The philosophy underpinning the revolutionary socialist movement and its theoretical science Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) is dialectical materialism.  Dialectics studies and explains the laws of motion, in other words the laws of development, and interrelation, of things - objects and processes - in reality at their most general level.  Materialism studies and explains the relationship between thinking and action and how we come to gain knowledge about the world around us.  Materialism is the cell and dialectics is the lifeblood of revolutionary philosophy.  Dialectical materialism was created and is daily refreshed by the best practices and ideas globally in the social sciences, physical sciences, academia, industry, and the revolutionary movement.  As the scientific framework and theoretical foundation of socialist revolutionary theory, the guide for creating a bright, exploitation free future, it is crucial to have an expansive, and thoroughly correct grasp of dialectical materialist philosophy.


Unfortunately, in the course of the history of the movement, many Marxist parties and forces professing to uphold dialectical materialism have fallen prey to bouts of, on the one hand, mechanical, anti-dialectical and on other hand, subjective, anti-materialist philosophical thinking.  Mechanical, and subjective philosophical thinking promote a one-sided, narrow, wooden and dogmatic view of issues that has led to errors in the line, policy and actions of numerous Marxist parties and forces and thus mechanical, and subjective philosophical thinking have harmed the revolutionary socialist movement, around the world.  Frequently, through both ignorance and opportunism[1], such thinking has degenerated into the full blown anti-Marxist philosophical malady called mechanical subjectivism (or what is the same thing, metaphysical subjectivism). 


An example of a major political error reinforced by mechanical, and subjective philosophical thinking was the policy, on the part of most Marxist-Leninist parties in the Allied imperialist countries, of supporting the war effort of their country’s imperialists in WWII in the belief that it contributed to the continued existence of socialism in the Soviet Union.  The mechanical and subjective tendency to approach things in a piecemeal manner, to over emphasize what is internal to a thing relative to what is external to it with regard to the development of the thing, and its tendency to place the part above the whole contributed to the adoption of the policy by these parties to place the existence of socialism within the Soviet Union above the needs and interests of the proletarian revolutionary struggle of all localities and countries of the world considered as a whole.  Indeed it may be argued that the continued existence of socialism in the Soviet Union stood a better chance if the parties that aided the war effort of the imperialists of their country had made the interest of worldwide revolutionary struggle paramount by opposing the war efforts of the imperialist rulers of their countries, and if they had made use of any opportunity presented by the world war to overthrow the rule of the imperialist bourgeoisie in their countries.  Of course while adopting such stance, the Marxist-Leninist parties around the world should have still, as they did, militantly oppose the repression and genocide committed by the Nazis against the peoples of various nations, revolutionaries, other progressives, Jews and homosexuals.  Such repression and genocide only served the depraved, profit lust rule of the largest, non-Jewish capitalists in Germany, other Axis powers and this repression and genocide even served the oppressive rule of some sections of the Allied country capitalist class like Henry Ford, Sr. in the U.S.


Much of what makes mechanical and subjective thinking so pernicious and ubiquitous within the Marxist movement is that they have a major basis in faulty philosophical concepts held by outstanding Marxists like Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong.  Mechanical and subjective philosophical ideas in the Marxist movement also have sources outside of Marxism, but their roots in the ideas of these great revolutionaries must be identified and traced so that we may better understand and oppose them, and especially to combat the full blown philosophical disaster that is mechanical subjectivism.


Most of the serious errors committed by Joseph Stalin, leader of the former Soviet Union during WWII, were rationalized and reinforced not just by fragmentary mechanical and subjective philosophical ideas, but in large part by his outright mechanical subjectivism.  Stalin’s policies and actions, especially through dominant Soviet influence in the 3rd Communist International (Comintern), the international association of the world’s Marxist-Leninist parties at the time, helped to promote the spread of anti-dialectical, mechanical and mechanical subjectivist philosophical notions internationally among many progressive, revolutionary forces including the Marxist-Leninist parties.  Because the mechanical subjectivism of Stalin and the Comintern have never been fully addressed and controverted by non-Trotskyist, non-revisionist, truly Marxist philosophical analysis, many of its corrosive beliefs and effects linger on to this day.  As the ideological handmaiden of Stalin’s errors, mechanical subjectivism doubtless contributed to the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, a process that began during Stalin’s leadership of the Soviet party and state and became complete after he passed away.


The intention of this work is not only to identify mechanical and subjective philosophical thinking and errors that have caused harm to the global proletarian struggle, but in the process to correct their desiccation of revolutionary theory and policy by extensively renewing existing topics of dialectical materialism and adding a number of new concepts to its corpus.


In Part One, we will start our exploration and renovation of revolutionary philosophy by defining in turn both materialism and dialectics.  This will be followed by an explanation of the dialectical materialist way of gaining knowledge about the world.  As these concepts are elaborated they will be extended and enhanced.  Next, the role dialectics plays in the development of a thing and the cosmos generally will be discussed.  A key facet of the discussion on development will focus on the nature of the exchange of roles and content (a.k.a. identizing) that takes place among the opposed aspects and tendencies that make up what is called a contradiction in dialectics.  As key concepts of dialectical development such as the identizing of opposed aspects are elaborated, a number of innovative concepts will be introduced into dialectical materialism which will greatly increase the microscopic and telescopic analytical power of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.  After the discussion on development, revolutionary philosophy will be rehabilitated debunking the prevailing myth among Marxists that what is internal to a thing is generally decisive to the direction of a things development.  Throughout Part One the mechanical position on a variety of important philosophical issues will be explained[2].  Also many examples from the physical sciences, including cell biology, and Relativity Theory in physics, will be used to illustrate various key points.


In Part Two it will be shown how the fallacies of  the mechanical viewpoint explained in Part One at times comes together as mechanical subjectivism to form the philosophical ground floor of extremely harmful political errors like dogmatism, cult of the personality and full blown opportunism within the forces and parties of the both the past and present U.S. and international revolutionary socialist movement.  In light of the philosophical issues broached earlier in Part One, we will revisit discussion of the incorrect policy around WWII by revolutionary parties in Allied imperialist countries and we will also explore in greater detail the relationship between mechanical subjectivism and the errors of Stalin.  Continuing on, we will examine the harmful effect that the “internal is key” view had on the interests of the global revolutionary proletarian struggle in terms of various key events in the domestic and foreign policy affairs of the Soviet Union and China when they were socialist countries.  [At this time Part Two is still under construction.  The material in Part Two that will identify specific dogmatic policies in both the global and U.S. socialist movements and show the close relationship between mechanical subjectivism and dogmatism while present is still under construction.  It will be complete by draft revision 7.0.  In the meantime, please excuse typographical and syntax errors in the draft revisions.  Feel free to notify, the author, Tim Redd via the RISP email address regarding errors, or to comment on any aspect of the works content.]


At the conclusion of Forward With Revolutionary Dialectics, dialectical materialism should have a new sparkle and shine and serve as a more potent weapon in the people’s struggle to rid the world of brutal capitalism and all of its exploitation and oppression forever.  Let us begin by first defining materialism and then move on to define dialectics.






To understand materialism let’s begin by comparing it with the opposite philosophical stance, idealism.  The meaning of the terms materialism and idealism here are different from their everyday usage.  In everyday usage to be materialistic means to desire fame, unnecessary things, or luxury items above all else.  And in everyday usage idealism refers to an idea or action that is about doing good without concern for fame, unnecessary things, or luxury items.  These everyday, non-philosophical connotations have evolved from the attempt by clerics and other muddle minded bourgeois thinkers to demonize genuine philosophical materialism.  As will now be explained, materialism is one of the 2 major philosophical piers of science while idealism is the philosophical underpinning of mythology, religion and other superstition.


The dichotomy between philosophical materialism and philosophical idealism is chiefly as follows:

  • Most idealists claim that spirit, idea[3], or one or more gods[4] created the cosmos (universe, or multiverse[5]) of matter - mass and energy.  In addition, most idealists believe that spirit, idea[6], or one or more gods are the prime movers of on-going events having to do with matter in the cosmos.
  • Materialism holds that the cosmos is infinite and has no beginning or end.  The 1st of law of thermodynamics in physics tells us that matter - mass and energy[7] - can only be changed into one form, or another of matter, never created or destroyed.  Therefore materialists hold that the cosmos has always and will always exist, and that the matter of the cosmos undergoes infinite transformation.
  • Idealists who believe that spirit, idea, or one or more gods created the cosmos of matter clearly believe that motion – their creator spirits, ideas and gods – can exist without matter.  There are other idealist who do not necessarily believe that spirit, idea, or one or more gods created the cosmos, but nevertheless believe that motion can exist without matter.
  • Materialist hold that motion is not possible without matter of some form (not possible without mass or energy of some form) nor is it possible for matter to exist without being in some kind of motion.  For materialists matter and motion are an indissoluble whole, the existence of one means the existence of the other.
  • Some idealists claim that ideas, consciousness and thoughts are given to us by spirits, or gods and that ideas, consciousness, and thoughts may be separated from a body with a brain (or entity like a computer) made up of matter that resides within matter[8].
  • Materialism holds that ideas, consciousness and thoughts result from the experience (the practice) of a body with a brain (or entity like a computer) made up of matter that resides within matter.
  • A subgroup of idealists called solipsists claim there is no proof that things - objects and processes – made of matter exist outside of the mind.  Solipsists maintain the only reality we can be sure are the stimuli we receive from the 5 senses.  They assert that if indeed there is a reality of things beyond the impressions we receive from our senses, we can not be sure that our sense impressions actually correspond with what is going on in that reality of things.
  • Materialism holds that there is a reality of things constituted of matter outside of the mind[9].  In addition, materialism holds that in the course of our experience, or practice, with those things (at times aided by instruments like the microscope and telescope) our senses can provide us with an accurate knowledge and understanding of the things in reality outside of our minds. This is verified by our ability to use that knowledge to successfully transform the world of things to suit our needs and desires.


From this comparison it should be clear that there is no room for god, or spirits in the materialist outlook.  Despite the positing of one, or more gods, or spirits behind innumerable unexplained phenomena throughout history, neither gods, nor spirits have ever been discovered when the cause for such phenomena has been found.  The explanation in each and every case has to do with natural, non-spiritual cause and effect.  This scientific perspective on the explanation of events and the nature of the cosmos form the firm foundation of the materialist outlook in philosophy.


Many solipsists claim that if we can not directly observe certain things, or if we can not somehow directly observe them through instruments, we can not be sure of their existence.  But the solipsists do not understand that through scientific practice, which is capable of proving the connection of things, including proof of the behavior of things in their connection, we can reliably infer the existence of things we can not directly observe, or can not directly observe through instruments.  By successfully fashioning reality to suit our needs in our experience (our practice), we demonstrate that behind the veil of what we can not directly observe, or can not directly observe through instruments, that there are objects and processes whose existence we can be sure of and about whose existence we may obtain useful and reliable knowledge.


5 major principles of materialism we may summarize from the above are that:

  • To say that a thing - an object, or process - has an objective existence means that the thing’s form[10], or content[11] are constructed from matter: mass and, or energy.  To say that a thing has an objective existence also means that scientific inquiry[12] may be used to confirm that the form, or content of a thing is indeed constructed of matter and that we may use the scientific method to gain knowledge, or understanding of the thing.
  • The cosmos – the universe, the multiverse – exists objectively.
  • Through the application of the scientific method in our experiences and practice, we can successfully understand and transform the cosmos and things in it.
  • Motion only exist through matter and matter only exist in some form of motion.
  • In general, the nature and origin of ideas stems from individual, or collective (social) objective existence (being[13]) in the world of things that also exist objectively.



An idea may exist objectively in both form and content, an idea may exist objectively in form, but not in content and an idea may exist objectively in content, but not in form.  The form of an idea is the manner in which it is communicated, or recorded.  Ideas may be communicated through for instance speech, reading, or the internet.  They may be recorded as brain innervations, or digital bits.  Content is the meaning an idea conveys, or  expresses.  An idea’s form can exist objectively due to the mass, or energy that makes up its means of communication, or recordation, even if its content is false.  For instance the idea of god as a brain innervation exists objectively in a number of brains, however god as the content of the idea has not been shown to have any mass and, or energy associated with it.


If an idea has a content that arises from practice of people in the world of things made from matter - mass and, or energy - and if the idea corresponds with needs of the individual and society and is in line with the overall flow of progress in history, the content of the idea can eventually be transformed and made to have an objective existence in matter through people’s practice and actions.


Those with a mechanical view tend to overlook that theory not just actions make up practice and experience.  Practice and experience always involves both thinking and ideas along with action.  Practice is a hand in hand march of ideas and actions directed to achieve some goal.  However thinking and ideas can occur without the immediate simultaneous occurrence of action.




A basic part of every philosophy is a view, understanding, or theory about how humans gain a correct knowledge of the world—of the things (objects and processes) that populate the world around us.  The study and explanation of how humans come to know things is often referred to in philosophy as epistemology.


Materialist epistemology holds that we gain a correct knowledge of the things in world around us by cycling between experience (practice) with a thing on the one hand and ideas about the thing on the other.  Ideas and experience are opposites tied together in a dialectical contradiction.  On the basis of having experience with a thing we form ideas about how the thing operates and relates to other things in world.  We then apply the ideas we have formed about a thing in further practice with the thing.  This either denies or affirms the correctness of our ideas about the thing.  The process repeats until we gain full knowledge of the thing.


Not only is there a simple cycle between ideas and practice with a thing as we gain deeper knowledge of it, but typically over time both our ideas and practice having to do with a thing moves to higher and higher levels.  The whole process of coming to know a thing is generally a spiraling helix of increasingly more accurate ideas and better practice related to the thing.  As we gain greater experience with a thing, we tend to form increasingly correct, increasingly more comprehensive ideas about the nature of the thing and how it relates to other things in the world.  This allows us to raise our practice with the thing to increasingly higher and higher levels.


The process of learning about a thing proceeds through 2 stages, with the second stage having 2 sub-stages.  The initial stage is perceptual knowledge, which ideally leads to the second, deeper stage of conceptual knowledge.  The stage of conceptual knowledge is made up of 2 sub-stages: unconnected knowledge and connected knowledge.


During the stage of perceptual knowledge our understanding of a thing is often only “fragmentary” and “shallow” as, Mao writes in On Practice; our knowledge of an object, or process is mostly about the outside, the external features of the thing.  Not only is our understanding of a thing mostly piecemeal and fragmentary during the stage of perceptual knowledge, but often what is most apparent about a thing hides, or obscures an understanding of the more important characteristics and behaviors of the thing.  Thus it is sometimes said that “the casual view hides the causal view”.


After continued practice and experience with a thing in the perceptual stage, our knowledge of the thing becomes more accurate and comprehensive.  At this point we begin to move to the stage of conceptual knowledge of the thing.  During the first of the 2 sub-stages of conceptual knowledge, called unconnected knowledge, we mainly come to a deeper knowledge of what is going on inside, or internal to, a thing.  A key task of the sub-stage of unconnected knowledge is to identify and understand relevant things (including systems) that reside within a thing.  Eventually our study of what goes on inside a thing should lead us to the connected knowledge sub-stage of conceptual knowledge.  It is in the sub-stage of connected knowledge where we gain a fuller and deeper knowledge of the connections and interactions a thing has with other things - objects and processes - outside of it.   A major goal of connected knowledge is to identify and understand relevant larger systems of which a thing is a part.


Importantly, connected conceptual knowledge compares, contrasts and associates what we know about a thing with the characteristics of other things, whereupon we classify the thing; often this means placing the thing into a set, a class of other things like it.   If a thing is categorized and placed into a class with like objects, it should then be compared, contrasted and associated with other members of its class in order to gain a still deeper knowledge of the thing.  The process of determining what class a thing belongs to and comparison of a thing with other members of the class should be an on-going process for a variety of reasons: our practice with a thing improves our knowledge of it, our practice with a thing places it in new situations, or contexts, and finally, the thing itself changes over time.


The crucial role of the conceptual stage of knowledge in gaining knowledge about a thing as a system with parts that work together and produce an effect on other things is explored in greater detail in the chapter, “System View: Vital to Dialectical Materialism” under the section, “System Abstraction Provides Deep System Knowledge”.


It should be noted that it is not necessary to directly participate in an idea-practice cycle to gather correct knowledge from it.  As long as the scientific dialectical materialist idea-practice cycle was used to generate the knowledge, we are careful to keep in mind the conditions to which the knowledge applies and we are sure we are getting factual knowledge from the idea-practice cycle, we may read about, or otherwise gain knowledge indirectly from it and benefit from it as well.


The preceding cycle of stages and sub-stages is the overall framework for gaining a scientific knowledge of the world of objects and processes around us.  We will now investigate how this scientific approach to knowledge generally in all areas of life is further refined to gain knowledge in the specific areas of life known as the physical sciences (e.g. physics, biology) and the social sciences (e.g. economics, anthropology).



The particular scientific method used in the various physical and social sciences, at its most basic, is a structured cycling between practice (experience) in some area of reality on the one hand and a summary of ideas (theory) based upon that experience on the other in order to gain an understanding of that area of reality.  Thus we find that the method for gaining knowledge in the sciences, called aptly the scientific method, is a specialized form of the dialectical materialist theory of knowledge.


Cycling between ideas and experience in the scientific method used in most of the physical and social sciences is a structured refinement of the general dialectical materialist method for gaining knowledge because it involves unique highly rigorous thinking and ideas being applied to very specific kinds of actions and experience in the area under study.  For example in the physical sciences like chemistry and physics the scientific method’s experience-idea cycle process used to discover new knowledge and insights proceeds as follows:

  • Step 1, prior experience from a specific kind of controlled experience called an experiment is summarized in ideas.
  • Step 2, from the summarized idea, an idea is formulated about what might occur in the next experiment, called an hypothesis[14].
  • Step 3, the experiment testing the hypothesis is carried out and the cycle returns to the first step.


At times a number of scientific experiment-hypotheses cycles are linked in such a way that  single hypotheses is proven by and explains all of the linked cycles[15].  A single hypotheses that explains and is verified by a set of linked experiment-idea cycles is then said to be a “law”, or “Theory”[16].


Each social, or physical science modifies the scientific method with its structured cycling between practice and ideas to suit its particular content and nature.  For instance while the science of medicine uses double blind placebo methods, the science of archaeology does not.  Further, while some sciences mainly test hypotheses by how well they make predictions about future facts and events, other sciences do so mainly via retrodictions, that is by looking backward to test how well a hypothesis explains what has happened in the past.



Context in the first place is the specific interest, or perspective, we have when we view, take into account, or analyze a thing.  Each specific interest we have in a thing is but one out of an infinite universe of interests we may take in that thing.  Some perspectives we have on a thing overlap and intersect with other perspectives we have on it, and many perspectives we have of a thing are orthogonal, that is are separate and parallel.  For each kind of interest we have in a object there is a specific set of related things, or a circumstance (things in relation to one another at a given time), external to the thing of interest.  And just as with the various kinds of specific interests we have in a thing, its potential circumstances are infinite and may overlap, or be orthogonal.  Thus we find that the context of a thing is our interest in the thing which entails an associated circumstance.


Nothing has meaning except in context.  While things exist objectively outside of the mind, they only have meaning, when considered in one, or another context.  We can not gain an objective understanding of something unless it is in one or another context of examination.  Indeed an object is only an object as carved out of the background of all other things.  The carving process, the pulling out from the welter of other things is always done according to some criteria, or set of contextual specifications. 


Frederick Engel’s, a co-founder along with, Karl Marx and Joseph Dietzgen of revolutionary scientific socialism writes in Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of German Classical Philosophy, “…one is always conscious of the necessary limitation of all acquired knowledge, of the fact that it is conditioned by the circumstances in which it was acquired. On the other hand, one no longer permits oneself to be imposed upon by the antithesis, insuperable for the still common old metaphysics, between true and false, good and bad, identical and different, necessary and accidental. One knows that these antitheses have only a relative validity; that that which is recognized now as true has also its latent false side which will later manifest itself, just as that which is now regarded as false has also its true side by virtue of which it could previously be regarded as true. One knows that what is maintained to be necessary is composed of sheer accidents and that the so-called accidental is the form behind which necessity hides itself — and so on.”[17]


Dialectical materialism holds that things exist in some context, that things exist with specific kinds of linkage to other things, and that things may be understood and engaged in their context by using the scientific method.  To understand a thing requires 1) knowing the thing and 2) knowing the context of the thing.


Context determines what we want to and must know about a thing.  It is necessary to set some contextual criteria for our scientific understanding of the thing.  Cognition of the truth of a thing depends upon the context in which the subjective is considering thing.  There is always an external context which defines the object of interest and determines what responsibilities it has and how it behaves, or acts, to fulfill its responsibility.  Context is determined by what the subjective finds of interest.  In a context how an object fulfills its responsibility and behaves is either determined by, or least greatly influenced by, the external objects, or processes the thing interacts with in its surrounding context.


Like the tumbler Lenin writes about in “Once Again on Trade Unions”, a thing has many natures, essences, internals.  It is context that determines which one, or more of those may essences we are interested in regarding a thing at any time.  While things exist independent of the mind they are nonsense until given some sense of contextual place in which to be understood.


The things and the state of affairs that exist within a context are absolute, that is they have an objective existence; they have some definite measure of mass, and or energy for their context.  However what is true, or true for accomplishing a task in one context may not be true, or true for accomplishing the same task in a different context.  How one successfully uses a thing in one context may be different from finding success with that thing in an alternate context.  Truth is absolute within a context, but it may be relative across contexts.  In other words, what is the truth in one context may not be the truth in other contexts.  This parallels relativity theory in physics where we find that the speed of the same thing may be different when measured from different contextual frames of reference, yet the true speed of the thing for each of the frames is what was measured for Thus there is absolute contextual truthórelative contextual truth.


Context as discussed here has 2 meanings.  First, context may be seen in a macro, or large scale way, as a domain, or sphere of interest in the sense that mathematics, electronics, and class struggle are all various spheres, or domains of activity and practice.  A sphere of broad interest like metallurgy is an example of a macro domain context.  Second context may be viewed in a micro, or very specific way as the one of a set of circumstances within a single domain.  In electronics the context of a negative wire and positive wire running an inch from each other on a dry surface is different context from the same 2 wires running an inch from each other on a surface wet with water.  Each of the last 2 contexts are examples of a micro domain context.



