I’m reading through some of our literature (namely Socialism, Utopian and Scientific) and I really get the sense that many of our intellectual forebears think that everything important in philosophy happened in Europe. Granted, European philosophy is necessarily of primary relevance in a critique of early capitalism, but when Engels traces the history of these strains of thought (materialism, dialectics, etc.), they all go back to ancient Greece. I find this suspicious.

Is this a consequence of lopsided education, either of the target audience or of Engels himself? Have non-western Marxists grafted dialectical materialism onto Asian or African philosophy? Are there analogous movements within these cultures that dovetail nicely with Dialectical Materialism? Or do they more or less take Engels at his word here? Maybe I’m misinterpreting something.

lotta good comments here already so i don’t want to just repeat what’s already been said. but, i do want to say that marxism in application is dialectical materialism, and that because it frames the world in a way that it is, that anyone from anywhere at any time can use this framework. early marxists were all european so it’s no surprise that they looked at philosophy going back to the early dialectics in ancient greece, but the ancient chinese concept of yin and yang is essentially also an idealistic and early iteration of dialectics as well, just through a different framework. from the chinese marxists i’ve talked to, this is how yin/yang is treated, as a feudal concept of dialectics.

i’m a dirty westerner so i don’t have a cultural background or history to pull from, but as marxism is applied throughout the world in different cultures throughout the periphery, all with their own histories and specific material conditions, i’m sure they will all have a different historical and present way to fram diamat and its application.

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