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Anti-Dialectics For Dummies?

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Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 16 Nov 2010, 00:21
Sorry Rosa, I really do not have the scientific knowledge to address the vast amount of your post.

Quote:
Once more, this ignores what the dialectical classics actually say, and since we are debating the classical theory, not yours, my points still stand.


Quote:
Once more, if these forces are opposites, they must change into one another. If they aren't then the classical theory no longer applies to such examples. [Does air resistance change into gravity? I suspect not.]


I didn't say the forces were the opposites, I said the table (T) and the object that is no longer recognisable as a table (T*) are the opposites. Obviously no dialectic can take place without energy. Thus the opposites struggle through conflicting forces.

As for T* not existing - take the wooden table. Brand new, freshly built, etc. Its opposite is when the table has rotted to such an extent that it no longer serves as a "table" within the commonly accepted definition. Now when that table first comes out of the carpenter's it has never, in the existence of the universe, rotted away (turned into T*). But we all know that it eventually will. T* does not have to exist for us to know of its potential existence. Thus, while T* does not exist, it is nonetheless able to struggle with its opposite because of the forces acting upon the table from the outset are able to bring it into existence by morphing T. Just like the Sun has never turned into a Red Giant or gone Supernova. But scientists know it will because the conflict of forces within the Sun will eventually lead to the opposite of the Sun (Supernova) existing.
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Soviet cogitations: 3033
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Nov 2004, 20:06
Party Bureaucrat
Post 16 Nov 2010, 07:54
Welcome to the forum, Rosa Lichtenstein. Looking at your bio, I have great respect for any educated individual. Did you manage to finish your doctorate degree?

While I cannot read your verbose essay in its entirety, the main thesis I have picked up seemed to be that DM is (or so far has been) unobtainable, and thus not possible since it has not happened in present times. Is this correct? If so, could you go into detail as to what your reasons are for believing that what is not found cannot exist?

Quote:
Let us consider the coffee table:
A) Call this table "T" and whatever it changes into "T*" (which is not-T). So T changes into its opposite T*.
B) But the dialectical classics tell us this can only happen if T struggles with its opposite.
C) But its opposite is T* which does not yet exist!
D) So, T can't change.
E) On the other hand, if T* already exists, then T can't change into it, since T* is already there!


This secondary/tertiary thesis appears to state that DM is impossible due to the fact that the original forces cannot struggle with the opposite since it does not exist(?), or it results in an infinite loop.

Why does T change into its opposite in the first step? Could two opposites not exist at the same time?

Would this not a better argument:

T₁ exists in the first place. Because of T₁, S₁ now exists. S₁ is the opposite of T₁ and vice versa.
T₁ and S₁ both clearly exist at present, while being opposites.
T₁ & S₁ struggle, being opposites.
S₁ eliminates T₁. S₁ turns into S₂
S₂ now exists. Because of S₂, T₂ now exists. S₂ is the opposite of T₂ and vice versa.
And so on.

I have attempted to standardize your example with the coffee table:

Your thesis is "All T's change into T*'s through struggling with each other, but T* does not exist so no struggle can take place in the first place.":

Quote:
A) Call this table "T" and whatever it changes into "T*" (which is not-T). So T changes into its opposite T*.
B) But the dialectical classics tell us this can only happen if T struggles with its opposite.
C) But its opposite is T* which does not yet exist!
D) So, T can't change.
E) On the other hand, if T* already exists, then T can't change into it, since T* is already there!

All T's change into T*'s through struggle, but T* does not yet exist so no struggle can take place.


To standardize, I shall follow the following guideline:

Code: Select all
Quantifier (a noun phrase) the verb "to be" (a noun phrase).


ie "Lemons are yellow"
Standardized: All (lemons) are (things that are yellow).

Your two statements:
All T's change into T*'s through struggling with each othe,
T* does not exist so no struggle can take place in the first place with T
Standardized:
All (things that are T's) are (things that change into T*'s)
All (things) cannot struggle with (the opposite, because it cannot exist)

I believe your thesis is a NECCESSARY condition statement as opposed to a SUFFICIENT condition statement, as you have used the word "can't".


All (things that are T's) are (things that change into T*'s)
Therefore, do you mean that if a T exists, that is a sufficient condition for it to change into T*?
Do you also mean that T* is a neccessary condition for T?

