MARX'S (MIS-) USE OF THE
HEGELIAN DIALECTIC

 

  First, please follow this LINK-to the calvertonschool.org page.

 Please read through their page as it quite informative.

  I have reproduced their second graph for the sake of illistration and discusion.

 

 Marx's deception starts out at the beginning. FEUDALISM was based on an agrarian economic system in which the Manor produced all of its own needs. The aristocracy did not "give rise" to the cities. Rural towns grew into cities as populations grew and their importance to commerce and trade increased. As for the cities being the "birthplace of a class opposed to the aristocracy..." see the quote below.

 The urban BOURGEOISIE did not create "a new social system" nor did they create a new economic system. Capitalism had been around many hundreds of years and was not necessarily superior to Feudalism merely adapted for a different set of circumstances. Capitalism, therefore, was not a systhesis of anything that came before it.

 Industrial capitalism will be discused below.

 Notice the THESIS that is CAPITALISM opposed by the ANTITHESIS .....the PROLETARIT according to Marx produces the SYNTHESIS ....which is SOCIALISM. In computer language "this does not compute."

 The Proletariat does not SYNTHESIZE anything nor does it "initiate another new social system." It was Marx's hope that it overthrows capitalism and sets up a new ECONOMIC system. That economic system is not called socialism, it is called COLLECTIVISM.

 You will notice here, by its glaring absence, that there is NO ANTITHESIS between the SYNTHESIS "...which is SOCIALISM" and the ULTIMATE SYNTHESIS ...which is COMMUNISM. WHY?

 The antithesis to socialism is capitalism, which, to be true to the progress of Hegel, must be synthesized before any "ultimate systhesis" can be achieved.

 

 Henri Pirenne in his informative book, Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe, explains where the antagonisms were in medieval Europe.

 The lay princes soon discovered how advantageous the growth of the cities was to themselves. For in proportion as their trade grew on the road and river and their increasing business transactions requited a corresponding increase of currency, the revenues from every kind of toll and from the mints likewise flowed in increasing quantities into the Lord's treasury. Thus it is not surprising that the Lords assumed on the whole a benevolent attitude towards the townsfolk. Moreover, living as a rule in their country castles, they did not come in contact with the town population and thus many causes of conflict were avoided. It was quite otherwise with the ecclesiastical princes. Almost to a man they offered a resistance to the municipal movement, which at times developed into an open struggle. The fact that the bishops were obliged to reside in their cities, the centers of diocesan administration, necessarily impelled them to preserve their authority and to oppose the ambitions of the bourgeoisie all the more resolutely because they were roused and directed by the merchants, ever suspect in the eyes of the Church. In the second half of the eleventh century the quarrel of the Empire and the Papacy gave the city populations of Lombardy a chance to rise against their simoniacal prelates. Thence the movement spread through the Rhine valley to Cologne. In 1077 the town of Cambrai rose in revolt against Bishop Gerard II and formed the oldest of the "communes" that we meet with north of the Alps. In the diocese of Liege the same thing happened. In 1066 Bishop Theoduin was forced to grant the burgesses of Huy a charter of liberties, which is several years earlier than those whose text has been preserved in the rest of the Empire. In France, municipal insurrections are mentioned at Beauvais about 1099, at Noyon in 1108-9, and at Laon in 1135. [1]

 He also says "Scant as they are, medieval sources place the existence of capitalism in the twelfth century beyond a doubt." [2]

 The bourgeoisie had more trouble with the Priests and Biships than they did with the aristocracy. Feudalism existed for centuries along side a limited form of capitalism without any major strife. This again was because Feudalism was based on an agrarian economic system that had no need of 'money' as dues and rents were paid 'in kind'. Capitalism grew ever so slowly as a result of trade and commerce. Much of this was carried on only in the much larger coastal cities that were involved with shipping such as Genoa and Venice.

