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We will be speaking of oppositional phenomena which run counter to transformation processes, commonly referred to as processes of change, which has the historical meaning of a process detached from social movements, as well as from indigenous nations and peoples. A process of change is also a term for processes derived from the constituent process giving rise to the political will to decolonize. This process is intimately linked to the ratification of the Constitution by the Bolivian people, a Constitution defined by a plurinational, communitarian, and autonomous State. The application of this Constitution requires institutional and radical changes, as well as structural, economic, political, social, and cultural transformations; a new relationship between State and society, converting the State into an social instrument which is progressively reincorporating itself into the general social framework. This new relationship is expressed politically in a system of participatory democracy, garnering the overall participation of and under the control of society, a process which has the objective of economic transformation from the perspective of a productive model which abandons extractivist conditions in favor of food sovereignty, redefining industrialization in terms of fostering the internal market. This is also a process which orients itself on an ecological and earth-centered model, in harmony with ecosystems and living beings. As will become apparent this discourse, this process has also been referred to as living well, to be understood as an alternative model to development, modernity, and capitalism. Overall, this process is interstratified with the dismantling of the colonial, institutional, social, cultural, and subjective legacy. For this reason, open participation is understood to be indispensable in the decolonization of indigenous and aboriginal peoples and nations, as well as in anti-systemic social movements, in both urban and rural settings. This pluralistic, communitarian and autonomous construction defines characteristics wholly distinct from the experiences of emancipatory anti-capitalist and proletarian projects experienced during the 20th century.
The socialist revolution was understood as an egalitarian social transformation, stemming from the socialization of the means of production, the revolution of productive forces and the transformation of the relationships of capitalist production. The socialist revolution was clearly understood to be a modern event, integral to the momentum of the productive forces and the social appropriation of surplus, destined to progressively improve living conditions for all. This project was trapped in the dramatic experience of socialism in one single country in the periphery of the world capitalist system; the profound contradictions of this experience decimated the construction of a socialist project, producing state, bureaucratic and economic perversions. The Eastern European socialist states finally crumbled without being able to expand the revolution on a global scale. The question that remains to be answered is: why did these states fall and why were these experiences discarded? We will not conduct an evaluation here of the hypotheses to this question, which were generally weak and circumvented the culpability of the leaders, specifically, of the Communist party. The problem is much more complex than trying to resolve it with discussions of strategy or tactics, in the best case scenario, or with discussions about corruption, in the worst case scenario. The problem has to do with lacking a comprehensive understanding of the capitalist world system with its cycles, its expansions, its forms of accumulation and structural changes. It is to safe to say this evidences a tremendous weakness in the traditional left. The crucial questions were never asked, and appropriate responses were never explored. The downfall of the socialist States was interpreted as circumstantial events in the inevitable course of the historical laws, which were supposed to eventually spell the defeat of capitalism and the triumph of socialism, assuming historical progression inscribed in the essence of social evolution. The traditional left adhered to stereotypes, restrictive capitalist schemes, and reduced utilitarian models. It neglected to contrast its abbreviated interpretations with the real and effective context, cyclical processes, circumstances, periodic and concrete forms of capitalism, needless to say took on the task of reflecting over political defeats. In this respect, we can ascertain a calamitous separation between political leadership of the leftist parties and theoretical studies on capitalism, as well as disturbing departure from Marxist studies. We are not only referring to different languages of interpretation, but to different conceptions altogether. The Marxism of parties became stagnant in the positivist episteme of the 19th century, giving rise to a liberal interpretation of Marxism, moreover, paradoxical which only seems like Marxism. This is the only explanation for falling into an ingenuous economic determinism and thus into an innocent historical figure, constructed according to an assumed Darwinian evolutionism. In terms of understanding the state question and its comprehension of the State, the scope of improvised interpretations correspond to the same limitations imposed by bourgeois State theories, and at best, to a non-critical adhesion to political science in respect to institutional analysis. In relation to this topic, one cannot clearly discern the development of a State Marxist theory. Instead, its absence becomes apparent. Academia and Marxist theoreticians sought to reassess the state question from the standpoint of problems of hegemony, of specific accounts of class struggle, and historical studies of states, including a sociology of contemporary states. Rather than intellectual works elucidating the state question, one sees apologies for the State and an obsessive legitimization of the machinery of domination, stemming from the heritage of political philosophy and political science. Political philosophy desperately sought to neutralize the political, i.e. the class struggle, in much the same way that political science assumed the task of normalizing relations, institutionalizing political processes, enacting policies to conserve order. Transcending the neutralizing limitations of political philosophy and policy-making in political science broke the boundaries of political and juridical theories and aims to expand the horizons historical political theories. This is done from the standpoint of signifying the problematic of power and relations of domination. Given these impoverishing determinants of the analysis, circumscribed with justification for the State and legitimization of power, one can understand the anachronism entrenched in the colonial left; a general consensus on proletarian dictatorship was maintained on the part of the “radical” left parties, and reformist left parties were content with proposing adaptations and applications of the State from the perspective of deferred transitions.
