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Encyclopedia > Dialectical materialism
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According to many followers of the theories of Karl Marx (or Marxists), dialectical materialism is the philosophical basis of Marxism. The name, which was never used by Marx himself, refers to the notion that Marxism is a synthesis of philosophical dialectics and materialism. Marxism takes its name from the praxis (the synthesis of philosophy and political action) of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... Image File history File links Karl_Marx. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Das Kapital (Capital, in the English translation) is an extensive treatise on political economy written by Karl Marx in German. ... Marxs theory of alienation (Entfremdung in German), as expressed in the writings of young Karl Marx, refers to the separation of things that naturally belong together, or to antagonism between things that are properly in harmony. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Class consciousness is a category of Marxist theory, referring to the self-awareness of a social class, its capacity to act in its own rational interests, or measuring the extent to which an individual is conscious of the historical tasks their class (or class allegiance) sets for them. ... In Marxist theory, commodity fetishism is an inauthentic state of social relations, said to arise in complex capitalist market systems, where social relationships are confused with their medium, the commodity. ... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ... Cultural hegemony is a concept coined by Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci. ... The rate of exploitation is a concept in Marxian political economy. ... Marxs theory of human nature occupies an important place in his critique of capitalism, his conception of communism, and his materialist conception of history. Marx has sometimes been held to deny the existence of any human nature, though this view is now generally accepted to be mistaken. ... Political Ideologies Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... The proletariat (from Latin proles, offspring) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is proletarian. ... Reification (German: Verdinglichung, literally: ver-, over + ding: thing + -lichung: as english, -ify) is the consideration of an abstraction or an object as if it had human or living existence and abilities; at the same time it implies the thingification of social relations. ... Relations of production (German: Produktionsverhaltnisse) is a concept frequently used by Karl Marx in his theory of historical materialism and in Das Kapital. ... Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. ... Note: Marxian is not restricted to Marxian economics, as it includes those inspired by Marxs works who do not identify with Marxism as a political ideology. ... Labor power (in German: Arbeitskraft, or labor force) is a crucial concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy. ... The law of value is a concept in Karl Marxs critique of political economy. ... Means of production (abbreviated MoP; German: Produktionsmittel), also called means of labour are the materials, tools and other instruments used by workers to make products. ... In the writings of Karl Marx and the Marxist theory of historical materialism, a mode of production (in German: Produktionsweise, meaning the way of producing) is a specific combination of: productive forces: these include human labor-power, tools, equipment, buildings and technologies, materials, and improved land social and technical relations... For the specific theoretical justifications behind the Great Leap Forward and the Five Year Plans, see Theory of Productive Forces. ... Surplus labour is a concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy. ... Surplus value, according to Marxism, is unpaid labour that is extracted from the worker by the capitalist, and serves as the basis for capitalist accumulation. ... In Karl Marxs economics the transformation problem is the problem of finding a general rule to transform the values of commodities (based on labour according to his labour theory of value) into the competitive prices of the marketplace. ... Wage labour is the socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer in which the worker sells their labour under a contract (employment), and the employer buys it, often in a labour market. ... Even though anarchist communism and Marxism are two very different political philosophies, there is some similarity between the methodology and ideology of some anarchists and some Marxists, and the history of the two have often been intertwined. ... The capitalist mode of production is a concept in Karl Marx’s critique of political economy. ... Class struggle is class conflict looked at from a Marxist, libertarian socialist, or anarchist perspective. ... The dictatorship of the proletariat is a term employed by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program that refers to a transition period between capitalist and communist society in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. The term refers to a... Primitive accumulation of capital is a concept introduced by Karl Marx in part 8 of the first volume of Das Kapital (in German: ursprungliche Akkumulation, literally original accumulation or primeval accumulation). Its purpose is to help explain how the capitalist mode of production can come into being. ... A communist revolution is a social revolution inspired by the ideas of Marxism that aims to replace capitalism with communism, normally with socialism (public ownership