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After Engels, After Marx

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Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the functioning mechanisms of the opposite narratives of Engels’ place within Marxist theory. Drawing attention to various attempts to uncover an alleged myth that Marx and Engels had a perfect relationship and agreed on everything, it argues that a considerably significant part of the Engels controversy is shaped by a post hoc obsession with establishing internal coherence within Marx and Marxism by excluding Engels and dismissing his dialectics. This is an interpretive option that is voiced by the anti-Engels camp. Resisting this reading, the Leninist narrative protests any attempt to suppress one of the most crucial components of socialist theory, that is, dialectics. When the critics separate Marx and Engels from each other, they do not really ‘protect’ the first from the latter, but rather themselves from the competing accounts that they are unhappy to encounter with.

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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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