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New Left Review I/68, July-August 1971

Georg Lukács

Lukács on his Life and Work

Recent events in Europe have posed once again the problem of the relation of socialism to democracy. What are the fundamental differences for you between bourgeois democracy and revolutionary, socialist democracy?

Bourgeois democracy dates from the French Constitution of 1793, which was its highest and most radical expression. Its defining principle is the division of man into the citoyen of public life and the bourgeois of private life—the one endowed with universal political rights, the other the expression of particular and unequal economic interests. This division is fundamental to bourgeois democracy as a historically determinate phenomenon. Its philosophical reflection is to be found in de Sade. It is interesting that writers like Adorno are so preoccupied with de Sade, because he is the philosophical equivalent of the Constitution of 1793.

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Georg Lukacs, ‘Lukacs On His Life and Work’, NLR I/68: £3

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