File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/97-03-16.132, message 31


Subject: M-I: Re: marxism-international-digest V1 #495
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 19:56:55 -0500 (EST)


Louis R Godenaa writes:
> I did not intend in my original post to cast aspersions on Professor
> Hubbard,  who -- like her colleagues R.C. Lewontin,  Dick Levins,  Steffie
> Woolhandler,  and numerous others grouped around the old Science for the
> People Collective -- has proven to be both a practical and dedicated enemy
> of the ravages of capitalist science.    My purpose was simply to note the

Well, since Doug Henwood has cast aspersions on Hubbard, I'll recommend 
Lewontin's essay in the book version of Science Wars, which I think sums
up what this tempest is all about. 

I was somewhat disappointed by Adolfo Olaechea's reply. The history of
the Socialist movement provides many constructive examples of how the
production of scientific knowledge and of technology can be guided by
and used for the benefit of the broad masses of people. Similarly,
the history of science provides many examples of how, under 
capitalism, their production is directed toward the narrow, immediate interests 
of the bourgeoisie against the interests of the broad masses of people.


For example, in the early part of the century, not only reactionaries,
but self-styled leftists defended eugenic and biological racist ideas as
epitomes of "Enlightenment Values." Similarly, some Soviet scientists 
defended them as advanced, rational, objective, scientific ideas. However,
the Soviet people would have none of it. Another conflict arose in
agricultural production, where the experience of working farmers conflicted
with the ideas of genetics experts. The positive outcome of these events -
suppressing eugenics, learning from the masses - and the negative outcomes -
the use of administrative methods to settle matters of fact, the suppression
of some correct ideas - are both instructive. The Chinese revolution
similarly offers instruction. Those looking for a research topic might try
to examine the 


Look at Engel's On the Role of Labor in Transition ofrom Ape to Man for
a good example of the way out from the Scylla of the irrationalism of
one segment of the academic "left" and the Charybdis of the intellectual 
authoritarianism (or submisiveness?) of another segment. Or to Lenin on
Mach.


Paul



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