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 MAO ZEDONG'S DIALECTIC MATERIALISM (LECTURE OUTLINE) 1938

DIALECTIC MATERIALISM (LECTURE OUTLINE)
1938
[Text]  Chapter I Idealism and Materialism
This chapter discusses the following problems:
(1) Two opposing camps of philosophy;
(2) Distinction between idealism and materialism;
(3)  Origin and development of idealism; and
(4)  Origin and development of materialism. (1)  Two Opposing Camps of Philosophy
The entire history of philosophy is the history of struggle and development of idealism and materialism, the two opposing schools of philosophy.  All philosophical thoughts and factions are variations of these two basic schools.
All philosophical theories are created by people belonging to a definite social class.  The consciousness of these people is historically determined by a definite social life.  All philosophical theories express the need of a definite social class and reflect the level of development of social productive force and the historical stage of man's knowledge of nature.  The fate of a philosophy is determined by the degree it satisfies the need of society.
The social origin of idealism and materialism lies in the social structure of class contradictions.  The original idealism was the product of ignorance of the primitive barbarian man.  Later, as productive forces developed, scientific knowledge-also developed.  Consequently, idealism should have declined and been replaced by materialism. However, from antiquity to modern times, idealism has not declined.  On the contrary, it has developed further and become a close rival of materialism.  The reason is that society is divided into classes.  On the one hand, the oppressing class cannot but develop and consolidate its idealism for its own interest.  On the other hand, the oppressed class, similarly, cannot but develop and consolidate
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its materialism for its own interest.  Both idealism and materialism exist as tools of class struggle, and the war between the two schools of philosophy will continue until the elimination of classes.  In its process of development, idealism represents the ideology of the exploiting class and has a reactionary function.  Materialism is the world outlook of the revolutionary class.  In a class society, materialism grows and develops continuously in its struggle against the reactionary philosophy—idealism.  For this reason the struggle between idealism and materialism always reflects the struggle between the interest of the reactionary class and that of the revolutionary class. No matter whether a philosopher is conscious of it or not, his philosophic inclination is always influenced by the political orientation of the class to which he belongs. Any inclination in philosophy always directly or Indirectly supports the basic political interest of the class the philosopher belongs. In this sense, the implementation of a certain philosophical Inclination is a special form of the policy of the class the philosopher belongs.
The special characteristic of the Marxist philosophy, dialectic materialism, is to explain clearly the class attributes of all social consciousness (including philosophy).  It openly declares its proletarian nature, wages a resolute struggle against idealism of the capitalist class, and subordinates its function to the general task of overthrowing the capitalist institution, establishing proletarian dictatorship, and building socialism.  In the present stage in China, the mission of philosophy is subordinated to the general task of overthrowing imperialism and semi-^-feudalism, thoroughly implementing the democracy of the bourgeois class, establishing a brand new Chinese Democratic Republic, and preparing to transform the present society to a socialist and Communist society with peaceful means.  Philosophical theories and political practices should be closely related.
(2)  Distinction Between Idealism and Materialism
Where is the basic difference between idealism and materialism?  It lies in the opposite answers given by the two schools in regard to the basic problem of philosophy, that is, the problem of the relationship between spirit and matter (the problem of the relationship between consciousness and existence). Idealism considers spirit (consciousness, concept, and subject) as the origin of everything in the world and matter (natural or social object) as subordinate to spirit.  Materialism holds that matter exists independent of spirit, while spirit is only subordinate to matter.  From the opposite answers to this basic problem, diversified opinions arise on all other problems.
From the viewpoint of idealism, the world is probably a synthesis of our different kinds of senses, or it Is the spiritual process created by our or worldly rationality.  The external material world is viewed as an illusion, or an external shell of spiritual elements.  Human knowledge is viewed as subjective and a product of spirit.
Conversely, materialism holds that the unity, of universe lies In its material property.  Spirit (consciousness) Is one of the properties of
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matter.  It occurs only when matter develops to a definite stage. Nature, matter and the objective world exist outside.of spirit and independent of spirit.  Human knowledge is a reflection of the objective world.
(3)  Origin of Idealism and Its Development
Idealism considers that matter is a product of spirit.  It turns the real world upside down.  What is the. origin of this philosophy, and where is the source of its development?
As mentioned before, idealism occurred as a product of the ignorance of primitive man, but after the development of production the primary condition that enabled idealism to become a philosophical thought was the separation of physical and mental labor.  As a result of the development of social productivity, division of labor occurred in society. Further development of division of labor produced people who devoted themselves exclusively to mental labor.  At a time when social productivity was relatively low, the separation of physical and mental labor was not complete. But after the emergence of classes and private property, when exploitation became the foundation for the existence of the dominating class, great changes began. Mental labor became a special privilege of the dominating class, while physical labor became the fate of the oppressed class.  The dominating class began to examine their own relationship with the oppressed class in a topsy-turvy way.  They thought that, it was not the laborers who provided them with materials for living.  Instead, they thought, it was they who provided the laborers with materials for living.  For.this reason, they despised physical labor and generated the viewpoints of idealism.  Eliminating the distinction between physical and material labor is one of the conditions for eliminating the philosophy of idealism.
The social origin which enabled the philosophy of idealism to develop is mainly the fact.that this philosophy consciously expresses the interest of the exploiting class.  The superiority of the idealist philosophy in all cultural realms should be explained by this fact.  If the exploiting class did not exist, idealism would lose its social origin.  The final extinction of the philosophy of idealism will come only after the elimination of classes and the establishment of a Communist society.
We must look for the origin that accounts for the development and intensification of idealism and its ability to become a rival of materialism in the process of manfs knowledge.  When man uses concept in thinking, there is a possibility for him to slip into idealism.  When man thinks, he cannot but use concepts.  This will apt to make our knowledge split into two aspects. In one aspect are the individual and special things and events.  In another aspect are the concepts of a general nature (such as this judgment: "Yenan is a city.") The specific and the general are originally related and inseparable.  When they are detached, they are separated from the objective truth.  The objective truth demonstrates the consistency between the general and the specific. Without the specific, the general does not exist.
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Without the general, there can be no specific.  If we separate the general from the specific, then the general is considered the objective body and the specific is considered only a form of general existence.  This is the method used by all idealists. They use consciousness, spirit, and concept to replace the objective substance which exists independent of man's consciousness. With this as a starting point, the idealists stress the dynamic nature of human consciousness in social practice.  They are unable to point out the truth of materialism that consciousness is limited by matter.  Instead, they say that only consciousness is dynamic, while matter is nothing but a collective body of immobile things.  Driven by class motivations, the idealists use all methods to exaggerate the dynamism of consciousness and develop it one-sidedly to such an extent that it is infinitely expanded in the mind to become a dominating thing.  Matter is covered up.and made subordinate to consciousness. They affirm this artificially expanded thing as the general outlook of the universe, and even worship it as an idol or demigod.  Idealist economics excessively exaggerate the immaterial side of exchange, and elevates the status of the principle of supply and demand to that of the fundamental law of capitalism.  Many people saw the dynamic function of science in social life, but did not know that this function is ruled and limited by a definite social production relationship.  They therefore came to the conclusion that science is the motive force of society.  Idealist historians regard heroes as the creators of history.  Idealist politicians consider politics as an omnipotent thing. Idealist militarists practice the principle of fighting-to-the-death in war.  Idealist revolutionaries advocate Blanquism.  All these are exaggerations of subjective dynamism. Our thinking cannot reflect the object all at once as a whole.  It is only an infinite, colorful, vivid and dialectic process of knowing things close to their reality. Based on this characteristic of human thinking, the idealists exaggerate certain individual aspects of this process. Unable to correctly reflect this process, they distort it. Lenin said: "Human knowledge is not developed along a straight line, but along a curve. Any section of this curve can become an isolated and integral section of straight line. This section of straight line can possibly lead you to confusion.  Linearity and one-sidedness are 'not seeing the forest for the trees'; obstinacy, subjectivism, and subjective blindness—all these are the origins of idealist epistemology.11  "Idealism one-sidedly exaggerates one fragment or one aspect of the process of cognizance into a mysterious absolute thing divorced from amtter and divorced from nature.  It is correct to say that idealism is religious dogma."
