chapter  16
Sociological facts and mass praxis
Pages 14

My view is that the undiscriminating reiteration of the facts theme had the character of a perennial polemic, an automatic response, an exaggeration, to serve as a talisman to keep alive in the relentlessly persistent instances of its application a denial of the present unjust, reified world and the possibility of a more rational society when the appointed class in Marxist terms (the proletariat) had seemed to have deserted its historical mission for fascism. The pursuit of sociological research would therefore appear to the post-Lukacsian critical theoretician as the pursuit of empirical knowledge of a monstrously irrational society careering towards barbarism, an enterprise hope­ lessly out of tune with and therefore serving to obscure, the real issues facing humanity. Understandable though this position was in its time and given the assumptions of the particular strand of the Marxist tradition in which the critical theorists were embedded, the static, abstract and philosophized picture of the socio-historical development and function of sociology and other sciences which went with it was ironically unfaithful to the very dialectical principles of organic social development upon which they otherwise put such store.