Soviet-Empire.com U.S.S.R. and communism historical discussion.
[ Active ]
[ Login ]
Log-in to remove these advertisements.

A critique of Lenin's imperialism (long)

POST REPLY
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 03 Nov 2015, 00:28
Quote:
Amongst the 15 top military budgets in the world in 2014, only 5 are NATO members. Amongst the top 5, only 2. Now unless you consider that China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, South Korea, Australia, Japan and Israel are not imperialist powers, I doubt that you can say that "most of the imperialist powers are now allied through NATO."


Since when is a country's status as an imperialist power judged by its military budget?! Switzerland doesn't have a high military budget but you count that as imperialist. And what makes you think that countries like Russia and Japan aren't imperialist?

Quote:
I wouldn't risk rising up against the state either.


Exactly. This is why workers are content to take their capitalist bribes rather than actually become revolutionary.

Quote:
I don't see how the absence of revolution can prove that class consciousness hasn't increased. I don't see much victories for the working class either. The only big victory was WWII. In France it led to an enormous increase of support for the Communist Party, which became the biggest French party, both in terms of ballots and troops. In Italy, between 1945 and 1976, support for the Communist Party had continuously increased. The US were so afraid that they had planned a coup with Britain, just in case. Now I haven't seen much victorious class struggles. Have you? So why would you expect an increase in class consciousness?


Think how many class victories countries like Britain and France have achieved since 1917. They now have free healthcare, free education, safer working conditions, better pay, etc. Yet this has not resulted in the workers in these countries agitating to overthrow capitalism. How many more class victories are needed before this happens? How many communist ideas do they need to be told? After the worst capitalist crisis since 1929 the workers have not attempted to overthrow capitalism in any country around the world. This makes you ask: how bad do things need to get before they do start to do this?

Quote:
I don't think that this statement deserves an answer.


Oh, it really does.

Quote:
You forget half of it: materialism. Scientific socialism is a reality, or rather, it was. Now it has mostly disappeared, even inside the Communist Party. What is scientific socialism? It's a socialist movement trying to find, through science (social science for example), what can be done, what must be done, trying to criticize and explain. For example, we know that in the French Communist Party, the number of petty bourgeois has increased, especially at leading positions. This is a fact established by sociologists who studied the Party at the beginning of the century. From the point of view of scientific socialism, it's obvious that this tendency must increase the influence of petty bourgeois ideas inside the party. Thus, the Party should struggle against this tendency. In the past, the Party, which applied scientific socialism, considered that it was important to increase the number of party members and leaders coming from the working class. Since scientific socialism has been abandoned years ago, the Party is now more interested in the number of women than in the number of workers. Of course, now that the number of petty bourgeois has dramatically increased, they also struggle against scientific socialism itself, and you would better not dare tell them that their ideas are crap because they are bourgeois themselves. This is too risky, as you can imagine! Marxism had to be destroyed.


I don't know what this has to do with anything but the fact remains that too many Marxists today adhere to Engels and Lenin where they try and impose a Hegelian dialectic onto everything in the world. Marx never did this.

Quote:
You don't need it, but it can help you. The opposite is also true. Science can nourish philosophy itself. I believe that someone trying to study something and find answers will do a better job if he has a dialectical thought. From my point of view, it's the opposite of being narrow-minded.


Well surely science remains the more important element here as opposed to philosophy. If so, how come Marxists keep advocating we study Hegelian philosophy, not physics?

Quote:
Nature is dialectical, it doesn't "apply" anything. Just like nature is material, it's also dialectical.


Nature is only dialectical because (some) humans say it is.

Quote:
Water boils at 100 degrees under certain conditions. The same can be said about exchange value: it becomes capital under certain conditions.


At what quantity does exchange value transform into use value? If this is truly scientific then you should be able to give a number as you can with the water example. (And regarding the water example, you still haven't told me what the opposite of temperature is.)

Quote:
You are implying that something must change quality because its quantity increases. This is wrong. That only happens under certain conditions. Those conditions existed in Russia.


Ah, the old "under certain conditions" get-out clause. It doesn't fit your theory so you vaguely add "under certain conditions". Ok, under Russian conditions in 1917, what is the quantity of exchange value needed for it to magically cause the Russian Revolution?

Quote:
Engels and Lenin only said that Hegel influenced Marx regarding dialectics. That's what we could call an "insertion".


So how come they utilise Hegelian methodology and claim Marx used it?

Quote:
For example, Engels wrote his Anti-Dühring in 1877. Marx read it before it was published.


No he didn't. Engels said 'I read the whole manuscript to him before it was printed.' If you have read Anti-Duhring (and I have - making extensive notes as I went) you would realise that it is a huge book and that the prospect of Engels reading it to Marx would have taken a very long time - certainly several days. And he only claimed this in 1885, after Marx had died. And why read it to Marx? Marx was perfectly capable of reading it himself!

