Thesis, antithesis, synthesis

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Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 20 2007 15:05

Posey:

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Rosa desperately wishes to avoid discussing her own rejection of tendencies and forces...a viewpoint that would be hard to square with her advocacy of historical materialism and Marxism. here we have what she said in an earlier post:

I refer the honourable, but repetitive ignoramus to my earlier response to him.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 20 2007 15:34

By the way, SIMCP, your original query (about that infamous triad) was settled over 50 years ago, in this article:

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"The most vexing and devastating Hegel legend is that everything is thought in 'thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.' [...] The actual texts of Hegel not only occasionally deviate from 'thesis, antithesis, and synthesis,' but show nothing of the sort. 'Dialectic' does not for Hegel mean 'thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.' Dialectic means that any 'ism' -- which has a polar opposite, or is a special viewpoint leaving 'the rest' to itself -- must be criticized by the logic of philosophical thought, whose problem is reality as such, the 'World-itself.'

"Hermann Glockner's reliable Hegel Lexikon (4 volumes, Stuttgart, 1935) does not list the Fichtean terms 'thesis, antithesis, synthesis' together. In all the twenty volumes of Hegel's 'complete works' he does not use this 'triad' once; nor does it occur in the eight volumes of Hegel texts, published for the first time in the twentieth Century. He refers to 'thesis, antithesis, and synthesis' in the Preface of the Phenomenology of Mind, where he considers the possibility of this 'triplicity' as a method or logic of philosophy. According to the Hegel-legend one would expect Hegel to recommend this 'triplicity.' But, after saying that it was derived from Kant, he calls it a 'lifeless schema,' 'mere shadow' and concludes: 'The trick of wisdom of that sort is as quickly acquired as it is easy to practice. Its repetition, when once it is familiar, becomes as boring as the repetition of any bit of sleigh-of-hand once we see through it. The instrument for producing this monotonous formalism is no more difficult to handle than the palette of a painter, on which lie only two colours....' (Preface, Werke, II, 48-49).

"In the student notes, edited and published as History of Philosophy, Hegel mentions in the Kant chapter, the 'spiritless scheme of the triplicity of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis' (geistloses Schema) by which the rhythm and movement of philosophic knowledge is artificially pre-scribed (vorgezeichnet).

"In the first important book about Hegel by his student, intimate friend and first biographer, Karl Rosenkranz (Hegels Leben, 1844), 'thesis, antithesis, synthesis' are conspicuous by their absence. It seems Hegel was quite successful in hiding his alleged 'method' from one of his best students.

"The very important new Hegel literature of this century has altogether abandoned the legend. Theodor Haering's Hegels Wollen und Werk (2 vol., Teubner, 1929 and 1938) makes a careful study of Hegel's terminology and language and finds not a trace of 'thesis, antithesis, synthesis.' In the second volume there are a few lines (pp.118, 126) in which he repeats what Hegel in the above quotation had said himself, i.e., that this 'conventional slogan' is particularly unfortunate because it impedes the understanding of Hegelian texts. As long as readers think that they have to find 'thesis, antithesis, synthesis' in Hegel they must find him obscure -- but what is obscure is not Hegel but their coloured glasses. Iwan Iljin's Hegel's Philosophie als kontemplative Gotteslehre (Bern, 1946) dismisses the 'thesis, antithesis, synthesis' legend in the Preface as a childish game (Spielerei), which does not even reach the front-porch of Hegel's philosophy.

"Other significant works, like Hermann Glockner, Hegel (2 vols., Stuttgart, 1929), Theodor Steinbüchel, Das Grundproblem der Hegelschen Philosophie (Bonn, 1933), and Theodor Litt, Hegel: Eine Kritische Erneuerung (Heidelberg, 1953), Emerich Coreth, S.J., Das Dialektische Sein in Hegels Logik (Wien, 1952), and many others have simply disregarded the legend. In my own monographs on Hegel über Offenbarung, Kirche und Philosophie (Munich, 1939) and Hegel über Sittlichkeit und Geschichte (Reinhardt, 1940), I never found any 'thesis, antithesis, synthesis.' Richard Kroner, in his introduction to the English edition of selections from Hegel's Early Theological Writings, puts it mildly when he says: 'This new Logic is of necessity as dialectical as the movement of thinking itself.... But it is by no means the mere application of a monotonous trick that could be learned and repeated. It is not the mere imposition of an ever recurring pattern. It may appear so in the mind of some historians who catalogue the living trend of thought, but in reality it is ever changing, ever growing development; Hegel is nowhere pedantic in pressing concepts into a ready-made mold (sic). The theme of thesis, anti-thesis, and synthesis, like the motif of a musical composition, has many modulations and modifications. It is never "applied"; it is itself only a poor and not even helpful abstraction of what is really going on in Hegel's Logic.'

"Well, shall we keep this 'poor and not helpful abstraction' in our attic because 'some historians' have used it as their rocking-horse? We rather agree with the conclusion of Johannes Flügge: 'Dialectic is not the scheme of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis imputed to Hegel.'

"In an essay by Nicolai Hartmann on Aristoteles und Hegel, I find the following additional confirmation of all the other witnesses to the misinterpretation of Hegel's dialectic: 'It is a basically perverse opinion (grundverkehrte Ansicht) which sees the essence of dialectic in the triad of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.' The legend was spread by Karl Marx whose interpretation of Hegel is distorted. It is Marxism superimposed on Hegel. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis, Marx says in Das Elend der Philosophie, is Hegel's purely logical formula for the movement of pure reason, and the whole system is engendered by this dialectical movement of thesis, antithesis, synthesis of all categories. This pure reason, he continues, is Mr. Hegel's own reason, and history becomes the history of his own philosophy, whereas in reality, thesis, antithesis, synthesis are the categories of economic movements. (Summary of Chapter II, Paragraph 1.) The few passages in Marx's writings that resemble philosophy are not his own. He practices the communistic habit of expropriation without compensation. Knowing this in general, I was also convinced that there must be a source for this 'thesis, antithesis, and synthesis,' and I finally discovered it.

"In the winter of 1835-36, a group of Kantians in Dresden called on Heinrich Moritz Chalybäus, professor of philosophy at the University of Kiel, to lecture to them on the new philosophical movement after Kant. They were older, professional men who in their youth had been Kantians, and now wanted an orientation in a development which they distrusted; but they also wanted a confirmation of their own Kantianism. Professor Chalybäus did just those two things. His lectures appeared in 1837 under the title Historische Entwicklung der speculativen Philosophie von Kant bis Hegel, Zu näherer Verständigung des wissenschaftlichen Publikums mit der neuesten Schule. The book was very popular and appeared in three editions. In my copy of the third edition of 1843, Professor Chalybäus says (p. 354): 'This is the first trilogy: the unity of Being, Nothing and Becoming...we have in this first methodical thesis, antithesis, and synthesis...an example or schema for all that follows.' This was for Chalybäus a brilliant hunch which he had not used previously and did not pursue afterwards in any way at all. But Karl Marx was at, that time a student at the university of Berlin and a member of the Hegel Club where the famous book was discussed. He took the hunch and spread it into a deadly, abstract machinery. Other left Hegelians, such as Arnold Ruge, Ludwig Feuerbach, Max Stirner, use 'thesis, antithesis, synthesis' just as little as Hegel.

