Liberal totalitarianism: the repressive mechanisms of modern Western society and their critical analysis of the foreign philosophy of the twentieth century

Part 3. Herbert Marcuse: neterroristicheskogo totalitarian society

Representatives Frankfurtstskoy freydomarksisty school or were, perhaps, one of the first Western philosophers defenitsii seriously engaged in the development and theory of totalitarianism. Already thinkers belonging to the older generation of Frankfurt — Adorno and Horkheimer put forward the thesis about the relationship of scientific rationality and political totalitarianism, the development of which has led them to conclude that fascism is the fruit of a kind of dialectic paradigm of Enlightenment rationality hypertrophy led to the self-disclosure in this rationality of its irrational, mythological nature.

On the basis of this thesis was based socio-philosophical theory of Frankfurt describing the repressive mechanisms of modern society in all its forms (fascism, communism, neo-liberalism). The younger generation of the school — Marcuse, Fromm, Habermas just been studying this aspect of life in modern society, with the most striking figure here was probably Marcuse — the recognized ruler of the minds of Western opposition-minded young people 60 — ies, the ideological leader of the student riots that have received the name of "revolution three M" (Marx, Mao, Marcuse), the founder of the ideology of the Great Refusal, which has had a huge influence on Western counterculture — the hippy movement, punks, beatniks, rockers, environmentalists, etc. neoanarhistov We can say that Marcuse brought to its logical conclusion "critical theory of society" franfurkstskoy school and that is what he and interesting for the researcher repressive mechanisms of post-modern capitalism.

Marcuse fully shares the position of Adorno and Horkheimer of the totalitarian nature of science and technology in modern times. Science experimental type is already infected by a virus of fascism. In place of harmony with nature, to which the people sought to pre-technological civilization, and that was implemented in myth and religious worldviews, Enlightenment rationalist paradigm offers a model of the "Absolute Lord — Absolute slave." According to her, man is called to completely conquer nature, relegate it to a passive and mute material satisfaction of our diverse employee needs. At the same time used the most brutal methods: for example, one of the main tools of this science — an experiment that is nothing short of torture for Nature (Galileo said that the experiment — a "Spanish boot" that fits over the nature, in order to wrest she has her secrets).

In the end, self-development of this logic leads to political totalitarianism. Man, too — a part of nature, so that the thesis: "We have to completely subjugate nature" directly follows the thesis: "we must learn to control society and the individual." Progress breeds totalitarianism, classical mechanics and give birth to a steam engine Auschwitz.

Thus, Marcuse comes from the extracted more senior Frankfurters definition of totalitarianism, according to which it is characterized not only by the public pressure on the individual — otherwise there would be no difference between totalitarianism and despotism of the old classic, but also a special perception of the world, enmeshed in the total rationality. Totalitarianism is a product of our time, got used to all lay on the shelves, to adjust to the general rationalistic yards, doing everything totally transparent and absolutely predictable. The ideal of the totalitarian project — a society-machine, where people act as cogs, of course, none of that could come to mind, and a man of antiquity or the Middle Ages, when the reigning totally different organic understanding of space and society, for this was to happen the scientific revolution. So, in the grounds of totalitarianism lies absolutisation rationality and if in this society and manifest phenomena irrationalist — torchlight processions, the burning of books, absurd charges of espionage, this is payback for hypertrophy rational, dialectical rebirth "logo" in "mifos."

From the point of view of Marcuse, the transition to a Western-type society totalitarianism came with the beginning of World War 1 — then began to form based on scientific rationality mechanisms of social control (before power is not done in order to subdue the mind and the will of all citizens, and, methodical manner consistent and meet the necessary occasional political and ideological violence). However, according to Marcuse totalitarianism can be divided into two types — the military police, open, to which he attributed the Soviet and Nazi regimes and liberal neterroristichesky, soft, finally took shape in Europe and especially in the United States after World War 2. Marcuse does not consider them mutually exclusive, they are in varying degrees, can grow together and complement each other — so that the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union in the "cold war" Marcuse regarded as a symbiosis of two totalitarian regimes that by creating an enemy and its advocacy and support service only reinforce each other.

