Proletarians of all countries, unite!
DEFENCE OF MAOISM
ON CONCEPTION: “The Contradiction, sole fundamental law of the incessant transformation of eternal matter”
“The life of dialectics is the continuous movement toward opposites. Mankind will also finally meet its doom. When the theologians talk about doomsday, they are pessimistic and terrify people. We say the end of mankind is something which will produce something more advanced than mankind. Mankind is still in its infancy. Engels spoke of moving from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom, and said that freedom is the understanding of necessity. This sentence is not complete, it only says one half and leaves the rest unsaid. Does merely understanding it make you free? Freedom is the understanding of necessity and the transformation of necessity — one has some work to do too. If you merely eat without having any work to do, if you merely understand, is that sufficient? When you discover a law, you must be able to apply it, you must create the world anew”
(Mao Tse-tung, Talk On Questions Of Philosophy)
We express our reaffirmation of what was established by the CUMIC in the Basis of Discussion for the Unified Maoist International Conference (UMIC) on contradiction, the “sole fundamental law of the incessant transformation of eternal matter”, which in condensed form expresses the conception of the international proletariat, dialectical materialism: its condition as materialist when it says eternal matter and dialectic when it emphasises the contradiction. Materialism is the basis, dialectics is the guidance, and the only fundamental law of dialectics is contradiction, others are derivations.
In Part One we wrote that, from its very name, the UOC (mlm), was already expressing its contrary conception, moreover, if it denies the principality of Maoism, here we go deeper into the importance of the great leap that Chairman Mao’s statement on contradiction as the only fundamental law of dialectics signifies. That to defend “triplism” against “dialectical materialist monism” is to oppose the development of Marxism, seeking to set our founders Marx and Engels against the great Lenin and Lenin against Chairman Mao. This also shows why it is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, mainly Maoism.
Continuing, it is necessary to point out that although the organisation Proletarian Power of Colombia takes position for the principality of Maoism and the proposal of the Bases of Discussion, on this and other points of the ideology of the proletariat with its own reservations, it keeps silent or is silent on the class character of the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and in politics the saying “he who is silent consents” is true. That is the name of the ideology of the proletariat, according to Lenin, an ideology can only be proletarian or bourgeois. So you are asked to say whether or not you recognise the class character of our ideology and what is its class character?
Moreover, on the decisive question of the marrow of our ideology, Marxist philosophy or dialectical materialism as Engels called it, the comrades of Proletarian Power say “We consider Lenin’s formulation of dialectics to be accurate, we would neither add to it nor subtract from it“, i.e. we must leave the question forever and ever where he left it. These comrades have not understood the task left by the great Lenin to the continuators of the revolution to deepen the understanding of contradiction as the nucleus or essence of dialectics, the fulfilment and crowning of which demanded of Chairman Mao to make the revolution in China (three revolutions) through active and potential people’s war as part of and in the service of the world proletarian revolution.
Chairman Mao said: “Communism is at once a complete system of proletarian ideology and a new social system. It is different from any other ideology or social system, and is the most complete, progressive, revolutionary and rational system in human history.” (Mao Tse-tung, “On New Democracy”)
And moreover, it is even more true when we consider what Chairman Gonzalo reaffirmed:
“In our case, by carrying out the communist revolution, the revolution led by the proletariat in its forms of democratic or socialist or cultural revolution, we are making the only true revolution in history. Let us remember what Marx taught us. All revolutions before ours has been the substitution of some exploiters for others. Only the communist revolution replaces the power of the exploiters with that of the exploited, and is the one that initiates the process of the dictatorship of the proletariat and sets the conditions for the disappearance of everything based on classes, the state will disappear. That is why it is unprecedented, that is why it is first, true and absolutely different, new, that is also why it is so complex and will be victorious; that is why humanity will not be able to enter communism so easily, we will see great complexities and very hard struggles but we are aware that we will handle them because already from 1917 we enter the new era, the era of the world proletarian revolution, we will see situations never seen before. This is what Marx, Lenin and Chairman Mao taught us. Socialism, communism will impose itself on the earth, there is no other goal for humanity because it is a necessary consequence of the unstoppable process of the process of matter, of mankind.” (Document of the II. Plenum of the CC of the PCP).
