I see a lot of political chit-chat here, but no science.  Could you all PLEASE, please, move the pure politics discussions to a different list?  

I for one, start deleting all SftP posts regularly when I see it has been co-opted for endless (endless!!!!!!) arguments about pure politics rather than SCIENCE for the people... that is, the inter-relationship of science and the public.

Now of course, at least one person will promptly reply to say BUT OMG ALL WARS ARE POLITICAL, ALL NOW INCLUDE "SCIENCE" AND TECHNOLOGY, AND THEREFORE ANY POST ON ANY WAR IS ABOUT SCIENCE (and people).

That would be a banal and trivial argument, because if everything in the world includes science (and people) then no post is beyond the scope of SftP. In short, what is termed (and rightly so) vacuous.

Now, there are certainly specific ways in which science & technology may be intersecting with the people in the Libyan conflict (people as in "popular/public/democratic"). 
How, for instance, is the operation of sophisticated -- and improvised -- weaponry within, or not within, the easy control of those people volunteering for the fray, as opposed to those weapons usable only by "experts" such as NATO forces, or Qaddafi's? 
How might use of particular types of combat and/or weapons and/or strategies (including organizational) in this conflict affect future public use of, affinity toward, or hostility against, some of these technologies of war (including communications technologies, and social organization)?  A vietnamese friend of mine, for example, is the daughter of an agricultural scientist who after the devastating defoliant attacks during the US-Vietnam war, made a decisive switch away from advocacy of chemical pesticides and began doing more organic agricultural research.
Why are there no women shown as being involved, and what are the ramifications of this going to be for a so-called "democratic" government after this revolution?  (Is it, that is to say, a revolution for everyone? Or only for the young to middle-aged men who have thrown themselves so passionately into these events?) 
Among the biggest problems being reported for ordinary people in Tripoli now is an extensive breakdown in the city's water supply system, bringing it in from a complex of pumps and pipes.  When basic needs like this, or health, or sanitation, cannot be protected during or quickly restored following warfare, what does this say about the skill-set of ordinary people there? The availability of trained and technically minded people?  The focus of the combatants on either side?

I'd love to see some actual information and discussion related to science, technology and society. 

Not seeing any here lately, however, just political back-and-forth that in its focus on politics alone, detracts from SftP's purposes.

On Sun, Aug 28, 2011 at 4:52 AM, Paddy Apling <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Relevant, I think is the following:


OH so many thanks for that contribution Lou.  I feel like saying "flattery will get you nowhere"; but I DO think comrades SHOULD read Binh's contribution several times and THINK for yourselves, and perhaps follow up with re-reading Karl's contributions to discussion of 1848, and not least, of course, the Communist Manifesto. 


We are in EXCITING times: for the Arab world it IS their 1848; for us we are pawns in the global crisis of capitalism, in a situation which even Lenin had never seen the like.   Our understanding of how to apply Marxist dialectics has never been so tried before.


And do not forget that when the Communist Manifesto talks of "the party", Marx and Engels were not thinking of the CPSU(b), the CPGB, the CPI, or the CPUSA - but of all the working class (and I think, at that time of the first beginnings of industrial capitalism, they were thinking of the whole of the "common people" - Burke's "mob" or "great unwashed".  We HAVE to create this unity once again.


At 20 I was a young tank officer in the British Army looking forward to fighting to end fascism; now I can only watch - and hope that this century's 20 yr-olds will have better success.





-----Original Message-----

From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Louis Proyect

Sent: 28 August 2011 1:34 AM

To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: Re: [Marxism] US "Militant" greets NATO-backed rebel victory in Libya




On a Saturday afternoon in early January I had the distinct pleasure to meet with E.C. “Paddy” Apling, an 84 year old Marxmail subscriber who like dozens of others over the years have looked me up in New York City.

I believe that most have found me quite amiable in person in contrast to my carefully cultivated mad dog internet persona.


I was particularly interested in meeting a veteran of the 30s and 40s period since I share my friend Paul Buhle’s commitment to oral history.

I was also involved in an oral history project with an old friend from the SWP who has done video interviews with that truly “greatest generation”, namely those who stood up to capitalism and imperialism during the darkest hours of humanity.


Despite being called Paddy, he is not Irish. As a youth, he found his birth name Edward Chatterton a bit stuffy for his taste. Paddy explained to me that when he was very young (5-10), he used to stay at his aunt’s big farm house, which had three staircases (one with doors top and bottom leading to the servants’ quarters), where he would hide from the elders, especially the formidable Aunt Kate who would summon him as if in a Dickens novel: “Edward Chatterton, come here at once”. This persuaded him through a kind of aversion therapy to adopt another name.

The name Paddy came from a show in London in 1924 called “Paddy the Next Best Thing” (his mother had been hoping for a girl.)


full: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/ec-paddy-apling/



From: Science for the People Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael Balter
Sent: 28 August 2011 4:32 AM

To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Popular Rebellion & Imperialist Designs


During WWII leftists, Communists, socialists, and progressives entered into a temporary alliance with US and British imperialism to defeat Nazism and fascism. After that war, the fight against imperialism and colonialism continued.


There was clearly widespread support for the NATO intervention among the rebels, as established by many journalists when it first began.


It is strange that some leftists cannot bring themselves to acknowledge that there was a popular uprising in Libya which is now coming to fruition. Arguing against the NATO intervention is legitimate, but failure to give credit for the initiative, courage and sacrifice of the Libyan people shows contempt against them, as I have said before. 


The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.  -- Paul Cezanne