Refuting A Weak Attempt At Refutation -- Part Nine

 

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 in other Browsers.

 

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.

 

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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: 13/08/17.]

 

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(1) Background

 

(2) TFB Perseverates Some More

 

Summary Of My Main Objections To Dialectical Materialism

 

Abbreviations Used At This Site

 

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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 next six months, 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 five responses to the above video, so this Essay constitutes my sixth 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 yet again, 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, making the same points over and over, often incoherently, for over an hour!

 

Finally, much of the next section of the video repeats much of the rest of the video. In which case, I won't respond (yet again!) to everything he has to say; I will merely post links to where I have already replied to TFB on such issues. I will, therefore, mostly confine my comments to anything new that has cropped up in this part of TFB's video, which is precious little.

 

TFB Perseverates Some More

 

As noted above, the last five replies have seen TFB making the same points over and over (about 'external contradictions'), and the next section of his video (from approximately 40:22-48:40) is no exception; along the way he adds yet another lie to the long list of (easily exposed) fibs he has come out with so far. Again, I have done my best to transcribe TFB's garbled, rambling and confused dialogue as accurately as I am able:

 

It says here [quoting me -- RL]: "He'd have seen that I also quote other ML-theorists from Stalin's era. Here is just one example....". But you didn't. You don't. Anyone can go and see your comments. You're not quoting..., ah...; this is not quoted in your comment. I mean, you're..., you're lying..., [undecipherable sound]..., wha..., what do you mean? This is not, like, [undecipherable sound]..., am I blind? [Good question! -- RL.] Like, am I blind? I've read..., I've read through your comment multiple times. It's not said..., it's not mentioned in your comment. This is preposterous. It's..., it's so weird anyway, like [pause and intake of breath]..., not [I think "not" is the intended word here]..., like now you bring this up. Why didn't you mention this in your original comment? It makes no sense. It would have been..., much better to mention this rather than all that other sh*t. [That other "sh*t" included quotes from Stalin and Mao! -- RL.] Or did you just stumble upon this, like, very recently, or something? [Garbled sound.] Why didn't you mention this in your original comment? Erm..., would have saved us..., saved us a lot of time. Or do you just..., did you just think "I [undecipherable word -- possibly "got"]..., all these other quotes that I'm never gonna [sic] use, so I might as well use them now." Was that your rationale? [Dramatic intake of breath followed by a deep sigh.]" [40:22-41:37. I have added italics where TFB's inflection suggests he wanted to emphasise a certain word.]

 

It seems that TFB's memory is as poor as his eyesight, for I had told him about this dusty old Stalin-era textbook in one of my comments over at his site; here it is again:

 

"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." [This was written and posted on 08/01/2016 -- see below.]

 

I first made the above point about referencing Shirokov's textbook on this page at TFB's site -- unfortunately, YouTube hasn't yet enabled direct links to be posted to specific comments, but readers can find this in my ninth comment on that page (if the comments are loaded 'Top Comments' first):

 

"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 those 'Brezhnev era revisionists' -- which makes you the 'revisionist' here. That 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 FB; my advice: stop digging."

 

Quoted from here:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2fZ1r0Wm_Q

 

This is also quite apart from the fact that (i) This textbook was quoted extensively at my site (links provided on request), and (ii) TFB criticised me for referencing such sources in one of his earlier 'replies' to me:

 

Maybe you've found more quotes then (sic) I have, since you're most likely older then (sic) me. Duh. [This brief passage is quoted in the very article TFB is here criticising! It was taken from TFB's fourth reply to me on the same page. (What was that again about TFB being blind?) -- RL.]

 

TFB even said the following earlier in this video (when he now feigns anger and surprise at not having been told about this textbook before):

 

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".... [Quoted from here.]

 

What then is TFB's response? He once again reverts to type and invents words to put in my mouth. TFB is nothing if not a serial liar and fabulist. He also wonders why I didn't mention this 1931 textbook in my "original comment". As I have noted elsewhere (and again in the Essay, right in front of him as he recorded this video!), slightly edited:

 

"[My] comments...were posted on his YouTube page before I was made aware that he [TFB] 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 [TFB] 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 aware of Stalin era works on dialectics, especially since the 1931 textbook 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." [From here. Emphases in the original.]

 

But, rather than research his own theory and the thoughts of Stalin-era 'non-revisionists' with care -- or at all! --  TFB prefers to post rambling and incoherent videos on YouTube. Why do I have to keep doing his homework for him? Moreover, since he rejected these 'Brezhnev era revisionists', I was forced to go back into the Stalin era (i.e., to books and articles published before 1953) to find a DM-source he would accept -- and the book by Shirokov was the officially recognised textbook on DM before WW2, widely read and studied. [On that, see here and here.]

 

TFB drones on:

 

The quote here says:

 

"Marx-Leninist dialectic does not deny external contradictions -- the action of one process on another." [TFB is here reading my quotation of Shirokov (1937), p.201.]

 

Whoop-di-f*cking-do! Who would have thought...? I mean Yes! Indeed! Of course! Who would deny this? Who would..., who would be against this? Like you seem to be the only person in the universe who is against this. Of course..., finally!