The comrades of the UOC, in their position, are counter-posing “science of revolution” to ideology as the scientific conception of the proletariat; that is to say, counter-posing the scientific connotation it has to its character of being the ideology of the proletariat. The only true one because it is the ideology of the last class in history, the proletariat, which has no interest in preserving private property. Almighty, since true.
With the bourgeois scientistic criterion, ideologies are denied, following this criterion, Maoism is also denied as the main one, thus denying the development of Marxism, which is by leaps and bounds and does not follow a flat, linear development. They are denying the stages in the development of Marxism. That on the basis of the previous one and as part of the same process of development there is a leap to a new and higher stage, which becomes the main one. That the new shows the victory of dialectics, of contradiction. They are denying the law of contradiction.
Chairman Mao in his Talk on Questions of Philosophy, referring to communism as a social system and that, by the same token, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is applicable to communist doctrine, says:
“Communism will last for thousands and thousands of years. I don’t believe that there will be no qualitative changes under communism, that it will not be divided into stages by qualitative changes! I don’t believe it! Quantity changes into quality, and quality changes into quantity. I don’t believe that it can remain qualitatively exactly the same, unchanging for millions of years! This is unthinkable in the light of dialectics. Then there is the principle, ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’. Do you believe they can carry on for a million years with the same economics? Have you thought about it? If that were so, we wouldn’t need economists, or in any case we could get along with just one textbook, and dialectics would be dead.
The life of dialectics is the continuous movement toward opposites … which will produce something more advanced …”
Applying the quotation to the development of communist doctrine, this also develops in stages, and the passage from one stage to another means the “victory of dialectics” because it allows the new to be born. And who says dialectics, says contradiction. To think that our doctrine can remain qualitatively exactly the same, unchanged for more than 174 years since the Manifesto of the Communist Party of 1848, is unthinkable in the light of dialectics. If it were so, dialectics would be dead. But, as it is not, dialectical development will always produce something more advanced, in correspondence between objective development and the need for the development of its understanding in order to transform the changing reality.
Our ideology, we repeat, being a dialectical process, is going to unfold through great leaps; three great qualitative leaps: Marx, Lenin, Chairman Mao Tse-tung. But these three great qualitative leaps could not be understood without other great, medium and even small leaps. It is in this way that a great dialectical process, then, generated by the proletariat producing men that only the class can produce, that we have arrived at Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, mainly Maoism.
Next, the comrades of the UOC show their total lack of understanding of what they read, like the metaphysicians they are, they mix up the concepts in order to muddle the discussion and the clarification of the problem. They oppose their law of the “negation of the negation” to the only fundamental law of dialectics, saying that this supposed law indicates the direction or “indicates the direction of the movement”, this is apriorism [see e.g. ‘Anti-Dühring’ or ‘Criticising Lin Piao and Confuzius’] and introducing the necessity of a superior external force that orients the direction of the processes. This is teleology, the same that leads to or conceals fideism in philosophy [“Fideism is a doctrine which substitutes faith for knowledge, or which generally attaches significance to faith.” – Lenin in ‘Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy’, 1908], when it is a question of defining or taking a stand for one of the two conceptions of the law of the development of the universe, which are the metaphysical conception and the dialectical conception, which constitute two opposing conceptions of the world.
