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Friday, May 27, 2022

USA-Our culture of guns have given us gun violence

 By Steve Otto

One more whack job shoots up a school in Texas and finally some people are beginning to rebel against the Republican Party's expansion of gun rights. Some people are calling for background checks.

People are starting to call for some kind of gun control. As a Marxist I have always opposed banning guns. I have opposed a lot of the ideas that a lot of liberals propose and support. But the Republican Party has taken gun right to an absurd level. Over the last 15 years, we have seen nearly all states making it legal to carry and conceal guns. We have "stand your ground" laws that make it easy for someone to shoot can kill a person for frivolous reasons. Some states have lowered the age for the right to carry a pistol from the age of 20 to 18. This latest shooter was 18. Some of the other shooters were 18. Has anyone noticed that maybe letting 18 year olds to buy and own assault weapons and pistol just might not be a good idea?

Some states have tried to make it legal to carry a gun in a bar. Does anyone else this is a move of major stupidity?

Every time there is a shooting the NRA[1] keeps saying that we need more guns in more people's hands—for example- they want to arm teachers with handguns.

The majority of people want some restrictions on guns. Few seem to notice that the NRA and Republicans (usually the same people) are making it easier and easier for people of all kinds to get, have and carry guns. No one wants to point out that along with more guns in society, we also have more gun violence. It seems as if we have been having mindless and random shootings of people in grade, middle and high schools and public places in general. We have such a shooting almost every week. It's getting ridiculous. It should not be so easy for an 18 year old to buy an assault weapon or pistols.

More guns have brought us more gun violence. That should not surprise anyone.






[1] National Rifle Association (It might as well be National Republican Association).

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Opioid crisis—Conservative Kansas law makers care more about controlling morality than saving lives

From The Idiot Factor:

Once again we see the paranoia of anti-drug Kansas conservatives. The latest fiasco is the Kansas legislators refusing to lift a ban on strips that would allow a person to test recreational drugs for fentanyl. According to Kansas Reflector:

"Hutchinson Rep. Jason Probst pleaded with legislative colleagues Sunday to repeal a 41-year-old state statute defining test strips as drug paraphernalia to enable Kansans to more easily test illegal drugs for presence of fentanyl that has fueled a wave of overdose deaths.

The 2022 Legislature returns to Topeka on Monday for what typically amounted to a brief ceremonial gathering to close out the annual session. There is potential, however, the Republican-led House and Senate could be interested in taking up tax or transportation legislation, which could open the door to a longer day and consideration of other issues.

In April before the Legislature took a long break, the Kansas Senate blocked a bill decriminalizing fentanyl test strips. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 100 times stronger than morphine. Dealers can be blend it with heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine, but consumers of those drugs can’t visually discern contents of those substances."

Fentanyl is an extremely dangerous synthetic narcotic. The Kansas Department of Health Environment pointed to 338 overdose deaths in this state from Jan. 1, through June 30, of 2021. They estimated that 149 were linked to fentanyl. That is a 54% rise in overdose deaths from a similar period in 2020.

In my opinion that drug is responsible for the majority of opioid deaths since the so called “opioid crises” began.

For years now, politicians and the mainstream press have attacked all opioid drugs and have accused drug dealers (legal and illegal) of all-out murder. We keep hearing all the statistics of large amounts of deaths attributed to opioids.

I for one have suggested that people who use drugs like that should have some degree of freedom of choice over how they live their lives. There are people who use narcotics for pain relief and at times, self medication for a number of illnesses of both of physical and psychological needs. We don’t need the government to tell us what we can and can’t do in the privacy of our own homes.

Opioids have been around for most of my life time. There have always been some deaths attributed to their use—especially heroin. But the death statistics today seem much higher than in more recent years. The one element that seems to make sense is that fentalyn is much stronger and more dangerous than heroin or any other opioid. Fentalyn is 100 times stronger than heroin. It only takes a tiny pinch of pure heroin to get a person high and just a little more than that to kill a first time user. A fentalyn dose is as small is just two grains of salt. Normally, on the black market, both drugs are diluted by their dealers. It is hard to mix and dilute a drug like Fentalyn, since it takes so little to kill a person.

One problem with Fentalyn is that it is sold legally in hospitals for use to kill pain. Heroin, on the other hand, can’t be sold legally under any circumstances, even though it is the safer drug.

Several years ago, there were people proposing that addicts be given clean needles to stop such diseases as AIDS.[1] Conservatives blocked it and even admitted that they would rather see addicts die rather than take drugs. For a lot of us, such a sentiment is unthinkable and just plane cruel. People with a drug problem, or those who self medicate, don’t deserve the death penalty.

Kansas Reflector provided this example of such an opinion by a Kansas Senator:

"Sen. Kelli Warren, a Leawood Republican seeking the GOP nomination for attorney general, said passage of the bill could appear as if Kansas was creating a haven for consumption of illicit drugs. She said people should take personal accountability and shouldn’t take illegal drugs."

She is one of those who would rather see an drug user die than get high. Those who hold such views are no better than Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who has made the murder of drug users not only legal but a national policy. Surely we can do better than that.

Those strips do not make it easier to use hard drugs. They can save a lot of people’s lives. It is about time we start focusing on saving people’s lives rather than trying to control personal morality.

America does not need a form of fascism to control drug epidemics. It is time to get rid of those out-dated and destructive laws that are part of our capitalist society.  This attitude helps prevent us from achieving a much freer society.




Pix by Why fentanyl is deadlier than heroin.

_____________

[1] acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

LONG LIVE THE 42nd ANNIVERSARY OF THE PEOPLE'S WAR!

From the blog of Communist Party of Ecuador, Red Sun / Partido Comunista del Ecuador - Sol Rojo:        To read this in Spanish  click here.   