Most importantly, Anti Duhring contains some mathematical errors. Unlike Marx, Engels was not particularly knowledgeable in mathematics. As Heijenoort points out 'After the publication of the Anti-Dühring, H.W. Fabian, a socialist and a mathematician, wrote a very pertinent letter to Marx clarifying the point (Engels 1935, page 719). Engels' only answer was a sneering remark in his preface to next edition of the book (1935, page 10).' If Marx had genuinely read Anti-Duhring (or had it read to him as Engels claims), surely he would have used his superior mathematical knowledge to correct Engels' mistakes before publication? Or do you think that Marx was mathematically incompetent as well? All this combined with the fact that Engels wrote it because Marx was too busy to respond and its huge length implies that Marx did not read it or have it read to him prior to publication.

Quote:
How is a Marxist supposed to analyze things? Without dialectics?


With a Marxian dialectic, not a Hegelian one.

Below is the only summary of dialectics Marx ever published. I suggest you use this as your dialectic.

Marx wrote:
“The one thing which is of moment to Marx, is to find the law of the phenomena with whose investigation he is concerned; and not only is that law of moment to him, which governs these phenomena, in so far as they have a definite form and mutual connexion within a given historical period. Of still greater moment to him is the law of their variation, of their development, i.e., of their transition from one form into another, from one series of connexions into a different one. This law once discovered, he investigates in detail the effects in which it manifests itself in social life. Consequently, Marx only troubles himself about one thing: to show, by rigid scientific investigation, the necessity of successive determinate orders of social conditions, and to establish, as impartially as possible, the facts that serve him for fundamental starting-points. For this it is quite enough, if he proves, at the same time, both the necessity of the present order of things, and the necessity of another order into which the first must inevitably pass over; and this all the same, whether men believe or do not believe it, whether they are conscious or unconscious of it. Marx treats the social movement as a process of natural history, governed by laws not only independent of human will, consciousness and intelligence, but rather, on the contrary, determining that will, consciousness and intelligence. ... If in the history of civilisation the conscious element plays a part so subordinate, then it is self-evident that a critical inquiry whose subject-matter is civilisation, can, less than anything else, have for its basis any form of, or any result of, consciousness. That is to say, that not the idea, but the material phenomenon alone can serve as its starting-point. Such an inquiry will confine itself to the confrontation and the comparison of a fact, not with ideas, but with another fact. For this inquiry, the one thing of moment is, that both facts be investigated as accurately as possible, and that they actually form, each with respect to the other, different momenta of an evolution; but most important of all is the rigid analysis of the series of successions, of the sequences and concatenations in which the different stages of such an evolution present themselves. But it will be said, the general laws of economic life are one and the same, no matter whether they are applied to the present or the past. This Marx directly denies. According to him, such abstract laws do not exist. On the contrary, in his opinion every historical period has laws of its own. ... As soon as society has outlived a given period of development, and is passing over from one given stage to another, it begins to be subject also to other laws. In a word, economic life offers us a phenomenon analogous to the history of evolution in other branches of biology. The old economists misunderstood the nature of economic laws when they likened them to the laws of physics and chemistry. A more thorough analysis of phenomena shows that social organisms differ among themselves as fundamentally as plants or animals. Nay, one and the same phenomenon falls under quite different laws in consequence of the different structure of those organisms as a whole, of the variations of their individual organs, of the different conditions in which those organs function, &c. Marx, e.g., denies that the law of population is the same at all times and in all places. He asserts, on the contrary, that every stage of development has its own law of population. ... With the varying degree of development of productive power, social conditions and the laws governing them vary too. Whilst Marx sets himself the task of following and explaining from this point of view the economic system established by the sway of capital, he is only formulating, in a strictly scientific manner, the aim that every accurate investigation into economic life must have. The scientific value of such an inquiry lies in the disclosing of the special laws that regulate the origin, existence, development, death of a given social organism and its replacement by another and higher one. And it is this value that, in point of fact, Marx’s book has.”



Quote:
You don't need to understand the laws of dialectics, and you don't need Hegel, to make a dialectical analysis.


So you disagree with Lenin when he said 'It is impossible completely to understand Marx’s Capital, and es-pecially its first chapter, without having thoroughly studied and understood the whole of Hegel’s Logic.' ?

Good! Because this is nonsense!

Quote:
Also note that I tried my best to read the stack of shit on your website, but I just can't. There are no clear introductions and conclusions, and it's full of aphorisms and caricatures.


It's not my website and yes the layout and format are not helpful. Her summary essays might be easier for you.
http://www.anti-dialectics.co.uk/essay_ ... 0Index.htm
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 08 Nov 2015, 06:25
Quote:
Since when is a country's status as an imperialist power judged by its military budget?!

I never said that it was, but we were talking about NATO, which is a military alliance.

Quote:
And what makes you think that countries like Russia and Japan aren't imperialist?

I never said that either. Both are imperialist countries.

Quote:
Exactly. This is why workers are content to take their capitalist bribes rather than actually become revolutionary.

You can oppose the bourgeoisie without being completely revolutionary. A bribe is nothing more than a bribe. Anyone can understand when people are trying to bribe them. Becoming revolutionary is something else.

