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Consciousness and Crisis Today: Durkheim, Marx, Spinoza and Revolutionary vs. Reactionary Spirit

Roslyn Wallach Bologh (College of Staten Island and Graduate Center, USA)

The Centrality of Sociality

ISBN: 978-1-80262-362-8, eISBN: 978-1-80262-361-1

Publication date: 12 December 2022


This work addresses what Michael E. Brown calls the immanence of sociality to individuality. It does so by focusing on the essentially social nature of human consciousness. I explore Durkheim’s analysis of human consciousness, beginning with totemism and concluding with his analysis of German consciousness at the time of World War I. I do so in order to provide some insight into the rise and nature of political movements, with a focus on extreme right wing political groups and leaders today as well as the spirit of the French Revolution in European and American history. With reference to Marx’s early writings on consciousness, spiritual nourishment, and the fettering of forces of production and his later writings on the critical significance of fetishism, and the role of “fictitious” capital, I conclude by claiming that bringing together the insights of Durkheim, Marx, and Spinoza can provide a way to analyze and address the interlocking social, political, economic, and cultural crises of today.



Bologh, R.W. (2022), "Consciousness and Crisis Today: Durkheim, Marx, Spinoza and Revolutionary vs. Reactionary Spirit", Halley, J.A. and Dahms, H.F. (Ed.) The Centrality of Sociality (Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Vol. 39), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 9-40.



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