The position of dialectics in Marx’s thought is a fiercely contested issue. Some commentators view dialectics as a defining characteristic of Marxism, and vital for an understanding of the world. 1 Others see dialectics as Hegelian mysticism either left behind by Marx when he developed historical materialism, or retained as a flawed component of Marxism. 2 Some acknowledge the persistence of dialectical language or categories into the Marx’s mature writings, but insist it can be excluded from Marxism without loss, 3 and yet others see a basic conflict between the dialectical Marx and the scientific Marx - a tension unresolved by Marx himself. 4