Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory

Herbert Marcuse

Language: English

Pages: 440

ISBN: 157392718X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


It is of the very definition of any "classic" work that it will not only introduce a new depth and direction of thought, but that its original insights endure. When it first appeared in 1940, Reason and Revolution by Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) was acclaimed for its profound and undistorted reading of Hegel's social and political theory. Today, the appreciation of Marcuse's work has remained high, more relevant now than ever before.

In the rapidly changing context of post-Cold War political realities, there is no better guide than Marcuse to where we have been and to what we might expect. As he well understood, turbulent and spectacular political events always ran within channels earlier set by political theory; and he equally understood that it was Hegel's often unappreciated and misunderstood theory which actually set a fundamental path of modern political life.

It is a fortunate combination to have a scholar of Marcuse's brilliance and lucid honesty addressing the sources and consequences of Hegel's social theory.

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Added under a separate head original meaning of these laws The is the law of ground. their actual ob- and was a discovery made by the Hegelian logic. logic cannot even touch their sense; the of the separation subject matter of thought from its form cuts the very ground from under truth. Thought is true only in so far as it remains adapted to the concrete movejective content Formal ment As from the objective process and, for the sake of some spurious precision and stability, tries to simulate mathematical rigor, thought becomes untrue.

Being' here is 'not predicate but the 'passes' essential nature* of God. The subject God 'seems to cease subject, to God, be what viz. He was when a fixed subject/ Whereas the P. 61. traditional the proposition was put forward, to become the predicate. 11 and judgment and proposition imply 10 P. 59 . "P. 61. THE FOUNDATIONS OF HEGEL'S PHILOSOPHY 102 a clear distinction of subject from predicate, the speculative judgment subverts and destroys 'the nature of judg- ment or of the proposition in general/ It strikes the de- blow against traditional formal logic.

Germany is no longer a state ... If Germany were still to present condition of decay could only be called anarchy, were it not for the fact that her component parts have constituted themselves as states. It is only the remembrance of a past tie and not any actual union that gives them the appearance of unity ... In her war with the French Republic Germany has come to realize that she is no longer a state The obvious results of this war are the loss of some of the most beautiful of the German lands, and of some millions of her population, a public debt (even larger in the south than in the north) which carries the agonies of the war into peace-time, and the result that besides those who have fallen under the power of conquerors and foreign laws and morals, be called a .

We socio-historical roots of this 'universalism,' showing that its base was the lack of a 'community* in individualist society. Hegel remained faithful to the heritage of the eighteenth century and incorporated its ideals into the very structure of his philosophy. He insisted that the 'truly universal* was a community that preserved and fulfilled the demands of the individual. One might interpret his dialectic as the philosophic attempt to reconcile his ideals with an antagonistic social reality.

180. is the 'simple positive unity* in disunity within the had existed w p. 183. T P. 184. THE FOUNDATIONS OF HEGEL'S PHILOSOPHY 154 is the unity of the possible and the real, which in the process of transformation 'returns only to itself/ 76 Any purported difference between various forms of the old; it actual is but an apparent one, because actuality develops itself in all the forms. A reality is actual if it is preserved all con- and perpetuated through the absolute negation of tingencies, in other words, if all its various forms and stages are but the lucid manifestation of its true content.

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