Biography of Friedrich Engels (1820-1895)

German political thinker, born the 28 of November of 1820 and died in 1895.

Son of a Rhenish industrialist, was educated in a strictly pietistic environment. He/She studied in Berlin and belonged to the circle of Young Hegelians. The religious convictions that was formed, were moved with the reading of the work life of Jesus of D. f. Strauss, and later undermined in final form by the knowledge of the work of Feuerbach the essence of Christianity, that caused the first idealistic change towards materialism. In 1842 he/she published anonymously the work Schelling and the revelation that criticized the philosophy of revelation advocated by Schelling, undertaking, on the other hand, the defence of history in Hegel's philosophy.

He travelled to Manchester (England) to come into direct contact with the world of workers in the textile mill where his father was co-owner. This experience served as basis for its work the situation of the working class in England (1845), which has been defined as the first work of scientific socialism. Back in Germany, in 1844, met with Marx, giving home to the human collaboration and thought that would last until the death of Marx, and which is one of the most noble traits of his life (Engels always supported economically Marx). Together wrote the works the Holy Family (1845-46), and the German ideology, where Engels trace the features of his dialectical materialism as opposed to speculative philosophy and pure abstract criticism of Bruno Bauer. Against the individualistic Feuerbach humanism he/she insists the determination of conscience by being social and economic man. He/She founded the Neue Rehinische Zeitung magazine, of which Marx was editor-in-Chief. While Marx was concerned with the development of the capital, Engels was dedicated to the dissemination of didactic materialism in his philosophical and scientific aspects. From this period are the writings: the subversion of science by the Mr Eugen Dühring (known with the title of Anti-Duhring), the origin of the family, private property and the State (1884).

Engels always maintained contact with the first Socialist and Communist movements. In London he/she joined with Marx, in 1847, the "League of the righteous", from which was born the International Communist League. For this he/she wrote the manifesto of the Communist Party (1848). In 1850 he/she resumed activity in the industry from his father in Manchester and went on to direct the first and the second international. In 1869 he/she retired to devote himself more intensively to studies.

Since his retirement had extensive correspondence with the most important Socialists of the time, correspondence that it is very important to know accurately their ideas and political activities. The death of Marx collected and wrote manuscripts and notes prepared by the latter for volumes II and III of the capital.

In his dialectics of nature, Engels tries to show that "the laws of dialectics (Hegelian) are real evolution of nature laws provided that these are understood not as"pure laws of thought", but as actual processes according to the canons of dialectical materialism". Here Engels set forth three laws: the conversion of the amount of quality, and conversely; the interpenetration of opposites and the negation of the negation. Thus begins a "positivist" development of historical materialism, which would result in numerous discussions.