[OPE-L:6998] have we been unfair to Fred?

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Mon Apr 15 2002 - 20:46:29 EDT

RE Paul B's [6997]:

>  I suppose this means that your reference to Engle's and SV is 
now withdrawn...and that you answer to where such SV references 
are to be found in Engels now moves from....'I havn't found one yet'   
... to 'there weren't any'.   <

My answer is: I haven't had the time to properly review Engels'  works 
re this question. However,  since I don't have the evidence at hand I
guess it's only fair to Fred to withdraw my previous statement concerning
his  alleged use of  the concept of surplus value to describe non-capitalist 
modes of production and production relations.

This, however, raises a larger question  (which has never been really 
discussed in any systematic way on OPE-L before) have "we" (i.e. 
contemporary Marxist scholars) been unfair to Fred E?  That is, have we 
failed to recognize properly his accomplishments and  *unfairly*  criticized 
his theories and practice?   

Clearly,  we have the responsibility to subject the theories and praxis  of 
Engels to critique (just as we have the responsibility to do the same to Marx's 
theories and praxis: after all, no one should be immune from critique from a 
Marxist perspective, right?).   Yet, some might claim (rightly or wrongly) that 
there has been some unjust "Engels-bashing" going on in recent decades.

What are some instances of  authors who have unfairly  attacked Engels -- 
especially as it relates to philosophy and political economy?  

A follow-up question might be: what, if anything, is there to be learned from 
Engels  political-economic  perspective that can't be learned from an examination 
of Marx's perspective?

And, turning the question on its head: what are some instances in which Engels
*should* be criticized for his methodology and and political-economic perspectives?

For instance, are there *major* areas in which Engels "got it wrong"?

Any takers?

In solidarity, Jerry

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