Academic Field

History

Faculty Mentor Name

Todd Goehle

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Exploring the symbiotic relationships existent between revisionary Marxist notions of reification, consciousness, and resistance, this paper discusses how contextual time and space affects the perception of an individual’s mental and physical place within the twentieth century global capitalist system. First, I investigate the ways in which the Soviet revolutionary Vladimir Lenin and Hungarian theorist Georg Lukács described the evolution of a world capitalist system and its subsequent penetration and reification into the consciousness of the individual. As Marxists after Lenin and Lukács tried to apply the theories of reification and consciousness to their respective times and spaces, these theorists drew inspiration from non-Marxist perspectives – Sigmund Freud particularly – for their unique introspection into the human psyche. More specifically, I locate how Freudian-inspired, Marxist revisions of reification were particularly popular in two, dichotomous spaces of the “Long 1960s:” the Western space, or “First World,” and the Non-Western space, or “Third World.” Thus, this paper analyzes how and to what extent the Western Marxist theorist Herbert Marcuse in the “First World” and the Non-Western politician Aimé Césaire and psychiatrist Frantz Fanon in the “Third World” grafted Freudian psychoanalysis onto foundational Marxist ideas to understand an emerging, post-colonial global economy. By examining the similarities and differences in the Western and Non-Western analyses into the First World and Third World psyche respectively, I reveal the limits of Marxist thought for the study of Non-Western experience within the global capitalist system and thus provide possible explanations for the divergent forms of mental and physical resistance produced by the two spaces. More specifically, I contend an exploration into how these Marxist theorists engage with themes of reification, consciousness, and resistance can help expose the ways in which the global capitalist structure affects the mind and body in different times and in different spaces throughout the twentieth century.

Start Date

10-4-2015 9:30 AM

End Date

10-4-2015 11:00 AM

Location

Liberal Arts Bldg 207

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Apr 10th, 9:30 AM Apr 10th, 11:00 AM

Reification, Consciousness, and Resistance: Twentieth Century Revisionary Marxism on Global Capitalism's Effect on the Mind and Body

Liberal Arts Bldg 207

Exploring the symbiotic relationships existent between revisionary Marxist notions of reification, consciousness, and resistance, this paper discusses how contextual time and space affects the perception of an individual’s mental and physical place within the twentieth century global capitalist system. First, I investigate the ways in which the Soviet revolutionary Vladimir Lenin and Hungarian theorist Georg Lukács described the evolution of a world capitalist system and its subsequent penetration and reification into the consciousness of the individual. As Marxists after Lenin and Lukács tried to apply the theories of reification and consciousness to their respective times and spaces, these theorists drew inspiration from non-Marxist perspectives – Sigmund Freud particularly – for their unique introspection into the human psyche. More specifically, I locate how Freudian-inspired, Marxist revisions of reification were particularly popular in two, dichotomous spaces of the “Long 1960s:” the Western space, or “First World,” and the Non-Western space, or “Third World.” Thus, this paper analyzes how and to what extent the Western Marxist theorist Herbert Marcuse in the “First World” and the Non-Western politician Aimé Césaire and psychiatrist Frantz Fanon in the “Third World” grafted Freudian psychoanalysis onto foundational Marxist ideas to understand an emerging, post-colonial global economy. By examining the similarities and differences in the Western and Non-Western analyses into the First World and Third World psyche respectively, I reveal the limits of Marxist thought for the study of Non-Western experience within the global capitalist system and thus provide possible explanations for the divergent forms of mental and physical resistance produced by the two spaces. More specifically, I contend an exploration into how these Marxist theorists engage with themes of reification, consciousness, and resistance can help expose the ways in which the global capitalist structure affects the mind and body in different times and in different spaces throughout the twentieth century.