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Thread: Scrapping Dialectics: What would be lost?

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    Default Scrapping Dialectics: What would be lost?

    [FONT=&quot]The assertion that dialectics is somehow central to Marxism, and by extension that you cannot have Marxism without dialectics, is thrown around from time to time. I have never been exactly clear on what exactly would be lost (apart from confusion) if dialectics were to be scrapped? What is it that Marxism would fail to be able to explain? Why would it no longer be Marxism?

    Would a proponent of dialectics care to explain this?

    [/FONT]
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 25th May 2008 at 19:24.

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    Not much, comrade.

    "Double-duth" dialectics jargon cannot CONNECT with the workers' movement (again, merger formula).

    Now, if some dialectician here wishes to prove me wrong, then let that person illustrate the "dialectics" behind "peace, land, and bread."
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Richter View Post
    Not much, comrade.

    "Double-duth" dialectics jargon cannot CONNECT with the workers' movement (again, merger formula).

    Now, if some dialectician here wishes to prove me wrong, then let that person illustrate the "dialectics" behind "peace, land, and bread."
    Excellent point. I would actually add this to my set of questions: even setting aside the theoretical aspects of dialectics (which I think nonsense), what exactly is suppose to be its practical impact on the communist movement?

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    you would the lose the understanding that all things are permanently changing and that the character of something can never be established by studying the thing itself, but by observing its role as part of and in relation to a permanently developing whole, and udnerstanding the way in which the relation of the whole to that thing define the qualities of that thing, which then act back on the whole, etc.
    Last edited by Zurdito; 25th May 2008 at 19:49.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zurdito View Post
    you would the lose the understanding that all things are permanently changing and that the character of something can never be established by studying the thing itself, but by observing its role as part of and in relation to a permanently developing whole, and understanding the way in which the relation of the whole to that thing define the qualities of that thing, which then act back on the whole, etc.
    Zurdito, all of what you just said could have been said in two words instead of one lengthy, quasi-legalese sentence: avoiding reductionism.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    [FONT=&quot]The assertion that dialectics is somehow central to Marxism, and by extension that you cannot have Marxism without dialectics, is thrown around from time to time. I have never been exactly clear on what exactly would be lost (apart from confusion) if dialectics were to be scrapped? What is it that Marxism would fail to be able to explain? Why would it no longer be Marxism?

    Would a proponent of dialectics care to explain this?

    [/FONT]
    What would be lost is the entirety of Marxism qua philosophy -- historical materialism which interprets history scientifically. Without a worldview -- historical materialism -- and a methodology -- dialectics -- there's nothing to explain and nothing by which to explain anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Richter View Post
    Zurdito, all of what you just said could have been said in two words instead of one lengthy, quasi-legalese sentence: avoiding reductionism.
    "Avoiding reductionism" doesn't constitute a philosophy.

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    the truth woul d b e lost.

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    the truth woul d b e lost.
    Care to back that up?
    I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. - Douglas Adams



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    Z:

    you would the lose the understanding that all things are permanently changing and that the character of something can never be established by studying the thing itself, but by observing its role as part of and in relation to a permanently developing whole, and udnerstanding the way in which the relation of the whole to that thing define the qualities of that thing, which then act back on the whole, etc.
    Not so; not only can we explain change in ordinary language far better than in dialectics, dialectics itself cannot explain change, as I demonstrated here:

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

    So, by scrapping dialectics, we would lose nothing except a theory that has presided over 150 years of almost total failure.

    And good riddance...

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    Quote Originally Posted by trivas7 View Post
    What would be lost is the entirety of Marxism qua philosophy -- historical materialism which interprets history scientifically. Without a worldview -- historical materialism -- and a methodology -- dialectics -- there's nothing to explain and nothing by which to explain anything.
    That’s downright idealism. What you’re saying amounts to asserting that the world, somehow, depends on dialectics for its existence.

