MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Terms




Deduction and Induction are terms denoting opposite methods of reasoning. Deduction is the method of inference which substantiates a conclusion on the basis of a number of previously established premises by means of the application of laws of logic, rather than by drawing on experience. Induction is begins from a number of given facts and arrives at the principles exhibited in these facts, opening the possibility for deducing new facts or hypotheses. However, it should be kept in mind that cognition is impossible without both deduction and induction. Neither induction nor deduction can go more than a single step without the help of the other. Criticising formal logic, which rigidly separate Deduction and Induction, Hegel asks: “Where do the laws of logic come from? And where do the premises come from?”. Deduction and induction are a unity of broadly the same nature as analysis and synthesis.

See also: Induction.



See: Revolutionary Defencism



In the section on Synthetic Cognition in the Science of Logic, Hegel makes a criticism of the formal kind of reasoning based on Definitions and Axioms, an aribtrary division of the subject matter and theorems. Here Hegel says: “Definition, in thus reducing the subject matter to its Notion, strips it of its externalities which are requisite for its concrete existence; ... Description is for representation, and takes in this further content that belongs to reality. But definition reduces this wealth of the manifold determinations of intuited existence to the simplest moments”



Deism means belief in God as a prime cause or creator of the world, after which God has no hand in its affairs. Like Pantheism, Deism is a form of belief in God which provides a basis for materialistic criticism of Religion. Deism is particularly associated with the philosophers of the Enlightenment who prepared the way for the French Revolution – Voltaire and Rousseau, most famously, Thomas Paine, and British philosophers such as Locke. Newton’s cosmology and physics lent plausibility to this idea.


Democratic Centralism

Democratic Centralism is organisational method applied by the Bolsheviks in making the Russian Revolution: “democracy in discussion – centralism in action,” within a strategy of building a “vanguard party.”

The concept was first elaborated by Lenin in his fight for centralism and against the “circle” mentality of Russian revolutionaries prior to the formation of the R.S.D.L.P. and the Bolsheviks in 1901, but the term only came into general use around 1917.

The organizational method with which Lenin built the Bolshevik party were adapted from the past successes and failures of the working class movement to the specific conditions of pre-WWI Russia. Trade unions, for example, put leadership proposals to the vote at mass meetings and then use picket lines to enforce a majority decision. The Rules of the Communist League and the International Workingmen’s Association of Marx’s day are based on the same general principles. However, it was Lenin who coined the term, and developed the principles of a disciplined, mass, working class political party.

For a general exposition of the principles of Democratic Centralism see Trotsky: On Democratic-Centralism & The Regime and The New Course.

There are three inter-related aspects of democratic centralism: the definition of membership, proletarian (or participatory) democracy and unity in action.

The definition of membership: different organisations have quite different concepts of “membership”: a small group of soldiers behind enemy lines has a very strict understanding of who they are, and as a result a very tight concept of the rights and obligations of each of their members; a broad social movement, on the other hand, has only a vague concept of membership, and its members only a limited commitment. Lenin elaborated the principles of Democratic Centralism in relation to a working class Political Party operating under conditions of illegality, and consequently insisted on a very clear criterion of membership – agreement with the Party’s program and the obligation to work under the direction of one of its organisations. [See Lenin’s One Step Forward, Two Steps Back]

Clearly, the rights and obligations of members differ according to the criterion of membership. On the other hand, whether the organisation is a trade union, a social movement or a secret party cell, the rights and obligations of members, whether greater or less, must be “in balance”.

Proletarian (or participatory) democracy: the principles of proletarian democracy were given their most objective demonstration in the Paris Commune. As described by Lenin in his State and Revolution, proletarian democracy implies the widest, most democratic and most exhaustive discussion prior to any decision, and emphasises the right of people to determine their own activity, and opposes the separation of legislative and executive branches, i.e., the division of labour between administration and labour, theory and practice. Consequently, democratic centralism implies that an organisation ought to be so structured as to provide the capacity of any part of organisation to participate in determining policies relevant to their own responsibilities.

