In defence of Engels

by Roland Boer The reputation of Friedrich Engels has often not fared well in the Marxist tradition. At a minimal level, he is regarded as the lesser intellect in relation to Marx, while more commonly dismissed as one who seriously distorted Marx’s thought and thereby derailed the subsequent socialist tradition. According to this assumption, not only did he make a mess of his editing work, after Marx’s death, with the second and third volumes of Capital, but he also distorted the later tradition by means of his ‘Dialectics of Nature’ and his very popular ;Anti-Dühring’ and ‘Socialism: Utopian and Scientific’. … Continue reading In defence of Engels

Theory and practice reconsidered: the role of ‘critical theory’

by Chris Cutrone Why read Georg Lukács today?[1] Especially when his most famous work, History and Class Consciousness, is so clearly an expression of its specific historical moment, the aborted world revolution of 1917–19 in which he participated, attempting to follow Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg. Are there “philosophical” lessons to be learned or principles to be gleaned from Lukács’s work, or is there, rather, the danger, as the Communist Party of Great Britain’s Mike Macnair has put it, of “theoretical overkill,” stymieing of political possibilities, closing up the struggle for socialism in tiny authoritarian and politically sterile sects founded on “theoretical … Continue reading Theory and practice reconsidered: the role of ‘critical theory’