In our last article, we came to the point of understanding the cell and the bacterias. Before going forward here, let us see how Mao Zedong explained and understood this and, before everything else, how.
Mao Zedong presented the question like this:
“We should study the origins of cells. The cell has its nucleus, a mass of protoplasm, and a membrane. The cell is organic, and so there must have been noncellular forms [cytooes] before there was the cell.
What was there before the cell was formed? How was the noncellular form changed into the cell? There is a woman scientist in the Soviet Union who has been studying this problem, but no result has been reported.” (Talk on Sakata's article, August 24, 1964)
The woman is of course Olga Lepeshinskaya (see Life, Matter, the Universe, part 2 : life as matter in movement), and we gonna see how followers of this perspective help us to understand this, with the role of bacteria.
But let's apprehend, before that, how this is to understand, and how Mao Zedong understood it, how he promoted it during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
Mao Zedong was a true follower of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. For this reason, he upheld dialectical materialism against revisionism. Here is what he said in his speech at the meeting of the representatives of world communist and workers parties, held in Moscow, on the 18th of November, 1957:
“You see, there is full of unity of contradictions inside atom.
There is unity of two oppositions: nucleus and electron. Inside nucleus, there is oppositional unity of proton and neutron. Inside proton, there are proton and antiproton, and inside neutron there are neutron and antineutron.
In summary, the unity of oppositions is universal. We need to widely propagandize the idea of the unity of oppositions and dialectics.”
This call, in the struggle against soviet revisionism, shows the genuine revolutionary character of Mao Zedong. And the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) will be the great moment of propagandizing dialectical materialism.
We must, in this context, see how a document drew the attention of Mao Zedong. It was in 1963, consisting in an article of Japanese physicist Shoichi Sakata, from the University of Nagoya, article which was published in China in the Bulletin of the studies of dialectics in nature.
At this time, Red China faced a strong right opportunist line, that was putting forward the union of opposites. An important theoretical figure of this was Yang Xianzhen; the movement launched at this time permitted the GPCR to be born and Yang Xianzhen's revisionist conception to be criticized (for example in the great document from 1971 Theory of 'Combine Two into One' is a Reactionary Philosophy for Restoring Capitalism).
Mao Zedong hold an internal meeting on middle august 1964 to face Yang Xianzhen's positions, in Beidaihe, near the Bohai sea. Then, on the 23th of august he met Shoichi Sakata in Beijing, place of a science symposium. Impossible not to see that the two events are ideologically related.
Proof of that is that this led to another publishing of Sakata's document, in a better translation (i.e. coming directly for the Japanese and not from a Russian version).
Firstly, it was published again, under the title “A dialogue concerning new views of elementary particles”, in the Hongqi (Red Flag), then again in the Rénmín Rìbào (People's daily) and the Gūangmíng Rìbào (Guangming daily). In the Hongqi version, it came with a presentation emphasizing the value of the document, whereas at the end of it came two articles explaining it for people not aware of scientific concepts.
Three months later came another series of 6 articles on Natural science and dialectical materialism, like Examination of the bankruptcy of idealism and metaphysics from the perspective of the development of modern physics (by Zhu Hongyuan), Some views on the application of Dialectical Materialism on the research of the theory of molecular structure (by Xu Guang Xuan), Dialectical Materialism is the weapon for exploring nature (by Ai Siqi), Study Mao Zedong's thoughts, improve methods in scientific research (by Yu Guangyuan), On the divisibility of matter (by Gong Yuzhi).
This was not all. An Beijing elementary particle group was found, with 39 scientists, studying Sakata's work, and proposing in 1966 a own version (called straton) of his model of particle physics– the same year as the opposed quark theory of it was developed in the imperialist countries.
As we see, Red China opposed itself directly against the Copenhagen School of quantum physics. The project was even considered as a “lui zhan” - a great battle. Why that? How is this to understand?
It is easy: Mao Zedong understood that if dialectics is universal, then it is correct to understand the macro-world and the micro-world themselves as dialectical process...
Then the origin of life, exactly like the structure of elementary particles, must be understood also as dialectical process....
And so, there is nothing that is indivisible... Each time, scientists come to another layer, like if the universe was an infinite onion.
Mao's point of view came so to an dialectical materialist understanding of the universe itself as a dialectical process. That was already present in Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin – but it had never this bright understanding. And this needed to be defended against the bourgeois conception in physics, it was needed to deepen this understanding.
Mao came so to have conversations with the Chinese-American scientists Chen Ning Yang and Tsung-Dao Lee, Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957.
Sheldon Lee Glashow, an American that won the Nobel prize in physics in 1979 (and who is married to a sister of Lynn Margulis!), proposed so at the 7th Hawaii Topical conference in particle physics in 1977 that the “hypothetical building blocks of all matter be called “MAONS”, to honor the late Chairman Mao who insisted upon the underlying unity of Nature.”
And, logically, this the ground for the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. On all fields, the GPCR is founded on this base: nothing is indivisible.
Like it is said in the Journal of dialectics of nature, that existed for 10 numbers (100 000 copies each) in the years 1973-1975. in the article The universe is the unity of the finite and the infinite:
“The end of every concrete thing, the sun, the Earth and mankind is not the end of the universe. The end of the Earth will bring about a new and more sophisticated cosmic body.
