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Thread: Did Mao reject the negation of the negation?

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    Default Did Mao reject the negation of the negation?

    There is debate among Mao scholars both within China and the west on whether or not Mao rejected Engles and Lenin's concept of the Negation og the negation. In speeches through the 1930s and 1960s, Mao refers to the Negation. But in 1964 during a conversation he explicitly rejected the negation because it did not fit his theory of the Unity of Opposites. Basically Mao reduced the 3 laws into 1.

    However at other times Mao did refer to a similar concept, the negation of the affirmation. This preserved the essence of the Neg of neg, but fit better into his concept of opposites.

    He also submerged quanta into quali change as a specific example of the unity of contradictions.

    According to Mao, Unity of Contradictions was the basic law of all Dialectics, and the objective universe.

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    If he didn't he was unwise not to -- along with the other two 'laws'.

    However, I have come across speeches where he did reject it -- if I can find the details I'll post them.

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    The book MAo on DiaMat quotes a 1964 conversation where Mao explicitly rejects the Neg of Neg.

    But it may have been tongue in cheek or senile. Mao was prone to a lot of hyperbole later in life. In the 1970s he kept talking about how he was going to soon be seeing God and Marx. So I don't know how seriously to take some of his more whimsical axioms.

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    Well, Stalin (and many Stalinists) rejected the negation of the negation.

    He/they can't all have been senile.

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    I recall reading him say somewhere that he considered the negation of the negation to be a corollary of the interpenetration of opposites.

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    Well, Mao said lots of things about this mystical theory -- but he was confused about so many things, that should not really surprise us.

    Mao's ideas (in this area) are taken apart here:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...57&postcount=2

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    I don't believe Stalin ever explicitly rejected the Negation of the negation. But its conspicuous absence from his works led Soviet scholarship on the topic to die out until the 1950s

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    Perhaps not, but he never mentioned it in any of his writings on the subject -- which implies he did not accept it.

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    Logically, I don't see how "negation of the negation" can mean OTHER than an exact reversion to what was initially negated. Although I applaud the non-dialectical portions of this CPGB-PCC analysis over Ted Grant's work on Russia, I'm completely lost over the "negation of the negation" crap. After all, Russia today is NOT the backward czarist Russia.
    Last edited by Die Neue Zeit; 2nd April 2008 at 14:33.
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)

