[OPE-L:8039] Re: Heisenberg, Marx and the uncertainty principle

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Fri Nov 22 2002 - 22:12:55 EST

Re Paul C's [8038]:

> *  In particular, could the HUP have application when examining
> the systematic connections between a mode of production and
> (non-human) nature?
> ---------------------------------------------------------
> No. To think that it does is to fall for the most vulgar
> idealist interpretations of quantum mechanics

Oh my -- well I certainly wouldn't want to do that.

I see the HUP as just one of a number of  perspectives in the natural
sciences related to uncertainty and indeterminacy that might have
extensions for comprehending the present mode of production.
E.g. chaos theory, complexity theory,  and the theory of relativity.
As suggested by  a previous post,  uncertainty is a characteristic and
necessary feature of  the value  process and the production and circulation
of  surplus value and capital.  Hence it seems reasonable  to ask whether
postulates concerning uncertainty in other disciplines have relevance for
comprehending a specific social system that is characterized by uncertainty.

A connection of a more concrete historical nature relates to our
understanding of  the possible social consequences of nuclear power and
other forms of energy which capital and the state in their arrogance
have ignored.   Let us not forget that Werner Heisenberg after
developing the "Indeterminacy Principle" in the 1920's later
conducted research for Germany during WW2 on their nuclear fission
program.  Also, in the US the research on nuclear energy progressed
in ways that could not have been fully anticipated by theoretical
physicists like Einstein.  Even Oppenheimer -- late in his life -- realized
that nuclear power posed unquantifiable and unimaginable horrors for
the future.  The social implications of the HUP were all to real to
Oppenheimer and his generation of physicists -- and it was for speaking
out against the uncertain consequences of nuclear energy that the US
government blacklisted him.

As I understand it, you also take a principle from physics -- laws of
thermodynamics -- and attempt to develop extensions related to
political economy. Isn't that right?

In solidarity, Jerry

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