 

She draws several conclusions 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"...;" [From here.]

 

Yea, they knew nothing of this term because the term was indeed coined by..., like..., in the..., in the '30s. [Dramatic pause.] And that's pretty much it. That's like all..., the only thing you can say. "The term was coined in the '30s." Or..., or maybe it's slightly earlier, like, in the late '20s, the term was coined. So what? Have you ever considered that somebody could u..., (sic) use this argument on anything, like say "Oh..., oh, somebody...", like, if somebody coins anything after a per..., person's death, then you can just say that "Oh, that's a new invention that these other people didn't agree with." You know, like the fact that Lenin..., Lenin believed [in? -- I think this is the garbled word TFB intended] socialism in one country, but Trotskyists claim that he didn't because the t..., term was coined afterwards. Like that's literally how stupid this is. [Intake of breath, and another sigh.]

 

"(b) From the first of the above passages...we can see 'external contradiction' is being used 'dialectically'....' [From here.]

 

Finally, you make an actual point! Thank God! Erm...,

 

"'...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....'"  [From here.]

 

Like actual dialectics. Who would have thought? So, finally, you make an actual point. This textbook actually uses it in a dialectical sense, so it's more clear. It's kind of unclear what Stalin meant by it, but at least we know what this textbook means. It's more clear. So, bravo! I just only wish you would have brought this up earlier, instead of all that other irrelevant sh*t that I don't care about. But, good job for bringing it up now. [Intake of breath.]

 

"(c) Once again, I find I have to educate TFB about his own 'theory'...." [From here.]

 

Oh, because I never read, like, this textbook from '30s (sic). Where did you even get this? Erm..., there's not a very good selection of the..., these kind of books in Finland available, especially since it's not in the Finnish language; it's..., it's in the..., in the English language. Generally, like, Stalin-era books are hard to get, because, erm.., they were not reprinted in the Soviet Union..., er..., after the 50s. I have..., er..., I have a copy of [indecipherable word] the Finnish language version of The Foundations of Leninism. I got it pretty recently as a gift, and erm..., from er..., from a Finnish comrade and..., er..., and it was..., it was printed in, I think, '52, or '51. So, it's like a si..., (sic)..., so the book is like sixty years old. So, yeah. Sorry for not f*cking reading all that sh*t that's like..., [garbled word] this is like from the '30s. That's even older. So, yeah, a cheap attack. Like "Once again, I find I have to educate TFB about his own 'theory'". Like, pleeease (sic)!

 

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 TFB is the 'revisionist' here!" [From here.]

 

Like..., [garbled sounds] for..., for a while I was confused. Is this supposed to be a joke? Or, is..., is this..., are you serious? You cannot be serious. Like..., [garbled sound] I've thought plenty of time (sic) when I have been reading your stuff that you possibly cannot be serious. Like, this has to be a joke. But, then turns out (sic), no, it's deadly f*cking serious. Do you..., aah..., do you have..., have any clue how revisionism works? Just because a revisionist happens to agree with me on something doesn't make me a revisionist. Revisionists are people who hold revisionist views on certain subjects. But, just because they don't hold revisionist views on all subjects, that doesn't matter. Like, let's say that there's somebody who's a..., you know..., let's take you, for example. You're a Trotskyite  [TFB promised to stop using that slur; looks like his promises are as reliable as his 'arguments' -- RL] revisionist. You're a Trotskyist that doesn't even agree with dialectics. [Pause] Erm..., so you're a revisionist for not agreeing with dialectics [pause]; instead you use formal logic. [Pause] And then you are also a revis..., (sic) revisionist for being a Trotskyite. [Pause] But, you stiilll (sic) like agree with some basic ideas of communism, I assume. [Pause] So, because I also agree with basic ideas of communism then that must mean that I am a revisionist and I'm also a Trotskyite. Like, do I have to draw you a f*cking [pause] diagram of this?

 

This is like the famous..., erm..., this is like the most basic logic thing [TFB is getting technical here, so pay attention at the back! -- RL] you could ever..., ever think. This is like the most basic kind of logic there is. This..., this is literally what they teach fifteen year old..., year old kids in school. Like, to understand, like, what logic is. It's like, you know, the famous example, like..., erm..., "Socrates is a man, all men are mortal, therefore Socrates is mortal." [Why is my argument like this? My argument isn't syllogistic, or based on set theory -- RL.] Like, [TFB now speaks with a funny voice, and draws a rather shaky Venn Diagram] theese (sic) is Socrates, this is mortality, and this is all men. Well, I mean, this should be the other way round, really. [TFB tries again! -- RL.] This is Socrates, this is all men, and this is mortality. Like, they're inside one another. [TFB scribbles across the page on the screen -- RL.] Similarly, this is..., er..., revisionists, and this is all of communists. And then there's me. And then there's you. [The diagram TFB has just drawn isn't like the first one, the Socrates diagram! And, he has placed me outside the set of revisionists, too! -- RL.] Doesn't mean we're all the same. Doesn't mean we're all revisionists.