Shortly in the next chapter after exploring the basic nature of dialectics and its core concept dialectical contradiction, we will discuss what constitutes the 3 forms of truth - relative, objective and absolute - and the dialectical nature of the relationships that exist among them.



In the work Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, V.I. Lenin correctly upholds the materialist philosophical position that correct ideas and consciousness mainly arise from objectively existing things (objectively existing being) as opposed to the idealist philosophical position that things, or the nature of things, mainly arise from ideas.  A major leg of Lenin’s argument is his contention that there is an “objective reality independent of humanity”.  


However while parts of reality do exist independently of humanity, not all of reality exists independently of humanity and further the correctness of materialism may be upheld without the need for there to be an on-going reality independent of human ideas, or action.  The essence of philosophical materialism is that correct ideas and consciousness mainly arise from objectively existing things and not vice versa and this is true whether or not there is an on-going objective reality that is “independent” of the actions, or ideas of humans, or humanity as a whole.


Certainly in the past and presently there continue to be aspects of reality that are independent of human ideas and actions, but analysis in the area of quantum mechanics (QM) in physics, among others, makes it abundantly clear that there are aspects of reality that are very much dependent upon the ideas, actions and manner in which we approach them as humans.  Even beyond QM we know that much of what occurs in the everyday realm of classical physics is dependent upon what we as humans think and do.  In fact the central point Lenin makes in his great guide to revolution, What Is To Be Done? is that the actions of a human based revolutionary party (a “subjective” factor because it is people based not because it is immature, or regressive) is key to enabling objectively existing, non-revolutionary conditions to be transformed into objectively existing revolutionary conditions that may even lead to the successful seizure of power by the proletariat.  Mao Zedong broadened the applicability of this concept by pointing out how the ideas and actions of humans, as the subjective factor, are often decisive when considering the nature and outcome of the relationship between humanity and those things that have an objective, that is a material (made up of matter - mass, or energy) existence outside of humanity.


So we find that we must refine, or adjust, Lenin’s claim that there is an “objective reality independent of humanity” into the proposition that all things that exist objectively are material and that potentially correct ideas about those things may be gained by using the scientific method regardless of how, or whether, or not the ideas, or actions of individuals, or humanity affects those material things.  Many things that are not independent of the actions, or analysis of humanity, nevertheless have a material existence outside of human thought.  Thus materialism which holds that correct ideas and consciousness mainly arise from objectively existing things (objectively existing being) and not vice versa is true regardless of the fact that humans interact with and have an effect on things that objectively exist.




To answer the question “what is dialectics?” it will be helpful at the outset to provide a brief synopsis of what the science of dialectics involves before answering the question in more detail.  In the Introduction to this work it was stated that, "Dialectics studies and explains the laws of motion, that is it the laws of development, and interrelation of things - objects and processes - in reality at their most general level".  On the basis of this study and explanation, the science of dialectics formulates a system of dialectical reasoning in order to accurately understand (cognize) the way things develop and interrelate that is known as dialectical logic, or dialogic.  Integral to dialectical study and cognition of the world is the application of dialogic to transforming the world in a revolutionary way to move forward the progression of humanity.  In the world today that means combining materialism with dialectics to make socialist revolution in order to rid the world of capitalism and capitalist exploitation and oppression by establishing a classless society.


Study of the makeup and nature of things – all objects and processes – demonstrates that all things may be divided into two, or more different tendencies, forces, or aspects; a single thing can always be divided into two, or more parts.  As Mao wrote in On Contradiction, “Difference itself is a contradiction.”[18].  In a dialectical contradiction one, or more differences exist within the same thing, or same context[19].  In order for one thing to remain different from another, there must be tension, opposition, or struggle between the different things.  This means that differing tendencies, forces, or aspects of a dialectical contradiction are opposed to one another to some degree, or other.  Motion and development within and between all things is governed and driven by the struggle of the opposed aspects of contradictions.


Examples of contradictions are: war and peace in the relations between people, art and science in the practice of humanity as it interfaces with the world, hot and cold in temperature, male and female in sexual reproduction, oppressor imperialist countries and oppressed 3rd world nations in the community of countries, the working class and the capitalists in society, protagonist and antagonist in literature.  In humor there is the juxtaposition of the congruent and incongruent and the expected with the unexpected.  Mao Zedong writes, “contradictions continuously arise and are continuously resolved, such is life”[20].


Within philosophy, the dialectical view is in contradiction with the mechanical, or metaphysical view.  The mechanical, or metaphysical view, denies that different opposed tendencies, forces or aspects may simultaneously exist in a single thing.  The mechanical view holds that a thing can only have one characteristic, or feature at a time and denies that opposed aspects, properties, or forces can exist together in the same thing.  Yet life shows is that in fact a single thing may contain opposed aspects, behaviors, tendencies and forces at the same time.  Positive and negative voltage exist together in a battery, diastolic and systolic blood pressure exist together in the cardio-vascular system and light and dark occur during the same day.


Since all objects and processes in reality have one, or more differences within them, the phenomena of contradiction is universal, meaning that contradiction exists everywhere and in all things.  Further, because tension opposition and struggle is present in every contradiction, struggle like contradiction is universal, it exists everywhere, in all things.


In Summary of Dialectics[21] Lenin writes, “the thing (phenomenon, etc) as the sum and unity of opposites”.  Lenin’s point is that a thing is not just the simple sum of its opposed aspects, but that a thing is also the new union that results when opposed aspects are bound together and interacting as a single entity.  He is emphasizing that the opposed aspects within a thing do not a thing do just live separate lives, but rather that if it were not for a uniting of the opposed aspects that results in a new unity, or new entity based upon the tight bond between the opposed aspects, the thing would not exist at all.  A thing would have no form, or content, were it not for its union of opposed aspects.  A thing’s features, behavior and connections to other things are due to both, 1)  the sum total of the features, behavior and connections due to each of its opposed aspects considered separately and 2) the nature of the union of its opposed aspects.  A battery is more than the simple sum of positive and negative voltage.  For a battery, it is the interaction of positive and negative voltages due to their uniting and union which is the source of the battery’s energy.



To this point in the history of the study of contradiction in the science of dialectics the concept of a contradiction  has been limited to having exactly 2 opposed aspects.  In actual fact however while a dialectical contradiction must have at least 2 opposed aspects, they may also be made up of 3 or more opposed aspects.  For instance, the sound that usually emanates from a violin string is an is made up of multiple vibrating frequencies.  Due to the difference in their frequencies within a single thing, the overall sound, the multiple frequencies are opposed aspects of single contradiction.[22]  In another example, the relationship between the human digestive, endocrine, and nervous systems in a single body constitutes a single multiple aspect contradiction.  Each system while working with the others in the single unit of the human body is also different from and has needs that at times even contradicts the needs of the others and in that sense each system is an opposed aspect of a single contradiction.  In addition to the term 2 aspect contradiction, we will also refer to contradictions having only 2 opposed aspects as binary contradictions.  And we will sometimes refer to contradictions with multiple opposed aspects like the endocrine system as super binary contradictions.  It should be clear that the concept of super-binary contradictions with more than two aspects is a legitimate, and useful extension of the traditional concept of binary contradiction in dialectics.



The opposed aspects of a contradiction are not always polar opposites like north and south, hot and cold, in and out, war and peace, etc.  Polar opposites aspects exist as pairs and either aspect implies the real, or possible existence of the other, north implies south, hot implies cold and so on.  Whereas aspects of a contradiction that are in a non-polar opposition may stand alone[23].  In the contradiction where multiple frequency waves are each one of the opposed aspects of a contradiction that makes a single sound, a single frequency wave does not necessarily imply, or require the existence of another frequency wave and may stand alone.


At first one might think that binary contradictions with 2 aspects have polar opposites, whereas super-binary contradictions with more than 2 aspects do not, but neither assumption is true.  Binary contradictions may have non-polar aspects and perhaps surprisingly super-binary contradictions may possess polar opposite aspects.  The contradiction between the ceiling and walls of a room is typically not considered to be one between polar opposites, but because they are different yet still united in the same entity, the room, the 2 are in a binary contradiction with one another.[24]  On the other hand, to the non-polar, super-binary contradiction between the digestive, endocrine, and nervous systems may be added the polar opposites of the arterial system and venous system. 


So we find that the 2, or more aspects of a single dialectical contradiction may consist of:

1)     one, or more pair of opposites, like plus and minus electrical voltage which always imply and require one another to exist.

2)     2 or more opposed (not opposite) aspects where each aspect neither implies, nor requires the existence of the other aspects, like the single sound with multiple frequencies.

3)     2 or more opposed (not opposite) aspects where each aspect implies, and requires the existence of the other aspects like the human digestive, endocrine, and nervous system.

4)     some combination of the preceding 3.


Regardless of their number, or kind, the opposite, or opposed aspects of every contradiction always have some degree of tension, or struggle with one another, due to the fact that they are different yet united in the same process.  The struggle between aspects at a given time may be more peaceful than intense, or conversely more intense and not so peaceful, but as long as the aspects are united in contradiction, they are always in some degree of struggle.  This assures us that there will always be some motion in reality; reality can never stand still.  The cosmos always has been and always will be in some form of motion.


Aspects of a contradiction like everything else always divide into 2 or more parts[25].  So aspects themselves have at least 2 opposed aspects within them which are in a contradiction.  When it is said that the aspects of a contradiction oppose one another, it also means that there are complete contradictions within a single aspect that oppose complete contradictions within another aspect.  And this patterns repeats inward infinitely, so that the 2, or more opposed aspects of a contradiction within an aspect themselves have one, or more contradictions within them and so on[26].



Although the opposed aspects of a contradiction are always in some degree of struggle, there is not always an antagonistic obvious, or robust struggle between the opposed aspects.  There is always some tension between things that are different from one another, but that does not mean they always, or ever even, vigorously oppose one another.  For example, there is a tension between the wool,  cotton and rayon in a blended pair of pants, but for most of the life of the garment there is no turbulent opposition between the 3 kinds of fabric.


At the end of a stage, or at the end the lifecycle of development of a contradiction there is usually one of 2 outcomes.  Either 1) one of its opposed aspects is predominant and a new contradiction arises with, or without the predominant aspect, or 2) the original contradiction with its opposed aspects is subsumed (“swallowed up”), or annihilated by another contradiction, with none of the opposed aspects in the original contradiction ever becoming predominant.  In case number 1 where one of the opposed aspects is predominant, one of the opposed aspects becomes predominant while the others are non-predominant: predominantónon-predominant.


Even when one opposed aspect is predominant at the end of stage, or at the end of a lifetime of development of a contradiction, it is not necessary for the opposed aspects of the contradiction to be in open struggle, or in strong antagonistic opposition most of the time, at any instant, or even at the end of the stage, or lifecycle of development.  However there are some contradictions where strong, antagonism between opposed aspects exists at one or more instants, or for the majority of instants during the stage.


For example the proletariat should be predominant, that is play the leadership role, relative to other classes, like the petit bourgeoisie made up of professionals, and farmers, in the revolutionary struggle to overthrow capitalism and the proletariat should lead in socialist society after the revolutionary seizure of power.  Though predominant, the relationship of the proletariat to the petit bourgeoisie should be a non-antagonistic one.  The proletariat should attempt to unite with most in the petit bourgeoisie to seize power and to continue to transform society to abolish classes and eliminate all exploitation and oppression during socialist society.  The difference, the contradiction, between the proletariat and the petit bourgeoisie is a non-antagonistic one between the people. 


However the relationship between the proletariat and the corporate monopoly capitalists elite who make up 2% of the population in the U.S. yet own 70% of the wealth is and should be antagonistic for the most part.  The proletariat struggles to predominate over this elite, to liberate itself and all other classes in society, by first waging antagonistic class struggle to overthrow it.  Secondly the proletariat leads the other classes in antagonistic struggle against the same elite during socialist society in order not to be oppressed again and to, as stated, abolish classes and eliminate all exploitation and oppression.[27]



All things interrelate, cross connect and interpenetrate with other things.  “…we have now arrived at the point where we can demonstrate the interconnection between processes in nature not only in particular spheres but also the interconnections of these particular spheres on the whole and so we can present [a] comprehensive view of the interconnection in nature by means of the facts provided by empirical science itself…”[28].


Things interconnect in a large variety of ways.  Among the ways, things nest and recursively nest within each other and they inherit features from one another.  In the motion and development of things, there is both positive and negative feedback between them and things reciprocally (mutually) drive the motion of one another.  Systems as a whole have an effect on their parts, and parts effect each other   There are transitions from one thing to the other, and these transitions take place both within (internally) and between things (externally).  Things often develop in an overall reciprocally progressive, or in an overall reciprocally regressive manner.  All these things are due to the struggle of opposed aspects in a panoply of contradictions.  The result is a life of tumultuous, beautiful, multi-faceted wonder.


Due in part to a things infinite connections with other things external to it, there is nearly always a new side, some new behavior, characteristic, or property that turns up about a thing as it its considered in terms of each of its myriad external connections.  But it should be added that often these new facets of a thing become evident due to the state of play, or the configuration, or the stage and level development of its internal contradictions as they react and respond to its myriad external connections.


Interconnection and links between things cause their processes to clump, to form bundles. And the interconnection between things causes processes to be released from the bundles in many directions with those formerly bundled processes having been informed by their bundling.


The opposed aspects of contradiction within a thing interpenetrate each other.  Graphically the way that things interpenetrate may be depicted in 2 basic ways and those 2 may be combined in a 3rd way.  The Tao symbol from the Orient manifests all 3.  Perhaps you have seen the symbol of Tao?  It is often called the symbol of Yin and Yang.  The symbol is circular and has 2 halves, one white and one black.  The 2 halves meet at a curving wave front and there are small dots of the other color within each half.  Within the black half there is an white island dot and within the sea of the white half there is a black island dot.  So the 3 main forms of how opposed things interpenetrate are:

  • Meet along a wave front, or meet with finger like projections into each other
  • One being situated as an island within the other
  • Both forms combined as they are in the whole Tao[29] symbol

Typically the interpenetration between things - objects and processes - involves all 3 forms.  For all things, what is external to it often interpenetrates what is internal to it and vice versa through the struggle of opposed aspects both inside and outside of those things.  So that above 3 forms are the major way to graphically depict the manner in which all things to connect, link and interconnect.


The mechanical and metaphysical view does not see things in their interconnection.   The mechanical, or metaphysical view comprehends things as a “complex of readymade things not properly as a complex of processes”[30].  Mechanism fails to do comprehensive correlation of facts to summarize, to abstract the essence of their interconnection into general laws.  While dialectical materialism emphasizes the external connection of things the mechanical view fails to the see the broad and all-sided interconnection of things in nature and society.


The mechanical view fails to see, downplays, or ignores that things have contradictory aspects.  It is not aware that 1 thing is made up of 2 opposed things.  It fails to see and thus make use of the fact that one aspect of contradiction may be used to guide the development of an opposed aspect.  It  also fails to see and make use of the ability of one aspect to overcome insufficiency in another.  The mechanical view is one-sided and focuses on one characteristic of thing to the exclusion of others.  That is a key reason mechanical subjectivists often mistake and handle contradictions among the people like contradictions between the people and the enemy.



For the sake of convenience as we proceed, we will often use graphical shorthand for the term “is in contradiction with”.  It is this symbol ó.  This symbol may be created by pressing in order without spaces, the less than, the equal and the greater than keys.  So the graphical shorthand for conveying the fact that theory is in contradiction with practice is: theoryópractice.[31]



Dialectics, as has been discussed earlier, shows us that everything is divided into different, opposed aspects and that opposed aspects always struggle.  Dialectics also recognizes that on the basis of the struggle between them, the opposed aspects of a contradiction can and do transition and transform themselves into, or become, one another.  In reality there, as Lenin wrote, “the transitions of every determination, quality, feature, side, property into every other…into its opposite…”.[32] This is called the “identizing” of opposites[33].  When the opposed aspects of a contradiction transform themselves into one another they may exchange the different and opposed roles they play (their forms), and they may exchange the content they “hold” within themselves.


To illustrate, a landscaper may have in mind the ideal of a tree planted at certain spot.  The ideal desire of the landscaper is in a contradiction with real situation: idealóreal.  The desire of the landscaper plays the role, has the form, of the ideal in the contradiction and the actual situation plays the role, has the form, of the real.  Through thoughtful action, or what is the same thing practice, the landscaper must turn this mental ideal into the real situation of a having a planted tree; through the practice of planting the tree, the landscaper transforms her ideal desire into the real.  The ideal side of the contradiction transforms, it identizes into the real.  Also in this case, content identizes between the opposites of realóideal.  Before accomplishing the actual task of planting tree, the mental image of a planted tree exist as the content of the ideal in the landscaper’s mind.  After the landscaper actually plants the tree, the ideal mental image of planted tree becomes transformed into the actually planted tree.  This is the identizing of content from the ideal side of the contradiction to the real.  So we see that indeed the identizing of opposed aspects of a contradiction applies to both the roles, (the forms), the opposed aspects play, as well as to their content.   The ultra-dynamic nature of the contradiction between theory and practice comes into sharper relief when we understand these facets of identizing in a dialectical contradiction.


Of course form and content themselves are opposites in the contradiction: formócontent.  Likewise there is the contradiction: synchronousóasynchronous.  The roles of both of these contradictions involved in the identizing of opposed aspects themselves undergo identizing of form and content.  It should be noted that when the 2 side of the contradiction formócontent identize, it in ways is similar to and involves the contradiction externalóinternal.  In the identizing of opposed aspects, form (role) is more apparent, more external while content in some cases, like the mental image of the tree in the ideal is more hidden, more internal.


As stated, the identizing of opposed aspects is mostly due the struggle between them, but identizing is in part also due to the mutual interpenetration of the opposing aspects of contradiction as they struggle.  The aspects of a contradiction exist within each other.  Between the time the landscaper begins and finishes planting the tree, where does a sharp line between the ideal and real exist?  Even the landscaper’s mental preparation for carrying out the task of planting the tree blurs the line between, and displays evidence of the interpenetration, of the ideal and the real.


In summary, the opposed aspects of contradiction may exchange roles, and or content  at the same time (synchronously), or at different times (asynchronously).  Aspects of a contradiction may adopt one, or more roles, or content of other aspects of a contradiction.  An aspect whose role, or content is being adopted may, or may not simultaneously adopt the role, or content of another aspect of the contradiction.    The better we grasp the nature of the identizing of opposed aspects the less mechanical our understanding of dialectics and the better our ability to manage the identizing of the aspects of a contradiction.


The important and essential link between dialectical identizing and the powerful concept of polymorphism will be presented further along in Part One in the chapter “Polymorphism, Contradiction and Identizing”.



An interesting and frequently useful observation that should be made at this point is how certain features of the formócontent contradiction and the externalóinternal contradiction may be correlated, that is found similar, with one another.  The 2 contradictions are examples of structurally similar, or what may be called homologous contradictions, at least  within the contexts we have been discussing them.  “Homologous” is a term from biology and botany that means “possessing similarities in position and structure, but not necessarily in function; having the same relation, or relative position”.  To explain, if we think of a basic contradiction with 2 opposed aspects, we may think of it as having a left and right side: LeftóRight.  In our discussion, “form” on the left hand side of the formócontent contradiction has one, or more features that are similar to features of the “external” which is on the left hand side of the externalóinternal contradiction.  And there is the same kind of correlation of between the features on the right hand side of the 2 contradictions.  In dialectics when 2, or more contradictions are said to be homologous, the contradictions typically possess not only similarities in position and structure, but in function as well, as is the case here with the homologous relationship between formócontent and externalóinternal contradictions.  The external in relation to the internal tends to serve a similar as form does to content.  Both the external and form in a sense serve as a covering, or outer surface in relation to their respective opposite aspects.



The core concept of dialectics is dialectical contradiction and it is the foundation of everything else we will explore as we move on and delve deeper into the study of dialectics, so it will be worthwhile at this point to summarize the definition of dialectical contradiction we have used thus far in our discussion.  First we find that a contradiction is a union of different tendencies, forces, parts, or aspects.  Second, in order for these things to remain different, a tension, opposition, or struggle must by necessity exist between them.  Third, because the different things are joined together in a single union, they also interpenetrate one another.  Fourth, mutual opposition and interpenetration between the different tendencies, forces and aspects in a union makes possible and contributes to identizing, or the exchange of role, place and content, amongst the different tendencies, forces and aspects within the union.  These four characteristics taken together are what defines a dialectical contradiction.


Now that we understand dialectical contradiction let us briefly take a look the concepts of relative, objective and absolute truth and the relationships of dialectical contradiction which exist amongst them, a look that we promised to take up at this point at end of the last chapter, “What Is Materialism?”.  After covering relative, objective and absolute truth in the next 2 sections, we will continue our discussion of dialectics in the next chapter, “Development and Dialectics”.  We will discuss “relative truth”ó”objective truth” first in the next section and “relative truthó”absolute truth” in the section following that.



Relative truth is in a contradiction with objective truth and there are 2 ways in which relative truth may be in contradiction with objective truth:

  1. Most of what is objectively true is true only relative to one, or more macro domain contexts as we see evidenced by the Theory of Relativity.
  2. What we know about something, while objectively true, is not completely true relative to:
    • all there is currently possible to know about it and
    • all that there ever will be to know about it.

Hegel states that our knowledge of a thing becomes fuller and deeper as time as goes on.  He makes an analogy to a set of concentric circles with a target inside the inner most circle.  The target is the thing we want to know and our knowledge of the thing that begins at the outer ring grows ever closer to thing moving in stages signified by each concentric ring that is ever closer to the target.  However our knowledge never quite reaches the target, just as the tangent never quite reaches the asymptote.  Increased knowledge of the thing occurs over time as our interplay of theory and practice with the thing moves through the stages of perceptual knowledge, unconnected conceptual knowledge and connected conceptual knowledge.  This coming closer to objective truth happens with the state of the sum total of all of our knowledge, not just to the knowledge of a specific or particular thing.


