Hence the social principle and the social function implicit in capital can only prevail unbeknown to them and, as it were, against their will and behind their backs. Translator: Rodney Livingstone; In Hegel’s words, “When philosophy paints its gloomy picture a form of life has grown old. Georg [György] Lukács. [11] This consciousness is, therefore, neither the sum nor the average of what is thought or felt by the single individuals who make up the class. But as the proletariat has been entrusted by history with the task of transforming social consciously, its class consciousness must develop a dialectical contradiction between its immediate interests and its long-term objectives, and between the discrete factors and the whole. The distinction between the two modes of contradiction may be briefly described in this way: in the case of the other classes, a class consciousness is prevented from emerging by their position within the process of production and the interests this generates. 3. Its hegemony is exercised not merely by a minority but in the interest of that minority, so the need to deceive the other classes and to ensure that their class consciousness remains amorphous is inescapable for a bourgeois regime. I cannot enter here into the controversies on this issue – controversies involving Marxists too; I should just like to stress that here also I consider the views of Marx and Engels to be more profound and historically more correct than those of their ’improvers’. At a more primitive stage of knowledge this independence takes the form of the belief that these forces belong, as it were, to nature and that in them and in their causal interactions it is possible to discern the ‘eternal’ laws of nature. But it would be no less disastrous to overlook the forces at work within the proletariat which are tending towards the ideological defeat of capitalism. Thus class consciousness has quite a different relation to history in pre-capitalist and capitalist periods. During the Second World War he was forced to serve in a Hungarian labour battalion for Jews. But the veil drawn over the nature of bourgeois society is indispensable to the bourgeoisie itself. Although we cannot embark on a systematic typology of the various points of view it can be seen from the foregoing that these specimens of ‘false’ consciousness differ from each other both qualitatively, structurally and in a manner that is crucial for the activity of the classes in society. On the contrary, such a transfer of power can often only be brought about by the most ruthless use of force (as e.g. [5] The objects of history appear as the objects of immutable, eternal laws of nature. The discrepancies that result are further exacerbated by the fact that there is an insoluble contradiction running through the internal structure of capitalism between the social and the individual principle, i.e.
Be the first to ask a question about Historical Consciousness. The bare fact of separation itself indicates that the consciousness of the proletariat is still fettered by reification. Cf. The characters ... have already acquired the stability of natural self-understood forms of social life, before man seeks to decipher not their historical character (for in his eyes they are immutable) but their meaning.” [2]. It is true that society as such is highly unified and that it evolves in a unified manner. The dialectical contradiction in the ‘false’ consciousness of the bourgeoisie became more and more acute: the ‘false’ consciousness was converted into a mendacious consciousness. Objectively, then, the social character of capital was brought into play with great energy but in such a manner as to keep its nature concealed from the capitalist class. This omission was to have serious consequences both for the theory and the practice of the proletariat. Marx: Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. instead of simultaneously trying to cure it, instead of using their organised forces as a lever for the final emancipation of the working class, that is to say, the ultimate abolition of the wages system.". In his celebrated account of historical materialism [1] Engels proceeds from the assumption that although the essence of history consists in the fact that “nothing happens without a conscious purpose or an intended aim”, to understand history it is necessary to go further than this. Consciousness approaches society from another world and leads it from. The proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation, and thereby every other previous mode of appropriation.” (my italics.). For example, it is quite clear that ancient society was broken economically by the limitations of a system built on slavery. But he also makes the further, very valid point: “Nevertheless, the money-relationship – and the relationship of creditor to debtor is one of money – reflects only the deeper-lying antagonism between the economic conditions of existence.” Historical materialism showed that this reflection was no more than a reflection, but we must go on to ask: was it at all possible – objectively – for the classes in such a society to become conscious of the economic basis of these conflicts and of the economic problems with which the society was afflicted? As we stressed in the motto to this essay the existence of this conflict enables us to perceive that class consciousness is identical with neither the psychological consciousness of individual members of the proletariat, nor with the (mass-psychological) consciousness of the proletariat as a whole; but it is, on the contrary, the sense, become conscious, of the historical role of the class. Bourgeoisie and proletariat are the only pure classes in bourgeois society. The hegemony of the bourgeoisie really does embrace the whole of society; it really does attempt to organise