Refuting A Weak Attempt At Refutation -- Part Four

 

Preface

 

If you are using Internet Explorer 10 (or later), you might find some of the links I have used won't work properly unless you switch to 'Compatibility View' (in the Tools Menu); for IE11 select 'Compatibility View Settings' and then add this site (anti-dialectics.co.uk). I have as yet no idea how Microsoft's new browser, Edge, will handle these links.

 

For some reason I can't work out, Internet Explorer 11 will no longer play the video I have posted to this page. Certainly not on my computer! However, as far as I can tell, they play alright in other Browsers.

 

~~~~~~oOo~~~~~~

 

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: 19/05/17.]

 

 

Quick Links

 

Anyone using these links must remember that they might be skipping past supporting argument and evidence set out in earlier sections.

 

If your Firewall/Browser has a pop-up blocker, you will need to press the "Ctrl" key at the same time or these and the other links here won't work!

 

I have adjusted the font size used at this site to ensure that even those with impaired vision can read what I have to say. However, if the text is still either too big or too small for you, please adjust your browser settings!

 

(1) Background

 

(2) Opening Salvos

 

(3) Specific Issues

 

(a) 'External Contradictions'

 

(4) Appendix A: Lesson One -- How To Use Google To Search For 'External Contradictions'

 

(5) Appendix B: The Stalin Quote In Full

 

(6) References

 

Summary Of My Main Objections To Dialectical Materialism

 

Abbreviations Used At This Site

 

Return To The Main Index Page

 

Contact Me

 

Background

 

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:

http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

Main objections outlined here:

http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/Why%20I%20Oppose%20DM.htm

 

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 YouTube page -- entitled: "Refuting a Trotskyite Attack on Dialectics". I have replied to this largely incoherent video, here, here, and here.

 

After several, shall we say, 'skirmishes' over the last 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 One: The Garbling Continues

 

As part of my reply to TFB's earlier video, I transcribed the vast bulk of it into print, which took absolutely ages. I did this for several reasons:

 

(a) So that others could see how largely incoherent that video was.

 

(b) So that it would be easier to expose TFB's lies and fabrications.

 

(c) So that I couldn't be accused of distorting what he had said.

 

[Incidentally, all my debates and responses to TFB have now been collected together, here.]

 

However, in this new video, TFB complains that my transcript of his first (and largely incoherent) video also included all his pauses, "ums" and "erms", and that this is somehow an 'ad hominem' (or, "ad hom", as TFB puts it). [Approx: 09:49-10:50.]

 

Like so many others who post on the Internet it is plain that TFB has confused ad hominem with personal attack, or with the disparagement of those with whom one is debating. In fact, an ad hominem argument is one that infers from some assumed or actual idiosyncrasy, failing or foible in an opponent to the conclusion that their argument is invalid -- or even valid -- just because of that. I nowhere do this, and TFB has not even once quoted me t that effect. Ad hominem has nothing to do with personalising a criticism as such, but with what can be 'inferred' from that personalisation alone. It has nothing to do with abuse as such, either; one can infer, ad hominem, from praise just as much as from abuse. It is the inference that is ad hominem, not the personalisation, the abuse, or even the praise.

 

In which case, the following would be plain and simple abuse (where "NN" and "NM" stand for the name of some individual): "NN is an idiot" -- but it isn't ad hominem. This would be: "NN is an idiot, therefore what he says is false". So is this: "NM is intelligent, therefore what she says is true." [Where in both cases "what he/she says..." refers back to an argument or assertion put forward by an opponent or interlocutor in a debate, etc.]

 

Nevertheless, this only serves to underline the insecure grasp TFB has even of informal fallacies, let alone Formal Logic [FL] -- which we saw was indeed the case from his first video.

 

Now, I highlighted the many incoherencies and verbal glitches, pauses, mumblings and stumblings in that amateurish video (and I have done this, too, in my transcript of this latest attempt) in the hope that TFB would delete it -- or, now, both of them -- and maybe start again with a scripted second attempt -- and, hopefully, with the many lies and falsehoods they contain removed. If these two videos had been scripted, it would have been much less likely that I'd have "misunderstood" TFB (as he claims I have done at one point). That is partly why written material is so much easier to follow and understand.

 

TFB's faltering, confused, and often incoherent delivery in these two videos leaves him open to 'misunderstanding' all the time. He has only himself to blame. So, as they stand, these videos have only succeeded in exposing his own failings, and they have done so in an open and widely used public arena, too. Even though I profoundly disagree with his version of Marxism, amateurish work like this only reflects badly on Marxism itself. It is in neither of our interests if these videos are left on YouTube -- still less his own interests. But, if he won't take advice, that's his problem.

 

I have also left these mumblings and stumblings in the transcript since, had I left anything out, that would have left me open to the accusation that I had selectively quoted and distorted his words.

 

TFB puts this 'incoherence' down to the fact that English is his second language, but the following section from the first video is so incoherent that TFB's lame excuse can't be the reason for this bowl of tangled spaghetti (especially the third paragraph) -- judge for yourself:

 

"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.

 

"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. Quoted from here.] 

 

This is perhaps the most garbed section of the first video, but the rest of it is merely a more attenuated version of the above. TFB's incoherence here has nothing to do with English being his second language, since many of his other videos (treating of subjects about which he seems more confident and knowledgeable) are relatively coherent. It has more to do with the manifestly insecure grasp he has of 'dialectics' -- and, of course, also with the not insignificant fact that 'dialectics' itself make not one ounce of sense, to begin with.

 

Oddly enough, Christians have similar problems explaining their Trinity -- a doctrine which crawled out of the same neo-Platonic swamp that fathered Hegel's 'logic', and hence DM.

 

[I have responded to the above confused ramblings, or, rather, what little sense can be made of them, here.]

 

However, as part of this new batch of replies, I will transcribe only those sections of the second video about which I want to comment. I suspect there will be considerable overlap between these two videos; in that case, so that these replies aren't inordinately long, I will simply post links to where I have already responded to any such overlaps.

 

Opening Salvos

 

There are, however, a couple of points worth making in relation to TFB's initial remarks:

 

1) Our 'debate' last year didn't just "end", as TFB alleges, he just refused to reply.

 

2) Despite what TFB says, nowhere have I 'demanded' that he respond. I have certainly taunted and chided him for not doing replying, but I have never 'demanded' that he does -- and his failure to quote me to that effect shows that even he knows this to be so. [It's always a give-away when TFB uses the words such as  "whatever" and "like" -- which he often does when he has no evidence to support his allegations.] In fact, I suggested it might be a good idea to delete the incoherent video he posted in 2015 and apologise for the many lies and falsehoods it contains. I have presented him with numerous examples of these lies and slurs (follow the links at the top of this page), but he refuses to withdraw them or apologise.

 

Even so, TFB has still failed to respond to the vast bulk of my detailed replies to him.

 

In which case, my claim to have demolished this failed 'theory' of his still stands.

 

3) I prefer not to post comments at YouTube because the formatting there makes it very difficult to use. [I subsequently discovered that using Google+ means it is slightly easier, but many of the problems I am about to mention remain.] The software inserts gaps where there shouldn't be any, merges text and paragraphs that should be, and were, separated. The italics and bold functions only work fitfully, and it is impossible to insert links. It is laughably easy to do all of these at my site.

 

Now, I invited TFB over to RevForum last year where it is a hundred times easier to post comments, but his failure to do so has meant that I am forced to publish my replies to him at my site, or face having to spend countless hours trying to post replies of the same length on YouTube. TFB's video last January was well over 40 minutes long; there is no way I could do justice to what he had to say in less space than I ended up using. Anyway, about 15-20% of my replies were taken up with reproducing the transcript of that video. It is practically impossible to post such lengthy material on YouTube. This latest video is in fact over an hour long, so it is even more challenging to reply to it. In order to respond effectively, I'd have to post literally scores of separate entries at YouTube, all of which would be difficult to format in the ways I have indicated above. And, at least implicitly, it is clear that TFB himself agrees that the comments space at YouTube is inappropriate, since he posted two videos, as opposed to two lengthy written criticisms of my work, there.

 

4) I regularly search YouTube for videos that advertise or promote this failed 'theory' [DM], so he isn't so special in this respect. The only reason I now "regularly" visit TFB's YouTube site is to see if he has the courage to reply to me, or, indeed, the character and integrity to apologise for his many lies and fabrications. No luck so far on that score.

 

The only difference in this case is that TFB has responded to me, again. Had he not done so it is highly unlikely I would have returned to view the videos he posts in defence of Stalinism and Maoism, theories that history has already consigned to the dustbin. Even if I wanted to -- which I don't -- there doesn't seem much point me criticising theories history has already thrown in the trash.

 

5) And no, TFB's videos aren't an excuse for me to post more 'content' at my site, as he alleges. I'd much rather debate with him over at RevForum, as I noted earlier.

 

6) And once again, no; every time TFB mentions 'dialectics', I don't post something on my website. I have in fact published material at my site only in relation to three of his many videos. I have no idea whether or not his other videos mention this failed 'theory' [DM] -- but I find it hard to believe they don't -- and I have absolutely no inclination to find out.

 

Specific Issues

 

'External Contradictions'

 

One of the problems discussing DM with TFB (that is, over and above his serial incoherence) is that for some reason he generally prefers to paraphrase me rather than directly quote me -- or, failing that, he just makes stuff up. Here is another excellent example of the latter tactic:

 

"She told me...like I...and this...there is like a lot of history to this discussion...but, um..., the topic of external forces came up in terms of dialectics and I talked about them because she said that the concept of external forces was invented by Stalinists because otherwise, according to her, dialectics doesn't make sense. So, the evil Stalinists had to just try to make it seem like it actually made sense, so they invented these...um." [Approx: 04:06-04:42. The dots throughout this and other quotes indicate that TFB has stopped talking for a moment, or has changed the direction of what he wanted to say -- otherwise, they reflect (i) indecision in his delivery, or (ii) the presence of  incoherent and indecipherable passages. They don't represent missing words. Where I have edited words out -- or simply ignored them for whatever reason -- that will be clearly indicated.]

 

In fact, I said this:

 

Among other things, Mechanical Materialism holds that all things are set in motion by an external 'push' of some sort. In contrast, dialecticians claim that because of their 'internal contradictions', objects and processes in nature and society are in fact "self-moving".

 

Lenin expressed this idea as follows:

 

"The identity of opposites…is the recognition…of the contradictory, mutually exclusive, opposite tendencies in all phenomena and processes of nature…. The condition for the knowledge of all processes of the world in their 'self-movement', in their spontaneous development, in their real life, is the knowledge of them as a unity of opposites. Development is the 'struggle' of opposites. The two basic (or two possible? or two historically observable?) conceptions of development (evolution) are: development as decrease and increase, as repetition, and development as a unity of opposites (the division of a unity into mutually exclusive opposites and their reciprocal relation).

 

"In the first conception of motion, self-movement, its driving force, its source, its motive, remains in the shade (or this source is made external -- God, subject, etc.). In the second conception the chief attention is directed precisely to knowledge of the source of 'self-movement'.

 

"The first conception is lifeless, pale and dry. The second is living. The second alone furnishes the key to the 'self-movement' of everything existing; it alone furnishes the key to the 'leaps,' to the 'break in continuity,' to the 'transformation into the opposite,' to the destruction of the old and the emergence of the new." [Lenin (1961), pp.357-58. Italic emphasis in the original; bold emphases added. Quotation marks altered to conform with the conventions adopted at this site.]

 

However, there are several serious problems with this passage, not the least of which is that it clearly suggests that things are self-moving. In fact, Lenin did more than just suggest this, he insisted upon it:

 

"Dialectical logic demands that we go further…. [It] requires that an object should be taken in development, in 'self-movement' (as Hegel sometimes puts it)…." [Lenin (1921), p.90. Bold emphases added. Quotation marks altered to conform with the conventions adopted at this site.]

 

Other Marxists say more-or-less the same. Here are Woods and Grant (readers will no doubt notice that these two comrades are quite happy to impose this doctrine on nature, holding it valid for all of space and time):

 

"Dialectics explains that change and motion involve contradiction and can only take place through contradictions.... Dialectics is the logic of contradiction....

 

"So fundamental is this idea to dialectics that Marx and Engels considered motion to be the most basic characteristic of matter.... [Referring to a quote from Aristotle -- RL] [t]his is not the mechanical conception of motion as something imparted to an inert mass by an external 'force' but an entirely different notion of matter as self-moving....

 

"The essential point of dialectical thought is not that it is based on the idea of change and motion but that it views motion and change as phenomena based on contradiction.... Contradiction is an essential feature of all being. It lies at the heart of matter itself. It is the source of all motion, change, life and development. The dialectical law which expresses this idea is the unity and interpenetration of opposites....

 

"The universal phenomena of the unity of opposites is, in reality, the motor-force of all motion and development in nature. It is the reason why it is not necessary to introduce the concept of external impulse to explain movement and change -- the fundamental weakness of all mechanistic theories. Movement, which itself involves a contradiction, is only possible as a result of the conflicting tendencies and inner tensions which lie at the heart of all forms of matter....

 

"...Matter is self-moving and self-organising." [Woods and Grant (1995/2007), pp.43-45, 47, 68, 72. Bold emphases alone added.]

 

But, if this were indeed so, nothing in nature could have any effect on anything else. Hence, while you might think that it is your kick that moves a football, in fact -- according to the above -- the ball moves itself!

 

Now, in order to avoid such absurd consequences, some dialecticians (mainly Stalinists and Maoists) have had to allow for the existence of "external contradictions" (or "impulses", contrary to what Woods and Grant, for example, assert), which are somehow also involved in such changes.

 