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    [FONT=Arial]Well, Hegel fused together two uses of the German word "aufheben" -- "sublate" (which means both "to destroy" and "to preserve" -- or "negate" in these two senses):[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]http://libcom.org/aufheben[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]So, the negation of the negation is supposed to depict processes in nature and society that see the destruction of one object/process but which also preserves them in a 'higher' more developed form.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]Engels used the example of the a plant negating a seed, which sees the seed destroyed and yet somehow preserved in the new plant, and so on.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]But, neither Hegel nor Engels (nor anyone else for that matter who has fallen for this word trick) ever once asked themselves whether this German word was in fact two words, not one (a bit like "bank" has many meanings -- side of a river, institution of organised theft, how to turn an aeroplane --; even though they all contain typographically identical letters, these are easily identified as three words not one).[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]This is just one of the many suspect moves that underpin the bogus theory called 'dialectics'.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]As I have argued in Essay Seven (NON = Negation of the Negation):[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]Moth-Eaten Dialectics[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]In addition, it is not easy to see how this NON-theory is applicable to other natural life-cycles. What for instance are we to make of the development of [/FONT][FONT=Arial]moths and butterflies[/FONT][FONT=Arial]? These insects go through the following developmental stages:[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]adult→egg→pupa→chrysalis→adult. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]Which is the negation of which here? And which is the NON? [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]And what about organisms that reproduce by splitting, such as amoebae and bacteria? In any such spit, which half is the negation and which the NON?[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial]Are such "splitters" enemies of dialectics -- or just natural sectarians?[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]Spare a thought, too, for Hermaphrodites, for example, the African Bat bug; for this is what the New Scientist had to say about this odd insect:[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"If you thought human sexual relationships were tricky, be thankful you're not an African bat bug. They show what could be the most extreme case of transsexualism yet discovered. Male bat bugs sport female genitalia, and some females have genitalia that mimic the male's version of the female bits -- as well as their own redundant vagina.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"Bat bugs, and their relatives the bed bugs, are renowned among entomologists for their gruesome and bizarre method of reproduction. Males never use the vagina, instead piercing the female's abdomen and inseminating directly into the blood, where the sperm then swim to the ovaries. It is this 'traumatic insemination', as it is termed, which is at the root of the extreme levels of gender bending in the African bat bug, says Klaus Reinhardt of the University of Sheffield, UK.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"Female bat bugs have evolved a countermeasure to the stabbing of the male's penis -- structures on their abdomens known as paragenitals. These are a defence mechanism that limits the damage by guiding the male's sharp penis into a spongy structure full of immune cells.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"When Reinhardt's team studied bat bugs in a cave on Mount Elgon, Kenya -- already famous as a place that elephants visit to mine for salt -- they found that the males also had defence genitals. What's more, they had scarring on their abdomens similar to that of the females following copulation. In other words, males had been using their penises to stab other males.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"If that isn't strange enough, when the team looked at 43 preserved female bat bugs, they found that 84% had male versions of the defence genitals. Females with this male version of female genitals had less scarring due to penetration than the other females.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"'This is what we think might have happened,' says Reinhardt. 'Males started getting nobbled (sic) by other males, so they evolved the female defensive genitals. As this reduced the amount of penis damage they were getting, females evolved the male version of the female genitals.'[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"While theoretical models have predicted that females should evolve different morphologies to escape male attention, this is the first time it has been seen in genitalia, Reinhardt says. 'It's a spectacular example of evolution through sexual conflict.'" [New Scientist, 195, 2622, 22/09/07, p.11. Quotation marks altered to conform to the conventions adopted here.][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]It is to be hoped that the NON visits these highly confused insects one day to give them more than just friendly counselling.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]There appear to be countless processes in nature that are NON-defying: for example, how does the NON apply to such things as the [/FONT][FONT=Arial]periodic extinction[/FONT][FONT=Arial] of life on earth (by [/FONT][FONT=Arial]meteorites[/FONT][FONT=Arial], or other ambient causes)? When a comet hits the earth (if it does), which is the negation and which the NON? And where is the development here? Do meteorites develop into anything new after they slam into the Earth? Is the resulting crater creative?[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]Furthermore, when a planet orbits a star, is there even a tiny sliver of space for the NON to gain a toe-hold? The said planet may continue to orbit for hundreds of thousands of years with little significant change (in mass, speed, inclination to the [/FONT][FONT=Arial]ecliptic[/FONT][FONT=Arial], etc.). Again, where is the development?[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]Consider, too, the thoroughly reactionary life form Myxomycota (The Slime Mould), which belongs neither to the plant nor animal kingdom, but to the Protoctista. Their life-cycle involves the following: a giant amoebal stage, followed by a slug-like existence, which morphs into a fungal-like fruiting body, which then releases spores.