Science & Technology

 

 

We are constantly bombarded with the myth that capitalism drives innovation, technology, and scientific advancement. But in fact, the precise opposite is true. Capitalism is holding back every aspect of human development, and science and technology is no exception.

Recently the Marxist society of the University of London Union met for a discussion on ‘Marxism and Darwinism’. The topic of this meeting was chosen in order to coincide with the recent exhibitions and publicity surrounding the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s masterwork, ‘Origin of the Species’ in November this year.

November of this year sees the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's famous book, Origin of the Species. The beautifully simple idea embodied in his book - evolution by natural selection - was a revolutionary departure with profound scientific and philosophical implications.

50 years ago on 4 October 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite into space - Sputnik 1. The launch came as a complete surprise, even to the US intelligence community which was caught completely unawares. The launching of the satellite not only shocked the world, it completely changed it by ushering in a new age - the Space Age.

The way the computer industry functions today is a perfect illustration of all the faults and massive inefficiencies of capitalism, where the primary goal is not serving the interests of society. Developing, improving and distributing software takes place only where big profits can be made. This stands in sharp contrast to free software, where human knowledge and the produce of human labour is used to the advantage all of society.

In the course of human history new discoveries, particularly in the fields of science and medicine, have challenged established thought. This is now happening again with stem cell research. What could lead to curing many diseases that up to now have been fatal is coming under a barrage of criticism because of religious and reactionary prejudices.

The second edition of Reason in Revolt will shortly be going to the printers. Here we publish the new Preface which deals with some of the more important scientific findings since the book was first published. Again, they all confirm the validity of dialectics in a remarkable manner.

Brazil, along with Argentina, is one of the key countries for the Latin American revolution. Therefore it is with great satisfaction that we can announce the forthcoming publication of a Brazilian edition of Reason in Revolt. Here we provide the new Introduction written by Alan for a Brazilian and more in general, a Portuguese speaking audience.

The countries most affected by HIV/AIDS are among the poorest in the world. The layers of society affected are also among the most vulnerable, both in the underdeveloped and developed countries. Eradicating poverty is the first and most fundamental step in eradicating this disease, something which is impossible under capitalism. This article provides some convincing statistics and arguments in favour of a fundamental change in society.

Marx and Engels took a great interest in science, for the same dialectical processes of change that exist in society, economics and politics also exist in natural processes. Here our oil industry correspondent demonstrates how this is true even in the use of sound signals to find new oil fields. He also emphasizes how in private hands new technology does not enhance life but instead destroys it.

The Internet is open to all, but capitalism demands an owner of everything and payment for everything. This new privatisation of ideas has provoked widespread indignation and sense of injustice. Tight control over intellectual property rights can actually slow down innovation. New technology has transcended the standard capitalist business model. We need to get rid of capitalism in order to unchain human creativity. The Internet shows us a glimpse of what is possible under socialism. Don't let them take it away from us!

In 2005, we published an article on the 'Crisis in Cosmology' by Harry Nielsen, which provoked some comment from readers. In addition to the original article, we publish as appendixes a letter that defends the main theories dominant in contemporary physics. This is followed by a reply that points out that the latest observations should at least lead scientists to question the validity of the Big Bang theory, a theory that dominates the thinking of mainstream physicists in spite of the all evidence. We also publish a second letter, supportive of Nielsen, commenting on the Olbers' paradox (explained in another

...

Capitalism attempts to turn everything into private property, the air we breathe, the water we drink and even ideas. Attempts of capitalists to make money from “their” intellectual property are like the highway robbery of medieval aristocrats who levied tolls on traders and restricted the growth of commerce and prosperity. Today private property and the profit motive are the biggest threat to our enjoyment of new ideas, our progress and even our existence as a species.

A new Mexican edition of Reason in Revolt, Marxist Philosophy and Modern Science is coming out shortly. Here we provide a new introduction by Alan Woods, in which he looks at some of the more important scientific breakthroughs since the book was first published ten years ago. He also dedicates some words to the poverty of modern bourgeois philosophy which has sunk back to the level of subjective idealism.