Criticism and Comments of Historical Materialism
 

As we have now explained the basis of the theory historical materialism and drawn certain conclusions from it, it is right time to make some comments on it.

Let us first make it clear that we do not propose to discuss critically the total views of Marx as expressed by him in all his works, nor do we intend to criticize Marxism as a whole. Here we propose to critically review only historical materialism, which is one of the fundamental principles of Marxism. Basically it is one thing to criticize the views of Marx or to criticize Marxism as a whole, and it is a different thing to criticize a particular principle of Marxism such as historical materialism.

A critical study of all the views of Marx as scattered in the numerous works compiled by him during the various periods of his life, shows many contradictions. Such a study has been undertaken by several individuals in the West. In Iran, as far as we know, the best book available on this subject is the Revision of views from Marx to Mao,[17] from which we have extensively quoted in this chapter.

The criticism of Marxism as a whole or any of its fundamental principles is unexceptionable even from the view point of the personality of Marx. The criticism of those principles, which are not considered to be final by Marx himself and about which he has expressed contradictory views, is also justified in those cases which are concomitant with the basic principles of Marxism and the contrary views expressed by Marx himself may be regarded as his deviation from Marxism.

While dealing with historical materialism in this book, we have kept this principle in mind.

Here our criticism is based on the indisputable principles propounded by Marx, irrespective of the fact whether in his contradictory works and writings, he himself has or has not expressed any view to the contrary, for our main aim is to comment on historical materialism and not on the views of Marx.

It is an irony of history that in his philosophical, social and economic books Marx has more or, less supported the theory of historical materialism. But while analyzing and interpreting the contemporary events he has paid little attention to the principles of this theory. Why so? Varied answers have been given to this question, and that is not a thing peculiar to this problem only. In many cases Marx has adopted a contradictory attitude, and has theoretically or practically deviated from Marxism. Therefore what is required is a general answer.

Some attribute this weakness to the immaturity of Marx during the early periods of his life. But this explanation is indefensible at least from the point of view of Marxism, for many of his theories, which are today regarded as the recognized principles of Marxism, are related to the periods of his youth or middle age, and many of his deviations, including some of his interpretations of the contemporary events, are related to the last period of his life.

Some others attribute this contradiction to his double personality. They assert that on the one hand he was a philosopher, an ideologue and the founder of a school. Hence it was natural for him to regard the principles enunciated by him as firm and final and to use all the force at his disposal to reconcile between the actualities and his forethoughts. On the other hand Marx also had a learned personality and a scholarly spirit. This spirit compelled him to always submit to actualities and not to adhere to any definite principle.

Some others differentiate between Marx and Marxism. They claim that Marx and his ideas are only a stage of Marxism. Essentially Marxism is an evolutionary school, and hence there is nothing wrong if Marxism has gone ahead of Marx himself.

In other words, if the Marxism of Marx which is only an early stage of Marxism, is found to be defective, it is not fair to conclude that Marxism itself is faulty. Anyhow, these people do not explain what forms the main essence of communism. A school can be called evolutionary if all its preliminary principles are definite and firm. Only the subsidiary matters can be disputable. Otherwise there will be no difference between the abrogation of a theory and its evolution. If firm principles are not accepted as an essential condition of evolution, there is no reason why we should not begin with pre-Marx theorists and thinkers such as Hegel, Saint Simon, Proudhon or some other personality, should not call Hegelism or Proudhonism a school in the developing state, and regard Marxism as a stage of that school.

In our opinion the contradictions of Marx are due to the fact that he himself is a less Marxist than most of the other Marxists. It is said that once at a meeting of the Marxists, he defended a view contrary to his own earlier theory. His audience was very much upset. Marx said: " I am not as much a Marxist as you are" . It is also said that during the last days of his life he declared that he was not a Marxist at all.

Marx did not agree with certain views of Marxism because he was too clever to be a hundred per cent Marxist. To be a standard Marxist requires more than a little gullibility. Historical materialism, which is now under discussion, is a part of Marxism. It has certain principles which lead to certain results to which neither Marx the scholar could subscribe nor Marx the philosopher and thinker could adhere to these principles and results. Now here are our comments on historical materialism.

i) Baselessness:

The first objection is that this view is not more than mere 'theory' without any proof. A historio-philosophical theory should both be based on contemporary historical evidence and then extended to other periods or should be based on historical evidence of the past events and extended to the present and the future; or should have valid scientific, logical or philosophical arguments to prove it.