"{Quote from the article of Gustav E. Müller: The Hegel Legend of 'Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis', in 'Journal of the History of Ideas', Volume XIX, June 1958, Number 3, Page 411. The article is still as valid today as it was in 1958.}"

[The full article is Müller (1958).]

This can be found here:

http://www.hegel.net/en/faq.htm#6.4

Or at my site, here:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/Thesis_Anti-Thesis_Synthesis.htm

Add to this Hegel expert, Terry Pinkard's comment:

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"Britannica: One of the things most associated with Hegel's thought is the thesis/antithesis/synthesis scheme, the process by which reality unfolds and history progresses. But you claim this never appears in Hegel's work.

"Pinkard: This myth was started by Heinrich Moritz Chalybäus. It appears in a history he wrote of recent German philosophy (published in the 1840s), in which he said, roughly, that Fichte's philosophy followed the model of thesis/antithesis/synthesis, but Hegel went further and cosmologized that notion, extending it to the entire universe. The book was widely read (apparently the young Marx was one of its readers), and the idea stuck. It's still touted in a lot of short encyclopedia entries about Hegel. Like many little encapsulations of thought, it has the virtue of being easy to understand and easy to summarize. It's just not very helpful in understanding Hegel's thought. It has also contributed to the lack of appreciation of Hegel in Anglophone philosophy. It's not too hard to point out all the places where it doesn't apply, dismiss it as a kind of dialectical trick, and then just go on to conclude that Hegel isn't worth reading at all."

From here:

http://www.postelservice.com/archives/000008.html

So, it looks like Marx not only abandoned Hegel later on, he misunderstood him from the get-go.

As I point out (in Essay Four):

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This suggests that Marx and all subsequent Marxists who use this 'schema' are not reliable interpreters of Hegel. If so, then, according to Lenin, that must mean that Marx could not have understood Das Kapital!

"It is impossible to understand Marx's Capital, and especially its first chapter, without having thoroughly studied and understood the whole of Hegel's Logic. Consequently, half a century later none of the Marxists understood Marx!!" [Lenin (1961), p.180. Emphases added.]

Which further suggests that understanding Hegel (even if that were possible) is not integral to Marxism, or we would be faced with the ridiculous conclusion that Marx did not understand the central text of Marxism!

Let's see the dialecticians try to wriggle out of that one....

Yes, let's see you....

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

Mueller, G. (1958), 'The Hegel Legend Of "Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis", Journal of the History of Ideas 19, pp.411-14; reprinted in Stewart (1996), pp.301-05.

Stewart, J. (1996) (ed.), The Hegel Myths And Legends (Northwestern University Press).

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gatorojinegro
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May 20 2007 17:34

the only alternative method to dialectic that Rosa mentions on her website is formal deductive logic. formal logic may be appropriate as a foundation for a purely formal discipline such as mathematics, but it is not a sufficient method for any empirical science. if "dialectic" is supposed to be a methodology or helpful at discovery, then it can't be replaced with formal logic, which is not adequate for empirical discovery. for this the method of hypothesis and test is needed. but Rosa says this is "invalid". formal logic is helpful but not sufficient by itself.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 20 2007 17:56

Posey:

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the only alternative method to dialectic that Rosa mentions on her website is formal deductive logic. formal logic may be appropriate as a foundation for a purely formal discipline such as mathematics, but it is not a sufficient method for any empirical science. if "dialectic" is supposed to be a methodology or helpful at discovery, then it can't be replaced with formal logic, which is not adequate for empirical discovery. for this the method of hypothesis and test is needed. but Rosa says this is "invalid". formal logic is helpful but not sufficient by itself.

I refer the honourable monomaniac to my earlier response to him.

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Khawaga
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May 21 2007 07:04
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I'd have a hangover too if I'd have received the drubbing I gave you all week! smile

You actually believe that!!???!!! Delusions of grandeur... Everyone on this thread sees it different from you, but I guess that just makes all of us crazy.

Have you written your essays in feces on your walls as well?

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Demogorgon303
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May 21 2007 07:17

You're right Rosa. I am banging my head against a brick wall although not the one you imply. I have examined that Afterword again and found only one thing that contradicts your interpretation: the words. I'm done.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 21 2007 07:48

atlemk:

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You actually believe that!!???!!! Delusions of grandeur... Everyone on this thread sees it different from you, but I guess that just makes all of us crazy.

Well, they are mystics -- what else can you expect?

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Have you written your essays in feces on your walls as well?

No, just your dubious ancestry.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 21 2007 07:54

Demogorgon:

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You're right Rosa. I am banging my head against a brick wall although not the one you imply. I have examined that Afterword again and found only one thing that contradicts your interpretation: the words. I'm done.

Funny that -- I suspect you might have a defective copy, then, because when I read the Aftreword, I see Marx tell us that the summary from that reviewer, in which not a trace of Hegel is to be found, is the "dialectic method", which then helps explain why Marx merely "coquetted" with that mystical bumbler's jargon, and then only in a few places.

May I suggest you send your copy back, and get a new, but non-defective one as a replacement?

SatanIsMyCoPilot
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May 21 2007 08:43

Rosa, you exist in a dreamworld and are far more of an idealist than Hegel ever was (he wasn't by the way, at least not in the sense you think him to be) if you believe yourself to be doing anything other than looking a fool here. And your genius tactic of diverting attention from the fact that you cannot answer my questions by making feeble insults does not, I'm afraid, work; it makes you seem stupid as well as petty.

But perhaps a more accurate description would be "peevish, arrogant, mediocre Epigone," which is precisely what Marx would have called someone like yourself. As you are so fond of quoting the Postface to the Second German edition, in your weird Orwellian attempts to alter its meaning, let us now – yet again – look at the text that you are so fond of. And as you seem to require spoon feeding, let’s do it line by line.

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The mystifying side of Hegelian dialectic I criticised nearly thirty years ago, at a time when it was still the fashion. But just as I was working at the first volume of “Das Kapital,” it was the good pleasure of the peevish, arrogant, mediocre Epigones who now talk large in cultured Germany, to treat Hegel in same way as the brave Moses Mendelssohn in Lessing’s time treated Spinoza, i.e., as a “dead dog.” I therefore openly avowed myself the pupil of that mighty thinker, and even here and there, in the chapter on the theory of value, coquetted with the modes of expression peculiar to him. The mystification which dialectic suffers in Hegel’s hands, by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner. With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.

1) Marx criticised ‘the mystifying side’ of Hegel thirty years ago (paris manuscripts, critique of the hilosophy of right, poverty of philosophy, holy family etc.). As you would know had you read these texts, and is clearly stated here, Marx rejects the ‘mystifying’ aspect of Hegel, i.e. what he perceives as Hegel’s idealism. Note that this is not the same thing as rejecting Hegel entirely.

