1. The Marxism of Rosa Luxemburg. Class Consciousness. Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat. I The Phenomenon of Reification. Georg Lukács made a large contribution to Marxist theory, but especially significant are the series of essays he wrote under the title History and. Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat () Proletariat · I. The Phenomenon of Reification › Tags. Georg Lukacs · Marxism.

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Commodity exchange an the corresponding subjective and objective commodity relations existed, as we know, when society was still very primitive.

He attempts to synthesize these two types cohsciousness his interpretation of fetishism as reification. Reification is a specific form of alienation. It must suffice to point out that modern capitalism does not content itself with transforming the relations of production in accordance with its own needs. In such situations, the formal element of drama and tragedy, which involves the paradoxical relation between highly universalized form and highly individualized content, mirrors the paradoxical relation between form and life that individuals experience in their own relation to society.

Within the sphere of individual agency, persons face this dilemma in regard to the choice of either authentically expressing the particular meanings of their own life, risking the loss of form and, consequently, the loss of intelligible access to these meanings, or of imposing an external form as a normative demand on their life, risking distortion, reificatiin and even the denial conwciousness life itself.

Georg Lukács – ‘Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat’ | An Empty Flight

Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of He also continued to publish extensively on literature and art. Weber and Gottl among others – although for the most part they are not seen in connection with the problem of reification.

That is to say, the rationalisation of isolated aspects of life results in the creation of formal laws. And so it is compelled to concentrate on these details so the details themselves emerge as the reality at the expense of the connections between them.

Reification (Marxism)

This text became an important reference point both for critical social theory and for many currents of countercultural thought. But with the difference that not every mental faculty is suppressed by mechanisation; only one faculty or complex of faculties is detached from the whole personality and placed in opposition to it, becoming a thing, a commodity. This is most explicitly discussed in his two attempts at a systematic philosophy of art. Notify me of new comments via email. Retrieved from ” https: Marx often describes this potentiation of reification in incisive fashion.


Hence it is not to be wondered at that the personal nature of economic relations was still understood clearly on occasion at the start of capitalist development, but that as the process advanced and forms became more complex and less direct, it became increasingly difficult and rare to find anyone penetrating the veil of reification.

This incoherence becomes particularly egregious in periods of crisis. It is evident that the whole structure of capitalist production rests on the interaction between a necessity subject to strict laws in all isolated phenomena conscciousness the relative irrationality of the total process.

The actually functioning capital, as we have seen, presents itself in such a light that it seems to yield interest not as functioning capital, but as capital in itself, as money-capital. Towards a New Philosophy. They overlook the fact that there are qualitative conditions attached to these quantitative relations, that it is not merely a question of units of value which can easily be compared with each other but also use-values of a definite kind which must fulfil a definite function in production and consumption.

On a psychological level there are an people to whom real change seems incomprehensible and also, therefore, frightening. 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 poletariat peculiar to great thinkers.

Humanities Press,pp. A philological study from the standpoint of historical materialism could profitably begin here. It must be emphasised that this inability to penetrate to the real material substratum of science is not the fault of individuals. For the reificatino knowledge of the whole would vouchsafe the knower a monopoly that would amount to the virtual abolition of the capitalist economy.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress. It is rather something that becomes all the more apparent the more science has advanced and the more consistently it functions from the point of view of its own premises. There is no need to spell out the fact that for us these are both merely aspects of the same dialectical unity.


This topic is dominant both in the History of the Modern Drama of and in the Theory of the Novel of In contrast, in the Aestheticsit is brought about through a process in which the constitutive function of experience becomes completely autonomous, determining both form and content.

Columbia University Press, pp. We are concerned above all with the principle at work here: IT is no accident lhkacs Marx should have begun with an analysis of commodities when, in the two great works of his mature period, he set out to portray capitalist society in its totality and to lay bare its fundamental nature.

But it is not enough to raise this standpoint in consciousness alone. However, this view transforms the process by which law comes into being and passes away into something as incomprehensible to the jurist as crises had been to the political economist. A single factory is a highly organized unit but the same factory considered alongside others enters into a broken and disordered chain.

This phenomenon can be seen at its most grotesque in journalism. The conclusion of this line of thought seems to point towards an insoluble dilemma. Proletwriat and Class Consciousness 3.

Hegel, however, subordinates this objectivist ontology to logic in the course of the development of his system. It is obviously not possible here to give an analysis of the whole economic structure of capitalism.

In each society, the ruling class legitimizes its own dominance with reference to certain valuations Wertungen. It has often been pointed out-in these pages and elsewhere-that the problem that forms the ultimate barrier to the economic thought of the bourgeoisie is the crisis. Marx goes on to make a number of very fine observations about the effects of reification upon language.

Georg [György] Lukács

In the initial paragraphs this analogy is with his Marxian conception of the commodity via the commensurability of abstract labour. It is a process which affects four prolteariat of social relations: It presupposes a society so structured. Continued exchange and more regular reproduction for exchange reduces this arbitrariness more and more.