Part One: Materialism 1. Party Philosophy 4 2. Materialism and Idealism 13 3. Mechanistic Materialism 25 4. From Mechanistic to Dialectical Materialism34 5. The Dialectical Conception of Development41 Part Two: Dialectics 6. Dialectics and Metaphysics 7. Chan!e and Interconnections 8. The $a%s of Development 9. The &e% and the 'ld 10. The &e!ation of the &e!ation 11. Criticism and *elf+Criticism 12. Dialectical Materialism and *cience Concl,sions -i.lio!raphy

4 "# " () )5 2 ) 1#) 11#

Forward by M. Hyland This book was typed up from the International Publishers opy! ri"ht 19#$. %edi ated& 'In (emory of %a)id *uest& +ho %ied in ,pain in the ,tru""le -"ainst .as ism./ This te0t is& in the opinion of the editorial board and a sur)ey of a do1en or so older 2omrades& the best 3n"lish lan"ua"e te0t on %iale t! i al (aterialism a)ailable& perhaps best written to date. +e hope that you will find it informati)e and easy to approa h. 2ornforth writes to the masses in the plain 3n"lish of his re"ion and time 41958 3n"land6& and sti ks to a strai"ht presentation of the theory and the fa ts& without del)in" into detailed te hni al proofs not appropriate for introdu tory readers of philosophy or (ar0ism. It has been out of print for many years& likely due to the unfortu! nate and fre7uent referen es to the works of 8. ,talin& who has sin e the ori"inal publi ation be ome a ontro)ersial fi"ure. It is the opinion of myself as well as the 2P9P2 that we are as a ommunity smart enou"h to take the "ood and lea)e the bad& reali1e that e)en broken lo ks are ri"ht twi e a day& and "ood or bad& the man knew his way around a diale ti well enou"h to be ited. It is not the intention of this forward or this republi ation to rehabilitate ,talin& or e)en to dis uss him at all beyond makin" it lear that lea)in" 2ornforth:s itations as they appear in the ori"inal te0t was an editorial de ision to preser)e for posterity& and maintain the inte"rity of the te0t as it was written. I will lea)e the rest of the e0planation to the author& "ood lu k; .eel free to send your 7uestions& and your hate mail to! pusawashin"ton<"mail. om

Forward by M. Cornforth, the Author The present )olume deals with the basi ideas of (ar0ist materi! alism and the diale ti al method. - se ond )olume will deal with the fur! ther de)elopment of these ideas in their appli ation to so iety and the "rowth of human ons iousness=histori al materialism and the theory of knowled"e. I ha)e tried to onfine myself to a strai"htforward e0position of the leadin" ideas of diale ti al materialism& so far as I myself ha)e su ! eeded in understandin" them& without burdenin" the e0position with di"ressions into more te hni al 7uestions of philosophy& or with dis us! sions about the polemi s a"ainst any of the more abstruse philosophi al theories& past or present& or with mu h of the ar"umentation about parti ! ular points whi h mi"ht be ne essary to defend them a"ainst philosoph! i al opponents. I ha)e done my best to limit the use of te hni al terms to the minimum& and to "i)e an e0planation of the meanin" of all su h terms as and when they o ur.


Part One: Materialism
. Party Philoso!hy
Every philosophy expresses a class outlook. But in contrast to the exploiting classes, which have always sought to uphold and justify their class position by various disguises and falsifications, the working class, from its very class position and aims, is concerned to know and understand things just as they are, without disguise or falsification. The party of the working class needs a philosophy which expresses a revolutionary class outlook. The alternative is to embrace ideas hostile to the working class and to socialism. This determines the materialist character of our philosophy.

arty hilosophy and !lass hilosophy
%iale ti al materialism has been defined by ,talin as9 'The world outlook of the (ar0ist!>eninist Party./ 1 This definition must appear a stran"e one& both to many politi! ians and to many philosophers. ?ut we will not be"in to understand dia! le ti al materialism unless we an "rasp the thou"ht whi h lies behind this definition. >et us ask& first of all& what on eption of philosophy lies behind the idea e0pressed in this definition of party or=sin e a party is always the politi al representati)e of a lass= lass philosophy. ?y philosophy is usually meant our most "eneral a ount of the nature of the world and of mankind:s pla e and destiny in it=our world outlook. That bein" understood& it is e)ident that e)erybody has some kind of philosophy& e)en thou"h he has ne)er learned to dis uss it. 3)erybody is influen ed by philosophi al )iews& e)en thou"h he has not thou"ht them out for himself and annot formulate them. ,ome people& for e0ample& think that this world is nothin" but 'a )ale of tears/ and that our life in it is the preparation of a better life in another and better world. They a ordin"ly belie)e that we should suffer whate)er befalls us with fortitude& not stru""lin" a"ainst it& but tryin" to do whate)er "ood we an to our fellow reatures. This is one kind of philosophy& one kind of world outlook. @ther people think that the world is a pla e to "row ri h in& and that ea h should look out for himself. This is another kind of philosophy.
1 8oseph ,talin& "ialectical and #istorical $aterialism, A.B.& 1950.

?ut "ranted that our philosophy is our world outlook& the task arises of workin" out this world outlook systemati ally and in detail& turnin" it into a well!formulated and oherent theory& turnin" )a"uely held popular beliefs and attitudes into more or less systemati do trines. This is what the philosophers do. ?y the time philosophers ha)e worked out their theories& they ha)e often produ ed somethin" )ery ompli ated& )ery abstra t and )ery hard to understand. ?ut e)en thou"h only a omparati)ely few people may read and di"est the a tual produ tions of philosophers& these pro! du tions may and ha)e a )ery wide influen e. .or the fa t that philo! sophers ha)e systemati1ed ertain beliefs reinfor es those beliefs& and helps to impose them upon wide masses of ordinary people. Cen e& e)eryone is influen ed in one way or another by philosophers& e)en thou"h they ha)e ne)er read the works of those philosophers. -nd if this is the ase& then we annot re"ard the systems of the philosophers as bein" wholly ori"inal& as bein" wholly the produ ts of the brain!work of the indi)idual philosophers. @f ourse& the formulation of )iews& the pe uliar ways in whi h they are worked out and written down& is the work of the parti ular philosopher. ?ut the )iews them! sel)es& in their most "eneral aspe t& ha)e a so ial basis in ideas whi h refle t the so ial a ti)ities and so ial relations of the time& and whi h& therefore& do not sprin" ready!made out of the heads of the philosophers. .rom this we may pro eed a step further. +hen so iety is di)ided into lasses=and so iety always has been di)ided into lasses e)er sin e the dissolution of the primiti)e om! munes& that is to say& throu"hout the entire histori al period to whi h the history of philosophy belon"s=then the )arious )iews whi h are urrent in so iety always e0press the outlooks of )arious lasses. +e may on! lude& therefore& that the )arious systems of the philosophers also always e0press a lass outlook. They are& in fa t& nothin" but the systemati workin" out and theoreti al formulation of a lass outlook& or& if you prefer& of the ideolo"y of definite lasses. Philosophy is and always has been lass philosophy. Philosoph! ers may pretend it is not& but that does not alter the fa t. .or people do not and annot think in isolation from so iety& and therefore from the lass interests and lass stru""les whi h per)ade so i! ety& any more than they an li)e and a t in su h isolation. - philosophy is a world outlook& an attempt to understand the world& mankind and man:s pla e in the world. ,u h an outlook annot be anythin" but the outlook of a lass& and the philosopher fun tions as the thinkin" representati)e of a lass. Cow an it be otherwiseD Philosophies are not imported from some other planet& but are produ ed here on earth& by people in)ol)ed& whether

they like it or not& in e0istin" lass relations and lass stru""les. There! fore& whate)er philosophers say about themsel)es& there is no philosophy whi h does not embody a lass outlook& or whi h is impartial& as opposed to partisan& in relation to lass stru""les. ,ear h as we may& we shall not find any impartial& non!partisan& non! lass philosophy. ?earin" that in mind& then& we shall find that the philosophies of the past ha)e all& in one way or another& e0pressed the outlook of the so! alled 'edu ated/ lasses& that is to say& of the e0ploitin" lasses. In "en! eral& it is the leaders of so iety who e0press and propa"ate their ideas in the form of systemati philosophies. -nd up to the appearan e of the modern workin" lass& whi h is the pe uliar produ t of apitalism& these leaders ha)e always been the e0ploitin" lasses. It is their outlook whi h has dominated philosophy& Eust as they ha)e dominated so iety. +e an only on lude from this that the workin" lass& if today it intends to take o)er leadership of so iety& needs to e0press its own lass outlook in philosophi al form& and to oppose this philosophy to the philosophies whi h e0press the outlook and defend the interest of the e0ploiters. 'The ser)i es rendered by (ar0 and 3n"els to the workin" lass may be e0pressed in a few words thus9 they tau"ht the workin" lass to know itself and be ons ious of itself& and they substituted s ien e for dreams&/ wrote >enin.2 'It is the "reat and histori merit of (ar0 and 3n"els that they pro)ed by s ientifi analysis the ine)itability of the ollapse of apital! ism and its transition to ommunism& under whi h there will be no more e0ploitation of man by man...that they indi ated to the proletarians of all ountries their role& their task& their mission& namely& to be the first to rally around themsel)es in this stru""le all the toilers and e0ploited./ $ Tea hin" the workin" lass 'to know itself and be ons ious of itself&/ and to rally around itself 'all the toilers and e0ploited&/ (ar0 and 3n"els founded and established the re)olutionary theory of work! in"! lass stru""le& whi h illumines the road by whi h the workin" lass an throw off apitalist e0ploitation& an take the leadership of all the masses of the people& and so free the whole of so iety on e and for all of all oppression and e0ploitation of man by man. (ar0 and 3n"els wrote in the period when apitalism was still in the as endant and when the for es of the workin" lass were first bein" rallied and or"ani1ed. Their theory was further ontinued by >enin& in the

2 %enin on Engels& A.B.& 19$6 $ &bid.

period when apitalism had rea hed its final sta"e of monopoly apital! ism or imperialism& and when the proletarian so ialist re)olution had be"un. It is bein" further ontinued by ,talin. (ar0 and 3n"els tau"ht that without its own party& the workin" lass ertainly ould not win )i tory o)er apitalism& ould not lead the whole of so iety forward to the abolition of apitalism and the establish! ment of so ialism. The workin" lass must ha)e its own party& independ! ent of all bour"eois parties. .urther de)elopin" the (ar0ist tea hin"s about the party& >enin showed that the party must a t as the )an"uard of its lass& the most ons ious se tion of its lass& and that it is the instru! ment for winnin" and wieldin" politi al power. To fulfill su h a role& the party must e)idently ha)e knowled"e& understandin" and )isionF in other words& it must be e7uipped with re)olutionary theory& on whi h its poli ies are based and by whi h its a ti)ities are "uided. This theory is the theory of (ar0ism!>eninism. -nd it is not Eust an e onomi theory& nor yet e0 lusi)ely a politi al theory& but a world outlook=a philosophy. 3 onomi and politi al )iews are not and ne)er an be independent of a "eneral world outlook. ,pe ifi e onomi and politi al )iews e0press the world outlook of those who hold su h )iews& and on)ersely& philosophi al )iews find e0pression in )iews on e onom! i s and politi s. Ge o"ni1in" all this& the re)olutionary party of the workin" lass annot but formulate& and ha)in" formulated& hold fast to& de)elop and treasure its party philosophy. In this philosophy=diale ti al materialism =are embodied the "eneral ideas by means of whi h the party under! stands the world whi h it is seekin" to han"e and in terms of whi h it defines its aims and workin" out how to fi"ht for them. In this philo! sophy are embodied the "eneral ideas by means of whi h the party seeks to enli"hten and or"ani1e the whole lass& and to influen e& "uide and win o)er all the masses of workin" people& showin" the on lusions whi h must be drawn from ea h sta"e of the stru""le& helpin" people to learn from their own e0perien e how to "o forward towards so ialism. -nd so we see why it is that in our times a philosophy has arisen whi h e0presses the re)olutionary world outlook of the workin" lass& and that this philosophy=diale ti al materialism=is defined as 'the world outlook of the (ar0ist!>eninist Party./ 30perien e itself has tau"ht the party the need for philosophy. .or e0perien e shows that if we do not ha)e our own re)olutionary so ialist philosophy& then ine)itably we borrow our ideas from hostile& anti!so ialist sour es. If we do not adopt today the outlook of the work! in" lass and of the stru""le for so ialism& then we adopt=or slip into&

without meanin" to do so=that of the apitalists and of the stru""le a"ainst so ialism. This is why the workin" lass party=if it is to be the "enuine re)olutionary leadership of its lass& and is not to mislead its lass by the importation of hostile apitalist ideas& and of poli ies orres! pondin" to su h ideas=must be on erned to formulate& defend and propa"ate its own re)olutionary philosophy.

!lass hilosophy and Truth
-"ainst what has Eust been said about a lass and party philo! sophy& the obEe tion is bound to be raised that su h a on eption is a omplete tra)esty of the whole idea of philosophy. 2lass interests may in line us to belie)e one thin" rather than another& some will say& but should not philosophy be abo)e thisD ,hould not philosophy be obEe ti)e& and impartial& and tea h us to set lass and party interests aside& and to seek only for the truthD .or surely what is true is true& whether this suits some or other lass interests or notD If philosophy is partisan=party philosophy=how an it be obEe ti)e& how an it be true philosophyD In reply to su h obEe tions& we may say that the workin" lass standpoint in philosophy is )ery far indeed from ha)in" no on ern for truth. Is there no su h thin" as truthD @f ourse there is=and men are "ettin" nearer to it. .or different outlooks& partisan as they may be& are not on a le)el so far as nearness to the truth is on erned. 3)ery philo! sophy embodies a lass outlook. Bes& but Eust as one lass differs from another lass in its so ial role and in its ontribution to the de)elopment of so iety& so one philosophy embodies positi)e a hie)ements in ompar! ison with another in the workin" out of the truth about the world and so iety. People are prone to belie)e that if we adopt partisan& lass stand! point& then we turn our ba ks on truthF and that& on the other hand& if we "enuinely seek for truth& the we must be stri tly impartial and non!par! tisan. ?ut the ontrary is the ase. It is only when we adopt the partisan standpoint of histori ally the most pro"ressi)e lass that we are able to "et nearer to the truth. The definition of diale ti al materialism& therefore& as the philo! sophy of the re)olutionary workin"! lass party& is in no way in ompat! ible with the laim of diale ti al materialism to e0press truth& and to be a means of arri)in" at truth. @n the ontrary. +e ha)e e)ery ri"ht to make this laim& in )iew of the a tual histori al position and role of the work! in" lass.

30 ept for the workin" lass& all other lasses whi h ha)e aspired to take the leadership of so iety ha)e been e0ploitin" lasses. ?ut e)ery e0ploitin" lass& whate)er its a hie)ements& has always to find some way of disguising its real position and aims& both from itself and from the e0ploited& and of makin" out that its rule is Eust and permanent. .or su h a lass an ne)er re o"ni1e its real position and aims as an e0ploitin" lass& or the temporary hara ter of its own system. .or e0ample& in an ient sla)e so iety& -ristotle& the "reatest philosopher of anti7uity& made out that the institution of sla)ery was de reed by nature& sin e some men were by nature sla)es. In the heyday of feudal so iety the "reatest philosopher of the middle a"es& Thomas -7uinas& represented the entire uni)erse as bein" a kind of feudal system. 3)erythin" was arran"ed in a feudal hier! ar hy&5with *od surrounded by the hief ar han"els at the top. 3)erythin" depended on what was ne0t abo)e it in the system& and noth! in" ould e0ist without *od. -s for apitalism& it dissol)es all feudal ties and& as (ar0 and 3n"els obser)ed& 'has left remainin" no other ne0us between man and man than naked self!interest& than allous ash payment./ # This was refle ted in the be"innin" of apitalist philosophy& espe ially in ?ritain. This philosophy saw the world as onsistin" of independent atoms& ea h omplete in itself& on erned only with itself& and all inter! a tin". This was a mirror of apitalist so iety& as seen by the risin" bour! "eoisie. -nd by means of su h ideas they su eeded too& in dis"uisin" their own aims of domination and profit. +orker and apitalist were 'on a le)el&/ ea h was a free human atom& and they entered into a free on! tra t& the one to work& the other to pro)ide apital and pay wa"es. ?ut the workin" lass does not need any su h 'false ons ious! ness/ as is ontained in su h philosophies. It does not want to set up a new system of e0ploitation& but to abolish all e0ploitation of man by man. .or this reason& it has no interest whate)er in dis"uisin" anythin"& but rather in understandin" thin"s Eust as they really are. .or the better it understands the truth& the more is it stren"thened in its stru""le. (oreo)er& other lasses ha)e always wanted to perpetuate them! sel)es and to last out for as lon" as they ould. -nd so they ha)e fa)ored philosophi al 'systems/ whi h "i)e themsel)es a permanent pla e in the
5 - hierarchy is an order in whi h the thin"s at the top rule o)er the thin"s below them. Thus the serfs were at the bottom of the feudal hierar hy and the kind was at the top. ,imilarly& the Pope is the head of the '2atholi hierar hy./ # Harl (ar0 and .rederi k 3n"els& The !ommunist $anifesto, 2hapter I& A.B.& 1958.

uni)erse so as to represent ertain thin"s and ertain relations as bein" ne essary& eternal and un han"eable. -nd then they make it appear that a parti ular so ial system is a ne essary part of the whole. ?ut the workin" lass does not want to perpetuate itself. @n the ontrary& it wants to do away with its own e0isten e as a lass as 7ui kly as possible& and to establish a lassless so iety. Therefore& the workin" lass has no use at all for any philosophi al 'system/ whi h establishes any false permanen e. Its lass position and aims are su h that it an afford to and needs to re o"ni1e and tra e out the han"e& omin" into bein" and easin" to be of everything in e0isten e. Party philosophy& then& has a ri"ht to lay laim to truth. .or it is the only philosophy whi h is based on a standpoint whi h demands that we should always seek to understand thin"s Eust as they are& in all their manifold han"es and inter onne tions& without dis"uises and without fantasy.

' (evolution in hilosophy
'The (ar0ian do trine is omnipotent be ause it is true&/ wrote >enin. 'It is omplete and harmonious& and pro)ides men with an inte"! ral world on eption whi h is irre on ilable with any form of supersti! tion& rea tion or defense of bour"eois oppression./ 6 -nd he further wrote9 'There is nothin" resemblin" :se tarianism: in (ar0ism& in the sense of its bein" a hidebound& petrified do trine& a do trine whi h arose away from the hi"hroad of de)elopment of world i)ili1ation. @n the ontrary& the "enius of (ar0 onsists pre isely in the fa t that he fur! nished answers to 7uestions the foremost minds of mankind had already raised. Cis tea hin"s arose as the dire t and immediate continuation of the tea hin"s of the "reatest representati)es of philosophy& politi al e o! nomy and so ialism./7 (ar0ism is a re)olution in philosophy. This re)olution appears as the ulmination of a whole "reat de)elopment of philosophi al thou"ht& in whi h the problems of philosophy were posed and took shape in the ourse of a series of re)olutions& the hi"hest point bein" rea hed in the lassi al *erman philosophy of the early nineteenth entury. (ar0! ism is thus the ontinuation and ulmination of the past a hie)ements of philosophy. -nd it is a ontinuation whi h puts and end to an epo h and
6 Harl (ar0& .rederi k 3n"els& I. I. >enin& 8oseph ,talin& )n the Theory of $arxism& >enin& 'The Three ,our es and Three 2omponent Parts of (ar0ism&/ A.B.& 1958. 7 &bid.

onstitutes a new point of departure. In omparison with past philo! sophies& it laun hes out on new lines. It puts an end to the 'systems/ of the past& and is a philosophy of an entirely new kind. (ar0ism!>eninism is no lon"er a philosophy whi h e0presses the world outlook of an e0ploitin" lass& of a minority& stri)in" to impose its rule and its ideas upon the masses of the people& in order to keep them subEe tsF but it is a philosophy whi h ser)es the ommon people in their stru""le to throw off all e0ploitation and to build a lassless so iety. (ar0ism!>eninism is a philosophy whi h seeks to understand the world in order to han"e it. 'The philosophers ha)e only interpreted the world in )arious ways&/ wrote (ar0. 'The point& howe)er& is to han"e it./8 Therefore& if we ould say of past philosophy that it has been an attempt to understand the world and man:s pla e and destiny in it=an attempt ne essarily onditioned by the lass outlook& preEudi es and illu! sions of the )arious e0ploitin" lass philosophers=we ha)e to say of (ar0ist!>eninist philosophy that it is an attempt to understand the world in order to han"e the world and to shape and reali1e man:s destiny in it. %iale ti al materialism is a theoreti al instrument in the hands of the people for use in han"in" the world. (ar0ism!>eninism& therefore& seeks to base our ideas of thin"s on nothin" but the a tual in)esti"ation of them& arisin" from and tested by e0perien e and pra ti e. It does not in)ent a 'system&/ as pre)ious philosophies ha)e done& and then try to make e)erythin" fit into it. Thus diale ti al materialism is in the truest sense a popular philosophy& a s ientifi philosophy and a philosophy of pra ti e. 'The dis o)ery of (ar0 and 3n"els represents the end of the old philosophy& i.e. the end of that philosophy whi h laimed to "i)e a uni! )ersal e0planation of the world&/ said -. -. Jhdano). '+ith the appearan e of (ar0ism as the s ientifi world outlook of the proletariat there ends the old period in the history of philosophy& when philosophy was the o upation of isolated indi)iduals& the posses! sion of philosophi al s hools onsistin" of a small number of philosoph! ers and their dis iples& deta hed from life and the people& and alien to the people. '(ar0ism is not su h a philosophi al s hool. @n the ontrary& it supersedes the old philosophy=the philosophy that was the property of a small elite& the aristo ra y of the intelle t. It marked the be"innin" of a ompletely new period of history of philosophy& when it be ame a s i! entifi weapon in the hands of the proletarian masses in their stru""le for eman ipation from apitalism.
8 .rederi k 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach, -ppendi es& Harl (ar0& 'Theses on .euerba h&/ KI& A.B.& 1951.

'(ar0ist philosophy& as distin"uished from pre edin" philosoph! i al systems& is not a s ien e abo)e other s ien esF rather& it is an instru! ment of s ientifi in)esti"ation& a method& penetratin" all natural and so ial s ien es& enri hin" itself with their attainments in the ourse of their de)elopment. In this sense& (ar0ist philosophy is the most om! pletely and de isi)e ne"ation of all pre edin" philosophy. ?ut to ne"ate& as 3n"els emphasi1ed& does not mean merely to say :no:. Ae"ation in ludes ontinuity& si"nifies absorption& the riti al reformin" and uni! fi ation in a new and hi"her synthesis of e)erythin" ad)an ed and pro! "ressi)e that has been a hie)ed in the history of human thou"ht./ 9 The re)olutionary hara teristi s of diale ti al materialism are embodied in the two features of (ar0ist!>eninist philosophy whi h "i)e it its name=diale ti s and materialism. In order to understand thin"s so as to han"e them we must study them& not a ordin" to the di tates of any abstra t system& but in their real han"es and inter onne tions=and that is what is meant by dia! le ti s. +e must set aside pre on ei)ed ideas and fan ies about thin"s& and stri)e to make our theories orrespond to the real onditions of material e0isten e=and that means that our outlook and theory are materialist. In the diale ti al materialism& wrote 3n"els& 'the materialist world outlook was taken really seriously for the first time and was ar! ried throu"h onsistently.../ .or 'it was resol)ed to omprehend the real world=nature and history=Eust as it presents itself to e)eryone who approa hes it free from pre on ei)ed idealist fan ies. It was de ided relentlessly to sa rifi e e)ery idealist fan y whi h ould not be brou"ht into harmony with the fa ts on ei)ed in their own and not in a fantasti onne tion. -nd materialism means nothin" more than this./ 10

9 -ndrei -. Jhdano)& Essays on %iterature, hilosophy, and $usic, 2hapter II& A. B.& 19#0. 10 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach, 2hapter II.



Materialism and #dealism
$aterialism is opposed to idealism since, while idealism hold that the spiritual or ideal is prior to the material, materialism holds that matter is prior. This difference manifests itself in opposed ways of interpreting and understanding every +uestion, and so in opposed attitudes in practice. ,hile idealism takes many subtle forms in the writings of philosophers, it is at bottom a continuation of belief in the supernatural. &t involves belief in two worlds, in the ideal or supernatural world over against the real material world. &n essence idealism is a conservative, reactionary force- and its reactionary influence is demonstrated in practice. $arxism adopts a consistent standpoint of militant materialism.

$aterialism and &dealism.)pposed ,ays of &nterpreting Every /uestion
@ur philosophy is alled %iale ti al (aterialism& said ,talin& 'be ause its approa h to the phenomena 1 of nature& its method of study! in" and apprehendin" them& is diale ti al& while its interpretation of the phenomena& its theory& is materialisti ./ 2 (aterialism is not a do"mati system. It is rather a way of inter! pretin"& on ei)in" of& e0plainin" e)ery 7uestion. The materialist way of interpretin" e)ents& of on ei)in" of thin"s and their inter onne tions& is opposed to the idealist way of inter! pretin" and on ei)in" of them. (aterialism is opposed to idealism. +ith e)ery 7uestion& there are materialist and idealist ways of interpretin" it& materialist and idealist ways of tryin" to understand it. Thus the materialism and idealism are not two opposed abstra t theories about the nature of the world& of small on ern to ordinary pra ! ti al folk. They are opposed ways of interpretin" and understandin" e)ery 7uestion& and onse7uently& they e0press opposite approa hes in pra ti e and lead to )ery different on lusions in terms of pra ti al a ti)! ity. Aor are they& as some use the terms& opposite moral attitudes= the one hi"h!minded& the other base and self!seekin". If we use the terms like this& we will ne)er understand the opposition between apitalist and materialist on eptions. .or this way of speakin" is& as 3n"els said& nothin" but 'an unpardonable on ession to the traditional philistine preEudi e a"ainst the word materialism resultin" from the lon"! ontinued defamation by the
1 - phenomenon, plural phenomena, is anythin" whi h we obser)e. 2 ,talin& "ialectical and #istorical $aterialism.

priests. ?y the word materialism the philistine understands "luttony& drunkenness& lust of the eye& lust of the flesh& arro"an e& upidity& miser! liness& profit!huntin" and sto k!e0 han"e swindlin"=in short& all the filthy )i es in whi h he himself indul"es in pri)ate. ?y the word idealism he understands the belief in )irtue& uni)ersal philanthropy and in a "en! eral way a :better world:& of whi h he boasts before others./ $ ?efore tryin" to define materialism and idealism in "eneral terms& let us onsider how these two ways of understandin" thin"s are e0pressed in relation to ertain simple and familiar 7uestions. This will help us to "rasp the si"nifi an e of the distin tion between a materialist and an idealist interpretation. .irst let us onsider a )ery familiar natural phenomenon=a thunderstorm. +hat auses thunderstormsD -n idealist way of answerin" this 7uestion is to say that thunder! storms are due to the an"er of *od. ?ein" an"ry& he arran"es for li"ht! nin" and thunderbolts to des end upon mankind. The materialist way of understandin" thunderstorms is opposed to this. The materialist will try to e0plain and understand thunderstorms as bein" solely due to what we all natural for es. .or e0ample& an ient materialists su""ested that far from thunderstorms bein" due to the an"er of the "ods& they were aused by material parti les in the louds ban"in" a"ainst one another. That this parti ular e0planation was wron"& is not the point9 the point is that it was an attempt at materialist as opposed to idealist e0planation. Aowadays a "reat deal more is known about thun! derstorms arisin" from the s ientifi in)esti"ation of the natural for es in)ol)ed. Hnowled"e remains )ery in omplete& but at all e)ents enou"h is know to make it 7uite lear that the e0planation must be on materialist lines& so that the idealist e0planation has be ome thorou"hly dis redited. It will be seen that while the idealist e0planation tries to relate the phenomenon to be e0plained to some spiritual ause=in this ase the an"er of *od=the materialist e0planation relates it to material auses. In this e0ample& most edu ated people today would a"ree in a eptin" the materialist interpretation. This is be ause they "enerally a ept the scientific e0planation of natural phenomena& and e)ery ad)an e of natural s ien e is an ad)an e in the materialist understandin" of nature. >et us take a se ond e0ample& this time one arisin" out of so ial life. .or instan e9 +hy are there ri h and poorD This is a 7uestion whi h many people ask& espe ially poor people.

$ 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach, !hapter &&.

The most strai"htforward idealist answer to this 7uestion is to say simply=It is be ause *od made them so. It is the will of *od that some should be ri h and other poor. ?ut other less strai"htforward idealist e0planations are more in )o"ue. .or e0ample9 it is be ause some men are areful and farsi"hted& and these husband their resour es and "row ri h& while others are thrift! less and stupid& and these remain poor. Those who fa)or this type of e0planation say that it is all due to eternal 'human nature./ The nature of man and of so iety is su h that the distin tion of ri h and poor ne essar! ily arises. 8ust as in the ase of the thunderstorm& so in the ase of the ri h and poor& the idealist seeks for some spiritual ause=if not in the will of *od& the di)ine mind& then in ertain innate hara teristi s of the human mind. The materialist& on the other hand& seeks the reason in the mater! ial& e onomi onditions of so ial life. If so iety is di)ided into ri h and poor& it is be ause the produ tion of the material means of life is so ordered that some ha)e possession of the land and other means of pro! du tion while the rest ha)e to work for them. Cowe)er hard they may work and howe)er mu h they may s rape and sa)e& the non!possessors will remain poor& while the possessors "row ri h on the fruits of their labor. @n su h 7uestions& therefore& the differen e between a materialist and an idealist on eption an by )ery important. -nd the differen e is important not merely in a theoreti al but in a pra ti al sense. - materialist on eption of thunderstorms& for e0ample& helps us to take pre autions a"ainst them& su h as fittin" buildin"s with li"htnin" ondu tors. ?ut if our e0planation of thunderstorms is idealist& all we an do is to wat h and pray. If we a ept an idealist a ount of the e0isten e of ri h and poor& all we an do is to a ept the e0istin" state of affairs= reEoi in" in our superior status and bestowin" a little harity if we are ri h& and ursin" our fate if we are poor. ?ut armed with a materialist understandin" of so iety we an be"in to see the way to han"e so iety. It is lear& therefore& that while some may ha)e a )ested interest in idealism& it is in the interests of the "reat maEority to learn to think and to understand thin"s in the materialist way. Cow& then& an we define materialism and idealism& and the dif! feren e between them& in "eneral terms& so as to define the essen e of the 7uestionD This was done by 3n"els. 'The "reat basi 7uestion of all philosophy& espe ially of modern philosophy& is that on ernin" the relation of thinkin" and bein"...The answers whi h the philosophers ha)e "i)en to this 7uestion split them

into two "reat amps. Those who asserted the prima y of spirit to nature and therefore in the last instan e assumed world reation in some form or another... omprised the amp of idealism. The others& who re"arded nature as primary& belon" to the )arious s hools of materialism./ 5 Idealism is the way of interpretin" thin"s whi h re"ards the spir! itual as prior to the material& whereas materialism re"ards the material as prior. Idealism supposes that e)erythin" material is dependent on and determined by somethin" spiritual& whereas materialism re o"ni1es that e)erythin" spiritual is dependent on and determined by somethin" mater! ial. -nd this differen e manifests itself both in "eneral philosophi al on! eptions of the world as a whole& and in some on eptions of parti ular thin"s and e)ents.