All (things) cannot struggle with (the opposite, because it cannot exist)
Therefore, do you mean that for something to exist, that this is a sufficient enough condition for knowing the opposite cannot exist?
Are you saying that for something to not exist is a necessary condition for something TO exist?


Perhaps I am misunderstanding your reasons. It would be helpful to recall Aristotle's Square of opposition.
Image


I do not believe Marx was as draconian when he used the word "opposites" and thus, the opposite of a cat being a dead cat is somewhat absurd. Perhaps you are using the word "opposite" in a somewhat frivolous manner.



I must also apologize for Loz's statements. Perhaps Loz is too young or oblivious to the fallacies that he has been committing in this thread. While it is good to have beliefs and values, to be as fallacious as his statements would be in err.

Loz wrote:
If there is something wrong with DiaMat Lenin would have figured it out back in his days.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority
Loz wrote:
Marx-Engels-Lenin couldn't have missed this alleged "fallaciousness" of DiaMat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority
Loz wrote:
In a way that it's a bunch of text with a little meaning/substance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur_%28logic%29
Loz wrote:
He didn't have to know bourgeois bullshit-"philosophy" and his logic led to the greatest advancement in the history of mankind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority
Loz wrote:
Yeah,for an internet anonymous with a "left-communist" nickname has more credibility than biggest philosophers/revolutionaries in history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority
Loz wrote:
I just can't pick an Internet anonymous' article over the thought of such geniuses as Marx and Engels and Lenin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority
Loz wrote:
Until you reach the intellectual depth of Marx or Engels,their arguments are still going to be stronger than yours.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority
I post Here
Image
Soviet cogitations: 231
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
Ideology: Trotskyism
Pioneer
Post 16 Nov 2010, 21:09
gRed:

Quote:
I didn't say the forces were the opposites, I said the table (T) and the object that is no longer recognisable as a table (T*) are the opposites. Obviously no dialectic can take place without energy. Thus the opposites struggle through conflicting forces.


Apologies for mis-reading you!

However, if these forces conflict, then according to the dialectical classics, they must be opposites!

Quote:
As for T* not existing - take the wooden table. Brand new, freshly built, etc. Its opposite is when the table has rotted to such an extent that it no longer serves as a "table" within the commonly accepted definition. Now when that table first comes out of the carpenter's it has never, in the existence of the universe, rotted away (turned into T*). But we all know that it eventually will. T* does not have to exist for us to know of its potential existence. Thus, while T* does not exist, it is nonetheless able to struggle with its opposite because of the forces acting upon the table from the outset are able to bring it into existence by morphing T. Just like the Sun has never turned into a Red Giant or gone Supernova. But scientists know it will because the conflict of forces within the Sun will eventually lead to the opposite of the Sun (Supernova) existing.


If I understand you aright, you seem to be replacing the stages T goes through with the stark contrast I drew between T and T*. And yet I dealt with that in my original post.

Here it is again:

Quote:
Let us assume that T goes through successive stages T(1), T(2), T(3)..., T(n), until at stage T(n+1) it finally changes into T*.

But, according to the dialectical classics, T(1) can only change into T(2) because of a 'struggle' of opposites. They also tell us that T(1) inevitably changes into that opposite.

So, T(1) must both struggle with T(2) and change into it.

But then the same problems emerge, for T(1) can't change into T(2) since T(2) already exists. If it didn't, T(1) could not struggle with it!

So, by n applications of the above argument, all the stages in a table's life must co-exist, and thus no table can change!


And I'm not too sure about this:

Quote:
Thus, while T* does not exist, it is nonetheless able to struggle with its opposite because of the forces acting upon the table from the outset are able to bring it into existence by morphing T.


I can't quite see how something that does not exist can 'struggle'. As one theorist (the communist, Ira Gollobin, quoting Engels), put things:

Quote:
"Opposites in a thing are not only mutually exclusive, polar, repelling, each other; they also attract and interpenetrate each other. They begin and cease to exist together.... These dual aspects of opposites -- conflict and unity -- are like scissor blades in cutting, jaws in mastication, and two legs in walking. Where there is only one, the process as such is impossible: 'all polar opposites are in general determined by the mutual action of two opposite poles on one another, the separation and opposition of these poles exists only within their unity and interconnection, and, conversely, their interconnection exists only in their separation and their unity only in their opposition.' in fact, 'where one no sooner tries to hold on to one side alone then it is transformed unnoticed into the other...'" [Gollobin (1986), p.113; quoting Engels (1891), p.414. Bold emphases added.]


