All there is

The Sombrero Galaxy from Hale

The Sombrero Galaxy from Hale

Space: the distribution of matter

Time: not a measure, but matter in motion

Matter: objective reality

Motion: the mode of matter’s existence

The Pillars of Eagle Castle

The Pillars of Eagle Castle

Space, time, matter and motion are inseparable

A Waterspout in Florida

A Waterspout in Florida

The most advanced product of nature yet known to us in the universe is what we all have between our ears – despise and reject ‘the ordinary’

There is no god.


Image sources: 1st/2nd/3rd

Lenin: the theory of knowledge of dialectical materialism – part twenty-one

Space and Time (continued)

Engels, exposing the inconsistent and muddled materialist Dühring, catches him on the very point where he speaks of the change in the idea of time (a question beyond controversy for contemporary philosophers of any importance even of the most diverse philosophical trends) but evades a direct answer to the question: are space and time real or ideal, and are our relative ideas of space and time approximations to objectively real forms of being; or are they only products of the developing, organising, harmonising, etc., human mind? This and this alone is the basic epistemological problem on which the truly fundamental philosophical trends are divided. Engels, in Anti-Dühring, says: “We are here not in the least concerned with what ideas change in Herr Dühring’s head. The subject at issue is not the idea of time, but real time, which Herr Dühring cannot rid himself of so cheaply [i.e., by the use of such phrases as the mutability of our conceptions]” (Anti-Dühring, 5th German edition, S. 41).

This would seem so clear that even the Yushkeviches should be able to grasp the essence of the matter. Engels sets up against Dühring the proposition of the reality, i.e.., objective reality, of time which is generally accepted by and obvious to every materialist, and says that one cannot escape a direct affirmation or denial of this proposition merely by talking of the change in the ideas of time and space. The point is not that Engels denies the necessity and scientific value of investigations into the change and development of our ideas of time and space, but that we should give a consistent answer to the epistemological question, viz., the question of the source and significance of all human knowledge. Any at all intelligent philosophical idealist – and Engels when he speaks of idealists has in mind the great consistent idealists of classical philosophy – will readily admit the development of our ideas of time and space; he would not cease to be an idealist for thinking, for example, that our developing ideas of time and space are approaching towards the absolute idea of time and space, and so forth. It is impossible to hold consistently to a standpoint in philosophy which is hostile to all forms of fideism and idealism if we do not definitely and resolutely recognise that our developing notions of time and space reflect an objectively real time and space; that here, too, as in general, they are approaching objective truth.

“The basic forms of all being,” Engels admonishes Dühring, “are space and time, and being out of time is just as gross an absurdity as being out of space” (op. cit.).

V.I.Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-criticism: Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1975, 158-159

Part twenty-one/to be continued…


Full text at Marxists Internet Archive

Making Goodluck Look Good

Juju Films

President Goodluck Jonathan President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria is painted with the same paintbrush as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia by mainstream media, religious leaders who pedal fear in exchange for riches, and misinformed Nigerians in the Diaspora who trumpet everything wrong with Nigeria.

It is assumed that America can effectively fight terrorism within their borders, yet there was the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, Boston Marathon bombing and several mass murders of children in schools. Gov. Rick Perry high on Texas tea announced how prepared Texas was to effectively fight Ebola yet many costly mistakes were made.

I have no doubt that Nigerians are exceptional professionals and the men and women of Nigerian Armed and Security forces are no different. What we have always lacked is real leadership. Nigerian politicians spent years ignoring the threat of Boko Haram due in part to a mix of ignorance and arrogance in Aso Rock and the fact…

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Lenin: the theory of knowledge of dialectical materialism – part twenty


Space and Time

Recognising the existence of objective reality, i.e.., matter in motion, independently of our mind, materialism must also inevitably recognise the objective reality of time and space, in contrast above all to Kantianism, which in this question sides with idealism and regards time and space not as objective realities but as forms of human understanding. The basic difference between the two fundamental philosophical lines on this question too is quite clearly recognised by writers of the most diverse trends who are at all consistent thinkers. Let us begin with the materialists.

