February 2, 2004
RE: The Institute Resource Paper #1, Science and Doctrine
by Lil Joe
The article to which I respond here (below) is a presentation of a paper "On Science and Doctrine" by the Institute for the Study of Science and Society (the "Institute"). The "Institute" is an ostensibly Marxist-Leninist think-tank. In my opinion, the article is a quintessential example of ostensible Marxist scholarship adopting and adapting to the latest craze in bourgeois socio-philosophical theory that, supposedly, goes beyond "archaic" Marxism, and "Dogmatism" or "Sectarianism." However, this is not an issue of "Orthodox Marxism" versus "Revisionism." This time, the "new," "more recent" theory/idea is a synthesis of Alvin Toffler's "Third Wave" theory, (propagated by the anti-trade union, conservative Republican, Newt Gingrich), and the liberal left's post-modernist ideology.
Following this Introduction, I will present my comments in a somewhat polemical format -- quoting the Institute paper followed by my comments -- that affords me the opportunity to deal with the differences between science and doctrine/dogma.
The chic bourgeois fad in Europe is "deconstructionism," and in the United States today is "post-modernism." Both are presented as advances beyond "Marxism," and/or dealing with "issues" Marx has either "ignored" or "neglected" -- such as "racism," the "3rd world," and sexism. In economic theory today, the "cultured" representatives of the bourgeois intelligentsia propose the "core/periphery" analysis in opposition to "Euro-centric Marxism." One of the main premises of the "core/periphery" analysis is that the dynamics for revolution is found in the Third World agrarian capitalist "periphery" -- because workers and peasants live in desperate poverty -- as opposed to proletarian class struggles in the "industrial core" (i.e., the European Union, the United States, and Japan).
In many respects, the "Third Wave" theory takes this "analysis" to its logical conclusion by stating that, in the "former industrial" countries, a "technological revolution" has displaced the industrial proletariat and the working-class. From this assertion, the argument is made that "Marxists" who still base themselves and their communistic, revolutionary theory and strategy in the proletariat are outmoded, doctrinaire dogmatists, and not "scientific." As a matter of fact, all the chic bourgeois critiques of Marxists assert that Marxism is out-dated and a "religious dogma." They argue that the "revolution" will be made by forces other than the proletariat -- that is, by "Third World" peasants, indigenous peoples' rebellions, women, homosexuals, lesbians, Black nationalists, and so on, which means that the proletariat in Japan, Europe and North America no longer is the force for "communist revolution" -- as it was in the early stages of the so-called "industrial age."
In my comments below, I will show that the scientific discoveries of Adam Smith and Karl Marx provided us with an empirical methodology that is separate and apart from dogmatic and doctrinaire "Marxism-Leninism," and is as applicable today as in the nineteenth century. Just as the telescope of the sixteenth century has not been discarded, but been improved upon as a method of astronomical research -- in fact disproving Galileo's heliocentric universe cosmology -- the use of computers and other tools have improved the empirical method in sociological research.
RE: The Institute Resource Paper #1 Science and Doctrine by Lil Joe
The Institute asks, "What is science and what is doctrine?" which immediately sets up an antinomy between "science" and "doctrine" in relation to "Marxism"
"One of the major problems in the Marxist movement is the sectarianism that develops from a confusion of even the merging of science, which develops without interruption, and doctrine, which changes with every change in social development." (Institute in a Box, "An introduction to the science of society," Institute Resource Paper #1, "Science and Doctrine," http://www.scienceofsociety.org/inbox/res1.html
Lil Joe: It appears to me that, for the sake of objectivity, the object of scientific inquiry for purposes of examination of a model would have been one of the hard sciences -- say, astronomy or biology -- that in historical references came up against Church "doctrine." There, the issues of science versus doctrine are objective and obvious.
The Greco-Ionian materialist philosophers in the fifth century BCE first consciously introduced the origin of science based on materialist epistemology, which assumed the validity and authority of human sensuous reason. This materialist sensuous speculative reasoning dismissed the gods from nature, and priests and prophets from the public squares. For instance, Anaxagoras taught that the sun was not a god, as the Egyptians and Greek religions taught that a burning rock that is very large appears small because it is far away. Democritus held the same views. Democritus also argued that the universe is comprised of uncreated tiny particles of matter ("atoms") that are of different sizes, shapes and weight, and that, by coming together, are the building blocs of all things.
In Alexandria, science came to its own in experimental methodology. Sometime before 250 B.C., Aristarchus argued a heliocentric system -- that is, that the sun rather than the earth was at the center of the "universe." Eratosthenes (276-196 BC) measured the circumference of the earth within an accuracy of a few degrees using sticks, shadows and by determining the difference in latitude between the cities of Syene and Alexandria, Egypt.
The difference of science and religious doctrine is societal based. The religions are based on the authority of "anointed" individuals and subsequent sacred texts usually appropriated by the ruling classes and taught by political-religious institutions to the working classes and toiling masses that it is fate or the will of the gods that they be the working-classes and toiling masses.
"Genesis Chapter 3 verses 16-19: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
The ruling-classes of course don't work. In other words the most powerful, economically dominate class is the most powerful, politically dominate class that dominates the cultural ideological institutions and those institutions produce the ideas: the class interests of the dominate material relations of production grasped as ideas.
The rising class of necessity develops its own philosophical perspectives, not just outside the ideological institutions of the ruling class and state, but in opposition to those dominate ideas. This is manifested in the struggle of authority verses authority, an antinomy representing conflicting material interests in the realm of ideas.
