What follows is an excerpt from Maurice Cornforth’s 1952 Readers’ Guide to the Marxist Classics.

II. THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF MARXISM-LENINISM

(B) MORE ADVANCED READING

(2) Frederick Engels. Anti-Dühring. Karl Marx & Frederick Engels Collected Works, Vol. 25, International Publishers, 1989. pp. 1-309.

(d) Part 1: Chapters 9-11 (pp. 78-110)


[Continuing from Last Week:]

Engels then devotes three chapters (9, 10, 11) to morality and law. He gives here a masterly treatment of the question, “Are there eternal truths?”

Turning to morals, he shows that in class society “morality is always a class morality.”¹

There is a lengthy discussion on ideas of equality. “The real content of the proletarian demand for equality is the demand for the abolition of classes,” Engels declares. “Any demand for equality which goes beyond that of necessity passes into absurdity.”

The next chapter discusses “the question of so-called free will” and “the relation between freedom and necessity.” Freedom is knowledge of necessity.²

*****

¹ See also Lenin, Tasks of the Youth League.

² Cf. also what Engels says concerning the transition to the realm of freedom in Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, extracted from Part III of Anti-Dühring. And see Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, Ch. 3.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s