30 December, 2012

The Failure of the Marxists!

How Those Who Profess to Carry the Banner of Marxism

Fail in the Clearly Evident Tasks of Today

In 2008 there was a meeting in Manchester University concerning the quite evident worldwide crisis in the Capitalist system, this time precipitated by the latest ruse of the Banks to inflate value out of nothing. Their motives were made crystal clear when one day after the cataclysmic collapse in Iceland a prominent British businessman was seen dashing around that country looking for dirt-cheap acquisitions. There can even be a profit in a major recession, if you know what to do and have the disposable wealth to exploit it!

A Marxist from America (as part of a World Tour) was there to explain who was to blame for the crisis. A very large audience (unknown in recent times for such a speaker) was present, primed and ready to hear what the Marxists had to say about this glaringly evident rip–off: it was just possible that they had been right all along, and the gathering were clearly willing to listen to what these people were saying NOW! Nobody else was giving them any sort of explanation, or delivering a meaningful political response to those who perpetrated this almighty catastrophe. For this time it was clearly Capital itself that had caused the Event, doing what it always does, but here clearly showing where it leads.

But what happened? Did the speaker answer the crucial Question posed, and fill his audience with a real purpose to oppose these parasites and kick them out?

NO! He didn’t!
It was in fact the same old story – the same old activist stuff, which saw NO epoch-making opportunity for political action, but only a bigger than usual protest reaction.
You would have expected unanswerable economic analysis. You didn’t get any!
You would have expected a deep and powerful philosophical standpoint, which better than all other positions could explain the causality of such crises and their guaranteed consequences, by the generated actions of the ruling class as they moved to make the Working Class foot this bill as they always do. But you didn’t get that either!

In spite of a clearly “Left position”, and quotes from Marx et al, the contribution of this imported Marxist expert was mere reportage. And the response of our homegrown versions was worse! What did they do? Have another demonstration? The speaker from America had NO Marxist economics to relate. All his stuff was merely different emphases upon the analyses of pro-capitalist economists. And there was certainly NO profundity of philosophical standpoint at all. What he had to say was what is usually said, but writ somewhat larger. It was pragmatic, idealist activism only: it was the politics of the demonstration ONLY - Protest politics, and NOT politics for action! It was certainly NOT the politics of Revolution, which was not arrived at by Marx and his followers in hope, but because they had realised that all real Qualitative Change only occurs in Revolutionary Events, without which the forces of reaction will always triumph and re-establish their status quo.

Implicit in the reformist position is the assumption that change can be brought about incrementally, and imperceptibly, until the new realm appears. Real Marxists have always known that such an assumption is total rubbish. And they have also always known that the majority will never subscribe to their position, unless it becomes increasingly clear in revolutionary situations. Even in Russia in 1917, Lenin returned to find his own party deeply mired in reformist, gradualist myths. In his April Theses he had to tear them away from their self-delusions and get them the face their ONLY task – to prepare for and then lead the coming revolution!

But any such opportunity at the Manchester meeting was missed completely.
The audience went away with no real understanding, no new conceptions, and certainly no fire in their bellies to strive for significant, revolutionary Change. It seems to me that the present day Marxists are ashamed of their revolutionary heritage. Consider how differently many of those at that meeting would have reacted subsequently to the current series of revolutions in the Middle East, if those delivering there had done their job.

These “Marxists” couldn’t raise any real enthusiasm, because they were NOT Marxists!
They were NOT developing their ideas day by day. They were peddling old stuff yet again. Marxism isn’t an eternal Faith. It is the ongoing and never-complete Science of Revolutionary Change. It may not always be evident in day-to-day politics, but it certainly is philosophically!

For it is about all Reality in the process of Change. It addresses both the longer periods of Stability AND the short and crucial Interludes of Qualitative Change. And it is applicable in ALL disciplines. It can deliver the answers not only to Social questions, but also even to such questions as the Origin of Life on Earth, and the impasses in modern sub Atomic Physics.
These so-called proponents of Marxism seem to know absolutely nothing of all this. They have cut Marxism down to a manageable size: it has become their Book of Truth, and this ceased to be their methodology of revealing ever new truths, and their guide to necessary action.

