19/06/09: I have just re-written
Essay Thirteen Part One: Lenin's
Disappearing Definition of Matter. I have corrected several errors and
typos, clarified the argument and added abouyt 5% of new material.
Incidentally, I have to move home at the end of June, so there will be very few new updates
published here over the next three months or so.
15/05/09: I have just re-written the
Introductory Essay. I have added approximately 1000 words of new
material, corrected a few errors and re-worked the argument in places to make it
23/04/09: I have
just finished a long re-write of
Essay Nine Part Two -- The Damage Dialectics
Has Inflicted On Marxism --, correcting several errors and typos, and making
the argument clearer. I have also added about 14,000 words of new material.
17/03/09: I have just received a copy of
Science & Society, volume 72, October 2008.
In this number, noted Marxist economist Guglielmo Carchedi tries in vain to make sense
of Marx's ideas on the calculus. Alas, his arguments have already been
neutralised in Essay Seven Part One (here).
doubly unfortunate, since the latest edition of
International Socialism contains a
review by Chris Harman which recommends the
recent split in UK-Respect, the depressingly poor results chalked up by the
Left List, and the internal wrangling in the UK-SWP, it looks
prediction that comrades will openly return to this
mystical 'theory' in times of defeat and set-back has once again proved to be
23/02/09: Ok, at last Essay Thirteen Part Three,
and Cognition, has been published!
by far the longest Essay at this site (at over 141,000 words), hence the
17/02/09: I will be posting Essay Thirteen Part Three in the next few days; yet
more delays I'm afraid. Anyway, it is now about 99% complete.
01/02/09: Essay Thirteen Part Three (on 'Mind', Language and Cognition) is
almost finished -- illness and the fact that it is easily the longest Essay I
have so far written (it is fast approaching 120,000 words) have delayed it by
another week to ten days.
11/01/09: A couple of months ago, a supporter of this site sent a letter to the
in response to an
article on dialectics
by John Rees. The editors did not publish that letter, but you can read it
04/01/09: Visitors can view
here the pictures I took of the demonstration in London
yesterday protesting the Zionist slaughter in Gaza.
were at least 50,000 on the march, which was amazing really, in view of the fact
that it had only been called three days earlier.
12/12/08: I have just re-written Essay Three
-- Abstraction: The Heart of the Beast.
added about 5000 words of new material, corrected several errors and typos, and
made the argument clearer.
02/12/08: Another dialectical punch-up has developed at
Liam Macuaid's excellent blog. Anyone who
checks it out will see the same hackneyed examples wheeled out for the
thousandth time, the same evasive and abusive tactics, the same
erstwhile apostles of universal change are living proof that
Heraclitus got it all wrong -- they never
Incidentally, Essay Thirteen Part Three (on 'Mind', Language and Cognition) is
on course to be published before the end of January. The long delay is down to
the fact that this is easily the longest Essay so far published.
20/11/08: More Socialist Unity mayhem
here. Visitors will once again notice the same
bluster, prevarication and abuse from our mystically-compromised comrades.
10/11/08: The argument at Socialist Unity of the 7th (see below) has
kicked-off again, but I am not allowed to post
my reply there. However, comrades can read my response
A few months ago I mentioned a book that was soon to be published,
The Liberal Defence of Murder (Verso Books, 2008). Well it has now appeared,
and I can whole-heartedly recommend it.
publishers web site:
"Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a number
of prominent thinkers on the Left found themselves increasingly aligned with
their ideological opposites. Over the last decade, many of these thinkers have
become close to Washington; forceful supporters of the War on Terror, they help
frame arguments for policymakers and provide the moral and intellectual
justification for Western military intervention across the globe. From Kanan
Makiya, one of the chief architects of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq,
to Bernard Henri-Levy’s advocacy of “humanitarian” intervention, The Liberal
Defense of Murder traces the journey of these figures from left to right
and explores their critical role in the creation of the new American empire.
