Thread: Lenin Refutes Newton

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    Default Lenin Refutes Newton

    First, consider this question: Do objects move one another, themselves, or a bit of both?

    [DM = Dialectical Materialism.]

    Dialecticians have a revolutionary answer. But you might not like it.

    Lenin depicted things this way:

    "The identity of opposites…is the recognition…of the contradictory, mutually exclusive, opposite tendencies in all phenomena and processes of nature…. The condition for the knowledge of all processes of the world in their 'self-movement', in their spontaneous development, in their real life, is the knowledge of them as a unity of opposites. Development is the 'struggle' of opposites…. [This] alone furnishes the key to the self-movement of everything existing….

    "The unity…of opposites is conditional, temporary, transitory, relative. The struggle of mutually exclusive opposites is absolute, just as development and motion are absolute…." [Lenin Philosophical Notebooks (1961), pp.357-58. Bold emphasis added.]
    This is a rather odd passage since it seems to suggest that things can move themselves. If so, much of modern mechanics will need to be re-written. On this view, presumably, when someone throws a ball, the action of throwing does not in fact move the ball. On the contrary, the ball moves itself, and it knows exactly where it is going and how to get there, traversing its path independently of gravity. Intelligent projectiles like this, it seems, need no guidance systems -- they happily 'self-develop' from A to B like unerring homing pigeons. It is to be wondered, therefore, why the US military do not invest in such smart projectiles, and save themselves billions of dollars.

    Thank goodness those at the Pentagon do not "understand" dialectics!

    [If the above seems unfair to Lenin, then please read Essay Eight Part One at my site where I consider every possible defence of Lenin, and show that all fail.]

    This probably explains the origin of the following 'joke':

    Q: How many dialecticians does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: None at all, the light bulb changes itself.

    Well, as if to disappoint his fans, and provide no help at all for those who still think that dialectics has anything of worth to teach modern science, Lenin not only repeated this odd claim, he "demanded" that all DL-fans see things this way:

    "Dialectical logic demands that we go further…. [It] requires that an object should be taken in development, in 'self-movement' (as Hegel sometimes puts it)…." [Lenin Once More On The Trade Unions (1921), p.90. Bold emphasis added.]
    Here, not only are objects said to be capable of moving themselves, but Lenin even says that DL "requires" us to view motion in no other way.

    [DL = Dialectical Logic.]

    Well, perhaps Lenin was merely referring to the development of certain systems, and not the movement of objects from place to place? If so, the impertinent 'counter-example' from earlier (i.e., the one about light bulbs) would neither be valid nor sensible.

    But Lenin's words were pretty clear; he asserted that DL demands and/or requires that "objects" (not processes, nor yet systems, but objects) be taken in "development, in 'self-movement'", so he included both -- development and self-movement -- in this caveat. And, all this is quite apart from the fact that, as we have seen, Lenin counterposed this view of reality to that of mechanical materialists, who hold that objects move because of the action of external forces:

    "In the first conception of motion, self-movement, its driving force, its source, its motive, remains in the shade (or this source is made external -- God, subject, etc.). In the second conception the chief attention is directed precisely to knowledge of the source of 'self-movement'.

    "The first conception is lifeless, pale and dry. The second is living. The second alone furnishes the key to the 'self-movement' of everything existing; it alone furnishes the key to the 'leaps,' to the 'break in continuity,' to the 'transformation into the opposite,' to the destruction of the old and the emergence of the new." [Lenin (1961), p.358. Bold emphasis added.]
    There would be no contrast here if objects did not move themselves in the DM-scheme-of-things, both developmentally and as they move from place to place. As we will see (in Essay Eight Part One ), this is indeed how Lenin has since been interpreted by his epigones: holding to the view that things self-develop and self-locomote.

    Unfortunately, Lenin and his co-dialecticians failed to take any real note of the origin of these ancient ideas: Hermetic Philosophy is based on the belief that the universe is alive; indeed it is a cosmic egg -- later transmogrified by Hegel into a Cosmic Ego.

    Since eggs appear to develop all of their own, and because Hegel's immaterial and immanent cosmic Ego self-develops, it clearly seemed 'natural' for Lenin and his epigones to think this of nature, too.

    Nevertheless, not even eggs develop of their own; in fact, it is hard to think of a single thing in the entire universe (of which we have any knowledge) that develops of its own, or which moves itself. Not even Capitalism does. Switch off the Sun and watch American Imperialism fold a whole lot quicker than Enron.

    And yet, if Lenin were correct, no object in the universe could possibly interact with any other (since that would amount to external causation, and objects would not be self-motivated). Self-motivated beings must, it seems, be causally isolated from their surroundings, or they would not be self-motivated. This in turn must mean that, despite appearances to the contrary, nothing in reality interacts with anything else. That would, of course, make a mockery of the other DM-claim that everything in reality is interconnected.

    So, based on the bird-brained doctrines of ancient mystics, and no evidence at all, we find Lenin once again propounding cosmic ideas that do not make sense even in DM-terms -- and ones that not even chickens observe.
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    What a loony.
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin

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    Really, you mustn't describe Lenin that way!
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    Well, as you pointed out in another thread, Lenin believed in the actual existence of Santa Claus and, presumably, thought that one day he would be transformed into Santa Claus (erroneously viewing himself as the opposite of Santa, little realising that Stalin was the real anti-Santa - we can laugh now, but then we've got the hindsight of history).
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin

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    BTB:

    Well, as you pointed out in another thread, Lenin believed in the actual existence of Santa Claus and, presumably, thought that one day he would be transformed into Santa Claus (erroneously viewing himself as the opposite of Santa, little realising that Stalin was the real anti-Santa - we can laugh now, but then we've got the hindsight of history).
    Well, that just shows that my judgement that you mystics can't cope with a complex philosophical arguments was correct, since my 'Santa' post was a reductio of Lenin's epistemology. This is because it is plain that he did not believe in Santa, but his 'theory' of knowledge implies he must have. Hence, in order to restore Lenin's reputation, we need to reject his 'theory' of knowledge.

    But, you need to stay on topic or you will only have to warn yourself...
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    This is because it is plain that he did not believe in Santa, but his 'theory' of knowledge implies he must have.
    Yes, exactly! Lenin thought he didn't believe in Santa but he did really - and he didn't even know it!

    The witless idiot shouldn't even have been allowed within a hundred miles of the Bolshevik party, never mind the leadership of the first workers revolution. No wonder it went pear-shaped.
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin

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    But, you need to stay on topic or you will only have to warn yourself...
    I'm just agreeing with you. As you point out (endlessly it seems), Lenin was no philosopher. I mean he thought that objects moved by themselves, so I wouldn't even buy a used car from that guy never mind a philosophy book. It probably wouldn't have an engine in it! The car, not the book. By the way, we used to have a branch member who thought as Lenin did - I guess he was a Leninist. We'd say, "Hey, Brian, where's the subs tin?" And he'd reply, steady as you like, "It must have moved off by itself." Later, we discovered that he wasn't a Leninist at all. He was a kleptomaniac.
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

    "There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen." - Lenin

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    BTB, substituting sarcasm for argument:

    I'm just agreeing with you. As you point out (endlessly it seems), Lenin was no philosopher. I mean he thought that objects moved by themselves, so I wouldn't even buy a used car from that guy never mind a philosophy book. It probably wouldn't have an engine in it! The car, not the book. By the way, we used to have a branch member who thought as Lenin did - I guess he was a Leninist. We'd say, "Hey, Brian, where's the subs tin?" And he'd reply, steady as you like, "It must have moved off by itself." Later, we discovered that he wasn't a Leninist at all. He was a kleptomaniac....

