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

Sep 6, 2009

Cause and Effect

An old star in a distant galaxy is dying, grown monstrously in size it has swallowed all its orbiting child planets, it will finally liberate them all with its death on the final blow of a mighty explosion. After travelling millions of light years of distance the photons of that explosion will reach to our home, to Milky Way galaxy, to our harmonious solar system, to our planet earth where human eyes will perceive the astronomical death, if they, humans, survive by then. Human survival is questionable although they have survived, evolved and ruled over planet earth for centuries, through their labour. With time humans have understood the conscious effect of labour on nature and have developed its production forces and terrestrially have won over mighty nature. Humans have cleared jungles, have constructed mighty and supernumerous buildings, pierced the earth’s chest and cultivated food grains, developed industries to manufacture on large scale the commodities for “connoisseur” consumers, devised means and methods to exchange the commodities, money and market. The social relations and human feelings all along also evolved with the development of production; marriage, parenthood, families and love friendship, human tenderness all along have evolved. The above picture of human development although clear is not complete, it doesn’t completely explain the real world we live in every day. Although the galaxy and earth remains the same, but it, above presented picture, it still misses the force that keeps the universe and this human society moving. The things presently the way they are contains the genes of past and the seeds of future to come; the contradiction within a thing develops it, and contradiction between things develop or inhibit them, stabilizing them relatively but overall in the universe change persists. From galaxies to plants older dies and new are created and in the same way human culture and society also evolve. The study of this human history and its development through contradictions is called historical materialism which is usually scrapped from general bourgeoisie education, alienated from it. Let us look the picture and human life a bit differently to grasp the essence of historical materialism from it.
The human labour which is source of all wealth has today bifurcated into mental and the physical labour. The physical labour is still the creator but mental labour abstracted from it has made it self-contradictory; in society today a man finds himself in severe competition of this physical and mental labour. He competes to be in 20% of population of management, bureaucrats, royals and their petty followers as against to 80% of large population of toiling working class, this makes them in antagonistic contradiction to each other. This antagonistic contradiction is controlled by the state and serves just 20% of population. The production is totally anarchic, with profit being its motive force, the surplus value looted officially from labour is used by profiteering plunderers to create minarets of luxury and wantonness and have left the large population only with “democracy”, “freedom” and “right to vote”. A man is free to buy or sell in market, but money is required and this market has left the 80% only with their labour to sell and 20% with almost everything to buy, this is capitalism. The economic relations have penetrated every relation, flowing in their veins; human social relations have become economic; morals, ethics, truth are left only for primary education. Prostitution, adultery, dowry deaths, rapes, malnutrition and unprecedented crimes have plagued the human society. New market morals have developed where backstabbing, selfishness, cowardice and all other new inventions of bourgeoisie are in “fashion”. The bourgeoisie philosophy tried every trick to suffice the toiling population, in forms of religion, caste, god’s wish, “your last birth’s sins” but all this hammering is failing to stabilize the collapsing frame. The mirage that promised water in the desert is breaking and people are boiling in anger over the sand in their mouths. Every cause has its effect, capitalism is the cause and the effect well is the curse on the whole human society, the 80% people living today in inhuman conditions are not inhuman, their unhappiness, their hungry children, addiction to alcohol, early age deaths, unstopping diseases are all effects of this capitalist money system. But as Engels said on the principle of causality that “…causes and effects are changing, so that what is effect here and now will become cause there and then, and vice verse”. All the suffering and appropriation of the working class is the cause now which will then result in effect of abolishing this anti-human system, only way is to smash this bourgeoisie state through a socialist revolution by the organized proletarians. They are learning to organize so to fight this exploitative organized state machinery and the student and intellectuals will become the vanguards of masses of proletarians, semi-proletarians and peasants. This is what Historical materialism teaches us; the inevitable defeat of capitalism and the dictatorship of proletarian.

