Lukács sketches a theory of social rationalization that goes beyond a mere description of economic relations and towards a theory of cultural change. The core of this argument is the claim that the dominance of the commodity form in the economic sphere must necessarily lead to the dominance of rational calculation and formal reason in society as a whole. Because a break with the organic unity and totality of human existence is a necessary precondition for this development, the commodity form must, over time, subject all social spheres to its rule. By forcing politics and law to adapt to the demands of capitalist exchange, the commodity form consequently transforms these spheres into a mode of rational calculability (a line of thought clearly stemming from Weber’s analyses)—which helps explain the rise of the bureaucratic state and the dominance of formal, positive law that continues to alienate individuals from society and encourages their passivity in the face of objectified, mechanical rules
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