Over the past weeks the news has been dominated by the story of yet another crisis in farming. The rapid spreading of the food and mouth epidemic in Britain is a direct consequence of capitalist farming methods.

This is the headline of an article about Vygotsky written at the University of Joenkoeping in Sweden. Lev Semenovich Vygotsky (1896-1934) was a Russian Marxist psychologist and pedagogue active from the years before the revolution until his death in 1934. His theories, for a long period unknown outside Russia, have gained an increasing echo among radical psychologists and pedagogues during the last decade, not least in the US, but also in Europe.

"With the greatest enthusiasm we welcome the republication of Reason in Revolt in Spanish. In the six years since the book was first published in English and Spanish it has received a favourable response from many parts of the world, both from labour movement activists and from scientists. Interest in our ideas has been expressed in many countries. It has so far been translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek, Urdu and Turkish, and new translations are being prepared in German and Dutch." Alan Woods and Ted Grant comment on the latest scientific discoveries in genetics, black holes and the Big Bang, and how they confirm the views put forward in Reason in Revolt six years ago.

When Reason in Revolt was published seven years ago, it was greeted with enthusiasm by many people, not just by Marxists but those who were interested in the new scientific theories of chaos and complexity. But some readers found the authors' opposition to the theory of the Big Bang hard to accept, after all it seemed that the whole scientific community accepted the theory without question. But last week Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok published a paper in Science in which they propose an alternative model to the Big Bang theory. They suggest that the universe goes through and endless cycle of big bangs, expansion and then stagnation. Their ideas are at an early stage but they are clearly a step forward from the mystical idea that the universe was created out of nothing.

On Monday, May 20, the famous American palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould died of cancer at his home in New York. Gould made a major contribution to development of modern science with his theories on evolution, and challenged some of the accepted views of bourgeois science.

We are publishing for the first time on our website the preface to the first volume of the US edition of Reason in Revolt, published last summer. Though written one year ago, we think that it is still an useful introduction to all the main subjects dealt with in the book, such as Marxism and religion, the Big Bang theory and chaos and complexity.

On Saturday, October 12, Alan Woods participated in the official launch of the German edition of Reason in Revolt (Aufstand der Vernunft) which has just come out. The publication has already aroused a lot of interest in left circles in Germany and Austria, where a series of public presentations is being prepared for the next few months.

Over 400 people attended 3 different meetings in Vienna and Linz organised to launch the German edition of Reason in Revolt in Austria between December 12 and 14. Alan Woods spoke at these meetings and huge interest was shown by those attending. Now several discussion groups have been set up around the book in different universities and schools, and the campaign around the book is to continue next year.

The first volume of Reason in Revolt has, by all accounts, been well received in the USA. In general, the Anglo Saxon world has been highly resistant to broad philosophical generalizations and to Marxism in particular. Yet without such philosophical generalizations it is impossible to acquire a rational understanding of the world in which we live.

From the fourth to the twelfth of April, shortly after returning from an outstanding congress of the Pakistan Marxists, Alan Woods was in Austria on a speaking tour, organised by the Austrian Marxist newspaper, Der Funke ("The Spark"). The tour, which was partly taken up by anti-war meetings and partly to present the German language edition of Reason in Revolt, was a great success.

On Sunday April 27, the British Channel 4 broadcast a documentary which went into detail into "how far drug companies are prepared to go to get their drugs approved and get the prices they want". Basing itself on four different cases, the program made a very powerful case for its main conclusion: "if the Big-Pharma powers remain unchecked soon many more people will be dying for drugs."

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