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.
As should seem obvious, this page is badly out-of-date! It will be updated in the next few months.
January 2008 Latest
18/01/08: A day or so ago, I received a copy Of Hartley Slater's excellent book, The De-Mathematisation Of Logic (Polimetrica, 2007).
This work is relevant to aims of this site in so far as its last chapter, 'Dialetheias Are Mental Confusions' puts paid to large sections of 'Dialetheism' (which some might think gives support to 'Materialist Dialectics', even though this is not the case; the 'contradictions' of 'Dialetheic Logic' are not 'dialectical contradictions').
I must add however that Hartley is in no way connected with the political or philosophical views expressed at this site.
Here is the synopsis:
"Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a number of prominent thinkers on the Left found themselves increasingly aligned with their ideological opposites. Over the last decade, many of these thinkers have become close to Washington; forceful supporters of the War on Terror, they help frame arguments for policymakers and provide the moral and intellectual justification for Western military intervention across the globe. From Kanan Makiya, one of the chief architects of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, to Bernard Henri-Levy's advocacy of "humanitarian" intervention, "The Liberal Defense of Murder" traces the journey of these figures from left to right and explores their critical role in the creation of the new American empire. With wide-ranging testimony from many key figures on the left, this is a crucial account of the emergence of the "pro-war left," and its shaping of our post-9/11 world."
15/01/08: I have just completed a re-write of Essay Eight Part Two, correcting a few errors, and adding new material. I have also endeavoured to make the argument much clearer.
It is now just short of 10% longer, at 83,000 words.
08/01/08: I have just received a copy of A Marxist Philosophy of Language by Jean-Jacques Lecercle (Brill, 2006 -- published in the Historical Materialism Book Series), which I had hoped would be the first significant Marxist contribution in this area. [Voloshinov's study is, despite the undeserved praise it receives from comrades, worse than poor.]
Initial reading suggests that we still await such a work --, for, as seems to be the case with 20th Century French Philosophy, parochialism appears to be more important than relevance, vague generalisation preferred over detailed work.
I will be publishing an Essay on the Philosophy of Language (in relation to Marxism) later this year, so I will say more about this book then; but any study that devotes far more space to the ideas of Stalin than to those of Wittgenstein or Frege in this area (as this book does) should not have been allowed to see the light of day.
What were the editors of Historical Materialism thinking about!
06/01/08: A representative of this site has been invited to give a talk about my ideas at a conference on the renewal of the left at Oxford University, on Saturday March 1st.
More details as when they become known.
The next Essay to be published will be Thirteen Part One (which is largely about Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-criticism). It should be up by the end of January.
[The long delay was caused by illness and the holidays.]
December 2007 Latest
22/12/07: Access to the new summaries of all three sections of Essay Seven can be found here.
21/12/07: I have just posted a 4000 word summary of Essay Seven Part One C (which demolishes Engels's third 'Law', the mythical 'Negation of the Negation'), here.
This is the final part of the summary of Essay Seven Part One.
20/12/07: I have just published a 5000 word summary of Essay Seven Part One B (which demolishes Engels's second 'Law', the mythical 'Interpenetration of Opposites'), here.
18/12/07: I have just posted a 5000 word summary of Essay Seven Part One A (which demolishes Engels's first 'Law', the alleged change of quantity into quality), here.
However, several comrades have reacted with incredulity at the unmitigated confusion I have exposed at the heart of their theory, to such an extend that they have expressed doubts as to whether the dialectical classicists I quoted (1) really meant what they said, or that they had even said what I had alleged they had said, (2) were representative of the whole tradition, (3) were mistaken in some way --, and really desperate comrades accused me of (4) "pedantry", or of merely bandying "semantics".
Of course, it's Ok for Marx to be precise in Das Kapital (over, say, the distinction between the relative and equivalent forms of value), but if I indulge in similar flights of precision, that is just "pedantry", or "semantics"!
Anyway, the last of these allegations is neutralised here.
To that end, I have posted a 4000 word block of quotations from the dialectical classics (and lesser dialectical clones) -- here -- to show that my allegations were indeed correct: dialectics cannot explain change!
Small wonder then that it has presided over 150 years of almost total failure.
11/12/07: I have just written and posted a 2000 word Summary of a key criticism I make of 'Dialectical Logic'. It can be accessed here.
10/12/07: A 4000 word Summary of Essay Six has now been published. This Essay demolishes Trotsky's (and indirectly Hegel's) criticisms of the 'Law of identity'.
07/12/07: I have added an on-line exam in dialectics, designed for fans of that 'theory', but especially for those 'fair-minded' comrades who reject my ideas without bothering to read a single Essay of mine.
