Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Blind Spot and the Stoke on Trent by election......

Have you noticed that right wingers never point out the incidence of right wing terrorism. It's interesting that no one mentions that the attacker in Quebec was was a far right wing white nationalist...They never oint out that Anders Brevijk claimed Christianity as his belief system ? Anyone with a brown skin and a gun is a terrorist but a white right winger with a gun is mentally ill.The truth for much of the right is the psychological inability to understand that people like ourselves are terrorists it's easier to see them as mad...It's much safer.... And now we have UKIP and Trump it makes us easier to be in denial of it

A report on the Stoke on Trent by election floats past my ears. The six towns that make up Stoke are not remembered by Paul Nuttal ..This is the Brexit capital of the UK ..There are high stakes here ..If UKIP fails to win it will be interesting.Iloojed a few days ago at the local government elections of 2015 ..There was clear evidence of cooperation on the right between independents. Conservatives and UKIP..That will be significant in this election. In the past in Some we have had BNP councillors . This is a low voter turnout area. I know Stoke I was born nearby .This is a place if poverty of racial prejudice it is a prime breeding ground for the toxicity of Eddie Hitler and his party ..It was made worse by it having a neo liberal Blairite as an MP..It is a heady cocktail for a disaster...Industrial wasteland, an alienated electorate and the simplistic solutions of the right....Watch this space ...

Monday, 30 January 2017

The dark history of "America First"

The phrase “America first” also has a darker recent history and, as my colleague David Graham pointed out Friday, was associated with opponents of the U.S. entering World War II.he America First Committee (AFC), which was founded in 1940, opposed any U.S. involvement in World War II, and was harshly critical of the Roosevelt administration, which it accused of pressing the U.S. toward war. At its peak, it had 800,000 members across the country, included socialists, conservatives, and some of the most prominent Americans from some of the most prominent families. There was future President Ford; Sargent Shriver, who’d go on to lead the Peace Corps; and Potter Stewart, the future U.S. Supreme Court justice. It was funded by the families who owned Sears-Roebuck and the Chicago Tribune, but also counted among its ranks prominent anti-Semites of the day It had to remove from its executive committee not only the notoriously anti-Semitic Henry Ford but also Avery Brundage, the former chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee who had prevented two Jewish runners from the American track team in Berlin in 1936 from running in the finals of the 4x100 relay,” Susan Dunn, the historian, wrote on CNN last April.But charges of anti-Semitism persisted, and were compounded with perhaps one of the most infamous speeches given by one of AFC’s most famous spokesmen, Charles Lindbergh. In a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 11, 1941, Lindbergh expressed sympathy for the persecution Jews faced in Germany, but suggested Jews were advocating the U.S. to enter a war that was not in the national interest.“Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way for they will be among the first to feel its consequences,” Lindbergh said. “Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastations. A few far-sighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not. Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.”He insisted he was not “attacking either the Jewish or the British people,” but “I am saying that the leaders of both the British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are as understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war.”
The speech was labeled as anti-Semitic. Dorothy Thompson, a columnist for the New York Herald Tribune, who had reported from Europe, wrote: “I am absolutely certain that Lindbergh is pro-Nazi. I am absolutely certain that Lindbergh foresees a new party along Nazi lines.” Those sentiments were echoed widely.Three months after Lindbergh’s speech, on December 7, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, prompting the U.S. to enter World War II. Three days later, the AFC disbanded.But echoes of “America first” have persisted in the years and decades since. Most recently it was employed by Pat Buchanan, who used it as the slogan for his presidential run in 2000 on a Reform Party ticket. Buchanan, who has labeled World War II an “unnecessary war,” had also campaigned against free trade. Indeed, Trump, who sought the Reform Party nomination at the time, called Buchanan “a Hitler lover.”NPR’s Ron Elving argues that “assuming he is aware of at least some of that history, Trump is demonstrating his confidence that his adoption of a phrase can supersede its past.” The president may say he wants “America first” to mean “we will not be ripped off anymore,” but shaking off the phrase’s ugly past, especially after an inauguration speech that offered little outreach to the millions of Americans who fear what his presidency may bring, could prove difficult.

Friday, 27 January 2017

“For persons in a state of hopelessness, attachment to the Devil symbolized their alienation from a society to which they had little cause to be grateful.

I got this interesting letter via a friend...I love it

Dear Idlers,

For the last few months, I’ve had a copy of Professor Keith Thomas’s Religion and the Decline of Magic by my bed. It’s a magnificent study of the popularity of witchcraft and magic in the 16th and 17th centuries, and investigates how organised religion dealt with the threat posed to it by the “cunning” men and women of the shires, who went around with potions and charms, and promised to find lost goods and avenge bad neighbours.The book was a particular inspiration to novelist Hilary Mantel, who called it “monumental” and has said it’s the book she has recommended to friends more than any other.

‘The Concert in the Egg’, after Hieronymus Bosch, circa 1561
The other night, one particular observation leapt out at me. It was that the Devil held a particular fascination for those who were really suffering. Prof Thomas cited a few examples of poor folk to whom the Devil had appeared in the street, and promised them a shilling if they would join his team. Witches, he said, tended to come from the desperate classes. The cogs in my addled brain started to whirr. I remembered a Trump voter saying to camera, when asked why he was voting for this ludicrous Dr Evil character: “Trump’s gonna make me rich!”Then I read the following line in the book:“For persons in a state of hopelessness, attachment to the Devil symbolized their alienation from a society to which they had little cause to be grateful.”
So it seems clear to me that voters were so weakened, so hopeless, that they resorted to worshipping the Devil, with all his false promises to give them money, avenge their enemies and sort out their problems. Therefore you could argue that Trump is the Devil. To rephrase Prof Thomas, attachment to Trump symbolizes a mass alienation from a system for which many Americans have little cause to be grateful.However, the previous overlords of society, the neo-liberals, can also be blamed for creating a situation where the people resorted to Devil worship out of desperation. In a sense, they themselves created Trumpism. The problem is, Trump is now the president of the United States.

At the intersection of the far right and UKIP

Over the last week I have been exposing the role of the extreme right in local politics and on Neath Voice for Everybody Facebook group. Now I discover some fascinating links between the far right in the past of certain UKIP activists. It makes you wonder does it not? I was fascinated in the overlap between the far right past of certain UKIP activists. The following research was done last year by a cheeky blog called the Green Dragon that is sadly no longer with us. Please read and reflect...as Oscay widw says every saint has a past and every sinner a future.....

