science

Chomsky in New Scientist

Chomsky interview in New Scientist

Latest issue of New Scientist has an interview with Noam Chomsky on, language, human nature, social media and politics, as well as a little photo gallery.

Excerpt here, the full thing is online, you need a login, but it's free.

Gender inequality and gender differences

Polite Ire critiques gender essentialism and fashionable brain imaging studies.

The supposed ‘fundamental’ differences between sexes have historically been used as an argument against equal rights, notably in the opposition to women's suffrage.

Libertarian communism and the transitional regime - Christiaan Cornelissen

This 1931 text by the Dutch anarchosyndicalist Christiaan Cornelissen, who in 1916 was a signatory of the pro-war Manifesto of the Sixteen, argues against the possibility of the direct implementation of communist policies after the revolution and for the persistence of money, “government”, police and prisons during a transitional period that will only gradually overcome the baneful legacy of capitalism, and calls upon the trade unions to cultivate a technocratic leadership cadre to direct high level strategic planning by financial-industrial socialist trusts, and thus prepare humanity and the economy for communism. We do not agree with this article but reproduce for reference.

Libertarian Communism and the Transitional Regime – Christiaan Cornelissen

Author’s Preface

Before outlining the basic features of a libertarian communist economy in the pages that follow, it is important to bring to the reader’s attention all the difficulties that will confront anyone who attempts such a labor.

On the dialectical method - Amadeo Bordiga

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.

Review; Mutual Aid: an introduction and evaluation by Iain McKay

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.

Catastrophism, disaster management and sustainable submission - Rene Riesel and Jaime Semprun

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

Preliminary Clarifications

Neuropolitics, neuroeconomics, neuroethics... neurobabble: thoughts on 'Neuromania'

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.

Science and practice in Marx's political economy - Ron Rothbart

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).

Interview with Noam Chomsky in 'Radical Anthropology' (2008)

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.