21 September 2008

A different kind of Chaos Marxism

The fine folk from the International Marxist Tendency (Ted Grant, founder; Alan Woods, proprietor) take on chaos theory. Try to look past the slightly stilted Trotskyist boilerplate and note the essential ideas which replicate what we're doing here;

1) human society and culture can be studied scientifically.

2) chaos theory confirms dialectical materialism (classical Marxism) at the same time it consigns mechanical materialism (Newtownian physics and Stalinism) to the trash-can.

In contrast, 90% of what passes for "social science" under capitalism (and an increasing percentage of physical science) is on an intellectual par with astrology or mediaeval Scholasticism, in that it primarily consists of "Just So" stories about why whatever happens in the World-As-Is is As It Should Be. Chaos theory is too often misused by corporate memeticians as a shorthand for "we can't possibly scientifically understand human culture or civilisation, so let's just make up some stories about it which make us feel better about the impending cataclysm. Also, anyone who gropes towards a scientific understanding is a gulag-loving totalitarian."

This article serves as a corrective to that brain-death-serving ideal, although perhaps it should be translated into English. Truly, as Comrade Galloway puts it, the biggest failure of Marxists in particular and "the left" in general is that they have lost the ability at least since the 1930s to speak in language that ordinary working people can understand.