Economic Systems

Lecture Notes


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Dialectical Materialism

Materialism here means a philosophical view regarding matter as primary and mind, ideas, spirit or God as derived from matter, or specifically as products of the function of human brain. For Marxists God does not exist. This implies atheism and not just agnosticism.



Dialectics is a complex philosophical view developed by Hegel.
It can be briefly summarized in the following principles:

Relations: Things should not be viewed as isolated but in their relations to other things.
Change: The  world and everything in it are in continuous motion and change; nothing remains constant.
Contradictions: Conflict and 'struggle' of two opposite sides can be seen everywhere.
Progress: The change is not haphazard, it goes from simple to more complex. The world is continually improving. A contradiction, i.e. the struggle of opposing sides, is the source of continuous change, the inherent engine of progress and development.
Essence vs.
Essence (substance) is the true nature of things and it is determined by the internal contradictions. One cannot grasp essence by pure observation. What we see is just a 'surface phenomenon' the superficial appearance, while the essence is hidden 'under the surface'. Appearance is misleading, it fools us to believe that things are different than they really are. To find the truth means to unravel the essence, to find-out what the inner contradictions are.
Evolution and
Development proceeds first through a sequence of small 'quantitative' changes. This is the process of evolution during which the essence remains unchanged and the tension resulting from internal contradictions is increasing. Then suddenly the contradictions explode, the old essence is destroyed and replaced by a new essence characterized by different contradictions - this is revolution during which the 'quality' is changed. Progress is the unity of quantitative and qualitative changes. It is the unity of evolution and revolution.
of Negation
The development comes in three stages (a triad) with two qualitative breaks (revolutions). All starts with the first stage called the thesis. First revolution negates the thesis and results in the antithesis. The second revolution negates the first - it is the 'negation of negation' - and creates the third stage that is the synthesis of both previous stages.




of negation







evolution   evolution evolution













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