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by Robert M Young

I have been asked to speak to this conference as a representative of the Radical Science Journal Collective. I'll begin by offering a summary of what I hope to convey, in the form of replies to the questions on the conference poster. First, 'Is scientific and technological knowledge ideological?' Yes, but putting it that baldly confuses most people, so we need to express it better. Second, 'Are some areas of science more determined by capitalism than others?’ No, but the determinations operates in very different ways at different levels in particular disciplines. Third, 'How should this — presumably the answers to the above questions — affect political struggles in these areas?' Reply: By getting us out of a scientistic ghetto and integrating our politics of science with a much more sophisticated understanding of class struggle in our own class fraction, based on marxist theory and practice.



The Story So Far

It is now four and half years since the last large BSSRS conference, which asked, 'Is There a Socialist Science?', and where members of the RSJ Collective contributed several papers, all concerned with advocating a marxist approach to the content and to the social relations in science to get beyond the distinction between science and society. The position we took up was opposed on several grounds:

(1) that it was too theoretical and inaccessible to ordinary scientists;

(2) that it made insufficient contact with working class struggles and the trades union movement;

(3) that it was idealist.

There have been a number of alternative approaches to ours in and around the radical science movement which have not, on the whole, taken account of a wide debate about science and technology, scientific and technological rationality and the role of experts, which has been taking place on the left and in the general culture. One such position is positivist marxist — that science is a progressive force, that we need more of it and that it provides a model for society. Manifestly anti-progressive sciences and findings are attributed to the work of assholes conducting pseudoscience. A variant of the positivist position is one which keeps the content of science inviolate but which concentrates on the vigilant control of its uses and abuses. This view corresponds to a sharp separation between science and technology. There is also a diminishing tendency to treat the substance of technology as neutral but to want to monitor its applications. I shall revert to this use/abuse model later but for now only want to mention a more flexible variant. This third position is sometimes called the 'modified use/abuse' model. It employs a sliding scale of ideological contamination within a given discipline and between disciplines, with the degree of contamination depending on capital's stake in the topic and/or its distance from trustworthy physico-chemical explanations.

The RSJ collective has consistently argued that marxism as applied to science and technology addresses the problem of their social relations at a deeper level. We argued at the 'socialist science' conference that it was time to move on — from an amalgam of liberalism and radicalism to marxism, from defence to offence, from science and socialism to socialist science, struggling against the hegemony of existing science with counter-hegemonic research and social relations. Those arguments were made in headier times with the sixties still a bright memory. In these more sombre days we'd argue again that it is time to move on. It is time to recontextualise the science/ideology problem within a labour process perspective — attempting to bring science and other kinds of production and reproduction into one interpretive framework. It is time to concentrate on how knowledge and technology are constituted, that is, where capital's values and needs enter into the constitution of science and technology, exposing that constitutive role. Above all, it is time to seek out the places where capital can be contested. The process by which the evaluative/ideological dimension enters into the production of science and technology is an excellent place for demystifying knowledge, but it may not be the locus most amenable to contestation. This will have to be discovered by close analysis of the labour process of scientific work, seeking out its vulnerabilities to transformation along the lines of socialist social relations — challenging hierarchies, authoritarianism, sexism, differentials, struggling for fully collective and open processes for setting tasks and goals.

The process during which capital's values, needs, goals enter the labour process of scientific research is in the origination of questions; in technology it is in the assignments for research and development; in medicine it is in research in the drug, surgical and medical domains, where treatments and procedures are created. The process of origination may seem a strange place to conduct struggles, involving an unpromising constituency — one which seems least amenable to socialist priorities and risk-taking in careers. We are in the heartland of the upwardly socially mobile professional managerial class fraction in science, technology and medicine. But the point of application is proving even less promising, since so many of the spaces for contestation are closed up tight by the time new technologies, findings, theories and procedures come on stream.

