Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Historical Materialism Journal has Posadist Moment.
In the latest Historical Materialism, apparently a Marxist journal, there is this,
Marx on the Dialectics of Elliptical Motion, Thomas Weston
The central interpretative problem of the ellipse passage is the meaning of the assertion that elliptical motion solves [löst] an actual contradiction but does not overcome [aufhebt] it.”
Elliptical motion occurs only when neither the inertial tendency nor the gravitational tendency is too strong or too weak in relation to the other. If the initial velocity of a planet or satellite is higher than a critical value, it will fly off into space on a hyperbolic or parabolic trajectory. This critical value is called the escape velocity , vesc. If the mass of the planet or satellite is small compared to the mass M of a central body, G is the gravitational constant, and ..
In order for the planet or satellite to fall into the central body on a ‘suborbital’ path, its tangential velocity must be smaller than a critical value v0. To calculate v0,we calculate the parameter e, the eccentricity of the ellipse, which is defined as….”
The source is this,
“”This paper examines Marx’s discussion of elliptical motion and some other physical phenomena, and shows that he did indeed find contradictions and oppositions in nature, and thus recognised a dialectics of nature. In addition to analysing relevant passages in Marx’s texts, his study of the physics and mathematics of elliptical motion is reviewed and compared with Hegel’s position. Marx’s conception of how dialectical contradictions are resolved is reviewed in order to interpret his claim that the contradiction in elliptical motion is ‘solved’ but not ‘overcome’ by that motion. Textual evidence is presented that Marx regarded ‘real contradictions’ as resolved only by ‘development’, a process in which the conflict between the opposing sides of the contradiction becomes more intense. The consequences of this interpretation for Marx’s analysis of elliptical motion are explored, and some alternative interpretations are discussed.
Now there are two generally held view in this kind of ‘dialectics’
One is that is a harmless hobby, akin to counting the numbers of angels dancing on the head of a pin.
The other is that is pretentious gibberish.
There is a third, a ‘dialectical’ resolution of this contradiction.
Thomas Weston is ‘aving a laugh at the expense of the oh so serious editors of Historical Materialism.
Respect: Plans Gang aft agley.
On the eve of the election this appeared on the Respect Site.
We are on the edge of a political earthquake in British politics. In polling conducted at the weekend, the Respect candidate in the Rotherham by-election, Yvonne Ridley, has the lead over Labour. Labour has panicked and launched a vicious and negative campaign of dirty tricks against Respect but this has been sidelined by our magnificent positive campaign with the Respect battle bus, advertizing truck and campaign groups in every ward.
Polling conducted in the Croydon North by-election suggests that Lee Jasper, the Respect candidate, is now neck and neck with the Labour Party to win the constituency.
This is what happened (including the Middlesbrough by-election),
“Labour has won three by-elections, holding Croydon North, Middlesbrough and Rotherham parliamentary seats.
It increased its share of the vote in all three seats, but its majority was down in Rotherham, where the previous MP had quit over expenses claims.
The UK Independence Party came second in Middlesbrough and Rotherham, and finished third in Croydon North.”
How did Respect fare?
|Rotherham by-election, 29 November 2012|
|English Democrats||David Wildgoose||703||3.30|
|Liberal Democrat||Michael Beckett||451||2.11||-13.87|
|Trade Unionist & Socialist||Ralph Dyson||261||1.22|
|no description||Clint Bristow||29||0.14|
|Croydon North by-election, 2012|
|Liberal Democrat||Marisha Ray||860||3.5||-10.5|
|Christian Peoples||Stephen Hammond||192||0.8||N/A|
|National Front||Richard Edmonds||161||0.7||N/A|
|Monster Raving Loony||John Cartwright||110||0.4||N/A|
|Nine Eleven Was An Inside Job||Simon Lane||66||0.3||N/A|
|Young People’s Party||Robin Smith||63||0.3||N/A|
This is a good thing.
That is despite (as Toby says) the fact that the Labour winners in Rotherham and Croydon are part of the hidebound right-wing of the party.
It is still an anti-Coalition result.
The sensation of these elections is of course the UKIP vote.
These ‘fascists in blazers’ are the weevils of the British politics.
What for the left?
TUSC (261, 1,22 % in Rotherham and 277, 1,6% in Middlesbrough) and the Communist Party (119 votes) did not do well at all.
Ridley’s votes (1,778, 8, 3,4%) are far too many for any socialist to rejoice about.
Somebody who says this, ““[Respect] is a Zionist-free party… if there was any Zionism in the Respect Party they would be hunted down and kicked out. We have no time for Zionists.” She explained that government support “goes towards that disgusting little watchdog of America that is festering in the Middle East”. She went on to attack the Tories and Lib Dems, saying that all the mainstream parties are “riddled with Zionists”” represents forces that have no part in the labour movement.
Still one cannot but smile as ‘Rapper Jasper’s’ result: 707, 2,9%, that is, a lost deposit.
And at the pitiful attempts to draw comfort from their result by Respect supporters (wonder how long this link will last before these ‘democrats’ take it down).
The obvious fact is that Respect have drawn from the old (and now unused) Liberal Democrats’ by-election strategy: publish boosting made-up door-step reports and ‘polls’ just before an election.
And the truly magnificent score of the Rotherham Liberal Democrats (2,11% below an Independent, 2,73%) brings a spring to the step.
