23 February, 2016

Emergence is Key



What is to be Done: X
The essential tasks for the Marxists of today

Now, we must not get embroiled in the many possible diversions which can be brought to notice at this point.

This is NOT a similar “ignoring” as was essential in the pluralistic methods, but a refusal to be scuppered by irresponsible “Yes, buts...” A coherent contribution is always welcomed, but the throwing of rocks without evidence must ALWAYS be excluded. [I have dealt elsewhere with Changes of State (Phase Change), such as in the transitions from solid to liquid, and liquid to gas, but these are accommodated elsewhere, and would only (and perhaps purposely) confuse this current and important narrative, with which we are primarily concerned here.

In addition, I must admit that I am laying the essential groundwork for that most important radical change in the history of Reality, which is termed an Emergence. For where these arise may be seen as somewhat similar to those of Changes of State, but they are NOT identical. Though when attempting to explain Domains of Applicability this is still a fair approach, though applied in a much more limited area. The differences are to do with repeat-ability, and reverse-ability. While Changes of State and “Domain hopping” are reversible, Emergences are NOT. An Emergence is NO local change of phase. It could, I believe, be considered as a “System-wide Revolution”

Instead of a local, formal or organisational-only change, we are here addressing a major flip, which would take the form of a whole series of veritable avalanches, finally precipitating a Whole New Level. And such a Level – the Emergence – would be not only organisational, but also creative and indeed revolutionary.

Now, if such a description seems mystical or airy-fairy, you MUST be directed to consider the first, and totally unique Origin of Life on Earth. That was no mere Change of State, was it?

Did it happen? Indeed it did! And what did it achieve? It created wholly new Forms – living things – which were both self-maintaining and self perpetuating, and which transformed Everything.

They even transformed their own environment, such that the very rocks beneath our feet are the remains of living things (when limestone), or or even the products of living things when they are oxidised minerals, as the necessary free atmospheric Oxygen was only possible with the constant action of Plants during Photosynthesis.

An Emergence then is most certainly a Revolution. It couldn’t possibly described as anything else.

And it also has a more profound element – that can only be called Overall Stability. From one universal environment with its own form of this stability, an Emergence precipitates an entirely NEW environment, with a different but similar stability. So different, indeed, that the new form is packed full of new, never-been-in-existence-before entities, properties and even laws.

Indeed, within the New Level, the old prior Level situation has ceased to exist, and has been replaced by something entirely New.

It is HERE, at this remarkable transition, that the old pluralistic methods fail absolutely, and can provide NO explanations at all for what has appeared and taken over. The old Level dominant relations have gone, and new dominances have arisen. Even the old variables have vanished into that same obscurity as that to which we relegated our old unobservables and negligibles of our prior Level Science.

Indeed, this process, along with the creations of entirely new variables and relations, prohibit the extrapolation of the old precursor Level laws into the new Level. You cannot predict the New Level from the Old due entirely to our methods of analysis, which though practical “within Level”, deliver nothing when Levels change.




The Consequences of Emergences

Thus, we cannot use our old pluralistic methods to explain the Origin of Life, because they do NOT contain the essential factors that are involved in the transition. We had thrown them away!

But even more amazingly, the very Stability of the new Level militates against our wholesale condemnation of those methods.

Why is this?

It is because it re-enables their use “from scratch” at the New Level. The same pluralistic compromises will AGAIN be possible to allow its entities, properties and laws to be isolated, extracted and abstracted in exactly the same way nd with the same pragmatic usefulness, BUT FOR A DIFFERENT WORLD, and hence producing a whole new set of things at the New Level.

AND, it must be stressed, that this resurrection of Plurality infers NO CONTINUITY across the transition.

The system simply DROPPED OUT during transition, but could be effective again within the new Stability, at the New Level.

Yet that Assumption of Continuity is precisely what the vast majority of our researchers assume. They DO expect to be able to explain the Origin of Life from prior non-living processes using the old pluralistic methods.

It is in our Thinking that we are Stymied!

