Last and First Men was an attempt, among other things, to rescue science from scientism, shallow materialism, bad evolutionism, and economic baloney. One problem with the leftist communism (based on marxism) is that it was unable to create a balanced culture, even after all the hoopla about the dialectic. It was a casualty of just what I was talking about in the previous post. Individuals, on the whole, even if limited by education, easily find the way out of this syndrome: they have a range of interests, multitask a variety of sometimes opposite activities, survive with the ‘standard non-operating mumbojumbo’ characteristic of homo sapiens since the Ur-Paleolithic on questions of soul, god, spirits, will power, magic, luck and rabbits feet, and much else. This mishmash is a shocking muddle, one that science training often makes worse as it eliminates the dialectical cobweb corners of ‘standard non-operating mumbojumbo’. Is this anti-science. Not at all, but the reality is that science as we know it is not the real science, and we are trying to find the way to that future of science.
The question of science is not so controversial if our problem is bad science: we can’t make out if mathematical economics is really science or not. That’s also the case with evolutionary darwinism, but the latter is less open to dissent.
So the left has a huge task, almost more than it can handle, of finding a basis of science in the context of a postcapitalist social framework. Is historical materialism an improvement over ‘standard non-operating mumbo jumbo’? It had better be, but I am not entirely confident.