    Yes, exactly! Lenin thought he didn't believe in Santa but he did really - and he didn't even know it!

    The witless idiot shouldn't even have been allowed within a hundred miles of the Bolshevik party, never mind the leadership of the first workers revolution. No wonder it went pear-shaped.
    Try that one at your next branch meeting, or even in the Coven.

    Of course, when I last ran with this theme, you tried to defend Lenin...

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...&postcount=148
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    First, consider this question: Do objects move one another, themselves, or a bit of both?

    [DM = Dialectical Materialism.]

    Dialecticians have a revolutionary answer. But you might not like it.

    Lenin depicted things this way:



    This is a rather odd passage since it seems to suggest that things can move themselves. If so, much of modern mechanics will need to be re-written. On this view, presumably, when someone throws a ball, the action of throwing does not in fact move the ball. On the contrary, the ball moves itself, and it knows exactly where it is going and how to get there, traversing its path independently of gravity. Intelligent projectiles like this, it seems, need no guidance systems -- they happily 'self-develop' from A to B like unerring homing pigeons. It is to be wondered, therefore, why the US military do not invest in such smart projectiles, and save themselves billions of dollars.

    Thank goodness those at the Pentagon do not "understand" dialectics!

    [If the above seems unfair to Lenin, then please read Essay Eight Part One at my site where I consider every possible defence of Lenin, and show that all fail.]



    Here, not only are objects said to be capable of moving themselves, but Lenin even says that DL "requires" us to view motion in no other way.

    [DL = Dialectical Logic.]

    Well, perhaps Lenin was merely referring to the development of certain systems, and not the movement of objects from place to place? If so, the impertinent 'counter-example' from earlier (i.e., the one about light bulbs) would neither be valid nor sensible.

    But Lenin's words were pretty clear; he asserted that DL demands and/or requires that "objects" (not processes, nor yet systems, but objects) be taken in "development, in 'self-movement'", so he included both -- development and self-movement -- in this caveat. And, all this is quite apart from the fact that, as we have seen, Lenin counterposed this view of reality to that of mechanical materialists, who hold that objects move because of the action of external forces:



    There would be no contrast here if objects did not move themselves in the DM-scheme-of-things, both developmentally and as they move from place to place. As we will see (in Essay Eight Part One ), this is indeed how Lenin has since been interpreted by his epigones: holding to the view that things self-develop and self-locomote.

    Unfortunately, Lenin and his co-dialecticians failed to take any real note of the origin of these ancient ideas: Hermetic Philosophy is based on the belief that the universe is alive; indeed it is a cosmic egg -- later transmogrified by Hegel into a Cosmic Ego.

    Since eggs appear to develop all of their own, and because Hegel's immaterial and immanent cosmic Ego self-develops, it clearly seemed 'natural' for Lenin and his epigones to think this of nature, too.

    Nevertheless, not even eggs develop of their own; in fact, it is hard to think of a single thing in the entire universe (of which we have any knowledge) that develops of its own, or which moves itself. Not even Capitalism does. Switch off the Sun and watch American Imperialism fold a whole lot quicker than Enron.

    And yet, if Lenin were correct, no object in the universe could possibly interact with any other (since that would amount to external causation, and objects would not be self-motivated). Self-motivated beings must, it seems, be causally isolated from their surroundings, or they would not be self-motivated. This in turn must mean that, despite appearances to the contrary, nothing in reality interacts with anything else. That would, of course, make a mockery of the other DM-claim that everything in reality is interconnected.

    So, based on the bird-brained doctrines of ancient mystics, and no evidence at all, we find Lenin once again propounding cosmic ideas that do not make sense even in DM-terms -- and ones that not even chickens observe.
    If you want to talk like that about it, all matter in the Universe does create it's own movement by exerting a gravitational pull on every other bit of matter. Take the other piece of matter on which that force is exerted as the inertial frame and there you have it, every object locomotes itself, by gravitationally moving itself towards other objects. So Lenin was right.

    If matter cannot create any self-generated impulse to move (like gravitation or electro-magnetism), and can only move by the force of something external, then reductio ad absurdum all the way back to Idealism, where no movement in the Universe could exist without a divine supernatural impulse. Again, Lenin is right.
    "We stand with great emotion before the millions who gave their lives for the world communist movement, the invincible revolutionaries of the heroic proletarian history, before the uprisings of working men and women and poor farmers – the mass creators of history.

    Their example vindicates human existence."

    - from 'Statement of the Central Committee of the KKE (On the 90th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia 1917)'
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    Cummanach:

    If you want to talk like that about it, all matter in the Universe does create it's own movement by exerting a gravitational pull on every other bit of matter. Take the other piece of matter on which that force is exerted as the inertial frame and there you have it, every object locomotes itself, by gravitationally moving itself towards other objects. So Lenin was right.
    And yet Lenin said everything was moved by a struggle of its 'internal opposites'.

    So, what are the 'internal opposites' that move, say, a billiard ball?

    Moreover, the idea here is not that everything just 'self-moves' but that they do so because of that 'struggle'.

    So, what 'struggle' is going on inside a billiard ball?

    If matter cannot create any self-generated impulse to move (like gravitation or electro-magnetism), and can only move by the force of something external, then reductio ad absurdum all the way back to Idealism, where no movement in the Universe could exist without a divine supernatural impulse. Again, Lenin is right.
    But, how do you know that there isn't a source of movement external to the universe that scientists haven't discovered yet?

    Anyway, other dialecticians found they had to appeal to 'external contradictions' to account for interaction (ruining your argument).

    This is because, plainly, material bodies impact on one another. But, if motion and change were entirely internally generated, then such interactions would have no bearing on the result of any such impact. In that case, every object in the universe would be a sealed unit, moving by itself, and not passing any of its motion on to other bodies with which it came into contact.

    But that would make a mockery of the idea that everything is interconnected (an idea Lenin also touted).

    On the other hand, if everything is interconnected, then the motion of every single body in the universe cannot be the result of its own 'internal contradictions'.

    So, if you cling on to one of these 'dialectical' theses, the other must be rejected.

    You have, therefore, a rather stark choice: either, everything is inter-linked, and Lenin was wrong, or nothing is inter-linked and he was wrong anyway.
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    And yet Lenin said everything was moved by a struggle of its 'internal opposites'.

    So, what are the 'internal opposites' that move, say, a billiard ball?

    Moreover, the idea here is not that everything just 'self-moves' but that they do so because of that 'struggle'.

    So, what 'struggle' is going on inside a billiard ball?
    Well the atoms are in a constant state of movement, and the electrons are constantly moving round the nucleus etc. The argument is not that an object cannot be moved by an external force like a snooker que, but that it also has an intrinsic ability to create it's own movement.

    What struggle of opposites is going on inside the billiard and inside it's atoms; well, the attractive force binding positive protons together in the nucleus is struggling against the positive charge of the protons which repels the protons from each other, you have the electrons and protons with opposite charges, then you have the quarks and their forces etc etc. Maybe a physicist can come on here and elaborate.


    But, how do you know that there isn't a source of movement external to the universe that scientists haven't discovered yet?
    What, you mean idealism?

    This is because, plainly, material bodies impact on one another. But, if motion and change were entirely internally generated, then such interactions would have no bearing on the result of any such impact. In that case, every object in the universe would be a sealed unit, moving by itself, and not passing any of its motion on to other bodies with which it came into contact.
    No one said one object couldn't use their own internally generated motion to impact on another object. The Sun's own gravity impacts on the Earth, but the Earth is just as capable of creating movement itself, as evidenced by the orbit of the Moon. So no, there is no contradiction.


