Marx Myths and Legends. Z. A. Jordan

The Origins of Dialectical Materialism

Source: From Z.A. Jordan’s book “The Evolution of Dialectical Materialism,” published by Macmillan, 1967. This chapter of the book is reproduced for non-commercial, educational purposes only, and no permission is granted to reproduce the text.

In the history of Marxian thought the publication of Anti-Dühring (Herrn Eugen Dührings Umwalzung der Wissenschaft) turned out to be an epoch-making event. Originally planned as a polemical tract with a narrowly defined objective of no more than transitory importance, [1] Anti-Dühring gained the distinction of being the canonical statement of the doctrine which came to be known as dialectical materialism and acquired great renown all over the world. Engels is the founder of dialectical materialism but he never used its now familiar name, calling it simply ‘modern materialism’. While he saw its modernity in being dialectical, [2] that is, in the application of dialectics to the phenomenon of nature, he left it to Plekhanov and Lenin to coin the new term ‘dialectical materialism’. [3]

Although the term ‘dialectical materialism’ is of later origin, there is no doubt that the oldest and most authoritative exposition of the doctrine itself is to be found in Anti-Dühring. Dialectics of Nature, published posthumously only in 1925, is another important source of our knowledge about dialectical materialism. But while Anti-Dühring gives a text fully approved and twice revised by Engels himself, Dialectics of Nature is only a collection of fragments, notes, and other materials for private use, accumulated by Engels in the years 1873-83 in preparation for a book which he never managed to complete. [4] Therefore, it is Anti-Dühring rather than Dialectics of Nature that should be regarded as Engels’s fully considered formulation of dialectical materialism. The commonly accepted view that Engels wrote Anti-Dühring in close collaboration with Marx has considerably enhanced its authority and reputation.

I. The Significance of Anti-Dühring

In the spring of 1876, in response to the pressing demands of his political friends in Germany, [5] Engels finally decided to settle accounts with Eugen Dühring (1833-1921), Marx’s detractor and short-lived rival for the intellectual leadership within the German Social Democratic Party. While feeling duty-bound to face Dühring’s challenge, Engels was also disgruntled and in private complaining to Marx of having to ‘go after the scalp of the boring Eugen Dühring’. [6]

In the Preface to the first edition of Anti-Dühring Engels emphasized that his book was by no means the fruit of any ‘inner urge’. He undertook the task of refuting Dühring’s ‘new socialist theory’ only because it was imperative to prevent sectarian quarrels and splits from developing within the Party. The popularity of Dühring was symptomatic of the revival of utopian socialism which replaced the ‘materialistic basis’ of socialism ‘by modern mythology with its goddesses of Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity’. [7] Since Marx and he had tried to emancipate the German workers from sentimentality and socialistic day-dreams for decades, they could not allow some ‘muddleheads’ to influence the leaders of German socialism with their ‘silly, stale, and reactionary’ utopianism. However, he undertook the polemical task reluctantly, for Dühring was not a serious opponent and on his account he was forced to neglect more important work. Although Engels thought that his exposure of Herr Dühring’s ‘banalities’ and ‘sublime nonsense’, necessary as it appeared at that time, would soon become useless and fall into oblivion, two more editions of Anti-Dühring were published before Engels died in 1895 and many more after that date. [8]

Engels clearly had no inkling that his polemical examination of Dühring’s views would make history. The opponents of Engels in his dispute with Dühring were no more perspicacious. When Anti-Dühring first began appearing in the Vorwarts by instalments, some of its readers described it as ‘completely without interest’ and the annual congress of the German Social Democratic Party, held in Gotha in May 1877, nearly decided to suppress it altogether. Anti-Dühring was saved from being withdrawn from further publication by the transfer from the main columns to a theoretical supplement of Vorwarts. [9]

From its first publication Anti-Dühring gained the reputation of being, next to The Communist Manifesto, the most successful work that came- as it has been believed- from the pen of Marx and Engels. Moreover, it is widely accepted that no book except Capital has done as much as Anti-Dühring for the dissemination of Marxian thought. Antonio Labriola called it ‘the most accomplished’ and ‘the un-excelled book in the literature of socialism’. [10] According to Lenin, Anti-Dühring ‘is a wonderfully rich and instructive book’. [11] For Plekhanov the first part of Anti-Dühring was the main and the most authoritative source from which the philosophical views of Marx and Engels could be learnt. [12] Karl Kautsky conceded that Capital was an altogether more powerful book but added that ‘only owing to Anti-Dühring did we learn to read and understand Capital the right way’. [13] As Engels himself observed, Anti-Dühring provided the most detailed account of historical materialism; [14] it has remained, ever since, one of the most authoritative. Few people, if any, who are interested in the views of Marx and Engels would disagree with Bertrand Russell’s opinion that the clearest statements of the materialist conception of history are to be found in Anti-Dühring.

The passage of time has confirmed these impressions and views about Anti-Dühring. As his biographer Gustav Mayer observed, what Engels considered as a thankless task turned out to be ‘the decisive blow for the conversion of Continental social democracy to Marxism’. In Anti-Dühring the original views of Marx and Engels were revealed for the first time in simple and lucid language to a whole generation of social democratic leaders, writers and thinkers, to men like Bebel, Bernstein, and Kautsky in Germany, Plekhanov and P. B. Axelrod in Russia, Victor Adler in Austria, Labriola and Turati in Italy. Only upon the publication of Anti-Dühring ‘were a real Marxian school and a real Marxian tradition created on the Continent of Europe’. [15] Furthermore, at the suggestion of Paul Lafargue, Marx’s son-in-law, Engels extracted three chapters, the most relevant and free from polemics, from Anti-Dühring, which Lafargue translated into French and published in La Revue Socialiste and under separate cover in 1880. This pamphlet, known in its English version under the title Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, caused, to Engels’s delight, a ‘real revolution in the heads of the French’. [16] It was translated in its author’s lifetime into ten languages and became as famous and widely read as The Communist Manifesto. While the circumstances to which Anti-Dühring owes its existence have long been forgotten, the book has not lost its significance many years after its publication, but continues to be read and, rightly or wrongly, is a recognized source of knowledge of Marxian theories.

2. The Prevailing View of the Intellectual Partnership of Marx and Engels

Dialectical materialism as formulated in Anti-Dühring has been traditionally regarded as the common product of Marx and Engels. [17] Some contemporary writers go even further and attribute dialectical materialism to Marx exclusively. According to G. A. Wetter, Marx may ‘be considered as the founder of dialectical materialism’. [18] In the opinion of Henri Levebvre, the extension of la dialectique concrete a la nature was accomplished by Marx and only followed by Engels under Marx’s close supervision and approval. [19] While eschewing this extreme point of view, others firmly dismissed as groundless the idea that Marx and Engels could differ in their views concerning the problems of the philosophy of nature. [20]

The only justification of the traditional belief that Anti-Dühring represents not only Engels’s but also Marx’s Naturphilosophie comes from Engels himself.

I must note in passing that inasmuch as the mode of outlook expounded in this book was founded and developed in far greater measure by Marx, and only in an insignificant degree by myself, it was understood between us that this exposition of mine should not be issued without his knowledge. I read the whole manuscript to him before it was printed and the tenth chapter of the part of economics (From the Critical History) was written by Marx. ... As a matter of fact, we had always been accustomed to helping each other out in special subjects. [21]

It is easy to understand why Engels’s account has been accepted uncritically by practically everybody. Engels’s statement in Anti-Dühring merely brought out with specific reference to a particular issue what people had always felt to have been the case in general, namely, that the views of Marx and Engels were without exception absolutely the same.

