying to keep Extinction Rebellion "apolitical" - which basically means, don't criticise Capitalism!

Quite the opposite - it will fail precisely because the basis for the problem still remains, and at the first opportunity any gains will be removed again.

I was greatly stimulated by the remarkable actions of those energised to both help, and then to vigorously organise and demonstrate after the terrible Grenfell Fire Disaster in London: there were many angry, energetic, articulate and organising people powerfully moved to do whatever they could.


Justice for Grenfell

But, like so many other protest movements, it rose to a crescendo, then finally ebbed away...

Such great people (mostly powerful grassroots voices from that community) should have been integrated into a force-for-change, but where are they now?

What a waste of love, energy and talent!

Now, we have to reveal exactly why this never happens.

I am a Working Class person, who got an Education and thereafter a series of posts in Educational institutions, from Schools to Universities, in three different countries. I was, throughout my adult life, involved in such struggles, and consequently ended up involved in one organisation or another, but though they all had what they considered was an overall unifying stance, the leaders both didn't, and indeed couldn't, have meant it.

These people were invariably from the Wrong Class!

And, the level of understanding, though often sophisticated, and well-read, was always inadequate to powerfully energise both their members, and those they were attempting to help or recruit.

I have subsequently met many of my past-colleagues again later in life, and they had all reverted-to-Class, and they found my continuing political commitments embarrassing, and even often pretended that they didn't recognise me, and kept out of my way!

So I was, over time, in a variety of different leftwing Political Parties - but none, in the end, could do anything.

I came to revolutionary politics via an odd route. Despite my working class roots as I was far from class-conscious as a youth. 

I am a physicist, but a steadfast opponent of the then and now current Copenhagen Stance, which is still today the consensus position in Modern Sub Atomic Physics, so, in my youth, I looked around for an alternative stance. I finally found it in a book entitled Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, which criticised the at-the-time-of-its-writing, increasingly popular ideas of Henri Poincaré and Ernst Mach, who were termed Positivists.

The stance of the writer of that book, a certain V. I. Lenin, was brilliant, philosophically, but he was no physicist.


Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-Criticism

So, finding out that Lenin was a Marxist, I joined the Communist Party, expecting to find what I needed there... But it wasn't available!

It took me some time to find out, but I never found anyone who wanted to discuss the problem, and finally realised that the version of Marxism which they subscribed-to, resided solely in a series of books covering a particular area of studies - and that certainly did not include Physics!

No one was an active practicisng Marxist, though they all insisted that they were. And throughout my political life, in various Parties, I found the very same problem. A consistent, coherent and comprehensive stance was simply not involved.

So, more generally, the separation of struggles COULD NOT be integrated via a shared theoretical stance - for nobody involved seemed to have one!

Now, even supposing such a comprehensive Marxist Stance actually existed, and I could understand it, several difficulties were still inevitable. Not least was its comprehensive application to Modern Physics - a truly mammoth task: then a facility for applying it to political campaigns and objectives, and finally, perhaps most difficult of all, the means by which all the various struggles including new ones (as they arose) could be presented from an integrated critical position - absolutely essential to formulating the correct policies for them all, and sufficiently energising to my auditors to integrate them all into a coherent and extendable overall campaign.

I feel I have finally got somewhere with the first two of these objectives.

But now, at 80 years old, and almost blind, I feel I will not complete the third...

That, perhaps, will be your task!

_________________________________________________________________________________

Harriet Fraad is good on this, demonstrating how current political issues of racial and sexual discrimination intersect profoundly with class oppression through a long (and continuing) history of exploitation and invasion by the rich and dominant ruling class. 



02 October, 2019

Issue 66: Holistic Materialism I





This is the first in a special two part series entitled Holistic Materialism. These issues constitute a set of loosely related papers by Marxist theorist Jim Schofield concerning his philosophy of science, and his application of Holism and Dialectical Materialism to the sciences, especially particle physics. This has been a historical and epistemological project as much as it has been a philosophical and scientific one. In order to understand the mistakes and impasses we are presented with in science today, it is imperative to go back and have some understanding of how knowledge and philosophy have evolved over human history.

