This site is aimed at those Marxists who, like me, want to rid our movement of this mystical theory.Please note that nothing written in my Essays is intended to undermine Historical Materialism, a theory I fully accept.
Hermetic philosophy well I plead guilty to that. Dialectics and dialectical materialism (which originated not with Marx but Joseph Dietzgen) is what we keep of Marx. Certainly not his authoritarian realpoitik that he applied to the International Working Mens Association and that with the aid of Engels ultimately resulted in the dead end of German Social Democracy. That authoritarian Marxism ended in the failure of Lenin and Trotsky's Bolshevik Revolution to produce anything more than state monopoly capitalism in Russia.
Heraclitus had an influence much broader than could be expected from his tiny corpus of sayings. Plato accepted his concept that matter was in endless change, but took this in an anti-materialist way to prove that there must be a better world of unchanging ideas. The Stoics, who were pantheists and materialists, regarded Heraclitus as a precursor. For his emphasis on development through the conflict of opposites, Marx and Engels viewed him as a harbinger of dialectical materialism.Heraclitus was a contemporary of Pythagoras, Lao-tzu, Confucius, and Siddhartha, the Buddha; some say that the term "philosophy", love of wisdom, was first introduced by Pythagoras, who lived from approximately 580 BCE to 500 BCE.
And to toss it out like the proverbial baby with the bath water is to deny that it is the basis of Marxism and Historical Materialism, beginning with Marx's PhD thesis on the philosophy of Democritus and Epicurus
Our true believer in Marxism without Marx (dialectics) has much in common with her counterpart the other true believer;
Hegel and Marx became very different because Hegel follows Plato and thus distinguishes an absolute thing-in-itself (God) from all relativistic things-in-themselves in the universe. On the other hand, Marx follows Heraclitus and the godless philosophy of relativism. Since Marx is without a god who can unify all opposites, I do not know how Marx can use dialectical thinking to identify the unchanging opposites.Because for Marx commodity production was the unification of opposites capitalism is not just about accumulating wealth it is the social relation that changes production from use value to commodity production. Which means workers become transformed into consumers as well as producers of capital.
While our Anti-dialectical Lenninst/Trotskyist claims that dialectics is a problem for Marxism she seems to have misread Lenin the Marxist Philosopher;
Lenin sharply criticises Hegel’s idealism and the mysticism of his ideas. But Lenin also reveals the significance of Hegelian dialectics and points out the necessity for evaluating it from a materialist standpoint. “Hegel’s logic,” wrote V. I. Lenin, “cannot be applied in its given form, it cannot be taken as given. One must s e p a r a t e o u t from it the logical (epistemological) nuances, after purifying them from Ideenmystik. . .” (p. 266). In summarising Hegel’s writings, Lenin formulates a series of highly important propositions on the essence of materialist dialectics.
The brilliant article “On the Question of Dialectics,” written in 1915, is related to Lenin’s summary of Hegel’s works. Though small in size, this article is a crystallisation of unsurpassed depth and richness of thought of all the important and essential elements in materialist dialectics.
Lenin’s résumés of Lassalle’s The Philosophy of Heraclitus the Obscure of Ephesus, Aristotle’s Metaphysics and Feuerbach’s Exposition, Analysis and Critique of the Philosophy of Leibnitz trace the historical preparation of materialist dialectics. Lenin examines the history of philosophy from Heraclitus and Democritus to Marx and Engels, and presents a profound Marxist evaluation of the work of outstanding thinkers. He reveals the progressive contribution which they made to the development of philosophical thought, and at the same time, discloses the historical limitations of their views.
It may be presumed that the preparatory material of Notebooks on Philosophy is evidence of Lenin’s intention to write a special work on materialist dialectics, a task which he had no opportunity to fulfil. Although the material in Philosophical Notebooks does not constitute a complete work written by Lenin for publication, it is an important contribution to the development of dialectical materialism. The study of the great ideological content of Philosophical Notebooks is of tremendous importance for a thorough grasp of Marxist-Leninist philosophy, the theoretical foundation of scientific communism.
And when it comes to Trotskyism she is at odds with those who hold the banner of the old man high.
By Alan Woods and Ted GrantThis book, by Ted Grant and Alan Woods published in 1995 coinciding with Engels’ centenary, defends the validity of the philosophical writings of Marx and Engels using the most important scientific discoveries of the twentieth century as a proof. With a foreword by Eric Lerner, author of The Big Bang Never Happened.
We take considerable pride from the fact that, to date, no-one has found serious fault with the science of the book. And every new discovery of science serves to confirm the statement of Engels that "in the last analysis, Nature works dialectically." We take advantage of this occasion to refer to some of these developments.
For your erudition I provide this biography of Heraclitus and his writings.
Dialectics, Nature and Science
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