"it would now appear as if Ukip has had  serious questions to answer about some of its other list candidates? In particular Malcolm Biggs who is 4th on its list of candidates for south wales west.. they went on to drop him as a candidate but he clearly lists himself in a letter stating that ge was the Chairman of south West wales UKIP

Now we know a Malcolm J Biggs contested the Welwyn Hatfield constituency for the kippers in the 2001 british general election

And it would appear from the following dedicated elections website that it is the same Malcolm Biggshttp://electionweb.co.uk/Ind/N220161.htm
Now many people may not have heard of the New Britain Party, indeed it officially folded nearly a decade ago but readers can learn a little more about this organisation herehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Britain_Party

To call Malcolm Biggs old party 'far right' would be an understatement, the National Front in suits would probably be a fair description. Founded in 1976 it was an avowed 'white nationalist' party that supported the racist regimes in south africa and the then 'rhodesia' and one of its early leaflets stated "coloured immigration to this country must stop completely and immediately". And as recently as 2000 its leader was writing to newspapers claiming "suburb after suburb and town after town across the land have been taken over by Asians, Africans and Afro-Caribbeans".

The neo fascist organisation's wikipedia entry makes clear a number of former 'new britain' members joined the UK Independence party and Biggs was clearly among them. And it would be very interesting to know when Biggs quit the racist 'New Britain' and joined Ukip? Was he still a member when its leader Dennis Delderfield penned that deeply offensive and racially motivated letter we wonder?
But that he joined the party at all is frankly deeply troubling, as surely only an out and out racist would have joined a party like 'New Britain' in the first place? Surely Ukip managers were aware of Biggs political history? And if so how on earth could they have permitted a former active member of a nakedly racist and neo fascist party like 'New Britain' to put himself forward as a list candidate in Wales? 
It's clear today that Ukip have even more serious questions to answer about their list candidates in Wales" and indeed about their attitudes and behaviour particularly since Brexit.....

The following link shows the true nature of Paul Nuttal new UKIP Leader and candidate for Stoke on Trent read and reflect. http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2016/11/28/the-extreme-right-wing-views-of-new-ukip-leader-paul-nuttall What is quite interesting is that many of these links do not work anymore...an editing of the past perhaps.......

