Rosa Lichenstein and Anti-Dialectics?

June 2024 Forums General discussion Rosa Lichenstein and Anti-Dialectics?

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  • #87989
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    Young Master Smeet:”Two perfect circles would make very bad clockwork, the gaps between the teeth are not there, and yet they make the whole thing go. They are defined by the something of the cogs. Likewise in the electron states of semi conductors which are either on or off: there is a definite somehing that is nothing”I am still unclear why you would want to call a gap “nothing”, or why an electron state ‘off’ is ‘nothing’. And do they really ‘struggle’ with each other? If not, why call this a ‘dialectic’?”Except everything is interconnected by its share of the initial energy impetus, if everything was once all part of one sub-microscopic spot. If we expand the light cone back, then everything in the universe leads up to point E in the diagram in that article.”What they seem to be connected with is this energy, not each other; unless you think there is some sort of instantaneous communication via this energy — which, once again, would be impossible to confirm.And the point of the light cone is that while everything might once have been connected, it isn’t so now, and nor can it be.”All light is everywhere and all light is in contact with everything at once, then everything is interconnected via light. It could be, from a certain point of view, that the universe is one still spot of light that we misinterpret as having dimensions.”Well, this reads like science fiction; I’d like to see the evidence that substantiates it.”Certainly, Great Cthulhu thinks so”.Which just goes to show I was right when I labelled this a ‘mystical notion”.


    #87990
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    Stuart:
    “Right back atcha: I personally can’t understand how a person living in the modern world could possibly subscribe to the sinister religion of Leninism. I guess it’s cos you’re alienated.”
    Well, it’s certainly not a religion the way I see it — you have seen me criticise it’s core theory here, for example.
    “No need to apologise. I suppose I’m a bit of a Marxist, I’m a bit of lots of things, but basically a libertarian socialist. I’m certainly someone who believes that fantasies are far less harmful than Leninism.”
    1) If you are right and Leninsim is a fantasy, then the above implies it is far less harmful than itself!
    2) I think Leninism is harmful, too — to the bosses.


    #87991
    stuartw2112
    Participant

    Leninism: all power to the new bosses (same as the old bosses).

    #87992
    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    I am still unclear why you would want to call a gap “nothing”, or why an electron state ‘off’ is ‘nothing’. And do they really ‘struggle’ with each other? If not, why call this a ‘dialectic’?

    A wall is something.  I cannot walk through a wall.  Things that are there can be materially interacted with.  Things that are not there cannot be.  there is no way to touch, see, smell or apprehend nothing. Likewise, nothing cannot impede my action, nor cause effects.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    What they seem to be connected with is this energy, not each other; unless you think there is some sort of instantaneous communication via this energy — which, once again, would be impossible to confirm.And the point of the light cone is that while everything might once have been connected, it isn’t so now, and nor can it be.

    So you accept everything is connected, ultimately?  And from that it follows that everything is simply a permutation of this initial energy (including the energy that manifests as matter).  And if we follow the laws of thermodynamics, that evergy cannot be created or destroyed, then it follows that nothing can happen that does not affect other entities within the system.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    “All light is everywhere and all light is in contact with everything at once, then everything is interconnected via light. It could be, from a certain point of view, that the universwe is one still spot of light that we misinterpret as having dimensions.”Well, this reads like science fiction; I’d like to see the evidence that substantiates it.

    I think there is a passing reference to the notion in (that name again) Brian Cox’ “Why does E=MC^2”.

    #87993
    stuartw2112
    Participant

    If Rosa is looking for some truly nutty sounding, fantastical, mystical ideas, all he has to do is try to read some modern physics. But then, I guess that’s all written by alienated bourgeois fantasists.

    #87994
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     

    stuartw2112 wrote:
     I’m certainly someone who believes that fantasies are far less harmful than Leninism.
    #87995
    ALB
    Keymaster

    My argument is not that Dietzgen never read or studied Hegel but that, when he wrote The Nature of Human Brain Work in 1869, where he first put forward his view that all that existed was the ever-changing world of phenomena which was a whole, he was not influenced by Hegel and had probably never read him by then. Later he did, yes. Just re-read this work and with your knowledge of philosophy you should be able to conclude that there is no trace of Hegelian influence in it.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    If he read Feuerbach, then he will have read Hegel (in view of Feuerbach’s own concerns).

