The cat-and-mouse game between piracy supporters on the one hand and state authorities and major multinational companies on the other is heating up. Over the past few years there has been a marked increase in the persecution of websites and individuals involved in piracy. Democratic rights are being thrown overboard and the full force of the state applied in the media industry’s ruthless pursuit of profits.
Pharmaceutical companies bend or withhold scientific data and lie about their drugs, in ways which endanger, harm or kill sick people, to make a profit. That is the shocking reality laid bare in Ben Goldacre’s new book, ‘Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients’. This is a prime example of the way the profit motive rewarded by Capitalism stands in front of human progress.
Every scientific theory goes through a period of consolidation, where new discoveries strengthen and extend it. At a certain point these new discoveries lead to a new and more accurate interpretation of the same data. Starting with the development of the same theory in a new form, at a certain point, it becomes a new theory. This is how scientific development evolves, trough dialectics: a quantitative approximation of reality that, at a certain point, produces a qualitative leap forward that incorporates the main discoveries of the previous theories but also denies important aspects of those same theories.
Darwin’s theory produced a complete break with previous ideas about natural life. We will touch on two points that are particularly important for the shaping of bourgeois ideology. The first is the end of teleology in science. As Marx put it: “It is here that, for the first time, ‘teleology’ in natural science is not only dealt a mortal blow but its rational meaning is empirically explained.”
Every ruling class has an ideology to back up its domination. Before capitalism, the productive forces were growing so slowly that the very idea of change seemed irrelevant. The ideological justification of class power then was based on the idea of a motionless life, a universe always identical to itself that God had created that way and had given to humankind (that is to the ruling class) to rule over. Everything was identical since the Creation. Evolution was meaningless, in nature as in society. On the contrary, tradition, ipse dixit, and old habits held sway. [part 1]
On the 24th August 2012 Samsung was ordered by a court in San Jose, California to pay Apple just over $1 billion in damages for patent infringement. Apple is now seeking to ban the sale of certain Samsung products in the USA and a hearing is scheduled for 20th September for that claim. This long-running dispute between these technology giants over infringement of smart phone patents shines a spotlight on the failings of a decaying capitalist system.
Ten years ago the great palaeontologist and evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould died in New York of cancer. It was the second time that Gould had faced this terrible disease and this time he was defeated by it. The name of Gould will always be linked to his “punctuated equilibrium theory”, published in 1977 with his colleague Niles Eldredge.
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