Marx Theory Of Reification Analysis

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Georg Lukács concept of reification refers to the reduction of people to things. As Lukacs states in History and Class Consciousness, this reification is “crucial for the subjugation of men’s consciousness” (Lukacs 1923). Reification essentially objectifies and reduces human beings to things. This concept of reification is directly linked to Marx’s ideas about commodity fetishism. Capitalist exfoliation establishes the workers and products of their labor as objects. It is further developed in human relations as people are unable to see themselves in relation with others; thus, human relationships are also objectified. Lukacs argues this concept of reification is applicable to all aspects of life as things and relationships become abstract. …show more content…
Such transformation eventually leads to the good being sold in market which creates its value. Thus, the value exists in relation to other things in the market. However, Marx states that, “a commodity is” essentially “a mysterious thing” (Marx 1867) such that the labor time and social processes invested in it are often hidden from the worker. Therefore, people are alienated from labor, things, and relations with other people. This alienation eventually leads to the worker fetishizing commodities more than social relations. The concept of reification is quite similar to Marx’s idea of commodity fetishism. It's a form of objectivity where the proletariat is detached from the fruits of its labor. It is related to Marx’s idea of commodity fetishism through the alienation that they describe. This alienation is evident in Marx’s commodity fetishism as well as Lukács reification. Further, they argue that this alienation is a major problem of capitalism that needs to be addresses. Both reification and commodity fetishism alienate the worker and establish human beings as objects. The development of class consciousness is how the worker is able to overcome this …show more content…
In order to fight for the revolution, the working class needs to become aware of its exploitation. Class consciousness will then compel the worker to overcome isolation and oppression in a capitalist society. Lukács argues that, “reification can be found in all the social forms of modern capitalism” (Lukács 1923). However, only the proletariat can rise up to challenge reification. Further, he argues that this consciousness which is situated in proletariat is due to historical circumstances. Referring to Marx’s historical dialects, he states that that, “consciousness is nothing but the expression of historical necessity” (Lukács 1923). This historical necessity of consciousness compels the proletariat to realize the contradictions and irrationality of a given capitalist society. As the proletariat becomes aware of this irrationality, it will seek to transform society as a communist state. Further, borrowing from the Master-Slave dialectic, Lukács argues that the proletariat has more power to end reification while the bourgeoise might even intensify it. This contradiction of the capitalist society is essential to its decline. This decline while not really a transformative revolution but over time will allow the proletariat to rise in power. Therefore, class consciousness is the essential characteristic of revolutionary politics. The transformation of society through the communist revolution will only arise

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