    What sort of logic is that? Dietzgen read Feuerbach. Feuerbach read Hegel. Therefore Dietzgen read Hegel ! Come on, you’ll have to do better than that. I don’t know which of Feuerbach’s writings Dietzgen would have read but Feuerbach’s reputation and popularity was based on him being a materialist and an atheist, not on being an ex-Hegelian.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    The evidence of his son, and the circumstantial evidence I mentioned suggest that he was influenced by German idealism and/or mystical Hermeticism, most probably from Hegel himself.Indeed, we read this in Some of the Philosophical Essays:”Philosophy has discovered the art of thinking. That it has thereby occupied itself so much with the all-perfect Being, with the conception of God, with the ‘substance’ of Spinoza, with the ‘thing in itself’ of Kant, and with the Absolute of Hegel, has its good reason in the fact that the sober conception of the universe as of the All-One with nothing above or outside or alongside of it, is the first postulate of a skilled and consistent mode of thinking, which both of itself and of all possible and impossible objects that they all belong to one eternal and limitless union which is called by us Cosmos, Nature and universe” (pp.274-75.).

    I don’t see anything wrong with this statement of Dietzgen’s. It’s merely saying that the unity idealist philosophers had talked about as being something non-material (God, etc), as did the famous Hermeticists you keep banging on about (was Buddha one?),  was in fact something material. Or what do you think the universe is?

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Well, I didn’t mention the occult, so I think you and I are operating with a different understanding of the word ‘mystical’

    You may not have done yourself but you quoted with approval this passage from Glenn Magee which certainly does:

    Quote:
    “…The universe is an internally related whole pervaded by cosmic energies.” [Glenn Magee, Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition  (2001), p.13.

    What are these “cosmic energies” if not occult forces? In any event, there is nothing in Dietzgen to suggest that he thought the universe was pervaded by such energies.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Be this as it may, the passage you quoted is full of a priori dogmatic pronouncements and Hegelisms. Dietzgen has plainly bought into Hegel’s mystical notion of a ‘contradiction’ (even though it is plain that the thing he calls a ‘contradiction’ isn’t one, and does not even look like one), among other things.

    If you read that passage again you will see that the contradiction was one raised by Kant not Dietzgen and that Dietzgen says it can be resolved by dropping the whole idea that there is a world of things-in-themselves behind the ever-changing and single world of phenomena that we experience.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    It [the theory that everything is interconnected] becomes mystical when applied to the whole of nature since it pretends to give us knowledge that is way beyond anything we could ever espouse to, and which we could never confirm, no matter how hard or how long we tried

    In Dietzgen’s version it is not a claim to knowledge but a methodological assumption. Your mistake is to assume that what Dietzgen is saying is that all the physical things in the universe exist as separate entities and are interconnected as such, and that this is statement of alleged fact that can be empirically verified or falsified. If he did make such a claim you might be right that it can’t be verified. But this is not what Dietzgen means. He is saying that, to understand the world around us, you have to start from the assumption that all that “exists” is  the “one eternal and limitless union which is called by us Cosmos, Nature and universe” and so physical objects don’t exist as independent entities but as parts of this whole distinguished and named by the human mind.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Incidentally, this view also provides the ‘rationale’ for Astrology and other assorted ‘New Age’ nostrums. There’s hardly a  mystical system on the planet, as far as we know, that does not or has not viewed the cosmos in this way.

    Another example of your eccentric logic. Some “holists” are mystics. Dietzgen is a holist. Therefore Dietzgen is a mystic. 

    #87997
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    Young Master Smeet:
    “A wall is something. I cannot walk through a wall. Things that are there can be materially interacted with. Things that are not there cannot be. there is no way to touch, see, smell or apprehend nothing. Likewise, nothing cannot impede my action, nor cause effects.”
    Indeed, but how are the things you told us were nothing actually nothing? And you have yet to tell us how something can struggle with nothing.
    “So you accept everything is connected, ultimately?”
    Not at all, I was merely drawing out a consequence of what you had said. I neither assert nor deny that everything is interconnected since that would be a metaphysical proposition, and thus non-sensical:
    http://www.soviet-empire.com/ussr/viewtopic.php?f=107&t=52252
    “And from that it follows that everything is simply a permutation of this initial energy (including the energy that manifests as matter). And if we follow the laws of thermodynamics, that evergy cannot be created or destroyed, then it follows that nothing can happen that does not affect other entities within the system”
    But, not even this shows that everthing is connected, let alone interconnected. I think you are confusing the phrase ‘common origin’ with the term ‘interconnected’.
    “I think there is a passing reference to the notion in (that name again) Brian Cox’ “Why does E=MC^2″.”
    I’m sorry, but my enigma translation module seems to be out of action today, so I’ll need you to put this in plain English if I am to respond to it.