Franz Mehring emphasized the identity of thought and intellectual development of Marx and Engels and Gustav Mayer followed in his footsteps. [22] Heinrich Cunow was confident that Engels wrote nothing without the approval of Marx, who was even in the habit of seeing the proof sheets of what Engels was about to publish. [23] M. M. Bober, an American scholar, wrote that ‘the two friends thought and worked together and it would be impossible to dissever the thoughts of one from those of the other. Even if the task were possible, it is doubtful whether it would yield fruitful results.’ [24] Both friends and foes, and among the former, persons as different as Karl Kautsky, Plekhanov, Lenin, Karl Vorlander, or Sir Isaiah Berlin are in full agreement that, as Kautsky put it, ‘ the totality of Marx’s and Engels’s literary production constitutes a spiritual union (eine geistige Einheit)’. [25] According to Vorlander, from 1845 [26] Engels’s philosophical development was interlinked in every respect with that of Marx and they could no longer be differentiated. Marx’s philosophical views may be inferred from those of Engels and what Engels said about his friend’s contribution and assistance behind the scene is inherently reliable. [27] This must also have been the belief of Lenin, who in his essay Karl Marx drew almost exclusively upon the works of Engels to outline Marx’s conception of materialism and dialectics. R. N. Carew Hunt described Anti-Dühring in Lenin’s manner as ‘the best general exposition’ of Marx’s philosophical views, [28] and Sir Isaiah Berlin went even further, for he claimed that Engels ‘understood his friend’s new, only half articulated ideas sometimes better than he understood them himself’. [29] It is clear from this wide range of opinions that according to the common implicitly or explicitly accepted assumptions one cannot and should not differentiate the views of Marx from those of Engels, for those views were perfectly identical. The two friends were intellectually twin brothers whose achievements constitute a living unity.

There is no reason to dispute the fact that during Marx’s lifetime Engels, with his knack of writing quickly and clearly and with his talent for popular exposition, often interpreted Marx’s main doctrines. It is right to emphasize that frequently it was owing to Engels that others first came to understand how Marx viewed the course of history and what inferences he drew from his interpretations. After Marx’s death the authority of Engels, Marx’s lifelong friend and editor of his manuscripts, increased enormously. Engels’s likeable character, his admirable honesty and humanity, his unswerving loyalty to Marx, his intellectual honesty and common sense, implicitly induced trust and confidence in his testimony. He considered himself and was recognised by others as the faithful and rightful guardian of Marx’s original thought. This does not necessarily provide the guarantee that Marx’s thought is to be found authentically in Engel’s writings. The fact that Engels was the recognized interpreter of Marx’s system and that he was also a writer in his own right prompts the re-examination of the whole question concerning Engels’s intellectual relationship to Marx.

3. Engels’s Tradition in the Interpretation of Marx

It was Sidney Hook who in the early thirties challenged the accepted opinion that from the beginning of their personal, intellectual, and literary friendship the views of Marx and Engels were identical. Considering the indisputable fact that they were minds of a different order, the alleged identity of views is highly implausible. In a letter to J. P. Becker, Engels frankly confessed that ‘in Marx’s lifetime I played second fiddle’. [30] He wrote to Franz Mehring with his unfailing and self-revealing modesty that Marx was a man with a ‘more rapid coup d’oeil and wider vision’ than himself. If after Marx’s death he was given more credit than he deserved, ‘history will set this right in the end’. Engels felt sure that:

What Marx accomplished, I would not have achieved. Marx stood higher, saw further, and took a wider and quicker view than all the rest of us. Marx was a genius, we others were at best talented. [31]

Engels never tired of emphasizing that it was owing to Marx alone that ‘socialism became a science’. Marx made the two great discoveries, namely, he revealed the secrets of capitalist production in his theory of surplus-value and formulated the materialist conception of history. Although the second of these discoveries was attributed to both Marx and Engels, Engels claimed for himself ‘only a very insignificant share’ and publicly and consistently discounted any suggestions to the contrary. The greater part of its leading basic principles in the realm of economics and history and their final trenchant formulations belonged to Marx; he limited his own share to their elaboration and application. Similarly, The Condition of the Working Class in England represented only one phase of the embryonic evolution of modern socialism which was ‘since [then] fully developed as a science, chiefly and almost exclusively through the efforts of Marx’. Notwithstanding Marx’s appreciative references to The Condition of the Working Class in England and Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy Engels held unflinchingly to the position that ‘what I contributed... Marx could very well have done without me’. [32]

Engels’s self-effacement may have been exaggerated and was actually excessive. That Engels was Marx’s intellectual inferior is a fact, however, of which not only Engels himself was aware but which was also recognized by others, including some of the greatest admirers of Engels. [33] On the other hand, there is no reason to believe that because Engels had neither the inventive genius nor the deep historical and social insight of Marx, they were divided by a gulf of more important differences of opinion. On the whole, it is enough to assume, as Hook did, that Engels gave a characteristic twist to the doctrine of Marx. [34]