In any case, even today, the persistence of these anachronisms in political behavior, ideological expressions, and extemporaneous world views corresponding to the epistemological sediments of the Enlightenment and of the 19th-century is shocking. We speak of a positivist conception of science, similar to a religious archetype, a representation of science in terms of an indisputable reality, interpreted as absolute objectivity, which is intended for the discovery of the laws of nature, history and society. One can see in these anachronisms the essence of academic stagnation in the Ivory Tower. Many activists in this left appear to be more like the evangelical preachers pathetically prophesying the apocalypse in their revolutionary metaphors than actors in liberating social transformation. It is safe to say that at the heart of these activists’ agenda lie the hidden vestiges of Christianity. They are far closer to sacrifice and redemption than to radical transformation of the power structures and mental dependencies. In a country like ours, Bolivia, the profound nuances of the problematic concerning power, domination, and the given capitalist condition remain fundamentally elusive. It is very difficult to outline an adequate theory which accounts for colonialism and the continuing state of being colonized; in its simplest form racial domination does not exist, or it is reduced to a violent form of class struggle or an invention of the Indianists. In some cases, inventory is taken of classifying studies of peoples, languages and cultures; nonetheless, these studies fall short of mapping the phenomenon of domination over bodies, territories, and subjectivities. Instead, these studies go to the extreme of reducing the complex persistence of indigenous and aboriginal societies, cultures, nations and peoples to their condition as land workers. Such reductionist stereotypes force a dependency between land worker liberation to the leadership of an industrial worker vanguard, mechanically repeating the thesis of the industrial and agricultural worker alliance developed in the context of the Russian revolution during the first decades of the 20th century. These approaches are then converted into guidelines for the political strategy in confronting conflictive situation of the Bolivian process. In the heads of the traditional left, none of this would have happened since the approval of the Pulacayo Thesis (1946); all history would have been detained in the reiterative events of militant memory. The experience of the 1952 Revolution and its dramatic outcomes serve only to confirm the jurisprudence of the party program. Scholarly interpretation is vindicated: nationalism will not liberate the workers or the nation; only the proletarian miner can do the job. The question is never asked as to why they did not intercede in the discourse concerning the events or why they did not rupture history, why they did not succeed in completing the revolution. Instead, they resorted to the cliché of the lack of comprehension by the masses. The characterization acquires a jocular tonality when those same arguments return to haunt us in other points in time, when the Popular Assembly was defeated, when the UDP prematurely collapsed, when the neoliberal project came on to the scene, taking advantage of the political and ideological vacuum left by the defeat of the workers’ movement. This behavior assumed a pathetic tone when it repeats in discourse and departs from the conditions at hand, repeating the script in a pathological and almost knee-jerk, monotonous and mechanical manner, whenever confronted with the root causes of a process in motion, detached from social movements, aboriginal or indigenous nations and peoples, where these events were irrelevant and in fact, completely foreign. Debating the process in terms of its own contradictions, dangerous to be sure, is believed to be key to becoming the vanguard of the betrayed revolution. It is believed to be obtainable by revisiting the stereotyped image of a class struggle reduced to a confrontation between abstract phantoms of industrial workers and specters of a bourgeoisie equally fictitious, incapable of conceiving a specific manifestation of struggle articulated in that of the nomadic proletariat, confronting monopolistic mechanisms in the form of transnational capitalism, mediated by intermediary bourgeoisies and dependent political institutions. In this situation of political delirium, stifled by the extemporaneousness of an unknown revolution, we cannot expect a traditional left to understand the intimate link between colonial domination and capitalist exploitation. Neither can they be expected to understand that indigenous and aboriginal peoples and nations cannot be reduced to land workers, and the fight for land and agrarian reform are tied to the struggle for territories; that confronting the State that they conceive in terms of a bourgeois state cannot be resolved in maintaining a State-nation under proletarian hegemony. For this reason, the perplexity and incomprehension on the part of the traditional left concerning the construction of a decolonizing, plurinational, communitarian State is understandable. It cannot be otherwise, as this left has inherited the ideological assumptions of colonialism and modernity.
To be fair, the crystallized anachronisms of the traditional left are not the only forms of counter-process; there are perhaps other types of counter-process that are more dangerous, owing to their political incidence. In any case, even today, the colonial left only informs political outcomes in so far that their apocalyptic cries, heart-wrenching prophesies, and flyers outlining an incomprehensible revolution are taken seriously. By order of importance, we can affirm that the most significant counter-processes are state inertia, pragmatism, and the political realism of governments adhering to old norms and practices, painstaking regulatory administration, a nationalistic self-definition coupled with maintaining a nation-state and replicating state capitalist ventures, and the imagery of an industrial worker revolution, mimicking the populist strategies and Latin American nationalisms of the 1950’s and ‘60’s. This meandering has led the traditional left into a cul-de-sac into the cogs of the fabulous state machinery, which sparks a replication of the social order and balance imposed by the geopolitics dominant in the current cycle of capitalism in the context of the crisis denoted as US-American hegemony; this left wanders lost in the directives of determinants set by corporate transnational, financial, technological and market monopolies; this manner of spiraling in the labyrinth of state machinery has led the left into the illusory trap of maintaining a monetarist economy and perversely emitting a neoliberal decree, as exhibited by the famous case of the gasolinazo, or the “big gasoline hit.” The dominant nationalist bloc in the government has become the biggest obstacle to decolonization and constructing of a plurinational, communiarian and autonomous State. This bloc likewise poses the largest threat for the emancipation of indigenous and aboriginal nations and peoples, for the liberation of intercultural societies, as well as for the emancipation of the nomadic, pluralistic, and diverse proletariat which is articulated on the margins of capitalism, which combines savage exploitation with ultra-modern capitalist exploitation by transnational corporations. The nationalist bloc in the government has inserted itself into games it does not control, games whose rules are already given and imposed by the structures inherent in the current capitalist cycle. They believed that they could control the rules of the game by assuming they were enlightened and relying on their prestige; however, these personal attributes were useless before the determinant movement of the capitalist logic and geopolitical interests, meaning not only regional interests, but global capitalist interests in general. For instance, industrialist strategy and the way of infrastructure are none other than submission to the giddy development of the emerging power of Brazil. PETROBAS, Brazilian companies that manufacture power and the macro-hydro-electrical plants of the future, trade agreements, political and economic treaties, are a part of the regulations, mechanisms and tools of innocent subjugation to the demand for energy and the connection of the Pacific with the emerging power. Romantic projects of integration and the ideal of constructing one great country and have been relegated to the museum of utopias. What is happening here is a regional hegemonic project drafted by the Brazilian bourgeoisie, not just one that threatens emancipatory decolonization projects of social movement in Bolivia, but in Brazil as well, squelching the push for agrarian reform and other egalitarian projects on the part of exploited classes. The nationalist bloc in the government has become another cog in the machinery driving the geopolitical domination of finance capitalism and regional hegemony. Indeed, all of this happened without much coincidence to what occurred, where leaders were confident in their enlightenment and prestige, forgetting that these strategic issues ought to be handled transparently and openly, in discussion with the people, movements, organizations, and institutions in a popular government which was originally assembled by grassroots movements. Decisions made regarding strategic policies must be constituted by collective and participatory elements as established in the Constitution. The enlightened specialists are incompetent in responding to tasks which compete with their expertise, at least in terms of processes of emancipation, liberation, and decolonization. For the purposes of depreciating participatory democracy, the nationalist bloc has revived personal defects entrenched at the core, reproducing pathological and hallucinatory paranoia regarding all forms of government entrenched in political practice, and all the associated corrosion and despotic perversions. After wandering in this labyrinth, one ends up in unfathomable isolation, unable to explain what came of instrumental political project, leaving behind the memory and possibility of directly exercising democracy by communitarian representation.