STATEMENT

-Popular Movement Peru, body created by the Party for work abroad-

Today we celebrate, full of enthusiasm and with the utmost revolutionary optimism, the 42nd anniversary of the start of the People's War in Peru (ILA 80), headed by the Communist Party of Peru (PCP) under the leadership of Chairman Gonzalo, leader of the Communist Party of Peru. and of the revolution.

 

Last year, on September 11, 2021, Chairman Gonzalo offered his life for the Party and the revolution in the highest combat trench of the people's war, his brave example demonstrates the mettle of a great communist leader, the greatest Marxist-Leninist-Maoist of the present time, teacher of communists, successor of Marx, Lenin and Chairman Mao Tsetung, center of unification of the Party and guarantee of victory that will lead us to communism. As he always taught to carry life at the tips of his fingers, Chairman Gonzalo, in more than 29 years of fierce combat in the most absolute isolation and under torture, until his last breath he faced his executioners with his fist raised defying death by unfading Marxism-Leninism. -Maoism, for the PCP and the BUP, for the people's war and the world proletarian revolution. With sure and iron faith in the cause of communism he gave his precious blood for what he believed. This is a great deed of the people's war. It shows that the people's war in Peru, far from ending, rises up and calls us to once again inflame our entire geography.

With his heroic and defiant death, Chairman Gonzalo defeated the plans of imperialism, reaction and revisionism to deal him the final blow as part of the counterrevolutionary plan to annihilate the people's war and obtained a great political, military and moral victory for the party and the village. people's war, the international proletariat and the peoples of the world. They tried to present him as a capitulationist and revisionist, as a renegade head of the ROL rats, they tried to make him say that his almighty Gonzalo Thought was no longer valid, they tried to make him resign from the I Marxist Congress, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, Gonzalo Thought of Maoism , the program and the BUP with its center the military line. But he remained firm and defiant and continued to fight hard and sacrificially for the Peruvian and world revolution until the end,  showing that the people's war in Peru has not stopped for a single moment because the life of the Party never ceases. Demonstrating the invincibility of the people's war.

The Yankee imperialism headed by Biden, the Peruvian reaction headed by the president, the opportunist counterrevolutionary rondórondero Pedro Castillo Terrones and the revisionism headed by the rat “Miriam”, head of the opportunist, revisionist and right-wing capitalist line (LOD), have harvested a miserable defeat that plunges them into further crisis and decomposition. The old landed bureaucratic state at the service of imperialism, mainly Yankee imperialism, is going through the greatest crisis of its 200-year history, only to be swept away by the people's war.

The masses fight, denounce and reject the reactionary government headed by opportunism and supported by its blackest conspiracy against the people with all the other reactionary parties. This is what the analysts of the reaction have pointed out, saying that the Castillo government is the product of the social and political decomposition that surrounds the State itself and that it is maintained because nobody is interested in removing it, that is, there is greater collusion and struggle between the two reactionary fractions and their groups and the unwary that represent them, contrary to what the opportunists and revisionists say, there is a super coexistence in parliament between Fujimorism and anti-Fujimorism, which explains why Castillo remains in government and most scandalous laws that have been approved by common consent. That is the "popular" government that the ROL defends and its demand for a new constitution is that it serve to restructure the old state to reimpose bureaucratic capitalism and annihilate the people's war, the dreams of hyenas like their imperialist and reactionary masters. The masses need the people's war, it is the only way for their liberation from centuries of oppression and exploitation. The masses demand the leadership of the PCP.

On this occasion we reiterate our greetings and reaffirm our full and unconditional submission to our almighty ideology, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought, mainly to Gonzalo Thought, the solid foundation of its leadership, and to our heroic fighter, the Communist Party. from Peru, to its entire management system; to all the facts, documents and partisan agreements, to the First Congress, Marxist Congress, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Congress, Gonzalo Thought, imperishable milestone of the victory achieved in the heat of the People's War, which laid the foundations of the Unity Party: Marxism- Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought, Program and General Political Line with its center the Military Line. Likewise, to the historic and transcendental Third Plenary Session and its masterful synthesis, the Speech of Our Headquarters,

Our commitment to give our lives to defend the direction of Chairman Gonzalo and his almighty Gonzalo Thought to serve the fulfillment of the task of the General Reorganization of the Party.

We express our greetings to the militants, fighters and masses of the Communist Party of Peru. Our greetings to the People's Liberation Army and the New Power.

Express our greetings to the international proletariat and the peoples of the world. To the international communist movement and the Parties and Organizations that, embodying Maoism, struggle to make it the sole command and guide of the new great wave of the world proletarian revolution in the stage of its strategic offensive and sweep of imperialism and reaction from the face of the earth through people's war. When, as an expression of all of the above, more and more masses rise up everywhere and express great activity ready to rebel, it indicates that we are entering a new period of revolutions. The objective and subjective conditions for revolution have become much more favorable throughout the world. This determines the tasks and tactics of the communists in our country and in the world.

We salute the revolution as the main historical and political current in the world. To the next Unified Maoist International Conference to give birth to the New International Organization of the Proletariat as an important step in the reunification of the international communist movement in a new International product of the development of the people's war on the planet.

We salute the 50th anniversary of the founding of the TKP/ML, by its great leader Ibrahim Kaypakaya, and the people's war that he leads.

We express our deep class hatred against the new revisionism led by the damn rats of the ROL in the country as well as in the world, which serves the general counterrevolutionary offensive led by US imperialism as the only hegemonic superpower, the main enemy of the peoples. of the world and the world counterrevolutionary gendarme in collusion and struggle with the atomic superpower Russia and other imperialist powers.

Down with the war of aggression of Russian imperialism against Ukraine! Down with Yankee imperialism, the main enemy of the peoples of the world! People's War to Communism!

