History And Class Consciousness: Studies In Marxist Dialectics

History And Class Consciousness Studies In Marxist Dialectics This is the first time one of the most important of Lukacs early theoretical writings published in Germany in has been made available in English The book consists of a series of essays treating

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  • Title: History And Class Consciousness: Studies In Marxist Dialectics
  • Author: György Lukács
  • ISBN: 9780850361971
  • Page: 185
  • Format: Paperback
  • This is the first time one of the most important of Lukacs early theoretical writings, published in Germany in 1923, has been made available in English The book consists of a series of essays treating, among other topics, the definition of orthodox Marxism, the question of legality and illegality, Rosa Luxemburg as a Marxist, the changing function of Historic Marxism, clThis is the first time one of the most important of Lukacs early theoretical writings, published in Germany in 1923, has been made available in English The book consists of a series of essays treating, among other topics, the definition of orthodox Marxism, the question of legality and illegality, Rosa Luxemburg as a Marxist, the changing function of Historic Marxism, class consciousness, and the substantiation and consciousness of the Proletariat Writing in 1968, on the occasion of the appearance of his collected works, Lukacs evaluated the influence of this book as follows For the historical effect of History and Class Consciousness and also for the actuality of the present time one problem is of decisive importance alienation, which is here treated for the first time since Marx as the central question of a revolutionary critique of capitalism, and whose historical as well as methodological origins are deeply rooted in Hegelian dialectic It goes without saying that the problem was omnipresent A few years after History and Class Consciousness was published, it was moved into the focus of philosophical discussion by Heidegger in his Being and Time, a place which it maintains to this day largely as a result of the position occupied by Sartre and his followers The philologic question raised by L Goldmann, who considered Heidegger s work partly as a polemic reply to my admittedly unnamed work, need not be discussed here It suffices today to say that the problem was in the air, particularly if we analyze its background in detail in order to clarify its effect, the mixture of Marxist and Existentialist thought processes, which prevailed especially in France immediately after the Second World War In this connection priorities, influences, and so on are not particularly significant What is important is that the alienation of man was recognized and appreciated as the central problem of the time in which we live, by bourgeois as well as proletarian, by politically rightist and leftist thinkers Thus, History and Class Consciousness exerted a profound effect in the circles of the youthful intelligentsia.

    One thought on “History And Class Consciousness: Studies In Marxist Dialectics”

    1. Geschichte und Klassenbewusstein = History and Class Consciousness, György LukácsHistory and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics (German: Geschichte und Klassenbewußtsein – Studien über marxistische Dialektik) is a 1923 book by the Hungarian philosopher György Lukács, in which the author re-emphasizes Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's influence on Karl Marx, analyses the concept of class consciousness, and attempts a philosophical justification of Bolshevism. History and Cla [...]

    2. Reading Lukacs will get you laid. Seriously, just do it. *Reification, among other things, is the fragmentation of knowledge, its endless specialization; so that every advance in each individual science is also a step away from the ontological substratum of the whole. Here Lukacs brings to mind Husserl, but of course their solutions are different. Husserl thought that the genius of phenomenology would be enough; that is, a purely contemplative mode of thought could heal these divisions. Lukacs, [...]

    3. This book is important for Lukacs' concept of 'false consciousness'. Like most marxists, Lukacs assumes that consciousness is an understanding of ones class interests. False consciousness is a state where ones true consciousness is clouded by capitalism, thus classes are living with a false consciousness that can involve commodity fetishism and alienation (or reification). Only the proletariat is able to achieve true consciousness because of its opposition to capitalism. Although presumably, aft [...]

    4. This work starts off very promising. Initially one encounters very fine, clear, lucid writing. The author states his aims precisely and drives straightly and directly towards them. Incisive, plain, and cutting-to-the-heart-of-the-matter. Simple and eloquent; diction and verbosity which runs like a clear spring of water. Very enjoyable at the outset. However, I must caution you that submerged rocks and treacherous rapids await one, downstream. The middle of this book is one of the worst I have ev [...]