This off-course tack of the government requires serious reflection and analysis, because there is a need to redirect the process in order to realize its potential and possibility, in mobilizations accompanied by fundamental policy and institutional shifts; and economic, structural, political, social and cultural reversals. This does not in any way imply trying to find out whose fault it is in the manner of the 19th-century monks searching for their inconclusive revolution, the same approach that was also taken by the Inquisitors. It simply means redirecting the process from the standpoint of its protagonists, the social movements, the indigenous nations and peoples, as well as the nomadic proletariat. It also involves understanding the field of relationships, structures and agencies of power, its restorative logic, the shape bodies and subjectivities take on, transforming those that bear responsibility, for whom the question is about resisting and freeing themselves from the polymorphous forms of domination, pushing for multitude-oriented and participatory forms of government, inventing pathways to open spaces by way of liberating, collective, communitarian and individual subjectivities. This process is not lost, as some may believe and predict, as long as the collective subject of mobilizations intervenes, popular and proletarian movements intercede, and the radical process of dismantling the immense machinery of domination and administration of capital, which is the State, and the building of free associations between producers and communities begins. The priority in this case is the fomentation of the collective political will and its political intervention. This means social movements regaining the political leadership in this process. In terms of evaluating and analyzing this critical juncture, it should not be forgotten that any revolutionary and transformative process undergoes these conflictive and contradictory situations, and that these changes in course reflect the same disjunctions that exist in any change process as it continues to radicalize, or stagnate, opening the floodgates to restorative forms of power and State. Whenever a change process encounters these decisive moments in outcome, it is crucial to correct the regulatory framework of political power, orientation, and leadership.
One can say that processes and revolutions have experienced moments like this, but also, one can affirm that in the majority of cases, if not overall as a general rule, the direction of the process or revolution was lost without the ability to change the course of events. The Communist Party in the Soviet Union was entangled in an internal battle that resulted in a frightening wager for the staggering weight of an absolute bureaucracy, militarized industrialization, and a dictatorship in the name of the party, carrying with it the leftovers of the despotic rule typical of Asiatic production. The Communist Party of the People’s Republic of China sensed impending collapse of the proletarian and agrarian revolution, so it called for a general mobilization that sought to return the decision-making power to the masses. This reorientation was known as the Cultural Revolution. However, this heroic intent was stalled by multiple forces of resistance and petty bureaucrats in the party, the same elements which brought the Cultural Revolution to its capitalist outcome, reinserting the existing capitalist cycle and finance capital regime into the administrative mechanisms of the party bureaucracy. It is ironic that the Communist Party in the People’s Republic of China called this project revolutionary market socialism. The Bolivian national revolution of 1952, led by proletarian miners, factory workers, impoverished middle classes, with intervention from the indigenous movements in land occupations, was quickly co-opted by restorative measures, when it remobilized the army and opted for a liberal nationalism, gradually distancing itself from the decisive factor of workers’ organizations, excluding workers’ and agrarian militias, and rapidly turning to the US Department of State to make a deal; resorting to drafting monetarist policies and allowing US American engineers to manage the COMIBOL administration. The MNR handed over its petroleum to Gulf Oil and claimed it was defending the mines for the State, but in fact permanently deferred the installation of foundries, condemning the country to the starkest form of extractivism, namely, the export of its raw materials. Bolivia then opened its markets to the Orient in its Plan Bohan, while gearing its economic process toward the formation of a national bourgeoisie. The MNR ended up divided into three tendencies, a right-wing, a left-wing, and centrist. In this context of decomposition into national revolutionary decadence, the second government under the Paz Estensoro Administration ended in a confrontation with armed miners’ militias in Sora Sora and surrounded in November of 1964 by a State coup instigated by the Pentagon and CIA, with the active participation and cooperation by left parties PRIN, PC and other political forces. We will not refer to the Cuban revolution here, as this process has continued despite its avatars, contingencies, an economic blockade, and systematic sabotage on the part of the United States. Perhaps it would be prudent in another context to concentrate on the tensions and contradiction inherent in the Cuban revolutionary process, above all, on the ways and methods of solving the successive problems the revolutionaries have had to confront. Neither will we delve into the case of the Mexican revolution, which began to unravel within the second decade of the 20th century and perhaps lasted until 1940. The complications encountered in Mexico’s revolutionary process, whose first goal was agrarian reform, from the standpoint of the Zapatista army, notwithstanding the importance of other objectives associated with political reform, forced the underlying structures of the Mexican revolution to be analyzed within their own specificity and temporality. Nevertheless, it is apparent that the most advanced tendencies of the revolution were in the armies under the command Francisco Villa and Emiliano Zapata. The other caudillos and generals were much more of the institutional persuasion, including some belonging to the constitutionalist tendency. The Mexican revolutionary process was affected by US military intervention, such as the taking of Veracruz in 1914, as well as in the persecution of Francisco Villa in 1916. The Mexican revolution can be described as appearing to lack any point of inflection, when in fact, the entire course of its revolution constituted a line of inflection. For this reason, it is imperative to study these problems of contradiction inherent in such processes, their tendencies, the correlations of political power, and decisive moments, differentiating and distinguishing these fluxes. In this brief summary, two extreme cases are discernible: one is the link to the Mexican revolution, which is evidenced by the persistence of a permanent crisis, hence the constant clash between competing forces; the other is the Cuban revolution which is seeking the unification of forces against the permanent aggression of imperialism, hence the decision to continue the revolution down the path of defense. We also see clearly in other cases the points of inflection leading to divergence in course, whose outcome threatens to shatter revolutionary processes.
In describing the forms of counter-process, we absolutely cannot forget that obviously counter-revolutionary factors, such as the interventions of regional oligarchies, the intermediary bourgeoisie, their communication media, and political parties. Neither can we neglect to mention interventions of imperialism, transnational corporations, and finance capital. Without resorting to conspiracy theories, we can see that these power structures are positioned in geopolitical space in such a way as to effectively be poised to move against transformative processes. They oppose, place obstacles to, and generally attempt to destroy transformative processes. Nevertheless, one must take into account that these types of counter-processes become part of the political structures, workflows, institutional mechanisms, and agencies of power before the process even begins. These counter-processes were historically established as a remnant of post-colonial society and during the period of Republican rule in the margins of the capitalist world system in the so-called Charcas Audience that gave rise to what is now Bolivia. Therefore, more than counter-processes, it involves consolidated political and economic policies, all the more possessing structures and networks of geopolitics and imperial domination, with the cycles, ebbs, and flows of the magnified accumulation of capital. Overcoming historical obstacles that stall the transformative process or transformations in the process implies strategies and tactics, methods, which are different to those which seek to struggle against previously identified counter-processes having a shorter time span relative to the length of the process and to successive situations, have had to experience the same process from its beginnings to its changes.
