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Introductory note from MIA[edit source]

Formerly known as Herr Eugen Dühring's Revolution in Science, Engels’ Anti-Dühring is a popular and enduring work which, as Engels wrote to Marx, was an attempt “to produce an encyclopaedic survey of our conception of the philosophical, natural-science and historical problems.”

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.

Note from MECW vol. 25[edit source]

Anti-Dühring is the tide under which Engels' classical work Herr Eugen Dühring's Revolution in Science is widely known.

The attention of Marx and Engels was first drawn to Dühring when his review of Volume One of Capital was published in Ergänzungsblätter, Vol. Ill, issue No. 3, in December 1867. They expressed a critical attitude towards him in a number of letters of January to March 1868.

In the mid-1870s, Dühring exerted quite a significant influence on German Social-Democrats.- The second edition of Kritische Geschichte der Nationalökonomie und des Sozialismus (November 1875) and the publication of Cursus der Philosophie als streng wissenschaftlicher Weltanschauung und Lebensgestaltung (the last issue appeared in February 1875) made his views more popular. His most active followers were Johann Most, Friedrich Wilhelm Fritzsche and Eduard Bernstein. Even August Bebel came under the influence of Dühring's views for a short time. In March 1874, two of Bebel's articles about Dühring published anonymously under the title "Ein neuer 'Communist'" in the Volksstaat, the central organ of the Social-Democratic Workers' Party (Eisenachers), aroused sharp protest on the part of Marx and Engels.

The spread of Dühring's views made Liebknecht, on February 1 and April 21, 1875, propose to Engels that they be criticised in the Volksstaat.

Engels criticised Dühring for the first time in February 1876, in an article "Prussian Vodka in the German Reichstag", published in Volksstaat (see MECW, Vol. 24). Later, in his letter to Marx of May 24, 1876, he writes of the need to initiate a campaign against the spread of Dühring's views in Germany. Replying on May 25, Marx supported Engels' idea and suggested that, first of all, Dühring himself be sharply criticised (see MECW, Vol. 45). Engels broke off his work on Dialectics of Nature, and by May 28 informed Marx of the general plan and character of the proposed work.

Engels worked on Anti-Dühring for two years—from late May 1876 to early July 1878. Part I of the book was written mainly between September 1876 and January 1877. It was published as a series of articles entitled Herrn Eugen Dühring's Umwälzung der Philosophie in Vorwärts in January-May 1877 (Nos. 1-7, 10 and 11, January 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 24 and 26; Nos. 17, 24 and 25, February 9, 25 and 28; Nos. 36 and 37, March 25 and 28; Nos. 44, 45, 49 and 50, April 15, 18, 27 and 29; Nos. 55 and 56, May 11 and 13). 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 of the book was written mainly between June and August 1877. The last, X chapter of this part was written by Marx (see this volume, pp. 9, 15). In addition, in his letters to Engels of March 7 and August 8, 1877, Marx explained a number of economic problems, especially those connected with Quesnay's Tableau économique, which was difficult to understand (see this volume, p. 239). Engels also read the whole manuscript of Anti-Dühring to Marx before sending it to the printers (see this volume, p. 9).

Part II was published under the title Herrn Eugen Dühring's Umwälzung der politischen Oekonomie in Wissenschaftliche Beilage and in the supplement to Vorwärts from July to December 1877 (No. 87, July 27; Nos. 93 and 96, August 10 and 17; Nos. 105 and 108, September 7 and 14; No. 127, October 28; Nos. 130 and 139, November 4 and 28; No. 152, December 30).

Part III of the book was written mainly between August 1877 and April 1878. It was published as Herrn Eugen Dühring's Umwälzung des Sozialismus in the Supplement to Vorwärts in May to July 1878 (Nos. 52 and 61, May 5 and 26; Nos. 64 and 75, June 2 and 28; No. 79, July 7).

The publication of Anti-Dühring in Vorwärts aroused strong resistance on the part of Dühring's followers. At the next congress of the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany, in Gotha from May 27 to 29, 1877, they attempted to ban the publication of this work in the Party's central organ. It was due to them that Anti-Dühring was being printed at lengthy intervals.

In July 1877, Part I of Engels' work was published in Leipzig as a separate pamphlet: Herrn Eugen Dühring's Umwälzung der Wissenschaft. I. Philosophie. In July 1878, Parts II and III were also published as a separate pamphlet: Herrn Eugen Dühring's Umwälzung der Wissenschaft. IL Politische Oekonomie. Sozialismus.

The entire work was first published in book form in Leipzig on about July 8, 1878, with a preface by Engels: F. Engels, Herrn Eugen Dühring's Umwälzung der Wissenschaft. Philosophie. Politische Oekonomie. Sozialismus. Its title is an ironical paraphrase of the title of Dühring's work Carey's Umwälzung der Volkswirtschaftslehre und Socialwissenschaft, At the end of October 1878, after the Anti-Socialist Law had been put into force in Germany, Anti-Dühring was banned along with Engels' other works. Its second edition appeared in Zurich, in 1886. 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. The second and third editions bore the same title, but the subtitle Philosophie. Politische Oekonomie. Sozialismus was omitted.

In 1880, at Paul Lafargue's request, Engels used three chapters of Anti-Dühring (Chapter I of the Introduction and chapters I and II of Part III) to provide a separate popular pamphlet, first published under the title Socialism Utopian and Scientific, and later as The Development of Socialism from Utopia to Science (see MECW, Vol. 24).

Anti-Dühring was published in English for the first time in 1907, in Chicago as F. Engels, Landmarks of Scientific Socialism. Anti-Duering. Translated and edited by Austin Lewis. This work has been repeatedly reprinted.

Prefaces[edit source]

Original preface (1878)[edit source]

The following work is by no means the fruit of any "inner urge". On the contrary.

When three years ago Herr Dühring, as an adept and at the same time a reformer of socialism, suddenly issued his challenge to his age, friends in Germany repeatedly urged on me their desire that I should subject this new socialist theory to a critical examination in the central organ of the Social Democratic Party, at that time the Volksstaat. They thought this absolutely necessary if the occasion for sectarian divisions and confusions were not once again to arise within the Party, which was still so young and had but just achieved definite unity. [1] They were in a better position than I was to judge the situation in Germany, and I was therefore duty bound to accept their view. Moreover, it became apparent that the new convert was being welcomed by a section of the socialist press with a warmth which it is true was only extended to Herr Dühring's good will, but which at the same time also indicated that in this section of the Party press there existed the good will, precisely on account of Herr Dühring's good will, to take also, without examination, Herr Dühring's doctrine into the bargain. [2] There were, besides, people who were already preparing to spread this doctrine in a popularised form among the workers. [3] And finally Herr Dühring and his little sect were using all the arts of advertisement and intrigue to force the Volksstaat to take a definite stand in relation to the new doctrine which had come forward with such mighty pretensions. [4]

Nevertheless it was a year before I could make up my mind to neglect other work and get my teeth into this sour apple. It was the kind of apple that, once bitten into, had to be completely devoured; and it was not only very sour, but also very large. The new socialist theory was presented as the ultimate practical fruit of a new philosophical system. It was therefore necessary to examine it in the context of this system, and in doing so to examine the system itself; it was necessary to follow Herr Dühring into that vast territory in which he dealt with all things under the sun and with some others as well. That was the origin of a series of articles which appeared in the Leipzig Vorwärts, the successor of the Volksstaat, from the beginning of 1877 onwards and are here presented as a connected whole.

It was thus the nature of the object itself which forced the criticism to go into such detail as is entirely out of proportion to the scientific content of this object, that is to say, of Dühring's writings. But there are also two other considerations which may excuse this length of treatment. On the one hand it gave me, in connection with the very diverse subjects to be touched on here, the opportunity of setting forth in a positive form my views on controversial issues which are today of quite general scientific or practical interest. This has been done in every single chapter, and although this work cannot in any way aim at presenting another system as an alternative to Herr Dühring's "system", yet it is to be hoped that the reader will not fail to observe the connection inherent in the various views which I have advanced. I have already had proof enough that in this respect my work has not been entirely fruitless.

On the other hand, the "system-creating" Herr Dühring is by no means an isolated phenomenon in contemporary Germany. For some time now in Germany systems of cosmogony, of philosophy of nature in general, of politics, of economics, etc., have been springing up by the dozen overnight, like mushrooms. The most insignificant doctor philosophiae and even a student will not go in for anything less than a complete "system". Just as in the modern state it is presumed that every citizen is competent to pass judgment on all the issues on which he is called to vote; and just as in economics it is assumed that every consumer is a connoisseur of all the commodities which he has occasion to buy for his maintenance — so similar assumptions are now to be made in science. Freedom of science is taken to mean that people write on every subject which they have not studied, and put this forward as the only strictly scientific method. Herr Dühring, however, is one of the most characteristic types of this bumptious pseudo-science which in Germany nowadays is forcing its way to the front everywhere and is drowning everything with its resounding — sublime nonsense. Sublime nonsense in poetry, in philosophy, in politics, in economics, in historiography, sublime nonsense in the lecture room and on the platform, sublime nonsense everywhere; sublime nonsense which lays claim to a superiority and depth of thought distinguishing it from the simple, commonplace nonsense of other nations; sublime nonsense, the most characteristic mass product of Germany's intellectual industry — cheap but bad — just like other German-made goods, only that unfortunately it was not exhibited along with them at Philadelphia. [5] Even German socialism has lately, particularly since Herr Dühring's good example, gone in for a considerable amount of sublime nonsense, producing various persons who give themselves airs about "science", of which they "really never learnt a word". [6] This is an infantile disease which marks, and is inseparable from, the incipient conversion of the German student to Social Democracy, but which our workers with their remarkably healthy nature will undoubtedly overcome.

