Below I have reproduced the "opening salvo" of a recent internet dialogue on "The [Marxian] Dialectical Method", between "Oscar Saphos" and I.
If this dialogue continues to develop, I will continue to post its continuations here.
OS1: ". . . .For the purposes of Marxists, however, Dialectical Materialism is nothing other than Historical Materialism. While every science should strive for a dialectical level of inquiry, the dialectical outlook is itself a product of historical development; Historical Materialism has attained this goal, while its subject is human society itself. As such, the dialectical method acquires a unique specificity in the Theory of Historical Materialism, and it is in this sense in which it will defined.
- Totality and phenomena. Real truth applies only to the whole. The comprehension of any component rests in part on understanding its relation to the whole. There is no such thing as a “thing-in-itself”--the subject of all study is phenomena, or interactions which become objectified as things in the mind.
- Monism. Consciousness is real and material; a knowledge of its origins does not make it purely reducible to them. This principle applies, it bears mentioning, both to the consciousness-being dichotomy and to the “natural” realm of which it is a part--the thoughtful investigator understands that matter and motion are only two sides of the very same process, in spite of their necessary separation in theory.
- Materialism. Though consciousness is itself real material, “dialecticians” nevertheless always seek the origins of changes in consciousness in the development of its phsyical substratum; it is being which determines consciousness.
- Change and transformation. All material is by its nature is subject to development, the pattern of which must be discovered. Some developments can remain within the frame of a given logical construction, others require wholly new logical categories to be created. For the purposes of abstract analysis, the problem can be seen as one of “the transformation of quantity into quality.”
- Praxis. Those who attempt to apply Historical Materialism acknowledge that all theorizing is actual activity of one kind or another, and so in class society the production and dissemination of knowledge takes on a real role in the class struggle. Praxis signifies the synthesis of theory and practice. The development of theory is, so long as it takes the partisan standpoint of the proletariat, a real and crucial component of the material class struggle, while active participation in the class struggle is simultaneously work which will inform theory. There is not really any distinction between “mental” and “manual” work; the ideological and practical critiques of capitalism are each impossible without the other and are only two components of the same process. It is for this reason that dialectical materialism--the framework for scientific investigation of human society--is implicitly partisan to the socialist cause.
In addition, another aspect of dialectics bears mentioning:
FYI: ‘‘‘The Psychohistorical-Dialectical Equations’’’ & ‘Psychohistorical Materialism’ --
I have become aware of a new development in Marxian Theory, using a new tool of “universal labor” [Marx] -- a heuristic, ‘intuitional’, contra-Boolean, algebraic dialectical logic -- one that has enabled those who use it to develop a model of ‘‘‘The Dialectic of Nature’’’ -- of an unbroken, self-developing, mounting ‘meta-genealogy’, from pre-nuclear “particles” all the way up to the human, with a prediction as to what comes next: a model of the historical dialectic of natural history as totality, and, “inside” that totality-model, a model of the history of what Marx calls “the social forces of production”, and “the social relations of production”, within “human pre-history” [Marx], culminating in the capital-relation/wage-labor relation, at the core of capitalist society, and the self-cleavage of that society into the wages-/salaries-class-vs.-capitals-class class struggle that this “social relation of production” imposes, until the capital-relation-incented growth of the “social forces of production” internally destabilizes that capitals-system, producing the descendance-phase of capitalist civilization.
Their models also predict/reconstruct the “lawful” emergence of a ‘HUMANOCIDAL’ capitalist-anticapitalist [totalitarian STATE-capitalist] ruling class in descendance-phase capitalism. They predict a terminal, descendance-phase ruling class ideology which is simultaneously ‘capitalist anti-capitalist’, ‘human anti-humanist’, and ‘anti-Marxian Marxianist’. The “lawful” degeneration of capitalist, representative democracy into totalitarian, humanocidal STATE-capitalism, in the “advanced” nations, is ENABLED by the hyper-concentration of capital-money in ever fewer hands, which, at length, totally obliterates the “checks-and-balances” among the political branches of government, as the descendant-phase plutocracy prostitutes all three branches, plus the news media. But the desperate, DRIVING MOTIVE behind the plutocracy’s rush to TOTALITARIAN HOMANOCIDE is a deep secret, still not discerned by most observers and theorists.
Using this model, they have derived detailed features of the probable higher successor system to capitalism, i.e., of the higher successor social relation of production to the capital/wage-labor relation, which they call the “generalized equity social-relation-of-production”, or “political-ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY” -- the “citizen externality equity / citizen birthright equity / citizen stewardship equity human rights”-relation, is decidedly NOT a form of state-bureaucratic-ruling-class STATE-capitalism, a la Leninism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, Hitlerism, Maoism, Castroism, Ceaușescuism, Hoxhaism, ILism, UNism, etc., etc., ad nauseam.
The ‘Associations of [popularly elected, mandated, popularly recallable] Public Directors’ bodies, implementing the ‘Citizens EXTERNALITY Equity’ [‘GRASS ROOTS regulation of deadly local pollution’] Human Right, may be considered an ‘institution-ization’ of the historical experiences of the revolutionary, territorially/residentially-grounded “community councils”.
The ‘producers-democracies’ that are the MARKET-COMPETING ‘‘‘socialized producers’ cooperatives’’’ of the ‘Citizen STEWARDSHIP Equity’ [‘collective entrepreneurship’] Human Right [the ‘socialized venture capital’ right] may be considered an ‘institution-ization’ of the historical experiences of the revolutionary, workplace-grounded “workers’ councils”.
For more about these historic breakthroughs, see --