2) At the time that he was writing volume 1 it became fashionable for peevish, arrogant, mediocre epigones like yourself to treat Hegel as a dead dog. Responding to this, Marx declared himself to be a pupil of Hegel, and even went so far as to employ a few Hegelian phrases in his text (in fact Hegelian motifs crop up throughout all three volumes). You complained earlier that this is written in the past tense. How could it not be? Marx is talking about a period of time that has since passed, a declaration that he has made, and a book that he has written.

3) The mystificatory aspect of Hegel, which Marx had already criticised and which he distances himself from in the first sentence here, does not prevent Hegel from being “the first to present [the dialectic’s] general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner.” This mystifying side contains a rational kernel, i.e. Hegel’s ‘comprehensive and conscious’ account of the dialectics ‘general working.’ Marx takes this and sets about turning Hegel ‘right side up’, i.e. turning what he thinks to be an account of the self-determination of concepts into a way of understanding the self-determination of human beings.

The result of this ‘inversion’ is as follows:

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In its mystified form, dialectic became the fashion in Germany, because it seemed to transfigure and to glorify the existing state of things. In its rational form it is a scandal and abomination to bourgeoisdom and its doctrinaire professors, because it includes in its comprehension and affirmative recognition of the existing state of things, at the same time also, the recognition of the negation of that state, of its inevitable breaking up; because it regards every historically developed social form as in fluid movement, and therefore takes into account its transient nature not less than its momentary existence; because it lets nothing impose upon it, and is in its essence critical and revolutionary.

Now, I don’t doubt for a minute that you will reply to this by simply parroting that sentence that you like so much (which, I’m afraid, doesn’t even serve your purposes when taken out of context). I also don’t doubt for a minute that you have not taken the trouble to read this but are mindlessly scrolling your way down the post, writing stupid little insults to each line rather than addressing them. But please bear in mind that when you refer me back to your previous (inadequate) response, or when you simply copy and paste “and here and there coquetted with the mode of expression peculiar to him” (as you will inevitably do), bear in mind that Marx’s text does not mean that the Hegelian content of Capital consists of flirting with a few words, but that it rather comprises a method of enquiry, presentation and philosophy of praxis.

And finally:
Thank you for your kind efforts to reply to my original question in the first post of this thread. However, your total inability to read has, sadly, been demonstrated once again: my question was prompted by Mueller’s essay, as might be evidenced by my reference to Chalybaus. Mueller suggests that the thesis-antithesis-synthesis dogma originates in the Poverty of Philosophy; my question was as to whether than is in fact the case (it seems to be). And whilst you correctly point out that the thesis-antithesis-synthesis mantra has nothing to do with Hegel, you will see that I had in fact stated just that fact in the very first sentence of this thread. However, whilst your contribution was somewhat pointless, I congratulate you for telling me something correct that I know alrteady, rather than an incorrect statement about something I know already. One can but hope that the next step up will be to tell me something new and interesting – although I fear the inevitable parrot squawk of “I refer you to my previous answer” is fast approaching.

One final comment: Marx’s use of thesis-antithesis-synthesis is lazy; he’s skectching out as quickly as he can the essence of Hegel’s actualisation of the universal and particular. Those that followed from him were completely incorrect, but it would be another Orwellian falsification to claim on this basis that Marx misunderstood Hegel from the start (I think he did misunderstand elements of Hegel, but not in this respect). The collapse of Hegelian philosophy into Soviet Diamat and Marxist doggerel via Engels’ late work should be opposed and critiqued. But the way to do this is not through a complete refusal to confront Hegel, and to assume that this doggerel is identical to Hegel himself, which is precisely what you do – but rather to read Hegel and understand him, so as to understand the merits and failings of Marx’s ‘inversion’ and indeed that of the writers who followed him. Were you engaged in such a project I would find talking to you interesting and productive. But you’re not; instead you present yourself as a “peevish, arrogant, mediocre Epigone”.

Now get squawking, parrot

Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 21 2007 09:42

SIMCP, now running out of arguments, and no longer laughing neurotically:

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Rosa, you exist in a dreamworld and are far more of an idealist than Hegel ever was (he wasn't by the way, at least not in the sense you think him to be) if you believe yourself to be doing anything other than looking a fool here. And your genius tactic of diverting attention from the fact that you cannot answer my questions by making feeble insults does not, I'm afraid, work; it makes you seem stupid as well as petty.

As I said, think what you like about my refusal to answer your specific question -- I care not

And, I'd like to see your proof that I am an idealist.

Moreover, if sticking to what Marx actually said, as opposed to reading into his work the ideas of a mystical idealist, is dreaming, then I hope I never wake up.

And my insults are only slightly less feeble than yours.

But wait! For it is now you who veers off into fantasy:

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But perhaps a more accurate description would be "peevish, arrogant, mediocre Epigone," which is precisely what Marx would have called someone like yourself. As you are so fond of quoting the Postface to the Second German edition, in your weird Orwellian attempts to alter its meaning, let us now – yet again – look at the text that you are so fond of. And as you seem to require spoon feeding, let’s do it line by line.

I do not know why you think Marx would have said that about someone like me who took him at his word.

But, I suspect he might have said it about you, and the others here, who want to read into Marx a traditional interpretation of his ideas that has no basis in fact -- but which contradicts what he actually wrote.

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1) Marx criticised ‘the mystifying side’ of Hegel thirty years ago (paris manuscripts, critique of the philosophy of right, poverty of philosophy, holy family etc.). As you would know had you read these texts, and is clearly stated here, Marx rejects the ‘mystifying’ aspect of Hegel, i.e. what he perceives as Hegel’s idealism. Note that this is not the same thing as rejecting Hegel entirely.

I have read these earlier works (and studied them -- indeed I was taught at University by the man who first translated the 1844 MSS into English), and probably did so long before you had even heard of Marx.

And I agree with you, that in these early works Marx had not abandoned Hegel. Indeed I said so earlier.

So, not only can you not read Marx too well, you find it hard getting to grips with what I say, even when I agree with you!

But, I went on to say, that all this earlier material is from Marx's pre-"coquetting" stage, you know, that which he refers to in the seldom read passage I keep forgetting to post:

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and even here and there, in the chapter on the theory of value, coquetted with the modes of expression peculiar to him.

Oh dear!

That's eight times!

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At the time that he was writing volume 1 it became fashionable for peevish, arrogant, mediocre epigones like yourself to treat Hegel as a dead dog. Responding to this, Marx declared himself to be a pupil of Hegel, and even went so far as to employ a few Hegelian phrases in his text (in fact Hegelian motifs crop up throughout all three volumes). You complained earlier that this is written in the past tense. How could it not be? Marx is talking about a period of time that has since passed, a declaration that he has made, and a book that he has written.

Yes, all in the past tense -- we established that ages ago.