Engels, in his introduction to ‘Dialectics of Nature’, wrote of this viewpoint, that is contrary to dialectical materialism, as follows:
“High as the natural science of the first half of the eighteenth century stood above Greek antiquity in knowledge and even in the sifting of its material, it stood just as deeply below Greek antiquity in the theoretical mastery of this material, in the general outlook on nature. For the Greek philosophers the world was essentially something that had emerged from chaos, something that had developed, that had come into being. For the natural scientists of the period that we are dealing with it was something ossified, something immutable, and for most of them something that had been created at one stroke. Science was still deeply enmeshed in theology. Everywhere it sought and found the ultimate cause in an impulse from outside that was not to be explained from nature itself. Even if attraction, by Newton pompously baptised as “universal gravitation”, was conceived as an essential property of matter, whence comes the unexplained tangential force which first gives rise to the orbits of the planets? How did the innumerable species of plants and animals arise? And how, above all, did man arise, since after all it was certain that he was not present from all eternity? To such questions natural science only too frequently answered by making the creator of all things responsible. Copernicus, at the beginning of the period, shows theology the door; Newton closes the period with the postulate of a divine first impulse. The highest general idea to which this natural science attained was that of the purposiveness of the arrangements of nature, the shallow teleology of Wolff, according to which cats were created to eat mice, mice to be eaten by cats, and the whole of nature to testify to the wisdom of the creator.”
The study of this paragraph from the introduction to Engels’ masterpiece, Dialectics of Nature, shows in that period, the first half of the 18th century, how the philosophical generalisation of the development of the natural sciences, the conception of nature bogged down in theology and metaphysics, which made an external impulse and the creator responsible for everything, was to be found in the philosophical generalisation of the development of the natural sciences, whose most general idea was that of Wolff’s vulgar teleology, i.e. something like the idea defended by the UOC comrades from Colombia of the supposed law of “the negation of the negation” with them saying “which indicates the direction of the movement“, to oppose it to the law of contradiction as the only fundamental law of the movement of eternal matter, of the self-movement of matter. Which is the essence or kernel of dialectics, which in Engels is already implicit in his introduction to Dialectics of Nature, which we will soon publish on our website with our highlights.
But, as Chairman Mao pointed out, synthesising thousands of years of history of Western and Eastern philosophy, it is a process, without which it is impossible to achieve this result, to understand perfectly and handle in a totally conscious way the objective laws. And, as for the study of contradiction, the only fundamental law of dialectics, because there is no other, Chairman Gonzalo, reaffirming and specifying what Chairman Mao had established, said:
“Lenin said: Capital is a monument to dialectics; a monument of contradiction, and if you think about the commodity and its definition, how he conceives it as a contradiction, then you will understand how Marx understood it. The problem, many times, is that the situation is implicit, not explicitly stated many times, this is the problem. And why is it not given, because it takes more time for a deepening on the basis of what others like Marx and Engels or the Great Lenin did, could the Chairman come to that.” (quoted in ‘Defence of Maoism (I)’)
We stand for Marxism, for the defence of Maoism, we stand for the dialectical materialist conception, according to which everything is matter in motion and what explains this self-movement is contradiction as the only fundamental law of dialectical materialism or Marxist philosophy or proletarian conception. Chairman Mao wrote about this:
“As opposed to the metaphysical world outlook, the world outlook of materialist dialectics holds that in order to understand the development of a thing we should study it internally and in its relations with other things; in other words, the development of things should be seen as their internal and necessary self-movement, while each thing in its movement is interrelated with and interacts on the things around it. The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing. There is internal contradiction in every single thing, hence its motion and development. Contradictoriness within a thing is the fundamental cause of its development, while its interrelations and interactions with other things are secondary causes. Thus materialist dialectics effectively combats the theory of external causes, or of an external motive force, advanced by metaphysical mechanical materialism and vulgar evolutionism.”