over the means of production) as an intermediate stage. ... International Socialism redirects here. ... World revolution is a Marxist concept of a violent overthrow of capitalism that would take place in all countries, although not necessarily simultaneously. ... See also Marxian economics Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory designs work in philosophy which is strongly influenced by Karl Marxs materialist approach to theory or which is written by Marxists. ... Historical materialism is the methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history which was first articulated by Karl Marx (1818-1883), although Marx himself never used the term (he referred it as philosophical materialism, a term he used to distinguish it from what he called popular materialism). Historical... Analytical Marxism refers to a style of thinking about Marxism that was prominent amongst English-speaking philosophers and social scientists during the 1980s. ... For other meanings of autonomism, see autonomism (disambiguation) page Raised fist, stenciled protest symbol of Autonome at the Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus in Vienna, Austria Autonomism refers to a set of left-wing political and social movements and theories close to the socialist movement. ... Marxist feminism is a sub-type of feminist theory which focuses on the dismantling of capitalism as a way to liberate women. ... The term Marxist humanism has as its foundation Marxs conception of the alienation of the labourer as he advances it in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844--an alienation that is born of a capitalist system in which the worker no longer functions as (what Marx terms) a... Structural Marxism was an approach to Marxist philosophy based on structuralism, primarily associated with the work of the French philosopher Louis Althusser and his students. ... Western Marxism is a term used to describe a wide variety of Marxist theoreticians based in Western and Central Europe (and more recently North America), in contrast with philosophy in the Soviet Union. ... Libertarian Marxism is a school of Marxism that takes a less authoritarian view of Marxist theory than conventional currents such as Stalinism, Trotskyism, and other forms of Marxism-Leninism, as well as a generally less reformist view than do Social Democrats. ... ‘Young Marx’ is one half of the concept in Marxology that Karl Marx’s intellectual development can be broken into two board categories, the other being ‘Mature Marx’. There is disagreement though as to when Marx thought began to mature, Lenin claimed Marxs first mature work as “The Poverty... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818, Trier, Germany – March 14, 1883, London) was a German philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Friedrich Engels (November 28, 1820, Wuppertal – August 5, 1895, London), a 19th-century German political philosopher, developed communist theory alongside his better-known collaborator, Karl Marx, co-authoring The Communist Manifesto (1848). ... Karl Kautsky (October 18, 1854 - October 17, 1938) was a leading theoretician of social democracy. ... G. V. Plekhanov Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov (Георгий Валентинович Плеханов) (December 11, 1856 – May 30, 1918; Old Style: November 29, 1856 – May 17, 1918) was a Russian revolutionary and a Marxist theoretician. ... “Lenin” redirects here. ...   (Russian: Лев Давидович Троцкий, Lyov Davidovich Trotsky, also transliterated Leo, Lev, Trotskii, Trotski, Trotskij, Trockij and Trotzky) (November 7 [O.S. October 26] 1879 – August 21, 1940), born. ... Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg (March 5, 1870 or 1871 – January 15, 1919, in Polish Róża Luksemburg) was a Jewish Polish-born Marxist political theorist, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary. ... “Mao” redirects here. ... Georg Lukács (April 13, 1885 – June 4, 1971) was a Hungarian Marxist philosopher and literary critic in the tradition of Western Marxism. ... Antonio Gramsci (IPA: ) (January 22, 1891 – April 27, 1937) was an Italian writer, politician and political theorist. ... Karl Korsch (August 15, 1886 - October 21, 1961) was a German Marxist theorist. ... Max Horkheimer (front left), Theodor Adorno (front right), and Jürgen Habermas in the background, right, in 1965 at Heidelberg The Frankfurt School is a school of neo-Marxist social theory (which is more akin to anarchism than communism), social research, and philosophy. ... Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuË¡seʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 23, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. ... Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (June 14,[1] 1928 – October 9, 1967), commonly known as Che Guevara or El Che, was an Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary, medic, political figure, and leader of Cuban and internationalist guerrillas. ... This article is on criticisms of Marxism, a branch of socialism. ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818, Trier, Germany – March 14, 1883, London) was a German philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Marxism takes its name from the praxis (the synthesis of philosophy and political action) of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... In classical philosophy, dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is an exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses) resulting in a synthesis of the opposing assertions, or at least a qualitative transformation in the direction of the dialogue. ... In philosophy, materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. ...


