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    When we observe a system, we recognize opposites according to the parameters and properties we define or give priority to. For example, if, on the real line, we use addition as the parameter, then the opposite of 5 is -5, while if we use multiplication, it is 0.2 ! Here, in both the cases, the criterion for being "opposite" to a given element is to result in the identity element of the group under the given operation, when the operation is performed on both the elements. In the cases mentioned above, we have 5 + (-5) = 0 , 5 * 0.2 = 1 .

    When we observe a particular process in a system, we try to observe various properties of the process, and depending on the ones we want to observe, and the one among them which is most likely to affect the others greatly by its outcome, we identify a possibility and its negation as the primary contradiction. For example, the well known contradictions defined by Maoism are dependent on our decision to observe class-dynamics. Had we decided to observe, say, dynamics of food habits instead, the contradictions would have been entirely different.


    As a system transforms, the contradictions might not(and generally do not) remain static. For example, when a colony is fighting its freedom struggle led by a united front, the major contradiction is between the revolutionary masses and imperialism-feudalism-comprador capitalism. But as soon as the revolution is accomplished, the revolutionary masses themselves divide into two antagonistic camps; the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The country's future; its return to a colonial state, or its development into a socialist state or a capitalist state now depends upon the outcome of this contradiction.


    Now observe, that feudalism-colonialism, national capitalism, and socialism cannot exist simultaneously in a given society for a long time(while the society changes they can co-exist for a very very short time). So when we fix a suitable time-bound from below when we observe a society, any two of these systems can be considered as the negation of the remaining one. Thus, a contradiction's nature might be such that it cannot be resolved until it itself transforms radically. In the case above, if we judge by the initial contradictions during the revolution, the prevalent system, if the revolution suceeds, transforms only to a part of what constituted its opposite.

    Now let us look at your examples.



    All this seems to suggest that objects and processes not only change because of their internal opposites, but that they change into them (and, according to Lenin, they change into all of them!), and that they also produce these opposites while they change --, or they do so as a result of that change. As we shall see, all this presents DM-theorists with some rather nasty dialectical headaches.
    While transforming, the system in question might change the nature of its opposite and the contradiction itself.


    To see this, let us suppose that object/process A is comprised of two "internal opposites" O* and O**, and thus changes as a result.

    [The same problems occur even if these are 'external opposites'.]

    But, O* cannot itself change into O** since O** already exists! If O** didn't already exist, according to this theory, O* could not change, for there would be no opposite to bring that about.

    And it is no good propelling O** into the future so that it now becomes what O* will change into, since O* will do no such thing unless O** is already there in the present to make that happen!

    But, if object/process A is already composed of a dialectical union of O* and not-O* (i.e., O**) and O* 'changes' into not-O*, how can it do this if not-O* already exists? All that seems to happen is that O* disappears. Thus, O* does not change into not-O*, it is just replaced by it.

    At the very least, this account of change leaves it entirely mysterious how not-O* itself came about. It seems to have popped into existence from nowhere.

    It cannot have come from O*, since O* can only change because of the operation of not-O*, which does not yet exist! And pushing the process into the past (via a 'reversed' version of the negation of the negation) will merely reduplicate the above problems. [More on this below.]

    [DM = Dialectical Materialism; FL = Formal Logic.]

    Now, it could be objected that all this seems to place objects and/or processes into fixed categories, which is one of the main criticisms dialecticians make of FL. Hence, the above argument is entirely misguided -- or so it could be claimed.

    In that case, let us suppose that object/process A is comprised of two changing "internal opposites" O* and O**, and thus develops as a result.

    The rest still follows. Hence, if object/process A is already composed of a changing dialectical union of O* and not-O* (i.e., O**) and O* 'develops' into not-O* as a result, where then is the change? All that seems to happen is that O* disappears.


    Thus, on this view, O* does not change into not-O* it is just replaced by it, since not-O* already exists!

    The only way to read this to avoid the above difficulty is to argue that despite this, O* still 'develops' into not-O*. But that cannot work, for not-O* must already exist for this to happen, and that would mean that there would now be two not-O*s where once there was only one!

    This would also imply, incidentally, that not-O* must remain unchanged (which would violate the DM-thesis that all things are always changing, and changing into one another!).

    Of course, it could be argued that not-O* 'develops' into O* while not-O* 'develops' into O*. But if that were so, while it was happening, these two would no longer be 'opposites' of one another --, not unless we widen the term "opposite" to mean "anything that an object/process turns into, and/or any intermediate object/process" while that is taking place". Naturally, that would make this 'Law' work by definitional fiat, rendering it eminently 'subjective' once more.

    But even this will not work. Let us once again suppose that object/process A is comprised of two changing "internal opposites" O* and O**, and thus develops as a result. On this scenario, O* would change into an intermediary, but not into not-O* (which is, as we saw above, O**), contradicting the DM-worthies quoted earlier.

    Alas, O* would have to change into an intermediary -- say O*1 --, and it would remain in that state, unchanged, for there is as yet no not-O*1 in existence to make it change any further.

    Anyway, even if O*1 were to change into not-O*1 itself (as we suppose it must, given the doctrine laid down by the DM-prophets), then all the earlier problems would reappear, for this could only take place if not-O*1 already exists to make it happen. But not-O*1 cannot already exist, for O*1 has not changed into it yet!
    This example is not sufficient for characterizing all contradictions, as it assumes them to be static.




    It could be objected that the above abstract argument misses the point; in the real world things manifestly change. For example, it might be the case that John is a boy, but in a few years time it will be the case that John is a man. Now, the fact that other individuals are already men, does not stop John changing into a man (his opposite), as the above argues. So, John can change into his opposite even though that opposite already exists.

    Or so it could be claimed.

    But, this theory tells us that things/processes change because of a struggle with their opposites, and with what they become. Are we now to assume that John has to struggle with all the individuals that are already men if he is to become a man himself (if we now treat all these other men as John's opposites)? And are we to suppose that John struggles with what he is to become, even before it exists? If not, then the above response is beside the point. And, in view of the fact that John must turn into his opposite, does that mean he has to turn into these other men, or even into one of them? But he must do so if the Dialectical Holy Books are to be believed.

    Anyway, according to the DM-worthies quoted above, John can only change because of a struggle between opposites taking place in the here-and-now. Are we now really supposed to believe that "John as a man" is struggling with "John as a boy" -- or that manhood is struggling with boyhood?

    Some might be tempted to reply that this is precisely what adolescence is, and yet, in that case, John-as-boy and John-as-a-man would have to be locked in struggle in the present. [Of course, adolescence cannot struggle with anything, since it is an abstraction.] But, John-as-a-man does not yet exist, and so 'he' cannot struggle with John-as-boy. On the other hand, if John-as-a-man does exist, so that 'he' can struggle with his youthful self, then John-as-boy cannot change into 'him', for John-as-a-man already exists!

    To be sure, John's 'opposite' is whatever he will become (if he is allowed to develop naturally), but, as noted above, that opposite cannot now exist otherwise John would not need to become him!

    So, in ten or fifteen years, John will not just become any man, he will become a particular man. Let us call the man that he becomes Man(j). In that case, this opposite must exist now or John will not change into him (if the DM-worthies above are to be believed). But, if that is so, John cannot become Man(j) since he already exists!

    [This is, of course, just a concrete example of the argument above.]
    Again, the contradiction is not necessarily with what they become. You are defining a man to be a boy's opposite, and the process that you are studying is John's growth into a man. In this case John's contradictions will not necessarily be with other men. His primary contradiction will be with the opposing class, as a member of his whole class, because that is the chief factor which will radically shape John's future.



    Consider another concrete example: wood being fashioned into a table. Once more, according to the dialectical classicists, all objects and processes change because of a 'struggle' of opposites, and they all also change into those opposites.

    So, the wood that is used to make a table, according to this 'theory', has to 'struggle' with what it turns into, that is, this wood has to 'struggle' with the table it turns into!

    In that case, the table must already exist, or it could not 'struggle' with the wood from which it is to be made.

    But, if the table already exists, then the wood cannot be changed into it.

    On the other hand, if the table does not already exist, then the wood cannot 'struggle' with its own opposite, that is, it cannot 'struggle' with the table it has yet to become.

    Either way, change could not happen, according to this 'theory'.

    And it is little use introducing human agency here, for if a carpenter is required to make a table, then he/she has to 'struggle' with the wood to make it into that table (since we are told that every object and process in nature is governed by this 'Law'). But, according to the Dialectical Holy Books, objects and processes 'struggle' with their dialectical 'opposites', and they turn into those opposites. If so, wood must turn into the carpenter, not the table!

    With a crazy theory like this at its core, is it any wonder Dialectical Marxism is a by-word for failure?
    We shall see whose theory is a failure.

    While the carpenter makes the table, he saws the wood, hammers nails into it. All this while the wood has been exerting an equal and opposite force on him. If you observe the process of manufacturing a table, then this indeed is the "struggle" mentioned.

    And you cannot consider the wood solely as a system if you want to study its modification (and conclude that the wood struggles with the table, thereby trying to prove by giving naive examples of how useless DM is ? What a pathetic attempt!), as the agent that introduces the modifying force, the carpenter that is, remains outside the system.

