File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/97-01-29.113, message 23

Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 21:28:39 GMT
Subject: M-I: Another mis-understood Napoleon!

>Viraj Fernando,
>I should make one correction in your text. I *do* believe that historical
>materialism is a science. Dialectics as an art in no way sneaks into my
>writings. A historical materialist analysis of aethetics might be a future
>discussion, but that would still not be the dialectic as art, but rather
>dialectical analysis of the dialectical process behind the production of
>art. I regard historical materialism as not only the most sophisticated of
>sciences, but more--it is *critique* (that is, it is historical,
>self-reflexive, and subjectivistic). My argument is the historical
>materialism is the science of history and society. Dialectics can be (1)
>method, (2) process internal to social formations
>(relational/social-ontological), or (3) process external to social
>formations (physical/natural-ontological). What I object to is the latter
>possibility (physical/natural-ontological. I regard this reification of
>dialectical logic as non-scientific (rather pseudoscientific) and, in
>fact, a form of mystics.
>I fear my opposition has yet to comprehend my argument. I don't say this
>to be arrogant; what is reproduced so often claiming to be a reflection of
>what I have written is incorrect.
>Andrew Austin
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