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The Critique of Science: Historical, Materialist and Dialectical Studies on the Relation of the Modern Sciences of Nature to the

Bourgeoisie and Capital


Will Barnes

An Institute for the Critical Study of Society of Capital Publication

The Critique of Science: Historical, Materialist and Dialectical Studies on the Relation of the Modern Sciences of Nature to the Bourgeoisie and Capital Will Barnes Institute for the Critical Study of Societies of Capital St. Paul, 2011

Having finished his lecture on the formation of the galaxy, solar system and planets, Bertrand Russell asked his audience if there were any questions. An elderly woman raised her hand and started to speak: You know, young man, that none of thats true. Pausing, she resumed, The Earth, as you know or ought to, rests on the back of a turtle. Russell was taken aback by her remarks, but recovering quickly, he replied, And, madam, just what does the turtle rest on? Not to be deterred, she responded, You think youre smart, dont you. Smiling, she triumphantly concluded, There are turtles all the way down.1

We tell this story a little differently than, among others, Stephen Hawkings (A Brief History of Time). More to the point, here this story has a far different meaning and import which we directly counterpose to that intended by Hawkings. See the Preliminary Remarks, immediately below.

Contents Preliminary Remarks Introduction The Modern Science of Nature (2001, Nov 2009) Social Basis of the Formation of an Organic Intelligentsia of the Bourgeoisie; Science and the Bourgeoisie; Elements of the Conceptual Structure of Science; Note on the Classical Evaluation of Labor First Study Science at its Origins The Problem of Motion: Galileo and Aristotle (Jun-Aug 2010) Aristotle; Galileo; Galileo and Aristotle; Notes on Observation, Experience and Experiment in Galileo, on Galileo and the Jesuits, and on the Modern Bourgeois Evaluation of Labor First Interlude (Nov-Dec 2009, Mar-Apr 2010) Fundamental Forms of Sociation; Formal Domination; Real Domination; Eras of Capitals Domination in the History of Capitalism; Retrospect and Anticipation Second Study New Departures in Science: The Sciences of Life (Sept 2009, Dec 2009-Feb 2010) Malthus and the Problem of Population; Darwin and the Evolutionary Development of Life; The Modern Synthesis (Neo-Darwinism); Foundations of the Malthusian-Darwinian Nexus in Potential Species Productivity; Decisive, nonMalthusian, non-Darwinian and non-Mendelian Determinants of Life; Some Conclusions Third Study (Short Study) New Departures in Science: The Modern Science of Nature Renewed. Three Sketches (2001, Nov 2009) Science without Foundations; Three Sketches, Heisenberg, Bohr and Einstein: The New Physics. Heisenberg, Bohr and Quantum Mechanics; Einstein, Simultaneity and Relativity, Technological Civilization; Bohr and Einstein Fourth Study The Critique of Scientific Reason (Apr-Jun 2010) Theorization Apogee of Science for Capital: Karl Popper, the Philosopher as Functionary of Capital The Weight of Traditions; Poppers Concept of Science; The Antinomies of Scientific Thought; Critical Rationality and Liberalism Second Interlude (Mar-Apr 2010, Aug 2010) Autonomization of Capital; Totalizing Domination; Trajectory of Contemporary Capitalist Development Fifth Study The Role of Life in Planetary Death (Jun-Aug 2009) Darwinian and Malthusian Mystifications in Capitals Sciences of Climate Change: Life on Earth in its Medean Aspect; The Physics and the Geophysiology of Life on Earth; Science and Capital; Alternatives, Scientists and Science, Climate Change Conclusion (Jun 2010) Capital and Science Postscript Summary and Prospects (May 2010) Lest our Hopes and Dreams Become an Endless Nightmare: Capitalist Technology, the Modern Science of Nature and the Movement of Capital

Preliminary Remarks This text concerns just one, socially determined form of knowledge in the millennial old history of humanity, but a form that, as it rises from daily life in order to provide intentional direction to that life, thinks itself that is, its wholly uncritical conceptual structure holds out no option for self-reflection on underlying assumptions, while its bearers confusedly think it detached from context, universal and objective, the omniscience of a god privy to an absolute truth, an unconditioned speech about nature valid at all times and places... Such is the intended sense of the epigram that prefaces this work... This is science, the modern science of nature, by which we mean a social and historical form of knowledge, originally generated by a class (the bourgeoisie) acting in a single and singular epoch of history, a history that itself stretches from the origins of agriculture and stratified societies down to the present. In the following, we intend to study only those moments in the history of science beginning with its origins that are immediately and directly related to the development of capitalism at which the obfuscatory and self-justificatory veils masking its relation to capital drop. Beyond a general statement of the relation of science to the bourgeoisie determined by the project of nature domination (which in and of itself is illuminating), what we intend is to demonstrate that the most important new departures in science (e.g., Darwinian evolutionary theory), even the most radical ones (e.g.., quantum mechanics), remain governed by the original class teleology of the bourgeoisie even if at the moment of their elaborations they embodied only the imperatives of capital. We shall tentatively specify the former in terms of a social intentionality and the project that informs it, which, as we said, is nature domination comprehended as degradation, despoliation (plundering) and destruction which recreates earthly nature as a holding arena consisting solely in unprocessed resources, for which all of reality has the meaning of a raw materials basin for capitalist commodity production 1 It is this project as it came to historically develop and its social and historical content took eventual shape in forms driven by a systems-imposed compulsion (i.e., the logic of capital) that mystifyingly justifies an endless development of productive forces as the alleged foundation of the genuine human community. This is not intellectual history as it is often referred to, far from it. Instead, in an inversion of its usual confused sense, we are engaged in writing the inner history of science, disclosing the structure of those privileged moments at which the ultimate meaning and significance of science for humanity is laid bare.

Variations on this formulation of the meaning of nature domination will recur throughout the various studies. Based on the entirety of this work, an elaboration of its full sense is presented in the Postscript, and its transcendent significance in the section of that Postscript entitled the Geophysiology of Earthly Nature, below.

Introduction The Modern Science of Nature In the remarks that immediately follow, we shall merely sketch out the lineaments of our position. In the course of our investigation this initial theorization will be refined and remade in a continuous encounter between it and that investigation in which the theorization and the materials presented are subject to inquiry, examination and scrutiny each in light of the other. Here that position is offered tentatively. The five studies forming the entire body of this presentation are designed to demonstrate the truth and efficacy of this thin analysis and assessment, culminating in our postscript where this position, now mediated and concretized, is forcefully and fully stated. Social Bases of the Formation of an Organic Intelligentsia of the Bourgeoisie The development of large urban enclaves in the tributary West exhibited the simultaneous rise and decline of different social strata. Two strata in particular are discernible. Over historical time these two strata fused to form the crucial layer of an organic intelligentsia of the bourgeoisie, a development that was itself decisive for the appearance of the latter as a class in history. The first stratum was made up of great artisans, or master craftsmen. The Renaissance (particularly in what today is called Italy) was not merely characterized by a potent intellectual ferment which included the discovery and critical evaluation of ancient (Greek and Latin) sources as well as the intellectual production of a conception of human activity as central to the production of the world (Bruno, Pico dell Mirandola), but more fundamentally also by the formation of powerful, territorially based political states (immediate antecedents of modern capitalist, national states). The new monarchies at once rested on landed aristocracies and political alliances with or conquest of wealthy urban merchant patriciates of cities such as Florence, Barcelona, London, etc. These monarchies, together with that enormous temporal power, the Church (a power which little recognized had already past its zenith), engaged in massive displays of their wealth, not just in pomp but in contributions to the objective substance that characterized the civilization they were central to. On the one hand, empire building required suitable weaponry. On the other, urban administrative centers housing those princes and clerics were the sites of ongoing building construction of vast proportions, cathedrals, palaces, lavish homes, etc. The great merchant patriciates of coastal cities (Genoa, Venice), too, engaged in similar building construction and aggressively pursued empire building, that is, the competitive creation of commercial empire. Advance of their trade required storage facilities, docks, and fleets of ships and the armaments to protect them as well. This building construction and merchant commerce gave rise to and supported a huge army of master craftsmen and lesser artisans. Master craftsmen numbered amongst themselves men such as stonecutters, goldsmiths and masons, and mariners, shipbuilders, carpenters, foundry men and miners, that is, artisans more or less directly related to the activity of building construction and overseas commerce. Amongst them also could be found a group of superior, because formally (if not humanistically) educated, artisans, artisans that included artists such as painters, sculptors and architects, surgeons, makers of nautical and astronomical instruments as well of distance meters for surveyors and gunners, surveyors and navigators themselves, musical instrument artificers, and most importantly artist-engineers such as Alberti, da Vinci, Cellini and Drer.1 Not a few were inventors. Marine compasses and guns, paper and stamping mills, and blast furnaces, for example, all date from this era. The artist-engineers, in particular, were responsible for construction of lifting engines, canals and sluices, guns and fortresses, as they went well beyond their roles in cathedral construction and casting statues.2 The great artisans of this hugely enlarged stratum were often employed in their own right with their workshops journeymen and apprentices. Their status in society and society itself were changing over time. No longer artists, these great craftsmen were becoming bourgeois,3 and they maintained and sustained themselves as capitalists in the strict sense, i.e., through employment of waged labor. Because of their greatly expanded role in production and society, and because they still operated in a cultural climate in which the traditional degradation of manual labor and the mechanical arts in favor of a sterile pursuit of truth (of the vision of goodness or beauty depending on whom
The category of superior artisan is developed by Edgar Zilsel (who also provides this enumeration), The Sociological Roots of Science, 552-553. 2 Ibid, 552. 3 Paola Rossi, Philosophy, Technology and the Arts in the Early Modern Era, 21-22, 30.
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among the ancients one followed) was dominant, they chafed under the humiliation of their imputed lowly status. Their activities, in contrast to Schoolmen and the humanist intelligentsia as well (whose activities were oriented toward syllogistic explication and speculative theological disputation, and learned assimilation of ancient sources and models and careful philological criticism, respectively), were concerned with how effects are produced, intent on discovering rules of operation and engaged in the investigation of causes.1 Rationality here, then, had an entirely different, observationally-experientially (not yet empirically) based meaning. On the ground of these often sophisticated, techno-experiential activities they sought to elaborate for themselves a perspective on the relation of knowledge to activity, work and production that was qualitatively different from that embedded and explicit in the inherited traditions of the West, so called. In writings characteristically crude by contemporary intellectual standards, they polemicized against the bookish, pedantic culture of the academies and Schoolmen; their published works were publicly accessible (i.e., non-esoteric) and experimentally based upon observation of things2 (as opposed to discourse about sensibly contentless concepts); and, implicit in their thought, was a view that technical operations of artisans and mechanics on nature gave rise to a form of knowledge which itself constituted insight into the dynamics of natural phenomena. Accordingly, they held an altogether different evaluation of, one that esteemed, the mechanical arts and artisan labor The second stratum consisted of declassed humanist intellectuals, which had two further sources that respectively constituted a single layer, first, sons of those aristocratic families of the countryside (England, Italy, Holland) who experienced decline as a consequence of the commercialization of agriculture and, second, the youngest sons of smaller patriciates in the great cities, particularly those of Italy and the Low Countries, who in the face of stiff great merchant competition could not be supported by the family business. The urbanization of the peripheries of the tributary formation of the European continent and the newly emerging social order, which culturally and civilizationally comes down to us by the name of the Renaissance, entailed a certain marginalization of seigniorial lords. Ancient noble families, landowners but resident to the cities, were politically and juridically subordinated by the rising burghers. Thus, for example, in 1292-1293 following a long struggle, the Florentine patriciate based in banking and trade issued a series of decrees (Ordinances of Justice) through its control of the communes polity, the Signoriate, and brought the warring old aristocratic families of the Florentine hinterland (contado) under control by abolishing serfdom and providing for the wholesale alienation of land. (In the coming decades, the great families of Florence bought up land in the countryside, establishing a form of exploitation, sharecropping tenancy or mezzadria disguising a form of rural proletarianization, which lasted down into the twentieth century.)3 The educated sons of the older, noble families, now essentially expropriated, formed one root of declassed humanist intelligentsia. (Humanist here, of course, does not have its contemporary sense, but more than anything referred to training in the use of, intense study of and familiarity with ancient sources in the original Latin and ancient Greek.) At the same time, new men, commercially oriented landed proprietors and, socially and economically intertwined with them, wealthy merchants, lawyers, bankers and cloth manufacturers, who had taken together begun to emerge as well-defined social layers, exhibited real social power. These groups were not homogenous. Based in part on commodity production on the peripheries of one great feudal, tributary formation of the West (existing largely between the Loire and the Rhine), strata within these groups engaged in long distance trade as well as the marketing of largely luxury goods for local consumption generating a thoroughgoing competition, between, e.g., merchants and manufacturers in the historically primitive sense.4 There were the proverbial winners and losers, amongst which were sons of trading classes that did not fare as well as
Zilsel, Ibid, 548-549. Rossi, Ibid, 1-7. 3 For all this, see our The History of Florence and the Florentine Republic. 4 The communes collectively (and Florence particularly) played a central role in the creation of an international market, a precondition for the emergence in the West of the capitalist production as the basis of a distinct and novel social form. Merchants, as opposed to industrialists, do not in and of themselves constitute an alternative to seigniorial social orders. Historically, the merchant has stood outside production and, thus, cannot leverage the reorganization of society as a whole. The merchant merely accumulates money-wealth, not "capital, by extracting profit from the exchange (circulation) that it mediates between producers Here see Marx, Kapital, Bd. III 20. Kapitel (Geschichtliches ber das Kaufmannskapital)... The existence of commercial classes in the late Roman Empire clearly indicates that these social groups are not capable from out of their own activity of generating capitalist development. Nonetheless, from the retrospective standpoint of the accomplished development of capitalism as an international system, the merchant classes of the Italian republics, to the extent they created a world market, money as a transregional medium of exchange,also created a historical condition for the emergence of world capitalism. This should, of course, be understood merely as a condition.
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others. In the early part of the chronological fourteenth century, these young men found their way into the citys polities,1 occupying for most of the century positions attached to their city government (most often engaged in the conduct of foreign affairs), and articulated and elaborated a vision of social life based on the autonomy, sovereignty and primacy (in social life) of the polity, organized participatorily in the narrow oligarchical sense, a democracy as it were of great families if you will. (Development of this sort will be repeated elsewhere: By the end of the next century for a period of roughly a hundred years, 1390-1480, western Europe began to see the formation of a third major zone of commodity production in England, the first two being the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries. This development, though, started from the countryside, and took shape objectively, historically and at a certain moment consciously in contradistinction to the consolidation of the kingdom of Castile.2 Both were ill-defined national territories in the process of becoming such.) Yet the same changes that saw the political consolidation of the power of this merchant patriciate dominating Europes urban enclaves, the rise of an artisan class engaged in construction of built environment (cathedrals, residents) including (what we would call) infrastructure (docks, canals), shipbuilding and instrument manufacture, witnessed the decline of the humanist intellectuals in official positions as a lengthy struggle (ending, for example, in Florence in 1530) ensued between the great tributary monarchs and the city Republics, a struggle that dramatically drained, virtually exhausting, the resources of the latter and made these native intelligentsias expendable. Declassed, they tended to form a free literati seeking out the same bankers and merchants as patrons, but, more likely (as, e.g., in the case of Machiavelli), attached themselves to princes, rulers of small domains statelets in southern Europe, as instructors of their sons (while, of course, attempting to garner favor in the form of appointments to academic chairs in the universities of France and Italy). This was the second root of rootless, cosmopolitan humanistic intelligentsia. The dislodgement of this free literati from official positions, and in many cases their newly dependent status, gave rise to a call for creation of a new type of gentleman. This new man (our term) was to be one who could respond to and exploit ongoing social change, one who would exhibit the requisite ability in politics, diplomacy, culture, manners, and competence in military and navigational skills (here citing Gilbert, who, had he been able to reach back in time a half century and known him, could have been engaging Machiavelli), skills that were rapidly becoming more important than blood and birth.3 This call also obviously entailed a different evaluation of manual labor and the mechanical arts.4 That evaluation was practically exhibited in the greatest, if later, figures of this stratum, Galileo, Gilbert, others such as Bacon, for whom personal contact with skilled, knowledgeable artisans was the rule.5 Gilberts call for a new man, at any rate, was concerned with development of technical skills. The programmatic aspects of this new formation (Bildung) were consciously set in opposition to the explicitly speculative-theoretical one that held sway in the universities. Rhetoric was, for example, yoked to political oration and military speeches, political philosophy to the various functions of the policy of states, beginning with their histories and inclusive of their types, administration and finance; the study of nature philosophy and mathematics was viewed largely in their technical aspects, that is, insofar as they yielded insights into fortification, strategy and artillery usage; astronomy and geography were presented with a view to navigation; etc.6 Such a novel perspective clearly signified the contempt for labor and mechanical activities traditionally held by aristocratic lords and leisured gentlemen had to be discarded (a path that Machiavelli, as a member of one Florentine twenty-five great families, the Ottimati, had already trodden down). At the same time, it was fully congruent with, and, to boot, a historically essential propaedeutic to assimilation of, the conceptual framework of the modern science of nature. Finally, there was another group that consisted in disaffected clerics.
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Zilsel, Ibid, 549. See the First Study, Part II, Castilian Empire in Early Modern Europe, Capitalism and Formal Domination, below. Non-chronological and deployed as conceptual premises to illuminate the relation of science to the bourgeoisie, an alternative periodization is offered in the First Interlude, below. 3 Rossi, Ibid, 9, cites the example of the Englishman, Humphrey Gilbert; also Zilsel, Ibid, 555. 4 For the classical evaluation of labor, see the appended note under the same heading, below. 5 For contact, Zilsel, Ibid, 555 (Gilbert), 555-556 (Galileo). 6 Rossi, Ibid, 9-10.

Nearly all of Galileos well-known pupils, Benedetto Castelli, Giovanni Ciampoli and Vincenzo Viviani for example, as well as many of his correspondents, intellectual peers, and supporters (ranging all the way to the top of the Church hierarchy, e.g., Maffeo Barberini) wore Roman collars.1 With a view to the new science, their significance was not social... they did not form a separate stratum and many of them were reintegrated into the Church intelligentsia, importantly with the Jesuits... Rather, their significance was intellectual in the narrow sense: Where they were of import, they transmitted theologically mediated, doctrinal contents of the new science, either to their pupils or, in some cases, by leaving behind texts. Science and the Bourgeoisie Though it is common productivist error to grasp the connection between modern science and abstract labor in terms of the general development of society, hence to see in science the intellectual patrimony of humanity, it remains an error. Science is neither: The internal, necessary relation of science to the bourgeoisie can be grasped in different, distinctive ways; first, in the vision of the world (man, community, nature) projected by science in its struggle against the old tributary order and in contradistinction to the old nature philosophy and its vision, theoretically expressing the organization of that old order; second, it can be grasped in the internal conceptual structure of science itself in its structural similarity to the value form; third, in the homology between the original, social and precognitive telos of science at its origins and bourgeois tasks (expansion of productive forces); and fourth, societally, in the validation of scientific laws through technological achievements linked to expansion of productivity. Summarily demonstrating this connection imposes two requirements on us, namely, exhibiting the internal, historical connection of the bourgeoisie as a class to science as theory, and demonstrating that significant elements of the internal conceptual structure of science are inseparable from the bourgeois process of accumulation, that is, seeing and recognizing the constitution of science as theory is indissolubly linked to production of the socio-historical world we call capitalism. Let us begin by emphasizing that we are speaking of the bourgeoisie as a class. The concept of the bourgeoisie as it appears here is not designed to mask national differences, distinct life situations and the conflicting interests of this new class as a whole as it first emerged in history. This much said the concept remains unitary, one that cannot be relegated to the status of a construct, to say an ideal type. Instead it refers to the most enlightened individuals, especially to the social groups in which they were situated and which provided them with reality and their identities. In this respect, it was this essential sociality, a shared objective position in society that permitted these individuals to mutually recognize one another and to realize and appreciate that the new class they relationally formed could not freely breathe the air of the old order, rather its atmosphere would choke and suffocate them and it. The first of these enlightened individuals began to appear among new social groups late in the history of the urban enclaves of a Mediterranean tributary formation, especially in the Italian Peninsula and then in the Low Countries. As we have seen, they first appeared in two distinctive, quite different social strata in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, namely, as master craftsmen among the great artisans and as declassed humanist intellectuals Their children, as we know, will be bourgeois... Across these distinctive social strata, objectively without recognition, they came together in elaborating a critique of Aristotelian nature philosophy, or its medieval, Scholastic development and presentation. After 1600, however, they became familiar with one another; there was active, subjective convergence: They sought each out. Modern science at is origins bore the mark of their critique, and cannot be understood apart from it. Central to and decisive for this relation was the type of technical knowledge formed in the activities of the great artisans: It was self conscious knowledge, so what declassed humanistic intellectuals recognized in it was that which great artisans already understood: This technical knowledge was characteristically, and in its inner essence (so many of the intellectuals argued), inventive, cooperative, progressive, and perfectible. It followed, and these intellectuals explicitly noted, the methods and procedures of artisans, technicians and engineers were cultural forms leading to a progressive, cumulative enlargement of knowledge on which society and within it large social groups one they might some day hegemonize itself could be based. Science, as the elaboration, refinement and deepening, and theorization, of these methods and procedures (taken together constituting a qualitative transformation of them), developed out of this convergence, interaction and practice of these two strata no longer distinct but as a bourgeois intelligentsia over two or three generations. Learned men writing and publishing in the vernacular as
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An extensive list of these clerics vis--vis the new science can be found in Pietro Redondi, Galileo, Heretic, passim.

opposed to the traditional Latin symbolized their convergence, whether the language was English, Italian or French. As layers of a class in the historical process of formation, as large merchants and cloth manufacturers, great artisans becoming industrialists, big peasants becoming capitalist farmers, differentiated themselves out of tributary strata in the tributary West, an identifiable organic intelligentsia of bourgeois origins the first true men of science began to appear by no later than 1600 and, as intellectuals, set themselves apart by uniting methodical, rational procedure with experimental and observational practices. Among the very greatest of these men we number Galileo, Bacon, Gilbert and, perhaps Descartes (perhaps, because there was very little in the way of experiment and observation in his work). Retrospectively, we can see that on the basis of the critical elaborations of the relations of the mechanical arts to theory carried out by several generations of late 16th century urban great artisans and declassed humanist scholars, an intellectual layer of 17th century classical bourgeoisies (i.e., educated social layers born of the strata above as they emerged in the Italian republics, Dutch and French urban enclaves, and in London and the English countryside) created and developed the modern science of nature complexly mediating the daily bourgeois practice of accumulation. But how and when? Step back and examine that moment at which the new class implicitly recognized itself, i.e., in its divergence from the old order. It was the life-activities (accumulation of money wealth, later capital) of this new class that permitted it to raise itself to this understanding: Usury laws, guild regulations, a religiously sanctioned cultural atmosphere dictating the obligations of the lord as master of labor and limiting exploitation of that labor (or, alternately, in the case of bourgeois intellectuals establishing the onto-theological premises of inquiry which it could not question), etc., hamstrung its activity and made it clear it could not flourish in the old order, particularly with a view to unquestioned Church authority, and craft and seigniorial relations governing production. And, in this regard, science? Science, an intellectual production disclosing the structure of the naturally real, was designed by its creators (again, Galileo and Bacon, Gilbert, Descartes, others) as a theoretical weapon in a genuinely fierce struggle against the Church and its largely cleric intelligentsia, the Catholic princes who supported it, even the massive peasant strata that dumbly provided the Church its social basis, a struggle over the vision of the world (in astronomy and physics) and for the autonomy of thought (i.e., those innovators who think). Simultaneously it, science, was a conceptual formulation of both the practical and theoretical conditions and means of the mastery of nature to lessen the labor of man (Descartes), i.e., to increase the so-called productive forces of society.1 Stated differently, in opening up vistas of nature mastery and domination it was science that allowed this class as a whole as it formed from merchants, great artisans and big farmers to intuitively albeit obliquely grasp an understanding mediately by concepts of personal salvation, doing Gods work, self-enrichment and creation of national wealth the significance of the compulsion that at any rate gripped it, the expansion of productive forces of society and humanity. In the objective historical sense, it was a theory mediating the practice of a rising class slowly becoming conscious that its existence, social independence in the pursuit of its life practices and its cognitive elaborations (science itself and later its specific study or science of society, political economy) required its own societal hegemony. That is, this understanding came together and resolved itself into the insight that the creation of a new social order had to be theoretically mediated in a new way. In the end, it was this shared insight, and all its ramifications as they were grasped, that cohered the bourgeoisie allowing it to appear and act as a class in history. In this context, we should recognize that nature domination was (and continues to be) the point of contact between science and the bourgeoisie, a cognitive-cultural form that mediates itself to the class in whose life it is rooted and whose activity it intentionally directs. Beyond this, science legitimizes the bourgeoisie socially and historically: In its capital accumulative pursuit of nature domination in the interests of humanity as understood from the perspective of bourgeois society, science has and continues (especially today as a fused techno-science) to function as an
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Discourse on Method, Part I. We may believe, mythologically and ideologically, this struggle was merely an internal development within the intellectual history of the West or an argument among individuals over competing theories of nature, but these men (Bacon, Descartes, etc.) clearly understood what was at issue and what was at stake. We merely recall the title of one of Galileos great works, Dialogues Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, and note the structure of this dialogue in which the Peripatetic views are subject to scrutiny and critique. See the First Study, Part III, Polemic and the Logics of Argument in the Dialogue, below.

ideational underpinning of the consciousness of a class that once aspired to universality, a belief that today has its translation in the vain, arrogant conviction that it is the only class that can organize society as a whole. It should be clear, then, this elaboration of science, as the critical moment in the struggle against the old order resting on the insight that the creation of a new social order had to be theoretically mediated in a new way, involved the further insight among all bourgeois individuals that took even a passing interest in scientific studies that their science was no mere theory. Rather it was embedded in dialectically premising, issuing in and strengthening a world vision. A dizzying flood of insights constituted the contents of this vision: Efficacious to this day, it entails a view of man, society and nature (man, i.e., humanity, consists in privatized and egoistic individuals, society is organized around commodity production and exchange that pits these individuals each against all and, nature is an open, infinite, and deterministic universe formed of indivisible, individual elements). Science in this sense, that is, as a world vision, was intuitively transparent to the bourgeoisie because it immediately and practically illuminated its activities in production and society, and because it provided it with a sense of its role and function in history (a sense of which was emerging). It was not objectivity (i.e., position in society) and it was not activity as such, though to be sure there are formal points of identity; rather, it was precisely this understanding that, as we said, cohered the bourgeoisie allowing it to appear and act as a class in history. It is this vision of the world, and the science that underlines and in the end renders it intelligible, that has internally and historically connected the early commercial bourgeoisie (the cloth manufacturers, merchants, bankers and traders of the urban enclaves on the edges of the Mediterranean tributary Europe), who accumulated money-wealth but who had never engaged in capital accumulation, to later industrialists, capitalists in the strict sense (those who, more and more as mere personifications of capital, have since the latter nineteenth century systematically pursued accumulation through the organization of the work processes and their subordination to capitalist rationality), whose worldly outlook was thoroughly scientific and yet whose social existence lay three centuries into the future beyond the formative period of science.1 For us, what are the implications of this world vision? If science is not a mere theory, in the societally efficacious sense it is dialectically underlain by and issues in, while reinforcing, a vision for which the production of the world (the built environment, the universe of use objects, meanings and significations, humanized nature, humanity itself) is without agent, a world in which men and women appear as mere objects among other objects to be used up as raw material in production, a world whose moments are merely said raw material for the production of commodities. This is a world whose constitution is subjugated to the logic of capital accumulation, to the value form. It is a world in which an autonomous and autonomized subject lacking will and consciousness (capital or value) has power over and commands a mystified, productive one, and in which objectified and materialized dead labor dominates sensuous, active human beings. Such an inverted vision constitutes the precognitive infrastructure of the bourgeoisie as a class considered world-historically. This world vision, effectively science, was originally and continues to be grounded in bourgeois lifeworld activities, in accumulation, was (and is) thrown up as a theoretical mediation guided by the teleology of nature domination, projecting itself as operative assumptions about man, nature, and the good life. These assumptions, premises and the practices they issue in, themselves socially validated anew with each scientific advance, were initially if only tacitly made and formed sui generis on the basis of accumulating practices but, socially reproduced in and through these activities, have in turn historically come to intentionally direct accumulation and related activities. Tentatively, then, this satisfies our first requirement linking the bourgeoisie as a class to science as theory, specifically as a weapon in its struggle against leading elements of the old order in a struggle for societal dominance. Elements of the Conceptual Structure of Science Second, we are required to trace out the internal connection or unitary structure that exhibits the inseparability of the internal conceptual structure of science and the bourgeois process of accumulation. This can be achieved largely by showing that this structure is indissolubly linked to the constitution of the socio-historical world we call capitalism by
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This is not to say that there was no connection between the development of specifically capitalist practices and those intellectual productions that formed the necessary conceptual foundations for the development of the modern science of nature. But if the modern mathematical presuppositions of science developed together with modern forms of capitalist accounting, this is a movement strictly in thought and says nothing about the intuitions that arose on the grounds of daily practices, insights that, dialectically, explained those practices and in turn, once generalized (i.e., as intellectual intuition of essential relations, not inductively), created the moments of a vision of the world that illuminated everything else. For the homologous relation of mathematics and bookkeeping, see Zilsel, Ibid, 546-547.

way of nature domination (and, in doing so, we shall also attempt to further exhibit the homologous identity of this conceptual structure with that of the intelligible structure of this world, that of the value-form).1 The development of productive forces is not what distinguishes the bourgeoisie as a class in history, particularly at its origins. Understood as a structure characterizing human history in its entirely, productive forces is a gross conceptual abstraction without real referent. The reality of productive forces is constituted during the course of capitalist development; but at its origins the latter cannot be understood in terms of the former. The fundamental social requirement for the emergence of productive forces, the productivity of labor, etc., is the institutional separation out of an economy from socially undifferentiated precapitalist formations, which in actual history rests on the social generalization of capitals formal domination over labor in production.2 Until this development occurs, it is utter nonsense to speak about productive forces and their role in history or, here, at the origins of capitalism. What does distinguish the bourgeoisie as a class in history is the project of nature domination. At the same time, at its origins and prior to all explicit theorization and experimentation, the modern science of nature is motivated by the same telos of nature domination, an atheoretical yet comprehensive goal of scientific activity embedded in the internal conceptual structure of science as an anticipatory projection of a mathematized nature. (And it is the societal meaning of a mathematized nature that is at issue.) While reconstruction of this project as the hidden telos animating modern science can be undertaken from the standpoint of the technological achievements of scientific practice, it is important to recognize that it is not necessary to do so. Rather, this project, one that necessarily presupposes bourgeois life-practices centered on money (and later capital) accumulation, can be read off, as we are suggesting, the internal conceptual structure of science itself. Begin with early modern science. This beginning is not arbitrary: To make a case legitimizing the ambitions it pursues, a rising class is compelled to array any number of arguments, some rational and discursive, to justify itself, its social analysis, its prescriptions, those pursuits: Early modern science was the intellectual moment in a broader political struggle for societal hegemony. Its proponents effected a confrontation with the hitherto reigning cultural form of nature theory, medieval (Aristotelian) natural philosophy. That confrontation brought the conflicting, because incommensurate, conceptual and logical structures of the two competing theories into play, and, to a certain extent, the conflict itself allowed the advocate-practitioners of the new science to become conscious of this incommensurability. To precisely this extent, these men also brought the broader political struggle itself to bear on the confrontation, i.e., in extra-theoretical efforts to legitimize their new science they made claims to a universality the burden of which their theory (and their social class), it was fervently believed, could shoulder. In appeals to a newly forming concept of mankind, one taken over the narrow medieval concept of humanitas essentially the community of Christian believers, they revealed their personal convictions animating this new science and, beyond this, the structural, enduring class teleology that underpinned it. Francis Bacon, commoner and (thirty-six year) member of the House of Commons, theorist and experimentalist, was one of those enlightened individuals who fully understood the creation of a new social order had to be conceptually mediated in a new way, that, accordingly, all must consider what are the true ends of knowledge, and seek it not either for pleasure of the mind, or for contention, or for superiority to others, or for profit, or fame, or power, or any of these inferior things; but for the benefit and use of life For from out of the critique of the old theory of nature together with the elaboration of a new one from science according to Bacon, there may spring helps to man, and a line and race of inventions that may in some degree subdue and overcome the necessities and miseries of humanity.3 If nature mastery could subjugate necessity rooted in (socially organized) material scarcity, then, on the basis of its science, the bourgeoisie would be carrying out this task in the very interests of humanity, instead of merely being a particular class engaged in the exploitation of labor by way of nature mastery. The forgoing merely summarizes this entire movement. And, though we shall return to it where the confrontation is clearest (in Galileo, in his three great works, The Starry Messenger, The Assayer and Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems), we shall not follow it here. Instead Unfolding in a political struggle against the old order, early modern, scientific self-consciousness conducted this struggle with methods and concepts describing a new theory of nature. That much was simply crucial. On empirical
1

To secure this insight, it must be as valid for the new physics (quantum mechanics) as for the old (classical physics). See the first of three sketches in the Third Study, below. 2 And on the inauguration of real domination. Both are discussed at length, below. See the First Interlude. 3 Francis Bacon, The Great Instauration, 16, 25-26.

grounds alone, the new science would have never gotten past its initial hearings: Galileos mature astronomy could no better account for natural phenomena than the impetus theory he had attempted develop as a young man. And, moreover, in some cases the new theorization was simply inadequate, for example, if the Earth was not the stationary center of the universe, if it did move and spun with the tremendous velocity proclaimed by Copernicus, why didnt objects and beings, ranging from stones and rocks to animals and men, fly off at its surface into the heavens? 1 (Recall that Galileo lacked a theory of gravity). On Ptolemaic assumptions of an immobile Earth, the AristotelianPeripatetic doctrine of natural places, the downward motion of heavy bodies, the upward motion of light bodies, and natural motion, violent motion and impressed impetus had least had the virtue, its aprioras aside (e.g., the requirement that motion upward always be accompanied by a mover so that the medium, air or water, itself, pushed an object along), of providing such an account.2 Yet the new science did prevail, and in its triumph characteristically claimed that its activity produced (1) a systematic body of knowledge based upon a description of reality as natural, the contents of which are to be public and communicable though always technically so, and hence transmittable and codifible;3 (2) a systematic body of knowledge which is theoretical, i.e., not merely a compilation of rules or precepts, but deriving its prescriptions from general principles referring us back to if not based upon a totality of verifiable facts; and (3) a body of knowledge which does not rely on authority, that is, demands rational explanation rooted in results that can be checked and confirmed by means of practical proof The first two points at least, of course, concern the self-understanding of science at its origins, and not the character of science as its immanent historical development reveals it. For example, the scientific description of facts is based on observation that is theoretically organized prior to any description; results are experimentally constructed and not merely given; and, much later (after 1925, though some say beginning with Galileo),4 we find a view that science is deductive proceeding from an axiomatic systematization whose basic postulates provides the scientist with hypotheses which can be experimentally tested... As descriptive, public and transmittable, and theoretical and rational, the theories formulated by Galileo, Bacon (representing two entirely different traditions in modern science) and others modern scientific thinkers stood in sharp relief from and in naked opposition to speculative, esoteric and divinely inspired, dogmatic and religiously grounded medieval natural philosophy and Church social doctrine This too was crucial, for it was a question of the audience to which the new doctrine was addressed, and the societal context in which this discourse unfolded5 These men, as theorists of early modern science, polemically aimed at truth, i.e., a theoretical activity uncovering the intelligible structure of reality itself, in a countermovement to medieval, natural philosophy resting on Church dogma, that is, on the theologically determined Scholastic reading of Aristotle. Concealed in this countermovement to Aristotelian (Peripatetic) physics, was a view of the world, at once projected and presupposed by and in scientific thinking, that gave theoretical expression to the bourgeois view of man, community, and nature. Since the struggle against Peripatetic natural philosophy was carried out largely on the terrain of the truth-value of competing theories, the social contents and precategorial interest structuring and organizing scientific theory were occluded. Thus, early scientific theorists did not expose the internal connection of the world vision projected by and underlying the old natural philosophy to the organization of a tributary formation based largely on seigniorial social relations (i.e., the structural identity of a closed, hierarchically ordered, stable and static world, and the divinely ordained, unchanging world of lord, clergy, and peasant); nor, of course, did they then point out the former mirrored the latter, and that to the extent the former was declared unchanging and unchangeable it functioned as a cultural form justifying and legitimizing while masking

This specific issue is taken up in Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. It is discussed in the First Study, Part II, Polemic and the Logics of Argument in the Dialogue, below. 2 See the First Study, Part III, Galileo and Aristotle, I: The Question of Projectile Motion and Natural Place, below. 3 The account of the experimental arrangement and the recording of observations must be given in plain language, suitably supplemented by technical physical terminology. This is a clear logical demand, since the very word experiment refers to a situation where we can tell others what we have done and what we have learned. Niels Bohr, Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge, 72. (These remarks actually refer to the relation between quantum and classical mechanics. Thereby they exhibit the unity of the old and new physics elaborated on in the Third Study below. In point of fact, this understanding evinced goes to the roots of science itself.) 4 For Galileo and deductive reasoning, e.g., Alexander Koyr, Galileo Studies. Among theorists, postulative deductivism is characteristic of Karl Popper; and in a looser sense among scientists, Einstein starting especially from the nineteen thirties. See the Third Study, Part II, below. 5 See the First Study, Part III, Conclusion, I: The Triumph of Science, below.

the oppressive character of those social relations.1 The failure of early modern scientific thinkers to do so was not merely because the historical conditions under which the analysis of "ideology" could be elaborated had yet to develop.2 Such an indictment would have straightaway led to a similar insight: It would have revealed that the world viewed as an open, infinite, and internally unstructured universe (whose fundamental elements consisted of perceptually inaccessible, internally unrelated, and indivisible particles) mirrored a bourgeois society in the process of formation; that is, it transposed into, at once concealing and mediately expressing in, thought the structure and organization of a world of isolated because privatized and egoistic individuals confronting an incomprehensible other (society) that was coming to be unconsciously organized around exchange, transforming social relations in a bellum omnium contra omnes. Recognition of the social and, retrospectively, historical relativity of such an insight would have contradicted the principle of truth in the name of which struggle against medieval natural philosophy (Aristotelian physics) and Church dogma was carried out. (This very same principle of ahistorical truth and the blindness to an extra-theoretical, motivating interest were and remain intertwined. Taken together, they guaranteed the impossibility of thinking science at its origins as a social project and class-bound phenomenon.) At its foundations and origins, the new science was a mechanics, a study of bodies in motion that considers these bodies strictly in their quantifiable, measurable aspect. (As such, it also would and does have tangible advantages over Aristotelian physics, but only from the practico-technical perspective of nature mastery. It would otherwise be meaningless.) Galilean mechanics (similarly Newton) takes as its point of departure sensuous nature, always understood from its instances, as an aggregate totality of bodies in motion, that is, it is regarded solely in its formal bodily, and hence quantifiable, aspects. The point of departure, then, already rests on an abstraction (in Galileo, a geometrical one) since sensuous nature (the apperceived totality of perceptual phenomena) always presents itself as an undivided whole, a unity of qualitative and quantitative, emotive and aesthetic characteristics. On the basis of this initial abstraction, the scientist proceeds to select data (phenomena) with a view to possible connections that hold between certain quantitative properties of phenomena This was the key problem, a question of how to render phenomenal
1

This is a honored tradition in the Roman Church that reaches back over a thousand years... merciless pillaging by great lords, tributary exactions, and bands of men cut loose from social moorings engaged in rapine or, alternatively, mercenaries pursuing the same make the two eras similar if not fully contemporaneous across historical time Early in the fourth century in the common era, an emperor, desperately needing to re-legitimize a crumbling empire, thrust out a hand like a drowning man. This was Constantine, who converted and compelled a mass conversion of his subjects to Christianity in 313. Yet in his lifetime, he would not find a champion. That was Augustine, who early in the fifty century, and just as desperate to institutionally sanction hierarchical power over the faithful in the face of rising heresy (i.e., in the face of Donatist opposition to Roman authority, in particular, to the North African bishop's alliance with secular Rome), who with Optatus (Bishop of Mileue and older contemporary) grasped that hand, developing an elaborate theology to sanction an alliance at the top between secular power and the Church. Augustine was the bishop of Hippo, known as the hammer of the Donatists. See Elaine Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, 124-125, 129-130. ...There are two points worth making with regard to Augustine: For Augustine, the world (nature and human nature) is irretrievably corrupt, corrupted by Adam's sin. This corruption is endlessly transmitted by sexual union and the progeny it engenders (The City of God, Books XIII-XIV). So, first, while it is beyond the scope of these remarks to develop this, we can point out that here we find the repression of sexuality, its narrowing to a function, procreation, and the institutional sanctity of marriage, all characteristic of the Roman Church and all coming together at its origins. In Augustine the entire secular, transitory realm in its wickedness, its suffering, disease, etc., is counterposed to an eternal, perfect God. The city of God, the eternal city of the immortal soul is, of course, consciously opposed by Augustine to Rome, the city of man (Ibid, Books XI, XV, XVIII-XIX). So, second, indeed, no one more than Augustine would resist worldly change and demand submission, insisting on the necessity that the lowly and downcast, here the peasant masses, give unto Caesar... But to return to that honored tradition: This relation of cosmology to alleged unchanging social relations did not just find echoes in, but was transposed in toto into, natural philosophy in the form of an equally sharp contrast between non-generated, incorruptible, unalterable, indivisible and permanent or eternal and generated, corruptible, alterable, division and transitory, paired oppositions that underpinned Peripatetic cosmology, from the Scholastics at the end of the thirteenth century down to Galileo's time. Galileo was acutely conscious of this. During a heated discussion on the first day in the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, a discussion over the validity of precisely this Peripatetic natural philosophical foundations, he had Sagredo, polemically and almost blasphemously, say For my part I consider the earth very noble and admirable precisely because of the diverse alterations, changes, generations, etc., that occur in it incessantly. Ibid, 58. See the footnoted discussion of this issue in the First Study, Part III, Polemic and the Logic of Arguments in the Dialogue, below. 2 (From the previous page): Namely, formation of a system of production, an economy, as a seemingly autonomous regulator of social life in which the interests of social classes are constituted and, once constituted, on the basis of which ideal-typical and imputed because reified forms of awareness can be reconstructed.

qualities, that data of sense experience, what in the Aristotelian-Scholastic lexicon was termed accidents, quantitative, hence, subject to number, i.e., to mathematical analysis In and through a series of formalizing and mathematizing operations additional abstractions, products of methodologically canalized subjective capacities of the scientist (her subjectivity), sensuous nature regarded quantitatively is further reduced to a series of formulae that express the "lawful regularity" of natural phenomena. In later developments (beyond Galileo), this regularity constituted in its lawfulness for the purposes of prediction can be subject to experimental validation (that is, the prediction can be validated or falsified.) This methodological orientation has very specific ramifications for what passes as scientific knowledge. Epistemologically, scientific thinking has arrived at bodies in motion, i.e., constituted them as such, by proceeding with observation and description on the basis of (i.e., in fact, prior to all observation) a distinction between primary and secondary qualities, quantity and quality, and, more radically, reality and illusion. This construction (bodies in motion, "matter") signifies the elimination of not only the sensuous characteristic of objects of scientific investigation but of emotive and valuative ones as well.1 It renders those bodies remember science started from mechanics, so from bodies in motion subject to mathematical analysis (actually, the anticipatory mathematical projection permits this analysis), which, in turn, will make prediction, experiment and validation, the deconstruction and reconstruction (i.e., the manipulation) of phenomenon, etc., possible. Taken together, these abstractions thereby guarantee the postulate of a pseudo-perspectiveless objectivity. They are, though, theory-laden constructions resting on an ontological projection. That is, prior to all methodologically grounded strict observation and rigorous description is the anticipation and projection of a fundamentally mathematical world-in-itself, that is, an assemblage of bodies in motion calculable in advance which, having already ontologically weighted primary against secondary qualities, takes this world to be the really real... This projection can be found in the modern science of nature at its origins, in Galileo (as our First Study will demonstrate) and reaches all the way forward to its completion, as it were, in Einstein...2 The world of nature (including man as natural) that is anticipated is thus homogeneous, flattened out, bodies, events and processes in nature lack qualitative meaning and determination. Nature now appears as an aggregate totality of objects to be analyzed or decomposed, then reconstructed, manipulated and disposed, i.e., the fitting subject of capitalist development in its full sense (i.e., as a raw material basin) only if anticipatorily. It is only within the framework constituted by this projection (anticipation) that an event in nature can occur as such, i.e., become visible as an event. The distinctions of primary and secondary qualities, etc., and, more fundamentally, the anticipatory ontological weighing of the former against the latter taken together constitute the scientific projection of the world of nature as object-like (merely the other, ideal side of the reality of societies of capital). Object-likeness is thought, in reductionist and crude materialist terms at least since Descartes, as essentially and simply extension, as contentless, infinitely malleable "matter" subsisting in homogenous space, devoid of any internal logic, life or subjectivity. But "matter" is not "real" at least in the sense modern physical science suggests, but, in fact, is the product of scientific analysis and reconstruction. All modern physical theory is analysis, conceptually decomposes its object, natural bodies. This is how understanding is arrived at. Once achieved, a whole can be reconstructed, this object can be reconstituted from the elemental, itself a construct, on up. For example, scientific understanding of a rock one might wish to quarry is reached only when it is conceptually dissolved into its chemical components, themselves understood in terms of their atomic structures and their interactions. Only then can we say we have understood what this rock is, an ore consisting in so much magnesium, aluminum, iron, etc., components which themselves have such and such atomic structures and are related (bonded) in such and such ways, all of which allows us to understand the object (rock), to grasp it in terms of a raw material (iron ore) to be used in commodity production (steel). Thus, scientific understanding is always attained abstractly, in the movement from a whole to the most elemental, itself a conceptual construct. Only then are these elemental constructs aggregated, a whole reconstructed. That whole is an
1

Similarly, Bohr (Ibid, 68: The development of the so-called exact sciences, characterized by the establishing of numerical relationships between measurements, has indeed been further... [developed] by abstract mathematical methods originating from detached pursuit of generalizing logical constructions. This situation is especially illustrated in physics which originally understood as all knowledge of that nature of which we ourselves are part, but gradually came to mean the study of the elementary laws governing the properties of inanimate matter. We would take issue with the gradual character of this development: It, the development, was given with the project of nature domination in the form that and as it originally took shape prior to the elaboration of the modern science of nature in bourgeois practices of accumulation. 2 Nature is the realization of the simplest conceivable mathematical ideas. Or, again, In the limited nature of the mathematically existent simple [electromagnetic, gravitational] fields and the simple equations possible between them, lies the theorist's hope of grasping the real in all its depth (emphases added). Albert Einstein, Essays on Science, 17, 19 respectively.

abstract totality, a conceptual whole that is in a practical sense entirely homologous with its elementary, infinitely malleable material components: Precognitively, this understanding penetrates awareness permitting the objects science has constructed to function as ideal, manipulable moments of bourgeois practices in accumulation It is here that the deep penetration of the value-form into the conceptual structure of science is disclosed, science with its reductionist method (analysis and decomposition of the object), its atomism (ontological primacy of indivisible, actually infinitely divisible, elementary particles) and its objectivism (nature absent productivity as its motive or its driving force; and subjectivity as a passively constituted and fully determined element, one element in the aggregate, lawfully governed whole that is nature) is fully homogenous, perfectly congruent, with capital, with its atomism (the commodity as the fundamental reality of bourgeois society), its reductionism (human activity rendered abstract, i.e., generalized, temporally quantified, materialized and objectified as "value, existing solely as an elementary object that, with other such elementary objects collected in production, take the shape of mechanically assembled, socially combined labor power, as abstract labor) and its objectivism (society as a deterministic system subordinate to laws discovered by political economy, likes those alleged to rule nature): Governed by the anticipatory projection of nature as an assemblage of bodies in motion (itself precognitively motivated by the telos of nature domination), atomism, reductionism and objectivism are spontaneous modes of the bourgeois apprehension of reality, and scientific categories are, or more generally the overarching conceptual architecture of science is, an elaborate, multifarious and multifaceted mediation of this immediacy This already presupposes too much and we should pause and state expressly from the standpoint of epistemology as social theory what is at issue here: Starting from the real domination of capital over labor, the value-form organizes daily life (i.e., the existential determinants of social life are formed in production), the categories (barbaric common sense) in which reality is immediately apprehended arise in the same daily life, and consequently tacit conceptual models and precategorial expectations of the structure of relations that obtain among events and processes are all ready to hand and, absent a critical-historical reflection on the genesis and formation of those categories, form the basis of higher order theorizations: It is not that scientific theorizations reflect or simply conceptually reproduce in thought the structure of value-form: They do not, but instead are first and foremost one of many qualitatively different forms (among which are the social relations structuring institutions, socially organized play and games, literatures of all sorts etc.), all complexly mediated, in which the order of capital itself finds expression and through which it shapes social life in its entirety...1 Return to the critique of science: The laws of natural and humanly natural phenomena allow the scientist to generate predictions. It is this very aim that demands extra-theoretical confirmation that, consequently, secures scientific validity. To be sure, if science is to be successful at predicting, it must at the level of concepts capture idealized, albeit fetishized aspects of reality itself. Nonetheless, the peculiar and widely recognized validity science as theory has achieved does not refer us back to its categorial accomplishments, its laws of phenomena, but to experimental verification at the level of scientific activity and to practical verification in the order of society. It is here, then, that confirmation is achieved, proof takes the extra-scientific form of socially generalized seeing, approval, and acclaim for the technological achievements based on and exhibited as nature domination: For the validation of those laws demonstrates, whatever else they are, they are also social prescriptions for the manipulation of infinitely malleable bodies, matter or raw materials, in the production of a world of commodities. The constitution of such laws is absolutely essential to rationalizing construction of a determinate socio-historical lifeworld, societies of capital. In the societal validation of prediction, science and capitalism are reunited, the categorial telos of scientific activity (prediction) rejoins the original class (bourgeois), pre-categorial, and hidden telos of the mastery of nature Ideationally produced through scientific method, this mathematized world of natural phenomena is an anticipatory projection of a socio-historical lifeworld constructed through the subjugation of society and surrounding nature to the production of commodities for exchange. The cognitive construct matter, contentless bodies subsisting in homogenous space, is the, albeit oblique, theoretical elaboration of raw material as it appears in commodity production, endlessly malleable natural objects ripped from decontextualized surrounding, visible nature. Science projects a nature that is flattened out and rendered a surveyable and manipulable object: Stripped of qualitative determination and reduced to a gross abstraction, it has become an a priori quantifiable series of points determined exhaustively by positions given with objective time and extended space. It is an abstraction without
1

For further elaboration, see the Fourth Study, Part I, Theory of Truth, below.

purpose or internal logic to its moments (bodies) and without inherent or defining characteristics apart from those mathematically projected. From the side of demystified daily experience, however, science's nature can be best comprehended as an ideational product masquerading as real. At the hands of (capital's) science, nature, appearing in history at once as its ground and as a product of a development inseparable from its interaction with social development, has become aesthetically ugly stuff. It is, in other words, a product of domination, of what science and capital have made of it. This is nature as matter, as raw material for commodity production on a capitalist basis... Need it be said that the bourgeoisie is the first class in history where nature has this sense, 1 where its relation to subordinate social groups, strata, Stnde or classes is immediately and directly mediated by nature domination, where a theorization of this relation is not mythological or religious, but rational (as in the modern sense of economically rational) and this theorization itself has become an issue? Science, then, is not only bourgeois in the narrow cultural sense. It is, historically, a theoretical mediation of the activity of capital in the utilitarian-pragmatic reduction of nature to raw material for capitalist production. This development was immanent to science itself. For the theoretical anticipation of this utilitarian-pragmatic, i.e., technological, reduction of nature is modern science: It is as science that the conceptual framework for this reduction is constituted, and out of which production of a capitalist world can be undertaken, a world in which science is at home and without which it would be a stranger without a home (hence, theoretically barren), i.e., which constitutes the societal presuppositions of science's full development and without which it would be undevelopable Having provisionally fulfilled our second requirement (sketching out the immanent relation of significant aspects of the total conceptual structure of science to the bourgeoisie as a class considered historically), thus having formulated the contours of our position, and recognizing that this position is cumulative in the specific sense that at every moment of our presentation has its own previous development as its premise (i.e., each aspect, phase or section of the following studies as it unfolds is internally connected and a necessary development of what has come before it), we can pursue our various inquiries that, in expanding, elaborating and refining this position, concretize it, effectively evolving its validation and justification.

See Some Remarks on the Role of the Working Class in History, Part I.

Note The Classical Evaluation of Labor The classical evaluation of labor as it has come down to us through the Renaissance rediscovery and, in some cases, reconstitution of ancient sources should be treated carefully. This is not merely a matter of recognizing philological glosses are always interpretations based on, in part, the reality of daily life and the socio-historical determinants that operate in that life in which the philologist or commentator is situated. Our point is more and other: The classical evaluation of labor so-called is not a question of counterposing a contemplative life to an active one (which is an Aristotelian, not even Platonic, valuation that is not echoed in but finds its elaborate development in Christian religious thinkers, ascetics and, institutionally in, religious orders). Rather, the classical evaluation of labor is an assessment from the point of view of those leisured gentlemen who, as landowners, not only did not labor but who viscerally believed that, in principle, laboring should, for starters, disqualify one from the good life understood in terms of participation in polis activity. Craftsmen, the urban merchant and peasant smallholders, not to mention slaves and women, the mass of those who did labor, did not share this view.1 Entirely consistent with the anti-democratic, oligarchical politics of classical civic humanism or, if you prefer, classical republican theorization, it should come as no surprise, however, that the views of labor of ancient philosophers (particularly, Plato, Aristotle and, least we forget, Socrates) and Roman orators, statesmen and even poets (Cicero, Seneca, Horace, Juvenal) were sharply counterposed to those of the demos.2 The ancient ruling classes held concrete labor in contempt (they did not know the abstract labor of capitalism). It was the reason for their absence from their estates and the use of slave overseers, slave clerks in the executive offices of the "state," a slave police force, etc. Life for free citizens was community life that consisted in governing their own affairs. This presupposed an entirely different subjective-class evaluation of the meaning and ends of life from our own (with its frenzied desire for wealth accumulation), one with an objective-social impact. For the ancients, especially the Greeks (and here it is moot whether this characterization should be restricted to Athenians, though in Athens at least it should also include those laboring classes because they broadly participated in popular assemblies and engaged in jury deliberations), this evaluation was political (the one area from which slaves and women were without exception excluded) and centered on citizen self-government. Labor, here, it is noted refers to those activities (largely agricultural in the ancient world) that socially reproduced the community as a whole, both directly (hoeing, planting, harvesting in agriculture by peasants and slaves, fabricating wood and metals among craftsmen) and indirectly (market mediated distribution involving small merchants, domestic tasks and even state administrative activities of slaves). If we probe a little more deeply we can elicit what was at issue in the ruling class attitude toward labor. It was, first, a class based hostility toward the mob, the lower orders, who, by way of their insinuation (i.e., their long historical struggle incorporating themselves) into the polis community of self governing citizens, after all, with their incessant demands threatened established wealth if not always power.3 It was, second, a perspective on the world, a vision in which the private and the public realms, those of the household and the family and that of the polity or, in terms that are more familiar to us, natural necessity and freedom, were unquestionably assumed to be ontologically separate, and in thought keep distinct. The former, the private realm of the householder inclusive of the productive and domestic activities slaves and women carried out, was considered the order of natural necessity devoted to the reproduction of human life. Here force and violence were permissible, nay requisite: Slaves had to be driven to complete their tasks (for which an overseer was hired). Slaves and women were prepolitical creatures confined to prepolitical spheres of activity, activity always engaging them in the performance of necessary tasks that humans as natural beings cannot escape. In this context, it was the right and justified, unthinkingly so, to employ violence to master necessity (keep slaves and
1 2

For restriction of this contempt to the ruling classes, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Peasant-Citizen and Slave, 137-138. Wood, Ibid, 22-24, 137-145; Moses Finley, Economy and Society in Ancient Greece, 99, 187-188, 194. 3 The ancient polis cannot be understood in the Marxist sense as the domain, raised above society, in which an otherwise internally divided ruling class achieves unity requisite to societal hegemony and, simultaneously, as the institution consisting of an array of repressive agencies and organizations (courts, judiciary, prosecutors, prisons, cops, military, etc.) that enforce class rule. The institutional separation that characterizes capitalist modernity in its entirely, here the constitution of the state as specific sphere with its own distinctive shape on the basis of which society is mediately organized, simply did not obtain in ancient (Greek) society where the polity remained embedded in social life and popular classes through social struggle had achieved a modicum of participatory control in the community, enough at least to ameliorate the worst aspects of the productive-based exploitation of free men.

women in line, nowhere did women participate in polis activities): It was only through prepolitical acts of violence that householders emancipated themselves from necessity and raised themselves to the level where they might experience the freedom of polis based, community life. There all men were equals (the inequality of affairs that tending to human nature imposed were transcended), a domain in which men did not command still other men, but rather one in which men neither ruled nor were ruled, neither led nor were led; instead, there men strove to distinguish themselves through action understood as great words and deeds. (Speechmaking, eloquence too, was indeed a vital aspect of polis activity, excessively so by the lights of capitalist modernity with its orientation toward practice understood pragmatically and in utilitarian terms). Founded and sustained by those actions understood as great words and deeds, it is only in and through the political community, the polis, that men constitute for themselves an objectivity that endures, the only kind of stability and permanence that humans can, situated in the endless cyclical becoming of nature, attain, for it is only in the polis, characterized by this enduring institutional presence, that any specific man achieves lasting recognition in the memory of his contemporaries and his and their descendants. There is a certain amount of individualism (not bourgeois egoism) in this interpretation of polis life (whether it is retrospectively projected is an entirely different question, though it is consistent with what we known about the archaic, aristocratic and proto-statist communities from which Greek polei developed),1 but it goes a long way to explain why viscerally labor, the quintessential activity that engages the laborer in sphere of natural necessity, was held in contempt by self-styled great men. Now, it is not just the classical evaluation of labor that is overthrown in the (self) appreciation of technical skills among great artisans and the declassed humanist intelligentsia. Overcome with it, and logically presupposing this toppling, is the meaning and significance of nature as it is simply taken for granted, both nature in the sense of the encompassing reality in which humans are situated and the state of nature in the strictly political sense. Though the two are intertwined and intimately connected, the latter is not part of this discussion.2 But the former is at the core of it: As we shall have occasion to point out in the body of this text, Aristotelian cosmology, starting from a concept of fixed, unchanging and qualitatively distinct natural places, must be, simultaneously, overthrown if the understanding of nature underlying modern mechanics is to prevail. Here, we can cite a single example, one that may perhaps immediately appear anecdotal, but which in its perhaps tangential character, makes precisely our point: As a young man, Galileo assimilated and espoused the impetus physics of Giovanni Benedetti, an immediate predecessor (in logically reconstructed, if not entirely historical sense).3 In contrast to Aristotelian natural philosophy as it was understood late in the tributary era of central Mediterranean Europe (circa 1590), this physics had a fundamental mathematical component. It was Archimedean. Archimedes was an artisan. Among Galileos contemporaries in the broadest sense, two of them enunciated rigidly opposed valuations of Archimedes. Jerome Cardan, who, according to Alexander Koyr, was disposed to rank great men (meaning philosophers and thinkers), placed Archimedes above Euclid, above Aristotle, above Duns Scotus and Occam, placing him by himself in the highest category.4 Now, Julii Cearii Scaliger vigorously objected, and his objection was based on the grounds that Archimedes was an artisan. Patently, such an assessment (Cardans) turned the traditional valuation of labor upside down. In light of this and in closing this note, two further points both suggesting the early modern ascendancy of the inversion of the classical view of labor might be made: First, classical cosmology was already beginning to give way to a homogenized decentered space in impetus physics;5 and, second as we have already indicated,6 it was precisely artisan activity which functioned, at least in one tradition of science (Baconian), as a model for the development of experimental and technical knowledge that is characteristically rational, because observational, publicly accessible and affords insight into natural dynamics This brings us to Galileo.
1

This is our reading of Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 8-9,27-34, 196-199; for archaic aristocratic communities, see Finley, The World of Odysseus. 2 For the transformation of the culturally hegemonic sense of the state of nature, largely achieved by Hobbes, see F.O. Wolf, Die Neu Wissenschaft des Thomas Hobbes. Note especially the discussion at chapter 2.21, on the distinction between nature and art in Hobbes critique of Aristotelian theory of the zoon physei politikon. 3 Benedittis main work (in Latin) in this regard, Treatise on Diverse Mathematical and Physical Speculations, appeared in 1585. 4 Galileo Studies, 36. 5 Ibid, 35. 6 See Social Bases of the Formation of an Organic Intelligentsia of the Bourgeoisie, above.

Introduction The Modern Science of Nature Bibliographical Sources Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. Chicago, 1959 Augustine of Hippo. The City of God. Chicago, 1952 Bacon, Francis. The Great Instauration, in The Great Instauration and New Atlantis. Arlington Heights (IL), 1980 (1620) Barnes, Will. Some Remarks on the Role of the Working Class in History in The Crisis in Society and Nature and the Working Class in History, St. Paul, 20101 _________. The History of Florence and the Florentine Republic (Text and Fragment). Manuscript, 1989 Bohr, Niels. Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. New York, 1958 Descartes, Ren. Discourse on Method for Reasoning Well and for Seeking Truth in the Sciences (1637). Accessed online at www.records.viu.ca Einstein, Albert. Essays on Science. New York, 1934 Finley, Moses. The World of Odysseus. Middlesex (Eng.), 1979 ___________. Economy and Society in Ancient Greece. London, 1983 Galileo Galilei. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Berkeley, 1967 (1632) Koyr, Alexandre. Galileo Studies. Atlantic Highlands (NJ), 1978 (French original, 1939) Marx, Karl. Kapital. Eine Kritik der Poliltischen konomie. Dritte Band, Buch III: Der Gesammtprozess der kapitalistischen Produktion. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Engels. Hamburg, 1894 Pagels, Elaine. Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. New York, 1988 Redondi, Pietro. Galileo, Heretic. Princeton (NJ), 1987 Rossi, Paolo. Philosophy, Technology and the Arts in the Early Modern Era. New York, 1970 Wood, Ellen Meiksins. Peasant-Citizen and Slave, London, 1989 Wolf, F.O. Die Neu Wissenschaft des Thomas Hobbes. Zu den Grundlagen der poltischen Philosphie der Neuzeit. Stuttgart, 1969 Zilsel, Edgar. The Sociological Roots of Science, Journal of American Sociology, 47, 1942

All works cited under our name are available at the website, www.instcssc.org, unless otherwise indicated (as forthcoming, manuscript or unpublished).

First Study Science at its Origins The Problem of Motion: Galileo and Aristotle 1 The forgoing preliminary remarks start from a perspective for which it is impossible to intelligently and intelligibly understand concepts, theories and visions of the world and, mutatis mutandis, systematic conceptual constructs elaborated over generations such as the modern science of nature, together with the general forms of awareness that underlay them (i.e, the consciousness of social subjects that both articulate and embody them), as reflections of reality (world) that prove their truth in, say, corresponding to the facts or that are assigned a status as ideological reflexes of social groups. While a formal elaboration of this position will have to wait,2 here we shall simply note that a reflection theory of consciousness and a correspondence theory of truth are untenable because, first, the structure of each (theory and world) is essentially dissimilar and because,3 second, both the awareness of social groups and the theories and visions generated by them are active moments in the construction of the world itself (culture of daily life, society, humanized natural landscapes all within the context of earthly nature). As active, theorizations (i.e., we who theorize) engage the world a world that is not static (but first and foremost the social and historical world of daily experience, a lifeworld)... seek to uncover and disclose its structure and organization, address and query it, take up a dialogue with those who have explicitly pursued the same activity in the past. This recognition will impose two requirements on us: We are obliged, first, to briefly at least describe the contours of that social and historical world and, second, to situate the theorist and the traditions from within which he engages that world. For it is only in integrating the theorist and his world exhibiting the manner in which the latter shapes the concerns of the former, and the manner in which the activity of the former, as both representative and a component of a social group (and, in the case of particularly important theorists and their work, of a social class) goes beyond its determinants by illuminating it, and thereby suggesting action in it or transforming it that this life and the theoretical (scientific, literary, philosophical, etc.) work itself becomes intelligible.4 In taking up those requirements, we shall sketch out the relation between Galileo and the world, starting from his world as he consciously interrogated its traditions, the world in which his original understanding of it formed and his motivation for entering... the need or interest that compelled him to enter... into such a dialogue or, as in his case, polemic. In so doing, we shall return to the themes articulated above, to Galileo as one of the creators of the modern science of nature though, as we might suspect, this science as such is not fully formulated in Galileo to Galileo as a bourgeois, and to this science as the decisive moment in the constitution of the bourgeoisie as a historical class.

I.e., the Introduction, above. See the Fourth Study, Part III, The Materialist Dialectic, below. 3 All theory, and its structural components also (concepts), is ideal and, as the risk of being unduly repetitive, conceptual; the world as it's simply given (and this is what is, so it is argued, reflected) is real and sensuous-material. But to speak meaningfully about the world is already to apprehend it conceptually, so that the comparison that is being made is between a theory, or its structure, and the world rendered reflectively intelligible, i.e., in its intelligibility or as conceptually apprehended. This activity obviously, then, constitutes a comparison of concepts to concepts... which is legitimate practice (we engaged in it in discussing the homology between crucial conceptual elements of the modern science of nature and the structure of the value form)... but this is not the type of comparison that is assumed and defended in a reflection theory of consciousness. See the Fourth Study, Part III, Theory of Truth, below. 4 Lucien Goldmann, The Hidden God, 7.
1 2

Part I The Ancient Mediterranean World in the Age of (Plato and) Aristotle1 Begin with a brief, synoptic view of the late ancient Mediterranean world. Unlike other social forms (e.g., hunting and gathering, free peasant communities based on farming and animal domestication or on shepherding and livestock cultivation) existing in the interstices between the great tributary formations of the late Mediterranean world (Persia, a growing Roman presence, Carthaginia, an emerging Macedonia, seafaring Phoenicia), the Greek cities of the Attic peninsula were, in part, anomalous Tributary formations are based on villages communities that practice sedentary farming, primarily grain and rice production, in which the peasant, if you will, working the land works it as a nominally free tiller (whether communally or as a family unit) subject irregularly or seasonally to corve labor. Villages, communities, manorial estates, etc., are spatially separate and unified by perhaps the earliest for of the state, an overarching kingship, often a divine personage and his entourage (especially, in ancient tributary forms). Kingship establishes itself doubly, on the basis of the surpluses accumulated, appropriated as tribute from the villages, and on the basis of its armed force together with an elementary bureaucracy (a tiny layer of priests, tax collectors, scholarly gentleman as in China, or any combination thereof). These societies are overwhelming rural, though they are fully compatible with urban enclaves that exist most often on their geographical peripheries, especially along or near coast waterway. Particularly in their modern shapes, tributary formations have rarely existed without these metropolises that are actually centers of restricted, i.e., luxury, production Within a tributary reality that nascently stretched as far back as 10,000 years ago, the ancient world was in the first place itself massively agrarian, not just in the sense of a dumb fact but in that, where they appeared, cities themselves were centers of consumption, often administrative, and not centers of production exhibiting only the barest rudiments of an economy, unlike those tributary formations that appear, say, from the time of Dante forward at least in the Mediterranean world and along the North Sea.2 Thus, in the second place, we do not speak about the economy as an institutionally distinct sphere. (Such an institutional evolution is a function of capitalist development, of societies that in history immediately predate its appearance and as such, where formal modes of capitals domination in labor have been instituted; of societies that are implicated in capitalist development, even where there is resistance, through the spread of exchange relations, through colonial and imperialist plunder; and, of course, of capitalist societies themselves.) Expansion in the ancient world was not economic" but geographical; or, stated differently, military conquest, entailing plunder, captives taken as, say, domestic slaves and tribute, was identical with expansion. In this regard, productive activity in the Greek world was conducted within a self-contained unit, the household (oikos), consisting of the fields, home and whatever other structures related to farming that may have existed. Production was carried out for internal consumption, not for a market. In the third place, slavery and slave production was far more important to the cities-states of ancient Greece than to the larger tributary formations of the ancient world where, while slavery existed, forms of nominally free, albeit oppressed peasant tenancy often predominated. (This, of course, did not preclude the periodic deployment of corve labor.) Productive activity was based on the oikos, the household, which was a separate and distinct unit of production. Households were separate units of slave production that were never integrated at this level, producing for self-subsistence first and then for a market thereafter. Their connection, then, was formed through exchange, the urban marketplace. Still even at this point they did not constitute a society or community. This was achieved, at least in Greece, uniquely through the polis, to which we shall come back shortly. Thus, unlike in the rest of the ancient world, in ancient Greece slavery existed as a primarily form of labor in farming as the basic form of production (corn, oil and wine being the three primary products of the ancient Greek world), meaning, first, that private ownership of the land prevailed, whereas in the great tributary formations, state ownership might be less, just
1

Aristotle

The following remarks rely on Perry Anderson, Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, 18-28 and Lineages of the Absolutist State, 150-153 by the same author; Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 28-37, 192-199; Ellen Meiksins Wood, Peasant-Citizen and Slave, 22-28, 137-145; the Introduction to our Civil War and Revolution in America and, especially, the discussion of non-capitalist forms of human sociation in our Nature, Capital, Communism. 2 Inclusive of the concept of a formal domination of capital over labor (as it appears in the following paragraph in the text), tributary formations are explored from a different perspective in the First Interlude, Fundamental Forms of Sociation in Human History, below.

as or more extensive that peasant tenancy and proprietorship; and, it meant, second, in this context, that of large landowners (and, we add, labor shortages), slavery in the ancient Greek world arose on the basis of the victorious class struggle of the demos and plebs against those large aristocratic landowners. That is, it rested on the resulting democratization of the polity and the popular expansion of citizen rights (that included a small class of urban artisans), and the consequent inability of landed elites to compel free men to labor for them. Finally, there was that truly anomalous development, the polis, far more aristocratic outside of Athens. The ancient Greek ruling classes as landlords who mastered men (slaves) and women (in the household), held concrete labor, the activity of those who worked (and, note, not the abstract labor of capitalism), in contempt. It was the reason for their absence from their estates and the use of slave overseers in the fields. Life for free citizens, for the great landowners but the plebs also, was urban, community life that consisted in governing their own affairs through a political assembly, the polis (a singular achievement in the history of human communities to the extent that it was a realm in which men neither led nor were led, an institution that existed only in assembly, beyond the realm of violence, where centrally speech, argument and persuasion held sway) As great cities, Athens, Alexandra, Carthage and Rome were coastal or situated on nearby inland rivers, not the least because trade, the one autonomous activity of urban centers in the ancient world, was most easily, and from the standpoint of merchants less expensively, conducted by water, and even this fact is significant because the ancient Greek (and Roman) city itself was atypical and uncharacterized, incarnating its own dominance in an overwhelmingly rural, agrarian world, a dominance made possible by the use of slave labor both within the household (women, washing, sewing, preparing food, cleaning) and in the fields freeing the great landowner for urban life and, he and his sons for the elaboration of a unique, even if aristocratic culture1 It was city life, but the ancient Greek cities, in which civic activity was paramount, formed an integrated unity, a free development within but encompassed by the countryside, unlike development, economic development no less, since at least the time of Galileo, that counterposes the (lords, masters and capitalists that dominated the) city to the (tenants and rural laborers of the) countryside as the former exploited the latter for its agricultural produce, tenant rents, and resources utilized to construct the sensuous-material structures (above all, the churches and palatial homes of the great merchants, bankers and manufacturers) that comprised the visible aspect of the urban environment. Unlike our world, in which accumulation for the sake of accumulation (the movement of capital) predominates, in which personal aggrandizement rooted in bourgeois egoism is merely the other side of this objective logic, civic life as understood by the ancient Greeks presupposed an entirely different subjective-class evaluation of the meaning and telos of life generally. For them, this evaluation was political (the one area from which slaves were without exception excluded) and centered on citizen self-government, in the sense of neither ruling nor being ruled, and neither managing and administering nor being managed and ministered to. It was on this basis that the enormous, quick development of Absolute Spirit in the Hegelian sense (as qualified in the footnote below) unfolded, short-lived to be sure, but all the more astounding for the rapid and transient efflorescence. Aristotle Given that there is no really good biography of Aristotle, lets see what we know. Aristotle was one of three children born to a wealthy, established Ionian family in 384 BCE. About the time of his birth his father, Nicomachus, became a physician to Amyntas III, king of Macedonia (and father of Philip who was father of Alexander), the most recent of a long line of distinguished physicians. His mother, Phaestis, was a wealthy aristocrat with landholdings and an estate home at Chalcis (Khalks) on the island of Euboea (Evvoia), 55 kilometers north northwest of Athens opposite the eastern edge of the Attica peninsula dividing the northern and southern waterways of the Voreios Evvokos. With Nicomachus new appointment he relocated his family to Pella (actually, it is simply unclear whether it was he and Aristotle or the entire family), the ancient capital of Macedonia where Aristotle spent his earliest years. Both of his parents were to die while he was relatively young, his father no later than Aristotles seventeenth year (perhaps caught in the crossfire of infighting among the royal Macedonian entourage), and his mother shortly thereafter before he turned eighteen. It presumed that Aristotle spent his youth in Pella, perhaps, as was customary, studying and absorbing what he could of his fathers medical practice. (There is internal evidence, that Aristotle did indeed live in Pella, since he makes reference to his distaste for court life, even princes and even as
1

Used here in the Hegelian sense entailing, institutionally and culturally, Objective Spirit (law, statecraft, civil administration) and Absolute Spirit (poetry and drama, religion, and philosophy) all, albeit grasped materialistically, that is, as human productions.

a later teacher of Alexander.) At any rate, with his parents death he became a charge of one Proxenus, the husband of his sister, Arimneste. At the age of seventeen, Aristotle was sent by Proxenus or he set off himself this too is not clear to study at Platos Academy in Athens. For the next twenty years, this was the context of his intellectual formation, for he was student, researcher and then, at the moment of Platos death in 347 BCE, a teacher at the Academy. It can be safely assumed that here Aristotle studied politics and law, mathematics and astronomy, and of course pursued more broadly philosophical inquiries, as each and all were understood in the ancient, particularly the Athenian, world. He is reputed to have excelled as a student, and was referred to even by Plato as the Academys intellect. As a teacher, he may have taught rhetoric and dialogue. Now the Academy was not the only school in Athens, Isocrates, a sophist enemy of Plato, for example, ran another one (as would Aristotle in his later years). These educative institutions were aristocratic, designed for the sons of the slaveholding landowners, intended to at once impart a culture distinctively characterizing and distinguishing this class as such and to prepare them for any roles they might assume as statesmen or military leaders within the Athenian community. Aristotle was not destined to assume directorship of this institution upon Platos death. (It is suggested legally he was not Athenian or Hellene. Since Philip sacked the Greek city state of Olynrhus in 348, there may well have been hostility toward him, as a foreigner, Macedonian and someone who had spent a good part of his early life in Philips fathers court, to boot.) Instead a nephew of Plato, Speusippus, assumed this post. Perhaps as a consequence, Aristotle left Athens with a companion, Xenocrates, and, traveled to Asia Minor, established a branch of the Academy in Assos, today in northwest Turkey. It is believed this city was controlled by a tyrant, a Greek mercenary named Hermias (of Atarneus) and an underlord to the Persian king. Hermias, having once been a member of the Academy (and infatuated with Platos lectures), struck up and developed a close friendship with Aristotle. Shortly thereafter, Aristotle married Hermias adopted youthful daughter (Aristotle was now 37), Pythias. She bore him a child (or he adopted one of hers as his own), a girl, but his wife died sometime later. For whatever reason, Hermias felt into disfavor with the Persians, and Assos was subject to attack. About 344 BCE, Aristotle left, journeying southward to the island of Lesbos, and there the city of Mytilene where he established another academy. Here he stayed for a couple years, making study of a lagoon that is reputed to have contributed to his biological theorizations. In 342, Philip, according to standard accounts, asked Aristotle to come (back) to Pella in order to tutor his son, Alexander. (Again, there are accounts that this is mere legend). If weve adequately related Aristotles geographical trajectory and presented some sense of his motivation, it would be fair to ask, as history records, why he returned. Reasons range from a full consciousness of the Platonic injunction concerning the significance of philosophers in statecraft to a concern to assist his friend Hermias in reaching an agreement that would bring a Macedonian expedition against Persia in Asia Minor. In the event, Aristotle crossed the proverbial Rubicon (some three centuries before Caesar actually crossed into Gaul) and returned to Pella. And, in the event, the Bildung that he imparted to Alexander over roughly seven years was, as he fully understood from the get-go, not philosophical, but rather moral in the broad sense. Alexander, it is believed by biographers, adopted the Achilles of Homers Iliad as a life model that served him in his ambitious kingship, living, like the ancient mythological hero, for honor, esteem and, of course, conquest. (Aristotle went to the length of preparing a special edition of this work for Alexander.) By 339, Aristotle had grown weary of life in Pella, a sentiment likely deepened by the tasks of tutoring other students at the Macedonian court. He left, retreated to his father home of Stagira, a small town north of Athens and roughly 80 kilometers east of Pella, but soon found the locale absent all stimulation. In 335, he was back in Athens, perhaps because Speusippus, heading the Academy, had died. (He was succeeded by Aristotle's old acquaintance, Xenocrates.) If Aristotle had had any designs on directing the Academy, he was quickly disabused, for anti-Macedonian sentiment was probably stronger at this moment than it had been thirteen years earlier when he had left Athens. Here Aristotle, it is believed, relied on protection of an Athenian diplomat and friend, Antipater. In Athens, Aristotle established his own school, known as the Lyceum, much along the lines of other competing institutions, aimed at the same youthful audience, young aristocrats, with the same broad curriculum and same aims, formation of noble character both with a view to what was distinctive about the great landowners as a social group and to statecraft. For, unlike Galileo, he had a strong moral sense (rooted in our view in a precognitive aristocratic ethos), and fully developed cognitive notion, of the right order of things, and accordingly, of their natural place.

The Lyceum was quite successful, and some of Aristotles most important works date from this period, that is down to 323, the year of Alexanders death. At this moment and for the occasion, an anti-Macedonian revolt took Antipaters treachery (i.e., his relations to the Macedonian kingship) as its object, which, as an alien, also endangered Aristotle. He fled. Again unlike Galileo, Aristotle retained this strong sense of place throughout his life: He returned to his mothers estate in Chalcis. Here, at the age of 62, he died in the autumn of the following year complaining of a stomach ailment (perhaps an ulcerous condition from which he slowly bled to death).

Part II Galileo and the World of Early Capitalism There are three significant traditions within bourgeois historiography that provide accounts of the origins of the modern science of nature. The first two are rooted in the crisis of physical theory that became full blown in the chronologically late nineteenth century, and were resolved, at least adequately enough to allow scientific theorizing to renew itself and develop anew, with relativist and quantum formulations. These traditions are counterposed, one, based largely on the enormous literary output and insight of Pierre Duhem, holds that the really important problems confronted by the new science were originally posed and received their first critical treatment by medieval cosmologists;1 the other, beginning from the work of Alexandre Koyr (who writing over twenty years after Duhems death, explicitly and regularly if only in footnoted fashion criticized him)2 holds the modern science of nature signifies a rupture with the world, problems, analyses and views of the fundamentally Aristotelian Scholastics and, later, Peripatetics, and, starting from Galileo, is in its genuine form Archimedean (more generally, mathematical) and Platonist. Best exemplified by the more recent work of Paolo Rossi,3 the third tradition also sees in the modern science of nature a counterposition to ancient thought, but more thoroughgoing. The former is opposed to the latter in its entirety, whether the ancients are considered Platonic or Aristotelian. In this respect, the modern science of nature is conceived unitarily with different complementary traditions (with points of departure in Galileo and Bacon), and it is explicitly grasped and understood in relation to the practice of social groups, primarily artisans, whose activity embodied and was guided by the central ideational features that made this counterposition to the ancients possible and actual. Our analyses owe something to each of these traditions. In some respects, formally similar to Rossis starting point, we shall try to tease out the relation between the theorization of modern science of nature as its appears in its most conscious creator, Galileo, and the world he was rooted. This world was radically different from that of urban centers (e.g., Athens, Alexandria) that existed on the edges of the ancient tributary formations in the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, and, increasingly superficial similarities aside, it differed markedly in all decisive ways from the world of more modern tributary formations which in the same regions are often referred to as the feudal or medieval West. We shall attempt to establish that this new science originated as a rarefied theoretical response to problems that emerged for the first time in this, the world in which men like Galileo lived and acted; to reveal that these problems were generated on the basis a societal project the formed out of the life practices of a specific social class of which men like Galileo were relationally part; and that, as such, the type of knowledge achieved and here, and in other ways that will become clear as this work unfolds, we radically depart from the various traditions that make up bourgeois historiography... was and is not a universal achievement of humanity a humanity that at any rate has yet to come into being in anything other than in a formal sense but doctrine, knowledge and understanding that is determinate, socially and historically specific and relative to the class and society in which that class formed and the civilization it has created. For even as this science underwent elaboration and lost any relation to these origins, it has retained and retains, hidden and tacit within its conceptual structure, the telos that originally animated it First, however, we need to start with Galileo and his world. Galileo, I Who was Galileo Galilei? Son of Vincenzo Galilei, Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa in February 1564, the oldest of seven children. His father was a musician and wool trader. Now Vincenzo had been born in Florence in 1520. (His mother, Guilia Ammannati was born in Pescia in central Tuscany about 65 kilometers northwest of Florence.) Note the date.
1

The first four volumes of Duhem's Systme du monde appeared in 1916, the fifth posthumously in 1917, and based on manuscripts, the sixth did not appear until 1954 and the four remaining volumes were published between 1956 and 1959. We use an English language selection (Medieval Cosmology) largely based on the later manuscript volumes that deals primarily with the theoretical basis of medieval cosmology. 2 Koyr most important works in this regard was his Galileo Studies with the French original (tudes Galilennes) appearing in 1939. 3 Summarized, above all, in Philosophy, Technology and the Arts in the Early Modern Era.

