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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Even Roman Law, which comes closest to these developments while remaining, in modern terms, within the framework of pre-capitalist legal patterns, does not in this respect coonsciousness beyond the empirical, the concrete and the traditional.

They now appear, on the one hand, as abstract members of a species identical by definition with its other members and, on the other hand, as isolated objects the possession or non-possession of which depends on rational calculations.

On this point see Section Ill. Hypostatization refers to an effect of reification which results from supposing that whatever can be named, or conceived abstractly, must actually exist, an ontological and epistemological fallacy. Whether an action is functionally right or wrong is decided ultimately by the evolution of concsiousness class consciousness.

The most accessible collection is the incomplete German edition of his works: That is to say, the rationalisation of isolated aspects of life results in the creation of formal laws. Reification is a specific form of alienation.

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. He may tally up profits at the end of the year and based on this, with an eye toward re-investment and competition, make a brisk calculation as to how much the workers’ wages should increase or fall.

IP 54 – The Value Form, Reification, and the Consciousness of the Collective Worker

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. The laws lukqcs these objects are indeed gradually discovered by man, but even so they confront him as invisible forces that generate their own power. Quality no longer matters.


It becomes a property of money to generate value and yield interest, much as it is an attribute of pear trees to bear pears. Compared with History and Class Consciousnessthe normative ideal of the Ontology points to a radically different conception of political action. In a modern state, law must not only correspond cobsciousness the general economic condition and be its expression, but must also be an internally coherent expression lf does not, owing to inner contradictions, reduce itself to nought.

The formal act of exchange which constitutes the basic fact for the theory of marginal utility likewise suppresses use-value as use-value and establishes a relation of concrete equality between concretely unequal and indeed incomparable objects. Part of a series on Marxism Theoretical works. The divorce of the phenomena of reification from their economic bases and from the vantage point from which alone they can be understood, is facilitated by the fact that the [capitalist] process of transformation must embrace every manifestation of the life of society if the preconditions for the complete self-realisation of capitalist production are to be fulfilled.

Praxis, Totality, and Freedom 4. This ontology is intended, at least outwardly, to be a faithful interpretation of the ontological implications of Marxism. Between and he worked on a first attempt to formulate a systematic approach to art, which remained unpublished during his lifetime GW This goes hand in hand with the union in time and space of special operations that are related to a set of heterogeneous use-values.

In contrast to other members of the government, he was not executed but merely expelled from the communist party, which he only rejoined in The process we see here hhe closely related both in its motivation and in its effects to the economic process outlined above. This claim directly touches upon the theory of reification: The fate of the worker becomes proleatriat fate of society as a whole; indeed, this fate must become universal as otherwise industrialisation could not develop in this direction.

The internal organisation of a factory could not possibly have such an effect – even within the factory itself – were it not for the fact that it contained in concentrated form the whole structure of capitalist society. The OntologyE.

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Reification (Marxism)

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 specialisation and thus caught up in the same immediacy, is criticised for having torn the real world into shreds and having lost its vision of the whole. The proletarian situation rification not necessarily entail an immediate consciousness of the totality.

In both cases, art turns against life. The incomprehensibility and irrationality of crises is indeed a consequence of georf class situation and interests of the bourgeoisie but it follows equally from their approach to economics. Here, too, there is a breach with the empirical and irrational methods of administration and dispensing justice based on traditions tailored, subjectively, to the requirements of men in action, and, objectively, to those of the concrete matter in hand.

Thus the production of surplus-value, and with it the individual consumption of the capitalist, may increase, the entire process of reproduction may be in a flourishing condition, and yet a large part of the commodities may have entered into consumption only in appearance, while in reality they may still remain unsold in the hands of dealers, may in fact still be lying in the market.

Tailism and the DialecticsS. Frankfurt School philosopher Axel Honneth reformulates this key “Western Marxist ” concept in terms of intersubjective relations of lukacss and power in his recent work Reification Oxford, This has its foundation already in the nature of speculative calculation, i. The party orthodoxy, however, was not quite so enamored.

MIT Press,pp. Later, when war broke out, he served as a political commissar in the Hungarian Red Army in this position, he also ordered the execution of several soldiers, see Kadarkay Suhrkamp, and a collection of photographs and original sources in Raddatz, F. University of North Carolina Press. In Marxismreification German: Though both the capitalist class and the proletariat are expressions of human alienation, differences in exploitation to the capitalist appear as necessarily quantitative.