Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 115

Thread: To Rosa....Marx on dialectics?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    8,632
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    36

    Default To Rosa....Marx on dialectics?

    Ok so I was starting to re-read Capital yesterday and looked over the Afterword of the second German edition of the book...and Marx basically says there that he used the dialectical method in its demystified form to write it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Marx
    My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To Hegel, the life-process of the human brain, i.e., the process of thinking, which, under the name of “the Idea,” he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of “the Idea.” With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought.

    The mystifying side of Hegelian dialectic I criticised nearly thirty years ago, at a time when it was still the fashion. But just as I was working at the first volume of “Das Kapital,” it was the good pleasure of the peevish, arrogant, mediocre Epigonoi [Epigones – Büchner, Dühring and others] who now talk large in cultured Germany, to treat Hegel in same way as the brave Moses Mendelssohn in Lessing’s time treated Spinoza, i.e., as a “dead dog.” I therefore openly avowed myself the pupil of that mighty thinker, and even here and there, in the chapter on the theory of value, coquetted with the modes of expression peculiar to him. The mystification which dialectic suffers in Hegel’s hands, by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner. With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.

    In its mystified form, dialectic became the fashion in Germany, because it seemed to transfigure and to glorify the existing state of things. In its rational form it is a scandal and abomination to bourgeoisdom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in its comprehension and affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence; because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.

    The contradictions inherent in the movement of capitalist society impress themselves upon the practical bourgeois most strikingly in the changes of the periodic cycle, through which modern industry runs, and whose crowning point is the universal crisis. That crisis is once again approaching, although as yet but in its preliminary stage; and by the universality of its theatre and the intensity of its action it will drum dialectics even into the heads of the mushroom-upstarts of the new, holy Prusso-German empire.
    Link

    Now that really surprised because from what I read from you, it always seemed as though Marx never referred to his own method as dialectical, and didn't actually say that he used it...but he clearly did.

    Clearly Marx is not simply talking about "using dialectial words", he actually says he used the dialectial method and attacked the "mystified" form of it, and found the "rational kernel" inside, and then goes on to say that it is revolutionary and explains what the dialectial method is (in short), and then goes on to say that eventually the dialectics will get into the heads of the rulers of the Prusso-German empire due to the crises of capitalism (a sarcastic comment in defense of the method).

    So eh, did you know about the above? And if so, what's your response to it?

    I'm not attacking you with this by the way, but I only remember you talking about the "coquetting with dialectial terminology" and that was persuasive, but in the above quote Marx says that his method is dialectical (in its demystified form) and refers to dialectics as revolutionary, something which I believe you denied him ever saying.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    393
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    After a quotation from the preface to my “Criticism of Political Economy,” Berlin, 1859, pp. IV-VII, where I discuss the materialistic basis of my method, the writer goes on:

    “The one thing which is of moment to Marx, is to find the law of the phenomena with whose investigation he is concerned; and not only is that law of moment to him, which governs these phenomena, in so far as they have a definite form and mutual connexion within a given historical period. Of still greater moment to him is the law of their variation, of their development, i.e., of their transition from one form into another, from one series of connexions into a different one. This law once discovered, he investigates in detail the effects in which it manifests itself in social life. Consequently, Marx only troubles himself about one thing: to show, by rigid scientific investigation, the necessity of successive determinate orders of social conditions, and to establish, as impartially as possible, the facts that serve him for fundamental starting-points. For this it is quite enough, if he proves, at the same time, both the necessity of the present order of things, and the necessity of another order into which the first must inevitably pass over; and this all the same, whether men believe or do not believe it, whether they are conscious or unconscious of it. Marx treats the social movement as a process of natural history, governed by laws not only independent of human will, consciousness and intelligence, but rather, on the contrary, determining that will, consciousness and intelligence. ... If in the history of civilisation the conscious element plays a part so subordinate, then it is self-evident that a critical inquiry whose subject-matter is civilisation, can, less than anything else, have for its basis any form of, or any result of, consciousness. That is to say, that not the idea, but the material phenomenon alone can serve as its starting-point. Such an inquiry will confine itself to the confrontation and the comparison of a fact, not with ideas, but with another fact. For this inquiry, the one thing of moment is, that both facts be investigated as accurately as possible, and that they actually form, each with respect to the other, different momenta of an evolution; but most important of all is the rigid analysis of the series of successions, of the sequences and concatenations in which the different stages of such an evolution present themselves. But it will be said, the general laws of economic life are one and the same, no matter whether they are applied to the present or the past. This Marx directly denies. According to him, such abstract laws do not exist. On the contrary, in his opinion every historical period has laws of its own. ... As soon as society has outlived a given period of development, and is passing over from one given stage to another, it begins to be subject also to other laws. In a word, economic life offers us a phenomenon analogous to the history of evolution in other branches of biology. The old economists misunderstood the nature of economic laws when they likened them to the laws of physics and chemistry. A more thorough analysis of phenomena shows that social organisms differ among themselves as fundamentally as plants or animals. Nay, one and the same phenomenon falls under quite different laws in consequence of the different structure of those organisms as a whole, of the variations of their individual organs, of the different conditions in which those organs function, &c. Marx, e.g., denies that the law of population is the same at all times and in all places. He asserts, on the contrary, that every stage of development has its own law of population. ... With the varying degree of development of productive power, social conditions and the laws governing them vary too. Whilst Marx sets himself the task of following and explaining from this point of view the economic system established by the sway of capital, he is only formulating, in a strictly scientific manner, the aim that every accurate investigation into economic life must have. The scientific value of such an inquiry lies in the disclosing of the special laws that regulate the origin, existence, development, death of a given social organism and its replacement by another and higher one. And it is this value that, in point of fact, Marx’s book has.”

