Essay on liberation herbert marcuse


essay on liberation herbert marcuse

to read this now - it's been on my shelf for over 20 years - because so many of the ideas expressed here by Marcuse in what should an argumentative thesis statement contain 1969 are being widely discussed and learned afresh. Its most advanced images and positions seem to survive their absorption into administered comforts and stimuli; they continue to haunt the consciousness with the possibility of their rebirth in the consummation of technical progress. Beyond the physiological level, the exigencies of sensibility develop as historical ones: the objects which the senses confront and apprehend are the products of a specific stage of civilization and of a specific society, and the senses in turn are geared to their objects. The idea of inner freedom here has its reality: it designates the private space in which man may become and remain himself. Revolutionary in its theory, in its instincts, and in its ultimate goals, the student movement is not a revolutionary force, perhaps not even an avant-garde so long as there are no masses capable and willing to follow, but it is the ferment of hope. The people recognize themselves in their commodities; they find their soul in their automobile, hi-fi set, split-level home, kitchen equipment. The development of a radical political consciousness among the masses is conceivable only if and when the economic stability and the social cohesion of the system begin to weaken. And yet, the very dynamic of imperialist expansion places the Soviet Union in the other camp: would the effective resistance in Vietnam, and the protection of Cuba be possible without Soviet aid? We have indicated the tendencies which threaten the stability of the imperialist society and emphasized the extent to which the liberation movements in the Third World affect the prospective development of this society. Its distance from the young middle-class opposition is formidable in every respect.

It so happened that philosophy was born with these values. However, this community did realize itself in political action on a rather large scale during the May rebellion in France against the implicit injunction on the part of the Communist Party and the CGT ( Confederation Generale du Travail and the common action was initiated. With the style and vocabulary of its literature and philosophy. This goal implies rejection of those policies of reconstruction, no matter how revolutionary, which are bound to perpetuate (or to introduce) the pattern of the unfree societies and their needs. This is the case of the ghetto population and the unemployed in the United States; this is also the case of the laboring classes in the more backward capitalist countries.

It thus obliterates the Opposition between the private and public existence, between individual and social needs. The construction of a free society would create new incentives for work. I believe so, because technical progress has reached a stage in which reality no longer need be defined by the debilitating competition for social survival and advancement. 59-60 They great works of literature are invalidated not because of their literary obsolescence. In the mobilization of this aggressiveness, ancient psychical forces are activated to serve the economic-political needs of the system: the Enemy are those who are unclean, infested; they are animals rather than humans; they are contagious (the domino theory!) and threaten the clean, anesthetized, healthy. And within the framework of capitalism, the tremendous growth in the productivity of labor enforces the ever-enlarged production of luxuries: wasteful in the armament industry, and in the marketing of gadgets, devices, trimmings, status symbols. This triumph of art is achieved by subjecting the content to the aesthetic order, which is autonomous in its exigencies. The protest against these features of art spreads through the entire universe of art prior to the First World War and continues with increased intensity: it gives voice and image to the negative how to save money essay allually power of art, and to the tendencies toward a desublimation of culture. This proposition, which is central in Marxian theory, is familiar enough, and the managers and publicists of corporate capitalism are well aware of its meaning; they are prepared to contain its dangerous consequences. Then, the Spanish civil war aroused this solidarity, which is the driving power of liberation, in the unforgettable, hopeless fight of a tiny minority against the combined forces of fascist and liberal capitalism. Production would be redirected in defiance of all the rationality of the Performance Principle; socially necessary labor would be diverted to the construction of an aesthetic rather than repressive environment, to parks and gardens rather than highways and parking lots, to the creation of areas.


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