It was not my fault that I had to follow Herr Dühring into realms where at best I can only claim to be a dilettante. In such cases I have for the most part limited myself to putting forward the correct, undisputed facts in opposition to my adversary's false or distorted assertions. This applies to jurisprudence and in some instances also to natural science. In other cases it has been a question of general views connected with the theory of natural science — that is, a field where even the professional natural scientist is compelled to pass beyond his own speciality and encroach on neighbouring territory — territory on which he is therefore, as Herr Virchow has admitted, just as much a "semi-initiate" a as any one of us. I hope that in respect of minor inexactitudes and clumsiness of expression, I shall be granted the same indulgence as is shown to one another in this domain.

Just as I was completing this preface I received a publishers' notice, composed by Herr Dühring, of a new "authoritative" work of Herr Dühring's: Neue Grundgesetze zur rationellen Physik und Chemie. Conscious as I am of the inadequacy of my knowledge of physics and chemistry, I nevertheless believe that I know my Herr Dühring, and therefore, without having seen the work itself, think that I am entitled to say in advance that the laws of physics and chemistry put forward in it will be worthy to take their place, by their erroneousness or platitudinousness, among the laws of economics, world schematism, etc., which were discovered earlier by Herr Dühring and are examined in this book of mine; and also that the rhigometer, or instrument constructed by Herr Dühring for measuring extremely low temperatures, will serve as a measure not of temperatures either high or low, but simply and solely of the ignorant arrogance of Herr Dühring.


June 11, 1878

1st draft of 1878 Preface[edit source]

Source: MECW, Volume 25, p. 336;

Written: May or Early June 1878;

First Published: in German and Russian, 1925 as part of Dialectics of Nature

The following work does not by any means owe its origin to an “inner urge”. On the contrary, my friend Liebknecht can testify to the great effort it cost him to persuade me to turn the light of criticism on Herr Dühring’s newest socialist theory. Once I made up my mind to do so I had no choice but to investigate this theory, which claims to be the latest practical fruit of a new philosophical system, in its connection with this system, and thus to examine the system itself. I was therefore compelled to follow Herr Dühring into that vast domain in which he speaks of all possible things and of some others as well. That was the origin of a series of articles which appeared in the Leipzig Vorwärts from the beginning of 1877 onwards and are here presented as a connected whole.

When, because of the nature of the subject, the critique of a system, so extremely insignificant despite all self-praise, is presented in such great detail, two circumstances may be cited in excuse. On the one hand this criticism afforded me the opportunity of setting forth in positive form in various fields my outlook on controversial issues that today are of quite general scientific or practical interest. And while it does not occur to me in the least to present another system as an alternative to Herr Dühring’s, it is to be hoped that, notwithstanding the variety of material examined by me, the reader will not fail to observe the interconnection inherent also in the views which I have advanced.

On the other hand the “system-creating” Herr Dühring is not an isolated phenomenon in contemporary Germany. For some time now in that country philosophical, especially natural-philosophical, systems have been springing up by the dozen overnight, like mushrooms, not to mention the countless new systems of politics, economics, etc. Just as in the modern state it is presumed that every citizen is competent to pass judgment on all the issues on which he is called to vote; and just as in political economy it is assumed that every buyer is a connoisseur of all the commodities which he has occasion to purchase for his maintenance — so similar assumptions are now to be made in science. Everybody can write about everything and “freedom of science” consists precisely in people deliberately writing about things they have not studied and putting this forward as the only strictly scientific method. Herr Dühring, however, is one of the most characteristic types of this bumptious pseudo-science which in Germany nowadays is forcing its way to the front everywhere and is drowning everything with its resounding sublime nonsense. Sublime nonsense in poetry, in philosophy, in political economy, in historiography; sublime nonsense in the lecture room and on the platform, sublime nonsense everywhere; sublime nonsense which lays claim to a superiority and depth of thought distinguishing it from the simple, commonplace nonsense of other nations; sublime nonsense, the most characteristic mass product of Germany’s intellectual industry — cheap but bad — just like other German-made goods, only that unfortunately it was not exhibited along with them at Philadelphia. Even German socialism has lately, particularly since Herr Dühring’s good example, gone in for a considerable amount of sublime nonsense; the fact that the practical Social-Democratic movement so little allows itself to be led astray by this sublime nonsense is one more proof of the remarkably healthy condition of our working class in a country where otherwise, with the exception of natural science, at the present moment almost everything goes ill.

When Nägeli, in his speech at the Munich meeting of natural scientists, voiced the idea that human knowledge would never acquire the character of omniscience, he must obviously have been ignorant of Herr Dühring’s achievements. These achievements have compelled me to follow him into a number of spheres in which I can move at best only in the capacity of a dilettante. This applies particularly to the various branches of natural science, where hitherto it was frequently considered more than presumptuous for a “layman” to want to have any say. I am encouraged somewhat, however, by a dictum uttered, likewise in Munich, by Herr Virchow and elsewhere discussed more in detail, that outside of his own speciality every natural scientist is only a semi-initiate, vulgo: layman. Just as such a specialist may and must take the liberty of encroaching from time to time on neighbouring fields, and is granted indulgence there by the specialists concerned in respect of minor inexactitudes and clumsiness of expression, so I have taken the liberty of citing natural processes and laws of nature as examples in proof of my general theoretical views, and I hope that I can count on the same indulgence. The results obtained by modern natural science force themselves upon everyone who is occupied with theoretical matters with the same irresistibility with which the natural scientist today is willy-nilly driven to general theoretical conclusions. And here a certain compensation occurs. If theoreticians are semi-initiates in the sphere of natural science, then natural scientists today are actually just as much so in the sphere of theory, in the sphere of what hitherto was called philosophy.

Empirical natural science has accumulated such a tremendous mass of positive material for knowledge that the necessity of classifying it in each separate field of investigation systematically and in accordance with its inner inter-connection has become absolutely imperative. It is becoming equally imperative to bring the individual spheres of knowledge into the correct connection with one another. In doing so, however, natural science enters the field of theory and here the methods of empiricism will not work, here only theoretical thinking can be of assistance. But theoretical thinking is an innate quality only as regards natural capacity. This natural capacity must be developed, improved, and for its improvement there is as yet no other means than the study of previous philosophy.

In every epoch, and therefore also in ours, theoretical thought is a historical product, which at different times assumes very different forms and, therewith, very different contents. The science of thought is therefore, like every other, a historical science, the science of the historical development of human thought. And this is of importance also for the practical application of thought in empirical fields. Because in the first place the theory of the laws of thought is by no means an “eternal truth” established once and for all, as philistine reasoning imagines to be the case with the word “logic”. Formal logic itself has been the arena of violent controversy from the time of Aristotle to the present day. And dialectics has so far been fairly closely investigated by only two thinkers, Aristotle and Hegel. But it is precisely dialectics that constitutes the most important form of thinking for present-day natural science, for it alone offers the analogue for, and thereby the method of explaining, the evolutionary processes occurring in nature, inter-connections in general, and transitions from one field of investigation to another.

Secondly, an acquaintance with the historical course of development of human thought, with the views on the general inter-connections in the external world expressed at various times, is required by theoretical natural science for the additional reason that it furnishes a criterion of the theories propounded by this science itself. Here, however, lack of acquaintance with the history of philosophy is fairly frequently and glaringly displayed. Propositions which were advanced in philosophy centuries ago, which are often enough completely dead philosophically, are frequently put forward by theorising natural scientists as brand-new wisdom and even become fashionable for a while. It is certainly a great achievement of the mechanical theory of heat that it strengthened the principle of the conservation of energy by means of fresh proofs and put it once more in the forefront; but could this principle have appeared on the scene as something so absolutely new if the worthy physicists had remembered that it had already been formulated by Descartes? Since physics and chemistry once more operate almost exclusively with molecules and atoms, the atomic philosophy of ancient Greece has of necessity come to the fore again. But how superficially it is treated even by the best of natural scientists! Thus Kekulé tells us (Ziele und Leistungen der Chemie) that Democritus, instead of Leucippus, originated it, and he maintains that Dalton was the first to assume the existence of qualitatively different elementary atoms and was the first to ascribe to them different weights characteristic of the different elements. Yet anyone can read in Diogenes Laertius (X, §§43-44 and 61) that already Epicurus had ascribed to atoms differences not only of magnitude and form but also of weight that is, he was already acquainted in his own way with atomic weight and atomic volume.

The year 1848, which otherwise brought nothing to a conclusion in Germany, accomplished a complete revolution there only in the sphere of philosophy. By throwing itself into the field of the practical, here setting up the beginnings of large-scale industry and swindling, there initiating the mighty advance which natural science has since experienced in Germany and which was inaugurated by the caricature-like itinerant preachers Vogt, Büchner, etc., the nation resolutely turned its back on classical German philosophy that had lost itself in the sands of Berlin Old-Hegelianism. Berlin Old-Hegelianism had richly deserved that. But a nation that wants to climb the pinnacles of science cannot possibly manage without theoretical thought. Not only Hegelianism but dialectics too was thrown overboard — and that just at the moment when the dialectical character of natural processes irresistibly forced itself upon the mind, when therefore only dialectics could be of assistance to natural science in negotiating the mountain of theory — and so there was a helpless relapse into the old metaphysics. What prevailed among the public since then were, on the one hand, the vapid reflections of Schopenhauer, which were fashioned to fit the philistines, and later even those of Hartmann; and, on the other hand, the vulgar itinerant-preacher materialism of a Vogt and a Büchner. At the universities the most diverse varieties of eclecticism competed with one another and had only one thing in common, namely, that they were concocted from nothing but remnants of old philosophies and were all equally metaphysical. All that was saved from the remnants of classical philosophy was a certain neo-Kantianism, whose last word was the eternally unknowable thing-in-itself, that is, the bit of Kant that least merited preservation. The final result was the incoherence and confusion of theoretical thought now prevalent.

