With a little dialectic, Marx can always get out of it.

Marxism. Dialectics

To Marx and Engels, the difference between dialectics and metaphysics is very important. Dialectics is better. You can prove more things. You can use it to prove that the soul is immortal.

To the dialectician, the world is changing, it is living, the different parts interact. It is filled with contradictions. To the metaphysician, the world is at rest, with parts independent of each other. It is without contradictions. The metaphysical viewpoint can work well, but if you want a deeper understanding it is often not enough. note

Already the old Greeks knew you can't step twice into the same river; because the second time the river has changed, it is no longer the same. Heraclitus got famous for saying that everything floats. Marx and Engels did not get any longer.
So the dialectician says you should consider all things that could influence the outcome. Sure people can miss out, no matter if they call themselves dialecticians or not. Who's against? None that I know of.

Dialectics is the science of the general laws of motion and development of nature, human society and thought.
If you look upon dialectics as only a proof-producing instrument, as you might look at formal logic, you show a total lack of understanding of the nature of dialectics. The formal logic is primarily a method of arriving at new results, of going from the known to the unknown. Dialectics is same thing, only to a much higher degree. note

Maybe the best person to describe Marx's dialectical method is Marx himself. After making a prediction about what is going to happen in India, he comments to Engels: "It's possible that I shall make an ass of myself. But in that case one can always get out of it with a little dialectic. I have, of course, so worded my proposition as to be right either way." note
This is, I believe, more a case of youthful exuberance and showing off how clever he is than a deliberate attempt to deceive. I believe that, as a rule, Marx is trying to be honest. It is just that he does not realize that with his dialectical method, it is always possible to get out of it with a little dialectic. It's in the method.

The less you ask from a method, the more you can prove. The dialectical method is a method without any formal rules. It is about getting closer and closer to the truth by presenting arguments for and against. It is the method the Greek philosopher Plato used to prove that the soul is immortal. note As we shall see, Marx is not any better.

© Anders Floderus