Pre-Marxist materialism (mechanical materialism) did not emphasize the dynamism of thinking in cognizance.  It only gave thinking a passive function, and regarded thinking as a mirror to reflect nature.  Mechanical materialism took a violent attitude toward idealism without paying attention to the origin of idealist epistemology.  Therefore, mechanical materialism could not prevail over idealism. Only dialectic materialism correctly points out the dynamic nature of thinking and, at the same time, points ou- that thinking is limited by matter.  It points out that thinking occurs in the process of social practice and also dynamically directs practice. Only this type of dialectical theory of "unity between knowledge and practice" can thoroughly prevail over idealism.
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(4)  Origin of Materialism and Its Development
Recognition of the existence of external matter independent of consciousness is the.foundation of materialism.  This foundation is acquired by man through practice, the practice of labor and production. The practice of class struggle and the practice of scientific experimentation enabled man to depart from superstition and fantasy (idealism), to gradually recognize the nature of the world, and to reach materialism.
Primitive man, who could only use simple tools and yielded to the force of nature, was unable to explain the changes surrounding him. Therefore, he asked help from the spirit.  This is the origin of religion and idealism.
In the long processes of production, man came in contact with nature surrounding him, acted on nature, changed nature, and secured things for clothing, food and shelter in order to make nature more suited to the interest of man. This convinced man that matter does objectively exist.
In social life, relationships and influence occur between one man and another. In class society, class struggle went on. The oppressed class weighed the situation, estimated their strength and made plans. When their struggle succeeded, they firmly believed that their opinion was not a product of imagination, but a reflection of the material world which objectively exists. When the oppressed class failed in their struggle because of the adoption of wrong plans, and when they succeeded in their struggle after changing their plans, they began to understand that they could reach their goal only if their subjective plans were based on a correct knowledge of the material property and rules of the objective world.
The history of science proved to man the material property and regularity
of the world, and made him realize the uselessness of the fantasy of religion
and idealism, and finally accept the conclusion of materialism.
In short, in the long history of practice—the history of human struggle against nature, the'history of class struggle, and the history of science—man, for the necessity of living and struggle, thought about the reality of material and its rules, proved the correctness of the philosophy of materialism, and found the ideological tool for his own struggle—the philosophy of materialism. As social production developed to a higher and higher degree, class struggle became more and more developed; scientific knowledge further exposed the "secrets" of nature, the philosophy of materialism became more and more developed and consolidated; gradually became able to liberate himself from the dual oppression of nature and society.  When it was necessary for the bourgeois class to struggle against the feudal class and before the proletariat had become a threat, the bourgeoisie also found and used materialism as a tool in their own struggle, and believed at one time that the things and events surrounding them were products of matter rather than products of spirit.  Not until they themselves became rulers and the struggle of the proletariat threatened their position did they give up this "useless" tool, and pick up another tool—the philosophy of idealism.
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The proletarian class, the grave diggers for capitalism, is materialist by nature.  But, due to the fact that the proletarian class is the most advanced class in history, the materialism of the proletarian class is different from the materialism of the capitalist class. The former is more thorough and more profound, characterized only by dialectics and not by mechanism.  The proletarian class absorbed the fruits of all practices in human history and, through their practice and their spokesmen and leaders—Marx and Engels—created dialectic materialism.  It maintains not only that matter exists independent of and separated from human consciousness, but also that matter is changing. It thus becomes a completely systematic and totally new world outlook and methodology.  This is the philosophy of Marxism.
Chapter II Dialectic Materialism
This chapter discusses the following problems:
(1)  Dialectic materialism as a weapon of proletarian revolution;
(2)  Relationship between the heritage of old philosophy and dialectic materialism;
(3)  Consistency of outlook of the universe and methodology in dialectic materialism;
(4) The problem of object in philosophy;
(5)  Theory of matter;
(6)  Theory of movement;
(7)  Theory of time and space;
(8)  Theory of consciousness;
(9)  Theory of reflection;
(10)  Theory of truth; and
(11)  Theory of practice.
The following is a "brief discussion of our viewpoints on these problems. (1)  Dialectic Materialism as a Weapon of Proletarian Revolution
This problem has already been discussed in Chapter I.  We shall talk about it briefly again.
Dialectic materialism represents the universal view of the proletarian class. The proletarian class uses dialectic materialism as its spiritual weapon in
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its struggle and as its philosophical basis for its various opinions.  Only when we view the world from the proletarian standpoint can we correctly and completely grasp dialectic materialism.  Only when, we start from this viewpoint can the real world be truly and objectively known.  This is due to, in one respect, the fact that the proletarian class is the most advanced and most revolutionary class; and in another respect, the fact that dialectic materialism is the most correct and most revolutionary outlook of the universe and methodology in which a highly precise scientific characteristic is closely associated with a thorough and uncompromising revolutionary characteristic.
The proletarian class in China has -now shouldered the historical responsibility of carrying the democratic revolution of the bourgeois class.  It must adopt dialectic materialism as its spiritual weapon. If dialectic materialism is accepted by the proletarian class, the Communist Party, and .all revolutionary elements who are willing to take a stand on the side of the vast proletarian class, they will have the most correct and the most revolutionary universal view and methodology, and they will be able to correctly understand the development and changes of the revolutionary movement correctly, propose correct revolutionary tasks, unite with their allies, defeat reactionary theories, take correct actions, avoid mistakes in their work, and reach the goal of liberating and rebuilding China. Dialectic materialism is especially a required subject of study for those cadres who direct revolutionary movements because subjectivism and mechanism, the two erroneous theories and working methods, often lead cadres into wrong actions in violation of Marxism, and into wrong ways in revolutionary movements. .In order to avoid and to correct this shortcoming, it is necessary for cadres to study dialectic materialism self-consciously, and rearm their minds.
(2)  Relationship Between the Heritage of the Old Philosophy and Dialectic Materialism
Modern materialism is not a simple successor to the various old schools of philosophy.  It was born and developed in the struggle against the dominant philosophy of the past and in the struggle of freeing science from idealism and myth.  The Marxist philosophy, dialectic materialism, has not only inherited the best product of idealism, the fruits of Hegelian philosophy, but also overcome the idealism of that school of philosophy and materialistically transformed Hegel's dialectics.  Marxism is not only the continuation and consummation of all the past development of materialism, but also an opponent of the narrowness of all the old schools of materialism, that is, the mechanical and intuitive materialism (mainly French materialism and Feuerbach materialism). Marxist philosophy, dialectic materialism, took over the scientific heritage of the past culture and at the same time gave it a revolutionary transformation to become the most correct, the most revolutionary, and the most complete philosophical science unprecedented in history.
After the 4 May 1919 Movement, as the proletarian class of China consciously walked onto the political stage, and as the nation's scientific standard continued to rise, a Marxist philosophy movement developed.  However, during
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the initial stage of China's materialist movement our understanding about dialectics was inadequate. As a result, the capitalist mechanical materialism and the Deborin school's subjectivism predominated. When the revolution of 1927 failed, our understanding of Marxism-Leninism improved, and materialist dialectic thinking gradually developed.  Recently, due to the seriousness of national and social crises and due to the purge of philosophy in the Soviet Union, a broad movement of dialectic materialism began among the thinkers in China.
