Science & Technology



Capitalism is polluting the air we breathe, the water we drink and the very food we eat: all in the name of profit. Further evidence of this comes from a review published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on 28 February, evaluating the best available research on the effect of ‘ultra-processed food’ (UPF) on our health. This review included 45 studies and almost 10 million participants, and crucially did not include any research funded by the big food companies. The findings are categorical.

Advances in artificial intelligence continue to make headlines, as AI has begun to play a role in everything from art and journalism to conspiracy theories and unemployment. While AI is clearly here to stay, it is equally clear that the capitalist class has no interest in using it to its fullest. Once again, capitalism’s brutal inefficiency and systematic misuse of such technology is profound evidence of the need for communism and economic planning.

On January 6, 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft were grounded after a door plug blew from one of the planes’ fuselages over Oregon during an Alaska Airlines flight. No passengers were seriously injured this time, but in at least three prior incidents, problems on Boeing planes ended in fatal disaster. Why? The Boeing bosses play dice with the lives of aircrews and passengers, all for the sake of profit. The reckless aviation giant’s history of missing or faulty parts, suppression of safety protocols, and utter negligence is only one symptom of a much larger decay in capitalist production.

The capitalists are ploughing billions into artificial intelligence, salivating at the prospect of an AI-generated economic boost and keen to grab a slice of the new gold rush. But there is no technological solution for capitalism’s fundamental contradictions, and the investment party will inevitably be followed by a hangover.

After years of frenzied, debt-fuelled investment into on-demand content, the media industry is now facing an almighty crash, with studio staff, creative workers, and streaming customers paying the price. The chaos of capitalism is to blame.

For the past week, the world has been treated to a macabre piece of theatre: an international, multi-million-dollar operation to save the lives of five crewmen of the Titan submersible, who – it now turns out – were almost certainly known to have died from the start. Life is sacred: who could object to any expense to save just a single soul? But if all life is indeed sacred, then some lives are clearly more sacred than others.

Recent developments in Artificial Intelligence have provoked a mixture of fear and enthusiasm across the world. In this article, Daniel Morley, examines the claim that AI is ‘conscious’ or ‘superhuman’, draws out the real potential for this technology, and explains how we are really enslaved by the machine under capitalism.

The most recent launch of a rocket by Elon Musk’s spacecraft manufacturing company SpaceX ended dramatically on Thursday, as the vehicle touted as the most powerful rocket ever built went up in flames just off the coast of Texas. Despite being heralded as a “successful failure”, SpaceX’s escapades show the frivolous wastefulness of the capitalist class, who grow fat on government handouts, while the standard of living for workers only continues to worsen.

“It’s bananas,” exclaimed Dr Erica Nelson, co-author of a paper on a collection of fuzzy, red smudges of light from distant galaxies picked up by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST): “These galaxies should not have had time to form.” And yet, there they are! Massive, mature, insolent galaxies, shining brightly, in complete disregard of the fact that the Big Bang theory says they cannot exist.

The future of our planet depends on the successful transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. We are in a race against time. Climate scientists estimate there is a 50 percent chance of global temperatures exceeding pre-industrial levels by 1.5C in the next five years. Recently, a flurry of major breakthroughs in fusion energy have demonstrated the viability of this technology as a limitless, zero-carbon source of energy, harnessing the same process that powers our sun. And yet, scandalously, investment in this technology has been throttled for the past 50 years. Why? Because it was deemed unprofitable.

Mass sackings are occurring across the tech industry, including at online behemoths such as Twitter and Facebook, portending trouble for investors, users, and employees. It is time to take Big Tech under public ownership and workers’ control.

Thirty years after the launch of the Hubble telescope, its successor, the James Webb telescope is now operational. Big Bang cosmologists expected it to show young galaxies just a little after the universe’s own ‘beginning’. But having peered deep into the cosmos, the James Webb telescope is sending back images that defy the established cosmology, and point to a universe that is infinite in time and space. This article is included in issue 39 of the In Defence of Marxism magazine, click here to buy a copy and subscribe!

The recently awarded 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics has been accompanied by much chatter in popular science columns about how the work of the three awarded scientists has proven that there is no such thing as ‘objective reality’, and the world is not real. Even the Nobel Prize committee itself succeeded in misrepresenting the science. Idealist mysticism has made much headway in the sciences, and is expressed most crudely in popular science journals. Perhaps the worst specimen is the once highly regarded New Scientist magazine, as the following article from issue 37 of In Defence of Marxism magazine explains.

On April 25, Twitter announced that its board of directors would accept a $44 billion bid by Elon Musk to purchase the social media company. Pending shareholder approval, the deal is set to be finalized over the next three to six months. Musk, currently the richest person on Earth, with a net worth of $259 billion, would thus own one of the most influential social media sites in the world, used daily by over 200 million people.