[Marxism] O, Dialectics!

steve heeren tzsche at shaw.ca
Thu May 12 15:57:28 MDT 2005

www.leninology. blogspot.com wrote:

>> funny but my dictionary says CHANGE /n/ -- that makes it a thing in 
>> my book. besides a "mode of existence" itself is also a thing, but 
>> not tangible (physical) in the everyday sense of "thing".
> That's an interesting point, Steve, but if it is a 'thing', one should 
> be able to distinguish one such thing from two such things.

i don't follow you here.

> More importantly, 'change' is an abstract noun - it doesn't refer to a 
> thing, but what happens *to* things.

i don't agree. change is the thing that constitutes all things, since 
all things come into being and pass away. it is the underlying ground 
of  all reality (sometimes called "becoming", especially by Hegel). (hey 
-- at this rate we will soon be working our way up to Heraclitus! - "All 
is flux.") 

> There are all sorts of words that do not designate things: tomorrow, 
> the past, freedom, justice etc.

again, i would call these "things" too. they are not things in the crass 
empiricist sense (the "this here now") but they are certainly objects of 
study and contemplation, which makes them things, in my view. the 
important thing is to be sensitive to the use of the word "thing" in 
everyday language.

this notion that all is change is a real threat to bourgeois ideology 
which tries to convince us, on ever-shifting grounds, that its 
underlying social formation (capitalist society) is somehow eternal and 
NOT subject to change. you could say that bourgeois ideology is every 
changing (to meet current historical conditions) and yet never changes, 
i.e., ALWAYS has its task as justifying the current system. it changes 
and yet it doesn't change. now, that's dialectic!

steve heeren

p.s. don't get me going on "things" and "relations", hegel's specialty. 

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