The emphasis given by Engels to Marxian thought consists in viewing it as a monistic system concerned with the ultimate constituents and laws of the universe rather than as an application of a unified method. Thus, for instance, Engels gave final currency to the belief that Capital was an exposition of a system of political economy, and not a critical, sociological, and historical analysis of a particular socio-economic formation, undertaken from the standpoint of the class-conscious proletariat of Western Europe and, above all, eine Streitschrift, as Eduard Bernstein put it. In philosophy, a similar shift was accomplished, for Marx, who, after his break with Hegel, was uninterested in academic metaphysics and the theory of knowledge , was presented by Engels as a supporter of dialectical materialism and naive realism. But Marx did not embrace Engels’s modern materialism; neither did he accept Engels’s theory about sensations being images or copies of the objects of the external world. These doctrines are incompatible with the views to be found in Marx’s works, with his ‘naturalistic activism’ and the conception of sensations as ‘forms of practical, sensory activity’. [35]

If Engels had never published Anti-Dühring, and this might easily have happen considering the circumstances of its publication, nobody would have regarded Marx as a dialectical materialist in Engels’s sense. Marx’s own works do not contain the basic assumptions of dialectical materialism and do not justify the application of this label to their author. As has been mentioned earlier, apart from Engels’s account in the Preface to the second edition of Anti-Dühring, which was written and published after Marx’s death, there is no other evidence that Marx dissociated ‘history’ from ‘nature’ or differentiated between ‘dialectical’ and ‘historical’ materialism and regarded the former as logically prior to the latter.

Marx did not disavow the responsibility for the views expounded by Engels, but he need not have seen any necessity for doing so; he might have felt that there was no danger of a work of Engels being construed as an exposition of his own philosophical beliefs. In the Preface to the first edition of Anti-Dühring, published in Marx’s lifetime, Engels said that the criticism of Dühring’s philosophy gave him the opportunity to set forth ‘my views on controversial issues which are today of quite general scientific and practical interest’. [36] He suggested nowhere that what he wrote committed Marx in any way. Quite a different problem is the question as to what was Marx’s opinion about Engels’s peculiar combination of science and speculative philosophy, and the most plausible answer is that Marx did not trouble to make up his mind about it. At that time Marx was entirely engrossed in his own work, above all in the completion of the remaining volumes of Capital, which increasingly prevented him from becoming interested in matters unrelated to his main task.

In 1873 Marx’s health began deteriorating seriously and there was constant fear that he might suffer a stroke. Although Marx temporarily rallied his ebbing strength, thanks to an extended medical treatment, annual visits to the seaside and Karlsbad, a complete recovery was never achieved. Having completed the second edition of the first volume of Capital (1872) and the editing of its French translation (1875), he kept up his vast correspondence but wrote practically nothing apart from short articles. In 1878, that is, the year of the first publication of Anti-Dühring, Marx suffered a relapse of bad health and was able to do no more work, even on Capital (the last revisions and editions incorporated in the second volume of Capital date from 1878). About the same time the anxiety concerning his wife, who was suffering from cancer, began in earnest. Frau Marx died in December 1881 and, as Engels said, on the day of her death ‘the Moor also died’. [37] One year later (January 1883) Marx suffered the second painful blow, the sudden death of his eldest daughter Jenny Longuet.

There were, therefore, ample reasons why Marx should have showed little interest in what Engels was doing, especially since at first they both regarded a reply to Dühring as a task too unimportant to be bothered about. There is really no need to explain why Marx allegedly acquiesced in the attribution of Engels’s doctrine to him, for no such attribution was actually made during his lifetime. Marx was probably entirely unaware, and he had every right to be so, of the implications which were to be drawn from Anti-Dühring with respect to his own philosophical beliefs.

The fully developed division of the ‘theory of Marxism’ into dialectical materialism (providing the most general assumptions and procedures) and historical materialism (based on dialectical materialism and applying its laws to the study of society and history) can be found only in Marxism-Leninism, that is, in Lenin’s interpretation of the doctrine attributed to him by Marx and Engels. But many basic Leninist ideas are contained in their rudimentary form in Anti-Dühring or are based upon the views of Engels expounded in this work. In particular, contrary to the views of some exponents, Engels tried to deduce dialectics of society from dialectics of nature and to provide the communist world outlook with a Naturphilosophie. [38] In the Preface to the second edition of Anti-Dühring Engels confessed that his work contained more than he originally intended to say. He realized post factum that in his examination and refutation of Dühring’s doctrine his ‘negative criticism became positive’ and that ‘the polemic was transformed into a more or less connected exposition ofÉ the communist world outlook’. This comprehensive system which, in his opinion, was the common property of Marx and himself, comprised the views presented to the world in The Poverty of Philosophy, The Communist Manifesto, and Capital as well as some ‘positive conceptions’ developed alongside the polemic against the philosophy of Dühring. [39] The latter ranged over a vast area of subjects, both practical and scientific, and dealt, to use Engels’s own words, ‘with everything under the sun and with some others as well’. As he frankly conceded, he followed Dühring into realms where at best he could only ‘claim to be a dilettante’ and had ‘to exercise great caution’. [40] Engels was aware that he went further than he originally planned. He knew that he overreached himself and was uneasy about it, although later his self-criticism gave way to the pleasure which the success of Anti-Dühring aroused in the author’s breast.

Notwithstanding Engels’s original uneasiness, Anti-Dühring became the main source of knowledge about ‘the philosophy of Marx and Engels’. Unintentionally and somewhat unknowingly Engels established the tradition which ascribed to Marx a coherent monistic system of materialistic metaphysics in the accepted sense of this term, comprising a philosophy of nature, a theory of society, and a view of history, all three derived from a common set of first principles and logically supporting each other. Anti-Dühring is the original and most important source of this tradition and, in particular, of the false belief that the materialist conception of history is closely connected with or deducible from philosophic materialism.

It was in this way that at the turn of the century Anti-Dühring was read by the first generation of students and followers of Marx. ‘As its name already shows,’ wrote Bernstein, ‘the materialistic conception of history closely hangs together with a materialist world outlook.’ [41] The same view was voiced by Ludwig Woltmann, who claimed that ‘historical materialism is only a special application of dialectical materialism to the history of mankind, for history itself should be conceived as a segment of the universal natural process (Naturprozess)’. [42] Plekhanov conceded that the ‘general public’ often used the term ‘Marxism’ to refer to historical materialism, but he asserted that this was not correct and that historical materialism cannot be separated from ‘philosophical materialism’ to be found ‘fairly fully set forth, although in a polemical form, in the first part of Engels’s book Herrn Eugen Dührings Umwalzung der Wissenschaft’. [43] It has rightly been said that the doctrine of Marxism, as understood by Plekhanov, came into being in the period separating the death of Marx from that of Engels. [44] Engels’s philosophy was taken to be a faithful presentation of Marx’s original views and acquired the status of Marxian orthodoxy.

Engels’s interpretation of Marx, later codified by Lenin and Stalin into the canonical doctrine of so-called Marxism or Marxism-Leninism, was, however, subject to some important revisions. In the early twenties Georg Lukacs maintained that when Engels extended Marxian dialectics outside the realm of history and society, he misunderstood Marx entirely. [45] About the same time Karl Korsch argued that Marx’s historical materialism did not need the support of philosophical materialism or even of the materialism expounded by Engels in Anti-Dühring. [46] Similarly, a few years later Sidney Hook claimed that Marx did not conceive of dialectical materialism as a doctrine of nature, distinct from a theory of society and history, for the attempt to apply the dialectics to nature was incompatible with his basic position. [47] Sidney Hook was supported by Bertrand Russell and, more recently, by a number of other scholars and historians. [48] If the view of these writers is essentially correct and Anti-Dühring does not provide a substantially true account of Marx’s philosophy, the question arises as to how Marx’s philosophic position should still be described.

4. The Naturalism of Marx and the Dialectical Materialism of Engels

Marx believed that man is an object of nature; that his mind or soul is not a supernatural entity; that there is an essential unity of mind and body; and that human behaviour can be explained by means of empirical hypotheses to be tested by the procedure accepted in natural science. But these beliefs do not make of Marx a dialectical materialist, nor even a materialist in the usual sense of the word unless naturalism and materialism are considered identical.

Naturalism is usually defined as the view which regards mind as part of nature and demands that it should be investigated by the same method as that applied to other parts of nature. This brief statement is not incorrect but it does not do justice to all essential beliefs of naturalism and might lead to the confusion of materialism and naturalism.