Twenty-six (26) years before Vincenzo was born Piero deMedici was expelled from Florence and the Republic was reestablished on the basis of French bayonets (December 1494); eleven (11) years before his birth Pisans finally submitted following upon three long years of fighting to incorporation into the Republican Florences imperial domains (1509); eight (8) years before Vincenzo was born the Florentine Republic collapsed (again), the Medici were restored following defeat of her, Machievalllis and Soderinis, citizen armies by the Spanish at Prato (1512); five (5) years after his birth the Republic, led by aristocrats of the great families such as Jacobo Salviati, Niccolo Capponi and Luigi Guicciardini, was restored (16 May 1526) immediately following upon the pillage and sack of Rome (6 May 1526) by German, Italian and Spanish soldiery, Imperials, that had worked their way down the Peninsula following upon their defeat of the French armies (to which Pope Clement VII, Guilio de Medici, was allied) at the battle of Pavia (24 February 1525) in which the Hapsburg imperials of Charles V (Austrian emperor and king of Spain) had crushed the French with their Florentine allies; and, ten (10) years after Vincenzo was born the final destruction of the Republic was accomplished (12 August 1530) ten days after then defeat of a Florentine partisan force led Francesco Ferrucci in hard fighting with overwhelmingly numerically superior Spanish Imperial forces under the Prince of Orange engaged in a siege of city as mercenaries under their captain, Malatesta Baglione, the ostensible defenders of the city, abandoned the fortified external Florentine perimeter. Guido de Medici, who as Pope had no trouble finding the wherewithal to do a deal (April 1529) with Charles V (codified in the Treaty of Barcelona), restored the Medici line as the rightful overlords of the great city and its territories. 1 The Medici would rule Florence as a Spanish duchy until its annexation by Austria in 1737. The restoration of the Medici in Florence in 1530 brought to a close, seemingly nearly forty years of fighting on the Italian Peninsula as the two great tributary power, France and a rising Castilian Spain fought over and again to decide who would rule. The Spanish had proven themselves masters of the Peninsula and this was confirmed in the Treaty of Cambrai. But, as if to remind Vincenzo, under watchful Spanish eyes, Cosimo, duke of Tuscany, brought troops to bear on Siena for over three years (1552-1555), which was finally successfully annexed in 1557. French incursions in the North, in Savoy (most of the modern day Piedmont) periodically recurred from 1536 to 1538, again from 1542 to 1544, the outcome of this struggle not being decided until after the Spanish victory at the battle of St. Quentin (1557); and, if this was not enough, losses of the Venetians overseas trading empire (this Republic had already surrendered all of its non-Adriatic fronting mainland possessions in 1509) the Aegean islands north of Crete in 1540, Cyprus in 1571, and Crete itself in 1669 to Ottoman expansion westward in the Mediterranean would remind him all over again. Of what was Vincenzo reminded? The world is not a safe place. The world is not a safe place, and Vincenzo knew. As a young man, he left Florence and settled in Pisa, though now under Spanish suzerainty nonetheless far from the Florentine maelstrom of events, where he married Guilia in 1563 and where Galileo was born a year later. (To the dangers of war we might also add that of famine, which were endemic. From the time of the rise of the Ciompi to the rise of another revolutionary group, the Jacobins, Florence would experience 111 famines. In 1528, while Vincenzo was a child, Florence was struck by famine, which would recur in 1540, and in both cases, the city closed its gates to the surrounding contado leaving the Tuscan peasantry to its fate.2 Pisa was no different except in one regard: It was a port city where ships carrying grain unloaded, and in the chain of recipients it stood in front of Florence.) A long line of the Galileis, Vincenzos family, had been made their livelihoods as wool merchants, though they were relationally part of the popolo grasso (neither the great merchants nor the Lana manufacturers, both of who had played central roles in the accumulation of Florentine wealth since the end of the thirteen century), but far closer to the arte minori, the small guildsmen, shopkeepers and traders, and among these a family that did quite well. Now, the wealth, splendor and power that accrued to Florence at the outset of the era of capitals formal domination (chronologically, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries) did not primarily rest on banking and trade, but on the profitability of its cloth industry (and this, in turn, depended upon unchallenged control of the manufacturer-merchants

1 2

See The History of Florence and the Florentine Republic, Part IV and the Note on Giannotti. Famine was, as we said, endemic, a typical feature of towns and cities that characterized the entire epoch of divided societies down to the end of the 1830s, at least in the center of greatest capitalist development in the West. See the Third Essay, Part I, History and Malthus, below. What was unusual was that in 1528 and 1540, famine struck not only Florence but the countryside, evincing its utter severity. Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, Vol. I, 328-329 (where this atypical event is noted and from which we derive the figures and dates which we shall have occasion to site again).

over the total process of cloth, i.e, woolen, production).1 In that maelstrom of events, war, sieges, ransoms paid to mercenaries and regular armies to free individual men and whole cities from military occupation that had characterized Vincenzos youth (not to mention the three decades prior to his birth), woolen merchant fortunes had been undone over and again. Vincenzo had understood this perhaps before he could even articulate it. He longed for a quite life, and over generations his family had not only been spared the trauma of loss of fortune but had done well enough for him to detach himself from merchant activity. He had studied music in his youth in Venice, had developed real skill as a lute player and before Galileos birth he supported himself and his new wife as a music teacher. He had even performed certain experiments on strings to evince his musical theories, among which can be numbered his treatment of dissonance for which he is remembered today. Vincenzos sense of place never deserted him. In 1572, he, his wife and his children (less Galileo) returned home to Florence. But, as much Florentine glory lay in the past, the city he returned to was not the city he had left. Subordinated to the Castilian Hapsburg Empire, the dominant merchant manufacturing, merchant trading and banking social groups in central Italy, not just Florence, had for nearly a half century been functioning as a center of financial support for Spanish imperial ambitions and activities, which parasitically drained off the wealth generated in the region. This requires separate treatment since it bears directly on who Galileo Galilei was and in a complexly mediated fashion on the modern science of nature. Castilian Empire in Early Modern Europe, Capitalism and Formal Domination2 From the moment of the union of Isabelle and Ferdinand at which Castilian expansion in southward on the Iberian Peninsular, through Charles I (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) when he first assumed the Castilian crown (1516) until the conclusion of the War of Dutch Independence in 1659 (by which time the Spanish treasury had been bankrupt for decades), for newly two hundred years, Catholic, then Hapsburg Castile, now long past its zenith, engaged in nearly continuous warfare. Innumerable smaller wars of conquest that involved dynastic claims or objectives, imperial ambitions in the Mediterranean, the subjugation of northern (and at its periphery central) Italy, occupation of the Low Countries, provision for Christian Europe of a defensive bulwark against the Ottoman Turks a defense that involved a religious-ideological pogrom against Muslims and Jews and can be traced back to the martial alliance of those two religiously fanatical zealots in 1469 (the Castilian queen and the Aragonese king), and their development and employ of that black instrument of Christianizing terror, the Inquisition3 were all essentially supported by the revenues derived, first, from exploitation of the peasantries of Iberia, second and primarily, from the madly ambitious plunder of the peoples and resources of the Americas, and third, from the blackmail, looting, plunder and domination of the merchants and cities of Europe under its control. Gold and silver, and after 1550 exclusively silver, fed the machines (armies) that were the instruments of its aggrandizement: 4 Product of one of historys most infamous and sustained policies of genocide, the silver that poured in from the Americas allowed Castilian kings to be overcome by their own megalomaniac ambitions. At the beginning of the century (1525-1530), Charles I strangled the commercial centers of northern Italy, most notably Genoa and Florence. (The Spanish maintained five strategically important seaports, the Stato dei Presidi, the State of the Garrisons, which was administered from Spanish Naples and which increased the drain on Florentine-Tuscan resources.)
1
2

The History of Florence and the Florentine Republic, Part III, Note (on cloth worker exploitation). For Castile as discussed here, The Origins and Development of Catalan Nationalism: Catalan and Castilian Antagonism in Spanish History. 3 This was the Spanish Inquisition, preceding the Roman Inquisition by nearly three quarters of a century, the latter established by Paul III in 1542 to turn back Calvin, Luther, their offshoots and the Protestant Reformation. 4 Braudel, Ibid, Vol. 1, 476. In Bolivia, in the foothills of the Andes the city of Potos, founded in 1546 one year after the discovery of silver in the region, was center of silver production becoming the largest single silver mine in the world by 1611. Braudel chastises the Spanish for failing to set up new and profitable enterprises at home (Ibid, I, 478), but that was precisely the point: The non-bourgeois, non-capitalist Castilian crown was engaged in defense of the old tributary order against emerging capitalist social groups and institutions, and it spent this, a fortune achieved entirely by non-capitalist means, mostly by slavery and murder, to support its military machine, as Braudel backhandedly admits in citing (for us merely an instance exemplifying what was at issue) a contemporary source (a Venetian ambassador) who reported the 800,000 ducats worth of Peruvian silver was transported to the Netherlands where it was minted in exchange for artillery and powder, and, of course, with a merchants fee to arrange the transaction Ibid, I, 480.

Ruling from 1556 to 1598 Felipe (Philip) II, having originally involved Castile in, by the end of the century was still engaged in the midst of, a ninety year long attempt to conquer the Low Countries, an effort during which Spanish and foreign mercenaries in the pay of the Castilian crown repeatedly destroyed the flourishing towns of the Northwest: The great textile cities of the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, and as well their surrounding countryside on which they depended for food, were occupied and foraged off. Taken as hostages, wealthy merchants, traders, and bankers were held to ransom. Whole cities too were held to ransom or sacked (or both). Villages and countryside were pillaged. The wealth of urban centers (including their hinterlands) of the high middle age so-called, still early in the era of capitals formal domination, was drawn off to fed the Castilian war machines (its armies), and occupied or wrecked (or both), and their commercial vitality was stifled by imposition of rule from Madrid (eliminating autonomous republican institutions, the life blood of these oligarchical, commercial centers). Castilian kings thereby destroyed the loci of the wool-textile economy of the Mediterranean-European North, and thus allowed a new locus to develop in England. (Florence, in 1560 the greatest center of woolen production in Europe, purchased two thirds of its raw wool from Castilian Spain, and in turn numbered Spain, with France, as one of its most important centers of export of finished woolen cloth. By 1630, like fallen Spain, its woolen production had plummeted to 2% of the 1560 amount.)1 In so doing, ironically Castilian kingship undermined the network of commercial relations in which the great wool producers of central Spain were embedded in, and with it the hegemonic position of Castile in Europe. Call this in the objectively historical sense the openly military aspect of an assault by Europes most powerful tributary formation on those social groups who were bearers of a nascent capitalism; and, at the same time, call Castile's failure an expression of the exhaustion of tributary formations of western Europe, the endpoint of their ability to organize social life (a process that clearly was already underway by the midpoint of the Thirty Years War, evinced in the epidemics and famine that swept Europe in the 1630s and in misery, destruction and depopulation created by war and disease): For without the emergence of capitalism in the Low Countries and England symbolized, above all, by the triumph of the Dutch and Puritan bourgeoisies in war and revolutionary civil war, and then by the new science of nature at nodal sites in Europe, the achieved levels of culture, sociality and production would have fallen back to those levels that characterized Europe, that is, the Mediterranean hinterlands of Rome, just prior to the emergence of Merovingian kingship, in which state, extended family and village community could not longer sustain a civil sociality.2 The foundations of Castilian power and her emergence as a great European power rested, in fact, on an earlier phase of conquest, the unification of the Iberian Peninsula, that Fernando brought to a close.3 These conquests robbed the civilization of the Moors (Nasrid Arabs) of its substance, added untold great wealth to Castilian coffers and provided massive numbers of slaves and Moors who were enslaved (both often sold adding to wealth in coin form), and it added enormous tracts of land in al-Andalus to the patrimonies of Castile, in particular, to her great nobles, most of which had won their status in connection with the Crusades in which the warrior aristocratic military orders, foundation of noble power and bearers of the ideational orientation toward conquest, came into being. The vast tracts of land appropriated by the great nobles during the Spanish Reconquista provided the basis for a movement from cereal agriculture in old Castile to transhumant sheep farming on and between these great estates as herds in the hundreds of thousands passed seasonally from the central Castilian plateaux to Estremadura and northern Andalusia. An intricate commercial network survived Catalan collapse and tied these wool-producing estates to the great textile centers (Bruges, Ghent) of the Low Countries. 4 Castilian towns and, in far northern Iberia, Biscayan shippers grew and a few great noble families transformed small fortunes into vast wealth. That concentration of wealth was enormous: Two to three percent (2-3%) of the nobles controlled herds of sheep on occasion in the millions, owed 97% of the land, while half of this land was the patrimony of just a few great families who stood head and shoulders above the smaller gentry (hidalgo). (At the same time as the Catalan population had declined to about 278,000 in 1497, Castile boasted 5-7 million.) Most hidalgo were impoverished and land hungry, and formed the social basis for armies of conquest. Commodity production is at best merely secondary to a rural
1 2

Paolo Malanima, An Example of Industrial Reconversion: Tuscany, 64-65, 67. On this, see, e.g., Marc Bloch, Feudal Society, Vol. 1, 147-149, or Anderson, Passages from From Antiquity to Feudalism,122f. 3 In 1485 Ronda, in 1487 Mlaga, in 1490 Almeria, and in 1492 the city of Granada fell to Fernandos armies. 4 Depopulated by plague (the prebourgeois Catalan nations demographically density had collapsed, from some 600,000 in 1350 to 278,000 in 1497), torn by rural civil war and social struggle within Barcelona, the latter brought on in large part by waves of plague that made urban social life impossible, and with the institutional structures that sustained Catalan commerce rendered ineffectual by Castilian overlordship, the Catalan trading empire that had been built up over centuries and that had commercially mediated the wool trade in the western Mediterranean and in western Europe had virtually disappeared by 1500.

aristocracy of this sort, and as such it is only a means to wealth, its display, and in particular to power as the undisputed, absolute control over and disposition of men, resources, and things. Castilian Spain, a tributary formation based on sheepherding (not agriculture) and conquest, was emphatically not bourgeois:1 There was little if any capitalist activity in Spain outside the urban enclaves of Crdoba and Segovia where the domestic (putting out) system had taken hold, and on the Atlantic North (Bilbao) and the Mediterranean (Barcelona as it revived) until well into the eighteenth century. In fact, through centuries of "reconquest and thereafter, the assault on Moors and Spanish Jewry, the counterattack against Protestant Reformation, and the offensive against the Enlightenment that first emanated from France, in each of these cases spearheaded by first the Jesuit then Dominican Inquisition, the Spanish Church and Crown, purveyor of bodily torture and depth-psychological emotional abuse, was the main rampart against the insinuation of capitalist methods into productive activity in Europe. Since the Church and the royal Castilian entourage around Spanish kingship were intertwined and inseparable, we can state that in speaking about the former we are simultaneously speaking about the latter, so that in noting Protestant reform was inextricably bound up with the emergence of commercial and urban artisan classes, urban and secular developments, and somewhat later the growth and expansion of capitalist social relations particularly in agriculture, the Roman Church, the Inquisition, and the Jesuits in Spain spearheaded counterrevolutionary efforts to reverse the nascent formation of bourgeois society in Europe, we are referring to the entire phalanx of personages, institutions and social relations brought together by Spanish kingship The accusation of heresy thrust at Galileo was itself determined by this entire constellation of events and conditions: Aligned with the French whose foreign policy was effectively in the hands of Richelieu, as soon as Swedish forces under Gustavus Adolphus swept down over central Europe (entering the Thirty Years War in late winter 1631) the Barberini pontificate (Urban VIII) was forced to abandon the intellectual liberality of its early years (1620s) and aggressively undertake a pro-Spanish policy, at any rate demanded by the Jesuit faction within the Curia, and pursue a correspondingly vicious, intransigent persecutory campaign against heretics so-called and unorthodox innovators (among which stood Galileo), a campaign decided on the narrowest of ideologically rigid criteria (especially with regard to the doctrine of the Eucharist and transubstantiation)2 Still, even prior to and then against Spanish overlordship and sporadic occupation, incipiently, the movement of capital slowly penetrated production itself (i.e., not just in formal ways in commerce as in banking with its double entry booking and bills of exchange, or distribution as in the creation of markets for the sale of commodities) in its various forms beginning late in the historical period of the initial consolidation of state centralism over the carcass of republican institutions (1380-1485) on the Italian Peninsula.3 First, there were the Lana merchant manufacturers who by now firmly established themselves in production as a permanent fixture in, e.g., the Florentine landscape. Second, there was the sottiposti, waged laboring proletariat in the woolen industries of central Italy, the other side of the same social relation that engaged the Lana bourgeoisie. Third, in the central Italian countryside and in the North, serfdom had been abolished as early as the end of the thirteenth century (1292). In Tuscany relations of sharecropping tenancy (mezzadria) prevailed, while in Lombardy (known here as messaria) the same relations could be found, along with simply farm leasing and rural waged labor even, as a shift to domestic home production along more formally capitalist lines was already underway. (In fact, objects of that shift, pauperized tenants provided labor for these rural, domestic proto-industries). 4 While appearing as a type of petty commodity production formed through the activity of small olive oil and wine producers, and mulberry tree growers and cultivators after 1570 (the leaves of mulberry trees provided a domestic source of food for silkworms, for silkworm breeding and on this basis for production of silk yarn), sharecroppers were impoverished, indebted, and the prices they received for their produce were not determined by them with a view to market conditions but by the lords (with a view to the market and the various ways they could further extract surpluses, most often a matter of fixing their accounting books) from whom they rented their tiny plots: These peasants so-called were not independent commodity producers, but a rural proletariat disguised as sharecropping tenants who, to be sure, had bourgeois aspirations. The entire countryside of central Italy rested on this basis, on landless laborers who did
1

In the South (Andalusia) and the east (Valencia), latifundia agriculture based on serf tenancy had existed since the thirteenth century. In the North (Galicia, Navarre, Basque country, as well as Asturias), small peasant freeholds were predominant, in Catalonia and Aragon, a type of sharecropping tenancy had existed for centuries. But sheepherding does not entail tilling the soil, planting and harvesting; it is not agriculture, and the great Castilian lords were utterly contemptuous of the latter. 2 Pietro Redondi, Galileo, Heretic, 228-230. 3 For the periodization, see the First Interlude, Chronology and History, below. 4 For Lombardy in this regard, Angelo Moioli, De-Industrialization in Lombardy, 100.

work for wages taken together with the vine tenantcy, while in Lombardy peasants were dispossessed and worked as domestic laborers putting out cloth products under the auspices of a hierarchy of merchants starting from the villages, through the small towns to the great city (Milan).1 The situation was similar in Genoa, and with Venice and its countryside (though not as well developed), as that in Lombardy.2 Productive activity contracted during a good part, especially the early decades, of the chronological sixteenth century as a consequence of wars, of marching, encamping and marauding armies... woolen production nearly collapsed and, here, as elsewhere, gave way to silk manufacture.3 And it did all over again after 1585, beginning with poor crops and famine that lasted until the end of the century. Within Galileos lifetime, in his mature years, new waves of plague reappeared in both northern and southern Italy, and in Tuscany (1630-1631). Large cities such as Genoa, Milan, and Naples in the south, lost as much as half their populations, with loses of a quarter of the populations in Florence and its contado.4 The Thirty Years War (1618-1648), which again involved Spain (in fighting in the GermanAustrian principalities, against France and Sweden), drained off still further financial resources above and beyond the tributes extracted to support an army of occupation in the Netherlands; and, in the east, war between the Ottomans and the Iranians from 16231639 disrupted export markets important to the Peninsulas great cities, especially Venice. The crisis became open as the locus of formal capitalist development began to shift from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic (in the second decade of the seventeenth century), and did not reach a nadir until the midpoint of this inner historical period of that development (circa 1640-1650). The Spanish presence, of course, encouraged and reinforced a massive retrenchment, in particular the final destruction (which was well underway tendentially from the beginning of the chronological fifteenth century in cities no less than Florence) of Republican institutions, the power of the Ottimati, the oligarchies of great families based in merchant, banking and manufacturing, in favor of a deepening centralization along the lines of kingly government Now state centralism surely is not a product of capitalist development, or is such in only one of its (the most accentuated of its) forms. In certain tributary formations, in ancient China for example, centralism appears as a nascent bureaucratization and is borne by a class of landlords-become-intellectuals, a scholar-gentry. In modern tributary France in the time of the first convocation of the Estates General onward, a significant statification developed, and with it a centralized bureaucracy. Something very similar could be said about the Ottomans throughout the entire period currently under consideration. Yet in each of these cases and others, state centralism is called forth by the requirements of ruling an empire, whether landed and contiguous or overseas or both. The distinctive contribution of capitalism to state centralism concerns structure and policy (practices). The former is not at issue for us. We shall relegate it to a footnote.5 Policy is (practices are) different. Four significant practices were pursued by modern states that were central to early capitalist development. They were mercantilist trade

If it can be shown that the development of the putting out or domestic system of production in rural Lombardy in the sixteenth century did not arise spontaneously or naturally in the specifically social sense, but instead was a development spurred on consciously, as the consequence of deliberate intent of merchant who effectively reorganized production by geographically changing its spatial locus, the concept of the formal domination of labor over capital must be modified and the periodizing relation between formal and real domination will require further revision. It is not at all clear that this can be shown, as evidenced by, e.g., the research program formulated in Moioli, Ibid, passim. See the First Interlude in its entirety, below. 2 Braudel, Ibid, Vol. 1, 430-432. 3 Elsewhere in the Italian Peninsula, Venice, Genoa, Lucca, and throughout Europe. Salvatore Ciriacono, Mass Consumption Goods and Luxury Goods, 46. 4 Braudel, Ibid, Vol. 1, 332. 5 In the centralisms mentioned above, the state is indistinguishable from the persons and entourages of the ruler. Even where the ruler's armed force consists in an army, his nascent bureaucracy in priests or tax collectors, this armed force and these minions, though employed in enforcing domination over the rest of the community, are not institutionally separable from the ruler but instead form his personal entourage or his household. The modern state of capital is unique in its institutional and separate character, its appearance as a "public" force clothed in a sham objectivity that sets it apart from and over and against individuals, classes and society. (Its alien otherness masks its reality as a complex network of hardened social relations governed by the class teleology of the bourgeoisie and actually borne by individuals, themselves bourgeois, whose daily activities reproduce it as such.) While any modern, bourgeois state may come in the short run to be identified with a specific historical personage, what distinguishes it from states that appear in other past epochs is a seeming efficacy, permanence and reality that render it at once objectively independent in relation to society and independent of any specific ruler. It is only in this context that bureaucracy can appear rational, and that it develops in the form of seemingly endlessly proliferating agencies, bureaus, departments, etc., that are pyramidically unified by the institutional Executive. This kind of state only begins to appear in history in the wake of the first bourgeois revolutions, in England and in France. See Community and Capital, 162.

policies, infrastructural development, measures to protect domestic industries, and elimination of internal customs and trade barriers. Mercantilist trade policies are best exemplified by the English Navigation Acts (1651, 1663, 1673), legislative enactments aimed at securing for English merchants and the English state the benefits of the commercial activities of English colonies in the Americas and the West Indies by limiting Dutch trade with them.1 Infrastructural development such as construction of roads, canals and bridges, and docks and ports were generally undertaken by the state because its resources, i.e., tax revenues, give it access to money capital in a way which no single producer or aggregate of merchants' firms could marshal. These revenues permitted it, and it alone, to create the material premises without which development would not have occurred. (This assessment being as a valid today as it was four hundred years ago). The elimination of internal customs and trade barriers such as tolls encountered in passing from one region to another form the basis for development of an internal domestic national market... a bourgeois nation in the very process of formation... which, to be sure, over the course of time eliminated the less efficient and strengthened (by expanding their reach) the more efficient producers. This measure was usually complemented by protectionist measures, designed to prevent non-national producers from making too great an ingress into domestic markets at the expense of domestic producers. Protectionist measures had a direct bearing on the situation on the Italian Peninsula. To the extent that commodity circulation was not simply based on captive markets and burdened with extensive regulation (say, by guilds), and production was not solely for luxury goods, merchants, traders and manufacturers brought pressure to bear on the personage of the sovereign to break down barriers to trade such as customs, imposts, product requirements, etc. (while demanding others be set up),2 and effectively created a certain uniformity within the space(s) in which capital moved. This pressure itself emanated, we are tempted to say as a reflex, from competition among and between competing capitalists. Central Italian Lana manufacturers in the late fifteenth and the first half of the same sixteenth century were under enormous pressure from similar producers in Bruges and London. (In fact, this competition destroyed them.) While this is a much later development though it was tacit at the moment at which Galileo lived, the state then and later was required to legislatively and by fiat (diktat) establish a uniform market, one which in historical time expanded from nations to encompass the world In all this (i.e., the Spanish presence, marginally centralized kingly government developing over the carcass of Republican institutions), the seeming re-feudalization of the chronological sixteenth century, mercantile capitalist northern and central Italy was the other side of a dynamism of capitalist development of the same, broadly speaking, cloth manufacture in the Low Countries (while it is also clear that plague, smallpox and famine all played a role in this re-feudalization so called, which, at any rate, was limited to the Papal States and the Neapolitan regions, for in the Tuscan center, on the northern Lombard plain and the inland reaches of northeastern Venetian mainland, a quasiindustrial development based on formal domination following on a shift of production from the great cities to a smaller towns and the countryside occurred steadily after the 1630 plague);3 and the explosive development of capitalist farming in rural England and artisan cloth production (woolens, then silk) which, based on the domestic or putting out system, provided London merchants with a large competitive advantage over craft guild and artisan workshops of the Italian cities that resisted technological and organizational change, i.e, further control over (though not intrusion into) production by the great merchants: Facing stiff price competition from England and the slow emergence of a transAtlantic triangular trade (London, the Virginia planter colony and coastal west Africa), woolen production once at the heart of the great urban enclaves of the Italian Peninsula nearly disappeared (over time effectively replaced by silk manufacture which, aimed at traditional higher end markets, did quite well), banking continued to contract, as the great burghers often retreated to the country estates, and pursued investment in landed property and in cash crops such as olive oil and wine. As a specific form of capitalist competition and development, we shall tentatively periodize the forgoing in terms of the era of capitals formal domination over labor, that is, in terms of the predominance of the merchant in production, a social figure who, directly as a landlord (taking surpluses in kind) or through the mediation of money, siphons off surpluses in exploiting labor and does so without either reorganizing those productive activities or generating new
1

See the Preface to Civil War and Revolution in America, the section entitled A Note on the Politically Determined Basis of Monopolistic Control the English Navigation Laws. 2 Ciriacono, Ibid, 46-47, 48-49. 3 Moioli, De-Industrialization in Lombardy, 88-89, 89-90, 99, 100, 101, 102; Giuseppe Felloni, Structural Changes in Urban Industry in Italy, 156-157, 159, 160.

technical inputs to them, which in the event in both cases dramatically increase the productivity of labor (at this moment measured in terms of output). Appearing, as we have suggested, as a re-feudalization, 1 and as such contradictory, this developments most forceful outward form was at a specific level of the polity, in the ascendancy of great lords over duchies, over once free cities and their territories ruled by urban patriciates rising from great families based on banking, trade and woolen production. If these duchies had many of the trappings of the old order, royal courts and close alliances with the Church, at the same time it was among the underlords to these dukes (such as Cosimo I de Medici in Florence), in their own shifts toward exploitation of rural tenant and waged labor, that the foundations of a backward capitalism was laid, especially in agriculture. It was in this world that Galileo moved. Galileo, II Lets follow Galileos maturation and his intellectual development. Galileo was eight years old when Vincenzo and his family returned to Florence in 1572. However, he remained behind in Pisa and lived for two years with Muzio Tedaldi, related to his mother by marriage. When he reached the age of ten, Galileo left Pisa to join his family in Florence. His family had the financial wherewithal, and Galileo was privately tutored by Jacopo Borghini. Thereafter Vincenzo continued the young Galileos education at the Camaldolese Monastery at Vallombrosa thirty-two kilometers southeast of Florence. Pause here and examine the Camaldoli, for they neatly incarnated the contradictions that Galileo lived without fully understanding, that characterized the world to which he was born, and in which he lived and acted. Camaldolese were in the loose informal sense an outgrowth of the Benedictine practices established by one St. Romuald at the beginning of the eleventh century. For a century or more the Camaldoli had practiced the strict discipline of monastic monk life, strengthened by a solitary comportment that approached that of the hermitic ascetics of the early Church. At the same time, they also had developed a rigid internal social hierarchy, which would play a major role in the properties they acquired largely through gifts of beneficence (as a trustee of these possessions) and as the power of the great Guidi nobles was broken, as the quasi-feudal magnati of the Tuscan countryside were beaten down in confrontations with the militias of the great burghers of Florence in the twelfth and thirteen centuries. Taking hold of vast property in land, the Camaldoli poured themselves into this void formed by the historical departure of the Guidi nobles, becoming great landlords. By 1115, the Camaldoli exerted control over three hermitages, twenty-five monasteries, and a Florentine nunnery. By 1250, the order could account to its name over 300 monks and administrators. Before 1550, the Camaldoli of central Italy had seventeen monasteries, four
1

This was not feudalism. Feudal social relations had their geographical heartland in Normandy and central Europe from the Loire to the Rhine in the period 800-1200. They were characterized by a subject peasantry; widespread use of service tenement (i.e., the fief) instead of wages; supremacy of a social class of specialized warriors; ties of obedience and protection binding men to men, and, which, within the warrior class, assumed a distinctive form called vassalage; and fragmentation of authority leading to disorder. In the West, feudalism was a historical product of a violent dissolution of older tributary formations (e.g., Merovingian Gaul), was a form of social order which was neither centrally held together by kinship nor state centralism, but in the absence of these, by ties of personal dependence. These ties constituted the core social relation, one which was in principle personal, binding men to men unconnected with possession of the soil or place of abode. This much said in the West, as elsewhere, feudalism was a rural phenomenon. Feudal social relations bound an oligarchy of warriors (and a caste of priests) to a subject peasantry, an exploitative bond which gave the former rights to land revenues and, inextricably, politico-juridical authority, and the latter protection and defense. We can distinguish two other forms of social organization that in the vast tributary formation that engulfed most of western Europe, beginning around 800 in the common era. Taken together with the above delineated feudal form and the region it shaped, these two other forms of social organization that appeared and developed within the tributary formation in western Europe from 1100 at the latest down to 1750 were petty commodity production found in urban enclaves usually along the geographical edges of this tributary formation and sedentary-pastoral activity which could be found in certain spaces within its interior. The former developed largely in the Mediterranean, in lands stretching west from north central Italy to Catalonia, and, of course, included the central Italian zone south to the Papal States. In the petty commodity producing zone, social organization consisted in groups of individual producers living and working in communities, whether rural or urban. These individual producers held private property in land or in mobile property. Production was aimed at exchange on a market and only secondarily for the producers' own consumption. Long distance trade was, it should be noted, a necessary condition for and an activity engaged in by social groups constitutive of this form of social organization, and thus, its significance for Venice, Florence, Genoa and Catalan Barcelona. Characteristically class divided societies, petty commodity forms were dominated by merchants, who controlled other urban and rural classes (i.e., artisan, shopkeeper, and their dependents on the one side, and noble feudatories, sharecropping peasants and increasing a landless rural proletariat on the other) through oligarchically structured domination of political and economical forms of organized social life. See The History of Florence and the Florentine Republic, Part I, section I.

nunneries and priors tending to congregations in Murano in the Venetian Republic, in Turin and at San Silvestro on Monte Soracte near Rome. The land the Camaldoli held did not lie fallow, but was organized into small farms often as tenancies, on which grain and wine were planted, tended and harvested. Where land was not organizable agriculturally, trees were felled and wood entered general commerce, and once forests now pasture land for herding sheep and raising cattle, also extensive Camaldolese activities by the fourteen century, was created: Among those previously mentioned administrators a good deal were lay, for the Camaldoli employed a host of merchant middlemen (factors) to buy and sell those agricultural and livestock products. The Camaldoli were one of the many venues through which capitalist social relations took hold in agriculture on the Italian Peninsula, as, ironically, all the while the Church fought against the penetration and development of those relations. Now all this was but a whisper to Galileo, who, though, manifestly was aware of the manner in which this contradiction played out: For among these monks, this secular appetite created internal social conflict that was expressed in periodic outburst, struggles over the direction of the Camaldoli, whether toward engagement in cenobitic, i.e, monastic and communal, institutions (effectively engaged in agriculture) or as eremitic, i.e., hermetic, ascetic and impoverished individual, activity oriented to Godly transcendence and independent of secular and ecclesiastical power. And Galileo effectively took a position on this issue, without being politically alive to meaning of Camaldoli activity in terms of Church response itself contradictory since it opposed the social and cultural forms to which the very activity of its institutions was giving rise to the novel social relations in production, emerging class configurations, the new doctrines that had begun to appear in natural philosophy and, most of all, the apostate doctrines not those emanating from the various heretical sects, the Church had successfully dealt with them for over two hundred years that were taking institutional shape in various Protestant denominations: Galileo found life among the Camaldolese appealing. He intended to join the Order, becoming a novice. Vincenzo, relating to the experience of the Galilei family history (one of his ancestors had been a distinguished physician in fifteenth century Florence) and recognizing the income and security of a medical practice, had long desired that his eldest should become a medical doctor. He pulled Galileo out of the monastery, continued his schooling in Florence (among Camaldolese monks as a concession to his son, but where he could keep an eye on his development), waited until he was of the right age, sent him back to Pisa to live with Tedaldi and enrolled him at the University of Pisa in study devoted to medicine. This was 1581. Galileo had no interest in his medical studies, but he was fascinated by mathematics and natural philosophy, and it was in these studies that he attended lectures and courses At eighteen years, Galileos life had reached a decisive turning point. Well educated with a consuming interest in mathematics as it related to natural philosophy, and quite brilliant at that as we shall see, a strong preference for isolation indicating both self-discipline and willfulness, and hampered by politically flawed judgment (one that would haunt Galileo throughout his life, though, as we shall suggest, narrow Jesuit-like intrigue and guile was something he did assimilate), he was prepared to make commitments that would govern the rest of his life At Pisa, Galileo appeared most frequently in the courses of Filippo Fantoni, who held the universitys chair in mathematics Fantoni was a Camaldolese monk, the courses were by school statute heavy on Euclid and Ptolemy largely designed for medical student instruction,1 but actually oriented to occultist mathematics in the sixteenth century sense (cosmography and astronomy as the non-discursive, non-demonstrative study of the esoteric qualities of number as they reveal the really real) In the course year 1582-1583, he attended lectures of Ostilio Ricci, mathematician to the Tuscan Court and, of real import, a former pupil of Tartaglia. (The course was on Euclids Elements.) Niccol Tartaglia had translated, then published in Latin previously unknown works of Archimedes, as well as prepared an Italian version with commentary of an Archimedean work on hydrostatics 2 In the summer months, Galileo returned to Florence and, here his discipline was on exhibition, continued his mathematical studies. In that third summer while still enrolled at Pisa, Galileo invited Ricci to visit his family with the intent Ricci was in full agreement of convincing his father to relent in his insistence on medical studies. Vincenzo did not abandon his hopes, but permitted the open pursuit of mathematics (Archimedes in particular) in the Galilei home during summer months. In 1585, Galileo abandoned medical studies altogether, left the University of Pisa, and left without
1

Charles B. Schmitt, Filippo Fantoni, Galileos Predecessor as Mathematics Professor at Pisa in Studies in Renaissance Philosophy and Science, X, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59. 2 Stillman Drake, Introduction to Galileos Discourses on Bodies in Water, x.

completing degree work Now Ricci is more important than we might at first glance suspect. His sole work, or at least the one work that has survived is housed in the Italian National Library and bears the title Problemi di Geometria Pratica: Luso dellArchimetro (Problems of Practical Geometry: The Uses of Archimedes). His importance lies in reinforcing for Galileo the doctrines of Archimedes, which, at any rate, Galileo very much assimilated during this period of his life. We shall return to this in connection with his father, Vincenzo1 Galileo began to privately tutor in mathematics in Florence, and was publicly appointed to teach in Siena in 15851586. In summer 1586, he taught at Vallombrosa, and in the same year wrote his first work that brought together his mathematical studies in relation to natural philosophy. La Balancitta, The Little Balance, was a largely descriptive account of Archimedes method of discovering the relative densities, or specific gravities, of bodies employing a balance. In 1587, he made a journey to Rome to visit Christopher Clavius, a priest, astronomer and professor of mathematics at the Jesuit Collegio Romano. Now the centers of gravity was a subject much discussed by Jesuit mathematicians at this juncture, and Galileo, fully aware, brought along notes he had made with a view to findings in his study of Archimedes method that used the balance. Clavius was, needless to say, impressed. Galileo was developing a reputation as a very gifted, sound mathematician in central Italy. (With regard to that reputation, for example, dating from this same year, he has left us a correspondence with both Clavius and Guidobaldo del Monte, an older contemporary, a genuine intellectual, educated without degree at Padua, with interests and writings in astronomy, mechanics, and mathematics a la Archimedes.) In the following year (1588), he received an invitation, because of the institution quite impressive, to lecture on the dimensions and location of hell in Dante's Inferno at the Academy in Florence. And here he was impressive. In 1589, he was nominally appointed as Fantonis successor at the University of Pisa. (The appointment essentially provided Galileo an income.) He held this post for three years, during which he wrote Du Moto (1590). But in 1591 Vincenzo died, and Galileo, as eldest son obligated to support his mother and siblings (entailing, additionally, provision for dowries for his two younger sisters), was compelled to find more financially rewarding work. His reputation, now quite excellent, and his correspondents, Guidobaldo dal Monte in particular, made it possible for him to take a far more lucrative position with the University of Padua which he assumed in late 1592. Galileo was to spend eighteen years there.2 Lets pause here and reflectively ascertain where we are at. Galileos family, formation and experience provided him with two unshakable insights that make sense of all that experience.

See this Study, this section, below. If his Letter to the Grand Duchess (Christiana of Lorraine) in 1616 put his lack of political acuity on display (the Letter was highly polemical, attacking Peripatetics contemporary Aristotelians and revealed his previously privately held commitment to Copernicanism, not just as a mathematical calculation designed to assist locating the position of heavenly bodies but as an ontological account of the relation of these planets, moons and the sun to a cosmologically de-centered Earth, hence offering the Church an opportunity to compel a leading bourgeois and scientific intellectual to recant, initiating the lengthy period of suspicion and investigation that culminated in his infamous trial), the occasion of his departure in 1610 (where upon he took up duties as chief mathematician at Pisa, i.e., he had not teaching responsibilities, and the post of Mathematician and Philosopher to the Tuscan Grand Duke) exhibited his a Jesuitical guile: Palao Sarpi, friend, correspondent and state theologian of the Venetian Republic, wrote him in April 1609 to describe to him the construction of a telescope, a spyglass, in the Flemish Netherlands. As a mathematician with real craft skills, Galileo himself began to construct telescopes, a number of them, with the aim of enhancing their optical functioning. This he did, improving magnification from about 4 times over thirty times on his own account (The Starry Messenger, 29). Opportunistic Galileo. He at once grasped the military and commercial utility of the telescope, called a perspicillum, for seafaring ships. He kept Sarpi updated, and the latter made arrangements for a show in front of the Venetian Senate. Machinating Galileo. The Senate was, what shall we say, if not amazed or astonished, very, very impressed. He was offered a large salary increase in return for sole rights to fabricate the telescope. Sly Galileo. Having already (1607) publicly completed action against one Baldassar Capra for plagiarizing his compass, three years later he engaged in a virtually identical action (identical to Capra): He seized on the opportunity presented by Sarpi, failing to mention that the telescope was not his invention, that any patent he provided was meaningless. (His salary was frozen when the Senate discovered it had been hoodwinked. Galileo resigned and took up the posts in Tuscany.) Galileo was a bourgeois opportunist, vain and proud and arrogant, who most important political judgments were typically, if not rash, based on a misapprehension of constellation of forces in play (because the weight of his entire formation, isolation, intellectualism, subjective certainty rendered him incapable of situating himself contextually).
2

Galileo had lived in Pisa, Florence, Vallombrosa, Florence, Pisa, Pisa and Florence, Padua, and Florence with frequent journeys during the course of a lifetime to Rome and Venice. For him, first, there is little sense of place, no home to which one can return.1 Did he transpose this? Was the affective sense formulated in experience merely cognitively transposed into the perspective in which the world (cosmos, universe) is without center? Hardly. But, if this sense that rendered his personal experience intelligible did not form the horizon in which all understanding transpired, it nonetheless predisposed him toward suspicion regarding claims about naturalness in the world, it provided him with a direction, it, in other words, alerted him that something parading as natural may be far from complete or perfect in the cognitive sense, i.e., the theoretical doctrine in which this naturalness arose may not have the coherency that is generally attributed to it. Second, reality is not as it seems. His experience among the Camaldoli told Galileo this much. Yet all his training also told him that with right key, reality is intelligible, and all his experience told him that it is not as it is immediately observed, witnessed and appears to be. The key was mathematical. Vincenzo may himself nourished this insight: In his treatment of dissonance, he developed a nonlinear mathematical description of musical form that rooted in Pythagorean tradition went beyond it. As Galileo was later to tells us in a famous passage from his The Assayer (1613): Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one is wandering in a dark labyrinth2 If one does not recognize in Galileo a bourgeois, it is because the features that are generally held to characterize this social type are derived from a sociology of the era of the real domination of capital over labor, the compulsive accumulation of savings immortalized in Max Webers Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, for him personified in the figure of Benjamin Franklin. As social types (i.e., as idealizations that abstractly relate a form of personality to the broadest determinants of the social totality), we can ask whether, today, we recognize in the endlessly indulged, narcissistic personality engaged in profligate behaviors of all sorts a bourgeois? If this social type appears as such now, in the era of the totalizing domination of capital over society, it is arguable that Galileo was a bourgeois as this social type first appeared in the early history of capitalism, as it slowly formed inside the Mediterranean tributary formation, the era of the formal domination of capital over labor. We can, for now, forgo such the schematization, and with it a tentative and perhaps reductionist formulation. What sense, then, does it make to suggest that Galileo is a bourgeois, and his thought articulates some of the most important contours of a world vision that appears only with the development of capitalism, and that, more importantly, mediates the understanding of the world in order that his class may act effectively in and on it? First, there is the issue of this vision itself. Retrospectively it is clear that Galileo did formulate some of the central concepts including its basic law, that of falling bodies of the modern science of nature. And, while this presupposes our entire theorization, the lineaments of which have been laid out in the Introduction above, it is precisely science understood in terms of the vision of the world that underlay it and which it confirms, that unifies the various outstanding forms of the existence of the bourgeoisie as a class in history. Second, Galileo is nothing like his father. He was sly, scheming, opportunist and practiced guile. To boot, there was no place to which he desired to return. Galileo was in certain real sense rootless (though, if unfairly compared with the nineteenth and twentieth century situations of intellectuals, this reality withers), an intellectual (and cosmopolitan before the term had become fashionable) in the strictly modern sense, or, a bourgeois. He did not know and understand the meaning of (he surely did not live and experience those institutional realities that such an understanding was formed within) civic patriotism and republican loyalty, since these features that had characterized Florentine social life for three centuries and were the loadstars of Florentine intellectuals had long since simply disappeared.3 (In this respect, Galileo felt existentially comfortable in a politically despotic situation, within which he,
1

We'll only note in passing that this interpretation departs from the conventional interpretation for which Galileo pined to return to the land of Tuscany. (See, e.g., Drake's introductory remarks to Letters on Sunspots in Discovering and Opinions of Galileo, 69.) 2 The Assayer (1623), 237-238. 3 Here one thinks of Leonardo Bruni and his De Militia (1422), the paradigmatic document of the civil humanist tradition. See C.C. Bailey, War and Society in Renaissance Florence, and 360f where a critical edition of the Latin original of the De Militia is provided.

asserting his superior merits which itself speaks to bourgeois illusions about individual worth could curry favor and might be recognized as such.) Third, there was Galileo himself. Stubbornly determined and willful. In what familial form in history, clannish, extended, nuclear, etc., does one for the first time in that history find a son who can successfully counterpose his will and project to his family, especially weak or strong patriarchally formed families? It was only in the bourgeois family where this reality first appeared.1 Fourth, there was again Galileo himself, i.e., his practice. In 1597, he invented what he called a geometric and military compass, not a directional compass as we might understand but an instrument on the order of a sector. (A sector is a mathematical instrument made basically of a couple rulers attached one to the other at one end by a joint and scored with several scales.) Galileo had enough demand it was significantly improved version of an instrument in general use by military officers and engineers to employ a craftsman to make the compasses to meet this demand and for future sale.2 In the previously mentioned 1610 letter to the Florentine secretary of state, Vinta, he spoke of having manufactured thousands.3 In the same letter, he mentions the demand for his highly improved telescope, which, it is not unreasonably assumed, he was also having produced. In both cases, the relation between the craftsman he employed and himself was defined by a wage, making Galileo a not just a bourgeois but a (merchant) capitalist. Fifth, there was, once more, Galileo himself. For the sake of momentary monetary advantage, who but a bourgeois and an incorrigible individualist would attempt a transparent swindle aimed at Venetian Republic, the one polity that had a history of protecting its citizens against the Inquisition, and thereby abandon that republic (the greatest mistake of his life) and place his fate in the hands of a despot (i.e., a political figure lacking all institutional restraints on his behavior, without any politically justified commitment to free inquiry), he, his entire entourage and the intellectualliterary community of Florence subject to the buffeting winds originating in Rome, at the time in which he, Galileo, was publicly elaborating a heretical theorization, one that took direct aim at the philosophical underpinnings of Church sanctioned dogma? Sixth, there is one other feature of Galileos personal development, and because of it, there is something absent in him cognitively. Whether or not we hold that one can do something like a detached history of ideas, an intellectual history in which and for which the West is an object of study, perhaps even a mystifyingly substantial entity, Galileo does engage a tradition of thought that is philosophical and includes the study of nature understood as natural philosophy as one of its central aspects. In the tradition as it was revived during the long era in which the petty commodity producing, urban enclaves of the tributary formations that covered Europe beginning eight hundred years ago, especially during the initial period of state centralization (congruent with and effectively arising from the development of the first woolen manufacturers, bankers and trades) and the following era largely defined by the rise of a Castilian tributary formation in opposition to this very development, the whole epoch chronologically from 13701590, in which this revival was consciously carried out, philosophical thought began and ended by posing questions and answers about the form of community in which the good life is achieved. Its achievement is communal and political (in the ancient Greek sense). Nowhere, we believe, will we find such queries in Galileo: For him, the good life is a strictly private affair. In this sense, he is undeniably a bourgeois. Why is it important to establish that Galileo was a bourgeois, both socially and in terms of objective subjectivity (i.e, outwardly, in terms of his behavior)? Above,4 we argued the concept of the bourgeoisie is unitary (i.e. goes beyond and is not determined by provincial, regional and new national boundaries in the process of formation), does not base itself on ideal typification, but refers to the most enlightened individuals, and to the social groups in which they were situated (which, in Galileos case, we shall below specify in terms of a socially determinate audience he addressed in his writing in the vernacular) and which provided men like Galileo with reality and their identities (as the organic intelligentsia of the bourgeoisie as a class), and who, themselves bourgeois, were at once creators and bearers of the modern science of nature. The connection between the bourgeoisie and science, as we also noted, does not just transpire at the level of social class, for it is the opposition to the old order that in part defines these men, and the historical significance of this
1 2

See the Introduction to our Revolutionary Theories of the English Civil War. See Drakes remarks, Opinions and Discovered of Galileo, 16. 3 Ibid, 64. 4 See the Introduction, Formation of the Social Basis of an Organic Intelligentsia of the Bourgeoisie.

science itself as the world-visional infrastructure historically unifying this class itself that is of transcendent import.

Part III Galileo and Aristotle The relation of thought, theories, forms of knowledge (here science) and visions of the world to that world (built environment and humanly transformed natural landscapes, earthly nature in which they are directly embedded and nature in the encompassing sense, as a totality, the universe) cannot be determined from a division of labor that merely duplicates capitals development in thought, to one side, the purely mathematical and logical aspects1 and, to the other, the sociological aspects, so that the mechanistic concept of the world starts from the mechanical principles and concepts which derive the explanation of physics and the universe from the analysis of machines.2 This manner of understanding the relation of ideational constructs to the world is a development within capitalism (and like Mannheims Ideology and Utopia, a sociology of knowledge) in the most thoroughgoing sense (i.e., it affirms capitalism) ... not to mention as a species of a reflection theory it is incoherent... and it altogether fails to understand how socio-historical reality, and on this basis, a vision of world, is formed.3 An analysis of the mechanistic concept of the world does not start an analysis of the relation of Galileos On Mechanics to his study of simple machines (aimed at understanding the general uses and principles governing deployment of such devices),4 anymore than it does from Clausius study of steam engines (giving rise to the second law of thermodynamics) two and a half centuries later. It begins from the immediate appearance of the real itself, from the genesis, formation and development of an economy, i.e., a seemingly autonomous regulator of social life (a mystified and reifyingly apprehended sphere of community as society which appears)5 as an objectified mechanistic structure into whose division of labor individuals are ostensibly inserted like cogs in a machine. Before it becomes possible to anticipatory reproduce in thought the tendentially developing intelligible structure of the world, hidden to us and thus mystifyingly resting on and arising from transformation of one of its aspects (largely in production at the heart of daily activity), it is necessary for that structure, and accordingly, reality itself to begin to undergo change, for novel aspects that are projectively captured and fixed in thought to appear There were four developments within Galileos lifeworld that made the objective appearance of homogenous space possible. All of these developments will occur within a retrospectively reconstructed phase in the movement of capital within the old tributary order in which a confrontation between it... marked by the emergence of counterrevolutionary Castile... and a rising merchant and nascent mercantile bourgeoisie basing itself on formal domination of capital in production unfolded.6 Consider, then, these developments: First, there was the oceangoing exploration of foreign lands and the situating within those lands of locales and places that were marked for special exploitation (of resources such as timber and gold, of peoples). This required detailed mapmaking and geometric (Euclidean) projection provided the most advanced technique in this regard. Second, there was the movement of large armies in the field and in occupation with their attendant logistical and communications problems. Again, a geometrical projection of spaces, space and built environment to be traversed, assaulted or occupied as the case may have been was, for field commanders at least, a desideratum and among those forces and commanders that prized military efficiency, alacrity and offensive operations it was a necessity. Third, there was the development of siege warfare, the reduction of fortified cities and the use of cannon and projectiles to breakdown walls, ramparts, and ignite other structures. Here, questions of the accuracy of moving projectiles become paramount, and by treating the air at ground level (i.e., what we would today call the lower atmosphere) as homogeneous space and cannon balls, small boulders, ignited substances, etc., purely as bodies in motion, a mechanics based on geometrization of space would be superior. Fourth, the creation in production of a world of commodities, including raw materials (e.g., wools, silk, building materials) as commodities for production of more commodities as finished goods, and beyond this, their mediation by money (as in buying and selling) as transpired daily in local marketplaces and other venues of consumption, and, especially, the movement of price as it was followed in banking, trade and manufacturer actually generates the objective appearance of homogeneous space in which, in particular, money and commodities move.
Henryk Grossmann, Descartes and the Social Origins of the Mechanistic Concept of the World, 157. Ibid. 3 For elaboration, see the Fourth Study, Part III, Theory of Truth and the sources cited therein, below. 4 On Mechanics, 147-150. (Published in Paris in 1634, this work had long circulated in manuscript form, perhaps from as early as 1600.) The machines Galileo examined are the lever, balance, windlass, capstan, pulley and screw. 5 Community and Capital, 90-96. 6 See the discussion of formal domination, Chronology and History, in the First Interlude, below.
1 2

Any theorization that attempted to systematically treat the objects of nature (and those of society and humanity simply assumed to be natural) which appeared in this lifeworld and which itself was assumed to be natural would start from a conception of homogeneous space.1 To the extent such a theorization took an account of bodies in motion not just projectiles, and probably not all with an explicit view to the movement of price as its main objective, and the analysis of projectile motion was the weakest element in Aristotelian physics, the obvious point of attack for anyone aiming at a thoroughgoing critique, it, this mechanics, would necessarily attempt a mathematization (geometricization) of nature starting from a treatment of bodies solely in their quantifiable, measurable aspect. Galileo and Aristotle, I The Question of Projectile Motion and Natural Place Under the forgoing conditions, the world in its immediacy may or may not appear eminently, but is arguably immanently and mediately (i.e., is in its intelligibility), mathematical. For Galileo, this was not only likely, it was hard to imagine how it might have been otherwise He needed only to demonstrate it The evidence is, in our view, conclusive: His intellectual training from an early age, his early fascination with mathematics (including his studies of Euclid and Archimedes directed by Ricci)2 and his dogged pursuit of mathematical study as the center around which all his other studies revolved, and, then, his relation to his father, discussions he had and work he did with Vincenzo, all point in this direction and only this direction. Elaboration of the last point (Galileos relation with his father) may assist in rendering this claim patent and manifest. Stillman Drake, a leading twentieth century, English language authority on Galileo and one of his biographers, has argued that stemming from his fathers practice Galileo's musical knowledge may have helped him design experiments. Drake suggests that while Vincenzo performed these experiments in 1588, Galileo, living at home, was present and likely helped in the experiment.3 While It might be noted that Galileos account on Archimedes use of a balance to arrive at relative densities already involved experimental reproduction of this activity, and this was undertaken two years earlier, what is really significant here (Drake does not say or appear to realize this) is the following: Any relation to his father of this sort over the course of his youth, effectively pointed Galileo the way toward not just toward experimentation but to its manner, i.e., it exhibits for us the guiding ideational mediation (mathematically Archimedean) of this activity, Galileos studies, his whole trajectory after from the time he enrolled in the University of Pisa forward. Reality in its intelligibility is mathematical. This was Galileos fundamental insight. But demonstrating it, against Aristotle showing that the immanent logic describing nature is essential mathematical, was not so easy. For, like all his contemporaries, Galileo thought in received categories, conceptually apprehended nature in terms that were basically Aristotelian Let us, then, take the following proposition (and in this we are in complete accord with Koyr) 4 that as a physicist, Galileo's orientation from the outset was toward mathematizing nature, that is, he struggled to create a language to theoretically formulate what he merely understood so that it could be known as such. In advance of any specific experiments, reflections or lawful formulations Galileo undertook or achieved, he tenaciously held onto this objective. Beginning with his first systematic effort (De Motu) dating from 1590 to the end of his scientific life (Two New Sciences published in 1638) he pursued the elaboration of this basic insight, call it his Grundprojekt... but only as Copernican and, above all else, as tenaciously and fundamentally anti-Aristotelian.
1

Lest it be forgotten, dating time in years, months and days from the birth of Christ, and telling time in terms of hours and minutes (without regard to whether one employs the Julian or Gregorian calendar), already actually and in fact reconstructs reality and the experience of reality on the basis of an empty, linear temporality, which is the counterpart to homogenous space. 2 We should be careful here. Orsilio Ricci, it appears, may have explicitly thought mathematics was not a distinctive body of knowledge, but a specific, albeit highly developed mediation of problems that emerge in engineering and mechanics. Galileo, we shall argue, not only saw mathematics as distinctive, not only as a unique key that discloses for us the structure of the real, which is otherwise sensibly inaccessible, but he assimilated the one to the other, in the language of mechanics, mathematical objects to real bodies and vice versa. 3 "The Role of Music in Galileo's Experiments," 98-104. Vincenzo demonstrated that, in contrast to the classical (ancient) understanding of harmony, mathematically understood, certain ratios did not obtain: It was thought the ratio of lengths of two strings sounding an octave was 2 to 1, and that the ratio of tensions of strings of equal length tuned an octave apart. Vincenzo showed, to the contrary, that the ratio of tensions is 4 to 1, discovering this, the latter ratio by hanging weights from strings. For all this, see online The Galileo Project, entry under Vincenzo Galilei. 4 Koyrs formulation is wrong he says Galileo strove to mathematize physics (and not nature), but his (Koyrs) intent is the same. See Galileo Studies, 28, 37, 38, 67-68, 74.

Pursuing this aim, in De Motu (On Motion) Galileo sought to elucidate, systematize and crystallize the traditional, largely well established arguments of an impetus physics, which essentially is a mechanics of projectiles: For recall, as we have already noted, the account of projectile motion is the most vulnerable point in Aristotelian natural philosophy. Aristotles understanding of motion was not restricted to bodies, whose motion is, for him, a type or kind of motion, which is generally determined as the fulfillment of what is potential as potential or insofar as it exists potentially. 1 (Thus, the heating of a cold body is also a type of motion, a passage from cold to hot.) It is, in other words, a movement from potentiality to actuality. But to the extent we are concerned with bodies, motion is the change of place of natural bodies, that is, of the sensuous or perceptually presented real forms of daily life. For Aristotle, that a heavy stone, were it, for example, to be held at head height and released, falls to the ground is a case of natural motion. Such motion is natural (as opposed to "violent" motion that would force it from its downward course) because it is heavy (as opposed, e.g., to fire which is light).2 As heavy, it moves downward toward the Earth, and that is its "nature." The stone, an element in a structured, Earth centered and ordered world (cosmos) this account at once presupposed and demonstrated a broader cosmology, and this is important because Galileo will conceive motion only as local motion and criticize Aristotle on that basis like every other being or object in the cosmos, tends toward that place where it belongs. The cosmos is a well-articulated and highly structured world, one where all objects have their natural place according to their kind, that is, a place where each properly belongs. Thus, bodies are neither indifferent to whether they are here, there or there, nor are they quantitatively assimilable one to another. Such, we might say, is the form necessity takes in an Aristotelian cosmology. In our example the stone, having "found" its place, comes to rest, its natural state wherein it is fully itself, complete and, hence, perfect While such theoretical conservatism, perhaps intellectually satisfying to those who have achieved mastery of others (great householders owning slaves) in the world where social relations of mastery and domination have the appearance of naturalness, might be incongruous and less than fully intelligible and in this sense natural where little appears stable, that is, in the rapidly changing landscape of the urban centers of the early modern world (and it alone would not suit a revolutionary temperament, as, we shall suggest, was Galileos). For us, certainly it grates on our common sense; but, then, at its origins modern science, which has become a thoroughly theoretically mediated determining moment of our common sense (scientific inputs form decisive moments in actual production of material forms, forms which constitute the everyday sensible data of our experience), was also counterintuitive even for demographically thin, bourgeois strata engaged immediately in commodity production and its financial mediations Now, as we have already suggested, Aristotle distinguished between natural and unnatural, constrained or violent motions,3 the projectile being a paradigmatic instance of the latter. This is problematic for Aristotle. Natural motion has is cause within itself, and is antecedent, but violent or constrained motion has its cause outside of itself and really (as opposed to logically) succeeds (Aristotle says it is posterior to)4 that which is by nature. Thus, there can be no constrained motion without prior natural motion.5 Moreover, for him, there can be no motion without contact.6 So, in the case of the stone that is thrown, what causes its motion once it has left my hand, i.e., once it is absent contact? The cause of the motion is in the medium, the air, through which the projectile, e.g., the stone once it has left my hand, moves. The air pushes the projectile along with a movement that is faster than that of the natural locomotion of the projectile.7 This medium or, rather, its motion is not conceived unitarily but as a consecutive series of motions each of which pushes the next along, which at a certain point becomes less, and ceases when one motion in the series, or one of the different parts of the air that are moved one upon the other, no longer causes the next to move. Air, like water, is naturally adapting and suffering motion in this manner...8

1 2

Physics, iii, 1, 201a10, 201b5. De Caelo, iii, 2, 301a21ff. This is a qualitative, not a quantitative, determination, i.e., Aristotle is not speaking about weight in our sense. 3 Ibid, 301b18ff; Physics, iv, 8, 215a1. 4 Ibid, 215a4. 5 Ibid, 215a5. 6 We can defined motion as the fulfillment of the movable qua movable, the cause of the attribute being contact with what can move. Ibid, iii, 2, 202a7. Emphasis in original. 7 Ibid, iv, 8, 215a15ff. 8 Ibid, viii, 10, 267a3ff, 267b14.

Galileos central criticism regards the relations between the mover, projectile and medium. It amounts to a counter claim, namely, the mover imparting motion to the projectile cannot be in contact with it, if the surrounding medium moves it. He proceeds by making two types of arguments. The first is instantiation. Galileo cites examples that run in direction opposite to Aristotles position regard projectile motion. The second is argumentation in the strict sense: He suggests flaws in Aristotles reasoning.1 The examples are several. He asks how can a medium be elicited to explain, in what way is it causative, of the continuing motion of a spinning top or a wheel or objects, say a sphere set atop and rotating on an axis?2 He asks about lengthy bodies (i.e., those that are neither spherical nor irregularly shaped), such as an arrow, whose motion traverses great distances even as the arrow moves through a resistant medium, the air, when fired into a headwind. 3 He queries how it is that of two objects of the same size, one heavier than the other (say, made of lead) and fired from a cannon, the heavier one might be shot farther.4 Now, in point of fact, all these criticism do raise problems for an Aristotelian account of the motion of projectiles, but they are not criticisms of Aristotle who did little more than state a position but of elaborations of his position largely by ancient, Arab, Scholastic and Peripatetic commentators and philosophers, and, it should be added, that these elaborations were often based on Church doctrine that explicitly contravened Aristotles Physics5 It is already possible here glimpse the struggle that would break out into the open three decades later in the battle between the two chief world systems of the ancients and the moderns, i.e., between theoretical expressions of the forms of organizing social life, between the bourgeoisie and the phalanx of feudal lord, Church and clergy. For, in nuce, at that moment this struggle is best theoretically formulated in terms of the question, Is real being identical with mathematical being? and is, methodologically posed in terms of an account of motion, especially of that of a projectile Galileo pushed forward. If the air moves a projectile by a series of consecutive motions, what prevents this effect from recurring indefinitely? (Why, we might ask, must one of this series at a certain point become less?) Why might each displacement give rise to another indefinitely? Galileo suggests there might even been acceleration. 6 Without reason, this cannot granted because it contradicts the Aristotelian characterization of all (sublunary) motion as limited and finite.7 Summarily, Aristotle has merely displaced the problem from the mover that upon contact causes motion, and here we are talking about the constrained or violent motion of projectiles, to the medium, the air, which tacitly assumes the latter itself is possessed (our term) of a virtus motiva impressa, a virtue (quality) that impresses motion.8 Why does this medium, air, have a special status? If we are going to presume an impressible quality, why not dispense with the complex, convoluted account and opt for simple one, i.e., the mover itself imparts to or impresses on the quality of motion on the moved?9 This straightaway led Galileos effort to refine an impetus physics. Initially and tepidly explored, chronologically speaking, in the fourteenth century by Parisian nominalists (Jean Buridan, Nicole Oresme and especially Albert of Saxony)10 in response to Church pronouncements on what is and what is not orthodox doctrine, then forgotten, resurrected and systematized in the latter half of the sixteenth century (in an effort to grapple with the implications for
1 2

On Motion, 76, 78. Ibid, 75. 3 Ibid, 77. 4 Ibid, 77-78. 5 Duhem, Medieval Cosmology (369), writes, In 1277, Etienne Tempier, bishop of Paris, condemned the following two errors The First Cause cannot make more than one world God cannot move the heavens in a straight line, the reason being that He would then leave a void. Everything that Aristotles Physics asserted about infinity, place, and time shattered when it was confronted by the power of the condemnations of Paris. 6 On Motion, 76-77. 7 Physics, vi, 7. 8 On Motion, 78. 9 Koyr, Ibid, 55 n. 101, states this objection is unfair, since air is a medium which is especially liable to motion. In fact, Aristotle does say that air or water [are] naturally adapted for imparting and undergoing motion (Physics, viii, 10, 267a5, emphasis added), but this is mere assertion, it has a fiat character, in strictly logical terms it is ad hoc or a requirement of his theorization, it is not justified, i.e., it is neither an inference that the discussion at this point compels nor does Aristotle even offer an instantiation that would render it intuitively obvious. Aristotle simply asserts it, the nature of air is to be so adapted. It is, of course, precisely natures, i.e., the qualitative determination of motion, that Galileo is struggling against which, still operative in On Motion, will lead to his failure to successful mathematize nature on the basis of his impetus physics. 10 Emile Meyerson, Identity and Difference, 117.

understanding of reality of new military technologies as they, by way of the armies bearing them, massively intruded into daily life), the characteristic features of this doctrine can be stated briefly. Whether set in motion naturally or unnaturally (violently), every heavy body is moved by an impression that is stamped (our term), i.e., impressed, upon it and thus is adjoined to the moving body, and, even if disjoined or separated from the moving body, will permit it to move by itself for some time. That which sets the moving body in motion is the impetus. This motive force, if you will (i.e., disavowing the latter, technical scientific concept of force, especially as it appears in Newton, in favor of the intended, qualitative, and, quite frankly, indeterminate conception that characterized this partial break with Aristotle), is not a medium in the explicitly Aristotelian sense, water or air. It also is not a quality characteristic of the moving body itself (i.e., prior to being set in motion), though we might say that, in impressing it, the impetus penetrates or impregnates (our tacit sexual connotation is deliberate) as a result of its initial contact with the moving body. This is the basic conception, and there are many variations on it once its relation to specific problems of projectile motion are drawn out. Koyr suggests that it is a condensation of our experiences of lan and muscular effort and as a coherent explanation of these experiences (he cites the example of getting a running start in order to make a jump), as such formed the experimental basis of medieval dynamics1 The example is, though, misleading to this extent: Galileo still considers unnatural motion within an Aristotelian framework of up and down, that is, as privileged directions (though there is no goal at which they aim, i.e., a natural place) We would point out that it is only medieval if one draws a line between what came before and after a Galileo (duly noting his predecessors, Copernicus, Bruno, Tycho Brahe, and his older contemporary Kepler), and only if one refuses recognize the internal, intimate tissue that bind daily life, and especially its social and historical structure and organization (for it is hear that the line is first drawn), and Geist. But not to quibble. Rather, we shall merely state how it afforded those who theorized it (how it afforded Galileo) the opportunity of solving the problem of the Aristotelian account of projectile motion, and to suggest the limitations of this theorization, again for Galileo. The basic difficulty lay in indicating how the moving body continues its motion after it is no longer in contact, particularly in the case of unnatural or violent motion, with that which set it in motion and imparts to it its impetus. Beyond stating the position of impetus physics, this is largely done exemplarily while the specific instance Galileo invokes is the sound of a ringing bell.2 What are the limitations to this theorization? And how did Galileo recognize them? First, but retrospectively (i.e., for us, but not immediately for Galileo), Galileos impetus physics will not give us the law of inertia, because, for him, the impetus is consumed in the motion of the moved body, which means the body will slow down, eventually coming to a stop,3 which, in turn, means that endless motion is not possible. (Recall, the law of inertia states that a body in whatever state it is in, rest or motion, will continue in that state indefinitely if nothing mediates that state, if nothing interferes with it or intervenes to change it.)4 In other words, the impetus is consumed in the motion that is imparted to the moving body. Galileo eventually abandoned this view (i.e., he forsook the impetus physics from which it followed), but, as we said, he did not immediately recognize this. What was more important is that Galileo denied that there could be acceleration of a moving body. This is internally consistent. It is a necessary consequence of the consumption of the impetus imparted to a moving body as having been moved. Put in motion, a bodys movement, i.e., its fall, is due to its weight. (Already note here that unlike Aristotle, weight is not heaviness, i.e., not qualitative, or to state the matter more precisely, heaviness and lightness as qualities have now acquired a further relational if not entirely quantitative sense). Its weight does not change; just the opposite, it is constant. A constant weight will only produce a constant speed; hence, there is no acceleration.5 Accordingly, speed is relative to weight. Two bodies of the same weight will fall at the same speed, a heavier one will fall faster and a lighter one slower. This, though, is not acceleration.6
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Koyr, Ibid, 22. Emphasis added. On Motion, 79-80. 3 Ibid, 84. We could split hairs here (it was done frequently) by saying the moving body would slow down indefinitely. In this early work of Galileo, this was not his position. 4 Retrospectively, we can recognize this is one of Galileos fundamental contributions, for it no less than Newtons first law of motion. 5 Ibid,100-101. 6 Galileo was, in fact, compelled to deal with the experiential fact of acceleration. While already suggesting his theorization is constructed mathematically (concerns ideal shapes in geometrical space and not real bodies in the space that is perceptually given to us as a relational

Unlike in Aristotle, heaviness (or lightness) is not an absolute, fixed quality, but is relational. A piece of wood that falls when dropped from a window of a building rises when submerged in water. That is, it is not (yet) weight in the sense we think of it, but weight (heaviness or lightness) relative to its medium and the circumstances of motion. Thus, specifying the circumstance, if a body is heavy in the medium it is in, it will fall. Otherwise, it will rise. The speed with which it rises or falls is measured by the difference between the bodys own (specific) weight and weight of the volume it displaces in the medium in which it is in.1 So that if it is heavier (quantitatively), it goes down, if lighter its goes up. This Galileo understood as a correction of Aristotle. Now, there are two features or consequences of this doctrine. First, the strictly qualitative determination of qualities of a moving body as they appear in Aristotle have been replaced by a quantitative, relational one which permits, in principle, their mathematical treatment. Second, it leads straightaway, contra Aristotle, to the assertion of the void: Bodies will move at proper speeds, i.e., speeds determined solely by their (true or absolute in the Aristotelian sense) weights in a vacuum.2 This means not only that motion in a vacuum is logically possible (eventually opening the door to the law of inertia and, more importantly, that of falling bodies), but we can conceive, again in principle, of a body moving in isolation from the rest of being, i.e., without reference to the cosmos in the Aristotelian sense. It is the implications of these insights which, in our view, demonstrated to Galileo the limitations of his theorization, brought to awareness at least in principle the conflict between it and what he aimed at, the project of mathematizing nature, permitting him to see in the very qualitative concept of impetus (definitionally vague but modeled nonetheless on the Aristotelian concept of form) its own weakness and shortcoming. Here we can glimpse the tendential direction of Galileos thought, the position he was being driven toward: In his early years at Padua, he would come to realize that the full implications of the position he had developed in his impetus physics. In his opposition to Aristotle, he would be compelled to overthrow Peripatetic natural philosophy at its foundations.3 He would see and understand nature geometrically (and to this extent mathematically, but not arithmetically, in terms of figures rather than numbers or magnitude) and conceive the universe, no longer a cosmos, as unbounded without center unlike those who following Aristotle grounded natural philosophy starting from the world as an orderly structure whole, treated moving bodies as teleologically impelled to their natural place, seeking validations on the basis of perceptually confirmable experiments and observations in order to resolve the issue in his favor by proving the motion of falling bodies is subject to laws governed by geometric conventions, unlike Aristotle and his followers who on different assumptions knew motion could not be understood in this manner. Reality (nature) in its intelligibility is mathematical. This is what Galileo wanted to demonstrate but couldnt as long as he operated with the qualitative concept of impetus, for impetus physics remained "pre-Galilean" or pre-modern, that is, determined from concepts of Aristotles physics. De Motu was abandoned and never finished. By the time Galileo left Padua (1610), he could fully account for the motion of bodies in a quantitative manner (i.e., as quantitative qualities). Attached to the Tuscan Court as, if you will, official mathematician and philosopher, in 1611 he was drawn into an open dispute with a Florentine archival, an Aristotelian philosopher named Lodovico delle Colombe, over the causation of the rise and fall (sinking) of bodies in water. Instead of settling the dispute dialogically and in person, Galileo left us a written account of his position. (He, upon rebuke by the grand duke, Cosimo, for what might degenerate into pedantic display, claimed a calm, reasoned written presentation would avoid a heated discussion in which digressions, misunderstandings, and ostentations were the more likely outcome),4 Galileo clearly exhibited the insight and understanding he had achieved. Colombe had asserted that cold acts on a substance by condensing it, citing ice as an experiential instance (that is, ice is condensed water). Galileo stated, to the contrary, that cold rarifies, reasoning that condensation diminished mass (understood by Galileo as volume, and not as it is understood in modern physics, as a quantity of matter as it appears in Newtons second law of motion) and increases gravity (also understood quite differently, merely as
context in which those bodies move), this explanation is convoluted: It involves a retreat to the Aristotelian concepts of heaviness and lightness impressed on the moving body and their interaction during its motion. See, Ibid, 88-89, 93-94. We shall not pursue this further in the text above. 1 Ibid, 38-39. 2 Ibid, 43-46, esp. 44-45. 3 We should be clear on this: Galileos evaluation of Aristotle was quite distinct from that of Aristotles contemporary followers. In a rather crude, very modern characterization they might be called ideologues of the Church, sycophants of its power. For Galileo's view, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (second day), 110-111. 4 Discourse on Bodies in Water, 2-3.

heaviness, as weight), while rarefication reduces a substance lighter and augments its mass. In freezing, water would increase its volume (mass) and at the same time would be lighter than that water. Hence, it would float.1 Now what was interesting were the responses of each party (as Galileo relates it, at the time the original dispute opened): Colombe stated the ice floated not because it was lighter, but because of its shape, which as large and flat would not penetrate the water due to the latters resistance. Galileo responded that shape, here flatness and great breath, was irrelevant, and that as proof pushing the ice down and submerging it would result in the piece of ice bobbing up and returning to the surface. Thus, the floatation or submersion of bodies is a consequence of lesser or greater gravity (weight) in relation to water.2 It is clear that Colombe, a Peripatetic philosopher, understood the relations that are constituted between a body and the water on which it sits (or in which it is submersed) qualitatively, that all explanations of causation are in terms of shape, form; while Galileo, perhaps recognizing quantity is itself a quality, understood that causation quantitatively in terms of a relation of relative weights, i.e., in a manner in which the determination (causation) can be set forth numerically, can be measured, one substance, a body in water, either floating or sinking, because it weighs more or less than the other, the water itself. But Galileo went further. In the days that followed this discussion, it was, according to Galileo, muted (experiments were also made) whether various forms (which he also identifies as figures, i.e., geometrically) did not alter their velocity according to their shape, as broad and thin and thus sinking far more slowing into water than shapes that are compact (to the point that in principle a shape might be so flattened that its downward motion in water might altogether ceases). Galileo denied this was possible.3 Having related this all in a preliminary, contextualizing fashion, he went further (stating his real point of departure) by offering in his Discourse an axiomatic systematization of principles on the basis of which the motion (floating or sinking) of bodies in water is thought in terms of relational quantities, principles or axioms (or definitions as one utilizes in geometry) from which all the relations of bodies to water can be deduced and are in principle susceptible to measurement.4 The relation of a body to a medium may or may not be the same for different mediums, i.e., water and air. There is similarity in that both mediums present resistance to motion;5 however, there is also one difference: An account in terms of specific and absolute gravities will not give and, for the motion of bodies in water, cannot give us the law of inertia: Even as the logical, limit case, one does not speak of a vacuum when speaking of water. (Galileo never arrived at a universal law of gravitation, for, unlike Newton, he did not have a concept of gravity, of attraction at a distance). The entire discussion of the Discourse on Bodies in Water is determined by the dispute with Colombe as evidenced by far the longest section of the work,6 in which Galileo attempted his demonstration of the proposition (the shape of body, shape itself, cannot causally determine its sinking or floating) that crystallized his opposition to
1 2

Ibid, 3. Ibid, 4. 3 Ibid. Whether his denial was made in the original discussion or only in recounting it is not clear from the text. 4 The definitions are really quite simple and include (1) equal specific gravity (grave in specie) which is achieved in a relation where two different (wax and wood) bodies are equal in mass (volume) and in gravity (weight); (2) equal absolute gravity (equal grave in absolute gravity) which is achieved where two different bodies (lead and wood) are of equal gravity (weight) and different in mass (volume), the wood having more mass; (3) greater specific gravity (more grave in specie) which is achieved where two different bodies (lead and tin) are equal in volume (mass) and different in gravity (weight), lead weighing more; (4) greater absolute gravity (more grave absolutely) which is achieved where two different bodies (wood and lead) are different in gravity (weight) without regard to mass (volume); (5) movement is defined as the virtue (using the Aristotelian term), force or efficacy with which the mover moves and the moved resists. Ibid, 5-6. From these determinations, Galileo deduced basic axioms such as weights that are absolutely equal, and that are moved with equal velocity, are of equal force and moment in their operation; the moment or force of weight is increased by velocity of a moving object (the two axioms of which come very close to a statement of Newtons second law, that of constant acceleration); weights that are absolutely unequal, alternately, counterpose and become of equal moment as their weights (in contrary proportion) answer to the velocity of their motions (meaning the amount that one body weighs less than the other determines the speed, faster, that it moves than the other). On this basis, Galileo then advanced to his discussion of which bodies descend, submerge, in water tending to the bottom and those that float. Ibid, 6-8. The fundamental theorization, as we would say, establishes the framework in which the discussion of the phenomena, now quantitatively determined, can be at all undertaken. 5 Water more than air, but only in the context of the relation of the gravities (weights) of bodies to that of the medium (its density or rarity), Ibid, 67. 6 Ibid, 26-45. By and large, Galileo does not even speak of bodies in this text. Rather, he used the geometrical term, shapes, which already suggest his mode of demonstration that we shall come to in the section that follows.

Colombe in the first place. We shall come back to inertia, but here and now we must stay with the peculiar nature of the kind of knowledge that Galileos thought and activity devolved on, namely, science in the entirely modern sense itself. At the same time, while recognizing that Galileo first established the modern sense of science, it is also necessary to note in what way his differed from the manner in which the modern science of nature developed: For Galileo, the experiment(s) that might yield measured results and that would function as a test of theorems or hypotheses derived (deduced) from his definitions (and thus at a remove might validate those definitions or axioms themselves), are, unlike the modern science of nature as it develops after him, altogether secondary or, stated more adequately, the experiment because it moves in the element of the sensuous and thereby constitutes for us perceptual evidence confirms for him what he already knew, what he had arrived at cognitively, and in this agreement (between the senses and the intellect, as he says)1 completes the demonstration, i.e., renders it sufficient and fully reasonable. Lets see if we can draw this out more fully. Galileo and Aristotle, II The Peripatetics (Aristotelians), Method and the New Science Named Professor of Mathematics in 1592, for the next eighteen years Galileo taught and conducted his research at the University of Padua. He published little: In 1606, he brought out his first book on a compass he invented; he engaged in lengthy correspondences with, among others, del Monte, Clavius, Kepler and Sarpi (who introduced him to the telescope and to whom, during 1609-1610, he adequately formulated the law of inertia); in spring 1610 just prior to his resignation at Padua, he published the Starry Messenger in which he catalogued the phenomena he had witnessed through his vastly improved telescope. What Galileo appeared to pursue most aggressively during this period of his life was an agenda of experimentation, not in our sense but in the sense of his new science. He began experiments on magnetism in 1602 (which he would again take up anew in 1626); by 1604, his research has given him a(n) (inadequately formulated) law of falling bodies (the law of constant acceleration, Newtons second law); in 1606, ongoing work culminated in invention of compass; in summer 1609, his efforts to redesign the telescope produced an astronomically adequate instrument both with commercial and military value he was quick to exploit and, of overriding import, the ability to engage in a thorough demonstration, that is, science as he understood it; finally, bringing this period to close, his experiments and reflections on bodies that float upon water beget a publication of similar title in 1612.2 What is important at this lengthy moment in Galileos development, as we are suggesting, was not the research, experimentation or reflections taken separately, but the manner in which they formed for him a unitary practice. While he did not engage in a discussion oriented exclusively to methodology in the modern sense, in that very sense his science was methodologically determinist. Thus, he expressly spoke of the centrality of grounds, procedures, and demonstrations for understanding the Copernican doctrine,3 and the positive assurances that experiments, long observation, and rigorous demonstration provide in validating astronomical propositions.4 For, it was here at this moment and it was Galileo who for the first time, first, produced the relations among theory, hypothesis, experiment and fact; second, consciously produced the complex of these relations, thus generating its form, which has been reproduced endlessly by scientists (with obvious modification as to testing) as a methodologically distinctive orientation to phenomena; and, third, laid out the meaning and significance of each of these terms (theory, hypothesis, etc.) within the whole of this relation. This is Galileos achievement, for all of these prevail in and essentially characterize the modern science of nature in contrast to Peripatetic (Aristotelian) natural philosophy and, beyond it, other culturally generalized forms of knowledge as they have appeared throughout human history We
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Letters on Sunspots (third letter), 143. He would formulate the law of falling bodies in his final work, Discourses and Demonstrations, thusly, a heavy body has an inherent tendency to move with a constantly and uniformly accelerated motion The English translation of this work was mistitled Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences. For the citation, Ibid, 74 A corollary, if you will, of this law, is, in a medium totally devoid of resistance all bodies would fall with the same speed (Ibid, 72, which, curiously, having been arrived experientially and observationally, was highly probable: It was to this Galileo concluded" after observing the variations of the speed of bodies, specifically metals as they descend or arise in quicksilver and this in comparison to the same metals as they fall when dropped in normal atmosphere.) The law finds geometrically demonstrated, precise mathematical treatment at Ibid, 174, 215. 3 Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, 195. 4 Ibid, 197.

must draw out this achievement, explicating examine and rehearse it, since Galileo himself this is not unusual in a revolutionary thinker may not have been fully conscious of precisely what he had accomplished1 The complex of these relations as we have characterized it, can be extracted from remarks and accounts of the published works of this period (Starry Messenger, Letters on Sunspots, Discourse on Bodies in Water from which we have already made a start), but it should also be noted that to exhibit these relations, their unity and their significance, i.e., the complex we call science, will, because Galileo did not systematically discuss them until his late in his life, compel to reach forward (beyond the period in question) to document his position.2 Note, first, the centrality of the construction of the instrument. Galileo offers a lucid, detailed explanation of how he produced his telescope (inclusive of accounts of the manner of determining magnification and measuring distances between stars).3 In part, the explanation may or may not be motivated by a legitimate pride in his achievement, but that is besides the point, for what Galileo intends in his meticulous description is to make its construction plain so that anyone can in principle produce a telescope, as a condition of reproducing his observational results. So what is really at issue here for him in this account is a characteristic feature of his science, namely, the public accessibility of his method of work4 (say, in contrast to esoteric scriptural interpretation among prelates behind closed doors as the foundations of Church dogma). The parenthetical remark is not an afterthought. Publicly accessible results, because they can be reproduced by anyone utilizing the same instruments and same procedures, are of the essence of Galileos new science, a science he explicitly counterposed to the mindless regurgitation of Aristotle, the commentators and pronouncements of the Church Fathers: there would be good reason to reject this, namely, prevailing opinion, for in the sciences the authority of thousands of opinions is not worth as much as one tiny spark of reason in an individual man.5 Manifest on every page, the Starry Messenger was a genuinely revolutionary work (Galileo knew it), and had to have been an extraordinarily exciting text for those to whom it was directed, a coalescing scientific intelligentsia of the bourgeoisie. (Thus, addressed to the individuals relationally constituting this social layer, it was written in Latin.)6 Taking a newly invented instrument, he qualitatively improved it and then did what no one else had ever done, put it at the very center of that demonstration (which in its most rigorous form, he considers mathematical, i.e. geometrical)) bringing his theorization, observations, their description and his conclusions together in a unity whole. While what he saw may to us appear quite transparent, after all, the telescope qua instrument gives us phenomena straightforwardly, i.e., everyone can see the objects that appear through its lenses (well, not everyone, there were those contemporaries of Galileo who questioned whether the telescope itself did not produces illusions), this is not so. Later on, once the instrument becomes more complex, i.e., becomes a grouping of instruments housed in the same setting or a laboratory in contemporary sense, which as a social development already presupposes systematization of scientific and technical inputs into production, and situations are experimentally produced (largely in laboratories) that do not occur in nature, the decisive character of instrumental mediation can be fully seen for what
1

See Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, 6, where Salviati, one of the interlocutors who conducts the discussion, states in reference to the Academician (i.e., Galileo) that according to his custom [he] demonstrated everything by geometrical methods so that one might fairly call this a new science. This is a self-misunderstanding of the extent and development of method in Galileo. 2 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632) and Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences (Discourses and Demonstrations, smuggled out of Italy and published in Leiden, 1638). 3 Starry Messenger, 29-31. 4 The is clear throughout the three texts in question, but a particularly good formulation can be found (though not expressed in our terms) in the Letters on Sunspots (third letter), 136. 5 Letters on Sunspots (third letter), 134. As to the mere authority of ancient and modern philosophers and mathematicians, I say that has no power at all to establish a knowledge of any physical proposition. Ibid, 132. These modern gentlemen were Peripatetics. In a letter written with the explicit intend of mollifying opinion within the Holy See, they constituted a stand-in for Church theologians, rabidly, scripturally literalist preachers and the practitioners who ran the Inquisitional terror. 6 Serious scientific and intellectual work of international importance was written in Latin, for this was the language understood by the scientific community. Charles Schmitt, A Fresh Look at Mechanics in 16 th Century Italy in Studies in Renaissance Philosophy and Science, 167. Galileo noted he had made his observations for a period of two months (Starry Messenger, 31, 51). Why this period? Why not much longer (like the astronomical observations of Tycho Brahe)? Thirty days determines the complete cycle of all phases of the moons movement Earth's moon, not the Medicean (Jupiters) moons, was decisive for Galileos project, since it established, even without saying so, a de-centered Earth The first month (cycle) permits Galileo to make all his observations, the second to check, compare and confirm them. Two months, then, was the minimally requisite time he needed to complete this task. The work was self-consciously revolutionary, thus the Latin, the rush to get it into print, to put it in the hands of others like himself.

it is, and the significant of experiment in science, in mediating relations between science and technology, can be revealed. Again, the phenomena present are not given straightforwardly. Instead, they are constructed (in contemporary science particularly) on the basis of the experiment: The signification they achieve begins from a projection of a mathematical world-in-itself, an assemblage of bodies in motion calculable in advance; or, in very contemporary rendition, theory (as an aggregate totality of postulates or axioms, mathematical in form, at least in one tradition of science and the dominant one today) for the first time appeared in the distinctively scientific sense, that is, in the form of an axiomatic systematization.1 (Even in production and alignment of Galileos telescope, especially in the measurement of distances between stars, there is already presupposed a mathematical appropriation of the world, a certain level of competency in utilizing geometrical concepts.) And this deployment of the instrument as consciously constitutive of the knowledge achieved is different, and novel, for even among those Aristotelian philosophers and astronomers who themselves made telescopic observations (the most famous case being that of the Jesuit Orazio Grassi), this new insight and understanding did not enter into and shape the underlying theory (which, in Grassis case, as with all defenders of the old order both in thought and social practice, remained basically unchanged, and) which at best compelled the addition of adjunct hypotheses to the original theory. But let Galileo speak for himself So, second, in his account of the surface of the Earths moon he stated, the boundary that divides the dark part from the light does not extend uniformly in an oval line as would happen on a perfectly spherical solid;2 into the luminous part extended a great dark gulf [into] which a bright peak began to emerge, a little below its center Gradually growing, this presented itself in a triangular shape;3 in comparison, on earth the summits of several mountains close together appear to be situated in one plane if the spectator is a long way off and is placed at an equal elevation, while on the moon, regarding these from a great distance, [mountains lie] nearly in the plane of their summits and appear as arranged in a regular and unbroken line.4 In all these excerpts Galileo viewed the moon in its different phases in and around dawn and dusk as the sun rises or sets on it. Thus, the play of light and shadows (present in all his observations, but recognizable only in the first two of these excerpts) reveal mountains, ridges, craters, etc., i.e., reveal, much like Earth, an irregular, rugged and uneven surface. We shall return to the astronomical significance of this shortly, but here we stress the mathematical projection that underlay Galileos account. (In point of fact, an attentive reading of the text reveals that Galileos is what well call the extreme situation, one that is rarely the case among social groups and in a culture where this mathematical projection is present, for what he actually immediately apprehends, what he sees, what is present to him intuitively in perception, are geometrical shapes, lines, triangles, spheres within the context of the play of light and dark.) 5 It is only on the basis of this projection, and in a comparison with similar features as seen on Earth, that he relates that this patch of darkness is a crevice, ravine, valley or (to use our term) crater, that this shadow is the backside of a mountain and that light is a peak. (What is sensuously given in immediate experience for you or I, is, for him, constructed.) The prior theoretical organization of experience in Galileos experiments is even more evident in his discussion of sunspots (Letters on Sunspots), where he is presented with phenomena that are not immediately intelligible (and to which there is nothing comparable on Earth). For here he explicitly lays out the theoretical assumptions that are operative in understanding and explains their instrumentally mediated sensuous appearance. In this regard, he states, The different densities and degrees of darkness of the spots, their changes of shape, and their collecting and separating are evident directly to our sight.6 But the position and motion of sunspots are not. Accordingly, in order to show that the spots are contiguous to the sun and are carried around it by its rotation requires that they be deduced and concluded from certain particular events which our observations yield.7
1

As in, e.g., the contemporary philosophy of science, Karl Popper. See the Fourth Study, Part II, Science as Method, below. Starry Messenger, 32. Emphases added. 3 Ibid, 33. Emphases added. 4 Ibid, 38-39. Emphases added. 5 This is, we suggest, only possible for Galileo to the extend that the phenomena he immediately apprehended were those that appear familiarly in his lifeworld. If they were strange, foreign or entirely unfamiliar to him, they would not have appeared as immanently geometrically meaningful and he would have been required to make the mathematico-theoretical framework operative in his experience explicit in order to render such phenomena intelligible. 6 Letters on Sunspots (second letter), 106-107. 7 Ibid, 107.
2

Those events? It is seeing twenty or thirty spots at a time move with one common movement. But there is a problem here, for seeing them is a strong reason for believing that each does not go wandering about by itself, in the manner of the planets around the sun.1 So in point of fact they are not deduced from those events, which, because the events pertain to the sunspots and their motion, cannot generate a determination of their motion, a point which, in another quite similar context Galileo fully recognized.2 At any rate, immediately following this passage Galileo undertook to elaborate for us (his readers) this theorization on the basis of which the deduction was made. He tells us, In order to explain this, let us define the poles in the solar globe and its circles of longitude and latitude as we do in the celestial sphere. If the sun is spherical and rotates, there will be two points of rest called the poles, and all other points on its surface will describe parallel circles which are larger or smaller according to their distance from the poles. The largest of all will be the central circle, equally distant from the two poles. The dimension of the spots along the circles will be called their breadth, and by their length we shall mean their dimension extending toward the poles and determined by a line perpendicular to the which determines their breath.3 The theory is a specification of the mathematical projection or, if you prefer, the axiomatic systematization to which we referred above. Third, there is lengthy deduction itself. (We shall not rehearse it here.)4 Proceeding, i.e., developing his deduction, and along the way a critique of the inconsistency of other imaginable hypotheses,5 Galileo concluded it thusly: sunspots are situated upon or very close to the body of the sun; they are of material which is not permanent and fixed, but variable in shape and size; they are movable to some extent by little irregular motions they are all generated and dissolved, some in longer and some in shorter times [and] their rotation is about the sun. 6 All of these form a set of coherent, logical conclusions he drew from what he saw through the telescope and on the basis of his basic axiomatic assumptions. Fourth, these assumptions are a methodologically specified character. They are compact, entailing the minimal number coherently possible:7 dealing with science as a method of demonstration and reasoning capable of human pursuit, I hold that the more this partakes of perfection the smaller the number of propositions it will promise to teach, and fewer yet will it conclusively prove.8 Now the theorization (mathematical projection) from which these propositions are coherently deduced is the perspective of the Copernican system, i.e., the heliocentric perspective of the (local) universe for which the planets including the Earth rotate around the sun,9 and for which these bodies all of which including the Earth appear in the sky, are essentially no different one from the other, i.e., they are an assemblage of bodies in motion, and as bodies are indistinguishable from one another [and this regardless that some are terrestrial and others gaseous, a distinction which Galileo hasnt the technical wherewithal to recognize, though, to be sure, it would not be inconsistent with his fundamental assumption]. This basic theorization stood, of course, in sharp opposition to the Ptolemaic system in which the sun and other planets revolve around the Earth (in convoluted orbits, i.e., epicycles on circular motions)
1

Ibid. The insight can be found in a series of unpublished notes appearing in the critical edition of his Works, (Opere, v, 367-370), prepared perhaps for a response he intended to send to the Carmelite priest, Paolo Antonio Foscarini. Foscarini work, Letter Concerning the Opinion of the Pythagoreans and Copernicus (Lettera sopra lopione dei Pitagorici e del Copernico), had appeared shortly after at the Letters on Sunspots appeared (spring 1613). He defended Galileos discoveries and, in particular, the Copernican system from charges of heretical deviation from scriptural interpretations (see Drakes summary, Opinions and Discoveries of Galileo, 160), in particular earthly motion. The insight itself involves the movement of a beach seen from a ship at sea relative to the movement of the latter seen from the former, the point being if one saw the one or the other only and always from the other or the one, whether beach or ship, the one or the other would appear to be in motion when viewed from the other or the one. This was a counter critique of Roberto Bellarmino, known as the hammer of the heretics (Pietro Redondi, Ibid, 5, 39), one of the inquisitors of the Congregation of the Holy Office (alternately, the Roman Inquisition and the Holy Office or the Congregation of the Supreme and Universal Inquisition), and the leading authority in the Roman Church on doctrinal matters from circa 1590 until his death in 1621. Bellarmino's perspective formulated to demonstrate the absurdity of the Earth moving around the sun was that of the ship viewing the beach only. Opinions and Discoveries of Galileo, 168. 3 Ibid. 4 Galileo, Letters on Sunspots (second letter), 107-111. 5 Ibid, 111. 6 Ibid, 112. 7 Similarly, contemporary philosophers of science, for example, Karl Popper. See the Fourth Study, Part II, Science as Method, below. 8 The Assayer, 239-240. 9 Thus, on this basis Galileo was able to recognize the stars are countless bright bodies grouped together in clusters at great distances from the Earth. (The galaxy is, in fact, nothing but a congeries of innumerable stars grouped together in clusters. Starry Messenger, 49.)
2

and the stars are fixed, permanent and perfect bodies attached to a celestial firmament. Thus, on these assumptions Galileo could in the Starry Messenger systematically compare the Earth and moon with a view to these similarities: the boundary which divides the dark part from the light [on a waning moon] does not extend uniformly in an oval line as would happen on a perfectly spherical solid, but traces out an uneven, rough, and very wavy line; there is a similar sight on earth about sunrise; meanwhile more and more peaks shoot up as if sprouting now here, now there, light up within the shadowed portion And on the earth, before the rising of the sun, are not the highest peaks of the mountains illuminated by the suns rays while the plains remain in shadow? The similarities are, in other words, unmistakable. To say this was itself a revolutionary undertaking: Galileo had completely abandoned the old (Aristotelian and Scholastic) metaphysics. He did not consider the sublunary and celestial spheres qualitatively dissimilar and ontologically distinct the surface of the moon is not smooth, uniform, and precisely spherical as a group of philosophers believe it (and the other heavenly bodies) to be, but is uneven, rough, and full of cavities and prominences, being not unlike the face of the earth, relieved by chain of mountains and deep valleys.1 Though this is not Galileos term, call these hypotheses Galileo and Aristotle, III Law, the New Science, Anti-Aristotle The theorization itself has certain important, logically secondary features, first corollaries, call them laws, which like the core of the theory itself are not subject to immediate and direct verification (which is to say that hypotheses like the ones just recounted, are). These laws are also present in Galileo, the most prominent being the law of inertia, which not by coincidence (if not well integrated with the rest of the text) found its first published formulation in the Letters on Sunspots. Speaking about the movements of spots relative to the sun, then in a general way about the possible types of motion of bodies, and in a lawful way about these motions, he states, And it [a body] will maintain itself in that state in which it has once been placed; that is, if placed in a state of rest, it will conserve that; and if placed in movement it will maintain itself in that movement. 2 Though following upon him it is no longer specific to Galileo,3 there is something here that is unique in his thinking; that is, it occurred for the first time with him. It is manner in which the law is arrived at. This is thought experiment (Gedankexperimente), or what we might more adequately refer to as the imaginary formulation of laws governing natural phenomena, their movement, interactions, etc., understood merely as bodies. For in what conditions, pray tell, do we find that a body will maintain itself in that state in which it has once been placed indefinitely, whether in motion or at rest, unless it is acted upon by some force, thus dis-placed? The situation can only be found in vacuum, which is, according to Galileo, found in nature but only in nature to the extent that nature is identified with geometrical space. The second feature is something else that is unique in Galileo. Perhaps unique is the wrong term, or the right term only with a view to the entire history of the development of the modern science of nature, for what is distinctive and singular in this regard is such because it has been lost in that development, especially in the ubiquitous physicalist formulations of this science.4 It is the epistemological connection between intellect and our senses the agreement between which constitutes the endpoint of a demonstration.5 It is, and this is of paramount significance, an agreement that is constituted as, and only as, the senses are brought into agreement with the intellect, with reason, while, dialectically, once achieved, once perception has aligned itself with reason, the demonstration is conclusive. Thus, Galileo stated, it seems to me a matter of no small importance to have ended the dispute about the Milky Way by making its nature manifest to the very senses as well as to the intellectual. 6 (I.e., the galaxy can no
1 2

Ibid, 31 (citation) and passim. Letters on Sunspots (second letter), 113. A complete formulation of the law of inertia is found in the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (second day), 147. 3 See the Third Study, the various discussions of Einstein and Heisenberg, below. 4 I.e., an axiomatic systematization, the fundamental propositions of which in this case are reductionist assumptions, atomistic postulates of a theoretical analysis projected as real, as underlying realities. See the Fourth Study, Part III, The Materialist Dialectic, below. 5 Letters on Sunspots (third letter), 143. 6 Starry Messenger, 28. And, in speaking of the shape of Saturn, he states, I, who have observed it a thousand times at different periods with an excellent instrument, can assure you that no change whatever is to be seen in it. And reason, based upon our experience of all stellar motions, renders us certain Letters on Sunspots (second letter), 102. Emphasis added. Similarly, in his Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, 179, 182, 183-184, 186, 197 and 209, what is true is in accordance with senseexperience(s) (or manifest sense or manifest experience or direct experience) to the extent necessary demonstration (or rigorous

longer be considered a firmament, an abode, at it were, of fixed, permanent, perfect bodies. Instead, it is made up of innumerable stars configuring themselves in clusters, with different degrees of brightness). Contrary to the theoretically rigid determination of contemporary science (axiomatic system, theory, experiment, testing as verification), Galileos hypotheses at least those large-scale astronomic ones could not be tested (not until recently, i.e., not without satellite imagery and probes), but testability was not in this sense part of his science. (This is clear from our discussion above of the text, Discourse on Bodies in Water, where the mode of demonstration is narrow, strictly geometrical... which to be sure, it decisive for Galileo... and logical, i.e., argumentative, without any recourse to experiment in our sense.) Instead, his science is the unity of theorization, the phenomena that are instrumentally mediated and perceptually or sensuously adduced as evidence, and the rigorous (mathematically based) argument to comprehend the latter in terms of, as confirmation of, the former: It is this deduction as a whole, or what elsewhere1 he calls the necessary demonstration (or, as in the Starry Messenger, simply demonstration), whose necessity is that of the rigor and logic or force evinced in geometric demonstrations 2, that constitute his science, arguments [that] depend upon observations precise and demonstrations subtle, grounded on abstractions3 and that might, misleadingly and inadequately to be sure, be termed as what counts as a test. And it would be misleading: While Galileo engaged in countless experiments, precious few of them would today pass muster as an experiment in our sense. This is simply because in that, our sense, experiments had no meaning for him. An experiment, for Galileo, was not intended to validate a hypothesis; it did not aim at verifying (or falsifying) a conjecture, because in these senses it did not function as a control, it was not based on artificial conditions that obtain nowhere in nature and was not aimed at prediction. (Recall, again, that the modern science of nature did not emerge full-blown or fully developed in Galileo.) For him, experiment was not de rigueur, and it was not a necessary requirement of his science: As a function of sensuous perception it was not designed to do anything other, coming at the end of a process of reasoning, than complete a demonstration by aligning itself with that reason (intellect). Thus, in the Dialogue, Galileo has his interlocutor Salviati say, tell this philosopher, in order to remove him from error, to take with him a very deep vase filled with water some time when he goes sailing, having prepared in advance a ball of wax which would descend slowly to the bottom so that in a minute it would scarcely sink a yard. Then, making the boat go as fast as he could, he should gently immerse this ball in the water and let it descend freely, carefully observing its motion. And from the first, he would see it going straight toward that point on the bottom of the vase to which it would tend if the boat were standing still. To his eye and in relation to the vase its motion would appear perfectly straight and perpendicular, and yet no one could deny that it was a compound of straight (down) and circular (around the watery element).4 The experiment thereby demonstrates that the latter, analogous to the circular motion of the Earth as it rotates on its center (axis), is common to the ball and the watery element and continues to be imperceptible, while the downward motion of the ball is peculiar to it and not shared and hence perceptible.5 The experiment completes the demonstrating aligning our senses, here what we see (upward or downward motion, animated motion as in the flight of birds, etc.), with what we have reflectively reasoned to (that the common or shared motion of the Earth is not sensibly given). But if an experiment did not complete a demonstration, i.e., if it was in our terms unsuccessful, it was simply irrelevant, discarded (and Galileo, as it were, moved on). Now, in point of fact, some of Galileos experiments (such as those in which he argued his theory of bodies floating in water with objects placed in a bucket of water) were quite impressive, convincing to those who witnessed him (which was the only reason why he preformed them). But there was no necessity that inhered in these demonstrations, in making these impressions: It should be obvious that winning the certainty of an other or casting doubt in the mind of still an other alone did not and could not make them intrinsic to his science. They werent.

demonstration) brings it into line with thought (intellect). 1 Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, 182 (twice), 183-184, 186 (twice), 209. 2 Letters on Sunspots (second letter), 119. 3 Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, 200. 4 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 250 (second day). 5 Ibid. These remarks anticipate the final section of this Study, Polemic and the Logics of Argument in the Dialogue, below.

