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Updated: 26 min 15 sec ago

It’s Time for a National $15 Minimum Wage

50 min 44 sec ago
In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, a basic principle of American economic life should be that if you work 40 hours or more a week, you do not live in poverty. Sadly, that is not the case today. While large corporations make record-breaking profits and top CEOs earn about 335 times more an […]

The Role of Science in Capitalist Society and Social Change

50 min 45 sec ago
It was a deary day in Washington, D.C. The rain was pouring down and thousands of people were gathered in a huddled mass, listening to speakers tell about their scientific work or scientific innovations. Others uttered platitudes or nationalistic sayings, declaring the US should be “number one” in science above the rest of the world. […]

Waffling Ann Coulter

50 min 46 sec ago
Ann Coulter talks tough, but only in print. She refused to talk tough when it came time to talk. She was invited to Berkeley. She made a lot of noise about it. Then, when push threatened to come to shove, she wimped out. I am not impressed with the lady at all. I never have […]

Trump Calls Schumer’s Bluff: “If There’s A Shutdown, There’s A Shutdown… Democrats Would Be To Blame”

50 min 47 sec ago
Zero HedgeApril 28, 2017 With Democrats seemingly unsatisfied with Republicans dropping border wall funding and adjusting on Obamacare-related items, it appears President Trump is calling Schumer’s and Pelosi’s bluff, proclaiming “If there’s a shutdown, there’s a shutdown,” adding that Democrats would be to blame if the federal government was left unfunded. Schumer today: *SCHUMER: TRUMP CONCESSIONS BRING […]

Possible friendly fire killed two soldiers in Afghanistan – Pentagon

50 min 48 sec ago
Published time: 28 Apr, 2017 20:16Edited time: 29 Apr, 2017 19:02 The Pentagon is investigating whether the two Army Rangers were killed by ground fire from Afghan commandos or other American forces during a raid this week on an ISIS stronghold. “We are investigating the circumstances of the combat deaths of the two Army Rangers […]

Trump invites Philippine counterpart to Washington

50 min 49 sec ago
US President Donald Trump has invited his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte to the White House to discuss Washington-Manila relations and the standoff over North Korea. Trump invited Duterte in a phone call on Saturday, according to a White House readout of the conversation. “It was a very friendly conversation, in which the two leaders discussed the […]

Five dead and nearly 50 people hospitalized after series of tornadoes hit East Texas

1 hour 23 min ago
Five people were killed and nearly 50 people were taken to hospitals after a series of tornadoes hit East Texas on Saturday. Powerful storms swept through Canton and nearby areas about 50 miles east of Dallas, leaving behind a trail of overturned vehicles, mangled trees and damaged homes. ETMC Regional Heathcare Systems hospitals in the area received at least 47 patients following the storm. One person was in critical condition, spokeswoman Rebecca Berkley said.

Lightning sparks house fire as severe storms sweep through Indiana

1 hour 23 min ago
A line of severe storms has triggered several warnings, including a tornado warning near Columbus Friday evening. The tornado warning was issued until 8:15 a.m. for Bartholomew and Decatur counties as the storm passed through Columbus to the east. Several severe thunderstorm warnings were issued across south central Indiana as the storms moved through. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 2 a.m. for several counties in southern Indiana, including Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Franklin, Jennings and Monroe, among others further to the south and east of the WTHR viewing area. Also, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for a large portion of south central Indiana through Saturday morning.

US warns of “catastrophic consequences” if North Korea is not brought to heel

2 hours 6 min ago
  US warns of “catastrophic consequences” if North Korea is not brought to heel By Peter Symonds 29 April 2017 In an address yesterday to the UN Security Council, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned of “catastrophic consequences” if member states did not take swift action to force North Korea to the negotiating table […]

Video: The People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War, Day Two: Dr. Eddie Glaude

2 hours 6 min ago
On Day 2 of the CODEPINK #IraqTribunal, participants provided testimony on the costs of the invasion and occupation. Help support The Real News by making … Via Youtube

Video: Bristol Metro Mayor Hustings 2017 on BCfm Politics Show with Tony Gosling

2 hours 6 min ago
0:00 Introduction – apologies/explanation why Tory Tim Bowles and Merchant Venturer John Savage did not attend these hustings. 2:15 Weather 2:55 Q1 Whose … Via Youtube

