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Radical Philosophy Review

Volume 19, Issue 1, 2016
Refusing One-Dimensionality, Part 1

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Displaying: 1-15 of 15 documents

1. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Andrew T. Lamas

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This is the introductory essay for the first 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—Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man (1964), which we now reassess in an effort to contribute to the critical theory of our time. What are the possibilities and limits of our current situation? What are the prospects for moving beyond one-dimensionality? A summary of each of the articles featured in this special issue is also provided.

critical relevance

2. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Douglas Kellner

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I discuss how I came to read, interpret, understand, critique, and use One-Dimensional Man, and I consider the book’s reception and relevance in the 1960s when it appeared, suggesting how its ideas relate to experiences and developments within US society and global capitalism from the 1940s and 1950s. Then, I examine how the model of one-dimensional society was put in question by the struggles and upheavals of the 1960s, how Herbert Marcuse revised his model in the 1970s, and how it fares in making sense of developments in the succeeding decades, up to the present. Thus, my interpretation will be philosophical, historical, and political, as the philosopher Herbert Marcuse would want it to be.
3. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Charles Reitz

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In this historical contextualization of Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man, I present critical arguments that Marcuse deploys in the US context—especially in light of the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. I argue that (1) Marcuse’s critical perspective worked to deprovincialize Anglo-American philosophy and to demythologize the extravagantly glorified and sanitized “American Pageant” view of the world that prevailed in the United States at the time and (2) Marcuse’s critical pedagogy thus led to a revitalization and recovery of philosophy in the United States after World War II.
4. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Raffaele Laudani

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This essay discusses the relevance of Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man for contemporary radical politics. It approaches the topic from an unconventional perspective: the untimely nature of One-Dimensional Man, i.e., its being conceived in the 1940s as an answer to the crisis of Marxism after the defeat of European communist revolutions in the early twentieth century, and published in the 1960s in the very moment when the postwar stabilization was to collapse. From this perspective, its relevance for a political theory and praxis of global radical movements is not to be found in its main concepts and categories (e.g., “totalitarianism”), but on its shortcuts and limits, especially those related to political subjectivity. Shortcuts and limits which are, mutatis mutandis, still ours.

critical technology

5. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Andrew Feenberg

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In One-Dimensional Man, Marcuse synthesized a wide range of ideas from the early Lukács, Husserl, Heidegger, and his colleagues, Horkheimer and Adorno. This synthesis is the culmination of the tradition of radical modernity critique that rose to prominence in the 1960s, providing the ideological basis for the New Left and its successor movements such as feminism and environmentalism. I develop an approach to this tradition in terms of the relation of function to meaning as it is reflected in the thought of Lukács and Heidegger. The paper concludes with an account of the relation between this theoretical heritage and contemporary technical politics.
6. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Christian Fuchs

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This article reflects on the relevance of Herbert Marcuse’s philosophy of technology in the age social media. Although Marcuse did not experience the rise of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and “social media” as major means of communication, his insights about technological rationality, technology, and the role of technology in the context of labor allow us today to reflect on the relevance of Marcuse’s philosophy of technology for a critical theory of digital and social media.
7. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Marcelo Vieta

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This article sets out to revisit Herbert Marcuse’s “transcendent project” of liberation, as well as his notion of “post-technological rationality,” which grounded this project, articulated in outline form in the last section of One-Dimensional Man and in fragments throughout his middle writings between 1955 and 1972. The aim is to assess this project’s continued validity for the struggle for alternatives to the disorganizations and enclosures of neoliberal capitalism and its perpetual moments of crises. This article first reviews Marcuse’s place within substantivist critiques of technology. It then works through how Marcuse’s “post-technological rationality”—the other side of his technology critique—envisions social change happening via a rerationalized, revalued, and reaestheticized technological base spurred by the openings for alternatives made possible by a reconstituted subjectivity, determinate negation, and moments of crisis.