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]Now it might be that this organism is so primitive that it does not "understand dialectics", and has thus not quite figured out which of these four stages is the 'negation', and which the NON, let alone what 'sublates' what -- especially since the first phase of its life-cycle involves a union, a 'dialectical tautology', if you will![/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]No doubt a commissar will be assigned to 're-educate' it after the revolution.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"The Dictyosteliomycota are also known as the social amoebae. Their life cycle is considered among the most bizarre among microorganisms. It begins with free-living amoeboid cells (not to be confused with the Amoebae); there is no true plasmodium. As long as there is enough food (usually bacteria) the amoebae thrive. However, when food runs out, the amoebae send out chemical signals to surrounding amoebae. Next, they stream toward a central point and form a sluglike multicellular pseudoplasmodium, which can then migrate like a single organism. When conditions are right, the pseudoplasmodium stops migrating and forms a multicellular fruiting body. Some of the cells become spores that disseminate, while the rest form stalk cells whose only function is to raise the spores up into the air to be more easily caught in air currents." [Quoted from [/FONT][FONT=Arial]here[/FONT][FONT=Arial].][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial][To be honest, my money is on this organism having been concocted by the CIA. Who else would want to produce such an undialectical life-form?][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]In fact, the NON (or at least the second 'Law' with its UOs) seems to be coming under sustained attack for all sides of the animal and plant kingdom. Consider the sea slug:[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"Striking that happy balance between giving and receiving in a relationship can be fraught with difficulty. But not, it seems, for hermaphrodite sea slugs. These gentle soft-bodied animals, blessed with both male and female genitalia, solve the battle of the sexes by engaging in 'sperm trading'.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"They donate sperm only on the condition that they receive it, so thwarting the male desire to fertilise and run. During sex, each slug inserts its penis into the other and one transfers a small package of sperm. The transfer of further sperm will only proceed if the other partner reciprocates by transferring a package of its sperm.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"That hermaphrodite sex worked this way was suggested 20 years ago but this is the first time it has been demonstrated. Nico Michiels and colleagues at the University of Tübingen, Germany, sealed off the sperm ducts of Chelidonura hirundinina sea slugs so that they could insert the penis but not transfer sperm.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"In 57 staged sexual encounters, sea slugs paired with a 'cheating' partner, unable to transfer sperm, were more likely to abandon sex than animals paired with a 'fair trader' (Current Biology, 15, p.792).[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"'I expect that sperm trading is widespread in hermaphrodites,' says Michiels. 'These sea slugs have found a way to optimise sperm transfer so that both partners benefit.'" [New Scientist, 2521, 15/10/05. Quotation marks altered to conform to the conventions adopted here.][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]There seems to be a unity of non-opposites going on here. And don't even think about the fire ant:[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"It is often said that males and females are different species. For the little fire ant, that seems to be literally true.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"The ant Wasmannia auropunctata, which is native to Central and South America but has spread into the US and beyond, has opted for a unique stand-off in the battle of the sexes. Both queens and males reproduce by making genetically identical copies of themselves -- so males and females seem to have entirely separate gene pools.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"The only time they reproduce conventionally is to produce workers, says Denis Fournier from the Free University of Brussels...in Belgium, a member of the team that discovered the phenomenon (Nature, 435, p.1230). But workers are sterile and never pass on their genes.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"This is the first reported case in the animal kingdom of males reproducing exclusively by cloning, although male honeybees do it occasionally.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"But it is too early to assume male and female gene pools are entirely separate, cautions Andrew Bourke from the Institute of Zoology in London. Males may occasionally reproduce by mating with a queen to top up the gene pool. Fournier's study analysed DNA from 199 queens, 41 males and 264 workers collected in New Caledonia in the south Pacific, and French Guiana. Only a much larger study could rule out gene pool mixing, he says." [New Scientist, 2506, 02/07/05.][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]And, such benighted creatures are not confined to the non-vertebrate world, for evolution has thrown up the mangrove Killifish:[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"Something fishy is happening in the mangrove forests of the western Atlantic. A fish is living in the trees.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"The mangrove killifish (Kryptolebias marmoratus) is a tiny fish that lives in ephemeral pools of water around the roots of mangroves. When these dry up the 100-milligram fish can survive for months in moist spots on land. Being stranded high and dry makes it hard to find a mate, but fortunately the killifish doesn't need a partner to reproduce. It is the only known hermaphrodite vertebrate that is self-fertilising.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"Now biologists wading through muddy mangrove swamps in Belize and Florida have discovered another exceptional adaptation. Near dried-up pools, they found hundreds of killifish lined up end to end, like peas in a pod, inside the tracks carved out by insects in rotting logs. "They really don't meet standard behavioural criteria for fish," says Scott Taylor of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program in Florida, who reports the findings in an upcoming issue of [/FONT][FONT=Arial]The American Naturalist[/FONT][FONT=Arial]....