Mr G: Our Very Own Resident Fool
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As is the case with all my Essays, nothing here should be read as an attack either on Historical Materialism [HM] -- a theory I fully accept --, or, indeed, on 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.
The difference between Dialectical Materialism [DM] and HM, as I see it, is explained here.
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Summary Of My Main Objections To DM
Abbreviations Used At This Site
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A Warning To Us All
Our old friend, Mr G, has one again shown that possession of a brain doesn't always guarantee its owner knows what to do with it -- in this case, other than how to make a fool of himself in public. In this alone, Mr G is without peer on the UK-Left. Were this an Olympic event, he'd win Gold every time.
Mr G's Passport Photo
In an attempt to intervene in a discussion over at Splintered Sunrise, I asked the following question:
Can anyone explain why Andy Newman has turned into a Stalinist, and is deleting my posts at his blog?
[I make about one post every three months!]
This was asked because I had tried to post the following at Socialist Unity (about the recent mini-crisis in the UK-SWP) a few days earlier:
Sad though this
is, the above report and comments read like a far left version of Groundhog
Day: we've seen this sort of thing so many times, and not just in the UK,
and not just when the working class is retreating or is quiescent.
Wherever the revolutionary left organises we witness the same problems:
complaints of lies, slander, bullying, bureaucratic and anti-democratic CCs,
etc., etc. Are we just unlucky, or is there a deeper reason?
I have tried to explain why this happens and will continue to happen, and what we can do about it, here:
But the owner of that site ("Andy") deleted it.
[I have to say this was probably because I wiped the floor with him last year, and he surely wants to avoid more of the same. Of course, readers can judge that for themselves: here and here.]
In fact, comments like this are regularly deleted on other boards and blogs. Either that, or I am bad-mouthed for even so much as thinking to blame DM partially for such debacles.
However, the UK Left's very own Resident Fool, Mr G, then chirped in:
Rosa it might well be because you are seeking to explain every argument with reference to the absence or presence of illusions in the dialectic. Occassionally (sic) people get a bit annoyed about this. Whilst I do indeed have my differences with Andy viz. the joys of nudist beaches in the DDR, I don't actually believe that not wanting yet another argument about the world historical significance of dialectic or its absence, is NECCESSARILY (sic) an indication of Stalinism (complete or otherwise).
To which I responded:
Well, this comment could only have been made by someone who has read my essays or posts with his eyes no longer in their sockets, for I explicitly say, over and over, that this is precisely what I do not do.
May I suggest therefore, Mr G, that you abandon the tactic you have so far adopted -- that of passing comment on my ideas from a position of almost total ignorance -- and either desist from sharing such worthless opinions with the good folks here, or that you at least attempt to inform yourself of my ideas before you expose your ignorance so publicly yet again?
Just a final thought: six years ago, before the disaster of Respect and the Left List, I predicted (at Lenin's Tomb) that you mystics could look forward to another 150 years of almost total failure unless you learnt the lessons of the past. The last six years of foul-ups suggest that you lot are quite intent on proving me right.
I wish things were otherwise, but then you mystics refuse to be told.
Wise up (some hope!); check this out:
Mr G, back to his old tricks (i.e., ignoring what anyone says, and going off at a tangent), somehow managed to type this in reply:
As I said Rosa, no-one is interested in either what you do or what you do not do, although I note with some amusement that you think that there cannot be any contradiction between what you think you are doing and what you are actually doing. That there can be is demonstrated by the fact that you think you are demolishing a mystical theory of politics when you are in fact creating a new one (and how grand it all is: stretching right back to the pre-socratics!). We're just not interested Rosa.
To which I responded:
Where did I say this, or even imply, it:
although I note with some amusement that you think that there cannot be any contradiction between what you think you are doing and what you are actually doing...?
Given the fact that you have an impressively insecure grasp of logic, both formal and informal, and an equally tenuous grasp of your own 'theory', I think we can take anything you have to say on this topic with a pinch of non-dialectical salt.
That there can be is demonstrated by the fact that you think you are demolishing a mystical theory of politics when you are in fact creating a new one (and how grand it all is: stretching right back to the pre-Socratics!).
And why is this a contradiction?
[I do not expect an answer to this, since, as I said, you do not even understand your own 'theory', still less my thesis.]
However, it's less than amusing that you are happy to see our movement experience another round of defeats, splits and failures while you keep your head well-and-truly in the sand.
As I said Rosa, no-one is interested in either what you do or what you do not do....
1) In fact, you did not say this.
2) Unfortunately for you, plenty of comrades are interested in my ideas -- that is, those who actually care to build a successful movement, unlike you.
See you again in 6 years after another round of dialectically-inspired screw-upsÖ
[Notice below that, as predicted, Mr G failed to tell us why the example given below is a 'contradiction'.]
Mr G has now flipped out, and responded (with yet more irrelevances):
Let's imagine that I have gangrene. A pretty serious problem I'm sure you'd agree. I am engaged in a discussion with some people who think what I need is a course of antibiotics and others who believe an immediate amputation of a couple of limbs is necessary. At this point someone called Rosa appears who has for the last couple of years been working on a theses suggesting that gangrene is caused by philosophically faulty ideas about the dialectic. I tell her that Iím not at all interested in her theses as it seems completely irrelevant. I am denounced for my ignorance and steered to a site which consists of endless repetitive pre-ambles explaining the importance of rejecting the dialectic in order to avoid an endless history of amputations, but which never ever arrives at the point of the argument. As the pain in my limbs grows worse I scream 'go away Rosa!'. Rosa triumphantly declares that I seem 'content to suffer'.
