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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire #224 - The capitalist Dico: What is reification? (fr) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 22 Feb 2013 17:37:38 +0200


Each month, a word or phrase vetted by Florian. ---- Reification, in philosophical language, means turning in thing is to give a static material and a living reality or human. Should not lose sight of this basic definition to understand the concept of reification that Marx laid the foundation and Lukács developed in his major work History and Class Consciousness (1923). ---- Based on the critique of capitalist economy Marx and work in the sociology of Max Weber, Lukács wants to update this phenomenon in industrial capitalist society. In it, the worker or the worker must sell their labor to survive. It must be sold as a commodity. It is a process of objectification. Then his labor objectified in relation to it. It becomes something abstract and quantifiable is no longer his.

At the same time, to meet a goal of efficiency, work is streamlined, organized into small tasks. This division of labor is implemented in factories from the late eighteenth century. In 1923, Lukács has before plants which is experienced in a new way of working, Taylorism. The purpose of this method created by the American engineer Frederick Taylor is always more to increase productivity. Must be effective, the worker or the worker always repeat the same task. Must not lose time, which is measured and he is dispossessed.

The qualitative disappears in favor of quantity. Society is organized not to satisfy human needs, but those of the capitalist economy is producing more goods to generate more and more profits. Goods become commodities whose value is not based on the use of quality but the quantity of abstract labor.

At the same time, Max Weber analyzes the development of the bureaucracy and the transformation of the state. It notes that the State, in charge of organizing social life, is also rationalized as a business. We thus find ourselves with a bureaucracy, justice away from men, having a quantitative management of the population. And the whole society is organized quantitatively. Men and women end up forgetting their real needs and begin to think that this form of life is authentic.

We work, we consume goods, we are collectively managed by a State and its administration. Men and women have taken on anything, they are dispossessed and-es of their lives.
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