    On the other hand, if everything is interconnected, then the motion of every single body in the universe cannot be the result of its own 'internal contradictions'.

    So, if you cling on to one of these 'dialectical' theses, the other must be rejected.

    You have, therefore, a rather stark choice: either, everything is inter-linked, and Lenin was wrong, or nothing is inter-linked and he was wrong anyway.
    No you don't, the thesis is; 'things generate their own movement' not 'things alone generate their own movement and no other things can affect them'.
    "We stand with great emotion before the millions who gave their lives for the world communist movement, the invincible revolutionaries of the heroic proletarian history, before the uprisings of working men and women and poor farmers – the mass creators of history.

    Their example vindicates human existence."

    - from 'Statement of the Central Committee of the KKE (On the 90th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia 1917)'
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    On this view, presumably, when someone throws a ball, the action of throwing does not in fact move the ball. On the contrary, the ball moves itself, and it knows exactly where it is going and how to get there, traversing its path independently of gravity. Intelligent projectiles like this, it seems, need no guidance systems -- they happily 'self-develop' from A to B like unerring homing pigeons. It is to be wondered, therefore, why the US military do not invest in such smart projectiles, and save themselves billions of dollars.
    Self-movement certainly does not necessitate intelligence. The example of the universe as a whole - coming-into-being without the presence of a Creator - is the obvious one

    Well, perhaps Lenin was merely referring to the development of certain systems, and not the movement of objects from place to place? If so, the impertinent 'counter-example' from earlier (i.e., the one about light bulbs) would neither be valid nor sensible.

    But Lenin's words were pretty clear; he asserted that DL demands and/or requires that "objects" (not processes, nor yet systems, but objects) be taken in "development, in 'self-movement'", so he included both -- development and self-movement -- in this caveat.
    Nothing in Lenin's words suggests a technical meaning of "object", so what you say here doesn't follow at all. He may as well have said "stuff" or "thingamajig" for all the precision Lenin is using in this passage

    Nevertheless, not even eggs develop of their own; in fact, it is hard to think of a single thing in the entire universe (of which we have any knowledge) that develops of its own, or which moves itself. Not even Capitalism does. Switch off the Sun and watch American Imperialism fold a whole lot quicker than Enron.
    That obviously isn't the point. No Marxist has ever denied that "external factors" make their influence felt in the workings of capitalism - the Young Marx clearly had an awareness of nature and its importance for human beings, for instance. The actual point is merely to stress that the developmental logic of capitalism is intrinsic to the structures of capital itself

    And yet, if Lenin were correct, no object in the universe could possibly interact with any other (since that would amount to external causation, and objects would not be self-motivated). Self-motivated beings must, it seems, be causally isolated from their surroundings, or they would not be self-motivated. This in turn must mean that, despite appearances to the contrary, nothing in reality interacts with anything else. That would, of course, make a mockery of the other DM-claim that everything in reality is interconnected.
    I cannot for the life of me understand your reasoning here. How does it follow that "nothing in reality interacts with anything else" if Lenin's theory is true? We would need to know what "object" is supposed to mean, I guess
    for freedom and peace
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    Cummanach:

    Well the atoms are in a constant state of movement, and the electrons are constantly moving round the nucleus etc. The argument is not that an object cannot be moved by an external force like a snooker que, but that it also has an intrinsic ability to create it's own movement.
    But how do these make billiard balls move, and keep on moving?

    And what are the 'internal contradictions' of an electron, or of a quark?

    What struggle of opposites is going on inside the billiard and inside it's atoms; well, the attractive force binding positive protons together in the nucleus is struggling against the positive charge of the protons which repels the protons from each other, you have the electrons and protons with opposite charges, then you have the quarks and their forces etc etc. Maybe a physicist can come on here and elaborate.
    Once more, how do these make a billiard ball move?

    What, you mean idealism?
    No, I mean an external source of motion/energy, no less material than the stuff we see around us. [See below.]

    No one said one object couldn't use their own internally generated motion to impact on another object. The Sun's own gravity impacts on the Earth, but the Earth is just as capable of creating movement itself, as evidenced by the orbit of the Moon. So no, there is no contradiction.
    And that is precisely why later dialecticians had to invent 'external contradictions'.

    But once you allow for these, the argument that there is no source of motion/energy external to the universe self-destructs (i.e., your argument against Idealism is neutralised).

    Plainly, this allows 'god' in through the back door again.

    No you don't, the thesis is; 'things generate their own movement' not 'things alone generate their own movement and no other things can affect them'.
    But, in that case, change/movement cannot be the sole result of contradictions internal to such 'things'.

    And, if that is so, Lenin was wrong.
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    LH:

    Self-movement certainly does not necessitate intelligence. The example of the universe as a whole - coming-into-being without the presence of a Creator - is the obvious one
    Who said it did? I was being ironic/sarcastic.

    Nothing in Lenin's words suggests a technical meaning of "object", so what you say here doesn't follow at all. He may as well have said "stuff" or "thingamajig" for all the precision Lenin is using in this passage
    As we establisdhed in our debate about Mao (at the Political Crossfire Forum), you do not appear to have read the 'dialectical classics'.

    Lenin in fact said this:

    "The first conception is lifeless, pale and dry. The second is living. The second alone furnishes the key to the 'self-movement' of everything existing; it alone furnishes the key to the 'leaps,' to the 'break in continuity,' to the 'transformation into the opposite,' to the destruction of the old and the emergence of the new.

    "The unity (coincidence, identity, equal action) of opposites is conditional, temporary, transitory, relative. The struggle of mutually exclusive opposites is absolute, just as development and motion are absolute." [Lenin (1961), pp.357-58. Italic emphases in the original. Bold emphases added.]
    And:

    "Nowadays, the ideas of development…as formulated by Marx and Engels on the basis of Hegel…[encompass a process] that seemingly repeats the stages already passed, but repeats them otherwise, on a higher basis ('negation of negation'), a development, so to speak, in spirals, not in a straight line; -- a development by leaps, catastrophes, revolutions; -- 'breaks in continuity'; the transformation of quantity into quality; -- the inner impulses to development, imparted by the contradiction and conflict of the various forces and tendencies acting on a given body, or within a given phenomenon, or within a given society; -- the interdependence and the closest, indissoluble connection of all sides of every phenomenon…, a connection that provides a uniform, law-governed, universal process of motion -– such are some of the features of dialectics as a richer (than the ordinary) doctrine of development." [Lenin (1914), pp.12-13. Bold emphases added.]
    And:

    "Dialectical logic demands that we go further…. [It] requires that an object should be taken in development, in 'self-movement' (as Hegel sometimes puts it)…." [Lenin (1921), p.90. Bold emphases in the original. Italic emphasis added.]
    And by "object" he meant:

    "[D]ialectical logic requires that an object should be taken in development, in change, in 'self-movement' (as Hegel sometimes puts it). This is not immediately obvious in respect of such an object as a tumbler, but it, too, is in flux, and this holds especially true for its purpose, use and connection with the surrounding world." [Ibid., p.93. Bold added.]
    Lenin, V. (1914), 'Karl Marx', reprinted in Lenin (1970), pp.1-18.

    --------, (1921), 'Once Again On The Trade Unions, The Current Situation And The Mistakes Of Comrades Trotsky And Bukharin', reprinted in Lenin (1980), pp.70-106.

    --------, (1961), Philosophical Notebooks, Collected Works Volume 38 (Progress Publishers).

