Marxist dialectic  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels believed Hegel was "standing on his head", and claimed to put him back on his feet, ridding Hegel's logic of its idealist orientation, and conceiving what is now known as materialist or Marxist dialectics. The dialectical approach to the study of history then gave rise to historical materialism, the school of thought exemplified by the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Dialectical method came to be seen as the vital foundation for any Marxist politics, through the work of Karl Korsch, Georg Lukacs and certain members of the Frankfurt School.

Under Stalinism, Marxist dialectics developed into what was called "diamat" (short for dialectical materialism), a system of thought which became increasingly dogmatic and thus intellectually bankrupt due to the overpowering influence of its attendant political ideology. Some Soviet academics, most notably Evald Ilyenkov, did continue with philosophical studies of the marxist dialectic free from ideological bias, as did a number of thinkers in the West.

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