Now, please, move on...!

And you keep saying these 'motifs' crop up, but you have yet to put your quotes where your mouth is -- and remember, if you are going to quote any of these 'motifs', make sure that none of them are subject to the caveats of this little-known passage:

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and even here and there, in the chapter on the theory of value, coquetted with the modes of expression peculiar to him.

Oops, I do believe that is nine times!

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3) The mystificatory aspect of Hegel, which Marx had already criticised and which he distances himself from in the first sentence here, does not prevent Hegel from being “the first to present [the dialectic’s] general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner.” This mystifying side contains a rational kernel, i.e. Hegel’s ‘comprehensive and conscious’ account of the dialectics ‘general working.’ Marx takes this and sets about turning Hegel ‘right side up’, i.e. turning what he thinks to be an account of the self-determination of concepts into a way of understanding the self-determination of human beings.

And we all know what Marx meant by the 'rational kernel' here, for a reviewer helpfully summarised it for us, in which summary not a trace of Hegel is to be found, but which Marx still calls "the dialectic method".

Or, haven't I made that point before?

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Now, I don’t doubt for a minute that you will reply to this by simply parroting that sentence that you like so much (which, I’m afraid, doesn’t even serve your purposes when taken out of context). I also don’t doubt for a minute that you have not taken the trouble to read this but are mindlessly scrolling your way down the post, writing stupid little insults to each line rather than addressing them. But please bear in mind that when you refer me back to your previous (inadequate) response, or when you simply copy and paste “and here and there coquetted with the mode of expression peculiar to him” (as you will inevitably do), bear in mind that Marx’s text does not mean that the Hegelian content of Capital consists of flirting with a few words, but that it rather comprises a method of enquiry, presentation and philosophy of praxis.

Not reply? Me?

I have done so several times (and I did so in reply to Demogorgon too), which you seem not to have:

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taken the trouble to read...but are mindlessly scrolling your way down the post, writing stupid little insults to each line rather than addressing them.

You recall those insults of yours, don't you? They prompted me to respond in kind.

But, like the others here: you think it's OK to bad mouth me, but when I return the compliment, you run to mummy crying.

Now, if you do not like my earlier replies, you need to say where I went wrong, and stop attributing to me your very own failings (i.e., of not reading posts very carefully).

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Thank you for your kind efforts to reply to my original question in the first post of this thread. However, your total inability to read has, sadly, been demonstrated once again: my question was prompted by Mueller’s essay, as might be evidenced by my reference to Chalybäus. Mueller suggests that the thesis-antithesis-synthesis dogma originates in the Poverty of Philosophy; my question was as to whether than is in fact the case (it seems to be). And whilst you correctly point out that the thesis-antithesis-synthesis mantra has nothing to do with Hegel, you will see that I had in fact stated just that fact in the very first sentence of this thread. However, whilst your contribution was somewhat pointless, I congratulate you for telling me something correct that I know already, rather than something totally incorrect. One can but hope that the next step up will be to tell me something new and interesting – although I fear the inevitable parrot squawk of “I refer you to my previous answer” is fast approaching.

Well, your original comment was this:

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Hegel never used the words 'thesis, antithesis, synthesis', as we all know. I read something recently that suggests that the first use of the term was Marx in the Poverty of Philosophy, ad that Marx picked this up from the Berlin Hegel Club where a recent publication by a Professor Chalybäus was being discussed.

And try as I could, I was not above to see a reference to Mueller in there.

So, it now looks like you cannot even read your own posts, never mind mine -- or Marx's writings!

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But the way to do this is not through a complete refusal to confront Hegel, and to assume that this doggerel is identical to Hegel himself, which is precisely what you do – but rather to read Hegel and understand him, so as to understand the merits and failings of Marx’s ‘inversion’ and indeed that of the writers who followed him. Were you engaged in such a project I would find talking to you interesting and productive. But you’re not; instead you present yourself as a “peevish, arrogant, mediocre Epigone”.

But, you will note how I put things in the hypothetical mood; if Lenin were right then...

Of course, Lenin could be wrong, but if he were right --, and one does need to understand all of Hegel's 'Logic' to grasp Kapital --, then, since Marx made this fundamental error, he cannot have understood the 'Logic', and so cannot have understood Kapital!

I derive that absurd result to show that Lenin cannot be correct.

But, in your haste to rubbish me, you missed that.

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Now get squawking, parrot

No need to; you are doing a fine job on your own.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 21 2007 10:07

Joseph K, I missed this comment of yours from earlier:

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Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
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Quite; what is correct in Hegel is the stuff he filched from Ferguson, Millar, Smith and Hume (and probably from Vico and Herder, too).

Marx was happy to return to that rational form of historical materialism, and to develop it, hence he needed nothing at all from Hegel.

Same with me.

Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:

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I reject all of traditional philosophy as ruling-class clap trap.

you're certainly managing to reject dialectics, the law of non-contradiction and the thoroughly bourgeois notion of coherency

[Misspelling of my name corrected.]

Perhaps you, like so many Hegel-fans here, do not know what this 'law of non-contradiction' is -- which will explain this clanger of yours.

You fail to note that I am attributing these views to Marx, so for him, what is correct in Hegel comes from these earlier theorists.

Now, nowhere did I say that I find these correct.

My "same with me" comment is in reference to Hegel, as I have made plain many times.

Indeed, since I reject all traditional philosophy, you should have been able to work the following out for yourself: if I reject all such Ideas then I reject these ideas (in those earlier theorists) too.

I suspect, however, that such a complex inference might be beyond the intellectual capacity of those here whose brain cells have been nuked by reading far more dialectical logic than is good for human beings to be exposed to -- and possibly those of your good self, judging by the failed smart response you cooked up.

Historical Materialism does not need the input of a single ruling-class hack.

SatanIsMyCoPilot
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May 21 2007 10:23

I was going to let you stew for a while, but very briefly:

Marx's use of thesis-antithesis-synthesis constitutes a shorthand account, not an misunderstanding (as I explained), although I grant you that its ossification into dogma was a gross error (and one that should be countered by the method described above, not by behaving like a peevish, arrogant, mediocre epigone)

I've already explained to you that the passage written by the critic that Marx quotes is an account of 'the dialectical method' written by someone who doesn't know that they are describing it ("what else is he picturing but the dialectic method?"). Thus its hardly surprising that it doesn't contain Hegelian buzzwords. But this isn't even an issue anyway, as there is no reason whatsoever why Hegelian influenced thought, i.e. a way of thinking and working that has arisen from a critical confrontation with Hegel, should need to employ such words. And it gets worse than that, Rosa - because Hegel doesn't think there is any such inseparable identity between words and meaning anyway, and writes at several occasions about the limits of language.