    --------, (1970), Karl Marx (Foreign Languages Press).

    --------, (1980), On The Question Of Dialectics (Progress Publishers).

    So he did mean 'object' in the sense I implied -- as did other dialecticians (if you want the quotes, I can give you them).

    That obviously isn't the point. - the Young Marx clearly had an awareness of nature and its importance for human beings, for instance. The actual point is merely to stress that the developmental logic of capitalism is intrinsic to the structures of capital itself
    Then development cannot be the result of 'internal contradictions'.

    As I said, you have a stark choice: reject the Leninist/Hegelian idea that change is the sole result of 'internal contradictions' or the idea that everything is interconnected. [But, see below.]

    By the way, if you are right when you say this:

    No Marxist has ever denied that "external factors" make their influence felt in the workings of capitalism
    and you generalise it, then that undermines this statement of yours:

    Self-movement certainly does not necessitate intelligence. The example of the universe as a whole - coming-into-being without the presence of a Creator - is the obvious one
    This is becasue, if you allow capitalism to be influenced by 'external fasctors' then it will be impossible for you to limit this only to capitalism, for the earth too is affected by such factors, as is the solar systen, as is the Galaxy, as is the ...

    In that case, so is the universe. [Or rather, you can only stop the above inference on an ad hoc basis.]

    And so you are forced to allow 'god' back in.

    I cannot for the life of me understand your reasoning here. How does it follow that "nothing in reality interacts with anything else" if Lenin's theory is true? We would need to know what "object" is supposed to mean, I guess
    Simple, if, according to Lenin, change is the sole result of 'internal contradictions', then no external object can change another.

    In that case, unless we allow 'influence' to mean 'does not change/alter another object', then, if all change is internally induced, no object can have an influence on another; no object can change or alter another object.

    On the other hand, if objects do influence one another (in the above sense) then change cannot be the sole result of 'internal contradictions'.

    On the other hand again, if you allow 'influence' to mean 'does not change/alter another object', then plainly objects do not have an effect on one another.

    Either way, objects are either hermetically sealed off from one another (as Leibniz argued), or they are interconnected (as mystics avow) -- either way, Lenin was wrong.

    I have summarised every option open to DM-fans to escape these conclusions in Essay Eight Part One; here is a summary of my summary:

    D1: Change is internal to a system. Objects and processes in each system mutually condition one another (as UOs).

    [UO = Unity of Opposites]

    D2: Change to objects and processes is internally-driven -- not externally-motivated.

    D3: Objects within systems change because of their internal relations/contradictions.

    D4: Objects in a particular system do not have external relations with one another. What appear to be external links are in fact misperceived or misidentified internal relations.

    D5: Systems themselves cannot affect each other except by their own internal inter-systemic relations of the above (D4) sort.

    D6: On the other hand, individual and separate systems cannot have such an effect on one another, otherwise change would not be wholly internal to a particular system.

    D7: Hence, single objects and/or processes cannot be systems, otherwise they could not influence each other (by D6).

    D8: On the other hand, once more, objects and processes must be sub-systems (and hence systems in their own right), since they are composed of an indefinite (possibly infinite) number of their own sub-units (molecules, atoms, sub-atomic particles, etc.). But even then, as systems themselves, objects and processes could not influence one another (again, by D6).

    D9: This means that at some point there must be simple units of 'matter' that are not themselves systems; otherwise, if everything were system-like (or if all that exists are sub-sub-sub-…systems, to infinity) nothing could have any effect on anything else (by D6) -- that is, if all change is internally-motivated.

    D10: But, if there were such simple units (i.e., if they had no 'parts', and were thus not systems themselves) they would be changeless. If that weren't the case, these simple units would be UOs themselves (and thus not simple, after all), subject to their own internally-driven development. Indeed,, if they are changeless they can have no effect on one another (or they would not be changeless).

    D11: Hence, reality is either composed of a (possibly) infinite hierarchy of systems that have no influence on each other, or it is made out of fundamental (non-system-like) particles that are changeless and have no effect on anything.
    And:

    D12: Change is a result of "internal contradictions".

    D13: Objects within T change only because of this internal dynamic.

    D14: Reality is a mediated T; change is a consequence of a 'struggle' between opposites.

    D15: No element of reality can be considered in isolation; all mutually condition one another.
    [T = 'The Totality', whatever that is...]

    And so:

    However, D12 is ambiguous, The word "change" could mean:

    (1) "Systematic change" (that is, it could mean "change internal to a particular system"); or it could mean:

    (2) "Change internal to an object" -- as it does in D13 -– leaving it unclear whether or not this sort of change is wider-ranging, involving inter-objective or trans-systematic change.

    Nevertheless, D13 seems clear enough, though:

    D13: Objects within T change only because of this internal dynamic.

    This states that change arises only as a result of a dynamic internal to objects.

    But if that were so, it would once again be difficult to see what influence objects could have on each other. If change is internal to an object, then the relations it supposedly enjoyed with other objects would be irrelevant in this respect -- ex hypothesi, they could have no impact on the changes the latter undergo. This seems to imply that objects must be self-caused/motivated beings (as Lenin alleged).

    Once more however, whatever changes an object undergoes -- since these are exclusively internally-generated -- they can't be a function of the relations which that object enjoys with other objects, otherwise the cause of change would not be internal to the said object, but external, after all -- and thus not the least bit 'rational' (since this would imply a "bad infinity").

    On the other hand, if change is internal to a system of mediated objects or processes, then it would not be the sole result of a dynamic internal to the objects in that system, but would be a function both of the intra-systematic relations between systems and bodies and of the 'internal contradictions' within those systems or bodies themselves.

    Furthermore, if change is system-specific (that is, if it is internal, and solely confined to systems), then the relations between those systems would become problematic, once more. Clearly, change cannot be exclusively system-specific if different systems have an actual effect on one another.

    The question is, which of these is the correct account? Is change (A) the result of a dynamic internal to systems, or (B) is it internal to objects, or (C) is it a consequence of the external effects bodies have on each other? [Option (C) in fact allows change to be internal to systems even while it remains external to the bodies forming that system.]

    Is therefore change body-specific, system-specific, or is it inter-systematic? Or, is it (D) a complex combination of all three of these?

    But, yet again: if (D) were the case, what would be the point of saying that change is motivated internally (in bodies, processes or systems) -- if it is also externally-driven?

    On the other hand, why say that everything is interconnected if change is exclusively internally-generated, and the alleged interconnections between systems or bodies have no part to play in this respect?

    Up until now, DM-theorists appear not to have noticed these serious difficulties implied by their 'theory' of change. Since DM is supposed to be the philosophy of change, clearly this is not a minor flaw, one that can easily be ignored.
    And thus, finally, these are the only options available to DM-fans:

    (A) There is only one system -- the Totality --, the contents of which are (potentially or actually) infinitely interconnected. All the objects internal to it are subject to the operation of external causes only. This is because the entire nature of the part is determined by its relation to the whole and to other parts, but not by a relation that any part has with itself, and hence not by processes internal to each object. Or:

    (B) There is only one system -- the Totality --, which is (potentially or actually) infinitely interconnected. But, change is exclusively internal to each object or process (because everything is a UO) in this Totality. In that case, nothing is interconnected with anything else. Or:

    (C) Change is internal to all systems, and nature forms an infinite 'ascending' and 'descending' hierarchy of systems and sub-systems ('all the way up'/'down', as it were). In such a set-up, ultimately, there is nothing that could be or could become the opposite of anything else. This is because, either:

    (1) The fundamental parts of reality are extensionless 'points' -- which, because they can be mapped onto or modelled by the real numbers, have no 'size' at all. This means that such objects can have no internal connection with anything else; they are therefore eternal and changeless. If they were subject to change then they would be systems themselves and hence would not be extensionless points. As extensionless points they can have no effect on each other or on anything else, or they would change. Hence, if systems are infinitely divisible change cannot be internally-motivated -- or rather, the only change possible would be that which arises from the rearrangement of these eternally changeless 'point masses'.

