But It Doesn’t Move

Book review


Fifth Estate # 325, Spring, 1987

a review of
And Yet It Moves: The Realization and Suppression of Science & Technology, by Boy Igor, 1986, 120 pp., $5, Zamisdat Press, GPO Box 1255, Gracie Station, NY NY 10028.

Boy Igor’s provocatively titled text gets off to a start that suggests a real depth. It challenges modern science as inseparable from the development of capitalism and pronounces “proletarian” science as bourgeois as proletarian art or the proletarian state.

Unfortunately, it fails to define modern science, and thus lets it come in the back door—by the expedient of establishing its death as an automatic result of the “abolition of capitalism.” The question that remains is whether capitalism really perishes without the explicit abolition of modern science and technology. Ignoring Galileo and Descartes in the chapter on history, and the essential 17th Century creation of mathematized, anti-sensual science, no fundamentals of what science is are presented.

The current horror show of genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, cybernetics, Star Wars, etc., leads directly back to the 17th Century foundation of science as absolute separation of humanity from nature. To ignore this has one attacking merely the excesses of science, not its inner logic, its characteristic distancing of the subject from his/her senses, which opens up the hideous domination of living nature so rampant today.

This deficit becomes even more clear regarding applied science; wherein Igor upholds the lie of the neutrality of technology by condemning only “the capitalist organization of technology.” So, far from attacking the logic of today’s painfully estranging technology per se, he sees robotics as useful and muses about the design of factories of the future! Liberation demands the eradication of such categories as division of labor, economy, and production. How could authentic, unmediated life co-exist with them? Igor is light years from seeing this.