“Before the people's war, everything has been tried here, elections, stealth electoralism, to the point of boredom, to the point of boredom (…) We have seen uprisings in the city that prove that this is not the way to go; We have seen how the peasantry has many times shaken the depths of this country, but we had not tried the only path, the true path, the path of people's war. It is that path that we dared to take; then we were a handful, compared to today, although we were perhaps as many as the fingers of our hands that insisted on defending the Party. As Chairman Mao told us: “the problem is not how many, the problem is whether you want to or not”. And we have wanted, we want and we will want the people's war; no one will get us out of there, with the seizure of power as a principle. That's how it will be, time more, time less,  and the time for this conquest has already begun to run, it seems that it was not like that, but if we delve into things, it is like that; but the people's war will continue to accompany us, because with it we will defend the new State and with it we will set fire to the parts of the world that are still imprisoned and we will not stop until we see the partisan legions of iron converge in a sea of ​​red, armed, that it ripples over the earth, shakes it and shakes it and turns it upside down. So shall it be."  the iron legions converge in a red, armored sea that ripples over the land, shakes and churns it and turns it upside down.  So shall it be." the iron legions converge in a red, armored sea that ripples over the land, shakes and churns it and turns it upside down. So shall."

The heroic and victorious surrender of his own life by Chairman Gonzalo to impose Maoism as the sole command and guide of the world proletarian revolution, the Party, the people's war and the triumph of the democratic revolution in our country as part of and at the service of of the world proletarian revolution leads us to understand more deeply the need to serve to culminate the General Reorganization of the Party in and for the people's war, inseparably and irreconcilably fighting imperialism, reaction and revisionism, mainly the new revisionism led by the ROL.

It is up to us to cling firmly to the leadership of Chairman Gonzalo and his almighty Gonzalo Thought and implement the plans to complete the general reorganization of the Party. The history of the Party shows that when Marxism is abandoned due to the treacherous action of revisionism, what must be done to get out of the ups and downs is to firmly retake Marxism, today Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought, and in this way we will necessarily overcome the bend and the inflection and the people's war will make the leap towards the conquest of power throughout the country.

LONG LIVE THE 42nd ANNIVERSARY OF THE PEOPLE'S WAR!

ETERNAL HONOR AND GLORY TO CHAIRMAN GONZALO AND HIS ALMIGHTY GONZALO THOUGHT!

LONG LIVE THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF PERU!

LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY!

ETERNAL GLORY TO MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM!

HONOR AND GLORY TO THE PERUVIAN PROLETARIAT AND PEOPLE!

People's Movement Peru

May 17, 2022


Thursday, May 19, 2022

One of the greatest philosophers of the last millennium—150th birth anniversary of Bertrand Russell

By Harsh Thakor

BERTRAND RUSSEL GAVE A NEW DIMENSION TO PHILOSOPHY ON 150TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY LET US RESURRECT ONE OF THE GREATEST GENIUSES OF THE LAST MILLENIUM. 

 

On his 150th birth anniversary on May 18th we must salute late Bertrand Russell .He ranked amongst the greatest intellectuals of the last millennium who gave philosophy a new dimension. Even Although a committed atheist he exuded spiritual overtones. Russell challenged dogma and tradition in the very thick of it’s skin and opened up the mind of his generation to explore knowledge rationally.

Born in 1872 in famous aristocratic family Russell was brought up to cherish liberal values and by the age of 15 hero worshiped John Stuart Mill. His parents were supporters of the liberal party. His grandfather was the retired prime minister, John Russell. Russell led a solitary life in his childhood, being alienated from surroundings. He recounted often experiencing situations of madness. Bertrand was tutored by a series of eccentric tutors, before his brother took over to teach him geometry at the age of 11.He demonstrated his great mathematical prowess at a very tender age but was disturbed that there was no method of proving the foundation of geometry. Russell’s mathematical inquest was the breeding ground for his conviction in reason and rejecting religious beliefs.

Today we need to resurrect Bertrand Russell with our world being entrapped with threat of a nuclear war, religious fundamentalism, nation chauvinism, economic disparity and crisis at the highest scale, suppression of political dissent, and all attempts to suppress scientific spirit.

I thank guide of David Robinson and Judy Groves for valuable inputs.

 

Religion

 

Russell was bitterly critical of all conventional norms or morality, challenged authority of God and Church, was an e epitome of scientific spirit, questioned all religious beliefs and championed independent and critical thinking. In 'Why I am not a Christian', he shows admiration for Christ as a person for championing liberation, but illustrates how certain teachings violate true morality. Russell was an agnostic who stated that although he did not believe in God, there was no way that its existence could be disproved. Still morally Russell professed Atheism and rejected concept of ‘immortality’, He left no stone unturned in projecting how religious values or philosophy crippled mankind from attaining true happiness and patronised hypocrisy.

‘’All the evidence goes to show what we regard as our mental life is bound up with brain structure an organised bodily energy. Therefore it is rational to suppose that mental life ceases when bodily life ceases, and a good alignment for insisting that all human beings have only one chance f happiness ,in this life.”

‘The Christian Religion as organised in it’s Churches, has been, and still is, the principal enemy of moral progress of the world. I regard religion as  a disease born of fear and a source of untold misery to the Human Race.”

In his 1927 lecture ‘Why I am not a Christian” Russell rejects the idea of hell: "It is a doctrine that put cruelty into the world and gave the world generations of cruel torture; and the Christ of the Gospels, if you could take him as his chroniclers represent him, would certainly have to be considered partly responsible for that." On the other hand, he admires certain principles of Jesus's teaching, such as refusing to judge others and being generous to those in need, although he finds them "difficult to live up to".

Russell stated, "it is impossible, or at least impossible at the present time, to know the truth in matters such as God and the future life with which Christianity and other religions are concerned.” 


 

Ideology


With death defying courage Russell raised his voice against all the evil designs of nationalism and capitalism.

