Chaos and dialectics

Juan Inigo jinigo at
Tue Nov 15 10:39:34 MST 1994

Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters writes

> ... But that still doesn't quite seem to
>motivate an *identity* between dialectics and chaos.  I'm not really
>sure what to make of this comparison yet...  but would be very
>interested if Keen, or anyone else, would detail the perceived
>similarities more explicitly.

In the first place, it depends on what one calls "dialectics." I call
dialectics the process of ideally appropriating the potentiality of a real
concrete form by reproducing the development of its necessity through
thought. Thus faced, a so-called chaotic process shows to be the
realization of a necessity that exists as a possible potency, when the
course of this realization has possibility itself as its specific form of
realizing itself. This is the most developed general form of determination,
that is, of self-affirming through self-negation, and certainly a widely
extended concrete form of it that we must necessarily face with our
conscious action.

Conversely, as it is proper of contemporary scientific theory, chaos theory
represents the determinations involved in this realization as being
themselves determined by the relations of measure of the concrete forms
through which it takes shape. On this basis, chaos theory is specifically
suitable for ideological usage, by presenting conscious action, and
therefore, the general conscious regulation of social life, as necessarily
falling beyond humanity's reach. In the name of chaos theory such
impossibility is not only presented as inherent in the form (method) itself
of scientific cognition, but specifically arising from the nature itself of
those widespread real determinations, as they are represented as having no
necessity other than an abstract accidentalness.

As chaos theory itself advanced in the study of what it calls "strange
attractors" (all its terminology is impregnated with its ideological
necessity to present determination as an abstract accidentalness), it
started to be obvious that a specific necessity actually underlies the
apparently undetermined process. So, after a clamorous beginning, the
specific ideological usage of chaos theory shows today less attractive and
has quieted down a little.

Juan Inigo
jinigo at


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