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Slava the Ukrainian Socialist

Feb 5, 2024

While it’s relatively easy to analyze history retrospectively, it becomes much harder to understand events unfolding right in front of our eyes. As described in the first part of this series, the media, being the tool of the imperialist forces, constantly manipulates the information available to us, employing every dirty trick in the book to ensure that we never learn the truth. But, just as every poison has an antidote, we the working class can do proper research and analysis with the right tools. Let’s discuss how and why we can use Dialectical Materialism while analyzing modern history, and what technical instruments are most helpful to us.

What is Dialectical Materialism?

Dialectical Materialism is a method for comprehending reality, our thoughts, and our reactions to the material world that surrounds us. In simple terms, this approach combines Dialectics and Materialism, both of which serve as the theoretical foundation of Marxism. In contrast to idealism, which denies the possibility of understanding the world and its laws, Dialectical Materialism teaches us that there are no things in the world that are unknowable, only things that are as yet unknown. The ideas of Dialectical Materialism are not merely a fixed dogma; rather, they constitute a system of tools and general principles for scientifically analyzing the world. The fundamental tenets of Dialectical Materialism assert that everything that exists is derived from matter and is in a constant process of change and development.

The principles and laws of Dialectical Materialism were elucidated in Friedrich Engels's 1878 book "Herrn Eugen Dührings Umwälzung der Wissenschaft" (Herr Eugen Dühring’s Revolution in Science, better known as Anti-Dühring). Engels outlined three major laws of Dialectical Materialism: the Unity and Struggle of Opposites, also known as the law of contradictions; Negation of the Negation, and the Transition of Quantity into Quality. Let's explore how we can apply each of these laws in our political research and analysis.

The Struggle Of Opposites

According to the first law, everything in this world harbors internal contradictions or forces that are mutually-exclusive but also dependent on each other. What are the main contradictions of our time? Today, more and more people are becoming conscious of a class contradiction; that is, the conflict between two classes due to different economic positions. An understanding of this contradiction is vital when analyzing how certain policies are made in our society. Whose class interests are advanced by government decisions? Politicians rarely advocate for public interests but rather for the interests of those they actually serve, namely the capitalist class.

While class contradiction is sufficient for analyzing domestic politics, what helps us draw accurate conclusions when examining foreign relations? Here we must consider the primary world contradiction of our times - Imperialism. The United States and its 'allies' have long exercised hegemony, leading not only to two major world wars but also numerous local conflicts around the globe. They are 'masters' at creating chaos and inflicting maximum harm under the guise of 'spreading democracy' to underdeveloped countries. You can learn more about the so-called ‘Color Revolution Doctrine’ in our recent documentary at The Revolution Report. 

Negation of the Negation

The second law reflects how objects and phenomena evolve based on their inherent contradictions, creating the conditions for their eventual demise and the emergence of new ones. For instance, under capitalism, class antagonism escalates as new forces of production diverge from the existing relations of production. Mass production greatly benefits the bourgeoisie, while the proletariat endures deepening poverty and misery. We should therefore interpret strikes and protests across the country as a sign, not of workers' laziness as the capitalists imply, but as the rational response to deteriorating working conditions. Widening inequality fosters an increase in class consciousness, ripening the conditions for a revolution.

The Transition of Quantity into Quality

This law is best exemplified in nature, where changes occur not gradually but through quantitative advances that eventually result in a qualitative change once certain conditions are present. Political evolution mirrors this pattern observed in nature. Increased class consciousness cannot be parlayed into a revolutionary state overnight. Instead, small but consistent struggles eventually culminate in significant transformations. History is replete with examples, including the abolition of slavery, a racist institution which required centuries of activism and sacrifice to finally dismantle.

Practical Tools To Use When Doing Research 

Now that we have analyzed how to apply dialectical materialism in our research, here are some practical tools we can use to confirm or disprove information from mainstream media, and to circumvent censorship:

1. Google Lens or Bing reverse image search to determine whether a certain image was indeed taken at the claimed place and time. Remember the 'burned baby' picture Ben Shapiro shared on X, claiming Hamas burned Israeli babies? It turned out that the image was AI-generated. It was possible to prove this through a reverse-image search, which revealed the original picture had been a puppy.

2. To view previous versions of mainstream articles, use the Wayback Machine, also known as the Internet archive - News outlets often publish articles with explosive headlines that cast aspersions without any proof. After further evidence emerges, these outlets quietly change the headline and tweak the content of the article, without issuing a correction and mea culpa. For example, no mainstream media organization ever issued a public correction for coverage that falsely characterized as a Russian disinformation campaign the Hunter Biden laptop revelations prior to the 2020 elections.

3. To download a video before censorship takes it down, use YouTube and other video platforms have ramped up censorship. We must preserve copies of digital content in case of their removal.

4. If you are doing a lot of online reading, you can use a highlighter browser extension on websites for future reference,  - The material remains highlighted so long as you use the same device or account.

5. A screen recorder extension can be used to save content that you suspect might later be censored and removed from the internet. Some platforms don't allow the downloading of videos, in which case you can use the screen recorder.

6. If you need to convert web pages to PDF to save valuable information under threat of censorship, use - This tool saves you a lot of time because you don't have to manually copy and paste many different pages.

7. Finally, there are tools to bypass mainstream media paywalls, such as - Mainstream news outlets want to charge us as much as possible to read their lies. We needn't reward them for their propaganda.

8. Capitalists are willing to expend vast resources to protect their interests. News outlets repeat lies over and over again until enough of the public believe them. But we should never give up and blindly follow their preaching. By using the laws of Dialectical Materialism and some practical tools, we can expose the false narrative. Our strength is in numbers. Workers of the world should unite in doing proper political research!

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