21 August, 2017

Why Socialism Failed II

Park Hill, Sheffield

Key Questions for Socialists: Part II
Further Sciences and Dialectical Philosophy

Philosophical Devolopments:-
Their Effects & Recursional Consequences

The omissions outlined in Part I of this essay, are only a part of what is essential to be fully addressed in the philosophical, political and policy stance of a Marxist Revolutionary Party, right NOW! Our theory must evolve, and to do so it must take on the sciences.

In Part I, there was outlined the necessary extension of Marxism into a criticism of the current idealist domination within Physics, under the auspiices of The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory, but that was only one of the Sciences, and certainly not the most conducive to a Dialectical Materialist approach.

Marx was a professional historian, so his first and most important applications were in the trajectory of the developments in Human Societies - his understanding of Revolutions! And, thereafter to his lifelong study of Capitalist Economics. But, at the heart of his stance and methods was the Dialectics of the idealist Hegel, re-applied with a Materialist stance, not just to Human Thought and Formal Logic, but to the concrete Real World too, and the Evolution of Reality.

Clearly, the most obvious Science to which this approach could be applied, after Darwin's Origin of Species, and The Ascent of Man, had to be in Biology. And it is there, in addition to History that the confirmation, elaboration and development of his approach could be achieved.

Whereas, though the same evidence is, indeed, embedded, almost irretrievably, in Geology and even in Cosmology, it is clearly accessible-in-detail in History and Biology, which have, and will still, enhance this powerful holistic approach, continuously, along with the developments in those studies. Accordingly, this teacher of Biology, as well as his primary profession in Physics, and his lifetime studies in Philosophy, has made significant contributions in those fields too.

In Marxist Philosophy he has produced two key theories:-

1. The Processes and Productions of Abstraction

 A new video from Shape Journal exploring the ideas behind my Processes and Productions of Abstraction diagram.


2. The Trajectory of an Emergence

The first was based upon Physics and Mathematics, and the second upon Biology and History.

In addition, he has developed the theory of Truly Natural Selection, taking Darwin's gains backwards, into the development of pre-life, non-living processes, though of course with a very different, enabling set of mechanisms and influences. And, he has also re-designed Stanley Miller's Famous Experiment into the evolution of pre-life processes on Earth, into an analysable sequence of experiments using current technologies to reveal possible development paths - again wholly within non-living substances and their reactions.

Marxism I - Miller's Experiment

Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, it has to be mentioned that the turning point in all of his studies was in a remarkable period of research into producing Multimedia Aids to help in the Teaching of Dance Performance and Choreography for which he and his Dance expert colleague Dr. Jacqueline Smith-Autard won A British Interactive Video Autard

The problem was in the analysis of movement from recorded Footage both via Analogue and Digital means. For, though Analogue recordings gave excellent dynamics, they were both incredibly poor on giving precise positioning, and by no means either adequately or subtly controllable, while Digital recordings, being instead composed entirely of stills, killed all dynamics while giving precise positional information.

Going back through Hegel to Zeno's findings on the Paradoxes inherent in analysing Movement, thence to Dialectics, and finally to Marx's materialist transformation, he was able to use BOTH means plus animated & synchronised overlays to solve the problems for the first time, by delivering both past and even subsequent movements too!

It also transformed his take upon many other areas also.

For Movement is certainly the Key! Not only Movement-in-Space, but also all forms of real Qualitative Change, Development, and even dramatic Emergent Events, including Evolution of all kinds, and Revolutions too.

Now, the dominance of the Principle of Plurality in Formal Logic, Mathematics and, indeed, all of the Sciences, was not just a unifying trick, though crucially it was always that too. The main justification for its entrenchment in so many areas, and even disciplines, was that is seemed to be generally true literally everywhere, due to the natural preponderance of Stability to emerge-dynamically in all immediately-observed situations.

In other words, its presence was not only a frig, it also reflected the natural tendencies of complex situations with multiple varying and contrasting-or-competing, components, so arrive, all other things being equal, to a Stable State.

Now, none of these stabilities are ever permanent, but they are ubiquitous, so the natural tendency was to consider the Stable State as primary, and any following variability as due to an outside, imposed agencies.

And, such a stance, makes the detailed studies of Stable or even artificially stabilised situations, as studying the most important things, and explaining their properties. While the possibility of the given collection-of-components, within the stability, not only having been significant in its establishment, but are also invariably also the causes of its demise, is never even considered!

The holist, Dialectical Materialist stance takes that latter, usually ignored, possibility as the main-area-for-study.

So, in all things, the correct stance and investigations must be to grapple with the always even-if-long-lasting temporary stabilities, and the cross influences between components to either achieve a balance - as in a Stability, OR slip into one or another of the possible dissociations of that Stability into a general dramatic moment of multiple qualitative changes. In other words the most important periods to study are the Major Qualitative Events we call Emergences, or when applied to Society - Revolutions!

Now, readers of this tract, might well be wondering what all this has to do with everyday political activities and the problems they create. With some justice they might dismiss it all as unusable Theory.

But, they would be wrong!

As a political activist, myself, of very long standing, I too was frequently presented with what seemed to be unsolvable problems, and carried on doing the same things, regardless, hoping for some kind of break (and more often than not failing to get any).

But, do we think we are banging our head against a brick-wall, a natural stability that is more or less permanent? For, if we do, we are not treating such impasses dialectically at all!

What for example did the inventor of Dialectics, GWF Hegel, do when presented with a logical impasse, he addressed the contradictions which made a transcending of the impasse seemingly impossible, and unearthed the hidden premises that made that situation occur. And once they were in his hands he studied them to see if they were correct and fixed or variable, and in the latter cases tried alternative values for that premise.

This isn't yet Marxism, but it is its direct antecedent, and often it worked admirably. A change made to the flawed premise transformed the situation. And, what I have outlined above is just the very first step (200 years old and discovered by the idealist Hegel).

Marx, took both this and the rest of Hegel's Dialectics of Human Thinking and transferred it over to be applicable to the whole concrete World, and thus created Marxism!

So, is the above useless?

Why Socialism Failed III

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