History and Class Consciousness: The Marxism of Georg Lukács


Wednesdays starting July 28th, 2021 @ 5:30 PM PT / 6:30 PM MT / 7:30 PM CT / 8:30 PM ET


Socialists have historically believed that the organized working class is the agent, perhaps the only agent, of emancipatory social change. However, the transformational changes of the global economy and society in the 20th century seemed to pose a challenge to the idea of the working class as a revolutionary group that can change the world.

Does class truly “come first”? Is the working-class revolutionary or conservative? How did some socialists come to naturalize working class conservatism? In the early aftermath of the failed World Revolution of 1917-1919, Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs mounted a defense of the historical primacy of the working class and the socialist vanguard party in society’s revolutionary transformation into socialism. Lukacs’ writings from the 1920s not only defend these suppositions but also show how capitalism drives changes in consciousness that necessarily obscure the theoretical grounds of capitalism’s potential overthrow.

Key:

  •   + Required
  •   – Recommended

Main text:


July 28th: Marx on Alienation

August 4th: Philosophy’s Realization?

August 11th: Orthodox Marxism

  • + Georg Lukács: HCC – Original Preface
  • + Georg Lukács: HCC – What is Orthodox Marxism?
  • + Karl Marx: Letter to Ruge

August 25th: The Marxism of Rosa Luxemburg

  • + Georg Lukács: HCC – The Marxism of Rosa Luxemburg
  • + Rosa Luxemburg: The Mass Strike – Chapter 3
  • + Rosa Luxemburg: Reform or Revolution – Chapter 10

September 1st: Class Consciousness

  • + Georg Lukács: HCC – Class Consiousness

September 15th: The Phenomenon of Reification

  • + Georg Lukács: HCC – The Phenomenon of Reification

September 22nd: Antinomies of Bourgeois Thought

  • + Georg Lukács: HCC – Antinomies of Bourgeois Throught
  • + Karl Marx: Theses on Feuerbach
  • – Theodore Adorno: Lectures on Negative Dialectics, Lectures 1-5

September 29nd: Standpoint of the Proletariat Part 1

  • + Georg Lukács: HCC – Standpoint of the Proletariat Sections 1-3
  • + Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels: The Holy Family (Excerpted from Robert Tucker Marx-Engels Reader pp. 133-135)
  • + V.I. Lenin: What Is To Be Done?Chapter 3

October 6th: Standpoint of the Proletariat Part 2

October 13th: Changing Function of Historical Materialism

  • + Georg Lukács: HCC – The Changing Function of Historical Materialism
  • + Leon Trotsky: Results and Prospects – Chapter 7

October 20th: Legality and Illegality

  • + Georg Lukács: HCC – Legality and Illegality
  • + V.I. Lenin: What Is To Be Done?Chapter 4
  • + V.I. Lenin: Left Wing Communism: An Infantile DisorderChapter 4

October 27th: Critical Observation on RL’s “Critique of the Russian Revolution”

November 3rd: The Party Part 1

  • + Georg Lukács: HCC – Towards a Methodology of the Problem of Organization
  • – V.I. Lenin: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back – Section R

November 10th: The Party Part 2

November 17th: The Party Part 3

November 24th (Optional): The Stalinist Turn

  • + Georg Lukács: HCC – 1967 Preface
  • + Georg Lukács: Theory of the Novel – 1962 Preface

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