Let me begin this essay with some propositions found in the preface to this study. “(A) dynamic of contradiction…stands at the heart of Marxist theory” (p. 8). And (quoting Engels) while “men make their own history…in that each person follows his own consciously desired end, and it is precisely the result of these many wills operating in different directions and of their manifold effect upon the world outside that constitute history.” “What driving forces in turn stand behind these motives? What are the historical causes which transform themselves into these motives in the minds of actors?” (p. 9). Hunt's study demonstrates that Engels was certainly a most contradictory figure, alternating and sometimes conjoining a life of womanizing and carousing to one of the serious and dedicated political work to one of the capitalist manager. As to the second issue, while Hunt shows the various influences that prompted Engels to move toward, indeed, facilitate the development of what is termed Marxism, the question of motivation that caused him to honor those influences is left unanswered. That is, while many were subject to the same influences, the same historical forces, why did Engels “allow” these forces to pull him in a particular direction?
Henry, J.F. (2010), " Marx’s General Friedrich Engels resuscitatedhunt's", Biddle, J.E. and Emmett, R.B. (Ed.) A Research Annual (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 28 Part 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 305-318. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-4154(2010)000028A013
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited