A homology can be substantiated between Marx’s critique of political economy and Engels’ Dialectics of Nature. This homology is based on several points. Like Capital, Engels never completed Dialectics of Nature. This means that what we know as Dialectics of Nature was posthumously constructed from an array of notes in the following state:
‘Dialectics of Nature was never finished. The manuscript consists of four bundles, all in Engels’ handwriting, save for a number of quotations from Greek philosophers in that of Marx. Part of the manuscript is ready for publication, though, as we shall see, it would almost certainly have been revised. Much of it merely consists of rough notes, which Engels hoped to work up later. They are often hard to read, and full of abbreviations, e.g. Mag. for magnet and magnetism. There are occasional scribbles and sketches in the margin. Finally, although the bulk of the manuscript is in German, Engels thought equally well in English and French, and occasionally produced a hybrid sentence, such as “Wenn Coulomb von particles of electricity spricht, which repel each other inversely as the square of the distance, so nimmt Thomson das ruhig hin als bewiesen.” Or “In der heutigen Gesellschaft, dans le méchanisme civilisé, herrscht duplicité d’action, contrariété de l’interêt individuel avec le collectif; es ist une queue universelle des individus contre les masses.” The translation has been a very difficult task, and the order of the different parts is somewhat uncertain’. (Haldane 1939)
Such a task proved too difficult to the vulgarians of Marxist-Leninist dogma who completely misunderstood Engels project, perverting it into the foundation of their absymal cod-Hegelian dialectical understanding of nature. Yet, as I will show, this construction has no resemblance to Engels intended, but never completed, mature work — an immanent critique of the naturalization hypostatization. Where Marx had only touched upon this question qua Capital in the Trinity Formula, Engels intended to show the endemic confusion of the social with natural through an absurd parody of late-nineteenth century naturphilosophie. In doing so he would also bridge the gap between his and Marx’s early work — such as the German Ideology — and Marx’s late scientific and systematic critique of political economy. Such a project would serve as a foundation for the total negation of capital and its immediate supercession by communism.