Revolution in Science

“Natural scientist may adopt whatever attitude they please, they are still under the domination of philosophy”. To grab the essence of Engels’ this statement we must answer what is natural science and what is natural scientist, through a historical analysis of development of science and philosophy.
Any natural phenomenon has a complex picture due to complicated interrelations among its individual constituent parts and their connections with other processes that has occurred or occurring side by side with it in nature, making the whole phenomenon of dynamic nature, constantly changing. In order to understand the details of individual constituent parts of this complex picture we must detach them from their natural connection and examine each one separately according to its nature, special causes and effects, etc. and then combine them to get a more complete insight of the whole complex picture. This is the primary task of natural science. And a natural scientist is that real and most advanced form of conscious living organic matter that becomes a medium of addressing this knowledge of nature to the society. But before a man could function as a natural scientist, he has to live as a man and, not as an abstract man but as a real man in a certain kind of society and had to participate in all the myriad functions of a real man in that society. Thus, in doing so, a whole superstructure of theory generates. To be a natural scientist is to apply this most general theory to a particular domain of quality in reality, physics, chemistry, biology etcetera, but this superstructure is the product of economic conditions of the society which creates different philosophies that control the content and form of any theory.
The modern natural science that dates from the period of ‘Renaissance’ showed the revolutionary character at the outset as it had developed among revolutions, revolutions that destroyed the old retrogressive feudal system and established the comparatively much more progressive system based on capital, capitalism. The period was of struggle of philosophy of theology, perpetuated by church, against materialism the philosophy of science which grew in its shadow and then become larger than it. The scientist of that time didn’t deal only in science but were also masters in philosophy and in various other fields, it was the characteristic of that period, as Engels said-, “called for giants and produced giants”. Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Durer, Luther and many more were product of that society. It was period of Copernicus, Bruno and Servetus who died to let science live, their death proved to be harbinger of new ere, era of revolution of science. The development, defeating theology, thenceforth proceeded with great strides and as Engels puts it “gained in force in proportion to the square of distance (in time) from the point of departure.” New evolutionary sciences developed, like biology, geology, cosmogony, anthropology, archeology, etc., that torn apart the theories of creation by God and unchanging nature of universe, earth, humans, and other living beings. New theories, based on the large amount of scientific evidence present at that time, established the view of evolution not only of universe, earth and life on it but also that of humans and even human society, and that their present condition is just a passing phase in time. The other branches of science that were of primary necessity to industries, e.g. physics, chemistry, etc. also achieved the new heights.
But every action has equal and opposite reaction, the science which helped economics to develop now became appendage to it, economic relations now decided the course of development of science. With the increasing penetration of capital into the society, the increasing polarization of society into idle capitalist class and toiling proletariat class gave birth to acute problems of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, etc. on a large scale of common masses and study of arts, sciences, philosophies, politics, law, etc. remained accessible mainly to rich classes. This dominance of non-working classes over the whole society gave rise to a general tendency of strong disrespect and reluctance to any kind of physical work. With this isolation of manual work from mental work the link between science and society; thought or idea and matter; subjective reality and objective reality; theory and practice got broken and procreated a narrow metaphysical mode of thought in the field of natural science that limits its development, sooner or later, as beyond this limit it becomes one-sided, restricted, abstract and lost in insoluble contradictions. The highly anarchic and unproductive capitalist production, the dying bourgeois culture and degrading social relations directed, and could only be, this realization of untenability of metaphysics into the more retrogressive, reactionary philosophical channels—empiricism and positivism, agnosticism, violent reductionism and the thought of eclectic mish-mash of all the various specializations with no attempt to resolve their contradiction. The famous problem of physics in the early 20th century, the inability of contemporary physicists in combining the Maxwell’s electromagnetism, Planck’s quantum and Einstein’s relativity theory into one synthetic theory, that was the call of time and becoming even more difficult with the further integrations achieved by these theories in their respective domains resulting because of the increasing specifications in each domain and their uncoordinated growth, reflecting the general characteristic of capitalist production, its anarchy, presents an instance of the realization of the maximum limit to which metaphysics and its daughters can advance natural science. As a consequent of the effect of these reactionary philosophies on natural science theories became highly abstract, uncoordinated and diffused, and practice became specialized, restricted and empirical, each theory and practice devoid of one another and it became very difficult to have a world-view touching on all the fronts of practice, science regressed to the forms left behind by it showing the revolutionary crisis in natural science and in general, in the capitalist society.
The solution to all this chaos is not in another “absolute” philosophy of world view but in changing this world, as Marx showed us, this is the philosophy of science, the dialectical materialism. We will have to break the fetters science is enslaved in, capital, by the sword of dialectical materialism. This way although goes through the path of revolution, not only scientific but also economic, political and philosophical also, through the socialist revolution.