But what exactly is Holistic Materialism? Holism is a word that means different things to different people, a seemingly vague term that is often abused and misused - ‘holistic medicine’ for example covers all sorts of pseudoscientific nonsense no empricial researcher would care to be associated with. However Holism as a philosophical concept refers to something quite specific, and for Jim Schofield it is encapsualted in its opposition to the Pluralist position (not to be confused with pluralism), which sees all entities and laws as separable - capable of being isolated and studied in isolation - but more importantly, that this separability will somehow unlock the truth of how things in reality work. Essentially it is the philosophy of reductionism and this underpins almost all contemporary scientific research. Jim Schofield’s work is a unique critique of the hidden assumptions which underpin all science.

This is not the first time the term Holistic Materialism has been used, however. We see it linked to biology and 19th century naturalists in the writing of Ernst Mayr.

“The discovery of the similarity between dialectical materialism and the thinking of the naturalists is not new. Several authors have called attention to it, particularly Allen... He starts quite rightly: “The process of natural selection is as dialectical a process one could find in nature.” Allen thought that the dialectic viewpoint of the naturalists had been lost between 1890 and 1950... Allen asserts that the “holistic materialism” of the naturalists had failed to incorporate two important dialectical views. First “the notion that the internal change within a system is the result specifically of the interaction of opposing forces or tendencies within the system itself.”

The Roots of Dialectical Materialism (Mayer, 1997)

In the work of Schofield we see this kind of holist view of natural systems but very much informed by the dialectics of Karl Marx. It is not enough to see the interconnected-ness of things but realise how natural dominances emerge, to the point of seeming universal, and also how these dominances can come crashing down as their internal contradictions finally play out. It is in these crucial events that we see the Emergence of the wholly new. In these papers we see how Pluralist science prohibits access to this fundamental feature of reality, and that while those 19th naturalists may have hinted at the way forward, holist science is something new.

01 October, 2019

Workplace Democracy and Democratic Ownership



"Workplace Democracy and Democratic Ownership: moving from theory to strategy". Richard Wolff and Gar Alperovitz at Left Forum, 2013.



Some very interesting and unexpected revelations come out of this debate - worker co-ops alone will solve nothing as they will inevitably recreate all of the same problems regarding market competition and consumption that you get with laissez-faire capitalism - the only difference will be workers rather than bosses will have to become cutthroat in order to survive. 

So what is the solution? Society must control the economy, not the other way around. Top-down Stalinist type controlled economies didn't work either - so what does the relationship between society and the workplace need to be in order to make work work for the benefit of all?

Gar Alperovitz hints at a possible way out looking his work with steel workers in Youngstown Ohio in 1977... democratic community ownership of companies and resources, rather than worker cooperatives, as a way of really democratising the means of production (and distribution and digital infrastructure, in the modern world), and subsequently the entire economy.

25 September, 2019

The Diverse Tasks for Revolutionaries


Revolution of the Mind

The essential modern extensions to a Marxist analysis of Capitalism are clearly underway with contributions like those of David Harvey. And, Richard Wolff correctly extols the virtues of Worker Co-ps as an alternative to Capitalist forms of production.

But these contributions are by no means sufficient to build an effective revolutionary organisation, capable, when a genuine revolutionary situation emerges, of leading the Working Class to finally overthrow Capitalism. Indeed, literally nowhere are such organisations being built!

I know because I spent a good part of my adult life in professedly Revolutionary organisations, yet none of them were anywhere close to being up to the competences required. And it was not just in their political organisation, or even their policies: they were, in retrospect, emasculated shadows of the real thing - embodied in such as the Russian Bolsheviks.

And, they were not only very top-down in their bureaucratic organisation, but also lamentably lacking in developing the essential and radically different Philosophy of Marxism - Dialectical Materialism!  Indeed, even their reasoning was dominated by the old Formal Reasoning, which had led to Hegel's attempt to correct its pluralist disabilities, via his instituting into it the directly contrary Dialectical Approach.

And as a professional physicist, I couldn't even raise any interest in the primary-philosophical-task still outstanding among self-professed Marxists - namely, both the philosophical, and the physical, defeat of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory in Modern Sub Atomic Physics. Indeed, in bringing it up, I was admonished for using it to avoid the pressing day-to-day rasks of political Activism!

None of the parties I joined were general Dialectical Materialists: they were, in fact, well out-of-date, and inadequate purely economic Marxists, and political activists only, and they never discussed Marx's actual revolutionary philosophy at all. It most certainly did not guide their activities, or their publications.

Yet, it was undoubtedly Marx's creation of the wholly new philosophical standpoint of Dialectical Materialism, that enabled all his consequent contributions. But as a single individual, addressing the whole gigantic area of Capitalist Economics, he never had the time to address all the other crucial areas in the same way.