It should be remembered that what has been stated about relative truth and objective truth in numbers 1) and 2) are nested within each other.  Knowledge of a matter that is objectively true only relative to one, or more macro domain contexts may also be a level of knowledge that is different from and relative to a clearer conception of that matter within those same macro contexts over time.



Not only is relative truth in a contradiction with objective truth as discussed in the preceding section, but relative truth is in a contradiction with absolute truth in the following 2 ways:

  1. Truth that is specific to a given time, place or circumstance – context – is absolutely true for that context.  And such truths aggregated together in a context constitute absolute truth.
  2. There are things that are true relative to, one, or more contexts, and there are things that are true across all contexts, the things that are true across all contexts are absolute truths.  The only known things that apply to absolutely all contexts without exception are the laws and principles of dialectics and materialism, i.e. dialectical materialism.





Fundamental to the reason things develop is that they connect to one another and due to the flow of material and forces between them, things develop on the basis of their unique makeup and nature.  Key to grasping the connection and flow between things is understanding things in both their immediacy and mediacy: immediacyómediacy.  George W.F. Hegel, a major, though idealist, elaborator of dialectics in the 1800’s, emphasized that things exist with their immediate form and content – immediacy – and things have connections – mediacy – with the rest of reality (everything that objectively exists) through an infinite number of links.  Mediacy, or connection between things means that one thing may effect another and connection makes it possible to for a single thing to have an effect on multiple other things at the same time.  This means that A may be the cause of an effect on B.  It also means that in order to achieve a task, or goal one must be sure to activate all of the necessary connections between things to make it happen.  Doing what is necessary to attain some goal is the subject of necessity.


When we do what is necessary to achieve our goal we typically achieve greater freedom in being able to do other things.  In that way we become more self-determined in our thinking and actions.  Sometimes this leads allows us to take more of an initiative in our work.  And when one achievement of our goals, which changes and improves the connections between things in our favor, we may gain even more of the ability to take the initiative, to be more self-determined, to have greater freedom in our actions and thus in our thinking.  Hence we find that freedom and necessity are a contradiction, a dialectical union, of opposed aspects.



Throughout their lifetime things have one, or more motions and develop continuously through space and across time.  The nature, features, characteristics and, or properties of the body, or extent of a thing develops spatially; it’s body undergoes changes in space[34].  The nature of a thing develops over time; a thing has a history of development.  As, Engels relates, “…things apparently stable no less than their mind images in our heads, the concepts, go through an uninterrupted change of coming into being and passing away, in which, in spite of all seeming accidentally and of all temporary retrogression, a progressive development asserts itself in the end.”[35]


Both what is internal and external to a thing contribute to its motion and development.  A thing as an internal interpenetrates with one, or more other things that are external to it.  There is a contradiction between the internal and external and the two aspects interpenetrate.  There is transition between the internal and external.  Frequently what was outside, or external comes inside, or becomes internal and vice versa.


A things development may be progressive, or regressive.  If its development is progressive then it benefits its environment, not simply itself.  Alternatively, if a things development is regressive, it is detrimental to its environment.  At one point a thing may be beneficial to its environment, and at times, it may have a deleterious effect on its environment.  The capitalist class when it first arose in feudal society, was a progressive, even revolutionary force that advanced both the forces and relations of production of society.  After capitalism became dominant and capitalism developed into monopoly capitalism, the capitalist class is now a fetter on the further advance of both the relations and forces of production.  The capitalist class is now a regressive historical force.  And at this point in history, it is now only the revolutionary proletariat that can move society forward to next, higher level of development.  The revolutionary proletariat is a progressive and revolutionary force that can greatly benefit society when it seizes power through socialist revolution in country, or locale across the planet.


Reciprocal development between things means that they develop in close, mutual interaction.  For instance the evolution of both predator and the prey in nature develops reciprocally in a mutual fashion.  Things that have mutual and shared development are opposed aspects of a single contradiction.  The single contradiction is their shared development taken as a whole.  The play of the offense and defense in U.S. style football develops in a close mutually interactive manner and the 2 form a binary contradiction.  The relationship between class struggle, party struggle and inner struggle (the ideological struggle within an individual), which together form a super-binary contradiction, is an example of 3 things with shared, reciprocal (mutual) development.  In this case, class, party and inner struggle are the 3 separate though very closely related aspects of a single contradiction.  Their mutual development means that the state of affairs, the state of struggle, in any one area has a effect on the state of affairs, on the state of struggle, in each of the other 2 areas[36].  For example, the direction and state of affairs of the class struggle has an impact on the line struggle within the proletarian vanguard party, and also on the inner (internal) ideological struggle that goes in the minds party members, other revolutionaries, and in the minds of people generally.  Among the 3, class struggle plays the primary and predominant role.  Class struggle mainly determines the party struggle and inner struggle, even while they each have an effect upon class struggle.  Class struggle is the reason for the existence of the party and all inner thinking and struggle stems from class struggle.



2 things in reciprocal development may be visually modeled as a spiraling double stranded DNA like helix.  Each strand in the helix represents one of the 2 things.  And like the DNA helix, there may be links that join points on one strand to the other[37].  Theory and practice, for example, which overall develop as a contradiction of opposed aspects in a reciprocal manner may each be represented as one of the strands of the helix.  Further, if the model is animated, and nature of the reciprocal relationship between the 2 things is progressive, the helix would likely grow upward from a lower to a higher level.  Conversely, if the animation depicted a reciprocally regressive relationship, the helix would likely grow downward from a higher to lower level.  Reciprocal development that involves more than 2 things may be also be represented as a spiraling helix, but rather than have double strands as in the case with 2 things in reciprocal development, there would be multiple strands.  So for the 3 part reciprocal development contradiction between class struggle, party struggle and inner struggle that we discussed earlier, their helix would have 3 strands.



Dialectical study of things shows us that great change, or what is called qualitative change, in a thing typically occurs in jumps, or leaps.  Small changes, or what are called quantitative changes build up in a thing until a qualitative change, or leap in the nature of the thing occurs.  In dialectics a leap is called a revolution, or a revolutionary leap.  Typically dialectical leaps take place rapidly relative to prior and subsequent events in the chain of development of a thing, or process.  In human society a revolutionary leap occurs when large qualitative changes rapidly move social affairs along in a historically progressive direction.  That is why the name revolution applies when an oppressed class that represents the progressive thrust of history seizes power and works to transform and move society forward.  Today that class is the working class (proletariat) led by their vanguard parties in each country that are struggling to establish worldwide revolutionary socialism.


As Lenin says, the mechanical, or metaphysical view of development only sees “decrease and increase, as repetition”.  In actual fact quantitative changes, that is decrease, increase

and repetition, inevitably lead to revolutionary leaps in the development of a thing in which moves the thing to a qualitatively different stage and vice versa.  The 2 kinds of changes are in a dialectical contradiction with one another: quantityóquality.  Small quantitative changes lead to large changes in the qualities - the major properties (size, color, energy, etc.) and, or behavior - of a thing.  Qualitative changes also cause smaller quantitative changes  -  simple decrease, increase and repetition - in addition to accompanying, or causing large differences in the properties and, or behavior of a thing.


Typically repetition of a feature, or behavior in a thing occurs on the background of a stage of development that is qualitatively different  from when they previously appeared.


Qualitative change may lead to either a lower, or higher stage of development for a thing.


The mechanical view frequently fails to recognize the historical development of things over time; it may recognize that things develop in space, but not across time.  But as with increase, decrease and repetition, the passage of time inevitably leads to revolutionary leaps in the development of a thing.


The mechanical viewpoint sees the trees, but not the forest, the parts, but not the whole.  When it does see the part and the whole, it places the part above the whole in terms of analyzing the development and nature of a thing.  The mechanical view  lacks a system, or holistic approach and has a piecemeal, eclectic view of the nature, motion and development of things.  It only sees development of parts of a system, not the system as a whole.  Or it only sees development of thing as driven by its parts, but not by the influence of the thing as a whole due to the interconnection of parts and the influence of the context in a which a thing resides.


A piecemeal, part above whole point view of an object, or process is an eclectic point of view.  The eclectic point of view sees the various facts about a thing’s motion and development in a fundamentally unconnected manner.  Eclecticism lacks a holistic, system view of a thing and consequently overlooks, or fails to formulate an understanding of the thing’s essential characteristics and behavior by correlating the various facts about it and seeking to find the essential laws of motion and development of the thing.  Eclecticism is covered in greater detail a few sections ahead in, “Eclecticism Versus Dialectics”.


The mechanical view holds that all events happen at the same qualitative level.  For instance, mechanists think that that the history of some quantum particle determines whether or not the proletariat will be victorious over bourgeoisie.  When human society had not come into being it is possible that the movement of a quark might determine the fate of this or that precinct of the cosmos, but the more the various qualitatively different and higher levels of matter – mass and energy – in motion which led to advanced consciousness and human society, the far less events at the level of quarks have a direct, or decisive effect on the direction and nature of advanced consciousness and human society.



Negation in a things development means that when a thing moves from one stage of its development to the next, one, or more of its key features, characteristics and, or properties is nullified, destroyed, or undergoes qualitative change.  All things experience negation.  In the first place because everything experiences some kind change in some way in its lifetime.  Secondly, everything is negated when it passes away because its fundamental contradiction is destroyed, or the configuration between the set of fundamental contradictions in a thing that make it unique is destroyed.


Importantly not all of a things features, characteristics and, or properties are negated at the same time.  After some of them are negated other of them remain the same in the new post negation stage of development.  Just as some features of a thing are nullified, destroyed, or undergo qualitative change in the process of negation, conversely other features are “affirmed”, to use Hegel’s term.  And often, not always, the features that are affirmed move to a higher level of development in the post negation stage of development.  This is evidenced in how the remnants, or affirmed parts of a thing in its death frequently serve some new purpose.  To illustrate, before a tree in a forest dies, the tree is a part of 2 overlapping, interacting systems: 1) the forest’s carbon cycle and 2) the forest’s insect ecosystem.  In terms of the carbon cycle, the creation of a tree recycles carbon from both the ground and the air.  In terms of the insect ecosystem, a tree provides a home to insects and fungi among other things.  With regard to the carbon cycle, when a tree dies its carbon is released back into the air and the ground.  In the ground its carbon is taken up by new plants and trees.  With regard to the insect ecosystem, when a tree falls, the insects and fungi that once made it home may now ingest the rotting trunk of tree for food.  Nothing at death is simply annihilated, its parts are transformed into other uses, or made into new things.


Many if not most things not only undergo negation, but also negation of the negation.  We find that in returning to one, or more key features of a thing from its 1st stage of development in the 3rd negation of the negation stage of the things development, those features have been raised in some respect to a higher, or more intense, or more concentrated or heightened level.  When things undergo negation of the negation in their development, thesis is the name sometimes given in philosophy to the 1st stage of development.  The 2nd stage is then called the antithesis and the 3rd stage synthesis.


An example of negation of the negation takes place in the plot development of most movie films.  The typical movie plot is divided into 3 parts, that are called Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.  Part 1 introduces the main characters, the protagonists and antagonists, by acquainting us to their personalities, their lives, and their goals.  Part 2 begins with the one, or more of these characters working to attain, or seeming to attain their goal, but then the character quickly begins to face a series of reversals that thwarts attainment of the character’s goal, or snatches what was initially attained away from them.  Part 3 begins with final big crunch reversal quickly followed by the characters eventual attainment, or permanent loss of their goal.  We return to the issue of the goal established in Part 1 once again in Part3, but in a new, different, and in this case, a more intense way.  Graphically this process may be depicted as: A->B->A’


Mao Zedong elucidates dialectics in On Contradiction using the 3 stage method of negation of negation.  Mao says that he will begin by discussing the universality of contradiction, he would then proceed to cover the particularity of contradiction, a negation, and then end up back at the universality of contradiction, a negation of the negation.  Mao tells us that  by studying the particularity of contradiction he will be better able to introduce us to certain topics having to do with the universality of contradiction.  We will be able to handle higher more complex issues related to the universality of contradiction when we return to it in the 3rd stage of the discussion by having gone through a process of negation by covering the particularity of contradiction in the 2nd stage.  Thus the 3rd stage is the negation of the negation.


Both negation and negation of the negation are the outcome the struggle of opposed aspects.  Specifically they occur through one, or a combination of 2 things: 1) the transition of opposed aspects that takes place by way of the exchanging of roles, or places (identizing) of the opposed aspects of a contradiction and 2) the submersion (sublation) of one opposed aspect by another in a contradiction.


Just as the development of a thing may pass through its negation stage on to its negation of the negation stage, the negation of negation stage itself is not necessarily the final stage in the development of the thing.  After the development of a thing’s key characteristics move to the stage of negation of the negation, the same characteristics of the thing may undergo another negation, or another negation of the negation.  Or other characteristics of the thing may undergo negation, or negation of the negation.  And these cycles may be repeated any number of times.  Also, while the overall development of a thing may be in one stage, the development of a specific characteristic of the thing may be in yet another stage.  In addition, both negation and negation of the negation may be going in parallel and simultaneously with respect to various features and behaviors of a thing.


It is useful to be able to discern when the development of an object, or process undergoes negation and negation of the negation because they provide clues to the state and direction of the things development.  It is an additional and powerful lens added to both our scientific microscope and telescope kits used for the analysis and understanding of things.  These concepts increase our ability to powerfully know and transform the world.



Objects and processes develop unevenly due to the struggle of the opposed aspects of contradictions 1) inside, 2) outside (context) and 3) between the inside and outside of things.  In their struggle the different aspects of a contradiction play various roles, and the struggle between the aspects leads to their identizing and swapping of roles.  In a manner similar to gene expression, some contradictions, aspects and roles, like some genes, are predominant and other contradictions, aspects and roles, like some genes, are subordinate.  Dialectical motions in this manner cause the uneven development of objects and processes.


A major way that uneven development finds expression is in the way social events may slow the occurrence of revolution in one place of thing, while speeding up its occurrence in another.  For instance, taking the worldwide system of imperialism a large scale thing, the Russian revolution in 1917 was able to take place due to both a confluence of world events and events in Russia at that time.


Unevenness of development frequently manifests itself in the way that one, or more features, or behaviors of a thing are more developed than the others.  It is typically beneficial to understand the uneven development of a thing in order to gain a better understanding of how the thing functions and how one, or more aspects of it may be used to allow us to better control and manage the thing.  In war understanding ones own strength and weakness as well as those of ones enemy facilitates using ones strength to take advantage of the enemy’s weakness.


We should not however only think of uneven development in terms of strengths and weaknesses.  It would be simplistic to think that all cases of uneven development are about weakness versus strength.  When some apply the concept of uneven development to social-affairs, like explaining  the occurrence of revolution in one country and not another, they mechanically and narrowly compare the relative strengths and weaknesses of the development forces of production in those countries.  They are often in error when they adopt such differences as the primary explanation.  It is typically more fruitful when analyzing and attempting to leverage uneven development as analytical tool to follow the coming together various events associated with each of the opposed aspects of a contradiction due the different roles the aspects play, the struggle between the aspects and the identizing that goes on among opposed aspects.  Further, even when relative strength and weakness plays an important role in the uneven development of a thing, or between things it is not typically a matter of all around strength, or weakness, but of strength and weakness in one, or more specific areas.


It is also important to study the history of the interplay of the opposed aspects of a contradiction, because it often serves as a guide to how they will play interact at some point in the future.  The aim should be to leverage uneven development in whatever way it occurs to move forward and reach ones goal.



To proceed further in our discussion of dialectical contradiction and the development of a thing, we must be aware that most things are a sea of many contradictions and that many, if not most of a thing’s contradictions emerge from the interaction of multiple other contradictions.


A contradiction that emerges from others may be a simple sum of the contradictions that give rise to it, or it may be a synergistic result that is greater than the simple sum of the contradictions that give rise to it.


In order to avoid superficial analysis of the nature and development of a thing, we should keep in mind that the operation of a contradiction often goes beyond its most visible, or most obvious expression.  The operation of a contradiction may be driven by, or heavily influenced by the operation of underlying, or precursor contradictions.  This means that various properties and behaviors of a thing may not be immediately, or simplistically connected to their source contradictions and aspects. The connection a thing’s most visible manifestations to its underlying contradictions and aspects may be obscured, or mediated by a number of intervening contradictions, aspects and their phenomena.


For instance when an enzyme breaks down a protein it involves a process where the enzyme folds and unfolds around various parts of the protein in order to snip the protein at various points.  There are many contradictions both internal and external to an enzyme that cause it to fold and unfold.  At one level, and some contexts, it may be sufficient to understand that an enzyme folds and unfolds to breakdown a protein.  However, there are other contexts where this is not a sufficient explanation of the processes involved.  In these contexts a knowledge of precisely how the folding and unfolding action takes place may be the topic of investigation.  In other words, these contexts are concerned with understanding the key underlying contradictions and aspects of those contradictions that cause the enzyme to fold and unfold and therefore allow it to breakdown a protein.


Gaining a correct and comprehensive understanding of a causeóeffect process more often than not means digging beneath the appearance of surface contradictions to understand underlying contradictions.  We should not be content with an initial, or superficial understanding of the contradictions of a thing.  We should be thorough, dig deep, peel away the layers and continually examine a thing in the course of repeated practice with it.


Contradictions may exist in a thing from its birth and exist throughout its lifetime, while others present at the thing’s birth pass away at various times in the life of the thing.  Some contradictions arise during the lifetime of a thing and exist for the remainder of the thing’s lifetime, and others that arise during the lifetime of a thing pass away at various times in the life of the thing.  Some of a thing’s contradictions have antagonistic opposition between one, more, or all of their opposed aspects, while other of its contradictions do not.  Some of a thing’s contradictions as a whole oppose one another in an antagonistic manner, while others do not.  Some of a thing’s contradictions are underlying and invisible, while others have a resplendent prominence. 


In this flux of contradictions within a thing, at any given time, some contradictions are more predominant and significant than others.    There are contradictions within a thing that are predominant, or significant throughout its lifetime and others that are predominant, or significant for some periods of time and not others.  Among the predominant and significant contradictions of thing are its fundamental and principal contradictions, we will now examine each of the 2 types in turn.



All things have one, or more fundamental contradictions.  When there are multiple ones they separately, or in tandem determine a thing’s essential nature (quiddity) and characteristics - its static properties and dynamic behaviors - and they make the thing a specific kind of thing that is different from other types of things.  When it was stated earlier that contradiction is universal, it means that all things have at least one fundamental contradiction.


Nearly all things exist simultaneously in a number of situations, environments, or what is the same, in a number of different contexts.  A thing's set of fundamental contradictions in one context may overlap with, or be different from, its fundamental contradictions in other contexts.


A things essence - and therefore one, or more of its fundamental contradictions - sets the stage for the specific kind of motion and development it undergoes for each specific context within which the thing may be found.  However, while a things one, or more fundamental contradictions are significant as the basis of its development, a thing's fundamental contradictions are not always the primary driver of its motion and development. 


At any given time, both internal and external contradictions other than its fundamental ones may play the decisive role in its motion and development.  How things and contradictions that are external to a thing may be decisive in its development will be covered in depth later in Part One in the chapter, "The InternalóExternal and Development".  How contradictions internal to a thing other than its fundamental contradictions may be decisive to its development will be discussed in the next section.



During the development of a thing one, or more its internal non-fundamental contradictions may play a role that is decisive to the development of the thing even while such a contradiction remains subordinate to the thing’s fundamental contradictions.    A thing’s principal contradictions, while subordinate to its fundamental contradictions, play a decisive role in the development of a thing for typically one, or a few stages in a thing’s development, not throughout the lifetime of a thing’s development.


Most things go through a series of stages in their development.  The arrival of a new stage is often signaled when one, or more large, qualitative changes occur in the features of a thing, or when the role of the thing changes.  It is important when attempting to gain a scientific and concrete knowledge of the nature, development and behavior of a thing, to understand both what constitutes its fundamental contradiction throughout its development, what its principal contradictions are for each of its stages.



An illustration of the relationship between a fundamental contradiction and the principal contradiction is given by the overall and stages of development of a star.  The first stage in the  development of a star is an accretion of gas, in its second stage the gas collapses under its own weight and nuclear fusion begins, in its third stage, after a star has fused most of its hydrogen atoms into other elements and if is big enough, the new elements collapse and rebound so violently that the star explodes into a supernova.  The fundamental contradiction of a star has to do with the gravitational attraction and repulsion of its mass.  That is why the gas clumped together in the first place.  But during for example the second stage, while the fundamental gravitational contradiction is still operative and controlling the overall development of the star, the contradiction underlying the process of nuclear fusion is principal in guiding how the fundamental gravitational process of the star develops and manifests itself.  It defines the nature of the stars development during that stage.


It should be said that the principal and the fundamental contradictions that make up a thing have a contradiction among themselves.  Each of the contradictions is an opposed aspect of a larger contradiction.  As previously stated, the principal contradiction is ultimately subordinate to the fundamental contradiction.  So the opposed aspect of the larger contradiction that represents the fundamental contradiction predominates over an opposed aspect that represents a principal contradiction.


The opposed aspects of a contradiction identize, as stated in the previously in the section “Identizing of Opposed Aspects”.  Again this means that the opposed aspects of a contradiction swap their roles (their forms), and they swap what they are constituted of (their content).  Thus the fundamental contradiction and principal contradiction within a thing, each as one of the opposed aspects of a larger contradiction, undergo the process of identizing.  In addition the fundamental contradiction of a thing identizes with other non-fundamental contradictions of the thing and similarly the principal contradiction identizes with the other non-principal contradictions within a thing.



Some think that to acknowledge that a thing has multiple fundamental and principal contradictions is to practice philosophical eclecticism.  It is not eclecticism to acknowledge that a thing has many varied properties and behaviors, rather eclecticism is to deal with things in a piecemeal manner.  Those who practice eclecticism do not deal with a thing's multiple facets in a coherent manner considering the thing as a whole, as an integrated system.  They attempt to study and manage and a thing without knowing, or understanding the overall purpose, or functioning of the thing as a whole. 


A overall, coherent approach to things involves the recognition and resolution of one, or more contradictions in conjunction with handling the purpose and functioning of a thing.


