Mao Zedong on Dialectical Materialism: Writings on Philosophy, 1937

By Mao Tse-tung; Nick Knight | Go to book overview

MAO ZEDONG


4 The Law of the Unity of Contradictions [On Contradiction]

[p. 240] This law is the basic law of dialectics. Lenin said: "Dialectics in the proper sense is the study of contradictions in the very essence of objects." Therefore, Lenin often called this law the essence of dialectics; he also called it the kernel of dialectics. Because of this, in our study of dialectics, discussion should commence from this problem, and moreover should receive somewhat closer attention than other problems.

This question includes many problems, and these are: The two views of development; the law of identity in formal logic and the law of contradiction in dialectics; the universality of contradiction; the particularity of contradiction; the principal contradiction and the principal aspect of a contradiction; the identity and struggle of a contradiction; 1 the place of antagonism in contradiction. 2

These problems will be explained in sequence below.

____________________
'
Source: Takeuchi Minoru (ed.), Mao Zedong ji bujuan [Supplements to Collected Writings of Mao Zedong] ( Tokyo: Sososha, 1983-1986), Vol. 5, pp. 240-278. In this translation, words shown in bold type are those incorporated into the official text of On Contradiction in Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. I, pp. 311-347. Translated and annotated by Nick Knight.

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