Here, for example, is Stalin:

 

"Our country exhibits two groups of contradictions. One group consists of the internal contradictions that exist between the proletariat and the peasantry.... The other group consists of the external contradictions that exist between our country, as the land of socialism, and all the other countries, as lands of capitalism....

 

"Anyone who confuses the first group of contradictions, which can be overcome entirely by the efforts of one country, with the second group of contradictions, the solution of which requires the efforts of the proletarians of several countries, commits a gross error against Leninism. He is either a muddle-head or an incorrigible opportunist." [Stalin (1976b), pp.210-11. Bold emphasis added.]

 

[More details can be found here; more quotations, here. There are deeper, philosophical reasons (derived from Hegel, and accepted by Lenin) why 'external contradictions' would totally scupper DM. I have covered that topic, here.]

 

But, as seems obvious, this makes a mockery of the idea that all change is internally-generated, just as it undermines the contrast drawn above between mechanical and 'dialectical' theories of motion. Indeed, what becomes of Lenin's "demand" if there are countless changes that violate this 'dialectical principle'?

 

Worse still, if 'contradictions' are the result of a 'struggle of opposites', and all motion is a 'contradiction', what sort of 'struggle' is going on inside, say, a billiard ball that keeps it moving? Does each billiard ball possess an 'internal motor' -- supposedly these "internal contradictions" -- which impels it along? If so, much of post-Renaissance mechanics will need to be ditched. [Quoted from here.]

 

[Added on Edit: Later on in this video TFB selectively quoted from the above passage. I have covered his lame attempts to respond to what I have argued below, as well as here and here.]

 

The quotation from Stalin was added later (and was taken from Essay Nine Part Two, which, it seems, TFB still refuses to read -- no wonder, then, that he keeps dropping such clangers), as were one or two links, and that was done so that a future TFB-style critic didn't end up making a fool of him/herself in public, just as TFB has done.

 

Notice: there is, in the above, no mention of 'external forces'; that is something TFB himself introduced in his first video reply to me (and he keeps doing this -- it is in his interests to keep muddying the waters). I wasn't interested in 'external forces' as such at this point; my concern was to examine the introduction of 'external contradictions' and the reasons for it.

 

Clearly, TFB just can't resist making stuff up. This seems to be his default setting!

 

Now, I also alleged (and I argued this in detail in the aforementioned Essay -- which TFB won't allow his tender eyes to gaze upon) that the Stalinists invented the term "external contradictions" after Lenin had passed away in order to help 'justify' the idea that socialism could be built in one country -- as far as I am aware, this term doesn't appear in any of the writings of DM-theorists prior to Stalin's use of it. Neither Hegel, Marx, Engels, Plekhanov or Lenin used it. In my longer replies to TFB I went into considerable detail why the Stalinists did this, and how it introduced fatal defects in Lenin's theory of change. TFB skates over this with hardly a comment (although he later returns to this topic and taunts me for not explaining fully!) without examining my argument, even though I posted links to it. I suspect he hasn't even read it, preferring perhaps to remain in his self-imposed state of ignorance -- even about Lenin and Stalin!

 

I subsequently provided TFB with quotations from Stalin and Mao where they used the term "external contradiction" (as part of a broader allegation that TFB doesn't even know his own 'theory', a condition he seems only too eager to maintain), as well as those from other Stalinist authors. In Appendix A I have added to this material with further quotes from these two -- as well as from other Marxist-Leninist [M-L] theorists who wrote in the 1930s, and from several others. Appendix B reproduces Stalin's own quote in full -- i.e., the one where he first uses the term "external contradiction", and where he, not me, he connects it with the doctrine of 'Socialism in One Country' [SIOC], and hence with Soviet foreign policy, just as I alleged.

 

TFB now tells us [approx: 06:27] that he was aware of Stalin's use of this term, when he had earlier said the opposite:

 

"Then it uses the word 'external contradictions' (sic). I've never heard that before. Never. External contradiction. So, it's basically just...it's external forces but they call it 'external contradictions' so that it would sound more made up, basically. So, once again, dishonest word-play, here." [Quoted from here. Bold added.]

 

As now seems perfectly clear: in his first video TFB claimed he had "never heard" this term before.

 

Now he says he was aware of it, but only after I had quoted it at him!

 

How convenient! TFB 'remembers' something after being told about it!

 

TFB then proceeds to dig himself further into a non-dialectical hole, in the course of which he coughs up yet another lie:

 

"Because I told her that, you know, you claim that this is like a Stalinist invention. Please send me a link to like a quote where he actually even uses it because I have only seen one instance in a Stalin text where the term 'external contradiction' is used and that's the..., erm..., on the like..., erm..., on the final victory of socialism in the USSR, or something like that..., er..., and it's, it's not even Stalin who uses that. Somebody..., somebody else sends a letter to Stalin, and Stalin responds to it." [Approx: 06:29-07:03. Bold added.]

 

So, TFB again underlines the fact that he is still unaware of Stalin's own use of this term, telling us "it's not even Stalin who uses" it, implying once more that I had made this up to malign Stalinism -- so, if Stalin never used this term, I must have made it up!

 

[But, we will see later that TFB also denies that he asserted I made this term up!]

 

As noted above, in my last series of replies to TFB, I included a full transcript of his first video (which can be found here, here and here). As I also noted, long experience of debating with DM-fans has alerted me to their many sneaky tricks, one of which is invention -- compounded, of course, by serial lying. That is one reason I posted that transcript. Nowhere in that video did TFB ask for a link to a Stalin quote. Quite the opposite: he alleges I made this term up! [But, again, on this, see below, where TFB now denies this.] Nor did he so much as allude to the letter sent to Stalin by "somebody" -- the details surrounding which, even now, he prefers to leave rather vague. This is all post facto invention on his part.

 

[Nevertheless, I have quoted what I think is the letter TFB means, in Appendix A.]

 

Recall, TFB said this:

 

"Then it uses the word 'external contradictions' (sic). I've never heard that before. Never. External contradiction. So, it's basically just...it's external forces but they call it 'external contradictions' so that it would sound more made up, basically. So, once again, dishonest word-play, here." [Quoted from here. Bold added.]

 

Can anyone see in there any mention of this mysterious letter? Or even a request for a link?

 

In fact, TFB has already had all this pointed out to him several times. Again, one can only conclude that either (i) his memory is defective, (ii) he has lost the ability to read, (iii) he just doesn't care about getting his facts straight -- or, possibly, (iv) all three at once.

 

TFB now tells us that he isn't sure that Stalin's use of "external contradiction" is meant "in the dialectical sense" [approx: 07:30]. Ok, so what does Stalin say:

 

"Our country exhibits two groups of contradictions. One group consists of the internal contradictions that exist between the proletariat and the peasantry.... The other group consists of the external contradictions that exist between our country, as the land of socialism, and all the other countries, as lands of capitalism....

 

"Anyone who confuses the first group of contradictions, which can be overcome entirely by the efforts of one country, with the second group of contradictions, the solution of which requires the efforts of the proletarians of several countries, commits a gross error against Leninism. He is either a muddle-head or an incorrigible opportunist." [Stalin (1976b), pp.210-11. Bold emphasis added.]

 

Here Stalin contrasts the 'internal contradictions' between the proletariat and the peasantry with the 'external contradictions' between the Soviet Union and every other capitalist state. TFB will, no doubt, agree that those 'internal contradictions' are 'dialectical', so why he is dubious about the 'dialectical' nature of the 'external contradictions' that Stalin mentioned -- which even TFB admits are internal to the capitalist system as a whole -- is something of a mystery. He certainly doesn't attempt to enlighten us. Perhaps he thinks there are objects and processes at work in the social and natural world that aren't 'dialectical'? If so, he risks being accused of 'Revisionism!', especially in view of what, for example, Mao had to say:

 

"The universality or absoluteness of contradiction has a twofold meaning. One is that contradiction exists in the process of development of all things, and the other is that in the process of development of each thing a movement of opposites exists from beginning to end.

 

"Engels said, "Motion itself is a contradiction." Lenin defined the law of the unity of opposites as "the recognition (discovery) of the contradictory, mutually exclusive, opposite tendencies in all phenomena and processes of nature (including mind and society)". Are these ideas correct? Yes, they are. The interdependence of the contradictory aspects present in all things and the struggle between these aspects determine the life of all things and push their development forward. There is nothing that does not contain contradiction; without contradiction nothing would exist.... (p.316)

 

"The contradictory aspects in every process exclude each other, struggle with each other and are in opposition to each other. Without exception, they are contained in the process of development of all things and in all human thought. A simple process contains only a single pair of opposites, while a complex process contains more. And in turn, the pairs of opposites are in contradiction to one another. That is how all things in the objective world and all human thought are constituted and how they are set in motion....

 

"We may now say a few words to sum up. The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the fundamental law of nature and of society and therefore also the fundamental law of thought. It stands opposed to the metaphysical world outlook. It represents a great revolution in the history of human knowledge. According to dialectical materialism, contradiction is present in all processes of objectively existing things and of subjective thought and permeates all these processes from beginning to end; this is the universality and absoluteness of contradiction." [Mao (1937) pp.316-45.]

 

Mao seems pretty clear that "all things" are governed by these 'dialectical contradictions' -- "without exception" -- and that anything that isn't so governed just doesn't exist. If so, why isn't TFB clear about this? Perhaps he hasn't read Mao as carefully as yours truly has?

 

In fact we have this explicit connection between 'external contradictions and 'dialectics' drawn by Mao himself (this has been taken from Appendix A):

 

"Dialectics considers that the contradictions in thought are none other than the reflection of objective external contradictions." [Quoted from here. Bold emphasis added.]

 

What was that again about TFB not knowing his own 'theory' too well?

 

Now, I quoted several other passages written by an assortment of Stalinists, but TFB tells us he doesn't "really care" about these theorists. [Approx: 07:43.] Why is that? Well, he says they are "Brezhnev era revisionists", which seems to mean that TFB will only accept passages from 'orthodox' Stalin-era theorists -- or, indeed, direct quotes only from Mao and Stalin.

 

This is rather odd; as I have pointed out to him before (and I even posted this in the comments section to another of his videos ):

 

"Finally, you criticise me for quoting 'Brezhnev era revisionists...', when I have in fact referenced Shirokov's Textbook of Marxist Philosophy (written in 1931), which says more-or-less the same as these 'Brezhnev era revisionists' -- which makes you the 'revisionist' here.

 

"This is quite apart from the fact that in your earlier video you were quite happy to quote from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia -- published in 1979 by 'Brezhnev era revisionists'.

 

"You're in a hole; my advice: stop digging."

 

What has he to say in reply?

 

Nothing!

 

Deathly silence...

 

TFB does however add this comment, repeating himself as if I hadn't already replied to him about it:

 

"If that's the best you can do, I don't think your case is that..., that strong. You seem to rely on [undecipherable] and Brezhnev era revisionists who..., erm..., wouldn't agree with Stalin, nor Mao, and, er..., who I don't agree with. Because, basically, to make her case she sent me one quote from Stalin, one quote from Mao, which were kinda (sic) weak, like they..., they didn't necessarily prove her case..., erm..., very strongly. It's kind of up for debate...." [A few subsequent and repeated comments omitted.]

 

"Erm...,  so, just seems like if you had anything..., if you actually had be..., [garbled]..., some better stuff, you wouldn't need to resort to that." [Approx: 07:44-08:37.]

 

Again, another problem debating with DM-fans is that if, in discussion with, say, comrade A, I quote or reference DM-theorists B, C, or D, who hale from a different wing of Marxism (that has been anathematised by A), then A will simply reject B, C, and D as 'Revisionists!' -- and then perhaps declare he or she prefers theorists E, F, and G, instead. Comrade, H, from yet another wing of Marxism, will then reject E, F, and G on similar grounds, advising me to refer instead to the thoughts of J, K and L -- or even B, C, and D! Now, before debating with A or H it is impossible to read their minds and decide who they are going to reject out-of-hand, and who they will accept as 'orthodox' -- and that remains the case even though it is hard to slip a party card between the thoughts of B, C, D, E, F, G, J, K, and L in relation to DM!

 

[We will see this is indeed the case with the M-Ls [Marxist-Leninists] I quoted in earlier discussions with TFB, and whom I quote again below, and in Appendix A.]

 

And so it was when I first encountered TFB; I wasn't to know that the M-L-authors I quoted or cited were considered by TFB to be irrelevant before I quoted and cited them. Even so, we can now see for ourselves (below) that they all agree with what Stalin himself argued --, or, indeed, with what an official M-L textbook from the 1930s also had to say (again, see below) -- which, as I have pointed out several times, makes TFB the "Revisionist!", here.

 

[Despite this, it is reassuring to see that petty sectarianism isn't just confined to us Trotskyists.]

 

So, I quoted an official Communist Party source -- Textbook Of Marxist Philosophy (by Shirokov and others) -- from the 1930s, about which we read the following (in the Introduction to the English language translation):

 

"This volume was originally prepared by the Leningrad Institute of Philosophy as a textbook in Dialectical Materialism for institutions of higher education, directly connected with the Communist Party and also for use in the Technical Institutes which correspond to Universities in Great Britain.

 

"This particular textbook was specially selected by the Society for Cultural Relations in Moscow (VOKS) as the best example they could find of the philosophical teaching now being given in the Soviet Union not only to students of philosophy but to engineers, doctors, chemists, teachers, in fact to all who pass through the higher technical schools and institutes." [Quoted from here. Bold emphases added.]

 

In which case, this was a particularly 'orthodox' textbook, widely used.

 

All this seems to have sailed right over TFB's head -- or, and far more likely, he prefers to ignore it!

 

Here it is again for him to ignore some more:

 

