From: Stephen R. Diamond
Subject: Studies in Dialectical Materialism
Date: 28 July 2000
The separation of Healy's philosophizing from *anything* else is striking. There is no mention of how the concepts developed relate to the class struggle, to science, or to other interpretations and philosophical positions. Marxist philosophy has developed in polemic, and Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-Criticism has been termed the most polemical work ever written in philosophy.
Unfortunately, Healy's model for Marxist philosophy appears to be the Philosophical Notebooks instead of Materialism and Empirio-Criticism. It is a poor model, because Lenin was not aiming to develop Marxist theory, or even to explain it, but only to understand Hegel. I wonder if Lenin would even have approved the Notebooks' publication.
Trotsky called for bringing dialectics into the life of the party, but his own writings on the subject, mostly in In Defense of Marxism, are concerned with showing its relation to the class struggle and to scientific practice. Healy's work appears to be just a "deeper" version of George Novack's response to Trotsky's call: an arid exposition of Hegel in a vacuum.