Dialectics - A tool/method of analysis and observation, or a force/law of nature?

Dialectics - A tool/method of analysis and observation, or a force/law of nature?

Dialectics are one of those vital elements of Marxism that I can't help but struggle with wrapping my understanding around. I've listened to Harvey's lecture introduction on Capital, read Mandel's intro to Capital, listened to half a dozen explanations of dialectics of varying length, read smaller Marx and Engels pamphlets, talked with comrades irl and people just interested in Marxism, I've basically tried to boil down just what dialectics are countless times, and I still don't think I have a perfect hold on them.

Is the dialectic meant to be an abstraction, a mode of analysis to view the world which accounts for all its contradictions, movements, and interrelations, (making it better than purely causal logic) or is it larger than that, a force of nature that moves on its own and has laws to its being which define the motion of society, people, etc? It's quite confounding, and it feels as if different sects/wings of Marxism have different agendas they're trying to reach through it.

Marx stated that his use of the dialectic was an attempt to demystify an essential truth Hegel had landed upon, but it seems as if Marx's followers have done a lot to -remystify the situation.

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that book

You could just look it up on Wikipedia, you know.

Here's a flow chart.

Moralism is bourgeois.

Dialectics is the combination of newtons third law and emergent properties.


the article doesn't tell me anything, plus wikipedia is terrible for communism

No. FUCKING STOP. We don't need a particular pseud coming in here to start an endless shitposting marathon about how Marxists don't "really understand" dialectics and how he knows this because he read Phenomenology of Spirit one time. He is a cancer on this board.

Yes. Dialectical materialism (correctly) sees the world as constantly changing, and materialist in nature. No spooky nonsense of humans changing laws with their minds, no magic ability to transcend reality, just real shit. The world also isn't absolute, things are changing.
Being dialectical is just realizing that the world is dialectical, and that things are constantly changing. They can be said to be going through dialectical changes, with the oldest example I can think of being a tree. A seed struggles between two main states, growth and decay. At any point, the seed is growing or decaying, and will eventually either die or become a sapling. This is a dialectical process. Chemical equilibrium is a great example of this as well, and you might remember it from your high school chemistry class.
Hope I was helpful.


But Marx said we have to transcend labour, not free them. This was his main argument against Stirner. We also have to transcend states, classes and property. Of course it isn't enought to contemplate. To change reality we have to actively transform its condition. This presupposes self-transcendence to recognize one's own dependency of the historical-material conditions.

How often do I have to quote this to make Holla Forums understand dialectical materialism supports the rational supervenience theory? Marx said it all along it's about self-consciousness, species-consciousness and nature-consciousness which aren't spooky but a materialistic conditioned spheres with unconscious yet realizable aspects. I know the law of the negation of the negation is the hardest to understand but please read him wisely. Look up Critical Notes No.3 and Third Manuscript "Private Property and Labour".

OP, dialectic is the universal principle of perpetual emergence based on antagonisms within an interconnectedness. Therefore, it is both a method and consists of laws.

Wow. No. I'm sorry, but no.

What "laws"? When did Hegel ever talk about "dialectical laws"?

So far every poster here has demonstrated to know jack shit about the topic (the ☭TANKIE☭'s attempts are laughable to say the least), and I'm too lazy to begin explaining so I'm fine with summoning him

Hegel critizes Kant's universal law he postulates a dialectic of recognition between self-conscious beings. He says particular situations cannot be transcended by one single general principle (cf. PG, 3, p.455). When a subject's reason is formalized, this abstractedness lead to vapidity and evil (cf. GMS, AA IV, p.474f). Badiou clarifies this by the abusement of human rights for the purpose of war on resources. Therefore, the universal law has to be perpetually revised through recognizing exzessive subjectivity as new moral act which have to be integrated (cf. PG, 3, p.443). The main dialectical laws of his absolute idealism are:
-truth is oneness
-triple meaning of transcending: abolishing, preserving, elevating
-fight and unity of antagonisms
-shift from quantity in quality
-negation of negation
-necessity and chance
-development from the lower to the higher.

I prefer Schelling. Nature is unconsious activity of the mind, mind is self-conscious nature. True dialectical reconciliation of idealism and materialism.

Just bring Anal Water into this thread so he can finish it off.

Hey, OP here - thinking I’m going to try and read Engel’s “Dialectics of Nature” and “Anti-Dühring” both because they deal directly with dialectics and I wanna try to read moar Engels

The Dialectic is God. There I said it.

Listen to the pseuds first:

Althusser > Hegelianshits

literal ad-hominem

t. AW

Reminder that retard is permanently banned from this board and I'll make sure every post of his is reported.