    Consider another hackneyed example: water turning into steam at 100 degrees C (under normal conditions). Are we really supposed to believe that the opposite that water becomes (i.e., steam) makes water turn into steam? It must do so if the above DM-worthies are to be believed. So, while you might think it is the heat/energy you are putting into the water that turns it into steam, what really happens according to these wise old dialecticians is that steam makes water turn into steam!

    In that case, save energy, and turn the gas off!

    Let us track a water molecule to see what happens to it. To identify it we shall call it W1, and the steam molecule it turns into S1. But, if the DM-worthies above are correct, S1 must already exist, otherwise W1 could not change into it. But if that is so, where does S1 disappear to? In fact, according to the above worthies, since opposites turn into one another, S1 must change into W1! So while you are boiling a kettle, according to this Superscientific theory, steam is turning back into the water you have just boiled, and at the same rate!

    [One wonders therefore how kettles manage to boil dry!]

    This must be so, otherwise, when W1 turns into S1 -- which already exists or W1 could not change -- there would have to be two S1s where there used to be one! Matter created from nowhere!

    Of course, the same argument applies to water freezing (and to any and all other examples of change).

    None of this, of course, is to deny that change occurs, only that DM cannot account for it.

    Whichever way we try to re-package this 'Law' we end up with insuperable problems.
    Again the same fallacy of assuming the contradictions,opposites to be static and defining the contradictions wrongly as a whole when compared to the system observed. And by the way, steam does turn into water during boiling process.

    However, Mao attempted to revise Hegel, Engels and Lenin by the invention of principle and secondary contradictions (arguably to allow him to indulge in class-collaboration with the Guomindang):



    http://www.marxists.org/reference/ar...1/mswv1_17.htm

    [Incidentally, this makes Mao (shock! horror!) a 'Revisionist'!]

    But how can these contradictions themselves change? Presumably, if they do, then each must be a UO.

    [UO = Unity of Opposites.]

    Let us assume then that the 'Primary' contradiction P1 changes into 'Secondary' contradiction S1.

    But what brings about this change?

    Given the DM-theory of change, P1 must itself be composed of at least two further opposites, say: P* and P**, one of which P1 must turn into (since, as we saw, it is part of this DM-theory that all things change into their opposites).

    Hence, P1 turns into, say, P**.

    [But don't try asking what happened to P*! As we will see, things aren't that simple.]

    But, once more: why did P1 change into P**?

    Well, this must be because there is a 'contradiction' between P* and P** (or, perhaps, even between P1 and P**).

    But, in that case, if all things turn into their opposites, P* must change into P**, too! [But, P** already exists, so how can anything turn into it?]

    There must therefore be two P**'s -- say P**a and P**b, for both of these to turn into, collectively or severally.

    So, P1 and P* turn into one or other of P**a or P**b, while P** remains the same (or, it becomes one of these two, too).

    But, that means that P** is either changeless, or it too changes into one of the options that have already been selected for P* or P1 to become.

    But, once more, P**a and P**b already exist, so P** cannot change into either of them!

    Putting that 'difficulty' to one side for now, this can only mean that P1, which used to be made up of at least P* and P**, turns into P**, while P* turns into P**, too --, or it turns into something else (but into what, and how?), or it disappears, or it does not change.

    So, either P1 and P* merge into one entity (as they both become P**) or they turn into one or other of P**a or P**b -- or, third P** possibility (say, P**c) pops into existence as they (both?) change into it!

    But if this is so, it is not easy to see how P1 could be part of the action. It must contain all these things (as 'internal opposites') if it is to turn into them, and yet that can only mean that it turns into one of its own parts! Once more, how can it do that if they too already exist?

    Putting this to one side, too: the changes wrought in P1 and P* could not have been the result of a 'struggle of opposites', since this new opposite (i.e., P**c) does not yet exist!

    On the other hand, if that opposite does exist (so that it can 'struggle' with one or both of the other two, and thereby cause the given change), neither P1 nor P* could change into it, since it already exists, too! So, these two cannot change, either.

    Either that, or there must be something else for one or both to change into -- but even then the same problems would simply apply to them.

    In that case, this 'theory' seems to imply that things either merge, disappear, or are created ex nihilo [out of nothing] -- or they do not change!

    Anyway, why should anything change from a P-type contradiction into an S-type, to begin with?

    On this theory, this would only happen if, say, P1 already contained an S-type contradiction for it to change into. [Recall that on this 'theory', 'internal opposites' cause change and things change into their opposites!] But where on earth did that S-type contradiction come from?

    Given the above reasoning, for this to happen, P** (from earlier) must be an S-type contradiction, otherwise P1 (or P*) could not change into it. But, as we saw, P** already exists, so nothing can change into it!

    [MIST = Maoist Dialectician.]

    Once more, these seem to be the only options available to MIST's: either P1 (or P*) merges with P**, or it (they) disappear into thin air -- or there are at least 3 versions of P** (P**a, P**b and P**c) for one or other to change into.

    But these three (P**a, P**b and P**c) cannot exist, since if they did, P* and P1 could not change into them. But if they don't exist, they cannot struggle with anything in order to bring about the required change!

    So, yet again, nothing actually changes (or nothing causes it!).

    In that case, not only can this scenario not work, we still do not know why anything should alter from the one into the other sort of contradiction, or into anything whatsoever.

    And these difficulties do not go away if concrete examples are substituted for the schematic letters used above. So, for example, why did the "primary contradiction" between China and Japan (referred to by Mao) change? On sound DM-lines, it could only do so as a result of its own 'internal contradictions'. In that case, this "primary contradiction", C/J, must possess its own 'internal opposites', C/J* and C/J**; the rest follows as before.

    Of course, it could be argued once more that not-O* from earlier 'develops' into O* while not-O* 'develops' into O*.

    [This objection might even incorporate that eminently obscure Hegelian term-of-art: "sublation". More on that presently.]

    But, even supposing it were the case that not-O* 'developed' into O* while not-O* 'developed' into O*, and such process were governed by the obscure term "sublation", this alternative will still not work (as we are about to see).

    Indeed, developing this option further before it is demolished, it could be argued that Engels had himself anticipated the above objections when he said:



    Engels's argument seems to be that "dialectical negation" is not the same as ordinary negation in that it is not simple destruction. Dialectical negation "sublates"; that is, it both destroys and preserves, so that something new or 'higher' emerges as a result. Nevertheless, we have already seen here, that Hegel's use of this word (i.e., "sublate") is highly suspect, and we will also see below that this 'Law' (i.e., the NON) is even more dubious still (partly because Hegel confused ordinary negation with 'cancelling out', or with destruction, as did Engels).

    Well, despite all this, is it the case that the above comments neutralise the argument presented in this part of this post? Is the argument here guilty of the following:



    To answer this, let us once again suppose that object/process A is comprised of two changing "internal opposites" O* and not-O*, and thus develops as a result. On this scenario, O* would change/develop into a "sublated" intermediary, but not into not-O* -- incidentally, contradicting the DM-worthies quoted earlier. According to them, O* should, of course, change into not-O*, not into some intermediary.

    Putting this minor quibble to one side, on this 'revised' view, let us suppose that O* does indeed change into that intermediary. To that end, let us call the latter, "O*(1)" (which can be interpreted as a combination of the old and the new; a 'negation' which also 'preserves'/'sublates').

    If so, then O*(1) must remain forever in that state, unchanged, for there is as yet no not-O*(1) in existence to make it develop any further.

    [Recall that on this 'theory', everything (and that must include O*(1)) changes because of a 'struggle' with its opposite.]

    So, there must be a not-O*(1) to make O*(1) change further. To be sure, we could try to exempt O*(1) from this essential requirement on an ad hoc basis (arguing, perhaps, that O*(1) changes spontaneously with nothing actually causing it), and yet if we do that, there would seem to be no reason to accept the version of events contained in the DM-classics, which tells us that every thing/process changes because of the operation of opposites (and O*(1) is certainly a thing/process). Furthermore, if we make an exemption here, then the whole point of the exercise would be lost, for if some things do and some things do not change according this dialectical 'Law', we would be left with no way of telling which changes were and which were not subject to it.

    This is, of course, quite apart from the fact that such a subjectively applied exemption certificate (issued to O*(1)) would mean that nothing at all could change, for everything in the universe is in the process of change, and is thus already a 'sublated' version of whatever it used to be.

    Ignoring this, too, even if O*(1) were to change into not-O*(1) (as we suppose it must, given the doctrine laid down by the DM-prophets), then all the earlier problems simply reappear, for this could only take place if not-O*(1) already existed to make it happen! But not-O*(1) cannot already exist, for O*(1) has not changed into it yet!

    More details and references can be found here:

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2007.htm

    Use the 'Quick Links' at the top of the page to go to Section (B) (1): 'Dialectics Cannot Explain Change'.
    Based on what I wrote earlier, it must be clear why I am not countering this text-barricade separately. I can only suggest a re-reading of Mao's works.
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    Red Cat:

    When we observe a system, we recognize opposites according to the parameters and properties we define or give priority to. For example, if, on the real line, we use addition as the parameter, then the opposite of 5 is -5, while if we use multiplication, it is 0.2 ! Here, in both the cases, the criterion for being "opposite" to a given element is to result in the identity element of the group under the given operation, when the operation is performed on both the elements. In the cases mentioned above, we have 5 + (-5) = 0 , 5 * 0.2 = 1 .
    But do these turn into one another, and do they 'struggle' with one another? According to the dialectical Bible, they should.