[…] According to materialist dialectics, changes in nature are due chiefly to the development of the internal contradictions in nature. Changes in society are due chiefly to the development of the internal contradictions in society, that is, the contradiction between the productive forces and the relations of production, the contradiction between classes and the contradiction between the old and the new; it is the development of these contradictions that pushes society forward and gives the impetus for the supersession of the old society by the new. Does materialist dialectics exclude external causes? Not at all. It holds that external causes are the condition of change and internal causes are the basis of change, and that external causes become operative through internal causes. In a suitable temperature an egg changes into a chicken, but no temperature can change a stone into a chicken, because each has a different basis. There is constant interaction between the peoples of different countries. In the era of capitalism, and especially in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the interaction and mutual impact of different countries in the political, economic and cultural spheres are extremely great. The October Socialist Revolution ushered in a new epoch in world history as well as in Russian history. It exerted influence on internal changes in the other countries in the world and, similarly and in a particularly profound way, on internal changes in China. These changes, however, were effected through the inner laws of development of these countries, China included.” (Mao Tse-tung, “On Contradiction”, 1937; our highlights, ci-ic.org)
Chairman Mao defines precisely what is the driving force or motor of the process of the development of nature and society without ever mentioning the famous “law” of the “negation of negation” to determine the direction of the movement, in this respect as we have already quoted him saying:
“The life of dialectics is the continuous movement toward opposites […] which will produce something more advanced […]”
The above quotation condenses what he wrote two decades earlier in ‘On Contradiction’, which reads as follows:
“Contradiction is universal and absolute, it is present in the process of development of all things and permeates every process from beginning to end.
What is meant by the emergence of a new process? The old unity with its constituent opposites yields to a new unity with its constituent opposites, whereupon a new process emerges to replace the old. The old process ends and the new one begins. The new process contains new contradictions and begins its own history of the development of contradictions.
As Lenin pointed out, Marx in his Capital gave a model analysis of this movement of opposites which runs through the process of development of things from beginning to end. This is the method that must be employed in studying the development of all things. Lenin, too, employed this method correctly and adhered to it in all his writings.
In his Capital, Marx first analyses the simplest, most ordinary and fundamental, most common and everyday relation of bourgeois (commodity) society, a relation encountered billions of times, viz. the exchange of commodities. In this very simple phenomenon (in this “cell” of bourgeois society) analysis reveals all the contradictions (or the germs of all the contradictions) of modern society. The subsequent exposition shows us the development (both growth and movement) of these contradictions and of this society in the [summation] of its individual parts, from its beginning to its end.
Lenin added, ‘Such must also be the method of exposition (or study) of dialectics in general.’ […]“ (Mao Tse-tung, “On Contradiction”; our highlights, ci-ic.org)
That is what Marxism-Leninism-Maoism says and, possibly unwittingly, aligning themselves with the revisionist Trotskyite-hoxhaite positions, the comrades of the UOC, maintain the opposite:
“We consider that the philosophical basis of this error lies in the pretension of reducing the general laws of movement to contradiction, interpreting that its character of being the most fundamental law of dialectics or nucleus or essence of dialectics, means that it is the «only law of dialectics»; wrong idea that was imposed in the extinct RIM (defended also by the «new synthesis» of Avakian) and that now the comrades of the Committee try to amend in the proposal with the words «only fundamental law of dialectics», but preserving the old idea of ignoring the law of negation of negation, which indicates the direction of the movement, a law openly recognized by the masters of the proletariat: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tse-tung. In short, we defend the Marxism Leninism Maoism science in development, integral, coherent and exact.“
Therefore, it is necessary to continue with the theme of our conception and the leap in the understanding of the law of contradiction by Chairman Mao Tse-tung and its significance for Marxist philosophy, the exposition of which with selected documentation will be the main content of Defence of Maoism (III).
Chairman Mao is the one who took up the theoretical and practical task of deepening the understanding of contradiction as the “essence and core of dialectics”, a task formulated by Lenin, and raised Marxist philosophy or dialectical materialism to new heights by establishing the law of contradiction as the only fundamental law of materialist dialectics. Maoism has endowed us with this sharp weapon to transform the world; wielding it is a theoretical and practical problem. “A plan is an ideology. Ideology is the reflection of a reality and acts on reality.”
