...life can be translucent


Historical Materialism : an indicator of 'fact'?


Nov 19, 1971
Reaction score
WHY IS THIS ON THE I CHING LIST! - simple in that it covers processes identified in IDM and validated by current research into networks etc.


The I Ching is a specialisation that reflects the IDM categories. IOW the below validates the use of the IC to reveal 'true' events in the future - given time and even chance/accidents/local contingencies!

NOTE that the IDM focus demands an initial focus on the IC in its binary ordering.

read on ....
(orginally sent to my own IDM list and the complex-science list)

After reading through the following texts from an IDM perspective:

Marx, K., ([1859]) Dobb,M.(ed)(1970)"A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy" International Publishers
Fidlon David, (trans) - Various(1968)"Historical Materialism : Basic Problems" Progress Publishers, Moscow
Cohen, G.A. (1978)"Karl Marx's Theory of History" PUP
Elster, J., (1985):Making Sense of Marx [part 2:theory of history]" CUP
Gladwell, M., (2000)"The Tipping Point" Little Brown
Buchanan, M., (2002)"Small World" Phoenix
Wolff, J.,(2002)"Why Read Marx Today?" OUP
Popper, K., (2002)"The Povery of Historicism" Routledge
Strogatz, S., (2003)"Sync" Allen Lane
Watts, J.D., (2003)"Six Degrees" Heinemann

There seems to be some 'value' emerging re Marx's perspective on history and social development where his perspective focuses on the inevitability of social dynamics regardless of chance events, accidents, and local contingencies.

(BTW - for a 'refresh' on Marx without the intense expression, Wolff's text is very readable)

Popper's focus on Historical Materialism, as covered in the mentioned text but also in his "The Open Society and its Enemies - Vol. 2: Hegel and Marx" RKP focused on such elements as that of chance in that chance would neutralise any such predictable developments. However, in the recent work on social networks, based on creating models and letting them 'run' on computer systems, and then comparing the results with reality, two distinct categories of social networks have emerged together with a distinct dynamic that shows one developing and then tranforming into the other REGARDLESS of chance/accidents/local contingencies.

To firstly cover some IDM ground, a 'fundamental' of reality that has emerged from the IDM focus, a focus on the methods used to derive and communicate 'meaning' from the species-level perspective, has been on clear patterns at all scales of information processing of differentiating and integrating. The dynamic across the elements of this dichotomy reflect recursion, self-referencing, from which qualities are derived to communicate high detail meaning and at the same time development pathways are also identified in the flow of 'energy', the initial exaggerations (differentiating from the 'whole') followed by the balancing-out of those exaggerations (integrating back into the 'whole').

As identified in other writings, IDM identifies a basic dynamic of differentiate/integrate at the neuron level that serves as a GENERAL template for dichotomisation at the consciousness level such that we can extract the more context-sensitive concepts for precise communications such as:


EACH of these dichotomies will be found to reflect the properties and methods of differentiating (left column) and integrating (right column) but as biases. Thus integration is more BETWEEN on the right (the realm of integration) and WITHIN on the left (the realm of differentiation). Thus SEMANTICS is more 'right' (general). and so a more 'field' perspective, but is expressed in a highly concentrated form as SYNTAX on the 'left' (particular) (and so a more 'pointed' perspective).

Furthermore, we find that such terms as 'exploit/protect' seem to emerge from a dynamic in the RIGHT element that has led to an exaggeration to the space of the left that has then become 'positive' in general to become a useful tool in development. Thus the goal of protection is on learning 'good habits' to allow for integration with the immediate context. Exaggerations in that process are when the ultimate form of protection is required - the need to totally escape the context, to break free - to change the context either by flight or by fight. It is this 'ultimate' form of protection, an exaggerated form, that seems to have evolved into the notion of personal freedom and of exploitation - we dont escape from a context, we can now choose and, if need be, change a context to 'fit' our needs. (In IDM this leads into the concept of the "Transcendence function").

The differences in PRECISION in these dichotomies introduce asymetries when we *compare* left with right such that from a feeling sense, our consciousness will be attracted to the left more than the right due to the intensity of, the definite assertion of, 'truth' felt, (or a definite negation to fight against) an intensity dampened by the seemingly 'approximations' feel, the intuitive feel, of the right.

From an information theory perspective, the left focus is on immediate identification through maximising bandwidth as compared to a use of time to compensate for lack of bandwidth on the right. Thus there is a dimension of precision present with 'red' (Amplutude Modulation bias) at the right end, and 'blue' (Frequency Modulation bias) at the left end. We see this in the relationship of energy usage in focusing attention upon something to the distortions of subjective time to a degree where the NOW focus of attention impoverishes time experience to it being treated mechanistically rather than thermodynamically; thus the realm of the 'analytical' is more 'left' and the dialectical more 'right'.

