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Good quote: On social being and social consciousness
  • Social being and social consciousness are not identical, in exactly the same way as being in general and consciousness in general are not identical. From the fact that people, entering into communication, enter into it as conscious beings, it in no way follows that social consciousness should be identical with social being. Entering into communication, people in all somewhat complex social formations - and especially in the capitalist social formation - are not aware of what social relations are formed in this case, according to what laws they develop, etc. For example, a peasant, selling grain, enters into "communion" with world grain producers in the world market, but he is not aware of this, he is also unaware of what social relations are formed from exchange. Social consciousness reflects social being - this is what Marx's teaching consists.

    Reflection can be approximately a true copy of the reflected, but it is absurd to talk about identity here. Consciousness generally reflects being — this is the general position of all materialism. It is impossible not to see its direct and indissoluble connection with the position of historical materialism: social consciousness reflects social being.

    V. Lenin