One is tempted to use words rather than concepts; for instance, to distinguish main enemy from main contradiction, main enemy in the historical period at hand, to main contradiction in the context of a given circumstance. For instance, it is important to understand that the main enemy is the strategic positioning characterized by imperial geopolitics, the geography of capital, the ebbs and flows of capital, the networks of finance capital, the organization of transnational corporations, the mediation of intermediary bourgeoisies, localization of regional oligarchies, political apparatuses of intermediary bourgeoisie and regional oligarchies, and corporate communication media. In addition, one needs to be able to distinguish this main enemy, which entails a structural contradiction, from a secondary enemy, which entails contradictions that are not necessarily structural, but can be temporal or circumstantial. Nevertheless, such contradictions can become a main contradiction in a certain moment, so without allowing this contradiction to be resolved, the structural contradiction will not be able to be resolved with the main enemy. In the ever changing landscape of contradictions, the same will play the same dynamic role of articulations, determinants, and regulatory frameworks; some contradictions become representative of other contradictions. The positioning of the map requires the resolution of some contradictions in order to be able to resolve others. For instance, the positioning of the main enemy cannot be resolved unless the contradiction with the national-liberal bloc in the government is resolved. For the contradiction with the sedimentary machinery of the nation-State to be resolved, the entire contradiction with the system of normative, administrative, and practical mechanisms of the old State must be resolved. As much as the nationalist-liberal bloc dominates the political scenario, the national-State is restorative, maintaining liberal norms with their administrative and practical forms. The resolution of contradictions with the main enemy when confronted with it cannot be affected unless the main enemy is waning, mediated, sabotaged by nationalist demagogy. Policy-making is converted into a theater on stage, whose objective is mainly electoral politics, and the diatribe against capitalism, imperialism, and the bourgeoisie is no more than a demagogy, in effect, sealing its pact with instruments of empire and capitalism.
This kind of explanation seems adequate to describe the scenario, relating to the reading material we acquired on situation and process, indispensable to mobilizing political forces to redirect the process, but nevertheless assuming a spontaneous utilization of terminology such as main enemy, main or secondary contradiction, terms which originated when politics were defined as war and was one of the discourses pertaining to dialectics. If one uses these terms in this way, the theoretical consequences can be incontrollable. Therefore, it is essential when rigorously naming and mapping counter-processes.
It is not a matter of getting rid of the thesis which interprets politics in terms of war in the watermark of peace, as Michel Foucault inserted into Carl von Clausewitz’s thesis, but to begin to see the implications of this thesis, above all, in the usage of terms like enemy or the understanding that politics is an invention of the enemy. Is it still possible to think this way? Has not the idea of war itself changed? Nowadays, war is not an event to be understood in degrees of intensity, or a curve of intensities. For instance, does the strategy of low intensity warfare with the purpose of containing and controlling an undefined enemy take into account shifts in the conception of war and thus in respect to the topic in this paper does not take into account political shifts? It does not. War is a control of spaces, not just of territories on the ground but of aerial, maritime, informational, communication, and natural resource spaces as well. War understood not as perpetual war but of unrestricted war, which in itself entails a new conception of weaponry. The entire spectrum of shift in the concept of war, at the least, is a factor in determining political shifts. If the new conception of war propagates the figure of an enemy dispersed into an ambiguous figure of an undetermined enemy within the context of an infinite war, can we continue to speak of an enemy in politics? Alain Badiou says that in respect to the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the bourgeoisie is not the enemy, but the bourgeois world itself and its instruments of domination. He concretely says:
The true contrary of the proletariat is not the bourgeoisie. It is the bourgeois world, imperialist society, of which the proletariat, let this be the antagonistic political pole. The famous contradicton of bourgeoisie/proletariat is a limited, structural scheme that loses track of the torsion of the Whole of which the proletariat qua subject traces the force. To say proletariat and bourgeoisie is to remain within the bounds of the Hegelian artifice: something and something else. Why? Because the project of the proletariat, its internal being, is not to contradict the bourgeoisie, or to cut its feet from under it. This project is communism, and nothing else. That is, the abolition of any place n which something like a proletariat can be installed. The political project of the proletariat is the disappearance of the space of the placement of classes. It is the loss, for the historical something, of every index of class.
The opposition is thus against the class shift, in the context of the social relationships of production which create a disassociation between the means of production and the work force, which is expressed in a structural contradiction between productive forces and relationships of production. From our perspective, we can say that the opposition is with the scope of relationships, structures, plans, networks, institutions, and agencies of power which separate bodies of instruments and technologies that affect them, converting it into a ductile material of power, malleable and moldable, which meet the requirements of demarcation, punishment, discipline, normalization, and control. In both cases, we are referring to spaces, maps, and shifts. But who is opposed to this space occupied by classes? For Badiou, it is not the proletarian who is the notorious element of imperialist society as a productive force and antagonist political pole. The oppositional force to this space of classes is in fact the political project, or communism. What stands in opposition to the space occupied by relationships, structures, planning, institutions, and agencies of power? It is certainly not a political project but an immanent force, a boundless energy coming from bodies, flows of desire, lines of escape. In any case, a nomadic project. This will not be handled here, in this moment of comparing and contrasting between both postulates, the political project of communism and the nomadic project, but what is discussed here is the comprehension of the opposition, the contradiction, the enemy, which are specifically understood to be shifts, and thus analyzed in terms of their shifts. This comprehension lends a distinct tone to politics; politics understood as a confrontation between class and power shifts, politics understood as a confrontation between relationships of production and structures of domination. Politics as a radical questioning of the scope of these social relationships and de facto, consolidated, legitimized, hegemonic, and dominant power structures. Politics which suspend the realm of relationships of domination.
In respect to dialectics, the problem is more complicated and the discussion is of a theoretical order. We will still not embark on a discussion of pluralistic thought and dialectical thought. This debate is undoubtedly indispensable. But for the moment, we will concentrate on the limitations of the dialectic and the problems it poses.