The theory of historical materialism does not follow any of the above methods.

The events of the time of Marx and Engels cannot be explained by it; so much so that Engels himself has admitted that he and Marx committed certain mistakes while dealing with the importance of economy in some of their books. But they could commit no such mistakes while analyzing the contemporary events because at that time they were facing reality. Further, the events of the past thousands of years also do not support the theory of historical materialism in any way.

(ii) Revision of Views by Its Founders:

As we have repeatedly mentioned, Marx calls the economic basis of society its infrastructure and other bases its superstructure. This expression is enough to show that other bases of society are subordinate to its economic basis and depend on it. Furthermore, many of the statements of Marx quoted by us earlier make it clear that according to him this dependence is one-sided. It is economic factors alone which influence all other social matters.

It is a fact that even if Marx had not specifically stated so, his views regarding the precedence of matter to spirit, precedence of material needs to spiritual needs, precedence of psychology to sociology and the precedence of work to thought would have led us to the same conclusion.

Anyhow, in many of his writings Marx has expressed a different opinion in regard to the basis of dialectic logic. This may be regarded as a sort of a change in his views and to some extent a deviation from the absolute materiality of history. The opinion to which we refer is his theory of reciprocal influence. On the basis of this theory the causative relation should not be considered to be unilateral. If A is the cause of B and influences it, in its turn B is also a cause of A and influences it. According to this principle there exists a sort of reciprocal dependence and influence among all parts of nature and all parts of society.

At present we are not concerned as to whether this dialectic principle in the form in which it has been advanced is correct or not. But we must say that, according this principle, it is basically meaningless to speak of any precedence in the relationship between any two things whether they be matter and spirit,

work and thought or economic basis of society and all other social institutions; for if each of the two things is dependent on the other and is essential for its existence, the question of precedence and being infrastructure does not arise.

In some of his statements Marx does not mention the influence of the infrastructure of society over its superstructure, but simply allots a role, whether essential or nonessential to the economic basis of society. Still in some other statements of his he speaks of the reciprocal influence of the infrastructure and the superstructure, but still maintains that the main and the final role is that of the infrastructure. While making a comparison between the two books of Marx, The Capital and The Critique of Political Economy the Revisionism from Marx to Mao says that in both of these books Marx describe economy as the determining factor. The book further says:

" In spite of this, Marx, consciously or unconsciously, has added a new dimension to this definition by stating that superstructures, despite primacy of the base over infrastructure, can play an essential role in society."

The author further asks: What is the difference between the governing and determining role that is always performed by the economic infrastructures and this main role ascribed to the superstructures here? Even if the superstructures play the main role only occasionally, their role must be determining in those cases in which it is played. Not only that, but in those cases what we call the infrastructure should be the superstructure and what we call the superstructure should be the infrastructure.

In a letter written by him towards the end of his life to Joseph Bloch, Engels remarked as under:

" . . . . According to the materialist conception of history, ultimately determining element in history is the production and reproduction of real fife. More than this neither Marx nor I have ever asserted. Hence if somebody twists this into saying that the economic element is the only determining one, he transforms that proposition into a meaningless, abstract, senseless phrase. The economic situation is the basis, but the various elements of the superstructure: political forms of the class struggle and its results, to wit: constitutions established by the victorious class after a successful battle,

etc., juridical forms, and then even the reflexes of all these actual struggles in the brains of the participants, political, juristic, philosophical theories, religious views and their further development into systems of dogmas, also exercise their influence upon the course of historical struggles and in many cases preponderate in determining their form. There is an interaction of all these elements in which, amid all the endless host of accidents the economic movement finally asserts itself as necessary."

Strangely enough, if the theory that the economic factor alone is the determining factor is a hollow fiction, it is amazing that this proposition has been advanced by none other than Marx himself. Moreover, if it is true that the so called super structural factors in many cases seriously determine the form of historical struggle, then the economic factors are not the only determining factors. As such it is out of place to say that economic movement necessarily makes its way through an endless mass of contradictions.

What is more amazing is that in this very letter Monsieur Engels puts the responsibility for this mistake or, in his own words, distortion, partly on himself and Marx. He says:

"Marx and I are ourselves partly to blame for the fact that the younger people sometimes lay more stress on the economic side than is due to it. We had to emphasize the main principle vis-a-vis our adversaries, who denied it, and we had not always the time, the place or opportunity to allow the other elements involved in the interaction to come into light."