Now, once again, I must stress the difference between Being and Epistemology! The above assertions do not mean, “Give up now you’ll never do it!” Not at all! There is NO doubt that there is a “continuity of cause” between the pre-Life Level and that of Living Things – just as there MUST be between precursor and consequent Levels in every single Emergence. That is indisputable! But what we are revealing here is that such a Continuity is impossible to reveal using our universally accepted pluralistic methods.

It is WE who “wall off” the possibility of our understanding, because of our current inadequate methodology. Being is undoubtedly coherent, but our methods of dealing with it are not!

The impasse (as always) is one self-made by Mankind. We always construct the barriers to our own understanding, by the very methods that we invent to reveal Reality, for in finding ways to bring fragments of Reality into our sphere of affecting it, we simultaneously prohibit the revelation of how Reality itself continually recreates itself in innumerable new Levels of existence.

Our tackling of Reality cannot be direct and obvious, but ONLY consistent with where we are at any particular point in the process. We can NEVER jump out of our situation. Our methods can initially ONLY arise out of what we already know.

But we are Thinking creatures, and we do make break-throughs, and indeed progress!

It is just that such particular required break-throughs are truly MONUMENTAL! To achieve it we have to transcend our previous methodology! AND IT HAS BEEN DONE ALREADY!

A Sucessfully transcended Emergence: but what have we learned?

Momentary and significant transcendences of the sort necessary here HAVE been achieved, and then LOST!




What do you think Lenin did in 1917?

So, let us recap how far we have got in the re-vitalisation of Marxist Theory.

We have deduced that the usual pluralistic methodology of theory development over the whole range of Human endeavour, including Science, is incapable of dealing with the real drivers of Change in Reality, and crucially in its most significant and creative mode – that of an Emergence.

We have, I believe, already demolished that methodology outside of within-Level Stability. That old methodology has fragmented our Understanding into quite separate Level-defined Sciences, and has directed all our gains towards technological Control and Production.

Though attempts to understand still exist, they are also largely emasculated by the universal acceptance of the same pluralistic methods. The best of our scientists have realised the problem, and have taken on the task of opposing the worst excesses of pluralistic Science – as in Quantum Theory & Cosmology for example –BUT they are clearly inadequately equipped to succeed. They have neither understood nor rejected the established methodology, but ONLY its results.

Their standpoints are modern, secular versions of the God-of-the-Gaps “hope”, in that they know what fragments have been achieved by their pluralistic methods, but they merely “expect” that they will be unified in the future by new discoveries – found by the same, old methods, that will “bridge the gaps”
So, how do we Proceed?

I believe that by now it must be clear to the reader that this is a forlorn hope. The waited for “bridging discoveries” are indeed unabtainable by those methods,

What has to be done is to complete the task, and that is no mere “add-on” to old work! It involves the thorough demolition of the old methods, and a root-and-branch overhaul of our methodology to devise a NEW appropriate set of techniques equipped to deal with Emergent Change.

For someone who has been attempting to be a real Marxist for 50 years, such assertions seem unnecessary, but the reverse is true. I have never come across an anlysis of pluralistic assumptions and methods by any Marxist in this very long period. The self-professed Marxists themselves subscribe to these alien methods as if they have no choice in the matter. They embrace the same methodology as their avowed enemies, and true philosophical Marxism dissolves away to be replaced by a sort of moral socialism.




Marx himself in his Poverty of Philosophy, and many other works, condemned Socialists such as Proudhon and his like for their Utopian Socialism, and their totally inadequate philosophical methods. He (like me) arrived at Socialism via Philosophy, but he was aware that Mankind’s knowledge and methodology was “drenched-through” with a totally inadequate approach. He spent whole decades combating such things. But, in spite of their crucial role in the development of his overall Philosophy and Programme for action, we miss all this out to concentrate on his political commitments.

We copy his activism, while ignoring his fundamental philosophical work.

And, sin of all sins, we look to him for ALL the answers. That MUST be the most damning error of all! High-point though Marx was in the Ascent of Man, he was no God. He didn’t have prescience to accurately predict the future and direct our work for the coming centuries.

That MUST be our job!

