Dialectical materialism and the philosophy of dead reaction - Vladimir Nevsky

Nevskij Wladimir Iwanowitsch Newski materialism and empirio-criticism
Nevsky, imprisoned in February 1935.

Appendix to the 1920 edition of Lenin's 'Materialism and empirio-criticism'.

Submitted by Noa Rodman on January 30, 2017

Vladimir Ivanovich Nevskij (1876–1937) was a revolutionary and a Bolshevik from the very beginning. See this biographical note. He authored more than 500 works on the revolutionary movement. He belonged to the Workers’ Opposition. In 1922 Nevsky wrote on the South Russian Workers' Union activity in Nikolayev during 1897 (95 pp.). It can be considered the first biography of Trotsky. Trotsky in his letter (included) gave a number of biographical moments and endorsed the book. ["Южно-русский рабочий Союз" в г. Николаеве 1897 г. С приложением письма Л. Д. Троцкого.] In 2008 one of Nevsky's many history books was translated in Italian: 'Storia del Partito bolscevico. Dalle origini al 1917'. Books online in Russia are linked on his wiki-page and include; 'From the "Land and Liberty" to the "Emancipation of Labour" group', 'Soviets and armed uprising in 1905', 'The labor movement in the days of January 1905'.

In the preface to the 1920 (second) edition of his 'Materialism and empirio-criticism' Lenin wrote:


As for A. A. Bogdanov’s latest works, which I have had no opportunity to examine, the appended article by Comrade V. I. Nevsky gives the necessary information. Comrade V.I. Nevsky, not only in his work as a propagandist in general, but also as an active worker in the Party school in particular, has had ample opportunity to convince himself that under the guise of “proletarian culture” A. A. Bogdanov is imparting bourgeois and reactionary views.

The English translation of Lenin's book appeared in 1927, the "first extra-Russian version of Lenin’s philosophical work", including this appendix by Nevsky. However, in the later editions (also those in Russian) Nevsky's appendix no longer featured. One of Bogdanov's philosophy books appeared in German in 1924. It was reviewed by Kautsky in Die Gesellschaft and Bogdanov replied to Kautsky's review.1 Bogdanov's works are projected to appear in 10 volumes in English translation.

Pannekoek's critique of Lenin's philosophy appeared only in 1938. By that time, Nevsky had already been executed (May 1937). Stalinism was in full force. Thus, when Korsch in slightly derisory tone calls Nevsky, who had belonged to the Workers' Opposition, a "good and reliable party-worker", and a "faithful Leninist", that no doubt projects backwards the smear of Stalinism upon one of its victims:

[quote=Korsch]In the preface to the second Russian edition of his book, in 1920, Lenin mentioned the fact that he had “no opportunity to examine Bogdanov’s latest works,” but was quite convinced, by what he had been told by others, that “under the guise of `proletarian culture’ Bogdanov is introducing bourgeois and reactionary views.” Yet he did not deliver him to the G.P.U. to be instantly shot for this horrible crime. He was quite content, in those pre-Stalinist days, to leave the spiritual execution to the good and reliable party-worker whose article he annexed to his book. Thus we learn from the faithful Leninist, V. I. Nevsky, that Bogdanov had not only unrepentantly persisted in his former Machist errors, but even had added to them a new and more glaring crime of omission. It is a “curious circumstance,” reports Nevsky, that in all his writings on theoretical topics and on the problems of proletarian culture published during the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, Bogdanov never mentioned a single word about “production and the system of its management during the dictatorship of the proletariat, just as there is not mentioned a word about the dictatorship itself.” The fact proves, indeed, the unreformed and unreformable character of that “idealistic” sinner against the very principles underlying the materialist philosophy of Lenin and his followers.[/quote]

Dialectical materialism and the philosophy of dead reaction

It would seem at present, when "the chief task before the working class is to transform the world," that to engage in a tedious repetition of well-established theoretical truths, is untimely. Indeed, there are so many practical things to be done, there is such an urgent need for a determined and radical change, that there is practically no time left for pleasant theoretical research and work. However, the interests of that cause, of that determined change of the world, of which Marx speaks in his Eleventh Thesis on Feuerbach, demand of all communists who are not indifferent to the success of the revolution, to turn at least once in a while to these theoretical questions, long since settled, and so far not refuted by anyone.

