Agnes Heller: A Moralist in the Vortex of History by John Grumley

By John Grumley

Concise pupil creation to political thinker Agnes Heller that covers the improvement of her pondering over numerous a long time.

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Extra resources for Agnes Heller: A Moralist in the Vortex of History

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In the late 1920s, he moved to Moscow and helped to prepare Marx’s early writings for publication by the Marxism–Leninism Institute. He then realised that his infamous reinterpretation of Marx had been seriously flawed. However, the pervading atmosphere of Stalinist terror made it quite impossible for him to revise his old ideas explicitly. This opportunity did not come until the middle 1950s and the post-Stalinist official repudiation of the so-called ‘cult of the personality’. First of all, he completed the mammoth Die Eigenart des Aesthetischen (1963)3 – a two volume systematic aesthetics – and, finally, he attempted to re-elaborate the philosophical foundations of Marxism.

The accumulated cultural achievements of the species are the immanent source of ongoing social dynamism. Rather than being prisoners of the eternal everyday, socialised individuals are the driving forces, the active agents who choose and add something to the structures of the inherited Grumley 01 intro 32 4/10/04 3:34:24 pm LUKÁCS, ETHICS AND EVERYDAY LIFE 33 world. Before exploring the mechanisms of this dynamism, we must reconstruct the basic elements of Heller’s vision of the everyday. Despite the fact that its structures, contents and activities will change throughout history and even within a society, the everyday is a human universal.

42 Here she reveals both her implicit critique and continuing commitment to Marxist orthodoxy. Her emphasis on the heterogeneous sphere of the everyday as the original source of all historical evolution puts into Grumley 01 intro 33 4/10/04 3:34:25 pm 34 AGNES HELLER doubt the primacy of the economy and opens up a broader and richer understanding of conditioning circumstances. At the same time, she still views this sphere as the ‘basic’ component of socialisation, to which others are merely subsidiary developments.

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