    #87996
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    Stuart:
    “Leninism: all power to the new bosses (same as the old bosses).”
    Well, I haven’t come here to debate Leninism (which I think you have confused with Stalinism), so I will just note that I don’t agree, and leave it at that.


    #87998
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    Stuart:
    “If Rosa is looking for some truly nutty sounding, fantastical, mystical ideas, all he [??] has to do is try to read some modern physics. But then, I guess that’s all written by alienated bourgeois fantasists.”
    And what makes you think I disagree with this?


    #88000
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    ALB:
    “My argument is not that Dietzgen never read or studied Hegel but that, when he wrote The Nature of Human Brain Work in 1869, where he first put forward his view that all that existed was the ever-changing world of phenomena which was a whole, he was not influenced by Hegel and had probably never read him by then. Later he did, yes. Just re-read this work and with your knowledge of philosophy you should be able to conclude that there is no trace of Hegelian influence in it.”
    Well, we can speculate all day long about this. However, the evidence from his son, and the many Hegelisms that occur in that work suggest he was familiar with Hegel’s work (directly or indirectly).
    But, wherever he got this idea, it is no less an example of a priori dogmatics, and is thus non-sensical.
    “What sort of logic is that? Dietzgen read Feuerbach. Feuerbach read Hegel. Therefore Dietzgen read Hegel ! Come on, you’ll have to do better than that. I don’t know which of Feuerbach’s writings Dietzgen would have read but Feuerbach’s reputation and popularity was based on him being a materialist and an atheist, not on being an ex-Hegelian.”
    It’s a reasonable inference to make, given the fact that much of Feuerbach’s work is devoted to his criticism of Hegel. But, recall, that inference was explicitly connected with what Dietzgen’s son tells us — that his father read and studied the work of philosophers in the 1840s, when Hegel was all the rage.
    “I don’t see anything wrong with this statement of Dietzgen’s. It’s merely saying that the unity idealist philosophers had talked about as being something non-material (God, etc), as did the famous Hermeticists you keep banging on about (was Buddha one?), was in fact something material. Or what do you think the universe is?”
    1) I quoted this passage not because I think it is wrong (or right!), but to show that Dietzgen was familiar with Hegel’s work.
    2) I leave it to scientists (provided they too don’t indulge in amateur metaphysics), not dogmatic, aprioristic philosophers, to tell me what the universe is.
    “What are these “cosmic energies” if not occult forces? In any event, there is nothing in Dietzgen to suggest that he thought the universe was pervaded by such energies.”
    I didn’t suggest he did. I quoted Magee (but there are many others I could have quoted) to support my allegation that this family of ideas has been shared by countless generations of mystics. I did not, nor do I, suggest that every single one of these mystics assented to all of these ideas, but they certainly agreed with many of them — Dietzgen included.
    “If you read that passage again you will see that the contradiction was one raised by Kant not Dietzgen and that Dietzgen says it can be resolved by dropping the whole idea that there is a world of things-in-themselves behind the ever-changing and single world of phenomena that we experience.”
    And it was raised, too, by Hegel — who, like Dietzgen, thought we could move beyond this ‘contradiction’.
    “In Dietzgen’s version it is not a claim to knowledge but a methodological assumption. Your mistake is to assume that what Dietzgen is saying is that all the physical things in the universe exist as separate entities and are interconnected as such, and that this is statement of alleged fact that can be empirically verified or falsified. If he did make such a claim you might be right that it can’t be verified. But this is not what Dietzgen means. He is saying that, to understand the world around us, you have to start from the assumption that all that “exists” is the “one eternal and limitless union which is called by us Cosmos, Nature and universe” and so physical objects don’t exist as independent entities but as parts of this whole distinguished and named by the human mind.”
    Well, it doesn’t read like a ‘methodological assumption’ but an all-embracing truth he is prepared to accept.
    Moreover, it’s far too vague to be a ‘methodological assumption’.
    “Another example of your eccentric logic. Some “holists” are mystics. Dietzgen is a holist. Therefore Dietzgen is a mystic.”
    Or, rather, another excellent example of your penchant for putting words in my mouth — Dietzgen’s ideas are mystical for the reasons I posted earlier:
    “It becomes mystical when applied to the whole of nature since it pretends to give us knowledge that is way beyond anything we could ever espouse to, and which we could never confirm, no matter how hard or how long we tried — and it originated into the mystical contemplations about ‘god’ and ‘his’ cosmos, dogmatic pronouncements promulgated by generations of boss-class theorists and mystics — like Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, Pseudo-Dionysius, Hermes Trismegistus, Jakob Boehme, Hans Christoph Oetinger, and Hegel, among many others.”
    This is where he got this idea — as he himself acknowledged, and as his son confirmed — from reading ‘philosophy’.
    Finally, you still haven’t shown where I equivocate.