But, that Task has already been commenced... My efforts, particularly in the last couple of years, have, I believe, begun to indicate what has yet to be done. The most thrilling and demanding task must be in carrying through Hegel’s objective of a Science of Logic – a Logic of Change, and the subsequent orchestration of all the gains of Mankind since the second flowering with Lenin & the Bolsheviks in 1917 into a coherent Whole, PLUS the central crux that is the trajectory of an Emergence. (see The Theory of Emergences in SHAPE Journal)

How does Reality raise its game, and rush to a new creative Level?

Can we tackle “bridging the Gaps” ?



This post is the tenth in a blog series entitled "What is to be done?" on the crises in both Marxism and Science, and how a revolution is necessary in both. This body of work is now available as a Special Issue. Read it all here!

16 February, 2016

New Special Issue: Entangled Universe




The Entangled Universe article by Anil Anathaswamy in New Scientist (3046) tackles a range of supposedly connected ideas in current Sub Atomic Theory. But, as with that overall stance itself, he joined the increasingly accelerated rush into the mixture of facts, “Laws” and speculation that has become the norm in this confusing area.

Every suggested solution begets yet another “rule of thumb” - designed to enable some sort of regular paths through a limited area, and the overall description is of a plethora of such meta rules which alone defines what can and cannot be done.

Clearly, we are being guided through an alien land, and without the necessary signposts of Physical Ground, to resolve anomalies; we are forced to travel with a dependence upon local maps. You have no single theoretical stance, so you have to keep them all, and decide when and how to jump from one islet to the next!

It is an almighty mess – very like the proliferation of epicycles in the Ptolemaic version of the Solar System, It can give you useable answers but no coherent, consistent and overall Theory.

The Gordian Knot of invention must be severed with a goodly dose of Reality – but how? 




Clearly this is easier said than done, and after a couple of re-reads and copious notes, I realised that attempting to follow Anathaswamy’s stepping stones between the various positions, would not clarify, but only confuse! I decided instead to write a series of separate papers- each one tackling a different bit of this messy article.

But it soon became a large response. I have written 13 short coherent papers each on a different topic, with a total length of some 6,000 words. But I still think it is the best way to deal with the New Scientist article as a helpful review.

14 February, 2016

Inflation, Wages and Profit



How the Capitalists make their Capital!

What are the causes and the role of Inflation in a Capitalist Economy? To the ordinary, working citizen, it seems to indicate a rise in prices, not only when their wages are kept fixed, but also always over and above that crucial income, and recurring year after year. So, clearly it is always an extra added to the overall costs of production.

It, clearly, isn’t in either the customers’, or the workers’ interests. So let’s consider how it happens, and what excuses for it, are trotted out by those who always actually benefit from it!

Argument one: It is always offset by wage rises in line with inflation!

No, it isn’t! Prices rise all the time, but wage awards, if you are very lucky, happen only annually. So, only after the cumulative effects of a year’s inflation have been suffered, are the wages risen to “the same rate”.

You won’t have been spending it, when the prices were actually rising, but only in the following year, while inflation is, still, all the time, rising prices further.
Even if you get the exact same %age rise as the inflation at that point, you will still lose every single year!

They will never give you a rise to cover the coming inflation!

Argument two: We will recoup those increases by selling abroad!

Not necessarily so, I’m afraid, for if inflation abroad is less that it is at home, they will buy our exports cheaper than what we made them for. We are constantly told about exports to other countries being invaluable, but NOT if our inflation outstrips theirs”
And, if inflation in the receiving country is more than ours, then they cannot buy as much of it: it will be too dear!

Argument three: We can avoid home inflation by buying our necessary resources to go into our manufactures abroad.

But, that will only work if the suppying country has high inflation, if it has low inflation the exact opposite will be the case!

Finally, various overall factors can severely change these relationships. If circumstances outwith a particular country, cause a severe drop in trade, as with the 2008 worldwide slump, then the necessary wherewithall within each country to pay for many things is severely reduced, and in a Capitalist country, the employers will lay off workers, and also change the conditions under which they employ anybody else will be considerably reduced.

