In his "History of the Russian Revolution" Trotsky says that the peasants in Russia in 1917 were standing on "the threshold of science". Presumably they, the peasants, never got to cross this threshold because the Russian revolution failed as did the proletarian revolutionary wave worldwide. So did anyone, never mind the peasants, get to cross the threshold of science, or did this chance of a new beginning and a new scientific world view get crushed along with the revolutionary wave itself? After all, this defeat, not just for the working class, but for the whole of humanity, in so far as it was a massive set back to our human development and on-going evolution, ushered in not only the counter revolution but, eventually, more recently, decomposition itself. So is it not likely that science's threshold, so apparent to Trotsky in 1917, has not really been crossed by humanity as yet? Except perhaps by a very minuscule elite, at the private service of the bourgeoisie, and lacking the ability in capitalist society to generate a new understanding and dissemination of a scientific world understanding not available to the peasantry in 1917, or to anyone else either, you could argue, at that time or since.
Is is it possible that humanity as such has not as yet - to make a generalization - really entered the scientific age, which will be the age of scientific socialism, which we certainly have not yet reached! That what a small number of individuals or elite groups have attained scientifically so far, is only scratching at the surface of what humanity, planning and working rationally for communally generated scientific projects, will achieve under scientific socialism? That really we dont have much of a clue as to what SCIENCE as a way of life - as opposed to superstition and religions as a way of life - will actually mean? (NB. This is not to attack the modicum of science we have, or to diminish its achievements in an age when bourgeois education denies true access to science for most people, merely to see " science as a way of life " being something still in the future.)
We, and the planet, could certainly do with "science as a way of life" else there'll soon be no way of life left. Problems of population explosion, pollution, decreasing energy supplies and the need for new and better energy sources, the impending disasters posited by climate change, the wanton destruction of the planet as it is interpreted by the bourgeoisie as being there solely for their class exploitation for profit, large masses of people denied decent food, health care and education, and thus rendered unable to make worthwhile contributions for our mutual improvement as a species, all of these, and many other difficulties are the product of a society which once approached the threshold of science but unfortunately was beaten back by the blind forces of capitalism blocking the way in.
Only last week a woman in China was forced to abort her six month old baby boy as a capitalist solution to the problem of over population. She already had one child! Her aborted child, with developed fingers and feet, was shown to the tv cameras dumped in a bucket on the floor. This would teach these impudent parents a lesson would it not, for daring to challenge the state's solution to a problem which needs a scientific approach rather than the dumb response of stupid bureaucrats eager to be seen doing their job, and keen on promotion. That these shattered parents had enough stamina left to tell their story to Western media, keen to discredit "communism" and the Chinese state - as if the West has any better solutions to the over population problem, other than wringing its hands - will doubtless mean that the death of their child isn't the end of the misery for them!
On the same tv news program that contained this item, was a denunciation by a right-winger, of Ed Milliband, leader of the a Labour Party, and his castigation of a newspaper that had slandered his father: a great socialist philosopher and professor after whom Red Ed apparently takes. This critic said that as Red Ed was a well-known socialist, and therefore a serious threat to the country should he become prime minister, the said newspaper was justified - nay, fulfilling a democratic duty - in exposing the red and dirty deeds of evil socialists intent, as in Ed's case, on capping people's fuel bills and other dastardly socialist acts which would destroy the country.
This was followed by yet another news item, in which the current prime minister of the UK, giving a speech to his Party's convention, demanded a round of applause from his Tory adorers for "hard working social workers" who give so much to the country in their keeping alive the destitute and victims of capitalism's austerity who suffer increasingly under Tory hardship. (He forgot to mention that Tory hardship was in defense of failing capitalism. And also forget to say that the hard working social workers actually needed to be paid more, rather than merely being applauded for working for nothing.)
But while the the bourgeoisie from time to time may produce political "socialists" who sometimes feel sorry for the financially destitute mess in which most people live, even those with a job nowadays, this is just ad hoc feelings of sympathy - or electoral maneuvering - not the scientific socialism we want, and which alone can begin to identify and consider solutions for the monstrous problems facing us all.
So we still stand on Trotsky's threshold. Not just the threshold of science but the threshold of socialism too. And tbe Dawn of Scientific Socialism.