And as Mao put things:

Quote:
"The fact is that no contradictory aspect can exist in isolation. Without its opposite aspect, each loses the condition for its existence. Just think, can any one contradictory aspect of a thing or of a concept in the human mind exist independently? Without life, there would be no death; without death, there would be no life. Without 'above', there would be no 'below').... Without landlords, there would be no tenant-peasants; without tenant-peasants, there would be no landlords. Without the bourgeoisie, there would be no proletariat; without the proletariat, there would be no bourgeoisie. Without imperialist oppression of nations, there would be no colonies or semi-colonies; without colonies or semicolonies, there would be no imperialist oppression of nations. It is so with all opposites; in given conditions, on the one hand they are opposed to each other, and on the other they are interconnected, interpenetrating, interpermeating and interdependent, and this character is described as identity. In given conditions, all contradictory aspects possess the character of non-identity and hence are described as being in contradiction. But they also possess the character of identity and hence are interconnected. This is what Lenin means when he says that dialectics studies 'how opposites can be ... identical'. How then can they be identical? Because each is the condition for the other's existence. This is the first meaning of identity.

"But is it enough to say merely that each of the contradictory aspects is the condition for the other's existence, that there is identity between them and that consequently they can coexist in a single entity? No, it is not. The matter does not end with their dependence on each other for their existence; what is more important is their transformation into each other. That is to say, in given conditions, each of the contradictory aspects within a thing transforms itself into its opposite, changes its position to that of its opposite. This is the second meaning of the identity of contradiction. [Mao (1961), pp.338-39. Bold emphases added.]


Engels, F. (1891), 'Letter To Conrad Schmidt' 01/11/1891, in Marx and Engels (1975a), pp.414-15.

Marx, K., and Engels, F., (1975a), Selected Correspondence (Progress Publishers, 3rd ed.).

Gollobin, I. (1986), Dialectical Materialism. Its Laws, Categories And Practice (Petras Press).

Mao Tse-Tung (1961), Selected Works Of Mao Tse-Tung, Volume One (Foreign Languages Press).

So, these opposites must co-exist.

Quote:
Just like the Sun has never turned into a Red Giant or gone Supernova. But scientists know it will because the conflict of forces within the Sun will eventually lead to the opposite of the Sun (Supernova) existing.


But, as the dialectical classics tell us, it's opposites that struggle, which then turn into one another.


Oblisk:

Quote:
While I cannot read your verbose essay in its entirety, the main thesis I have picked up seemed to be that DM is (or so far has been) unobtainable, and thus not possible since it has not happened in present times. Is this correct? If so, could you go into detail as to what your reasons are for believing that what is not found cannot exist?


I'm sorry but this does not sound like anything I have ever argued.

Quote:
Your thesis is "All T's change into T*'s through struggling with each other, but T* does not exist so no struggle can take place in the first place.":


It's not my thesis; all I am doing is drawing out the consequences of what the dialectical classics tell us.

Quote:
Therefore, do you mean that if a T exists, that is a sufficient condition for it to change into T*?

Do you also mean that T* is a necessary condition for T?


Once more, these aren't my conditions, but those I have derived from the classics, as I see them. As far as I can see, these appear to be necessary conditions, but since the classics aren't clear, I can't say either.

The point is quite plain, however; if the opposite with which an object or process struggles does not exist, then no struggle can take place.

And thanks for Aristotle's square of opposition -- which, given modern logic, is a little crude -- but I fail to see its relevance.

Quote:
I do not believe Marx was as draconian when he used the word "opposites" and thus, the opposite of a cat being a dead cat is somewhat absurd. Perhaps you are using the word "opposite" in a somewhat frivolous manner.


In fact, I am using 'opposite' as it is used in the dialectical classics -- see the quotations I have just posted in my reply to gRed above, and the dozens I have posted here:

chaz71-edit
Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein on 16 Nov 2010, 21:26, edited 1 time in total.
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
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Soviet cogitations: 10461
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Aug 2006, 17:42
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
R.I.P.
Post 17 Nov 2010, 14:50
@ Rosa:

Our Newbie guide states:

Quote:
If that link is to another discussion board, it will be removed. Please do not hyperlink to any other discussion board.