The dialectic is one of the forms of thought. In addition, there are various interpretations of the dialectic, or dialectics. One of the most common is known as the dialectic of Plato (428 B.C. – 347 B.C.). Much later, identifying the multiple layers of modern philosophical thought, we can interpret the transcendental dialect of Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804), as a critical response, as the criticism of criticism, seeking an absolute knowledge, we were acquainted with the dialectical system of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 – 1831). Perhaps this wold be the most important reference point of dialectical thought. Nonetheless, Karl Heinrich Marx (1818 – 1883) took on a criticism of Hegel’s speculative dialectic and reoriented dialectical thought toward material conditions, effective history, society, politics, and economics, a reorientation of thought which came to be known as material dialectics, in respect to method, historical materialism, interpretation of history and society, and above all, the mode of capitalist production. How did this dialectic differ from Hegel? Generally, it would be necessary to take into account how Marx criticized Hegelian dialectic and philosophy throughout the entire course of his works, from his youth to maturity. Various interpretations of Marxist currents of material dialectics and historical materialism developed later, some cases where fundamental differences to Hegel were highlighted. Particularly striking was the interpretation by Louis Althusser (1918 -1990), who postulated that Marx missed the opportunity to formulate a pluralistic dialectic. In addition, waves of innovation in thought proceeded, for instance, in the case of Theodor Adorno, who wrote Negative Dialectics, attempting to break with the tradition which, according to him, ended in the affirmative. Hegelian approximations also followed, such as the rare case exhibited by the interpretation of Alain Badiou (1978). For our purposes, we are interested in sketching a profile of dialectic shifts, highlighting their avatars, their problems, and limitations, in the context of shifts in other forms of thought. Above all, the recent shifts and particularly, those which are associated with theories on complexity and pluralistic thought. We are certainly far from considering dialectics as the only form of true thought, the one and only way to become acquainted with the essence of reality or, as the positivists who think they are Marxists like to discuss, singularly give the only accurate account of history, society or nature. This is no more than dogmatic fallacy, or fanaticism in the worst case, akin to the medieval search for the philosopher’s stone. The stone does not exist, neither does one true reality, except for in the delirious heads of dogmatists. There has never been any kind of thought which has coincided with the secrets of reality’s complexity. This belief is reflected as much in the concept of the end of history as it is in absolute knowledge, where the consciousness is fully realized as absolute knowledge and the absolute recognition of this idea of consciousness in its own motion. This speculative experience is none other than a theology, the return of God an religion to philosophy and modern science. The marvel of human capacity can be found elsewhere, not in theoretical or speculative reductionism, rather in the entire breadth of possibilities open to creating distinct forms of thought, of knowledge, by way of revealing the secrets of complexity which reflect the progression, accumulation and map of our experiences. Dialectics are no more than such approximations, and certainly limited by the horizons of their time, the 19th and part of the 20th centuries. The advance of contemporary science, since the revolution of quantum physics, knowledge, and experience, has transcended the confines and problems of dialectics. We find ourselves before the development of a complex school of thought on multiplicity, at the creative and vital cusp of pluralistic thought.
In summarized accounts, the dialectic, the Greek διαλεκτική (dialektiké), τέχνη (téchne), which means the technique of conversation, has an equivalent significance in Latin, where it is defined as dialectical art, (ars). In modernity, the dialectic has been transformed into transcendental criticism, an experiential phenomenon derived from the consciousness, as well as into logic, philosophy and a critique of political economy, a theoretical tool for interpreting history and society, a weapon of criticism, and a critique of the weapons used in the political struggle of the proletariat.
So now what does the dialectic have to say about contradictions? Let us take four responses: those of Hegel, Marx, Mao Zedong, and ending with the response of Alain Badiou.
The dialectic of Hegel
Here, we will analyze in Hegel two works, one is the Phenomenology of Spirit, and the other is Science of Logic. One expounds on the science of experience and the other on the science of thought, but also on the idea of motion, on bringing abstract work which passes from the undetermined to determination, from immediacy to mediation, thereby conserving One. This logic is already philosophy, certainly a dialect; it has ceased to be rhetoric or language, as well as rules for sound thinking. It is a logic which treats the formation of the idea as part of its own motion within, its own immanence in constant contraposition to its transcendence. This tension is dialect. Perhaps the most beautiful and lucid about Hegel can be found in the conception of this rupture in reality and at the same time, this re-articulating force, of One. Above all in Phemonology of Spirit, none seems to find one’s self contemplating poetry or a novel, a tragedy of the subject that constantly returns from perpetual and exhausting journeys, experiences of alienation, that are harbingers of deep reflections to come. The speculative dialect seeks to bring about the consciousness in absolute knowledge, the mediated indetermination, the beginning, the emptiness, an absolute idea. This comprises the terrain upon which the dialectic is moving. We can hardly apply and barely wish to encounter the same moments of indetermination-determination, immediacy-mediation, differentiation-unity, origination and completion in the territories, levels and spaces of reality. Would a dialectical synthesis be of the idea be possible in different compositions, related and existing in different levels of reality: historical, economic, political, cultural? Would it not be better to wait for moments of disjunction and heterogeneity? Obviously, this was not Hegel’s intention, but rather, is that of those who believe that similar attributes to the idea and to consciousness can be found in matter? These quarrels are not the responsibility of Hegel, but of those who confuse the problems, polemics and fields, as if putting everything in one plane, similar painters in the Middle Ages, without perspective. Experiential problems concerning consciousness and thought, of speculative philosophy cannot be converted to historical-political, historical-social, historical-economic, or historical-cultural problems. There are not such assumed dialectical laws that can be mechanically transferred and be converted into historical, social, or economic laws. This last folly in reasoning is the combined result of positivism and misreading Hegel and Marx.
The dialectic of Marx
Karl Marx understood very well how to proceed in his critique of Hegel’s speculative philosophy, as well as Hegel’s philosophy of the State. It was necessary to abandon the speculative system in Hegel’s dialect, the reproduction of logical, pre-formed spheres. Better said, it was necessary to find the types of real movements, how to depict effective history, and the kinds of social, economic and political contradictions. Marx attempted to reveal how these levels of reality came about, their linkages, and forms of resolution, none of which come to any type of synthesis. Simply to say Marx turned Hegel on his head or placed him upright is none other than an expression of an innocent figure. The problems that manifest themselves in Hegel’s philosophical system do not have any correlations to the interpretative, investigative or academic fields where Karl Marx devoted his studies. There is not the same symmetry as exists in Hegel; we are thus confronted with distinct problems in a differing territory. Marx is not Hegel turned on his head, or with his feet on the ground. The difference lies in an entirely different problematic field altogether. This is something to consider when we are examining Marxist dialectic.
The first thing Marx did was denounce the speculative character of Hegelian dialectic, its abstract form which took shape in a negative system which seeks to affirm the negated in another dimension. The same scheme is replicated in philosophy, in logic, and in the philosophies of law, history and nature – in every field of philosophy. For Marx, these philosophies are nothing more than theology, referring to Ludwig Feuerbach’s criticism of religion in The Essence of Christianity. This position is already articulated in his early work Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right where he writes:
Thus, the criticism of Heaven turns into the criticism of Earth, the criticism of religion into the criticism of law, and the criticism of theology into the criticism of politics.
Marx’s epistemological shift is especially notorious in the disciplines of analysis and critique, the latter of which corresponds to both the critique of political economy and to his historical and political writings. The former is an extensive work containing the analysis Value, Price and Profit, the Economic-Philosophical Manuscripts, annotations on the theory of surplus value, the Grundrisse, and compiled in Fundamental Elements for the Criticism of Political Economy, Capital. In the second case, we also have the prolific work in The misery of philosophy, Class struggle in France 1848-1850, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, The British Rule in India, Revolutionary Spain, Civil War in France, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Europe. In both cases, one notes Marx’s preoccupation with revealing the inherent logic in these levels and fields of reality without the theological pretension of finding all parts of the dialectic. Rather, one can understand the logic specific to a specific object, ascending the concrete aspect of it, and understanding the object as a synthesis of multiple determinants rather than a speculative or abstract synthesis, but as a social historical, economic historical, and effective synthesis. Above all, Marxist dialectic seeks to account for political events, avoiding obsession with finding an economic determinant, or the prioritization of analyzing the determinants of the said economic structure above those of the legal, political, ideological, or cultural system. Instead, Marxist dialectic distinguishes itself by recounting these events, revealing their temporal and momentary contradictions, and showing how they manifest in political and State crises. The varying apertures, the search for specificity, but also, the critique of political economy seeks to expose contradictions in the modes of capitalist production as well as in the forms of accumulation seem to have given Althusser his rationale on his interpretation of Marxist dialect.
The dialectic of Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, like Marx, confronted concrete problems, relative to the levels of experiential reality; maybe the problems Zedong faced are more pressing and more direct, leading him to direct the Communist Party on course for a long protracted struggle and a strategy of prolonged war, in moments of great debate. When he wrote On contradiction, Zedong describes a party tendency he called dogmatic, influenced by Soviet ideologue Deborin. The writing begins by quoting Lenin: Dialectics in the proper sense is the study of contradiction in the very essence of objects. This is cited in Lenin’s Lectures on the History of Philosophy in his notes in his lecture on Hegel’s philosophy. Mao Zedong says in this respect: Lenin often called this law the essence of dialectics; he also called it the kernel of dialectics. There are two annotations Lenin wrote. One is found in On the Question of Dialectics, where the Bolshevist theoretician wrote: The two basic (or two possible? or two historically observable?) conceptions of development (evolution) are: development as decrease and increase, as repetition, and development as a unity of opposites (the division of a unity into mutually exclusive opposites and their reciprocal relation). The second annotation can be found in Lenin’s summary in his book The Science of Logic, where he writes of Hegel: Dialectics is the teaching which shows how Opposites can be and how they happen to be (how they become) identical,—under what conditions they are identical, becoming transformed into one another,—why the human mind should grasp these opposites not as dead, rigid, but as living, conditional, mobile, becoming transformed into one another. One can see the sequence of how dialectics are interpreted: Hegel, Lenin and Mao Zedong. The main reference point here was Hegel, not Marx. This is important to note, that there is a great difference between Marx and the Marxists who followed; Marx criticizes Hegel’s philosophy and dialectic, even breaking with the Neo-Hegelians of the left, who were like the interpretative current that Marx belonged to. This critique and these ruptures consequently gave way to another method, distinct from that originally conceived by Hegel, and other logics were examined which were inherent in the levels of reality, and to the comprehension and acknowledgement of historical, social, economic, political, and cultural circumstances. What was this method called? Marx was not concerned with labeling the methodologies of his criticisms, investigations, disclosures, or conceptual constructs; they were simply what they were, critiques of philosophy, of dialectics, of Hegel’s philosophy of right, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s philosophy, as well as a critique of the political economy, a historical-political critique of events and circumstances of crisis. Speaking of classifying methodologies, for now, I take the liberty to name these investigative procedures used by Marx method of the logic of concrete acknowledgement.
In order to interpret, understand, and apply the same essence of Mao Zedong’s dialectical materialism, he proposes a program to examine these philosophical problems: The problems are: the two world outlooks, the universality of contradiction, the particularity of contradiction, the principal contradiction and the principal aspect of a contradiction, the identity and struggle of the aspects of a contradiction, and the place of antagonism in contradiction .
The first part of the text On contradiction, which is referred to in the section The two world outlooks, is not sustainable at all. No more of a reductivist interpreation of philosophical history is possible, which paints a caricature of history in black and white, or better yet, projects an image of history as one between angels and devils, the dialect against metaphysics, the dialectical materialism against idealism, or, as Lenin put it, The two basic conceptions of development (evolution) are: development as decrease and increase, as repetition, and development as a unity of opposites . If we remain on the margines of htis contextual interpretation, historical periods and their particular characteristics expressed in philosophical tendencies and schools, their epistemological horizons, along with their connections juxtapositions, have also undergone transformation and shifts. This is remarkable, especially when the intention is to salvage Hegel’s logic and philosophy, which, we can say, deals with an idealistic philosophy and logic, to be understood in dualistic terms. This interpretation is far from methods, procedures, and treatment Marx employed, and distant from advancing a specific logic of the specific object which, in this case, will come to be a product of the logics inherent in the expository and conceptual formations of the philosophical currents and schools, their connection to historical contexts and chronologies. Overall, it offers a glimpse of how insurgent and progressive critics can question the legitimacy of the status quo, which can be both idealistic and materialist at the same time. We are far from the Theses on Feuerbach, which says:
The main defect of all hitherto-existing materialism — that of Feuerbach included — is that the Object , actuality, sensuousness, are conceived only in the form of the object , or of contemplation , but not as human sensuous activity, practice , not subjectively. Hence it happened that the active side, in opposition to materialism, was developed by idealism — but only abstractly, since, of course, idealism does not know real, sensuous activity as such. Feuerbach wants sensuous objects , differentiated from thought-objects, but he does not conceive human activity itself as objective  activity. In , he therefore regards the theoretical attitude as the only genuinely human attitude, while practice is conceived and defined only in its dirty-Jewish form of appearance . Hence he does not grasp the significance of ‘revolutionary’, of ‘practical-critical’, activity.
This evaluation of materialism is profound, as the source of the problem lies in the balance of the critical perspective lies between idealism and materialism, clearly showing a preference toward idealism, albeit in an abstract manner. The materialism founded by Marx consists of critical-practical revolutionary. Certainly the Chinese Communist Party is involved in revolutionary action along the lines of Marxist materialism, even though their interpretation of philosophical history is pathetically reductionist, which serves to dismantle more than create militancy. It thus becomes clearly evident that we can only uphold these arguments using exactly the dogmatic methods Mao Zedong claimed to refute.