And, the most important of these, Science, has still not been addressed by any of the "Marxist" groups.

Marxism can only advance if it is diversified...


17 September, 2019

Organising for Real Social Change




In spite of several major crises, such as the decade-long slump in the 1930s, and the similar and still continuing Depression commencing in 2008, the problems which caused them have not, and indeed cannot, be solved, whilever we live within a Capitalist Economic System.

For, this system is driven by maximising Profit for the Few, while directly extracting the wherewithal to maintain and extend the System, from the the work and the pockets of the majority of the People - the Many! And, the consequences throughout the last century have been totally horrendous - TWO World Wars with literally Tens of Millions of Deaths - entirely due to rival Capitalist powers wanting bigger shares! Impending climate catastrophe as the system requires perpetual growth and the destruction of the natural world which that necessitates. And, also, there have been - Revolutions in TWO of the biggest Countries in the World, whose stated purpose was to build Socialism and bury Capitalism for ever.

So, how has Capitalism survived?

There is no easy answer, but one of the primary reasons the many haven't been able to overthrow the few is because literally ALL the means of disseminating Information are in the biased hands of the Wealthy, and even the apparently Democratic Political Systems, worldwide, have been bought to both speak and act always in a pro-capitalist way!

Yet, even so, it has all been insufficient, and we are now living within a period of literally constant wars - either to supress any divergence from the pro Capitalist Bloc, or to supress any challenge the dominance of the current hegemony of the Leading Capitalist Power - the USA!
And, no matter what setbacks the war-mongers get, they simply redouble their efforts, to maintain the status quo - one way or another. 

It is becoming an existential Crisis for Capitalism, and as they have NO solutions - they still carry on with the vast increases in Debt, which precipitated the continuing Crisis of 2008! It hasn't been a solution to that, so stepping it up again to even higher levels won't solve things now.

So, how can the People break out of their currently powerless position?

They have to FIRST bypass the usual means, and take to the streets!

And, then they must strive to build Socialist Political Parties with the Theory necessary to inform their actions.

And that MUST be Marxist - BUT NOT the distorted versions of the Stalinist/Communist and even the Trotskyist aberrations, but a NEW and Genuine Marxism, based upon the contributions of Karl Marx, but now finally extended into Science, where it is currently exposing the myths of Modern Sub Atomic Physics, as well as rejecting the many Damaging Revisions, in the name of Marxism, which are no such thing!

There is no shortage of Issues: get out there and DEMONSTRATE!

04 September, 2019

Natural Revolution (2019) A SHAPE film...



Natural Revolution

SHAPE Journal is proud to present a new film by Michael C Coldwell and Jim Schofield.

This is a film about revolution.

A film about how revolutionary emergences are a natural and crucial part of all developing reality. 

Based on a wide-ranging discussion between Marxist philosopher and scientist Jim Schofield, and filmmaker and researcher Michael C Coldwell, this essay film explores diverse themes, from Stalinism to the evolution of language, from the origin of life on earth to the failure of the 1960s revolutionary movement. The visuals are ripped and mashed from Youtube - archive footage, newsreels and films from the 20th century. Music is supplied by Conflux Coldwell and the Urban Exploration collective.

Revolutionary Socialism


The world has transformed substantially since the last time this was tried

What mechanisms of social change could finally enable a switch to socialism?


Do you really think that such a switch-over will be allowed to occur anywhere by countries like the USA?

What did you think the two World Wars, the Cold War, and the now constant local hot wars, have been about, first in Asia, and are still the case now in the Middle East?

The World Wars were about an attempted change in hegemony between Capitalist powers, while the Asian wars, and a series of others, were to suppress the attempted extension of Socialism, while later conflicts were back to hegemony once again.

Do you really think that the replacement of Capitalism will be allowed to happen peacefully by the Ballot Box? Know your History: and the current situation in the UK, for all tell us very clearly indeed that the answer is without any doubt - NO!

All the "versions" of Socialism, which insist that a peaceful transition will be allowed to occur, effectively disarm those fighting for Socialism, with strictly moral alternatives, which have never in the past, and will never now, change the World.
And, of course, there has, and continues to be, a sizeable penetration of the Socialist Movements by those who, in the last analysis, will actually fight against real Socialism's institution, and will show their true objectives by who it is that they militarily align when the crunch comes.

