Skip to main content


Objective reality and truth, in opposition to paltry yet poisonous opportunism—perversions of communist theory in the name of proletarian/communist revolution

These days many people insist that there is no such thing as objective truth, but instead that truth is “subjective”—that “truth” depends on people’s race, gender, and so on, and that there are different “truths” for different “identities.” As I emphasized in message number Twenty-Three

There is no such thing as different “truths” for different people. People’s experiences may be different, but the truth about all that is the same for everybody. Once more: Truth is...truth.

Yet, even among some who call themselves “communists,” there is the insistence on subjective “truth”—particularly with the claim that there is such a thing as “class truth”—the supposed “class truth” of the exploited working class, the proletariat. This notion is completely wrong—and it has very dangerous implications.

What is involved is the very important question of the relation between Marxism (communism) as a science and its character of being partisan to the cause of the revolution that represents the fundamental interests of the proletariat. The correct understanding is this: Marxism is a scientific method for understanding and transforming reality, in an emancipating way—and it is partisan to the cause of the proletarian/communist revolution on that basis. Marxism is partisan to the cause of proletarian/communist revolution because the objective truth Marxism brings to light is that communism is necessary in order to put an end to all relations of exploitation and oppression, everywhere, and that this represents the fundamental interests of the proletariat.

(An extensive discussion of this is contained in an important article which thoroughly exposes and refutes the arguments of one of the “theorists” of this erroneous notion of “class truth” and other distortions of communism. This article, “Ajith—A Portrait of the Residue of the Past,” by Ishak Baran and KJA, is in the online theoretical journal of the new communism, Demarcations:, Issue no. 4. Here I am going to get into some of the key questions of method and principle that are involved, and are of decisive importance.)

The actual method and approach of communism involves, as it must, a scientific analysis and synthesis not only of the great achievements, but also of serious problems and errors, in the experience of communist revolution. This is an application of the crucial principle of the new communism that I have brought forward: “Everything that is actually true is good for the proletariat, all truths can help us get to communism.” (This is the opposite of the very wrong, and very harmful, notion that “everything that is good for the proletariat is true”—which is an expression of “class truth.”)

A very important fact is that people who are not partisan to the proletarian/communist revolution can, and do, discover many important truths—not only about nature, the cosmos, and so on, but about human society as well (including the experience of communist revolution). And it is necessary to learn from those truths. This is an expression of the crucial principle that everything that is actually true—no matter who or what is the source of that truth—is good for the proletariat, all truths can help us get to communism.

One of the ways certain “Ajith-ite” opportunists defend the erroneous concept of “class truth” is by playing cheap tricks with the fact that whether something is true or not depends on whether or not it is an accurate reflection of reality. This correct concept is distorted by these opportunists to imply that it means that the process of acquiring accurate (truthful) knowledge involves merely a passive mirroring of phenomena in one’s mind (reflection in that sense).

As I have emphasized many times, especially when dealing with anything beyond the most simple phenomena, arriving at the truth requires going beyond the surface appearance to analyze and synthesize the larger and deeper reality (examining the patterns and the underlying and driving forces and causes in things). But whether you have actually arrived at the truth is determined by whether or not your understanding is in correspondence with—is an accurate reflection of—objective reality. (To take a simple example: If someone says it is raining, but there is no rain, their statement is not true—because it is not a correct reflection of objective reality. Or, if someone says that the disease of rabies gets a hold of people because they are possessed by the devil, or that COVID does not actually exist but has been invented by drug companies so they can make money—those statements are also not a correct reflection of reality. But, if someone says rabies is caused by a virus, and it can be effectively combated with a vaccine—and COVID is a different virus whose effects can be minimized with a different vaccine—those statements are a correct reflection of objective reality, and therefore are true.)

Of course, the determination that something is true—is actually a correct reflection of objective reality—is not just a matter of declaring that this is so. The test of truth is reality itself. In order to firmly establish the truth of something (an idea, theory, so on) it is necessary to carry out an evidence-based process, probing reality, identifying the patterns and the underlying and driving forces and causes in the reality being investigated, making projections about what certain actions and transformations of this reality would lead to, and proceeding to consciously interact with reality to test—verify, or disprove—the projections that have been made. 

Ultimately, the test of any theory, etc., is whether or not what it projects about reality is borne out (or not). At the same time, a scientific theory, correctly wielded, can—on the basis of accumulated historical experience and knowledge—accurately project what would likely result from a developing trajectory of things. This, for example, is the basis on which climate scientists can make essentially correct projections about what will develop from historical and current trends. And this is why it can be scientifically asserted that the overthrow of capitalism, and its replacement by communism, is in the fundamental interests of the masses of humanity, and ultimately humanity as a whole.

What, then, is the reason and the purpose in the distortion of the Marxist “reflection theory” by opportunists arguing for “class truth”? Well, claiming that Marxist “reflection theory” means simply mirroring phenomena in your mind, sets things up for the insistence that it is necessary to go beyond such supposed “mirroring,” by “interpreting” phenomena with the outlook and method of the proletariat, dialectical materialism, and—voila!—in doing this you supposedly arrive at the “class truth” of the proletariat.

But, to once again state the decisive point, in basic and essential terms: Dialectical materialism is valid not because it is the outlook and method of the proletariat (of communism), but because it is a scientific method and approach which makes it possible to obtain a correct understanding (a correct reflection in one’s consciousness) of how the world/the universe actually is: the world/the universe consists of objectively existing material reality (that is the materialism part) and that material reality is not uniform and static, but is full of contradiction, motion and change (that is the dialectics part).

The argument of these opportunists for “class truth”—as opposed to objective truth—reflects the fact that they are treating dialectical materialism not as a scientific tool but as the “partisan tool” of the proletariat (or those who claim to represent the interests of the proletariat). But, if the conclusion of dialectical materialism that communist revolution is necessary, is possible, and is emancipating were not objective truth, and instead were simply partisan “proletarian truth,” then why would this “class truth” be more valid than any other “class truth,” including the supposed “truth” of the bourgeoisie (capitalist class) that capitalism is the best possible system, and communist revolution is not necessary and will lead to disaster? Declaring that the conclusions of communist theory are “proletarian truth” perverts and undermines their actual character and importance as scientifically-based objective truth.

Of course, to fully recognize, and act on, fundamental truths about capitalism, on the one hand, and communism on the other, requires an orientation and a willingness to be open to that truth, as opposed to clinging to illusions about capitalism and lies about communism. But, once again, communism is not just some supposed “truth” that is “useful” in opposing capitalism: communism is a scientific method and approach for understanding and transforming reality, in an emancipating way.

Here is a crucial point in relation to all this: Once objective reality is thrown out as the test of truth—once objective reality is no longer the standard against which all statements, ideas, etc. are weighed, to determine if they are true or not—then all kinds of things can be declared “true,” with often terrible consequences.

Attacking the “reflection” principle of Marxist/communist theory—which, again, is the foundation for its scientific method and approach—will lead to all kinds of serious problems. To emphasize this crucial point once more: Once any professed attempt to transform the world departs from a scientific grounding, and gives expression to subjective inclinations, the door is open to serious distortions of reality and to truly terrible acts, even in the name of supposedly lofty ends. And there is particularly great irony, and great harm, when the attack and the distortion is done by opportunists claiming to be communists!

In Part 2 of this article, I will get into further dimensions of the correct Marxist “reflection theory” and refutation of attacks on this by opportunist phony “communists.”