Reification (plus reading group suggestions)

Homepage Forums General discussion Reification (plus reading group suggestions)

This topic contains 37 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Mike Foster 7 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 40 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #81769

    Mike Foster
    Participant

    Can anyone suggest any texts about reification (especially ones which are fairly easy to read!)? I understand that Lukacs' History and Class Consciousness is one of the definitive books, along with Marx's writings on alienation. Anything else, and/or does anyone have any thoughts about it?

    #91697

    Brian
    Participant
    #91698

    DJP
    Participant

    Fredy Perlman – The Reproduction of Everyday Lifehttp://theoryandpractice.org.uk/library/reproduction-everyday-life-fredy-perlman-1969Fredy Perlman – Introduction to I I Rubin's Essays on ValueIt's on libcom but libcom is down at the minute so can't provide linkAll that the word means is that abstract concepts are given living characteristics e.g. "Money works"When translating from German the word "Objectification" is often used as well.I actually read "History and Class Consciousness" when I was into the Situationists, to be honest it may be overrated.

    #91699

    ALB
    Participant
    Mike Foster wrote:
    I understand that Lukacs' History and Class Consciousness is one of the definitive books,

    Lukacs wrote this in 1920 as a super-Leninist, arguing that the vanguard party embodied the "class consciousness" of the working class even if the actual working class weren't class conscious. A recipe for substitutionism if ever there was.

    #91700

    Mike Foster
    Participant

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'd forgotten about Perlman, so I'll look into his pamphlet. Lukacs gets more disappointing the more I read of his stuff. In the later preface to History and Class Consciousness he says that he rejected most of what's in the book, which doesn't inspire much confidence

    #91701

    Brian
    Participant

    I found this also very useful in explaining the background to the concept and reasons used it to counter the human nature arguements: http://www.internationalmarxisthumanist.org/articles/reification-a-myth-shock-or-what-gillian-rose-tells-us-about-sohn-rethel-adorno-and-ancient-greeceI still say Santa Claus is a classic example of the concept in practice.

    #91687

    stevead1966
    Member
    Mike Foster wrote:
    Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'd forgotten about Perlman, so I'll look into his pamphlet. Lukacs gets more disappointing the more I read of his stuff. In the later preface to History and Class Consciousness he says that he rejected most of what's in the book, which doesn't inspire much confidence

    The 1967 Preface is rather peculiar, there's self-criticism and there's Lukacs self-criticism!  He is very harsh on himself. His mistake in confusing the concept of alienation in Hegel with Marx's concept  "invalidates some of the assumptions"  of  the book but the issues at the heart of the book remain valid argued Lucio Colletti in 1974. I have been reading on Hegel, Marx, alienation and the 1967 Lukacs preface and have doubts about Lukacs misgivings. For Hegel objectification = alienation, therefore when subject-object transcends alienation it must transcend objectification – Object is alienated from self-consciousness, to take it back into Subject means end of objective reality and thus of any reality at all ! Lukacs believes. What is Lukacs saying here ? Reality is abolished ?  But I thought Hegal and alienation was failure to realise world was not external to spirit, alienation cease when men see environment part of spirit then they would be free, that is aim of history, the transition to the totality of objective essential-reality (Kojeve), for Hegel history of man is history of man's alienation from its own essence, and abolition of alienation is subject is taking back object into subject as mentioned earlier. Hegel's alienation is different to Marx's concept.I will be talking about Hegel, Marx and Alienation at my head office talk on 20th January.Steve Clayton

    #91688

    stevead1966
    Member
    #91689

    DJP
    Participant
    stevead1966 wrote:
    I will be talking about Hegel, Marx and Alienation at my head office talk on 20th January.

    Sounds good, hope it will be recorded.

    #91690

    Dave Chesham
    Participant
    stevead1966 wrote:
    I will be talking about Hegel, Marx and Alienation at my head office talk on 20th January.

    http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/event/public-meeting-clapham

    #91691

    ALB
    Participant

    Marx was not the only person influenced by Hegel. There was a school of British philosophy in the 19th century which saw no need to stand Hegel on his head, but were quite satisfied with the way he was — as an idealist philosopher.In an essay on "Oxford and British Idealism" in Oxford Philosophy 2012 Bill Mander writes of this school:

    Quote:
    The chief figure of this school was T. H. Green, who first entered Balliol as a student in 1855, becoming a fellow in 1860. Encouraged by Jowell, he made use of Kantian and Hegelian ideas, which until that point had been regarded as 'dangerous', developing an idealist world view in which God, or as he called it the 'eternal consciousness', was to be thought of as a principle immanent throughout reality and, in particular, gradually manifesting itself in the process of human development, both intellectual and moral.

    This mumbo-jumbo seems nearer to Hegel's thought than some other interpretations. He was an idealist and religious philosopher. For him "alienation" began with the "Fall of Man" (when Adam ate the apple) and will end when "Man" is reconciled with "God"  and History comes to an end. Not much for us there, i'd have thought.

    #91692

    stevead1966
    Member
    ALB wrote:
    This mumbo-jumbo seems nearer to Hegel's thought than some other interpretations. He was an idealist and religious philosopher. For him "alienation" began with the "Fall of Man" (when Adam ate the apple) and will end when "Man" is reconciled with "God"  and History comes to an end. Not much for us there, i'd have thought.

    I will attempt in  my talk to show that this "mumbo jumbo" has relevance.

    #91693

    DJP
    Participant

    I guess it's all tied in with commodity fetishism and how material relations amongst people appear as social relations between things. How Capital appears to grow due to the mere fact of being capital, when it is surplus labour that is actually responcible for the expansion. It's to do with the opacity of social relations in a capitalist economy.I.I Rubin's Essays on Marx's Theory on Value I like. Here's the chapter most relevant.. Don't know if any people here have read it?http://www.marxists.org/archive/rubin/value/ch03.htmAnd here's the Perlman introduction I spoke abouthttp://libcom.org/library/commodity-fetishism-fredy-perlman

    #91694

    Mike Foster
    Participant

    Thanks for the other suggestions. I tried to download the Perlman text at work, until a message came up saying that 'militant and extremist' websites were blocked!I'm very rusty on Hegel, so I'll try to make it to your talk on the 20th, Steve. I haven't got very far with Lukacs yet, and it'll be interesting to hear his definition of 'reality', following on from what you said.

    #91695

    DJP
    Participant

    If you find the Rubin article useful and want to read the whole book, I would be up for doing a joint reading / note sharing. Think this is one of those books worth reading a few times. Just an idea.In fact, this is something that could be done via this forum if people are game.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 40 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.