The conflict between science and doctrine is that science is based on observation and analysis of phenomena presented in public discourse, whereas doctrine is based on the authority of priests and thus the acceptance of dogma by faith. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." (Paul to the Hebrews) The triumph of the Catholic Church in the Western Roman Empire destroyed the Great Library, as well as destroyed the librarian Hypatia, who was brutally murdered. The Church theologians appropriated Plato and Neo-Platonism (Paul, Augustine, Anselm, etc.) -- and, subsequently, appropriated Aristotelian metaphysics -- to reinforce Church doctrine, as well as the geocentric cosmology of Ptolemy, to reinforce geocentric doctrine in the Book of Joshua.
The first scientists of Renaissance Europe were astronomers and physicists who restored the Ionian and Alexandrian traditions of materialism, observation, data collection, classification, and analysis. For instance, Nicolas Copernicus had originally dedicated his book on the heavens to Aristarchus; but, in recognition of the potential hostility of the Church decided not to do so. Giordano Bruno was burned alive because he taught the Copernican system, and Galileo was forced to recant because of the Church's threat of torture. These examples exemplify the conflict between science and doctrine!
The Institute: "Science: A science is a branch of knowledge dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general law. In this respect, Marxism is the science of society and functions as any other science in its field."
Lil Joe: Science is not a "branch of knowledge dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general law." On the contrary, science is a method of investigation and analysis based on observation, analysis and experimentation.
In Novum Organum, Frances Bacon's opening salvo attacks the culturally dominant Aristotelian metaphysic epistemology of the Scholastics:
"Those who have taken upon them to lay down the law of nature as a thing already searched out and understood, whether they have spoken in simple assurance or professional affectation, have therein done philosophy and the sciences great injury. For as they have been successful in inducing belief, so they have been effective in quenching and stopping inquiry; and have done more harm by spoiling and putting an end to other men's efforts than good by their own." http://www.constitution.org/bacon/nov_org.htm
Instead, Bacon proposes, "[N]ow my method, though hard to practice, is easy to explain; and it is this. I propose to establish progressive stages of certainty. The evidence of the sense, helped and guarded by a certain process of correction, I retain. But the mental operation which follows the act of sense I for the most part reject; and instead of it I open and lay out a new and certain path for the mind to proceed in, starting directly from the simple sensuous perception." http://www.constitution.org/bacon/nov_org.htm
Marx said, "[T]he real progenitor of English materialism and all modern experimental science is Bacon. To him natural philosophy is the only true philosophy, and physics based upon the experience of the senses is the chiefest part of natural philosophy. Anaxagoras and his homoeomeriae , Democritus and his atoms, he often quotes as his authorities. According to him the senses are infallible and the source of all knowledge. All science is based on experience, and consists in subjecting the data furnished by the senses to a rational method of investigation. Induction, analysis, comparison, observation, experiment, are the principal forms of such a rational method." http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/holy-family/ch06_3_d.htm
The materialist conception of history is the philosophical and epistemological conclusion reached by Marx and Engels' theory of history. However, in The [Critique of] German Ideology, the scientific method of analysis of social phenomena is stated in the tradition of empirical science:
"[F]irst Premises of Materialist Method. The premises from which we begin are not arbitrary ones, not dogmas, but real premises from which abstraction can only be made in the imagination. They are the real individuals, their activity and the material conditions under which they live, both those which they find already existing and those produced by their activity. These premises can thus be verified in a purely empirical way."
Economics is the science. Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Frederick Engels, and Karl Marx were all scientists. In his work, "The Wealth of Nations," Adam Smith was the first to go about observing the labor process -- making notes and collecting economic and political data as the raw materials he used to work out his theory on political economy. Ricardo did more brainwork by pondering the results reached by Smith. For instance, he improved the labor-time theory of value, and actually corrected Smith in that it is not time sacrificed in one project as opposed to another, but the objectification of the value of the labor-time used up in work that is the substance of value in the object. Karl Marx agreed with both, but showed that what Smith had discovered was relative value, and what Ricardo had discovered was absolute value. Marx further added that it is relative value not in terms of sacrifice, but in the cost-price of labor-power determined by the price of the means of subsistence. Like Smith, Engels' work, entitled, "Conditions of the Working-Class in England 1844," went about observing, collecting and analyzing data. Marx spent years at the British Museum collecting and analyzing data from the Blue Books, and so on.
Marxism is a "science" if and only if the scientists, like Adam Smith and Karl Marx, engaged this same empirical method (as did Lenin in his book, "The Development of Capitalism in Russia," Stalin in "Marxism and the National Question," Trotsky in "Revolution Betrayed," Mao in "Investigation of the Hunan Peasant Movement," and Dubois in "Philadelphia Negro," to name a few).
The Institute: "A doctrine is a particular principle or policy. All doctrine - that is to say, all policy and principles - arise upon and utilize some assumption, fact, or scientific achievement."
Lil Joe: This is also not accurate. A "doctrine" assumes the authority of the source of these "facts or truths" is factual and true on the basis of confidence in the source - priest, professor, politician, and/or "Sacred text." A doctrine is a dogma accepted by faith. Science is an empirical method that rejects such authority, and, therefore, rejects faith.
On the other hand, a "policy" is a pragmatic strategy directed at particular tactics to achieve a desired result. In other words, a plan. The assumption behind a plan or policy is that it will work. For example, the credit policy of a company is based on the assumption that the debtor will honor the agreement. The "fact" in this case is that if the customer doesn't pay the debt, the company will sue the debtor for failure to come up with the money agreed upon.
Science applied in this case would collect specific data related to a systemic whole in order to explain the economy that engenders credit as a socioeconomic necessity. For instance, bourgeois economists (such as Keynesian economists) might argue that credit is motivated by the normative economic policy to have every member of the society have the commodities they need, and that such is good for the economy. On the contrary, the Marxist or proletarian economist would probe deeper and argue, on the basis of assimilated data, that it is the declining rates of profits that compel capitalists to displace men by machines -- and thus, increase labor productivity -- and which causes relative overproduction. Furthermore, based on an analysis of assimilated data, the Marxist or proletarian economist would argue that credit policy is a means of expanding the pool of buyers who might not immediately have the cash on hand, thus postponing recessions and depressions.