Quote:
I don't know what this has to do with anything but the fact remains that too many Marxists today adhere to Engels and Lenin where they try and impose a Hegelian dialectic onto everything in the world. Marx never did this.

What?

Quote:
Well surely science remains the more important element here as opposed to philosophy. If so, how come Marxists keep advocating we study Hegelian philosophy, not physics?

You can't seriously study Hegel if you don't have some basic understanding of physics. We should also study physics. But who said that science is more important than philosophy?

Quote:
Nature is only dialectical because (some) humans say it is.

The belief that nature proceeds from human thought is an idealistic belief. According to materialists (Marxists are materialists), nature is nature. You can feel it, understand it, but you cannot decide what it is.


Quote:
So how come they utilise Hegelian methodology and claim Marx used it?

How do they utilize it?

Quote:
At what quantity does exchange value transform into use value? If this is truly scientific then you should be able to give a number as you can with the water example.

I cannot tell: "Water boils at 100 degrees". This is false. Atmospheric conditions as well as superheating can prevent water from boiling at 100 degrees. So the true rule is: "Water boils at 100 degrees under certain conditions". But it's also true that under OTHER conditions, water will boil at more than 100 degrees. The same is true for the transformation of exchange value into capital. Since we are talking about human sciences, there are much, much more conditions, so much much more possibilities. Yet, if two situations had the same exact conditions, you would obtain the same exact result. As you can guess, it's impossible to have exactly the same conditions. But you can have similar conditions, and therefore find and try to apply some laws. For example, you can study history and analyze at which amount - by and large - exchange value transformed into capital in Britain.

Quote:
No he didn't. Engels said 'I read the whole manuscript to him before it was printed.' If you have read Anti-Duhring (and I have - making extensive notes as I went) you would realise that it is a huge book and that the prospect of Engels reading it to Marx would have taken a very long time - certainly several days. And he only claimed this in 1885, after Marx had died. And why read it to Marx? Marx was perfectly capable of reading it himself!

How do you know that he was capable of reading it? Engels is talking about a manuscript, and so it's very well possible that Marx couldn't have read it himself, or didn't want to. Have you tried to read Marx's manuscript? I would need hours to read a single page. I think that it's perfectly likely that Engels read the manuscript to Marx, and that they discussed it. I can even say that, considering that Marx wrote a whole chapter, it's out of question that Marx wasn't aware of the content.

Quote:
Most importantly, Anti Duhring contains some mathematical errors. Unlike Marx, Engels was not particularly knowledgeable in mathematics. As Heijenoort points out 'After the publication of the Anti-Dühring, H.W. Fabian, a socialist and a mathematician, wrote a very pertinent letter to Marx clarifying the point (Engels 1935, page 719). Engels' only answer was a sneering remark in his preface to next edition of the book (1935, page 10).' If Marx had genuinely read Anti-Duhring (or had it read to him as Engels claims), surely he would have used his superior mathematical knowledge to correct Engels' mistakes before publication? Or do you think that Marx was mathematically incompetent as well? All this combined with the fact that Engels wrote it because Marx was too busy to respond and its huge length implies that Marx did not read it or have it read to him prior to publication.

I could be wrong but I doubt that this guy, Heijenoort, even read Marx's mathematical manuscripts, especially not in 1948. I don't think that he is able to judge Engels anyway, not that he doesn't understand mathematics, but he has problems with philosophy and dialectics. For example he blames Engels because he presents Euclidean geometry as an universal truth, just like Paris is in France. But as far as I know, non-Euclidean geometry isn't opposed to Euclidean geometry. We have built millions of buildings based on Euclidean geometry, and not all of them crumbled. That's common sense.

Also there are plenty of contradictory statements in this paper. He says that Engels wasn't interested in mathematics, and just after that he admits that he read a Traité d'arithmétique! And moreover we are taught that Heijenoort is mistaking since Engels actually read Cours complets de mathématiques pures.

But still, Heijenoort believes that Engels mentioning having read Francoeur"is enough to gauge the level of his interest and knowledge in mathematics prior to 1869." Yet, Heijenoort dismisses the fact that in this very letter, Engels says: "YOUR FRANCOEUR", which basically implies that it was Marx himself who GAVE the book to Engels, and that Marx himself read it. So, if one can "gauge" Engels' knowledge in mathematics, one can also gauge Marx's own knowledge! But the difference between Marx and Engels is that Engels criticizes the book: "Though individual bits are quite elegant, the practical aspect of arithmetic is handled in a shockingly inept and superficial manner, being better taught at any German school." He also criticizes Marx and blames his "failure to correct the scandalous printing errors in the figures."

In conclusion, Heijenoort is being what he is: a pedantic and arrogant trotskyist popinjey. So, I'm sorry but there is nothing to support your claim that Marx would have disagreed with Engels regarding mathematics, or that he had a more advanced knowledge.

Quote:
Below is the only summary of dialectics Marx ever published. I suggest you use this as your dialectic.