[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"The rotting logs may help explain how killifish occupy such a large range, stretching from southern Brazil to central Florida. Self-fertilisation makes it easy for individuals to colonise new places, and dead logs are good rafts for getting around, says John Avise, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Irvine. 'They might be washed ashore in a rotting log and start a new population.'" [New Scientist, 196, 2626, 20/10/07, p.20. Quotation marks altered to conform to the conventions adopted here.][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]Even worse news, for it now seems that scientists can further 'negate' this 'Law' as it applies to an already NON-confused semi-hermaphrodite worm:[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"The sexual preferences of microscopic worms have been manipulated in the laboratory so that they are attracted to the same sex, offering new evidence that sexuality may be hard-wired in the brain. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"By activating a single gene in the brains of hermaphrodite nematode worms, scientists have induced them to attempt to mate with other hermaphrodites, instead of being attracted exclusively to males....[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"While nematode worms are extremely simple organisms, and details of their behaviour are difficult to apply to people with any accuracy, the researchers said that the existence of a biological pathway to same-sex attraction offered a possible insight into human sexuality.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Arial]"Erik Jorgensen, Professor of Biology at the University of Utah, who led the study, said: 'Our conclusions are narrow in that they are about worms and how attraction behaviours are derived from the same brain circuit.'...[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"'We cannot say what this means for human sexual orientation, but it raises the possibility that sexual preference is wired in the brain. Humans are subject to evolutionary forces just like worms. It seems possible that if sexual orientation is genetically wired in worms, it would be in people too. Humans have free will, so the picture is more complicated in people.'[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"Nematode worms, of the species Caenorhabditis elegans, are one millimetre long and live in soil, where they feed on bacteria. The overwhelming majority -- more than 99.9 per cent -- are hermaphrodites, which produce both sperm and eggs and generally fertilise themselves before laying eggs.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"About 0.05 per cent of nematodes are male, however, and these worms must seek out hermaphrodites to reproduce. Hermaphrodites will mate with an available male rather than fertilise themselves, and though they produce sperm they will not impregnate other hermaphrodites as they lack the required copulatory structure.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"There are no true females and hermaphrodites were treated as female for the purposes of the study. C. elegans shares many of its genes with human beings and other animals, and is a standard organism used for early laboratory studies of genetics.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"'A hermaphrodite makes both eggs and sperm,' Professor Jorgensen said. 'She doesn't need to mate [with a male] to have progeny. Most of the time, the hermaphrodites do not mate. But if they mate, instead of having 200 progeny, they can have 1,200 progeny.'[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial]"As the worms have no eyes -- hermaphrodites have only 959 cells and males 1,031 cells -- they detect one another's sex using scent cues.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"In the study, published in the journal Current Biology, the scientists activated a gene called fem-3 in hermaphrodites. This gene makes the nematode body develop as male, with neurons that appear only in male brains and copulatory structures such as tails.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"In the experiment, fem-3 was activated only in the brain, so the worms developed male nerve cells but not other male body characteristics. Despite this, they behaved like males, attempting to seek out and fertilise other hermaphrodites.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"'They look like girls, but act and think like boys,' said Jamie White, who conducted the key experiments. 'The [same-sex attraction] behaviour is part of the nervous system.'[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"Professor Jorgensen said: 'The conclusion is that sexual attraction is wired into brain circuits common to both sexes of worms, and is not caused solely by extra nerve cells added to the male or female brain. The reason males and females behave differently is that the same nerve cells have been rewired to alter sexual preference.'[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"In a second phase of the study, the scientists manipulated different kinds of nerve cell in the male brain to determine which were responsible for switching on male attraction to hermaphrodites. They found that, although switching off one of the eight sensory neurons impaired attraction in adults, young males developed normally if just one such nerve cell was intact. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]"This finding suggests that there is considerable redundancy built into the sexual development of males. Dr White said: 'It must be that the behaviour is very important.'" [The Times, 26/10/07. Quotation marks altered to conform to the conventions adopted here.][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]How many more counter-examples do we need before this 'Law' turns into its own opposite: a NON-law?[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial]More here:[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/page%2007.htm[/FONT]
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 2nd April 2008 at 16:12. Reason: Correcting a typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Richter View Post
    Logically, I don't see how "negation of the negation" can mean OTHER than an exact reversion to what was initially negated. Although I applaud the non-dialectical portions of this CPGB-PCC analysis over Ted Grant's work on Russia, I'm completely lost over the "negation of the negation" crap. After all, Russia today is NOT the backward czarist Russia.
    This is not what negation of the negation means.