Risk of Baiting Trump on His 100 Days

2 hours 6 min ago
As President Trump reaches the 100-day mark, the liberal and mainstream criticism is that he hasn’t accomplished much, but that baiting only makes Trump likely to wage more wars and push a more right-wing agenda, says Sam Husseini. By Sam Husseini A CNN headline blares before the end of President Trump’s “First 100 Days”: “Trump’s […]

North Korea slams Israel as 'disturber of peace armed with illegal nukes under US patronage'

2 hours 58 min ago
North Korea has accused Israel of being the "only illegal possessor" of nukes and threat to peace in the Middle East, and threatened Tel Aviv with a "thousand-fold punishment" after Israeli Defense Minister called Pyongyang's leadership a "crazy and radical group." In an interview with Hebrew news site Walla this week, Avigdor Lieberman stated that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un is a "madman" in charge of a "crazy and radical group" which is "undermining global stability." Pyongyang "seems to have crossed the red line with its recent nuclear tests," the Israeli defense minister said, according to the Times of Israel. In response, Pyongyang promised a "thousand-fold punishment to whoever dares hurt the dignity of its supreme leadership," calling Lieberman's "sordid and wicked" remarks a part of Israel's smear campaign to cover up its own crimes. Firing back at the perceived hypocrisy, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said that, unlike Israel, which is a "disturber of peace" in its neighborhood, their country is full entitled to seek deterrence against "US aggression."

Putin Warns: The Situation In North Korea Has “Seriously Deteriorated”

3 hours 21 min ago
Mac SlavoSHTFplan.comApril 28, 2017 While it’s easy to dismiss the rhetoric of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the ravings of a madman, world leaders appear to hold a different view. With President Trump having deployed a Naval strike fleet to South Korea, China mobilizing over a hundred thousand troops to the border and Russia following […]

Father jailed for abandoning child to visit California strip club

3 hours 21 min ago
Published time: 28 Apr, 2017 21:18Edited time: 29 Apr, 2017 19:02 A father who abandoned his child to ogle strippers has been jailed for 10 days by a Los Angeles district court. Auwin Dargin, 24, pled no contest in court, which heard how he left his nine-month-old daughter in a vehicle near Sepulveda Boulevard last […]

Trump wouldn't rule out use of military force against North Korea

3 hours 21 min ago
US President Donald Trump would not rule out military action against North Korea if the reclusive country carries out another nuclear weapons test. In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Saturday, Trump downplayed the significance of North Korea’s “small missile launch,” carried out the day before. When pressed by the host whether he […]

US deploys troops at Syrian border to stop clashes between Turkish & Kurdish forces

4 hours 13 min ago
The US has deployed troops to Syria's northeast border with Turkey in an attempt to prevent an escalation of fighting between the Turkish forces and Kurdish militia units that followed Turkish airstrikes hitting two Kurdish-held areas in Syria and Iraq. "Coalition forces are conducting joint patrols along the northeastern Syria-Turkey border to assess reports from both the [Kurdish] SDF and Turkey regarding skirmishes and cross-border fires between their respective security forces," an official from the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) Public Affairs Office told RT via email, confirming the deployment. "The patrols' purpose is to discourage escalation and violence between two of our most trusted partners in the fight to defeat ISIS [Islamic State terrorist group (IS, former ISIS/ISIL)] and reinforce the Coalition's commitment to both Turkey and the SDF," the CJTF - OIR statement added. The Coalition also called on both Turks and Kurds to "remain focused on the fight to defeat ISIS, which is the greatest threat to regional and worldwide peace and security."

Russian FM Lavrov says Moscow fully ready to cooperate with Washington on Syria

4 hours 13 min ago
Moscow is eager to resume cooperation with Washington on solving the Syrian crisis, Sergey Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, said during his meeting with his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi, in the Russian capital. During the meeting, Lavrov noted that Jordan's King Abdullah II has repeatedly emphasized the importance of joint Russian-American efforts in Syria. "I can assure that we're fully ready for this. We count on Washington to demonstrate the same approach," he said. The Russian FM added: "The ceasefire between the government forces and the armed opposition is also important regarding the effectiveness of tackling terrorist threats in Syria." But it can only be achieved "by unifying the efforts of all those who are fighting terrorism in Syria, I mean, both the Russian Air Force and the coalition led by the Americans," he added.

