Toward a Dialectic of Philosophy and Organization


Toward a Dialectic of Philosophy and Organization is an exploration of Hegel’s dialectic and its radical re-creation in Marx’s thought within the context of revolutions and revolutionary organizations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Does a dialectic in philosophy itself bring forth a dialectic in revolutionary organization? This question is explored via organizational practices in the Paris Commune, the 2nd International, the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the Spanish Revolution of 1936-37 and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, as well as the theoretical-organizational concepts of such thinkers as Lassalle, Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky and Pannekoek.

“What Philosophic-Organizational Vantage Point Is Needed for Revolutionary Transformation Today?” is examined by engaging the theoretical arguments of a number of thinkers. Among them: Adorno, Dunayevskaya, Hardt and Negri, Holloway, Lebowitz, Lukcás, Mészáros and Postone.
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Biographical Note

Eugene Gogol is a Marxist-Humanist activist-writer. His books include The Concept of Other in Latin American Liberation and Raya Dunayevskaya: Philosopher of Marxist-Humanism.

Review Quote

"Gogol’s argument is urgent and single-minded, and his materials refreshingly original. [a] wonderful book." – Ben Watson, in: Radical Philosophy 182 (Nov/Dec 2013)
" Toward a Dialectic ought to be taken as an important contribution to an on-going project to reveal the logic of the development of emancipatory organization." – Andy Blunden, in: Marx & Philosophy, 31 January 2013

Table of contents

Introduction: Philosophy, Organization, and the Work of Raya Dunayevskaya
I. The Contradictory Reality of the Present Moment and Its Relation to a Dialectic of Philosophy and Organization
II. The Project of Dunayevskaya: Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy
III. The Form for the Present Study

Prologue: The Dialectic in Philosophy Itself
I. What Is Hegel’s Journey of Absolute Spirit?
II. Why a Negation of the Negation?
III. Can We See Hegel’s Absolutes, Not as a Closed Totality, but As New Beginning?


1: Marx’s Concept of Organization: From the Silesian Weavers’ Uprising to the First Years of the International Workingmen’s Association
I. A Preliminary Note—Marx: Revolutionary Organization and the Organization of Thought
II. 1843-52, Critique of Ideas/Tendencies—and the Movement of the Workers
III. From the Early 1850s to the Early 1860s: A Brief Note on Marx’s Organization of Thought and the “Party”
IV. A New Organizational Form: Marx and the International Working Men’s Association

2: The Commune of Paris, 1871: Mass Spontaneity in Action and Thought; Responsibility of the Revolutionary Intellectual: The Two-War Road Between Marx and the Commune
I. A Non-State State: The Paris Commune as a Form of Workers’ Rule
II. The Civil War in France— Drafts and Address, and the French Edition of Capital
III. The Commune Deepens Marx’s Concept of Organization-- The First International After 1871
Appendix: Marx excerpts from first and second drafts of The Civil War in France

3: The Second International, The German Social Democracy, and Engels after Marx—Organization without Marx’s Organization of Thought
I. A Preliminary Note on Lassalle
II. Fetishism of Organization: The Second International and the Germany Social Democracy
III. Engels’ Relation to German Social Democracy and to Marx’s Marxism: What Tactics? What Theory? What Philosophy?
Appendix: “The Interlude that Never Ended Organizationally”

Forms of Organization and Struggle in Revolutionary Russia

4: The 1905 Russian Revolution: Mass Proletarian Self-Activity and Its Relation to the Organizational Thought of Marxist Revolutionaries
I. 1905 in Life and in Books: New Forms of Struggle; New Forms of Organization
II. Lenin, Trotsky, Luxemburg: Attitudes Toward and Theoretical Ramifications of 1905, Particularly with Regard to Revolutionary Organization

5: The Russian Revolution of 1917 and Beyond
I. February-October, 1917: Forms of Organization From Below; Developments and Struggles Within Bolshevism
II. Russia post-October: Workers, Bolsheviks and the State—New Beginnings and Grave Contradictions in the Revolution

6: Out of the Russia Revolution: Legacy and Critique—Luxemburg, Pannekoek, Trotsky
I. Luxemburg and Two Revolutions—Russia, 1917-18; Germany, 1918-19
II. Pannekoek’s Council Communism
III. In Exile: A Brief Note on Trotsky’s Concept of Revolutionary Organization and View of Proletarian Subjectivity

7: Organizational Forms from the Spanish Revolution
I. The Revolution Begins and Develops
II. The Communist Party Works to Dismantle the Revolution

8: The Hungarian Workers’ Councils in the Revolution: A Movement from Practice that Is a Form of Theory
Prelude: East Germany, 1953
I. The First Days
II. The Turning Point
III. The Counter-Revolution and the Proletarian Response
IV. Postscript: East Europe post-Hungary 1956—Resistance-in-Permanence; Contradictions Within


9: Can “Absolute Knowing” in Hegel’s Phenomenology Speak to a Dialectic of Organization and Philosophy?
I. A Note on Hegel’s Method in Absolute Knowledge
II. Marx’s “Critique of the Hegelian Dialectic”
III. Spirit’s Journey in Absolute Knowledge: Externalization (Entäusserung) and
Recollection/Inwardization (Erinnerung)
IV. The Dialectic in Philosophy Itself: Does It Bring Forth a Dialectic of Organization?—A Reading of Absolute Knowing from Dunayevskaya

10: Rereading Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Program Today
Appendix: Marx on Necessity, Freedom, Time and Labor


11: Lenin and Hegel—The Profound Philosophic Breakthrough that Failed to Encompass Revolutionary Organization
I. Introduction
II. A Preliminary Note on Lenin’s Philosophic Exploration of Hegel
III. A Brief Survey of Dunayevskaya’s Explorations of Lenin’s Hegelian Vantage Point Prior to 1985-87.
IV. Dunayevskaya’s ‘Changed Perception of Lenin Philosophic Ambivalence’: Fusing a mid-1980s Vantage Point with a 1953 Philosophic Breakthrough
V. Organizational Ramifications

12: Hegel’s Critique of the Third Attitude to Objectivity—Its Relation to Organization
I. Introduction: The Three Attitudes to Objectivity
II. Dunayevskaya’s 1961 Reading of the Third Attitude to Objectivity
III. Dunayevskaya’s New 1986 Reading of the Third Attitude to Objectivity


13: Moments in the Development of Dunayevskaya's Marxist-Humanism
I. A Preliminary Note on War and Revolution as Turning Points for Radical Thought: The Moment of the Theory of State-Capitalism as Needed Ground for Marxist-Humanism
II. Dunayevskaya's Letters on Hegel's Absolutes, May 12 and 20 1953: “The Philosophic Moment of Marxist-Humanism”
III. The Organization of Thought which Determines Organizational Life: Developing Marxist-Humanism and News and Letters Committees
IV. Dunayevskaya’s Presentation on Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy, June 1, 1987—A New Philosophic Category and a Challenge for News and Letters Praxis
Appendices: 1) Dunayevskaya Letter on Meeting a Cameroonian Revolutionary; 2) Andy Philips on Dunayevskaya's Participation in 1949-50 Miners' General Strike; 3. Preamble to the Original Constitution of News and Letters Committees, 1956


14: What Philosophic-Organizational Vantage Point Is Needed?
I. Recent Challenges to Hegel’s Dialectics of Negativity
II. What Is the Dialectic of Marx’s Capital?
III. Once Again Hegel’s Dialectic of Negativity—Its Concretization/Praxis as Organizational Expression; Its Meaning for Today



For academics and thinker-activists in emancipatory social movements interested in dialectical thought in Hegel and Marx and its relevance for social transformation historically and today.