Lukács on Marx – “The Phenomenon of Reification”

“To be radical is to go to the root of the matter. For man, however, the root is man himself.” – Marx: Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right.

It is not rare that we find ourselves talking about Marx and Communism even though we maybe haven’t actually read much on it.

If you’d like to add understanding to your discussions on Marx and/or Communism, join us February 27, 2017 for a round table discussion lead by our long-time visitor and organizer, Rick.

Please read the essay “Lukács on Marx” from Modern Critical Thought. This essay was originally Published as “The Phenomenon of Reification” from “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat” in History and Class Consciousness, translated by Rodney Livingstone. You may also email Critical Theory Chicago for the text.

György Lukács (1885-1971) is probably the most important figure in 20th century Marxist critical theory. Emerging from the neo-Kantian schools of German thought, his early interests include Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. His central contribution is the collection of essays History and Class Consciousness (1923). These essays in Marxist dialectics renewed the dialog with Hegel and offer new philosophical insights into such concepts as commodity fetishism, alienation, and reification. We will approach the excerpt “The Phenomenon of Reification” from the longer essay “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat” included in this collection.

In this essay Lukács lays out the phenomenon of reification by reconstructing Marx’s conception of the commodity structure of capitalism. Ultimately, Lukács seeks a revolutionary strategy to overcome reification through proletarian class consciousness.

lukacs3Marxist orthodoxy is no guardian of traditions, it is the eternally vigilant prophet proclaiming the relation between the tasks of the immediate present and the totality of the historical process. – Lukács

Lukács on Marx
Monday February 27, 2017
Harold Washington Library
Chicago, IL
6th Floor North Study Room

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