12 April, 2017

The Grounds for a Žižek Critique

Slavoj Žižek is a world-renowned, self-proclaimed Marxist, and has produced an extensive body of work, with which he has built a world-wide set of supporters for his version of Marxism. But, as a Marxist myself, and also a fully qualified physicist, I had something of a shock when I read the chapter in his book Less Than Nothing, which he entitles The Ontology of Quantum Physics.

I had previously read his Chapter - called The Limits of Hegel, from the very same book: and though by no means in full agreement with him, did recognise his brilliant use there of Hegelian Dialectics.

He was certainly worth a read!

But, when it came to my specialism - Sub Atomic Physics, it was evident that we, immediately, parted company in a truly major way.

Žižek is no sort of Scientist!

And, that didn’t just undermine his ideas upon that subject: it undermined his purported Materialism too.

Looking back to his work on Hegel, it became clear that he certainly wasn’t as critical of Hegel as Marx had been. He hadn’t switched to a consistent Materialist stance! He was still a kind of Idealist - subscribing to Hegel’s Dialectic, but certainly NOT to Marx’s intended objective of unifying Philosophy with Science. He, like Marx before him, just didn’t know enough about Science. And, crucially he, also did NOT understand Materialism.

Niels Bohr

When the physicists Bohr and Heisenberg established the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory, they were reacting to the contradictions, within their subject, due to a majorly flawed philosophical stance, by undertaking a major retrenchment - abandoning holist explanatory theories for pluralist formal equations only. They were abandoning Materialism for an amalgam of Idealism plus Pragmatism!

But, as a non scientist, Žižek didn’t even notice what that involved. He could “integrate” their ideas with his own contributions, particularly what he had taken on from Lacan.

I had to undertake a root-and-branch critique of Žižek’s position.

Žižek does not, and indeed cannot, equip the Working Class for their coming fight to overthrow Capitalism. That is a job for Marxists who are completing Marx’s objective of unifying Philosophy and Science, and providing the theoretical means to achieve that goal. But, Žižek’s version of that objective is, “If you can’t beat them, then join them!” - the opposite of Marx’s objective.

The contributions in this section are, therefore, a small set of preparatory papers giving some idea of the Ground that is, and will be, necessary.

Fuller, more-comprehensive theories are available, if required via SHAPE Journal, but if the reader is already fully prepared, reading these few grounding notes, will not be necessary.

This paper can be found in the latest issue of Shape


New Special Issue: The Ontology of Quantum Physics

Our 50th special edition comprises a thorough critique of Slavoj Žižek’s The Ontology of Quantum Physics from his book Less Than Nothing, including an appendix of supplementary papers, with the intention of informing the reader of the philosophical bases for this approach.

Ever since Lenin’s damning critique of the Empirio Criticism Stance of scientists Poincaré & Mach, early in the 20th century, there has been a crucial, and ever more urgent need, to “complete the job”, by tackling the mess that was, and still is, the consensus Philosophy of Physics, which for centuries has been a contradictory amalgam of Materialism, Idealism and Pragmatism.

The writing was already on the wall, even in Lenin’s time, following the discovery of the Quantum - a descrete, particle-like alternative to the prior conception of propagating electromagnetic Radiation as an extended wave - in a then still undetected Substrate or Medium, which was termed the Aether.

The decline in the Marxist tradition due to the victory of Stalinism in the Soviet Union, and the lack of any significant developments elsewhere, either theoretically or organisationally, was mirrored by a steady decline in what was termed “Theory” in Sub Atomic Physics, as the mounting contradictions in the “New Stance, “ led to increasing amounts of Pure Mathematics, propped up by unfounded speculations - from Superposition, Quantum Entanglement, and Physical Singularities, to String Theory, Quantum Loop Gravity, Super Symmetry and even Multiverses!

Surprisingly, increasing numbers of self-professed Marxists lined up to even embrace the New Physics, and even to claim that it was “Dialectical”!

Clearly, the long awaited tackling of Science by Marxists, would also be the only means of its own salvation!

In Cambridge University, self-professed “Marxists” like Gliniecki, along with many others in the United Kingdom, were now extolling the virtues of Copenhagen, and even the “Marxist” Žižek has written a Chapter entitled The Ontology of Quantum Physics in his recent book - taking a similar line.