"The mechanistic theory of development permeates reformist sociology, which holds that the simple quantitative growth of monopoly and of finance-capital signifies the growing of capitalism into socialism, that the simple growth of bourgeois democracy is an ever greater winning of power by the working class, etc. These philosophers have thrown aside he theory of movement by means of contradictions as too revolutionary. A mechanistic principle of development also penetrates the views of Trotskyism; for instance its acceptance of the superficial view that capitalism was planted in Russian by the West, a view which ignores the development of capitalism that proceeded among us on the basis of the break-up of the peasant community. The Trotskyist theory of the impossibility of a socialist victory in one country alone proceeds from its ignoring of the unevenness of the development of capitalism and of the internal laws of development of the U.S.S.R. which have by the operation of new internal forces made it possible to resolve those contradictions of the proletariat and the peasantry that obstruct the building of socialism. This theory holds that the external contradictions of capitalism and the U.S.S.R. are the determining factor in our development, and that the course of development of the environment (capitalism) determines the course of development of the system, i.e. the U.S.S.R....

 

"On the mechanistic understanding of contradictions is constructed the Trotskyist theory that denies the possibility of a socialist victory in one country. Trotsky recognizes, as basic and decisive in this question, not the internal contradictions of our Soviet economy (which are being resolved within the country), but the external contradictions the contradictions between the Soviet Union and capitalist countries. Trotsky holds that it is these last that determine the development of soviet economy and so only a resolution of these contradictions can lead to a complete victory of socialism in our country." [Shirokov (1937), pp.138-39, 173. (The link to PDFs.)]

 

"Marx-Leninist dialectic does not deny external contradictions -- the action of one process on another. On the contrary it proceeds from the idea of an indissoluble connection of all processes of actuality and demands a knowledge of the mutual action of processes, their influence on each other, and their mutual penetration...." [Ibid., p.201. Bold added.]

 

"But socialist society is developing on the basis of internal laws, on the basis of internal contradictions, and not on the basis of the external contradictions between the capitalist world and ourselves. The development of the U.S.S.R. is by no means subordinate to the development of capitalist world economy as Trotsky thinks." [Ibid., p.204. Bold added.]

 

"The full victory of socialism in our country has a decisive importance also for the final victory of socialism.

 

"And so we see that external contradictions certainly influence the development of a process; that such contradictions, however, are only overcome by the internal self-development of that process itself." [Ibid., p.205.]

 

Here, too, is one of those 'Brezhnev era revisionists':

 

"The character of contradiction depends on the specific nature of the opposed sides and also on the conditions in which their interaction takes place. Internal contradictions are interactions of opposite sides within a given system, for example, within a certain animal species (intraspecific struggle), within a given organism or society. External contradictions are the interaction of opposites related to different systems, for example, between society and nature, the organism and the environment, and so on. In the final analysis, the decisive contradictions in development are the internal ones." [Spirkin (1983), pp.147-48. Quotation marks altered to conform to the conventions adopted at this site. Bold emphasis added. Minor typo corrected.]

 

As we can see, what Spirkin had to say in his final sentence is almost indistinguishable from the last paragraph from Shirokov.

 

We will also discover in Appendix B that Shirokov's argument is in fact a summary of what Stalin himself argued back in 1925, and this is more-or-less what the other 'Brezhnev era revisionist' textbooks have to say -- i.e., Sheptulin (1978), Afanasyev (1968), Kharin (1981), Konstantinov et al (1974), Krapivin (1985), Kuusinen (1961), and Yurkovets (1984) -- which I quoted in an earlier reply to TFB. Just like Stalin and Shirokov, these 'Brezhnev era revisionists' connect 'external contradictions' with the thesis that SIOC is possible, contra Trotsky. The argument appears to be this: the 'internal contradictions' in the Soviet union can be 'resolved', so SIOC is not only possible, it is actual -- again, as just I alleged.

 

Here, for example, is Afanasyev:

 

"Although materialist dialectics emphasises the decisive role of internal contradiction, it does not deny that external contradictions are significant to development....

 

"External contradictions can facilitate development or impede it...but usually are unable to shape the main course of a process or of development as a whole. The victory of socialism in the Soviet Union, for example, was ensured by correctly resolving the internal contradictions, above all the antagonism between the bourgeoisie, which had been overthrown but not yet fully abolished, and the proletariat. But the advance of socialism was also affected by the external contradictions between the soviet state and the capitalist countries...

 

"Since internal contradictions determine the development of all objects and phenomena.... At the same time it is important not to neglect the external contradictions either, because they too are important in development. Success cannot be achieved unless the interaction of internal and external contradictions is taken into account." [Afanasyev (1968), pp.99-100. Bold emphases added.]

 

Here is another 'Brezhnev era revisionist', echoing Stalin and Shirokov, almost word-for-word:

 

"Internal contradictions are of decisive importance in the development of any object or phenomenon, for they are connected with its content, its essence, and are pivotal to its change and development....

 

"External contradictions affect the development of objects and phenomena, often exerting a considerable influence on the resolution of internal contradictions. That is why they should be taken into account in the study of various development processes.

 

"The experience of the socialist countries shows that successful socialist construction involves resolution of internal contradictions, the most important of which are those between the working people and the overthrown exploiter classes. External contradictions -- those between socialism and capitalism -- also influence the course of socialist construction, but their resolution mostly depends on the internal development of socialist and capitalist countries." [Krapivin (1985), pp.165-66. Bold emphases added.]

 

I think it is now reasonably clear that there is no essential difference between what Spirkin, Afanasyev and Krapivin had to say and what Stalin argued back in 1925 (or, again in 1938), and with what Shirokov wrote in 1931/37. [See Appendix A and Appendix B on this.]

 

So, the term "external contradiction" allowed the Stalinists to re-classify extraneous factors acting on the Soviet Union so that they had no essential affect on that society's internal development (an idea TFB in fact also echoes, perhaps not realising that he agrees with these 'Brezhnev era revisionists' on this issue!), and hence that they (these 'external contradictions') have no fundamental effect on the possibility of SIOC. The Soviet Union, in this respect, if no other,, could be isolated from the world economy, since it was driven essentially by its own 'internal contradictions', not those external to it -- even if the latter had to be taken into account when it came to foreign policy and the final victory of socialism world-wide.

 

On the other hand, if there are in fact no 'external contradictions' -- that is, if the 'contradiction's in the Soviet Union are really part of the 'internal contradictions' of the international economic system, implying that the Soviet Union can't isolate itself from the pressures of the world economy (indeed, as Trotsky maintained) -- if there are no 'external contradictions', this Stalinist argument falls apart.

 

Now, the former argument (in the last paragraph but one above) isn't mine, but it is the argument of every single one of these Stalinists and 'Brezhnev era revisionists' in their polemic against Trotsky and Trotskyism.

 

[The counter-argument in the paragraph after that one was, of course, advanced by those 'Trotskyist wreckers'.]

 

Hence, the distinction between 'internal' and 'external contradictions' is integral both to the doctrine of SIOC and to Stalinism -- once more, just as I alleged.

 

Indeed, as I pointed out in an article (that was actually featured in the second video -- it is staring TFB in the face even as he attempted to distort what I said about it):

 

"Several things follow from this:

 

"(a) My allegations above were correct, this term was invented by the Stalinists (and later appropriated by Mao) for the reasons I intimated. Hegel, Marx, Engels, Plekhanov and Lenin knew nothing of this term, or these 'contradictions' (and there is good reason why);

 

"(b) From the first of the above passages (from Shirokov (1937)) we can see 'external contradiction' is being used 'dialectically' -- "...it proceeds from the idea of an indissoluble connection of all processes of actuality and demands a knowledge of the mutual action of processes, their influence on each other, and their mutual penetration";

 

"(c) Once again, I find I have to educate FB about his own 'theory';

 

"and, finally,

 

"(d) We can now see that the "Brezhnev era revisionists who wouldn't agree with Stalin or Mao" actually do agree with Stalin and Mao on this, as well as the official textbook put out by the Stalinists in the 1930s. So, it seems that FB is the 'revisionist' here!"

 

["FB" is what I earlier called TFB.]

 

TFB now tells us that when he criticises, say, Trotsky he quotes Trotsky, not "some other guy" [approx: 08:45], and yet, when it comes to my work, he very often either doesn't quote me (we have already seen examples of that tactic above, and we will see several more as these replies unfold), or he paraphrases me incorrectly -- or, indeed, he just tells lies about me and my ideas, putting words in my mouth that I haven't used and would never use.

 

[There is another blatant TFB-lie recorded in my fourth reply to his latest video. Also, as noted earlier, I have highlighted TFB's lies and fabrications in detail in earlier responses to him.]

 

So, TFB ought to be the first to take his own advice: If you want to debate with me, quote me not "some other guy", and stop making stuff up!

 

In a subsequent reply to me, TFB claimed that he hasn't been studying DM as long as I have, and that Shirokov is an obscure work about which he can't be expected to be familiar. And yet, if he enters a public arena (on YouTube, for goodness sake!) and bombastically claims to be able to 'refute' me (in a video full of ignorant, sarcastic and arrogant remarks, peppered with lies), this is precisely what he will need to do: his homework! For someone who rejects 'Brezhnev era revisionists' one would have thought that TFB would have sought out pre-Brezhnev era non-revisionists, like Shirokov, or the other sources I list in Appendix A.

 

I don't mean to brag, but I have repeatedly shown that I know this 'theory' far, far better than TFB does, and that his knowledge of the background philosophy and logic leaves much to be desired, to put it mildly. So, it's a bit late in the day for TFB to (implicitly) admit he has screwed up by failing to do adequate research. He should have thought about that before he rashly posted that disaster of a video last year -- or, indeed, this latest car crash.

 

This is quite apart from the fact that Shirokov's book (as we saw from the Introduction) was the book on the subject in the 1930s, widely read and studied back then, and now freely available on several Internet sites. [For example, here and here.]

 

When I allege something about this 'theory', you can be sure that I have checked my facts and have done my homework.

 

Can't say the same about TFB, can we?

 

In connection with this topic in general, I added the following thoughts to Essay One, which outlined the background to my project:

 

"The first two of these points aren't unrelated. Although I have endeavoured to construct as comprehensive a case against DM as I am capable of producing, I have also sought to raise objections to my own criticisms at nearly every stage. While this strategy has been adopted to test my ideas to the limit, it has also been of some use in trying to render DM a little clearer or more comprehensible.

 

"To that end, the reader will find that many issues have been raised here for the very first time -- ever. Core DM-theses have been examined in unprecedented detail; most of them from a completely novel angle. It is a sad reflection on the mental paralysis induced in those who -- in Max Eastman's words -- "suffer from dialectics", that these ideas have escaped detailed scrutiny for over a hundred years, but it is nonetheless accurate for all that.

 

"Even if it should turn out that this project is misconceived in some way, it succeeds in breaking entirely new ground, as readers will soon discover. In fact, should DM-supporters engage fairly with the content of this site -- even if they remain of the same opinion by the end --, they will find that their own ideas will emerge clarified and strengthened because of the entirely novel set of challenges advanced in this work."

 

So, TFB risks remaining locked in his present state of self-imposed ignorance if he won't let me help him understand his own theory, even if he totally rejects my criticisms of it. What I have to say is based on 35+ years of research (in philosophy, logic, mathematics, and DM) -- as opposed to a few weekends of rapid, rearguard, shoddy, and very limited 'research', as seems to have been the case with our M-L-comrade, here.

 

Later on in this second video, TFB did attempt to construct a rather weak response to my allegations (i.e., that he claimed I, not Stalin, had invented the term "external contradiction"), along the following lines:

 

"Erm..., I didn't say that you [RL] made the term up, I said that you made up the fact this it's supposedly made up by Stalinists.... er..., cos..., in this..., you're quoting me and in this quote I say that they call it 'external contradictions' instead of 'external forces', so that it would sound more made up. So, I'm not saying you [RL] made it up, I'm saying that you're using..., you're using this weird term that most people don't use, so that you can make it sound more made up. Cos you're [RL] claiming it's made up. I'm not claiming it's made up, it's you, you say that Stalinists and Maoists made it up for two reasons.... [Some words omitted that basically skate over my two reasons once more -- RL.]

 

"So..., eraaach..., apologise and withdraw that..., well..., I..., I..., I'm not accusing you [RL] of making the term up, so, so, you [RL] have misunderstood me." [Approx: 13:24-14:30.]

 

Ok, so let's look at his words again:

 

"Then it uses the word 'external contradictions' (sic). I've never heard that before. Never. External contradiction. So, it's basically just...it's external forces but they call it 'external contradictions' so that it would sound more made up, basically. So, once again, dishonest word-play, here." [Quoted from the first video. Bold added.]

 

"Because I told her that, you know, you claim that this is like a Stalinist invention. Please send me a link to like a quote where he actually even uses it because I have only seen one instance in a Stalin text where the term 'external contradiction' is used and that's the.., erm..., on the like..., erm.., on the final victory of socialism in the USSR, or something like that..., er.., and it's, it's not even Stalin who uses that. Somebody..., somebody else sends a letter to Stalin, and Stalin responds to it." [Approx: 06:29-07:03, from the second video. Bold added.]

 

TFB now clams he was quoting himself and:

 

"in this quote I say that they call it 'external contradictions' instead of 'external forces', so that it would sound more made up....you're using this weird term that most people don't use, so that you can make it sound more made up." [From the second video, full quote above.]

 

Well, this isn't much better; instead of saying I made this term up, he is now saying that I chose a word (or a "weird term that most people don't use") so that it would sound more like the Stalinists made it up -- that is, that I had indulged in "dishonest word-play, here." And, as we have also seen, he still claims Stalin didn't use this phrase -- so the implication remains that I made it up, or, at least, that I invented the allegation that Stalin himself introduced this term.

 

That is still a lie.

 

