While I was student of Architecture, Marxism appeared the movement and political will of rationalists. I studied subject of “Dialectic Materialism” with utmost care and in no time turned red by thought. But with time, the realizations walked in and I could see that “Marxism” is no different than an Abrahmic Religion. Of the all the biggest revelation that came upon me was the anti-science stands of Marxism. I’ve penned this essay collating my learning about anti-science stand of Marxism. This is the first part.

One must begin inquiring into the subject by reading of Marxist literature itself. It was in 1844 that Marx was looking for incorporation of physical sciences with ‘the science of man,’ (Marxism). This idea is no different than Abrahmics notion about science.

Sense-perception (see Feuerbach) must be the basis of all science. Only when it proceeds from sense-perception in the two-fold form of sensuous consciousness and sensuous need – is it true science. All history is the history of preparing and developing “man” to become the object of sensuous consciousness, and turning the requirements of “man as man” into his needs. History itself is a real part of natural history – of nature developing into man. Natural science will in time incorporate into itself the science of man, just as the science of man will incorporate into itself natural science: there will be one science.

Private Property and Communism, 1844

Two years after Darwin published ‘Origin of Species,’ Marx wrote to Ferdinand Lassalle in 1861, explaining how it has explained “Class Struggle” historically. It had exited him highly and in-fact he had also requested Darwin to write foreword for his book “Das Kapital” later. He writes in the letter:

Darwin’s work is most important and suits my purpose in that it provides a basis in natural science for the historical class struggle. One does, of course, have to put up with the clumsy English style of argument. Despite all shortcomings, it is here that, for the first time, ‘teleology’ in natural science is not only dealt a mortal blow but its rational meaning is empirically explained.

Marx To Ferdinand Lassalle In Berlin, 16 January 1861

Then after a year Marx expresses further amusement towards Darwin’s theory stating that it speaks of class struggle even among animals and plants.

I’m amused that Darwin, at whom I’ve been taking another look, should say that he also applies the ‘Malthusian’ theory to plants and animals, as though in Mr Malthus’s case the whole thing didn’t lie in its not being applied to plants and animals, but only — with its geometric progression — to humans as against plants and animals. It is remarkable how Darwin rediscovers, among the beasts and plants, the society of England with its division of labour, competition, opening up of new markets, ‘inventions’ and Malthusian ‘struggle for existence’. It is Hobbes’ bellum omnium contra omnes and is reminiscent of Hegel’s Phenomenology, in which civil society figures as an ‘intellectual animal kingdom’, whereas, in Darwin, the animal kingdom figures as civil society.

Marx To Engels In Manchester, 18 June 1862

Two years before publishing “Das Kapital”, Marx wrote to Friedrich Engels mentioning how Pierre Trémaux’s work seems more significant than that of Darwin for it’s confirmation to his theory citing example of class struggle in geology.

A very important work which I shall send on to you (but on condition that you send it back, as it is not my property) as soon as I have made the necessary notes, is: ‘P. Trémaux, Origine et Transformations de l’Homme et des autres Êtres, Paris 1865. In spite of all the shortcomings that I have noted, it represents a very significant advance over Darwin. The two chief theses are: croisements [crossings] do not produce, as is commonly thought, variety, but, on the contrary, a unity typical of the espèces. The physical features of the earth, on the other hand, differentiate (they are the chief, though not the only basis). Progress, which Darwin regards as purely accidental, is essential here on the basis of the stages of the earth’s development, dégénérescence, which Darwin cannot explain, is straightforward here; ditto the rapid extinction of merely transitional forms, compared with the slow development of the type of the espece, so that the gaps in palaeontology, which Darwin finds disturbing, are necessary here. Ditto the fixity of the espece, once established, which is explained as a necessary law (apart from individual, etc., variations). Here hybridisation, which raises problems for Darwin, on the contrary supports the system, as it is shown that an espece is in fact first established as soon as croisement with others ceases to produce offspring or to be possible, etc.

