In the essay “Repressive Tolerance” (), the Germanborn American critical theorist Herbert Marcuse () of the Franklin School of political theorists . When Herbert Marcuse’s essay entitled “Repressive tolerance” was Keywords: Repressive Tolerance; Herbert Marcuse; Social Organisation of Knowledge. Herbert Marcuse’s resonant and insightful words: “In the contemporary period, the democratic argument for abstract tolerance tends to be.
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Thus, the basic vocabulary of the Orwellian language operates as a priori categories of understanding: There are cases where an authentic oeuvre carries a regressive political message–Dostoevski is a case in point.
The issue is only the degree and extent of this intolerance. Within the framework of such a social structure, tolerance can be safely practiced and proclaimed. But what is to be done? The factual barriers which totalitarian democracy erects against the efficacy of qualitative dissent are weak and pleasant enough compared with the practices of a dictatorship which claims to educate the people in the truth. Where the false consciousness has become prevalent in national and popular behavior, it translates itself almost immediately into practice: The practice of a liberating tolerance was the only hope for its restoration.
Liberty is self-determination, autonomy–this is almost a tautology, but a tautology which results from a whole series of synthetic judgments.
However, it would be ridiculous to speak of a possible withdrawal of tolerance with respect to these practices and to the ideologies promoted by them. At the outset, I propose that the question cannot be answered in terms of the alternative between democracy and dictatorship, according to which, in the latter, one individual or group, without any effective control from below, arrogate to themselves the decision. But democracy does not prevail.
How exactly we manage this weighing is not made clear. I have been for forty years listening to you through a crack under the floor. From this Marcuse concludes:. Modern Language Association http: But with the concentration of economic and political power and the integration of opposites in a society which uses technology as an instrument of domination, effective dissent is blocked where it could freely emerge; in the formation of opinion, in information and communication, in speech and assembly.
Here are some examp Where society has entered the phase of total administration and indoctrination, this would be a small number indeed, and not necessarily that of the elected representatives of the people. For this reason, affirmative, partisan steps slanted to the Left are needed to liberate individuals and to restore their ability to reason.
All points of view can be heard: Scan of edition as pdf. UNDER the conditions prevailing in this country, tolerance does not, and cannot, fulfill the civilizing function attributed to it by the liberal protagonists of democracy, namely, protection of dissent. Glazer described the book as “peculiar”.
John Stuart Mill speaks of the truth which is persecuted in history and which does not triumph over persecution by virtue of its ‘inherent power’, which in fact has no inherent power ‘against the dungeon and the stake’. Here, too, in the education of those represslve are not yet maturely integrated, in the mind of the young, the ground for liberating tolerance is still to be created.
Repressive tolerance and free speech. | Through A Blog Darkly
The publicity of self-actualization promotes the removal of the one and the other, it promotes existence in that immediacy which, in a repressive society, is to use another Hegelian term bad immediacy schlechte Unmittelbarkeit. In an authoritarian system, the people do not tolerate–they suffer established policies. In other words, such education would indeed badly serve the Establishment, and to give political prerogatives to the men and women thus educated would indeed be anti-democratic in the terms of the Establishment.
The progressive historical force of tolerance lies in its extension to those modes and forms of dissent which are not committed to the status quo of society, and not confined to the institutional framework of the established society. Marcuse argues that “the realization of the objective of tolerance” requires “intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed.
Even outrageous opinions are expressed, outrageous incidents are televised; and the critics of established policies are interrupted by the same number of commercials as the conservative advocates.
There, passive resistance was carried through on a massive scale, which disrupted, or threatened to disrupt, the economic life of the country. To be sure, this practice already presupposes the radical goal which it seeks to achieve. And to the degree to which freedom of thought involves the struggle against inhumanity, restoration of such freedom would also imply intolerance toward scientific research in the interest of deadly ‘deterrents’, of abnormal human endurance under inhuman conditions, etc.
Tolerance is first and foremost for the sake of the heretics–the historical road toward humanitas appears as heresy: The tolerance which was the great achievement of the liberal era is still professed and with strong qualifications practiced, while the economic and political process is subjected to an ubiquitous and effective administration in accordance with the predominant interests.
Tolerance Freedom of speech. Critical Theory and Democratic Vision: In the contemporary period, the democratic argument for abstract tolerance tends to be invalidated by the invalidation of the democratic process itself. They note that they have different perspectives on philosophywith Wolff accepting, and Marcuse opposing, the approach of analytic philosophyand Moore being critical of philosophy in general.
Notify me of new comments via email. In fact, the decision between opposed opinions has been made before the presentation and discussion get under way–made, not by a conspiracy or a sponsor or a publisher, not by any dictatorship, but rather by the ‘normal course of events’, which is the course of administered events, and by the mentality shaped in this course.
The political locus of tolerance has changed: Tolerance would be restricted with respect to movements of a demonstrably aggressive or destructive character destructive of the prospects for peace, justice, and freedom for all. But with the concentration of economic and political power and the integration of opposites in a society which uses technology as an instrument of domination, effective dissent is blocked where it could freely emerge; in the formation of opinion, in information and communication, in speech and assembly.
New Spaces in the Humanities vol. Mill believed that ‘individual mental superiority’ justifies ‘reckoning one person’s opinion as equivalent to more than one’:. To enable them to become autonomous, to find by themselves what is true and what is false for man in the existing society, they would have to be freed from the prevailing indoctrination which is no longer recognized as indoctrination.
The notion of pluralism and countervailing powers is no substitute for this requirement. Herbert Marcuse official homepage. Human freedom and determinism part one. Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Moreover, with respect to the latter, a policy of unequal treatment would protect radicalism on the Left against that on the Right.
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