Anti-Dühring (German: Herrn Eugen Dührings Umwälzung der Wissenschaft, "Herr Eugen Dühring's Revolution in Science") is a book by Friedrich Engels, first published in German in 1878. It had previously been serialised in the newspaper Vorwärts.[1] There were two further German editions in Engels' lifetime. Anti-Dühring was first published in English translation in 1907.[2]

Anti-Duhring (German edition).gif
The German edition
AuthorFriedrich Engels
Original titleHerrn Eugen Dührings Umwälzung der Wissenschaft
Media typePrint


This work was Engels's major contribution to the exposition and development of Marxist theory. Its full title translates as Herr Eugen Dühring's Revolution in Science: this is meant ironically and polemically. The short title recalls Julius Caesar's polemic Anti-Cato.

Eugen Dühring had produced his own version of socialism, intended as a replacement for Marxism. Since Karl Marx was busy at the time with writing Das Kapital, it was left to Engels to write a general defence. The sections are Philosophy, Political Economy and Socialism.

Among Communists, it 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."

Part of it was published separately in 1880 in France as Socialism: Utopian and Scientific.[3] An English translation was published in 1892. This work also influenced Materialism and Empirio-criticism[4] by Vladimir Lenin.

In the book, Engels articulated one of the classic definitions of the term political economy: "Political economy, in the widest sense, is the science of the laws governing the production and exchange of the material means of subsistence in human society ... Political economy is therefore essentially a historical science. It deals with material which is historical, that is, constantly changing."[5]

In his biography of Marx, Isaiah Berlin found the most readable section to be that subsequently published separately under the title Socialism: Utopian and Scientific which he described as "the best brief autobiographical appreciation of Marxism by one of its creators. ... Written in Engels's best vein [it] had a decisive influence on both Russian and German Socialism."[6]

This work is also the source of a widely quoted aphorism: "The state is not abolished, it withers away."[7] Another well-known sentence refers approvingly to Hegel: "To him, freedom is the insight into necessity (die Einsicht in die Notwendigkeit)."

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Engels, Friedrich (13 September 2017). Herrn Eugen Dührings Umwälzung der Wissenschaft. BoD – Books on Demand. ISBN 9783843026062. Retrieved 25 July 2020 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "MECW - The requested resource is no longer available". Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  3. ^ Tucker, Robert C. "Introduction" in The Marx–Engels Reader, Second Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1978, p. xxxviii.
  4. ^ Materialism and Empirio-criticism, Chapter 4, 7
  5. ^ "1877: Anti-Duhring – Part II: Political Economy".
  6. ^ Berlin, I. (1963). Karl Marx, his life and environment (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 221
  7. ^ "Withering Away of the State." In The Encyclopedia of Political Science, edited by George Thomas Kurian. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2011.

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