Left Heideggerianism or Phenomenological Marxism? Reconsidering Herbert Marcuse’s Critical Theory of Technology

CSS republishes the following, with the intention of publicizing part of a debate within the decaying corridors of academia, between Abromeit – co-editor of the text ‘Heideggerian Marxism’ – and Feenberg and Wolin. The latter, in the view of Abromeit, are of the view that Marcuse is best categorized as a ‘Left-Heideggerian’, whereas Abromeit places Marcuse in the Marxian tradition. In the view of the Center, the argument is taxonomical, perhaps just semantical in nature, and only contributes to an understanding of more important questions through the digressions and other points raised in the essay along its course, which are secondary or less in the eyes of the author, Abromeit, himself. This ‘debate’ also underscores the state and condition of Marxian academia itself, which is to say, not a healthy state.

The Center views the discourse exemplified in the proceeding to be evidence of one of the Center’s central tenets – that popular discourse online, in virtual spaces and through social media (e.g. YouTube, etc.), nominally on these same subjects, goes much further in both their explanatory and developmental power in this territory.

That said, the ‘gems’ which we believe are of interest to the Center and the reader contained in Abromeit’s piece, are nevertheless valuable and are worthy of making more accessible to the public than its original form when it was published in Constellations in 2010. – CSS Research Team

Constellations Volume 17, No 1, 2010.
2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.,

By John Abromeit
Herbert Marcuse’s theoretical debts to Martin Heidegger have become the subject of renewed scrutiny. A number of recent publications have documented and analyzed Marcuse’s early engagement with Heidegger’s philosophy as well as the remnants of that engagement in Marcuse’s later works. In what follows, I would like to make a contribution to these recent discussions by revisiting Marcuse’s theory of technology and technological rationality. A reappraisal of Marcuse’s theory of technology is crucial to determining the extent to which he remained indebted to Heidegger, since many commentators see this as the aspect of his thought that most clearly displays Heidegger’s continuing influence. In contrast to this interpretation, I will argue that Marcuse borrows elements from the phenomenology of Heidegger and – to an even greater degree – Edmund Husserl, but that these elements are critically appropriated within an overall Marxist theoretical approach, in which social and historical factors are seen as the ultimate determinants of technology and technological rationality.

I would like to offer an alternative interpretation to that put forth recently by Andrew
Feenberg and Richard Wolin, both of whom see a more profound and lasting influence of Heidegger on Marcuse’s later work. While both Feenberg and Wolin recognize the ways in which Marcuse was critical of Heidegger, they also insist that he remained a “Heideggerian” in some significant sense until the end of his life. Feenberg emphasizes Marcuse’s indebtedness to Heidegger in order to praise his work and highlight his continuing relevance for a critical theory of technology.1

Wolin, in contrast, sees Marcuse’s indebtedness to Heidegger as a blind spot in his work, which made him susceptible to problematic anti-modern and anti-democratic tendencies, shared by other “children” of Heidegger, such as Hannah Arendt,
Karl L¨owith and Hans Jonas.2

While Feenberg and Wolin both capture important aspects of Marcuse’s relationship to Heidegger, in the end they overemphasize his indebtedness to Heidegger and fail to grasp the subordinate role that Heidegger, in particular, and phenomenology, in general, play in Marcuse’s non-traditional Marxist Critical Theory.3

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Transcendent Warfare & Shamanism

© 2019 By Ronald Thomas West

for profit & mass paper media redistribution prohibited

3rd Edition

Foreword

his small work is a short explanation of the fundamental mistake or misapprehension of reality by modern thought. If you’re from the culture that came up with virgin birth, Santa Claus & the tooth fairy, it should be easy enough to understand when your own advances in quantum mechanics call bullshit on everything you were taught is reality, in other words, the Western Cartesian-Platonic based science, right?

Recalling Einstein’s No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it, I’d suggest if this were a cultural phenomenon, and if you could gather all of best brains from the history of Western civilization, the real solution would be to identify and weed out the mistakes of the ‘best and brightest.’ Going to that thought, try solving this problem or even grasping the magnitude of the proposed thesis:

A: The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato
-Alfred North Whitehead

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B: The [Plato’s] doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment-theoretical physicist Bernard d’Espagnat

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C: nouns or millennia destructive process objectifyinglanguage, projecting individual identity onto pieces of ones surroundings, or dis- integrating environment; a result of the isolated projection of self or (ego) individuation by Western humanity exclusive of integration to a sentient, aware surrounding, where all environment had been/should be, social-Ronald Thomas West

For those readers more or less stuck in a rut of the Cartesian-Platonic paradigm of reality, I invite a perusal of the following essays as a creative endeavor in social science fiction (and to wonder at what many, many millions of your tax dollars have been spent exploring in the so-called ‘special access programs’ of the American intelligence community.)

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The Rise of Christian Zionism – The Christian Evangelical Assault on Palestine

By Paul Antonopoulos – CSS Project Director;  MENA and Latin America Research Fellow

The Christian Evangelical Assault on Palestine Based in a Claimed Literal Interpretation of the Bible, Absent Genuine Religious Content

 

resident of the United States, Donald Trump formerly allowed the relocation of the U.S Embassy in occupied Palestine to be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, sparking unrest across the entire Muslim world, despite the warnings given to him by his own national security team. The opening prayer at the new Embassy was delivered by Evangelical Reverend Robert Jeffress with the closing prayer given by Evangelical Reverend John C. Hagee on May 14, 2018, the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Zionist entity commonly known as Israel. It was unsurprising to see Evangelical pastors playing such a key role at this event as 81% of Evangelical Christians voted for Trump.

Who are the Evangelicals? Evangelicalism is a puritanical sect of Christianity that take a literal interpretation of the Christian scriptures, comparable to the Wahhabis of Sunni Islam, and devoid of any spirituality. In addition to their domestic efforts to roll back liberal ideals and defend neo-liberalism in the USA, they also take a radical foreign policy that always attempts to justify US interventionism, including in Palestine. This puritanical interpretation of Christianity has seen it galvanize and create a strong network of megachurches, schools and universities, and create a behemoth media presence on radio, television and new mass media such as apps and social media.

Analysts were left confused why Trump would cause such a great provocation by recognizing Jerusalem as “Israel’s eternal capital.” The answer is quite a straightforward one.

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The Fourth Position – Series

By: Tim Kirby

The Fourth Position and “Father’s Will”

Part I and Episode I – “I or We?”

Editor’s note: “Fathers’ Will” is an ongoing series of essays regarding the past, present and future of ideology and how we can move forward to an Illiberal age written by award-winning political analyst and radio talk show host Tim Kirby.

“The Fourth Position” is the related video series regarding the same – the 1st episode, “I or We?”, is now available to the public on our YouTube Channel, “Center for Syncretic Studies“. – Joaquin Flores

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he so-called “End of History” is beginning to end. With the victory of Liberalism over Communism it seemed to many in the 90’s that we had entered into the final political theory, that there would no longer be any ideological development.

Liberalism in the 1990’s was to be the alpha and omega, a system for the whole world that “demonstrably” worked “the best” for all of humanity. At the time this seemed like an obvious truth as Liberalism proved itself to “work better” for the masses than Communism. But now, a mere 30 years later the thousand-year-reich of Liberalism is corroding before our eyes and rather quickly. History has not ended, there is no ultimate solution to all problems and the human story continues on. The West is committing demographic suicide, Chinese Communism is the second largest economy in the world, and the world finds itself yet again divided into SCO and NATO, BRICS and WTO etc.

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From Socialist Revivalism to Socialist Futurism

Small Logo By: John Stachelski 

A Review of Caleb Maupin’s Getting Rich Without Capitalism

Shanghai, China aerial view over Yan'an Elevated Highway.

Caleb Maupin’s provocatively titled Getting Rich Without Capitalism: America’s Way Out (2018) is a collection of essays which cover a range burning political questions in geopolitics, economics, and cultural theory.

Maupin covers a wide array of topics, such as neo-McCarthyism and the real reason for sanctions against Russia, how Ayn Rand’s philosophy can be linked to the psychology of mass shooters, and the Trump phenomena in the context of the history of American populism.

This book is an audacious challenge to radicals of the left and the right, and thus has the potential to frustrate many of its readers. The premise is as radical as its title and essays (the chapter entitled “In defense of socialist billionaires” comes to mind immediately), the left at a certain point in history made an abrupt turn away from tenants that it formerly held sacred, for reasons that Maupin suggests are extremely unsavory. Meanwhile the socialism of the 21st century is being developed in unexpected places by unexpected people.51RAaDNaaCL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_ Continue reading