05/12/07: A 4000 word Summary of Essay Five has been posted: 'Engels Was Wrong -- Motion Is Not Contradictory'.
03/12/07: I have just posted the Summary of Essay Four Part One: 'Formal Logic Can Handle Change'.
01/12/07: The Summary of Essay Three Part Two has now been written and posted: 'Abstraction -- Science On The Cheap'.
November 2007 Latest
29/11/07: I have just written a 5000 word Summary of Essay Three Part One: 'Abstraction -- The Heart Of The Beast'.
This is part of the extensive re-write of Essay Sixteen I am under-taking.
27/11/07: I have just written a rather caustic response to a particularly brainless dialectician, here.
27/11/07: I am in the process of completely re-writing Essay Sixteen, which is a detailed summary of the main ideas presented at this site. Essay 16-02 has just been competed: "Dialectics: Imposed On Nature, Not Read From It".
However, the underhand argumentative tactics dialecticians use in response to my demolition of their 'theory' are not confined to comrades in the USA; UK-dialecticians make exactly the same sort of mistakes, descend into just as much abuse, and make stuff up about my ideas with the best of them. For example, check out the irrational responses made to me here.
Anyone wanting to read this will need to remember that in this critique I take many things for granted that had been argued for in Part One of Essay Three, and in earlier sections of Part Two.
23/11/07: I have just realised that I did not add a critique of Bertell Ollman's discussion of the 'process of abstraction' found in Dance of the Dialectic to Essay Three Part Two as promised.
I am now rectifying that omission, and will be adding comments over the next few days, posting them as they are ready. These can be accessed here.
22/11/07: The re-write of Essay Three Part Two is now complete; it is just short of 10% longer, and, I hope, much clearer.
I have also added new material and corrected several errors.
I have also added detailed 'Quick Links' to all the main Essays.
15/11/07: I am in the process of re-writing Essay Three Part Two, posting the changes as they are made.
The next Essay to be published (before Xmas) will be Thirteen Part One, which will destructively analyse parts of Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-Criticism.
I have had to abandon Essay Three Part Four for now -- it is not in a fit state to publish.
12/11/07: I have added a 'Quick Links' section to nearly all of the Essays already published, in order to assist readers find their way about more easily.
11/11/07: I have just finished a major re-write of Essay Three Part One in order to make the argument clearer, remove several errors and post new material.
It is now just over 10% longer.
06/11/07: The re-write of Essay Four has now been completed. I have added some new material, corrected several errors and made the argument clearer. It is now over 5% longer.
05/11/07: I am about 3/4s of the way through re-writing Essay Four, posting the changes as they are being made.
01/11/07: I have just finished the re-write of Essay Nine Part Two. I have added some new material and corrected a few errors. It is now about 5% longer.
Comrades are wondering why crises (like that in UK-Respect) are a constant feature of revolutionary politics, but few are asking the sort of questions I raise in this Essay.
Indeed, far too many comrades will, it seems, go to any length to avoid even so much as consider whether or not their core theory (dialectics) has anything to do with this long-term 'problem'. It doesn't even make the reserve list!
I also explain just why they do this in that Essay!
October 2007 Latest
29/10/07: In view of the renewed interest there is in Essay Nine Part Two, prompted by the current crisis in Respect, I am now re-writing it.
29/10/07: The re-write of Essay Five (which challenges the idea that motion is 'contradictory') has just been finished.
I have corrected a few errors, clarified the many complex arguments it contains and added some new material. It is now approximately 5% longer.
27/10/07: I have added a quick links section to Essay Nine Part Two, in view of the renewed interest being shown in it (which is largely a result of the crisis in Respect).
This Essay, too, raises issues no one (literally no one!) talks about on the left. Which is, of course, why we keep screwing up, year on year.
26/10/2007: I have just re-written Essay Ten Part One; it is now just short of 10% longer.
I am also about half-way through re-writing Essay Five, posting the changes as they are being made.
20/10/2007: The re-write of Essay Eight Part Two is now complete; it is approximately 20% longer, and is now the longest Essay at this site.
This Essay contains some of my most original ideas, and raises issues that no one has ever even so much as considered before (no exaggeration).
18/10/2007: I have nearly completed an extensive re-write of Essay Eight Part Two; the changes made have already been posted. More to follow.
10/10/2007: I have just finished re-writing Essay Six. I have added new material, clarified the argument and corrected several errors. It is now just over 10% longer.
06/10/2007: The re-write of Essay Nine Part One is now complete. I have corrected a few errors, added some new material, and endeavoured to make the argument clearer. It is now just over 5% longer.
05/10/2007: I am in the process of re-writing Essay Nine Part One, posting the changes as they are being made.
03/10/2007: The Wittgenstein Essay has just been re-formatted to make it easier to read.
