History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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archive: from before 2016…the failure of dialectical materialism

May 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

We have finished our 2016 archive, but perhaps a few from earlier years is in order…

The failure of dialectical materialism
January 8th, 2015 ·


The reason for my attack on dialectical materialism is not based on some logical/scientific objection, quite the contrary: after a generation of the New Age movement many would look back on nineteenth century dialectic as old-fashioned, and to underpowered compared to the more recent versions of ‘non-dual’ experimental thought.

A book like Ouspensky’s Tertium Organon completely stole a march on the left from the right. More generally the lore of ancient Samkhya is far more fertile here, with its genuines ‘triads’ instead of dialectical dyads.
I do Not reject the dialectic, which should mean basically a ‘debate’, a corellation of opposites in thought. It also has a close relation to metaphors of transformation, etc…
But I think the time has come to move on: noone not already converted to marxism is not going to spend much time on dialectic.
So I think that a whole new canon of postmarxism is needed. I would be almost impossible to excise the dialectical legacy however.
But there is a simple solution to that: do the dialectic! Last and First Men reinvents what it calls ‘dialogical metadialectic’, which can be used to examine the self-referential dialectic argumentation on the validity of ‘metadialectic’, i.e. some triadic connection to a reduced dyadic dialectic, …
We have better things to worry about at this point.
Let’s put it plainly: put dialectic on the sidelines as a research project in need of critique, state all axioms/theorems of neo-communist logic on simple logical deductions. And leave it at that. The left can’t afford to waste its energies defending dialectics. And the confused use of dialectics to explain revolution, historical change, evolution, etc, are too marginal to be useful anymore.

The issue of revolutionary/evolutionary change is clearly discussed in LFM using a completely different kind of discussion.

There was an old debate about whether dialectic could be applied to nature, with Engels challenged here many times. The critique is important but this just shows how marxists wish to reinvent ‘samkhya’ with triads for dialectics. The confusion of the two is a blind spot for marxists.

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