On Scientific Method/reply

JOEFREEMEN at aol.com JOEFREEMEN at aol.com
Mon Dec 3 06:31:35 MST 2001


Scientific Method - 12/01/01
>In a message dated 11/30/2001 10:52:23 PM Eastern Standard Time,
>g_schofield at dingoblue.net.au writes:
>From what I can pick up from this thread, you seem to be berating
>Historical Materialism for being too "scientific" . . .
>Nemonemini replies:
> I tend to berate a lot of different perspectives . . . although
> I have fallen out with most revisionists . . . Marxists, or their
> descendants, will be lucky, they'll get a second chance because
> circumstances will force the issue . . . So what are the steps,
> given the opportunity, to a socialist or communist society, on
> paper, just to start?

Before Marx and Engels, the framework for assessing history revolved
around the character and thinking of individuals - or rather,
historians approached social change from the standpoint of changes in
mass thinking, the thoughts of political revolutionaries and
visionaries, whose internal life of the mind was rooted in a changing
and complex concept of eternal justice.

Marx and Engels asserted that mans thinking and ideological
conceptions - the internal life of the mind, tended to move in the
direction from the absurd to the less absurd. Engels wrote in a letter
to C. Schmidt in Berlin, October 27, 1890:

The history of science is the history of the gradual clearing away of
this nonsense or rather of its replacement by fresh but always less
absurd nonsense."

Marx and Engels "less absurd" standpoint for assessing historical
change was to look at changes in peoples productive life - how they
produced material means for survival, as the context and primary
material that established the framework in which the specific laws of
the mind operate. Engels worded this proposition in the following
manner:

"The materialist conception of history starts from the principle that
production and, next to production, the exchange of things produced,
is the basis of every social order; that in every society that has
appeared in history, the distribution of wealth and with it the
division of society into classes or estates are dependent upon what is
produced, how it is produced, and how the products are
exchanged. Accordingly, the ultimate causes of all social changes and
political revolutions are to be sought, not in men's brains, not in
their growing insight into eternal truth and justice, but in changes
in the modes of production and exchange. They are to be sought, not in
the philosophy, but in the economics of each particular epoch."

In a letter to J. Bloch September 21, 1890, Engels wrote: " . . 
. According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimately
determining element in history is the production and reproduction of
real life. More than this neither Marx nor I have ever asserted. Hence
if somebody twists this into saying that the economic element is the
only determining one, he transforms that proposition into a
meaningless, abstract, senseless phrase."

The simple statement "that production and, next to production, the
exchange of things produced, is the basis of every social order;" is
less absurd proceeding from a standpoint that the supreme idea, the
power of the individual abstracted from production and exchange or
concepts of social justice is the primary framework to assess societal
development and evolution.

Marx and Engels spoke of three phases in the development of capitalist
commodity production: simple and scattered commodity production,
manufacture and industrial production. During the Middle Ages or
rather under feudal property relations, hand-I-craft with its guild
organizations, plus merchants and the growth of towns signaled an
expansion of trade and the gradual development of a new kind of
productivity infrastructure. This new productivity infrastructure was
alien from (alienated, in contradistinction to, opposing itself to and
in opposition to) agricultural production as the primary social
function in life.

With the emergence of capitalist features under the domination of
feudal property and production relations, the wealth and influence of
the bourgeoisie as a capitalist class grew. This new class and its
counterpart - workers increasingly alienated from agricultural
production as the prime function of life, ceased to be content with
the patronage and assistance formerly afforded them by the absolute
monarchies of the feudal epoch. These new classes sought to expand the
new law system of production and alienation from pastoral life, which
resulted in a new culture expressed in the towns that fell under their
ideological (thinking) influence. The guild masters, handicraft
workers and merchants actually believed in their heart and soul that
the King and his administrative staff was a nonproductive layer of
society imposed on the masses. A period of social revolution unfolded
to displace the law system of feudal production and its juridical
syst! em of legal authority, which empowered the King and his
administrators.