In this important meeting, where an audience was keen to hear something different to the usual stuff, did not have a single Marxist philosopher rising to his feet and revealing profound and new truths arising NOW out of this remarkable crisis. The old truths were considered sufficient!
It was, it must be said, a pathetic performance.
I watched the audience as they filed out. No signs of realisation were evident. Only one or two went up to give in their names. It was an anticlimax, and any follow-up meetings would inevitably decline as a real programme on ALL the necessary fronts was not conceived of, never mind put in place.

A few months earlier I had got my son who was a member of a “Marxist-left” party to get them to invite me to give them a short contribution at a branch meeting.
I have been a Marxist for 60 years, and was highly involved for 17 years in the sixties and seventies, but I finally dropped out because not only was no one developing Marxism, but my efforts to do so were considered to be somewhat reprehensible. I was always addressing questions, which I didn’t think had been adequately addressed, and this was universally considered to be a waste of valuable time, when I should be on the factory gate, selling papers door-to-door, and arguing with everyone I met to get them “to join”. No one seemed to notice that no matter how much activism was poured in, the state of the organisation was clearly in terminal decline and was getting nowhere. No one was developing Marxism and hence all was in clear retrenchment, but the question had to be “Why was this so?”

For the World was increasingly full of new evidence.
Science was delivering new truths, and even non-Marxists were attempting to develop conceptions of Emergence, which was the same as Becomings for Hegel, and Revolutions for Marx) but though they had realised that these did indeed occur, they were, without the necessary philosophical ground, doomed to failure due to their own inadequate standpoint, and in the end turned to studies which insisted on seeing such Events as mere Form, and attempted to solve it with mathematics alone via a “new” area on Mathematics termed Chaos. Real Marxists should have been romping away in such areas – surely their own areas of qualitative Change, but they weren’t! At this branch meeting, I gave a talk about Continuity and Descreteness as discussed by Zeno, and gave examples of how I had addressed similar problems in the complex Analysis and Teaching of Dance Movement. They could not have been more uninterested. No discussion ensued, and I was not asked to contribute again. Clearly they couldn’t believe that I was studying Dance and telling them about it. I realised that they were no Marxists. They were “left” activists only.

I determined to at least carry my discoveries over into a detailed study of Emergences as my contribution to the Marxism of today, and spent several years gradually taking forwards a study of the inner trajectory of such Events. I have Social Revolutions and biological Emergences such as the Origin of Life on Earth as my starting points, and I was finally able in 2010 to publish The Theory of Emergences on the Internet. And not only that! My son and myself set up a new internet-based Philosophical Journal entitled SHAPE, which had issues every 3 weeks containing new papers, a comprehensive Archive of all previous publications, and an increased number of Extended Special Issues on particular topics.

It is a Marxist Philosophical Journal, which ranges across Physics, Mathematics, and Biology, and also addresses a whole raft of philosophical areas such as Plurality, Holism, Freewill, Scientific Truth, Abstraction and Theory in general. And after two years the Journal has begun to make important contributions particularly in the Philosophy of Science, and has even delivered a Non Copenhagen explanation of the famed Double Slit Experiment and redesigned Miller’s Experiment on the circumstances prior to the Origin of Life on Earth. Now, all of this has been the work of a single isolated person making the best of his long education and participation in revolutionary politics. Yet, So far, the response has been another resounding silence.
Where are the Marxists who revolutionise Thinking?
They don’t even exist to criticise the ideas on SHAPE.
The reason must be obvious. They don’t do Philosophy!

Yet, who else can take Philosophy forwards?
Is it the University academics? My experience with what I have read of their work on Zeno and on Emergences would seem to indicate that they are simply not equipped to address these areas in anything but strictly Formal Logic ways. While in Science the extended 100-year retreat in Sub Atomic Physics, where are those to who can demolish the Idealism of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory? They certainly don’t seem to exist, and for the same reasons as in Philosophy.
No scientists seem to be sufficiently philosophically equipped to counter the Idealism brought in by Bohr and Heisenberg, which has now ruled entirely unassailed for almost 90 years

So, will such “activists” react to the changing World and indeed attempt to change it? The answer, at present, is a resounding, “NO! Even the tumult in the Middle East has NO Marxists, or even socialists involved. The revolutionists talk only of removing their current dictators and replacing them with a common or garden variety of Democracy as they see in the West. They don’t seem to know that such a revolution will only finally complete the over ripe objectives of the long overdue Capitalist Revolution, which started with the English Revolution in the 17th century, via the French Revolution in the 18th century and culminated in their areas with the Nationalist overthrows of Kings and Imperialists in the 20th century.

