by Michael Ortiz
from Truthout Website
Therefore, understanding the
relationship between human beings and the
quantum reality of the
universe becomes paramount if we seek to truly understand and
transform the social and structural systems of inequality that we
have created for ourselves.
The double-slit experiment essentially launched particles through a single slit, whereby each particle left a residual mark on the back wall where it landed (creating a single band pattern).
Even when particles were launched through the two slits one at a time, they still created an interference pattern. (This occurrence is impossible according to classical quantum physics.) So, in order to figure out how this interference pattern was occurring, physicists placed a measuring device by the slits to observe the particles after they were launched.
Astonishingly, when the particles were launched with the measuring device in place, they actually created a residual mark of a double band pattern (which was expected in the first place).
What physicists determined was that, prior to being observed, each single particle actually existed as a wave of potentials that simultaneously went through both slits at the same time; thus interfering with itself and leaving a residual interference pattern.
The more we look at elementary particles, the more we realize that there is actually no such thing as one electron or one photon on its own. A particle exists only in relationship to the state that it finds itself in, with no generic or concrete form.
So, the more we examine "solid matter"
in great detail, the less solid it actually becomes.
Now, contradictory to contemporary quantum mechanics is the traditional conception of solid matter as the "substance" of the universe.
Why is this important? Because,
Most of us in contemporary Western culture have been socialized to view the world through a consumerist lens (among a plethora of other social lenses) which implies that a solid, material realm objectively exists.
Furthermore, the system of capitalism
creates the conditions necessary for more and more people to
actively participate in practices that perpetuate the misconception
that a solid, material world inexorably dictates our perceptions and
belief systems. Maximized material conquest and material gain
becomes the modus operandi of a capitalistic system.
Here we see some of the characteristics of neoliberal capitalism which subscribe to the notion that the world be defined in "material" terms.
The ruling ideology of capitalism has sought out to extinguish any alternative thought or knowledge that understands the world in immaterial terms and replace it with the narrow ideology of materialism, consumerism, commodification.
The more people who are complicit in capitalist ideology (among other forms of dominant ideologies), the stronger the possibilities become to fetishize and develop the concept of "the material." all while the expropriation of vast forms of land, wealth, resources and capital become normalized and accepted.
Furthermore, once all "material" resources have become
accessed (or more importantly not accessed by the majority of
people), exploited and exhausted, then the majority of people become
even more subjected to the harsh and misleading conditions that
capitalism inflicts upon them.
Traditional criticisms of capitalism typically focus on the exploitation of labor and human bodies, as well as massive class inequalities and social injustice; however, they leave out one crucial aspect in it all: that capitalist ideology and capitalist operation mislead us about the nature of the universe (which includes the nature of ourselves since we are part of the universe, as well).
With that said, we can actually use our knowledge of quantum mechanics to transform our perceptions about the world around us, thus alleviating some of the conditions that capitalism creates for us.
Even Einstein alluded to the idea that we can utilize science to,
As Peter Dreier states:
If Einstein could apply his knowledge of
science and the quantum reality to social injustice and systemic
inequality, then there is no reason that we cannot do the same here
This systemic discord or imbalance is bound to perpetuate the likes of environmental devastation and vast human suffering.
Furthermore, one of the unspoken consequences of capitalistic operation is the alienation from one's humanity and from nature. Not only are we inundated by a social and economic matrix of domination every single day, but that very matrix detaches us from the universe (or nature) in a sense.
So, we should not just look to eradicate
the deleterious conditions of capitalism, but rather, we should look
to understand and work in accordance with the universe, so that
destructive systemic conditions do not even come into existence in
the first place.
However, we can use quantum mechanics to
create an entirely new way of viewing and operating inside of the
world, which would require a drastic philosophical and ideological
change of epic proportion. Epic change, perhaps, is a concept that
we may need to start entertaining.
In relative terms to the rest of the
entire universe, quantum mechanics shows us just how narrow,
constrictive and destructive the system of capitalism actually is.