The Role of Science in Capitalist Society and Social Change

4 hours 28 min ago

It was a deary day in Washington, D.C. The rain was pouring down and thousands of people were gathered in a huddled mass, listening to speakers tell about their scientific work or scientific innovations. Others uttered platitudes or nationalistic sayings, declaring the US should be “number one” in science above the rest of the world. This was the March for Science in D.C. this past Earth Day, one of the many actions across the world. The march and rally beforehand, like many of the other marches for environmentalism through the Obama years, likely will have no effect on policy or direction of the reactionary Trump Administration. With its Republican allies in Congress, the administration plans to cut scientific programs while feeding more fuel into the ravenous, murderous, and imperialistic war machine of the United States. Trump’s hate of scientists clearly universal as demonstrated by the sanctioning of 271 Syrian scientists by the Treasury Department despite the fact these scientists have not engaged in any hostile acts aimed at the United States. As for the demonstration, it was predictably anti-Trump, just like many actions since this past January. This action was sponsored by Big Green bourgeois environmental groups (“Gang Green”) like Defenders of Wildlife and Nature Conservancy, along with established scientific organizations and institutes, accompanied by the Hip Hop Caucus, providing the “funk” and “soul” music which permeated the rally in the rainy morning. However, it was partially inspiring to see tens of thousands of people in the rain advocating for science. I say that even though some grumbled about science becoming “political”/”politicized,” like this is a bad development, or the march whitewashing certain groups, with the demonstration itself encouraging me to begin writing this article the following day.1

In this day and age, science is more important than ever. The Marxist Internet Archive, apart from having a page about Marxism and Natural Science, defines science as the

socially legitimated accumulation of knowledge, and the institutions and practices for observation, classification, experiment, verification, criticism, legitimation and dissemination of those practices and associated theory in a systematic whole…[it] is one of a number of means (artistic, religious, sensori-motor, etc.) of organising social activity, integral to which is the development of theoretical knowledge towards a unified and legitimate whole…The development of science is characterised by a separation out of scientific practice and scientific consciousness from other legitimate forms of social practice and consciousness, and consequently the establishment of institutions dedicated to scientific practice which in turn have come to be dominated by capital.

There is no doubt that climate change/global warming, or what should be more accurately called climate catastrophe, is happening. Science itself, whether in its social (“soft”) or natural (“hard”) realms, is not only vital to understanding social change, connecting with Marxist analysis, but important for the development of social science as a whole. As some have put it, rightly, human history is a continuation of natural history. As it stands now, nature and all things considered natural are “commonly glorified and the feats of the engineer…are considered meddlesome, if not dangerous” with this attitude reinforced by certain scientific interpretations, saying that “human beings must concede to nature” with some arguing that the “loss of faith in [scientific] progress…explains today’s loss of faith in science.” As Chilean Marxist Marta Harnecker put it in a recent interview, “the conscious technical application of science” has been applied to the general production process and used to exploit available soil.

But there is a more direct threat. It’s not the testing of genes, but the reactionary backlash against science, with the bourgeois media portraying it as a “debate” between climate scientists and deniers, when there is no debate at all. Some elements of capitalist class ultimately want a climate catastrophe as it will increase their profits, while others take weak steps to “stop” it, even though it is evident that with capitalism’s destruction of nature, human-induced climate change can only be mitigated by a broad socialist revolution and complete overhaul of the system, not just tinkering.

We are facing, in advanced capitalist society, at least, a dilemma. Many scientific projects are bourgeois in character, not proletarian, with corporate and military funding dominating their structures. This article aims to examine this dilemma in all its parts.

Does Conner write a history of proletarian science?