Now, such a discussion as this, cannot be carried onwithout any reference to Profit¬ For, the main purpose of Capitalism is to make Profits – for these accrue to the owners of the means of production, who use them to ensure an ever better life, and as accrued Capital for re-investment.




Profit is the most important thing in a Capitalist Economy!

So, what is it and where does it come from? If economic transactions balanced out perfectly: that is if costs exactly balanced income, then Capitalism couldn’t work! The necessary change has to be the ADDING of a necessary profit to prices charged for goods and services produced. Things MUST cost more if they are to produce this crucial extra! In a way it is similar to the effect of inflation, but it always has the same purpose. It goes to the investors in, or owners within, the producing country. They get an annual dividend, determined by how much their investment is now worth (whatever it was originally). It is produced by an added increase in price over and above all costs of production.

Now, this may sound reasonable, but it certainly isn’t!

For, not only can they get these dividends for many years, without any of it reducing their invested amount, but they can sell their investment at a significant different kind of profit, if the company is successful!

One way or another ALL the proceeds of Capitalist enterprises go ONLY to the Owners and Investors. And, clearly, if the level of workers pay can be restricted, it naturally increases the profits.It is interesting where this econd kind of profit comes from! It is, clearly, from those who buy the goods produced, – and they can be workers too!

Longstanding and large dividends make investment in such a company very lucrative, so investors will pay a premium to get in on the act!

Now, if there exists a permanent inflationary situation, with prices constantly rising, and that isn’t reflected in in consequent rises in wages, then that TOO will end up as profit! FACT: an ordinary house in 1965 may have cost £2,750 –while in 2015, the same thing costs roughly £275,000 a hundred times more. That is also inflation – as it shows itself in house prices.




Of course, that still isn’t the full story

For, after such a slump, when taking on a new worker, employers will, if they can get away with it, be paid less than the prior rate.

Profit is sacrosanct in Capitalism!

So, from such an outset, a margin will be built into prices (or extracted from wages) to ensure that Vital Profit! So, in a simplified form, we now have the system clearly defined!

  • First, the worker is always paid less than he or she should get.
  • Second, prices are manipulated in the same way to guarantee regular profits!
  • Third, both of these extract a surplus from workers to pay this profit to the capitalists!

Clearly, inflation is always the enemy of the Working Classes; because even if they get a rise “in line with current Inflation”, it will occur AFTER they have been getting paid and buying required goods at these constantly inflated prices. By the end of that year, therefore, they will have been buying things at prices ABOVE the rise thay had received. And, if they then get a similar in line with inflation rise, they will be paid fairly only once: for the rest of the year thay will be paying at inflated prices that they have not received enough to cover..

See the following diagram, which shows not only exactly how this works, but also gives how it should would so that workers are not ripped off!





The diagram with its “minus signs” shows how inflationary rises rip off workers at a fixed rate of pay!

Clearly, you can see why, in the present depressed state of World Capitalism, the bankers require a measure of Inflation; In the U.K. they have a required target of 2%.

Why do YOU think that is?

12 February, 2016

The Crucial Outstanding Tasks for Marxist Theorists

Gustav Klutsis

What is to be Done: IX
The essential tasks for the Marxists of today

The very unavoidability of the Origin of Life on Earth could NOT be tidied away. It demanded explanation, and slowly but surely using Life as a template method, initial definitions of Emergences as radically transforming Natural Events began to be formulated.

Surprisingly, these were NOT lead by the Marxists. Instead, individuals and small groups of scientists began to formulate these generally.

Many Wrong Turnings

Various diverse groups embraced the area of study “from their own discipline standpoints”. Green campaigners were enamoured of the approach, but did little to develop it scientifically (Lovelock comes to mind). The Nobel Prize-winning physicist Laughlin in opposition to the consensus in Modern Physics also lined up on the side of Emergences. Emmeche from the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen published a joint paper with two colleagues from other areas of study espousing the Emergentist approach, and finally Murray Gell-Mann and colleagues at the Santa Fe Institute in America also insisted that they were ”of the same persuasion”. But though I suppose that these were a significant and diverse group of supporters of the idea of Emergence, I’m afraid that they did not turn any significant corners. They were, of course, ill equipped to address the real problems and tasks involved, for these were unavoidably philosophical. In addition it turns out to be impossible for anyone to make contributions in this field who are still following the standard pluralist approach of the majority of scientists. It is clear to me that such researchers, no matter how dedicated, cannot overcome the problems inherent in the pluralist approach. After all, the most essential feature of Emergences MUST be that they are creative! In the same way that Evolution was incessantly punctuated by the entirely New, and involved a regular opening up of new Potential and Form, so it was with all Emergences. The creative aspect of these Events was anathema to most thinkers.