    #87999
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    Gnome: thanks for the cartoon, but I think the guy with the banjo is really Stalin in disguise.


    #88003
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    “Well, I haven’t come here to debate Leninism” I recall Marx saying that philosophy has interpreted the world ( or in your view, Rosa, it hasn’t ) the point is now to change it – or words to that effect. So just where do you debate your politics?  i assume you have viewed other pages of our website and know that we see Leninism as fundamentally no progress to the working class but in fact a hinderance –  totally contrary to Marx’s maxim…well the International’s if we have to be exact , ‘The emanicaption of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.’ Isn’t Lenin substituting the party for the class?

    #88001
    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Indeed, but how are the things you told us were nothing actually nothing? And you have yet to tell us how something can struggle with nothing.

    Nothing cannot be actual, by definition.  All I can know is that Thing is distinct from No-Thing.    Now, it might be that No-Thing is a thing, of some different variety, but the fact of difference exists, and that is sufficient.  All things are struggling with un-being, as the entropic principle moves through the universe towards heat death.  We cannot know Things in themselves, but only through their acts, their actuality, and it is the aspect of action that separates Thing from No-thing.   We can only know Thing and No-Thing through their mutual distinctions.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    Not at all, I was merely drawing out a consequence of what you had said. I neither assert nor deny that everything is interconnected since that would be a metaphysical proposition, and thus non-sensical:

    Hardly metaphysical to say that everything is connected through common cause and (possibly) common substance.  that’s mechanical.  BTW, did you know that, I think, every twentieth breath you take contains an oxygen molecule breathed in by Julius Caesar.  he has touched you, and you have touched him.  Across time, no less.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    “And from that it follows that everything is simply a permutation of this initial energy (including the energy that manifests as matter). And if we follow the laws of thermodynamics, that evergy cannot be created or destroyed, then it follows that nothing can happen that does not affect other entities within the system”But, not even this shows that everthing is connected, let alone interconnected. I think you are confusing the phrase ‘common origin’ with the term ‘interconnected’.

    At the initial point everything was very literally interconnected, since it was one object, since then that object has unfurled itself in different permutations.  If I’m connected, as I am, to the Sun by gravtitational forces, and the sun is in turn bound to the galaxy by gravitational forces, and that galaxy to the rest of the universe, then I think it makes sense to say everything is connected.

    Rosa Lichtenstein wrote:
    I’m sorry, but my enigma translation module seems to be out of action today, so I’ll need you to put this in plain English if I am to respond to it.

    It was a source, IIRC, for where I got the notion that light could be everywhere at once.Why does E=MC^2 (click on link)

    #88002
    Rosa Lichtenstein
    Participant

    Alan:
    “So just where do you debate your politics?”
    I used to debate my politics at RevLeft, until they banned me for being too effective at demolishing dialectics.
    “i assume you have viewed other pages of our website and know that we see Leninism as fundamentally no progress to the working class but in fact a hinderance – totally contrary to Marx’s maxim…well the International’s if we have to be exact , ‘The emanicaption of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.’ Isn’t Lenin substituting the party for the class?”
    Yes I am familiar with this tradition in Marxism — in fact, I used to read your publications when I was deciding which version of Marxism appealed to me back in the early 1980s. Needless to say, I decided against your view.
    Your comment about the self-emancipation of the working class I take very seriously (indeed, it’s in my signature!), but, as I said, I have only come here to defend myself against the misleading comments about my work found on page one, and to discuss dialectics, and for no other reason.
    So, you are wasting your time trying to draw me out.


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