Steger on Engels - A brief comment

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    Manfred Steger argues that properly to evaluate the last writings of Friedrich Engels, theorists must situate his work historically. With such a perspective, the tensions in his last major political work (what has come to he known as his 'testament') are easily explained. Engels was trying to preserve his revolutionary principles while outlining policies appropriate to a non-revolutionary situation. That tension was resolved in a positive direction, according to Steger, by Eduard Bernstein who discarded the revolutionary husk to preserve the liberal, reformist and realistic kernel. This article argues that Steger, while right to situate Engels' writings in their historical context, misjudges the subsequent history of Germany. This history, far from vindicating Bernstein's revisionism, provides stunning confirmation of Engels' revolutionary socialism.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)969-973
    Number of pages5
    JournalPolitical Studies
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Dec. 2001


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