&dealism and the 0upernatural
-t bottom& idealism is reli"ion& theolo"y. 'Idealism is leri al! ism&/ wrote >enin.# -ll idealism is a ontinuation of the reli"ious approa h to 7uestions& e)en thou"h parti ular idealist theories ha)e shed their reli"ious skin. Idealism is inseparable from superstition& belief in the supernatural& the mysterious and unknowable. (aterialism& on the other hand& seeks for e0planations in terms belon"in" to the material world& in terms of fa tors whi h we an )erify& understand and ontrol. The roots of the idealist on eption of thin"s are& then& the same as those of reli"ion. To belie)ers& the on eptions of reli"ion& that is to say& on ep! tions of supernatural spiritual bein"s& "enerally seem to ha)e their Eusti! fi ation& not& of ourse& in any e)iden e of the senses& but in somethin" whi h lies deep within the spiritual nature of man. -nd& indeed& it is true that these on eptions do ha)e )ery deep roots in the histori al de)elop! ment of human ons iousness. ?ut what is their ori"in& how did su h on eptions arise in the first pla eD +e an ertainly not re"ard su h on! eptions as bein" the produ ts& as reli"ion itself tells us& of di)ine re)ela! tion& or as arisin" from any other supernatural ause& if we find that they themsel)es ha)e a natural ori"in. -nd su h an ori"in an in fa t be tra ed. 2on eptions of the supernatural& and reli"ious ideas in "eneral& owe their ori"in first of all to the helplessness and i"noran e of men in the fa e of for es of nature. .or es whi h men annot understand are personified=they are represented as manifestations of the a ti)ity of spirits.
5 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach, 2hapter II. # I. I. >enin& 0elected ,orks& Iol. 11& '@n %iale ti s&/ A. B.& 195$.

.or e0ample& su h alarmin" e)ents as thunderstorms were& as we ha)e seen& e0plained fantasti ally as due to the an"er of "ods. -"ain& su h important phenomena as the "rowth of rops were put down to the a ti)ity of a spirit9 it was belie)ed that it was the orn spirit that made the orn "row. .rom the most primiti)e times men personified natural for es in this way. +ith the birth of lass so iety& when men were impelled to a t by so ial relations whi h dominated them and whi h they did not under! stand& they further in)ented& supernatural a"en ies doublin"& as it were& the state of so iety. The "ods were in)ented superior to mankind& Eust as the kin"s and lords were superior to the ommon people. -ll reli"ion& and all idealism& has at its heart this kind of doubling of the world. It is dualisti & and in)ents a dominatin" ideal or super! natural world o)er a"ainst the real material world. Iery hara teristi of idealism are su h antitheses as9 soul and body F "od and manF the hea)enly kin"dom and the earthly kin"domF the forms and ideas of thin"s& "rasped by the intelle t& and the world of material reality& per eptible by the senses. This 'doublin"/ of the world is arried to its furthest limits in subEe ti)e idealism& whi h ends by re"ardin" the material world as a mere illusion and asserts that only the non!material world is real. The dualisti hara ter of all idealism is most marked in subEe ti)e idealism& whi h posits a omplete antithesis between the me hanisti system of the illusory material world and the 'freedom/ of the hi"her& non!material reality. This antithesis& dis"uised as it often is behind alle"edly 's i! entifi / and 'empiri ist/ theori1in"& hara teri1es all subEe ti)e idealist philosophies& from ?erkeley to 8ohn %ewey. .or idealism& there is always a hi"her& more real& non!material world=whi h is prior to the material world& is its ultimate sour e and ause& and to whi h the material world is subEe t. .or materialism& on the other hand& there is one world& the material world. ?y idealism in philosophy we mean any do trine whi h says that beyond material reality there is a hi"her& spiritual reality& in terms of whi h the material reality is in the last analysis to be e0plained.

0ome 1arieties of $odern hilosophy
-t this point a few obser)ations may be useful on ernin" some hara teristi do trines of modern bour"eois philosophy.

.or nearly three hundred years there has been put forward a )ari! ety of philosophy known as 'subEe ti)e idealism./ This tea hes that the material world does not e0ist at all. Aothin" e0ists but the sensations and ideas in our minds& and there is no e0ternal material reality orrespond! in" to them. -nd then a"ain& this subEe ti)e idealism is put forward in the form of a do trine on ernin" knowled"e9 it denies that we an know anythin" about obEe ti)e reality outside oursel)es& and says that we an ha)e knowled"e of appearan es only and not of 'thin"s in themsel)es./ This sort of idealism has be ome )ery fashionable today. It e)en parades as e0tremely 's ientifi ./ +hen apitalism was still a pro"ress! i)e for e& bour"eois thinkers used to belie)e that we ould know more and more about the real world& and so ontrol natural for es and impro)e the lot of mankind indefinitely. Aow they are sayin" that the real world is unknowable& the arena of mysterious for es whi h pass our omprehen! sion. It is not diffi ult to see that the fashion for su h do trines is Eust a symptom of the de ay of apitalism. +e ha)e seen that& at bottom& idealism always belie)es in two worlds, the ideal and the material& and it pla es the ideal prior to and abo)e the material. (aterialism& on the other hand& knows one world only& the material world& and refuses to in)ent a se ond& ima"inary& superior ideal world. (aterialism and idealism are irre on ilably opposed. ?u this does not stop many philosophers from tryin" to re on ile and ombine them. In philosophy there are also )arious attempted ompromises between idealism and materialism. @ne su h attempted ompromise is often known as 'dualism./ ,u h a ompromise philosophy asserts the e0isten e of the spiritual as separate and distin t from the material=but it tries to pla e the two on a le)el. Thus it treats the world of non!li)in" matter in a thorou"hly mater! ialist way9 this& it says& is the sphere of a ti)ity of natural for es& and spiritual fa tors do not enter into it and ha)e nothin" to do with it in any way. ?ut when it omes to mind and so iety& here& says this philosophy& is the sphere of a ti)ity of spirit. Cere& it maintains& we must seek e0planations in idealist and not in materialist terms. ,u h ompromise between materialism and idealism& therefore& amounts to this=that with re"ard to all the most important 7uestions on ernin" men& so iety and history we are to ontinue to adopt idealist on eptions and to oppose materialism. -nother ompromise philosophy is known as 'realism./ In its modern form& this philosophy has arisen in opposition to subEe ti)e idealism.

The 'realist/ philosophers say that the e0ternal material world really e0ists independent of our per eptions and is in some way refle ted by our per eptions. In this the 'realists/ a"ree with the materialists in opposition to subjective idealismF indeed& you annot be a materialist unless you are a thorou"h!"oin" realist on the 7uestion of the real e0ist! en e of the material world. ?ut merely to assert that the e0ternal world e0ists independent of our per ei)in" it& is not to be a materialist. .or e0ample& the "reat 2ath! oli philosopher of the middle a"es& Thomas -7uinas& was in this sense a 'realist./ -nd to this day most 2atholi theolo"ians re"ard it as a heresy to be anythin" but a 'realist/ in philosophy. ?ut at the same time they assert that the material world& whi h really e0ists& was reated by *od& and is sustained and ruled all the time by the power of *od& by a spiritual power. ,o& far from bein" materialists& they are idealists. -s for modern 'realism&/ it on edes to materialism the bare e0isten e of matter and& for the rest& is ready to on ede e)erythin" to idealism. (oreo)er& the word 'realism/ is mu h abused by philosophers. ,o lon" as you belie)e that somethin" or other is 'real&/ you may all yourself a 'realist./ ,ome philosophers think that not only is the world of material thin"s real& but that there is also& outside spa e and time& a real world of 'uni)ersals&/ of the abstra t essen es of thin"s9 so these all themsel)es 'realists./ @thers say that& althou"h nothin" e0ists but the per eptions in our minds& ne)ertheless these per eptions are real9 so these all themsel)es 'realists/ too. -ll of whi h "oes to show that some philosophers are )ery tri ky in their use of words.

The Basic Teachings of $aterialism in )pposition to &dealism
In opposition to all the forms of idealism& and of tri ky om! promises between materialism and idealism& the basi tea hin"s of materialism an be formulated )ery simply and learly. To "rasp the essen e of these tea hin"s we should also under! stand what are the main assertions made in e)ery form of idealism. There are three su h main assertions of idealism. 1. Idealism asserts that the material world is dependent on the spiritual. 2. Idealism asserts that spirit& or mind& or idea& an and does e0ist in separation from matter. 4The most e0treme form of this assertion is subEe ti)e idealism& whi h asserts that matter does not e0ist at all but is pure illu! sion.6

$. Idealism asserts that there e0ists a realm of the mysteri! ous and unknowable& 'abo)e&/ or 'beyond&/ or 'behind/ what an be as ertained and known by per eption& e0perien e and s ien e. The basi tea hin"s of materialism stand in opposition to these three assertions of idealism. 1. (aterialism tea hes that the world is by its )ery nature material& that e)erythin" whi h e0ists omes into bein" on the basis of material auses& arises and de)elops in a ordan e with the laws of motion of matter. 2. (aterialism tea hes that matter is obEe ti)e reality e0ist! in" outside and independent of the mindF and that far from the mental e0istin" in separation from the material& e)erythin" mental or spiritual is a produ t of material pro esses. $. (aterialism tea hes that the world and its laws are fully knowable& and that while mu h may not be known there is nothin" whi h is by nature unknowable. The (ar0ist!>eninist philosophy is hara teri1ed by its abso! lutely onsistent materialism all alon" the line& by its makin" no on es! sions whate)er at any point to idealism. Thus ,talin points out9 '4a6 2ontrary to idealism& whi h re"ards the world as the embod! iment of an :absolute idea&: a :uni)ersal spirit&: : ons iousness&: (ar0:s philosophi al materialism holds that the world is by its )ery nature material& that the multifold phenomena of the world onstitute different forms of matter in motion...and that the world de)elops in a ordan e with the laws of mo)ement of matter and stands in no need of a :uni)er! sal spirit.: '4b6 2ontrary to idealism& whi h asserts that only our mind really e0ists...the (ar0ist materialist philosophy holds that matter& nature& bein" is an obEe ti)e reality e0istin" outside and independent of our mindF that matter is primary& sin e it is the sour e of sensations& ideas& mind and that mind is se ondary& deri)ati)e& sin e it is a refle tion of matter& a refle ! tion of bein"F that thou"ht is a produ t of matter whi h in its de)elop! ment has rea hed a hi"h de"ree of perfe tion& namely& of the brain& and the brain is the or"an of thou"htF and that& therefore& one annot separate thou"ht from matter without ommittin" a "ra)e error. '4 6 2ontrary to idealism& whi h denies the possibility of know! in" the world and its law..(ar0ist philosophi al materialism holds that the world and its laws are fully knowable& that our knowled"e of the laws of nature& tested by e0periment and pra ti e& is authenti knowled"e ha)! in" the )alidity of obEe ti)e truth& and that there are no thin"s in the

world whi h are unknowable& but only thin"s whi h are still not known& but whi h will be dis losed and made known by the efforts of s ien e and pra ti e./6

$aterialism and &dealism in ractice
-s was pointed out abo)e& the opposition of materialism and idealism=whi h has now been stated in its most "eneral terms=is not an opposition between abstra t theories of the nature of the world& but is an opposition between different ways of understandin" and interpretin" e)ery 7uestion. That is why it is of su h profound importan e. >et us onsider some of the )ery pra ti al ways in whi h the opposition of materialism and idealism is manifested. Idealists tell us& for e0ample& not to pla e 'too mu h/ relian e on s ien e. They tell us that the most important truths are beyond the rea h of s ien e. Cen e& they en oura"e us not to belie)e thin"s on the basis of e)iden e& e0perien e& pra ti e& but to take them on trust from those who pretend to know best and to ha)e some 'hi"her/ sour e of information. In this way idealism is a )ery "ood friend and standby of e)ery form of rea tionary propa"anda. It is the philosophy of the apitalist press and the radio. It fa)ors superstitions of all sorts& pre)ents us from thinkin" for oursel)es and takin" a s ientifi approa h to moral and so ial problems. -"ain& idealists tell us that what is most important for us all is the inner life of the soul. They tell us that we shall ne)er sol)e our human problems e0 ept by some inner re"eneration. This is a fa)orite theme in the spee hes of well!fed persons. ?ut many workers fall for it too=in fa tories& for e0ample& where a '(oral Gearmament/ "roup is a ti)e. They tell you not to fi"ht for better onditions& but to impro)e your soul. They do not tell you that the best way to impro)e yourself both materially and morally is to Eoin in the fi"ht for pea e and so ialism. -"ain& an idealist approa h is ommon amon"st many so ialists. (any sin ere so ialists& for e0ample&think that what is essentially wron" with apitalism is that "ood are unfairly distributed& and that if only we ould "et e)eryone& in ludin" the apitalists& to a ept a new on eption of fairness and Eusti e& then we ould do away with the e)ils of apital! ism. ,o ialism to them is nothin" but the reali1ation of an abstra t idea of Eusti e. The idealism of this belief lies in its assumption that it is simply the ideas whi h we hold that determine the way we li)e and the way so iety is or"ani1ed. Those who think in this way for"et to look for the material auses. .or what in fa t determines the way "oods are distrib!
6 ,talin& "ialectical and #istorical $aterialism.

uted in apitalist so iety=the wealth enEoyed by one part of so iety& while the other and "reater part li)es in po)erty=is not the ideas whi h men hold about the distribution of wealth& but the material fa t that the mode of produ tion rests on the e0ploitation of the worker by the apital! ist. ,o lon" as this mode of produ tion remains in e0isten e& so lon" will e0tremes of wealth and po)erty remain& and so lon" will so ialist ideas of Eusti e be opposed by apitalist ideas of Eusti e. The task of so ialists& therefore& is to or"ani1e and lead the stru""le of the workin" lass a"ainst the apitalist lass to the point where the workin" lass takes power from the apitalist lass. If we do not understand this& then we annot find the way to fi"ht effe ti)ely for so ialism. +e shall find that our so ialist ideals are on! stantly disappointed and betrayed. ,u h& indeed& has been the e0perien e of ?ritish so ialism. It an be seen from these e0amples how idealism ser)es as a weapon of rea tionF and how when so ialists embra e idealism they are bein" influen ed by the ideolo"y of the apitalists. +e an no more take o)er and use apitalist ideas for the purposes of so ialist theory than we an take o)er and use the apitalist state ma hine& with all its institutions and offi ials& for the purposes of buildin" so ialism. Gi"ht throu"h history& indeed& idealism has been a weapon of rea tion. +hate)er fine systems of philosophy ha)e been in)ented& ideal! ism has been used as a means of Eustifyin" the rule of an e0ploitin" lass and de ei)in" the e0ploited. This is not to say that truths ha)e not been e0pressed in an ideal! ist "uise. @f ourse they ha)e. .or idealism has )ery deep roots in our ways of thinkin"& and so men often lothe their thou"hts and aspirations in idealist dress. ?ut the idealist form is always an impediment& a hindran e in the e0pression of truth=a sour e of onfusion and error. -"ain& pro"ressi)e mo)ements in the past ha)e adopted and fou"ht under an idealist theory. ?ut this has shown only that they on! tained in themsel)es the seeds of future rea tion 4inasmu h as they rep! resented the stri)in" of a new e0ploitin" lass to ome to power6 or that they were themsel)es influen ed by ideas of rea tionF or it has been a mark of their weakness and immaturity. .or e0ample& the "reat re)olutionary mo)ement of the 3n"lish bour"eoisie in the se)enteenth entury fou"ht under idealist& reli"ious slo"ans. ?ut the same appeal to *od whi h Eustified 2romwell in the e0e ution of the Hin" Eustified him also in the stampin" of the >e)elers. 3arly demo rats and so ialists had many idealists notions. ?ut in their ase this demonstrated the immaturity and weakness of the mo)e! ment. The idealist illusions had to be o)er ome if the re)olutionary

workin"! lass mo)ement was to arise and triumph. -s the mo)ement "rew stron"& the ontinuan e within it of idealist notions represented an alien& rea tionary influen e. +e an truly say that idealism is essentially a onser)ati)e for e =an ideolo"y helpin" the defense of thin"s as they are& and the preser)a! tion of illusions in men:s minds about their true ondition. @n the other hand& e)ery real so ial ad)an e=e)ery in rease in the produ ti)e for es& e)ery ad)an e of s ien e="enerates materialism and is helped alon" by materialist ideas. -nd the whole history of human thou"ht has been the history of the fi"ht of materialism a"ainst idealism& of the o)er omin" of idealist illusions and fantasies.

The *ight for $aterialism
(ar0ists& as the or"ani1ed )an"uard of the workin" lass fi"htin" to end all e0ploitation of man by man and to establish ommunism& ha)e no use for idealism in any form. Cere& for e0ample& are some of the ways in whi h >enin e0pressed himself on this 7uestion. 'The "enius of (ar0 and 3n"els onsisted in the )ery fa t that in the ourse of a lon" period& nearly half a entury& they de)eloped materi! alism& that they further ad)an ed one fundamental trend in philosophy... 'Take the )arious philosophi al utteran es by (ar0..and you will find an in)ariable basi motif& vi2. insisten e upon materialism and on! temptuous derision of all obs urantism& of all onfusion and all de)i! ations towards idealism... '(ar0 and 3n"els were partisans in philosophy from start to fin! ishF they were able to dete t the de)iations from materialism and on es! sions to idealism...in ea h and e)ery :new: tenden y... 'The realists et .& in ludin" the positi)ists& are all wret hed mushF they are a ontemptible middle party in philosophy& who onfuse the materialist and idealist trends on e)ery 7uestion. The attempt to es ape these two basi trends in philosophy is nothin" but on iliatory 7ua kery./7 @n e)ery issue we are partisans of materialism a"ainst idealism. This is be ause we know that it is in the li"ht of materialist theory& whi h studies thin"s as they are& without idealist fantasies about them& that we an understand the for es in nature and so iety so as to be able to trans! form so iety and to master the for es of nature.

7 >enin& 0elected ,orks& Iol. 11& '(aterialism and 3mpirio!2riti ism&/ 2hapter II& ,e tion 5.

-nd be ause of this& too& materialism tea hes us to ha)e onfid! en e in oursel)es& in the workin" lass=in people. It tea hes us that there are no mysteries beyond our understandin"& that we need not a ept that whi h is as bein" the will of *od& that we should ontemptuously reEe t the 'authoritati)e/ tea hin"s of those who would set up to be our masters& and that we an oursel)es understand nature and so iety so as to be able to han"e them. +e hate idealism& be ause under o)er of hi"h!soundin" talk it prea hes the subEe tion of man to man and belittles the power of human! ity. It was the materialist onfiden e in humanity whi h was e0pressed by (a0im *orky when he wrote9 '.or me& there are no ideas beyond manF for me& man and only man is the mira le worker and the future master of all for es of nature. The most beautiful thin"s in this our world are the thin"s made by labor& made by skilled human hands& and all our ideas are born out of the pro! ess of labor. '-nd if it is thou"ht ne essary to speak of sa red thin"s& then the one sa red thin" is the dissatisfa tion of man with himself and his stri)! in" to be better than he isF sa red is his hatred of all the tri)ial rubbish whi h he himself has reatedF sa red is his desire to do away with "reed& en)y& rime& disease& war and all enmity between men on earthF and sa ! red is his labor./8

8 (a0im *orky& %iterature and %ife, 'Cow I >earned to +rite&/ >ondon& 1956.



Mechanistic Materialism
The type of materialism produced in the past by the revolutionary bourgeoisie was mechanistic materialism. This took over the ancient materialist conception that the world consisted of unchanging material particles 3atoms4, whose interactions produced all the phenomena of nature, and further strove to understand the workings of nature on the model of the working of a machine. &t was in its time a progressive and revolutionary doctrine. But it has three grave weaknesses. 354 &t re+uires the conception of a 0upreme Being who started the world up- 364 it seeks to reduce all processes to the same cycle of mechanistic interactions and so cannot account for development, for the emergence of new +ualities, new types of processes in nature- 374 it cannot account for social development, can give no account for social development, can give no account of human social activity and leads to an abstract conception of human nature.

The !hanging ,orld and #ow to 8nderstand &t
?efore (ar0& materialism was predominately mechanistic. +e often hear people omplain that the materialists seek to redu e e)erythin" in the world& in ludin" life and mind& to a system of soulless me hanism& to a mere me hani al intera tion of bodies. This refers to me hanisti materialism. (ar0ist materialism is& howe)er& not me hanisti but diale ti al. To understand what this means we need to first understand somethin" about me hanisti materialism itself. +e an approa h this problem by askin" how materialists ha)e sou"ht to understand the )arious pro esses of han"e whi h are obser)ed e)erywhere in the world. The world is full of han"e. Ai"ht follows day and day ni"htF the seasons su eed ea h otherF people are born& "row old and die. 3)ery philosophy re o"ni1es that han"e is an omnipresent fa t. The 7uestion is9 how are we to understand the han"e whi h we obser)e e)erywhereD 2han"e may be understood& in the first pla e& in an idealist way or in a materialist way. Idealism tra es ba k all han"e to some idea or intention=if not human& then di)ine. Thus for idealism& han"es in the material world are& in the last analysis& initiated and brou"ht about by somethin" outside matter& not material& not subEe t to the laws of the material world. ?ut materialism tra es ba k all han"e to material auses. In other words& it seeks to e0plain what happens in the material world from the material world itself.

?ut while the o urren e of han"e has been re o"ni1ed by e)eryone& sin e none an i"nore it& philosophers ha)e ne)ertheless sou"ht to find somethin" whi h does not han"e=somethin" permanent& somethin" han"eless& behind or within the han"e. This is "enerally an essential part of the ideolo"y of an e0ploit! in" lass. They are afraid of han"e& be ause they are afraid that they& too& may be swept away. ,o they always seek for somethin" fi0ed and stable& not subEe t to han"e. They try to hit h themsel)es on to this& as it were. The earlier materialists& too& sou"ht for this. ?ehind all the han! "in" appearan es they looked for somethin" whi h ne)er han"es. ?ut while idealists looked for the eternal and han"eless in the realm of spirit& these materialists looked for it in the material world itself. -nd they found it in the ultimate material parti le=the eternal and indestru t! ible atom. 4'-tom/ is a *reek word meanin" 'unbreakable./6 .or su h materialists& then& all changes were produ ed by the mo)ement and intera tion of unchanging atoms. This is a )ery an ient theory& put forward o)er two thousand years a"o in *ree e& and earlier still in India. In its day it was a )ery pro"ressi)e theory& a "reat weapon a"ainst idealism and superstition. The Goman poet >u retius& for e0ample& e0plained in his philosophi al poem )n 9ature of Things that the purpose of the atomisti theory of the *reek philosopher 3pi urus was to demonstrate 'what are the elements out of whi h e)erythin" is formed& and how e)erythin" omes to pass without the inter)ention of the "ods./ Thus there was born a materialism whi h saw the world as on! sistin" of hard&impenetrable material parti les& and whi h understood all han"e as arisin" from nothin" but the motion and intera tion of su h parti les. This theory was re)i)ed in modern times. In the si0teenth and se)enteenth enturies philosophers and s ientists turned to it in their fi"ht a"ainst feudal& 2atholi philosophy. ?ut this modern materialism pro)ed to be mu h ri her in ontent than the an ient. .or it tried to work out what were the laws of intera tion of material parti les& and so to present a pi ture of how all phenomena& from merely physi al han"es to the life of man& resulted from the motion and intera tion of the separate parts of matter. In this way& but the ei"hteenth entury& there had appeared the hara teristi modern theories of me hanisti materialism.


' Bourgeois hilosophy
(e hanisti materialism was in essen e an ideolo"y& a mode of theori1in"& of the risin" bour"eoisie. In order to understand it we must understand& first of all& that it arose and de)eloped in opposition to feudal ideolo"y=that its riti al ed"e was dire ted a"ainst feudal ideas& that it was in fa t the most radi al of all bour"eois forms of opposition a"ainst the feudal outlook. In the period of the rise of the bour"eoisie& the feudal so ial rela! tions were shattered& and so were the feudal ideas& embodied in the 2ath! oli philosophy& in whi h those so ial relations were enshrined. The feudal system& whose e onomi basis lay in the e0ploitation of the serfs by the feudal proprietors& in)ol)ed omple0 so ial relation! ships of dependen e& subordination and alle"ian e. -ll this was refle ted& not only in so ial and politi al philosophy& but also in the philosophy of nature. It was typi al of the natural philosophy of the feudal period that e)erythin" in nature was e0plained in terms of its supposed position of dependen e and subordination in that system& and of the end or purpose whi h it e0isted to ser)e. The bour"eois philosophers and s ientists destroyed these feudal ideas about nature. They re"arded nature as a system of bodies in intera ! tion& and& reEe tin" all the feudal do"mas& they alled for the in)esti"a! tion of nature in order to dis o)er how nature really worked. The in)esti"ation of nature ad)an ed hand in hand with the "eo! "raphi al dis o)eries& the de)elopment of trade and transport& the impro)ement of ma hinery and manufa tures. The "reatest strides were made in the me hani al s ien es& losely onne ted as they were with the needs of te hnolo"y. ,o it ame about that the materialist theory was enri hed as the result of the s ientifi in)esti"ation of nature& and in par! ti ular by the me hani al s ien es. This determined at on e the stren"th and the weakness& the a hie)ement and the limitation& of the materialist theory. +hat pushed that theory forward was& so 3n"els writes& 'the powerful and e)er more rapidly onrushin" pro"ress of s ien e and industry./ ?ut it remained 'predominantly me hani al&/ be ause only the me hani al s ien es had attained any hi"h de"ree of de)elopment. Its 'spe ifi & but at that time ine)itable limitation/ was its 'e0 lusi)e appli ! ation of the standards of me hani s./ 1 The me hanisti way of understandin" nature did not arise& how! e)er& simply from the fa t that at that time it was only the me hani al s i! en es whi h had made any "reat pro"ress. It was deeply rooted in the
1 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach, 2hapter II.

lass outlook of the most pro"ressi)e bour"eois philosophers& and this led to their turnin" e0 lusi)ely to the me hani al s ien es for their inspiration. 8ust as the bour"eoisie& o)erthrowin" feudal so iety& stood for indi)idual liberty& e7uality and the de)elopment of a free market& so the most pro"ressi)e philosophers of the bour"eoisie=the materialists= o)erthrowin" the feudal ideas& pro laimed that the world onsisted of separate material parti les intera tin" with one another in a ordan e with the laws of me hani s. This theory of nature refle ted bour"eois so ial relations no less than the theories it repla ed had refle ted feudal so ial relations. ?ut Eust as the new bour"eois so ial relations broke the feudal fetters and enabled a "reat new de)elopment of the for es of produ tion to bein"& so the or! respondin" bour"eois theory of nature broke down the barriers whi h feudal ideas had pla ed in the way of s ientifi resear h and enabled a "reat new de)elopment of s ientifi resear h to be"in. The philosophi al outlook seemed to find its onfirmation in s i! en e& and s ien e pro)ided materials for the de)elopment and workin" out in detail of the philosophi al outlook.

The ,orld and the $achine
The world=so thou"ht the me hanisti materialists= onsists of nothin" but parti les of matter in intera tion. 3a h parti le has an e0ist! en e separate and distin t from e)ery otherF in their totality they form the worldF the totality of their intera tions forms the totality of e)erythin" that happens in the worldF and these intera tions are of the me hani al type& that is to say& they onsist simply of the e0ternal influen e of one parti le upon another. ,u h a theory is e7ui)alent to re"ardin" the whole world as noth! in" but a omple0 pie e of ma hinery& a me hanism. .rom this standpoint& the 7uestion always posed about any part of nature is the 7uestion we ask about a ma hine9 what is its me hanism& how does it workD This was e0emplified in Aewton:s a ount of the solar system. Aewton adopted the same "eneral )iew as the *reek materialist& 3pi! urus& inasmu h as he thou"ht that the material world onsisted of parti les mo)in" about in empty spa e. ?ut fa ed with any parti ular nat! ural phenomenon& su h as the mo)ements of the sun and planets& 3pi! urus was not in the least on erned to "i)e any e0a t a ount of it. +ith re"ard to the apparent mo)ement of the sun a ross the hea)ens from east to west& for e0ample& 3pi urus said that the important thin" was to under! stand that the sun was not a "od but was simply a olle tion of atoms9 no

a ount of the a tual ma hinery of its motions was ne essary. Perhaps& he said& the sun "oes round and round the earthF but perhaps it disinte"! rates and its atoms separate e)ery ni"ht& so that it is 'a new sun/ whi h we see the ne0t mornin"9 to him su h 7uestions were simply unimport! ant. Aewton& on the other hand& was on erned to show e0a tly how the solar system worked& to demonstrate the me hani s of it& in terms of "ra)ity and me hani al for es. ?ut Eust as 3pi urus was not interested in how the solar system worked& so Aewton was not interested in how it ori"inated and de)eloped. Ce took it for "ranted as a stable pie e of ma hinery= re! ated& presumably& by *od. Aot how it ori"inated& not how it de)eloped& but how it worked& was the 7uestion whi h he dealt with. The same me hanisti approa h was manifested in Car)ey:s dis! o)ery of the ir ulation of the blood. The essen e of his dis o)ery was that he demonstrated the me hanism of ir ulation& re"ardin" the heart as a pump& whi h pumps the blood out alon" the arteries so that it flows ba k throu"h the )eins& the whole system bein" re"ulated by a series of )al)es. To understand the me hanisti outlook better& let us ask9 what is a me hanismD +hat is hara teristi of a me hanismD 4a6 - me hanism onsists of permanent parts& whi h fit to"ether. 4b6 It re7uires a moti)e for e to set it "oin". 4c6 @n e set "oin"& the parts intera t and results are produ ed a ordin" to laws whi h an be e0a tly stated. 2onsider& for e0ample& su h a me hanism as a wat h. 4a6 It on! sists of a number of different parts= o"s& le)ers& and so on=fitted neatly to"ether. 4b6 It has to be wound up. 4c6 Then& as the sprin" un oils& the parts intera t a ordin" to laws e0a tly known to wat hmakers& res! ultin" in the re"ular mo)ements of the hands on the dial. .urther& to know how a me hanism& su h as a wat h& works& you must take it to bits& find out what its parts are& how they fit to"ether and how& by their intera tions& on e the me hanism is set in motion by the appli ation of the re7uired moti)e for e& they produ e the total motion hara teristi of the me hanism in workin" order. This is Eust how the me hanisti materialists re"arded nature. They sou"ht to take nature to bits& to find its ultimate omponent parts& how they fitted to"ether and how their intera tions produ ed all the han"es we per ei)e& all the phenomena of the world. -nd moreo)er& findin" out how the me hanism worked& they sou"ht to find out how to repair it& how to impro)e it& how to han"e it and to make it produ e new results orrespondin" to the re7uirements of man.