The RSJ position has always been based on treating ideology as fundamental — not a factor, not a contaminant, not intruding from the social context but constitutive. It doesn't only influence the choice of topic, the sorts of questions asked and the kinds of answers which will count as answers. All of these criteria are shaped by ideological considerations, but they also work at a much deeper level, affecting the constitution of fundamental views of nature and society. We begin by treating nature as a manifold, i.e., terrain so complex that it is amenable to many interpretive frameworks. Values, needs and social orders make selections from the myriad of perspectives or overlays which could be applied to Nature. All meanings are social, and the question of ideology is the question of how societies construct and come to take for granted, their conceptions of nature, life, humanity and society. Ideological constitutiveness does not change the number of planets, the speed of light or the freezing point of water, but it fundamentally affects conceptions of planetary systems, cosmological frames of reference, and classifications of states of matter. Above all, it directs and frames our inquiry — what to think about and how to think about it.

Starting from this perspective, we believed and continue to believe that science is insufficiently theorised on the left, with the result that capital in this sphere has been insufficiently challenged. We accept capital's conception of science and end up fighting on capital's terrain. Our challenges are not wide enough, not deep enough, because there is a persistent belief that there are more or less clean, value-neutral domains in science and technology. My own view is that we are rapidly reaching a point where these issues are inescapable, but I fear that radical scientists will be pushed to a clear realisation of the need for a deeper approach to theory and practice by the general public's response to the astounding role which science and technology are coming to play in the every day life of ordinary people. In saying this I mean no denigration of recent work in BSSRS on health and safety, agricapital, sociobiology, race and IQ, food and genetic engineering. But the energy devoted to these issues in the organisation most committed to taking the new role of science seriously is paltry compared with public campaigns in other quarters on racism and genetic engineering, to name but two examples. Indeed, genetic engineering — in its wider meaning as biotechnology and in combination with microelectronics — is now poised to transform the heart of the economy: work, leisure, food, energy, drugs, chemicals, resulting in literally unimagined changes. Add to this the impact of spare part surgery and artificial fertilisation and implantation and you have changes affecting every sphere from conception, through birth, life, work, illness and death. I have written about these implications elsewhere so won't repeat the argument here. (See ’Reconstituting Technology’ in CSE Conference Papers, 1979).



Use and Abuse: Levels

Putting that point another way, it could be argued that the use/abuse approach is fine as far as it goes but that it needs to be integrated into the constitutive approach by a conception of levels. Let me illustrate this with some examples. You might say that how we think of a spear or a bow and arrow depends on who is wielding them and at whom. But that account won't do for a pacifist or (in the extreme) a Jain Buddhist, for whom all life is sacred. The very invention of weapons — the constitution of the sciences and technologies which serve those purposes — is anathema. Moving from one extreme of the technology of weaponry to the other, the neutron bomb is designed to destroy selectively, killing people but sparing property. The goals are built into the technology. Of the automobile you might say that its use and abuse depend on who is driving it where and for what purpose. But the concept of the automobile is predicated on certain assumptions about the size of groups in which people travel, flexibility of destinations, income, use of resources, etc. The same is true of road systems, architecture and indeed the entire organisation of civilisation. (See David Dickson Alternative Technology. Fontana pb. 1974)

Similar arguments apply to the relations between technologies and other features of society. For example, nuclear power brings with it a degree of security (in the police sense) and a degree of likely pollution which fundamentally affects questions of democracy and health in relation to everyday energy needs. The social relations of production, the product and its uses are not separable. They are part of a society's general metabolism, the elements of which change but, in relation to one another. The same is true of the micro-electronics industry and South East Asian authoritarian regimes, particularly Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore. (See ’Womens’ Place in the Integrated Circuit’, South East Asian Chronicle, No. 66, 1979).

My final example is the development of microprocessors, which you might offer as the best case of potential uses which free people from meaningless toil. But this wide-reaching industrial revolution has been constituted by capital for its own purposes in terms of both efficiency and real subordination of the labour force by technology. It will transform work, employment and the labour process itself in ways which are inseparable from the basic features of the capitalist mode of production. (See Dave Albury on Microprocessors in this issue)



Science is Ideological: Standard Version

These examples of the relationship between use/abuse and different levels of the constitution of science and technology lead into a longer answer to the second question on the conference poster. To say that science is ideological is too much for most people, because they take it to mean that it is therefore false, biased, merely subjective — that apples might fall upwards or that there are no facts. This misunderstanding isn't their fault; it derives from an ambiguity in the marxist tradition between ideology as false consciousness and as a partial truth which prevents access to the totality and historicity of social relations. (See R. M. Young, ‘The Human Limits of Nature’, in J. Benthall, ed., The Limits of Human Nature, Allen Lane, 1973)

In my view the science/ideology debate has become tiresome, because in discussions with working scientists it is up against a whole education in the separation of facts from their contexts of meanings and social relations (that's a definition of positivism). It is tiresome in the left as a whole, because it is up against a huge pile of arid theoreticism from Althusserians, post- Althusserians and Structuralists who wish to draw a radical distinction between science and ideology. So, we're diverted into epistemological engagements on two fronts, positivism and structuralism, both militating against direct political struggle.

Of course, both of these forms of scientism do advocate the separation of scientific theory from direct political intervention: one because scientific research is seen as a haven from ideology, the other because theoretical work is itself treated as 'science'. In both cases, the technology of changing the world is done elsewhere — by the Party. My idea of the solution to the problem of revolutionary organisation does not allow that kind of split between the place of work and the place of struggle. Libertarian marxism is about struggling wherever capital attempts to control — work, home, community, culture. I think that scientism militates against this view of the need for struggle to be ubiquitous and not just confined to certain spheres, e.g., the point of industrial production.

So, to return to the conference question, to say that science is ideological is too sweeping and provocative. But to point out the role of capital's version of reality at different levels in different disciplines is not so difficult to take in. For example, I would expect no quarrel with this audience over the claim that the role of ideology in IQ studies is on the surface — what kinds of questions are asked of what kinds of people to achieve what sorts of ordering along what axes? We'd divide however, over whether or not IQ is merely bad science and over the role of the marxist theory of commodity fetishism in explaining IQ research and testing. (See Les Levidow, ’A Marxist Critique of the IQ Debate’, in R.S.J. 6/7)

Turning to another relatively easy case, I'd argue there is no other plausible source for the conceptual glossary of sociobiology than a competitive, hierarchical, meritocratic, sexist society. Here is a list of terms drawn from the working vocabulary of E. O. Wilson's Sociobiology: The New Synthesis: division of labour (sexual and task), hierarchy, competitiveness, domination/ submission, peck order, aggression, selfishness/altruism, rank caste, role, worker, slave, soldier, queen, host, harem, promiscuous, mob, combat, spite, bachelor, jealousy, territoriality, leadership, indoctrinability, elites. Looking a bit wider to Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, we find cheat, sucker, grudger; wider still we find nepotism, philandering, rape. As Engels said of such ways of interpreting nature, 'When this conjuror's trick has been performed . . ., the same theories are transferred back again from organic nature into history and it is now claimed that their validity as eternal laws of human society has been proved.' (Engels, Dialectics of Nature, Progress Publishers, p. 308). We would have differences — as we do in the BSSRS Sociobiology Group — over whether or not operational definitions of concepts such as dominance or IQ get round the charge of ideological constitution of a discipline's assumptions. My claim about the role of ideology would thereby be relegated to the social and psychological sources of concepts (as well as their popularisation), but would not touch substantive content of the discipline as value-neutral testable knowledge.

Moving on to chemistry, one would have to go deeper still to the periodic table and to the determinants of the late eighteenth and nineteenth-century era of classification in which it was formulated, along with, for example, analytical taxonomies in biology and the study of the functions of the brain. What was it about the historical state of the socio-economic contradiction between the forces and relations of production which was being mediated by this way of framing the manifold of nature? It is easier to find answers to such questions in brain studies (See R. M. Young, Mind, Brain and Adaptation in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford 1970) than in chemistry. But beginnings have been made, and if we move on to physics there is a medium-sized industry devoted to studying the capitalist constitution of modern physics, (see RSJ 9). I would want to complement the study of the constitution of quantum mechanics in the twentieth century with a study of the laying down of the metaphysical assumptions of modern physical science in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries — the primary-secondary quality distinction, and corresponding distinctions in modern ontology and epistemology. I have written elsewhere about these issues and the research programme they entail, (see ’Science is Social Relations’ in RSJ 5), and I have been very impressed by recent marxist work on the social foundations and social resonances of fundamental assumptions of whole areas of science. I am thinking in particular of the work of David Dickson on the scientific revolution, (in RSJ 8), Edward Yoxen on molecular biology and Roger Cooter on brain studies. The hardest case is, of course, mathematics — the so-called 'queen of the sciences'— but there is a group of people who are learning to treat mathematics and quantification historically, as a social product, for example, Imré Lakatos, David Bloor, Luke Hodgkin, (in RSJ 4), Chris Knee, and myself (see 'Why are Figures so Significant?', in Demystifying Social Statistics edited by J. Irvine, I. Miles and P. Evans, Pluto 1979), the last three in the RSJ Collective.



Revised Version

Everything I have said so far is really a preliminary, since, as I mentioned, I want to argue that the issues need to be recontextualised for reasons of intellectual accessibility and agitational immediacy. I want now to emphasise certain conceptions which are more likely to take us into practical struggles. They are:

1) labour process treating science, technology, medicine, and our own struggles, as labour processes — consisting of

(a) purposive activity,

(b) raw materials, and

(c) means of production,

brought together to produce use values. The point of this framework is to help us to focus more clearly on our own work and its vulnerability to agitational politics, and to help us to see more clearly the articulations of scientific and technological work with other labour processes in the spheres of production and reproduction. The point of this approach is to help us to pay closer attention both to opportunities for making politics at work, and for the relations of work with the totality of social relations. It's to help us to stop seeing science as an exception to the determinations of the rest of the mode of production.

2) constitutiontreating social determinants as constitutive rather than merely contextual.

3) originationseeking opportunities for intervention in the labour process of science and technology in the process of origination of new endeavours rather than at the point of application alone.

A reasonably attentive follower of the debate over science and ideology would see these three conceptions as an attempt to recast old positions in a new mode — an agitational mode which is not primarily about knowledge but about intervention. It is not marxism in general but the marxist conception of the labour process, producing use values; not the theory of fetishism but the process of the coming to be of fixed capital, concentrating on the processes whereby capital's priorities become embedded in the project which thenceforward becomes increasingly refractory to willed, organised efforts to alter it. It is not a counter-hegemonic world view as a whole but specific struggles where facts and artefacts are conceived. But I wouldn't want you to think that we are reformed characters who have abandoned theory and decided that the problem of practice can be reduced to choosing which political party to join. Theory without practice is empty; practice without theory is blind. A significant part of the problem in the radical science movement is that people don't see the need to learn about the concepts which, we'd argue, are indispensable for breaking out of a scientistic innocence. Here are some:


Ideology eternalises the historically contingent, and science is the most potent expression of bourgeois ideology, serving the goals of the bourgeois epoch and the capitalist mode of production. Fetishism treats the relations between people as relations between things, and


commodity fetishism is the concomitant (in the capitalist constitution of human character) of the domination of exchange value in the capitalist mode.


Reification turns people into things, inducing pessimism and reducing praxis to process, presided over by experts.


Hegemony elicits consent without overt force and obscures the real power relations in society.

We have to learn to think with such concepts inside science and not be cowed by the them, or dismiss them as trendy jargon. The shift of focus I am advocating is a consequence of digesting these conceptions with respect to science and technology. Now let's get to work with them. This most recent version of a theoretical framework is part of a longer term project: to make apparent the evaluative dimension inherent in conceptions of nature, life humanity — especially 'human nature' — and society, including its knowledge — especially its objective knowledge, in science and technology. The point of the long-term project is to make that evaluative/ideological dimension amenable to contestation. Values are the basis of the structuring and conduct of social relations; in capitalist society social relations are mediations of class relations.