The Socialist movement has, since its very inception, been divided into Liberals and Revolutionaries. And, while the former have never established anything significant, only the revolutionaries have ever managed to succeed in challenging the injustices of Capitalism. And, that was never just via a totally committed militancy, but by a theoretical superiority, based upon an understanding of the trajectory of past histories and the dynamics of social change, with their absolutely essential Social Revolutions!

The wherewithall for the necessary breakhrough was achieved by an Historian follower of the Philosopher Hegel, who after over 2,000 years since the Greek Intellectual Revolution, finally addressed the debilitating Pluralist flaws in Formal Reasoning, with his attempted inclusion of Qualitative Changes into that Discipline. But, Hegel was an idealist philosopher, and it was in the switch of Hegel's modified stance, only by Karl Marx, that his objective was generally achieved, by applying the same reasoning, but with a Materialist Philosophical Basis.

For, Marx then knew what had to be done, and spent the rest of his life applying that Dialectical Materialism to a thoroughgoing critique of Capitalist Economics in his 3 volume work Das Kapital.

So, for the first time, History could be considered dynamically- in its vast qualitative changes, and in their key events - Social Revolutions - where such changes happen at a remarkable rate, but nevertheless could be understood on-the-fly- as they occurred, and, consequently, acted upon successfully.

Indeed, that evident Marxian understanding divided the sheep from the goats - only Marxists had any idea of what was happening literally day-by-day, and even hour-by-hour. For, Marx had been able to use Michelet's History of the French Revolution to extract the Dynamics of Revolutionary Change from that period of maximal Social Flux, in a generally applicable way. And, of course, also apply it to a remarkable degree in Das Kapital!

The application of Marx's methods within an actual Revolution, especially those due to Lenin, were also made available worldwide by both John Reed's Ten Days that Shook the World, and also Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution.

Now sadly, the early deaths of both Marx and Lenin left Socialism without a first-rate Marxist theorist, and both inside and outside the Soviet Union (as post-revolutionary Russia became), the absolutely essential extension of Marxism into the still-outstanding Sciences, had never been undertaken, and a multitude of self-professed "Marxists" appeared everywhere, but literally without the understanding or necessary profundity of a Marx, or of a Lenin!




Indeed, the crucial assault upon the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory in physics, has only very recently been completed by this Marxist, mathematician and physicist, after a decade of study, and is as yet unknown in Socialist Organisations worldwide.

So, committed comrades in Socialist Organisations are still largely ill-equipped theoretically for the coming World Crisis, and unless something is done very quickly indeed, the madmen in power, and currently manipulating the present crisis will plunge us into what could be a terminal World War!

Can Socialists do anything if they limit themselves to blind activism and the Ballot Box? Current Elections have proved that Democracy can be effectively manipulated or even swept aside when it gets-in-the-way of certain politicians' purposes.

We surely must be prepared to act in a Revolutionary way to stop the Billionaires sacrificing millions of ordinary People via their dangerous and undemocratic plans...

SHAPE Journal has recently produced a documentary film on the theory of revolution, you can watch it below:



02 September, 2019

Beauty?


Scultpure by Henry Moore - its beauty is nothing to do with symmetry or formal perfection


As an artist (I am primarily a sculptor) as well as both a professional scientist, and a philosopher, I always justifiably jib at sweeping definitions of Beauty, from one or another supposedly fundamental stance! So, when today I was assaulted on YouTube by a series of such declarations, I was impelled to pen this essay.

The most glaringly false declarations, as you might have guessed, were inevitably about Mathematics!

Wilczek swoons at its towering and breath-taking "Beauty", while another is staggered by the importance of Number in the Universe.

But, it is also clear, that neither of these 'prophets' were in any way aware of the fundamental weakness at the very heart of that Mathematics, which makes it totally incapable of dealing with any qualitative developments whatsoever. For, its power resides solely in its artificial simplification of all things to reveal only their superficial Forms or Patterns.

Mathematics is the study of forever-fixed Pure Forms, and as such was, and is, a truly remarkable advance, but certainly NOT the Revealer of all, or even any, Causative Essence. The invention of this formal approach, by the Ancient Greeks, was indeed a major Revolution in intellectual studies: but it wasn't carried out by an omnipotent, all-knowing and all-seeing God - but by mere human beings.

