The Post to end my series of Rebuttals
How do you then reconcile the fact that RCP has denied the fact that there is “class science” and truth?. If Marxism is a science, than its application as a science has nothing to do with the development of classes itself. Further that Marxism, in its pure scientific sense, apart from consciousness and political line. Then the propositions must be result as such
1)RCP says communism is both science and class consciousness
2)RCP denies “class truths” and class effecting science
Then there is contradiction here. It is either that something has to give, is Communism a class consciousness or a science? How can it be asserted, as Jibaro has, that “Dialectical Materialism” is the result of the historic development of classes and that they as a class they are the only class to be able to take such a “scientific” analysis, then to assert that the post-structuralists make wild exaggerations when they say science is not outside of Ideology? What is coherent here?
Of course the problem here is that probably RCP hasn't broke away from the instrumentalism of the CPSU. The model for RCP is an actual reversion to the 'Stalinist' model, it does not grasp the ideological breaks of Mao Zedong and the CPC, nor the philosophical development that was allowed to happen since the death of Stalin. What has been contributed to the field of understanding ideology and the subject is immeasurable, and really RCP for its talk against the determinism merely reverts to it.
Take for example the talk of the “historic development” of the Proletariat being the root for of consciousness. This essentially the root of RCP idealism as it speaks of consciousness in the abstraction that Hegel spoke of it, and Lukacs who tried to re-read Marx in a Hegelian form. In this sense, RCP fully believes that there is “true” consciousness and “false” consciousness (ideology) because of the mere historic development of the proletariat. Dialectical materialism has become a true consciousness, a consciousness only possible with the development of the Proletariat, and all forms of ideology are false from this epoch, no other class in its revolutionary state could not have developed such a consciousness. But isn't this the very thing that RCP is attacking? To reduce consciousness, ideology, and science itself (which Jibaro considers the dialectical materialist method) to be apart of the development of economic base is indeed the “instrumentalism” that has been attacked on this board. I think clearly here the idea of Communism as both consciousness and science is wrong, and further that it is only possible because of an abstract historic development of a class merely is the same old orthodoxy.
Then what is the difference between ideology and science. In this sense, Marxism as whole has a two nature character to it. Marx while opening up a science, Historical Materialism, also opens up an ideology based on the class struggle of the Proletariat and the “historical interest” as he understood in his time. So there is indeed a separation, the study of History as a science, as a material phenomena that can be analyzed and understood and the ideology of Marx and Communism which takes upon itself a historical project based upon the class struggle in the epoch of Capitalism.
However in terms of the separation, they are not completely distinct. It is through only a scientific understanding of history of the development of history to Capitalism, and the dynamics of class struggle within Capitalism was it possible for the creation for a politically revolutionary movement based on the class struggle. What this means is that the opening of science, the consequences of science always have an ideological impact that is felt. As Althusser has said, philosophy lags the development of science. Also in its capacity, since science is always developed in a system and its structure, Capitalism and the ideology of Capitalism for example, science is slowed by Ideology. Is it absurdist, or a “wild exaggeration” that contemporary commentators have made in regards to science that is itself within the ideological framework of capitalism? That the very language of Capitalism has incredible impact on us in all structures of itself?
What is funny is that the field of History in our age has been limitedly accepted as science by the Bourgeois schools. They have taken the scientific rupture of Marx and re-appropriated them back within the ideology of Capitalism ala Durkheim and Sociology, Liberalism and Economics, Humanists and Anthropology. So we do have the field of history accepted as a science, all though considered “humanities,” in the Bourgeois epoch. Where Marxism fell short was the acceptance of the Bourgeois constraints of ideology, where in the USSR, Bukharin atomized Marxism into a sociological school, Marx's Capital was turned into a lecture in Economics, and Dialectical Materialism was pushed to explain the division between protons and electrons (an attempt that ultimately was not accepted at all by the bourgeois institutions of science).