September 2007 Latest
29/09/2007: I have just completed a minor re-write of Essay Ten Part One, to correct few errors and make a few points clearer.
28/09/2007: The latest re-write of Essay Eight Part One has now been completed.
I have corrected several errors, and made my argument both clearer and, I hope, more convincing. I have also added some new material; the Essay is now a couple of thousand words longer.
24/09/2007: I am re-writing Essay Eight Part One, posting the changes as they are being made.
The next Essay to be published (Essay Three Part Five) will not now appear until late October.
23/09/2007: The major re-write of Essay Seven has just been finished. I have substantially strengthened my arguments, corrected several errors and added much new material.
This Essay in now well over 30% longer -- at 67,000 words.
[A much shorter summary of it can be found here.]
22/09/2007: A couple of weeks ago, an article of mine was published in Weekly Worker --, which I then disowned because of a scurrilous attack on the UK-SWP, and John Rees (among others) published in the same issue.
21/09/2007: I am still in the process or re-writing Essay Seven, posting the changes as they are being made. The reason it is taking so long is because I am adding so much new material: at approximately 3/4s of the way through, and it is already 15,000 words longer.
13/09/2007: Visitors might like to read an article of mine that has just been published.
However, I distance myself from the comments made (about Respect, the UK-SWP, and John Rees) in the paper in which my article appears.
Had I known it would mount such a scurrilous attack on comrades I respect, I would never have written it.
07/09/2007: I have just received a copy of Peter Hacker's Human Nature: The Categorial Framework (Blackwell, 2007). Comrades might look askance at the title, but they shouldn't. It in no way challenges Marx on this.
I can heartily recommend this book, since it gives detailed background to the philosophical anthropology underpinning my work.
In addition, I have just finished re-writing Essay One -- Why I Began This Project --, making numerous large and small changes.
05/09/2007: Yet more fun with the Leprechaun of Logic, here.
03/09/2007: A serial numpty has had another go at my ideas; read my response here.
I have also just finished the re-write of Essay Eleven Part One. Numerous large and small changes have been made; in addition I have corrected several errors and infelicities, and included new material. The Essay is now just over 5% longer, and much clearer --, I hope.
August 2007 Latest
24/08/2007: I have just re-written most of the 'Anti-Dialectics For Dummies' Essay in order to make a few points clearer, and correct a handful of errors.
I have also up-dated the Basic Introductory Essay.
Essay Eleven Part One is still being re-written; I am about one third of the way through.
21/08/2007: I am re-writing Essay Eleven Part One, posting the changes as they are being made.
20/08/2007: Essay Twelve Part One has now been completely re-written.
I have corrected numerous errors and infelicities, added another 10,000 words of material, and made my argument much clearer (I hope!). It is now approximately 20% longer.
15/08/2007: A week or so ago I sent another letter to Socialist Worker, but this time not about DM! It was in response to this article on Turing, Gödel and Cantor, and was controversial in that it questioned the validity of Gödel's famous theorem.
Those interested can read that letter here.
I have added to it a heavily slanted reading list of books and articles that have influenced my ideas in this area.
15/08/2007: I have just posted a short Essay taking the Mickey out of a few characters who like to snipe at this site from a lofty position of ignorance.
The next Essay to be published will be Three Part Four, which should be ready by the end of September.
10/08/2007: Essay Ten Part One has now been posted. It addresses what many comrades take to be the best proof of dialectics: practice.
Hence, it is provocatively titled: Practice Refutes Dialectics.
I am still re-writing Essay Twelve Part One, posting the changes as they are being made.
02/08/2007: Two books have just arrived: Lenin Reloaded, edited by Sebastian Budgen, among others, and The Opening Of Hegel's Logic, by Stephen Houlgate.
The first contains, among other things, several Essays that try to convince us that the incoherent and disjointed thoughts on Philosophy that Lenin scribbled in notebooks make any kind of sense.
Nevertheless, one thing these essayists seem to share is an uncritical acceptance of a 'theory' that is based on demonstrably cracked 'logic'. This suggests that these comrades are in fact defending a faith, not advancing science. More on this later.
The second book contains an extended defence of the indefensible. I have made a few initial comments here, and will add more later.
Essay Ten Part One should be ready by the middle of next week.
July 2007 Latest
31/07/07: I have just corrected a serious confusion in Essay Seven between phases and states of matter. A clearer distinction here in fact ends up assisting my case against DM. The main changes have been made to Notes One and Nine.
25/07/07: Essay Ten Part One should be ready for publication in about a week or so.
I am also re-writing Essay Twelve Part One, to correct several errors and add new material. I will post the changes as they are being made.
24/07/07: About this time last year I published a Basic Introduction to Anti-Dialectics, aimed at those who found my longer Essays either too difficult or too long.