Clifford D. Conner, a teacher and social historian, claims to write a history of proletarian science in his tome, A People’s History of Science. He says that his book will tell how “ordinary humans participated in creating science in profound ways” to demonstrate the contribution of the masses, whether they were peoples in Mesopotamia, whalers in the Gulf Stream, or indigenous peoples in the Americas, to scientific discoveries, even as he says he still believes that the “familiar Great Men of science” are important.2 However, problems with his work are apparent. For one, he uses the broad term “the people” rejecting terms like “the masses, the working class, and the proletariat,” saying that these are associated with the “discredited ideology of the Stalinist period,” making him sound like a traitorous Trotskyist. Even with this worrying prospect, he does say that science should be broad, inclusionary, and does not have an easy definition, with differences in methodology between biology, ecology, and astrophysics, lets say, even as science and technology are interconnected, not separated.3

From here, Mr. Conner begins to examine hunter-gatherers, or what some have called gatherer-hunters. He dismisses those who say that such people were of low intelligence, highlighting Friedrich Engels’s argument that the development of labor was important in human development.4 He goes on to say that such people were relatively intelligent, based on anthropological data, saying that these foragers conducted science, beyond the abilities of those in European capitalist societies, without a professional group of intellectuals present. The abilities of indigenous people, from the Aborigines in Australia to Polynesians in the Pacific islands, later met by English captain James Cook, and native Tahitians, ranged. He notes how Polynesians had developed their own forms of astronomy, geography, navigational learning, knowledge of ocean swells, and a “sidereal compass” coming from their comprehensive knowledge of the positions of stars in the sky.5

Mr. Conner goes on to talk about indigenous navigation on land, their cartography, which was stolen by White European colonists for imperialist purposes, and recordkeeping differing in each of their respective environments, with some developing  alphabetic writing. There was also development of advanced agriculture, coupled with astronomy by African peoples, expanded botanical knowledge, creation of quinine before it was stolen for European use, different natural anesthetics, forms of inoculation, along with methods tried by working people in still-developing capitalist countries like England.6 Clearly, the indigenous peoples of the world were not only ahead of Europeans scientifically in many leaps and bounds, but their ideas were so effective that they were stolen by Whites for selfish purposes, and, hence, these peoples should be recognized for their contributions.

After covering the contribution of indigenous peoples, Mr. Conner moves onto the Greeks. He notes that many White European scholars see science as originating with them, with an idea of a “Greek miracle” in science despite the fact that developed science was present in ancient Egypt and the Greeks recognized that their civilization’s wisdom was rooted in previous societies.7 This reality was disregarded in European academic circles, as everything “worthwhile” in the past was claimed to be, the “achievement” of the White race. Clearly, “racial science” was not on the fringe, but was the mainstream of White European science, used to reinforce colonialism and imperialism. Greek science, as he writes, was not one single event or historic occurrence but was a development over time, over thousands of years. This included the Ionian Greeks, with developments of “democratic republics” to favor the Plebians in their societies, with Pythagoras’s famed theorem actually dating back to Babylonian mathematicians, Plato’s elitism leaving a mark on science but somewhat moderated by Aristotle, creating an idea of elitism in the discipline, and development of the Hippocratic oath.8 He then writes about “elite science” after Aristotle, Roman science, science in the Islamic world, and within traditional China, saying the rise of capitalism created the social pre-conditions for a “scientific revolution” to come.

From here, Mr. Conner focuses on sailors and navigational sciences. After noting that Prince Henry of Portugal never was a navigator, even though he became a “Great Man” of history, he notes that sailors did not “hug” shores but rather sailed across vast bodies of water for thousands of years before the Europeans and after.9 Even with winds and currents, Europeans, starting with a Greek sailor named Hippalos, opened the Indian Ocean as a trade route, with the same done by Benjamin Franklin, building on the knowledge of whalers who had used the Gulf Stream, when he published his navigational chart on the subject. Blue-water sailors could venture on the high seas, assisted by geography, cartography, astronomy, and accumulated climatic knowledge.10

At long last, Mr. Conner gets to the scientific “revolutionaries.” He notes that there is no historical agreement on the “Scientific Revolution,” a concept that originated in the 1930s, that hundreds of types of craftspeople engaged in contributions to science, and that nature began to be “mathematized” for the benefit of merchants, miners, sailors, architects, and the like.11 By the sixteenth century, instrument makers changed surveying with creation of textbooks, Renaissance painters established perspective, philosophy became more of a discipline, and social divisions between scholars and craftsmen were more acute. Francis Bacon, Nicolas of Cusa, Jan Luis Vives, and Martin Luther recognized the wisdom that could be gained from those in workshops and the streets for their high-flying intellectual endeavors, engaging in systematic exploitation of the ideas of the proletariat for their own benefit.12 Even Galileo Galilei benefited from interactions with artisans, with the development of artisan-authors, including Robert Norman, with the printing press changing distribution of scientific knowledge dramatically. Others depended on interactions with the working class like Paraclesus or Johannes Kepler, as science and medicine advanced, even though it was still relatively “primitive” as some would say today.

