Marx's dialectic

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syndicalistcat's picture
syndicalistcat
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Mar 14 2012 20:36
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I think abductive inference can be justified

this wasn't clear to me in what you were saying.

Hume's empiricist critique, which you cite positively, was based on the classic philosophical assumption that warrant for belief must be deductive.

I agree with what you say about how deductivism would be inconsistent with Marx's own methods.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 15 2012 07:39

Jurassic:

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I'm not a dogmatic deductivist at all, FFS. You obviously haven't bothered to read my post. I think abductive inference can be justified, but not just by itself or by saying it "just works" (because it often doesn't). How on Earth could I be a marxist and a dogmatic deductivist when the first serious argument that Marx makes in Capital (about abstract labor), is actually not a valid deductive argument?

Bold added.

And yet you seem quite happy to imply, with no proof, that I'm a 'deductivist' -- and then have the cheek to complain that my inference that Marx abandoned Hegel root-and-branch in Das Kapital wasn't a valid deductive argument!

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jura
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Mar 15 2012 12:17

I wasn't implying you were a deductivist. I was pointing out that abductive arguments must rest on some justification, and this always involves at least some minimal philosophical presuppositions (which undermines your supposed "anti-philosophical" approach).

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 15 2012 12:37

Jura:

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I wasn't implying you were a deductivist. I was pointing out that abductive arguments must rest on some justification, and this always involves at least some minimal philosophical presuppositions (which undermines your supposed "anti-philosophical" approach).

So, let's see the proof that an ordinary, everyday inference to the best explanation requires justification, or that any that I have used are based on "some minimal philosophical presuppositions".

Or, should we just take your word for it?

And, if you are 'talking' to me,,my work must have been 'peer reviewed' somewhere -- or were you just joshing when you made that empty threat?

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jonglier
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Mar 15 2012 13:15

In his essay 'Marx's Notes on Method', Stuart Hall cites the following from a letter from Marx to Dietzgen, written in 1876:

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When I have shaken off the burden of my economic labours, I shall write a dialectic. The correct laws of the dialectic are already included in Hegel, albeit in a mystical form. It is necessary to strip it of this form. (3)

3. Samtliche Schriften , vol 1. Translated in Hook, From Hegel to Marx.

Hall's essay can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/37371790/Stuart-Hall-Marx-Notes-on-Method

What, Rosa, is your opinion of this citation?

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Mar 15 2012 13:59

...that it is not part of the work that Marx published in his lifetime, and is therefore irrelevant.

The system is closed, compact and has an answer for everything. The fact that people outside the system find those answers bizarre or irrational in no way interferes with the working of the system. Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows...

It brings to mind the plateau on the Refrain (Ritournelle) from ATP, the tune the little boy whistles in the dark to relieve his anxiety about being in a strange space by the repetition of something familiar. Or as Deleuze later put it:

Quote:
When do I do Tralala ? When do I hum? I hum in three various occasions. I hum when I go around my territory…and that I clean up my furniture with a radiophonic background…meaning when I am at home. I also hum when I am not at home and that I am trying to reach back my home…when the night is falling, anxiety time…I look for my way and I give myself some courage by singing tralala. I go toward home. And, I hum when I say “Farewell, I am leaving and in my heart I will bring…”. That’s popular music “Farewell, I am leaving and in my heart I will bring…”. That’s when I leave my place to go somewhere else.
In other words, the ritournelle (refrain), for me, is absolutely linked to the problem of territory, and of processes of entrance or exit of the territory, meaning to the problem of deterritorialization. I enter in my territory, I try, or I deterritorialize myself, meaning I leave my territory.
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Mar 15 2012 14:06
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that it is not part of the work that Marx published in his lifetime, and is therefore irrelevant

Do you hold that Capital vol. 2, Capital vol. 3, the Grundrisse, the German Ideology, the Economic and Philosophical Manusrcipts, are all irrelevant?

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Mar 15 2012 14:18

The criteria of the system, as already outlined above, is that only works published contemporaneous to or after volume 1, but before Marx's death, are admissable. So all of the works you mention are excluded by that criteria, yes.