Naturalism comprises a cosmological and methodological component. [49] As a cosmological doctrine, naturalism claims the self-sufficiency of nature, rejects the primacy of mind, accepts ontological pluralism, and emphasises the basic significance of the categories of time, space, and causality for the knowledge of the world. As a methodological conception, naturalism asserts that we can have reliable knowledge only of such objects as can be investigated by scientific method. Scientific method is not identified with the procedures applied in physics or biology, but with certain accredited ways or standard procedures of acquiring knowledge, such as observation, experiment, and inference, of which different sciences make use in different ways, determined by the subject-matter and the technical means available. As a rule the naturalist combines the methodological conception of naturalism with some naturalistic cosmological principles which expose him to the objection of being a concealed materialist. Marx has constantly been described as a materialist, a name which he himself did not renounce and did not wish to disclaim, and contemporary naturalism is often criticized for disguising its true nature by using a misleading name. [50]

The methodological premises of naturalism imply that human behaviour can be adequately explained in terms of causal laws of the same sort as those which govern the conjunction and sequence of natural phenomena, without resorting to the teleological order of events, to ideals, values, spirit, or normative standards. To accept the existence of only such objects as can be studied by scientific method does not necessarily imply metaphysical materialism. It is important to realize this distinction although it was not clearly made and applied in the times of Marx; Marx himself used ‘materialism’ and ‘naturalism’ synonymously, perhaps because he defined materialism as the opposite of Hegelian spiritualism, that is, as the view which denies the independent existence of mind without matter.

While materialism, in some sense of the term, may be a true doctrine, it can never be known to be true. On the other hand, while materialism may be false, it can never be disproved. Since naturalism is compatible with both the truth and falsehood of materialism, naturalism cannot imply materialism and still less be identical with it, as some philosophers seem to believe. Naturalism is not a metaphysical but rather an epistemological and methodological doctrine. It is a systematic reflection upon the procedures applied in the acquisition of knowledge about the world and not a system of beliefs concerning the ultimate constituents of the world.

If the naturalism of Marx should be differentiated from the dialectical materialism of Engels, the problem arises as to how the latter emerged from the former. To answer this question, the problem has first to be extended. Naturalism is closely related to positivism and clearly opposed to metaphysics or speculative philosophy. To regard Marx as a naturalist philosopher seems to militate, therefore against the accepted view of Marx being deeply affected by Hegel and sharply critical of Comte and positivism. On the other hand, dialectical materialism is hostile to positivism and favourably disposed to speculative philosophy. This particular combination of intellectual attitudes appears in turn to be incompatible with the view that Engels is the founder of dialectical materialism, for he is, or is widely considered to be, a positivist rather than a Hegelian.

In order to disentangle this intricate cluster of conflicting influences and intellectual loyalties, the impact of Hegelianism and French positivism upon Marx and Engels has to be re-examined. There is much evidence that in their formative years both Marx and Engels were affected by these two schools of thought, which at the time were the major centres of philosophical attraction. While the examination of the relation of Marx and Engels to Hegelianism and positivism has an inherent interest of its own, it also affords an occasion for defining and explaining the important differences in their respective philosophical positions. It may also help towards an understanding of how dialectical materialism, a conception essentially alien to the philosophy of Marx, emerged from and replaced the naturalism of Marx.

Historically, the incompatibility of naturalism and positivism on the one hand and Hegelianism on the other is not as unquestionable as it might appear. F. A. Hayek introduced the term ‘Hegelian positivism’ to denote a trend among those thinkers- Ernest Renan and Hippolyte Taine in France, Marx and Engels in Germany, Benedetto Croce in Italy, John Dewey in the United States- who succeeded in combining the ideas derived from Hegel and Comte. [51] ‘Hegelian positivism’ is an apt expression to designate Engels’s dialectical materialism. As presented in Anti-Dühring, dialectical materialism combines the elements of three different trends of thought, namely, the naturalism of Marx, Hegelian philosophy, and French positivism. The contribution of each of these trends to the final outcome has to be examined before the historical development and logical analysis of dialectical materialism are undertaken.


1. Engels exclaimed, ‘I have him on the hip now’, when at the planning stage he outlined the content of Anti-Dühring and disclosed the tactics which he intended to follow in rewarding Dühring ‘according to his just deserts’. See Engels’ letter to Marx of 28 May 1876.