This necessity of indulging in seemingly abstract questions of philosophy, now at a time of unprecedented struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, follows from the circumstance, that the reactionary disintegrating classes and their conscious and unconscious advocates and ideologists do not at once capitulate before the new class and the new views and forms (in all domains of life, including that of science).

Appearing to have become reconciled to the new order, those disintegrating classes are really attempting to explode it from within. There are amongst them who are doing so and are fully aware of their deeds, who join the new institutions and organizations under the pretext of learned, experienced and "indispensable" specialists in order to betray the proletariat. Others fully, though unconsciously, convinced that they serve the new cause, drape their backward and reactionary views in a mantle of scientific forms, thus infusing the consciousness of the struggling masses with the poison of a decaying corpse.

It is hard to tell which method is more harmful to the working class: the rude attempt of the raging bourgeois to penetrate into the enemy's camp under the guise of the most devoted adherent of the new order, or the unconscious attempt to prove to the masses that a reactionary Ideology is the best weapon in the hands of the proletariat in the struggle with its class enemy.

Bogdanov and his followers who wax enthusiastic over the numerous "works" of that prolific philosopher, belong to the category of those who are endeavouring to assure the working class that the philosophy of a dead, decaying reaction is the very last word of science.

Lenin was indeed correct in the concluding lines of his book (Materialism and Empirio-Criticism) when he said the following:

Beyond the epistemological scholasticism of empirio-criticism it is impossible not to discern clearly the partisan struggle in philosophy, a struggle which ultimately expresses the tendencies and ideology of classes hostile to one another in modern society. Recent philosophy is as partisan as it was two thousand years ago. The contending parties are in the main materialism and idealism, although their nature may be concealed under a pseudo-erudite phraseological charlatanry or beneath the guise of a stupid non-partisanship (p. 311).

Such a philosophy of idealism, under cover of a set of new terms, is contained in the thought of Bogdanov as well as in all his numerous "works" which have appeared in his various books or are scattered through different periodicals.

After his Basic Elements of the Historical Outlook on Nature, Epistemology from the Historical Standpoint and the three well-known volumes of Empirio-Monism, there appeared such unusual works as Tectology (or The Universal Organisational Science, parts I and II); Science of Social Consciousness; Brief Course of Ideological Science in Questions and Answers; Problems of Socialism; collected articles, new and old, under the title New World; Socialism of Science (the scientific problems of the proletariat); The Philosophy of Vital Experience; Popular Outlines; Materialism, Empirio-Criticism, Dialectic Materialism, Empirio-Monism--the Science of the Future; Brief Course of Political Economy, newly corrected and completed edition (tenth) by S. M. Dvoilatsky with the collaboration of the author; The Primer of Political Economy (an Introduction to Political Economy, in questions and answers); articles on various issues, pamphlets, and separate books which are not yet collected by the author, e.g., articles in Proletarian Culture, Outlines of the Science of Organisation, Nos. 7-12, articles on questions of proletarian poetry and others.2

We are certain that we have not fully exhausted the list of this prolific writer, but fortunately there is no need to do so for our purposes. After glancing over the chief works enumerated above it is quite sufficient to convince oneself that we are here dealing with the very same idealist, whom we have known before as the follower of Mach and Avenarius, as the critic of the materialism of Marx and Engels. The only difference is that now, after his works on empirio-monism, Comrade Bogdanov has begun to criticise Marx more openly while his philosophy has become more deadly reactionary with the course of time.

That this is really so, one will see after an analysis of that truly remarkable book of Bogdanov's The Philosophy of . . . Dead Reaction, we meant to say, The Philosophy of Vital Experience.

How was the issue put in the dispute of 1905-1910 between the orthodox disciples of Marx and Engels and their adversary, Bogdanov, the author of Tectology? The same way as it had been put in its time by Marx and Engels in their struggle with the bourgeois, idealist philosophers.