Galileo and Aristotle, IV Social Elements in the Struggle for and against the Theocratic, Tributary Order Throughout the entire life of Galileo, the Roman Church was the largest and greatest landlord on the Italian Peninsula. During this period (Galileo's lifetime), several forms of labor (and tenure) co-existed in the countryside. These included a free peasantry that, regardless of the quality of life and livelihood its activity generated, constituted a social relation at the center of which stood the peasant as proprietor of land, tools and cottage; waged labor; and a sharecropping tenantcy. The last was the predominate form in Tuscany and perhaps all of central Italy (Moderna, Ferrara, Emilia, Romagna). It is important not simply because waged labor was largely adjunct to sharecropping, both forms additionally found in the same peasant personages, but because it incarnated really and tendentially a hidden form of proletarianization, i.e., it was an important social form through which capitalist social relations penetrated the Italian countryside. Called mezzadria, sharecropping tenancy stretched back to the early thirteen century (and forward down to the first imperialist world war). It was a contractual relation, though not one that was formalized in a written contract. The landlord, i.e., aristocrats such as Galileos friend, Frederico Cesi, and above all the Church institutionally embodied in its orders and monasteries, provided the land, the peasant tenant the labor.1 It had the simultaneous appearance of a tributary and small capitalist tenancy, but it was neither one nor the other: The peasant, altogether absent capital (in money form), took advances of seed, whatever draft animal may have been used in plowing or harvesting and thus in fodder also, and, though perhaps possessing a hoe and rake of his own, tools and equipment (plough) requisite to his activity. If the contract called for an equal split (share) of the product, the tenant invariably crushed by the weight of debt, rarely if ever saw equality in shares and just as rarely lived above subsistence (which in the socially and historically specific sense sunk to an appallingly low level). Now, there were other, further forms through which the peasant and his family were robbed of his and their livelihood (e.g., accounting practices which, always conducted by the landlord, just as invariably were conducted on his behalf), that appear again and again in other historical forms of sharecropping tenancy, but what concerns us here are those which reinforce the tributary or seemingly feudal nature of this relation.2 These included the performance of services to the lord (digging ditches to improve property), and provisions to the owner gratis of a portion of the agricultural product, olive oil or wine, wood for fuel and game killed as food. Like the situation as it prevailed on the Junker estates east of the Elbe from the middle nineteenth century through the thirties of the following century, these services manifestly had the appearance of feudal dues. And they were forms of tribute, but they were not feudal having none of the decisive characteristics of the latter already described.3 Neither the Church nor lords like Cesi were magnati (among the most enlightened landlords, there was a tendency to liberate themselves from the ignobility of this ancient form of exploitation, to forgo this tribute in favor of a strictly business relation): Far more important than services provided to these lords, all of them (and the patriarchal paternalism which was the other side of this relation), was, first, the waged labor that the peasant (and his family) provided the lord, or a merchant representing the Church (which was ironically and unknowingly encouraging the insinuation of a social relation, in the form of capitals formal domination, that would eventually undermine its social and political power), that went uncompensated but was calculated as a monetary setoff for the debt incurred, and, second, and this is crucial, the total situation of the peasant (family). First, sharecropping is a form of lease, and has appeared in history (in England, and western Europe) as a solvent of the customary proprietary rights (whether formally free or not) that protected peasants from the naked financial relation that characterized capitals formal domination.4 Second, the sharecropper was not an independent proprietor, either as a peasant or capitalist farmer. He did not produce exclusively for himself and his family a subsistence (nor did he produce for
1

Often referred to as Prince Cesi, he was titular head of the Academy of Lynceans, the group of oppositional intellectuals of which Galileo had officially been a member since 1611 (a membership he prized) and who, on the basis of Galileos draft, by prior agreement edited and brought The Assayer to publication. For the latter, see Redondi, Ibid, 45-46. 2 These other forms... bilking, swindling, defrauding, robbing and plundering the tenant... can be found in almost all forms of this odious relation. See, for example, Civil War and Revolution in America, Theses on Racial Apartheid, the Origins of Sunbelt Capital, and the Re-Ascendancy of Southern Property in the American Polity, for the situation in the United States from the end of Reconstruction until the last imperialist world war; and, Frank Snowden, The Fascist Revolution in Tuscany, 20-21, 28-29, 31-33, 41-42, 53-55, 99-100, for the same set within the context of the crisis situation in mezzadria relations from 1870 down to the eve of the first world war. 3 Reference is footnoted discussion concluding Castilian Empire in Early Modern Europe, Capitalism and Formal Domination, above. 4 This is extensively developed, below. See the various discussions under the heading formal domination in the First Interlude.

himself and provide the state with a portion as tribute). He also did not produce for a market with a view to the conditions the prevailed in it, and on this basis decide what and (if not what, then) how (much or little) to produce. Yet the value of his product was determined by the market and, after the share out, his return on his and his familys labor were decided on this basis (and lowered, often vastly, but a cheating landlord, his factor, or merchant). Instead, the produce which he kept for self-sufficiency amounted to, had the structure of, a concealed wage below its value in the market. Thus, he was effectively a disguised proletarian on the land subject to a relentless effort to drive that concealed wage down far below reproductive costs (i.e., family subsistence levels). If the formal domination of capital over labor was insinuated in this manner, it was tributary features of this relation that, for all the advantages accruing to the landlord, retarded the unequivocal, and unrestrained penetration of the value form, and rendered capitalism as it did develop on the Italian Peninsula backward all the way down to the first imperialist world war (1914) especially in central Italy, the rest of the Papal States and even more so in the Neapolitan regions of the south. Now it was (the appearance of) these tributary social forms, and the patriarchal paternalism (a gift from the lord at a peasant wedding, monetary assistance from the Church, e.g., a congregations priest, in times of really dire need) that arose from and reinforced them, which the Church defended, for it was on the basis of this mastery of masses of men and women, peasant families largely, that formed the visible, material aspect on which Church power and the old order rested. For the old order which the Church organized, and, especially for its conscious self-defense conducted by its vanguard (and here we have the Jesuits in mind), the theoretical struggle against scientists and philosophers, the literati, dramatists, poets and musicians, in a word, the innovators, who raised the banner of a new science, philosophy on different foundations and a literature that was sensuous, debased and expressed in new forms, was just another front in the struggle to maintain its hegemony, to sustain itself as Power. Against heretical deviations like those of Foscarinis effort to assimilate Copernicus, or Galileo invocations of a different, more tolerant Augustinian tradition in The Assayer, following the Council of Trent (1545-1563), Rome opted for an allout defense of the Aristotelian Scholastic cosmology and the literal significance of the Bible,1 not because this cosmology had any truth value this has never been an issue for those men who self-consciously defend Power but because it was the traditional manner in which the Bible was philosophically interpreted, and its was on the tripartite pillars of tradition, tribute, and scriptural literalism that its power and mastery rested. Above all, as the institutional expression of the power of a priestly caste, it was Biblical interpretation from which this caste had derived its own legitimization, the justifications for the right (i.e., existing) order of society, sanctions and rewards that accrued within this order (and the afterlife) that the Church had elaborated for over a thousand years and its exclusive right to that interpretation on which its immediate control over and mastery of the demographically dense peasantry was based. From Copernicus to Galileo, the new astronomy directly challenged and contravened the scriptural account of the world sanctioned by the Church and elaborately, convolutedly, defended by the clerical orders (especially the Jesuits) and Peripatetics. It was because in astronomy Galileo had crossed a line in The Assayer he did far more than cross a line from a prudent hypothetical position regarding the motions of the Earth and sun (one for which mathematical calculations were merely said to aid in determining, e.g., the locations of stars in a fixed celestial firmament) to a positive assessment of their relation (i.e., an assertion of the real heliocentric structure of this relation), that Galileo came under Jesuitical Inquisitional scrutiny.2 Historically Specific Themes in the Work of Galileo Materialist Atomism, Copernicanism, Anti-Aristotelianism Galileos distinctively different positions with regard to astronomy and physics in his later works have to be understood within the context of his submission of the domain of his fundamental theorization to the Church, and the Counter-Reformatory, implicitly counterrevolutionary struggle against, not merely heresy, but against dissent,
1 2

Redondi, Ibid, 40 (citation). Redondi states, The principal fronts of the Counter-Reformation struggle are neither the corridors of the Curia nor the salons of the Academy, but rather the plains and cities of Hungary and Bohemia, where the fathers of the Society, following the imperial line regiments, are triumphing in the territories just wrested from the Protestants, whole populations are reconverted en mass to Catholicism, by every means, at all costs even with solid coin, as Cardinal Bellarmino had cleverly suggested. Ibid, 47. Prudence, hypothetical, and positive are terms that the ubiquitous Bellarmino used to describe the contrasting positions in a letter to a correspondent concerning Foscarinis work. Cited in Drakes introductory remarks to the letter Galileo wrote Christina (mother of the Duke of Tuscany), Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, 163.

deviation and unorthodoxy, against profanation and the merest scent of sacrilege with a view to maintaining Power, here sustaining the Churchs ideological, political and socio-economic domination within the old order, a struggle at the heart and as a vanguard of which we find the Jesuits. 1 What is at issue were Galileos shifting positions, i.e., from entertainment of Copernican view of the solar system as a hypothesis to the assertion of its validity as an ontologically real description of planetary relations and a still later return to the former, a very Christian view of human cognitive limitations to a Promethean concept of those capacities, and mature defense and later abandonment of an atomistic metaphysics in favor of a mathematical phenomenalism (from a sort of an encompassing theoretically coherent, experientially and experimentally ungroundable framework underlying an axiomatic systematic and from which, as a point of departure, specific projects for further, future investigation of natural phenomena could be undertaken, call it a program for research within science to a set of hypotheses, helpful for instance in calculations of planetary motions or placement of stars.)2 Such hypotheses, which as mathematical, were believed to neither imply nor require pursuit of a commitment to a determination of the essence of things or to an ontological assessment of the structure of nature and the universe3... If we hold, and argue,4 such an orientation is impossible, an illusory project (it was nevertheless fully congruent with the Churchs evaluation of the role of philosophy, mathematics and logic, i.e., their subordination, in relation to theology in Galileos times)... If, as a research program, this metaphysics was perhaps the most interesting, intriguing and arguably the most productive perspective Galileo might have more fully developed (regrettably he did not), it was not at the center of his selfunderstanding of his own theorization, and though it implications (discussed below) created a good deal of trouble for him with the Church, the response to it was only an element in a socially overdetermined complex of pressures brought to bear on him that were decisive for his shifts in position and perspective. There are three features of this situation that must be grasped if his changing perspectives are to be adequately explained. These were the Barberini pontificate and the liberalizing opening it created, the political struggle within the Curia for supremacy in guiding overall Church policy and practice, and the specific doctrinal contents of the Roman Churchs dogma (the Eucharist phenomenon, geocentrism, unquestioned clerical authority). All were central to the Churchs emotive, political and cognitive hegemony over masses of women and men. Effectively Galileo challenged all three. Start with the papacy. Maffeo Barberini was the son of a Florentine aristocrat, i.e., a wealthy landlord with large holdings in the Tuscan countryside. His father died when he was only three, and, desirous that he have a Jesuit education, his mother relocated to Rome (where another branch of the family resided and) where eventually he was enrolled in the great Jesuit school, the Collegio Romano. Living with his uncle, Francesco, he was ordained, and in 1589 he graduated as a doctor of laws. His rise in the Church was quick.5 On 6 August 1623, days after the death of Gregory XV (a Ludovisi and pro-Spanish), Cardinal Maffeo Barberini was elected pope, taking the name Urban VIII,
1

As in our own case, it may require a personal formation within the Roman Church, and perhaps a personal acquaintance with the Order of Jesus to fully comprehend (that is, to understand and know) the Jesuitical suspicion of Galileo. Redondi is, nonetheless, helpful in this regard. Dissecting Grassis aggressive dispute (written under the pseudonym, Lothario Sarsi) aimed at Galileo earlier works and essays discussed above, Redondi states, the Libra [Libra astronomica ae philosohica 1619] transcends the terms and style of a normal scientific dispute. It reveals the controversial and apologetic matrix that saturates all forms of Jesuit polemic. The mysterious Sarsi betrays an invincible propensity to introduce into the scientific dispute hypocritical conclusions and insinuations about his opponents religious opinions Ibid, 43. There is no fight the Jesuits ever entered without the unshakable conviction that they engage the most dangerous of opponents in a life and death struggle, that there are no means that are not licit in the defeating this enemy, and without the overwhelming sense they are pursuing a divinely inspired mission. 2 For usage within modern science of the concept of a research program in this sense, see, for example, the entire discussion of the closing sections to Karl Poppers Quantum Mechanics and the Schism in Physics. 3 In the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 341, Galileo has Salviati provide a concise statement of this attitude: you must know that the principle activity of pure astronomers is to give reasons just for the appearances of celestial bodies, and to fit to these and to the motions of the stars such a structure and arrangement of circles that the resulting calculated motions correspond with those same appearances. They are not much worried about admitting anomalies which might in fact be troublesome in other respects. 4 See the Fourth Study, Part III, The Materialist Dialectic, below. 5 In 1592, he was made Governor of Fano; in 1601, he was assigned the position of papal legate to the French king, Henry IV; in 1604, he was appointed archbishop of Nazareth, which, apart from the rise in the Church hierarchy, was meaningless since the entire Levant was in the hands of the Ottomans; at the same time, he was made papal nuncio at the French court; in 1606, he was made a cardinal formally attached to at the Church of S. Pietro in Montorio (late S. Onofrio); in 1608, he was appointed bishop of Spoleto; and in 1617 he was made papal legate of Bologna.

by an overwhelming majority (fifty of fifty-five) in the conclave of eminences designed specifically for that purpose. The vote was significant, not because it exhibited agreement between the two opposing factions with the Curia (the one pro-French led by Cardinal Prince Maurizio of Savoy, the Cardinal of Savoy, the other pro-Spanish led by Cardinals Ludovicio Ludovisi and Francesco Borgia, the Borghese faction), but because of the depth of the French support the new pope achieved. Maffeo Barberini was also a literary figure (he had two volumes of poetry published in his lifetime), possessed a liberal sensibility with a view to the objectifications of Absolute Spirit in the Hegelian sense (art, philosophy, religion), was considered lively and a brilliant conversationalist; and was far more political than religiously doctrinaire in his appreciation of the great events of the day. (He also had the distinction of practicing nepotism in the Church to an extent not seen before or since his time.) His elevation had two immediate consequences. First, it created the hope, then the reality, of a cultural liberalization in a Roman atmosphere stultified by Aristotelian-Scholastic orthodoxy. 1 Second, a policy shift within the Church was directly forthcoming: His explicit pro-French leanings lent tacit support, absent monies or men, to the Richelieu guided French (financial) commitment to Protestant forces against the great French nemesis, the Hapsburgs (Austria and in particular, Spain), in the Thirty Years War. This put Barberini in opposition, not yet open (since before 1630, Hapsburg armies were largely ascendant in the various phases of the struggle then to date), to the Society of Jesus with its clearheaded assessment of the balance of forces in the war and its unequivocal defense of the program of renewal and struggle set forth by the Council of Trent for the CounterReformation Church2 embodied by Catholic Castile. Barberini did not, it appears to us, have a particularly astute analysis of the depth of the opposition in Europe to the Roman Church. He patently did not grasp a tendency of all social struggle the second feature of Galileos situation wherein two historically significant and diametrically opposed forces confront one another, namely, a polarizing tendency in which each forcefully asserts and defends what it considers fundamental to it, in the case of the Church, its power and that from which it was derived, unquestioned authority in matters of specifically religious concern, theological doctrine. But he was right about one thing, namely, the secular character of the struggle that was, for us, inseparably intertwined with its religious features: For every pious prince, lord or even burghers who objected to mandatory fasting, to priestly confession, to the worship of saints, relics and images, to indulgences, to the belief in purgatory, to Latin languages services, to the orders and monasteries, etc., etc., there were two, three, four or more princes, lords and (towns and cities who leading lights were) burghers who coveted church lands and pursued a policy and practice of expropriation. The Tudor king who financed (but alas, for him, only in part) a fruitless war with France (1543-1551) on the basis of the sale (to local gentries, effectively the origins of parliamentary power in England) of the monastic and chantry properties he seized is only the most outstanding example of the era. 3 And, on the continent, any forceful reassertion of Catholic power would have led to an effort to retake those properties and lands. Thus, the Austrian Hapsburg Ferdinands promulgation (1629) of the Edict of Restitution But let us return to Barberini. Even among those forces that opposed pope Urbans papal direction and orientation (most prominently for us, the Jesuits), the papacy as an institution, hence Barberini as its bearer, carried a lot of weight within the Curia. It was Bellarmino who, for example, not only had argued for papal infallibility (long, long before it became doctrine) but for the subordination of secular princes to his temporal as well as spiritual power,4 and it was the same Jesuits who were the greatest supporters of the papacy as an institution. They, moreover, fully supported Spanish hegemony in Europe, their military efforts to retain and enhance it, since in their Castilian brethren they recognized themselves, a spearhead against Protestant heresy, which they saw as a threat to Church political and ideological hegemony, a genuine threat to the old order, or at least the supremacy of the Church within it. Obviously, the Jesuit focus on the struggle against the Reformation put them at odds with the liberalizing Barberini with his political sensitivities to the French, and his (largely unsuccessfully realized) territorial aggrandizing appetites and proclivities for military
With regard to nepotism (see the text, immediately following), Barberini elevated three nephews and a brother to the status of cardinals, and distributed among them lucrative sinecures that vastly enriched his family. For this as well as his rise in the Church, see the Catholic Encyclopedia online. Search under Urban VIII. 1 Redondi, Ibid, 48. 2 Ibid, 47. 3 Here, we are of course speaking about Henry VIII. See the Introduction to Revolutionary Theories of the English Civil War. 4 Redondi, Ibid, 104.

expenditure restricted largely to the Peninsula During his pontificate, Barberini lavished monies on fortifications (constructing Fort Urbano at Castelfranco, strengthening defenses of the Castel of Sant Angelo on Monte Cavallo, and on the right side of the Tiber River in Rome) and armaments (remaking Civitavecchia into a military port, establishing a weapons manufactory at Tivoli) In considering the third feature of the socio-historically specific situation of Galileo, namely, its ideational moment, we can start in medias res, with The Assayer. Though we need not linger here,1 we can remark upon severe noteworthy features of the work. Written by a stylistic master, a witty, urbane, culturally refined man who, by all appearances was deeply immersed in the high culture of his day, The Assayer was a breakthrough event, one that proclaimed what had the taste and feel of a genuine cultural opening, a torrent aimed squarely at the rigid traditions defended by biblical literalists (largely ordinary clerics, especially among the Dominicans), above all, the university Peripatetics and Aristotelians, and most recently and most dangerous to Galileo, the Jesuits. 2 In this regard, it was presented in Rome as the official manifesto of their intentions and as their effort at polemical legitimization vis--vis the crushing force of institutions which based their power on tradition and authority.3 But if it was effectively thrust in the face of those guardians of the prevailing Scholastic culture, we should point out that, among them, the range of Jesuitical dogmatism was restricted to the core issues of Church doctrine (and, of course, the conviction that all reason should bed subordinated to Roman theology). In other respects, in astronomy for example, they kept abreast of all contemporary scientific development, and assimilated much of it or at least as much as did not even mediately infringe on that doctrine. Thus, for example, they had the very latest in modern instruments (e.g., telescopes) and their astronomers were first rate. Christopher Clavius with whom Galileo had corresponded up until the formers death (1612) was an accomplished astronomer (and mathematician). The said could be said about Orazio Grassi, astronomer, mathematician and perhaps the best architect on the Italian Peninsula of his generation. So, even as a bourgeois, in penning the manifesto of a tiny, cultured bourgeois stratum on the out, in taking aim at elements of Scholastic civilization, Galileo consciously took on Jesuit intellectuals onetime supporters (as long as he had respected Church strictures on astronomy), and he had to have known that the pseudonymous Lothario Sarsi was in fact Grassi. Now Galileo had long been wrong on his specific characterization of the motions of planetary bodies. (Like the Ptolemaic tradition tenaciously clung to by the Peripatetics, he maintained their orbits were circular, and thus to deal with retrograde motion he similarly was forced to uphold epicyclical motion.) He did this in full knowledge of Keplers work (The New Astronomy, 1609)4 in which, basing himself on Tycho Braches meticulous decades long observations, he, Kepler, explained orbital motion as elliptical. In The Assayer Galileo continued an ongoing dispute, one in which he was also wrong against Grassi in regard to comets. Grassi had, in astronomically modern Jesuit fashion agreed with and added new observations supporting Tychos view that as real phenomenon comets originated from deep within the solar system beyond the moon. Galileo, not unlike Aristotle himself, had argued comets were solely and strictly optical effects, the outcome of atmospheric refractions. 5 In his manifesto, Galileo had gone a long, long way toward effectively, if only for polemical purposes, embracing Aristotle and even if solely on this specific issue... merely in order to counterpose himself to a don of the reigning Scholastic culture. Galileos remarks, his puns and witticisms, his entire mode of presentation, were haughty and arrogant. He had made the issue personal. And it would come back to haunt him, though Grassi, a highly disciplined warrior, knew how, where and when to draw the line, and Galileo provided him with precisely an issue that would contribute to his later undoing. That issue was atomism. In The Assayer, Galileo explained heat in terms of the motion of the velocity (speed) and sheer quantity of small (invisible), indivisible particles in relation to our sense organs.6 Clearly laying down a marker that would come to characterize all scientific theorizing in the following centuries, Galileo not only distinguished between qualitative and
1

See the Note, Galileo and the Jesuits: Atomism and the Eucharist Controversy, below. Redondi, Ibid, 174. 3 Ibid, 29. The their refers to the literati and innovators, amongst them Galileo and Cesi, most immediately housed in the Academy of Lynceans but also in the various literary palaces and saloons of Rome. 4 This is confirmed by a 1612 letter of Kepler to Galileo. See Emerson McMullen, Galileos Condemnation. 5 The dispute dates to Galileos Discourse on Comets (1619) where this argument was original made. 6 The Assayer, 277.
2

quantitative characteristics of things (in the Aristotelian-Scholastic language he employed, substances), he not only determined that the essential features of things are its shape (in the geometrical sense) and its occupancy of objective space and time, in a word, its extension,1 he designated the objects of sensible perception (what is seen in seeing, what is heard in hearing, etc.) as qualitative and purely subjective without independent reality, as words and words only.2 In an anonymous denunciation to the proper tribunal of the Holy Office (i.e., to the Inquisitional body constituted for this purpose), Grassi had identified the core doctrinal liability of atomism, or at least Galileos formulation: If those sensuous qualities that characterize a substance the case in point being the bread and wine prior to the pronouncement of those words that signify the act of transubstantiation has occurred, for example, the white color of the wafer, its texture as it touches the tongue disappear if and when there is no sensing being to perceive them, if they are as Galileo said annihilated,3 then the specific nature of the transubstantiation the transformation of the bread and wine into Christs body and blood all the while the qualities, accidents or sensuous appearances that characterize the bread (and wine) remain just as they were cannot be true. Such was an error of the grossest, most heretical sort, at least according to the denunciation.4 At this historical moment at least, however, determination of the relations between substance and accidents could not be so unequivocally set forth, for the dogma as laid down by the Council of Trent was not intended to theologically parse doctrine, and did not employ a language that would permit such to be done.5 This was not, though, the case with Copernicanism, or what had been subsumed under that term, namely, the view that the sun is the center of the universe and the Earth itself not only is not but also moves (about the sun). Interestingly, this was not a doctrinal aspect of the work of the Council of Trent. There was in principle no reason, after all, why these issues could not have been addressed: Copernicus De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Orbs) was published in Nuremberg in 1543 in the year of his death, and the Council, meeting first in 1545, did not finish its work until 1563.6 (The Council operated in three phases, the first, 1545-1547, in which procedural, ostensible reform and some doctrinal issues were taken up; the second, 1551-1552, devoted mostly to doctrine especially sacramental issues; and, the last 1563-1565 in which disciplinary concerns predominated. In no phase was the chief, burning non-Catholic issue of the role of the papacy in the Church ever addressed.) In point of fact, the Council itself was a rearguard action, one in which wagons were circled, the core doctrines that Church could and would defend in defense of itself as Power were identified and spelt out, and the spirit if not the specific institutional arrangements (especially, the Inquisition) on the basis of which the Church might go over to the offensive was unleashed. Beyond this, as Galileos one-time friend Paolo Sarpi eloquently demonstrated, the Council and its aftermath was shot through with controversy, dissension and maneuver which gave a lie to its veneer as the rampart constructed against heresy; above all, Sarpi viewed the Council and its outcome as tragic, and demonstrated the great hopes and high expectations of Church reform that were vested in it were frustrated from the outset.7 In this respect, the Jesuits, as an order founded in the decade prior to its initial
1 2

Ibid, 276. Ibid, 277. 3 Ibid, 276. 4 Redondi, Ibid, 159-165. 5 Again, see the note, Galileo and the Jesuits: Atomism and the Eucharist Controversy, below, where this question is discussed in detail. 6 There were, in fact, problems with Copernicus work: In a strict sense, astronomers took their point of departure in their calculations from the Earth as fixed body in respect to the heavens. Copernicus required that the Earths orbit itself now assume that point in regard to celestial bodies. But these, the stars also assumed to be fixed, did not indicate the Earth was in motion (annually) by showing an annual parallax (i.e., a apparent difference of location, a spatial displacement, motion, with respect to the fixed stars). If Copernicus was nonetheless right, the heavens had to be vast and immeasurable in a sense not previously imagined. It would be largely due to Keplers effort working out a theorization, its details, with observations to substantiate them that a non-geocentric universe would become not only conceivable but reasonable. 7 History of the Council of Trent. See, e.g., the account of the years 1551-1552 in Book IV. Sapris work, in some respects reminiscent of Guicciardini (his History of Italy was first published in 1561), was in one respect at least strictly modern and critical: In it, he explicitly sought to not merely engaged in narration or recounting events but to compose a history based upon available sources that permitted him to disclose the real course and logic of events. (See, for instance, his remarks in Book III, 253). Sarpi was Catholic, but more important effectively the state theologian of independent Venice. He himself was no stranger to controversy, having been citizen and official theologian of Venice in 1605-1607 when Pius V had imposed an interdict on the city, denying it administration of the sacraments, all pubic religious services and had, to boot, excommunicated the entire Venetian Senate all in a dispute over ecclesiastical rights. (In retaliation, among others things, always contentious, always in the middle of disputes, the Jesuits had been expelled from Venetian territory.;

convocation, were a perfect instrument for pursuit of its real aims, the rollback of Protestantism, the prosecution and persecution of all those who might be deemed enemies, the banishment of ideas that did not fit the mold and the affirmation of Church dogma as the sole valid expression of the truth of God and man. Copernicanism in its astronomical aspects decidedly did not fit the mould. But it was not until 1615 that this became clear. Based on his recent publications (1610-1612), a Florentine Dominican cleric had accused Galileo, no less, of contradicting Scripture. The monk had been questioned in Rome. Galileo made his own deposition. Entirely consistent with their astronomical modernism, Jesuit astronomers informed Bellarmino that Galileo had demonstrated the Ptolemaic system was largely erroneous (perhaps that it had generated a convoluted complex of auxiliary hypotheses to do what Galileo could do with much more simplicity and eloquence on different assumptions), but he had not proven the validity of Copernicuss heliocentric system. A committee of theologians examined Galileos ideas at Bellarminos request. (This was procedurally de rigueur.) They (all eleven) concluded that Copernicus was philosophically and most of all theologically erroneous. On 25 February 1616, Paul V instructed Bellarmino to warn Galileo not to specifically hold the Earth moved or the sun was at the center of the universe. It was an injunction, but there was no official criticism or accusation of heresy. From 1616 (Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina) onward, though, Galileo had more and more openly, always carefully, indicated his support for a Copernican view of the universe, that is, the relation of the Earth and the various known planets (Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn)1 to the sun. Barberini himself may have been Copernican, and not just in the sense that he considered On the Revolutions a statement of an elaborate, consistent mathematical hypothesis.2 But the success, including papal support, which The Assayer had enjoyed permitted Galileo to pursue in earnest, as long as his health held out, a project he had first announced as far back as 1610.3 Without any real opposition, with a benevolent pope smiling on his efforts and output, the whole decade of the twenties, its liberality and tolerance, had to have swirled about in Galileos head, vastly encouraged him, told him that now the moment to forcibly as possible formulate and openly state his Copernican convictions, to once and for all in this regard undercut and destroy the Aristotelian scaffolding that supported his Ptolemaic and Peripatetic opponents. The book on the system of the world had been reviewed by the usual array of Church censors, and had all the proper religious seals of approval.4 In early spring 1632, Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems appeared in Florence. Under official Church sanction of Copernican doctrine, Galileo would not without a clear conviction that there would be no consequences have lightly engaged in an open, rather ferocious attack on basic elements of Aristotelian metaphysics (Physics, De Caela) from the perspective of Copernicus. But this precisely what he did in his Dialogue. In his introduction, he stated the tasks he set himself... they were threefold... all mediately or directly flowing from the intent to affirm the Copernican view of the universe (solar system).5 While speaking the language of astronomical hypotheses, this intent manifestly demonstrates where Galileos views lay and what he aimed at, namely, establishing the reality of the Copernican view of the world (universe). One does not assault Aristotelian thought at its foundations unless he plans to overturn it. And Galileo did: From the get go (Day One),6 articulated by Salviati and Sagredo he presents an extended critique of the ontological basis of the distinction that between the celestial heavens and the terrestrial sphere between perfection, the immutability, inalterability, invariance, etc of celestial bodies when counterposed to the dregs of the universe, the sink of all uncleanness,7 the Earth itself which, if not
Actually, there were six bodies were designated as planets, since Earths moon was also considered one. In his essay on Galileo, Emerson McMullen relates the following: While Galileo was writing the Dialogue, an interesting conversation occurred between Urban and Tommasso Campanella in 1630. Campanella told the pope that he had had the opportunity to convert some German gentlemen to the Catholic faith and they were very favorably inclined; however, having heard about the prohibition of Copernicus, etc., they had been scandalized, and he had been unable to go further. Urban answered with the following exact words: 'It was never our intention, and if it had been up to us that decree would not have been issued. See Galileos Condemnation and the sources cited therein. 3 The Starry Messenger, 43. 4 Here it might be appropriate to remark that we should not underrate either the extent or the thoroughness of Church practices of surveillance and censorship: At the gates of the cities, messengers and merchants are searched for new books; bookstores are watched and policed; bequests to libraries are not granted without scrupulous inquires; the catalogues of international fairs are under control of the omnipotent Congregation of the Index, which collaborates with the Holy Office in the work of surveillance and intimidation of authors, publishers, bookstore owners, and private libraries. Redondi, Ibid, 81. 5 Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems, 6. 6 Ibid, 40-50, 58-60, 84-85. 7 Ibid, 60.
1

a metaphysical bulwark separating the Earth in its inferiority from the heavenly bodies, nonetheless, constituted a broadside against Aristotelianism It was in late May that a limited number of copies of Galileos work appeared in Rome. So, if Galileo's publication was sanctioned, why was an Inquisitional tribunal assembled against him shortly after the Dialogue reached this city? The Thirty Years War had been ongoing since 1618. It was fought in the most backward parts of Europe, overwhelming in the central continental zone that was politically dominated by the Holy Roman empire. The latter included imperial Hungary, Hapsburg lands (Tyrol, Carinthia, Styria, Austria, Moravia, Bohemia, Silesia and Lusatia), and in excess of a thousand, largely German speaking quasi autonomous statelets and principalities nominally under the suzerainty of the emperor among which the largest where Brandenburg, Pomerania, Mecklenburg, Bremen, Saxony, Bavaria, Hessen-Kassel and Wrttemberg as well as bishoprics and archbishopric centered in cities (Fulda, Wrzburg and Bamberg, and Cologne, Mainz and Trier), and countless smaller political units some amounting to no more than the private estates of nobles.1 Because this, the arena of the war, was the largest region (considered as a region) where the formal capitalist development in Europe had taken hold the least, the armies that conducted the war were unlike, for example, in England where in the same era a civil war was fought and historically novel social strata, artisan proletarians, capitalist farmers and capitalist tenants figured decisively in one, Cromwells, of the armies composed of tributary social groups led by large landowners holding noble titles and formed by various peasant strata. Formally free cities (e.g., Bremen), and burghers, where they were involved, and such was minimal, lined up behind Protestant princes but played no independent role in any phase of the conflict. In any case, these were not national armies2 In speaking of phases, we have adopted the language of conventional, bourgeois historiography merely as a matter of convenience and not with a view to any inner logic of development of the war or even an adequate reconstruction of that development. Since we intend no account of either, this conceptual usage is passably legitimate. Thus, in the first two phases of the struggle (the Bohemian, 1618-1625, and the Danish, 1625-1629), Catholic forces emerged vastly victorious, so that, the Spanish faction itself within the Roman Curia felt no necessity to intensify its pressure on Urban to change course, to plead or argue with, to cajole or even threaten, Maffeo Barberini as pope to abandon his pro-French policy orientation. The Barberini pope was, accordingly, able to impose his line: The war is largely a secular affair. It is territorial aims that dominate it. As Galileo was deeply involved in writing his Dialogue, in its latest Danish phase, Austrian Catholic Hapsburg forces fielded two armies. Wallenstein (Albrecht von Wallenstein, duke of Friedland) had assembled a large army of mercenaries and hired his services out to Ferdinand; while the forces of the still intact Catholic League (largely recruited from southern German principalities and loyal to the Roman Church) were commanded by Tilly (Johannes Tserclaes, graf von Tilly). In April 1626, Wallenstein defeated units of the Protestant Danish king Christian's army at Dessau in Germany; and 26 August 1626, Tilly destroyed the main body of Christian's army at Lutter am Barenberge (Germany). Together, the combined forces of Wallenstein and Tilly, the latter known as Imperials, overran all of northern Germany, plundering towns and villages in their wake. Christian's forces retreated into the next year to the Jutland Peninsula with Wallenstein's mercenaries in pursuit. Here they attempted to regroup, but there was no further fighting. On 6 March 1629, Ferdinand II, Austrian Hapsburg and Holy Roman emperor, decreed the Edict of Restitution, a document voiding Protestant titles to all Roman Catholic property expropriated since the Peace of Augsburg (1555). On 22 May 1629, Danish king Christian capitulated, signed the Treaty of Lbeck, and on this basis gave up a number of minor holdings in German lands. Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister of French king Louis XIII, had been alarmed by the settlement achieved by Ferdinand, that is, the aggrandizement of Hapsburg power and prestige in central Europe. Internal crisis had
1 2

Richard Brzezinski, Ltzen 1632. 8 (map), 9. In the third, Swedish phase (1630-1635), Gustavus Adolphus army had Swedish, Finnish, German speaking and Scottish and English infantry units, the cavalry was Swedish, Finnish and Germany speaking. In the same phase, the Hapsburg Imperials consisted in German speakers, Austrians, Czechs and Poles, Magyars, Croats, Italians, and even Walloons. The latter enumeration, moreover, does not include the ethnicities of Wallensteins mercenary army. Ibid, 19-20, 23.

prevented his intervention, but he had made overtures to Protestant Gustav II Apolph (Gustavus Adolphus), king of Sweden. Gustav had long been inundated with appeals from German Protestant princes. With the promise of French financial support, and with territorial designs of his own in the Baltic region, the Swedish army entered the fight. In summer 1630, his well-trained peasant army beached on the coast of Pomerania and opened a new phase in the war. The princes of Pomerania, Brandenburg and Saxony, had promised support but afraid of a fight, especially with a view to a dozen years in which Hapsburg combat forces had largely carried the day. Indecisive, they wavered, delaying the campaign, costing Gustav the advantage of surprise and the offensive. Tilly, in sole command of the Imperials, laid siege to Magdeburg (Germany), a city in which nearly the entire Protestant population had risen against the Holy Roman emperor. His forces captured, then pillaged, sacking the city, destroying much of it on 20 May 1631. That summer, Tillys Imperials advanced on the Swedes three times and were beaten back on each occasion. Notably, the last battle (Breitenfeld), 17 September 1631 (in which the Saxons had broke ranks, fled, exposing Gustav's left flank), the Swedes had nearly lost. In their subsequent regroupment, they routed Tilly's forces. (Six thousand were killed or captured.) This was a turning point, because it opened up central German lands to Gustav, whose army marched uncontested into southern Germany down Clerics Alley (i.e., through the Catholic bishoprics of Fulda, Bamberg and Wrzburg, taking the cities of Frankfurt am Main and Mainz, the latter of which as an archbishopric was the seat of one of the seven Electors of the Holy Roman emperor), where winter camp was made.1 In late March, Swedish forces broke winter camp. They had all the appearance of being unstoppable. In Rome, there was panic. The struggle between the opposing forces at the pinnacle of Roman power exploded into the open. The pro-Spanish cardinals demanded that the Barberini regime abandon its liberality and tolerance, and renew its at any rate halfhearted commitment to the fight against Reformation in all its manifestations, in particular to the struggle against heresy and the subversive ideas of the innovators; and that it drop its pro-French orientation and align itself with the Spanish (meaning, of course, with Catholic forces in the field, i.e., the Austrian Hapsburgs).2 Against the background of events in Bavaria, a secret concave, a council of state of the Roman Church, opened. Supported by the entire array of cardinals of his faction, Borgia read a statement openly denouncing Urban, Barberini as pope. It condemned him for a heretical alliance with the Swedish Protestant king. Barberini ordered him silence, but the entire Spanish party, both its cardinals and Italian cardinals in the faction, gathered around him protecting him while he finished the statement. News of these events, and the accusation that Urban hid heretics under his wing, was carried to all the embassies, and official secretariats of Europe. Spanish and Austrian ambassadors demanded immediate, direct and open support.3 The secret concave reopened on 11 March. There were further recriminations from both sides. On the 18th, Urban struck back, expelling Cardinal Ludovisi, second among equals in the Spanish party, from Rome. There was no resolution. At the end of March, acting as special representative of the Austrian Hapsburgs, Cardinal Pazmany arrived in Rome. To the pro-Spanish partys demands for abandoning the French alliance, in addition he insisted on the Austrian need for money. In the heart of the southern German speaking lands, the Swedes attacked Tillys Imperials on the banks of the Lech River on 14 April 1632, Tilly himself was mortally wounded, and Mnchen was taken. Hapsburg forces were in disarray.4 In Rome, the pro-Spanish Borghese faction threatened Barberini with an apocalyptic scenario: Gustavus Adolphus, with his army now sitting astride Mnchen, is preparing to debouch from the Alps and descend on Rome. They have already plundered the Jesuit colleges and expelled the order in toto from the city.
1 2

Ibid, 9-11. Redondi, Ibid, 229. 3 Ibid, 229-231. 4 At this point, Ferdinand II, the emperor, immediately recalled Wallenstein (who had been dismissed following upon much pressure from high ranking Imperial officers who disliked his mercenary status, and the powers and wealth that had accrued to him in the years of war). Wallenstein possessed vast military resources of his own and was able to very rapidly assemble a creditable, massive mercenary force. He soon had his army in the field, and by the end of May 1632, he had already recaptured Prague, held by the Saxon allies of Gustavus. Brzezinski, Ibid, 11.

Memories (none living) of a little over a century old event were immediately stirred, for on 11 May 1526 a Castilian army of Charles V sacked Rome. Recounted in Francesco Guicciardinis History of Italy,1 which every literate Roman (and native of the Italian Peninsula) without exception had read, still a hundred years later the event left an indelible impression on clerics rapacious plundering, rioting and even murder without regard to faction or personage, i.e., without respect to whether or not one was of the old Roman oligarchy, held position and status within the Church, or was a wealthy foreign merchant which is difficult for us to either imagine or describe. Whether it was a ruse or the surfacing of depth-psychological anxieties or both (the latter underpinning the former), the Borghese faction exploited a fantasy fear that provoked a nightmarish dreamscape of Protestant atrocities (not unlike that white masters in the old planter South imagined in the American Civil War when male black slaves were left alone with white mistresses while the masters gathered in legislatures at state capitals they werent doing any fighting to plot ways and means of running the Union embargo on cotton). After all, it had happened once before (carried out by a Catholic army to boot). Feeding the fantasy was the knowledge of the vast treasures of Rome, the center of the universe of western Christendom for the past 1500 years, much of which was illicit gain, and, incident upon the logic of the master that knows he has wronged those he oppresses, rightfully the object of plunder. The fear was imaginary.2 Imagining or no, the Church hierarchy had no man in its midst of military stature, and even less one with enough insight to adequately assess Gustavs intentions. Fantasy, and the real forces that underlay it supremacy within the Curia and a return to a pro-Spanish, i.e., openly counter Reformation policy freely ran amuck. By late May, Barberini capitulated to the pressures engulfing him. Published earlier in the spring, at the same moment (late May 1632) the first copies of the Dialogue reached Rome. At this moment, the Jesuits were quick to examine the Dialogue. The text was grist for the mill of the renewed Counter-Reformation, now triumphant inside the Curia. At this moment, the charges against Galileo Eucharist heresy,3 Copernicanism, a blasphemous elevation of man in relation to God resurfaced. A preliminary quasi-Inquisitional tribunal was convened Barberini protected his papacy from a scandal that might have deposed him and ruined Galileo by using procedurally extraordinary measures to control these developments, and Galileo was convicted as a disciplinary offender4 he admitted to violating the terms of Bellarminos 1616 injunction to neither teach nor defend Copernicanism, and was given in
1

Guicciardini, The History of Italy, 376, 384-385, wherein he expresses some of the horror this event symbolized for a contemporary thirty-five years after the event. 2 First, the Swiss army would have to climb mountainous terrain, sometimes narrow passages, with armor (infantry), horses (cavalry), artillery pieces in excess of a thousand pounds, their caissons, the entire train of food supplies, and officer accommodations carried into the field. This was no mean feat in and of itself but its enormous difficulty would have been magnified since the most reliable, shortest route from Mnchen to Milano was through the Austrian Hapsburg Tyrol and was over 360 kilometers, two-thirds of which was mountainous and snow covered, passages which would have likely been manned by small Imperial detachments. Second, a line of communications over the mountains and a line of supplies could not be maintained. The Swedish army would have been forced to forage on the countryside, multiplying and vastly deepening any pre-existing hostility it was sure at any rate to encounter. Third, beyond the Alps lay 535 kilometers of march by way of Bologna and Florence, a portion (that between the two cities) which was also mountainous (the Apennines), though nothing like the Alps, and which would have surely hosted irregular peasant guerrillas defending their faith and its institutions with whatever damage they might inflict on the Swedish army. Mercenary forces could also be mobilized on the Peninsula, along with the comparably far smaller forces of Tuscany, Emilia, Romagna, and the Papal States. Fourth, Gustav had no immediate, practical reason to risk his forces in such an adventure, one that might trap him on the Italian Peninsula without recourse. Wallenstein was still in the field and could (and did) compel certain tactical adjustments on the part of Gustav. The Swedish kings ally and in part his financier, the French, had been right up to this moment supported by the papacy under Barberini, who had studiously avoided the conflict until this time maintaining the Thirty Years War was secular, territorially motivated and involved dynastic ambitions. Fifth, though the cardinals assembled in Rome could not have known with any certainty, Rome was not the object of the Swedish campaign. Rather, putting an end to the war there and then... by assaulting Vienna and toppling the entire edifice of the Hapsburg Empire... was much more in tune with Gustavs sensibilities, but even this he could not pursue. Wallenstein dictated this much. On this, the last point, see Brzezinski, Ibid, 13. 3 The 1624 charges were, in fact, resurrected by Melchior Inchofer, who, as one of the members of the pope's Inquisitional inquiry, had recommended that the charge of atomism be added to the others. In this regard, a Jesuit archival document that surfaced early in the past decade confirmed Inchofers role and authorship of the document that basically recapitulated Grassis 1624 position and accusation. See two pieces, the first by Mariano Artigas, Galileos Troubles and the second by Artigas, Rafael Martivez and William Shea Revisiting Galileos Trouble with the Church. The Inchofer document is reproduced in the second piece in the original Latin with translation. 4 Redondi, Ibid, 243-248, 259-260 (extraordinary procedural measures to protect the Barberini papacy and Galileo), 326 (disciplinary condemnation).

social and historically terms a relatively light sentence (house arrest, prohibition on publication). The sacrifice of Galileo was the price that the Barberini regime had to pay in order to demonstrate that it had accepted its role as spiritual leader of the old order counteroffensive against not only heresy within and without (Protestantism) the Church but against the innovators (especially those whose systematic thought lay the foundations of a new form of knowledge independent of faith), inclusive of their very material accompaniments (financing, provision of troops if required, etc.) in the struggle on the ground against the bearers of these perverse ideational doctrines.1 Polemic and the Logics of Argument in the Dialogue On first reading the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, or at first glance, Galileo appear cautious and strictly abides with the Church guidelines set down sixteen years earlier by Bellarmino. Salviati, Galileos voice in the dialogue, remarks to the ostensibly undecided Sagredo that I act the part of Copernicus in our arguments and wear his mask. As to the internal effects upon me of the arguments which I produce in his favor, I want you to be guided not by what I say when we are in the heat of acting out our play, but after I have put off the costume, for perhaps then you shall find me different from what you saw of me on the stage. 2 Thus, Salviati refers to the Copernican account of the Earth to heavenly bodies as a hypothesis,3 similarly in offering a determination of whether the Earth is a fixed or moveable body he states I am undecided about this question,4 in one of the many highly developed discussions about the motions of bodies (this concerning whether it is possible for a body to naturally have two motions), he tells us, nor do I pretend to draw a necessary proof from this; merely a greater probability,5 and, in setting forth some of reasons for the Copernican case for the rotation (motion) of the Earth, he expressly remarks, Nor do I set these [reasons] forth to you as inviolable laws, but merely as plausible reasons.6 Yet Galileo was censored. Among those charges, he was accused of discussing Earths motion as real, not hypothetical; dealing with the same as simply undecided; treating opponents of Copernican thought without respect (in fact, this treatment was on occasion disdainful bordering on ridicule). Moreover, he was also indicted for affirming a fundamental, if limited, equality of divine and human minds with regard to geometrical subjects (and, in doing so, he was further accused of presenting this equality as a basis for the conversion, our term, of supporters of the Ptolemaic system to that of Copernicus, and not the other way around. For example, he has Sagredo say he laid awake most of the night considering the reasons adopted by each side in favor of these two opposing positions).7 In all instances, the charges, while hardly exhaustive, constitute a fully adequate assessment of the Dialogue from the perspective of Church orthodoxy.8 Again for example, with a view to the equality of divine and human minds Salviati states, the human intellect does understand some of them [propositions] perfectly, and thus in these it has as much absolute certainty as Nature itself has. Of such are the mathematical sciences also in which the Divine intellect indeed knows infinitely more propositions, since it knows all. But with regard to few which the human intellectual does understand, I believe that its knowledge equals the Divine in objective certainty, for here it succeeds in understanding necessity, beyond which there can be no greater sureness.9 The last statement might very well have been
1

The Thirty Years War, however, did nothing to advance capitalist development, and if anything was a setback for it. It was notably the Thirty Years' War which annihilated the most important parts of the productive forces in agriculture, through which, as well as through the simultaneous destruction of many cities, it lowered the living standards of the peasants, plebeians and the ruined city inhabitants to the level of Irish misery in its worst form. Friedrich Engels, The Peasant War in Germany, chapter 7 (Significance of the Peasant War). In this, an objective historical sense, the Thirty Years War effectively reinforced the hold of the old order, if not the Church, over the mass of men and women in central Europe. 2 Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems (second day), 131; and late in the same day, Salviati reminds Simplicio that, I am impartial between the two opinions, and masquerade only as Copernicus only as an actor in these plays of ours. Ibid, 256; and, again on the third day, he asks his fellow interlocutors to continue our plan, which is to examine the validity of the arguments brought forward by each side without deciding anything Ibid, 369. 3 Ibid, 10 (opening speech, first day). 4 Ibid, 131 (second day). 5 Ibid, 118 (second day). 6 Ibid, 122 (second day). 7 Ibid (Third Day), 276 (citation). 8 Stillman Drake, editor of the English translation of the Dialogue that we have utilized, gives a summary of the charges in his Notes to the text, Ibid, 474 (n. 103). 9 Ibid, 103 (first day).

considered blasphemous. The only error Galileo avoided was a recapitulation of the atomism of the Assayer. And, hidden, even this was present. (We shall return to it later in this section.) Situated in a historical moment of central European war, which, in the view of the most powerful faction in the Church hierarchy, threatened its existence, Galileo was crushed by the Churchs response as a warning to wayward intellectuals. His fate was not preordained. Having long ago left Venice (Padua), he had subjected himself to enormous risk (to the possibility of Church condemnation and proscription) in stating his most firmly held, rationally defensible convictions; politically obtuse and dependent upon the arbitrary whims of great men, he was unable to independently assess the cultural climate in which he operated; and, these failings were exacerbated by the simple facts that he was vain, proud and arrogant, all of which together led him to miserably misjudge the intellectual atmosphere in which he finally published the Dialogue.1 He simply assumed an enlightened milieu, an open-minded setting for theoretical work that, having abruptly collapsed (but not without warning, one that any perceptive political observer would have noted), no longer existed, and, on this assumption, he most forcibly asserted the entire range of arguments affirming Copernicus theorization.2 Still he recognized the metaphysical element so-called in this affirmation could not produce a comprehensive demonstration in his sense of the term since such proofs are exclusively mathematical not logical3 In other words (in terms of our discussion of demonstration above), he could not conclusively demonstrate the position that he put in Salviatis mouth. We know this because of all the proofs he undertakes none are fully mathematical (i.e., have a stand alone mathematical component). He was compelled to argue his (Salviatis) position on a different basis, a basis which, literarily reproduced, was in fact, in our view, modeled on his own experience of insight, discovery and theorization. To grasp this, we are required to review the structure of the argument in the Dialogue. There are three participants in the Dialogue, Sagredo and Salviati whom we have already met and both of whom were real historical personages, good friends of Galileo whose company he greatly prized.4 The third interlocutor is Simplicio, likely a composite character bringing together all those features above all, an unswerving, dogmatic commitment to Aristotle, or his texts, as the sole and final authority in all matters that concern humanity, the community, nature and the universe that Galileo found personally repugnant in his Peripatetic opponents. The discussion among the three unfolds over the course of four days, as each day forms a major division within the text. At its core the Dialogue has the character of the Socratic-Platonic dialogue. Salviati, as main interlocutor, attempts to guide the discussion through a maze of seemingly tangential issues, digressions and peripheral questions all of which do have a more or less mediated and often hidden but important bearing on the main issue in order to produce a coherent account of the relation of the Earth and the celestial bodies to the universe. Throughout Salviatis method is Platonic in a double sense, that is, the dialogical logic of analysis is dialectical in the Socratic manner and the doctrine of reminiscence is constantly invoked as Salviati recurrently insists with regard to Sagredo and Simplicio (especially Simplicio) that resolution of even most intractable problems their discussions pose can be achieved through recollection, by probing ones own awareness and recalling what is already known The central question is whether or not the Earth is motionless and at rest or itself moves (circularly). But Galileos dialectic, particularly as it initially unfolds (first day), lacks the sharpness, and unswerving persistence with which questions are posed that, through the interplay of regressions, dead-ends and advances, achieves resolution of the question in Platos Socratic dialogues: Unlike Socrates, now Salviati, then Sagredo struggle to maintain the course, while (as literary bearers of Galileos views) permitting themselves to get waylaid by engaging in polemical detours and secondary critiques of the Peripatetic vision of the world. Galileo stated the aim of the discussions that form the Dialogue in his introduction. It is threefold: He wished to show that no amount of experiments can demonstrate the Earth moves since all are equally adaptable to its motion and rest, to investigate celestial phenomenon since he held such would reinforce the Copernican hypotheses rendering it all but unassailable, and to examine the ocean tides for, on the premise the Earth moves, he believed he might
1

And Galileo was incapable of suppressing this vanity, so that in the Dialogue he has Salviati remark, my ambition... enjoys itself when I am showing myself to be more penetrating than some other person noted for his acuity... Ibid (second day), 211. 2 Perhaps all this is unfair to Galileo. He did have a Roman imprimatur and his book was examined thoroughly by censors all of whom we Dominicans. Its just that Jesuits, not Dominicans, ran the Inquisition, which of course Galileo knew. See the Note, Galileo and the Jesuits, below. 3 Ibid, 35 (first day). 4 Ibid, 7, where this is explicitly acknowledged.

discern its causation.1 In a very rough sense each of these aims define the content of the discussions of the second, third and fourth days, respectively. The swirl of issues that sweep through the first day renders it different. It is formed in and through an exploration and critique of fundamental Aristotelian assumptions as such conceptual determinations of upward and downward motion, circular and straight motion, infinite and finite motions and with a view to these the similar determinants of celestial and terrestrial bodies. But not only is it unsystematized in even the loose sense, it is difficult for alternatively Salviati and Sagredo to keep divergences and digressions from overwhelming the proposed thematic content of the discussion to hand. Perhaps Galileos intense desire (or anxiety) to hit on all the crucial underlying questions those that immediately and directly impinge on a vision of the world lay at the source of the continuously shifting thread of the discussion. These same basic assumptions appeared in Peripatetic astronomy (i.e. the various types of motion), but they were not observational or experimental but metaphysical in the strict sense (i.e., the theorization which the propositions forming these assumptions generates has no real referent and is independent of any and all possible objective subjectivities in scientific terms, observational frames of reference and dependent on none for its validation, and, thus, are only formed logically and speculatively). It is in this context that Galileo at once politically nave and brave soul that he was undertook a rather ferocious attack on basic elements of Aristotelian metaphysics in its astronomical aspects (Physics, De Caela) from the perspective of Copernicus. It is this in the first day that concerns us most. If Galileo was to successfully argue his Copernican view of the universe, it was inescapably necessary to firmly establish that celestial bodies (planets, sun and stars) and the Earth were, as bodies, uniform or, better stated, homogeneous. This is the key, the central argument around which the entire Dialogue revolves: The matter that made up the Earth is no different, in principle, from that of Mars, Jupiter, its (Medicean) moons, the sun or the stars, and that, accordingly, the perfect circular motion of celestial bodies and their characteristics, permanence, inalterability, either belonged to both (those bodies and Earth) or neither. Again from beginning to end, this is the core of his position. So with one eye to Church strictures (i.e., to putting forth his position merely as a hypothesis that assists in astronomical calculations), he states, if it is denied that circular motion is peculiar to celestial bodies, and affirmed to belong to all naturally movable bodies, then one must chose one of two necessary consequences. Either the attributes of generable-ingenerable, alterable-inalterable, divisible-indivisible, etc., suit equally and commonly all world bodies as much the celestial as the elemental or Aristotle has wrongly and erroneously deduced, from circular motion, those attributes which he has assigned to celestial bodies2 Of course, since the distinction between gaseous formations (vaporous ones or those emitting exhalations, as Galileo would say) and solid ones arose for him just as it does for us, it is patent that only an atomism of a thoroughgoing reductionist kind would permit him to make his view of the homogeneity of all astronomical bodies stick. Within fifty years, atomism in its various forms (e.g., socially and politically in Hobbes, philosophically and metaphysically in Leibniz and his monadology, psychologically and philosophically in the empiricism of Locke), will have become self evident to bourgeois thinkers, will be the dominant form of stating fundamental assumptions. But for Galileo it was proscribed: He was forbidden open articulation of atomism because of its theological consequences.3 To boot, he confronted a further problem, for he could not proceed at least initially in the same phenomenalist manner, if you will, as he had in the Starry Messenger where recall he reconstructed, describing, the basic identity of the terrestrial features of the Earth and the moon, such as mountains, ravines and valleys. In this respect, the problem was that in 1612 the Jesuits in the astronomy section at the Collegio Romano had already recognized the cosmological significance of these lunar features and had undertaken a doctrinal revision around the edges, arguing that the underlying character, substance in Aristotelian-Scholastic terms, of celestial bodies remained unchanged even if their
1 2

Ibid, 6. Ibid, 37. The axiomatic assumptions on which Peripatetic natural philosophy was based find their precise counterparts in the theology of a perfect, eternal God which is counterposed to a corrupted, transitory and wicked world (including man). At their origins, theology and philosophy come together because the metaphysics of good and evil in Church doctrine and the underlying categories in Aristotelian physics are formally identical. This is cognitively appealing. The conceptual oppositions were consciously transposed back and forth (between theology and natural philosophy) by the early Scholastics. See the footnoted discussion of Augustine in the Introduction, Elements of the Conceptual Structure of Science, above. 3 Again, see the Note, Galileo and the Jesuits, below.

phenomenal features, accidents, may not.1 These modifications in doctrine, though slight, greatly secured the inner core of doctrine and made it that much more difficult to challenge, not to mention change. To boot, all this was now in the open so to speak, since In 1626, the 1612 discussion was made public in a work (Rosa ursina) by the Jesuit priest Christopher Scheiner (who could also claim priority over Galileo in discoveries concerning the lunar surface)... After some preliminary sparring Salviati (Galileo) argued that Aristotle (and following him the Peripatetics) inferred, deduced was Galileos term, the content of the relations of real, astronomical bodies from the logical structure of concepts that have been produced to describe them, an illicit practice which we shall refer to below as an abstract dialectic of concepts:2 none of the conditions by which Aristotle distinguishes celestial from elemental bodies has any other foundation than what he deduces from the different in natural motion between the former and the latter.3 In pursuing this analysis, and at any rate consistent with his basic anti-Aristotelian predilections, Galileo had no choice but to mount a direct assault on the fundamental distinctions that underlay Aristotelian-Scholastic (i.e., Peripatetic) cosmology as such: Before he could undertake an account of the essential similarity of earthly and celestial (e.g., lunar) appearances (accidents), he was compelled to confront the issue of alleged qualitatively different underlying substrata (substances) head on. The basic distinctions which (conceptually) grounded Peripatetic cosmology were the paired oppositions, nongenerated-generated, incorruptible-corruptible, inalterable-alterable, indivisible-division, permanent (eternal)-transitory4 It is worth noting that, taken together, the first terms in each pair constitutes descriptively the meaning of substance for the entire Aristotelian tradition right down to the time of Galileo Thus he (in the person of Salviati) continued to argue in this manner (in the manner of Simplicio, abstractly, by way of the elaborating of conceptual content without real referent), until recognizing it was fruitless, he methodologically and expressly eschewed arguments about strictly logical content of concepts Salviati warned both Simplicio and Sagredo, even as the latter opposed the Peripatetic position, against further proceeding in this mannerI see we are once more going to engulf ourselves in a boundless sea from which there is no getting out, ever 5 not however before formulating and stating his own position, the integral parts of the world [are assumed] to be disposed in the best order, and as a necessary consequence excludes straight motions of simple natural bodies as being of no use in nature.6 Thereafter he, Galileo (Salviati), undertook to resume the discussion from mutually accepted characterizations of celestial and especially earthly motions (largely ignoring the theoretical determinants embedded in these characterizations), what he called observations (and we might call facts):7 By forgoing efforts to logically parse explicit, speculative Peripatetic conceptual elaborations, Galileo was able to hypothetically pose, only if fleetingly, his underlying metaphysics (atomism)8 as an alternative without having to acknowledging what he had
1
2

Redondi, Galileo, Heretic, 234. See the Fourth Study III, Abstract Dialectic of Concepts. 3 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 37. 4 Ibid, 37, 38, 40-43, 46-47, 49-50, 58-60, 84-85. 5 Ibid, 44. 6 Ibid, 46. This is Sagredos summation. Salviatis appears a few lines earlier. (As to motion by a straight line, I do not see how it can be of use for anything except to restore to their natural location such integral bodies as have been accidentally removed and separated from their whole, Ibid, 45). Now the opposing Peripatetic views, Simplicios (also summarized by Sagredo) is that sublunar bodies are by nature generable and corruptible, etc., and are therefore very different in essence from celestial bodies, these being invariant, ingenerable, incorruptible, etc. (Ibid). The significance of this is not obvious and may not be clear. In the initial sparring, Salviati had already explained (Ibid, 37) that we should have the grace to abandon the view that the natural instinct of the various parts of bodies (say, the Earth) is to go toward the center of the earth, rather they tend toward the center of the universe, meaning that we do not know where that may be, or whether it exists at all. Even if it exists, it is but an imaginary point; a nothing, without any quality (Ibid). This is already to have entirely abandoned the Aristotelian, Ptolemaic and the Church vision of the cosmos it is to have abandoned, if only in thought, the old order and to have drawn the conclusions that the world (universe) is effectively without center, boundless if not infinite, one in which bodies are homogenous and subject to quantitative, mathematical treatment. 7 If we are to get on with our main question it is necessary [to] proceed to demonstrations, observations, and particular experiments. Ibid, 44. 8 In contradistinction, most important here was the Peripatetic belief based directly on Aristotle (De Caela, i 3, 270a 15-18; Physics, i 7, 191a191b) that generation and corruption (philosophically, we would say coming into being and passing away) arise from contraries Generation and corruption transpire only where there are contraries, contraries were said to found amongst simple natural bodies, contrary motions are made or found in straight lines between opposite ends (away from or toward a middle, that is, up or down), these motions characterize the Earth, ergo (Ibid, 39) This is an abstract dialectic of concepts, what Simplicio calls argument a priori (Ibid, 50), what from Kant onward would be called (a series of) synthetic a priori judgment(s), a conceptual elaboration without experiential foundation.

done (not to mention rehearsing its criticisms), even if in so doing, he had to permit Simplicio to retreat to his narrow (experientially ungrounded) explications of conceptual content, which, at any rate, served as grist for his mill (criticism of Peripatetic natural philosophy at its weakness points) and established a setting for stating his perspective (in its strongest aspects). From this point forward, Galileo shifted the terrain of the discussion. For the most part, Salviati no longer argues about concepts without referents, metaphysically it is no longer a question of a dispute over the logic of concepts as concepts (incorruptibility, immutability, etc.), but largely a quarrel that is sustained by reference to the evidence provided by the heavens and the Earth itself. Thus, always with an eye to exhibiting the homogeneity between various heavenly bodies and the Earth, Salviati points to changes in the heavens, to the supernovas of 1572 and 1604 the former of which was so bright that it remained visible in the light of day for three weeks. 1 As new stars that appeared then disappeared, these changes were bona fide evidence of the mutability of celestial bodies. (Hence, the identity in underlying nature with the Earth; thus, the substantial homogeneity of all bodies populating the universe.) Then, he pointed to sunspots (and their friend, Galileo himself, who with his telescope had provided them with an excellent account in his Starry Messenger): They are demonstrably contiguous with the sun, real not illusory, change size and shape, vary motions, and come into being and pass out of it.2 Finally (to close out their first day), the three interlocutors discussed the moon and its relation to the Earth at great length,3 a discussion that was punctuated by lengthy excursuses into mirrors and refracted light,4 and the brilliance of light as reflected respectively by polished and ruff, dark surfaces.5 The discussion of the play of light and shadow and lights reflection were not digressions, because, like that of sunspots (whose reduction in speed and size are apparent for anyone who knows how to observe them and calculate diligently),6 the meaning and significance of the lunar phenomena are not always immediately given in perception (i.e., in seeing them through the telescope). Observation is not perception.7 While Galileos astronomical critique of Peripatetic doctrine is evidentially grounded, it is nonetheless largely a logical, discursive argument with important analogical moments that are aimed at bringing the argument to intuitive clarity. This is even more manifest in the second days discussion, and before closing this section we shall cite one, the central argument in that discourse to make this clear. Discussion on the second day is largely given over to the question of whether the Earth is mobile or at rest. Salviati present seven reasons (arguments) why he is rationally convinced the Earth periodically revolves around its own center (motion that is diurnal, completely occurring in a period of a day, twenty-four hours), and those bodies that include the moon, sun, planets and stars and that make up the celestial sphere do not revolve around a stationary Earth. For our purposes here (i.e., to exhibit the manner in which he argues and the form of his argument) it is necessary and important to enumerate them even if in compressed form: First, considering the immense size of the starry sphere relative to the minuteness of the Earth, a relation that he identifies as many millions of times greater, with a view to the immeasurable velocity (speed) required for this vast sphere to turn over in a single day, it
Salviati suggests that contraries may not have existence in nature. He ridicules Simplicio and the Peripatetics (teach me natures method of operation in quickly begetting a hundred thousand flies from a small quantity of musty wine fumes, showing me what the contraries are in that case Ibid, 39-40), cities experiential instances of which this concept (of contraries generating anything) not only does not illumine but confuses our understanding of phenomena (Ibid, 40), and then concludes, Besides, I never was thoroughly convinced of any transmutation of substances (always confining ourselves to strictly natural phenomena) according to which matter becomes transformed in such a way that it is utterly destroyed, so that nothing remains of its original being, and another quite different body is produced I do not think it is impossible for transformation to occur by a simple transposition of parts, without any corruption or the generation of anything new (Ibid, 40). Now in counterposing the transposition of parts, i.e., individual, indestructible particles, to the generation and corruption of substance, Galileo was not only negating and denying the distinctive feature of the Earth (as opposed to celestial bodies), that is, arguing for their homogeneity and posing an alternative that undercuts the Peripatetic-Church doctrine, he was not only tacitly reasserting his atomism (in this context, Ibid, 45, 46, he distinguishes the elements of fire, water, etc., from their particles), his account went right to the heart of the Eucharist dogma undermining it. (Was not, for his contemporaries, bread a natural phenomenon? If so, how could its substance be transmuted, how is transubstantiation possible?) 1 Ibid, 51, 52, 57-58. 2 Ibid, 52-54. 3 Ibid, 62-71, 86-91, 95-101. 4 Ibid, 71-77. 5 Ibid, 77-84. 6 Ibid, 54. 7 See this Study, the Note, Observation, Experience and Experiment in Galileo, below.

is far more reasonable and credible that it is the Earth that rotates.1 Second, astronomical observation incontrovertibly shows that planets in their orbits move slightly west to east. But if the Earth is at rest and heavenly bodies as a whole, this sphere, moves around it, this motion must then be made to rush the other way; that is, from east to west, with this very rapid diurnal motion. If, however, the Earth rotates, then a single motion that is west to east accommodates all the observations and satisfies them all completely.2 Third, the rotation of the entire heavenly sphere upsets the orderly circulation existing among those specific bodies with which were are familiar, and about the period of whose motion we are certain. The greater the circle described, the longer the period of rotation. Thus, Saturn completes its rotation every thirty years, Jupiter in twelve years, Mars takes two, the (Medicean) moons of Jupiter, sixteen, seven and three and a half days and forty-two hours respectively, beginning with the largest orbit and ending with the smallest. Yet, if the vastly larger celestial sphere is to rotate around the Earth it must be done in twenty-four hours.3 This is absurd. (While if it was conceded the Earth revolves around its own center, on its own axis as we say, it would disrupt none of these relations. The absurdity would disappear.) Fourth, there is a question of the immense disparity between the motions of the various stars. Some would be required to move very quickly in very, very large circles; others at a snails pace in very small circles according to their location relative to the poles. For someone with the sensibility of a mathematician, this is a matter of bad judgment, and would reflect rather poorly, Galileo merely hints at this, on the wisdom and insight of the Creator.4 Fifth, observations of the heavens go back in the traditions to which Galileo related two thousand years. It is patent that some stars have shifted position over this period of time. Some that were found on the celestial equator are found in our time to be many degrees distant.5 Thus, these stars have and will be required to keep changing their orbits and velocities, some will of necessity be required to slow their motion describing smaller orbits. Further, over a great expanse of future time some will be required not only to slow, but to stop and then restart their motion.6 Sixth, the Peripatetic view characterizes the starry heavens as solid, and by this means that the various stars are fixed firmly in the places (our term) within the celestial sphere, that they do not change places amongst themselves. This is simply not compatible with the disparity of motions that the same view requires in order to assert the immobility of the Earth. Seventh, attributed to the vast sphere of heavenly bodies innumerable numbers of which are much larger than the Earth, the diurnal rotation would have to be of enormous strength and power carrying the planets in a direction opposite their orbit as well. Yet the Earth, a small and trifling body in comparison with the universe, would be unmoved by this entire motion.7 Galileo was compelled to make these arguments some of them based on recent astronomical observations (especially those made over decades by Tycho Brahe and later systematized by Kepler if for no other reason that, based on Ptolemaic theorization, the Peripatetic universe was merely a development of immediately given perceptions codified as common sense: After all and most obviously the sun goes round the Earth, it rises in the east each and every day and sets in the west, again each and every day; to boot, if the Earth does rotate on its own center, is it not reasonable to believe objects would fly off it? Why aren't rock and animals... thrown toward the stars and why do buildings remain attached to their foundations?8 So the first thing he had to establish was a principle (and the presentation of its formulation precedes the enumeration of various facts, his seven arguments) that accounts for our experience, the datum that you and I standing here on solid ground do not and cannot immediately perceive the motion of the Earth: Motion, insofar as it is and acts as motion, to that extent exists relatively to things that lack it; and among things which all share equally in any motion, it does not act, and is as if it did not exist. 9 A good case can
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Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (second day), 115 (second day), 396 (third day). Ibid, 117. 3 Ibid, 118-119. 4 Ibid, 119. 5 Galileo used the term celestial sphere in both the Ptolemaic sense that counterposes it to sublunar bodies primarily the Earth, and in a more technical, astronomical sense. With regard to the latter, The background of stars upon which the precessing path of the Earths spin axis is traced is called the celestial sphere. The celestial sphere is a coordinate system defined by a fictitious sphere of infinite radius on the inside of which are projected the positions of the fixed stars and the geocentric coordinate system defined at a given epoch Thus, the celestial north and south poles and the celestial equator are the projections of Earths North and South poles and Equator on the celestial sphere. Herbert Shaw, Craters, Cosmos, and Chronicles, 32. 6 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 119-120. 7 Ibid, 120. 8 Ibid, 188. The question is posed by Sagredo. Salviati provides a lengthy and, on Galilean assumptions, convincing response at Ibid,190-197. 9 Ibid, 116.

be made that this principle rises from a systematic reflection on experience in one of its non-mundane, comparative modalities itself. Salviati points out that, the goods with which a ship is laden leaving Venice, pass by Corfu, by Crete, by Cyprus and go to Aleppo. Venice, Corfu, Crete, etc., stand still and do not move with the ship, but as to the sacks, boxes, and bundles with which the boat is laden and with respect to the ship itself, the motion from Venice to Syria is as nothing, and in no way alters their relation among themselves.1 Thus, the central theoretical moment of immediate understanding itself is not given with that experience. Galileo must drive it home We do not witness the motion of the Earth because it is common to all of us and all share equally in it2. But Galileo, the Dialogue and two centuries of the development of the modern science of nature cannot make this so. It is counterintuitive and can only be understood analogically, e.g., by reference to the situation in shipping between Venice and Syria. But once science systematically entered production and reshapes the world of daily experience in and through the production of a world of commodities on a capitalist basis,3 the modern science of nature began to become part of our thoroughly theoretically mediated common sense. Science became a decisive moment in the actual production of material forms, these forms and the broadest, albeit inexplicated theoretically scientific categories they presuppose became embedded in and tacitly live in that experience itself, as those forms constitute the everyday sensible data of that, our experience. But until this moment, generations of humanity are stuck, so to speak, with this analogical form of understanding, and the logic of Galileos, and scientific, arguments must devolve on it: If, from the cargo in the ship, a sack were shifted from a chest one single inch, this alone would be more of a movement for it than the twothousand mile journey made by all of them together.4 Only on this basis, do the astronomical observations that Salviati relates (especially, those contained in arguments two, three and five) and explicitly theoretical arguments that he makes (those contained in arguments one, four, six and seven) make sense. But even on this basis, these (theoretical) arguments are not immediately intelligible to Peripatetic common sense. Another principle, bound up with the first, characteristic of bourgeois thought itself, is intertwined with the rest of the argument(s). This principle entails regularity, efficiency and economy in thought and practice, and here specifically in heavenly motions. It invokes Ockham. In offering his third argument in which he indicates a rotation of the whole heavenly sphere upsets the orderly circulation existing among those specific bodies, Salviati speaks of the alteration of a very harmonious trend and explicitly notes that the times he calculates for rotations of Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn with that of the requisite twenty-four hours for the entire celestial sphere is the minimal disorder that can be introduced. In his fourth argument, Salviati refers to the difficulty of the immense disparity in the motions of the stars as indeed a nuisance. In his sixth argument, he opposes the rotation of the Earth to that of the celestial sphere as more effective and convenient.5 Disorder of any sort whether minimal or tending toward maximal, difficulty that constitutes a nuisance, effectiveness yoked to convenient are not necessary expressions of a psychological state shaped by a compulsion for orderliness (though they may be), but a logical requirement of a type of argumentation and cognition for which economy in thought is, not just desirable but, de rigueur and essentially characterize rationality as such. The principle is present and operative from the start: Salviati concludes his first argument by asking, who is going to believe that nature has chosen to make an immense number of extremely large bodies move with inconceivable velocities, to achieve what could be done by a moderate movement of one single body around its own center? 6 This is an astronomical statement of the Ockhamist principle that the worth, value and effectiveness of argument and explanation is to be found in its economy, or, in Galileo's formulation a parenthetic portion of the previous citation
Ibid. Ibid, 116, 374 (third day). Galileo returns to this later over the course of several pages and in pursuing several digressions on the second day making the same point, again and necessarily analogically, by reference to a heavy stone dropped from the mast of ship, while it is stationary in harbor and while underway, moving by sail upon the winds of the sea (Ibid, 141-155). Salviati summarily remarks, the experiment will the show that the stone always falls in the same place on the ship, whether the ship is standing still or moving with any speed you please. Therefore, the same cause holding good on the earth as on the ship, nothing can be inferred about the earths motion or rest from the stone falling always perpendicularly to the foot of the tower (which references another discussion and experiment). Ibid, 144-145. 3 We identify this moment in the history of the development of capitalism with what we call the real domination of capital over labor. See the First Interlude, below. 4 Galileo, Ibid. 5 Ibid, 119, 119 and 120, respectively. 6 Ibid, 117.
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omitted by way of ellipsis by general agreement nature does not act by means of many things when it can do by means of few;1 or, as Sagredo much later argues more forcefully, Nature does not multiply things unnecessarily she makes use of the easiest and simplest means for producing her effects [and] she does nothing in vain2 Thus, we see that in central discussions of the Dialogue (the second day and as we shall see the third also),3 Galileo proceeded by polemically counterposing his Copernican perspective to the underlying Ptolemaic and Peripatetic view of the universe in a clash between concepts and theories (e.g., substance and accidents versus implicitly atoms and local motion) that are speculatively and logically grounded (i.e., where questions of consistency and internal coherence and not those of evidence are supreme), and, then, having established a perspective of weight and at least equivalent validity, he further developed his arguments on analogically sensible (perceptual) (second day) or geometric grounds (third day) and developed them by proceeding logically in the necessaritarian (not syllogistic) sense (i.e., if this, then that). It is within this framework that Galileo's (Salviati's) presentation is governed by demonstration in his sense in which, epistemologically, our senses are brought into agreement with intellect by way of theorization, observation and experiment.4 The structure of the argument on the third day follows far more than less the same format. After a lengthy discussion inclusive of extensive calculations disposing of a residue issue from the first day (the question of whether the supernova of 1572 and 1604 were celestial or sublunar phenomena),5 Salviati turns to the question of whether the Earth, like the other planets, rotates or orbits around a fixed center,6 which neatly dovetails with his avowed purpose of considering celestial phenomena in their relations to one another in order to buttress the Copernican perspective7 (or hypothesis, as he calls it). He begins by formulating the fundamental underlying position (one that is metaphysical because it lacks a real referent, where the sense of real is shared) that governs the Aristotelian-Peripatetic perspective: Whether the earth is or is not at that center around I say it turns it is necessary that we declare ourselves as to whether or not you and I have the same concept of this center.8 Simplicio responds straightforwardly: By center, he means that of the universe, the world, the stellar sphere, the heavens.9 But, in stating such, he misses the basic issue, for as Salviati indicates, I might very reasonably dispute whether there is in nature such a center, seeing that neither you nor anyone else has so far proved whether the universe is finite and has a shape, or whether it is infinite and unbounded.10 Galileo quickly much quicker than on the second day and for good reason11 grants Simplicio his unfounded Peripatetic assumption, eschewing the metaphysical question, and proceeds to evaluate the arguments for Earths centrality,12 but not without remarking that none of Aristotles arguments held unless this assumption was made for they all rested on it.13 (Thus, concession was made merely for the sake of argument, which no doubt
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Ibid. Ibid, 397. 3 We shall forgo discussion of the fourth day. It is devoted to Galileos theory of tidal causation it is not accepted today (for this, see Drakes remarks, Ibid, 489, n. 415, the theorization itself appears at Ibid, 426-431, 431-434, 435-436) but what is most important for us is that, unlike in days two and three, Salviati does not legitimately buttress the Copernican perspective on the solar system. Instead and to the contrary, he explicitly presupposes (Ibid, 426) both the Earths diurnal and annual motions to make the case for that theorization. 4 See The Peripatetics (Aristotelians), Method and the New Science above, and the Note, Observation, Experience and Experiment in Galileo, below. The disparate results, and the inadequacy of the senses in and of themselves, is stated most forcibly by Galileo on the third day. In reference to the annual motion of the Earth around the sun, Salviati tells Sagredo that, I repeat, there is no limit to my astonishment when I reflect that Aristarchus and Copernicus were able to make reason so conquer sense that, in defiance of the latter, the former became mistress of their belief. Ibid, 328. 5 Ibid, 280-319 (third day). For the significance of this discussion the novas came into being and quickly passed away indicating that, if they were celestial in origins and nature, they were also transitory and mutable see this section, above. 6 Ibid, 319. 7 Ibid, 6. 8 Ibid, 319. 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid. 11 As Drake points out (Ibid, 486, n. 319), this was dangerous ground for Galileo to tread since it was precisely for intransigently declaring the universe infinite that the Inquisition condemned Giorgione Bruno to death. 12 Ibid, 319-320. 13 Ibid, 320.
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enhanced the risk Galileo was taking.) As he did on the first day, Salviati continues, renewing his point of departure, by invoking powerfully convincing observations,1 i.e., theoretically mediated accounts of phenomena that are, as accounts, largely shared (viz., the specific theoretical premises mediating these observations are not apparent). Whereas on the second day, Salviati himself formulated the basis several (seven) arguments supporting the proposition the Earth turned on its own center on which the crucial discussion of that day hinged, by the third day discussion, argument and persuasion have come far enough that it is none other than Simplicio who articulates with Salviati deploying the Platonic mnemonic methos to assist him that basis (at least in the consideration of the motion of the planets), which consisted in (an instrumentally mediated) mathematical (calculative) and geometrical assessments of the spatial relations (distances) between Earth and the sun respectively, to one side, and the six planets (Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the Earths moon) to the other side, all with regard to opposition and conjunction.2 On this basis (which entails the production by Simplicio of a correct diagrammatic representation3 of the known solar system on heliocentric assumptions that include a fixed center), the crucial discussion of this, the third, day hinged and follows, and in unfolding proceeds by way of, the same format, opposition of the two chief world systems (Copernican and Ptolemaic) and consideration of their relative merits with a view to coherency and the fullest account of celestial phenomena. From here on, the discourse in its structure shifts ever so much from the second to the third day: Simplicio quotes Aristotle less, is also less certain of his Peripatetic convictions; while Salviati proceeds with more confidence, more often putting forth both potential Peripatetic criticism of Copernican,4 as well winning responses, and Copernican criticisms of Ptolemy,5 which appear unchallengeable. Of particular interest and import were the three major difficulties of the Ptolemaic-Aristotle view of a geocentrically centered solar system: For here, natural bodies with circular motions, the sun, planets and the moon, were described in terms of irregular motion with respect to their own centers but regularly around the Earth; to conform to observable movements (to appearances), these bodies were made to move in contrary directions (retrograde motion); and, to move at varying speeds, that is, to move fast at one moment, slower at another, and even to stop and then advance. (Thus, Ptolemy was compelled to introduce epicycles to account for these observed characteristics, where observation, of course, is relative to, the Earth-bound observer.)6 Within the mathematical (i.e., geometric) limits of his explanation,7 Galileo was able to offer a diagrammatically described, far simpler and far more elegant account on his heliocentric assumptions.8 This, the consideration of planetary motion and in particular retrograde motion, planetary stoppings and advances, constitutes the first major investigation of the third day; the second major investigation is formed in the account and discussion of sunspots.9 While the discussion is lucid, more elegant in the Galilean sense than that of the Letters on Sunspots, the presentation being geometric and visual (i.e., graphic), and while Galileo reaffirms his Ockhamist commitments in his (Platonically) dialectical and critical examination of the Ptolemaic account of sunspots, what is really interesting in the discussion is methodological and philosophical.10 Methodologically, in his account of
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Ibid, 321. Ibid, 321-326. Opposition and conjunction are astronomically relational events, used by Galileo to designate the relations among sun, Earth and a third heavenly body (the moon or one of the known planets). The former occurs as the Earth, sun and say the moon, all at the same celestial longitude, are on a line with the Earth between them. It will produce a full moon or (infrequently) a lunar eclipse (at the point in the moons orbit when it is closest to the Earth). Conjunction, on the other hand, occurs as, on the same celestial longitude, the sun and moon are on the same side of the Earth (moon is positioned between sun and Earth). It will produce a full moon or (rarely) a solar eclipse. 3 Ibid, 323. 4 Ibid, e.g., 329-330, 334, 339-340. 5 Ibid, e.g., 331-333, 335-336, 337-339, 340. 6 Ibid, 341-342. 7 For this limitation, see Conclusion, II, below. 8 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 342-344. 9 Ibid, 347-351. The third and final major investigation of the third day involves making the case for alterations and differences that ought to be perceivable in the fixed stars so-called on the basis of annual movement of the Earth. Ibid, 368-379, and, less directly, 390-396. 10 Ibid, 353-355. Salviati recounts the Ptolemaic account and shows it requires four distinct motions. He states, Now if these four motions, so incongruous with each other and yet necessarily all attributable to the single body of the sun, could b reduced to a single and very simple one then really it seems to me that this decision could not be rejected. Ibid, 355. In point of fact there is more at stake than this. The incongruities require a series of ad hoc hypotheses (see Ibid, 354-355) or the abandonment unacceptable to Galileo and the science he founds and that undergoes extensive development starting from him of universal causality.

his Lincean Academician friend (i.e., Galileo) Salviati (again, Galileo) began from, undeveloped to be sure, a heliocentric projection of solar system relations, made a series of observations, elaborated his initial theorization and returned to observation, now carried out systematically and carefully over a number of months, and then formalized the theorization (inclusive of its geometric form of presentation). This practice, mutually mediating theorization and (observational) experience is, methodologically speaking, a process of concretion and dialectical in our sense.1 Philosophically, against the force of his own arguments which in various places he (Salviati) declares convincing, sound, doubtless, free of incongruities and inanities and based on correct demonstrations2 Galileo continued to uphold the charade that he does not give the arguments the status of either conclusiveness or of inclusiveness, since his intention has not been to solve anything about this momentous question, but merely to set forth those physical and astronomical reasons which the two sides set forth. 3 (Salviati refers to the entire exercise in terms of neither affirming or denying anything, but merely a practice in which the participants philosophize jokingly and in sport, having made certain assumptions and desiring to argue about them among[st] themselves, among friends.)4 The problem is that the further the interlocutors develop their discussion, the deeper Salviati probes, the clearer it is that compelling logic and evidence support his Copernican position Is the Dialogue Science? With academic philosophers and historians of science who defend this paradigm of bourgeois theory (i.e., the modern science of nature) as a universal human achievement, the Dialogue is largely believed to be something a little less than real science. Among those whose works have been cited herein, Koyr exemplifies this attitude: The astronomical part of the Dialogue is particularly weak. Galileo completely ignores not only Keplers discoveries but also even the concrete content of the works of Copernicus. The heliocentrism offered us here by Galileo is of the very simplest form (the sun in the centre with the planets in circular motion around it), a form which Galileo knew to be false.5 Of course, not all philosophers of science agree with this assessment.6 The larger part of Koyrs argument, of course, is that Galileo was a Platonist 7 for Koyr, there are only two authentic forms of philosophizing, Platonic and Aristotelian that genuine science is mathematical and Platonic, i.e., proceeds deductively to generate laws in Koyr it appears this is ex nihilo, that is, without reference to sensuous instances (in science, experimentally generated observations) that exemplify the law (universal) as, say, in Husserl, but then, there is that curious account in the Discourses and Demonstrations of the law of falling bodies where bodies of different weights are said to fall at the same speed in a vacuum, an account which is initially observationally grounded, not deduced8 Galileo did ignore Keplers findings,9 but then he did so consistently from 1609, from that time at which we know with certainty he was aware of them, right down to the end of his life (thus, inclusive of the 1638 Discourses and Demonstrations, real science for Koyr). The heliocentric view Galileo defended it was not exactly what Copernicus defended is not as simple as Koyr makes it out to be since the stars that constitute the celestial sphere, and knowledge, understanding and calculations of their motions weighed heavily in his assessment that the
1

Ibid, 347, 352. In our sense the dialectical character of Galileos method is briefly discussed in the account of the alignment of the senses with intellect (reason), this Study, Galileo and Aristotle, III: Law, the New Science, Anti-Aristotle, above, and in the further discussion of a priori and a posteriori arguments in Note 1, Observation, Experiment and Experience in Galileo, below. Further, see the Fourth Study, Part III, The Materialist Dialectic and Theory of Truth, and Part IV, Critique of Historicism, the concluding three paragraphs, below. 2 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, passim. 3 Ibid, 357. 4 Ibid, 358. 5 Galileo Studies, 222, n. 115. See also the critical remarks vis--vis Koyrs unconsciously ideological understanding of Galileo in the Note, Observation, Experience and Experiment in Galileo, below. 6 Drake's appreciation of Galileos science is broad yet specific, and, from the perspective of Galileos crucial and irreplaceable work in the development of science, goes far beyond Koyrs petty criticism. See his notes to this (his) translation of the Dialogue, e.g., Ibid, 476-477 (n. 165), 478, (n. 194, 199, 201), 479 (n. 213, 216), 480 (n. 223, 228, 230), 486 (n. 319), 487-488 (n. 372), and 490 (n. 451). 7 Galileo Studies, 205, 207, 208, 223 n. 223 and 226 n. 188. Then, of course, there is Koyres Metaphysics and Measurement which devotes an entire chapter to Galileo and Plato, 16-43. 8 Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, 72-74 , discussed in the opening paragraphs of The Peripatetics (Aristotelians), Method and the New Science, above. See the second footnote in the section. 9 In this respect (i.e., with regard to the Dialogue), see Drakes remarks, Ibid, 490 (n. 455, 462).