We cannot be responsible for content posted on other discussion boards.

also, please edit your previous posts rather than making successive double posts. It's kind of the way we do things here.

The mods have told you this before. Now an admin has told you as well.

Please and thank you.


171
Soviet cogitations: 231
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
Ideology: Trotskyism
Pioneer
Post 17 Nov 2010, 14:56
I'm sorry, I've clearly not understood the rules here.

But, since you can't be responsible for the content of any other web page, why then do you have the hyperlink facility?

What can we link to?
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 10461
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Aug 2006, 17:42
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
R.I.P.
Post 17 Nov 2010, 15:11
Rosa, don't put words in my mouth. I don't like that.

I clearly stated:

Quote:
do not hyperlink to any other discussion board



you stated:

Quote:
any other web page


There is a HUGE difference in this.

A web page is not necessarily a discussion board.

Quote:
What can we link to?


Try reading our forum rules. Any credible sources to back up your claims. Discussion boards and Blogs are typically not very good for backing up claims. Neither is Wiki. All three of these are web pages but only one, discussion boards, are against our rules.
Soviet cogitations: 231
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
Ideology: Trotskyism
Pioneer
Post 17 Nov 2010, 17:48
Ok, apologies once again!
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 18 Nov 2010, 17:38
Quote:
I can't quite see how something that does not exist can 'struggle'


Although it doesn't exist, the forces that can bring it into existence exist. Thus it can struggle.

Quote:
But, as the dialectical classics tell us, it's opposites that struggle, which then turn into one another.


No change can be brought about in anything without the input of force/energy. Thus it's kind of a given that there is no way any opposites can struggle on their own without the input of energy. The conflicting forces/energy cannot be the opposites because dialectics defines an object's state of being. A force is merely acting upon on an object, not defining it.
Soviet cogitations: 231
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2010, 22:13
Ideology: Trotskyism
Pioneer
Post 28 Nov 2010, 13:17
gRed:

Quote:
Although it doesn't exist, the forces that can bring it into existence exist. Thus it can struggle.


In which case, since Lenin (and others) tells us that his theory covers all change in the entire universe, these forces must struggle with whatever they bring into existence. And if that is so, they must change into them too!

Quote:
No change can be brought about in anything without the input of force/energy. Thus it's kind of a given that there is no way any opposites can struggle on their own without the input of energy. The conflicting forces/energy cannot be the opposites because dialectics defines an object's state of being. A force is merely acting upon on an object, not defining it.


But Lenin includes such things in his theory:

Quote:
[Among the elements of dialectics are the following:] internally contradictory tendencies…in [a thing]…as the sum and unity of opposites…. [This involves] not only the unity of opposites, but the transitions of every determination, quality, feature, side, property into every other [into its opposite?]….


Moreover, even if the above comment does not apply, if you are right, all change in the universe will not be the result of a struggle of opposites, since, as you note, these forces (etc.) aren't opposites, and they are, according to what you say, implicated in every change.

So, either way, this theory bites the dust.
"The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves."
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 21 Jun 2011, 05:24
After my first attempt to criticize Rosa in this thread, here I'm trying again. I think I will do better this time.

I'm writing this mainly to consolidate my own understanding of dialectics, but also because I think it might help people who are struggling with her bullshit. Fear no more, Loz, the revisionist menace is defeated! (lol.) But seriously, I believe that I'm offering a pretty solid refutation here. Of course I'm not claiming to have completely understood dialectics - but I think my understanding of it has become much, much better. But I would still very much like to hear some criticism in order to improve my understanding.

I will base my argument on this article: http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/Anti-D_For ... s%2001.htm

Let's begin.

Quote:
Material change is not an accidental feature of the operation of nature. The qualitative aspects of things we see around us change in specific ways, according to precise laws -- or so dialecticians tell us.


In the very beginning of the article, Rosa shows that she has not understood anything. The so-called "precise laws" of dialectics, which she carefully - scholastically, metaphysically - enumerates in order to subject them to detailed criticism, are not supposed to be "natural laws" akin to the law of gravity or similar things. The "laws of dialectics" are subjective, human interpretations of the all-encompassing dialectic. In our apprehension of objects, we necessarily introduce artificial, mental, limitations to the infinity that surrounds us, in order to construct stable object representations in our consciousness. (compare Melanie Klein's object relations theory) In "reality", there are no objects, only processes (as explained in more detail by praxicoide in the linked thread) - accordingly, when we try to apprehend the dialectic itself, we impose certain human limitations on it to make it comprehensible. This is the nature of the "laws of dialectics" - they are necessarily subjective. They are laws of the dialectic as it is reflected in our consciousness.