Darwinian Evolution selects for Survival and effective Reproduction only - so our Hominid-Line knapped pieces of flint for literally millions of years, without any significant intellectual development occurring at all. For this 'intelligence' was not congenital, but certainly had-to-be both a solely socially-acquired, and passed-on ability.

Indeed, the undoubted proof is clearly evident, from the revealing studies of Palaeontologists, who also immediately recognised the tremendous significance of the Neolithic Revolution, when Mankind successively changed-over to staying-in-one-place with others of their kind to productively both Farm-the-Land, Domesticate Animals. and discuss with one another. Only then could increasing-social-interactions begin to develop in both the regular Exchanges of things, and revealing Discussions, delivering a consequent development of productive activities and crucially also both Language and indeed Thought itself!

Now, the above short diversion into Human Evolution was absolutely essential, as without it, the inevitably inaccurate initial misconceptions about the Nature of Mathematics would inevitably intervene to prevent any understanding of its accompanying significant weaknesses. So, unavoidably demolishing any promotion of it to a universally fundamental role in the Consciousness of Mankind!

The Ancient Greeks had achieved a remarkable thing conceptually, in their Intellectual Revolution - they invented a wholly new kind of Abstraction - with regard to Forms, that enabled the valid construction of the very first Intellectual Discipline in their History - namely Mathematics!




I call them "Simplifying Relatable Abstractions", and they were a remarkably empowering original invention! They stripped down certain formal conceptions to an absolute minimum content - indeed, so tiny were they, that they were useless in isolation - BUT, as connecting-enablers, they alone legitimately linked certain things together, delivering a sound means that could be legitimately repeated into delivering a substantial complex and coherent spatial Discipline.

But, there was a flaw!

All so-produced-things must be permanently fixed.

They could never change qualitatively into something else!

So, what had actually been inadvertently and unavoidably subscribed-to was the Principle of Plurality, and, most certainly, not everything was legitimately so permanently limited. But, abstract Form most certainly was!

Now, here beginneth the inevitable drift into significant Error, from this initial success. For, immediately, The Greeks, delighted with what they had been able to do with Form, exported the same sort of qualities into both Reasoning and a nascent Science, where they were wholly illegitimate as universal premises!

But, the disaster was, by no means immediately evident, particularly if those so-produced Disciplines were to be only used within naturally Stable and Unchanging Situations.
And also, crucially, in Science, investigators quickly learned how to both achieve-and-maintain such situations, for both relation extractions and also subsequent effective use of extracted eternal Natural Laws. While in Formal Logic, the Reasoning was limited to fixed concepts, which could suffice in most stable situations!

NOTE: But, almost immediately, Zeno of Elea had revealed the unavoidable falsities that emerged from Contradictory Fixed Concepts in his Paradoxes.

Now, as both a competant mathematician and a well-informed philosopher, I have developed these ideas, particularly with respect to the damaging Role of Pluralist Mathematics in Science, wherein I have established it as unavoidably both pluralistic and idealistic, and hence totally inadequate as any sort of assumed General Ground of Concrete Reality, i.e. in Science.

Indeed, all of its many extensions no longer exist within Concrete Reality at all, but are situated solely within Ideality - the realm of Pure Form alone.


Jim Schofield's Theory of Abstraction

So, when Wilczek and his like wax lyrical over the Beauty of Mathematics, he is actually describing situations in Form-Only Ideality!

The breath-taking intricacies and "beauties" of these investigators, are NOT about The Real at all, but, instead, only about the extensions of formal definitions into the infinite, but not concretely existing, features of Pure Form Alone within Ideality.

[It applauds the infinite extendibility and intricacy of Symmetry with Fixed Forms, and totally excludes the Real World Beauty of Creative Development entirely]

It just cannot be Science any longer: for it is, at best, a form of Art, based upon the Real, but artificially extended to extreme limits, outside of Reality, to display their Formal Beauty!

[Remember: Reality also contains properties, qualities and causalities, while Ideality contains only Form!]

But, why then is this unreal World indulged-in so extensively by scientists?

Having shot themselves in the foot via the Universal extension of Plurality to literally everything, they walled themselves off, permanently, from Developing Reality, and the Holistic and Dialectical means of dealing with it, so were forced to permanently give-up Understanding, for mere Prediction, and hence had to look elsewhere, NOT, it must be emphasized for Explanations, but instead, to seek only Descriptions-of-Forms that might possibly then be used as Disembodied Forms, enabling Prediction, without-Explanation or increased Understanding.