For example the goal of the proletarian movement in the system of capitalism is to begin to resolve its contradiction with the bourgeoisie by making proletarian revolution to seize power from the capitalists and then to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie in a socialist system that supersedes capitalism.


In "System View: Vital to Dialectical Materialism", the last chapter of Part One, a precise definition of system is given.  Related to this there is greater discussion about how the eclectic, piecemeal view and approach is mechanical and contrary to a dialectical, system oriented view and approach.  This section also discusses how the false bourgeois philosophical trends  called empiricism and pragmatism are rooted in an eclectic, piecemeal approach to theory, truth and practice.



Just as it is important when attempting to gain a scientific and concrete knowledge of the nature, development and behavior of a thing, to understand both what constitutes its fundamental contradiction throughout its development, and what its principal contradictions are for each of its stages, it just as important to understand what the principal aspects are for each of those contradictions with respect to the thing’s various properties and behaviors.


The aspect of a contradiction, that for some characteristic - property, behavior - of a thing, plays a more significant role than other aspects is the principal aspect for that characteristic.  When considering some property, or behavior, or context for a thing there is always at least one aspect of some contradiction of that thing that plays a principal role.  So that for some characteristic of a thing during any given stage of its development there is at least one corresponding contradiction with a corresponding principal aspect.


When analyzing and attempting to manage the development of a thing at any stage, while of course attention should be paid to the principal aspect of its various contradictions, it is also important to identify and understand the non-principal aspects of its various relevant contradictions.  While the non-principal aspects do not underlie a things most prominent properties and behaviors it is important to understand them to better discern the true nature of the principal aspects.  One can not truly understand plus, unless you know minus.  By understanding the non-principal aspects we can better know what alternate paths the development of a thing might take if the struggle and identizing of opposing aspects causes the non-principal aspect to become the principal one.  In so doing we can better anticipate possible courses of action to take due to a change in the development of a thing, or its circumstances.  This is also why it is important to attempt to understand the historical, current, and future flow of development of a thing in its context.


Since we know that the aspects of all contradictions identize, we therefore know that the principal aspect of a contradiction as well identizes with the one, or more non-principal aspects which are members of its contradiction.



Logic studies how the nature, movement, and  development of one thing relates to, or impacts the nature, movement and development of another thing through specific kinds of connections and interrelationships.  Logic proceeds by first apprehending things individually, secondly by making judgments about things individually and thirdly by evaluating the relationship and impact of one thing on another.  But none of these steps is isolated from on another.  Even the act of industrial apprehension involves some comparison of the thing with other things both like and dislike it.


Formal logic studies the nature, motion and development of things when considering them to have a single property.  Dialectical logic, or the same thing dialectics, studies the nature, motion and development of things as they truly are with contradictory opposed aspects. The laws of dialectical logic are a summary of the dialectical motion of real things.  There is a place for formal logic when taking the stance that at a given time, or in a certain respect a thing has this, or that outstanding property, or characteristic.  However to gain a truly accurate picture of thing it must be viewed overall as having a set of multiple and opposed features that are in struggle with one another.  The dialectical concepts of the principal contradiction and the principal aspect is essentially the application of the point of view of formal logic’s single characteristic of a thing within the dialectical framework of contradiction and the opposed aspects of contradiction.  The concept of principal contradiction and principal aspect adds to the recognition that at a given time, or in a certain respect a thing has this, or that outstanding property, or characteristic, the fact that at other times, or in other respects, the outstanding property, or characteristic of a thing may change to one of its opposite, or opposed properties, or characteristics.  In a sense formal logic may be seen as the ABC’s of thinking about the world of things, whereas dialectical logic is middle school and beyond.


We think in concepts and concepts are represented in the symbols of language.  Language  is built from a words (grammar) and syntax (rules of grammar).  Language is a symbolic means for thinking and correct thinking faithfully reflects the nature, motion and development of things in the real world.  Language therefore is the means for thinking and talking about real things. 


A sentence, or proposition is made up of words combined according to the rules of grammar.  Whereas a single word announces the singular, or plural existence of a thing, the  sentence is the most basic vehicle for expressing relationship between things.  Lenin tells us that a proposition like “Ann is female” contains the germs of dialectics, that it shows connection between things and the basis for the necessity between things.  Courses in formal logic traditionally focus on the analysis of words and propositions in language and how propositions should be correctly related to one another and used to think accurately about the nature, motion and interrelationship of real things when considering one of its properties, or behaviors.  On the basis of the correlation of propositions formal logic teaches the ABC’s of both inductive and deductive inference.  This does not just help us to clarify the nature of a specific thing and how it connects to other things, we also learn how to reason better about things in general. 


Again the problem with formal logic is that because it follows the law of the excluded middle, that is it follows the law that a thing may not simultaneously have opposite, or opposed aspects, or characteristics, formal logic is limited and one-sided.  Only dialectics, dialectical logic, is capable of providing us with full and complete comprehension of the reality of things.  With that caveat in mind however, formal logic as delineated does have areas of usefulness and applicability.


What makes concrete analysis of a thing most effective is not simply understanding that a contradiction, or aspect of a thing plays a principal role in general, but rather it is understanding precisely what one, or more principal roles each contradiction or aspect in a thing plays in a given contextual situation for the thing.  Truly effective knowledge of a thing, or situation is knowing which one, or more specific roles a contradiction, or aspect of a thing plays regarding our current task, or goal in terms of the thing in its context at the time.


Having a high level understanding about something is often useful and sufficient,  just as you need not know all of the ins and outs about how a transmission works in order to drive a car[38].  However frequently one finds that to use an object, or process most effectively it is necessary to go beyond broad generalizations to gain specific knowledge of its contradictions and aspects.  Specific knowledge not only of a things dynamic characteristics, i.e. its behavior, but also a detailed understanding of its various static properties, like size, color and weight.


For complex phenomena there are often a number of principal roles being played by one or more aspects and a stage may be determined by the status of one, more, or all of the aspects having principal roles.  In things which are complex, one, or more aspects of a contradiction that are each principal in one, or more ways various ways may together define, a stage in the development of contradictions within a thing.


Errors that contribute to insufficient and mechanical analysis are failing to see that:

  • a single aspect often plays multiple roles in a contradiction.
  • one, or more roles of an aspect may be predominant in a contradiction even while others of its roles are not.
  • one, or more roles of an aspect that were predominant in a contradiction may lose their predominance even while other of the aspects roles continue to be predominant.
  • an aspect may have one role that is predominant in a thing even while other aspects have other roles that are predominant in a thing.


Succumbing to these errors often means that those with a mechanical view of dialectics have an incomplete, or static view of what they initially identify as the principal aspect and what the nature of the motion and development of a contradiction is in general.  It means to fail to do an all around analysis of the thing in which that aspect resides and it means as well that they fail to properly understand the context (which includes other contradictions and aspects surrounding that aspect) in which the principal aspect they have identified resides.  Those holding a mechanical view are satisfied with the little they know and think it sufficient to call that enough.


Specific knowledge of the roles and characteristics of the contradictions and aspects of a thing allows us to most rapidly and effectively leverage the contradictions, the aspects and the thing itself in our revolutionary work and in all other spheres of life.



Historical materialism delineates the flow and laws of the progressive development and stages of human societies and social formations by applying the principles of dialectical materialism to the study of human history.  Appendix A, “Historical Materialism: Reject Mechanism, Grasp Dialectics”, details how the mechanical trend is wrong to view historical materialism as being essentially equivalent with dialectical materialism when in fact dialectical materialism is larger than and encompasses historical materialism.




An exciting set of roles that the aspects of a contradiction may possess and should be used to guide and manage the development of many objects and processes are the roles of the leading factor and the parametric.  Among others, these are roles that the aspects that one, or more contradictions of a thing might possess.  The leading factor and the parametric are in a contradiction with the leading factor role attached to one aspect of the contradiction and the parametric role attached to an opposed aspect.  We recall that an aspect of a contradiction within a thing is itself a thing – a force, an object, an entity, a process.  When a thing as an aspect of a contradiction plays the role of the leading factor it typically is used to engage, or handle the contradiction as a whole, and in addition it is often the most visibly facile, agile and dynamic aspect of a contradiction.  When a thing as an aspect of a contradiction plays the role of the parametric that is opposed to the leading factor it tends to have a constraining and “grounding” influence both on the “flighty” leading factor and upon the contradiction as a whole.  Often the leading factor forms a superstructure whose supports rise out of a parametric infrastructure, or parametric base and which then covers, surrounds, or stands over the parametric.


In football the dynamic “star” positions of running back, wide receiver and quarterback are only really most effective for the team as a whole when an effective offensive line serves as the base, or foundation for the team.  A well functioning offensive line makes big enough and large enough holes for the running back, and provides long enough protection for the  quarterback to deliver to the wide receiver.


The roles being discussed here may manifest themselves as a set of closely related yet distinct homologous contradictions.  The set comprises: leading factoróparametric, leading factoróbase, leading factoróinfrastructure, engaging factoróparametric, engaging factoróbase and engaging factoróinfrastructure.  The specific nature of the object, or process being examined and the context within which it resides determines what one, or more contradictions are applicable to it.


Usually we find that the leading factor is attached to the same contradiction, or aspect as the engaging factor, but there are cases when this is not always true.  When the 2 are attached to the same contradiction, or aspect they tend to remain with them throughout the lifetime of a thing.  However they sometimes briefly identize to other contradictions, or aspects during the lifetime of a thing.


The engaging factor is the contradiction, or aspect of a thing that we typically use during the lifetime of the thing to manage, or control it.


The leading factor is the contradiction, or aspect of a thing that we typically use during the lifetime of the thing to spearhead change in a thing.  Frequently we find that although something spearheads change in a thing, we find that something else periodically provides a kick that impels change in a thing.  When there is a spearhead of change, the parametric is the periodic boot contradiction or aspect of the thing.  At times the key to change, or motion in a thing exchanges, that is identizes, between the periodic boot parametric and the leading factor spearhead of change, but even when that is the case, each typically provides a different kind of change, or motion to the thing in which these opposed aspects reside.  The leadership of the leading factor operates within the constraints of the parametric[39].  Nevertheless the leading factor is the swizzle stick in the drink of the parametric.  The leading is in general the more dynamic, more agile and more facile aspect of the contradiction.


As discussed earlier in the section “Aspects and Contradictions Play Specific Roles”, an aspect of a contradiction may retain some roles when other of its roles identize to an opposed aspect in the contradiction.  We find that the role of the principal aspect generally remains with an aspect for at least a stage in the development of the thing in which it resides with its opposed aspects.  On the other hand, the leading and engaging roles tend to stay with an aspect for the lifetime of the thing in which they reside with their opposed aspects.   The leading factor and engaging generally remain with an aspect for the lifetime of the thing in which they reside, even while that same aspect may generally lose, or gain other roles during the lifetime of the thing in which it resides.   The role of the leading factor is generally attached to the same aspect of a contradiction throughout the lifetime of the contradiction a thing and generally doesn’t define distinct phases, or stages in the development of a thing.  In a similar manner the engaging role is generally attached to the same aspect of a contradiction throughout the lifetime of the contradiction a thing and generally doesn’t define the stages in a things development. 


A further note regarding the relationship of the principal aspect to the leading factor is that although the principal aspect is the chief influence on a thing during a stage of development it is not necessarily the overarching influence on the development of a thing over its lifetime.  The proletariat and bourgeoisie are opposed aspects of a contradiction.  At times, bourgeois fascism and right wing reaction may temporarily have the upper hand against the revolutionary movement.  In those stages of the development of the struggle between the proletariat and bourgeoisie the bourgeoisie may in some sense be the principal aspect.  However because the proletariat represents the historically progressive force while the bourgeoisie represents historical regression, the proletariat is the leading factor in its contradiction with the bourgeoisie.  The bourgeoisie and bourgeois fascism overall do not lead in the contradiction between itself and proletariat.  In most cases when the proletariat is being guided by a party with a correct line  the proletariat is able to reverse the temporary principal dominance of bourgeois reaction.



Here is an illustration of how all of this relates to the proper understanding and handling of the relationship between what is called superstructure of society as the leading and engaging factor on the one hand and the economic base of society as the parametric and predominantly non-engaging factor after proletarian revolution during socialist society.


The fundamental contradiction of society has been, and worldwide will continue to be for some time, the contradiction between the technology, including people’s skills and thinking, used to create goods and services on the one hand and the relationships entered into by people in order to create, and exchange those goods and services on the other.   The technology is referred to as the forces of production and the relationships are referred to as the relations of production.  Together the forces and relations of production are known as the mode of production.  Successively, and progressively the modes of production during the course of human history have been gatherer-hunter, slave, feudal, capitalist and socialist modes of production.  One, or more modes of production make up the economic base of society in a locale, or country.  It there happens to be multiple types of modes in an the economic base of a society, one of the types is typically predominant over the others. 


What is called the superstructure stands upon the economic base, just as the walls of a house stand upon its base foundation.  The superstructure is composed of non-economic processes and entities like the governing state, politics in general, sports, cinema, art, music, law, literature, anthropology, videos and philosophy. 


The economic base provides the underlying impulse, and periodically a major kick, pushing forward society.  Nevertheless, it is the  superstructure, especially politics, that we as humans "grasp", or "engage" to lead society forward.  The superstructure especially politics is what we use to effect change throughout society.  The superstructure plays the role of "leading factor" in a dialectical contradiction where the economic base plays the role of the "parametric".  The superstructure and politics lead society forward, the economic base sets the parameters of the trajectory along which the superstructure zigs, zags and advances. 


The Chinese revolutionaries, during the leadership of Mao Zedong when China was still a socialist country, realized that the proper way to handle and leverage the relationship between the superstructure and economic base in light of understanding the nature of the superstructure as the leading factor and the economic base as the parametric, was to practice the formula, “grasp revolution, promote production.”  They adopted the policy of “grasp revolution, promote production” to urge 1) continued revolutionary class struggle against the enemies of socialism within the party and government and throughout society, 2) continued revolutionary socialization (“revolutionizing”) of all aspects of society and 3) to use points 1 and 2 to lead continued yeoman efforts to produce goods and services for the society.  In China’s socialist construction revolutionaries like Mao and the Gang of 4 promoted the policy and slogan, “grasp revolution, promote production”, to urge the masses to place making revolution in command, at the head, of each and every task which they carry out.  They encouraged the people to make revolution in all spheres of society and to leverage making revolution as the factor by which to lead, engage, manage and control not only production, but all of society.  This was the only way for China to remain a socialist country and to most rapidly build up the productive capacity of its socialist economy.



Another example of the interplay between the 2 opposed sides of the contradiction between the leading factor and the parametric is the relationship between the constraints imposed by size and shape of a plot of land on the one hand and the kind of building we may construct upon that plot on the other.  Let’s assume we have a 1 city block square plot of land upon which to build a structure of our choosing with the surrounding land off-limits to us.  The fact that our plot of land is 1 block square means that we can only build a structure whose maximum width is 1 block.  In this situation the constraint of being only able to use 1 square block to build our structure is a parameter we are objectively faced with.  We may build a tremendous range of structure types on the plot, but we are limited to building a structure no wider than 1 square block.  The fact that we are free to build nearly any structure of our choosing, from a library, to a pool hall, to a concert hall makes the choice of building the leading factor in this situation.  The freedom to choose building type and its design offers the situation some zip, some zing;  that flexibility offers us a broad, soaring range of possible expression with which we may usefully and artfully transform our world.  In the sphere of the leading factor of building choice type, we have wide scope to exercize our own will and determination, despite the fact that we are constrained by the parameter of a 1 block width.  With the leading factor, we may draw any number of pictures, as long as they fit on the canvas of parametric constraint.


To explore the issue of leading factor freedom further it is useful to note that although we are constrained to 1 square block in the width of what we may construct, we have almost unlimited freedom, or much greater freedom, in terms of how deep we build our structure.  This underscores that we must be careful not to be so focused upon the constraints of a parametric situation that we overlook the broad opportunities that might be found by fully exercising the leading factor[40].


Keeping hold of the link that allows control of the whole chain means keeping a firm hold of the leading and engaging factors when one, or both are present.  We want to guide and control the whole process, or line work by managing and controlling the leading and engaging factors.


Overlooking, or downplaying the 2 frequently found roles of the leading and engaging factor and how they relate to the parametric in the motion and development of objects and processes often lends itself to a mechanical, non-dialectical analysis.  Such a view fails to take to understand, and promote the penetrating power of analysis and  the dynamicity of vision that these highly useful philosophical concepts offer to revolutionary dialectics.



In the relationship between theory and practice in the dialectical materialist theory of knowledge, we find a major expression of the dynamic between the 2 aspects found in the dialectical contradiction, “leading factor”óparametric.  Theory plays the role of the leading factor, whereas practice plays the role of the parametric.


“Theory leads, practice verifies” means that revolutionary theory should play the role of leading our revolutionary work and that in general theory should lead ones actions.  Theories, i.e. scientific ideas, are not only a part of practice, they should lead practice and they should identize with practice: theoryópractice.  The concept of the contradiction “theory leads”ó”practice verifies” is an expression of the fact that the content of correct ideas through the identizing process of practice have the ability to exist objectively.


The key to carrying out “theory leads, practice verifies” is to guide our work with a holistic plan.  Holistic means covering all significant aspects in our analysis of things and situations (which are interrelated things).  It means to look at things from the big picture, from point of view interconnected systems of systems.  Working in a holistic manner includes acting proactively based upon holistic thinking and planning. 


Simply guiding practice with low level thinking, piecemeal thinking, or acting without at least a minimally holistic plan is to practice bourgeois empiricism and pragmatism and contrary to the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist practice of leading revolutionary practice with revolutionary theory.  Nor does it give full play to human initiative in the class struggle and in the relationship between humans and nature.


One must think to some extent to do anything, but it isn’t leading with thought, ideas, or theory if one fails to formulate an appropriate, holistic summary of prior practice, or fails to formulate an appropriately holistic plan for practice to come, that is for future activities and practice.


“Theory leads, practice verifies” does not mean first doing something based upon theory alone and then checking the results of what has been done, all without regard to what the past has shown to be advisable.  It does not mean being a dogmatist and planning, thinking in a way, or attempting to do what is contrary to proven experience for the context.  “Theory leads, practice verifies” means rather that we should understand the past holistically regarding the issue and plan holistically before acting.


“Theory leads, practice verifies” implies that we should:

  • Often back up from practice to summarize things, i.e. to get a 10,000 foot view.
  • Take a holistic view of our tasks and the situation surrounding them
  • Attempt to formulate a minimally holistic plan prior to engaging in practice
  • Refine practice through on-going holistic thinking and reassessment.


Theory which truly leads practice unleashes our practice and people’s initiative in practice.  Theory does so by being out in front of practice, by leading practice.  When theory is ahead of practice and as a part of that a holistic, all around plan of action has been laid out, this often serves to invigorate practice because it helps to break down people’s mental, theoretical blocks and motivates them to go all out and aim high in their practice.  When theory properly leads it pulls and prods practice ahead, forward into new realms, possibilities and extents.


“Theory leads” also means that we should strive to have as holistic as possible a view of the situation surrounding a task at the beginning of every major tide, or at the beginning of every major iteration of activity related to the task.  This is in line with the Marxist principle of making an all-sided analysis of the situation related to every area of our work.  And this is flows from the fact that everything is connected, has many facets in the same context, and has many contexts associated with it.


Theory should be out in front based upon at least minimally holistic summary and assessment of both prior historical experience as well as the given current situation.


Another aspect of “theory leads” is anticipating the main course and less likely, but still probable alternate courses of the direction of events.  The point of this anticipation is being prepared for the occurrence of events.  We want to be prepared and have a plan of action for both the most likely course of events and we want to be prepared and have contingency plans for the various courses of events that while less likely to occur nevertheless have a fair chance of coming to pass in lieu of the main course of events.


For theory to lead, to be out in front of practice, theory must to a certain extent exists in its right.  Theory must have a speculative side and explore areas that practice has not really caught up with.  Often we gain insight into our practice by looking back at it from theory that initially did not have a direct connection with practice.  However the most useful theory in its own right tends to be that which takes flight from the runway of current practice.  It projects based on at least having tangents with practice.


Superstring theory attempts to explain many facets of existing practice in the field of physics.  Most of its predictions and conclusions can not currently be verified, but it is the only theory of physics which unites all the fundamental forces of nature.  In this role Superstring theory acts as a very useful guidepost for practice in physics today.  Much of Superstring theory holds because its predictions have not been contravened.  However if key results of practice in physics go against Superstring theory we of course will have to give it up.


How taking a holistic system approach relates to the need for holistic thinking in the correct exercize of the principle “theory leads, practice verifies” is elucidated in the section, “’Theory Leads, Practice Verifies and Systems” in the chapter, “System View: Vital to Dialectical Materialism”.




After dialectics, the world runs on polymorphism.   The word polymorphism literally means “many forms”.  In the “building choice”ó”plot constraint” example, in this chapter’s previous section “Creating A Building and the Leading Factor”,  polymorphism expresses itself in how on the basis of parametric commonality we had with one size and shape for the plot of land, we have the leading factor possibility of building structures of various forms.  The phenomena of polymorphism is based upon many forms emerging, or being possible from a common base, or common reference point: manyócommonality.


The game of U.S. style football may be used to demonstrate polymorphism.  From a single formation, many kinds of plays may be executed, that is many plays may be run from the same lineup.  So from a common base, many leading factor plays may take place.  It is possible to have different kinds of formations, or base configurations, like a run formation, or a pass formation, but typically quite a number different run plays can be run from a single run formation and quite a few pass plays may be run from a single pass formation. 


The underlying dialectical pattern of polymorphism is for some common feature, or event to be an aspect on one side of a contradiction whose opposed aspect on other side of the contradiction is a set of things possessing, or manifesting that common feature, or event, but with some variation.  Just as the movements in a symphony are typically variations on a common theme.


When a forest has many paths traversing it with some, or all of them beginning, or ending at a common point, that is polymorphism.  And this example may applied to anything having multiple routes within it which begin, or end at a common point.  And the common point is not required to be at an entrance to, or exit from, the thing in order for polymorphism to be present.  The forking of a route at any point within a thing and the merging of multiple routes at any point within a thing manifest the “many becomes one in common”, or “one in common becomes many” paradigm of polymorphism.


As in the preceding example, the single shared, or commonality feature of polymorphism may present itself first and the multiplicity side later, or alternatively the multiplicity side may present itself first and their commonality may present itself later.  For instance, action on the offensive side of the line in U.S. style football proceeds from a common, single formation to multiple possible plays.  Going in the other direction, multiple struggles against exploitation and oppression may start off unconnected with one another, but through the work of the revolutionaries and a revolutionary party the separate struggles may be brought together to form a single mighty first that delivers powerful blows to the system of capitalism.


The execution of many different policies and tactics from the common framework of a single revolutionary party is yet another illustration of polymorphism.  Here we also find an example of how multiple forms may issue forth from a common launch point in both a serial, one after another manner, or parallel simultaneous manner.  A party operates in a serial polymorphic manner when after success in one fight, it takes up another.  A party operates in a parallel polymorphic manner when it launches, or carries out struggles on multiple fronts at the same time.  They are variations of struggle against the bourgeoisie all having the common aim of overthrowing the rule of the rich and monopoly capital.


Not only is the leading factor, the dynamic factor, but greater variation of choice is available with the dynamic factor than the number of variations of choice available with the base. However, while leading factor polymorphism provides us with dynamic and variable choices, that freedom is constrained by the necessity of plugging into, or of arising upon the foundation of the base, or parametric.



A key point in being able to understand polymorphism is to be able to use it effectively as a means, tool and weapon to lead the proletariat to victory in its struggle to rid humanity of the blood sucking rule of capital and thus to carry out is historic mission to liberate humanity.  Primarily polymorphism may be used to substitute one thing for another and in this way it use makes for increased flexibility of action by increasing the available range of options.  Skilled use of polymorphism not only increases the range of options, but increases the ease with which we select among options and apply them.  Often there will be a range of polymorphic decisions and actions we can choose from among.  Just as a football team has a range of plays it may run from a single formation.


The way we create opportunities to realize the polymorphic substitution of one thing for another is to generalize and specialize things.  Generalization is the name for what occurs when some common characteristic, or behavior is extracted from a set of things that while sharing common characteristics, or behavior also have characteristics, or behavior that distinguish one from the other.  Specialization is the name for what occurs when things that are initially identical are given characteristics, or behavior that distinguishes one from the other while still retaining one, or more common characteristics, or behavior.  Generalization and specialization are processes, or activities that are flip sides of the basic contradiction of polymorphism: manyócommonality.  Specialization occurs when for instance various forms of revolutionary agitation and propaganda – in the press, over the air, on the Internet – take up the same political issue, for instance exposure of the brutal facts of bourgeoisie serving racism and national oppression both in the U.S. against African-American people, Hispanics and other minorities and around the world, especially in the form of the super-exploitation of the 3rd World countries.  Generalization occurs when the masses of people see that the capitalist rule of the rich with their multi-national corporations is the root cause for the various, different ills and misery of society.




Identizing[41], the transfer, or swapping, of form (role, place or position) and content, among the aspects of dialectical contradiction is integrally connected to polymorphic substitution.  The following definition of dialectical contradiction was given in the chapter “What is Dialectics?”[42]:  ”First we find that a contradiction is a union of different tendencies, forces, parts, or aspects.  Second, in order for these things to remain different, a tension, opposition, or struggle must by necessity exist between them.  Third, because the different things are joined together in a single union, they also interpenetrate one another.  Fourth, mutual opposition and interpenetration between the different tendencies, forces and aspects in a union makes possible and contributes to identizing, the transfer of form (role, or position) and content, amongst the different tendencies, forces and aspects within the union.”


When an aspect of a contradiction swaps, or exchanges role, or place (form) with another aspect in a contradiction, the aspect arriving into a place, or role substitutes for the aspect which was formerly in that place, or role.  Thus we have the same place, or role, filled by a different aspect and in that way we have the fundamentals of what defines polymorphism.  There is a union consisting of  the same, or common thing on the one hand (the same form, place, or role) in a dialectical tension (opposition) with a set of different things (the different aspects) on the other hand: commonódifference.  Here we find polymorphism of form within the identizing operation of a dialectical contradiction.


When an aspect of a contradiction swaps, or exchanges content with another aspect in a contradiction, the same content transfers, or substitutes into a different aspect.  Thus we have the same content filling, or residing within different aspects and in that way, again as with the exchange of form discussed in the last paragraph, we have the fundamentals of what defines polymorphism.  There is a union consisting of  the same, or common thing on the one hand (the content) in a dialectical tension (opposition) with a set of different things (the different aspects) on the other hand: commonódifference.  Here we find polymorphism of content within the identizing operation of a dialectical contradiction.


At bottom what makes possible the polymorphic identizing of both form and content is the fact that the different aspects, forces, or tendencies being transferred and substituted are tied together, and are members that belong to the same base, the same union, the same underlying dialectical contradiction.  Given this common base, the tension between them and changes in the external context, or environment, the different aspects, forces, or tendencies gain the dynamics which cause them to identize, to be transferred around and substituted for one another within a dialectical contradiction.


Not only is polymorphism a type of dialectical contradiction, a contradiction between commonality and difference: commonódifference, as we have seen in earlier sections of this chapter, but additionally in this section we have found that polymorphism, or polymorphic substitution operates at the very core of dialectical contradiction itself.  Dialectical contradiction expresses polymorphism when its multiple, different aspects, tendencies, or forces are substituted for one another.  Polymorphism is an essential part of the dialectical process of identizing which is present in and characteristic of virtually all dialectical contradiction. 




The belief that the internal is key to the development and direction of a motion of a thing has been at the center of much of the mechanical distortion and hobbling of the philosophy of dialectical materialism within Marxist revolutionary theory.  As stated in the introduction this erroneous concept has its roots in the thinking and writing of some of the foremost leaders of the revolutionary socialist movement.   The view that internal is key to the motion and development of a thing seems to have started with Hegel’s influence on Lenin and then moved on to Joseph Stalin and Mao.  In “On the Question of Dialectics”[43], a compilation of Lenin’s notes while he was studying Hegel’s Science of Logic, he writes, “The condition for the knowledge of all  processes of the world in their ‘self-movement’’, in their spontaneous development, in their real life, is the knowledge of them as a unity of opposites”  In that work, Lenin maintains that the internal contradiction of a thing is “its driving force, its motive”.  Further along Lenin writes that in dialectics our chief attention should be “directed precisely to knowledge of source of ‘self’-movement”[44].


In the 1800’s, Hegel advanced the concepts of dialectics to a very high level.  Marx and Engels were initially Hegelians in an intellectual coterie at the time called the “Young Hegelians”.  However Hegel was a philosophical idealist who believed that the cosmos issued forth from an all powerful spirit called the “Absolute Idea”.  Marx and Engels, in their words, stood Hegel’s philosophy on its head by cracking its idealist shell, to get to its dialectical kernel and they adopted dialectics to materialism, the fundamental “working” philosophical outlook of the sciences to create dialectical materialism.


Lenin did not see how rather than flowing from the nature of development of real things, Hegel’s concept of self-movement mostly stemmed from Hegel’s attempt to give “self-power” to his religious and idealist concept of the Absolute Idea.  By investing self-movement with the primary role in the development of a thing, Hegel was able to give his “Absolute Idea” complete self-determination, and undivided power, an inherent freedom from the limitations of all other things


Mao appears to have promoted the self-movement of a thing, as the main determinant of its development (i.e. the “internal is key”), in large part as a result of this and similar writings by Lenin.  It’s also possible  that Mao read Hegel himself.  In his prescient philosophical work “On Contradiction” Mao writes, “The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external, but internal.”[45]


Stalin and most of the leadership of the 3rd International (Comintern) also promoted the idea that what is internal is key to, or the main driver of, a things development.  Through the influence of Stalin and the Comintern this erroneous notion became a standard and central part of the philosophy education of most Marxist parties around the world.


In contradistinction to the favor that Lenin, Stalin and Mao have toward the decisiveness of self-movement in the development of a thing, Engels makes the point, “According to Hegel, therefore, the dialectical development apparent in nature and history – that is the causal interconnection of the progressive movement from the lower to the higher, which asserts itself through all zigzag movements and temporary retrogression – is only a copy of the self-movement of the concept going on from eternity, no one knows where, but at all events independent of the human brain.” [46] Here we have both the good and the bad of Hegel’s dialectics.  Lenin and Mao for the most part take up the good of Hegel’s dialectics, following the lead of Marx and Engels, but they remained attached to the bad idealism of Hegel’s dialectics when they promoted self-movement as the core concept of development in dialectics.


The belief that the internal is key to a things development is mechanical and metaphysical because it does not comprehend things in their full interconnection with other things.  “Today, when one needs to comprehend the results of natural scientific investigation only dialectically, that is, in the sense of their own interconnection, in order to arrive at a ‘system of nature’ nature sufficient for our time; when the dialectical character of this interconnection is forcing itself against their will even into the metaphysically trained minds of the natural scientists, today natural philosophy is finally disposed of.  Every attempt at resurrecting it would be not only superfluous but a step backwards.”, Engels writes.[47]


Believing that self-movement is key to a things development tends to hamper our ability to gain a correct understanding of a thing and its development and it greatly increases the chances that we will fail to properly manage, influence and guide the development of the thing. 


The view that what is internal to a thing, its internal contradiction, its self-movement is a things driving force, the main determinant of its development is only secondarily true. For any thing 1) its creation, 2) main driver of the direction of its motion and development and 3) its death are mainly due to what is external to the thing, or they begin in the external environment, the external context of the thing.  The existence of a thing in terms of these 3 areas will now be addressed.



“In terms of the creation of a thing, 2 points stand out.  First, is the relationship between the external and internal and the creation of a new thing, a new internal.  Second, is how the relationship between the internal and external bear on the capacity of a thing to form.


Let’s start off on the first point, the relationship between the external and internal and the creation of a new thing or internal.  All new internals are prompted by reasons or events prior to and at least partially outside of them. Since these events are prior to and at least partially outside of the internal they are external to it. Externals prior to the new internal interact with it, but they are not the same action.


Capitalism, with class struggle and the revolutionary movement as a part of it, causes and gives rise to socialism. Before there can be water, hydrogen and oxygen must combine.  To create new humans, a previously existing male and female must unite in order to produce a baby.  These are examples of how new internals result from events that are prior to and at least partially outside of the new internals.  We see that the external gives rise to the internal.” [48]


“Now to address the second point of creation, the external and internal as they relate to whether or not a thing can form. There are planets where the environment, taken as the external, does not allow hydrogen and oxygen to combine in such a way that water is formed. If there was little humidity in the air the new internal of dew drops would not form. While a women menstruates life can not begin in her body.  All of these are instances where the external determines if a new internal can be formed.” [49]



Internal contradictions make each distinct category of things different from other categories and also internal contradictions are responsible for individual members, or instances of things, within a category being different from one another.  For example there is a set of internal contradictions that makes the category of fish different from the category of metals.  And within the category of cod fish there is a set of internal contradictions that makes one individual cod different from another cod.  While a thing’s internal contradiction provides a parametric for its development, what is external to a thing is generally predominant in determining the pace and direction of a thing’s development.


Water has a unique set of internal contradictions that make it different from other substances.  Nothing but water expands in size when going from a liquid to a frozen, solid state.  However it is the external temperature context, or circumstances of water that determine whether or not it is in a gaseous, liquid, or solid stage of motion.  Water does identize or shift places with externals like temperature in terms of whether water itself, or those externals are predominant at any one instant in water’s motion and development.  However, while what is internal to a thing makes for a range of self-movement, in the main its internal contradictions are given their pace and direction by what is external to a thing and thus a thing’s development is mostly influenced by what is external to the thing.  No amount of water’s internal self-movement can determine when and to what extent an external like temperature will apply itself to water.  Investigation and study shows that what is true about the external and its effect on the development, or motion of water holds for all things.


Not only do external factors typically play the predominant role in influencing the nature and direction of a thing’s development, but the fact that the components from which a things is created, or produced and reproduced has a bearing on the kind of development and motion a thing undergoes.


In terms of the demise of a thing, “Water subjected to an external process called hydrolysis, will no longer exist. Hydrolysis breaks water up into the gases hydrogen and oxygen by passing an electrical current through it.  Fire will destroy paper and acid dissolves metal. The externals of hydrolysis, fire and acid [may] have decisive effects on the continued existence of the internals they act on.”[50]


In “On Contradiction” Mao writes, “Changes in society are due chiefly to the development of internal contradictions in society, that is the contradiction between the productive forces and the relations of production.”  It is not so much that Mao is wrong here as that he is only half right.  At bottom the relations of production are determined by the productive forces.  But the central contradiction within the productive forces is that between humans and their tools and technology on the one hand and nature on the other.  Nature isn’t static, nature is an evolving historical entity.  In addition, what is nature to us as humans develops, expands and presents new entities and features on the basis of our ability to be increasingly successful at understanding and transforming nature to serve human needs, wants and desires.  New frontiers and horizons of nature open up to us as we move more deeply and more broadly into nature.  So that ultimately we find that what drives human society is a contradiction between what is half inside of society and what is half outside out it.


The Deborin school, a philosophical trend in the Soviet Union during the years of Stalin’s leadership, held a mechanical view about when the internal fundamental contradiction of a thing begins to exist.  Mao writes, that the Deborin school “maintains that contradiction appears not at the inception of a process, but only when it has developed to a certain stage.”[51]  Mao is quite right to make the point that the fundamental internal contradiction of thing which makes it a category of thing as opposed to other kinds of categories of things is present at the inception of a thing, be it an object, or process.  Indeed contradiction and the struggle between the opposed aspects of contradictions are universal and present within all things from their very beginning to their very end.  However Mao and others in treating the topic of revolutionary dialectics have argued that holding the position that the external is decisive to the development of a thing means that one also holds that contradiction does not exist in a thing from its inception.  In reality the 2 positions may be separated and as demonstrated with water, despite the fact that all things have contradiction within at the time of their birth, what is external to a thing may be the main force in its creation and demise, and the primary driver of its development.



Transduction is the movement of the external to the internal and vice versa.  In effect it is a shorthand name for the identizing, the exchanging of form and content between, the external and internal.  Transduction occurs when what is outside of a thing (a force, or entity) moves, or acquires some form of existence inside that thing, and conversely transduction occurs when what is inside a thing moves, or acquires some form of existence outside of that thing.  Signal transduction occurs in biology when atoms of elements such as calcium and potassium are sent as a signal into a cell from the outside, or from the inside of the cell to the outside.


To summarize this chapter, recognition of the decisive nature of the external interconnection and interaction of things and how they are decisive in the makeup and motion of all things is a key factor distinguishing materialist dialectics from mechanism and metaphysics.  The external is generally primary in the motion and development of all things, except for the cosmos itself as a whole, because of course the cosmos includes all that exists.




All things are systems and all things are a part of one, or more systems.[52]  Typically all things are parts of multiple systems and typically multiple systems exist within a thing.  Indeed most things are parts of interconnected systems of systems and most things are made up of interconnected systems of systems.  The human body, society, the atom, a plant are examples of things that are both constructed from and are parts of interconnected systems of systems.


It is important to study the dialectical laws and principles of the way systems operate because the fact that all things are systems, are created from systems and are parts of one, or more larger systems has everything to do with the nature of history, motion and development of a thing.  A thing may be benignly, partially, or wholly impacted in its development by the systems residing within it and by the systems of which it is a member.  Systems have 3 major characteristics:

  1. parts that work together for one, or more purposes.
  2. an architecture that defines how the parts of a system relate to one another and function as a whole.
  3. input and output functions where the system receives input, or stimulus from its environment and on that basis has some external effect upon, or provides output to, its environment.  Most advanced systems also have operations that stand between system input and output.  On the basis of input, or stimulus to the system, the system carries out one or more functions, or processing operations and on the basis of these operations the system provides output to its environment.  This 3 part - input, operation, output - movement may be seen in one, or more environmental contexts to be the goal, or purpose of the system.[53]


All things are a sea of contradictions, as stated earlier in the chapter “What is Dialectics?”.  A system being a thing is therefore also made up of a sea of contradictions.  And of course as with every thing, a system has one, or more fundamental contradictions that make it distinct from other kinds of things.  A system that develops is likely to have contradictions that are principal and significant for each of it various stages of development.  Additionally, a system may be made up of contradictions whose aspects play the roles of the leading factor, the engaging factor, the parametric and the base. 


A system has internal contradictions and a system resides in a sea of external contradictions.  And a system has just as with all things is mainly determined in its makeup and generally driven in its development by the contradictions external to it.   Of course the path a one type of system takes relative to another type of system in the same given set of external contradictions depends upon the nature of its internal contradictions.  While all systems are mainly driven in their motion and development by external contradictions, systems that are capable of self-reproduction[54] and, or self-subsistence tend have self-motion and self-development in addition to the motion and development spurred by external contradictions and such systems may be said to possess a degree of self-determination.  It should be noted that even the self-motion and self-development of a system is typically prompted by external conditions and circumstances, just as the human body self-evolves over time in response to adaptation to its surrounding environment.


A new system may arise, or be given birth from a single system or the interaction of multiple systems.  A new system may then 1) serve as a part of one or more of its parent systems, 2) standalone from its parent systems, or 3) even incorporate one, or more parent systems within itself.  As an example both where some of the new systems became parts of the originating system hand and where some of the new systems come to stand outside of their originating system, a cell that is infected by a virus has its nucleus hijacked by the virus to create new viruses (i.e. new systems), some of the new viruses remain in the infected cell while others leave to infect other cells.  Not only does this process create new instances of the same kind of virus, that is new instances of the same kind of system, but through evolutionary mutation the process may create, radically changed, or totally new kinds of viruses, that is radically changed, or totally new kinds of systems.  The wrong kind of radical virus change,  especially with the dominance of profit first worldwide imperialism, may lead to a global pandemic. 


All systems undergo development and they typically do so both on an individual basis and as a species.  That is, on an individual basis a system is born, matures, and passes away.  On the level of system species over the course of generations the structure, makeup and often functions performed by the individuals of the species tends to evolve (develop) over time.  A system may reproduce new instances of the kinds of parts it already possesses and as a system evolves it may produce totally new kinds of parts.


In some cases it is possible to perform a one to one mapping between the parts, or structures of one system to similar, or analogous parts, or structures in another system.  To use an example from the chapter “The Leading Factor And The Parametric Role in Development”, the foundation, or base,   of a building supports its walls and roof as the superstructure of the building and these map one for one to the economic base of society upon which stands the superstructure of society consisting of things like culture, politics, law, and the arts.  When this kind mapping is possible from the parts of one system to the parts of one, or more other systems, the systems are said to be homomorphic[55].  In respect to each having a base and superstructure, the system of a house and the system of society are homomorphic.



Having a system perspective, a view of the parts of a system as members of a whole, assists us in being able to navigate through the misdirection, din and chaotic flux of simply viewing the unconnected motion of the parts.  A holistic and coherent system view assists us in being able to distinguish trees as parts from the forest as the whole.


With regard to the purpose, output, or effect of a system, its parts function as a single unit to achieve one, or more goals.  This means that the parts of a system function in a coherent manner.  However the fact that the parts of a system function in a coherent manner to achieve one, or more goals does not imply that contradiction does not exist in the structure and operation of system.  Indeed both the relationship between the system as a whole and its parts and the relationship between the parts themselves are dialectical contradictions: partówhole and partópart.


Systems that are capable of self-reproduction, or self-subsistence, which as we previously found often have some degree of self-motion and self-development, usually subordinate one, or more facets of their various parts to the functioning of the system as a whole[56].  Systems subordinate their parts by:

  • impacting their development
  • controlling their birth, death and period of membership in the system
  • managing one, or more aspects of their functioning

Systems may subordinate each of their parts differently and for each kind of subordination in the list, a part may subordinated to a greater or lesser degree.


A system has a whole and its parts, with the whole existing as the interplay of its parts.  Systems may possess 2 kinds of parts, local and global.  The 2 types may exist in a system simultaneously, or at different times.  Looking at a system in relationship to its parts, and considering the system in total as the “whole” aspect of a contradiction, that whole aspect is in a contradiction with the parts of the system: partówhole.  Every part is an aspect in a contradiction opposed to the “whole” aspect of a system.  Global parts are elements of a system that operate throughout the system, whereas local parts are elements of a system that do not operate throughout the system.  For instance in the worldwide capitalist system, a local part, feudalism, which arose before capitalism and is now subordinated to capitalism, continues to operate in some countries, but not others.  On the other hand, investment capital, a global part, used by the capitalist class to extract profits from the joint labor and resources of the people, permeates the societies of every country of the world.  Not all systems have both global and local parts, but many of the more complex systems, do so and whatever the nature of a part, all the parts of a system are each in an individual contradiction with the “whole” aspect of the system; there is partówhole.  Further, many if not most of the parts of a system, regardless of type, are in a contradiction with each another, both one on one, and one opposed  many.  Both a local part, or a global part may be the principal aspect for one, or more stages in the development  of a system.  A part may also be the leading factor, just as in the system of society which is formed by its 2 parts, the superstructure and the base, the superstructure is the leading factor.


Typically when a system whole and its parts develop both the whole and the parts do so in a reciprocal, or mutual manner based upon the dialectical contradictions that exists between the system as a whole and each of its parts on the one hand and based upon the dialectical contradictions that exists among the parts themselves on the other.  The reciprocal development of the system as a whole and its parts may be viewed graphically as a spiral.  Indeed their development may be viewed as a mostly upward, or downward spiral that over time traces out a helix.  This helix of mutual development creates a harmony or fitness in the adaptation of the parts to the whole and typically among the parts as well[57].  When this harmony and fitness occurs in the development of a system it has what is called concinnity [58].  The existence of concinnity is a major reason why so many things in reality seem to fit, marry and work well together.  Many, if not most, objects and processes in existence develop together in a reciprocal and dialectical way as concinnate systems.


Managing a part in terms of the whole should be based upon the priority of the system as a whole.  In that way the part remains subordinate to the functioning of the whole.  Development of a part in terms of a whole system must necessarily entail some kind of subordination of the part to the demands of the whole.