As Marx says, this "summary" is a summary of the "dialectic method" in general. But he also says that this isn't HIS dialectic method. BOTH Hegel and Marx use the dialectic method. They have this in common. Marx has inherited the dialectic method. But there is a difference between the dialectic method and the application of the dialectic method. That's why Marx says: "my own application of it". As opposed to Hegel's application! Each philosopher has his own application, and Marx's application is opposed to Hegel's.

Quote:
So you disagree with Lenin when he said 'It is impossible completely to understand Marx’s Capital, and es-pecially its first chapter, without having thoroughly studied and understood the whole of Hegel’s Logic.' ?

Good! Because this is nonsense!

It's not because you don't understand that you should call this nonsense. Marx fully endorses Hegel's understanding of the dialectic method in general because he was "the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner." And thus, if you want to completely understand this part of Das Kapital, you must study Engels first. This is common sense. Apparently you seem to believe that Lenin is saying that you should AGREE with ALL of Hegel's Logic. THIS is nonsense.
Image

"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 08 Nov 2015, 16:52
Quote:
You can oppose the bourgeoisie without being completely revolutionary. A bribe is nothing more than a bribe. Anyone can understand when people are trying to bribe them. Becoming revolutionary is something else.


But workers today aren't revolutionary. In fact they never really have been in the west apart from a few instances in Germany after WWI. They are just content to fight for "bribes" from the capitalists. The bribes help keep the workers from being revolutionary.

Quote:
What?


It means what it says: that many Marxists try and impose a Hegelian dialectic upon everything in the universe as Engels did. Marx didn't do this.

Quote:
You can't seriously study Hegel if you don't have some basic understanding of physics. We should also study physics.


We don't need to study Hegel.

Quote:
But who said that science is more important than philosophy?


All those advocates of scientific socialism? Marx when he said that 'the philosophers have merely interpreted the world; the point is to change it.'? Marx when he released a book entitled 'The Poverty of Philosophy'? (And yes I know it was a take on Proudhon.)

Quote:
The belief that nature proceeds from human thought is an idealistic belief. According to materialists (Marxists are materialists), nature is nature. You can feel it, understand it, but you cannot decide what it is.


I don't disagree with this, but it is important that we avoid Engels' mistake and try and claim that nature is dialectical.

Quote:
How do they utilize it?


Have you not read Anti-Duhring?!

Quote:
I cannot tell: "Water boils at 100 degrees". This is false. Atmospheric conditions as well as superheating can prevent water from boiling at 100 degrees. So the true rule is: "Water boils at 100 degrees under certain conditions". But it's also true that under OTHER conditions, water will boil at more than 100 degrees. The same is true for the transformation of exchange value into capital. Since we are talking about human sciences, there are much, much more conditions, so much much more possibilities. Yet, if two situations had the same exact conditions, you would obtain the same exact result. As you can guess, it's impossible to have exactly the same conditions. But you can have similar conditions, and therefore find and try to apply some laws. For example, you can study history and analyze at which amount - by and large - exchange value transformed into capital in Britain.


You are evading my question. I simply asked for a number. At what point under certain conditions does the quantity of exchange value lead to it turning into use value?

It is a trick question because there is no answer. Exchange value does not turn into use value depending on its quantity. This is not how the metamorphosis of the two value forms works. You can accumulate exchange value for ever and it won't change into use value. A quantitative change in exchange value doesn't result in ANY qualitative change in exchange value. It is still exchange value even if you increase the quantity by $100 trillion.

Quote:
How do you know that he was capable of reading it?


So was he blind or was his mind failing him? If so we should probably discount anything Marx wrote at that time.

Quote:
Engels is talking about a manuscript, and so it's very well possible that Marx couldn't have read it himself, or didn't want to.


Pure speculation on your part.

Quote:
Have you tried to read Marx's manuscript? I would need hours to read a single page.


Have you read Anti-Duhring? It would take several days to read it aloud to anyone.

Quote:
I think that it's perfectly likely that Engels read the manuscript to Marx, and that they discussed it.


Purely speculation on your part.

Quote:
I can even say that, considering that Marx wrote a whole chapter, it's out of question that Marx wasn't aware of the content.


Purely speculation on your part. All we know is that Marx wrote a chapter and if you read it you will see that it is somewhat isolated from the rest of the book in its content. It is simply a critique of Duhring's views on previous economists.

Quote:
I could be wrong but I doubt that this guy, Heijenoort, even read Marx's mathematical manuscripts, especially not in 1948. I don't think that he is able to judge Engels anyway, not that he doesn't understand mathematics, but he has problems with philosophy and dialectics. For example he blames Engels because he presents Euclidean geometry as an universal truth, just like Paris is in France. But as far as I know, non-Euclidean geometry isn't opposed to Euclidean geometry. We have built millions of buildings based on Euclidean geometry, and not all of them crumbled. That's common sense.

Also there are plenty of contradictory statements in this paper. He says that Engels wasn't interested in mathematics, and just after that he admits that he read a Traité d'arithmétique! And moreover we are taught that Heijenoort is mistaking since Engels actually read Cours complets de mathématiques pures.