However, it soon became apparent that several comrades found that Essay itself too difficult.
Hence, today I aim to put that right, for I am publishing an "Anti-Dialectics For Dummies" Essay. This is no put-down, but is, like other "XYZ For Dummies" books, geared toward those who find such rarefied topics none-too-easy.
It is less than 5000 words long, and is confined to very basic, down-to-earth ideas.
18/07/07: Right, the re-formatting of the Basic Introductory Essay has now been completed, so it should be easier to read.
I have also added some extra material, and corrected a few mistakes.
16/07/07: I have just posted Essay Twelve Part One. This Essay (which will be in Seven Parts when it is complete) forms the central core of my case against this mystical theory.
Part One sets out to show why Lenin's ideas on matter and motion fall apart so readily.
[Answer: they are just as flaky as any other thesis drawn from Traditional Philosophy is.]
The rest of Part One then shows why this will always happen when theorists like Lenin try to concoct a priori metaphysical theses.
Now, it was precisely the difficulty of explaining that adequately and clearly that delayed this Essay by many weeks.
It will, however, need several re-writes before I am happy with it.
15/07/07: I should have Essay Twelve Part One ready to post by the end of tomorrow. Further delays have been caused by the complexity of the subject matter in hand, and the fact that this Essay is already approaching 60,000 words long!
I have also re-written sections of Essay Nine Part Two, and added new material -- which has become available now that I have access to by books.
11/07/07: A supporter of this site has contributed an Essay outlining an excellent intervention that was made at Marxism 2007; you can read it here.
In view of that, I have added approximately 1300 words of extra detail (here) to Essay Four, which deals with some of the issues raised by John Rees at the above venue.
09/07/07: I am still on course to publish Essay Twelve Part One by the end of this week. I am also re-formatting the Basic Introductory Essay, to make it easier to read.
03/07/07: I should have Essay Twelve Part One ready to publish by the end of next week.
The extra delay has been caused by the nature of the material it contains. A fuller explanation will be given at the beginning of that Essay, when it is posted.
June 2007 Latest
16/06/07: I have just received the latest copy of The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. There Jessica Wilson defends the existence of classical Newtonian forces (Volume 53, June 2007, pp.173-205), the nature of which I have questioned in several Essays.
I will post a response when I have had time to study its content. Nevertheless, even if she is correct, this does not affect the main thrust of Essay Eight Part Two, which questions the DM-equation of such forces with 'contradictions'.
13/06/07: The re-write of Essay Eight Part One is now complete; it is just short of 5% longer.
10/06/07: I am in the process of re-writing Essay Eight Part One, since it seems to be among the most visited at this site. The changes are being posted as they are made.
I have also introduced numerous large and small changes to the Basic Introductory Essay, and have corrected a few errors, adding some new material.
I have also announced there that over the summer I will be writing an "Anti-Dialectics For Dummies" Essay for those comrades who still find that Basic guide too difficult, or too long!
It will be a précis of that Essay, but mercifully far shorter and expressed in nothing but down-to-earth language!
03/06/07: The re-write of Essay Nine Part Two is now complete; I have added new material, corrected a few errors, mended several links and made the argument a little clearer. It is now over 10% longer.
02/06/07: I am in the process of re-writing Essay Nine Part Two, correcting a few errors, clarifying the argument and adding new material. The changes are being posted as they are made.
May 2007 Latest
30/05/07: Because of its importance to my whole case against this 'theory', I have re-written large sections of Note 67 of Essay Eight Part Two, which Note is itself already over 20,000 words long.
I have also re-jigged the parts I have planned to include in Essay Twelve. Part One should be ready before the end of June.
27/05/07: I have re-written Essay Eleven Part Two, again (twice this month!) to correct a few errors, add new material and make the argument clearer. It is now about 5% longer.
24/05/07: The re-write of Essay Two is now complete; I have corrected a few errors, made numerous large and small changes, added new material, and have made the argument clearer. It is now well over 10% longer.
20/05/07: In view of the fact that Essay Two is now the most popular Essay published at this site (judging by the number of hits it is receiving), I am in the process of re-writing it, adding new material.
The changes are being posted as they are made.
16/05/07: Essay One has just be re-written to make its argument clearer, and to add new material; it is now about 10% longer.
07/05/07: I have just completed a minor re-write of Essay Eleven Part Two, correcting several errors and making numerous small changes. I have also added some new material; it is now about 5% longer.
04/05/07: The re-write of Essay Four has been completed; it is now about 10% longer. Most of the changes have been made to the endnotes.
01/05/07: I am in the process of re-writing large sections of Essay Four, adding new material, removing errors and clarifying the argument. The changes are being posted as they are made.