One can scarcely pick up a theoretical book on natural science without getting the impression that natural scientists themselves feel how much they are dominated by this incoherence and confusion, and that the so-called philosophy now current offers them absolutely no way out. And here there really is no other way out, no possibility of achieving clarity, than by a return, in one form or another, from metaphysical to dialectical thinking.

This return can take place in various ways. It can come about spontaneously, by the sheer force of the natural-scientific discoveries themselves, which refuse any longer to allow themselves to be forced into the old Procrustean bed of metaphysics. But that is a protracted, laborious process during which a tremendous amount of unnecessary friction has to be overcome. To a large extent that process is already going on, particularly in biology. It could be greatly shortened if the theoreticians in the field of natural science were to acquaint themselves more closely with dialectical philosophy in its historically existing forms. Among these forms there are two which may prove especially fruitful for modern natural science.

The first of these is Greek philosophy. Here dialectical thought still appears in its pristine simplicity, still undisturbed by the charming obstacles a which the metaphysics of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries — Bacon and Locke in England, Wolff in Germany — put in its own way, and with which it blocked its own progress, from an understanding of the part to an understanding of the whole, to an insight into the general inter-connection of things. Among the Greeks — just because they were not yet advanced enough to dissect, analyse nature — nature is still viewed as a whole, in general. The universal connection of natural phenomena is not proved in regard to particular; to the Greeks it is the result of direct contemplation. Herein lies the inadequacy of Greek philosophy, on account of which it had to yield later to other modes of outlook on the world. But herein also lies its superiority over all its subsequent metaphysical opponents. If in regard to the Greeks metaphysics was right in particulars, in regard to metaphysics the Greeks were right in general. That is the first reason why we are compelled in philosophy as in so many other spheres to return again and again to the achievements of that small people whose universal talents and activity assured it a place in the history of human development that no other people can ever claim. The other reason, however, is that the manifold forms of Greek philosophy contain in embryo, in the nascent state, almost all later modes of outlook on the world. Theoretical natural science is therefore likewise forced to go back to the Greeks if it desires to trace the history of the origin and development of the general principles it holds today. And this insight is forcing its way more and more to the fore. Instances are becoming increasingly rare of natural scientists who, while themselves operating with fragments of Greek philosophy, for example atomistics, as with eternal truths, look down upon the Greeks with Baconian superciliousness because the Greeks had no empirical natural science. It would be desirable only for this insight to advance to a real familiarity with Greek philosophy.

The second form of dialectics, which is the one that comes closest to the German naturalists, is classical German philosophy, from Kant to Hegel. Here a start has already been made in that it has again become fashionable to return to Kant, even apart from the neo-Kantianism mentioned above. Since the discovery that Kant was the author of two brilliant hypotheses, without which theoretical natural science today simply cannot make progress — the theory, formerly credited to Laplace, of the origin of the solar system and the theory of the retardation of the earth’s rotation by the tides — Kant is again held in honour among natural scientists, as he deserves to be. But to study dialectics in the works of Kant would be a uselessly laborious and little-remunerative task, as there is now available, in Hegel’s works, a comprehensive compendium of dialectics, developed though it be from an utterly erroneous point of departure.

After, on the one hand, the reaction against “philosophy of nature” had run its course and had degenerated into mere abuse — a reaction that was largely justified by this erroneous point of departure and the helpless degeneration of Berlin Hegelianism; and after, on the other hand, natural science had been so conspicuously left in the lurch by current eclectic metaphysics in regard to its theoretical requirements, it will perhaps be possible to pronounce once more the name of Hegel in the presence of natural scientists without provoking that St. Vitus’s dance which Herr Dühring so entertainingly performs.

First of all it must be established that here it is not at all a question of defending Hegel’s point of departure: that spirit, mind, the idea, is primary and that the real world is only a copy of the idea. Already Feuerbach abandoned that. We all agree that in every field of science, in natural as in historical science, one must proceed from the given facts, in natural science therefore from the various material forms and the various forms of motion of matter; that therefore in theoretical natural science too the inter-connections are not to be built into the facts but to be discovered in them, and when discovered to be verified as far as possible by experiment.

Just as little can it be a question of maintaining the dogmatic content of the Hegelian system as it was preached by the Berlin Hegelians of the older and younger line. Hence, with the fall of the idealist point of departure, the system built upon it, in particular Hegelian philosophy of nature, also falls. It must however be recalled that the natural scientists’ polemic against Hegel, in so far as they at all correctly understood him, was directed solely against these two points: viz., the idealist point of departure and the arbitrary, fact-defying construction of the system.

After allowance has been made for all this, there still remains Hegelian dialectics. It is the merit of Marx that, in contrast to the “peevish, arrogant, mediocre Epigonoi who now talk large in Germany”, he was the first to have brought to the fore again the forgotten dialectical method, its connection with Hegelian dialectics and its distinction from the latter, and at the same time to have applied this method in Capital to the facts of an empirical science, political economy. And he did it so successfully that even in Germany the newer economic school rises above the vulgar free-trade system only by copying from Marx (often enough incorrectly), on pretence of criticising him.

In Hegel’s dialectics there prevails the same inversion of all real inter-connection as in all other ramifications of his system. But, as Marx says: “The mystification which dialectics suffers in Hegel’s hands by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner. With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.”

In natural science itself, however, we often enough encounter theories in which the real relation is stood on its head, the reflection is taken for the original form, and which consequently need to be turned right side up again. Such theories quite often dominate for a considerable time. When for almost two centuries heat was considered a special mysterious substance instead of a form of motion of ordinary matter, that was precisely such a case and the mechanical theory of heat carried out the inverting. Nevertheless physics dominated by the caloric theory discovered a series of highly important laws of heat and cleared the way, particularly through Fourier and Sadi Carnot, for the correct conception, which now for its part had to put right side up the laws discovered by its predecessor, to translate them into its own language. [Carnot’s function C literally inverted: 1/C =absolute temperature. Without this inversion nothing can be done with it.] Similarly, in chemistry the phlogistic theory first supplied the material, by a hundred years of experimental work, with the aid of which Lavoisier was able to discover in the oxygen obtained by Priestley the real antipode of the fantastic phlogiston and thus could throw overboard the entire phlogistic theory. But this did not in the least do away with the experimental results of phlogistics. On the contrary. They persisted, only their formulation was inverted, was translated from the phlogistic into the now valid chemical language and thus they retained their validity.

The relation of Hegelian dialectics to rational dialectics is the same as that of the caloric theory to the mechanical theory of heat and that of the phlogistic theory to the theory of Lavoisier.

1885 Preface[edit source]

I had not expected that a new edition of this book would have to be published. The subject matter of its criticism is now practically forgotten; the work itself was not only available to many thousands of readers in the form of a series of articles published in the Leipzig Vorwärts in 1877 and 1878, but also appeared in its entirety as a separate book, of which a large edition was printed. How then can anyone still be interested in what I had to say about Herr Dühring years ago?

I think that I owe this in the first place to the fact that this book, as in general almost all my works that were still current at the time, was prohibited within the German Empire immediately after the Anti-Socialist Law [7] was promulgated. To anyone whose brain has not been ossified by the hereditary bureaucratic prejudices of the countries of the Holy Alliance, [8] the effect of this measure must have been self-evident: a doubled and trebled sale of the prohibited books, and the exposure of the impotence of the gentlemen in Berlin who issue prohibitions and are unable to enforce them. Indeed the kindness of the Imperial Government has brought me more new editions of my minor works than I could really cope with; I have had no time to make a proper revision of the text, and in most cases have been obliged simply to allow it to be reprinted as it stood.

But there was also another factor. The "system" of Herr Dühring which is criticised in this book ranges over a very wide theoretical domain; and I was compelled to follow him wherever he went and to oppose my conceptions to his. As a result, my negative criticism became positive, the polemic was transformed into a more or less connected exposition of the dialectical method and of the communist world outlook championed by Marx and myself — an exposition covering a fairly comprehensive range of subjects. After its first presentation to the world in Marx's Misére de la philosophie and in the Communist Manifesto, this mode of outlook of ours, having passed through an incubation period of fully twenty years before the publication of Capital, has been more and more rapidly extending its influence among ever widening circles, and now finds recognition and support far beyond the boundaries of Europe, in every country which contains on the one hand proletarians and on the other undaunted scientific theoreticians. It seems therefore that there is a public whose interest in the subject is great enough for them to take into the bargain the polemic against the Dühring tenets merely for the sake of the positive conceptions developed alongside this polemic, in spite of the fact that the latter has now largely lost its point.

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 to an insignificant degree by myself, it was self-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 on economics ("From Kritische Geschichte") was written by Marx [9] but unfortunately had to be shortened somewhat by me for purely external reasons. As a matter of fact, we had always been accustomed to help each other out in special subjects.

