[Marxism] Thoughts provoked by the Platypus

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Tue Aug 31 10:31:13 MDT 2010

> But seriously, anyone who makes such casual use of the word "dialectic" really is not worth taking seriously.  It's the practice of leftist sects everywhere: "but you're just not seeing things dialectically!"
> Puke.

My own lack of knowledge of dialectics is profound, but I have
tentatively over the last few years formulated a 'test' of whether a
statement invoking dialectics is or is not serious. As I understand it,
dialectical relations involve a totality (hence the occasional use of
"organic" as a near synonyum). To speak of understanding "the history of
the left" dialectically is to claim that that history constitutes an
organic whole. Perhaps T.S. Eliot could swallow that*, but not anyone
with any sense of the empirical history of left activity. One cannot say
of that history that "The truth is the Whole."

Another test, which is also applicable to statements such as "X is not
historical," is whether such staements come early or late in the text.
Texts beginning with "X is not historical" can be discarded at once as
of no interest. Texts _ending_ with such statements may be of interest.


* See his "Tradition and the Incividual Talent."

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