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Mar 15 2012 14:52

OK. I'm sorry, I haven't been reading every post in this thread and I have missed that in which the system was outlined. In which above post is the system outlined, may I ask?

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Mar 15 2012 16:01
Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
So, let's see the proof that an ordinary, everyday inference to the best explanation requires justification, or that any that I have used are based on "some minimal philosophical presuppositions".

I've done that already. Does "entailment" (and lack of it in non-deductive inference) ring a bell?

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Mar 16 2012 02:59

an ordinary everyday abductive inference does not "require a philosophical justification" any more than does an ordinary deduction.

as a kind of meta inquiry, you can wonder about "warrant" or "justification" and we can talk about methods that lead to acquiring truths in the particular environments where humans use them, and how some of them may go astray. psychologists for example have looked at the "Exemplar Strategy" as a common actual everyday inference and how that may have worked in certain situations in the early hunter-gatherer era of our species that may explain why humans seem to have inherited this tendency...which fails in many kinds of situations and is considered an invalid non-deductive inference (fallacy of stereotyped thinking).

but if the idea is that justification presupposes that methods must be logically infallible in leading from truth to truth, that is dogmatic deductivism....tho maybe that's not what you would say.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 16 2012 09:39

Jonglier:

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What, Rosa, is your opinion of this citation?

I have already covered all such letters; no unpublished source can countermand a published work.

And in the Afterword we have the only summary of 'the dialectic method' Marx published and endorsed in his lifetime.

Which is why I have been asking the following of SA: "If you have managed to locate a passage, written and published by Marx, contemporaneous with or subsequent to Das kapital, that supports your attempt to re-mystify his work, then why don't you share it with us?"

Deafening silence from him.

But what of the letter itself?

Quote:
When I have shaken off the burden of my economic labours, I shall write a dialectic. The correct laws of the dialectic are already included in Hegel, albeit in a mystical form. It is necessary to strip it of this form.

Well, we can see for ourselves what these 'laws' are from the summary of 'the dialectic method' published in the Afterword: they are the laws of Historical Materialism, which weren't discovered by Hegel, but by Aristotle, Kant and the Scottish Historical School (of Ferguson, Millar, Robertson, Smith, Hume and Stuart). They certainly reappear in Hegel in a garbled and confused form, since he was heavily influenced by the aforementioned theorists.

When they are stripped of their mystical form, there is nothing left of Hegel -- no 'contradictions', no 'unity of opposites', no 'negation of the negation', no 'quantity passing over into quality', no 'internal relations', no 'universal change', no 'totality'...

How do we know?

Well, that summary in the Afterword, which Marx -- not me -- calls 'the dialectic method' contains none of the above, and no trace of Hegel at all.

I have been over all this so many times, the ink is beginning to fade. You mystics need to get over it.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 16 2012 09:43

Ocelot;

Quote:
The system is closed, compact and has an answer for everything. The fact that people outside the system find those answers bizarre or irrational in no way interferes with the working of the system. Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows...

It brings to mind the plateau on the Refrain (Ritournelle) from ATP, the tune the little boy whistles in the dark to relieve his anxiety about being in a strange space by the repetition of something familiar. Or as Deleuze later put it:

And thank you once again for posting yet another monument to irrelevancy (neatly capped off with a quotation from that confused waffler, Deleuze).

Be sure to let us know when you have something worthwhile to add. smile

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 16 2012 09:49

Jonglier:

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Do you hold that Capital vol. 2, Capital vol. 3, the Grundrisse, the German Ideology, the Economic and Philosophical Manusrcipts, are all irrelevant?

1) I am certainly not arguing that in work prior to Das Kapital, Marx wasn't influenced by Hegel, and adopted a mystical way of expressing himself. What I am maintaining is that, on his own admission, he waved all that rubbish goodbye when he wrote Das Kapital.

2) There is much to be learned from his earlier work, provided we too strip it of its mysticism.

3) The later volumes of Das Kapital do not support the mystical interpretation many of you would like to put on his mature work -- or if they do, I'd like to see the proof.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 16 2012 09:53

Jura:

Quote:
I've done that already. Does "entailment" (and lack of it in non-deductive inference) ring a bell?

