A 1950 essay by Amadeo Bordiga on the dialectical method, reviewing the history of dialectics since the time of Zeno of Elea, summarizing the further development of dialectical thought and its culmination in the works of Marx and Engels, distinguishing Marx’s dialectic from the metaphysical dialectic of the German critical philosophers, French materialism and English empiricism, explaining its differences with regard to the traditional scientific method and illustrating its principles by way of an interpretation of the meaning of the “negation of the negation” in Marx’s abstract schema of historical stages, “individual property-capitalism-socialism”.
On the Dialectical Method – Amadeo Bordiga
Morality and biology in the Spanish Civil War: Psychiatrists, revolution and women prisoners in Málaga
Michael Richards on the Spanish Civil War, women and psychiatry.
If woman loses her self-understanding she will become shackled to a civilisation in crisis, transformed into a body, part of decadent femininity. Woman in a crisis of self will always be material. She will be susceptible to bodily outbreaks of corporal diseases and mental disorders which will precipitate pilgrimages in search of doctors, when not to prison, prostitution or the asylum.
A review of Iain McKay's introduction and evaluation to Peter Kropotkin's Mutual Aid, reviewed by Paul Petard.
This extended essay, published in pamphlet form by AK Press, is based on research Ian McKay did for his introduction to the new Freedom Press edition of Kropotkin's Mutual Aid. It deals not only with Kropotkin's work, but also on issues in science writing in general, and encompasses Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould and Matt Ridley among others.
In this book first published in 2008, Jaime Semprun and René Riesel examine the attempt by predominantly First World governments and NGOs to utilize the specter of an environmental apocalypse as an alibi to save “industrial civilization” by imposing a rationed form of “survival”, justified by a terroristic propaganda campaign based on fear, enforced by an expansion of the state’s coercive powers, and facilitated by the mass conformism and resignation that “industrial society” has induced in the population by creating an “anxiogenic environment” of “insecurity and generalized instability”; “[f]or the fears proclaimed by the experts … are in reality nothing but orders”.
Catastrophism, Disaster Management and Sustainable Submission – René Riesel and Jaime Semprun
“Even if liberty had entirely perished from the earth, such men would invent it. For them slavery has no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised.”
Étienne de la Boétie
Discourse on Voluntary Servitude
Some initial thoughts on the recent book, Neuromania: On the limits of brain science by Paolo Legrenzi & Carlo Umiltà (trans. by Frances Anderson), Oxford University Press
Is there a capitalist part of the brain? Is there a conservative part of the brain? Are a new set of disciplines right to suggest there may be? Legrenzi & Umiltà beg to differ.
This short volume provides a welcome respite from the sensational reporting of brain science by skimming over the various sub-disciplines and highlighting the grandious claims of proponents.
Published in 1981 in the Berkeley Journal of Sociology. Discusses Marx's concept of science, his dialectical method, his critique of fetishism, his attempts to resolve the revolutionary and evolutionary (determinisitic) aspects of his theory, and Grossman's and Korsch's attempts to avoid determinism through a turn to subjective factors (working-class self-activity).
From Radical Anthropology issue 2. "Noam Chomsky ranks among the leading intellectual figures of modern times and has changed the way we think about what it means to be human, revolutionising linguistics and establishing it as a modern science. He agreed to discuss just some of his ideas with Radical Anthropology."
NoamChomsky is institute professor and professor of linguistics (emeritus) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Part of marxist anthropologist Chris Knight's long-running examination of Noam Chomsky. "Language is peculiar. No other species has anything remotely like it. If language is part of nature – a kind of organ or instinct, like stereoscopic vision – it’s puzzling. It’s unusual for a complex biological adaptation to be wholly confined to just one species."
Chomsky treats language as cognition, not communication. He says it enables us to think in unusually clear and powerful ways, planning ahead, comparing and evaluating our ideas and so on. But if so, wouldn’t we have expected other large-brained animals – elephants, whales, dolphins, chimpanzees – to have benefited from some such feature? Why just humans?
A 2003 interview with marxist and evolutionary geneticist Richard Lewontin on the politics of science.
Lewontin is a legend. His critiques of biological determinism, lazy reductionism, and reactionary uses of science are key readings for anyone interested in the intersection of politics and biology.
I've not yet purchased his new book yet, though I'm sure I'll grab a copy sometime, but already all the interviews with him and reviews I've read are fairly infuriating.
His new book The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes looks mammoth, much bigger than any of his previous books, about 800 pages. Previous stuff of his like Stuff of Thought and Language Instinct are decent readings in psycholinguistics, while his treading into moral philosophy inThe Blank Slate is nauseating.