Idealism (check definition)

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Tue Aug 17 12:56:17 MDT 1999

Xxxzx Xyyxyz wrote:

>   We can see the fundamental difference between the two in the familiar
> riddle: What came first: the chicken or the egg? The difficulty is
> that one presupposes the other: a chicken is not possible without
> having been borne from an egg! An egg is not possible without having
> been laid by a chicken!

This is not true. Were it true evolution would have been impossible.
Obviously the egg that hatched the "first chicken" was laid by a
non-chicken. On the other hand, a chicken egg can produce only
a chicken. (The shift must come in a mutation which produces
an egg different from the egg that produced the parent.)

And obviously (for the materialist) the application of this metaphor
is also false. There existed electrons before there existed thought.
There existed bacteria before there existed thought. This is why
pre-human history (its reality) is so important for marxism. The
existence of pre-human history (and of history before the appearance
of life, etc.) establishes that even mechanically and chronologically
In the Beginning was the Deed.

This is important, incidentally, for developing the contrast between
historical explanation of ideologies(such as racism) and an explanation
in terms of "social construction" (that term is sometimes but not
always or often used in a materialist, i.e., historical, sense).


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