    The bourgeoisie negated the feudal aristocracy: it was the negation of it. In the processes of negating it, it created its own negation, the proletariat. Therefore the negator (or negation) set in motion its own negation.
    Last edited by Zurdito; 2nd April 2008 at 16:50.
    Leninís internationalism is by no means a form of reconciliation of Nationalism and Internationalism in words but a form of international revolutionary action. The territory of the earth inhabited by so-called civilized man is looked upon as a coherent field of combat on which the separate peoples and classes wage gigantic warfare against each other. No single question of importance can be forced into a national frame.

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    Z:

    The bourgeoisie negated the feudal aristocracy: it was the negation of it. In the processes of negating it, it created its own negation, the proletariat. Therefore the negator (or negation) set in motion its own negation.
    But, according to the dialectical prophets -- quotations here:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...6&postcount=27

    -- things can only change if they are in dialectical tension ('internal/external contradiction') with their opposites, which they then turn into.

    In that case, the bourgeoisie turned into the feudal aristocracy, and vice versa.

    Just one more dialectical screw-up...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Z:



    But, according to the dialectical prophets -- quotations here:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...6&postcount=27

    -- things can only change if they are in dialectical tension ('internal/external contradiction') with their opposites, which they then turn into.

    In that case, the bourgeoisie turned into the feudal aristocracy, and vice versa.

    Just one more dialectical screw-up...
    The bourgeoisie, through its tension with the ruling class, then became the ruling class itself.

    The working class will do the same.
    Leninís internationalism is by no means a form of reconciliation of Nationalism and Internationalism in words but a form of international revolutionary action. The territory of the earth inhabited by so-called civilized man is looked upon as a coherent field of combat on which the separate peoples and classes wage gigantic warfare against each other. No single question of importance can be forced into a national frame.

    Leon Trotsky

    TVPTS - 24hr news, analysis and opinion, from a revolutionary perspective

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    Z:

    The bourgeoisie, through its tension with the ruling class, then became the ruling class itself.

    The working class will do the same.
    But, the ruling class in this case is the feudal aristocracy.

    So, once more the bourgeois must have become the feudal aristocracy, and vice versa.

    And the proletariat must become capitalists, and vice versa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Z:



    But, the ruling class in this case is the feudal aristocracy.

    So, once more the bourgeois must have become the feudal aristocracy, and vice versa.

    And the proletariat must become capitalists, and vice versa.
    This is wrong because within a mode of production, the classes in tension with each other can't simply be classified as "opposites" by taking each one of their characteristics and osmehow assuming it to be "opposite" to that of the class which they negate. That is vulgar Marxism.

    Rather, these distinct classes are "opposite" in the sense that one is the revolutionary class, and the other is the ruling class.

    In Marx's dialectic, the revolutionary class becomes the ruling class. The extent to which feudal and bourgeoisie, or bourgeoisie and proletariat, are oppsoites, is the extent to which one is the ruling class, and the other is the revolutionary class. Therefore, to the extent which they are opposites, one takes over the role of that which it negated.
    Last edited by Zurdito; 2nd April 2008 at 19:24.
    Leninís internationalism is by no means a form of reconciliation of Nationalism and Internationalism in words but a form of international revolutionary action. The territory of the earth inhabited by so-called civilized man is looked upon as a coherent field of combat on which the separate peoples and classes wage gigantic warfare against each other. No single question of importance can be forced into a national frame.

    Leon Trotsky

    TVPTS - 24hr news, analysis and opinion, from a revolutionary perspective

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    Z:
     
    This is wrong because within a mode of production, the classes in tension with each other can't simply be classified as "opposites" by taking each one of their characteristics and somehow assuming it to be "opposite" to that of the class which they negate. That is vulgar Marxism.
     
    So you say, but Lenin disagrees:
     
    "[Among the elements of dialectics are the following:] [I]nternally contradictory tendencies…in [a thing]…as the sum and unity of opposites…. [This involves] not only the unity of opposites, but the transitions of every determination, quality, feature, side, property into every other [into its opposite?]….
     
    "In brief, dialectics can be defined as the doctrine of the unity of opposites. This embodies the essence of dialectics….
     
    "The splitting of the whole and the cognition of its contradictory parts…is the essence (one of the 'essentials', one of the principal, if not the principal, characteristic features) of dialectics…. 

    "The identity of opposites…is the recognition…of the contradictory, mutually exclusive, opposite tendencies in all phenomena and processes of nature…. The condition for the knowledge of all processes of the world in their 'self-movement', in their spontaneous development, in their real life, is the knowledge of them as a unity of opposites. Development is the 'struggle' of opposites…. [This] alone furnishes the key to the self-movement of everything existing…. 
     