Although a Socialist at heart Russell was critical of Bolshevism or Marxism. Initially he was an ardent admirer of the Soviet Union but after visiting Russia in 1920 felt that Bolshevism was most undemocratic, disillusioned with the bureaucratic tendencies existing. Russell admired Marx, but felt that Marx fell into the quagmire of dogmatism. Russell was suspicious of collective discipline which he felt suppressed liberal thinking but also bitterly opposed the concentration of economic power in the hands of individuals. He professed anarch-syndicalism, in which the government was answerable to the trade Unions. The factories here elected managers, with all the factories confederated into a guild.

Russel vociferously condemned his government in their action in the 1st world war -inspite of all constraints and also challenged the Nuclear war threat after Word War 2. In protest he courted jail during the First World War. He wrote an article revealing the mass starvation in Europe and the occupation of Britain by the American army, who he felt would use violence to suppress British workers, who decided to strike. Earlier Russell’s passport was terminated and lectureship at Trinity college suspended. Russell wrote a letter to US President Woodrow Wilson to stop the War.

Russell founded the Campaign for nuclear disarmament n 1958.He organised a meeting with Albert Einstein and scientists from both sides of the Iron Curtain to challenge stationing of nuclear arsenal. In 1961 Russell led a powerful sit down outside the Ministry of defence house, through the Committee of    100-a group of people who courted arrest in support of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

 

The Bertrand Russell Peace foundation was formed to promote world peace with American world imperialism its main target and support to local guerrilla movements. Russell supported the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and in 1966 formed the International War Crimes Tribunal

Russell was the pioneer in devising concept of a world government, with oobjective of reverting  a nuclear war. It would establish monopoly over weapons of mass destruction and act as a buffer to sole disputes between nations. Initially Russell exhibited bias with America against Russia at start of cold War but later he became equivocally critical of America’s imperialist designs.

Ideologically Russell adopted the Anarchist view of power .He was convinced that eventually all power is usurped by oligarchies of various kinds and all forms of government were a manifestation of evil.

Russell was very critical of all sexual repression and advocated free approach to sex.

Russell maintained that the four most powerful men in history were the Buddha, Jesus Christ, Pythagoras, and Galileo, none of whom enjoyed official support in their lifetime, but after their death their long-term ideas won out.

 

Philosophy

In intrinsic detail Russell made a critical synthesis of the contribution of idealist philosophers. In challenging proponents of idealism Russell with  G.R.Moore  refuted philosopher Bradley, who  professed that everything was interconnected , and that separateness and contradictions are illusions. Russell differentiated 2 different kinds of philosophers. One believed that the world was a whole like a bowl of jelly, while the others believed that the only way to understand the Universe is to split into the smallest parts or atoms. He elaborated this in his book ‘Why I took Philosophy’.

Russell held Descartes in great esteem whom he ranked the founder of modern philosophy.”Descartes writes not as a teacher but as a discoverer and explorer who strives to construct a completely new philosophic edifice.”

Bertrand Russell was an empiricist, which proscribes that all Knowledge is gained through experience. Russell questioned this asking whether one could completely trust the senses .David Hume however asserted that one may be able to accept sceptical arguments that show us that our experiences of the world are dubitable. John Berkeley propounded the theory that the world of objects does not exist without us and all we perceive are consistent ‘bundles’ of qualities. Thus in his view to be is to be perceived. Later in his work ‘On problems of Philosophy’ (1912) Russell derived a proposition that we believe that all we can ever experience are the appearances of the world present to us but we remain ignorant of its real nature. In his view is that we are trapped in the world that our sensory organs give us and have no knowledge of what really accuses those sensations.

Russell made a distinction between knowledge of memories, Universals, and other kinds of self –Conscious thoughts and feelings with Sense data, the other is the knowledge by the description, that one finds in books and other informative sources. In Russell’s view all knowledge by description is atomistic, ultimately reducible to knowledge by acquaintance.

Similar to Greek Philosopher Plato, that Universals are not thoughts but the objects o thought, that are real and external to us. Quoting Russell “ Truth has nothing to do with psychological states of mind –What makes the belief  true is  a fact, and this fact does not in any way involve the mind of  a person who has a belief.”

Russell was convinced that philosophy can tell us nothing for sure about the way things are or how little we can ever know anything for certain. In the chapter on General Principles Russell distinguishes between Rational and Empiricist philosophers .Rationalists refer to necessary truths as the foundations of knowledge, whereas Empiricists claim that all knowledge has it’s source in our experiences of our world, however mysterious they may be. Russell as an empiricists firmly adhered to the fact that Priori knowledge can tell us nothing about the world, only about entities who do not exist, like properties and Relations. “Our everyday and scientific knowledge of the Universe will always be provisional and fallible, highly probable, but not ‘guaranteed’ or necessary in the way that the truths of maths and logic are usually thought to be.”

In ‘Our Knowledge of the External World’  (1914)Russell  l continues to struggle with the implications of his assumption—that private experience is the proper place to begin philosophical inquiry. Russell argued that, “whenever possible, logical constructions are to be substituted for inferred entities.” With this in mind.,Instead of saying that physical objects create sense-data, he turns the matter around and argues that sense-data construct the physical object.

Russell spoke about the positivity of contemplative spirit and how the study of philosophy opens up a new world for us, making us think beyond ourselves, to respect the broader picture of life.

Quoting Russell “The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason.”

 “Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.”

Russell more than any modern philosopher illustrated that Science and Mathematics could be interpreted through the very prism of philosophy.

In ‘History of Western Philosophy’ (1945) ” Russell extricates from the traditional approach of historians to portray history with a new methodology.” The work is divided into three main sections: the first deals with Ancient, the second with Catholic, the third with Modern Philosophy.