Marxism is about the historicity of conceptions of nature, treating all such conceptions as social products, rooted in the contradictory unity of the material and human forces of production and the social relations of production (and reproduction in both cases) which in our era make up the basic socio-economic order, the capitalist mode of production. There is plenty of warrant for this reading of marxism, though there is no unequivocal science here any more than in any other historical process. Gramsci, Lukács, Korsch and Marcuse see it our way, while much of Engels and the writers of the period of the Second International (1898-1914, Kautsky, Plekhanov), as well as early and late Stalinists, don't. Marx said in his most comprehensive overview of his vision — The Gründrisse — that even the most abstract categories are a product of historic relations and possess their full validity only within these relations (p. 105, Penguin pb). The prevailing theories of the right, centre and left (including many marxisms) do not treat knowledge as constituted by historical forces. Instead, they employ interaction models, with social forces, which impinge rather than operate in the process of the creation of the assumptions and categories, the projects and the criteria for what will count as an answer and therefore bring curiosity to rest. The existing models are dichotomous: science/society as in the right-wing UK Council for Science and Society, substance/context as in the sociology of science and the sociology of knowledge — the first orthodox functionalist sociology, the second a bit more risqué but stopping at the boundary of the content of knowledge in the hard sciences.

The analogous dichotomous formulation in technology ignores the blazingly obvious fact that technologies are actually ordered up in the research and development departments of capitalist enterprises or contracted out to engineering departments in universities, Imperial Colleges and polytechnics, either directly or via government customer-contract relationships. But the distinction 'technology/control' lives on, thereby exempting the technology itself from political analysis and contestation, until it is ready to come on stream.

The result of all this is that, at the bottom, all of knowledge is separated from its use and abuse, and its origination is bracketed off and sequestered from its application. By the time a word processor is being wheeled into a secretary's office it is too late for anything but a holding action, and there's certainly no hope for reflecting on the reconstitution of the foundations of a whole technology whose purpose is to increase the efficiency and real subordination of a labour force much reduced by the introduction of fixed capital in the form of the machine. Similarly, by the time it's dropped on you there are distinct limitations on the scope for going back to the drawing board over a neutron bomb.

The reason for looking at the production of science and technology as a labour process is, once again, to move on from a science/ideology analysis to concrete studies and interventions. The science/ideology problem tends to restrict us to issues in epistemology. It was very important indeed that Marcuse and the Frankfurt School taught us to see scientific and technological rationality as forms of power and to locate and demistify false consciousness. (See Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man, Abacus, pb). But as many of those politicised in the '60s have learned, tearing away the veils of mystification allows only a brief moment of exhiliration before one gazes directly at the intractable realities of power in the forms of machines, institutions, power structures, and having to survive within a system whose whole fabric serves the circulation and expansion of capital, either directly, or indirectly through the mediations of career structures and research-success-as capital. Looking at the labour process and the constitution of knowledge and technology at the point of origination leads not to epistemology but forward to agitation, organisation and subversion at work.



How Does This Affect Struggles?

If we believe that the relations between science and technology and socio-economic forces are not merely interactive but dialectical, i.e., mutually constitutive, and if we believe, moreover, the fundamental marxist axiom that in the last instance the arrow of causality points from the mode of production to its theoretical domains, then we have to look and act on a much wider scale and operate at a number of different levels. I want to suggest putting some energy into the places where scientists, technologists and health workers work, i.e., struggle around the labour process of BSSRS' own primary constituency and membership; and second, in the domains where those labour processes articulate with the rest of production and reproduction.

But in order to get on clear-sightedly with either of these activities, I'd argue that we have to become utterly convinced of the revised version of the 'science is ideological' thesis: that science is a labour process among others, and should not be treated as a privileged form of knowledge.