This becomes very obvious as soon as we have a look at the way Rosa tries to explain these laws.

The Law of Quanitity and Quality

Rosa writes:

Quote:
It is a common feature of our experience that systems and objects around us have different properties and qualities, and that these can change. Things can alter from solid to liquid, hot to cold, red to blue, and so on. Some changes are superficial; for example, if you have your hair cut, that does not really alter who you are in any significant way. Others are more profound; for instance, if a house burns down, that is a pretty fundamental change!

However, underlying such apparent diversity there are several unifying factors, which is where this law comes in. If matter or energy is fed into, or drained out of a system, at some point it will undergo a sudden, or "nodal", change. For instance, if you load straws onto the proverbial camel's back, at some point it will break. [...]
Such change is important for dialecticians since they think it helps them account for the sudden nature of revolutions and the qualitative change between different social/economic systems -- like that between Capitalism and Socialism -- among other things.

The law of the change of quantity into quality is thus diametrically opposed to any principle that advocates a gradualist/reformist route to communism -- or so we are led to believe.


So, Rosa basically thinks that when we talk about qualitative and quantitative changes, we are talking about a quasi-divine law that is responsible for how changes and developments work in the real world. As explained above, she's wrong. Quality and quanitity are labels we give to different parts of processes according to our interpretation, a new quality ensues when we perceive a new quality. That's all there is to it. Water getting hotter and hotter until it begins to boil is termed qualitative change because we perceive steam and water as two different objects - but since objects do not exist in the first place (see above), it is easy to understand how the distinction is merely a result of our apprehension wherein we construct the objects. If our universe was one of the many water molecules in a liter of water that starts boiling, we would not notice this. Accordingly, there would not be a new quality. As Lenin says in his philosophical notebooks:

Ol' Vlad wrote:
There is a difference between the subjective and the objective - but it, too, has its limits.


This is why we are not crude, mechanical materialists!

Let's go on.

The Unity and Interpenetration of Opposites

Quote:
This law is less easy to follow, but the basic idea is that according to DM-theorists, objects and processes in nature are always composed of paired "opposites". These pairs may be 'internal' to objects and processes: so we have positive and negative particles inside atoms, holding them together (as it were). Alternatively, they could be 'external': hence we have positive and negative in electricity, North and South poles in magnets, male and female organisms, and so on. [Naturally, several of these could be a mixture of internal and external factors.]

Now, these opposites are not accidentally linked, but in a real sense depend on one another. In that case, you could not have a magnetic North without a South, for example. They inter-define and depend on each other; hence the use of the word "interpenetrate". Dialecticians also confusingly call these opposites "contradictions" --, or, rather, it's the relation between them which is.

Nevertheless, "contradictions" are the universal motor of change in nature and society, according to dialecticians.


It's cute how she actually tries to describe this like it doesn't make sense. This is most probably because she doesn't understand shit.

In light of the above, it's obvious what this means: The contradictions within objects appear in our apprehension of them, because the objects only appear by apprehension in the first place. It is our thinking that introduces contradictions into obects - or, much rather, the objects that we construct in our consciousness (as a result of apprehension, basically "slicing" a concrete part out of the infinite moving matter around us) are necessarily contradictory -after all, their stability, their "object-ness", as it were, is a contradiction in itself. It's a process, after all.

More concretely. When I focus on the bottle of water on my table, I see it standing beside my overflowing ashtray. In other terms: Upon my table, there is the contradiction of bottle and ashtray because I see them both standing in fixed places on the table. The bottle becomes an object in my mind precisely because its position is defined as next to the ashtray, while the ashtray's position is defined as next to the bottle - interpenetration of "opposites". So, in terms of "external" contradictions, there is firstly "bottle" vs. "non-bottle" (as my consciousness "slices" the "bottle object" out of infinity!) - then, as my attention shifts onto "non-bottle", this resolves into further contradictions as the other objects on my table enter my mind - "non-bottle" is at the same time an ashtray, a lighter, a pack of cigarettes, a pack of tissues....

