There is no royal road to science and only those who do not dread of its fatiguing climb have a chance of gaining its luminuos summits.
-Karl Marx

Jul 30, 2009

R&D in Capitalist Society

In earlier post of “The Spark”,titled "Science in service of capital", we explained how capital has become the governing factor in the development of science and this article is a continuation in that series; here we will try to explore the motive forces and laws of development of Research and Development(R & D).
R & D in general of any kind and in particular industrial has major role in determining the state of scientific, technological, economic and social development of any society. It is one of the basic foundations of the economy of that society. Thus, it is of great importance to understand the motive forces and laws of development of R & D in any society.
The most basic fact is that R & D, in any society, is a sector of social production and like any other sector, it is always pursued in the same framework of socio-economic conditions of the society and, consequently, overall the same laws and motive forces govern the development of R & D that governs the dynamics of whole socio-economic conditions of the society, although intrinsic contradictions specific to R & D field also affect its development.
In a capitalist society the socio-economic-political conditions are controlled by the motion of capital and thus, the laws of motion of capital enforce themselves as the basic laws of development of all sectors of social production including R & D as well.
A capitalist society progresses with the progress of competition among individual capitals and with changes in the form of this competition. It is basic characteristic of every capital that it functions to increase its profits and to add volume rather than develop production. But in “free market competition” the compulsory forces of market compels each individual to increase its labor productivity for extracting more profit in order to survive in the market. Thus, every capital is forced to innovate and advance the technology of production and they invest in R & D, which is of primary necessity in developing new technologies and their use in the process of production.
The growth of R & D, other things being equal, is undoubtedly dependent on the mass of capital allocated to it. Big capitals, which extract huge profits and have access to banks and government credit on privileged terms, have wide possibility to earmark larger funds to R & D. Thus, development of R & D is directly related to production concentration (which is proportional to scale of production) and as Lenin said-“With highly concentrated production, the development of technology accelerated immeasurably.” And this development in technology gave huge impetus to the advancement of R & D by fulfilling the basic technical requirements necessary for R & D.
But in capitalism production concentration naturally leads to monopolization of market by a few big capitals. It should be noted that in the present state of globalization of world markets, the market competition takes the form of competition between monopolies and gives birth to even bigger monopolies, either by dissolution of one into another or by combination of two or more.
Like every other capital, monopoly develops production as long as it brings monopoly profits. The incentive to develop production can be understood clearly by understanding the relation between changes in the rate and mass of profit. As Marx emphasized-“the rate of profit is the motive power to capitalist production.” Between two capitals the one which secures the higher rate of profit will, thus, have larger mass of profit. With gigantic capitals, however, the mass of production is so large that even with a low rate of profit, compared to small and middle capitals; they enjoy incomparably more favorable material conditions for retaining the positions they have gained in production and on market.
“….and as soon as formation of capital was to fall into the hands of a few established big capitals, for which the mass of profit compensates for the falling rate of profit, the vital flame of production altogether extinguished. It would die out.”(Marx)
Thus a decline in the importance of change in the rate of profit inevitably weakens the incentive to develop R & D and other kind of social production. And as Lenin pointed out, this capitalist monopoly, “inevitably engenders a tendency to stagnation and decay. Since monopoly prices are established, even temporarily, the motive cause of technical and, consequently, of all progress disappears to a certain extent and, further, the economic possibilities arises of deliberately retarding technical progress.”
Thus it becomes clear that, although, capitalism organized and advanced R & D to much greater extent than ever before, but after a certain limit the same capitalism has become shackles in the further development of R & D. This system cannot provide economic and technical assistance to the R & D related to those fields which do not provide immediate profit, viz. environment and its preservation, development of renewable sources of energy, infrastructural development to uplift the living status of common people, etc. and government of each capitalist state waste a huge amount of money by investing in R & D devoted to war preparations for their control on world markets and protecting the profits of its capitalist class.
This antagonistic system inhibits the free flow of scientific knowledge in the society by applying economic, political and social bondages, while it can be well proved with appropriate facts and figures that development of R & D depends on the depth of scientific knowledge in the society. This system creates strata in society with different level of scientific and technical knowledge, leaving majority of people to level zero. This exactly matches the need of this system from professionals in science to workmen with little or no scientific knowledge. The huge number of unemployed people with different level of scientific and technical knowledge fulfills the need of industrial reserved army who are ready to work on any wages and in any condition to get meal even for once in a day and the parasitic capitalist class extracts profit from the last drop of blood of working population by decreasing the wages to minimum level of subsistence.
Thus, today it is primary responsibility of every sensitive, logical and justice loving person to struggle for the abolition of this anti-human system based on profit and replace it by a system based on humanity, brotherhood and equality, which can be done only by socialist revolution in the leadership of proletariat. Only that system can ensure the unrestricted development of R & D and of whole society.