It is from the great leap in the core of our ideology achieved by Chairman Mao that Chairman Gonzalo, fulfilling the task of defining Maoism as the third, new and higher stage of Marxism, established: “Contradiction, the only fundamental law of the incessant transformation of eternal matter.” (1st Congress of the PCP, 1988)
The above is the brilliant condensation, which expresses the conception of the international proletariat, dialectical materialism: its condition of materialism when it says eternal matter and dialectics when it stresses contradiction. Materialism is the basis, dialectics is the guidance, and the only law of dialectics is contradiction and the others are derivations. Concentrated expression of Marxist philosophical monism, where materialism, dialectics and the theory of knowledge from the point of view and the historical interests of the last class in history, the only class possessing the true scientific ideology, all others are inverted expressions of reality, all-powerful ideology because it is true. This condensation of our conception by the one who defined Maoism implies a leap in Marxist philosophy, that is beyond doubt; the question, whether it is a big or a great leap is something we leave for the future deepening of its understanding and deepening of the task completed by Chairman Gonzalo.
Chairman Mao in ‘On Practice’ says: “In the present epoch of the development of society, the responsibility of correctly knowing and changing the world has been placed by history upon the shoulders of the proletariat and its party.”
We once again reaffirm the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist position, that the only fundamental law is contradiction and the others are derivations, defended by the CUMIC in the Basis of Discussion for the UMIC. With Chairman Mao we arrive at philosophical monism; the sole law, he clearly affirmed the development of Marxism in this matter of utmost importance for our ideology:
“Engels talked about the three categories, but as for me I don’t believe in two of those categories.(The unity of opposites is the most basic law, the transformation of quality and quantity into one another is the unity of the opposites quality and quantity, and the negation of the negation does not exist at all.) The juxtaposition, on the same level, of the transformation of quality and quantity into one another, the negation of the negation, and the law of the unity of opposites is ‘triplism’, not monism. The most basic thing is the unity of opposites. The transformation of quality and quantity into one another is the unity of the opposites quality and quantity. There is no such thing as the negation of the negation. Affirmation, negation, affirmation, negation […] in the development of things, every link in the chain of events is both affirmation and negation.”
He goes on to explain the issue as follows:
“Slave-holding society negated primitive society, but with reference to feudal society it constituted, in turn, the affirmation. Feudal society constituted the negation in relation to slave-holding society but it was in turn the affirmation with reference to capitalist society. Capitalist society was the negation in relation to feudal society, but it is, in turn, the affirmation in relation to socialist society.
What is the method of synthesis? Is it possible that primitive society can exist side-by-side with slave-holding society? They do exist side-by-side, but this is only a small part of the whole. The overall picture is that primitive society is going to be eliminated. The development of society, moreover, takes place by stages; primitive society, too, is divided into a great many stages. At that time, there was not yet the practice of burying women with their dead husbands, but they were obliged to subject themselves to men. First men were subject to women, and then things moved towards their opposite, and women were subject to men. This stage in history has not yet been clarified, although it has been going on for a million years and more. Class society has not yet lasted 5,000 years, cultures such as that of Lung Shan and Yang Shao at the end of the primitive era had coloured pottery. In a word, one devours another, one overthrows another, one class is eliminated, another class rises, one society is eliminated, another society rises. Naturally, in the process of development, everything is not all that pure. When it gets to feudal society, there still remains something of the slaveholding system, though the greater part of the social edifice is characterized by the feudal system. There are still some serfs, and also some bond-workers, such as handicraftsmen. Capitalist society isn’t all that pure either, and even in more advanced capitalist societies there is also a backward part. For example, there was the slave system in the Southern United States. Lincoln abolished the slave system, but there are still black slaves today, their struggle is very fierce. More than 20 million people are participating in it, and that’s quite a few.
One thing destroys another, things emerge, develop, and are destroyed, everywhere is like this. If things are not destroyed by others, then they destroy themselves. Why should people die? Does the aristocracy die too? This is a natural law. Forests live longer than human beings, yet even they last only a few thousand years. If there were no such thing as death, that would be unbearable. If we could still see Confucius alive today, the earth wouldn’t be able to hold so many people. I approve of Chuang-tzu’s approach. When his wife died, he banged on a basin and sang. When people die there should be parties to celebrate the victory of dialectics, to celebrate the destruction of the old. Socialism, too, will be eliminated, it wouldn’t do if it were not eliminated, for then there would be no communism. Communism will last for thousands and thousands of years. I don’t believe that there will be no qualitative changes under communism, that it will not be divided into stages by qualitative changes! I don’t believe it! Quantity changes into quality, and quality changes into quantity. I don’t believe that it can remain qualitatively exactly the same, unchanging for millions of years! This is unthinkable in the light of dialectics. Then there is the principle, ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’. Do you believe they can carry on for a million years with the same economics? Have you thought about it? If that were so, we wouldn’t need economists, or in any case we could get along with just one textbook, and dialectics would be dead.”