The iron grip of strict Determinism on the one hand, and still-existing religion on the other, were sure they had ALL the answers already. They had always had the answers, of course! To depart from strict Determinism was condemned as Metaphysics on the left hand side, and Sacrilege on the right.

The epitome of the Scientific approach was embodied in the work of Holland (at Santa Fe), who along with ALL his colleagues it seems, was convinced that he could “demonstrate” Emergences via
Computer Simulations.




Forgive me while I fall about laughing uncontrollably. The idea that a retrospective form such as a computer simulation could possibly produce creative Emergences was unbelievable. But, remarkably, that turned out to be the Determinist/Reductionist consensus. Quite clearly such people could never tackle the problem: the Emergence of Life on Earth could never be addressed merely by a re-mix approach.. All they would be able to do is emasculate it! They might be able to turn it into a vehicle for their careers, but they could never address its true essence.

So, Who Could Tackle This Problem? It should be obvious WHO should be doing this work. IT IS YOU!

Indeed, as far as I can see ONLY dialectical materialists could ever address the questions posed in this area. With a multi-discipline approach, and taking in ALL the developments since the time of the great Marxists, we should attempt a Marxist description of Emergent Events, and to do this believably, we must first tackle, then reveal, and finally destroy the prevailing scientific consensus methodology based on Plurality. We must bring about the demise of Reductionist Determinism as the main barrier to progress in this crucial area ( as well as many others)

The undertaking is about Epistemology – the task of understanding and explaining Reality, and about Method – the means by which we do this. The established methodology CANNOT address what we must deal with here, so we must first criticize fully, and then replace, the old methods. We must see the flaws in the old reductionist/Determinist methods and define the necessary alternatives. Not Plurality, But a New Holistic Science.

Now, earlier in this paper, I already intimated that Plurality is not only a purely pragmatic approach to the study of Reality, but also, and unavoidably, imposes the consequent conceptions of Determinism and Reductionism upon how we see things as a whole. These ideas “unify” our global conceptions into what seems like a coherent and comprehensive Whole. But, it is merely a useful myth.

Its opposite, Holism, fared even worse, for though seemingly more all-embracing, still delivered NO effective methodology with which to deal with Reality, and, in any sort of scientific way, reveal its inner workings. So, we are presented with this pair of alternatives, neither of which is adequate to the required task. Therefore, though it seems incomprehensible, our task is defined as having to work through this dichotomous pair to another, different approach, which really does reflect the real situation.

We must explain in detail how these alternatives have in the past only led us astray, and following this attempt a synthesis which transcends their evident contradiction.

No easy task!

First, we must reveal the unavoidable dead-ends involved in a purely pluralistic methodology, and then without clanging over to the opposite extreme of ineffective Holism, point the way instead to a superior methodology.

Of course, such a task is a supreme undertaking, and of course, way too big for a single paper, or even for a single contributor. But a start must be made, for only by such actions will other additional forces be recruited to this fundamental task.


Charlie Chaplin

What is Wrong with Pluralist Technology?

Let us first establish irrefutably the limitations of the now universally established Pluralistic Method. By the processes of isolation, extraction and abstraction we separate embedded relations from their Real World context, control or ignore formative, as well as seemingly trivial, simultaneous factors, and then limit the ground for their intended use, so that they do indeed deliver what is required when used there.

We construct stepping-stones across the veritable river of changing Reality, without tackling the torrent as such. Of course - we are aware that each and every extraction is limited to its own Domain of Applicability – our secure stepping stones, and that if their limits are transgressed, our formulae fail, and we step into the midst of the torrent, and are swept away to oblivion.(For once beyond these limits the formulae are totally useless and give false values for all crucial variables). Indeed, the experienced user of these methods knows, that to ensure any progress, we must abandon our last stepping stone for another in the next Domain.

Our feeble attempts at transcending these boundaries automatically are similar to constructing makeshift bridges from one stepping stone to the next. Such “bridges” can only be retrospective, as each and every stepping stone has to be separately investigated to produce its pluralistic formulae. Only then can these purely artificial bridges be constructed.

The method is what I call “Additive Complexity”, where the various Domains and their formulae, become different “terms” within a cover-all single equation. The terms are integrated in such a way that as we move from one domain to the next, the old term vanishes, while the appropriate new one comes into dominance. It is a clever (and once again pragmatic) trick. But it delivers NO explanation of the transition at all. It is a purely retrospective frig, to deliver a practical, mindless solution..

Though, highly popular amongst engineers, these frigs tell us nothing about what is actually happening, and why. They could not by any stretch of the imagination be called Science. They are mere Technology!

It HAS to be asked, “What is really happening as we move across such boundaries?”

It is abundantly clear that our pluralistic methods cannot address this question, because the answer MUST be contained within the VERY FACTORS that we have either “nailed to the floor” or totally ignored. Clearly, our selection of what was vital, ceases to be true. Our banker, dominant factors will melt away and themselves become negligible, to be replaced by others from those we cast away. Indeed, the very factors necessary to deliver the changes are unavailable, as our pluralistic methods disposed of them as irrelevant.


This post is the ninth in a new blog series entitled "What is to be done?" on the crises in both Marxism and Science, and how a revolution is necessary in both. This body of work is now available as a Special Issue. Read it all here!


05 February, 2016

A Necessary and Revolutionary Change



What is to be Done: VIII
The essential tasks for the Marxists of today

Most of our established methods assume immutability and seem to have served us very well. Even Formal Logic would crumble if nothing stays the same – if all things were in constant change into other things! 

Systems of rationality, such as Euclidian Geometry would surely prove to be mere invention? It is clear that we are reaching the nitty-gritty in a number of separate and vital ways. 

Once again, our dichotomous imperative drives us towards the precipice of contradiction. We immediately assume that Change undermines everything, and all our achievements grounded firmly on permanence will be thrown away. But as they say on the cover of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy – DON’T PANIC! 

We have to see Stability within Change to cope with these problems. 

Stability & Change 

The reason that we succeed with our immutability assumptions is that Reality is MOSTLY stable – indeed, it is actually self-regulatingly stable as its primary mode. It keeps itself stable most of the time, in spite of constant minor changes. In spite of the holistic Whole of innumerable contending factors and the bottom to top, and side to side mediations, these do NOT generally lead to total Chaos. And the reason is that there are also stabilising top to bottom mediations that constantly adjust to keep a maintainable balance. The normal situation is that destabilising factors are countered by changes by the rest of Reality, producing periods of relative stability, where assumptions of |immutability are approximately and usefully true. 

BUT, all this is NOT to say that immutability is therefore the Truth. It isn’t! 

Behind the temporary stability, there is always an incipient instability, which DOES lead to Change of various kinds. The most conducive Changes we term Evolutionary, while the cataclysmic changes we term Revolutions! 

Emergences! 

Within the tiny DOT of our span of existence, Reality has been relatively stable, changing only in an evolutionary way, but as soon as we expand the timescale beyond this DOT, we see Reality as subject to the most drastic and far reaching revolutions, where everything can be overturned. 

These are termed Emergences, and are most clearly and exhaustively categorised by a single stupendous and irrefutable example – The Origin of Life on Earth! 

Do you doubt that this Revolution occurred? 

The evidence is indisputable!. And as they say in Logic “There exists a…….”, which implies that others of a similar nature must also be possible, indeed likely. Now, working up a generality from a particular is not to be recommended as a reliable process, but the very existence of a particular of such vast and far reaching importance, does at least infer that it is one of many. 

