chapter  5
From Lukács to Hegel and back
Pages 24

We saw in the last chapter how in locating the ‘basis in existence’ of traditional European philosophy, Lukacs sought to show how it failed to solve the problem of the irrational content of its forms, i.e. the givenness of reality was taken as read and its mechanism of self­ production left untheorized. This was because it was the reified thought of commodity fetishism. Seeing this philosophy as basically revolving around the subject-object problematic, and in particular the problem of the irrationality of the given, led Lukacs to inter­ preting Hegel as the highest (speculative) point in this trajectory. Hegel rightly grounded the object and the content of the categories in a constituting dialectic between an ultimately identical subject and object, but never dealt with real contents - the world as created in practice by real men. Thus in Hegel’s philosophy ‘we’ experience could only be mythologically subsumed under the Spirit of a people and it could similarly deal with its own existence and the necessity of moving beyond the present stage of human history in thought only. He was forced ‘beyond’ history. It was Marx who sought the praxical realization of philosophy at the level of the totality by the genuine majority ‘we’ of capitalism - the proletariat - whose action would consciously create ‘the given’ in a truly collective dereified society in which productive forces ceased to have the character of capital. The object and subject would thus coincide in practice since the planned, conscious organization of society meant that the ideal did not stand over and against the givenness of an arbitrary and blindly developing reality.