"Just as the economists are the scientific representatives of the bourgeois class, so the Socialists and Communists are the theoreticians of the proletarian class. So long as the proletariat is not yet sufficiently developed to constitute itself as a class, and consequently so long as the struggle itself of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie has not yet assumed a political character, and the productive forces are not yet sufficiently developed in the bosom of the bourgeoisie itself to enable us to catch a glimpse of the material conditions necessary for the emancipation of the proletariat and for the formation of a new society, these theoreticians are merely utopians who, to meet the wants of the oppressed classes, improvise systems and go in search of a regenerating science. But in the measure that history moves forward, and with it the struggle of the proletariat assumes clearer outlines, they no longer need to seek science in their minds; they have only to take note of what is happening before their eyes and to become its mouthpiece. So long as they look for science and merely make systems, so long as they are at the beginning of the struggle, they see in poverty nothing but poverty, without seeing in it the revolutionary, subversive side, which will overthrow the old society. From this moment, science, which is a product of the historical movement, has associated itself consciously with it, has ceased to be doctrinaire and has become revolutionary." http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/poverty-philosophy/ch02.htm
The Institute: "Let us take military doctrine, which is the most important of all doctrine. At the beginning of WWI the French High Command assumed that the French spirit of élan - the spirit of attack - or the offensive would counter balance the larger more experienced and better equipped German Army. The entire French military doctrine of WWI and consequently the strategy was built on this assumption - and with disastrous consequences. The Japanese made this exact mistake in WWII."
Lil Joe: The word "doctrine" in the phrase "military doctrine" is nothing but a word used to distinguish one strategic plan from another. It has nothing to do with doctrine as such.
What the Institute is really talking here is pragmatic military strategy. It is an issue of "doctrine" if the high command has faith in previous strategies and, consequently, refuses to devise new ones that are more consistent with new realities. It was not that the French had the wrong "doctrine" that enabled the German new strategy to defeat them. The officers in the German army studied the same texts. What enabled the German army to undertake victories is that they had new military technologies that previously had not existed, and which enabled new strategies.
To say that the German army had a "better" or more modern "doctrine" than the French is not science, but pragmatism -- "Might makes right"! Similarly, the U.S. conquest of Iraq was not because it had the "correct" doctrine (the "Powell Doctrine" of overwhelming force"), but due to its massive war technologies. The Powell Doctrine is useless when it comes to the altered circumstances of hand-to-hand combat and occupation strategies.
The Institute: "Marxism. The Marxist doctrine must not be confused with Marxism as a science."
Lil Joe: If it is a science, Marxism is not a doctrine. If Marxism is a science, it is an empirical method of investigation and analysis. The materialist conception of history only states the method, but it is up to the scientists to use that method, not just quote it.
The Institute: "Marxism as a science can best be summed up as this, 'In the social production of their life, men enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will, relations that correspond to a definite stage of development of their material productive forces. The sum total of these relations of productions constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the social, political, and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of their development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production - or what is but a legal expression for the same thing - with the property relations within which they have been at work hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an epoch of social revolution. With the change of the economic foundation, the entire immense superstructure is more or less rapidly transformed. No social order ever perishes before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have developed; and new, higher relation of production never appear before the material condition of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society itself.' This statement is a magnificent expression of social science and is the basis for all Marxist writing."
Lil Joe: This statement is a "doctrine" if it is accepted by faith by the true believer on the basis of Marx as the authority figure. Furthermore, this statement becomes a doctrine when those accepted on faith because Marx wrote it. The scientist tests such statements in the laboratory of society. Science is always skeptical and self-correcting -- e.g., the discovery that the Peltdown man was a hoax.
For the scientist, statements are not methods, but the philosophical conclusion derived from using the empirical method.
The science is here:
In German Ideology Marx and Engels wrote: "The way in which men produce their means of subsistence depends first of all on the nature of the actual means of subsistence they find in existence and have to reproduce. This mode of production must not be considered simply as being the production of the physical existence of the individuals. Rather it is a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing their life, a definite mode of life on their part. As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce. The nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions determining their production." http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm
In Capital Marx wrote: "Instruments of labour not only supply a standard of the degree of development to which human labour has attained, but they are also indicators of the social conditions under which that labour is carried on." http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch07.htm#S1
In The Poverty of Poverty Marx wrote: "Social relations are closely bound up with productive forces. In acquiring new productive forces men change their mode of production; and in changing their mode of production, in changing the way of earning their living, they change all their social relations. The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill society with the industrial capitalist.
"The same men who establish their social relations in conformity with the material productivity, produce also principles, ideas, and categories, in conformity with their social relations."
Thus using the materialist conception of history is not reciting it as a dogma or doctrine, but as a perspective that is the point of departure for, and from which empirical work is to be done. The paleoanthropologists and archeologists for instance, understanding that "Instruments of labour not only supply a standard of the degree of development to which human labour has attained, but they are also indicators of the social conditions under which that labour is carried on" have to actually get their tools and go out to excavation cites and collect and assemble the data.
Engles book "The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man" is pre-Mendel Darwinism based on Lemarck's disproved and discarded theory of inheritance of Acquired Characteristics. and useless dogma that is nonetheless "Marxist-Leninist doctrine."