But some other interpret, that too much emphasis laid by Marx and Engels on the economic factors, in a way different from what Engels has stated. They say that this excessive stress was not directed against the opponents of this theory, but was meant to disarm those rivals who supported it.

In The Critique of Political Economy Marx has laid more stress on the role of economic factors than in any other works of his. We have already reproduced a well-known extract from the preface of this book. Describing the circumstances in which this book was written, the Revisionism from Marx To Mao says: " Another cause of writing the Critique of Political Economy, was the publication of a book by Proudhon, Manuel du speculateur a la Bourse, and another book by Darimon, the follower of Proudhon. . . . When Marx saw that his rivals in the camp of Proudhon from one side, and the followers of Lassalle from the other side were relying upon the economic element in a reformative (not revolutionary) way, he endeavoured to seize this weapon from their hands and used it for the purpose of revolution. This necessitated a rigidity suited to the purpose of popularizing his beliefs.

To meet the requirements of the special conditions of China and to justify the needs of his practical experience in leading the Chinese revolutionary movement, Mao so much changed the conceptions of historical materialism and the supreme importance of economy that nothing was left of them or of socialism based on historical materialism, except quibbling and play of words.

Under the heading, 'The Principal Contradiction and the Principal Aspect of Contradiction', Mao in his treatise on "Contradiction" says:

"The principal and the non-principal aspects of a contradiction transform themselves into each other and quality of a thing changes accordingly. In a certain process or at a certain stage in the development of a contradiction, the principal aspect is A and the non-principal aspect is B, at another stage of development or in another process of development, the roles are reversed - a change determined by the extent of the increase or decrease in the strength with which each of the two aspects struggle against the other in the development of a thing."

Some people think that this is not the case with certain contradictions.

For example in the contradiction between productive forces and the relations of production, the productive forces are the principal aspect; in the contradiction between the economic foundation and its superstructure, the economic foundation is the principal aspect and there is no change in their respective positions. This is the view of mechanistic materialism. True, the productive forces, practice, and the economic foundation generally manifest themselves in the principal and decisive roles; whoever denies this is not a materialist. But under certain conditions, such aspects as the relations of production, theory, and superstructure in turn manifest themselves in the principal and decisive role; this must also be admitted.

When the productive forces cannot be developed unless the relations of production are changed, the change in the relations of production plays the principal and decisive role. As Lenin put it, without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement. The creation and advocacy of the revolutionary theory plays the principal and decisive role. . . . When the superstructure (politics, culture and so on) hinders the development of economic foundation, political and cultural reforms become the principal and decisive' factors.

By saying this, are we running counter to materialism? No. The reason is that while we recognize that in the development of history as a whole it is the material essence of things that determines spiritual things, and social existence that determines social consciousness, at the same time we also recognize and must recognize the reaction of spiritual things and social consciousness on social existence, and the reaction of superstructure on economic foundation. This is not running counter to materialism; this is precisely avoiding mechanistic materialism and firmly upholding dialectical materialism."

Actually what Mao says goes totally against the theory of historical materialism; when he says: "At the time that production relations impede the growth and development of productive forces" , or says: " At the time that revolutionary movement is in need of a revolutionary theory" , or says: " If the superstructure hampers the growth and development of infrastructure" he mentions what always happens and must always happen. But according to the theory of historical materialism such situations should never arise, for according to it the development of productive forces compulsorily changes the production relations; revolutionary theory invariably emerges automatically; and the superstructure compulsorily changes under the impact of infrastructure.

Has not Marx in his preface to the Critique of Political Economy expressly said: " At a certain stage of their development, the material productive forces of society come in conflict with the existing relations of production, or what is but a legal expression for the same thing -- with the property relations within which they have been at work hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces, these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an epoch of social revolution. With the change of economic foundation, the entire immense superstructure is more or less rapidly transformed."

A change in the production relations prior to the development of the productive forces, the formation of a revolutionary theories prior to the automatic revolutionary insurgence and a change in the superstructure to pave the way for a corresponding change in the infrastructure, all this means the precedence Of thought to work, the precedence of spirit to matter and the importance and independence of political and intellectual basis of society as compared to its economic basis. Thus the idea of historical materialism is nullified.