Due to the backwardness of Chinese society, the current dialectic materialism thinking in China is not a continuation or transformation of China's own philosophical heritage.  It came, rather, from learning Marxism-Leninism*  In order that dialectic materialism will take root and advance in China and will definitely guide the Chinese revolution toward an ultimate triumph, it is necessary to struggle against all existing obsolete philosophy, to raise a banner of criticism on the ideological front all. over the country, and thereby to liquidate the philosophical heritage of ancient China.
(3)  Consistency of the Outlook of the Universe and Methodology in Dialectic Materialism
Dialectic materialism is the proletarian outlook of the universe, and at the same time it is also the method used by the proletarian class to know the surrounding world as well as the method for revolutionary action.  It is a unity of the outlook of the universe and methodology.  The idealist Marxist revisionists think that the substance of dialectic materialism lies in its "method." They sever method from the general philosophical outlook of the universe, and sever dialectics from materialism.  They don't understand Marxist methodology—dialectics—which is not like Hegelian idealist dialectis, but materialist dialectics. Marxist methodology can never be separated from Marxist outlook of the universe.  On the other hand, mechanical materialism not only views Marxist philosophy as a general philosophical outlook of the universe without its dialectics, but also regards this kind of outlook as the conclusion of mechanical natural science.  They do not understand that Marxist materialism is not simple materialism, but dialectic materialism. These two separated views of Marxist philosophy are wrong.  Dialectic materialism is a unity of outlook of the universe and methodology.
(4)  The Problem of the Object of Dialectic Materialism—What Does Materialist Dialectics Study?
Lenin considered materialist dialectics (as a Marxist philosophy) as a study of the laws of development of the objective world, as well as a study of the laws of development of cognizance (which reflects the objective world through various categories in dialectics).  He said that logic is not an external formal study of thinking; it is rather a study concerning the law of development of all material, natural and spiritual things.  In other words, logic is the total, summation, and conclusion of human knowledge about the world. Although Lenin emphasized the significance of materialist dialectics as a
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general scientific methodology, he did this because dialectics is the conclusion drawn from the history of our cognizance about the world. Hence he said: "Dialectics is the history of cognizance."
The above is Lenin's definition of materialist dialectics as a science and its objectives.  What he means is as follows:  First, just as any other science, materialist dialectics has its object of study.  The object is the most general laws of development of nature, history, and human thinking. The task of materialist dialectics is not to think from our head the relationship between various phenomena, but to observe the relationship between the various phenomena from the phenomena themselves.  This viewpoint of Lenin's is basically different from that of the members of the minority faction of the idealists who regard category (divorced in fact from specific science or specific knowledge) as the object of study of materialist dialectics.  This is because of the fact that the members of the minority faction of idealists attempt to establish a philosophical system of categories isolated from the development of human knowledge about the reality of epistemology, history, social science and natural science.  By so doing, they have in fact abandoned materialist dialectics.  Second, the various branches of science (mathematics, mechanics, chemistry, physics, biology, economics and other natural sciences and social sciences) are for the study of the various aspects of the material world and its development.  Therefore, the principles of the various sciences are narrowly limited by each specific realm of study.  But materialist dialectics is not so.  It summarizes, draws.conclusions about, processes and generalizes all the valuable contents of all specific branches of science and other scientific knowledge of mankind.  Thus, the concepts, judgments, and principles of materialist dialectics are extremely broad (including the most general laws of all sciences, and hence including the substance of the material world). In this respect, it is an outlook of the universe.  On the other hand, materialist dialectics is the foundation of true scientific logic and epistemology liberated from all empty thinking, clericalism, and metaphysics.  Therefore, it is also the only realistic objective methodology for the study of specific sciences.  It is further clear why we say that materialist dialectics or dialectic materialism Is the unity of the outlook of the universe and methodology. So the mistakes of those who distort and vulgarize Marxism and deny Marxism as a philosophy can be understood.
Concerning the problem of the object of philosophy, Marx, Engels and Lenin all opposed separating philosophy from reality or making philosophy something independent of substance.  They pointed out the inevitability of philosophy growing out of actual life and based upon the analysis of actual life and actual relationships.. They specially opposed using logical concepts and logic as the objects of study as practiced by the formalists and members of the minority faction of the idealists. Marx, Engels, and Lenin all interpreted materialist dialectics as a theory concerning development. Engels regarded materialist dialectics as "a theory discussing the general principle of development of nature, society and thinking." Lenin considered materialist dialectics as "the most multI-faceted, the richest and the most profound theory of development." They all considered "the formulas of all principles of
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development offered by other schools of philosophy as narrow, without substance, and severed from the process of development of nature and society."  (Quotation from Lenin)  The reason by materialist dialectics is called the most multi-faceted, the richest, and the most profound theory of development is nothing but that it reflects the contradictions and the leaping nature in the process of natural and social changes in the most multi-faceted, the richest and the most profound way.
There is another problem to be resolved about the object of philosophy; that is, the consistency between dialectics and logic.
Lenin emphatically pointed out the identity among dialectics, logic, and epistemology, saying that .this is "an eKtremely important problem." He said: "These three terms are superfluous.  They indicated only one thing."  He was fundamentally opposed to those Marxist revisionists who treat these three theories as entirely independent of one another.
Materialist dialectics is the only scientific epistemology, and the only scientific logic.  It deals with the growth of our cognizance of the external world and the development of such cognizance; the transformation from not knowing to knowing and from not completely knowing to completely knowing; and reflection of the laws of development of nature and society which deepens enhances daily in the mind of mankind.  This is the unity between materialist dialectics and epistemology.  Materialist dialectics studies the most general laws of development of the objective world, and reflections of the most developed form of the objective world in our mind.  This is how materialist dialectics studies the process of development of realistic things, and the laws of occurrence, disappearance and mutual transformation of phenomena. At the same time, it also studies the phenomena of the human mind which reflects the laws of development of the objective world.  This is the unity of materialist dialectics and logic.
In order to understand the relationship between dialectics, logic, and epistemology thoroughly, we shall examine in the following how dialectics resolves the problem of mutual relationship between logic and history.
Engels said:  "As far as the method of thinking of all schools of philosophy is concerned, the advantage of Hegel*s method is its extremely rich sense of history. Although Hegel's form is abstract and idealistic, the development of his thinking parallels the development of world history.  Moreover, history is in fact a verification of our thinking.  History often proceeds rapidly in a complex manner.  Because of this, if we obey history, we must not only pay attention to a lot of unimportant material, but also interrupt our train of thought.  This is the only suitable method and this is the logical method. This logical method is still fundamentally the historical method except for the elimination of the form of history and its accidental characteristic." This viewpoint of "unity of logical development and historical development" was given full attention by Marx, Engels, and Lenin.  "The category of logic is the simplification of the innumerable characteristics of external existence and activities." Category is a separated segment which helps us to know the links of different networks.  "The activity of human practice is a repeated
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application of human consciousness to various formulas of logic. Then, these formulas acquire the significance of an axiom.  It takes thousands and millions of times of repeated practice for a theoretical' formula to be stabilized in human consciousness. All these formulas have some perpetual prejudice because they are the results of thousands and millions times of practice before they take on the characteristics of axioms."  The above sayings of Lenin point out the fact that the characteristics of materialist dialectical logic are not the same as those of formal logic, which looks upon principles and categories as empty things existing independently from contents and unrelated to contents.  Materialist dialectical logic is also different from Hegelian logic.  Unlike Hegelian logic which regarded category as concepts isolated from and independent of the material world, materialist dialectical logic treats concepts as manifestations of material movements reflected and transplanted to our mind, and then processed by our brain. Holding the-view of unity between existence and thinking, Hegel treated the unity among dialectics, logic and epistemology in the same way as unity in idealism.  On the contrary, in Marxist philosophy, the unity, of dialectics, logic and epistemology is built on the foundation of materialism.  Only if materialism is used to resolve the problem of the relationship between existence and thinking, and only if the viewpoint of the reflection.theory is taken, can the problem of dialectics, logic, and epistemology be thoroughly resolved.