In fact, I chose a phrase that most Stalinists do in fact use, and did in fact use. Stalin, Mao and the official Stalinist Textbook of Marxist Philosophy from the 1930s employed this term, as do the many others I quote in Appendix A -- so it is TFB who is the odd one out here, not me. Most Stalinists who express an opinion on these issues use this term! -- And it is now plain that they invented it. No one employed this term before Stalin introduced it in 1925, after which the rest followed meekly in his train, using it exactly as I had alleged they did: to justify SIOC and to account for the dialectical unity of those 'external forces' (which must then affect Soviet foreign policy).

 

So, will TFB now apologise and withdraw his modified lie?

 

Once more, my breath isn't something I will be holding...

 

TFB now tries to address a major criticism I have advanced against him several times -- that he doesn't seem to know his own 'theory':

 

"That doesn't mean anything, and above we see that allegation confirmed once again...[indecipherable]."  [Approx: 09:37-09:42.]

 

Indeed, it does mean something. It is quite obvious that TFB doesn't understand the philosophical background to this 'theory', DM. My replies to him have exposed his self-imposed ignorance in many areas (and not just over the fact that he had never even heard of 'external contradictions' -- a phrase widely used by all wings of M-L since the mid-1920s -- and the political reasons why it was invented after Lenin's death). We can see this, for example, by the way that TFB still fails to appreciate why Lenin endorsed Hegel's theory of change (which was itself an extended response to David Hume's attack on rationalist theories of causation), and who declared that:

 

"This is very important for understanding dialectics." [Lenin (1961), p.225.]

 

About which he also added:

 

"Marxists criticised (at the beginning of the twentieth century) the Kantians and Humists [Humeans -- RL] more in the manner of Feuerbach (and Büchner) than of Hegel." [Ibid., p.179.]

 

This sailed right over TFB's head! I went into this in considerable detail in my third reply to his first video -- also (partly) in order to help him out, since I thought that even if he disagrees with my criticisms of his 'theory', at least he will understand it a little better.

 

It is in no one's interest to have ignorant comrades claiming to represent Marxism who then post ill-informed and incoherent videos on YouTube.

 

The result?

 

I might as well have been talking to the cat!

 

Indeed, I might just as well have been, since I have made this very point to TFB many times, and it seems to go in one ear and out the other without engaging with a single M-L brain cell along the way.

 

TFB now focuses on to my alleged motives for introducing the term "external contradictions":

 

"Now she's claiming..., this is actually quite interesting..., I think she's like heavily moving the goalpost, because she told me that..., oh..., like originally, way back, erm..., she says that 'Oh the Stalinists and Maoists invented this because dialectics doesn't make sense so that to like patch it up (sic), and they're doing a bad job..., [garbled -- but it sounds like TFB is trying to say "they're" here] like trying to fix this thing so that dialectics seems to make sense.'

 

"Then I respond to that and say 'You know, that's baseless..., erm..., I've never even heard this term..., erm...'. Then she tells me 'Oh, it's a real term, you know', and I'm like 'Well, I Googled the term. Doesn't come up with anything. I..., I Goo..., Googled 'Stalin external contradictions', 'Mao external contradictions', doesn't come up with anything. Only comes up with Lenin stuff where the..., the actual term is not even used, it just uses 'external [garbled] internal contradiction' not 'external contradiction' [yes, you saw that correctly, TFB just contradicted himself! -- RL].

 

"So, finally she links me to you know that quote, so I finally understand what she's talking about. Erm..., so then I..., my response was to say as it..., you know as it says in this first YouTube comments that she's quoting that first Stalin quote is talking about foreign policy and not sure he even means it in the dialectical sense. So, that's what my..., that..., that was my initial response. So, then she turns around and..., and says 'Oh..., oh, they invented it because of foreign policy reasons.' Like, whaaat! You didn't say anything about foreign policy originally, you said they invented it because dia..., because otherwise dialectics doesn't make sense. Then I say 'Well, I'm not sure it's even about dialectics; they're talking about foreign policy.' [Garbled] like 'No, they..., they invented it to justify their foreign policy dialectically.' [Indecipherable sound from TFB, but it sounds like an "Euuaah"] Not too sure about that." [Approx: 14:34-16:40.]

 

As I have also pointed out to TFB before, another problem debating with him is that he has taken what was meant to be an Introductory Essay, intended for novices, as if it were a definitive statement of my ideas -- a tactic as dim-witted as assuming Marx's Wages, Price and Profit was a definitive statement of his mature theory detailed in Das Kapital.

 

[I hasten to add that I am not comparing myself to Marx, here! My only point is that interpreting what is an introduction to another's ideas -- whoever they happen to be -- as if it were an expression of their mature thought is as unwise as it is dishonest.]

 

I even added this caveat to the beginning of that Essay:

 

Please note that this Essay deals with very basic issues, even at the risk of over-simplification; it is, to repeat, an Introductory Essay!

 

It has only been ventured upon because several comrades who weren't well-versed in Philosophy wanted a very simple guide to my principle arguments against DM.

 

In that case, it isn't aimed at experts!

 

Anyone who objects to the apparently superficial nature of the material presented below must take these caveats into account or navigate away from this page. The material below isn't intended for them.

 

It is worth underlining this point since I still encounter comrades on Internet discussion boards who, despite the above warning, still think this Essay is a definitive statement of my ideas.

 

It isn't!

 

Several of the aforementioned critics, who have plainly ignored the above comments and who therefore think that the material below represents my considered views, when it doesn't, should perhaps read the following more carefully:

 

this Essay is aimed solely at novices!

 

Despite these repeated warnings and reminders, TFB still thinks the comments he highlights above have come from a definitive expression of my ideas. Hence, when he says I "moved the goalpost" he neglected to check Essay Nine Part Two, where I covered these issues in extensive detail. That Essay was written long before the Introductory Essay was published (on that, see here). So, there has been no moving of the goalposts by me; just another example of TFB's sloppy 'research'.

 

Concerning his specific allegations above: I have covered most of them in earlier sections of this Essay, or in previous replies to him, so I won't repeat myself yet again. He plainly needs to learn to read more carefully. For example, as we can now see, and as we saw in my earlier responses to him, Stalin and the other M-L-theorists I have quoted do in fact connect 'external contradictions' with Soviet foreign policy.

 

How many more times do we have to go over this before it sinks in?

 

Appendix A: Lesson One -- How To Use Google

 

I have alleged several times that TFB seems not to know his own 'theory' too well, but he also appears to have similar problems organising a Google search, -- in particular, locating 'external contradictions' in relation to Stalin and Mao's thought.

 

Here is what I found using Stalin + "External contradictions" (and in the order in which I located them), after about ten minutes of 'searching':

 

1) This might be the letter to which TFB alluded earlier -- Ivanov to Stalin (January 18, 1938) -- how did TFB manage to miss this in his 'search'?

 

I have quoted only the relevant parts of it here:

 

"Dear Comrade Stalin,

 

"I earnestly request you to explain the following question: In the local districts here and even in the Regional Committee of the Young Communist League, a two-fold conception prevails about the final victory of socialism in our country, i.e., the first group of contradictions is confused with the second. In your works on the destiny of Socialism in the U.S.S.R. you speak of two groups of contradictions -- internal and external. As for the first group of contradictions, we have, of course, solved them -- within the country Socialism is victorious. I would like to have your answer about the second group of contradictions, i.e., those between the land of Socialism and capitalism.

 

"You point out that the final victory of Socialism implies the solution of the external contradictions, that we must be fully guaranteed against intervention and, consequently, against the restoration of capitalism. But this group of contradictions can only be solved by the efforts of the workers of all countries...." [Quoted from here. Bold added.]

 

To which Stalin replied (February 12, 1938):

 

"Of course you are right, Comrade Ivanov, and your ideological opponents, i.e., Comrades Urozhenko and Kazelkov, are wrong. And for the following reasons:

 

Undoubtedly the question of the victory of Socialism in one country, in this case our country, has two different sides.

 

"The first side of the question of the victory of Socialism in our country embraces the problem of the mutual relations between classes in our country. This concerns the sphere of internal relations.

 

"Can the working class of our country overcome the contradictions with our peasantry and establish an alliance, collaboration with them? Can the working class of our country, in alliance - with our peasantry, smash the bourgeoisie of our country, deprive it of the land, factories, mines, etc., and by its own efforts build a new, classless society, complete Socialist society?

 

"Such are the problems that are connected with the first side of the question of the victory of Socialism in our country. Leninism answers these problems in the affirmative.  Lenin teaches us that 'we have all that is necessary for the building of a complete Socialist society.'

 

"Hence we can and must, by our own efforts, overcome our bourgeoisie and build Socialist society. Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, and those other gentlemen who later became spies and agents of fascism, denied that it was possible to build Socialism in our country unless the victory of the Socialist revolution was first achieved in other countries, in capitalist countries. As a matter of fact, these gentlemen wanted to turn our country back to the path of bourgeois development and they concealed their apostasy by hypocritically talking about the "victory of the revolution" in other countries.

 

"This was precisely the point of controversy between our Party and these gentlemen. Our country's subsequent course of development proved that the Party was right and that Trotsky and company were wrong. For, during this period, we succeeded in liquidating our bourgeoisie, in establishing fraternal collaboration with our peasantry and in building, in the main, Socialist society, notwithstanding the fact that the Socialist revolution has not yet been victorious in other countries. This is the position in regard to the first side of the question of the victory of Socialism in our country.

 

"I think, Comrade Ivanov, that this is not the side of the question that is the point of controversy between you and Comrades Urozhenko and Kazelkov.

 

"The second side of the question of the victory of Socialism in our country embraces the problem of the mutual relations between our country and other countries, capitalist countries; the problem of the mutual relations between the working class of our country and the bourgeoisie of other countries. This concerns the sphere of external, international relations....

 

"Indeed, it would be ridiculous and stupid to close our eyes to the capitalist encirclement and to think that our external enemies, the fascists, for example, will not, if the opportunity arises, make an attempt at a military attack upon the U.S.S.R. Only blind braggarts or masked enemies who desire to lull the vigilance of our people can think like that...." [Quoted from here; quotations marks altered to conform with the conventions adopted at this site. Bold emphases added.]

 

A couple of points are worth noting about these letters:

 

a) Ivanov uses the term "external contradiction" as if it were completely uncontroversial so to do; indeed, he even attributes this term to Stalin himself: "you speak of two groups of contradictions -- internal and external", and he informs us that 'internal and external contradictions' were discussed in "local districts here and even in the Regional Committee of the Young Communist League". In other words, these ideas were widely disseminated and debated. So, they are hardly "weird" terms that no one uses, as TFB alleged of them.

 

[It is reasonably safe bet to say that a 1930s version of TFB, had he come out with "Revisionist!" ideas like those in his video 'replies' to me, would have been consigned to one of those friendly Stalinist gulags -- or have met a sticky end in the Lubyanka. Anyone would think that DM is my theory, not TFB's! How come a 'Trotskyist wrecker!' like yours truly can get such things right, while TFB struggles even with Google?!]

 

Stalin nowhere corrects Ivanov on this, nor does he repudiate the term "external contradiction". In fact, it is likely Ivanov was referring to what Stalin said in 1925, a passage we have already met and which has been fully quoted in Appendix B:

 

"Our country exhibits two groups of contradictions. One group consists of the internal contradictions that exist between the proletariat and the peasantry.... The other group consists of the external contradictions that exist between our country, as the land of socialism, and all the other countries, as lands of capitalism....

 

"Anyone who confuses the first group of contradictions, which can be overcome entirely by the efforts of one country, with the second group of contradictions, the solution of which requires the efforts of the proletarians of several countries, commits a gross error against Leninism. He is either a muddle-head or an incorrigible opportunist." [Stalin (1976b), pp.210-11. Bold emphasis added.]

 

b) Ivanov links 'external contradictions' with foreign policy and with SIOC, just as I alleged. Stalin merely expands on that theme.

 

c) Although Stalin doesn't use this term in his reply, as noted above, he nowhere rejects it, and indeed continues to link these 'internal and external' factors with SIOC -- again, exactly as I alleged.

 

2) Here is M-L-theorist, Mark Borisovich Mitin, writing in 1931, in his book Dialectical Materialism:

 

"At bottom, contemporary mechanism, Menshevist idealism and views like it fundamentally distort the correct Leninist understanding of the unity and mutual penetration of opposites. Mechanists, from Dühring to Comrade Bukharin, regard every kind of opposites found in a unity as forces external to one another, oppositely directed against one another. The mechanists identify every unity of opposites, every contradiction, with external contradictions, with antagonisms of hostile forces, while they explain the coexistence of these forces and the preservation of the contradiction as the equilibrium of opposites. Engels ridicules Dühring’s trivial conception of oppositely directed forces. Lenin pointed out to Comrade Bukharin, while reading his Economics of the Transition Period, that it is incorrect to identify contradiction and antagonism, that under socialism, for example, class antagonisms will disappear, but contradictions between nature and society, and between the relations and forces of production will still occur." [Quoted from here. Bold emphasis alone added.]

 

So, here we have yet another Stalinist -- and, indeed, a non-'Brezhnev era' non-revisionist one, too -- using "external contradiction" as if it were perfectly normal so to do, telling us that even the "mechanists" use this term -- the only difference in this respect is that they reject 'internal contradictions'.

 

3) Here is a quote from a book on Marxist economics (also retrieved during my brief 'Google search'):

 

"Thus Trotsky came very close to accepting Stalin's dichotomy of internal and external contradictions which underpinned the doctrine of 'socialism in one country' (see chapter two)." [Howard and King, A History of Marxian Economics, Volume 2, p.55. Quoted from here. Bold added.]    

 

Now, I don't expect TFB to accept as authoritative this academic (and largely anti-Marxist) source; the only reason I am quoting it is that it shows (i) I didn't invent the connection between Stalin's use of 'external contradiction' and SIOC; it is an uncontroversial conclusion drawn by those who know the history of the Bolshevik Party (see below), and (ii) the term is (and was) in common use -- and not just by 'Brezhnev era revisionists', but also by pre-Brezhnev era 'non-revisionists', including Stalin and Mao -- even if TFB is ignorant of these widely known facts (again, see below).

 