At that moment, people hold conventions and celebrate the victory of dialectics and welcome the birth of new planets.
The end of mankind will also bring about new species to inherit all of our achievements. In this sense... the death of the old is the condition of the birth of the new.”
This general dialectical understanding of the universe is the real basis of the GPCR; all the conceptions of the GCPR have, as a nuclei, this understanding of dialectics. One becomes two; nothing is indivisible.
Following this principle, two bases cared about the specific questions of astrophysics. One was founded in 1968 as the Criticizing bourgeois counter-revolutionary viewpoints in natural science and studying Mao Zedong thought Group.
It produced notably in July 1968 On the principle of velocity of light, the foundation of relativity theory, and in august 1969 Critique on the relativity theory.
And in July 1969, at the prestigious Fudan University of Shanghai was also founded by Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan the Revolutionary Criticizing group of natural sciences, signing its documents as “Li Ke” (the same pronunciation as "natural science" in Chinese).
We recognize here the names of Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan, near collaborators of Mao Zedong and condemned as part of the “Gang of four” by the revisionists after Mao's death. It shows the importance of Mao's cosmology in the GPCR.
Li Ke produced in particular a document called Introduction to major schools and thoughts of modern western natural science, in two parts (1.elementary particle physics, 2.cosmology).
Therefore, Mao's cosmology was so not a simple point of view on astrophysics. It was considered as a huge new step, a new understanding of science – that had to be carried and realized as a result of the GPCR.
Newton was overstepped by Einstein, and Einstein was being overstepped by the new learnings carried by the masses in the GPCR.
Indeed, the rejection of the statistical Copenhagen School did not mean that Einstein's conceptions – opposed to the Copenhagen School – were simply accepted, on the contrary, they were considered as insufficient and non-dialectic.
In the Journal of dialectics of nature, it was explained in the 1974 article On Einstein's view on Universe:
“As the historical facts of recent decades have manifested, the debates surrounding relativity theory and the criticism on it has gone far beyond academic field.
It is not only associated with the development of physical science, but also with ideological and political struggle... We must continue on the direction of criticizing and reforming the whole system of relativity theory.”
In all fields of astrophysics, Mao's cosmology was defended and developed. The title of the article about the black holes speaks for itself: “Motion cannot be exterminated – A critique on the “Black Hole” hypothesis” (Journal of dialectics of nature, 1973).
In the same way, Red China fought against the imperialist conception of a closed universe dying from the absence of heat. Here, the second law of thermodynamics is really important, because it shows how equilibrium is relative and how motion prevails (see our article Inevitable communism and thermodynamics). But it is also a pretext for the bourgeoisie to explain that heat spreads itself in the universe and that finally a cold death will be the result of this process.
So, in 1975 was published in the Journal of dialectics of nature an article entitled “On conservation and non-conservation of motion – a critique of the first and second laws of thermodynamics”, where the bourgeois conception was rejected because it doesn't understand that movement always prevail.
In it, we can read: “The proletariat is always looking into the future with full confidence and optimism. But bourgeoisie... always sees a bleak prospect with dark mood. This pessimism only reflects its historical destiny.”
In the same sense, there was also an article on the “Red shift”, which is presented in imperialist countries as a proof that the moving away galaxies exist in a moving universe produced by a “Big Bang” and so that at the end all die: What does the discovery of 3K Microwave background radiation imply? A critique on the “Big Bang” hypothesis.
1975, still in Journal of dialectics of nature, the point of view of the revisionist physicist Fang was asked, and he gave for publication an article called Redshift of cosmic bodies beyond the galaxy is cognizable. It was published, along with a critical article by Li Ke entitled What does “Red Shift” imply? Re-criticizing the big bang theory.
The defeat of the red line stopped this process of understanding. But what came out is Maoism, as an ideological step. The GPCR was not only a counter-restoration initiative. It was a step to generalize dialectical materialism at all levels.
And science, taken by the masses, would have understood that there is no beginning or ending. Searching for the origin of life would not stop somewhere on a “brick”, a cell, or whatever. It would simply never stop, because each level is the production of a qualitative step – a step of a layer of our universe, that we may compare to an onion.
“Current science has found that in nature there exist qualitatively different “levels"-the form of motion — , for example, a series of the levels such as elementary particles — nuclei — atoms — molecules — masses — heavenly bodies — nebulae.
These levels form various nodal points which restrict the various qualitative modes of existence of matter in general. And thus they are not merely related in a straightforward manner as described above. The “levels” are also connected in a direction such as molecules — colloids — cells — organs — individuals — societies.
Even in the same masses, there exist “levels” of states corresponding to solids-liquids-gases. Metaphorically speaking, these circumstances may he described as having a sort of multi-dimensional structure of the fish net type, or it may be better to say that they have the onion-like structure of successive phases.
These levels are by no means mutually isolated and independent, but they are mutually connected, dependent and constantly “transformed” into each other. For example, an atom is constructed from elementary particles and a molecule is constructed from atoms, and conversely the decompositions of a molecule into atoms, an atom into elementary particles can be made.
These kinds of transformations occur constantly, with the creation of new quality and the destruction of others in ceaseless changes.” (Shoichi Sakata, June 1947)