So I'm reading tons of stuff right now (stuff that is actually a procrastination from other stuff I need to work on, but I'm so overloaded right now that it's all one big gob of necessary work and unnecessary work all at once) and I came across a metaphor so fun, so great, so vivid, that I had to pass it along:
For Marx, "the structural relationships of any society, or at least those in which progressive development is possible, are inherently self-contradictory. Like the shell of a fertilized chicken egg, socioeconomic relationships make possible the growth of forces that will, in time, shatter them."Isn't that cool? Suddenly I understand how the dialectic cycles of history are supposed to work. It also highlights the organic, or perhaps completely determined, nature of Marx's view of the history of the class struggle: because it's a chicken egg, we know a chicken will have to come out of it. If it's botched or a deformity, it won't ever hatch out. Inside Marx's theory, at least, the progression of capitalism to communism and the eventual withering of the state is inevitable. You can critique or question it, but not from inside his theoretical structures.
Now if someone could justify why one should use dialectical models for looking at history, I'd love to hear it. Neither this author nor Marx nor Hegel give me much of an explanation, and nothing that they do give has really persuaded me.
Dialectics, then ---- what's so great about them?