    Whilst the writer pictures what he takes to be actually my method, in this striking and [as far as concerns my own application of it] generous way, what else is he picturing but the dialectic method?
    This dialectic method, however, bears no resemblance to the garbage which most leftists put out (or which they claim that Marx adhered to).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    8,632
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    36

    Default

    Ah yes I forgot to add that part, it's from the same Afterword.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    393
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    I know.

    It is clear that Marx employs dialectical terminology throughout Capital.

    He also employs abstraction, causal language, historical materialism and other forms commonly applied by social scientists. Nothing wrong with that.

    From reading Marx, I get the impression that he came to a deeply anti-philosophical stance; that he despised the philosophers setting up abstract principles upon which the human society operated. For example:

    Hitherto men have constantly made up for themselves false conceptions about themselves, about what they are and what they ought to be. They have arranged their relationships according to their ideas of God, of normal man, etc. The phantoms of their brains have got out of their hands. They, the creators, have bowed down before their creations.
    It is quite ironic, then, when Marxists also set up these phantoms upon which to explain things - i.e the unity of opposites and other such garbage.

    Capital can be explained through without any dialectical jargon - indeed, it would be far more understandable without it.

    Sorry if I am not the person wanting a response from, but that is my view.

    What is your view on the matter?
    Last edited by Junius; 23rd October 2008 at 12:18.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    8,632
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    36

    Default

    Well I don't disagree on the dialectical jargon not being really helpful or necessary to understanding Capital, but the main reason for why I started this thread was to ask Rosa how she could say that Marx never referred to using dialectics or the dialectical method...when he clearly did.

    But yes, I agree with you that there's nothing wrong with that, in fact it proves the point of all those people who were arguing against Rosa from that perspective over the past few years on here!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6,144
    Rep Power
    79

    Default

    I'm not attacking you with this by the way, but I only remember you talking about the "coquetting with dialectial terminology" and that was persuasive,
    This has been put to Rosa many times by myself, gilhyle, luis henrique and trivas9, so you should really read these threads more throroughly, rather than just take Rosa's word as the beginning and end of the matter.
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    8,632
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob The Builder View Post
    This has been put to Rosa many times by myself, gilhyle, luis henrique and trivas9, so you should really read these threads more throroughly, rather than just take Rosa's word as the beginning and end of the matter.
    I didn't take Rosa's word as the beginning and end of the matter, I just never saw you, Luis Henrique, Trivas9 or gilhyle ever post a direct quote by Marx saying that he actually used the dialectical method and defending it directly, so that there was nothing unclear about it.

    I do however remember you pointing to a letter he wrote to Engels, I believe it was, saying that he had great help looking over Hegel's book when he was writing Capital, and also a quote regarding "coquetting".

    By the way, it's pretty absurd to say that I take Rosa's word as the beginning and of the matter regarding dialectics. If you had read those threads more thoroughly, you would have known this.

    Now, did you ever post the above quote by Marx basically saying directly that he used the dialectical method and defending materialist dialectics versus the "mystified" form of it?