Mao says that dialectic materialism would be violated, if it is hold that influence is only one-sided. That is true. But the problem is that scientific socialism is based on this very one-sided influence which is contrary to the dialectic principle of reciprocal dependence. Hence we have either to accept scientific socialism and to ignore dialectic logic or to accept dialectic logic and to ignore scientific socialism and historical materialism on which it is based.

Furthermore, what does Mao mean when he says that he admits that generally in the course of the development of history material essence of things determine spiritual things and social existence determines social consciousness. To admit that the main aspect of contradictions is subject to an occasional change, amounts to saying that sometimes the productive force determines the production relation and sometimes vice versa, i.e. the process is reversed. Sometimes a revolutionary creates a revolutionary theory and sometimes vice versa. Sometimes education, politics, religion, force etc. change the economic basis of society and sometimes the process is reversed. Therefore sometimes matter determines spirit and on some other occasion determines matter. Sometimes social existence determines social consciousness and sometimes social consciousness determines social existence.

In fact, what Mao has said about the change in the place of the main aspect of contradictions, is a Maoist theory which practically goes against the Marxist theory of historical materialism. It is not an interpretation of the Marxist theory as Mao claims. Mao has practically shown that like Marx himself he is also too clever to be always a Marxist. The Chinese Revolution led by Mao practically violated scientific socialism as well as historical materialism, and hence Marxism itself.

Under the leadership of Mao, China overthrew the old feudal system and set up a socialist regime instead of it, whereas according to scientific socialism and historical materialism a country passing through the stage of feudalism must pass over to the industrial and capitalistic stage first. It can step forward to socialism only when it has reached a high level of industrialization.

As a foetus in the womb cannot reach a stage without passing through the earlier stage, similarly society cannot reach the final stage without passing through the earlier successive stage. But Mao has shown practically that he is a midwife who can bring to this world a four-month old foetus in a healthy, perfect and flawless condition. He has shown that contrary to what Marx has said, a leader may ignore what scientific socialism teaches, totally change the production relations and industrialize a country by means of party teachings, political formations, a revolutionary theory, and social information. These are the same things which are called by Marx a kind of consciousness and superstructure and not a kind of existence and infrastructure. According to Marx they are not basic. Mao has shown that productive relations can be overturned and a country can be industrialized, ignoring the so-called scientific socialism for all practical purposes.

In another way also Mao exploded the Marxist theory of history. According to the Marxist theory and at least from the personal point of view of Marx, the peasant class fulfils only the first two conditions of being a revolutionary class. It is an exploited class and it holds no property. But it does not fulfil the third condition of being concentrated, having mutual cooperation and mutual understanding and being conscious of its power. For this reason the peasant class is not fit to initiate a revolution. At the most in a semi-agricultural and semi-industrial society the peasants may become the followers of the revolutionary proletariat.

Not only that, but from the point of view of Marx, the peasant class is basically mean and reactionary. It totally lacks every kind of revolutionary initiative. In a letter to Engels, on the revolution in Poland, Marx made this remark about the peasants: "The basically wretched and reactionary peasants should not be called upon to struggle." But Mao converted this very mean and reactionary class into a revolutionary class and with its help overthrew the old regime. According to Marx the peasants not only cannot lead a country to socialism, but they also can make no contribution in the shifting of a country from feudalism to capitalism. It is the bourgeois class which brings about a social revolution at a historical moment.

But Mao jumped directly from feudalism to socialism with the help of the so-called reactionary class of the peasants. Therefore it was appropriate that in order to make a distinction between Maoism and Marxism, Mao should advance his own theory of a change in the place of the major aspect of contradictions. Anyhow, Mao himself does not speak of Maoism and he advances his views only as a learned interpretation of Marxism, historical materialism and scientific socialism.

Mao learnt from his distinguished predecessor, Lenin, the lesson that a Marxist when necessary should practically secede from Marxism. It was Lenin who before Mao brought about a revolution in Russia at the time when that country was semi-cultural and semi-industrial. It was Lenin who for the first time founded a socialist State.

Lenin did not expect that during his lifetime Czarist Russia would ever be fully industrialized and turned into such a capitalist country where the exploitation of workers might reach its final so that automatically a self-conscious and dynamical movement could bring about a total change. So he felt that it would be too late if he waited for the period of pregnancy to be completed before he undertook the job of midwifery. Hence he started with the superstructure and used party, politics, a revolutionary theory, a war and force in order to convert the semi-industrialized Russia of that day into the Soviet Socialist country of today.