    Or,

    (2) The fundamental parts of reality are systems. But, they cannot have opposites that cause change. This is because those opposites would have to be external to each system, and that would mean that change would not be internally-driven. Moreover, these opposites cannot be internal to that system either. If they were, that system could not change into that opposite, since that opposite would already exist. Or:

    (D) Everything is a sub-system of some sort no matter how much it is sub-divided. In that case, there are no point masses, since all sub-systems are infinitely divisible. In this arrangement, while change is internal to the Totality it is not internal to its sub-systems, but external. This is because if change were exclusively internal to such sub-systems they could have no effect on one another. But, if no sub-system had any effect on any other, there would be no change in the Totality over and above, perhaps, the rearrangement of these sub-systems. Hence, if the Totality changes, its sub-systems cannot.

    In that case, given this option, change would be internal to the Totality but external to its sub-systems. Moreover, even if the latter are UOs, that fact would have no influence on whether they changed or not. If it did, change would be internal to each sub-system, contrary to the supposition. So, if (D) is to stand, change would not be the result of instability internal to such sub-systems because the latter are, on this supposition, externally-motivated.

    However, a moment's thought will show that this option cannot work in the way described -- if change is merely the re-arranging of subsystems, then any larger system containing these subsystems would itself change internally, contrary to the hypothesis. Or:

    (E) Change is not only internal to the Totality, but it is also internal and external to its sub-systems (as they 'mediate' one another, or 'dialectically' interact). In that case, change to these sub-systems would not be the sole result of their own internal instabilities or 'inner contradictions', as dialecticians maintain.

    Unfortunately, this would have profound implications for HM and the revolutionary overthrow of Capitalism, for example. The contradictions inside the latter would thus be insufficient to lead to its demise. External causes over and above the class struggle and the falling rate of profit (etc.) would be needed --, including perhaps bad weather, meteorite impact, or alien intervention (etc.).

    Naturally, no one believes the class struggle is hermetically sealed against the rest of nature, but since these influences stretch off into infinity this would present HM with its own "bad infinity", which would end "who knows where?"

    Not only that, if change is also external to each system, then the Totality (as a system itself) must be susceptible to just such external influences.

    Any attempt to forestall that untoward implication would prompt the same sort of objection that stumps naive supporters of the Cosmological Argument [henceforth, COMA] for the existence of God: if everything has a cause, then what caused God?

    Hence, if every system is subject to external causation, the question becomes: What caused the Totality?

    Clearly, this challenge can only be neutralised by an appeal to the alleged 'definition' of the Totality (or by an appeal to an infinite set of causes, which stretch off to "who knows where?") -- in the way that theists respond to similar objections to the COMA. [This is not surprising, given the mystical origin of DM.]

    However, as Kant noted, the COMA has to be buttressed by a surreptitious appeal to the Ontological Argument [henceforth, ONAN]. So, from the supposed definition of the word "God" (as "that than which nothing greater can be conceived"), 'His' necessary and actual existence are 'derivable'. In that way, questions about 'His' origin are supposedly rendered meaningless.

    In like manner, but in this case based on the meaning of "Totality" (i.e., "all that there is" or, maybe, "that than which there is nothing else", or "that outwith which nothing else can be conceived"), it could be argued that there is nothing outside the Totality that could cause it to exist.

    So, the only way that dialecticians could defend this fall-back position (should they chose to adopt it) would be to use an 'atheistical' version of the ONAN, on the lines that the Totality is "that than which there is nothing else".

    Of course, such a defence would make plain the Linguistic Idealism in DM, for from the meaning of a few words again substantive truths about reality will have been derived.

    But, more importantly, if change is caused by the interplay of opposites, and objects and systems turn into their opposites, then, whether or not it is internally- or externally-induced, change would be impossible. As we saw in Essay Seven Part One, if the opposite of a body or system exists, it cannot change into it, for it already exists!

    On the other hand, if it doesn't already exist it can play no part in helping to change that object or system!

    In view of their unwise commitment to 'inverted' Hegelian 'logic', there seem to be no other options open to DM-enthusiasts.

    Moreover, if the last of these options is correct then (as we will also see here -- link in the original) the similarities between DM and Mystical Christianity would become even more apparent. For if there is a force external to the Universe that conditions it, then the Totality will have an external cause after all, and the DM-search for "how" and "why" will have run into the Ground Of All Being -- which ends "we know where...".

    The choice of title for such an ultimate cause does not affect any of the above points -- nor does it resolve the problems they expose -- since a Deity by any other name is still a Deity.
    Plenty more details, argument and analysis here:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/page%2008_01.htm
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    Cummanach:


    But how do these make billiard balls move, and keep on moving?

    And what are the 'internal contradictions' of an electron, or of a quark?
    What do you mean about the billiard ball- DM doesn't state that every billiard ball has to be constantly in movement with regard to some given inertial frame of reference. The billiard ball is, first of all, in movement around the sun, then around the center of the galaxy, it is also struggling to move towards the center of the earth, and is exerting a downward force on the snooker table. The top half of the billard ball is exerting a downward force on the bottom half, the gravitational force of the billard ball is impelling it to move towards every piece of matter in the Universe, taking whatever bit you want as the frame of reference. I see plenty of contradiction and constant struggle going on here I must say. An electron is on the one hand impelling itself towards any given piece of negative-charged matter by it's gravitational force on the one hand, and repelling itself from the same piece due to it's own charge (because negative repels negative). Then you have the wave/particle contradiction for the elementary particles, and that whole myriad of weird quantum crap going on. Honestly, what more could you ask for?



    Once more, how do these make a billiard ball move?



    No, I mean an external source of motion/energy, no less material than the stuff we see around us. [See below.]
    You can't have an external force, when we're talking about the Universe. The Universe includes everything material.



    And that is precisely why later dialecticians had to invent 'external contradictions'.

    But once you allow for these, the argument that there is no source of motion/energy external to the universe self-destructs (i.e., your argument against Idealism is neutralised).

    Plainly, this allows 'god' in through the back door again.



    But, in that case, change/movement cannot be the sole result of contradictions internal to such 'things'.

    And, if that is so, Lenin was wrong.
    I don't see how allowing for external forces implies Idealism. External forces can act on objects, but these forces are material and generated by other material objects. When did Lenin state that an object's movement is solely a result of it's own exclusive generation? If he did that, he obviously wasn't thinking straight.
    "We stand with great emotion before the millions who gave their lives for the world communist movement, the invincible revolutionaries of the heroic proletarian history, before the uprisings of working men and women and poor farmers – the mass creators of history.

    Their example vindicates human existence."