Then, Mr. Conner moves onto the “winners” of the so-called “scientific revolution.” He argued that the new scientific elite benefited while artisans, tradesmen, and other laborers who “revolutionized science” were worse off, with creation of experimental academies, the Royal Society’s inception, the idea of “value-free” science, and attempts to discredit traditional learning.13 There was also the use of patriarchal imaging of non-human nature, hunting of those dubbed “witches,” and medical science becoming more elite, while those of modest origins among the proletariat, such as Johann Rudolph Glauber, advancing forward. If this wasn’t enough, protection of commercial secrets made it hard for those in the proletariat to disclose their discoveries.14 Mr. Conner goes to note how elite science fueled the fires of the French Revolution. The revolution destroyed the Royal Academy of Science even as a “professional elite” still dominated the scientific field, a battle between artisans and academics within France, science becoming, on the streets, connected with “radical social thought,” and pushes for “people’s science” in France without success by the end of the revolution. With the dust settled, a new social order was established across the world, with science’s further development clearly subordinated to capitalist interests.15

We then get to the nineteenth century, when as Mr. Conner puts it, there is a “Union of Capital and Science” but not between equals. With this union the dominance of “Big Science” began to come more into view, with knowledge and nature commodified, with craftsmen and engineers making discoveries in the “Industrial Revolution” but their ideas exploited by an elite, such as Abraham Darby, for ironworks, Thomas Savery, for the steam-powered pump, or Joseph Black, with his theory of latent heat which helped distillers produce beer.16 While many of the accomplishments of artisans and engineers were “recorded and publicized,” their ideas were exploited for use in metallurgy, certain institutes, the theory of species evolution later expanded  by famed English naturalist Charles Darwin. From there was the development of Darwinism with his theory tolerable to the scientific elite and anti-socialists, even as Karl Marx used it effectively. Social Darwinism was pushed forward to support the growing capitalist system, with a Malthusian flavor, which connected with the notion of eugenics, founded by Darwin’s first cousin, Francis Galton.17

Then there is Mr. Conner’s last chapter about the “scientific-industrial complex” in the twentieth century and beyond that point. With the confidence in the goodness of science at the beginning of the twentieth century seeming limitless, this was changed with the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even as “Big Science” was glorified by chemical companies, as some, even on the Left, appealed to eugenics, to support their ideological agendas, even as such ideas were shown to be horrific after World War II and the end of the Holocaust.18 The experiments by the Germans on those in their concentration camps were against common human decency but are not unprecedented with the US military in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at the illegally occupied Guantanamo Bay military base, engaging in horrid experimentation. With Social Darwinism not having as many open supporters, it shifted to sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, with applications in Frederick W. Taylor’s management system (“Taylorism”), and people’s science within the Soviet Union as argued an international conference of scientists.19 It is at this point that Mr. Conner’s book starts going into anti-Soviet and anti-communist diatribes, claiming that Trofim Denisovich Lysenko’s science was “wrong,” claiming that Stalin opposed “proletarian science” even as he criticizes the Green Revolution, makes a convincing argument about Rachel Carson’s role in environmentalism, notes the importance of feminism in criticizing medical science, and talks about the consolidation of science within big companies even with information becoming widely available on the Internet.

Mr. Conner seems to corrupt his work by not consulting varying viewpoints on Mr. Lysenko’s work. Evidently, Mr. Lysenko’s criticism of “orthodox genetics” has some value at least, as he based some of his ideas on Darwin and Engels, rejected Malthusian ideas, along with many other aspects. Also, he argued,

Multiple people dead, dozens injured after tornadoes hit Texas

4 hours 36 min ago
Powerful tornadoes have swept through East Texas, leaving at least five people dead and dozens of others injured. The storms struck Canton, Eustace and Caney City Saturday afternoon and evening, damaging homes, trees and other structures, officials said. Tornadoes overturned dozens of vehicles on Interstate 20, east of Canton, according to NBC. A tree fallen […]










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