HISTORY AND CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS PDF
Source: History & Class Consciousness; Translator: Rodney Livingstone; Publisher: Merlin Press, ; Transcription and HTML Mark-up: Andy Blunden. tance of class consciousness in determining the outcome of revolutionary Reprinted from History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics by. File:Lukacs Georg History and Class Consciousness Studies in Marxist Dialectics .pdf .pdf (file size: MB, MIME type: application/pdf).
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HISTORY AND CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS importance of this problem for economics itself. Nor shall we consider its implications for the economic doctrines of. History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics is a book by the .. Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. This is the first time one of the most important of Lukács' early theoretical writings, published in Germany in , has been made available in English. The book.
For all this, then, we owe homage to Georg Lukacs.
History and Class Consciousness
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Reviews George Lukacs's History and Class Consciousness is a truly extraordinary work, and its English translation, after almost fifty years of neglect by English and American publishers, is a major event Alvin W. Individuals in ancient Greece only had to accept the totality of meaning within their world, even if they were, in some particular situation or another, unable to understand it. In contrast, modern society is constitutively alienated: merely conventional social institutions devoid of meaning exist disconnected from individuals and their highly individualized self-understanding.
Therefore, in modern society meaning can only be found within the inner life of the individual and cannot become recognized in the world In the course of this movement, the sources of meaning became increasingly more external to immediate life. Tragedy and philosophy have already realized the loss of a meaningful totality, whereas the possibility of epic poetry depends on its immanence.
The novel is always relating to the development of such individuals. This development can take the shape of a subjective-idealist illusion e.
In modernity, epic writing has no longer any distinct form that could express any particular relation between life and essence within a totality. Rather, the form of the novel is an attempt to deal with the absence of this relation 59; see Jameson The form which commodities acquire due to this fetishism i.
This process has both an objective and a subjective dimension: objectively, the qualitative homogeneity and continuity of human work is destroyed when industrial work processes become rationalized in a way that is appropriate to understanding them as commodity exchanges.
It is a process which affects four dimensions of social relations: the socially created features of objects primarily their features as commodities , the relations between persons, their relations to themselves and, finally, the relations between individuals and society as a whole Stahl These properties become independent, quantifiable, non-relational features that must remain alien to any subjective meaning that one could attach to them. Additionally, by losing grip of the qualitative dimensions of their social relations, people become atomized and isolated.
The core of this argument is the claim that the dominance of the commodity form in the economic sphere must necessarily lead to the dominance of rational calculation and formal reason in society as a whole. Because a break with the organic unity and totality of human existence is a necessary precondition for this development, the commodity form must, over time, subject all social spheres to its rule.
History & Class Consciousness
This development leads into a contradictory situation both on the practical and the theoretical level: because the process of rationalization precludes the grasp of any kind of totality, it cannot ever succeed in making the whole of society subject to rational calculation for it necessarily must exclude all irrational, qualitative dimensions from such calculation.
The same holds true for a formalist model of law, which cannot theoretically acknowledge the interdependence of its principles with their social content and therefore must treat this content as an extra-legal, irrational foundation a: — This dualism between subject and object—and in ethics, between norms and facts—haunts modern philosophy. As Fichte and Hegel recognize, this problem arises only because modern thought takes the contemplative subject of reified self-world relations as its paradigm, ignoring the alternative of an active subject that is engaged in the production of the content.
However, the conceptualization of practice from the standpoint of aesthetics obscures its historical dimension.
Initially, both the proletariat and the bourgeoisie face the same immediate reality of an alienated world. Bourgeois thought, however, endorses this facticity and sees every possible normative stance only as a subjective projection onto a world of immediate facts.
In contrast, the proletariat is unable to remain within bourgeois ideology. In capitalism, the activity of workers is reduced to a completely quantifiable process.
But, at the same time, workers cannot have any immediate self-consciousness of their work other than of a qualitatively determined activity. However, the process of the proletariat becoming self-conscious does not only describe a theoretical insight. By realizing that it is the subject-object of history, the proletariat discovers itself to be the subject of the process of social reproduction see a: ; Jay f , not an object of contemplation.
The proletarian situation does not necessarily entail an immediate consciousness of the totality.
This consciousness remains only an objective possibility, always threatened by the seductions of the immediate consciousness. This makes the agency of the communist party a necessary condition for the revolution.
This ontology of pure processuality finally entails a normative conception of society that is critical towards all forms of institutional rationalization which are rejected as forms of alienation across the board. The party orthodoxy, however, was not quite so enamored. In Germany and Hungary, party intellectuals such as Hermann Duncker and Laszlo Rudas disapproved of the book because of its idealist tendencies, culminating in its condemnation by Grigory Zinoviev in his opening address to the June World Congress of the Third International Arato and Breines This conception imports moments that are alien to a Marxist view of history into his theory even on a non-orthodox reading of Marx.
