Ron Press anclondon at gn.apc.org
Wed Mar 8 13:20:46 MST 1995

1) In much of theoretical physics the processes described are time
reversible. A fundamental particle disintegrates into other
particles. If one takes the particles and forces them together the
original particle will re-appear. One school of Quantum Mechanics
describes the processes in terms which leaves out the question of
the arrow of time. That is there is state A and state B. The
transition between them is time independent. Nothing is said of
what happens at the monemt of the transition.

2) There is another school of thought that says the above while
usefull neglects the arrow of time. Things are not simpley
reversible. This is far more in line with thermodynamics and
entrophy, and biological and chemical processes.

3) Cosmology seems to have the same two schools of thought but
their foundations are much more speculative to my mind.

If there is an arrow of time. Then there will be a set of states
which follow each other in a time sequence.

Evolution seems to agree with this. One species does evolve out of
another. Single celled organisms followed complex molecules, Multi
cellular one followed these -- and so on.

I do not imply that this is progress but that there is an arrow of

This leaves me to accept that in a complex manner the past has an
input into determining the future.

Before we existed all this went on without our free will. If we
did not determine it then it was either God, Buda, or some other
unknown entity. That is being an unknown it can cast little light
on the question of determinism or free will.

Thus it seems to me that when we came on the scene there was a
possibility that free will came into existance together with our

The arrow of time still impells the system forward but because we
are consious of this and participate in determining it's direction
there is both free will and determinism.

Thus history does show the sequence we all  agree upon (Including
the reactioraries and the religious) . Slavery
-feudalism-capitalism, ect.....

I think we also agree that each of these terms are not simple.
Capitalism our present dominant system has within it socialist
formations, and feudal and slave remnants. Slavery seems to have a
flavour of capitalism. ( The supply of armaments to the Caesar's
Roman Army seems to be have much in common with capitalism)

The question of probability solving the contradiction between
determinism and free will seems but a first primitive step. The
factors leading to the emmergence of a new organisation or system
is very complex. Clearly single celled organisms emmerged from
complex molecules. New species emmerge under pressures of the
environmental changes.

This area of research is very instructive for us who are
interested in the emmergence of new social organisations from old

One of the simplest popularisations I have come across is " the
Turbulent Mirror" by Briggs a Peat. Harper and Row.

However our problem is even more complex than that of the
physicist or biologist. Because we have free will. Not only are we
subject to random external influences, the arrow of time but also
our own imperfect intervention. It it a wonder we have got so far
as a species.

Tired Ron Press.

     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---


More information about the Marxism mailing list