The next Essay to be published will be Essay Twelve Part One. This Essay constitutes the central hub around which all my ideas revolve. It should be ready sometime in June.
A summary of its main arguments can be found here.
Yesterday, I received an important book: Neuroscience And Philosophy, by Maxwell Bennett, Daniel Dennett, Peter Hacker and John Searle (Columbia University Press, 2007). It contains Dennett and Searle's criticisms of Bennett and Hacker's equally important book Philosophical Foundations Of Neuroscience (Blackwell, 2003 -- reviewed here), and their responses.
Anyone who wants a sneak preview of the line I will be taking (in a later Essay), when I criticise the theory of mind put about by dialecticians, should read both books, especially pages 127-62 of the former.
A recording of the debate that forms the content much of this book can be downloaded as a .wav file here.
A copy of parts of the second of these two books can be found on-line, at Google Books; I'd post a link but the link is too long! It can easily be found by Googling the title: Philosophical Foundations Of Neuroscience -- it's the first item in the list.
I also received a copy of The Philosophy Of Dialectical Materialism (Progress Publishers 1984) by I Yurkovets (one of the very few books in English on this 'theory' that I have not yet consulted!).
The reason I mention this is that this book is the only one I have so far read that actually tries to say what a "quality" is (as this term features in Engels's First 'Law').
Needless to say that attempt is unsuccessful (for reasons I will outline in Essay Seven at a later date); but Yurkovets is to be congratulated for at least trying to say what this obscure term means (when, to my knowledge, no other dialectician has even tried to do so -- which omission then allows them to see changes in quantity leading to changes in quality anywhere they please, and to ignore the many cases where this 'Law' does not work).
April 2007 Latest
22/04/07: I have just finished a re-write of Essay Nine Part Two to correct several minor errors and add new material. It is now nearly 10% longer.
15/04/07: At last I have now published Essay Nine Part Two!
All 51,500 words of it!
This addresses concerns expressed even by those who agree with my criticism of DM: that I partly blame this theory for the long-term failure of Dialectical Marxism.
Anyone who reads this Essay, but who still disagrees with me, will see that I have at least mounted a pretty solid case for the prosecution. It contains some of my most original ideas, and, I think, tackles a highly neglected area of our tradition.
11/04/07: In view of the fact that Essay Two has suddenly become very popular (judging by the hits it is receiving), I have re-written it to eliminate its few remaining errors.
I am well on the way to finishing Essay Nine Part Two; with luck I should have it posted before the end of April.
09/04/07: The latest re-write of Essay Five has just been completed; it is now about 5% longer.
05/04/07: I have just received a copy of Ira Gollobin's book Dialectical Materialism, Its Laws, Categories, And Practice (Petras Press, 1986). I have been trying to obtain a copy for years, since I was told it was the best book available on this 'theory'.
My initial response can be found here.
04/04/07: I am in the process of re-writing Essay Five (posting the changes as they are being made), since it appears to be one of the most popular Essays at this site.
Essay Nine Part Two will be published in the next week or so, certainly before the end of April.
March 2007 Latest
28/03/07: I have just finished re-writing Essay Three Part Two. It is now about 10% longer.
24/03/07: Essay Six has just been re-written; I have made numerous small changes, and added some new material. It is now about 5% longer, and, I hope, a little clearer.
19/03/07: I have just re-written Essay Eight Part One, making numerous minor changes to remove errors and improve the clarity of the argument.
17/03/07: A new section has just been added -- Anti-Dialectical Dialogues.
15/03/07: Right, I am back in action, having moved successfully. In the meantime I have completely re-written Essay Three Part One, and Essay Seven, to correct a several errors, make the argument clearer and add new material. They are both about 10% longer.
Essay Nine Part Two should be ready in the next month or so.
13/02/07: The re-write of Essay Eleven Part One has just been finished. It is now about 10% longer, and, I hope, much clearer.
This will probably be the last up-date I will be able to post for the next month or so, since I have to leave the temporary accommodation I am presently in, and move to a new flat.
11/02/07: I have updated and corrected the bibliographies of all the Essays so far published, and have re-written large parts of the Basic Introductory Guide.
Because of serious but temporary personal problems, there will be very few updates posted here over the next month or so.
In fact, the publication of Essay Nine Part Two, already heavily delayed, will have to be postponed until late April at the earliest.
08/02/07: An ally of this site has just posted an entertaining anti-dialectical dialogue (aimed at exposing just how useless DM is when applied to the class struggle), which I have copied to here. Apparently, there are more of these to follow.
05/02/07: More fun and games with this dialectical motor-mouth, here.
I am also in the process of re-writing Essay Eleven Part One, posting the changes as they are being made.
