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Ideology and Superstructure in Historical Materialism

Ideology and Superstructure in Historical Materialism

Franz Jakubowski

A pioneering account demystifying Marxist dialectics and critiquing key materialist thinkers.

Ideology and Superstructure was written at a time - in the inter-war years - when Marxism existed almost entirely in its Stalinst form. Franz Jakubowski set out to reintroduce the centrality of the Hegelian dialectic into Marx's method and to elaborate the concept of praxis.

In the same period, only Lukacs and Korsch attempted to deal systemically with these problems, and it is they who are generally recognised as the main inspiration behind what is called Western Marxism, yet Franz Jakubowski is a key figure in the development of Marxist thought. And, unlike the others, Jakubowski was also an activist, and for this reason avoids the unnecessarily dense language of his fellow theoreticians.

Ideology and Superstructure is rare in that it successfully conveys complex problems in a simple and straightforward form. At a time when the literature on Marx has become excessively obscuranist, Jakubowski's work serves as a useful antidote, and is an ideal text for introducing novices to the basics of Marxist theory.

Franz Jakubowski (1912-70) was an activist and a contributor to Marxist thought. Jakubowski examined Marx and Engels' turn to towards historical materialism and critiqued Karl Korsch and Karl Kautsky. After abandoning Europe in the late 1930s for the USA Jakubowski set up the Alexander Herzen Foundation, which published samizdat soviet literature.

introduction by Frank Furedi
Franz Jakubowski: an introductory note
CONSCIOUSNESS AND BEING
I The Critique of Hegelian Idealism
The Critique of Feuerbach's Materialism
II The Marxian problematic of base and superstructure
Base
Superstructure
The Dialectical Relationship
III Distortion and renewal by Marx's followers
The Distortion of the Question by the Epigones
The Beginnings of Renewal
FALSE AND CORRECT CONSCIOUSNESS
IV Alienation and reification
The Self-alienation of Man and Commodity Fetishism
Reification in Base and Superstructure
V Ideology
Ideology and the Concept of the Concrete Totality
Ideology and the Classes of Bourgeois Society
VI Proletarian Class consciousness
The Proletariat as Subject-Object in Capitalism
Class Ideology and Class Consciousness
Marxism as Ideology and as Humanism
Notes
Index
Published by Pluto Press in Apr 1990
Paperback ISBN: 9780745303895

160 pages

135mm x 215mm