In view of the above, I ordered, and have now obtained, a copy of the above book. Here is what its authors have to say, in Chapter Two:

 

"The divisions within imperialism could be used to ensure temporary peace for the Soviet Union, during which it could build socialism on its home ground. This did not repudiate the ultimate need for revolution on a world scale, Stalin maintained, but it did place international revolution in proper perspective. He argued that the contradictions of capitalist encirclement could be partitioned into internal and external dimensions. Petit-bourgeois relations within Russia posed the threat of counter-revolution, but the peculiarities of Tsarist development had endowed the country with large-scale industry in the hands of the proletarian state, allowing a largely autarkic development which could overcome the internal contradictions of backwardness, and would culminate in the 'complete' building of socialism. 'Final' victory could be ensured, however, only through world revolution, which would remove the threat of military intervention by capitalist powers that threatened to roll back any domestic successes of socialism, no matter how advanced. The Soviet Union could, therefore, never jettison the international proletariat, but the country's march forward was not inhibited by isolation." [Howard and King (1992), p.29. Italics in the original; bold added.]

 

The passage quoted earlier continues as follows:

 

"Thus Trotsky came very close to accepting Stalin's dichotomy of internal and external contradictions which underpinned the doctrine of 'socialism in one country' (see chapter two). He differed from Stalin only in how they might be resolved. Trotsky did not believe that the internal contradictions could be fully overcome by the bureaucracy, or that its foreign policy increased the security of the workers' state.

 

"Indeed, he maintained, it was precisely on the international front that the bureaucracy was forced into a position which threatened its own long-term survival, and with it that of the Soviet Union. Its interests led to jettisoning the cause of international revolution, but in so doing the bureaucracy strengthened the forces of imperialism." [Ibid., pp.55-56. Bold added.]

 

Now, I tend to agree with Trotsky's analysis -- and, oddly enough, history has vindicated his theory and refuted Stalin's --, but that isn't relevant to present concerns. The point is that both Stalin and Trotsky connected the dichotomy 'internal/external contradictions' with SIOC and with Soviet foreign policy, again, just as I alleged, even if they adopted opposite views of one or both:

 

"The international character of the socialist revolution, which constitutes the third aspect of the theory of the permanent revolution, flows from the present state of economy and the social structure of humanity. Internationalism is no abstract principle but a theoretical and political reflection of the character of world economy, of the world development of productive forces and the world scale of the class struggle. The socialist revolution begins on national foundations -- but it cannot be completed within these foundations. The maintenance of the proletarian revolution within a national framework can only be a provisional state of affairs, even though, as the experience of the Soviet Union shows, one of long duration. In an isolated proletarian dictatorship, the internal and external contradictions grow inevitably along with the successes achieved. If it remains isolated, the proletarian state must finally fall victim to these contradictions. The way out for it lies only in the victory of the proletariat of the advanced countries. Viewed from this standpoint, a national revolution is not a self-contained whole; it is only a link in the international chain. The international revolution constitutes a permanent process, despite temporary declines and ebbs." [Trotsky (1969), p.133. Bold added.]

 

So, it is rather peculiar that one of the only subjects about which both Trotsky and Stalin ever seem to have agreed -- that there are such things as 'external contradictions'  -- TFB thinks is "weird", and that I invented Stalin's use of this term!

 

Incidentally, my search also managed to locate another dozen or so books that made more-or-less the same point as Howard and King. [I can list these if required.]

 

Furthermore, anyone who reads what Stalin himself had to say will see that the above (Marxist and non-Marxist) books summarised his argument fairly.

 

4) Here is an Albanian M-L-theorist, Alfred Uçi, writing in 1977:

 

"In the period of transition from capitalism to communism, along with non-antagonistic contradictions, there are also many antagonistic contradictions, which we describe otherwise as contradictions between us and the enemy. Antagonistic contradictions are contradictions between social class forces with diametrically opposite fundamental political and economic interests, which spring from relations of the domination of one force over the other. In the transitional period, antagonistic contradictions of this type exist not only as external contradictions (between any country that is building socialism and the external front of the counter-revolutionary forces -- imperialism, social-imperialism, world reaction), but also as internal contradictions (between the working class at the head and the exploiting classes and all enemies of socialism)....

 

"The experience of history has fully confirmed these teachings of Lenin. It shows that if antagonistic contradictions are disregarded and their role underestimated, the revolutionary vigilance of the masses of the working people is relaxed and capitalism may be restored, even after the exploiting classes are liquidated, as happened in the Soviet Union and the other revisionist countries. The exposure by our Party and people of conspiratorial activity and sabotage during recent years showed clearly what dangerous proportions this activity may assume and how important is the solution of internal antagonistic contradictions, which combine with external contradictions, to the fate of the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialism....

 

"In the period of transition from capitalism to communism, non-antagonistic contradictions emerge, change, mature, and are resolved within that social framework in which there are also antagonistic contradictions, both internal and external, which exercise a very powerful influence on the former. By spreading their ideology among the masses of the working people, the counter-revolutionary forces try to draw them into anti-socialist activities and to place them in antagonistic relations with socialism, with the dictatorship of the proletariat. Therefore, the 7th Congress of the Party condemned liberal attitudes towards alien influences in the consciousness of our people, attitudes which underestimate the damage they do and the danger they pose to the dictatorship of the proletariat. The fight against influences of alien ideologies in the ranks of the people is an aspect of the class struggle in which the method of persuasion, of criticism and self-criticism is the main method used, with the aim of combating the illness and of saving the patient so that no one from the working people becomes a reserve of the enemy, and goes over to his positions. Comrade Enver Hoxha has stressed that the method of persuasion should be used to help any one of the working people who errs because he does not understand things, but if, even after protracted, patient and persisting clarifying and educative work, under the influence of the alien ideology, he commits hostile anti-socialist acts, then the dictatorship of the proletariat strikes him down, too." [Quoted from here. Bold emphases alone added.]

 

Now, it isn't too clear whether or not TFB regards theorists from Enver Hoxha's Albania as 'Brezhnev era revisionists', but I defy TFB to find much difference between the above theorist's words and the ideas promoted by the 'ultra-orthodox' Shirokov (or, indeed, other 'orthodox' Stalinists quoted in this reply) -- or, indeed, Stalin himself.

 

Again, I have included the above passage to show that "external contradiction" was, and is, quoted right across M-L.

 

5) Here is a theorist from the Communist Party Of India (Marxist-Leninist), writing under the heading "Socialism in One Country":

 

"Joining issue with Trotsky, Stalin 'divided the question into two.' In the first place, he treated the 'complete victory of socialism' as a 'full guarantee against the restoration of the old order', which is possible only through 'the joint efforts of the proletarians of several countries'. Secondly, he proclaimed that the USSR had 'all that is necessary for building a complete socialist society.' He explained: 'Our country exhibits two groups of contradictions. One group consists of the internal contradictions that exist between the proletariat and the peasantry (this refers to the building of socialism in one country -- J. Stalin). The other group consists of the external contradictions that exist between our country, as the land of socialism, and all the other countries, as lands of capitalism (this refers to the final victory of socialism -- J. Stalin).' 'Anyone who confuses the first group of contradictions, which can be overcome entirely by the efforts of one country, with the second group of contradictions, the solution of which requires the efforts of the proletarians of several countries, commits a gross error against Leninism. He is either a muddlehead or an incorrigible opportunist.'" [Quoted from here. Quotation marks altered to conform with the conventions adopted at this site. Bold emphasis added.]

 

This shows that had TFB conducted his 'Google search' efficiently -- or at all! -- he'd have spotted this quote by Stalin himself. It also shows that other communist theorists connect "external contradiction" with SIOC, just as Stalin did.

 

Again, this isn't my invention; I am merely making the point that they invented this term in order to help 'justify' SIOC. Communists of every stripe have made this connection -- except, of course, TFB, who, once more, seems to be grossly ignorant of his own 'theory' and its historical development.

 

Is this Indian comrade also a 'Brezhnev era revisionist'?

 

We await TFB's Ex Cathedra declaration on such matters.

 

Incidentally, Stalin's words were also quoted in a UK newspaper back in 1938; TFB's incompetent 'Google search' clearly missed it.

 

6) From another M-L site, we read this:

 

"1) He [Stalin -- RL] developed and concretized Lenin's teaching on the possibility of the construction of socialism in one or several countries: a) He examined this question from the point of view of the liquidation of internal and external contradictions, from the point of view of the possibility of the construction of socialism in the USSR and from the point of view of the victory of socialism, i.e. from the point of view of the creation of the basis for the prevention of the restoration of capitalism. b) He examined this problem from the point of view of the creation of its political economic bases." [Quoted from here. Bold emphasis added.]

 

Again, this site connects "internal and external contradictions" with SIOC.

 

On the other hand, it could be that TFB is the only genuinely orthodox M-L on the planet, to whom all the faithful should bow the knee and listen in awed silence.

 

If so, that seems to mean we should ignore everyone else -- even Stalin -- when they use these terms, and attend to TFB alone.

 

7) Another Stalinist from the 1930s, M J Olgin, had this to say in his argument against Trotsky, and in connection with SIOC:

 

"But when Trotsky speaks about the inevitable growth of internal and external contradictions he does not mean this simple and clearly understood danger of a military imperialist attack. He means something else. He lays stress not so much on external contradictions, which are the contradictions between the capitalist sector and the socialist sector of the world, as on what he calls 'internal contradictions'. The Soviet Union, he says, must finally 'become a victim' of these contradictions." [Quoted from here. Quotation marks altered to conform with the conventions adopted at this site. Italic emphasis in the original; bold emphases and link added.]

 

This shows once more that the term "external contradiction" was in common use in the 1930s. Indeed, even Trotsky began to use it in 1931 (and possibly earlier, too, as the article from the Indian Communist Party quoted earlier suggests).

 

8) The next passage found by Google comes from an interview with Stalin back in 1925, posted at the Marx to Mao site:

 

"That is not due to shortcomings in the work of the Communist Party of Germany. It is primarily due to the fact that the American loans and the influx of American capital, plus the stabilisation of the currency, which have somewhat improved the situation, have created the illusion that the internal and external contradictions connected with Germany's situation can be completely eliminated. It was on this illusion that German Social-Democracy rode into the present Reichstag as if on a white horse. Wels is now preening himself on his election victory; evidently he does not realise that he is claiming another's victory as his own. It was not the victory of German Social-Democracy, but of the Morgan group. Wels has been and remains merely one of Morgan's agents." [Quoted from here. Bold emphasis and link added.]

 

This confirms yet again that Stalin was the first to employ this phrase, and that he didn't use it just once. He clearly regarded it as uncontroversial to refer even to Germany's 'external contradictions'.

 

9) Although I have already quoted this passage, my 'slightly' more efficient 'Google search' managed to find the 'notorious' Stalin quote which TFB missed -- again, this is from the Marx to Mao site:

 

"Our country exhibits two groups of contradictions. One group consists of the internal contradictions that exist between the proletariat and the peasantry. The other group consists of the external contradictions that exist between our country, as the land of socialism, and all the other countries, as lands of capitalism. Let us examine these two groups of contradictions separately. That certain contradictions exist between the proletariat and the peasantry cannot, of course, be denied. It is sufficient to recall everything that has taken place, and is still taking place, in our country in connection with the price policy for agricultural produce, in connection with the price limits, in connection with the campaign to reduce the prices of manufactured goods, and so forth, to understand how very real these contradictions are. We have two main classes before us: the proletarian class and the class of private-property-owners, i.e., the peasantry. Hence, contradictions between them are inevitable. The whole question is whether we shall be able by our own efforts to overcome the contradictions that exist between the proletariat and the peasantry. When the question is asked: can we build socialism by our own efforts? what is meant is: can the contradictions that exist between the proletariat and the peasantry in our country be overcome or not?
 

"Leninism answers that question in the affirmative: yes, we can build socialism, and we will build it together with the peasantry under the leadership of the working class. What is the basis, the grounds, for such an answer?
 

"The grounds are that, besides contradictions between the proletariat and the peasantry, there are also common interests between them on fundamental problems of development, interests which outweigh, or, at all events, can outweigh those contradictions, and are the basis, the foundation, of the alliance between the workers and the peasants....

 

"That is how the matter stands with the contradictions of the second order. Anyone who confuses the first group of contradictions, which can be overcome entirely by the efforts of one country, with the second group of contradictions, the solution of which requires the efforts of the proletarians of several countries, commits a gross error against Leninism. He is either a muddle-head or an incorrigible opportunist." [Quoted from here. Bold emphases added. Several paragraphs merged to save space.]

 

If I can find this passage, why couldn't TFB?

 

[Even this Mormon researcher managed to locate it!]

 

10) This is from a US Black Marxist paper (their self-description, not mine!), about Malcolm X:

 

"Dialectics is about the nature of reality, that everything is in motion and that this motion reflects the conflicting tensions between contradictions. Most things have many contradictions, but in general there is always a principle contradiction that dominates the identity of that reality. External contradictions are the conditions for change but internal contradictions are the basis for change.

 

"So to understand something, we have to include both the external and the internal contradictions as part of our analysis. This is a philosophical approach that is essential for understanding the complexity of the world, human society and of course important historical figures." [Quoted from here. Bold emphases added.]

 

Are these comrades 'Brezhnev era revisionists', too? Are they being 'dialectical'?

 

After about ten minutes I stopped looking for any more Stalin + "external contradiction" links, hoping that I had made my point. I have little doubt that there are many more out there that could be found by those with a little more determination than TFB could muster. I managed to locate the above quite easily, and it's not even my 'theory'!

 

[Also worthy of note is the fact that, other than Stalin's own work, there is very little relevant Stalin-era material on the Internet at present, even at the MIA.]

 

May 2017 -- Added on Edit: Here are a few more references to 'external contradictions' located after another ten minute search:

 

11) This comment comes from the discussion section of The Marxist-Leninist site:

 

"You are confusing the criticism of Martens (addressing the metaphysics and non-dialectical approach to class struggle) with the criticism of the CCP in 'On the Question of Stalin' for confusing antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions and 'unduly enlarging the scope of the battle against counterrevolutionaries'. Nonetheless, I think the issue is not about the degree of 'ruthlessness' in class struggle but rather about the application of materialist dialectics to the class struggle. The main point is that he did not recognize that it was primarily a class struggle internal to social forces in the USSR but instead chalked most of it up to a struggle against agents of imperialism, and thus primarily a result of contradictions external to the USSR. If one gets this question, between the primacy of either internal or external contradictions wrong, then the material basis of the contradictions cannot be understood and the contradictions cannot really be resolved in a favourable way. For more on the primacy of the internal contradictions, see Mao’s On Contradiction: 'The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal.'" [Quoted from here; some bold emphases added; italic emphases in the original. Quotation marks altered to conform with the conventions adopted at this site; spelling modified to UK English.]

 

Is this comrade a 'Brezhnev-era revisionist'? Independently of that, this shows that some M-L-ers know more about DM than TFB seems to!

 

12) The above is confirmed by the next M-L-er: 

 

"Yet that example alone doesn't sufficiently address the question of the relation between internal and external contradictions....

 

"The point here is that the concrete character of the process or thing being analyzed must be kept to the forefront. There are different levels of structure to matter, and any level is both relatively autonomous and at the same time linked to and influenced by other levels. Therefore clarity on what exactly is under study, and on that basis which contradictions should be considered internal and which external, and how they relate, is critically important to dialectical analysis. Mao emphasized understanding the 'law of contradiction in things in a concrete way.' (On Contradiction, Mao Selected Works, Volume One, p.90) The actual opposites which constitute and push forward the development of a thing or process must be ascertained, their interaction and struggle studied and understood...." [Lenny Wolff, The Science of Revolution, pp.27-29. Bold emphasis added; italic emphasis in the original.]

 

"At the same time, contradictions do not necessarily develop in a predetermined path; different processes and things interpenetrate and influence one another, and relatively external contradictions (in one context) can alter a process direction of development and even eliminate it altogether." [Ibid. p.47. Bold added.]

 

"Change does not proceed by simple addition, nor simply from within a given process. While internal causes are principal over external, contradictions cannot be viewed simply as 'things unto themselves.' [Ibid., p.59. Bold added.]

 

This further confirmation that the term "external contradiction" is widely used by M-L-ers (this time from a US-RCP theorist), but is it sufficiently 'orthodox' for TFB?

 

13) And there is more, this time from the Dutch ML site, Massalijn:

 

"The Period of the War of Resistance Against Japan: Immediately after the completion of the Long March, Mao concentrated on the adoption and implementation of a new tactical orientation in order to end the Civil War and unite the maximum forces for a War of Resistance against Japan. His presentation On Tactics Against Japanese Imperialism was a major development of Marxist-Leninist United Front tactics. This was later further developed in his May 1937 Report on The Tasks of the Chinese Communist Party in the Period of Resistance to Japan. Giving a brilliant exposition of the stage of development of China's internal and external contradictions, Mao explained the change in the principal contradiction caused by Japan's aggression and therefore the change in the United Front tactics necessary to face the new situation. He called for a united front with the Kuomintang in order to drive away the Japanese aggressors. Chiang Kai-shek however did not agree to enter a united front until he was forced to do so by the CPC's propaganda and by the pressure of certain factions in his own party. He finally agreed, when he was arrested in December 1936 by two of his own generals who insisted that a united front should be built with the CPC. The Anti-Japanese United Front was set up in August 1937." [Quoted from here. Bold emphasis added; italic emphases in the original.]

 

'Revisionist' or not?

 

14) And here is Enver Hoxha himself:

 

"The balance of forces in the world has changed and is changing ceaselessly in favour of the revolutionary forces which are fighting for national and social liberation, for the construction of a new world without capitalism and colonialism, against imperialism, reaction and modern revisionism, which are in decay and disintegration, eroded by many internal and external contradictions, encircled by the peoples and exposed to the continuous blows of their struggle which is mounting higher and higher. (pp.114-15.)

 

"This orientation was absolutely correct and responded to the situation in our country at the time when the internal class contradictions had receded to the secondary plane, while the external contradictions between the Albanian people fighting for their freedom, independence and sovereignty, and the Italian and German invaders occupying our country, had become the principal contradictions." [Enver Hoxha, p.293, quoted from here. Bold emphases added.]

 

Is Hoxha a 'Brezhnev era revisionist'?

 

Of course, it would be foolish to expect TFB to accept anyone's opinions on, or comments about, 'external contradictions' if they don't come from 'acceptable' sources. It might help, therefore, if TFB provided us (or his viewers) with an Index of Acceptable/Unacceptable DM-sources (rather like the Roman Catholic Church used to have such an Index).

 

In the meantime, the above list at least shows that the only person here ignorant of DM is TFB himself.

 

Here are the results of another (this time five minute long) 'Google search' using Mao + "external contradiction":

 

15) From Mao's On Practice:

 

"Similarly with the Chinese people's knowledge of imperialism. The first stage was one of superficial, perceptual knowledge, as shown in the indiscriminate anti-foreign struggles of the Movement of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, the Yi Ho Tuan Movement, and so on. It was only in the second stage that the Chinese people reached the stage of rational knowledge, saw the internal and external contradictions of imperialism and saw the essential truth that imperialism had allied itself with China's comprador and feudal classes to oppress and exploit the great masses of the Chinese people. This knowledge began about the time of the May 4th Movement of 1919." [Quoted from here. Bold emphasis added. This can also be found here -- but only by those who know how to do a 'Google search'.]

 

There are other quotes from Mao where he uses this term, here and here.

 

16) Mao also says this:

 

"Dialectics considers that the contradictions in thought are none other than the reflection of objective external contradictions." [Quoted from here. Bold emphasis added.]  

 

17) This is also from an article by Mao -- 'Why It Is Necessary To Discuss The White Paper', 1949 -- and published in his Selected Works, sourced again from the Marx to Mao site:

 

"The whole world is now discussing the Chinese revolution and the U.S. White Paper. This is no accident, this shows the great significance of the Chinese revolution in world history. As for us Chinese, though we have basically won victory in our revolution, we have had no opportunity for a long time to discuss thoroughly the interrelations of this revolution and various forces at home and abroad. Such a discussion is necessary, and now an opportunity has been found in the discussion of the U.S. White Paper. We had no opportunity for this kind of discussion before because we had not won basic victory in the revolution, because Chinese and foreign reactionaries had cut off the big cities from the People's Liberated Areas and because some aspects of the contradictions had not yet been fully revealed by the development of the revolution. Now the situation is different. The greater part of China has been liberated, all aspects of the internal and external contradictions have been fully revealed, and just at this moment the United States has published the White Paper. Thus the opportunity for the discussion has been found." [Quoted from here. Bold emphasis added.]

 

18) Although I have also quoted this before, we also have this from Mao's Selected Works:

 

"In terms of relative political importance the development of the national contradiction between China and Japan has demoted the domestic contradictions between classes and between political groupings to a secondary and subordinate place. But they still exist and have by no means diminished or disappeared. The same is true of the contradictions between China and the imperialist powers other than Japan. Therefore, the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people are faced with the following task -- to make the appropriate adjustments with regard to those internal and external contradictions which can and must be adjusted at present so as to fit in with the general task of unity against Japan. This is the reason for the Chinese Communist Party's policies of peace and unity, democracy, bettering the life of the people and negotiations with foreign countries that are opposed to Japan." [The Tasks of the Chinese Communist Party, Selected Works, Volume One, quoted from here. Bold emphasis added.]

 

I have re-quoted it simply to show how slap-dash TFB's 'Google search' must have been.

 

19) Added: August 2016: And here is Mao (among other things) commenting on the relationship between China and its "external enemies" -- writing in what is perhaps one of his major works, 'On The Correct Handling Of Contradictions Among The People':

 

"Our state is a people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance. What is this dictatorship for? Its first function is internal, namely, to suppress the reactionary classes and elements and those exploiters who resist the socialist revolution, to suppress those who try to wreck our socialist construction, or in other words, to resolve the contradictions between ourselves and the internal enemy. For instance, to arrest, try and sentence certain counter-revolutionaries, and to deprive landlords and bureaucrat-capitalists of their right to vote and their freedom of speech for a certain period of time -- all this comes within the scope of our dictatorship. To maintain public order and safeguard the interests of the people, it is necessary to exercise dictatorship as well over thieves, swindlers, murderers, arsonists, criminal gangs and other scoundrels who seriously disrupt public order. The second function of this dictatorship is to protect our country from subversion and possible aggression by external enemies. In such contingencies, it is the task of this dictatorship to resolve the contradiction between ourselves and the external enemy." [Mao (1967b), p.387. Bold emphasis added.]

 

The phrase "the contradiction between ourselves and the external enemy" is as close to "external contradiction" as one could wish to find. How on earth did TFB manage to miss this passage?

 

The above resulted from a brief 'Google search' (and a subsequent double-check a few months later), which was only slowed down by having to post the results here and re-format them, etc. However, widening the search parameters -- using Marxism + "External contradictions" -- reveals that this term is widely used by all M-L-ers (other than, of course, our 'Ultra-Orthodox' TFB!) -- indeed, it is employed right across all wings of Marxism -- and even beyond.

 

So, not at all "weird"...

 

Appendix B: The Stalin Quote

 

Here is Stalin from May 9, 1925 in full:

 

So far I have spoken about the resolutions of our Party conference on questions directly concerning the Comintern. We shall now pass to questions which directly concern both the Comintern and the R.C.P.(B.), and thus serve as a link between the external and internal problems.

 

How will the temporary stabilisation of capitalism affect the fate of socialism in our country? Does that stabilisation mark the end, or the beginning of the end, of the building of socialism in our country?

 

Is it at all possible to build socialism by our own efforts in our technically and economically backward country if capitalism continues to exist in the other countries for a more or less prolonged period?

 

Is it possible to create a complete guarantee against the dangers of intervention, and hence, against the restoration of the old order of things in our country, while we are encircled by capitalism, and, at the present moment, by stabilised capitalism at that?

 

All these are questions which inevitably confront us as a result of the new situation in the sphere of international relations, and which we cannot ignore. They demand a precise and definite answer.

 

Our country exhibits two groups of contradictions. One group consists of the internal contradictions that exist between the proletariat and the peasantry. The other group consists of the external contradictions that exist between our country, as the land of socialism, and all the other countries, as lands of capitalism.

 

Let us examine these two groups of contradictions separately.

 

That certain contradictions exist between the proletariat and the peasantry cannot, of course, be denied. It is sufficient to recall everything that has taken place, and is still taking place, in our country in connection with the price policy for agricultural produce, in connection with the price limits, in connection with the campaign to reduce the prices of manufactured goods, and so forth, to understand how very real these contradictions are. We have two main classes before us: the proletarian class and the class of private-property-owners, i.e., the peasantry. Hence, contradictions between them are inevitable. The whole question is whether we shall be able by our own efforts to overcome the contradictions that exist between the proletariat and the peasantry. When the question is asked: can we build socialism by our own efforts? what is meant is: can the contradictions that exist between the proletariat and the peasantry in our country be overcome or not?

 

Leninism answers that question in the affirmative: yes, we can build socialism, and we will build it together with the peasantry under the leadership of the working class.

 

What is the basis, the grounds, for such an answer?

 

The grounds are that, besides contradictions between the proletariat and the peasantry, there are also common interests between them on fundamental problems of development, interests which outweigh, or, at all events, can outweigh those contradictions, and are the basis, the foundation, of the alliance between the workers and the peasants.

 

What are those common interests?

 

The point is that there are two paths along which agriculture can develop: the capitalist path and the socialist path. The capitalist path means development by impoverishing the majority of the peasantry for the sake of enriching the upper strata of the urban and rural bourgeoisie. The socialist path, on the contrary, means development by a continuous improvement in the well-being of the majority of the peasantry. It is in the interest of both the proletariat and the peasantry, particularly of the latter, that development should proceed along the second path, the socialist path, for that is the peasantry's only salvation from impoverishment and a semi-starvation existence. Needless to say, the proletarian dictatorship, which holds in its hands the main threads of economic life, will take all measures to secure the victory of the second path, the socialist path. It goes without saying, on the other hand, that the peasantry is vitally interested in development proceeding along this second path.

 

Hence the community of interests of the proletariat and the peasantry which outweighs the contradictions between them.

 

That is why Leninism says that we can and must build a complete socialist society together with the peasantry on the basis of the alliance between the workers and the peasants.

 

That is why Leninism says, basing itself on the common interests of the proletarians and the peasants, that we can and must by our own efforts overcome the contradictions that exist between the proletariat and the peasantry.

 

That is how Leninism regards the matter.

 

But, evidently, not all comrades agree with Leninism. The following, for example, is what Trotsky says about the contradictions between the proletariat and the peasantry:

 

"The contradictions in the position of a workers' government in a backward country with an overwhelmingly peasant population could be solved only on an international scale, in the arena of the world proletarian revolution" (see preface to Trotsky's book The Year 1905).

 

In other words, it is not within our power, we are not in a position, by our own efforts to overcome, to eliminate the internal contradictions in our country, the contradictions between the proletariat and the peasantry, because, it appears, only as a result of a world revolution, and only on the basis of a world revolution, can we eliminate those contradictions and, at last, build socialism.

 

Needless to say, this proposition has nothing in common with Leninism.

 

The same Trotsky goes on to say:

 

"Without direct state support from the European proletariat, the working class of Russia will not be able to maintain itself in power and to transform its temporary rule into a lasting socialist dictatorship. This we cannot doubt for an instant" (see Trotsky's Our Revolution, p.278).

 

In other words, we cannot even dream of maintaining power for any length of time unless the Western proletariat takes power and renders us state support.

 

Further:

 

"It would be hopeless to think...that, for example, a revolutionary Russia could hold out in the face of a conservative Europe" (see Trotsky's Works, Vol. III, Part I, p.90).

 

In other words, it appears that not only are we unable to build socialism, but we cannot even hold out albeit for a brief period "in the face of a conservative Europe," although the whole world knows that we have not only held out, but have repulsed a number of furious attacks upon our country by a conservative Europe.

 

And lastly:

 

"Real progress of a socialist economy in Russia," says Trotsky, "will become possible only after the victory of the proletariat in the major European countries" (ibid., p.93).

 

Clear, one would think.

 

I have quoted these passages, comrades, in order to contrast them with passages from the works of Lenin, and thus to enable you to grasp the quintessence of the question of the possibility of building a complete socialist society in the land of the proletarian dictatorship, which is surrounded by capitalist states.

 

Let us now turn to passages from the works of Lenin.

 

Here is what Lenin wrote as far back as 1915, during the imperialist war:

 

"Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible, first in several or even in one capitalist country taken separately. The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and organised its own socialist production, would stand up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world, attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries, raising revolts in those countries against the capitalists, and in the event of necessity, coming out even with armed force against the exploiting classes and their states."

 

Because:

 

"the free union of nations in socialism is impossible without a more or less prolonged and stubborn struggle of the socialist republics against the backward states" (see Vol. XVIII, pp.232-33).

 

In other words, the land of the proletarian dictatorship, which is surrounded by capitalists, can, it appears, not only by its own efforts eliminate the internal contradictions between the proletariat and the peasantry, but can and must, in addition, build socialism, organise its own socialist economy and establish an armed force in order to go to the aid of the proletarians in the surrounding countries in their struggle to overthrow capital.

 

Such is the fundamental thesis of Leninism on the victory of socialism in one country.

 

Lenin said the same thing, although in a slightly different way, in 1920, at the Eighth Congress of Soviets, in connection with the question of the electrification of our country:

 

"Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country. Otherwise, the country will remain a small peasant country, and we have got to understand that clearly. We are weaker than capitalism, not only on a world scale, but also within the country. Everybody knows this. We are conscious of it, and we shall see to it that our economic base is transformed from a small peasant base into a large-scale industrial base. Only when the country has been electrified, only when our industry, our agriculture, our transport system have been placed upon the technical basis of modern large-scale industry, shall we achieve final victory" (see Vol. XXVI, pp.46-47).

 

In other words, Lenin was fully aware of the technical difficulties connected with the building of socialism in our country, but he did not by any means draw from this the absurd conclusion that "real progress of a socialist economy in Russia will become possible only after the victory of the proletariat in the major European countries"; on the contrary, he was of the opinion that we could by our own efforts surmount those difficulties and achieve "final victory," i.e., build complete socialism.

 

And here is what Lenin said a year later, in 1921:

 

"Ten or twenty years of correct relations with the peasantry, and victory on a world scale is assured (even if the proletarian revolutions, which are growing, are delayed)" ("Outline and Synopsis of the Pamphlet The Tax in Kind," 1921 -- see Vol. XXVI, p.313).

 

In other words, Lenin was fully aware of the political difficulties connected with the building of socialism in our country, but he did not by any means draw from this the false conclusion that "without direct state support from the European proletariat, the working class of Russia will not be able to maintain itself in power"; on the contrary, he was of the opinion that, given a correct policy towards the peasantry, we would be quite able to ensure "victory on a world scale," meaning that we could build complete socialism.

 

But what is a correct policy towards the peasantry? A correct policy towards the peasantry is something that depends wholly and entirely upon us, and upon us alone, as the Party which directs the building of socialism in our country.

 

Lenin said the same thing, but still more definitely, in 1922, in his notes on co-operation:

 

"As a matter of fact, state power over all large-scale means of production, state power in the hands of the proletariat, the alliance of this proletariat with the many millions of small and very small peasants, the assured leadership of the peasantry by the proletariat, etc. -- is not this all that is necessary for building a complete socialist society from the co-operatives, from the co-operatives alone, which we formerly looked down upon as huckstering and which from a certain aspect we have the right to look down upon as such now, under the NEP? Is this not all that is necessary for building a complete socialist society? This is not yet the building of socialist society, but it is all that is necessary and sufficient for this building" (see Vol. XXVII, p.392).

 

In other words, under the dictatorship of the proletariat we possess, it appears, all that is needed to build a complete socialist society, overcoming all internal difficulties, for we can and must overcome them by our own efforts.

 

Clear, one would think.

 

As regards the objection that the relative economic backwardness of our country precludes the possibility of building socialism, Lenin attacked and refuted it as something incompatible with socialism:

 

"Infinitely hackneyed is the argument," says Lenin, "that they learned by rote during the development of West-European Social-Democracy, namely, that we are not yet ripe for socialism, that, as certain 'learned' gentlemen among them express it, the objective economic prerequisites for socialism do not exist in our country" (see Vol. XXVII, p.399).

 

Had it been otherwise, there was no point in taking power in October and carrying out the October Revolution. For if the possibility and necessity of building a complete socialist society is precluded for some reason or other, the October Revolution becomes meaningless. Anyone who denies the possibility of building socialism in one country must necessarily deny that the October Revolution was justified; and vice versa, anyone who has no faith in the October Revolution cannot admit the possibility of the victory of socialism in the conditions of capitalist encirclement. The connection between lack of faith in October and denial of the socialist potentialities in our country is complete and direct.

 

"I know," says Lenin, "that there are, of course, sages who think they are very clever and even call themselves Socialists, who assert that power should not have been seized until the revolution had broken out in all countries. They do not suspect that by speaking in this way they are deserting the revolution and going over to the side of the bourgeoisie. To wait until the toiling classes bring about a revolution on an international scale means that everybody should stand stock-still in expectation. That is nonsense" (see Vol. XXIII, p.9).

 

That is how the matter stands with the contradictions of the first order, with the internal contradictions, with the question of the possibility of building socialism in the conditions of capitalist encirclement.

 

Let us now pass to the contradictions of the second order, to the external contradictions that exist between our country, as the country of socialism, and all the other countries, as the countries of capitalism.

 

What are these contradictions?

 

They are that, as long as capitalist encirclement exists, there is bound to be the danger of intervention by the capitalist countries, and as long as such a danger exists, there is bound to be the danger of restoration, the danger of the capitalist order being re-established in our country.

 

Can those contradictions be fully overcome by one country? No, they cannot; for the efforts of one country, even if that country is the land of the proletarian dictatorship, are insufficient for the purpose of fully guaranteeing it against the danger of intervention. Therefore, a full guarantee against intervention, and hence the final victory of socialism, are possible only on an international scale, only as a result of the joint efforts of the proletarians of a number of countries, or -- still better -- only as a result of the victory of the proletarians in a number of countries.

 

What is the final victory of socialism?

 

The final victory of socialism is the full guarantee against attempts at intervention, and hence against restoration, for any serious attempt at restoration can take place only with serious support from outside, only with the support of international capital. Therefore, the support of our revolution by the workers of all countries, and still more the victory of the workers in at least several countries, is a necessary condition for fully guaranteeing the first victorious country against attempts at intervention and restoration, a necessary condition for the final victory of socialism.

 

"As long as our Soviet Republic," says Lenin, "remains an isolated borderland of the entire capitalist world, just so long will it be quite ludicrously fantastic and utopian to hope...for the disappearance of all danger. Of course, as long as such fundamental opposites remain, dangers will remain too, and we cannot escape them" (see Vol. XXVI, p.29).

 

And further:

 

"We are living not merely in a state, but in a system of states, and the existence of the Soviet Republic side by side with imperialist states for a long time is unthinkable. One or the other must triumph in the end" (see Vol. XXIV, p.122).

 

That is why Lenin says that:

 

"Final victory can be achieved only on a world scale, and only by the joint efforts of the workers of all countries" (see Vol. XXIII, p.9).

 

That is how the matter stands with the contradictions of the second order.

 

Anyone who confuses the first group of contradictions, which can be overcome entirely by the efforts of one country, with the second group of contradictions, the solution of which requires the efforts of the proletarians of several countries, commits a gross error against Leninism. He is either a muddle-head or an incorrigible opportunist.

 

An example of such confusion is provided by a letter I received from a comrade in January this year on the question of the victory of socialism in one country. He writes in perplexity:

 

"You say that the Leninist theory...is that socialism can triumph in one country. I regret to say that I have not found in the relevant passages of Lenin's works any references to the victory of socialism in one country."

 

The trouble, of course, is not that this comrade, whom I regard as one of the best of our young student comrades, "has not found in the relevant passages of Lenin's works any references to the victory of socialism in one country." He will read and, some day, will at last find such references. The trouble is that he confused the internal contradictions with the external contradictions and got entirely muddled up in this confusion. Perhaps it will not be superfluous to inform you of the answer I sent to this comrade's letter. Here it is:

 

"The point at issue is not complete victory, but the victory of socialism in general, i.e., driving away the landlords and capitalists, taking power, repelling the attacks of imperialism and beginning to build a socialist economy. In all this, the proletariat in one country can be fully successful; but a complete guarantee against restoration can be ensured only by the 'joint efforts of the proletarians in several countries.'

 

"It would have been foolish to have begun the October Revolution in Russia with the conviction that the victorious proletariat of Russia, obviously enjoying the sympathy of the proletarians of other countries, but in the absence of victory in several countries, 'cannot hold out in the face of a conservative Europe.' That is not Marxism, but the most ordinary opportunism, Trotskyism, and whatever else you please. If Trotsky's theory were correct, Ilyich, who stated that we shall convert NEP Russia into socialist Russia, and that we have 'all that is necessary for building a complete socialist society' (see the article "On Co-operation"), would be wrong.... [Stalin's ellipses -- RL.]

 

"The most dangerous thing in our political practice is the attempt to regard the victorious proletarian country as something passive, capable only of marking time until the moment when assistance comes from the victorious proletarians in other countries. Let us assume that the Soviet system will exist in Russia for five or ten years without a revolution taking place in the West; let us assume that, nevertheless, during that period our Republic goes on existing as a Soviet Republic, building a socialist economy under the conditions of NEP -- do you think that during those five or ten years our country will merely spend the time in collecting water with a sieve and not in organising a socialist economy? It is enough to ask this question to realise how very dangerous is the theory that denies the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country.

 

"But does that mean that this victory will be complete, final? No, it does not...for as long as capitalist encirclement exists there will always be the danger of military intervention" (January 1925).

 

That is how the matter stands with the question of the fate of socialism in our country from the standpoint of the well-known resolution of the Fourteenth Conference of our Party. [Quoted from here. Bold emphases alone added.]

 

[A dozen or more quotations from Lenin (that tell a completely different story) have been posted here.]

 

