5/5 Marcuse and One-Dimensional Man

Now that's the method within which mark is a cap criticizes even capitalist society not with external norms drawings from some utopian situation but by its own terms with its own terms I also think that that's not only a good strategy as a style of critique but it's utterly fair I mean in a way it's like demanding of yourself that you do what you say you know which you want to demand at least of your friends that they do most of the time what they say they'll do but it's certainly a good demand to place upon your society its leaders and so on the trouble is is just as I've stated before we are blocked we're blocked in a way by an unprecedented structure of what I have called here sort of cynical skeptical reason that is just to me it's historically unmatched I've never read or heard of a period like this one and I've read about many historical periods but not one in which you can talk to young people the way you can into college-level today and find out that they believe nothing want nothing hope nothing expect nothing dream nothing desire nothing push him for enough they'll say yeah I got to get a job it's been a lot of money at you that's not what I'm talking about here they hope nothing expect my dream nothing desire nothing and it is a fair question to ask whether a society that produces this reaction in its young is worthy of existence at all it really is it's worth asking that whether it's worth being here at all and my criticism of this society couldn't get more bitter than it is in that case couldn't possibly be remember I'm talking about the young I've encountered it Duke these are privileged youth at an elite southern school mostly white mostly upper upper-middle-class to upper-class now imagine what the attitudes are like in the streets of DC from another race or another social class we've outlived in the 20th century the response is that mark is that would have given to this I still admire and I in his book to argument concerning enlightenment I still admire his vicious attack on a bureaucracy both here and in the Soviet Union and elsewhere and his attack on a world in which money comes before human beings that to me is the sort of one line essence of the critique of marks I mean of Marx's critique where money is placed ahead of human needs poor just money is placed ahead mark is ur still tries to defend as I say freedom happiness creativity he still believes in the truth he still believes the human race has a happy destiny I mean I think that we have to look back at Marchesa who at the time we looked at his a vicious radical I think we have to look back at him as a kind of norman vincent peale of the 60s I mean Marchesa wasn't radical at all by the standards of this world into which we have slipped by the late 20th century now he really does sound like norman vincent peale at times it's it's it's almost quaint if it wasn't so horrifying because his meditation and his I'm not meditation his theory his view is about the destiny of the human race on this planet about whether we will ever learn to make sense or whether we'll just keep making money and madness it's a real big question he never was able to answer it but one of the reasons I want to raise it right in the middle of the lectures is I didn't want these lectures to turn into some kind of funky kind of tawny roberts course in self-development like now I know I really am kind of crap because when we're through we won't know I don't know if I didn't know who I was I probably wouldn't have shown up now I mean you know this is not I mean it's an important part it's not a cynical thing to say but it's important part of our finding out about the cell for this part of the in this part of history that we don't have all the answers that we have not even formulated all the questions correctly in fact Tony Roberts and people like him are a part of the problem themselves they're banal ization i love it when i hear someone's like I've listened to Tony's types and now I used to be fat and unhappy and now I'm skinny and happy it just makes me want to cut someone up with a chainsaw I mean that's ridiculous I mean no you know that's not why humans they think because they have to think it's an it's it's a it's a felt necessity it's the weight of the world the complexity of it and you can avoid it I admit with drugs but at some point in your life you have to come across the need to think mark is ax was comes from a period in its back in style in fashion I have to admit it to 60s or back in style everyone they probably will be out of style by the time these tapes are out but people are back listening to jimi hendrix wearing bell-bottoms and tie-dye as i suppose you noticed that of course this would have nothing to do with banal ization well of course it would but as anything that's a threat to this system can be vandalized I'll give you two examples in the sphere of politics the way they turn Jesse Jackson from a serious social actor into sort of a banal character is a caricature of himself in the media they finalized a real threat to the system which was the rainbow coalition a real threat populist threat to the system finalised into a joke it's even sicker to realize this that if something tragic happened to Jesse Jackson there'd be a picture of him up next to Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and all our schools 10 years from now no one doubts it see but now while he's alive he has to be Bane lized this is it is obviously a form of control its social control I'm talking about here it's not a conspiracy I mean it's just something that happens in the process of a society working out its own internal logics in systems of incredible complexity vitalization is a way to reduce complexity it's also a systematic way to be an idiot and I have to say this many of our complaints about the educational system fall under the critique of Marky's as well where we produce student after student in this condition I've described which is not really despair because it's needs that level in other words that have to be more excited to be in despair they'd have to be like more thrilled to be forlorn like they'd have to be in love with something before they could have their heart broken to make a more simple example out of it no it's beneath that level it's frightening Lee beneath it it cannot be defended Herbert Marcuse awhile he leav duh I made these arguments and as I say looking back on on them from this point in history from this point in time it's hard not to feel a little nostalgic for them but I have a feeling that they'll come back along with tie-dyes Jimi Hendrix and who knows they may even have someone like me tour and denounced the system as the warm-up act for a rock and roll by it I mean who the hell knows but that's all I have to say about mark is ax and I've really enjoyed this little interlude with you and I hope that we we got somewhere in this hour anyway thank you very much
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