GEORG LUKACS. History and Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat. I The Phenomenon of Reification. II The Antinomies of Bourgeois. Lukács’ Reification and the Class Consciousness of the Proletariat is a disorganized but masterful essay written in the aftermath of the greatest. Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat () Proletariat · I. The Phenomenon of Reification › Tags. Georg Lukacs · Marxism.

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Reification (Marxism)

Email required Address never made public. And in order to achieve this, the faithful reflection of economic conditions suffers increasingly. The most accessible collection is the incomplete German edition of his works:.

He prolftariat and participated in intellectual circles in Budapest, Berlin where he was influenced by Georg SimmelFlorence and Heidelberg. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.

Meanwhile, the real basis for the development of law, a change in the power relations between the classes, becomes hazy and vanishes into the sciences that study it, sciences which – in conformity with the modes of thought current in bourgeois society – generate the same problems of transcending their material substratum as we have seen in jurisprudence and economics. In both cases, art turns against life. Quantity alone decides everything: However, it is clear from his writings that he publicly defended Stalinist dogmas both in aesthetics and politics during the s, s and s a,while criticizing Stalin and Stalinism repeatedly later on see Thus a multitude of different aspects of socio-cultural forms from bureaucracy to journalism are shown to be analogous with his conception of the commodity structure.

Additionally, by losing grip of the qualitative dimensions of their social relations, people become atomized and isolated.

And as, despite this, the need to grasp the whole-at least cognitively-cannot die out, we find that science, which is likewise based on rejfication and thus caught reificatoin in the same immediacy, is criticised for having torn the real world into shreds and having lost its vision of the whole.


It is only a definite social relation between men that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things. This dualism between subject and object—and in ethics, between norms and facts—haunts modern philosophy. Second, there is the sociological-historical question about the relation between individual and collective life and the aesthetic and ethical forms in modern bourgeois society.

In the Ontologyit is not the self-realization of the collective subject-object in history that is the defining moment of revolutionary politics, but rather the gradual realization of the universal nature of humans in their interaction with society and nature.

In regard to the relation between form and life, we can distinguish between forms that are forms of life itself, produced by that life, and abstract forms which are imposed onto life from the outside.

Such a synthesis would only be possible if philosophy were able to change its approach radically and concentrate on the concrete material totality of what can and should be known. Here we see Simmelian influence in the conflation of objectification with ocnsciousness in the fact that the relation between people takes on the character of a thing.

Many of the ugliest things in society – racism, sexism, prejudice – emerge somehow fortified by their superficiality and baseness. The movement of commodities on the market, the birth of their value, in a word, the real framework of every rational calculation is not merely subject to strict laws but also presupposes the strict ordering of all that happens. Dokumente des Sozialismus 1II, On this antagonism cf.

Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat by Georg Lukacs

For at this stage in the history of mankind there is no problem that does not ultimately lead back to that question and there is no solution that could not be found in the solution to the riddle of commodity-structure. If no translation is available, Gesammelte Werke are cited. Rather, it is alienation the causes of which Marx uncovered that should be the object of the critique of reification see also Pitkin Only in this context can the problem of modern bureaucracy be properly understood.


Before tackling the problem itself we must be quite clear in our minds that commodity fetishism is a specific problem of our age, the age of modern capitalism. And, likewise, the power relations in a business are also of the same kind.

Georg [György] Lukács

Proletarist destroys the organic necessity with which inter-related special operations are unified in the end-product. While this process is still incomplete the methods used to extract surplus labour are, it is true, more obviously brutal than in the later, more highly developed phase, but the process of reification of work and hence also of the consciousness of the worker is much less advanced.

The essence of commodity-structure has often been pointed out. Even thinkers who have no desire to deny or obscure its existence and who are more or less clear in their own minds about its humanly destructive consequences remain on the surface and make no attempt to advance beyond its objectively most derivative forms, the forms furthest from the real life-process of capitalism, i.

Merlin, see part IV in GW These properties become independent, quantifiable, non-relational features that must remain alien to any subjective meaning that one could attach to them. We need only think of marriage, and without troubling to point to the developments of the nineteenth century we can remind ourselves of the way in which Kant, for example, described the situation with the naively cynical frankness peculiar to great thinkers.

In the process we witness, illuminatingly, how here, too, the contemplative nature of man under capitalism makes its appearance.