i view marx as boiled down to 4 assumptions/axioms (special relativity takes 2--speed of light is a universal constant, and observers see the same thing (physical laws) even in different inertial reference frames. (general relativity takes at least one more axiom; countable math (peano arithmatic) takes about 4 axioms, zfc takes one or two more--induction, infinity ).
   marx: materialism/ exploitation=class struggle=driver of dynamics/(inverse-hegelian) dialectic/immiseration-final end of capitalism and state-communism.
   last one is unproven---might as well predict the end of the world (others are subject to interpretation---is it exploitation or (milton friedman) choose to lose (or born too loose ---new york dolls)).
i always thought the 'dialectic' was what meant by 'noncommuting variables' in quantum theory (and now noncommutative geometry).  ab=/ba.  born's rule is the thesis (avrage of backward and forward time evolutions---see edward nelson, math at princeton.  he doesnt even think arithmatic is consistant).  or what is called the commutator (heisenberg) (thesis)ab-ba(antithesis)= h(bar)/2=synthesis.   which equals the generator of the dynamics.  one may be able to get all the dynamics from that (schrodinger, fokker-planck, entropic gravity. all comes from a basic inequality in fourier series. ))
  marxism like all econ and social sciences is still field biology.  there's no rigorous theory, its just collecting data.  its still science.  (like unzicker---why do we still belive in newton's laws--on arxiv.org)
some would argue even the laws of physics are not independent of the actions and ideas of humans.  (eg 'men see only what they look at, and they only look at what they already have in mind' (f celine, "north' (nazi sympathizer/opportnunist/snitch misanthrope french writer; nope---not malreaux, gide, or jean cocteau).
From: herb fox <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2011 10:40 PM
Subject: Re: TRUE of FALSE: The Quantum State Cannot Be Interpreted Statistically

It is important to distinguish "a science" from the use of the scientific method.  A science is what it is possible to construct, modify, and evolve over time about the objective, such as the physical universe, or biological processes.  It is characterized by having well established causal relations (including the relations among probabilities of QM) among fundamental categories that remain "true" for times far in excess of our time here on earth. Such areas of interest and importance as sociology, history, and economics, can be studied using aspects of scientific method, but are not independent of the actions and ideas of humans.  In that sense there is no such thing as "the science of Marxism."  On the other hand, Marx did such a fine job using scientific method to determine the structure and dynamics of capitalism, that his analysis remains the best description even today of how capitalism functions to the extent that even capitalists themselves acknowledge its power.  Reading the Communist Manifesto one can believe s/he is reading a contemporary critique. 

On 11/21/2011 9:45 PM, Carrol Cox wrote:
I happen to agree with a great deal that Marx wrote; I just don’t think of Marxism as a TOE (Theory of Everything). I understand his core critique through the work of Moishe Postone. (Poston’e own politics are pretty banal & unuseful: which illustrates perhaps the impossibility of a deductive ‘science’ of left politics. The concept of a “scientific theory of revolution” underlies the “disciplined parties” of both “Stalinist” and “Trotskyist” tradition. The SWP’s “single issue” approach to anti-war demonstrations. They assumed they possessed “The One True Theory” of Revolution and that, moreover, capitalist ideology was so overwhelmingly powerful that no one could develop correct politics except under the tutelage of the SWP. Single-issue ‘peaceful’ (legal) demos prevented (the SWP hoped) anti-war people from developing their politics independently of that tutelage.
A staple of anti-Marxist propaganda is  crowing that Marx’s “predictions” failed, and hence Marx was not a “scientist.” That perspective seems reflected in the subject line of this thread.
“Historical materialism” and (especially) “dialectical materialism” are topics of endless debate rather than cut-and-dried theories which all “Marxists” must accept. I find of immense use one sentence from the Grundrisse, “The anatomy of man is a key to the anatomy of the ape.” Bertell Ollman develops this as the concept of “doing history backward,” which he also refers to as the “dance of the dialectic.” But these are neither scientific “theories” nor religious dogama. They are historical arguments which I find persuasive.
From: Science for the People Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kamran Nayeri
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2011 7:32 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: TRUE of FALSE: The Quantum State Cannot Be Interpreted Statistically
I tend to agree with Carol (although what constitutes the core of Marx's contribution would be subject to disagreement). However, "dialectical materialism" is hardly the core of Marx's contribution or thought. 
I would be interested to know if anyone on this list considers any part of Marx's theory "scientific." If so, which part and why? 
Please note that I do not mean to underestimate Marx's contributions--I think they are highly valuable for us to figure out the world around us. I say this in the same sense that I hold philosophers and social critiques of all kinds are not scientists and their contribution--as valuable as they may be--are not scientific. 
To change the world for better, we need more than science. 
I appreciate any comments to illuminate these issues from your personal perspective.
On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 4:38 PM, Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
S E Anderson: “Or does it force Marxist theory of the physical world to fundamentally rethink its foundation?
I would deny that there is such a thing as a “Marxist theory of the material world.” Marx wrote a Critique of Political Economy (which is not the same as a Critical Political Economy), and that Critique, as he mentions in Volume 3, was intended to apply to the “ideal average” of capitalist economies. That is the core of Marxism, and it establishes (it seems to me) the impossibility of capitalism either collapsing on its own or evolving into something different. And if we use the sense of “science” (or the German word) used by German thinkers of the mid-19th c., somewhat different from the positivist science of the 20th-c, I think we can call that Critique a science.
Marx also wrote widely on many other topics, and much of his thought on all of those topics is of immense interest, and I agree with much of it, but I do not think it should be labeled “Marxism,” a term I myself anyhow reserve for that Critique of Political Economy.