    5. What can I say? This book is essential reading for those wishing to get clear on the theory of alienation in Marx, or the theory that the proletariat occupies a special standpoint from which the world can be best understood. I've been reading this to help in developing criticisms of feminist standpoint theorists and it's hard to believe they even claim to have read the book (they seem to depend on the fact that the book is far less widely read than it ought be).

    6. i still haven’t finished thinking about lukacs and his ideas. the marxist-hegelian theory whereby the world becomes things is actually an incredibly big notion, and i thought it was just about making shit to buy. fantasies, like charlie gross’ berkin. no, it’s actually way fucking bigger and i wasn’t fully prepared. at one point it occurred to me ——— and this is just me, mind you ——— that it seems we could just as easily be referring to language, or our consensus agreement on [...]

    7. The essays collected here, written in the years immediately following the First World War and the Russian Revolution, represent a sustained effort on the part of Lukács to articulate a theory of class consciousness as the nodal point of the historical dialectic and the human being. Humanity, as subject-object of history, is without fixed being; human nature is nothing other than the dialectical flux. It is class consciousness whereby the proletariat simultaneously recognizes and abolishes itsel [...]

    8. This is most assuredly the greatest book of Marxists philosophy, since the death of Marx. It's a real philosophical, moral, and political tragedy, that Lukacs was essentially rebuked and quarantined by the communist state he was defending. I've heard before that Lukacs was a Stalinist, but clearly the people spouting this claptrap have not read his essay on Reification. Long before the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts were published, Lukacs was able to read in Marx's theory of the commodity [...]

    9. Lukacs goes deep into transcendental philosophy to deredge up a grasp how the phenomenonal world is transformed through a Hegelian ground. This requires he explain how Hegel "solves" Kantian teleology, all the while maintaining a union between material and spirit. Lukacs is able to connect this back to the technological disruption that is part of capitalist exchange and industrial specialization -- but he is able to explain this by way of connecting the ideas. I am not certain Lukacs would be ab [...]

    10. Oh Lukacs, how I was expecting so much more. As often as your name is spoken of in reverential terms, this just seemed to be ponderous, self-deluding ultra-orthodox dialectical materialism, devoid of so much of the social awareness that makes reading Luxemburg or Horkheimer such a pleasure. Indeed, he criticizes Luxemburg for her demands of social freedom paired with socialist economy. Some of his observations on alienation and class consciousness are pretty wise, but a good 3/4 of this one can [...]

    11. I thought the Kowlakowski's evaluation of Lukacs as ultimately attempting to 'mystify' Marxism as a kind of relgion was accurate. And I can't help but feel that the idea of Praxis as a unity of Theory and Practice is problematic. That, his theories lead to a problem of determining 'false' versus 'true' consciousness.Revisiting this in 2017 - I think my opinion has changed quite a lot. Its a flawed but really quite complex work.

    12. It's hard for me to be unqualified in my rating this book five stars. I do not agree with Lukacs' endorsements of violence toward the end of the book, and I feel that those endorsements need to be grounded in a knowledge of history that I do not posses. If someone were to say that across the United States, the communist party should storm the streets and murder shopkeepers the way you see people doing in Mario Vargas Llosa's Death in the Andes, I certainly would not endorse that.If, on the other [...]

    13. "History and Class Consciousness" is a masterpiece. Lukács is known as "the philosopher of Leninism", and it is here that he demonstrates the breadth of his knowledge. Should you require a philosophical justification for Bolshevism, look no further.The chapter titled "Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat" is, frankly, beyond my comprehension. Don't attempt a reading without a firm understanding of Hegel.

    14. All the problems of bourgeois thought, the crises of modern society and economy, the feelings of estrangement and loss, the antinomies of philosophy, all the bad things in life are reduced down to one thing: Reification of the commodity form If only.The argument is that the ideological requirement to naturalize a fundamentally irrational economic system resurfaces as a passifying, contemplative bourgeois worldview. When the big crisis comes, however, the working class will see the capitalist tot [...]