This dimension of precision expressed at the level of consciousness, of MIND, reflects the dimension present at the level of the single neuron - axon is FM bias, dendrities are AM bias. The conversion of analogue (AM) to digital (FM) reflects the taking of an instinct as a whole and converting the experience into parts linked together over time. IOW we witness 'self-similarity' in the neurology with the presences of a power law that maps TEXT/CONTEXT relationships as 'universals' (left) and 'locals' (right).

From these GENERALS develops a particular in the form of hierarchy such that as we zoom-in for details so what was a PART (differentiating, precise) at one level becomes a WHOLE (integrating, approximate) at the next - this zig-zag pattern reflects the movement from general to particular (in the above reflected as both right-to-left and also top-to-bottom with the latter 'zig-zagging'. BUT focus on the right-to-left pattern and derive a diemension from that pattern and we in fact will find 'interdigitations' of the elements of the dichotomy and so 'zig-zag'!)

We can capture the zig-zag using logic terms:


The AND states and the XOR states are symmetric, the IMP state is asymmetric, thus the general-to-particular, OVERALL is a dynamic from symmetry to asymmetry, from AND to IMP (IMP = implied and is asymmetric when compared to XOR even though XOR aids in reflecting the differentiating focus in the brain, the A/NOT-A of high details processing)

or using Chinese terms:

differentiate(particular) / integrate(general)
T'ai Chi / Wu Chi (general, whole, implicit, the MANY, approximate, un-nameable)
YingANDYang / T'ai Chi
YinXORYang / YinANDYang
YinIMPYang / YinXORYang
Yang / Yin (particular, parts, explicit, the ONE, the precise, the named)

simply put we are dealing with the point vs the field.

How does all of this relate, in particular, to Historical Materialism?

The work in analysis of systems/networks dynamics (as covered in the other texts listed above) has come up with two basic models, the aristocratic model vs the egalitarian model. This work has been strongly focused on mathematical models and their correlation with networks of today, be it social in form or the properties and methods of the Internet. With this categorisation has emerged a dynamic of aristocractic 'emergence' followed by egalitarian - regardless of chance events.

When we map the generic properties and methods of these networks they map directly onto the differentiating/integrating dichotomy and as such validate the points made in IDM re the differentiate/integrate dynamics reflected in the "Transformation function" and the "Transcendence function".

BUT, Marx and his followers (Lenin etc) tried to make the point that, from their perspective, capitalism (from our perspective an 'aristocratic' network) would be REPLACED by socialism/communism (from our perspective an 'egalitarian' network). IDM identifies a possible error here, in that the overall dynamic of exploit/protect is built-in to the system, transcending and transforming are 'fundamentals' (see the 'lite' essay http://pages.prodigy.net/lofting/ideal.html)

This dynamic elicits a mediation industry with the aim to BALANCE the exaggerations. This act of balancing is reflected in the emergence from the expression of 'unbridled capitalism' of:

(a) socialism as a balancing agent, a protector against the excessive exploitation of labour.
(b) conservationism as a balancing agent, a protector agaist the excessive exploitation of natural resources.
(c) interventionism as a balancing agent, a protector against the excessive exploitation of exploitation - protection achieved through such forms as interest rate management.

Thus there is no way for capitalism to be 'replaced', at best it is 'neutralised' BUT from these dynamics we can detect a degree of predictablity re social development but over considerable time spans and as such development dependent on CONTEXT to be achieved, the 'right conditions' are required such that any premature act can set back development rather then set it forwards. This means the individual can recognise these patterns but never live them out at the scale of collective development (there is the notion of (a) understanding the outcomes and (b) focusing on building the technology now rather than later and so speed up things if need be but different contexts can fight that 'idealism', the changes have to be 'natural' as in the context supports the changes - an engineering ratio is needed - 2 parts context to 1 part text ;-)

The dynamic of aristocratic/egalitarian is expressed in such developments as the 1600s dynamic of the British Aristocracy giving way to Parliment and so, in context, a more egalitarian format (even if the parliment was of made-up of capitalists, landowners etc - THAT 'aristocracy' later made 'egalitarian' through one-person, one-vote etc and no restrictions other than citizenship, these processes are still going on today and will continue as long as we focus on individuals survival vs species survival). Of special note here is that the aristocracy wre not erradicated, was not 'replaced' but more so neutralised and over the long term continues to coexist with others.