30/01/07: I am now working flat out on Essay Nine Part Two, which should be ready to publish in about 3 weeks.
27/01/07: I have just finished the re-write of Essay Five (on the alleged contradictory nature of motion); it is about 5% longer, and is, I hope, a little clearer
Also, check out the discussion of my ideas at Lenin's Tomb -- but particularly this. Note the common element with other irrational responses to my Essays noted here: a crippling incapacity to produce a single sound argument.
21/01/07: The re-write of Essay Eight Part Two is now complete; it is about 5% longer.
19/01/07: I am in the process of re-writing Essay Eight Part Two, clarifying and strengthening the argument, smoothing a few rough edges over, and correcting a handful of errors. I am posting the changes as they are being made.
15/01/07: I am now working on Essay Nine Part Two, which should be ready to post in the next three to four weeks.
I will explain the reason for the long delay when it is published.
12/01/07: As you can see, I have completely re-designed the opening page. Let me know what you think....
09/01/07: The re-write of Essay Eight Part One has just been completed; with the new material added, it is now about 5% longer.
07/01/07: I am in the process of re-writing Essay Eight Part One, posting the changes as they are being made.
The re-write of Essay Eleven Part One has just been completed; with the new material added, it is now also about 5% longer.
03/01/07 I have just received Norman Levine's book "Divergent Paths. Hegel In Marxism And Engelsism. Volume One: The Hegelian Foundations Of Marx's Method" (Lexington Books, 2006), a work that confirms some of the conclusions I drew in Essay Nine Part One. However, it is too early to say if this book underlines or conflicts with any of the other points I made. More on this later.
03/01/07: I attempted to advertise my site at the (US) Communist League's Forum, which is an avowedly 'working class' party (??), but one leather-necked comrade ("Miles") soon booted me out. Visitors to my site should check; this is the very same comrade (at RevLeft) who took a brief glance at the first Essay I posted (all 20,000+ words of it), and within minutes of it being published, decided he was not "impressed" (and has refused to read any more since -- but he still pontificates about my ideas).
He also alleged I was a Union "Bureaucrat" (or, indeed, a 'Kapo for the bosses'), even though he knew absolutely nothing about me. A truly fine comrade.
[I am in fact a union rep, unpaid.]
Since then he has retreated into a familiar sectarian sulk, and has now banned me from this avowedly 'working class' Forum, clearly because I (a working class Marxist) am attacking a theory invented by non-workers!
What are DM-fans like him afraid of?
Nevertheless, I have now told this 'lover of mysticism' that since my Essays will long outlast him, I will do him the very great honour of immortalising his crass unreasonableness at my site, precisely here.
[I probably receive more hits in a week than this 'party' of the international proletariat has total members: i.e., about 100.
I'd post a link to that site, but my IP address has been banned, so I can't even find out if they have deleted the few posts I managed to sneak in before this example of non-proletarian freedom of expression was actioned, and I became verboten.]
In a subsequent e-mail exchange, this comrade used a surfeit of scatological terms to malign my good self, but was still unable to defend his mystical beliefs.
So, he is a bog-standard DM-clone (excuse the pun).
01/01/07: In the new section, I have re-published part of an article that debunks the myth that Hegel's method can be summed-up by the neat triad: 'Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis'. The original article is, would you believe, nearly fifty years old, but the 'news' it contains has yet to reach most dialectical eyes.
26/12/06: I have added a new section where I plan to post other material relevant to the aims of this site. The first item published is the Introduction to Glenn Magee's book Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition (Cornell University Press, 2001), copied from here under the Creative Commons Licence.
[This copy unfortunately omits all the footnotes from the original; I will try to add these at a later date.]
The thesis of Magee's book is central to the aims of Essay Fourteen (summary here), where I show that dialecticians have imported into Marxism a set of ancient mystical ideas, which can be found throughout history in the thought of countless ruling-class thinkers from across the globe, in all known Modes of Production.
24/12/06: I have just finished re-writing large parts of Essay Four. I have corrected several errors, mended broken links, and added new material.
I have also altered the projected Essays list below.
19/12/06: I am in the process of re-writing several sections of Essay Seven, to remove errors and add new material.
Essay Sixteen is a summary of all the main ideas presented at this site; it has taken so long to re-write since it is now over 70,000 words in length. It has thus been broken down into more manageable sections here.
16/12/06: I have just re-written an important sub-section of Essay Three Part One, here.
16/12/06: I have now finished the re-write of Essay Eleven Part Two, correcting several errors and clarifying the argument. It is now nearly 25% longer.
09/12/06: I have just re-written Essay Sixteen Part Nine again, in order to add new material, remove errors, and make the argument more perspicuous.
01/12/06: I am in the process of re-writing Essay Eleven Part Two, posting the changes as they are being made.