...but you're welcome to believe whatever deluded nonsense you want. If it makes you happy go for it. Keep grinding Hegel into dust beneath the iron heel of your website. ...although you might want to identifty what it is that you are grinding before you start doing so, as otherwise you may well miss him entirely

Enough. I have better things to do, but may get back to you later if I fancy a bit of light entertainment.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
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Joined: 14-03-06
May 21 2007 10:36
rosa wrote:
you, like so many Hegel-fans here

i've already told you i haven't read any, save a few excerpts perhaps.

rosa wrote:
You fail to note that I am attributing these views to Marx, so for him, what is correct in Hegel comes from these earlier theorists.

Now, nowhere did I say that I find these correct.

oh really? i quoted you saying ...

rosa wrote:
Marx was happy to return to that rational form of historical materialism, and to develop it, hence he needed nothing at all from Hegel.

Same with me.

so i acknowledged your ascription of that view to marx, and you clearly stated that you agreed. i believe the technical term is 'fibber', but tbh the dishonest circular misreading bullshit : anything of worth ratio on this thread is too poor to bother with any further

Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 21 2007 14:57

SIMCP, getting dialectically nastier with each dyspeptic response:

Quote:
Marx's use of thesis-antithesis-synthesis constitutes a shorthand account, not an misunderstanding (as I explained), although I grant you that its ossification into dogma was a gross error (and one that should be countered by the method described above, not by behaving like a peevish, arrogant, mediocre epigone)

Yes I read your 'explanation', and it makes as much sense as a speech by George W.

Marx screwed up, and that must mean he did not understand Hegel's Logic (although, I suspect there is no way of deciding if anyone has ever understood that Bible of Bo**ocks), which must mean that he did not understand Kapital.

Or, perhaps one does not need to understand a word of Hegel to grasp Kapital?

How can we decide?

Why, it's Marx himself who can help us decide, for in his response to a review of his masterpiece, in which there was mercifully no trace of Hegel, he describes that 'Hegel-free' version of his method as the "dialectic method"

Funny, I thought I had made that point before?

How could you have missed it?

And I think that disposes of this speculative foray into the outer reaches of fantasy, too:

Quote:
I've already explained to you that the passage written by the critic that Marx quotes is an account of 'the dialectical method' written by someone who doesn't know that they are describing it ("what else is he picturing but the dialectic method?"). Thus its hardly surprising that it doesn't contain Hegelian buzzwords. But this isn't even an issue anyway, as there is no reason whatsoever why Hegelian influenced thought, i.e. a way of thinking and working that has arisen from a critical confrontation with Hegel, should need to employ such words. And it gets worse than that, Rosa - because Hegel doesn't think there is any such inseparable identity between words and meaning anyway, and writes at several occasions about the limits of language.

This is all to no avail, since Marx settled the issue for us when he said the following (sorry if I haven't quoted it before):

Quote:
and even here and there, in the chapter on the theory of value, coquetted with the modes of expression peculiar to him.

Oh, silly me, I think I have: that, I believe is ten times now.

Quote:
but you're welcome to believe whatever deluded nonsense you want. If it makes you happy go for it

No, I don't think I believe the stuff you are trying to lay on us.

But, really! Need you be so hard on yourself?? At least your stuff is high grade nonsense. Give yourself some credit, please!

Quote:
Enough. I have better things to do, but may get back to you later if I fancy a bit of light entertainment.

Full marks for making light of the drubbing you have suffered here.....

It's called 'whistling in the dark', I believe.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Joined: 30-03-07
May 21 2007 15:15

JoKe:

Quote:
i've already told you i haven't read any, save a few excerpts perhaps.

I am glad to hear it; but that just means your confusion is home-grown.

Quote:
oh really? i quoted you saying ...

rosa wrote:

Quote:
Marx was happy to return to that rational form of historical materialism, and to develop it, hence he needed nothing at all from Hegel.

Same with me.

so i acknowledged your ascription of that view to marx, and you clearly stated that you agreed. i believe the technical term is 'fibber', but tbh the dishonest circular misreading bullshit : anything of worth ratio on this thread is too poor to bother with any further

But, if we examine the full quotation from me (and the passage to which I am responding, from SIMCP), not your edited version, we find your latest fanatasy is even worse than the earlier one:

Quote:
SIMCP:
Quote:
The mystification which dialectic suffers in Hegel’s hands, by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner. With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.

Quite; what is correct in Hegel is the stuff he filched from Ferguson, Millar, Smith and Hume (and probably from Vico and Herder, too).

Marx was happy to return to that rational form of historical materialism, and to develop it, hence he needed nothing at all from Hegel.

Same with me.

Only, I'd not even "coquette" with a single Hegelian term.

[Marx whimped out.]

From Page Nine above.

It is quite clear I am representing things as Marx sees them, in response to SIMCP, who claims Marx sees things differently from the way I picture them.

As I noted earlier, my "same with me" refers to the "hence he needed nothing at all from Hegel".

Hence my comment at the end that Marx whimped out.

Quote:
so i acknowledged your ascription of that view to marx, and you clearly stated that you agreed. i believe the technical term is 'fibber', but tbh the dishonest circular misreading bullshit : anything of worth ratio on this thread is too poor to bother with any further

Well, you can twist my words all you like, that is up to you, but that would make you a liar, not a fibber.

Just so long as I stay the centre of attention from you guys, here, I careth not.

The traffic to my site just keeps growing all the time.

Thanks guys!!!

Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 21 2007 15:19

Does anyone know why whenever a comment is posted or even edited, the site returns to the opening page each time???

It didn't use to do that.

wangwei
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May 21 2007 17:39
Quote:
or none that make any sense.

To you, because you're insane.

Quote:
But he neglected to post a single piece of evidence in support, and you bought it.

He didn't have to, as you're empiricism is obvious to many but you.

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(in which not a trace of Hegel can be found) as the ‘dialectic method’.

Rosa's concrete skull can't process this. That quote had the dialectic method, and it didn't need Hegel.

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Fido perhaps has not noticed that “ruling ideas” is not the same as his hyper-bold “all ideas”.

This, apart from the irrelevant bluster below, is his “refutation” of my argument.

He has not responded to my claim, that Daoist ideas are ruling class ideas (but see below), but when this is coupled with his inadvertent admission that I was right in this comment:

since Rosa is unable to understand Class struggle and Class ownership and ideas, well then of course she can't deal with the contradiction that all ideas of a socio-historic period come from the ruling class, are adapted by the working class, and continue to contain the aspirations of the oppressed classes. She can't see the rational kernel of anything since she's stuck in absolutist empiricism.

Quote:
Can anyone see in here a response to my claim that Daoist ideas not only are, but came from, the ruling class? So, which bit is the metaphor?

Of course others can, but Rosa just can't deal with figurative langauge as it would short circuit her. And the house was the metaphor Rosa, but you can't read so that's okay.

Quote:
In other words, he prefers to cling onto his erroneous belief that science is a ruling class activity

Yes, science is a ruling class activity in so much as they own it and propel it in their own interests. That's basic class struggle, but Rosa has already proven that she doesn't know jack all about Marxism.

