foucault at eden.rutgers.edu
Thu Mar 23 01:49:54 MST 1995
First, I wouldn't be a Marxist if I didn't think that Marxist theory
wasn't valid and useful. Second, I don't know nothin' 'bout no
Certainly modern thinkers are right to point out that "scientific"
theory is as much of a creation of the mind as social theory. One need only
look at Lamarckian evolution to see that. The distinction I'm trying to draw
is that of, say, Creationism and the book of Genesis as a theoretical
framework for astro-physics, and Newtonian physics applied to planetary
orbits. While it's certainly conceivable that social theory may reach the
precision of mathematical models for the atom, it won't happen next thursday.
I mean, think of the supercomputer time you'd have to rent, it's very
expensive. Furthermore, there does seem to me a little more prejudice
inherent in man's analysis of his own actions than man's analysis of
subatomic particles. No matter what fondness a physicist may feel for a
quark, he doesn't generally go out to dinner with them. Well, he does, but
they have not been observed to pick up the check. Of course neither has my
friend Frank, but you know what I mean.
Theoretical modelling may be said to be equivalent across fields in
method, but not in closeness to some repeatably demonstrable absolutes of
physical reality. Modern mathematicians use the same variables as Fermat and
Pythagoras. John Locke and even Karl Marx have not witnessed global
industrial capitalism. Emmanuel Kant never heard of the Big Bang. Using
estimates of Pi hundreds of years old, I could estimate the circumference of
the earth with accuracy down to a few meters, well, Frank could, but he owes
me money so I'm sure he'd do it. With all the benefit of modern science, I
could not estimate, with the same degree of accuracy, the average bust
measurement of the Ford Modelling agency two months from today. I could get
the grant money. I could get the scientists. I could be sure of the
dedication to the experiment, but one more lingerie development couldscuttle
the trends. And the hemlines they model, despite strange attractors haut and
bas, are data too fundamentally chaotic to even propose a theory on. I'll
stop before I do irrevocable damage to our hopes of attracting more female
participation in the group, and my reputation.
Marx broadened the analysis of history from the actions of the ruling
class to the economic realities of production. He introduced more
sophisticated philosophical models to political theory. He made political
philosophy MORE scientific, but not a science.
--- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---
More information about the Marxism