Yes, and it wasn't a proof.

Perhaps you need to look up the meaning of the word 'proof'...

----------------------------------

However, and once again, if you are 'talking' to me, then, according to your own rather rash declaration, my work must have been 'peer reviewed' somewhere.

Or is your grasp of 'peer reviewed' as good as your grasp of 'proof'?

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jura
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Mar 16 2012 09:54

The "later" volumes are actually the "earlier" volumes. Much of V3 and V2 was written before the revised 2nd edition of V1.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 16 2012 09:57

Jura:

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The "later" volumes are actually the "earlier" volumes. Much of V3 and V2 was written before the revised 2nd edition of V1.

Indeed, and they weren't even published by Marx.

So, my points still stand. smile

S. Artesian
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Mar 16 2012 13:35

To the readers of this thread:

This "published by Marx" is the purely artificial qualification our resident [unfortunately] dissembler hangs her hat on. She also claims that no unpublished assertion can countermand a published one.

The justification for such an ahistorical, and commercial, requirement is never provided. Indeed, there is none. Individuals, corporations, organizations, governments, political parties, publish volumes and volumes of "positions" and "justifications" that are wrong, false, mistaken, self-serving, and 180 degrees out of phase with the real reasons behind their actions. Historical materialism, as a matter of fact, holds that those "official" published explanations are not to be accepted simply because they are "official."

[At this point our resident dissembler will interject: "Are you comparing Marx to a corporation? to a bourgeois government?"-- thereby deflecting from the real issue which is not what or who Marx resembles, but her contention that published material cannot be countermanded by unpublished material].

Clearly, published material can be, and is often, countermanded by unpublished material. Clearly, unpublished material is part of the historical record and must be evaluated as equal in "status" to the published material. That's how historians work, and for anyone who has any comprehension of historical materialism, this is simply the ABC of critical analysis.

That's one.

For two, our resident dissembler, claims that Marx's citation of a review in a Russian journal, where the writer is initially critical of Marx for demonstration "German idealist" characteristic, but then must admit that Marx's presentation is fundamentally materialist, proves Marx's dialectic contains not a shred of Hegel because Marx graciously acknowledges the reviewers explanation of materialist dialectic, and the explanation does not contain the words "contradiction," "negation of the negation" etc. etc.

Certainly, it is possible to present the analysis of capitalism without the terminology, without the vocabulary of the method behind the analysis. That presentation of course does not then refute the method. It expresses it, demonstrates it in its very existence.

Marx intended Capital to be a "popular" critique of its subject; not an academic one; not one restricted to any elite. He explain that he had done his best, wherever possible, to avoid using language unfamiliar to the popular reader, that may be difficult for the reader to grasp. However, there is one section in which Marx finds it impossible to dispense with such difficult, and truly Hegelian manner of presentation and analysis-- and that is in the chapters of value, the chapters that so many find in fact difficult, and "mystical."

Marx expects that the reader will be willing to struggle and learn something new.

In the second edition of Capital, Marx removed certain terms that appear in the first edition-- terms of characteristic Hegelian complexity ["determinate being" being such a term]. That's what he is referring to when he talks about coquetting with forms of expression peculiar to Hegel; the terms he removed. The afterword is in fact Marx's attempt to acknowledge his debt to Hegel while illuminating the difference between Marx's materialist dialectic and Hegel's idealism. And... most importantly he brings his assertion of the validity of the materialist dialectic-- one that is based on contradiction, opposition, existing in the very origin and identity of the object-- "capital"-- directly into the practical, real time world, with his final paragraph, which was written at the outset of the "long deflation"-- the period from 1873-1898, that marked and measured the difficult, and crisis-ridden, transition of capital from its formal domination of labor to its real domination:

"The contradictions inherent in the movement of capitalist society impress themselves upon the practical bourgeois most strikingly in the changes of the periodic cycle, through which moderns industry runs, and whose crowning point is the universal crisis. That crisis is once again approaching although as yet but in its preliminary stage; and by the universality of its theatre and the intensity of its action it will drum dialectic into the heads of the mushroom-upstarts of the new, holy Prussia-German empire."