The best model of using dialectical materialism to resolve the problem of the mutual relationships between logical things and historical things is Karl Marx'x "Capital."  It discusses the historical development of capitalist society, and at the same time discusses the logical development of that society.  What "Capital" analyzes is the dialectics of the development of various economic categories reflected by the growth, development, and extinction of capitalist society.  The materialist solution of this problem is based upon using the materialist objective history as the foundation, and using concept and category as the reflection of this realistic history.  The unity of logic and history of capitalism and the unity of logic and epistemology of capitalist society are illustriously expressed in "Capital."  From "Capital," we can understand a little bit about the unity among dialectics, logic and epistemology.
The above concerns the problem of the object of dialectic materialism. (5)  Theory of Matter
Marxism took over and developed the line of materialism in philosophy.  It correctly resolved the problem of the relationship between thinking and existence; that is, it thoroughly and materialistically pointed out the materialistic character of the world, the objective existence of matter, and the fact that matter is the origin of consciousness (or the reliance of consciousness on existence).
The acceptance of matter being the origin of consciousness is based on the premises of the materialistic character of the world and its objective existence.  The first condition for one to belong to the camp of materialism
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is his acceptance of the existence of the materialistic world independent of man's consciousness—that is, the world existed before the appearance of mankind, and it existed after the appearance of mankind.  Acceptance of this point is the basic premises for any scientific study.
How can we prove this point? There are many proofs. Man is in contact with the external world at all the times, and must use cruel ways to deal with the oppression and resistance of the external world (nature and society). Man can and should overcome these oppressions and resistance. The human social practice demonstrated in the historical development of human society is the best proof.  China does not doubt the objective existence of Japanese imperialism which invaded China, nor the objective existence of the Chinese people.  The students of the Anti-Japanese Military and Political University also never doubted the objective existence of the university and the students themselves. These things are all material things which exist independent of and separate from.our consciousness.  All these are the basic viewpoints of materialism, or the philosophy of materialism.
The materialistic viewpoint in philosophy is different from the materialistic viewpoint in natural science.  If we say materialistic viewpoint in philosophy is to point out the objective existence of matter, and that the so-called matter is the entire world which is separated from man's consciousness and exists independently (this world acts upon man's senses to cause man's feelings and to cause man to have reflection from feelings), then this statement is absolute, and will never change. The materialistic viewpoint in natural science concerns the study of the structure of matter, such as the former atomic theory and the current electronic theory.  Such statements change with the advance of science and are relative.
To use dialectic materialism to distinguish the materialistic viewpoint in philosophy and that in natural science is a necessary condition for the implementation of the materialistic viewpoint, in philosophy.  This point has a great significance in the struggle with idealism and mechanical materialism.
On the bases of the theory of electrons, the materialists smashed the absurd theory about the extinction of matter.  Those who held this absurd view did not know that the advancement of scientific knowledge concerning the structure of matter is sufficient proof of the correctness of the theory of matter in dialectic materialism.  As a result of modern, discoveries in natural science and the discovery of electron theory, it has been proven that certain material attributes exhibited in old material concepts (such as weight, hardness, impenetrability, inertia, etc.) exist only in certain material forms, and do not exist in other material forms.  This fact breaks down the narrowness and one-sidedness of the old materialist view toward matter, and proves the correctness of dialectic materialism which accepts the materialistic characteristics and the objective existence of matter. The materialist view of dialectic materialism sees the unity of the material world from its multiple characteristics, i.e., the unity of matter's multiple characteristics.  This type of concept of matter does not contradict at all the perpetual movement
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or change from one from to another.  Ether, electrons, atoms, molecules., crystalline cells, social phenomena, mental phenomena, etc., represent various stages of development of matter. They are temporary states in the history of the development of matter.  Scientific studies bring about profound discoveries of all kinds of material states (the discovery of the multiple characteristics of matter), and these discoveries only enrich the contents of - the concept of matter of dialectic materialism. How can there be any contradictions? It is necessary to make a distinction between the concept of matter in philosophy and that in natural science, because the former is broad and the latter narrow, but they are not contradictory. The broad concept of matter includes the narrow concept of matter.
The concept of matter of dialectic materialism does not recognize any non-material things in the world (independent and spiritual things).  Matter exists permanently and universally in time and space.  If we say that there is in this world a thing which "has always been so," or which "is so everywhere" (as far as its consistency is concerned), then that thing is the so-called objectively existing matter in philosophy.  When consciousness is viewed from thorough materialism (that is from the viewpoint of materialist dialectics), it is nothing but a state of matter, a form of material movement, a special characteristic of the material brain, and that kind of special characteristic of the material brain reflected from matter outside of consciousness to consciousness.  Thus, our distinction between matter and consciousness, and our setting up the two opposing each other are conditional. That is to say, the distinction is meaningful only in epistemology because consciousness or thought is only an attribute of matter (brain).  Therefore, the opposition between cognizance and existence doesn't go beyond this. This type of opposition between the subject and the object has no meaning beyond the realm of epistemology.  If cognizance is set up opposing matter outside the realm of epistemology, we are revolting against materialism. In this world there is only matter and its various manifestations.  The subject itself is also matter. This is what is meant by the material attributes of the world (matter is perpetual and universal), the objective reality of matter, and matter is the origin of consciousness.  In short, matter is everything in the world.  We say "all belongs to Ssu-ma I," and "all belongs to matter.11  This is the principle of unity of the world.
The above is the concept of matter in dialectical materialism. (6) Theory of Motion (Theory of Development)
The first basic principle of dialectic materialism is its acceptance of the material nature of the world, the objective reality of matter, and matter being the origin of consciousness.  This unity theory of the world has been discussed in the aforementioned theory of matter.
The second basic principle of dialectic materialism is its theory of motion (or the theory o£ development).  It acknowledges that motion is the form of material existence, i.e., the inner attributes of matter. Motion is an expression of the multiple attributes of matter. This is the theory of development of the world. A combination of the development theory of the world and
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the aforementioned unity theory of the world forms the entire outlook of the universe of dialectic materialism.  The world is nothing but an infinite development of the material world (or the material world is developing without limit) .
The concept of motion of dialectic materialism will not permit (1) mental motion separated from matter, (2) mental matter separated from motion, or (3) simplification of material motion. The concept of motion is established after a resolute struggle with idealistic, metaphysical and mechanical viewpoints.
First of all, the theory of motion of dialectic materialism is opposed to idealism in philosophy and theism in religion.  The basic characteristic of all idealism and theism is their denial of the material unity of the world. They imagine that the motion and development of the entire world are without matter, or there is no matter at the very beginning.  It is, rather, the result of spiritual action or the power of God.  The German idealist philosopher Hegel believed that the actual world was developed from the so-called "concept of the world."  In China, believers of Chou I and Li Hsueh of the Sung and Ming Dynasties all expressed idealistic concepts of the development of the universe.  The Christians say that God created the world.  Buddhists and fetishists in China ascribe the development of everything in the universe to spiritual power.  All these views separating human thinking from matter are incompatible with dialectic materialism.  Not only idealists and clergymen, but all the materialists before Marx, and all the current anti-Marxist mechanical materialists maintain materialistic theory of motion when they talk about natural science.  But when they talk about social phenomena, they no longer adhere to materialistic principles, and ascribe everything to spiritual reasons.