The 0trength and 'chievement of $echanistic $aterialism
(e hanisti materialism was an important milestone in our understandin" of nature. -nd it was a "reat pro"ressi)e step of bour"eois thinkers& a blow a"ainst idealism. The me hanists were thorou"h!"oin" in their materialism. .or they wa"ed a pro"ressi)e fi"ht a"ainst idealism and leri alism by tryin" to e0tend to the realm of mind and so iety the same me hanisti on ep! tions whi h were used in the s ientifi in)esti"ation of nature. They sou"ht to in lude man and all his spiritual a ti)ities in the me hanisti system of the natural world. The most radi al me hanists re"arded not merely physi al pro! esses& and not merely plant and animal life& but man himself as a ma hine. -lready in the se)enteenth entury the "reat .ren h philo! sopher %es artes had said that all animals were ompli ated ma hines= automata9 but man was different& sin e he had a soul. ?ut in the ei"ht! eenth entury a follower of %es artes& the physi ian >a(ettrie& wrote a book with the pro)o ati)e title $an a $achine. (en& too& were ma hines& he said& thou"h )ery ompli ated ones. This do trine was looked upon as e0 eptionally sho kin"& and as a terrible insult to human nature& not to mention *od. Bet it was in its time a pro"ressi)e )iew of man. The )iew that men are ma hines was an ad)an e in the understandin" of human nature as ompared with the )iew that they are wret hed pie es of lay inhabited by immortal souls. -nd it was& omparati)ely speakin"& a more humane )iew. .or e0ample& the "reat 3n"lish materialist and utopian so ialist Gobert @wen told the pious industrialists of his time9 '30perien e has shown you the differen e of the results between me hanism whi h is neat& lean& well!arran"ed and always in a hi"h state of repair& and that whi h is allowed to be dirty& in disorder& and whi h therefore be omes mu h out of repair...If& then& due are as to the state of your inanimate ma hines an produ e su h benefi ial results& what may not be e0pe ted if you de)ote e7ual attention to your vital ma hines& whi h are far more wonderfully onstru tedD/ 2 This humanitarianism was& howe)er& at the best bour"eois humanitarianism. >ike all me hanisti materialism& it was rooted in the lass outlook of the bour"eoisie. The )iew that man is a ma hine is rooted in the )iew that in produ tion man is a mere appenda"e of the ma hine. -nd if on the one hand this implies that the human ma hine

2 Gobert @wen& 9ew 1iew of 0ociety.

ou"ht to be well tended and kept in "ood ondition& on the other hand it e7ually implies that no more should be e0pe ted for this purpose than is stri tly ne essary to keep the human ma hine in bare workin" order.

The ,eakness and %imitations of $echanistic $aterialism
(e hanisti materialism had "ra)e weaknesses. 416 It ould not sustain the materialist standpoint onsistently and all the way. .or if the world is like a ma hine& who made it& who started it upD There was ne essary& in any system of me hanisti materialism& a ',upreme ?ein"&/ outside the material world=e)en if he no lon"er on! tinuously interfered in the world and kept thin"s mo)in"& but did no more than start thin"s up and then wat h what happened. ,u h a ',upreme ?ein"/ was postulated by nearly all the me h! anisti materialistsF for e0ample& by Ioltaire and Tom Paine. ?ut this opens the door for idealism. 426 (e hanisti materialism sees han"e e)erywhere. Bet be ause it always tries to reduce all phenomena to the same system of me hani al intera tions& it sees this han"e as nothin" but the eternal repetition of the same kinds of me hani al pro esses& an eternal y le of the same han"es. This limitation is inseparable from the )iew of the world as a ma hine. .or Eust as a ma hine has to be started up& so it an ne)er do anythin" e0 ept what it was made to do. It annot han"e itself or pro! du e anythin" radi ally new. (e hanisti theory& therefore& always breaks down when it is a 7uestion of a ountin" for the emer"en e of new +uality. It sees han"e e)erywhere=but nothin" new& no development. The )arious pro esses of nature= hemi al pro esses and the pro esses of li)in" matter& for e0ample= annot in fa t be all redu ed to one and the same kind of me hani al intera tion of material parti les. 2hemi al intera tions differ from me hani al intera tions inas! mu h as the han"es whi h take pla e as a result of hemi al intera tion in)ol)e a han"e of 7uality. .or e0ample& if we onsider the me hani al intera tion of two parti les whi h ollide& then their 7ualitati)e hara ter! isti s are irrele)ant and the result is e0pressed as a han"e in the 7uantity and dire tion of motion of ea h. ?ut if two hemi al substan es ome to"ether and ombine hemi ally& then there results a new substan e 7ualitati)ely different from either. ,imilarly& from the point of )iew of

me hani s heat is nothin" but an in rease in the 7uantity of motion of the parti les of matter. ?ut in hemistry& the appli ation of heat leads to 7ual! itati)e han"es. Aor do the pro esses of nature onsist in the repetition of the same y le of me hani al intera tions& but in nature there is ontinual de)elopment and e)olution& produ in" e)er new forms of the e0isten e or& what is the same thin"& motion of matter. Cen e the more widely and onsistently the me hanisti ate"ories are applied in the interpretation of nature& the more is their essential limitation e0posed. 4$6 ,till less an me hanisti materialism e0plain social de)elop! ment. (e hanisti materialism e0presses the radi al bour"eois on ep! tion of so iety as onsistin" of so ial atoms& intera tin" to"ether. The real e onomi and so ial auses of the de)elopment of so iety annot be dis! o)ered from this point of )iew. -nd so "reat so ial han"es seem to sprin" from 7uite a idental auses. Cuman a ti)ity itself appears to be either the me hani al result of e0ternal auses& or else it is treated=and here me hanisti materialism ollapses into idealism=as purely spontan! eous and un aused. In a word& me hanisti materialism annot "i)e an a ount of men:s so ial a ti)ity.

$echanistic $aterialism and 8topian 0ocialism
The me hanisti )iew treated men 7uite abstra tly& ea h man bein" re"arded as a so ial atom endowed by nature with ertain inherent properties& attributes and ri"hts. This was e0pressed in the bour"eois on eption of 'the ri"hts of man&/ and in the bour"eois re)olutionary slo"an9 '-ll men are e7ual./ ?ut the on eption of human ri"hts annot be dedu ed from the abstra t nature of man& but is determined by the sta"e of so iety in whi h men are li)in". Aor are men what they are 'by nature&/ but they be ome what they are& and han"e& as a result of their so ial a ti)ity. Aor are all men 'by nature/ e7ual. In opposition to the bour"eois on eption of abstra t e7uality& whi h amounted to more formal e7uality of ri"hts as iti1ens& e7uality before the law& (ar0 and 3n"els de lared9 'The real ontent of the proletarian demand for e7uality is the demand for the abolition of lasses. -ny demand for e7uality whi h "oes beyond that of ne essity passes into absurdity./ $

$ .rederi k 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring, Part I& 2hapter K& A. B.& 19$9.

-doptin" their abstra t& me hanisti )iew of men as so ial atoms& the pro"ressi)e me hanists tried to work out& in an abstra t way& what form of so iety would be best for mankind=what would best suit abstra t human nature& as they on ei)ed of it. This way of thinkin" was taken o)er by so ialist thinkers who immediately pre eded (ar0& the utopian so ialists. The utopian so ialists were me hanisti materialists. They put forward so ialism as an ideal so iety. They did not see it as ne essitated by the de)elopment of the ontradi tions of apitalism=it ould ha)e been put forward and real! i1ed at any time& if only men had had the wit to do so. They did not see it as ha)in" to be won by workin"! lass stru""le a"ainst apitalism=it would be reali1ed when e)eryone was on)in ed that it was Eust and best adapted to the re7uirements of human nature. 4.or this reason& Gobert @wen appealed to both the -r hbishop of 2anterbury and Lueen Ii toria to support his so ialist pro"ram.6 -"ain& the me hanisti materialists=and this applied abo)e all to the utopian so ialists=thou"ht that what a man was& his hara ter and his a ti)ities& was determined by his en)ironment and edu ation. There! fore they pro laimed that to make men better& happier and more rational it was simply ne essary to pla e them in better onditions and to "i)e them a better edu ation. ?ut to this (ar0 replied9 'The materialist do trine that men are produ ts of ir umstan es and upbrin"in" and that& therefore& han"ed men are produ ed by han"ed ir umstan es and han"ed upbrin"in"& for"ets that ir um! stan es are han"ed pre isely by men and that the edu ator must himself be edu ated./5 If men are simply the produ ts of ir umstan es& then they are at the mer y of ir umstan es. -nd men themsel)es are han"ed& not as a me hani al result of han"ed ir umstan es& but in the ourse of and as a result of their own a ti)ity in han"in" their ir umstan es. ,o what are the real material so ial auses at work in human so iety& whi h "i)e rise to new a ti)ities& new ideas and therefore to han"ed ir umstan es and han"ed menD (e hanisti materialism ould not answer this 7uestion. It ould not e0plain the laws of so ial de)elopment nor show how to han"e so i! ety. Therefore while it was a pro"ressi)e and re)olutionary do trine in its time& it ould not ser)e to "uide the stru""le of the workin" lass in stri)in" to han"e so iety.
5 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach& -ppendi es& (ar0& 'Theses on .euerba h&/ III.



From Mechanistic to Dialectical Materialism
$echanistic materialism makes certain dogmatic assumptions: 354 That the world consists of permanent and stable things or particles, with definite, fixed properties- 364 that the particles of matter are by nature inert and no change ever happens except by the action of some external cause- 374 that all motion, all change can be reduced to the mechanical interaction of separate particles of matter- 3;4 that each particle has its own fixed nature independent of everything else, and that the relationships between separate things are merely external relationships. )vercoming and passing beyond the dogmatic standpoint of mechanism, dialectical materialism holds that the world is not a complex of things but of processes, that matter is inseparable from motion, that the motion of matter comprehends an infinite diversity of forms which arise one from another and pass into one another, and that things exist not as separate individual units but in essential relation and interconnection.

Things and rocesses
In order to find how the limitations of the me hanist approa h an be o)er ome we may onsider first of all ertain e0tremely do"mati assumptions whi h are made by me hanisti materialism. These me han! isti assumptions are none of them Eustified. -nd by brin"in" them to the li"ht of day and pointin" out what is wron" with them& we an see how to ad)an e beyond me hanisti materialism. 416 (e hanism sees all han"e as ha)in" at its basis permanent and stable thin"s with definite& fi0ed properties. Thus for the me hanists the world onsists of indi)isible& indes! tru tible material parti les& whi h in their intera tion manifest su h prop! erties as position& mass& )elo ity. - ordin" to me hanism& if you ould state the position& mass and )elo ity of e)ery parti le at a "i)en instant of time& then you would ha)e said e)erythin" that ould be said about the world at that time& and ould& by applyin" the laws of me hani s& predi t e)erythin" that was "oin" to happen afterwards. This is the first do"mati assumption of me hanism. ?ut we need to reEe t it. .or the world does not onsist of things but of processes& in whi h thin"s ome into bein" and pass away.

'The world is not to be omprehended as a omple0 of ready! made thin"s&/ wrote 3n"els& 'but as a omple0 of pro esses& in whi h thin"s apparently stable& no less than their mind!ima"es in our heads& the on epts& "o throu"h an uninterrupted han"e of omin" into bein" and passin" away./1 This& indeed& is what s ien e in its latest de)elopments tea hes us. Thus the atom& on e thou"ht to be eternal and indi)isible& has been dissol)ed into ele trons& protons and neutronsF and these themsel)es are not 'fundamental parti les/ in any absolute sense& i.e. they are not eternal and indestru tible& any more than the atomF but s ien e more and more shows that they& too& ome into bein"& pass away and "o throu"h many transformations. +hat is fundamental is not the 'thin"&/ the 'parti le&/ but the unendin" processes of nature& in whi h things "o throu"h 'an uninterrup! ted han"e of omin" into bein" and passin" away./ -nd nature:s pro ess is& moreo)er& infinite9 there will always be fresh aspe ts to be re)ealed& and it annot be redu ed to any ultimate onstituents. 'The ele tron is as ine0haustible as the atom& nature is infinite&/ wrote >enin. 2 8ust so in onsiderin" so iety& we annot understand a "i)en so iety simply in terms of some set of institutions in and throu"h whi h indi)idual men and women are or"ani1ed& but we must study the so ial pro esses whi h are "oin" on& in the ourse of whi h both institutions and people are transformed.

$atter and $otion
426 The se ond do"mati assumption of me hanism is the assumption that no han"e an e)er happen e0 ept by the a tion of some e0ternal ause. 8ust as no part of a ma hine mo)es unless another part a ts on it and makes it mo)e& so me hanism sees matter as bein" inert=without motion& or rather without self!motion. .or me hanism& nothin" e)er mo)es unless somethin" else interferes with it. Ao wonder that& re"ardin" matter in this way& the me hanists had to belie)e in a ,upreme ?ein" to "i)e the 'initial impulse./ ?ut we need to reEe t this lifeless& dead theory about matter. This theory separates matter and motion9 it thinks of matter as Eust a dead mass& so that motion always has to be impressed on matter from outside. ?ut& on the ontrary& you annot separate matter and motion. (otion& said 3n"els& is the mode of e0isten e of matter.
1 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach, 2hapter II. 2 >enin& 0elected ,orks, Iol. 11& '(aterialism and 3mpirio!2riti ism&/ 2hapter I& ,e tion 2.

'(otion is the mode of e0isten e of matter. Ae)er anywhere has there been matter without motion& nor an there be. (otion in osmi spa e& me hani al motion of smaller masses on the )arious elestial bod! ies& the motion of mole ules as heat or as ele tri al or ma"neti urrents& hemi al ombination or disinte"ration& or"ani life=at ea h "i)en moment ea h indi)idual atom of matter in the world is in one or other of these forms of motion& or in se)eral forms of them at on e. -ll rest& all e7uilibrium is only relati)e& and only has meanin" in relation to one or other definite form of motion. - body& for e0ample& may be on the "round in me hani al e7uilibrium& may be me hani ally at restF but this in no way pre)ents it from parti ipatin" in the motion of the earth and in that of the whole solar system& Eust as little as it pre)ents its most minute parts from arryin" out the os illations determined by its temperature& or its atoms from passin" throu"h a hemi al pro ess. (atter without motion is Eust as unthinkable as motion without matter./$ .ar from bein" dead& lifeless& inert& it is the )ery nature of matter to be in pro ess of ontinual han"e& of motion. @n e we reali1e this& then there is an end of appeal to the 'initial impulse./ (otion& like mat! ter& ne)er had a be"innin". The on eption of the inseparability of matter and motion& the understandin" that 'motion is the mode of e0isten e of matter&/ pro)ides the way to answerin" a number of perple0in" 7uestions whi h usually haunt people:s minds when they think about materialism and whi h lead them to desert materialism and to run to the priests for an e0planation of the 'ultimate/ truth about the uni)erse. +as the world reated by a ,upreme ?ein"D +hat was the ori"in of matterD +hat was the ori"in of motionD +hat was the )ery be"innin" of e)erythin"D +hat was the first auseD These are the sort of 7uestions whi h pu11le people. It is possible to answer these 7uestions. Ao& the world was not reated by a ,upreme ?ein". -ny parti u! lar or"ani1ation of matter& any parti ular pro ess of matter in motion& has an ori"in and a be"innin"=it ori"inated out of some pre)ious or"ani1a! tion of matter& out of some pre)ious pro ess of matter in motion. ?ut matter in motion had not ori"in& no be"innin". , ien e tea hes us the inseparability of matter and motion. Cow! e)er stati some thin"s may seem to be& there is in them ontinual motion. The atom& for instan e& maintains itself as the same only by means of ontinual mo)ement of its parts.

$ 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring, Part I& 2hapter II.

,o in studyin" the auses of han"e& we should not merely seek for e0ternal auses of han"e& but should abo)e all seek for the sour e of the han"e within the pro ess itself& in its own self!mo)ement& in the inner impulses to de)elopment ontained within thin"s themsel)es. Thus in seekin" the auses of so ial de)elopment and its laws& we should not see so ial han"es as bein" brou"ht about by the a tions of "reat men& who impressed their superior ideas and will on the inert mass of so iety=nor as bein" brou"ht about by a idents and e0ternal fa tors=but as bein" brou"ht about by the de)elopment of the internal for es of so iety itselfF and that means& by the de)elopment of the so ial for es of produ tion. Thus unlike the utopians& we see so ialism as the result& not the dreams of reformers& but of the de)elopment of apitalist so iety itself= whi h ontains within itself auses whi h must ine)itably brin" it to an end and lead to the so ialist re)olution.

The *orms of $otion of $atter
4$6 The third do"mati assumption of me hanism is the assump! tion that the me hani al motion of parti les& i.e. the simple han"e of pla e of parti les as the result of the a tion on them of e0ternal for es& is the ultimate& basi form of motion of matterF and that all han"es& all happenin"s whatsoe)er an be redu ed to and e0plained by su h me h! ani al motion of parti les. Thus all the motion of matter is redu ed to simple me hani al motion. -ll the han"in" 7ualities whi h we re o"ni1e in matter are nothin" but the appearan es of the basi me hani al motion of matter. Cowe)er )aried the appearan es may be& whate)er new and hi"her forms of de)elopment may appear to arise& they are all to be redu ed to one and the same thin"=the eternal repetition of the me hani al intera tion of the separate parts of matter. It is diffi ult to find any Eustifi ation for su h an assumption. In the material world there are many different types of pro ess& whi h all onstitute different forms of the motion of matter. ?ut they an by no means be all redu ed to one and the same form of 4me hani al6 motion. '(otion in the most "eneral sense&/ wrote 3n"els& ' on ei)ed as the mode of e0isten e& the inherent attribute& of matter& omprehends all han"es and pro esses o urrin" in the uni)erse& from mere han"e of pla e ri"ht to thinkin". The in)esti"ation of the nature of motion had as a matter of ourse to start from the lowest& simplest forms of this motion and to learn to "rasp these before it ould a hie)e anythin" in the way of e0planation of the hi"her and more ompli ated forms./ 5
5 .rederi k 3n"els& %iale ti s of 9ature, 2hapter III& A. B.& 1950.

The simplest form of motion is the simple han"e of pla e of bodies& the laws of whi h are studied by me hani s. ?ut that does not mean that all motion an be redu ed to this simplest form of motion. It rather means that we need to study how& from the simplest form of motion& all the hi"her forms of motion arise and de)elop!!'from mere han"e of pla e ri"ht to thinkin"./ @ne form of motion is transformed into another and arises from another. The hi"her& more omple0 form of motion annot e0ist without the lower and simpler form9 but that is not to say that it an be redu ed to that simpler form. It is inseparable from the simpler form& but its nature is not e0hausted thereby. .or e0ample& the thinkin" whi h "oes on in our heads in inseparable from the hemi al& ele tri al et . motion whi h "oes on in the "ray matter of the brainF but it annot be redu ed to that motion& its nature is not e0hausted thereby. The materialist standpoint& howe)er& whi h reEe ts the me han! isti idea that all forms of motion of matter an be redu ed to me hani al motion& must not be onfused with the idealist notion that the hi"her forms of motion annot be e0plained as arisin" from the lower forms. .or e0ample& idealists assert that life& as a form of motion of matter& an! not possibly be deri)ed from any pro esses hara teristi of non!li)in" matter. .or them& life an only arise throu"h the introdu tion into a material system of a mysterious somethin" from outside=a ')ital for e./ ?ut to say that a hi"her form of motion annot be redu ed to a lower form is not to say that it annot be deri)ed from the lower form in the ourse of the latter:s de)elopment. Thus materialists will always affirm that life& for e0ample& appears at a ertain sta"e in the de)elopment of more omple0 forms of non!li)in" matter& and arises as a result of that de)elopment& not as a result of the introdu tion into non!li)in" matter of a mysterious ')ital for e./ The task of s ien e in this sphere remains to demonstrate e0perimentally how the transition from non!li)in" matter takes pla e. Thus the me hanisti pro"ram of redu in" all the motion of mat! ter to simple& me hani al motion must be reEe ted. +e need rather to study all the infinitely )arious forms of motion of matter& in their trans! formations one into another& and as they arise one from another& the om! ple0 from the simple& the hi"her from the lower. In the ase of so iety& no one has yet tried to show how so ial han"es an be e0plained by the me hani al intera tions of the atoms omposin" the bodies of the )arious members of so iety=thou"h to do so would be the lo"i al ulmination of the me hanisti pro"ram. ?ut the ne0t best thin" is attempted by the me hanisti theory known as 'e o! nomi determinism./ - ordin" to this theory& the whole motion of so i!

ety is to be e0plained by the e onomi han"es takin" pla e in so iety& all the determinants of so ial han"e ha)e been e0hausted when the e o! nomi pro ess has been des ribed. This is an e0ample of the me hanisti pro"ram of redu in" a omple0 motion to a simple form=the pro ess of so ial han"e& in ludin" all the politi al& ultural and ideolo"i al de)el! opments& to a simple e onomi pro ess. The task is rather to show how& on the basis of the e onomi pro ess& all the )arious forms of so ial a ti)ity arise and play their part in the omple0 mo)ement of so iety.

Things and Their &nterconnection
456 The last do"mati assumption of me hanism to be mentioned is that ea h of the thin"s or parti les& whose intera tions are said to make up the totality of e)ents in the uni)erse& has its own fi0ed nature 7uite independent of e)erythin" else. In other words& ea h thin" an be on! sidered as e0istin" in separation from other thin"s& as an independent unit. Pro eedin" on this assumption it follows that all relations between thin"s are merely e0ternal relations. That is to say& thin"s enter into )arious relationships one with another& but these relationships are a idental and make no differen e to the nature of the thin"s related. -nd re"ardin" ea h thin" as a separate unit enterin" into e0ternal relations with other thin"s& it further follows that me hanism re"ards the whole as no more than the sum of its separate parts. - ordin" to this )iew& the properties and laws of de)elopment of the whole are uni7uely determined by the properties of all its parts. Aot one of these assumptions is orre t. Aothin" e0ists or an e0ist in splendid isolation& separate from its onditions of e0isten e& inde! pendent of its relationships with other thin"s. Thin"s ome into bein"& e0ist and ease to e0ist& not ea h independent of all other thin"s& but ea h in its relationship with other thin"s. The )ery nature of a thin" is modi! fied and transformed by its relationships with other thin"s. +hen thin"s enter into su h relationships that they be ome parts of a whole& the whole annot be re"arded as nothin" more than the sum total of the parts. True& the whole is nothin" apart from and independent of its parts. ?ut the mutual relations whi h the parts enter into in onstitutin" the whole modify their own properties& so that while it may be said that the whole is determined by the parts it may e7ually be said that the parts are determined by the whole. @n e a"ain& the de)elopment of s ien e itself shows the inad! missibility of the old me hanisti assumptions. These assumptions ha)e for e only in the )ery limited sphere of the study of the me hani al inter! a tions of dis rete parti les. In physi s they were already shattered with

the de)elopment of the study of the ele troma"neti field. ,till less are they admissible in biolo"y& in the study of li)in" matter& and still less in the study of men and so iety.

The !orrection of $echanistic $aterialism
+hen we brin" into the open and reEe t these assumptions of me hanisti materialism& then we be"in to see the need for a materialist do trine of a different& of a new type=a materialism whi h o)er omes the weaknesses and narrow& do"mati assumptions of me hanism. This is diale ti al materialism. %iale ti al materialism understands the world& not as a omple0 of ready!made thin"s& but as a omple0 of pro esses& in whi h all thin"s "o throu"h an uninterrupted han"e of omin" into bein" and passin" away. %iale ti al materialism onsiders that matter is always in motion& that motion is the mode of e0isten e of matter& so that there an no more be matter without motion than motion without matter. (otion does not ha)e to be impressed upon matter by some outside for e& but abo)e all it is ne essary to look for the inner impulses of de)elopment& the self!mo! tion& inherent in all pro esses. %iale ti al materialism understands the motion of matter as om! prehendin" all han"es and pro esses in the uni)erse& from mere han"e of pla e ri"ht to thinkin". It re o"ni1es& therefore& the infinite di)ersity of the forms of motion of matter& the transformation of one form into another& the de)elopment of the forms of motion of matter from the simple to the omple0& from the lower to the hi"her. %iale ti al materialism onsiders that& in the manifold pro esses takin" pla e in the uni)erse& thin"s ome into bein"& han"e and pass out of bein"& not as separate indi)idual units& but in essential relation and inter onne tion& so that they annot be understood ea h separately and by itself but only in their relation and inter onne tion. In diale ti al materialism& therefore& there is established a materi! alist on eption far ri her in ontent and more omprehensi)e than the former me hanisti materialism.



The Dialectical Conce!tion of De'elo!ment
,hereas the older philosophies considered that the universe always remained much the same, a perpetual cycle of the same processes, science has demonstrated the fact of evolution. But while recogni2ing the fact of evolutionary development, bourgeois thinkers have tried to understand and explain it in fantastic, idealist terms. 'nd they have conceived of development as being always a smooth, continuous process, not recogni2ing the occurrence of abrupt breaks in continuity, the leap from one stage to another. *ollowing up the ideas of #egel by taking up the revolutionary side of his philosophy while freeing it of its idealist trammels, $arx and Engels established the dialectical materialist conception of development. The key to understanding development in nature and society and the leaps and breaks in continuity which characteri2e all real development.lies in the recognition of the inner contradictions and opposite conflicting tendencies which are in operation in all processes. This discovery by $arx and Engels was a revolution in philosophy and made of it a revolutionary weapon of the working people, a method for understanding the world so as to change it.

The &dea of Evolution
+e ha)e seen that the orre tions of the me hanisti standpoint made by diale ti al materialism are fully Eustified by and ha)e a basis in the ad)an e of s ien e. Indeed& the ad)an e of s ien e itself has shattered the whole on eption of the uni)erse held by the older& me h! anisti materialists. - ordin" to that on eption& the uni)erse always remained mu h the same. It was a hu"e ma hine whi h always did the same thin"s& kept "rindin" out the same produ ts& went on and on in a perpetual y le of the same pro esses. Thus it used to be thou"ht that the stars and the solar system always remained the same=and that the earth& with its ontinents and o eans and the plants and animals inhabitin" them& likewise always remained the same. ?ut this on eption has "i)en way to the on eption of e)olu! tion& whi h has in)aded all spheres of in)esti"ation without e0 eption. Aor was it s ientifi in)esti"ation alone whi h produ ed the idea of e)ol!

ution. , ien e does not ad)an e in isolation from so iety as a whole. The idea of e)olution was "enerated out of the rise of industrial apitalism itself. 'The bour"eoisie annot e0ist without onstantly re)olutioni1in" the instruments of produ tion& and thereby the relations of produ tion& and with them the whole relations of so iety. 2onser)ation of the old modes of produ tion in unaltered form was& on the ontrary& the first on! dition of e0isten e of all earlier industrial lasses. 2onstant re)olutioni1! in" of produ tion& uninterrupted disturban e of all so ial onditions& e)erlastin" un ertainty and a"itation& distin"uish the bour"eois epo h from all earlier ones./1 The industrial apitalists saw themsel)es as the bearers of pro! "ress. -nd as they thou"ht pro"ress was the law of apitalism& so they saw it as the law of the whole uni)erse. ,o there was made possible a "reat ad)an e in the s ientifi pi ! ture of the uni)erse. +e find de)elopin" a pi ture of the uni)erse& not as stati & as always the same& but as in ontinual pro"ressi)e de)elopment. The stars did not always e0ist=they were formed out of masses of dispersed "as. @n e formed& the whole stellar system& with all the stars in it& "oes throu"h an e)olutionary pro ess& sta"e by sta"e. ,ome stars& like our sun& a 7uire planets=a solar system. Thus the earth was born. -s its surfa e ooled& so hemi al ompounds were formed& impossible in the hi"h temperatures of the stars. Thus matter be"an to manifest new properties& non!e0istent before=the properties of hemi al ombination. Then or"ani ompounds were formed out of the omple0 link! in" of arbon atoms. -nd from or"ani matter the first bodies arose whi h be"an to manifest the properties of life& of li)in" matter. ,till new properties of matter emer"ed=the properties of li)in" matter. >i)in" or"anisms went throu"h a lon" e)olution& leadin" e)entu! ally to man. +ith man& human so iety was born. -nd still new pro esses& with new laws& arose=the laws of so iety& and the laws of thou"ht. +hat omes ne0tD 2apitalist s ien e an "o no further. Cere it ends& sin e apitalist s ien e annot ontemplate the endin" of apitalism. ?ut so ialist s i! en e shows that man himself is about to embark on a new phase of e)ol! ution= ommunist so iety& in whi h the whole so ial pro ess will be brou"ht under his own ons ious& planned dire tion. -ll this is the e)olutionary history of the material uni)erse.
1 (ar0 and 3n"els& The !ommunist $anifesto, 2hapter I.

-part from the last point& it may be said this is all ommon knowled"e. ?our"eois thinkers know this as well as (ar0ists& thou"h they often for"et it. ?ut (ar0ism does not only stress the fa t that e)erythin" in the world "oes throu"h a pro ess of de)elopment. +hat (ar0ism found out was how to understand and e0plain this de)elopment in a materialist way. The dis o)ery of (ar0ism was the dis o)ery of the laws of materialist diale ti s. -nd that is why (ar0ism alone is able to "i)e a fully s ientifi a ount of de)elopment and to point out the future path. This is the meanin" of (ar0:s "reat dis o)ery=how to under! stand han"e and de)elopment in a materialist way& and therefore how to be ome masters of the future.