Jung writes on 1945...perhaps something for us in 2017

Dear Mt Pauli, Kusnacht, 7 March 1953
I was very pleased to hear from you once again.
It surprised me greatly that you should be looking at Hiob [Job], and I am indebted to you for taking the trouble to report on it so thoroughly.
It is indeed very unusual for a physicist to make observations on such a specifically theological problem.
You can imagine the excitement with which I read your letter.
That is why I am hastening to reply with the same attention to detail.
As your letter raises so many questions, I had perhaps better take them point by point.
I very much welcome the fact that you generally give credit to the archetype of the feminine for influencing psychology and physics and----last but not least-the Pope himself.
Apparently your initial reaction to Hiob, as the dream indicates, did not contain or make conscious everything that might have risen to consciousness through the reading.
Consequently, in the dream you unintentionally end up in an insignificant (inappropriate) place (Esslingen), but that is where you find what was missing in your reaction namely, the dark anima and the strangers.
As you will see below, it goes even further than that and includes the physical backside of the Assumptia.
Esslingen is indeed incommensurable with the theoretical physics that you pursue in Zurich and hence seems to be unconnected, haphazard, meaningless, and negligible.
his is how the place of the dark anima looks when seen from the standpoint of consciousness.
Had you known before that the dark anima lives or is to be encountered in Esslingen, the Forch railway would probably appear to you in a different light.
But what good can come out of Nazareth (Esslingen)?
Physics, on the other hand, resides up on the Zurich-berg, on Gloriastrasse.
It is clear that the scales are weighted on the side of consciousness and that the dark anima is to be found at the foot of and on the other side of the Pfannenstiel Hill ... animula vagula blandula . .. !
This state of affairs sheds light on your relationship to the dark anima and everything it stands for; I refer to your list, to which I should like to add the pair of opposites psychology-philosophy.
The dark anima has a direct connection with the dogma of the Assumption in that the Madonna is a one-sided light goddess, whose body [womb] seems to have miraculously spiritualized.
The strong emphasis placed on such a figure brings about a constellation of the dark Opposite in the unconscious.
The new dogma had an upsetting effect on many people and made even made even practicing Catholics (let alone Protestantsl) believe it was some political maneuver.
Behind this thought is the Devil, as you rightly point out.
He is the father of this depreciatory interpretation.
The one-sidedness of the light figure was what tempted him to insinuate this interpretation.
Were the new dogma in fact nothing more than a political maneuver, then one would have to point to the Devil as the instigator.
In my view, however it is not a political trick but a genuine phenomenon, i.e., the manifestation of that archetype that much earlier on had occasioned the assumption of Semele by her son Dionysus.
But the dogma of the Assumption is implicitly a concession to the Devil, first because it exalts the feminine, which is related to the Devil (as binarius), and second because the assumption of the body signifies the assumption of Matter.
It is true that the feminine is virginal, and the material is spiritualized, which you justifiably criticize, but the eternally renewed virginity, on the one hand, is an attribute of the goddess, of love, whereas the material is endowed with a living soul.
I did not explicitly present these far-reaching consequences in Job but simply alluded to them through symbols, the reason being that within the framework of Job, the problem of Matter could not really be dealt with.
But I did indicate it with the apocalyptic stone symbolism and with the parallelism of the Savior as the sun and moon son, i.e., as the filius Philosophorum and Lapis.
In my view, the discussion of Matter must have a scientific basis.
That is why I pressed for Hiob and Synchronizitilt [Synchronicity]to be published at the same time, for in the latter I attempted to open up a new path to the "state of spiritualization" [Beseeltheit] of Matter by making the assumption that "being is endowed with meaning" (i.e., extension of the archetype in the object).
When I wrote Hiob I expected absolutely nothing from the theologians, and in fact, as anticipated, I have had only very little reaction; I was thinking much more of all those who have been put off by the meaninglessness and thoughtlessness of the Church's "Annunciation," of the so-called kerygmatics.
It was from these people that I had the strongest reaction.
In your Part II [Letter 58] you yourself reach all these conclusions.
The 'Chinese woman" represents a "holistic" anima, for classical Chinese philosophy is based on the notion of an interplay of psychophysical opposites.
ESP certainly belongs in this context, for if anything at all can be perceived in this field, it is based on the psychoid archetype, which, as experience has shown, can be express itself both psychically and physically.
In the dream, the Chinese woman seems to be uniting opposed positions, which gives rise to “circulation” – i.e., rotation.
Connected with the latter is a change of space in the sense of a contraction.
This also leads to a change in time and causality, in other words, and ESP or synchronistic phenomenon brought about by the archetype.
That is a tangible part of the teaching that you as a professor would have to advocate.
Applied to the objects of physics, that would lead to the definition of physics as a science of the ideas labeled as material (or physical). (See below!).
Inofar as the Chinese woman as the anima represents an autonomous figure and the idea of union, the middle ground where the coniunctio opposition takes place is not yet identical with you but is situated externally—in the anima, which means that it is not yet integrated.
Theprinciple that endows the anima with its special significance and intensity is Eros, attractions and relatedness.
(As an ancient Sabean says, “Attraxit me Natura e attractus sum.”)
Where the intellect dominates, then what you have is primarily a feeling centeredness or the acceptance (assumption) of feelings of connectedness.
That is also the essential meaning of the Assumption B. V. Mariae, in contrast to the separating effect of the masculine logos.
The union of opposites is not just an intellectual matter.
That is why the alchemist said: "Ars totum requirit hominem”)
For only from his wholeness can man create a model of the whole.
It is certainly an indisputable fact that the unconscious has a “periodic" character; there are waves and swells that often produce such symptoms as seasickness, cyclical recurrences of nervous attacks or dreams.
Over a period of 3 years, from mid-December to mid-January, I have observed in myself similar dreams that have made a very deep impression on me.
Your compilation of physical and psychological statements is most interesting and illuminating. I should just like to add:
The smallest mass particle consists of corpuscle and wave.
The archetype (as structure element of the unconscious) consists of static form on the one hand and dynamics on the other.
As regards "being" and "nonbeing," it is clear that virtually all those who operate with the concept of "nonbeing" simply have a different understanding of "being," such as the concept of Nirvana, for example.
That is why I never talk of "being" but of the ascertainable and the nonascertainable, and very much “hic et nunc”.
As there is something sinister about the nonascertainable e, the people of the ancient world (and the primitives) feared it, and because, when it materializes, it is always different from what one expects, it is even evil.
Plato made this experience with the two tyrants Dionysius [Elder and Younger] of Syracuse (see Symbolik des Geistes p.341.
The incommensurable mixture of "Good" and "Being" and of "Evil" and “nonbeing” seems to me essentially a relic of primitive indiscrimination.
By way of contrast, the potential "being" of Matter in Aristotle marks a major step forward. In my view, "being" and "nonbeing" are inadmissible metaphysical judgments that just lead to confusion, whereas “ascertainable”
and "nonascertainable" take into account hic et nunc the relatedness of the actual and the nonactual to the indispensable observer.
Without wishing to cast aspersions on Bohr', originality, I should nevertheless like to point out that Kant had already demonstrated the necessary the necessary antimony of all metaphysical statements.
Of course, this also applies to statements concerning the unconscious, in that the latter is in itself nonascertainable.
As such, it can either be "a potential being" or "nonbeing."
I would, however, place these last two concepts in the category of metaphysical judgments, where in fact all concepts of "being" belong.
Aristotle was not able to create sufficient distance from the influence of Plato to see the merely postulated character of his concepts of "being."
In that "spiritualism" and "materialism" are statements on Being, they represent metaphysical judgments.
They are only admissible as necessary elements in the process of apperception; namely, as the labeling of categories of ideas, such as "that is of mental (or spiritual) origin" or "that is of physical (or material) origin."
Metaphysical judgment, however, always places an element of the psychic in an external location, thus preventing a union of Idea and Matter.
Only in a third medium (of Plato) Plato, see Symbolik des Geistes [Symbolism of the Spirit). p. 339ff.
pars. 182-S3]) can the union of the two spheres take place, where both Idea and Matter are removed from their "in and for itself being" and adapted to this third medium-namely, the psyche of the observer.
Nowhere else but in the. psyche of the individual can the union be completed and the essential identity of Idea and Matter be experienced and perceived.
I view metaphysical judgments-forgive this heresy-as a relic of the primitive participation mystique, which forms the main stumbling block to the attainment of an individual consciousness.
What is more, metaphysical judgments lead to one-sidedness such as spiritualization or materialization, for they take a more or less large or significant part of the psyche and situate it either in Heaven or in earthly things, and then it can drag the whole person along with it, thus depriving him of his middle position.
If, in epistemological self-limitation, we characterize Spirit and Matter "in and for itself" as non-ascertainable, this does not detract in any way from their metaphysical Being, for it is absolutely impossible for us even to approach it.
But we have prevented the projection of the psychic into an external location, thus promoting the integration of the wholeness of man.
The psyche as a medium participates in both Spirit and Matter.
I am convinced that it (the psyche) is partly of a material nature.
The archetypes, for example, are Ideas (in the Platonic sense) on the one hand, and yet are directly connected with physiological processes on the other, and in cases of synchronicity they are arrangers of physical circumstances, so that they can also be regarded as a characteristic of Matter (as the feature that imbues it with meaning).
It is part of this non-ascertainability of their being that they cannot be situated in place.
This is particularly the case with the archetype of wholeness-that is, of the Self.
It is the One and the Many.
As you rightly say, the wholeness of man holds the middle position, namely between the mundus archetypus, which is real, because it acts, and the physis, which is just as real, because it acts.
The principle of both, however, is unknown and therefore not ascertainable.
Moreover, there are grounds for supposing that both are just different aspects of one and the same principle; hence the possibility of setting up identical or parallel physical and psychological propositions on the one hand and on the other the psychological interpretability of religious revelations.
(Theologians have the same resistance to psychologists as physicists, except that the former believe in Spirit and the latter in Matter.)
The fact that on the whole our views coincide is very pleasing to me, and I am very grateful to you for presenting your opinions in such detail.
It seems to me that you have done a great deal of thinking and have covered a lot of ground, which would give you quite a lot to tell the strangers about.
If one moves too far forward, it is often impossible to remember the thoughts one had before, and then the public finds one incomprehensible.
If I have presented my views rather briefly here, much of what I say may sound apodictic, but that is not my intention at all. It is much rather that I am aware of how improvised and makeshift my definitions are and how much I am dependent on your goodwill and understanding.
I am not yet in the best of health.
I still suffer from occasional bouts of tachycardia and arrhythmia and have to be especially careful not to overexert myself mentally.
This letter was already too much of an effort and one that I must avoid repeating for a while.
The problem of the coniunctio must be kept for the future; it is more than I can cope with, and my heart reacts if I exert myself too much along these lines.
My essay on the "Der Geist der Psychologie" [The Spirit of Psychology) of 1946 resulted in a serious attack of tachycardia, and synchronicity brought on the rest.
I would be very interested to hear about you "impressions of India sometime.
I must just wait until my health is a little more stable.
At the moment I can only receive visitors in the mornings, as I have to rest in the afternoon.
I must practice patience and thus force others to acquire the same virtue.
With best wishes,
Yours sincerely, [C. C. JUNG) ~Carl Jung, Atom and Archetype, Pages 97-101

Thursday, 26 January 2017

A guide to spotting the infiltrator for radical groups......a taxonomy for new activists in the Age of Trump

The election of Trump and other events will lead to the return of political action, demonstration and other tactics. for the generation of protestors to come I give advice on spotting the infiltrtot within. Trad on and learn..........