the whole of society in its own interests (and in this it has had some success). a lasting action resulting in a great transformation.” The essence of scientific Marxism consists, then, in the realisation that the real motor forces of history are independent of man’s (psychological) consciousness of them. It means that there is no mediation between the pure traditionalism of natural growth and the legal institutions it assumes. History becomes fossilised in a formalism incapable of comprehending that the real nature of socio-historical institutions is that they consist of relations between men. Consciousness and self-interest then are mutually incompatible in this instance. Where they go wrong is in their belief that the concrete can be located in the empirical individual of history (’individual’ here can refer to an individual man, class or people) and in his empirically given (and hence psychological or mass-psychological) consciousness. For only when this relation is established does the consciousness of their existence that men have at any given time emerge in all its essential characteristics. Today it has become a real and relevant question for a whole class: the question of the inner transformation of the proletariat, of its development to the stage of its own objective historical mission. Justice and the Good Life in Lukács‟s History and Class Consciousness Draft only: not for citation. He opposes to it the notion of consciousness as ‘practical critical activity’ with the task of ‘changing the world’. Of course bourgeois historians also attempt such concrete analyses; indeed they reproach historical materialists with violating the concrete uniqueness of historical events. The class consciousness that springs from this position must exhibit the same internal structure as that of the bourgeoisie. Marx repeatedly exposed [37] the fallacy of this split and demonstrated that it is in the nature of every economic struggle to develop into a political one (and vice versa). As long as the unification of proletarian class consciousness was not a practical possibility this theory could – with some charity – be regarded as a mere error. From then on social conflict was reflected in an ideological struggle for consciousness and for the veiling or the exposure of the class character of society. For that reason its consciousness, the last class consciousness in the history of mankind, must both lay bare the nature of society and achieve an increasingly inward fusion of theory and practice. A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, p. 302. Its aim now is to scotch the development of proletarian class consciousness in its progress from that which is merely given to that which conforms to the objective total process; even more, it hopes to reduce the class consciousness of the proletariat to the level of the psychologically given and thus to divert into the opposite direction what had hitherto been the purely instinctive tendency. First of all, how are we to understand class consciousness (in theory)? on its class consciousness. the process not subject to consciousness. This does not preclude the use of force. Cf. It is sufficient here to recall the social criticism of the Utopians or the proletarian and revolutionary extension of Ricardo’s theory. Only with the aid of this distinction can there be any resolution of the contradiction in the class consciousness of the proletariat; only with its aid can that contradiction become a conscious f actor in history. The unity of the economic process now moves within reach. Like most marxists, Lukacs assumes that consciousness is an understanding of ones class interests. As early as the Correspondence of 1843 [with Ruge] he conceives of consciousness as immanent in history. Right wingers are using 'Marxist' as a term of abuse. This situation forms one of the decisive factors governing the class consciousness of the bourgeoisie. The proletariat must act in a proletarian manner, but its own vulgar Marxist theory blocks its vision of the right course to adopt. The bourgeoisie is unable in theory to understand more than the details and the symptoms of economic processes (a failure which will ultimately prove its undoing). But there is still an unbridgeable gulf between this and capitalism where economic factors are not concealed ‘behind’ consciousness but are present in consciousness itself (albeit unconsciously or repressed). In Marxism the division of society into classes is determined by position within the process of production. For to accept that solution, even in theory, would be tantamount to observing society from a class standpoint other than that of the bourgeoisie. It would be beyond the scope of these pages to advance further and attempt to construct a historical and systematic typology of the possible degrees of class consciousness. On the other hand, where consciousness already exists as an objective possibility, they indicate degrees of distance between the psychological class consciousness and the adequate understanding of the total situation. ...” [10]. For the objective aspiration towards truth which is immanent even in the ‘false’ consciousness of the proletariat does not at all imply that this aspiration can come to light without the active intervention of the proletariat. Indeed, if it can do no more than negate some aspects of capitalism, if it cannot at least aspire to a critique of the whole, then it will not even achieve a negative superiority. This ideological crisis is an unfailing sign of decay. But the proletariat is not given any choice.

Slowed Condition Pathfinder, Corte Madera Dmv, Yellowfin Grouper Recipe, Aunt Jackie's Curl, Mango Ice Cream Recipe For Ice Cream Maker,

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse de messagerie ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *