Refuting A Weak Attempt At Refutation -- Part Eight
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Although I am highly critical of Dialectical Materialism [DM], nothing said here (or, indeed, in the other Essays posted at this site) is aimed at undermining Historical Materialism [HM] -- a theory I fully accept -- or, for that matter, revolutionary socialism. I remain as committed to the self-emancipation of the working class and the dictatorship of the proletariat as I was when I first became a revolutionary nearly thirty years ago. [That puts paid to the allegation that those who reject DM soon abandon revolutionary politics.]
My aim is simply to assist in the scientific development of Marxism by helping to demolish a dogma that has in my opinion seriously damaged our movement from its inception: DM --; or, in its more political form, 'Materialist Dialectics' [MD].
The difference between HM and DM as I see it is explained here.
[Latest Update: 23/01/20.]
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(2) Same Old Same Old!
(3) It's Déjà Vu All Over Again
Summary Of My Main Objections To Dialectical Materialism
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In 2015, I posted the following comment on a YouTube page which was devoted to introducing prospective viewers to a highly simplified version of DM:
Alas for this
video, I have demolished this dogmatic theory (from a Marxist angle) at my site:
Main objections outlined here:
I have posted many similar comments on other pages at YouTube that are devoted to this theory and received little or no response. But, the producer of this film (whose on-screen name used to be Marxist-Leninist-Theory [MLT], but which has now changed to The Finnish Bolshevik -- henceforth, TFB) did respond (and to which I replied, here and here).
Not long afterwards, another video appeared on YouTube -- which was also produced by TFB, but posted to his other 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 it is.
(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.
I have so far posted four responses to the above video, so this Essay constitutes my fifth reply. All my debates and responses to TFB have now been collected together, here.
Incidentally, I have now decided to post much shorter replies to TFB in order to (a) Increase the probability of him reading them and, consequently, (b) decrease the likelihood of having to explain the same things to him over and over, as had been the case up to now -- since he still refuses to read my longer replies, even though he expects his viewers to listen to his voice droning on and on, often incoherently, for over an hour!
Same Old Same Old
In the next section of this ill-advised video [approx 36:30-37:45], TFB says he wants to move onto something new (if only!!), and yet he immediately doubles back and raises issues he has raked over at least a half-dozen times (i.e., my allegation that the Stalinists introduced the term "external contradiction" in order to justify their switch to the doctrine of Socialism in One Country (SIOC), which connects this phrase with Soviet Foreign Policy), a topic I have covered just as often in reply to him, which responses TFB studiously ignores. I have no intention of going over it again.
Readers are therefore referred back to my latest replies to TFB (which mostly deal with this issue), here, here, here, and here -- in the last of which I also respond to his repeated and unsupported allegation that I added comments about 'foreign policy' only after he had raised this issue, implying I was being dishonest (more specifically, here).
I have little doubt he will ignore the above, too.
TFB, however, adds this rather nasty slur (again, I have done my best to transpose TFB's words as accurately as I can):
"So, I don't necessarily even believe this is your actual position on this. I think this is a convenient position you have switched to now that the other position has become unsustainable. But, even if [undecipherable word]..., even if this is your actual position, it's still a stupid position to hold. It's still wrong." [37:46-38:05. I have added italics where TFB's inflection suggests he wanted to emphasise a certain word.]
Indeed, it is my position, and has been since at least 1998 when I began this project. In my last response I provided evidence that showed these ideas had been posted on the Internet many years before I even knew TFB existed -- which evidence was in fact available to TFB had he bothered to do his homework before he shot his mouth off. But, we already know he prefers lies to facts.
Of course, if TFB says my ideas are "wrong", who am I to question his semi-divine authority? I am only surprised he bothered posting a video in response and didn't carve his comments on a couple of stone tablets on top of a mountain somewhere.
"Why are they wrong?", you ask?
Don't you know you stand on hallowed ground? Show some respect, for goodness sake! TFB has spoken and there's an end on it!
It's Déjà Vu All Over Again
Next we experience yet more déjà vu:
"Erm..., she continues (quoting from here):
'What of this, though (concerning the other Marxist-Leninist [ML] theorists I quoted, who also use this term)?'
"And then..., er..., she quotes me:
"I don't really, quote (sic)...
'I don't really care about the other people. If that's the best you can do then I don't think your case is that strong. You seem to rely mostly on stuff from some Brezhnev era revisionists who wouldn't agree with Stalin or Mao and who I don't agree with....'
"End of quote.
"Erm.., she continues:
'Now, had FB done his homework, he'd have seen I also quote other ML-theorists from Stalin's era. Here is just one example (taken from an official DM-textbook, published in 1931).'
"Now, this is her usual comment. Check if you can even see that quote in here. [TFB now proceeds to highlight several sections of my earlier replies to him -- RL.] There's the..., there's the Stalin quote. There's the Mao quote. Then it says [TFB is here quoting from one of my replies to him which was posted before I knew he rejected the words of 'Brezhnev-era revisionists' -- RL.]:
'Here are several other ML-theorists who use this term liberally.'
"This is from the '70s. This is from the '80s. This is from the late '60s. Then it says here: 'More of the same can be found in the following...'. Then it's 1980s, '70s, 60s, 80s and 80s. Nothing from the '30s, as she..., as she claims that there is.
"So, you're saying that I didn't do my homework. Um..., like, excuse me for not owning and having read some dialectical materialism textbook published in 1931. Like 'sorry'! I mean, that's a pretty unreasonable standard to hold like, you know, like. 'Uh..., how can you claim this when..., when it says in this 1931 textbook' [I assume TFB is trying to paraphrase me, here; this section is very difficult to follow and hence transcribe -- RL], which I didn't even quote. Like, I'm referring to the stuff you quoted, like I asked for.... Like, Ok, provide your evidence, then you [garbled and indecipherable noise] provide some quotes, then I'm..., I'm saying 'Well, those don't look too convincing to me.' Erm..., then you attack me for not dealing with some other quote that you didn't even bring up. That's not how you're supposed to do things." [38:07-40:21. Again, I have added italics where TFB's inflection suggests he wanted to emphasise a certain word.]
Once more, we have been over this several times. As I have already noted: the second batch of comments of mine above that TFB quotes were posted on his YouTube page before I was made aware that he rejected the thoughts of 'Brezhnev era revisionists', which is why I then looked back into other Essays of mine, and searched the Internet, for other quotes from Stalin era theorists that he should know about. After all, if he rejects all this 'Brezhnev era revisionism', one would have thought he'd at least try to make himself familiar with, or even aware of, Stalin era works on dialectics, especially since the 1931 book I referenced was the textbook on this subject until the 1950s, and was widely circulated and read, and has now been available on the Internet for several years.
I covered this topic extensively in an earlier reply to TFB; readers are directed there for more details.
More to follow.
Latest Update: 23/01/20
Word Count: 1860
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