It is actually a retreat to an older pragmatism, disguised within sophisticated Abstraction!

26 August, 2019

Chomsky & Krauss



On Morality and Power
But NEVER, of course, Social Class


I have been listening to a questioning interview of Noam Chomsky, conducted by Laurence Krauss in the Origins series of Public Lectures at Arizona State University.

It was about the History of Mankind, and its frequently unspeakable bestiality, contrasting markedly with the approach, analysis and explanations, by philosophers such as Chomsky, who have always throughout that long history revealed and condemned such atrocities, and argued for a much more critical approach by the populace.

But, the questions, as defined by Krauss, were to do with the Nature of Mankind, which could be said to have, in the past, allowed such a History, and why they seemed to never listen, allowing such atrocities to have always continued - even getting vastly worse, over time. Krauss seemed to be implicitely questioning Mankind's essential natural Moral Fibre, by their forever ignoring of these clearly evident Truths.

But surely, the actual answers carried out were never instituted by the People, and were really about the very different Social Class Interests, always promoted by the Ruling Classes, who were always the sole deciders, and hence the real perpetrators, and those who had managed to both obtain and keep their Privileges, Class Policies and Power, by consciously and consistemtly ensuring their continued dominance, by their somehow regularly maintained Power, and the seeming multiplicity of possible policies, and purposely confused by added and profusely published lies.

So, that along with their Control, allowed them to enforce them as they pleased, and as a necessary defence against those who lusted after owning and them despoiling our resolutely defended rights!

Though Chomsky fought hard to deny the culpability of Mankind itself, by defending their moral fabric, it still allowed the opposite case of a general culpability to be posed.

And, of course, the mode of questioning, by Krauss, was about Mankind in general, rather than those means, by which clear minority groups and leaders were both originally established, and there-after maintained in power.

The actual modes of life involved, and the Classes that were then enabled to carry them out, and impose their explanations, were NEVER EVER addressed, for if they had been, the culprits would have been easily exposed, and perhaps the appropriate actions to remedy the various producing situations could have been discussed.

They weren't!

And that was because the whole issue was purposely cast into the "Advice of Wise Prophets" and the unwillingness of the People to listen to them - blaming the masses, basically.
And, how else could it have been exposed, when delivered solely by members of the "Wise Prophet clan" - The Intellectuals?

Many of that clan of Intellectuals were mentioned, but blatently absent of course, was Karl Marx, whose main contibutions via the adoption and use of Dialectical Materialism, and his characterisation of the nature of a whole series of different Human Societies - all determined by which Social Classes had achieved the power within each of them and knew how to maintain it.

For Marx was both a professional historian and a philosophic follower of Hegel, due to the latter's brilliant conceptions of the importance and significant occurrences of Qualitative Changes, which Marx immediately-knew had historically opened the door to explaining the natures and trajectories of such societies, as well as their ultimate demises in Social Revolutions!

Indeed, in the very way Krauss conducted the interview, the always unstated but nevertheless evident question was surely:

"Why didn't the people follow the prophets and change their societies?"

For, one after the other, NO such changes were ever suggested! What was the matter with them?

Krauss was evidently well aware of the unvoiced alternative, and he was clearly under pressure to keep the discussion where he needed it to be, so he increasingly guided the ensuing discussion, by posing past utterences by Chomsky, and asking him to defend them, until the overrun in time was sufficient for him to terminate the interview, without ever letting it explore the radical alternative.

It should be emphasized the the whole Origins Project (and indeed the significant building up of ASU) has been extensively financed by both billionaires and a series of major Capitalist Enterprises, and many of his chosen experts in the extensive Origins Project are both evidently and overtly often employees or even Owners or CEOs of major Capitalist Enterprises.

POSTSCRIPT:

Indeed, having perused most of the Lectures in the Origins Project, it soon became clearly evident that to Krauss, a unity of Academia with Big Business Finance and its supported technical endeavours is THE way forward for both Capitalism and Mankind, even though the evidence, as the current Crisis continues to unfold, quite clearly is only the sure way to Armageddon!

24 August, 2019

Dialectics: Fixed and Variable


The Profundity of Qualitative Changes

I have spent a considerable amount of time, over recent years, effectively condemning the Principle of Plurality outright, even though it was one of the most significant achievement of the Greek Intellectual Revolution of the 5th Century BC, and I necessarily did that not only to criticise its inherent weaknesses, but to also in addition simultaneously applaud its major contribution to Human Thought and Reasoning.

