Title

Lukács and Sexual Humanism

Publication Title

Rethinking Marxism

Publication Date

8-22-2006

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1080/08935690600748108

Keywords

marxism, humanism, alienation, objectification, queer theory

Disciplines

Cultural History | Ethics and Political Philosophy | Regional Sociology | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social History | Sociology of Culture

Abstract

Georg Lukács's History and Class Consciousness and Karl Marx's 1844 Manuscripts are founding documents of the discourse of Marxist humanism. This essay scrutinizes Lukács's definition of the human from a queer perspective which, I argue, is consistent with the Manuscripts in terms of its definition of the human. While for queer politics a contextualized emphasis on the social and political legitimacy of the body's sexual objectification is basic, Lukács uncritically recapitulates Kantian morality, which represents sexual objectification as inherently dehumanizing. Property ownership, moreover, is a basic aspect of Kantian morality: because humans are supposed to own objects, they cannot also be objects. What a queer perspective is then especially well equipped to reveal, I argue, is that Lukács, while developing a powerful epistemological critique of Kant, ultimately allows Kant's moral naturalization of property ownership to stand.

Publisher

Taylor and Francis Group

Publisher Location

Abingdon, England


Share

COinS