&dealist !onceptions of !hange and "evelopments
Cow did bour"eois thinkers try to a ount for the uni)ersal han"e and de)elopment whi h they dis o)eredD >et us onsider what some of them ha)e had to say o)er a period of more than a entury. Ce"el said that the whole pro ess of de)elopment takin" pla e in history was due to the -bsolute Idea reali1in" itself in history. Cerbert ,pen er said that all de)elopment was a pro ess of in reasin" 'inte"ra! tion of matter&/ and he put this down to what he alled an 'In ompre! hensible and @mnipresent Power./ Cenri ?er"son said that e)erythin" was in pro ess of e)olution due to the a ti)ity of 'the >ife .or e./ .airly re ently& a s hool of ?ritish philosophers has oined the phrase 'emer! "ent e)olution./ They pointed out that in the ourse of de)elopment new 7ualities of matter are ontinually emer"in"& one after the other. ?ut as to why this should happen& one of the leaders of this s hool& Professor ,amuel -le0ander& said that it was ine0pli able and must be a epted 'with natural piety&/ while another of its leaders& Professor 2. >loyd (or"an& said that it must be due to some immanent for e at work in the world& whi h he identified with *od. Thus in e)ery ase some fantasy& somethin" ine0pli able and unpredi table& was onEured up to e0plain de)elopment. -nd so& when they thou"ht about the future& all these bour"eois philosophers of e)olu! tion either thou"ht& like Ce"el& that de)elopment had now finished 4Ce"el tau"ht that the -bsolute Idea was fully reali1ed in the Prussian ,tate of whi h he was a distin"uished employee6& or else re"arded the future as unfathomable. Aowadays they be"in to "i)e up hope alto"ether and re"ard e)erythin"=past& present and future=as in omprehensible& the result of for es no one an e)ery understand or ontrol.

It is the same story in the s ien es. The osmo"onists& who study e)olution of the stars& appeal to a mysterious reation to start the pro ess off. The biolo"ists who study the e)olution of or"ani life appeal to a series of unpredi table a idents 4the random mutations of "enes6 as the basis for the whole pro ess. ,u h ideas are& howe)er& uns ientifi . +hyD ?e ause they assert that the pro esses they are supposed to be in)esti"atin" take pla e without any ause. True& the assertion is often made under a loak of 's ientifi / obEe ti)ity and humility9 it is not positi)ely stated that no ause e0ists& but only that we ha)e at present no lue as to what the ause& if any& may be. ?ut su h reser)ations do not materially alter the nature of the theories in 7uestion. .or the fa t remains that to say that matter was reated& to say that 'mutations/ o ur spontaneously& is to say that somethin" happens for no reason& without any dis o)erable ause. ,u h statements do not deser)e to be alled e)en pro)isional s ientifi hypotheses but are simply idealist in)entions& fantasies. , ien e may not yet know why somethin" happens& but to say that it happens for no reason is to abandon s ien e. - se ond defe t in the e)olutionary ideas of most bour"eois thinkers is that they re"ard the pro ess of e)olution as a smooth& ontinu! ous and unbroken pro ess. They see the pro ess of transition from one e)olutionary sta"e to another as takin" pla e throu"h a series of "rada! tions& without onfli t and without any break in ontinuity. ?ut ontinuity is not the law of de)elopment. @n the ontrary& periods of smooth& ontinuous e)olutionary de)elopment are interrupted by sudden and abrupt han"es. The emer"en e of the new sta"e in de)el! opment takes pla e& when the onditions for it ha)e matured& by a break in ontinuity& by the leap from one state to another. Ce"el was the first to point this out. +ith e)ery period of transition& he obser)ed9 'It is as in the ase of the birth of a hildF after a lon" period of nutrition in silen e& the ontinuity of the "radual "rowth in si1e& of 7uant! itati)e han"e& is suddenly ut short by the first breath drawn=there is a break in the pro ess& a 7ualitati)e han"e=and the hild is born./ 2 ?ut (ar0 alone followed up this profound obser)ation of Ce"el. -s for the ensuin" bour"eois thinkers& althou"h the in)esti"ations of s i! en e& and ommon e0perien e itself& learly demonstrate that de)elop! ment annot take pla e without dis ontinuity& without abrupt transitions and the leap from one state to another& they ha)e ne)ertheless in their "eneral theories tried to make unbroken ontinuity the law of e)olution.
2 *. +. .. Ce"el& henomenology of $ind& Prefa e.

This preEudi e in fa)or of a smooth line of e)olution has "one hand in hand with the liberal belief that apitalist so iety will e)ol)e smoothly=throu"h orderly bour"eois pro"ress broadenin" down 'from pre edent to pre edent&/ as Tennyson on e e0pressed it. To ha)e thou"ht differently about e)olution in "eneral would ha)e implied that we would ha)e to think differently about so ial e)olution in parti ular.

The "ialectical $aterialist !onception of "evelopments
The problem of understandin" and e0plainin" de)elopment in a materialist way=that is& 'in harmony with the fa ts on ei)ed in their own and not in a fantasti onne tion/!!is answered by diale ti al mater! ialism. %iale ti al materialism onsiders the uni)erse& not as stati & not as un han"in"& but as in ontinual pro ess of de)elopment. It onsiders this de)elopment& not as a smooth& ontinuous and unbroken pro ess& but as a pro ess in whi h phases of "radual e)olutionary han"e are interrup! ted by breaks in ontinuity& by the sudden leap from one state to another. -nd it seeks for the e0planation& the dri)in" for e& of this uni)ersal mo)ement& not in in)entions of idealist fantasy& but within material pro! esses themsel)es=in the inner ontradi tions& the opposite onfli tin" tenden ies& whi h are in operation in e)ery pro ess of nature and so iety. The main ideas of materialist diale ti s& whi h are applied in dealin" with the laws of de)elopment of the real material world& in lud! in" so iety& will be the subEe t of the followin" hapters. ?ut this is how >enin summed them up9 The essential idea of materialist diale ti s is9 'The re o"nition of the ontradi tory& mutually e0 lusi)e& oppos! ite tenden ies in all phenomena and pro esses of nature...This alone fur! nishes the key to the self!mo)ement of e)erythin" in e0isten e. It alone furnishes the key to the leaps& to the break in ontinuity& to the transform! ation into the opposite& to the destru tion of the old and emer"en e of the new... 'In its proper meanin"& diale ti s is the study of the ontradi tion within the )ery essen e of thin"s. '%e)elopment is the stru""le of opposites./$

$ I. I. >enin& hilosophical 9otebooks, Gussian 3dition.


*rom #egel to $arx
+here ontradi tion is at work& there is the for e of de)elop! ment. This profound on eption was first put forward by Ce"el. ?ut he worked it out in an idealist way. - ordin" to Ce"el& the whole pro ess in the material world& in spa e and time& is nothin" but the reali1ation of the -bsolute Idea& outside spa e and time. The Idea de)elops throu"h a series of ontradi tions& and it is this ideal de)elopment whi h manifests itself in the material world. If thin"s in spa e and time are for ed to "o throu"h a series of transformations and to arise and pass away one after the other& that is be ause they are nothin" but the embodiment of a self! ontradi tory phase of the -bsolute Idea. .or Ce"el& the de)elopment of real thin"s was due to the self! ontradi toriness of their on epts9 where the on ept was self! ontradi tory& the thin" whi h reali1ed that on ept ould not be stable but must e)entually ne"ate itself and turn into some! thin" else. Thus instead of the on epts of thin"s bein" re"arded as the refle tions of those thin"s in our minds& the thin"s were themsel)es re"arded as nothin" but the reali1ation of their on epts. This is how 3n"els summed up the materialist riti ism of Ce"el. 'Ce"el was not simply put aside. @n the ontrary& one started out from his re)olutionary side...from the diale ti al method. ?ut in its Ce"elian form this method was unstable. '- ordin" to Ce"el& diale ti s is the self!de)elopment of the on ept. The absolute on ept does not only e0ist=where unknown= from eternity& it is also the a tual li)in" soul of the whole e0istin" world... '- ordin" to Ce"el& therefore& the diale ti al de)elopment apparent in nature and history& i.e. the ausal inter onne tion of the pro! "ressi)e mo)ement from the lower to the hi"her& whi h asserts itself throu"h all 1i"!1a" mo)ements and temporary set!ba ks& is only a miser! able opy of the self!mo)ement of the on ept "oin" on from eternity& no one knows where& but at all e)ents independently of any thinkin" human brain. 'This ideolo"i al re)ersal had to be done away with. +e ompre! hended the on epts in our heads on e more materialisti ally=as ima"es of real thin"s instead of re"ardin" the real thin"s as ima"es of this or that sta"e of de)elopment of the absolute on ept. 'Thus diale ti s redu ed itself to the s ien e of the "eneral laws of motion=both of the e0ternal world and of human thou"ht=two sets of laws whi h are identi al in substan e& but differ in their e0pression in so far as the human mind an apply them ons iously& while in nature

and also up to now for the most part in human history& these laws assert themsel)es un ons iously in the form of e0ternal ne essity in the midst of an endless series of seemin" a idents. 'Thereby the diale ti of the on ept itself be ame merely the ons ious refle tion of the diale ti al motion of the real world and the diale ti of Ce"el was pla ed upon its headF or rather& turned off its head& on whi h it was standin" before& and pla ed on its feet a"ain... 'In this way& howe)er& the re)olutionary side of Ce"elian philo! sophy was a"ain taken up and at the same time freed from the idealist trammels whi h Ce"el:s hands had pre)ented its onsistent e0e ution./ 5 This materialist understandin" of diale ti s is the key to under! standin" the for es of de)elopment within the material world itself& without re ourse to outside auses. This dis o)ery arises from the whole ad)an e of s ien e and philosophy. ?ut abo)e all it arises from the in)esti"ation of the laws of so i! ety& an in)esti"ation made imperati)e thanks to the )ery de)elopment of so iety=from the dis o)ery of the ontradi tions of apitalism& e0plain! in" the for es of so ial de)elopment& and thereby showin" the way for! ward from apitalism to so ialism. That is why bour"eois thinkers ould not answer the problem of e0plainin" the real material for es of de)elopment in nature and so iety. To answer this problem was to ondemn the apitalist system. -nd here they had a blind spot. @nly the re)olutionary philosophy of the )an"uard of the re)olutionary lass& the workin" lass& ould do it. (ar0:s dis o)ery of the laws of materialist diale ti s showed us how to understand the diale ti al de)elopment of nature. ?ut abo)e all it showed us how to understand so ial han"e and how to wa"e the work! in"! lass stru""le for so ialism. This dis o)ery re)olutioni1ed philosophy. It si"nali1ed the triumph of materialism o)er idealism& by doin" away with the limitations of the merely me hanisti materialism of the past. It likewise spelled the end of all 'systems/ of philosophy. It made philosophy into a re)olutionary weapon of the workin" people& an instrument& a method for understandin" the world so as to han"e it. ,ummin" up the essential ideas of materialist diale ti s ,talin wrote9 '>ife always ontains the new and the old& the "rowin" and the dyin"& the re)olutionary and the ounter!re)olutionary.
5 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach, 2hapter II.

That in life whi h is born and "rows day after day is in)in ible& its pro"ress annot be he ked. That is to say& if& for e0ample& the prolet! ariat as a lass is born and "rows day after day& no matter how weak it may be today& in the lon" run it must on7uer. +hyD ?e ause it is "row! in"& "ainin" stren"th and mar hin" forward. @n the other hand& that in life whi h "rows old and is ad)an in" to its "ra)e& must ine)itably sus! tain defeat& e)en if today it represents a titani for e. That is to say& if& for e0ample& the "round is "radually slippin" further and further ba k from under the feet of the bour"eoisie& and the latter is slippin" further and further ba k e)ery day& no matter how stron" it may be today& it must& in the lon" run& sustain defeat./# Thus the materialist diale ti s of (ar0 shows us the way forward and "i)es us unshakable onfiden e in our ause.

# 8oseph ,talin& 'narchism or 0ocialism< 2hapter I& (os ow& 19#0.


Part Two: Dialectics
(. Dialectics and Meta!hysics
"ialectics, as a method of investigation, a method of thinking, is opposed to metaphysics. The metaphysical way of thinking deals with abstractions. &t considers things each by itself, in abstraction from their real conditions of existence and interconnections- and it considers things as fixed and fro2en, in abstraction from their real change and development. !onse+uently it invents rigid formulas and is always posing hard and fast antitheses--=either-or.> &t fails to comprehend the unity and struggle of opposite processes and tendencies manifested in all phenomena of nature and society. &n contrast to metaphysics, the aim of dialectics is to trace the real changes and interconnection in the world and to think of things always in their real motion and interconnection.

%iale ti al materialism& the world outlook of the (ar0ist!>enin! ist Party& is materialist in its theory& its interpretation and e0planation of e)erythin"& diale ti al in its method. +e ha)e seen how materialist e0planation is opposed to idealist e0planation. -nd then we saw how materialists formerly interpreted thin"s in a me hanist way& but how me hanisti materialism pro)ed inad! e7uate to e0plain real pro esses of han"e and de)elopment. .or this we need materialist diale ti s. +e need to study and understand thin"s dia! le ti ally. The diale ti al method is& indeed& nothin" but the method of studyin" and understandin" thin"s in their real han"e and de)elopment. -s su h& it stands opposed to metaphysics. +hat is metaphysi sD @r more e0a tly& what is the metaphysi al way of thinkin"& whi h is opposed by the diale ti al way of thinkin"D (etaphysi s is essentially an abstra t way of thinkin". In a sense all thinkin" is 'abstra t&/ sin e it works with "eneral on epts and annot but disre"ard a "reat deal of parti ular and unessential detail. .or e0ample& if we say that 'men ha)e two le"s&/ we are thinkin" of the two! le""edness of men in abstra tion from their other properties& su h as ha)! in" a head& two arms and so onF and similarly we are thinkin" of all men in "eneral& disre"ardin" the indi)iduality of parti ular men& of Peter& Paul and so on. ?ut there is abstra tion and abstra tion. (etaphysi s is distin! "uished by the fa t that it makes false& misleadin" abstra tions. -s

3n"els on e pointed out& 'the art of workin" with on epts is not inborn...but re7uires real thou"ht/F1 the art of ri"ht thinkin" in)ol)es learnin" how to a)oid metaphysi al abstra tion. ,uppose& for e0ample& we are thinkin" about men& about 'human nature./ Then we should think about human nature in su h a way that we re o"ni1e that men li)e in so iety and that their human nature annot be independent of their li)in" in so iety but de)elops and han"es with the de)elopment of so iety. +e shall then form ideas about human nature whi h orrespond to the a tual onditions of men:s e0isten e and to their han"e and de)elopment. ?ut yet people often thinkin" about 'human nature/ in a )ery different way& as thou"h there were su h a thin" as 'human nature/ whi h manifested itself 7uite independent of the a tual onditions of human e0isten e and whi h was always and e)erywhere e0a tly the same. To think in su h a way is ob)iously to make a false& misleadin" abstra tion. -nd it is Eust su h a abstra t way of thinkin" that we all 'metaphysi s./ The on ept of fi0ed& un han"in" 'human nature/ is an e0ample of metaphysi al abstra tion& of the metaphysi al way of thinkin". The metaphysi ian does not think in terms of real men& but of '(an/ in the abstra t. (etaphysi s& or the metaphysi al way of thinkin"& is& then& that way of thinkin" whi h thinks of thin"s 416 in abstra tion from their on! ditions of e0isten e and 426 in abstra tion from their han"e and de)elop! ment. It thinks of thin"s 416 in separation one from another& i"norin" their inter onne tions& and 426 as fi0ed and fro1en& i"norin" their han"e and de)elopment. @ne e0ample of metaphysi s has already been "i)en. It is not dif! fi ult to find plenty more. Indeed& the metaphysi al way of thinkin" is so widespread& and has be ome so mu h part and par el of urrent bour! "eois ideolo"y& that there is hardly an arti le in a Eournal& a talk on the radio& or a book by a learned professor& in whi h e0amples of metaphys! i al falla y are not to be found. - "ood deal is said and written& for e0ample& about demo ra y. ?ut the speakers and writers usually refer to some pure or absolute demo ra y& whi h they seek to define in abstra tion from the a tual de)elopment of so iety& of lasses and of lass stru""le. ?ut there an be no su h pure demo ra yF it is a metaphysi al abstra tion. If we want to understand demo ra y we ha)e always to ask9 demo ra y for whom& for the e0ploiters or the e0ploitedD +e ha)e to understand that sin e demo! ra y is a form of "o)ernment& there is no demo ra y whi h is not asso! iated with the rule of some parti ular lass& and that the demo ra y
1 3n"els& 'nti-"euhring& Prefa e.

whi h is established when the workin" lass is the rulin" lass is a hi"her form of demo ra y than apitalist demo ra y& Eust as apitalist demo! ra y is a hi"her form of demo ra y than& say& the sla)e!owners: demo! ra y of an ient *ree e. In other words& we should not try to think of demo ra y in abstra tion from real so ial relations and from the real han"e and de)elopment of so iety. -"ain& pa ifists try to base their opposition to war on the idea that 'all wars are wron"./ They think of war in the abstra t& without refle tin" that the hara ter of ea h parti ular war is determined a ord! in" to the histori al epo h& the aims of the war and the lasses in whose interests it is fou"ht. 2onse7uently they fail to distin"uish between imperialist wars and wars of liberation& between unEust war and Eust war. In most ?ritish s hools today the hildren are re"ularly subEe ted to 'intelli"en e tests./ It is alle"ed that ea h hild possesses a ertain fi0ed 7uantity of 'intelli"en e&/ whi h an be estimated without re"ard to the a tual onditions of the hild:s e0isten e and whi h determines his apabilities throu"hout the whole of his life re"ardless of whate)er on! ditions for han"e and de)elopment may subse7uently ome in his way. This is another e0ample of metaphysi s. In this ase the metaphysi al on eption of 'intelli"en e/ is used as an e0 use for denyin" edu ational opportunities to the maEority of hildren on the "rounds that their intelli! "en e is too low for them to benefit from su h opportunities. -nd it thinks in terms of 'thin"s/ rather than 'pro esses./ It tries to sum up e)erythin" in a formula& whi h says that the whole world& or any part of the world whi h is under onsideration& onsists of Eust su h and su h thin"s with su h and su h properties. ,u h a formula we may all a 'metaphysi al/ formula. Thus 3n"els refers to 'the old method of in)esti"ation and thou"ht whi h Ce"el alls :metaphysi al&: whi h preferred to in)esti"ate things as "i)en& as fi0ed and stable./2 In philosophy& metaphysi s often means the sear h for the 'ulti! mate onstituents of the uni)erse./ Thus the materialists who said that the ultimate onstituents were small& solid& material parti les were Eust as mu h metaphysi ians as the idealists who said that the ultimate onstitu! ents were spirits. -ll su h philosophers thou"ht they ould sum up 'the ultimate nature of the uni)erse/ in some formula. ,ome ha)e held this formula& but all ha)e been metaphysi ians. Bet is has been a hopeless 7uest. +e annot sum up the whole infinite han"in" uni)erse in any su h formula. -nd the more we find out about it& the more is this e)ident.

2 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach& 2hapter II.

It should now be lear that the me hanisti materialism whi h we dis ussed in the pre edin" hapters an e7ually well be alled metaphysical materialism. +e may also note& in passin"& that ertain philosophers today& the so! alled positi)ists$& laim to be a"ainst 'metaphysi s/ be ause they laim to reEe t any philosophy whi h seeks for 'the ultimate onstituents of the uni)erse./ .or them& 'metaphysi s/ means any theory whi h deals with 'ultimates/ not )erifiable in sense!e0perien e. ?y usin" the term in this way& they on eal the fa t that they themsel)es are& if anythin"& more metaphysi al than any other philosophers. .or their own mode of think! in" rea hes e0tremes of metaphysi al abstra tion. +hat ould be more metaphysi al than to ima"ine& as the positi)ist philosophers do& that our sense!e0perien e e0ists in abstra tion from the real material world out! side usD Indeed& they themsel)es make 'sense!e0perien e/ into a meta! physi al 'ultimate./ In opposition to the abstra t& metaphysi al way of thinkin"& dia! le ti s tea hes us to think of thin"s in their real han"es and inter onne ! tions. To think diale ti ally is to think on retely& and to think on retely is to think diale ti ally. +hen we oppose the diale ti al method to meta! physi s& then we show up the inade7ua y& one!sidedness or falsity of the abstra tions of metaphysi s. This onsideration enables us to understand the ori"inal meanin" of the term 'diale ti s./ The word is deri)ed from the *reek dialego& meanin" to dis uss or debate. It was onsidered that to dis uss a 7uestion from all sides& and from all an"les& allowin" different one!sided points of )iew to oppose and ontradi t ea h other durin" the debate& was the best method of arri)in" at the truth. ,u h was the diale ti s employed& for e0ample& by ,o rates. +hen anyone laimed to ha)e a formula whi h answered some 7uestions on e and for all& ,o rates would enter into a dis ussion with him and& by for in" him to onsider the 7uestion from different an"les& would ompel him to ontradi t himself and so admit that his formula was false. ?y this method ,o rates onsidered that it was possible to arri)e at more ade7uate ideas about thin"s. The (ar0ist diale ti al method de)elops from and in ludes dia! le ti s in the sense in whi h it was understood by the *reeks. ?ut it is far ri her in ontent& far wider in s ope. -s a result& it be omes somethin" 7ualitati)ely new as ompared with pre!(ar0ist diale ti s=a new re)olutionary method. .or it is ombined with a onsistent materialism and eases to be a mere method of ar"ument& be omin" a method of
$ The positivists say we ha)e no ri"ht to assert that anythin" e0ists e0 ept our own sense!per eptions. They also say that to assert anythin" else is 'metaphysi s./

in)esti"ation appli able to both nature and so iety& a method of material! ist understandin" of the world whi h "rows out of and "uides the a ti)ity of han"in" the world.

The $etaphysical =Either-)r>
(etaphysi s presupposes that ea h thin" has its own fi0ed nature& its own fi0ed properties& and onsiders ea h thin" by itself& in isolation. It tries to settle the nature and properties of ea h thin" as a "i)en& separate obEe t of in)esti"ation& not onsiderin" thin"s in their inter onne tion and in their han"e and de)elopment. ?e ause of this& metaphysi s thinks of thin"s in terms of hard and fast antitheses. It opposes thin"s of one sort to thin"s of another sort9 if a thin" is of one sort& it has one set of propertiesF if of another sort& it has another set of propertiesF the one e0 ludes the other& and ea h is thou"ht of in separation from the other. Thus 3n"els writes9 'To the metaphysi ian& thin"s and their mental ima"es& ideas& are isolated& to be onsidered one after the other& apart from ea h other& ri"id fi0ed obEe ts of in)esti"ation "i)en on e and for all. Ce thinks in abso! lutely irre on ilable antitheses. :Cis ommuni ation is Bea& yea& Aay& nay& for whate)er is more than these ometh of e)il.: .or him a thin" either e0ists or it does not e0istF it is e7ually impossible for a thin" to be itself and at the same time somethin" else./5 Philosophers ha)e e0pressed the essen e of this metaphysi al way of thinkin" in the formula9 '3a h thin" is what it is& and not another thin"./ This may sound no more than plain ommon sense. ?ut that only shows that so! alled ommon sense itself on eals misleadin" ideas whi h need to be brou"ht into the open. This way of thinkin" pre)ents us from studyin" thin"s in their real han"es and inter onne tions=in all their ontradi tory aspe ts and relationships& in their pro ess of han"in" from 'one thin"/ into 'another thin"./ It is not only philosophers who are metaphysi ians. There are left!win" trade unionists& for e0ample& who are as metaphysi al as any s hool of philosophers. .or them e)eryone at their trade union lo al meetin" is either a lass! ons ious militant or else he is a ri"ht!win" opportunist. 3)eryone must fit into one or other ate"ory& and on e he is down as 'ri"ht win"/ he is finished so far as they are on! erned. That some worker who has been their opponent in the past and on some issues may yet pro)e an ally in the future and on other issues is not allowed for their metaphysi al outlook on life.
5 3n"els& 'nti-"euhring& Introdu tion.

In one of (oliere:s plays there is a man who learns for the first time about prose. +hen they e0plain to him what prose is& he e0 laims9 '+hy& I:)e been speakin" prose all my life;/ ,imilarly& there are many workers who may well say9 '+hy& I:)e been a metaphysi ian all my life;/ The metaphysi ian has his formula ready for e)erythin". Ce says =3ither this formula fits or it does not. If it does& that settles it. If it does not& then he has some alternati)e formula ready. '3ither!or& but not both/ is his motto. - thin" is either this or thatF it has either this set of proper! ties or that set of propertiesF two thin"s stand to one another either in this relationship or in that. The use of the metaphysi al 'either!or/ leads people into ount! less diffi ulties. .or e0ample& diffi ulties are felt in understandin" the relations between -meri an and ?ritish imperialism today. .or it is ar"ued9 3ither they are workin" to"ether& or else they are not. If they are workin" to"ether& then there is no rift between themF if there is a rift between them& then they are not workin" to"ether. ?ut on the ontrary& they are workin" to"ether and yet there are rifts between themF and we annot understand the way they work to"ether nor fi"ht them effe ti)ely unless we understand the rifts whi h di)ide them. -"ain& diffi ulties are felt in understandin" the possibility of the pea eful o!e0isten e of apitalist and so ialist states. .or it is ar"ued9 3ither they an o!e0ist pea efully& in whi h ase anta"onism between apitalism and so ialism must easeF or else the anta"onism remains& in whi h ase they annot oe0ist pea efully. ?ut on the ontrary& the anta"! onism remains& and yet the stri)in" of the so ialist states and of millions of people in all ountries for pea e an pre)ent war between apitalist and so ialist states. It is often diffi ult to a)oid a metaphysi al way of thinkin". -nd this is be ause& misleadin" as it is& it yet has its roots in somethin" )ery ne essary and useful. It is ne essary for us to lassify thin"s=to ha)e some system of lassifyin" them and assi"nin" their properties and relations. That is a prere7uisite of lear thinkin". +e ha)e to work out what different kinds of thin"s there are in the world& to say that these ha)e these properties as distin t from those whi h ha)e those other properties& and to say what are their relations. ?ut when we "o on to onsider these thin"s and properties and relations in isolation& as fi0ed onstants& as mutually e0 lusi)e terms& then we be"in to "o wron". .or e)erythin" in the world has many differ! ent and indeed ontradi tory aspe ts& e0ists in intimate relationship with

other thin"s and not in isolation& and is subEe t to han"e. -nd so it fre! 7uently happens that when we lassify somethin" as '-/ and not '?&/ or by its bein" '-/ in some relationships and '?/ in others& or by its ha)in" a ontradi tory nature& part '-/ and part '?./ .or e0ample& we all know the differen e between birds and mammals& and that while birds lay e""s mammals& in "eneral& produ e their youn" ali)e and su kle them. Aaturalists used to belie)e that mam! mals were ri"idly distin"uished from birds be ause& amon" other thin"s& mammals do not lay e""s. ?ut this formula was ompletely upset when an animal alled the platypus was dis o)ered& for while the platypus is undoubtedly a mammal& it is a mammal whi h lays e""s. +hat is the e0planation of this irre"ular beha)ior of the platypusD It is to be found in the e)olutionary relationship of birds and mammals& whi h are both des! ended from ori"inal e""!layin" animals. The birds ha)e ontinued to lay e""s while the mammals stopped doin" so=e0 ept for a few onser)at! i)e animals like the platypus. If we think of animals in their own e)olu! tion& their de)elopment& this appears )ery natural. ?ut if we try& as the older naturalists tried& to make them fit into some ri"id& fi0ed s heme of lassifi ation& then the produ ts of e)olution upset that lassifi ation. -"ain& an idea or a theory whi h was pro"ressi)e in one set of ir umstan es& when it first arose& annot for that reason be labeled 'pro! "ressi)e/ in an absolute sense& sin e it may later be ome rea tionary in new ir umstan es. .or instan e& me hanisti materialism when it first arose was a pro"ressi)e theory. ?ut we annot say that it is still pro"ress! i)e today. @n the ontrary& under the new ir umstan es whi h ha)e arisen me hanisti theory has be ome retro"rade& rea tionary. (e han! ism& whi h was pro"ressi)e in the risin" phase of apitalism& "oes hand in hand with idealism as part of the ideolo"y of apitalism in de ay. 2ommon sense& too re o"ni1es the limitation of the metaphysi al way of thinkin". .or e0ample9 +hen is a man baldD 2ommon sense re o"ni1es that thou"h we an distin"uish bald men from non!bald men& ne)erthe! less baldness de)elops throu"h a pro ess of losin" one:s hair& and there! fore men in the midst of the pro ess enter into a phase in whi h we an! not say absolutely either that they are bald or that they are not9 they are in pro ess of be omin" bald. The metaphysi al 'either!or/ breaks down. In all these e0amples we are onfronted with the distin tion between an objective process& in whi h somethin" under"oes han"e& and the concepts in terms of whi h we try to sum up the hara teristi s of the thin"s in)ol)ed in the pro ess. ,u h on epts ne)er do and ne)er an always and in all respe ts orrespond to their obEe ts& pre isely be ause the obEe ts are under"oin" han"e. Thus 3n"els writes9

'-re the on epts that pre)ail in natural s ien e fi tions be ause they by no means always oin ide with realityD .rom the moment we a ept the theory of e)olution all our on epts of or"ani life orrespond only appro0imately to reality. @therwise there would be no han"eF on the day that on ept and reality absolutely oin ide in the or"ani world& de)elopment is at an end./# -nd he pointed out that similar onsiderations apply to all on! epts without e0 eption.

The 8nity and 0truggle of )pposites
+hen we think of the properties of thin"s& their relationships& their modes of a tion and intera tion& the pro esses into whi h they enter& then we find that& "enerally speakin"& all these properties& relationships& intera tions and pro esses di)ide into fundamental opposites. .or e0ample& if we think of the simplest ways in whi h two bod! ies an a t on one another& then we find that this a tion is either repulsion or attra tion. If we onsider the ele tri al properties of bodies& then there is positi)e and ne"ati)e ele tri ity. In or"ani life& there is the buildin" up of or"ani ompounds and the breakin" down of them. -"ain& in mathemati s& there is addition and subtra tion& plus and minus. -nd in "eneral& whate)er sphere of in7uiry we may be onsider! in"& we find that it in)ol)es su h fundamental opposites. +e find oursel)es onsiderin"& not Eust a number of different thin"s& different properties& different relations& different pro esses& but pairs of opposites& fundamental oppositions. -s Ce"el put it9 'In opposition& the different is not onfronted by any other& but by its other./6 Thus is we think of the for es a tin" between two bodies& there are not Eust a number of different for es& but they di)ide into attra ti)e and repulsi)e for esF if we think of ele tri har"es& there are not Eust a number of different har"es& but they di)ide into positi)e and ne"ati)eF and so on. -ttra tion stands opposed to repulsion& positi)e ele tri ity to ne"ati)e ele tri ity. ,u h fundamental oppositions are not understood by the meta! physi al way of thinkin".