The life of dialectics is the continuous movement toward opposites.” (Mao Tse-tung, “Talk on Questions of Philosophy”; our highlights, ci-ic.org)
In ‘Defence of Maoism (I)’, we reaffirmed the following truth: Materialism is very old, as is dialectics, they are parallel, contemporary in origin, they are more than 2550 years old in the West, we owe it to the Greeks. But it was Marx who took the idea as a derivation of matter, fusing dialectics with matter, who gave the great transformation generating the new philosophy, the full and complete philosophy not in a closed sense, that is why we cannot speak of system, system implies closed circle and knowledge is a spiral, it is not a closed circle nor are the circles that make up the spiral closed.
Lenin reaffirmed materialist monism and advanced monism in dialectics, leaving the task of deepening it to future generations of Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries, he said:
“The materialist elimination of the “dualism of mind and body” (i.e., materialist monism) consists in the assertion that the mind does not exist independently of the body, that mind is secondary, a function of the brain, a reflection of the external world. The idealist elimination of the “dualism of mind and body” (i.e., idealist monism) consists in the assertion that mind is not a function of the body, that, consequently, mind is primary, that the “environment” and the “self” exist only in an inseparable connection of one and the same “complexes of elements.” Apart from these two diametrically opposed methods of eliminating “the dualism of mind and body,” there can be no third method, unless it be eclecticism, which is a senseless jumble of materialism and idealism.” (Lenin, “Materialism and Empiriocriticism”; our highlights, ci-ic.org)
“In his Ludwig Feuerbach, Engels declares that the fundamental philosophical trends are materialism and idealism. Materialism regards nature as primary and spirit as secondary; it places being first and thought second. Idealism holds the contrary view. This root distinction between the “two great camps” into which the philosophers of the “various schools” of idealism and materialism are divided Engels takes as the cornerstone, and he directly charges with “confusion” those who use the terms idealism and materialism in any other way.
“The great basic question of all philosophy,” Engels says, “especially of modern philosophy, is that concerning the relation of thinking and being,” of “spirit and nature.” Having divided the philosophers into “two great camps” on this basic question, Engels shows that there is “yet another side” to this basic philosophical question, viz., “in what relation do our thoughts about the world surrounding us stand to this world itself? Is our thinking capable of the cognition of the real world? Are we able in our ideas and notions of the real world to produce a correct reflection of reality?” [*]’ ‘“The overwhelming majority of philosophers give an affirmative answer to this question,” says Engels, including under this head not only all materialists but also the most consistent idealists, as, for example, the absolute idealist Hegel, who considered the real world to be the realisation of some premundane “absolute idea,” while the human spirit, correctly apprehending the real world, apprehends in it and through it the “absolute idea.” “In addition [i.e., to the materialists and the consistent idealists] there is yet a set of different philosophers—those who question the possibility of any cognition, or at least of an exhaustive cognition, of the world. To them, among the more modern ones, belong Hume and Kant, and they have played a very important role in philosophical development.” (Lenin, “Materialism and Empiriocriticism”, 1908; our highlights, ci-ic.org)
And among others, Lenin in his comments draws the following epistemological conclusion:
“In the theory of knowledge, as in every other sphere of science, we must think dialectically, that is, we must not regard our knowledge as ready-made and unalterable, but must determine how knowledge emerges from ignorance, how incomplete, inexact knowledge becomes more complete and more exact.