But still, Heijenoort believes that Engels mentioning having read Francoeur"is enough to gauge the level of his interest and knowledge in mathematics prior to 1869." Yet, Heijenoort dismisses the fact that in this very letter, Engels says: "YOUR FRANCOEUR", which basically implies that it was Marx himself who GAVE the book to Engels, and that Marx himself read it. So, if one can "gauge" Engels' knowledge in mathematics, one can also gauge Marx's own knowledge! But the difference between Marx and Engels is that Engels criticizes the book: "Though individual bits are quite elegant, the practical aspect of arithmetic is handled in a shockingly inept and superficial manner, being better taught at any German school." He also criticizes Marx and blames his "failure to correct the scandalous printing errors in the figures."


Marx's mathematical manuscripts were first published in 1933. And Heijenoort had a PhD in Mathematics from New York University. His mathematical knowledge was clearly far greater than that of Engels or Marx so he was probably in a very good place to judge who was the more competent. He concludes that 'Marx' efforts are those of an alert student of the calculus, who tries to think a delicate point through by himself, but cannot yet undertake original creative work in mathematics because he lacks training and information. Still the mathematical level of these efforts is well above that of Engels' writings and, unlike Engels, Marx did not publish anything on mathematics.'

And you are avoiding the point. This isn't about what books Engels read, it is about his mathematical knowledge as being inferior to Marx (Engels pretty much admitted this himself! See the quote below.) Engels allowed some mathematical errors to be published in Anti-Duhring (presumably not deliberately). If Marx had indeed read it (or had it read to him) prior to publication, why did he not correct these errors?

'Yesterday I [Engels] found the courage at last to study your [Marx's] mathematical manuscripts even without reference books, and I was pleased to find that I did not need them. I compliment you on your work.'

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... 08_10a.htm

Quote:
In conclusion, Heijenoort is being what he is: a pedantic and arrogant trotskyist popinjey.


What's his Trotskyism got to do with anything? His paper is merely analysing Engels' mathematical abilities and concludes by comparing them with those of Marx.

Quote:
So, I'm sorry but there is nothing to support your claim that Marx would have disagreed with Engels regarding mathematics, or that he had a more advanced knowledge.


So you don't think that a PhD in mathematics from NYU would be able to determine whether Marx was better at mathematics than Engels? Neither of these men were anywhere near PhD level at mathematics. It wouldn't be difficult for Heijenoort to have come to his conclusion with the evidence he had available.

And if you do think that Marx and Engels had just the same aptitude (or lack of) for mathematics then Marx must surely go down in your estimation for allowing such basic errors to creep into published work?

Quote:
As Marx says, this "summary" is a summary of the "dialectic method" in general. But he also says that this isn't HIS dialectic method. BOTH Hegel and Marx use the dialectic method. They have this in common. Marx has inherited the dialectic method. But there is a difference between the dialectic method and the application of the dialectic method. That's why Marx says: "my own application of it". As opposed to Hegel's application! Each philosopher has his own application, and Marx's application is opposed to Hegel's.


Yes so why look at Hegel's method as Engels and Lenin (and others) are so keen on doing?

Quote:
Marx fully endorses Hegel's understanding of the dialectic method in general because he was "the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner." And thus, if you want to completely understand this part of Das Kapital, you must study Engels first.


Lol! Is this a typo? Did you mean Hegel instead of Engels? If so, how come Marx never told his readers to study Hegel on order to study Das Kapital?

Quote:
Apparently you seem to believe that Lenin is saying that you should AGREE with ALL of Hegel's Logic. THIS is nonsense.


No, I meant what I said. Understanding Hegel's Logic is no easy task (especially for a worker with limited education!). Professional philosophers often struggle with The Science of Logic. The fact that Marx himself never said that anyone who read Das Kapital needed to have read Hegel's Logic first shows that it was not necessary and Lenin is simply fetishising Hegelian dialectics.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 20 Nov 2015, 06:49
Quote:
But workers today aren't revolutionary. In fact they never really have been in the west apart from a few instances in Germany after WWI. They are just content to fight for "bribes" from the capitalists. The bribes help keep the workers from being revolutionary.

As I said, you don't fight for bribes. Bribes are offered without a fight. Once again you don't understand the difference between a bribe and a social victory. You are trying to have people believe that all social victories are "bribes". They are not. You are also trying to have people believe that workers can obtain victories only when they are fully revolutionary. This is false.

Quote:
It means what it says: that many Marxists try and impose a Hegelian dialectic upon everything in the universe as Engels did. Marx didn't do this.

100% pure idealism.

Quote:
We don't need to study Hegel.

Philistinism.

Quote:
All those advocates of scientific socialism? Marx when he said that 'the philosophers have merely interpreted the world; the point is to change it.'? Marx when he released a book entitled 'The Poverty of Philosophy'? (And yes I know it was a take on Proudhon.)

You confuse everything. Marx never said that philosphy isn't important in any of those books.

Quote:
Have you not read Anti-Duhring?!

I haven't read. Explain to me.