Mathematics

 

In ‘Principles of Mathematics ‘Russell demonstrated how Mathematics and logic were inter related. Both were concerned with the complex relationship of whole and parts. To truly understand something, is to break it into parts. After researching deeply Russell was convinced that mathematics had to be a system of guaranteed truths about the world, and that it had a real Platonic Existence -numbers were real and not just a Platonic Convenience. In his view there were consistent truths within the very superstructure of Mathematics. Russell discovered how Mathematics could be reduced to logical terms. It took him a mammoth period of 9 years to finish the work; working jointly with professor Whitehead. Russell invented a new kind of symbolic logic defining mathematical actions in terms of logic. Here Russell’s analysis of the logic of classes must be thrown light upon, where he demonstrated how the  relation of the whole to its parts are similar ,if not identical to the relation of a class to its members.

 

Theory of Knowledge

 

A remarkable contribution of Russell was his theory of knowledge. Which he have its expression in ‘Our Knowledge o the External world.” Russell continues to struggle with the implications of his assumption—that private experience is the proper place to begin philosophical inquiry. He reflected how logical atomism which combined, discussing value of sense data, breaking own things to their smallest components through atomism and combining it with reassembling things logically, rather than using guesswork. He concluded that the real world was only hypothesis. The more one disassembles experience, the more one will get to the truth. Russell imbibed that all one could be certain of was the private sense data, with the sense data neither wholly mental nor wholly physical entities, strangely something between the 2.

Russell divided knowledge into three categories. They were priori, analytic and synthetic. In Priori knowledge without inspecting the whole world one can do mathematics in the mind .In analytic knowledge ne can be tautological, just repeating itself. Synthetic knowledge is about maths giving us true information about the world.

 

Science


Russell was deeply fascinated by new nuclear physics and pleased that a great deal of modern Science proved to be counter intuitive, similar to his own radical empiricism of Logical atomism. He felt that atomic physics dissolved matter into no more than series of events.”Counter Intuitive means that traditional definition of causation no longer works with Quantum theory with Einstein’s theory of relativity drastically changing traditional concepts of space and time. “Russell felt philosophers could be useful to Science by revealing what the metaphysical assumptions of Science are.

 

Possible Errors


Russell was over critical of Communism and failed to comprehend the situations Lenin or Stalin faced in Russia. He even called for preventing spread of Communism failing to distinguish between Fascism and Communism. Russell’s philosophy also had idealistic overtones or could be abstract  lacking Marxist clarity and over delving in metaphysics.

Russell as a free intellectual, independent of any party, could hardly be effective in the arena of political conflicts, with no mass movement behind him, like that of Lenin or Communism.

He may have not given Christianity its due respect in regard to ethics.

Russell had started Beacon Hill Experiment based on the behaviourist field of study which wished to defy all conventions but  the experiment failed with children growing up to feel even more isolated.

Russell placed absolute faith in the rationality and ethical probity of Scientists when multinational corporations seemed to control much of what scientists studied. Science is not quite the value free activity that Russell evaluated.

 

Post-Russell impact


Russell left us on 2nd February, 1970 suffering from Bronchitis with his Ashes scattered on the Welsh hills but his memories linger forever. Modern logicians like Alfred Tarski and philosophers like W.V.G.Quine, Saul Kripke,Donald Davidson Michael Dummett  and A J Ayer  base their work on Russell’s foundations of logic. Russell’s works also influenced the Linguistic Analytic schools.



Monday, May 16, 2022

The Supreme Court Moves to End Abortion Rights:

This comes from A World To Win news service. As I stated earlier this year, we will not be so hard on Bob Avakian, leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. So here are his views on trying to protect what is left of Abortion Rights here in the US. Our readers can decide how effective Avakian will be. -Steve Otto

“Taking to the Streets,” 
And Refusing to Let This Go Down

May 9, 2022

With the leaking of the draft Supreme Court decision, making clear the intent of the “conservative” majority on the Court to abolish the right to legal abortion, there is an outpouring of righteous outrage from masses of women, and people generally who hate injustice. But there is also a louder and louder drumbeat, from politicians of the Democratic Party (and those who are slavishly dependent on them), insisting that any meaningful opposition to this must be funneled (once again) into voting for Democrats. This argument is dead wrong. And, all too often, it is raised as a rationalization for accepting that the right to abortion will be ended—that a Supreme Court decision ripping away this right is a “done deal,” and the only hope lies in electing Democrats in future elections.

As part of this argument, we hear things like: “You see—if Hillary Clinton, instead of Donald Trump, were president this would not have happened. What more proof do you need that elections make all the difference?” (This is often accompanied by pointing out that the “conservative” majority on the Supreme Court was appointed by Republican presidents, and in particular that three members of the Court were appointed by Donald Trump, who had made very clear that he intended to appoint “justices” to the Court who would move to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling and long-standing legal precedent that established and has, until now, maintained the right to abortion nationwide.) But this views things way too narrowly, failing to see (or to take into account) the larger picture of what is going on in society (and the world) overall—including the reasons why someone like Trump got elected, and how the move to outlaw abortion achieved such powerful momentum and became such a powerful force. I will get into this more fully through the rest of this article, but first it is important to emphasize this basic principle: Regardless of whether people vote or notwhat is urgently needed now is massive, sustained mobilization and resistance to make clear that taking away the right to abortion will not be allowed to go down, that things will be shut down before people will accept the right to abortion being taken away.

Now, in answer to the argument that everything depends on voting for the Democrats, we can begin with this basic truth: Even the right to vote was not won by voting. That is not how Black people, women, and others won the right to vote. It was won by protesting and fighting against injustice. And that is also true for other rights that have been won when powerful forces have been determined to deny people those rights—it is true in general for truly meaningful positive changes in society. Even where rights that were formerly denied are finally recognized (and “formalized”) by an act of government, this comes about fundamentally as a result of masses of people rising up to demand change.