Quote:
According to Fido, however, in the Marx/Engels correspondence, there is such proof.

this is another example of Rosa not knowing history, as Marx knew of its existence but Engels did not. Engels told him how to produce the series of Capital, but did not know of Grundrisse. She's so daft it's pathetic. As this quote:

Quote:
but the publisher and Engels warned him not to publish only one text, as money had to be made.

doesn't mean they knew of the existence of just one text as Engels was discussing the opening introduction of one of Hegel's texts that, according to him, precluded having to read the whole work.

Quote:
The bottom line is that this work remained unpublished, even by Engels.

Why?

Uhm, because Marx was poor and in debt and had to sell books. Oh yeah, and he was working on the 6 or 7 (disputed) volumes of Capital.

Quote:
Which was in turn a reply to Fido’s alleged capacity to see in Marx’s text the exact opposite of that which confronts the eye.

Her tendency to believe that what she sees is what all people see, as she is now saying "the eye" for her lack of sight.

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So, either way, Marx believed the opposite of Hegel.

This word, opposite, has a specific meaning within the context of the dialectic method. But, Rosa hasn't learned the basic fourth grade understanding that different words mean different things in different contexts.

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that I have no philosophy,

As I say to existentialists all the time, the denying of a philosophy is in itself a philosophy. Silly little Rosa, and to think you spent so much of your life on this rubbish.

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Once more, if I do not know what the ‘dialectic’ is (but I do --, see next comment, and at the end), I am in good company, for Fido too does not seem to know what it is, either.

I love how she argues from ignorance, and then denies, outright denies the dialectic. She doesn't even pretend to understand that which she's arguing against. She's much closer to Simpatico in Gallileo's text.

Quote:
But, I do know what it is (in its rational form): Marx very kindly spelt it out for us in that quotation from his reviewer, which he called the “dialectic method”, in which not a shred of Hegel is to be found.

And here's where the stupid elitist pharasee buries herself. She stumbled onto the fact that the dialectic exists outside of the jargon of Hegel. Boy is she nuts.

Quote:
the opposite of Hegel’s ‘dialectic’ is in fact a ‘dialectic’ with not trace of Hegel in it, as the word “opposite” means.

Not exactly, but close. a dialectic without a trace of Hegel's idealism in it. Keep on chucking on the dirt ya stupid twit.

The best response of her rambling idiotic rants is when I say that we can learn from everything and everyone, and she just vents vitriol. Pours it right out, but can't refute the simple truth that knowledge can be found in all sources of knowledge, but a critical analysis is necessary to cull the idealism away. The critical analysis is called Marxism, based on the dialectical material method.

Quote:
failing to note the difference between a legitimate inference,

The only inferences this insane twit allows are the ones that she makes up herself. She denies any associative or inferential methodology.

It was hilarious how she can't deal with my rebuttal in reference to Lenin's use of whole, since she can't understand language in context.

Quote:
But I had expressly asked how I can be “an empiricist”, not how I can use such ideas:

Rosa's an idiot. You're an empiricist if you use empirical methodology. Just like you're a racist if you use racist methodology, regardless of whether or not you believe you are. And, she forgets that she is using her methodololgy on this site within this polemic. She's as dumb as they come.

Quote:
Notice how he has ignored my demonstration that a formal logic does not need to be able to represent anything to be useful, which had been his original assertion.

Useful the working class in our attempt to smash the bourgeoisie and set up a communist society.

Quote:
One small nagging doubt: where is the Hegelian stuff in here?

In fact, it is a huge doubt, which grew non-dialectically from that infant doubt.

Do the old leaves ‘contradict’ the new ones?

Presumably not.

Does the tree contradict either of these?

No, since trees know no language, and cannot speak.

Here ignorance is displayed for all to see since she is unbable to deal with what contradiction means within the context of dialectics. So, she was given an example, and she dropped the ball, much like she drops any understanding of Marx, though she is saturated with pretension.

Quote:
But, if everything changes because of its ‘internal opposite’ then communism must exist already, in the here and now,

Communism does exist now! It exists as potential, it exists in sensual human relations, it exists within the corpse of this capitalist world, and it exists in revolutionary movements. Her stupidity is clearly illustrated with this comment. Malatesta has a great article on how anarchism exists everyday, and I'll find it and post it later.

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So, in a classless society, there is a ruling class!

Stupid Rosa! That's exactly right and the next comment of her's here:

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Who on earth did they rule over, then?

is themselves in the interest of what was necessary to preserve the whole of themselves. She's as dumb as they come.

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Where does Marx say this?

Marxism Rosa, I said Marxism. Discourse is a term used in modern Marxism. You're the one that said you've read EVERYTHING on Marxism for the past 30 years. It's surprising that you don't know the basics.

Quote:
Well, Blanqui, how many of these have you “smashed”, and all on your own?

Again, Rosa doesn't even understand her own retorts. The first state you smash is your own, as you learn how to communisate as a communist.

I'll get to the rest of her rant later, as I'm too busy to finish this up now.

RedHughs
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Joined: 25-11-06
May 21 2007 20:34

Hmm,

Well, the ridiculous side of our Rosa L is obvious to those who wade through these many pages. Since it is so obvious, I want to highlight some points which give some motivation to her project.

    * Hegel's positions aren't just idealist but also in many points ridiculous. What the contradictions and aufhebens for a particular group of ideas is an exercise in drawing animal shapes on clouds.
    * Marx may indeed have turned Hegel on his feet but if this transformation involved removing the bullshit, then such a transformation is at best poor specified, with MANY, MANY points to filled in.
    * Even if we wanted to discard Hegel entirely, on his head or on his feet, we need something like "dialectics" in the sense of seeing how tendencies become their opposites, how the logic of a system tends to undermine the basis of a system, how we can refer to a world everything is a process rather than satisfying literally and absolutely some model of formal logic.

Given this, a project like Rosa's, of recreating dialectics without Hegel, is worthwhile. However, given that Rosa has shown herself incapable of communicating her particular system, either here or on her webpage, her project is so far a failure since as she says, the requirement is for a version of dialectics in everyday language, ie, a version relatively clear and understandable to the average person. Perhaps with some further effort and thought, she will succeed in the future. I wish her the best of luck.

Still, I would personally say that a re-working of dialectics would take a slightly different form. We communist see capitalism as both a historical and an abstract system - it comes from the evolution of particular European class dynamics but also can duplicated within any society having class dynamics. Communism as the Aufheben of capitalism is also both historical and abstract relative to capitalism. Our critique involves BOTH the use and transformation of historical critiques such as Marx and the specification of our critique in an abstract form which doesn't make the slightest reference to Marx and/or Hegel, much less the chapter-and-verse "you-don't-really-understand-Marx's-deep-thought" style of discourse.

Red

SatanIsMyCoPilot
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May 21 2007 20:43
Quote:
Hegel's positions aren't just idealist but also in many points ridiculous.

I'm not challenging that, but what aspects of his system do you have in mind?

Quote:
Marx may indeed have turned Hegel on his feet but if this transformation involved removing the bullshit, then such a transformation is at best poor specified, with MANY, MANY points to filled in.

