Summary Of An Essay On Liberation By Herbert Marcuse

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Herbert Marcuse published An Essay on Liberation in 1969. Marcuse was a German-born Jewish philosopher and political theorist who fled Germany during World War II and relocated to America. Marcuse was one of the primary theorists of the Frankfurt School and is credited as being one of the founders of Critical Theory. In his essay Marcuse use critical theory to critique the capitalistic society in America and global dominion. The essay is portioned into four main areas which are A Biological Foundation for Socialism, The New Sensibility, Subverting Forces-in Transition, and Solidarity.
The single thread that is woven throughout the essay is individual liberation. Marcuse holds that the individual must be liberated for society as a whole
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I found what had been nagging me in what I had read thus far in Political Science. There are those in the world who are content to criticize with the purpose not to provoke change but for the sheer enjoyment of telling other what they are doing wrong and how it could be better; although they never tell how to do it better. They come with complaints, critiques, and utopian ideals but if you ask for specific they tell you “that’s for you to figure out” Marcuse is such a person. While I agree with his critique of the American culture I cannot respect it. He criticizes the country and culture that provide him sanctuary in his time of need and then he chooses to stay, unlike the others who arrived with him and returned to their homeland later in life. He stayed and became part of the elite the upper class with all the luxuries of the good life while writing how repressive it was. He writes of a utopian society without giving any insight as to a practical working model but is quick to advocate the overthrow and uprooting of the current one. He criticizes consumerism but every picture of him looks as if he is partaking in the same culture in which he despises. He could have taken a note for the Amish. Marcuse repeatedly refers to the “stabilizing effect of capitalism” and advocate for is overthrow because of its success. I guess he likes his government a little spicy, the dull American lifestyle without the constant overthrows and coups are boring. Yet instill he offers no viable alternative and refused to leave. He lays out a perfect world without hunger, poverty and work were creativity ,beauty, and leisure abound without a path to get there; and then states that society will somehow figure it out. Society has it is called Capitalism and Democracy; while not perfect it has provided for one of the most stable forms of government the world has known and provided a mechanism for redress of its citizen .

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