29/11/06: The next Essay to be posted will be Nine Part Two, sometime in January 2007.
26/11/06: Essay Sixteen Part Twelve has just be re-written; it is posted here.
22/11/06: I am in the process of re-writing Essay Sixteen, which is a Summary of the main ideas presented at this site -- it is in fact the Essay new-comers might want to read after finishing the Absolute Beginners Essay --, posting the revisions as they are being made. Today, I completed the re-write of the Summary to Essays Two, Three and Ten.
[I have broken Essay Sixteen up into smaller sections since it is now over 63,000 words long!]
21/11/06: Essay One has just been re-written.
20/11/06: I have managed to resolve the serious difficulties I encountered over making the argument of Essay Eleven Part Two comprehensible; hence, it has now been published here.
15/11/06: I have just re-written Essay Nine Part One, making numerous small changes, correcting minor errors and adding some new material. It is now about 5% longer.
14/11/06: Essay Sixteen Part Nine has been re-written -- this is itself a summary of both halves of Essay Nine, and intended for those who want a much shorter guide to my ideas.
11/11/06: I have just re-written Essay Sixteen Part 12, which is itself a summary of Essay Twelve. This is because Essay Twelve contains ideas around which everything I argue here revolves, and until it is published next year sometime this is the only access there is to those key ideas.
I have thus made the argument clearer, and removed some material that has now been transferred to Essay Ten Part Two.
Finally, I am having difficulty making sections of Essay Eleven Part Two clear enough to publish. This means that this Essay will not be posted until well into December.
07/11/06: I am re-writing large sections of Essay Eleven Part One in order to make its argument clearer, posting the changes as they are being made.
06/11/06: Just installed a new card, so Essay Eleven Part Two is back on track, if slightly delayed. Should be posted in the next week or so.
05/11/06: The Graphics card on my computer is playing up again, and needs replacing. This will delay the publication of Essay Eleven Part Two a few weeks.
29/10/06: I hope to publish Essay Eleven Part Two in the next week or so.
28/10/06: I have just posted an article by Jean van Heijenoort (a former leading Trotskyist, and one of Trotsky's bodyguards) in the new section of essays by other anti-dialecticians, entitled: 'Friedrich Engels And Mathematics'.
28/10/06: Ok, I have just posted Essay Eleven Part One.
This now brings the work posted here close to the three quarters of a million word mark.
27/10/06: I have managed to stabilise the card, so I should be able to post this Essay by Saturday 28/10/06, possibly earlier.
25/10/06: The graphics card on my computer is playing up, so the next Essay (Eleven Part One) will be delayed another week or so.
22/10/06: Anyone interested in finding ready confirmation of my claim that this theory nukes the brain cells of anyone it colonises, rendering them incapable of defending this Dialectical Disease, all the while making them one and all studiously unreasonable, should check out these links, but especially this one.
Readers should not assume I agree with everything these Essays contain
20/10/06: Essay Eleven Part One will be posted in the next week or so, followed by Part Two a month later. Essay Nine Part Two will be published sometime around Xmas or the New Year.
The Absolute Beginners' Essay has been partially re-written again (!).
16/10/06: I have again re-written large sections of Note 67 of Essay Eight since I was not happy with its wording.
13/10/06: I have just received a copy of 'Analytical And Dialectical Marxism' by Ian Hunt, a major contribution to this topic, and in my opinion easily the best book on this subject to appear to date. My initial thoughts can be found here. A more detailed critique will follow later.
11/10/06: The 'Absolute Beginners' Essay has just been re-written to make its argument clearer, and to add new material. It is now about 25% longer.
11/10/06: I have now re-written Note 67 of Essay Eight Part Two (which deals with an article on 'dialectical contradictions' written by James Lawler) -- to make its argument clearer, and to remove several mistakes.
This might not seem worth mentioning except for the fact that this Note is fast approaching 20,000 words in length! I might repost it as a separate Essay, alongside this.
06/10/06: Essay Three Part Two has now been completely re-written to make the argument clearer, and to rid it of a few of its stylistic monstrosities. It is approximately 20% longer.
30/09/06: I have added a page full of links to a couple of discussion boards where I have tried to 'debate' with dialectical mystics.
Anyone who wants an object lesson in how unreasonable this Hermetic theory has rendered these comrades should check them out.
27/09/06: I am now re-writing Essay Three Part Two, and posting the changes as they are being made.
16/09/06: I have just finished re-writing Essay Six; it is now approximately 20% longer.
07/09/06: I have just finished re-writing Essay Seven (it is now about 15% longer).
I am presently re-formatting Essay Eleven Part Two (which is about DM-Wholism); it should be available in the early Autumn, all being well.
