Monday, January 30, 2017

. . . and Engels (1968)

Book Review from the January 1968 issue of the Socialist Standard

Engels: selected writings ed. by W. O. Henderson, Pelican. 7s. 6d.

This Pelican book is a useful collection of some of Engels' writings. It includes his best such as Socialism, Utopian and Scientific; his 1895 Introduction to Marx's Class Struggles in France (unexpurgated); his articles in 1881 for the Labour Standard and his letter to Bloch on the materialist conception of history. We are also spared his none too successful attempts to reconcile the categories of Hegelian dialectics with the findings of modern science.

Some of Henderson's comments are uncalled for, especially when he claims that Marx and Engels held that in Socialist society there would be “an all powerful State". And this only a few pages after he quotes what Engels says will happen after the working class have won political power and declared the means of production common properly: 
State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production.
Adam Buick

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