With the exception of one chapter, the present new edition is an unaltered reprint of the former edition. For one thing, I had no time for a thoroughgoing revision, although there was much in the presentation that I should have liked to alter. Besides I am under the obligation to prepare for the press the manuscripts which Marx has left, and this is much more important than anything else. Then again, my conscience rebels against making any alterations. The book is a polemic, and I think that I owe it to my adversary not to improve anything in my work when he is unable to improve his. I could only claim the right to make a rejoinder to Herr Dühring's reply. But I have not read, and will not read, unless there is some special reason to do so, what Herr Dühring has written concerning my attack [10]; in point of theory I have :finished with him. Besides, I must observe the rules of decency in literary warfare all the more strictly in his regard because of the despicable injustice that has since been done to him by the University of Berlin. It is true that the University has not gone unpunished. A university which so abases itself as to deprive Herr Dühring, in circumstances which are well known, of his academic freedom [11] must not be surprised to find Herr Schweninger forced on it in circumstances which are equally well known.

The only chapter in which I have allowed myself some additional elucidation is the second of Part III, "Theoretical". This chapter deals simply and solely with the exposition of a pivotal point in the mode of outlook for which I stand, and my adversary cannot therefore complain if I attempt to state it in a more popular form and to make it more coherent. And there was in fact an extraneous reason for doing this. I had revised three chapters of the book (the first chapter of the Introduction and the first and second of Part III) for my friend Lafargue with a view to their translation into French [12] and publication as a separate pamphlet and after the French edition had served as the basis for Italian and Polish editions, a German edition was issued by me under the title: Die Entwicklung des Sozialismus von der Utopie zur Wissenschaft. This ran through three editions within a few months, and also appeared in Russian [13] and Danish translations. In all these editions it was only the chapter in question which had been amplified, and it would have been pedantic, in the new edition of the original work, to have tied myself down to its original text instead of the later text which had become known internationally.

Whatever else I should have liked to alter relates in the main to two points. First, to the history of primitive society, the key to which was provided by Morgan only in 1877. But as I have since then had the opportunity, in my work: Der Ursprung der Familie, des Privateigenthums und des Stoats (Zurich, 1884) to work up the material which in the meantime had become available to me, a reference to this later work meets the case. The second point concerns the section dealing with theoretical natural science. There is much that is clumsy in my exposition and much of it could be expressed today in a clearer and more definite form. I have not allowed myself the right to improve this section, and for that very reason am under an obligation to criticise myself here instead.

Marx and I were pretty well the only people to rescue conscious dialectics from German idealist philosophy and apply it in the materialist conception of nature and history. But a knowledge of mathematics and natural science is essential to a conception of nature which is dialectical and at the same time materialist. Marx was well versed in mathematics, but we could keep up with natural science only piecemeal, intermittently and sporadically. For this reason, when I retired from business and transferred my home to London, [14] thus enabling myself to give the necessary time to it, I went through as complete as possible a "moulting", as Liebig calls it, [15] in mathematics and the natural sciences, and spent the best part of eight years on it. I was right in the middle of this "moulting" process when it happened that I had to occupy myself with Herr Dühring's so-called natural philosophy. It was therefore only too natural that in dealing with this subject I was sometimes unable to find the correct technical expression, and in general moved with considerable clumsiness in the field of theoretical natural science. On the other hand, my lack of assurance in this field, which I had not yet overcome, made me cautious, and I cannot be charged with real blunders in relation to the facts known at that time or with incorrect presentation of recognised theories. In this connection there was only one unrecognised genius of a mathematician a who complained in a letter to Marx [16] that I had made a wanton attack upon the honour of √-1.

It goes without saying that my recapitulation of mathematics and the natural sciences was undertaken in order to convince myself also in detail — of what in general I was not in doubt — that in nature, amid the welter of innumerable changes, the same dialectical laws of motion force their way through as those which in history govern the apparent fortuitousness of events; the same laws which similarly form the thread running through the history of the development of human thought and gradually rise to consciousness in thinking man; the laws which Hegel first developed in all-embracing but mystic form, and which we made it one of our aims to strip of this mystic form and to bring clearly before the mind in their complete simplicity and universality. It goes without saying that the old philosophy of nature — in spite of its real value and the many fruitful seeds it contained[Eng 1] — was unable to satisfy us. As is more fully brought out in this book, natural philosophy, particularly in the Hegelian form, erred because it did not concede to nature any development in time, any "succession", but only "co-existence". This was on the one hand grounded in the Hegelian system itself, which ascribed historical evolution only to the "spirit", but on the other hand was also due to the whole state of the natural sciences in that period. In this Hegel fell far behind Kant, whose nebular theory had already indicated the origin of the solar system,' and whose discovery of the retardation of the earth's rotation by the tides also had proclaimed the doom of that system. And finally, to me there could be no question of building the laws of dialectics into nature, but of discovering them in it and evolving them from it.

But to do this systematically and in each separate department, is a gigantic task. Not only is the domain to be mastered almost boundless; natural science in this entire domain is itself undergoing such a mighty process of being revolutionised that even people who can devote the whole of their spare time to it can hardly keep pace. Since Karl Marx's death, however, my time has been requisitioned for more urgent duties, and I have therefore been compelled to lay aside my work. For the present I must content myself with the indications given in this book, and must wait to find some later opportunity to put together and publish the results which I have arrived at, perhaps in conjunction with the extremely important mathematical manuscripts left by Marx. [17]

Yet the advance of theoretical natural science may possibly make my work to a great extent or even altogether superfluous. For the revolution which is being forced on theoretical natural science by the mere need to set in order the purely empirical discoveries great masses of which have been piled up, is of such a kind that it must bring the dialectical character of natural processes more and more to the consciousness even of those empiricists who are most opposed to it. The old rigid antagonisms, the sharp, impassable dividing lines are more and more disappearing. Since even the last "true" gases have been liquefied, and since it has been proved that a body can be brought into a condition in which the liquid and the gaseous forms are indistinguishable, the aggregate states have lost the last relics of their former absolute character. [18] With the thesis of the kinetic theory of gases, that in perfect gases at equal temperatures the squares of the speeds with which the individual gas molecules move are in inverse ratio to their molecular weights heat also takes its place directly among the forms of motion which can be immediately measured as such. Whereas only ten years ago the great basic law of motion, then recently discovered, was as yet conceived merely as a law of the conservation of energy, as the mere expression of the indestructibility and uncreatability of motion, that is, merely in its quantitative aspect, this narrow negative conception is being more and more supplanted by the positive idea of the transformation of energy, in which for the first time the qualitative content of the process comes into its own, and the last vestige of an extramundane creator is obliterated. That the quantity of motion (so-called energy) remains unaltered when it is transformed from kinetic energy (so-called mechanical force) into electricity, heat, potential energy, etc., and vice versa, no longer needs to be preached as something new; it serves as the already secured basis for the now much more pregnant investigation into the very process of transformation, the great basic process, knowledge of which comprises all knowledge of nature. And since biology has been pursued in the light of the theory of evolution, one rigid boundary line of classification after another has been swept away in the domain of organic nature. The almost unclassifiable intermediate links are growing daily more numerous, closer investigation throws organisms out of one class into another, and distinguishing characteristics which almost became articles of faith are losing their absolute validity; we now have mammals that lay eggs, and, if the report is confirmed, also birds that walk on all fours. Years ago Virchow was compelled, following on the discovery of the cell, to dissolve the unity of the individual animal being into a federation of cell-states — thus acting more progressively rather than scientifically and dialectically [19] — and now the conception of animal (therefore also human) individuality is becoming far more complex owing to the discovery of the white blood corpuscles which creep about amoeba-like within the bodies of the higher animals. It is however precisely the polar antagonisms put forward as irreconcilable and insoluble, the forcibly fixed lines of demarcation and class distinctions, which have given modern theoretical natural science its restricted, metaphysical character. The recognition that these antagonisms and distinctions, though to be found in nature, are only of relative validity, and that on the other hand their imagined rigidity and absolute validity have been introduced into nature only by our reflective minds — this recognition is the kernel of the dialectical conception of nature. It is possible to arrive at this recognition because the accumulating facts of natural science compel us to do so; but one arrives at it more easily if one approaches the dialectical character of these facts equipped with an understanding of the laws of dialectical thought. In any case natural science has now advanced so far that it can no longer escape dialectical generalisation. However it will make this process easier for itself if it does not lose sight of the fact that the results in which its experiences are summarised are concepts, that the art of working with concepts is not inborn and also is not given with ordinary everyday consciousness, but requires real thought, and that this thought similarly has a long empirical history, not more and not less than empirical natural science. Only by learning to assimilate the results of the development of philosophy during the past two and a half thousand years will it rid itself on the one hand of any natural philosophy standing apart from it, outside it and above it, and on the other hand also of its own limited method of thought, which is its inheritance from English empiricism.


September 23, 1885

1894 Preface[edit source]

The following new edition is a reprint of the former, except for a few very unimportant stylistic changes. It is only in one chapter — the tenth of Part II: "From Kritische Geschichte" that I have allowed myself to make substantial additions, on the following grounds.

As already stated in the preface to the second edition, this chapter was in all essentials the work of Marx. I was forced to make considerable cuts in Marx's manuscript, which in its first wording had been intended as an article for a journal; and I had to cut precisely those parts of it in which the critique of Dühring's propositions was overshadowed by Marx's own revelations from the history of economics. But this is just the section of the manuscript which is even today of the greatest and most permanent interest. I consider myself under an obligation to give in as full and faithful a form as possible the passages in which Marx assigns to people like Petty, North, Locke and Hume their appropriate place in the genesis of classical political economy; and even more his explanation of Quesnay's economic Tableau, which has remained an insoluble riddle of the sphinx to all modern political economy. On the other hand, wherever the thread of the argument makes this possible, I have omitted passages which refer exclusively to Herr Dühring's writings.