Complex systems in particular often display synergy.  Synergy takes place when the combined action and of the parts of a system give rise to effects that are greater than the simple sum of each part acting alone.  Examples of synergy occur when the combined action of the parts of a complex system give brings about the emergence of both new kinds of things, and new instances of existing kinds of things.  When synergy occurs in complex systems it may give rise to new parts (global and local), new behaviors, new forces and new contradictions in the system.  In addition, synergy may destroy parts, and both lessen and intensify existing behavior, forces and contradictions.  Synergy and the things that emerge from it often obscure the cause of various actions that take place in a complex system and synergy often contributes to a certain level of chaos in the operation of a complex system.  In the operation of a system which combines the effects of synergy with the obscuring of causes and chaos (whether or not the obscuring and chaos were created by the systems internal synergy) it is often impossible to analyze and comprehend the system using simply a straight line (rectilinear), algebraic, formal logic approach.  In these cases, we find that we must apply a fully dialectical, non-linear logic and calculus[59] to the analysis and attempt to comprehend such complex systems[60].  This is doubly so when we must also take into account the effect of feedback loops and the parallel functioning of various processes, as we commonly must with such systems.


The various qualities and features associated with systems and their parts listed in this section are frequently found to overlap and to nest inside one another in the same system.  Some features even nest within themselves and are thus called recursive features.



Systems exist due to the universality of contradiction.  In the chapter “What is Dialectics?” in Part One, we found that the universality of contradiction means that one, or more contradictions reside in all things.  We also found that all contradictions are divided into 2, or more opposed aspects that are in constant struggle.  The universality of contradiction is both directly and indirectly responsible for the existence of systems. 


Contradiction is directly responsible for the existence of some systems because every contradiction is itself a system.  First, a contradiction is divided into at least 2 opposed parts, its aspects.  Secondly, there is an architecture, or process for how the 2 opposed parts function to makeup the overall contradiction.  Thirdly, all contradictions are affected by their context, this affects the nature of the struggle between the opposed aspects of contradiction and the result of the nature of the struggle in turn has some effect on the context of the contradiction. 


Because every contradiction is a system, all things are a part of one, or more systems.  That is because all things have internal contradictions that are in contradiction with things that are external to it and thus because a thing is the internal aspect, or part, of an internalóexternal contradiction, everything is a part of a system.  In this way all things in the cosmos are parts of a single cosmos wide system.  The context we are interested in determines how closely coupled any 2 things are in a system.  For instance a computer in a room and the door to the room in which the computer resides are loosely coupled if we are interested in the algorithms used to calculate a formula on the computer, but the door may be very more closely coupled to the computer when we consider the temperature system of the room in which the computer operates.


Contradiction is indirectly responsible for the creation of various other systems due to the identizing, (including identizing transduction) between the internal and external in a contradiction.  This dialectical identizing between the internal and external causes one thing to interpenetrate and interconnect with another thing and this along with reciprocal development based upon the same dialectical process may cause 2, or more things to come together to form a single system.



No system is completely self-contained and no system can be fully understood in terms of itself.  Kurt Göedel, a noted 20th century mathematician, logically proved that no system can be fully explained in its own terms.  A system can only be explained by linking it to things, processes, or affairs external to the system.  We must connect and relate a system to relevant elements in the context surrounding the system in order to gain full and complete knowledge of the system.  This further undermines the notion that the internal is key to the motion and development of a thing. 


Everything, including systems, has multiple concentric rings of external contextual circumstances that expand all the way out to the largest possible context, that of the universe, or multiverse as whole.  For each concentric ring the explanation and often even what we understand to be the nature of a thing undergoes a change.  For instance a street has the multiple concentric ring, contextual circumstances of first its neighborhood, secondly its city,  third its region, fourth its country, fifth the world and so on out to the universe as a whole.  For each contextual ring the understanding, explanation and possibly our conception of the nature of the street undergoes changes.  So when we note that a system can only be explained in terms of how it relates to other things in its context, the fact that every system has multiple concentric rings of context means that a single system may have multiple rings of explanation.  A thing, or system does not simply have a single set of concentric rings of context, but rather multiple sets of both overlapping and non-overlapping concentric rings of context and thus a system has multiple sets of both overlapping and non-overlapping concentric rings of explanations.



Keeping hold of one, or more key links that allow control of the whole chain is to be system oriented and holistic.  Typically the key links for a system are its leading and engaging factors, if they are present in one, or more contradictions within a system.  These leading and engaging factors are, as we found earlier, opposed to one, or more parametric, or base aspects.



The conceptual stage of knowledge of a thing[61] frequently involves the method of study called abstraction that Marx used in Capital to analyze the capitalist mode of production, with commodity production at its core.  The method of understanding a thing by the use of abstraction begins by looking at thing as a whole system from the context in which we are interested in the thing.  We then proceed to identify and analyze each part relevant to the functioning of the system from the perspective of the context we are interested in the system as whole.  As we analyze each relevant part we analyze its key features: its leading factor, engaging factor, parametric, principal contradictions, principal aspects and all other key properties and behaviors.  After analyzing there is a synthesis, where build a conceptual model of the system, that pulls together the knowledge of the key features of the analyzed parts and connects that knowledge as a whole system, to gain a deeper, more thorough going understanding of the thing than we had when first began to apply the process of abstraction to it.


The process of abstraction of a thing as a system with parts is a form of modelling, the most complete form of conceptual system modelling.  Any mental concept of a thing is an abstraction because it is a model of the thing.[62] The mental concept “book” is an abstraction because it is not an actual book, but it represents, or models, a book by bringing to mind the essential characteristics of a book, like having a cover, a spine, pages, etc.  So that abstraction may involve simple mental generalization, or modelling, of something on the one hand, or complex detailed analysis and synthesis, i.e. modelling, of a thing as a system on the on the other: simple abstractionócomplex abstraction.


Using abstraction to gain a knowledge of a thing as a system has a structure that is analogous to the way systems themselves operate.  Healthy systems take in elements and, or experience stimuli from the outside (the external), undergo processes internally and as a result and then have output, or behavior that affects things externally.  This is akin to how abstraction analysis proceeds inward toward the parts of a system, processes the parts individually, and then reconstitutes the system so that we now see the system from the outside with a clearer picture of how it operates in its contextual environment.  Knowledge proceeds 1) from the outside, thesis, 2) to the inside, antithesis and 3) to the outside again on a higher level, synthesis.  So that knowledge of the system, just as with the operation, or functioning of the system, proceeds through a process of negation of the negation.[63]


Because the parts of every system are themselves systems, the process of abstraction may used to gain a knowledge of each them as a system with their respective parts as well.  Recursive abstraction  is the name used  when the process of abstraction is applied not only to a system, but also to its parts as systems.



Often it is neither advisable, nor possible to fully implement the goals of project, or line of work all at once, or in a single step.  We therefore make plans to reach our goal through repeated cycles of work – iterations - that incrementally bring us closer to our goal until we complete them.  This is the iterative and incremental style of work, which is a wise style because it recognizes that things do not spring ready made “from the head of Job”, but rather develop as a process over time.  Of course all processes contain periods of both small, evolutionary, quantitative change as well as periods of large, revolutionary, qualitative change.  But since things do not and can not be fully developed, and our goals can not be reached in one fell swoop in most cases, we must apply the iterative and incremental style while leading it with a system approach.  Whenever our work must be divided across time, and or space, we should apply a system plan to an iterative, incremental, or sub-divided implementation of that plan.


Whenever we have a project that that may be sub-divided into tasks, the project overall is a system whole and each of the tasks constitutes a system part.  When developing, managing and utilizing a system and its parts it is best to plan globally in terms of the system as whole when deciding how to handle both the system as a whole and each of its parts.  This follows because the parts of a system are subordinate to the whole system and given that ultimately the whole system must function properly in order for the parts to function properly.  We should always apply a system view to guide our work with regard to the development, and operation of the various parts of a sub-divided the project.  An approach that is rooted in an overall understanding of the project; an approach rooted in assessing the project everything from a holistic standpoint. 


When dividing our work, our tasks, into parts and planning when to tackle each part, we should take on and attempt to overcome the riskiest parts and aspects first.  Adopting the method of confronting a risk by dividing up a complex mission and tackling the greatest risk to the mission upfront is fundamental to correctly placing the whole above the parts and thinking in holistic fashion because if risk is not ameliorated early on there is greater likelihood that the goal of the mission as a whole will never be achieved.  Sometimes the doing the riskiest parts before other parts isn’t possible, one thing must simply be done before another, but whenever possible, we should take on the riskiest work first so increase the chances that the whole line of work has the best chance of succeeding.  Attacking risk first often settles issues that ease later parts of the work and it gets us “over the hump” so to speak and more quickly places us on the less bothersome downhill side as the time draws near for the overall task, or mission must be completed.  There is a greater likelihood for successful completion of a project when as appropriate we sub-divide work and take on the greatest risks in the first iterative divisions of the work.


One way that we should be applying the interests of the whole to whatever we do is to always put politics in command.  In our work we should always be thinking in terms of and led by the current needs and future goals of the proletariat in the revolutionary political class struggle both locally, but more importantly internationally.  In our work we should keep in mind the principle of thinking globally and acting both locally and globally.  Thinking globally and acting in a locally appropriate manner is a form of sub-dividing the tasks of the international proletariat.


Keeping hold of the key links that allow control of the whole chain is to be holistic.  Typically the key links are the leading and engaging factors if they are present.



Simplicity should be used to understand, manage and control the complexity and chaos of complex systems.  There is almost always some simplicity, regularity, order and pattern within the chaos and complexity of complex systems.  We should use them to effectively control, manage and chaos and complexity.  The are often key links that allow us to control the whole system.  Order, regularity and simplicity are often the leading factor in relation to a complex system as whole.  We encourage revolution to liberate humanity, but we require a regular and orderly vanguard party in order to lead that revolution.  Of course an orderly party should also have a robust, vibrant and vigorous ideological life.


Leveled and modular systems promote loose coupling between their parts and thus reduces complexity.  They allow each part to have a greater sphere of self-determination with minimal coupling necessary between the parts, and hence less there is complexity required to comprehend and manage each  part.  Minimal coupling between the parts of system affords greater ease when polymorphically swapping out, or substituting the parts of a system to increase the contextual effectiveness of the system for a given time and place.



Pragmatism and empiricism are closely related bourgeois philosophies that run counter to taking a holistic, system approach to analysis and the handling of tasks.  They both have roots in the short sighted, greed based "just get it done and show me the money now”, mentality and ideology of the capitalist class.  The conscious proponents of the 2 philosophies, as well those who practice their precepts unconsciously, are unconcerned with the knowing the underlying truth of a thing, and its context and consequently ignore the long term implications, or consequences of their actions regarding a thing in its context.  Many of the variations of empiricism and pragmatism are openly crude and vulgar with respect to their attitude toward understanding and acting upon the truth.  However, because empiricists and pragmatists reject facts, makes them no less true and the truth asserts itself in spite of their looking away from and denial of it.


Empiricism first arose in Britain and  among its leading exponents was David Hume in the mid to late 1700's during the period of the capitalist industrial revolution.  Empiricists like Hume maintain that the only reality we can be certain exists are the direct perceptions of our senses, our sense perceptions.  This leads them to the conclusion that truth is however each individual perceives it and therefore that all truth and everything is relative.  Empiricism in its crudest form is the idealist philosophy solipsism that is opposed to the scientific view of reality provided by materialism as discussed in the first cheaper of Part One, "What is Materialism?".  Solipsists are extreme subjectivists who not only hold that truth is up to how each person perceives it, but they deny that a real world exists outside of the mind.  For them is impossible to find out and know what is objectively true about the world because there is no objectively existing world to know.


This ignores the fact that the same knowledge gained and successfully used in the practice of an individual, or group, in a specific context when shared and acted upon by other individuals, or groups in a similar specific context, will also meet with success.  In other words given the same conditions in 2 different places, cause and effect exist objectively and are scientifically repeatable.  Dialectical materialism as we found in the section “Relative and Objective Truth” agrees with the Theory of Relativity that while truth may be different relative to different contexts, the truth of a context exists objectively, i.e. the truth of a context coherently expresses the essential nature and behavior of things and affairs in the context that are made of matter – mass, and or energy.


Pragmatism the kissing cousin of empiricism was born in the rapacious frenzy that accompanied the rise of monopoly capitalism, or imperialism, in the United States.  James Pierce and John Dewey were among the leading formulators of pragmatist philosophy in the U.S..  Unfortunately, today it is so to speak the default bourgeois philosophy.  Pragmatism more than empiricism dominates the conceptual framework of most engineers and scientists, nearly all bourgeois politicians, judges, most academics and perhaps most even among the masses of people both in the U.S. and around the world.


In ignoring the larger, or underlying truth of things for what appears to be the most expedient route to getting something done, empiricism and pragmatism take a piecemeal, non-holistic, non-system view of the facts of a thing, its context and its motion and development.  Those applying empiricist and pragmatist analysis and methods focus on appearance, the superficial, the transitory and not with the essence of what is going on, not with the actual truth of a thing discovered over time.  They do not apply the principles of materialist theory of knowledge to the study of a thing and thus rarely move from the study of the outside of a thing to the inside with its parts and then back to the outside with a higher level of knowledge.  They are happy to remain at the perceptual, or unconnected conceptual  level of knowledge of things and do not proceed to an outer conceptual knowledge of things.


Adherents and those under the sway, of empiricism and pragmatism are mechanical because by ignoring the real truth about things they inevitably fail to apply dialectics, the real laws of motion of things, and if one does not apply dialectics, then one is consciously, or unconsciously applying the dialectical opposite of dialectics, the mechanical approach, to the study and handling of things.  The view of motion that is opposed to dialectics is the mechanical, the metaphysical view. 


Adherents and those under the sway of empiricism and pragmatism are idealist because by holding that truth is whatever the individual thinks is true and to act as if whatever gets things done  right now is the truth denies the materialist principle that things have an objective existence outside the mind.  And it denied the materialist theory of knowledge that in order to really know things, we must come to know them not just on their surface, not just in a partial way, not just in a piecemeal manner, but in their essence, in their connection with other things, that we must gain a full, coherent, and holistic understanding of things as systems and as parts of other systems through repeated practice with them over time.


Many calling themselves revolutionary and many Marxist parties are influenced by, or have succumbed to empiricism and especially pragmatism.  Often this happens unknowingly, but nevertheless has caused much harm to the cause of socialism.  Negative effects of this piecemeal, anti-system thinking and how it contributes along with the "internal is key" to development view to creating the damaging trend in the proletarian movement in the U.S. and globally called mechanical subjectivism will be examined shortly in Part Two, immediately following the next and final section of this chapter.



It is not really possible to have theory lead practice without consciously attempting to apply a holistic system view to our analysis and synthesis of all events and to all facets of our political line.  It is not really possible to have a system view without thorough going application of the principle that “theory leads, practice verifies”.  An aspect of theory leading is not just backing off, or looking at things from a higher elevation.  It is not simply generalizing, abstracting, or modelling the immediate issue and proceeding on that basis.  Rather it also involves 1) connecting all of the relevant generalizations and concepts at a given level of operation and 2) making connections from generalizations and concepts at a lower level of operation to generalizations and concepts at higher levels of operation.  Most importantly we should connect generalizations and concepts at all levels of operation to the needs and interests of the country wide and global proletarian revolutionary struggle.  Carrying out such connections in order to properly subordinate everything we do to those larger contexts.  This is line with the fact that the proletarian struggle for revolution in each country or locale should subordinate itself to the needs and interests of the worldwide proletarian revolutionary struggle.  Treating theoretical concepts in this manner is the only way to have a truly holistic and truly correct political understanding of everything we do.


Our work we should always be based upon led by the state and needs of the proletariat in the revolutionary political class struggle both locally, but more importantly internationally.  In our work we should keep in mind the principle of thinking globally and acting both locally and globally.


One way that we should be placing system wide interests, the interests of the whole, above what is partial is to always put the politics of the proletarian revolution in command in all of our plans and activities.  Putting politics in command means to consider all issues in a holistic political context.  It means to see each issue having a part in the larger system of revolutionary class struggle. It means to evaluate every issue in the context of the system of our overall political line and goals.  Linking action to system oriented, holistic goals helps us to overcome the influence of pragmatism, a capitalist class serving, anti-system line of thinking and philosophy that we will now cover in some detail.







Revolutionary communists and the revolutionary movement in the U.S. should in no way support the war effort of the U.S. capitalist class and should not have done so during WWII.  Proletarian revolutionaries in the U.S. and around the world should have provided all possible material and personnel assistance to the socialist state and society that existed in the Soviet Union at the time, but the U.S. proletariat and its revolutionary party at the time, the Communist Party, USA (CPUSA), had no business supporting, much less joining, the U.S. imperialist bourgeoisie's WWII war effort.  While at the time WWII occurred, the worldwide movement included the interests and significance of the existence of socialism in the Soviet Union, the worldwide movement should have been mainly focused upon the interests the proletarian struggle in all countries and localities taken together as a whole.


Lenin has made it abundantly clear in works like “Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky” and many others that the primary task of the proletariat and its revolutionary vanguard party in imperialist countries during the outbreak of inter-imperialist world war should be to attempt to turn the guns around on their own bourgeoisie and make proletarian revolution to seize power from the imperialist bourgeoisie and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.  Lenin maintained that inter-imperialist war typically presents highly favorable opportunities for making revolution in imperialist countries and that this was highest good any individual movement in an imperialist country could provide to the worldwide proletarian struggle.  He stressed that a struggle for socialist revolution by the proletariat of imperialist countries in such circumstances was the only correct form of proletarian internationalism.


The argument that since the Soviet Union had been attacked by Germany and its imperialist bloc, called the Axis, this justified support for the war effort of the imperialist bloc headed by the United States and Britain, called the Allies, by Marxist-Leninist parties in the latter countries is spurious and specious.  This makes a mockery of Lenin’s principles on inter-imperialist world war.  So what are we to do as long as socialist countries are attacked in one inter-imperialist world war after another, give up the opportunities to ever take advantage of the vulnerabilities caused by world war to make revolution and seize power from vulture imperialists who side with a socialist country?  As stated in the introduction of this work, it would likely benefit not only socialist countries, but the world proletarian struggle to a greater degree for one or more major imperialist exploiters of the planet to be overthrown and to establish a revolutionary state in economically advanced country than it would be for the proletariat of an imperialist country to lay low and support the mostly inter-imperialist war effort of their own bourgeoisie.


Regretfully, Soviet foreign policy during WWII seems to have had an “internal is key”, non-holistic basis which played into the erroneous help your own imperialists policy of the Marxist-Leninist parties in the imperialist countries of the Allied bloc.  The Soviet Union encouraged “the help your own Allied imperialists” line directly and through the Comintern.  And much of the mobilization of the proletariat and masses of people in Russia to struggle against Germany was carried out on the ideological basis of defending “Mother Russia” as opposed to an emphasis upon fighting to defend the Soviet Union as bastion of socialism for the needs and interests of the world proletarian struggle.  Not to mention that Russia itself was but one of many of republics making up the Soviet Union.  Indeed the Ukraine and Byelorussia were the first Soviet republics to be invaded by the Germans.



During the ‘70’s, then socialist China made an alliance with NATO and the U.S. to with the aim of offsetting the threat of military attack from the communists in name only, who restored capitalism in the former Soviet Union.  The Soviet rulers placed over a million troops along the border between China and the Soviet Union.  The Chinese alliance with NATO and U.S. may have been a correct policy for them to deal with the Soviet threat.  However,  the Chinese communist party should have made it abundantly clear that the proletariat in the NATO countries and the in the U.S. should not be supporting the foreign policy of the bourgeoisie of their countries in any form, means, or fashion.  Instead, China even went so far as to give support to the October League (OL) in the United States, a group calling itself Maoist group, but which in fact practiced right opportunist, pro U.S. imperialist, great nation chauvinism.  China supported OL in large part because OL urged the proletariat and people of the U.S. to support NATO and U.S. foreign policy.  China foreign policy in this instance was based upon the internal is key.  The Chinese in the main incorrectly handled the need for China top play one superpower off against the other for China's survival as a socialist state in terms how that affected the interests of worldwide proletarian movement as a whole.  This policy by China unquestionably had a deleterious effect upon the socialist movement in many countries, including the U.S., and likely had a negative effect on the internal struggle in China between revolutionary scientific socialism and the bourgeoisie.


Both Soviet and Chinese foreign policy errors, when they were socialist, seem to have contributed to a greater, or lesser extent to the reversal in their respective countries, and also during the same periods to various reversals suffered in the global proletarian revolutionary struggle.



Revolutionaries must do what is in the interest of the worldwide struggle.  They should not act only, or mainly in the interest of what is best for the some internal struggle because in  the end it undermines both the external and  internal struggle.  This applies to both an revolutionary movement in a locale that hasn’t yet seized power, and just as much to a socialist society where the proletariat has already seized power.


A socialist country should not place their internal interests above those of the external worldwide proletarian struggle.  Doing so corrodes both the internal socialist society and the external struggle.  A socialist society should:

Give political and material support to the revolutionary line in countries around the world.

Act to most rapidly carry out socialization and revolutionization of its internal social-economic structures. This should be meshed with the larger, on-going class struggle against the bourgeoisie both internally and externally.

Subordinate its interest to the interests of the global proletarian revolutionary struggle at all times; to take a holistic system views that puts the politics of the worldwide movement for socialism in command.

Strive to build its economy in the most self-reliant way possible.

Having a correct scientific socialist stance on vital issues involving internationalism is absolutely essential to maintaining a correct overall revolutionary line and orientation.




Dogmatism is “to approach Marxism from a metaphysical point of view and to regard it as something rigid”, Mao wrote.  Dogmatism takes the wooden, mechanical view of dialectics to its extreme in a trend called mechanical subjectivism.  Dogmatism upholds the internal is key, part above the whole philosophical view in its analysis of most objects, processes, affairs and circumstances.  And dogmatism upholds a wooden understanding of the nature of materialism and the relationship between theory and practice.  Mechanical subjectivism has a sclerotic conception of dialectics  Dogmatism makes black and white distinctions based in part due to its metaphysical, its mechanical view of the motion of things and how things interrelate.  Those practicing mechanical subjectivism can be both overly broad and narrow at the same time, but characteristically they are narrow and short-sighted in perspective and policy.  Dogmatism is not only anti-dialectical, but by being blind to the actual operation of dialectics in the world, by being blind to an actual empirical understanding of the world, dogmatism acts in key instances according to facts that are outdated, one-sided, false.  Dogmatism thinks and acts not according to objective, materialist reality, but rather according to subjective, idealist myth.