The revolutions, be it of the USA fight for independence etc shows the dynamic in that the emergence of the office of "President" has shifted from a 'republican' perspective to a more 'imperial' perspective and that followed by a demand for 'closer scrutiny of Executive powers etc - as happened in ancient Rome, as happened in France, Russia, Germany etc etc etc

The error of Marx et al is in their sense of precision, where that sense encourages a focus on 'universals' but only as expressions of high energy and as such an aristocratic perspective!

The assertions of replacement of X by Y FORCES a mindset that is competitive overall and so idealist. ANY idealist perspective will consider solutions to problems being 'replacement' solutions. This appears to be instinctive for any focus on being competitive in thought. Turn down the energy and the focus changes from competitive to cooperative and so a focus on , an acceptance of, coexistence over erradication comes to mind first.

The demise of so-called 'marxist' cooperatives (USSR etc - but they reflected more idealist perspectives and actions of opportunists etc) reflects more their downfall on trying to be competitive rather than cooperative; cooperative perspectives will fail if they try to compete with the gurus of competition - capitalists - and at the same time try to maintain an overall cooperative 'frame of mind'.

The historic development of lifeforms is flexible but still 'fixed' as such and so, as the 'small world' models show, the conditions in the context of capitalism must be 'right' before any form of cooperative focus can develop (as in the development of the agents of balance, FIRST came socialism, then, after some time and as a reaction to market crash, government interventionism, and then, MUCH later (and something Marx did not seem to cover), conservationism. - these agents of balance have emerged not overnight but over hundreds of years but 'sped up' by capitalism in recent times - true 'conservation' programs emerged post WW2, from the 50s onwards, and the politics is only 'recent' in its position of being noticable and in positions of power (greens in germany, australia, usa etc))

In fact, the current state of capitalism, forced along by the development of such technology as the internet, reflects a more opportune position for a development of a more cooperative perspective to emerge than has been possible in the past; but a perspective that emerges naturally, willingly, without too much 'fight' (I dont imagine the recent (1980s+) "peoples" revolutions in Russia, Phillipines, Georgia, East Germany etc as being as 'cooperative' as they have been if they had been started 100 years ago - the influence of democracy (egalitarianism) upon aristocracy (party loyalities, elitism etc) is reflected in all of these processes but so also is the recognition of, within an overall political focus on democracy, economics in the form of capitalism encouraging 'aristocratic' dynamics in the focus on the only form of success is universal as in 'stardom' etc.)

Thus the dynamic is always a mix. Integration exists in the realm of differentiation as an agent of integrity, of personal (or corporate) 'knowing' of being 'right', 'perfect'. Differentiation exists in the realm of integration as a node to connect to, despite all the dynamics of the 'space inbetween the dots', there *are* 'dots', there is SOME identity whereas in the realm of differentiations there can be too much. This reflects on the balance position as the 'best' position in that it is the most flexible dynamically, potentially - and so 'lite' excursions left or right are permissable but not recommended 'long term' - and THAT goes against our more reactive species-nature where mindless evolution can wipe us out anytime if not careful.

Marx's concept of "Historical Materialism" reflects more his intuitive sense detecting the patterns of meaning determined by our neurology etc and so reflected in social dynamics. As such the content, the details, of the concept as given in the past may be 'idealist' and open to such strong, precise, criticism as that of Popper etc but the concept does appear to have foundations, hard coded, demonstratable, foundations at all scales of information processing but at a 'general' level in time scales. Differentition and Integration 'rule' but appear to be sourced 'out there' in the mindless dynamics of universe evolution that we, or more so the original 'neuron-dependent' lifeform, seem to have adapted to and so internalised and then re-externalised as a tool in mapping 'out there' as well as 'in here'.

As a species we need to understand the properties and methods of our styles in thinking and from their harness our consciousness that allows is to use those properties and methods in a manner that is, for all species members, cooperative longterm and if need be, competitive short term.



Nov 19, 1971
Reaction score
PART 2: (this all relates to what you can do with the IC!)