In Marx and Engels lifetime science knew nothing about either e.g. Dryopithecines, Ramapithecines, Sivapithecines, Australopithecines or of the hominids Homo habilis, homo erectus, nor the early Homo sapiens. Neither Marx nor Engels knew anything about genetic mutation and speciation. They knew nothing about the actual tools being found and classified today as Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic. Nevertheless the Marxian materialist interpretation of history, as a suggested standpoint for organizing and interpreting data is confirmed:
"Social relations are closely bound up with productive forces. In acquiring new productive forces men change their mode of production; and in changing their mode of production, in changing the way of earning their living, they change all their social relations."
"Instruments of labour not only supply a standard of the degree of development to which human labour has attained, but they are also indicators of the social conditions under which that labour is carried on." http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch07.htm#S1
Also, the field's of cultural anthropology was only in its infancy at the time that Henry Lewis Morgan -- one of its pioneers, in fact -- did field work among the Iroqua in America. His method of investigation was empirical, observation and the collection and classification of data. But, Morgan's science was blemished from the Eurocentric thought-categories from which it emerged. The classification of societies into historical categories of human societies into "savage," "barbarian" and "civilized." Yet Morgan's empirical method of classification by inferring a direct relation of changing in technology to socio-cultural changes, as explicated in his publication of "Ancient Society." This work was a great leap forward from Hegel's racist speculations in "Philosophy of History"!
Morgan. It is to Marx and Engels credit that they accepted Morgan's advances. But, Engel's "The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State," based on Morgan's "Ancient Society" (as critically interpreted through the prism of Marx's Ethnological Notebooks and Grundresse) has become dogma and doctrine for "Marxism-Leninism." The recognition of the State as the instrument of class power is correct, based on data collected from civil society but the ethnographic cases of "ages," or "stages" in socioeconomic were based on scanty data generalizing from one particular case, and forcing it into a universal schema. This schema became rigid Marxist-Leninist doctrine so the actual progress in the science of cultural anthropology was/is achieved outside the dogma of Marxist-Leninist doctrinal circles.
I am talking about the developments in the theories:
"Cultural Ecology" (Julian Steward):
"Techno-Culture" (Leslie White):
"Cultural Materialism" (Marvin Harris)
The problem is that Marxism-Leninism -- that is Stalinism -- was diverted from Science by the political needs of the Stalinist bureaucracy, which needed the Morgan-Engels hypothesis because by its unilinear theory of socio-cultural development in a progressive sequence from the primitive to the advanced on the philosophical basis of politics or Will determining change enabled the Soviet "Marxists" to justify Soviet political economy as "progressive" if not "socialist."
Marxism-Leninism is not Science based on empirical methodology but doctrine based on dogma, the authority of selected quotations from the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin -- and from those, depending upon one's sect, from those of Trotsky, Stalin or Mao.
In the Soviet Union and China this presentation of "Marxist-Leninist science" was the work of the propaganda departments whereas real scientific economic empirical work was done behind the scenes in the Ministries of the departments of management and planners. Ironically, however, this proves that Marx's materialist conception of history and society was right: "The same men who establish their social relations in conformity with the material productivity, produce also principles, ideas, and categories, in conformity with their social relations. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/poverty-philosophy/ch02.htm
The Institute: "So, how does doctrine arise from science? Let us take a military example. Prior to the invention of the breech-loading rifle, military doctrine called for close order mass assault upon one military force by another. Generally, one volley would be fired and the attacking force would complete the assault with bayonets and rifle butts. The scientific development of the rapid fire, breech-loading rifle and, later, the machine gun and rifled artillery forced military leader to drop the doctrine of close order mass assault in favor of open rank assault with the defending force protected by trenches. During WWI the development of motor vehicles and carbon steel presented the military with the tank which forced the abandonment of trench warfare in favor of foxholes.
"For example, when scientists developed jellied gasoline, the military immediately understood its use in war. Napalm forced the creation of new military doctrine that took the destructive power of napalm into consideration. In other words, each advance in science forces the practical workers to develop doctrine and policy compatible with those advances."
Lil Joe: As I showed -- "doctrine" does not "arise from science." Rather, doctrine is based on faith in dogma, and as such is not only different from but the exact opposite of science!
As far as the military "example" is concerned, it is assed backward. What is done in science is the empirical work, and from it formulating theories to explain the facts. Science is not based on "examples," which presents as "evidence" that which is supposed to be undergoing examination.
The Institute: "Now, what was the doctrine of Marxism and under what conditions was it developed?"
Lil Joe: As I said, if Marxism is a science it is the statement of an empirical perspective i.e. "Instruments of labour not only supply a standard of the degree of development to which human labour has attained, but they are also indicators of the social conditions under which that labour is carried on." http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch07.htm#S1
But, that only in passing as a reminder that the Institute and Marx are operating from entirely opposite premises on what is science and what is doctrine. Doctrine is dogma, which is based on dogma, and faith based on authority, whereas science is predicated upon materialism and the rejection of doctrine, faith and dogma.
Thus, if we are to consider the question empirically, the issue of "what was the doctrine of Marxism and under what conditions was it developed?" is the question: what were the circumstances under which Marx's empirical methodology ceased to be an empirical methodology and instead became a "doctrine" (dogma) based on faith?
What the Institute is presenting here, as "Marxism "qua" science qua "doctrine" is in reality nothing but the degeneration of science into religious doctrine!
The Institute: "The process was the social revolution from agriculture to industry."
Lil Joe: Actually, what we are considering is under what circumstances science arose in the pre-industrial sixteenth century. The sixteenth century was a period that, based on shipping and navagation science was a period of rapid advances in global trade. The merchant classes in the urban centers in Italy and the Netherlands, and then in Spain and England participation in this burgeoning world-market became rich and politically powerful.
"From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. From these burgesses the first elements of the bourgeoisie were developed.
In the Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels the process was explicated thus:
"The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development.
"The feudal system of industry, in which industrial production was monopolized by closed guilds, now no longer suffices for the growing wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. The guild-masters were pushed aside by the manufacturing middle class; division of labor between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labor in each single workshop. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm
"The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief momenta of primitive accumulation. On their heels treads the commercial war of the European nations, with the globe for a theatre. It begins with the revolt of the Netherlands from Spain, assumes giant dimensions in England's Anti-Jacobin War, and is still going on in the opium wars against China, &c….
" To-day industrial supremacy implies commercial supremacy. In the period of manufacture properly so called, it is, on the other hand, the commercial supremacy that gives industrial predominance." http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch31.htm
Back to the Communist Manifesto: "Meantime, the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising. Even manufacturers no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and machinery revolutionized industrial production. The giant, Modern Industry, took the place of manufacture; the place of the industrial middle class by industrial millionaires, the leaders of the whole industrial armies, the modern bourgeois.
"Modern industry has established the world market, for which the discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has, in turn, reacted on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages." http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm
Inventions and technological innovations were in the interests of the rising bourgeoisie, and also evolved the sciences that also served the interests of the bourgeoisie -- philosophically and politically as well as economically.
Yet just so it is that men proceed in matters intellectual - with just the same kind of mad effort and useless combination of forces - when they hope great things either from the number and cooperation or from the excellency and acuteness of individual wits; yea, and when they endeavor by logic (which may be considered as a kind of athletic art) to strengthen the sinews of the understanding, and yet with all this study and endeavor it is apparent to any true judgment that they are but applying the naked intellect all the time; whereas in every great work to be done by the hand of man it is manifestly impossible, without instruments and machinery, either for the strength of each to be exerted or the strength of all to be united.
Neither the naked hand nor the understanding left to itself can effect much. It is by instruments and helps that the work is done, which are as much wanted for the understanding as for the hand.
The cause and root of nearly all evils in the sciences is this - that while we falsely admire and extol the powers of the human mind we neglect to seek for its true helps."
It was not Copernicus but Galileo that did away with the geocentric Christian cosmology (geocentric doctrine of Ptolemy and Aristotelian explications adopted by the Church) and not by Galileo's "Dialogue" but the telescope, just as it was Hubble's telescopic observations of an expanding universe that demonstrated the super-dense explosion origin of the universe. Just as the use by Leeuwenhoek of the microscope invented by Digges of England and Hans and Zcharias Janssen of Holland who became the first man to disprove Aristotle's metaphysics in his De Anima, and proved natural biology.
Marx saw himself in this tradition.
In the Preface to the First Edition of capital Marx observed: "Every beginning is difficult, holds in all sciences. To understand the first chapter, especially the section that contains the analysis of commodities, will, therefore, present the greatest difficulty. That which concerns more especially the analysis of the substance of value and the magnitude of value, I have, as much as it was possible, popularized.  The value-form, whose fully developed shape is the money-form, is very elementary and simple. Nevertheless, the human mind has for more than 2,000 years sought in vain to get to the bottom of it all, whilst on the other hand, to the successful analysis of much more composite and complex forms, there has been at least an approximation. Why? Because the body, as an organic whole, is easier of study than are the cells of that body. In the analysis of economic forms, moreover, neither microscopes nor chemical reagents are of use. The force of abstraction must replace both. But in bourgeois society, the commodity-form of the product of labour - or value-form of the commodity - is the economic cell-form. To the superficial observer, the analysis of these forms seems to turn upon minutiae. It does in fact deal with minutiae, but they are of the same order as those dealt with in microscopic anatomy."
The advances in technology and the empirical sciences were mutually engendering. From the standpoint of the bourgeoisie these advances had practical connections as well: on the one hand it advanced the mechanisms of commodity production by wage-labor, which enabled them to enrich their estate and this bourgeois wealth enabled them to support the absolute monarchs against the reactionary nobility on the other. This also was beneficial, in that science enabled a new, bourgeois world-view to emerge in opposition to the parochial world-view of the nobility that ideologically was represented by the Church and its theologians.
Machiavelli and Hobbes were the first distinguish human behavior from morality and metaphysics to on the contrary present human society as phenomena.
The Institute: "The process was the social revolution from agriculture to industry. The development of industry had created new classes and a new economy. The big and petty bourgeoisie as well as the working class were in revolutionary struggle with the feudal political structure.
Lil Joe: This is mechanical materialism that moreover is a rather superficial description of facts. From a dialectical point of view, penetrating the facts discovering the mutual engendered relationship of people and things, the bourgeoisie and proletariat is not just the product but at the same time the producers of industry.
The doctrine of the "Third Wave" economy, variously articulated by Alvin Toffler (its author) and Newt Gingrich on the American conservative Right, and by Nelson Perry on the American liberal Left hold's that "In a First Wave economy, land and farm labor are the main "factors of production." In a Second Wave economy, the land remains valuable while the "labor" becomes massified around machines and larger industries. In a Third Wave economy, the central resource -- a single word broadly encompassing data, information, images, symbols, culture, ideology, and values -- is actionable knowledge." http://www.newsavanna.com/meanderings/me201/me20101.htm
This is the only sense that can be made of the statement with reference to a "social revolution from agriculture to industry. The development of industry had created new classes and a new economy." But, in actuality all economies are based in "agriculture." What distinguishes a mode of production one from another is not just the technology used, but the division of labor engendered by organized production determined by that technology, and the corresponding mode of appropriation of labor or/and labors products and subsequent relations of producers.
