The Anthropocene is characterized by the definitive failure of the Promethean dream of capitalism about the absolute domination over nature. As a response to the deepening of global ecological crisis, new philosophical discussions have emerged that pivot around the ontological relationship between humans and nature in the Anthropocene. In this context, Marxian ecology that draws upon Marx’s concept of “metabolic rift” is often accused of its outdated “Cartesian dualism” of Society and Nature. Against “hybridism” and “monism,” which have become increasingly dominant in critical theory of nature thanks to Bruno Latour and Noel Castree, this article examines the legacy of Lukács’s theory of “metabolism” in order to defend the contemporary validity of Marxian ecology. Although Lukács is also often criticized for his exclusion of nature from his dialectical analysis of society in History and Class Consciousness, this article shows that there is nothing wrong with categorically separating society and nature. A careful analysis of Lukács’s little-known manuscript Tailism and the Dialectic demonstrates that “ontological monism” and “methodological dualism” are unique to his historical materialism. Based on this distinction, Lukács convincingly argues that the one-sided monist understanding of the social and the natural falls into fetishism, and this is exactly why his “methodological dualism” is essential to any ecosocialist critique of capitalism.
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Research Article| August 01 2023
Lukács’s Theory of Metabolism as a Foundation of Ecosocialist Realism
New German Critique (2023) 50 (2 (149)): 101–129.
Kohei Saito; Lukács’s Theory of Metabolism as a Foundation of Ecosocialist Realism. New German Critique 1 August 2023; 50 (2 (149)): 101–129. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-10459968
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