    When we observe a particular process in a system, we try to observe various properties of the process, and depending on the ones we want to observe, and the one among them which is most likely to affect the others greatly by its outcome, we identify a possibility and its negation as the primary contradiction. For example, the well known contradictions defined by Maoism are dependent on our decision to observe class-dynamics. Had we decided to observe, say, dynamics of food habits instead, the contradictions would have been entirely different.

    As a system transforms, the contradictions might not (and generally do not) remain static. For example, when a colony is fighting its freedom struggle led by a united front, the major contradiction is between the revolutionary masses and imperialism-feudalism-comprador capitalism. But as soon as the revolution is accomplished, the revolutionary masses themselves divide into two antagonistic camps; the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The country's future; its return to a colonial state, or its development into a socialist state or a capitalist state now depends upon the outcome of this contradiction.
    1) How is this a 'contradiction'? The only reason for saying so is the fact that Hegel used this word, and he did so as a result of his confusing a 'negative' form of the 'law of identity' with the 'law of non-contradiction'. But, the former concerns the alleged identity between an object/process and itself, whereas the second concerns the truth-functional link between a proposition and its negation; it is not about the relation between objects/processes.

    2) This just repeats a tired piece of Revisionism, invented to excuse class collaboration with the Guomindang.

    Now observe, that feudalism-colonialism, national capitalism, and socialism cannot exist simultaneously in a given society for a long time (while the society changes they can co-exist for a very very short time). So when we fix a suitable time-bound from below when we observe a society, any two of these systems can be considered as the negation of the remaining one. Thus, a contradiction's nature might be such that it cannot be resolved until it itself transforms radically. In the case above, if we judge by the initial contradictions during the revolution, the prevalent system, if the revolution succeeds, transforms only to a part of what constituted its opposite.
    But, according to Engels, Lenin and Mao, such 'opposites' turn into one another. In that case, feudalism-colonialism and/or national capitalism should turn into capitalism, and capitalism should turn into feudalism-colonialism and/or national capitalism.

    While transforming, the system in question might change the nature of its opposite and the contradiction itself.
    Well, I covered that in this comment:

    To answer this, let us once again suppose that object/process A is comprised of two changing "internal opposites" O* and not-O*, and thus develops as a result. On this scenario, O* would change/develop into a "sublated" intermediary, but not into not-O* -- incidentally, contradicting the DM-worthies quoted earlier. According to them, O* should, of course, change into not-O*, not into some intermediary.

    Putting this minor quibble to one side, on this 'revised' view, let us suppose that O* does indeed change into that intermediary. To that end, let us call the latter, "O*(1)" (which can be interpreted as a combination of the old and the new; a 'negation' which also 'preserves'/'sublates').

    If so, then O*(1) must remain forever in that state, unchanged, for there is as yet no not-O*(1) in existence to make it develop any further.

    [Recall that on this 'theory', everything (and that must include O*(1)) changes because of a 'struggle' with its opposite.]

    So, there must be a not-O*(1) to make O*(1) change further. To be sure, we could try to exempt O*(1) from this essential requirement on an ad hoc basis (arguing, perhaps, that O*(1) changes spontaneously with nothing actually causing it), and yet if we do that, there would seem to be no reason to accept the version of events contained in the DM-classics, which tells us that every thing/process changes because of the operation of opposites (and O*(1) is certainly a thing/process). Furthermore, if we make an exemption here, then the whole point of the exercise would be lost, for if some things do and some things do not change according this dialectical 'Law', we would be left with no way of telling which changes were and which were not subject to it.

    This is, of course, quite apart from the fact that such a subjectively applied exemption certificate (issued to O*(1)) would mean that nothing at all could change, for everything in the universe is in the process of change, and is thus already a 'sublated' version of whatever it used to be.

    Ignoring this, too, even if O*(1) were to change into not-O*(1) (as we suppose it must, given the doctrine laid down by the DM-prophets), then all the earlier problems simply reappear, for this could only take place if not-O*(1) already existed to make it happen! But not-O*(1) cannot already exist, for O*(1) has not changed into it yet!
    You:

    This example is not sufficient for characterizing all contradictions, as it assumes them to be static.
    Not so; I added in the proviso that these could be changing all the time. Hence, a changing O* and O** would still be subject to the above absurd consequences.

    Again, the contradiction is not necessarily with what they become. You are defining a man to be a boy's opposite, and the process that you are studying is John's growth into a man. In this case John's contradictions will not necessarily be with other men. His primary contradiction will be with the opposing class, as a member of his whole class, because that is the chief factor which will radically shape John's future.
    Unfortunately, your revised theory contradicts (somewhat fittingly, one feels) what the dialectical gospels tell us. Here is Mao, for example:

    "Why is it that '...the human mind should take these opposites not as dead, rigid, but as living, conditional, mobile, transforming themselves into one another'? Because that is just how things are in objective reality. The fact is that the unity or identity of opposites in objective things is not dead or rigid, but is living, conditional, mobile, temporary and relative; in given conditions, every contradictory aspect transforms itself into its opposite....

    "In speaking of the identity of opposites in given conditions, what we are referring to is real and concrete opposites and the real and concrete transformations of opposites into one another....

    "All processes have a beginning and an end, all processes transform themselves into their opposites. The constancy of all processes is relative, but the mutability manifested in the transformation of one process into another is absolute." [Mao (1961b), pp.340-42.]

    "The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics....

    "As opposed to the metaphysical world outlook, the world outlook of materialist dialectics holds that in order to understand the development of a thing we should study it internally and in its relations with other things; in other words, the development of things should be seen as their internal and necessary self-movement, while each thing in its movement is interrelated with and interacts on the things around it. The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development....

    "The universality or absoluteness of contradiction has a twofold meaning. One is that contradiction exists in the process of development of all things, and the other is that in the process of development of each thing a movement of opposites exists from beginning to end.... [Ibid., pp.311-18.]
    Bold added.

    We shall see whose theory is a failure.
    I don't have a philosophical theory, nor do I want one.


    While the carpenter makes the table, he saws the wood, hammers nails into it. All this while the wood has been exerting an equal and opposite force on him. If you observe the process of manufacturing a table, then this indeed is the "struggle" mentioned.
    I agree, but then this description in ordinary terms cannot be reconciled with the dialectical holy books. There, we are told that things turn into whatever it is they are struggling with. In that case, the carpenter must turn into the table, and the table into the carpenter!

    And you cannot consider the wood solely as a system if you want to study its modification (and conclude that the wood struggles with the table, thereby trying to prove by giving naive examples of how useless DM is ? What a pathetic attempt!), as the agent that introduces the modifying force, the carpenter that is, remains outside the system.
    Well, this shows how dialectics cannot even cope with a simple table, that's how pathetic a 'theory' it is.

    Don't pick a fight with me; I didn't dream it up. Pick a fight with Hegel, Engels, Plekhanov, Lenin and Mao. It's their screwy 'theory', and it can't cope with change.

    All I have done is highlight its major flaws; but I didn't create these flaws. You seem to think I did.

    Again the same fallacy of assuming the contradictions, opposites to be static and defining the contradictions wrongly as a whole when compared to the system observed. And by the way, steam does turn into water during boiling process.
    Not so, once more. I specifically said these were changing objects/processes:

    Now, it could be objected that all this seems to place objects and/or processes into fixed categories, which is one of the main criticisms dialecticians make of FL. Hence, the above argument is entirely misguided -- or so it could be claimed.

    In that case, let us suppose that object/process A is comprised of two changing "internal opposites" O* and O**, and thus develops as a result.

    The rest still follows. Hence, if object/process A is already composed of a changing dialectical union of O* and not-O* (i.e., O**) and O* 'develops' into not-O* as a result, where then is the change? All that seems to happen is that O* disappears.
    Bold added.

    And I made this point several times. This suggests that in your haste, you merely skim-read my post.

    Based on what I wrote earlier, it must be clear why I am not countering this text-barricade separately. I can only suggest a re-reading of Mao's works.
    Been reading and studying them for well over 25 years; still can't make head-or-tail of his version of dialectics.

    And your response suggests you can't, either!
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    But do these turn into one another, and do they 'struggle' with one another? According to the dialectical Bible, they should.
    Here the system is an abstraction. Since it is has been defined us, and is at a very simple level, the question of an operation resulting in possibilities of different answers does not arise. About "turning" into some other element, that is what mathematical operands undergo during the operation.


    1) How is this a 'contradiction'? The only reason for saying so is the fact that Hegel used this word, and he did so as a result of his confusing a 'negative' form of the 'law of identity' with the 'law of non-contradiction'. But, the former concerns the alleged identity between an object/process and itself, whereas the second concerns the truth-functional link between a proposition and its negation; it is not about the relation between objects/processes.
    We use the term "contradiction" because wee are mainly refering to mutually exclusive elements; the existance of one element contradicts the existance of the other.

    2) This just repeats a tired piece of Revisionism, invented to excuse class collaboration with the Guomindang.
    And this just repeats a tired piece of counter-revolutionary slandering, invented to excuse the slanderers' own perpetual state of inaction.