Earth must revolve on its center and around the sun. Galileo recognized the positions of these stars are not fixed, as, for example, evinced by the discussions of the supernovas. 1 The sun is a star, even on Ptolemaic assumptions a part of the celestial sphere. Tacitly, in this regard (that is, as a star) Galileo also recognized the sun has its own motion, and explicitly in the discussion of sunspots on the third day, this was particularly important for his argument he asserted the sun rotated around its own axis (or its center, and that axis is tilted, not perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic)2 The year 1632 is not 1939, and even if there are formal similarities (central Europe in its entirely is at war) the Thirty Years War is not a historical analog to the last imperialist world war, for in the first case it is the old tributary order which is struggling to retain its limited hegemony against nascent capitalism, and in the second case the conflict within capitalism between the democratic imperialists and their atavistic, totalitarian counterparts. The formal freedoms to publish that Koyr took for granted (which could be taken for granted to the extent that science and the technologies of capital it animates are decisive, determinate inputs to production, i.e., precisely because science is at home in the world of capital) had little relevance and even less meaning in the world in which Galileo lived and operated. Galileo knew the form of heliocentrism that Koyr imputed to him is false (and we assume he did, but then it was not what he defended). His position was patently contradictory, but not so much logically but as a lived contradiction in the sense that Galileo was too far ahead of his times... We shall come back to this shortly... Here note though, first, that nowhere did he fetishize the heliocentrically fixed position of the sun (as we indicated, his arguments implicitly suggested otherwise); and, second, that he was, above all and for better or worse, a man of and for his times, a passionate anti-Aristotelian committed to Copernicanism as the sole framework in which he could openly defend the new science, a project which had its first premise getting the work (the Dialogue) by the censors, stamped with Church (Dominican) approval. Having made the fateful decision to leave Venice (i.e., compelled by his own bourgeois instincts that found him hoodwinking the Venetian Senate over his telescope) and return to Florence, this project was necessarily pursued under carefully scrutinizing Church eyes... Had he been able to consistently develop (and develop here entails publishing and openly discussing) his atomistic predilections, this research program, the Dialogue might well had an additional, more scientific aspect (in Koyr's sense). But, then, developments of this sort were made possible by, socially and historically presupposed, precisely the struggles that he went through (which, is not to say and affirmation of this is part of the sense of our argument, that his work cannot be reduced to an effort to avoid the censors). Koyr, whose self-appointed task appears to be to preserve the sanctity of a Platonized science (i.e., one detached from its lifeblood, capital, which is ironic since science is as just as abysmally parasitic, as the vampire, capital, it draws its strength from), does not, emphatically does not, grasp the methodological significance of his truly great works The Starry Messenger, The Assayer, and the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems and their import for the new science of the bourgeoisie as it was beginning to emerge as a historical class. Instead, he vastly prefers the lifeless abstractions of the Discourses and Demonstrations, a study of simple bodies based on geometry, a straightforward accompaniment to his study of simple machines (On Mechanics) dating from his last decade at Padua. Published outside the Italian Peninsula (in Leiden), the Discourses appeared as Galileo knew his life was nearly its end, and, though atomism does appear in the latter,3 it appears strictly within the confines of a mathematical phenomenalism disconnected from its philosophical (here or in this case, astronomical and cosmological) implications and consequences: It is devoid of animating character as, what we today would call, a metaphysically constructed set of assumptions for the purpose of forming a guiding research project for scientific inquiry and analysis (as Galileos atomism in The Assayer functioned). In this respect, the Discourses and Demonstrations sadly symbolized the internalization of Church strictures on his work. Published abroad, in it Galileo could have fully explored that atomistic research program. He did not. Instead, it was the work of a man who had been castigated, humiliated and beat down. Make no mistake about it, it was the work of a defeated man.
1

Ibid, 461-462, where without even reference to the supernovas Salviati asserts the extremely accurate measurements may detect minimal motions of the fixed stars that otherwise remain imperceptible. 2 Ibid, 350, 351-352. 3 Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, for example, 49, 51-52, 55, 60-61, where Salviati provides geometrical arguments for the necessary of vacuums (vacua) within the framework of an account of indivisibles (even called atoms) in the constitution of a infinitely sided polygon as it is projected on to a circle.

Conclusion, I Triumph of the New Science There are historically transcendent themes in Galileos new science that derive from his project of mathematizing nature. The conceptual elaboration call it his new science he developed to realize this end (telos) included methodological determinism, his orientation toward quantitatively expressible laws, the truth and efficacy of demonstration constituted in bringing the senses into agreement with the intellect, die Gedankexperiment. These cannot be exhausted in terms of an extreme historicist thesis: It cannot, for example, be reduced to a manoeuvre (e.g., forgoing elaboration of an atomistic metaphysics) aimed at avoiding heretical condemnation and further proscription The mathematization of nature (proceeding by way of the geometrization of space, if you will by way of Archimedes) was, in fact, crucial for the development of the new science. It is crucial because without it the problem of motion cannot be solved, i.e., until motion is quantified it is impossible to technically elaborate practical procedures involved in systematic nature mastery. Short of this, for example, all machines or devices that do work will at best be modeled on movements of (parts of) the human (or animal) body, with the sharply curtailed multiples of human (or animal) effort this entails, which, effectively, is merely the equivalent of recruiting additional labor, manpower if you will, to complete a task or project. Once the problem (of motion) is solved (it is only inadequately so in Galileo), it will in principle become possible to create means, procedures, instruments and tools, always as we shall see yoked to capital accumulation, that vastly multiply human effort and that, precisely they have such capacity, have no analogue in the human (or animal) body1 Aristotles account, involving from our standpoint an expansive sense of causality (including material and final causes absent in Galileo), is of course, qualitative, and cannot, without at least doing violence to the sense of Aristotelian concerns, be mathematized. Aristotle, then, started from the experience of daily life and, within both the cultural and theoretical contexts in which he moved and operated, developed an elaborate, sophisticated theory of natural motion. Mathematization (geometricization) of these bodies means that Galileo, on the other hand, was dealing with ideal shapes (circles or spheres, straight lines or level planes, etc.) Stated differently, these bodies are dealt with purely in their quantitative aspect, and it is sufficient to consider them as such. The core of the debate between the two, Galilean and Aristotle, physics remained the difference in accounts of "bodies in motion." Accordingly, for Galileo, there was nothing on the order of "natural places" recall it is this assumption, together with that of the Earth as the stationary center of the universe, that made Aristotles account of the free fall of bodies so intuitively obvious Galileo's world, the world of science, begins with theoretical projection of a centerless, i.e., nonEarth-centered, perhaps infinite, or, preferably, boundless universe. While various formations within that universe may exhibit symmetry, without a center and limitation there can be no natural place to which bodies tend toward and where they rest Its presentation too begins with a theoretical projection, Gedankexperiment or thought experiment. (Who, pray tell, has ever seen or witnessed a frictionless body moving in a straight line endlessly?) Only those with the crudest notions of the role of theory in human existence think otherwise. At any rate, everyone in daily life is a good Aristotelian, knowing that this body will gradually slowdown eventually coming to a full stop If ideal shapes moving, as it were, in geometrical space are not real bodies moving in real space, Galileo, to the contrary, took mathematized shapes as real instances of bodies: For him, bodies could accordingly be indifferent not only to place but also to one another: In principle, they are, given similar masses, interchangeable. For him, these bodies tend toward perpetual motion, and, under ideal conditions (conditions that Galileo considered real), bodies will regardless of weight (whether rock or feather) move the same distance in the same period of time. But, to be sure, eternal, straight-line motion is an ideal condition: It is in principle unwitnessable and unverifiable; it occurs in an imaginary, empty (vacuous) and boundless space; and, it is a product of this imaginary experiment It is enough to have stated these differences to grasp that, materially (that is, as regards contents) and logically, the two theories in question are not comparable. Even more broadly and in point of fact, late sixteenth century impetus theory with its quasi-Aristotelian cosmological assumptions, Galilean physics with its Copernican metaphysics and Newtonian celestial mechanics all account for the phenomenon of daily life, say a projectile, the motion of a thrown stone after it has left the hand, and do so with similar facility and consistency. Of course, that consistency is internal, i.e., refers us to the relation of the terms of the description of such phenomena to their basic theoretical assumptions.
1

Under the heading of Capitalist Technology and Technologies of Capital, see the discussion of de-organization in the Postscript, below.

To boot, the latter are not reducible one to another, for example, Galilean physics cannot be explained as an instance of Newtonian mechanics, and the concepts which as propositions form the basic assumptions of one theory cannot be defined coherently integrated into another, say, impetus theory into Newtons mechanics,1 or, in our language, the theories are incommensurate. Thus, not only were both theories that of Galileo and the Peripatetic elaboration of Aristotle in the experimental sense coeval (that is, both could in the same measure make predictions within the same margin of error),2 but within the framework of daily culture of the tributary West (i.e., exclusive of the merchant, banking, great artisan layers of the rising class situated largely along the coastal edges of this social formation), Aristotelian assumptions with regard to natural phenomena constituted prosaic common sense.3 On this basis alone, Galileos mechanics should never have scientifically established, much less triumphed. Why, then, did it? Galileo was aware of this situation, whether his audience was or not. A master stylist, in his major works he parodied Aristotle and the Peripatetics with an intelligent yet foolishly misguided speaker who defended the Peripatetic perspective. Familiar with both intellectual perspectives, in all likelihood Galileo recognized there could be no outright theoretical victory over Aristotle, or the Aristotle as understood by the Peripatetics. Yet, it is just as likely that he recognized the world familiar to contemporary Aristotelians was not the world his audience lived and acted in The logical and content-based incommensurability of the two theories probably escaped this audience, the middling groups in the tributary Italian Peninsula and beyond, the fabled rising bourgeoisie 4 For his audiences standpoint, the intellectual content of Galileo's argument, we suggest, simultaneously appeared theoretical and social: Galileo's critical destruction of Aristotelian physics would have also been taken, even first and foremost taken, as an element in an attack on a hegemonic but declining tributary culture, in particular on the Church, its concerns, expectations, demands all of which impinged on banking, merchant and artisan-becoming-industrialist practices (regarding, e.g., usury, questions of the treatment of the poor, the exploitation of labor). And, thus, for this reason (one that has otherwise mystified certain scholars) Galileo wrote in the vernacular.5 In the context of an account of motion congruent with the commerce- and work-based concerns of the emerging active bourgeois elements in the societies of Europe, the absence, or, rather the successful elimination, of forms and final causes, obliquely implying the devaluation of the moral order of the world the Peripatetics were rooted in, largely constituted the substance of Galileo's victory over Aristotle.

See Paul Feyerabend, Explanation, Reduction and Empiricism, 46-62; and the same authors Realism, Rationalism and Scientific Method, 62-67, for a discussion of incommensurability with reference to Newton mechanics and 16th century impetus theory. Similarly, Duhem states that it is impossible to establish any relationship between the first principles of this dynamics and the essential axioms of Newtonian dynamics, Medieval Cosmology, 374. The unidentified dynamics refers to that of the tradition as he, and others who write strictly intellectual histories, reconstituted it, running from the ancient commentators on Aristotle, through their latter Arab counterparts, Ibn Bajja, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), to the Scholastics and even to 14th century Parisian nominalists. A quite different (though analogous) situation developed in nineteenth century physics. Meyerson described the dilemma that arose in experimental verification of the principle of the conservation of energy. In determining the quantity of heat required to increase the temperature of a point water by 1 F, Joules data were not only wildly at variance with those of Sadi Carnot and J.R. Mayer, but with themselves. Meyerson concluded, it becomes really difficult to suppose that a conscientious scientist, relying solely on experimental data, could have been able to arrive at the conclusion that the equivalent must constitute, under all conditions, an invariable datum. Identity and Reality, 194-195. Meyerson understood the problem of the character of energy (its tendency to dissipate itself) in terms of the necessary linkage of the specific conditions of the experiment to the principle (law) formulated (Ibid, 195-196). Granted. Further, if, as we hold, specific theoretical elements enter to the construction of an experiment, we may also have to reach back and examine that relation. 2 Feyerabend, Realism, Rationalism and Scientific Method, 59-60, 275 n.66, 318-322. For example, Ptolemy gave the maximum distance of the Earth to the sun as 1210 terrestrial (i.e., Earth) radii; Copernicus gave it as 1179; and Galileo gave it as 1208. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Stillman Drake's notes to the text, 487 (n. 359). All distance vastly underestimated by a factor of roughly 19 the distance as measured today. Ibid, 482 (n. 253). See also Ibid, 294-307 (third day) and, in particular, Drakes remarks on this discussion, Ibid, 484 (n. 297), 485 (n. 302). 3 Feyerabend, Ibid, 318-322. 4 Stillman Drake (Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, 2) makes the same point less the class specificity. 5 Confirmed in a negative way by Charles Schmitt, who wrote in a remark cited above that Latin was the international language of the scientific community.

Conclusion, II Quality, Measurement, Quantity The modern science of nature did not spring from the head of Galileo, fully elaborated. A long development postdated him, in its mathematical aspects receiving novel treatment well down into the middle of the nineteenth century and beyond. For Galileo, to mathematize nature meant to merely geometricize it, to conceive and understand its underlying intelligibility in terms of ideal perfect shapes, triangles, straight lines, spheres, etc., which, existing only in areal Euclidean space, he took to be really real. Methodologically in Galileo we do not, furthermore, find an orientation toward prediction, which, in turn, yields a separate and distinctive, fetishized practice of testing. This orientation was not a matter of whim or caprice. It did not emerge in Galileo because it could not: Effectively for him, and for the entire development of the modern science of nature at its origins which took shape and then crystallized in polemical opposition to Aristotelian natural philosophy, geometrical shapes are measurable qualities, which are accorded primacy in relation to perceptual ones. In this singular feature, Galileo did not go beyond Aristotle or, more preferably, Peripatetic natural philosophy as it had developed over the past three quarters of a century: His thought was tied to it precisely because its development, genuinely novel as it was, was fully and always in opposition to it Perhaps it is characteristic of all rationalist philosophy as such, and surely of the modern science of nature, but Galileo was also further tied to Aristotle in fundamentally positing not merely orderliness in nature, but the best order,1 meaning nature maximizes order (e.g., symmetry) and, beyond Aristotle (or following Ockham), economy Thus, a fundamental shift has yet to occur, and it would only occur when these measurable qualities were reduced to quantities (and not just to quantitative qualities), which, in turn, has allowed for numerically determined predictions validated by experimentation now understood as testing. In this regard, Galileo did not, in other words, attempt an arithmetization of geometry (for which nature has the meaning of mere spatio-temporal magnitudes). Thus, his mathematized nature had not undergone a decisive transformation for which it, nature, has the sense of functional relations holding between pure numerical configurations.2 This was the limitation of the Galilean science of nature. In our view, the first and decisive step in its remedialization was undertaken by Leibniz and Newton in their respective, independent creations of an integral calculus, for, because the calculus can provide us with rates of change of a given quantity (figure the slope of a curve at a given point, calculate the area bounded by a curve, permit us to compute minimal and maximal values of functions, etc.), it was here from this point forward that motion could be understood without reference to qualitative determinants, strictly in terms of number. Once a start on arithmetization is made, the road to a technification of method, so to speak, an ongoing improvement centered upon elaboration of formalizing aspects in the development of laws, of lawful formulae, can be and was undertaken, without regard to initial content (i.e., quantified determinants themselves become content). It is in this technification that the origins of those phenomena, the qualitative features and characteristics of bodies as they are perceptually experienced, is completely lost sight of, forgotten or, avoiding all subjectivizing, methodologically concealed, then obliterated, i.e., beginning from the phenomenal distinction between primary and secondary qualities, the separate of quantity from quality is, automatically if you will, transposed into a doctrine (metaphysical in the scientific sense, to be sure) that rests on the radical, ontological distinction between reality and illusion. The specific contemporary form of this doctrine is what we call physicalism.3 For it is only when a purely quantitative determination of natural phenomena became possible, that statements about these phenomena, first, can take the form of general propositions about functional dependencies obtaining between measured quantities, and then, be formulated as laws concerning these functional dependencies, laws that are in the strict sense numerically expressed, laws that give rise to predictions which are, in turn, subject to experimental testing. Eventually, on this basis nature can without further reflection simply be assumed to have the meaning of spatio-temporal magnitudes.4 At this moment (and every step along the way as aspects of movement that rises to
1

The integral parts of the world [are assumed] to be disposed in the best order. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 44 (first day), 46; 115 (second day), 242. 2 Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of European Science, 43-48, esp. 44. 3 See the Fourth Study, Part III, The Materialist Dialectic. 4 Husserl, Ibid, 45.

this moment), the elaboration of scientific method in and through which sensuous surrounding (earthly) nature and the totality (of nature) in which it and we are embedded, rejoins the original projection of nature as a mathematical world-in-itself, a purely quantitative assemblage of bodies in motion, which has its everyday common sense counterpart in the immediate intuition of nature as a raw material basins for capitalist production, a point that in the history of the development of capitalism we identify with the real domination of capital over in production.1 From this moment forward, the modern science of nature is strictly determined in the methodological sense. Discussion of this development will have to wait until our Fourth Study.

See the First Interlude, Real Domination, below.

Note1 Observation, Experience and Experiment in Galileo Alexander Koyr wrote, The only role in the birth of classical physics played by observation, in the sense of simple observation, the observation of common sense, was that of an obstacle.1 Yes, in Galileo, observation is not perception, that is, it is not immediate experience in its sensible (sensuous) form. For him, it is nonetheless a form of experience, but complexly mediated. In a passage already cited above, Koyr also stated, As for experimentation the methodical interrogation of nature it presupposes both the language in which its questions are to be posed and a terminology which makes it possible to interpret natures replies.2 While this tacitly begs the question of just how language and a terminology, i.e., concepts and their syntheses as theories, originate, setting aside this question, indeed, this too is so. But if observation is not perception, then, in Galileo, neither is it experiment as we understand the term, i.e., it is not one in which investigation entails a carefully designed, theoretically prepared artificial situation that, in testing a prediction, presents us with results that validate or falsify a hypothesis, law, theory, whatever, from which the prediction had been derived. However, Koyrs reading of Galileo, as a Platonist pure and simple, is simply wrongheaded (perhaps an attempt to assimilate him to the exalted science of his own day, e.g., relativity physics, and distinguish him from its, one gets the sense, bastardizations in the Anglo-American world, the practice of which has always been tacitly and today has openly become synonymous with science as such). And while it is correct to say that in Galileo, The experiment supports or weakens an argument. It does not replace it,3 it is simply mistaken to state, The experiments which Galileo, and others after him, appealed to, even those which he did actually perform, were not and could never be anything more than thought experiments,4 and not just because to actually perform an experiment, to sensuously engage oneself in a bodily acting that involves the deployment of instruments, is to go beyond merely thinking (i.e., imagining), but it is fail utterly and miserably to grasp the role and significance of the activity of experimentation in Galileo: He did invoke experiments (including those with real bodies) as well as observational experience in his attempted refutation of Aristotle or the Peripatetics as the case may have been, it is just that he cited, invoked or rested his case on experiment only as a concluding moment in a demonstration, one that renders it, the demonstration, intuitively self-evident. Koyr provoked indignation from those that argue for the centrality of experimentalism (with, if not empiricism then, its eschewal of any mathematical Platonism) in Galileo, and tacitly in the modern science of nature (Rossi, Drake),5
1
2

Galileo Studies, 2. Emphasis in original. Ibid. Similarly, Emile Meyerson: But does not the very manner in which Galileo presents the facts show clearly that it is a question of experiments that are not real, but merely imagined ones, what the Germans call thought-experiments (Gedankexperimente)? It was in his imagination that Galileo set up his infinitely smooth plane, and there he inclines it less and less, sometimes in one direction, sometimes in the other; this is why he does not deem it necessary to give a single precise datum, a single figure resulting from these experiments. Moreover, Galileo himself takes care to warn us of this. The passage from the Sixth Day [sic?] is only the development of another passage, probably of old origin, which is in the Fourth Day. This begins with the words: Any moving body projected upon a horizontal plane I conceive of by Thought (mente concipio) as isolated from every hindrance' What is the real foundation of Galileos demonstration? On the horizontal plane motion is uniform, for there exists no cause of acceleration or of retardation It must, moreover, be remarked that every degree of velocity which is found in a moving object is, by its very nature, impressed upon it in an indelible fashion when one removes the external causes of acceleration or of retardation, as takes place in a horizontal plane alone It follows equally that motion on a horizontal plane is eternal. [He, like] Descartes[,] always presents inertia as a pure deduction scarcely mention[ing] real circumstance. Identity and Reality, 143-144. Finally, we can cite Einstein who, in asserting the logical impossibility of abstracting fundamental concepts and postulates from experience, touched on the problem of incommensurability in this way: It is perfectly evident from the fact that we can point to two essentially different principles, both of which correspond with experience to a large extent, proving at the same time that every attempt at a logical deduction of the basic concepts and postulates of mechanics from elementary experiences is doomed to failure (Essays on Science, 16, 17). 3 Koyr, Ibid, 99. 4 Ibid, 37. 5 This statement is preceded by the following, An Archimedean physics means a deductive and abstract mathematical physics; and it was just such a physics that Galileo was to develop at Padua. A physics of mathematical hypotheses; a physics in which the laws of motion, the law of the fall of bodies, are deduced abstractly, without involving the idea of force, without recourse to experiments with real bodies (emphasis added.)

those for whom Galileo fused an empirical mechanics and the science of motion into a solid whole of theoretical knowledge,1 and who recognize, for science, a fact is only that which is arrived at on the basis of precise criteria of a theoretical character.2 So what does an experiment, not merely a thought experiment, in Galileos sense look like? In the Dialogue, toward the end of the first day, Salviati proposes and undertakes experiments aimed at demonstrating to Simplicio that the moon is not a sphere possessing a polished surface, but has the same, broadly speaking, rough surface as the Earth (i.e., the one, a celestial body, is homogenous with the other, a terrestrial body). There are two experiments, each concerning reflected (sun) light. They involve mirrors and walls,3 and a (folded) piece of paper. Consider both, especially the latter. Arguing the Peripatetic position, Simplicio believes that a polished and smooth surfaced body reflects light far more than a rough surfaced body with irregular features. This is an inference from the view that celestial bodies, qualitatively dissimilar to the Earth, as immutable and inalterable are noble and perfect; and that, as perfect, are spherical and have a surface that is smooth. The discussion and (first) experiment with mirrors and their reflected light as it appears on a courtyard wall and an interior wall establishes that a mirror reflects light brilliantly (more vividly), but it concentrates that light, whereas a rough (and moreover dark surface) defuses it so that the reflected light appears to illuminate a much greater surface area.4 It defuses light because the surface of the rough wall is composed of countless very small surfaces placed in an innumerable diversity of slopes, among which of necessity many happen to be arranged so as to send rays they reflect to one place, and many others to another, thus this dispersal creates the diffusion over the entire surface on which the light (suns) rays fall.5 The reflection of the suns light on a rough surfaced wall analogously exhibits why the moon does not possess, like the Earth, a polished, smooth surface such as that of a mirror. Salviati summaries, the same body on which the illuminating rays fall shows itself lighted and bright all over when looked at from any place. Therefore the moon, by being a rough surface rather than smooth, sends the suns light in all directions, and looks equally light to all observers. If the surface, being spherical, were as smooth as a mirror, it would be entirely invisible, seeing that that very small part of it which can reflect the image of the sun to the eyes of any individual would remain invisible because of the great distance6 Sagredo queries why the greater irregularity of the surface makes the reflection of the light more powerful (remember Galileo in the person of Salviati has just stated that it is better understood as more diffuse). Salviati responds that, assuming the same source of light, a surface is more or less illuminated depending on whether rays of light fall upon it less or more obliquely, the greatest illumination occurring where the rays are perpendicular to the surface. He offers to show Sagredo just how and this is the second experiment by taking a sheet of paper and folding it, so that one part makes an angle with other, and then exposing it to the light reflected from the wall opposite to us (which is reflecting sunlight). He comments, you see how this part that receives the rays obliquely is less light than this other where the rays fall at right angles. Then, tilting the folded piece of paper, he notes, the illumination becomes weaker as I make it receive them [the rays of light] more and more obliquely. 7 Typical of Galileos experiments with real bodies (here the piece of paper), this is quite simple, and easily reproducible. One

And elsewhere (Ibid, 97) Koyr asserts, it is scarcely necessary to say that, as is almost always the case with Galileo, it is a matter of a thought experiment Drake states Galileo taught his students what later became to be known as experimental philosophy. It was not appreciably different from what we call scientific method, and then in a footnote offers the following gloss: Modern scientific method is characterized by an inseparable linkage of theory to experiment, in such a way that no theory may properly be called scientific unless it implies experiments or observations capable of supporting or destroying it Introduction to his selections from The Assayer in Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, 226. This too is a view that cannot be sustained, as Koyr states and as we shall show. 1 Paolo Rossi, Philosophy, Technology and the Arts in the Early Modern Era, 112. 2 Ibid, 114. Emphasis in original. 3 Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (first day), 71-77. 4 Ibid, 74, 76-77. 5 Ibid, 77. 6 Ibid, 78. 7 Ibid.

can, in fact, do it oneself with, of course, the same results1 (and, of course, in the modern science of nature this reproducibility ad infinitum is essentially characteristic of the publicly accessible character of science). Galileos experiments those conducted with real bodies do not entail the meticulous construction of a situation that does not exist in nature (rather they involve objects that are present in the world of daily practice, objects that are ready to hand);2 they do not produce novel conditions (but instead attempt to merely reproduce existing natural conditions); and they are not undertaken to test a prediction in order to validate a theory or hypothesis which, in turn, is governed by the aim of nature domination (whether it is socially formed human nature, animal nature, abiotic nature, their interstices or the system of their interrelations). His experiments are of a different order. They were undertaken in order to illustratively facilitate understanding thereby concluding a demonstration by bringing about intuitive clarity. In this respect, Galileo, entirely un-modern and anticipating nothing of the future traditions of experimental philosophy with its designs of manipulating natural phenomenon, preserves a remnant patrimony of Italian humanism. Koyr is ideationally blind to this, the distinctive sense of experiment in Galileo because he is polemically committed to one of the older forms of false consciousness among the historical generations of bourgeois intellectuals, that is, to a history of ideas that unfolds independently of social development, for which science is a cognitive product, a profound insight into the structure of the (naturally) real, and which, of course, permits him to sever in thought all ties of science to society, i.e., the bourgeoisie and capital. Koyr is missing a key component of Galileos science, experiment in a practical sense that together with observation, and reflection or theorization forms a unitary structure that is his science. This is a gross misunderstanding and blindness, which can be traced back to a misapprehension of the character of knowledge itself and how it is produced. Galileo himself provided us with the basis for understanding this misapprehension in this manner: In reference to Aristotle and remarking on Simplicios distinction between arguments a priori and a posteriori, Salviati states, What you refer to is the method he uses in writing his doctrine, but I do not believe it to be that with which he investigated it. Rather, I think it certain that he first obtained it by means of the senses, experiments, and observations, to assure himself as much as possible of his conclusions. Afterward he sought means to make them demonstrable.3 Because as we have established for Galileo observation and experiment contain theoretical elements, Galileo contra Koyr, Meyerson, and others implicitly argues here for a dialectical relation of theory and perception, one for which, epistemologically, knowledge including scientific knowledge at its origins is inseparably deductive and inductive (or, if you prefer as we do, neither deductive nor inductive). How so? How does he know this about Aristotle? He knows it because, it is also his method, but not just his method, but starting from the distinction between the logic of investigation and that of presentation in its formal aspect the method of thought itself. Thus, those like Koyr who insist that Galileo is a Platonist only grasp the end product The Dialogue is not in fact a book about astronomy, nor even about physics. It is above all a critique, a polemical and combative didactic and philosophical,4 but it is only a semi-scientific work.5 Here science appears only in its objectified, finalized form, as the contents of the presentation so that in Galileo it only appears most fully developed in the Discourses and Demonstrations (which represent[s] a very much higher level of abstraction,6 i.e., formalization). Only on the basis of a narrow, onesided analysis that merely understands thought in terms of its objectified products can Koyr (and others) claim, sort of a bourgeois reflex, that this is Galileos science tout court.7
1

See also, Ibid, 83, where Salviati, folding it another way, uses the same piece of paper in order examine another aspect of obliquity in illuminating a surface. 2 The best examples (reference to which will recur in this work) that point up this situation come from biological sciences modeled on the modern science of nature and not physics; for example, an octopus with its ganglia detached or a decerebrate cat anatomical and physiological conditions that are not found in nature butchered in order to construct a reflex physiology (i.e., a science of social control of human beings and animal nature understood as systems of internal causal relations) or fruit flies massed in a glass jar to determine a rate of reproduction isolated from those actual conditions predation, seasonal changes, etc., under which species reproduction is achieved. 3 Ibid, 51. 4 Koyr, Ibid, 158. 5 Ibid, 97. 6 Ibid, 197. 7 Theoretically elaborated on the basis of other insights or merely tacit assumptions that have been made explicit as the case may be, the issue further devolves on to the theorization of the real that underlies the manner of presentation. While, Koyr argues, in Galileo it is the abstract

Note2 Galileo and the Jesuits: Atomism and the Eucharist Controversy Maffeo Barberini was not merely Galileos patron. There was retrospectively at least an element of friendship involved in their relation. For example, in 1612, at that moment in which the debate between Galileo and Colombe concerning bodies floating on water was still articulate (verbal, not written) and open, in public (i.e., before Cosimo intervened), in at least one setting representatives of the two sides took up positions in a formalized debate. Maffeo Barberini defended the Galilean position and acted as interlocutor of his Colombe representing opponent. Barberini was a cardinal at the time. As pope he enormously elevated Galileo: In everything but a position and sinecure, Galileo was not only the obvious favorite among the literati and innovators of Rome but the official scientist sanctioned from the very pinnacle of the Church.1 Barberini was a highly refined, even secular, aesthete, but with a view to his politics within the Curia, he was absent the same level of insight, judgment and savvy. Perhaps he ignored, or merely was not attuned, to the subtle niceties of Eucharist controversy, but the later as doctrine and dogma was one of the hinges, the theological-theoretical one, on which the bloody political, religious and territorial struggle called the Thirty Years War in its various phases hung. In the end, he would discover that he could not pursue a liberalizing policy against the resistance mounted by the bearers of a traditional, now ossified Scholastic culture and at the same time hold onto Church Power in the face of winds of religious, political and economic change In The Assayer, Galileo, in discussing what he claimed was the illusorily luminous nature of comets, sketched the contours of an atomistic theory of heat and motion (as well as hinting at the rudiments of a corpuscular theory of light). There is a lengthy passage in particular parts of which require citation and detailed examination:
I must consider what it is that we call heat, as I suspect that people in general believe that heat is a real phenomenon, or property, or quality, which actually resides in the material by which we feel ourselves warmed. Now I say that whenever I conceive any material or corporeal substance, I immediately feel the need to think of it as bounded, and as having this or that shape; as being large or small in relation to other things, and in some specific place at any given time; as being in motion or at rest; as touching or not touching some other body; and as being one in number, or few or many. From these conditions I cannot separate such a substance by any stretch of my imagination. But that it must be white or red, bitter or sweet, noisy or silent, and of sweet or foul odor, my mind does not feel compelled to bring in as necessary accompaniments. Without the sense as our guides, reason or imagination unaided would probably never arrive at qualities like these. Hence I think that tastes, odors, colors, and so on are no more than mere names so far as the object in which we place them is concerned, and that they reside only in the consciousness. Hence if the living creature were removed, all these qualities would be wiped away and annihilated.2

Recall our argument above.3 Epistemologically, in Galileo and in science one does not start from (in the sense of what is perceptually given) but arrives at bodies (in motion), i.e., constitutes them as such, by imaginatively projecting them. Having done so one proceeds with observation and description but only on the basis of a distinction between primary and secondary qualities. (This distinction is prior to all observation. Note the textual emphases, as he himself indicates his argument is imaginatively and conceptually constructed, it does not start from experience, from experiments or observations in the non-scientific sense.) These distinctions between being bounded, having size and shape, relationally situated among other bodies, and as self-same (distinct from other bodies), that is, as quantitatively determined extension subsisting in objective space and time to one side, and color, taste, audibility and odor, that are qualitative features to the other side quantity and quality, have, in the more radical sense as it is present in Galileo and largely in science, ontologically different statuses, that of reality and illusion. (While people in general believe heat is a real phenomenon, Galileo does not.) He says, that tastes, odors, colors, and so on are
space of Euclidean geometry (making the invention of the law of inertia possible) which he, Galileo, counterposes, substitutes, for the concrete space of pre-Galilean physics (which itself rests on the assumption of reality as a Cosmos), it is a question of the origins of this theorization. For Koyr, concepts, theories themselves, are handed down, reworked, new insights are occasionally generated, all as part of an intellectual tradition, and thus the question of origins is merely pushed back but never resolved. Koyr cannot pose the question of the origins of ideational contents, concepts or thought itself. They remain ungrounded. The whole issue is discussed from another standpoint below, see the Fourth Study, Part III, The Materialist Dialectic and Theory of Truth. 1 Redondi, Ibid, 28, 193, 243, 258. 2 The Assayer, 274. Emphases added. 3 See the Introduction, Elements of the Conceptual Structure of Science.

no more than mere names. They are as we say today merely subjective, or, as he says, they reside only in the consciousness or, in other words, they are objectively illusory or have no reality or objectivity other than in awareness. There are three points to be made here. First, that aspect of this perspective which refers to the status of qualities as mere names derived from a tradition that can be traced back to William of Ockham 1 (actually much further back, a century, to the Scholastic Roscelin, but Ockham presented its most forceful formulation and defense against the background of the initial political development of the One in early urban Europe, sort of a principled basis for a rarified cognitive opposition to that development, at the moment of the rise of nascent state centralism over the corpse of oligarchical republicanism or chronologically in the early fourteenth century, Ockham himself being a political refugee from Church tyranny)2. This is nominalism, and it had a direct bearing on own problem, and Galileos, to the extent that his Jesuit opponents were all acutely aware of the heretical (among others, the tri-theistic) implications of nominalist doctrine (together with his excommunication, and his flight to Mnchen where he sought and found political asylum). In adopting a nominalist strategy, Galileo was inviting censure, walking down a welltrodden path that in the past found the Church wrenchingly divided and its intellectuals subject to proscription, arrest or exile, and rarely execution. Second, the construction of bodies as quantitative, as fully and exclusively (in the sense of essentially) determined by extension, signified, once again as we argued above, the elimination of sensuous (emotive and valuative) characteristics of objects. In principle, it permits those bodies to be subject to mathematical treatment, which, in turn, will make prediction, experiment and validation, the deconstruction and reconstruction (i.e., the manipulation) of phenomenon, etc., possible, will permit bodies solely grasped extensively to form the substance of nature-becoming-reduced to a raw materials basin for capitalist production, even if the conceptual aspects of this development were not part of Galileos science. Third, if white or red, bitter or sweet, noisy or silent, and sweet or foul odor are not necessary accompaniments, are not objective qualities, are instead features or (in the language of the Schoolmen, the Peripatetics and the Jesuits) accidents of a material or corporeal substance, then Galileo had run afoul, at this point unknowingly, of the hegemonic (though not the doctrinal) account of sensuous qualities as they pertained to the theological dogma of transubstantiation. The prevailing, dominant interpretation of this relation was based on an updated version of classically AristotelianScholastic matter-form analysis of transubstantiation. (Mediated, or modernized if you will on the basis of the work of no other than Ockham and John Duns Scotus, by Jesuits such as Francesco Surez in light of the dogma laid down by the Council of Trent, i.e., in Galileos youth.)3 Matter is quantitative, extension, and consists in the body of any phenomenon, here the Eucharist, and form, a qualitative moment, gives the phenomenon its specific features or properties as well as its agency (forms the motive for its activity). Matter and form together constitute substance. In this modernized interpretation, theoretical clarity is gained by condensing and concentrating the Eucharist mystery in, reducing it if you will to, a single miracle, that moment at which the body is separated from its extension4 this is Ockhamist to the extent it betrays an important principle of theorizing enunciated by him, the efficacy of explanation lies in its economy, while criticism developed from this principle is commonly referred to as application of Ockhams razor: The substance of the bread, all of it, is transformed into Christs body, that means both matter and form inclusive of characteristic qualities. Yet, in all appearances, the bread remains, or seems to, unchanged. What Thomas had affirmed, and this was his innovation, was that those appearances, accidents or qualities, sensuous phenomena had in the act of consecration, remained. This was, philosophically (i.e., theologically) speaking, the miraculous event, for what we have in terms of a rational explanation (that is, one that undertook to systematically, discursively and logically explicate and clarify an arational, non-rational and anti-rational event) is accidents without a subject (substance): All the accidents or qualities, in particular, color, texture (taste) and odor persisted, remained,

1
2

Redondi, Ibid, 63, 214-215, 216, 222. William of Ockham, born in Surrey, England (circa 1285), was a Franciscan doctor of the Church, teaching a Oxford from 1309 into 1319. The most formidable of all opponents of Thomas and Scholasticism, he was denounced and persecuted by the Avignon pontiff John XXII for his writings. Held captive for four years (1324-1328) under house arrest in Avignon, France, he escaped and fled to Mnchen. (The dispute was over the Franciscan commitment to poverty, which Ockham defended.) He was ex-communicated. Living in exile, he wrote against the papacy until his death in 1347 (likely from plague). 3 Ibid, 222-223. 4 We are following Redondi here, Ibid, 212-213. See also Hans Hillerbrand, The Division of Christendom, 390.

just as if the substance (the bread) is present and despite its absence. This rationalist religious dogma, faith, was patently tied to a metaphysics of matter,1 for which accidents had to be understood as objectively real It was manifestly this rationalist dogma, a philosophical construction necessarily affirming the primacy of the Church and its theologian intelligentsia in Scriptural interpretation (hence, its power in spiritual matters, and, of course, all the more mundane things, e.g., land holdings, that accrued to it out of deference for this spiritual leadership, to coopt it, buy it off, etc.) that Luther most vehemently rejected. Notably it was also on this account, the character of the Eucharist, its presence (whether, real, spiritual, consubstantial, etc.), that Lutheran reformists (among them, Zwungli, Schwenckfeld, Carlstadt, even Melanchthon) diverged, that sectarian splintering resulted from, and that the Anglican Church waffled2 It was here at precisely this point that Galileo had run afoul of the prevailing doctrinal interpretation, which, as Jesuitically promulgated, was consciously, immediately and directly linked to the struggle against the Reformation, against Protestantism, e.g., Luther with his doctrine of substantial co-presence (consubstantiation, for which Christ is in, under and with the substance of the bread, a miracle sustained by the power of the word of God and one, relying strictly on faith, whose justification was much easier to accept than the rationalistic theological explanations offered by the Roman Church), not to mention any number of non-denomination, more extreme heresies. First, Galileo had ontologically, not miraculous, separated the matter and form of bodies and, second, he had subjectivized the forms in a radical manner, for not only were color, taste, etc. not part of the object (body, substance), but remove the subject (us) and they simply disappeared or were annihilated Return to that passage in The Assayer. Having given an ontologically bifurcated matter-form, quantity-quality account of sensuous tactile perception, Galileo turned to an explanation of two other, less material senses. He tells us that
there are bodies which constantly dissolve into minute particles, some of which are heavier than air and descend, while others are light and rise up. The former may strike upon a certain part of our bodies that is much more sensitive than the skin [as in touch], which does not feel the invasion of such subtle matter. This is the upper surface of the tongue; here the tiny particle are received, and mixing with and penetrating its moisture, they give rise to tastes, which are sweet or unsavory according to the various shapes, numbers, and speeds of the particles. And those minute particles which rise up may enter our nostrils and strike upon some small protuberances which are the instrument of smelling; here likewise their touch and passage is received to our like or dislike according as they have this or that shape, are fast or slow, and are numerous or few To excite in us tastes, odors, and sounds [there has just transpired a formally identical account of sound we have passed over] I believe that nothing is required in external bodies except shapes, numbers, and slow or rapid movements. I think that if ears, tongues, and noses were removed, shapes and numbers and motions would remain, but not odors or tastes or sounds. The latter, I believe, are nothing more than names when separated from living beings, just as tickling and titillation are nothing but names in the absence of such things as noses and armpits.3

This is an entirely consistent atomist explanation, otherwise known as corpuscular theory (sort of a particle physics if we were to suggest a contemporary analog congenial to modern empiricism, for example, with its doctrine of sensedata) for which indivisible particles impress themselves on our sense organs. It is wholly subjectivist, again denying reality to those qualities or accidents which were, according to Scholastic theology and Peripatetic philosophy, said to possess a reality independent of us as sensing beings. Here, again, Galileo ran afoul of that prevailing doctrinally Jesuitical interpretation of the underlying relation of qualities to (necessarily as part of) substance Galileo had, in 1624, been aware that in Rome his work, The Assayer, had been denounced. Well, if we accept Redondis reconstruction (and with a view to evidence and coherency there is no reason not to), this is not exactly correct: Galileo was aware something might be afoot, but he was not able to divine what it was, whether it had merit or was a serious charge against him. (Such was largely due to fear-motivated inability, then incapacitation, of his
1

Redondi, Ibid, 213. Redondis account of the underlying, hidden issue of the Eucharist in relation to atomism and corpuscular theory broke new ground, revealing the preferred manner in which the Jesuits wished to silence the innovator, Galileo. If his account is tendentially historicist to the extent it neglects the novel, situationally transcendent features of Galileos science, it remains extremely valuable, well developed and insightful, quite brilliant really, if somewhat convoluted. 2 Hillerbrand, Ibid, 101, 133, 150, 184, 240, and 389-393 for a summary. 3 The Assayer, 276-277.

Rome-based correspondent to gather the requisite intelligence.) Unbeknownst to him, Giovanni Guevara (who Redondi calls the authoritative provost, i.e., father general) of the once important Catholic order, the Regular Minor Clerks, a theologian of some repute and an ally of the Barberini pontificate (he had contributed to its sole significant diplomatic success, annexation to the Papal States of the Duchy of Urbino, which certainly had to have made Maffeo, as a territorial expansionist, happy), had upon a procedurally required request by the Holy Office presented a theological opinion concerning the relation of the Eucharist to its sensuous appearance, its accidents. Not to permit his order devoted to good works, and to contemplative reflection on the doctrinal and sacramental mysteries of his Roman faith to be tacked to the coattails of the Jesuits dogmatic and controversial theologians, aggressive warriors, grand strategists of the Church Guevara presented his and his orders views affirming a long since abandoned, traditionally Thomist albeit unorthodox position for which the accidents constitute impressions of species (i.e., qualities), using a very old Scholastic term, images impressed on the sense organs. Guevaras position was legitimate because, in laying down the theological dividing line that separated Catholicism from heresy with a view to the doctrine of the Eucharist (in this respect, whether Lutheran or more generally Protestant was irrelevant), the Council of Trent had not engaged in a detailed explication of nature of sensible appearances of the consecrated bread (and wine) and had merely designated them (using the same older Thomist term) species. Counterposed to Jesuit realism, to the objective reality of absolute accidents, this was a subjectivist position that at this moment (1624) fully vindicated Galileo similarly subjective account (with regard to the reality of qualities) embedded in his corpuscular theory of individual bodies imprinting themselves on our sense organs in his discussion of heat and how it is recognized as such.1 But this all transpired behind, as it were, a screen and a veil. Galileo had no knowledge of it. Instead, his intent was to push ahead: Perhaps not by the standards of his time a pious Catholic, he nonetheless understood that the Scholastic metaphysics underlying the Eucharist theory and other doctrinal dogmas would not withstand the onslaught of, once confronted with, a coherent and cogent systematization of the premises that were necessary to elaboration of modern science of nature. In this respect, his Augustinian appeal to the separation of orthodoxy and its doctrine from science was an effort to place Catholic faith beyond the realm of rational inquiry and thereby to preserve it in the face of his new science with its ostensibly universal truths.

For Guevara, Redondi, Ibid, 142-143,150, 166-167, 168 (annexation of Urbino), 170-171 (varieties of Eucharist doctrine).

Note3 The Modern Bourgeois Evaluation of Labor We have already pointed out the classical evaluation of labor was not a question of counterposing an active life to a contemplative one as in Aristotle, and in particular as in the theologians in that era when Catholic thought defined the culture of the Mediterranean and western European tributary formation that evolved in the long aftermath of Romes collapse. Rather, this evaluation was an assessment from the point of view of those leisured gentlemen who, as landowners, not only did not labor but who viscerally believed that, in principle, laboring should, for starters, disqualify one from the good life understood in terms of participation in polis activity. Galileos perspective was not only different from the ancient Greek landowner he upheld a genuine esteem for labor it also differed qualitatively and was opposed to the onto-theological attitude of the Churchmen and the Peripatetics both of which stemmed from Aristotle. In the former case (Galileo as well as the ancient landowner), it was a question of the type of knowledge that was generated on the basis of artisan activity. We have had occasion to describe Galileos intellectual trajectory, that in a purely abstract way he drew on the texts of certain non-Aristotelian ancient sources (Philoponus, Hero of Alexander), defended and then abandoned (superceding) the impetus physics of the Parisian nominalists, above all, he went beyond the revival of 16th century Archimedeanism. In particular we have exhibited, once he largely (not entirely) overcame his youthful, contradictory Aristotelian assumptions, how he began to operate outside the hegemonic Peripatetic tradition of the philosophers, mathematicians and theologians which taken together constituted the most important layers of the Church's intelligentsia, and all of whom were, like him, ensconced in the universities and courts. He did battle with them, and he took it to them (from relatively early on, in texts like his Letters on Sunspots). Thus, for the most part Galileo published in the vernacular Italian and not Latin. But his science went way beyond this. Thus, it should come as no surprise that his science, and his personal practice, would exhibit genuine opposition to the classical conception and its bastardization at the hands of the Church intelligentsia, together with (opposition to) the necessary, internally connected accompanying valuations (the noble, esteemed and admirable nature of what is invariant, immutable and non-corruptible, and eternal, which are precisely what are the objects of contemplation). Galileo was in regular contact with technological development as it was objectively embodied in the work, both the planning and the output, of artisans, master craftsmen and engineers, and those such as military officers and even men of affairs to the extent they stayed abreast of technical developments. He noted how the former group of men in particular operated with a concept of knowledge that required a certain mathematization, perhaps limited, of the spaces, planes and surfaces they worked with and on, that looked to past practice itself as a basis for theorization, that was inventive and cooperative. (Galileos workshop or, if you prefer, his laboratory, was not the product solely of own individual efforts but had the appearance of a small craftsmens workshop with a handful of employed engaged in a common labor, he, of course, being in this analogy the master craftsman.) It was not so much a question of the labor itself, and it was craft labor, but of the type of knowledge it generated, a technical knowledge that is experimental (though here not in the modern sense) and characteristically rational in the sense of observational, publicly accessible and reproducible. The latter is significant: Knowledge of this sort could in principle be subject to methodological determination and reproduced by anyone so engaged, and was generated as a knowledge that is, if not entirely progressive, cumulative in character. This type of knowledge (and, reflexively, its very conception) is distinctively modern, that is, it is bourgeois. To be sure, this is not the abstract labor of capitalism as work appears once it, capital, is established on its own foundations; it is not the labor power that (exchanged for the monetary means requisite to maintaining and sustaining a historically specific form of human existence), confronting means of production (as the property of the capitalist), it, capital, sets in motion; it is not this labor because the latter is reduced, abstracted, in production, is generalized, temporally quantified, and objectified and embodied in commodities as value. Instead, it is craft labor that controls its own means and instruments of production, generates or participates in the workplan, and creates a whole product, craft labor as a characteristic of capitalism at its origins and early development, the lengthy era of the formal domination of capital over labor1 It is craft labor to which Galileo was oriented. That orientation, polemical and hostile in character at least vis-- vis the Peripatetics (characteristics that simply cannot be derived from the intellectual tradition from which he started, or, we should say that it was a feature of the
1

For all this, see the First Interlude, below.

tradition he was effectively in the vanguard of creating), when taken together with scientific outcome of his successful efforts to mathematize nature, made him a revolutionary Galileos attitude of hostility in opposition to the classical, and Church evaluation of craft labor, as we said, extended forcibly to all the accompanying valuations. Sagredo states this unequivocally in the Dialogue in remarking, For my part I consider the earth very noble and admirable precisely because of the diverse alterations, changes, generations, etc., that occur in it incessantly.1 In this regard, it is worth repeating while holding the chair in mathematics at Padua, the university operated by the Republic of Venice, lecturing within faculties largely dominated by Peripatetic intellectuals, Galileo spent much time at the Republics great arsenal and shipyards in Venice with their artisans where he engaged the craftsmen employed therein in discussions.2 Galileo's curiously aggressive hostility to Aristotle and, in particular toward the Churchs organic intellectuals was merely the other side of the arrogance of that hegemonic intelligentsia which, subjectively certain of its speculatively constituted truths, held the labor of craftsmen in contempt and their knowledge at best deficient.3 In some albeit limited measure, Galileos reciprocal enmity derives from the context of this practice, his interaction with the artisans and craftsmen with whom he surrounded himself If theorization and experimentation in the scientific sense peculiar to Galileo was far from identical with those developed by craftsmen, it should be stated clearly that they were entirely congruent Rossi manifestly captured the sense of Galileo efforts in stating that, the image of Galileo as remote from the knowledge of technicians and experimentalists indeed assertively averse to this knowledge is absurd; that we find in Galileo the thesis that investigation (filosofare) must take into careful consideration the work of technicians and bear on the activity (pratica) of artisans, but also find explicit the recognition that the work of master craftsmen constitutes a help to the investigation carried on by studious minds;4 that Galileo was certainly keenly aware of the fact that the elevation of a theory shifts to another level, or, as he said, far outweighs the testimony and the observations of empiricists and technicians and that Galileo understood the difference between knowledge (the cognition of truth of a fact) and understanding why this happens 5; and, that in Galileo, the function of so called theoretical models in the realm of scientific knowledge was without doubt explicitly proposed and recognized. For science, a fact is only that which is arrived at on the basis of precise criteria of a theoretical character6 Thus, Galileos appreciation of craft labor was not oriented toward the activity itself, but, as we pointed out and Rossi indicated, toward the type of knowledge that forms on its basis. In this respect, a revolutionary and communist perspective this comes much later is as distinct from Galileo and counterposed to science as Galileos evaluation was distinct from that of the Churchs theologians (not to mention Aristotle himself):
1

Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (first day), 58. This remark is preceded by the following one, making the contrast even more explicit: I cannot without great astonishment I might say without great insult to my intelligence hear it attributed as a prime perfection and nobility of the natural and integral bodies of the universe that that they are invariant, immutable and unalterable, etc., while on the other hand it is called a great imperfection to be alterable, generable, mutable, etc. Ibid. Here, of course, it is to be recalled that, first, in Aristotle and among the Aristotelians of Galileos time, the Peripatetics, the celestial vault was perfect because immutable and invariant and, as such, counterposed to the Earth precisely because of alteration and mutation, of coming into being and passing away; and, second, this view had to be undercut if Galileo was to successfully assert his Copernicanism. It was, moreover, this view which he so compellingly and convincingly assailed in the Letters on Sunspots in his demonstration that the surfaces of the Earth and its moon are qualitatively similar. 2 See Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, 1, where Galileo in the person of the interlocutor Sagredo, explicitly stated he frequently visit[ed] and conferred with the greater artisans. Galileos revolutionary temper was dialectically constituted: On the one hand, he was intellectually and personally abused by Peripatetic intellectuals some of whom would not even condescend to consider the experimental evidence he brought forth, at their insistence no less though for good reason no less, since experiment had a different practical meaning and objectives for both. On the other hand, this distasteful experience found reinforcement among kindred souls, craftsmen, with whom he had regular contact, who openly exhibited their resentment toward the Peripatetics, and with whom he shared, if perhaps more refined and sublimated, that hostility. That hostility, in turn, gripped him. His work displayed it at every term. See, for example, the posthumous published poem, Against the Aristotelians (Contro gli Aristotelici) of 1623, translated and appearing in Telos, 4. 62-79. 3 See, e.g., Stillman Drake in his introduction remarks to The Starry Messenger, 5; Paolo Rossi, Philosophy, Technology and the Arts in the Early Modern Era, 116, 117. 4 Rossi, Ibid, 112. 5 Ibid, 113. 6 Ibid, 113-114.

For the former, thought itself produces the concepts in and through which the world in its immediacy is apprehended, and in specific forms, on the basis of which reality in its intelligibility is comprehended and explained. But thought, and theory, are, in this perspective, themselves forms of activity Again, this excludes that activity we call abstract labor (or includes it to the extent it is contradictory, at once activity that is passive), labor as it exists for capital Both pro-duce, in the etymologically ancient sense they bring forth something new into the world. The one (thought, concepts) lives in (is immanent to, embedded in) the other, rendering the other meaningful and intelligible to itself; the other as the activity of an incarnate subject operating on the sensuous material surroundings, in making and, especially, in transforming the given (whether that given is the objects of labor, situations or the very world itself as in revolutionary activity), illuminates novel arrangements presented by the new objects it has created, illuminates situations or the world itself, by generating concepts in this very doing (in this sense, activity as negativity, as transformative, is itself spontaneous thought).1

For abstract labor, see the First Interlude, Capital as Capital, and for the relation of theory to activity, see the Fourth Study, Part III, The Materialist Dialectic.

First Study Science at its Origins Bibliographical Sources Anderson, Perry. Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism. London, 1974 _____________. Lineages of the Absolutist State. London, 1974 Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. Chicago, 1958 Aristotle, De Caela (On the Heavens) in Richard McKeon (ed.), The Basic Works of Aristotle. New York, 2001 ______. Physics in Richard McKeon (ed.), The Basic Works of Aristotle. New York, 2001 Artigas, Mariano. New Light on the Galileo Affair (May 2002). Accessed online at www.metanexus.net Artigas, Mariano, Rafael Martivez and William Shea. Revisiting Galileos Troubles with the Church (February 2001). Accessed online at www.metanexus.net Bachelard, Gaston. The New Scientific Spirit. Boston, 1974 (1934) Barnes, Will. Nature, Capital, Communism. Revised edition. St. Paul, 2010 __________. The German Road to Renewed Imperialist World War, 1870-1938. St. Paul, 2008 __________. Community and Capital. St. Paul, 2001 _________. The Origins and Development of Catalan Nationalism: Catalan and Castilian Antagonism in Spanish History. Unpublished, 1999 _________. Civil War and Revolution in America. St. Paul, 1999 _________. Revolutionary Theories of the English Civil War (Text, Fragments and Notes). Manuscript, 1991 _________. The History of Florence and the Florentine Republic (Text and Fragment). Manuscript, 1989 Bayley, C.C. War and Society in Renaissance Florence. Toronto, 1961 Bloch, Marc. Feudal Society. Vol. 1: The Growth of Ties of Dependence. Chicago, 1961 (French original, 1940) Braudel, Fernand. The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, Vol. 1, New York, 1972 Brzezinski, Richard. Ltzen 1632: Climax of the Thirty Years War. Westport (CT), 2005 Catholic Encyclopedia. Accessed online at www.newadvent.org Ciriacono, Salvatore. Mass Consumption Goods and Luxury Goods: The De-Industrialization of the Republic of Venice from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century in Herman Van der Wee (ed.), The Rise and Decline of Urban Industries in Italy and the Low Countries. Leuven, 1988 Drake, Stillman. "The Role of Music in Galileo's Experiments," Scientific American 232 (Jan-June 1975): 98-104 ____________. The Evolution of De Motu (Galileo Gleanings XXIV), Isis, V. 67, no. 2 (June 1976): 239-250 Duhem, Pierre. Medieval Cosmology: Theories of Infinity, Place, Time, Void, and the Plurality of Worlds. Chicago 1985 Einstein, Albert. Essays in Science. New York, 1934 Engels, Frederick. The Peasant War in Germany (1850). Accessed on line at www.marxarchive.org Feyerabend, Paul. Realism, Rationalism and Scientific Method. Philosophical Papers, V. I. Cambridge (Eng.), 1981 ______________. Explanation, Reduction and Empiricism in Herbert Feigl and Grover Maxwell (eds.), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. III (Scientific Explanation, Space, and Time). Minneapolis, 1962 (28-91) Finley, Moses I. The World of Odysseus. Middlesex (Eng.), 1979 Felloni, Giuseppe. Structural Changes in Urban Industry in Italy form the Late Middle Ages to the Beginning of the Industrial Revolution: A Synthesis in Herman Van der Wee (ed.), The Rise and Decline of Urban Industries in Italy and the Low Countries. Leuven, 1988 Galileo Galilei. Against the Aristotelians (Contro gli Aristotelici) of 1623, translated and appearing in Telos, 4, 1969 ___________. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Berkeley, 1967 (1632) ___________. Discourse on Bodies in Water. Urbana, 1960 (Facsimile reproduction of the translation by Thomas Salusbury. London, 1663, with an Introduction by Stillman Drake) ___________. On Motion in I.E. Drabkin and Stillman Drake (eds.), On Motion and On Mechanisms. Madison (WI), 1960 ___________, On Mechanics in I.E. Drabkin and Stillman Drake (eds.), On Motion and On Mechanisms. Madison

(WI), 1960 ___________. The Starry Messenger in Stillman Drake (ed.), Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo. New York, 1957 ___________. Letters on Sunspots in Stillman Drake (ed.), Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo. New York, 1957 ___________. Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina in Stillman Drake (ed.), Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo. New York, 1957 ___________. The Assayer (largely excerpted) in Stillman Drake (ed.), Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo. New York, 1957 ___________. Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences (Discourses and Demonstrations, Discorsi e Dimonstrazioni, Mathematiche). New York, 1914 (1638) The Galileo Project. Vincenzo Galilei. Accessed online at www.galileo.rice.edu Goldmann, Lucien. The Hidden God. A Study of Tragic Vision in The Penses of Pascal and the Tragedies of Racine. London, 1964 Grossmann, Henryk. Descartes and the Social Origins of the Mechanistic Concept of the World, in Gideon Freudenthal and Peter McLaughlin (eds.), The Social Economic Roots of the Scientific Revolution. Texts by Boris Hessen and Henryk Grossmann. Dordrecht, 2009. Guicciardini, Francesco. The History of Italy. London 1969 (1561) Hillerbrand, Hans. The Division of Christendom: Christianity in the Sixteenth Century. Louisville (KY), 2007 Husserl, Edmund. The Crisis of European Science. Evanston (IL), 1970 (German original, 1936) Koyr, Alexandre. Galileo Studies. Atlantic Highlands (NJ), 1978 (French original, 1939) ______________. Metaphysics and Measurement: Essays in Scientific Revolution. London, 1968 Malanima, Paolo, An Example of Industrial Reconversion: Tuscany in the Sixteenth and Seventh Centuries in Herman Van der Wee (ed.), The Rise and Decline of Urban Industries in Italy and the Low Countries. Leuven, 1988 Meyerson, Emile. Identity and Reality. New York, 1989 (French original, 3rd expanded edition,1926) Moioli, Angelo. De-Industrialization in Lombardy During the Seventeenth Century in Herman Van der Wee (ed.), The Rise and Decline of Urban Industries in Italy and the Low Countries. Leuven, 1988 McMullen, Emerson T. Galileo's Condemnation: The Real and Complex Story, Georgia Journal of Science (2003). Accessed online at www.metanexus.net. Palano, Pietro Soave.1 History of the Council of Trent. Translated by Sir Nathaniel Brent. Whitehall (London), 1675 Popper, Karl. Quantum Mechanics and the Schism in Physics. From the Postscript to The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Edited by W.W. Bartley, III. Totowa (NJ), 1982 Redondi, Pietro. Galileo, Heretic. Princeton (NJ), 1987 Schmitt, Charles B. Studies in Renaissance Philosophy and Science. London, 1981 Shaw, Herbert R. Craters, Cosmos, and Chronicles: A New Theory of the Earth. Stanford (CA), 1994 Snowden, Frank. The Fascist Revolution in Tuscany, 1919-1922. Cambridge (Eng.), 1989 Wood, Eileen Meikens. Peasant-Citizen and Slave. The Foundations of Athenian Democracy London, 1988

Pseudonym of Paolo Sarpi.

First Interlude The following discussion is intended to provide context and justification for our perspective on the relation of the bourgeoisie and capital to the modern science of nature. Forms of Sociation, I Fundamental Forms of Sociation in Human History Here we shall speak of forms of human sociation and (where they exist) productive forms. We shall not speak of modes of production, which, in our view (one that is eminently and rationally defensible) implies a metaphysical commitment to a unilinear notion of historical development. This can be seen most clearly in the case of feudalism to which the vast tributary formations that stretch in historical time from the ancient world until (and far beyond) the rise of capitalism (and in historical space across the entire world) is often assimilated:1 Feudalism found only in the agrarian world, characterized by the presence of an unfree peasantry and extensive use of service tenement instead of wages, dominance of a social class of specialized warriors, ties of obedience and protection binding men to men, which, within the warrior class, assume a distinctive form called vassalage, and fragmentation of political authority and the absence of state centralism is generally and most immediately identified in terms of a large serf presence. 2 Now what are we to make of strata of substantial serfs, a characteristic feature of most servile peasantries in central and eastern Europe prior to the short twentieth century?3 Working, relatively speaking, a large holding with commercial potential, this social figure was able to avoid unpaid labor services and tributes (e.g., provision of wood or game, of crop or produce to the lord, etc.) by employing waged labor in his place.4 Such a historical reality makes a mockery of the dialectic which refuses to grasp the historical specificity and indeed rarity of feudal social relations, counterposes in historical time feudalism to capitalism the latter following on the former, and sees in both stages in a universal societal development Though numerous, distinct forms of sociation have historically appeared and reappeared at different times and in different places (e.g., hunting, hunting and gathering, farming and animal domestication, shepherding and livestock cultivation) we can, broadly speaking, distinguish three great epochs in human history, the first by far the oldest and longest lasting, each designated by their dominant form of sociation, and comprehended by their fundamental activities and the central social features that characterize them. These epochs are the archaic, the tributary and capitalist modernity. Archaic communities as distinctive communities, and not as a fusion of forms (fused precisely to the extent they share features in common with stratified agricultural societies), are distinguished by a settled social life (which separates them from hunter-gatherer bands as nomadic groups that stretch back in geological time all the way to humanitys hominid origins), the absence of property in production, the nonexistence of coercive political power (a state), by a material abundance and by social individuals who lack an elaborate need structure, are absent egoism and the extremely individualized subjectivity raised upon it, which taken together renders social labor largely superfluous. These communities are further absent an economy (that is, a separate sphere of material production). Archaic communities have existed largely (though not exclusively) into tropics where a natural abundance provided the requisite resources for a social life without labor. Though, as politically decentralized, feudalism as a rare species of tributary formation appeared in northwest Europe (circa 800-1200) and Japan (ending circa 1868), and with it the private property in production that in part but only in part (and not decisively) distinguished it, tributary formations are by and large characterized by village-based
1

I.e., by Marxists. While there have been individuals exempt from the following criticism, the same cannot be said for every significant Marxist tendency within the history of the workers movement. Discussed above in various notes to the First Study, the whole problem of feudalism is thoroughly, if far from exhaustively, discussed from the perspective of revolutionary communist theorization in the Third Study, Part II, The Debate over Capitalism and Transcendence of the Capitalist Mode of Production in Russia in our Bolshevism and Stalinism (Urgeschichte). 2 For example, Lenin, The Development of Capitalism in Russia, passim. 3 M.L. Bush, Tenants Rights and the Peasantries of Europe under the Old Regime, 142. For the concept of a short twentieth century, and a tentative schematization of the prehistory of capitalism in the West generally, see this interlude, Chronology and History, below. 4 Bush specifies holdings sizes: Circa 1750, in Poland substantial serf holding were nearly forty acres; in Brandenburg, nineteen acres; in Bohemia, sixty-one; in Hungry, thirty-four; and, in East Prussia, no less than forty-five acres. Ibid. Now, in historical contexts in which servile peasantries have worked as little as half-acre plots, these were truly substantial holdings.

sedentary agriculture, administrative towns, a state that is resident, so to speak, to the town and is identified with the personage of a king and in a more remote sense with his household, 1 and is largely external to the daily life of the village communities (which often particularly in ancient forms inhibits the penetration of capital through a regular division of communal lands). Linked to both ancient and modern precapitalist civilizations, these social formations exhibit de jure statified forms of property in production while in practice the villages engage in farming (not agriculture) in which their lands are cultivated communally. The village communities stand opposite the state which oppresses them first and foremost by the extraction of tribute, then, in the ancient world in particular, by the periodic conscription of labor in massive construction of dikes and dams, irrigation ditches and canals, in temples and burial sites. (Varies forms of labor, slave, corve, serf, etc., may have also been important determinants of social life especially in later tributary forms, such as feudalism in western Europe.) Above the village level these societies are highly stratified, perhaps in some cases based upon class differentiation, material inequality is at once rampant and extreme. Before the first tributary formation ever reached its apotheosis, stated more secularly, before ancient tributary formations fully matured and characterized a distinctive epoch in human history, writing in its various early forms had appeared, metals such as bronze and copper had become widely used in productive activities, a monumental art and architecture (as in temples, pyramids, etc) had already long advanced beyond its initial development2 We shall recount the origins of capitalism shortly. Although first appearing sequentially (they are also simultaneous), these broad forms of sociation are not stages in human formation, do not constitute a development: We can document that the archaic has covered the face of the Earth beginning some 10,000-12,000 years (and its lineaments extend further back, though the evidence is more sketchy) and that tributary societies were well formed (but not fully developed, i.e., not yet ancient civilizations) some 6,500-7,500 years. The two co-existed long into the epoch of capitalist modernity, in fact into the twentieth century. Generally, these two great forms of human sociation did not undergo internal collapse in the sense that they could no longer sustain themselves on their own foundations. This is not to say that these communities did not experience disturbance, these social formations did not erupt in opposition. Some quite massive, numerous peasant revolts occurred in every dynastic period of Chinese history. And while external disruption in particular invasion and conquest led to the destruction of all the ancient tributary formations (e.g., Sumner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, Rome, Inca Peru) and countless archaic communities (one need recall the fate of many of those archaic communities bordering the ever expanding Inca empire or their destruction in the tropic zone of the Americas by Spanish and Portuguese conquerors as reported by Bartolome de las Casas), in the historically significant sense, it was not their internal contradictions of development so-called, but capitalism, the value form or, if you prefer, the penetration of waged labor, which has been the solvent of both modern tributary formations and surviving archaic communities, for, in both cases (with the singular exception of that aforementioned rare species, feudalism), dominant social relations blocked the movement of capital (especially on the basis of the internal differentiation of a large capitalist farmer out of the peasantry, and development of an internal market). Forms of Sociation, II Between Tributary Formations and Capitalist Modernity The actual emergence of capital and capitalism the distinction will become clear in the course of this presentation into human history was a contingent event, which is not to say that the once capital appeared its development did not possess a certain necessity (we shall return to this).
1

This identity can be seen as late as, for example, Egypt in the middle of the long nineteenth century. As an autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire since 1805, the greatest overlord of Egypt, the Khedive (roughly, Viceroy), embodied in his person the state. Thus, Rondo Cameron notes that, in regard to the debt controlled by foreign capital, The exact amount of the debt, as well as its origin, has always been a moot point owing to the fact that there was no clear distinction between the debts of the Viceroy and those of the government. France and the Economic Development of Europe, 468 n. 30. In contradistinction, the modern state of the bourgeoisie and capital stands out sharply: The modern state of capital is unique in its institutional and separate character, its appearance as a "public" force clothed in this sham objectivity that sets it apart from and over and against individuals, the underlying social classes, and society at large. While any modern, centralized state may come in the short run to be identified with a specific historical personage, what distinguishes it from states that appear in other past epochs is a seeming efficacy, permanence and reality that render it at once objectively independent in relation to society and independent of any specific ruler. 2 Henri Frankfurt, Kingship and the Gods, 15, who, referring exclusively to ancient Egypt of the Pharaohs, we have generalized.

Since what we aim at here is a determination of the concepts of formal and real domination in production, one that includes a periodization of the entire history of capitalist development, and on this basis an account of these forms of domination as eras in the history of capitalism in their relation to historically significant, novel departures in the history of modern science, we are required to integrate discussion of the specificity of forms of domination with the conditions of the formation of capital. We start from the previous reconstruction and analysis of real historical, fundamental forms of sociation in order to summarily recount the formation of capital in its recognizably modern shape as self-valorizing value. At its origins (beginning with its antediluvian forms), it did not, however, and could not have this character. This account (the following schematization) will effectively yield, as we shall see, a determination of formal domination (in Marx, the formal subsumption of labor under capital),1 which is the first of those forms of capitals domination in production and which, returning to the schematization of historical development permits us to reconstruct not just those forms (formal and real domination) but, in the latter case, its various phases. It is only on this basis that we can elicit a determination of the relation of forms to eras of domination in the history of capitalism and demonstrate the internal connection of the latter to novel, historically important departures in the history of science There is, certainly, circularity in all this: It appears that our presentation presupposes a prior, operative concept of the conditions necessary for the formation of capital as capital. This is true. This circularity largely resolves itself into the difference between the (method of) investigation and (that of) presentation: If we have stressed the meticulous, detailed study, scrutiny and assimilation of historical contents effectively the work carried out by Marx in his preparatory studies to Capital2 in so many words, the element of investigation, we can recognize there is a logic or a method to investigatory activity. This logic is dialectical, that is, there is no essence that can be extracted without analysis of the various forms of phenomena as they exhibit themselves, the investigation admits of no absolutely valid starting points, does not move forward in a straight line, recognizes each particular moment, detail, fact, idea or category receives its significance only as it assumes its places in the totality, a totality that simultaneously can only be grasped as its partial, incomplete moments, the facts which form it, coalesce. The logic of investigation moves from tacit theoretical assumptions to detailed historical analysis, facts, and back to the theory, more or less modified and back to analysis in a circular movement that concretizes both moments and totality, analysis and theory; and, it is in this movement that specific determinants here the conditions for the formation of capital emerge. The logic of presentation also has, albeit distinctively different, a well defined, methodologically necessary structure: Like Hegel (and Marx), we always begin with an object that is simply given or immediately present, what is isolated and abstract,3 understanding that what is there immediately, undetermined and implicit in the beginning is there concretely fully mediated and determined, fully developed in the end, and is thus comprehended and no longer merely undersood:4 The logic of presentation demands the points of departure and arrival, capital, are formally identical, that in the end we return to our initial situation, now conceptually determined, comprehended and explained...
1

Marx, Resultate des unmittelbaren Produktionsprozesses This is the today well-known and so-called 6th chapter of Kapital, unpublished in Marxs lifetime or, for that matter, until the 1970s. As a matter of both nuance and clarity the English translations are most often too literal we have used the German and presented our own translations of this text as well as other works of Marx from which we cite. 2 In English, Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Grundrisse, The Economic Manuscripts of 1861-1863, Works, Vols. 30-33 and The Economic Manuscripts of 1861-1864, Works, Vol. 34.. 3 Allerdings mu sich die Darstellungsweise formell von der Forschungsweise unterscheiden. Die Forschung hat den Stoff sich im Detail anzueignen, seine verschiednen Entwicklungsformen zu analysieren und deren innres Band aufzuspren. Erst nachdem diese Arbeit vollbracht, kann die wirkliche Bewegung entsprechend dargestellt werden. Gelingt dies und spiegelt sich nun das Leben des Stoffs ideell wider, so mag es aussehn, als habe man es mit einer Konstruktion a priori zu tun. (Of course the method of presentation must differ in form from that of inquiry. The latter has to appropriate the material in detail, to analyze its different forms of development, to trace out their inner connection. Only after this work is done, can the actual movement be adequately described. If this is done successfully, if the life of the subjectmatter is ideally reflected as in a mirror, then it may appear as if we had before us a mere a priori construction.) Cited from the Nachwort to the second German edition (1873) of Kapital. Our translation. 4 jener Unmittelbarkeit und Einfachheit des Angangs ist es darum gleich Es ist das Werden seiner selbst, der Kreis, der sein Ende als seinen Zweck voraussetzt und zum Anfange hat, und nur durch die Ausfhrung und sein Ende wirklich ist. (Immediacy and simplicity are characteristic of the beginning It is the process of its own becoming, the circle which presupposes its end as its purpose, and has its end for its beginning; it becomes concrete and actual only be being carried out, and by the end it involves.) Hegel, Vorrede, Phnomenologie des Geistes. Our translation.

Capital can only appear on the basis of social division, where agriculture, social stratification with fixed positions in a division of labor and a state are already present. So if we return to tributary formations we can note that it is here that capital first appeared (and manifestly not in its modern form), but not in all such formations at all times: We recall that they rested on village communities. In a general way, all human needs within such communities are fulfilled from within the community itself. The presence of agriculture is massive and overwhelming. The land is worked, is considered it is merely straightforwardly taken for granted the patrimony of the community whether free peasant families work it and the householder is effectively the proprietor or whether a higher unity (i.e., kingly power, the state whether in the person of a pharaoh, an emperor, a tsar, or a divine king) is owner and the relation of the community members to the land is one of usufruct. In any case, land and soil are related to those who work it in a matter in which they cannot be detached, are inseparable, or in Marxs pregnant phrase, the Earth is the inorganic body of those who work it and this is an objective characterization, i.e., the soil is the unorganische Natur vorgefundner Leib seiner Subjektivitt.1 Those needs satisfied in and this relation are, to be sure, narrow or restricted, and where they transcend the immediate family, it is someone with non-agriculturally special skills (say a smith) who is nonetheless indistinguishably part of the community, a member of the village, that provides for the requirement, e.g., fabricates an iron fitting for a cartwheel. The narrow or restricted character of needs here makes it possible to characterize this situation in terms of household production (where, of course, a household may include a family of several generations all working the land jointly, not the nuclear family of the modern bourgeois era) Following upon collapse of the old Roman tributary formation down to emergence of towns, all production in the West started from the self-sufficient household (oikos), either that of free peasants or that of the lords manor or both It was in these interstices were a modicum of intercourse within the vast rural fabric of tributary social formations and within which exchanges took place and, thus, wherein a medium of this exchange, precious metals (gold, silver), was created. A lengthy historical development led to formation of market towns, to a division of labor in which the merchant appeared not just as a trader who exchanges goods of one community with another but as a fixture within the division of labor who helped to bring this medium in its most abstract form, money, into being and who accumulated wealth in monetary form: It was only on the edges of great ancient tributary forms (e.g., the Greek cities along the western perimeter of the Persian empire) and in the urban enclaves of modern tributary formations such as feudalism in Britain, France, Italy or Japan that capital appeared and appeared only in its antediluvian forms which, following Marx, were merchants capital and usury.2 Within these towns, the merchants original function was to dispose of what tiny surpluses the villages generated (where they accrued at all). But with their development, an internal, relatively elaborate division of labor formed, craftsmen and small-scale commodity production first appeared. It is at this moment that production lost its strictly local character (i.e., its relation centered largely from its standpoint on the surrounding villages as its hinterland). A social significant layer of merchants constituted over time characterized by a relatively fixed division of labor within this community a layer formed not just by traders who mediated exchange among the villages, but by merchants who related town to town in terms of a broader-based exchange of products, and by merchants who specialized in money itself, i.e., by bankers all of whom created a regular outlet and market for products (among individuals who are strictly town dwellers), accelerated the development of crafts with their array of artisans, and a craft social structure (master, journeymen, apprentices) with its institutional embodiment in the guild. We can speak of production of this sort, that which corresponded to the formation of towns within tributary formations and within which an accumulation (a hoard) of monetary wealth as merchant capital appeared, as (handi)craft production. Craft production developed with the formation and development of towns, with merchant capital mediating the commerce carried out among towns. But the full elaboration of this form leads beyond itself.
1

The soil is the objective, nature-given inorganic body of his [the toilers] subjectivity (our translation). Marx, Grundrisse, Heft IV (Formen, die der kapitalistischen Produktion vorhergehen), in Marx-Engels Werke, Bd. 42, konomische Manuskripte, 1857/1858, 385. 2 Es is vielmehr durch Wucher besonders auch gegen das gruneigentum ausgebten und durch Kaufmannsgewinne aufgehuftes mobiles Vermgen Geldvermgen, das in Kapital im eigenlichen Sinn, industrielles Kapital verwandelt wird... soweit sie... nichts als selbst Formen des Kapitals, sondern als frhere Vermgensformen erscheinen, als Voraussetzungen fr das Kapital... Die Kapitalbildung geht daher... vom Kaufmanns- und Wuchervermgen. (The money wealth which becomes transformed into capital in the authentic sense, into industrial capital, is rather the mobile wealth amassed through usury -- particularly that practiced against landed property and obtained by mercantile [means] They themselves do not appear as forms of capital, but as earlier forms of wealth, as presuppositions for capital The formation of capital thus emerge[s] from merchants and usurers wealth.) Marx, Ibid (Grundrisse, Heft V, Formen, die der kapitalistischen Produktion vorhergehen), 412. Our translation, all emphases added.

