AMERICAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST
time. Holding such views was not a popular interpretation among communist orthodox Marxists of the 1920s and as such, Lukács’s book History and Class Consciousness had been, in Lukács’s estimation, misinterpreted by party authorities. Although Lukács publicly disavowed the book, he secretly wrote an involved rebuttal to its critics in 1925 or 1926, reiterating and clarifying his arguments. This manuscript, titled “Tailism and the Dialectic,” remained hidden and unpublished until 1996 (Lukács’s essay was published in English in 2000). Like the inquisitorial accounts uncovered by Ginzburg (1989/1992), Lukács’s (2000) essay is an excellent example of the power of recorded historical narrative resurfacing at a “subjective” moment in history.
In Lukács’s (2000) manuscript, he pointedly argued that the final outcome of the dialectical method, and commodity fetishism, was Lenin’s theory of the party and Bolshevism. To avoid misunderstanding, he stated clearly that his book was concerned with the role of the party, particularly the notion of “imputed class consciousness,” in the revolution. In Lukács’s analysis, it was fundamental that there be a coordinating party making decisions that would direct the revolutionary process at a “subjective moment” (pp. 55-56).
As a Leninist, Lukács developed a dialectical theory of praxis that was not based on the more traditional idea of a separation of the working class and the state. The subjective moment of insurrection arises “exclusively in praxis” (Lukács, 2000, p. 56). Lukács (2000) asked, “How is it possible even to imagine Lenin’s basic idea of the preparation and organization of revolution without such an active and conscious role of the subjective moment?” (p. 57). Hence, the coordinating party actively helps foster the consciousness of the proletariat and the conditions for insurrection. According to Lukács, insurrection requires a subjective moment of decision—a moment that is completely separate from the “objective,” a moment when a decision can be made that will change the future direction of the revolutionary process (pp. 51, 55, 58); in other words, objective situations ripen into strategic subjective junctures (p. 57). And so, Lukács argued, revolutionary activity was not without an aesthetic component (p. 58).
Noteworthy is the acknowledgment in Lukács’s (2000) “Tailism and the Dia- lectic” of “convenient” forgetting by leaders of “everything they offered the day before” and the emotional effect it has on “the masses” (p. 61). In fact, the above passage regarding the history of Lukács’s suppressed manuscript demonstrates the advantage of material memory, stored and released at a subjective moment for wide readership.
REFORMING CONSCIOUSNESS AND MEMORY IN A PRAGMATIC NEW WORLD
In America, Protestant sects offered admission to church fellowship by fol- lowing rigorous requirements of the “covenant of grace,” leading to religious inner illumination and conversion, or sometimes leading to mental illness or a