Both certainly had to be done! For all developments can never be purely absolute and positive: Reality does not deliver absolute Truth ever, but only aspects or parts of it, which unavoidably alight upon the easiest simplifications, which always have damagingly negative effects too. It is also an admission of the inadequacies of Thinking in Mankind, who were, after all, fairly recent originators of such wholly new processes in relation to addressing Reality.

Yet, the obvious alternative, the Principle of Holism, defined at about the same time, by The Buddha in India, certainly delivered no easy one-for-one superior replacement to Plurality. Indeed, it too has subsequently defeated the Buddha's disciples ever since, in attempting to deliver a coherent, useable and developable alternative, in spite of its undoubted wondrous moments of real Wisdom.




And, that turns out to be both its strength and its weakness: for no holistic system has yet ever been easily extracted from it, as a basis for Explaining the World causally - not least because it so frequently could clearly turn many situations into something quite different, or even their direct opposites.

Most important of all, in putting Qualitative Change at the heasrt of all Develoopment, it made the explanation of the consequent Emerging-New wholly impossible to derive directly from its producing circumstances.

The seeming impossibility of there being a useable System of Reasoning, tended to relegate its profound use to creative artists of various kinds, who, in individual Works-of-Art, could deliver profound moments of revelation only.

Yet, in spite of their Plurality, which considered all entities and processes as fixed, the Greeks' intellectual achievements remarkably included the invention of Mathematics, which as exclusively the study of Pure Forms alone, could indeed legitimately make that assumption, and when they illegitimately also extended that supposition to both Reasoning and Science, though generally undoutedly incorrect, it did indeed reflect the apparent constancy of most things - most of the time - the everywhere evidently temporary, yet long-lasting Stabilities of Reality, not only allowed Plurality to be a reasonable approximation, but it could also be guaranteed artificially by both greatly simplifying situations, and also holding things still.

It enabled Technology, but inhibited explanatory Science and developmental Reasoning. And, therefore, it was wholly incapable of explaing significant Developments both in an Evolving World, and in Creative Thinking.

It took all of 2,300 years before Hegel systematically tackled Dichotomous Pairs of contradictory concepts, with his attempt to include Qualitative Change into Formal Reasoning, which he termed Dialectics, though it was a member of his Young Hegelians, Karl Marx, who first extended it to the study of Reality with a vastly recast Dialectical Materialism, which he successfully applied to the current Capitalist Economic System in his major work Das Kapital.




Now, embedded in that work implicitly were the required definitions and Methodology of the New Stance, but he was actually developing it, as he also attempted to use it, throughout that excellent achievement. But, it was never overtly spelled out formally, nor could it be, until Marx's untimely death prevented his doing precisely that.

David Harvey's Lectures on Marx's Capital

And, it is only now that this necessary contribution has been achieved by Professor David Harvey in his series of lectures and YouTube videos. The whole series is remarkable: but his fourth Lecture upon Volume II of Das Kapital is magnificent!

But be prepared for contention!

Nothing is ever fixed forever - things which will be taken as fixed, will always cease to be so, as a consequence of natural development. But the Holist approach, in full flower, explains far more than any Pluralistic accounts ever could.

In this lecture he analyses what he terms as Fixed and Varying Capital, via Marx's Explanation of Capital as Value-in-Motion, a process totally impossible to address pluralistically, but only with Qualitative Changes throughout, with categories actually changing into their once totally-excluded opposites with such happening repeatedly, and therefore being incapable of either Description or Explanation by the still dominant Pluralist Stance in both Reasoning and Science.

Indeed, many of the changes occurring within Capitalism's trajectory, as it regularly morphs to climb out of its very regular Downturns, Recessions and even Slumps, by converting literally everything into monetary values, as the only measure, then inflating that value by competition on the Stock Exchange, by which they then corral it into their hands as the only ones who can afford it.

In the current period, late capitalism gets ever more desperate, and the cause of the last Recession in 2008 is simply repeated, once again, just as before, but with new ever more rightward directions, that they hope will mitigate the next inevitable crisis.

But, both the World and Capitalism itself, is running out of possibilities. Both Climate Change and ever increasing Pollution, are heading things towards an existential Crisis for Mankind, and Capitalism is running out of alternatives to perpetuate itself, as it is fast becoming a deteriorating situation.

10 August, 2019

The Collapse of Capitalism!




Having attended well to all the Critics of Capitalism, and been a committed activist against it all my life, I can only conclude that it will indeed totally collapse.

But, NOT with a Socialist Revolution!

For the task commenced by Karl Marx to theoretically equip the World Working Class to overthrow the bosses and establish Socialism, has all too often been betrayed by both the movement's leaders, and, most especially, their total abandonment of the essential development of empowering Theory required, along with political organisation, which could, and indeed should, by now, be embodied in the Dialectical Materialism, originated by Karl Marx, and initially developed in his critique of the status quo of Capitalist Economics in his revolutionary book, Das Kapital.

The trajectory of struggles since the publication of the Communist Manefesto (1848), have been betrayed sufficiently to leave the global Working Class totally bereft of either the Theory or the Organisations necessary to turn this terminal crisis of Capitalism into a successful Socialist Revolution.

Indeed, as has happened before, the decline has not produced any perspective or any confidence within the Class to see that as a solution, leaving them prone to populist rhetoric and Fascist-Nationalist "solutions" to their woes.

And, make no mistake, that would also be terminal for the planet!

Recall what fascist rulers like Hitler did, and think what such monsters could do now!

Remember, Nuclear Weapons were used by the USA against Japan - TWICE! Would they be used in this inevitable almighty disaster? What do you think?

At the very best, the World will be catapulted into a terrible Dark Age, even if we are not all terminated by such a cataclysm.

There must be no steady decline to oblivion.

Organise to Change things NOW!

END CAPITALISM!

Don't merely wait for it to end you.



More on these themes in our forthcoming film Natural Revolution


08 August, 2019

Brexit is about Tax Avoidance


Boris Johnson stands in front of Photoshopped Brexit Bus NHS
BREXIT: Funny how the EU's major Anti Tax Avoidance Directive NEVER comes up in the discourse, isn't it?

Can you honestly watch the likes of Farage, Johnson and the super rich eurosceptic Tory toffs of the ERG and believe they do what they do in the interests of ordinary British citizens?

While there is a left-wing case for Brexit (the fabled Lexit - EU is not remotely socialist after all) the Brexit project has never been a remotely left-wing cause. Since its inception it has been driven by the most right-wing actors in UK parliamentary politics. 

The hidden forces behind Brexit (and much of the current global shift towards right-wing populism) go completely unreported and unanalysed by most of the media. This well-researched answer on Quora comes closer to revealing the economic and material forces at work:

1 Tax avoidance
Throughout Europe, corporate tax avoidance is a colossal problem. The EU’s Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (first proposed in 2016, implemented in 2019) seeks to tackle the thriving culture of corporate tax avoidance. It affects numerous major companies in the UK accused of tax avoidance, including several football clubs, retailers, technology firms and the Daily Mail newspaper.
Continuing membership of the EU, or just the single market, would keep the UK aligned with this anti-tax avoidance policy.
This is the plain and simple reason why the Daily Mail and so many leading Brexiteers who happen to be business tycoons suddenly began proclaiming that Britain had to leave the EU, the sooner the better. As soon as the tax-avoidance proposal was announced, and even more so when it was ratified, they set about portraying the EU as the great enemy of Britain, an “undemocratic elite” deliberately causing misery for ordinary Brits.
Sadly, many ordinary Brits fell for it.
But then things didn’t quite work out as planned.
After she became Prime Minister, Theresa May spent a long time working out a pragmatic Brexit deal with the leaders of the EU. When her Withdrawal Agreementfinally came out, however, some Brexiteers were very unhappy with it. Why? Because at the back of the huge document, there in black-and-white was a commitment by the British Government to retain the EU’s code of conduct for business taxation, including the new anti-tax avoidance laws.
May was suddenly a ‘traitor’.
But if another Prime Minister could be found — preferably an unprincipled opportunist who will say and do anything to get the job — perhaps he could convince the people of Britain that it would be best to just tear up May’s deal, blame the EU for something-or-other, and then simply wait for Britain to crash out of the EU with no deal whatsoever.
Then there will be no corporate tax laws for the tax avoiders to worry about.

Read the rest on Quora.

If anyone has any doubt that this is THE political issue driving things globally, have a look at today's news about Trump, US tech giants and tax.

Donald Trump warns no free trade deal if UK taxes tech giants.

What about sovereignty you say? What about taking back control?

Have a close look at who is taking control of what.