    If so, could you please point me to the thread/post where you said this so that I can see how Rosa responded to it?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6,144
    Rep Power
    79

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Led Zeppelin View Post
    If so, could you please point me to the thread/post where you said this so that I can see how Rosa responded to it?
    No. But I'm sure Rosa, who keeps track of these things more than I, will oblige. She didn't give the impression that she thought this revelation represented a threat to her thesis.
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    9,222
    Rep Power
    92

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Led Zeppelin View Post
    I didn't take Rosa's word as the beginning and end of the matter, I just never saw you, Luis Henrique, Trivas9 or gilhyle ever post a direct quote by Marx saying that he actually used the dialectical method and defending it directly
    Rosa herself has more than once quoted the exact text in your OP. She understands that in a different way from us:

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Marx
    My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite.
    She understands that this means that Marx's method has nothing to do with Hegel's.

    I myself have quoted not only that text, but also others, specifically from the Grundrisse, where it is clear that Marx uses some version of "dialectical method". But to argue with Rosa is like argueing with a wall; the best you get, if you keep the adequate distance, is an echo to your arguments.

    Luís Henrique

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    2,895
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Marx said "dialectical" where the subject was the fact that social relations don't remain static, institutions are in flux, classes and social forms appear and vanish, the categories of language sometimes fail to keep up with this.

    But it was Engels who, after Marx was dead, added the comments that "dialectical" means three specific "laws", the "transformation of quantity into quality, and vice versa", the "interpenetration of opposites", and "the negation of the negation". It was also Engels who argued that these concisely worded "laws" govern the entire range of existence, including the creation of solar system, the evolution of life, the theorems of electricity and chemistry, history, and logic. ("Anti-Duhring" and "The Dialectics of Nature").

    As for the "triad" of thesis-antithesis-synthesis -- it's customary for secondary sources ("Philosophy Made Simple") to say that Marx got this from Hegel. The fact is, Marx never said it, and, what's more, Hegel never said it either. A generation before Hegel, Fichte said it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6,144
    Rep Power
    79

    Default

    Personally I have no problem with comrade mikelepore's post above. I've never been convinced by Engels' three laws which seem too schematic. Nevertheless, I've always been certain that Marx didn't employ the term dialectic in a cavalier or paradoxic manner in the way Rosa's thesis implies; he meant something specific and valuable.

    It seems to me that Marx understood that the Hegelian dialectic was an idealistic representation of processes which were nevertheless happening 'out there' in the real world. In other words:
    where the subject was the fact that social relations don't remain static, institutions are in flux, classes and social forms appear and vanish, the categories of language sometimes fail to keep up with this.
    ... In a word, capitalism.
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,778
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    BTB:

    This has been put to Rosa many times by myself, gilhyle, luis henrique and trivas9, so you should really read these threads more throroughly, rather than just take Rosa's word as the beginning and end of the matter.
    And just as many times you and others who accept the 'traditional tale' have had it pointed out to you that Marx helpfully summarised the 'dialectic method' for us, in which there is not one atom of Hegel to be found: no 'unity of opposites', no 'negation' of the negation', no 'contradictions', no 'quantity passing over into quality', no 'mediated totality', no 'universal change'...

    The problem is that some of you have been fed this traditional tale for so long that you cannot accept Marx's own very clear words on this issue.

    Nevertheless, I've always been certain that Marx didn't employ the term dialectic in a cavalier or paradoxic manner in the way Rosa's thesis implies; he meant something specific and valuable.
    Indeed he did, and we need not speculate as to what that was, for the comrade above quoted the long passage from Das Kapital summarising it for us -- which, once more, contains not one single concept found in the traditional version of the 'dialectic' that Engels, Plekhanov, Lenin and Trotsky dumped on us.

    where the subject was the fact that social relations don't remain static, institutions are in flux, classes and social forms appear and vanish, the categories of language sometimes fail to keep up with this.
    You have also had it pointed out to you that ordinary language is in fact far better at depicting and thus explaining change than is the wooden and obscure terminology you lot have inherited from Hegel (which jargon not one of you can explain), so if we needed a theory of change, dialectical materialism (or 'materialist dialectics') would not be it -- in fact, it would not even make the bottom of the reserve list of likely candidates.

    Indeed, Socialist Worker (and other revolutionary papers) make use of ordinary language to explain the complex processes in Capitalism admirably well without using this obscure jargon -- so, in our interface with the class, dialectics is little more than a hinderance.

    That alone shows that ordinary language is alright as it is (to paraphrase Witttgenstein) -- indeed we confirm this in practice every day of our revolutionary lives.