With wide-ranging testimony from many key figures on the left, this is a crucial
account of the emergence of the “pro-war left,” and its shaping of our post-9/11
Richard Seymour lives and writes in
London. His website
Lenin’s Tomb comments on
issues such as imperialism, Zionism, Islamophobia and anti-capitalism, and
covers strikes and protests with footage, images and reportage. It has been
cited in, among others, Private Eye, the Guardian and
Slate. This is Richard Seymour’s first book."
07/11/08: Over the last few days an argument over dialectics has broken out at
Socialist Unity blog. Several comrades there
were content merely to abuse me (for no good reason) and post 'fibs' about me
and my beliefs.
for the course, or what?]
However, before I could respond to the latest allegations about my work, the
owner of the site closed the thread!
worries; I have now written that response, and you can read it
03/11/08: I have just re-written Essay One, which is an Introduction to this
site, and which explains why I began this project.
still on course to finish Essay Thirteen Part Three ('Mind', Language and
Cognition) before Xmas.
21/10/08: In the light of a few criticisms I have received from certain
comrades, I have completely re-written Essay Seven
It is now approximately 15% longer at just under 91,000 words.
still working on Essay Thirteen Part Three ('Mind', Language and Cognition); it should
be ready to publish before the end of December.
28/09/08: I regularly search the internet for comments on my work. Some is
supportive, some not; but some is quite poor.
Here is the latest example of the latter. I
have straightened these comrades out
24/09/08: I have now completely re-written the response I posted at RevLeft,
mentioned below. I have entitled it "Engels
and Mickey Mouse Science".
12/09/08: I have just been informed that the
International Socialist Review has in fact published
the letter I sent them, in the
September/October issue, contrary to what I asserted below (entry for August
Jones (the author of the
article that was the subject of my letter) has
responded with a surprisingly trite rebuttal.
already posted a long reply to him
here; a more considered response will appear at
this site in the next few weeks.
However, anyone who access my reply above will need to note that it was based on
a typed-out copy of the original response by comrade Jones posted at RevLeft by
yet another comrade (who made a few typos). I used that version of comrade
Jones's rebuttal since the link to the letters page at the
International Socialist website was not working (until I informed them of that
fact), so I could not cut and paste his response.
will be rectified in the version I post here.
August 2008, a supporter of this site sent a letter in to
Socialist Review. The
editor decided not to publish it. You can read it
10/09/08: A week or so ago I received a copy of Ellen Meiksins Wood's latest
To Lords. A Social History Of Western Political
Thought From Antiquity To The Middle Ages (Verso, 2008).
I was pleasantly surprised to find that several of her main theses amply confirm
a number of my own. One of these is summarised by Neil Faulkner in the latest
democracy was traumatic for the ancient ruling class. Ellen Wood is right to
root her analysis of western political thought in the context of this
extraordinary historical experiment. For around 200 years, in the 5th and 4th
centuries BC, Athens and many other Greek city-states were ruled by ordinary
citizens. Major decisions -- like whether to go to war
- were made at mass meetings of thousands. The poorest hill farmer had the same
rights as the richest landowner. While it lasted, it was impossible for rulers
to screw their own people. Instead the rich faced wealth taxes and corruption
Greek ruling class never forgot or forgave. They later combined with Macedonian
kings and Roman viceroys to smash democracy. This ancient class war between
landowners and peasants is the starting point for western political thought.
Other civilizations -- based on brutally enforced
obedience -- had no need for political theory: there
was a king, he was backed by god, his authority was beyond question, and that
was that. But the city-state was a community of free citizens, all doing
military service, all having political rights. Anything could happen
-- like cancellation of debts and redistribution of
land (the two great demands of the ancient left) --
and right wing intellectuals spent much time concocting theories to justify
inequality. This is the origin of Greek philosophy."
last sentence forms one of the main themes to Essays
Nine Part One,
Seven, and Fourteen
Part One, that philosophy is and always has
expressed the most abstract forms of ruling-class ideology, hence the
importation of Hegel's ideas into Marxism has meant that "ruling ideas" now
dominate revolutionary socialism in the form of 'Materialist Dialectics'.
