Ethics, Alienation, and Ontology: The impossible is the starting point of each possible


Lukács; Marxismo ortodoxo; Reificación; Ontología. Lukács; Marxismo ortodoxo; Reificação; Ontologia. Marxism; Lukács; Orthodox Marxism; Reification; Ontology;

How to Cite

Romeiro Hermeto, J. (2022). Ethics, Alienation, and Ontology: The impossible is the starting point of each possible. Runas. Journal of Education and Culture, 3(6), e21078.


The first quarter of the 21st century is reaching its end, and worldwide crises appear to become ubiquitous. Capitalist forces of destruction have not gone rogue, they merely represent the actualization of capitalist relations of exploitation. Notions of fettering fall prey to illusions, which overlook both particular historical moments and the essence of capitalist relations. In contrast, social emancipation presupposes an ontological understanding of human action. It is not enough to wish for a more humane society; both the limits of and potential for transformation must be understood. Based on Marx and Lukács, the ontological categories of possible and impossible, labour and teleology, are investigated, consequently, creating an opposing prerogative to capitalist naturalization and eternization. Capitalism is instead taken for what it is: a determined social, historical construction, thus, a superable social organization rather than a natural force. Insofar as the historical debacle of Marxism has provoked a methodological vacuum filled with relativism, contemporary critical analyses disaggregate into bourgeois isolated phenomena, becoming liberal assessments themselves. The concrete impact is not irrelevant: for they fight arguments in the fields chosen by capitalism; any perception of totality is rejected a priori; strategies to overcome capitalist challenges reproduce the conditions which create them, because it is assumed what needs to be explained. It appears urgent to reframe social critique within the frame of methodological orthodoxy. Marxist capitalist critique departs from ontological facts, for instance, labour. This means grasping both the totality and the ontological dimensions of particular forms, enabling effective strategies towards emancipation.


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Copyright (c) 2022 João Romeiro Hermeto


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