Coquetting? Not hardly.

Now I have nothing to say to our resident dissembler, who believes that she alone has grasped the meaning of the afterword to the second edition, but who alone again is completely incapable of pointing to a single substantive change, a single matter of practical significance in and for the critique of capital that is based on her epiphany.

She cannot clarify the discussion on value that many find perplexing; she can't point to any difference in the critique of the real world mechanisms of the origin, accumulation, and reproduction of capital that distinguish the "pre-Capital" Marx, from the "Capital" Marx.

While Marx, at the close of his afterword, directs us to the practical significance of contradiction, dialectic, universality..... our resident dissembler can find no practical significance to her discovery.

She claims: 2) There is much to be learned from his earlier work, provided we too strip it of its mysticism.. As a self-proclaimed advocate of historical materialism, this would seem to be a task of considerable importance to her. And to us. But when challenged to show us exactly how such stripping should be done, what should be stripped, and what will emerge that is substantively different and which more acutely apprehends capital after this process...............she has nothing to say except... "Others can do that."

How can that be? If she alone,-- and no other analyst, commentator, historian, critique of Marx has ever expressed an interpretation of the afterword to the second edition that is like hers to my knowledge-- has grasped the significance of Marx's dramatic change in methodology, in "dialectic," how can others do the work that she is incapable of doing?

I actually don't care what the answer is to that question, since every one of her answers requires a disavowal of reality, of the historical body of Marx's work-- we disavow his earlier works, we disavow his correspondence, we disavow his footnotes to Capital, we actually disavow what he says in the afterword and turn it into something he isn't saying. That's what we get, and always get-- a disavowal.

It's not a method, an analysis, a critique that our resident dissembler presents us... it's a pathology.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 16 2012 16:26

Donald Duckster:

Quote:
This "published by Marx" is the purely artificial qualification our resident [unfortunately] dissembler hangs her hat on. She also claims that no unpublished assertion can countermand a published one.

Still ignoring your own advice I see. laugh out loud

However, in view of the fact that (1) an author's published work represents his or her most considered thoughts, and (2) the Afterword contains the only published (indeed, the only) summary of 'the dialectic method' Marx endorsed in his entire lifetime, I think his word takes precedence over your speculation and special pleading.

Quote:
The justification for such an ahistorical, and commercial, requirement is never provided. Indeed, there is none. Individuals, corporations, organizations, governments, political parties, publish volumes and volumes of "positions" and "justifications" that are wrong, false, mistaken, self-serving, and 180 degrees out of phase with the real reasons behind their actions. Historical materialism, as a matter of fact, holds that those "official" published explanations are not to be accepted simply because they are "official."

[At this point our resident dissembler will interject: "Are you comparing Marx to a corporation? to a bourgeois government?"-- thereby deflecting from the real issue which is not what or who Marx resembles, but her contention that published material cannot be countermanded by unpublished material].

Still putting words in my mouth, eh?

In fact, I wouldn't make that point, I'd merely re-direct you to points (1) and (2) above, and note that this approach is widely used to interpret an author's work.

It's also worth noting that the only reason you are adopting this unusual line is that you can't find a passage published by Marx which is contemporaneous with or subsequent to Das Kapital that supports your attempt to re-mystify his work -- all the while ignoring what he actually published in the Afterword.

That has forced you to adopt an approach which puts unpublished material on a par with published material.

Quote:
Clearly, published material can be, and is often, countermanded by unpublished material. Clearly, unpublished material is part of the historical record and must be evaluated as equal in "status" to the published material. That's how historians work, and for anyone who has any comprehension of historical materialism, this is simply the ABC of critical analysis.

1) I have never said unpublished work is to be ignored; I even made this point to you when you tried to argue this at Louis Proyect's site two years ago. I even repeated this at RevLeft, and have done so again in this thread. You need to wake up.

[Anyway, you admit as much later on!]

2) Perhaps you can cite examples where scholars have used unpublished material from earlier in an author's career (or even from any point in that career), to countermand opinions expressed clearly in his/her published work.

