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G. Lukacs and his criticism of Marxism by Deborin

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Post 29 Jul 2020, 18:07
From the influence Lukacs has had on Western Marxism its interesting to see what the official Soviet response was. Deborin was the most Hegelian of Soviet philosophers, but he criticized Lukacs for going too far in that direction. ... xism..html

From a Russian introduction-

Deborin. “G. Lukacs and his criticism of Marxism ”.

The work is important, because a number of the provisions expressed by Lukács in his work "History and Class Consciousness" (in this outstanding rubbish) had a very strong influence on a number of Marxists, primarily on Western Marxism, but in general, echoes of his ideas can be found in many before the "revolutionary thinker" Ilyenkov.
However, it is impossible to limit ourselves only to her, because young Lukach (who was caught in revolutionary Russia and was amazedly found out that he was a member of the Communist Party, although he either a couple of days, or a couple of months earlier, denied revolutionary violence in general), further partially corrected his views, and the above criticism of Deborin requires a number of additions.

But the main ideas expressed in History and Class Consciousness were already absorbed by opportunists and revisionists of all stripes (Praxis or "theory of practice", the concept of alienation, interpreted in an extremely broad way (Western Marxism in this field has generally achieved enormous "successes" from the Frankfurt school and its forerunners and further from Guy Debord with his performance society to Baudrillard's simulacra), Marx's opposition to Engels, limiting the use of dialectics exclusively by society, naturally, there is a criticism of the theory of reflection and the idealists' favorite "identity of being and thinking" and so on).

Lukacs himself later, during the fascist putsch in Hungary in 56, became the Minister of Culture in the government of Imre Nagy and wrote approvingly about Solzhenitsyn, who "crushed the bastions of Stalinism."

In present-day Russia, Lukach's ideas also found a haven, including among a number of Ilyenkovites and, naturally, in their left spectrum too.

As you know, citizen Mareev wrote an almost completely false book "Lukach-Vygotsky-Ilyenkov", where he tried to crack down on Deborin's school and create a new mythology. Is it surprising that the first person he began to write about was Lukacs? No, not surprising. For the similarity of some of the positions of Lukach and Ilyenkov is simply striking.

I will cite two excerpts from the 6th volume of "Introduction to the Science of Philosophy" by Yuri Semenov.

“Special attention was paid to theoretical, primarily philosophical, problems by the so-called“ left ”communists, whose excellent description is contained in the work of V. I. Lenin“ Infantile illness of “leftism” in communism ”(1920). Georg) Lukacs (1885-1971), who published in 1923 a collection of articles entitled "History and Class Consciousness. Studies in Marxist Dialectics." In the article "What is Orthodox Marxism?" he declares his readiness to defend it against everyone who deviates from him at least in some way, not excluding its creators. And the first object of criticism from the author becomes F. Engels. D. Lukacs disagrees with him in understanding the materialist dialectics, the essence which, in the author's opinion, lies in its revolutionary nature. that he extended it to nature, while it applies only to society. “This limitation of the method to the framework of historical social reality,” wrote D. Lukacs, “is very important. The misunderstandings generated by Engels' presentation of dialectics are based on the fact that Engels, following Hegel's false example, extends the dialectical method also to the knowledge of nature. However, in the cognition of nature there is no decisive definition of dialectics: the interaction of the subject and the object, the unity of theory and practice, the historical change in the substratum of categories as the basis for a change in thinking, etc. " based on the fact that Engels, following the false example of Hegel, extends the dialectical method also to the knowledge of nature. However, in the cognition of nature there is no decisive definition of dialectics: the interaction of the subject and the object, the unity of theory and practice, the historical change in the substratum of categories as the basis for a change in thinking, etc. " based on the fact that Engels, following the false example of Hegel, extends the dialectical method also to the knowledge of nature. However, in the cognition of nature there is no decisive definition of dialectics: the interaction of the subject and the object, the unity of theory and practice, the historical change in the substratum of categories as the basis for a change in thinking, etc. "