    But, according to Engels, Lenin and Mao, such 'opposites' turn into one another. In that case, feudalism-colonialism and/or national capitalism should turn into capitalism, and capitalism should turn into feudalism-colonialism and/or national capitalism.
    I used the term national capitalism just to distinguish it from imperialist capitalism acting on a colony.

    The point that I wanted to make that not necessarily will the elements turn into ALL of their opposites, or wholly to their opposites.


    Well, I covered that in this comment:



    You:



    Not so; I added in the proviso that these could be changing all the time. Hence, a changing O* and O** would still be subject to the above absurd consequences.
    But the dynamic nature of the contradictions themselves would require the notion of the negation of an element to change.

    Unfortunately, your revised theory contradicts (somewhat fittingly, one feels) what the dialectical gospels tell us. Here is Mao, for example:
    Quote:
    "Why is it that '...the human mind should take these opposites not as dead, rigid, but as living, conditional, mobile, transforming themselves into one another'? Because that is just how things are in objective reality. The fact is that the unity or identity of opposites in objective things is not dead or rigid, but is living, conditional, mobile, temporary and relative; in given conditions, every contradictory aspect transforms itself into its opposite....

    "In speaking of the identity of opposites in given conditions, what we are referring to is real and concrete opposites and the real and concrete transformations of opposites into one another....

    "All processes have a beginning and an end, all processes transform themselves into their opposites. The constancy of all processes is relative, but the mutability manifested in the transformation of one process into another is absolute." [Mao (1961b), pp.340-42.]

    "The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics....

    "As opposed to the metaphysical world outlook, the world outlook of materialist dialectics holds that in order to understand the development of a thing we should study it internally and in its relations with other things; in other words, the development of things should be seen as their internal and necessary self-movement, while each thing in its movement is interrelated with and interacts on the things around it. The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development....

    "The universality or absoluteness of contradiction has a twofold meaning. One is that contradiction exists in the process of development of all things, and the other is that in the process of development of each thing a movement of opposites exists from beginning to end.... [Ibid., pp.311-18.]
    Bold added.
    I don't realize where I contradicted this. And we don't have any "gospels". We update and challenge our ideology every moment to consolidate it.

    I don't have a philosophical theory, nor do I want one.
    Good.


    I agree, but then this description in ordinary terms cannot be reconciled with the dialectical holy books. There, we are told that things turn into whatever it is they are struggling with. In that case, the carpenter must turn into the table, and the table into the carpenter!



    Well, this shows how dialectics cannot even cope with a simple table, that's how pathetic a 'theory' it is.

    Don't pick a fight with me; I didn't dream it up. Pick a fight with Hegel, Engels, Plekhanov, Lenin and Mao. It's their screwy 'theory', and it can't cope with change.

    All I have done is highlight its major flaws; but I didn't create these flaws. You seem to think I did.
    But you are arbitrarily defining your systems and contradictions. Well, in the cases as simple as you have mentioned, contradictions also tend to be as simple. If you consider the table as a more or less closed system, then its internal contradictions will cause it to break and rot into worthless pieces over time.

    Not so, once more. I specifically said these were changing objects/processes:



    Bold added.
    Again, you have overlooked that when contradictions change, O* and O** do not remain each others' opposites anymore.
    And I made this point several times. This suggests that in your haste, you merely skim-read my post.
    Absolutely not!!
    Been reading and studying them for well over 25 years; still can't make head-or-tail of his version of dialectics.
    Give it another try then !

    And your response suggests you can't, either!
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    Don't you find it the least bit odd that there do not seem to be that many Trotskyists... until you want someone to blame?
    In class-struggle violent contradictions are inevitable, though the number of casualties is generally grossly over-estimated. And we don't blame anyone. Rather you imagine mass-murders in history and blame us because you don't have any movement that has got something to show.
    Also... can you tell me what was logical in the great leap forward about the steel manufacturing idea... I cannot seem to find it...
    Or the 3 Pests campaign.


    Link on Rosa's post is the one I was referring to.
    We don't deny that there had been some wrong policies. But these have a large chance of happening during socialist construction.

    Some good sources:

    http://revcom.us/a/033/socialism-com...talism-pt9.htm

    http://monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress...p-part-2-of-5/
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    Red Cat:

    Here the system is an abstraction. Since it is has been defined us, and is at a very simple level, the question of an operation resulting in possibilities of different answers does not arise. About "turning" into some other element, that is what mathematical operands undergo during the operation.
    But, even in mathematics, such 'abstractions' do not turn into one another; what happens is that one set of elements is mapped onto another.

    So, in your original example, the 5 you used did not change. Had it done so, you would not be able to use it again. Look, there it is on the page, unchanged. All that has happened is that it has been mapped onto the output element by whatever operation you chose.

    We use the term "contradiction" because we are mainly referring to mutually exclusive elements; the existence of one element contradicts the existence of the other.
    If they are mutually exclusive, then they cannot exist together. And if that is so, they cannot interact -- since one of them does not exist. On the other hand, if they do exist together (even if only momentarily), then they cannot be mutually exclusive.

    Unless, if course, you are using the phrase 'mutually exclusive' in a new and unexplained sense.

    But, even if you were right, why call this a 'contradiction'? It bears no relation to its use in ordinary language, nor in formal logic. Why not a 'tautology' or a 'disjunction' (there is just as much reason to call it this).

    But we already know the answer to that one: dialecticians use this word since it is traditional to do so. They just copied it off Hegel, who screwed up in the way I outlined in my last post.

    And this just repeats a tired piece of counter-revolutionary slandering, invented to excuse the slanderers' own perpetual state of inaction.
    Not so, if it is correct, which it is. And, inaction is better than class collaboration (especially if those one is trying to collaborate with are the mass murderers of workers and communists, such as the Guomindang).

    I used the term national capitalism just to distinguish it from imperialist capitalism acting on a colony.

    The point that I wanted to make that not necessarily will the elements turn into ALL of their opposites, or wholly to their opposites.
    It matters not, since Engels, Plekhanov, Lenin and Mao (among many others) tell us that whatever these opposite are, they turn into one another.

    So, if the opposite is 'national capitalism' then it must turn into socialism, and socialism must turn into 'national capitalism'.

    Did this happen?

    But the dynamic nature of the contradictions themselves would require the notion of the negation of an element to change.
    And that is what I have catered for; here it is again:

    Now, it could be objected that all this seems to place objects and/or processes into fixed categories, which is one of the main criticisms dialecticians make of FL. Hence, the above argument is entirely misguided -- or so it could be claimed.

    In that case, let us suppose that object/process A is comprised of two changing "internal opposites" O* and O**, and thus develops as a result.

    The rest still follows. Hence, if object/process A is already composed of a changing dialectical union of O* and not-O* (i.e., O**) and O* 'develops' into not-O* as a result, where then is the change? All that seems to happen is that O* disappears.
    Now if you want to move this discussion onto a consideration of the 'notions' involved, then they can only change, according to the dialectical prophets, if they struggle with their opposites, and if they do, they also change into those opposites. So, the very same problems will simply reappear at the level of the 'notions' involved.

    Anyway, the actual 'contradictions' on the ground, as it were, would still grind to a halt, and for the reasons I gave. They are not affected by what we think of them: so if they struggle with their opposites, and then turn into them, the problems I outlined in my earlier post will still apply.

    I don't realize where I contradicted this. And we don't have any "gospels". We update and challenge our ideology every moment to consolidate it.
    1) You said this (in you last but one post):

    Again, the contradiction is not necessarily with what they become. You are defining a man to be a boy's opposite, and the process that you are studying is John's growth into a man. In this case John's contradictions will not necessarily be with other men. His primary contradiction will be with the opposing class, as a member of his whole class, because that is the chief factor which will radically shape John's future.
    And yet Mao explicitly says:

    "Why is it that '...the human mind should take these opposites not as dead, rigid, but as living, conditional, mobile, transforming themselves into one another'? Because that is just how things are in objective reality. The fact is that the unity or identity of opposites in objective things is not dead or rigid, but is living, conditional, mobile, temporary and relative; in given conditions, every contradictory aspect transforms itself into its opposite....

    "In speaking of the identity of opposites in given conditions, what we are referring to is real and concrete opposites and the real and concrete transformations of opposites into one another....

    "All processes have a beginning and an end, all processes transform themselves into their opposites. The constancy of all processes is relative, but the mutability manifested in the transformation of one process into another is absolute." [Mao (1961b), pp.340-42.]

    "The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics....

    "As opposed to the metaphysical world outlook, the world outlook of materialist dialectics holds that in order to understand the development of a thing we should study it internally and in its relations with other things; in other words, the development of things should be seen as their internal and necessary self-movement, while each thing in its movement is interrelated with and interacts on the things around it. The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development....

    "The universality or absoluteness of contradiction has a twofold meaning. One is that contradiction exists in the process of development of all things, and the other is that in the process of development of each thing a movement of opposites exists from beginning to end.... [Ibid., pp.311-18.]
    Which is the opposite (again, this is rather fitting) of what you said. The words highlighted tell us that everything in the entire universe changes into its opposite and that this is because of a struggle of opposites, and these opposites are the contradictory elements involved.

    2) You are defending the sacred words (the gospel) of Mao here.

    But you are arbitrarily defining your systems and contradictions. Well, in the cases as simple as you have mentioned, contradictions also tend to be as simple. If you consider the table as a more or less closed system, then its internal contradictions will cause it to break and rot into worthless pieces over time.
    Ok, let's work this out: a table T, if left alone, will slowly decay into dust D over time. If this theory of Mao's is correct, this must be because of T's internal contradictions, which make it turn into its opposite, D. But, in order to do this, according to Mao, it must struggle with this opposite D. In that case, the table T must struggle with the dust D that it is to become! So the dust must exist before it exists!

    Moreover, we are told these opposites turn onto one another.

    So T must struggle with D in order to turn into D, and D must struggle with T in order to turn into T.

    Hence, in the dialectical universe, tables struggle with dust, and turn into dust, and dust struggles with tables and turns into tables --, if left to themselves

    If this is not so, either Mao is wrong, or tables cannot change, or both.

    Again, you have overlooked that when contradictions change, O* and O** do not remain each others' opposites anymore.
    I also covered this!

    If this is so, then these changed opposites cannot change any further since they no longer have an opposite to bring this about.

    The system grinds to a halt, as I indicated.

    Absolutely not!!
    Plainly so, since you keep skipping past points I have already made as if I haven't made them.

    Give it another try then !
    I never stop, and the more I study Mao, the more confused I see he is.
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    Just one quick question to Rosa:
    Do you think that Mao made all those mistakes, which cost a lot peoples lives, just because his theory was bad? Doesn't that have to do with more things than just dialectics or theory?
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    No, I suspect he'd have made them anyway; he just used dialectics to sell his ideas to the party cadres, and to help rationalise his overnight about-turns. Without dialectics he might have found it hard to justify the many about-turns the CCP made.

    This is because dialectics can be used to 'justify' anything you like, and its opposite, sometimes in the same breath. This is because it glories in contradiction.

    Here's one example of many:

    "The contradictory aspects in every process exclude each other, struggle with each other and are in opposition to each other. Without exception, they are contained in the process of development of all things and in all human thought. A simple process contains only a single pair of opposites, while a complex process contains more. And in turn, the pairs of opposites are in contradiction to one another.)

    "That is how all things in the objective world and all human thought are constituted and how they are set in motion.

    "This being so, there is an utter lack of identity or unity. How then can one speak of identity or unity?

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

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

    "Why is there identity here, too? You see, by means of revolution the proletariat, at one time the ruled, is transformed into the ruler, while the bourgeoisie, the erstwhile ruler, is transformed into the ruled and changes its position to that originally occupied by its opposite. This has already taken place in the Soviet Union, as it will take place throughout the world. If there were no interconnection and identity of opposites in given conditions, how could such a change take place?

    "The Kuomintang, which played a certain positive role at a certain stage in modern Chinese history, became a counter-revolutionary party after 1927 because of its inherent class nature and because of imperialist blandishments (these being the conditions); but it has been compelled to agree to resist Japan because of the sharpening of the contradiction between China and Japan and because of the Communist Party's policy of the united front (these being the conditions). Things in contradiction change into one another, and herein lies a definite identity....

    "To consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat or the dictatorship of the people is in fact to prepare the conditions for abolishing this dictatorship and advancing to the higher stage when all state systems are eliminated. To establish and build the Communist Party is in fact to prepare the conditions for the elimination of the Communist Party and all political parties. To build a revolutionary army under the leadership of the Communist Party and to carry on revolutionary war is in fact to prepare the conditions for the permanent elimination of war. These opposites are at the same time complementary....

    "All contradictory things are interconnected; not only do they coexist in a single entity in given conditions, but in other given conditions, they also transform themselves into each other. This is the full meaning of the identity of opposites. This is what Lenin meant when he discussed 'how they happen to be (how they become) identical--under what conditions they are identical, transforming themselves into one another'." [Mao (1961), pp.337-40. Bold emphases added.]
    So, Mao used this 'theory' to rationalise class collaboration and the denial of democracy, just as Stalin had done earlier:

    "It may be said that such a presentation of the question is 'contradictory.' But is there not the same 'contradictoriness' in our presentation of the question of the state? We stand for the withering away of the state. At the same time we stand for the strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is the mightiest and strongest state power that has ever existed. The highest development of state power with the object of preparing the conditions for the withering away of state power -- such is the Marxist formula. Is this 'contradictory'? Yes, it is 'contradictory.' But this contradiction us bound up with life, and it fully reflects Marx's dialectics." [Political Report of the Central Committee to the Sixteenth Congress of the CPSU(B), June 27,1930. Bold emphasis added; quotation marks altered to conform to the conventions adopted at my site.]
    [Just watch how Red Cat still uses it to 'justify' class collaboration.]
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    Thank you Rosa.
    I should learn more about dialectics and stuff, since I don't know a lot about it.
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    Take my advice: steer well clear of it. You do not need to know anything about dialectics, unless, like me, you want to demolish it.
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    But, even in mathematics, such 'abstractions' do not turn into one another; what happens is that one set of elements is mapped onto another.

    So, in your original example, the 5 you used did not change. Had it done so, you would not be able to use it again. Look, there it is on the page, unchanged. All that has happened is that it has been mapped onto the output element by whatever operation you chose.

    If you start with two sets, and map one to another, of course the sets change when concerned with the process of mapping. Is the formation of a map between them not a change?
    When you use the sets afresh again, you are separating them from the process they underwent. Thus it is a new system altogether.

    When we talk of mathematical structures alone, systems are not that easy to identify, because they are abstractions that exist in our thoughts.

    If they are mutually exclusive, then they cannot exist together. And if that is so, they cannot interact -- since one of them does not exist. On the other hand, if they do exist together (even if only momentarily), then they cannot be mutually exclusive.

    Unless, if course, you are using the phrase 'mutually exclusive' in a new and unexplained sense.
    Let us consider an example. In capitalism, the main social contradiction boils down to private ownership of means of production versus social mode of production. Why are these in contradiction? Because they are ultimately not compatible to each other and tend to give rise to socialism. Capitalism and socialism are the mutually exclusive elements that are associated with the contradiction.

    But, even if you were right, why call this a 'contradiction'? It bears no relation to its use in ordinary language, nor in formal logic. Why not a 'tautology' or a 'disjunction' (there is just as much reason to call it this).

    But we already know the answer to that one: dialecticians use this word since it is traditional to do so. They just copied it off Hegel, who screwed up in the way I outlined in my last post.
    Spare them at this point at least.

    Not so, if it is correct, which it is. And, inaction is better than class collaboration (especially if those one is trying to collaborate with are the mass murderers of workers and communists, such as the Guomindang).
    What is more efficient a method of collaborating with the bourgeoisie than to call oneself a communist and yet remain inactive and useless for the proletariat while trying to deviate them with concocting inapplicable theories?

    And as for class collaborasionism, what the class collaborationists have achieved in India is enough to make the Indian proletariat laugh at you if you attempt to explain your "communist" theories to them.

    It matters not, since Engels, Plekhanov, Lenin and Mao (among many others) tell us that whatever these opposite are, they turn into one another.
    Not necessarily into all of them in the same system.
    So, if the opposite is 'national capitalism' then it must turn into socialism, and socialism must turn into 'national capitalism'.

    Did this happen?
    Seriously, aren't you aware of any counter-revolution?


    And that is what I have catered for; here it is again:



    Now if you want to move this discussion onto a consideration of the 'notions' involved, then they can only change, according to the dialectical prophets, if they struggle with their opposites, and if they do, they also change into those opposites. So, the very same problems will simply reappear at the level of the 'notions' involved.

    Anyway, the actual 'contradictions' on the ground, as it were, would still grind to a halt, and for the reasons I gave. They are not affected by what we think of them: so if they struggle with their opposites, and then turn into them, the problems I outlined in my earlier post will still apply.
    1) You said this (in you last but one post):
    Again, the contradiction is not necessarily with what they become. You are defining a man to be a boy's opposite, and the process that you are studying is John's growth into a man. In this case John's contradictions will not necessarily be with other men. His primary contradiction will be with the opposing class, as a member of his whole class, because that is the chief factor which will radically shape John's future.
    And yet Mao explicitly says:

    "Why is it that '...the human mind should take these opposites not as dead, rigid, but as living, conditional, mobile, transforming themselves into one another'? Because that is just how things are in objective reality. The fact is that the unity or identity of opposites in objective things is not dead or rigid, but is living, conditional, mobile, temporary and relative; in given conditions, every contradictory aspect transforms itself into its opposite....

    "In speaking of the identity of opposites in given conditions, what we are referring to is real and concrete opposites and the real and concrete transformations of opposites into one another....

    "All processes have a beginning and an end, all processes transform themselves into their opposites. The constancy of all processes is relative, but the mutability manifested in the transformation of one process into another is absolute." [Mao (1961b), pp.340-42.]

    "The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics....

    "As opposed to the metaphysical world outlook, the world outlook of materialist dialectics holds that in order to understand the development of a thing we should study it internally and in its relations with other things; in other words, the development of things should be seen as their internal and necessary self-movement, while each thing in its movement is interrelated with and interacts on the things around it. The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development....