The right to abortion itself was won in the first place as a result of massive protests and rebellions in the 1960s and the first part of the 1970s, including the movement for women’s liberation at that time.

Denying the Right to Abortion Is About Controlling, and Degrading, Women

In order to understand fully why relying on the Democrats, and funneling everything into voting for them, is a completely wrong approach, it is very important to be clear on what is at the heart of this fight around the right to abortion, and what role the Democrats have played in regard to this.

As I have emphasized many times, this fascist offensive to outlaw abortion is not about “saving babies”—it is about controlling women, and reducing them to “handmaid” breeders of children, under the domination of men.

For one thing, the overwhelming majority of abortions are performed relatively early in pregnancy, when the fetus (not a baby but a fetusis tiny and has not yet developed the organs and other features that constitute an independent human being capable of living on its own outside the woman’s body and without her bodily functions. (And in terms of the very small percentage of abortions that are carried out significantly later during the woman’s pregnancy, overwhelmingly these are done because of risk to the basic health, or even the life, of the woman, and/or because the fetus has such severe abnormalities that it could not survive on its own, or would suffer terribly for however long it did survive.)

The truth that abolishing the right to abortion is not about “saving babies” is also sharply revealed in the fact that the forces that are driving this move to outlaw abortion also want to do away with birth control as well—which, as a number of people have pointed out, could soon follow in the wake of a Supreme Court decision taking away the right to abortion.  Once again: The drive to outlaw abortion is about controlling women, enforcing their subordination to men and a male supremacist society.

If you observe the fascist maniacs who rally against the right to abortion and harass women at abortion clinics, you will see these Christian fundamentalist fanatics waving their Bibles while they shout at women to stop striving for independence and obey the Biblical command to be submissive and subservient to men. That is what has been driving the move to outlaw the right to abortion, from the time that Roe v. Wade established this right 50 years ago.

In most basic terms, what is involved in the right to abortion is the lives, the rights, and the basic status of womenas full human beings, and not something less. Denying women the fundamental right to control their own reproduction degrades all women, even those who may never get pregnant—it once again enshrines and enforces the subordination of women to the patriarchy.

The Democrats Have Actually Aided This Fascist Offensive

In the face of this fascist offensive to outlaw abortion—and the escalation and intensification of this offensive in recent decades—what have the Democratic “saviors” of the right to abortion been doing? Consistently and repeatedly compromising with and actually facilitating this fascist offensivethat is what, in reality, they have been doing.

And since last year, as it has become clear that the fascist majority in the Supreme Court was almost certainly going to gut Roe v. Wade, or overturn it altogether, the Democrats—and many who are dependent on them in the reproductive rights movement, as well as the “mainstream media” that generally express their views—have basically acted as if there is no way to stop the Supreme Court from ripping away this fundamental right from women. They have argued that all that could be done was to accept this outrage coming from the Supreme Court and “prepare for a post-Roe world.” While RiseUp4AbortionRights.org has been sounding the alarm and working to bring about the sustained mass mobilization and determined resistance that is urgently needed to defend the right to abortion, overwhelmingly these other organizations and media encouraged everybody who cares about the right to abortion to “calm down”—insisting that the right to abortion would still exist in some states, and there are things like the abortion pill, so women will still be able to get safe abortions—ignoring the fact that the fascists are determined to eliminate the right to safe, legal abortion, in any form, in the country as a whole.

It is true that, very recently, when the continuing attacks on the right to abortion became more and more blatant and egregious, and it was made public that the Supreme Court majority was in fact moving to overturn Roe v. Wade—and this was giving rise to widespread outrage—the Democrats, and those allied with them, called for protests. But they still continued to act as if Roe v. Wade is going to be overturned anyway, and the only thing that can be done is to vote for Democrats in the next elections. Of course, it is good that these organizations have come around now to joining in the calls for mass protests—and it is very important that these protests be as large and powerful as possible—but seeking to use these protests as a means for, once again, directing and funneling things into voting for the Democrats would not be a good thing, but a very bad thing: It would have the effect of misdirecting, suffocating and ultimately killing off the mass outpouring of righteous rage that has now burst forth with the revelation that the Supreme Court is poised to take away the right to abortion, when that righteous rage needs to be given much fuller, massive expression in determined, sustained struggle aimed at preventing the Supreme Court from doing that, and delivering a powerful blow against the fascist move to effectively enslave women.

The basic capitulation by the Democrats, in the face of the fascist offensive to outlaw abortion, has gone on over years and decades. During this time, the Democrats themselves have actually run some so-called “right to life” (that is, anti-abortion) candidates, and in the name of “seeking common ground” the Democrats have constantly ceded the political and moral high ground to the fascists aiming to eliminate the right to abortion (and roll back other crucial rights as well). What else is the meaning of the slogan that Democrats raised for years—that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare”? Why rare?

What is very strongly implied in saying abortion should be “rare” is the notion that there is something wrong with abortion—otherwise, why should it be rare? This actually lends support to and reinforces the arguments of the fascists seeking to get rid of the right to abortion. In fact, the right to abortion, and access to abortion in healthy and supportive circumstances, has enriched the lives of women as a whole. It has made it more possible for many to pursue paths in their lives that would have been foreclosed to them if they had been forced to continue a pregnancy against their will, and it has made it possible for women who want to have a child to determine when is the best time, and what are the best circumstances, for doing so. The right to abortion has also saved the lives of countless women (who would otherwise have still tried to get an abortion but would have been forced to do so in unsafe and often deadly situations, which is exactly what happened before Roe v. Wade made abortion a right nationwide). And the denial of this right especially affects low-income women, particularly impoverished Black and Brown women, who often are the ones in most desperate need of an abortion. At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that even for women—and girls—who may be in relatively well off, or even quite well off, situations economically, and could theoretically afford to travel to an area, or a country, where abortion is legal, there can still be serious obstacles to getting an abortion: abusive husbands and boyfriends, tyrannical patriarchal fathers, dogmatic religious authority, and a number of other factors. Once again, access to safe, legal abortion, as a fundamental right and a matter of personal choice, is of profound importance for women overall.