ONLY this type of revolution is currently happening in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Syria, which has its aim only to empower the Middle Class, but not to dispense with Capitalism.

Without a true Marxist leadership, NO Russian Revolution would have been possible, and NO similar overthrow will occur in the Middle East. For in spite of the energy and commitment, without an understanding of these Events and the leadership to re-direct it into what is required today, these remarkable Events could once more merely replace one kind of top down control with another.

Remember Marx with all his years in the Library of the British Museum, and Lenin settling down to write Materialism and Empirio Criticism during the Reaction after the failed 1905 Revolution. Marx was right! Dialectical Materialism in ALL fields is infinitely superior to the conceptions of the “conserving class”, but such things don’t happen automatically. Human Beings have to conquer ever-new areas as they become necessary, and thus increasingly “tool up” the Working Class for Revolution.

Who Agrees?

(A new series of special issues of the Shape Journal on Marxist philosophy are soon to be published on website to address some of the issues raised in this post - watch this space)


26 December, 2012

Issue 28 of Shape

As I pick up my pen and write about what has been percolating in my thoughts since my last session, I frequently find myself returning to the same old questions: and so it should be! For, no matter how apt and succinct a particular contribution may be, it will always be very far from being the last word. Indeed, if this process of writing on Philosophy did not have this cyclic form, it would not be of much real value at all.

For let us be absolutely clear, Man is not God: he is certainly not positioned in some ideal and elevated position from which he can survey and immediately comprehend Everything swiftly and accurately. Man is, in fact, only a part of that Physical Reality that alone and miraculously, can begin to consider his position and that of surrounding Reality, and ask the perennial question, “Why?”

Yet, he has always been well aware of his inadequacies in this regard, and his conceived-of, all-knowing, all-seeing, ideal human being capable of such a task was embodied in an elevated, perfect Entity, which he named as GOD.

It should not be surprising that he should never alight directly and immediately upon the actual Truth, but only on aspects of it, and his consequent and attempted extrapolations would always be fraught with misconceptions.

And the whole method of thinking created and developed only by Mankind, has only come this far by cutting Reality down-to-size, in other words, simplifying it in one way or another, and at best, such processes can only reveal particular aspects or views of a very complex and evolving whole. Indeed, it would not be far from the truth to say that the main gain from any such extractions is that they pave the way for following corrections and slightly better “ground” in a continuing process. The journey is the thing!

Now, this doesn’t mean that we sit on a mountain somewhere and THINK! On the contrary, we have to survive, and a good deal of our thinking is about real problems of dealing daily with this real World. Nevertheless, Philosophy is the Prime Thinking Activity, and in our present pragmatic World has become almost negligible in its serious occurrence.

Left wing politics is now almost 100% activism, and the labours of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels to lay a broad and sound philosophical foundation to equip the Working Class to fight against its oppressors, has almost completely vanished. The crucial philosophical questions of the age are never tackled by professed Marxists, and indeed many follow behind the idealist mathematical-scientists of today, not only without the necessary criticism, but instead actually extolling their contributions to a “better” worldview.

So, returning to the same questions is indeed vital, and without it, what we consider to be our philosophical bases change and then ossify into useless fossils of past thought.
So, this is a small set of introductory papers, where some of the bases of a materialist, holist, evolutionary and Marxist standpoint are not only once again brought into focus, but also constantly updated and improved.

Beware! There are implications for YOU!

20 December, 2012

The Myth of Natural Law

Do Disembodied Formal Relations Drive Reality?

What really happens when Form is deemed to be the Essence and Driving Cause of our Universe?

Now, clearly it must first be explained what is meant by Form, or more comprehensively, “What are the possible alternative conceptions of this important feature of all Reality?”

From the standpoint of this writer, Form is pattern or shape!

But it can also be concentrated into formal relations, which within a single equation can deliver with suitable known inputs any situation within its range: it concentrates a whole similarly determined set of cases into one all embracing “law”.

This can be extended to affirm that such “laws” determine what happens in Reality, but it cannot explain why such things occur!

The belief in such determinations leave the answer to the key question, “Why?”, as “Because they obey this law!” Clearly, why it should do so is left completely unanswered.