    Mike:

    As for the "triad" of thesis-antithesis-synthesis -- it's customary for secondary sources ("Philosophy Made Simple") to say that Marx got this from Hegel. The fact is, Marx never said it, and, what's more, Hegel never said it either. A generation before Hegel, Fichte said it.
    There is in fact a sticky on this:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...95&postcount=7
    Last edited by Bilan; 24th October 2008 at 08:15.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,778
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    LZ, I hope this answers your query; we have in fact been over this here literally dozens of times. Here for example:

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/scrapping-...34/index4.html

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...4&postcount=73

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...6&postcount=75

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...&postcount=114

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...&postcount=124

    I do however remember you pointing to a letter he wrote to Engels, I believe it was, saying that he had great help looking over Hegel's book when he was writing Capital, and also a quote regarding "coquetting".
    Well, as Marx pointed out, he did not even own a copy of Hegel's 'Logic' but had to borrow one from Freiligrath -- so much for Marx being an avid fan of Hegel!

    And it was most certainly of help to Marx in writing Das Kapital -- just as Paley's Natural Theology (with its 'Design Argument') was useful to Darwin when he wrote On the Origin of Species -- as a foil against which he could rail.

    LH:

    I myself have quoted not only that text, but also others, specifically from the Grundrisse, where it is clear that Marx uses some version of "dialectical method". But to argue with Rosa is like argueing with a wall; the best you get, if you keep the adequate distance, is an echo to your arguments.
    Marx chose not to publish the Grundrisse, but he did publish the passage quoted above. So, whatever happened to his thinking between the writing of the latter and the publishing of Das Kapital, he clearly began to see things the way I do (or, to put that better, I see things the way Marx came to see them).

    Sure I am a 'wall' since I refuse to allow you mystics to continue to get away with besmirching Marx's good name by saddling him to a theory that makes not one ounce of sense, and which not one of you can explain -- especially since he abandoned it himself

    She understands that in a different way from us
    And we both know why: I actually take Marx's actual words seriuosly, whereas you lot ignore what you do not like, or which does not fit the 'traditional' tale.

    And, one cannot get more 'opposite' to Hegel than abandoning his obscure jargon in its entirety.
    Last edited by Bilan; 24th October 2008 at 08:16.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    8,632
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    And just as many times you and others who accept the 'traditional tale' have had it pointed out to you that Marx helpfully summarised the 'dialectic method' for us, in which there is not one atom of Hegel to be found: no 'unity of opposites', no 'negation' of the negation', no 'contradictions', no 'quantity passing over into quality', no 'mediated totality', no 'universal change'...
    So you agree with dialectics just as long it's the definition Marx gave of it here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Marx
    In its mystified form, dialectic became the fashion in Germany, because it seemed to transfigure and to glorify the existing state of things. In its rational form it is a scandal and abomination to bourgeoisdom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in its comprehension and affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence; because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.
    He does mention negation there but not the negation of the negation, but anyway, if that is the dialectial method which Marx says he used, would you say that you agree with that method?

    And thanks for the links.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,778
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    LZ:

    So you agree with dialectics just as long it's the definition Marx gave of it here:
    Well no. Read this passage carefully -- Marx personifies the 'dialectic':

    because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.
    This makes no sense at all. If we are to rescue Marx from incoherence, we are forced to view this passage differently from the way it is usually read.

    So, I suspect Marx was being at least ironic here, for the dialectic does not do what he alleges. It fails to explain change and is not an abomination for the 'bourgeoisie' and/or their 'professors' -- they know nothing of it, and in general never have. Most still believe in change too!

    And not even Marx believed this:

    because it includes in its comprehension and affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence;
    Or, if he did, then socialism is impossible.

    Marx was trying to extricate himself from an ancient and mystical way of viewing the world, one in which hidden forces and intelligences run things. I do not think he saw things clearly everywhere and at all times -- hence the confusion here. This surfaces in his use of 'negation' where he confuses a linguistic category with a process in reality.

    The 'rational' content of the 'dialectic' (a term I do not like since it has been ruined by Hegel and his epigones among Marxists -- one cannot use the term now without causing confusion, as this thread at least shows) is thus that which is contained in a modern version of Aristotle's dialectic, and in Kant's.

    Hegel's 'dialectic' is useless from beginning to end -- upside down or 'the right way up'.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6,144
    Rep Power
    79

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    LZ:
    This makes no sense at all. If we are to rescue Marx from incoherence, we are forced to view this passage differently from the way it is usually read.

    So, I suspect Marx was being at least ironic here, for the dialectic does not do what he alleges. It fails to explain change and is not an abomination for the 'bourgeoisie' and/or their 'professors' -- they know nothing of it, and in general never have. Most still believe in change too!
    So much for taking "what Marx actually wrote seriously".
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,778
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    BTB:

    So much for taking "what Marx actually wrote seriously".
    In that case, perhaps you'd like to explain what he meant by this:

    because it lets nothing impose upon it,
    And, of course, taking Marx's words seriously is not the same as uncritically receiving them. That would be to confuse hero worship with socialism.