For decades, the Democrats—and those “pro-choice and reproductive rights” organizations that are dependent on them and slavishly follow them—failed, or refused, to call people into the streets in consistent and determined mass mobilization in defense of the right to abortion. This is completely bound up with the way that they have continually allowed the fascists to seize the moral and political “high ground” around abortion—instead of fiercely opposing this fascist offensive by forcefully insisting that there must be the right to abortion, on demand and without apology, and that the ability of women to freely decide when, or whether, to have children is not some kind of “negative” right that should only be exercised “rarely”—but, on the contrary, is a very great thing and something that all people who want to live in a just society should boldly and vigorously uphold and actively support and defend.

An essential reason for the Democrats’ increasing capitulation to the fascists is this: While the fascists are determined to rally their “base” behind their lunatic views and their aggressively oppressive and repressive “agenda,” and they eagerly welcome the ways this challenges and tears up the “established norms,” the Democrats are dedicated to an increasingly failing attempt to maintain those “norms” and to continue trying, even as they fail, to “overcome the divisions and polarization in society.” This is an orientation and an approach that is bound to perpetuate very real horrors, including male supremacist as well as white supremacist oppression, brutality and terror, and to continually give rise to even greater horrors.

The capitulation by the Democrats in the face of the fascist offensive is also sharply revealed by the fact that the Democrats refuse to challenge—directly, consistently, and with any real conviction—the Christian fundamentalist lunacy that is the “moral basis” for the fascists’ fanatical opposition to abortion. (This Christian fundamentalism has a great deal in common with the Islamic fundamentalism of forces like the Taliban in Afghanistan—and one of the main things they share is the fanatical conviction that women must be subordinated to and dominated by men, forcefully if necessary.)

Why won’t the Democrats really challenge this? An important part of the answer is that the Democrats, whether or not they are personally religious (and specifically Christian), base themselves on the conviction that religion, and in particular Christianity, is necessary in order to hold together their system of capitalism-imperialism, which is full of cruelly exploitative and oppressive relations and divisions that could tear the country apart, if religion did not play a major role in “holding it together,” in the face of this terrible exploitation and oppression, and the brutality and murder that enforce it. The Democrats are very aware that, even if they raise mild criticisms of Christian fundamentalism, or strongly insist on the constitutional “separation of church and state,” the Christian fascists will relentlessly attack them for being “anti-Christian” (even though Christian fundamentalism is an extreme, and extremely oppressive, version of Christianity and is not the same as Christianity in general).

The Democrats’ basic capitulation around “the separation of church and state,” was sharply revealed when, in the early 2000s, an atheist parent (Michael Newdow), who is also a lawyer, challenged the phrase “under god” (“one nation, under god”) in the “pledge of allegiance” that school children in particular are often compelled to recite. His case went to the Supreme Court, and even though the Court ruled against him (on the narrow basis that he did not have legal standing to make this challenge), Newdow had a very strong Constitutional basis for his arguments that this phrase (“under god”), as promoted by government institutions, is a clear violation of “the separation of church and state” and discriminates against people who are not religious. Did the Democrats support this challenge by Newdow? No. In fact, large numbers of Democratic politicians, including prominent members of Congress, made a point of gathering not to rally in support of Newdow and the principle of “the separation of church and state,” but instead to publicly and loudly recite the “pledge of allegiance” and particularly emphasize the words “under god.”

With their orientation and approach, the Democrats can never, and will never, resolutely challenge the Christian fundamentalists’ “moral” basis for opposing and seeking to outlaw abortion, nor will the Democrats mobilize the kind of determined, sustained massive opposition to this fascist offensive that is necessary to preserve and extend rights that are vital for the masses of women, and the masses of people as a whole.

“Don’t Tell Me Elections Don’t Make a Difference!”
They DO—But NOT in the Way You Mean

Here is a most fundamental truth: The reason the Democrats act in the way they do is because they are representatives, functionaries, and enforcers of this capitalist-imperialist system—one of the two bourgeois ruling class parties of this system. A key role and objective of the Democrats is to maintain the “orderly functioning” of this system. A key part of doing that, while maintaining people’s “allegiance” to this system, is keeping people’s vision and activity restricted within the structures and processes that serve to perpetuate and reinforce this system’s rule—and a crucial part of that is getting people to believe that elections are the only (or by far the most meaningful) way to bring about positive change. In opposition to that continually propagated notion, the actual reality is that, under this system:

Elections: are controlled by the bourgeoisie; are not the means through which basic decisions are made in any case; and are really for the primary purpose of legitimizing the system and the policies and actions of the ruling class, giving them the mantle of a “popular mandate,” and of channeling, confining, and controlling the political activity of the masses of people.1

And now, on top of this fundamental reality, the fascist Republican Party is even more aggressively rigging elections—moving to suppress votes, further “gerrymandering” districts (redrawing the boundaries of voting districts to favor Republican candidates)—and, in a number of states, establishing the basis for Republican-dominated state legislatures to overturn the results of elections, if they do not go in favor of the Republicans. Already, as I have pointed to before, the way the electoral system has been set up in this country greatly distorts things so that, elections often do not reflect the “will of the people”—even as that is supposedly expressed through the electoral processes of this system—and that will be all the more true with the moves the Republicans have been making to manipulate and control elections.2

(For further, and more specific, analysis of the peculiarities, and distortions, of the electoral system in this country, see the Additional Note at the end of this article.)

