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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It is this that creates impasse.

Georg [György] Lukács

conscioousness Only by understanding this can we obtain a clear insight into the ideological problems of capitalism and its downfall. It is not enough merely to establish an external link with independent processes concerned with the production of exchange values. In them the relations between men that lie hidden in the immediate commodity relation, as well as the relations between men and the objects that should really gratify their needs, have lukcas to the point where they can be neither recognised nor even perceived.

If a rational calculation is to be possible the commodity owner must be in possession of the laws regulating every detail of his production.

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: We are concerned above all with the principle at work here: It system of justice and an administration whose workings can be rationally calculatedat least in principle, according to fixed general laws, just as the probable performance of a machine can be calculated.


Far from weakening the reified structure of consciousness, this actually strengthens it. It presupposes a society so structured.

Humanities Press,pp. The social construction of reality: Dokumente des Sozialismus wnd, This problem becomes virulent in modernity where the form of life is no longer something unproblematically present. The formal standardisation of justice, the state, the civil service, etc.

Competition between the different owners of commodities would not be feasible if there were an exact, rational, systematic mode of functioning for the whole of society to correspond to the rationality of isolated phenomena.

Science is thereby debarred from comprehending the development and the demise, the social character of its own material base, no less than the range of possible attitudes towards it and the nature of its own formal system.

Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat by Georg Lukacs

As the division of labour becomes more pronounced and more rational, this tendency naturally increases in proportion. 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: They could only come into being in the bureaucratic state with its thr laws poletariat He would not have been able to discover the solution to the real question.

There is both an objective and a subjective side to this phenomenon. The purely systematic categories which were necessary before a judicial system could become universally applicable arose only in modern times.


Merlin Press, ; Transcribed: In Marxismreification German: On this view, the ulkacs of the social is not problematic in itself. University of California Press. However, this is only the case if the essential properties of its elements are intelligible in terms of their relations to other particulars of life.

But this implies that the principle of rational mechanisation and calculability must embrace every aspect of life. It presupposes a society so structured. The specialisation of skills leads to the destruction of every image of the whole.

This entry was posted in Lukacsreification. The core of rdification 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. But it is not enough to reificatiion this standpoint in consciousness alone. 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.

Here, once again, we can clearly observe. Although the focus of the essay is consciousness and its reified states, that from which all other categories are deduced and take shape from is the commodity form itself.

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