Off you go -- make yourself useful for a change.

Quote:
For two, our resident dissembler, claims that Marx's citation of a review in a Russian journal, where the writer is initially critical of Marx for demonstration "German idealist" characteristic, but then must admit that Marx's presentation is fundamentally materialist, proves Marx's dialectic contains not a shred of Hegel because Marx graciously acknowledges the reviewers explanation of materialist dialectic, and the explanation does not contain the words "contradiction," "negation of the negation" etc. etc.

Certainly, it is possible to present the analysis of capitalism without the terminology, without the vocabulary of the method behind the analysis. That presentation of course does not then refute the method. It expresses it, demonstrates it in its very existence.

In other words: we don't need the ideas, nor the method (upside down or the 'right way up'), derived from Hegel to make Marx's theory work.

Good to see you are finally catching up.

But wait:

Quote:
Marx intended Capital to be a "popular" critique of its subject; not an academic one; not one restricted to any elite. He explain that he had done his best, wherever possible, to avoid using language unfamiliar to the popular reader, that may be difficult for the reader to grasp. However, there is one section in which Marx finds it impossible to dispense with such difficult, and truly Hegelian manner of presentation and analysis-- and that is in the chapters of value, the chapters that so many find in fact difficult, and "mystical."

In short, you have no published evidence to support you endeavour to re-mystify Marx's work.

Just be honest, and admit it.

Quote:
In the second edition of Capital, Marx removed certain terms that appear in the first edition-- terms of characteristic Hegelian complexity ["determinate being" being such a term]. That's what he is referring to when he talks about coquetting with forms of expression peculiar to Hegel; the terms he removed. The afterword is in fact Marx's attempt to acknowledge his debt to Hegel while illuminating the difference between Marx's materialist dialectic and Hegel's idealism. And... most importantly he brings his assertion of the validity of the materialist dialectic-- one that is based on contradiction, opposition, existing in the very origin and identity of the object-- "capital"-- directly into the practical, real time world, with his final paragraph, which was written at the outset of the "long deflation"-- the period from 1873-1898, that marked and measured the difficult, and crisis-ridden, transition of capital from its formal domination of labor to its real domination:

As I have told you before: we can speculate all day long about this -- but fortunately, Marx put an end to all this pointless speculation when he very helpfully added a summary of 'the dialectic method' -- his words, not mine -- to the Afterword to the second edition.

And guess what? 'The dialectic method' Marx endorsed contains not one atom of Hegel.

Big surprise, eh?

Quote:
"The contradictions inherent in the movement of capitalist society impress themselves upon the practical bourgeois most strikingly in the changes of the periodic cycle, through which moderns industry runs, and whose crowning point is the universal crisis. That crisis is once again approaching although as yet but in its preliminary stage; and by the universality of its theatre and the intensity of its action it will drum dialectic into the heads of the mushroom-upstarts of the new, holy Prussia-German empire."

Coquetting? Not hardly.

Well, it would be nice to take your word for it, but alas Marx himself, not me, tells us he was merely 'coquetting' with such jargon in Das Kapital.

So: coquetting? Yes indeed.

Add to that the fact that since neither you, nor anyone else for that matter, is able to justify the non-'coquetted' use of this word in Das Kapital (other than by appealing to tradition), there is no good reason to use it even if you are right!

Moreover, the things Marx refers to aren't contradictions to begin with, and do not even look like contradictions -- and neither you nor anyone else can tell us why this word is apt here -- except, again, you simply appeal to tradition.

Now, my approach is (1) faithful to what Marx himself tells us in a published source, and (2) it cuts out the need to try to justify the use of this mystical term -- which no one can justify, anyway.

In short, my approach recommends itself -- at least to us genuine materialists.

Quote:
Now I have nothing to say to our resident dissembler, who believes that she alone has grasped the meaning of the afterword to the second edition, but who alone again is completely incapable of pointing to a single substantive change, a single matter of practical significance in and for the critique of capital that is based on her epiphany.

She cannot clarify the discussion on value that many find perplexing; she can't point to any difference in the critique of the real world mechanisms of the origin, accumulation, and reproduction of capital that distinguish the "pre-Capital" Marx, from the "Capital" Marx.