    - from 'Statement of the Central Committee of the KKE (On the 90th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia 1917)'
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    Cummanach:

    What do you mean about the billiard ball- DM doesn't state that every billiard ball has to be constantly in movement with regard to some inertial frame of reference. The billiard ball is, first of all, in movement around the sun, then around the center of the galaxy, it is also struggling to move towards the center of the earth, and is exerting a downward force on the snooker table. The top half of the billard ball is exerting a downward force on the bottom half, the gravitational force of the billard ball is impelling it to move towards every piece of matter in the Universe, taking whatever bit you want as the frame of reference. I see plenty of contradiciton and constant struggle going on here I must say. An electron is on the one hand impelling itself towards any given piece of negative-charged matter by it's gravitational force on the one hand, and repelling itself from the same piece due to it's own charge (because negative repels negative). Then you have the wave/particle contradiction for the elementary particles. Honestly, what more could you ask for?Honestly, what more could you ask for?
    You miss the point, perhaps deliberately.

    Here it is again:

    What are the 'internal contradictions' that make a billiard ball move?

    You have listed external forces acting on that ball.

    What we need to know is what are the 'internal contradictions' that make the ball move, not what are the external factors.

    Of course, if there are no 'internal contradictions' in moving billiard balls, then Lenin was wrong.

    If there, then external factors are not what make the ball move, and Newton was wrong.

    An electron is on the one hand impelling itself towards any given piece of negative-charged matter by it's gravitational force on the one hand, and repelling itself from the same piece due to it's own charge (because negative repels negative). Then you have the wave/particle contradiction for the elementary particles. Honestly, what more could you ask for?
    But, what are the 'interrnal', not external, 'contradictions' in an electron that make it move?

    It can't be the wave/particle duality, since that has no effect on the movement of electrons.

    Anyway, the wave/particle duality is not a 'contradiction'; here is what I have written on this:

    For example, DM-theorists generally argue that the wave-particle duality of light confirms the thesis that nature is fundamentally dialectical; in this case, light is supposed to be a UO of wave and particle. Precisely how they are a unity (i.e., how it could be true that matter at this level is fundamentally particulate and fundamentally non-particulate all at once) is of course left eminently obscure. Exactly how this phenomenon helps account for the material world is even less clear.

    [UO = Unity of Opposites.]

    Anyway, even though all dialecticians refer to this 'contradiction', not one has explained how and why it is a contradiction, nor less how and why it is a 'dialectical contradiction' (even if we knew what these were).

    Consider these two propositions:

    Q1: Light is a wave.

    Q2: Light is particulate.

    Now, Q1 would contradict Q2 if the following were the case:

    Q3: No wave can be particulate.

    Q4: Light must be one or the other, wave or particle.

    [Q4 is required or Q1 and Q2 would merely be inconsistent.]

    But is Q3 true? Surely not, for if physicists are correct, light is both! However, independently of that, there are plenty of examples of waves in nature which are particulate; e.g., sound waves, water waves and Mexican waves. So, Q3 is in fact false!

    Moreover, Q4 could be false, too. Light could turn out to be something else about which we do not yet have a concept. That, of course, would make Q1 and Q2 merely inconsistent. Do 'dialectical logicians' know what to do with 'dialectical inconsistencies'?

    But, even if in some way this were a contradiction it does nothing to explain change -- unless we are supposed to accept the idea that the fact that light is a particle changes it into a wave, and vice versa. Are we to conclude that these two states/processes are 'struggling' with each other? But what is the point of that? What role does this particular 'contradiction' play either in DM or in Physics? At best it seems to be merely ornamental.

    Now, if we put to one side the 'solution' to this puzzle offered by, say, Superstring Theory, there are in fact more than a handful of Physicists -- with, it seems, a more robust commitment to scientific realism than the average dialectician can muster -- who believe that this 'paradox' can be resolved within a realist picture of nature. [Evidence appears here, and here. In the original, these 'here's are links to sites that attempt to give a realist explanation of the phenomena, without assuming that light can be a wave and a particle all at once] Whether or not they are correct need not detain us since DM-theorists (if consistent) ought to advise these rather rash realists not to bother trying to solve this riddle. This is because dialectics has already provided us with an a priori solution: since nature is fundamentally contradictory there is in fact no solution.

    So far experiments have merely shown that under certain conditions light is particulate, under others it is wave-like, but not both.

    We have yet to see the experimental proof that they are both at once.

    Nevertheless, anyone not committed to such an obtuse view of reality would have good reason to question it, and this might, for all anyone knows, assist in the advancement of science.

    Not so with DM-fans, whose advice could permanently hold things up.

    Unfortunately, if physicists took this advice, science could not advance to a superior view of nature (if one exists) by eliminating this alleged contradiction. At best, this a priori DM-approach to knowledge would close available options down, forcing scientists to adopt a view of reality that might not be correct -- and, given what we already know about the history of Physics, probably isn't correct.

    Dialectics cannot therefore help but hold up the progress of science....
    More details, argument, links and references here (in Section B):

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/page%2007.htm

    You can't have an external force, when we're talking about the Universe. The Universe includes everything material.
    How do you know?

    I don't see how allowing for external forces implies Idealism. External forces can act on objects, but these forces are material and generated by other material objects. When did Lenin state that an object's movement is solely a result of it's generation? If he did that, he obviously wasn't thinking straight.
    I have laid out the argument in full in my reply to 'Lord Hargreaves', above.

    Here it is in brief:

    You say that the thesis that change and development as a result of 'internal contradictions' undercuts belief in an external cause of change, and thus of an external cause of the universe, i.,e 'God'.

    But, you are now quite prepared to accept that there are 'external contradictions'.

    In that case, your argument is in tatters, for if there can be external causes then the inference you made to the non-existence of an external cause of the universe, namely 'God', fails.

    If 'internal contradictions' are insufficient to account for change/development/movement, then how can you argue this:

    If you want to talk like that about it, all matter in the Universe does create it's own movement by exerting a gravitational pull on every other bit of matter. Take the other piece of matter on which that force is exerted as the inertial frame and there you have it, every object locomotes itself, by gravitationally moving itself towards other objects
    If everything in the universe requires external 'contradictions', then why not the universe itself?

    This is like the response we make to the Cosmological Argument for the existence of 'God'.

    Theists argue that all things require a cause, and so that cause is God.

    We reply, OK, if all things require a casuse, what caused 'God'?

    Same with your argument: if everything in the universe requires external 'contradictions' if it is to move and develop (whether or not they are also moved by 'internal contradictions' too), then why not the universe itself?

    You can only exempt the universe from this if you are also prepared to let the theists get away with their get-out-clause.
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    So he did mean 'object' in the sense I implied -- as did other dialecticians (if you want the quotes, I can give you them).
    I've seen these quotes and others, if only because you have posted them before. They don't affect the actual charge I made - not that Lenin was using "object" in a different sense than you are, but that Lenin is being cavalier with his terminology such that we can't draw anything from it. Unless I'm missing something, and phrases like "everything existing" and "body" are actually exercises in precise language usage

    [...] if you allow capitalism to be influenced by 'external fasctors' then it will be impossible for you to limit this only to capitalism, for the earth too is affected by such factors, as is the solar systen, as is the Galaxy, as is the ...

    In that case, so is the universe. [Or rather, you can only stop the above inference on an ad hoc basis.]

    And so you are forced to allow 'god' back in.
    Yes but you know I don't like talking about "self-movement" in an over-generalised way - which is why I wanted to stress the movement of capital and get away from the metaphysics.

    I think it untenable to say "everything" is self-moving, for the basic Humean reason that we can't possibly say this because we can't possibly know everything and how it moves.

    All I would say is that once we define the "object" or "system" we are talking about - where the edges of the "totality" lie - we can meaningfully emphasise the importance of understanding change within that as being internal or self-movement. Then, with this, there would be no reason to exclude external influence on this system either

    Simple, if, according to Lenin, change is the sole result of 'internal contradictions', then no external object can change another.

