By Bertell Ollman; Tony Bagnall Smith
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Martin Nicolaus. London: Penguin. Ollman, Bertell. 1976. Alienation: Marx’s Conception of Man in Capitalist Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ollman, Bertell. 1978. Social and Sexual Revolution: Essays on Marx and Reich. Boston: South End Press. Ollman, Bertell. 1993. Dialectical Investigations. New York: Routledge. Rubel, Maximilien. 1987. ‘Non-Market Socialism in the 20th Century’. In M. Rubel and J. Crump, eds, Non-Market Socialism in the 19th and 20th Centuries. London: Macmillan.
Extreme’ is a favorite reproach by liberals, for whom the desired condition is moderation, a middle ground ‘somewhere in between’, mainstream, compromise. Their favorite colors are ‘not black or white but shades of gray’. In contrast the dialectical criticism is ‘one-sidedness’, the seizing upon one side of a dichotomous pair or a contradiction as if it were the whole thing. Our spectrum is not a gradient from black through all the grays to white, but a fractal rainbow. Of course, despite Hegel’s dictum that ‘the truth is the whole’ we cannot study The Whole.
Therefore equilibrium and stasis are special situations that have to be explained. All ‘things’ (objects or patterns of objects or processes) are constantly subject to outside influences that would change them. They are also all heterogeneous internally, and the internal dynamics is a continuing source of change. Yet ‘things’ do retain their identities long enough to be named and sometimes persist for very long times indeed. Some of them, much too long. The dynamic answer to the first question is homeostasis, the selfregulation that is observed in physiology, ecology, climatology, the economy and indeed in all systems that show any persistence.