I agree, but I'm not sure that I'd be happy with any kind of painting by numbers version of dialectics that someone might extract from Marx. My interest in dialectics (Hegel's speculative dialectic, not Engels' version or even Marx's) is in free self-determination; I'm not overwhelmed by any accounts of the dialectic as a ready made grid that can be superimposed onto any given objefct of enquiry.

mikus
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May 21 2007 21:16
Quote:
Our critique involves BOTH the use and transformation of historical critiques such as Marx and the specification of our critique in an abstract form which doesn't make the slightest reference to Marx and/or Hegel, much less the chapter-and-verse "you-don't-really-understand-Marx's-deep-thought" style of discourse.

Why is it that you never make this sort of argument when the subject discussed is the Situationist International or Guy Debord? If you had to erase the SI from your vocabulary you probably would not have a lot to talk about (at least as far as radical politics are concerned).

To Rosa:

I am fairly interested in what you're doing and intend to read your essays in more detail, although reading online is generally very difficult and I don't enjoy doing it. I have a different take on the relation between Marx and Hegel than any of the previous posters on this thread (including yourself), although I don't have the time or inclination to get into it given how quickly this thread degenerated into simple banter. (Basically I don't think Marx was at all a Hegelian, but rather a critic of Hegel, and at the same time I do think there is a "rational" side to Hegel, which itself is misunderstood by the Hegelians. I also completely oppose dialectical materialism and I also don't think that modern-day Hegelianism (i.e. "systematic dialectics") is so far from diamat as its proponents think. I basically agree with Lucio Colletti's take in Marxism and Hegel.)

I do have a question about the examples from your essay that you posted a few pages ago, however. You argue the "law" of transformation of quality into quantity is not correct, and you use a number of examples such as different placement of the same words in sentences, putting food on a plate or putting a plate on food, etc. A problem I see here is that all of these examples refer to differences between potential states and existing states. For example, the same "energy budget" (as you call it) could be used to place food on a plate or a plate on food, and obviously there is a great qualitative difference here. But the qualitative difference is not between an actual state at one moment and an actual state at the next moment. The qualitative difference is between the placement of food on a plate and what would have occurred (but did not) if a plate had been placed on top of food. For the actual qualitative transformation of events matter had to be "added or subtracted" (i.e. energy, however defined, was actually used to place the plate on top of the table).

Now, obviously this does not give a new life to dialectical materialism. But interpreted in this way, do you not think that such a "law" (and I agree that it is a very weak, nearly meaningless one) could be compatible with materialist science?

Or perhaps there are other examples you used which I have missed. Like I said I've read only a small portion of what you have written and I won't get the chance to read much more for at least a few weeks.

Another question: have you written anything that has discussed the beginning of Hegel's Phenomenology? I know very little about Wittgenstein but my impression is that Hegel's arguments using everyday language would be easily dissected with such an approach (because of its understanding of the relation between language and reality).

Mike

SatanIsMyCoPilot
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May 21 2007 21:23
Quote:
I also don't think that modern-day Hegelianism (i.e. "systematic dialectics") is so far from diamat as its proponents think.

why?

RedHughs
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May 21 2007 21:41

Quote:

Red earlier wrote:
Our critique involves BOTH the use and transformation of historical critiques such as Marx and the specification of our critique in an abstract form which doesn't make the slightest reference to Marx and/or Hegel, much less the chapter-and-verse "you-don't-really-understand-Marx's-deep-thought" style of discourse.
Mike wrote:
Why is it that you never make this sort of argument when the subject discussed is the Situationist International or Guy Debord? If you had to erase the SI from your vocabulary you probably would not have a lot to talk about (at least as far as radical politics are concerned).

Ignoring the flame-aspect, I would say exactly the same about either Marx or the SI. While I certainly use Situationist as well as Marxian or Hegelian vocabulary, I'd like to think that my point can also be made independent of these AND I think it would be good if other folks could say the same thing (one would have to, since Debord uses Hegel very liberally in his discussions, which naturally I see as having strengths and weaknesses). Perhaps I underestimate how dogmatically I parrot the words of Debord but I think that has to be demonstrated with some examples and right now I believe that such a demonstration does not exist.

Ironically, I don't notice any references at all to the SI in the post that Mike is responding to here. A cranky reply with substance is one thing, an off-topic flame with charges that can't be backed-up in the slightest is another. I leave it to the readers to decide which is which in this instance.

As to what may have provoked this, Mike may think that any references to the "'you-don't-really-understand-Marx's-deep-thought' style of discourse" is specifically an attack on him. But the world (and even libcom) is full of dogmatists and I hardly named names. Still if he wants to identify as one, I won't stop him.

Red

mikus
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May 22 2007 00:33
Quote:
As to what may have provoked this, Mike may think that any references to the "'you-don't-really-understand-Marx's-deep-thought' style of discourse" is specifically an attack on him. But the world (and even libcom) is full of dogmatists and I hardly named names. Still if he wants to identify as one, I won't stop him.

It is funny that you accuse me of assuming something, when the only evidence you have is your assumption. (I.e. you have simply assumed I was assuming.) As a matter of fact, it never crossed my mind whether or not you were referring to me. You have used this line of argument a number of times, however, referring both to myself and others (the latest example is the un/productive labor thread with reference to Quint). I think it's a wholly inappropriate method of argumentation because it allows you to levy charges of dogmatism against whoever who makes references to other people's theories. Whether you do this to me or to others is irrelevant. I just find this kind of theoretical solipsism annoying, especially on a thread in which the point is to talk about other people's theories.

mikus
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May 22 2007 00:42
SatanIsMyCoPilot wrote:
Quote:
I also don't think that modern-day Hegelianism (i.e. "systematic dialectics") is so far from diamat as its proponents think.

why?

As I said in a previous post, I don't have the time or inclination to defend my point in detail. And I know that most or all "systematic dialectics" advocates differentiate themselves from diamat. But certain diamat theorists have explicitly argued that dialectical theory can be used as a theory of every social formation (Geert Reuten and Tony Smith, if I'm not mistaken). Others, such as Chris Arthur, argue that it can only apply to capitalism, although when you analyze their actual arguments you can see no reason why it wouldn't apply to anything and everything. Arthur's New Dialectic and Marx's Capital, for example, argues on the one hand that Hegel's logic is upside-down and only applies to the upside-down world of capitalism, on the other hand argues that Hegel's dialectic must be turned upside-down when studying capital, and also argues that Hegel's dialectic is "generally... right", even in regard to nature. (My notes say that the latter argument was made on pg. 164-165 of this book.) I don't see any great difference between the last argument and diamat.

Whether or not this is a prime example of a "dialectical" theory, I can't say. But it certainly is self-contradictory.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 22 2007 12:40

RedH:

Quote:
Well, the ridiculous side of our Rosa L is obvious to those who wade through these many pages. Since it is so obvious, I want to highlight some points which give some motivation to her project.

