The history of the subject is based on the Marx’s economic analyses, and from there proceeds to the discussions growing out of the fetish of commodities, both as objective and subjective (Lukacs, p. 172).
Lukacs (1923) is mainly concerned with product reification. He believes that product reification is the relationship between people’s take on the person and the way him or her obtain their own objectivity (p.172).
Commodity exchange and the corresponding subjective and objective relations existed, when society was very primitive.
The extent to which such exchange is the dominant form of metabolic change in a society cannot simply be treated in quantitative terms – as would harmonies with the modern modes of thought already eroded by the reifying effects of the dominant commodity form.
Exchange value has no form of its own, but it is still directly bound up with use-value. It is manifested in 2 ways: production, in its entire organization, aims at the creation of use-values and not of exchange values and it is only when their supply exceeds the measure of consumption that use-values cease to be use-values, and becomes means of exchange.
The exchange of commodities originates not within the primitive communities, but where they end, on their borders at the few points where they come into contact with other communities.
This is where barter begins, and it strikes back into the interior of the community, decomposing it.
The observation about the disintegrating effect of a commodity exchange directed in upon itself clearly shows the qualitative change engendered by the dominance of commodities (p. 173).
Within this objectivity, Lukacs (1923) believes that an individuals labor becomes impartial to them. He considers that individuals exist in a world, in which all entities relate to each other, they follow their own rules and regulations, and are self-governing to their actions (p. 174).
The commodity can only be understood in its undistorted essence when it becomes the universal category of society as a whole.
Marx explains reification as: a commodity is a mysterious thing, simply because in it the social character stamped upon the product of labour; because the relation of the producers to the sum total of their owning not between themselves, but between the products of their labour.
The central importance here is that because of this situation, a man’s own activity, his own labour becomes something objective and independent of him, something that controls him by virtue of an autonomy alien to man. There is both an objective and a subjective side to this phenomenon. Objectively a world of objects and relations between springs into being. The laws governing these objects are indeed discovered by man, even if they confront him as invisible forces that generate their own power. Subjectively, where the market economy has been fully developed, a man’s activity estranged from himself it turns into a commodity which, subject to the non-human objectivity of the natural laws of society, must go its own way independently of man just like any consumer article (p. 174).
At this point, it is evident that the reification of commodity is indeed relative to individuals, which expands into a society as a whole. According to Lukacs, the aspect of reification entails that society should lean on each other to fulfill all the needs of product altercation in existence (p.177). Consequently, Lukacs (1923) sees commodity reification in ideology as a form of human existence which in interchangeable in the production and construction of society.
The rational objection conceals above all the immediate character of things as things. When use-values appear universally as commodities, they acquire a new objectivity.
The specialization of skills leads to the destruction of every image of the whole. And as, despite this, the need to grasp the whole cannot die out, we find that science is criticized for having torn the real world into shreds and…