A different example: The deepest, most important, most fundamental "unity of opposites" in the world is "me" vs. "non-me". This is the world. It is this vague "non-me" that further dissolves into all the contradictions that make up our subjective experience of the world. This is consciousness. This is experience. This is the nature of subjectivity. What's awesome is that this contradiction can reach a synthesis, but that is an entirely different topic.

Next point:

The Negation of the Negation

Quote:
It is undeniable that objects and processes in nature and society do not last forever. Some things crumble to dust, some explode -- while still others develop, reproduce and grow. When objects, processes or social systems are destroyed, or cease to exist as such (etc.), dialecticians say they have been "negated"; but when they develop into something new (which outcome might be systematically connected to an earlier stage, preserving aspects of the old while introducing novelty), they then say that this "negated" form has also been "negated" into something new, something of a higher type perhaps -- the "negation of the negation".


This makes perfect sense - but only in the context of what has been explained above. After all, "a higher type" is only a subjective evaluation in the first place. It's obvious that it doesn't make any sense for her though. I'll write more about this law when I refute her criticism of it.

Her exposition of the elements of dialectics ends with the criticism that we have of formal logic. As an example for this criticism, I'll just quote myself:

Quote:
But then again this is a nice example for how dialectical logic is better than formal logic because it transcends causality. Formal logic says "A is the cause of B", so, like, you'd say that "patriarchy led to prostitution". A dialectical, and better, way to put it is that there's a dialectic of patriarchy and prostitution wherein both of these reinforce each other, regardless of what came (temporally) first. (I think it was Hegel who used this way of thinking to solve the question of whether eggs or chickens came first, it's fascinating.)

viewtopic.php?p=850828#p850828


She basically says that we have no idea what we're talking about:

Quote:
Unfortunately, this makes much of what dialecticians say about logic as relevant as if they were criticising ancient theories of the heavens, such as Ptolemy's, while imagining they are still addressing modern Astronomy!


Whatever...

Now it gets interesting, because now she goes on to "explain" why all of dialectics is bullshit. Since she is working on fundamentally flawed premises, as outlined above, lulz ensue.

She begins with this "impressive" refutation of the Law of Quality and Quantity:

Quote:
But there are many things in nature that change smoothly; think of melting metal, glass, plastic, butter, toffee and chocolate. Sure, some things change 'nodally' (i.e., in "leaps"), but many do not. So, the 'nodal' aspect of this law is defective.


rofl.

No, Rosa. Molten steel is still steel, molten glass is still glass, molten plastic is still plastic, molten butter is still butter (unless we apprehend it as frying fat! In that case, the change is qualitative!) and molten chocolate is still chocolate. The "nodes" are merely the moments at which we apprehend a new object!

Quote:
Unfortunately, this means that this law cannot be used to argue that the transformation from capitalism to socialism must be 'nodal' (i.e., sudden), for we have as yet no idea whether or not this transformation will be one of these exceptions.


No shit? People who do that are morons anyway.

Quote:
This means that the whole point of adopting this law in the first place has now vanished.


No. It's about understanding the world, not about making teleological predictions. People who do that... see above.

Rosa goes on with irrelevant blah blah for a while then, until she delivers her next "blow":

Quote:
Now, it turns out that this Law is so vaguely worded that dialecticians can use it in whatever way they please. If this is difficult to believe then ask the very next dialectician you meet precisely how long a "nodal point" is supposed to last. You will receive no answer. But, if no one knows, then anything from a Geological Age to an instantaneous quantum leap could be "nodal"!

And, it really isn't good enough for dialecticians to dismiss this as mere pedantry. Can you imagine a genuine scientist refusing to say how long a crucially important time period in her theory is supposed to be, and accusing you of "pedantry" for even thinking to ask?


This argument ... "blows" indeed!


I repeat: The "nodes" are merely the moments at which we apprehend a new object! It becomes painfully obvious here that Rosa has not understood anything at all of materialist dialectics: The entire concept of apprehension, which is so extremely crucial to dialectical materialism, is totally foreign to her! She has no clue what she's talking about! When I throw a glass bottle on the floor, it turns into broken glass, which is a qualitative change, and it is entirely irrelevant how long it took the pieces of glass to break apart!

She then tries to deconstruct the concept of quality:

Quote:
Next, enquire what a "quality" is. If your respondent knows his/her theory, you might be told it is a property the change of which alters a process/object into something new. [This is a definition they borrowed from Aristotle, via Hegel.] For example, in evolution numerous small variations in organisms accumulate until a new species arises.