Can it be argued then that Science has a class nature, that ideology has a class nature. Perhaps the baby was thrown out with the bath water when it is declared “no class truths.” In fact, what should be criticized is the mechanical way in which the Cultural Revolution attacked the the ideology of “class” science. Science is not outside the game so to say, it is well apart of the subject in its development in history. The Bourgeois epoch has specific ramifications on the institutions of Science as well, it has profound impacts on how knowledge is understood. Truth may reflect reality, but truth isn't reality, and it has character. In it is important to remember, that Lenin recognizes within the sciences a spontaneous Materialism, that knowledge always come through in the ideology of pragmatism or empiricism.
Then let us ask, as Jibaro has put forward, what does Lenin's “Materialism and Empirico-criticism” contribute. I think there is a character of positive and negative points within Materialism and Empirico-criticism. Slavoj Zizek has called the work, “the worst philosophical exercise” he has read. While I think there is indeed some over-exaggeration, there is indeed some truth to it. Firstly, Lenin doesn't overall a real solution to the Kantian problem of trying to know the “thing-in-itself,” Lenin while triumphantly attacking the worst of idealists like Wundt, Mach, and others, does not actually answer the question of most importance within the battle. How does subjectivity affect the role of science and knowledge. Is it possible to achieve a pure objectivity. Lenin dismisses the paradox that Kant tried too solve to quickly in his attempt to stop the sophistry of Neo-Kantians in the school of philosophy and the worst of idealists who tried to deny matter itself with the contradictions in Physics at the time (The beginnings of the Analytics and Positivists).
We find then a strange and unique question, the place of Bogdanov and the role of “Prolekult.” How do we reconcile a movement which recognizes the role of culture and ideology in shaping consciousness and reproducing “the reproduction for the conditions of production” (Althusser) without recognizing Sciences being pushed into the terms of such ideology. It is the “mistakes” and deviations of Stalin and Mao against the Marxist understanding that Bourgeois culture and science represented a “universal height” for all mankind. Socialist realism, The Cultural Revolution, and other campaigns certainly did pigeon hole many artists and even in cases extremely persecuted them, but there is a profound truth to it. The ideology of the old has to be combated in every way to move to the next step. Revolution is going to fall apart if revolutionary ideology is supplanted by more 'pragmatic' solutions. When Khruschev stopped the madness of Stalin, he also stopped the madness of revolution. When it is said by Mao that “revolution is not a dinner party” he means exactly that. There is no polite discussion and dialog to fight against Bourgeois ideology, if the Cultural Revolution was any less radical than it was, could it ever have lasted so long?
The problem is not finding the right “balance” of forces for stability, the logic of Kautsky and all revisionists, but what essentially matters? To keep the Dictatorship of the Proletariat or not.
Historicism is a question that is brought up, and I think the one posting as “passer by” has give a good analyze and is not apart from mine. When we speak of any science, we have to be clear of what science and what science is not...Science vs. Pseudoscience. There is indeed a reading of Marxism that turns it into a Pseudoscience, which is really historicism. This reading of historicism is the flip coin of humanism, and are apart of the same fundamental idea of humanity progressing to reach “human achievement.” This reading comes across to when one applies Marxism as an inevitably, that Communism WILL occur. Despite how Jibaro hides it with various talks to “trends” and so on, this is a reading I believe he gives it. Historicism is not merely a criticism to undermine Marxism, but a genuine critique of the vulgarization of the science of history that Marx opens up, as well as the reduction of the science to be apart of the consciousness. What we see in the German Ideology is not a set forward linear model of the development of history, but a model for further study and outline. Slave Society didn't pass just naturally to Feudalism, nor will Capitalism just have a natural progress to Socialism. Existing trends and developments to give rise to possibility, but it is in this that the contingency of people make the difference, and the importance of Communists in making history itself. Marx said, “The philosophers interpret the world, the point is to change it.” Us conscious of the need to destroy Capitalism are the real catalyst toward Communism.
Chinese Communists made revolution not because Capitalism took a globalized form, it happen because of the ideology developed by Marx. Capitalism never fully developed in China before the revolution, and the short period before the Great Leap Forward wasn't a fully extensive period of Capitalism. Its existence is nominal, it was termed Capitalism but was merely a pragmatic solution to build Chinese Industry, as was NEP. The differences with this “state-capitalism” is essentially the character of it, it was done under Communists making the world of difference. This very fact shows that Ideology, “politics in command,” is important to the communist project.