[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Engels on Laws of evolution and laws of history



Andy wrote:
Hegel never talked of "laws of history", regarding them as belonging to
"appearance" and he was in agreement with Kant on that point.
Marx never talked of "laws of history" either, talking only of what has
happened in the past and the possibilities pregnant in the present.
Stalin did talk about "laws of history". In "Dialectical and Historical
Materialism" (1938) he talks repeatedly about "laws of history" and what's
more the Party knows them, so watch out, and he is always citing Marx and
Hegel to prove his point

hi Andy,
As you would know Marx's *Capital* has numerous references to the laws of
capitalism. This could be interpreted as historical law I think. eg. I
would see the marxist claim that under capitalism the gap b/w rich and poor
continues to increase as verified by history. Other claims are more
contentious, eg. the falling rate of profit, but could also be see as a
claim by marx about historical laws.

I thought an essay I looked at the marxist archive about Freedom and
Necessity threw light on perhaps what you were trying to say:
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/txt/davie07.htm, eg.
"Unfortunately, the 'Marxist' tradition within the Second International was
to revive Hegel's notion. The practice of the International was to submit
to 'historical necessity' - 'scientific' laws that determined the movement
of society - which would of their own accord pave the way for socialism.
This was the opposite of Marx's approach, who argued that the fact that
social relations could be analysed scientifically, as governed by laws that
acted independently of humanity, was itself precisely the state of affairs
that needed to be overcome through socialist revolution"

ie. there are historical laws, the point is more what to do about them, to
overthrow capitalism, might move us to a society where there is more
freedom and less law.

On Sun, Jan 18, 2015 at 8:49 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> "Speak to history" could mean anything to me, Jessica. There are two very
> definite statements being made here which have been mixed up in
> translation. I'd now like to figure out when the meaning got changed. I am
> assuming that the English translation on p. 517 of v. 25 of MECW is a good
> translation of the original German, because this version is very reliable.
> It says:
> "The eternal laws of nature also become transformed more and more into
> historical ones" going on as David Ke noted to talk simply about the
> *variability* of all "laws of nature" as opposed to *eternal laws of
> nature.* That's all.- nothing about human history or it's supposed "laws".
> Hegel never talked of "laws of history", regarding them as belonging to
> "appearance" and he was in agreement with Kant on that point.
> Marx never talked of "laws of history" either, talking only of what has
> happened in the past and the possibilities pregnant in the present.
> Stalin did talk about "laws of history". In "Dialectical and Historical
> Materialism" (1938) he talks repeatedly about "laws of history" and what's
> more the Party knows them, so watch out, and he is always citing Marx and
> Hegel to prove his point.
> So we have in the English translation of "History of the Development of
> the Higher Mental Functions" the epigram: "More and more eternal laws of
> nature are turning into laws of history. - F. Engels" and the editors tell
> us in a footnote that this comes from the "Russian Marx-Engels CW, v. 20,
> p. 553," which actually says:
>
> /Вечные законы природы /также превращаются все более и более в
> исторические законы.
>
> for which MicroSoft translator gives me: "/Eternal laws of nature/ also
> are converted ever more and more into historical laws," which to me is
> *ambiguous*. What are "historical laws"? Are they changeable laws or laws
> of change?
>
> David Ke: what does the epigram say in the Russian edition of HDHMF?
> Mike C or Natalia G: can you make an unambiguous translation of that
> Russian from the Russian MECW?
>
> My interest is only this: did the translators of LSV's Collected works
> mess up the translation of the epigram, or did Vygotsky read a distorted
> translation in his copy of "Dialectics of Nature" in Russian translation?
>
> Andy
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>
>
> Kindred, Jessica Dr. wrote:
>
>> Does it mean thaqt nothing remains constant, or that everything depends
>> on conditions... which does surely speak to history.
>> ________________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu]
>> on behalf of Andy Blunden [ablunden@mira.net]
>> Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2015 8:37 AM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Laws of evolution and laws of history
>>
>> And I found the Engels he was quoting, in the Russian translation:
>>
>>     /Вечные законы природы /также превращаются все более и более в
>>     исторические законы.
>>
>> The English translation says:
>>
>>     The eternal laws of nature also become transformed more and more
>>     into historical ones.
>>
>> but then it goes on to say:
>>
>>     That water is fluid from 0°-100° C. is an eternal law of nature, but
>>     for it to be valid, there must be (1) water, (2) the given
>>     temperature, (3) normal pressure.
>>
>> So this does NOT mean what it appeared to mean. Engels simply means
>> "nothing remains constant" It is not saying anything about "laws of
>> history"!!
>>
>> Andy
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> *Andy Blunden*
>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>
>>
>> mike cole wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Thanks David -- That is certainly where I must have encountered the
>>> phrase
>>> often enough for it to stick in my mind. And thanks to Jessica and Andy
>>> we
>>> see versions of the idea in many places.
>>>
>>> Double the pleasure.
>>> mike
>>>
>>> On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 11:36 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> Mike--
>>>>
>>>> See Vol. Four of the Collected Works in English: the quote you refer to
>>>> is
>>>> the epigraph to HDHMF. It's from Dialectics of Nature, and Vygotsky
>>>> keeps
>>>> coming back to it again and again, throughout the whole text of HDHMF,
>>>> which is one reason why I am assuming (against what Anton Yasnitsky has
>>>> written) that HDHMF is a whole book, one of the very few that Vygotsky
>>>> completedly completed (and also his longest work).
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>