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The Forum > Article Comments > Marxism Destroyed the Dialectic > Comments

Marxism Destroyed the Dialectic : Comments

By Gilbert Holmes, published 27/9/2010

Marx poisoned modern political philosophy because he didn't understand the dialectic

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Ah, yes... yet another attempt to 'save' Hegel from his marxist captors. And (as with most all the others) an ultimately futile and, frankly, embarrassing exercise, whenever undertaken. One wouldn't even know where to start with a critique of this mess of an opinion on the matter (and I'm no paid academic either; so it would be a long and tedious undertaking on my part): other than maybe to point to the obvious factual error that 'marxist [scientific socialist] theory doesn't grasp the dialectical relation between collectivism and individualism'[sic]. What utter balderdash. Of course it does.

C'mon fella: don't write a book if you're at such a low level of comprehension. You'll only embarrass yourself. However, there *is* money to be made in the rather lucrative cottage industry of anti-communist propaganda; so if you have no shame -- why just jump right in!
Posted by grok, Monday, 27 September 2010 12:40:43 PM
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Dear Mr. Gilbert Holmes,

Mr. Karl Marx was born in a family of middle class standing and went to schools that led him to universities, hence to journalism.

Most probably you have the same origins and aspire to a similar career.

To get as famous as Marx, however, you got to forget his assumptions.

I know that it is hard but I assure you that it is far better; hard but not difficult.

Just take a laborer job for the rest of your working life.
Posted by skeptic, Monday, 27 September 2010 1:38:39 PM
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How do I go about condemning this ignorant twaddle without flaming--which is what the scribbler deserves?
There is nothing in the whole infantile rant to indicate the author has the faintest idea what he's talking about, not on Hegel, dialectics or Marx. Compared to GH my understanding of these subjects is profound indeed (though I've still "much" to learn). I'm sorry GH, but I will not dignify your nonsense by attempting to correct it. Perhaps you can ask Graham Young to withdraw the article before it's too widely read?
Posted by Squeers, Monday, 27 September 2010 1:42:45 PM
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Dear Gilbert Holmes,

A Taurus? I admit prejudice against anyone who thinks that is meaningful information.

For once I agree with Squeers.

The thesis is an intellectual proposition.
The antithesis is simply the negation of the thesis, a reaction to the proposition.
The synthesis solves the conflict between the thesis and antithesis by reconciling their common truths, and forming a new proposition.

None of your examples are intellectual propositions, form a new proposition or are accurate.

The first:

Consider a young person trying to deal with their emotions. We can imagine that they will be angry and aggressive at times, (the thesis), and weak and lost at other times (the antithesis). As they mature, they will take something good from each of the extremes and blend them into a positive balance, becoming both strong and gentle (the synthesis).

I doubt that the young person will cease to be angry and aggressive at times and weak and lost at other times. Strong and gentle is not a synthesis.

The second:

Or we could look at a population of rabbits introduced to an island. At first spreading out and expanding in numbers, the rabbits eventually eat all the food. Their numbers decline again. If uninterrupted, this cycle will continue, with swings between a high and a low population, until eventually a stable population is reached.

In a real ecosystem, even a simple one composed of rabbits and grass, the population will never become stable but will continue to oscillate.

The third:

We could also look at the tension between law and crime. If there are high levels of crime, the law will become tighter in response. If the law is too restrictive, however, the people will fight against it. Hopefully at some stage we will come to a happy balance whereby the law is sufficient to constrain destructive elements, yet relaxed enough to enable us to go about our diverse lives.

There are continuing revisions of the legal code and its interpretation through both legislative action and precedents established by case law. No balance.
Posted by david f, Monday, 27 September 2010 2:18:48 PM
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> Mr. Karl Marx was born in a family of middle class standing
> and went to schools that led him to universities, hence to journalism.

If I understand correctly, Marx was driven to the profession of journalism because he was essentially denied employment as a professor at the various universities he was associated with as a student: the administrations of which essentially didn't like his politics... In other words he was blacklisted.

What's changed, eh?

Marx, however, was so brilliant and accomplished, it is on record that not only is he widely considered to have been the best 'philosopher' of the Modern Era, bar none; but that essentially he and Aristotle are seen as the two top thinkers of all time: quite the accomplishment of a lifetime; and much of that talent was clearly apparent to those very officials who denied Marx his rightful place in the academy. But other considerations were, clearly, far more important... then, as they are today.
Posted by grok, Monday, 27 September 2010 2:32:41 PM
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> The thesis is an intellectual proposition.
> The antithesis is simply the negation of the thesis,
> a reaction to the proposition.
> The synthesis solves the conflict between the thesis
> and antithesis by reconciling their common truths,
> and forming a new proposition.
>
> None of your examples are intellectual propositions, form a new
> proposition or are accurate.

Your arguments against this author's 'theses' appear sound enough (at first pass & glance); just let me point out it would be misleading to give the impression of dialectics -- hegelian, materialist or otherwise -- as being primarily the product of the human intellect, in the Idealist manner. I believe it is important to stress instead that all human logic comes from the very developmental, stochastic, blind, emergent logic of Nature itself; and if something doesn't make sense naturally -- then it sure won't in the academic brain exercises which we call 'logic', dialectical or otherwise...

And of course the most important precaution to take in thinking along these lines is not to mix up the relative categories of what we are talking about. As the author appears to have no qualms about, himself.
Posted by grok, Monday, 27 September 2010 2:54:49 PM
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