2. Engels, AD, p. 39.

3. Plekhanov, Zu Hegel’s sechzigsten Todestag (SAHD), originally published in Neue Zeit in 1891, and Foreword to the Russian translation of Engels’s Ludwig Feuerbach (FNLF), published in 1892. For the first time, Lenin used the expression ‘dialectical materialism’ in What the ‘Friends of the People’ Are, published in 1894.

4. As Engels himself imformed us, since Marx’s death his time was required for more urgent duties, that is, the publication and republication of the works and manuscripts left by Marx, above all, of the remaining volumes of Capital, and Engels was thus compelled to lay aside his own studies. Although he hoped that he would return to them one day, the opportunity never materialised. See Engels, AD, p. 19.

5. In the Special Introduction to the English edition of Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, Engels explained the political reasons why it ‘became necessary to take up the gauntlet thrown down to us [i.e. By Dühring], and to fight out the struggle whether we liked it or not’.

6. Engels’s letter to Marx of 28 May 1876.

7. Marx’s letter to F.A.Sorge of 19 October 1877.

8. Originally Anti-Dühring appeared in Vorwärts, the central organ of the united German Social Democratic Party. The first instalment was published in January 1877, and the last in July 1878, one and a half years later. As a separate book the first edition of Anti-Dühring appeared in 1878, the second in 1885, and the third in 1894.

9. F. Mehring, Karl Marx, p. 512. The scandal caused by Anti-Dühring within the German Social Democratic Party was not restricted to Dühring’s supporters. Many people were shocked by the violence of Engels’s language and the content of his attack upon the blind Privatdozent at Berlin University who publicly defended socialism and was persecuted by the authorities for this heinous crime. It was widely believed at that time that Dühring suffered persecution only because of his political convictions and Engels himself rose to his defence in the Preface to the second edition of AD. According to K. Vorlander, Karl Marx, pp. 251-2, this was not, however, the case. The ostensible reason why the University Senate deprived Dühring of veniam legendi was because of his offensive attacks on Helmholtz and other Berlin scientists. Apparently there was not other path for the Senate to take, since at that time Dühring’s alleged conceit rose to the height of a megalomaniac delusion. Whatever the true reasons responsible for Dühring’s loss of his Privatdozentur at Berlin University were, his scholastic reputation was considerable - no lesser man than Ernst Mach spoke highly of him in Science of Mechanics (Preface to the first German edition) - and Engels’s malice was both out of place and unjustifiable. When it came to defending Marx against his opponents, the kind, gentle, and modest Engels was quite capable of outdoing his friend in sarcasm, irony, invective, and ridicule.

10. A. Labriola, Socialism and Philosophy, pp. 24 and 53.

11. Lenin, ‘Frederick Engels’, CW 2, p.25.

12. Plekhanov, FPM, p.3. Lenin repeated this evaluation in ‘Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Death of Joseph Dietzgen’, CW 19, p. 79.

13. K. Kautsky, Aus der Fr&uum;l;hzeit des Marxismus, p. 15.

14. Engels’s letter to J. Bloch of 21 September 1890.

15. G. Mayer, Friedrich Engels, Bd. 2, p. 285. Cf. D. Riazanov, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, p. 210.

16. Engels’s letter to E. Bernstein of 8 August 1882. See E. Bernstein, Die Briefe von Friedrich Engels an Eduard Bernstein, p. 75. The German version had the title Die Entwicklung des Socializmus von der Utopie zur Wissenschaft and was first published in 1883 with the year 1882 on the cover page. It was preceded by a Polish translation which appeared in Geneva the same year as the French. The English translation was first published in 1892.

17. See, e.g., Lenin, MEC, pp. 19, 246; Sombart, Der proletarische Socializmus, Bd. I, pp. 122-6, 212.

18. G. A. Wetter. DM, p. 40. Wetter changed his view entirely in Die Umkehrung Hegels, pp. 28-38.

19. H. Lefebvre, Le Materialisme dialectique, p. 90.

20. See, e.g., D. Joravsky, Soviet Marxism and Natural Science, p. 6.

21. Engels, AD, p. 14.

22. F. Mehring, Karl Marx, p. 231; G. Mayer, Friedrich Engels, Bd. I, pp. 172-3, 226-7. Cf L. Woltmann, Der historische Materialismus, pp. 212, 293.