The time has come for us to pursue the method involved at arriving at such “Laws”.

Actual equations are formal extractions from pure, quantitative data, measured in some corner of Reality, but, most definitely, extracted (isolated) from that World into pure, disembodied relations – Formal relations! So what actually are they?

They are merely (and only) sound, succinct and purely formal descriptions, and, of themselves, cannot cause anything concrete to happen no matter how forcibly we utter the above imperative. What we have in our hands is a mathematical relation only: it cannot explain itself, it merely describes what happens.

Yet, of course, it can deliver something useable: it enables the prediction of consequent states from given values of key parameters. And, this empowers Man to use them to some desirable and intended outcome.

In spite of them being totally disembodied, they do both describe and encapsulate the Forms of really existing situations.

Now, of course, merely inserting chosen values into our relied-upon equations simply gives us a prediction of what will happen if implemented in the source situation. At such a stage, we have merely conceived of a concrete intervention into Reality. So, at that point absolutely nothing has been changed. But, if we can both control and change the piece of concrete Reality to which our equations refers, then, and only then, can we intervene and achieve our objective.

Now, if we take this whole sequence of actions by Man, from the starting point in the study of a piece of Reality, through the taking of measurements, then to concentrating of a whole range of these into a formal relation (an Equation), and finally using it to some required end, we have then managed to come through an interesting set of disciplines, which are NOT a single integrated set but in fact a related series.

The first step has to be effective and continuing control of a Domain of Reality, to keep it pretty “still”, so that any relations are both continuing and clearly visible.

This is the Experimental Stage: Stage A. But, it is certainly not yet Science! Indeed, people who called themselves alchemists or inventors did this for centuries.

Clearly though, the reliability of the data would only increase sufficiently if the ability to control was developed to a remarkable degree.

Once obtained as a Data Set, the next discipline that could turn it into a single, range-wide formulation had to involve the techniques of the mathematicians.

This is the Formulation Stage: Stage B. For mathematicians had long studied such relations in total isolation from their real world and concrete contexts, and had found many fruitful ways of studying and manipulating them entirely within their own purely formal terms! This mathematical expertise was necessary to deliver the “Law” that had been extracted as a mere data set.

Now, using this “Law” was not merely a matter of applying it wherever you fancied. Indeed, even in the seemingly most conducive circumstances, it would invariably fail!

In fact the very same skills that had enabled the initial experiment, and the extraction of dependable data, had to be employed again to replicate the exact same conditions. For only then could the Law be reliably employed.

This stage was the Implementation Stage: Stage C. This was still NOT the sphere of Science, but of the technologists.

So, you must have noticed, this whole set of procedures was possible without a scientists as such being involved.

Now that is not what we usually think, is it?

And, indeed, many self-professed “scientists” would do all those sub processes themselves, and call the overall exercise “Science”, but that would not be true as we have demonstrated above. So what do actual scientists do, which characterises them as different to the perpetrators of the above series of procedures?

The study the results of experiments, and their formulation into equations, and then seek to explain why they are so!

The scientist looks for causes and explanations, for their primary and defining task is to reveal the Nature of Reality. The scientist must contribute to Understanding!

Though revelations, formulations and use are important, the main gain from such activities has also to be the ever increasing and deepening of Understanding of Reality, and without the scientist, this simply doesn’t happen.

Now, perhaps with some justice, many scientists will protest at this analysis. And for centuries they would indeed have had a strong case. For as jack-of-all-trades practitioners in all the above-described stages, their major motivation was to understand why Reality behaved as it does. They spent a great deal of time interpreting and explaining their results. It involved many definitions of newly conceived of entities and revelation of their properties, and always a process of explanatory analysis was considered essential!

But, we must not overlook the wholesale Retreat precipitated by the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory.

Bohr and Heisenberg latched onto the self-evident widespread nature of the above processes, and having been totally defeated by the theoretical implications of the Quantum, postulated that the “Explanation should be totally abandoned as self-kid”, and also that the Scientific Method would henceforth have to terminate once equations had been reliably extracted. They “threw out the baby with the bathwater”, and this was because they did not understand the process of approaching true Reality via increasingly better Objective Content.

So, they made Equations the driving Laws of Nature, and affirmed that they were therefore entirely sufficient. But, of course, they were no such things!

