Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Cosmic Marxist

Every Thing is Everything

There is much to be found in the ideas of Joseph Dietzgen, the forgotten philosopher, the first “dialectical materialist”.

“Socialist materialism understands by matter not only the ponderable and tangible, but the whole real existence. Everything that is contained in the Universe – and in it is contained everything, the All and the Universe being but two names for one thing – everything this Socialist materialism embraces in one conception, one name, one category.”

Dietzgen wishes to emphasise first and foremost the formal unity of all things, understanding the network of relations which constitute the tools of Marxist social analysis as expressive of the totality of interrelationships that form the dialectical realisation of the natural universe. The socialist materialist position, as expressed by Dietzgen is that: "We regard… forces, like heat, gravitation and all which is audible, visible and tangible, as a form or species, as a piece or product of the general force, which is identical with the omnipresent, eternal and indestructible cosmic matter." And  “being a part of the cosmos, the human mind is cosmic, partakes of the eternal and infinite nature of the cosmos, the same as every substance and force.” Dietzgen showed that the human mind itself was a product of that greater historical process, of which human history is but a small part, the cosmic process.

His was a cosmic-monistic philosophy.

Taken from Red, Black and Green: Dietzgen’s Philosophy Across the Divide. by Simon Boxley, University of Winchester

No comments: