26 May, 2022

Special Issue 76: The Systems Theory of Everything


This series of issues attempts to set out the first definitive account of Jim Schofield’s new Systems Approach to Science. The various papers collected here, and over the next few editions of this journal, explore the proposed theory and explain why it is such a radical departure from the current universally applied scientific method.

While working on the recent YouTube video “Taking Shape: Denis Noble and the Systems Level Approach” (2022), it arose in discussion between myself and Jim, whether or not “system” was even the right word to use for these ideas. Schofield’s revised view of natural systems is certainly not the usual one. They are not “systematic”, mechanistic or carefully structured in any way. They don’t follow universal laws and rules. They are dynamic, contingent and emergent, containing contention and contradiction. They can be hidden, vastly complex, and sometimes seemingly chaotic from our human vantage point. Many are stable and extremely long-lasting, and are routinely misinterpreted by scientists as eternal and fundamental laws of nature. Schofield’s view of systems is Holist and Materialist, arguing that the holistic understanding of how natural systems evolve and maintain themselves, is vital if we are to really appreciate how things come to be, and why they are the way they are.

23 May, 2022

Revolution and Multi-Level Law

 The following paper is part of a forthcoming special series of the SHAPE Journal outlining my new Systems Approach to Science - the issues are to be titled The Systems Theory of Everything...

Jim Schofield Marxist Systems Theory of Science

The key revelation, via my recent work on Systems Theory, is that absolutely all Laws exist in very long-lasting, initial & partial modes - actually defining, what appears to be, their naturally Sole and Permanently Existing Level. This Level certainly continues to exist-as-such for often considerable periods of time. Yet, that seeming-permanence is totally illusory: for, though it has in actuality established a Primary Level-of-such-Laws, the consequent process of the Law's Inevitable Evolutionary Development was, as yet, still incomplete. It actually can-and-does establish further transforming developments, into extra Causalities, situated at a Wholly New Level, while adding a Purely Empirical Rider STILL at the prior Level.

Now, understandably, this was always missed in our scientific investigations (and still is, by all those intimately-wedded to the two and a half millennia-old Principle of Wholly Pluralist Laws)! A stance naturally arising, entirely Pragmatically, from the absolutely necessary, and greatly restricting, experiences of the only Form of Successful Productions, entirely Without Theory then known. For it simply could not be otherwise!

Only via great restrictions upon both Context and Content could Productions be consistently successful. And, this is because, of course, such limitations successfully totally suppress any natural further Causal Developments - indeed of any Evolution of the Laws involved.

Remember, therefore, such Levels were solely imposed by Mankind! Left to itself, Reality-as-is naturally evolves, though often extremely slowly from our perspective. And it was Successful Production that set the first-percieved-boundary, though the natural difference in tempo actually drove the Man-sized conceptions involved.

Now, the problem of discarding that initially necessary straight-jacket in Thinking, has taken a very long time, in breaking-into Man's Consciousness, because Production has become the Motive Force for our Success in this World! And, has also been the Prime Driver of the whole Human Population into Opposing Economic Classes, which also perpetuate this actually accelerating aberration.

The Essence of the entrenched Pluralist perspective, underpins the current Class Dominances, and has continued to dominate Mankind's Consciousness for Millennia!

Science is also a social process, and part of a superstructural system that "maintains the base" 

But, such a damaged-view of the World has undermined any Real Understanding of Reality-as-is, to such an extent, that the dominant Economic Drives were, and are, pushing Nature itself to the brink of collapse, and without a veritable Revolution, the Human Situation upon Earth is surely in question. 

For, the Natural Revolutions of the Ancient World, that historian and philosopher Karl Marx had studied, and thereafter so brilliantly-and-remarkably analysed, in his wholly New Dialectical Way, sadly had, since then, been increasingly diverted away from that wholly natural, self-correcting-and-developing Path, by the concerted efforts of Mankind (particularly its Ruling Classes) - greatly distorting and also forcing such situations into clearly non-natural directions, without the releases and rejuvenations that those Revolutions had always allowed!

Initially, those man-devised objectives and consequent directions didn't seem to be forcing situations badly wrong! But, that increasingly and acceleratingly changed, as Mankind's choices ever more speedingly precipitated more-and-more Crises, though also, contradictingly, alongside clearly evident Gains.

