Confused Marxist-Leninist Fails To Understand His Own 'Theory'
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Although I am highly critical of Dialectical Materialism [DM], nothing said here (or, indeed, in the other Essays posted at this site) is aimed at undermining Historical Materialism [HM] -- a theory I fully accept -- or, for that matter, revolutionary socialism. I remain as committed to the self-emancipation of the working class and the dictatorship of the proletariat as I was when I first became a revolutionary nearly thirty years ago. [That puts paid to the allegation that those who reject DM soon abandon revolutionary politics.]
My aim is simply to assist in the scientific development of Marxism by helping to demolish a dogma that has in my opinion seriously damaged our movement from its inception: DM -- or, in its more political form, 'Materialist Dialectics' [MD].
The difference between HM and DM as I see it is explained here.
[Latest Update: 25/05/17.]
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Summary Of My Main Objections To Dialectical Materialism
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In 2015, I posted the following comment on a YouTube page which was devoted to introducing prospective viewers to a highly simplified version of DM:
Alas for this
video, I have demolished this dogmatic theory (from a Marxist angle) at my site:
Main objections outlined here:
I have posted many similar comments on other pages at YouTube that are devoted to this theory and received little or no response. But, the producer of this film (whose on-screen name used to be Marxist-Leninist-Theory [MLT], but which has now changed to The Finnish Bolshevik -- henceforth, TFB) did respond (and to which I replied, here and here).
Not long afterwards, another video appeared on YouTube, which was also produced by TFB (but posted to his other site) -- entitled: "Refuting a Trotskyite Attack on Dialectics" -- although after being asked to drop the derogatory term "Trotskyite", TFB has agreed to stop using it:
Video One: The 'Case' For The Prosecution
After several, shall we say, 'skirmishes' over the next six months or so, TFB posted a second, even longer video, which attempted to respond to one of my briefer attacks on this failed 'theory' of his:
Video Two: The Garbling Continues
Over the last year or so I have been posting the following replies to this confused Marxist-Leninist dissembler (much of which he has totally ignored -- since he has no answer to them):
1) Refuting A Weak Attempt To Refute Me 01
2) Refuting A Weak Attempt To Refute Me 02
3) Refuting A Weak Attempt To Refute Me 03
4) Refuting A Weak Attempt To Refute Me 04
5) Refuting A Weak Attempt To Refute Me 05
6) Refuting A Weak Attempt To Refute Me 06
7) Refuting A Weak Attempt To Refute Me 07
8) Refuting A Weak Attempt To Refute Me 08
9) Refuting A Weak Attempt To Refute Me 09
10) Refuting A Weak Attempt To Refute Me 010
11) Refuting A Weak Attempt To Refute Me 011 (Under Construction)
TFB regularly complained that my replies are far too long (even though his videos last the best part of 1 hour 45 minutes). To that end, replies five through eight are about a quarter of the length of the earlier responses. He has continued to ignore even these. That alone shows his earlier excuse (that my replies were far too long) was a smokescreen for his incapacity to reply effectively to me.
The second video of his was in effect an hour long object lesson how to make largely the same point over and over again -- concerning what I had argued in my Essays about 'external contradictions' -- a term invented by Stalin in the mid-1920s, which TFB admitted he had never heard before. [That itself was no big surprise since it has been abundantly clear from the get-do that TFB has a very sketchy knowledge of his own theory, or, indeed, the history of its development and the political considerations that helped shape it.] This means that video two was largely wasted effort, since much of what he had to say I had already covered in replies 1-5, which, again, he hadn't read since he prefers to keep his head in the sand. That means I have had to go over the same ground yet again, in replies 6-8!
The length of my replies was also determined by the fact that I decided early on to produce a word-for-word transcript of the vast bulk of both videos. This added at least 25% to the length of each response. I did this for at least three reasons:
(a) Long experience debating with DM-fans has taught me that unless I quote them (and their Holy Books) accurately, with 100% precision, word-for-word, they tend to deny what they have said.
(b) The two videos TFB posted on YouTube were largely incoherent (as my transcripts show -- I have posted the worst example of this below, taken from video one). This is because TFB prefers to speak extemporaneously and unscripted (which is a problem compounded by the fact that English is his second language) So, I advised TFB to delete them and try again with scripted videos. He chose to ignore that advise, plainly happy with the fourth rate material he has unwisely inflicted on humanity. Whatever one thinks of DM, TFB's videos bring no credit on Marxism, or even on Marxism-Leninism. Quite the reverse in fact.
TFB seems oblivious of the inadvertent and indirect slur he has inflicted on revolutionary socialism as a result.
(c) TFB is also a confirmed liar -- there is abundant evidence of his lies in replies 1-8 --, and even though i have pointed this out to him several times, he refuses to apologise or withdraw these fibs. An accurate transcript of those lies was therefore imperative.
Judge for yourself (this was taken from reply 2, where readers can check out my response to this bowl of knotted dialectical spaghetti):
"So, let's make this even more simple. Now this is going to be scientifically inaccurate in terms, but I'm going to simplify the terminology so much that even a Trotskyist can understand. [Added on edit: let's see how 'clear' TFB can make this -- RL.]
"So, keep in mind that this is not the...really the way you should use these terms, but whatever...
"So, er..., would it be more understandable to you if I said that more heating..., er..., more melting..., er..., if I instead of saying more heating more...like if I...even though [this is an extremely garbled section! -- RL] it's not really melting, but just if if [sic] I said it like it's melting? If I said that once melting..., once 'melting' has accumulated, even though it's really heat, but let's just say that it's melting so that it's easier to understand. So, one..., once melting has accumulated we have a quantitay (sic), ...a quantity turning into a quality. Er..., enough melting quantity turns into solid goes ff... (sic) to liquid; quantitative change. Erm..., so qualitative change is a threshold, and quantitative change is the gradual approach toward the threshold. Erm..., I hope I have made this clear.
"And just to avoid this kind of semantic nonsense and playing with words [!! -- RL], let's take one more example where the wording is not as confusing.
"So, look at...look at a piece of ice. Then look at water. Are they qualitatively different? Well, yes they are. One is liquid and one is solid, clearly. Are they quantitatively different? Why yes they are. One has notice..., noticeably more heat than the other, because it's...you know...liquid. So, a qualitative leap has happened somewhere, has it not? Erm..., is there a category of (sic) between frozen, i.e., solid and liquid? No. Is there water that is half or perhaps 33% frozen? No.
"Even when, for example, a glass of water freezes and it's sort of kind of solidifies (sic) partially while still having some liquid in the glass, it's not half-frozen water. It's ice on top of liquid water. Same with melting icicles that have water dripping from them. They're not 90% frozen water, but it's ice with liquid water dropping..., er..., dripping from it.
"Er..., so this works the exact same way with metal. I hope that's clear enough. [Garbled and undecipherable] just ask questions if you don't..., er..., if it's confusing. I know this is kind of...it is kind of confusing, but..., er..., I hope that makes sense to you." [Approx 28:26-31:07. Bold added.]
Other pressing matters have prevented me from writing or posting any more replies to video 2 (reply 8 ended at approx 40 minutes into that video). These obstacles are now out of the way, so the next series of responses will be posted soon.
I have also tangled with TFB on other occasions:
1) Debate With MLT_01
2) Debate With MLT_02
3) Finnish Bolshevik -- Liar And Coward (under construction)
4) Yet Another Reply To Finnish Bolshevik_01
5) Yet Another Reply To Finnish Bolshevik_02
Latest Update: 25/01/17
Word Count: 1690
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