We cannot possibly deliver here, all that is needed in differentiating Idealist Dialectics from the Dialectical Materialism of Marx. And this is primarily because neither Marx, nor his followers within the Socialist and Communist Movements of the Working Class, have, as yet, really fully appreciated his methods, and attempted to complete the still unfnished areas he revealed - or even more crucially, extended the stance into vital areas NOT addressed in any comprehensive way by Marx.
And this has been, primarily because, he never produced a full informing and instructing definition of his Stance and Method. But also, it was mainly because neither Marx nor anyone else tackled the major Elephant-in- the-Room - the omission of a comprehensive treatment of The Sciences.
That has been begun to be tackled elsewhere, by this theorist, but it is a colossal task, and as yet is far from being a completed undertaking!
So here, the differences with Hegel, as well as with the present day crop of Hegelian “Marxists” (such as Zizek) will be undertaken here!
As a study of both the Development of our Universe from a still debateable starting point, and, subsequently, from Mankind’s much more available History and Prehistory, they clearly demonstrate, that these two conceptions of Reality have simultaneously co-existed throughout that vast Development: and they have never ever fitted neatly together at all well, in any attempts to do so at any subsequent time either.
Indeed, they, in the emerging consciousness of Mankind, presented their implicit primary confounding contradictions, as presenting an ever more evident insurmountable barrier to any possible developments into something actually revealing of the causes for the emergence of significantly Wholly New!
And, in addition, the very late emergence of what later became known as Thinking, and, in particular, Rationality or Reasoning, were also strongly and damagingly coloured, and significantly limited by maintaintaining that contradictory pair of bases.
But we must NOT forge too-swiftly nor too-far ahead in attempting to understand this important trajectory, as it had also developed concretely, as contradictory physical processes, not only in the absence of Man, but even before the Emergence of Life itself. For, by starting exclusively with how it developed within Mankind, definitely prevents a more basic understanding of how these two interacted materialistically in the whole trajectory from the very beginings of underlying Reality itself, to which they must also have already been intrinsic.
Now, how can, and why must, this be insisted upon?
Well, it is, first, because the initial Emergence of Thinking in Mankind was never able to deal with this contradiction: and had to attempt to square-that- circle with some “exterior, non-material agency”, like a GOD, which somehow, also, had the crucial imputs, though often thwarted by Man! And, second, it turns out to be because these seemingly opposite approaches often appear to dominate, at different times, and indeed actually change each other, and into one another, thus, together, acting as the crucial engines of natural qualitative development.
Indeed, it is finally becoming clear only NOW, that the simple, initual conception of Reality, as a mere collection of forever-fixed components, obeying eternally-fixed Natural Laws - like some Lego Construction Game - is definitely just a simplifying myth that could NEVER explain the qualitatively new: and, therefore, wrongly substitutes mere Complexity for actual creative Emergence.
Now, interestingly, around the 5th century BC, two diametrically opposite conceptions of the “True Nature of Reality”, one occurring in Greece, and the other in India, began, in very different ways, to attempt to systematise Human Thinking, BUT each upon one of those two opposing concepts!
The Greek philosophers ultimately alighted upon Plurality (with only fixed relational concepts as their sole basis): while, at about the same time, The Buddha, in India, was contemplating primarily the natural Living World, and chose Holism, based upon universal interactions and constant change of literally Everything.
Now, choosing only one of either of these guaranteed that the true nature of Reality would not only NEVER be made fully available, but, in addition, each in very different ways, could only deliver moments or aspects of that Truth, YET, nevertheless, were still doomed, in the end, to lead only to ever increasing contradictions and even multiple terminal impasses - totally non negotiable within the confines of either of the two overall chosen conceptions.
The Greeks had devised formally a Pluralistic Basis, in order to generate a developable discipline, concerning only Pure Spatial Forms, and, via a legitimate new kind of New Abstration, really only applicable in that context, had succeeded in producing Mankind’s First-Ever Rationally-Developable Discipline - Mathematics!
