1/5 Marcuse and One-Dimensional Man

Okay this is the fourth lecture and we're going to pick things up a little bit here because we have a philosopher that I came in contact with in college through pamphlets and so this is someone I really enjoy and I hope that that you'll get something out of this this lecture I'm going to talk about Herbert Marcuse ax again like Sartre we're talking about an intellectual who becomes a pop cultural figure I mean this is a very rare thing for German philosopher to have their picture on the cover of Life magazine but this happens with with Herbert Marcuse in the 60s the reason it does and and this time I will go into the theory in the case of Sartre there's so many periods and stuff to follow out that's difficult but with Mark use' there are a series of guiding themes that we can follow up that I think will explain why mark use' was the philosopher of the 1960's and i also want to explain it it's more than that that mark is are also caught a certain contradiction our crisis that was that was always in the heart of modernity if you like that phrase of modern life of the world after capitalism of the world after rationalization you know after bureaucratization after you have bureaucracies and rational decision procedures everywhere mark is attaches a certain contradiction here that I think is is absolutely vital for us to understand if we go back to the traditional intellectuals way of looking at it you the familiar phrase for the rise of the modern world is the Enlightenment right the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment wants to free the human mind from superstition and from dogma from the adherence to prejudice this is the goal of the Enlightenment beautifully stated by can't in his essay what is enlightenment when can't says dare to use your own reason which already you know tells you that church fathers and things like that aren't you don't listen to them I'm dare to use your own reason have the audacity to reason for yourself well the Enlightenment fuelled as by the rise of capitalism it's fueled also by the the rise in the incredible increase in the power of science and the ability of science to fuel technology which has been my overall story I've been telling in all these lectures about the self under siege one of the things were buried under oceans of technologies and information systems and so on well the crisis that was always in the heart of the Enlightenment if you go back and look at it the crisis that was always working on it was something like this the attempt to demystify the world the attempt to make the world as it were transparent to reason carried with it a strange dark side always and you may notice this when you watch television now the more we as it were cleared the fields of the traditional religious views the more that we became convinced that science and I and one term for that mark is it uses its instrumental reason reason used as an instrument for changing nature and human beings the more that the Enlightenment project progressed it simply turned out not to be the case that we became less afraid in the face of the unknown know the unknown appeared more terrifying than ever and it wasn't the case that we became less dogmatic as a matter of fact the sciences have now branched out into so many areas that the only way anyone could believe in any of them is dogmatically since none of us could study them because we don't have world enough for time so in the paradoxical way the Enlightenment builds up a kind of intellect intelligent off to see through mystification that's where I talked about Marx and Freud and other figures we build up an intellect hard enough as it were to see through these mystification but any intellect that powerful has a tendency to become totalitarian this is the fundamental problem and no where would that be more evident than in this in the experience of the Germans who are great at their technology the advance in science and so on a world is instrumental irrational you know the famous joke that the trains run on time but the flipside of enlightenment has been to sort of give up before the overpowering forces of Technology in a more abject surrender than any that was ever called foreign religion I mean to abject Lee just the surrender before the powers of Technology and given the current state of the powers of technology they far surpass the characteristics that we associate with God I mean think of it in this simple way in the in the Bible in in the in the Book of Revelations the apocalypse is a magnificent myth but long ago it became what in our society a reality a technologically achievable reality what had been a myth became a technologically achievable reality we no longer had to conjure up ten-headed beasts with three things we need things to be afraid of now we had systems rational systems rational in quotes instrumental irrational that leads to a further paradox mark is the locates in modern rationality and that's the instrumental rationality and I want to associate it with sort of atomic bits of if what I've been calling information as opposed to knowledge and and instrumental singular decisions based on them you put these together and the outcome isn't rational the outcome is irrational and dangerous let me give you an example this is a very clear one it works over so it's time to go home it's rational to want to go home have to work on my view of the good reading of Marxism that's the most rational thing we won't all die to get away from work it's very rational so each individual actors decision to run out to their car and get on the freeway is rational about the outcome well the outcomes that everybody's sitting on the freeway breathing each other smog that on there but the outcome is irrational the outcome of a whole sea there was no reason because the Enlightenment focused on reason as individuated individual atomic they didn't see that the overall effects of reasons working that way might themselves proved to be irrational another example I'll give you was the most recent stock market crash the first stock market crash in the history of the world in which human beings didn't make the foul-ups know they had their you can't buy and sell on the stock exchange now because human beings don't make the decisions fast enough you have computers geared to make the rational decision programs work the stock market crash because of the computers making individual irrational decisions based on their little bit of information all working together crash the market and it would have crashed further except that we still are able to unplug them how much longer they will give us that privilege is part of the debate that will engage in in the next part of the lectures we still have the privilege of unplugging them I think it won't you know it's a it's a reasonable conjecture when the decision will work the other way they will say to heck with you will unplug you know this is this is wine I mean it you need an answer to this question why did the enlightenment which began with the love for it something that I tool of human reason and with its use to demystify things how did it itself become a force of mystification well here's another way it did I've talked about how I bunked religion but it engaged in overkill by debunking religion in the way in which it did it left us open and said science had nothing to do with whole fields of human experience which are now just given over to the wild it's kind of insane theories for example if you look around now there's never been a period the history of the world where more people believe more completely nutty things
YT Stats Views: 0 Likes: 0 Dislikes: 0