Recent developments have revealed how the Special Branch and Intelligence services are infiltrating and seeking to disrupt the Progressive, Green and Left groups within the UK and Wales. I have often noticed that many such individuals have a Military,Naval or Police background. Over the years I have met several people who fit this profile. So here is your guide to finding out if your organisation has been infiltrated. I should also say that I suspect that organisation like anti fracking groups are prime targets. I should also point pout I have used the pronoun "he" repeatedly in these questions please not that no sexism is intended
• Did he turn up out of nowhere, and get on famously with members of the group within hours of joining?
• Does his wife/girlfriend, whom he talked about at the first few meetings, suddenly vanish from his conversation
• Does he disappear for long periods, claiming he's visiting relatives or going to an east European pop festival you've never heard of before?
• Is he a bit of a puzzle: he's terribly keen on your campaign, but you cannot quite explain why he's involved?
• Does he - on the other hand – over-enthuse about your campaign, urging the group on to ever more daring escapades?
• Does he ever accuse other people in your group/movement of being agents (to divert attention)?
• Does he appear to be excessively helpful – offering to ferry people to protests, take them home afterwards?
• Does he have a car - or a van - which he offers to make available to the group for transport to and from meetings/demos?
• Does he volunteer for tedious tasks which, while doing the rest of you a favour, allow him access to data, such as membership lists?
• Does he appear to be oddly well-off, buying rounds in the pub, having access to surprisingly generous quantities of dope, but never giving any indication of where he works or how he earns a living? (Pc Kennedy was known as 'Flash' for his generosity.)
• Does he ask for a receipt at the bar when he thinks no one's looking?
• Does he urge the group to be violent or break the law but – oddly – not show up on the day for which the activity has been planned?
• Does he seem a little old/straight to be wearing his hair that long, and sporting an earring?
• Is he fiddling with his mobile when the rest of you have yours turned off for an important meeting?
• Are you suddenly aware that there is more dissent within the group than before, more disruption?
• Are things suddenly going pear-shaped when they always went pretty smoothly before?

Answer YES to three or more of these, and you could have an undercover agent  in your midst.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The new bigot closes the door against the huddled masses

 And now Donald Trump becomes the  the new Bigot. ignorant, unknowing of the role of the immigrant to American history  and closes the door.......Between 1820 and 1920, approximately 34 million persons immigrated to the United States, three-fourths of them staying permanently. For many of these newcomers, their first glimpse of America was the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.
The statue, sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, had been conceived of as a gift of friendship from the people of France marking the two nations' commitment to liberty. France provided $400,000 for the 151 ft 1 in. (46.05 m) statue, and a fundraising drive in the United States netted $270,000 for the 89-foot pedestal.
The Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus saw the statue as a beacon to the world. A poem she wrote to help raise money for the pedestal, and which is carved on that pedestal, captured what the statue came to mean to the millions who migrated to the United States seeking freedom, and who have continued to come unto this day.
–The U.S. Department of State
“The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.
From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!"” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

We don't accept your decisions. You accept ours...the far Right in Neath Voice for Everybody

On Friday I published a story about the insidious growth of a neo fascist organisation called the Knights Templar. http://all-to-human.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/the-hard-right-and-myth-of-knights.html

I had noticed that on a certain Councillors Facebook group that it was infested by members of this group. Since the publication of my story I have never seen so many people from this group update thier profile so quickly. However the screen shots of those claiming membership has been forwarded to anti-racist groups and anti-fascist groups in the area. It is important that Councillor Stephen Hunt wakes up to the reality of the situation and thinks of a little more than his re-election in May of this year. Similar figures can also be found on a Facebook group that is prominent in Port Talbot 

There is a danger to all those who flirt with the far right. I suppose it comes initially from those ideas you associate with and the people you meet. Its very easy to meet people socially who gradually push you further and further to the right. The danger is that there a bit of Fascism lurking in all of us and its methods and approaches of projection and displacement can lead us into some very strange places and ideas. There us a film called “ Good” that I would recommend and would urge many people to watch in these times of Brexit and Trump . One can find parallels within the treatment of the Law Lords in there previous decision on Brexit and we must consider what today's decision may bring from the right wing press. Watch this film or read the novel.....

Doctor Richard Fletcher: The appalling thing about fascism is that you've got to use fascist methods to get rid of it.
[Pauline is registering]
Pauline: I've decided to join.
Clerk: We don't accept your decisions. You accept ours.

It tells us a true story it is ts based on a novel about a mercy killing it brings a German professor (Viggo Mortensen) to the attention of the Nazi Party, which now wants him to write a treatise on euthanasia to justify the "final solution”.

Councillor Hunt should reflect on those who he considers threats and those he does not. He and us all should reflect ion these comments by Erich Fromm Perhaps he and we should watch this film as well http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055024/

At first many found comfort in the thought that the victory of the authoritarian system was due to the madness of a few individuals as and that their madness would lead to their downfall in due time. Others smugly believed that the Italian people, or the Germans, were lacking in the sufficiently long period of training in democracy, and that therefore one could wait complacently until they had reached the political maturity of the Western democracies. Another common illusion, perhaps the most dangerous of all, was that men like Hitler had gained power over the past apparatus of the state through nothing but cunning and trickery, that they and their satellites ruled merely by sheer force; that the whole population was only the will-less object of betrayal and terror.
Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom

On being in the European resistance

In the end it comes down to who you are really deep inside. Its the emotion for me of seeing my son, seeing my lover. It comes down to reaching outwards, it's about knowing the history, literature and culture of Europe. It's about experiences of travelling, knowing the smell of the air in the countries of Europe, it's about smiling about our own odd little ways and theirs.

It's knowing that there is more than one book, that there is no us and them. It's about knowing that Tom Paine prior to his pamphlet “Common Sense” reminded the English that they were always part of Europe, its about knowing that Europeans want equal access to knowledge and education. It's about knowing that the French think one way, the Germans another, it's about knowing that the Magna Carta was imposed by French Knights, and the Glorious Revolution by a Dutch Army,  and that Christmas Trees were a Victorian tradition tradition that came from Germany.

It's about knowing that even if you have done wrong, your argument is still as important and emotional and uplifting. It's about knowing that we are all immigrants, that we all came out of Africa, that our ancestors were all economic migrants, that James Dyson that great saint of the Brexiteers refused to place his factory in Wales.

It's about knowing and feeling in your heart, tolerance, understanding for the refugee, the victim of domestic abuse, the broken and the outcast. It's about daring to think in new ways it's about crossing over to new solutions and new perspectives. It's about not liking self assurance, those who are blaming the other, the little Englander and the simplistic Kipper analysis or the Daily Mail.

It's about seeing how Shakespeare was influenced by those European ideas stretching back to the Greeks. It's about seeing how the latest Edition of Big Brother shows how important the works of Freud and Darwin were. It's about celebrating both popular and high culture and finally its about seeing how good it is to see Wales win the match and  become top of Group B. It's about appreciating that Nietzsche was not a Nazi and that Margaret Thatcher was no friend of the Welsh. It's about seeing situations with new lenses and new filters. It's about understanding that we make new wines in both new and old vessels. It's about seeing the Mediterranean Sea and smelling the air. It's about that Friday feeling as the bus takes me into Crynant. And finally its about possibilities, hope and respect. That is why I am voting remain.