Dialectic materialism resolutely refutes all these erroneous concepts of motion, points out their limitations—the limitations of their class status and the limitation of scientific development, and builds its own concept of motion thoroughly on materialism from the standpoint of the proletarian class and based on the most developed scientific standard.  First of all, the dialectic materialists points out that motion is the form of existence of matter, and is an inner characteristic of matter (not due to external force).  It is just as impossible to imagine motion without matter as to imagine matter without motion.  They set up a materialistic concept of motion sharply opposed to the idealist or theist concepts of motion.
If we observe matter isolated from motion, it will be a metaphysical theory of a stationary universe, or the theory of absolute equilibrium.  Those who subscribe to this theory maintain that matter is unchanging, and that there is no such thing as development in matter.  They believe that an absolute standstill is the general state of matter, or the primitive state of matter. Dialectic materialism firmly opposes this point of view.  It believes that motion is the most common form of material existence, and an inner and inseparable attribute of matter. All static and equilibrium states have only relative meaning, while motion is absolute.  Dialectic materialism acknowledges that all material may have the possibility of being in a stationary state or a state of equilibrium. It also believes that this is the most important
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condition for distinguishing matter and, therefore, is also the most important condition for distinguishing life. (Engels) However, dialectic materialism believes that being in a stationary state or in a state of equilibrium is only one of the elements of motion, or a kind of special condition of motion. The mistake of observing matter without reference to motion lies in the exaggeration of the elements of standstill or equilibrium. These elements are wrongly used to cover up or to substitute for the entirety.  A special condition of motion is generalized to become absolute. An ancient Chinese metaphysical thinker had a favorite saying:  "Heaven does not change; reason does not change." His theory is one of stationary universe.  Although the followers of this saying acknowledge the changes in universe and social phenomena, they deny these changes as changes of matter itself.  In their eyes, the substance of the universe and society is forever unchanging. The main reason for their thinking is their class limitation.  If the feudal landlord class acknowledges that the substance of the universe and society is moving and developing, it would be like theoretically declaring their own death sentence. The philosophy of all reactionary forces is always a motion-less philosophy.  In view of the principle of development of the world, the revolutionary class and the people advocated for the transformation of this society and world.  Their philosophy is dialectic materialism.
Moreover, dialectic materialism does not accept simplification of the concept of motion, or reduce all motion to one form—the form of mechanical motion. This is the characteristic of the old materialistic concept of motion. The old materialism (French materialism of the 17th and 18th century and the German Feuerbach materailism of the 19th century) accepted the permanent existence and permanent movement (unlimited movement) of matter, but it was confined to a metaphysical outlook of the universe.  Not only that their social viewpoint reflected a viewpoint of idealist development, even in natural science they ascribed the unity of material world to a certain one-sided characteristic, or to one form of motion—mechanical motion.  The cause of this type of motion is external force.  It is a motion like that of a machine which is pushed by an external force.  They do not explain matter of motion from internal causes and the multiple nature of relationships.  They explain motion simply from external form they have discovered, or from external reasons. In this way, the multiple characteristics of the world are lost.  They explain all motions in the world as a change in location and a decrease or increase in quantity.  Motion is described as a phenomenon of matter being at one location during a certain moment of time and at another location during another moment.  If there is a change, it is only a change in numerical increase or decrease.  There is no change in characteristics and all changes are cyclical and will repeatedly produce the same result.  Dialectic materialism, is at odds with this.  It considers motion not as simple displacement or cyclical motion.  But as infinite varieties of matter.  Motion is looked upon as transformation of matter from one form to another, the unification and motion of matter in the world. Engels said:  "All high-level forms of motion are inevitably associated with the form of mechanical (external or molecular) motion.  For example, if there is no change in heat or electricity, chemical reactions will be impossible.  If there is no mechanical
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(molecular), heat, electrical and chemical changes, organic life will be impossible.  This, of course, cannot be denied.  But if there exists some form of low-level motion, they cannot include the substance of major forms of motion under various conditions." These words are absolutely in conformity with reality.  Even if we consider only the simple mechanical motions, we cannot explain them from the metaphysical viewpoint.  We should know that all forms of motion are dialectical, even though their dialectical contents and their multi-faceted nature may be greatly different.  Thus, mechanical motion is still dialectic motion. When we say that a body "is" at a certain location at a certain moment, that body is, in fact, "at" a certain location, and yet, at the same time, "not at" that certain location at that particular moment. The so-called "being" at a certain location and the so-called "immobile" state are but special situations of motion. The body is in fact in motion. Matter moves within a limited time and within a limited space. Matter is continuously overcoming the limitations in order to go out of fixed time and space to become an unceasing flow of motion.  Mechanical motion is only one form of motion of matter.  In the actual world, it does not exist absolutely independent, and it is always related to other forms of motion. From heat, chemical reaction, light, and electricity to organic and social phenomena, all of them are special forms of motion.  At the turn of the 20th century, the greatest achievement of natural science was the discovery of the principle of motion transfer. It pointed out that the motion of matter is always transforming from one form to another.  After transformation, the new form and the old form are substantially different.  The reason for material transfer is internal and not external.  The transfer is not caused by external mechanical drive, but by the struggle within the matter itself between two mutually contradictory elements of different nature.  Due to the discovery of this law of motion transfer, dialectic materialism is able to expand the theory of material unity in the world to the history of nature and science.  The world is observed not only as a matter in perpetual motion, but also as matter advancing from a lower form of motion to a higher form of motion.  The world is thus observed as a development as well as a process.  In other words, "the unity of the material world is a process of development."  In this way, the cyclical theory of old materialism is destroyed.  Dialectic materialism observes the form of motion of nature and society in a profound way and in its numerous aspects.  It considers that the process of development of the world as an entity is perpetual (with no beginning and no end), but at the same time the form of the specific motion in each historical process is temporary (with a beginning and an end). This is to say that it occurs under a definite condition and disappears under a definite condition.  It believes that the process of development of the world from a lower form of motion to a higher form of motion demonstrates both its historical and temporary characteristics. But at the same time, no one form of motion is in a perpetual long stream (a long stream with no beginning and no end).  Based on the principle of opposition and struggle (the reason for motion), the form of each motion always moves to a higher level.  It moves straight forward, but as far as each individual form of motion is concerned (or as far as each specific process of development is concerned) ,= the motion may change its direction, or may be backward.  When the advancing motion is combined with the retreating motion, the resulting motion is a complex helical motion.  The new form of motion occurs as an opposite to the old form of motion, but at the same time the new form of motion preserves
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many elements of the old form of motion.  The new things grows out of the old. New forms, new characteristics and new attributes emerge from the disruption of continuity, or from a break-through, but the link and the mutual relationship between things and events cannot be absolutely destroyed. Finally, dialectic materialism believes that the world has no end.  This is so not only in its entity, but also in its parts.  Are not electrons and atoms the same in demonstrating a complex and endless world?
The basic form of motion of matter also determines the various subjects of natural and social sciences. Dialectic materialism observes the development of the world as a forward motion from an inorganic through an organic to the highest form of matter (society).  The relationship arising from this form of motion becomes the foundation of the corresponding sciences (inorganic science, organic science, and social science). Engels said: "The various kinds of science analyzes a special form of motion or the mutual relationship of a series of forms of motion. Thus classification of science is to arrange and classify various motions according to the original order of motion. Only on this point can classification be meaningful."
The entire world includes human society and the motions of matter in various forms. Therefore, we cannot forget the various forms of motion of matter. There is no so-called "matter in general," or "motion in general.11 In this world, there are only concrete matter and motion in various forms.  "Matter and motion are only simple terms.  In these terms we include all things and events sensed by us according to their common characteristics."  (Engels)
The above is the theory of motion of the world in dialectic materialism or the principle of world development.  This thinking is the essence of Marxist philosophy.  It is the proletarian outlook of the universe and methodology. If all the proletarian revolutionaries use this explicit science as a weapon, they will understand this world and can rebuild this world.