Last night around 18 activists, from a number of trade unions, unemployed and Suffolk anti-cuts campaigners held a meeting in the UNITE offices.
Its aim was to begin to organise support for the TUC National Demonstration on October the 20th.
As we entered the room people were talking about the TUC vote to “practicalities” of holding a one-day general protest strike. This would include the 6.5 million trade union members in the UK. It responds to widespread calls in the labour movement for action against the Liberal-Conservative Coalition’s austerity and privatisation policies.
On the invitation of UNITE a speaker from the Coalition of Resistance, Neil Faulkner, gave an introduction. He explained why we should oppose these measures and offered a clear counter-argument to the cuts agenda.
Neil argued the claim that ‘there is no alternative’ to cutting public spending to reduce the deficit, was false. The policy is driving the economy into a downward spiral. Greece showed that if you cut and cut you produce something that resembles a 1930s depression not growth.
The Cabinet is not acting for economic rational reasons. They choose to protect the banks, and the rich. This was class war that they had begun. The Liberals and Conservatives are using economic difficulties to bring down wages and make working people pay for the crisis. They were taking the opportunity to drive forward the privatisation of the NHS.
Opposition to the cuts has to begin with demands to take the banks into real social ownership and to bring about a ‘green transition” to a fairer society. If the post-war 1945 Labour Government could set up the NHS and the welfare state in the ravaged condition of the country, we could create a more socially just society again.
Activists pointed to how the government’s plans to deal with unemployment had poured millions into the pockets of private ’welfare-to-work’ companies without providing real jobs. Proposals to pay welfare in ‘vouchers’, which could only be used in certain shops, were mentioned.
On the one Day protest General Strike one union representative observed that there was a potential for opponents of our movement to exploit this and raise hostility to unions. Others said that this was why we had to make the case for such action now.
A member of the audience claimed that the BNP, which did very badly in the May local elections, and the EDF, which has been unable to gather large numbers of supporters, represented a threat that could be as great as Greece’s fascist Golden dawn.
Some scepticism about the last round of national protests, and divisions in the trade union and left,were mentioned. Answering this others noted that in Ipswich here had been great solidarity between different unions, and local anti-cuts campaigning groups, in our large local protests.
Interest in the October the 20th Demonstration is growing locally.
It was agreed to begin to hold street stalls every Saturday in Tavern Street, Ipswich.
There will other activities. Ipswich Trades Council will help co-ordinate the push to build support.
The Suffolk Coalition for Public Services will also be holding a meeting next week.
This will not just consider the national TUC demonstration.
Suffolk County Council has transferred many of its services to private ’co-operatives’ and ‘charities’ which will implement hefty cuts. These include foster care, care homes and community care. These transfers go with reductions in budgets and threats to staff conditions. They take public provision out of democratic control and give it to local oligarchies and profit-making companies.
Suffolk County Council is at present looking to transfer its country parks and recreation sites out of democratic public control to ‘community organisations’.
The future of the Libraries looks insecure, argue Rose Hill readers.
The Suffolk Coalition for Public Services will be revived around these issues.
Radio France Internationale has just said, Chris Marker had two loves in his life, ‘Cats and Cinema‘.
Picture from Libération’s Tribute to Chris Marker.
The Guardian says,
Chris Marker, the enigmatic master of left-field French cinema, has died at the age of 91. The artist and film-maker was best known for his award-winning documentary Sans Soleil and for his haunting drama La Jetée, charting the quest for memory in the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse.
Wikipedia notes Chris Marker’s “, A Grin Without a Cat, released in 1977. The film’s title refers to the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. The metaphor compares the promise of the global socialist movement before May 1968 (the grin) with its actual presence in the world after May 1968 (the cat). The film’s original French title is Le fond de l’air est rouge, which means “the air is essentially red”, or “revolution is in the air”, implying that the socialist movement existed only in the air.
The film was intended to be an all-encompassing portrait of political movements since May 1968, a summation of the work which he had taken part in for ten years. The film is divided into two parts: the first half focuses on the hopes and idealism before May 1968, and the second half on the disillusion and disappointments since those events. Marker begins the film with the Odessa Steps sequence from Sergei Eisenstein‘s film The Battleship Potemkin, which Marker points out is a fictitious creation of Eisenstein which has still influenced the image of the historical event. Marker used very little commentary in this film, but the film’s montage structure and preoccupation with memory make it a Marker film. Upon release, the film was criticized for not addressing many current issues of the New Left such as the woman’s movement, sexual liberation and worker self-management. The film was re-released in the US in 2002.
Le Monde notes,
“Réalisateur de La Jetée, du Fond de l’air est rouge, de Sans soleil, le réalisateur Chris Marker, l’une des figures les plus secrètes du cinéma mondial, est mort à 91 ans. Né le 29 juillet 1921, Christian François Bouche Villeneuve est devenu sous le nom de Chris Marker un cinéaste hors normes, se refusant au jeu des médias (il n’existe que très peu de photographies le représentant), égrenant une œuvre fascinante entamée au début des années 1950, au lendemain de la seconde guerre mondiale, pendant laquelle il a combattu dans la Résistance.
After 1968, he participated in the group Iskra. Amongst his later films were those about his passion for cats.
“C’était un homme profondément honnête, politiquement et cinématographiquement”, a dit au Monde l’un de ses proches, le cinéaste Costa-Gavras.
Thanks for Dave E for pointing out Chris Marker’s death.