Lenin practically proved the truth of the famous proverb that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. He did not wait for the two birds of Marx and the automatic and dynamic readiness of the economic basis of the Russian society for insurrection. He fully exploited the one bird in hand and brought about a successful revolution by means of force, politics, party teachings and his own political insight.

(iii) Demolition of the Principle of Compulsory Harmony Between Infrastructure and Superstructure: According to the theory of historical materialism there should always be some sort of harmony between the infrastructure of a society and its superstructure, so that it may be possible to know the infrastructure by knowing the superstructure (by employing the deductive method, which provides semi-perfect knowledge) and to know the superstructure by knowing the infrastructure (by employing the inductive method, which provides perfect knowledge).

If the infrastructure is changed, this harmony will naturally be destroyed, social equilibrium will be disturbed and such a crisis will begin that sooner or later it will ruin the superstructure. In contrast, so long as the infrastructure remains as it is, the superstructure will remain intact.

The contemporary historical events have proved the invalidity of the above proposition. Consequent to a number of political and social revolutions which accompanied the successive economic upheavals which occurred during the period from 1827 to 1847 Marx and Engels came to believe that social revolutions were an inevitable result of the economic crises.

But according to the author of the Revisionism from Marx to Mao: "It is the irony of history that there has not been any economic crisis accompanied with a revolution in industrialized countries since 1848. In the very lifetime of Marx, before his death, four times forces of production rebelled against relations of production without bringing about any revolution ... later, some economists like Joseph Schumpeter have gone to the extent of naming, these crises caused by technical innovation as 'gales of creative destruction, and as safety valves for reestablishing economic equilibrium and economic growth."

The countries like Britain, France, Germany and America have made stupendous industrial progress, They are at the zenith of capitalism. But contrary to the prediction of Marx that these countries would be the first to experience workers' revolution and would be converted into socialist countries, their so-called superstructure has gone under no change from political, legal or religious point of view. The child which Marx hoped to be born has completed nine months, has crossed not only nine but even ninety years, but still it has not seen the light of the day. Now no hope is left that this child will ever be born.

Of course there is no doubt that the present regimes in these countries will sooner or later be overthrown, but the awaited revolution of the workers will never come about and the Marxist theory of history will never prove correct. For that matter the regimes which are governing the so-called socialist countries of today will also be overthrown one day or other. Anyhow, it is certain that the future regimes in these countries will not be capitalistic.

We find that several countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America have reached the stage of socialism without passing through the phase of capitalism. Today there are countries which resemble each other from the point of view of their infrastructure, but still they differ widely as far as their superstructure is concerned.

The two superpowers, that is America and Soviet Russia are the best example of this phenomenon. America and Japan have the same economic system, but their political, religious, moral, cultural and artistic systems different. On the other hand, there are countries whose political, religious and other superstructural systems are almost the same, but still their economic condition are totally similar. All this shows that the compulsory conformity of the superstructure of society with its infrastructure as conceived by historical materialism is merely a figment of imagination.

(iv) Nonconformity of the Basis of Class Ideology: As we have mentioned earlier, according to historical materialism superstructure of any period cannot go ahead of its infrastructure at all. As such the knowledge of every period is absolutely confined to that period. With the lapse of time it becomes old and obsolete, and is deposited in the archives of history. Ideas, philosophies, plans, predictions and religions, all are by-products of the special requirements of the age in which they appear and cannot be consistent with the requirements of any other age. But practically it has been proved otherwise. Not to say of creeds and religions, many philosophies, personalities, ideas and branches of knowledge appear to have been ahead of their times or their class. There are so many ideas which were produced by the material needs of a particular period, but though the times have since changed, the ideas still shine on the horizon of history.

It is amazing that in this case also Marx in some of his remarks has dissociated from Marxism. In his well-known book, the German Ideology he says: " Consciousness sometimes is seen to precede the contemporary empirical relations, to the extent that it is possible to find the evidence for the conflicts of a later age in the writings of theoreticians of the preceding age."

(v) Independence of Cultural Development: According to historical materialism, like any other basis of society such as political, judicial and religious, its cultural and scientific basis also depends on its economic basis and cannot develop independently. Science develops only in the wake of the development of the implements of production and the development of the economic basis of society.

In fact, we know that implements of production, minus man, do not develop automatically. They develop as the result of man's contact with nature and his inquisitive efforts.