While Marx, at the close of his afterword, directs us to the practical significance of contradiction, dialectic, universality..... our resident dissembler can find no practical significance to her discovery.

But you are the one who can't justify the use of 'contradiction' (other than by appealing to tradition) and whose intentional 'definition' of use value implies that a chair, say, forgotten about in a cellar can have an exchange value but no use value.

So, I don't think you have any reason to feel superior.

Quote:
She claims: 2) There is much to be learned from his earlier work, provided we too strip it of its mysticism.. As a self-proclaimed advocate of historical materialism, this would seem to be a task of considerable importance to her. And to us. But when challenged to show us exactly how such stripping should be done, what should be stripped, and what will emerge that is substantively different and which more acutely apprehends capital after this process...............she has nothing to say except... "Others can do that."

Well, I did say I would be happy to explain stuff to you, if you were finding it all a little too difficult, but only if you answered the questions I had asked you first and which you have been ducking for two years -- and which, as we can see, you are still ducking, as I predicted you would.

Quote:
I actually don't care what the answer is to that question, since every one of her answers requires a disavowal of reality, of the historical body of Marx's work-- we disavow his earlier works, we disavow his correspondence, we disavow his footnotes to Capital, we actually disavow what he says in the afterword and turn it into something he isn't saying. That's what we get, and always get-- a disavowal.

It's not a method, an analysis, a critique that our resident dissembler presents us... it's a pathology.

Well, as we can see yet again, all you have left in your depleted armoury is abuse and prevarication -- again as I predicted.

So, this still stands:

Quote:
Assuming you are 100% right about Marx and the 'dialectic' -- in that case, other than merely copying his use of 'contradiction', what is your justification for using it?

And I predict that you will deflect attention from it and/or avoid it some more -- since you can't answer it without admitting that the only reason you have for using 'contradiction' in the way you do is a slavish adherence to tradition.

And I was right.

And I'll continue to be right.

Have a nice duck...

S. Artesian
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Mar 16 2012 19:03

To the readers of this thread:

The above response from our resident dissembler is exactly the reason she was banned from RedMarx.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 16 2012 21:28

Donald Duckster

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The above response from our resident dissembler is exactly the reason she was banned from RedMarx.

Indeed, those mystics ducked these questions, too. sad

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 21 2012 11:28

Whimped out, I see...

No worries, SA, I'll just link to these threads the next time you try to con the members of another board into thinking you have answered my questions.

S. Artesian
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Mar 22 2012 22:14

GFY Rosa, nobody's whimped out. There's just no point engaging with a pathological shirker like you.

I've answered every point you've raised and showed how nothing you raise makes any practical difference to Marx's critique of capitalism.

Besides which, I've been in Cairo for awhile... actually doing something valuable.... in all senses of the word.

Go troll somewhere else.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Mar 22 2012 23:32

Donald Duckster:

Quote:
There's just no point engaging with a pathological shirker like you.

In other words, you can't answer this question (which I have been asking you now for at least two years, here and at RevLeft):

Quote:
Assuming you are 100% right about Marx and the 'dialectic' -- in that case, other than merely copying his use of 'contradiction', what is your justification for using it?

And I predict that you will deflect attention from it and/or avoid it some more -- since you can't answer it without admitting that the only reason you have for using 'contradiction' in the way you do is a slavish adherence to tradition.

DD:

Quote:
I've answered every point you've raised and showed how nothing you raise makes any practical difference to Marx's critique of capitalism.

Not the above, nor have you shown how or why your intentional 'definition' of use value does not imply that an antique chair, forgotten about in a cellar, has no use value.

Quote:
Besides which, I've been in Cairo for awhile... actually doing something valuable.... in all senses of the word.

Well done you; now you are back, you will no doubt be able to answer the above questions.

Or, is Donald still a serial Duckster?

Quote:
Go troll somewhere else.

Which confirms the accuracy of my earlier prediction:

Quote:
Well, as we can see yet again, all you have left in your depleted armoury is abuse and prevarication -- again as I predicted.

Go duck somewhere else... smile