But, they were so energised, by the undoubted efficacy of the new Discipline, that they extended its means to all Reasoning, and in particular to the Sciences. And that was wholly illegeitimate!
Now, very quickly indeed, Zeno of Elea had, in his Paradoxes that addressed various applications to Movement, proved that such a rationality frequently led to contradiction. Yet, he was generally ignored for over 2,300 years, until the idealist German Philosopher Hegel confirmed Zeno’s work and extended it to all Dichotomous Pairs of contradictory concepts, and in all such circumstasnces finding ways of correcting those errors and legitimately transcending those impasses.
He called his methods Dialectics. But, he was an idealist, so his means were to do with “Errors in Human Thinking” only, so, their assumed re-directing of things in general, including the material world, was neither addressed nor achieved, and hence never considered to be anything to do with the Nature of concrete Reality itself - but merely to do with our Thinking about it.
And, it was only when Hegel’s extension of Dialectical Ideas, was demonstably also identified as a feature of concrete Reality itself, by his follower, the historian, Karl Marx, that the real breakthrough finally happemed. And, even then, that was by no means immediate. Indeed even History was previously always explained in terms of the results of intentions from the thoughts of wise or influential Men, but Marx realised that such an assumption was torpedoed by the occurrence, trajectory and resolutions of Social Revolutions, so that once analyses begah to be made of such Events, the Thought- directed idea of development began to be abandoned.
Contradiction was not only found to be intrinsic to Reality itself, but in fact constituted the only driver of its actual creatuve developments too! And, Marx had the detailed History of the recent French Revolution compiled by Michelet, available to prove his cases!
Yet, it was in his sequence of subsequent writings including Theories of Surplus Value, Grundrisse and finally Das Kapital, that Marx’s version finally broke free of idealist notions of historical Reality.
Nevertheless, in spite of the considerable hidden gains within those works, the whole necessary effort was NEVER applied to The Sciences, and they would, as recent work in that area has demonstrated, prove just how crucial Dialectics would be, as there was still a great deal yet to be revealed in that extension.
Indeed, Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, and diverse efforts upon The Origin of Life on Earth have begun to reveal that the true Content of Reality-as-is is endlessly and profoundly Holistic and Dialectical, with new aspects emerging all the time. BUT NOT, it must be emphasized, within the taught courses at the citadels of Current Knowledge - The Universities, though a very few individuals in such institutions are leading the current struggle for a major Change!
But, following a decade-long effort to apply a dialectical approach to a New Critique of The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory in Sub Atomic Physics, the writer of this paper has continued to formulate New Dialectical Methodologies in Physics, based upon exemplars in both Marx’s work, along with modern interpretations of it, by serious investigators like David Harvey in New York, but mostly with his own contributions in areas such as the Origin of Life, Motion Study and Systems Design, but primarily in the revelation of wholly new actual Dialectical Mechanisms possible for revealing the Dialectics of Qualitative Change in diverse areas of Developing Concrete Reality.
Perhaps the most important contributions deal with how the most general natural situations, that always involve a multiplicity of simultaneously acting Laws, and which, in direct contrast to the purposely Plurtalist prior methods usually employed in Science, wherein that Plurality is ensured and maintained by means of maximally restricted experimental situations, that are purposely designed to deliver NOT what occur naturally in Reality-as-is, but, unstead exclusively only single laws optimally restricted and therefore delivering only wholly pluralist situations - one at a time, and wholly separately. Thus, delivering only an approximation of real simultaneous, multi-factor and multi-law Reality, delivered instead as a sequence of different individually- restricted scenarios, each one demonstrating, in isolation only a single relation of a tiny number of Factors, and hence omitting ALL the cross-effects, and ultimately never the New Developments, happening in Real Natural Situations.
At the very best, those can only deliver a series of separated moments of Reality, which never happen as such in Reality-as-is. All cross-influences are excluded, and absolutely NO qualitative changes will ever be allowed to occur.
Is that Science?