    "The unity…of opposites is conditional, temporary, transitory, relative. The struggle of mutually exclusive opposites is absolute, just as development and motion are absolute…." [Lenin (1961), pp.221-22, 357-58.]
    Notice, according to Lenin --, the 'vulgar Marxist' that he is --, everything turns into everything else: "the transitions of every determination, quality, feature, side, property into every other [into its opposite?]". So the feudal aristocracy must turn into the bourgeoisie, and vice versa, as well as into, for example, tables and chairs, TV sets, the Moon, you, me, George W Bush..., and vice versa.

    So, I was perhaps a little too conservative in limiting the changes in my last post.

    Now, even if you reject what Lenin said, you are not out of the non-dialectical wood, for you argued in your last post but one:

    The bourgeoisie, through its tension with the ruling class, then became the ruling class itself.
    So, the ruling class in those days was the feudal aristocracy; in that case, as I noted before, the bourgeoisie must turn into the feudal aristocracy, and vice versa.

    Rather, these distinct classes are "opposite" in the sense that one is the revolutionary class, and the other is the ruling class.
    Indeed, and these classes are: the bourgeoisie and the feudal aristocracy. So, once more they must turn into one another, and then back again.

    In Marx's dialectic, the revolutionary class becomes the ruling class. The extent to which feudal and bourgeoisie, or bourgeoisie and proletariat, are opposites, is the extent to which one is the ruling class, and the other is the revolutionary class. Therefore, to the extent which they are opposites, one takes over the role of that which it negated.
    Once more, the proletariat must therefore turn into the bourgeoisie, and the latter must turn into the proletariat.

    What a wonderful theory this is...

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    So you say, but Lenin disagrees:
    I don't see the relevance. The only bit that might suggest Lenin contradicting me would be the part in brackets - but, was that you who wrote it?

    Regarding the rest of it,I concede you could probably find some badly worded or even incorrect sentences by Lenin in dialectics. what does that prove?


    So, the ruling class in those days was the feudal aristocracy; in that case, as I noted before, the bourgeoisie must turn into the feudal aristocracy, and vice versa.
    Wrong. The revolutionary class turns into the ruling class. Repeating your msitake doesn't make it true, it just makes you wrong twice instead of once.

    Indeed, and these classes are: the bourgeoisie and the feudal aristocracy. So, once more they must turn into one another, and then back again.
    In terms of class struggle, ruling class and revolutionary class are opposites. the revolutionary class becomes trhe ruling classs. To this extent, the revolutionary class becomes its opposite.

    The extent to which the bourgeosiie did not become the feudal aristocracy is the extent to which it was merely different, and not opposite. You seem to suggest that every difference between the two classes implied an "opposite". I repeat: that's vulgar. They were opposite ins peficic ways, and in these ways, the borugeoisie did indeed become the things it had once fought against.



    Once more, the proletariat must therefore turn into the bourgeoisie, and the latter must turn into the proletariat.
    Wrong again.
    Leninís internationalism is by no means a form of reconciliation of Nationalism and Internationalism in words but a form of international revolutionary action. The territory of the earth inhabited by so-called civilized man is looked upon as a coherent field of combat on which the separate peoples and classes wage gigantic warfare against each other. No single question of importance can be forced into a national frame.

    Leon Trotsky

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    Z:

    The only bit that might suggest Lenin contradicting me would be the part in brackets - but, was that you who wrote it?
    No, it is in the original. Lenin says everything turns into everything else -- whacko or what?

    But, if you do not like Lenin, perhaps you will like Engels and Plekhanov:

    "The law of the interpenetration of opposites.... [M]utual penetration of polar opposites and transformation into each other when carried to extremes...." [Engels (1954), pp.17, 62.]

    "Dialectics, so-called objective dialectics, prevails throughout nature, and so-called subjective dialectics, dialectical thought, is only the reflection of the motion through opposites which asserts itself everywhere in nature, and which by the continual conflict of the opposites and. their final passage into one another, or into higher forms, determines the life of nature. Attraction and repulsion. Polarity begins with magnetism, it is exhibited in one and the same body; in the case of electricity it distributes itself over two or more bodies which become oppositely charged. All chemical processes reduce themselves -- to processes of chemical attraction and repulsion. Finally, in organic life the formation of the cell nucleus is likewise to be regarded as a polarisation of the living protein material, and from the simple cell -- onwards the theory of evolution demonstrates how each advance up to the most complicated plant on the one side, and up to man on the other, is effected by the continual conflict between heredity and adaptation. In this connection it becomes evident how little applicable to such forms of evolution are categories like 'positive' and 'negative.' One can conceive of heredity as the positive, conservative side, adaptation as the negative side that continually destroys what has been inherited, but one can just as well take adaptation as the creative, active, positive activity, and heredity as the resisting, passive, negative activity." [Ibid., p.211.]