 It wasn't until the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries that a true Proletariat emerges. Though I am not sure one could call a worker in the early 1800s "a new urban educated class." Of course working conditions were terrible back then, for crying out loud, it was the 1800s. At the beginning of the 1800s people still used outhouses because nobody had indoor plumbing. There were no refrigerators or radios and trains were powered by steam. The internal combustion engine didn't come along until nineteenth century. Not just working conditions but all conditions of life were poor back then.

 Yet no where in 200 years has the Proletariat "risen up and seized the means of production" in any major way. Well, I guess there was one major revolt that gained worldwide attention. In June 1980, 17,000 workers went on strike in the Lenin Shipyard over the dismissal of militant crane driver Anna Walentinowicz. By August 14th Lech Walesa was put in charge of the Interfactory Strike Committee (ISC), linking coal miners with dockworkers nationwide. The move worked and on August 24th, 500,000 workers demanded the communist government implement their '21 postulates.' The government quickly buckled and on August 31st 1980 signed the 'Gdansk Agreement' giving workers the right to strike and to organize freely. What did Marx say,,, something about "workers of the world unite"?

 Even if the Proletariat were to rise up and seized the means of production and then go on to create a Socialist government the Socialist State would immediately take the means of production away from them. In all countries where Socialism has gained the ascendancy all the major key means of production, communications, transportation, and energy are nationalized and kept in the hands of the state. Whatever 'means of production' left in possession of the people is "Socialized" by the authority of state planning and direction of all industry. This control is brought about with priorities, scheduling, quotas, subsides, price-fixing, rationing, inspections, and penalties - all enforced by an army of bureaucrats. You might own a shop or small factory but the state will tell you when you can work, how many employees you can have, how many units you can produce, what material to use, along with the size, color, weight and style of your product. That's how a "command economy" works.

 In the last box labeled "ULTIMATE SYNTHESIS ...which is COMMUNISM" it says that "every individual will have his needs met." What they don't say is that they will be met only by the bare minimum if at all. Every working class individual and family in the USSR had a living standard that, by American living standards, was below the poverty line. That difference increased as time went on. The only avenue to gain any upward mobility was to join "the party". Other than that they all had an equal chance of NO opportunity.

 Before I end this I would like to return to a point about Feudalism and the agrarian economy. Collectivism is well suited to an agrarian economy. Why? Because in an agrarian economy all the "fruits of labor" are fruits and vegetables, you know, food. In the collectivist system all the "fruits of labor" are collected and then distributed "to each according to his need". What gets distributed? Food. Everybody eats. However, in an increasingly industrial economy what gets collected and distributed isn't always food. So what good does it do you if, instead of food, you get a toaster oven or a part for a tractor? The lessor number of people involved in food production the less food there is to go around (get distributed). As the industrial sector increases there winds up to be even less and less to go around of everything. Soon everyone has the same attitude of 'why work harder when I am getting less and less for it'?

 

 = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

  Marx's use of the Hegelian dialectic is essentially a trick - a fraud. It is a strategy of ideological divide-and-conquer.

  The dialectical method consists of two main steps: the invention of artificial extremes (thesis and antithesis) which ostensibly conflict with each other, and the synthesis from that conflict (false dichotomy), a goal which is made to appear to be the product of consensus. The difference between the poles is exaggerated, propagandized and by using rhetoric instead of logic and reasoning reduces objective dialog into "sound bite accusations" and "divisive sloganeering". The dialectic subterfuge marginalizes and dissipates the energy and coherency of adherents of the ostensible extremes.

  Part of the "trick", seen better from the historical perspective, is that the synthesis existed before the supposed thesis and antithesis were even in conflict and was therefore an interpolated imposition rather than a solution. Stated another way, one side of the supposed "conflict" was deliberately created by those who also created the "solution" which rather than synthesize the opposition compromises and destroys them. The created side or antithesis, is made to be as extreme as possible in order to skew the synthesis or middle ground as far as possible in their direction.

 

 NOTES

[1] Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., New York 1937. Pg. 54.

[2] Ibid. Pg. 161.