What did he do to deserve this?

He was a man who wanted to present ideas not craft a universe. Stop over analyzing every word.

I don't think AW is with us anymore, i see a lot of posts about him but havent seen him in some time.

If you don't want the pretentious psued around at least display a somewhat general understanding of what dialectics is.

Of course the tank attempts are pathetic and laughable their understanding of everything came from fucking Stalin and Mao

how about (You) elevate the discourse over this retarded mystic bullshit instead of sucking AW dick

Can someone PLEASE explain the Negation Of The Negation shit to me in a way a brainlet would understand? Also, why did Mao blatantly reject it?

I haven't been here for a while because this board gets boring. One only can read so much ignorance and stupidity before getting bored.

Negation of negation is simply the return of something from its otherness by making explicit that this otherness is part of itself. Here's an example: the commodity. The commodity is an owned object which is useful for me in being useless for me. It's useless because I have no immediate personal use for it, it's useful because it can mediate my getting what I actually have immediate personal use for. This is a negation of negation: usefulness through uselessness. First negation: this is useless to me; negation of negation: this is useful to me through being useless to me.

Value has the same role: a real object as commodity exchanges, the objects in the hand of exchangers are different, yet value remains the same. Value is the identical relation of commodities in realizing their exchange. First negation: commodity is replaced by another commodity in exchange; negation of negation: a commodity is itself through another commodity, and this entire relation/movement is value.

Negation of negation >always< looks like this: Positive{negative — negative} with {} being the return from these negatives. Something ={other — other}; Value ={commodity — commodity}

this is not the real AW btw

So why did Mao reject it?

Because 'one splits into two'. He did not believe higher constructions actually happen, yet that is plain wrong both logically and empirically. He clearly didn't grasp what it was. Just look at the existential orders of nature: physics->chemistry->biology


The moment of unifying return does not happen according to Mao. One dialectic simply dissolves and is replaced by a new dialectic immediately following the last. {Proles — capitalists}→{masses — party} or something like that.

Why is Mao wrong?

You tell me why he's right and then I can tell you why he's wrong. Read the guy and think about it, seriously.


You misunderstand what Mao means when he contrasts "metaphysics" with "dialectics." Metaphysics entails something is static, dialectics entails change. So for example you can't say capitalism is metaphysical because we know capitalism is the result of change over time.

Fair enough.

Because these things are easily observable.

This is just basic physics.

Mao wasn't a philosopher. He wasn't simply basing his analysis on his own material conditions, which is what all good Marxists do. Marx's original method couldn't be applied in Mao's time/place so he changed the method. What's so hard about this?

I know exactly what he means. I state at the beginning: I'm not judging Mao on his own footing, I don't care.

None of these things are observable, they are categories.

Not at all.

If you write about something philosophical, you're trying to be a philosopher and shall be judged as one. Mao wasn't being a Marxist, he was being a pragmatist. Nothing wrong with that.

Why is it incorrect to designate conflict as contradictions?

Roo made a video on the subject.


last one

Mao was a fucking charlatan whose "Marxism" is just Chinese nationalism. In fact I'd agree with all the other people on this board who talk about Maoism being the death of Marxism and virtual birth of idpol. When did Marxists ever prioritize a "national consciousness" or make ridiculous claims about nationalism needing to come before socialism until Mao?

We see this today with Maoists and ☭TANKIE☭s throwing actual comrades in Iran, North Africa and Kurdistan under the bus because muh national liberation muh Shia theocracy is de facto socialist and proletarian because muh Imam Ali muh Gaddafi did nothing wrong. Anything that challenges the West MUST be socialist amirite?

See you were doing so well until you started implicitly cheering for American imperialism.

Oh right, because women removing their hijabs out of feminist protest is DEFINITELY supporting imperialism, right? "Their minds must be COLONIZED!!"

You postcolonialists make me sick.

Learn some real dialectics:

Like what Mao did after 1969?

I've yet to see a so-called ☭TANKIE☭ argue that the iranian republic is socialist

Roo claims it's socialist as does Caleb Maupin.

I was under the impression MTW weren't ☭TANKIE☭s, unless ☭TANKIE☭s is everybody I disagree with so carry on

Jason isn't a real MTWist.

nothing is real

Let me put it this way: Jason's theory is terrible and has nothing whatsoever to do with Mao aside from him recognizing the primary/secondary contradiction dialectics.

Honestly, it's just a loose model for looking at cause and effect from a different angle.

At the risk of being gulagged, I'll bring up the Greimas square as a possible companion to dialectics.