But, enough is enough!

This fake Marxist must be exposed for what he is, as part of the major task of defeating the Idealist Copenhagen Interpretation, which is now vital. It must be taken on, and completed NOW!

And, after many years addressing this very task, this Marxist, who is also a physicist by profession and experience, as well as a published philosopher, will now commence the final assault by demolishing Žižek.

10 April, 2017

Wilczek's Supersymmetry

The Ultimate Abstraction of Abstractions

Having been somewhat misled by Frank Wilczek's Origins Lecture at ASU a couple of months ago - entitled "The Materiality of the Vacuum", into thinking that I had found a like-minded critic of Quantum Physics, as I too stress the reality of some kind of Universal Substrate, I soon found that I couldn't have been more wrong!

For, in his Lecture at The Royal Institution in London, Wilczek's actual stance could not have been made more clear - he sees Pure Mathematical Form alone, as being the sole determinator of Reality. And, in this Lecture, he reveals, very clearly indeed, what he occupies himself with to the exclusion of all else.

Indeed, in spite of his admissions elsewhere that Natural Law may once have been very different, he doesn't hide his total subscription to the Principle of Plurality (which, most certainly, contradicts that belief), and, nevertheless, makes it the absolute centre of his work! And, he puts it all in a way that any mathematician would immediately recognise and agree with.

He calls it Symmetry, but defines it in a very special way that legitimises, not only the established Standard Experimental Method in Science, involving its rigorous "farming-and-control" of conditions, so that only a single component cause is purposely sought and displayed as clearly as possible - thus enabling its easy extraction, AND, consequently, the also-unavoidable processes of transformation and simplification, as well as those involved in idealisation, which he excuses on the ground that they do NOT transform the underlying eternal Natural Law.

Now, such a position can only be true, if and only if, the World is pluralistic, for only then will any extracted Laws be totally eternal and fixed.

But, if, on the contrary, the World is actually holistic, then "Everything affects everything else", and all the inflicted transformations upon a situation DO indeed change things significantly!

So, what is Wilczek really working upon if it isn't Reality-as-is? It can only be the parallel, reflected World of Pure Forms alone, which we call Ideality - the formal, purely-descriptive realm of Mathematics.

Indeed, in his very clear exposition, at the Royal Institution, he even uses the very processes which I criticise, namely Simplification and Idealisation as his approach's primary virtues. For, within his chosen realm, Ideality, they are indeed true: but, of course, it isn't Reality, for it contains not only absolutely NO concrete entities - it is Pattern alone, but also a vast extension of formally legitimate patterns and dimensions - impossible in concrete Reality.

What is involved here is the re-institution of the seeking of so-called Absolute Essences, which alone determine Everything. It is out-and-out Idealism.

But, it isn't always immediately evident what he is doing, for he describes it somewhat differently. He emphasises Beauty and Symmetry as Reality's deepest "forming" principles. "If it is beautiful, it must be true!"

And, his legitimisation of what he reveals is based upon the concept of "Transformation without Intrinsic Change", and this is crucial!

For, in mathematical transformations within Ideality, there are indeed such things, and Wilczek promotes them to the very highest levels of profundity: they become (for him) the causal engines of Reality. His simplified, abstracted and idealised forms are what makes Reality what it is... He has abandoned Materialist Science for a totally idealistic stance.

It is no wonder that the kit he depends upon for process-able data is the gigantic Large Hadron Collider, regularly powered-ever-higher to colossal energies, as the only source of potentially new events to take his theories further into the highest possible level of Idealisation - namely Super Symmetry!

I was mislead by his concept of the Materiality of the Vacuum, in which he scarcely mentioned his idea of the composition of his Substrate, for that, mentioned only very briefly elsewhere, turned out to be the Gluons for which he received his Nobel Prize in 2004.

His audience at the Royal Institution, were dead silent (apart from laughing at his jokes) for the whole lecture! It wasn't just abstract: it was multiple abstractions of prior abstractions - he had lost the majority of his audience in Ideality in the Infinity of its formal relations.