Dialectical and Historical Materialism
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Dialectical and Historical Materialism, by Joseph Stalin, is a central text within Soviet political theory.
The work first appeared in 1938, drawing heavily upon both Lenin's philosophical works and the then-new Short Course in the History of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks). It later became the state doctrine of the Soviet Union.
Outline of the book
Stalin's writing is divided into three parts, and very systematically presented:
A: outline of the Marxist dialectical method, in contrast to metaphysics
- Nature is a unified whole
- Nature is in perpetual motion
- The development of nature is the transition of quantity into quality
- Natural phenomena possess internal contradictions as part of their struggle, and cannot be reformist, but rather revolutionary
B: outline of the Marxist philosophical materialism in contrast to idealism
- The world is materialistic in nature
- Being is objective reality, thinking is a reflection of matter, contributing ideas back to being.
- The knowledge of natural laws is examined by the practice, laws of social development, objective truth, analog biology, socialism is a science
C: Historical materialism
- What characterizes "last resort" [Engels] society? The mode of production of material goods and not the geographical environment or the growth of the population.
- The "real" party of the proletariat controls the laws of development of production
- A schematic picture of the story:
A. Primitive communal / primitive communism
- B. Slavery
- C. Feudalism
- D. Capitalism
- E. Socialism (where evolution instead of revolution)
- This article incorporates information from the revision as of 19 September 2010 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
- Dialectical and Historical Materialism at marxists.org.
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