(7) Theory of Time and Space
Motion is a form of material existence.  Space and time .are also forms of material existence.  Moving matter exists in time and space, and the material existence of time and space is the premises of the motion of matter itself. Time and space cannot be separated from matter.  "Matter exists in space" is to say that matter itself has the characteristic of expansion. The material world is a world in which there exists the characteristic of expansion.  This is not to say that matter is placed in a non-material empty space.  Space and time are not independent non-material things. They are not subjective forms of our senses, but forms of existence of the objective world.  They do not exist outside of matter; nor does matter exist outside of them.
Regarding space and time as a form of material existence is a thoroughly materialistic view.  This concept of space and time is basically opposite to the following idealistic concept of space and time:
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(1)  Kantian concept of space and time:  Space and time are not regarded as objective reality, but objective forms of intuition.
(2)  Hegelian concept of space and time:  The concept of developing space and time is approaching absolute concept.
(3)  Machian concept of space and time:  Time and space are different kinds of senses, and "tools for harmonizing experience."
All these idealistic viewpoints do not accept the objective reality of time and space. They do not accept the fact that the concept of space of time, during its own development, reflects the form of materialistic existence. These erroneous theories have been refuted by dialectic materialism one by one.
On the problem of space and time, dialectic materialism must not only struggle with those idealistic theories, but also struggle with mechanical materialism, especially Newton's theory of mechanics which regards space as an immobile, , empty frame with no relationship to time, and puts matter into this empty frame.  Opposing this theory, dialectic materialism points out that our concept of space is developing.  "Aside from moving matter, there is nothing else in the world.  If moving matter is not in space and time, there will be no possibility of motion. Man's concept of space and time is relative, but when all these relative concepts are put together, they become absolute truth. These relative concepts are developing uninterruptedly along the line of absolute truth, and are approaching closer and closer to absolute truth everyday.  ManTs changing concept about space and time can never overthrow the objective reality of the two.  This is similar to the fact that the changing character of scientific knowledge about the form of motion and matter cannot overthrow the objective reality of the external world." (Lenin) The above is the theory of time and space of dialectic materialism.
(8)  Theory of Consciousness
Dialectic materialism maintains that knowledge is a product of mattert a form of development of matter, and a special characteristic of a definite state of matter.  This materialistic and historical theory of consciousness is basically opposed to the viewpoints of all idealists and mechanical materialists concerning this problem.
According to Marx, consciousness originally develops from the inorganic world which has no consciousness to the animal world which has a low level of consciousness, and finally to mankind which has a high level of consciousness. The high level of consciousness is inseparable not only from the physiological development of the high nervous system, but also from the social development of labor and production.  Marx and Engels have emphatically pointed out the dependence of consciousness upon the development of material production and the relationship between consciousness and human language.
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The so-called consciousness is a special characteristic of a definite form of matter which constitutes a complex nervous system.  This kind of nervous system can only occur in a high stage of natural evolution. In the entire inorganic, vegetative and low animal world, there is no possibility for consciousness to occur internally as well as externally, that is, the possibility of self-reflection, or the possibility of understanding the process of self-reflection. The objective physiological process in our nervous system parallels the subjective expression which, internally, takes the form of consciousness.  To objective things, this physiological process is a process of certain matter, but to the material body equipped with a brain this process is, at the same time, subjective psychological behavior.
There is no such thing as the spirit of the substance of a special thinking. There is only the matter for thinking—the brain.  This matter for thinking is a matter of special quality.  It develops to a high degree along with the development of language in the social life of mankind.  This kind of matter possesses the ability to think as its special characteristic—a characteristic that other matters do not possess.
However, the vulgar materialists maintain that thinking is a matter derived from the brain.  This viewpoint distorts our concept in regard to this problem. It is necessary to know that thinking, emotion, and conscious behavior are not things which have such characteristics as weight, expansion, etc. Consciousness, weight and expansion are different characteristics of the same matter.  Consciousness is an inner state of matter in motion, and reflects the special characteristic of the life process which occurs in moving matter. This special characteristic cannot be separated from the process of objective nervous function, but is also the same as that process.  If the two are confused, the special characteristic of consciousness is obliterated. This is the viewpoint of the vulgarized materialism.
Similarly, the mechanical theory of the fake Marxism agrees with the opinion of certain capitalist rightists in the field of psychology.  They, in fact, obliterate consciousness. They consider consciousness, a physiological process, as a special characteristic of a high-level substance, without seeing that consciousness is a product of social practice of mankind.  They equate the subject with the object, and replace both with one-sided mechanical objective world.  This viewpoint which confuses consciousness with physiological process is hardly different from eliminating the basic problem of thinking and existence in philosophy.
Menshevik idealism attempts to use a compromising theory to replace Marxist epistemology.  It harmonizes materialism with idealism, using the "alliance" of objectivism and subjectivism to oppose the principle of dialectics.  But their principle is neither mechanical objectivism, nor idealistic subjectivism, but the principle of concrete objective and subjective history.
There is also the strange theory of Plekhanov who maintained that matter is alive.  His remark "rock also has consciousness" fully expresses his opinion
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that consciousness does not occur in the process of development of matter, but exists in all matter at the very beginning.  Later, it exists in low-level organic bodies and man, different only in degrees.  This type of anti-historical opinion is also basically opposed to the viewpoint of dialectic materialism which regards consciousness as possessing material characteristics.  Only the materialist theory of consciousness is the correct thought regarding the problem of consciousness.
(9)  Theory of Reflection
To a thorough materialist, just regarding matter as the origin of consciousness is not enough.  One has to accept that matter can be known to consciousness,
Concerning the problem as to whether or not matter can be known, it is a complex problem, so complex that all the old philosophical schools were unable to resolve it.  Only dialectic materialism can correctly resolve this problem. The position of dialectic materialism is opposed to the non-cognizable theory, and different from the blunt theory of realism.
Hume and Kant's non-cognizable theory separates the cognizing subject from the object.  It believes that it is impossible to go beyond the limits of the subject—an unsurpassable ditch between the "self-existing" matter and its image.
Machfs reality theory; equates the object with feelings, maintaining that truth has established its complete form in feelings.  At the same time, Machists do not understand that feeling is the result of external action. Nor do they understand the positive function of the subject during the process of cognizance, that is, the transformation work done by external action in the sense organs and the brain (or the formal expression of image and perception) .
Only the reflection theory of dialectic materialism affirmatively answered the question of cognizability, and this answer becomes the "soul" of Marxist epistemology.  This theory points out that our images and percepts are not only induced by objective things, but also reflects them.  It also points out that images and percepts are neither products of the voluntary development of subjective bodies as the idealists say, nor symbols of objective things as said by those who maintain that nothing is cognizable.  Such images and percepts are reflections of objective things, photographs, or copies.
Objective truth exists independent of subjective bodies. Although reflected in our feelings and percepts, objective truth does not take a complete form immediately.  The form is completed step by step.  It is a mistake to think that objective truth has taken a completed form in our feelings. Truth is gradually acquired.  The blunt theory of reality is wrong.
Although objective truth does not take the completed form all at once in our feelings and percepts, it is by no means non-cognizable.  The reflection theory of dialectic materialism opposes the theory of non-cognizability.
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It believes that consciousness can reflect objective truth during the process of cognizance.  The process of cognizance is a complicated one during which the unknown "self-existing thing," as it is reflected in our image and percept, becomes "my thing."  Feelings and thoughts are not what separate us from the external world as Kant said.  They are, in fact, links between us and the external world.  Feelings and thoughts are reflections of the external objective world.  Thoughts (images and percepts) are nothing but "material things that have appeared and transformed in man's brain." (Marx)  During the process of cognizance, the material world becomes more intimately, more accurately, more many-sidedly, and more profoundly reflected in our cognizance. To wage a two-front struggle against Machism and Kantism is the task of Marx epistemology.
