The development of science and technology are held back by capitalism – by private ownership and the pursuit of profit. Only the ideas of Marxism – scientific socialism – can offer a way forward.

The development of science and technology are held back by capitalism – by private ownership and the pursuit of profit. Only the ideas of Marxism – scientific socialism – can offer a way forward.

Marxists seek to understand the laws governing society so as to be able to carry out revolutionary change, in the same way that natural scientists seek to uncover the laws of nature so as best to increase our control over nature. In this sense, Marx and Engels referred to their outlook as “scientific socialism”.

The key to the Marxist method is the philosophy of dialectical materialism. Marx’s lifelong collaborator, Engels, described this philosophy as “the most general laws of motion of nature, society, and human thought.” At root, this philosophy is a philosophy of change, which has found itself confirmed in a hundred and one ways by the latest discoveries of modern science. 

Today capitalism in decay threatens the sciences from multiple angles. Cuts in research spending and the casualisation of labour are grinding the sciences down. At the same time, the capitalist class funds all kinds of obscurantist movements. This has led to a revival, on the intellectual peaks of capitalist society, of mystical, idealist trends dressed up in very “scientific-sounding” phrases. At the dawn of the capitalist epoch the sciences were a key battleground in the struggle against the rubbish of the feudal era. The same is even truer today and all revolutionaries should take an interest in these struggles.

Learn the basics

Marxist classics
& books

Preface to Engels' Dialectics of NaturePreface to Engels' Dialectics of Nature
Rob Sewell

Rob Sewell outlines some of the most advanced discoveries in scientific study, explaining that dialectics is nothing more than the philosophical expression of the way nature works.

Capitalism vs ScienceCapitalism vs Science
Mike Palecek

We are told that capitalist competition pushes science to new frontiers and gives big corporations incentive to invent new medicines, drugs, and treatments. But in fact, the precise opposite is true.

Chaos, Science, and MarxismChaos, Science, and Marxism
Daniel Morley

The latest developments in science through ‘chaos theory’ are finally beginning to make redundant any religious explanation of the workings of the universe.

Science and knowledge in the age of capitalist crisisScience and knowledge in the age of capitalist crisis
Alan Woods

The last century has seen the most spectacular advances in science in the whole of history. Yet time after time we see that science cannot escape from society and politics.

Engels and human developmentEngels and human development
John Pickard

Engels' pamphlet The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man contained many brilliant insights into the theory of human development.

The degradation of science under capitalismThe degradation of science under capitalism
Adam Booth

The strength of the scientific method has been so great that it has created a sense of infallibility. But the decay of capitalism is now causing many to question the reliability of research.

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In-depth analysis

Marxist classics
& books

Scientific revolution and materialist philosophyScientific revolution and materialist philosophy
Ben Curry

The strength of the scientific method has been so great that it has created a sense of infallibility. But the decay of capitalism is now causing many to question the reliability of research.

Why capitalism is stunting scienceWhy capitalism is stunting science
Anthony Oakland

The profit motive and capitalist competition have become a barrier to advancing humanity's understanding of nature. Only a socialist plan can free science from these chains.

Marx, Darwin, and Gould: The revolution of evolutionMarx, Darwin, and Gould: The revolution of evolution
Lorenzo Esposito & Emanuele Cullorà

The work of the evolutionary biologist Stephen J Gould, is an example of the breakthroughs that can be made in applying a dialectical understanding to evolution.

Quantum mechanics: On the cusp of a scientific revolutionQuantum mechanics: On the cusp of a scientific revolution
Ben Curry

Since the 1930s a dominant trend has existed within the scientific community that explains quantum mechanics with all kinds of idealistic and mystical interpretations.

The crisis of cosmologyThe crisis of cosmology
Adam Booth

Through a long process of investigation over millennia, mankind has built up an understanding of Nature and the wider cosmos.

Technology, innovation, growth, capitalismTechnology, innovation, growth, capitalism
Adam Booth

The paradox of both ‘too much’ and ‘too little’ innovation simply expresses the dialectical laws of capitalism – laws based on the “rational” pursuit of profit, which in turn leads to an outcome that is wholly irrational.

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Marxist classics & books

Marxist classics
& books

Reason in RevoltReason in Revolt
Ted Grant and Alan Woods

A growing number of scientists are becoming discontented with the old outlook. The rapid rise of the theory of Chaos and Complexity was one of the most significant developments in science at the turn of the new millennium. Many of the ideas expressed by this new trend are strikingly similar to the theories of dialectical materialism worked out by Marx and Engels over 150 years ago.

Anti-Duhring, Part One: PhilosophyAnti-Duhring, Part One: Philosophy
Friedrich Engels

“A short, coherent account of our relation to the Hegelian philosophy, of how we proceeded, as well as of how we separated, from it, appeared to me to be required more and more. Equally, a full acknowledgement of the influence which Feuerbach had upon us during our period of storm and stress, appeared to me to be an undischarged debt of honour.”

Anti-Duhring, Part One: PhilosophyAnti-Duhring, Part One: Philosophy
Friedrich Engels

A classic of Marxism, Anti-Dühring was highly recommended by Lenin as a ‘text book’ of scientific socialism. It remains a classic exposition of the laws of dialectical materialism, the philosophy of Marxism.

The Dialectics of NatureThe Dialectics of Nature
Friedrich Engels

Ever since Engels' arrival in London in 1870, he was keen to write a comprehensive work on science and dialectical materialism. The notes and studies for such a work make up the present volume – an essential read for all those who want to develop a deeper understanding of Marxist philosophy.

Materialism and Empirio-CriticismMaterialism and Empirio-Criticism
V.I. Lenin

This work played a decisive part in combating the Machist revision of Marxism. It enabled the philosophical ideas of Marxism to spread widely among the mass of party members and helped the party activists and progressive workers to master dialectical and historical materialism.

Conspectus of Hegel's "The Science of Logic"Conspectus of Hegel's "The Science of Logic"
V.I. Lenin

Another work by Lenin, consisting of three notebooks exploring Hegel's groundbreaking work.

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Audio & video

Marxist classics
& books

Artificial intelligence and the nature of consciousnessArtificial intelligence and the nature of consciousness
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Daniel Morley

In this talk from the Revolution Festival 2018, Daniel Morley examines one of the most long-standing questions of philosophy: what is consciousness?

The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to ManThe Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man
00:00 / 00:00
John Pickard

John Pickard, former editor of British Marxist newspaper Militant, speaks on the role played by labour in the transition from ape to man.

The Crisis of Modern ScienceThe Crisis of Modern Science
00:00 / 00:00
Adam Booth

In this talk, Adam Booth explores the revolutionary history of scientific development and explains how modern scientific theories confirm the Marxist philosophical outlook of dialectical materialism.

Play
Ben Curry

Using a number of examples from science Ben Curry demonstrates one of the basic principles of dialectics: that change occurs through a process of 'quantity and quality'. In other words, the gradual accumulation of small quantitative changes eventually leads to the qualitative transformation of a system to a new equilibrium state.

Play
Ben Curry

In this talk, Ben Curry gives an overview of the historical development of scientific theories and the philosophical ideas that lie behind some of the biggest scientific revolutions in history. The latest developments and discoveries in modern science are a tremendous vindication of the Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism.

Play
Adam Booth

We find ourselves today surrounded by a plethora of new technology, automated processes, and time-saving devices. In this recording, Adam Booth discusses the question of technology, machinery, and innovation under capitalism, looking at how private property and production for profit have become an enormous barrier to society's development.

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