Unity in Action: Unity is a fundamental question of survival for the working class, but it is in the nature of an oppressed class, that if it is to emancipate itself, unity cannot be achieved by “orders from above”, but can only be based on agreement and commitment achieved by means of proletarian democracy, among members whose commitment to the organisation is consonant with their rights within it. When a policy has been determined by means of protracted and thoroughgoing discussion amongst those who must carry it out, then unity in action is easily achieved. However, “action” inevitably implies unforeseen obstacles and changes which require an instant and coordinated response. It is inescapable that effective coordination in action presupposes leadership which is obeyed without question. Consequently, unity in action necessarily invloves an acceptance of leadership. It is this problem which has been the source of most pain and controversy in the history of the workers’ movement. See the early chapters of Lenin’s Left Wing Communism – an Infantile Disorder.

The balance between centralism and democracy: A small group of soldiers under enemy fire would be ill-advised to subject their tactics to thoroughgoing discussion – total centralism is the best policy, with one of their number assuming the responsibility to issue instructions. On the other hand, a trade union deciding whether or not to accept the bosses’ offer or continue the strike can and must take as long as is necessary to ensure that every member of the strike is in agreement on what to do: consensus decision-making is the order of the day, and ‘leaders’ should take a back seat.

Thus, the balance between democracy and centralism must move according to circumstances.

Too much democracy in action leads to disorganisation and confusion, and usually defeat; too much centralism in discussion leads to bureaucratism, bad decisions and a loss of commmitment amongst members.


The earliest communist uprisings, in Paris in the 1830s and the Chartist Uprisings in England, were based on the spontaneous coming-together of whoever happened to be present at the time, and were rapidly suppressed by the police. Auguste Blanqui criticised this form of organisation:

“Each barricade has its particular group, more or less numerous, but always isolated. Whether it numbers ten or one hundred men, it does not maintain any communication with the other positions. Often there is not even a leader to direct the defence, and if there is, his influence is next to nil. The fighters can do whatever comes into their head.” [Auguste Blanqui, Instructions pour une prise d'armes]

Blanqui argued for a disciplined, secret, military-style of organisation.

Thereafter, Communists adopted the form of “secret societies” based on the traditional Masonic model, with members initiated with a ritual and swearing allegiance to a catechism, like the Communist League of 1847.

The First International was created by English trade unionists, who had won legal recognition for their right to organise, and it conducted its business according to the formal meeting procedures as used by the trades unions, and inherited from the late-medieval companies.

Marx insisted on retaining this commitment to open, public organisation — as declared in the Communist Manifesto: “The Communists openly declare their aims.” Membership was not individual; trades unions and small socialist of workers educational groups affiliated en masse, including members who had no agreement with the aims of the International. However, the membership of the International was continuously in flux and no-one could ever be certain who was and who was not a member. Although formally committed to the socialist program, the First International never built strong national sections, with a stable leadership, policies and branch structure. What the First International did do, however, was to bring the proletariat into being, as a class. The First International was more of a “mutual aid” group for striking workers, than a stable political organisation, let alone a party. When the Paris Commune was defeated, the First International broke up under the impact of the wave of reaction which followed.

The Second International, founded in the 1880s, continued the formal approach to organisation as used in the trade unions, but succeeded in building stable national sections; in many countries, it achieved a mass membership amongst the unionised workers, but membership was contingent on agreement to the Party’s program and rules, rather than simply affiliating via their union — something that was never the case with the First International.

Conditions in Russia were very different from that in Western Europe and America, however. Unionism and Communism were illegal and it was impossible to operate openly within Russia. Whereas in Europe, Socialist delegates were being elected to Parliament, and in some countries actually participated in government, the social-democrats in Russia were either in exile or underground. During the last two decades of the 19th century, the Russian social-democrats had existed only as so many “circles” much like the “secret societies” of Europe decades earlier. They were frequently dispersed by the police and were amateurish and in a continual state of flux.

At the 1903 Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, Lenin called for the centralisation of all the “revolutionary circles” into a political party much along the lines of the European parties, with members agreeing to a program, belonging to a branch and all using the same Party newspaper as an organisational tool. However, whereas the European parties were relatively broad, and accepted members who actually participated very little or not at all, because of the conditions of illegality, Lenin insisted on restricting membership to those actually involved in building the Party; only “professional revolutionaries”: fellow-travellers could not be voting members. This “hard line” led to a split between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, who advocated a less restrictive criterion for membership (just agreement with the program, rather than active participation) as in Europe, and generally-speaking looked forward to achieving socialism, only after a democratic revolution which would be led by the bourgeoisie and bring Russia into line with the rest of Europe.

