My three favorite Marxist works are Trotsky’s Literature and Revolution, Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution, and Engels’ Anti-Dühring. Of those, the latter is by far of the most general interest. In it, Engels lays out of the basics of Marxist economics, sociology, and philosophy, as well as making more than a few fascinating insights into the natural sciences. As Engels said in the Preface, “it was necessary to follow Herr Dühring into that vast territory in which he dealt with all things under the sun and with some others as well.”
It’s been at least three years since I last read it, and that’s too long. Jenphalian and I have been talking about reading it together, and I can see no good reason not to do so here, in front of god, Texas, and everyone else.
I daresay everyone is invited, even encouraged, to participate, but I’m going to make explicit something that I never expressed during my earlier readings of Capital (which I’d like to continue if my fucking book would show up) and The Wealth of Nations: I have no special interest, in these cases, of arguing. I’m doing these readings for my own benefit (in this case, also jenphalian’s), not to convince anyone of anything. In my reading of Capital, I didn’t bother arguing with those who were certain that value is a product of ideas because arguing with them would not help clarify the points I was working through. I do not doubt that this book, with its wide-ranging subject matter, will inspire vitriol and impassioned dispute from those who long ago made up their minds about Marxism. That’s fine, and if that’s you, feel free to contribute
your idiotic opinions, but I probably won’t answer unless doing so will help my own understanding. Nevertheless, I would ask that you not respond to my observations unless you have also read the material.
Unless I forget, I’ll be sticking in cut tags for those poor souls on Livejournal. If I can recall how those work.
Comments will account for 20% of your grade, the mid-term 30%, and the final test…oh, wait. Never mind.
The version I’m using is here.