So, the real causes of a general deterioration were never realised! And, the mounting damage to the Natural Environmental Processes of Development, along with the suppression of literally all natural-and-beneficial Revolutionary Upheavals, were imposing a significant and increasing bias, and ever more deterioration, upon the underlying conditions of all wholly Natural Levels.

The previously wholly Natural Processes of Both Correction and Improvement were increasingly suppressed by Human Activity, and concern for the many natural self-correcting Systems of Planet Earth, along with its diverse and contending Contents, were NO LONGER allowed to function as was necessary for such a complex System to be able to develop naturally!

Of course, Marx's historical analyses had been wholly correct, but he had never went beyond his own finite Social and Economic Disciplines, in any of his analyses, so the wider Sciences were all totally omitted! And, subsequent Marxists, ever since, (with the possible exception of Lenin) all kept well within the confines and boundaries of their own particular disciplines - so many of these contributions, though certainly of some value, were also severely damaged by these major limitations.

Coupled with the always-assumed extrapolations-upwards from single Atoms and Molecules, all the way to considerably larger natural associations, could not but severely-distort what was considered to be Causality, regarding real and much larger Systems. 

Clearly, these assumptions would be wholly misleading, in Real World situations, so, experimenters continually restricted the circumstances of their Experiments, until the results finally matched the assumptions! Not very scientific was it?

But, remarkably, by mere chance, those results did indeed match with another remarkably truncated Discipline - and, for totally unrealised reasons! For, IF the restrictions were tightly implemented-and-maintained - as such, the situation would indeed be made to conform to the originally tightly restricted-and-controlled condition - which limited Laws to their initially First-discovered-Level alone.

You can see why they clung to their Plurality so steadfastly: but it was for the Wrong Reasons, and led them increasingly astray over time!

Only Modern Systems Theory (for example, the work of Denis Noble) could possibly reveal the Truth - for Causality actually changes with Scale! And, without which, the intricacies of Real Dialectical Causal Evolution would NEVER be understood.

Now, the very development (occurring originally in Ancient Greece circa 500 BC) that laid a basis for a certain kind of Consistent Thinking, associated with Number, and thereby establishing the very first Consistent, Concise and Comprehensive Rationality, upon which, the First-Ever Usable Rationality was constructed - gave power to the elbows of those who extolled-the-virtues of Rationality in establishing Truth Absolutely Everywhere, and ALSO, thereby, instituted the Wholly Wrong Idea, that the same would be possible across All Areas of Study, upon an identical basis: which was most certainly UNTRUE!

For, though this did also reflect the First Discernible Level in Natural Laws, it was NOT all-embracing, and would, everywhere, be extended, given time, because in its early association with the First Ever Rationality of Mathematics, had subsequently damagingly manacled literally all Logical Thinking, only to that necessarily limited Rationality, probably very similar to that devised for Mathematics: which was, most certainly, Totally Incorrect.

And, this clearly also-damaged the very idea of Rationality, as applied across most areas of Study, and was, thereby, limiting the range of possibilities only to those that conformed to a single artificially limited Logic.

The true, natural variability of most real relations was ignored, for a simpler System that always also implemented the necessary limitations!

These damaging assumptions were established for literally all Ways of Thinking - as it was to match the Limited Rationalities across the whole range of real possibilities, which had, thereby, falsely restricted situations to only all severely and wrongly-limited-sets. The whole range of Rationalities were similarly straight-jacketed into restricted sets, that could never fully reflect the full set of Real Possibilities that were actually occurring.

Clearly, such wrongly-imposed limitations would necessarily omit some of the true full set of legitimate contributions, and, thereby, also fail to fully consider all of the actual effects of those omitted possibilities completely, and hence, at least some of the consequent extended sequences of later, as yet, totally unaddressed possibilities.

What would unavoidably have been delivered, but would also necessarily have always been incomplete: and these, nevertheless, would have their effects, which because of the imposed, yet incorrect limitations upon everything, would later still appear, but "without causes", and consequently be frequently wrongly explained!