Its about the symbolism of the Supreme Court vote , what it will lead to, how it will be interpreted. Its about how by looking at the threat of Isis, we forget the evil and poison of the far right. Its about what will come next now we are to leave. Its about the fact that the majority of Brexiteers worship the “f ree market” snf the privatisation of the NHS.Look at Farage, Johnson and Gove and I my head rather than my heart is convinced.

We are "'A naked people under an acid rain" Wales post Brexit What Would Gwyn Alf say of us now?

 'A naked people under an acid rain" Wales post Brexit What Would Gwyn Alf say?

"Wales – particularly south Wales – was the very anvil on which the progress of the whole urban working class had been first hammered out." Gwyn Alf Williams

He came to believe that the central British state – by which he meant English control and domination of Britain – had to be undone or broken off if Wales was to survive as a united community.  All his life he was fascinated by the struggles of the working classes, particularly in Wales.  Gwyn Alf Williams was a Marxist, a Welsh Republican Socialist. It was his work that convinced me that the destruction of the English State was essential for the transformation of Wales and Scotland.  That for Ecosocialism to triumph the English state must go.  Now I fear that Wales will be left as the last colony of a rump British state.

These words echo the dangers of about what is to happen. Farage, IDS and Michael Gove have hypnotised the Welsh Working Class with the pendulum of racism.

I have seen them lurking within the ranks of the leave campaign.  They are the middle class hard right activists.  They are looking beyond June 23.  They want a market based north American solution to the British state.  Scotland will be gone and we in Wales will be left in the country of Johnsonia.  Wales the last of the colonies oppressed by them.

Once those who have been led to Brexit wake up they will see and understand that the EU referendum and the migration issue are unrelated.  It will be too late to stop the bonfire of workers right that will begin.

In 1983 Gwyn Alf Williams surveying the Tory election victory that year commented that Wales was never as vulnerable as it was then.  It is vulnerable again....What would Gwyn Alf Williams say..?....he said then that the Welsh were  'a naked people under an acid rain".

Gwyn Alf Williams was – and probably still is – one of the most renowned, admired, even loved, historians of the last 100 years.  It is unusual for academics to gain popular public appeal but that was something Gwyn Alf certainly did.  He attracted a following of academics and lay people alike, not only through his television broadcasts but also through his lectures and books.  For anyone who has ever sat through one of his remarkable lectures there could only ever be one Gwyn Alf and there will never be anyone quite like him again.

Gwyn Alfred Williams – Gwyn Alf as he was invariably known – was born on 30 September 1925 in the iron town of Dowlais, just outside Merthyr Tydfil.  Educated firstly at the famous Cyfarthfa Grammar School in Merthyr, he went on to study history at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

He formed his political opinions during the dark days of the Depression and the Spanish Civil War and those opinions, garnered when he was no more than an adolescent, were retained – with minor alterations - throughout his life.  He became a Marxist, albeit one who was driven by a dynamic and heart-felt concern about his own people, the Welsh.
During World War Two, Gwyn Alf served in the army and fought in the Normandy campaign following the D-Day landings in 1944.  After his discharge from the army he turned, once again, to academia and completed a doctorate that was later, in 1963, turned into the book Medieval London: From Commune to Capital.

From 1954 until 1965 he worked as a lecturer at Aberystwyth, then took up a post as reader in York.  He was later Professor of History at York before, in 1974, returning to Wales where he became Professor of History at the University of Wales, Cardiff.  He retired from this post in 1983 to concentrate on writing.

A dynamic and exciting lecturer, Gwyn Alf Williams was astute enough to use his slight speech impediment or stutter to emphasise and reinforce his points.  It was a great technique.  People from various faculties in the universities where he worked flocked to hear him, sitting enthralled as he made his pronouncements and offered his point of view.
He was particularly passionate about Wales and her people, seeing himself – in his own celebrated phrase – as 'a people's remembrancer'.  Gwyn Alf, however, was also a passionate republican and soon found himself a place on the left-wing of Plaid Cymru.

As Meic Stephens wrote in his obituary in the Independent, Gwyn Alf was clear that: "Wales – particularly south Wales – was the very anvil on which the progress of the whole urban working class had been first hammered out."

After his retirement Gwyn Alf moved to Drefach Felindre in west Wales, to a home that he shared with Sian Lloyd.  He continued to write and to make television programmes and films.

Notable amongst his books were Merthyr Rising, the story of the 1831 riots in Merthyr and the martyrdom of Dic Penderyn, and Madoc, the Making of a Myth, which was the story of how the legend of Madoc and his supposed discovery of America came into being.
His book When Was Wales was written while he was making an extraordinary television programme with Wynford Vaughan Thomas.  The TV programme was the famous The Dragon Has Two Tongues a 13-part series that took the form of discussion, often heated debate or confrontation, between the two men.

Gwyn Alf made films about Welshmen including Saunders Lewis and Iolo Morganwg but also tackled other subjects and people such as Mary Shelley and Sylvia Pankhurst.  He had a fondness for the dramatic, something that helped his television work reach a wide audience, enthralling people who would otherwise never have considered watching a history programme.

Gwyn Alf Williams died on 16 November 1995, a Marxist, a Welsh republican and a writer of great skill. But it was in his superb and exciting lectures and in his wide range of television programmes that he really made his name. 

He would see the acid rain of Trump and NAFTA, eating into our hopes, dreams and pol

Monday, 23 January 2017

Georg [György] Lukács

Georg (György) Lukács (1885–1971) was a literary theorist and philosopher who is widely viewed as one of the founders of “Western Marxism”. Lukács is best known for his pre-World War II writings in literary theory, aesthetic theory and Marxist philosophy. Today, his most widely read works are the Theory of the Novel of 1916 and History and Class Consciousness of 1923. In History and Class Consciousness, Lukács laid out a wide-ranging critique of the phenomenon of “reification” in capitalism and formulated a vision of Marxism as a self-conscious transformation of society. This text became an important reference point both for critical social theory and for many currents of countercultural thought. Even though his later work could not capture the imagination of the intellectual public as much as his earlier writings, Lukács remained a prolific writer and an influential theorist in his later career and published hundreds of articles on literary theory and aesthetics, not to mention numerous books, including two massive works on aesthetics and ontology. He was also active as a politician in Hungary in both the revolution of 1919 and during the events of 1956. Today, his work remains of philosophical interest not only because it contains the promise of a reformulation of an undogmatic, non-reductionist Marxism, but also because it connects a philosophical approach drawing on Neo-Kantianism, Hegel and Marx with an acute cultural sensitivity and a powerful critique of modern life inspired by Weber's and Simmel's sociological analyses of modern rationalizati