The great foundation question of all, and especially of new, philosophies is concerned with the relation between thinking and being," says Engels. "... As this question was answered one way or the other the philosophers were divided into two great camps. The one party which placed the origin of the spirit before that of nature, and therefore in the last instance accepted creation in some form or other--and this creation is often, according to the philosophers, Hegel for instance, still more odd and impossible than in Christianity--made up the camp of idealism. The others, who recognised nature as the source, belonged to the various schools of materialism. [Ludwig Feuerbach, p. 56]

Idealism and materialism, originally not used in any other sense, are here not employed in any other sense. [Ibid., p. 58.]

How did Bogdanov answer the question before the great November Revolution? In Book I of his Empirio-Monism he thus defines the objectivity of the world and of physical bodies:

The objective character of the physical world consists in that it exists not for me personally but for all; it has, in my opinion, the same significance for everybody as it has for myself [Loc. cit., p. 25.] And further: "In general, the physical world is that which is socially. agreed-upon, socially harmonised, in a word, is that which is socially organised experience." [Ibid., p. 36.]

The basis of the objectivity of the physical world of nature which, is according to Engels, the foundation stone of all, is included in the domain of collective experience.

That view was held by our philosopher at the time when his empirio-monistic system was in the process of creation. What is at present his attitude toward this issue? Has he renounced those views? Has he changed them? Not at all, they remain the same. He says:

We regard reality, or the realm of experiences, as the human collective practice in all its vital content, in the sum-total of efforts and resistances which constitute this content. [Philosophy of Vital Experience, p. 214.]

And just as the world picture reduced itself before to elements of sensation, so now these very well known elements are posited as the foundation stone of everything.

The outline drawn by him in Empirio-Monism is as follows: elements, the psychic experience of men, the physical experience of men, and consciousness. And in his Philosophy of Vital Experience this outline remains essentially the same.3

One finds here, too, the very same elements of experience, the same definition of the objective, of the physical as the socially organised experience [of man]4 . Here is his proof:

The element of experience is a product of social effort embodied in knowledge (p. 217). "If my fellow men say: 'Yes, we we and hear the same as you do,' that is, it my experience and their experience agree and are socially organised, then one has to do with real objects, objective or physical phenomena. If, on the other hand, they state that for them, that of which I inquire does not exist, it becomes clear that my experience in this respect is only 'subjective,' only psychical, an illusion or an hallucination" (p. 221. Italics mine--V. N.).5

From these quotations it is evident, that Bogdanov clings to his previous position, to purest idealism. For he obstinately maintains, now as before, that the physical world is "socially organised experience," that is, the experience of men, and, hence, there was not any physical world, since there was not any "socially organised experience." This is an absurdity which can only be attained by an empirio-monist. For, holding the position that the physical world is the "socially organised experience" of men, the empirio-monist must answer the question, as to whose social experience the world can be referred before men emerged.

The following quotation will clearly show, that the confusion introduced in Bogdanov's previous "works," remains intact:

An astronomer discovers a new comet, defines its position in space, its orbit, size, form, composition, etc. Until he has made public this data, nobody save himself, has any knowledge about it. The comet, consequently, belongs only to his individual experience, but not to social experience. Yet the comet had been found, defined, measured, investigated through scientific methods which have been collectively worked out by men in order to organise their experience. It means that it already entered into socially organised experience; that it took its place in the series of objective, physical phenomena. Practically, it will express itself in the fact, that any other observer will find the comet at such a place and in such a state as that in which the first had discovered it"(p. 221, Bogdanov's italics).

One can hardly believe that Bogdanov is unaware of the fact that he has fallen into an idealistic hole by positing these elements and socially organised experience, which are represented by the physical objective world. He is aware of it, because on p. 225 of his book he quotes the late Plekhanov's reply to this question, but by realising it, he falls into a still greater idealistic absurdity.

Physical experience, says Bogdanov, "is somebody's experience, namely, the experience of all of humanity in its development. This is a world of a strict, settled, elaborated uniformity of law, of definite, precise correlations; it is a well-established world where all propositions of geometry, all formula of mechanics, astronomy, physics, etc, are valid. . . . Is it possible to accept this world, this system of experience, independently of mankind, is it possible to say that it existed prior to it? (p. 226).

How does Bogdanov answer this important question, of whether or not the physical world existed prior to the existence of men, and particularly, of whether bodies attracted each other according to the law of gravitation?

Discard the 'social practice' of measurements, the establishment of standards of measure and calculation, etc., and there will remain nothing of the law of gravitation. Therefore, when we say that the law was valid prior to the existence of men, it is not the same as saying independent of men (pp. 226- 227, Bogdanov's italics).

It is clear, that from such a standpoint neither matter exists, nor does the world exist, which is the object of natural science, and in which we materialist sinners live who recognise "holy matter" (of which another critic of materialism, Bazarov, has made game). It is also clear that from such a viewpoint "matter is resistance to activity" (p. 55); or that matter is "nothing else than resistance to collective labour efforts" (p. 89); that "the unfolding panorama of work-experience is characterised as Nature" (p. 44); that "the universe represents itself to us as the infinite stream of organising activity" (p. 240), and that the world-picture is a continual series of forms of organisation of elements, of forms, which develop through struggle and interaction, without a beginning in the past and without an end in the future" (p. 241, italics mine--V. N.).

Hence, the issue is again reduced to elements, that is, to the "products of social labour, embodied in knowledge!"

Thus, the whole substance of Bogdanov's idealistic views is expounded in these "popular outlines" of the Philosophy of Vital Experience. The materialism of the ancients, the materialism of the eighteenth century and the dialectic materialism of Marx and Engels are here criticised from the point of view of empirio-monism.

According to him the

fundamental conception of dialectics, of Marx as well as of Hegel, has not been completely finished and clarified. And because of this, the very application of the dialectic method becomes inexact and blurred. There are elements of arbitrariness in its plan. Not only do the bounds of dialectics remain undefined but even its very sense becomes perverted (p. 189).

And this is because the founders of scientific socialism have not come to the concept of "resistance to activity," have not come to the notion of "organisational process," for, says A. Bogdanov:

In applying our methods we have from the very beginning defined dialectics as follows: an organisational process which proceeds through struggle of contrary tendencies. Does this correspond with Marx's conception? Not altogether. There the point at issue is development and not the organisational process (p. 189).

At last Bogdanov has found the proper language and frankly confessed that he has gone further than Marx, has surpassed him, has developed his doctrine further, and purged it of all errors and deviations.

This purification of Marx's doctrine of dialectic materialism of its errors, is effected through Bogdanov's creation of the system of Tectology (the Universal Organisational Science).

Now, what kind of a science is this which corrects the errors and deviations of Marx? It is a science of construction, a science which "must scientifically systematise the organisational experience of mankind."

In the two parts of this Tectology (so far only two parts have appeared) and, probably, in the "popular" exposition of the tectological views in Proletarian Culture (in Russian), we unfortunately behold our old acquaintances of Bogdanov's philosophy: the complexes and the elements.

We learn that (1) "in all its activity (work and reflection), mankind has for its object various complexes which consist of various elements,"6 that (2), the concepts of complex and element are correlative concepts; that a complex is what is decomposed into elements and elements are what constitute the complex; that the concepts of resistance and activity, too, are correlative concepts: that "resistance is the same activity (only taken from a different angle) as contrasted with another activity," and that since the universe is nothing but a "continual series of forms of organisation of elements," an "infinite stream of organising activity,"7 therefore Tectology embraces the material of all sciences. This is the "only science which not only must work out directly its methods, but must investigate and unite them as well. It, therefore, represents the completion of the cycle of sciences" (Tectology, Part I. p. 38).

In what does the method of this curious science, which completes the cycle of all sciences, consist?

To enter the domain of Tectology proper, one must separate one's self from the concrete-physiological character of the elements, to substitute for them indifferent symbols and express their connection through an abstract scheme. This scheme we shall compare with others which were obtained in a similar fashion, and thus work out tectological generalisations which yield us conceptions of forms and types of organisation (p. 39).

From a further analysis one sees that those tectological schemes are abstract; schemes emptied of their content, but they are universal and they "are applicable to an infinite variety of cases" (p. 48).

Indeed, farther on we see that there is no lack of those schemes with Bogdanov, even though there is a lack of something else.