Many mechanical subjectivists display a vituperative anger, and incredible sectarianism when they are opposed for their own bullying with its pettiness, mean spiritedness toward, violence toward and in some cases even thievery from, the people and other revolutionaries.  This is in part stems from their rigid dogmatic narrowness and egoism.  Dogmatic, mechanical subjectivism is cliquishly sectarian and often ultra-left in form, but rightist in essence.  It has an anti-revolutionary spirit and culture.



Mechanical subjectivists often wrongly handle what should be non-antagonistic contradictions as antagonistic ones.[64]  Stalin in the former Soviet Union and Pol Pot in Cambodia handled contradictions among the people as if they were contradictions between the people and the enemy.  Mao Zedong, the great revolutionary chairman of the Chinese communist party, who led China before capitalism was restored there in 1976, counseled Pol Pot against his ham handed, cliquish, and brutal approach to contradictions among the people in Cambodia.  This is a serious, on-going problem in the revolutionary movement among those like Stalin and Pol Pot who are under the sway of mechanical subjectivism.  Unfortunately, most of the Maoists in the U.S. at this time are members of, or connected to, the Revolutionary Communist Party USA (RCP).   There a handful among the top leadership of the RCP, who practice the same anti-revolutionary, and in many cases outright counterrevolutionary, behavior, as Stalin and Pol Pot.   When genuine Maoists in U.S. refuse to roll over for their careerism and plagiarism, they resort to sectarian bullying, and threats that they attempt to keep hidden from others in their party and from the public.


Dogmatism bases itself upon the internal is key because it is about “me first”, how I subjectively see things without regard to the facts.  It’s about my sectarian group and its machinations.  It in large part is about factionalism and machinations connected to “my” sectarian group and connected to “my” strivings for fame, position and, or fortune.  To quote the Comrade Laldhwaj of Nepal, mechanical subjectivist dogmatists pursue “ clandestine, conspiratorial, back-biting method instead of direct and open struggle; either aiming at “from unity to unity” or “from struggle to split” in place of unity-struggle-transformation.”


Mechanical subjectivists show little, or no patience in attempting to use a comrade’s good points to overcome their bad.  With them it’s one strike and you’re on their bad side.  It’s craven sycophancy to an individual no matter that person’s anti-revolutionary misdeeds, or you are on their bad side.


While always marking a clear line of distinction between us and the enemy and always continuing to attack the enemy in one, or another way as appropriate, we generally want to be broader not narrower in uniting forces against the enemy.  We want to unite each and every person and individual possible to fight the enemy.  Dogmatism which stokes minor contradictions among the people into major ones, works its treachery against that.


A major reason we must study the philosophical writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Mao and learn be good at separating errant philosophical trends like mechanical subjectivism from genuine dialectical materialism is to be good at both in this critical area of properly handling on the one hand contradictions between the people and the enemy and on the other properly handling contradictions among the people.



Stalin and many in the highest levels of leadership of the Soviet party and state during Stalin’s leadership of the party and state practiced and promoted mechanical subjectivism.  Lenin objected to Stalin becoming leader of the Soviet party and state on the basis of the bureaucratic commandist style of work and great nation chauvinism which Stalin displayed prior to Lenin’s death.  As an example of this we have previously examined the erroneous, mechanical subjectivist, WWII policy that Stalin and the Comintern followed and which policy they urged Marxist-Leninist parties around the world to adopt.


Stalin’s statement on Japan at the time of the Japanese surrender at the end of WWII, provides insight into the nature of Stalin's harmful, anti-socialist, great nation chauvinist, mechanical subjectivism and opportunism.  Stalin says in that statement that Japan had been an enemy of Russia since the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.  However Lenin in many of his writings makes it clear that the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 was an inter-imperialist war between the monarchist-capitalist rulers of the respective countries for who would throttle what colonies and who be the dominant robber baron of the west Pacific.




The main ideological danger among most of the left organizations and forces in the U.S. are views such as “we can give reform capitalism and give it a human face”, or those that see the goal of socialism is primarily to establish a welfare state.  Most on the left rely too heavily on the court system, voting, building the masses economic struggles against capital to effect change in the favor of the oppressed masses and to better society in general.  However, the main danger among Maoists in the U.S. is the opportunist, dogmatic, mechanical subjectivism of some among the top leadership of the RCP.  The philosophical manifestation and reinforcement of these errors is the internal” is key and lack of a system view.


Due to its ignoring and downplaying of facts combined with wooden, and one sided  analysis and view of things, the mechanical subjectivists in the leadership of the RCP often display rigidity and narrowness on many crucial issues.


Mechanical subjectivism tends to produce a mechanical, and dogmatic view of issues that results in narrow wooden policy.  E.g. the core work policy of the RCP is narrow, anti-vanguard, and amateurish.



Subjectivism at is core is an “it’s about me, it’s about us”, “the internal is key” point of view.  It is an inward and exclusive not broader oriented point of view.  It is about focusing upon the narrowest elements both within a party – the individual, the sect.



Large numbers of individuals, many of them very good people, readily take up the cult of the personality.  These people within the communist movement savor dogma and a savior, just like those who adopt more traditional religions.


The internal is generally key reflects the influence of thinking that individual prerogatives and actions outweigh the social.  Just as religion mythically inverts the power of masses and society as a whole into the power of the god head.  Just as backward oppressor influenced thinking mythically inverts the power of masses and society as a whole into the power of the king, the president, the boss man.



Some among the leadership of the RCP, including Bob Avakian, its chair, have stipulated for the past 25, or so years, that Avakian should set, or determine the line of the RCP.  This is a clear manifestation, of the dogmatic “internal is key” mechanical subjectivist view.  At an individual level it is an “it’s all about me”, swollen head phenomena.  It kicks to the curb the recognition that the best and broadest possible determinant of line is based upon treating all Marxists in the party as equals.  If fails to recognize that a Marxist party and the revolutionary movement is fundamentally built from the collective blood, sweat, exuberance and toil of revolutionaries to numerous to count.


Key decision making based upon majority voting by secret ballot within the party improves line because it takes advantage of the fact the experience of party members comes from a myriad of realms.  It avoids formulating line based upon narrowness, fragmentary experience and constricted vision.  It also avoids bourgeois “genius is key to history” that also manifests itself in the mistaken RCP “core of activity” position.  Such a bourgeois policy leads to ignoring and downplaying legitimate opinions and theory emerging from the broadest audience appropriate.  It fails to understand that all revolutionary theory is a concentration of humanity’s practice and the collective revolutionary practice of the people and the party.  Further, this practice is frequently not directly had by those formulating revolutionary theory.


Given the negative experience of cult of the personality with Stalin and the failure of cult of the personality to preserve socialism in China beyond the life of Mao, continuing to make the build personality cults as does Avakian and his band of leadership sycophants in the RCP is to stay in a rut.  And that forces us to ask as Mao did, “…is the intention good when one continues in the same rut after facts have proved the effect is bad?”[65]


It doesn’t ameliorate the harm of cult of the personality for the savior of the cult to give suave, hackneyed phrases like, “I’m nothing without my people”, as does Avakian.  This was literally the same phrase uttered by the petty tyrant and would have been leader for life, ex-Liberian dictator Sgt. Charles Taylor of Liberia  who despite that statement continued in his mean spirited, super selfish, brutally vindictive fame and power fetish ways.  We don’t want falsely pumped up pimp princes attempting to lead the proletarian revolutionary movement.


Whereas Avakian and his sycophants urges us to deny self, to exclusively embrace Avakian, it is notable that Mao on many occasions disparaged the cult of personality built up around himself.  He urged the masses to study Marxism, including his works, rather than to break out into rapture, obsequiousness and praise at the mere mention of his name.


If people are to be repeatedly acknowledged and praised shouldn’t that include the frequent specific recognition of the often yeoman efforts of party members who are not in the party leadership, other party leaders and last, those passed who cleared the way and last, but not least, revolutionary martyrs?


Finally it should be said that practice of cult of personality is linked to Hegel’s belief in the Absolute Idea.  Hegel’s notion of the Absolute Idea was that everything begins and ends and is about the Absolute Idea, the world turns on the Absolute Idea and the sun and moon set on the Absolute Idea.  Is there any other creepy feeling one gets than of the Absolute Idea when the first thing out the mouths of RCP members and hangers on wherever and whenever – demonstration, forum, on the street – one has run into one of them for past 30 years is the mention of Avakian’s name?  How is that Marxism-Leninism?  How is that giving truth to the notion that revolutionary theory is mainly due not to individual genius, but rather to the summation of all experience and practice especially in the class struggle?



A genuine Marxist party does not operate by settling fundamental issues of ideology and what is right and wrong by the decisions of one, or a handful of individuals.  All Marxists should be equal in the party.  On such matters, when at all possible, party members should vote by secret ballot.  And members of the party’s central committee should be selected in the same way, even if it is the central committee itself that selects the very top 2, or 3 leaders, like the chair of the central committee.


A Marxist party like many bodies in society at large should operate by democratic centralism.  That is where a group decides what to say, or do through voting and then once they have decided all members of the group act to carry out that the same decision.  Unity in carrying out the decision is called centralism.  Of course a Marxist party, that must prepare and lead the masses to revolution in the face of brutal capitalist repression must have very tight centralist discipline.  That has been shown over to be the only way for revolution to be successful.  It goes against the democracy that is necessary to have freely followed centralism when the central committee and the fundamental policy and line of the party is not selected by the equal vote of all members, or by the equal vote of all members at each level of the party.


Policy making by practicing the mass line within the party is no substitute for the full and correct practice of democratic centralism.  Mass line involves 1) leadership having ties with those being led, 2) introducing the led to thinking and policy that mobilizes them toward the goal, 3) concentrating the ideas, thinking and lingo arising from the led in the course of the work according the more advanced thinking of the leaders[66] and 4) creating ever newer thinking and policy that increasingly is more effective in mobilizing the led to reach the goal.  Such a relationship should hold both between the leaders of the party and the party membership and between the whole party and masses of people it is leading to make revolution.  However practicing mass line is not meant to replace voting and elections in all cases for planning strategy and tactics.  It is especially not meant to replace settling fundamental issues of ideology and what is right and wrong among equal Marxists who are all tightly bound to such decisions by way of party centralism.


The Chinese party, when it was genuinely revolutionary and socialist before September 1976, was better than the RCP because even they never said that their line was determined solely by Mao, but by the central committee as a whole with Mao as a member.  But if at all possible, not even the central committee should not determine the basic, overall line in a Marxist party of equals.  Again, to benefit from the broad experience of all of the various comrades engaged in a panoply of spheres, the fundamental line of the party should be decided by the equal vote of all members, or by the equal vote, of all members at each level of the party.  And the central committee members should be selected in a similar manner.  Once the party as a whole has determined its basic, overall line the central committee should then make decisions and lead the party on the basis of the basic, overall line.


In order to safeguard their inordinate hold on power, cult “saviors” like Avakian, frequently disparage practicing democracy by pointing out that 1) democracy is class based and 2) that democracy is merely a means to an end.  The first point that democracy is class based has no standing when talking about practicing democracy among the masses of people and when dealing with practicing democracy inside the organizations of the masses, which includes the people’s vanguard Marxist party leading the revolutionary struggle.  Democracy among the people is the foundation of the centralism they practice among themselves.  On the point that democracy is a merely a means to an end, it is illogical to disparage doing something simply because it is a means.  If the means we are using is defective, or worse no good, then there is less chance that we will achieve our ends.  As long as democratic practices in a Marxist party do not violate necessary centralism, they are fine, a good thing for all the reasons explained earlier.  The better the democratic practices the more effective they will be.



Marxists must discuss and struggle over ideological issues whenever there are differences among them.  Ideological struggle should never put on hold, even in a foxhole.  Correct ideology should lead and guide everything we do as Marxists without exception.  Marxists should adhere to the maxim: “Always Struggle Ideologically, Always Consolidate Organizationally” (ASI-ACO).  This is the only way for the correct line to remain in the fore and be the firm foundation of all of our activity.  Following the maxim to “Always Struggle Ideologically” is the way for theory to consistently lead our practice.


However  in the midst of a dire need to root out dogmatism and mechanical subjectivism amongst U.S. Maoist, Avakian argued that we should put a hiatus on raising major ideological questions.  He invoked the need for organizational unity as a rationalization for this hiatus.  But this goes against a fundamental principle of Marxism and in particular it goes against the Marxist principle of developing and maintaining the correct line through constant struggle on all 3 fronts: class, party and inner.  It is important to remember what the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) states in this regard: “It is always necessary to remember the Maoist understanding that organizational principles and rules can never be substitute for ideological and political struggle and never be relied upon as the principal means of resolving problems.” 


Dogmatists deny constant struggle on the personal level, deny constant struggle on the party level and will thus eventually deny constant struggle against bad practices in the class struggle. 


In the relationship between “Always Struggle Ideologically” (ASI) and “Always Consolidate Organizationally” (ACO), ASI should be the leading factor, while ACO is the parametric.  Organizational consolidation should always be done on the basis of a correct ideological and line.  It is no good for communists to function without unity on fundamental issues of ideology.  Doing so will continue, or eventually result in carrying out anti-revolutionary work, or aid sectarian, anti-unity, anti-Marxist activity.


Ideological struggle should even take place in a foxhole.  There is almost never a time when relevant ideological struggle should be carried out.  Even in a foxhole, politics should always be the leading factor and if there are differences about how to best get out of the foxhole based upon politics then non-antagonistic ideological struggle should be waged to determine what the correct political line for the situation and thus determine what course of action bests suits the needs of the local proletarian struggle as a subordinate part of he worldwide proletarian struggle.



Class struggle, party struggle and inner struggle feed back and forth to one another. The affairs in one area affects those in the other.  Handling one properly eventually requires handling them all properly.  If the struggle in 1 of the 3 areas persists in a poor state, it negatively impacts the other 2.  However it must be remembered that the key to properly handling party struggle and inner struggle is correctly waging the class struggle.


Avakian rarely it ever talks inner struggle - about the need for remoulding in the context of struggle.  He fails to understand and note how being humble aids in remoulding and in accepting and properly giving criticism.  When for instance he talks about the error of not substituting red for expert he does not also put that in the context of remoulding one’s ideology and the need to be humble while not being rolled over by letting obvious wrongs pass and by always putting politics in command in one’s practice.  Avakian talks about issues like this only from the angle of class struggle, but rarely if ever from the point of view of how inner remoulding is significant and at times decisive to gaining ideological insight on various issues of class and party struggle.


When the RCP leadership was urged to combat mechanical subjectivism as a philosophical trend 2 years before the super mechanical subjectivist Farrago line emerged in 1979, the leadership declined to do so.  Such a struggle if it didn’t head off, would have made a dent in the influence of those espousing the ideology of the Farrago trend and it would also have dealt body blows to the more deep seated dogmatism characteristic of the RCP today.  Instead its chair Bob Avakian and his band of cohorts not only failed to wage struggle against mechanical subjectivism, but themselves adopted it 1) by continuing to follow various anti-proletarian policies in organizational line and 2) by practicing, grossly selfish bourgeois plagiarism, suppressing the work of and carrying out sectarian bullying and threats against any leaders of the proletariat who would keep Avakian and his band from being the only ones leading the RCP.  


All of what has been covered in this section underscores how class struggle, party struggle and  inner ideological struggle have develop in a closely mutual manner.



The primary task of the revolutionary party in the U.S. must be creation of public opinion and on that basis preparing revolutionary leadership from all strata to lead the broad masses of people in revolution when the objective conditions for a revolutionary uprising by the masses in their tens of millions ripens.  By not properly building a leadership corps the RCP promotes a new form of tailing the masses, like the trend of economism.


The RCP states that its core activity is among the most oppressed.  Fine sounding words in appearance, but let’s look at their backward essence.  If that is true then that means the RCP, despite its denials, has denied the primary task of a revolutionary party not only in the in the U.S., but for every party in a pre-revolution imperialist country.  


The core activity of revolutionary work in an imperialist country like the U.S., during the non-revolutionary, relatively peaceful conditions before a revolution, should be upon organizing and preparing the forces of revolutionary leadership, so that they are capable of leading the masses of people to successfully seize power when revolutionary conditions occur.  This means 1) developing a revolutionary party by recruiting and 2) working with the advanced who want to make revolution and training them primarily by mobilizing them to create public opinion among the masses of people to see the necessity for revolution. 


Training and preparation should mainly be done by leading party and the advanced to create public opinion to build mass revolutionary struggle against exploitation and oppression and for the overthrow of capitalism.  In the course the party and advanced should educate the masses of people to the necessity of revolution the people in the course of that mass revolutionary struggle. 


In finding and training leaders of the revolution, a communist party in a pre-revolutionary imperialist country should seek out those from all strata and classes who see the need for revolution, or are on the cusp of seeing that need.  Marxism comes out of the best of bourgeois science and we should have a major effort to draw the far sighted individuals from all areas of society to enable us to formulate the best line and to leverage widespread links in all areas of society in order to strengthen the revolutionary movement in its fight to bring about socialist revolution.  The goal of revolution is to liberate society as a whole including the working class and its most oppressed sections.  Revolution is not simply about the most oppressed freeing themselves from woeful economic conditions, though certainly that is a key part of it.  We should place an accent, a slightly greater effort, on seeking out those from the working class, especially from among its most oppressed sections because a revolutionary movement that does not look to involve the most oppressed as much as possible in every way will lose its revolutionary soul.


The main audience for creating public opinion and building mass revolutionary struggle should be all strata and classes with an emphasis on the working class, students, intellectuals and those in the arts.  In doing so we should place an accent on creating public opinion and mobilizing the most oppressed sections of the working class.


The most oppressed section of the proletariat in the U.S. will not only be a significant and sizeable component of the revolutionary masses, but of the leadership of the revolutionary struggle as well.  However to limit the core of activity of the revolutionary party to work among that strata ignores that other strata are in great progressive foment and possess knowledge and experience that are essential for revolutionary leadership. 


Through the work of the party and the most advanced fighters for revolution the most oppressed from the experience of other strata and likewise other strata can absorb the hatred of the most oppressed.  But that will not happen by restricting the core of the party’s activity among the most oppressed.


RCP policy on this issue harkens back to the dogmatists in China whose core of activity was only to mobilize the working class in China’s cities to make revolution.  This policy led to serious setbacks to the Chinese revolution before the rural, people’s war, worker-peasant alliance based policy of Mao Zedong won out.


To some degree the RCP policy reflects an over reliance on judgment of the masses and the judgment of the most oppressed section of the masses in particular.  The thinking is that somehow the oppressed masses will always adopt a proletarian line due to their circumstances.  Mao Zedong often advises us to always have faith in masses.  But the genuine Marxist revolutionary approach is to first determine and act upon what is proper from a scientific socialist standpoint above all else.  Communists should always work to win the masses over to a strictly Marxist stance and plan of action while always applying the mass line to do so.



A major characteristic of subjectivism is its inability to face facts and how it conflates fact with fiction.  The RCP does this on the issue of on gay preference.  Rather than accept biology’s discovery that most sexual preference is biologically determined, the RCP condemns gays and labels homosexuality as a psychological illness, the same as the Catholic church and Christian right ideologues of the bourgeoisie.  Added to this is the RCP’s sick linking of anti-gay to somehow upholding the struggle of women.  They say since some men who are gay have behavior that has been mostly associated with females, these men are acting out in a psychologically defective manner.  RCP does not understand that various demeanors are socially communicated, open to all and one, or more are adopted by those who prefer them.   This may be linked to sexual orientation, but that in no way refutes the biological fact of a gene that plays a powerful role in determining sexual orientation.  This thinking also ignores that in many gay couples neither acts in a feminine way.  Further there are numbers of women who are gay as well.


Further, why is being gay a necessarily a bad thing even if it is primarily nurture and not nature driven?  Despite the fact that some addled brained bourgeois psychologists still maintain that being gay is an abnormality, where is the down side for the proletariat?  Many of the best communists, revolutionaries and other fighters for the people have been and are homosexual.  And there is no down side through the lack of procreation by gays either because there certainly appears to be more than enough population growth among the proletariat worldwide to make revolution and to sustain a very rapid pace of global socio-economic development after the seizure of power by proletariat.  So let us soundly reject Avakian’s and others in the leadership of the RCP’s silly Jurraisic and oppressive bias against homosexuality.



Avakian rarely if ever uses she/her or gender neutral terminology.  Even RCP as an organization uses the word chairman not chair, as if the position was only for men, or just as bad as if only the current occupant has a right to the position.



On this issue we find more rigidity foisted off as oh so revolutionary.  For many years Avakian stated that revolutionary art should take the form of revolutionary romanticism.  But no single form is capable of adequately serving artistic expression in any one area of art, much less all spheres ranging from photography, to sculpture, to dance.  What about revolutionary sarcasm, visual flourish, versus visual paucity?


Isn’t it better that any and all art forms be encouraged that have a revolutionary, or at least historically progressive content?  How about letting a hundred flowers bloom with regard to art forms?  That would be a genuinely revolutionary approach to art that doesn’t limit its forms to hackneyed party bureaucratic fiat, or wooden apparatchik, commandism.



Unless revolution is imminent it makes very little sense to not encourage the advanced, party members and other revolutionaries in college to complete their studies.  But the RCP has all too often mandated that members leave college before gaining their degrees.  As Lenin says Marxism is based upon the best of bourgeois science.  We certainly can distill revolutionary science from the knowledge gained by those in college who desire revolution, or are willing to work with the party and others who are making revolution.  And this is broad reservoir of knowledge that spans many, many areas of human endeavor.



