Lenin on the dialectics of personal squabbles

Picture a group of people over drinks or maybe a couple whose relationship is on the rocks. The dialectic begins with ‘impermissable witticisms, rude behaviour, frenzied controversy, slamming of doors, and shaking of fists, as so many philistines imagine to this day’. It then moves on from ‘wagging of tongues’ to ‘giving expression to convictions which were to be translated into deeds’. And so one enters a fully fledged fight until you reach the point at which you need only a little bit more ‘for the cup to overflow’. And then: ‘Quantity is transformed into quality. The negation is negated. All the offended forget their mutual scores, fall weeping into each others arms …’ Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 7, pp. 404-5.

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