Dialectical Materialism for Activists

Socialism 2018

July 05, 2018

Marx and Engels once wrote that "philosophy and the study of the actual world have the same relation to one another as masturbation and sexual love." They wrote this, however, in what was itself a philosophy book, one in which they were critiquing the philosophers of their day who would ignore the actual world, or dictate theories to it from on high, or both. They sought not so much to annihilate philosophy as to radically transform it: to build a general theoretical outlook and method that is rooted in, shaped by, and in turn meant to take sides in, the struggles going on *in* the actual world, instead of standing aloof from them or writing as if they weren't happening. The method they pioneered has come to be called dialectical materialism. The purpose of this talk will be to show that, far from being accessible only to elites or academics, dialectical materialism can - and should - be used by anyone interested in interpreting the world in order to be able to change it effectively.

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