Thread: Scrapping Dialectics: What would be lost?

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  1. #101
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    I, however, have my own arguments (and I push them much further than anyone has ever dared to before).

    Moreover, I approach this issue as a revolutionary Marxist, unlike Hook and Jordan.
    to the contrary, again:

    '...it is clear that to turn an object right round changes neither its nature nor its content by virtue merely of a rotation! A man on his head is the same man when he is finally walking on his feet.' - Louis Althusser
    Eppur si muove -- Galileo Galilei


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  2. #102
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    Just a question to Rosa...

    Granted that Lenin talked about the wrong prerequisite work when dealing with Capital (Hegel's Logic), but what about this quote by someone else:

    "Only owing to Anti-Dühring did we learn to read and understand Capital the right way."

    ???
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)
  3. #103
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    Trivas:

    to the contrary, again:
    Althusser is, as usual, a rather poor guide in philosophy, and an even worse one in human anatomy.

    Leave a man/woman on his/her head, unsupported, and he/she will die.

    Same with Hegel's 'rational core'.

    And, of course, right way up, or upside down (or dressed in a pink TuTu), it matters not --, dialectics has no 'rational core'; on that Althusser is correct.
  4. #104
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    JR:

    "Only owing to Anti-Dühring did we learn to read and understand Capital the right way."
    Whoever said that is an idiot; the Tokyo telelphone directory would have been better than 'Anti-Duhring' in this respect. In its 'philosophical' capacity, it is without doubt one of the worst books ever written by a Marxist.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 1st June 2008 at 22:51.
  5. #105
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    dialectics has no 'rational core'
    Then what did you mean to say by quoting Marx when I asked you specifically re the 'rational core' of dialectics?

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...6&postcount=75
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  6. #106
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    JR:

    Whoever said that is an idiot; the Tokyo telephone directory would have been better than 'Anti-Duhring' in this respect. In its 'philosophical' capacity, it is without doubt one of the worst books ever written by a Marxist.
    Actually, the upside-down "Pauline" founder of "Marxism" himself said this ("Only owing to Anti-Dühring did we learn to read and understand Capital the right way"). His most famous disciple apparently forgot about this when saying that Hegel's Logic was the prerequisite work.
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)
  7. #107
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    Trivas:

    Then what did you mean to say by quoting Marx when I asked you specifically re the 'rational core' of dialectics?
    You obviously do not read too well; here it is again:

    Trivas:

    Then you agree with what he wrote in the afterword to the third German edition of Das Kapital:
    Sure, but you quote selectively, for Marx also quoted a reviewer thus:

    "After a quotation from the preface to my 'Criticism of Political Economy,' Berlin, 1859, pp. IV-VII, where I discuss the materialistic basis of my method, the writer goes on:*

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

    "Whilst the writer pictures what he takes to be actually my method, in this striking and [as far as concerns my own application of it] generous way, what else is he picturing but the dialectic method?" [Marx (1976), pp.101-02. Bold emphases added.]
    You will note that Marx calls this the 'dialectic method', and 'his method', but it is also clear that it bears no relation to the sort of dialectics you have had forced down your throat, for in it there is not one ounce of Hegel -- no quantity turning into quality, no contradictions, no negation of the negation, no unities of opposites, no totality...

    So, Marx's method has had Hegel totally extirpated. For Marx, putting Hegel on 'his feet' is to crush his head.

    And of the few terms Marx uses of Hegel's in Das Kapital, he tells us this:

    "and even, here and there in the chapter on the theory of value, coquetted with the mode of expression peculiar to him."
    So, the 'rational core' of the dialectic has not one atom of Hegel in it, and Marx merely 'coquetted' with a few bits of Hegelian jargon in Das Kapital.

    That is hardly a ringing endorsement of this mystical theory.

    And it is little use you telling me he called Hegel a 'mighty thinker', since he pointedly put that in the past tense:

    "I criticised the mystificatory side of the Hegelian dialectic nearly thirty years ago, at a time when is was still the fashion. But just when I was working on the first volume of Capital, the ill-humoured, arrogant and mediocre epigones who now talk large in educated German circles began to take pleasure in treating Hegel in the same way as the good Moses Mendelssohn treated Spinoza in Lessing's time, namely as a 'dead dog'. I therefore openly avowed myself the pupil of that mighty thinker" and even, here and there in the chapter on the theory of value, coquetted with the mode of expression peculiar to him." [Ibid., pp.102-03. Bold emphasis added.]
    Moreover, one can call a theorist a 'mighty thinker' and totally disagree with him or her. [For instance, I think Plato was a 'mighty thinker' but I disagree with 99% of what he said.]