For the rest I may well be perfectly satisfied with the degree to which, since the previous edition of this book was issued, the views maintained in it have penetrated into the social consciousness of scientific circles and of the working class in every civilised country of the world.


May 23, 1894

F. Engels

Introduction[edit source]

General[edit source]

Modern socialism is, in its essence, the direct product of the recognition, on the one hand, of the class antagonisms existing in the society of today between proprietors and non-proprietors, between capitalists and wage-workers; on the other hand, of the anarchy existing in production. But, in its theoretical form, modern socialism originally appears ostensibly as a more logical extension of the principles laid down by the great French philosophers of the eighteenth century. Like every new theory, modern socialism had, at first, to connect itself with the intellectual stock-in-trade ready to its hand, however deeply its roots lay in economic facts.

The great men, who in France prepared men's minds for the coming revolution, were themselves extreme revolutionists. They recognised no external authority of any kind whatever. Religion, natural science, society, political institutions — everything was subjected to the most unsparing criticism; everything must justify its existence before the judgment-seat of reason or give up existence. Reason became the sole measure of everything. It was the time when, as Hegel says, the world stood upon its head; first in the sense that the human head, and the principles arrived at by its thought, claimed to be the basis of all human action and association; but by and by, also, in the wider sense that the reality which was in contradiction to these principles had, in fact, to be turned upside down. Every form of society and government then existing, every old traditional notion was flung into the lumber room as irrational; the world had hitherto allowed itself to be led solely by prejudices; everything in the past deserved only pity and contempt. Now, for the first time, appeared the light of day, henceforth superstition, injustice, privilege, oppression, were to be superseded by eternal truth, eternal Right, equality based on nature and the inalienable rights of man.

We know today that this kingdom of reason was nothing more than the idealised kingdom of the bourgeoisie; that this eternal Right found its realisation in bourgeois justice; that this equality reduced itself to bourgeois equality before the law; that bourgeois property was proclaimed as one of the essential rights of man; and that the government of reason, the Contrat Social of Rousseau, [20] came into being, and only could come into being, as a democratic bourgeois republic. The great thinkers of the eighteenth century could, no more than their predecessors, go beyond the limits imposed upon them by their epoch.

But, side by side with the antagonism of the feudal nobility and the burghers, was the general antagonism of exploiters and exploited, of rich idlers and poor workers. It was this very circumstance that made it possible for the representatives of the bourgeoisie to put themselves forward as representing not one special class, but the whole of suffering humanity. Still further. From its origin the bourgeoisie was saddled with its antithesis: capitalists cannot exist without wage-workers, and, in the same proportion as the mediaeval burgher of the guild developed into the modern bourgeois, the guild journeyman and the day-labourer, outside the guilds, developed into the proletarian. And although, upon the whole, the bourgeoisie, in their struggle with the nobility, could claim to represent at the same time the interests of the different working classes of that period, yet in every great bourgeois movement there were independent outbursts of that class which was the forerunner, more or less developed, of the modern proletariat. For example, at the time of the German Reformation and the Peasant War, Thomas Münzer; in the great English Revolution, the Levellers [21]; in the great French Revolution, Babeuf. There were theoretical enunciations corresponding with these revolutionary uprisings of a class not yet developed; in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries utopian pictures of ideal social conditions [22]; in the eighteenth, actual communistic theories (Morelly and Mably). The demand for equality was no longer limited to political rights; it was extended also to the social conditions of individuals. It was not simply class privileges that were to be abolished, but class distinctions themselves. A communism, ascetic, Spartan, was the first form of the new teaching. Then came the three great utopians: Saint-Simon, to whom the middle-class movement, side by side with the proletarian, still had a certain significance; Fourier, and Owen, who in the country where capitalist production was most developed, and under the influence of the antagonisms begotten of this, worked out his proposals for the removal of class distinctions systematically and in direct relation to French materialism.

One thing is common to all three. Not one of them appears as a representative of the interests of that proletariat which historical development had, in the meantime, produced. Like the French philosophers, they do not claim to emancipate a particular class, but all humanity. Like them, they wish to bring in the kingdom of reason and eternal justice, but this kingdom, as they see it, is as far as heaven from earth, from that of the French philosophers.

For the bourgeois world, based upon the principles of these philosophers, is quite as irrational and unjust, and, therefore, finds its way to the dust-hole quite as readily as feudalism and all the earlier stages of society. If pure reason and justice have not, hitherto, ruled the world, this has been the case only because men have not rightly understood them. What was wanted was the individual man of genius, who has now arisen and who understands the truth. That he has now arisen, that the truth has now been clearly understood, is not an inevitable event, following of necessity in the chain of historical development, but a mere happy accident. He might just as well have been born 500 years earlier, and might then have spared humanity 500 years of error, strife, and suffering.

This mode of outlook is essentially that of all English and French and of the first German socialists, including Weitling. Socialism is the expression of absolute truth, reason and justice and has only to be discovered to conquer all the world by virtue of its own power. And as absolute truth is independent of time, space, and of the historical development of man,. it is a mere accident when and where it is discovered. With all this, absolute truth, reason, and justice are different with the founder of each different school. And as each one's special kind of absolute truth, reason, and justice is again conditioned by his subjective understanding, his conditions of existence, the measure of his knowledge and his intellectual training, there is no other ending possible in this conflict of absolute truths than that they shall be mutually exclusive one of the other. Hence, from this nothing could come but a kind of eclectic, average socialism, which, as a matter of fact, has up to the present time dominated the minds of most of the socialist workers in France and England. Hence, a mish-mash allowing of the most manifold shades of opinion; a mish-mash of less striking critical statements, economic theories pictures of future society by the founders of different sects, a mish-mash which is the more easily brewed the more the definite sharp edges of the individual constituents are rubbed down in the stream of debate, like rounded pebbles in a brook.

To make a science of socialism, it had first to be placed upon a real basis.

In the meantime, along with and after the French philosophy of the eighteenth century had arisen the new German philosophy, culminating in Hegel. Its greatest merit was the taking up again of dialectics as the highest form of reasoning. The old Greek philosophers were all born natural dialecticians, and Aristotle, the most encyclopaedic intellect of them, had already analysed the most essential forms of dialectic thought. The newer philosophy on the other hand, although in it also dialectics had brilliant exponents (e.g., Descartes and Spinoza), had, especially through English influence, become more and more rigidly fixed in the so-called metaphysical mode of reasoning, by which also the French of the eighteenth century were almost wholly dominated at all events in their special philosophical work. Outside philosophy in the restricted sense, the French nevertheless produced masterpieces of dialectic. We need only call to mind Diderot's Le neveu de Rameau [23] and Rousseau's Discours sur l'origine et les fondemens de l'inégalité parmi les hommes. We give here, in brief, the essential character of these two modes of thought. We shall have to return to them later in greater detail.

When we consider and reflect upon nature at large or the history of mankind or our own intellectual activity, at first we see the picture of an endless entanglement of relations and reactions in which nothing remains what, where and as it was, but everything moves, changes, comes into being and passes away. This primitive, naive but intrinsically correct conception of the world is that of ancient Greek philosophy, and was first clearly formulated by Heraclitus: everything is and is not, for everything is fluid, is constantly changing, constantly coming into being and passing away.

But this conception, correctly as it expresses the general character of the picture of appearances as a whole, does not suffice to explain the details of which this picture is made up, and so long as we do not understand these, we have not a clear idea of the whole picture. In order to understand these details we must detach them from their natural or historical connection and examine each one separately, its nature, special causes, effects, etc. This is, primarily, the task of natural science and historical research: branches of science which the Greeks of classical times on very good grounds, relegated to a subordinate position, because they had first of all to collect the material. The beginnings of the exact natural sciences were first worked out by the Greeks of the Alexandrian period, [24] and later on, in the Middle Ages, by the Arabs. Real natural science dates from the second half of the fifteenth century, and thence onward it has advanced with constantly increasing rapidity. The analysis of nature into its individual parts, the grouping of the different natural processes and objects in definite classes, the study of the internal anatomy of organic bodies in their manifold forms — these were the fundamental conditions of the gigantic strides in our knowledge of nature that have been made during the last four hundred years. But this method of work has also left us as legacy the habit of observing natural objects and processes in isolation, apart from their connection with the vast whole; of observing them in repose, not in motion; as constants, not as essentially variables, in their death, not in their life. And when this way of looking at things was transferred by Bacon and Locke from natural science to philosophy, it begot the narrow, metaphysical mode of thought peculiar to the preceding centuries.

To the metaphysician, things and their mental reflexes, ideas, are isolated, are to be considered one after the other and apart from each other, are objects of investigation fixed, rigid, given once for all. He thinks in absolutely irreconcilable antitheses. "His communication is 'yea, yea; nay, nay'; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." [Matthew 5:37. — Ed.] For him a thing either exists or does not exist; a thing cannot at the same time be itself and something else. Positive and negative absolutely exclude one another, cause and effect stand in a rigid antithesis one to the other.

At first sight this mode of thinking seems to us very luminous, because it is that of so-called sound common sense. Only sound common sense, respectable fellow that he is, in the homely realm of his own four walls, has very wonderful adventures directly he ventures out into the wide world of research. And the metaphysical mode of thought, justifiable and even necessary as it is in a number of domains whose extent varies according to the nature of the particular object of investigation, sooner or later reaches a limit, beyond which it becomes one-sided, restricted, abstract, lost in insoluble contradictions. In the contemplation of individual things it forgets the connection between them; in the contemplation of their existence, it forgets the beginning and end of that existence; of their repose, it forgets their motion. It cannot see the wood for the trees.