    "The universality or absoluteness of contradiction has a twofold meaning. One is that contradiction exists in the process of development of all things, and the other is that in the process of development of each thing a movement of opposites exists from beginning to end.... [Ibid., pp.311-18.]
    Which is the opposite (again, this is rather fitting) of what you said. The words highlighted tell us that everything in the entire universe changes into its opposite and that this is because of a struggle of opposites, and these opposites are the contradictory elements involved.
    Why what I say is consistent with this must be clear by now due to the example of capitalism and socialism I gave.

    Also, note that Mao merely states that all processes and objects must transform. Not that they will transform into every opposite definable.


    2) You are defending the sacred words (the gospel) of Mao here.
    Ok, let's work this out: a table T, if left alone, will slowly decay into dust D over time. If this theory of Mao's is correct, this must be because of T's internal contradictions, which make it turn into its opposite, D. But, in order to do this, according to Mao, it must struggle with this opposite D. In that case, the table T must struggle with the dust D that it is to become! So the dust must exist before it exists!

    Moreover, we are told these opposites turn onto one another.

    So T must struggle with D in order to turn into D, and D must struggle with T in order to turn into T.

    Hence, in the dialectical universe, tables struggle with dust, and turn into dust, and dust struggles with tables and turns into tables --, if left to themselves

    If this is not so, either Mao is wrong, or tables cannot change, or both.
    I have mentioned earlier that the nature of the outcome depends on type of contradiction you choose. Since your system is so simple, let me tell you, yes, there is an infinitesimal probability that the dust will change back into the table. Happy now? In general we don't consider such systems because the magnitude of the outcome is extremely irrelevant.
    I also covered this!

    If this is so, then these changed opposites cannot change any further since they no longer have an opposite to bring this about.

    The system grinds to a halt, as I indicated.
    Not so. New processes come up within the system.


    Plainly so, since you keep skipping past points I have already made as if I haven't made them.
    Believe me, I just hate answering long posts point by point. That is why I make mistakes.


    I never stop, and the more I study Mao, the more confused I see he is.
    The problem is that you seek to represent things with extremely simple models and then generalize the properties you obtain from them . This might not work all the time.
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    Take my advice: steer well clear of it. You do not need to know anything about it, unless, like me, you want to demolish it.
    I really wish such zeal was expressed in demolishing capitalism.
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    No, I suspect he'd have made them anyway; he just used dialectics to sell his ideas to the party cadres, and to help rationalise his overnight about-turns. Without dialectics he might have found it hard to justify the many about-turns the CCP made.

    This is because dialectics can be used to 'justify' anything you like, and its opposite, sometimes in the same breath. This is because it glories in contradiction.

    Here's one example of many:



    So, Mao used this 'theory' to rationalise class collaboration and the denial of democracy, just as Stalin had done earlier:



    [Just watch how Red Cat still uses it to 'justify' class collaboration.]
    The pictures posted in the shining path thread do speak more than a thousand words on who is collaborating with whom.
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    Red Cat:

    If you start with two sets, and map one to another, of course the sets change when concerned with the process of mapping. Is the formation of a map between them not a change?
    Who said anything about sets changing, or otherwise? The point was that the number 5 does not change, which is what you suggested. Look, it is still there on the page.

    When you use the sets afresh again, you are separating them from the process they underwent. Thus it is a new system altogether.

    When we talk of mathematical structures alone, systems are not that easy to identify, because they are abstractions that exist in our thoughts.
    I'm not sure what this has got to do with anything.

    Let us consider an example. In capitalism, the main social contradiction boils down to private ownership of means of production versus social mode of production. Why are these in contradiction? Because they are ultimately not compatible to each other and tend to give rise to socialism. Capitalism and socialism are the mutually exclusive elements that are associated with the contradiction.
    Well, I am sure they are not compatible, but you used the phrase 'mutually exclude', and if that is so they cannot co-exist, and so cannot 'contradict' one another. On the other hand, if they do co-exist, they cannot 'mutually exclude' one another.

    You keep ignoring this fatal defect.

    Spare them at this point at least.
    I'm sorry, what does this mean?

    What is more efficient a method of collaborating with the bourgeoisie than to call oneself a communist and yet remain inactive and useless for the proletariat while trying to deviate them with concocting inapplicable theories?
    Not so, if it means you have to abandon Marxism. As Bobkindles pointed out, this cavalier attitude helped turn the CCP into a petty-bourgeois, substitutionist/nationalist movement -- and all rationalised by this contradictory 'theory' of yours.

    And as for class collaborasionism, what the class collaborationists have achieved in India is enough to make the Indian proletariat laugh at you if you attempt to explain your "communist" theories to them.
    You seem to know what hundreds of millions of workers in India think.

    Minor point: can you post the data upon which this hyper-bold claim of yours is based?

    Not necessarily into all of them in the same system.
    This is not what Lenin and Mao seem to say, but even if you are right, it still leaves this 'theory' of yours in a hole.

    Seriously, aren't you aware of any counter-revolution?
    What has that got to do with anything?

    Are you seriously suggesting that socialism must always turn into capitalism. But this is exactly what Mao's words imply.

    Why what I say is consistent with this must be clear by now due to the example of capitalism and socialism I gave.
    Not so, as my comments above show.

    Also, note that Mao merely states that all processes and objects must transform. Not that they will transform into every opposite definable.
    Well no, he actually says this:

    "Why is it that '...the human mind should take these opposites not as dead, rigid, but as living, conditional, mobile, transforming themselves into one another'? Because that is just how things are in objective reality. The fact is that the unity or identity of opposites in objective things is not dead or rigid, but is living, conditional, mobile, temporary and relative; in given conditions, every contradictory aspect transforms itself into its opposite....

    "In speaking of the identity of opposites in given conditions, what we are referring to is real and concrete opposites and the real and concrete transformations of opposites into one another....

    "All processes have a beginning and an end, all processes transform themselves into their opposites. The constancy of all processes is relative, but the mutability manifested in the transformation of one process into another is absolute." [Mao (1961b), pp.340-42.]

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

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

    "The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics....

    "As opposed to the metaphysical world outlook, the world outlook of materialist dialectics holds that in order to understand the development of a thing we should study it internally and in its relations with other things; in other words, the development of things should be seen as their internal and necessary self-movement, while each thing in its movement is interrelated with and interacts on the things around it. The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development....

    "The universality or absoluteness of contradiction has a twofold meaning. One is that contradiction exists in the process of development of all things, and the other is that in the process of development of each thing a movement of opposites exists from beginning to end.... [Ibid., pp.311-18.]
    So, he explicitly says:

    It is so with all opposites; in given conditions, on the one hand they are opposed to each other, and on the other they are interconnected, interpenetrating, interpermeating and interdependent, and this character is described as identity. In given conditions, all contradictory aspects possess the character of non-identity and hence are described as being in contradiction. But they also possess the character of identity and hence are interconnected. This is what Lenin means when he says that dialectics studies 'how opposites can be ... identical'. How then can they be identical? Because each is the condition for the other's existence. This is the first meaning of identity.

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

    I have mentioned earlier that the nature of the outcome depends on type of contradiction you choose. Since your system is so simple, let me tell you, yes, there is an infinitesimal probability that the dust will change back into the table. Happy now? In general we don't consider such systems because the magnitude of the outcome is extremely irrelevant.
    But, you keep ignoring the fact that, according to Mao, the dust has to co-exist with the table for it to 'struggle; with it. This is not possible, since the dust that the table turns into has to co-exist with the dust that the table will one day become. You surely do not believe that these can co-exist, do you? That is, that the future dust (that the table turns into) exists alongside the table it 'struggles' with. But, according to Mao, these must co-exist.

    And how does dust 'struggle', exactly?

    Moreover, my choice of example was deliberate, since if this 'theory' of yours cannot cope with tables, or with dust, then it will be totally useless when it comes to more complex processes.

    No wonder then that dialectics has presided over almost total failure world-wide.

    It can't even cope with tables! Or dust....

    Not so. New processes come up within the system.
    Then, either these have no opposites -- and so cannot change -- or if they have opposites, then the same problems (outlined in my long post above) apply to them.

    Believe me, I just hate answering long posts point by point. That is why I make mistakes.
    Odd then that every Dialectical Marxist (Stalinist, Maoist, Trotskyist, academic, libertarian, Hegelian, etc.) with whom I have debated this here (and on other boards) makes the same 'mistakes'...

    The problem is that you seek to represent things with extremely simple models and then generalize the properties you obtain from them . This might not work all the time.
    And yet, as I pointed out above, if this theory of yours can't cope with simple systems, it stands no chance in the real world.

    Anyway, my 'systems' are neither complex nor simple, just universal.

    So, my demolition is entirely general, that is why I used symbols.
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    Red Cat:

    I really wish such zeal was expressed in demolishing capitalism.
    Well, it's because I think this 'theory' is partially responsible for the long-term failure of Dialectical Marxism that I devote so much energy to demolishing dialectics.

    ----------------------

    RC:

    The pictures posted in the shining path thread do speak more than a thousand words on who is collaborating with whom.
    No need for pictures; the historical record shows who the collaborators were: the CCP.
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    Red Cat:



    Who said anything about sets changing, or otherwise? The point was that the number 5 does not change, which is what you suggested. Look, it is still there on the page.
    Generally we specify the domain and range of a function when we study it. Hence the notion of a set.
    I'm not sure what this has got to do with anything.
    You need to relate it with the physical world. That way pure mathematical calculations become related with our brains, and the corresponding changes need to be taken into account.