Kautsky, leader of the German Social Democrats, held that the working class would inevitably become larger and larger, the petit-bourgeoisie would disappear, and the Social-Democrats would eventually be able to win government and legislate socialism. Lenin held that this would not happen unless the working class was actively organised and educated. Working class consciousness, he held, did not arise spontaneously but only through the educating and organising work of revolutionaries.

Lenin also clashed with Rosa Luxemburg. Luxemburg opposed Kautsky’s idea of the inevitability of revolution, holding with Lenin that the working class had to be actively prepared for power. But Luxemburg saw how in Germany, the leadership of the Social-Democratic Party had developed into a conservative bureaucracy. She was all the more opposed therefore to Lenin’s idea of a centralised political party assuming leadership of the class. This was an adaptation to conditions of illegality; all the socialist groups which had operated in Europe under illegality, were secret, and consequently, acted independently of the masses. However, what may have been appropriate for an illegal opposition party, was lethal in a party of government.

While the working class made up only a small portion of the population of Russia, Lenin was alone however, at that time, in dealing with the fact that the organised working class was, and would remain, a minority in society; the Russian peasantry had no commitment to socialism. At the time of the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks foresaw the working class, led by the Communist Party, making an alliance with the peasantry, to take power (See entry on “Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry”). He did not see however, the need for the workers to understand the problems of the peasantry as their own. (See Gramsci on this.)

Thus, Lenin’s concept of “democratic centralism” arose as a kind of hybrid of the legal Western European social democratic party or trade union, and the secret society; he sought a mass base in the working class, but at the same time, he restricted membership to those who would actively build the party. That is, Lenin’s organisational method combined the methods of a “vanguard party” with the principles of “democracy in discussion, unity in action.”

After the Revolution

Having seized power, the Bolsheviks hoped for the European and American workers to come to their aid, but this was not to be; they were left isolated amidst a mass of peasantry, and under attack from all sides. The ranks of the cadre were decimated just as they were swamped with new, politically inexperienced, if enthusiastic recruits. Just as the idea of “democratic centralism” was made into an official state doctrine, the conditions for its operation, in a society of participatory democracy, became near to impossible. The most experienced cadre were taken up with military and bureaucratic administration rather than political leadership and education. Under conditions of civil war, facing extermination, secret-police methods, absolutely inconsistent with the principles of democratic centralism, were introduced as a matter of survival, but with fatal political consequences. When the revolutionary tide ebbed, only dictatorship could maintain a revolutionary policy; but dictatorship itself was fatal to the revolution. Within just a few years, while mouthing all the same policies, the Bolshevik party itself was transformed into a self-serving bureaucracy.

In retrospect, it is clear that any party which gives authority to its leadership to act on behalf of the party, and a party to act on behalf of the working class, is prone to this kind of degeneration, as soon as the revolutionary mood of the masses subsides. Leadership can never be an “ideal,” but becomes a “civil society” in its own right (See Marx’s Critique of the Philosophy of Right), subject to social pressures just like any other section of society; it develops its own interests separately from those it is supposed to serve. As soon as there are “rewards of office” of any kind, then any organisation which separates itself from the mass with its own internal life, is prone to such a degeneration.

The First International differed from its predecessors and the social-democracy, in opening its doors to all workers, even those who did not agree with the program, and this proved to be an intolerable barrier, at the time, to building an effective political party. However, such an openness, which is more characteristic of a social movement than a political party, avoided the dangers which befell its later successors.

One of the problems of Social-Democracy, was the need to do two things at once: to make propaganda, that is to say, to spread socialist ideas and educate workers, and on the other hand, to conduct agitation, that is, to organise and lead struggles (See Agitation and propaganda by Duncan Hallas for more on this). These requirements placed opposite obligations on the party: on the one hand to separate itself from and stand above the class, in order to teach it, on the other hand, to merge with the class and participate with it. Really, only once the work of the propaganda group is done, and the mass of the population stand at a high cultural level, can the party merge with the class and become a genuinely revolutionary force. This option was not open to the revolutionaries of the early twentieth century. Lenin’s organisational principles were the best solution to an impossible problem. The Party and the state Lenin built degenerated, not so much because of a bad organisational theory, but because of the limitations of the time, of which his theory was a reflection.

The Degeneration of Democratic Centralism

Once “democratic centralism” had been transformed into an official doctrine, not only in the Soviet Union and the Comintern, but also in the Fourth International, its meaning became associated with the organisational methods of on the one hand, Stalinism, and on the other hand, Trotskyism.

