03 October, 2016

Marxist Theory Today IV

Assimilating and Using the Marxist Method

My first tack in pursuing this objective was basic but crucial: I had to understand Mankind's developed processes of Abstraction-from-Reality, in order to begin to see how our original concepts were arrived at.

I back-traced the processes involved all the way to initial Observations. Then, gradually unearthed the necessary sequence of processes, and the productions, that were involved.

Crucially, I then attempted to concentrate my findings into a clear and concise diagram.

The completed diagram (shown below) related Man and Reality, via those Key Processes to deliver Abstract Productions (or concepts), without which, any kind of understanding would be impossible.

New Marxist theories: Jim Schofield's 'Processes and Productions of Abstraction'

The final result was profoundly significant, for it not only showed the sequence and hierarchy of processes and concepts, but also revealed a higher order of phases of development from Basic to those involved in Science.

And, profoundly, it also revealed clearly exactly how Mathematics arose via a specially devised subset & extension of Reality, which I termed Ideality!

And, his began to inform a trenchant criticism of my own most successful subject Mathematics, as well as the contradictions present in Science itself.

It also led to the next and most important phase of my philosophical researches.

By 2010, I had devised The Theory of Emergences, as a culmination and focussing of 50 years as a professed Marxist, transformed by this vital and revealing last few years. Let me regale you with the final diagram of that Theory.

New Marxist theory: Jim Schofield's Trajectory of an Emergence

This wasn't as general as its title seems to claim, for it was primarily an attempt to trace out the trajectory of a known and well-documented (by reliable Marxists) an actual Social Revolution - The Russian Revolution of 1917.

The profile was from pre-Revolution Stability, through Crises and Oscillations, via seemingly terminal Collapse, to a construction/dissolution oscillating and ascending Phase, gradually achieving a final and persisting Stability at a wholly new level.

I, finally, had an inkling of what someone like Lenin had to cope with, to analyse objectively, and do what was required, in the midst of a Social Revolution - indeed, to ride the rollicking, dangerous tiger to a successful outcome!

But, I was a scientist, and, I believe, a good one.

I knew that my task, and also the most important task for Marxism, was to free Science from the idealist manacles of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory for good.

My use of the gains that I had made, would have to be employed across the board!

Now, this latter development was in many ways putting the cart before the horse. Though both immediately and fruitfully applicable, it all still lacked the use of the detailed discoveries by Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx, which had profoundly transformed Philosophy, and severely criticised Formal Logic and the methods of Reasoning that were the only ones available, and totally incapable of dealing with the creative, qualitative developments, as in Evolution, and the whole History of the Universe.

Hence, a detailed study of those essential early stages followed, starting with Hegel's revolutionary Thinking about Thought, and his realisation of the many, and recurring, rational impasses occurring in all thinking that is limited by Formal Logic, the Principle of Plurality and the unavoidability of clearly rationally-insuperable Dichotomous Pairs of contradictory concepts (Abstractions), which arose directly from the very same set of assumed, basic premises.

He was able to show that when the relevant premises were dug out, and carefully traced through, to deliver both arms of an evident Dichotomous Pair, it was entirely possible to examine all those premises one-by-one, identify possible dodgy ones, and find out whether changes could be implemented, which allowed a transcendence of the caused impasse.

Hegel immediately knew that he had discovered a new kind of thinking, which for the first time delivered a working method of addressing the weakest aspects of the 2,500-years-old Formal Logic, and also included the beginnings of what he called his Logic of Change, and a means of not only dealing with the evident failures of strictly Formal Logic, but much more widely, by addressing the trajectories of Qualitative Change that, thus far, had never been properly addressed.

The basic method described here, only in outline, he termed Dialectics. 

Systems Dialectics - interesting diagram trying to address something similar in theory, not sure if it quite works! - source: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/dialectical-systems-and-chaos-part-2/

However, among his Young Hegelian followers, Karl Marx considered that the features, which Hegel only applied to Human Thought, were also true in all areas of natural development. He exported both Dialectics, and his own philosophical stance, from Hegel's trenchant Idealism to Materialism!

But, clearly, Marx's subsequent direction was not what Philosophy usually did. If at all, such things as Marx was now including, were usually addressed by historians, scientists, economists and mathematicians etc. etc.

Marx realised that all those disciplines, too, were also limited by Formal Logic, and its kind of Reasoning, so he declared that his new Dialectical Materialism alone could, and indeed, would transform these areas too, initially by using the same methods of addressing the impasses involving Dichotomous Pairs, and caused by inadequate premises.

And, his primary target just had to be Economics! He needed to understand the current Economic System of Capitalism, and its avowed principles and premises.

And, both History and Archaeology showed quite clearly that Human Societies had definitely developed, and moved through a sequence of distinct Economic Systems - and, each one had been terminated by what had become known as Social Revolutions.

And, to strongly focus such an investigator's attention, the 15 year trajectory of the French Revolution had only very recently occurred, and very nearly totally transformed a continent.

It just had to be understood!