Since the principle of selection has an unlimited, far-reaching application in human theory and practice, its tectological character is manifested by it: the mechanism of selection is universal. There is the conservative and progressive selection; "the progressive selection changes the structure of the complexes" (p. 64); "the conservative selection gravitates toward statical results of the type of stable equilibria" (p. 107). "Positive selection changes the structure of the complex in the direction of greater dissimilarity of elements and greater complexity of inner correlation; negative selection changes the structure of the complex in the direction of greater similarity of elements, less complexity of their connection" (p. 108). In a word, selection is an elementary-universal mechanism through which everything in the world can be explained--Darwinism, Malthusianism, the evolution of matter, and the primary impelling reactions of protoplasm, and the methods of procuring gold, as well as of such human organisations as sects and parties. Starting from this elementary, universal mechanism of selection, Bogdanov deduces the laws of "ingression." First of all he gives the conception of the "valid connection." This is the "form of our thinking on organisational combinations" (p. 114). But as this valid connection between the complexes cannot always be established, there is a necessity of intermediate complexes, that is, in ingression itself.

In what the laws of ingression consist, probably only Bogdanov knows. But from the two parts of his Tectology the reader cannot extract anything save bare, abstract meaningless notions. As for the rest, there is in the two books, besides these notions, a great number of new terms which confuse the exposition of the metaphysical system, already sufficiently obscure.

Bogdanov himself, who usually likes to protest against the barbarous terminology of the bourgeois sciences, piles up scores of new terms. One win find all kinds of names, and wonder where in the world he obtained them. Here are copulation and conjugation (terms taken from Biology), ingression, egression, digression, disingression and systematic differentiation, and all sorts of combinations of these symbols, complexes and elements.

We are not engaged in a critical review of Bogdanov's works. We are only making a few remarks in view of the appearance of the book Materialism and Empirio-Criticism. It is, therefore, impossible for us to expound in, detail either the content of all the works of our philosopher, or his philosophy.

Our purpose is to illustrate by two or three references to his fundamental propositions, that this philosophy, in its starting points, rests on the same idealistic foundations, sensation-elements and complexes; on the denial of matter, of the external world; on the negation of the tenets of every kind of materialism and natural science, and on the denial that matter, and not spirit, is the prius.

It would be easy to show in all of Bogdanov's new works, how the idealistic tenets are perniciously reflected in his philosophy; how they convert his postulates into bare abstract forms and lead to the proposition, that the physical world is the socially organised experience; that matter is resistance to activity; that activity is resistance, and vice versa; that "disingression consists in the mutual destruction of contrary directed activities" and so on and so forth.8

But this is neither the time nor place to pause upon it. It is interesting only to note that Bogdanov presents this metaphysical nonsense to the workers in a simpler form than that in the Tectology with its conjugation, ingression, disingression and other terms and "laws" of ingression.

In the article "Science and the Working Class" (in Russian) he speaks of the same general organisational science and the socialisation of science in general.

Only God knows what this socialisation means. But the substance of it is that we must immediately start the creation of that Tectology, or rather the organisation of it, for that Tectology has long been in existence.

Starting from the correct proposition that the bourgeoisie gave to the proletariat little of knowledge, a falsified science; that the class structure of society reflects itself in the very scientific foundations of the bourgeois scientists; that they create science in the bourgeois claim society, Bogdanov comes to the conclusion that the task of the working class is to build its own proletarian science, to socialise it.

"The propagation of science," he says, "amongst the masses proves to be not merely its democratisation but its real socialisation."9

What that socialism of science means is not exactly stated, but it is evidently the same Tectology, about which so much metaphysically obscure and shallow stuff has been written.

The idea is that the "organising activity is always directed toward the formation of some systems out of some parts and elements" (p. 79). As we see, one cannot make a single step without these famous elements of Bogdanov.

Now, what in general are these elements? What does man organise through his efforts? What does nature organise through its evolutionary processes? One characteristic may be applied in all case--these or other activities or resistances are organised. Investigating, we convince ourselves (1) that there are only one and not two characteristics, (2) that it is universal, and that then are no exceptions to it (Ibid., p. 79).

