in last instant

Ron Press anclondon at gn.apc.org
Wed Dec 14 00:57:09 MST 1994


The dialectical interconnection between cause and effect, or between
base and superstructure is of fundamental importance.

In the recent past this was associated with the mechanics and
mathematics of Newton. With the advent of Quantum mechanics the
inner workings of cause and effect were seen to be more complex and
closer to the Marxist/Hegel concepts of dialectics.

In even more recent times the pioneering work of Lorenz and others
has given a mathematical basis to the question of determinism.
"Chaos" (a very bad name) theory elaborates a sort of determinate
indeterminism. The Lorenz strange attractor.

In simpler terms. Consider the weather, (one of the systems Lorenz
worked on) It is `certain' that winter follows summer. Exactly when
is not certain. There will be snow in New York. Probably but how
much and when is indeterminate. The mathematics of weather
forecasting will be able to predict when snow will fall. But within
the maths will be an indeterminacy.

The substructure of the capitalist mode of production gives rise to
a culture of greed. But not that alone. It also gives rise to trade
unions, to the Christian ethic of charity, and to the need for
"socialism". As with the strange attractor the future is determined
but indeterminate. Capital gave rise to and was replaced by
"socialism" in the Soviet Union but the  system swung back.
Capitalism has replaced socialism in the former USSR. That will not
be the end of the story.

Marxists need to study the developments in science. There is a gold
mine ready to be tapped.


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