    Maybe you do not know the difference...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6,144
    Rep Power
    79

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    BTB:
    In that case, perhaps you'd like to explain what he meant by this:
    Well some kind of convincing interpretation of this passage is obviously called for. Your attempt, as far as I can make out, is to interpret it as some kind of bizarre paradoxic joke; or that, suddenly, just a few paragraphs on from those you continue to cite as some holy writ, that Marx suddenly lurches into incoherence.

    Here's the paragraph:
    In its mystified form, dialectic became the fashion in Germany, because it seemed to transfigure and to glorify the existing state of things. In its rational form it is a scandal and abomination to bourgeoisdom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in its comprehension and affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence; because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.
    Clearly Marx is comparing the rational form of the material dialectic favourably to the mystified Hegelian dialectic. The latter sanctifies the existing order (why? because the Hegelian dialectic reaches its end in the bourgeois German State - an early declaration of the "end of history" thesis). But, on the contrary, in its rational presentation the dialectic is revolutionary as it understands that the very dialectical process of history which produces the German State also will lead to its negation. Why? because the material dialectic is the class struggle and as long as classes exist the dialectic will continue. I think the statement "it let's nothing impose upon it" is a declaration of the inevitability of the dialectic, because the material forces and relations are in themselves "critical and revolutionary." In other words, capitaist society cannot do otherwise than lead to its own negation.

    In the following paragraph he elaborates:
    The contradictions inherent in the movement of capitalist society impress themselves upon the practical bourgeois most strikingly in the changes of the periodic cycle, through which modern industry runs, and whose crowning point is the universal crisis. That crisis is once again approaching, although as yet but in its preliminary stage; and by the universality of its theatre and the intensity of its action it will drum dialectics even into the heads of the mushroom-upstarts of the new, holy Prusso-German empire.
    It's generally acknowledged that Das Kapital is Marx's attempt "to lay bare the laws of motion which govern the origins, the rise, the development, the decline... of the capitalist mode of production," as Ernst Mandel succinctly put it in his introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of Volume One. Why is it so difficult to understand that the dialectic which Marx concerns himself with are these laws of motion - of capitalist society specifically and class society (i.e. human history) more generally?
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,778
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    BTB, I did not ask for you to explain the passage, but just this clause (as well you know):

    because it lets nothing impose upon it,
    I already know what you mystics think about the meaning of the 'dialectic' as you have had it incucated in you by the Hermetic Holy Men -- it's this clause which makes the whole lot an empty charade that I thought you'd struggle to explain.

    And it seems I was right, for you ignore it.

    And it's not so much this:

    just a few paragraphs on from those you continue to cite as some holy writ, that Marx suddenly lurches into incoherence.
    as the fact that Marx had already indicated that he had waved this mystical nonsense goodbye, and had already told us he was merely 'coquetting' with this gobbledygook, but that this clause confirms this: he was not being at all serious with these 'concepts' and that is why he personified the 'dialectic'.

    Unless, of course, you think Marx was indeed serious here and actually believed the 'dialectic' was a human being?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    6,144
    Rep Power
    79

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    BTB, I did not ask for you to explain the passage, but just this clause (as well you know):

    I already know what you mystics think about the meaning of the 'dialectic' as you have had it incucated in you by the Hermetic Holy Men -- it's this clause which makes the whole lot an empty charade that I thought you'd struggle to explain.

    And it seems I was right, for you ignore it.

    Hmm. If you're gonna demand explanation then you could at least have the good grace to read it. Here it is for a second time:
    Originally posted by Bob The Builder
    I think the statement "it let's nothing impose upon it" is a declaration of the inevitability of the dialectic, because the material forces and relations are in themselves "critical and revolutionary." In other words, capitaist society cannot do otherwise than lead to its own negation.
    Now, this is my interpretation of what Marx meant by the passage (and it does not contain any judgement as to whether the passage is well written or not). Comrades will have to decide for themselves whether it is a more credible interpretation than yours. And if any have an alternative understanding to ours, then by all means they should put it forward.
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin


Similar Threads

  1. [SPLIT FROM CC] Rosa and Zurdito on Dialectics
    By Zurdito in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 7th October 2008, 16:20
  2. Marx's Reaction to Engels' 'Natural Dialectics'
    By RevolverNo9 in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 19th February 2007, 20:11
  3. Marx's Dialectics vs. the Scientific method
    By ComradeRed in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 25th August 2004, 12:00

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •