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    • Rick Roderick on Marcuse - One-Dimensional Man [full length] | 45 Min.


      This video is 4th in the 8-part video lecture series, The Self Under Siege: Philosophy in the Twentieth Century (1993). Lecture Notes:

      I. Marcuse became a pop figure, the philosopher of the 60s. He expressed a key contradiction in modernity. Modernity is “enlightenment”, the end of myth and dogma, the power of reason; but it is also the rise of technology, capitalism, specialization, instrumental reason and the return of myth and dogma. The enlightenment built an intellect powerful enough to surrendering dogmatically before the powers of technology. This is the “Dialectic of Enlightenment” as analyzed by Herxheimer and Adorno and popularized by Marcuse. II. Instrumental rationality, information-based individual reason, leads to irrational outcomes. Individual monologic rationality is not rational in the totality of overall system. How did the force of the love of reason become itself unreasonable? The self cannot escape siege under the sway of instrumental reason alone, it drains the world of meaning and leads to the entwinement of myth and enlightenment. The film “Dr. Strangelove” is one long example of the contradictions outlined by Marcuse. III. Instrumental reason is the product of a one-dimensional society that produces one-dimensional human beings. Marcuse criticizes our society along at least two dimensions. First, the inner dimension: anxiety, despair, nausea and a massive industry in drugs to deal with these pathologies. A society of addicts. Second, the outer social world: alienation (separation from the subject and the object and the self in Marx’s sense); rationalization (bureaucracy and technical action in Weber’s sense). These produce a one-dimensional culture or banality which reduces human suffering and human desire to trivia and image.

      IV. Such humans have by now become deeply skeptical and cynical about almost everything; in particular, the government and the culture industry. Beyond that, we are becoming skeptical about our history, our meaning, our purpose and the general fate of the species.

      V. Marcuse’s method of criticism is called internal critique which measures a society against its own historically accumulated concepts and ideals in order to point out the gap between the actual social practices and the principles.

      VI. Marcuse also never lost faith in the human species to reconstruct itself, to begin anew. This hope of liberation transcended the field of economics and standard Marxism, as well as the achievements of the so-called free and democratic world of today. He also rested his hope in the possibility of that the self could be won against the odds. Today, unfortunately, this view will seem to many quaint.

      For more information, see http://www.rickroderick.org

    • #lumières #raison #rationalité #séparation #addiction #aliénation #banalisation #complexité #démocratie #désillusion



      #Herbert_Marcuse, né le 19 juillet 1898 à Berlin et mort le 29 juillet 1979 à Starnberg (Bavière), est un philosophe, sociologue marxiste, américain d’origine allemande, membre de l’École de Francfort avec Theodor Adorno et Max Horkheimer.


      Il est notamment l’auteur et de L’Homme unidimensionnel (1964), qui veut démontrer le caractère inégalitaire et totalitaire du capitalisme des « Trente Glorieuses ». Ces affirmations lui valurent des critiques, notamment celle qui proclamerait la tolérance envers toutes les opinions sauf les opinions « qui perpétuent la servitude », malmènent l’autonomie au profit du statu quo répressif et protègent « la machine de discrimination qui est déjà en service »4. Pour Marcuse, la tolérance envers des idées qui servent le système de domination et d’oppression est une dénaturation du concept de tolérance : Marcuse oppose la vraie tolérance, qui est nécessairement émancipatrice, à une perversion opportuniste de l’idée de tolérance, qu’il qualifie de « tolérance répressive ». Selon Marcuse, c’est la « tolérance répressive » qui a autorisé la prise du pouvoir par le parti nazi en Allemagne5. Pour Marcuse, « une des réalisations de la civilisation industrielle avancée est la régression non-terroriste et démocratique de la liberté – la non-liberté efficace, lisse, raisonnable qui semble plonger ses racines dans le progrès technique même ».