Capital and Science.

The following passage might used illustratively to compare the conception of science in HCC and Dialectic of Enlightenment and perhaps Intellectual and Manual Labour. Once again the contrast with these works and Marx’s analysis that follows  seems to be that his account postulates that science is problematic because it is subordinated to the capitalist valorization process, not that it is a pathological form of reason per se. Furthermore, an account of the domination of nature might be parsed from the passage that could relate capital to ecological destruction without the anthropological speculations of Adorno and Horkheimer:

“The employment of the NATURAL AGENTS — their incorporation so to speak into capital — coincides with the development of scientific knowledge as an independent factor in the production process. In the same way as the production process becomes an application of scientific knowledge, so, conversely, does science become a factor, a function so to speak, of the production process. Every invention becomes the basis of new inventions or new, improved methods of production. It is the capitalist mode of production which first puts the natural sciences [XX-1262] to the service of the direct production process, while, conversely, the development of production provides the means for the theoretical subjugation of nature. It becomes the task of science to be a means for the production of wealth; a means of enrichment.

This is the first mode of production where practical problems are posed which can only be solved scientifically. Only now is experience and observation — and the NECESSITIES of the production process itself — on a scale which permits and necessitates the APPLICATION of scientific knowledge. Exploitation of science, of the theoretical progress of humanity. Capital does not create science, but it exploits it, appropriates it to the production process. There is at the same time a separation of science, as science applied to production, from direct labour, whereas at earlier stages of production the restricted measure of knowledge and experience is directly linked with labour itself, does not develop as an autonomous power separated from labour.” MECW 34 p. 32

 

 

 

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About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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