In the section titled The universality of contradiction, Mao Zedong sustains that this universality manifests itself in the development of actuality and also that the movement of opposites presents itself in the development of actuality. He says: Objective contradictions are reflected in subjective thinking, and this process constitutes the contradictory movement of concepts, pushes forward the development of thought, and ceaselessly solves problems in man's thinking. He continues remarking: Thus it is already clear that contradiction exists universally and in all processes, whether in the simple or in the complex forms of motion, whether in objective phenomena or ideological phenomena. Criticizing Deborin, who sees that the inception of the process occurs after a defined period of time, not from the beginning, Mao Zedong is categorical: This school does not understand that each and every difference already contains contradiction and that difference itself is contradiction. From this perspective, one can speak of an absolute character of contradiction. It is like saying that contradiction is inherent in being, an ontological characteristic. This is all essentially a materialist return to Hegel.
In the section The particularity of contradiction Mao Zedong makes an incursion into what can be called the specific logic of the specific object from the perspective of contradictions, omitting for now the perspective of articulations and relational conception, to be developed later by Nicos Poulantzas. He postulates that every type of movement implicates its own contradiction. A little later, he affirmed this formulation in writing: This particular contradiction constitutes the particular essence which distinguishes one thing from another. It is the internal cause or, as it may be called, the basis for the immense variety of things in the world. There are many forms of motion in nature, mechanical motion, sound, light, heat, electricity, dissociation, combination, and so on. All these forms are interdependent, but in its essence each is different from the others. The particular essence of each form of motion is determined by its own particular contradiction. This holds true not only for nature but also for social and ideological phenomena. Every form of society, every form of ideology, has its own particular contradiction and particular essence. This is important to focus on in respect to political leadership, in defining strategies and tactics in the phases and situations of the Chinese revolution. Zedong establishes: When we speak of understanding each aspect of a contradiction, we mean understanding what specific position each aspect occupies, what concrete forms it assumes in its interdependence and in its contradiction with its opposite, and what concrete methods are employed in the struggle with its opposite, when the two are both interdependent and in contradiction, and also after the interdependence breaks down . He adds that: Lenin meant just this when he said that the most essential thing in Marxism, the living soul of Marxism, is the concrete analysis of concrete conditions.
Another annotation about the transformation of contradictions in historical temporality of the highly discretionary process: The fundamental contradiction in the process of development of a thing and the essence of the process determined by this fundamental contradiction will not disappear until the process is completed; but in a lengthy process the conditions usually differ at each stage. The reason is that, although the nature of the fundamental contradiction in the process of development of a thing and the essence of the process remain unchanged, the fundamental contradiction becomes more and more intensified as it passes from one stage to another in the lengthy process. In addition, among the numerous major and minor contradictions which are determined or influenced by the fundamental contradiction, some become intensified, some are temporarily or partially resolved or mitigated, and some new ones emerge; hence the process is marked by stages. If people do not pay attention to the stages in the process of development of a thing, they cannot deal with its contradictions properly. This map of contradictions, this reading of change in the map of contradiction is a political lesson. It is not the same as prioritizing one situation over another, one phase distinct from another, or intervening in one moment of the event or another. This political sensibility demands an experiential sensibility in relation to the interpretation of its make-up, structures, and transformations. In reading Zedong’s On Contradiction, we arrive at a number of questions surrounding the universality and particularity of contradiction, as well as the relationship between the main contradiction and its principal aspect, about identity and the struggle around various aspects of the contradiction and the role of antagonism in the contradiction.
The dialectic according to Alain Badiou
Alain Badiou was a disciple of Louis Althusser and was active in Marxist organizations with a Maoist orientation. Between 1972 and 1978, he was part of the Group for the Foundation of the Union of Communists of France Marxist-Leninist (UCFML). During this period, he was taking a course at the University of Vincennes where he released erudite reflections on the dialectic and theory of the subject. The book Theory of the Subject is a compilation of these interpretations, which we will discuss in the following.
We will begin with two concepts which are used throughout Theory of the Subject, esplace and horlieu, combinations and compositions found in the French language. The first passages in the editor’s tote in the section titled Image are defined in the following manner:
Esplace (‘splace#): This is a neologism or portemanteau word based on a contraction of espace de placement, ‘space of placement’. It can be understood as a near-synonym for ‘structure’ or even ‘symbolic order’, even though tehre is no strict parallelism with either Althusser or Lacan. That which Badiou calls ‘state of a situation’ in Being and Event and ‘world’ in Logics of Worlds also roughly corresponds to ‘splace’ in Theory o fthe Subject. The dialectical counterpart to the ‘splace’ is the ‘outplace’, just as ‘place’ in general functions in a dialectical opposition with ‘force’ starting as early as in Badiou’s Theory of the Contradiction.
The interpretation of the dialectic carried out by Badiou plays with two concepts, esplace and horlieu, which, for the purposes of the English translation while maintaining the composition and combination reflected in the original, can be understood as splace and outplace. We can say that the dialect exists between a placement, or edification, an exteriorization of force, a displacement, a deconstruction, an internalization of force. Using the terminology of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, not wholly unfamiliar to the significations known by Badiou, we can interpret this sense of the dialect as a play of capturing force and the force of the vanishing line. The difference rests in Badiou’s definition of force in its transformative aspect, which lives both experiences, one of estrangement, one of derailing, one of externalization, and one of internalization, one of return, one of meditation, and coinciding with the Hegelian conception of phenomenology and logic. In turn, Deleuze and Guattari speak of forces in the plural, dichotomies, qualitatively distinct, coinciding with his pluralistic and nomadic conception. Certainly, it does not concern approximating Badiou’s interpretation to Deleuze’s and Guattari’s nomadic and pluralistic theory, and could not. This becomes clear when we turn to Badiou’s critique of pluralistic conceptions; he postulates that pluralism is nothing other than an apparition, since the position of myriads comes to an assumption that One is Substance, excluding Two. ¡Go to Badiou’s interpretation of multiplicity! Multiplicity can only be conceived with One as a point of departure, and plurality can only be conceived excluding Two, meaning, the dialectic. The basis of this line of thought can be found in Two, which permits us to conceive of One, the unification of opposites, of difference; it follows that it is based in distinction of One and The Whole. In this respect, we may note that One and The Whole are part of monotheistic religious traditions, which subject the scriptures to the State. It is a political and religious project, expressed in the domination of bodies, souls, and territories. Polytheism is left behind and marginalized, immanent relationships with forces, akin to pluralistic thought. The problem is that dialectics do not permit One but require a Two, i.e. a contradiction, but barring anything beyond Two. This is the dialectic and inherent contradiction in Dualities. They are incapable of conceiving complexity, heterogeneity, the multiplicity of different forces that are qualitatively distinct. However, let us return to the matter at hand, which involves illuminating the underlying significances of the interpretation of Badiou’s dialectic. It is interesting to see the images found in capturing and vanishing line; capturing, in light of the concept of splace, vanishing lines, in reference to the concept of outplace. In addition, it is unsettling how the concept of force is used, even though the same is circumscribed to the Hegelian idea of beginning. We can say that according to the interpretation of Badiou, the force is the subject. Nevertheless, it would be prudent to return to Hegel and read this passage in Phenomology of the Spirit on the concept of force.