    "For a stage in the outlook on nature where all differences become merged in intermediate steps, and all opposites pass into one another through intermediate links, the old metaphysical method of thought no longer suffices. Dialectics, which likewise knows no hard and fast lines, no unconditional, universally valid 'either-or' and which bridges the fixed metaphysical differences, and besides 'either-or' recognises also in the right place 'both this-and that' and reconciles the opposites, is the sole method of thought appropriate in the highest degree to this stage. Of course, for everyday use, for the small change of science, the metaphysical categories retain their validity." [Ibid., p.212-13.]

    "Further, we find upon closer investigation that the two poles of an antithesis positive and negative, e.g., are as inseparable as they are opposed and that despite all their opposition, they mutually interpenetrate. And we find, in like manner, that cause and effect are conceptions which only hold good in their application to individual cases; but as soon as we consider the individual cases in their general connection with the universe as a whole, they run into each other, and they become confounded when we contemplate that universal action and reaction in which causes and effects are eternally changing places, so that what is effect here and now will be cause there and then, and vice versa." [Engels (1976), p.27.]

    "Already in Rousseau, therefore, we find not only a line of thought which corresponds exactly to the one developed in Marx's Capital, but also, in details, a whole series of the same dialectical turns of speech as Marx used: processes which in their nature are antagonistic, contain a contradiction; transformation of one extreme into its opposite; and finally, as the kernel of the whole thing, the negation of the negation. [Ibid., p.179.]

    "And so every phenomenon, by the action of those same forces which condition its existence, sooner or later, but inevitably, is transformed into its own opposite…." [Plekhanov (1956), p.77.]
    Engels (1954) is 'Dialectics of Nature'; Engels (1976) is 'Anti-Duhring'; Plekhanov (1956) is 'The Development of the Monist View of History'.

    Or perhaps Novack:

    "This dialectical activity is universal. There is no escaping from its unremitting and relentless embrace. 'Dialectics gives expression to a law which is felt in all grades of consciousness and in general experience. Everything that surrounds us may be viewed as an instance of dialectic. We are aware that everything finite, instead of being inflexible and ultimate, is rather changeable and transient; and this is exactly what we mean by the dialectic of the finite, by which the finite, as implicitly other than it is, is forced to surrender its own immediate or natural being, and to turn suddenly into its opposite.' (Encyclopedia, p.120)." [Novack (1971), 94-95; quoting Hegel (1975), p.118, although in a different translation from the one used here. Bold added.]
    Novack (1975) is 'An Introduction To The Logic Of Marxism'.

    Or maybe Woods and Grant:

    "Contradiction is an essential feature of all being. It lies at the heart of matter itself. It is the source of all motion, change, life and development. The dialectical law which expresses this idea is the law of the unity and interpenetration of opposites….

    "In dialectics, sooner or later, things change into their opposite. In the words of the Bible, 'the first shall be last and the last shall be first.' We have seen this many times, not least in the history of great revolutions. Formerly backward and inert layers can catch up with a bang. Consciousness develops in sudden leaps. This can be seen in any strike. And in any strike we can see the elements of a revolution in an undeveloped, embryonic form. In such situations, the presence of a conscious and audacious minority can play a role quite similar to that of a catalyst in a chemical reaction. In certain instances, even a single individual can play an absolutely decisive role....

    "This universal phenomenon of the unity of opposites is, in reality the motor-force of all motion and development in nature…. Movement which itself involves a contradiction, is only possible as a result of the conflicting tendencies and inner tensions which lie at the heart of all forms of matter....

    "Contradictions are found at all levels of nature, and woe betide the logic that denies it. Not only can an electron be in two or more places at the same time, but it can move simultaneously in different directions. We are sadly left with no alternative but to agree with Hegel: they are and are not. Things change into their opposite. Negatively-charged electrons become transformed into positively-charged positrons. An electron that unites with a proton is not destroyed, as one might expect, but produces a new particle, a neutron, with a neutral charge.