On the edges of the feudal and manorial tributary formations that took shape in western Europe, in present day Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, northern and eastern Spain and pockets on the Italian Peninsula, the development of the towns gave rise to the great cities of the high medieval era: The big men of these cities the oligarchy of old families among the great bankers, cloth merchants and long distant traders actually conquered the feudal lords of their surrounding countryside in Florence the populo grasso mobilized the small townsmen in militias to defeat the magnati of the contado (the strictly rural, seigniorial great noble clans) and established a popular communal regime based on the most productively significant guilds. This conquest freed the great merchants, permitted them to participate fully in, mediating, the social elaboration of a growing detailed division of labor in craft production. With their detailed regulations covering all aspects of daily life in production, the guilds protected the structure of the crafts, first and foremost the great craftsmen, the masters, who often became detached from production, merchants in their own right. Where on the basis of craft production merchants developed a culture of their own, they could make great inroads into tributary forms of production recall the situation in late fourteenth century Florence briefly alluded to above but they did not revolutionize and transform it (production): Their aim remained amassing money wealth for the purposes of its display, so, though, exchange may have been vastly expanded, markets greatly enlarged and the geographical reach of merchant activity no longer local may have encompassed large distances on a regular basis, the craft control over production signified that social relations which rose from it remained, in a highly mediated way, relations... that express[ed] a prevalence of use value and production oriented toward use value, as well as a real community which is itself still immediately present as a premise of production1 (our translation, our emphasis). In the end, production did not exist for its own sake, did not aim at reproducing and expanding what had yet to fully come into being, capital. Thus, to return to Florence (Genoa and perhaps Venice) where this development went further than anywhere in history, not only did Ottimati (oligarchical) power collapse long before the capitulation of the Republic to Charles Vs Castilian columns in 1530, in the face of growing, successful competition emanating from the Low Countries by no later than the first quarter of the chronological fifteen century Florence was already undergoing a de-development as its Medici leadership pursued state-sponsored mercantilist trade practices oriented to the defense of Florentine merchants, and the great urban patricians retired to their country estates giving the semblance of a re-feudalization of social relations satisfied with their accumulated mercantile, family wealth and the vicious exploitation of sharecropping tenants (mtayers).2 And, even though a form of capitalist domination in production had indisputably appeared within Florence (as far back and further than the moment of the Ciompi Revolution, 1378) among the sottoposti the proletarian element of which was composed of clothworkers (primarily wool but also silk workers), the corders and beaters who performed the least skilled tasks in the clothing botteghe, who were clearly the most homogeneous stratum, and who were regularly propertyless wage earners (not hourly but by contract)3 its appearance there at this moment was local or sporadic, and did not amount to a development: Barriers to further penetration of the value form remained: The guild structure of the community which was fully integrated into Florentine great merchant dominated polity on which the latter rested; production which was restricted by the size of the market and by the merchant desire to produce profitability on the basis of the restricted character of luxury goods and not production for productions sake; the practice of the great merchants (bankers and traders) that aimed at the accumulation of money wealth for display, not for its own sake. In terms of the formation of capital, the whole situation can, as we noted above, be conceptually apprehended as one of its (two) antediluvian forms, as merchants capital that, eventually led beyond itself: This restricted development effectively inaugurated the movement of capital, for the presence of its antediluvian forms (merchants and usury capital), here at least, gave rise to the formal domination of capital over labor in production in a hybrid or bastard, stagnating form in which, extracted from peasants by lord and landlord, service (tribute) was fused with that strictly economic domination. The same development can, however, generate a far different historical outcome. In this, the latter case, merchants, a great craftsmen or a country lord, as the case may be, pursue, from the perspective of production, the accumulation of social wealth in its various forms for its own sake:
1

Verhltnisse, die ebensosehr ein Vorherrschen des Gebrauchswerts und der auf den umittelbaren Gebrauch gerichteten Produktion wie eines unmittelbar selbst noch als Voraussetzung der Produktion vorhanden realen Gemeinwesens ausdrcken. Ibid, 416. 2 See The History of Florence and the Florentine Republic, Part III, Section 3. 3 Ibid, Part III, Section 2.

In the English countryside, a small lord, a gentry gentleman, a large tenant (especially a large tenant with a customary tenure that permitted him to exploit the difference between the fixed rent he paid a great lord and the economic rents he charged small peasants) each began to pursue accumulation, not just of money wealth but, of land, and instruments deployed in agriculture (oxen, cattle, ploughs) Regardless of whether they were formally free or not, customary tenure provided peasants with the right to hereditarily hand down that tenure to a son, set his rent on his lords land at an amount fixed by custom (and not by, e.g., the nascent movement of price), it allowed him access to the lords uncultivated lands for grazing his animals, gathering wood for fuel, picking berries, nuts, mushrooms, etc., to supplement his and his familys diet and gathering herbal plants for food and medicinal purposes; and it gave him the right to participate in local governance such as manorial courts or village assemblies...1 Always aimed at eliminating customary tenure, ruthless struggle was undertaken by landowners and large tenantsbecome-capitalist farmers to effectively expropriate poor freeholders and copyholders, with the objective historical outcome the dissolution of customary right, peasant subordination to capitals formal domination, and proletarianization. Whether in England, western, central or eastern Europe, the entire history of the development of the formal domination of capital over labor in agriculture crystallized in the fight for and against customary tenure In the cities, for example those on the Italian Peninsula the social formation developed in one direction, where masters distributed work in their own large domestic workshops among journeymen and apprentices that were here, at this moment, formally proletarians, and yet it developed in another direction as great merchants, the heads of great guilds or corporations in England, they were called companies parceled out work, piecework if you will, among laborers that operated out of their own dwellings. In either direction, craft control in production slowly began to dissolve. Highly socially organized, production of this sort can be characterized as a domestic system. In Tudor and Stuart England (which is the model here), this was the historical moment of the subordination of towns to national unification, the initial emergence of the national economy that immediately predated the first theoretical reflections on these developments otherwise known as political economy. Here we have come to a break in a lengthy historical process with its own presuppositions, in particular, simple commodity production for exchange on local markets; the development of money as a universal medium of exchange; accordingly, a generalized circulation of products and money; an accumulation (or, as Marx says, the piling up) of money wealth, its concentration in the hands of a tiny social layer of individuals, often on the basis of usury (constituting a free fund with which the purchase of land, instruments and capacity to labor was made). It is at this crucial point it appeared first in history in the West, on the Italian peninsula in an aborted manner (aborted precisely because the tributary forms based on services provided by proletarianized peasants did not entirely disappear) and in England where capitalism did first appear that a fateful development occurred. There is a passage from Umberto Ecos The Name of the Rose that, albeit novelistically, neatly summarizes this development, a movement in which, described objectivistically, the monetarization of social relations opens up a fissure in the structure of society, a structure which from the standpoint of production characterized all hitherto existing forms in which an undeveloped (and if not undeveloped then an indeterminate) sphere of material production began to undergo a startling change, from production for the sake of consumption (in however hierarchical a form distribution was organized and the benefits of production were appropriated) to one in which increasingly something other, at first merely an intermediary, took precedence: Money, in Italy, has a different function from what it has in your country, or in mine. Money circulates everywhere, but much of life elsewhere is still dominated and regulated by the bartering of goods, chicken or sheaves of wheat, or a scythe, or a wagon, and money serves only to procure these goods. In the Italian city, on the contrary, you must have noticed that goods serve money. And even priests, bishops, even religious orders have to take money into account2 This, the development of primacy of exchange over production, the unfolding ascendancy of mercantile wealth over goods and services which Marx called use values, was also a long historical process and it was not capital (or capitalism) in its recognizably modern form, but this movement, ideally reconstructed, did signify and point back to an actual historical transformation of momentous importance, a process of dissolution in which old bonds of personal dependence rural as well as urban were cut, cast aside.3
1 2

Bush, Ibid, 137-138. The speaker is Ecos protagonist, Brother William of Baskerville. 3 In allen diesen Auflsungenprozessen... da Verhltnisse der Produktion aufgelst werden, worin vorherrscht: Gebrauchswert, Produktion fr den umittelbaren Gebrauch; der Tauschwert und die Produktion desselben das Vorherrschen der andren Form zur Voraussetzung hat; daher auch in allen diesen Verhltnissen Naturallieferungen und Naturaldienste ber Geldzahlung und Geldleistung vorherrscht. (In all these

What is at issue here is the process of dissolution, its historical significance: A mass of individuals, whole social layers or strata, were cut loose from their place in the division of labor within a community to which hitherto they were seemingly indissolubly bound. If they were serfs, free peasants, or tenants and they worked the soil, this bond was so intimate the Earth was simply sensuously-materially given, appearing as their inorganic body; if they were craftsmen (masters, journeymen, apprentices), previously they had real, practical control over or (the prospects of) proprietorship of the instruments and tools of their craft, all of which was heritable and not alienable. Through a lengthy historical process, all these were alienated and became freely available, purchasable, to those with the wherewithal to make that purchase. All the individuals, laborers, were left with was their capacity to labor.1 Now if the separation of a mass of individuals from the objective conditions of their productive realization, from the means and materials of labor, is the first historical condition of the formation of a system of social relation known as capitalism, the second is the other side of the same event (i.e., historical process), the creation of this "free" labor together with its exchange on a market for money in return for reunion with those same means and materials of production. It is only when these conditions were satisfied and became socially generalized, accordingly, when the laborers, stripped of their control or proprietorship over both instruments of production and property in production, met another who possessed both and with whom the laborers exchanged their capacity to labor in return for the "opportunity" to earn the monetary means to provide for their vital needs (while that other, now a capitalist, retained possession of the product as his property), that the valorization process, and hence the creation of capital, can be instituted. These are the foundations of capitalism; they remain extant, are repeated daily in countless exchanges, and constitute the necessary conditions without which it cannot be reproduced. The same historical development, as necessary, concurrent consequences, dissolves all hitherto existing social relations (e.g., personal dependency as in the case of the slave or serf, proprietorship as in the case of the free peasant, inheritability of craft, tools and skills and their status as property as in the case of the craft master) and, as well, the institutional framework which these social relations were created and within which they functioned (e.g., guilds as in the case of craftsmen). Under these conditions finally the very relation between the owner of the conditions of labor and the worker is dissolved into a pure relation of buying and selling, or a monetary relation (our translation, emphases in original).2 Admixtures, seigniorial, patriarchal and sacred, disappear from the relation of exploitation: The formation of capital is inaugurated Formal Domination, I Chronology and History Let's pause and recapitulate the tentative determination of the formal subsumption of labor under capital (formal domination) offered above: First rising historically from the struggle of peasant proprietors against dispossession, formal domination is activity undertaken from outside the production process proper usually by a merchant. He siphons off surpluses in exploiting labor and does so without either reorganizing those productive activities or generating new technical inputs to them no technological transformation or reorganization of that process itself is undertaken which in the event in both cases dramatically increase the productivity of labor (at this historical moment
processes of dissolution the relations of production are broken up: where use value prevails, production for immediate consumption; where exchange value and its production rests on the prevalence of the other form; and, thus, in all these relations payments in kind and services in kind predominate over cash and money payments.) Marx, Ibid (Grundrisse, Heft V), 410. Our translation. 1 Capacity to labor translates literally and, in our view, far more preferably than labor power Arbeitsvermgen. Auf der einen Seite werden historische Prozesse vorausgesetzt, die eine Masse Individuen enire Nation etc. in die Lage, wenn zunchst nicht von wirklichen freien Arbeitem versetzt haben, doch von solchen, die es dynamei sind, deren einziges Eigentum ihr Arbeitsvermgen und die Mglichkeit, es auszutauschen gegen vorhanden Werte; Individuen, denen alle objektiven Bedingungen der Produktion als fremdes Eignetum, also ihr Nicht-Eigentum gegenberstehn, aber zugleich als Werte austauschbar, daher aneigenbar zu einem certain degree durch lebendige Arbeit. (To the one side, historic processes are presupposed which have placed a mass of individuals in a nation, etc., in the situation of formally free workers; if not so at first, then so dynamically [i.e., objectively and historically, individuals] whose only property is their capacity to labor and the possibility of exchanging it for values that are to hand; individuals who confront all objective conditions of production as alien property, not as their own property, but at the same time as values, as exchangeable, thus acquirable to a certain degree through living labor.) Marx, Ibid (Grundrisse, Heft V), 409. Our translation, all emphases in original. 2 ...endlich das Verhltnis der Besitzer der Arbeitsbedingungen und der Arbeiter selbst in ein reines Kauf- und Verkaufverhltnis oder Geldverhltnis auflst. Marx, Resultate des unmittelbaren Produktionsprozesses.

measured in terms of agricultural output) Rather, the producers are simply" subordinated to exchange, the market and the merchant, but not to the production process itself. Let's see if we can develop this determination as it was historically constituted... We distinguish between the simple chronology of bourgeois historiography and a revolutionary, communist perspective for which the movement of capital shapes inner historical development, creating both that history as universal history and major divisions within it, the grand periodization (epochs of formal and real domination) within which this movement unfolds, and the perspective within it from which that entire development can be leveraged with a view to its revolutionary transcendence (i.e., abolition of capital, its movement and the objectively separate institutional and the cognitive forms it has given rise to). Perhaps seemingly otherwise, this history has been neither linear nor progressive: The development it recounts is only that of capital and the increasingly integrated specific societal envelopes that formed its medium and content. The movement of capital has ceaselessly shifted spatially unfolding in Florence, in the Low Countries, in England or elsewhere and temporally, has unfolded at rhythms and tempos that vary in kind and duration from place to place and from one time to another (i.e., constituted those various times in their inner historicity). In the general regions where this development occurred, whole areas the larger part of Europe and the Americas were for the longest time never drawn into, remaining subject to the different temporalities and historicities of specific tributary formations. Consider, then, a periodization of major divisions within, that as a conceptual lever provides us with genuine insight into, this movement and development. We make no claims as to the ultimate real value of this periodization, and we shall proceed by utilizing chronological history as a point of reference and contrast. The divisions began with the rough date of 1200, which (starting from circa 800) marked the close of the period of social relations of feudal tribute in their geographical heartland concentrated in Normandy but, generally, in northwest Europe from the Loire to the Rhine. In point of fact, the first date is merely a midpoint, an average, since, as we shall shortly see, nowhere else in Europe besides in this heartland is it adequate. The first period came to a close with the very initial creation though not in this core zone alone of a sphere of social life that was detached from the rest of society, i.e., the formation of petty commodity producing regions based on economies of urban manufacturers, banking and trade. This occurred perhaps first in old Cataluya, about the same time in the Low Countries (Flanders and Brabant in the northwestern reaches of the old feudal heartland), somewhat later in Florence and still later in England, i.e., in the great urban center of London, with a far more radical, rural version based on the establishment of waged labor appearing for the first time at this same moment in its, Londons, immediate north along the eastern English coast, its west in the midlands and the southeast. In class terms... and these terms are in every era the decisive reference point because it is social and class struggle and their institutional outcomes that reconstitute society on a different basis and inaugurate new moments or novel phases in this periodization... the period ended with the submission of the noblesa castral in the Barcelona countryside (and the wresting of control of the surrounding villages from Moorish freebooters and land pirates), the proscription of the magnati or great landed nobles of the Florentine contado, and the movement of textile production in the Low Countries from its rural origins to the towns, creating cities (Antwerp, Bruges); formally, its end was marked by the formulation of codes that governed relations between town and country and the classes that inhabited both, the Catalan Usatges developed and formalized from 1050 to 1125, the promulgation of the Ordinances of Justice in Florence in 1292, for what had disappeared here was the effective dominance of feudal tributary relations in Catalonia, on the Italian Peninsula, though not (yet) the Low Countries.1
1

Feudal, in the Catalan case at least, was a misnomer: When set aside the pastoral zone that dominated central to northern Iberia and latifundia slavery and petty commodity production in the Moorish center and south, the comparison allowed Catalonia to appear by way of contrast as feudal. But the specific type tenantcy, the fundamental social relation on which the entirety of Catalan countryside in this era rested, here the production of wheat, olives and vines and with it the handing over of halves in kind, was not feudalism. (See the extended note, First Study, Part I, Castilian Empire in Early Modern Europe, Capitalism and Formal Domination, above.) In the Catalan countryside, the central social relation of feudal society, reciprocal ties of personal dependence, that is, the provision of labor services in return for protection, were largely missing. Once he had forced his peasants to the wall as tenants, the Catalan overlord extracted surpluses on the basis of a productive relation: A rent in kind was delivered up to the lord in turn for lease of the land. Yes, extra-economic measures, namely taxes, were imposed to enhance the lords revenue. Yet the fundamental social relation on which the lords form of life depended exhibited mutual dependency only in the formal economic sense. In return for the means to his existence, the lord reciprocated nothing: There was no internalized obligatory relation which compelled him to provide his peasants with protection and defense. In Catalonia,

Emphasizing again that these temporal demarcations taken together form a schema designed merely to facilitate comprehension of the movement of capital in terms of its formal ascendency in production, we can note the various phases, eras or periods that followed. The first following close upon a feudal tributary period witnessed the institutional consolidation of the Roman Church and in Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) and Scholasticism (later, Albert of Saxony, d. 1294, who though was not a Scholastic philosopher) the greatest elaboration of Absolute Spirit, which came after the substantive developments and achievements in production and the material culture of daily life had already reached their zenith and had begun to undergo decline. It lasted until about 1380, two years after the Ciompi struggle for full incorporation into the Florentine political community, marking the genuine historical terminal points of the internal political and regional economic expansion of the medieval Communes as such, and, even more significantly, forty years after the craftsmen, wool weavers, of Bruges had, aligning themselves with peasants, engaged in insurrectionary actions for a decade that once and for all laid low the power of the feudal nobles of Flanders.1 The next phase (again, understood merely as a retrospective, tentative schematization and not as the structure of a necessary historical development) began from these defeats and was characterized by the rapid rise of political forms (oligarchical governance and on this basis individual tyranny, kingly government) far more congruent with the power of the great bankers and manufacturers that had developed in production, and an initial centralization that was necessary to further development. It had already completed its inner development by 1485. In one of the advanced zones (from the standpoint of capital coming into being) this last date designates the Battle of Bosworth, last battle of the English dynastic civil wars (War of the Roses). Thirty years (1455-1485) of struggle amongst the English feudal nobility exhausted and ruined it, in raising armies, in actual fighting (major battles were fought in 1455, 1460, 1470-1471 and 1485), in intrigue resulting in murders and executions. In the balance, the English crown was vastly strengthened, i.e., centralized, by the financial resources that accrued to it as both of the great noble families (Lancaster and York) engaged, while holding the crown, in estate confiscations to fund their fighting... Such was the institutional outcome of this internecine struggle... Absent the bloody internal class fighting, never having been feudal and based in urban cloth manufacturer and in the financial institutions generated to support, in central Italy the Florentine oligarchy traced out a similar trajectory as the Medici family (through maneuver, proscriptions, abolishing some and packing other bodies of communal government) gained control of the various republican institutions, centralized them, and reduced them to empty shells and rubber stamps of the activity of an individual tyrant.2 At the same time, the end of this era signified the close of the period of initial elaboration of those forms of Objective Spirit, namely, law and civil administration, which were crucial for later growth and expansion of capitalism in Europe and North America. From 1470 until 1590, four events unfolded and defined a new era or phase: First, Castile rose and a Spanish tributary formation committed to stopping the spread, then annihilating, both republican and non-Catholic forms of awareness consolidated itself, all the while it plundered the wealth of tributary formations in the Americas, second, laying the groundwork for the penetration of capital (and with it a backward capitalism) in the New World, so called. Third, the petty commodity zone in the Low Countries rapidly expanded on the basis of the development of towns in the previous period. Fourth, these two (Castile and the Low Countries), and the forms of organized social life each rested on, clashed in a war that lasted ninety years. By the closing years of the chronological sixteenth century (i.e., from 1590), the monstrous Castilian military machine (especially the Army of Flanders) began to consume its own foundations, which in its own way contributed mightily to the triumph of the formal domination of capital over labor in these three zones (England primarily in the south and east, the Italian Peninsula in the center and north, and the Low Countries), thus, to its periodization which we can retrospectively, on the basis on the entirety of the forgoing, date to end of tributary relations in at least two of the initial core zones, circa 1290. This is significant for already a transcontinental economy had formed with its centers in the great coastal cities, London, Bruges and Antwerp,
a social structure was established on the foundations of a system of land rent, as opposed to service: The lord did not reciprocally provide protection to his tenants. For this see the discussion of the Counts of Barcelona in our The Origins and Development of Catalan Nationalism: Catalan and Castilian Antagonism in Spanish History. 1 See chapter 2 of Henriette Roland Holsts De Revolutionaire Masse-Actie, the section entitled De massa-acties van de middeleeuwse stadsbevolking. Concluding the same development, we would note the peasant insurrections, the large jacquerie in France in 1358 and the uprising associated with the names of Tyler and John Ball in England in 1381, briefly discussed by Roland Holst's in an earlier section entitled De massa-actie van de middeleeuwse landbevolking. 2 See The History of Florence and the Florentine Republic, Part III in its entirety, where theses major developments in this history are traced out.

Genoa, Florence and Venice, and with these and other cities (Barcelona, Marseilles) mediating the passage of unfinished goods and raw materials from interiors and regions such as Tuscany, the Midlands, CastilianEstremadura-Andalusia (where the great Castilian sheep lords gazed their herds) to the crucial centers, those coastal cities. Extending into the Levant (and soon into the colonies of North America) by way of trade, this world economy was based largely on textiles, especially woolens and then silk. (Each center possessed its own specific auxiliary industries, for example, in Venice, glass and mirror, wax, sugar and soap production.) It was Spanish warring that undermined much of this and set the stage for a massive, famine-war-epidemics enhanced contraction of productive activity circa 1600-1640, and thereafter the shift of the center of this economy from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic (concentrated in the triangular trade between London, plantation agricultural Virginia and the West Indies, and central, coastal West Africa). It was also during this phase that those historical events and practices forming the objective basis for a theorization of homogeneous space - we have Galileo in mind - unfolded, thereby creating a central, decisive condition for the elaboration of the modern science of nature Castile was exhausted in its struggle with a nascent Dutch capitalism and then battered largely by the French in the final phase (1634-1648) of the Thirty Years War. Not even the vast treasures plundered in the Americas and annually returned to it could it avoid the bankruptcy of its treasury. Occurring simultaneously and at the midpoint of this period, the decline, then collapse, of the greatest tributary formation that appeared in Europe in the entire epoch prior to capitals real domination was the other side of the triumph of the Puritan, parliamentary bearers of British capitalism, which was based on that triangular trade, and which points to the two of the three other significant events of the period, namely, the growing establishment of national boundaries, the appearance of bourgeois nations as the basis of capitalist development, and, unifying this development through mercantile policies and practices, the creation by ruling class social groups, sometimes quite diverse (e.g., with landed aristocratic and urban, great merchant components), of a national state. The fourth, and retrospectively by far the most significant, feature of this phase of the inner history of the development of European capitalism was creation of the novel, modern science of nature, an event that stretched in time from Galileo earliest efforts (Du Motu, 1590) to Newtons Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687), dates which define this phase. (This is the period with which the First Study has been most concerned.) On the heels of the first great bourgeois revolution and its Commonwealth defense and transformation, the era which follows was inaugurated by the demise of English kingship in the historically significant sense at one end (1689), with that event which firmly established the class alliance that would first bring into being in Britain the real domination of capital over labor in production, starting from the Industrial Revolution as it is called. At the other end (1789), it is circumscribed by the onset of the greatest single revolutionary-transformative event of this history to this moment, the French Revolution, which, in its turn, established the basis for the penetration of the value form as real domination in the zone of western Europe as a whole. If we now move beyond the historical framework in which capital's formal ascendency in production unfolded, we can note three further phases in this schematization, as it were contemporary elaborations beyond formal subsumption. Thus, it was precisely the institution of real domination that has created the contemporary world starting from, beyond Britain, by way of Napoleonic conquest, occupation of the French revolutionary armies and with both the institution of the complete material premises, the legal and social codes promulgated by Napoleon, of this form of domination in this zone (contemporary Belgium, Luxembourg, the Rhine lands, Bavaria, and outside continental Europe, Haiti, and Louisiana in the United States). This is the period of the long nineteenth century lasting from 1790 until 1914, in which, further, modern science begins to most forcibly assert its sway over daily life (through its fusion with technology and in which it creates, at it were, real domination as it systematically ingresses into production, and, of course, it is the class bearers of science who were the real agents here) and in which the rise of the first great international capitals (in Germany, Britain, France and the United States) and their competition is carried out in the arena of the world, in the imperialism that brings large regions of the world under the sway of capitalist development (both formal and real) and which is consummated in imperialist world war.1 While the formal domination of capital over labor in production reaches back to its first appearance in the Mediterranean west (Barcelona) and center (Genoa, Florence and Venice) and coastal northwest Europe (Bruges, Antwerp) circa 1200 and forward to the general crisis of capital in the first half of the last century, in the aftermath of that prolonged crisis marked by two world wars and a Slump which was its most massive, concentrated
1

See our The German Road to Renewed Imperialist World War, the Introduction in its entirety.

expression we can fix the date 1950 as that moment at which real domination of capital over labor in production itself stretching back to the origins of capital as capital, the Industrial Revolution so-called had begun to effectively hold sway over the largest parts of the world. Standing, as it were, at its midpoint, this date is circumscribed by the short twentieth century (1915-1991): At one end, we can look back to that general crisis, while the collapse of the entire zone of highly bureaucratized, state capitals, the ongoing decline of the reigning American hegemon, and the rise of alternative world centers of accumulation in East Asia, signaling the beginning of another, historic shift in the locus of the movement of capital, delineates it at the other end. We can conclude by noting that, utilizing the date 1992, the last period in this schematization, a transitional, perhaps even novel development in the history of capitalism has been set off by the inauguration of the totalizing domination of capital over society,1 the reemergence of a tendential drift toward renewed imperialist world war and, heightening all the contradictions of this development, by a climate change that itself is the product of the dynamics of capitalist development and, in particular, product of the depth penetration of techno-science into, reshaping, the foundations of life in earthly nature. Based on planetary warming, ongoing climate change threatens to destroy the entire edifice (built environment, humanized natural landscapes, and the material embodiments of capitalist civilization) raised on the basis of this development Throughout the rest of this work, reference to various eras, periods, phases and even centuries, as a temporal framework defining and defined by specific developments is, unless otherwise indicated, to the forgoing discussion understood in terms of a mere conceptual schematic, whose aim is to illuminate the historical formation of capital in its mediate relation to the modern science of nature and whose moments serve as points of reference. Formal Domination, II Social, then Class Struggle and the Inauguration of Capitals Domination in Production Struggle on the ground against the formation of capital is of paramount import, even if it appears here in this presentation as a digression: It goes straight to the heart of the matter. First, in the historical sense that social struggle against this new, naked form of exploitation and the oppression that peasants (villeins, copyholders, tenants, etc.) fought against created classes in the strict socio-economic sense (as opposed to their largely politico-juridical sense prior to the advent of capitalism, e.g., throughout the history of the Florentine Republic),2 and, second, in the profound sense that capitals domination in production and thereafter specific forms of that domination have never been established without resistance, without enormous struggle against exploiters who would further rob those who actually worked the land of proprietorship (or control over or both) of their natural conditions of production (that land, soil), and the means and materials of labor In this regard, we can unreservedly affirm where the struggle of the oppressed and exploited has been successful that domination has not been instituted If we turn to capitalism (real domination) at is origins, to its geographical home in England (and Wales), 3 we can note that the period of from that time at which towns in the Low Countries had really undergone growth and expansive capitalist development on the basis of formal domination (say, 1520) to down to the onset of the English Civil War (1640) was crucial. Among other things, in this period the population of England doubled. This enormous demographic pressure provided an impetus to agricultural production, which, in turn, disrupted traditional tributary social relations between lord and peasant in the countryside.4 The historical outcome was threefold: (i) private property in land through enclosures of "waste and common land became generalized; (ii) agriculture underwent concentration, small farms began to disappear and larger units of agricultural production emerged;5 and (iii) there emerged in England novel waged, social relations at once premising and developing on the foundation of a market economy based on maximizing profitability in exchange, i.e., the historical process of the formation of capital was, so to speak, set in motion.

See the Second Interlude, below. The History of Florence and the Florentine Republic, Section I. 2, and passim. 3 See the Introduction to Revolutionary Theories in the English Civil War; and R. H. Tawney, The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century. 4 We say tributary, and not feudal. In England, tributary social relations were centered on a manorial estate and their courts, for there, a customary legality played a decidedly important role in organizing those social relations from the get-go. 5 Lawrence Stone, The Causes of the English Revolution, 67-68.
2

In this period, nearly a century and a quarter, England underwent massive agricultural and urban development in conjunction with a perhaps more well-known, but nonetheless profound religious transformation (the emergence and consolidation of a popular Puritanism). This development put an end to seigniorial and paternalistic social relationships in the countryside, witnessed the differentiation of the peasantry and the emergence of antagonistic social classes therein - the most productively significant of which was the capitalist yeomanry, and saw the growth of the largest metropolis in the world, one base upon both historically large units of artisan and craft production and on a booming mercantile-protectionist export trade and one forming the nexus of a newly emerging integrated national market. A yeomanry engaged in grain production and sheep grazing and dairy farming, the craftsmen and masters engaged in woolen production, a multiplicity of "entrepreneurs" engaged in small scales manufacturers1 and the trading people and smaller merchants engaged in the distribution and export of wool taken together formed the central classes in the rise of capitalism, known in their own time as a "middling sort."2 As roughly the moment Castilian power reached its zenith (1550), wool, the chief English export, and grain were the two main commodities in English trade.3 Wool production was decisive. It gave rise to a characteristic development of the division of labor the non-rentier, landed classes owning sheep, poor workers, their wives and children spinning it, artisans weaving it, clothiers handling it, and merchants exporting it.4 In the countryside, sheep grazing, the material premise of woolen manufacturer and processing, was carried on by the English yeomanry, who at the end of this whole process transformed himself into the big capitalist farmer5 and who also engaged in the other central economic activity of the entire period, namely, grain production. The yeoman farmers were, historically, primarily responsible for actually performing enclosures6 - of common pasture lands, wooded areas, wastes, fens and hillsides - as well as the destruction of forests, the drain of marches not to mention the specific exploitative practices of forcing small copyholders to the ground, rack-rents,7 the resurrection of ancient feudal fines, subdivision of landholdings, legal challenges to copyhold title, as the struggle developed and grew more vicious which brought new acreage under cultivation and made the enormous increase in grain production possible, a necessity at once growing out of and supporting population growth. The enclosures pitted an emergent capitalist farmer against the small tenant peasantry. Capitalist farmers created great misery in disposing the smaller peasants and recreating them as landless laborers and vagabonds who swelled the urban areas (especially London), i.e., as actual and potential (rural and urban) waged labor, for, to repeat, in dispossession (separation of the peasant from the soil and his instruments of production) and free labor the conditions for the formation of capital and the system of social relations we call capitalism have taken shape. In summa, a ruthless struggle was inaugurated by landowners and ended successfully in the violent expropriation of poor freeholders and copyholders - most with only a faltering grip on a tiny plot. This struggle proceeded by means of enclosures, reclamation projects, lying, cheating, theft, fraudulent means of all sorts, legal and otherwise, but always with Power (here, the force of law) sanctioning the action. The struggle produced a sharp differentiation of the peasantry, creating a tiny stratum of successful capitalist farmers when measured against the similarly created mass
1 2

Joan Thirsk, Economic Policy and Projects, 2, 6-7. Revolutionary Theories in the English Civil War, Ibid. 3 Stone, Ibid, 70. With the century-long, demographical explosion dating from this time, grain would become more and more important. 4 Stone, Ibid, 68-69; David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed, 43. 5 Brian Manning, The English People And The English Revolution, 113. 6 Barrington Moore, Jr., Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, 9-11; Brian Manning, The English People and the English Revolution, 115-124. For a nuanced view of the enclosure themselves, see Joan Thirsk, Tudor Enclosures. 7 Copyholders were, as far back as the thirteen century, English peasants who security of tenure or hold on a plot of land was customary and guaranteed by manorial courts, where they may or may not have had documentation of their tenure (said to be by copy of the court roll), and may or may not have had explicitly a tenure at will, at the pleasure of the manorial lord. The enormous effort in the historical sense to dispossess English copyholders to reduce the size of their hold, to ramp up rents, to force them off the land altogether since a novel conception of the purpose of the land and the tenant occupying it gripped the yeoman farmer, no longer, as Tawney (Ibid, 4) suggests, concerned with the provision of services but with pecuniary gain especially in the chronological sixteenth century (though this struggle stretched back well in the previous century), is the precise historical analog of Marxs discussion (Grundrisse, Formen) of the ideal genesis (i.e., the logical requirements as they have been extracted from actual social and historical development) of the formation of capital. For a taste, a sense of this struggle, albeit it dry, removed and legally focused, see Tawney, Ibid, 47, 52-54, 287f. The rack-rent was an invention of the English yeoman-becoming-capitalist landlord. It refers to the practice on big estates of substituting short leases with reduced entry fees but higher annual rents for, replacing, long leases with high entry fees and low annual rents. Manning, Ibid, 117. These higher annual rents often reached the value of the property. For the entire question of peasant exploitation, see Manning, Ibid, 112-138.

of tenants and agricultural wage laborers. This gigantic class struggle, which retrospectively appears as a hundred and fifty year long historical "process" of violent expropriation, created, in England, those two central conditions for the appearance of capital. Now capitalism in starting from the dispossession of rural proprietors and their recreation as free (i.e., waged) labor does not always start from a gigantic class struggle. In the rural hinterlands and peripheries of world capitalism today, these conditions are also achieved without a fight by the encroachment of megacities (with developers or bureaucrats wielding the force of law to carry out dispossession) that swallow up farming villages, 1 in a strictly tourist make over of village communities where the armed force that is the state stands fully behind the bulldozing of homes for purposes of constructing hotels, shops and restaurants along a scenic seashore,2 and in the capitalistically driven destruction of intensely humanized peasant ecologies,3 in all cases leaving peasants with nothing but their capacity to labor to sell We stress the more than century long differentiation of a class of capitalist farmers out of a peasant mass because we think an autonomous agricultural transformation has historically demonstrated priority over the urban transformation, and is accordingly the really revolutionary road, in the development at the origins of capitalism. This can be seen in a contrast between English Midlands in the eras of Castiles rise (1470-1590), and with it the Churchs counter-reform, and its decline (1590-1689) where capitalism originally took root and Florence, in the eras of institutional consolidation of the Roman Church (1290-1380) and Communal decline together with initial political centralization (1380-1485), where the urban merchant patriciate, having defeated the feudal lords and controlling the countryside (contado), reduced peasants once subordinate to the magnati to sharecropping tenants, while these great merchants and bankers (befitting their prestigious standing in Florentine society) retired to their country estates to engage in a grand, gentlemanly display of wealth, and thus played a major role in the blockage of the further development of capitalism (beyond its formal nature). The primacy of agricultural over urban transformation in the rise of capitalism is demonstrated, further, in modern warfare in the bourgeois epoch in which total mobilization reigns and when it is fought symmetrically by conventional militaries (as opposed to asymmetrical warfare pitting a hierarchically organized standing, a conventional force against irregulars, or if you prefer, guerrillas), which have achieved relative parity in organization in speed, mobility, decentralized field command, leadership initiative, etc and who have comparable industrial-technological bases. That war will be prolonged, a war of attrition; 4 and, the issue will be decided by the superiority of a nationalistically motivated soldiery drawn from the industrial working class and capitalist tenants and farmers with their advanced industrialized agriculture in a struggle against peasant armies drawn from backward agriculture and motivated by loyalty to a sovereign (kaiser, tsar, emperor, sultan, etc.). The case in point was the first imperialist world war in which backward agriculture belonged to capitalist latecomers (Germany, Austro-Hungary and Russia) who suffered defeat at the hands of the older great capitalist powers (Britain, United States) whose advanced agriculture was already intensively organized by real domination, whose soldiery was largely industrial workers Formal Domination, III Ideal Genesis and Development of Capital Before 1600, a world economy, global capitalism in the era of its formal domination, was beginning to form. Its centers were in London and the eastern countries in England, Bruges and Antwerp in the Low Countries and Genoa, Florence, Venice and Milan on the Italian Peninsula, and in cities such as Barcelona and Marseilles mediating the passage of goods from interiors and regions to the major centers. By 1650, formal domination had become firmly entrenched and dominated the advanced zones of capitalist development, even if its determinate presence was not irreversible
1 2

Gregory Guldin, Whats a Peasant To Do?, 14-17. The events in question have occurred over and again in southern China. Jeremy Seabrook, In the Cities of the South, 16-24. The no longer extant coastal village of Batu Uban on the isle of Penang off the western Malaysian coast is the case in point. 3 This destruction is carried out by massive logging, in the place of forests establishment of monoculture crop plantations, and with both erosion, flooding then drought. Ibid, 27-28. The practices and processes summarized here refer to the Thai interior. For an overview of the whole process, see Contemporary Capitalist Agriculture: Capitalist Criminality, the Green 'Revolution' and Destruction of Biodiversity in Nature, Capital, Communism. 4 Civil War and Revolution in America, Chapter 4, the section entitled Napoleonic Warfare. Jomini, and Robert Epstein's Napoleon's Last Victory and the Emergence of Modern Warfare, 171-183.

Ranging from the Ottoman territories of the eastern Mediterranean west to the British planter colonies of Virginia and South Carolina, and Barbados and Jamaica in the West Indies, and south to coastal west Africa, this economy was based largely on textiles, but also on the production of agricultural staples such as corn, wheat and barley, livestock such as hogs and cattle, luxury items such as tobacco and sugar, and in good measure in its western reaches on the slave trade. Production remained largely production of luxury goods (so that expensive woolens and silk were the primary textiles), not in any sense mass production and not for mass consumption. The merchant was the dominant figure in each and all of these economies, and states played decisive roles in affording each mercantilist protections against competition. Competition, as in all phases of capitalist development, was fierce, within the nascent system of social relations specific forms of productive activity provided competitive advantage, first, with a view to the manner of integration of the city with the countryside and, second, in terms the form of that activity itself took. The latter governed the former so that the putting out system which was coming to dominate in England fully integrated Londons rural hinterland precisely because centers of production were dispersed to the dwellings of farmers, laborers and the village poor as merchants provided materials and market in return for the waged labor that produced woolens as raw materials. From the standpoint of the development of capitalism, the putting out system was historically advantageous relative to guild domination of production and the restrictions it imposed that survived on the Italian Peninsula throughout the era of the rise of Castile. At the same time, here in the countryside largely antagonistic, tributary services were intertwined with wages, and landlords tended to exploit these services like rents (the purely financial relation had yet to triumph), while often the state prohibited or limited the development of industries in its hinterlands to preserve the urban center (as with Venice). Decline, so-called, did occur within Italy but only relative to the advanced forms of production in the other great centers, i.e., these were all developments within capitalism as can be seen from Lombardy where the putting out system had begun to develop at the end of the historical (not the chronological) seventeenth century, which would on the basis of its advanced productive complex (relative to the rest of the Peninsula) take the lead in the nineteenth century struggle for unification. (Before Lombardy has ever emerged, however, the entire locus of this world system would shift to the Atlantic centered on London, the planter colonies of Virginia and South Carolina and coastal West Africa, with its central products tobacco, sugar and slaves, as an incipient form of mass production began to appear).1 It within this actual historical context that we situate the development we theorize as formal domination The first historical shape in which the formation of capital develops occurred as the buyer of laborers capacity to labor confronted those laborers. The former provided the means and material of labor land and implements with which to work in the case of agricultural labor, tools and material to work on in the case of craft labor, the latter provided their capacity to labor in exchange for a wage, and the buyer of this capacity to labor claimed the products of labor as his own, taking them to market. These are the actual historical premises for formal domination of labor by capital; nothing more: For the production processes continues just as before, just as they were conducted before serfs, peasants, craftsmen, etc. loss their proprietorship in land, craft and tools, etc. The buyer of labor, more adequately of capacity to labor, the employer or capitalist makes no attempt to reorganize the work processes (e.g., by housing a large number of workers under the same roof, by assigning partial tasks to each worker in the production of the outcome, the product, a commodity that the employer will take to market with the intent to sell), nor does he make any effort to deploy novel means of production, tools, instruments, machines, or even natural substances to accelerate production. The production process remains just as it was before, it is formally the same even as proprietorship has shifted. Historically, then, the initial formation of capital occurred (and continues for a lengthy historical period) under conditions of the formal subsumption of labor under capital, formal domination. Grasping the actual historical conditions within which the formal subsumption of labor under capital occurred2 has required that we reconstruct the formation of capital, meaning the movement of capital at its origins. Unlike the situation in Florence in the era of Communal decline and initial political centralization, this examination has two premises, first, that, as we have shown, development proceeds only in a systematic way, that is, with a view to capitalism as structured whole, a totality of social relations (and not, say, with a view to capital's occasional and sporadic appearance on the margin of social formations which as a whole exhibited limited or restricted market
1

For Venice, Ciriacono, Mass Consumption Goods and Luxury Goods, esp. 42-44. The premise of this shift was the victorious wars of the English in the Anglo-Dutch wars, the third and last of which ended in 1674. 2 Community and Capital, 90-99.

characteristics); and, second, that at its outset this development was "spontaneous," that is, it took shape neither as the central moment of a Statistpropelled conscious effort to "modernize" (e.g., the development of a military capitalist sector in Tsarist Russia after 1862, Japan from 1868 forward) nor as efforts by statist politicians of one society to compel the transformation of the basic productive relations of another society during or in the aftermath of a war (e.g., United States military occupation of and war with Vietnam, 1965-1972). In the logical sense, its genesis occurred as middling social layers as a group (class) formed and became the first in history to exclusively pursue the accumulation of money wealth (not conquest or plunder, not honor or glory) for its own sake. We would note that, accordingly, rooted in this, its life activity (as in counting its hoard) the bourgeoisie was already given over to understanding man, society and the cosmos purely and simply quantitatively. Thus, we must specify the historical, contingent conditions under which capitalism first emerged. This returns us (above) to the "spontaneous" emergence of capital as it first occurred in a tributary formation in the northwestern Europe, England during the era of the rise and dominance of Castile (1470-1590) Within the circle of this development, two epochs of capitals historical movement can retrospectively be distinguished with a view to forms of domination in production. Initially, in the historical sense, the capitalist merely takes over an existing labor process (e.g., peasant or guild production) with the proviso, of course, that labor, while "free," is no longer independent (in those cases where it had been). In this sense, politically mediated personal relations of domination and dependency (as in the cases of slaves or serfs) more or less disappear, more than less where there capital's domination was firmly established. In fact, though a new form of supremacy and subordination develops in the work process, at first it appears, on the basis of a "freely" engaged transaction between commodity "owners" (proprietors of means and instruments of labor, on the one side, and the capacity to labor, on the other), that domination and dependency have been dissolved into a purely financial relation. Based on the supervision and direction of the work process by the capitalist, this new form of supremacy exhibits its limits. It is restricted by the mere formal control the capitalist exercises over labor. Exploitation, the extraction of surplus value, is achieved absolutely, only by the greater continuity of production expressed in the lengthening of the working day, i.e., by increasing the quantum of commodities produced, without any corresponding compensation of labor. Increased production is at all possible because, unlike peasant production which is largely for self-sustenance or artisan production which depends upon the vagaries of a limited, personally acquired clientele, production now is for the market (a much enlarged base) and is driven by the capitalist desire to reduce labor costs to the socially necessary minimal time, a project which can only be achieved by expanding the quantity of commodities produced. The revolutionary character of this, albeit limited, capitalist takeover of the work process is visible in the fact that it, again, more or less eliminates all patriarchal, political or even religious connections to the relation of exploitation (our translation)1 such as personal fees, corves, ecclesiastical services (mortmain), etc. The epoch that can be characterized by this first form of the domination of labor by capital, the formal subsumption of labor under capital (again, Marx), formal domination, is, then, determined by activity undertaken from outside the production process proper, largely by merchants who provide materials and productive instruments to, e.g., a situation that characterized work under conditions of the domestic system of production from roughly Henry VIIIs break with the Roman Church (1535) to down to the Industrial Revolution so-called (1760) in England.2 No technological transformation or reorganization of that process itself is undertaken.3 Rather, because, as we have indicated, the producers are "merely" subjugated to exchange, the market and above all to the capitalist, and not to the production process itself, the community remains distinct from an economy in the process of formation, the determinants of the formers structure are not even tendentially reducible to those of the latter (which, at any rate, is as yet not fully constituted). It is questionable whether here we can speak of society in the strict sense described above: In the entire historical epoch in which capitalist activity initially developed, capitalist production (if ever, it is not permissible to go so far as to speak here of a capitalist mode of production) was of subsidiary significance for the
1

...das Exploitationsverhltnis von allen patriarchalischen und politischen oder auch religisen Verquickungen ausscheidet. Marx, Resultate des unmittelbaren Produktionsprozesses. Emphasis in original. 2 George Unwin, Industrial Organization in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. 3 The contours and outstanding features of daily life under conditions of formal domination as it first developed in England, though not described in the terms above, are recounted with a view to urban, craft work in Unwins work cited immediately above and with a view to rural agricultural activity (especially with the development of rural industry) in Thirsk, Ibid.

entire social formation; at least at the outset, it constituted a subordinate productive form, a largely mercantile moment in a vast tributary formation as it existed in various forms in western Europe. Real Domination, I The Real Subsumption of Labor under Capital Where the producer whether in agriculture or in urban crafts, according to Marx it makes no difference himself assumes the role and function of capitalist hiring [exploiting] labor and robbing his former compatriots, workmates, fellow laborers, similarly situated producers, of their independence as producers, reducing them to proletarians in the fullest sense, i.e., introducing changes into the work processes by way of their reorganization, new inputs or both the really revolutionary way to capitalist development on its own basis opens up1 Under propitious market conditions, particularly increased demand, the capitalist employs more workers. The growth of demand also leads to enlargement of the scale of production. At a certain point, a point different for each industry and at least initially in the historical sense for each capitalist, this increase in the volume of capital employed commits the capitalist (who had previously merely supplied means and materials of production to "his" laborers) to directly taking control of the process of production itself. This commitment transforms him from a merchant into an industrialist, a capitalist who actually intervenes in and organizes the forms labor takes in the workplace, and who transforms the means of production by bringing to bear on them new technological inputs (machinery). The capitalist now preferentially extracts surplus value relatively by means of increases in labor's productivity. He loses his individual character, i.e., he increasingly behaves as a personification of capital (he has assimilated and internalized the logic of accumulation, see below), while capital itself assumes direct social proportions. Production itself calls forth a growth in population, new branches of industry multiply and diversify their subspheres, a greater productivity of labor and cooperation of labor on a massive scale and an increasing mass of existing and novel commodities now all appear. Each of these features in turn calls forth the others In this specific respect, the advent of the railroads was the decisive event in the development of real domination in production. It brought into being the largest permanent workforces to date in the history of capitalism, it required a qualitative increase in the division of labor within the enterprise, pushing beyond national boundaries from the get-go its scale was continent in scope, it required funding on a scale never previously encountered and with novel means of financing, and it created a new form of capitalist organization of the firm2 This whole movement, in the strict sense, inaugurates the capitalist production proper or, the real subsumption of labor under capital, call it real domination. The central feature of this development, which secures capitalism as a system of social relations and makes its progress irreversible, is the direct application of science and technology to the production process. By the middle of the chronological nineteenth century, the magnitude of strictly capitalist operations is large enough to call forth this development (which at any rate, as we have argued, is given with the very character of science itself), for in this subjection of production wholly to scientific determination capitalism established itself on its own foundations In this respect, we might ask if the worlds of ancient and modern tributary formations knew iron, copper, lead, silver and gold, how, apart from the scientific exploitation of mineral resources, might have manganese, nickel, cobalt and aluminum been discovered, utilized, and then become incorporated into specific, industrial processes early in the epoch of the real domination of labor under capital? Recognizing that at its origins this ingression of science into production was (and is always) carried out by human beings as bearers of scientific theories, concepts and practices engaged in productive activities, science entered production in one of two ways. First, the relation was irregular as in the case (discussed below) of Josiah Wedgwood the china manufacturer and Joseph Priestly scientist and chemist,3 the latter who as a scientist consciously, deliberately and with a view to utilitarian outcomes pursued science largely as experimentation (in the fully modern, not Galileos, sense). In this manner, a number of important innovations and inventions resting on scientific knowledge and understanding were embodied in devices, processes and procedures between, say, 1760 and 1825. For example, Claude Berthollert
1

In point of fact, historically it has made a huge difference whether the producer was a capitalist farmer or a master craftsman, as we argued above. For Marx, Kapital, III, 347, where he states, Dies ist der wirklich revolutionierende Weg. 2 Alfred Chandler, The Visible Hand, 81-144. 3 See Historical Forms of Real Domination in Production, below.

created chlorine bleach, which, as Rondo Cameron indicates,1 formed the foundations for heavy chemical industry throughout the early epoch of real domination; and, even if James Watt was not especially scientifically adept, work with his steam engine and its developments formed the basis for elaboration of the laws of thermodynamics, particularly the second proposed by Rudolf Classius in 1850. Second, the relation was systematized by the state through the establishment and funding of higher educative and technical schools that, employing renowned scientists as faculty, methodically trained imparting the methods of measurement (for example, the metric system), calculation and classification originally developed in the sciences of nature and mathematics students in various fields of constructive human endeavor, in mineral extraction (mining), in surveying, in road, bridge and rail, in canal and port, in civil and naval architectural and in fortifications construction, etc., with the same aims, now institutionally incarnated, of advancing scientific knowledge for the purposes of exploiting the Earth, understanding, harnessing and even creating (new) material processes in nature. Obviously, the civil engineer occupied pride of place in all these developments, and the French starting from the Convention of 92-93 and from Napoleonic decree were the first to establish a whole series of schools, institutes and facilities which embodied these aims, 2 which trained military and civilians engineers, technicians and scientists engaged by private firms, all of whom in turn brought scientific concepts, methods and rationality directly to bear on production. Abroad, not just within the territorial confines of France, the various courts and regimes of Europe and further afield employed French engineers and scientists for some of the most important productive developments from 1825 down to the advent of imperialism in the arena of the world (1870): Trained in the various great high educative and polytechnic schools, French engineers developed the coal and steel industries of Russia (including todays Polish Silesia); introduced the Bessemer converter and an internationally competitive locomotive factory in Austria; were responsible for the advance of iron manufacture (introduction of the rolling mill, improvements in puddling process) and a good deal of the industrial infrastructure of central Italy; developed safety and technical mining procedures in Westphalia; undertook and were in charge of infrastructural development in northern Egypt (irrigation, embankment and damming in the lower Nile, and road, canal and port construction in Alexandria); and similar infrastructure (roads, bridges, ports, public buildings and sanitation systems, and railways) in Wallachia (Romania), and built, having designed, bridges spanning most of Europes great rivers as well as harbor and dock works for half Europes seaports.3 Students from all over Europe studied in French schools, and in this way bourgeois notions of order, efficiency and rationality, and material progress, were diffused through the bourgeoisie and business classes on the continent and in areas of colonial penetration. This was (and is) the movement from science to capital (generating it in its fixed form) at its origins. But the movement was (and is) reciprocal: Once scientific procedures organized work processes, and once machines constructed on the basis of scientific principles were deployed in production, the mastery of work, production and machinery required and demanded the assimilation of the common understanding of science of the day (at whatever level this understanding existed), and, as in the case of the steam engine alluded to above, even occasionally was the point of departure for novel scientific theorizations. In the same manner, capital investment where there had been none or little before constituted as such a diffusion of science and modern technology. (And, similarly, where work, production and machinery have already been fully placed on scientific foundations, capital investment that incarnates advanced or even novel scientific principles raises the level of that common understanding, or there is no mastery of production and work) It is at this precise moment, that at which inputs to (machinery in) production require scientific understanding and awareness to minimally operate and maintain them, that real domination in production, the development of capitalism, capital as capital, became irreversible There is here is a movement from capital back to science, which completes an incessantly growing and developing circle that is necessary for and essential to the expanded reproduction of capital. This is the service science renders capital, demonstrating their internal affinity and inseparably, which becomes ever tighter the more real domination develops as a periodization in the history of capitalism
1

Cameron, France and the Economic Development of Europe, 44. Similarly, Eric Hobsbawm (The Age of Capital, 42) remarks, the artificial dye-stuffs industry came from the laboratory to the factory. 2 Cameron, Ibid, 43, 45-54. 3 Ibid, 57, 58, 55, 59, 93, 95, 96, 101. Those seaports included Antwerp and Zeebrugge (Belgium), Lisbon and Oporto (Portugal), Cdiz (Spain), Leghorn (Livorno) and Genoa and Trieste (Italy), Fiume (Rejeka, Croatia), Salonica (Greece), and Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) among others. Ibid, 101, n. 54.

With the systematic ingression of science into production, the familiar face of capitalism now appears or, stated differently, what now appears is the subjugation of the work processes themselves to capitalist rationality. This subjugation is achieved through scientization of work rhythms and tempos. It has as its consequences the constant revolutionizing of production itself, and the loss of actual worker control over and understanding of both instruments of production and that process as a whole. Tendentially, producers begin to appear as a "collective worker" (Gesamtarbeiter), increasingly appendages to the production process as a whole, no longer "merely" subjugated to exchange, the market and the capitalist; communities undergoing societal amalgamation tendentially lose their compactness and distinctness in relation to the economy, the determinants of the structure and movement of the latter increasingly and directly shape the former, the categories of the critique of political economy are first reflectively grasped and explicated (as in Marx) on this very basis as science passes into and reshapes production. At the same time, this ingression has the further consequence of rationalizing activities within society (in order to achieve penetration of the value form, to commoditize and market aspects or objects connected with those activities and the activities themselves, to produce them according to a capitalist logic, i.e., in accordance with the waged relation and the exploitation of labor, all in order to generate surplus value): Rationalization recreates social activities as distinctive institutional spheres within society mediately subordinated to the logic of capitalist development, to accumulation, distinctive because in their very rationalization they develop their own norms and rules which govern human behavior within these newly forming institutions. This movement (rationalization) that creates this development creates society, i.e., transforms communities into a system of social relations, which, hardened and congealed (i.e., institutionalized), form a network of seemingly separate institutions that are connected by their mediate subjugation to the logic of accumulation. Society, whose formation is a simultaneously generated product of the same movement of capital that creates an economy (i.e., the objectively institutional connective thread), now necessarily appears as a system into which individuals as abstract units are inserted, and which can be scientifically analyzed and mathematically described on the model of the modern science of nature,1 creating objectivistic psychologies (such as behaviorism), economics that explains social development in terms of consumer choice, etc., whose information, data and facts, in turn, are utilized in producing technologies of social control (e.g., the instruments, weapons, procedures and techniques employed by the states armed force, cops, gendarmes and soldiers, in dealing with large groups of people in the presence of politically important personages, during spectacular events, in riots, etc.) In the whole course of history with exception of those communities that are implicated in the immediate run up to capitalism, a massive, reified institution, congealed social relations formed in and through productive activity, an economy, has not separated itself out from the community, has not formed an institutionally distinct sphere.2 For these communities, productive life simply does not possess the autonomy and immanence, and has not the socially determinate weight, that it does for capitalist societies established on the basis of real domination in production. For here, the economy has not only become differentiated out from the activities of daily life that constitute the community, it is not institutionally separate, it does not tendentially form an autonomous regulator of social life in its entirety. This is crucial: In emerging and expanding capital creates itself as a movement that appears without agency, or as self-agency without foundation. This movement rests on the abstraction of labor in production: Beginning from concrete, purposive labor, but as the capacity to labor employed and deployed in production, labor is rendered abstract, i.e., generalized (unspecific), temporally quantified, materialized and objectified as "value," as the substance of products produced for exchange, as commodities, a surplus of which is realized as such only in its phenomenal form as profit that in turn can be reinvested by purchasing capacity to labor, means of production, raw materials, which in this sense means that value is capital. This process (valorization) generates the actual, effective shift in societal practice from concrete human beings as workers to capital. Capital is the real subject of society under capitalist production
1

Kosik, Dialektik des Konkreten, 84. This analysis is the basis for understanding the development of sociology as a science in the empirical sense. See the Fourth Study, Part IV, The Critique of Historicism, below. 2 Under capitalism, institutional differentiation is, as already suggested, not restricted to the economy: In the practice of daily life, separate activity contexts beginning with work take on a life of their own, each with distinctive norms governing behavior and expectations. In this sense, we speak of the institutionally separate spheres of the family, education, etc., and most importantly the state.

This movement and its moments (commodities, price, profit, as well as the higher order abstractions, stocks, bonds, their markets, etc., mere abstract moments of a social relation appearing as things, yet historically constituted real abstractions) form the foundations for the collectively constituted institutional abstractions (such as workplaces embodying productive materials, instruments and machinery, business firms, industries, regulatory agencies, etc.), that, taken together, with this movement and its moments, constitute this "economy": The economy is the objective institutional context in which capitals personifications, capitalists, function and operate In reshaping social life in its own image, capital literally creates the "economy." The "economy" does not immediately appear as the practice of social groups and the social relations that arise on those practices and thereby form it: The "economy" is reified, appears thingly, a real movement that shapes what it seemingly encompasses. It is autonomous and self-regulating because it is in an immediate, practical sense a mystified and objectivistically understood sphere of society. In its relentless drive to create surplus value, capital's movement tendentially reduces all social relations to productive relations, to those of the economy. (That is to say, social relations, such as between parent and child, student and teacher, etc., tend to not only find their model in the relation between wage earner and capitalist but become mediately subordinate to the logic of accumulation.) To the extent productive relations have come to dominate social relations, to that extent capital accumulation is the internal, hidden yet objective logic organizing society: Under conditions of real domination in capitalist production, capital is the subject of society. This seemingly autonomous movement aimed at extraction of surplus value constitutes the meaning and significance of speaking of capital as capital, as self-valorizing value. To the extent productive relations have come to dominate social relations, to that extent capital accumulation (valorization) is tendentially the internal, hidden yet objective logic organizing society as a whole. Real Domination, II Capital Simply as Capital The principles governing scientific practice, its fundamental theorizations (such as those designed to formulate a concept of matter in motion in relation to the project of nature mastery) and specifically (as we shall show later) modern technological relations to nature, are embedded in the social practices that form and renew society itself, and are comprehended by the concept of capital, a concept that, in turn, refers back to a real, historical totality of relations between social groups in production, only one of which (in the whole history of divided societies) is capable of historically significant action. What is capital? Capital is at once a social relation between groups of wage laborers and those who employ them, the production process in which this relation is formed, and a product of this relation. The concepts of commodity, capacity to labor, concrete labor, abstract general labor, value, exchange value, etc. are all abstractions that refer us back to the actual production process in which they are constituted. So lets begin with the relations formed in that process, always with a view to elaborating an understanding of the essential features of those relations. Propertyless, workers exchange their capacity to labor for the monetary means to sustain themselves. In producing commodities our labor is reduced or abstracted, that is, it is generalized and quantified, meaning it is measured in units of time, labor is reduced to quantitative measurable units, which, since this process is at the heart of capitalism, it is or should be obvious that rationalization of the sort is structurally congruent (i.e., homologous) with the rationalization of activity and creation of institutionally separate spheres of social life, and with the division of nature into separate and seemingly autonomy spheres in science each with distinct knowledges of their objects. Now it is not, in fact, the concrete, purpose incarnate labor of workers that a boss, employer or capitalist purchases. Labor under conditions of capitalist production is, as indicated, capacity to labor or labor power. For it is not the product of concrete labor that capitalists are interested in (and it is decidedly not workers themselves), but the return over their investment in this capacity to labor, profit, or what we call the surplus of value that is or can be realized in selling the product made by workers. To boot, the product in its specificity is not germane, any product will do and that is why, prosaically, specific products identifiable in terms of appearance, weight and size, (or if immaterial such as a service in terms of description) and purpose are called product or, if you prefer, commodities. So commodities are abstract in the sense that all specific characteristics and designations excepting of course that return, the profit, generated in their actual sale are irrelevant to the capitalist; similarly, the labor that is embodied in them in producing them, is equally abstract, it is abstract labor: It is generalized (unspecific), quantified (measure in

quantitatively temporal units, so many hours in production), and objectified and materialized in commodities. Call it value: Embodied in commodities by and as abstract labor, realized in their sale, value is the substance of commodities. As a group rarely do capitalists achieve monopoly conditions in sales of their products (commodities). Product scarcity can generate monopoly, but such a situation runs in a direction opposite the actual course of the historical development of capitalism, which tends toward superfluity and overproduction. Rather, it is competition that characterizes this development, competition that compels capitalists to technically innovate, and competition that generates the scientifically shaped and structured machine inputs that in the hands of abstract labor create product superfluity. Competition is the fundamental condition that all capitalists confront, for in their own language they must match or better the price of the competition. It is said in the stock market investors know only two emotions, fear and greed. This statement is, though, merely a specification of the affectivity of all capitalists (for, as capitalist competition drives them to invest in new technical and technological inputs to achieve that fabled competitive advantage), so that flowing from this fundamental condition is capitalists fundamental affect or emotion, fear of competitive ruin. Now in markets where advertising, salesmanship, additional utilities, etc., have no impact, that is, in those countless situations and exchanges where commodities sell simply as commodities a situation that exemplifies the nature of market competition and the conditions under which commodities are produced the following situation obtains: Always fearful of being competitively wrecked, capitalist strive mightily, and often frantically, to achieve a cost advantage vis--vis one another in the production of their commodities. If we designate the average costs of production in any given industry the socially necessary labor time embodied in any given commodity, then capitalists only profit if they attain lower costs, if their commodities embody less socially necessary labor time, if their costs or raw materials, labor and means of production are lower than the industry average In any given industry, there are those capitalists that do achieve lower costs and those that dont. Over time, these equalize producing a tendential average, those who attain the lower costs do so largely temporally (they stay in business) and those that dont go belly up Again, over time it is rare indeed that any capitalist consistently obtains lower-costing means of production or raw materials these too are largely commodities that sell strictly as commodities so that the only consistent manner of obtaining competitive advantage is in lowering labor costs. Here, we add, the real character of profit, the manner in which it is achieved, becomes manifest. It is manifest in the effort quite relentless really that capitalists expend to drive down their costs of labor. Assuming it is successful (and obviously at this point class struggle or its absence becomes the decisive determinant), such a reduction secure capitalists profitability because labor embodied in a commodity (as quantified and measured temporality) have been forced down below what is socially necessary to produce it. In other words, since what characterizes commodities as commodities is the value (i.e., abstract and general, temporally quantified, and objectified and materialized labor) they embody, the achievement of a reduction in labor costs is quite mundane, it occurs by diminishing the quantity of time required in production of the commodity at hand absent, of course, an equivalent compensation to the producers. Call this an increase in the productivity of labor. There are only two ways to realize it (actually there are three): It is achieved either in lengthening the working day to augment the mass of commodities produced, or in restructuring the labor processes (either restructuring the pace, tempos, rhythms or organization of work and workers or introducing novel technical inputs, which, additionally, as a rule renders a portion of the existing body of workers redundant) to produce more commodities in the same or shorter period of time (or in both lengthening the working day and restructuring the labor processes). In all cases, the productivity of labor socalled increases because the mass of commodities increases (and only if that mass is sold, if value is realized) and only if workers are not compensated for the increases, so this lack of compensation is not an absence of a subjective capitalist act of recompense but is systemic feature that is can be said to occur if and only if the augmented mass of commodities are in fact sold. Thus, this uncompensated relation is an essential, necessary feature and structural condition of capital accumulation. It is neither arbitrary nor subjective. We call it exploitation. The excess of value (surplus value) created through increased productivity is realized as such and appears phenomenally (as profit) when the commodity is sold. Once sold, profit, actually excess or surplus value, can now be returned to the capitalist. Forcing down labor costs (by competitively positioning themselves in the marketplace in order to insure their profitability) is accomplished by capitalists in manifold, often overlapping ways, including speed-ups, imposition of more onerous production norms, subjugation to machine rhythms (where they hadnt previously existed), even harassment, and certainly in outright wage cuts and benefit reductions or losses (where they had previously existed).

These means and methods almost always organized scientifically siphon off workers creativity, energies and our very humanity numbing our sensibilities, repressing our affects, suppressing our thoughts and experience (which, for capitalists, at any rate, merely get in the way, impede their main object, which is, of course, producing commodities at a competitive advantage by lowering labor costs). These methods and means capitalists deploy give special meaning to the production processes in and through which concrete labor (purchased by the employer as the mere capacity to labor) is literally recreated as abstract labor. In its own way, this process of abstraction carried out in production is as miraculous as religious fantasies of a godly embodiment in bread and wine, for it is precisely specifically human aspirations, concerns, sensibilities, and even mundane human products such as sweat, that are transubstantiated into abstracted and generalized, quantified, objectified and materialized, emptied (socially necessary) time, i.e., into "value" Lets pause, take stock and engage in an incomplete summation: First, the succeeding are moments in the production of commodities: The entire work process itself on the basis of which commodities are produced, inclusive of "inputs, of means of production (tools, instruments, machinery and other equipment) that are directly used in the production of commodities; goods (raw materials) that are incorporated into a final product during the work process beginning with their purchase as commodities; structures (plant, warehouse, office, etc.) employed in the production of commodities; the institutional forms (firms, corporations) that make up the socio-legal context in which commodities are produced; and, the money on the basis of which these various components of the production process are purchased. Because they each and all are employed or engaged in the production processes in and through which capitalism as a system is created and reproduced, they are all capital. But these components in the production of commodities do not exhaust, really they do not even get at capital's real nature. We shall come back to this shortly... Second, capital as an objective process begins subjectively with insatiable desire, that is, with the compulsion of the capitalist to accumulate, to turn money into capital and capital into quantitatively more money. (In the social practice of daily life, as an extant process it is dialectically circular, i.e., it has no beginning since all its moments are simultaneously present and, for this system of social relations, capitalism, to function at all, simultaneously produced and reproduced.) Considered as an objective process, this formula is inverted, since it begins with capital, capital is transformed into money, and it emerges from the process as incrementally greater capital. And, it is exactly this inversion - capital as objective process - that appears so forcibly in all its immediacy in the practice of daily life. Accordingly, capital does not immediately appear as a social relation, but as a thing or, better yet, capital appears as a subject, as society's real subject, that is, not only as a being endowed with will, consciousness, and the capacity for action (as a subject) but as that being that presents the appearance of responsibility for the unfolding and development of the entire system of social relations called capitalism (as society's real subject). Third, capital is value, i.e., congealed, abstract and general, quantitatively temporalized and objectified labor, as well as the process of its "valorization," by which we mean and intend, the social relation of workers and capitalists that at once encompasses the practices in and through which abstraction is formed this is the valorization process proper in which the capacity to labor is reduced, abstracted, and reappears as value embodied in commodities and, only then is it indivisibly and only analytically distinct, the subordinate work process, its various moments and components (means of production, raw materials, etc., enumerated above) as well as its useful end products. Since, as this discussion has suggested, capitalist production tendentially encompasses the social practices that form and renew society itself, capital and its movement, its production and expanded reproduction, its valorization, constitute society's intelligible structure and form its real "subject" Fourth, at once driven by the desire to amass capital and fearing competitive ruin, the capitalist strives to lower costs of production of his commodity below that of his competitors. But each and every capitalist as a capitalist is both driven and motivated by the same desire and fear. Each and all pursuit the same practice of driving down costs (of the production of commodities they seek to produce). The activity of all capitalists taken together exercises a compulsion on each one, creating an objective necessity beyond the control of any individual capitalist, a systems logic that compels each and all individuals who enter (or are trapped in) the waged labor-capital relation. Let us call this objective necessity the logic of accumulation. It is a temporal logic, one that unfolds historically: It is synonymous with the movement of capital, with capitalist development. For the capitalist who confronts this necessity (as well as for proletarians engaged in waged labor), production appears to have a lawlike character ("lawlike" in sense of unchanging, immutable natural law, not positive or statutory law).

Fifth, since each and every capitalist is compelled to force down production costs, the amount of socially necessary labor time embodied in each commodity changes. It is not static as over time, it diminishes (as the mass of commodities produced is augmented). But this same diminution also confronts each and every capitalist as an objective necessity, an event of a total societal production process utterly beyond his control, while remaining and precisely as it remains the outcome of the same capitalists', each and every ones, compulsion to reduce production and specifically labor costs. Thus, each capitalist is just as necessarily forced to produce more to compensate for declining prices. The purpose of production is that the individual product should include as much unpaid labor as possible, and this is only achieved by producing for the sake of production" (our translation, emphases in original).1 This pervasive and unavoidable pursuit augmenting production leads to an impasse, to a crisis, to a situation in which, considering their enormous mass, not all commodities available for purchase can find buyers. Similarly immense resources are poured into preventing just such a crisis of overproduction. (Think, for example, of the massive amounts of profits that are diverted into advertising campaigns in order to create new needs to absorb the mass of potential commodities readily available with existing productive capacity.) But the real dangers of a crisis of overproduction are depression, social unrest and war as the last hundred and twenty-five years have demonstrated. (Witness the great depressions of 1873-1877, 1893-1897, 1929-1939 and the two imperialist world wars.) In system's terms, however, the crisis of overproduction is an integral phase of capitalist development: Both outcomes are forms of crisis resolution, the characteristic and ubiquitous underutilization of productive capacity during a depression results in massive deflation, a collapse of existing prices which effectively devalues enormous amounts of existing capital, and war produces an equally massive destruction of capital in its sensibly embodied forms (human life as potential capacity to labor, plant, equipment, raw materials, and commodities) Crisis means that lives are ruined as, first, wage levels decline precipitously, unemployment follows, standards of working class life collapse, impoverishment and immiseration compel masses of men and women to struggle against the owners of capital, as the full force of the state, its repressive agents and organs (cops, prosecutors, courts, even the military) is brought to bear to protect the order of capital; war, world war, may follow In the end (a temporary one, to be sure) resolving the crisis may require that those who carry, as it were, within themselves these social relations are now different (in war, workers and still others, cannonfodder in ruling class struggles over surpluses that circulate internationally, die), but this destruction of attained levels of social development (not just the mass of circulating commodities, or plant and equipment, but also the man-made landscapes to the extent they can be distinguished from structures housing industry, finance, service, communications and transportation institutions) permits the production process to begin anew, constitutes a devalorization achieved through the very dynamics of capitalist development (achieved through crisis based destruction of the level of the value embodied as capital in these various forms), a devalorization in which and through which the entire system of social relations we call capitalism is formed to renew itself, that is, to begin anew. Identical with renewed expansion of productive activity, what reemerges is, of course, the logic of accumulation that drives this entire development. It is, in other words, the unity of subjective and objective logics, the activity of competing capitalists out of which originates that compelling objective necessity that subordinates each and every individual capitalist: Capitalism is, then, a system of social relations beyond the reach of capitalists themselves; it is, moreover, a system whose the very movement creates itself by way of wrenching contraction and expansion. Capitalism unfolds and develops through this cyclical process of expansion and contraction. In the systemic sense, contraction, then crisis, is a product of overproduction, an inability of existing markets to absorb commodities as products of existing (productive) capacity, an inability to realize surplus value through exchange. For, in all this, what is most forcibly apparent is the lack of conscious agency. Only if the wrenching movement produces such awareness can the system in principle be overthrown, abolished and transcended. Real Domination, III Historical Forms of Real Domination in Production We can very briefly recount the major forms of real domination in production as they initially emerged in history. The factory first appeared circa 1760 in England. Its development, its creation as the nodal point of system of capital1

Ihr Zweck, da das einzelne Produkt etc. mglichst viel unbezahlte Arbeit enthalte, und dies nur erreicht durch die Produktion um der Produktion willen. Marx, Resultate des unmittelbaren Produktionsprozesses.

ist social relations, was inseparably bound up with the production of mechanical power from steam.1 Particularly in textile production, the emergence of large firms to meet increased demand that resulted from demographical growth constituted the first systematic insinuation of genuinely capitalist methods into production:2 Waged labor, that of "surplus" female labor from the countryside, began to appear for the first time on a permanent basis, almost exclusively in textile production which, as our presentation has suggested, had deep roots in productive activity in Europe going back to rise of merchant power in Florence, Barcelona and the Low Countries following on the popular, urban subordination of the great seigniorial lords of the surrounding countrysides. In England before the French Revolution, in the production of clothing, existing machine technology in spinning and weaving processes were integrated in a single structure or building in a single locale and thereby generated qualitatively greater output in each process. Yet while the resultant isolation of workers from the elements constituted a break with the seasonally adjustments traditionally made in agricultural and craft labor, the limited attention to the work processes engaging waged workers entailed in early textile production, the partnership structure of the firm, and employment of traditional double entry forms of bookkeeping, and, above all, the integration of production processes as opposed to their rationalization (fragmentation or subdivision) did not give rise to the constant transformation of production and its organization that is essentially characteristic of fully industrial, mass production methods. 3 Based on a primitively horizontal integration of production, this development albeit also characterized by personal oppression, by paternalism, not merely by the wage relation was the first form of real domination in production. The factory system brought masses of human beings together under one roof to engage in production as mere operatives. In fact, at its origins, factory work in cloth, textile and garment production was carried out by young women, farm girls, whose families, accustomed to home work and agricultural labor on a small plot had been proletarianized the patriarchal extended family farm with its primitive non-mechanical tools (plough, hoes), natural power (horses, oxen), seasonal work, and production for self-sufficiency with small surpluses for sale on the market (which in agriculture was tradition itself) was gone: Small copyholds had been stolen, expropriated by force of law, access to commons to gather dead wood for fuel and gleanings (corn) for food had been confiscated by enclosures Over time factory owners would introduce new machines to quantitatively improve worker output, called productivity. Textiles was not, however, the only form of productive activity subject to the new capitalist methods in England. Josiah Wedgwood (Charles Darwins maternal grandfather), a master potter with a pronounced scientific bent, had built a ceramic, earthenware and china factory in Burslem (near Birmingham) in the 1760s. He employed chemical processes and treatments in his works that were directly related to his scientific interests. After 1780, he was in close contact with Joseph Priestly (after the latter set up his ministry in Birmingham), supplying him with equipment for his laboratory, subsidizing his experiments. Priestlys experiments, in turn, afforded Wedgwood with insight that, related to clay and color, improved output in his china factory.4 Other facets of industrial production, iron (one of the most advanced industrial processes) for example, had undergone important technical change before the end of the century: The use of coke, instead of charcoal, had become more common (and would be ubiquitous by 1815). Puddling furnaces and rolling mills to enhance blast furnace products had been in use since 1783. It should also be noted that the steam engine was deployed in mining, metallurgical factories, brewing and distilling as well as textile production.5 Englands industrial revolution was essentially completed by 1830, while some of the developments which it had passed through were still ongoing in France, Belgium and the western German speaking statelets along the Rhine (industry that owed its development to the abolition of feudal legal codes, internal custom barriers and exclusive local
1

However, it was already anticipated in plantation agriculture in tobacco production over one hundred years earlier in the British North American colony of Virginia. See the remarks in the section, Eras of Capitals Domination in the History of Capitalism, below. 2 Hedged by guilds here, patent requirements emanating from states everywhere, arguably there was, moreover, a certain slowly evolving technological dynamic that was, when viewed continentally (Lyons, Rouen, Beauvais, Amines; Florence, Vicenza; Silesia; the different English and Dutch centers) evinced in textile production in its various phases (woolens, silk, fustians) and forms (dyeing, finishing, printing) starting especially from the period (1590-1689) we have called the inner historical sixteenth century. See, e.g., Ciriacono, Mass Consumption Goods and Luxury Goods, 50-55. 3 Chandler, The Visible Hand, 67-68. This situation was even more characteristic of Massachusetts circa 1820 than in England early in the era of the so-called Industrial Revolution. 4 Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Darwin, 7-8. 5 Rondo Cameron, France and the Economic Development of Europe, 7.

privileges, the civil code with its protection of contract, and the alienability of property in production achieved through Napoleonic conquest).1 A second form, a development of real domination in production and this was not restricted to England, but was universal as a country, state or region that came to capitalism after 1830 and before the first imperialist world war experienced it was centered on a singular complex of technological inputs that revolutionarized production. We refer to the advent of universal machinery. Presupposing, of course, the historical expansion (much of which was still ongoing) of infrastructural (particularly roads, canals and rails) and extractive industrial (mining) development, as well as specific and very basic industrial activities such as iron (later steel) production developed in foundries and mills, and employed in metalworking operations (most importantly in this era, the manufacture of locomotives, freight and passenger cars; steam engines especially those of ships; textile machinery; lathes; etc.), universal machines had three major components, the lathe, capstan and turret. Most important was the lathe: Rotating the piece worked around a horizontal axis, shaping the iron (later steel) with a sharp edged, fixed cutting tool, the use of the lathe required great skill and dexterity that was acquired through years of a theoretically mediated practice (among other things, the physics and chemistry of metals and alloys came into play here). The turret is a fastener, a revolvable and pivoted holder attached to the lathe and securing the piece worked on. The capstan is a stationary piece of equipment, a machine with which the weight of the pieces to be worked was hoisted and moved about by way of a winding cable wrapped around a rotating vertical drum powered by steam (in later applications by electricity). With these primary machines, work could be cut to any shape, the machines were not fitted to any specific production schema (hence, the designation universal machine). The skill developed had something in the nature of a craft about it: Workman apprenticed for 5-7 years before they could be deemed skilled. Now the extensive use of universal machinery it entailed precision work, the skilled stratum that was engaged with it constructed locomotives and ship engines, the historically most important products of the age, this phase of real domination in production transformed the working class of the factory era. If artisans stood outside the industrial proletariat in 1825, in 1870 they no longer did; instead, the working class was deeply divided, split into two strata, a tiny highly skilled, generally native and urban layer that was hereditarily proletarian in the broad sense and a vast stratum of unskilled, often immigrant workers with peasant, semi-peasant and even serf social formations. These differences were profound, and rendered the class internally antagonistic.2 The work processes here were unequivocally determined by the real domination of capital over labor and in production, but in terms of a periodization of the history capitalism, this era formed a "twilight zone" somewhere between the period of formal domination of labor by capital, defined in class terms by the long historical struggle in which employers came into being as employers by stripping artisans of their ownership and control over the means of production and the period of the real domination, which, defined in terms of the revolutionization of production through transformation of the labor processes, had its deepest roots in the latter half of the long nineteen century and whose decisive moment was the failed struggle of workers against employer-introduced, technologically driven mass production, dilution and "deskilling," a later development in real domination shaped by imperialist world war and shaping proletarian revolution. Now skill" is an historically relative category, and the industrial workers in question here were to form the skilled stratum when "skill" still had the meaning of the knowledge and mastery of the machines, tools and equipment that made up those means of production with which workers have a living, non-alienating relation. The absence of estrangement in work and the condition of mastery was unique to the history of capital as capital, and gave rise to its overriding historical import and significance: In the confrontation over the technical transformation (so-called) of the work processes, this stratum from St. Louis, Chicago, and New York, through Glasgow, London, Paris and Turin to Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna, Budapest and Petrograd formed the backbone of the revolutionary, councilar movements that posed the greatest challenge to employer domination of work in the history of capitalism.3 A third form and development of real domination, itself like the others an outcome of the victory of first the bourgeoisie, then capital, in fierce class struggle, began, at least in terms of effective history, at Bethlehem Steel in
1 2

Ibid, 9, 28-30, 329. In the Tsarist world (the capitalist military sector), these differences were so deep that they found linguistic expression: Skilled workers were employed in plants (zavody), the unskilled masses in factories (fabriki). See our Bolshevism and Stalinism in the Epoch of Imperialist World War and Proletarian Revolution (Urgeschichte), First Study, Part I, Section III. 3 Ibid, First Study as a whole.

the last years of the chronological nineteenth century: Frederick Taylor fought with argued, bullied, and disciplined skilled production workers over who would control production. He also diligently studied the relation between men at work and machines they used. Like his contemporary Henry Ford (and later Lord Keynes), Taylor was a vanguard of capital. His major work entitled Principles of Scientific Management is testimony to his place and role in the class struggle. There is at least one very striking admission in this work. It goes like this, "the shop was really run by the workmen, and not by the bosses. [That, of course, created the problem which lay in the] ignorance of the management as to what really constituted a proper day's work. [For] although he was foreman of the shop, the combined knowledge and skill of the workers who were under him was certainly ten times as great as his own."1 Taylor was to enunciate three central, soon to be materially embodied principles of his theorization, principles that Ford incarnated in his first really successful auto assembly line that opened in Highland Park in 1914. Those principles included separation of work-processes from worker skills, and of execution from conception. The function of these principles was to tear knowledge and understanding from the worker, to de-skill him or dilute his skill and to push the knowledge formed in and through skilled activity upward into layers of management and ownership. "All of the planning which under the old system was done by the workman, as a result of this personal experience, must of necessity under the new system be done by the management."2 Achieved by reorganizing the work processes, planning had the formal structure of scientific method; it entailed a projection in advance, methodical, systematic and duly calculated, of all the aspects of the labor processes actually involved in work. This, in turn, was dialectically the premise and outcome of actual material embodiment, the reconstruction of work by way of specialized machinery as the basis of continuous flow production. Because successfully executed, this project of reorganizing work robbed workers of skill and knowledge, rendered them machine minders who could learn fragmented, partial tasks, be trained, in a matter of weeks.3 Materially these principles were incorporated into and animated the very sensuous construction and organization of the newly launched, mass production machine technology. These mass production machines were largely introduced during the first imperialist world war, especially in munitions and truck, aircraft (and at the very end of the war, tank) production. They were no longer machines individual workers could master, their design militated against this, and, accordingly, it took workers decades of shopfloor struggle to lean again how here only marginally to control the pace and tempo of the labor processes. "Universal" machines such as the prewar lathe and turret, that is, those not fitted to any specific production schema and as such the material premise of craft mobility and knowledge, were replaced by "specialized" machinery, that is, machines sequentially arranged and connected - each machine performing a single operation on a single aspect of a product. No amount of preparation, training, and apprenticeship permits an individual worker to master this machinery. These new machines allowed for and demanded the production of a new type of worker, call her a mass worker. They required (and they still require) a specialized worker, one tied to a single, fragmented task on a single machine, one whose every motion is dictated by that single machine a product of design largely on the basis of stop motion studies also inaugurated by Taylor and one for whom an apprenticeship in the traditional sense is meaningless and irrelevant. Such machinery is sequentially arranged, functionally inoperative in isolation, constructed to performed exclusively single operations and paradigmatically found in and taken together constitutes continuous flow assembly line production. We can designate the extraordinary development of real domination in production, this event, as capitals technical revolution. Waged in and over production, it was not by and large a struggle won at the immediate point of production: In the interwar period, employers established continuous flow production only through repression of workers' organizations. Resting on the politically achieved dismantling or ruin of workers organizations (e.g., the IWW in the United States), the mass murder of militants (fascist mobilizations in Italy and Germany), and the destruction of a proletarian oppositional culture as the case may have been, this technical revolution remained the historically significant, qualitative development of capitals real domination in production because it did not merely result in a temporary solution, but transformed the very structure of, recomposed materially and politically, the working class at the level of the world.
1 2

The Principles of Scientific Management, 48-49. Ibid, 38. 3 "The net result of the application of these principles is the reduction of the necessity for thought on the part of the worker and reduction of his movements to a minimum." Henry Ford, My Life and Work, 80.