The Institute: "In his 'Address to the Communist League,' Marx spelled out the principal doctrine of the working class revolutionaries as: The relation of the revolutionary workers' party to the petty-bourgeois democrats is this: it marches together with them against the faction which it aims at overthrowing, it opposes them in everything whereby they seek to consolidate their position in their own interest. This tactic was in line with the doctrine of the time which was, "For us the issue cannot be the alteration of private property but only its annihilation, not the smoothing over of class antagonisms but the abolition of classes, not the improvement of existing society but the foundation of a new one."
Lil Joe: The Institute does in fact make a correct analysis of that statement. It was not originally presented by Marx as a "doctrine," but a statement of a working-class perspective and objectives shared by the European working-class revolutionaries -- including Christians, Jews, Muslims and other religious workers and atheists notwithstanding their different religious or irreligious "doctrines." This perspective was therefore not presented on the grounds of Marx authority of haven written it, but because it recognized and represented the material interests of the workers themselves. Class-war strategies spring from the class struggle under existing conditions. When those conditions are altered it is the duty of the scientist to recognize and undertake an empirical examination of the new conditions.
The Institute: "Lenin could easily adopt not only Marxism as a science, but also then the current doctrine of Russia was going through the same historic transformation from agriculture to industry that western Europe went through a hundred years before. That doctrine had to change but little to be compatible to the specifics of the Russian revolution."
Lil Joe: The Institutes assumption here of Lenin's adoption of "Marxism" as a "science" is correct but confuses science and doctrines. Russia was at the time undergoing the transition from feudal modes of appropriation and corresponding relations of production to the capitalist mode of appropriation and its corresponding relations of production. This Lenin documents in his collection and analysis of relevant data in "The Development of capitalism in Russia."
What this means is that the feudal mode of appropriation, land the form of feudal property was rented to the serfs, who also may have been corvee labor, and thus relations of production of landless and landlord was being challenged by bourgeois wealth, capital. The difference was therefore not just the empirical difference of a peasant plowing with a hoe to a proletarian working in a factory, but the distinct property forms resulting from the different modes of appropriation.
What had happened in "Western Europe" centuries earlier was not just the transfer from how to tractors but an entire economic transition from one dominate mode of appropriation to another: the serf paid rent in kind or cash but the proletarian received wages for his labor-power. What distinguishes one economic epoch from another -- e.g. agriculture based on slave-labor from agriculture based on from agriculture based on wage-labor is not the use of hoe, plow or tractor but classical economy based on slave-labor, the feudal mode of production based on serfdom and the capitalist mode of production based on wage-labor.
The Institute: "Lenin writes: A social Democrat must never for a moment forget that the proletariat will inevitably have to wage a class struggle for socialism even against the most democratic and republican bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie. Hence, the absolute necessity of a separate, independent, strictly class party of Social Democracy. Hence, the temporary nature of our tactics of "striking a joint blow with the bourgeoisie" and the duty of keeping a strict watch "over our ally, as over an enemy."
Lil Joe: Obviously I do not disagree with what Lenin wrote. The proletariat and the bourgeoisie are enemies. But, the goal of the proletarian revolution is to win the battle of democracy and legislate the transfer of the means of production and distribution from private capital to public property to abolish commodity production and wage-labor. This is possible since industrialized social production in the technologically advanced capitalist countries creates the material basis for communist ownership of the productive forces.
This was not possible in Russia in 1917. What the Russian Revolution did was concentrate capital into the hands of a state-bureaucracy, accelerating capitalist development and the expropriation of the peasant's lands by forced collectivization and state farms. This was not socialism. This was state-monopoly capitalism based on wage-labor.
The Institute: "Once again science has created new means of production that is creating new classes and destroying the old."
Lil Joe: What do they mean "once again"?
In reality "science" has never "created" means of production that has created" classes.
In his pre-historical ethnological assumptions in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State Engels went wrong, and was in fact operating from Euro-centric prejudices. Engels nevertheless got it right, however, on the basis of analysis of tools and documents, independently of Morgan's work, where he observed that the advances in agriculture made it possible for surplus produce to enable class formations by specialization both within and outside of agriculture.
Engels was on point in pointing out this distinction in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State:
"Of the industrial achievements of this stage, two are particularly important. The first is the loom, the second the smelting of metal ores and the working of metals. Copper and tin and their alloy, bronze, were by far the most important. Bronze provided serviceable tools and weapons, though it could not displace stone tools; only iron could do that, and the method of obtaining iron was not yet understood. Gold and silver were beginning to be used for ornament and decoration, and must already have acquired a high value as compared with copper and bronze.
"Wealth increased rapidly, but as the wealth of individuals. The products of weaving, metal-work and the other handicrafts, which were becoming more and more differentiated, displayed growing variety and skill. In addition to corn, leguminous plants and fruit, agriculture now provided wine and oil, the preparation of which had been learned. Such manifold activities were no longer within the scope of one and the same individual; the second great division of labor took place: handicraft separated from agriculture. The continuous increase of production and simultaneously of the productivity of labor heightened the value of human labor-power. Slavery, which during the preceding period was still in its beginnings and sporadic, now becomes an essential constituent part of the social system; slaves no longer merely help with production - they are driven by dozens to work in the fields and the workshops. With the splitting up of production into the two great main branches, agriculture and handicrafts, arises production directly for exchange, commodity production; with it came commerce, not only in the interior and on the tribal boundaries, but also already overseas....
"The distinction of rich and poor appears beside that of freemen and slaves - with the new division of labor, a new cleavage of society into classes. The inequalities of property among the individual heads of families break up the old communal household communities wherever they had still managed to survive, and with them the common cultivation of the soil by and for these communities. The cultivated land is allotted for use to single families, at first temporarily, later permanently.