It is sometimes seen as the complement of historical materialism (or the "materialist conception of history") which is the name given to Marx's methodology in the study of society, economics and history. Historical materialism is the methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history which was first articulated by Karl Marx (1818-1883), although Marx himself never used the term (he referred it as philosophical materialism, a term he used to distinguish it from what he called popular materialism). Historical...


Dialectical materialism is often defined by reference to two claims by Marx: first that he "put Hegel's dialectics back on its feet" and second, that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." (The Communist Manifesto, 1848). Dialectical materialism is essentially characterized by the belief that history is the product of class struggle and obeys the general Hegelian principle of philosophy of history, that is the development of the thesis into its antithesis which is sublated by the "Aufhebung" (~ synthesis, a word that Hegel didn't like to use) — which conserves the thesis and the antithesis while at the same time abolishing it (Aufheben — this contradiction explains the difficulties of Hegel's thought). [1] Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (IPA: ) (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German idealist philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Class struggle is class conflict looked at from a Marxist, libertarian socialist, or anarchist perspective. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... History studies the past in human terms. ... Philosophy of History is an area of philosophy concerning the eventual significance, if any, of human history. ... A thesis (from Greek position) is an intellectual proposition. ... Antithesis (Greek for setting opposite, from against + position) means a direct contrast or exact opposition to something. ...  RasputinAXP  talk * contribs 03:59, 8 August 2005 (UTC) Categories: Possible copyright violations ... Synthesis (from the ancient Greek σύν (with) and θεσις (placing), is commonly understood to be an integration of two or more pre-existing elements which results in a new creation. ...


Hegel's dialectics aims at explaining the growth and development of human history. He considered that truth was the product of history and passed through various moments, including the moment of error — error, or also negativity, is part of the development of truth — Marx's dialectical materialism considers, against Hegel's idealism, that history is not the product of the Spirit (Geist or also Zeitgeist — the "Spirit of the Time") but the effect of material class struggle in society. Theory thus has its roots in the materiality of social existence. However, "dialectical materialism" also refers to diamat (an abbreviation for "dialectical materialism"), imposed by Stalin on the Comintern and on Communist states. A common dictionary definition of truth is agreement with fact or reality.[1] There is no single definition of truth about which the majority of philosophers agree. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this section may require cleanup. ... Geist - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Look up Zeitgeist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვი&#4314... The Comintern (Russian: Коммунистический Интернационал, Kommunisticheskiy Internatsional – Communist International, also known as the Third International) was an international Communist organization founded in March 1919, in the midst of the war communism period (1918-1921), by Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik), which intended to fight by all available means, including... This article is about one-party states ruled by Communist Parties. ...


The term dialectical materialism was probably invented in 1887 by Joseph Dietzgen, a socialist tanner who corresponded with Marx. Casual mention of the term is also found in Kautsky's Frederick Engels, written in the same year, 1887. Georgi Plekhanov, the father of Russian socialism, later used it and it thus entered Marxist theory[2]. Marx had talked about the "materialist conception of history", which was later shortened to "historical materialism" by Engels. Engels exposed the "materialist dialectic" — not "dialectical materialism" — in his Dialectics of Nature (1883). Diamat was debated and criticized by many Marxist philosophers, which led to various political and philosophical struggles in the Marxist movement in general and in the Comintern in particular. Joseph Dietzgen (December 1828 - 1888) was a socialist philosopher and anarchist sympathizer. ... G. V. Plekhanov Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov (Георгий Валентинович Плеханов) (December 11, 1856 – May 30, 1918; Old Style: November 29, 1856 – May 17, 1918) was a Russian revolutionary and a Marxist theoretician. ... Dialectics of Nature, by Friedrich Engels (1883), applying Marxist ideas to science. ... 1883 (MDCCCLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... See also Marxian economics Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory designs work in philosophy which is strongly influenced by Karl Marxs materialist approach to theory or which is written by Marxists. ...

Contents

A brief history of dialectical materialist thought

Lenin's Materialism and Empiriocriticism (1908) and the 1917 October Revolution

Dialectical materialism was first elaborated by Lenin in Materialism and Empiriocriticism (1908) around three axes: the "materialist inversion" of Hegelian dialectics, the historicity of ethical principles ordered to class struggle and the convergence of "laws of evolution" in physics (Helmholtz), biology (Darwin) and in political economics (Marx). Lenin hence took position between a historicist Marxism (Labriola) and a determinist Marxism, close to "social Darwinism" (Kautsky). New discoveries in physics (including x-rays, electrons, and the beginnings of quantum mechanics) challenged previous conceptions of matter and materialism. Matter seemed to be disappearing. Lenin disagreed: Vladimir Ilyich Lenin ( Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин  listen?), original surname Ulyanov (Улья́нов) ( April 22 (April 10 ( O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a... Materialism and Empiriocriticism (Материализм и эмпириокритицизм in Russian) is a major philosophical work by Vladimir Lenin published in 1909. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Historicity refers to the historical authenticity of a person, event, or place. ... Class struggle is class conflict looked at from a Marxist, libertarian socialist, or anarchist perspective. ... Evolutionism, from the Latin evolutio, unrolling, refers to theories that certain things develop or change as natural (unplanned) outgrowths of those that existed before, in contrast to beliefs that these things are fixed and immutable. ... Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (August 31, 1821 – September 8, 1894) was a German physician and physicist. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... Antonio Labriola Antonio Labriola (1843-1904) was an Italian Marxist theoretician. ... Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Karl Kautsky (October 18, 1854 - October 17, 1938) was a leading theoretician of social democracy. ... In the NATO phonetic alphabet, X-ray represents the letter X. An X-ray picture (radiograph) taken by Röntgen An X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength approximately in the range of 5 pm to 10 nanometers (corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 PHz... Properties The electron (also called negatron, commonly represented as e−) is a subatomic particle. ... Fig. ...