# Harl (ar0 and .rederi k 3n"els& 0elected !orrespondence& 3n"els to , hmidt& (ar h 12& 289#& A. B.& 1952. 6 Ce"el& Encyclopedia of hilosophical 0ciences: >o"i & ,e tion 119.

In the first pla e& the metaphysi al way of thinkin" tries to i"nore and dis ount opposition. It seeks to understand a "i)en subEe t!matter simply in terms of a whole number of different properties and different relations of thin"s& i"norin" the fundamental oppositions whi h are mani! fested in these properties and relations. Thus those who think in meta! physi al terms about lass!di)ided so ieties& for e0ample& try to under! stand so iety as onsistin" merely of a lar"e number of different indi! )iduals onne ted to"ether by all kind of different so ial relations=but they i"nore the fundamental opposition of e0ploiters and e0ploited& manifested in all those so ial relations. In the se ond pla e& when the metaphysi al way of thinkin" does ne)ertheless ome upon the fundamental oppositions and annot i"nore them& then=true to its habit of thinkin" of ea h thin" in isolation& as a fi0ed onstant=it onsiders these opposites ea h in isolation from the other& understands them separately and as ea h e0 ludin" the other. Thus& for e0ample& the older physi ists used to think of positi)e and ne"ati)e ele tri ity Eust simply as two different 'ele tri al fluids./ ?ut ontrary to metaphysi s& not only are fundamental opposites in)ol)ed in e)ery subEe t!matter& but these opposites mutually imply ea h other& are inseparably onne ted to"ether& and& far from bein" e0 lusi)e& neither an e0ist or be understood e0 ept in relation to the other. This hara teristi of opposition is known as polarity9 .unda! mental opposites are polar opposites. - ma"net& for e0ample& has two poles& a north pole and a south pole. ?ut these poles& opposite and dis! tin t& annot e0ist in separation. If the ma"net is ut in two& there is not a north pole in one half and a south pole in the other& but north and south poles re ur in ea h half. The north pole e0ists only as the opposite of the south& and )i e )ersaF the one an be defined only as the opposite of the other. In "eneral& fundamental opposition has to be understood as polar opposition& and e)ery subEe t!matter has to be understood in terms of the polar opposition in)ol)ed in it. Thus in physi s we find that attra tion and repulsion are in)ol)ed in e)ery physi al pro ess in su h a way that they annot be separated or isolated the one from the other. In onsiderin" li)in" bodies& we do not find in some ases their breakin" down& but e)ery life pro ess in)ol)es both the buildin" up and the breakin" down of or"ani ompounds. In apitalist so iety the in reasin" so iali1ation of labor is inseparable from its opposite& the in reasin" entrali1ation of apital.

This unity of opposites=the fa t that opposites annot be under! stood in separation one from another& but only in their inseparable on! ne tion in e)ery field of in)esti"ation=is strikin"ly e0emplified in math! emati s. Cere the fundamental operations are the two opposites& addition and subtra tion. -nd so far is it from bein" the ase that addition and subtra tion an be understood ea h apart from the other& that addition an be represented as subtra tion and )i e )ersaF thus the operation of sub! tra tion 4a M b6 an be represented as an addition 4M b N a6. ,imilarly a di)ision aOb an be represented as a multipli ation a 0 41Ob6. 7 The unity of opposites& their inseparable onne tion& is by no means to be understood as a harmonious and stable relationship& as a state of e7uilibrium. @n the ontrary& 'The unity of opposites is ondi! tional& temporary& transitory& relati)e. The stru""le of mutually e0 lusi)e opposites is absolute& Eust as de)elopment and motion are absolute./ 8 The e0isten e of fundamental polar opposites& manifestin" them! sel)es in e)ery department of nature and so iety& e0presses itself in the conflict and struggle of opposed tenden ies& whi h& despite phases of temporary e7uilibrium& lead to ontinual motion and de)elopment& to a perpetual omin" into bein" and passin" away of e)erythin" in e0isten e& to sharp han"es of state and transformations. Thus& for e0ample& the e7uilibrium of attra ti)e and repulsi)e for es in the physi al world is ne)er more than onditional and tempor! aryF the onfli t and stru""le of attra tion and repulsion always asserts itself& issuin" in physi al han"es and transformations& whether trans! formations on an atomi s ale& hemi al han"es or& on a "rand s ale& in the e0plosion of stars.

"ialectics and $etaphysics
To sum up. (etaphysi s thinks in terms of 'ready!made/ thin"s& whose properties and potentialities it seeks to fi0 and determine on e and for all. It onsiders ea h thin" by itself& in isolation from e)ery other& in terms of irre on ilable antitheses!! 'either!or./ It ontrasts one thin" to another& one property to another& one relationship to another& not onsiderin" thin"s in their real mo)ement and inter onne tion& and not onsiderin" that e)ery subEe t!matter represents a unity of opposites=opposed but inseparably onne ted to"ether. 2ontrary to metaphysi s& diale ti s refuses to think of thin"s ea h by itself& as ha)in" a fi0ed nature and fi0ed properties!! 'either! or/!!but it re o"ni1es that thin"s ome into bein"& e0ist and ease to be&
7 3n"els& "ialectics of 9ature& 2hapter 7& 'Aote on (athemati s./ 8 >enin& 0elected ,orks& Iol. 11& '@n %iale ti s./

in a pro ess of unendin" han"e and de)elopment& in a pro ess of om! pli ated and e)er! han"in" inter!relationship& in whi h ea h thin" e0ists only in its onne tion with other thin"s and "oes throu"h a series of transformations& and in whi h is always manifested the unity& inseparable inter onne tion and stru""le of the opposite properties& aspe ts& tenden! ies hara teristi of e)ery phenomenon of nature and so iety. 2ontrary to metaphysi s& the aim of diale ti s is to tra e the real han"es and inter onne tions in the world and to think of thin"s always in their motion and inter onne tion. Thus 3n"els writes9 'The world is not to be omprehended as a omple0 of ready! made thin"s but as a omple0 of pro esses...@ne no lon"er permits one! self to be imposed upon by the antitheses insuperable for the old meta! physi s./9 'The old ri"id antitheses& the sharp impassable di)idin" lines are more and more disappearin"...The re o"nition that these anta"onisms and distin tions are in fa t to be found in nature but only with relati)e )alidity& and that on the other hand their ima"ined ri"idity and absolute! ness ha)e been introdu ed into nature only by our minds=this re o"ni! tion is the kernel of the diale ti al on eption of nature./ 10 '%iale ti s..."rasps thin"s and their ima"es& ideas& essentially in their inter! onne tion& in their se7uen e& their mo)ement& their birth and death./11 >enin wrote that the understandin" of the ' ontradi tory parts/ of e)ery phenomenon was 'the essen e of diale ti s./ It onsists in the 're o"nition 4dis o)ery6 of the ontradi tory& mutually e0 lusi)e& oppos! ite tenden ies in all phenomena and pro esses of nature& in ludin" mind and so iety./12 >astly& (ar0 wrote that9 'diale ti ...in its rational form is a s an! dal and abomination to bour"eoisdom and its do trinaire professors& be ause it in ludes in its omprehension and affirmati)e re o"nition of the e0istin" state of thin"s& at the same time also& the re o"nition of the ne"ation of that state& of its ine)itable breakin" upF be ause it re"ards e)ery histori ally de)eloped so ial form as in fluid mo)ement& and there! fore takes into a ount its transient nature not less than its momentary e0isten eF be ause it lets nothin" impose upon it& and is in its essen e riti al and re)olutionary./1$
9 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach, 2hapter II. 10 'nti-"uehring& Prefa e 11 &bid.& Introdu tion 12 >enin& 0elected ,orks& Iol. 11& '@n %iale ti s./ 1$ Harl (ar0& !apital& Iol. I& Prefa e to se ond edition& A. B.& 1957.



Chan*e and #nterconnections
The $arxist dialectical method demands that we must always consider things, not in isolation, but in their interconnection with other things, in relation to the actual conditions and circumstances of each case- and that we must consider things in their change and movement, their coming into being and going out of being, always taking particularly into account what is new, what is rising and developing. &t follows that the $arxist dialectical method forbids the employment of =ready-made schemes> and abstract formulas, but demands the thorough, detailed analysis of a process in all its concreteness, basing its conclusions only on such an analysis.

*our rincipal *eatures of the $arxist "ialectical $ethod
In his "ialectical and #istorical $aterialism ,talin said that there are four prin ipal features of the (ar0ist diale ti al method. 416 2ontrary to metaphysi s& diale ti s does not re"ard nature as Eust an a""lomeration of thin"s& ea h e0istin" independently of the oth! ers& but it onsiders thin"s as ' onne ted with& dependent on and determ! ined by ea h other./ Cen e it onsiders that nothin" an be understood 'in its inseparable onne tion with other thin"s& and as onditioned by them./ 426 2ontrary to metaphysi s& diale ti s onsiders e)erythin" as in 'a state of ontinuous mo)ement and han"e& of renewal and de)elop! ment& where somethin" is always arisin" and de)elopin" and somethin" always disinte"ratin" and dyin" away./ Cen e it onsiders thin"s 'not only from the standpoint of their inter onne tion and interdependen e& but also from the standpoint of their mo)ement& their han"e& their de)el! opment& their omin" into bein" and "oin" out of bein"./ 4$6 2ontrary to metaphysi s& diale ti s does not re"ard the pro! ess of de)elopment as 'a simple pro ess of "rowth&/ but as 'a de)elop! ment whi h passes from...7uantitati)e han"es to open& fundamental han"es& to 7ualitati)e han"es&/ whi h o ur 'abruptly& takin" the form of a leap from one state to another./ Cen e it onsiders de)elopment as 'an onward and upward mo)ement& as a transition from an old 7ualitat! i)e state to a new 7ualitati)e state& as a de)elopment from the simple to the omple0& from the lower to the hi"her./

456 2ontrary to metaphysi s& diale ti s 'holds that the pro ess of de)elopment from the lower to the hi"her takes pla e...as a dis losure of the ontradi tions inherent in thin"s...as a stru""le of opposite tenden ies whi h operate on the basis of these ontradi tions./ +e shall postpone until the ne0t hapter onsideration of the lat! ter two features& whi h on ern the pro ess of de)elopment from one 7ualitati)e state to another& from the lower to the hi"her. In this hapter we shall onsider the first two features of the diale ti al method& namely& that it onsiders thin"s always in their inter onne tion and in their mo)e! ment and han"e.

!onsidering Things in Their &nterconnection and !ircumstances
The diale ti al method demands& first& that we should onsider thin"s& not ea h by itself& but always in their inter onne tion with other thin"s. This sounds 'ob)ious./ Ae)ertheless it is an 'ob)ious/ prin iple whi h is )ery often i"nored and is e0tremely important to remember. +e ha)e already onsidered it and some e0ample of its appli ation in dis! ussin" metaphysi s& sin e the )ery essen e of metaphysi s is to think of thin"s in an abstra t way& isolated from their relations with other thin"s and from the on rete ir umstan es in whi h they e0ist. The prin iple of onsiderin" thin"s in relation to a tual ondi! tions and ir umstan es& and not apart from those a tual onditions and ir umstan es& is always of fundamental importan e for the work! in"! lass mo)ement in de idin" the most elementary 7uestions of poli y. .or e0ample& there was a time when the ?ritish workers were fi"htin" for a ten!hour day. They were ri"ht at that time not to make their immediate demand an ei"ht!hour day& sin e this was not yet a reali1able demand. They were e7ually ri"ht& when they "ot a ten!hour day& not to be satisfied with it. There are times when it is orre t for a se tion of workers to ome out on strike& and there are times when it is not orre t. ,u h mat! ters ha)e to be Eud"ed a ordin" to the a tual ir umstan es of the ase. ,imilarly there are times when it is orre t to "o on prolon"in" and e0tendin" a strike& and there are times when it is orre t to all it off. Ao workin"! lass leader an be of )ery mu h )alue if he tries to de ide 7uestions of poli y in terms of '"eneral prin iple/ alone& without takin" into a ount the a tual ir umstan es in relation to whi h poli y has to be operated& without understandin" that the same poli y an be ri"ht in one ase and wron" in another& dependin" on the on rete ir! umstan es of ea h ase.

Thus >enin wrote9 '@f ourse& in politi s& in whi h sometimes e0tremely ompli ! ated=national and international=relationships between lasses and parties ha)e to be dealt with...it would be absurd to on o t a re ipe& or "eneral rule...that would ser)e in all ases. @ne must ha)e the brains to analy1e the situation in ea h separate ase./ 1 This readiness on the part of (ar0ists to adapt poli y to ir um! stan es and to han"e poli y with ir umstan es is sometimes alled 2ommunist 'opportunism./ ?ut it is nothin" of the kind=or rather& it is the )ery opposite. It is the appli ation in pra ti e of the s ien e of the strate"y and ta ti s of workin"! lass stru""le. Indeed& what is meant by opportunism in relation to workin"! lass poli yD It means subordinatin" the lon"!term interests of the workin" lass as a whole to the temporary interests of a se tion& sa rifi in" the interests of the lass to defense of the temporary pri)ile"es of some parti ular "roup. 2ommunists are "uided by (ar0:s prin iple that 'they always and e)erywhere represent the interest of the mo)ement as a whole./2 -nd this re7uires that& in the interests of the mo)ement as a whole& one must analy1e the situation in ea h separate ase& de idin" what poli y to pursue in ea h ase in the li"ht of the on rete ir umstan es. @n "eneral 7uestions& too& the "reatest onfusion an arise from for"ettin" the diale ti al prin iple that thin"s must not be onsidered in isolation but in their inseparable inter! onne tion. .or e0ample& the ?ritish >abor leaders on e said& and many on! tinue to say& that nationali1ation is an installment of so ialism. They on! sider nationali1ation by itself& in isolation& out of onne tion with the state and with the so ial stru tures in relation to whi h nationali1ation measures are introdu ed. They o)erlook the fa t that if the publi power& the state& remains in the hands of the e0ploiters& and if their representat! i)es sit on and ontrol the boards of the nationali1ed industries& whi h ontinue to be run on the basis of e0ploitin" the labor of one lass for the profit of another lass& then nationali1ation is not so ialism. ,o ialist nationali1ation an ome into bein" only when the publi power& the state& is in the hands of the workers. -"ain& in politi al ar"uments people )ery often appeal to a on ept of 'fairness/ whi h leads them to Eud"e e)ents without the sli"htest onsideration of the real meanin" of those e)ents& of the ir um! stan es in whi h they o ur. +hat:s sau e for the "oose is sau e for the "ander9 that is the prin iple employed in su h ar"uments.
1 >enin& %eft-wing !ommunism& 2hapter IIII& A. B.& 19$5. 2 (ar0 and 3n"els& The !ommunist $anifesto& 2hapter II.

Thus it is ar"ued that if we defend the demo rati ri"ht of the workers in a apitalist ountry to a"itate for the endin" of apitalism and the introdu tion of so ialism& then we annot deny to others in a so ialist ountry the ri"ht to a"itate for the endin" of so ialism and the reintrodu ! tion of apitalism. Those who ar"ue like this throw up their hands in hor! ror when they find that ounter!re)olutionary "roupin"s in the P.,.,.G.& who sou"ht to restore apitalism in that ountry& were depri)ed of the possibility of arryin" out their aims. +hy& they e0 laim& this is undemo! rati & this is tyranny; ,u h an ar"ument o)erlooks the differen e between fi"htin" in the interests of the )ast maEority of the people to end e0ploitation& and fi"htin" in the interests of a small se tion to preser)e or reintrodu e e0ploitationF it o)erlooks the differen e between defendin" the ri"ht of the )ast maEority to run their affairs in their own interests& and defendin" the ri"ht of a small minority to keep the maEority in bond! a"eF in other words& it o)erlooks the differen e between mo)in" forward and ba kward& between puttin" the lo k ahead and puttin" it ba k& between re)olution and ounter!re)olution. @f ourse& if we fi"ht to a hie)e so ialism& and if we a hie)e it& then we shall defend what we ha)e a hie)ed and shall not allow the sli"htest possibility of any "roup destroyin" that a hie)ement. >et the apitalists and their han"ers!on shout about demo ra y 'in "eneral./ If& as >enin said& we 'ha)e the brains to analy1e the situation&/ we shall not be de ei)ed by them. The 'liberal/ on ept of 'fairness/ has& indeed& be ome a fa)or! ite weapon of rea tion lately. In 1959 and a"ain in 19#0& when the fas! ists de ided to hold a demonstration in >ondon on (ay %ay& the Come ,e retary promptly banned the workers: (ay %ay demonstration. If I ban one& I must ban the other& he blandly e0plained. Cow s rupulously 'fair/ he was; The prin iple of understandin" thin"s in their ir umstan es and inter onne tion is likewise a )ery important prin iple in s ien e. Bet s i! entists& who take thin"s to bits and onsider their )arious properties& )ery often for"et that thin"s whi h they may onsider in isolation do not e0ist in isolation. -nd this leads to seriously misunderstandin"s. ,o)iet biolo"ists& for e0ample& "uided by this first prin iple of diale ti s& ha)e stressed the unity of the or"anism and its en)ironment. They ha)e pointed out that you annot onsider the or"anism as ha)in" a nature of its own& isolated from its en)ironmentF that is metaphysi s. Thus there is no su h thin" as a plant& for instan e& isolated from its en)ironment9 su h a plant is a mere museum pie e& a dead plant artifi! ially preser)ed. >i)in" plants "row in a soil& in a limate& in an en)iron! ment& and they "row and de)elop by assimilatin" that en)ironment. Thus >ysenko defined the heredity& or nature& of an or"anism as its re7uire!

ment of ertain onditions for its life and de)elopment& and its respond! in" to )arious onditions in a ertain way. This understandin" of the unity of or"anism and en)ironment had important onse7uen es. .or it led to the e0pe tation that by ompellin" an or"anism to adapt itself to and assimilate han"ed onditions& its nature ould be han"ed. -nd this e0pe tation has been )erified in pra ti e. The biolo"ists of the (endel!(or"an s hool& on the other hand& treat the or"anism abstra tly& metaphysi ally& as isolated from its real onditions of life. They on ei)e of the 'nature/ of the or"anism as 7uite independent of its onditions of life. Cen e they on lude& in true meta! physi al style& that the heredity of an or"anism 'is what is&/ and that it is no use tryin" to han"e it in the ways in whi h ,o)iet biolo"ists have han"ed the heredity of or"anisms.

!onsidering Things in Their $ovement, Their !oming into Being and ?oing )ut of Being
>et us now onsider some e0amples of the se ond prin iple of diale ts& whi h demands that we should onsider thin"s in their mo)e! ment& their han"e& their omin" into bein" and "oin" out of bein". This prin iple& too& is of "reat importan e in s ien e. ,o)iet biolo"ists& for e0ample& "uided by this prin iple of dia! le ti s& ha)e onsidered the or"anism in its "rowth and de)elopment. Thus at a ertain sta"e of "rowth& the nature of the or"anism is still plasti F if you an modify it at this sta"e& you an often han"e its nature& "i)e it a han"ed heredity. ,omethin" is newly omin" into bein" in the or"anism& and that is the time to foster it and to "i)e it a desired dire ! tion. ?ut if that sta"e is passed& then its nature be omes fi0ed and you annot han"e it. Bou must find Eust the ri"ht sta"e of "rowth if you wish to modify the heredity of the or"anism. The biolo"ists of the (endel!(or"an s hool& on the other hand& onsider the nature of the or"anism as "i)en and fi0ed from the )ery start. This se ond prin iple of diale ti s tea hes us always to pay attention to what is new& to what is risin" and "rowin"=not Eust to what e0ists at the moment& but to what is omin" into bein". This prin iple is of paramount importan e for re)olutionary understandin"& for re)olutionary pra ti e. The Gussian ?olshe)iks& for e0ample& saw from the )ery be"in! nin" how Gussian so iety was mo)in"=what was new in it& what was omin" into bein". They looked for what was risin" and "rowin"& thou"h it was still weak=the workin" lass. +hile others dis ounted the import!

an e of the workin" lass and finished by enterin" into ompromises with the for es of the old so iety& the ?olshe)iks on luded that the workin" lass was the new& risin" for e& and let it to )i tory. 8ust this same understandin" of what was risin" and "rowin" and of what was disinte"ratin" and dyin" away& was e0emplified in ,talin:s leadership durin" the war& 1951!5#. +hen the *ermans were before (os ow in Ao)ember 1951& and all the 'allied military strate"ists/ out! side the ,o)iet Pnion onsidered that Gussia:s defeat was ertain& ,talin said that while the *ermans were at the peak of their military power the ,o)iet for es& on the other hand& were still mobili1in" and in reasin". Therefore the defeat of the *erman fas ists was ertain. '*erman& whose reser)es of manpower are already bein" e0hausted& has been onsiderably more weakened than the ,o)iet Pnion& whose reser)es are only now bein" mobili1ed to the full...2an there be any doubt that we an& and are bound to& defeat the *erman in)adersD The *erman in)aders are strainin" their last efforts. There is no doubt that *erman annot sustain su h a strain for lon"./ $ ,imilarly today& when press and radio are full of the boasts and threats of the -meri an imperialists and their hen hmen& we stress that whi h is risin" and "rowin" all o)er the world& the people:s amp of pea e& whi h is bound to ontinue to "row and to o)erwhelm the imperi! alists in shameful disaster. -"ain& in the fi"ht for unity of the workin"! lass mo)ement& in relation to the ?ritish >abor Party and the affiliated trade unions& we pay attention abo)e all to that whi h is arisin" and "rowin" in the mo)ement. Therefore we see a "reat deal more than the poli y of the ri"ht!win" leaders and their influen e. The ri"ht win" has its basis in the past& thou"h it is still stron" and dominant. ?ut there are arisin" the for es of the future& determined to fi"ht a"ainst apitalism and war. ,imilarly in relation to indi)idual people=we should foster and build on what is omin" to birth in them& what is risin" and mo)in" ahead. This is what a "ood se retary or or"ani1er does. ,u h e0amples as these show that the basis of the diale ti al method& its most essential prin iple& is to study and understand thin"s in their on rete inter onne tion and mo)ement.

$ ,talin& The ?reat atriotic ,ar of the 0oviet 8nion, ,pee hes of Ao)ember 6 and 7& 1951& A.B.& 195#.


'gainst =(eady-made 0chemes>-- =Truth &s 'lways !oncrete>
,ometimes people ima"ine that diale ti s is a pre on ei)ed s heme& into the pattern of whi h e)erythin" is supposed to fit. This is the )ery opposite of the truth about diale ti s. The employment of the (ar0ist diale ti al method does not mean that we apply a pre on ei)ed s heme and try to make e)erythin" fit into it. Ao& it means that we study thin"s as they really are& in their real inter onne tion and mo)ement. This is somethin" whi h >enin insisted on a"ain and a"ain. Indeed& he pro laimed it as 'the fundamental thesis of diale ti s./ '*enuine diale ti s&/ >enin wrote& pro eeds 'by means of a thor! ou"h& detailed analysis of a pro ess in all its on reteness. The funda! mental thesis of diale ti s is9 there is no su h thin" as abstra t truth& truth is always on rete./5 +hat did he mean by 'truth is always on rete/D 8ust that we will not "et at the truth about thin"s& about either nature or so iety& by thinkin" up some "eneral s heme& some abstra t formulaF but only by tryin" to work out as re"ards ea h pro ess Eust what are the for es at work& how they are related& whi h are risin" and "rowin" and whi h are de ayin" and dyin" away& and on this basis rea hin" and estimate of the pro ess as a whole. ,o 3n"els said9 'There ould be no 7uestion of buildin" the laws of diale ti s into nature& but of dis o)erin" them in it and e)ol)in" them from it...Aature is the test of diale ti s./# -s re"ards the study of so iety& and the estimate we make of real so ial han"es on whi h we base our politi al strate"y& >enin ridi uled those who took some abstra t& pre on ei)ed s heme as their "uide. - ordin" to some 'authorities&/ the (ar0ist diale ti s laid it down that all de)elopment must pro eed throu"h 'triads/!!thesis& anti! thesis& synthesis. >enin ridi uled this. 'It is lear to e)erybody that the main burden of 3n"els: ar"u! ment is that materialists must depi t the histori al pro ess orre tly and a urately& and that insisten e on....sele tion of e0amples whi h demon! strate the orre tness of the triad is nothin" but a reli of Ce"elianism...-nd& indeed& on e it has been ate"ori ally de lared that to attempt to :pro)e: anythin" by triads is absurd& what si"nifi an e an e0amples of :diale ti al: pro ess ha)eD...-nyone who reads the definition and des ription of the diale ti al method "i)en by 3n"els will see that
5 I. I. >enin& 0elected ,orks& Iol. 2& )ne 0tep *orward, Two 0teps Back ,e tion G& ',omethin" about %iale ti s./ # 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring& Prefa e and Introdu tion.

the Ce"elian triads are not e)en mentioned& and that it all amounts to re"ardin" so ial e)olution as a natural!histori al pro ess of de)elop! ment... '+hat (ar0 and 3n"els alled the diale ti al method...is nothin" more nor less than the s ientifi method in so iolo"y& whi h onsists in re"ardin" so iety as a li)in" or"anism in a onstant state of de)elop! ment...the study of whi h re7uires an obEe ti)e analysis of the relations of produ tion that onstitute the "i)en formation and an in)esti"ation of its laws of fun tionin" and de)elopment./ 6 >et us onsider some e0amples of what the 'analysis of a pro ess in all its on reteness/ and the prin iple that 'truth is always on rete/ mean& in ontrast to the method of tryin" to lay down some pre on ei)ed s heme of so ial de)elopment and of appealin" to su h a s heme as a basis for poli y. In tsarist Gussia the (enshe)iks used to say9 '+e must ha)e ap! italism before so ialism./ .irst apitalism must "o throu"h its full de)el! opment& then so ialism will follow9 that was their s heme. 2onse7uently they supported the liberals in politi s and enEoined the workers to do no more than fi"ht for better onditions in the apitalist fa tories. >enin repudiated this silly s heme. Ce showed that the liberals& fri"htened by the workers& would ompromise with the t1arF but that the allian e of workers with peasants ould take the lead from them& o)er! throw the t1ar& and then "o on to o)erthrow the apitalists and build so ialism before e)er apitalism was able to de)elop fully. -fter the proletarian re)olution was su essful& another s heme was propounded=this time by Trotsky. 'Bou an:t build so ialism in one ountry. Pnless the re)olution takes pla e in the ad)an ed apitalist ountries& so ialism annot ome in Gussia./ >enin and ,talin showed that this s heme& too& was false. .or e)en if the re)olution did not take pla e in the ad)an ed apitalists ountries& the allian e of workers and peasants in the ,o)iet Pnion had still the for es to build so ialism. In +estern 3uropean ountries it used often be said9 '+e must ha)e fas ism before ommunism./ .irst the apitalists will abandon demo ra y and introdu e the fas ist di tatorship& and then the workers will o)erthrow the fas ist di tatorship. ?ut the 2ommunists replied& no& we will fi"ht to"ether with all the demo rati for es to preser)e bour! "eois demo ra y and to defeat the fas ists& and that will reate the best onditions for "oin" forward to win workin"! lass power and to om! men e to build so ialism.
6 >enin& 0elected ,orks, Iol 1& '+hat .riends of the People -re and Cow They .i"ht -"ainst the ,o ial %emo rats&/ Part I.

>astly& today we sometimes hear the ar"ument9 '2apitalism means war& therefore war is ine)itable./ True enou"h& so lon" as apital! ism& whi h has lon" a"o entered its last 4imperialist6 phase& persists& there must ine)itably be onfli ts between the ri)al powers& and these onfli ts are su h as to entail the ine)itability of imperialist wars. ?ut the imperi! alists annot make war without the people. The more they prepare war& the more open their a""ressi)eness be omes& the more one power attempts to impose its domination on another& and the more hardships they impose on people& the more an the people be rallied to oppose their war. Therefore in any instan e when war threatens& that war an be pre! )ented and postponed. -nd by fi"htin" to preser)e pea e& we an lay the basis for endin" the onditions whi h pose the ine)itability of war. Imperialist war plans an be defeatedF they an be defeated if the work! in" lass rallies all the pea e!lo)in" for es around itself. -nd imperial! ism itself& with the onse7uent ine)itability of war& an be ended. If we defeat the imperialist war plans& that will be the best road towards the endin" of apitalism itself and the buildin" of so ialism. Imperialism will not be ended by waitin" for it to wre k itself in ine)itable wars& but by unitin" to pre)ent the reali1ation of its war plans. In all these e0amples it will be seen that the a eptan e of some ready!made s heme& some abstra t formula& means passi)ity& support for apitalism& betrayal of the workin" lass and of so ialism. ?ut the dia! le ti al approa h whi h understands thin"s in their on rete inter onne ! tion and mo)ement& shows us how to for"e ahead=how to fi"ht& what allies to draw in. That is the inestimable )alue of the (ar0ist diale ti al method to the workin"! lass mo)ement.



The ,aws of De'elo!ment
To understand development we must understand the distinction between +uantitative change.increase and decrease.and +ualitative change.the passing into a new state, the emergence of something new. /uantitative change always leads at a certain critical point to +ualitative change. 'nd similarly +ualitative differences and +ualitative changes always rest on +uantitative differences and +uantitative changes. "evelopment must be understood, therefore, not as a simple process of growth but as a process which passes from +uantitative changes to open, fundamental +ualitative changes. *urther, this transformation of +uantitative into +ualitative changes takes place as a result of the conflict or struggle of opposite tendencies which operate on the basis of the contradictions inherent in all things and processes. The $arxist dialectical method, therefore, teaches us to understand processes of development in terms of the transformation of +uantitative into +ualitative changes, and to seek the grounds and the explanation of such development in the unity and struggle of opposites.

,hat "o ,e $ean by ="evelopment><
In stressin" the need to study real pro esses in their mo)ement and in all their inter onne tions& ,talin pointed out that in the pro esses of nature and history there is always 'renewal and de)elopment& where somethin" is always risin" and de)elopin" and somethin" always disin! te"ratin" and dyin" away./1 +hen that whi h is arisin" and de)elopin" omes to fruition& and that whi h is disinte"ratin" and dyin" away finally disappears& there emer"es somethin" new. .or as we saw in riti i1in" me hanisti materialism& pro esses do not always keep repeatin" the same y le of han"es& but ad)an e from sta"e to sta"e as somethin" new ontinually emer"es. This is the real meanin" of the word 'de)elopment./ +e speak of 'de)elopment/ where sta"e by sta"e somethin" new keeps emer"in". Thus there is a differen e between mere change and de)elop! ment. %e)elopment is han"e pro eedin" a ordin" to its own internal laws from sta"e to sta"e.

1 ,talin& "ialectical and #istorical $aterialism.

-nd there is e7ually a differen e between growth and de)elop! ment. This differen e is familiar to biolo"ists& for e0ample. Thus "rowth means "ettin" bi""er=merely 7uantitati)e han"e. ?ut de)elopment means& not "ettin" bi""er& but passin" into a 7ualitati)ely new sta"e& be omin" 7ualitati)ely different. .or e0ample& a aterpillar "rows lon"er and fatterF then it spins itself a o oon& and finally emer"es as a butterfly. This is de)elopment. - aterpillar grows into a bi""er aterpillarF it develops into a butterfly. Pro esses of nature and history e0emplify& not merely han"e& not merely "rowth& but de)elopment. 2an we& then& rea h any on lu! sions about the "eneral laws of de)elopmentD This is the further task of materialist diale ti s=to find what "eneral laws are manifested in all de)elopment& and to "i)e us& therefore& the method of approach for understandin"& e0plainin" and ontrollin" de)elopment.

/uantity and /uality: The %aw of the Transformation of /uantitative into /ualitative !hanges
This brin"s us to the two latter features of the (ar0ist diale ti al method& as e0plained by ,talin. The first of these may be alled 'the law of the transformation of 7uantitati)e into 7ualitati)e han"e./ +hat does this meanD -ll han"e has a 7uantitati)e aspe t& that is& an aspe t of mere in rease or de rease whi h does not alter the nature of that whi h han"es. ?ut 7uantitati)e han"e& in rease or de rease& annot "o on indefinitely. -t a ertain point it always leads to a 7ualitati)e han"eF and at that riti al point 4or 'nodal point&/ as Ce"el alled it6 the 7ualitati)e han"e takes pla e relati)ely suddenly& by a leap& as it were. .or e0ample& if water is bein" heated& it does not "o on "ettin" hotter and hotter indefinitelyF at a ertain riti al temperature& it be"ins to turn into steam& under"oin" a 7ualitati)e han"e from li7uid to "as. ord used to lift a wei"ht may ha)e a "reater and "reater load atta hed to it& but no ord an lift a load indefinitely "reat9 at a ertain point& the ord is bound to break. - boiler may withstand a "reater and "reater pressure of steam=up to the point where it bursts. - )ariety of plant may be sub! Ee ted to a series of han"es in its onditions of "rowth for a number of "enerations=for instan e& to older temperaturesF the )ariety ontinues un han"ed& until a point is rea hed when suddenly a 7ualitati)e han"e is indu ed& a han"e in the heredity of the plant. In this way sprin" wheats ha)e been transformed into winter wheats& and )i e )ersa& as a result of the a umulation of a series of 7uantitati)e han"es.

This law of transformation of 7uantitati)e into 7ualitati)e han"e is also met with in so iety. Thus before the system of industrial apital! ism omes into bein" there takes pla e a pro ess of the a umulation of wealth in money form in a few pri)ate hands 4lar"ely by olonial plun! der6& and of the formation of a propertyless proletariat 4by en losures and the dri)in" of peasants off the land6. -t a ertain point in this pro ess& when enough money is a umulated to pro)ide apital for industrial undertakin"s& when enough people ha)e been proletariani1ed to pro)ed the labor re7uired& the onditions ha)e matured for the de)elopment of industrial apitalism. -t this point an a umulation of 7uantitati)e han"es "i)es rise to a new 7ualitati)e sta"e in the de)elopment of so i! ety. In "eneral& 7ualitati)e han"es happen with relati)e suddenness =by a leap. ,omethin" new is suddenly born& thou"h its potentiality was already ontained in the "radual e)olutionary pro ess of ontinuous 7uantitati)e han"e whi h went before. Thus we find that ontinuous& "radual 7uantitati)e han"e leads at a ertain point to dis ontinuous& sudden 7ualitati)e han"e. +e ha)e already remarked in an earlier hapter that most of those who ha)e on! sidered the laws of de)elopment only in its ontinuous aspe t. This means that they ha)e onsidered it only from the aspe t of a pro ess of "rowth& of 7ualitati)e han"e& and ha)e not onsidered its 7ualitati)e aspe t& the fa t that at a ertain point in the "radual pro ess of "rowth a new 7uality suddenly arises& a transformation takes pla e. Bet this is what always happens. If you are boilin" a kettle& the water suddenly be"ins to boil when boilin" point is rea hed. If you are s ramblin" e""s& the mi0ture in the pan suddenly 's rambles./ -nd it is the same if you are en"a"ed in han"in" so iety. +e will only han"e apitalist so iety into so ialist so iety when the rule of one lass is repla ed by the rule of another lass=and this is a radi al transforma! tion& a leap to a new state of so iety& a re)olution. If& on the other hand& we onsider 7uality itself& then 7ualitati)e han"e always arises as a result of an a umulation of 7uantitati)e han"es& and differen es in 7uality ha)e their basis in differen es in 7uantity. Thus Eust as 7uantitati)e han"e must at a ertain point "i)e rise to 7ualitati)e han"e& so if we wish to brin" about 7ualitati)e han"e we must study its 7uantitati)e basis& and know what must be in reased and what diminished if the re7uired han"e is to be brou"ht about. Aatural s ien e tea hes us how purely 7uantitati)e differen e= addition or subtra tion=makes a 7ualitati)e differen e in nature. .or e0ample& the addition of one proton in the nu leus of an atom makes the

transition from one element to another.2 The atoms of all the elements are formed out of the ombinations of the same protons and ele trons& but a purely 7uantitati)e differen e between the numbers ombined in the atom "i)es different kinds of atoms& atoms of different elements with dif! ferent hemi al properties. Thus an atom onsistin" of one proton and one ele tron is a hydro"en atom& but if another proton and another ele ! tron are added it is an atom of helium& and so on. ,imilarly in hemi al ompounds& the addition of one atom to a mole ule makes the differen e between substan es with different hemi al properties. In "eneral& differ! ent 7ualities ha)e their basis in 7uantitati)e differen e. -s 3n"els put it9 'In nature& in a manner e0a tly fi0ed for ea h indi)idual ase& 7ualitati)e han"es an only o ur by the 7uantitati)e addition or sub! tra tion of matter or motion... '-ll 7ualitati)e differen es in nature rest on differen es of hem! i al omposition or on different 7uantities or forms of motion or& as in almost always the ase& on both. Cen e it is impossible to alter the 7ual! ity of a body without addition or subtra tion of matter or motion& i.e. without 7uantitati)e alteration of the body on erned./ $ This feature of the diale ti al law onne tin" 7uality and 7uant! ity is familiar to the readers of the popular literature about atomi bombs. To make a uranium bomb it is ne essary to ha)e the isotope& uranium! 2$#F the more ommon isotope& uranium!2$8& will not do. The differen e between these two is merely 7uantitati)e& a different in atomi wei"ht& dependin" on the number of neutrons present in ea h ase. ?ut this 7uantitati)e differen e of atomi wei"ht& 2$# and 2$8& makes the 7ualit! ati)e differen e between a substan e with the properties re7uired for the bomb and a substan e without those properties. .urther& ha)in" "ot a 7uantity of uranium!2$#& a ertain ' riti al mass/ of it is re7uired before it will e0plode. If there is not enou"h& the hain rea tion whi h onsti! tutes the e0plosion will not o urF when the ' riti al mass/ is rea hed& the rea tion does o ur. Thus we see that 7uantitati)e han"es are transformed at a er! tain point into 7ualitati)e han"es& and 7ualitati)e differen es rest on 7uantitati)e differen es. This is a uni)ersal feature of de)elopment. +hat makes su h de)elopment happenD

2 .or a simple a ount of the physi al phenomena referred to in this and in our ne0t e0ample see The !hallenge of 'tomic Energy, by 3. C. ,. ?urhop& >ondon& 19#1. $ 3n"els& "ialectics of 9ature, 2hapter II.


"evelopment Takes lace Through the 8nity and 0truggle of )pposites
In "eneral& the reason why in any parti ular ase a 7uantitati)e han"e leads to a 7ualitati)e han"e lies in the )ery nature& in the on! tent& of the parti ular pro esses in)ol)ed. Therefore in ea h ase we an& if we only know enou"h& e0plain Eust why a 7ualitati)e han"e is ine)it! able& and why it takes pla e at the point it does. To e0plain this we ha)e to study the fa ts of the ase. +e annot in)ent an e0planation with the aid of diale ti s aloneF where an under! standin" of diale ti s helps is that it "i)es us the lue as to where to look. In a parti ular ase we many not yet know how and why the han"e takes pla e. In that ase we ha)e the task of findin" out& by in)esti"atin" the fa ts of the ase. .or there is nothin" unknowable& no essential mystery or se ret of de)elopment& of the emer"en e of the 7ualitati)ely new. >et us onsider& for e0ample& the ase of the 7ualitati)e han"e whi h takes pla e when water boils. +hen heat is applied to a mass of water ontained in a kettle& then the effe t is to in rease the motion of the mole ules omposin" the water. ,o lon" as the water remains in its li7uid state& the for es of attra ! tion between the mole ules are suffi ient to insure that& thou"h some of the surfa e mole ules are ontinually es apin" the whole mass oheres to"ether as a mass of water inside the kettle. -t boilin" point& howe)er& the motion of the mole ules has be ome suffi iently )iolent for lar"e numbers of them to be"in Eumpin" lear of the mass. - 7ualitati)e han"e is therefore obser)ed. The water be"ins to bubble and the whole mass is rapidly transformed into steam. This han"e e)idently o urs as a result of the oppositions operatin" within the mass of water=the tend! en y of the mole ules to mo)e apart and Eump free )ersus the for es of attra tion between them. The former tenden y is reinfor ed to the point where it o)er omes the latter as a result& in this ase& of the e0ternal appli ation of heat. -nother e0ample we ha)e onsidered is that of a ord whi h breaks when its load be omes too "reat. Cere a"ain& the 7ualitati)e han"e takes pla e as a result of the opposition set up between the tensile stren"th of the ord and the pull of the load. -"ain& when a sprin" wheat is transformed into a winter wheat& this is a result of the opposition between the plant:s ' onser)atism/ and the han"in" onditions of "rowth and the de)elopment to whi h it is subEe tedF at a ertain point& the influen e of the latter o)er omes the former.

These e0amples prepare us for the "eneral on lusion that& as ,talin puts it& 'the internal ontent of the pro ess of de)elopment& the internal ontent of the transformation of 7uantitati)e han"es into 7ualit! ati)e han"es/ onsists in the stru""le of opposites=opposite tenden! ies& opposite for es=within the thin"s and pro ess on erned. Thus the law that 7uantitati)e han"es are transformed into 7ual! itati)e han"es& and that differen es in 7uality are based on differen es in 7uantity& leads us to the law of the unity and stru""le of opposites. Cere is the way ,talin formulates this law of diale ti s. '2ontrary to metaphysi s& diale ti s holds that internal ontra! di tions are inherent in all thin"s and phenomena of nature& for all ha)e their ne"ati)e and positi)e sides& a past and a future& somethin" dyin" away and somethin" de)elopin"F and that the stru""le between these opposites& the stru""le between the old and the new& between that whi h is dyin" away and that whi h is bein" born& between that whi h is disap! pearin" and that whi h is de)elopin"& onstitutes the internal ontent of the pro ess of de)elopment& the internal ontent of the transformation of 7uantitati)e han"es into 7ualitati)e han"es. 'The diale ti al method therefore holds that the pro ess of de)el! opment from the lower to the hi"her takes pla e not as a harmonious unfoldin" of phenomena& but as a dis losure of the ontradi tions inher! ent in thin"s and phenomena& as a :stru""le: of opposite tenden ies whi h operate on the basis of these ontradi tions./ 5 To understand de)elopment& to understand how and why 7uantit! ati)e han"es lead to 7ualitati)e han"es& to understand how and why the transition takes pla e from an old 7ualitati)e state to a new 7ualitati)e state& we ha)e to understand the ontradi tions inherent in ea h thin" and pro ess we are onsiderin"& and how a 'stru""le/ of opposite tenden ies arises on the basis of these ontradi tions. +e ha)e to understand this on retely& in ea h ase& bearin" in mind >enin:s warnin" that 'the fundamental thesis of diale ti s is9 truth is always on rete./ +e annot dedu e the laws of de)elopment in the on rete ase from the "eneral prin iples of diale ti al9 we ha)e to dis! o)er them by a tual in)esti"ation in ea h ase. ?ut diale ti s tells us what to look for.

5 ,talin& "ialectical and #istorical $aterialism.


"ialectics of 0ocial "evelopment.The !ontradictions of !apitalism
The diale ti s of de)elopment=the unity and stru""le of oppos! ites=has been most thorou"hly worked out in the (ar0ist s ien e of so iety. Cere& from the standpoint of the workin"! lass stru""le& on the basis of workin"! lass e0perien e& we an work out the diale ti of the ontradi tions of apitalism and of their de)elopment )ery e0a tly. ?ut the prin iples in)ol)ed in the de)elopment of so iety are not opposed to but are in essen e the same as those in)ol)ed in the de)elop! ment of nature& thou"h different in their form of manifestation in ea h ase. Thus 3n"els said9 'I was not in doubt=that amid the welter of innumerable han"es takin" pla e in nature the same diale ti al laws of motion are in operation as those whi h in history "o)ern the apparent fortuitousness of e)ents./# Cow (ar0ism understands the ontradi tions of apitalism and their de)elopment& this rownin" triumph of the diale ti al method& was e0plained in "eneral terms by 3n"els. The basi ontradi tion of apitalism is not simply the onfli t of two lasses& whi h onfront one another as two e0ternal for es whi h ome into onfli t. Ao& it is the ontradi tion within the so ial system itself& on the basis of whi h the lass onfli t arises and operates. 2apitalism brou"ht about9 'The on entration of the means of produ tion in lar"e work! shops and manufa tories& their transformation into means of produ tion whi h were in fa t so ial. ?ut the so ial means of produ tion and the so ial produ ts were treated as if there were still& as they had been before& the means of produ tion and the produ ts of indi)iduals. Citherto& the owner of the instruments of labor had appropriated the produ t be ause it was as a rule his own produ t& the au0iliary labor of other persons bein" the e0 eptionF now& the owner of the instruments of produ tion ontinued to appropriate the produ t& althou"h it was no lon"er his produ t& but e0 lusi)ely the produ t of others@ labor. Thus& therefore the produ ts& now so ially produ ed& were not appropriated by those who had really set the means of produ tion in motion and really produ ed the produ ts& but by the capitalists.>6

# 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring, Prefa e. 6 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring, Part III& 2hapter IIF or 0ocialism, 8topian and 0cientific, 2hapter III& A. B.& 19$#.

The basi ontradi tion of apitalism is& therefore& the ontradi ! tion between so iali1ed produ tion and apitalist appropriation. It is on the basis of this ontradi tion that the stru""le between the lasses de)el! ops. 'In this ontradi tion...the whole onfli t of today is already present in "erm...The ontradi tion between so ial produ tion and apit! alist appropriation be ame manifest as the anta"onism between prolet! ariat and bour"eoisie./7 -nd the ontradi tion an only be resol)ed by the )i tory of the workin" lass& when the workin" lass sets up its own di tatorship and initiates so ial ownership and appropriation to orrespond to so ial pro! du tion. This e0ample )ery e0a tly illustrates the point of what ,talin said about 'stru""le of opposite tenden ies whi h operate on the basis of these ontradi tions./ The lass stru""le e0ists and operates on the basis of the ontradi tions inherent in the so ial system itself. It is from the stru""le of opposite tenden ies& opposin" for es& arisin" on the basis of the ontradi tions inherent in the so ial system& that so ial transformation& the leap to a 7ualitati)ely new sta"e of so ial de)elopment& takes pla e. This pro ess has its 7uantitati)e aspe t. The workin" lass in reases in numbers and or"ani1ation. 2apital be omes more on en! trated& more entrali1ed. '-lon" with the onstantly diminishin" number of the ma"nates of apital..."rows the mass of misery& oppression& sla)ery& de"radation& e0ploitationF but with this too "rows the re)olt of the workin" lass& a lass always in reasin" in numbers& and dis iplined& united& or"ani1ed by the )ery me hanism of the pro ess of apitalist produ tion itself./ 8 +ith this 7uantitati)e pro ess of in rease and de rease& the basi ontradi tion of so iali1ed labor and pri)ate appropriation be omes intensified=for the so ial hara ter of labor is ma"nified while apital a umulates and is on entrated in the hands of a diminishin" number of "reat 'ma"nates of apital/!!and the tension between the opposin" for es be omes intensified& too. -t len"th 7uantitati)e han"es "i)es rise to 7ualitati)e han"e. '2entrali1ation of the means of produ tion and so iali1ation of labor at last rea h a point where they be ome in ompatible with their apitalist inte"ument. This inte"ument is burst asunder. The knell of ap! italist pri)ate property sounds.
7 &bid. 8 (ar0& 2apital, Iol. I& 2hapter KKKII.

'The e0propriators are e0propriated./9 In this way the laws of diale ti al de)elopment& summari1ed in the prin iples of the transformation of 7uantitati)e into 7ualitati)e han"es and of the unity and stru""le of opposites& are found at work in the de)elopment of so ietyF this de)elopment is to be understood in terms of the operation of those lawsF and this diale ti al understandin"& on e it has be ome the theoreti al possession of the workin" lass& ser)es as an indispensable instrument of the workin" lass in arryin" into effe t the so ialist transformation of so iety.

9 &bid.



The .ew and the Old
The struggle of opposed forces which constitutes the driving force of development does not take place accidentally but on the basis of internal contradictions inherent in the very nature of the processes concerned. There arises a contradiction between the new and the old- that which is arising and growing contradicts that which is dying away and disappearing. 'nd this fact is strikingly exemplified in the development of society. &n the process of development the new grows strong and overpowers the old, and this leads to the forward movement of development, in which each stage is an advance to something new, not a falling back to some stage already passed. 0ince development proceeds by the overcoming and supplanting of the old by the new it follows that development can only proceed by the negation of the old and not by its preservation.

!ontradictions &nherent in Things and rocesses. &nternal !ontradictions
In the last hapter we onsidered how 7ualitati)e han"e is brou"ht about by the stru""le of opposed for es. This was e0emplified e7ually in the han"e of state of a body& from li7uid to solid or "as& and in the han"e of so iety from apitalism to so ialism. In ea h ase there are 'opposite tenden ies/ at work& whose 'stru""le/ e)entuates in some fundamental transformation& a 7ualitati)e han"e. This 'stru""le/ is not e0ternal and a idental. It is not ade7uately understood if we suppose that it is a 7uestion of for es or tenden ies arisin" 7uite independently the one of the other& whi h happen to meet& to bump up a"ainst ea h other& so to speak& and to ome into onfli t. Ao. The stru""le is internal and ne essaryF for it arises and fol! lows from the ontradi tory nature of the pro ess as a whole. The oppos! ite tenden ies are not independent the other of the other but are insepar! ably onne ted as parts or aspe ts of a sin"le ontradi tory whole& and they operate and ome into onfli t on the basis of the ontradi tion inherent in the pro ess as a whole. Thus the opposed tenden ies whi h operate in the ourse of the han"e of state of a body operate on the basis of the ontradi tory unity of attra ti)e and repulsi)e for es inherent in all physi al phenomena. -nd the lass stru""le whi h operates in apitalist so iety operates on the basis of the ontradi tory unity of so iali1ed labor and pri)ate appropri! ation inherent in that so iety.

This diale ti al understandin" of the internal ne essity of the stru""le of opposed for es& and of its out ome& based on the ontradi ! tions inherent in the pro ess as a whole& is no mere refinement of philo! sophi al analysis. It is of )ery "reat pra ti al importan e. ?our"eois theorists& for e0ample& are well able to re o"ni1e the fa t of lass onfli ts in apitalist so iety. +hat they do not re o"ni1e is the ne essity of this onfli tF that it is based on ontradi tions inherent in the )ery nature of the apitalist system and that& therefore& the stru""le an only ulminate in and end with the destru tion of the system itself and its repla ement by a new& hi"her system of so iety. ,o they seek to miti"ate the lass onfli t& to tone it down and re on ile the opposin" lasses& or to stamp it out& and so to preser)e the system inta t. -nd pre! isely this bour"eois understandin" of the lass onfli t is brou"ht into the labor mo)ement by ,o ial %emo ra y. It is in opposition to su h a shallow& metaphysi al way of under! standin" lass onfli t that >enin points out9 'The main point in the tea hin" of (ar0 is the lass stru""le. This has )ery often been said and written. ?ut this is not true. @ut of this error& here and there& sprin"s and opportunist distortion of (ar0ism& su h a falsifi ation of it as to make it a eptable to bour"eoisie. The theory of the lass stru""le was not created by (ar0& but by the bour"eoisie before (ar0 and is& "enerally speakin"& acceptable to the bour"eoisie. Ce who re o"ni1es only the lass stru""le is not yet a (ar0istF he may be found not only to ha)e "one beyond the boundaries of bour"eois reasonin" and politi s. To limit (ar0ism to the tea hin" of the lass stru""le means to urtail (ar0ism=to distort it& to redu e it to somethin" whi h is a ept! able to the bour"eoisie. - (ar0ist is one who extends the a eptan e of the lass stru""le to the a eptan e of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Cerein lies the deepest differen e between a (ar0ist and an ordinary petty or bi" bour"eois. @n this tou hstone it is ne essary to test a real understandin" and a eptan e of (ar0ism./ 1 In "eneral& we understand ontradi tion as inherent in& belon"in" to the )ery essen e of& a "i)en system or pro essF the stru""le throu"h whi h de)elopment takes pla e is not an e0ternal lash of a identally opposed fa tors& but is based on ontradi tions in the )ery essen e of thin"sF and thus is determined the ne essary out ome& the ne essary solu! tion of the ontradi tion. @f ourse& onfli ts of an e0ternal& a idental hara ter also o ur in nature and so iety. ?ut these are not de isi)e importan e in determinin" the ourse of de)elopment.
1 I. I. >enin& The 0tate and (evolution, 2hapter II& ,e tion $& A. B.& 19$2.


The !ontradiction Between )ld and 9ew, ast and *uture
If we onsider a pro ess of de)elopment as a whole& as& in ,talin:s words& 'an onward and upward mo)ement/ in)ol)in" at ea h sta"e 'a transition from an old 7ualitati)e state to a new 7ualitati)e state&/ then it re)eals itself as the ontinuous posin" and solution of a series of ontradi tions. The new sta"e of de)elopment omes into bein" from the work! in" out of the ontradi tion and stru""le inherent in the old. -nd the new sta"e itself ontains the "erm of a new ontradi tion. .or it omes into bein" ontainin" somethin" of the past from whi h it sprin"s and some! thin" of the future to whi h it leads. It has& therefore& its 'ne"ati)e and positi)e sides& a past and a future& somethin" dyin" away and somethin" de)elopin"./ @n this basis there on e a"ain arises within it 'the stru""le between the old and the new& between that whi h is dyin" away and that whi h is bein" born& between that whi h is disappearin" and that whi h is de)elopin"./ Cen e de)elopment ontinually dri)es forward to fresh de)elop! mentF the whole pro ess at ea h sta"e is in essen e the stru""le between the old and the new& that whi h is dyin" and that whi h is bein" born. This diale ti al hara ter of de)elopment is strikin"ly e0empli! fied in so ial de)elopment=in& for e0ample& the sta"e of de)elopment with whi h we oursel)es are spe ially on erned& the de)elopment from apitalism to so ialism. The basi ontradi tion of apitalism is that between so iali1ed produ tion and apitalist appropriation. This itself is the ontradi tion between the new and the old in so iety. 2apitalist appropriation arries on the old institution of pri)ate property in the implements of produ tion& under whi h the owner of the implements of produ tion appropriated the produ t. The artisan owned his tools and his produ t. This pri)ate ownership of the implements of produ tion and of the produ t by the indi)idual produ er is arried o)er and transformed into the ownership and appropriation by the apitalist. ?ut while pri)ate ownership and appropriation is arried on from the former state of so iety& what is 7uite new& what is newly born& arisin" and ad)an in" in apitalist so iety& is the so iali1ation of produ tion. The old& petty indi)idual produ tion is destroyedF produ tion is arried on in a new so iali1ed way in "reat workshops by hundreds& thousands and tens of thousands of workers. The old indi)idual produ er is e0propriated from his means of produ tion 4the peasant is turned off his bit of land& the artisan loses his little workshop6 yet the means of produ tion are still pri)ately owned and the produ t still appropriated=by the indi)idual

apitalist or apitalist on ern. +hat the apitalist appropriates& howe)er& is no lon"er the produ t of his own labor& but the so ial produ t of the so ial labor of others. Cen e this pri)ate apitalist appropriation now ontradi ts the new so iali1ed hara ter of produ tion. In this way& as apitalist so iety omes into bein" and de)elops& the old ontradi ts the new. -t first apitalism ontinues to e0pand& brin"in" all aspe ts of e onomy under its sway and e0tendin" its sway o)er the whole world. ?ut then be"ins its pro ess of de line. The ontradi tions rea h a break! in" point. 2apitalism enters into its period of death throes& the "eneral risis of apitalism. - handful of "reat monopolists stands opposed to the workin" lass in the apitalist ountriesF and not only to the workin" lass in the apitalist ountries but to the millions of oppressed peoples in the olonial territories. The old masters of the world stand opposed to its future masters=the past to the future. (oreo)er& ri)al "roups of mono! polists stand opposed to one another& as new imperialist laimants to world domination rise and onfront the older!established powers. The system be"ins to break at its weakest pointsF first in one ountry& then in a series of ountries& the apitalists are o)erpowered and the new system of so ialism be"ins to arise& so that a new so ialist power buildin" up in part of the world onfronts the old apitalist power dyin" but fi"htin" for life in the rest of the world. Thus the old "oes down& fi"htin" a"ainst the new. The new "rows stron"& o)erpowers and supplants the old. ,u h is the pattern of de)elopment.

The *orward $ovement of "evelopment
This pattern of de)elopment is the diale ti of forward mo)e! ment!!'in whi h&/ as 3n"els said& 'in spite of all seemin" a idents and all temporary retro"ression& a pro"ressi)e de)elopment asserts itself in the end./2 The pro ess mo)es forward from sta"e to sta"e& ea h sta"e bein" a "enuine ad)an e to somethin" new& not a fallin" ba k to some sta"e already past. In this pro ess of de)elopment there are pro esses of ad)an e& the birth and sur"in" forward of the new& and pro esses of de ay& the de line and fall of the old. @f ourse& there are times and o asions when the pro ess of de ay may be ome paramount& and when the for es of ad)an e are not suffi iently stron" to o)er ome the old and to supplant it. This has o urred in the past& for instan e& in the history of so iety& when i)ili1ations ha)e disinte"rated and disappeared& be ause they de ayed
2 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach& 2hapter II.

and the for es of ad)an e were not stron"ly enou"h de)eloped in them to arry them forward. Ao matter. %espite su h 'temporary retro"ression&/ the 'pro"ressi)e de)elopment asserts itself in the end./ -t the present day there are people who talk about the likelihood of the 'end of i)ili1ation./ If we onsidered only the apitalist for es& su h an end mi"ht well be e0pe ted. If there were no ,o)iet Pnion& if there were no People:s 2hina& if there were no or"ani1ed workin"! lass mo)ement& no national liberation mo)ement& no pea e mo)ement& then the apitalists would 7uite ertainly destroy their own i)ili1ation. ?ut in fa t there ha)e already risen and "rown tens of millions stron" the new for es whi h will arry i)ili1ation forward from apitalism to so ialism. The o)erall& lon"!term& forward!mo)in" pro ess of de)elopment takes pla e& not in a strai"ht line& but in a series of 1i"!1a"s& of parti ular and seemin"ly a idental o urren es& of temporary setba ksF for the de)elopment as a whole is but the summation of an entire omple0 of infinitely )arious han"es and inter!relations. If& then& we want to under! stand how the de)elopment pro eeds in the on rete ase& we ha)e to see it as takin" its ourse throu"h a series of parti ular& on rete e)ents. @n the other hand& if we want to understand these parti ular e)ents them! sel)es& we should understand them& not in isolation& but in their onte0t within the pro ess of de)elopment as a whole. -s on erns parti ular han"es of parti ular thin"s whi h take part in the pro ess of de)elopment& they do not& of ourse& all fall into a sin"le pattern of 'forward mo)ement./ There are manifold omin"s and "oin"s and intera tions of parti ular thin"s& han"es of form and han"es of state& han"es of one thin" into another and destru tion of one thin" by another& y les of han"e whi h re)ert a"ain to the ori"inal startin" point& and so on. %iale ti s& as the study of pro esses in all their on! reteness& in all their manifold han"es and inter onne tions& is on! erned with all these pro esses. Cere& howe)er& we are on erned with the "eneral laws of the o)erall pro ess of de)elopment& as an 'onward and upward mo)ement/ manifested in a series of 'transitions from an old 7ualitati)e state to a new 7ualitati)e state./

The (ole of 9egation in "evelopment
This "eneral forward mo)ement& as we ha)e seen& infinitely omple0 as it is in detail& takes pla e throu"h the stru""le of the new and the old and the o)er omin" of the old and dyin" by the new and risin". This diale ti al on eption of de)elopment is opposed to the older liberal on eption fa)ored by bour"eois theoreti ians. The bour! "eois liberals re o"ni1e de)elopment and assert that pro"ress is a uni)er! sal law of nature and so iety. ?ut they see de)elopment as a "radual and

smooth pro ess& pro eedin" throu"h a series of easy and imper eptible han"es. They may re o"ni1e stru""le where they annot help but noti e itF but to them it seems an unfortunate interruption of orderly pro"ress& more likely to impede de)elopment than to help it forward. .or them& what e0ists has not to be supplanted by what is omin" into e0isten e& the old has not to be o)er ome by the new& but it has to be preserved& so that it an "radually impro)e itself and be ome a hi"her e0isten e. True to this philosophy& whi h they took o)er from the apital! ists& the ,o ial %emo rats stro)e to preser)e apitalism& with the idea that it ould imper eptibly "row into so ialismF and thus stri)in" to pre! ser)e apitalism& they end by fi"htin"& not for so ialism& but a"ainst it. +hen the stru""le is on& these e0ponents of so ial pea e and lass ol! laboration annot a)oid stru""le9 they simply enter into it on the other side. 2omparin" the diale ti al materialist& or re)olutionary& on ep! tion of de)elopment with this liberal& reformist on eption of de)elop! ment& we may say that the one re o"ni1es and embra es& while the other fails to re o"ni1e and shrinks from& the role of negation in de)elopment. @f ourse we annot assert that the transition from the old state to the new& from one 7uality to another& must always take pla e in e0a tly the same way. .or& as we ha)e already seen& diale ti s does not mean applyin" some pre on ei)ed s heme to e)ery pro ess& but& on the on! trary& e)ery pro ess has its own diale ti & whi h must be dedu ed from the study of the pro ess itself. Thus while diale ti s tea hes us to re o"! ni1e how the old supplants the new in a sudden& re)olutionary way& by a blow in whi h the old is abolished and the new established in its pla e& we must also take into a ount how the transition to a new 7uality takes pla e in a different way=not by a sudden blow& but 'by the "radual and prolon"ed a umulation of the elements of the new 7uality....and the "radual dyin" away of the elements of the old 7uality./ $ ?oth types of transition are e0emplified in nature& and also in so iety. The "radual pro! ess is manifested& for e0ample& as ,talin has re ently pointed out& in the de)elopment of lan"ua"es. -nd a"ain& while fundamental han"es in so iety take pla e throu"h re)olutionary uphea)als so lon" as anta"on! isti lasses e0ist& su h re)olutions are no lon"er ne essary after anta"on! isti lasses ha)e been finally abolished in so ialist so iety. The liberal:s mistake lies& not in re o"ni1in" the o urren e of "radual han"es& but in re o"ni1in" nothin" else and failin" to ompre! hend the role of ne"ation in de)elopment. %iale ti s tea hes us to under!