Once we accept the point of view that human knowledge develops from ignorance, we shall find millions of examples of it just as simple as the discovery of alizarin in coal tar, millions of observations not only in the history of science and technology but in the everyday life of each and every one of us that illustrate the transformation of ‘things-in-themselves’ into ‘things-for-us’, the appearance of ‘phenomena’ when our sense-organs experience an impact from external objects, the disappearance of ‘phenomena’ when some obstacle prevents the action upon our sense-organs of an object which we know to exist. The sole and unavoidable deduction to be made from this—a deduction which all of us make in everyday practice and which materialism deliberately places at the foundation of its epistemology—is that outside us and independently of us, there exist objects, things, bodies and that our perceptions are images of the external world. Mach’s converse theory (that bodies are complexes of sensations) is pitiful idealist nonsense. … He [Chernov; our note, ci-ic.org] regards only gelehrte fictions as genuine philosophy and is unable to distinguish professorial eclecticism from the consistent materialist theory of knowledge.” (Lenin, “Materialism and Empiriocriticism”, 1908)
Applying the law of contradiction to the dialectical process of knowledge, Chairman Mao established that in order to perfectly understand and fully consciously make use of objective laws, it is necessary to go through a certain process to arrive at this result:
“Page 446, paragraph 2 [of Reading Notes On The Soviet Text Political Economy], says that as ownership becomes public “people become the masters of the economic relations of their own society,” and are “able to take hold of and apply these laws fully and consciously.” It should be observed that this requires going through a process. The understanding of laws always begins with the understanding of a minority before it becomes the knowledge of the majority. It is necessary to go through a process of practice and study to go from ignorance to knowledge. At the beginning no one has knowledge. Foreknowledge has never existed. People must go through practice to gain results, meet with failure as problems arise; only through such a process can knowledge gradually advance. If you want to know the objective laws of the development of things and events you must go through the process of practice, adopt a Marxist-Leninist attitude, compare successes and failures, continually practicing and studying, going through multiple successes and failures; moreover, meticulous research must be performed. There is no other way to make one’s own knowledge gradually conform to the laws. For those who see only victory but not defeat it will not be possible to know these laws.
It is not easy “to possess and apply these laws fully and consciously.” […]
The text does not recognize the contradictions between appearances and essences. Essences always lie behind appearances and cannot be disclosed except through appearances. The text does not express the idea that for a person to know the laws it is necessary to go through a process. The vanguard is no exception.” (Mao Tse-tung, “Reading Notes On The Soviet Text ‘Political Economy’”; our highlights, ci-ic.org)
Dialectical materialism, as the scientific conception of the proletariat, is the understanding of all that exists, that means understanding of the material world, understanding of the class struggle, that is the social world, and that means understanding of knowledge as a reflection of matter in the mind which is another form of matter from the point of view or position of the proletariat (monist materialist dialectical conception = the only fundamental law of contradiction, the others are derivations of this law). There is no movement without matter, no matter without movement and the motor of movement is contradiction.
Also, we start from the great truth established since the beginning of Marxism, that Marxism has three integral parts: Marxist philosophy, Marxist political economy and scientific socialism. And in the great statement to define the stages of its development affirmed by Chairman Gonzalo, that the development in all of them that generates a great qualitative leap of Marxism as a whole, as a unity at a higher level, implies a new stage. A development in all three constituent parts to a higher level, then we have a universal qualitative leap. That is why we have to start from the Theory, to show the developments in those three parts, then the one who defined Maoism tells us that if we proceed in that way, it is impossible to deny Maoism, impossible! And the rest are derivations that can be included in any of the three parts. And, that the essential thing is to show that Chairman Mao has generated, as can be seen in theory and practice, such a great qualitative leap. Here, we have not focused on showing the development of the three component parts of Marxism by Chairman Mao, but in the ‘Report: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism’ you see this development (published on ci-ic.org), but will only focus on highlighting the development of Marxist philosophy or dialectical materialism by Chairman Mao in terms of the core or essence of dialectics: contradiction. Therefore, in Part III or later on, we will specifically deal, through quotations from Chairman Mao himself, with the fulfilment of the task left by Lenin of deepening his understanding, taking into account, among others, the development of the particular sciences and mainly of the theory and practice of the proletarian world revolution.