'Matter disappears' means that the limit within which we have hitherto known matter disappears and that our knowledge is penetrating deeper; properties of matter are disappearing that formerly seemed absolute, immutable and primary, and which are now revealed to be relative and characteristic only of certain states of matter. For the sole 'property' of matter with whose recognition philosophical materialism is bound up is the property of being an objective reality, of existing outside of the mind.

Lenin was following on from the work of Friedrich Engels, who had noted that "with each epoch-making discovery even in the sphere of natural science, materialism has to change its form." (Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy.) One of Lenin's challenges was distancing materialism as a viable philosophical outlook from what he referred to as the "vulgar materialism" expressed in statements like "the brain secretes thought in the same way as the liver secretes bile" (attributed to 18th century physician Pierre Jean Georges Cabanis, 1757-1808); "metaphysical materialism" (matter is composed of immutable, unchanging particles); and 19th-century "mechanical materialism" (matter was like little molecular billiard balls interacting according to simple laws of mechanics). Lenin's (and Engels') solution to this challenge was "dialectical materialism", where matter was understood in the broader sense of "objective reality" and consistent with new developments in science. Friedrich Engels (November 28, 1820, Wuppertal – August 5, 1895, London), a 19th-century German political philosopher, developed communist theory alongside his better-known collaborator, Karl Marx, co-authoring The Communist Manifesto (1848). ... In philosophy, materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. ... Pierre Jean George Cabanis (June 5, 1757 - May 5, 1808), was a French physiologist. ...


Following the 1917 October Revolution, Soviet philosophy divided itself between "dialecticians" (Deborin) and "mechanists" (Bukharin). 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... For other uses, see October Revolution (disambiguation). ... Philosophical research in the Soviet Union was officially confined to Marxist-Leninist thinking, which theoretically was the basis of objective and ultimate philosophical truth. ... Nikolai Bukharin Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin (Russian: ), (October 9, 1888 [O.S. September 27] – March 15, 1938) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and intellectual, and later a Soviet politician. ...


Georg Lukács' History and Class Consciousness (1921-23) and the Vth Comintern Congress (1924)

Georg Lukács, who had been minister of Culture in Béla Kun's short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic (1919), published History and Class Consciousness in 1923, in which he defined dialectical materialism as the knowledge of society as a whole, knowledge which in itself was immediately the class consciousness of the proletariat. In the first chapter, "What is Orthodox Marxism?", Lukács defined orthodoxy as the fidelity to the "Marxist method", and not to the "dogmas": Georg Lukács (April 13, 1885 – June 4, 1971) was a Hungarian Marxist philosopher and literary critic in the tradition of Western Marxism. ... Béla Kun Béla Kun (born Béla Kohn) (February 20, 1886, in Szilágycseh, today Cehu Silvaniei, Transylvania, Romania, died August 29, 1938 in the Soviet Union) was a Hungarian Communist politician, who ruled Hungary for a brief period in 1919. ... The Hungarian Soviet Republic was the political regime in Hungary from March 21, 1919 until the beginning of August of the same year, and it is the second Communist (or soviet) government in world history, after the one in Russia (1917). ... Class consciousness is a category of Marxist theory, referring to the self-awareness of a social class, its capacity to act in its own rational interests, or measuring the extent to which an individual is conscious of the historical tasks their class (or class allegiance) sets for them. ...

"Orthodox Marxism, therefore, does not imply the uncritical acceptance of the results of Marx’s investigations. It is not the ‘belief’ in this or that thesis, nor the exegesis of a ‘sacred’ book. On the contrary, orthodoxy refers exclusively to method. It is the scientific conviction that dialectical materialism is the road to truth and that its methods can be developed, expanded and deepened only along the lines laid down by its founders." (§1) Exegesis (from the Greek to lead out) involves an extensive and critical interpretation of a text, especially of a holy scripture, such as of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrash, the Quran, etc. ...

Joseph Dietzgen, the inventor of the term "dialectical materialism".