In the case of Stalinism, the organisational method travelling under the name of “democratic centralism” would be better described as “bureaucratic centralism.” Here, policy is determined more or less autonomously by the Great Leader, and everyone else down the hierarchy falls into line. This is not to say that the ranks and the broader masses have no say in policy: the Great Leader is subject to social pressure like anyone else, but the organisational method is one of ultra-conformism from the top down, enforced by expulsion, humiliation or even murder, according to social conditions. After the death of Stalin, within the Communist Parties, “democratic centralism” came to be associated with intolerance of differences and the restriction of internal debate.

The practice of Democratic Centralism meant killing factional opponents, subjecting factional opponents to extreme pressure to conform, pretending that 100% unanimity represents real agreement, in other words, absolute intolerance of difference. It meant that the exact same policy had to be applied across the world, and that policy would be decided in the "leading section" even if members of that section were ignorant of the most relevant conditions in other countries. It meant continuously recruiting raw, politically immature people, especially youth, to intimidate older more politically mature members. It meant a myth of the omniscient individual leader. It rejected any tolerance for party/non-party differentiation in members' lives. It rejected the idea that the party could be not the decisive organisation in any domain of life (eg union) for its members. It fostered the belief in its own possession of absolute truth. It ignored basic membership requirements (eg membership of a mass working class organisation, basic understanding of political theory), so long as the "member" was prepared to conform. It rejected all possibility of non-class forms of domination existing in its own ranks, and therefore dismissed basic ideas about sexism and racism etc, and therefore perpetuated racism and sexism. It dismissed the importance of written rules and constitution, operating instead on the Will of the great leader, invariably in contradiction to the written rules, policies, etc.

In the Trotskyist movement, it is not possible to characterise organisational methods in a single concept; the “balance between democracy and centralism” was struck at a different point in different groups. In some cases, groups were so racked by internal dissension that they became almost inoperative, whilst in others, methods were bureaucratic and conformist. Due to their isolation from the broader workers’ movement, the personalities of the different individual leaders played a large role. Within the Trotskyist movement, “democratic centralism” came to be associated in particular with the obligation upon members of a party to present only the party line outside the ranks of the party. The degree of internal discussion and openness varied considerably.

Further Reading: Group Dynamics.



A political system of rule by the majority. Democracy is a much-abused term however, with even the most stunted, abstract and limited forms of suffrage going by the name of democracy.

“... in capitalist society we have a democracy that is curtailed, wretched, false, a democracy only for the rich, for the minority. The dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition to communism, will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the exploiters, of the minority. Communism alone is capable of providing really complete democracy, and the more complete it is, the sooner it will become unnecessary and wither away of its own accord. ...”

“Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich – that is the democracy of capitalist society. If we look more closely into the machinery of capitalist democracy, we see everywhere, in the “petty” – supposedly petty – details of the suffrage (residential qualifications, exclusion of women, etc.), in the technique of the representative institutions, in the actual obstacles to the right of assembly (public buildings are not for “paupers"!), in the purely capitalist organization of the daily press, etc., etc., – we see restriction after restriction upon democracy. These restrictions, exceptions, exclusions, obstacles for the poor seem slight, especially in the eyes of one who has never known want himself and has never been in close contact with the oppressed classes in their mass life (and nine out of 10, if not 99 out of 100, bourgeois publicists and politicians come under this category); but in their sum total these restrictions exclude and squeeze out the poor from politics, from active participation in democracy.” [Lenin, State and Revolution, Chapter 5]

Communism means, in the first place, a step far above the limited democracy found under capitalism, by the most thoroughgoing proletarian democracy; and after that, the withering away of democracy as the majority less and less finds it necessary to overrule the will of any minority, because the majority is neither threatened nor damaged by the minority; in other words, without classes, conflict will be on a personal level not on a social level.

