chapter  6
Towards conscious mediations
Pages 10

As a philosopher, Lukacs assailed the neo-Kantians of his time by going back to Hegel’s critique of Kant, particularly Hegel’s attack on what he saw as Kant’s ultimately subjectivistic and agnostic theory of the categorial conditions of knowledge. But Lukacs addi­ tionally spelled out what that critique would look like in Marxian terms once one had carried out Marx’s inversion of the Hegelian dialectic and theory of alienation; and then he exploited its resultant social and political implications. Lukacs perceived that the power of the Hegelian system also lay in the ‘truth as the whole’ postulate which purged arbitrariness, caprice and relativistic values in a dia­ lectic of necessity, both methodologically and historically. As both Hegel and Marx averred: the dialectic ‘lets nothing impose on it’, i.e. nothing external or arbitrary. For Lukacs, too, the historical dia­ lectic of necessity is one which totalizes all other perspectives. Lukacs implicitly polemizes against the neo-Kantians who grappled with the problem of trying to find an Archimedean point among a welter of value-judgments, all of which attempts failed because they foundered on variations of the basic dilemma of bourgeois thought: the belief that evaluations, conceptualizations or categorizations of immediate social reality are merely a subjective picture of an aspect of the given social world which is assumed (irrationally) to produce itself.