Lukács criticized revisionist attempts by calling to the return to this Marxist method. In much the same way that Althusser would latter define Marxism and psychoanalysis as "conflictual sciences",[3] Lukács conceives "revisionism" and political splits as inherent to Marxist theory and praxis, insofar as dialectical materialism is, according to him, the product of class struggle: From [1]. According to [2]: but due to age actually This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... From [1]. According to [2]: but due to age actually This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Joseph Dietzgen (December 1828 - 1888) was a socialist philosopher and anarchist sympathizer. ... Chinese poster from the first stage of the Cultural Revolution, reading: Down with the Soviet revisionists in large print, and Crush the dog head of Leonid Brezhnev and Alexey Kosygin at the bottom, 1967 The term revisionism is also used to refer to other concepts. ... Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuË¡seʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 23, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. ... Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the work of Sigmund Freud. ...

"For this reason the task of orthodox Marxism, its victory over Revisionism and utopianism can never mean the defeat, once and for all, of false tendencies. It is an ever-renewed struggle against the insidious effects of bourgeois ideology on the thought of the proletariat. Marxist orthodoxy is no guardian of traditions, it is the eternally vigilant prophet proclaiming the relation between the tasks of the immediate present and the totality of the historical process." (end of §5) Utopian socialism is a term used to define the first currents of modern Socialist thought. ...

Furthermore, he stated that "The premise of dialectical materialism is, we recall: 'It is not men’s consciousness that determines their existence, but on the contrary, their social existence that determines their consciousness.'... Only when the core of existence stands revealed as a social process can existence be seen as the product, albeit the hitherto unconscious product, of human activity." (§5) In line with Marx's thought, he thus criticized the individualist bourgeois philosophy of the subject, which founds itself on the voluntary and conscious subject. Against this ideology, he asserts the primacy of social relations. Existence — and thus the world — is the product of human activity; but this can be seen only if the primacy of social process on individual consciousness, which is but the effect of ideological mystification, is accepted. This doesn't entail that Lukács restrains human liberty on behalf of some kind of sociological determinism: to the contrary, this production of existence is the possibility of praxis. For judgements of value about collectivism and individualism, see individualism and collectivism. ... Bourgeois at the end of the thirteenth century. ... Subject (philosophy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... Political Ideologies Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... Liberty is generally considered a concept of political philosophy and identifies the condition in which an individual has immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority. ... Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. ... As a word, praxis can mean: Praxis is a Latinate English noun, referring to the process of putting theoretical knowledge into practice. ...


This heterodox definition, however, which he maintained by asserting that "orthodox Marxism" is fidelity to the Marxist "method", and not to "dogmas", was condemned, along with Karl Korsch's work, in July 1924, during the Vth Comintern Congress, by Grigory Zinoviev. Karl Korsch (August 15, 1886 - October 21, 1961) was a German Marxist theorist. ... 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar). ... The Comintern (Russian: Коммунистический Интернационал, Kommunisticheskiy Internatsional – Communist International, also known as the Third International) was an international Communist organization founded in March 1919, in the midst of the war communism period (1918-1921), by Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik), which intended to fight by all available means, including... Grigory Zinoviev Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev (Григо́рий Евс́еевич Зин́овьев, alternative transliteration Grigorii Ovseyevish Zinoviev, real name Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky (Радомысльский), also known as Hirsch Apfelbaum, primary revolutionary pseudonym Grigory, privately Grisha), (September 23 [O.S. September 11] 1883 - August 25, 1936) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet Communist politician. ...


Stalin's codification of diamat

In 1931, Stalin decided the issue of the debate between dialecticians and mechanists by publishing a decree which identified dialectical materialism as pertaining solely to Marxism-Leninism. He then codified it in [1] (1938) by enumerating the "laws of dialectics", which are the grounds of particular disciplines and in particular of the science of history, and which guarantees their conformity to the "proletarian conception of the world". Thus, diamat was imposed on most Communist parties affiliated to the Third International. 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვი&#4314... Decree is an order that has the force of law. ... Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism; it is a branch of Marxism (and it has been the dominant branch of Marxism in the world since the 1920s). ... Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... The proletariat (from Latin proles, offspring) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is called a proletarian. ... The term Third International has two well-established meanings: For the unabridged dictionary, see Websters Third New International Dictionary. ...


