Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Dialectical Materialism

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Dialectical Materialism. A system in which the Communists claim to improve upon Materialism and to provide a philosophy which combines the scientific elements of this with a theory of history (economic determination) and their economic and political theory. It is sometimes erroneously said that Karl Marx studied under Hegel - he was only thirteen years old when Hegel died - and borrowed the frame or dialectic of his philosophy. It is true that Marx studied under a Hegelian professor at Berlin and was later saved from the paradoxes of that very spiritual system by adopting the Materialism of Feuerbach [see], but the curious blend of Hegelian phrases, Materialism, and Socialist economics, came much later. Marx repeatedly expresses great scorn of German philosophy, and there is no trace of Dialectical Materialism in The Communist Manifesto (1848). Lenin says, in his Teachings of Karl Marx, that Engels was the author, and claims that it is "richer and more comprehensive" than ordinary Materialism. All writers of the school claim that the Materialism of Haeckel, Pavlov, etc., is not "dynamic." The word "dialectic" must not be taken in its ordinary meaning, but as indicating a world-process by thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, which is in Hegel a process of the evolution of the Absolute (spiritual reality). Critics object that the claim to be a philosophy can be justified only by an unusual use of the word, and that the theory is rather strained in its attempt to combine scientific Materialism, historical Materialism, and advanced economics, in one system. For recent expositions see J. Macmurray, Aspects of Dialectical Materialism (1934); V. V. Adoratsky, Dialectical Materialism (1934); J. B. S. Haldane, The Marxist Philosophy and the Sciences (1938).

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