Rosa Lichenstein and Anti-Dialectics?

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This topic contains 88 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  jondwhite 6 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #80865

    jondwhite
    Member

    Is there anything in Rosa Lichenstein and Anti-Dialectics?

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/

    #87945

    DJP
    Member

    ‘Dialectical-Materialism’ of the kind that used to be spread by the ‘communist’ parties is a sham and a fraud, its no wonder people are suspicious of it.The same can be said for Rosa Lichenstein and her crusade.If you want to know about dialectics read Dietzgen, it’s a shame he has pretty much dropped off the radar.As a review in the October 1998 Standard put it “dialectics means that, in analyzing the world and society, you start from the basis that nothing has an independent, separate existence of its own but is an inter-related and interdependent part of some greater whole (ultimately the whole universe) which is in a process of constant change.”This holistic view has pretty much been incorporated into mainstream science these days, so nothing particularly controversial there.The controversial aspect is the notion of ‘contradiction’ There’s a review of Pannekoek’s ‘Lenin as Philosopher’ which deals with this here: http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2000s/2003/no-1187-july-2003/book-reviewsSo there is something in what Lichenstein is saying but she just gets lost in long and boring rants and hasn’t really studying her subject well enough.

    #87946

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    An article on Dietzgen by Adam Buick published in Radical Philosophy 1975 http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2010/01/joseph-dietzgen-workers-philosopher.html And another related article from 1918 issue of Western Clarion http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2010/12/proletarian-logic.html

    #87947

    jondwhite
    Member

    Apart from the critique of communism as empirically falsified, was Popper right that dialectics is bunkum?

    #87948

    ALB
    Participant

    Personally I think Hegel is a load of mumbo-jumbo. I’ve started to try and read him 3 or 4 times but gave up each time because his language is virtually incomprehensible. The only book of his I read to the end is his Philosophy of History but that wasn’t actually written by him but by one of his students based on notes they took of his lectures. If I remember rightly it’s idealist even religious nonsense. We don’t have to like Hegel just because that was the intellectual background in Germany at the time Marx and Engels became communists and from which they emerged.As to dialectics, that depends on what you mean. If what is meant is that it is some force working in nature (as Engels sometimes gave the impression), then that’s wrong. If you mean that it is a way of trying to understand phenomenon we experience in nature, that’s another matter.

    #87949

    jondwhite
    Member

    Does dialectics stand in contrast to positivism? Wikipedia suggests Karl Popper was a critic of positivism. Can you be a positivist and agree with the WSM?

    #87950

    ALB
    Participant
    jondwhite wrote:
    Can you be a positivist and agree with the WSM?

    Why not? Positivism is a form of materialism and most people are in practice “positivists” without realising it, ie they base their actions and ideas on what they have experienced or learned from other people’s experience. It wasn’t for nothing that Dietzgen called his main work The Positive Outcome of Philosophy. Personally, I think A J Ayer’s (who was a Logical Positivist) Language, Truth and Logic (1936) does a brilliant demolition job on metaphysics and religion. I remember a member who spoke at Hyde Park who refused to use the word “God” but said G-O-D instead on the grounds that the word “God” was meaningless as it referred to nothing. Pure Logical Positivism.The only “philosophical” criterion for being a member of the WSM is to be a materialist, who rejects all religion. So, any materialist, whether dialectical or positivist or behaviourist or empiricist or rationalist or secularist or humanist or whatever, is welcome. At least that’s the practice. It’s only those who are non-materialists (as judged by their attitide to religion) who are ineligible to join.

    #87951

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Q: How many Hegelians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    A: Two, of course. One stands at one end of the room and argues that it
    isn’t dark; the other stands across from him and says that true
    light is impossible. This dialectic creates a synthesis when the
    bulb gets screwed in.

    (Explanation : Hegel and Marx use a logical procedure called dialectics to seek
    answers to seemingly mutual exclusive positions. Shortened it is “thesis,
    antithesis, synthesis”. Thus ‘no light’ and ‘no dark’ can arrive at a middle
    ground through logical examination ‘it’s dark but it can be made light’.)

    #87952

    DJP
    Member
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    (Explanation : Hegel and Marx use a logical procedure called dialectics to seek
    answers to seemingly mutual exclusive positions.

    In all seriousness though the Marxian dialectic has less to do with seeking “answers to seemingly mutual exclusive positions” and more to do with how the whole relates to its parts.Hegelian dialectics and Marxian dialectics are different beasts and those who say that you have to read Hegel to understand Marx are probably only demonstrating that they’ve been duped by Lenin.

    #87953

    Ok, JohnDWhite, you have posted an old address. The correct one is now:
     
    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm
     
    DJP:
     
    “‘Dialectical-Materialism’ of the kind that used to be spread by the ‘communist’ parties is a sham and a fraud, its no wonder people are suspicious of it. The same can be said for Rosa Lichtenstein and her crusade”
     
    Well, that is a far easier accusation to make than to prove. My site is in fact devoted to debunking all forms of dialectics that have descended with or without modification from Hegel, upside down or ‘the right way up’.
     
    “If you want to know about dialectics read Dietzgen, it’s a shame he has pretty much dropped off the radar.”
     
    In fact, Dietzgen’s rather poor, a priori speculations are far easier to refute than are those of Engels and Plekhanov. But we can discuss this further the moment you post something — anything — of his that is worthy of merit.
     
    And by a priori speculation I mean assertions like this:
     
    “As a review in the October 1998 Standard put it ‘dialectics means that, in analyzing the world and society, you start from the basis that nothing has an independent, separate existence of its own but is an inter-related and interdependent part of some greater whole (ultimately the whole universe) which is in a process of constant change.'”
     
    Not only is there no proof of this, there couldn’t be. For example, how is it possible for everything to be ‘inter-related’ when there are vast regions of space and time that are, and always will be, inaccessible to us? On this, look up ‘light cone’ using Google — for example:
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_cone
     
    Indeed, I have shown this idea up for what it is, here (i.e., it’s a left-over from mystical Hermeticism — Hegel was a Hermetic mystic):
     
    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2011_01.htm
     
    “So there is something in what Lichtenstein is saying but she just gets lost in long and boring rants and hasn’t really studying her subject well enough.”
     
    I am used to fans of the dialectic substituting personal abuse for contrary argument and/or evidence, but if my work is ‘boring’, then Dietzgen will positively put you to sleep for good.
     
    And what, may I ask, is your proof that I haven’t studied this topic “well enough”?
     


    #87954

    AlanJ:
     

    “Q: How many Hegelians does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: Two, of course. One stands at one end of the room and argues that it isn’t dark; the other stands across from him and says that true light is impossible. This dialectic creates a synthesis when the bulb gets screwed in. (Explanation : Hegel and Marx use a logical procedure called dialectics to seek answers to seemingly mutual exclusive positions. Shortened it is “thesis, antithesis, synthesis”. Thus ‘no light’ and ‘no dark’ can arrive at a middle ground through logical examination ‘it’s dark but it can be made light’.)”

     

    The correct answer is, of course, “None at all, the light bulb changes itself.”

     

    But, Debs is seriously wide of the mark here. “Thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis” is in fact Kant and Fichte’s method, not Hegel’s. Marx toyed with it in some of his early work, but it is arguable he is also lampooning it.

     

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/Thesis_Anti-Thesis_Synthesis.htm
     
    Moreover, for there to be a dialectical change here, light would have to ‘struggle’ with darkness. Has anyone ever witnessed this?
     
    Can light ‘struggle’ with the absence of light?
     

     


    #87955

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    No it as not a joke or explanation by Debs , just one i found on the internet and the explanation was theirs, not my on. I’m pretty sure Debs never bothered with Hegel.

    #87956

    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    sorry, that as a typo …it was a joke …not NOT it was a joke

    #87957

    Ok, but it only serves to propagate the myth that this is all there is to dialectics.


    #87958

    stuartw2112
    Member

    This is a good short piece on dialectics, inspired in part, so the author told me, by his reading of an SPGB pamphlet on the subject:http://kenmacleod.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/from-unidentified-flying-objects-to.html

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