ANTI-DUHRING Also found in: Wikipedia.
the name by which the classic work of F. Engels, Herr Eugen Dühring’s Revolution in Science, went down in history. The “Anti-Dühring” is a polemical work directed against Dühring, a petit bourgeois German ideologist. The book contains a comprehensive exposition of the three constituent parts of Marxism. Engels began work on it in May 1876.
The “Anti-Dühring” consists of an introduction and three main sections: “Philosophy,” “Political Economy,” and “Socialism.” In the introduction, Engels sketched the development of philosophy and demonstrated the historical inevitability of the birth of Marxism. He showed the regular succession of the main periods in the history of philosophy and came to the conclusion that the spread of materialism into the field of the history of society created the scientific basis for the study of the capitalist mode of production, and that thanks to the two great discoveries of Marx—the materialist conception of history and the theory of surplus value—socialism was transformed from a utopia into a science.
In the first section, Engels states the fundamental problems of materialism and dialectics and also of the materialist conception of history. Consciousness is the product of the human brain, while man himself is the product of nature and society, and thought is a reflection of experience; this is discussed in chapter 3. The possibilities of knowledge, and the process of cognition itself, are infinite; absolute truth is approached through an infinite series of relative truths (chs. 3 and 9). The unity of the world consists in its materiality (ch. 4). The world is infinite in space and time, which are the fundamental forms of existence (ch. 5). The mode of existence of matter is motion (ch. 6). The different forms of motion of matter (mechanical, physical, chemical, biological) make up the subjects of the study of different sciences (chs. 6–7). Engels specially singles out the sciences which study the laws of human thought—formal logic and dialectics (ch. 9); and he examines the laws of dialectics (chs. 12 and 13). He studies different problems of the natural and social sciences from the point of view of dialectics.
Basing himself on the economic doctrine of Marx, in the second section Engels defines the subject and method of political economy (ch. 1), showing the decisive role of economics in the development of society; he examines two paths of the development of classes, the economic preconditions for socialist revolution, and the role of revolutionary violence in replacing the old society by a new one (chs. 2–4). Chapters 5 through 9 contain an account of the Marxist conception of value, simple and compound labor, capital, surplus value, and land rent. Chapter 10, written by Marx, examines certain problems in the history of political economy.
In the third section, Engels draws on the materialist conception of history to give a survey of the history and theory of scientific socialism, showing that scientific socialism is the theoretical expression of the proletarian movement and that the fundamental contradiction of capitalism is resolved in the proletarian revolution. With the victory of the revolution, anarchy in production is replaced by its planned organization. As a result of the progressive development of productive forces, the old division of labor disappears, and labor, instead of a heavy burden, becomes the first need of life; the oppositions of mental and physical labor, city and country disappear; class differences disappear; and the state dies off. Mankind makes a leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom.
The “Anti-Dühring” was the sum of three decades of the development of Marxism. The book’s ideas were developed further in the works of Engels (Dialectics of Nature, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, and Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy) and of V. I. Lenin.
The “Anti-Dühring” was first published in Germany as a series of articles in the central organ of the German Social Democratic Party, the newspaper Vorwärts, from January 1877 to July 1878. The work was published separately in Leipzig in the summer of 1878; however, that year the book was banned as a result of the introduction of the emergency law against socialists. In 1886 an expanded version by Engels was published in Zürich, Switzerland. In all, the book was published 13 times up to 1928. It was not published in Germany between 1928 and 1945. In the German Democratic Republic up to 1960, 13 editions with a total printing of more than 220,000 copies were published. Not one edition came out in the Federal Republic of Germany during this period.
On the request of P. Lafargue, three chapters of the “Anti-Dühring” were reworked by Engels and published in France in 1880. They appeared as a separate popular pamphlet entitled Socialism, Utopian and Scientific; in German translation this pamphlet was entitled The Development of Socialism from Utopia to Science. The first incomplete separate publication of the book in a translation by Paul and Laura Lafargue appeared in Paris in 1901 (Jacques Publishing House). The full text of the book was published only in 1911. The last publication of the “Anti-Dühring” in French was in 1956 (it was published in the works of K. Marx and F. Engels).
The book was translated and published in an abridged version in the USA (Chicago) by A. Lewis in 1907. The full text was published only in 1934 in New York. An analogous edition was published in England in 1935 by Lawrence, Lawrence, and Wishart, Ltd.
The popularization of the “Anti-Dühring” in Russia helped decrease the influence of Dühringism among circles of the Russian intelligentsia, especially the revolutionary-minded youth, who acquired a notion of the doctrine of Marxism through the “Anti-Dühring.” P. L. Lavrov had received a copy of the book from Engels as early as 1878; Marx sent a copy to M. Kovalevskii at the same time. In 1879 the journal Kriticheskoe obozrenie (no. 15) published a favorable review of the book by N. I. Ziber; in the journal Slovo (1879, no. 11) Ziber inserted a large excerpt from the “Anti-Dühring” without mentioning Engels’ name. The tsarist censorship classified the “Anti-Dühring” as a “socialist catechism” and banned the translation and distribution of the book.
There were a number of illegal printings of the book in the 1880’s and 1890’s. For example, in the early 1880’s an abridged translation was published by the Moscow Society of Translators and Publishers. In the early 1890’s, members of Moscow Marxist circles translated a number of fragments from the “Anti-Dühring.” Chapters on the theory of violence were appended to the translation of Engels’ pamphlet The Development of Socialism from Utopia to Science done by V. I. Zasulich and published in 1884 by the Liberation of Labor group. The first legal publication of the “Anti-Dühring” in Russian occurred in 1904 (V. I. Iakovenko Publishing House, St. Petersburg). The edition numbered 2,450, and about 50 deletions had been made by the censor. Translated by L. Martov, the work was called by Lenin “... a downright bad translation, with errors” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 14, p. 373).
In the USSR the “Anti-Dühring” has been published 69 times in a total edition of 2,609,000 copies in 21 languages (as of July 1, 1967).
Lenin, V. I. Soch., 4th ed. (See Spravochnyi tom, pt. 2, p. 140.) “Spravochnyi material k ‘Anti-Diuringu.’” V pomoshch’ marks-istsko-leninskomu obrazovaniiu, 1941, nos. 1–5 and 9. Pozner, V. “Engel’s v bor’be protiv Diuringa i diuringovtsev.” Pod znamenem marksizma, 1940, no. 11. Ul’man, G. S. “Kistorii sozdaniia klassicheskogo truda F. Engel’sa ‘Anti-Diuring.’ ” Voprosy filosofii, 1952, no. 6.
SOURCE: The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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