    Still less is there any use in your referring to the Grundrisse -- Marx saw fit not to publish that work, but he did publish the above comments.

    So, Marx and I agree that 'his method' contains no Hegel whatsoever; only I go even further and ditch the jargon with which Marx 'coquetted'.

    Now, we have been over this many times here, as I told you, in numerous threads.

    May I suggest you bother to read a few threads before making a fool of yourself here in future.
    http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.p...4&postcount=73

    Read it again, and slower, if that will help.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 1st June 2008 at 23:30.
  8. #108
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    I am sorry JR, I could not follow this:

    Actually, the upside-down "Pauline" founder of "Marxism" himself said this ("Only owing to Anti-Dühring did we learn to read and understand Capital the right way"). His most famous disciple apparently forgot about this when saying that Hegel's Logic was the prerequisite work.
    Who the hell are you talking about?
  9. #109
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    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)
  10. #110
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    Ok, thanks, but I could not find that quotation here.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 2nd June 2008 at 00:32.
  11. #111
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    http://marxmyths.org/jordan/article.htm

    "Only owing to Anti-Dühring did we learn to read and understand Capital the right way."

    http://www.isreview.org/issues/59/feat-engels.shtml
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)
  12. #112
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    Ah Kautsy! I'd never have guessed. It's several years since I read Jordan.

    Thanks.

    A week ago, I wrote to the International Social Review making the above point to them: that this book is (philosophically) among the very worst ever written by a Marxist.

    Let's see if they publish it.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 2nd June 2008 at 05:56.
  13. #113
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    In his letter to Engels of 3st July 1865, Marx acknowledges that Capital has a dialectical structure. In his letter to Engels of 27 November 1882, Marx congradulates Engels, with evident approval, on some of his ideas on the dialectics of nature. Again, in a letter to Engels on 7 Nov 1867, Marx describes Capital as the first attempt to apply the dialectical method to political economy. In his letter of 27th June 1867 to Engels, Marx refers Engels to the end of Chp 111 of Capital Vol. 1 as attesting to Hegels law of the transformation of quantity into quality.....I could go on.

    However, that said Rosa is correct TO THIS EXTENT, the doctrine of being (of which the laws of the transformation of quantity into quality etc. are part) is for Marx and Engels a minor part of the dialectical doctrine. Thus in a letter on Hegel's Logic to Carl Schmidt of November 1891 Engels directs the reader away from the doctrine of being to the doctrine of essence, which is what the above reviewer's quotation, approvingly quoted by Marx, is referring to. Marx does indeed disagree radically with Hegel, no doubt. The only issue is the content of the disagreement.

    However as Engels says to Schmidt, it is a schoolroom exercise to identify the paralogisms and other errors by which Hegel constructs his false system, "what is far more important is to discover the truth and the genius behind the falsity of the form" (MECW Vol.49 P.286)
    Last edited by gilhyle; 2nd June 2008 at 08:12.
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  14. #114
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    Gil, we have been through this many times; CZ tried this stuff out on us several months ago, and it did not wash then:

    In his letter to Engels of 3st July 1865, Marx acknowledges that Capital has a dialectical structure. In his letter to Engels of 27 November 1882, Marx congradulates Engels, with evident approval, on some of his ideas on the dialectics of nature. Again, in a letter to Engels on 7 Nov 1867, Marx describes Capital as the first attempt to apply the dialectical method to political economy. In his letter of 27th June 1867 to Engels, Marx refers Engels to the end of Chp 111 of Capital Vol. 1 as attesting to Hegels law of the transformation of quantity into quality.....I could go on.
    Well, according to Marx, we know what a 'dialectical' structure is:

    "After a quotation from the preface to my 'Criticism of Political Economy,' Berlin, 1859, pp. IV-VII, where I discuss the materialistic basis of my method, the writer goes on:*

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

    "Whilst the writer pictures what he takes to be actually my method, in this striking and [as far as concerns my own application of it] generous way, what else is he picturing but the dialectic method?" [Marx (1976), pp.101-02. Bold emphases added.]
    In this summary of Marx's method, there is not one atom of Hegel. So, Marx and Engels diverge here -- in this published work, as opposed to any other unpublished remarks you might succeed in scraping together -- and even then, Marx tells us he is being non-serious with Hegelian terms, merely 'coquetting' with them.