    "This is an extension of the law of the unity and interpenetration of opposites. It is a law which permeates the whole of nature, from the smallest phenomena to the largest...." [Woods and Grant (1995), pp.43-47, 63-71. Bold added.]
    This is from 'Reason in Revolt', first edition.

    Or Rob Sewell:

    "'The contradiction, however, is the source of all movement and life; only in so far as it contains a contradiction can anything have movement, power, and effect.' (Hegel). 'In brief', states Lenin, 'dialectics can be defined as the doctrine of the unity of opposites. This embodies the essence of dialectics…'

    "The world in which we live is a unity of contradictions or a unity of opposites: cold-heat, light-darkness, Capital-Labour, birth-death, riches-poverty, positive-negative, boom-slump, thinking-being, finite-infinite, repulsion-attraction, left-right, above- below, evolution-revolution, chance-necessity, sale-purchase, and so on.

    "The fact that two poles of a contradictory antithesis can manage to coexist as a whole is regarded in popular wisdom as a paradox. The paradox is a recognition that two contradictory, or opposite, considerations may both be true. This is a reflection in thought of a unity of opposites in the material world.

    "Motion, space and time are nothing else but the mode of existence of matter. Motion, as we have explained is a contradiction, -- being in one place and another at the same time. It is a unity of opposites. 'Movement means to be in this place and not to be in it; this is the continuity of space and time -- and it is this which first makes motion possible.' (Hegel)

    "To understand something, its essence, it is necessary to seek out these internal contradictions. Under certain circumstances, the universal is the individual, and the individual is the universal. That things turn into their opposites, -- cause can become effect and effect can become cause -- is because they are merely links in the never-ending chain in the development of matter.

    "Lenin explains this self-movement in a note when he says, 'Dialectics is the teaching which shows how opposites can be and how they become identical -- under what conditions they are identical, becoming transformed into one another -- why the human mind should grasp these opposites not as dead, rigid, but living, conditional, mobile, becoming transformed into one another.'" [Rob Sewell, from the IMT website. Bold added.]
    So, all these 'vulgar Marxists' disagree with you, and agree with me.

    Regarding the rest of it,I concede you could probably find some badly worded or even incorrect sentences by Lenin in dialectics. what does that prove?
    But, all of dialectics is badly-worded, as the above show.

    The revolutionary class turns into the ruling class
    Ok: in late feudal society the revolutionary class was, according to you, the bourgeoisie, and the ruling class was the feudal aristocracy. These were the classes in actual struggle.

    So, according to the dialectical prophets above, they should turn into one another.

    In that case, I was right: the bourgeoisie should turn into the feudal aristocracy, and the feudal aristocracy should turn into the bourgeoisie.

    If you deny this, then you will need to say who or what exactly these two classes were struggling against.

    The extent to which the bourgeosiie did not become the feudal aristocracy is the extent to which it was merely different, and not opposite. You seem to suggest that every difference between the two classes implied an "opposite". I repeat: that's vulgar. They were opposite ins peficic ways, and in these ways, the borugeoisie did indeed become the things it had once fought against.
    Well, 'the ruling class' is an abstraction. It cannot struggle, only its members can, and here the members were real, live feudal aristocrats.

    Are you saying that the class the bourgeoisie were struggling against -- very real, material aristocrats -- were not their opposites?

    But, according to the dialectical prophets, opposites are locked in struggle.

    So, as soon as we can identify the actual classes on the ground in struggle, but refuse to impose an abstraction on things, we should be able to identify these opposites.

    What do we find?

    Oh dear! Bourgeois merchants and early entrepreneurs in actual struggle with real live material feudal aristocrats.

    Conclusion: the latter were indeed the opposites of the former.

    So, they should turn into one another.

    All hale the loopy dialectic...

    [And the forces of production should turn into the relations of production -- oops!]
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 2nd April 2008 at 21:43.

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    Not that I am a fan of dialectics, but I think the problem here is a minor semantic point. They will not turn into each-other, as productive relations will transform themselves all the time, creating new class systems.

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    But that leaves dialecticians with no theory of change -- just a mere description of it.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 4th April 2008 at 10:49.

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