Beyond that, there is the more fundamental reality that the actual interests of the masses of people can never be realized under this system, which is based on exploitation and oppression and the rule (in fact the dictatorship) of the capitalist class, whose wealth and power rests on this exploitation and oppression, in this country and in vast areas of the world as a whole. On this basis, the capitalist class dominates control of the economy and all the major institutions of society, and maintains a monopoly of political power and of “legitimate” armed force and violence, as exercised by the police and military, and enforced by the courts.

All this makes clear how totally ridiculous is the insistence, by the Democrats (and those who echo them), that everything depends on elections, and voting for Democrats is ultimately the only way to bring about positive change.

In reality, relying on elections, under this system, is a demobilizing dead end and deadly trap in terms of any real effort to bring about a more just society.

The Actual Answer to the Fascist Offensive... And the Fundamental Solution

Right now, as opposed to relying on and being restricted by the Democrats, everyone who refuses to see women reduced to breeders of children, dominated by men and a male supremacist society, everyone who cares about living in a just society, needs to be taking to the streets—and staying in the streets—in massive, sustained, growing protest and rebellion aimed at preventing the Supreme Court (and fascists more broadly) from denying women the right to abortion, with everything that would represent (and the terrible future it foreshadows). Forced motherhood IS female enslavement.

By mobilizing massively—with passionate, powerfully demonstrated determination not to allow the right to abortion to be taken away—there is a real chance that the Supreme Court will be forced to back off the move to take away this fundamental right. And if, even in the face of this determined mass mobilization, the fascists on the Court (and in society overall) still go ahead with their move to outlaw abortion, then this mass mobilization in support of the right to abortion will have put people in a stronger position to continue the fight for this right, and for a more just society overall.

Fundamentally, to bring about a more just society and world, what is needed, and all the more urgently now, is a revolution to overthrow this whole system, which both Democrats and Republicans represent and work to enforce, even as they have sharp differences between them over how to do this. In “Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating,” I have analyzed in depth why this is a rare time when revolution becomes more possible, even in this powerful country. It is crucially important to understand why this is so—which has to do with the already very deep, and continually deepening, divisions, not only in the country overall but particularly within the ruling class, and why that ruling class cannot continue to rule in the “normal way” it has for generations—and how to move to build up the revolutionary forces with the strategy and organization capable of seizing on this rare opportunity, not in order to achieve a “peaceful transfer of power” from one section of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class to another, but to bring about a seizure of power by a revolutionary people, numbering in the millions and millions and determined to bring about a truly emancipating change—bringing down this monstrous system and building up a radically different and far better system.3

There is an urgent need for the determined, scientifically grounded work of those who are already with this revolution to shake awake growing numbers of people—to transform the thinking of masses of people, away from blindly “playing by the rules” of this system and confining themselves to futile attempts to effect fundamental change by “working within the system”—winning them instead to a scientific understanding of the possibility and the need for revolution, the means for making that revolution, and what that revolution is aiming for.

Unite All Who Can Be United to Stop the Move to Outlaw Abortion

Right at this critical juncture, there is a profound and pressing need for a broad, powerful, and sustained mobilization of people determined to prevent the right to abortion from being taken awayuniting all who can be united, including people who have become convinced that revolution is necessary, and those who believe that it is crucially important now to “take to the streets” to defend this fundamental right to abortion, but also believe that it is still necessary to vote.

Right now, the fight for the right to abortion is a crucially important focus and faultline of the fight for a more just society—a decisive battle to determine whether women are going to be reduced to “handmaid” breeders of children, effectively enslaved by a male supremacist society, or whether they, and masses of people overall, are going to be strengthened in their ability and determination to be full, and fully emancipated, human beings.

_______________

FOOTNOTES:

1. Bob Avakian, Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That?, Banner Press, 1986. Information about ordering this book can be found at BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us. [back]

2. “This Republic—Ridiculous, Outmoded, Criminal.” This article by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us. [back]

3. “Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating: Profound Crisis, Deepening Divisions, The Looming Possibility Of Civil War—And The Revolution That Is Urgently Needed, A Necessary Foundation, A Basic Roadmap For This Revolution” is also available at revcom.us. And the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, which contains a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different and far better system, is available as well at revcom.us. [back]

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Philosophy of Maoism leads to the Unity of Opposites

By Steve Otto

There are times when I like to look at philosophy and the various aspects of being a philosopher. Recently I came across some quotes from Mother Teresa[1] and I realized that despite the differences in ideology between her and Mao Zedong[2] there are still some similarities in their out outlook on life and philosophy.

 For example, Mao said this about the importance of a person's life:

"All men must die, but death can vary in its significance. The ancient Chinese writer Szuma Chien said, "Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a feather." [2] To die for the people is weightier than Mount Tai, but to work for the fascists and die for the exploiters and oppressors is lighter than a feather."

This is similar to a quote by Mother Teresa:

“A life not lived for others is not a life.”

It is easy to see the similarities in these quotes. I have found that many famous quotes seem to overlap. As well as similar quotes to Mao, Mother Teresa has quotes similar to other person's:

For example:

“Love is a fruit in season at all times and within reach of every hand.” -Mother Teresa

“Love is an angle disguised as lust.” -Patti Smith

 They are somewhat similar. Then she has a quote similar to Epicurus[3]:

“When you don’t have anything, then you have everything.” .” -Mother Teresa

And Epicurus said:

The things you really need are few and easy to come by; but the things you can imagine you need are infinite and you will never be satisfied.

Again, this leftwing philosopher said things similar to Mother Teresa.

There are other examples I have found of philosophies that over lap. For example,

the quote "Yes we can" was used by both- Bob the Builder and Barack Obama.

So philosophies overlap even though the quotes may be by people who seem to have little in common. That may be an example of the unity of opposites theory. 



Pix from CBeebies - Bob the Builder.


[1] Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu.

[2] 泽东.