Engels, Friedrich

Engels, Friedrich

biographical name

(born Nov. 28, 1820, Barmen, Rhine Province, Prussia—died Aug. 5, 1895, London, Eng.) German socialist philosopher. Son of a factory owner, he eventually became a successful businessman himself, never allowing his criticism of capitalism to interfere with the profitable operations of his firm. As a young man, he developed an interest in the philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel as expounded by the Young Hegelians, and he became persuaded that the logical consequence of Hegelianism and dialectic was communism. In 1844 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England. With Karl Marx, whom he met in Cologne, he formed a permanent partnership to promote the socialist movement. After persuading the second Communist Congress to adopt their views, the two men were authorized to draft the Communist Manifesto (1848). After Marx's death (1883), Engels served as the foremost authority on Marx and Marxism. Aside from his own books, he completed volumes 2 and 3 of Das Kapital on the basis of Marx's uncompleted manuscripts and rough notes.

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