Again, Hegel’s philosophical clarity; speaks of how understanding, which sustains thought, transpires. This is a treatment of the experience of conscience. The dialectic exists in the tension between immanence and transcendence, between internalization and exteriorization. This tension is experienced by the subject. I am left with the title of Badiou’s work, understanding the as a Theory of the Subject. It is not possible to apply the experience of the subject to other events, eliminating their own quality of being, autonomy, and radical distinction from our intimacies, as if these events were subjects like us. This is a subject-driven reductionism, centers which materialism has supposedly broken. We do not claim to be God, nor to dominate the universe or the world, make all things obey us, believe that we can know everything, intersecting everything with our viewpoint, our experience, our thought, reducing the marvelous plurality and difference to a hedonistic experience of a subject with the desire to dominate, that is, all humans. This is the deepest expression of the egotism and vanity of modernity. Materialism gives way to enjoyment, bounty, and the perplexity and diversity of multiplicity. It is not a renunciation of wisdom or knowledge, nor a negation of comprehension, but simply does away with pretension, forming a part of the creative and communicative excesses of life, referring to the plethora of flows and new beginnings (cyclical and coinciding). It is similar to the stroke of a given, as Badiou reflects on the poetry of Mallarme.
Badiou analyzes three dialectical forms and interpretations, including, three separate dialectic systems: Hegelian dialectic, structural dialectic, and Mallerme’s poetic dialectic. This does not mean that any of these three forms are lacking tradition, continuity and coincidence; on the contrary, they are replete with a form of thought, the dialectic. In the chapter Action, where the subject dwells, the author suggests a structural synthesis in dialectical sequence; this sequence departs from the contradiction between splace and outplace, between space of place and placement within the outskirts of place, between spatial edification and the subject. Continuing the scission: to this respect, he says that the contradiction manifest itself solely in the expression of a scission. The strict determination of a limitation or boundary follows. This determination is linked with the conditions affixed to placement, the determination of the relationship by its setting. The strict determination is related to a return to the right, which can be termed fetishism of statism. Here is where the limitation starts and the point a boundary is reached, where it takes a turn to the left. The limitation is produced by a new crisis, or better said, a reinforced return to the force of place, leading to an subjective departure, a subjectifying the crisis. One must take into account that these are abstract figures that correspond to distinct scenarios and outcome. For instance, Badiou gives an example of the swing to the right by referring to economic objectivism of Liu Shao Shi, and exemplifies the return to the left by referring to what Lin Piao terms ideological fanaticism.
We are left with the impression that the dialectical interpretation remains within the confines of the possibilities within the speculative dialectical forces found in Hegel. The interpretation ends with a return to a reductionist and deterministic scheme. The grave consequences of this “schematicism” appear when “transfers” occur on the political plane, when we seek a verification of the dialectic in events having occurred and read as history. Reductionism appears like a caricature, subjects, actors, and protagonists like marionettes strung by invisible dialectical laws. This theoretical treatise ends up limiting “reality” to the confines of existing as a shadow of logical and profound – but disembodied – movements. The theory results in putting on glasses that blur the complex and pluralistic dynamic of forces. It is impossible for Liu Shao Shi and Lin Piao to understand themselves as momentary caricatures of the dialectic. They form a part of the historical context and of circumstances in the map of mutually impeding forces, outlining the tensions and inherent tendencies that the Chinese Communist Party found itself in, like a ship in the middle of a storm. The Cultural Revolution was an attempt to transfer the dominant revolutionary leadership to the reconsolidated forces in the councils and youth manifestations, rescuing it from the hands of institutionalized bureaucrats in the party structure. This internal struggle ends up being won by the bureaucrats, who toss out the bearers of the Cultural Revolution, and lead the Cultural Revolution into a dead-end by allowing the bureaucrats to turn the Chinese revolutionary process into a market socialism, which is, in plain terms, naked capitalism in the full decadent cycle of North American capitalist domination
There is another even more calamitous example of these schematic applications of dialectical interpretation. When Alain Badiou describes the development of the party as a constant purging, making an unmistakable apology for the Stalinistic practice of party purges. These were procedures which led to imposing a frightening dictatorship. There is a certain innocence in theorizing which reduces the complexity of the power games to, constellations, tensions and confrontations, in warring political camps, to caricatures alluding to a dialectical logic.
Returning to the case of the Bolivian process in question, we see that interpreting the contradiction in its dialectical sense, above all, suggestive of the method Mao Zedong did this, is illustrative, even descriptive, but does not succeed in leaving the vicious cycle of dialectical negativity which does nothing other than pursue new forms of logical affirmation. It is important to understand in the political process the counter-processes ha are not limited to being dialectical contradictions, cannot be interpreted as a demonstration of dialectics, but which are tendencies and crystallizing forces that resist and oppose the colossal power of the field of possibilities opened up by transformative forces, which can expressed in terms of Badiou’s figure, the forces that place positioned institutions outside of place, which form the backdrop of Deleuze’s image of forces that correspond to the vanishing lines which traverse the intersecting space of State and put it in disarray.
Translation: Rebecca Ellis
 Refer to Faundes: C. (2010). From total to unrestricted war. Thesis, Santiago de Chile: Academia Nacional de Estudios Políticos y Estratégicos. The concept of unrestricted war (超限战, literally "war fulfilling all limits "). Refer to Liang and Xiangsui: New concepts of Weapons; 1999. Also see Creveld; M.(2004): The Transformation of War, New York; Free Press.
2 Alain Badiou: Theory of the Subject, p. 7.
 Refer to Badiou: Theroy of the Subject. Continuum 2009. New York. Also see Being and Event. Continuum 2006, and Logics of Worlds, Continuum 2009, London, New York, by the same author.
 Karl Marx: A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Proofed and corrected by Andy Blunden, February 2005, and corrected by Matthew Carmody in 2009: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/critique-hpr/intro.htm, 24 September 2011.
 Mao Zedong: On Contradiction. August, 1937.
 Ibídem: Pág. 333.
 Lenin: On the question of dialectics.
 Mao Zedong: On Contradiction. August 1937.
 Alain Badiou: Theory of the Subject. Translator’s Introduction: p. xxxi.
 Ibid: p. 46.
 Stern R. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Hegel and the Phenomenology of Spirit [e-book]. Taylor & Francis Routledge; 2002. Available from: eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 10, 2011.