In order to understand the breadth and strength of proletarian democracy, the working class must first recognise the limitations of bourgeois democracy:

“While the merely repressive organs of the old governmental power were to be amputated, its legitimate functions were to be wrested from an authority usurping pre-eminence over society itself, and restored to the responsible agents of society. Instead of deciding once in three or six years which member of the ruling class was to misrepresent the people in Parliament, universal suffrage was to serve the people,...” [Civil War in France, Chapter 5]

Generally speaking, bourgeois democracy develops in proportion to the growing maturity and strength of the working class:

“In capitalist society, providing it develops under the most favourable conditions, we have a more or less complete democracy in the democratic republic. But this democracy is always hemmed in by the narrow limits set by capitalist exploitation, and consequently always remains, in effect, a democracy for the minority, only for the propertied classes, only for the rich. Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners. Owing to the conditions of capitalist exploitation, the modern wage slaves are so crushed by want and poverty that “they cannot be bothered with democracy”, “cannot be bothered with politics”; in the ordinary, peaceful course of events, the majority of the population is debarred from participation in public and political life.” [State and Revolution, Chapter 5]

It may appear that universal suffrage provides the opportunity for the working class to elect socialists to government and overthrow capitalism peacefully and constitutionally. The capitalist state would never allow this. The repressive nature of bourgeois democracy becomes clear however, only when the working class has outgrown bourgeois society and is ready to go beyond it:

“Universal suffrage is thus the gauge of the maturity of the working class. It cannot and never will be anything more in the modern state; but that is enough. On the day when the thermometer of universal suffrage shows boiling-point among the workers, they as well as the capitalists will know where they stand. [Origin of the Family, Chapter 9]

“... the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.

“The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.” [Communist Manifesto, Chapter 2]

Marx and Engels’ worked out how the working class could transcend bourgeois democracy by observing the action of the Parisian workers in the Paris Commune of 1871:

“The Commune was formed of the municipal councillors, chosen by universal suffrage in the various wards of the town, responsible and revocable at short terms. The majority of its members were naturally workers, or acknowledged representatives of the working class. The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary body, executive and legislative at the same time.” [Civil War in France, Chapter 5]

That is to say, proletarian democracy was not just representative democracy, but participatory democracy. Class society is founded upon the division of labour between mental and manual labour. Corresponding to this, the form of democracy which best suits the maintenance of class society is the separation of executive and legislative powers: i.e., one class of people decide what should be done, while another class of people do it. In order to transcend class society, the working class must introduce a mode of life in which everywhere the people doing something decide amongst themselves, by consensus what and how it should be done. Workers get little opportunity to learn about running the country or even their own workplace, because that work is done by politicians, capitalists and managers. Even politicians are kept in the dark and manipulated by the unelected people that run the businesses and government departments. Real power is in the board rooms and elite clubs for the rich. All positions of authority in Socialist society must be elected solely by workers and subject to recall at any time.

The separation of executive and legislative powers in bourgeois, parliamentary democracy means that even if workers’ representatives gain a majority in parliament, they find that in reality they control nothing.

“The highest form of the state, the democratic republic, which in our modern social conditions becomes more and more an unavoidable necessity and is the form of state in which alone the last decisive battle between proletariat and bourgeoisie can be fought out – the democratic republic no longer officially recognises differences of property. Wealth here employs its power indirectly, but all the more surely. It does this in two ways: by plain corruption of officials, of which America is the classic example, and by an alliance between the government and the stock exchange, which is effected all the more easily the higher the state debt mounts and the more the joint-stock companies concentrate in their hands not only transport but also production itself, and themselves have their own centre in the stock exchange.” [Origin of the Family, Chapter 9]

Furthermore, the state – the police-military organisation built by the bourgeoisie for the sole purpose of protecting private property – is not elected, and cannot be legislated into something else:

“Democracy means equality. The great significance of the proletariat’s struggle for equality and of equality as a slogan will be clear if we correctly interpret it as meaning the abolition of classes. But democracy means only formal equality. And as soon as equality is achieved for all members of society in relation to ownership of the means of production, that is, equality of labour and wages, humanity will inevitably be confronted with the question of advancing father, from formal equality to actual equality, i.e., to the operation of the rule “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. ...

“Democracy is a form of the state, it represents, on the one hand, the organised, systematic use of force against persons; but, on the other hand, it signifies the formal recognition of equality of citizens, the equal right of all to determine the structure of, and to administer, the state. This, in turn, results in the fact that, at a certain stage in the development of democracy, it first welds together the class that wages a revolutionary struggle against capitalism – the proletariat, and enables it to crush, smash to atoms, wipe off the face of the earth the bourgeois, even the republican-bourgeois, state machine, the standing army, the police and the bureaucracy and to substitute for them a more democratic state machine, but a state machine nevertheless, in the shape of armed workers who proceed to form a militia involving the entire population.” [State and Revolution, Chapter 5]

Thus bourgeois democracy, which supports the interests of capitalists above all else, is a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Democracy and freedom goes only so far; and as soon as the majority people decide that majority rule should apply – not only in the parliament, but also in the workplace, the factories and offices, in the army, in the schools and universities – then suddenly the capitalist state machine will without fail raise its head and say “Enough is enough!” and restore by whatever it takes the rule of the minority of wealthy capitalists over the majority of workers. Having “won the battle of democracy”, the workers must now make a revolution. The dictatorship of the working class majority replaces the dictatorship of the minority of big capitalists. The unelected police-military hierarchy of violence is dismantled to make way for genuine, unqualified, proletarian democracy.