~~~~~~oOo~~~~~~

 

Stalin employs the phrase "external contradictions" three times in the above passage, and clearly links this phrase, and "internal contradictions", with SIOC in his polemic against Trotsky. He also links 'external contradictions' to issues related to Soviet foreign policy and foreign relations -- exactly as I alleged.

 

As far as I know, the above represents the first use of this term by anybody, anywhere.

 

This article is hardly obscure. It represents a major policy initiative integral to the historic break between Trotsky/Trotskyism and Stalinism/Maoism, which helped establish the doctrine of SIOC, and which was republished in one of Stalin's major works -- Problems of Leninism.

 

How TFB managed to remain largely ignorant of it (or its implications) when this term appeared in the above major work remains a mystery -- except, we already know his 'research' is shoddy, to say the least.

 

Perhaps he hasn't read Stalin, his very own guru?

 

More to follow in Part Five...

 

Bibliography

 

Afanasyev, V. (1968), Marxist Philosophy (Progress Publishers, 3rd ed.).

 

Howard, M., and King, J. (1992), A History Of Marxian Economics Volume II, 1929-1990 (Macmillan).

 

Kharin, Y. (1981), Fundamentals Of Dialectics (Progress Publishers).

 

Konstantinov, F. et al (1974), The Fundamentals Of Marxist-Leninist Philosophy (Progress Publishers, 2nd ed.).

 

Krapivin, V. (1985), ABC Of Social And Political Knowledge: What Is Dialectical Materialism? (Progress Publishers).

 

Kuusinen, O. (1961) (ed.), Fundamentals Of Marxism-Leninism (Lawrence & Wishart).

 

Lenin, V. (1921), 'Once Again On The Trade Unions, The Current Situation And The Mistakes Of Comrades Trotsky And Bukharin', reprinted in Lenin (1980), pp.70-106.

 

--------, (1961), Collected Works Volume 38 (Progress Publishers).

 

Mao Tse-Tung, (1937), 'On Contradiction', in Mao (1964), pp.311-47.

 

--------, (1964), Selected Works Volume One (Foreign Languages Press).

 

--------, (1967a), Selected Works Volume Five (Foreign Languages Press).

 

--------, (1967b), 'On The Correct Handling Of Contradictions Among The People', in Mao (1967a), pp.384-435.

 

Sheptulin, A. (1978), Marxist-Leninist Philosophy (Progress Publishers).

 

Shirokov, M. et al (1937), A Textbook Of Marxist Philosophy (Left Book Club).

 

Spirkin, A. (1983), Dialectical Materialism (Progress Publishers).

 

Stalin, J. (1976a), Problems Of Leninism (Foreign Languages Press).

 

--------, (1976b), 'Concerning Questions Of Leninism', in Stalin (1976a), pp.160-236.

 

Trotsky, L. (1969), The Permanent Revolution & Results and Prospects (Pathfinder Press).

 

Woods, A., and Grant, T. (1995/2007), Reason In Revolt. Marxism And Modern Science (Wellred Publications). [The version now available on the Internet still appears to be the First Edition.]

 

Wolff, L. (1983), The Science Of Revolution. An Introduction (RCP Publications).

 

Yurkovets, I. (1984), The Philosophy Of Dialectical Materialism (Progress Publishers).

 

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