This is a popular exposition of Bogdanov's "scientific" views which deny the existence of matter and substitute the notion of energy in place of Marx's and Engels' notion of matter. "Matter is reduced to 'energy,' that is to action on activity" (p. 80).

It would be fruitless to ask Bogdanov to what sort of action matter is reduced, or what this activity is. We shall hear nothing, save the fact, that science has already decomposed the atoms, that activity is resistance, and vice versa; that the light waves interfere according to certain laws; that conjugation is a general fact; that the whole business is spin reduced to the elements of experience, to complexes, that is, to that metaphysical devil's spectre, which under the aspect of science destroys, or attempts to destroy, in the reader the conviction that the physical world has existed independently of those "elements" and "complexes"; the conviction that not those elements and complexes are the prime, basic factors, but matter that which Bogdanov so cordially dislikes and which according to him is nonexistent.

And as activities are organised, and as the "exact definition of organising Is such that this notion is proved to be universally applicable in all stages of being and not only in the domain of life;" a very significant inference follows therefrom:

These same elements of the universe, which are so various and distant one from the other, both quantitatively and qualitatively, can he subordinated to the same organisational methods, to the organisational forms (p. 91).

The mystery of science consists in the connection of the different incommensurable series of phenomena. From this the possibility of prediction follows, and as all elements of the universe can be subordinated to the very same organisational methods, the riddle is solved. "The solution is the object of universal organisational science" (p. 92). And if this is so, it is necessary to acquaint the workers through these popular articles with the "tectological" laws, as, for example, those cited above concerning positive and negative selection. It is this that Bogdanov deals with in his studies of organisational sciences in the periodical Proletarian Culture.

Without pausing on all these "tectological laws," we shall note that in these popular articles Bogdanov teaches the workers that dialectic materialism is unscientific and antiquated (p. 102).

We believe that a sufficient number of quotations from Bogdanov have been adduced (concerning the "elements," "complexes," "activities," and "resistances") to prove that Bogdanov is repeating his old mistakes.

There is no need to pile up quotations from his other works. Their substance is the same. The reader will discover nothing new in them.

It is necessary to note, however, that Bogdanov attempts to prove that he has been misunderstood by Plekhanov, Ilyin [Lenin], Orthodox [Liubov Axelrod], and other followers of Marx who recognise the existence of matter, in so far as they have attributed to his elements the same essential properties which Mach, for example, attributed to his.10

But we regret to say that even now Bogdanov's proofs are not convincing. Of what do the above-mentioned adherents of Marx's dialectic materialism speak? Different as their expressions are, the substance of their dispute with Bogdanov lies in that all of them ask Bogdanov, the empirio-monist, the same question--What is the world's foundation, matter or spirit? Of what do your elements consist?

Bogdanov says on p. 140 (loc. cit.) that Plekhanov, Ilyin and Orthodox are mistaken in supposing that the elements of experience are nothing but sensations.

This, don't you see, is a crude conception. The elements in the case of Mach and the empirio-criticists do possess a perceptual character, but their perceptual world is regarded as the existing reality and not merely as sensation and representations caused in us by the efficacy of "things-in-themselves." Bodies are perceptual and there are no others. Therefore the elements possess the same perceptual character. A tree does really possess the qualities, green, brown, grey, hardness, odour, etc., independently of whether or not we perceive them, and only when the individual "perceives" it all, do those elements become for him "sensations" (p. 141).

Many people, argues Bogdanov, are misled by the term experience, which until now has been given an individualistic meaning.

But the point is, according to Bogdanov, that in whatever way experience is interpreted, the physical world, these "bodies," are nothing but the socially organised experience of men. This means that where there is no socially organised experience, there are no bodies, there is no physical, no external world, and all discourse about the individual and socially organised experience, about activity and resistance, is shallow evasion and idealist absurdity.

It goes without saying that there are many amusing "tectological laws" and views in other books of Bogdanov also, but unfortunately these remarks have gone further than the limits of mere remarks, and we must take leave of the ingressions and the digressions, the "elements" and "complexes." We awl only add, that this universal "tectological" seal is imprinted upon Bogdanov's Science of Social Consciousness, upon his Short Course of Political Economy and even upon his Primer of Political Economy (all in Russian).

