INTERNATIONAL HERBERT MARCUSE SOCIETY
The Dialectics of Liberation in Dark Times: Marcuse's Thought in the Neoliberal Era 2023
The edited volume, The Dialectics of Liberation in Dark Times: Marcuse's Thought in the Neoliberal Era, edited by Taylor Hines, Peter-Erwin Jansen, Robert E. Kirsch, and Terry Maley, is scheduled for publication on November 20, 2023 from Springer Press. Direct link here. [Hardcover ISBN 978-3-031-22487-4 / Softcover ISBN 978-3-031-22490-4]
This book curates essays from the Marcuse Society's recent biennial conferences in 2019 (at University of California, Santa Barbara) and in 2021 (at Arizona State University). The volume will be published as part of the book series Critical Political Theory and Radical Practice, which is Stephen Eric Bronner's series with Springer.
"This book develops Marcuse’s critique of advanced industrial society and deploys it as a lens to critically analyze contemporary neoliberalism and its structural failures. In the chapters, Marcuse scholars explore three related topics: First, Marcuse’s theory as it applies to the relationship between neoliberalism and authoritarianism, including both the historical relationship between the two and the modern re-emergence of authoritarianism and nationalism in neoliberal states today. Second, a re-examination of the relationship between neoliberal subjectivity and technological rationality that seeks to understand the stabilizing forces of neoliberal society and the way these forces register at the level of thought. Third and finally, Marcuse’s conception of socialism in conversation with contemporary neoliberal rationality, and ways in which alternatives to the status quo remain possible. Together, this volume contributes to recent discussions of neoliberalism and contribute to the development of Marcuse scholarship."
Multi-Dimensional Man 2023
"Herbert Marcuse was the philosopher of the future in an age without one."
By Oliver Eagleton
THE NEW STATESMAN, March 11, 2023
Verso Blog 2022
HERBERT MARCUSE, a thinker to wake up the left
"Herbert Marcuse's ideas animated young people's protests in 1968, but today he's rarely discussed. Simon Blin argues that it's time to return to Marcuse's radical ideas in order to think anew about the struggles we face today."
This article was originally published by Libération on July 20, 2022.
Charles Reitz 2022
Charles Reitz's important new book—the latest work from his Ecosocialist EarthCommonwealth Project—is available here.
Charles Reitz is a major scholar of the work of Herbert Marcuse and an important commentator on the global crises faced by contemporary society. In this new book he continues to apply the critical Marxism of Herbert Marcuse to contemporary problems such as the destructive nature of global capitalism, the politics of neofacism, racism, ecological destruction, etc. This book is a necessary read for anyone who is struggling to understand the social, ecological, political, and economic crisis in which we live. Reitz's careful analysis opens the door for new and creative ways to address our present situation. Indeed, it is a new call for what Marcuse termed the "Great Refusal."
—Arnold L. Farr, Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky, author of Critical Theory and Democratic Vision: Herbert Marcuse and Recent Liberation Philosophies.
To the rising fascist threat -- brewing since Marcuse's time in Nixon's USA -- Reitz counterposes the themes of ecology and humanism, both of these analyzed in a global, multicultural light, from European socialist humanism to African Ubuntu. He brings to life new critical resources from Marcuse's corpus of writings, much of it only recently unearthed. This offers new insights not only into the expected realms of ideology and culture, but also into the under- lying economic structures of capitalism, all of it posed in terms of the chances of a genuine human emancipation unseparated from the world of nature.
—Kevin B. Anderson, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, author of Marx at the Margins
Reitz wields revolutionary Marcusean theory against those who would protect hate speech and promote resurgent fascism in our own day. We really need an EarthCommonwealth Counteroffensive to replace the brutality of capital and patriarchy with global ecosocialism and partnership power!
—Javier Sethness Castro, author of Eros and Revolution: The Critical Philosophy of Herbert Marcuse and Queer Tolstoy: A Psychobiography
What we are against has found What we are for!
—Andrew T. Lamas, Professor of Critical Theory, Urban Studies, and Social Policy, University of Pennsylvania, co-editor of The Great Refusal: Herbert Marcuse and Contemporary Social Movements and Herbert Marcuse, Philosopher of Utopia: A Graphic Biography
Things have gotten out of kilter in the United States and within the global capitalist system. The endless search for profit, new markets and resources leads to re-colonization and imperialism, war, death, and destruction. Reitz offers a vision of intercultural solidarity against the resurgent politics of white supremacy and oligarchic wealth idolization. His book is a call to action.
—Ewa Unoke, Professor and Coordinator of Political Science, Kansas City Kansas Community College, author of Global Security After Evil and Life of Nobody: Reparation to Africa―The Law of Karma is Strong
An outstanding contribution to critical social theory that takes account of the intersectional characteristics of global capitalist exploitation including theeconomies and populations of the Global South in the process of capitalist accumulation as these have led to the ecological catastrophe we are experiencing today.
