How have Marxist theorists in the Eastern and Central Europe during the last century used the Hegelian philosophy with purpose to better understand their own current society as well as situate themselves in relation to orthodox forms of Marxism? In what ways has Hegel been essential to the development of Marxist philosophy, both in the short 20th century and in the contemporary post-Marxist theory? These two issues are the focus in this project on the Hegelian Marxism in Eastern and Central Europe from the Russian Revolution to the present.
We will try to answer these questions in and through some case studies of the writings of eight prominent Marxist thinkers, i.e. Georg Lukács (1885-1971), Karl Korsch (1886-1961), Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979), Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969), Karel Kosík (1926-2003), Leszek Kolakowski (1927-2009), Jürgen Habermas (1929-) and Slavoj Žižek (1949-). Lukács and Korsch wrote their most important books on Hegelian Marxism in the twenties while Habermas and Zizek are still active today, thus we cover almost the whole last century. The eight thinkers were or are all active in Eastern or Central Europe, and they all read and use Hegel’s philosophy in order to revise the Marxism tradition and to understand the contemporary society. The case studies will be placed into a larger story of the development of Marxist theory from the Russian Revolution to the present. In more general terms, we will also discuss the importance of the constellation of Hegel and Marxism in Eastern and Central Europe.
The project will contribute to our knowledge of Hegel reception in the Marxism tradition and in which ways Hegel’s philosophy has been used of some of the leading Marxism thinkers during the last century. In addition, we hope that the project will contribute to the knowledge of the Eastern and Central European identity, in which both Marxism and Hegelianism have been of great importance.