    Well, I am sure they are not compatible, but you used the phrase 'mutually exclude', and if that is so they cannot co-exist, and so cannot 'contradict' one another. On the other hand, if they do co-exist, they cannot 'mutually exclude' one another.

    You keep ignoring this fatal defect.
    The reason why I gave that particular example was to point out that conrtadiction might take place within the processes that lead to the mutually exclusive processes. So, the pre conditions for the emergence of a process that cannot occur simultaneously with the present one, may lie in the present process itself.

    I'm sorry, what does this mean?
    Nomenclature is to trivial a topic in this case to be debated.


    Not so, if it means you have to abandon Marxism. As Bobkindles pointed out, this cavalier attitude helped turn the CCP into a petty-bourgeois, substitutionist/nationalist movement -- and all rationalised by this contradictory 'theory' of yours.
    That is only one possibility. The other is that the history of China has been grossly falsified by counter-revolutionaries.


    You seem to know what hundreds of millions of workers in India think.

    Minor point: can you post the data upon which this hyper-bold claim of yours is based?
    Please visit the relevant threads and see for yourself.


    This is not what Lenin and Mao seem to say, but even if you are right, it still leaves this 'theory' of yours in a hole.



    What has that got to do with anything?

    Are you seriously suggesting that socialism must always turn into capitalism. But this is exactly what Mao's words imply.



    Not so, as my comments above show.



    Well no, he actually says this:


    "Why is it that '...the human mind should take these opposites not as dead, rigid, but as living, conditional, mobile, transforming themselves into one another'? Because that is just how things are in objective reality. The fact is that the unity or identity of opposites in objective things is not dead or rigid, but is living, conditional, mobile, temporary and relative; in given conditions, every contradictory aspect transforms itself into its opposite....

    "In speaking of the identity of opposites in given conditions, what we are referring to is real and concrete opposites and the real and concrete transformations of opposites into one another....

    "All processes have a beginning and an end, all processes transform themselves into their opposites. The constancy of all processes is relative, but the mutability manifested in the transformation of one process into another is absolute." [Mao (1961b), pp.340-42.]

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

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

    "The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics....

    "As opposed to the metaphysical world outlook, the world outlook of materialist dialectics holds that in order to understand the development of a thing we should study it internally and in its relations with other things; in other words, the development of things should be seen as their internal and necessary self-movement, while each thing in its movement is interrelated with and interacts on the things around it. The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development....

    "The universality or absoluteness of contradiction has a twofold meaning. One is that contradiction exists in the process of development of all things, and the other is that in the process of development of each thing a movement of opposites exists from beginning to end.... [Ibid., pp.311-18.]
    This is the opposite of what you intimated.





    So, he explicitly says:


    It is so with all opposites; in given conditions, on the one hand they are opposed to each other, and on the other they are interconnected, interpenetrating, interpermeating and interdependent, and this character is described as identity. In given conditions, all contradictory aspects possess the character of non-identity and hence are described as being in contradiction. But they also possess the character of identity and hence are interconnected. This is what Lenin means when he says that dialectics studies 'how opposites can be ... identical'. How then can they be identical? Because each is the condition for the other's existence. This is the first meaning of identity.

    "But is it enough to say merely that each of the contradictory aspects is the condition for the other's existence, that there is identity between them and that consequently they can coexist in a single entity? No, it is not. The matter does not end with their dependence on each other for their existence; what is more important is their transformation into each other. That is to say, in given conditions, each of the contradictory aspects within a thing transforms itself into its opposite, changes its position to that of its opposite. This is the second meaning of the identity of contradiction.
    Not at all. Note that in the examples of semi-colonies and imperialism, the term "opposites" does not refer to mutually exclusive processes anymore. It refers to the contradictions within the processes in the sense that they will give rise to something which exhibits the mutual exclusiveness property along with the present process.

    And it is not that just because socialism and capitalism can turn into each other that socialism will always turn into capitalism.


    But, you keep ignoring the fact that, according to Mao, the dust has to co-exist with the table for it to 'struggle; with it. This is not possible, since the dust that the table turns into has to co-exist with the dust that the table will one day become. You surely do not believe that these can co-exist, do you? That is, that the future dust (that the table turns into) exists alongside the table it 'struggles' with. But, according to Mao, these must co-exist.

    And how does dust 'struggle', exactly?

    Moreover, my choice of example was deliberate, since if this 'theory' of yours cannot cope with tables, or with dust, then it will be totally useless when it comes to more complex processes.
    "Struggle" does not refer to dust-guerrilleros fighting the wood-army. It merely refers to the state where dust transforms into wood(with infinitesimal probability) and vice-versa.

    No wonder then that dialectics has presided over almost total failure world-wide.

    It can't even cope with tables! Or dust....



    Then, either these have no opposites -- and so cannot change -- or if they have opposites, then the same problems (outlined in my long post above) apply to them.
    Odd then that every Dialectical Marxist (Stalinist, Maoist, Trotskyist, academic, libertarian, Hegelian, etc.) with whom I have debated this here (and on other boards) makes the same 'mistakes'...
    No offence meant, but I would suspect something different from what you are suspecting.


    And yet, as I pointed out above, if this theory of yours can't cope with simple systems, it stands no chance in the real world.

    Anyway, my 'systems' are neither complex nor simple, just universal.

    So, my demolition is entirely general, that is why I used symbols.
    But your analyses and generalizations are wrong. That is why it is better to consider examples from the real world.
    Last edited by red cat; 11th November 2009 at 17:49.
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    No need for pictures; the historical record shows who the collaborators were: the CCP.
    Historical record grossly falsified by counter-revolutionaries, that is.
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    Red Cat:

    Generally we specify the domain and range of a function when we study it. Hence the notion of a set.
    Yes, I am fully aware of this; I am a mathematician, after all; what I question is what this has to do with your claim that numbers change.

    You need to relate it with the physical world. That way pure mathematical calculations become related with our brains, and the corresponding changes need to be taken into account.
    Maybe so, but what has this got to do with whether numbers can change?

    The reason why I gave that particular example was to point out that contradiction might take place within the processes that lead to the mutually exclusive processes. So, the pre conditions for the emergence of a process that cannot occur simultaneously with the present one, may lie in the present process itself.
    Again, this is no help at all, since if these 'processes' are "mutually exclusive" they cannot co-exist, and so cannot 'struggle' with one another -- and hence cannot 'contradict' one another. On the other hand, if they do co-exist, if they are locked in 'struggle', then they cannot be "mutually exclusive".

    And if theses 'contradictions' "take place within the processes that lead to the mutually exclusive processes", as you claim, then these 'contradictions' themselves cannot be "mutually exclusive", as you had originally alleged.

    Now, in response to this post of mine:

    Red Cat:

    Spare them at this point at least.
    Me:

    I'm sorry, what does this mean?
    You reply:

    Nomenclature is to trivial a topic in this case to be debated.
    But, were is the "nomenclature" in what you said?

    Here it is again:

    Spare them at this point at least.
    Again, what does this (which contains no "nomenclature) mean?

    The other is that the history of China has been grossly falsified by counter-revolutionaries.
    You sound like a 'true believer', with whom it is pointless to debate.

    However, the substitutionism of the CCP is not open to debate; and this was 'justified' by the use of dialectics.

    Please visit the relevant threads and see for yourself.
    Ok, which threads here, or anywhere else for that matter, contain the results of the in-depth survey of what every worker in India thinks? All 500 or so million of them! Kindly post the links, and, if you are correct, I will withdraw what I have said, and apologise profusely.

    Go on, put the link where your mouth is.

    I double-dog dare you...

    Not at all. Note that in the examples of semi-colonies and imperialism, the term "opposites" does not refer to mutually exclusive processes anymore. It refers to the contradictions within the processes in the sense that they will give rise to something which exhibits the mutual exclusiveness property along with the present process.
    But, even if this is were so, according to Mao, these must turn into one another. So, for example, anti-imperialists must turn into imperialists, and imperialists must turn into anti-imperialists, and so on.

    And it is not that just because socialism and capitalism can turn into each other that socialism will always turn into capitalism.
    But, this is not what Mao says; he tells us that everything (not most things, but everything) turns into its opposite. This implies that socialism must turn into capitalism. Unless, of course, (shock" horror!") Mao was wrong. He could be; he wasn't a 'god'.

    "Struggle" does not refer to dust-guerrilleros fighting the wood-army. It merely refers to the state where dust transforms into wood (with infinitesimal probability) and vice-versa.
    So, Mao and Lenin were wrong when they said this 'struggle of opposites' is an 'absolute'. On your revisionist theory (you will get pilloried for this! I'd keep this quiet, or it's off to the gulag for you!), there is no 'struggle' here, just a bland 'transformation', with nothing to bring it about.

    Here is Mao:

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

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

    "The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics....

    "All processes have a beginning and an end, all processes transform themselves into their opposites. The constancy of all processes is relative, but the mutability manifested in the transformation of one process into another is absolute." [Mao (1961b), pp.340-42.]