—Sergio Bedoya Cortés, Profesor de Filosofía, Facultad de Filosofía y Ciencias Humanas, Universidad Libre de Colombia
Drawing on immense knowledge of the philosophy of Herbert Marcuse and a wide range of anthropological and other sources, Reitz identifies the promise of happiness contained within a humanist, intercultural ethics grounded in sensuous living labor. In the name of the Earth itself, the time has come for a Great Refusal, and Reitz has provided key insights that can enlightenment and inspire all those involved in the struggle to give birth to a new world. Reitz develops a powerful vision for an ecosocialist alternative to capitalism's mutilation and devastation of our shared environment, EarthCommonWealth. -
—Brandon Absher, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Honors Program, D'Youville University, author of The Rise of Neo-Liberal Philosophy
Charles Reitz is a leading voice in the resurgence of discussions of Herbert Marcuse, socialist humanism, and ecology. The philosophical views of Marcuse, Karl Marx, and critical educationist Peter McLaren are enriched by African social and ethical philosophy, Indigenous American thought, and radical feminism. Reitz reflects on how the world's wisdom traditions intersect in a richly textured, multi-dimensional vision of intercultural solidarity. He never leaves behind the crucial dimension of political economy. Reitz offers a critique of oligarchic wealth, imperialism, white supremacy/racism, and the toxic masculinity that is so closely related to authoritarian populism. Reitz's book is a timely theorization of current crises and a clarion call for desperately needed ecosocialist change.
—Terry Maley, Associate Professor, Department of Politics, York University, Toronto, editor of One-Dimensional Man 50 Years On: The Struggle Continues
For many decades now, Charles Reitz has been working with the critical theoretical approaches of Herbert Marcuse to update a radically ecological theory of society. Reitz's approach is a synthesis between Marcuse's reflections on the affluent society and his critique of capitalism inspired by Marx and Hegel and a critical engagement with the eco-anarchist and social theorist Murray Bookchin. His key new concept, EarthCommonWealth, envisages a new system of common property and management based on a comprehensive vision of an ecosocialist system alternative.
—Peter-Erwin Jansen, Koblenz University of Applied Sciences
Charles Reitz is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Social Science, Kansas City Kansas Community College. His previous books include Art, Alienation, and the Humanities: A Critical Engagement with Herbert Marcuse (2000); Crisis and Commonwealth: Marcuse, Marx, McLaren (2013); Philosophy & Critical Pedagogy: Insurrection & Commonwealth (2016); and, Ecology and Revolution: Herbert Marcuse and the Challenge of a New World System Today (2019).
Robert Tally's book 2022
Another timely and very provocative book from Robert T. Tally Jr. has been published and is available here.
From the Los Angeles Review of Books:
Robert Scott probes the “conditions of imagination under late capitalism” in his review of Robert T. Tally Jr.’s For a Ruthless Critique of All That Exists: Literature in an Age of Capitalist Realism.
"An exuberant and erudite take-down of those who think things are pretty much OK, so critique is superfluous. Tally calls out the logic and timing of the dog-whistle school of anti-critique, who have done their part to encourage the recent frenzy over Critical Race Theory and other bits of populist anti-intellectualism. But rather than calling its opponents names, this books lays before them a formidably nuanced and eloquent example of critique. We nattering nabobs of negativism have found ourselves a joyous and principled defender."
—Bruce Robbins, Columbia University
Robert T. Tally Jr. teaches American and world literature at Texas State University. His research and teaching focuses on the relations among space, narrative, and representation, particularly in U.S. and comparative literature, and he is active in the emerging fields of geocriticism, literary geography, and the spatial humanities. Tally is the editor of "Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies," a Palgrave Macmillan book series, and he has published several books, as well as dozens of essays and reviews, on literature, theory, and criticism. Much of his work draws upon and interprets Critical Theory, including the work of Herbert Marcuse.
December 14, 2021
"Behind Recent Attacks on Herbert Marcuse"
by George Katsiaficas
The Black Lives Matter movement involved tens of millions of people going into the streets at great risk to their own safety. The mobilization of so many people in so many places ushered in a new era of progress in the cultural self-understanding of millions of people, especially around the history of American racism and police murders. With attributes of a cultural revolution, dozens of statues of racist heroes were torn down, streets and buildings renamed, sports teams’ mascots called into question, and long-standing grievances about racism finally examined. The role of police has been questioned widely for the first time in decades. And not only in the USA but all over the world.