Unfortunately, given this explanation of "quality" many of the examples DM-theorists themselves use to illustrate their theory actually fail.

For instance: the most hackneyed example they refer to is water turning to ice or steam, when cooled or heated. Given the above 'definition', this wouldn't be an example of qualitative change, since water (as ice, liquid or steam) is still water (i.e., H2O).


Not in our apprehension, though... otherwise you might just say that everything is just energy anyways. Which is the entire point of apprehending objects.
If we had a different term for water with bubbles, the moment in which the bubbles appear in the water would be a "node" of qualitative change, too.

Quote:
Faced with that, dialecticians may be tempted to relax the definition of a quality, so that in solid, liquid or gaseous form, water could be said to exhibit different qualities.

Unfortunately, this would rescue the above example but sink the theory. If we relax "quality" so that it applies to any qualitative difference, then we would have to include the relational properties of bodies. In that case we could easily have qualitative change with no extra matter or energy added to the system. For instance, consider three animals in a row: a mouse, a pony, and an elephant. In relation to the mouse, the pony is big, but in relation to the elephant it is small. Change in quality, but no matter or energy has been added or subtracted.


I wonder whether Rosa has ever seen a mouse change into a pony.


Next comes her "criticism" of the Unity and Interpenetration of Opposites:

Quote:
[Let's] concentrate on an object/process (say A) and its opposite, (not-A). If A is to struggle with not-A, then it cannot change into it, for not-A already exists. If it didn't, A could not struggle with it.

Of course, this is all quite apart from the fact that many things just do not change into their opposites (or even because of them). When was the last time you saw a male cat turn into a female cat? Your left hand into your right? An electron into a proton? Or even a material object turn into an immaterial one? [...]

Alternatively: if DM were true, change could not happen. Thus the second 'Law' is completely useless, too.


Now this is just... lolwut? Rosa is obviously operating on the premise that we claim that "things change into their opposites". Which is bullshit of course. To back this up, she quotes Mao:

M. Zedong wrote:
The fact is that the unity or identity of opposites in objective things is not dead or rigid, but is living, conditional, mobile, temporary and relative; in given conditions, every contradictory aspect transforms itself into its opposite....


In given conditions, Rosa. In given conditions, ice can turn into steam. As I explained above, the Unity and Interpenetration of Opposites has nothing at all to do with change in the first place, so this criticism is entirely worthless.

Next - her "criticism" of the negation of the negation:

Quote:
This 'Law' is just an extension to, and elaboration of the previous 'Law'; in that case, the NON suffers from all the latter's weaknesses.

However, the example Rob Sewell retailed earlier is rather unfortunate:

Engels gives a[n]...example from the insect world. "Butterflies, for example, spring from the egg through a negation of the egg, they pass through certain transformations until they reach sexual maturity, they pair and are in turn negated, dying as soon as the pairing process has been completed and the female has laid its numerous eggs." [Here]

In fact, butterflies and moths go through the following stages:

Adult→egg→pupa→chrysalis→adult

Which is the negation of which here? And which is the NON?


Blah. She's just repeating her stupid insistence that dialectical terms are supposed to correspond to things in the material world, even though negations happen in our consciousness, with apprehended objects. It depends on the level of abstraction; Engels has just moved a bit farther away from the concrete than Rosa has - in other words, she destroyed his example by concretion but that doesn't prove anything really.

Another example:

Primitive communism -> class society (negation of PC) -> communism (negation of the negation). Makes perfect sense. I mean I could destroy this by concretion if I subdivide class society into feudalism, capitalism etc., but why should I? I mean I'm presenting it like this to prove a certain point, and therefore I'm deliberately abstracting. Rosa obviously has a huge problem with understanding perspective.

Quote:
And what about organisms that reproduce by splitting, such as amoebae and bacteria? In any such division, which half is the negation and which the NON? What about vegetative (asexual) reproduction in general, where there are no opposites (i.e., no gametes)?


This isn't even worth responding to. Grow up, Rosa.