$ 8oseph ,talin& $arxism and %inguistics, 2hapter I& A. B.& 19#1.

stand that the new must stru""le with and o)er ome the old& that the old must "i)e way to and be supplanted by the new=in other words& that the old must be negated. The liberal& who thinks metaphysi ally& understands ne"ation simply as sayin"9 'Ao./ To him ne"ation is merely the end to somethin". .ar from meanin" ad)an e& it means retreatF far from meanin" "ain& it means loss. %iale ti s& on the other hand& tea hes us not to be afraid of ne"ation& but to understand how it be omes a ondition of pro"ress& a means to positi)e ad)an e.


/. The .e*ation of .e*ation
The dialectical conception of development through negation is opposed to the liberal conception of development. *or the liberal, negation is simply a blow which destroys something. But on the contrary, negation is the condition for positive advance, in which the old is abolished only after it has already produced the conditions for the transition to the new, and in which all the positive achievement belonging to the old stage is carried forward into the new. $oreover, a stage already passed can be re-created on a higher level as a result of double negation, the negation of the negation. 'ccording to the liberal conception of development, if a given stage of development is to be raised to a higher level this must take place gradually and peacefully, without the process of negation. But on the contrary, it is only through a double negation that the higher stage can be reached. The repetition of the old stage on a higher level taking place through the negation of negation is a comprehensive and important law of development, the operation of which is exemplified in many processes of nature, history and thought.

The ositive !haracter of 9egation
'Ae"ation in diale ti s does not mean simply sayin" no&/ wrote 3n"els.1 +hen in the pro ess of de)elopment the old sta"e is ne"ated by the new& then& in the first pla e& that new sta"e ould not ha)e ome about e0 ept as arisin" from and in opposition to the old. The onditions for the e0isten e of the new arose and matured within the old. The ne"a! tion is a positi)e ad)an e& brou"ht about only by the de)elopment of that whi h is ne"ated. The old is not simply abolished& lea)in" thin"s as thou"h it had ne)er e0isted9 it is abolished only after it has itself "i)en rise to the onditions for the new sta"e of ad)an e. In the se ond pla e& the old sta"e& whi h is ne"ated& itself onsti! tutes a sta"e of ad)an e in the forward!mo)in" pro ess of de)elopment as a whole. It is ne"ated& but the ad)an e whi h took pla e in it is not ne"ated. @n the ontrary& this ad)an e is arried forward to the new sta"e& whi h takes into itself and arries forward all the past a hie)e! ment. .or e0ample9 so ialism repla es apitalism=it ne"ates it. ?ut the onditions for the rise and )i tory of so ialism were born of apital! ism& and so ialism omes into e0isten e as the ne0t sta"e of so ial de)el!
1 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring, Part I& 2hapter KIII.

opment after apitalism. 3)ery a hie)ement& e)ery ad)an e in the for es of produ tion& and likewise e)ery ultural a hie)ement whi h took pla e under apitalism& is not destroyed when apitalism is destroyed& but& on the ontrary& is preser)ed and arried further. This positi)e ontent of ne"ation is not understood by liberals& for whom ne"ation is 'simply sayin" no./ (oreo)er& they think of ne"a! tion as omin" only from outside& e0ternally. ,omethin" is de)elopin" )ery well& and then somethin" else omes from outside and ne"ates it= destroys it. That is their on eption. That somethin" by its own de)elop! ment leads to its own ne"ation& and thereby to a hi"her sta"e of de)elop! ment=lies outside their omprehension. Thus the liberals on ei)e of so ial re)olution not only as a ata! strophe& as an end to the ordered pro"ress& but they belie)e that su h a atastrophe an be brou"ht about only by outside for es. If a re)olution threatens to upset the apitalist system& that is not be ause of the de)el! opment of the ontradi tions of that system itself& but is due to 'a"itat! ors./ @f ourse& there is ne"ation whi h takes form simply of a blow from outside whi h destroys somethin". .or instan e& if I am walkin" alon" the road and am kno ked down by a ar& I suffer ne"ation of a purely ne"ati)e sort. ,u h o urren es are fre7uent both in nature and in so iety. ?ut this is not how we must understand ne"ation if we are to understand the positi)e role of ne"ation in the pro ess of de)elopment. -t ea h sta"e in the pro ess of de)elopment there arises the stru""le of the new with the old. The new arises and "rows stron" within the old onditions& and when it is stron" enou"h it o)er omes and des! troys the old. This is the ne"ation of the past sta"e of de)elopment& of the old 7ualitati)e sta"e of de)elopment& of the old 7ualitati)e stateF and it means the omin" into bein" of the new and hi"her sta"e of de)elop! ment& the new 7ualitati)e state.

9egation of 9egation
This brin"s us to a further diale ti al feature of de)elopment= the ne"ation of ne"ation. - ordin" to the liberal idea that ne"ation 'means simply sayin" no&/ if the ne"ation is ne"ated& then the ori"inal position is restored on e more without han"e. - ordin" to this idea& ne"ation is simply a ne"at! i)e& a takin" away. Cen e if the ne"ation& the takin" away& is itself ne"! ated& that merely means puttin" ba k a"ain what was taken away. If a thief takes my wat h& and then I take it away from him& we are ba k to where we started=I ha)e the wat h a"ain. ,imilarly& if I say& 'It:s "oin"

to be a fine day&/ and you say& 'Ao& it:s "oin" to be a wet day&/ to whi h I reply& 'Ao& it:s "oin" to be a fine day&/ I ha)e simply& by ne"atin" your ne"ation& re!stated my ori"inal proposition. This is enshrined in the prin iple of formal lo"i & 'not not!e7uals -./ - ordin" to this prin iple& ne"ation of ne"ation is a fruitless pro eedin". It Eust takes you ba k to where you started. >et us& howe)er& onsider a real pro ess of de)elopment and the diale ti al ne"ation whi h takes pla e in it. ,o iety de)elops from primiti)e ommunism to the sla)e system. The ne0t sta"e is feudalism. The ne0t sta"e is apitalism. 3a h sta"e arises from the pre)ious one& and ne"ates it. ,o far we ha)e simply a su ! ession of sta"es& ea h followin" as the ne"ation of the other and onsti! tutin" a hi"her sta"e of de)elopment. ?ut what omes ne0tD 2ommun! ism. Cere there is a return to the be"innin"& but at a hi"her le)el of de)el! opment. In the pla e of primiti)e ommunism& based on e0tremely prim! iti)e for es of produ tion& omes ommunism based on e0tremely ad)an ed for es of produ tion and ontainin" within itself tremendous new potentialities of de)elopment. The old& primiti)e lassless so iety has be ome the new and hi"her lassless so iety. It has been raised& as it were& to a hi"her power& has reappeared on a hi"her le)el. ?ut this has happened only be ause the old lassless so iety was ne"ated by the appearan e of lasses and the de)elopment of lass so iety& and be ause finally lass so iety& when it had "one throu"h its whole de)elopment& was itself ne"ated by the workin" lass takin" power& endin" e0ploitation of man by man& and establishin" a new lassless so iety on the founda! tion of all the a hie)ements of the whole pre)ious de)elopment. This is the ne"ation of ne"ation. ?ut it does not take us ba k to the ori"inal startin" point. It takes us forward to a new startin" point& whi h is the ori"inal one raised& throu"h its ne"ation and the ne"ation of the ne"ation& to a hi"her le)el. Thus we see that in the ourse of de)elopment& as a result of a double ne"ation& a later sta"e an repeat an earlier sta"e& but repeat it on a hi"her le)el of de)elopment. There is a 'de)elopment that seemin"ly repeats the sta"es already passed& but repeats them otherwise 4in a new way6& on a hi"her basis...a de)elopment& so to speak& in spirals& not in a strai"ht line./ 2 This is a on eption of de)elopment& like that of diale ti al ne"a! tion in "eneral& whi h the liberal outlook annot stoma h. To the liberal outlook de)elopment seems to be a smooth& upward ourse pro eedin" throu"h a series of small han"es. If a "i)en sta"e of de)elopment is to be raised to a hi"her le)el& then this must take pla e "radually and pea e!
2 I. I. >enin& The Teachings of Aarl $arx& A. B.& 19$0.

fully& throu"h the 'harmonious unfoldin"/ of all the hi"her potentialities latent in the ori"inal sta"e. ?ut on the ontrary& the fa ts show that it is only throu"h stru""le and throu"h ne"ation that the hi"her sta"e is won. The de)elopment takes pla e not as 'a harmonious unfoldin"/ but as 'a dis losure of ontradi tions&/ in whi h the lower sta"e is ne"ated=des! troyedF in whi h the de)elopment whi h follows its ne"ation is itself ne"atedF and in whi h the hi"her sta"e is rea hed only as a result of that double ne"ation. -s Ce"el put it& the hi"her end of de)elopment is rea hed only throu"h 'the sufferin"& the patien e and the labor of the ne"ati)e./ $

' !omprehensive and &mportant %aw of "evelopment
In dis ussin" the ne"ation of ne"ation we must a"ain stress what was said earlier& namely& that the essen e of diale ti s is to study a pro! ess 'in all its on reteness&/ to work out how it a tually takes pla e& and not to impose on it some pre on ei)ed s heme and then try to 'pro)e/ the ne essity of the real pro ess reprodu in" the ideal s heme. +e do not say in ad)an e that e)ery pro ess will e0emplify the ne"ation of ne"a! tion. ,till less do we use this on eption to try to 'pro)e/ anythin". Geferrin" to (ar0:s demonstration of the o urren e of the ne"a! tion of ne"ation in history& 3n"els said9 'In hara teri1in" the pro ess as the ne"ation of the ne"ation& therefore& (ar0 does not dream of attemptin" to pro)e by this that the pro ess was histori ally ne essary. @n the ontrary9 after he was pro)ed from history that in fa t the pro ess has partially already o urred& and partially must o ur in the future& he then also hara teri1es it as a pro! ess whi h de)elops in a ordan e with a definite histori al law. That is all./5 %iale ti s tea hes us that we shall understand the laws of de)el! opment of ea h parti ular pro ess by studyin" that pro ess itself& in its de)elopment. ?ut when we do that& we shall dis o)er the repetition of the old sta"e on a hi"her le)el takin" pla e throu"h the ne"ation of the ne"ation. '+hat& therefore& is the ne"ation of the ne"ationD/ wrote 3n"els. '-n e0tremely "eneral=and for this reason e0tremely omprehensi)e and important=law of de)elopment of nature& history and thou"ht...It is ob)ious that in des ribin" any e)olutionary pro ess as the ne"ation of the ne"ation I do not say anythin" on ernin" the particular pro ess of de)elopment...+hen I say that all these pro esses are the ne"ation of ne"ation& I brin" them all to"ether under this one law of motion& and for
$ Ce"el& The henomenology of $ind, Prefa e. 5 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring& Part I& 2hapter KIII.

this )ery reason I lea)e out of a ount the pe uliarities of ea h separate pro ess. %iale ti s is nothin" more than the s ien e of the "eneral laws of motion and de)elopment of nature& human so iety and thou"ht./ # Cow 'e0tremely omprehensi)e and important/ is this law of de)elopment an be shown in numerous e0amples. +e ha)e already seen how the ne"ation of the ne"ation o urs in history in the de)elopment from primiti)e ommunism to ommunism. It o urs a"ain in the de)elopment of indi)idual property. (ar0 pointed out that the pre! apitalist 'indi)idual pri)ate property founded on the labors of the proprietor/ is ne"ated=destroyed!!by apitalist pri)ate property. .or apitalists pri)ate property arises only on the ruin and e0propriation of the pre! apitalist indi)idual produ ers. The indi)idual produ er used to own his instruments of produ tion and his produ t=both were taken away from him by the apitalists. ?ut when apitalist pri)ate property is itself ne"ated=when 'the e0propriators are e0propriated/!!then the indi! )idual property of the produ ers is restored on e more& but in a new form& on a hi"her le)el. 'This does not re!establish pri)ate property for the produ er& but "i)es him indi)idual property based on the a 7uisitions of the apitalist era& i.e. on o!operation and the possession in ommon of the land and the means of produ tion./6 The produ er& as a parti ipant in so iali1ed produ tion& then enEoys& as his indi)idual property& a share of the so ial produ t!!'a ord! in" to his labor&/ in the first sta"e of ommunist so iety& and 'a ordin" to his needs/ in the fully de)eloped ommunist so iety. +hen apitalism arose& the only way forward was throu"h this ne"ation of ne"ation. ,ome of the ?ritish 2hartists put forward in their land poli y demands aimed at arrestin" the new apitalist pro ess and at restorin" the old pri)ate property of the produ er. This was )ain. The only road forward for the produ ers was by the stru""le a"ainst apital! ism and for so ialism=not to restore the old indi)idual property whi h apitalism had destroyed& but to destroy apitalism and so reate indi! )idual property a"ain on a new& so ialist basis. -"ain& in the history of thou"ht& the 'primiti)e& natural material! ism/ of the earliest philosophers is ne"ated by philosophi al idealism& and modern materialism arises as the ne"ation of that idealism.

# &bid. 6 (ar0& !apital& Iol. I& 2hapter KKKII.

'This modern materialism& the ne"ation of ne"ation& is not the mere re!establishment of the old& but adds to the permanent foundations of this old materialism the whole thou"ht ontent of two thousand years of de)elopment of philosophy and natural s ien e./7 The ne"ation of ne"ation& as 3n"els also pointed out& is a )ery familiar phenomenon to the plant breeder. If he has some seed and wants to "et from it some better seed& then he has to "row the seed under defin! ite onditions for its de)elopment=whi h means brin"in" about the ne"! ation of the seed by its "rowin" into a plant and then ontrollin" the on! ditions of de)elopment of the plant until it brin"s about its own ne"ation in the produ tion of more seed. ,ome e0perts& it is true& ha)e lately ad)o ated "oin" another and more dire t way about it& namely& han"in" the seed dire tly by treatin" it with hemi als or K!rays. The result of this& howe)er& is imply a num! ber of hapha1ard han"es in the properties of the seed& and not a on! trolled pro ess of de)elopment. '.urthermore& the whole of "eolo"y is a series of ne"ated ne"a! tions&/ wrote 3n"els& 'a series arisin" from the su essi)e shatterin" of old and the depositin" of new ro k formations...?ut the result of this pro! ess has been a )ery positi)e one9 the reation& out of the most )aried hemi al elements& of a mi0ed and me hani ally pul)eri1ed soil whi h makes possible the most abundant and di)erse )e"etation./ 'It is the same in mathemati s&/ he ontinued. If you want to raise a number a to a hi"her power& then this an be done by first operat! in" on a as as to "et Ma& and then makin" the additional operation of mul! tiplyin" Ma by itself& whi h results in aB6. Thus aB6& the se ond power of a& is rea hed by a ne"ation of ne"ation. In this ase it is also possible to "et aB6 from a by a sin"le pro ess& namely& multiplyin" a by a. Ae)er! theless& as 3n"els pointed out& 'the ne"ated ne"ation is so se urely entren hed in aB6 that the latter always has two s7uare roots& namely a and Ma./8 The ne"ation of ne"ation is found in the series of hemi al ele! ments& in whi h properties of elements of lower atomi wei"ht disappear and then reappear a"ain in elements of hi"her atomi wei"ht. -nd the de)elopment of life itself obeys the law of ne"ation of ne"ation. The most primiti)e li)in" or"anisms are omparati)ely speak! in" immortal& ontinuin" themsel)es in bein" by ontinually di)idin". The de)elopment of hi"her or"anisms& with se0ual reprodu tion& was possible only at the ost of death. The or"anism be omes mortal. The hi"her de)elopment of life takes pla e throu"h its ne"ation& death.
7 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring, Part I& 2hapter KIII. 8 &bid.

-nd after that& these mortal or"anisms ad)an e further. The pro! ess of the e)olution of spe ies of plants and animals be"ins. +ith the birth of man& so ial e)olution bein"s& the whole pro ess of so ial de)el! opment from primiti)e ommunism& throu"h its ne"ation& lass so iety& to the lassless so iety of ommunism. (oreo)er& man be"ins to master nature. -nd when& with ommunism& he brin"s his own so ial or"ani1a! tion under his own ons ious ontrol& then an entirely new epo h in the e)olution of life opens up.


. Criticism and 0elf1Criticism
"evelopment through contradictions, the struggle between the new and the old, will continue to be the rule in the future development of communist society. But with the ending of all exploitation of man by man, this development will no longer take place through violent social conflicts and upheavals but through the rational method of criticism and self-criticism, which will become the new level of development. *rom the whole discussion of the $arxist dialectical method the conclusion follows that $arxism is a creative science which must continually advance in application to new conditions of development. !riticism and self-criticism lies at the very heart of the $arxist dialectical method.

' 9ew Type of "evelopment
+hat& now& of the future de)elopment of so iety& after the sta"e of ommunism has been rea hedD -re we to suppose that the same dia! le ti al laws of de)elopment will ontinue to operateD @r that de)elop! ment will easeD %e)elopment will not ease. @n the ontrary& it is only with the a hie)ement of ommunism that human de)elopment in the proper sense& that is to say& a de)elopment ons iously planned and ontrolled by men themsel)es& really be"insF all the rest was only the painful pre! paration for it& the birth!pan"s of the human ra e. +hen all the means of produ tion are brou"ht fully under planned so ial dire tion& then it may be e0pe ted that men:s mastery o)er nature will enormously in rease& and the on7uest and transformation of nature by man will in turn mean profound han"es in men:s mode of life. .or instan e& ability to produ e an absolute abundan e of produ ts with a minimum e0penditure of human labor& abolition of the antithesis between town and ountryside& abolition of the antithesis between manual and intelle tual labor& learly imply profound han"es in so ial or"ani1ation& in outlook& in habits& in mode of life "enerally. ?ut the effe tin" of su h han"es annot but in)ol)e& at ea h sta"e& the o)er omin" of forms of so ial or"ani1ation& of outlooks and habits& belon"in" to the past. %e)el! opment& therefore& will ontinue to take pla e throu"h the dis losure of ontradi tions& the stru""le between the new and the old& the future and the past. Cow else an we e0pe t thin"s to mo)e forwardD Aew tenden! ies will arise out of the e0istin" onditions at ea h sta"e& whi h will ome into ontradi tion with the e0istin" onditions and hen e lead to their passin" and "i)in" way to new onditions.

?ut there is no reason to e0pe t that this de)elopment will take pla e& as hitherto& throu"h )iolent onfli ts and so ial uphea)als. @n the ontrary& with ommunism there will ha)e take pla e& as 3n"els e0pressed it& 'humanity:s leap from the realm of ne essity into the realm of freedom./ -nd that means that the elemental onfli ts hara ter! isti of the 'realm of ne essity/ will "i)e pla e to han"es ontrolled and planned. 'The laws of his own so ial a ti)ity& whi h ha)e hitherto on! fronted him as e0ternal& dominatin" laws of nature& will then be applied by man with omplete understandin"& and hen e will be dominated by man. (en:s own so ial or"ani1ation whi h has hitherto stood in opposi! tion to them as if arbitrarily de reed by nature and history& will then be ome the )oluntary a t of men themsel)es...men with full ons ious! ness will fashion their own history./1 +hen men understand the laws of their own so ial or"ani1ation and ha)e it under their own o!operati)e ontrol& when there is no e0ploitation of man by man& when what is new and risin" and its ontra! di tion with the old is fully understood& then it is possible to do away with old onditions and reate new onditions in a deliberate and planned way& without onfli t or uphea)al. 2ontradi tion and the o)er omin" of the old by the new remainF but the element of anta"onism and onfli t as between men in so iety disappears and "i)es way to the properly human method of de idin" affairs by rational dis ussion= riti ism and self! riti ism. This mode of so ial de)elopment is already be"innin" in the ,o)iet Pnion today. 'In our ,o)iet so iety&/ said -. -. Jhdano)& 'where anta"onisti lasses ha)e been li7uidated& the stru""le between the old and the new& and onse7uently the de)elopment from the lower to the hi"her& pro eeds not in the form of stru""le between anta"onisti lasses and of ata! lysms& as in the ase under apitalism& but in the form of riti ism and self! riti ism& whi h is the real moti)e for e of our de)elopment& a powerful instrument in the hands of the 2ommunist Party. This is in on! testably a new aspe t of mo)ement& a new type of de)elopment& a new diale ti al law./2

1 3n"els& 'nti-"euhring& Part III& 2hapter IIF 0ocialism, 8topian and 0cientific& 2hapter III. 2 Jhdano)& Essays on %iterature, hilosophy, and $usic, 2hapter II.


#uman erspectives
In the first phase of transition from so ialism o ommunism& de)elopment takes pla e throu"h ontinued stru""le a"ainst the old herit! a"e of apitalism. +hat will happen when the last tra es of old lass so iety ha)e been obliterated throu"hout the worldD +e an at all e)ents predi t er! tain initial features of the de)elopment of world ommunist so iety= asso iated humanity. Thus the or"ani1ation of the state and of a "o)ern! ment party will be ome outmoded& and state and party will disappear. This was already foreseen by (ar0 and 3n"els. -"ain& ,talin has pointed out that the fullest de)elopment of national ultures and national lan"ua"es& whi h is the task first arisin" from the abolition of the national oppression of apitalism& will pro)ide the basis for an e)entually uni)ersal human ulture and human lan"ua"e. +hen 'so ialism has be ome part and par el of the life of the people& and when pra ti e has on)in ed the nations of the superiority of a om! mon lan"ua"e o)er national lan"ua"es&/ then 'national differen es and lan"ua"es will be"in to die away and make room for a world lan"ua"e& ommon to all nations./$ -s for the more remote future& we ha)e no data on whi h to base predi tions=thou"h we an be 7uite sure that )ast han"es will take pla e& and that the people of the future& masters of nature and knowin" no oppression of man by man& will be well able to look after the destinies of the human ra e. ?ernard ,haw& in his Back to $ethuselah, spe ulated on the pos! sibility of the span of human life bein" "reatly e0tended& and e)entually e0tended indefinitely. True& he thou"h& this would happen throu"h the mysterious operation of 'the life for e./ Bet it was a profound spe ula! tion& for su h a result may well be brou"ht about throu"h the de)elop! ment of physiolo"i al knowled"e and medi al s ien e. -nd ,haw was 7uite ri"ht in supposin" that su h a de)elopment would make a tremend! ous differen e in the whole mode of human life and in all so ial institu! tions. This is& indeed& one of the ways in whi h the ad)an e of s ien e and of men:s mastery o)er nature 4our own nature& in this ase6 ould lead to de)elopments of )ast& transformin" si"nifi an e for human life and so iety. -t all e)ents& we annot set limits to the powers of human a hie)ement. -nd bearin" this in mind& we may well belie)e that our des endants a few hundred "enerations hen e will in their manner of life resemble us far less than we resemble our own an estors amon" the primiti)e sa)a"es.
$ 8oseph ,talin& The 9ational /uestion and %eninism, A. B.& 19#1.


!reative $arxism
+ith this& we may try to sum up the main on lusions about dia! le ti s. %iale ti s is on erned with inter onne tion& han"e and de)el! opment. Pnderstood in the materialist way& diale ti s is 'the s ien e of the "eneral laws of motion and de)elopment of nature& human so iety and thou"ht./ The diale ti al method is the method of approa h by the appli a! tion of whi h we ad)an e our materialist understandin" of nature and history& and all parti ular pro esses of nature and history. It is a method .not a "eneral formula& and not an abstra t philosophi al system. It "uides us in understandin" thin"s so as to han"e them. ,u h bein" the nature of diale ti s and of the diale ti al method& it should be lear that the s ien e of diale ti s itself "rows and de)elops& and that the method is enhan ed and enri hed with ea h further appli a! tion. 3)ery new so ial de)elopment and e)ery new ad)an e of the s i! en es and the arts pro)ides the basis for enri hin" and e0tendin" the understandin" of diale ti s and of the diale ti al method. +e annot understand and master new material simply by repeatin" what has already been learned& but on the ontrary& we learn more& and e0tend& orre t and enri h our ideas in the li"ht of new problems and new e0peri! en es. Thus (ar0ism is a de)elopin"& pro"ressi)e s ien e. 'There is do"mati (ar0ism and reati)e (ar0ism. I stand by the latter&/ said ,talin.5 2reati)e (ar0ism9 '2on entrates its attention upon...the path and means of reali1in" (ar0ism for )arious situations& han"in" the path and means when the situation han"es...It takes its dire ti)es and "uidin" lines not from his! tori al analo"ies and parallels& but from the study of surroundin" ondi! tions. In its a ti)ities it relies& not on 7uotations and aphorisms but on pra ti al e0perien e& testin" e)ery step it takes by e0perien e& learnin" from its mistakes and tea hin" others to build a new life./ # '(asterin" the (ar0ist!>eninist theory means assimilatin" the substance of this theory and learnin" to use it in the solution of the pra ! ti al problems of the re)olutionary mo)ement under the )aryin" ondi! tions of the lass stru""le of the proletariat.
5 ,ee #istory of the !ommunist arty of the 0oviet 8nion, 2hapter III& ,e tion 5& A. B.& 19$9. # 8oseph ,talin& %enin, '>enin as @r"ani1er and >eader of the 2ommunist Party&/ A. B.& 19$5.

'(asterin" the (ar0ist!>eninist theory means bein" able to enri h this theory with the new e0perien e of the re)olutionary mo)e! ment& with new propositions and on lusions& it means bein" able to develop it and advance it without hesitatin" to repla e=in a ordan e with the substan e of the theory=su h of its propositions and on lu! sions as ha)e be ome anti7uated by the new ones orrespondin" to the new histori al situation./6 2reati)e (ar0ism is the )ery opposite of re)isionism. This must be stressed& be ause re)isionism usually be"ins by announ in" that (ar0ism 'must not be ome a do"ma./ Ge)isionism means "oin" ba k! wards from (ar0ism9 in the name of opposin" do"mas& it abandons (ar0ism in fa)or of the do"mas of bour"eois theory. 2reati)e (ar0ism preser)es and herishes the substan e of the (ar0ist materialist theory. Thus ,talin said of >enin9 '>enin was& and remains& the most loyal and onsistent pupil of (ar0 and 3n"els& and he wholly and entirely based himself on the prin! iples of (ar0ism. ?ut >enin did not merely arry out the do trines of (ar0 and 3n"els. Ce was also the ontinuator of these do trines...Ce de)eloped the do trines of (ar0 and 3n"els still further in appli ation to the new onditions of de)elopment./7

!riticism and 0elf-!riticism, a %ever of rogress
In order& then& to master the method of (ar0ist!>eninism& the method of diale ti s& we must use it and de)elop it in use. -nd this demands riti ism and self! riti ism in all spheres of theoreti al and pra ti al a ti)ity. 2riti ism and self riti ism& whi h belon"s at the )ery heart of the (ar0ist diale ti al method& means that theory and pra ti e must always be mat hed up one with the other. Theory must not be allowed to la" behind pra ti eF theory must keep not only le)el with pra ti e but in ad)an e of it& so as to ser)e as a true and reliable "uide. Pra ti e must not be allowed to "rope in the dark without the li"ht of theory& nor to be distorted by wron" and anti7uated theory. -nd this mat hin" up of theory and pra ti e an only be a hie)ed by onstant alertness& by onstant readiness to riti i1e and to learn& by ontinuous he k!up of ideas and a tions both from abo)e and from below& by readiness to re o"ni1e what is new and to orre t or ast aside what is old and no lon"er appli able& by frank re o"nition of mistakes. (istakes are ine)itable. ?ut by the

6 #istory of the !ommunist arty of the 0oviet 8nion, 2on lusion. 7 ,talin& &nterview with the *irst 'merican %abor "elegation, 1927.

he k up whi h re o"ni1es mistakes in time& by e0aminin" riti ally the roots of those mistakes and orre tin" them& by learnin" from mistakes& we ad)an e to new su esses. '- party is in)in ible&/ wrote ,talin& 'if it does not fear riti ism and self! riti ism& if it does not "loss o)er the mistakes and defe ts in its work& if it tea hes and edu ates its adres by drawin" the lessons from the mistakes in party work& and if it knows how to orre t its mistakes in time./8 @ften mistakes arise be ause we lin" to old habits and old for! mulations whi h ha)e be ome anti7uated and inappli able to new ondi! tions and new tasks. +hen this happens& and when& as a result& thin"s do not turn out as anti ipated& then& if we are ready riti ally to e0amine what has "one wron"& we learn somethin" new and "row in stren"th& stature and e0perien e. '+e are ad)an in" in the pro ess of stru""le& in the pro ess of the de)elopment of ontradi tions& in the pro ess of o)er omin" these ontradi tions& in the pro ess of brin"in" these ontradi tions to li"ht and li7uidatin" them&/ said ,talin. ',omethin" in life is always dyin". ?ut that whi h is dyin" refuses to die 7uietlyF it fi"hts for its e0isten e& defends it moribund ause. ',omethin" new in life is always bein" born. ?ut that whi h is bein" born does not ome into the world 7uietlyF it omes int s7uealin" and s reamin"& defendin" its ri"ht to e0isten e. 'The stru""le between the old and the new& between the dyin" and the nas ent=su h is the foundation of de)elopment. ?y failin" openly and honestly& as befits ?olshe)iks& to point to& to brin" to li"ht& the defe ts and mistakes in our work& we lose our road to pro"ress. ?ut we want to "o forward. -nd pre isely be ause we want to "o forward& we must make honest and re)olutionary self! riti ism of our most important tasks. +ithout this there is no pro"ress. +ithout this there is no de)elopment./9

8 #istory of the !ommunist arty of the 0oviet 8nion, 2on lusion. 9 8oseph ,talin& (eport to *ifteenth !ongress of the !ommunist arty of the 0oviet 8nion.