Contrariwise, socialism, in which majority rule applies everywhere, can only be a dictatorship of the proletariat which suppresses the right of the minority of capitalists to exploit workers. The dictatorship of the proletariat simply means the most thoroughgoing democracy, where money and privilege are no longer able to lay down the law to the working class majority, and free associations of people work out their lives in collaboration.


Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry

Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry” is the designation worked out by Stalin, in his struggle with the Left Opposition, to characterise the Soviet state, and which was subsequently accepted as their goal by the parties of the Communist International.

This designation however was a falsification by Stalin of the nature of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet state. His argument was based on a misrepresentation of Lenin’s policy on the relation between the proletariat and the peasantry.

Before the War, Lenin had advocated the slogan of ‘democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry’, while Trotsky had advocated ‘dictatorship of the proletariat which leads the peasant masses behind it’. This old dispute, long since resolved by the October revolution, was used as a means of attacking Trotsky. In this case it was Lenin who came over to Trotsky’s position, and not vice versa, so the history of the revolution itself had to be rewritten for the purpose of this factional struggle.

It was this concept which was behind Mao’s slogan of “bloc of four classes” and the policy of “People’s Republics” implemented in Europe after the Second World War.

Further Reading: ’The Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry’ - in February and October, Trotsky 1924.


Departments of Capital

The Departments of Capital are respectively the production of means of production and the production of consumer goods.

The terms originate from Volume II of Capital, where Marx studied the circulation of capital and the division of capital into different “Departments”:

Department I is the production of the means of production, i.e., capital invested in producing materials, machinery, software, services, etc., to be consumed by other capitalists for the purposes of production, “constant capital”.

Department II is the production of the means of living, basic consumer goods for the workers (chiefly) to live and work, “variable capital”, as well as luxury items which capitalists (mainly) buy with the proceeds of exploitation.

In Marx’s day it was not well understood how high wages could actually have a positive and stimulating effect on the economy creating demand in Department II, and his work in studying the dynamics of the relationship between investment in Department I and Department II were important in developing strategies for the political and economic struggle. The relation between Department I and Department II is also necessary in understanding the problem of realisation of surplus value – you haven’t made a profit until your product is sold; workers in sweat shops working for a dollar a day will not be able to buy the expensive clothes (for example) that they are producing.



Dessiatine (desyatina or dessyatine)

Russian measurement for land:

1 dessiatine = 1.09 hectares (10,900 sq. m. or .00109 sq. km.)


Determinate & Indeterminate

1. To determine a thing is to know what it is, as in measuring something to determine its length; indeterminate means that the thing has not yet formed into something one way or the other, or it is not recognisable for what it is. Determinate Being, or Dasein – “being there” – means being present as a specific thing, rather than just a collection of attributes or potentialities.

2. Thought determination refers to something "taking on a value", becoming a "particular" as when the length of an object is "determined" by measuring it. In Hegel’s writing, the term "thought determination" comes up very frequently; but it doesn’t mean very much. Lenin mentions several possible words for the same thing, and later makes light fun over Hegel’s use of the word. "Determine" also has the meaning as in "determine the outcome" - see the following entry, "Determinism".



Determinism is the acceptance of causality as an objective relation. If carried to the point of absolute (or mechanical) determinism - the denial of chance and accident - as in the case of Laplace, determinism becomes a kind of fatalism in which everything is absolutely determined by what has gone before.



Development refers to that process of change in which something becomes more and more concrete and mature, as opposed to the simple succession of one thing passing away as another comes into being or the transition of a thing into something else in the course of the struggle of form and content and interchange of Cause & Effect.

Further Reading: Hegel’s contrast of the Development of the Notion and Hegel’s explanation of the relation between opposites in Being and Essence, which make up the Objective Logic. See also Development of the Notion in Hegel’s Logic.