Marxist criticisms of dialectical materialism

However, the doctrine of dialectical materialism has been criticized by many Marxist theorists, including Marxist philosophers such as Antonio Gramsci, who proposed a Marxist "philosophy of praxis" in its stead, or Louis Althusser. Other thinkers in Marxist philosophy have had recourse to the original texts of Marx and Engels and have created other Marxist philosophical projects and concepts which present alternatives to dialectical materialism. As early as 1937, Mao Zedong proposed another interpretation, in his essay On Contradiction, in which he rejected the "laws of dialectics" and insisted on the complexity of the contradiction. Mao's text inspired Althusser's work on the contradiction, which was a driving theme in his well-known essay For Marx (1965). Althusser attempted to nuance the Marxist concept of "contradiction" by borrowing the concept of "overdetermination"from psychoanalysis. He criticized the teleological reading of Marx as a return to Hegel's idealism. Althusser developed the concept of "random materialism" (matérialisme aléatoire) in contrast to dialectical materialism, a move which grew out of Althusser's project of 'anti-humanism,' or the "philosophy of the subject." Another school of thought, led by Italian philosopher Ludovico Geymonat, constructed a historical epistemology from dialectical materialism. See also Marxian economics Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory designs work in philosophy which is strongly influenced by Karl Marxs materialist approach to theory or which is written by Marxists. ... Antonio Gramsci (IPA: ) (January 22, 1891 – April 27, 1937) was an Italian writer, politician and political theorist. ... As a word, praxis can mean: Praxis is a Latinate English noun, referring to the process of putting theoretical knowledge into practice. ... Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuË¡seʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 23, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. ... See also Marxian economics Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory designs work in philosophy which is strongly influenced by Karl Marxs materialist approach to theory or which is written by Marxists. ... 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... “Mao” redirects here. ... Broadly speaking, a contradiction is an incompatibility between two or more statements, ideas, or actions. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... Broadly speaking, a contradiction is an incompatibility between two or more statements, ideas, or actions. ... Overdetermination, the idea that a single observed effect is determined by multiple causes at once (any one of which alone might be enough to account for the effect), was originally a key concept of Sigmund Freuds psychoanalysis. ... Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the work of Sigmund Freud. ... Teleology (telos: end, purpose) is the philosophical study of design, purpose, directive principle, or finality in nature or human creations. ... Ludovico Geymonat (May 11, 1908 - November 29, 1991) was an Italian Marxist philosopher, who gave an original turn to dialectical materialism. ... It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ...


Materialism in dialectical materialism

Marx's thesis concerned Epicurus and Democritus' atomism, considered as the founder, along with stoicism, of materialist philosophy. He was thus familiar with Lucretius' theory of clinamen, etc. Materialism asserts the primacy of the material world: in short, matter precedes thought. Additionally, materialism holds that the world is material; that all phenomena in the universe consist of "matter in motion", wherein all things are interdependent and interconnected and develop in accordance with natural law; that the world exists outside us and independently of our perception of it; that thought is a reflection of the material world in the brain, and that the world is in principle knowable. Roman marble bust of Epicurus Epicurus (Epikouros or in Greek) (341 BC, Samos – 270 BC, Athens) was an ancient Greek philosopher, the founder of Epicureanism, one of the most popular schools of thought in Hellenistic Philosophy. ... ‎ Democritus (Greek: ) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace around 460 BC). ... In natural philosophy, atomism is the theory that all the objects in the universe are composed of very small, indestructible elements - atoms. ... A restored Stoa in Athens. ... This article primarily focuses on the general concepts of matter and existence. ... Lucretius Titus Lucretius Carus (c. ... Clinamen is the name Lucretius gave to the spontaneous microscopic swerving of atoms from a vertical path as they fall (2. ...

"The ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought." --Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Vol. 1. Das Kapital (Capital, in the English translation) is an extensive treatise on political economy written by Karl Marx in German. ...