Jules Michelet - History of the French Revolution

And, as circumstances also dictated, the right historian had been similarly focussed into logging the whole event in meticulous detail: the brilliant French historian, Michelet, in doing this, had transformed the methods of his discipline, and the full richness of a studied Revolution was there in his brilliant work, for people like Marx to study: and that is exactly what this serious and brilliant philosopher did!

Now, you can see why I and millions of others had been let down by generations of self-professed Marxists throughout our political lives.

None of this was revealed and explained!

None of it was even used!

The Dialectical Materialist Method was not delivered!

And, clearly and crucially, none of it was ever applied in Science!

So, what was left was just Political Activity, maintained, primarily, by the prestige and momentum generated by the Russian Revolution, without the necessary extensions, in the manner of Marx himself, into the many, still-outstanding and absolutely-necessary disciplines, such as Science, and most crucially of all, Physics!

Such people were a long way from being real Marxists.

In fact, their distortions of Marxist Theory had actually misled the world Working Class, and failed to cope with the rise of Fascism, and yet another World War, where literally millions of workers died at the behest of their ruling classes.

And, even the landside election victory of a Labour Government in Britain led to only temporary gains, now being increasingly flushed down the toilet at an ever increasing rate.

We were ALL, from workers to intellectuals, betrayed by these fakers! As my original title for this essay declares:- They were, at best, merely "Descriptive, Retroactive and Activity-Based" in both Theory and Practice.

And that isn't Marxism!

The Large Hadron Collider

Tackling the Crisis in Physics

So, having personally got to this point, what did I now do?

Since I was 19 years old, I had been stymied by what I had been taught in my Physics Degree Course at University, but had no idea what to do about it. Lenin's Materialism and Empirio Criticism promised a Marxist alternative, but it was never subsequently delivered.

But, NOW, I was in a position to tackle this vital task myself!

Throughout my career as a physicist, I had been brought to a halt by a classical Hegelian Dichotomous Pair embodied in the infamous Wave/Particle Duality insisted upon by the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory.

Clearly, now, I had to use the Dialectical Materialist Method of Marx to reveal the flawed common premises, which gave rise to this impasse, and determine what was wrong.

Initially I found simplification, context-farming and even idealisation embedded in the universally applied Scientific Method, but I still couldn't correct the premises involved. UNTIL, that is, I noticed a glaring omission. Most Sub Atomic Phenomena had NO physical explanation - only detailed descriptions and useable formulae - allowing effective use, but totally without any explanations, without any Theory!

Now, Mankind had explained things in the past, which they couldn't do any longer. So, I looked at these and realised that the current impasse was due to the banning of the explanatory concept of a Universal Substrate in the basic premises upon which Sub Atomic Physics was then built.

So, I checked out what would happen in the ill-famed Double Slit series of experiments if a substrate were included.

The Double Slit: Matter in Motion?

Amazingly, all the problems and confusing anomalies dissolved away: all phenomena, in every version of the experiment could be explained physically! No Superposition or Wave/Particle Duality: no collapsing of the Wave Function - it all became totally irrelevant.

Now, this concept, of a Substrate, had long been jettisoned because it could not be detected, but, as James Clerk Maxwell had shown, if such an idea could lead to successful theories they were, at least temporarily, valid - remember it was he, assuming the Ether, that produced the still universally used Electromagnetic Equations.

Of course, the belief in eternal, directing, Natural Laws, long assumed in Physics, made the validity of concepts like an unknown Substrate reprehensible: but that prejudice was mistaken!

Mankind's theories were all approximations, but as long as they contained enough Objective Content to be better than those they replaced, they would be legitimate steps forward.

Man has never had access to so-called Absolute Truth, though the myth of eternal Natural Laws, encapsulated fully in Formal Equations, implied the opposite.

Clearly, the assumption of a Universal Substrate, was significantly BETTER than the Copenhagen retreat from explanation entirely!

However, scientists have certainly sought the presence of a Universal Substrate over an extended period, and never found even the slightest trace. Yet, here we are, with its firm assumption of existence, demolishing the whole edifice of Copenhagen.

So, I decided to theoretically devise a "real" Substrate that would, for sound, physical reasons, be entirely undetectable, yet would deliver, in a physically explicable way, ALL the requirements I had worked up for The Theory of the Double Slit - and I succeeded!

The flaw in the premises, was not a mistakenly described component or idea, but an actual omission.

New Marxist theories of Physics by Jim Schofield

I had used Hegel and Marx's Dialectics to crack a problem, not only in Sub Atomic Physics, but generally. 

For, apart from the inclusion of the Universal Substrate, the whole mish-mash of contradictory philosophical assumptions, which for millennia had not only involved Materialism, but also Idealism and Pragmatism.

That amalgam had also been demolished.

An amazing claim, you might think, but the Double Slit success has been followed by other equally important gains, in dispensing with Quantum entanglement and Superposition, while a totally non-Copenhagen explanation of Quantised Electrical Orbits in Atoms has also been completed.

The door is now ajar, and through it could be seen the Future of Science, and a re-invigorated Philosophy of Marxism!

This post is the last in this blog series entitled Marxist Theory Today. Watch this space for more articles in our grand Shape Journal series on Marxism & Physics.

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