I shelved my attempt to post Essay Eleven Part One, since it is not yet in a fit state to publish.
August Latest -- 29/08/06: As promised, I have just published (here) a highly simplified Essay, briefly outlining some of my main objections to this Hermetic 'theory'.
12/08/06: I have just published an Additional Essay on Wittgenstein and Marxism, here. This is not meant to be an in-depth study, it is just aimed at countering the idea that Wittgenstein was a 'conservative', and a thoroughly 'bourgeois' Philosopher.
25/08/06: I have just posted a corrected version of this Essay.
26/08/06: A few months ago, I posted a rather caustic response to an 'Autodidact'. This individual has deigned to criticise the above Essay -- or, more accurately, simply bad-mouthed me in his usual fashion.
Anyone interested can find my caustic reply here, along with a belated response to one of his 'logically-challenged' side-kicks.
07/06/08/: The introductory Essay has just been re-written. I will be posting an additional Essay on Wittgenstein and the left in a day or so.
01/08/06: I have just published Essay Nine Part One.
27/07/06: I have just learnt of the death of Ted Grant. Although I had many differences with him, he was a genuine revolutionary and an implacable enemy of the ruling-class. Not that he needs my praise!
His death and that of Tony Cliff a few years earlier are serious blows to our movement. They will both be sorely missed.
Essay Nine Part One will be posted in a few days time; I am just putting the finishing touches to it.
15/07/06: I have just completed a thorough re-write of Essay Three Part One to make the argument much clearer, as well as add some new material. It is now about 10% longer.
05/07/06: The next addition (Essay Nine Part One) will be published in fortnight or so.
01/07/06: I have now posted the second half of my comments on James Lawler's Essay, here. This addition to Essay Eight Part Two is itself over 17,000 words long, which I hope will explain the delay!
26/06/06: I have now published the first half of my comments on James Lawler's Essay, here. The second half will appear later this week.
25/06/06: As noted below, I am working on a response to Lawler (1982), but in the meantime, I have added a few extra comments on his article here.
24/06/06: I have just re-written Essay Four, adding about 15% new material.
19/06/06: I am in the process of writing an additional section to Essay Eight Part Two, in response to the best defence I have read of the idea that there are such things as 'dialectical contradictions' (i.e., James Lawler's 'Hegel on Logical and Dialectical Contradictions' in Marquit et al (1982)), which will in fact take the line I adopted here, that James's arguments are so full of logical errors as to make them worthless. This will be published sometime in the next two weeks, here.
I have also finished re-writing Essay Three Part One; it seemed to me to be rather unclear, and since it is a key Essay in setting up the main argument in Essay Twelve, it needed a complete re-write.
07/06/06: Essay Eight Part Two has just been posted. It rounds-off my critique of the mystical idea that 'dialectical contradictions' can be modelled by forces in nature and society.
However, visitors might like to check-out this discussion board to see just how desperate some dialecticians have become in their failed bid to reply to my ideas.
Essay Nine Part One will be posted in late June or early July, all being well.
25/06/06: Several readers new to Marxism and/or Philosophy have found some of my Essays rather difficult. I intend to publish absolute beginners guides to all my ideas over the next few months.
12/05/06: I have just received a copy of Bukharin's 'Philosophical Arabesques' (Monthly Review Press, 2005). Based on initial reading, it is easily the best summary of Dialectical Marxism yet produced by a genuine revolutionary (other than that written by John Rees, the main target of this site -- even if both still fail to make their case, and by a wide margin).
Several of the Essays posted here will need to be updated because of Bukharin's book; indeed, I might have to devote an entire Essay to it.
However, in view of the circumstances surrounding its writing, and the fate of its author, criticism of this remarkable work will not be at all easy; indeed, it will leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
I am in the process of re-writing Essay Three, Part Two, since I am not happy with its barbaric style. Regular updates to it have been posted recently; more to follow.
Essay Eight Part One has just been posted. It can be accessed here.
I have also up-dated the list of projected Essays I intend to publish over the next year or so.
March 25 2006
A summary of my ideas so far has been posted as Essay Sixteen, which includes a précis of material not yet published.
Because of its length, Essay Sixteen has been broken up into more manageable sections here.
Visitors need to remember that in these summaries much of the supporting detail has been omitted; full substantiation can be found in the relevant Essays, when they are published.
Essay Sixteen is not just a cut-and-paste job; it contains new material.
Comrades who merely want an overview of my objections to this pernicious doctrine are therefore encouraged to read it, too. Shortcuts to relevant parts of Essay Sixteen have been added below each Essay link at the main site.
In addition, all of the previous Essays have been re-written to eliminate errors, add new material, and make my arguments clearer. This process will continue indefinitely.
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