Submitted by ajjohnstone on August 21, 2021

This article reminded me of another thread about how much we really once knew about Marxism due to no publications or no translations of important writings.

https://imhojournal.org/articles/discussion-article-the-second-thoughts-of-engels-on-the-state/

Even back then when works were published, we were not helped by Engels re-editing himself.

noslavery

5 months 2 weeks ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The article is part of numerous discussions among Marxists who have faith on authority of state as a social organ. All these discussions arise from uncritical attitude toward authority which is logically absurd. Marxists have moved from one crisis to another because of that.

I think, anarchist view is that for success, authoritarian thinking is not necessary at all. This view removes anguish and anxiety about state's role and generally, any form of domination. I think, in anarchist view, everything will be settled before overthrowing forces of reactions, including the matter of state itself.

Marxists see periods of political games in revolution camp in order to reach the goal. In contrast, anarchist avoid these games and go to the matter very straight to avoid ambiguity, opportunism, betrayal, grey areas, too much bloodshed and risks. It is like friendship issue. Do you want cooperation or competition? Friendship is not possible in competition. If you want cooperation, you should not hide, must be honest, must have dialogue, must be relaxed and must avoid power game.

Forces of reactions do not like anarchists as enemy, they prefer Marxists because they know that authority and power corrupts.

Reddebrek

5 months 2 weeks ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As Engels was revising his text in 1882 he happened to recall “the unpleasantness occasioned by Most’s protests against Dühring”.[19]In the meantime Most had embraced anarchism and been expelled from the party. Engels may have felt a need to push against any possible sympathy in the German socialist movement for “so-called anarchists”.

That's kinda pathetic if that was the reason, Most had left the SPD two years earlier by that point and had emigrated to London before that and had served a prison sentence and then moved to America. I'm not aware of any large following of his remaining in the party at that point.

This statement was made as a direct refutation of attempts by Johann Most to claim the mantle of Marx.

I've read the letter this statement is working from, that's one way of reading it, it seems to me based on Pattens comments Most was describing his actual history with Marx in an overly positive manner. Engels in his response is much more critical of that relationship, but it doesn't actively contradict any of the claims Most made that Patten refers to, it just gives a more negative interpretation on it.

Also, Most had been in prison from 1881 to 1882, and he moved to America shortly after release, this would have been one of the first times he had become active and on Engels's radar. I'm not a fan of Engels as a person or a theorist, but unless he was prone to years long grudges against people who weren't actively antagonizing him, I think this explanation for his developments is a bit weak.

But perhaps I'm being too considerate

klas batalo

5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I found this actually a pretty useful article though I think the writers ultimately don't understand Engels. He clearly thinks the workers state will wither away once the initial phase of communism is reached after the revolutionary socializing transition to communism is complete, not as they say after the start of the revolution. It seems as they talk about at the end of the article that in older age he thought possibly the transition might take a bit longer than they thought in their middle years or something.

I do think Engels was confusing as hell to understand on this question and have had to re-read him a lot so I can understand why MLs and anarchists alike misunderstand him.