Such a blinkered and purely formal stance would merely collect Formulae. They would merely amass a prodigious Library of Forms and corresponding Domains of Applicability!

For example, there were at the last count I made twelve different and mutually exclusive models of the atomic nucleus – that is twelve different equations that could be reliably used as long as you chose the right one at the right time: hardly a complete solving of the nature of the nucleus!

Such a “running away” was, and still is, something quite correctly to be thoroughly ashamed of.

Now, there couldn’t be any sort of return to the old theoretical methods, for something vital was wrong with them, as clearly established by the Quantum. For as long as they continued to totally fail with the phenomena involving Quanta, that method had to be banned.

But, some sort of explanations was STILL imperative. So, these “revolutionaries” turned away from Reality, to find necessary answers, and instead relied exclusively on formulae, and the established methods of their investigation – Mathematics.

Finally, the crucial change converted them from materialists into idealists...

Why Socialism X: Socialised Capital I

soviet banknote lenin

Funding Development
Now, once the Capitalist System is no more, the usual way of getting the necessary financial resources for setting up any sort of new business, commissioning any necessary external services, or subsequent re-tooling, will require alternative means.

And it will no longer be the DeLorean Model of acquiring state funding to deliver “sorely-needed jobs” in a depressed area, only to dupe ill-informed politicians, and, in effect, enlarge their own increasing wealth with far from communal motives - such will no longer be allowed to happen.

The question must be, “What must these alternative methods be, and how will their sources both acquire their financial resources and deliver required funding?”

Clearly, from the outset, personal profit will be excluded as a motive.

With Service as the driving force, the usual bids will be suggestions for improving or extending what already exists, and the usual sequences will probably involve funding for some sort of pilot schemes. Thus, very different imperatives will drive that system, more like developments in Hospitals, the Fire Service or the Co-op (CWS) than in the capitalist environment with short-termism and money motives.

Now, clearly, the wherewithall for doing this in Capitalism is the wealth in the hands of private individuals and banks.

But, even they had to start from somewhere.

It was partly to address these present questions that the first paper in this series was the one about Primitive Accumulation that had been necessary before Capitalism had really taken off.

The main way then was the universally applied “robbery-with-violence" (or War as it is sometimes called)

Now though production of food and commodities for sale had been around for millennia, it only rarely concentrated vast amounts of wealth into few hands. So, war was decidedly better at achieving this concentration.

The rewards for victory in those methods were booty and land, and thus great empires were erected upon this means alone.

Now clearly, a new socialist state cannot use the same methods, but to keep industry and commerce working, it can, and must, take back into the possession of the people all the wealth amassed by entrepreneurs, capitalists and thieves of various kinds. All wealth would have to be confiscated and become the resources for the new state and its people.

All Banks and Corporations would be nationalised without compensation for the same reasons, and where individuals or groups decided to run off with their ill-gotten gains, they would be pursued by revolutionary armed forces to free that booty and return it for the benefit of all.

In addition, all firms would be re-organised to be under Worker’s Control, but with a commitment to both their local Community and to the State via taxes, policies and Revolutionary Law, though these would be very different from a Capitalist Regime, where after having paid Income Tax, National Insurance, VAT on most purchases and many other taxes and fees, the proportion of earnings left to be used in whatever way the workers and their families thought fit was, and is, derisory.

There will be, of course, mammoth opposition from the privileged layers of the old regime, who though their power was not necessarily extensive, could live very comfortable lives, and that would no longer be guaranteed by the well-tried methods of ancestors accruing sufficient wealth to ensure it by whatever means available.

The Theme would certainly be Service and Reward, rather than personal Success and Wealth.

So those well used to such things will certainly fight to bring the new State to its knees. [14 capitalist nations invaded Russia after the successful revolution in 1917 with the intention of destroying the new Socialist state and returning it to its previous owners (or perhaps themselves?)].

But, nevertheless, without the multiple layers of profit taken and the Principle of Serving the Community, many things would begin to be achieved. Sufficient houses of sound quality would be built to ensure everyone a home.

Landlords would be no more!

All such functions would not be for profit, but for need, and though the old capitalists will fight to their last breaths to regain their wealth, they will not succeed. Because this time it will not be one isolated revolution surrounded by hostile and powerful enemy states, but the famed “Domino Effect”.