Marx thus endorsed a materialist philosophy against Hegel's idealism; he "turned Hegel's dialectics upside down". However, Marx's materialist position is not to be confused with simple materialism: in fact, he criticized classic materialism as another idealist philosophy. According to the famous Theses on Feuerbach (1845), philosophy had to stop "interpreting" the world in endless metaphysical debates, in order to start "transforming" the world. Which the rising workers' movement, observed by Engels in England (Chartist movement) and by Marx in France and Germany, was precisely doing. Historical materialism is therefore the primacy accorded to class struggle. The ultimate sense of Marx's materialism philosophy is that philosophy itself must take position in the class struggle, if it is not to be reduced to spiritualist Idealism (such as Kant or Hegel's philosophies) which are, in fact, only ideologies, that is the material product of social existence. Marx's materialism thus latter opened up the way for Frankfurt School's critical theory, which combined philosophy with the social sciences in an attempt to diagnose the ailments of society. Dialectical materialism itself would however be reduced to the diamat orthodox theory. The Theses on Feuerbach are eleven short philosophical notes written by Karl Marx in 1845. ... The labour movement (or labor movement) is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and political governments. ... A movement for social and political reform in the United Kingdom during the mid_19th century, Chartism gains its name from the Peoples Charter of 1838, which set out the main aims of the movement. ... Class struggle is class conflict looked at from a Marxist, libertarian socialist, or anarchist perspective. ... By 1853, when the popular song Spirit Rappings was published, Spiritualism was the object of intense curiosity. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this section may require cleanup. ... Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as one of Europes most influential thinkers and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Political Ideologies Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... Max Horkheimer (front left), Theodor Adorno (front right), and Jürgen Habermas in the background, right, in 1965 at Heidelberg The Frankfurt School is a school of neo-Marxist social theory (which is more akin to anarchism than communism), social research, and philosophy. ... Critical theory, in sociology and philosophy, is shorthand for critical theory of society or critical social theory, a label used by the Frankfurt School, i. ... The social sciences are groups of academic disciplines that study the human aspects of the world. ...


Dialectics in dialectical materialism

For formal approaches, the main predication of 'dialectical opposition or contradiction' must be understood as 'some sense' opposition between the objects involved in a directly associated context. 'Dialectical contradiction' is not reducible to simple 'opposites' or 'negation'.


Dialectics is the science of the general and abstract laws of the development of nature, society, and thought. Its principal features are:


1) The universe is not a disconnected mix of things isolated from each other, but an integral whole, with the result that things are interdependent.


2) Nature - the natural world or cosmos - is in a state of constant motion:

"All nature, from the smallest thing to the biggest, from a grain of sand to the sun, from the protista to man, is in a constant state of coming into being and going out of being, in a constant flux, in a ceaseless state of movement and change." --Friedrich Engels, Dialectics of Nature.

3) Development is a process whereby insignificant and imperceptible quantitative changes lead to fundamental, qualitative changes. The latter occur not gradually, but rapidly and abruptly, in the form of a leap from one state to another. A simple example from the physical world might be the heating of water: a one degree increase in temperature is a quantitive change, but at 100 degrees there is a qualitative change - water to steam.

"Merely quantitative differences, beyond a certain point, pass into qualitative changes." --Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1.

4) All things contain within themselves internal dialectical contradictions, which are the primary cause of motion, change, and development in the world.


Engels' laws of dialectics

Engels determines three laws of dialectics from his reading of Hegel's Science of Logic[4]. They are:

  • The law of the unity and conflict of opposites;
  • The law of the passage of quantitative changes into qualitative changes;
  • The law of the negation of the negation

The first of Engel's laws or expressions was seen by both Hegel and Lenin as the central feature of a dialectical understanding of things[5] [6] and originates with the ancient Ionian philosopher Heraclitus. [7]


The second is taken by Hegel from Aristotle, and is equated with what scientists call "phase transitions". It may be traced to the ancient Ionian philosophers (particularly Anaximenes), from whom Aristotle inherited the concept, as well as by Hegel and Engels, and in each case the phase transitions of water is one of the main expositions of quantity into quality and vice versa.


The third, the negation of the negation, is Hegel's distinct expression. It was the expression through which (amongst other things) Hegel's dialectic became fashionable during his life-time.


Engels presupposes, in drawing up these laws, a holistic approach outlined in point 1) above, and point 1) of Lenin's three elements of dialectic below, and emphasises elsewhere point 2) above, that all things are in motion. [8]


Lenin's elements of dialectics

Lenin made some brief notes outlining three "elements" of logic after reading Hegel's Science of Logic in 1914.[2] They are:

1) The determination of the concept out of itself [the thing itself must be considered in its relations and in its development];

2) the contradictory nature of the thing itself (the other of itself), the contradictory forces and tendencies in each phenomenon;


3) the union of analysis and synthesis.


Such apparently are the elements of dialectics.

 
— Lenin, Summary of dialectics[9]

Lenin develops these in a further series of notes, and appears to argue that "the transition of quantity into quality and vice versa" is an example of the unity and opposition of opposites expressed tentatively as "not only the unity of opposites, but the transitions of every determination, quality, feature, side, property into every other [into its opposite?]."


The application of the dialectic to history is covered more in Historical materialism. Historical materialism is the methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history which was first articulated by Karl Marx (1818-1883), although Marx himself never used the term (he referred it as philosophical materialism, a term he used to distinguish it from what he called popular materialism). Historical...