18/08/08: A few weeks back I sent a letter to the editors of the
International Socialist Review about an
article they published on Engels's
Anti-Dühring. They chose not to publish that letter.
can be found here.
next Essay to be published will be 13-03, Mind, Language and Cognition.
It will be ready before the end of September.
Summary of Essay Eleven Part Two (Dialectical
Wholism -- Full of Holes) has just been posted.
13/07/08: I have just re-written
Essay Two -- Dialectics Imposed On Nature,
Not Read From It -- taking the opportunity to correct several errors and
typos, and to make the argument clearer. I have also added 10,000 words of new
material, so the Essay is now well over 30% longer.
11/07/08: Levins and Lewontin's Biology Under The Influence (Monthly
Review Press, 2007) has just landed on my desk. This book was given a glowing
review by Phil Webster in the latest issue of
However, where this book touches on dialectics, it makes all the usual mistakes,
which Webster either does not know about, or missed. I will be adding a few
comments on this book in a later re-write of Essay Seven Part One, and Essay
Eleven Part Two.
supporter of this site will be sending a letter about the review to the editor;
we will see if she publishes it.
10/07/08: I have just re-written Essay Eleven
-- Dialectical Holism, Full of Holes -- correcting several errors and
typos, making the argument clearer, and adding over 2500 words of new material.
29/06/08: I have just re-written Essay Twelve
-- Dialectics And Metaphysics. I have corrected several errors, clarified the
argument and added some new material. It is now about 5% longer.
23/06/08: The Summary of Essay Twelve Part One --
The Metaphysical Status Of Dialectics --
has just been published.
16/06/08: I have just re-written Essay Nine
-- The Damage 'Materialist Dialectics' Has Inflicted On Marxism --,
correcting several mistakes and typos; I have also added about 3500 words of new
06/06/08: I have just re-written essay Eight Part Three
are 'Dialectical Contradictions'", correcting several errors and
infelicities, adding new material. It is now just over 10% longer.
30/05/08: I have just added 1500 words of comment and argument to Note 4 of
Essay Seven Part
One, in view of the fact that my original argument had a few gaping
holes in it.
also added new links to
this page, which records the many 'debates' I
have had on the Internet with dialecticians (mostly at RevLeft).
25/05/08: I have re-posted, as a separate Essay (i.e., as
08-03 -- "What
are 'Dialectical Contradictions'"), a long footnote that
appeared in Essay Eight
Because of its length, this footnote has in fact taken on a life of
its own. Buried
as it was in 08-02, it was not easy to access.
25/05/08: I have now published the Summary of Essay Eleven
Part One: "The 'Totality' -- WTF Is It?"
been away for over three weeks, hence the lack of activity at this site.
next work to be published will be a summary of Essay Eleven Part One; that will
be followed sometime in July by Essay Thirteen Part Three: "Dialectics,
Language, 'Mind' and 'Cognition'".
26/04/08: I am progressively re-writing
Sixteen, which is an extended summary of my ideas. Because of its
length, it has been broken up into manageable sections, each corresponding
more-or-less to one of the main Essays.
end, I have just finished the summary of Essay Ten
Part One: Dialectics -- Refuted By History.
24/04/08: Because of the interest it is receiving (in fact it is currently the
most visited page at this site), I have just re-written Essay Ten
making numerous small changes and correcting a few errors and typos.
23/04/08: Essay One has
just be re-written. This Essay explains the background to my work, and serves as
21/04/08: The re-write of Essay Thirteen
(on Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-criticism) has just been completed.
corrected several errors and typos and added about 3500 words of new material.
17/04/08: I have just re-written
Essay Five, since it is still attracting much
corrected a few errors and typos, made the argument clearer and added small
amounts of new material.
now just short of 5% longer.
also in the process of re-writing Essay Thirteen
posting the changes as they are being made.
31/03/08: The summary of Essay Nine
Part Two has just been published -- 'Militants
outlines the reasons why I think dialecticians have swallowed this ruling-class
theory, and the consequent damage this has done to Marxism.
27/03/08: I have now written and posted a summary of Essay Nine
Part One: 'Dialectics -- A Ruling-Class Theory'.