That was basically it. All in all, anti-dialectics is like a huge monument of refusal to understand dialectics. It's pretty sad, actually.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Nov 2009, 07:13
Ideology: Other Leftist
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Post 21 Jun 2011, 06:15
Wow Mabool. You're shit should be in a Marxist journal, I'm not even being sarcastic. Well done.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
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Post 21 Jun 2011, 06:31
Hmm. Thanks, but actually I'm not sure whether half of this is even correct. I'm actually just waiting for our dialectics pros, gRed and praxicoide, to come and correct me.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
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Post 21 Jun 2011, 10:44
It's just timecube for retard Marxists. Also the original "Rosa", whose real name I am not allowed to recite, is an IT geezer from Leeds in Yorkshire who basically nobody likes and nobody gets along with. Go figure.
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"Phil Spector is haunting Europe" -Dr. Karl H. Marx
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
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Post 21 Jun 2011, 10:44
Delete (double post!)
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"Phil Spector is haunting Europe" -Dr. Karl H. Marx
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
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Post 21 Jun 2011, 17:55
I think you do a pretty good job here Mabool. The concept of apprehension in terms of objectification tends to be very neglected by a lot of people.

Quote:
The contradictions within objects appear in our apprehension of them, because the objects only appear by apprehension in the first place. It is our thinking that introduces contradictions into objects - or, much rather, the objects that we construct in our consciousness (as a result of apprehension, basically "slicing" a concrete part out of the infinite moving matter around us) are necessarily contradictory -after all, their stability, their "object-ness", as it were, is a contradiction in itself. It's a process, after all.


Yes, I would say there is a degree of subjectivity in the determination of all contradictions within an object. I find it best to remember that an object’s opposite is not another specific object. Rather, it is merely something which can no longer be defined as the original object. Thus the opposite of a table is simply the material that remains as a result of a specific dialectical process.

For example: take a wooden table and leave it to rot for centuries. Eventually it will rot to such an extent that we can no longer describe it as a table leaving a pile of rotten timbers instead. Now take the original table and set it on fire. Eventually the table will no longer be definable as a table as it will have changed into a pile of ashes. Neither rotten wood nor ashes are the specific opposite of a wooden table, they are merely apprehended objects which are the results of two different dialectical processes.

Of course, these apprehensions are ultimately subjective. However, since many are so obvious (nearly everyone agrees that water vapour is substantially different to liquid water) they acquire a certain unanimous objectivity in their perceived nature.

Quote:
No, Rosa. Molten steel is still steel, molten glass is still glass, molten plastic is still plastic, molten butter is still butter (unless we apprehend it as frying fat! In that case, the change is qualitative!) and molten chocolate is still chocolate. The "nodes" are merely the moments at which we apprehend a new object!


I’ve recently been wondering at what point we can say an ice cube in a glass of water has truly melted. When is the nodal point of the solid form finally being negated by the heat energy surrounding it? The cube obviously gets smaller and smaller as it melts but we can still call it an ice cube (just a smaller one). Even when we can’t see it we know there is a brief moment when there is still a tiny piece of solid water floating in the liquid water (surely, the definition of an ice cube?). So does the cube get negated when we can no longer see it with our naked eyes or a few moments later when its microscopic solid form finally turns into liquid? I suppose it could potentially be either.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
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Post 21 Jun 2011, 18:54
Quote:
So does the cube get negated when we can no longer see it with our naked eyes or a few moments later when its microscopic solid form finally turns into liquid? I suppose it could potentially be either.


The first one, I suppose. The cube does not exist. There are H2O molecules in motion, the (relatively) stable part of which we apprehend as an ice cube. As soon as we can't apprehend it anymore, it's negated. But maybe I'm straying into Hegelian idealism here?
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 06 Jul 2011, 16:52
Um, under the impression of Hegel, I'm hereby taking back everything I've said about the Unity and Interpenetration of Opposites. I misunderstood that. So uh, don't rely on what I've said please.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 May 2010, 02:32
Pioneer
Post 07 Jul 2011, 00:56
So if I've read this correctly the next stage of a society is not necessarily Socialism but as long as Human civilisation exists in a similar form, classless society is inevitable as it is the synthesis of the contradictions of class society?
Last edited by Red Zeppelin on 07 Jul 2011, 02:12, edited 3 times in total.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 07 Jul 2011, 01:04
Yeah? Socialism is the conscious attempt to exploit the laws of social development in a fashion that will lead us to communism.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 May 2010, 02:32
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Post 07 Jul 2011, 02:12
Does this mean that if/when classless society is achieved there will be no such thing as the proletariat as there will be nothing to define what the proletariat is (i.e no opposite)?
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