The dialectic materialist reflection theory maintains that our ability of knowing the objective world is limitless.  This is exactly .opposed to the opinion of those who believe that human ability to know is limited. However, we are not close to the absolute truth.  Every time, we come to a line defined by history.  Lenin said: "The approach of our knowledge to the objective absolute truth is limited by history, but the existence of this truth is absolute, and the fact that we are continuously getting closer to the truth is also absolute.  The external form of a picture is historically conditional, b'ut the existence of the objective reality which is the model .of that picture is absolute.  We accept the fact that man's knowledge is limited by historical conditions and that truth cannot be acquired once and for all, but we are not those who believe that things are not cognizable. We do not accept that truth can be completed in the historical movement of man's cognizance." Lenin also said: "Let us not understand the reflection of nature in manTs thoughts in a rigid and absolute way.  Cognizance is not motionless, or without contradictions.  Cognizance is perpetually in the process of motion, that is, the perpetual process of movement of the occurrence of contradictions and the resolution of contradictions." The movement of cognizance is a complicated movement full of contradictions.  This is the opinion of the dialectic materialistic epistemology.
In epistemology, all philosophies reflect the historical viewpoint, and none regards cognizance as a process. All these viewpoints are therefore narrow. The narrowness of the theory of experience creates a gap between feeling and percept.  The narrowness of rationalism causes percepts separated from feeling. Only dialectic materialism which regards cognizance as a process (the theory of reflection) thoroughly eliminates this kind of narrowness and places cognizance in a materialistic and dialectic perspective.
The reflection theory points out that the process of reflection is not not limited to feelings and images.  It also exists in thoughts (in abstract concepts).  Cognizance is therefore a moving process from feeling to thinking. Lenin once said: "Cognizance which reflects nature, is not a simple, direct, and total reflection.  It is a formation process of many abstract thoughts, concepts, etc."
Meanwhile, Lenin also pointed out: "The cognizance process from feeling to thinking is a flying and leaping action." On this point, Lenin precisely
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clarifies the experience and rationality elements in cognizance and the viewpoint of dialectic materialism concerning their mutual relationship.  Many philosophers do not understand that the movement of cognizance is a sudden change occurring in the moving process from feeling to thinking (from image to concept).  Therefore, to understand this sudden leaping change produced from contradictions is to understand the dialectic unity concerning the unity of feeling and thinking.  This is the most essential element for understanding the substance of LeninTs reflection theory.
(10) Theory of Truth
Truth is objective, relative, and absolute. This is the materialist dialectic theory of truth.
First of all, truth is objective.  Accepting the reality of matter and the opinion that matter is the origin of consciousness is the same as accepting truth being objective.  That is to say, the objectively existing material world is the only source of our knowledge or concepts, and there is no other source.- Only idealists deny the independent existence of the material world separated from man's consciousness—this is the basic principle of idealism. They maintain that knowledge or concepts are produced by the subject body, and the object body is unnecessary. Therefore, they accept subjective truth and deny objective truth.  This does not conform to facts.  Any knowledge or any concept which does not reflect the regularity of the objective world is not scientific.  It is not objective truth, it is only subjective, self-deceiving superstition or delusion.  The purpose of mankind is to change the environment. All practical actions, whether they are productive or not, are commanded by thoughts (knowledge).  If these thoughts do not coincide with objective regularity, then the latter is .not reflected in the brain of man.  If the objective regularity did not form the contents of man's thoughts or knowledge, his action will certainly not be able to bring him to his goal. The so-called subjective errors in revolutionary movements indicate this situation.  (The reason why Marxism becomes the scientific knowledge of revolution is that it correctly reflects the actual regularity of the objective world.  It is the truth of the objective world.)  All anti-Marxist thoughts are wrong because they are not based on objective regularity and are cotnpeltely subjective imagination.  Some people said that whatever is generally accepted is objective truth.  (Subjective idealist Bogdanov so said.)  According to this viewpoint, religion and prejudice are also objective truth, because although they are absurdities, they are accepted by the majority of people. Sometimes correct scientific thoughts cannot compete with these absurdities. Materialist dialectics is fundamentally opposed to this.  It believes that only the knowledge that correctly reflects objective regularity can be called truth and all truth must be objective.  Truth and absurdity are absolutely opposed to each other.  In order to judge whether a knowledge is truth or not, it is only necessary to see whether it reflects objective regularity.  If it does not agree with objective regularity, then no matter whether it is accepted by everyone, or no matter how it is widely supported or enthusiastically described in a revolutionary movement, it must be treated as erroneous or absurd.
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As materialist dialectics accepts objective truth, it accepts absolute truth. When we say the contents of knowledge reflecting the objective world, we are saying that the object of our knowledge is that perpetual and absolute world.  "Knowledge of truth concerning nature is perpetual and infinite; it is, therefore, absolute,"  (Engels) Objective absolute truth does not become our knowledge all at once in its entirety. We reach absolute truth through the endless process of development of our knowledge through numerous introductions of relative truths.  The aggregate of numerous relative truths is the expression of absolute truth.  The common denominators of human thinking lead us to absolute truth. Absolute truth is the accumulation of relative truths. During each stage of scientific development, new seeds are sown into the sum total—the absolute truth.  The element of truth in each scientific principle is relative. Absolute truth can only be expressed through innumerable relative. Absolute truth can only be expressed through innumerable relative truths. If not expressed through these innumerable relative truths, absolute truth has no way of being known.  Materialist dialectics does not deny the relativity of knowledge.  However, this is only to point out the limitations of objective truth as far as history is concerned. We are not saying that knowledge itself is only relative.  Scientific knowledge is different from errors.  The former shows and describes the objective absolute truth.  This is the viewpoint of dialectics concerning the relationship between absolute truth and relative truth.
There are two viewpoints.  One is metaphysical materialism and the other is idealist relativism.  Both are wrong on the problem of mutual relationship between absolute truth and relative truth.  Based upon the cardinal metaphysical principle "the material world does not change," the metaphysical materialists believe that man's thinking also does not change. They believe that in the process of human knowledge, the never-changing world is known to man all at once.  That is to say that they deny absolute truth, which they say, is acquired by man in. one stroke.  They regard truth as motionless, dead, and not developing.  Their mistake does not lie in that they accept absolute truth. In this respect, they are correct. Their mistake lies in their failure to understand the historical nature of truth, in their not treating the acquiring of truth as a process of cognizance, and in their failure to understand that absolute truth is released step by step during the process of development of human knowledge.  Each forward step in this process shows some contents of absolute truth.  As far as the entire truth is concerned, each forward step has its relative significance.  Metaphysical materialist opinion on truth is an extreme view in epistemology.
Another extreme concerning the problem of truth in epistemology is idealist relativism.  They deny absolute truth and accept only its relative meaning. They believe that a scientific discovery does not contain absolute truth, and hence it is objective truth.  Truth is regarded as subjective and relative. Because of this, all erroneous theories have their right of existence. Thus imperialist aggression of weak nations and exploitation of the working masses by the ruling class become truths because truth is subjective and relative anyway.  The result of denying objecitve truth and accepting subjective truth
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has, of necessity, brought about this kind of conclusion.  The original purpose of idealist relativism is to defend the ruling class.  For instance, the purpose of relativist pragmatism (or empiricism) is exactly so.
In view of the above, neither metaphysical materialism nor idealist relativism can correctly resolve the problem of the mutual relationship between absolute truth and relative truth. Only materialist dialectics can give the correct answer to the problem of the mutual relationship between thinking and existence. With this answer, the objectivity of scientific knowledge is affirmed, and the meanings of absolute truth and objective truth are correctly understood. This is the theory of truth of materialist dialectics.
