Why A Natural Scientist Became A Marxist: A Letter To Karl Marx

Posted by Max Derrida Foucault in History, Politics, Society
May 31, 2017

The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.

This statement alone revolutionised my mind once and for all.

I was merely a student of the natural sciences, wishing to understand how the universe works. I was hopeful of conceiving some working scientific interpretations of at least one of the zillion unsolved problems in the natural sciences. My ambition was to publish some dry academic research work, and maybe, at some point in my life, a couple of books on my life’s work. I was building myself up as another explorer archetype.

Interpreting the material world through philosophical-mathematical means was everything I knew of before you occurred to me, comrade. I have a wholesome ideologically left family background, but I always avoided reading articles, books, journals with a partisan tone. I considered myself pretty much a non-partisan free thinker. And then you happened. You came in my way with promises. I was sceptical. I was doubtful. But, eventually, I gave you a chance. You taught me to be ‘revolutionary’.

I don’t know how much I have done justice to your teachings. I was never a devotee. I was never a follower. I was, and I still am for you that sceptic student who perceives the material world through your working prescription of historical materialism. I learn about the present by studying history. I contextualise human behaviour in the light of cultural appropriation. I am that disciple of yours who finds class conflict to be an everlasting force that shapes human society.
Karl, it is only because of you that I now understand how capitalist economy alienates workers from their products. I know now how this rotten system of wealth distribution produces an unfair, one-sided accumulation of socially created wealth. This economic system is a well-managed mechanism of exploitation of human labour. The capitalist class extracts the maximum amount of surplus labour from the working class to add some more wealth to their sinister pile. They are the elites of the society. They are like gods who decide the fate of working people. These gods of our society have caused so much irreversible harm to mother nature that humanity is presently standing on the threshold of extinction.

Marx, your analysis and critique of the political economy opened up my mind and allowed me to grasp the concepts of money abstraction, use-value of products, commodification, and exploitation machinery. I learned how social relationships have been reduced to the economic relationships between commodities and money exchanged in the market. Commodity fetishism has historically corrupted human brotherhood and other social connections. We are no more the minds who communicate with each other freely, to learn. We have become market machines that communicate only to trade. If we look closely, we can even find such trades in the closest human relations. We are not evolving anymore by conquering natural hurdles; we are evolving by subduing market situations. Our society has become structurally competitive. We are competing against each other. We are fighting against our species to survive and fulfil our material needs. As a result of these, the sheer corruption of human values is inevitable, and it has already taken its course.

Unlike you, Karl, I identify myself as a Marxist. I am a class conscious human mind who now acknowledges his class, caste, and gender privileges. I have taken part in several political movements. I will always be participating in mass agitations on side of the working people.

On a very personal note, I would like you to know that I have come to terms with a somewhat odd notion that natural science, as a branch of dialectical materialism, should also be a revolutionary domain. The field of physical sciences must not be merely a philosophical endeavour to interpret the universe. I believe natural sciences will someday flourish as an intellectual, material force of change in a direction that is in one way or another beneficial to the entirety of humanity, and not merely to some elites in the power hierarchy. The working class will someday end the monopoly of the elites and reclaim their right to practice science and technology for their own good. They will, and they must, unite and seize all the means of production. The perspectives I inherited from you will burn brightly within me till I die, and I will pass it on to my descendants. With each passing year, comrade, you are becoming more and more relevant. Your understanding of humanity and society has been proved time and time again. The spectre that you mentioned in “The Communist Manifesto”, is haunting the bourgeoisie more than ever. The working class of the world is uniting. The shared dream of ours is going to materialise before long. Long live the revolution. Inquilab Zindabad!