For everyday purposes we know and can say, e.g., whether an animal is alive or not. But, upon closer inquiry, we find that this is, in many cases, a very complex question, as the jurists know very well. They have cudgelled their brains in vain to discover a rational limit beyond which the killing of the child in its mother's womb is murder. It is just as impossible to determine absolutely the moment of death, for physiology proves that death is not an instantaneous momentary phenomenon, but a very protracted process.

In like manner, every organic being is every moment the same and not the same, every moment it assimilates matter supplied from without, and gets rid of other matter; every moment some cells of its body die and others build themselves anew; in a longer or shorter time the matter of its body is completely renewed, and is replaced by other atoms of matter, so that every organic being is always itself, and yet something other than itself.

Further, we find upon closer investigation that the two poles of an antithesis positive and negative, e.g., are as inseparable as they are opposed and that despite all their opposition, they mutually interpenetrate. And we find, in like manner, that cause and effect are conceptions which only hold good in their application to individual cases; but as soon as we consider the individual cases in their general connection with the universe as a whole, they run into each other, and they become confounded when we contemplate that universal action and reaction in which causes and effects are eternally changing places, so that what is effect here and now will be cause there and then, and vice versa.

None of these processes and modes of thought enters into the framework of metaphysical reasoning. Dialectics, on the other hand, comprehends things and their representations, ideas, in their essential connection, concatenation, motion, origin, and ending. Such processes as those mentioned above are, therefore, so many corroborations of its own method of procedure.

Nature is the proof of dialectics, and it must be said for modern science that it has furnished this proof with very rich materials increasing daily, and thus has shown that, in the last resort, nature works dialectically and not metaphysically. But the naturalists who have learned to think dialectically are few and far between, and this conflict of the results of discovery with preconceived modes of thinking explains the endless confusion now reigning in theoretical natural science, the despair of teachers as well as learners, of authors and readers alike.

An exact representation of the universe, of its evolution, of the development of mankind, and of the reflection of this evolution in the minds of men, can therefore only be obtained by the methods of dialectics with its constant regard to the innumerable actions and reactions of life and death, of progressive or retrogressive changes. And in this spirit the new German philosophy has worked. Kant began his career by resolving the stable solar system of Newton and its eternal duration, after the famous initial impulse had once been given, into the result of a historic process, the formation of the sun and all the planets out of a rotating nebulous mass. From this he at the same time drew the conclusion that, given this origin of the solar system, its future death followed of necessity. His theory half a century later was established mathematically by Laplace, and half a century after that the spectroscope proved the existence in space of such incandescent masses of gas in various stages of condensation. [25]

This new German philosophy culminated in the Hegelian system. In this system — and herein is its great merit — for the first time the whole world, natural, historical, intellectual, is represented as a process, i.e., as in constant motion, change transformation, development; and the attempt is made to trace out the internal connection that makes a continuous whole of all this movement and development. From this point of view the history of mankind no longer appeared as a wild whirl of senseless deeds of violence, all equally condemnable at the judgment-seat of mature philosophic reason and which are best forgotten as quickly as possible, but as the process of evolution of man himself. It was now the task of the intellect to follow the gradual march of this process through all its devious ways, and to trace out the inner law running through all its apparently accidental phenomena.

That Hegel did not solve the problem is here immaterial. His epoch-making merit was that he propounded the problem. This problem is one that no single individual will ever be able to solve. Although Hegel was — with Saint-Simon — the most encyclopaedic mind of his time, yet he was limited, first, by the necessarily limited extent of his own knowledge and, second, by the limited extent and depth of the knowledge and conceptions of his age. To these limits a third must be added. Hegel was an idealist. To him the thoughts within his brain were not the more or less abstract pictures of actual things and processes, but, conversely, things and their evolution were only the realised pictures of the "Idea", existing somewhere from eternity before the world was. This way of thinking turned everything upside down, and completely reversed the actual connection of things in the world. Correctly and ingeniously as many individual groups of facts were grasped by Hegel, yet, for the reasons just given, there is much that is botched, artificial, laboured, in a word, wrong in point of detail. The Hegelian system, in itself, was a colossal miscarriage — but it was also the last of its kind. It was suffering, in fact, from an internal and incurable contradiction. Upon the one hand, its essential proposition was the conception that human history is a process of evolution, which, by its very nature, cannot find its intellectual final term in the discovery of any so-called absolute truth. But, on the other hand, it laid claim to being the very essence of this absolute truth. A system of natural and historical knowledge, embracing everything, and final for all time, is a contradiction to the fundamental laws of dialectic reasoning. This law, indeed, by no means excludes, but, on the contrary, includes the idea that the systematic knowledge of the external universe can make giant strides from age to age.

The perception of the fundamental contradiction in German idealism led necessarily back to materialism, but, nota bene, not to the simply metaphysical, exclusively mechanical materialism of the eighteenth century. In contrast to the naively revolutionary, simple rejection of all previous history, modern materialism sees in the latter the process of evolution of humanity, it being its task to discover the laws of motion thereof. With the French of the eighteenth century, and with Hegel, the conception obtained of nature as a whole, moving in narrow circles, and forever immutable, with its eternal celestial bodies, as Newton, and unalterable organic species, as Linnaeus, taught. Modern materialism embraces the more recent discoveries of natural science, according to which nature also has its history in time, the celestial bodies, like the organic species that, under favourable conditions, people them, being born and perishing. And even if nature, as a whole, must still be said to move in recurrent cycles, these cycles assume infinitely larger dimensions. In both cases modern materialism is essentially dialectic, and no longer needs any philosophy standing above the other sciences. As soon as each special science is bound to make clear its position in the great totality of things and of our knowledge of things, a special science dealing with this totality is superfluous. That which still survives, independently, of all earlier philosophy is the science of thought and its laws — formal logic and dialectics. Everything else is subsumed in the positive science of nature and history.

Whilst, however, the revolution in the conception of nature could only be made in proportion to the corresponding positive materials furnished by research, already much earlier certain historical facts had occurred which led to a decisive change in the conception of history. In 1831, the first working-class rising took place in Lyons; between 1838 and 1842, the first national working-class movement, that of the English Chartists, reached its height. The class struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie came to the front in the history of the most advanced countries in Europe, in proportion to the development, upon the one hand, of modern industry [grosse Industrie], upon the other, of the newly-acquired political supremacy of the bourgeoisie. Facts more and more strenuously gave the lie to the teachings of bourgeois economy as to the identity of the interests of capital and labour, as to the universal harmony and universal prosperity that would be the consequence of unbridled competition. All these things could no longer be ignored, any more than the French and English socialism, which was their theoretical, though very imperfect, expression. But the old idealist conception of history, which was not yet dislodged knew nothing of class struggles based upon economic interests, knew nothing of economic interests; production and all economic relations appeared in it only as incidental, subordinate elements in the "history of civilisation".

The new facts made imperative a new examination of all past history. Then it was seen that all past history was the history of class struggles [26]; that these warring classes of society are always the products of the modes of production and of exchange — in a word, of the economic conditions of their time; that the economic structure of society always furnishes the real basis, starting from which we can alone work out the ultimate explanation of the whole superstructure of juridical and political institutions as well as of the religious, philosophical, and other ideas of a given historical period. But now idealism was driven from its last refuge, the philosophy of history; now a materialistic treatment of history was propounded, and a method found of explaining man's "knowing" by his "being", instead of, as heretofore, his "being" by his "knowing".

But the socialism of earlier days was as incompatible with this materialistic conception as the conception of nature of the French materialists was with dialectics and modern natural science. The socialism of earlier days certainly criticised the existing capitalistic mode of production and its consequences. But it could not explain them, and, therefore, could not get the mastery of them. It could only simply reject them as bad. But for this it was necessary (1) to present the capitalistic method of production in its historical connection and its inevitableness during a particular historical period, and therefore, also, to present its inevitable downfall; and (2) to lay bare its essential character, which was still a secret, as its critics had hitherto attacked its evil consequences rather than the process of the thing itself. This was done by the discovery of surplus-value. It was shown that the appropriation of unpaid labour is the basis of the capitalist mode of production and of the exploitation of the worker that occurs under it, that even if the capitalist buys the labour-power of his labourer at its full value as a commodity on the market, he yet extracts more value from it than he paid for; and that in the ultimate analysis this surplus-value forms those sums of value from which are heaped up the constantly increasing masses of capital in the hands of the possessing classes. The genesis of capitalist production and the production of capital were both explained.

These two great discoveries, the materialistic conception of history and the revelation of the secret of capitalistic production through surplus-value, we owe to Marx. With these discoveries socialism became a science. The next thing was to work out all its details and relations.

This, approximately, was how things stood in the fields of theoretical socialism and extinct philosophy, when Herr Eugen Dühring, not without considerable din, sprang on to the stage and announced that he had accomplished a complete revolution in philosophy, political economy and socialism.

Let us see what Herr Dühring promises us and how he fulfills his promises.

II. What Herr Dühring Promises[edit source]

The writings of Herr Dühring with which we are here primarily concerned are his Kursus der Philosophie, his Kursus der National- und Sozialökonomie, and his Kritische Geschichte der Nationalökonomie und des Sozialismus. [27] The first-named work is the one which particularly claims our attention here.