As with the Arab Spring of 2011, one country after another will topple their rulers, and will co-operate with each other NOT, of course, like the UK, France and the USA who “co-operated” with the Libyan rebels, merely to get a piece of the Oil, but as equal partners for mutual good of their peoples.

Now, when managers are running a company on behalf of investors, they must feed the voracious appetite of those people as their prime necessity. So, all possible means are used to maximise profit, and these are only very rarely reflected in increased wages to those workers employed in that company.

My stepfather was regularly sacked when he demanded a better deal for his Foundry Gang, and just as regularly re-employed because his superiors could neither do what he was able to do, nor find anyone else to do it for them.

Nevertheless, his position was unique, and almost all workers just had to keep stum or be kicked out. Indeed, even the defensive organisations of the Working Class were considered by owners to be the main enemy, and in certain eras, such as in the 1980s in the UK, a Tory Government was willing to shut down vast tracts of manufacturing and mining to destroy the most effective Trades Unions. 

So, the question arises, “What will the imperatives be in organisations now owned by the People at large?” No voracious investors wishing to keep (or even inflate) their very comfortable lives, so what would be the incentives and rewards under this new system? Who would get them, and on whose judgment?

12 December, 2012

The Wisdom of Youth?

Chilean Students Protesting

How should we regard old age?

In the latter half of the twentieth century, with rebellions of youth against "their elders", and whole new ideas arising as ever new layers of Mankind finally achieved something of what they needed to begin to be able to make their own contributions and understanding, a positive "Belief in Youth" came to predominate. 

But that has to be a surprising view! For with age people have certainly experienced more, so the long-standing association of wisdom with age seemed reasonable. So why did it happen, and is it a legitimate and better direction to look for answers for the world's problems?

There are good reasons for this change to have occurred, for simply growing older does not automatically ensure increasing wisdom, and crucially, for the vast majority of ordinary people, both their cultural and knowledge deprivation via misinformation from those in control could, and indeed, often did ossify their ideas into ever more conservative, pessimistic and unimaginative ways of thinking. Indeed, the experiences of the majority are rarely of increasing opportunities and success, and much more frequently, of repeated retreats and even defeats of their aspirations. Indeed, their sources of information are quite consciously arranged to have this effect, whether it be in education, news, or even in their entertainment. 

And apart from such personal experiences, it has also mattered greatly how many and how deep were the political defeats endured by working people throughout their lives. Sadly, events like the General Strike defeat of 1929 undermined the political confidence in a whole generation. Old age was directed into disillusionment, privileged service or even quiescence.  

By the time of my own first consciousness of the world (in the 1940s) my working class parents were (as I only discovered later) stuffed full of incorrect knowledge. It was not their fault, of course, they just worked all hours God sent merely to survive and bring up their children. They had literally no education. My paternal grandmother could neither read not write, and my Dad was an unskilled labourer his whole life. My mother was intelligent, but totally uneducated, and though it was certainly she who made me who I was (and am), she could no longer play a role once I got to Grammar School, and into a wholly different world, of which she knew absolutely nothing!

So, it was the reaction of that generation (mine) - which was the first to have a chance of seeing beyond those iron-clad limits of our parents, and who began to learn many new things - to rebel against the conservative and ill-informed views of our parents. Youth knew better!

But, though unavoidable in those circumstances, it could not be a universal truth.

For, of course, given full and unmodified access to Reality in all its aspects, and without political repression, age must certainly grow wiser! How can an inexperienced teenager know and understand more than a pensioner, with a whole life's rich experiences behind him? 

In long gone eras, the situation was the direct opposite. When things didn't change much from generation to generation, there could only be a steady accumulation of wisdom in those who had experienced most and had successfully survived into old age. In the animal kingdom, it is the old matriarchs who frequently lead the herds, and ensure their survival, and certainly not the frolicking youngsters.

So, what has happened to my generation and the rebellion of Youth?

Has it gone from strength to strength and conquered the world? Or has it lost faith and found other things to indulge in, whether sex, or alcohol, or drugs? 

Even the political surge of the 1960s (my generation's surge) was already retreating by the early 70s, and today's students are seemingly more intent upon seeking middle class security, or Hippy escapism! The reaction to the 2008 financial crisis worldwide was pathetic! And things have not improved one iota since then.

