Forwarded from Anthony (reply to Sid)

S Chatterjee schatterjee2001 at
Thu Dec 6 15:28:36 MST 2001

Anthony wrote:

>The simple answer is "contradiction". The same set of social
>do not produce the same response in every individual, or in every social
>class. Rather, they produce wildly different and contradictory responses
>based on class, other social factors, and even individual factors like
>health, a frightening experience, etc.
>The fact that we have a different morality than say, George Bush, is
>entirely explainable by different responses to social contradictions.

So what about the Marxist law of "social being determining social
consciousness" which you were implicitly referring to in your last post
about ethics being socially determined? Now you speak of individual
consciousness which is perhaps different from the average social
consciousness? If so, there appears to be two levels of consciousness. One
relative that is socially determined, and the other absolute or individual
which can be far ahead (or behind) of the social norm or the social
average. I hope that you realize, the point is not at all trivial. The
question then becomes what is the source from which this individual
consciousness arises and why is it different from the average social norm.
You cannot get away by simply referring to the law of contradiction and
merely stating the two aspects.

>Evolution may appear to Sid and others as being 'directed' but they have
>not produced any evidence to back them up, and as far as I can tell,
>is none.

I am not an expert on evolution but I can show you two physical (i.e.,
mathematical) models for a certain phenomenon that are indistinguishable
from one another in their capacity to predict a 'gross' variable; i.e.,
from experimental measurements of the gross variable, it will not be
possible to tell the models apart. However, the two models predict
different variations for a 'subtle' variable - this variable is presently
very difficult or impossible to measure by current experimental
techniques. The second model does not invoke an assumption which the first
model does, and thus from physical reasoning, is more realistic, . But
there is no way to validate it at present since the subtle variable cannot
be measured. So what stand to take at present since I cannot provide you
the evidence? Discard the more advanced model and continue working with
the first? The problem is similar (but much simpler) to Bohm's theory of
hidden variables which can predict all that the standard theory of QM can
but gives different results for extremely short distances.

>Sid, incidentally answered his own question about Buddhism - 'the Asiatic
>mode of production' (arguments about what it was exactly aside) in India
>was sufficiently different to produce a different morality than other
>'modes of production' did.

Actually I posed the question of how was the backward AMP capable of
producing a highly advanced and evolved human being like Buddha. The
Marxist answer cannot simply be a reference to the law of contradiction.
It has to explain the material basis of this most peculiar phenomenon. And
this may entail expanding the concept of 'materialism' beyond what is
presently accepted, i.e., that which can be counted with the ten fingers
of the two hands, which is precisely the standpoint of bourgeois


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