Their growth and development is accompanied by man's own scientific and technical development. Now the question is which of these two things comes first; whether man first makes a discovery and then implements it to produce the relevant tools and instruments or first the tools come into existence and then man makes the relevant discovery? There is no doubt that the second alternative is correct.

It is obvious that scientific laws and technical principles are discovered in the course of man's inquisitive and experimental contact with nature. If man does not make an inquiry and does not undertake experiments, he cannot discover any scientific or natural law. There cannot be two opinions about that. The only question is whether after inquiry and experiment man first develops scientifically within himself and then creates technical implements or the case is the other way round?

There is no doubt that the first alternative is correct.

Moreover, when the word, development is used in respect of man, it is used in its literal and real sense, but when it is used in respect of the technical and productive instruments and tools, it is used in its metaphorical sense. In its real sense development means evolution of a thing from a lower stage to a higher stage. But in the case of its use in its metaphorical sense, change is not in the stage of the same thing, but one thing disappears or is abolished and another thing takes its place.

When a child grows there is an actual development . But if a class teacher is changed and replaced by a better educated and more efficient teacher, of course there is a development in the teaching of the class, but this development is metaphorical only.

In the course of tool making the development of man is real. Man develops mentally in the actual sense. But the development of an industry, such as the development of motor industry which every year brings to the market an improved new model is only metaphorical, for in this case nothing has actually gone from a lower stage to a higher stage. The car of the last year has not been equipped in a better way but actually it has been discarded and replaced by other cars of better design and latest model.

In other words an imperfect unit has been cast away and replaced by a perfect unit. In this case the same unit has not shifted from a stage of imperfection to the stage of perfection. Obviously where there is a real development and a metaphorical development at the same time, the real development will be primary and the metaphorical development subsidiary.

Furthermore, this is the position in respect of technology. As far as other sciences like medicine, psychology, sociology, philosophy, logic and mathematics are concerned, this kind of one-sided dependence cannot be confirmed. The development of sciences depends on the economic position as much as or even less than the economic position depends on the development of sciences. Criticizing Marxism K. Schmoller says: "No doubt, the material and economic conditions are essential for the attainment of higher culture, but to the same extent it is also undoubtedly true that intellectual and moral development follows an independent course."

If we overlook this one fault in the doctrine of the French philosopher, August Comte that he sums up man's humanity in his 'mind', which is only a part of his capabilities and only one half of his human spirit, August Comte's theory about social development is more valuable than that of Marx. August Comte asserts: " Social phenomena are subject to a strict determinism which operates in the form of an inevitable evolution of human societies - an evolution which is itself governed by the progress of the human mind."

(vi) Historical Materialism Is Self-contradictory: According to historical materialism every idea, every view, every philosophical or scientific theory and every moral system, being a manifestation of special material and economic conditions, depends on the fulfillment of its own particular conditions and has no absolute value. Every idea, every theory and every moral system loses its validity with the passage of its time and a change in the material and economic conditions which made it inevitable. With a change of circumstances every idea and every theory must be replaced by a new idea or a new theory.

Obviously this universal law must also apply to the theory of historical materialism, propounded by some philosophers and sociologists. In case it does not, that would mean that there are some exceptions to this law and that there are some philosophical and scientific laws which operate independently and are not subject to any economic infrastructure. And if it is admitted that this law applies to the theory of historical materialism as well, the validity of this theory would be confined to only a particular period, that is the period during which it appeared, and it will have no value during any previous or subsequent period.

Thus in each case this theory stands quashed.

If historical materialism as a philosophical theory does not apply to itself, it is self-contradictory, and if it applies to itself as well as to other theories, its validity is confined to a limited period. The same objection may be raised against dialectic-materialism also, according to which the principles of dynamism and magnetism apply to every thing including the philosophical theories and scientific laws. We have dealt with this point in The Principles of Philosophy and the Method of Realism, vol. I & II. All this shows how baseless is the claim that this world is a spectacle of dialectic materialism and society is a spectacle of historical materialism

The theory of historical materialism is amenable to other objections also, which we overlook for the present. It is really astonishing how such baseless and unscientific theory could become famous as a scientific theory ! Its reputation appears to be nothing but the outcome of a propaganda trick.

[17] This book was first written in French and then translated into Persian by Dr Anwar Khameh'i. He has exhibited profound wisdom in the treatment of the subject and praiseworthy capacity for evaluation and analysis of the problems involved. He himself has been once an ardent supporter and exponent of this school for many years.