wpc at wpc at
Mon Mar 20 02:19:51 MST 1995

Phil wrote
This claim is true and right. Lukacs, for example, was a
lifelong opponent of the Stalinists. One could also cite Bukharin, who
was killed by Stalin. From my point of view, though, this claim is
comparable to the claim that you cannot blame Einstein for the atomic
bomb because he opposed it. Without his theories, no bomb. Similarly,
without Marxist theory, no Stalin.
Perhaps a bad analogy. Einstein played no significant
role in the theoretical an experimental work of the
30s that opened up the possibility of the bomb.
Where he was important was to lend legitimacy to
the proposal that one be built, his letter to
Roosevelt on this was very influential.
Althusser has shown that Marxism is a field like
natural science, where the founders, Gallileo or Newton, initiated a
discourse which has long rejected their beliefs.
This is an innacurate portrayal of the relation
between Newton and Gallileo and todays physics.
In his article 'Newtons Principia' ( 300 Years
of Gravitation Hawking and Isreal), Hawkins
  'These laws formalised the Theory of Mechanics
   that Galileo had implicitly assumed though not
   explictly stated. ...
   The laws presented in the Principia remained
   the accepted theories of mechanics and gravity
   for more than 200 years. Even today they are
   the basis of nearly all practical calculations.
   It is only in very extreme circumstances that
   one has to take into account the modifications
   introduced by the Special and General Theories
   of relativity formulated by Albert Einstein'

A science does not tend to reject the theories of
its founders, - it extends them to deal with
new conditions. Of course if Philip is talking
about Newtons Astrological Beliefs not his
Principia then he is right.

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