You may have heard people say that "Marx's ideas are beautiful in theory, but they don't work in practice"? It is almost universally the case that poeple who express this opinion have not read Marx - and have little or no understanding of his real philosophy.
Other than revealing the mechainsm of capitalist exploitation, Marx's truy great gift to human knowledge was his philisophical method, his "revolutionary dalectics", as Lenin called it, which not only applies to the general study of thought and knowledge itself, but has profoundly influenced the study of the natural world, Science, as well as Society and its history.
The revolutionary implications of Marx's DIalectics are not lost on our exploiters, the capitalists. It is for this reason that Marxism has become a taboo in 'polite' society, our media, state and educational institutions. For all of these are controlled by the capitalist class, directly and indirectly, but most assuredly and effectively. And yet Marx's ideas have revolutionaised every branch of human learning, and cannot be 'undiscovered' any more than Darwin's Evolutionary theory.
It is just these 'dialectical materialist' ideas applied to Human society that all workers must understand if we are to win our freedom, and combat our exploiters effectively.
It is just this approach to Socialism, the idea of changing society to meet the needs of the mass of working people, that has transformed our movement for workers' freedom from a dream, a Utopia, to a reality.
The idea of stuying human history society in all its detail, understanding it and weighing up the forces that are impelling its development, forwards and backwards, allowed Marx to reveal how to bring a socialist world into being, not in idealist dreams, but in concrete reality, out of the chaos and destruction that is capitalism. It is the dialectical method that allows us to talk of Marxism-Leninism as being SCIENTIFIC socialism.
Yet precious little material is available to explain this revolutionary outlook and philosophy to Workers. We hope this modest contribution will go some way towards explaining and popularising the understanding of dialectics, but it can never be a substitute to grappling with the texts in detail. Get them, read them, form a study circle and increase your unertanding together. Great things may yet happen!
In the words of Marx:
"There is no royal road to science, and only thse who do not dread the fatiguing climbs of its steep paths, have a chance of gaining its luminous summits.
"Believe me, dear reader, your Karl Marx."
Marxism is 'dialectical' in its approach, its method of studying natural phenomena, while its interpretation of those phenomena, its theory, is materialistic.
The word dialectics comes from the Greek "dielago" meaning to debate, to discourse. Ancient Greek philosophers believed that the best way to advance their understanding was by argument between opposite points of view - thesis and antithesis. This would reveal weaknesses, inconsistencies or 'contradictions' in one or both arguments.
Thus the principle features of a problem would be revealed, allowing their combination - synthesis - into a more complete and accurate idea, a more 'truthful' approximation of reality.
Dialectics developed into a way of describing and understanding the world around us. It regards nature as being in a state of continual movement, of constant change, this being brought about by the interaction of opposing forces.
Dialectics is the direct opposite of metaphysics. Put simply, dialectics is a set of laws of motion of matter. The remarkable thing, because all things are composed of more or less complex forms of matter, is the extent to which these patterns manifest themselves everywhere one looks, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, physics to biology, palaeontology to human history...
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