“…essence of dialectical thinking is
the ability to be self-critical. Being able to see that an idea you had or an activity you had engaged in which was correct at one stage can turn into its opposite at another stage; that whenever a person or an organization or a country is in crisis, it is necessary that to look at your own concepts and be critical of them because they may have turned into traps.” Grace Lee Boggs
“Dialectical Humanism means just exactly that: it is, among many
other things, the transcendence of color, of religion, race, sex etc. It is not a mere transference from one color to another, one sex to another of power, etc. It is the
From dialectical materialism to dialectical humanism took 100
years ... but it is the direction. The revolution today is not against society but against the concept of man the victim the revolution is for the concept of man the subject – this requires consciousness
and especially thought, the unique capacity of man. It requires the acceptance of responsibility.”
Lyman Paine 1963
Lancelot Whyte: "All philosophical or scientific doctrines need to be seen as partial visions of the truth which we must expect one day
to be replaced by more comprehensive ones."
MLK: THE POWER OF DIALECTICAL THINKING
By Grace Lee Boggs
Michigan Citizen, Feb. 12-18, 2006
Recently I had an opportunity to discuss the pivotal
role of MLK's dialectical thinking in a conversation
hosted by the Program in American Culture as part of
the University of Michigan's 2006 MLK Symposium.
In 1954, the year before the Montgomery Bus Boycott,
the 25 year old Martin became pastor of the Dexter Avenue
Baptist Church in Montgomery Ala. Dexter's membership,
like MLK, was mostly middle class blacks, accustomed to
giving leadership in the black community. So it was a
church where he could keep developing the ideas that
he had internalized at Crozier Theological Seminary
and Boston University Divinity School. read more
Revolution and Evolution in Twentieth Century
by Grace Lee and James Boggs
Chapter 6 - DIALECTICS AND REVOLUTION
Down through the many thousands of years of our continuing
evolution as human beings, men and women have thought in many different ways about themselves and about the world in which they
lived. Until a few hundred years ago, most people had no concept of change as development, Principally because there was really very little progress in their lives from which to derive such a concept.
Year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation, they did the same things in the same way. They hunted the same game or tilled the same soil, ate the same food, were born, gave
birth, and died in the same way as their ancestors had done. During their lifetimes they were subject to the same kind of arbitrary rule by tribal chiefs, feudal lords, or kings. Under these unchanging
circumstances, their concept of change could only be based on their perception of such phenomena as constant repetition of the seasons, the agricultural cycle of sowing, planting, and harvesting, or the
human cycle of birth, growth, reproduction, and death. So their concept of change was a cyclical concept: read more
FIRST WORKSHOP: THINK DIALECTICALLY, NOT BIOLOGICALLY, MARCH 17, 1993
CLEMENTINE BARFIELD INTRODUCED JAMES BOGGS, GRACE BOGGS & SHEA HOWELL
GB: SOSAD began six years ago with the idea of creating a Movement that would do for our period what the civil rights
movement did 30 years ago for its. But it takes more than good intentions to create a Movement. The conditions have to be ripe. And you can tell that they are ripening when three things are taking place.
a. Things are so bad that a lot of people are saying: "We're fed up and we can't take it no more."
b. Some of the people who are most directly affected or threatened by the situation have begun to act on their own -- or spontaneously.
c. A few people have come forward saying that they are ready to take responsibiity for giving leadership.
These workshops are for those few people. It is always only a few!!!
JB: Thinking dialectically means recognizing (1) that everything and everybody is changing all the time. (2) that everything and
everybody contains contradictions. In everything and everybody there is both negative and positive. If you keep ignoring or excusing the negative, it begins to take over, to dominate.
Ever since the civil rights movement achieved its goal of eliminating legal discrimination and segregation in l965, people in the black community have been thinking biologically, not dialectically.
They/we have been looking at everything in terms of race. Everything black has been seen as positive and beautiful. Everything white has been seen as negative and ugly. This was very effective at
first. By talking black and thinking black we intimidated whites and made them feel guilty, so that we were able to extort jobs and programs from them.
Meanwhile, because the reality has beem changing over the last 30
years, we are faced with new contradictions. read more