Question still remains.....

A new academic session has commenced, the newness although is due to fresh wood, axe is the same older one. The enchanting of bourgeois philosophy remains the same, which can slowly freeze the blood flowing through your veins, rot the humanity in you and if you don’t rebel you will be evolved into a new species, a cold blooded animal, many have evolved many will, as it is the success key, this evolution, to survive in the cut throat competent market. But we wish to converse to that lot which is rebellious in thoughts , is closest to humanity, to whom truth is not impotent and their mind still follows the laws of gravity rather than defying it to be in heaven.
Well past few months have been clearly indicative of the antagonistic contradictions of the capitalist system. The tides of stormy recession has caused such great havoc to world economy that it still is suffering and repairing the wreck, the enchanting of “end of history capitalism” faded in this havoc . While in India amidst this crisis elections took place and Congress is re-elected after miraculously completing its 5 year tenure. The victory of congress brought a great rejoice to stock market with a positive kink in sensex. The fuss and excitement of elections have settled down, the political parties which suddenly appear during election time like rainy season’s frogs have returned back. During these elections these frogs cried loud asking people to exercise their right to vote and to realize their responsibility but to disappointment of these greedy political creatures only 55% of population voted. Huge population exempted voting as they know whichever political party comes to power simplest and usually obscured facts, that in India still 77% of population lives under Rs. 20 a day, 30 crore people are unemployed, 9,000 children die every day due to lack of nutrition and only 7% of the eligible youth population reaches to higher education, cannot change. Even the contesting parties know that these problems are ineradicable under current system and escape most of these questions and choose rather to divide people on religion, cast and regional basis to increase their vote bank. They do best is to serve the profiteering plunderers, their “masters”, and Congress has top ranked in this job, to serve their “masters” with best of “dishes” and to throw the trash to the common people. BJP’s hinduite card was rejected by the people; parliamentary leftists had left the hand of true leftism a long ago and joined the parliamentary circus. Red colour seems to have left only in their veins and even that isn’t sure, who knows it might be green. CPM has not only defamed leftism but has also top ranked in state repression, first it was Nandigram and now Lalgarh. The repression has led to rise of armed struggles by common masses which find their political basis in parties like CPI (Maoist). CPI (Maoist) or “Naxalites”, name given to the various such parties by bourgeois media, come under category of left adventurism, a deviation from Marxism. The incorrect understanding of Marxism causes such deviation. To change the society we must first analyze the laws of society as given by Marx and Engels and further developed by Lenin and Mao and then practice them. The days of capitalism are nearly over, but it still is sitting over history’s chest by virtue of its inertia. Old senile capitalism has gone very weak due to its incurable diseases and only a slight force is required to throw it and let history move to depth of humanity, to the socialism. The momentum will be created by the heat of boiling anger of toiling common masses, indefatigable belief in truth, the collision of progressive thoughts and which will be led by the proletariat. Defeat of capitalism is inescapable, we have to choose the sides, friends and identify enemies. To those of you, who don’t want to be mere puppets of money, we give a warm invitation to join us and let us together reach the depth of ocean to grab the essence of humanity.