Quotations

"The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question. Man must prove the truth, i.e., the reality and power, the this-worldliness of his thinking in practice." --Karl Marx, Theses on Feuerbach

The Theses on Feuerbach are eleven short philosophical notes written by Karl Marx in 1845. ...

Endnotes

  1. ^ In particular, see Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy, chapter II, first observation, where he uses this formulation. We should note here that Hegelians tend to attribute this formula to Marx's teacher - "a certain Heinrich Moritz Chalybäus" - a Kantian who misrepresented Hegel, conflating Hegel's dialectic with the Fichtean triad thesis, antithesis, synthesis. It is suggested that subsequent to Marx's use of the phrase, Hegel has always been associated with the triad, which he rejected (cf hegel.net). However, one might cite Marx's explanation of the development of the dialectic in the cited passage of The Poverty of Philosophy: "This new [synthesis] unfolds itself again into two contradictory thoughts" which appears to be reaching beyond the limits of this misleading external triad to an inner inherent unfolding, more along the Hegelian lines.
  2. ^ For instance, Plekhanov, The development of the monist view of history, (1895)
  3. ^ Louis Althusser, "Marx and Freud", in Writings on Psychoanalysis, Stock/IMEC, 1993 (French edition)
  4. ^ Engels, Dialectics of nature
  5. ^ "It is in this dialectic as it is here understood, that is, in the grasping of oppositions in their unity, or of the positive in the negative, that speculative thought consists. It is the most important aspect of dialectic." Hegel, Science of Logic, § 69, (p 56 in the Miller edition)
  6. ^ "The splitting of a single whole and the cognition of its contradictory parts is the essence (one of the "essentials", one of the principal, if not the principal, characteristics or features) of dialectics. That is precisely how Hegel, too, puts the matter." Lenin's Collected Works VOLUME 38, p359: On the question of dialectics.
  7. ^ cf, for instance. 'The Doctrine of Flux and the Unity of Opposites' in the 'Heraclitus' entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  8. ^ The discovery that heat was actually the movement of atoms or molecules was the very latest science of the period in which Engels was writing in his late period, in which what today we would express in terms of "energy" was just beginning to be grasped.
  9. ^ Lenin's Collected Works Vol. 38 pp 221 - 222, written while reading Book III, Section 3, Chapter 3 of The Science of Logic — “The Absolute Idea”

Johann Gottlieb Fichte Johann Gottlieb Fichte (May 19, 1762 - January 27, 1814) has significance in the history of Western philosophy as one of the progenitors of German idealism and as a follower of Kant. ... Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuˡseʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 23, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. ...

Selected readings on dialectical materialism

Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин), original surname Ulyanov (Улья́нов) (April 22 (April 10 (O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was... “Stalin” redirects here. ... Mao Zedong (December 26, 1893—September 9, 1976) was the chairman of the Communist Party of China from 1935 until his death. ... Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuË¡seʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 23, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. ... Anton Pannekoek Anton Pannekoek (January 2, 1873 – April 28, 1960) was a Dutch astronomer and Marxist theorist. ... Georg Lukács (April 13, 1885 - June 4, 1971) was a Hegelian and Marxist philosopher and literary critic. ... Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (September 29, 1881 – October 10, 1973) was a notable economist and a major influence on the modern libertarian movement. ...

See also

People

Concepts Joseph Dietzgen (December 1828 - 1888) was a socialist philosopher and anarchist sympathizer. ... Friedrich Engels (November 28, 1820, Wuppertal – August 5, 1895, London), a 19th-century German political philosopher, developed communist theory alongside his better-known collaborator, Karl Marx, co-authoring The Communist Manifesto (1848). ... Ludovico Geymonat (May 11, 1908 - November 29, 1991) was an Italian Marxist philosopher, who gave an original turn to dialectical materialism. ... Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818, Trier, Germany – March 14, 1883, London) was a German philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Dialectical materialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1858 words)
Dialectical materialism is the philosophical basis of Marxism as defined by later Communists and their Parties (sometimes called "orthodox" Marxism).
Dialectical materialism may be defined as the philosophical doctrine which claims to "put Hegel's dialectics back on its feet" (Marx) and asserts that "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." (The Communist Manifesto, 1848).
Dialectical materialism was first elaborated by Lenin in Materialism and Empiriocriticism (1908) around three axes: the "materialist inversion" of Hegelian dialectics, the historicity of ethical principles ordered to class struggle and the convergence of "laws of evolution" in physics (Hemlholtz), biology (Darwin) and in political economics (Marx).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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