marcuse s radical pedagogy

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  • 7/29/2019 marcuse s radical pedagogy.



    On Marcuse : cr i t i que , l i bera t ion , and reschoo l ing in t he

    rad ica l pedagogy o f Herber t Marcuse

    Sobr e Mar cuse: c r t ica , l iber tao e r eeducao na pedagog ia

    rad ica l de Herber t Marcuse

    Douglas M. Ke l lnerUniversity of California - UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, Estados Unidos da Amrica

    ABSTRACTPhilosopher, social theorist, and political activist, Herbert Marcuse gained world

    renown during the 1960s as a theorist of major transformations within both thestructures of social production and reproduction and emergent forms of resistanceto domination and repression. His theory of "one-dimensional" society providedcritical perspectives on contemporary capitalist and state communist societies,while his notion of the Great Refusal" won him renown as a theorist ofrevolutionary change and "liberation from the affluent society." Consequently, hebecame one of the most influential intellectuals in the United States during the1960s and into the 1970s. But what is Marcuses legacy today? While othercritical theorists of his generation have gained a new level of academic cache,Marcuse seems to remain a historical figure locked within the dramas of thesixties. As such, a return to Marcuse, as Angela Davis has pointed out, seems toveer dangerously close to nostalgia for a past age (MARCUSE, 2005). In thisbook, we attempt to show that Marcuse continues to have significant relevance

    and importance to the contemporary situation concerning education in theadvanced, industrial world. With the rise of standardization policies in the sphereof schooling, the steady progress of the affluent society in the sphere ofwestern, industrialized economies, the waning of critical and dialectical thinking inthe field of philosophy and the social sciences, and finally, the immediatedegradation of the environment, Marcuse speaks with clarity to academics,teachers, and activists interested in understanding the complexities of counter-revolution and revolt occurring today in a variety of locations and across manydomains. In this book we demonstrate Marcuses sustained concern for educationas a sphere for developing radical critique and emancipatory alternatives to thefully administered society. We intend our study to demonstrate not onlyMarcuses relevancy, but also the urgency with which we must evaluate his lifeand work in light of continuities and transformations within the present system ofsocial relations and institutions from Marcuses time to our own.K e y w o r d s : Herbert Marcuse, Critique, Liberation, Reschooling, RadicalPedagogy

    RESUMOFilsofo, terico social e ativista poltico, Herbert Marcuse ganhou renomeinternacional durante os anos 60 como terico das principais transformaes

    ISSN 1808-4281Estudos e Pesquisas em Psicologia Rio de Janeiro v. 11 n. 1 p. 23-55 2011

  • 7/29/2019 marcuse s radical pedagogy.


    Douglas M. KellnerOn Marcuse

    das estruturas de produo social e de reproduo assim como das formasemergentes de resistncia dominao e represso. Sua teoria da sociedadeunidimensional nos proporciona uma perspectiva crtica sobre o capitalismocontemporneo e das sociedades dos estados comunistas, enquanto sua noode A Grande Recusa lhe deu uma posio reconhecida como terico das

    mudanas revolucionrias e da l i be r tao desta sociedade opulenta. Comoconseqncia. ele se tornou um dos mais influentes intelectuais nos EstadosUnidos durante os anos 60 e 70. No entanto, qual seria o legado de Marcusehoje? Enquanto outros tericos crticos de sua gerao ganharam novos nveisde pos io acadmica , Marcuse parece permanecer uma figura histricatrancada dentro dos dramas dos anos 60. Desta forma, um retorno a Marcuse,como Angela Davis assinalou, parece desviar-se, perigosamente, em direo auma nostalgia por um tempo passado. Neste a r t i go , tentamos mostrar queMarcuse continua a ter significativa relevncia e importncia na situaocontempornea com relao a educao no mundo industrial avanado. Dianteda ascenso das polticas de padronizao na esfera da educao , com oestvel progressoda sociedade opulenta no mbito das economias ocidentaisindustrializadas, assim como o declnio do pensamento crtico e dialtico nocampo da filosofia e cincias sociais e a degradao imediata do meio ambiente,Marcuse fala com clareza para acadmicos, professores e ativistas interessadosna compreenso das complexidades da contra-revoluo e revolta queocorrem hoje numa variedade de lugares e domnios. Tentaremos demonstrar,ainda neste artigo, que Marcuse interessava-se pela educao como uma esferade desenvolvimento crtico radical e de alternativas emancipatrias para toda asociedade administrada. Pretendemos com este estudo demonstrar que noapenas a relevncia de Marcuse mas tambm a urgncia com a qual devemosavaliar sua vida e trabalho sob a luz das continuidades e transformaes dentrodo presente sistema de relaes sociais e instituies desde o tempo destefilsofo at o nosso.Palavras-chave: Herbert Marcuse, Crtica, Libertao, Reeducao, Pedagogia


    1. The Li fe and Times of Herber t Mar cuse

    Herbert Marcuse was born July 19, 1898 in Berlin, Germany. The son ofCarl Marcuse, a prosperous Jewish merchant and Gertrud Kreslawsky,daughter of a wealthy German factory owner, Marcuse had a typicalupper-middle class Jewish life during the first two decades of thetwentieth century, in which anti-semitism was not overt in Germany.Marcuse studied in the Mommsen Gymnasium in Berlin prior to World WarI and served with the German army in the war. Transferring to Berlin

    early in 1918, he participated in the German Revolution that drove KaiserWilhelm II out of Germany and established a Social Democraticgovernment.After demobilization, Marcuse went to Freiburg to pursue his studies andreceived a Ph.D. in literature in 1922 for a dissertation on The GermanArtist-Novel. After a short career as a bookseller in Berlin, Marcuse

    Estud. pesqui. psicol., Rio de Janeiro, v. 11, n.1, p. 23-55, 2011. 2 4

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    Douglas M. KellnerOn Marcuse

    returned to Freiburg and in 1928 began studying philosophy with MartinHeidegger, then one of the most significant thinkers in Germany.In his first published articles, written from 1928-1933 when he wasstudying with Heidegger in Freiburg, Marcuse developed a synthesis of

    phenomenology, existentialism, and Marxism, anticipating a project whichdecades later would be carried out by various "existential" and"phenomenological" Marxists, such as Jean-Paul Sartre and MauriceMerleau-Ponty, as well as others in Eastern Europe and the United Statesin the post-war period. Marcuse contended that Marxist thought haddeteriorated into a rigid orthodoxy and needed concrete"phenomenological" experience of contemporary social conditions toupdate and enliven Marxian theory, which had neglected social, cultural,and psychological factors in favor of economic and political conditions. Healso believed that Marxism neglected the problem of the individual andthroughout his life was concerned with personal liberation and happiness,in addition to social transformation.Marcuse published the first major review in 1932 of Marx's previouslyunprinted early work, the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of1844, anticipating the later tendency to revise interpretations of Marxismfrom the standpoint of the works of the early Marx. Marcuse was thus oneof the first to see the importance of the philosophical perspectives of theearly Marx on labor, human nature, and alienation which he thought werenecessary to give concrete substance to Marxism. At the same time thathe was writing essays synthesizing Marxism and phenomenology, Marcusecompleted a study of Hegel's Ontology and Theory of Historicity (1932)

    which he intended as a "Habilitation" dissertation that would gain himUniversity employment. The text stressed the importance of thecategories of life and history in Hegel and contributed to the revival ofinterest in Hegel that was taking place in Europe.In 1933, Marcuse joined the Institut fur Sozialforschung (Institute forSocial Research) in Frankfurt and became one of the most activeparticipants in their interdisciplinary projects (see KELLNER, 1989;WIGGERSHAUS, 1994). The Institute was founded in Frankfurt, Germany,during the 1920s as the first Marxist-oriented research institute in Europe.It developed a conception of critical social theory that they contrasted with"traditional theory." Their distinctive brand of "critical theory" combinedphilosophy, social theory, economics, cultural criticism, psychology,radical pedagogy, and other disciplines in an attempt to develop a theoryof the present age in a dialectic of domination and emancipation. Thisproject involved developing analyses of the new stage of state andmonopoly capitalism, of the role of mass communication and culture, ofthe decline of the individual, of the institutions and effects of German

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    Douglas M. KellnerOn Marcuse

    fascism, and of the role of institutions like the corporation, state, media,and schools in the reproduction of contemporary capitalist societies.Marcuse participated in all of these projects and was one of the centraland most productive participants in the Institute. He deeply identified with

    the work of the Institute, and throughout his life was close to MaxHorkheimer, T. W. Adorno, Leo Lowenthal, Franz Neumann, and its othermembers.In 1934, Marcuse - a Jew and radical and other members of theFrankfurt School fled from Nazism and emigrated to the United States.The Institute was granted offices and an academic affiliation withColumbia University, where Marcuse worked during the 1930s