24/03/08: I have just written the
Summary of Essay Eight Part Two -- Why
'Dialectical Contradictions' cannot be equated with opposing forces.
20/03/08: Over the last few months I have been completely re-writing Essay
Sixteen (which is an extended introduction to and summary of my work), breaking it up into
as part of that, I
have now written the
Summary to Essay Eight Part One.
18/03/08: I have just re-written Essay Twelve
correcting several errors, and adding new material. I have also tried to make
the argument even clearer.
Essay is now approx 3,500 words longer.
17/03/08: Visitors can find my pictures of the recent anti-war demonstration in
07/03/08: I have just finished re-writing
-- 'Motion is not Contradictory' -- making numerous small changes, correcting
several errors and typos, and adding some new material. It is now about 1000
05/03/08: A few weeks ago, a sympathetic reader of my Essays added a comment
about my work to the article on DM at Wikipedia.
Unfortunately, a rather miffed Maoist and a thin-skinned Trotskyist deleted it
(the latter after it had been restored).
Apparently, such 'scientific' comrades cannot tolerate the idea that their
theory has been systematically demolished, and think that censoring me will make
me or my ideas go away.
However, the original poster has restored it again. You can read it
here (if it is still there!).
be accessed in the History section of that article anyway.]
04/03/08: The seminar in Oxford went well. I filmed the talk and subsequent
discussion, but the lighting was poor. If I can improve the quality of the video
on edit, I'll post it on YouTube.
also post a transcript of the talk, and discussion at a later date.
28/02/08: Essay Nine
Part Two has just been re-written; I have
corrected a few errors, clarified the argument somewhat and added new material.
It is now just under 2000 words longer.
is still being re-written
have just received the second edition of Reason In Revolt by Woods and
chapter on logic is still among the worst I have ever seen in a book about
dialectics, even though, at my suggestion, Alan Woods has removed the syntactic
mess that used to appear on page 98.
book still makes grossly erroneous remarks about
Wittgenstein (among others), and it repeats all the old errors
(debunked at this site) as if they were eternal truths.
101, the authors still manage to get George Boole's name wrong (they call him 'George
Boyle') even though I pointed this error out to Woods in 2004 -- just as they
mis-spell Gottlob Frege's name on the same page.
might seem small errors, but they reveal how sloppy dialecticians are when it
comes to logic -- even after such things have been pointed out to them!
more examples of this sort of thing
25/02/08: I have just received a copy of
Science, Marxism and the Big Bang,
by Peter Mason. While this book is a short critique of Woods and Grant's
Reason in Revolt, it is by far and away the most measured and reasonable
defence I have ever seen of Dialectical Materialism. I will add a few comments
about this book to Essay Seven at a later date.
Added later: I wrote the above after reading only half of the said
book. However, much of the second half is highly repetitive, the author becoming
fixated on infinity, saying more or less the same thing over and over again for
the next 60 pages!
also in the process of re-writing
Essay Five in view
of the fact that it is attracting quite a lot of attention right now.
21/02/08: I have just re-written
Essay One, correcting several errors, and
adding new material. It is now about 5% longer.
14/02/08: A few months ago, I wrote a very basic outline of the egregious
logical errors Hegel committed, which launched the 'dialectic', and which
subsequent prominent Marxists accepted uncritically.
I have now
re-written it to make the argument even
originally designed for those who found the extended argument
little too daunting.
being so, the dialectic has no foundation in logic, or in fact.
no surprise therefore to find it has presided over 150 years of almost total
12/02/08: After a long delay, I have finally published Essay Thirteen Part One:
Disappearing Definition Of Matter.
Essay took me far longer to complete than I had imagined!
01/02/08: The next Essay to be published will be ready to post in the next week
or so. It is Essay Thirteen Part One, which will demolish what is easily Lenin's
worst published work: the lamentable Materialism and Empirio-Criticism.
Apologies for the delay, but it has been far harder to finalise than I had
supporter of this site will be addressing a conference on the renewal of the
left, to be held at Oxford University at the end of February.