Neetha Prasad Roll No.


After Marx…..

Changing social conditions in the West 1880s to 1930s
1) Appearance of mass media (esp. cheap newspapers) and

mass leisure
- Cinema (beginnings of ‘celebrity culture’; beginnings of ‘Americanization’) - Radio (possibilities for propaganda: Mussolini)

Rising working class standards of living Development of welfare state Beginnings of mass consumerism (e.g. USA: mass car ownership by 1930s)

1933 .Large number of businesses go bust .Communist revolution in Russia.Many capitalists ruined .3) Crises in capitalism Wall Street Crash.Increased popularity of Fascism: Hitler wins power in Germany. 1929 .Hyper-inflation 4) Challenges to capitalism .Mass unemployment . 1917 .

“EASTERN MARXISM” Marxism in the Soviet Union (USSR) Soviet Marxism .

concerning themselves instead with abstract and philosophical areas of Marxism „Western Marxism‟-initially a disparaging term used by the Soviet Communists.Western Marxism In the 1920s –Challenged Soviet Marxism The term "Western Marxism" is usually applied to Marxist theorists who downplay the primacy of economic analysis.Europe . to indicate a turn to more Hegelian and critical forms of Marxism in W. .

Yet politics laced the philosophizing .•Term later adopted by thinkers like Lukacs and Korsch to describe a more independent Marxism from the party and „scientific‟ Marxism of the First and Second Internationals •Western Marxism rejected the stand of the Soviet Marxists who outlined Marxism as a materialist theory •Western Marxism assumed a philosophical shape.

was in a sense. Principles of political organizations were debated  The WMs gravitated less toward the party than towards councils and other forms of self-management.  WM . a philosophical meditation on the uniform defeat of the West European revolutions in the 20th century .

Those who paved the way…  Pioneered by KORSCH and LUKACS in the early 1920s .

Continued in a rich diversity of forms by GRAMSCI in Italy… .


The Frankfurt School .

. these definitions were close to positivism•The reduction of a social theory to a natural science. •For them. •Marxism was primarily a critique.Chracteristics •Soviet Marxism championed Marxism as a universal science of history and nature •To the Western Marxists . it was not a general science but a theory of society •To rescue Marxism from positivism and crude materialism the WMs argued that Marx did not simply offer an improved theory of political economy.Western Marxism.

with its concepts of the primacy of the development of the forces of production and the seamless application of the methods of natural science to the study of society.that it reduced Marxism to scientific sociology In his critique. namely the ascription of “all economic phenomena to the social relationships of human beings to one another . namely . thus acquiring “the accent of a false ‘objectivity’ and mistaking the core idea of Marx’s method. Lukács charges that Bukharin’s theory.Eg:-Both Lukacs and Gramsci criticized Bukharin‟s Historical Materialism for similar reasons. is fetishistic and obliterates the “qualitative difference” between the two subject areas of natural and social sciences.

alienation and ideology •All WMs agree that Marxism required a theory of culture and consciousness •To accentuate these dimensions they confined Marxism to social and historical reality .•The WMs reread Marx with particular attention to the categories of culture. class consciousness and subjectivity •In Marx‟s writings they were drawn to the analysis of more “subjective” structures-commodity fetishism.

WM is a return to the early Marx •These Texts offered a correction to the presentation of Marxism as an antiphilosophical materialism . and the proletariat cannot transcend itself without the realization of philosophy” •Marx early writings –on Hegel. they say. the Young Hegelians and Feuerbach. Marxism preserved the truths of philosophy until their revolutionary transformation into reality Marx .revealed the philosophical core of Marxism •In this sense.The role of Philosophy •According to Western Marxists. outlined the essential role of philosophy in his Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right : “Philosophy cannot realize itself without the transcendence of the proletariat.

