[Marxism] Marxism and the bing bang theory

yossi schwartz ssschwartz8 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 26 07:21:43 MDT 2008


In his book: Science, Marxism and the Big Bang A Critical Review of 'Reason
in Revolt'  Peter Mason   for the CWI criticizes Alan's Woods book, from a
very curious perspective which Marxists can not recognize as any thing close
to dialectical materialism, and usually associate with the kind of idealism
expressed by Herr Eugen Dühring.

 There is a lot to criticize in Woods'  book, however Mason's contribution
just add to the confusion of Woods himself. In particular because he
misrepresent what Woods actually wrote. Misrepresentation is part of the
famous method of both tendencies and in this sense Mason is just feeding
Woods the same medicine woods and Ted grant have been feeding others for  many

Woods' book  was written as Mason's has pointed out for the benefit of
to help them to improve their non dialectical  methodology . As Mason
observed:    "The jacket cover asks whether this 'encounter' between Marxist
philosophy and science will provide the basis for a new and exciting
breakthrough in the methodology of science". Yet Mason's main point is that
Woods does not know Marxism nor Science to take on himself such a difficult
 mission. Since in this claim Mason establish his credentials as a better
person to do this job the  curious thing is why so called Marxists would
compete who can  do a better job in merging  Marxism with bourgeois science?

It is more or less like approaching the capitalist class to convince the
capitalists  to improve their methods of exploitation of the working class
for the benefit  of  a great breakthrough in the methodology of
existing  production
.How? by nationalization of the economy under a capitalist state. This
happened already  a few times in the p both of both tendencies  who
called  such
capitalist states like Burma or Syria  deformed workers states.

 For the consciousness workers Marxism is the only science of the working
class. Its aim is to help  the best fighters of the working class to analyze
the capitalist mode of production and the laws and art of the class struggle
in order to overthrow the capitalist system and to  establish by the working
class himself workers states .States that are transitional to socialist
society the lower stage of Communism.

 On the other hand existing physics like all other  natural science  of this
epoch are bourgeois science born out of capitalism and are   part of the
forces of production, not some great theories above class society. It is one
thing to criticize bourgeois science for its class contents, and
philosophical biases,  it is some thing completely different to suggest to
improve them  under capitalism.

The focus of Mason's  criticism is Woods' rejection of the big bang theory.

"In the last century",  Mason writes: " Marxists debated the revolutionary
work of Albert Einstein and the Big Bang theory of the universe, with its
origins in the observations of Edwin Hubble. Einstein's theory of relativity
and the Big Bang theory combined to overturn every last remnant of the old
Newtonian science, which was saturated with the belief in the "absolute
immutability of nature", as Engels emphasises. It is these two revolutionary
theories, the theory of relativity and the Big Bang, with which the first
half of Reason in Revolt (first published in 1995) is chiefly concerned".

Why it is so important for Mason to defend the big bang theory? Ironically
the answer to such a question  was given by the French intellectuals members
and supporters of the French Communist Party, in 1948. They were demanded to
defend Lysenko's   theories as a manifestation of loyalty  to  Soviet
imperialism. Today   when the correct party position of the capitalist class
is the big bang theory , any one who want to begin to get the confidence of
the ruling class ,  better defend the big bang theory.

What is the importance of this theory for the capitalist class? Newton
theory that included god as the counter force to gravitation were very
assuring against the possibility of collapse of the system.

Newton physics was replaced by Einstein's theory of relativity. This was
necessary as result of the development of the means of production in
particular trains and airplanes that to operate them much  more complicated
concept of time was necessary.

Time and space are not absolute as Newton thought. Time is objective (
exists in reality outside of human consciousness) and relative as Einstein
corrected Newton's theory. Yet it is true that while Einstein contribution
to science is valid and important  it is true as well  that he contributed  to
some of the confusions and some of his statements  easily lend themselves to
idealist interpretation. For this reasons while some see his theory as a
materialist theory, others see it as denial of existence of objective time.

Thus philosophically he was not consistent materialist nor consistent
idealists but a dualists and his  philosophical views were expressed in his
scientific positions which he himself changed moving from one camp to the

Thus for example for many years he thought that the universe is indefinite
and later on he changed it and claim that the universe is finite. The latest
position is opening the door for god.

It was impossible otherwise, as a bourgeois scientist he could not be
accepted was he a consistent and dialectical materialist.

Like many intellectuals Einstein was agnostics rather than orthodox
religious and while is theory was necessary for the capitalists his confused
philosophical views were not  good enough for them.  They needed a
supplement , an insurance  policy of god, and hence Hubble theory that not
by chance was announced and received with open arms was pronounced in
1929.It was not  by mere  chance as well,  that this was the same year
that Lysenko
became important in the former USSR.

Any one who is seeking the very beginning of the entire existing universe is
in the same boat of those who are seeking the smallest  particle-God
seekers. Engels  specifically wrote in Dialectics of Nature that  time and
space are indefinite. A position he will not change.

 Marxist are familiar with  a similar theory to the big bang theory
advocated in the 19th century by one by the name of Dhuring. A theory that
assumed that before time the universe came to be.

However, if it is true that there is no beginning and no end to matter
itself( universe) it is not true for  any actual form of matter. It is not
true for  the Milky way, the Solar system or Earth. Engles who endorse Kant
theory on nebulas coming into existence  against  During is very clear on
this point.

Thus on this level Woods claim: "From the standpoint of dialectical
materialism, it is arrant nonsense to talk about the 'beginning of time' or
the 'creation of matter'. Time, space, and motion are the mode of existence
of matter, which can neither be created nor destroyed. (Reason in Revolt,
p198-9), is absolutely wrong.

At the same time it is as comforting  for the capitalist class not less than
Newton's theory.

In reality  this idea of no beginning or ending of time and epochs  in
relations with earth is an absolute nonsense . The age of  earth is 4.5
billion years,  our  solar system is 5 billion years of the Milky Way 10
billion years.

Thus,  mason and Woods  each of them is offering their service of deforming

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