Avakian claims that Marxism is not about altruism.  He speaks absurdly as if we should leave the question of making revolution at the level of simply resolving the contradiction between the forces of production and relations of production (fpórp).  There are a host of  mediating issues in the superstructure that stand between the desire to make revolution and the contradiction between fpórp that are significant and have a life of their own.  These issues if not dealt with, or approached in a correct manner will not allow us to resolve fpórp.  Indeed Marxism and making revolution are proletarian altruism and the highest form of altruism.  It is altruism first of all for the proletariat and through that it is an altruism to free all of humanity from the travails of class society.



Marx and Engels made it clear in the Communist Manifesto that the world historic mission of the proletariat is to liberate humanity as a whole from the fetters of capitalism by making socialist revolution and abolishing classes to achieve communism.  Lenin extended this concept in probably his quintessential work “What Is To Be Done?” (WITBD) by making the political struggle against all oppression and exploitation the leading factor, the chief means to engage and resolve the contradiction between the forces of production and relations of production (fpórp) in the revolutionary interest of the masses.  Using concrete lessens from the struggle of the Russian socialist movement before the seizure of power by the proletariat in Russian in 1917, Lenin demonstrated that the core of the fight to overthrow the rule of capital should rest upon supporting and galvanizing all such struggles, and doing this as well as attempting to lead major, or key struggles with the goal of forming them into a mighty first that delivers a knockout blow to capitalism.  Further, Lenin made the point in WITBD that the key way to do these things was to create broad, incisive exposure (in revolutionary agitation and propaganda)[67] of the one, or more contradictions at the heart of the various struggles between the interests of the capitalists to continue exploitation and oppression for profits on the one hand and those of the interests of society as whole and the proletariat in particular which are striving to eliminate exploitation and oppression in order to be free of them and to move humanity forward in its historical evolution and development.


The RCP has historically been weak and mostly missing in action on the matter of promoting the elimination of exploitation and oppression as a central goal and major organizing principle of the revolutionary struggle.  The failure of the RCP, and before that its forerunner, the Revolutionary Union (RU), to consistently both educate the masses on the importance of the eliminating all exploitation and oppression and place the struggle against all exploitation and oppression as the leading factor of the proletarian revolutionary struggle in the U.S..  In large part this is related to Avakian’s mechanical failure to recognize and understand proletarian altruism and to the fact that he is more than willing to exploit and oppress other revolutionaries for self-serving, opportunist reasons.  At times Avakian is shamed into opportunistically expressing support for the struggle against all oppression and exploitation, so you sometimes see words about eliminating all exploitation and oppression in his and the RCP’s literature.  However, this of course is the philosophical approach of pragmatism to an issue that should be central, in fact, the leading factor of the proletarian struggle for the abolition of classes both before and after the initial revolutionary seizure of power.  The struggle to eliminate all exploitation and oppression is neither consistently raised and nor consistently integrated into the activity of the RCP in the way that Lenin lays out in “What Is To Be Done?” for a revolutionary party in the conditions of an imperialist country like Amerika.  Further, the reality of Avakian’s self-serving theft of other comrades expressions, and unacknowledged use of the other comrades new ideas topped off by the his attempts at bullying those comrades into silence about this wrong being done to them gives lie to the insincere, smokescreen thrown up by Avakian when he mentions eliminating all exploitation and oppression.



The mechanical subjectivist policies outlined in the previous sections fail to unite all who can be united, and fail the revolutionary communist task of being an all-around tribune of the people and they fail to properly conduct struggle against the bourgeoisie around key matters of exploitation and oppression.  In other words they miserably  drop the red banner of revolutionary struggle around and thus detracts from the possibility of revolution for a mess of narrow, mean spirited, dogmatic, porridge.


Avakian and his band are already badly handling contradictions among the people like Stalin.   Stalin could get away with a heavily mechanical approach to affairs because the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1956 was the first attempt at building socialism and due to the requirement for the newly born Soviet Union to invest heavily in an effort to rapidly industrialize and to rapidly socialize agriculture due in large part to various threats to its existence from foreign imperialist powers like Japan, the U.S., France, Britain and of course Hitler’s Germany.  But a Stalin in the U.S. with same heavy handed, bureaucratic and mechanical approach and no need to go on an industrialization binge, nor to socialize the backbone of agriculture, just the need to take control of it by the state would be an outright setback from day one.  The whole thrust to socialize to fully eliminate all exploitation and oppression throughout society whose need would almost immediately presented to the revolutionary U.S. proletariat would be undermined because such a movement and struggle is more of a superstructure issue.  In such a situation to have, Avakian, or some other crude mechanical subjectivist carrying out the kind of high handed, cliquish, improper handling of contradictions among the people in the U.S. that Stalin did would be an utter disaster for not only the proletarian revolution in the U.S., but the global movement as well.  In fact such leadership would amount to a cult centered, fascist government ruling over a rigid, one dimensional bourgeois society that was communist in name only.  Stalin was bad enough for his times and these would be Stalin’s would be a disaster given what the world movement has gone through since Stalin’s time and given the complex, wide ranging, and sophisticated tasks we must take on to liberate humanity today.


Dogmatism is often accompanied by vindictive, petty and narrow minded actions and an attempt to use the guise of revolutionary militancy to justify such behavior.  Such stances are often adopted by megalomaniacs driven by something to prove.  They have something to prove born of serious, unresolved emotional issues and complexes in their lives, that are often, though not solely from their childhood.  These issues properly send them to revolution, but in joining the revolutionary movement, they fail to completely resolve their issues and complexes.  This is called “hanging on to baggage”.  After hanging on to this baggage for a long period of time due to a lack of ideological remoulding, some of these people begin to seek fame, and individual power in the revolutionary movement and its organizations like the Marxist party.  In doing such things these individuals are regressively dealing with their increasingly heavy, unresolved psychological baggage.  They fight against full application of revolutionary line and theory that is rooted in thorough going, free flowing, non-dogmatic dialectics because a genuine revolutionary movement threatens the fame and party careers they are attempting to build on the psycho-pathological wreckage of dogmatic mechanical subjectivism.  Thus they are spiteful and venomous toward revolutionaries promoting genuine revolution.  These would be Stalins and Pol Pots are posers and perpetrators of revolutionary fraud.


There is a place for criticism-unity-criticism between the people and among revolutionaries, but not the underhanded, antagonistic, sectarianism often practiced by Avakian and others in the leadership of the RCP when confronted by contradictions among the people and the revolutionaries.  Such behavior weakens the struggle against the bourgeoisie to make revolution by dividing, diluting the strength of and unnecessarily setting revolutionaries against each other.


We have seen many examples and reasons why mechanical subjectivist dogmatism is straight out deleterious, but beyond outright wrong, rejecting and overcoming mechanical subjectivism in our outlook and work, as Mao says, “makes a difference between crudeness and refinement, between roughness and polish, between a low and high level, between slower and faster work.”[68]


We must lose ego and use our dedication to serve the people and make revolution to motivate us personally.  We must reject those going after position, fame, or fortune and cultivate the style of living  and treating those among the masses, and fellow revolutionaries with the sole aim of being a servant for the people and making revolution.




What motivated this discourse are the state of affairs and needs of the overall class struggle.  It is the burning, inescapable desire to make revolution in the face of severe and brutal attacks against the proletariat and people around the world by the imperialist class, and its entourage of political swindlers, academics, media apologists, police, armed forces and spies.  Criticism of some RCP leaders should be taken as specific animus toward individuals, but rather animus against the whole historic and international trend of dogmatic, mechanical subjectivists, of which many top RCP leaders are incarnations.  Hitting the mechanists and dogmatists in the RCP leadership is only part of clearing the path to make successful revolution in the U.S..  Certainly the main blow of the proletarian revolutionary struggle in the U.S. at this time must be directed against the established bourgeoisie in power.  However, we must not allow the bourgeoisie’s representatives inside the proletarian movement to hold sway, because with them in control the social order after revolution will simply be a continuation of capitalist oppression with a still ugly, if new, face.


What has been written about here makes the case that dogmatic mechanical materialism is a serious detriment to a truly revolutionary line and to the building of a genuinely militant, broad and effective revolutionary proletarian movement and struggle to smash the rule of the monopoly capitalism in the U.S. and around the world through socialist revolution.


Making the external aspect predominant in our analysis and work will help us to overcome the bullying hubris and endemic careerism that so easily ensnares those practicing dogmatic mechanical subjectivism.  By upholding flexible, scientific, system based revolutionary we are more able to refuse the smoke and mirrors of bullies and fame seekers who attempt to use the words of communism to defeat the essential proletarian altruistic, anti-oppression and anti-exploitation morality of communism.  By upholding holistic experience driven, scientific, system based revolutionary dialectics, we will be able to judge these phonies not just by what they say, but also by what they distort and omit.  We will be able to identify and reject the bourgeois claptrap they wish to sucker us into believing is Marxism.  We will be able to stand up to the dogmatists and “never yield to them, no matter how ferocious” as Mao says encourages genuine revolutionary communists.


"Correctness and incorrectness of ideological and political line decides everything. If the line is correct everything will come in its way if it is wrong everything will be lost which one had before." - Mao


"We dont regard Marx's theory as something completed and inviolable; on the contrary, we are convinced that it has only laid the foundation stone of the science which socialists must develop in all directions if they wish to keep pace with life"- Lenin


“Be dissatisfied.  The world belongs to the dissatisfied.” – Mao.


“Going against the tide is a Marxist-Leninist principle.” – Mao. 


“Dare to go against the tide and adhere to the correct line.” - Mao


“Not having a correct line is like not having a soul.” - Mao


Broader Not Narrower! 


MaxRev! - Maximum Revolution!


Forward With Revolutionary Dialectics!


[Part Two and the paper generally is subject to major modification in places as long the term “draft” appears with the revision number.  Please check back periodically for additional important points, or topics to appear.  When major modifications are made the revision number will change.  It is suggested that the reader do a document compare to find changed, or additional text.]






Many revolutionaries have a dogmatic political line and a mechanical and wooden philosophical perspective because they conflate dialectical materialism with historical materialism.  They wrongly substitute historical materialism for dialectical materialism, or they wrongly identify dialectical materialism as being co-terminus[69] with historical materialism when in fact dialectical materialism is larger.


In the main it was because Marx, Dietzgen and Engels applied the fundamental precepts of dialectical materialism - that things exists objectively outside of the human mind, that thought is ultimately determined by existence (being) and that contradiction and struggle of the opposed aspects of a contradiction is universal – that they were able to fully formulate the various principles of historical materialism.  When dialectical materialism is applied to the study of human history, that is when human history is studied scientifically, general phenomena and laws of history emerge.  This general summary of the flow of human history is called historical materialism.  Historical materialism should more accurately be called historical dialectical  materialism, because it more accurately conveys how the Marxist principles of the historical development of society derive from those of dialectical materialism.


Part of the pervasiveness of mechanism in the Marxist tradition is that historically many have not seen the implications in the fact that the current principal contradiction of human historical development identified by historical materialism, “forces of production”ó”relations of production” (fpórp), is just that, the current  principal contradiction.  Fpórp is rooted in the fundamental contradiction of human social development, the human species in contradiction with nature (“human species”ónature) and it will not always be the principal contradiction of human society.


Fpórp is the principal contradiction of human history for pre-class and class society, but it   will no longer be the principal contradiction of human history after the abolition of classes.  That fpórp is the principal contradiction of society is the objective truth for the context of pre-class and class society, but it will no longer be the objective contextual truth once pure socialism, communism is achieved.


During class society the fact that the oppressor class periodically becomes a major fetter to the development of the forces of production makes rpófp the key driver of society.  But when fpórp is resolved through socialist revolution that seizes state power and uses that to bring capitalist relations of production in line with the forces of production, fpórp will no longer be the primary driver of society.  After classes are abolished the relations of production will operate according to the principle of from each according to their ability to each according to their need will be essentially in line with all future advances in the forces of production. 


Certainly the state of the forces of production and the state of the relations of production will separately play significant roles in terms of affecting social being even once they are brought into basic harmony.  The nature of the technology in the forces of production and advances in the technology of the forces of production will certainly continue to have a significant impact on social being.  However in tandem as fpórp, they won't drive events.  They will be in a state of contradictory tension that is occasionally “sticky”, but in the main the contradiction between the 2 won't be the underlying impulse pushing the superstructure forward.  So while fpórp is the principal contradiction and primary driver of class society, it ceases to exert a predominant influence on the nature and direction of classless society.


When classes are abolished and the forces of production are basically in line with the relations of production there will still be a need to struggle for truth against falsehood in the base (to clear inconsistencies that arise) and in the superstructure on all its fronts.  It may even be possible for classes society to be resurrected if falsehood is not cleared away soon enough, or in the required quantities.  And of course with the resurrection of classes would also be the resurrection of the predominant role of fpórp in social being and thus social thinking.


It is useful to note that while as long as class society exists and the contradiction between the forces of production and relations of production the forces of production provides an underlying impulse to the superstructure of society, the contradiction fpórp is the parametric to the leading factor of the superstructure society,  just as in our “leading factor”óparametric example the plot of land is the parametric and the choice about what to build on the plot is the leading factor.



Because many with a mechanical view see the affairs of society as overly tied to the contradiction between the forces of production and the relations of production, because they fail to see how the roles in the contradiction leading factoróparametric overlays the contradiction between the forces of production and the relations of production and finally because they possess all of the faulty analysis written here about earlier, they deny Marx’s assertion in his early communist work that humans are “species beings”.


Their narrow and dogmatic vision causes them to fail to understand that “species being” simply means beings who work together socially to transform the world in order to meet their needs and desires.  In reality “species being” is virtually identical to Marx statement in his later work that humans are “zoon politikon” , or in English, “social animals”.  Instead of running away from the concept “species being” in the early proletarian works of Marx, genuine Marxists see need now more than ever to spread the word about it especially in light of the current U.S. government regime’s hyper promotion of numerous make the rich richer, “individual ownership society” scams.



Tim Redd

May 2006,


(draft version 5.0)    © 2006-7 Tim Redd

[1] Opportunism is a trend that sacrifices the long term revolutionary interests of the working class to rid the world of capitalism for short term economic interests, position, fame, fortune, comfort, or other practices that favor the bourgeoisie like sexism, racism and nationalism.

[2] It should be kept in mind that there is a cross linking of philosophical errors made by those holding mechanical and full blown mechanical subjectivist ideas, their faulty thinking in a single philosophical area often gives rise to and feeds back upon mistakes in multiple other areas.

[3] GWF Hegel believed and promoted the idea that the “Absolute Idea” created the cosmos of mass-energy.

[4] The traditional Judeo-Christian, Islamic, Hindu and other religion’s belief.

[5] Many physicists have reason to believe the cosmos may be a multiverse which consists of multiple universes.

[6] GWF Hegel believed and promoted the idea that the “Absolute Idea” created the cosmos of mass-energy.

[7] All mass has energy associated with it, but there are things made up of energy that have no mass associated with them.

[8] Rene Descartes believed and promoted the belief that ideas are given to humans by God.  Auguste Kant believed and promoted idea-body dualism.

[9] The mind is a product of a brain, made up of mass and energy, in a body having experiences in reality.

[10] Its outside, surface, or appearance.

[11] Its inside, essence, or essential nature.

[12] The scientific method.

[13] “Being” means “to be”.  For something “to be” means that it has objective existence.

[14] Let us not ignore that flights of imaginative fancy that take off from the runway of prior theory and practice are often involved in the formulation of hypothesis.

[15] The experiment-idea cycles may be linked both within and across various fields of science and endeavor.

[16] In everyday usage a hypothetical idea is often called a “theory”.  However in science a “theory” is not hypothetical, a theory is an idea, or explanation of typically related set of facts,  proven to be true, it is a law of science.  Typically when the word “theory” is used to refer to a law of science the first letter is capitalized thusly, “Theory”.

[17] Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy, Frederick Engels, Part 4: Marx

[18] On Contradiction, Mao Zedong, Foreign Language Press, page 33

[19] All of the elements, or things in a context taken together are a single thing.  And thus the differences between the various things in the same context are contradictions between the things in that environment.

[20] On Contradiction, page 95

[21] Lenin’s Collected Works (LCW) Vol. 38 pp 221 – 223, Progress

[22] When the sound from a violin string is run through a machine that performs a kind of math called a Fourier transform on it and the result displayed on an oscilloscope, multiple distinct waveforms are visible.  The sound we hear is a combining, in physics technically called a superposition, of the various waveforms.

[23] Long term peace may eventually exist without war, but we must far down the millennia in a context where war is not even a possibility in order to lose the polar opposition of war and peace; thus peace in sense in that context will be the norm and to mention it will be almost meaningless.

[24] Ceilings and walls may be considered polar opposites in some contexts, but not in those contexts usually encountered.

[25] This is a reflection of the point made earlier in this section that a single thing is always divided into 2, or more opposed parts.

[26] There is a recursive nesting of contradictions within an aspect that goes on infinitely and resembles inward nuclear fission.

[27] More details on this topic may be found in Mao Zedong’s “On Contradiction” and in his “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among The People”.

[28] Ludwig Feuerbach, Chapter 4: Marx

[29] Taoism though it incorporates some aspects of dialectics, is overall a backward feudal system of belief that upholds class oppression.  It upholds class oppression because it teaches that, counter to revolutionary scientific dialectics, opposed aspects can exist in a thing without struggle between them.  Indeed Mao Zedong repeatedly struggled against the deleterious influence of Taoism in China.

[30] Ludwig Feuerbach, Chapter 4: Marx

[31] 3, or more things that are all contradiction with each other, like for example these 3 systems of the body, may be denoted in this way: {digestiveóendocrineónervous}.  In the case of 3 things where for example the endocrine system is in a contradiction with the digestive system and the endocrine system is in a contradiction with the nervous system, but the digestive system is not in a contradiction with the nervous system, that would use the same notation as before, but without the curly braces: digestiveóendocrineónervous.

[32] On Dialectics, VI Lenin; Lenin’s italics and emphasis.

[33] Traditionally the transformation of one opposite into another has been called “identity of opposites”, but that term has additionally denoted the notion of a static “oneness”, or static “togetherness” of opposed aspects in a union.  However since the emphasis in this discussion is on the dynamic exchanging places of opposed aspects in a union rather than on their static standing as one in unity, it seems better suited to use the term identizing.  This is recommended term for all discussion focused upon the exchanging of opposed aspects in a contradiction.

[34] Many physicists maintain that the mass and energy making up things generates space itself.

[35] Ludwig Feuerbach, Part 4: Marx

[36] The graphical relationship might be depicted as 3 circles, each labeled respectively, Class Struggle, Party Struggle, Inner Struggle.  Each circle would have 2 arrows leaving from it and each of the arrows would point to one of the other circles.  Using the circle Class Struggle as an example, one arrow leaving it would point to circle labeled Party Struggle, and another arrow leaving it would point to the circle labeled Inner Struggle.  So there would be a total of 6 arrows which connect the 3 circles together.

[37] In a more complex helix strand model there may multiple links from any given point on a strand to multiple points on the other strand.

[38] Conceptually one’s knowledge remains at what is considered a high level of abstraction.

[39] However it is possible that in the development of the contradiction between the leading factor and parametric due to the struggle between them as opposed aspects that the leading factor may outlive existence of its current parametric and thus no longer operate within the constraints of its current parametric.

[40] Superstring theory shows us that while a thing’s motion may be severely constrained in one, or more physical dimensions, a wide range of motion in other physical dimensions may yet be open to it.  Similarly while an organization, like a party, may be constrained from taking one course of action, others may be very much open to it.

[41] See the chapter “What is Dialectics?”, section “Identizing of Opposed Aspects” for an initial discussion of the concept of identizing.

[42] In the section “Summary Definition of Dialectical Contradiction”.

[43] Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress, Volume 38, p359.

[44] Lenin’s quotes and italics.

[45] On Contradiction, pg 26

[46] Ludwig Feuerbach, Part 4: Marx

[47] Ludwig Feuerbach, Part 4: Marx

[48] External Nature of Things, Tim Redd, 1983

[49] External Nature of Things

[50] External Nature of Things

[51] On Contradiction, pg 33

[52] A system may be a part of a larger system one at a time (serial membership), or it may simultaneously be a part of a number of other larger systems (parallel membership).

[53] Often systems have processing not only between their input and output stages, but within their input and output stages as well.  I.e. their input and output stages are themselves systems.

[54] Autopoiesis is another term for self-reproduction.

[55] Homomorphism is said to exist between the systems so related.

[56] This is true at least with respect to how a part functions as a member of a particular developing system, since as noted earlier, a part may simultaneously be a member of multiple other kinds of systems and a member of individual systems of the same kind for that matter.

[57] For a review of reciprocal, helix like development between things, see the chapter “Development and Dialectics”, in the section “Things Develop Across Time”.

[58] The system is said to develop in a concinnous, or concinnate manner.

[59] Both a differential and an integral analytic calculus.

[60] “Internationalism: An Overview of Systems and Revolution”, a work by the author, explores the nature of the subordinate relationship between the parts of a system, the operation of complex systems, and the need to apply a calculus like dialectical approach to the analysis and management of complex systems due to the presence and combined effect of multiple interacting global and local parts, synergy, emergence, obscuration of causes and chaos.

[61] See the chapter “Materialist Theory of Knowledge” in Part One.

[62] A mental concept of a thing is a model, or view of a thing from some angle of interest we have in the thing.  In other words it is view of a thing from a specific contextual perspective.

[63]  The movement from thesis to antithesis and on to synthesis is a movement reflecting dialectical negation of the negation development, as discussed previously in chapter “Development and Dialectics”, section “Negation and Negation of the Negation” of Part One.

[64] Mao Tse-tung, in “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People”, wrote in detail about antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions and how they relate to contradictions between the people on the one hand and the contradiction between the people and their enemies, like the monopoly corporation imperialist owners on the other.

[65] Mao, Talks at Yenan Forum on Literature and Art

[66] Mass line works best when ideas and thinking are concentrated from them as they are in motion on the goals, not when they are simply “standing around”.

[67] Lenin emphasizes that revolutionary exposure is the heart and springboard of revolutionary agitation and propaganda.

[68] Mao, Yenan Forum, page 18

[69] “Co-terminus” means having the same boundary, or limits.