File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/97-01-29.113, message 72

Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 22:55:26 -0500 (EST)
Subject: M-I: Dialectics of Nature

Comrade Andrew,

Now that you have revealed who you are and what you are, I will stop my
strategic game that I played with you a) to get out the real concepts that
you talk about. b) to try and explain to you what marxian system really is.
c)This is the main task: To use you, and keep you pinned down, and thereby
getting me an opportunity to extend the discussion on dialectics and its
immense relevance to class struggle. I have succeeded in this. Comrade Joao
Paul Monte has joined in, the fire is kindled! In fact I was conducting the
proletarian class struggle within the list.

By the setting of parameters what I did was I blocked all your escape roots.
I was going to refute all your false notions one by one. I was going the
explain to you how hard it was to convince you what the materialist
dialectics are. This is why I was killing you with kindness. I observed your
dedication to the cause. How much effort you put in. How valuable you would
be if your concepts became right. But comrade, I must tell you in your heart
you may be a marxist, but certainly not in your head. Also, I had to be
absolutely intellectually honest, otherwise you can't do this business. This
is why I did not hesitate to point out the false positions of comrade
Chaterjee. Just because he was defending dialectical materialism I could not
be silent about the subjective element (the objective reality getting
interpreted by the historically determined social consciousness) in
materialist dialectics as enunciated by Marx in Thesis I of Fuerbach. This
is the most important point, that differentiates marxist materialism from
all other kinds of materialism. It is precisely to lay emphasis on this fact
and no other that reason that marxian materialism has been termed Historical
Materialism, materialism prefixed by the word *history*. But as time went
on, people vulgurised the concept. They came to give a literal meaning to
it. (This is why I was going to divest you of your bourgeois concepts and
get you to use marxist categories like form and content, etc etc. and also
to get you out of the tendency to give literal meanings). Just like you,
they thought,
by historical materialism it means that it concerns interpretation of
history materialistically. Interpretation of history materialistically may
not necessarily be marxist. 

There are so many non-dialectical materialisms. The vulgarisers had
irredeemably divested the subject-object aspect of marxian materialism, and
also the dialectical aspect. Faced with this contradiction, and to save the
sitaution, Plekanov had to relabel the package as dialectical materialism.
Now the historical connection (the subject-object aspect) is not on the
label. Then vulgarisations started and the subject-object aspect got lost.
In addition there is the confusion that Marx's Historical Materialism is not
equal to Dilalectical materialism. This is how it is in dialectics. I think
we should reformulate it as "historico-materialist dialectics" and give it a
try. It does not matter whatever you call it, this is the marxian system.
Even this name does not do justice to the system. One of the most important
elements is not represented. That is the concept of the *real abstract*.
Without this Marx would not have derived his concept of the value of money
in the Capital. So if you think that the Capital is a great book, to
understand it you must understand the concept of the *real abstract*. If you
do not understand the concept of the *real abstract* you will continue to
think that because of the immense successes of undialectical science,
marxism is not applicable to science. We marxists are in a dilemma. There
are abstract numbers like 360 degrees and 24 hours appearing in science.
Idealists say they are apriori or were given by God. We know it is false,
but we are in a desparate situation in not being able to explain. We say
that these have been derived by man in social practice but we can't explain
how. It was the same for the value of money. Following Aristotle's
initiatives, Marx solved the riddle. In regard to the above too, we have to
follow the same route. If we think that by the application of Reimann
Geometry and Differential equations we can solve these then we are going on
a false trail. Like Marx we have to follow the social consciusness to its
very beginning and decipher how man has derived these by *simple* relations
of astronomy, and explain how from them, these numbers have got abstracted.
Now these numbers stand alone and *appear* not to have any relation to
anything external. Until we find the we decipher these and eplain how these
were derived is social practic, dialects and pure sciences can not merge. 

Until this is done we can not attack the God given system of Newtonian
Absolute Time and Absolute Space. Marx and Engels knew the significance of
this. That is why Engels engaged in that valiant effort - "Dialectics of

I must also tell you something. If you want to be a true Marxist, start
reading Engels first. Read, read, read. Read "Ludwig Fuerbach and the
outcome of Classical German Philosophy". You will get the rythm odf
dialectics in there. Then move over to Marx and Lenin. Plekhanov's
Fundamental Problems of Marxism is good. Do not think you can learn Marxism
second hand. (Louis Proyect posted a list of books recently to that add
Anti-Duhring). If you read Sohn-Rethel go back to Marx and verify and
understand. Do not go to Lukacs and others for clarification. It is
fashionable to read and talk of Althuser, Lukacs etc. But before going to
them first exhaust Marx, Lenin, Engels. Start using Marxist categories of
thought. As I said if you use bourgeois concepts, then your own
understanding gets distorted.

The debate is over, call it what you like, condescention, patronising or
whatever you like. You are a valuable comrade who can contribute very much to 
our cause. Sorry I am talking to you like this, it may hurt your pride. But
these things have to be told. If I do not use this opportunity, the
opportunity is lost for ever. You will be tirelessly working in the list
day, day out, but your efforts wasted. When it comes to proleterian cause I
have to now shed off the bourgeois courtsies and talk direct to you and
explain. That can't be helped.

If I called you names and abused you, and acted in a sectarian manner, then
the debate would have degenerated and ended, and opportunity lost to talk to
you, and also more important lost the opportunity to talk dialectics in this
list. It is all upto you. Either go to the originals of Marxism and become a
willing student of it and contribute to the proletarian cause or collect
bourgeios concepts and make salads out of them. Remember as comrade Joao
said this list has an immense potential for the proletarian cause.

You see the class struggle is one the factory floor and also all over. It is in
the superstructure too. Class struggles operate in philosophical, political,
juridical, scientific, cultural, all such spheres as well. This realm is
dominated by the bourgeoisie. This bastion we have to attack. Side by side
the by proleterain class struggle on the factory floor, we have to carry out
an incessant UNDERMINING of this superstructure. And bourgeois thought into
confusion. This is an essential complement to a revolution. Without this
complement there is no hope for a revolution. You see, the mental grip of
the bourgeiosie on the people thousand time more intensive than Marx's time.
They carry of their domination through television, wrtten media, information
Every minute every second their indoctrination is going on. They obscure the
class interests of the people. For instance, now there are no "wage earners"
but "tax payers", all in league with the bourgeiosie. That's how they want
us to feel and think like. Our task is to widen this gap between the ruling
ideas of the ruling class and the proleterians. As we go on in this
undermining proceess, when our ideas are sufficiently spread, then they will
take the form of a material force. That is they will talk and think in
proleterain terms as "wage earner" and how they are exploited, and not how
the poor people receiving social assistance are a menace and such like. They
will stop thinking about what they ahve in common with the bourgeoisie, and
they will start to look for the differences. This is the trend of thought we
have to initiate  here and there to end up in the big conflageration.

What was Marx doing? He identified the necessity of this complement. While
he left others, to attend to day to day matters of the direct proleterain
he sat at the bastion of British Imperialism, the epitomy of the plunder and
exploitation of the nations - the British Museum. From within this bastion
he was planning his "conspiracy" to UNDERMINE the superstructure at the
philosophical level. Engels,the business man ("exploiting the workers"
instead of joining their day to day struggles) went on an attack on another
front- Science. We must understand the relevance of their aims and
objectives, and use this list to propagate our struggles on these two fronts
Philosophy and Science. We can do it. Bourgeoisie have given us the weapon -
the internet- they did not know what they were doing, when they did it.

Best regards/ Viraj


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