Quote:
You are evading my question. I simply asked for a number. At what point under certain conditions does the quantity of exchange value lead to it turning into use value?

You are funny. You ask difficult questions and then you expect simple answers. You would need to read or write whole books to find the answer. But you can write those books. You go to Russia, you study the archives, find figures, data, and write your book. You will have you answer.


Quote:
So was he blind or was his mind failing him? If so we should probably discount anything Marx wrote at that time.

You obviously didn't understand my point. It's obvious that Marx couldn't see as well as he could when he was younger. But even without that, reading a draft manuscript would take a very long time for someone who hasn't written it himself. Therefore it's very well possible that Engels read it to Marx directy, especially if it's a draft. I have no reason to believe that Engels was lying when he said that he read it to Marx.

Example of a manuscript from Marx (Communist Manifesto):

Image


Moreover, Mar'x mind was indeed "failing" him, but not in the sense that his understanding was weakened. He simply couldn't work as much, as he was very ill.

And that's not a "pure specualtion", as you shamefully said. The "pure speculation" would be that Engels lied when he said that he read it to Marx.

Quote:
Have you read Anti-Duhring? It would take several days to read it aloud to anyone.

And so? What's the problem? If you come in France I will read it to you. It will take a few days but I have enough time for that as I don't work in the pizza factory anymore.

Quote:
Purely speculation on your part. All we know is that Marx wrote a chapter and if you read it you will see that it is somewhat isolated from the rest of the book in its content. It is simply a critique of Duhring's views on previous economists.

The only "pure speculation" is to imagine that Marx would have written a whole chapter in a book without asking the author what this book contained! That's a pure speculation, and I must add, a rather shameful speculation.

Quote:
Marx's mathematical manuscripts were first published in 1933.

No. Only some parts were published in 1933, and they were published in Russia, and in Russian. They were probably not widespread, and I doubt that Eijenoort had a copy. The first English translation was published in 1983, and the first French translation in 1984. That would be surprising that a Marxist with a PhD in mathematics wouldn't have written anything about Marx's mathematical manuscripts if he had read it. In your article, he writes:

"A sizable part of these manuscripts were published in Moscow in 1968."

Therefore it's more than obvious that he never read the 1933 publications, and certainly not in 1948. Apparently the article was first published in 1948, and modified after 1968, probably after the release of the English translation.

Although the guy has a PhD in mathematics (like many other people), he obviously doesn't have any material to judge or prefers lying. For example he says: "He would have been unable to even name the mathematicians of his time." This is pure calomny. For example in November 1882, Engels sent to Marx an essay written by Moore and comments it. And apparently he even wrote to Moore. So all accusations about Engels having never read anything regarding mathematics or not being interested in mathematics are false. Lies or ignorance? Maybe both.

Heijenoort's objective is to attack Engels and "prove", through mathematics (lol), that his Anti-duhring isn't a serious work. In my humble opinion, this only proves that Heijenoort is a trotskyist parrot who doesn't even deserve to be quoted. But anyone has his own references.

You quote Engels saying that he didn't "found the courage to at last study" Marx's mathematical manuscripts. What does that prove? Yes, one must need some courage for that. Even Heijenoort, but I'm still not sure that he did found this courage.


Quote:
Engels allowed some mathematical errors to be published in Anti-Duhring (presumably not deliberately). If Marx had indeed read it (or had it read to him) prior to publication, why did he not correct these errors?

I quoted above a letter from Engels to Marx, in which Engels blames Marx because Marx didn't correct the mathematical errors in a book that he sent to Engels. So, why didn't Marx correct the mathematical errors?

Actually, I would rather suggest abandoning the idea that Marx's knowledge in mathematics can prove in any way that Marx didn't read the Anti-duhring. That just won't work.



Quote:
Lol! Is this a typo? Did you mean Hegel instead of Engels? If so, how come Marx never told his readers to study Hegel on order to study Das Kapital?

Yes I meant Hegel. Although studying Engels isn't a bad idea either. I don't think that Marx told his readers to study anything. He probably supposes that he talks to cultured men who already studied Hegel and who will be able to understand the few references to Hegelian dialectics.


Quote:
No, I meant what I said. Understanding Hegel's Logic is no easy task (especially for a worker with limited education!). Professional philosophers often struggle with The Science of Logic. The fact that Marx himself never said that anyone who read Das Kapital needed to have read Hegel's Logic first shows that it was not necessary and Lenin is simply fetishising Hegelian dialectics.

Lol. Lenin is only stating the obvious. He never said that you can't understand anything to Das Kapital if you haven't studied Hegel. He said that it's "impossible completely to understand Marx’s Capital, and es-pecially its first chapter" if you haven't. And that's totally true. Even I cannot pretend to completely understand Marx's Capital.

Don't you know that Althusser wrote a book called: "Reading Capital".
Image

"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 22 Nov 2015, 13:29
Quote:
As I said, you don't fight for bribes. Bribes are offered without a fight. Once again you don't understand the difference between a bribe and a social victory. You are trying to have people believe that all social victories are "bribes". They are not. You are also trying to have people believe that workers can obtain victories only when they are fully revolutionary. This is false.