>From the standpoint of the development of the productivity
infrastructure and exchange the transition from one law system to
another involved successful phases wherein technological development
created a revolution in the mode of production, which in turn led to
social revolution. How this process unfolded in the minds of people
and the manner in which it was fought out on a planetary basis
differed in various geographic areas. Human thinking and the ideas of
individuals that come to the fore, absolutely shape mans fate, but
cannot determine historical destiny. In this instance nothing on earth
short of destruction of humanity could have stopped the progression to
handicraft and manufacturer. How destiny manifests itself at a
particular point of time is called fate to the individuals
experiencing the moment, and is the arena of the individuals that
compose the mass citizenship of a particular country or area. This
complex and multipl! icity of events is called the class struggle
because it occurs within the "production and, next to production, the
exchange of things produced, (and) is the basis of every social
order;" 

Modern communism and the communist conception of the future society
can only be abstracted from the material we have in our world today;
material that is radically different from the second decade of the
20th century and express the destiny of man - people. This is the
staring point of an outline of a communist society.  Once this staring
point is defined, we can go "backward" to glimpse general phases of
transition in the mode of production. It is only fair to begin with
Marx himself on this subject.

In his Critique of the Gotha Program, May 1895, Marx writes: "In a
higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination
of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the
antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after
labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after
the productive forces have also increased with the all round
development of the individual, and all the springs of cooperative
wealth flow more abundantly - only then can the narrow horizon of
bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its
banner: From each according to his ability, to each according to his
needs!"

Based on the material available in society today this means an
extremely advance computerized and digitalized productivity
infrastructure. Specifically, production will have advanced to a
degree that the amount of human labor embodied in the production of
goods no longer play any role in the exchange of products. There is an
ultra abundance of what was called consumer products. In our future
world, this process unfolded one hundred and fifty years ago and the
world is now truly interactive with each individual possessing the
capability of interactivity with every human being on earth who
chooses to access the web.

Here is the principle that led to our future communist society - a
principle abstracted from Marx famous Preface to a Contribution to a
Critique of Political Economy.  The industrial production of
commodities, which birth new applications in the form of
computerization and digitalization of the production process, sits
upon an existing infrastructure. This infrastructure is organized
around the dominant productivity tools - a platform that services and
creates the outline of the market. With the emergence of a new method
of application, technology or core product that revolutionizes
communications, transportation or the productive process, the pathways
that define infrastructure change. The creation of an enhanced
infrastructure - the expansion of pathways, to accommodate the new
product or process begins the process of revolutionizing market
relations - the laws that govern exchange of the social product. The
existing platform ! of productive activity is altered and expanded by
a new technology and core product until it reaches the limits imposed
on production by market exchange. The complete transformation of the
platform - on which sits the entire infrastructure, requires an energy
source that can drive and sustain creation of a new platform, which
houses the depth and breath of the new technology. In order for this
process to unfold in its totality the market - exchange laws, must be
brought into conformance with the depth of the productive forces. 

>From this point of view it was the slow systematic development of the
manufacturing process and the amalgamation of scattered social
production into a web riveted to the manufacturing infrastructure that
undermined feudal economic relations and called forth new classes and
political revolution to shatter the resistance of the old classes to
this change in productive methods.  The economic basis of any social
order presupposes an infrastructure, a basic underlying framework that
expresses and buttresses a definite development in technologies, which
"ultimately," - is fundamental to, determines the life of society and
serve as a framework to assess the special laws that govern the
development of the mind. At a certain stage in the development of
social production, the fundamentality of the economic bases is blocked
- prevented from further all round development - no matter what
technology application is instituted, because the market (exchange of
commodities) itself has to be restructured because property
relationship, have up until now, defined the depth and breath of the
market.

We are still in the future, looking backwards. 

Bureaucracy as a dominating force in society no longer exist, rather
bureaucracy is now experienced as breakdowns in the system and
individual resistance to innovation. With the abolition of property
relations and the inauguration of the "super-net" specialized
knowledge could no longer be used as an exclusive field that allowed
its possessor to access the system and accumulate wealth at the
expense of the less informed. The old anti-thesis between mental and
physical labor was rendered superfluous with the development of the
productivity infrastructure and the "open system" of access to all
branches of science. Various countries choose to intermingle the
super-net into pastoral surrounding to preserve the natural beauty of
the land. The world water system has been purified and it only took
one hundred and three years.

Simple things like food have undergone dramatic change and what was
called food 400 years ago in the 21st Century is no longer classified
as edible for human beings. Life expectancy recently jumped to 250
years old and the pursuit of culture - knowledge, is driving another
wave of revolution in the infrastructure. People demand more
literature, music and places of social gathering. Sections of the
population and whole areas on earth refuse to live at what they
considered a pace to fast for man and create counter movements that
half the planet partake in, for twenty-five years on the
average. Those committed to a less "hectic pace" become prophets -
spiritualist of mind and body, and strive to achieve sainthood.

The political basis of the social system is founded in absolute
abundance and unconditional access for every citizen of all life has
to offer.

Problems still occur in social life. Millions still experience
addiction to substances and virtual processes, or rather become
dependent upon processes. Crime still exists and periodically an
enraged lover still commits the ghastly act of murder. The impatient
and envious seek to access genetic sequencing deemed harmful by the
legislative assembly and youngster try and outsmart the super-net and
access classified material.

Overturning private property relations of production only set the
basis for a series of revolutions that lasted 200 years.

The real changes to the new mode of production occurred in phases that
are similar to the transition from feudalism to capitalist property
relations. The worldwide implementation of fuel cell energy to power
the world grid and the outlawing of petroleum production became
obsolete when Professor Ka-Sun revolutionized energy production with
his magnetic wave theory and the workable models to use earth's
magnetic field as an unlimited energy source. The cloning of biochips
and placing them at the base of the infrastructure not only rendered a
generation of administrators obsolete, but also required less
1/1,000,000 less energy than the computer chips of the
21-century. This development in computer and digitalization processes
forever tilted the change in the composition of capital that Marx
spoke about seven hundred years ago.

The biogenetic revolution wiped out diseases on earth and overcame all
the phony diseases created by the old property classes. People still
get sick but no one has to stay sick.

The "steps" involved in the 200 years of Political revolutions began
with the formation of the working class in the advance countries into
a political force able to impact the social life of their country and
force change on their behalf. The collapse of the political structures
in the advanced countries conformed to the classical descriptions of
political revolution and led to a period of intense bloodletting and
destruction of the productive forces. In America a profound crisis
resulted from the implementation of the computerized direct vote
system of 2028. Eighty percent of the government was voted out of
office and civil war ensued with the agencies of the state authority
fighting themselves.

In 2084 the mandatory two-hour workday was implemented in the formerly
advanced countries. The census of 2090 revealed that 96% of the people
contributed no less than 3 hours of labor a day to servicing the
infrastructure and four percent of the people could not be accounted
for in America. America does not allow the tracking of citizens until
criminal conduct has been established.

The constitution of 2117 abolished the concept of "rights" and
replaced it with "the human imperative of full and unconditional
access" to the highest standard of living attainable by the
individual.

Dear comrade, the above is a fictionalized version of the future and
there is no hard and fast blueprint for the future. The future will be
what the collective make it and what we end up with look nothing like
the individual envisions. Every step in the direction to
superabundance is called the first stage of communism or
socialism. Marx and Engels always stressed that society could never be
free until the individual was truly free from the domination by men
through their domination of things - property. The rest is the arena
of political struggle.

In our world we have political and economic blocks of countries, whose
political leaders have a vision of the future. China is poised to once
again play a dynamic role in world history and surpass the USNA as an
economic and military power by the year 2035.

What will be the role of Russia and the former countries of the Soviet
Union, who cannot be integrated into the capitalist system on the
basis of improving the standard of living of their peoples?  The
bottom line is that commodities exchange for the socially necessary
labor embodied in their production and who can compete in world
markets with China, Afghanistan and the poverty racked countries of
Africa?

The countries of the Western hemisphere and their leaders are under
increasing pressure to overcome the destitution of their
populations. These people are going to impact history. In thirty days
the Euro is to be introduced as a unified currency throughout "Europe"
and represents a unified "counter" market to the policy makers in
Washington - despite the demands of international speculative
capital. The thinking and aspirations of individual leaders and
millions of people occurs within a framework of development but do not
necessarily "reflect" the exact detail of a process in motion or there
would be no such thing as ideology. And what of "Greater Africa" or
rather Africa and the so-called "Middle-East," whose trade relations
are directly tied to Greater Europe as in the case of Algeria, Libya,
Egypt, Iran, Iraq, South Africa, Angola, etc.?

Men make history - or rather people, but they do not make it as they
please. All history is made within a framework of development, which
is called the mode of production. There are steps or phases that
characterize development of the productive forces, which indisputably
proceed from the less complex to the more complex due to technological
development. There is most certainly a revolutionary process wherein
society is opposed to its current state of existence and new classes
are formed, which strives to achieve hegemony in social life and this
is the arena of social revolution - the class struggle.  The process
is clear and inescapable - class warfare in all its manifestations
driven by the ceaseless development of technology. The steps are the
arena of fate and a multiplicity of events a knucklehead such as I
cannot predict.



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