So though we can establish that such a category of Events does exist we cannot fully define that generality. To do that we must have available a whole range of examples, within which we are able to discern the commonalities that can be seen to DEFINE the category. 

Nonetheless, the Origin of Life is pretty special. Whatever is wrong with this back-to-front method, its existence does pose a whole series of vital questions which strike at the heart of our previous (and now rapidly dissolving) assumptions. and if for nothing else the indisputable occurrence of that Event does prove the case foe other such Events – for Emergences as regular, if rare, creative Revolutions. 

But, as I have already intimated, such things don’t happen very often, indeed NEVER within the time on earth of Mankind, so in chasing the nature of these important happenings, we have no choce but to take what is available. 

G.W.F. Hegel


Friedrich Hegel 

The really fundamental work on this area was undertaken WITHOUT full consciousness of a physical significance or even of a sociological aspect. 

The crucial work was done by Hegel, when “Thinking about Thought!”. He too was preoccupied, as Zeno had been, with the limitations our our universally agreed assumptions and premises, but these occurred primarily, and to his way of seeing essentially, in Human Thinking.He cringed at the absence of Change in Formal Logic, for he was perfectly well aware of the trajectory of Thought itself, which was shot through with Realisation and new conceptions. To consider Thought without addressing Change was moronic. He became intent upon the need for a Logic of Change to replace Formal Logic. 

He could conceive of only one area of study to develop this new Logic, and that was obviously in dealing with the trajectories and achievements of Human Thinking, and despite, once again, it being a non-objective way to do it, he felt that he had no choice but to trace the pathways and the poetry of effective Thinking, and reveal ITS LOGIC. 

His contributions (in the esoteric area of Philosophy) were a total revolution, and left a mark on Humanity still evident to the present day. He was able to show that Emergences (though he didn’t call them that) were in fact legion within Thought, and he attempted to map their diverse trajectories. A whole generation of disciples (The Young Hegelians) mushroomed up around this significant work, and it was they who realised the universal nature of his “Emergences"


Karl Marx


Karl Marx

They, and most particularly, Karl Marx, widened the subjects of study to include History, Economics, Science and Social Development – indeed, Marx had the objective of widening the sphere to include the Whole gamut of Human Endeavour and study. Indeed, he was intent upon that crucial area of Social Emergences - or Revolutions, (and in particular the French Revolution) which he saw as evidence of Emergences occurring everywhere and at every possible Level. 

But, though vast strides were made by the Marxists, it has to be remembered WHEN they did their work – in the latter half of the 19th century. 

Though what was available in Science was avidly annexed to the new approach, there was still a paucity of areas for detailed studies. Just as with Hegel and Thought, so with the Marxists, the obviously available and vital area was clearly the Social Revolution. The unavoidably aberrant growth switched from Thought to Politics. Such interludes were lopsided but essential nevertheless, and they brought significant results. 

Active Philosophy - Revolution 

The next generation carried out the FIRST conscious Social Revolution in October 1917 in Russia. 

Now, this is not a political essay, but no-one can deny the vital contribution of Marxism in this essential undertaking. The path was unavoidable, yet crucial, sothere need to be no apologies for what was achieved. For, it was, as usual the problem of pulling ourselves up by our own bootlaces. 

Undelivered Application 

The general study of Emergences was NOT undertaken. By this I mean the must-have-occurred Emergences in the development of Reality as a whole, which includes the Emergence of the Origin of Life on Earth, and the obviously following cascade of Emergences involved in the subsequent Evolution of Life itself. 

In spite of the importance of such Events throughout the full history of Reality, this approach was neglected and indeed “elbowed out” by the well established methodologies of Science and Formal argument. The consensus attitude omitted addressing Emergences at all! 

Indeed, they were dismissed as self-kid! 

A mechanistic alternative ruled the roost, and because of the evident inadequacies of such an approach, substituted a pragmatic patchwork of separate Domains, for any attempt at a coherent, comprehensive and integrated Emergentist perspective. 

And it still pertains to this day.



This post is the eighth in a new blog series entitled "What is to be done?" on the crises in both Marxism and Science, and how a revolution is necessary in both. This body of work is now available as a Special Issue. Read it all here!