Has Rosa here made a logical error or is the problem simply one of extension? [Spelling corrected.]
Now, because I do not wish to presume on the hospitality of the owner of Splintered Sunrise, I have decided to post my reply to Mr G here, not there.
Mr G, happy to lie his face off, alleges the following:
At this point someone called Rosa appears who has for the last couple of years been working on a theses suggesting that gangrene is caused by philosophically faulty ideas about the dialectic.
But he knows full well, since I have told him many times (and again above) that I have never argued this, or anything like it, but, dissembler that he is, he prefers to lie yet again.
In the past, he has even been shown this disclaimer from page one of my site (and repeated many times in my Essays):
It is important to emphasise from the outset that I am not blaming the long-term failure of Dialectical Marxism solely on the acceptance of the Hermetic ideas dialecticians inherited from Hegel.
It is worth repeating this since I still encounter comments on Internet discussion boards, and still receive e-mails from those who claim to have read the above words, who still think I am blaming all our woes on dialectics.
I am not.
However, no matter how many times I repeat this caveat, the message will not sink in (and this is after several years of continually making this very point!).
It seems that this is one part of the universe over which the Heraclitean Flux has no power!
What is being claimed, however, is that adherence to this 'theory' is one of the subjective reasons why Dialectical Marxism has become a bye-word for failure.
There are other, objective reasons why the class enemy still runs this planet, but since revolutions require revolutionaries with ideas in their heads, this 'theory' must take some of the blame.
So, it is alleged here that dialectics has been an important contributory factor.
It certainly helps explain why revolutionary groups are in general vanishingly small, neurotically sectarian, studiously unreasonable, consistently conservative, theoretically deferential (to 'tradition'), and almost invariably lean toward some form of substitutionism.
Naturally, this has had a direct bearing on our lack of impact on the working-class over the last seventy years or so -- and probably for much longer -- and thus on the continuing success of Capitalism.
The following 'Unity of Opposites' is difficult to explain otherwise:
The larger the proletariat, the smaller the impact that Dialectical Marxism has on it.
Sadly, this will continue while comrades cling on to this regressive doctrine.
Any who doubt this are encouraged to read on, where those doubts will be severely bruised, if not completely laid to rest.
Alas, Mr G's skull is so thick, that a diamond-tipped drill would struggle to penetrate far, so I stand no chance. We can, therefore, look forward to more fibs like this in the years to come.
A far better analogy would in fact be the following:
Mr G has a bad case of gangrene. Unfortunately, this was caused by shooting himself in the foot. However, because he is a Christian Scientist, in the grip of a bizarre set of mystical nostrums (to the effect that disease is just the "error of mortal mind"), he refused treatment from those not similarly befuddled by such odd ideas -- i.e., doctors, scientifically trained to help him, should he want it. But, he told them "I'm not interested". So his wound wasn't treated and began to fester.
Well-disposed individuals attempted to inform him of the error of his ways, but he just responded with: "I'm not interested", which he constantly repeats. Alas, he deteriorated, and was warned that he stands to lose his leg to gangrene if he persists in his rejection of help. He was also told that his ideas are aggravating a problem caused by other factors, but he retorted:
"You are all idiots; you expect me to believe that gangrene is caused by my ideas?"
Even though those around him told him that this wasn't what they were saying, and even though he is visibly deteriorating, all that they get from him is: "I'm not interested".
The predicted results unfolded, Mr Gangrene lost his leg, and then 6 weeks later he died of complications. On his grave were inscribed these poignant words:
Here Lies Mr G -- Killed By His Own Stupidity
Exhibit A for the prosecution:
I am denounced for my ignorance and steered to a site which consists of endless repetitive pre-ambles explaining the importance of rejecting the dialectic in order to avoid an endless history of amputations, but which never ever arrives at the point of the argument. As the pain in my limbs grows worse I scream 'go away Rosa!'. Rosa triumphantly declares that I seem 'content to suffer'.
But, Mr G does not and cannot know this; he has not visited my site to read the Essay in question, for if he had, he would have seen how far from the truth these gangrene-induced ramblings of his are.
Hence, Mr Gangrene is content to ram his head back in the sand as our movement staggers from crisis to crisis, oblivious of its cause: the fact the our side shoots itself in the foot all the time.
[Added on edit: Mr G has now left the UK-SWP, and seems to have dropped out of sight. Yet another example of successful 'dialectical' practice, one may wonder? Even so, I suspect he is still "Not interested".]
So, he is "not interested" in why this happens, content to labour under the delusion that I claim it is all the fault of dialectics, when this isn't so. DM, like the mystical ideas I mentioned above, only makes a bad situation worse. The aforementioned Essay explains how and why we repeatedly damage ourselves, and how dialectics merely compounds these self-inflicted wounds.
Has Rosa here made a logical error or is the problem simply one of extension?
As we can now see, the fault lies in Mr G's incapacity to stop lying, aggravated by a neurotic propensity to project his own faults onto others.
So, yes, he has condemned himself to suffer, since he is "not interested".
We can, at least, console ourselves with the thought that Mr G is at least a consistent fool.
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