Archive for communism

On the alleged socialist dominance in academia

Posted in mathematics, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on February 11, 2019 by telescoper

Various forms of Turning Point

Yesterday there came to my attention to a tweet from an organization called `Turning Point’. Disappointingly this is not as its name suggests, something to do with differential calculus, but a far-right propaganda organization which, among other things, is bemoaning the `socialist dominance in academia’.

Left-wing infiltration of university education would be a very serious matter if it existed, so to allay the fears of my readership that this is not really a problem, in the following I am going to list a few physics topics I will be teaching this week to make it clear that they can not possibly be accused of being influenced by political bias.

  • Mathematical Physics. I will be explaining how Laplace Transformations can be used to solve ordinary differential equations by seizing the means of production.
  • Quantum Mechanics. I will be demonstrating how the path integral formalism allows the result of a quantum mechanical calculation to be obtained by considering the sum over all historical class struggles.
  • Electrostatics. I will be discussing  why some substances are insulators rather than conductors using the theory of dielectrical materialism.
  • Optics. The topic here is Snell’s Law, which relates the Engels of incidence and refraction for light of a given colour and for given pair of media.

It goes without saying that students will not pass the examination on these topics unless they get enough Marx.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

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Proletarian Democracy Eurovision Song Contest Preview (Part 1)

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on May 16, 2013 by telescoper

As we approach the evening of interminable tedium that is the Eurovision Song Contest, it’s refreshing to stumble across a Blog post that reveals the competitions true political and cultural significance…

Proletarian Democracy

The Eurovision Song Contest, cultural Marxism’s flagship spectacle, is a highlight in every communist’s calendar, or should be. We proudly present part 1 of the official Proletarian Democracy preview of all the entries. The following score system applies.

PD eurovision score table

1: Austria – Natalia Kelly – Shine

When hurt is all you’re feeling, your heart is slowly bleeding
The only memories to hold on to
When you almost stop believing, you’re cold, alone and freezing
You think you’re lost and don’t know where to go
Look up to the starlit sky, reignite the fire
You will shine, shine and fight the shadows in the sky

What’s it about?
The loneliness of the far-left paper seller.

Sounds like:
A somnambulant Travis.

VERDICT

Little bit communism

2: Estonia – Birgit Õigemeel – Et Uus Saaks Alguse

The curtain is being raised once more
The second act is starting, where I pick myself up and dust myself down

View original post 1,620 more words

The Forces of History

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 15, 2009 by telescoper

Sorting through my old books yesterday, I picked up my copy of Das Kapital, and had a quick browse through it for old times’ sake because I found the following passage on the BBC website:

Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalised, and the state will have to take the road which will lead eventually to communism.

How’s that for a prediction of the Credit Crunch?


The words were written in London by Karl Marx in 1867 and appears in the first volume of his mammoth book Das Kapital; the second and third volumes were edited by his friend Engels and published after Marx’s death. In case you didn’t know, Karl Marx is buried in London, in Highgate cemetery. His memorial, a very popular tourist attraction, is shown on the left.

Of course the word “communism” now has irredeemable connotations of totalitarian excess, stemming not only from Stalin’s Russia but other attempts to impose communist rule around the world. In the United States of America in particular, communism is now a dirty word that right-wingers use to describe any aspect of government interference in economic affairs. As a matter of fact, American politics is so far to the right that even the word “liberal” is a term of abuse in some quarters.

While not in any way wanting to defend the various tyrannies that emerged as distorted manifestations of some of the ideas in his book, I think Marx’s analysis of the way capitalist economies work remains as valid today as it was in the 19th Century. It may be a little dated now, and class relationships are undoubtedly more complex now than the simple model he proposed to describe industrialised economies, but I think Marx is to political economy what Newton was to physics: much of his work has been superceded, but basically it’s right.

Ask me if I’m a Marxist and I’ll say that’s like asking a physicist if they are a Newtonian…

Marx argued that increasingly severe crises would inevitably punctuate the cycle of growth and recession owing to the inherent instability of the system. In the long term the capitalist class tends to invest more in new technologies rather than in labour. Marx believed that the source of all profit was the “surplus value” generated by waged labour, who also buy the goods that are created. As economies grow, the rate at which this profit accrues inevitably falls, leading to recession. The laws governing this behaviour are just as unavoidable as the laws of physics, Marx argued.

Reading the news today about the recent G20 summit, it struck me as quite surprising how many people seem to think that a bit of tinkering with market regulation is going to bring the world rapidly out of this current recession.

I don’t share this optimism at all. It seems to me that the global financial system is completely broken in the way that the quotation describes. The recent economic growth that western economies have enjoyed has virtually all been founded on credit tied to ridiculous over-valuations of the value of property. It is no surprise that the stock markets have been in free fall for over a year: the proper value of our economy is much much lower than we’ve all been deluding ourselves into thinking. I would say that the last ten years of growth has been completely fictitious in a well-defined sense, and the markets will probably bottom out at the value they had about a decade ago. The problem is that in these circumstances many debts will go bad, salaries are all way too high for the labour market to sustain, unemployment rises catastrophically, and the only way out is to print money leading to wholesale inflation and the consequent devaluation of the economy. The British Treasury has only recently grasped the scale of the issue and started a modest bit of “quantitative easing“. I think there’s going to be a lot of this over the next year or two.

I don’t believe that stimulus measures will work, since the resources of governments are dwarfed by the levels of bad debt, nor do I believe that pensioners and taxpayers should pay for the excesses of the prodigal banking sector. I can’t predict what will happen over the next few years, but I think we’re heading for a depression as deep as the 1930s and, unless something drastic is done, all the social unrest and political instability during and after the Great Depression will accompany this one too.

And it seems to me that the only way out of it is for the full-scale nationalisation (or even internationalisation) of the banking system so that money can be directed towards where it is needed rather than into the pockets of a few unscrupulous bastards.

But that would lead to communism, and communism is a dirty word…