Marx famously claimed:
The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it
. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance. [The German Ideology, quoted from here. Bold added.]
Now, as is easy to show, Hegel lifted many of his doctrines from earlier mystics and ruling-class hacks. These ideas have appeared in the philosophical theories of boss-class thinkers from ancient times until today. In that case, the only conclusion possible is that dialectics must be part of the ruling ideas Marx was speaking about, whether he himself thought so or not.
This conclusion is not at all easy for Dialectical Marxists to accept for it seems to implicate the founders of our movement in the deliberate importation of boss-class ideas into Marxism. To be sure, dialecticians say they have removed the Idealist and mystical elements of Hegel's dialectic (or, rather, they tell us they've put Hegel's ideas back "on their feet", thus preserving their "rational core"), but since it's plain that the remaining husk has been imposed on nature (not read from it) in sound idealist fashion, that claim is entirely bogus. As George Novack (inadvertently) pointed out:
A consistent materialism cannot proceed from principles which are validated by appeal to abstract reason, intuition, self-evidence or some other subjective or purely theoretical source
. Idealisms may do this. But the materialist philosophy has to be based upon evidence taken from objective material sources and verified by demonstration in practice.... [Novack The Origin of Materialism
, p.17. Bold emphasis added.]
Moreover, the founders of our movement weren't workers; they came from a class that educated their children in religion, the classics and philosophy. This tradition taught that behind appearances there's a hidden world, accessible to thought alone, which is more real than the material universe we see around us.
This way of seeing things was invented by ruling-class ideologues, who viewed reality this way. They invented it because if you belong to, benefit from or help run a society which is based on gross inequality, oppression and exploitation, you can keep order in several ways.
The first and most obvious way is through violence. This will work for a time, but it's not only fraught with danger, it is costly and it stifles innovation (among other things).
Another way is to win over the majority (or, at least, a significant section of "opinion formers", bureaucrats, judges, bishops, generals, intellectuals, philosophers, teachers, administrators, etc.) to the view that the present order either, (1) Works for their benefit, (2) Defends 'civilised values', (3) Is ordained of the 'gods', or that it is (4) 'Natural' and thus cannot be fought against, reformed or negotiated with.
Hence, a world-view that helps rationalise one or more of the above is necessary for the ruling-class to carry on ruling in the same old way. While the content of this wing of ruling-class ideology may have changed with each change in the mode of production, its form has remained largely the same for thousands of years: Ultimate Truth (about this 'hidden world' underlying appearances) is ascertainable from thought alone, and therefore can be imposed on reality dogmatically and aprioristically
["Aprioristically" means that these ideas can be inferred in advance of any evidence. A genuine a priori
idea might be the following: despite the fact that you will never have experienced this, you know that ten billion marbles plus twenty billion marbles equals thirty billion marbles (although, I prefer to call this the application of a rule). A bogus a priori
idea would involve, for example, an attempt to prove the existence of 'god' from 'his/her/its' definition. Another would be an attempt to show that everything is governed by 'contradictions' -- based only on a similar 'linguistic argument' (as Hegel attempted).]
So, the non-worker founders of our movement -- who had been educated from an early age to believe there was just such a hidden world lying behind appearances, and which governed everything -- when they became revolutionaries looked for 'logical' principles in that abstract world that told them that change was inevitable, and was part of the cosmic order. Enter dialectics, courtesy of the dogmatic ideas of that ruling-class mystic, Hegel. Hence, the dialectical classicists were happy to impose their theory on the world (upside down or the "right way up"), since, to them, because of their socialisation and education, it seemed quite natural to do this; that's what 'genuine' philosophy is -- or, so they thought.
Again, because of their education and socialisation, their faith was in this invisible world, accessible to thought alone. It provided them with the same sort of consolation that religion provides believers, since this invisible world guarantees that history is moving their way, despite appearances to the contrary.
They also need this 'world-view' to justify their leading role in the revolution, since only they 'understand' dialectics, and no one else does
Of course, if the facts end up contradicting DM, they can safely be ignored, since this hidden world not only "contradicts" appearances (so we are told), it's more real than anything genuinely material.
And that is why DM-fans bury their heads in the sand: their faith lies in this hidden world -- and that's not surprising, either, since this idea was pinched from a Christian mystic.
Finally, these comrades imported such alien ideas into Marxism unwittingly. They knew no better; their petty-bourgeois being determined their petty-bourgeois consciousness