“Space and time,” says Feuerbach, “are not mere forms of phenomena but essential conditions (Wesensbedingungen)…of being” (Werke, II, 332). Regarding the sensible world we know through sensations as objective reality, Feuerbach naturally also rejects the phenomenalist (as Mach would call his own conception) or the agnostic (as Engels calls it) conception of space and time. Just as things or bodies are not mere phenomena, not complexes of sensations, but objective realities acting on our senses, so space and time are not mere forms of phenomena, but objectively real forms of being. There is nothing in the world but matter in motion, and matter in motion cannot move otherwise than in space and time. Human conceptions of space and time are relative, but these relative conceptions go to compound absolute truth. These relative conceptions, in their development, move towards absolute truth and approach nearer and nearer to it. The mutability of human conceptions of space and time no more refutes the objective reality of space and time than the mutability of scientific knowledge of the structure and forms of matter in motion refutes the objective reality of the external world.

V.I.Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-criticism: Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1975, 158


Part twenty/to be continued…

Full text at Marxists Internet Archive

Humans excel in many areas – one of them is idiocy

Batterie Mirus, Guernsey, ca. 1942

Batterie Mirus, Guernsey, ca. 1942

Image source

Patriarchal reason and dreaming


When will academic philosophers and their concealed priesthood accept that the brain functions as a material unity and philosophise about thought in all its material forms – as it reflects the world?

For Hegel, the high-priest of ‘Reason’, we are always thinking:

‘it is also inadequate to…(say) vaguely that it is only in the waking state that man thinks. For thought in general is so much inherent in the nature of man that he is always thinking, even in sleep. In every form of mind, in feeling, intuition, as in picture-thinking, thought remains the basis.’

G.W.F.Hegel Hegel’s Philosophy of Mind, Part Three of the Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences (1830), Trans., William Wallace, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1971, 69

Who has questioned how this assertion bears on Hegel’s philosophy (and on academic philosophy generally)? What is the relationship between ‘reason’ and dreaming?

A slice of the discussion now:

James Pagel (University of Colorado School of Medicine): ‘we use our dreams in creative process, we use our dreams in art, we use our dreams in understanding in ways that we don’t attain with conscious thought. These appear to be mind-based correlates that we can see within a dream. Now, most dreams may not show those. Most dreams are reflections of our waking life. But some dreams can be very special.’

Ilana Laps (Psychotherapist): ‘One particular dream I remember. I was considering moving to another country to study their work on trauma, and while I was there doing research I had a dream. It was a very sunny dream and I was at a conference for nurses, and it all seemed very positive until suddenly one by one all the nurses’ eyes became black and haunted, and the earth started to give way beneath me. So there was a real twist in the plot, which is one of the things that we look for in dreams. And when I woke up and I did the dream work, I felt very strongly that it was a warning dream, letting me know that that would not be a healing place for me to work. So I changed my plans. (my italics) …In general terms the logical, linear, rational part of our brain is powered down when we’re dreaming, but everything to do with our emotional life and our motivation and our memory banks are actually wide awake. So what we have is access to an uncensored landscape of memory and emotion. And of course that’s the promised land of therapy.’

ABC Radio National/All in The Mind/Dreams – windows to the mind 26.10.14


Image source

Australians, prepare for your ‘best friend’s’ call


‘Australia has a role to play in pushing back against China – Bush adviser’, John Garnaut, The Sydney Morning Herald, 30.10.14

Australia will be expected to draw clear red lines and “push back” against China if President Xi Jinping creates an anti-Western axis with Vladimir Putin, a former US national security adviser says.

Stephen Hadley, national security adviser to president George Bush from 2005 to 2009, said it was too early to say whether Mr Xi would continue his country’s long journey of co-operatively engaging with the international rules-based order, which he said had facilitated China’s rise. …’

Chinese dragon and US

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‘Home on the Range’ – documentary on the 1975 coup in Australia:

From blurb: ‘About this episode –

Celebrated filmmaker Gil Scrine’s highly revealing 1982 documentary on the sacking of Gough Whitlam. The film examines the establishment of Pine Gap and the Governor General’s decision to sack Whitlam based on a variety of advice – not least from sources at the CIA.’

Image sources: top, bottom

Lenin: The Theory of Knowledge of Dialectical Materialism – Part Nineteen

Causality and Necessity in Nature (continued)

“Objective scientific knowledge,” says Dietzgen in his The Nature of the Workings of the Human Mind (German edition, 1903), “seeks for causes not by faith or speculation, but by experience and induction, not a priori, but a posteriori. Natural science looks for causes not outside or behind phenomena, but within or by means of them” (S. 94-95). “Causes are the products of the faculty of thought. They are, however, not its pure products, but are produced by it in conjunction with sense material. This sense material gives the causes thus produced their objective existence. Just as we demand that a truth should be the truth of an objective phenomenon, so we demand that a cause should be real, that it should be the cause of an objectively given effect” (S. 98-99). “The cause of a thing is its connection” (S. 100).

…The world outlook of materialism expounded by J. Dietzgen recognises that “the causal dependence” is contained “in the things themselves”.

V.I.Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-criticism: Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1975, 141


Part nineteen/to be continued…

Full text at Marxists Internet Archive

Lenin: The Theory of Knowledge of Dialectical Materialism – Part Eighteen

Causality and Necessity in Nature (continued)

In Ludwig Feuerbach also we read that “the general laws of motion – both of the external world and of human thought – [are] two sets of laws which are identical in substance but differ in their expression in so far as the human mind can apply them consciously, while in nature and also up to now for the most part in human history, these laws assert themselves unconsciously in the form of external necessity in the midst of an endless series of seeming accidents” (38). And Engels reproaches the old natural philosophy for having replaced “the real but as yet unknown interconnections” (of the phenomena of nature) by “ideal and imaginary ones” (42).1 Engels’ recognition of objective law, causality and necessity in nature is absolutely clear, as is his emphasis on the relative character of our, i.e., man’s, approximate reflections of this law in various concepts.


1. F. Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy (K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works, Vol. 3, Moscow, 1970, pp. 362,364)

V.I.Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-criticism: Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1975, 140


Part eighteen/to be continued…

Full text at Marxists Internet Archive

Further Comment on Shamseer Keloth’s ‘Facing the Dragon’

Top political advisory body to discuss reform: Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivers a report on the work of the CPPCC National Committee's Standing Committee at the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 3, 2015.

Top political advisory body to discuss reform: Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivers a report on the work of the CPPCC National Committee’s Standing Committee at the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 3, 2015.

*   *   *

Hello Shamseer Keloth,

Of cognition Lenin wrote ‘From living perception to abstract thought, and from this to practice, – such is the dialectical path of the cognition of truth, of the cognition of objective reality.’ We start with the world> we theorise about it (we look for what we think are the best/most ethical theories and consider and develop on them where we think it is possible, in relation to the world)> we (continually) test our theorising in the world. Practice (not abstract theorising) is primary.

The Chinese, through their very long history, have come to understand and learnt to do this (it can be seen in the Party’s policy developments particularly since Deng Xiaoping). In addition, for the first time in world history, the Chinese have two key elements in a developing relationship – a one-party socialist state and a rapidly rising middle class.

From this relationship will come forms of organisation which will be models for the world – economic, political and social.

The challenge to the Party will be to continue to show not only the benefits but the necessity of a one-party state (social cohesion, rising wealth and cultural development on the basis of the Party’s capacity both for long-term planning and timely decision-making [compare with the West]). Sensitivity to region and locality is just as important – the Party knows that their recent ‘crack-down’ on corruption is essential in this regard.

My view is that the Chinese are bringing to bear on their lives and future not only socialist theory but many lessons they have learnt through their history and are now getting ‘right’ what the Soviet Union was not able to.

How they continue to test and develop socialist theory in a practice which is above the merely pragmatic is central to this.