Capitalist life in Lukács

Martin, Stewart ORCID: (2011) Capitalist life in Lukács. In: Georg Lukacs: the fundamental dissonance of existence aesthetics, politics, literature. Bewes, Timothy and Hall, Timothy, eds. Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd, London. ISBN 9781441157904. [Book Section]


This essay attempts to elaborate an original and profound issue emerging from my research into capitalist culture: namely, the extent to which life may be subsumed by capital. I have proposed ‘capitalist life’ as a term for this formation. This is impossible for Marx, but it is more ambiguous in subsequent authors. This essay examines this issue in the writings of Georg Lukács. It argues that Lukács inadvertently developed a conception of capitalist life through his Hegelian appropriation and elaboration of Marx, and demonstrates how this conception persists throughout his writings. Thus the essay proposes an original critique of Lukács, contextualized by an original formulation of the problem of capitalist life in relation to more recent figures, namely Theodor W. Adorno and Antonio Negri. This essay is not about art as such, but directly relates to the cultural and economic conditions of contemporary art, and it elaborates problems emerging from my research into art and capitalism – thus the problem of life is central to the relation of art to communism and capitalism in my essay ‘Artistic Communism – A Sketch’. This essay is an extensively reworked version of a paper – ‘The art of capital in Lukács’ – which I was invited to present at the conference ‘Looking for Lukács’, University of East London, 25 June 2008.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Visual Culture and Curating cluster
Item ID: 11641
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Depositing User: Shrikant Chavan
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2013 10:29
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:28

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