Hi all,

a brief addendum to the above post,

The noticable patterns in networks of aristocratic/egalitarian, and their more local qualitative manifestions in small
collectives (power(aristocratic)/flux(egalitarian)) as identified by Ray Bradley and later work of his with Karl Pribram:

Bradley, R.T. (1987) "Charisma and Social Structure : A Study of Love and Power, Wholeness and Transformation" New York : Paragon House
Bradley, R.T., & Pribram, K.(1998) "Communication and Stability in Social Collectives" IN Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems 21(1):29-81

focus on dynamics that appear to be strongly POLITICAL in form (leadership issues, charisma, 'universality' of the individual etc) and as such reflected in the emergence of two-party systems with additional 'lobbyists' taking-on third part 'influences' OR forming coalitions. Thus Greens go with Labor/Democrats, fundamentalists with Republicans/Conservatives. (there is a dynamic of scandal here as well - conservatives to 'secret' deals of competitive nature (iran contra, Nixon and wategate etc) and democrats of a more cooperative nature (Clinton and that cigar, Kennedy and Monroe etc etc))

Thus the dynamics of what Marx was trying to identify over generations is reflected in political behaviours PRE Marx (and so his analysis could have picked up the patterns in 1600 politics in the UK and later politics in France etc) and POST the 'collapse' of Marxist states where two party systems reflect the 'fractal' nature of differentiating/integrating dynamics at the personal and social levels. The failure of the USSR etc was not in a political context but in an economic context and this raises the making of the political/economic distinction. (and so the study of Political Economy!)

Given the observed dynamic of differentiate/integrate, as one turns into the other etc so a pattern emerges across the particular dichotomy of POLITICAL/ECONOMICAL. A political position that is 'aristocratic', a focus on charisma etc, is neutralised by a developing economic system that is rooted in 'egalitarianism' (distribution of wealth and so of power of the 'aristocrats'). At the point of join, the POLITICAL focus switches to egalitarianism and the ECONOMIC focus to aristocratic - money becomes 'king' WITHIN a political system that is democratic and so allows for the emergence of 'agents of balance' that then focus on 'neutralising' the economy (and so the capitalists) rather than the politics - and so the 'uncharismatic' can rule - as long as they have the money!

In the context of POLITICS alone, in Germany for example the current focus is on a labor/green government opposed by a 'christian' opposition party (CDP - conservative). Here in Australia we have a 'right wing' coalition (liberals/nationals) up against labor plus greens plus 'australian democrats' (whos last election focus was to elect them to 'keep the bastards honest' - in that they had the balance of power in the senate usually dominated 50/50 conservatives/labourites, now split with the greens etc) [note spelling. the concept of labour uses "our", the political party name is LABOR - although I think for our American viewers there is no such distinction ;-)).

The politicians, the goverment of the day, is considered to be the 'caretaker' of the economy, either in direct governance or in degrees of interventionism (e.g. interest control) and these seem to be reflected in government attitudes where, for example, in the USA an election of a 'right wing' government reads as a slowing in development (conservative) as compared to a democratic government that spends big on social areas and so can 'blow the bank' etc.

The Democratic focus attracts the artistic, the social idealists, and in doing so comes with an aristocratic 'interior' to its egalitarian exterior. - the Labor party here in Australian is riddled with factionalism and so extremes in 'highs and lows' and yet tries to present itself as an integrated, egalitarian-focused, whole.

On the other hand, the high energy focus of 'one leader, one party' etc that comes with republican/conservative rule, comes across as the 'shining light born to rule' attitude of personal idealists, the iron fist where all opposition is crushed behind closed doors (combined with the sense of 'we are born to rule' acting as an agent of integration - gets into the religious aspect of these sorts of parties, the almost child-like focus on 'god' etc serves to integrate even if the overall focus is on differentiating!)

I think you can see the differentiate/integrate dynamics at work here. What Marx picked-up in a focus on society and so long term social dynamics is reflected locally in the four-year election cycles in democracies etc., and as such reflects the 'fractal' nature of differentiating/integrating, where understanding the raw categories derived from differentiating/integrating can aid in refining understanding of the dynamics of specialisations, be they from the perspectives of the self to that of local collectives to the level of the species.



Nov 19, 1971
Reaction score

note that overall nothing is replaced as such, the focus is on balance, harmony OR neutralising. The economic remains, the political remains but the expression changes.



Nov 19, 1971
Reaction score
Hi all,

my final addendum!

in the dynamics of differentiate/integrate, as expressed in the previous analysis of the dichotomy of POLITICAL/ECONOMICAL, we are witnessing an ancient concept - yin into yang into yin...; enantiodromia - where this concept is identified as a 'fact' of nature and as such reflects the benefit of considering dialectical logic as well as analytical logic in mapping reality - rather than the analytical that favours the competitive (and so denigrates the dialectical) the long term focus is on cooperation and so Logic (capital L) is made-up of analytical&dialectical.


Office 17622,
PO Box 6945,
United Kingdom

Phone/ Voicemail:
+44 (0)20 3287 3053 (UK)
+1 (561) 459-4758 (US).