 

Like, this has really gotten so stupid, I can't even believe this. [41:38-48:40. I have added italics where TFB's inflection suggests he wanted to emphasise a certain word.] 

 

1) TFB:

 

Whoop-di-f*cking-do! [I see TFB is trying to blind me with complex, technical terms drawn from the dregs of his sewer-like brain -- RL.] Who would have thought...? I mean Yes! Indeed! Of course! Who would deny this? Who would..., who would be against this? Like you seem to be the only person in the universe who is against this. Of course..., finally! [Ibid.]

 

Well, TFB did deny it in his first video and in subsequent replies to me; he told us he had never even heard of 'external contradictions', and implied I made this term up. [I have discussed this topic in several places, most recently here.]

 

And, TFB is wrong about this, too: "Like you seem to be the only person in the universe who is against this." In fact, I'd like to be able to say whether or not I was "against" it if some sense could be made of "external contradictions", but since no one has explained this term with any clarity (least of all TFB), I maintain that it is far too vague and confused for any opinion validly to be expressed about it either way (of course, other than it is vague and confused!).

 

2) I have already dealt with TFB's (garbled) 'argument' (and his comment about Lenin and Socialism in One Country [SIOC]) in the paragraph beginning with "Yea, they knew nothing of this term because the term was indeed coined by..., like..., in the..., in the '30s", here and here. Readers are directed there for more details.

 

[The term "external contradiction" was in fact invented by Stalin in 1925. TFB has been told this many times. As far as his knowledge of DM is concerned, TFB is so far averaging an 'F' grade.]

 

3) What about this, though?

 

"(b) From the first of the above passages...we can see 'external contradiction' is being used 'dialectically'...." [From here.]

 

Finally, you make an actual point! Thank God! Erm...,

 

"'...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....'"  [From here.]

 

Like actual dialectics. Who would have thought? So, finally, you make an actual point. This textbook actually uses it in a dialectical sense, so it's more clear. It's kind of unclear what Stalin meant by it, but at least we know what this textbook means. It's more clear. So, bravo! I just only wish you would have brought this up earlier, instead of all that other irrelevant sh*t that I don't care about. But, good job for bringing it up now. [Ibid.]

 

In fact, TFB questioned (or even denied) this was a dialectical relation and that Stalin actually used this term (even after being confronted with the passage in question -- on that, see here). Well, we can console ourselves with the knowledge that TFB is now, at most, 1% less ignorant of his own theory -- thanks to yours truly!

 

4) And this?

 

"(c) Once again, I find I have to educate TFB about his own 'theory'...." [From here.]

 

Oh, because I never read, like, this textbook from '30s (sic). Where did you even get this? Erm..., there's not a very good selection of the..., these kind of books in Finland available, especially since it's not in the Finnish language; it's..., it's in the..., in the English language. Generally, like, Stalin-era books are hard to get, because, erm.., they were not reprinted in the Soviet Union..., er..., after the 50s. I have..., er..., I have a copy of [indecipherable word] the Finnish language version of The Foundations of Leninism. I got it pretty recently as a gift, and erm..., from er..., from a Finnish comrade and..., er..., and it was..., it was printed in, I think, '52, or '51. So, it's like a si..., (sic)..., so the book is like sixty years old. So, yeah. Sorry for not f*cking reading all that sh*t that's like..., [garbled word] this is like from the '30s. That's even older. So, yeah, a cheap attack. Like "Once again, I find I have to educate TFB about his own 'theory'". Like, pleeease (sic)! [Ibid.]

 

Again, had TFB done his homework, and at least tried to become even a minimally competent dialectician with a basic knowledge of his own theory and how it developed in the 1920s and 1930s, I wouldn't be saddled with the unenviable task of having to degrade his nescience. He was repeatedly pointed to Essays of mine in which this textbook features prominently, but, as usual, TFB prefers the safe haven of blissful ignorance.

 

TFB complains that the aforementioned textbook is hard to find in his home country, but (i) I managed to find it, and it's not even my theory, and (ii) It has been freely available on the Internet for several years. So, not only do I have to educate him about his own theory, I also have to teach him how to use Google! [We saw that was the case, too, in an earlier reply.]

 

5) I won't re-quote the two garbled paragraphs at the end of the above passage from TFB's video, I will just make a few points about them:

 

(a) Yes, I am deadly serious.

 

(b) TFB clearly missed the point about calling him a "Revisionist!", which wasn't that he sometimes holds ideas that "Revisionists!" also accept, but that he disagrees with Stalin and Mao, and other DM-theorists (from the Stalin era), and that the 'Brezhnev-era revisionists' actually agree with Stalin and Mao. So, what does that make TFB? [Answers on a postcard, please!]

 

(c) TFB also seems to have a defective understanding of Venn Diagrams, for, after calling me a "Revisionist", his second diagram puts me outside the set of "Revisionists!"

 

Do, I also have to degrade his ignorance of set theory, too?

 

More to follow...

 

Latest Update: 13/08/17

 

Word Count: 4020

 

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