". Dialectical Materialism and 0cience
"ialectical materialism is a scientific world outlook. &ts scientific character is manifested especially in that it turns socialism into a science and, by developing the science of society, shows how the whole of science can be developed in the service of mankind. &n general, dialectical materialism is a scientific world outlook in that it does not seek to establish any philosophy =above science> but bases its conception of the world on the discoveries of the sciences. The entire advance of the sciences is an advance of materialism against idealism- and further, science shows that our materialist conception of the world must be dialectical. 0uch great past discoveries as the law of the transformation of energy, the "arwinian theory of evolution and the theory of the cell have demonstrated the dialectic of nature. 9evertheless science in the capitalist world has entered into a state of crisis, due primarily to 354 the subjugation of scientific research to the capitalist monopolies and to military purposes, and 364 the conflict between new discoveries and old idealists and metaphysical ideas. "ialectical materialism is not only a generali2ation of the achievements of science, but a weapon for the self-criticism and for the advancement of science.

' 0cientific ,orld )utlook
%iale ti al materialism& the world outlook of the (ar0ist!>enin! ist party& is a truly s ientifi world outlook. .or it is based on onsiderin" thin"s as they are& without arbitrary& pre on ei)ed assumptions 4idealist fantasies6F it insists that our on eptions of thin"s must be based on a tual in)esti"ation and e0perien e& and must be onstantly tested and re! tested in the li"ht of pra ti e and further e0perien e. Indeed& 'diale ti al materialism/ means9 understandin" thin"s Eust as they are 4'materialism/6& in their a tual inter onne tion and mo)ement 4'diale ti s/6. The same annot be said about other philosophies. They all make arbitrary assumptions of one kind or another& and try to ere t a 'system/ on the basis of those assumptions. ?ut su h assumptions are arbitrary only in appearan eF in fa t they e0press the )arious preEudi es and illu! sions of definite lasses. The s ientifi hara ter of (ar0ism is manifested espe ially in this& that it makes socialism into a science. +e do not base our so ialism& as the utopians did& on a on ep! tion of abstra t human nature. The utopians worked out s hemes for an ideal so iety& but ould not show how to a hie)e so ialism in pra ti e.

(ar0ism made so ialism into a s ien e by basin" it on an analysis of the a tual mo)ement of history& of the e onomi law of motion of apitalist so iety in parti ular& thus showin" how so ialism arises as the ne essary ne0t sta"e in the e)olution of so iety& and how it an ome about only by the wa"in" of the workin"! lass stru""le& throu"h the defeat of the apit! alist lass and the institution of the di tatorship of the proletariat. Thus (ar0ism treats man himself& so iety and history& s ientifi ! ally. ',o ialism& ha)in" be ome a s ien e& demands the same treat! ment as e)ery other s ien e! it must be studied. The task of the leaders will be to brin" understandin"& thus a 7uired and larified& to the work! in" masses& to spread it with in reased enthusiasm& to lose the ranks of the party or"ani1ations and of the labor unions with e)en "reater ener"y./1 , ientifi study of so iety shows that human history de)elops from sta"e to sta"e a ordin" to definite laws. (en themsel)es are the a ti)e for e in this de)elopment. ?y understandin" the laws of de)elop! ment of so iety& therefore& we an "uide our own stru""les and reate our own so ialist future. Thus s ientifi so ialism is the "reatest and most important of all the s ien es. The pra titioners of the natural s ien es are now "ettin" worried be ause they feel that "o)ernments do not know how to put their dis o)! eries to proper use. They ha)e "ood ause to worry about this. , ien e is dis o)erin" the se rets of atomi ener"y& for e0ampleF but its dis o)eries are bein" used to reate weapons of destru tion. (any people are e)en omin" to belie)e that it would be better if we had no s ien e& sin e its dis o)eries open up su h terrifyin" possibilities of disaster. Cow an we insure that the dis o)eries of s ien e are put to proper use for the benefit of mankindD It is s ientifi so ialism& (ar0! ism!>eninism& alone whi h answer this problem. It tea hes us what are the for es whi h make history and thereby shows us how we an make our own history today& han"e so iety and determine our own future. It tea hes us& therefore& how to de)elop the s ien es in the ser)i e of man! kind& how to arry them forward in today:s risis. Physi s an tea h us how to release atomi ener"y& it annot tea h us how to ontrol the so ial use of that ener"y. .or this there is re7uired& not the s ien e of the atom& but the s ien e of so iety.

1 .rederi k 3n"els& easant ,ar in ?ermany, Prefa e to the se ond edition& A.B.& 1926.


0cience of $aterialism
%iale ti al materialism is in no sense philosophy 'abo)e s i! en e./ @thers ha)e set a philosophy 'abo)e s ien e&/ in the sense that they ha)e thou"ht they ould dis o)er what the world was like Eust by thinkin" about it& without relyin" on the data of the s ien es& on the pra ! ti e and e0perien e. -nd then& from this lofty standpoint& they ha)e tried to di tate to the s ientists& to tell them where they were wron"& what their dis o)eries 'really meant&/ and so on. ?ut (ar0ism makes as end of the old philosophy whi h laimed to stand abo)e s ien e and to e0plain 'the world as a whole./ '(odern materialism...no lon"er needs any philosophy standin" abo)e the s ien es&/ wrote 3n"els. '-s soon as ea h separate s ien e is re7uired to "et larity as to its position in the "reat totality of thin"s and of our knowled"e of thin"s a spe ial s ien e dealin" with this totality is superfluous./2 %iale ti al materialism& he further wrote9 'Is in fa t no lon"er a philosophy& but a simple world outlook whi h has to establish its )alidity and be applied not in a s ien e of s i! en es standin" apart& but within the positi)e s ien es...Philosophy is therefore....:both o)er ome and preser)ed:F o)er ome as re"ards its form& and preser)ed as re"ards its real ontent./ $ @ur pi ture of the world about us& of nature& of natural obEe ts and pro esses& their inter onne tions and laws of motion& is not to be deri)ed from philosophi al spe ulation& but from the in)esti"ations of the natural s ien es. The s ientifi pi ture of the world and its de)elopment is not omplete& and ne)er will be. ?ut it has ad)an ed far enou"h for us to reali1e that philosophi al spe ulation is superfluous. -nd we refuse to fill in "aps in s ientifi knowled"e by spe ulation. .or instan e& we do know that life is the mode of e0isten e of ertain types of or"ani bodies=proteinsF but we do not yet know e0a tly how su h bodies& how life& ori"inated. It is no use spe ulatin" about thisF we will ha)e to find out& the hard way& by intensi)e s ientifi in)esti"ation. @nly so will we ome to understand 'the mystery of life./ Thus9 ', ien e is already able to ontrol life& an ontrol li)in" and dead protein. ?ut s ien e annot yet say definitely what protein is& what life is& as to the deri)ation of it. +hyD 3n"els in his day put it e0 ellently when he said that :in order to "ain an e0hausti)e knowled"e of what life
2 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring,Introdu tion& I. $ &bid. Part I& 2hapter KIII.

is& we should ha)e to "o throu"h all the forms in whi h it appears& from the lowest to the hi"hest.: 2onse7uently& in order to understand and learn what protein is& it is also ne essary to "o throu"h all the forms of mani! festation& from the lowest to the hi"hest. -nd for this we need experiment, experiment and again experiment.>5 The "rowin" pi ture of the world whi h natural s ien e unfolds is a materialist pi ture=despite the many efforts of bour"eois philosoph! ers to make out the ontrary. .or step by step as s ien es ad)an es it shows how the ri h )ariety of thin"s and pro esses and han"es to be found in the real world an be e0plained and understood in terms of material auses& without brin"in" in *od or spirit or any supernatural a"en y. 3)ery ad)an e of s ien e is an ad)an e of materialism a"ainst idealism& a on7uest for materialism=althou"h when dri)en out of one position idealism has always taken up another position and manifested itself a"ain in new forms& so that in the past the s ien es ha)e ne)er been onsistently materialist. .or e)ery ad)an e of s ien e means showin" the order and de)elopment of the material world 'from the material world itself./

0cience and "ialectics
-s s ien e has ad)an ed& not only has this materialist pi ture of the world be ome less shadowy& more definite and more on)in in"& but 3n"els point out9 '+ith ea h epo h!makin" dis o)ery e)en in the sphere of natural s ien e materialism has to han"e its form./ # The dis o)eries of the natural s ien es o)er the past hundred years or more ha)e this si"nifi an e=that the materialist pi ture whi h they unfold is a diale ti al one. Thus 3n"els wrote9 'Ge)olution whi h is bein" for ed on theoreti al natural s ien e by the mere need to set in order the purely empiri al dis o)eries...is of su h a kind that it must brin" the diale ti al hara ter of natural e)ents more and more to the ons iousness e)en of those...who are most opposed to it./6

5 T. %. >ysenko and others& The 0ituation in Biological 0cience, ,pee h of ,. *. Petro)& -u"ust 2& 1958& A. B.& 1959. The 7uotation from 3n"els is from 'nti-"uehring& Part I& 2hapter IIII. # 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach, 2hapter II. 6 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring, Prefa e.

'Aature is the test of diale ti s& and it must be said for modern natural s ien e that it has furnished e0tremely ri h and daily in reasin" materials for this test& and has thus pro)ed that in the last analysis nature:s pro ess is diale ti al./7 Three "reat dis o)eries of s ien e in the nineteenth entury abo)e all ontributed to this result& 3n"els pointed out. 8 These were9 The dis o)ery that the ell is the unit from whose multipli ation and di)ision the whole plant or animal body de)elops 4announ ed by , hwann in 18$96. The law of the transformation of ener"y 4announ ed by (ayer in 185#6. The %arwinian theory of e)olution 4announ ed in 18#96. >et us briefly onsider the diale ti al si"nifi an e of these dis! o)eries. .irst& the transformation of ener"y. It used to be thou"ht that heat& for e0ample& was a 'substan e&/ whi h passed in and out of bodiesF and that ele tri ity& ma"netism and so on were separate 'for es&/ a tin" on bodies. In this way different types of physi al pro esses were onsidered ea h separate from the other& in isol! ation. 3a h was pla ed in a separate ompartment as the manifestation of a separate 'substan e/ or 'for e/ and their essential inter onne tion was not understood. ?ut s ien e in the nineteenth entury& with the prin iple of the onser)ation and transformation of ener"y& dis o)ered that9 'me hani al for e...heat& radiation 4li"ht or radiant heat6& ele tri ity& ma"netism and hemi al ener"y are different forms of manifestation of uni)ersal motion& whi h pass into one another in definite proportions so that in pla e of a ertain 7uantity of one whi h disappears a ertain 7uantity of another makes its appearan e& and thus the whole motion of nature is redu ed to this in essant pro ess of transformation from one form into another./ 9 The lue to this dis o)ery was not found in any abstra t philo! sophy& by any pro ess of pure thou"ht. Ao& it was losely related to the de)elopment of steam en"ines and to the workin" out of their prin iples of operation. In a steam en"ine the burnin" of oal releases heat ener"y& whi h heats up steam& whi h is then for ed throu"h a ylinder where it dri)es the piston forward and turns the wheels of the en"ine. Ceat is trans! formed into me hani al motion.
7 &bid.& Introdu tion. 8 3n"els& %udwig *euerbach& 2hapter II. 9 &bid.

+here did the ener"y released from the oal ome fromD +e now know that it ame from the sun:s radiations& was stored up in the plants whi h formed the oal seams& and was finally released when the oal was burned. - lot of it ame from the solar atoms in the pro ess of buildin" hea)ier elements from hydro"en in the interior of the sun. This dis o)ery was first formulated as a onser)ation law= ener"y annot be reated or destroyed& the 7uantity whi h disappears in one form reappears in another form. ?ut it is fundamentally& as 3n"els pointed out& a transformation law=one form of motion of matter is trans! formation into another. Thus physi s be omes a s ien e of transformations=no lon"er studyin" the different types of physi al pro esses& or forms of motion& ea h in isolation& but studyin" their inter onne tions and how one is transformed into another. 4Transformation laws are laws of motion and inter onne tion& on ernin" the inter onne tion of the forms of motion of matter and their passa"e one into the otherF they are not laws of the transformation of 7uantity into 7uality. Hnowled"e of the transformation laws is essential for understandin" the passa"e from 7uantity to 7uality in parti ular ases. .or e0ample& knowled"e of the laws of the transformation of heat into me hani al motion will show how mu h heat ener"y must be released before enou"h steam!pressure is "enerated to dri)e the piston.6 The %arwinian theory of e)olution is in the same way diale ti al and materialist. In pla e of separate spe ies& ea h reated by *od& %arwin showed us a pi ture of the e)olutionary de)elopment of spe ies by means of natural sele tion. The sharp di)isions were broken down& it was shown how spe ies are inter!related and how li)in" nature is trans! formed. .or instan e& the swimmin"!bladder of the fish be omes the lun" of the land animal& the s ales of the reptile be ome the feathers of the bird& and so on. 2losely related to this was the de)elopment of "eolo"y& whi h also be ame an e)olutionary s ien e& studyin" the e)olution of the earth:s rust. >astly& the dis o)ery that the ell was the unit from whose multi! pli ation and di)ision the whole plant or animal body de)eloped repla ed the older on eption of the body as made up of separate tissues. The ell theory was also a theory of motion and inter onne tion& showin" how all the tissues and or"ans arose by differentiation. Thus we see how natural s ien e& step by step& unfolds a pi ture of nature:s diale ti .

+hen we say 'a pi ture&/ we must add that it is a pi ture in the sense that& so far as it "oes& it is a faithful ima"e. ?ut we did not make it by Eust obser)in" nature and writin" down what we obser)ed& not does it ser)e as somethin" whi h we merely admire& an obEe t of ontemplation and intelle tual enEoyment. It is sometimes said that the essential feature of s ien e is that it is based on obser)ations. @f ourse& s ien e is based on obser)ationsF but this is not its most essential feature. The basis of s ien e is not mere obser)ation& but e0periment. , ien e is based on an a ti)ity of interfer! in" with nature& han"in" it=and we learn about thin"s& not Eust by obser)in" them& but by han"in" them. Thus s ien e would ne)er ha)e found out the se rets of the trans! formation of heat into me hani al motion solely by obser)in" nature. They were out as a result of buildin" steam en"inesF we learned the se rets of the pro ess in proportions as we oursel)es learned how to reprodu e that pro ess. Aor ould %arwin ha)e written The )rigin of 0pecies on the sole basis of the obser)ations he made on the )oya"e of the Beagle. Ce made use of the pra ti al e0perien e and results of 3n"lish animal breeders and plant breeders. The s ientifi pi ture is based& not Eust on obser)in" thin"s& but on the han"in" them. -nd we test it& de)elop it and use it also in han"in" nature. , i! en e is not a do"ma& but a "uide to a tion. @n the other hand& if it be omes di)or ed from pra ti e& it de"eneration into a do"ma. Aatural s ien e& then& pro)es that nature:s pro ess is diale ti al& and "i)es us an e)er more on rete& detailed pi ture of the real diale ti al motion and inter onne tion in nature.

The !risis of 0cience in the !apitalist ,orld
?ut& while pointin" this out& 3n"els also pointed to the )ery "reat onfusion whi h e0ists in the s ien es. 'The s ientists who ha)e learned to think diale ti ally are still few and far between& and hen e the onfli t between the dis o)eries made and the old traditional mode of thou"ht is the e0planation of the boundless onfusion whi h now rei"ns in theoreti al natural s ien e and redu es both tea hers and students& writers and reader to despair./ 10 This onfusion has be ome )ery must worse today. In fa t& as the "eneral risis of apitalism has de)eloped and be ome more a ute& so has the onfusion in s ientifi theory and the distortion of s ientifi pra ti e de)eloped and in reased with it.
10 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring, Introdu tion.

, ien e whi h by its dis o)eries lays bare the true diale ti al of nature is ne)ertheless in a state of risis in the apitalist world. +hat is the nature of this risisD It has a double nature. In the first pla e& s ien e is an a ti)ity of resear h and dis o)ery. In apitalist so iety it has "rown enormously& alon" with the other for es of produ tion. , ientifi resear h an no lon"er be arried out by indi! )iduals on their own9 it re7uires "reat institutes& )ast e7uipment& elabor! ate or"ani1ation& bi" finan ial e0penditure. ?ut the more s ientifi resear h e0pands and the "reater these re7uirements be ome& the more it falls under the ontrol of the monopol! ies and of their own "o)ernments& and parti ularly of the military. , ien e has to ontribute to profits and to war. ,u h s ien e as does not so ontribute is in reasin"ly star)ed of the resour es ne essary to arry on. '.or e0ample& the whole important field of plant physiolo"y remains relati)ely underde)eloped. This is& to put it rudely& be ause there is no money in it. The state of a"ri ulture under apitalism is su h that the onditions are not reated for fundamental resear hes in this field...It is interestin" to note& too& that while some fields of s ien e are ne"le ted be ause there is no money in them& others suffer be ause there is too mu h. Thus "eo! hemistry is hampered& for instan e& be ause the )ery powerful oil interests impose onditions of se re y on su h resear hes. , ien e is alled upon to answer Eust those parti ular prob! lems in whi h the apitalist monopolies are interested& whi h is by no means the same as answerin" the problems whi h are bound up with the further de)elopment of s ien e and with the interests of the people. This warps the whole de)elopment of s ien e./ 11 Thus s ien e be omes more and more ommer iali1ed=and militari1ed. -nd as a result s ien e is more and more disor"ani1ed and distorted. This is what is happenin" to s ien e in the apitalist world. , ien e an ontribute mi"htily& not only to "i)in" us knowled"e& but throu"h that knowled"e to human welfare& to de)elopin" our powers of produ tion& to on7uerin" disease. Bet it is not bein" de)eloped as it ould be towards these ends. Cow an the disor"ani1ation and distortion of s ien e be o)er! omeD +e an and must resist the misuse of s ien e here and now. ?ut only the ad)an e to so ialism an ensure the full de)elopment and use of s ien e in the ser)i e of mankind. 8ust as so ialism means that the de)el!
11 8. %. ?ernal and (auri e 2ornforth& 0cience for eace and 0ocialism& >ondon& 1958.

opment of all the for es of produ tion an be planned and or"ani1ed in the ser)i e of man& not for profit and war& so it means the same for s i! en e in parti ular. The se ond aspe t is that of theory=the risis of s ientifi ideas. Cow does this ariseD The primary role of s ien e is to dis o)ery the inter onne tions and laws operatin" in the world& so as to e7uip men with the knowled"e ne essary to impro)e their produ tion and li)e better and more fully. ?ut to de)elop resear h and formulate dis o)ery& ideas are ne es! sary. To work out and "uide the strate"y of ad)an e of s ien e& theory is ne essary. -nd in this sphere of ideas and theory& the "reat a hie)ements of s ien e in apitalist so iety ome into ollision with the traditional forms of bour"eois ideolo"y. -s 3n"els stated& there de)elops 'the onfli t between the dis! o)eries made and the old traditional modes of thou"ht./ In two words& the idealism and the metaphysics hara teristi of and in"rained in bour"eois ideolo"y ha)e penetrated deeply into the ideas and theories of the s ien es. Thanks to the way in whi h& in field after field& s ientifi dis o)! ery re)eals the real diale ti of nature& it follows that& as 3n"els put it& the further de)elopment of s ientifi dis o)ery demands 'the diale ti al synthesis./12 ?ut this would arry theory far beyond the limits imposed on it by the bour"eois outlook.

The 9ew 'gainst the )ld in 0cience
,o it is that we find that in field after field bour"eois s ien e turns ba k from its own a hie)ements& "i)es up )anta"e "rounds won& and instead of "oin" forward suffers a theoreti al ollapse. Cere& indeed& is a ase of the stru""le of the new a"ainst the old=of ad)an in" s i! entifi dis o)ery a"ainst the old ideas in terms of whi h s ientifi theory is formulated. Pnderstandin" it thus& we an be 7uite sure that the retro! "ressi)e trend will be but temporary& and that the ad)an e of s ien e will break throu"h the barriers of old ideas and outworn do"mas. In biolo"y& it was the fate of the %arwinian theory to ha)e a do"ma imposed on it=the theory of the "ene. The same thin" happened to the ell theory& with Iir how:s do"ma that the ell omes only from the ell. In ea h ase a diale ti al theory of de)elopment had imposed on it a metaphysi al do"ma whi h denied de)elopment.

12 3n"els& 'nti-"uehring, Prefa e.

In physi s& the "reat dis o)eries about the ele tron& the atomi nu leus& the 7uantum of a tion=about physi al transformations=were interpreted& and not by idealist philosophers alone but by theoreti al physi ists& as meanin" that matter had disappeared and that the limits of in)esti"ation had been rea hed. In the allied s ien e of osmolo"y& s i! entists& ha)in" found out so mu h about the uni)erse and its de)elop! ment& be"an to ha)e re ourse to ideas of reation. In all these ases& a do"ma is imposed upon s ien e& stran"lin" its further de)elopment. Cen e the risis. The ' rime/ of ,o)iet s ien e is that it is su essfully hallen! "in" and remo)in" su h do"mas. In the ,o)iet Pnion s ientists ha)e followed ,talin:s wise ad)i e& when he alled for the pro"ress of9 ', ien e whose de)otees& while understandin" the power and si"nifi an e of the established s ientifi tradition and ably utili1in" them in the interests of s ien e& are ne)ertheless not willin" to be sla)es of these traditionsF the s ien e whi h has the oura"e and determination to smash the old traditions& standards and )iews when they be ome anti! 7uated and be"in to at as a fetter on pro"ress& and whi h is able to reate new traditions& new standards and new )iews./ 1$

1$ 8oseph ,talin& ,pee h to Ci"her 3du ational +orkers& deli)ered in 19$8.


+e ha)e now briefly sur)eyed the prin ipal features of the (ar0! ist materialist on eption of the world and of the (ar0ist diale ti al method. +hat on lusions an we draw at this sta"eD 416 The world outlook of diale ti al materialism is a onsistent and reasoned outlook& whi h deri)es its stren"th from the fa t that it arises dire tly from the attempt to sol)e the outstandin" problems of our time. The epo h of apitalism is an epo h of stormy de)elopment in so iety. It is marked by re)olutionary ad)an es of the for es of produ ! tion and of s ientifi dis o)ery& and by the onse7uent uninterrupted dis! turban e of all so ial onditions. This sets one theoreti al task abo)e all& and that is to arri)e at an ade7uate on eption of the laws of han"e and de)elopment in nature and so iety. To this theoreti al task diale ti al materialism addresses itself. 426 This is not the task of workin" out a philosophi al system& in the old sense. +hat is re7uired is not any system of ideas spun out of the heads of philosophers& whi h we an then admire and ontemplate as a system of 'absolute truth./ 2apitalist so iety is a so iety rent with ontradi tions& and the more it has de)eloped& the more mena in" and intolerable for the work! in" people ha)e the onse7uen es of these ontradi tions be ome. The new powers of produ tion are not utili1ed for the benefit of so iety as a whole but for the profit of an e0ploitin" minority. Instead of leadin" to uni)ersal plenty& the "rowth of the powers of produ tion leads to re ur! rent e onomi rises& to unemployment& to po)erty and to hideously destru ti)e wars. Therefore the philosophi al problem of arri)in" at the true on! eption of the laws of han"e and de)elopment in nature and so iety be omes& for the workin" people& a pra ti al politi al problem of findin" how to han"e so iety& so that the )ast new for es of produ tion an be used in the ser)i e of humanity. .or the first time in history the possibil! ity of a full and ri h life for e)eryone e0ists. The task is to find how to make that possibility a reality. It is the solution of this pra ti al task that the theory of diale tal materialism is de)oted. 4$6 -ddressin" itself to this task& diale ti al materialism is and an only be a partisan philosophy& the philosophy of a party& namely& of the party of the workin" lass& whose obEe t is to lead the millions of workin" people to the so ialist re)olution and the buildin" of ommunist so iety.

456 %iale ti al materialism annot but stand out in sharp ontrast to the )arious ontemporary s hools of bour"eois philosophy. +hat ha)e these )arious s hools of philosophy to offer at the present timeD ,ystems and ar"uments by the bu ketful=none of them either ori"inal or o"ent& if one takes the trouble to analy1e them losely. ?ut no solution to the problems pressin" upon the people of the apitalist ountries and the olonies. Cow to end po)ertyD Cow to end warD Cow to utili1e produ tion for the benefit of allD Cow to end the oppression of one nation by anotherD Cow to end e0ploitation of man by manD Cow to establish the brotherhood of menD These are our problems. +e must Eud"e philosophies by whether or not they show how to sol)e them. ?y that riterion& the philosophi al s hools of apitalism must one and all be Eud"ed='wei"hed in the balan e and found wantin"./ The pre)ailin" bour"eois philosophies& with all their differen es& ha)e in ommon a retreat from the "reat positi)e ideas whi h inspired pro"ressi)e mo)ements in the past. They emphasi1e men:s helplessness and limitationsF they speak of a mysterious uni)erseF and they ounsel either trust in *od or else hopeless resi"nation to fate or blind han e. +hy is thisD It is be ause all these philosophies are rooted in a eptan e of apitalism and annot see beyond apitalism. .rom start to finish they refle t the insoluble risis of the apitalist world. -nd their fun tion is to help entan"le the people 'in a web of lies./ 4#6 %iale ti al materialism asks to be Eud"ed and will be Eud"ed by whether it ser)es as an effe ti)e instrument to show the way out of apitalist risis and war& to show the way for the workin" people tow in and wield politi al power& to show the way to build a so ialist so iety in whi h there is no more e0ploitation of man by man and in whi h men win reasin" mastery o)er nature. %iale ti al materialism is a philosophy of pra ti e& indissolubly united with the pra ti e of the stru""le for so ialism. It is the philosophy born out of the "reat mo)ement of our times =the mo)ement of the people who labor& who ' reate all the "ood thin"s of life and feed and lothe the world&/ to rise at the last to their full stature. It is wholly& entirely dedi ated to the ser)i e of the mo)ement. This is the sour e of all its tea hin"s& and in that ser)i e its on lusions are ontinually tried& tested and de)eloped. +ithout su h a philosophy& the mo)ement annot a hie)e ons iousness of itself and of its tasks& annot a hie)e unity& annot win its battles. ,in e the "reatest task fa in" us is that of endin" apitalist so i! ety and buildin" so ialism& it follows that the hief problem to whi h dia! le ti al materialism addresses itself& and on the solution of whi h the whole philosophy of diale ti al materialism turns& is the problem of

understandin" the for es of de)elopment of so iety. The hief problem is to rea h su h an understandin" of so iety& of men:s so ial a ti)ity and of the de)elopment of human ons iousness& as will show us how to a hie)e and build the new so ialist so iety and the new so ialist on! s iousness. The materialist on eption and diale ti al method with whi h we ha)e been on erned in this )olume are applied to this task in the materialist on eption of history and in the (ar0ist!>eninist theory of knowled"e. These will form the subEe t matter of the se ond )olume.


+e mention here only works by (ar0& 3n"els& >enin and ,talin in whi h the "eneral underlyin" prin iples of diale ti al materialism are e0pounded and de)eloped. The best "eneral introdu tion is ontained in 3n"els: 0ocialism, 8topian and 0cientific and in ,talin:s 'narchism of 0ocialism< -fter these it is ne essary to study the !ommunist $anifesto, by (ar0 and 3n"els. It is ad)isable to be ome a 7uainted with these three works before studyin" the two short books in whi h the basi ideas of diale t! i al materialism are brou"ht to"ether and summari1ed=>enin:s The Teachings of Aarl $arx and ,talin:s "ialectical and #istorical $aterialism. The latter is of absolutely fundamental importan e for the student& ontainin" as it does a systemati e0position of the prin ipal features of the (ar0ist diale ti al method& (ar0ist philosophi al materialism and the (ar0ist s ien e of history& "enerali1in" the on lusions of the whole e0perien e of the appli ation and de)elopment of (ar0ist theory in the ourse of the workin"! lass stru""le for so ialism. The pla e o upied by diale ti al materialism in the whole the! ory and pra ti e of (ar0ism is dealt with in >enin:s 'The Three ,our es and Three 2omponent Parts of (ar0ism&/ in onne tion with whi h should also be read his '(ar0ism and Ge)isionism/ 4both in >enin& 0elected ,orks, Iol. 116. The reati)e& de)elopin" hara ter of (ar0ism& and the role of history in the workin"! lass mo)ement are dealt with in the '2on lusion/ of ,talin:s #istory of the !ommunist arty of the 0oviet 8nion. The essential differen e between materialism and idealism& between diale ti al and me hanisti materialism& and between the (ar0! ist and Ce"elian diale ti s is to be found in 3n"els: %udwig *euerbach, with its appendi0& (ar0:s '3le)en Theses on .euerba h./ -lon" with this we may draw attention to 3n"els: 'Introdu tion/ to "ialectics of 9ature, and to >enin:s 'The -ttitude of the +orkers: Party towards Geli"ion/ 40elected ,orks, Iol. 116. @f fundamental importan e then are there lon"er and more diffi! ult works9 3n"els: 'nti-"uehring, espe ially Part IF 3n"els: "ialectics of 9ature- >enin:s $aterialism and Empirio-!riticism. - part of >enin:s hilosophical 9otebooks is translated into 3n"! lish under the title '@n %iale ti s/F and he deals with the fi"ht for mater! ialism in '@n the ,i"nifi an e of (ilitant (aterialism/ 4both in 0elected ,orks& Iol 26 and '@n e -"ain on the Trade Pnions&/ se tion on '%ia! le ti s and 3 le ti ism/ 40elected ,orks, Iol. 96. ,ee also >enin:s '+hat

the :.riends of the People: -re and Cow They .i"ht for the ,o ial %emo! rats/ 40elected ,orks, Iol. 116& whi h is on erned mainly with histor! i al materialism& the subEe t of the ne0t )olume.

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