Easy allegation to make, difficult to substantiate -- but it seems that Posey and Fido here are not the only ones who like to make assertions they cannot substantiate.

But, WTF is this about?

Quote:
* Hegel's positions aren't just idealist but also in many points ridiculous. What the contradictions and aufhebens for a particular group of ideas is an exercise in drawing animal shapes on clouds.
* Marx may indeed have turned Hegel on his feet but if this transformation involved removing the bullshit, then such a transformation is at best poor specified, with MANY, MANY points to filled in.
* Even if we wanted to discard Hegel entirely, on his head or on his feet, we need something like "dialectics" in the sense of seeing how tendencies become their opposites, how the logic of a system tends to undermine the basis of a system, how we can refer to a world everything is a process rather than satisfying literally and absolutely some model of formal logic.

How does any of this relate to what I have argued here or elsewhere?

And, even if we 'needed' the things you say, since the 'dialectic' (as you see it) is based on a series of logical blunders Hegel committed, it does not even make the reserve list of theories likely to assist us in understanding the world, and how to change it.

Indeed, even though it isn't, flat earth theory is more likely tbe correct.

Which, of course, helps explain the long-term failure of Dialectical Marxism.

Moreover, the things you say about 'Formal Logic' suggest you no little or nothing about it.

Which probably also explains why you like Hegel (upside down or not).

Quote:
However, given that Rosa has shown herself incapable of communicating her particular system, either here or on her webpage, her project is so far a failure since as she says, the requirement is for a version of dialectics in everyday language, ie, a version relatively clear and understandable to the average person. Perhaps with some further effort and thought, she will succeed in the future. I wish her the best of luck.

Well, you need to pay more attention: as I have explained several times, I have no system and do not want one -- other than historical materialism (100% Hegel-free), on the lines Marx depicted in Kapital, and summarised for us in that reviewer's comments, which Marx calls "the dialectic method", in which, incidentally, there is no trace of Hegel.

If that is not good enough for you, and you want to keep the mystical ideas Marx ditched, that is up to you -- but stop importing it into Marxism, please.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 22 2007 13:02

Mikus, thankyou for proving that there is intelligent life at LibCom!!

This point of yours:

Quote:
I do have a question about the examples from your essay that you posted a few pages ago, however. You argue the "law" of transformation of quality into quantity is not correct, and you use a number of examples such as different placement of the same words in sentences, putting food on a plate or putting a plate on food, etc. A problem I see here is that all of these examples refer to differences between potential states and existing states. For example, the same "energy budget" (as you call it) could be used to place food on a plate or a plate on food, and obviously there is a great qualitative difference here. But the qualitative difference is not between an actual state at one moment and an actual state at the next moment. The qualitative difference is between the placement of food on a plate and what would have occurred (but did not) if a plate had been placed on top of food. For the actual qualitative transformation of events matter had to be "added or subtracted" (i.e. energy, however defined, was actually used to place the plate on top of the table).

is well put, but I handled it at my site.

In short, to neutralise what you say in objection to my counter-examples, you will need to re-write Engels's threadbare 'law' since the way he depicts things, it does not rule out my objections. [Your objections might, but his 'law' does not.]

In fact, many of the examples Engels uses, and many used by his epigones since, fall foul of your objection.

So, you might think that you are objecting to my criticisms, but you are in fact attacking Engels too!

Now, it may be possible to re-jig his 'law' so that my counter-examples fail (I do not know, since no one has yet tried -- indeed, fans of this Mickey Mouse 'theory' just ignore stuff that does not fit, and unlike genuine scientists, they do not mofify their ideas to fit reality, but alter nature to fit their theory), but then, that would make their 'law' into just a new convention for depicting nature, and not the universal truth we had been given to believe.

Quote:
Another question: have you written anything that has discussed the beginning of Hegel's Phenomenology? I know very little about Wittgenstein but my impression is that Hegel's arguments using everyday language would be easily dissected with such an approach (because of its understanding of the relation between language and reality).

As I noted several times here, and elsewhere, I am not really interested in Hegel as such (in fact, even though I have had to study his work, I wish it had never been committed to paper, and that the cholera had bumped him off at ten years old).

Although I will be devoting two parts of Essay Twelve to this Hermetic bumbler (to be published in 2008/9 sometime), my criticisms of his work will adopt a completely new line of attack, one that no one has attempted (as far as I am aware) so far.

A clue as to how I am going to pose this attack can be found in the comments I make in Essay Eight Part Two, note 67 (which is an essay long note in itself, and devoted to the best article I have so far read that tries to explain what these mysterious dialectical 'contradictions' are (written by James Lawler, 20 odd years ago), as well as several of Hegel's own logical blunders; incidentally, that article fails miserably to explain what these odd things really are).

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/page%2008_02.htm#Lawler

My aim is to stop the flow of poison into historical materialism, not attack Hegel as such.

Rosa Lichtenstein
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May 22 2007 13:10

And Mikus:

Quote:
It is funny that you accuse me of assuming something, when the only evidence you have is your assumption. (I.e. you have simply assumed I was assuming.) As a matter of fact, it never crossed my mind whether or not you were referring to me. You have used this line of argument a number of times, however, referring both to myself and others (the latest example is the un/productive labor thread with reference to Quint). I think it's a wholly inappropriate method of argumentation because it allows you to levy charges of dogmatism against whoever who makes references to other people's theories. Whether you do this to me or to others is irrelevant. I just find this kind of theoretical solipsism annoying, especially on a thread in which the point is to talk about other people's theories.

You are not the only one who has this done to him -- it seems to be the favourite sport around here.

Make stuff up, and then moan when the one maligned asks for proof!

Check out the 'debating' tactics of Posey and Fido, here.

Posey I have put in his place here:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/Poseur%20001.htm

Rosa Lichtenstein
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Joined: 30-03-07
May 22 2007 13:14

I will be responding to Fido later today.

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Joseph Kay
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Joined: 14-03-06
May 22 2007 13:22

i like the fact you've just written a 9,000 word 'short' on your site about an argument you had, decrying someone else's ego

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Demogorgon303
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Joined: 5-07-05
May 22 2007 13:52

It is clear that clarity is not Rosa's aim in this piece because she doesn't even identify the posters concerned by their correct handles, but rather her insulting pet names for them.

But the most repellant aspect of her piece is this: "it might have something to do with Posey's attitude to women, and the fact that a woman has dared to show him up in public"

and

"Now, may I add this warning: speculation that Posy has a, shall we say, somewhat 'unsavoury' attitude toward women (especially toward those who have bruised his elephantine ego) should be resisted. I will hear no more of it."

This is an absolutely appalling thing to say as it is clearly meant to be combined with the other accusations concerning stalking, implying that there can't possibly be any legitimate criticism of her position except by someone with psychological problems, a hatred of women, and possibly even a stalker! I don't think it takes much imagination to see the direction these insults are going in ...

These kind of accusations - made with no apparent evidence whatsoever - have no place in the workers' movement.