chapter  35
12 Pages

Lukács, Kierkegaard, Marx, and the Political

WithAlison Assiter

Marx and Kierkegaard are two thinkers who are normally thought to have radically different concerns and opposing theoretical outlooks. Kierkegaard is seen as focussing on individuals’ working out their own salvations while Marx asks all proletarians of the world to unite. Marx’s works shaped the thinking of Lenin and Lukács, whereas Kierkegaard influenced Heidegger and the existentialists. With the help of Lukács, who has actually compared their work, I will challenge the view that Marx and Kierkegaard have little in common. However, while Lukács suggests that the fundamental difference between the two thinkers is that Marx was a systematiser and Kierkegaard was anti-system, I will argue in this chapter that Kierkegaard is not so thoroughly anti-system, and demonstrate that there are more similarities between the two thinkers than is often acknowledged.