In the second part of his analysis of science and philosophy, Ben Curry scrutinises the development of science from the Middle Ages through to the modern era, from its relegation as the “handmaiden of theology” under feudalism to the bourgeois scientific revolution ushered in by the likes of Copernicus, Galileo and Newton. Ben explains that science is always rooted in class society, and the lack of a dialectical materialist perspective has led some modern scientists back to the idealism and mysticism that the bourgeoisie railed against in its revolutionary phase.

In this two-part article, Ben Curry explains the development of scientific thought from a Marxist perspective. In part one, Ben introduces the dialectical materialist outlook, explains how it applies to the natural world and demonstrates how the ancient philosophers of Greece and Rome laid the foundations for modern science.

Capitalism is in its deepest crisis in its history. It is an economic, social and political crisis, which is now expressing itself in political turmoil and growing class struggle across the globe. While the ruling class attempts to bury Marxism, it has in fact never been so relevant as it is today. In this updated article Alan Woods explains the essence of Marxism and its role today.

The following article was published in the first issue of the new Marxist theoretical magazine, Lal Salaam, published in Pakistan.

“The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question. Man must prove the truth — i.e. the reality and power, the this-sidedness of his thinking in practice. The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking that is isolated from practice is a purely scholastic question”. (Marx, Second Thesis on Feuerbach.)

The issue of “morality” and “morals” is often used by critics of the Russian Revolution and supporters of capitalism to smear the historical significance of the Bolsheviks and tar the idea of socialism altogether. Leon Trotsky answered these critics in his pamphlet “Their Morals and Ours”, written in 1938. In this article, we look at Trotsky’s pamphlet and his analysis of “morality”.

The Dutch edition of Reason in Revolt is being launched today, October 18, at 19.00 hours at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and tomorrow, October 19 in Antwerp at 19.00 hours at the Cafe 'Den Bengel', Market 5, 2000 Antwerp, with Alan Woods speaking. For more information about the book click here. The book is also being launched in the Netherlands on October 20, at 19.30, at Stayokay Amsterdam Zeeburg, Timorplein 21, 1094CC Amsterdam, with Alan Woods speaking.

Over the past period, especially since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, there has been a systematic and vitriolic attack on the ideas of Marxism. From the citadels of higher learning to the pulpit, from free market institutes to the gutter press, a deafening torrent has rained down on the Marxist viewpoint. In order to confuse and disorient the class conscious worker, nothing is spared by the arch defenders of capitalism to discredit scientific socialism. But given that capitalism has meant the return of mass unemployment and the social ills of the inter-war period, a layer of workers and youth are searching for answers to their problems. Increasingly they are driven by the harsh realities of life under capitalism to look for a way out.

Lukács was an important influence on what is called 'western Marxism'. This was seen as a 'humanist' alternative to the dominant stalinist orthodoxy of the inter-War period and later. One of Lukács' most significant arguments was that (contrary to Engels) there can be no dialectics of nature. Dan Morley examines the debate and goes into the contradictory relationship between Lukács' interpretation of Marxism and Stalinism.

As people recover from the food and drink during the Christmas and New Year break we publish something from Lenin: "Those who toil are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven."

In developing this philosophical outlook, Marx based himself on great thinkers that had preceded him, but went beyond them in developing further those ideas and providing new insights. He developed his dialectics from Hegel, the great German philosopher. Here Ann Robertson in the USA provides an interesting examination of the development of dialectics from Hegel through to Marx.

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