So what is the dialectical materialism, anyway?

Now and again when reading about the former Soviet Union, I run into the term “dialectical materialism.” I gather it’s a specifically Marxist form of dialogue or argument, but I have no idea beyond that. Anyone able to enlighten me on what it is, how it works, and why it’s part of Marxist thought? (and no, I’m not doing a paper for PolySci 315 or anything :cool: )

It’s the philisophical basis for Marx and Engel’s works that became the “party line” philosophy for 20th century Communist governments. It’s a blend of materialism and Hegel’s dialectic; it denies transendence and says that this physical world is all there is. Everything, including human behavior, comes out of the material world. Change comes about by the interaction of opposites- the thesis gives rise to its opposite, the antithesis. Eventually this is reconciled in a synthesis, a new thesis. For Marx and Engel the great dialectic of the 19th century was the clash between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, which through would eventually acheive the ultimate synthesis, the classless society.