Anti-Duhring: Herr Eugen Duhring's Revolution in Science

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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Mar 23, 2015 - 522 pages
Marx and Engels first became aware of Professor Dühring with his December 1867 review of Capital, published in Ergänzungsblätter. They exchanged a series of letters about him from January-March 1868. He was largely forgotten until the mid-1870s, at which time Dühring entered Germany's political foreground. German Social-Democrats were influenced by both his Kritische Geschichte der Nationalökonomie und des Sozialismus and Cursus der Philosophie als streng wissenschaftlicher Weltanschauung und Lebensgestaltung. Among his readers were included Johann Most, Friedrich Wilhelm Fritzsche, Eduard Bernstein - and even August Bebel for a brief period. In March 1874, the Social-Democratic Workers' Party paper Volksstaat ran an anonymous article (actually penned by Bebel) favorably reviewing one of Dühring's books. On both February 1 and April 21, 1875, Liebknecht encouraged Engels to take Dühring head-on in the pages of the Volksstaat. In February 1876, Engels fired an opening salvo with his Volksstaat article "Prussian Vodka in the German Reichstag". On May 24, 1876, Engels wrote Marx, saying there was cause to initiate a campaign against the spread of Dühring's views. Marx replied the next day, saying Dühring himself should be sharply criticised. So Engels put aside his work on what would later become known as the book Dialectics of Nature. On May 28, he outlined to Marx the general strategy he planned to take against Dühring. It would take over two years to complete. The book breaks into three distinct parts: Part I: Philosophy - Written mainly between September 1876 and January 1877. Published as a series of articles entitled Herrn Eugen Dühring's Umwälzung der Philosophie in Vorwärts between January and May 1877. Later, beginning in 1878, with the first separate edition, the first two chapters of this part were made into an independent general introduction to all three parts. Part II: Political Economy - Written mainly between June and August 1877. (The last chapter was actually written by Marx.) Published under the title Herrn Eugen Dühring's Umwälzung der politischen Oekonomie in Wissenschaftliche Beilage and in the supplement to Vorwärts between July and December 1877. Part III: Socialism - Written mainly between August 1877 and April 1878. Published as Herrn Eugen Dühring's Umwälzung des Sozialismus in the supplement to Vorwärts between May and July 1878. The Vorwärts serials elicited objections from Dühring's loyal adherents: during the May 27 1877 congress of the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany, they attempted to ban the on-going publication of it in the Party paper. Indeed, the sporadic delays in publication were largely due to their efforts. In July 1877, Part I was published as a pamphlet. In July 1878, Parts II and III were combined into a second pamphlet. In early July 1878, the complete work was first published as a book - with an added preface by Engels. In October 1878, Germany's Anti-Socialist Law was instituted and Anti-Dühring was banned along with Engels' other works. In 1886, a second edition appeared in Zurich. The third, revised and supplemented edition was published in Stuttgart, in 1894, i.e., after the Anti-Socialist Law was repealed (1890). This was the last edition during Engels' lifetime. It was translated into English for the first time in 1907, in Chicago. In 1880, at Paul Lafargue's request, Engels took three chapters of Anti-Dühring and created one would become one of the most popular socialist pamphlets in the world: Socialism: Utopian and Scientific.

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About the author (2015)

Friedrich Engels is perhaps best remembered as the confidant, colleague, and benefactor of Karl Marx. Engels was born into a Calvinist family on November 28, 1820. The family owned fabric mills in the Rhineland and had business interests in Manchester, England, Engels joined the family business at age 16; he never had a formal university education. Despite his family's industrial background, Engels was sympathetic to the poverty of the working masses. At age 18 he published an attack on industrial poverty, and later joined the Hegelian movement that so influenced Marx and bothered conservative Prussian authorities. Engels first met Marx in 1842, while Marx was editor of a radical newspaper in Cologne. However, they did not establish their lifelong friendship until they met again in Paris two years later. Engels published several works related to economics, the first of which, Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy (1844), attempted to reconcile Hegelian philosophy with the principles of political economy. His second book, The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), was a damning description and condemnation of the poverty generated by the Industrial Revolution. Engels also co-authored three major works with Marx, the most important being the Communist Manifesto (1948). Engels also wrote several historical works, which are more important to historians than to economists. These include The Peasant War in Germany (1850), Germany: Revolution and Counter-Revolution (1851), and The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884). In general, these works are more descriptive than theoretical, and they closely parallel Marx's views on industrialization and class struggle. In addition to being a friend of Marx, Engels was his prime benefactor for a number of years. During their early years in London, beginning in 1849, the Marx family was nearly destitute, and it was only through the generosity of Engels that they prevailed. Engels was also responsible for the publication of Marx's Das Kapital. Before his death, Marx was only able to complete the first volume of this work, and so Engels edited and arranged for the publication of the last two volumes after Marx's death. Engels was an engaging and thoughtful writer. It was perhaps his great fortune and misfortune that he was connected so closely to Marx. On the one hand, he was responsible for bringing much of Marx's work to fruition in his role as benefactor and editor. On the other hand, the shadow of Marx eclipsed some of the exposure that Engels's own ideas and contributions might have had. Engels died of throat cancer in London, 1895. Following cremation at Woking Crematorium, his ashes were scattered off Beachy Head, near Eastbourne as he had requested.

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