On the very first page Herr Dühring introduces himself as

“the man who claims to represent this power” (philosophy) “in his age and for its immediately foreseeable development” {D. Ph. 1}.

He thus proclaims himself to be the only true philosopher of today and of the “foreseeable” future. Whoever departs from him departs from truth. Many people, even before Herr Dühring, have thought something of this kind about themselves, but — except for Richard Wagner — he is probably the first who has calmly blurted it out. And the truth to which he refers is

“a final and ultimate truth” {2}.

Herr Dühring's philosophy is

“the natural system or the philosophy of reality... In it reality is so conceived as to exclude any tendency to a visionary and subjectively limited conception of the world” {13}

This philosophy is therefore of such a nature that it lifts Herr Dühring above the limits he himself can hardly deny of his personal, subjective limitations. And this is in fact necessary if he is to be in a position to lay down final and ultimate truths, although so far we do not see how this miracle should come to pass.

This “natural system of knowledge which in itself is of value to the mind" {508} has, "without the slightest detraction from the profundity of thought, securely established the basic forms of being” {556-57}. From its “really critical standpoint” {404} it provides “the elements of a philosophy which is real and therefore directed to the reality of nature and of life, a philosophy which cannot allow the validity of any merely apparent horizon, but in its powerfully revolutionising movement unfolds all earths and heavens of outer and inner nature” {430}. It is a “new mode of thought” {543}, and its results are “from the ground up original conclusions and views ... system-creating ideas {525} ... established truths” {527}. In it we have before us “a work which must find its strength in concentrated initiative” {38} — whatever that may mean; an “investigation going to the roots {200} ... a deep-rooted science {219} ... a strictly scientific conception of things and men {387} ... an all-round penetrating work of thought {D. C. III} ... a creative evolving of premises and conclusions controllable by thought {6} ... the absolutely fundamental” {150}.

In the economic and political sphere he gives us not only

“historical and systematically comprehensive works” {532}, of which the historical ones are, to boot, notable for “my historical depiction in the grand style” {D. K. G. 556}, while those dealing with political economy have brought about “creative turns” {462},

but he even finishes with a fully worked-out socialist plan of his own for the society of the future, a plan which is the

"practical fruit of a clear theory going to the ultimate roots of things" {D. C. 555-56}

and, like the Dühring philosophy, is consequently infallible and offers the only way to salvation; for

“only in that socialist structure which I have sketched in my Cursus der National- und Socialökonomie can a true Own take the place of ownership which is merely apparent and transitory or even based on violence” {D. Ph. 242}. And the future has to follow these directions.

This bouquet of glorifications of Herr Dühring by Herr Dühring could easily be enlarged tenfold. It may already have created some doubt in the mind of the reader as to whether it is really a philosopher with whom he is dealing, or a — but we must beg the reader to reserve judgment until he has got to know the above-mentioned “deep-rootedness” at closer quarters. We have given the above anthology only for the purpose of showing that we have before us not any ordinary philosopher and socialist, who merely expresses his ideas and leaves it to the future to judge their worth, but quite an extraordinary creature, who claims to be not less infallible than the Pope, and whose doctrine is the only way to salvation and simply must be accepted by anyone who does not want to fall into the most abominable heresy. What we are here confronted with is certainly not one of those works in which all socialist literature, recently also German, has abounded — works in which people of various calibres, in the most straightforward way in the world, try to clear up in their minds problems for the solution of which they may be more or less short of material; works in which, whatever their scientific and literary shortcomings, the socialist good will is always deserving of recognition. On the contrary, Herr Dühring offers us principles which he declares are final and ultimate truths and therefore any views conflicting with these are false from the outset; he is in possession not only of the exclusive truth but also of the sole strictly scientific method of investigation, in contrast with which all others are unscientific. Either he is right — and in this case we have before us the greatest genius of all time, the first superhuman, because infallible, man. Or he is wrong, and in that case, whatever our judgment may be, benevolent consideration shown for any good intentions he may possibly have had would nevertheless be the most deadly insult to Herr Dühring.

When a man is in possession of the final and ultimate truth and of the only strictly scientific method, it is only natural that he should have a certain contempt for the rest of erring and unscientific humanity. We must therefore not be surprised that Herr Dühring should speak of his predecessors with extreme disdain, and that there are only a few great men, thus styled by way of exception by himself, who find mercy at the bar of his "deep-rootedness".

Let us hear first what he has to say about the philosophers:

“Leibniz, devoid of any nobler sentiments ... that best of all court-philosophisers” {D. Ph. 346}.

Kant is still just about tolerated; but after him everything got into a muddle {197}:

there followed the “wild ravings and equally childish and windy stupidities of the immediately succeeding epigoni, namely, a Fichte and a Schelling {227} ... monstrous caricatures of ignorant natural philosophising {56} ... the post-Kantian monstrosities” and “the delirious fantasies” {449} crowned by “a Hegel” {197}. The last-named used a “Hegel jargon” {D. K. C. 491} and spread the “Hegel pestilence” {D. Ph. 486} by means of his “moreover even in form unscientific demeanour” and his “crudities” {D. K. G. 235}.

The natural scientists fare no better, but as only Darwin is cited by name we must confine ourselves to him:

“Darwinian semi-poetry and dexterity in metamorphosis, with their coarsely sentient narrowness of comprehension and blunted power of differentiation {D. Ph. 142} ... In our view what is specific to Darwinism, from which of course the Lamarckian formulations must be excluded, is a piece of brutality directed against humanity.” {117}.

But the socialists come off worst of all. With the exception at any rate of Louis Blanc — the most insignificant of them all — they are all and sundry sinners and fall short of the reputation which they should have before (or behind) Herr Dühring. And not only in regard to truth and scientific method — no, also in regard to their character. Except for Babeuf and a few Communards of 1871 none of them are "men" {D. K. G. 239}. The three utopians are called “social alchemists” {237}. As to them, a certain indulgence is shown to Saint-Simon, in so far as he is merely charged with “exaltation of mind” {252}, and there is a compassionate suggestion that he suffered from religious mania. With Fourier, however, Herr Dühring completely loses patience. For Fourier

“revealed every element of insanity ... ideas which one would normally have most expected to find in madhouses {276} ... the wildest dreams ... products of delirium...” {283}. “The unspeakably silly Fourier” {222}, this “infantile mind” {284}, this “idiot” {286}, is withal not even a socialist; his phalanstery [28] is absolutely not a piece of rational socialism, but “a caricature constructed on the pattern of everyday commerce” {283}.

And finally:

“Anyone who does not find those effusions” (of Fourier's, concerning Newton) “... sufficient to convince himself that in Fourier's name and in the whole of Fourierism it is only the first syllable” (fou — crazy) “that has any truth in it, should himself be classed under some category of idiots” {286}.

Finally, Robert Owen

“had feeble and paltry ideas {295} ... his reasoning, so crude in ethics {296} ... a few commonplaces which degenerated into perversions ... nonsensical and crude way of looking at things {297} ... the course of Owen’s ideas is hardly worth subjecting to more serious criticism {298} ... his vanity” {299-300} — and so on.

With extreme wit Herr Dühring characterises the utopians by reference to their names, as follows: Saint-Simon — saint (holy), Fourier — fou (crazy), Enfantin — enfant (childish) {303}; he only needs to add: Owen — o woe! and a very important period in the history of socialism has in four words been roundly condemned; and anyone who has any doubts about it “should himself be classed under some category of idiots”. As for Dühring's opinion of the later socialists, we shall, for the sake of brevity, cite him only on Lassalle and Marx:

Lassalle: “Pedantic, hair-splitting efforts to popularise ... rampant scholasticism ... a monstrous hash of general theories and paltry trash {509} ... Hegel-superstition, senseless and formless ... a horrifying example {511} ... peculiarly limited {513} ... pompous display of the most paltry trifles {514} ... our Jewish hero {515} ... pamphleteer {519} ... common {520} ... inherent instability in his view of life and of the world” {529}.

Marx: “Narrowness of conception ... his works and achievements in and by themselves, that is, regarded from a purely theoretical standpoint, are without any permanent significance in our domain” (the critical history of socialism), “and in the general history of intellectual tendencies they are to be cited at most as symptoms of the influence of one branch of modern sectarian scholastics {D. K. G. 495} ... impotence of the faculties of concentration and systematisation ... deformity of thought and style, undignified affectation of language ... anglicised vanity ... duping {497} ... barren conceptions which in fact are only bastards of historical and logical fantasy ... deceptive twisting {498} ... personal vanity {499} ... vile mannerisms ... snotty ... buffoonery pretending to be witty ... Chinese erudition {506} ... philosophical and scientific backwardness” {507}.

And so on, and so forth — for this is only a small superficially culled bouquet out of the Dühring rose garden. It must be understood that, at the moment, we are not in the least concerned whether these amiable expressions of abuse — which, if he had any education, should forbid Herr Dühring from finding anything vile and snotty — are also final and ultimate truths. And — for the moment — we will guard against voicing any doubt as to their deep-rootedness, as we might otherwise be prohibited even from trying to find the category of idiots to which we belong. We only thought it was our duty to give, on the one hand, an example of what Herr Dühring calls

“the select language of the considerate and, in the real sense of the word, moderate mode of expression” {D. Ph. 260},

and on the other hand, to make it clear that to Herr Dühring the worthlessness of his predecessors is a no less established fact than his own infallibility. Whereupon we sink to the ground in deepest reverence before the mightiest genius of all time — if that is how things really stand.

