Written: September 1876 - June 1878
Published: In German in VorwÃ¤rts, January 3 1877 to July 7 1878
Published: As book, Leipzig 1878.
Translation: Emile Burns (from the 1894 Stuttgart third edition)
Transcribed for the Internet: [email protected], August 1996
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 ErgÃ¤nzungsblÃ¤tter. 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 NationalÃ¶konomie 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 UmwÃ¤lzung der Philosophie in VorwÃ¤rts 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 UmwÃ¤lzung der politischen Oekonomie in Wissenschaftliche Beilage and in the supplement to VorwÃ¤rts between July and December 1877.
Part III: Socialism -- Written mainly between August 1877 and April 1878. Published as Herrn Eugen Dühring's UmwÃ¤lzung des Sozialismus in the supplement to VorwÃ¤rts between May and July 1878.
The VorwÃ¤rts 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.