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Professor-rat (buttdarling) wrote,
@ 2012-05-31 10:32:00
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    Dial a blurt
    Following on from centuries of mindless medieval manicheaism the rediscovery of the dialectic was a revelation. Unfortunately it soon became a kind of Tibetan prayer wheel in the hands of reactionaries like G Hegel. Goethe had an interesting exchange with Hegel where Hegel assured him that it was a safe bet no one would take his categories seriously enough to do any damage with them. Unfortunately enough did to provide the base material for the worst forms of fascism in the 20th century.
    Tempting as the God-like overview was until the discoveries of Einstein, the atomistic pov has always yielded the best practical results in political science as in general science. The neo-hegelian tradition soon rapidly descended into the realms of cranks and crackpots ( and Scientologists? Dianetics? )
    Thought, itself diversified and broadened out and now includes differing types of logic, lateral thinking as well as the dialectical method of thinking.
    Probably the most influential recent dialectical proponent was Guy Debord ( Society of the Spectacle) However the limits of this method soon became apparent with the failure of his politics to synthesize anarchism with marxism.
    On the dark-side neo-hegelianism triumphed with, first the neocons, then the wilsonians. So the dialectic is useful and practical for some people - neo-fascists!
    Perhaps when its thrown into the intellectual dumpster we may rediscover its esoteric pleasures. However for now I would discourage it for the same reason I discourage marxists and nazis.
    The masterpiece produced by Max Stirner is the exception that proves this rule.
    Finally I would observe that its quite possible to reach the same conclusions starting from very different viewpoints. For example the trad Hegelian starts with the very large and may work in from there while the anarchist starts with the individual and works out practical ways to maximize the individuals freedom.
    Yet if one ends up with a fairly utilitarian model while the anarchist eventually comes up with enlightened self interest ( the union of egoists being an obvious example) the two may be seen as essentially agreeing on the broad view of society. Another case of ' advancing in diversity' even if we're still some way off from 'striking in unison'.
    To some up - for mine - formal and fuzzy logic for the political-economy today...later for dialectics.

    PS - much of what I do is predicated on the basis that it only applies to a relatively small part of the way humans exist in the world. That is, much of what I say and do only applies to political-economy and should not be taken to apply to any totality in any way, shape or form.
    Also I see politics-econ as basically 'Newtonian' even as subtle relativistic and quantum mechanical effects clearly play a part in humanities broad evolution. Obviously we're also living in both a period of mass extinctions AND a period of unprecedented rapid evolution. Chaos theory tells us small changes at the start of any experiment may soon lead to wildly differing outcomes. I'd hate to see the neo-Hegelian boot on the human-face forever!
    Lets see it doesn't come to that.

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