We cannot omit the following curious circumstance. There is not a word mentioned, in any of the books, about production and the system of its management during the dictatorship of the proletariat, just as there is not a word mentioned about the dictatorship itself.

But then, these are not the only things about which Bogdanov keeps silent in those works of his which appeared during the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. But he says a great deal about the "philosophy of vital experience" or, to be more correct, the philosophy of dead reaction.

Title of this article in Russian: 'Диалектический материализм и философия мертвой реакции'

  • 1Kautsky, Karl: Eine materialistische Geschichte des menschlichen Denkens. [Über: A. Bogdanov: Die Entwicklungsformen der Gesellschaft und die Wissenschaft (229 pp., 1924, but I don't know what work this is in Russian.] Die Gesellschaft: Internationale Revue für Sozialismus und Politik, 2,1.1925, pp. 564–78. Jg. 2, Nr. 6 (Juni 1925).

    And Bogdanov's reply: A. Bogdanoff: Einige Mißverständnisse. Eine Antwort an Karl Kautsky, Die Gesellschaft 2,2.1925 Jg. 2, Nr. 9 (Sept. 1925), pp. 286—294.

  • 2(All these titles are in Russian--Ed.)
  • 3English translation: The Philosophy of Living Experience: Popular Outlines, 2015, ed. David G. Rowley.
  • 4This text is copy-pasted from the Questia library, but small errors are possible. The italics are also missing – Noa Rodman.
  • 5(p. 213 in English translation.)
  • 6Tectology, Part p. 29.
  • 7Philosophy of Vital Experience, pp. 240-241.
  • 8Tectology, Part II, p. 14.
  • 9Socialism of Science, p. 31 (in Russian).
  • 10The Philosophy of Vital Experience. pp. 140, 202, 224.



5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rakhmetov on November 6, 2018

It is very tragic to see how a comrade self-contradict himself/herself, by being pro-authoritarian, pro-orthodox, and even pro-chauvinist, side with the Fathers of their own versions/revisions of Marx against the developer of a libertarian and collectivist alternative to them... then calling himself/herself libcom at the same time... Unfortunately it is not possible, to defend and glorify those names who re-invented, formatted, enclosed, and imposed their own version of Marx and Marxism; and oppressed and deleted Bogdanov's and his comrades' alternative (of lively update to Marx' unfinished project.. in Marx own spirit, a new and developed a more democratic, comradely, collectivist, and emancipatory path to build a communist society) from history.. By doing so they served to the enemy and killed the revolution, froze Marx and created a Marxism religion.. created a military-bureaucratic inquisition like state which meant the demise of the left hopes altogether. In the mean time the enemy has stolen Tektology, used it to create Cybernetics, General Systems Theory, Operation Research, Complexity Governance, Network Theory, and built the computers and Internet, the financial architecture, and global imperialism by using that. What kind of a delusion is this?


5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rakhmetov on November 6, 2018

don't know whoever wrote and post this but this is an anti-libcom activity alarm.


5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rakhmetov on November 6, 2018

The fact that the bourgeoisie has claimed Tektology, reverse engineered it and created Cybernetics, General Systems Theory, Operation Research, Complexity Governance, Network Theory, etc. says something. Thanks to that they could have built computers and the Internet, the global financial architecture, on which they could locate a cyber imperialist machine, in front of our eyes.


5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leutha on January 10, 2019

Yo, Rakhmetov, see you are not too shy to take one of Bogdanov's pseudonyms for yourself.
Not quite sure why regard the posting of this material as anti-libcom activity, as it is made clear that the person who posted the material did so for information, not because they supported Nevsky's views.
As regards the bourgeoisie claiming Tektology and reverse engineering it as cybernetics – I wonder what evidence you have for this? what evidence do you have that Tektology was widely read or plagiarised and/or reverse engineered? One of the few people who remarked about it was Johann Plenge one of Marxists in the German Social Democratic Party who became very pro-war during the First World War. Bogdanov naturally distanced himself from Plenge.
Perhaps the most pervasive influence of Bogdanov was through people such as Aleksei Gan.


5 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rakhmetov on April 21, 2019

hey, you are right Leutha! thought this is a new piece written by who posted it.