Philosophical idealism is only nonsense from the standpoint of crude, simple, metaphysical materialism. From the standpoint of dialectical materialism, on the other hand, philosophical idealism is a one-sided, exaggerated, überschwengliches (Dietzgen) development (inflation, distention) of one of the features, aspects, facets of knowledge into an absolute, divorced from matter, from nature, apotheosised. Idealism is clerical obscurantism. True. But philosophical idealism is ("m o r e c o r r e c t I y " and "i n
a d d i t i o n ") a road to clerical obscurantism through o n e o f
t h e s h a d e s of the infinitely complex k n o w I e d g e (dialectical) of man.[¥]
Human knowledge is not (or does not follow) a straight line, but a curve, which endlessly approximates a series of circles, a spiral. Any fragment, segment, section of this curve can be transformed (transformed one-sidedly) into an independent, complete, straight line, which then (if one does not see the wood for the trees) leads into the quagmire, into clerical obscurantism (where it is
a n c h o r e d by the class interests of the ruling classes). Rectilinearity and one-sidedness, woodenness and petrification, subjectivism and subjective blindness -- voila the epistemological roots of idealism. And clerical obscurantism (=
philosophical idealism), of course, has epistemological roots, it is not groundless; it is a sterile flower undoubtedly, but a sterile flower that grows on the living tree of living, fer tile, genuine, powerful, omnipotent, objective, absolute human knowledge.
[¥] [Transcriber's Note: This last sentence carries the following note in the margin: "NB this aphorism". -- DJR]
 The fragment "On the Question of Dialectics" is contained in a notebook between the conspectus of Lassalle's book on Heraclitus and the conspectus of Aristotle's
Metaphysics. Written in 1915 in Bern.
 The reference is to the use by Josef Dietzgen of the term "überschwenglich," which means: exaggerated, excessive, infinite; for example, in the book
Kleinere philosophische Schriften (Minor Philosophical Writings ), Stuttgart, 1903, p. 204, Dietzgen uses this term as follows: "absolute and relative are not inifinitely separated."