critical labor

8. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Russell Rockwell

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Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man is a key text from within the Critical Theory tradition in terms of its utility for assessing today’s new stage of automated production, its impact on social relations, and the prospects for the type of challenge to capitalism that includes within it a concept of an achievable postcapitalist society. The interpretation here seeks to uncover the socially relevant dialectical relationship of the Grundrisse and Capital, which is in contrast to Marcuse’s theory, which holds that Marx, in Capital, had “repressed” his version of critical theory developed in the Grundrisse.
9. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Christian Garland

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In the mid-twentieth century when One-Dimensional Man was first published, the rapid advance of technology was already beginning to render “labor”—that is, what is known as “work”—superfluous. In 2016, half a century later, the process of “work” is being made largely redundant, if not “unnecessary”: the material truth of capitalist society that can never be uttered since as “work” disappears, so does what was one of its functional cornerstones. This article seeks to contribute to identifying some of the trends in the early twenty-first century first outlined by Marcuse in One-Dimensional Man fifty years ago, in critically defining One-Dimensional Society in 2016.
10. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Craig R. Christiansen

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The Marcusean concept of one-dimensionality is used to explore contradictions of organized labor. Since the original 1964 publication of One-Dimensional Man, the labor movement has suffered significant losses in membership and power. This essay examines the current relevance of Marcuse’s description of the increasing integration and collusion of organized labor with business, the loss of the union’s role as radical/revolutionary subject, and the containment of organized labor as an oppositional force. The specific mechanisms found in the structure, culture, logic, and legal constraints that characterize the deradicalization of organized labor are critically reviewed.

critical psyche, rationality, and ideology

11. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Wolfgang Leo Maar

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For Herbert Marcuse, rationality today—amidst advanced capitalism and neoliberalism—is not confronted with an external irrational universal, as it was in the earlier period of liberalism. “General ‘harmony’” is converted into a goal that pacifies because it is technically feasible. Through the critique of everyday experiences, it is possible to distinguish between how individuals immediately appear in actual society and what is essential to society and humanity—by revealing the dependency on capital as a dehumanizing factor. Dependency remains hidden in the relations between universals such as “capitalist society” and technical targets in the everyday lives of individuals. Only social movements that can decipher the rule of capitalism over everyday experiences have any chance of overcoming domination.
12. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Inara Luisa Marin

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The paper will examine the critical psychoanalytical model of emancipation proposed by Herbert Marcuse. I will show that Marcuse’s critical model has two moments; one that I call negative, formulated around the idea of repressive sublimation—as developed by Marcuse in One-Dimensional Man—and another one that I call normative, which finds its roots in a very peculiar reading of Freudian narcissism and leads to the idea of nonrepressive sublimation. By this reading of Marcuse, I hope to circumscribe the role of psychoanalysis in the redefinition of the actual tasks of Critical Theory.
13. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Jon Bailes Orcid-ID

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This essay explores the lasting theoretical value of Marcuse’s “repressive desublimation” via the psychoanalytic concepts of Žižek and Lacan. It argues that Marcuse’s theory should be adapted to include Lacanian notions of death drive and enjoyment, but also that it remains particularly suitable to structurally define consumer capitalist ideologies that incorporate both drive and immediate gratification to reinforce institutional patriarchy. Combining the theories then reveals a paradoxical demand to “enjoy responsibly,” which engenders various indirect rationalizations of Marcuse’s “performance principle.” This interpretation also points to various positive ideological beliefs with critical significance that exceeds Marcuse’s focus on their “higher unification.”
14. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Graeme Reniers

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Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man is framed as a response to the “end of ideology” thesis of political equilibrium and a criticism of mainstream theoretical construction in advanced industrial countries. Such formulations obscured new forms of self-alienation in totally administered society, and replaced any conceived potential subjectivity with objective laws that govern social relations. One-Dimensional Man is also framed as a response to the “crisis of Marxism” by underscoring the importance of popular ideology in shaping subjective action, which at present, precludes proletarian revolution.

15. Radical Philosophy Review: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1

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