    In that case, unless we allow 'influence' to mean 'does not change/alter another object', then, if all change is internally induced, no object can have an influence on another; no object can change or alter another object.

    On the other hand, if objects do influence one another (in the above sense) then change cannot be the sole result of 'internal contradictions'.

    On the other hand again, if you allow 'influence' to mean 'does not change/alter another object', then plainly objects do not have an effect on one another.

    Either way, objects are either hermetically sealed off from one another (as Leibniz argued), or they are interconnected (as mystics avow) -- either way, Lenin was wrong.
    True enough, but I think we easily cut Lenin some slack by simply observing how vague he is being, and remembering that he - as a budding revolutionary - never seemed to have any intrinsic interest in any of this.
    for freedom and peace
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    Cummanach:



    You miss the point, perhaps deliberately.

    Here it is again:

    What are the 'internal contradictions' that make a billiard ball move?

    You have listed external forces acting on that ball.

    What we need to know is what are the 'internal contradictions' that make the ball move, not what are the external factors.

    Of course, if there are no 'internal contradictions' in moving billiard balls, then Lenin was wrong.

    If there, then external factors are not what make the ball move, and Newton was wrong.



    But, what are the 'interrnal', not external, 'contradictions' in an electron that make it move?



    You say that the thesis that change and development as a result of 'internal contradictions' undercuts belief in an external cause of change, and thus of an external cause of the universe, i.,e 'God'.

    But, you are now quite prepared to accept that there are 'external contradictions'.

    In that case, your argument is in tatters, for if there can be external causes then the inference you made to the non-existence of an external cause of the universe, namely 'God', fails.

    If 'internal contradictions' are insufficient to account for change/development/movement, then how can you argue this:



    If everything in the universe requires external 'contradictions', then why not the universe itself?

    This is like the response we make to the Cosmological Argument for the existence of 'God'.

    Theists argue that all things require a cause, and so that cause is God.

    We reply, OK, if all things require a casuse, what caused 'God'?

    Same with your argument: if everything in the universe requires external 'contradictions' if it is to move and develop (whether or not they are also moved by 'internal contradictions' too), then why not the universe itself?

    You can only exempt the universe from this if you are also prepared to let the theists get away with their get-out-clause.
    Rosa,

    Look, you're using the billiard ball as an analogy for an indivisible particle of matter, for the elementary particle, the unit of matter. So let's take the unit of matter.

    A particle of matter in and of itself, generates a force, the force of gravity. This force is intrinsic and inherent to the particle. It is a result of the object making a dent in space-time, simply by it's very existence. It is a self generating impulse of movement towards any other piece of matter. Not only that, but because of Newton's Third Law of Motion, which states that, 'for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction', our first particle, by it's own inherent property, causes the other particle to exert a force on it, in reaction, an extra impulse again, causing it to move with even greater momentum.

    Therefore, material objects can and do generate their own movement, which does not mean that an external force cannot also cause an object to move. In the above case, not only does the particle make it's own movement, it is moved by an external force, the gravitational pull of the other particle. What can you possibly argue with in this?

    Now, what about contradictions? Well, first of all, I cannot conceive of how you believe that an object being both a wave and a particle at the same time, is not a contradiction, but leaving that aside.

    Mainstream Dialectical Materialism deals with change and development. These are processes. These are interactions. A stand alone particle independent of any development or interaction is not a process or an interaction. In fact it is nothing, it does not change. Dialectical Materialism does not concern itself with it. (And not suprisingly, because there is nothing to say about something which does not affect anything or undergo change. This abstraction is irrelevant to everything. Movement of one thing is always tied up with something, else, not least because we need a frame of reference.)

    "The identity of opposites…is the recognition…of the contradictory, mutually exclusive, opposite tendencies in all phenomena and processes of nature…. The condition for the knowledge of all processes of the world in their 'self-movement', in their spontaneous development, in their real life, is the knowledge of them as a unity of opposites. Development is the 'struggle' of opposites…. [This] alone furnishes the key to the self-movement of everything existing….

    "The unity…of opposites is conditional, temporary, transitory, relative. The struggle of mutually exclusive opposites is absolute, just as development and motion are absolute…." [Lenin Philosophical Notebooks (1961), pp.357-58. Bold emphasis added.]
    The equation of motion for the two particles moving towards each other in our example, due both to their self-inherent impulse, and the impulse imposed upon each by the other, is described with two opposite (contradicting) forces, 'struggling' against each other. To understand this process of movement, this development of motion, two contradictory forces need to be put into the equation. The motion is a result of the two particles being interconnected, namely they both lie within a dent of space-time made by the other. In this system of motion, in this interaction, in this process, there is a contradiction and a 'struggle'. This is all that dialectical materialism demands.

    Therefore a dialectical approach is vindicated. Dialectics wins out.

    Now the wave/particle duality, In my opinion, this is a contradiction, a fundamental contradiction in Nature, and a resounding victory for the Dialectical outlook. To discuss that here would be offtopic, so maybe elsewhere... Although I'm not so well informed on the Physics of it but I'll say what I can.
    Last edited by Cumannach; 27th March 2009 at 23:45.
    "We stand with great emotion before the millions who gave their lives for the world communist movement, the invincible revolutionaries of the heroic proletarian history, before the uprisings of working men and women and poor farmers – the mass creators of history.

    Their example vindicates human existence."

    - from 'Statement of the Central Committee of the KKE (On the 90th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia 1917)'
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    LH:

    I've seen these quotes and others, if only because you have posted them before. They don't affect the actual charge I made - not that Lenin was using "object" in a different sense than you are, but that Lenin is being cavalier with his terminology such that we can't draw anything from it. Unless I'm missing something, and phrases like "everything existing" and "body" are actually exercises in precise language usage
    I haven't posted one of them before, namely this one:

    "Dialectical logic demands that we go further…. [It] requires that an object should be taken in development, in 'self-movement' (as Hegel sometimes puts it)…." [Lenin (1921), p.90.

    "[D]ialectical logic requires that an object should be taken in development, in change, in 'self-movement' (as Hegel sometimes puts it). This is not immediately obvious in respect of such an object as a tumbler, but it, too, is in flux, and this holds especially true for its purpose, use and connection with the surrounding world." [Ibid., p.93. Bold added.]
    Here, Lenin calls a glass tumbler, "an object". So, my interpretation of Lenin is correct.

    but that Lenin is being cavalier with his terminology such that we can't draw anything from it. Unless I'm missing something, and phrases like "everything existing" and "body" are actually exercises in precise language usage
    This is on a par with your other attempt to sanitise Mao, which, as I said before, is dishonest, and reminiscent of theologians who interpret the Book of Gensis 'metaphorically' so as to make creation compatible with science.

    But, anyway, how do you know Lenin was being 'cavalier'? This quote comes from a published text, so it represents his considered view.

    The onus is on you to show otherwise.

    The problem you face is that every time you come across a text that disagrees with your preconceived view (I say this since you appear to have formed your opinions of this 'theory' before you read the classic texts!) you have to dismiss it as 'non-literal', or 'non-serious'.

    But, how do you know that the texts that seem to agree with your view are literal and serious? All you seem to have is this rule: if it agrees with my preconceived ideas, it is literal/serious, otherwise not.

    And you apply this subjective criterion even to texts that have been published, and which the author in question checked before publication.

    Yes but you know I don't like talking about "self-movement" in an over-generalised way - which is why I wanted to stress the movement of capital and get away from the metaphysics.

    I think it untenable to say "everything" is self-moving, for the basic Humean reason that we can't possibly say this because we can't possibly know everything and how it moves.