NO, it is what we call Technology!
It is a mode of production, NOT one of revelation!
For, as this researcher was able to establish in his Truly Natural Selection Research, the actual processes occurring naturally, and delivering stages that ultimately would form steps in whole complex series of initially simultaneous processes, and thereafter, along with others gradually change the balance and dominances between them to form a phalanx of later cycles of simultaeous processes, that finally could deliver something entirely NEW!
Stanley Miller was on the right track, but wholly blind both visually and theoretically to what was happening in his Famous Experiment. But, nevertheless, it did deliver Amino Acids all by itself!
Clearly with the new dialectcally-theoretical and process- aware methods, whole series of Miller-type Experiments could be designed, but each one initially delivering tiny gains, while also suggesting Newmulti-Channelled- forms of following experiments, with both particular product gains, as well as new designs for the next version.
A whole series of Theoretical Developments immediately followed the Truly Natural Selections gains over 12 years ago, which then resulted in the General Theory of Emergences sometime later.
And, this very important diagram (Editor - next page), in a purely descriptive form, represented one of the results of that research. It is a complex, yet generally- applicable diagram! And, extended details of its original development, are fully available in this journal.
But, at that time, the necessary fuller set of Dialectical Methods were not yet sufficiently developed, to address a thourgh-going Explanation, as the demanding Critique of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory was consuming all my time! But, on completion of that task, and because of what has also been achieved in that work, this researcher has now been able to resume essential work upon this crucial trajectory, much better equipped!
Advanced Hegelian Dialectics
But, before such a set of developments could be tackled. there was a major and damaging Fork-in-the-Road laid down, that had been strongly and wrongly signposted by the originator of Dialectics himself, - the German Idealist Philosopher, GWF Hegel.
For, his basic area of study was NEVER Concrete Reality, but instead the Concepts and Ideas that were the both the results, and the content of Human Thinking: indeed, he considered that his all-embracing subject was Thinking about Thought. So, as an idealst, he considered that the only possible content of Wisdom came solely and exclusively from all Considered Thinking: which was, for him, an ever-growing collection of concepts, which were wholly cerebral and could not be anything else: so he considered that by revealing-and-using his extended Dialectical “Rules of Thinking, these Thoughts vould indeed be validated or corrected by formulating them, along with sufficient detailed, related and well- informed other considerations, to reveal the Truth via his Dialectics alone. So, the task of the Philosopher was primarily to discover and reveal such Laws, which when complete could “accurately both express and even solve, any rational problem!”
The Objective would be this guide to sound manipulation and Reasoning of achieved Concepts, which he termed Dialectical Logic! Now, he considered that his purposes were not just for high level discussion in Universities, but could, had and indeed would, determine Mankind’s future History itself, by the consequemces of such disciplined Thoughts and consequent Actions.
For example, he considered that he could put down the trajectory of History, and all its failures and successes, to the concepts and consequent programmes arrived at by leading thinkers throughout all Known History.
Now, I am neither an Idealist, nor a Historian, so clearly if those are your main concerns, you will not find what you may be seeking in my writings! For, I am a resolutely Dialectical Materialist - a very different animal, who is attempting to understand the role of Dialectics, not only within Human Thought, but, at its best, also intrinsically reflecting something of the rationality of Concrete Nature itself, which was first realised by that one-time follower of Hegel, the historian and philosopher Karl Marx.
Marx was originally an energetic member of the Young Hegelians but could, initially at least, never compress the whole of the Ancient History that he uncovered into Hegel’s cerebral categories, in his Logical analyses.
And, the most disturbing areas were in understanding the almighty Upheavals that were certainly rare, but also absolutely essential, in the significant Qualitative Development of such Interludes: one of which - The French Revolution, had only recently occurred, and the following complex and multi-stranded developments and its final Resolution, which seem to be the Very Opposite of Hegel’s Rational Means of Explanation.
This paper has been published with other essays on this topic in the latest edition of SHAPE Journal (69) entitled Redefining Philosophy II.