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From Kautsky and the Bolsheviks, to Hegel and Marx: Dialectics, the triad and triplicity

By Jason Devine

September 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  In popular discussions or expositions of “dialectical materialism,” the so-called “philosophy” of Marxism, one frequently finds references to the triad of thesis-antithesis-synthesis as an example of the dialectical method. Regardless of the illustrations provided the fact remains that the triad has nothing to do with Marx’s dialectical logic. In fact it is pre-Hegelian. The “core of the dialectic method, both in Hegel and Marx, is not the triad thesis-antithesis-synthesis, which was originated by Kant and then developed by J.G. Fichte.” Still, it is understandable that many people who consider themselves communists, as Marxists, would promote the triad as the dialectical method, when such a view can be found among the founders of the modern international communist movement, the Bolsheviks. After reviewing the latter, this study will then go on to consider the role of the triad, if any, in Hegel and Marx.

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