On "capitalist science" [was RE: On LM Re: Fidel vs LM]

Charles Brown CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Mon Aug 30 10:28:04 MDT 1999

>>> "E.C.Apling" <E.C.Apling at btinternet.com> 08/28/99 07:46AM >>>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-marxism at lists.panix.com
> [mailto:owner-marxism at lists.panix.com]On Behalf Of Russell Grinker
> Sent: 27 August 1999 20:46
> To: marxism at lists.panix.com
> Subject: Re: On LM Re: Fidel vs LM
> > Charles:
>  Since we are talking about the absolutely most vital concerns of the
> species, why not err on the side of caution ?  To just have a "let her
> attitude toward capitalist science is the most insane recklessness in the
> history of humanity given evidence which gives us probable cause to
> there may be profound destruction of our living space, the only  one we
> have. We can afford to just stop most projects that raise probable cause.

The use of the term "capitalist science" is a nonsense, and can only lead to
the slippery slope of idealism.  Almost everyone in present-day society is
"in the pay of the capitalists" - or how else do they earn their bread?  Of
course, SOME science - much too much - is used against the interests of the
metropolitan working class and the peoples of the so-called third world, but
that does not alter the FACT that the application of science is necessary
for problem solving...  AND all the scienctific method, leave alone
dialectical materialism, is sceptical of MAYBEs.  It is necessary to study
experimentally each problem - only then can we know (a) is it REALLY a
problem and (b) what counter measures have a real chance of success.


Charles: I'm not sure how use of the term "capitalist science" can lead to idealism.
Does it imply that objective reality doesn't exist ? or a belief in God ?   I mean by
it scientific discoveries that are "controlled" by imperialism and the basis for
engineerings of imperialism. With the collapse of European socialism, there is a
revanchism of the control and use of scientific discovery by imperialism and
state-monopoly capitalism. How's that , instead of "capitalist science" ? You have to
have some way of indicating how the discoveries of science are impacting and impacted
by the class struggle or you will truly be delving in idealist science.

The mark of materialist science is its orientation to the working class in the class
struggle.  The notion of problem solving in the abstract is not a materialist
conception. Problem solving for what class ?

> Unfortunately just the kind of caution you're talking about is now very
> part and parcel of international development policy dictating the nature
> projects in those parts of the world subject to IMF/World Bank development
> programmes.  Fewer and fewer major civil engineering projects are
> as a result of this coalescence of a green outlook with the policies of
> these international institutions.
> So do we tell people in Africa and Asia to wait for clean water and power
> until such time as we've put in place the kind of political order
> which can > ensure rational and conscious use of technology and thus
reduce > > the side effects of major developments?  Rather than put blanket
bans on
> big projects  (see the current fetish much of the green left has about
> dams") why not fight for the best we can get out of these people under the
> circumstances?

With which I could not agree more!


Charles: Russell's statement sounds like a version of _The White Man's Burden_ 1999.
How can the heroic IMF/World Bank save the Africans and Asians without modern science ?

Charles Brown

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