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Thread: Anti-Dialectics site....

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    Default Anti-Dialectics site....

    Comrades, I was debating on another forum earlier with some liberals and libertarians about capitalism, and one of them pointed me to this website in an attempt to discredit Dialectical Materialism (a site owned by a self-proclaimed Marxist). http://www.************************/Ant...So,_What_Is_DM

    What do you guys make of this? Personally, I think this dude vulgarizes DM into being some 'deterministic' philosophy (even though DM is anti-dogmatic by its very essence) in his attempt to discredit it. In my opinion, DM is the backbone of Marxism, and to take it out of Marxism is an abandonment of it, since Marx and Engels clearly used dialectics in almost all their work. What are your guys thoughts? Sorry if this site has been posted before but I'm really curious.

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    To be honest, there is a saying that I feel applies to the initial reaction that this site will probably garner here:

    No investigation, no right to speak!
    So all I will say is that without dialetics, there is no Marxism. That's a simple fact. This doesn't say anything about dialetics it's self, perhaps Marxism is wrong after all, I haven't engaged their material enough to say, but no Marxist can denounce dialectics and continue to be a Marxist. But again, perhaps Marxism is wrong. After all communism exists outside of the Marxist framework and I suppose one could still be a Communist without applying dialetics.
    Men vanish from earth leaving behind them the furrows they have ploughed. I see the furrow Lenin left sown with the unshatterable seed of a new life for mankind, and cast deep below the rolling tides of storm and lightning, mighty crops for the ages to reap.
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    Yea I agree. I mean, Marx didn't even coin the phrase or state explicitly (that I know of) that DM was central to his thought, but it is pretty self-evident that he used it extensively and thus we kind of accept it by default as being one of the central themes of Marxism as a system. Of course, maybe Marxism is wrong, but that is another matter altogether. For now, we accept it, and in doing so, it makes no sense to reject DM like this guy does. I mean, its like taking the concept of adaptation out of the process of evolution, which at that point it ceases to be evolution! This site absolutely blew my mind (not in a good way).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marxaveli View Post
    Yea I agree. I mean, Marx didn't even coin the phrase or state explicitly (that I know of) that DM was central to his thought, but it is pretty self-evident that he used it extensively and thus we kind of accept it by default as being one of the central themes of Marxism as a system. Of course, maybe Marxism is wrong, but that is another matter altogether. For now, we accept it, and in doing so, it makes no sense to reject DM like this guy does. I mean, its like taking the concept of adaptation out of the process of evolution, which at that point it ceases to be evolution!
    The very basis of Marx's critique of capitalism in Das Kapital begins with Marx noting that each commodity is a contradiction between it's use value and it's extange value. It's late so I wont' do it right now, but in the afternoon tommorow I can cite various quotes to show where the dialectics forms the basis of Marxist political economy and the critique of capitalism.

    So to be honest, I just don't see where that leaves Marx's critique of capitalism if you remove dialectics. I guess you could vulgarize the Tendency for the Rate of Profit to Decline into some sort of semi-Keynesian rubbish about technology decreasing demand until capitalism dies, but that takes away almost all of the punch and uniqueness in Marx's critique of capitalism.
    Men vanish from earth leaving behind them the furrows they have ploughed. I see the furrow Lenin left sown with the unshatterable seed of a new life for mankind, and cast deep below the rolling tides of storm and lightning, mighty crops for the ages to reap.
    ~Helen Keller
    To despise the enemy strategically is an elementary requirement for a revolutionary. Without the courage to despise the enemy and without daring to win, it will be simply impossible to make revolution and wage a people’s war, let alone to achieve victory. ~Lin Biao
    http://commiforum.forumotion.com/

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    The creator of the Anti-Dialectics site and seemingly endless chunks of text was a very prolific poster on revleft. I find it very strange.

    I appreciate the comments above. There's a strange question about what it is to be a 'Marxist'. Is it a particular view of history or social class or economics, an ethical commitment, or membership or activity in a party or movement? Or none or all of those?

    @YABM, there is a possibility that Marxism is wrong. There's also the possibility that Orthodox Marxism or specific types of Marxist thought are useful and applicable to particular questions. In my opinion, the single best contribution to Marxist thought in the past 50 years has been Braverman's Labor and Monopoly Capital which in many ways was in many ways deliberately crude theoretically. Braverman acknowledges in his introduction to the book that he is NOT addressing questions of ideology, identity, consciousness, strategy and so on, though they do come up, but his focus was on work and workers and how workers worked and bosses bossed. Great.

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    I think the owner of that site used to post a lot on Revleft before they were banned. To be honest, I could never be bothered reading any of his/her book-length posts and I'm not about to start either.
    FKA Red Godfather

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    When someone boasts:
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS]I have added approximately 35,000 words of new material (thus making the Essay 25% longer)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS]I have added just over 21,000 words of new material (making the Essay about 12% longer)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS]I have added about 7,000 words of new material (making it approximately 12% longer)[/FONT]
    etc. and then says they've fixed most of the mistakes, it is difficult to maintain any interest.

    When we were still on sort of friendly debating terms, I made a joke at Rosa L about the word count stuff and nothing funny was seen in it. You buy toothpaste that way - 25% more per tube! - but essays on the philosophy and science of Marxism?

    But, as can be found on the first page of the site, way down on the right:

    [FONT=Trebuchet MS]Anyone who objects to the length of these Essays should rather pick a fight with Marx, Engels, Plekhanov, Lenin and Trotsky -- and Hegel -- whose collected work easily dwarfs my own.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS][/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS][/FONT]

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    Default Re: Anti-Dialectics site....