    All I would say is that once we define the "object" or "system" we are talking about - where the edges of the "totality" lie - we can meaningfully emphasise the importance of understanding change within that as being internal or self-movement. Then, with this, there would be no reason to exclude external influence on this system either
    In that case, start your own thread; this one is about what Lenin actually said; it's not about what you want to focus on.

    And, as for your comment on 'external influences' I have covered that. You need to address my arguments.

    True enough, but I think we easily cut Lenin some slack by simply observing how vague he is being, and remembering that he - as a budding revolutionary - never seemed to have any intrinsic interest in any of this.
    But, the point is that the majority of Marxists here, and the majority of active revolutionaries agree with Lenin (I gave an argument supporting this in another thread in answer to you -- link below).

    Hence, I am addressing Lenin as he presented his own views and as he has been received by revolutionaries -- certainly those on this board.

    So, I for one will not 'cut him any slack' here.

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...4&postcount=65
  26. #20
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    Cummanach:

    Look, you're using the billiard ball as an analogy for an indivisible particle of matter, for the elementary particle, the unit of matter. So let's take the unit of matter.
    No, I am referring to literal billiard balls as they roll across a table. What 'internal contradictions', not 'external contradictions or forces, make it move?

    Lenin was quite clear, everything in the entire universe self-moves, and they do so because of a 'struggle of opposites'.

    So, what are these internal opposites, and where is this 'struggle' as a billiard ball moves?

    A particle of matter in and of itself, generates a force, the force of gravity. This force is intrinsic and inherent to the particle. It is a result of the object making a dent in space-time, simply by it's very existence. It is a self generating impulse of movement towards any other piece of matter. Not only that, but because of Newton's Third Law of Motion, which states that, 'for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction', our first particle, by it's own inherent property, causes the other particle to exert a force on it, in reaction, an extra impulse again, causing it to move with even greater momentum.

    Therefore, material objects can and do generate their own movement, which does not mean that an external force cannot also cause an object to move. In the above case, not only does the particle make it's own movement, it is moved by an external force, the gravitational pull of the other particle. What can you possibly argue with in this?
    Yes, I am a mathematician, I understand the mechanics; I specialised in applied mathematics and mechanics. What I cannot see are the 'internal contradictions' in every particle of matter, or in this billiard ball, if you like, that make it move.

    It is no use you keep appealing to external forces. I know they can make objects move (but see below).

    What you have yet to do is tell us what 'internal contradictions' make things like billiard balls move.

    Now, you say that forces are intrinsic to particles, but they are carried by other particles, so they are extrinsic to most particles.

    Anyway, in Relativity, there is no force of gravity. Objects move along geodesics, and not under the action of a gravitational force.

    Here is what Nobel Laureate Professor Wilczek (of MIT) had to say:

    "The paradox deepens when we consider force from the perspective of modern physics. In fact, the concept of force is conspicuously absent from our most advanced formulations of the basic laws. It doesn't appear in Schrödinger's equation, or in any reasonable formulation of quantum field theory, or in the foundations of general relativity. Astute observers commented on this trend to eliminate force even before the emergence of relativity and quantum mechanics.

    "In his 1895 Dynamics, the prominent physicist Peter G. Tait, who was a close friend and collaborator of Lord Kelvin and James Clerk Maxwell, wrote:

    "'In all methods and systems which involve the idea of force there is a leaven of artificiality...there is no necessity for the introduction of the word 'force' nor of the sense−suggested ideas on which it was originally based.'" [Wilczek (2006), pp.37-38.]
    Wilczek, F. (2006), Fantastic Realities. 49 Mind Journeys And A Trip To Stockholm (World Scientific).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Wilczek

    He has posted this on-line. You can find the links here:

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/rosa.l/...ppose%20DM.htm

    So, whichever way you try to slice it, your 'theory' falls flat.

    Now, what about contradictions? Well, first of all, I cannot conceive of how you believe that an object being both a wave and a particle at the same time, is not a contradiction, but leaving that aside.
    I gave you my reasons, you need to address them rather than speculate.

    Mainstream Dialectical Materialism deals with change and development. These are processes. These are interactions. A stand alone particle independent of any development or interaction is not a process or an interaction. In fact it is nothing, it does not change. Dialectical Materialism does not concern itself with it. (And not surprisingly, because there is nothing to say about something which does not affect anything or undergo change. This abstraction is irrelevant to everything. Movement of one thing is always tied up with something, else, not least because we need a frame of reference.)
    Except, Lenin said that every object self-moves because of its 'internal contradictions'; you keep dodging this.

    (And not surprisingly, because there is nothing to say about something which does not affect anything or undergo change. This abstraction is irrelevant to everything. Movement of one thing is always tied up with something, else, not least because we need a frame of reference.)
    This is not so; it is easy to say something about things that do not change (there are trillions of them in every grain of matter). namely. these particles that do not change.

    And what are these particles? Electrons, photons and protons. Left to themselves they last forever (or billions of times longer than the universe has existed).

    You might want to say they do change, but they do not do so as a result of their 'internal contradictions'

    Electrons have no 'internal contradictions', neither do photons.

    Moreover, it is also easy to say something about particles that do not interact -- namely: these particles do not interact.

    Are there any of these? We do not know since they do not interact. But, that does not mean they do not exist. You would rule them out on an a priori basis.

    So, we can say quite a lot about such things, contrary to what you asserted.

    The equation of motion for the two particles moving towards each other in our example, due both to their self-inherent impulse, and the impulse imposed upon each by the other, is described with two opposite (contradicting) forces, 'struggling' against each other. To understand this process of movement, this development of motion, two contradictory forces need to be put into the equation. The motion is a result of the two particles being interconnected, namely they both lie within a dent of space-time made by the other. In this system of motion, in this interaction, in this process, there is a contradiction and a 'struggle'. This is all that dialectical materialism demands.

    Therefore a dialectical approach is vindicated. Dialectics wins out.
    1) You help yourself to the idea that opposite forces 'contradict' one another. I see no reason to accept this re-definition. You will need to provide argument to justify this move.

    2) Anyway, such forces combine to give a resultant. So, if anything, they should be called the opposite of 'contradictions', that is 'dialectical tautologies'.

    3) What causes motion is this single resultant force. So, motion is not the result of an alleged 'contradiction', but of this resultant.

    4) As we have seen, these are external to each body. One force is external to the second body, and the other force is external to the first.

    To make this clear, call the first object M(1), and the second M(2). Call the force exerted by M(1), F(1), and the force exerted by M(2), F(2).

    Now, F(1) may or may not be internal to M(1) -- but I gave reasons to doubt this above -- but it is external to M(2). And the same is true in reverse with respect to F(2) and M(1).

    So, we do not yet have a contradiction internal to M(2) or M(2), as Lenin said we should.

    So, dialectics falls flat again.

    Now the wave/particle duality, In my opinion, this is a contradiction, a fundamental contradiction in Nature, and a resounding victory for the Dialectical outlook. To discuss that here would be offtopic, so maybe elsewhere... Although I'm not so well informed on the Physics of it but I'll say what I can.
    Well, you have simply copied this idea from other dialecticians. You have yet to answer my objections, and you certainly haven't shown it is a 'contradiction'. You have just asserted it is as an article of faith (it has to be an article of faith, since you offer no reason to say this is a 'contradiction').

    But, even if it is, what use is it? Does the wave part 'struggle' with the particle part, as Lenin said they should? Does this make such particles move? Hardly!

    So, even in dialectical terms, this alleged contradiction makes no sense.

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