Biographical Notes

Georg Lukács was born on April 13, 1885 in Budapest as Bernát György Löwinger. His father, the influential banker József Löwinger, changed the Jewish family name to the Hungarian surname Lukács in 1890. In 1899, the family was admitted into the nobility. Already as a high school student, Lukács developed a keen interest in literature and especially drama, publishing numerous reviews of theater plays in the Hungarian press and even founding a theater society.
Lukács received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Kolozsvár in 1906 and a doctorate from the University of Budapest in 1909, after submitting parts of his manuscript on the “History of the Modern Drama”. In the following nine years, Lukács made a name for himself as a literary and aesthetic theorist with a number of well-received articles. He worked and participated in intellectual circles in Budapest, Berlin (where he was heavily influenced by Georg Simmel), Florence and Heidelberg. In 1910 and 1911, Lukács published his essay collection Soul and Form and, together with Lajos Fülep, founded a short-lived avant-garde journal, A Szellem(The Spirit). Lukács' life was shaken up during that time by the death of his close friend Leo Popper and by the suicide of Irma Seidler who had been his lover. Lukács felt responsible for Seidler's death and it proved to have an enormous impact on him, which is reflected in his 1911 essay “On Poverty of Spirit”.
During the same period, Lukács developed a close connection to Max and Marianne Weber in Heidelberg, to Ernst Bloch and to the Neo-Kantian philosophers Heinrich Rickert and Emil Lask. Between 1912 and 1914 he worked on a first attempt to formulate a systematic approach to art, which remained unpublished during his lifetime (GW 16). After the beginning of the First World War, Lukács was exempted from the frontline of military service. In 1914, he married the Russian political activist (and convicted terrorist) Jelena Grabenko.
In 1913, Lukács began participating in the influential “Sunday circle” of Budapest intellectuals, which included Karl Mannheim. After serving in the Hungarian censor's office, he published The Theory of the Novel (1916), which is perhaps the best-known work of his early period. After returning to Heidelberg in 1917, he left Grabenko and, despite Weber's support, failed to receive the Habilitation (teaching qualification) at the University of Heidelberg. Between 1916 and 1918 he also resumed his work on aesthetics, resulting in the unpublished manuscript of the so-called “Heidelberg Aesthetics” (GW 17). To the surprise of many of his friends, Lukács joined the Hungarian Communist Party in 1918; although, as his essay on “Bolshevism as a Moral Problem” attests, not without reservations.
After a rapid ascent as one of the leading thinkers of the party, Lukács became more involved in day-to-day politics: after the revolution in 1919, he first served as a deputy commissar and then as commissar of public education in Béla Kun's government. Later, when war broke out he served as a political commissar in the Hungarian Red Army (in this position, he also ordered the execution of several soldiers, see Kadarkay 1991: 223). After the communist government was defeated, Lukács fled to Vienna at the end of 1919 where he married his second wife, Gertrud Bortstieber (who had given birth to their daughter Anna in January 1919). Being in charge of coordinating the clandestine activities of the exiled communist party, he remained under constant threat of expulsion to Hungary. For this reason, after Lukács was arrested, in November 1919 an appeal (“Save Georg Lukács”) appeared in a Berlin newspaper signed by many intellectuals—among them Heinrich and Thomas Mann.
In 1923, Lukács published his most famous work, the essay collection History and Class Consciousness. In this text, Lukács argued forcefully for a philosophically refined version of Marxism as a solution to the problems that have vexed modern philosophy and developed the idea of society as a “totality”—an ontological commitment which is derived from Hegel, while at the same time incorporating sociological insights into the character of modern societies which he had acquired through Weber and Simmel. This reformulation of the philosophical premises of Marxism, however, entailed a rejection of the then contemporary forms of simplistic materialism and naive scientism endorsed by many Soviet party intellectuals. Unsurprisingly, the party orthodoxy condemned the book as an expression of ultra-leftism (in spite of Lukács' pro-Leninist revisions to the articles which had already appeared previously, see Löwy 1979: 172–179). Nevertheless, his position as one of the leading intellectuals of Marxism was cemented, allowing Lukács to participate at the forefront of the debates of the time, as for example with a quickly written study on Lenin on the occasion of the Soviet leader's death in 1924. However, in 1928, Lukács had to virtually give up his political activities after he presented the so-called “Blum theses” (see 1928). In this draft of a party platform, which was named after his party alias, he argued for a democratic dictatorship of workers and peasants in Hungary. These theses were condemned as a right-wing deviation by the party (earning him the status of being condemned both as a left-wing and a right-wing dissident within a timeframe of five years).
Following another arrest by the Austrian authorities, Lukács left Vienna in 1929 first for Berlin, then for Budapest where he lived underground for three months. Eventually, he was summoned by the Soviet party leadership to Moscow where he stayed from 1930 on, leaving only forComintern missions in Berlin and for Tashkent during the war. In Moscow, Lukács held a position at the Marx-Engels Institute. During this time, he first came into contact with Marx's early works which had previously remained unpublished. As Lukács became (at least outwardly) increasingly subservient to the Stalinist orthodoxy (while producing a first attempt of a new Marxist aesthetics in The Historical Novel), he publicly retracted his views espoused in History and Class Consciousness (see 1933b). The degree of Lukács' agreement with Stalinism is disputed to this day (see Lichtheim 1970; Deutscher 1972; Kolakowski 1978; Pike 1988). However, it is clear from his writings that he publicly defended Stalinist dogmas both in aesthetics and politics during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s (1933a, 1938, 1951) while criticizing Stalin and Stalinism repeatedly later on (see 1957, 1962).
In 1944, Lukács returned to Budapest and became a professor at the university. In 1948, he published his two-volume study titled The Young Hegel (written partly during the 1930s in Moscow) and participated in debates about socialist realism in literature. In 1949, he also travelled to Paris to engage in a debate about existentialism and Marxism with Sartre. The works of this period reflect both his allegiance to orthodox Soviet Marxism and his uneasiness with the Stalinist post-war situation. A widely criticized example of his writing of this time is The Destruction of Reason, published in 1954. It denounced much of the German philosophical and literary tradition after Marx as an outgrowth of “irrationalism” and as bearing responsibility for the ascent of National Socialism. During this time, Lukács also continued to defend a rather conservative ideal of realism in aesthetics (see 1951).
After again being subjected to criticism from the party orthodoxy and being virtually excluded from public life in the mid-1950s, the Hungarian uprising against the Soviet rule in 1956 opened a new chapter for Lukács. After Stalin's death, it became not only increasingly possible for him to publicly criticize Stalinism and to voice again, for the first time since 1928, his vision for the future of Marxism, arguing that the communist party should regain public trust by competing with other leftist forces within a multi-party democracy. He also served in the short-lived Nagy government as minister for public education. After the subsequent Soviet invasion, he was arrested and imprisoned in Romania. In contrast to other members of the government, he was not executed but merely expelled from the communist party, which he only rejoined in 1969. From the 1960s on, Lukács—having had to retire from all academic positions—worked on his two-volume Specificity of the Aesthetic and on a Marxist ethics, later partly transformed into theOntology of Social Being, which he never finished during his lifetime. He also continued to publish extensively on literature and art. Lukács passed away on June 4, 1971 in Budapest.

