Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Dialectical Materialism: Still With Us.

Jose Manuel Barroso, Maoist Revolutionary
"The difficult, devious, and dangerous dialectic became the tool with which Stalin justified the murder of millions. Unless we understand it, it is probable that it may be used historically to justify the demise of all free peoples."

So wrote Dr. Fred Schwarz, the founder of the Christian Anti Communism Crusade, as long ago as 1962.

I consider Dr. Schwarz as something of a mentor; I was lucky to speak with him by telephone on numerous occasions, and we exchanged many letters during the years following my discharge from the RAF, a period in which I became politically aware.

The dialectic he refers to is Dialectical Materialism, which is, in simplistic terms, the philosophy of communism.

I apologise for this paragraph, and I will make it as brief as possible. The concept is Marxian, and it marries the materialism of Feuerbach with the dialectic of Hegel. It supposes a historic and inevitable process of conflict between thesis and antithesis which always culminates in the triumph of the antithesis. This is the synthesis. The antithesis then becomes the new thesis, and the process begins again until a new antithesis appears and overcomes the thesis to create a new synthesis, now know as the negation of the negation. Quantity becomes quality, and from this process a new society, a communist society, will eventually be born.

Sorry about that, but don't blame me, blame the communists, its their philosophy and not mine.

An important part of all this is the concept of dialectical progress. Understanding this is essential to understanding communist strategy, and, I would argue (and this is where it gets relevant), to understanding the strategy of the political elites of the European Union.

When Lenin introduced his New Economic Programme in 1921, this was seen by some as an acceptance of the primacy of capitalism. This was not the case. This was a pragmatic response to economic crisis. When the NEP was replaced by Stalin's 5 year plan in 1928, many of those who turned the economy around through the NEP were liquidated, and the Bolsheviks got themselves back on track.

Lenin staed that atheism was at the heart of Marx. When the church was allowed to re-emerge in WW2, did that mean that the communists had turned their backs on atheism? No, they simply realised that they had to allow their people to have something to fight for. In any case, they assumed that religion would wither away with the dawn of communism, and so they did not feel threatened or compromised by this apparent (to the outsider) change of of direction.

The point I make here, and I could use other examples, is that to understand where the communists were going, it was important to understand the dialectic, to simply look at the direction in which they were travelling at any given moment would reveal nothing.

And so, when President Barroso began his state of the Union address recently with "Europe needs a new direction", bear in mind the concept of dialectical progress. And remember, Barroso cut his political teeth as a Maoist revolutionary. Mao had this to say of the dialectic: "The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the most basic law in materialist dialectics." (1937).

Dialectical materialism is alive and kicking, albeit under the table.

When Tony Blair declared to the Labour Party conference in 1994 that "Marx is dead", like Fukiyama two years earlier, he was somewhat premature. Marx did not pluck his ideas from thin air: to underestimate him is to be vulnerable. Much of the scientific basis of Marxism is as real today as it was in 1867. There is a very good reason why we use the tern political science. Barroso understands that.

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