    The owner of the site spent around 25 years of her life investigating this (so she claims).

    Still, I think her critique of dialectics is wrong. Though, it is not bad per se to be critical about dialectics.

    She still upholds Marxism and believes in the validity of historical materialism.
    Last edited by Comrade #138672; 24th May 2013 at 06:44.
    “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.” - Karl Marx

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    there is a possibility that Marxism is wrong
    Blasphemy! I'm still trying to get my head around diamat. I think that people who are having a hard time understanding it may go to the anti dialectics side, simply because it's simpler.
    Segui il tuo corso e lascia dir le genti.

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    I don't know man....its ok to be critical of DM, but abandoning it entirely is a vulgarization of Marxism in my opinion. Not to mention, most of her arguments, the few that are actually coherent, seem to have little merit. Without dialectics, would Marxism have even developed into a system/mode of analysis? Hard to imagine.

    As I said before, it is like taking adaptation out of evolution, and still calling it such. DM is quite complex, and I'm barely grasping it but I understand the basics of it. I find it useful overall, as well as fascinating to read about. Though admittedly it was Historical Materialism that made me become a Marxist, rather than DM.

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    Default Re: Anti-Dialectics site....

    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    Blasphemy! I'm still trying to get my head around diamat. I think that people who are having a hard time understanding it may go to the anti dialectics side, simply because it's simpler.
    According to Rosa, dialectics is hard because it is nonsensical. She attempts to demonstrate this by taking dialectics to the absurd. Also, her core argument is about showing that with dialectics change is supposedly impossible (inverting the idea that dialectics accounts for change).
    “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.” - Karl Marx

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    I saw that argument about how dialectics makes change impossible. Such a statement is pure mindfuckery I tell ya , and I have no idea how she came to that conclusion. Her whole rationale, if she even has any, is just plain bizarre. It would be like saying 'natural selection' and 'adaptation' prevent the course of evolution, lol.

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    Has anyone actually read it yet?
    'despite being a comedy, there's a lot of truth to this, black people always talking shit behind white peoples back. Blacks don't give a shit about white, why do whites give them so much "nice" attention?'

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    Default Re: Anti-Dialectics site....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jam like a Jacobin View Post
    Has anyone actually read it yet?
    Yes. Not everything, though. But I printed some pages a while ago and started reading it.
    “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.” - Karl Marx

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    I have read some of the material on the site, and I'm not exactly impressed. The author makes an interesting point from time to time (concerning isomeric molecules for example), but their examples seem to provide new examples of dialectical change rather than disproving it (since changes in the position of molecules are quantitative changes leading to qualitative changes).

    But the author's understanding of dialectical materialism is not as sound as the author believes it is. They constantly confuse materialist dialectics with Hegelian dialectics, and deal with opposite ideas instead of opposite tendencies in material phenomena.

    They object, for example, that male cats do not change into female cats. But this is absurd; "male" and "female" are often considered as opposite concepts (I would have hoped that someone that calls themselves a Marxist would know better, though), but "male" and "female" are not contradictory tendencies in individual cats. On the level of the population, the number of male and female cats are contradictory, and indeed we see a complex interplay of these numbers, driven partly by internal sexual dynamics and partly by external influences.

    I gave up on the section concerning the negation of the negation, where the author again tries to force dialectical materialism into the straightjacket of Hegelian triads and ignores the materialist meaning of the law - the retention of features of previous stages in new stages.

    At best, the author has a point against Hegel and against poor Engels when he uncritically assimilates Hegel's examples. At worst, this is a left-ish version of the Time Cube site.

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    I don't know whether or not Rosa understands historical events. While she was making a fairly logical argument in the beginning, she's now blaming Dialectical materialism's logic for the collapse of the Soviet Union and she keeps referrencing Hegel, even though DM is supposed to be a total reverse of Hegel's idealism (hence why 'Marx turned Hegel on his head').

    Still, an interesting viewpoint. I'll keep reading.
    'despite being a comedy, there's a lot of truth to this, black people always talking shit behind white peoples back. Blacks don't give a shit about white, why do whites give them so much "nice" attention?'

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    Rosa responds to the 'arguments' in this thread here:

    http://************************/Dialect...onfusion_2.htm

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    Default Re: Anti-Dialectics site....

    Wow. She actually responded to all this in a very professional way. She is so determined.

    I think I am going to do more research on this and read more of what she wrote.

    One thing I would like to ask Rosa is: she claims that "if we think like them, no wonder that we end up acting like them", but isn't this idealism?
    Last edited by Comrade #138672; 1st June 2013 at 17:18.
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    Rosa is an odd-ball, although I agree with some criticisms of the DM; but I can't take Rosa seriously, he argued that vaccines are useless and blah blah, for all his rejection of DM he's some kind of strange mystic who argues endlessly but without substance in queer semantic games designed to confuse the reader/debatee.

    Philosophy is bunk.
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    There has been a great amount of dialectical thought that is not orthodox "DM" or "diamat" or whatever you want to call it. Most of Rosa's criticisms seem to be about that orthodox school which no modern Marxist philosophers hold, as far as I can tell. A good book to try for an overview of modern philosophical dialectics is Fredric Jameson's "Valences of the Dialectic".

    Further, I think the allegations of vagueness and such are not as watertight as Rosa would like to think. These allegations, if formal, are nonsensical due to the tired old critiques of positivism/"natural types"/vulgar empiricism. The definition of what is clear or non-vague necessarily rests on intuition, which is not uniform between people. If informal, they are also nonsensical due to, once again, their hypocritical vagueness.

    If someone brings up more specific points, I can try to address those more thoroughly, but as has been remarked, there is just so much.

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