Now, a single case, as described above, would, of course, be added to by all other applications of that falsely imposed restriction: not to mention all the many possible "cross-effects" between the various different omitted cases. So, in this complex world, we are now revealing the overall effects of these limitations, which would, very quickly, expand to significant unaccounted-for consequences. And, the question that arises must be, "What would experimenters DO to bring things back into predictable territory?" Would it be another dose of those usually-applied simplifying Physical Restrictions, that were the problem in the first place?

The points made in this essay are by no means trivial: but taken as a whole, with other seemingly confirming processes of various other kinds, can-and-have produced an apparently consistent approach, which is, nevertheless, totally false! And, therefore, one which initially must have seemed wholly sufficient, has, as more and often contradictory additions were included, demanded ever more also-incorrect additions, merely to counter the ever-increasing contradictions, caused by those restrictions. 

The only effective approach, has to be a disposing of all these past mistakes (and any correcting props we routinely rely on), and the complete replacement by the indicated extension of Dialectical Materialism, to a Holistic Systems Approach to absolutely Everything!

The previously truncated, and hence initially greatly simplfied, straight-through approach, and its replacement by a sequentially emerging System of Levels - to actually reflect the real constantly (if slowly) Emerging Evolution of Reality into Ever New Levels, with majorly qualifying Effects. The Appearance and consequent Evolution of Life did exactly this, and thereby has proved its necessary inclusion within absolutely all areas of Change!

Now, the consequences of this are NOT just in explaining the Emergence of wholly new features, BUT primarily in how the increasing numbers of often contending Laws and Properties - all available together - actually manage to co-exist!

We must remember that all these many Laws, not only all exist in the same spaces, but both depend upon each other for required resources - and also, in turn, deliver their products in the same way! And, though some will compliment one another, others will most certainly contend. And, in a multi-factor environment, contentions will tend to balance out - effectively negating each other's opposite effects.

Overall, the most likely outcome will be what might be called an Active Balance - producing a kind if Stability, which is actively maintained as such, by cyclical processes, all of the time!

Now, as I have established elsewhere in several other papers in this series, the gulf between these, and the way of finding, and using Natural Laws, particularly in my specialist area of Physics: and the Real World I have described here, is undoubtedly enormous! For, the relations due to the properties of the various Elements and their compounds are always limited to just the relations between those properties occurring at the most basic Aomic and Molecular Level, which are considered to then be merely multiplied-up somehow, purely quantitatively, when used in the actual bulk occurrences: with no consideration whatsoever of any Interacting Systems Effects, between the many clearly also-present, other simultaneously-happening processes. And, the relations between all these many different processes is totally disregarded!

So, all the Effects that I have been considering in this series of papers are, thereafter, never considered at all by Scientists, or anyone else that I can see. Yet, they not only happen, but by various Systems Means, including the cancelling of Contentions, the overall total finally arrives at an Active Stability, which temporarily maintains them all, but now hidden within what we see as "Stability"!

And what a Natural Revolution turns out to be, is originated initially by a general drift towards - first one of the many Active Stabilities dissociated, followed immediately by all the rest, one after the other - onto the total dissolution of a general Collapse, and a return back to something resembling Chaos.

But, though it always happens - it isn't what we usually think characterises such a Revoluion: for, that is always the following High-Speed Re-constructive Phase, that allows a Total Re-building of all Active Stabilities, but upon an Entirely New Basis, this time solely from the Chaos that has been produced, yet on a different and indeed higher Level. 

Indeed, from the exact same included resources, a Wholly New Set of True Emergences appear, which though they were always possible within that set of resources, were also totally impossible to predict from the prior situation.

The promises of a successful Revolution can NEVER be specific: but when a Revolution is finally successfully completed, against the forces of reaction - the active stabilising processes of the prior system - the gains will always be significant!

Both in Nature and in Human Societies, development always occurs via a succession of such Necessary Revolutions: it can not be any other way, because all prior elements exist only in a rich interconnected fabric of interacting parts, which present a complex whole to thwart significant changes! There is NO ideal achieveable situation - for Reality-as-is constantly creates ever new possibilities, while simultaeously developing ways of safeguarding past gains. But, that will persist only until the System is no longer viable - at that point a Revolution is inevitable. 

Until we understand these complex processes in Multi-Level Systems, we won't know when this will occur, or have any idea what is likely to happen afterwards.