Marx To Engels In Manchester, 7 August 1866

So question arises that why suddenly Marx thought Darwin is wrong? It happened because he found some other ideas under banner of “science” which would support his theory better. For him, every science that supported his theory was to be glorified and what didn’t go hand in hand was supposed to be exterminated. Churches suppressed the science because not many discoveries had came their way and they always wanted to preserve traditions. But this persecution of Science by Marx and his followers was quite troubling as they always portrayed themselves to be rationalists. They always tried to safeguard the prophecy of Marx, by using the “Science” as a tool. Their objective was to use “Science” as prop than be objective about it. They tried hard to bend science based on concreted theory of dialectical materialism. While “Marxism” had become vogue, the Physics was under new developments. Classical Mechanics had challenge from Modern Physics. And the time saw the war between Newtonian and pro-Einstein notion. Marx had gone but on ground was Lenin who was set to bring a new perceptive to deal with science.

Lenin saw, “dialectical materialism” was losing its ground because of Modern Physics development. He goes on to pass judgments on the physicists of that time. One can read his book “Materialism and Empirio-criticism” to know it well. Pierre Duhem a physicist, a philosopher of science mentions in his book “The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory,” ‘the laws of physics’ as “neither true nor false but approximate” because they are “symbolic” picturing the reality “in a more or less precise, a more or less detailed manner.” He faces harsh Criticism from Lenin as he thought it to be the beginning of the falsity (Materialism and Empirio-criticism, pg 311). On the other hand Duhem’s idea seemed to be core of the problem which modern physicists would work upon. This becomes evident from the statement made by Louis de Broglie, one of the founding fathers of the modern Physics, who considered Duhem’s work as, “a beautiful and great work where physicists of today can still find numerous topics worthy of reflection and study,” ( Uneasy Genius: The Life and Work of Pierre Duhem, p.433)

But of all Of all, Mach has been brutally criticized by Lenin in his book “Materialism and Empirio-criticism”. Somehow Mach’s idea of electrons, protons being related to human mind, disappointed Lenin a lot. Lenin was indeed dogmatic to safeguard the prophecy his prophet Marx. As per A.V. Vasil’ev, a mathematician at Kazan University, Mach’s idea had influence on what Einstein went on to discover (Einstein and Soviet Ideology by Alexander Vucinich, p.16). It clearly gives an idea of what Lenin was up to.

Lenin saw “Modern Physics” as anti-growth. He has expressed it quite well in his book “Materialism and Empirio-criticism” (p.312-3). The clash between Newtonian Physics and Modern Physics seemed clash between growth and dogmas to the Marxists but the truth was otherwise. Lenin was trying best to see that his prophet Marx’s Theory does not suffer at all and that is exactly what all Marxists would do when in power. Its is not about “Science” or “Truth” but cherry-picking thing called “studies” under the “banner of science” that could suffice their theory. This becomes quite evident from Lenin’s book “On Culture and Cultural Revolution“. He mentions on page 35 that “Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true.” Does the assertion not appear like “Kalima”? Their veil of being rationalist, anti-religion makes them more dangerous than any religion on planet.

The Marxists once in power at Soviet, had all sorts of problem with Einstein. The ideas and theories of Einstein appeared anti-Marxism to them for non confirmatory to dialectic-materialism (Einstein and Soviet Ideology, p. 18-19). Lenin’s “Materialism and empirio-criticism” had become tool to judge science and pass censorship regarding what is “Science”. A.K.Timiriazev & A.A.Maksimov Timiriazev were the most influential scientist in the Communist Academy of the Social Sciences. They were most active member of the editorial board of the Marxist theoretical journal, “Under the Banner of Marxism.” Timiriazev, found Einstein’s theories falling “far below the norm” and required “strict verification”. Lenin goes on to write in “On the Significance of Militant Materialism” that Timiriazev’s article on Einstein made Lenin hopeful that the modern natural scientists will defend and preach against the idealism and skepticism.

I came across an interesting book “Physics and Politics in Revolutionary Russia” by Paul R. Josephson. Author has made a very bold assertion on page 229 that, “Lenin had given enough encouragement to Timiriazev, that he sarcastically denied in a public meeting having suggested that Einstein be shot.”

I’ll talk more about the subject in part-2 of the article where I’ll touch upon how Orthodox Marxists under Stalin where dealing with the Modern Physicists. You may also like to follow my twitter thread on the same subject.

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