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Radical Philosophy Review

Volume 20, Issue 1, 2017
Refusing One-Dimensionality, Part 2

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Displaying: 1-10 of 10 documents


1. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Andrew T. Lamas, Losing Well: Make America Radical Again
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The concept of “losing well” is introduced and defined as radical praxis of the Left that catalyzes social democracy, stimulates critical consciousness, and develops counterformations of solidarity for struggle in the nonrevolutionary situation. Walter Benjamin’s idea of amazement is interpreted as a personal praxis for self-critique and critical awareness. Herbert Marcuse’s conception of the one-dimensional society is interpreted as a society organized for maintaining the nonrevolutionary situation—the “society without opposition.” My own view is that Marcuse was trying to develop a theory of revolution for the nonrevolutionary situation. This is the introductory essay for the second of two special issues of Radical Philosophy Review marking the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of one of the twentieth century’s most provocative, subversive, and widely read works of radical theory—Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man, which we now reassess to contribute to the liberation theories of our time. A summary of each of the articles featured in this special issue is also provided.
dialectical dimensioning
2. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Peter Marcuse, Marcuse’s Concept of Dimensionality: A Political Interpretation
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The title of Herbert Marcuse’s famous book One-Dimensional Man implies the existence of one or more other dimensions beyond the one-dimensional. This essay theorizes two alternative and opposing dimensions—utopia and barbarism—and perhaps a fourth, the aesthetic dimension. This expanded treatment of the concept of dimensionality may be useful for generating theory and informing praxis in the struggle for liberation.
3. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Ben Fine, From One-Dimensional Man to One-Dimensions Economy and Economics
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Taking Herbert Marcuse’s classic One-Dimensional Man as a critical point of departure, this contribution is framed around the insight that complex and contradictory underlying determinants in capitalism are subject to outcomes and appearances that are conceptualized as one-dimensioning. The latter involves reduction to multiple dimensions as opposed to a single dimension, or homogenisation for which presumed conformity to the market and monetisation are the most obvious manifestations. The argument is illustrated through an account of one-dimensioning within the history of economics as a discipline since the marginalist revolution of the 1870s, and through the rise of financialized neoliberalism.
4. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Lauren Langman, After Marcuse: Subjectivity—from Repression to Consumption and Beyond
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Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man was a critique of late capitalist society in the 1960s, with its “one-dimensional” culture and consumer-based subjectivity shaped by the political economy. Such subjectivity constituted one of the foundations upon which the “administered society” rested. The nature of character structure, as historically instantiated, provided motivation to work, motivation to consume, modes of consciousness, and the disposition toward certain modes of social relatedness. Since the publication of One-Dimensional Man, the contradictions of capitalism have become glaring. At the same time, there are crises of subjectivity, as the traditional forms of selfhood and identity are ever less able to adapt to current circumstances. In Marcuse’s work, we saw major changes as the Freudian Self became obsolescent with the rise of the post-Freudian, Consuming Self. We now again see major transformations, with the rise of a new form of contemporary selfhood—multiple, contradictory, mutable, flexible, liquid, Protean.
without hope, despair not
5. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Nina Power, Society without Opposition: Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man Meets Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism
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This essay seeks to read Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man and Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism together in the context of what Marcuse calls the “society without opposition.” It seeks to extract a conception of hope as method from within these two otherwise rather bleak analyses. Their shared conception of hope is understood as the attempt to speak from a conception of capitalism as hell, and to continue to speak anyway. The essay concludes by defending a conception of hope that haunts rather than a hope that promises.
6. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Michael Feola, Beyond the One-Dimensional Subject: Power, Sensibility, and Agency
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This article engages a central argument of One-Dimensional Man: that a core register of power rests at the sensible level, within desires, needs and pleasures. Although this line of argument has been targeted by many readers as particularly problematic, this article proposes that it possesses significant resources for contemporary political thought. Where Marcuse has been described as a thinker of a bygone age, his reflections on power and sensibility possess vital resources to cognize power and agency in late modernity.
7. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Caleb J. Basnett, On the Legacy of One-Dimensional Man: Outline of a Creative Politics
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In this essay, I defend the legacy of Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man and the relation it sketches between art, politics, and human instincts against detractors who see the work as defeatist. Through an examination of Marcuse’s use of ideas drawn from biology and aesthetics, I outline a creative politics that illustrates the manner in which new forms of human life might be created from the “bottom up,” through political struggle and artistic practice. I further compare these ideas to those of Jacques Rancière, Autonomist Marxism, and epigenetics in order to better understand the prescience of Marcuse’s thought and its continued relevance.
8. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Laura J. Miller, Relevance without Resonance: One-Dimensional Critique Today
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This paper examines the contemporary social context in order to consider why Marcuse’s ideas, specifically those represented in One-Dimensional Man, do not resonate in the United States in the same way that they did when the book was published a half century ago. Although much of Marcuse’s analysis continues to be relevant for contemporary society, a fear of one-dimensional thinking has diminished. This is due, firstly, to scholarly defenses of populism. And secondly, it results from changes in international relations, the social and economic status of youth, and a more uniform reverence for technology.
repairing the rift, remixing the radical
9. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Jeffery L. Nicholas, Refusing Polemics: Retrieving Marcuse for MacIntyrean Praxis
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Today’s Left has inherited and internalized the rift that split the New Left. This split led to Alasdair MacIntyre’s Herbert Marcuse: An Exposition and a Polemic, a book that angered many because of MacIntyre’s harsh treatment of Marcuse. I situate MacIntyre’s engagement with Marcuse against the background of the split in the New Left: on the one side, E. P. Thompson, MacIntyre, and those who then saw the revolutionary class in the proletariat, and on the other side, Perry Anderson, Robin Blackburn, and Marcuse who seemed to put their faith in radical student intellectuals, Third World movements, and identity politics. I examine—without polemics— this rift in search of a new basis for Left unity, particularly as regards the question of radical, working class subjectivity. I argue that we must draw from MacIntyre his concept of revolutionary practices and from Marcuse—in One-Dimensional Man and Eros and Civilization—the analysis of technological rationality, aesthetic reason, phantasy, and imagination.
10. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Contributors
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