The life-nerve of the dialectic: Gyorgy Lukacs and the metabolism of space and nature

ALTUN S., Caiconte C., Moore M., Morton A. D., Ryan M., Scanlan R., ...More

REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY, vol.30, no.2, pp.584-607, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09692290.2022.2032267
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, EconLit, Philosopher's Index, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.584-607
  • Keywords: Dialectics, Lukacs, Marxism, nature, relational methods, socio-nature, space, IDEOLOGY
  • Ankara University Affiliated: Yes


One hundred years that shook the world. This is one way of receiving History and Class Consciousness by Gyorgy Lukacs, a text that is considered by many to be one of the most important in Marxist philosophy and dialectics since its first appearance in 1923. However, in approaching its centenary, how does the focus on dialectics that is at the text's centre travel to address contemporary interdisciplinary concerns in political economy and radical geography? This article delivers a fresh reading of dialectics in and beyond History and Class Consciousness to distil the relevance of Lukacs for contemporary political economists and radical geographers that, it is argued, necessarily lies in engaging with his method and understanding of totality. The focus dwells on totality and the 'life-nerve' of the dialectic, referring to the process of interiorising theory and practice in constituting a relational approach to analysing the metabolism of socio-nature. By so doing, the possibilities and limits of both totality and dialectics are revealed to political economists and radical geographers interested in furthering the case for methodological relationalism in their conceptions of the production of space and socio-nature.