The left is on the whole very unsophisticated about science and technology, while scientists and technologists and especially medical workers have a less developed sense of the issues and practices in the wider culture of the left than do specialists in other areas of the division of labour. At least that’s my experience. I keep encountering a diffidence on the part of left scientists which is uncharacteristic of other leftists, even though the others' professional work may be on a quite narrow topic — just as narrow as the average scientific researcher's. The question, 'How should this affect political struggle in these areas?' strikes me as important, but I think it’s only part of the relevant question. What about other areas? I am suggesting that our theory and practice inside science should articulate with — and indeed be inseparable from — our theory and practice in the rest of life and work. Moving from a dichotomous interaction model means removing the barriers which lead most of us to do one sort of thing at work inside scientific study or research, another sort of thing in our home and cultural lives, and a third in BSSRS.

Assuming the mutual determination of capitalism and science, with the production and reproduction of the social relations of capitalism as determinate in the last instance, I'd argue that we need to educate ourselves out of diffidence and branch out more into the general left culture where various forms of scientism are rife.



Practices for Our Own Class Fraction

Much of what I have said about struggle at our own places of work and in the wider left subculture is based on some premises which I'd now like to make explicit. There is currently a debate in the left over the class role of people like ourselves — people who neither own the means of production nor have anything to sell but their labour power — the so-called ’professional-managerial class’ fraction, including scientists, technologists, medical workers, teachers, and so on, making up about a quarter of the American population and 14% of the British.(See P. Walker, Between Labor and Capital, Harvester, 1979). The line I am taking is in opposition to the belief that scientists and technologists are becoming proletarianised rapidly enough to integrate the problem of how they make politics with that of the traditional working class. The problem of articulating, (i.e., connecting up) those struggles is of the utmost importance, but I think it’s utopian to try to conflate them. Having said that, I am not arguing that science and technology are buffered from the marketplace in the way the liberal tradition of science and academic freedom were in the nineteenth century. The gap between science in the liberal tradition — esoteric sciences such as particle physics, solid state physics, chemistry and molecular biology on the one hand, and productive technologies on the other — is disappearing, respectively, in nuclear power, microprocessors, biotechnology and genetic engineering.

In all these cases the problem of the gap between science and capital never really existed, as I've been arguing all along, since capital constitutes knowledge and technology. My point is that the mediations are disappearing. The disappearance of those mediations is also part of my argument for looking hard at the labour processes of our own work and their articulations, in order to address them in ways which are familiar in the most progressive forms of working class struggles.

You may think the definition of science as a labour process which I gave above is merely a formula. But if you take it seriously and apply it to your own job, you will be forced to consider the real chances for political struggle and the articulations between your work and other areas of struggle. I mean the analysis to be applied quite literally as an exercise in political analysis for the purpose of political organisation and struggle at work and in the relations between that labour process and the ones with which it is connected — other labs, teaching situations, home, sexual politics, etc. Any time you don't apply the analysis in a given situation, you are deciding not to make politics there and then.

Our task is more difficult in the face of the ambivalent class position of our own class fraction. For example, Mike George says of the Lucas Aerospace Combine Shop Stewards' Committee Corporate Plan that it 'is not simply a pile of documents. It is the beginnings of an attempt to expropriate control over the decisions as to what is to be made for whom and for what purpose'. Now listen to a report of what Donna Haber, ASTMS and TUC representative on the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Group said of union involvement: 'The real basis of trade unions was challenging managerial prerogatives and giving people more influence over their own working lives.' 'We must become involved in decision making processes with regard to investment, funding, science policy and health and safety.' 'Yet when it comes to our own laboratories, a number of scientists could be compared unfavourably with the Victorian employers. All decisions were made by the scientists heading the group. Who will dare challenge the decision of the scientists? Well, we will for a start,' she said.

These are stirring sentiments, and I offer them as models for an approach to intervention at the base — in the process of origination of new research and development in industry and in the academic sphere.