    Nice try attempting to excuse your own class-compromise, but it wasn't.
  15. #115
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    Gil, of course, you are correct. There is plentiful documentary evidence from Marx's own pen to confirm that he thought of his work (especially Capital) as dialectical.

    Rosa's desperate attempt to hang her interpretation off the singular use of the word "coquette" doesn't bear scrutiny.

    Furthermore, her constant repetition of this passage amounts to nothing more than spam - an attempt to create noise to drown out any further debate of the issues.

    My advice would be to ignore her further interventions in this matter unless she has something new to add.
    __________________________________________________ ___

    Rosa,

    Any further attempt to spoil debate and to use up bandwidth by endlessly quoting from the Postface will be treated as spam and trashed.

    We get your point. We just don't buy it.
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

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

  16. #116
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    CZ:

    Gil, of course, you are correct. There is plentiful documentary evidence from Marx's own pen to confirm that he thought of his work (especially Capital) as dialectical.

    Rosa's desperate attempt to hang her interpretation off the singular use of the word "coquette" doesn't bear scrutiny.
    Ah, but you perhaps do not know of this:

    "After a quotation from the preface to my 'Criticism of Political Economy,' Berlin, 1859, pp. IV-VII, where I discuss the materialistic basis of my method, the writer goes on:

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

    "Whilst the writer pictures what he takes to be actually my method, in this striking and [as far as concerns my own application of it] generous way, what else is he picturing but the dialectic method?" [Marx (1976), pp.101-02. Bold emphases added.]
    As you probably have not noticed before, Marx calls this 'his method', which means that the 'dialectic method', as Marx understands it contains not one shred of Hegel. No 'unities of opposites', no 'contradictions', no 'negation of the negation', no 'quantity into quality', no 'totality', etc., etc.

    I can live with that, but you and Gil can't.

    Furthermore, her constant repetition of this passage amounts to nothing more than spam - an attempt to create noise to drown out any further debate of the issues.

    My advice would be to ignore her further interventions in this matter unless she has something new to add.
    I really do not think you should call Marx's comment on his own method 'spam' -- and we both know why I have to keep repeating it, since you keep ignoring it.

    And then you have the cheek to say I am distorting Marx!

    Now, unless you have something new to say on this, that is, over and above repeating your determination to ignore Marx, may I suggest you butt out of this debate.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 2nd June 2008 at 13:49.
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    Actually I've decided not to trash your recent post and just allow you to bore the entire forum with your childish behaviour.
    "Events have their own logic, even when human beings do not." - Rosa Luxemburg

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

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    CZ:

    Actually I've decided not to trash your recent post and just allow you to bore the entire forum with your childish behaviour.
    As far as 'childish behaviour' is concerned, we can all remember the tantrums you threw when I used to trash threads; so I suspect that that is the real reason for your second thoughts.

    In that case, I can take lessons from you in how to master 'childish behaviour'. I am clearly the amatuer here.
    Last edited by Rosa Lichtenstein; 2nd June 2008 at 14:58.
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    V returns, no less confused than before


    No, dingbat, the concept of the class struggle comes directly from history and the relation between classes.
    Haha, dingbat. Now you're using slang from an old racist? I'm actually more like "Meathead"...

    But, seriously, plenty of people studied history and class relations and didn't come to those conclusions. Even the socialists of the time thought there was a "social contract". Marx himself explicitly bashed narrative history.

    We have alrerady estabished that Marx abandoned every shread of Hegel in Das Kapital.

    Your memory seems to be going.
    "We" didn't establish anything. You simply made an argument that I didn't agree with and still don't. Perhaps we can continue that here.
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    In his letter to Engels of 27 November 1882, Marx congradulates Engels, with evident approval, on some of his ideas on the dialectics of nature.
    They don't have that one at marxists.org so I can't check it, but good find if that is true. I noticed Rosa simply ignored this as it's not covered by the usual method reference (not that that was ever very convincing to start with).
    "I am not interested in dry economic socialism. We are fighting against misery, but we are also fighting against alienation." - Che Guevara

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