He admits, however, that the notion of totality as the product of a collective subject, as he developed it in , needed to be modified in order to remedy these problems. Instead, he tackled the philosophical foundations of these problems in the context of a new reading of the philosophical tradition, and especially of Hegel.
His writings on Hegel, most prominently The Young Hegel and the relevant sections in the Ontology of Social Being, can be read as a defense of this commitment.
Hegel, however, subordinates this objectivist ontology to logic in the course of the development of his system.
Hegel sees externalization that is, the fact that the objects of our labor and the institutions of society are independent of our consciousness not as a deficiency, but rather as a necessary stage in the development of self-consciousness.
On this view, the externalization of the social is not problematic in itself. Rather, it is alienation the causes of which Marx uncovered that should be the object of the critique of reification see also Pitkin This distinction entails the possibility of a critique of reification that does not require a complete reappropriation of objective social forms by a collective subject. This ontology is intended, at least outwardly, to be a faithful interpretation of the ontological implications of Marxism.
All three levels are distinguished by a division between the genuine essence of entities and their appearance. While on all three levels, entities appear as fixed objects, their real essence is always that of interrelated, irreversible processes GW This entails that the basic form of all being is temporality and historicity GW By choosing one of the potential results of the employment of their natural and technological capacities as the correct one, individuals can create a distinction between successful and unsuccessful execution of their intended actions in labor.
Consequently, over time, the social becomes more and more determined by its own history, rather than by nature alone b: From these ontological commitments, it follows that the existence of the social totality depends on the intentionality which guides individual acts of labor and vice versa see Tertullian This understanding of institutions entails that politics, as a form of action directed towards the social totality as a whole, must treat this totality, on the one hand, as being dependent on natural and biological facts that limit its potential transformations and, on the other hand, as increasingly being determined by laws of its own GW The overcoming of alienation thus always demands—along with social changes—subjective transformation, i.
This finally points towards the ethical dimension of the Ontology.
History and class-consciousness: Studies in marxist dialectics
Compared with History and Class Consciousness, the normative ideal of the Ontology points to a radically different conception of political action. In the Ontology, it 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. Like science and ethics, art breaks with the immediacy of our everyday practical engagements that dominates the more common forms of reflection GW , Second, while science is always conceptually mediated, art breaks with the immediacy of everyday life in favor of a new immediacy of experience GW , , For this reason, such works of art allow us to comprehend the universal aspects of our existence and to consciously participate in the collective life of humanity GW — Even though they represent objective reality, works of art are, in virtue of this mode of reflection, subject-dependent because their character is constituted by their capacity to evoke a subjective reaction: i.
This reaction is not only one of passive acknowledgment; it also actively transforms the subject by facilitating a consciousness of that very universal nature. Thus, in the work of art, subjectivity and objectivity are mutually constitutive for each other. The most important concept binding these premises together is the idea of mimesis.
Through the mimetic imitation of natural processes, humans acquire the ability to represent the salient aspects of the world in a closed and totalizing manner, and they gradually learn to separate such imitations from the necessity of immediate reaction. In contrast to magic which does not separate reflection and objective causation, mimesis in art is consciously taken as a reflection and evokes the aesthetic effect in its audience specifically in virtue of this feature GW In other words, while both art and science overcome the superstition of magic, only art can retain the mimetic dimension of representation.
First, he had endorsed an optimism concerning the capacity of the proletariat to constitute such a totality in society through a revolutionary overcoming of reification; later on, this optimism was modified to encompass the ever increasing human capacities to become self-conscious of their universal character through a reflection of the existing social totality in the totality of the work of art. English translations are cited where available. If no translation is available, Gesammelte Werke are cited.
In the remaining cases, the original publication is cited. Sources are listed by original publication date. Bostock trans. Kadarkay ed. Livingstone ed. Livingstone trans. Leslie trans. Sziklai ed. Leitch ed. Fernbach trans. Adorno, T. Jameson ed. Arato, A. Aronowitz, S. Thompson ed.
Bernstein, J. Bewes, T. Bloch, E. Brecht, B. Braunstein, D.
Butler, J.In , he published his two-volume study titled The Young Hegel written partly during the s in Moscow and participated in debates about socialist realism in literature. Behavioralism Post-behavioralism Critical rationalism Criticism of science Epistemology anarchism idealism nihilism pluralism realism Holism Instrumentalism Modernism Naturalism in literature Nomothetic—idiographic distinction Objectivity in science Operationalism Phenomenalism Philosophy of science Deductive-nomological model Ramsey sentence Sense-data theory Qualitative research Relationship between religion and science Sociology Social science Philosophy Structural functionalism Structuralism Structuration theory.
McLellan, David Second, while science is always conceptually mediated, art breaks with the immediacy of everyday life in favor of a new immediacy of experience GW , , Stahl, T.
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