Real Domination, IV Workers Struggles against Forms of Real Domination in Production The victory of the bourgeoisie over workers in various struggles to introduce new inputs (machinery) into production and to reorganize the work processes in the effort to achieve efficiency and maximal output is at the same time really and in fact the victory of capital over the bourgeoisie, the disappearance of the latters subjectivity and agency in history. We shall return to this later,1 but, for now, we wish only to briefly recall that the institution of real domination in production was not an automatic process. The factory system was a product of the triumph of industrious, scientifically minded men, like Josiah Wedgwood, in a lengthy struggle against laborers of the villages, men and women without stable positions in agricultural production, but really ramped up in a truly vicious fight against established, skilled men, croppers and woolcombers in contradistinction to earlier textile workers, factory operatives largely women. It was these skilled groups of workers, who, in a life and death conflict against the owners, against the loss of skill, work and livelihood the new machines represented, brought into being a systematic, organized opposition in the Luddite movement.2 As a phase of real domination in production, as newer forms have appeared the factory system has characterized the most backward sectors of capitalism (e.g., garment production) and extends down to the historical present. It was, in fact, in what we called the twilight era (1870-1914) of formal domination as a period in the history of capitalism that the factory system, existing in the space of the economy alongside facilities built around universal machines, found its most extensive deployment in that history. While the factory system has for the greatest part of its economic existence generated worker resistance, that phase of real domination in production at the center of which we find the universal machine did not to our knowledge ever occasion worker opposition. The reason should be obvious: This was perhaps the only form of machinery in the four hundred year long history of capitalism which not only did not rest on deskilling labor but dramatically elevated the role and function of skill, knowledge and experience and the worker who developed them in production. The belligerent and deadly struggle of capitalist states against each other in imperialist world war provided the occasion and justification for the introduction of continuous flow production to secure mass production of weaponry and munitions. In Britain, Russia, in Germany (and Austro-Hungary, in the United States and to an extent in Italy), it also generated a workers struggle, first, against the dilution, then against capitalist control in production and finally against the war, though thoroughgoing only in Russia. In Britain,3 a shop stewards movement had come into being in late 1915. It was forged in a dual struggle against wargenerated dilution and the conservative craft union leadership. Led by revolutionary workers, the movement was based among and for the most part confined to engineers, turners, and fitters in the metal industries, particularly among armament producers. During January 1918, the movement broadened and came within a breath of linking the struggle against dilution to that of a rapidly growing anti-war movement. Instead, it degenerated into a sectional struggle against the conscription of skilled workers. In Germany, systematic workers' opposition appeared only often the collapse of the last great, spring 1918 offensive of the High Command's armies on the western front. Spearheaded by Berlin metalworkers, this opposition really ramped up and began to effect a transformation of German society after Hindenburg and Ludendorf suddenly and dramatically announced the war was over and an armistice went into effect in early November (the 11 th) 1918: The Kaiser's autocracy... a militarized constitutional monarchy in which the generals and their immediately subordinate commanders exercised de facto, close to absolute control over German society... collapsed, large vocal tendencies within the Social Democracy formed new centrist and revolutionary parties (the Independents, the Communist party), and the Social Democrats themselves were installed in the state, heading up a fig leaf parliamentary regime: For behind the Social Democratic right (Erbert, Schneidermann and, above all, Noske) stood the various fragmentary officers' corps groups, coming together as the fascistic and terrorist Frei Korps (and behind them, the large industrialists and great Junker landowners). In a revolutionary confrontation that developed more or less in all major cities Bremen, Hamburg, Berlin, etc. - saw the formation of workers' councils, the development of dual power and

See Real Domination and Autonomization of Capital in the Second Interlude, below. E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 472-602, esp. 547f. 3 James Hinton, The First Shop Stewards Movement, 255-272; Bolshevism and Stalinism (Urgeschichte), First Study, Part III, Section V.
1

an ill-fated, if not entirely aborted insurrection, the German Revolution was drowned in the blood of leading workers, militants and revolutionaries in January 1919.1 In Russia,2 starting from the struggle against the revolutionary democrats on the heels of their assumption of power following the collapse of the Tsarist regime, workers created factory committee (the political parties reestablished soviets) in attempts to assert control over and restrict the most deleterious effects of immediately return to production on a wartime basis. In this struggle, skilled workers formed an internal class vanguard mediating the relations of the largest part of the class (namely, unskilled, new or nonhereditary workers) to the party of Bolsheviks, a mediation, developed nowhere else, that was a necessary condition for the realization of revolutionary possibilities generated by the crisis Highly skilled Russian workers who played leading roles in the factory committee movement of 1917 were not isolated figures. Though lacking a craft-based context of skill formation and thus differing significantly from their counterparts in the rest of the capitalist world, the thin layer of skilled workers in Russia were nonetheless members of the political vanguard of a world working class. Major industrial centers dominated by similar skilled strata had developed in latter 19th century from Petrograd in the east to St. Louis in the west and all major urban centers of capitalist development in between. The crafts were exclusive and worker associations were usually occupationally based, with occupation itself based upon a lengthy 5-7 year apprenticeship, and work organized into a hierarchy of apprentice, journeyman, and foreman. Yet this was not a craft conscious backwater but a political vanguard, those who were most involved in creating councils, was formed and formed itself out of a historically specific life practice, one which, in turn, was inextricably bound up with a historically specific phase of real domination, and a form of capitalist technology (universal machinery) in production. The type of worker dialectically formed out of this life practice was doomed to extinction with the "technical" revolution of capital continuous flow production that employers achieved offensive against workers everywhere in the aftermath of the imperialist world war3 Eras of Capitals Domination in the History of Capitalism Capitalist production only appears in history long, long after the emergence of agriculture, social stratification based on rigidly fixed positions in production, and institutions (in particular, the state) that intensify and exacerbate the central problem of human existence (social division) this development has created. Because it is restless movement (a cannibal consuming all that is other in its relentless quest for surplus-value), capital poses this central problem strictly in historically specific ways that rise from the historical forms of its domination in production The problem of social division can only be resolved by mobilizing societal resources in order to transcend those forms, but capital, and earlier the bourgeoisie, has never been able to resolve this problem, only magnify and aggravate it It is manifestly socio-historically hegemonic forms of domination in production (formal, real and totalizing) that are at issue here. As actually dominant and determinate, these forms further create a periodization of eras of domination in the history of capitalism The categories of formal and real forms of the domination of capital over labor refer to both a productive based sense (for which formal domination conceptualizes the merchant and landlord activity, uninvolved directly in production, of extracting surplus value absolutely by lengthening the working day, and for which real domination conceptualizes the industrialist directly intervening in the labor processes, which includes not just machine inputs but the reorganization of the work processes, and extracting surplus value relatively), and the sense of epochs in the history of capitalism that, though originating sequentially, can be found to simultaneously spatially or geographically coexist: Once real domination in production has developed, at any particular time in the history of capitalism, in any specific branch of industry, any industry, even in a singular workplace, these forms can exist, have existed and do exist at the same time. The tendency among capitalists to extract surplus value at once absolutely and relatively is universal. There are two questions here, then; first, what decides which form is most important, primary and determinate for capitalism at any moment in its history; and, second, at what point does, or did, formal domination pass over into real domination as an era in the history of capitalism. Consider the first problem from the perspective of situations that have existed at different times in the history of capitalism.
Pierre Brou, The German Revolution,73-258. Bolshevism and Stalinism (Urgeschichte), First Study, Part II. 3 Ibid, First Study, Conclusion.
1

Plantation agriculture is actually very old, a form of productive activity that not only predates real domination but reaches back to the earliest phases of capitalism and extends down to the present. At its origins, as tributary Castile entered decline and national states pursuing mercantile policies began to appear, the early Virginia settler colony in British America (and the Caribbean colonies of the West Indies) pursued New World plantation agriculture that was a part of capitalist development from its very beginning: The production of staples (especially tobacco and sugar, but also indigo, dyestuffs, and cotton) on the basis of plantation agriculture was called into being by the new sensibilities of the emerging bourgeois societies of England and Holland. In fact, from its beginnings, plantation agriculture was distinctively capitalist: Unlike conditions that generally obtained under labors formal subsumption (wherein handicraft or putting out production was usually farmed out to individual laborers working out of their homes), the plantation agricultural setting actually anticipated (by roughly one-hundred and fifty years) the industrial factory: It involved work of a specific, new sort, that is, closely supervised labor (and, thus, engaging merchants who originally organized this labor directly in this supervision, so that they did not stand at all outside productive activity simply seeking to extract money-wealth from the exchange, as in formal domination). A capitalist form of economic rationality appeared for perhaps the first time in the organization of labor. On this basis, the labor process itself, organized in the form of work gangs who toiled for long hours during large parts of the year at bodily demanding tasks, constituted a regime of labor that achieved a new order of exploitation. Finally, this exploitation was multiplied by the rationalization of tasks and their simplification in tobacco and sugar production as well. The labor employed in the earliest plantation agriculture was, moreover, not fully servile (slave labor); rather, as bonded labor, in a highly mediated sense it was waged1 Antediluvian forms of capital can reappear: The role of the kulak, not a capitalist farmer but an usurer in the Soviet Union, circa 1928, is a case in point.2 Similarly, there was something of an usurious exploitation in the sharecropping tenancy that developed in the United States in the aftermath of Reconstruction (circa 1880-1940) more than a century after formal domination became generalized at the level of the world, and as real domination in production had begun its ascendancy.3 In the contemporary garment industry in South Asia, at Dhaka, in various production sites in Bangalore, Dhaka, Phnom Penh, Saigon or Shenzhen (China), it is migrants from the countryside, again overwhelmingly female, who do the sewing, sorting, washing, etc. Technological inputs (not just sewing machines, but plant also), though industrial, are not high tech and vastly less capital intensive at least relative to auto plants (not just big factory complexes like those of Ford in Detroit or the Fiat Mirafiori plant in Torino once were), far smaller ones like those such as the Ford, Honda, Mitsubishi, Proton and Daihatsu/Perodua plants in Malaysia or similar GM, Hino, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota plants in Thailand. In the contemporary South Asia garment industry, there is little, if any, assembly line labor in the sense of continuous flow production. The machines do not determine the pace and tempo of work (though they do decide worker rhythms). It is the supervisor who, personifying capital in mediating owner imperatives, holds the process, as a process of the exploitation of labor in the capitalist sense, together. And, in so doing, the supervisor, to boot, re-introduces personal domination through intimidation, sexual harassment and the threat of violence. Thus, elements of both formal and real domination are present in the same labor process present, but there is also actual reversion to forms of domination in production that predate capitalism, in the sense (Marxs) that formal domination in production eliminates all patriarchal, political or even religious connections to the relation of exploitation.4 In addition, we can also mention the extensive use of child labor which appears to mark these production processes as instances of formal domination. However, if we contextually shift from the immediate point of production to the level at which capitalism operates, to the worldwide network of capitalist relations, it becomes apparent that the cheap consumer goods (such as knit shirts, khaki pants, etc.) produced in such low-tech factories
1

For plantation agriculture, see the Preface to our Civil War and Revolution in America, the section entitled New Merchants and the Distinctively, Modern Capitalist Nature of Production as well as the sources cited therein. 2 For this, see Bolshevism and Stalinism (Urgeschichte), Second Study. 3 Civil War and Revolution in America, chapter 10 in its entirety. 4 Marx, Resultate des unmittelbaren Produktionsprozesses (cited above). At the same time, in these low tech operations there is more more than the most oppressive forms of personal abuse (e.g., sexual blackmail) in which the reassertion of absolute surplus value extraction is clothed at stake for capital, namely, its own mobility and opportunity to utterly maximizes all prospects for exploitation: Industrialization in the South is very different from early industrialization in Britain, whose rise, consolidation and decay occurred over six generations. By contrast, the garment industry in Dhaka did not exist ten years ago [circa 1985]; if cheaper labor can be found elsewhere, it may not exist ten years from now. Seabrook, In the Cities of the South, 27.

that form the garment industry in South Asia (and China) are part of a globally functioning organization and system of production, distribution and circulation, and consumption, that is anything other than technologically backward and labor intensive, one thoroughly and immediately permeated by the law of value.1 Formal domination, though fully integrated into the circuits of production, distribution and consumption of commodities shaped by real domination, is important to capital precisely for the surpluses its generates. Migrant workers, immigrant workers and ethnically distinct workers who function as minorities outside their homelands, as well as garment workers, are important to capital precisely because they are engaged in the dirtiest, most dangerous and lowest paid work, that is, because in a world in which the real domination of capital over labor reigns these workers are subject to the most brutal forms of the extraction of absolute surplus value. Such specific production sites, industries, industrial branches and labor processes that are low-tech and labor intensive are integrated and integral features of capital's real domination at the level of the world, as much so as design of computer software in Bellingham, Washington or the production of computer chips in Silicon Valley. It is the system of social relations at the level of the world, as we say, the operation of the law of value, and the complex networks of production, circulation and consumption in which it is grounded and on which it operates that determine the reality and primacy of one form and era of domination over another. So, in a minimal sense when we speak about the hegemony of real domination we are speaking about its tendential universality in the actual organization of production, which is decisive for determining the periodization of the history of capitalism Lest it be forgotten, no form of capitals domination in production is ever instituted without a struggle against workers and, accordingly, since the periodization of any era of domination in the history of capitalism depends on the predominance of a specific form of capitals domination in production, the establishment of the former is, mutatis mutandis, similarly dependent upon capitals success in major class confrontations against workers In a more encompassing sense, real domination is constituted in reshaping not just production, but is penetration of other institutional spheres (e.g., family, state, military) and its tendency to re-structure them according to the logic of value accumulation, a tendency which once it becomes actual inaugurates a still newer form of domination of capital.2 A connection between the two senses of formal and real domination (as designations of forms of surplus value extraction or domination in production counterposed to signification in terms of eras of the history of capitalism) would allow us to specify a moment at which the one passed over to the other. Such a specification has a rather singular meaningful reference.3
We intend here the broadest sense of this usage, namely, the tendential reduction of social relations to productive ones, that is, the disciplining and regimentation of former by the latter implied in the regulation of production of commodities and expanded reproduction of the total social capital by socially necessary labor time. 2 For this, see the Second Interlude, below. 3 We shall forgo an extended discussion and critique of capitalist retrogression, decadence, for which assigning a date to the passage from formal to real domination as eras in the history of capitalism has the sense of a passage from an ascendant to a decadence phase or epoch of capitalist development. Here we can offer only the following: The sense or meaning for decadence theorizations is that capitalism as a system of social relations develops through a wrenching movement of expansion and contraction, and only re-equilibrates itself through the periodic destruction of the mass of objectively embodied values (plant and equipment, human capacity to labor, the mass of commodities especially as they enter as inputs into the means of production). In capitalisms ascendant phase, this devalorization was carried out through a deflationary collapse beginning with agriculture; in its decadent phase, through destruction of the means of production as in imperialist world war. A date at which capitalism entered its decadent phase, namely, 1914, is generally assigned. A test of this theorization, then, would be a demonstration that the last imperialist world war resulted in an unprecedented destruction of the means of production (as distinct from urban and humanized natural landscapes that did not embody fixed capital, which were often devastated) creating a serious decline in and restriction of productivity in the capitalist sense. But what is demonstrable is that in most of the capitalist combatant countries, the capacity to produce remained unchanged at the end of the war (or actually surpassed that at wars outset). It would take us too far afield to show this (though it can be shown), but the problems that confronted capital in the wars immediate aftermath were bottlenecks in fuel provision, transportation of raw materials and finished goods, distribution of food, and, less immediately and less narrowly economic, the return and reintegration of returning political prisoners and slave laborers. Productivity was not lost as a result of so-called destruction of the means of production (killed in combat, murdered en masse as genocides deliberately carried out, even with the destruction of human beings as productive forces) The failure to assess that moment at which real domination (it was not 1914), hence capitalist retrogression so-called, becomes effectively actual in the sense of an era of real domination exhibits a propensity toward a theorization for which historical contents do not enter into it and shape it. Alternately, the qualitative determination of the meaning and significance of real domination in terms of the exponential growth in abstract labors productivity not so much as technically innovative development (which can be understood narrowly) but as systematic incorporation of science and technology into production, offers no way to validate this affirmation, no way in which to measure it against social and historical developments, no way in which to connect that two senses in which formal and real
1

It refers to the historical moment beyond the immediate process of production at which all other domains of social existence and spheres of activity no longer possess the internal coherency to maintain a considerable degree of autonomy from the law of value, but instead become tendentially subject to it: Social relations of all kinds (for example, in educational institutions the relations between student and teacher) are under increasing pressure, they are increasingly subject to a logic that organizes them on the model of the relation between wage earner and capitalist, and they more and more become directly subordinate to the imperatives of capital. But the overriding import of real domination is that, on the basis of the transformation of immediate production processes, it, real domination, has become effectively actual in large parts of the developed capitalist world, that is, abstract labors productivity has become great enough to transform the world in its entirely according to the old Marxist notion of universal abundance. It is at that moment that capitalism is truly redundant, that, in an older language, the material presuppositions for socialism had fully matured. However, real domination did not hold sway over production even in the most advanced citadels of capitalism even at that moment (914) at which the short twentieth century was inaugurated, if we take this domination to mean effectively actual in the sense just formulated. This can be demonstrated beginning from an account of the reorganization of labor processes (capitalists directly intervening to reorganize work, its rhythms and tempos; scientific and technological inputs, especially continuous flow production) in the metropolitan centers of capitalism. The emergence of the factory system is the historical point of departure for the appearance real domination in production. But with a view to the structure of work, the factory system circa 1760-1840 cannot be identified with the mass production assembly line in the United States exemplified by Ford some eighty years later, or the largely horizontal rationalization that took place in Germany in the latter 1920s. That is, real domination has, as we have shown, existed in difference forms in the immediate production processes. Yet it has not been just any form of real domination that has made capitalism redundant, socialism in the narrow sense (i.e., with a view to its so styled material presuppositions) really pregnant within the extant configuration of production. It has only been continuous flow production based on sequentially arranged, specialized machinery and machine complexes that has raised abstract labors productivity exponentially, and in so doing created real domination as a periodizing determinant of the history of capitalism as such. Real domination based on this form of organization of production was, not to overstate the case, socially isolated in 1914: Fords Highland Park facility, the first mass production complex in the world, opened in 1914. Until the early twenties in the U.S. it was confined to steel, automobiles (from whence it expanded into production of agricultural means of production, tractors, combines, reapers, trucks, etc., and manufactured durables such as radios and refrigerators) and light manufacturing final assembly (e.g., G.E.s Schenectady light bulb plant), while the weight of technological inputs had begun to reorganize other, highly advanced sectors such as mining in Butte, Montana, though not along the lines of continuous flow production. In Germany, the new production economy of fixed costs, an internal time economy based on continuous flow production was developed by the great cartelized capitals at the heart of rationalization movement that seriously began in 1925. For all Lenins late life rants about the necessity of applying Taylorist methods to Soviet production, in the early thirties Soviet technicians could be found inside the Fords Detroit River Rouge plant as observers monitoring assembly lines in an effort to unlock the secret of continuous flow production. In 1946, the once massive Renault works at Boulogne-Billancourt was the sole major plant and facility in France that, fully rationalized, was systematically organized along lines of continuous flow production. Until 1960, Nissan had been entirely dependent upon manual labor in auto assembly producing 33,000 passenger cars in 1959. Gearing up for mass production, in 1960 it purchased its first welding machines. In 1964, Nissan manufactured 213,000 autos In line with the sense of this specification, we can fix a date, about 1950, as that moment at which a revolutionary proletariat could have leveraged the world to socialism (never mind that proletariat would have been productivist, and that socialism constructed on a productivist model of endless development of productive forces and technologies of capital aimed at nature domination forecloses on a genuine general human emancipation), that moment in which real subsumption of labor under capital had become effectively actual in large parts of the world, capitalist productivity great enough, to transform the world according to the old Marxist notion of universal abundance. It is at that moment that in principle a fundamental tendency of capitalist development under conditions of real domination became necessary and unavoidable, even though it would not become historically real for over another decade. This is the
domination are utilized.

tendency of capital to expel labor from production while simultaneously incorporating strata outside the waged laborcapital relation (especially petty producers in the capitalist periphery) into that relation, suggesting at this point that one specific and important sense of communism, communism as the suppression of work, had an actual foundation in the production process of capitalism at the level of the world Retrospect and Anticipation If earthly nature is the encompassing framework in which a free subject actively and contradictorily forms itself, a concept of and practice aimed at realizing human freedom has appeared, and appeared late, in historical time. This realization is intertwined with historical necessity that is simultaneously at work in it. We are, however, required to specify what this necessity is and what it is not. The sphere of popular autonomy, selfdetermination and independence can be, but need not be, enlarged. History is not of necessity rational. Rather, it can be rendered rational. History is not the progressive realization of human freedom. For in history this realization... to the extent a general emancipation has become possible... has unfolded dialectically: The realization of freedom is never linear; it is subject to setbacks, regressions, and mere partial realizations. But, if and then when, freedom is realized, has been achieved, history will be rendered fully rational. De jure, human freedom is inextricably and inseparably at once bound to social justice, and to the end of the domination of nature. De facto, they are almost always separated. In the epoch of universal history inaugurated with the development of capital, the meaning and significance of social justice and human freedom are socio-historically relative to achieved levels of objective substance (levels of material culture), forms of Objective Spirit (economic, legal and social and state institutions) and the classes and social groups that constitute society, though it is unachievable because at the same time it rests on an ongoing reduction of nature to a raw materials sink History in its expansive sweep and its entirety is not the domain of the realization of freedom. Only as capital historically appeared and systematically (not sporadically) began to hold sway became decisive for human sociation, understood mystifyingly (as a strictly a political event), obfuscatorily (as starting from something other than the abolition of social division) and restrictedly (realizable only for those who are proprietors of property in production), for the first time universal human freedom was posed as a problem, though narrowly and abstractly. In each era of capitals domination, a whole complex of overlapping, intertwined problems converge on the question of human freedom. And in each era, a specific thrust and interpretation of that problem comes to the fore and gives it, the problem of human freedom, reductionistically, a singular cast falsely suggesting its resolution. In the era of formal domination, it is the problem of motion as the measure of nature mastery (First Study). In the era of real domination, it is the problem of surplus labor (Second Study). In the era of totalizing domination, it is the problem of remaking the Earth to sustain capital in the face of the climate change it has engendered (Fifth Study). Always driven in the fundamental sense exclusively by a frenzied compulsion to accumulate value, the bourgeoisie, today a mere personification of capital in all socially and historically significant events, has never pursued freedom, only the magnification and intensification of the dual, intertwined and practically indistinguishable problems of creating and exploiting abstract labor and constructing a technical framework for recreating nature as a source provisioning commodity production.1 The problem of creating and exploiting abstract labor is one side of the relation of science to the bourgeoisie: As the theoretical anticipation of nature domination realized in the achievement of bourgeois tasks, in endless expansion of productive forces, science legitimizes, justifies and reinforces capital's hegemony over society and the social relations in production on which control over that production, moral and cultural authority in society and political power in the state are all grounded: In and through the mediation of science the domination of nature has become, if it has not always been, inextricably bound up with class exploitation, and with the oppression and bigotries that rest on the latter.
1

In point of fact, it was not strictly speaking bourgeois but middling groups... those who have largely disappeared from history, middling farmers fighting against the arbitrary power of tributary lords, seigniors and magnati over masses of serfs and other rural producers, but above all early artisans engaged in struggles against institutionalized religious occlusion and against divinely sanctioned, absolutist kingly Power and its arcane legalisms... who were the first social groups in history to develop a consciousness of universal freedom. It was a restricted view to be sure (for which freedom is grounded in property as a means of securing personal autonomy in and a livelihood from production), but significantly it had nothing to do with expansion of productive forces. Pride of place here goes to the Levellers in the English Revolution. For their struggle and the elaboration of this awareness, see Revolutionary Theories of the English Civil War.

Inseparably, constructing a technical framework for the recreation of earthly nature is the other side of a relation in which the bourgeoisie is no longer capable of actively partaking in, 1 that of the relation to capital to nature: The movement of capital recreates nature as a raw material basin for that production. It is no other than an anti-human, anti-nature cannibal. Its logic and actual development has generated an immense, perhaps humanly intractable problem, aporia and grand cul-de-sac into which all of living, earthly nature is being propelled headlong. Abandonment of the project of nature domination, creation of a new science and novel technologies to mediate our relation to nature, and simultaneously and on the basis of the self-elaboration of the consciousness of revolutionary subjectivity are the necessary if still inadequate conditions for making human freedom actual.

See the Second Interlude, below.

First Interlude Bibliographical Sources Barnes, Will. The German Road to Renewed Imperialist World War, 1870-1938. St. Paul, 2008 __________. Community and Capital. St. Paul, 2001 _________. Bolshevism and Stalinism in the Epoch of Imperialist World War and Proletarian Revolution (Urgeschichte). Three Studies (1979-2000). St. Paul, 2000 _________. Civil War and Revolution in America. St. Paul, 1999 _________. The Origins and Development of Catalan Nationalism: Catalan and Castilian Antagonism in Spanish History. Unpublished, 1999 _________. Revolutionary Theories of the English Civil War (Text, Fragments and Notes). Manuscript, 1991 _________. The History of Florence and the Florentine Republic (Text and Fragment). Manuscript, 1989 Brenner, Robert. Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict, and London's Overseas Traders, 1550-1653. Princeton (NJ), 1993 Brou, Pierre. The German Revolution, 1917-1923. Chicago, 2005 (1971) Bush, Michael L. Tenants Rights and the Peasantries of Europe under the Old Regime in Social Orders and Social Classes in Europe since 1500. M.L. Bush (ed.). London, 1992 Cameron, Rondo. France and the Economic Development of Europe, 1800-1914. Princeton (NJ), 1961 Chandler, Jr., Alfred. The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business. Cambridge (MA), 1977 Ciriacono, Salvatore. Mass Consumption Goods and Luxury Goods: The De-Industrialization of the Republic of Venice from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century in Herman Van der Wee (ed.), The Rise and Decline of Urban Industries in Italy and the Low Countries. Leuven, 1988 Desmond, Adrian and James Moore. Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist. New York, 1991 Eco, Umberto. The Name of the Rose. Trans. by William Weaver. New York, 1983 Epstein, Robert. Napoleon's Last Victory and the Emergence of Modern Warfare. Lawrence (KS), 1994 Fischer, David Hackett. Albion's Seed. Four British Folkways in America. New York, 1989 Ford, Henry. My Life and Work. London, 1922 Frankfurt, Henri. Kingship and the Gods. A Study of Ancient Near East Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature. Chicago, 1978 (1948) Guilden, Gregory. Whats a Peasant To Do? Village Becoming Town in Southern China. Boulder (CO), 2001 Hegel, G.W.F. Grunlinien der Philosophie des Rechts. Philosophische Bibliothek, Band 124. Leipzing 1911 (1821) ___________. Phenomenologie des Geistes, Vorrede. Accessed online at www.marxarchive.org. (German original, 1806) Hinton, James. The First Shop Stewards Movement. London, 1973 Hobsbawm, Eric. The Age of Capital, 1848-1875. New York, 1996 Kosk, Karel. Dialektik des Konkreten. Eine Studie zur Problematik des Menschen und der Welt. Frankfurt am Main, 1971 (Czech original, 1963) Lenin, V.I. The Development of Capitalism in Russia (1896) in Collected Works, V. III. Translated from the 4th Russian edition (Sochieneniia, 1941-1950). Moscow. 1960-1970 Manning, Brian. The English People and the English Revolution, 1640-1649. London, 1976 Marx, Karl. Kapital. Eine Kritik der Poliltischen konomie. Dritte Band, Buch III: Der Gesammtprozess der kapitalistischen Produktion. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Engels. Hamburg, 1894 ________. Nachwort to the second German edition (1873) of Kapital. Accessed online at www.marxarchive.org (Archiv sozialistischer) ________. Resultate des unmittelbaren Produktionsprozesses Das Kapital. I. Buch. Der Produktionsprozess des Kapitals. VI. Kapitel. Frankfurt, 1969. Accessed online at www.marxarchive.org (Archiv sozialistischer) ________. konomische Manuskripte, 1857/1858. Marx-Engels Werke, Bd. 42. Berlin (DDR), 1983 Moore, Jr., Barrington. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World. Boston, 1966. Roland Holst, Henriette. De Revolutionaire Masse-Actie. Een studi. Rotterdam 1918. Accessed online at www.marxarchive.org (Archiv sozialistischer)

Seabrook, Jeremy. In the Cities of the South: Scenes from a Developing World. London, 1996 Stone, Lawrence. The Causes of the English Revolution, 1529-1642. New York, 1972 Tawney, R.H. The Agrarian Problem in the Sixteenth Century. New York, 1969 (1912) Taylor, Frederick. The Principles of Scientific Management (1911) in the collection entitled Scientific Management. New York, 1947 Thirsk, Joan. Economic Policy and Projects: The Development of a Consumer Society in Early Modern England. Oxford (Eng.), 1978 _____. Tudor Enclosures. Pamphlet published for the Historical Association [Great Britain]. London, 1959 Thompson, E.P. The Making of the English Working Class. New York, 1966 Unwin, George. Industrial Organization in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Oxford, 1904

Second Study New Departures in Science: The Sciences of Life Complexly mediated perhaps, but authentically new departures in science only occur if society itself, i.e., the order of capital whether just emerging or well established on its own basis, has itself reached an impasse of sorts, and thus first poses a question that must be, at least in part, theoretically solved before a path appears down which resolution in societal practical can be undertaken... There is a novel line of conceptual development that, beginning with T. Robert Malthus, stretches from the late 18th century all the way down to the present. Line and development are misleading inasmuch as the central themes as originally stated recur but with none of the clarity socially speaking that they possessed at those origins, and with little in the way of more sophisticated elaboration. But the line runs, nonetheless, from Malthus through Darwin down to contemporary neo-Darwinists. It has its explicit formulation in the notion of an unalterable relation between the reproductive potential of living population groupings and the restriction that nature (usually understood as subsistence) places on it; but in the historically significant, even if tacit sense it concerns the dual problem posed by the growing development of the productive forces of capitalist society, that of the productivity of abstract labor and with it, most manifestly, that of propertyless men expelled from production. It is a singular event in the order of society, broadly speaking, that occasions this theoretical reflection. It was the subordinate of labor under capital in production, the initial appearance of real domination in the form of the factory system which in establishing capitalism on its own basis may well be the most important development in its history and consequent upon it the response of artisan workers to their concentration as propertyless men. It was this congregation of masses of angry, fearful men facing an existence without a social anchor in work in a moral economy of production, under assault from capitalists, parliamentary politicians and sheriffs, and capitals organic intellectuals largely domiciled clerically that, in posing for these groups a danger to order in society (an evolving order to be sure, more and more understood as laissez faire, as unrestricted competition as the organizing principle of social life), stimulated this reflection. Once this reflection is developed in Malthus, as an unalterable relation of population to resources it is appropriated as the basis of the study of life understood as nature, as natural or organic life in Darwin, as an undifferentiated concept of life in its evolutionary development. At this point, theory returns to the order of society, that is, it anticipates and simultaneously expresses conceptually a linkage (that was tacit in the very notion of nature domination at the origins of science) that is a bondage (that really, effectively reinforces class exploitation): In the incessant reordering of the labor processes by way of scientific-technological inputs (real domination in production), the domination of nature becomes inseparable and operatively indistinguishable from class exploitation, the problem of propertyless men absent work increasingly pressing. This whole development is appropriated in thought anew, in order to further elaborate it, rationalize it, conceptually fix it, render it narrow, doctrinaire and authoritative, render it more scientific the modern synthesis, neo-Darwinian dogma and finds its contemporary theoretically prepared devolution in technologies of capital, in genetically-based biotechnologies of social control under conditions of totalizing domination and massive casualization, and in geoengineering aimed at nature itself.

Part I Malthus and the Problem of Population Malthus An Essay on the Principles of Population, published anonymously, was first penned in 1798 as a short pamphlet running to some 55,000 words, about 125 pages.1 Malthus (identifying himself through his writings as T. Robt. or T.R. Malthus) is best know for his formulation of a natural law, call it his population law (an arithmetic increase in food production always lags by growing orders of magnitude over time a geometric increase in population), the validity of which he sought to establish. Because the historical development of capitalism itself since Malthus time has demonstrably refuted this presumed law, shown it is ideological prejudice raised to the level of a necessary feature of human existence, a critical account must proceed immanently in order to recount what in his own time led him to believe otherwise. We shall attempt to elicit the historical experience that gives the lie to his account. In this regard, we can recall one of Marxs many, pointed and succinctly formulated criticisms: Malthus demonstration relies on a compilation confusedly thrown together from historians works and travelers' accounts2 (our translation). But, because his law has survived, nay lies at the foundations of cognitive endeavors, any number of sciences down to this day,3 we must confront Malthus logic, exhibit that on its own terms his conclusions are not warranted, are as we have just indicated, nothing more than class bigotry. We can begin by developing the historical context in which Malthus wrote and, having done so, we shall invert the order of presentation and begin with the latter, with an analysis of the cogency of Malthus argument. Ostensibly, the Essay undertakes to refute the views of well-known contemporary thinkers, men who for Malthus were without serious politics, daydreamers as they might be called today (and may have been called then). If so, then Malthus remarks constitute a polemical rejoinder to two authors, Godwin and Condorcet (as is obvious from the full title of the text), regarding their speculative views on, in Malthus words, the future improvement of society. Now Godwin and Condorcet both were convinced the mankind could achieve an infinite perfectibility. And, it is precisely such perfectibility that Malthus could not stomach, because, for him, the views articulated suggest something quite far from mere innocuous fantasies. They were, if you will, a Trojan horse. Stated differently, there is a subtler subtext here: The argument may be explicitly directed against Godwin, but it also takes aim at the emerging communist and utopian movements that first appeared in France. Condorcet (and Godwin) is (are) important because, on the heels of the French Revolution, i.e., in the eruption of fundamental historical change carried out by masses of men and women, the plebeian sorts of humanity, Enlightenment thinking exhibited a tendency, a strong one, to undergo transformation: There is a division within the bourgeois order at a moment in history when such division was significant, when it mattered: To the Enlightenment thinking of Godwin and Condorcet which Malthus suspected opened the door to the twin abominations of the suppression of private property in production and the community of goods, i.e., to Babeuf s earliest formulation of the communist project or, in Malthus words, to a society all members of which should live in ease, happiness, and comparative leisure (chapter 1) to this he opposes the class rationality of the great bourgeoisie with its own traditions that he, Malthus, embraces and which he identifies with the names of David Hume, Adam Smith and a little known Scot minister named Robert Wallace, all British.4
1

Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principles of Population, as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, and other Writers. 2 Marx refers to Malthus bunt Zusammengewrfelten Kompilationen aus Geschichtsschreibern und Reisebeschreibungen. Grundrisse, Heft VI (Theorien ber Mehrwert und Profit) in konomische Manuskripte, 1857/1858. Marx-Engels Werke, Bd. 42, 507. 3 See the Fifth Study, below. 4 It goes without saying that Malthus was a British nationalist. Condorcet, French, was a far more important thinker than Godwin. Yet Malthus, devoting just two chapters to Condorcet, ranges over five chapters of criticism of Godwin, who of course was British. (Additionally, one chapter is dedicated to both.) For the chauvinist, an opponent as a fellow national is always superior to a foreigner, especially if he is a hereditary enemy (with whom, at any rate, one has now been at war for the better part of a decade, openly since February 1793, with whom one has struggled against for wealth, prestige and territory up and down the two great rivers of known North America, the St. Lawrence and Mississippi, and as far afield as India) and even if his thought possesses greater clarity and his argument is more forceful. As for Gracchus Babeuf, on 6 November 1795 he re-launched his paper, Tribun du people, on 5 December the Directory issued an arrest warrant for him (he went underground). His action followed on a poor harvest the previous autumn and rampant inflation and speculation in goods prices in the cities. On 30 March 1796 an insurrectionary committee was formed including Babeuf, Sylvain Marchal, Filippo Michele Bounarotti, Antonelle, Auguste-Alexandre Darth and Flix Lepeletier. Betrayed by one of this committees military agents, Babeuf was arrested on 10 May. He was executed a year later (26 May 1797). Albert Soboul, The French Revolution, 1789-1799, 482-483, 486, 490, 491, 492. Should anyone doubt the sincerity of his convictions, at his trial he openly affirmed them. In the often quoted passage, he stated, The sole

Malthus embodies and represents the dark side of the bourgeoisie, one which had broken with the optimism that was a decisive element of the world vision that at its origins cohered various middling strata allowing the bourgeoisie to appear and act as a class in history.1 Almost in its entirety this break can be laid to, as we stated, the emergence of masses of men and women into, making, history. In Malthus Britain, the communist views of a Babeuf, Marchal or Buonarroti had potentially a social embodiment in layers among the dangerous classes, even if the radicalized laboring men in Britain situated themselves in the tradition of Tom Paines Rights of Man and not that of the expropriation of the bourgeoisie and a communism of distribution. (For Malthus, one does not distinguish between the Conspiracy of Equals and menacing men, croppers, woolcombers and other artisans, who opposed the incipient factory system as, for example, it was being introduced in West Riding beginning in 1795, men who within a decade would engage in Luddite machine wrecking.2 We should not forget that the hereditary enemy was now exhibiting the practical import of the radical, Enlightenment derived doctrine in its export of revolution, that the aristocratically allied industrial ruling class of England was at war with the aristocrat decapitating, new bourgeois order that was emerging in France as Malthus wrote the Essay). Both were intolerable, hideous excretions from a society in which the fundamental balance constituting the social order a strong and constantly operating check on population from the difficulty of subsistence (chapter 1), operating, we add, politically and forcibly if not from nature has been lost. Thus, exhibiting this less than sanguine persuasion, in his Preface he writes, The view which he [i.e., the author, Malthus] has given of human life has a melancholy hue, but he feels conscious that he has drawn these dark tints from a conviction that they are really in the picture, and not from a jaundiced eye or an inherent spleen of disposition. Or more to the point, he thinks man is condemned to a perpetual oscillation between happiness and misery, and after every effort remain still at an immeasurable distance from the wished-for goal (chapter 1) While later editions of the work offer a panoply of conditions obtaining in societies across his contemporary world that Malthus believed buttressed his position, the original text merely states that position and makes what Malthus took to be compelling arguments in its defense. Lets examine this position. The Argument Keep in mind that, underneath everything the position put forth, the arguments supporting it, their logic and structure the natural inequality between population and production in the earth, and the supremacy of the latter over the former, i.e., the checks that the latter place on the former, and its consequence, the insurmountable obstacle that the latter places in the way to the perfectibility of society (chapter 1) what Malthus takes aim at is the very possibility of a classless society, the transcendence of inequality rooted in material abundance, and starting from this the abolition of class rule, hierarchy and subordination in the institutional sense. In the conclusion to this discussion we shall return to this Why is the question of human perfectibility posed now? How is it posed? And, what is it in regard to this question that Malthus holds? There are, according to Malthus, four more or less contemporary, great events that pressingly pose the question. Those are the recent discoveries of natural philosophy (i.e., the modern science of nature, physics), the dissemination of general knowledge stemming from the spread of printing, in some sense following from these a critical spirit of inquiry among the literate, and the French Revolution, a verdict (whether it inspire greatness in men or lead to inconsolable tragedy) on the historical significance of which remains, so he tells us, as yet undetermined. He thinks these four events signal broad changes that will be fateful for mankind, and pose the question whether man shall henceforth start forwards with accelerated velocity towards illimitable, and hitherto unconceived improvement, or be condemned to a perpetual oscillation between happiness and misery, and after every effort remain still at an immeasurable distance from the wished-for goal (chapter 1). Though we might note that before ever posing the alternatives, he had, of course, already made up his mind.

means of arriving at [equitable societal arrangements] is to establish a common administration; to suppress private property; to place every man of talent in the line of work he knows best; to oblige him to deposit the fruit of his work in the common store, to establish a simple administration of needs, which will distribute these available goods with the most scrupulous equality, and will see to it that they make their way into the home of every citizen. (Cited by Murray Bookchin, The Third Revolution, 7.) 1 See the Introduction, above. 2 For an unsurpassed account and analysis of this entire period, see E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 472-602.

In his own terms these opposing alternatives can be restated in terms of a question of the relation of population to subsistence: The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the Earth to produce subsistence for men." This relation, one in which the production of subsistence always falls and increasingly continues to fall behind the growth of population, has a more precise, mathematical formulation (one that since Malthus had been repeated ad nauseum by bourgeois apologists), namely, Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio (chapter 1). Malthus is satisfied to merely state his position because to him, and the like-minded, it is so intuitively obvious and otherwise taken for granted. 1 Atop this, it was after all also confirmed for him in another source, the hitherto mentioned Dr. Wallace, in his Various Prospects for Mankind, Nature and Providence (1761) who, in a discussion of a perfect Government, i.e., society absent disease, famine and social strife, stated mankind would encrease so prodigiously, that the Earth would at least be overstocked, and become unable to support the numerous inhabitants.2 Returning to our introductory remarks, we shall forgo the temptation to simply state historical development has proven Malthus wrong and let it go at that; to say, If the humanly formed, natural world, overwhelming rural, agricultural and non-capitalist, supported at most a billion people circa 1800, today that world circa 2010, largely urbanized, industrial (and post-industrial) and capitalist, supports nearly 7 billion people. End of discussion. Instead well note that, as Malthus wrote, the era of famines and mass death by famine was just coming to a close, and the era of surpluses in the citadels of modern capitalism, i.e., the first sites of real domination, lay on the immediate horizon; that this was as true for Babeuf (whose community of goods, was predicated on what we would call pejoratively from Babeufs perspective - stagnation in production, so that each man might receive his share of the total social product, but no more than his share) as it was for Malthus There is, of course, more to it, at least in the historical sense and in class terms, for the like-minded can only be described in class terms; and it is not just that, This [relation] implies a strong and constantly operating check on population from the difficulty of subsistence, and that, This difficulty must fall somewhere and must necessarily be severely felt by a large portion of mankind (chapter 1). It is also necessary, since it is an obvious truth, that population must always be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence (Preface, emphasis added), which is to say that the a large portion of mankind, the underlying classes and strata proletarians, proletarianized tenants and peasants as well as other layers of petty producers in the non-capitalist periphery, must be, if necessary, forcibly held to subsistence levels. This is a ruling class perspective as articulated by one whose relation to it, the English ruling class, was determined by his status as an element of its organic intelligentsia. Now, for Malthus, everything which can be assimilated to his perspective is patently obvious: His opinion can be laid down, established, concisely and simply, in a plain statement of which little more appears necessary with in addition (and not on the basis of) the most cursory view of society, which is cursory (Preface) because it is so obvious and otherwise merely taken for granted. I.e., Malthus believes his views are obvious to any reasonable observer... operative assumptions footnoted below are merely added to clarify his position, they merely illuminate what every rational man already knows... In point of fact, those assumptions do nothing more than establish the class basis on which his views are elaborated. History and Malthus Before discussing the structure of his argument, lets pause and consider both where Malthus was situated within the historical moment at which he wrote, and that moment itself. Malthus was the sixth of seven children including five girls, born to Daniel and Henrietta Malthus. Going back to the previous century, the Malthus line had a history as apothecaries to the royal family, as clerics, and as merchants and
In point of fact, Malthus begs our leave to make two further assumptions: I think I may fairly make two postulata. First, That food is necessary to the existence of man. Man must, to paraphrase one materialist tradition, produce his means of subsistence, in our terms, man is a being in nature. Secondly, that the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state (chapter 1). The reproduction of humanity understood narrowly and reductionistically as a biological species implies, though hardly logically, that demographical expansion at current levels will remain constant. Thus, the significance of the term passion The question of passion between the sexes will recur, as we shall duly note in the text below. 2 Cited in Patricia James, Population Malthus: His Life and Work, 59. She indicates that Wallaces influence on the young Malthus went very deep indeed (Ibid, 58).
1

modest landowners (the last two of which in this era in England often went hand in hand), essentially part of the small gentry. He, his siblings and his parents lived in a countryside dotted with small towns, formerly Surrey County, that were no long mere adjuncts to the surrounding country but carried on capitalist commerce, and were immediately west of London. In the 1760s, the Malthus relocated and settled in another one of those towns (some were better described as villages), Albury, while Thomas Robert, born in 1766, was still a child. 1 His father, a man of genuine culture, was personally acquainted with both David Hume and Jean Jacques Rousseau, and was one of the latters literary executives.2 Malthus was educated to the level of the day by his father until he was ten, after which a private tutor was employed. This education was liberal, both in the classical and the original political and historical sense. Not surprisingly, Malthus was sent to and pursued that education at Cambridge (Christ College), excelling in Latin and English declamation, from which he graduated in 1788, the same year he was ordained a minister, and where in 1793 he was elected to a fellowship which provided him with a stipend as long as he remained unmarried. In that year, he became a curate in Okewood, a small village also in Surrey, a position that provided his with an income for the services (weekly sermons, baptisms, overseeing burials and, on his own, ministering to, perhaps comforting, the sick and dying) he rendered to the village population.3 Okewood, as we shall have occasion to indicate below, was noteworthy for its rural impoverishment The moment at which Malthus wrote was toward the end of the era of famines, a period in the history of the great tributary formations of western and central Europe, pre-revolutionary France of the Bourbons and the Cabots, Castilian and Hapsburg Spain, Prussia, Sweden, in which crop failures and poor harvests led to food shortages and, on the basis of generalized impoverishment, savage inequalities and market mediation of distribution of foodstuffs, to famine, starvation and socially significant depopulations, an era which in the West, predating, is nonetheless coextensive with the era of capital's formal domination of labor.4 (Famine is endemic to agriculturally grounded stratified societies in all its historical forms, and though the periodization was different, the same situation confronted the three other great tributary formations in the world, Tsarist Russia, Mogul India and dynastic China.) It was also a moment of crisis in these regimes and the productive forms that underlay them, a crisis in part defined by strenuous aristocratic efforts to re-impose the seigniorial burdens inclusive of dues and taxes on already heavily weighed down peasantries. The crisis, and this is also an element of its definition, reached, if not its zenith then, a point at which explosive resistance heralded a period of qualitative societal transformation in France in the peasant eruptions (1780s) that signaled the advent of the Revolution. The crisis was, however, if anything overdetermined, that is, in a purely objectivistically descriptive sense, it was exacerbated by the contradiction between opposing modes of production, between capitalism forming within a western European tributary formation misapprehended as feudal and that formation itself, between in-kind and monetary lordly extractions and the concentration of small farms into hands of large capitalist farmers (carried out by expropriation of small producers). This contradiction characterized the situation in France5 as much as in England at a much earlier date: In both cases, we are speaking about propertyless men, proletarianized peasants, and about urban concentration. In France, Paris was the scene of greatest demographic concentration, a situation that formed within a vastly expanded urban division of labor as masses of petty producers servicing not only the requirements of a great administrative center (the king and court even if at Versailles, his retinue, the offices through which his reign over the country was effected) but their own needs as layer upon layer of the sans-culottes population. In England, though, the trajectory was different, there had been the same proletarianization starting from enclosures of copyright holdings (which were still ongoing in Malthus' time, but deepening as rural, already waged poor laborers lost non-market supports due to enclosures, as men were robbed of fuel, wood, and food, gleanings from cornfields): So that squeezed endlessly by wages that had been declining since 1760 and rising food costs, not only had large capitalist farms appeared but the factory system 6
1 2

James, Ibid, xvii-xviii (chart showing family tree); Thomas Peterson, Malthus, 21. Peterson, Ibid. 3 Ibid, 23-38; James, Ibid, 19, 25-34. 4 A single, not uncharacteristic example is suggestive. Florence was subject to 111 famines between 1375 and 1791. Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, Vol. 1, 328. 5 Soboul, Ibid, 488. 6 J.L. Hammond and Barbara Hammond, The Village Labourer, chapter 5. The authors point out (Ibid), Nathaniel Kent, writing in 1796 [Notes on the Agriculture of Norfolk] says that in the last forty or fifty years the price of provisions had gone up by 60 per cent, and wages by 25 per

which we identify with the first phase of real domination as it originally appeared in England and which had seen the rise of large cities, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester in additional to the increasing demographical densification of London formed and spread. The era was overdetermined in still another sense. Unifying dispersed economically growing manufacturing capitals and landed property on which gentry power as capitalist farming intertwined with the sheriffs and magistrates rested, the British Parliamentary state stood behind the counterrevolution, behind aristocratic French refugees graciously offered them the city of London in which to hatch their plots and conspiracies. But the movement of capital itself churned up opposition: The creation of great capitalist farms was accomplished through expropriation of the lands of small men; mentioned above, the spread of the factory system with its new labor saving machinery rendered skilled artisans redundant. In 1795, price inflation pushed the working poor, especially women, into the streets in food riots across the country, during which rioters so-called seized flour, corn and meat (from farmers, merchants and shopkeepers), and during which these rural and small town proletarians generated their own forms of selforganization (called by the Hammonds leagues of consumers), committees to regulate food prices.1 The whole power of this state at the various levels it operated was mobilized against this resistance as laws were enacted, women and men who opposed and defended themselves against the movement of capital were hunted down, tried and imprisoned . It was in this maelstrom of events that an Anglican cleric with the moral sensibilities of John Calvin himself, that the Reverend T.R. Malthus, responding to these events, wrote. The Structure of Malthus Argument Malthus begins from the intuitive certainty of his basic assumptions It is an obvious truth that population must always be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence. The only question was the means of popular suppression, the means by which this level is effected. (The answer, never mentioned by Malthus, was provided by the Aliens Act and the Treacherous Correspondence Act both of 1793. These were modifications to the Law of Settlements dating from the reign of Charles II, from 1662, themselves modified irregularity over the next hundred years. In question were provisions that, absent 52 weeks of annual employment, confined laborers to their own parishes. They were used by capitalists cum magistrates to uproot and shift labor from parish to parish, were invoked to deploy soldiers then the courts against popular outbursts, and, of course, to imprison those who resisted.) In a purely speculative manner, Malthus then logically retraced a series of propositions that formed the foundation of this assumption, his obvious truth, in order to bolster his position.2 To clinch the argument, he provided his readers with a series of contemporary based instances by way of which he merely restated his argument (and on the basis of which, though never the only possible conclusion, he affirmed the necessity of his intuitively certain assumption and its foundations). Now none of Malthus examples are even derived from that confusedly thrown together compilation of historians works and travelers accounts. Many are simply imagined. We shall examine such an instance. Malthus tells us, In a state... of great equality and virtue, where pure and simple manners prevailed, and where the means of subsistence were so abundant that no part of the society could have any fears about providing amply for a family, the power of population being left to exert itself unchecked, the increase of the human species would evidently
cent, 'but this is not all, for the sources of the market which used to feed him are in a great measure cut off since the system of large farms has been so much encouraged.' Professor Levy estimates that wages rose between 1760 and 1813 by 60 per cent, and the price of wheat by 130 per cent [Large and Small Holdings]. If we can identify this first phase of real domination with factory labor in its earliest phase, we can also acknowledge that it can be further specified in terms of the opening of an era in which socially-agriculturally famine begins to retreats, and within a quarter century disappears from the metropolitan centers of world capitalism. 1 Ibid. Among other towns, Aylesbury (in the south, west northwest to nearby London), Carlisle (in the far north, just south of the border with Scotland), Ipswich (in the center and east near the North Sea coast), Bath (in the southwest near Bristol) and Guildford (in the south, just southwest of London) are mentioned. 2 Enumerated in part above, these include (a) the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man, (b) Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio, (c) given that food [is] necessary to the life of man, the effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal, implying (d) a strong and constantly operating check on population from the difficulty of subsistence, (e) This difficulty... must necessarily be severely felt by a large portion of mankind, (f) The... race of man cannot, by any efforts of reason, escape from this natural necessity, and (g) misery, is an absolutely necessary consequence of it. Vice is a highly probable consequence... (chapter 1).

be much greater than any increase that has been hitherto known (chapter 2). However, just two passages earlier, he told us that, no state has hitherto existed (at least that we have any account of) where the manners were so pure and simple, and the means of subsistence so abundant. Whats the point? If no state has ever existed, at least none that we know of, how do we know that the power of population left unchecked would entail a demographical increase much greater than any hitherto known? How do we know? We know simply because it is so intuitively obvious, i.e., it is a speculatively construction that accords with our deepest convictions (i.e., class bigotry). That much is certain; for, if there is no evidential basis for such knowledge, we are merely asserting belief, conviction (and not rational conviction) in the guise of logical inference In point of fact, we do know today and have known since at least the second quarter of the short twentieth century that communities based upon a fundamental, material equality, societies without states, have existed since the first emergence of agriculture some 10,000 years ago, and that these communities were ones of great natural abundance in which social labor aimed at subsistence was so limited in duration that it did not figure as a determinant of these societies, and that these communities demographical density never exceeded that capacity to socially reproduce themselves from that natural abundance1 While imagining is a large part of Malthus method of presentation, and it buttresses intuitive certainties, that is all it does. Arguments of this sort are unevidenced, offering the appearance of being merely (harmlessly) speculative. Detaching the logic of argument from history and society, they are also vacuous. Defense of the Argument Malthus does not think of his speculation as speculation. He believes himself an intensely acute observer who, penetrating to the essence of the human condition, engages in the formulation of laws of nature that govern human behavior and activity.2 The position is certainly dubious. Validation, if you will, or defense of Malthus position (in argumentative discourse the two categories are distinct, the first suggesting evidence, the second generally conducted in the manner of logical demonstration, though here they are indistinct largely because in Malthus validation is defective speculation run rampant, imagination is illicitly deployed and the two practices comprehended by the categories are collapsed one into the other) is carried out by employing, among others, a second and a third method, that of the gross abstraction and that of an illicit generalization from a single instance. Here, we can recount the following: In the United States of America, where the means of subsistence have been more ample, the manners of the people more pure, and consequently the checks to early marriages fewer, than in any of the modern states of Europe, the population has been found to double itself in twenty-five years (chapter 2). For the moment, let us grant that in the United States in the early years of the Republic, in the presidency of John Adams, first, amble subsistence could be found across all classes, that, second, men and women tended to marry earlier and, finally (assuming, as does Malthus, that all marriages are animated by a desire for progeny and fecundity in this regard is natural) that the population of this country would go onto double (and had in fact doubled) in twentyfive years. Note here that assumed points one and two characterize the method of gross abstraction: Malthus as a rule proceeds from a culturally formed abstraction here amble subsistence and the people with their manners (customary social behavior) the one without regard to access mediated by and undifferentiated with regard to wealth, standing and power to the statistical abstraction, population, as in, This ratio of increase, though short of the utmost power of population, yet as the result of actual experience, we will take as our rule, and say, that population, when unchecked, goes on doubling itself every twenty-five years or increases in a geometrical ratio (Ibid, emphases added) Noting our emphases, we would again stress that while it may be tempting to subject Malthus to censure for his grasp of an immense increase in produce in his projection of future production on the basis of a linear extrapolation of present levels of production, this again only amounts to an ahistorical criticism of a man who did not (at least at this point in his life) live in an era in which the qualitative transformation in production within the existing capitalist mode were manifest
1
2

See the discussion, Nature, Humanity, Forms of Sociation: Archaism and Agriculture, in its entirety in our Nature, Capital, Communism. Laws have their corollaries, and justified by the same intuitive self-evidence, are also universal: The happiness of a country does not depend, absolutely, upon its poverty or its riches, upon its youth or its age, upon its being thinly or fully inhabited, but upon the rapidity with which it is increasing, upon the degree in which the yearly increase of food approaches to the yearly increase of an unrestricted population (chapter 7).

Flawed argumentation (that of the gross abstraction) of this sort allows Malthus to engage in an illicit generalization from a single instance: Let us now take any spot of earth, this Island for instance, and see in what ratio the subsistence it affords can be supposed to increase. We will begin with it under its present state of cultivation. If I allow that by the best possible policy, by breaking up more land and by great encouragements to agriculture, the produce of this Island may be doubled in the first twenty-five years, I think it will be allowing as much as any person can well demand. In the next twenty-five years, it is impossible to suppose that the produce could be quadrupled. It would be contrary to all our knowledge of the qualities of land. The very utmost that we can conceive, is, that the increase in the second twenty-five years might equal the present produce. Let us then take this for our rule, though certainly far beyond the truth, and allow that, by great exertion, the whole produce of the Island might be increased every twenty-five years, by a quantity of subsistence equal to what it at present produces. The most enthusiastic speculator cannot suppose a greater increase than this. In a few centuries it would make every acre of land in the Island like a garden. Yet this ratio of increase is evidently arithmetical. It may be fairly said, therefore, that the means of subsistence increase in an arithmetical ratio. Let us now bring the effects of these two ratios together. The population of the Island is computed to be about seven millions, and we will suppose the present produce equal to the support of such a number. In the first twenty-five years the population would be fourteen millions, and the food being also doubled, the means of subsistence would be equal to this increase. In the next twenty-five years the population would be twenty-eight millions, and the means of subsistence only equal to the support of twenty-one millions. In the next period, the population would be fifty-six millions, and the means of subsistence just sufficient for half that number. And at the conclusion of the first century the population would be one hundred and twelve millions and the means of subsistence only equal to the support of thirty-five millions, which would leave a population of seventy-seven millions totally unprovided for (Ibid). At this point in Malthus imagined construction, he takes note of a population loss due to immigration, so to counteract its effects, he goes for broke, taking an ever higher level abstraction, the population of the entire world as his object. (Why not?) But to make the argument more general and less interrupted by the partial views of emigration, let us take the whole earth, instead of one spot, and suppose that the restraints to population were universally removed. If the subsistence for man that the earth affords was to be increased every twenty-five years by a quantity equal to what the whole world at present produces, this would allow the power of production in the earth to be absolutely unlimited, and its ratio of increase much greater than we can conceive that any possible exertions of mankind could make it (Ibid, emphases added). But starting from the gross abstraction(s) on which it is contingent, this generalization to the entire world is illicit: Without understanding the differences in consumption as they are constituted between different classes or strata within society, between different societies and forming within them between different basic forms of productive activity as they operate at the level of society (i.e., without regard to a dominant form of production within a social formation), we, that is, Malthus, can only inadequately, misleadingly and falsely, engage in induction of this sort. And in this he laid down a pattern of argumentation that after two centuries still endures Todays Malthusians argue, for example, that now in excess of a billion people the massive further, future population of India must be checked, while the population of the United States at roughly thirty percent of that of the subcontinent is unmentioned. Employing a legitimate abstraction, at least from the standpoint of this argument, it might be noted that, comparably, the difference between the consumption of children in the United States exceeds on average that of children on the subcontinent by nearly two orders of magnitude (ninety times). We shall return to this... Malthus does, in fact, engage a typology of stages of human development (chapters 3-5) typical of the age savagery, nomadic pastoralism and civilization. In so doing, however, he merely amplifies his methodological errors. Here to see the same method at work we need only consider the rudest state of mankind, savages. Always operating with the statistical abstraction, population, he is required to account for low population density. Exhibiting an absolute minimum of insight, he indicates savages engage in hunting as their principal occupation, which insures population, comparably speaking, is necessarily thin since food sources are scattered over a large territory. Here

Malthus fastens on to North American Indians as exemplary. (Indians is itself another abstraction, i.e., formulated without regard to varying forms of social organizations, the presence or absence of stratification, and so on.) Since, as he explains, population density is comparably thin, he is further required to suggest at least that under the right conditions (our term), savages, North American Indians as the case in point, too would soon reproduce outstripping available subsistence. Thus, it is necessary to consider passion, by which obviously he does not mere ardor or sexual appetite but merely species multiplication through what are only sexual means and which among North American Indians is more apathetic than among any other race of men. Nonetheless, a comparatively rapid population... [increase] takes place whenever any of the tribes happen to settle in some fertile spot and to draw nourishment from more fruitful sources than that of hunting, and it has been frequently remarked that [this occurs] when an Indian family has taken up its abode near any European settlement and adopted a more easy and civilized mode of life (chapter 3). No doubt, but then against the gross abstraction, forms of humanization (socialization) means nothing; yet this Indian family has abandoned its community, and has effectively assimilated a capitalist form of sociation, yeoman farming with its need for large families to do agricultural labor at once for subsistence and for the market. In point of fact, Malthus has proven nothing: It is not the intrinsic character of individuals, or abstractions like man, mankind or population, but the ensemble of social relations, that constitutes an individual or family. In this vein Malthus continues, The North American Indians, considered as a people But which peoples? And this indeed is the point, for the various Indian groupings are peoples, not singularly but in the plural. So which form of life among those that are characteristic of natives at this time, what forms of productive activity, hunting and gathering, hunting and farming, which Indian peoples are we speaking about? The Plains Indians? Societies that, with the spread of the horse northward from Central American (where the conquerors had brought it over from Spain), uniquely, abandoned one settled form of life to engage in another, this time mobile, hunting buffalo almost exclusively, within the framework of material equality and a stateless communal self-organization? The Indians of the Pacific coastal Northwest?1 Those, who were not only sedentary but went beyond village life, achieving large scale societies (in the pre-modern sense), in which a certain amount of social wealth circulated and was concentrated in a small, single stratum, exhibited important hierarchies encompassing slavery and societal differentiation and producing strata of nobles and commoners? Just to mention these two important groupings of peoples among North American natives points to the decontextualized, de-socialized, undifferentiated and indeterminate abstractions that are methodologically decisive for Malthus. Malthus, though, is not deterred; happily he has arrived at that which he was unshakably, intuitively certain from the very beginning: Taking the population of the world at any number, a thousand millions, for instance, the human species would increase in the ratio of -- 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, etc. and subsistence as -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc. In two centuries and a quarter, the population would be to the means of subsistence as 512 to 10: in three centuries as 4096 to 13, and in two thousand years the difference would be almost incalculable, though the produce in that time would have increased to an immense extent (chapter 2) In the course of 19 chapters, Malthus devotes the better part of three (chapter 3-5) to his typology of forms of human sociation, and several more to the problems that in his view his theorization confronts, those events and processes in human history such as immigration and the foundation of colonies (chapter 6) and epidemics and famines (chapter 7) that might, in his view, tend to affirm or negate his argument. In all cases, Malthus treats of his subject with the same abstractness. So, since no methodologically new ground is broken, the important questions, for us, then are twofold, first, what are his criticisms of the men whom he identifies as his main intellectual opponents (Condorcet and Godwin); and, second, since he is ostensibly as a Christian cleric committed to human welfare, what programmatically he advocate with a view to the future improvement of society? Condorcet and Godwin: The Critique of Human Perfectibility Malthus first criticism is that those writers, Condorcet and Godwin in particular, who concern themselves with human perfectibility simply and wholly fail to recognize the force of his argument well, dead four years Condorcet really couldnt... Irrelevant, since he, Malthus, is not only mystified but irritated: To a person who draws the preceding obvious inferences, from a view of the past and present state of mankind, it cannot but be a matter of astonishment that all the writers on the perfectibility of man and of society who have noticed the argument of an overcharged
1

Here see Alain Testart, Les chasseurs-cueilleurs ou lorigine des ingalits.

population, treat it always very slightly and invariably represent the difficulties arising from it as at a great and almost immeasurable distance (chapter 8, also chapter 1 where the same criticism was originally aired). Malthus takes as his object of discussion Condorcet's Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progres de l'esprit humain which he notes, perhaps somewhat skeptically, was penned while in hiding after warrant for his arrest (implying certain death) was issued.1 Relatively speaking more substantial, the criticisms that follow address the issue of propertyless men. Following Condorcet, Malthus tells us that a critical survey of the civilized nations of Europe, that is, the most economically developed countries (developed with a view to actual population and their extent of territory, their cultivation, their industry, their divisions of labor, and their means of subsistence), cannot exist without an industrial proletariat. Industrial refers to the early factory regime. For, according to Malthus, it would be impossible to preserve the same means of subsistence, what today would be called standards of living, and, consequently, the same population without a number of individuals who have no other means of supplying their wants than their industry (chapter 8). Malthus renders us a fair representation of Condorcet on this issue We would note, as we have more fully and more contextually elsewhere,2 the significance of maintenance of existing population levels for this argument is exemplary of the terrain on which this argument had until recently always been conducted, that of the ideological discourse of proponents of capitalist national states for whom large populations secure equally large industrial reserves of labor as well as men as cannon fodder in wars of conquest, arguments made by the early English and French political economists in defense of mercantile capitalism. In this sense, men on either side of the Channel made and accepted this argument exhibiting their ultimate allegiances Condorcet indicates, and Malthus readily agrees, that such men could only manage very small, unstable incomes and that, accordingly, There exists then, a necessary cause of inequality, of dependence, and even of misery, which menaces, without ceasing, the most numerous and active class of our societies (Ibid, Malthus citing from Condorcets Esquisse). Consistent with his mathematical training and his service (under Louis XVI) as Inspector General of the Mint (1772-1791), Condorcet, making actuarial and interest calculations, proposed to meet this situation by instituting a fund to guarantee assistance to the elderly, to women and children who lose their husbands and fathers, and to young people to establish themselves in life. The fund would be derived from savings, those who would benefit it and those who died before they could benefit from it (chapter 8), which we take to mean, since they could not be expected to save, from a tax on wages. This proposal as formulated by Condorcet in his Sketch in 1794 in intent and funding appears in the United States today to be effectively identical with Social Security. On the basis of further similar calculations, Condorcet also proposed to qualitatively widen the foundations of the use of credit in society (extending its usage beyond the very narrow range of the really wealthy), making it accessible generally both to individuals and small capitalists, merchants, etc. Here again, there is a contemporary analogue in certain financial institutions within the banking system that function as credit markets. Malthus will have nothing of either, stating that their application to real life generates results that are absolutely nugatory (Ibid). Putting aside that fact that the history of capitalism condemns Malthus idiotic judgment, he interprets Condorcets program, his vision of state administered system of social security as a kind of English Poor Laws (more of which later). Malthus reading is deficient, but his main objection recall this discussion (which, for us, aims at a minimalistic safety net that does not touch the contradictions that shape capitalism and provide it with its dynamic) concerns human perfectibility is, consistent with his assimilation of it to the Poor Laws, that it reproduces
1

Malthus says, it is said, under the pressure of cruel proscription with reference to the situation of Condorcet. The warrant was issued 27 March 1794. Suspecting he had been long under watch by Montagnard spies of the Committee of Public Safety, Condorcet fled Paris. He was arrested three days later, imprisoned and, following just two days in the goal, was found dead in his prison cell. To this day, it not known whether he took his own life (using a poison from a friend) or, fearing popular reaction to the prospect of guillotining, he was murdered by agents of his political enemies. Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, titled Marquis de Condorcet, was educated in Jesuit Colleges in Reims, Collge de Navarre and Collge Mazarin both in Paris. In 1765, he published An Essay on the Integral Calculus and was elected to the Acadmie des Sciences in 1769. In 1772, he published another mathematical treatise on the integral calculus. In 1777, he was appointed Secretary of the Acadmie. In 1785, he published his most important work, on probability and the philosophy of mathematics, Essay on the Application of Analysis to the Probability of Majority Decisions. This obviously was a work in the development of the theory of probability. Reaching back to Leibniz and Newton, to boot he developed his thinking and wrote a treatise on (never published), 1786, the differential and integral calculus, giving a new treatment of infinitesimals. He wrote biographies of Voltaire and his friend Turgot (whom, as Comptroller General of Finance, he served under while at the Mint). 2 The Critique of Productivism in our Nature, Capital, Communism.

that the dynamic, as he understands, of unrestrained population growth: Were every man sure of a comfortable provision for his family, almost every man would have one, and were the rising generation free from the 'killing frost' of misery, population must rapidly increase (Ibid). Here Malthus is mistaken precisely because he had (ideological) deduced (our term) the consequences of Condorcets program from his own intuitively certain assumptions, when (according to him and coming from him, this is precious), in deciding these issues we must pose the prior question of how do we know this but from experience? Theories must be founded on careful and reiterated experiments, so that we do not return again to the old mode of philosophizing and make facts bend to systems, instead of establishing systems upon facts (chapter 9). On this question, Malthus was, again, not just logically and methodologically mistaken, but simply mistaken: Legitimately noting historical outcomes (i.e., here appealing to the only basis on which a practical judgment can be rendered), it is because the history of capitalism is that experience and the experiment, and capitalism has proven Condorcet right on this account Eminent mathematician and mathematical theorist, physiocrat and anti-clerical (Malthus indubitably knew this), liberal champion of the Assembly against the Crown and its, the Assembly's, secretary, author of the plan that to this day lays at the foundation of the French educational system, a Republican as the Assembly under the pressure of the Parisian sans-culottes underwent radicalization, author of the moderate Girondist constitution, a historical figure of import, Condorcet was a man of action without being a politician (honesty and forthrightness, his manners, determining his comportment). Entirely unlike Godwin, he died for his convictions. Nonetheless Godwin is clearly germane here. Also an Enlightenment figure, he was a theorist, articulating an exceedingly coherent, conceptual frame of reference of philosophical, i.e., bourgeois and humanist, anarchism (as opposed to, say, anarchist currents that circulated among workers in Spain, France and elsewhere in the twilight era of formal domination, from 1870 down to the last imperialist world war). It is his major work, An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793), that is the object of Malthus criticism. The core of Malthus opposition to Godwins perspective is articulated in two chapters. Effectively Malthus criticism flows in two directions, first, there are fundamental disagreements over basic features of the human condition, and, second, there is a direction confrontation over the rationalist scaffolding that supports Godwins views of human perfectibility (chapter 14). For our purposes here, it is the former that merits consideration.1 Now Godwin is interesting, that is to say, in direct opposition to Malthus he holds that there is in human society a principle, as it were, that prevents population growth from outstripping resources that are required to sustain humans; that oppression, exploitation, degradation, i.e., evil or in Malthus words misery and vice (an expression that if it appears once appears a dozen times), are as they appear in civil society a product of human institutions; and, that the spirit of oppression, the spirit of servility, and the spirit of fraud...are... immediate [out]growths of the established administration of property. They are alike hostile to intellectual improvement (chapter 10), i.e., hostile to autonomous personal formation. Godwin is, in other words, interesting because he holds that private property in production, and bourgeois institutions the family particularly, are the basis on which misery and vice rise. Now Malthus devotes far more space and words to Godwin, as opposed to Condorcet, because Godwin is his bte noire, the opponent to whom he has no real response, to whom he can only oppose his own views but whom he cannot, other than reiterating those views, successfully counter.2
1

The former is taken up in chapter 10, the latter in chapter 14. In between, Malthus criticized Godwins views (as he did Condorcets) on the prolongation of human life (chapter 12) and his views of the centrality of rationality in human constitution (chapter 13), arguing instead that humans are compound beings, that passion as well as rationality is constitute for mans nature. In this regard it might be noted that, in contradistinction to his earliest presentation of his fundamental perspective in which sexuality appears as the merely as the means of propagating the species, wherein it must function exclusively as that activity that insures an excess of progeny (population) over subsistence, against Godwin he argues for sensual enjoyment, virtuous love, exalted by friendship awaken[ing] the sympathies of the soul and producing the most exquisite gratifications (chapter 11) all in begetting progeny. (Malthus wanted it both ways.) It should be noted that this volte-face forms merely an appeal, not an argument, in the face of Godwins utilitarian morality, for which behavior results from the calculation of consequences. For Godwin, sensual, here sexual, pleasure with unpleasant consequences, e.g., a progeny that could not be supported with available resources, incomes, etc., would not be pursued. Though it does not follow with any necessity, Godwin like himself, as Malthus points out, does not advocate promiscuous intercourse. In this context, against variety, diversity and promiscuity, he writes, The love of variety is a vicious, corrupt, and unnatural taste and could not prevail in any great degree in a simple and virtuous state of society (Ibid), demonstrating his affinity to Calvin, even if they were not of the same denominational persuasion. 2 Godwin was not an entirely laudable character. As we said above, Godwin was unlike Condorcet who died for his convictions (which is not the say that principled men and women must prove themselves by dying for their convictions); rather, he, as an anti-statist theorist, has the anomalous distinction of living out his life as a governmental pensioner, and under a Tory regime no less.

In all this Godwin developed the following position: Absent private property in production and the brutalizing effects of human institutions under capitalism (civil society), In a state of society where men lived in the midst of plenty and where all shared alike the bounties of nature, these sentiments would inevitably expire. The narrow principle of selfishness would vanish. No man being obliged to guard his little store or provide with anxiety and pain for his restless wants, each would lose his individual existence in the thought of the general good. Nicely stated. Malthus can only retort: But that it is merely an imaginary picture, with scarcely a feature near the truth, the reader, I am afraid, is already too well convinced. Really? And why, pray tell? Man cannot live in the midst of plenty. All cannot share alike the bounties of nature. Here Malthus reveals his real visceral commitments as well as intellectual parentage, Hobbes: Were there no established administration of property, every man would be obliged to guard with force his little store. Selfishness would be triumphant (chapter 10, emphasis added). Yes, of course. Bourgeois egoism is characteristic of humanity as such, a universal condition that no human can escape. But only if, against Godwin, selfishness is not generated under conditions of socially determined scarcity, only then would the subjects of contention be perpetual. Every individual mind would be under a constant anxiety about corporal support, and not a single intellect would be left free to expatiate in the field of thought.1 But it is a specific historical experience, that circumscribed by capitalism (or perhaps we should say forms of sociation based on fixed places in a division of labor wherein material inequality seeps down into the community itself) that, contra Malthus, experientially grounds this assessment. To either side of capitalism... the archaic past, a liberatory future that stands before us yet to be made... history belies Malthus' judgment. Here Godwin is clearly superior. Reduced to foaming, Malthus strategy is twofold. Most importantly, to disingenuously sigh, to debunk, to ridicule, to laugh: The whole is little better than a dream, a beautiful phantom of the imagination. These 'gorgeous palaces' of happiness and immortality, these 'solemn temples' of truth and virtue will dissolve, 'like the baseless fabric of a vision', when we awaken to real life and contemplate the true and genuine situation of man on earth (Ibid). Why? The black train of distresses would inevitably be occasioned by the insecurity of property (Ibid, emphasis added) This is wholly consistent with his judgment on the French Revolution (and not just in its Jacobin, but in all, phases): Here we can see the human mind in one of the most enlightened nations of the world, and after a lapse of some thousand years, debased by such a fermentation of disgusting passions, of fear, cruelty, malice, revenge, ambition, madness, and folly as would have disgraced the most savage nation in the most barbarous age. For Malthus, bourgeois that he is, the revolution threatened property and this is the real issue. And what can he offer in support for his assertion of the centrality of private property in production for human existence, not for the good life but for society to be possible at all? He can only dogmatically reiterates his mathematical ratio (and such is the second strategic element): I have already pointed out the error of supposing that no distress and difficulty would arise from an overcharged population before the earth absolutely refused to produce any more. Further parodying Godwins utopian projections, Malthus then proclaims, With these extraordinary encouragements to population, and every cause of depopulation, as we have supposed, removed, the numbers would necessarily increase faster than in any society that has ever yet been known (Ibid). And, of course, he once again (spare us) provides us with an exacting mathematical reductio ad impossible. Of course. If Malthus can only oppose his intuitively certainty-based calculations to Godwins position, there remains that one nagging question, that principle in human society, by which, for Godwin, population is perpetually kept down to the level of the means of subsistence. How is this so? How is this possible? The sole question is, what is this principle? Is it some obscure and occult cause? Is it some mysterious interference of heaven, which, at a certain period, strikes the men with impotence, and the women with barrenness? Or is it a cause, open to our researches, within our view, a cause, which has constantly been observed to operate, though with varied force, in every state in which man has been placed? (Ibid).

In the course of all this, Malthus does provide us with a glimpse of his own utterly backward and reactionary utopia. It is agricultural: Let us suppose all the causes of misery and vice in this island removed. War and contention cease. Unwholesome trades and manufactories do not exist There are no towns sufficiently large to have any prejudicial effects on the human constitution. The greater part of the happy inhabitants of this terrestrial paradise live in hamlets and farmhouses scattered over the face of the country. Every house is clean, airy, sufficiently roomy, and in a healthy situation. All men are equal. The labors of luxury are at end. And the necessary labors of agriculture are shared amicably among all (chapter 10).

Malthus is baffled. He can only retreat to his laws of nature, entirely unevidenced as they are: Is it not a degree of misery, the necessary and inevitable result of the laws of nature, which human institutions, so far from aggravating, have tended considerably to mitigate, though they never can remove? Based on specific descriptions brought back from the lengthy period of the conquest of the Americas (among which Bartolom de las Casas was the most analytically incisive, most thorough, most credible, and to be sure, unfamiliar to Malthus), to this, however, Godwin opposes the fundamental insight of all opponents of capitalist modernity as it first began to develop on its own foundations, the recognition of different societies, of history and a moment in history within which socially determined scarcity did not reign. Malthus paraphrases, among the wandering tribes of America and Asia, we never find through the lapse of ages that population has so increased as to render necessary the cultivation of the Earth. To this Malthus has no answer; he can only offer denial Program As we have already suggested, Malthus is miffed by the utter inability of his great opponents, and not just them even those (Wallace) with whom he otherwise sees eye to eye fail to grasp the exigencies of the situation, to understand that the truth is that the argument given in this Essay is far from being remote, but is imminent and immediate, (chapter 8) meaning that, indubitably, his program is in urgent need of being carried out. Expressed as such (programmatically) this urgency is, as we shall see, what so manifestly and patently renders Malthus capitals non-political Representative, i.e., he not only formulates the naturalistic and reductionist premises of the eternality of the existing system of social relations, but he articulates the perspective of capital though at the tail end of the curve of its movement.1 So what does he offer? Malthus begins from a critique of the Poor Laws. Return to the curate in Okewood. The latter was a genuine backwater located in the forest region at the center of Surrey. It did not become a parish until 1853, so in the seventeen nineties Malthus had no experience as a guardian or visitor (see immediately below): That is, he was not in any official capacity tied to the administration of those Laws, though, since Okewood was administered as component in a larger parish, Malthus was quite aware of how implementation of the Poor Laws were overseen and the sentiments of laboring men toward them. In this regard, the village had at least two noteworthy features that stood out for Malthus (both biographers we have cited point them out): It was exceedingly poor, its laborers and their families undernourished and underclothed; yet its baptismal records for the entire chronological eighteenth century indicate a rather amazing generative capacity among the poor in the amidst of poverty, malnourishment and squalor.2 Malthus did not write words like the following merely to fit an ideological argument: The sons and daughters of peasants will not be found such rosy cherubs in real life as they are described to be in romances. It cannot fail to be remarked by those who live much in the country that the sons of laborers are very apt to be stunted in their growth, and are a long while arriving at maturity. Boys that you would guess to be fourteen or fifteen are, upon inquiry, frequently found to be eighteen or nineteen. And the lads who drive plough, which must certainly be a healthy exercise, are very rarely seen with any appearance of calves to their legs: a circumstance which can only be attributed to a want either of proper or of sufficient nourishment (chapter 5). It was because this described, without exception, his daily experience fulfilling his obligations as a curate, an experience which he could not shake, that he was unable to see beyond it In England, the 1795 food riots frightened parliamentary gentlemen, those staunch defenders of the emerging order of capital. Samuel Whitbread, as sympathizer of the working poor, brought a minimum wage bill before the Commons.3 In those riots, working men and women especially exhibited their own ad hoc, informal organization, combination. (To be sure, recognition and institutionalization of any self-organization were beyond the pale, since combination was and remained illegal, outlawed.) Led by William Pitt as Prime Minister, behind whom stood capitals early personifications dressed up in the formidable phraseology about the impartial justice of capitalist markets (in the Hammonds words all the interests and instincts of class were disguised under the gold dust of Adam
See the previous footnote. It was the eighteenth-century baptisms in the Okewood Register which so much astonished subsequent clergymen, who knew nothing whatsoever about Malthus. They noted with amazement that there were so many pages and pages of baptisms, and that the baptisms were so greatly in excess of the burials. James, Population Malthus, 46. 3 For the various positions assumed and maneuvering during the course of debate, see the Hammonds The Village Labourer, chapter 6.
1

Smith's philosophy),1 the campaign to defeat the bill was successful. In an effort to blunt these spontaneous eruptions, Pitt brought out his own bill, a Poor Law Reform, an attempt to update and modernize what from the standpoint of capital were increasingly archaic means of controlling and mobilizing waged labor. Pitts bill too was sent down. So the anachronisms that Malthus alleged remained in place. In what did they consist? The Poor Laws date from an enactment (1601) in the reign of Elizabeth. In taking over assistance to the poor from the Church, the English state retained its institutional framework in the parish. In various amendments (1722, 1789) administration of relief was reorganized so that by the mid-1790s Justices of the Peace appointed parish overseers who collected and set the rates (of assistance). Distribution of relief was executed by paid guardians (one for each parish), who were appointed by the justices on the basis of lists tenured by parishioners. Justices further appointed a visitor for each parish who monitored the work of the guardians as he saw fit. Relief, a shilling or two, was provided weekly at the home of the recipient (known as out relief), and in a workhouse, poorhouse or in a capitalist firm (indoor relief). Dreaded by the working class poor, provision through the workhouse was the earlier and far most common form of relief, and it was mandatory (at penalty of losing this miserly income), workhouses (and poorhouses) being constructed at parish expense.2 Malthus primary objection to the Poor Laws was just as archaic as the law itself, a thin mask for his real concerns (which, at any rate, he states): His criticism invokes precapitalist political concepts, for this assistance which some of the poor receive the whole class of the common people of England is subjected to a set of grating, inconvenient, and tyrannical laws, totally inconsistent with the genuine spirit of the constitution. The whole business of settlements, even in its present amended state, is utterly contradictory to all ideas of freedom (chapter 5, emphasis added). It is not the classically republican (i.e., oligarchical) critique of state-mediated capitalist tyranny that concerns him (in variant grammatical forms, the word appears three times in a single short paragraph), but the obstruction such relief presents to the movement of capital (wherein, of course, the plight of labor is always invoked): [The] obstructions continuity occasioned in the market of labor by these laws have a constant tendency to add to the difficulties of those who are struggling to support themselves without assistance (Ibid), which, as a liberal in classical (Smithian) sense, he really believed might go the longest way toward ameliorating a poverty that would, in his view, never disappear: Offering a mathematical demonstration of sorts, Malthus tells us, the parish laws of England have contributed to raise the price of provisions and to lower the real price of labor. They have therefore contributed to impoverish that class of people whose only possession is their labor. But this is only part of the issue, for workmen [would] save a part of their high wages for the future support of their families, instead of spending it in drunkenness and dissipation, if they did not rely on parish assistance for support in case of accidents. In the end, the Poor Laws lead to idleness and dissipation (Ibid). So what is the remedy? The evil is perhaps gone too far to be remedied, but I feel little doubt in my own mind that if the poor laws had never existed, though there might have been a few more instances of very severe distress, yet that the aggregate mass of happiness among the common people would have been much greater than it is at present. The conclusion must follow, were I to propose a palliative it should be the total abolition of the present parish-laws. With his backward looking eye to agriculture, such an enactment would give liberty and freedom of action to the peasantry of England, and for peasantry (which no longer existed anywhere in England) we should read capitalist farmers (or the large capitalist tenants, of which there were more than a few), but more importantly, the market of labor would then be free, and those obstacles removed which prevent the price [of labor] from rising [or falling] according to demand (Ibid). With a view to the capitalist farmer or tenant, Malthus proposes, Secondly, premiums might be given for turning up fresh land, and it possible encouragements held out to agriculture above manufactures, and to tillage above grazing. And, even if Malthus glance is backward looking, he recognizes the necessity of liberating the country from the grasp of feudal restrictions in order to constitute a uniform national market in labor, even if he only sees this national market in terms of agriculture. So heres the crux, Every endeavor should be used to weaken and destroy all those institutions relating to corporations, apprenticeships, etc., which cause the labors of agriculture to be worse paid than the labors of trade and manufactures. For a country can never produce its proper quantity of food while these
1 2

Ibid. Ibid.

distinctions remain in favor of artisans. Such encouragements to agriculture would tend to furnish the market with an increasing quantity of healthy work[ers], which in large measure was precisely the point. Lastly, we should note forget the role of the state, for cases of extreme distress, county workhouses might be established, supported by rates upon the whole kingdom, and free for persons of all counties, and indeed of all nations. The fare should be hard, and those that were able obliged to work, who, it goes without saying, the manufacturers and capitalist farmers alike could draw on as required. Marxs Criticism of Malthus Consider now Marxs critique (or that part of it which he took up and concerned the Essay): Malthus theory, which incidentally [was] not his invention, but whose fame he acquired through the clerical zealotry with which he pushed it forward, actually only by way of the emphasis he placed on it, is doubly important: (1) because he gives brutal expression to the brutal viewpoint of capital; (2) because he asserted as fact overpopulation in all forms of society. Proved it he has not, for there is nothing more uncritical than his compilations confusedly thrown together from historians' works and travelers' accounts [emphases added]. His conception is altogether false and childish (1) because he regards overpopulation as being identical in kind in all the different historic phases of economic development; failing to understand their specific difference[s], and thus stupidly reduces these very complicated and diverse relations to a single relation, as two natural series confronting one another, in which the natural reproduction of humanity appears in one and the natural reproduction of consumable vegetation (or means of subsistence) in the other, in progressions the former geometric and the latter arithmetic1 (our translation). Marx brilliantly grasps that an undialectical relation of specific social groups to their surrounding (humanly) natural world as a relation of mutual externality will necessary naturalize the former. Thus, he continues, In this manner he transforms the historically distinct relations into an abstract numerical ratio, which he has fished purely out of thin air, and which rests neither on natural nor historical laws2 (our translation, emphasis added). In our terms, Malthus thinking is unevidenced, abstract and speculative. The conclusion is clear, namely, There is allegedly a natural difference between the reproduction of mankind and e.g. grain,3 but no difference within nature itself (i.e., Malthus is incapable of theorizing the recognition that man is humanly natural, even if his examples often proceed on this basis). Thus, This ape [i.e., Malthus] thereby asserts that the increase of humanity is a purely natural process, which requires external restraints, checks, to impede its geometrical progression. This geometrical reproduction is the natural reproduction process of mankind. In history he would find that population advances on the basis of very different relations, and that overpopulation is likewise a historically determined relation, in no way determined by abstract numbers or by the absolute limit on the productivity of the necessaries of life, but by limits set by specific conditions of production. [And] numerically limited as well. How small do the numbers which for Athenian meant overpopulation appear to us!4 (Our translation.) This insight is, well, simply beyond Malthus.
1

Malthus Theorie, die brigens nicht seine Erfindung, sondern von der er sich den Ruhm angeeignet durch den pfffischen Eifer, mit dem er sie verkndete, eigentlich nur durch den Akzent, den er auf sie legte, ist nach 2 Seiten hin bedeutend: 1. weil er der brutalen Ansicht des Kapitals brutalen Ausdrck verliehn; 2. weil er das fact der berpopulation unter allen Gesellschaftsformen behauptet hat. Bewiesen hat er sie nicht, denn es gibt nichts Unkritischeres als seine bunt zusammengewrfelten Kompilationen aus Geschichteschreibern und Reisebeschreibungen. Durchaus falsch und kindisch ist seine Auffassung, 1. weil er die berpopulation in den verschiednen historischen Phasen der konomischen Entwicklung als gleichartig betrachtet; ihren spezifischen Unterschied nicht versteht und diese sehr komplizierten and wechselnden Verhltnisse daher stupid auf ein Verhltnis reduziert, wo einerseits die natrliche Fortpflanzung des Menschen, andrerseits die natrliche Fortpfalzung der Vegetabilien (oder means of subsistence) sich als zwei natrliche Reihen, von denen die eine geometrisch, die andre arithmetisch fortschreitet, gegunberstehn. Marx, Grundrisse (Heft VI, Theorien ber Mehrwert und Profit), in konomische Manuskripte, 1857/1858. Marx-Engels Werke, Bd. 42, 506-507. 2 So verwandelt er die historisch verschiednen Verhltnisse in ein abstraktes Zahlenverhltnis, das rein aus der Luft gefischt ist und weder auf Naturgesetzen noch auf historischen beruft. Ibid, 507. 3 Es soll ein natrlicher Unterschied in der Forpflanzung des Menschen z.B. und des Getreides stattfinden. Ibid. 4 Der Affe unterstellt dabei, da die Vermehrung des Menschen reiner Naturproze ist, der uerer restraints, checks, bedarf, um nicht nach einer geometrischen Proportion vorzugehn. Diese geometrische Fortpflanzung ist der natrliche Fortpflanzungsproze des Menschen. In der Geschichte findet er vor, da die Population in sehr verschiednen Verhltnissen vor sich geht und die berpopulation ebensosehr ein geschichtlich bestimmtes Verhltnis ist, keineswegs durch Zahlen bestimmt oder durch die absolute Grenze der Produktivitt von Lebensmitteln, sondern durch von bestimmten Produktionsbedingungen gesetzte Grenzen. Sowohl der Zahl nach beschrnkt. Wie klein erscheinen uns die Zahlen, die den Atheniensern berpopulation bedeuten! Ibid.

Secondly, restricted according to character. A surplus population of free Athenians transformed into colonists is significantly different from a surplus population of workers transformed into workhouse inmates. Likewise the surplus population of beggars that consumes the surplus produce of a monastery is different from that which takes shape in a factory1 (our translation). Here, we affirm our own critique of the fixed because abstract (socially undifferentiated) character of socially specific conditions (and perhaps events), and the social relations that underlay them. This is to say that these conditions are fixed because they are not historical, for while they are (meaning that they are transient, not permanent, features of the human condition), this has no meaning for Malthus. It was the French Revolution, the significance of which Malthus rejected, that opened up the perspective of history. As a bourgeois thinker basing himself on that rejection, it was impossible for him to grasp and explicate the significance for his, for any, theorization of transient historical conditions. Thus, Marx is ahead of himself (i.e., fails to engage Malthus immanently) when he states (albeit correctly, at least for us and for later Malthusians who have no excuse) that, It is he [Malthus] who abstracts from these determinate historic laws of the movements of population, which are indeed the history of the nature of humanity, natural laws, but natural laws of humanity only as a specific historic development, with the development of its own historical process determined by the development of productive powers. Malthusian man, abstracted from historically determined man, exists only in his brain; and thus also the geometric method of reproduction corresponding to this natural Malthusian man. Real history thus does not appear to him as the reproduction of his natural humanity abstracted from the historic process of real reproduction, but to the contrary appears inverted: Real reproduction is an instance of Malthusian theory. Thus, for him, the immanent conditions of population, and overpopulation as well, appear at every stage of history as a series of external checks, which have prevented population from developing in Malthusian form. The conditions in which humanity historically produces and reproduces itself appear as barriers to the reproduction of Malthusian natural man, who is a Malthusian creature2 (our translation). In contradistinction to Marx, we would only recall that the historically constituted stagnation of production which is eternally given for Malthus (or at least cannot keep pace with geometrically increasing population growth) is in essence the same reality as Babeuf understood it. Marx in this respect does not explicitly grasp, comprehend, that he lives in the shadow of the French Revolution. Malthus least of all can grasp this. It is, then, necessary to return to our original perspective: What is intuitively certain in Malthus is an appeal to, or better, a naked assumption of, the fixed character of socially (and historically) specific conditions (and perhaps events) and the social relations that underlie them beyond Malthus thinking, all of these (conditions, events and relations) are transient, not permanent, features of the human condition (our term) as Malthus intended them. Masked by rational demonstration (deductive inference) these assumptions are congealed expressions of bourgeois prejudice. They are best explained (as in Malthus discussion of the Poor Laws) as the class bigotry of the capitalist (and bourgeoisie) It is not that Malthus, mired in bourgeois prejudice, does not see this of course, he doesnt But more importantly, all those who take up, or take over, his simple mathematical formula, carry over tacitly but necessarily, that prejudice. This brings us to Darwin.

Zweitens dem Charakter nach. Eine berpopulation von freien Atheniensern, die in Kolonisten verwandelt werden, ist von einer berpopulation von Arbeitern, die in workhouse inmates verwandelt werden, bedeutend verschieden. Ebenso die bettelnde berpopulation, die in einem Kloster sein Surplusproduce verzehrt, von der, die sich in einer factory bildet. Ibid. 2 Er ist es, der abstrahiert von diesen bestimmten historischen Gesetzen der Populationbewegungen, die, da die Historia der Natur des Menschen die natrlichen Gesetze sind, aber nur natrliche Gesetze des Menschen auf bestimmter historischer Entwicklung, mit bestimmten durch seinen eignen Geschichtsproze [bedingter] Entwicklung der Produktivkrfte. Der Malthussche Mensch, abstrahiert von dem historisch bestimmten Menschen, existiert nur in seinem Hirn; daher auch die diesem natrlichen Malthusschen Menschen entsprechende geometrische Fortplfanzungmethode. Die wirkliche Geschichte erscheint ihm daher so, nicht da die Fortpflanzung seines Naturmenschen eine Abstraktion von dem Geschichtsproze, von der wirkliche Fortpflanzung, sondern umgekehrt, da die wirkliche Fortpflanzung eine Andwendung der Malthusschen Theorie. Was daher in der Geschichte die Bedingungen, immanenten Bedingungen sowohl der Population als berpopulation auf jeder Stufe, erscheint bei ihm als eine Reihe auerer checks, die die Population verhindert haben, sich in der Malthusschen Form zu entwickeln. Die Bedingungen, in denen die Menschen sich historisch produzieren und reproduzieren, erscheinen als Schranken der Reproduktion des Malthusschen Naturmenschen, der eine Malthussche Kreatur ist. Ibid, 507-508.

Part II Darwin and the Evolutionary Development of Life In Malthus, a little digging easily uncovers the class prejudice of the bourgeoisie against the labor on which it is existentially dependent. In Darwin, the same bigotry is present. It is, however, less visible because it is more refined and highly theorized, taking shape as a systematic reflection on the course the evolution and development of life itself. Precisely because it is not manifest, it is necessary in the course of explicating it to exhibit the actual social linkage of this thought, otherwise appearing detached, to the concrete conditions and events of the time and place in which it took shape. Then, and only then, will we be able to fully comprehend, having already worked through, the basic theoretical orientation of its author, Darwin, and demonstrate that in fact, and how, bourgeois class concerns determined and shaped this orientation. Malthus and Darwin In Malthus, the optimism that characterized bourgeois existence at the origins of science, as science as a social class project mediated the becoming of the bourgeoisie as a historical class (one acting in history), has largely disappeared it will reappear and disappear again For in Malthus, the problem of surplus labor... objectively and historically mediated by scientific and technological inputs into production... labor in its abstract form, first became conscious. But the ubiquitous presence of propertyless, disquieted men is only the first form. From Darwin down to the neo-Darwinians who, as modern men, synthesis Mendel and Darwin, the problem of surplus labor will become institutionalized, and as such only a background feature of capitalist development dealt with by capitals theorists of labor, economists, as an industrial reserve army of the unemployed. This background feature will only leap to the foreground and become thematic during periodic eruptions in crises of capitals movement, economic contractions, slumps and in proletarian oppositional upsurges against the order of capital. It is only in our own time that the problem of surplus labor has taken on the proportions that make it difficult simply to ignore, as megapolises, cities of slums, barrios and shantytowns of the capitalist periphery and not just those of the periphery, have become a planetary feature, as the tenuous hold on life and society of casualized labor and unemployable surplus populations make increasingly regular large scale natural disasters a function of weather at its extreme characterizing the initial phase of climate change, itself a necessary outcome of capitalist development massive human tragedies. As Darwin writes though, this still all lies in the future Malthus had a detailed, albeit ruling class-based understanding of the situation at the origins of real domination (proletarianization on the basis of the factory system) as it unfolded on the ground, and before it ever gave rise to the parliamentary fight between bourgeois factions over the attempted reform of the Poor Laws beginning anew in 1796: His work as a cleric ministering to the Okewood village populace, most of whom were propertyless men, poor laborers, permitted him to see upfront and close the social impact of the Poor Laws, once administered. His population law is rooted in this experience together with his clerical (Anglican, Christian) convictions, which might be summarized in the expression the poor will always be with us. Darwin was different. Darwin was a country gentleman who, among other things (raising a family), engaged in plant cultivation and fossil collection as part of those studies. He was, in other words, a leisured gentlemen in a sense that very much corresponded to the classical conception of leisure,1 one in which the householder did not labor, and this as a prelude to participating in the good life. Unlike the ancient householder, he did not, however, participate in politics Then, again, the British Parliament was not a (socially restricted) community of ostensible equals engaged in their own self-rule, but an arena in which the political Representatives of great capitals struggle against one another and forged a precarious unity that permitted them to overcome, at least in part, their otherwise antagonist relations, in order to enact a legal order which would form the social premises of the activity of those capitals But this leisure did provide Darwin with the requisite time to reflect on and think through the population law with a view to the entirety of life on Earth and the development of that life over geological time. The son of an established, wealthy physician (who was also the son of an established, wealthy physician, Erasmus Darwin, poet, writer and naturalist of some repute), Charles, a middling or average student, was educated at Cambridge (like Malthus, at Christs College); spend five years aboard the HMS Beagle as companion to Robert Fitzroys (ships captain, naval officer, hydrologist and meteorologist) in the capacity, common during the era, of a
1

What his more recent biographers call a Whig gentlemen on a private fortune, Desmond and Moore, Darwin, 199.

naturalist on a voyage of exploration around the world (for the most part in the Southern Hemisphere); on his returned he eventually settled in London (until 1842), married a first cousin, Emma, of the very, very wealthy Wedgwood family (china manufacturing) in 1839 and, with an annual allowance from his father, and the dowry and an annual allowance provided by the marriage courtesy of English workingmen exploited in Wedgwood facilities retired to a country home in the village of Down in Kent where he pursued his studies Ideal-Cultural and Experiential Presuppositions of Darwins Theorization (Paley, Lyell especially) Even if not popularly generalized, at least among important social layers the meaning of nature had undergone significant transformation since the advent of capitalism in the West, especially England: It no longer invoked the same fears, or awe, as it did among social groups composing the various tributary formations in the world. Among the educated and the well to do, a romanticism, especially in the literatures of England, Germany and France (and in a peculiarly American, viz., isolatedly individualistic, form, witness Thoreau), had already emerged before the second decade of the chronological nineteenth century that embraced nature, counterposed to the evils of the factory system, as the repository of what was authentic in human relations. Nature was in this respect considered benign and in it inhered a model for humanity situated within it but, increasingly distinct, alienated from it. It was, then, tame, possessed of beauty and repose - always with the proviso here we are referring to the new middling groups that were forming in the heart of early capitalism. Among one of those middling layers that predated the rise of industry, the clerics, its study as natural history had become an acceptable pastime. 1 Similarly, this preoccupation could be said to characterize elements within newer social groups (recall Erasmus Darwin, a doctor). There was a difference, however: These personages constituted a transitional social assemblage, for the pursuit itself was undergoing professionalization, its bearers increasingly academicians, its content increasingly technical, The Origin of Species being perhaps, as George Levine remarks, the last major scientific text fully readable by nonscientists.2 Darwin certainly owed something to an older naturalism, that is, a natural theology foremost amongst which was William Paley and his book by the same name,3 not the least his form of argument that, entirely unlike Malthus (who argued deductively), was cumulative and largely inductive. In other words, abstractly setting aside fundamental assumptions Darwins argument by and large proceeded from a mass of evidence to generalization based on it. Of similar import was attention to the same features constituting, in a formal sense, the content of the argument (what Darwin would later call "my theory"), namely, the transcendent significance of adaptation understood as a relation of utility, a relation that connected a given organic structure to its function in terms of the benefit the organism in question derived from it.4 Of course, for Darwin the benefit is not firmly, i.e., hereditarily, established, unless it is only formed over generations (as Darwin says, it is selected), and affects the organism to the extent it is a member of a species, or, if you prefer, largely in the aggregate sense... together additively with all other adaptations... it is these adaptations that distinguish a species as such. But this was Darwin in 1859: Right up to his return to England, until he began regular discussions with the coterie of Whig Malthusians in London, Darwin remained firmly tied to Paleys perspective; and Paley (wealthy, a cleric with his own parish, Anglican archdeacon not to mention a Doctor of Divinity at Cambridge),5 for his part, had pointed to these adaptations as evidence of divine effort, creativity, and solicitude for the creation. In respect of these similarities and in particular what distinguishes them (here, in the formal sense only), there were two further features whose effect, once mediated by Malthus (who would come later), was to place a yawning chasm between Darwin and Paley. The first was ideational, a temporal perspective which Darwin for the most part owed to Lyell, what (appropriating Braudels term) we shall call the geology of the long dure for which the Earth and life
1

[By] the eighteenth century nature was sufficiently tamed enough to be idealized, at least by educated men who did not themselves have to labor on the land. The eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were the heyday of the cult of a benign and edifying nature, while the Fall receded more and more into the theological background Natural history became an approved clerical hobby. J.W. Burrows, Introduction to The Origin of Species (1979), 18. 2 From the Introduction to the edition of The Origin of Species (2004) we are using, Ibid, xiii. This is a reprint of the first edition. 3 The full title of Paleys work in question is revealing in this regard: Natural Theology; or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, collected from the Appearances of Nature. Originally published in 1802, by the end of the following year it had undergone four more editions. 4 Burrows, Ibid, 23. 5 Desmond and Moore, Ibid, 78.

on it is millions of years old.1 Of course, developments in embryology and especially anatomy were important here, and important to and for Darwin It is said that anatomys founder, Georges Cuvier, could identifiably reconstruct an extinct species from a single bone The second difference between the young Darwin and Paley was experiential: On the Beagle voyage Darwin was witness to a huge assortment of the life forms which he collected, described and catalogued and of which he was able to assess their likenesses and differences with regard to type. It is doubtful that the experience of the latter would made much sense, or at least the same sense, had he been unfamiliar with Charles Lyell. But that was not the case: Darwin spent that time aboard the Beagle with Fitzhugh, a personal servant (named Covington), the ships crew, and at the various stops (some extended, three years down and around the southern cone of continental South America, five weeks in the Galapagos Islands, and long stays in Tahiti, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia, Tasmania, Coco Islands 1850 miles northeast of Perth and 700 miles southeast of Jakarta, Mauritius, Cape Town) during the course of the voyage.2 His other close companions were Lyells Principles of Geology (the first volume which he carried with him was published in 1830), a gift from FitzHugh, the first two volumes in English translation of Alexander von Humboldts Personal Narrative of his travels (Humboldt had explored equatorial South America some thirty years prior to Darwins travels), and Miltons Paradise Lost.3 Darwin collected a large variety of specimens among them were seashells, corals, rocks, sand compressed to quartz-like stone, tiny pelagic organisms caught with cloths or nets in the open ocean, fish, insects, snakes, the skins of animals and birds he shot (in the latter case a dozen a week when on dry land), skeletons dug out of the dirt or exposed on the sides of embankments due to erosion, some of which he recognized and other which he did not At Bahia Blanca on the eastern edge of the Argentine Pampas, he found several skeletons of which he numbered a four legged creature, closely related to armadillos but as large as a horse, and close by near Punta Alta Darwin uncovered a weird mammalian skeleton, he thought as large as rhinoceros, of which most intact were the bones making up a small long face and a huge pelvis4 This was summer 1833. In London, three years and months later, the great Tory anatomist, Richard Owen, would identify the latter skeleton as coming closest to that of an ancient, giant Cape anteater5 The conceptual framework with a view to geological time that Darwin was slowly assimilating by way of his reading of Lyell permitted him to grasp the temporal significance of these discoveries. In the case of this skeleton it was ancient: Its entombed position had been undisturbed, seashells had postdated it since they had been found in an upper layer. A sea or watery body had covered the land after the animal whose frame was formed by the skeleton roamed the Earth. How long had it taken for that to occur it could not have been a catastrophic event for sediment had been deposited gradually and by what evolutionary development in or processes of nature had such a massive organism come into being, and how had it become extinct? Darwin pondered these questions. Counterposed to the geology taught at Cambridge which saw in nature catastrophic developments, violent crustral movements, wrenching strata and mountain thrusts,6 floods and volcanic eruptions Lyells natural world evolved slowly, with past development not differing in any essentials from the present (in this regard, note the subtitle of his work)7: These developments were uniform and had occurred over long periods of time Lyells Principles made him
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Mediated by developments in the youthful new science of life, against the overwhelming Victorian and Christian sense of humanitys and the Earths duration, Darwins states explicitly the ancient character of man and the Earths geological age. See The Origin of Species, e.g., 75, 77, 81, 104, 109, 158. 2 Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle, passim. Darwin dedicated the second edition of this work to Lyell, explicitly acknowledging the importance for him of the study of Principles of Geology. For the library aboard the Beagle available to Darwin, John Bowlby, Charles Darwin, 104. 3 While along the eastern South America coast, docked at Montevideo, Darwin received a post from London containing Lyells second volume. It was published two years after the first, in 1832. This, the second volume unlike the first, was not of the same order of importance to Darwin. In it, Lyell propounded his view of adaptation, that each species was entirely and perfectly adapted in situ: Environmental change would not result in mutation, but elimination of the species, its extinction. Lyell believed more than less in a wholly un-divine, and inexplicable, formation of new species as more ancient ones disappeared, went extinct. (The main argument appears in the second volume wherein he indicated the fossil record is inconclusive, and suggests no progress in development, specifically toward humanity. Principles of Geology, Vol. 2, chapter 2). 4 For Bahia Blanca, A Sketch of the Deposits Containing Extinct Mammalia in the Neighborhood of the Plata, Paul H. Barrett (ed.), The Collected Papers of Charles Darwin, Part 1, 44-45 [This was a paper read before the Geological Study of London on 3 May 1837.]; for Punta Alta, Voyage of the Beagle, 88-89, 159-160. 5 Ibid, 89; Desmond and Moore, Ibid, 141, 205. 6 Ibid, 117. 7 Being an Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earths Surface, by Reference to Causes Now in Operation.

the leading proponent of uniformitarianism in the eighteen thirties1 signifying that todays climate and planetary movements (crust, volcanic), geological contemporaneity itself, was all that was required to explain a deep geological past, or in his own language, actualism was the heuristic key to the past In the third volume he undertook what by our standards today was a highly limited reconstruction of that past history of the Earth Once the voyage was underway this perspective, Lyells, was to make more sense to Darwin from the get-go: At the first stop, St. Jago in the Cape Verde Islands three hundred miles west of the northern African coast (west of contemporary Mauritania), he noted, on entering the harbor, a complete level white band in the face of the cliff running for miles along the coast at a height of roughly forty-five feet above the water line. Studying it, he recognized the white band was made up calcareous material, that is, residues of the calcium deposits of hard-shelled bodies of plankton and other pelagic organisms including shells themselves. The band itself was lay atop ancient volcanic rock, and has been covered by a stream of basalt, at a moment in time when the pelagic calcifiers lay at the bottom.2 Obviously, then, a land formation forty-five feet above current sea levels had once been underwater. Yet, within historical times, as Darwin pointed out, there had been no disruptive natural activity or movement, no signs of volcanic activity. 3 Yes, indeed, Lyell was making much sense out of Darwins experience... Special Creation of Separate Species Let's now consider Darwin's mature views in some detail. This, of course, leads to a thematic discussion of some of Darwin central concerns in The Origin of Species. There was one feature of contemporary thinking (actually two) regarding the natural world that very early on in the course of his lengthy studies Darwin came to reject. This was the notion of special creation of each separate species. (The second was the fixity of species, which was, for Darwin, inseparable from the first). The two were related (for Darwin, the second stood or fell with the first),4 but to get at this and fully understand what he objected to, we must go back to what Darwin intended when he spoke of the origin of species. Darwin did not take speciation as such as the subject of his study, the question of how the taxonomic category, species, expressing a real development in nature, first appeared (if for no other reason than it never occurred to him that some form, an entire kingdom, of organisms did not speciate).5 Rather, Darwin proceeded phenomenally and phenomenologically. In this regard we can compress a mass of material and still follow him with a set of examples of our own. Examine the enormous number of varieties (breeds) of the domestic cat. When would one become a distinct species? Or, are bobcat and lynx varieties or separate species? (The mountain lion, cougar and panther in the western United States are names for regionally distinctive, yet identically the same species and cannot even be differentiated each from the others as varieties.) Why are the Bengal tiger and the Siberian tiger not species but varieties (in this case, subspecies)? Darwin devotes considerable space (not to these specific questions but) to questions of this kind: Varieties are variations on a type, a species, and Darwin concludes that it is only over geological time the distinction between one and the other can be seen, for species are only strongly marked and

See Principles of Geology, Vol. 1, chapter 7, wherein Lyell formulates the theorization, and chapter 8, where he examines the ancient climate of North America in relation to its geological formations in order to test and defend the theory. 2 Voyage of the Beagle, 15. 3 Ibid, 16. During the voyage, that is, on land, Darwin experienced natural arrangements of this sort frequently, leading to the same conclusion. Witness, for example, his description of the plain through which the Santa Cruz flows and the estuaries from which it debouches as they are fed runoff from the Cordillera Mts. (on the national border between contemporary Argentina and Chile at roughly 50 south latitude). See the section of a paper (On the distribution of the Erratic Boulders on the Contemporaneous Unstratified Deposits of South America) entitled Border Formation in the Valley of the Santa Cruz, The Collected Papers of Charles Darwin, Part 1, 148. 4 Darwins critique of independent creation is a critique of species fixity, for once we admit that species belonging to the same genus are lineally descended from other, by and large extinct species forgoing the notion of an independent creation of each separate species the concept of species fixity has to be abandoned. Darwin himself expressly refers to the latter just once (in his Introduction), stating that, I am fully convinced that species are not immutable. The Origin of Species, 15. Nonetheless, the two concepts were distinct, even if on evolutionary assumptions the former entailed the latter. Having demonstrated the Earth was geologically very old, Lyell, for one, holding to species fixity, did not accept an evolutionary view of life. Darwin deals with the latter, species fixity or immutability, in a less direct manner in chapter 10 in its entirety by way of a discussion on, or concerning, the geological succession of organic beings (the title of the chapter), see 251-276, esp. 252-253, where immutability is explicitly addressed. 5 See this Study, Part IV, below.

permanent varieties, which, in turn, are nascent (or, as hell say, incipient) species1: The distinction is not hard and fast, for varieties pass over into species, in fact this movement constitutes, for Darwin, the origin of species. [Wherever] many species of the same genus have been formed, or where the manufactory of species has been active, we ought generally to find the manufactory still in action, more especially we have every reason to believe the process of manufacturing new species to be a slow one. And this certainly is the case, if varieties be looked at as incipient species.2 If this can be shown, then individual species, each and every one, are neither the product of a special creation nor is their reality fixed, permanent and unchanging3 With its theological justification rooted in Genesis, the divines who had hitherto dominated the newly emerging study of the natural history of the Earth, geology, elaborated the notion of special creation. Were not the beaks of birds, the tails of monkeys, the claws of crabs, was not all of the creation exquisitely fitted each to its situation in the world? There were two further aspects to this. Beyond utility, the creatures making up nearly the entirety of the creation exhibited a natural beauty in appearance, in movement that only a Divinity could be held to account for; and these, utility and beauty, themselves were integral moments of a natural harmony that only God in his benevolence, magnificence and sublimity could have authored. Darwin, however, was to find something quite different operative in nature. First, there is the experimental and experiential evidence itself. For example, I should never have expected that the branching of the main nerves close to the central ganglion of an insect would have been variable in the same species [Yet] quite recently Mr. Lubbock has show a degree of variability in these main nerves, which may almost be compared to the irregular branching of the stem of a tree.4 And, there is the well-known [instance] of the primrose and cowslip, or Primula veris and elatior. These plants differ considerably in appearance; they have a different flavor and emit a different odor; they flower at slightly different periods; they grow in somewhat different stations; they ascend mountains to different heights; they have different geographical ranges; and lastly, according to very numerous experiments they can be crossed only with much difficulty.5 Second, then, on this basis there were enormous, confusing problems of classifications, that, in turn, pointed back to the inherent difficulties in sorting out the differences between varieties and species: These problems were several: (a) Compare the several floras of Great Britain, of France or of the United States, drawn up by different botanists, and see what a surprising number of forms have been ranked by one botanist as good species, and by another as mere varieties. (Examples of such classifications are cited.) Amongst animals which are united for each birth, and which are highly locomotive, doubtful forms, ranked by one zoologist as a species and by another as a variety, can rarely be found within the same country, but are common in separated areas. How many of those birds and insects in North America and Europe, which differ very slightly form each other, have been ranked by one eminent naturalist as species, and by another as varieties, or, as they are often called, geographical races!6 If species are this indistinct how is it possible to speak of a special creation of separate [i.e., recognizably distinct] species or to hold their distinctive characteristics are fixed, for the distinction between species and varieties is entirely vague and arbitrary.7 (b) There was the logical, classificatory analysis of increasingly more general types of determinants based on organ, anatomical, functional, etc. relatedness that linked subordinated organisms, groups of organisms, types of organisms to increasingly smaller groups and types of organisms.8
1 2

Varieties are species in the process of formation. The Origin of Species, 97. Ibid, 55. 3 Ibid, 18, 47, 49, 50, 54-58, 59-60, 93, 97, 98-99, 106, 146-151, and 378 where the most salient arguments against special creation are summarily marshaled and counterposed to species immutability (fixity). 4 Ibid, 47. 5 Ibid, 50. 6 Ibid, 49. 7 Ibid. Similarly, A considerable catalogue, also, could be given of forms intermediate between two other forms, which themselves must be doubtfully ranked as either varieties or species and this shows, unless all these forms be considered as independently created species, that, the one in varying has assumed some of the characteristics of the other, so as to produce the intermediate form. But the evidence is afforded by parts or organs of an important and uniform nature occasionally varying so as to acquire, in some degree, the character of the same part or organ in an allied species. Then to clinch it, Darwin casually notes that he has collected a long list of such cases. Ibid, 138-139.

(c) There was a question of efforts bordering on absurdity to account for what were otherwise specific characteristic of a species when these appear in another species classified within the same genus. He who believes that each equine species was independently created, will assert that each species has been created with a tendency to vary, both under nature and under domestication, in this particular manner, so as often to become striped like other species of the genus [a horse like a zebra]; and that each has been created with a strong tendency, when crossed with species inhabiting distant quarters of the world, to produce hybrids resembling in their stripes, not their own parents, but other species of the genus.1 Third, there was the logically argued summation of much experience in the form of methodical observations. In the larger genera the species are apt to be closely, but unequally, allied together, forming little clusters round certain species. Species very closely allied to other species apparently have restricted ranges [The] species of a large genera present a strong analogy with varieties. And we can clearly understand these analogies, if species have once existed as varieties, and have thus originated; whereas, these analogies are utterly inexplicable if each species has been independently created.2 Fourth, there was a problem of differences and similarities of structure in related organisms. On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, why should that part of the structure, which differs form the same part in other independently created species of the same genus, be more variable than those parts which are closely alike in several species? I do not see that any explanation can be given.3 Then, returning to experience, there is the larger question based immediately and directly on Darwins own experience: Why in the isles of the Galapagos Archipelago did the giant tortoises exhibit small (and, for Darwin, difficult to ascertain) variations from island to island? Natives could unfailingly surmise from which island a tortoise had come4 The point? The more strongly different species from contiguous locales (or in different geological eras in the same locale) shared defining characteristics, the more probable it is that these species had a common ancestor and the less probable the notion of a special creation of separate species.5 The weight of evidence and argument against this notion extended to species fixity. As geology itself developed with accumulating fossil discoveries, the temporal dimension of the Earths age itself became more and more a problem and subject to argument and analysis.6 The age of fossils may not have been rigorous determinable, but they did provide indisputable evidence that many species, now extinct, predated the appearance of humanity and were in this sense ancient. To preserve the biblical timeline (roughly 4500 years from the creation to the present), divines, theologians and clerical naturalists (often in the same personage) had responded that this could be understood in terms of successive creations: Species that once inhabited the Earth, or portions of it, had been destroyed by some catastrophic event and new species had been divinely created. But this brought us back to Lyell, to the fossil record, to an (uniformitarian) argument that geological events, relations and formations are to be understood solely in terms of ongoing geological processes, in terms of changes which can in principle still be witnessed. If, as Lyell
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It is a truly wonderful fact that all animals and all plants throughout all time and space should be related to each other in group subordinate to group, in the manner in which we everywhere behold namely, varieties of the same species most closely related together, species of the same genus less closely and unequally related together, forming sextons and sub-genera, species of distinct genera much less closely related, and genera related in different degrees, forming sub-families, families, orders, sub-classes, and classes. The several subordinate groups in any class cannot be ranked as a single file, but seem rather to be clustered round points, and these round other points, and so on in almost endless cycles. On the view that each species has been independently created, I can see no explanation of this great fact in the classification of all organic beings Ibid, 113. 1 Ibid, 143. Darwin continues, To admit this view is, as it seems to me, to reject a real for an unreal, or at least for an unknown, cause. 2 Ibid, 57. 3 Ibid, 133. 4 The Voyage of the Beagle, 398-399; and more generally, The Origin of Species, 316-317. Darwin makes the point against the notion of a special creation at every opportunity he can, for example, with regard to the fertility and sterility of hybrids and mongrels, Ibid, 224. 5 Throughout the work, Darwin periodically (and perhaps tangentially to theme he is developing) elicits still other arguments against the notion of a special (or independent) creation (of each species). For example, in his discussion of geological distribution of species, he points out that, A volcanic island, for instance, upheaved and formed at the distance of a few hundreds of miles from a continent, would probably receive from it in the course of time a few colonists, and their descendants, though modified, would still be plainly related by inheritance, to the inhabitants of the continent. Cases of this nature are common, and are inexplicable on the theory of independent creation. Ibid, 284. 6 Darwin provides us with his own sense of the enormous temporal expanse of Earth history in his calculation of the age in excess of 300 million years of a English geological formation called the Weald. Ibid, 231-232. See the entire discussion of chapter 9 (On the Imperfections of the Geological Record).

himself observed, we accept the laws of nature are unchanging and enduring, the argument for the geology of the long dure will appear more cogent as, we add, will Darwins opposition to the independent creation of separate species.1 Natural Selection Yet as late as the conclusion of the Beagle voyage, Darwin still had not constructed a coherent alternative to the notion of independent creation that his theoretically mediated experience and an experientially mediated theory had led him to reject. When he finally did, he would call it natural selection with explicit reference to and as distinct from domestic selection2 (in the evolutionary sense, domestication) as practiced by breeders of cattle, sheep, horses, dogs and especially pigeons (among which, he could count himself), as well as in plant horticulture (culinary and flower cultivation) and agriculture. The concept is fairly straightforward, and, while it can be stated concisely, it is also heavily theory laden. It is, however, the sense of the complex of further concepts, what they mean and signify and what they dont, which natural selection entails and which require exploration. Start, though, with natural selection. Selection acts in nature by modifying and adapting living beings to their various conditions and places (in nature). 3 What Darwin calls natural selection is a purely passive outcome of the action and interaction which, contrary to Darwin, are primary and which are governed by biological values of self-preservation, self-maintenance and selfenhancement of species individuals in specific milieux and ecologies. These biological values, though, are not important for Darwin (this statement of natural behavior would be unintelligible to him), but what is of the utmost significance is variation: For as all the inhabitants of each country are struggling together with nicely balanced forces, extremely slight modifications in the structure or habits of one inhabitant might give it an advantage over others.4 These extremely slight modifications are what is meant by variations. The variations are extremely slight because natural selection can act only by the preservation and infinitesimally small inherited modifications, each profitable to the preserved being, and natural selection acts solely through the preservation of variations in some way advantageous, which consequently endure.5 Why is this purely passive process the outcome of the action and interaction which Darwin calls a struggle for life or existence of species individuals in their various milieux? What drives the whole process in the first place? And, why must organic beings be exposed during several generations to the new conditions of life to cause any appreciable amount of variation?6 This answer, which Darwin tell us we must always remember, is that many more individuals are born that can possibly survive,7 so that in the course of thousands of generations individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and procreating their kind.8 The struggle among organisms is ongoing, constant, even relentless, so that after any physical change, such as climate or elevation of the land, etc.; and thus new places in the natural economy of the country are left open for the old inhabitants to struggle for, and become adapted to, through modification in their structure and constitution.9 So that in the end, the outcome is always the preservation of favorable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, [which] I call Natural Selection.10 The extremely slight modifications, the variations, are preserved
The geological age of the Earth is also implicated in Darwins discussion of geographical distribution of species that comprises two entire chapters (10 and 11), Ibid, 276-325. Therein he pursues a sustained polemic against the notion of the independent or special creation of separate species. See 284, 310, 313, 314 and 315 where the intent guiding this construction becomes explicit, 343-344 (resemblance), 357, 358-359 (rudimentary or vestigial organs) where arguments from design, and the final chapter where various arguments (some originally put to other purposes) are briefly recapitulated and the notion of special creation is systematically attacked, 370, 371, 372-373, 373-374 (instinct), 375-376 (geographical distribution), 377 (embryology), 379, 383-384. 2 Ibid, 74-75. 3 Ibid, 112. 4 Ibid, 76. 5 Ibid, 86, 96. Emphasis added. 6 Ibid, 17. 7 Ibid, 74. Emphasis added. each species tends to increase inordinately Ibid, 259. 8 Ibid, 74-75. 9 Ibid, 92-93. 10 Ibid, 75.
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hereditarily, thus on the basis of sexual reproduction, though the specific mechanisms were not known to Darwin as he readily admits.1 (Thus, we can speak of, as later Darwinians do, the differential sorting of whatever this hereditary mechanism is that follows upon individual organisms reproduction success.) Darwin provides us with a summary statement of the entire position: As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive, and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected. From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form.2 There are several ramifications of this conception that we are required to briefly explore for the sake of fuller clarity. First, it is important to note that Darwin is not, at least in the immediate and direct sense, what we today call an environmental determinist. Over and again, he expressly states that conditions of life such as food, climate, etc., the direct action of heat, moisture, light, food, etc., play some role, but only a minor one producing very little direct effect in determining species constitution.3 Organisms are related to their environment and this relation is unilateral, from environment to organism only by way of complex mediation, i.e., by selection based on competition, as described above. Second, Darwin assumes, openly, that this relation is utilitarian, the assumption of course perfectly attuned to bourgeois existence: While some modifications cannot be directly and immediately related to use (i.e., some are mediately so), the organic import of most and all important modifications is decided by its use. In the case, for example, of a series of modifications over geological time, he states each grade[is] useful to its possessor, natural selection might easily specialize, if any advantage were thus gained, as natural selection acts bythe preservation of individuals with any favorable [i.e., useful] variation, and by the destruction of those with any unfavorable deviation of structure, natural selection [accumulates] slight modifications to any extent, in any useful direction.4 But the world (nature) is not formed simply to satisfy bourgeois needs (for utility, efficiency, economy in use or expenditure, superiority of competition in generating desired resulted), compulsive at that,5 as Darwin, albeit obliquely and not fully, understood. Thus, he cites several laws of inheritance (actually he discusses only two), and what he calls sexual selection as further determinate of modifications, or more generally of species constitution.6 The two laws of inheritance he calls reversion and correlation of growth. 7 In each case, a modification has no direct use, but is nonetheless mediately related to selection, use and adaptation. The latter law will assume
1 2

Ibid, passim. Ibid, 14. Emphasis in original. 3 Ibid, passim, 20 [citations], 19-20, 78, 93, 12, 116, 117, 122, 138, 142, 164, 170, 318. 4 Ibid, 156, 159, 163, 200. Given limited resources, selection, it should be stressed, is largely competition amongst organisms (interspecies, but especially intraspecies), which relative to climate plays the far larger and vastly more important role. 5 Yes, yes, even the bee is busy and efficiency is one of its virtues: certain insects [depend] in main part on its [a plants] nectar for food. I could give many facts, showing how anxious bees are to save time. Ibid, 85. The choice of words is not just a formulation lacking in precision, but fully expresses the manner and the only manner in which Darwin, as a bourgeois, sees and is capable of seeing and understanding the world. The following sections shall demonstrate this. 6 Sexual selection depends, not on a struggle for existence, but on a struggle between the males for possession of the females; the result is not death to the unsuccessful competitor, but few or no offspring. Sexual selection is, therefore, less rigorous than natural selection. Generally, the most vigorous males, those which are best fitted for their places in nature, will leave most progeny. But in many cases, victory will depend not only general vigor, but on having special weapons, confined to the male sex. A hornless stag or spurless cock would have a poor chance of leaving offspring Ibid, 81. Having said this much, Darwin later notes the (lack of) relation of sexual selection, as it calls it, to utility: The effects of sexual selection, when displayed in beauty to charm the females, can be called useful only in a rather forced sense. Ibid, 166. 7 Reversion refers to the reappearance after their absence for at least a generation of features or characteristics of an earlier ancestor in the current, living generation. For Darwins discussion, Ibid, 22-23. Stephen Jay Gould engages in an extensive discussion of this and its significance for a critical Darwinism in his Ontogeny and Phylogeny (Cambridge, MA, 1977). By correlation of growth, Darwin meant, that the whole organization is so tied together during its [the organisms] growth and development, that when slight variations in any one part occur, and are accumulated through natural selection, other parts become modified. This is particularly true with a view to the relation between the embryo and the mature adult, for the several parts of the body which are homologous, and which, at an early embryonic period, are alike, seem liable to vary in an allied manner: we see this in the right and left sides of the body varying in the same manner; in the front and hind legs, and even in the jaws and limbs, varying together. The tendencies I do not doubt may be mastered more or less completely by natural selection Ibid, 124.

qualitatively greater significance in our discussion of non-Malthusian, non-Darwinian and non-Mendelian determinants of life (Part V, below). The third feature of the conception of natural selection concerns the way in which it is related to the other, alternative traditional biological theorization of the basic determination of species constitution (namely, inheritance of acquired characteristics), which in Darwin and his followers, we add, amounts to a position on the fundamental determination of life itself. Contrary to the consensus that emerged following the discovery of Mendels work (circa 1900), and the rigid interpretation of adaptation that characterized the unification of these two lines of analysis and investigation (which will become apparent in Part III of this Study), Darwins and Mendels, Darwin did, in fact, accept a form of the hereditary transmission of acquired characteristics. Thus, he tells us, I find in the domestic duck that the bones of the wing weigh less and the bones of the leg more, in proportion to the whole skeleton, than do the same bones in the wild duck; and I presume that this change may be safely attributed to the domestic duck flying much less, and walking more, than its wild parent.1 He, further, has no doubt (and says so) that use in our domestic animals strengthens and enlarges certain parts, and disuse diminishes them; and thus such modifications are inherited, that many animals have structures which can be explained by the effects of use. This, however, does not extent to mutilations (i.e., they are not inherited), and it must be stressed that inheritance here is a question of the long continued effects of disuse in progenitors, and that, finally, much of this should itself be put down to natural selection.2 So that, for example, during thousands of successive generations each individual [Madeira] beetle which flew least, either from its wings having been even so little less perfectly developed or form indolent habit [sic], will have had the best chance of surviving from not being blown out to sea. 3 Thus, Darwin willing grants the acquisition of characteristics due to use or disuse, but not in the Lamarckian sense, not as characteristics acquired in a single lifetime and passed on hereditarily to the next generation. If we return to the summary determination of natural selection offered by Darwin and cited above, we can note a final, fundamental and decisive concept prodigious species productivity, that, referring us back to a reality of alleged competition with other species individuals (especially of the same species), implies excess population relative to available resources, thus necessitating a struggle for life tying together the various components of the theoretical explication of species constitution. This requires an extended discussion. Struggle for Life Evidence in Darwins Theorization and its Critique The conceptual terrain on which Darwin operated, earthly nature as a whole, is abstract and in a far larger way than that, human society, on which Malthus operated. The enlargement is abstract, first because the meaning and significance of nature is not unchanging and hence immediately and invariantly available but is, for us, always socially mediated; second because, like Malthus unmediated and indeterminate concept of society (as a population grouping), Darwins concept of life is entirely undifferentiated and completely homogenized. In other words, Darwin formulates his core concept on the model of the modern science of nature: Life, like matter, and organic beings, like bodies, are abstractions (the one without conceptual content, the other absent sensible content) and lack sensuous-material or real referent. In so doing, he is entirely uncritical, i.e., he never articulates the meaning of life (or of organic beings), conceptually capturing and fixing its determinants, while, to boot, in the service of mystification his reductionism is not even thorough (he does not suggest life and organic beings as well are illusory modalities of matter and bodies subject to chemical and physical analysis). Thus, in Darwin life, wholly undifferentiated with no form of it escaping total determination by its reality, has some undefined independence vis--vis matter. The conceptual terrain on which Darwin operated is abstract, third, because in generalizing Malthus population law to life as a whole he is unaware that this simple mathematical formula is a congealed expression of bourgeois prejudice. Though he is unconscious (maybe not), it does not follow and it does not mean that his manner of presentation and that presentation itself do not express a certain duplicity in this regard: The undifferentiated concept of life masks the direction of his argument (from society to nature), a direction that is only hidden by a series of mystifications. Lets pull these veils aside
1 2

Ibid, 20. Ibid, 118. Emphasis added. The whole question receives extended treatment, 117-121. See also 175, 179, where use and disuse mediately determine acquisitions that are hereditary gained or lost with a view to instinct. 3 Ibid, 119.

In the approximately 160,000 words that form the written text of The Origin of Species of the reprint of the first edition we use, the term struggle for existence appears with just as much frequency as the term struggle for life; crucially, though, the former appears in Darwins Introduction, as the heading of the chapter we are about to discuss, and during the course of the presentation in this chapter where the term is defined as such, a determination to which we shall return shortly. Because Darwin even refers to the struggle for life the title of the work as it originally appeared is The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Race in the Struggle for Life the far more frequent deployment of the term struggle for existence in later editions is a concession to the popularity, and notoriety, of the term that was more rightfully associated with the name of Herbert Spencer. The frequent use of one term in the early editions, the other later on points to a fundamental ambiguity in Darwins conception of the actual situation through which selection occurs. Return to the previously mentioned determination: I use the term Struggle for Existence in a large and metaphorical sense, including dependence of one being on another, and including (which is more important) not only the life of the individual, but success in leaving progeny.1 While the position Darwin argues and the term itself suggests an intensely competitive fight for life among organic beings, or more precisely for the resources that are available to sustain life and immediately and directly signifies the projection into nature of the bellum omnium contra omnes that characterizes a historically specific form of social life under conditions of capitalist production Darwin would contradictorily enlarge the sense of his term, rendering it of course ambiguous but, far more importantly, obfuscatory. His argument consistently moves from society (and humanized nature) to nature in its geographical and geological sweep, where the former forms a model and the basis for understanding the latter. This is necessary; it is unavoidable: Nature is not essentially, ubiquitously or predominantly an arena of combat between genera, species and, most importantly for Darwin, species individuals, even if society, that is capitalist society, is.2 The expansive definition recognizes this: It tacitly acknowledges the importance of the dependence of one being on another (which in his argument and descriptions weigh far more heavily that competitive struggle), hence its paramount importance: As his primary example illustrates,3 it is the interrelatedness and reciprocal dependency as they actually constitute natural relations among various organisms (as they, in turn, co-exist in interconnected ecological niches, within milieux and across regions) that is determinate for organic beings. If hereditary and selection are the mechanisms by which species come into being and pass away (and they are only in highly
1 2

The Origin of Species, 61 (chapter III). Thus, in speaking about the geological succession of organic beings reconstructed from fossils found in sedimentary deposits, Darwin states when by sudden immigration or by unusually rapid development, many species of a new group have taken possession of a new area, they will have exterminated in a correspondingly rapid manner many of the old inhabitants (Ibid, 258) If not his model, then the congruency between it and he European settler colonial populations engaged in genocides of native peoples in the Americas would have, for him, confirmed his views. 3 We shall cite at length: In Straffordshire, on the estate of a relation several hundred acres had been enclosed twenty-five years previously and planted with Scotch fir six insectivorous birds were very common in the plantations the effect of the introduction of a single tree [has been potent], nothing whatever else having been done, with the exception that the land had been enclosed, so that the cattle could not enter. But how important an element enclosure is, I plainly saw near Farnham, in Surrey. Here there are extensive heaths, with a few clumps of old Scotch firs on the distant hilltops; within the lat ten years large spaces have been enclosed, and self-sown firs are now springing up in multitude I went to several points of view, whence I could examine hundreds of acres of the unenclosed heath, and literally I could not see a single Scotch fir But on looking closely between the stems of the heath, I found a multitude of seedlings and little trees, which had been perpetually browsed down by the cattle. Here we see that cattle absolutely determine the existence of the Scotch fir; but in several parts of the world insects determine the existence of cattle [In] Paraguay neither cattle nor horse nor dogs have ever run wild, though they swarm southward and northward in a feral state; and [it has been] show that this is caused by the greater number in Paraguay of a certain fly, which lays its eggs in the navels of these animals when first born. The increase of these flies, numerous as they are, must be habitually checked by some means, probably by birds. Hence if certain insectivorous birds (whose numbers are probably regulated by hawks or beasts of prey) were to increase in Paraguay, the flies would decrease then cattle and horse would become feral, and this would certainly greatly alter the vegetation: this again would largely affect the insects; and this, as we just have seen in Staffordshire, the insectivorous birds, and so onwards in ever-increasing circles of complexity. We began this series by insectivorous birds, and we have ended with them. Not that in nature the relations can ever be as simple as this Ibid, 6769. Thus, in the long run the forces are so nicely balance, that the face of nature remains uniform for long periods of time, and, accordingly, it may well be that over this long period of time the merest trifle (Ibid, 69) might be hereditary transmitted, in Mendelian terms, by way of genetic mutation, but this is not driven by an abstraction, the population law, as it has been extracted as a model governing a specific social and historical configuration of social relations and then applied to nature.

restricted way as we shall demonstrate below), it is not in any significant sense on the basis of a competitive struggle for existence that this occurs. Here, then, the metaphorical employment of the term struggle for existence (or life as the case may be) is a mystification, an illicit, obscene inversion of the practical sense of, if not cooperation (to be sure, an equivalent mystification) then, ecological integration and mutual dependency by subsuming both under the concept of competition, whose central sense is humanly natural and historical, referring to antagonism, aggression and belligerency as they form in the life practices of the bourgeoisie and, as capitalism comes to hold sway, as competition is generalized across society (and thus appears more and more to characterize behavior among all social strata).1 The struggle for life is not, however, causi sui. It is founded elsewhere: It inevitably follows from the high geometrical ratio which is common to all organic beings more individuals are born that can possible survive;2 stated similarly yet differently, it inevitably follows from the high ratio at which organic beings tend to increase as more individuals are produced than can possibly survive, there must in every case be a struggle for existence, either one individual with another of the same species, or with the individuals of distinct species, or with the physical conditions of life.3 This is, of course, Malthus or, as Darwin himself says, Malthus applied with tenfold force to nature in its entirety.4 The evidence that Darwin brings to bear on this determination confirms our (not his) forgoing analysis, while revealing the entirely bourgeois methodology operative in that, his analysis.5 The evidence is of three kinds: (a) calculations of the geometric rate of increase; (b) various animals in a state of nature so-called, i.e., our domestic animals of many kinds which have run wild in several parts of the world,6 citing cattle and horses in South America and Australia; and (c) experiments, assumed to reproduce events in nature A Digression Now each form of evidence for the population law in the determination of the struggle for life is characterized by abstractness. We might digress here to describe how a type of thinking one which has emerged only in commodity producing societies in which the abstraction of exchange value from use occurs on the basis of market transactions, one which receives its most extreme development in societies of capital, that is, societies in which labor is abstracted

This is not the only time Darwins primary example demonstrates precisely the opposite of what he intends (suggesting that, on Darwins assumptions, the theorization tends to be non-falsifiable, i.e., all evidence can be conceptually integrated without effecting the structure of the theory): In discussing the Chalk of Europe (i.e., sedimentary formations that form the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, circa 66 million years ago, visible in, e.g., seaside cliffs not just in Europe but around the world), Darwin states, This great fact of the parallel succession of the forms of life throughout the world, is explicable on the theory of natural selection (Ibid, 261, the entire argument appears from 259-262), meaning, among other things, that the succession of species as witnessed by the geological record is a slow development that occurs over millions of years. In point of fact, the K-T boundary marks one of the five great mass species extinctions in the Phanerozoic, that is, the last 600 million years, and this particular extinction occurred quickly, in geological time in an instant (over several months). See Peter Ward, Under a Green Sky, 10-11, 31-33. On one side of the boundary species disappeared en masse, and on the other side new species emerged rather rapidly too (i.e., not over million of years). Niels Eldridge's and Steve Goulds theory of punctuated equilibrium is, in a highly modified Darwinian framework, intended to meet this problem. See The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, 745-922. 2 Ibid, 368 3 Ibid, 61-62. Between the ellipses the passage reads: Every being, which during its natural lifetime produces several eggs or seeds, must suffer destruction during some period of its life, and during some season or occasional year, otherwise, on the principle of geometrical increase, its numbers would quickly become so inordinately great that no country could support the product. 4 On the Variations of Organic Beings in a State of Nature; on the Natural Means of Selection on the Comparison of Domestic Races and True Species in Barrett (ed.), The Collected Papers of Charles Darwin, Part 2, 4-5. This was an unpublished paper dating from 1844 and presented before the Linnean Society in conjunction with a similar paper drafted by Alfred Russell Wallace. (On 18 June 1857, Darwin received a letter from Wallace who, while suffering from malaria, was in New Guinea. The letter detailed the synthesis of dizzily, feverishly one might say, accumulating insights in which he, starting from Malthus population law, too had arrived at natural selection. Well appraised of Darwins years of meticulous and laborious investigation and seeking to insure recognition of such, Hooker and Lyell resolved the situation by way of the joint presentation of research summaries that took place early the following year.) 5 See the Introduction, Elements of the Conceptual Structure of Science, above. 6 The Origin of Species, 62. Emphasis added.

in production1 penetrates and shapes the methods, epistemology and the entire outlook of the form of knowledge (science) characteristic of modern capitalist society. Abstractness is constituted methodologically in the movement from a pre-given, sensible whole, an apperceived totality of perceptual phenomena to an isolated aspect (or aspects) of this totality which, decontextualized and deemed fact(s), is (are) characterized as essential determination(s). The relations, mere correlations, between these facts are declared laws governing the phenomena, the totality is aggregately reconstructed, its wealth lost, its manifold determinations ignored, the given fact is fixed and frozen, expressing correlations obtaining among facts abstract laws (and not genesis and formation) organize and structure events, processes and relations. In science, i.e., bourgeois theory, this is done for purposes of the prediction, that is, control of nature. It is this form of thinking, call it what you will (obfuscation and self-mystification), that is abstract, in which that which is presumed isolated and elemental is held to be primary. To be sure, genuine thought always begins by splitting the whole, by isolating an aspect, but it does so only to return to the whole (totality) by way of a movement back and forth from moment (aspect, part) to that whole in which those manifold relations, the interrelatedness of the phenomena, are explicated, their connection to each other and the whole they form are made explicit. This, a practice of concretion, is the method of thought. We call such thought dialectical. Distinctively counterposed to abstract thought (what Hegel called the Understanding, itself a reification of cognitive activity) dialectical thought, then, constitutes itself in the effort to grasp and explicate the contours of actual movement, to catch, fix, and theoretically reproduce and anticipate the structures (natural phenomena, humanized natural relations, social relations, institutions, social formations, etc) that at once emerge from and shape the daily activity of human beings. In this respect, dialectical logic is constituted as an ideal formalization of the relations among the abiding structures that recur in this movement. Thus, in dialectical logic it is recognized that ideally, for thought, form can be abstracted from content. But it also recognizes that in the practice of daily life form and content are inseparable because they penetrate and mutually determine one another. (Similarly, dialectical thinking recognized the necessity of rejoining form and content when ideal analysis returns to real, practical situations.) New forms can emerge from changes in content, and form can undoubtedly but only with great violence to content be imposed on it, thereby effectively expressing the hegemony of abstraction. Transformation of forms necessary implies prior changes in content, and changes in content will sooner or later necessitate novel forms. In daily life, form cannot be mechanically counterposed to content. If the substance of daily life undergoes change, the forms of expression of that life cannot maintain their original character without change or alteration. Darwins efforts to formulate laws, say of variations, were clearly pursued with a view to the modern science of nature as model. His thinking is abstract in the precise sense specified here Struggle for Life Evidence in Darwins Theorization and its Critique, Rejoined The calculation is paradigmatically abstract: It does not rise from the phenomena, from the relations between species or species individuals (or between species and milieu, physical conditions), but is externally imposed. Accordingly, it can only be justified by fiat, in the logical sense by postulation, so that Darwin tells us that, all organic beings are exposed to severe competition, a struggle for existence inevitably follows from the high ratio at which organic beings tend to increase, every single organic being [strives] to the utmost to increase in numbers,2 etc., or by mystification (allegory, metaphor, whatever). Here Darwin has deduced real events (conceptualized as a struggle for existence) from the concept (a high ratio) which allegedly rises from, theoretically fixing and explaining, those events: Isolated as a mere aspect from real relational context and content, nature in its diverse and manifold relations, processes and events, the law expressed mathematically by the calculation is presented, i.e., posited, as
1

Abstraction is a real, necessary and essential feature of production constituting capitalism as capitalism (real domination): In the actual work processes, labor is abstracted, i.e., the concrete labor of a worker engaged in producing a useful object is transformed, it is reduced (i.e., abstracted), that is, it is generalized, quantified and as such it is measured in units of quantitative time, as labor time objectified and materialized in its similarly abstracted issue (once the useful production, now a commodity to be sold and bought, its value determined without regard to any concrete, i.e., sensible and useful, qualities by its monetarily expressed price, just like the once concrete labor). You say you dont believe in miracles? The exploitation of concrete living labor accomplished in capitalist production processes every day constitutes a transubstantiation the transformation of specifically human affections, sensibilities, corporality, experience and reflection into value (capital) at least as mysterious to bourgeois thought as the transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. 2 Ibid, 60, 61, 64, 368.

real, abstractly determining those relations, processes and events... In a later discussion, we shall discuss a complex of non-Malthusian, non-Darwinian and non-Mendelian determinants of species life as they rise from relations and processes in nature. Because Darwin contradictorily operates with an undifferentiated, and vacuous concept of life, he can straightforwardly offer as a second form of evidence domesticated animals that, he asserts, are no different from their feral counterparts (abstractly they arent), and he can argue (that is, assume) they can essentially be found in a state of nature. The issue here concerns that difference between humanized nature and an earlier nature, a nature before the evolutionary appearance of humanity. There is an epistemological problem here, in this very formulation (we have addressed it elsewhere),1 but then Darwin is blissfully unaware of it which all over again situates him squarely in the traditions of science, of its metaphysical realism and its atomism That difference is this: Nature on Darwins own analysis is formed by complex and multifaceted, changing but tightly knit and well integrated relations and processes between and amongst organic beings that involve predation, mutual dependency and, contrary to Darwin, adequate or sufficient resources. The human introduction of a new or different species into a niche, local ecology or region disrupts those relations and processes This is not to say that man is not somehow part of nature, not in nature, not himself humanly natural, and it does not mean that humanized nature is not as aspect, today decisively so, of new natures as they incessantly appearing in geological time Instead, this disruption creates conditions that are otherwise rare (infrequently a cascade of extinctions, a loss of biological diversity in the short run, epidemics) and that require time, historical if not always geological time, to form and re-establish an ecological equilibrium, a new but balanced fauna and flora, literally a new nature. In citing (the interjection of) domestic species in(to) milieux where they had not previously existed, Darwin fastens onto conditions such as inadequacy of food supplies and famine that can frequently arise but only during a period of disruption, and he does this by isolating or abstracting that period of disruption a product of human interaction in nature and with nature and the temporal framework in which this has occurred from the total evolutionary context and proclaims them characteristic of the entire evolutionary development of life as it has occurred over tens of thousands of millennia. Thus, he is able to arrive at Malthus population law. The third form of evidence Darwin presents is experimental. He clears a plot of ground of such and such dimensions, making sure they cant be choked off by other plants and sows seedlings of various species in rows. Most are killed by slugs and insects that dine on them, but amongst those that mature only nine of twenty survive as the other eleven perish for lack of vigor.2 This experiment is an early form (early in the history of the evolutionary life sciences) of the laboratory recreation so-called of natural conditions. It conjures entirely artificial conditions (i.e., conditions that do not appear in nature, e.g., one of the authors favorites appears in animal physiology, the use of decerebrate cats), and it generates a specious argument about plants that grown together en masse forcing others to the ground. Two points should be noted in this regard. First, it is ecological disruption that by and large creates conditions in which unbalanced, here excessive, forms occupy a niche that wont support them. Second, plants cultivators that are created through human activity are entirely dependent on human cultivation and propagation, i.e., on another, lately appearing form of life in nature and do not appear without it, without its propagation and cultivation. No conclusions can be drawn from this regarding life on earthly nature, especially with respect to the sustainability of species life, as it has developed over eons of geological time. To this point the evidence Darwin offers, because it is illicit, reaffirms the population law. Is there are any other evidence? Yes. Darwin discusses predation as an alternative to (insufficient) food resources as it determines the average numbers of a species. In his first turn to nature itself, i.e., conceptually un-abstracted, non-experimental relations that involves non-domesticated life (here mammals and birds), he states, there seems to be little doubt that the stock of partridges, grouse, and hares on any large estate depends chiefly on the destruction of vermin. If not one head of game were shot during the next twenty years in England, and, at the same time, if no vermin were destroyed, there would, in all probability, be less game than at present, although hundreds of thousands of game animals are
1

See the introductory remarks to Climate Change in our Nature, Capital, Communism, where the problem is concisely formulated, directly confronted and resolution is offered. (Briefly, the epistemological issue is that the assumption of an earlier nature prior to man is independent of any and all possible observational frameworks, that is, of the experience and directly evidential knowledge of all possible subjects or human beings. The problem goes far beyond this, but for our purposes here it is enough to state it epistemologically to exhibit the flawed evidence Darwin brings to bear on his problem.) 2 The Origin of Species, 65.

now annually killed1 Remove the ideational veil, and what do we discover? Contrary to his intent, what is revealed is a natural balance as a rejoinder to the geometrically increase projected as the decisive real natural process, that denies, negating, the population law.2 But instead of relations inhering in nature, Darwin is compelled it is the logic of his argument, the manner of thinking and, for him, likely conceptually coherent, fully consistent to think of predation, climate (i.e., seasons of extreme cold or drought), epidemics and predation again,3 to think fully natural relations as checks that come into play as if, having started from a gross abstraction (the population law parading as a real relation and existential determinant), the account of those real relations and existential determinants is somehow external, and thus must come into play4 in the course of natural life. In the critical sense unconvincing, the argument cannot end here since it is constructed by and large without reference to real natural relations (or, as such, they appear only as externally imposed, as checks); it is, in other words, conducted metaphorically, i.e., with reference to competition, to the economy of nature, to the great battle of life, to advantage over competitors, beaten in the great race for life,5 that is, it is conducted on the terrain of bourgeois society and in the language of bourgeois thought. But whatever else Darwin says, tacitly he grasps the inadequacy of the argument, even if he doesnt explicitly recognize it is not a question of advantage (but a lack of ecological niche integration, a question of a structure of relations formed during temporary disruption that is fastened onto and conceptually fixed as characterizing the history of life on Earth as such). Thus, he expressly invokes imagination, asks us to imagine, in order to convince us6 (well, yes, starting from the population law, one can imagine, one can convince oneself of what is primarily, namely,) of the importance that we keep steadily in mind [the better to cast that ideational veil] that each organic being is striving to increase at a geometrical ratio.7 [Yep, there can be no doubt, the law of population geometrically formulated inheres in relations among all organic beings.] He concludes the discussion with a sentimental yet genuinely bourgeois pageant to life in its struggle with, for and against itself: the war of nature is not incessant no fear is felt death is generally prompt, and the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply.8 Perhaps, but likely not We at any rate must give more serious consideration to the question than a celebration of bourgeois asociality: If the evidence does not support the population law, while the latter is nonetheless the foundations of Darwins evolutionary construction, what is the actual ground on which Darwins theorization rests? Darwin and Malthus Darwin differed from Malthus in at least three significant ways. First, Malthus demonstration of his population law is deductive, while Darwins argument is cumulative. Second, and correlatively, Malthus evidence is anecdotal and lacks internal coherence, Darwins, though illicit, is systematic and coherent. Third, Malthus guarantees the rationality of his deduction(s) by invoking the veracity of God, more precisely, the power, goodness, and foreknowledge of the Deity (chapter 18), while Darwin reconstructs the population law without the guarantor relying only on the force and weight of the (flawed) evidence he presents, the coherency of his argument (and, relative to these, the assumptions effectively asserted by fiat and underlying the argument).
Ibid. It wont do to say that every species must be checked by destruction at some period of life or the consequences of the geometrical tendency to increase (Ibid, 63) descend with full forcefulness, because the destruction so-called, here predation, is ongoing, a regular feature of the existence of the prey, a condition it constantly and continuously liable to, not an event that happens at some period of life. We are not engaged in hairsplitting, logic chopping, a mere mincing of words. Darwins position is a necessary outcome of the utterly abstract manner in which he poses the problem. 3 Ibid, 65, 66, 67, 276. 4 Ibid, 70 and passim. 5 Ibid, 72, 73, 253. 6 Ibid, 73. 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid. The pageant is repeated, more elaborately, at the very close of the work: Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, have been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, are being, evolved. Ibid, 384.
1

Yet in all this, Malthus presence is almost tangible; in Darwins words, his is the doctrine of Malthus applied with manifold force to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms1 Malthus' reflection concerned society: Conceived as a law of nature, his population law determines the possibilities (nil) of a free, undivided society incorporating material abundance as one of its premises; in other words, Malthus concerned himself with specifically human society. Because Darwin operated with an undifferentiated concept of life, human existence in its social and historical modalities is not distinct from life generally. He simply took it for granted that it is entirely licit to apply Malthus doctrine with manifold force to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms. But in Darwins case, it is 1859, not 1798 (the date of publication of Malthus Essay). That is, even as they appear over and again in the capitalist periphery toward the end of the long nineteenth and into the short twentieth century (in the Bombay hinterland of those Indian regions under British colonial administration, in Shaanxi province in northern China and elsewhere),2 in the core capitalist countries of the West (England, France and Belgium), the era of famines rooted in a dependency on the vagaries of nature, on seasonal fluctuations in agriculture, on crops and harvests had come to an end no later than 1843. One can, as we did, infer this from the prodigious development of productive capacity in the United States after 1843, for as we describe immediately below (The Panic of 1837), the transAtlantic economy had already long ago inseparably tied capitalist development in Britain and western Europe to that in the United States, and less immediately to Prussia, as well as more isolated centers of development in East and South Asia. Given the mutual penetration of the economies of western Europe and the United States, growth in the latter would not have been possible without similar expansion in England and on the continent.3 But It was clear that here capitalism had generated a modicum of a surplus. Why didnt Darwin see this? The signs of it abounded, especially in the milieux in which Darwin moved (the environs of London, one of three centers of the capitalist universe), and the information and accounts of developments he had access to (i.e., bourgeois newspapers recording new, ongoing technologically-based advances in production, transportation and communication): In 1845, rail lines existed largely in Britain, France, Belgium and eastern and western (today Midwestern) United States; by 1855, five continents had developed at least one major rail line, having quadrupled in extent, in the United States alone, rails which in 1828 had cover three miles (4.8 kilometers) had by 1859 cover 21,750 miles (35,050 kilometers).4 In the same period, tonnage of steamships (as a measure of their presence both on inland waterways and the high seas) increased by a factor of eighteen (18 times).5 And everywhere railroads went, electric telegraph lines were set up in parallel and alongside. What was the significance of all this? The historical moment of the simultaneous widespread adoption of the railroad, the telegraph, and the ocean-going steamship" constituted "the really critical ... [period] in American economic history" before the Civil War. After 1846, these methods became, "almost overnight, standard vehicles of transportation and communication."6 The same could be said about Britain and the developed areas of Europe (Belgium, France, Switzerland and the west bank of the Rhine). The generalization of these forms of transportation, distribution and communication rendered the markets for capitalist production commensurate with development of productive forces that had been ongoing since the end of the Napoleonic wars on the continent,7 and thereby, crucially, overcame the localized nature of the market,8 integrating
1
2

Ibid, 62. Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts, Parts I and II, and their summation, 205-209. 3 Ibid, chapter 2, Parts I, II; similarly, albeit with less elaboration, Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Capital, 30. 4 Worldwide, in 1856 railways covered 68,150 kilometers. Ibid, 310, Table 2.2. For the U.S. figures, Civil War and Revolution in America, chapter 2, the section entitled, Population Movements, Technological Change, Class Recomposition and Sectional Alliance. 5 Tonnage rose from 32,000 in 1831 to 576,000 in 1856. Hobsbawm, Ibid. 6 Alfred Chandler, Jr., "The Organization of Manufacturing and Transportation," 137-138; and his The Visible Hand, 188-189. 7 Hobsbawm, Ibid, 33. 8 In Russia and elsewhere, it was not uncommon for people to die of starvation in one area while only a few hundred miles away grain rotted in the fields for want of a market. This situation was best expressed quantitatively in the price of grain: The average price of rye in Moscow and St. Petersburg for the years 1797-1803 [note the dates with an eye to the first two editions of Malthus Essay] was almost three ties as high as in Kiev. Cameron, France and the Economic Development of Europe, 12. We would only add that between 1837 and 1873, a world price, particularly in grain agricultural products (wheat, rye, barley) as well as corn, formed. Now the capitalist market and its generalization brought an end to the era of famines only on the prior, historically necessary condition of material inequality based on fixed social or class positions in production. If this market is a mystified social relation that in its immediacy appears as an equitable exchange between buyer and seller (it is), in the entire epoch of divided societies stretching back 10,000 years, famine

every geographical space and place regularly touched by capitalist commerce into the rhythms and tempos of capitalist development. It was on this basis, that the era of famines came to a close. Why didnt Darwin see this? If not in 1848 or 1849 five or six years following the expansion that was well under way by 1844, then in 1850 or in particular following up the suppression of the revolutions of 1848 and the sharp upturn in capitalist development after 1851, in 1854, 1855 or 1856? Marx and Engels saw and then explicitly honed in on the issue in 18481 So what about Darwin? He was an extraordinary acute observer (witness the descriptions in his account of the Beagle voyage, his Origin, Notebooks and his letters). He was a systematic thinker who even added an entire chapter in which he gave detailed considered objections to his theory, 2 everyone but one or so it appears. This was not an issue of cognitive capacity or insight. It was a class issue, an issue of the fundamental, underlying and precognitive assumptions that organized the experience of society and society in nature as such. Had Darwin grasped that the population law was a projection on to nature of conditions that did not in all cases obtain in human society (humanity itself being part of nature), a projection of historically transient conditions, then he would have been compelled to admit there was a part of nature in which the population law was not valid. Had he recognized this, then he would have been further forced to question whether it was valid with regard to the rest of nature, that is, living nature. And, if this, then his entire construction would have been jeopardized. Darwin didnt recognize this because he couldnt. To do so would have required him to see beyond commodity production and market exchange including the exchange of labor and to see them as specific historical forms of the organizations of human existence, beyond the organization of manufacturing around the poles of capital and abstract labor, beyond the conditions of his life whose status as a leisured gentleman depended upon that organization of social life, beyond bourgeois society, and to see through the claim that modern science was a universal form of knowledge. To see beyond each of these would have been to adopt a standpoint that was utterly alien, and mostly likely unintelligible, to him, to forgo the claims of science, to acknowledge that there was something like a bourgeois standpoint in the first place and then that it was not universal, that this society might well be historically transient and its science as its highest cultural achievement might well be also. Darwin could not, for none of this even seeped into consciousness. Such is the meaning of bourgeois prejudice Prosaic Foundations of Darwins Theorization in the Life Practices of the Culture of Class Malthusianism had been born in the reaction against the French Revolution, to the scarcity and hunger driven utopian strivings of masses of men and women, against the hope that the future might offer the prospects of overcoming the scarcity and the fixed place in society accorded the lowliest, now largely synonymous with a waged, propertyless class. But Malthus vision hadnt been solely backward looking: Following (Adam) Smith, he believed societal problems could be ameliorated by greater competition in production (mostly as it effects the price of labor), and by free trade in exchange. And now, thirty three years later, a great reform movement had sprung against the old Corruption, the whole system of rotten boroughs and virtual representation on the basis of which a tiny stratum of politically dominant great commercial and landowning aristocrats, Tories to a man, continued to hegemonize Parliament. (If Cambridge University, where fanatic Tories such as the Anglican clerical administration, the dons and few else voted, was represented by and elected two members of Parliament, the town of Cambridge had no representation.) But in those last thirty years capitalism developed a very, very large foothold in Britain, and the industrial bourgeoisie, which had more than less made its peace with reaction and counterrevolution, was beginning
has always been a socially mediated facticity, never a natural given. The market guarantees nothing, and in many cases secures the possibility of a truly horrendous outcome: In Mysore (India) in 1877-1878, brought on by crop failure, famine and starvation was the outcome of big farmers and merchants who kept grain of which there was plenty off the market, hoarding it, together with the leading British imperialist voices (Robert Arthur Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury; Owen Meredith, Edward Robert Lord Lytton; Sir Richard Temple; Sir George Couper; et.al) who sat by not just letting the deaths happen but who rationalized the situation with social Darwinian pronouncements. In the end perhaps 1220 million (no one really knows) Indian peasants died of starvation. See Mike Davis, Ibid, 21-59. 1 The Communist Manifesto, especially the section I entitled Bourgeois and Proletarians. 2 See The Origins of Species (chapter 6), where he groups those objections into four general categories of questions If one species has descended from another by way of gradually accumulated, naturally selected advantageous traits, why are there no transitional forms, say in the fossil record? Is it possible that one species could have descended from other with entirely different structure and habits? Can instincts be transmitted and changed or transformed through natural selection? How does one account for crossed species producing sterile offspring, while the crossed varieties are fertile? which once examined reveal that Darwin considers the foundations of his theorization so secure as to be unchallengeable. Ibid, 145-146. He further considers objections to selection embracing instincts and its modifications separately, in chapter 7 (see his summation, 197-200), as well as hybridism in chapter 8 (see the summation, 224-225).

to lift its tail, not its head for it was a popular movement of artisans, working men and poor laborers who first raised the banner of reform during the crisis of 1831-1832, the middle classes followed. The Reform Act (1832), enlarging enfranchisement, also followed. But the crisis had not run its course: Working class agitation for universal male suffrage, which found organizational expression in an upsurge of political unions so styled, continued well in 1834,1 and sprang up anew in the late thirties. At that moment, a range of middle class reformists attempted to seize control of the mass movement known to history as Chartism, and the most coherent among them were illuminated by a vision of free movement of men and capital including freedom from the poor laws for the masses in the streets, and of course a freely elected Parliament. In this respect, Malthus thought was fully congruent with that of the reformers: Call the perspective of these groups that based themselves on industrial capitalism Whig Malthusianism When he returned from the five years (1831-1836) he spent aboard the Beagle, Darwin stayed in the London apartment of his brother, Erasmus Alvery known to his friends as Eras. (He got his own room and lodgings down the street from his brother in March 1837.) From here, Darwin was close to the structures housing the major scientific societies and institutions, the Zoological Society, the Geological Society, the Linnean Museum and the British Museum, all of which he often frequented. He found intellectual succor in literary dinners and evening discussions with his brother, together with an old family friend, a young man named Hensleigh Wedgwood, cousin to the Darwin brothers, a philologist who was seeking to understand language in terms of lawful development and in this sense historically (but not in the dialectical sense, the upsurge of novelty, the incessant creation of new forms out of changing content). Hensleigh and the Darwins were often joined by Harriet Martineau, a political novelist of sorts, that is, a first rate propagandist offering popularized explanations of Whig legislated reforms to the Poor Laws 2 Looking much like a couple, Eras and Harriet had been having an affair And, yes, it was the very same Poor Laws that Malthus had polemicized against, and in no mere ironic coincidence, Martineau had met the old man earlier in the decade shortly before his death at which time he passed the baton to her: Martineau was a fiery Malthusian, fiercely so, and what Charles was imbibing was a Whig Malthusianism together with a lawful developmental model, nicely complimenting, reinforcing and deepening the geology of the long dure assimilated from Lyell, for understanding that nature he had seen, walked in, collected copious samples of and make notes about during the Beagle voyage. This was heady stuff. Martineau, in fact, was a radical and a freethinker, calling for the enfranchisement of workers and a firm believer in womens rights (marital equality, property ownership). Desiring nothing so much as tranquility and respectability,3 and personally attuned to the conservatism of his family, his father and that of the Wedgwoods, Charles would begin to move away from this crowd and marry conventionally shortly thereafter (i.e., would refuse subordination to the Martineau doctrine), but not Malthusianism. It was in the air every bit as much as evolution He would soon (March 1938) get around to reading the Essay on Population4 for it, Malthusianism, was originally an intellectual effort to grapple with the situation on the ground, to grab control of the reform movement in order to liberate society from its shackles,5 the perspective on the world of the manufacturers, mill owners, iron makers, in other words, leading elements of the industrial bourgeoisie, but even the shopkeepers, all who wanted done with the old order.6 But simultaneously it more, far more, than this...
1 2

E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, 807-808. Desmond and Moore, Ibid, 198, 216 (Hensleigh and the dinners), 153 (Harriett Martineau). 3 E.g., Ibid, 203. 4 The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 120. In the air? Beginning from the 1832 reforms, this Whig restructuring was an assertion of middle-class Malthusian values. [Upon his return] Darwin found that Malthus had acquired a new meaning. His name was on everybodys lips, as either Satan or Savior. His doctrine of population, progress, and pauperism was no longer academic. It was the every kernel of poor-law policy: the stuff of inflammatory rhetoric [witness Martineau], popular defiance, and government propaganda. Desmond and Moore, Ibid, 197. 5 The shackles included old aristocratic and gentlemanly, Tory-Anglican control over the organizations of science. Desmond and Moore, Ibid, 199. Darwins family, it might be noted, was Whiggish and Unitarian, though the latter hardly ran to dissent (and among the dissenters Martineau had to be counted), a tendency that in the case of Darwins father, Josiah, was thoroughly detested. 6 In point of fact, the relation to Malthus was personal: Malthus daughter (Emily) was a bridesmaid at Hensleighs marriage to Emily Mackintosh whose father, Sir James, had been a close friend to Malthus himself, both having lectured at the East India College. Ibid, 201. In this context, it should not be forgotten that Darwin married Hensleighs sister, Emma, completing the circle of relations, at it were, between Darwins and Wedgwood in this generation. What stood between the two families was religion: The Wedge woods were Anglican.

The Panic of 1837 To get a real, visceral sense of the relation to Malthusianism to the industrial bourgeoisie and its political expression in Whiggery and from here Darwins relation to it, we must look to the objective context, the economy, in which the order of society was constituted, in which the wealth, status and power of the industrialists was won. What was really significant in this regard was collapse of a boom based on cotton production... Beginning from capitalist finance, the Panic of 1837 was inextricably bound up with the transAtlantic trade in cotton... cotton, it might be recalled, was at the center of production, exchange and trade in a nascent world capitalist economy1... and atop there was the question of speculation on the trade by English investors. (Cotton production, of course, was not the only activity undergoing dramatic expansion, its reified movement as price not the only abstraction that was dramatically rising. In the United States, driven by the frenzied activity of speculators the massive increases in land sales and their thingly objectification in the mounting "price" per acre of land sold west of the Appalachians, also played a major role in creating inflationary pressures in the Jacksonian economy.) In fact, a real boom in cotton (and land) had been underway since the early 1830s.2 England, the United States' primary creditor in transAtlantic trade, had itself undergone rapid banking expansion in the thirties. In 1836 alone, forty-two new banks of issues were established with branches that brought the total to two hundred new institutions. Much of this was spurred by speculative activity, a boom in business ventures that saw over 70 companies of every sort form during a three month period in the same year in Liverpool and Manchester alone. Banks provided the credit, albeit short-term, to pursue these ventures. The total number of banks in that year came to a full six hundred seventy. 3 Easy money fueled inflation, a rise in the prices of commonly consumed goods as well as industrial raw materials ranging from 25%-100%. This enormous expansion of demand stemming from these "country" banks and, most importantly for the speculatively fed course of events, from investment houses tied to the American trade, stripped the Bank of England of much of its gold reserves. In response to this depletion of reserves (and likely with a view to the alarming price increasing), James Pattison, the Bank's director, raised the Bank's discount rate in June 1836 (to 4%) and again in August (to 5%) to counteract the continuing drain on those reserves.4 As it began to dawn on the Bank's directors that the British money market was concentrated squarely in transAtlantic trade with the United States, word of the Specie Circular directive reached Pattison. 5 He was alarmed. Now the Bank of England was effectively a central bank in the modern sense: All the power that normally accrues to a centralized banker was available to Pattison. He leaned on British import houses whose activities were centered on American trade: He did so by instructing the Bank's Liverpool agent to refuse the notes of specific investment houses whose trade was predominately American based. By October, bankruptcies among mercantile houses and trades in the American East began to appear. Still the price of cotton, brought to market in October (following a late August-early September harvest), held up. Then, in the late winter British manufacturers' demand for cotton slackened and its price fell. As a result, in early March 1837, an important New Orleans firm, Herman Briggs and Co., failing to meet its obligations incurred in cotton purchases, went belly up. (Already in December 1836, a large Manchester bank, the Northern and Central, had
1

After 1832, prices for cotton had begun to climb. Thus, in 1833, a pound of cotton fetched 12.32, in 1834 12.90, in 1835 17.45, in 1836 16.50, and in 1837 13.25. And, of course, at the same time the demand, primarily English, for southern, slave labor-produced cotton continued to grow. Douglass North, The Economic Development of the United States, Table A-VII, 232. Volume for the same years as measured in bales of cotton was 559,210; 641,435; 760,923; 788,013; and, 916,960. Ibid. 2 The movement of cotton prices in the middle decades of the thirties put additional money in the pockets of those involved in cotton exchange, especially in the forms of commissions on profits (importers, exporters, brokers, bankers) and advances on cotton sales (planters engaged in or aspiring to luxury consumption), but also merchant retailers in Northern cities in the United States where planters often summered. Reflected in the figures for American imports, large parts of those growing incomes went into the purchase of British finished goods. 3 H.N. Hyndman, Commercial Crises of the Nineteenth Century, 43. 4 Bray Hammond, Banks and Politics in America, 457; William G. Shade, Banks or no Banks, 34; Hyndman, Ibid; Jacob Riesser, The Great German Banks, 787 n. 18. 5 The Species Circular refers to one of two actions taken in the U.S. in summer 1836 that exacerbated the Panic once underway. In August, Andrew Jackson instructed his Treasury Secretary, Levi Woodbury, to issue circular enjoining federal land agents to accept only specie (gold or silver) as payment for purchase of public lands. (The first had been a legislative enactment requested and signed by Jackson, a "deposit act," that is, legislation that made mandatory return to state governments of any surpluses that might accrue to the national Treasury.)

sought relief from Pattison and the Bank of England.)1 In New York and New Orleans, the same scenario was repeated, this time by several firms. On one side of the Atlantic, demand from British manufacturers for cotton was collapsing, and the Bank of England had proscribed the trade of certain houses with, to prevent further deepening of, their already overwhelming dependency on the American trade in cotton; on the other side of the Atlantic, the Americans found themselves unable to buy, sell, borrow or pay. Business was coming to a screeching halt, and panic was setting in. By 1 April, the Panic was underway. In the United States, a national government under the new Presidency of Martin Van Buren, Jacksonian on bank matters to the bone, refused to treat in anything but metallic currency. It essentially stood by as American banks were presented with their notes, and in short time were unable to meet the suddenly overwhelming demand for specie. In May, beginning with those in New York, banks refused to honor their own notes. Suspension was soon generalized. By the end of the year, six hundred eighteen banks had failed.2 And in the United States the crisis, not merely urban and commercial, engulfed the large eastern cities and their immediate hinterlands, i.e., the East in its entirely, precisely the region of the country which had gone the furthest down the road of capitalist development, that is, integration into the transAtlantic commercial economy. Producing cotton, thus central to its exchange and integrated into its transAtlantic circuits, southern planters felt the crush immediately and responded brutally: In 1837, the price of cotton fell twenty percent and planters savagely exploited their chattels realizing an increase in production of a sixth (16.3%). Incomes nonetheless fell nearly a third. The following year, 1838, brought another large fall in the price of cotton.3 In objectivistic and reified terms, the "cause" of the downturn and contraction lay outside the American economy proper. In an advanced industry, new centers of textile production (beyond Manchester, Lyons and Lowell) appeared in Saxony, Prussia and Brussels, Belgium and taken together knit the nascent capitalist world into a global economy. These recently opened spinning mills increased world capacity, and cut into the English share of that market. Commercial houses responded with failures in Canton, Calcutta, Brussels and La Havre. A European recession began to unfold. In Britain, grain harvest, poor in 1838, failed in 1839: Wheat and other grains had to be imported. Coupled to an inordinate and massive development of British railway construction and excessive stock speculation (that included the immoderate purchase of American bonds), Bank of England gold reserves, large amounts soaked up by industrializing projects, had flown out of the country to pay for imported grains: Suspension of specie payments was again imminent.4 English manufacturers cut deeply into their purchases of American cotton. In the United States, the Bank of the United States in Philadelphia, no longer a federal depository and heavily involved in cotton exchange since the Panic of 1837, its specie reserved drawn off in this maelstrom of events, suspended specie payments in October 1839. Other American banks soon followed. Metropolises within the commercial capitalist world undergoing incipient industrialization had been subject in those industrializing centers to simultaneous crises, financial and industrial (overproduction). They dragged their hinterlands into a full-scale depression. Business failures multiplied. In the United States, a quarter of all firms in New England had already gone under. An estimated 90% of all factories closed before the beginning of 1838. The working classes of the East were ravaged; among the remaining employed, the wage structure collapsed; meager state and privately philanthropic social set nets were established; social and class conflict intensified as classic bread riots (New York City) and anti-rent riots (upstate New York) erupted, sheriffs were forcibly removed from office in Mississippi, nativism raised its ugly head in the big cities of the East. In Britain, Chartist rallies in the great industrial cities railed against the old order embodied by Tory control of the state (not just the Parliament, but the universities and their faculties, the scientific societies, etc.): The cry was for reform, for universal (male) suffrage, salaried Members and annual elections. But Chartism was countrywide, a mass movement, and on its edges the depression emboldened desperate men and women to riot especially against the reformed Poor Law, the state compulsion to work where there no work or face the poorhouse

Riesser, Ibid. Hyndman, Ibid, 46. 3 Cotton brought 10.14 per pound in 1838. Production in bales was 788,013 bales in 1836 and 916,960 in 1837. North, Ibid, Table A-VII, 232. Prices rose in 1839, but it was already too late: The Panic had given way to depression. 4 Hammond, Ibid, 502-503, Hyndman, Ibid.
2

and workhouses, which, under attack as visible symbols and embodiments of the Poor Laws, were fire-bombed, burned, not infrequently destroyed1... The depression that followed renewed (1839) panic was an early instance of a classic shake-out but one primarily in the sphere of circulation (especially among merchants and retailers), overlaid and underpinned by a crisis of overproduction of finished cotton goods centered on Britain but within the European and transAtlantic economy as a whole. The slump dragged on into 1843... Nature and Society Collapse of a speculative bubble, the financial Panic of 1837, and the subsequent depression: Accumulation in the capitalist sense was coming to a sudden halt. It was not just that a swelling army of the unemployed greatly increased the costs of poor relief, the financing of which fell on the middling groups, but the threat of revolution hung in the air. Taken together it was this, all this, that really welded the industrial layers of the bourgeoisie to Malthusianism, that, in a stunning way, clarified for this class its relation to society as a whole. Recall the Whiggish reforms (the Reform Act, 1832), or more precisely industrialists and manufacturers support for them Reform was opposed by Tories, commercial and landed capital with its aristocratic veneer; supported by the middling groups, by small manufacturers and the artisan proletariat they employed (where it existed), by large factory owners, by those tied to the new capitalist firms (factories) as supervisors of labor, as accountants, and as planners and organizers of production, by the newly emerging professions (e.g., in the sciences), by storekeepers and retailer merchants, and not merely supported, some of these people were in the streets forming the public pressure that got the bill passed. The Reform Act secured seats in the Commons for the largest of the cities that had emerged during the Industrial Revolution (i.e., in our terms, the event announcing the institution of real domination in production), and abolished seats in Parliament in the least densely populated rotten boroughs, those models of virtual representation that until the moment of passage of the Reform Act made Parliament a gentlemans club without any electoral base in English society. After the Act was legislated all of one in six adult males in a population of 14 million were enfranchised. (Workers, of course, were not.) It was the circles and institutions created by these strata, themselves attached to large industrial capitals that were consolidating their existence in part through the Reform Act (and other legislation) itself, in which Charles Darwin moved Darwin would theorize, formulate and then in his publication of The Origin, articulate a world vision in the grand sense of an encompassing perspective on man, his place in the world and the universe fully commensurate with, illuminating and going beyond, the relation of Malthusianism to the life practices of this emerging class of industrial capitalists. But here and now in 1838-1839, only the lineaments of this vision appeared End the relief. Get the poor off the dole. This was de rigueur: It creates an reservoir of free waged labor and forces the price of labor down competition and, to boot, it lowers taxes on the manufacturer and industrialist (both by eliminating the taxation on incomes to support the system of relief and by lower taxes relative to increased income). It helped the laboring poor, paupers, themselves. Made them self-reliant. This was Malthus. And if this was not enough, if they simply do not fall by the wayside and disappear (i.e., starve, die), get rid of them, somehow ship them abroad if need be. This was still Malthus. (In the last, sixth, edition of the Essay published by during his lifetime, Malthus sanctioned emigration.)2 Still Malthus did not quite grasp (at least in 1798, actually in 1834 he still hadnt) the dynamics of capitalist development, of growth by way of contraction, depression and shake-out, the creative destruction of existing values (deflationary devalorization) because this wreckage itself formed the premise of a renewal of the system of capitalist social relations, the basis for recommencing the production of commodities on an expanded or an enlarged basis. Instead he, Malthus, was focused on those geometrical ramifications of population growth relative to arithmetically growing resources (food supplies). But what held in nature, held in society. In both, we would find the Malthusian rush for life.3 There were checks in nature: Predation, starvation (inadequate resources), natural disasters; similar checks could, if one wished to state it, be found in society: predation, starvation, industrial disasters (e.g., collapsed mineshafts, factory fires). More importantly, population pressure pushed aside the weaker individuals within a species It did more than push them aside, it was a force like a hundred thousand
1 2

The first riots had already occurred in May 1835 in the counties south of London, Desmond and Moore, Darwin, 196. And, in fact, at many as 400,000 workers, with or without families, left Britain annually for Australia, the Cape Province and the United States during the slump following on the panic. Ibid, 266. 3 Paul H. Barrett, et al (eds.), Charles Darwins Notebooks, 1836-1844: 639 (Abstract of Macculloch [1838], 28).

wedges thrusting themselves into every kind of adapted structure in the gaps in the economy of Nature 1 Like plant cultivars, among the laboring masses the few best adapted varieties would eventually prosper pushing aside the huge mass of the less well adapted, the lazy, the unambitious, all of whom would in the long run disappear Later Darwin would find a formulation to capture this situation, as all organic beings are striving, it may be said, to seize on each place in the economy of nature, if any one species does not become modified and improved in a corresponding degree with its competitors, it will soon be exterminated2 With the competition came the selection: Under depression conditions with the beggars scavenging in the streets, only the best among them would survive. Society like nature was at war with itself we should not allow ourselves to be misled by quiet war of organic beings going on [in] the peaceful woods & smiling field, it is dreadful,3 and we couldnt be misled by the raging class struggle. On his way to Linnean library or the British Museum, wherever necessary Darwin took sides streets to avoid knots of congregating workers, those mobilizing for a Chartist rally or demonstration and those that were fit would, over generations, improve species life, here humanity. Here was indeed a creative force, it lifted the species. This was progress, not smooth and unilinear but brutal and crushing, in society as in nature Population in this rarified form was a transmutation of surplus labor This, then, was Darwin; and, some of it was very nasty indeed: Decades before social Darwinism appeared and was popularized, flowing from his class and existential orientation Darwin had accepted, assimilated, and spoke not entirely ambiguously but guardedly to be sure... offering a theoretical solution, i.e., capital's justification, to the problem of surplus populations... in the refined and rarified language of what was indeed a vicious Malthusianism.

Ibid, 375 (Notebook D, 135). Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 91 (chapter 4, Natural Selection). 3 Charles Darwins Notebooks, 429 (Notebook E, 114).
1

Part III The Modern Synthesis (Neo-Darwinism) The problem of population reappears at the moment of the most concentrated expression of the general crisis of capitalism, a crisis whose most open, forceful manifestation was the Slump itself: The problem exploded in truly massive unemployment not just in the core capitalist nations (Britain, Germany and the United States) but throughout the capitalist periphery in areas where penetration of the value form might not have otherwise been immediately apparent.1 Not fortuitously, the problem of population also reappeared, constituting a genuinely new departure in the sciences of life, in the work of evolutionary theorists (hardly any of whom were actually biologists) as an explicit theoretical concern For, here, evolution is understood as a change in the genetic composition of populations2 From the perspective of the immanent development of science, sciences of life so-called, the genetic composition of populations has no comprehensive meaning apart from nature domination, from the development of technologies of social control, of social groups of humans understood as natural beings subjected to manipulation and control. From the perspective of the systemic crisis of capitalism, this explicit theoretical concern, however mediated, rarified and obliquely it appeared, is an expression of the problem of surplus labor and, generalized (a generalization effected by the very movement of capital), the problem of surplus population. From both perspectives, this theorization was elaborated far in advance of its internally driven practical consequences and outcomes. Still, a general crisis in the objective context in which an entire civilization had developed enters into theorization, for example, precisely in the conceptual shift from the individual organism to species as population groups as the proper object of evolutionary theory:3 All the major works that formed the basis of neo-Darwinian thinking the shift from the individual organism to population groups and a determinism based on adaptation are its central, novel features appeared in this period (most between 1931 and 1937). Because this theorization is highly rarified and seemingly developed solely on the basis of its own logic, it is necessary to recount, scrutinize and critique it on its own terms. So here we shall examine just one of those major works, Dobzhanskys Genetics and the Origin of Species reputed to be a central document, a genuine theoretical synthesis, of the entire development at its origins In the last work of his life, a massively sprawling historical-critical effort to re-theorize the foundations of Darwinian evolution, Stephen Jay Gould devoted a short section (relatively speaking) to neo-Darwinism, otherwise known as the modern synthesis.4 He examined the elaboration of neo-Darwinism in terms of what he identified as a twophase process of integration around a renewed Darwinian core, that is, the unification of various subdisciplines within biology (e.g., botany, zoology, cytology, anatomy, physiology, morphology, etc.) around the by then traditional perspective of small scale, continuous variability as the primary source of evolutionary change. The specific character of the synthesis is the assimilation of Mendelian genetics, that is, its mathematical formalism (the demonstration that small selection pressures acting on minor genetic differences can produce evolutionary change), to that traditional perspective.5 The main achievement of this first phase was to establish the self-sufficiency of a Mendelian mediated traditional Darwinism by way of exclusion of the leading contending theorizations, the competing Lamarckian functionalism, and saltational and orthogenetic views.6 Significantly, he dated the beginnings of the first phase from 1918, from a pivotal essay of Ronald .A. Fischer. (It is the date that is significant: Against the foreground reality of the Russian Revolution, for a bourgeois any theorization that stresses incremental change would
1

For example, on the rubber plantations of Malaya, Ceylon and the Dutch East Indies: These estates did poorly, disappearing as capitalist enterprises, the waged rubber workers cut loose and forced to return to their homeland (India). See the Prologue to The German Road to Renewed Imperialist World War, the section entitled The Slump: How Bad Did It Get? 2 Theodosius Dobzhansky, Genetics and the Origin of Species (1951), 16. 3 In Darwin himself we find a shift from selection acting on individual organism to species (The Origin of Species, 167-168). This can, similarly, be seen to be the case with regard to instinct (Ibid, 175). But these are single and singular passages; they neither convey the overall sense of his argument which at any rate is specific, the organism is the object of study nor do they even remotely suggest his focus. 4 The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Cambridge (MA):2002. 503-584. 5 Ibid, 504. 6 Ibid, 507-508. Crudely, Saltationists hold the evolutionary change occurs in jumps or leaps, not through the accumulation of small-scale changes (mutations). It is not inconsistent with a hereditary mechanism of change. Orthogenetists, on the other hand, hold that evolutionary change develops along well-defined, narrow pathways generated by factors internal to the organism itself. Though it too is not inconsistent with a hereditary mechanism, it is counterposed to Darwinism in that evolutionary change is neither random nor controlled by environmental pressures, but is directional.

have been at once emotionally gratifying and intellectually satisfying.)1 In contrast to the first phase of integration and consolidation, one in which he thought that within the synthesized framework a pluralism of views could in principle co-exist, Gould deemed the second phase decidedly one in which views hardened, in which natural selection was elevated to the exclusion, effectively speaking, of all other determinations as the mechanism (Gould said agent) of evolutionary change. Gould indicated this hardening took on the shape of orthodoxy for which alternative views even within a Darwinian framework were cavalierly dismissed out of hand.2 This is the situation that we face today in really crude theorizations such as Richard Dawkins The Selfish Gene. In order, however, to achieve a critical perspective on this synthesis it is necessary to grasp its significant and seminal elements, not to mention its most coherent formulation, and to do this we must return to the period of its formation. Organic Diversity and Adaptation We shall take our cue from Steve Gould, and examine that moment at which this hardening became apparent, between the first (1937) and third (1951), and final, editions of Theodosius Dobzhanskys Genetics and the Origin of Species. The very presentation of this work, and with it its theoretical content and the aim guiding its construction, underwent a change from first to last edition: As Gould himself noted, Dobzhansky deleted two chapters (IV and V, Chromosomal Changes and Variation in Natural Populations) from the original 1937 edition, those that contained the bulk of the material on non-adaptive or non-selected natural phenomena (albeit some of this material was incorporated into other chapters)... In a world (that of capital as capital) in which the objectifications of Spirit are, complexly mediated, entirely isomorphic in relation to and homologous with the objective shape and organization of productive activity (itself a mystified, alienated objectification of the same Spirit as tacit, irreducible anonymously functioning subjectivity), this hardening, revealed here if only in part in these deletions, was a piece with, cut from the same fabric (even though to be sure both develop according to their own logics) as the suppression of open class struggle and the stabilization of social life following on the receding, then disappearing revolutionary wave announcing capital's general crisis and following in particular on the victory of the democratic imperialists over their fully modern totalitarian and fascists rivals... Dobzhansky further added a chapter (V, in the 1951 edition) called adaptive polymorphism. Most importantly, he abandoned a broadly based, open perspective on evolutionary causation, and adopted a rigorous if not entirely inflexible adaptationist account. In the last edition, Dobzhansky argued adaptation aims at the best solution in recounting the dynamics of evolutionary development, and he posited the relation of environment to organism as determinate, niche specific and unilateral, and optimal. This is evident from very early on, from a first chapter that underwent an extensive rewrite. In the first edition, Dobzhansky tells us that organic diversity is experientially given, obvious and self-evident; that a scientific study of it can methodologically proceed in one of two ways, first by way of examination of both living and fossilized beings with a view to anatomical structure and function, proceeding to classificatory schemes based on perceived regularities as generalized. This was the method of evolutionary theory at its origins; but a second method has emerged since the chronological eighteenth and nineteenth centuries on the basis of a shift from the observationalism of the past to a predominance of experimentation. While critical of the fetishization of quantitative and experimental methods, he opted for the latter: For genetics, his interest and discipline, falls within the purview of such an approach since the problem of organic diversity on which the discussion has been focused is best treated as an aspect of unity through a study of the mechanisms which may be responsible for the production and maintenance of variation, an analysis of the conflicting forces tending to increase or to level off the differences between organisms. In this context, the aim of the present book is to review the genetic information bearing on the problem of organic diversity. It was and is not concerned with the problem in its morphological aspect.3
1

This is neither incident nor an external consideration: The Russian Revolution was a foreground, not background, reality, that dwarfs the events of 9 September 2001, even as those events have been amplified by continuous and ubiquitous media spectacular indoctrination and propagandization, in its impact and the force which it shaped the consciousness of all classes in all societies of the world. Now all these early twentieth century figures in evolutionary biology remained genuinely, even if academically attached, bourgeois gentlemen, and for the bourgeoisie, the Russian Revolution was a profound, thoroughgoing and utterly terrifying challenge to the order of capital. 2 Ibid, 505. 3 Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937), 4,5, 6,7.

In the last edition, however, the aim and orientation has shifted and could not stand out more. Here we begin from the assertion that the adaptedness of organisms, their structures, functions, and modes of life, to their environment is striking. It is adaptation to local diversities of habitats that brings about the diversity of organisms that occupy the same territory The observed discontinuity in the body structures and in the ways of life [of different species] is a result of adaptation to the discontinuity of the secular environments on our planet 1 Here too, Dobzhansky tells us, organic diversity and discontinuity of organic variation are perceived by direct observation. But now, diversity and discontinuity and adaptation to the environment are causally related both as a profitable working hypothesis and as a matter of natural surmise.2 From the deterministic perspective of the methodologically modeling modern science of nature, this working hypothesis may illuminate qualitatively more observations and may advance the attempt to experimentally ground theorization, but we fail to see in what way it would be profitable (other than to note that the very expression, also commonly and unconsciously employed by Darwin, is indicative to the extent to which the thinking in which the sciences of life in their evolutionary formulations had become embedded in the daily language that appears and is reproduced in the matrix of those practices aimed at capital accumulation). Moreover, this working hypothesis is emphatically not a natural surmise or, alternately, is only immediately apprehended as such by those whose daily lives move within this matrix and for whom those practices serve as model of human practice generally. But, as we just stated, Dobzhansky is, in this regard, unconscious, so that, to drive home the enormous change in emphasis from the first edition, the present book is devoted to an inquiry into the nature of this [causal] relation between organic diversity and discontinuity and adaptation to the environment.3 Genotype, Phenotype, Environment In point of fact, Dobzhanskys theorization of his position is incomplete and contradictory: He recognizes dialectical causality in the relation of populations to their environments, yet this understanding is untheorized, unintegrated, and confusedly presented. The genotype is the sum total of the genes of an individual or population; the phenotype, immediately, observationally accessible, is formed by the organisms structures and functions, what a living being appears to be to our sense organs.4 Genotypes produce (engender) phenotypes, the total range of which can be created in all possible environments, and constitute the set of potentially possible phenotypes, a set designated as the norm of reaction of the genotype5 Both logically and with a view to the real situation it conceptually summaries, this is immediately at odds with the assertion that phenotypes develop in response to environmental influences which recur regularly in the normal habitats of a species6: If phenotypes develop in response to the environment, they are not created by the genotype unless of course the genotype is active, agency, unless in other words the stability of the genotype is not due to a chemical inertness of the genes and any phenotype that may be formed is necessarily a response of the environment to the activity of a genotype. 7 To render this determinism as it flows from the genotype to the environment intelligible, it would have to dialecticized, the determinism would also flow from the environment to the genotype. Dobzhansky will say it does (he effectively did say this in the remark just cited), but not dialectically for in the latter case the notion of possibility and actuality could not be ontologically separate... in Dobzhansky, as separate the former logically characterizes the genotype, the latter is the existential status of the phenotype (its capacity, so to speak, to exist, to exist as a real specification of different unrealized or possible phenotypes, that existence and reality catalyzed by the action of the genotype in reaction to different environments)... but instead possibility would be embedded in their relation itself, as latent developmental possibility. But to state this is to give up the concept of determinism altogether. Dobzhansky will not have that.

1 2

Genetics and the Origin of Species (1951), 255. Ibid (1951), 3-4, 8. 3 Ibid (1951), 8. 4 Ibid (1951), 20. 5 Ibid (1951). 6 Ibid (1951), 22. 7 Ibid (1951), 20-21, 21. None of these passages even appear in the first, 1937 edition.

For him, the environment remains undetermined, but presumably (and contradictory as already suggested) in the broadest sense is formed, relationally, by the sum of all other organisms confronting a population group together with its inorganic-chemical substratum appearing as geological landscapes (in the end the Earth as a physical body in objective space (Newton) or space-time (Einstein) described by modern science), in the narrow sense referring merely to the latter. The basic problem is the metaphysical frame of reference, one in the form of a reductionism and an epistemologically unjustifiable distinction between genotypic essence and phenotypic appearance, the former generating the latter: But in nature, the nature within which we are situated, only living beings act we shall offer a determination of life below1 and act only in concert,2 but, for now, we only need to note that genes, as non-living, components of living cells, do not act, do not modify and transform their surrounding milieux as do all living beings as moments and aspects of largely living totalities, and certainly do not bring forth novelty (as do humans), a world of mutually implicative real and ideal objects that mediate the relation of humanity to nature. Genes merely replicate, for the most part unerringly duplicate, themselves, but they transform nothing, bring nothing new into being, in nature. Only living beings beings that dynamically maintain their own internal organization and structure in the face of milieux undergoing change, that reproduce themselves and, in all this, that modify their surroundings only sentient respiring (breathing), feeling, suffering beings with affects (no matter how diffuse) and needs (no matter how unspecialized), even at the level of vital feeling, drive or impulse as in plant life that does not respond to a specific stimulus, rather to the total situation within the environment within which it is rooted.3 only such beings have being in and for themselves, subjectivity whether it is the sensory-motor awareness of animals (what we call animal sentiment of self), vital impulse (plant life) that interposes its nutrient, growth and reproductive requirements between itself and its immediate surroundings, or cellular life that in a continuous chemical exchange of an inside with an outside (metabolism) exhibits its capacity for self-maintenance and self-reproduction. Yet Dobzhansky, presupposing agency and action, cannot pose the philosophical question of subjectivity his science precludes it and he cannot even ask, why genetics? the physiology of inheritance and variation the answer why other than the manipulation and remaking of nature and human nature in order to continuously reconstruct earthly nature in its entirely (including humanity) as a raw material basin for capitalist production of a world of commodities is not just utterly beyond the scope of his science, but reveals that science as a methodological-experimental product of scientists as functionaries of capital. Dobzhansky wants dialectical circularity, intimates it, tries hard Nevertheless, what counts in evolution are the phenotypes which are produced by interaction of the genotypes of the organisms with the environments that are encountered in different parts of the world4 but cannot quite reach it in the end it is determinism he holds fast to this is a limit of bourgeois thought, specifically science The position is contradictory, and not in the dialectical sense: For Dobzhansky in a logically contradictory way... this will become clearly momentarily... holds it is the genotype, this gross abstraction from the living organic unity, that exerts pressure on its environment 5 So instead, his presentation engenders grammatically and syntactically confusion: A genotype is potentially able to engender a multitude of phenotypes, which can be realized if the environments needed to have the potentialities
See Part IV, Lynn Margulis: Symbiosis and Genuine Evolutionary Innovation, below. If, for example, we describe action among humans, we can, again for example, say the John, Richard and I lift in order to move the piano, but if we ask who is the subject of this action, it is not John, Richard or I individually or even aggregately, but in concert, it is we who lift it and we who are the subject of this action. (Here, among humans, in concert presupposes mutual recognition, each acknowledges the efforts of all, and each undertaking the action as part of this we, so that in this very doing we count, all together now, one, two, three, lift.) 3 Thus, the plant moves up and down, not in specific directions but only indiscriminately toward, say, the light. It this sense we say impulse is vegetative, meaning it is essentially oriented toward that which is outside it. It does not have sensation, hence no specific memory, just its present dependence upon its life history in its entirety. See our From Metaphysics to Philosophical Anthropology: Max Schelers Mans Place in Nature. 4 Genetics and the Origin of Species (1951), 21. 5 Ibid (1951), 15, 19, 20 (citation), 21. Dobzhansky is firmer in the first edition formulation, where his more flexible, less adaptationist position does not engender the contradiction: The genetic constitution of an individual, its genotype, determines its reaction to the environment; the appearance or phenotype is the resultant of the interaction between the genotype and the environment Ibid (1937), 15. Here, though the genotype remains undetermined - it is not the sedimentation over generations of specific regularly recurring phenotypes continuously modified by and forming those phenotypes, it is not abstracted from the individual organism that carries or bears it even if the relation between the individual genotype and its milieu involves interaction.
1

come to light are available or can be created1 meaning that the genotype can generate a specific phenotype relative to the presence of a specific environment but stating far more, raising the question as to who or what would create and how the needed environments would be created, a particularly dicey question and thorny problem (i.e., stated as such, it is unintelligible on his own assumptions): For Dobzhansky holds the genotype itself, and the kind of changes it is capable of producing, are in the last analysis environmentally determined; noting furthermore this environment is not the one that presently prevails, but is the sum of the historical environments to which the organism, mediately the genotype (which is finally on his assumptions the correct manner in which to state the issue), had been exposed in its phylogeny.2 To cut through this awkward and perplexed presentation, as well as the mystifying determinism, it is necessary to grasp that living beings incessantly make and remake the environments that shape them, that life and the environment mutually penetrate and form one another there is no causal primacy of one over the other3 in a temporally unfolding, evolutionary process that is developmental (i.e., entails the continuous emergence of increasingly complex, novel forms of life over geological time) A Digression, Again The notion of possible and actual worlds appears over and again in various forms of thought that characterize this epoch, one wracked by a general crisis of capitalism as it was driven from one imperialist world war to another by way of its most concentrated expression, the Slump... We could only fruitlessly speculate on depth psychological motivation, but... Cognitively, for example, it appears in Husserl (the later volumes of Ideas, his Formal and Transcendental Logic) for whom transcendental subjectivity in acts of meaning bestowing genesis is correlated with the world of daily experience as one world among many possible worlds; in Heisenberg for whom the mathematical formalism (on the basis of which quantum mechanical results can be rendered intelligible) permits him to say that, given its velocity (or position), the position (or velocity) of a subatomic particle is described statistically by a series of probabilities;4 and, here, in Dobzhansky, where the genotype is potentially able to generate any number of phenotypes. What was the relation between crisis and this thought? That relation is simultaneously existential, logical and methodological. Existentially, as the culmination of capitalist development this world revealed that at its innermost core bourgeois civilization is irrational. Not to belabor the point, it was against the backdrop of the overwhelming, daily presence of this world, its events and contours, that all thought developed.5 Logically, this notion is an expression of the fundamental problem of bourgeois thought, namely, an underlying substratum that resists penetration by thought and remains external to the conceptual system it generates.6 Starting from Kants Copernican Revolution, attempts to overcome the irrationality of contents provided the motive force for the development of German Idealism (Fitches Ich that produces the world from its own self-activity, Hegels Geist that in coming to itself comprehends the totality of what is in an absolute self-consciousness). But the world confronted in German Idealist thought was qualitatively different from the world determined from the crisis of capital. Methodologically, all these forms of thought are formalistic. As such, they cannot in principle overcome the independence of content, but are always left with an irrational residue, whether, as in Husserl, it is an nonspatial, atemporal transcendental ego that, generating all conceptual productions based on, is somehow rooted in temporal and worldly precategorial experience; in Heisenberg and quantum mechanics, experimental facts whose explanation is contradictory, which present a situation in which certain facts that can be explained thoroughly and fully only on the basis of the assumption that
1 2

Ibid (1951), 21. Ibid (1951). 3 See Part V, the section entitled Dialectical Circularity in the Determination of Life; also the Fifth Study, Part I, Remarks and Reflections, both below. 4 See the Third Study, First Sketch, below, devoted to a discussion of this issue at the heart of quantum mechanics. 5 In Husserl, this was explicitly stated in his introductory remarks to his Crisis (1936); in the Preface to the third edition, Dobzhansky refers to the convulsion of the War as the background against which his second edition was written. 6 The entire problematic was, of course, brilliantly developed by Lukacs in his analysis of the Antinomies of Bourgeois Thought in History and Class Consciousness. It is critically examined here in its further development beyond (in the temporal sense) Lukacs in the analysis of Karl Popper's theorization of the philosophy of science. See the Fourth Study, Part III, The Problem of Foundations (Irrationality of the Substratum), below.

light consists in waves and not particles, and others which can only be accounted for in terms of particles and cannot be rendered intelligible in terms of waves (or, if you prefer, position and momentum); or, it is an agency, the genotype, that is fully determined through the mediation of its merely possible product, its phenotype, by the environment as in Dobzhansky. Genes, Mutations, Populations One is not required to accept especially on Dobzhanskys and later neo-Darwinian accounts the genetic determination of life. We certainly do not1 With the exception of a singular insect (Drosophilia, a fruit fly) that figures in a decidedly paramount manner in Dobzhanskys presentation, most of the genetic formulated determinants of living organisms are, politely speaking, superficial as in hair color, eye color and secondary sexual characteristics. If nothing else, genetically based biology demonstrates what is decisive, namely, the behavior, activity and the contents of awareness (even if this awareness is only a generalized orientation toward an outside) which provide for the living organism its own life, its being in and for itself, cannot be determined from its analyses. This said, let us return to Genetics and the Origin of Species Dobzhansky does not start from of an account of the organic genotype understood in terms of populations and populations understood in terms of organic genotypes. He can discuss populations and genes separately, considering the latter first and then the former instead of examining each in relation to the other, because his recognition that genes interact and his claim (to which he is committed) that population groups (species) are ontologically real notwithstanding (and thus having falsely gone beyond a primitive atomism), his basic orientation to this relation, the manner in terms of which he immediately apprehends it, reproduces all over again what we have characterized as metaphysically atomistic. Thus, his consideration of genes and populations goes beyond separate accounts. The reality of life is dualistically organized: When a hereditary variation is produced and injected into a Mendelian population it enters... into the field of actions of factors those factors consisting in natural and artificial selection, the manner of breeding characteristic for the particular organism, its relation to the secular environment and to other organisms coexisting in the same medium that obey rules sui generis, rules of the physiology of populations, not those of the physiology of individuals.2 Abstractly mediated by the heredity variation (mutation), each level, i.e., order of vital reality, is distinct and is not determined from its relation to the other. This no integration of levels in which the new order founds its autonomy on the basis of its dependency, its unique and novel structure is not related to an older or earlier, underlying level (all our terms) from which the newer one emerges. So having come this far, i.e., having recognized different levels or orders of the real, Dobzhansky starts from each new level with its most elementary feature (which, at each level, he never transcends, i.e., integrates). So in following Dobzhansky, we are obligated to consider the gene first. Operating at the level of the organism, heredity is intrinsically conservative, hence the genotype is stable. Gene mutation and, containing the genetic material, chromosome or more specifically chromosomal change is the source of evolution. Mutation counteracts this stability, as an opposing agency3 Here we would note, entirely consistently with Dobzhanskys metaphysically atomistic reifications, a real process, evolution, is the outcome of an abstract dialectic of concepts, that is, the interaction of ideal (i.e., theoretically fixed) moments of the genotype projected as real, its mutation counteracting its stability Mutations are changes in any existing gene(s) whose sum total (an aggregate totality) makes up the genotype. Dobzhanskys formulation for this is a genetic change in ancestral types. They occur as sudden changes, that is, there is no slow or incremental change (however the latter might be conceived) or passage between the original and the novel or mutant type.4 These abrupt changes vary greatly and are measured by the visible departure form the ancestral condition in the structural and physiological characters or, you prefer, traits or phenotypes 5 And while he
See this Study, Part V in its entirety, below. Ibid (1937), 120; (1951), 50-51 (citation, emphasis in original). 3 Owing to the inherent stability of the genotype, heredity is a conservative agent. Evolution is possible only because heredity is counteracted by another process opposite in effect namely, mutation. Ibid (1951), 25. 4 It is sudden in the sense of no gradual passage through genetic conditions intermediate between the original and the mutant type. Ibid (1951), 26-27. 5 Ibid (1951), 27.
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would like to restrict the meaning of mutation to gene changes, there is, at least at the moment he wrote, a problem here, namely, there were simply no available methods to make a direct comparison, chemical and structural in nature, between the novel mutant and the ancestral genes. Instead, the only available evidence for change in the gene structure was phenomenal, not Dobzhansky's term at this point but perfectly congruent with his intent, namely, the appearing phenotypic variant, which, like the genetic structure itself is, according to Dobzhansky, subject to the laws of Mendelian inheritance. But a change in chromosomal structure, and this is the problem, whether that change is deficiency (loss) or reduplication, rearrangements due to inversion or translocation,1 also follows Mendelian laws.2 Thus, there would, for genetic experimentalists operating at this moment, have been no way to distinguish the two, genetic and chromosomal changes Now varying greatly encompasses a range of changes, from those that in the early stages of development of organism are deadly, lethal as Dobzhansky says this is known through the experimental extermination of various species individuals of Drosophilia en masse to changes so small that it was extremely difficult if not impossible to detect them.3 Genes can produce changes in more than one trait, and as such their effects are many or said to be pleiotropic. or to have manifold effects. While the frequency of such genes was not, circa 1950, well known, the bulk of mutations that generate changes that are noticeable or even striking do so in a single character or trait. Pleoitriopic effects, where they occur, involve changes that seem to be insignificant, even trivial.4 But, it should be stressed, and this is hinted at above in the reference to inversion and translocation, genetic effects are not simply the product of the relation of a single gene, its structure, but to its locational relation with other neighboring genes. These effects the relation is patently understood causally Dobzhansky in accordance with the literature of his day calls positional and they extend to the phenotype, e.g., to the morphology of flies.5 This perspective differs significantly from the nascent genetics that emerged at the beginning of the chronological twentieth century with the (re)discovery of Mendel: For the latter was atomistic in the extreme, believing that genes could cross over or chromosomes break without engendering any difference in mutational change since genes were considered independent entities whose arrangement, though constant, was accidental, their properties inherent not relational.6 Thus, a chromosome is to be deemed a system of interdependent genes and this without regard to positional effects.7 Finally, we can say that mutants, gene changes starting from an ancestral type, are by and large very infrequent, rare if you will (and though he asserted this in his preparatory theoretical discussion of genes, Dobzhansky later noted this view does not hold with regard to certain species), since they appear in single individuals among masses of unchanged representatives of a strain.8 With this elemental presentation in hand, we can, continuing to follow Dobzhansky, turn to populations. While population dynamics are, according to Dobzhansky, essential to evolutionary theory, the careful examination of phenotypes as they occur in nature cannot in principle secure a systematic knowledge of genetic variability.9 Nonetheless, populations can be understood in an entirely lawful manner in the mathematical sense: The evolutionary processes in populations can be known and understood by deducing their regularities mathematically from the known properties of the Mendelian mechanism of inheritance.10 Experimental work at once permits researchers to empirically verify these laws and to develop their significance for the genotypic development of populations.
1

Dobzhansky defines inversion as a change of location of a block of genes within a chromosome by a rotation through 180 which while retaining the same genes changes their arrangement. Ibid (1951), 29. This is a purely experimental and artificial change, one that does not occur in nature. Translocation refers to a shift in the location of a gene within the genotypic structure. 2 Ibid (1951). 3 Ibid (1937), 78-79; (1951), 31. 4 Ibid (1951), 33. 5 Ibid (1937), 13; (1951), 36. 6 Ibid (1951), 36, 37. 7 Ibid (1951), 37. 8 Ibid (1951), 39. 9 Ibid (1951), 51, 65. In the latter passage it is stated, No matter how carefully one examines the phenotype of wild representatives of a species, the information thereby gained about the genetic variability in natural populations will be incomplete. Contextually, incomplete has the sense formulated above in our text. 10 Ibid (1937), 120; (1951), 51. The formulation is the same in both editions.

What becomes clear at this level is a qualitative difference in the understanding of heredity on the basis of the modern synthesis and that of one of its two legs, Darwin himself (Mendel being the other). In Darwin (and among his contemporaries who accepted his views), it was argued that crossing species individuals produce offspring for which the hereditary material is mixed, amalgamated as Dobzhansky says. What is important here is that the difference between the ancestral hereditary materials was supposed to be either lost entirely or at least impaired by passage through the hybrid organism.1 Over generations, that ancestral material would be irretrievably lost, halved in each and every generation until at least in principle complete homogeneity would be produced. (This homogenization would, for Darwin, never be reached: Only the original material would be lost since continuing hereditary change would introduce new variations which in turn would be hereditary transmitted.) There is a problem here, one experimentally discovered: Unless variability arises anew, above or at least at the level of that produced by crossing, mutations rates must occur with prodigious frequency. But this is not what is observed. (Low mutation rates are.) Dobzhansky calls the view and these, its, consequences shared by Darwin and his contemporaries a blending theory of inheritance and opposes a particulate perspective to it. If the genetic material has an essentially self-contained or, better, a discrete character, it is preserved in the mathematical fashion, say recessively, as demonstrated by Mendel. For Mendel, the free assortment of genes will result in recombinations that do not reduce the amount of variation, but of course will have as its consequences in cases of species individuals or the interbreeding of species the disappearance of formerly distinct groups as population groups, their (phenotypic if you will) homogenization.2 The free assortment of genes as theorized is a law of Mendelian genetics. But it is not fundamental at least for evolutionary theory established on the basis of population genetics. Instead, this honor is reserved for a determination of the relative frequency of genes in a population that is a product this is a thought experiment, an imagining that constructs a situation that does not and cannot in principle exist in or on earthly nature introduced into a previously unoccupied territory characterized by its geographic isolation where no new populations are introduced and no departures (emigrations) take place. This population consists of two strains of a sexually reproducing organism, strains that are cross fertilizing, well adapted to this imagined environment, that are distinguished only by a single gene (AA and aa) and that reproduce and generate new offspring randomly. Under these conditions, the gene frequencies (specified as q and 1-q, respectively) will not vary, remaining constant through all future generations. The distribution of the genotype in this population (actually the population in question consists in three genotypes) is given in the following mathematical formulation, q2AA + 2q(1-q) + (1-q)2 aa = 1, a formulation describes the equilibrium condition in a random breading population.3 The significance of this law is largely twofold, and both consequences stand out in contradistinction to Darwins now classical perspective. First, once achieved, variability in a population stays constant and does not slowly and irretrievably disappear by crossing. Second, and this is decisive, accumulating mutations in a population occur without regard to whether they are useful4 or deleterious to organisms, and occur with far greater frequency than strictly useful mutations.5 In stark contrast to Darwin (who maintains that this is not possible), deleterious mutations too accumulate as part of the genotype.6 Mutations, good or bad, and their rates of frequency are then central to Dobzhanskys analysis. In fact, known as polygenic a continuous or constant and ceaseless variability featuring relatively small or minor changes in

1 2

Ibid (1937), 121-122; (1951), 52. Ibid (1937), 122; (1951), 52. For Darwin, see The Origin of Species, e.g., 251-276 (chapter 10) and passim. 3 Ibid (1937), 123-124; (1951), 53 (citation), 79. The rule is called the binomial square or Harding-Weinberg law, after the two geneticists (G.H. Hardy and W. Weinberg) who in 1908 first hit upon it. 4 Darwin, of course, recognized not are adaptations are immediately decided by use. See Part II, Natural Selection, above. 5 Ibid (1937), 124, 125; (1951), 53, 55, 67, 82, 91. 6 For Darwin, see this Study Part II, Natural Selection and the sources cited therein, above. This is not the only place where Dobzhansky seeks to correct, i.e., reinterpret the meaning and significance of problems first systematically taken up by, Darwin. Chapter 6 in the third edition (1951, 135-178) called race formation, seeks to account in Mendelian terms for transitions between sympatric polymorphism (genotypically heterogeneous groups within the same species living within the same region, territory or environment) and allopatric races (obviously genetically distinct subspecies or varieties to use Darwins terms living in different geographic locales). For Darwins discussion of varieties and species, see Part II, Special Creation of Separate Species, above.

developmental rates is likely the form of mutation of greatest import in evolution.1 These incremental changes are stored, as it were, as part of the genotype of the population. (Thus, the infrequent incident of freaks of nature, of non-viable organisms, hereditary disease and monstrosities to use Darwins term.) Given that a population with high mutability will have a higher absolute quantum of deleterious mutations as part of its genotypic repository (our term), selection will on these assumptions obviously adaptively favor genotypes in which mutation rates are lower, kept at a minimum as Dobzhansky says2 It is too selection that we now turn. Selection According to Dobzhansky, the Mendelian theory of mutation fills a gap in Darwins theory of evolution by accounting for the origins and forms of hereditary variation. This is indisputable. As we indicated at the end of the last section, deleterious mutations, unlike in Darwin, also accumulate as part of the genotype. As a rule, those mutations whose adaptedness, as it were, develops as a response to recurring environmental influences and conditions are those Darwin deemed useful, those that are in Dobzhanskys terms adaptively valuable modifications. To the other side, those adaptations that are made to rare, unusual or haphazardous environment conditions and influences, adaptations Dobzhansky calls morphoses, are harmful, injurious or deleterious: They have not as he states, gone through a process of adjustment in the evolutionary history of organisms on which the genotypes of the population grouping (species) are based.3 With respect to this, Dobzhansky offers a more exacting definitional determination of adaptive value, as the capacity, relatively speaking (because it is a constantly varying quantity), of various bearers of a given genotype to pass on their genes to gene pool of succeeding generations.4 Thus, a strictly or entirely injurious gene has an adaptive value of zero. Again, the determination is made quantitatively, so that it is statistical concept that emphasizes or, better, measures (our term) the reproductive efficiency of a genotype in a certain environment.5 This is how Dobzhansky understands Darwinian fitness: This is important because he, Dobzhansky, argues this concept, fitness, can be detached from competition and struggle, as in the struggle for life or for existence, at least in the sense of direct combat between individuals.6 Well, yes, but then Dobzhansky is intentionally playing on the ambiguity of the concept because, direct combat is the most narrow of readings of Darwin and what he, Darwin, intended was much broader: Noting the presence of Malthus in Darwins thinking, he restates Darwins straightforward reading of the population law, organisms tend to produce more offspring that can survive without eventually outrunning the food supply. (Dobzhansky again hedges Darwin here, stating the slowest breeding organisms.), noting further that it is the differential mortality of different genotypic bearers constituting a population that makes, in the further abstract (from organic interaction) peculiarly neo-Darwinian reading of the old man, selection effectively actual. He adds that, however, metaphors such as survival of the fittest and the struggle for life were unfortunate, played to propagandists (i.e., social Darwinians), and more picturesque than accurate7 A kindly reading of Darwin, but obfuscatory not to mention altogether mistaken Instead, he offers the following determination of selection, the carriers of different genotypes in a population contribute differentially to the gene pool of the following generations.8 Now this peculiar determination of selection (in principle, unrelated to competition and struggle) is entirely consistent with Dobzhanskys statistical concept of adaptive value, but it is also unsustainable. In reference to a principle elucidated (1934) by the evolutionary biologist, G.F. Gause, and later affirmed by other leading neo-Darwinians (e.g., Ernst Mayr), he appears to reiterate this interpretation by deconstructing Gauses principle (namely, two species with the same ecological requirements cannot share the same environment indefinitely because the more efficient one will eventually outbreed and supplant the other)9. Since no absolutely uniform and absolutely constant
1 2

Ibid (1951), 71. Ibid (1951), 73. Here Dobzhansky unequivocally states that a number of researchers have demonstrated that injurious changes form the majority of mutations. 3 Ibid (1951), 22, 82 (citation), 135. 4 Ibid (1951), 78, 79. 5 Ibid (1951), 78. 6 Ibid (1951). 7 Ibid (1951), 77. 8 Ibid (1951). 9 Ibid (1951), 109. This argument appears nowhere in the original 1937 edition.

environment could be inhabited by a single species, i.e., it is made heterogeneous by the original species very presence, Gauses principle is unrealistic (yes, unrealistic but then the absolutely uniform and absolutely constant environment is theoretical, i.e., ideal, areal or, if you prefer, unrealistic). Having rejected the principle, Dobzhansky proceeds to reinstate it: He relates that, in fact, different species with the same ecological requirements can coexist in the same environment (thus they are said to be sympatric) if the territory is heterogeneous, i.e., if they do not coexist spatially or temporally, 1 which is another way of stating that in the same time and place they cannot coexist, thus reaffirming in a wholly backdoor manner Gauses principle, and rendering his statistical concept of adaptive value unrelated to competition and struggle incoherent and, as we said, unsustainable. In this regard, we can note just how far Dobzhansky has come in his embrace of evolution as essentially a process of adaptation to the environment through natural selection,2 of a mediated, yet fully unilateral relation of organism to environment by way of selection through adaptation: In the first edition of Genetics and the Origin of Species, he cites two recent works (both appeared in 1936), one by Ronald Fisher that comes down hard on the side of adaptation, calling evolution progressive adaptation and nothing else, and the other by Robson and Richards that asserts, among other things, that, There are many things about living organisms that are much more difficult to explain than some of their supposed adaptations. Dobzhanskys position was that, No agreement on this issue has been reached as yet.3 In the final edition, he cites the same authors (and in Fishers case, the same passages) and concludes that among the two opinions just cited, the first [Fishers] is believed by a majority of modern evolutionists to be much nearer the truth than the second. He includes himself among that majority, since, for him, The development of population genetics over the previous two decades has considerably strengthened the theory of natural selection.4 It would be remiss not to note that Dobzhanskys own narrowly based evolutionary studies (sixteen published between the dates of these two publications), relating almost exclusively to Drosophilia, bear most heavily on this judgment. (With respect to this, see the final section in this, Part III.) Just how far Dobzhansky was willing to push his adaptationist perspective can be seen in his discussion of bacteria. 5 He speculates bacteria possess genes that are discrete entities that undergo changes independently of each other, that a nuclear apparatus has been discovered in bacteria, and that the genetic mechanisms in bacteria are not radically different from those in other living beings, here speaking of sexual fusion and recombination, all of which intends that reproduction in bacteria is Mendelian. However, starting from the late 1960s when usage of the recently invented electron microscope became widespread, an entirely different understanding of bacteria has formed. In particular, three decades of work by Sorin Sonea have resulted in the following 6: Bacteria do possess genes, but no nucleus, genes changes are neither independent of each other nor independently carried out within the cellular confines of an individual bacterium. Most importantly, bacteria do not speciate, the dynamics of genetic transfer among bacteria is decidedly non-Mendelian and non-adaptive (Sonea calls it cooperative), and they possess a singular, global genome (genotype) which is accessible to all bacteria. Masked by experimental references, Dobzhanskys speculation (and that of those sources he cites) is determined by his theoretically adaptationist and selectionist bigotry, by a heavily theory-laden experimentalism that prejudices the evidence it generates.7 We shall return to this.

1 2

Ibid (1951). Ibid (1951), 99. 3 Ibid (1937), 151. The citations from the other three authors appear in Dobzhanskys text. 4 Ibid (1951), 77. 5 Ibid (1951), 86-90, esp. 88. 6 See the discussion, in particular its footnoted elaborate in Part IV, the section headed Lynn Margulis: Symbiosis and Genuine Evolutionary Innovation, below. 7 Dobzhanskys position appears contradictory, for at one point he seems to recognize, but only in part, the distinctive character of bacteria, noting that individuals in a clone of bacteria are genotypically alike, unless mutation has intervened. And while this poorly states the case, he nonetheless further seems to understand their reproduction is neither sexual nor Mendelian: He continues, Sexual reproduction has brought a new form of biological integration. Individuals are combined into reproductive communities, but he then retreats calling these communities Mendelian populations Ibid (1951), 260. He retreats because he can understand it no other way.

Species, Evolutionary Development, Adaptive Landscapes Species are not just a taxonomic or classificatory grouping. They are interbreeding communities, Mendelian populations which, in turn, are spatio-temporal objects, real or objective and, moreover, the fundamental realities of the living world1 an interesting and ambitious assertion but one that retrospectively, that is, in light of the role of bacteria in planetary life and in particular in sustaining a world hospitable to life, is flat out mistaken 2 Species are not unchanging and static groups Darwin knew and said this but constitute a moment, Dobzhansky says a stage, in an evolutionary process of the development of life one outcome of which is divergence3: They form as interbreeding groups of Mendelian populations split up, separate into two (or more) reproductively isolated groups, and, for Dobzhansky reproduction is sexual, which itself generally is conditional on geographical or spatial isolation4 which Darwin also knew and said. In fact, following a long line of his contemporaries, Dobzhansky tells us that the essence of speciation is development of (sexually) reproductive isolation (as opposed to asexual forms of reproduction).5 Mendelian populations are products of adaptive evolution, whose genetic structures tend to diverge, a gradual process, in response to changes and differences in environment.6 How is this evolution to be characterized? Since it, not a visible or tangible reality, is a lengthy geological process, how might it be imagined? The causal relation is explained metaphorically deploying a conceptual schema taken over from Seward Wright characterizing adaptive landscapes7: In an entirely abstract, non-comprehending manner characteristic of modern science, an organism, all organisms, species, can be imagined to be possessed by specific traits and genes that their shape their development. Some of these traits are shared by different organisms, making them species individuals, some are not, but the organismic unity of actually existing traits and the combination of all potentially possible ones, the former constituting an immeasurably small portion of the latter, can be further imagined as a multi-dimensional space in which every real or possible organism has a place.8 Now these combinations, all of them, can be graded with respect to their fitness to survive in the environments that exist in the world. The vast majority is simply unfit for survival in any environment, but among those that are they can be assigned to certain habitats and ecological niches to which they are suited. Related gene combinations are, on the whole, similar in adaptive value.9 In imagining we can visualize: Visually, this imagining would form a topographic map characterized by peaks and valleys: Clusters of successful (at surviving) gene combinations the patterns with superior adaptive values would be represented by adaptive peaks, the unfavorable combinations symbolizing those unfit for survival and perpetuation would form in the valleys lying, as it were, between the peaks, and would in the form this argument takes be essentially empty.10 The clustering signifies the ascertainable fact that genes and traits do not form randomly, they do not constitute a mass of otherwise arbitrarily assigned niches and habitats, but are nonetheless discontinuous; instead, these genes combinations are related, so that we can speak of families of related gene combinations. In terms of actually existing species, the ecological niche occupied by the species lion is relatively much closer to those occupied by tiger, puma, and leopard than occupied by wolf, coyote, and jackal. Continuing with this metaphoric imagining, these families too are related, the peaks go together as do those in a mountain range or, again, in actual terms, the feline, canine, ursine, musteline, and certain other groups of peaks form together the adaptive range of carnivores, which is separated by deep adaptive valley from the ranges of rodents, bats,
1 2

Ibid (1951), 256, 262. This assertion does not appear in same discussion in the original edition, see (1937), 311. Species are not, however, tangible natural phenomena (Ibid (1951), 263: They may be real though epistemologically Dobzhanskys entire presentation would have to undergo fundamental change to make the case for this but they are not perceptual. Who has ever touched a species? See this Study, Part IV, Partisan of the Monera, below. 3 Ibid (1951). 4 Ibid (1937), 230-232; (1951), 180-182. 5 Ibid (1951), 263, for the list of contemporaries who hold this position; (1937), 316-321 and (1951), 273-274 for the asexual difference in this regard. Consistent with a more advanced understanding of asexual bacterial reproduction (which, only to be expected for he is absent the contemporary instruments particularly the electron microscope to examine bacterial interaction), Dobzhansky appears to recognize that, logically at least, asexual obligatory organisms do not speciate. Ibid (1951), 274-275. 6 Ibid (1951), 261, 287. 7 The Role of Mutation, Inbreeding, Crossbreeding, and Selection in Evolution, Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Genetics, I: 356-366. 8 Ibid (1951), 8. 9 Ibid (1951). 10 Ibid(1951), 8-10, 255 (citations).

ungulates, primates, and others.1 Adaptive ranges can be subsumed under broadest taxonomic classifications, ones that separate (mammals from birds or reptiles) and other that unify at increasing higher levels of generality2 (the classes of mammals, birds and reptiles are all members of the subphylum vertebrate, phylum cordate). This hierarchical arrangement of the classification of living beings reflects the objectively ascertainable discontinuity of adaptive niches, that is, the discontinuous manners and means by which organisms that inhabit the world derive their livelihood from the environment.3 This unilateral, causal relation of environment to organism, to species, is displayed most forcibly in the characterization of the manner in which genotypic adaptivity declines. This occurs in one of two manners. First, as a consequence of either geological changes or mans interference with the habitats of organisms, 4 adaptive values are lowered. (Remember adaptive value is a statistical concept.) Second, this value declines as a species finds its way from the adaptive peak it currently occupies to another, occupied or unoccupied 5 (though, it should be said that to be consistent here Dobzhansky should have held out the possibility that the species genotype may fit well with its new milieu). Thus, early on Dobzhansky patently exhibits the appetites of neo-Darwinian thought, in which and for which adaptation causally relates organism to environment in a way that is, as we have indicated above, determinate, niche specific and unilateral, and, for those who follow him, optimal.6 Aimed at genetically ascertaining how the static structure of the topographical arrangement of species is constituted, the neo-Darwinian project is vastly at odds with Darwin with his orientation toward the genesis of, the temporal constitution over geological time of the relation between, varieties and species.7 This a tribute, one might say, to the extent to which capitalism even in crisis has been naturalized as the context of contexts in which all scientific, hence uncritical and essentially ahistorical theorizations, as categorial elaborations of the experience of immediacy (even if already mediately immediate, i.e., experimentally constructed), move and return to their ungrounded foundations. Dosophilia and the Experiment in Genetics Dobzhansky was a Russian migr. Both before and after coming to the United States his work in genetics was experimental, focused on the fly genus Dosophilia about which he was a reputed expert. But what had been often overlooked was in Russia, unlike the whole of the Anglo-American world, experimental work based on Mendelian genetics had been successfully and in a far reaching manner synthesized with the traditions of taxonomy and natural history. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Dobzhansky also specialized in the taxonomy of ladybirds (the coccinellid beetle).8
1 2

Ibid (1951), 8, 9, 10 (citations). Ibid (1951), 10. 3 Ibid (1951). 4 In this regard, Dobzhansky concluded (1951) by considering biological and cultural variable of human evolution. He tells us, the interrelationships between biology and culture are reciprocal, that it is a demonstrable fact that human biology and human culture are part of a single system, unique and unprecedented in the history of life, that human evolution cannot be understood except as a result of interaction of biological and of social variables, and finally, that social life, and especially the development of civilization, have influenced the evolutionary patterns of the human species so decisively that human biology is incomprehensible apart from the human frame of reference by which he means cultural reference frame. Ibid (1951), 304-305. But he is unwilling to say that not only does culture not start where biology leaves off, but that culture reaches back beyond humanity at its origins and shape that biology, so that in what is uniquely, i.e., distinctively, human, the two cannot be distinguished. (For all this, see the discussions of Humanity in our Nature, Capital, Communism). Yes, man can and must be understood evolutionarily, but not on Dobzhanskys terms, not adaptively. For him, it remains the case that biological adaptation has determined and doubtless will continue to determine, All subsequent evolutionary history of the human species, that a distinct biological reality can still be separated out, so that the biological meaning of the diversity among humans is adaptation to the variety of the environments which an organism encounters or creates (Ibid (1951), 305, 309), noting that if a being creates its environment, i.e., fundamentally changes earthly nature and creates a distinctive human world in and through this activity, it is not adapting to it, i.e., causality is circular or, better, dialectical. 5 Ibid (1951), 277. 6 For our purposes here, i.e., in grasping the neo-Darwinian thrust, it is irrelevant whether, as Gould asserts, Dobzhansky has illicitly appropriated Wrights model, whether he has, in fact, raised the model to an inappropriate level by shifting its meaning from an explanation for nonoptimality (with important aspects of nonadaptation) to an adaptationist argument about best solutions. The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, 527. 7 See, for example, chapter 9 where he dealt with the geological record, The Origin of Species, esp. 226-227. 8 Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, 519-520.

But what is really important here was his experimental work with fruit flies. There are two points that require disentangling. First, it is one thing to argue that continuous geographical variability in nature is Mendelian and not different in the qualitative sense from discontinuous variability as it, for example, appears in laboratory experiments.1 It is an altogether different proposition to argue actually it is never explicit, always assumed that the experimental results of work on organisms constructed on the basis of artificial conditions that prevail in a laboratory situation tell us something essential about organisms as they live and act in nature. It is simultaneously reductionist and, more significantly, confuses, obliterating the distinction between and altogether failing to grasp where they intersect, two orders of significance and the realities they refer back to. Work with Drosophilia may be highly productive: It is not a particularly complex organism, and perhaps because of this gene substitutions, inversions and translocations can, e.g., reposition a wing on the body of the organism, x-rays will destructively break chromosomes In the space of less than two chapters (total 56 pages), Dobzhanskys discussions of various species of this fly genus and experiments on species individuals appear on no less than thirty pages The elucidation of the formal characteristics of organisms by way of the manipulation of the component elements of living beings imperceptibly slides over into a determination of organic behavior, not because scientists do not grasp the difference (and by and large they patently do not), but because the absence of this difference is presupposed as such, as the only assumption consistent with the class based project embedded in and guiding the modern science of nature. Rising from these experiments in systemic and systematic practices of the manipulation of life, its viability, its quality as lived, and its length (e.g., by organ change producing what is popularly called freaks of nature), the question forms, Why engage in experiments? To satisfy a perverse and criminally scientific curiosity (criminal because it emotionally gratifies repressively desublimated sadistic and murderous impulses of otherwise well integrated, i.e., socially accepted compulsive, personalities)? Yes, but though correct, this analysis is limited and hardly adequate. Then why? Because the entire edifice of contemporary science, inclusive of its massive state funding, its physical structures that house its laboratories, the instrument and machine complexes utilized therein, its associations, its educative forms of developing the individuals who bear this project called science and its hierarchical organization all form the institutional framework in which domination and control of nature and human nature is achieved strictly in accordance with the requirements of the ongoing reproduction of the order of capital. Second, there is something identifiably far more sinister here (below the consciousness of individual scientists, though not in all cases). This must be developed at some length.2 In his analyses of modernity and its (contemporary) outcome, Foucault deploys the category of incarceration, referring to what he calls carceral society. In English and French, carceral is a neologism etymologically derived from the verb, incarcerate (incarcrer), but imprisonment here is not understood in terms of restriction of mobility and spatial confinement. Rather, those concentrated places, spaces and sites where masses of human beings congregate daily (dwell, work, consume) within the societies of the world form a carceral archipelago in which Power is instituted and arises by way of control of bodies As a study of the underlying substratum of living bodies, as scientists would reductionistically have it, genetics is access to the control of bodies par excellence While the body that is incarcerated is a living body (Leib), that of a practical, vital, breathing and suffering beings possessed of affects and needs, one that lives and experiences, a body intertwined with and on the basis of which subjectivity (personality) develops, is cultivated and shaped, this body is not the body theorized. The latter is the same body objectified and instrumentalized (and as a dead body it is also the object of Western medical science, a cadaver), die Krper. Yet it is, nonetheless, the basis for control through imprisonment in its most forceful sense and, in terms of the discussion can be experienced as an instrument; and, in fact, it is all the time, in labor specifically and in practical activity generally, for example, when I bring my weight to bear on an object in order to move it. Here I am a LeibKrper. It is simultaneously the structure of reality itself, its constitution as integrated levels organic synthesis of inorganic molecules, primordial cellular life forming from the reorganization and restructuring of organic molecules, eukaryotes from a syntheses of prokaryote forms, etc., humanity on the basis of complex mammalian animal forms,
1

Dobzhansky, Ibid (1937), 56-57. We will have occasion to return to the experiment and its relation to science and capital in the following section, in the Fifth Study and in the conclusion to this entire work. 2 For a full treatment of what follows, see our Alan Milchmans Essays on the Holocaust, Foucault and Heidegger: A Meditation on the Nazi Genocide, its Origins and its Historical Contemporaneity.

each newly emerging level reforming and reorganizing that on which it is based, appearing irreducible and novel, its autonomy as a new order of existence established on the basis of this very dependency and the uniquely human capacity for self-objectification of any and all of our cognitive, emotional and physiological states, processes and activities that permits the living body to be treated strictly as an object and instrument, for example, the ingestion of chemicals that shift a hormonal balance and upset my affective life, that induces a stupor, etc Thus, in the contemporary world of capital before Power, as the state, ever openly appears (and shapes individual, personal life) as groups, agencies and bodies of armed men, as the force of law and institutions of coercion of all kinds, it, as micro-power, develops through the various types of control (e.g., genetic modification, drug, psychological manipulation of affective life, of fears, anxieties and hopes, etc., a control itself insinuated into the most intimate and private domains, family life, sexuality, and the hidden recesses of personal life, dreams, fantasy, the buried pains of childhood), that is, through control of the need and emotional structure of embodied subjectivity, creating docile bodies that willing self-integrate into a system of hierarchical social relations of command and obedience, and only then and from here takes shape as institutionally separate Power, as the state The foundations of this control rest, first, on the peculiar character of human beings as human beings, on the socio-cultural in-forming of a supposed biological substratum, hence on the social and historical character of need, and, second, on the capacity to dispose of the activities of social labor, that is on the peculiar, self-instrumentalizing and character-forming practice of a LeibKrper At this, the latter level, Power constitutes itself, in part at least, and largely legitimizes itself positively, in administering and ministering, managing and regulating daily life of underlying populations, through an array of technologies of control (domination) that are brought to bear on that population grouping by a plethora of (and ever proliferating) agencies of the state. The more sophisticated those technologies of control (today, these are exemplified by informational technology and the bio-technology of genes), the more control over the intimate details of daily life is exercised. Thus, the state and it is manifest how the science of genetics facilities this task aims at reconstituting the various classes in society as a massified, inherently manipulable demographical totality, i.e., an abstract population grouping such as the nation; its policies, practices and interventions constitute a bio-politics of this population, its primarily form of self-understanding exists as political economy, its theory today is largely the science of genetics and the neo-Darwinian behaviorisms it has spawned, and its means of control in the classical sense (armed force) are embodied in its technical apparatuses of security and policing (and, as it were, as a reserve, a second order army of social workers, psychologists and institutional administrators) and, more and more today, in the practices of its array of medical institutions, establishments and personnel oriented toward pharmaceutical and increasingly genetic controls bringing us back to that point at which we began this discussion These practices developed in the old metropolitan capitals of the capitalist world... Stretching back to Darwin and his fellow naturalists and forward to the work of men like Dobzhansky who systematized the experimental and methodological basis for these practices If one cannot see in the explicitly intended effort to kill land-shells by twenty days of submergence in salty seawater, and when this is ineffective to remove the animals' thick calcereous operculum and to re-immerse them for fourteen more days,1 a straight line of development that, leading through methodical and meticulous use of lethals, nonadaptive, injurious recessive genes - whose carriers are crossed with other organisms, knowing full well that in some of the progeny these genes will become dominant and kill the new organisms,2 further leads to the experiments on human beings by freezing, organ removal, injection with deadly bacteria and is consummated in the industrialized world of mass death in Birkenau, Majdanek, Chelmno, Sobibr, Belzec and Treblinka, then this failure to see, grasp and understand is a function of the severe compartmentalization of affectivity, schizoid personality organization and perhaps even recognition that this is the price capital extracts for material comfort based on the rationalized development of daily life under conditions of capitalist production3
1 2

Darwin, The Origin of Species, 317-318. Dobzhansky, Genetics and the Origins of Species (1937), 24; (1951), 31-32. 3 In the United States these practices appeared from the time of the first imperialist world war onward, but were largely confined to the eugenics movement situated primarily in the formal educative institution of higher learning, and did not come into their own until the aftermath of the last imperialist world war: In its antagonism toward the Soviet Union, a new form of bureaucratized, statist and capitalist Power, a confrontation unfolded, not just ideologically but, on the plane of a fierce competition over the type of societal organization that would mostly readily advance material security and comfort, forming thereby an ideal situation for the elaboration of a bio-politics of population. It was at this moment that the heirs to the eugenics movement were swept into the agencies (existing and newly forming ones) of the American state and, as it were, thereafter descended into the streets.

Since they first appeared on the backs of unitary communities torn by social division, states as states, in their most rudimentary form bodies of armed men, held the capacity to inflict death. In the modern epoch, murder of populations, genocide in its extreme form, has been within the reach of state power. In the contemporary era as Power pursues a bio-politics of population aimed at enhancing a highly controlled and regimented form of life, it at the same time gathers to itself the capacity to industrially administer death. It was in Germany, beginning with much the same higher educative social Darwinian and eugenics orientation, that the Nazis, starting from the central, biologically understood category of race, developed a bio-politics of populations that reached its then contemporary highpoint in man-made mass industrial death of whole populations, in the death worlds for which Auschwitz served as a model.1 And this is the point: Capitals science of genetics is the cognitive framework in which a bio-politics of populations at its origins develops and in and through which it is today constantly elaborated.

We should be clear as to what is at issue here vis--vis the Nazis. It is the relation of Nazi criminality to modern science: The specificity of Nazi crimes can in part be grasped with a view to method: They were systematically, coldly, and bureaucratically carried out on the basis of western scientific rationality. It is crucial to grasp that, beyond outward appearance, that system was central to Nazi genocide. "System" in the case of the Nazis refers to the intentionally directed, methodical, and meticulous and experimentally based practice that attempted to comprehensively identify, destroy the culture of, and then "extirpate", "exterminate", that is, murder human beings who, according to crudely theoretical criteria (i.e., to biologically-naturally grounded and, hence, allegedly permanent and unchanging, imputed behavioral, moral, and cultural characteristics) were ahuman, "subhuman", and presumed unfit, "life unworthy of life". But it is system in this sense that, for the liberal, tolerant and humane, characterizes the highest cultural (Kultur) or civilizational achievement, science, of the West as such. Coextensive with the science, capitalist civilization is the foundation upon with Nazism development, and it is science as theory that underpinned the Nazi genocide in its specific form as industrialized mass murder.

Richard Dawkins' Selfish Genes A Note on the Apogee of and Absurdity in the Neo-Darwinist Doctrine of Adaptation Adaptation is crucial to Dobzhanskys perspective: Organic diversity may be considered an outcome of the adaptation of life to the diversity of the environments of our planet.1 Yet though the causality operative here, as we pointed out at the outset of this discussion, is determinate, niche specific, and unilateral, it is not nonetheless rigid as in, for example, entailing a one-to-one correspondence from the environment by way of the phenotype to the gene (or, for that matter, vice versa). Dobzhansky recognizes position effects (gene effects on organismic development are not only controlled by that genes structure but in relation to other genes with which it grouped);2 not unlike Darwin, he recognizes migration and geographic isolation also enhance or lessen the effects of selection thereby indirectly mediating the relation of genetic structure of populations to their environments;3 he is acutely aware that evolution sometimes exhibits characters (traits) whose adaptive values are not at all apparent, are what he terms adaptively neutral, and that this neutrality may represent only an aspect of a larger whole, that the evolutionary fate of a gene is determined by its effect on the overall adaptive value of the genotypic gestalt; 4 that, relatedly, a mutation or mutant gene may have adaptively unfavorable effects relative to its genotype but in relation to another genetic complex, in combination with other genes, it might be favorable;5 and, that similarly dominance and recessiveness of genes is decided by the entire genotypic structure.6 Even if the last (1951) edition of Dobzhansky work exhibited a hardening, as Gould says, whose most important feature was the centrality of adaptation for all evolutionary theorization, later Neo-Darwinism development, especially as it reached its highpoint (a dominance that it has not relinquished to this day), say as it was propounded after 1970, cannot be said to have shared this openness. The first significant statement of this, the later evolution of neo-Darwinism came with Edward O. Wilsons Sociobiology. But Wilson, while providing one among other theoretically rarified and reified elaborations of capitals technologies of social control, is too consistent, too reasoned, too difficult, in other words, altogether out of the tune with capitals culture of the daily life dominated by its spectacle, and in this respect by its immediacy, its inanity, its dissembling, its mendaciousness, its mystifications and obfuscations. In most regards, not so with Dawkins' and his selfish gene. Here the issue is not adaptation as one category, among others, operative in the relation of organism to environment (the argument, if that is what it can be called, does not rise to this level), but articulation of the viewpoint that goes far beyond mere adaptation in Dobzhanskys sense, that of the gene as selfish agency that is determinate, even if mediately, for life as a whole precisely because, first, every (phenotypic) trait characteristic has its corresponding gene or genes and, second, each and every organic trait, structure and function is itself an adaptation... For us, it is the entirely diversionary standpoint of a work wholly immersed in the culture of capital. What is there to argue with a genes-eye view of nature or the genes eye view of Darwinism? Other than an article, a and the, is there a difference between nature and Darwinism? 7 How is such a standpoint achievable? Does it occur to Dawkins that a genes-eye view is epistemologically absurd? Does Dawkins understood that the invocation of our familiar criteria of verification and falsification8 refers to categories of the evaluation of evidence and truth that are, again, epistemologically incoherent? How can we argue with someone who believes that we, and all other animals, are machines created by our genes? That the fundamental problem of genetics entails a demonstration that selfishness, not altruism, governs biological development?9 That humans evolved by natural selection? Who, in reaching back to the origins of eukaryotic life, can only see a highly competitive world in which survival and only survival is at issue, in which the predominant quality securing success is ruthless selfishness, and sees the war carried out between and among genes? For whom are fitness and the struggle for existence the defining
1 2

Dobzhansky, Ibid (1951), 254. Ibid (1937), 13; (1951), 36. 3 Ibid (1937), 140-147, 181-186 (migration), and chapter 8 (isolation); (1951), chapter 7 (isolation). 4 Ibid (1951), 99. 5 Ibid (1951), 259. 6 Ibid (1951), 104. 7 Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, viii, ix. 8 Ibid, ix. 9 Ibid, 2, 3, 123.

features of life engaged in a fight to the death against itself over limited resources? How is it that the gene makes its living in the gene pool? That sub-branches and sub-branches of plants and animals as survival machines evolved each one excelling in a particular specialized way? Is the currency used in the casino of evolution survival? Does evolution as a casino suggest life is a crap shoot?1 Is a cost benefit determination a universal feature of human life, or merely that of bourgeois (egoistic) man? 2 In all these cases, the specific features of daily life under conditions of capitalist production, its massified subjectivity, its abstract labor, its bellum omium contra omnes, are transposed into an undifferentiated nature understood atomistically in terms of genes. How is it that these fundamental units, genes, have the character of replicators, whose most important feature is individual fecundity? How is it that we, that is, all animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses, all are survival machines?3 On what grounds does Dawkins lump the living (animals, plants, bacteria) with the non-living (viruses)? Is an organism genetically programmed with a list of nasty things such as various sorts of pain, nausea, an empty stomach to which it accordingly responds in the manner of a computer program responds to software instructions?4 Who or what makes the assessment that survival of the fittest is really just a special case of a more general law of survival of the stable? And what does this suggest with necessity about a being in nature characterized by reflexivity? And what is the status of such a being? Is it merely another stable thing, i.e., a collection of atoms that is permanent enough or common enough to deserve a name?5 What is a thing? What justifies Dawkins genetic reductionism and atomism?6 The fact that genes are immortal, possessing an expectation of life that must be measured in thousands and millions of years? What metaphysics lurks here, making a gene a good candidate as the basic unit of natural selection? 7 I.e., if genes collaborate and interact in inextricably complex ways, both with each other and with their external environment, and if the effect of a gene depends on its environment, and [if] that includes other genes, if genes which are in no way linked to each other physically can be selected for their mutual compatibility, if a compatible combination of genes is selected together as a unit, then how is it possible to speak of a unilateral relation based on a one-to-one correspondence between gene and trait, for example, how is it possible that sexuality versus non-sexuality [is to] be regarded as an attribute under single-gene control, just like blue eyes versus brown eyes? What evidence does Dawkins' offer for the assertion that the same genetic unit or gene is to be regarded as the nearest thing we have to a fundamental, independent agent of evolution.8 And if consciousness, choice, behavior (sedimented or internalized social norms governing daily life) and action (collective doings that transform the social world and, or, remake surrounding nature) disappear in this potpourri of genetic determinism, how do they reappear, especially at levels below where they are by and large deemed to operate? How, for example, is it that a mother monkey grieving over the loss of an infant and, in steal[ing] an infant from another female is excoriated for a double mistake, since the adopter not only wastes her own time, but also releases a rival female from the burden of child-rearing? Is the monkey to engage in reflection? Choose an alternative courses of action based on a cost benefit analysis of her situation? 9 To momentarily reflect on this is to be struck by its ridiculousness. There is a singular fundamental feature, cellular size, that distinguishes females from males in organisms which sexually reproduction: Female gamates are significantly larger. Moreover, it is possible to interpret all the other differences between the sexes as stemming from this one basic difference.10 Dawkins has been roundly criticized for the blatant sexism of this entire account (among other things its manifest politically reactionary character), for example, in the discussions of courtship, stepchild adoption and desertion.11 This is, further, a question of the
1 2

Ibid, 2; 7; 10; 17, 18; 45, 46, 55. Ibid, 69, 98, 116, passim. 3 Ibid, 17, 21, 46, passim. 4 Ibid, 57. 5 Ibid, 12. Emphasis in original. 6 See the characterizations of a behavior pattern and single gene, e.g., Ibid, 60, 62. 7 Ibid, 34; 36, 40. 8 Ibid, 37, 39, 40 (emphasis added), 84 (emphasis deleted). 9 Ibid, 102-103. 10 Ibid, 141. 11 Ibid, 147-150. He grudgingly acknowledges and accepts the criticism in his 1989 Preface, Ibid, x.

thinking that is operative in accounts of this sort, a reductionism that is utterly abstract, that is in principle incapable of grasping the specificity of various natural and human forms of sociation, and it is equally apparent in his characterization of the physiological situatedness of genes (here sexual genes that spend about half their time sitting in male bodies, and the other half sitting in female bodies)1: Sexuality is not genetically determined in the sense Dawkins would have it, i.e., in terms of its social significance. To the contrary, it is this social determined signification that pervades the entire experience, affectivity and physiology of human beings (under specific, and specifiable, socio-historical conditions of sociation) and other, e.g., higher primate, forms of life. His discussion of the genetic determination of cooperative interaction2 similarly stems from this reductionism, and here it brings the whole utterly crude bourgeois character of his conception of the gene, as selfish, to the fore. Like the political economists of old (but with none of their sophistication), he starts from the gross atomistic abstraction, this fundamental unit, the gene (in their case, the egoistic individual). The meaningless and absurdity of his account resides in the fact that he cannot, and does not even undertake to, discuss and render intelligible communal forms of activity, and the reason, obvious, is that he does not start form social organization of labor and production.3 In the end, he admits his own vacuity, stating, There is no end to the fascinating speculation that the idea of reciprocal altruism engenders when we apply it to our own species. Tempting as it is, I am no better at such speculation than the next man4 Meaning, in his smug, self-satisfied manner, that all such discussion is speculation, an entirely gratuitous and wrongheaded assertion. The extracts above are entirely summary with regard to Dawkins views, that are in point of fact underwhelming with the mass of examples, and in particular, metaphors and analogies that otherwise dominant his presentation. This vast preponderance of metaphors and analogies permits Dawkins to avoid making an argument directly, for an argument as such would demonstrate the meaninglessness, in some cases the ludicrousness of the points he believes he is making, of the position he formulates. As we suggested immediately above, what is there to argue with here? The position is impregnable (what Dawkins himself would call unfalsifiable), since he, in his own words, merely speaks the arbitrary and capricious (i.e., expressing nothing more than personal preference) language of convenience5: Deploying a babble of metaphors and confused analogies, Dawkins rejects argument as a form of persuasion. His entire position strongly suggests he rejects tacitly or otherwise rational norms of discourse. (But, then, where do his real interests lie? In selling books, as sales figures and library placements might indicate? In success or personal aggrandizement as his responses to reviews might suggest?) Dawkins believes he theorizes nothing, he does not engage thought in gene determination of plant, animal, and human behavior and activity. His perspective, if we may grace it with this characterization, is a step back, nay several steps back with regard to the modern synthesis at its origins. Its not just that he is a popularizer (so was Steve Gould), it is that his analyses are grossly undertheorized, incoherent once they aspire to achieve this level (theory), and completely insulated to boot. Dawkins work pap, swizzle and garbage can and should be dismissed with a cavalier wave of the hand, if for no other reason than his central polemic against altruism and in favor of the selfish gene is an anthropomorphic projection. This issue is false, the problem non-existent.

1 2

Ibid, 145. Ibid, 168. 3 Ibid, 166-188. 4 Ibid, 188. 5 Ibid, 47.

Part IV Foundations of the Malthusian-Darwinian Nexus in Potential Species Productivity Neo-Darwinism, especially in its second dogmatic phase, though dominant is not the sole form in which evolutionary biology is understood and practiced in the Anglo-American world today. Beginning in the early 1970s (actually dating back to the early twentieth century in Russia), a form of biological theorization has developed that eschews the conceptual straightjacket of adaptation, assertion of a unilinear relation running from environment to organism, and mathematical models of population groups as the object of evolutionary analysis. Instead, this alternative affirms the self-organizing, self-sustaining and self-reproducing and self-determining (autonomous) character of life as synthesis (inclusive of lifes capacity to maintain itself, its structure and organization in the face of dramatic changes in its milieu). Rather technically referred to as serial endosymbiosis, this theorization is associated more than any other figure with the name of Lynn Margulis (who, unlike Malthus, Darwin and Dobzhansky, is a living contemporary of ours). Because it is oriented to a genuine account of speciation as such and pursues this account in the context for which life is inseparably shaped by and shapes the nonorganic world in which it has evolutionarily developed, and thus reaches back to life in its earliest known stable forms in their relation to earthly nature, Margulis is able to... albeit from the perspective of a still too highly undifferentiated concept of life and on the basis of a theory that retains in essential form the Malthusian concept of population... develop a mystified critique of humanity and civilization that nonetheless raises her standpoint far above that achieved by normal science. Lynn Margulis: Symbiosis and Genuine Evolutionary Innovation Against the rigidity of neo-Darwinian doctrine (she explicitly characterizes it on the model of religious dogma),1 Margulis lays claim to an authentic Darwinian voice in our own era.2 And, in fact and for the purposes of this discussion, she does reach all the way back to Darwin, to the very foundations of his theorization in his identification of the essential core of natural selection found in 'lifes' potential productivity. This is of the utmost significance: Margulis focus in this regard brings into clear relief the underlying basis that connection evolutionary biology at its origins (Darwin) with its most recent developments, that exhibits its continuity and sustains this relation across its entire history, and that sustains it as a rarified, sometimes oblique, theoretical reflection on problem of surplus population as it rises from capitalist practice. We can demonstrate this continuity by examining the concept of potential productivity as elaborated by Margulis.3 We shall start tentatively by offering a determination of life at its origins, reveal its fundamental division (according to Margulis), demonstrate the essential relation of life to its immediate milieux decidedly counterposing Margulis comprehension of life to neo-Darwinians and, on this basis, exhibit the continuity (her fidelity to Darwin) that she asserts. Having done so, we shall have laid bare the central motif that has guided the construction of all evolutionary biological thinking since its origins, effectively affirming the relation of the science of life to capital, its problematic and the tasks in one of its forms that it, capital, sets for its theory (science) beyond which it, science, does not transgress... As it first emerged on Earth some 3.8 to 4 billion years ago, in its most original, archaic form life consisted minimally in a cellular membrane, a greasy little lipid bag containing phosphates and nucleotides that, in metabolism, in a continuous chemical exchange of an inside with an outside, grew increasingly complex and capable of selfmaintenance and, eventually with real consistency, self-reproduction. Starting from here we can further formulate a basic distinction that, as it turns out from the standpoint of life considered simply as living, is fundamental, namely, the distinction between prokaryote and eukaryote.4

1
2

Big Trouble in Biology, reprinted Margulis and Dorion Sagan, Slanted Truths: Essays on Gaia, Symbiosis, and Evolution, 271-272, 279, 281. See the entire essay referred in the previous note. 3 We would be remiss if we did not explicitly note the importance of Margulis re-theorization of biology and its evolutionary foundations: The body of her work taken together, especially her Symbiosis in Cell Evolution, is not merely the proverbial major contribution to her field. Rather, it forms a systematic, fundamental rethinking of evolutionary biology as a whole, and devolves on to a coherent series of reflections on earthly nature and life, and, beyond this, to a summary statement of the place and role of humanity in this nature. 4 Etymologically, the term prokaryote is derived from the ancient Greek, pro and karyon signifying before or prior and seed or nucleus.

Prokaryotes are bacterial organisms (including blue-green algae and grass green Prochloron organisms) as well as some multicellular bacterial type organisms (actinomycetes and gliding myxobacteria).5 Characteristically, they lack a nucleus: A membrane does not enclose the genetic material internal to a bacterial cell, instead it floats freely in the cytoplasm. In geological time, bacteria precede the appearance of nucleated organisms (hence, before the nucleus), the eukaryotes; that is to say, in our complexly conceptually mediated evidential reconstructions of early life inseparable from the history of the early Earth, the fusion, unification, or symbiosis of two originally distinct and independent bacterial organisms (a spirochete, a flagellated or mobile bacterium, a swimmer, and an archaebacterial host), this coming to and as it were living together as one (cemented by the integration of spirochete DNA into the host genome), constituted nucleated organisms at their origins, a process called eukaryosis.6 Eukaryotic cell organization is the foundation of all, more elaborate life, plant, fungi and animal; or, to engage in the reductionism typifying biological analysis that assume (as does Margulis) life can be adequately understood in terms of its most elementary forms, plant, fungi and animal forms are eukaryotes.7 Margulis proposes (she was not first) a two super kingdom, five kingdom taxonomy.4 The two superkingdoms are, of course, prokaryota and eukaryota; and the five kingdoms are monera, and protoctista, plantae, fungi and animalia. The monera, essentially non-nucleated organisms, are divided into two types (subkingdoms) of bacteria, archaebacteria and eubacteria.5 Generally speaking, the former groups of bacteria respire anaerobically, that is, they do not rely on oxygen (which is lethal to them) in metabolism; the latter group is either simultaneously anaerobic and aerobic like the cyanobacteria, or aerobic, that is oxygen dependent for respiration. It was from Margulis that the author first learned (though she emphatically was not the first to recognize, the insight going back to the late nineteenth century among students of bacteria)6 that the Earth was not always atmospherically of oxygen-nitrogen composition. Composition of the primary atmosphere, made of gases that emanated from the solar system nebula as
5

Lynn Margulis, Symbiosis in Cell Evolution: Microbial Communities in the Archean and Proterozoic Eons, 29. Symbiosis in Cell Evolution is Margulis major work, a theoretical summation of her scientific investigations, reflections and analyses, what we might call a fundamental and grand evolutionary biology. The first edition of the work was published in 1981, and the second, utilized here, constitutes a major revision in which new developments in early cell biology permitted Margulis to reinterpret the bacteria to organelle transitions that formed the eukaryote. For remarks in this regard, see the Preface to the second edition, Ibid, xxi. 6 Ibid, 6, 269, 300. 7 It would be helpful to further distinguish bacterial prokaryotes from eukaryotic cells by way of a brief discussion of the genetic-hereditary implications of the absence or presence of a cellular nucleus. Bacteria live in large, densely crowded communities often comprising billions upon billions of organisms, communities that appear interconnected spatially. Within a bacterium, DNA molecules are loosely packed in circular shapes known as large replicons. There are also similar molecules or fragments or aspects, if you will, of those molecules within a cellular structure called a small replicon. The small replicons are not bounded by the bacterium, fated as it were to exist within its membrane. Instead, they can seep out and into other bacteria, through a molecular construct that neutralize the bacterial cell wall of a new host. In this form, they are known as plasmids or prophages. They are vital to the reproduction of bacteria, since groups of similar bacteria, known as strains, possess fewer genes that are necessary for the strain to exist in any given natural milieu. The bacterium is, as the strains are, incomplete as an organism. The small replicon as a prophage, say, will carry from one bacterium to another the genes that are necessary for its existence, perhaps mutations and especially in the case where a novel, existentially dangerous event, process or situation develops in its environment Bacteria can exchange genes rapidly and reversibly The entirety of replicons together with communities of bacteria and their genes constitutes a global gene pool, or global genome, that any strain can draw on at any given time (Sorin Sonea and Lo G. Mathieu, Prokaryotology) In this regard, Sonea and Mathieu speak of a uniform global clone (Ibid, 75) and a global superorganism (Ibid, 77). Critically, we can note this global bacterial organism so-called is not bounded by a membrane, at this global level metabolism cannot legitimately be spoken of, and there is no reproduction of the superorganism as such. The characterization is a hypostatization, the problem here is in conceptualization. The authors fail to adequately theorize the unity in difference and difference in unity that essentially distinguish bacteria taken together. We can and should recognize a functional unity but not a living one Heredity, then, is not an accomplishment of intracellular DNA, and mitosis (cell division in which duplicate male and female chromosomes form the basis of reproduction) is not the means of the generation of new bacteria. Bacteria evolve without speciation, they do not speciate (Sonea, Bacterial Evolution without Speciation, in Margulis and Fester, Symbiosis as a Source of Evolutionary Innovation, 95-105.). In fact, bacteria do not have an identifiable life cycle, and though their existence can be terminated (by introduction of a foreign, destructive and inassimilable chemical force within their environment, by predation), they are not born, and do not mature, age and die (Ibid). 4 Symbiosis in Cell Evolution, 24-26 (charts). 5 Among the former are counted methogens (methanomicrobiates, methanobacteria), thermophiles and halophilic bacteria; among the latter we find green non-sulfur bacteria, purple bacteria (which gave rise to animal mitochondria after their assimilation by other bacteria at a later stage of eukaryosis) and cyanobacteria (which gave rise to plant chloroplasts, again, after their assimilation by other bacteria, discussed below, and otherwise known as blue-green algae). Ibid, 62-63, 65 (figures). 6 See Liya Nikolaevna Khakhina, Concepts of Symbiogenesis: A Historical and Critical Study of the Research of Russian Botanists, and Jan Sapp, Symbiosis by Association: A History of Symbiosis, passim.

various planetary, secondary (moons), asteroid, meteorite bodies were differentiated out, is no longer accessible. The earliest Earth atmosphere may have been largely nitrogen with a significant methane component. Low oxygen environments still exist in abundance on Earth (wherever warm temperatures dominate, for example, at the mid-oceans ridge vent systems and geothermal hot spots, in boiling hot springs, hydrogen sulfide-rich geothermal springs, hot brine lakes, on the edges of active terrestrial volcanoes and within the crater and plumes of an erupting submarine volcano, within rocks in the polar deserts, on the floors of ice-covered lakes and sea ice in the Antarctic, and in deep aquifers from one to over three kilometers below the surface of the Earth, even in low oxygen muds that can be found temperate zones), but they are obviously no longer ubiquitous and determinate for life as a whole. It is Margulis estimation (one that is conventionally shared), that such an atmosphere existed, no later than circa 3.8 to 4 billion years ago, and persisted for a long term, at least until say 2.5 billion years. Now among eukaryotes none of these features and conditions that characterize prokaryotes obtain. The former do possess membrane bound DNA that individuates them as organisms, their internal cell structures are qualitatively dissimilar to prokaryotes, DNA is not transposed from one organism to another of the same type, all the necessary hereditary features are contained intercellularly, eukaryotes form physiologically and hereditary (with the exception of diverse secondary characteristics) identical individuals within a type (they speciate), and they all have a life cycle beginning in birth and terminating in death of the organism. So how did eukaryotes originate? Margulis answer is that eukaryotes, a genuine evolutionary novelty of the first order of significance, owe their origins to merger of distinctively different bacteria (prokaryotes). Her theorization points to a development in which four different unifications led to essentially two distinct forms of eukaryosis. The theory (serial endosymbiosis or symbiogenesis) is generally accepted with the exception of one of those symbiotic events that involved eukaryotic motility. While we shall not attempt a detailed explication of these unifications,1 we can briefly describe them. Like the origins of life itself, the last common ancestor to these two kingdom-level forms of bacteria is no longer accessible Now that means that this reconstruction is highly speculative which further means, beyond marshaling available, albeit thin evidence for this event, the reconstructed event as an event plays little role in the presentation of the theorization in Symbiosis in Cell Evolution2 But archaebacteria still exist and it is a form of this bacteria, a sulfur respiring and heat tolerant bacterium (a thermoacidophil which contributed most of the protein making metabolism) together with a, relatively speaking, smaller, elongated and mobile bacterium, a swimmer (the origin home of bacteria was aqueous) and anaerobe known as a spirochete whose unity formed the original symbiosis. The nucleated organisms were small, obviously microbes, mobile and anaerobic (swimmers living in non-oxygenated, aquatic milieux). Margulis believes these environments were always characterized by scarcity of food, the organism itself subject to lethal toxicity and desiccation, at least relative to intracellular environments that are characterized by an abundance of food (here we are speaking of inorganic chemicals that can be synthesized) and aqueous. She believes the swimmer was able to breach the membrane of the archaebacterium, thus having access to nutrition and energy.3 The swimmer, who Margulis believes was extremely hardy, was to sustain itself within the other bacterial organism, both eventually undergoing transformation as a consequence, giving rise to the nuclear cytoplasm of eukaryotes as we see them today.4 (The nucleus, however, developed by internal differentiation of the nucleocytoplasm, not by symbiosis.)5 This first eukaryotic cell remained anaerobic and was heterotrophic (i.e., it metabolized preconstituted organic compound molecules).6
For such an account, see our Lynn Margulis: Partisan of the Monera. Manuscript, 2009, where we have also undertaken a detailed evidential and methodological critique, and examined her relation to neo-Darwinism. 2 Symbiosis in Cell Evolution, 204-208, esp. 205. 3 The Symbiotic Planet, 44. 4 Margulis (Symbiosis in Cell Evolution, 17, 341) tells us that no known prokaryote feeds by engulfing, then digesting, other living cells (a practice known as phagocytosis), so, she excludes the speculative hypothesis that the archaebacterium engulfed the spirochete. 5 This much appears clear, first, from the inability of the nucleus itself to produce proteins it is not an autonomous system and second, from continuity between the outer nuclear membrane with the endoplasm reticulum (a string like cytoplasmic substance that surrounds the nuclear membrane and extends into the latter itself), itself a continuation of the balance of the endomembrane system (outer nuclear membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, outer membrane of other organelles and Gogli apparatus), all of which strongly suggests a developmental process of internal differentiation. Ibid, 31 (line drawing and sketch), 220, 218. 6 Ibid, 7.
1

There were three other evolutionary developments, all symbiotic, which are crucial for eukaryotic life. The first of these,1 the evolutionarily next development was the assimilation of an oxygen breather, a purple bacterium (proteobacterium). These were aerobic eubacteria with a cytoplasmic system capable of the total oxidation of carbohydrates producing carbon dioxide and water, able to live in acidic aqueous milieux characterized by high temperatures.2 They eventually became cellular mitochondria, and are as such responsible for the oxygen respiratory-based metabolism of the novel evolutionary development, which is now trigenomic (i.e., has a genetic structure that integrates aspects, not all, of the once specific genomes of each of three once distinctive bacterial organisms). The second of in this group of evolutionary developments3 (and, the third recounted here) involves symbiosis by way of which an original, primitive eukaryotic just described developed the capacity for photosynthesis, which involved its merger with a prokaryote capable of sourcing energy from light. The prokaryote, a cyanobacterium, was at once capable of sustaining itself in both non-oxygen and oxygen environments.4 The bacterium that this cyanobacterium assimilated resulted in the formation of chloroplasts, and thus involves the origins of plant life: Heterotrophic protists those organisms that are nucleated (eukaryotic) yet are not animal, plant or fungi, which are dependent upon organic molecules as sources of both energy and carbon symbiotically acquired fully developed, aerobic prokaryotes whose energy source was light (making them oxygenic and phototrophic). 5 For Margulis, like the previous mentioned merger, this one also was a bloody struggle as the oxygen respirator engulfed and ingested, attempted to but was unable to assimilate a bright green photosynthetic bacterium. This incorporation in the literal sense of the word transpired only as the un-assimilated green bacterium endured and unification was achieved. The green bacterium would become a chloroplast, i.e., a specific form of a plastid, a cellular organelle possessing a hereditary system that does not derive from and continues to function relatively autonomously in relation to the nucleus their systems are interdependent, yet the organelles reproduce differently that the nucleus reproducing the rest of the cell constituting within the cell a moment of non-Mendelian heredity as is similarly the case with mitochondria. Now, the photosynthetic function in plants together with organelle dependency on products of nuclear genome demonstrates the increasing tendency toward interdependency in cell evolution.6 In fact, in each of these mergers, the development takes over large stretches of geological time, occurs over and again, and involves a growth in the size and complexity of the new organism. These symbioses are what Margulis calls obligatory, i.e., they are irreversible and become so by genetic integration of the symbionts. In all cases, the novel organism reproduces prolifically, selected (though by way of non-Mendelian inheritance), better fitted in the Darwinian sense to sustain itself in being. The last, but actually the second evolutionarily significant symbiosis7 (the fourth as we are presenting it here, one not generally accepted by microbiologists and evolutionary biologists) concerns the origins of another mobile bacterium (which would become the mobility organelle, the undulipodia), a swimmer also, for as we might note the only environment of living beings, organisms, on Earth for perhaps as much as the