    15. Se trata de una obra radicalmente opuesta a cualquier tipo de objetivismo o de referencias directas a «circunstancias objetivas»; en otras palabras, para Lukács la lucha de clases es el hecho primordial, lo que significa que todo hecho social «objetivo» ya está «mediado» por la subjetividad en lucha (el ejemplo clave de Lukács es que para hacer una revolución no se espera a que las circunstancias objetivas estén «maduras», las circunstancias de la revolución «maduran» por medio d [...]

    16. Lukacs was a Hungarian philosopher who had a talent for walking away from his work at the drop of a hat, which he found much more salubrious than waiting for the cock of a pistol. This ability actually served him quite well as he managed to stay alive through many perilous experiences. First as Commissar for Education during the short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic of Kun, then as political proponent of a proletarian & peasant dictatorship against the "whimsical" wishes of Moscow's Cominter [...]

    17. This is a wonderful book. It probably helped that I came to it after reading some Zizek, and was thinking 'dialectically'. Certainly it is not an easy read, particularly if you're unfamiliar with the basics of Hegel and Marxist dialectic. The other flaw -which is particularly noticeable if you've read Kolakowski's outline of Lukacs in 'Main Currents of Marxism' - is that it could easily be interpreted as a blank justification for Stalinism. I don't think that is wholly fair, Lukacs' thinking is [...]

    18. My fave parts: 1) on reification; 2) the truth of the historical situation resides in the contradiction, or within the oppressed: "The proletariat always aspires towards the truth even in its 'false' consciousness and in its substantive errors."; 3) historicity of aesthetics (landscape, drama) 4) theory of violence which is omnipresent and comprises the totality of social relations.Interestingly, on page 102 there is a sentence that relativizes dialectics by inserting it into a speculative, alea [...]

    19. A series of essays on Marx that emphasized the importance of Hegelian dialectics to his thought, and in particular to his ideas about historical materialism. This was before the discovery of Marx's earlier manuscripts that did indeed draw heavily on Hegel, so Lukacs rather nailed that one. Lukacs's essays also feature some rather vehement, Leninist-style class battle cries, his primary claim being that the revolution will only occur once the proletariat has achieved a full class-consciousness, a [...]

    20. WARNING! This is a very 'hard read'. However, if you are interested in left-wing politics and Marxist/Marxian political philosophy it might be worth the effort involved. Lukacs is a clever thinker even if he is wilfully obscurantist in putting his ideas forward. His recasting of Marx's theory of alienation as 'reification' is genuinely interesting and stimulating (once you get to grips with it!)This is really one for the aficionados only - if you are unfamiliar with Marx/Marxians and dialectical [...]

    21. I actually only read the main title essay from this collection for a Frankfurt School reading group. Hugely influential piece which is easy to detect in Dialectic of the Enlightenment & other Adorno. Still, the style is often atrocious and the thought is now profound, now vaguely ridiculous in turns. Despite all this the work is a must read for the central stage appearance of the concept of reification.

    22. I am only really reading the section about reification for my course, because i am already panicking about not doing enough work. reasonably clear although i increasingly disagree with the authors standpoint [i.e. orthodox marxist] the end i thought it was a surprisingly easy read, very useful about the dialectical materialism although it kind of undoes its own premise because the one thing it reifies is socialism and the glorification of the proletariat.

    23. Comment:Orthodoxy, for Lukacs, is above all, fidelity to method. If 'research had disproved' every one of Marx's theses he tells us that he would still be a Marxist if they had been disproved for 'scientific' (i.e Marxist) reasons! Such was the importance of method to Lukacs. But isn't method always thus? - A faith for people without faith?

    24. For new students of Marxism: skim Capital, but read Lukacs carefully (especially the section on Reification and the Antinomies). The middle section of this book was a highlight of my undergraduate Philosophy career. People seem to have a love/hate relationship to Lukacs, but I found his analysis to be the most illuminating and poignant companion to Marx out of all the other secondary literature.

    25. Must read for anyone interested in critical thinking, may that be: Western philosophy from Kant-Hegel and Marx, Frankfurt School, Marxism, Feminism, sociology, history--the application is endless. Truly a master piece of the 20th century.

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