Karl Marx did not take Hegel’s dialectic “as is”, but by a method Marx labeled “transformational criticism or inversion”[54], he switched the dialectic from a spiritual realization to a material realization. Marx said that he turned Hegel on his head.[55] Where Hegel said “spirit” Marx said “man” and where Hegel said “man” Marx substituted “spirit”. God did not create man. Man, rather, created the idea of God in his effort to realize his own fulfillment. Marx believed he was making manifest the latent content disguised in Hegel’s philosophy. Hegel’s logic was thus turned from a dialectic of thought and exposition to a dialectic of action and prediction. In this form, the dialectic became the driving force of Communism as we know it today. Theoretically it is referred to as Dialectical Materialism.

It is in the form of Dialectical Materialism as expounded by Karl Marx, that Hegel has had his most profound and far-reaching influence. Garaudy says,

“Marxism in our day has achieved a universality that no spiritual, political, or philosophical movement has ever known  not only because one man in three in the world already lives in a society that is building socialism according to the teachings of Marx, but because Marxism has become the point of reference against which all thought and all action are measured. Are you for it or against it?”[56]

Through Marx, Hegel’s new logic and new idea of reason and new dialectic has become everything Hegel dreamed it would. If it continues to grow in the future as it has in the past few decades, it will be undoubtedly the most significant movement the world has ever known. Walter Kaufman says in his reinterpretation of Hegel,

“It is generally agreed that Hegel was one of the greatest philosophers of all time, and no philosopher since 1800 has had more influence...Indeed recent intellectual history cannot be understood apart from him.”[57]

Henry D. Aiken says in The Age of Ideology;

“The important thing is that the ideology called ‘dialectical materialism’, regardless of the propriety of its title, has taken hold of the imaginations of men as perhaps no doctrine has been able to do since the time of Christ.”[58]

Those who study Hegel and Marx are continually brought face to face with the influence of these men in modern society. Isaiah Berlin says,

“No thinker in the nineteenth century has had so direct, deliberate and powerful an influence upon mankind as Karl Marx.”[59]

Tucker says of Marx,

“If importance may be measured by impact, he is certainly one of the most important minds of modern times.”[60]

A “new” logic, a “new” reason, a “new” dialectic, a “higher” consciousness, is thus the driving force of Communism. Communism is not an economic system in the common sense of the word. It is rather a new method of thinking in which material things as a whole are said to determine spiritual things through a dialectical reaction between social consciousness and social existence. It is a method of thinking in which the laws of thought and the laws of nature are assumed to be the same. It is a way of thinking that posits contradiction as a basic law of thought and new dialectic as the true form of logic. This new way of thinking is fundamental to understanding what Communism (with a capital C) has meant as Communists took over a third of the world.

The dialectical logic of contradiction is the driving force, the unifying principle, the very soul of Communism. Herbert Marcuse in writing about Hegel and the rise of social theory said that,

“Lenin insisted on dialectical method to such an extent that he considered it the hallmark of revolutionary Marxism.”[61]

Marcuse cites Trotsky’s and Bukharin’s theses for the trade union conference, written January 25, 1921, as an example. In this tract, Lenin

“. . . shows how a poverty of dialectical thinking may lead to grave political errors, and he links his defense of dialectic to an attack on the ‘naturalist’ misconception of Marxian theory. The dialectical conception, he shows, is incompatible with any reliance upon the natural necessity of economic laws.”[62]

Lenin did not believe Bukharin understood dialectics and severely criticized him for being too scholastic in his thinking. Stalin used this criticism much to his advantage in bringing himself to power. Stalin said,

“Thus, he [Bukharin] is a theoretician without dialectics. A scholastic theoretician. A theoretician about whom it was said:  ‘It is very doubtful whether his theoretical views can be classed as fully Marxian.’  This is how Lenin characterized Bukharin’s theoretical complexion. You can well understand’ comrades, that such a theoretician has still much to learn. And, if Bukharin understood that he is not as yet a full-fledged theoretician, that he still has much to learn, that he is a theoretician who has not yet assimilated dialectics and dialectics is the soul of Marxism.”[63]

Plekhanov, a Russian political writer and theorist of Marxism, said, in refuting anti-dialectical trends in those who were attempting to revise Marx,

“...without dialectic, the materialist theory of knowledge and practice is incomplete, one sided, nay more, it is impossible.”[64]

The ‘spirit of contradicting is the propulsive force of Hegel’s dialectical method.”[65] It is the essence of the dialectical idea that “contradiction is the very moving principle of the world.”[66]