‘A to Z’ of Marxism and ‘Fate’ of capitalism (7)

Posted by: Shreepal Singh

Is Marxism a religion? Let Marxists not make Marxism a religion. Marx was an acute observer of Nature and a sharp philosopher. He organized everything around dialectics, a concept borrowed from Hegelian philosophy. In his initial life, Marx was a disciple of Hegel and was one of other ordinary ilk of intellectuals of his times. Then, what prompted Marx to take the concept of dialectics out of the realms of fanciful polemics and put it on the concrete world of matter to explain away this world’s working? It were the dismal conditions of working people in the industrial Britain that made Marx to look into dialectics seriously to find an answer to the phenomenon. We find a parallel to this incident in the scientific world. Marx’s explaining away everything in Nature in dialectical terms was just like Albert Einstein’s explaining away everything in Nature in relativity terms. We all know, in the case of Albert Einstein it was the impasse created by the Michelson and Morley experiment in classical physics that prompted him to conceive and propose relativity to explain away the experimental results.

Relativity is science and not religion because it is not identified with Einstein, though it was proposed for the first time by him. Dialectics is religion and not science because it is identified with Marx.

Dialectics is a wholesome explanation of the working of Nature (to the extent the infinitely complex Nature is amenable to such explanation), much like relativity is the wholesome way of looking at the working of Nature.

Dialectics need to be rescued from Marxism, if this wholesome concept is to be put on the hallowed pedestal of science.

Dialectics as a concept has been precisely defined by Hegel and refined in material terms by Marx. Can these definitions and refinements be subjected to tests, verifications and validation? If dialectics is not identified with Marx and its equations relating to the working of Nature (and, that includes society) are found correct, then, can we check out once again, and verify whether Marx had committed some mistake somewhere in the application of dialectics in regard to capitalism’s life and fate?

Marx could have made mistake – and, in fact had made mistake – in the correct application of dialectical principles in respect of the emergence of a new society beyond capitalism. The right to question, the right to verify is the scientific approach to dialectics; this is rescuing dialectics from Marxism; this is saving Marxism from turning into a religion.

This explains away in the dialectical terms why Soviet Union collapsed; why China is forced to adopt capitalism once again; why a forced-socialist economy cannot compete in innovation with capitalism. However, this also explains away in dialectical terms why capitalism, by its own working, is inching towards its death and demise; why with the advancement of technology capitalism is forced to lose the grip on private property and to turn such private property into common property or community’s property (e.g. Wikipedia; free apps; free dictionaries; free books; free knowledge; free information; free news). All these items, which have been made free/common property by the force of technological advance, need human labor to produce them; they are very much items of private property, which capitalism would otherwise never let go off its hands.

This entire bizarre phenomenon happening in capitalism, which swears by private property, is easily explained away by dialectics. Once you apply dialectics correctly to the society, you could make prediction what next is going to happen to capitalism.

One can also plainly see where Marx went wrong in the application of dialectical principles to capitalist society in his eagerness to establishing a new society of the common ownership of property, without waiting for the arrival of a new technology; without waiting for the arrival of a new mode of production based on that new technology.

There is redline here: unless first there is the radical change in mode of production of commodities in a society, dialectics does not permit you to even think of a new society (that is, next to capitalism) based on the economic system of property’s common/community ownership. If you somehow establish such a society, its birth would be unnatural; it would be unstable; you would need force and violence to maintain it.

On applying dialectics to society, one would not fail to realize that for the birth of a new and different society (that is, qualitatively different society), the role of the emergence or arrival of a new and different mode of production of commodities (that is, qualitatively different mode of production) is the prerequisite and the primary condition; the role of revolutionary leadership, armed force, dictatorship etc. is only secondary. This may look discouraging the revolutionary struggle of the economically exploited teaming millions around the globe but such is the dictate of dialectics.

This also explains away in dialectical terms why Soviet Union had collapsed; or China taking the capitalist road; need of political dictatorship in such countries to rule by force; restrictions on the flow of information; suppression of freedom and liberty; unviable economy in comparison to capitalism; poverty; lack of innovations.

One may also not fail to notice that in eagerness to establishing a new society (socialist society) dialectics was much twisted and distorted to make the theory fit into a volatile situation more of a political nature than an economic one. New concepts unknown to dialectics were formulated to suit the available situation; like February revolution and October revolution were invented to compensate for the dialectical need of the existence of capitalism in Russia before Socialism could be attempted there; need of the proletariat dictatorship to secure socialism; permanent revolution; need of the vanguard of proletariat in the form of a political party; cultural revolution; need of the intellectual indoctrination of the population. All these concepts are aliens to dialectics as applied to society. In dialectics, logical deductions are very smooth and smart flow, without any place for such ill-fitting and artificial concepts.

To find out this distortion of dialectics, you just look back to the past; you look the birth of capitalism out of feudalism; there were no armies raised by capitalists to crush feudal lords/kings; kings and their economy simply became unviable in comparison to capitalism and they and their socio-economic system went out of fashion; there was no need of capitalist dictatorship or indoctrination of the public for securing capitalism. Simple dialectical explanation: technology advanced; mode of production of commodities changed by the new technology; the old feudalist socio-economic system was rendered unviable; nothing more was required on the part of humans to dismantle feudalism. This dialectical logic equally applies to the future; it applies to capitalism. Capitalism’s days are numbered. Technology will do the needed work; and, nothing more is required on the part of humans to dismantle it.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: ‘Left’ versus ‘Right’ debate in JNU – an ideological investigation | Indian People's Congress

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