    "As opposed to the metaphysical world outlook, the world outlook of materialist dialectics holds that in order to understand the development of a thing we should study it internally and in its relations with other things; in other words, the development of things should be seen as their internal and necessary self-movement, while each thing in its movement is interrelated with and interacts on the things around it. The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development....

    "The universality or absoluteness of contradiction has a twofold meaning. One is that contradiction exists in the process of development of all things, and the other is that in the process of development of each thing a movement of opposites exists from beginning to end.... [Ibid., pp.311-18.]
    Mao is just as clear as Lenin was: all development is a 'struggle of opposites':

    "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 (1961) Volume 38, pp.357-58.]
    So, either you are right, or Lenin and Mao are wrong.

    Anyway, given your revisionist theory, how do we know that there is a 'struggle' going on anywhere else? If things can just change, with no 'contradictions' bringing this about, then perhaps this can happen everywhere too? How can you rule this out except by dogmatic assertion?

    No offence meant, but I would suspect something different from what you are suspecting.
    Well, what in fact happens is the same as is happening here; they (and you) have given this 'theory' of yours very little thought, even though you all naively swallowed it. When confronted with its absurd consequences, as you have been here, you have to think on the hoof, and come up with the sort of revisionist, ad hoc, repairs we have seen you try to pull above, all the while ignoring what Engels, Lenin, and Mao actually said.

    You skim-read their work, and you do the same to my posts -- and then decide to ignore what you do not like or cannot answer, hoping I'll go away. [My 12,000+ posts (in four years) should tell you that I won't.]

    And, I predict you will continue to do this, since there is no answer to my objections. So, you just ignore stuff you can't answer.

    But your analyses and generalizations are wrong. That is why it is better to consider examples from the real world.
    And yet, you can't show where I go wrong.

    You will find plenty of real world examples here:

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2009_02.htm

    Use the 'Quick Links' at the top to go to these sections:

    (7) Case Studies

    (a) Dialectics Compromises Communism

    (b) Dialectics Messes With Maoism

    (c) Dialectics Traduces Trotskyism
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    Red Cat:

    Historical record grossly falsified by counter-revolutionaries, that is.
    And how do you know you can trust the tall stories you have been told?
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    Red Cat:

    Quote:
    Generally we specify the domain and range of a function when we study it. Hence the notion of a set.
    Yes, I am fully aware of this; I am a mathematician, after all; what I question is what this has to do with your claim that numbers change.
    First let us define a system properly. I understand exactly which point you are questioning. But if we see it that way, it is not a dynamic process. We are just discovering a relation between a number and whatever it is mapped to. This means that the relations existed irrelevant of whether we discovered it or not. Now, the whole thing so far being an abstraction, completely static systems are possible. So it is not really a dynamic process.

    Quote:
    You need to relate it with the physical world. That way pure mathematical calculations become related with our brains, and the corresponding changes need to be taken into account.
    Maybe so, but what has this got to do with whether numbers can change?

    Quote:
    The reason why I gave that particular example was to point out that contradiction might take place within the processes that lead to the mutually exclusive processes. So, the pre conditions for the emergence of a process that cannot occur simultaneously with the present one, may lie in the present process itself.
    Again, this is no help at all, since if these 'processes' are "mutually exclusive" they cannot co-exist, and so cannot 'struggle' with one another -- and hence cannot 'contradict' one another. On the other hand, if they do co-exist, if they are locked in 'struggle', then they cannot be "mutually exclusive".

    And if theses 'contradictions' "take place within the processes that lead to the mutually exclusive processes", as you claim, then these 'contradictions' themselves cannot be "mutually exclusive", as you had originally alleged.

    Now, in response to this post of mine:

    Quote:
    Red Cat:

    Quote:
    Spare them at this point at least.
    Me:

    Quote:
    I'm sorry, what does this mean?
    You reply:

    Quote:
    Nomenclature is to trivial a topic in this case to be debated.
    But, were is the "nomenclature" in what you said?

    Here it is again:

    Quote:
    Spare them at this point at least.
    Again, what does this (which contains no "nomenclature) mean?
    I mean that let us not debate on why contradictions are not called tautologies.
    Quote:
    The other is that the history of China has been grossly falsified by counter-revolutionaries.
    You sound like a 'true believer', with whom it is pointless to debate.

    However, the substitutionism of the CCP is not open to debate; and this was 'justified' by the use of dialectics.

    Quote:
    Please visit the relevant threads and see for yourself.
    Ok, which threads here, or anywhere else for that matter, contain the results of the in-depth survey of what every worker in India thinks? All 500 or so million of them! Kindly post the links, and, if you are correct, I will withdraw what I have said, and apologise profusely.

    Go on, put the link where your mouth is.

    I double-dog dare you...
    I was referring to the achievements of the Indian Maoists so far. But since you demand an in-depth study of the whole of the Indian proletariat, you give me the right to demand the same concerning the proletariat of revolutionary China which would prove that they held that the CPC collaborated with the GMD against their interests.

    Quote:
    Not at all. Note that in the examples of semi-colonies and imperialism, the term "opposites" does not refer to mutually exclusive processes anymore. It refers to the contradictions within the processes in the sense that they will give rise to something which exhibits the mutual exclusiveness property along with the present process.
    But, even if this is were so, according to Mao, these must turn into one another. So, for example, anti-imperialists must turn into imperialists, and imperialists must turn into anti-imperialists, and so on.

    Quote:
    And it is not that just because socialism and capitalism can turn into each other that socialism will always turn into capitalism.
    But, this is not what Mao says; he tells us that everything (not most things, but everything) turns into its opposite. This implies that socialism must turn into capitalism. Unless, of course, (shock" horror!") Mao was wrong. He could be; he wasn't a 'god'.

    Quote:
    "Struggle" does not refer to dust-guerrilleros fighting the wood-army. It merely refers to the state where dust transforms into wood (with infinitesimal probability) and vice-versa.
    So, Mao and Lenin were wrong when they said this 'struggle of opposites' is an 'absolute'. On your revisionist theory (you will get pilloried for this! I'd keep this quiet, or it's off to the gulag for you!), there is no 'struggle' here, just a bland 'transformation', with nothing to bring it about.

    Here is Mao:

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

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

    "The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics....

    "All processes have a beginning and an end, all processes transform themselves into their opposites. The constancy of all processes is relative, but the mutability manifested in the transformation of one process into another is absolute." [Mao (1961b), pp.340-42.]

    "As opposed to the metaphysical world outlook, the world outlook of materialist dialectics holds that in order to understand the development of a thing we should study it internally and in its relations with other things; in other words, the development of things should be seen as their internal and necessary self-movement, while each thing in its movement is interrelated with and interacts on the things around it. The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development....

    "The universality or absoluteness of contradiction has a twofold meaning. One is that contradiction exists in the process of development of all things, and the other is that in the process of development of each thing a movement of opposites exists from beginning to end.... [Ibid., pp.311-18.]
    Mao is just as clear as Lenin was: all development is a 'struggle of opposites':

    "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 (1961) Volume 38, pp.357-58.]

    So, either you are right, or Lenin and Mao are wrong.

    Anyway, given your revisionist theory, how do we know that there is a 'struggle' going on anywhere else? If things can just change, with no 'contradictions' bringing this about, then perhaps this can happen everywhere too? How can you rule this out except by dogmatic assertion?
    You are just taking advantage of some linguistic ambiguities which are too easy to resolve. It is too obvious that Lenin and Mao exactly meant what I mean by "struggle" and "opposites turn into one another". These guys actually fought for communism, and if they really thought that it would reverse back into capitalism, then they wouldn't. So please stop twisting the meanings of simple things.
    Quote:
    No offence meant, but I would suspect something different from what you are suspecting.
    Well, what in fact happens is the same as is happening here; they (and you) have given this 'theory' of yours very little thought, even though you all naively swallowed it. When confronted with its absurd consequences, as you have been here, you have to think on the hoof, and come up with the sort of revisionist, ad hoc, repairs we have seen you try to pull above, all the while ignoring what Engels, Lenin, and Mao actually said.

    You skim-read their work, and you do the same to my posts -- and then decide to ignore what you do not like or cannot answer, hoping I'll go away. [My 12,000+ posts (in four years) should tell you that I won't.]
    Oh yes, I know that you have made so many posts in four years and it is really a credit being that patient. But I don't want you to go away; I just want you to realize that your "demolition of dialectics" is meaningless.
    And, I predict you will continue to do this, since there is no answer to my objections. So, you just ignore stuff you can't answer.

    Quote:
    But your analyses and generalizations are wrong. That is why it is better to consider examples from the real world.
    And yet, you can't show where I go wrong.
    That you are assuming something that dialecticians did not mean.
    You will find plenty of real world examples here:

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2009_02.htm

    Use the 'Quick Links' at the top to go to these sections:

    Quote:
    (7) Case Studies

    (a) Dialectics Compromises Communism

    (b) Dialectics Messes With Maoism

    (c) Dialectics Traduces Trotskyism
    I really am not interested. A thousand more theories will, and are popping up which claim to negate MLM. What I need to see before I am interested in them is a single organization that upholds some such theory and has taken a single step towards revolution by conducting armed struggle.
    Last edited by red cat; 11th November 2009 at 21:31.
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    And how do you know you can trust the tall stories you have been told?
    Because I subordinate other sources to revolutionary sources.
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