The reason for the mistake of F. Engels lies in the fact that, concentrating on the details, he did not understand the main thing in dialectics. “However, the most essential interaction: the dialectical relations of subject and object in the historical process,” D. Lukacs severely reprimands him, “he does not even mention, let alone put it on a proper central place in methodology.”
If the main thing in dialectics - the interaction of subject and object, and nature can exist without a subject, it is clear that dialectics is applicable only to society, to history, where not only the object, but also the subject always takes place. It is easy to see that both here and in what follows D. Lukacs, speaking of the dialectical method, in reality means not only and not so much the method as the dialectically developing real historical process.
In this process, subject and object do not just interact, but are one and the same. The revolutionary, proletarian, and thus the Marxist character of D. Lukacs's views is more than clearly expressed in the fact that when applied to modernity he declares the proletariat to be both the subject and the object. “... The proletariat,” says one page, “acts as the identical subject-object of history” - “... The proletariat,” we read on the next, “is the identical subject-object of the historical process”. And this is repeated an infinite number of times. Further more. The declaration of the identity of the subject and the object is naturally followed by the declaration of the identity of thought and being. “Thinking and being,” explains D. Lukacs, “therefore, are identical not in the sense that they“ correspond ”to each other, they“ reflect ”each other, that they "move in parallel" or "coincide" (all these expressions are a veiled form of inert dualism); their identity, on the contrary, lies in the fact that they are moments of one and the same real-historical, dialectical process ”. And the characterization of the theory of reflection as a manifestation of inert dualism is not at all an accidental statement, but the essence of D. Lukacs's philosophical views.
As he writes, all thinkers who approach the study of knowledge from the position of contemplation, and thus metaphysics, inevitably tear away thinking from being and thus come to dualism. Realizing the failure of dualism, they try to overcome it. And they do it in different ways. One way is Platonism, with its teaching of knowing as remembering. This, of course, is pure mythology. But the second way, when cognition is declared to be a reflection of being, is not in any way better. “... The state of affairs,” D. Lukács categorically asserts, “does not change one iota when mythology is turned upside down and when thinking should be explained on the basis of empirical material existence. Rickert once called materialism reversed Platonism. And it is perfectly legitimate. For since the old, inert opposition between thinking and being remains,
To them, these two mythologies are most dangerous for D. Lukacs materialism with its theory of reflection. Therefore, he devotes a lot of space in the book to his criticism, in which he tries to at least somehow rely on F. Engels. “Even Friedrich Engels once expressed himself on this score in a slightly misleading way. When describing the opposition that separates Marx and himself from the Hegelian school, he declares: “Returning to the materialist point of view, we again saw in human concepts the reflection of real things instead of seeing in real things the reflection of certain stages of the absolute concept.” But here a question arises, and Engels not only poses it, but also gives on the next page an answer completely in our sense: "The world should be understood not as a complex of ready-made things, but as a complex of processes."
And from this point of view, it makes no difference whether things are understood as a reflection of concepts or concepts as a reflection of things, because in both cases there is an irresistible logical fixation of this dualism. "
D. Lukacs himself overcame this dualism of thinking and being. And it turned out quite easy and simple. “And only if the true is understood“ not as a substance only, but in the same way the subject ”... if the subject (consciousness, thinking) is both the creator and the product of the dialectical process, if as a result of this he simultaneously moves in the created by himself world, whose conscious image he is, and nevertheless accepts this world in its full objectivity and significance - only in this case can the problem of dialectics be considered as resolved and, together with it, the removal of the opposites of subject and object, thinking and being, freedom and necessity, etc. ".
Thus, according to D. Lukach, the historical dialectical process is the creation of consciousness, thinking. This is by no means some special third trend in philosophy, different from materialism and idealism, but the same idealism. Only this is idealism of a special kind, not objective and not classical subjective, but the one that was called socio-constructive idealism in the first book of the cycle (1.4.6). Its founder was Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814). Among those philosophers who considered and declared themselves Marxists, its first representative was, apparently, A. A. Bogdanov (see: IV14.3).

The fact that the philosophical views of D. Lukacs are nothing more than idealism was convincingly shown after the publication of his work by AM Deborin in the book “G. Lukács and him, criticism of Marxism ”(Moscow, 1924) and especially by the Hungarian communist Laszlo Rudasz (1885-1950) in three articles, first published in“ Vestnik Kommunisticheskaya. academy "(1924, no. 8-10), and then under the general title" Communist revision of Marxism "in the collection" Against the newest revision of Marxism "(Moscow, 1925). On one of the pages of his work L. Rudash gives a kind of table, on the left side of which are the statements of D. Lukach, and on the right - quotes from the works of A. A. Bogdanov. As it is clear from it, not only the thoughts of D. Lukach and A. A. Bogdanov coincide, but often their verbal expressions.
V. I. Lenin was not familiar with D. Lukach's book: it was published in 1923, when he was seriously ill. But he read one of D. Lukacs's previous works. This is an article "On the question of parliamentarism" published in the journal "Communism" (1920). The response was short: “G. L.'s article is very leftist and very bad. Marxism in it is purely verbal ... ". This, purely verbal, was Marxism. D. Lukacs in the book discussed above. In the field of philosophy D. Lukacs was not a materialist, and therefore a Marxist. "
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