23. H. Cunow, Die Marxsche Geschichts-, Gesellschafts- und Staatstheorie, Bd. I, Vorwart.

24. M. M. Bober, Karl Marx’s Interpretation of History, Preface.

25. K. Kautsky, Aus der Frühzeit des Marxismus, p. 395.

26. This qualification is important for such of Engels’s publications as Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy (1844) and The Conditions of the Working Class in England (1845) make it clear that Engels was at first ahead of Marx. It was Engels, says Gustav Mayer, who opened Marx’s eyes to the facts of economic life.

27. K. Vorlander, Kant und Marx, pp. 66-67.

28. R. N. C. Hunt, The Theory and Practice of Communism, p. 37.

29. I. Berlin, Karl Marx, p. 101.

30. Engels’s letter to J. P. Becker of 15 October 1884.

31. Engels’s letter to F. Mehring of 14 July 1893; LF, p. 349 n. See also Engels’s letter to E. Bernstein of 14 March 1883, and to F. A. Sorge of 15 March 1883.

32. Engels, HCL, pp. 311-122; LF, pp. 324, 349 n.; Preface to the English edition of CWC, p. 22; Marx, CPE, pp. 13-14; Werke, Bd. 19, p. 181.

33. See, e.g., Lenin, Frederick Engels, CW 2, p. 26; M. Eastman, Marx and Lenin, p. 27; G. Mayer, Friedrich Engels, Bd. 2, pp. 351-2.

34. S. Hook, Towards the Understanding of Karl Marx, pp. 29. Cf. Bocheriski, SDM, p. 22, first published in 1950, where a similar view is expressed.

35. S. Hook, Towards the Understanding of Karl Marx, pp. 29-33. Cf. M. Adler, Marx als Denker, p. 129.

36. Engels, AD, p. 10.

37. F. Mehring, Karl Marx, pp. 501, 526-8; D. Riazanov, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, pp. 205-6.

38. See, e.g., G. Mayer, Friedrich Engels, Bd. 2, p.323. Mayer argued that Communism had a cosmic and metaphysical meaning for Fourier but not for Engels, who, accepting the possibility of a thermal death of the universe, was a cosmic pessimist. On this account Engels was allegedly unwilling to speculate about the constitution of the universe and to establish his historical and social theories on the foundations of a philosophy of nature.

39. Engels, AD, p. 10.

40. Ibid., p. 12; Engels’s letter to Marx of 28 May 1876.

41. E. Bernstein, Zur Geschichte und Theorie des Sozialismus, p. 323.

42. L. Woltmann, Der historische Materialismus, p. 264.

43. Plekhanov, FPM, pp. 1-2.

44. G. Lichtheim, Marxism, p. 235.

45. G. Lukacs, Geschichte und Klassenbewusstsein, p. 17.

46. K. Korsch, Karl Marx, pp. 167-71, where the main conclusions of his Marxismus und Philosophie, first published in 1922, are summarized.

47. S. Hook, From Hegel to Marx, pp. 75-76.

48. B. Russell, Freedom versus Organisation, ch. xviii; H. Marcuse, Reason and Revolution, p. 314; J.-Y. Calvez, La Pensée de Karl Marx, pp. 374-82, 408, 416; L. Kolakowski, Karol Marks I klasyczna definicja prawdy, pp. 46-54; L. Landgrebe, Das Problem der Dialektik, pp. 50-51; I. Fetscher, ‘Das Verhältnis des Marxismus zu Hegel’, p. 94; J.-P. Sartre, Critique de la raison dialectique, tome I, p. 129; R. C. Tucker, Philosophy and Myth in Karl Marx, p. 183; G. Lichtheim, Marxism, pp. 245-6.

49. For a more detailed discussion of the distinctive characteristics of naturalism see R. W. Sellars, Realism, Naturalism, and Humanism, in particular p. 274, and E. Nagel, Logic without Metaphysics, pp. 7-9.

50. See, e.g., C. J. Ducasse, Nature, Mind and Death, pp. 219-22; M. Farber, Naturalism and Subjectivism, p. 3.

51. F. A. Hayek, The Counter-Revolution of Science, pp. 194, 204.