(11)  Theory of Practice
(There is no text for this section in the original manuscript.  There is no explanation for its absence.  Editor)
Chapter III  Materialist Dialectics
In the last two chapters, the two problems "idealism and materialism" and "dialectic materialism" were discussed.  Dialectics was briefly mentioned. Now let us discuss this subject systematically.  The Marxist world outlook (called outlook of the universe) is dialectic materialism, not metaphysical materialism (or mechanical materialism). This difference is a serious heaven-turning earth-shaking problem. What is the world? From ancient times to now, there are three answers.  The first is idealism (be it metaphysical idealism or dialectic idealism).  It maintains that the world is created by mind or the God.  The second is mechanical materialism.  It denies that the world is mindTs world, and maintains that the world is a material world, but the material is not developing and not changing.  The third is the Marxist answer which refutes the first two, maintaining that the world is not created by our mind, and not made of undeveloping matter.  Instead, it is a developing material world.  This is dialectic materialism.  The Marxist way of looking at the world is to turn the image in man's eyes around.  Is it not a great earth-shaking argument?  The argument that the world is a developing material world has long existed in ancient Greece, but due to limitations at that time, it was only simply and generally stated.  It was called simple materialism. If there were no such argument, it would be impossible for science to have a foundation.  This argument is basically correct.  Later, Hegel created dialectic idealism, maintaining that the world is developing, but is created by mind. His theory is idealist development theory.  His theory of development (dialectics) is correct, but his idealist development theory is wrong.  In the West, in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, the idealism of the bourgeois class in France and Germany is mechanical idealism.  They were right in saying that the world is a material world, but very wrong in saying that the world is moving like a machine, and that it has only quantitative and positional changes without qualitative changes.  Marx inherited simple materialism and transformed mechanical materialism and dialectic idealism into historically unprecedented and scientifically based dialectic materialism, which has become a weapon for the proletariat of the world and for the revolution of all oppressed people.
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Materialist dialectics is a Marxist scientific methodology, a method of cognizance, as well as a world outlook. The world is basically a developing material world.  This is a world outlook.  Using this world outlook to look at the world, to study the problems of the world, to direct revolution, to work, to produce, to direct warfare, and to argue with other people is a methodology.  In Marxism, world outlook and methodology are one thing. Dialectics, epistemology, and logic are also one thing.
We wish to talk about dialectics systematically.  It has many categories, many rules, and many principles (these terms have the same meaning).
What are the rules of materialist dialectics?  Among these rules, which are the basic ones, and which are the subordinate ones but indispensible in materialist dialectics? What are the unresolved problems? What are the side issues?
Why these laws are the original rules of the objective world rather than subjectively created? Why do we wish to understand and learn these laws?
This complete theory of materialist dialectics was created by Marx and Engels Lenin developed this theory.  With the triumph of the socialist revolution in Russia and the world revolution, this theory came to a new stage of development, and its contents were further enriched.  The categories contained in this theory are as follows:
The law of unity of contradictions;
The law of mutual changes between quality and quantity; and
The law of negation of negation.
The above are the basic laws of materialist dialectics. All these laws were negated by metaphysical philosophy (philosophy opposed to the theory of development), although the ancient Greeks had simply but unsystematically pointed out the meaning of some of the laws, and later Hegel developed these laws along the idealist line.  It was Marx and Engels who transformed the Hegelian laws into the most basic portions of the Marxist world outlook and methodology.
In addition to the above laws, there are the following related categories: Substance and phenomena; Form and content; Cause and effect; Bases and conditions;
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Possibility and reality; Accidental and inevitable; and Chain and link.
Some of these categories have been emphatically studied in metaphysics and idealist dialectics, others have only been partially studied, and still others were new categories proposed by Marxism. When these categories are in the hands of Marxist revolutionary theoreticians and practitioners, their idealist and metaphysical cloak is ripped off, their one-sidedness is overcome, and their true form is discovered.  As. time advances, their contents are greatly enriched to become the important elements of scientific methods.  Combining these categories and the aforementioned basic categories, a complete and profound materialistic dialectical system is formed.
All these principles and categories are not created by man's thoughts, but original principles of the objective world.  All idealists say that matter is created by spirit.  In their eyes, philosophical principles, rules, or categories are of course created by the mind.  Hegel, who developed dialectic system, looked at dialectics in this way.  In his eyes, dialectics is not a rule abstracted from the history of nature and society, but purely rational system of the mind.  After this system is created by man's mind, it is then applied to nature and society.  Marx and Engels ripped off Hegel's mythical cloak and got rid of his idealism, putting dialectics in the place of materialism, Engels said: "Dialectical rules are abstracted from natural and human history, and they are nothing but the most general rules of development of natural and human history.  In essence, they may be summarized into the rule of mutual change of quality and quantity, the rule of unity of contradictions, and the rule of negation of negations." Dialectical rules are rules of the objective world, and at the same time they are also rules of the subjective mind. Rules in human mind are nothing but reflections of the rules of the objective world through practice. As we have said before, dialectics, epistemology and logic are one and the same thing.
Why do we learn dialectics? We learn dialectics in order to transform this world, and to improve the old relationship between man and man and between man and matter.  In this world, most people are suffering.  They are controlled by a few people and oppressed by various political and economic systems. People living in China are under inhuman dual oppressions—national and social. We must change this old relationship in our strife for national and social liberation.
Is it necessary to learn dialectics in order to rebuild China and rebuld the world? Since dialectics is the most general principle of development of nature and society, if we understand it, we shall have acquired a scientific weapon, and we shall be equipped with a theory and method suitable to our practice of transforming the nature and society. Materialist dialectics itself is a science (philosophical science).  It is the starting point of all sciences, and it is also methodology.  Our revolution is also a kind of
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science, called social science or political science.  If we do not understand dialectics, we will not be able to do our work well.  All mistakes in revolution were due to violations of dialectics.  If we understand dialectics, great and powerful effect will be generated.  If we analyze things that have been done correctly, we find that they were done according to dialectics.  Therefore, all revolutionary comradess and first of all the cadres, should carefully study dialectics.
Some people say that there are many people who understand dialectics and are actual materialists.  Although they have never read books on dialectics, they are always right in their work, and they always follow the materialist dialectic method.  In this case, it is unnecessary for them to study dialectics. Materialist dialectics is a complete and profound science. Those revolutionaries who are endowed with materialistic and dialectical brains may learn dialectics through practice, but their knowledge is not systematical, not so complete and so profound.  As a result, they are unable to see the bright future of their movement, to analyze the complicated process of development, to grasp the important links in politics, or to deal with all aspects of revolutionary work.  Therefore, they still have to study dialectics.
Some people say that dialectics is profound and hard to understand, and that it is impossible for an ordinary person to learn dialectics. This kind of talk is also wrong. Dialectics consists of principles of natural and social thinking. Anyone who has some social experience (experience in production and class struggle) knows some dialectics. Those who.have more social experience will know dialectics more.  But their knowledge is scattered and confused, and falls within the realm of common sense. To enhance their common sense about dialectics and put it in order is not difficult.  The reason why people think dialectics is difficult is lack of good books on dialectics. Many of the books published in China are either poorly written or not well written.  So much so, people are afraid to read those books.  Books interpreting dialectics should use popular language and intimate experience.  I believe that this kind of book will be written eventually in the future.  This lecture of mine is not good either because I myself am a beginner in the study of dialectics, unable to write a good book.  Probably I can in the future.  This is only a wish.  It may become true, depending upon the progress of my study.
0 War of Resistance University, No 6, Chapter 1, 8 April 1938
No 7, Chapter 2, 6 May  1938 No 8, Chapter 2, 22 May 1938
*  "Democracy," Vol 1, Ho 1 (Chapter 1) March 1940
Vol 1, Ho 2 (Chapter 1) 20 March 1940
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