To Quantum Les Schaffer and Jim Farmelant

John Paramo albatrosrojo2000 at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 2 16:11:10 MDT 2003


Les:
> apol. accepted. do you live in the NYC area? i'll
> take you up on the rum. and am happy to argue about
Soviet mathematicians to your heart's
> content.

Nope. But I travel there once in a while, but mostly
to Washington, DC and Philly. But I can drop by with a
bottle maybe before the end of the year. This is the
best ron on earth, followed by the Nicaraguan Flor de
Caña Centenario blue label and the 15-old Havana ron. 

Jim Farmelant:
 
> While in the Trotskyist movement, Van wrote very
> militant Marxist pieces,
> under pseudonyms such as Marc Loris.

Gerland, Logan and other pen names, isn't ?

 Van gave up
> on Marxism in 1948
> when he judged that the working class could not
> fulfill its historical 
> mission.  However, late in the 1970s Van published
> his memoir WITH TROTSKY IN EXILE.

Is this the book with mostly Trotsky's love affairs
and problems?

Jim Farmelant:

> Trotsky about dialectical logic, as that was
> Trotsky's obsession, especially circa the split in
the American Trotskyist movement 
> brewing in 1939?

I don't think it was an obsession, but he relunctantly
took up the issue to confront Burham and the
anti-defensists.

Jim Farmelant:

Van did write a couple of articles, pseudonymously
> on the subject.  I think one was "The Algebra of
Revolution", published in THE NEW INTERNATIONAL,I
think.  Van also participated in a
> little known debate within very obscure internal
bulletins during World War II. 

If you have it throw it this way, please.
Jim Farmelant:
 
> His main antagonist was George Novack, who
> represented Trotsky's 
> confused position (see Novack's book AN INTRODUCTION
> TO DIALECTICAL  LOGIC).

Bad, bad, bad .... very bad intro.


I have photocopies of this material,
> at least I think I do, ad I should make it available
> to the Marxists 
> Internet Archive, esp. the obscure internal bulletin
> material.  This is
> not the stuff of intellectual greatness, but it is a
> minor episode in the
> politics of intellectual history.  I remember only
> how inept Novack
> really was and obtuse in is criticisms of Van's
> attempt to clarify the
> issues. 

THat material I would be interested in, throw in this
way and will be greatly appreciated.

Jim Farmelant:

> When Van left the revolutionary movement, he wrote a
> manuscript
> criticizing Engels' writings on mathematics as
> exceptionally inept 
> and way behind thestate of knowledge of its time. 
> As it happens, 
> Van did not judge Marx's mathematical manuscripts
> quite so harshly, 
> but he did lambaste Engels for being ignorant enough
> to claim that 
> Marx had done something revolutionary for calculus. 
> Van's essay 
> "Engels and Mathematics" was finally published
> in his SELECTED ESSAYS.  This book is impossible to
> find outside of 
> research libraries, but I do have it in hand, and so
> I will be able to
> copy the essay.  The publisher is obscure enough so
> that I cannot imagine
> a 
> copyright violation becoming an issue.  Perhaps then
> this essay should go
> up on the web, too.

Yeah, this will be interesting as a side note.  I
never gave Marx, or Engels for that matter, much
credit for their mathematics.

Les:

> and then of course:
> 
> 7.) bringing this all back to marx and dialectics.


Comment: Good luck at that! You will really need it. 
The last person whom I know that tried to bring
quantum physics and inter-science logic into a Marxist
understanding now lives in Bahamas, is proprietor of a
casino and made his money designing video games.

He failed at Marxist development, but he made a bunch
of money in the process.

I will more modestly pursue the basics of dialectics
and sensorial transmission as they are easier to study
and have a more immediate, practical application in
politics.

Don't keep it for yourself, though, post them as I
know a couple individuals who would like to read
whatever is there about that.

JP


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