It would be naive to assert that upwardly socially mobile workers would risk their future careers by direct attacks. This is why we cannot collapse BSSRS into union militancy, much less into a straightforwardly working class party. It is also why we have work to do in the two directions I mentioned — first in organising at work and in the left subculture and in culture generally; second in bringing our critique of science into the unions BSSRS people join, and carrying the issue of the role of science into organisations such as the CSE, (Conference of Socialist Economists), where left positions are worked out for our caste. We work where theories and things, facts and artefacts are conceived. That's the point where many questions become closed. Our work in an increasingly science-based culture is to prise them open. In order to gear up to do that, I think we have to return to a constituency which our correct reaction against the pretensions of the student movement led us to abandon. But we forgot that those students become capital's mediators of power very soon. I think we have to win them back by complementing the focuses I've mentioned, by doing research on the plight of technicians, the career prospects of students, the conditions of graduate students, the job market for post-doctorals. That is, we have to speak to the material condition of our own natural constituency in order to have any basis for mobilisation. We should also direct some energy to becoming better informed and more critical about the power structure of science not only the Royal Society, but the Research Councils, UGC, CNAA, DES, MAFF, MOD, Dept. of Energy, DOI, ACARD, NRDC, Research Requirements Board, etc., and their articulations with NEDC, NEB, EEC and other private and public planning, agenda-setting and granting bodies, e.g., Trilateral Commission, Rockefeller and Nuffield Foundations, Wellcome Trust, etc.

'Science is ideological' means that we have to struggle in the labour process in the process of origination where the ideological constitution occurs.




Further Reading

Many of these views have been developed in the Radical Science Journal (R.S.J.) available from 9 Poland Street. [Note 1996: available from 26 Freegrove Road, London N7 9RQ.]

There is an extensive bibliography in R.S.J. 6/7, while the forthcoming R.S.J. 9 contains the first instalment of an ongoing critical bibliography.

In addition, the following are relevant to the ideas discussed in this paper.

Stanley Aronowitz, 'Marx, Braverman and the Logic of Capital', Insurgent Sociologist 8, Nos. 2 and 3 (Fall 1978), pp. 235-274.

Jane Barker and Hazel Downing ’'Office Automation: Word Processing and the Transformation of Patriarchal Relations', in C.S.E. Conference Papers, 1979, pp. 15-19.

David Bloor, Knowledge and Social Imagery. Routledge pb. (1976).

Roger Cooter, 'The Power of the Body: the Early Nineteenth Century’, in Barry Barnes and Stephen Shapin (eds.), Natural Order: Historical Studies in Scientific Culture. Sage 1979, pp. 73-92.


The Labour Process and Class Strategies. C.S.E. Pamphlet No. 1, Stage One pb 1976.

London Labour Process/Left Strategy Group, 'The Problem of Articulations in Left Strategies', C.S.E Conference Papers, 1979, pp. 101-18.

Mike Hales, ’Theory and Practice; The Labour Process and the Politics of Production’, C.S.E. Conference Papers, 1979, pp. 66-72.

Ernest Mandel, Late Capitalism. New Left Books, (1975) and Verso paper back (1978), chapters 6 and 8.

Edward Yoxon, The Social Impact of Molecular Biology. Cambridge PhD Thesis, 1977.

One further point: the RSJ Collective believe that work within the context of science needs to be complemented with active participation in a wider Left culture. We have found the Conference of Socialist Economists a congenial framework for such work. For further information about CSE/CSE working groups/CSE books/Capital and Class, write to 55 Mount Pleasant, London, WC1 OAE.


Paper presented to British Society for Social Responsibility in Science conference on ’Science Under Capitalism’, 1979. This shortened version appeared in Science for People Nos. 43/44, pp. 31-37. Note from editor: Shortage of space forced us to make some cuts in Bob Young's article, thus increasing the density of an already highly compressed argument. Our thanks to Bob for his graceful acceptance of our proposals.


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