History and Class Consciousness

Lukács' 1918 conversion to communism and his subsequent engagement with philosophical Marxism not only confounded his friends, even for today's readers, it can be difficult to track the many shifts in Lukács theoretical commitments between 1918 and 1923.
In the December 1918 article on “Bolshevism as an Ethical Problem”, Lukács draws a connection between his newfound Marxist convictions and the ethical views he had previously held: whereas the historical necessity of class struggle is only a descriptive claim of Marxism, the normative, ethical demand to overcome such a struggle and to establish a classless society must be separated from any issue of truth and be recognized as an utopian form of ethical idealism, appropriate to the expression of a pure will. At this point in 1918, Lukács still thinks that the specific content of this ideal leads into a paradoxical situation: in order to enable the proletarian “messianic class” (1918: 218) to overcome class society, it must first seize power by creating the most extreme form of class dominance, i.e., a dictatorship. Bolshevism thus presupposes the conviction that evil actions can produce good outcomes, or, as Lukács puts it in the essay on “Tactics and Ethics”, that tragedy cannot be avoided in revolutionary politics (1919a: 10). However, by the time History and Class Consciousness appeared, Lukács seems to have thought of himself as having found another conception of revolutionary action that paved the way for a new approach to political practice.

 Reification Theory

At the foundation of this new conception lies the theory of reification that Lukács introduces in the essay on “Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat”. This essay is not only credited to be one of the classics of Western Marxism, but also as spelling out the paradigmatic “central problem” (Brunkhorst and Krockenberger 1998) of Critical Theory.
In his essay on reification, Lukács frames his basic argument as an extension of Marx's analysis of the “fetishism of the commodity form” in Capital I, whereby Marx refers to the phenomenon of social relations between producers of commodities that appear in capitalism under the guise of objective, calculable, properties of things (“value”). The form which commodities acquire due to this fetishism has gradually become, Lukács claims, the “universal category of society as a whole” (1923a: 86). In capitalist societies, the commodity form even becomes the dominantform of objectivity itself (Gegenständlichkeitsform, a Neo-Kantian term). This process has both an objective and a subjective dimension: objectively, the qualitative homogeneity and continuity of human work is destroyed when industrial work processes become rationalized in a way that is appropriate to understanding them as commodity exchanges. Their mechanization and specialization leads not only to a fragmentation of human life but also to the destruction of the “organic, irrational and qualitatively determined unity of the product” (1923a: 88). On the subjective side, reification entails a fragmentation of human experience, leading to an attitude of “contemplation” where one passively adapts to a law-like system of social “second nature” and to an objectifying stance towards one's own mental states and capacities.
As Lukács writes about the commodity form,
[it] stamps its imprint upon the whole consciousness of man; his qualities and abilities are no longer an organic part of his personality, they are things which he can “own” or “dispose of” like the various objects of the external world. And there is no natural form in which human relations can be cast, no way in which man can bring his physical and psychic “qualities” into play without their being subjected increasingly to this reifying process. (1923a: 100)
Lukács calls this development “reification”. It is a process which affects four dimensions of social relations: the socially created features of objects (primarily their features as commodities), the relations between persons, their relations to themselves and, finally, the relations between individuals and society as a whole (Stahl 2011). The objective and subjective dimensions of the dominance of the commodity form constitute a complex of reification because the properties of objects, subjects and social relations become “thinglike” in a particular way. These properties become independent, quantifiable, non-relational features that must remain alien to any subjective meaning that one could attach to them. Additionally, by losing grip of the qualitative dimensions of their social relations, people become atomized and isolated.
With this description of capitalist society, Lukács combines Weber's theory of rationalization, Simmel's theory of modern culture and his own idea of a contradiction between form and life (see Dannemann 1987) with Marx's theory of value. The resulting theory of reification as a socially induced pathology has not only had considerable influence on the Frankfurt School (for the influence of Lukács on Adorno, see Schiller 2011; for the explicit engagement of the later generations of Frankfurt School criticism with Lukács see Habermas 1984: 355–365; Honneth 2008; cf. also Chari 2010), but has also lead Lucien Goldmann to speculate that Heidegger'sBeing and Time is to be read as an answer to Lukács (Goldmann 1977).
Drawing on this idea, Lukács sketches a theory of social rationalization that goes beyond a mere description of economic relations and towards a theory of cultural change. The core of this argument is the claim that the dominance of commodity forms in the economic sphere must necessarily lead to the dominance of rational calculation and formal reason in society as a whole. Because a break with the organic unity and totality of human existence is a necessary precondition for this development, the commodity form must, over time, subject all social spheres to its rule. By forcing politics and law to adapt to the demands of capitalist exchange, the commodity form consequently transforms these spheres into a mode of rational calculability (a line of thought clearly stemming from Weber's analyses)—which helps explain the rise of the bureaucratic state and the dominance of formal, positive law that continues to alienate individuals from society and encourages their passivity in the face of objectified, mechanical rules (1923a: 98).
This development leads into a contradictory situation both on the practical and the theoretical level: because the process of rationalization precludes the grasp of any kind of totality, it cannot ever succeed in making the whole of society subject to rational calculation for it necessarily must exclude all irrational, qualitative dimensions from such calculation. As Lukács argues, the inability of economic rationality to integrate qualitative features (e.g., of consumption) into a formal system not only explains the economic crises of capitalism but is also reflected in the inability of economic science to explain the movements of the economy (1923a: 105–107). The same holds true for a formalist model of law, which cannot theoretically acknowledge the interdependence of its principles with their social content and therefore must treat this content as an extra-legal, irrational foundation (1923a: 107–110).
This analysis of the social and cultural features of reification allows Lukács, in a third step, to present an analysis of the “antinomies of bourgeois thought” (1923a: 110). In attempting to achieve a rational system of principles, modern philosophy is always, Lukács claims, confronted with the issue of there being a “content” necessary for the application of its formal principles of knowledge, a content which cannot be integrated into a formal philosophical system—a prime example of which is Kant's “thing in itself” (see Bernstein 1984: 15–22). Kantian dualism is nothing other than the most self-conscious expression of this “hiatus” between subject (the source of rational unity) and object (the source of non-rational content). This dualism between subject and object—and in ethics, between norms and facts—haunts modern philosophy. As Fichte and Hegel recognize, this problem arises only because modern thought takes the contemplative subject of reified self-world relations as its paradigm, ignoring the alternative of an active subject that is engaged in the production of the content. Fichte's proposal to postulate an “identical subject-object” (that is, a subject that produces objectivity by positing objective reality as distinct from itself) is also the key to Lukács' answer. But Fichte's solution still suffers from an inadequacy in that he conceives of the constitutive activity still as the act of an individual subject confronted with an external, alien reality (1923a: 124).
An alternative is to be found in the idealist conception of art as an activity directed at the creation of a meaningful totality and in Schiller's view of artistic activity, which is not an application of external, given laws but a form of play (1923a: 138). However, the conceptualization of practice from the standpoint of aesthetics obscures its historical dimension. Lukács acknowledges Hegel as the thinker who came nearest to finding a solution to this problem by recognizing that it is thetotality of concrete history, understood as the expression of a subject, of a “we”, which is the only standpoint from which the antinomies between form and content can be overcome (1923a: 146f.). But Hegel adopts a mythologizing view of this subjectivity in terms of a “World Spirit” that lies beyond any concrete historical agency. The subject Hegel desperately tried to find could only be discovered by Marx—it is the proletariat to which Lukács assigns the role of the “subject-object” of history (1923a: 149).

