Brief Notes on Dialectical Materialism

This post will contain only brief notes regarding dialectical materialism that we should keep in mind when thinking about the various subjects we look into in the course of study. Often times I find it hard to keep the points of dialectics and materialism in the fore of my mind while doing an analysis. This problem stems from the fact we were all trained to think in a different way via the bourgeois education system. Hopefully you will find these brief notes of helpful. For more information behind these notes please read “A Basic Introduction to Dialectical and Historical Materialism” by Jaan Laaman.

Dialectics

1. Phenomena of nature – all real things are connected, as in real things not ideas.

2. Everything is in constant motion, developing or dying away.

3. All phenomena are undergoing constant change. Quantitative changes are step by step changes that lead to qualitative changes (changes in substance or type). This happens suddenly making a great change happen all at once, transforming old things into new things or new situations.

4. The change and the development of things is the result of the interaction of opposing forces or internal contradictions within everything. Internal contradiction within things is what perpetuates its motion and development.

Materialism

Materialism is a way of understanding or interpreting the world that is all things theoretical, physical and material. This deals with what things are really made of as opposed to what we think about what they are made of. Materialism has three features that separates it from idealism, which is the general outlook of the capitalist system and reactionaries.

1. The universe by its very nature is made up of matter. Everything that is real comes into existence on the basis of material. The causes of it are in accordance with the laws of matter and motion.

2. Matter is primary and thought is secondary, thought is derived from the material world. Matter is objective reality existing outside of the mind independent of it.

3. Materialism shows us that the universe and its functioning (including our society) can be fully known. There can be things we do not know, but our ability to understand them can be developed (through developments in science) because nothing is above or beyond the laws that govern all real change and development.

Hopefully with these points in mind we can all perform better analyses.

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