But the bribes they offer are things the workers demand in class conflict. Things like better pay, better working conditions, shorter working hours, etc. And history shows that even if workers do get these as a result of a fight, not a "bribe", they become content with the capitalist status quo rather than try and overthrow capitalism once and for all.

Quote:
100% pure idealism.


100% avoiding what I said.

Quote:
Philistinism.


100% avoiding what I said.

Quote:
You confuse everything. Marx never said that philosphy isn't important in any of those books.


He never said we need to study it either.

Quote:
I haven't read. Explain to me.


Anti-Duhring is a very long book and would take literally days to read aloud to anyone. Since I think we can both agree that it is quicker to read something in your head rather than have someone read it aloud to you, we have to ask why Engels would have read aloud the whole manuscript to Marx. Why didn't he just show Marx the manuscript and let him read it himself? It would have been quicker.

Quote:
You are funny. You ask difficult questions and then you expect simple answers. You would need to read or write whole books to find the answer. But you can write those books. You go to Russia, you study the archives, find figures, data, and write your book. You will have you answer.


It's not a difficult question, it is an impossible question. Change in quantity of exchange value does not determine its transformation into use value. No matter how much you increase exchange value, it will not transform into use value at any given quantity. This disproves Hegel's quantity into quality law that Engels adheres to.

Quote:
You obviously didn't understand my point. It's obvious that Marx couldn't see as well as he could when he was younger. But even without that, reading a draft manuscript would take a very long time for someone who hasn't written it himself. Therefore it's very well possible that Engels read it to Marx directy, especially if it's a draft. I have no reason to believe that Engels was lying when he said that he read it to Marx.


It takes longer to have someone read it aloud to you than to read it yourself.

Quote:
Example of a manuscript from Marx (Communist Manifesto):


Irrelevant. Engels wrote Anti-Duhring, not Marx.

Quote:
Moreover, Mar'x mind was indeed "failing" him, but not in the sense that his understanding was weakened. He simply couldn't work as much, as he was very ill.


If he was so ill that he couldn't even read a book by himself then I don't think he was in any state of mind to be condoning works written in his name. Plus if he was so ill then why did Engels spend literally days reading aloud a book to him? Surely he would have needed rest?

Quote:
The only "pure speculation" is to imagine that Marx would have written a whole chapter in a book without asking the author what this book contained! That's a pure speculation, and I must add, a rather shameful speculation.


And if you read Anti-Duhring you will see that it is quite separate from the rest of the book and is merely an attack on Duhring's views on various economists. He knew what the premise of the book was going to be - an attack on Duhring's views. But Engels (who admitted he didn't really want to write the book) ended up turning the book into a huge exposition on Hegelian dialectics and metaphysics which he tried to (unsuccessfully) tie to the natural sciences.

Quote:
No. Only some parts were published in 1933, and they were published in Russia, and in Russian.


I don't know if he could speak Russian but he was Trotsky's secretary so possibly. Also he could easily have got a translation from somewhere.

Quote:
They were probably not widespread, and I doubt that Eijenoort had a copy. The first English translation was published in 1983, and the first French translation in 1984. That would be surprising that a Marxist with a PhD in mathematics wouldn't have written anything about Marx's mathematical manuscripts if he had read it. In your article, he writes:

"A sizable part of these manuscripts were published in Moscow in 1968."

Therefore it's more than obvious that he never read the 1933 publications, and certainly not in 1948. Apparently the article was first published in 1948, and modified after 1968, probably after the release of the English translation.


Heijenoort writes:
Heijenoort wrote:
The second task is full of interest and would require a special study; we simply give here a few conclusions. Marx left about 900 pages of mathematical manuscripts. A sizable part of these manuscripts were published in Moscow in 1968. Many pages are no more than abstracts from textbooks read by Marx. Some of his notes, however, consist of commentaries and deal with the definition of the derivative. Marx devised a method which he opposes to those of Newton, Leibniz, d'Alembert and Lagrange (he ignores Cauchy). His aim was, it seems, to decide whether a function 'reaches' its limit or not, a question long debated until the middle of the nineteenth century. As far as one can judge from the published manuscripts, Marx' method of obtaining the derivative involves no more than a change of notation, concealing the difficulty rather than solving it. By giving independent value to this procedure Marx only reveals that he has not yet fully grasped the notion of a limit; moreover, the method is applicable to polynomials only, not to all functions, and its use would make a general theory of the derivative impossible.

Marx' efforts are those of an alert student of the calculus, who tries to think a delicate point through by himself, but cannot yet undertake original creative work in mathematics because he lacks training and information. Still the mathematical level of these efforts is well above that of Engels' writings and, unlike Engels, Marx did not publish anything on mathematics.


Are these really the words of someone who had never read Marx's mathematical manuscripts?

Quote:
For example in November 1882, Engels sent to Marx an essay written by Moore and comments it. And apparently he even wrote to Moore. So all accusations about Engels having never read anything regarding mathematics or not being interested in mathematics are false. Lies or ignorance? Maybe both.