If the Soviet totalitarianism Marcuse studied in the "Soviet Marxism" fascist — in some sections of the book "Reason and Revolution", the study of the neo-liberal totalitarianism was dedicated to his work, "One-Dimensional Man." This book begins a phrase in which the focus is assembled as its basic meaning: "In the advanced industrial civilization Hotel is comfortable, reasonable, democratic unfreedom, certificate of technical progress." Created the most powerful mechanisms of suppression of skepticism and protest in the bud — television, radio, newspapers, shows, advertising, raffle. Everywhere reigns loyal "happy consciousness", which satisfied controlled comfort, lulled into a false freedom and does not want to use even available to him critical institutions. In this society, almost persecuted for their beliefs, because there are almost no people who can think for themselves and have their own beliefs. Everywhere reigns cult unification — buy the products that are advertised and repeat the thoughts that considered "progressive", dress up in those things that are declared fashionable. A whole system of artificial needs, by which a man lured into a frantic race in a circle component of the senseless nature of post-modern capitalist society. If you can not buy a new receiver and a new pair of jeans, you are not recognized sufficiently "advanced". But in order to buy them, you need to make money. And they can earn by working for the firm, the concern in the factory and producing more and more new receivers and jeans. Or in the newspaper, in a PR firm, advertising on TV and these receivers and jeans. Fashion changes, you need to keep up at all, in the end a man is satisfied with his life, absolutely loyal to his government and has only one disturbing his desire — to consume, consume and consume more time.

Such a person Marcuse describes as "one-dimensional", pointing to the absence in his spiritual configuration "bulk", "complexity". It is easy to see that this — nickname "man of the masses" Jose Ortega y Gasset, the triumphant mediocrity, smug philistine who is not capable of creative activity, but it is sure that the world exists only for him, that light the lamps lit himself on its own, according to the laws of nature and not worth keeping labor, emotional drama and insight of thousands of scientists and engineers, the sweat of millions of workers. Marcuse bitterly notes that in modern Western societies are the majority, and in that sense the proletarian is no different from the bourgeois, intellectual, middle — the seller of vacuum cleaners. And the owner of the firm and a Negro bellhop watching the same TV shows, sing the same popular tunes — they are members of one and the same culture, or pop-called mass culture, although it would mark her as a post-culture. It absorbed the classical literature, painting, theater, digest everything and eventually got messivo that resembles a pop artovskoy picture, where the Mona Lisa image side by side with the butts glued to the canvas. In this "one-dimensional culture," there is no room Truth, goodness, beauty — it is for her anachronism, a relic of feudalism, it is only a product that involves in his field and absorbs all political views now — the goods, talent — the goods, beautiful face — product genitals — the goods, the kidneys — the goods, children — the goods … The paradigm unifies all goods, money calculus all averages, the difference between the law against drugs and heroin party here is measured in dollars.

Marcuse calls the world "one-dimensional people," "a society without opposition." There is really no principled opponents of the regime, and if someone calls himself so, he is easy to arrange. Each has its price — for a portfolio of the Minister, for another — a prestigious literary prize. The range of this company great, no wonder it is called the "consumer society", however, in full compliance with the laws of dialectics, and it is poor, because it can only offer products and nothing but the goods … The freedom that this society is so brags in general illusory is the freedom of choice between Pepsi — and Coca-Cola, the Democratic and the Republican Party, in short, between the goods about the same quality.

And where in this world come true freedom, true opposition, because the power elite is a powerful mechanism of repression, hidden ideology, "dissolved" in the film, advertising, shows strong is the fact that most people in this society are sincerely convinced that any ideology It is not that they live in the "free world."

Marcuse, like other residents of Frankfurt — for example, Fromm sought to grasp the essence of the psychology of the "one-dimensional man" and came to the sad conclusion that it should be characterized as a type of consciousness fashizoidny. Its main features — limited, complacency, hatred of the other, does not look like the original. Any dissimilarity immediately incorporated into the ideological discourse, begins to work on it, it becomes a commodity, absorbed — such as homosexuality or pacifism. An example of such a state of "latent fascism", ruled by the aggressive, self-righteous majority of Marcuse and the other served as a United States of Frankfurt.

In his younger years, Marcuse lived in the hope of changing the status quo, in charge of the revolutionary "rogue states," "lumpen", thrown out by the wayside in a consumer society, in the cleansing power of surreal, avant-garde art, intended to dispel the spell of propaganda, in the efficacy of the Great Refusal of all bourgeois values . But then, after the failed revolutions of student '60s, he increasingly began to see the future in black and gradually withdrew from politics and immersed himself in academia. However, his analysis of society "liberal totalitarianism" has become a classic example of contemporary critical social theory, which, perhaps, not all agree, but from which nevertheless can not simply be wished away, as she puts really "sick" and points to questions real-world problems.

Part 1. "Another West" Western intellectuals against capitalism

Part 2. Antonio Gramsci: the theory of hegemony


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