    The world, which is presumably what we’re trying to explain, is still there no matter what methodology you choose. For example, if your pet theory denied gravity, I don’t think you’d be able to jump off a skyscraper (without a parachute) and hope to survive. The world is indifferent to your theories.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 25th May 2008 at 20:58.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Not so; not only can we explain change in ordinary language far better than in dialectics, dialectics itself cannot explain change...
    Quite right. I would challenge any dialectician to offer a meaningful dialectical statement (if such a thing exists) which cannot be translated into ordinary language. Anything dialectics can do, ordinary language can be better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    Thatís downright idealism. What youíre saying amounts to asserting that the world, somehow, depends on dialectics for its existence.
    Not all philosophy is idealist.

    It's man who is trying to explain the world; it's man who needs a philosophy to change it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Z:
    Not so; not only can we explain change in ordinary language far better than in dialectics, dialectics itself cannot explain change, as I demonstrated here:
    So all you're saying here is that you're not a Marxist -- which is predicated on dialectical materialism. Fine with me.

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    No "peace, land, and bread" dialectician-takers so far...

    Quote Originally Posted by trivas7 View Post
    "Avoiding reductionism" doesn't constitute a philosophy.
    Maybe, but it is a challenge for those claiming to be revolutionary Marxists, and reductionism can present itself in a whole manner of forms: binary thinking, traditional schematism, turning necessities into virtues, spontaneism, organizational fetishism, etc.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by trivas7 View Post
    Not all philosophy is idealist.
    I never claimed that all philosophy was idealist; I stated that dialectics is idealist.

    Quote Originally Posted by trivas7 View Post
    It's man who is trying to explain the world; it's man who needs a philosophy to change it
    Hardly. In order to effectively change anything you likely need, at least some, understanding of what you’re trying to change. Not any philosophy will do, especially not ones that are either false, and certainly not those that don’t even qualify for the relatively high position of being able to be false, i.e. those that are nonsense.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 25th May 2008 at 21:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    [FONT=&quot]The assertion that dialectics is somehow central to Marxism, and by extension that you cannot have Marxism without dialectics, is thrown around from time to time. I have never been exactly clear on what exactly would be lost (apart from confusion) if dialectics were to be scrapped? What is it that Marxism would fail to be able to explain? Why would it no longer be Marxism?

    Would a proponent of dialectics care to explain this?

    [/FONT]
    I think that if we were to completely lose the social connotation for the dialectical movement, we would lose a lot of what makes marxism a really analytical system. But I think that we should be able to look at the rest of marxism as it exists analytically, and I don't think dialectics really has much to offer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trivas7 View Post
    So all you're saying here is that you're not a Marxist -- which is predicated on dialectical materialism. Fine with me.
    You’ve made a claim, that Marxism is predicated on dialectical materialism, without backing it up. That is what is at question here. If this is so, please show us some central component of Marxism that either a) cannot be rephrased into ordinary language, or b) isn’t nonsense that we should abandon.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 25th May 2008 at 21:24.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean View Post
    I think that if we were to completely lose the social connotation for the dialectical movement, we would lose a lot of what makes marxism a really analytical system. But I think that we should be able to look at the rest of marxism as it exists analytically, and I don't think dialectics really has much to offer.
    Sorry, could you elaborate? Iím afraid Iím not following you. (Iím not even clear on whether youíre opposed to or in support of dialectics).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    Sorry, could you elaborate? I’m afraid I’m not following you. (I’m not even clear on whether you’re opposed to or in support of dialectics).
    I'm not opposed to it becasue I don't know what opposing it would entail.

    I used to think that it was a neat idea, but I was always kind've uncertain, there awas always something missing. Then I realized that it was describign nothing more than serious inquiry, within the framework of a specific dynamic. I think it is therefore needlessly restrictive, and in many cases pretty empty.

    Like I pointed out before, I am not really in support of it, because it seems pretty useless. But I think the terminology, and the relevence it has in society, is positive in that it grants a more inquisitive air to what it means to be a marxist.

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