Ignorance most likely, although here Heijenoort is mainly talking about the development of mathematics in the 50 years prior to his writing. It does nothing to dispel the fact that Marx was superior to Engels at mathematics.

Quote:
Heijenoort's objective is to attack Engels and "prove", through mathematics (lol), that his Anti-duhring isn't a serious work. In my humble opinion, this only proves that Heijenoort is a trotskyist parrot who doesn't even deserve to be quoted. But anyone has his own references.


Trotskyism has nothing to do with this. This is just you trying to discredit him with ad-hominem. And I'm not saying Anti-Duhring wasn't serious, just flawed.

Quote:
You quote Engels saying that he didn't "found the courage to at last study" Marx's mathematical manuscripts. What does that prove? Yes, one must need some courage for that. Even Heijenoort, but I'm still not sure that he did found this courage.


Engels said this because he himself was acknowledging that Marx had a superior mathematical knowledge than him.

Quote:
I quoted above a letter from Engels to Marx, in which Engels blames Marx because Marx didn't correct the mathematical errors in a book that he sent to Engels. So, why didn't Marx correct the mathematical errors?


This is why I constantly have to point out that you DON'T POST YOUR SOURCES. I've been digging around for this letter and can only seem to find it here: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... _11_21.htm It doesn't contain anything about blaming Marx for not correcting any errors but it also doesn't appear to be the full letter.

Anyway, there is a huge difference between correcting errors in a book written by a third party for Engels' private consumption, and correcting the errors in a publication that is being written in Marx's name. For the former Marx may well not have had time or just couldn't be bothered. With the latter his reputation would have been at stake (as was seen when mathematicians wrote to Marx after publication of Anti-Duhring in order to correct Engels' mistakes).

Quote:
I don't think that Marx told his readers to study anything. He probably supposes that he talks to cultured men who already studied Hegel and who will be able to understand the few references to Hegelian dialectics.


So not the working class then. And yes, you are right that there were 'a few references to Hegelian dialectics.' Certainly not enough to warrant a thorough study of the Science of Logic.

Quote:
He said that it's "impossible completely to understand Marx’s Capital, and es-pecially its first chapter" if you haven't.


So Marx published a book whereby you couldn't even understand the first chapter without having first read one of philosophy's most complex books. And he didn't even refer to this book or recommend anyone read it!

Quote:
And that's totally true.


How do you know?

Quote:
Even I cannot pretend to completely understand Marx's Capital.


Why am I not surprised.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 07 Mar 2016, 09:53
Accusing me of not giving sources is shameful. Your problem is that you don't read. The source is given by Heijenoort himself in the article that you quoted yourself. That was what I was discussing! Do you even follow the discussion? Do you even read what you quote?

Here is the excerpt from Heijenoort's article:

"The only scrap of information that we can glean on the subject is that, in 1864, Engels read Louis Benjamin Francœur's Traité d'arithmétique, published in Paris in 1845. This is an elementary arithmetic book, for the use of bank clerks and tradesmen. The very fact that Engels studies such a book and comments on it in a letter to Marx (on May 30, 1864)...". The rest is bullshit.

I wouldn't have given you a direct link in English because I read it in French, and you don't understand French. Do you?

But you understand English, so you will search in the Marx and Engels Complete Works, and open Volume 41, page 531, and find this May 30 letter, and read this:

I have been engrossed in the arithmetic in your Francoeur, a section you would seem pretty well to have ignored, if the failure to correct the scandalous printing errors in the figures is anything to go by. Though individual bits are quite elegant, the practical aspect of arithmetic is handled in a shockingly inept and superficial manner, being better taught at any German school. I also doubt whether it is practical to discuss things such as roots, powers, series, logarithms, etc., even at elementary level, merely in terms of numerals (without any recourse to algebra and, in fact , without presupposing an elementary knowledge of the same).
Although the use of numerical examples by way of illustration may be a good idea, I should say that to limit oneself to numerals is, in this case, less conducive to clarity than simple algebraic treatment with a+b, precisely because the general expression is simpler and clearer in algebraic form and is something which cannot be dispensed with here. Admittedly, this particular section is really beneath the dignity of the mathematician par excellence.


So this fragging moron Heijenoort is actually accusing Engels of something that Marx did, just because he doesn't like Engels. The worst thing is that Engels says the same thing as Heijenoort, that this Francoeur is not a serious mathematical work. And this clearly proves that Heijenoort hasn't read the article that he discusses. Actually he hasn't read Marx' Mathematical Manuscripts either. He probably read some abstracts, nothing more, but that never prevented him from writing shit as we can clearly see there.

And that's the kind of source that you use to prove your point against Engels?

Quote:
So Marx published a book whereby you couldn't even understand the first chapter without having first read one of philosophy's most complex books.

What are you talking about? Lenin says that you can't completely understand it, not that you can't understand anything.
Image

"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
Alternative Display:
Mobile view
More Forums: The History Forum. The UK Politics Forum.
© 2000- Soviet-Empire.com. Privacy.