"marxism", "dialectics" and "science"

Jim Jaszewski ab975 at main.freenet.hamilton.on.ca
Thu Jun 22 01:51:42 MDT 1995

On Mon, 19 Jun 1995, Lisa Rogers wrote:

> As a co-moderator, perhaps I should point out that

	Ah... the cudgel comes out...

> 1.  being "a marxist" is not required for those posting to this list.

	So it's become ABUNDANTLY clear to me...

	First off, due to the rather primitive setup we have on this new
freenet I'm on, I perhaps forgot I wasn't in the 'marxism list' -- not
surprising, considering the categorical nature of the post I was
responding to.

	If I'd kept in mind this was 'pen-l' -- a place full of
post-keynesians/whats-have-you, I don't think I would have 'lighted-into'
such a bold-faced sneer at the dialectical method.

	I _am_ sorry about _that_.

> 2.  no one is in charge of defining "marxism" on this list.

	Who claimed to be??

	Again, I'll say that sneering at marxism (even when you claim to
be a left something-or-other), will -- and SHOULD -- get you a sneer or
two back.

	Marxism isn't necessarily about polite conversation with sneering
class enemies -- though in 'The Academy' I suppose it might be

> 3.  a supportive explanation of one's own point of view is
>     encouraged and informative

	...and what do you think I've been trying to do??

	Calling my well-enough considered posting 'crap' in the first line
is not conducive to reasoned argument -- it's the beginning of a flame war.

> As a scientist, a socialist and student of marxian thought, I have
> several questions:
> Lamarckianism???

	Hey, read my post...

> Is the "dialectical method" of analysis supposed to replace the
> hypothetico-deductive method?  In all fields or only in particle
> physics?  How and why?  According to whom?

	The above can be taken as either hostile or non-hostile. Based on
what came earlier, it's reasonable to assume that you are hostile.

	So here goes...

	How? Why? Whom? You're coming across as any bourgeois scoffer
would who thinks marxism is 'illogical' and thinks he's coming in for the
'kill'... You call yourself a 'socialist' and (carefully, in my estimation)
a 'student' of 'marxian' thought -- does that imply you only STUDY marxism,
but don't actually BELIEVE in it??

	What have YOU learned about the limits of the so-called
'hypothetico-deductive' method?? The method bourgeois scientists LOVE to
use, because they can conveniently work for the Rich and ignore the
effects or non-effects of their work on the rest of us??

	Such is the outcome of a (to me) primitive mechanical way of
thinking, even _if_ after a few centuries of building on it, the results
_can_ be technologically impressive -- the rest *ISN'T*.

	It's a method where (to mention CRAP) I can pay for a copy of
'Scientific' Amerikkkan, just to read some article by 'learned scientists'
(didn't you say YOU are a scientist??) *SERIOUSLY* discussing the
possibility that they 'might' be closing in on The gene which is
responsible for 'criminal tendencies'. Or, even better, read _more_
excoriable *SWILL* by some, uh, 'ECONOMIST' who claims that it's not the
IMF or the World Bank that are responsible for 'Third' World immiseration
-- it's those pesky NGO's!!!

	That you can call _me_ to task for questioning an OBVIOUSLY
limited system of thought, and in a supposedly 'progressive' forum demand
that I 'name my references', as if it is _I_ who has to prove that
dialectical thought has ANY relevance -- let alone is a fit subject for
polite conversation -- leads me to believe that the 'student' part may
INDEED be a cover...

	I would think that a 'student of marxian thought' would be able to
provide her OWN examples of dialectical thought working in the society
around us -- rather than putting someone 'on the spot' about whether it is
even a valid subject for discussion... Or are you just asking rhetorical

	Offhand, I can't recall WHICH marxist writers would be the best to
refer to here -- but you can rest assured that I will ENJOY letting you
know the VERY next time I come across one...

> Does being "status quo" automatically invalidate all results of a
> method?  Or are there some other relevant factors, in your view?

	What do you think? That I am 'unreasonable'?

	Maybe conversation on this list is getting too 'rarified' -- if
not 'genteel'...

> And especially, Jim, what are the valuable aspects of
> Lamarckianism???

	As I pointed out, there is every indication that ideologically
motivated bourgeois scientists would suppress any pro-Lamarckian data they
could (I'm sure the, uh, 'progressive' ekons here could come up with
OODLES of like examples of suppression in the sphere of economics).

	There seems to be substantial proof that scientists working for
the large pharmeceutical and chemical transnationals are AT THIS MOMENT
falsifying data and suppressing research into drugs which compete with
expensive, lucrative and (most importantly) PATENTABLE drugs -- drugs
which are naturally occurring and known and therefore UNPATENTABLE.
Not to mention all the trouble that naturopaths and even MIDWIVES are
having with these ESTABLISHMENT bourgeois 'scientist/doktors'...

Therefore, it's not difficult to assume that there would be similar forces
at work on any attempt to 'revive' Lamarckism. There's been NO serious
research on the matter in the West since the turn of the century that I
know of, to prove the matter one way or another. I think it's very much a
case that it is 'disproven', in the same way that the Copenhagen
Interpretation is 'proven'; it's in all the textbooks, so therefore it's
TRUE!! -- QED.

	As for 'valuable' (whatever _that_ means) -- I have no idea.

> in modern biology?

	As I stated above, until it is proven either way, what point is
there to ponder its 'value' or relevance?


   Jim Jaszewski   <jazz at freenet.hamilton.on.ca>

   WWW homepage:   <http://www.freenet.hamilton.on.ca/~ab975/Profile.html>

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