Western Marxism and Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel 1771-1831 .

in France Kojeve. Jean Hyppolite and Jean Wahl revived Hegelian studies. Kojev‟s Introduction to the Reading of Hegel.Europe Wilhelm Dilthey. Giovanni Gentile and Benedetto Croce. in Italy Bertrando Spaventa. WM emerged only in places where an Hegelian tradition remained alive or had been established •In C. and all its adherents were schooled in German idealism •Lukacs‟s The Young Hegel. . Marcuse‟s Reason and Revolution •In fact.•The concepts of WM were resonant with Hegel.

•In C. in Italy Bertrando Spaventa.Europe Wilhelm Dilthey. Giovanni Gentile and Benedetto Croce. and the Structural Marxism of Althusser (antiHegelian) . Jean Hyppolite and Jean Wahl revived Hegelian studies. in France Kojeve. •Its distinct Hegelian influence set off WM from other forms of West European Marxism such as Austro-Marxism (neoKantianism).

the dialectic of nature shifted the focus away from the proper terrain of Marxism-the cultural and historical structure of society .On Dialectics •Soviet Marxism committed itself to a dialectic of nature following Engels arguments on dialectics •WM discarded it. and WMs like Lukacs (History and Class Consciousness) criticized Engles for distorting Marx •According to WM.

since they failed to do justice to the truth of the dominant culture •To explain and undo bourgeois culture WM rediscovered/invented the concepts of false consciousness. reification and cultural hegemony .On Culture •An engagement with the intellectual and material forces of bourgeois culture defined the project of WM •Culture possessed a life and reality that cannot be dismissed as simple mystification •The more conventional Marxist schemes of material base and ideological superstructure had to be given up.

Rejects base and superstructure model Goes back to Hegel .Georg (Gyorgy) Lukacs Need to develop non-mechanistic Marxism .

reification and class consciousness  Lukács defined orthodoxy as the fidelity to the "Marxist method". orthodoxy refers exclusively to method. It is not the ‘belief’ in this or that thesis. does not imply the uncritical acceptance of the results of Marx’s investigations. On the contrary. Lukács's work elaborates and expands upon Marxist theories such as ideology. nor the exegesis of a ‘sacred’ book. It is the scientific conviction that dialectical materialism is the road to truth and that its methods can be developed. therefore. false consciousness. and not to the "dogmas":  "Orthodox Marxism. History and Class Consciousness initiated the current of thought that came to be known as Western Marxism. expanded and deepened only along the lines laid down by its founders. Written between 1919 and 1922 and first published in 1923." .

According to him. he thus criticised the individualist bourgeois philosophy of the subject. we recall: 'It is not men‟s consciousness that determines their existence. Against this ideology.. but on the contrary. he asserts the primacy of social relations. "The premise of dialectical materialism is. albeit the hitherto unconscious product.'. of human activity. which is but the effect of ideological mystification.. Existence — and thus the world — is the product of human activity. their social existence that determines their consciousness." In line with Marx's thought. which founds itself on the voluntary and conscious subject. Only when the core of existence stands revealed as a social process can existence be seen as the product. but this can be seen only if the primacy of social process on individual consciousness. is accepted .

social relations become objectified. "ideology" is really a projection of the class consciousness of the bourgeoisie. which functions to prevent the proletariat from attaining a real consciousness of its revolutionary position.For Lukács. and encourage it . precluding the ability for a spontaneous emergence of class consciousness Aim of Marxism: to break through reification. to identify social change. thus the structure of knowledge itself Lukács presents the category of reification whereby. Ideology determines the "form of objectivity". due to the commodity nature of capitalist society.

“Social Totality” 1) Must look at the “whole society” 2) Look at how all parts relate to and effect each other 3) Changes in one part have effects in all other parts 4) The economy INDIRECTLY shapes other parts of the society 5) Other parts of the society can impact on the economy too .