Civilization consolidates and intensifies all these existing divisions of labor, particularly by sharpening the opposition between town and country (the town may economically dominate the country, as in antiquity, or the country the town, as in the middle ages), and it adds a third division of labor, peculiar to itself and of decisive importance: it creates a class which no longer concerns itself with production, but only with the exchange of the products - the merchants. Hitherto whenever classes had begun to form, it had always been exclusively in the field of production; the persons engaged in production were separated into those who directed and those who executed, or else into large-scale and small-scale producers. Now for the first time a class appears which, without in any way participating in production, captures the direction of production as a whole and economically subjugates the producers; which makes itself into an indispensable middleman between any two producers and exploits them both. ...But they were growing and making themselves indispensable, which was quite sufficient. And with the formation of the merchant class came also the development of metallic money, the minted coin, a new instrument for the domination of the non-producer over the producer and his production. The commodity of commodities had been discovered, that which holds all other commodities hidden in itself, the magic power which can change at will into everything desirable and desired. The man who had it ruled the world of production - and who had more of it than anybody else? The merchant. The worship of money was safe in his hands. He took good care to make it clear that, in face of money, all commodities, and hence all producers of commodities, must prostrate themselves in adoration in the dust."
Moreover, speaking directly to the transition from the feudal mode of appropriation and therefore property relations of production to the dominance of capital the world-market is what created the power of capital in Europe, prior to industry and is what in fact engendered industry qua capital.
"To-day industrial supremacy implies commercial supremacy. In the period of manufacture properly so-called, it is, on the other hand, the commercial supremacy that gives industrial predominance." (Marx: Capital Volume 1. p.826) http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch31.htm
The capitalist mode of appropriation, the product of the capitalist mode of production, like the Son in the heart of the Father is the determining factor drawing feudal property into its orbit and changing feudal lords appropriating of rent from serfs into capitalists paying wages to proletarians. This was occurring in England prior to the industrial revolution and determined the usefulness of inventions that led to industry.
In Capital in the Chapter on the Genesis of the Industrial Capitalist, Marx wrote:
"The genesis of the industrial capitalist did not proceed in such a gradual way as that of the farmer. Doubtless many small guild-masters, and yet more independent small artisans, or even wage-labourers, transformed themselves into small capitalists, and (by gradually extending exploitation of wage-labour and corresponding accumulation) into full-blown capitalists. In the infancy of capitalist production, things often happened as in the infancy of medieval towns, where the question, which of the escaped serfs should be master and which servant, was in great part decided by the earlier or later date of their flight. The snail's pace of this method corresponded in no wise with the commercial requirements of the new world-market that the great discoveries of the end of the 15th century created. But the middle ages had handed down two distinct forms of capital, which mature in the most different economic social formations, and which before the era of the capitalist mode of production, are considered as capital quand même - usurer's capital and merchant's capital." ***** "The money capital formed by means of usury and commerce was prevented from turning into industrial capital, in the country by the feudal constitution, in the towns by the guild organisation. These fetters vanished with the dissolution of feudal society, with the expropriation and partial eviction of the country population. The new manufactures were established at Weapons, or at inland points beyond the control of the old municipalities and their guilds. Hence in England an embittered struggle of the corporate towns against these new industrial nurseries."
In the Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels had previously written: "The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonization of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development."
In Capital Marx confirms: "The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalized the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief momenta of primitive accumulation."
Thus in Europe: "The feudal system of industry, in which industrial production was monopolized by closed guilds, now no longer suffices for the growing wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. The guild-masters were pushed aside by the manufacturing middle class; division of labor between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labor in each single workshop."
This global trade is what directly facilitated capital accumulation and the Industrial Revolution: "the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising. Even manufacturers no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and machinery revolutionized industrial production. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry; the place of the industrial middle class by industrial millionaires, the leaders of the whole industrial armies, the modern bourgeois." http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm
The Institute:"This time, the resulting political struggle is not between the feudal regime on the one hand and the workers and bourgeoisie on the other."
Lil Joe: Is this supposed to be a scientific treatment of the changed technological conditions engendering the transition from one mode of production, presumably capitalism to another, again, presumably, communism? This is not science!
Political struggles "between classes" is not the cause but rather is the consequence of revolutionary changes in conflicting mode of appropriation, the rise of a new mode of production and the destruction of the old one. The dominance of the capitalist mode of production in England and France preceded the English and French bourgeois-democratic revolutions. The absolute monarchs, the political representatives of the bourgeoisie in these kingdoms had already moreover both broke the political power of the nobility, and created modern bureaucratic military states with central governments. The political revolutions in English (in the 17th century) and France (from the latter 18th century into the middle 19th centuries) were the final stage of bourgeois politics where the representative governments subordinated (England) or displaced (France) the monarchs.
What makes political revolution possible "this time," is socialized industrial production -- including advanced technology used in social production -- undermining the capitalist mode of appropriation. By capitalism I mean commodity production by wage-labor. The proletariat, the class of social producers representing the forces of social production qua variable capital, by winning the battle of democracy and transferring the productive forces from private and corporate capital to public property abolishes capitalist commodity production and wage-labor. This ends the capitalist mode of appropriation.
The Institute: "This time there are no middle classes and the classical doctrine of Marx has no meaning for us. The science of society is more important than ever before. The principle task of the Marxist today is to create a new doctrine and consequently new tactics for this new period of time."
Lil Joe: The above statement illustrates the muddled confusion of the "Institute" regarding "science" and "doctrine." Classical writings of Marx on materialist economic theory and the empirical model erected to explain capitalism are not "doctrines." Doctrines are dogma accepted on faith in its authors whereas science is a method of investigation and analysis. We don't need any "doctrine," new or old.
The "new tactics" that workers employ in the struggle for power, by means of which to expropriate capital and end commodity production and wage-labor, will grow out of the strategy we employ, which strategy is determined by objectives. The "tactic" suggested by trade unionists, socialists and communists is that the working-class form itself into a class party, win the battle of democracy and legislate the expropriation of the productive forces from bourgeois to public property.
If the Institute has a "new tactic" I am awaiting to hear or read it. But simply saying "the principle task of the Marxist today is to create a new doctrine and consequently new tactics for this new period of time" has not demonstrated any new "period of time."
If there is in existence new classes based on a different mode of appropriation where are those classes and what is this new mode of appropriation? As an empirical scientist you must demonstrate empirically, show us the new mode of appropriation that exist separate and apart from the market and commodity production for that market. Serfs produced their means of subsistence and paid rent to the feudal lords, proletarians sell their labor power to capitalists or to the state and use their wages to purchase their means of subsistence. The lumpin-proletariat lives off the proletariat as welfare recipients, beggars, prostitutes, thieves and so on, which they are compelled to do in order to participate in the capitalist mode of appropriation i.e., purchase means of subsistence. This economic reality is the same in 2004 as when Marx publish Capital in 1867 -- if not, then the Institute has to demonstrate the existence of a different mode of appropriation operating outside the market.
The Institute: "Science developed new means of production: robotics or automation. Robotics is just as hostile to the political system based on electro-mechanics as the steam engine was to the political system based on agrarian production by combined human and animal labor."
Lil Joe: Is that statement supposed to be a new discovery of a new economic reality? Marx and Engels observed as long ago as 1848:
"The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones."
And in 1877 in Anti-Durhing Engels wrote:
"It is the compelling force of anarchy in the production of society at large that more and more completely turns the great majority of men into proletarians; and it is the masses of the proletariat again who will finally put an end to anarchy in production. It is the compelling force of anarchy in social production that turns the limitless perfectibility of machinery under modern industry into a compulsory law by which every individual industrial capitalist must perfect his machinery more and more, under penalty of ruin. But the perfecting of machinery is making human labour superfluous."
What is different, as far as I can determine between the Institute and Marxists is that the Institute accepts Toffler and Gingrich's economic theory of changes between "agricultural society" (the First Wave) "industrial society" (the Second Wave) and "technological society," "information age" that is also called "post-industrial society" and the "Third Wave."
On the other hand the Marxists analysis is of society as a totality: the productive forces and subsequent division of labor in socio-economic context of modes of appropriation and corresponding relations of production. We do not see any evidence that the introduction of electric power in place of steam has in any way altered the capitalist mode of commodity production by wage-labor. The only thing "robotics" qua capital -- i.e. accumulated labor employed in production of new commodities -- accomplishes is a more recent displacement of men by machines increasing the surplus population that falls into the lumpin-proletariat.
Where Marxist differ with Third Wavists regarding the consequences of displacing of men and women workers by machines -- that's all robots are, machines -- is that the bourgeois liberals and conservatives that preach "Third Wave" preach is that the workers willingly adopt to the so-called "new economy" by accepting lower paid jobs in the "service sector." Yet, proletarians remain proletarians whether they work at Toyota, Burgher King or City-Sanitation. Therefore Marxist continue to advocate class politics, Labor Party's financially based on trade unions to guarantee its class independence but socially and politically based in the class as a whole. the political objective of this class party is winning the battle of democracy and legislating the continuation and increase standard of living: increased labor productivity by new technology resulting in reduction of work hours with no decease in pay.
Revolutions are a practical matter!
"Man never renounces what he has gained, but this does not mean that he never renounces the form of society in which he has acquired certain productive forces. On the contrary. If he is not to he deprived of the results obtained or to forfeit the fruits of civilisation, man is compelled to change all his traditional social forms as soon as the mode of [appropriation] ceases to correspond to the productive forces acquired."
The Institute: The above quoted scientific statement by Marx -- [""For us the issue cannot be the alteration of private property but only its annihilation, not the smoothing over of class antagonisms but the abolition of classes, not the improvement of existing society but the foundation of a new one."] -- is completely applicable, but the doccccttrine is not. There is no possibility of tactical unity with a section of the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie of Marx's time no longer exists. Capitalism as Marx knew it no longer exists. The science remains, but we must evolve a new revolutionary doctrine for this period.
Lil Joe: Actually the statement by Marx: " For us the issue cannot be the alteration of private property but only its annihilation, not the smoothing over of class antagonisms but the abolition of classes, not the improvement of existing society but the foundation of a new one" is not "scientific" but one of practical political propaganda based on the scientific understanding that the productive forces, social industrial production and the proletariat as social labor is at odds with the capitalist mode of appropriation.
In "Marx's time" the bourgeoisie was defined as "the class of modern capitalists, the owners of the means of social production and employers of wage-labor" http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm
This bourgeoisie does in fact not only continue to "exist," but continues to dominate the economy on the basis of commodity production and exploit wage-labor.
In any case it is doctrinaire dogmatism and not science if those cadres in the Institute accepts the statement on faith in the authority of the institute, rather than demanding a scientific demonstration that the bourgeoisie as Marx understood it -- "the class of modern capitalists, the owners of the means of social production and employers of wage-labor" -- no longer exist!
The "science" that "remains" -- invented by the bourgeois economists exemplified by Adam Smith and further developed by Marx's critique of political economy and Capital, is the application of empirical methodology to social phenomena. The anthropological sciences -- paleo-anthropology, archeology, cultural ecology, techno-economic determinism and cultural materialism have advanced the empirical methodology in holistic manners and young proletarians ought to go to college and master these disciplines if there is to remain any truth to the concept of "Scientific Socialism." A lot has happened in science and society since Marx's time, but the disappearance of the bourgeoisie is not one of them.
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