24 October, 2016

Man Makes Religion

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo

From Karl Marx's

Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right

Man, who has found only the reflection of himself, in the fantastic reality of heaven, where he sought a superman, will no longer feel disposed to find the mere appearance of himself, the non-man [Unmensch], where he seeks, and must seek, his true reality.

The foundation of irreligious criticism is:

Man makes religion, religion does not make man.

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man, who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But, man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society.

This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world! Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.

It is the fantastic realization of the human essence, since the human essence has not yet acquired any true reality! The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world, whose spiritual aroma is religion.

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering, and a protest against real suffering.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

17 October, 2016

Issue 46: The Truth Papers

This edition comprises a collection of papers on Truth and our failed attempts to find it.

As soon as Mankind conceded that multiple, simultaneous relations are acting-together to produce literally everything present in Reality, we were immediately confronted with a major problem!

How could we extract all these relations accurately, and, thereafter, how could we then discover both their individual and their combined effects? The problem was perplexing, until someone, a couple of millennia ago, suggested that it was actually very easy: the various relations involved were assumed to be fixed, so they remained the same regardless of context.

It wasn’t true, of course.

09 October, 2016

Marxism & Physics POSTSCRIPT

Comrades wishing to equip themselves with the current developments in the Marxist method are directed to view Professor Richard D. Wolff's weekly and monthly updates on Economics - available on YouTube.

For more general philosophical coverage consult this blog, and the 7 years (84 Issues) of SHAPE Journal - an e-journal, all issues of which are available for free online.

SHAPE is very wide-ranging, with a great deal upon current developments in Marxist Philosophy, including the recent Theory of Emergences (i.e. Revolutions!).


There Are No Laws of Nature!

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that this quote is misattributed to Euclid, though it is certainly an old phrase, and is the natural conclusion of the idealist view of natural law

All Ideal Laws of Nature are Bunk!
Exactly how then are natural behaviours caused?

"Is Quantum Mechanics involved in this area of study?" is a frequently asked question - but what does such a question actually imply? For example, in a recent news item in New Scientist magazine, a researcher wonders if an, as-yet-unknown, Law of Conservation is the reason for the stability of the proton.

Now, such a question from an actively working scientist is truly incredible! For, what is clearly assumed is that Reality behaves in the way that it does, in certain particular areas of study, entirely due to being directed to do so by purely abstract Laws.

For, that is exactly what is not only the basic assumption of the current interpretation of Quantum Physics, but within that consensus tradition, it is also asserted, in tandem, that a total rejection of Explanatory Theories is essential too. Instead of such Explanatory Theories, Formal Probabilistic Laws are, alone, supposed to actually cause observed behaviours, if that peculiar stance is accepted!

Now, is such a stance not clearly idealist?!

And, to make it even more ridiculous, a cursory consideration of the means Mankind uses to extract such "laws", clearly indicates that those means are such as to only-ever deliver an arranged-for result: hence the so-called Natural Laws are only extracted from very restricted, filtered and even "farmed" contexts - man-arranged Domains, which are expressly designed to suppress, remove or limit most present relations, to more clearly deliver only a single, targeted-for relation.

Hence, they are NOT the eternal Natural Laws that they are assumed to be.

They are currently existing relations, but ONLY in that specific, supplied context: elsewhere they will most certainly be different.

Now, long ago, this kind of idealist nonsense was allowed to be imported into Science via the devising of a special Enabling Principle. It isn't usually overtly stated, or even admitted, but the Principle of Plurality was long ago built, irremovably into the foundations of the standard approach, to make the above assumptions "true".

For, Plurality insisted that all individual relations within Reality are totally fixed: they don't change at all, so all the "farming" of contexts cannot change those relations, they can only effectively reveal them. But, I'm afraid, it just isn't true!

Innumerable examples can be given to show that the exact opposite principle - that of Holism, is much more generally applicable, and shows that Plurality, in fact, only holds in particular natural or man-made Stable situations: everywhere-else Holism is clearly evident, and simply must be assumed if qualitative changes, and the true creative development in nature, are ever to be adequately addressed.

So, these aspects imported an idealist strand into Man's investigations of concrete Reality. And, on revealing certain patterns within these stable, man-devised Domains, allowed them to be fitted up to pure formal patterns from Mathematics, evident in the measured data collected, to succinctly describe a particular found and isolated relation.

These Formulae were only ever Descriptions: they could, clearly, never be Explanations!

But, they had a very seductive property - they could be used to predict certain future outcomes reasonably accurately. And, this ability to be able to predict was extremely convincing to those who couldn't do such things, and the "predictor" was given high status, even though he often had absolutely NO idea why Reality behaved in such a way.

So, these so-called Natural Laws, which are assumed to drive Reality, are, actually, no such thing at all. They merely describe a pattern of simple, uneventful changes. Much more investigation will always be necessary to begin move towards answering the much more important question, "Why?"

Clearly, such formulae deliver NOT Natural Causative Laws, but, merely, widely-applicable and purely Formal Rules - very different things indeed! Remember the ONLY possible "explanation" delivered by the equation alone is, "Obeys this Rule!"

Not much of an explanation is it?

Now, it may well be asked, "Why do such clearly idealist "laws" ever fit Reality?". Well, two things must be made clear in answering that question.

FIRST: All such patterns must have arisen from material causes, but only if these particular causes are acting ALONE! That is why in scientific investigations, the primary task is to severely limit the Context, in an attempt to restrict the causation factors to a single one! Only if this is done, can such an ideal formal relation be revealed.

But, SECOND: The investigators invoke the Principle of Plurality, which, as explained earlier, assumes that sets of such "ideal laws" simply sum, to give the things we naturally observe in totally unfettered Reality!

And that assumption is WRONG!

Remember it isn't man-devised "Laws" that make things happen: it is physical causes, and these are always changed by context - in other words,

Reality is not Pluralist: it is Holist!

So, you cannot assume that an ideal law, revealed by extreme isolation, will remain exactly the same in complex situations - allowing simple addition of such laws to be assumed. They will, most certainly, have changed by physical causes in the combined context. The usually assumed Natural fixed Laws are transforming idealisations of the actual holist complexity!

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.