 Totality and Revolution

The final step in Lukács' argument is to show that it is only the proletariat that can understand itself as the producer of the totality of society and which is thereby able to overcome reification. Initially, both the proletariat and the bourgeoisie face the same immediate reality of an alienated world. Bourgeois thought, however, endorses this facticity and sees every possible normative stance only as a subjective projection onto a world of immediate facts. In contrast, the proletariat is unable to remain within bourgeois ideology. Lukács gives two reasons for this claim: in the 1920 essay, titled “Class Consciousness”, he distinguishes between “empirical” and rational, “imputed” class consciousness (1920a: 51 and 74) that only constitutes an “objective possibility” given the interests of the proletariat. In contrast, in the “Reification” essay, he argues that there is an intrinsic dialectics within the class consciousness of the proletariat (Arato and Breines 1979: 131–136; for an epistemological reading see Jameson 2009, 65ff.), arising from its objective position as mere object of the social process. In capitalism, the activity of workers is reduced to a completely quantifiable process. But, at the same time, workers cannot have any immediate self-consciousness of their work other than of a qualitatively determined activity. Lukács argues that this intrinsic tension in the consciousness of the worker constitutes the objective possibility of the proletariat's grasping three important things: first, the proletariat's own reified existence as a product of social mediation, second, the social totality and, third, the proletariat as the subject-object of that totality.
However, the process of the proletariat becoming self-conscious does not only describe a theoretical insight. By realizing that it is the subject-object of history, the proletariat discovers itself to be the subject of the process of social reproduction (see 1923a: 181; Jay 1984: 107f), not an object of contemplation. As Lukács writes, “The act of consciousness overthrows the objective form of its object” (1923a: 178). The proletariat can thus overcome reification through a practical engagement with totality—by consciously transforming it into the product of the proletariat's collective action—which this totality in its essence has always already been. Of course, this process is, in Lukács' mind, nothing other than the communist revolution. As many critics of Lukács have remarked (Adorno 1973: 190f., Bewes 2002), this seems to commit Lukács to the view that there can be a complete overcoming of reification resulting in a totally transparent society. However, this interpretation ignores Lukács' insistence that the resistance against reification must be understood as a never-ending struggle (see 1923a: 199, 206; Feenberg 2011).
As Lukács' essay on the “Problem of Organisation” (written shortly before the reification essay) shows, the distinction between “empirical” and “imputed” class consciousness had not entirely been resolved by the introduction of a dialectics of consciousness that is supposed to ground this spontaneous process (1923b). The proletarian situation does not necessarily entail an immediate consciousness of the totality. This consciousness remains only an objective possibility, always threatened by the seductions of the immediate consciousness. This makes the agency of the communist party a necessary condition for the revolution. Due to his criticism of bureaucracy, Lukács cannot endorse Lenin's idea of the completely rationalized organization of the state (Arato and Breines 1979: 154). Nonetheless, in his political writings immediately precedingHistory and Class Consciousness, he seems to (paradoxically) endorse both a qualified Luxemburgian view of proletarian spontaneity (for example in 1920b) and an elitist conception of party vanguardism (a “party myth”, Arato and Breines 1979: 145). The “unconditional absorption of the total personality in the praxis of the movement”, Lukács writes, is “the only possible way of bringing about an authentic freedom” (1923b: 320).

 Methodology and Social Ontology

It is easy to see that the resulting conception of society that Lukács articulates owes as much to Hegel as to Marx. This inheritance commits Lukács to a number of methodological claims which put him into stark opposition not only to social democrats like Bernstein but also, somewhat unintentionally, to the orthodoxy of the Soviet party. In his essay “What is Orthodox Marxism?” (1919b), Lukács contrasts his method with social democratic economic determinism. He describes Marxism as a purely methodological commitment to Marx's dialectics rather than as depending on any belief regarding the truth of Marx's economic theory. Lukács even goes so far as to claim that “it is not the primacy of economic motives in historical explanation that constitutes the decisive difference between Marxism and bourgeois thought, but the point of view of totality” (1921: 27).
The primacy of the social totality not only affects the Marxist method, but also the conception of practice and the underlying social ontology: by insisting on a foundational role of practice in the social totality, Lukács makes political action rather than labor into the foundation for overcoming reification (Feenberg 1998). In his 1967 preface to the new edition of History and Class-Consciousness, Lukács acknowledges (next to a number of exercises in self-criticism, which appear both unjustified and externally motivated) that his insistence on this point meant a departure from Marx's concept of practice (1967: xviii), at least as interpreted by orthodox Marxists: while Marx had understood practice primarily as the conscious engagement of humans with non-human nature, the self-sufficiency of the social for the very essence of reality had led Lukács to a different understanding of practice which privileges the theoretical and the political (see also Jay 1984).
Within his social ontology, Lukács is finally committed to the claim that the totality of historical processes, rather than individual facts, are the foundation of objective reality (1923a: 184; for the resulting view of history see Merleau-Ponty 1973), leading him to a rejection of all “contemplative” epistemologies (such as Lenin's) which rely on the idea of a simple correspondence between thoughts and facts (1923a: 199ff; see also Lichtheim 1970: 62–65; in addition, it follows from the premise that only the perspective of the social totality solves the epistemological problems of classical philosophy that Lukács must reject Engels' claim that the experimental method is a model for the type of defetishizing praxis that can overcome the subject-object divide, see 1923a: 131–133). This ontology of pure processuality finally entails a normative conception of society that is critical towards all forms of institutional rationalization which are rejected as forms of alienation across the board. At the same time, in insisting that the emancipated society must be capable of presenting itself as a totality for its subjects, Lukács is unable to discover any resources for progress in the differentiation of social spheres (Arato and Breines 1979: 155).