For many of us, these were significant transformations that need to continue. Trump supporters and many conservatives, on the other hand, have launched a counteroffensive. A key battleground today concerns “critical race theory” (CRT), a term latched onto by opponents of BLM to villainize open discussion of racism. So afraid are conservatives of the racist history of the United States being publicly told, more than 17 states have introduced or passed legislation that would forbid teaching CRT. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton introduced federal legislation banning CRT trainings from the US military, and as similar bill prohibiting public service workers from training in CRT was quickly introduced. On August 11, 2021 the Senate approved a bill introduced by Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Kevin Cramer, and Mike Braun that prohibits federal funding to promote “divisive concepts, such as Critical Race Theory.” ¹
Across the country, Republicans are gerrymandering electoral districts, infiltrating school boards and launching legislation to prevent open discussion in classrooms and public spaces of the many-sided history of this country. Running primarily on a platform to ban CRT from classrooms, newly elected Virginia governor Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated former governor Terry McAullife. His backroom supporters operated more than 1,300 “local news sites” that attacked CRT. Republican legislatures are stepping up attacks on women’s rights, seeking to overturn Roe and restricting family support items in the budget at the same time as nearly three women are murdered every day by intimate associates.²
A part of the Right’s offensive against the cultural renaissance has been to demonize radical theorists who paved the way for today’s movements. Chief among them is Herbert Marcuse, whom right-wing critics in 2021 have blamed for CRT, cancel culture, Scientology, and a variety of other phenomena with which he had no relationship. Marcuse was a staunch advocate of movements for revolutionary change, a Marxist critic of capitalism, and firm supporter of African American liberation and feminism. Before he passed in 1979 (a decade before CRT was founded), he was a major influence on radical activists. Hated by both Soviet Communists and the Vatican, he was adored by revolutionaries around the world. READ MORE.
Terry Maley's Edited Volume 2017
Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man has been called one of the most important books of the post-WWII era. Published in 1964, Marcuse’s work was highly critical of modern industrial capitalism―its exploitation of people and nature, its commodified aesthetics and consumer culture, the military-industrial complex and new forms of social control at the height of the Keynesian era.
Contributors to this collection assess the key themes in One-Dimensional Man from a diverse range of critical perspectives, including feminist, ecological, Indigenous and anti-capitalist. In light of the current struggles for emancipation from neoliberalism in Canada and across the globe, this critical look at Marcuse’s influential work illustrates its relevance today and introduces his work to a new generation.
Robert Kirsch & Sarah Surak's Edited Volume 2017
This book engages the critical theory of political philosopher Herbert Marcuse to imagine spaces of resistance and liberation from the repressive forces of late capitalism. Marcuse, an influential counterculture voice in the 1960s, highlighted the "smooth democratic unfreedom" of postwar capitalism, a critique that is well adapted to the current context. The compilation begins with a previously unpublished lecture delivered by Marcuse in 1966 addressing the inadequacy of philosophy in its current form, arguing how it may be a force for liberation and social change. This lecture provides a theoretical mandate for the volume’s original contributions from international scholars engaging how topics such as higher education, aesthetics, and political organization can contribute to the project of building a critical rationality for a qualitatively better world, offering an alternative to the bleak landscape of neoliberalism. The essays in this volume as whole engage the current context with an urgency appropriate to the problems facing an encroaching authoritarianism in political society with an interdisciplinary lens that speaks to the complexity of the problems facing modern society. The chapters were originally published as a special issue in the journal New Political Science.
NEw political science 2016
Robert Kirsch and Sarah Surak are the co-editors of the New Political Science special issue--Volume 38, Issue 4 (2016)--entitled "Marcuse in the Twenty-First Century: Radical Politics, Critical Theory, and Revolutionary Praxis."
The volume features contributions by the editors as well as Arnold L. Farr, Amahlia L. Perry-Farr & Louisa N. Perry-Farr; Brandon Absher; Dean Caivano, Rodney Doody, Terry Maley & Chris Vandenberg; Bryant William Sculos & Sean Noah Walsh; Katherine E. Young; Nancy D. Wadsworth; Silvio Ricardo Gomes Carneiro; Aaron Major; David Schultz; Jeffery L. Nicholas; and, Douglas Kellner.
Javier Sethness Castro 2016
In Eros and Revolution, Javier Sethness Castro presents a comprehensive intellectual and political biography of the critical theorist Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979), investigating the Hegelian-Marxist, Romantic, existentialist, social-psychological, and anti-authoritarian dimensions of his thought, as well as his contemporary relevance.
50th Anniversary of One-Dimensional Man
Ronald Aronson, "Marcuse Today"
Boston Review, November 17, 2014
When Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man appeared fifty years ago, it was a revelation. To many of us who were becoming the New Left, Marcuse reflected and explained our own feeling of suffocation, our alienation from an increasingly totalitarian universe that trumpeted its freedom at every moment. We had grown up in it, we had encountered it in Allen Ginsberg’s Howl; but until One-Dimensional Man, we could scarcely understand, let alone describe, it. A student of Marcuse’s, I wrote at the time in Radical America that the book was “a major step in our breaking out of that closing universe. By naming it, by helping us to get conscious of it, by conveying its overwhelming power, [Marcuse] helped us to define ourselves in opposition to it—total opposition.”
He spoke to a deep sense of alienation. “The pure form of servitude,” he wrote, is “to exist as an instrument, as a thing. And this mode of existence is not abrogated if the thing is animated and chooses its material and intellectual food, if it does not feel its being-a-thing, if it is a pretty, clean, mobile thing.” Moreover, “Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves.” READ MORE