Notes[edit source]

Engel's note[edit source]

  1. It is much easier, along with the unthinking mob à la Karl Vogt, to assail the old philosophy of nature than to appreciate its historical significance. It contains a great deal of nonsense and fantasy but not more than the unphilosophical theories of the empirical natural scientists contemporary with that philosophy, and that there was also in it much that was sensible and rational began to be perceived after the theory of evolution became widespread. Haeckel was therefore fully justified in recognising the merits of Treviranus and Oken. In his primordial slime and primordial vesicle Oken put forward as a biological postulate what was in fact subsequently discovered as protoplasm and cell. As far as Hegel is specifically concerned, he is in many respects head and shoulders above his empiricist contemporaries, who thought that they had explained all unexplained phenomena when they had endowed them with some force or power — the force of gravity, the power of buoyancy, the power of electrical contact, etc. — or where this would not do, with some unknown substance: the substance of light, of heat, of electricity, etc. The imaginary substances have now been pretty well discarded, but the power humbug against which Hegel fought still pops up gaily, for example, as late as 1869 in Helmholtz's Innsbruck lecture (Helmholtz, Populäre Vorlesungen, Issue II, 1871, p. 190). In contrast to the deification of Newton which was handed down from the French of the eighteenth century, and the English heaping of honours and wealth on Newton, Hegel brought out the fact that Kepler, whom Germany allowed to starve, was the real founder of the modern mechanics of the celestial bodies, and that the Newtonian law of gravitation was already contained in all three of Kepler's laws, in the third law even explicitly. What Hegel proves by a few simple equations in his Naturphilosophie, § 270 and Addenda (Hegel's Werke, 1842, Vol. 7, pp. 98 and 113 to 115), appears again as the outcome of the most recent mathematical mechanics in Gustav Kirchhoff's Vorlesungen uber mathematische Physik, 2nd ea., Leipzig, 1877, p. 10 and in essentially the same simple mathematical form as had first been developed by Hegel. The natural philosophers stand in the same relation to consciously dialectical natural science as the utopians to modern communism.

Editor's notes[edit source]

  1. At the congress held in Gotha from May 22 to 27, 1875, the two trends in the German working-class movement — the Social-Democratic Workers' Party (Eisenachers), headed by August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht, and the Lassallean General Association of German Workers — united into the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany.
  2. The reference is in particular to August Bebel's article "Ein neuer 'Communist'", printed anonymously in the Volksstaat on March 13 and 20, 1874 with a favourable review of Dühring's book Cursus der National- und Sozialökonomie, einschlieslich der Hauptpunkte der Finanzpolitik and describing Dühring as a supporter of scientific socialism.
  3. Die Lösung der socialen Frage.Berliner Freie Presse.
  4. This refers to the protest lodged by Most with the editors of the Volksstaat, who did not print his article praising Dühring and Fritzsche's speech at the regular congress of the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany in August 1876, demanding that the Party's central organ Volksstaat disseminate Dühring's ideas.
  5. The Sixth World Industrial Fair opened in Philadelphia on May 10, 1876 in connection with the centenary of the founding of the USA (July 4, 1776). Reuleaux, director of the Berlin Industrial Academy appointed by the German Government as chairman of the German panel of judges, had to admit that German-made goods were far inferior to those of other countries and that German industry's guiding principle was "cheap and nasty". This statement evoked wide comment in the press. From July to September, the Volksstaat, for instance, published a series of articles on this scandalous fact.
  6. The phrase "really never learnt a word", which gained wide currency, is to be found in a letter by the French Admiral de Panat. It is sometimes ascribed to Talleyrand. It was made with reference to the royalists, who proved incapable of drawing any lessons from the French Revolution of the late 18th century.
  7. The Anti-Socialist Law was passed by the German Reichstag on October 21, 1878, to counter the socialist and working-class movement. Extended in 1881, 1884, 1886, 1888, it banned all party organisations, mass workers' organisations and the socialist and labour press; Social-Democrats were subjected to reprisals. The Social-Democratic Party, with the help of Marx and Engels, managed, however, to overcome the opportunist (Hochberg, Bernstein and others) and "ultra-Left" (Most and others) tendencies in its ranks and, while the law was in force, correctly combined legal and illegal work to strengthen and extend its influence considerably among the masses. The law was abrogated on October 1, 1890. Engels assesses it in the article "Bismarck and the German Working Men's Party" for The Labour Standard.
  8. The Holy Alliance — an association of European monarchs, founded in 1815 by Tsarist Russia, Austria and Prussia, to suppress revolutionary movements and preserve feudal monarchies in European countries.
  9. This manuscript, to which Marx himself gave the title Randnoten zu Dührings Kritische Geschichte der National ökonomie, was written before March 5, 1877 and then sent to Engels. It was first published by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism, CC CPSU in: Marx / Engels Gesamiausgabe, F. Engels, Herrn Eugen Dühring's Umwälzung der Wissenschaft/Dialektik der Natur. Sonderausgabe, Moscow-Leningrad, 1935, pp. 341-71.
  10. Dühring attempted to refute some of Engels' criticisms in the book: Dühring, Kritische Geschichte der Nationalökonomie und des Sozialismus, Dritte, theilweise umgearbeitete Auflage, Leipzig, 1879, pp. 566-67.
  11. In July 1877, Dühring was deprived of the right to lecture at Berlin University for his sharp criticism of university practices. His dismissal sparked off a vociferous protest campaign by his supporters and was condemned by broad democratic circles.
  12. Initially, the French translation was made by Lafargue, and published under the title Socialisme utopique et socialisme scientifique in the journal Revue socialiste, Nos. 3-5, March-May 1880. p. 10
  13. The Russian translation was first published, as Scientific Socialism, in the illegal journal Students, No. 1, of December 1882, a separate pamphlet The Development of Scientific Socialism was put out by the Emancipation of Labour group in Geneva, in 1884.
  14. Engels left his Manchester business on July 1, 1869 and moved to London on September 20, 1870.
  15. In the introduction to his fundamental work on agrochemistry, Justus Liebig speaks of the evolution of his scientific views and notes: "Chemistry is moving forward at an incredible speed, and the chemists wishing to keep up with it are in a state of constant moulting. One sheds one's old feathers, no longer suitable for flight, but new ones grow in their stead and one flies all the better." See 1. Liebig, Die Chemie in ibrer Anwendung auf Agricultur und Physiologiz, 7. Aufl., Braunschweig, 1862, Th. I, p. 26.
  16. This refers to the letter written by the German Social-Democrat Heinrich Wilhelm Fabian to Marx on November 6, 1880 (Engels described Fabian in his letters to Kautsky of April 11, 1884, to Bernstein of September 13, 1884, and to Sorge of June 3, 1885. See MECW, Vol. 47).
  17. Marx's 1,000-odd sheets of mathematical manuscripts were written mainly in the 1860s, 1870s and early 1880s. The most complete texts of these manuscripts and the abstracts and excerpts of Marx's own notes were first published by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism in the language of the original and translated into Russian in K. Marx, Mathematical Manuscripts, Moscow, 1968.
  18. A reference to the works of the Irish physicist Thomas Andrews (1869), the French physicist Louis Paul Cailletet and the Swiss physicist Raoul Pierre Pictet (1877).
  19. According to the theory expounded by Rudolf Virchow in Die Cellularpathologie, first published in 1858, the individual animal breaks up into tissue, the tissue into cell-states, and the cell-states into cells, so that, in the final analysis, the individual animal is a mechanical sum of separate cells.
  20. This refers to Rousseau's theory of equality (see this volume, p. 129) expounded in his Discours sur l'origine et les fondemens de l'inégalité parmi les hommes, Amsterdam, 1755, and Du contrat social; ou, Principes du droit politique, Amsterdam, 1762.
  21. The Reformation (16th century) — a broad socio-political and ideological movement of a complex social content and composition. It assumed a religious form of struggle against the Catholic doctrine and Church and was basically anti-feudal in character; it spread over most of Western and Central Europe.
  22. Engels has in mind, first of all, the works of Thomas More (Utopia published in 1516) and Tommaso Campanella (City of the Sun, published in 1623).
  23. Denis Diderot's discourse Le neveu de Rameau was written in about 1762 and subsequently revised twice by the author. It was first published, in Goethe's German translation, in Leipzig in 1805; in French in Oeuveres inédites de Diderot, Paris, 1821, put out, in fact, in 1823.
  24. The Alexandrian period (the Alexandrian culture, the Alexandrian age) derives its name from the Egyptian city of Alexandria, which was a major centre of Hellenic culture. Alexandria, to which city thousands of Greeks moved in the 3rd century BC, witnessed a rapid advance of mathematics, mechanics (Euclid, Archimedes), geography, astronomy, physiology and other sciences.
  25. Laplace's hypothesis of the origin of the solar system was first expounded in the last chapter of his treatise Exposition du systéme du monde, T. I-II, Paris, 4th year of the French Republic {1796}. In the last, sixth edition of this book, prepared during Laplace's lifetime and published posthumously, in 1835, the hypothesis is expounded in the last, seventh note.
  26. In the first German edition of Die Entwicklung des Sozialismus von der Utopie zur Wissenschaft (1882), Engels introduced fundamental specification, which was repeated in the authorised English edition (1892). He formulated the given proposition in the following words: "...all past history, with the exception of its primitive stages, was the history of class struggles..."
  27. Dühring's works, quoted by Engels, are referred to in brackets in abbreviated form in the following way:
  28. Phalansteries — the buildings in which, according to the French utopian socialist Charles Fourier, the members of phalanges, ideal harmonious communities, would live and work.