So, what is to be done?

Do we just perpetuate this cycle getting nowhere, and in a different way, still end up conservative and disappointed? Or can we put away our prejudices and look for wisdom where it must surely reside?

It will not be in Youth! It will be in the Old who have not been defeated.

Where will we find them?

04 December, 2012

The Problem With Science

Documentary by Michael Coldwell on the work of philosopher Jim Schofield. "The Problem With Science" looks at several flawed assumptions at the heart of the scientific method, and how they have adversely effected how we see the world.

While few would deny the great technological and scientific advances of the last century, even fewer are aware of the methodology's many drawbacks and pitfalls, and how these have lead us to a distorted view of reality, and an inability to understand both qualitative change and the inexplicable emergence of the wholly new.

Is the answer to adopt a more holisitic approach to Science

The Last Farewell to Concrete Reality?

The antics of current scientists in attempting to rationalise their pragmatic use of formal relations (equations) gets weirder by the week.

The problem was made literally permanent by the victory of The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory as the final overt switch in a long process within Physics that had always been present, but had previously managed to co-exist with an incompatible materialist standpoint. For though these two major elements regularly produced contradictions, there were always enough points of growth for these inconsistencies to be 'temporarily' shelved, to be addressed later.

For this overtly stated and steadfast standpoint impelled its disciples to reject physical explanations as always untrustworthy, and insisted that all 'true scientists' could only rely upon extracted (and abstracted) formal relations, which were the only 'truths' available to us that we can both discover and extract.

Theory, thereafter was deemed to be in Equations.

But that, I'm afraid, didn't solve it, for the simple reason that all equations are mere descriptions of phenomena: they are never explanations.

So, an amalgam of physical entities - the fundamental particles, with all sorts of 'add-ons', odd properties were found to be necessary to add substance to the purely formal (and hence totally disembodied) patterns and forms delivered by equations.

And this latest compromise was founded upon the surprising primacy of equations, which actually then (and unavoidably) became the True Field for all 'investigative research'.

'Entities' and 'Properties' of various kinds were identified with sub-forms within these entirely dependable equations. And, remarkably, experiments thereafter took on a completely inverted role within Science. Instead of being the source for new facts, they were conducted merely to prove or deny the latest formal theories (based solely upon maths forms).

But, as with all such compromises, while they allowed continuing researches and theoretical developments, there was still a major problem. The equations could not deliver Matter!

The extrapolation of patterns that elsewhere had been used to explain forces and fields were employed to 'bring' Matter into the same kind of patterns, and the Higgs Field and Higgs Boson were devised to create Matter - but as an illusion, rather than actual substance.

Of course, all of this only delayed the inevitable, and if you're honest, you would expect the evident, contradiction would surface once more. Physicality - particles were becoming an embarrassment, and the solution was to only include formal relations and absolutely nothing else!

If accepted, this would break the final concrete link with Reality, and move the whole study into the area of Pure Form - into what I have called Ideality. Indeed, 'theory' would be dead as a physical explanation, and without even the vestige of 'possible particles', the whole world of Sub Atomic Physics would become a mere subset of Mathematics. Idealism will finally replace Materialism entirely.

03 December, 2012

New Special Issue: Stability

Previous papers on Stability, though essential, have not adequately dealt with the full Nature of, and reasons for, Stability, and why this happens is, when you think about it, very clear. For we are talking about Systems, and these are not unidirectional as are all simple processes, but indeed include many very different, and even contending processes, which nevertheless arrive at some overall system-state, in which opposites are both transcended, yet at the same time maintained. They are neither wholly removed, nor are they cancelled out. On the contrary, they continue unabated, but only because they are contained within a higher order, overall balanced system, where they do not determine that state, but are included within it, and are part of the overall balance.

Now, such statements can seem to involve hard-to-accept contradictions, until it is realised that the new Stability is based primarily upon other things, and can maintain a balance, actively, without cancelling out its clearly directly contending components. It is not a co-operative, all-pulling-in-the-same-direction system, but an effective compromise, which manages to deliver by working at a higher level, with all things balanced for those higher-level purposes.

To help illustrate some of the rather complex issues raised by this study, Shape commissioned a short film entitled The Problem with Science, which aims to address the current myopic consensus on Stability and Emergence, and to proffer an alternative way of looking at the world around us.