Antonio Gramsci Imprisoned by Mussolini regime “Prison Notebooks” Hegelian Marxism: Emphasis on thoughtful and active human agency (“praxis”) Why has the Revolution not happened? 1) Physical Force 2) Dominant ideologies .

with the rise of fascism and the failure of the Western European working-class movements. began to consider why the working class was not necessarily revolutionary." (Gitlin) . why it could.CONCEPT OF HEGEMONY  Hegemony is the way in which those in power maintain their control  "It was Gramsci who. in the late twenties and thirties. yield to fascism. in fact.

So. . Gramsci was concerned to eradicate economic determinism from Marxism and to develop its explanatory power with respect to superstructural institutions. he held that:  Class struggle must always involve ideas and ideologies. ideas that would make the revolution and also that would prevent it.

including fundamentally but not exclusively the ruling class.. through the negotiated construction of a political and ideological consensus which incorporates both dominant and dominated groups.The meaning of "hegemony"  ". 1995: 165) .Dominant groups in society. maintain their dominance by securing the 'spontaneous consent' of subordinate groups."(Strinati.. including the working class.

 Ideology: a system of meanings and values. .The notions of culture and ideology  Culture: a whole social process. it is the expression or projection of a particular class interest. in which men and women define and shape their lives.

this consent is not always peaceful. and may combine physical force or coercion with intellectual. moral and cultural inducement.  The concept assumes a plain consent given by the majority of a population to a certain direction suggested by those in power. political and cultural values. A class had succeeded in persuading the other classes of society to accept its own moral.  However. .

Members  Institute for Social Research University of Frankfurt.The Frankfurt School . 1923  Multi-disciplinary membership: Max Horkheimer (philosophy) Theodor Adorno (philosophy and musicology) Walter Benjamin (philosophy and literature) Herbert Marcuse (Freudian psychology) .

“Critical Theory” Sources: 1) Marx. 2) Max Weber.“scientific” sociology / Durkheim . 3) Sigmund Freud Following Marx: Most sorts of social science see only the surface of society Must find the hidden workings of society Frankfurt: against positivism .can only see surface-level things .

conformist thinking and behaviour 2.Mass Media Adorno and Horkheimer The “Culture Industry” Mass Culture: standardised culture for “the masses” 1.audiences influenced .superficial pleasures . Outcome: capitalist system reproduced over time . Propagates dominant ideologies . Pacifies the populace .a break from unfulfilling jobs 3.

Consequences:  1. more so . they subjected to scrutiny popular. elevated intellectuals to a pivotal role. mass and commercial culture. since in their view mass culture constituted bourgeois society as much as did the labour process-perhaps. The WMs undertook a wide variety of cultural studies. music and art 3. from Gramsci to Marcuse. which ranged over literature. Western Marxists. Marxism required an intellectual credibility and the support of intellectuals  2 .

especially the Frankfurt School turned to psychoanalytic theory for similar reasons. Some of them. to understand how the individual imbibed culture .4 .

consciousness and selfactivity could be translated into such political organizations such as workers‟ or factory councils •WM also intersected with „left‟ communism (Dutch School.Political formulations •The philosophical and theoretical formulations of WM merged into political formulations that challenged Leninism •The concepts of subjectivity. Luxemburg)on certain political terrains .

.Criticisms  WM constitutes an abandonment of classical Marxism by its neglect of political economy and its departure from materialism. often in fields ignored by others.  WM produced a compelling literature. they discover in the text of WMs idealism and a remoteness from the prosaic realities of party life.

ed. 1989. Marx after Marxism: The Philosophy of Karl Marx. Web. 2006. Web oks. 2002. Roger S. Chicago: Haymarket bo Rockmore. 2nd ed. UK: Blackwell. The Meaning of Marxism.Works Cited  Curtis. Michael. ed. . Web. Marxism: The Inner Dialogues. Tom  Gottileb.  D’Amato.print. New York: OUP.An anthology of Western Marxism: from Luka`cs and Gramsci to Socilaist Feminism. Paul.

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